On Wednesday, October 3, 2007, I received a following letter, Registered Mail, from the Department of Public Safety, University of Michigan:
Mr. Ardelli:So I called the Detective to explain my side of the story. I talked to him for a few minutes, but he wasn't able to talk long as the calls were forwarded to his cell phone; he had a family emergency. So, we didn't have much time to talk, but I was able to gather that Riin's complaint was prompted by my recent repeated attempts to post comments on her blog. The Detective seemed like a nice, reasonable guy. He offered to talk to me at greater length the next day.
My name is **** *****, and I am a Detective with the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety. On 9/4/2007 Riin Gill filed a report with our Department [sic] alleging that she has asked you on more than one occasion to cease all contact with her. She further stated that you have continued to e-mail her, call her, send post mail to her and to write entries on her blog. I am hereby ordering you to cease all contact with Riin Gill including, but not limited to:
Electronic Bulleting [sic] Boards
Personal Contact at Home, Work or a Public Place
Appearing Within Sight of Riin Gill
Third Party Contacts
The act of making any of the previous contacts is in violation of Michigan Penal Code 750.411h- Stalking, a misdemeanor. Furthermore, and as a warning to avoid any future behavior that may escalate the situation, you should be informed that posting an unauthorized message through the use of any medium of communication with intent to terrorize, intimidate, harass or molest is a Felony in the State of Michigan (Michigan Penal Code 750.411s)
At this point in the investigation, after consulting with Riin Gill, the report was filed as an Information Report. However, if any new attempts to contact Riin Gill are made by you, be advised that criminal charges may result.
Likewise, Riin Gill was advised not to make any contacts with you or to visit any of your sites. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me at (***)***-****.
I thank you in advance for your prompt attention and cooperation in this matter.
University of Michigan
Department of Public Safety
Criminal Investigations Unit
**** ***** *****
*** *****, ** *****
When I spoke to him the following day, this is, in a nutshell, what I told him:
After doing some research, I found the full text of Michigan Penal Code 750.411s. A Felony charge under that section can only be brought if all conditions in 750.411s (1a-d) are met.
(1a) definitely applies, and the very fact Riin made her complaint implies that (1d) applies, but (1b) and (1c) do not apply. My messages were not intended to cause harassing conduct (1b), and no conduct arising from my messages would cause a reasonable person to feel threatened (1c) (I do not feel Riin is being reasonable so, if she does feel threatened, it is without cause, and (1c) is apparently there to protect people in my situation from being wrongfully charged).
Furthermore, as regards section 750.411h, "stalking" and "unconsented contact" are defined separately under subsections (d) and (e).
"Stalking" is defined under 750.411h (d) as "a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested."
"Unconsented contact" is defined under 750.411h (e) as: "any contact with another individual that is initiated or continued without that individual's consent or in disregard of that individual's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued."
As I've said, the messages I sent would not make any reasonable person "feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested." Therefore, though I freely acknowledge engaging in unconsented contact as outlined in 750.411h (e), that contact was not "stalking" as defined under 750.411h (d). I therefore submit that Ms. Gill's accusation of "stalking" is a blatantly false charge.
Furthermore , from March 7 (the day after the breakup) through June 2, 2007, I respected her wishes. I even stopped sending her postal mail, at her request in a letter I received May 20. I had no contact with her whatsoever following that date and had no intention to contact her. Her request not to contact her in her letter was unambiguous, so I intended to honor it, and did up to June 2; that's when she decided to make libelous comments about me on her blog.
At that point, realizing I had to take action to stop the libel and preferring to do so between her and I rather than bringing in the police or a lawyer, I contacted her and gave her clear caveat that I would not tolerate the libel and that, if it was not removed, my promise not to contact her would be null and void. This has been the justification for my actions from then until now: so long as that libel stayed on her blog, I would not respect her wishes on principle.
However, this past October 6, Lisa informed me that Riin had taken her entire blog down and started over. Now, I'm somewhat dismayed that she discarded all that history she'd built up, but I do understand why she did it. She needs to start over from scratch. I respect that. Further, with the dissolution of her original blog, the libelous comments of June 2 disappeared along with it.
Therefore since Riin has showing a willingness, however tacit, to respect my wishes, I hereby formally state my intentions to respect hers. As of this date, Monday, October 8, 2007, I will willingly cease all contact in all forms with Riin, as per her request with the understanding that this embargo is not two ways. Should Riin ever wish to contact me, she is welcome to, but she will not hear from me again unless she contacts me.
Now, I'm hoping that will be the end of it... but there's a wrinkle.
This past Friday, October 5 around 2:00 PM ADT, a unknown male, overweight, gray haired balding, wearing a blue tench coat and carrying a manila folder, came to my door. Lisa was the only one here; I was at work. The man asked where I was and requested my cell phone number. Unfortunately Lisa, not thinking, gave him this information without even asking the man who he was; shortly thereafter, I received a hang-up call on my cell phone voice mail.
Now, the Detective from the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety did tell me, during our conversation, that a Cape Breton Regional Police Detective might pay me a visit just to make sure I got his letter, so I assumed that that's who the man was, so I didn't give it any further thought. I did, however, ask Lisa not go give out any further information about me the next time without getting the identity of the man first.
Well, today (Monday, October 8), around the same time as on Friday, the same man showed up again. As I has asked, Lisa asked him who he was, twice. He refused to identify himself; he would only say that he needed to talk to me. Even more troubling, he knew Lisa's name. Lisa immediately called my cell phone and left a voice mail explaining what happened.
I immediately called the Cape Breton Regional Police from work to ask them if it was one of their people. Though they were not absolutely certain, they did say one thing that concerned me: because of the Thanksgiving holiday, none of their "plain clothes" operatives were on patrol at the time, only uniformed officers. So I have to assume, whoever this guy was, he was not with the Cape Breton Regional Police.
I met with a couple of Cape Breton Regional Police officers following the end of my shift at 4:30 (fortunately, there is a "satellite" police station right in front of our building). I explained my entire situation, just as I've explained it here. Now, given my situation with Riin, it's quite possible that this guy has some legitimate business with me. However, I do not appreciate how he's frightening both myself and particularly Lisa by refusing to identify himself.
The police officers advised me not to contact Riin any further (which was already my intention anyway). In turn, they instructed me to have Lisa call the police immediately should this guy show up again.
It occurs to me that this guy could be trying to serve me some papers from Riin. I sincerely hope not. The Detective in Michigan was very clear: Riin is willing not to press this further if I agree not to contact her. I did agree to that in the conversation, pending Riin's willingness to remove the libel against me on her blog. Since she has done that, and as I have agreed to stand down, I would view any further action from Riin at this point as nothing more than malicious.
If it does turn out that this guy is trying to serve me anything from Riin, given that the charge of "stalking" is clearly unfounded under the Michigan Penal Code, I will file a formal charge against Riin under Section 750.370 of the MPC: "Falsely and maliciously accusing another." It's one thing for her to come after me, but this guy is scaring Lisa. That I will not tolerate. If this is Riin's doing, this is the last thing she should have done if she wanted this truly over.
However, until I find out what this guy wants, I'm going to give Riin the benefit of the doubt and assume that either this guy wants to talk to me about an unrelated matter (I am in the process of filing a formal complaint against a police officer regarding an unrelated traffic incident, so it could be about that) or that it's a complaint filed by someone else I've contacted in connection with the Riin mess (unlikely as whoever it is apparently knows my address).
I'll leave a letter for "John Doe" on my door tomorrow warning him that, if he does not identify himself when he knocks, the police will immediately be called. I'll also leave Lisa instructions to do so should he come back.
I hope it's not Riin's doing. Now that the libel is off her blog, I'd much rather just let this drop once and for all. I'm pretty battle-weary, and I think I've proven my point. At least Riin will never be able to say "he didn't even care enough to fight for me."
One thing I must say. Riin's "new" blog is apparently called "A Happy Fuzzy Blog." I like that. It's very "her." However, one of the three statements that appears below that title strikes me as singularly ironic: "Practice compassion towards all living things." An interesting statement coming from her, particularly given how much "compassion" she's shown me these past seven months...
Riin has always reacted very badly to being called a hypocrite. It occurs to me that most people tend to react most strongly to criticisms about themselves they know to be true but which they don't like about themselves. The compassion statement is hypocritical because Riin knows compassion but practices it only when it is easy to do so. If being compassionate means even the slightest discomfort to her personally, she'd rather disregard the feelings of others.
Either way, as strange as it may sound, I still love Riin as much now as I did when this all started, hypocrisy and all (she shouldn't be ashamed of hypocrisy... I've found that everyone is hypocritical about something somewhere in their lives, myself included... all we can do is try not to let it rule us).
However... I guess sometimes love just isn't enough. At least I have some good memories to fall back on... and at least Riin stayed in my life long enough to have a lasting, positive impression on it.
For that, I thank her.
In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words: "Here begins a new life.'"Dante, "La Vita Nuova"
October 9, 2007 12:36:54 AM ADT, Anonymous wrote:
I . . . enjoy[ed] the irony of you deigning to rule that there was no way a reasonable person would have been intimidated, harassed, molested, etc by your behavior, and then promptly stating how threatening you/Lisa found a guy knocking at your door who won't identify himself.I'm 2500 km away from her. Riin would have to be seriously paranoid to feel threatened by me at such a distance (honestly, I don't think she actually feels threatened... she's just trying to "make a point..." she does that...). Plus, at least I had enough respect not to be sneaky about my intentions. I didn't send anonymous messages. I identified myself up-front.
Just like the guy at your door, you did nothing explicitly threatening.Refusing to identify himself, particularly when directly asked, is explicitly threatening.
I did identify myself. IMHO, respect demands that you identify yourself if you're going to address a person.
[T]he very act of behaving in certain ways becomes, by virtue of the determinedness or the inexplicableness of the actions, threatening or spooky to the other person.My actions are not inexplicable. I've stated my intentions from day one.
[W]ho needs TV when there's Ardelli's drama to follow?I'm glad you're finding my life so amusing.