This has to stop – NOW!

I must start this posting with an apology to readers who do not live in Merida. What will follow is only pertinent to those who do.

This has not been the best year for the international community of Merida. We have seen the formation of many cliques and factions whose goal is to bad-mouth and actually try to eliminate the good reputation of those not in their intimate circle.  This serves NO useful purpose I can see, except to foster acrimony and tension.

I have seen people vilified. I have seen slander and hearsay presented as absolute truth. I have seen fabrications held up as evidence. I have seen minute mistakes paraded out in front of God and everyone as gross misconduct.

I myself have been the target of gossip and in one terrible instance – random violence.

Let me tell you how that feels.

When you are victimized and you cannot for the love of God see why, you feel violated and naked. It seems that everything you ever believed in has been proven a lie. You feel like a total failure and you feel terrified. You want to run away.

When this happened to Jorge and I, flight was our first response and as we prepared to make a hurried exit from Merida, something changed in us. We lived in fear… looked over our shoulders all the time. We were afraid to answer the telephone for Christ’s sake!

Then one day, as we drove past a house on Calle 66 and saw a realtor showing a smiling couple a property for sale, I turned to Jorge and said, “Look at those lucky people… they get to live here.” I started to cry and Jorge pulled the car over. He asked me, “What are we doing?” “We are letting the bad guys win. We are letting them scare us off.”

Shell-shocked for a few minutes, we each deliberated silently. Then we just kind of snapped. “HELL NO!” we both said. And we drove home and began putting our life back together. It took some time and quite frankly, we won’t ever be the same. We know bad things can happen.

But you know what? We’ll deal with that again if we have to.  

And I see it happening to many others. Honorable people… people who have made positive contributions to our community and you know what? I AM SICK TO DEATH OF IT!!!!!

If the fear mongers and malicious gossips have nothing better to do with their time, I wish to Hell they’d go do it somewhere else. I have lived here for 35 years. Up until 5 years ago, my world was productive and peaceful. Now, there are small minded people with too much time on their hands, morphing into true crime investigators and trying to put a lot of sordidness into my life.

I have kept pretty quiet about this topic. I have hoped these turkeys would tire of their maliciousness. But, today a friend has been attacked by the poisoned pen and I cannot keep quiet. any longer.

Reg Deneau is my friend. He is one of the best people I have ever had the honor to know. I will defend him  and I urge the rest of his many admirers to do likewise. All this fighting has to stop- NOW!  And we should remember that “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones!”

We have the privilege of living in a magical, wonderful corner of the world. We must not sit by any longer and allow a bunch of lowlifes to spoil it for us. Don’t listen to the gossip, don’t believe what  they say. Each of us has innate ability to recognize the truth when we see it. We know what is right. Let’s live by it!



Filed under Destinations

20 responses to “This has to stop – NOW!

  1. I can’t believe how rampant slandering has become in Mérida. I just found out that someone that I used to respect was disparaging me. She claimed that I “hacked” into her computer and then implied that I had “hacked” into some else’s as well. So I confronted her via telephone. Her defense? Someone else told her. However when pressed for that individual’s name, she hung up on me.

    How is it that people have so little self-respect or integrity to slander someone just for grins. Needless to say, XXXX will not be getting a Christmas card from me this year.

  2. John Truax

    Well said and well writen
    John Truax

  3. Laura Hernandez

    Wow Joanna, It is so difficult to avoid to post something on this article, I definitely agree with you and being from Mexico City I feel somehow like foreign as well and do feel very sorry with all that is happening with this community, seems like everybody wants to show -I do not know exactly WHAT?-, I feel sorry for Reage and I apologize to him for all this, especially since the people involve are sort of Mexican just trying to scrod people with the apparent reason of showing who’s got the power…

  4. I agree with all of the great comments about Reg. Words for someone who will not even have the cojones to identify himself in his slanderous words, there are no reasons to even listen to him! It makes me sad, after being here 7 years, to see good people get slandered… who is next? Thanks for writing this, Joanna… we are with your speaking out 100%!!

  5. Another suggestion, though a small one, as to how to fight these hate-mongers–simply forgo posting to their web-sites. I know, it is not easy, when our blood begins to boil at the accusations and distortions. But I suspect, without an audience, they will be talking only to themselves, muttering away about “evil” and such.

    You have my best wishes for well-being, Joanna.

  6. Marie Barchus

    Thank you so much Joanna for your courage and insights. Yes, it only takes one person to violate someone and one or two malicious gossips to nurture a continuation of one’s pain.

    I have always loved Merida while calling it my home for the last ten years. In the first five years, my feelings of peace and contentment were a wonderful reality.

    A lot has changed since that time. Most good and one, although entered into with good intentions, gone terribly awry because of malicious intent. I have learned though, from personal experience, that when you are victimized here, it only takes one vicious gossip to keep your victimization alive. But now, after over two years, I can honestly say that I am glad that I stayed in Merida and have emotionally moved on with a sense of positive normality.

    The vicious gossips statements, about what happened to me, are now sounding so ludicrous, they even make me laugh. I have tried to understand what motivates these individuals, who have arrived in Merida over the last few years. Sadly, I think that it is the only way of life they have ever had and we now unfortunately have to put up with them.

    I have noticed that some of these vicious malcontents lurk around at expat gatherings to start conversations with the new arrivals. This is unfortunate because they spew out their venomous lies to people who have yet to know their way around our ever growing expat community.

    Fortunately over a short period of time a majority of new arrivals move on to less negative, more relaxed circles. The problem is, what impressions were formed in the back of their minds, about perfectly wonderful people? It is a shame.

    You are right in stating that after being victimized it changes you forever. But over time the differences grow smaller. Although wearing-my-heart-on-sleeve is sometimes difficult.

    Our good friends and wonderful lives here are worth more than these cruel people could ever understand. We are the fortunate ones.

  7. Joanne

    Joanna, thank you for writing this. When I got the email attacking Reg I was just sick. It seems that the attacker has now gone too far. If he can attack Reg then it is evident that the attacker has crossed a line and will lose any credibility he could possibly have left.

    These emails now go to my spam folder and are deleted. I don’t know what else I can do.

    Luckily Reg has many many friends. Anyone who knows him knows what a wonderful person he is and will recognize that these emails are completely without foundation.

  8. Nancy Walters

    I am horrified that this slander has been allowed to spread, and now the poison pen is extended to my dear friend, Reg Deneau, our beloved library director. When will it end?
    Is no one safe from these attacks? How can a vicious madman be allowed to continue his campaign of evil?
    Anyone with a brain knows this is just plain spite, born of a sick mind.
    There has to be a way to stop the insanity before more good people have their lives disrupted.

  9. oh my gosh I couldnt believe my eyes what I read………how can one be so discriminating against a person like Reg…….. hes my brother!He and Larry (my brother too) have supported me in my ups and downs of opening my business.They hugged me when tears ran down my face,supported me by bringing lots of people to the restuarant,they even bought me my freezer as a gift, bringing it all the way from Merida in the back of their car.Helped me move and lots more.
    Thank goodness that Reg thinks the way he does because in the end God sees all.And the light will always shine on the truth.
    NOt just me but I know lots of people are here for you Reg.
    Your SIS

  10. I want to thank everyone who has commented on this post and supported Reg. He is a great friend to all and if HE can be attacked… what hope do the rest of us have?

    I am very encouraged to see that many members of our community are refusing to be sucked in by the negativity of a few bad eggs.

    Onward and Upward!

  11. While I neither live in Merida nor know the victim nor the circumstances of this attack, I do have to say that cliques and personal attacks like those described are endemic in expat communities not only in Mexico but across the globe. What you’ve written IS pertinent to expats everywhere.

  12. I too have kept quiet, on my blog at least. I need to change that. I am disgusted by these attacks from one true nut case but also I am disgusted by those that jump on his bandwagon for fun or notoriety.

    Reg is a wonderful man, a person who has given much to our community. He certainly doesn’t deserve to be a victim of the nut who owns Casa Catherwood. Anyone with any sense of justice will never set foot in that place again.

  13. Allison is right. You need to steer clear of the “bubble people”. Fortunately, you have the personality, wit, and skills of a survivor. Look to put this period behind you and expand your horizons. I think you will do okay.

  14. Leslie

    The person and their followers can do nothing to make my loyalty and respect waiver for Reg, Brazos Abiertos or Merida Verde or whoever they plan on attacking next.
    I truly believe they will get exactly what is coming to them.

  15. Marie Barchus

    Yes Luis, this slanderer, is a felon and this is the same harassment campaign, different city that led to his arrest. I am a firm believer in karma.

    Even the basic info regarding the English Library is not factual. The Merida English Library is a legally registered non-profit organization in Mexico. And, I for one, thank God that it exists.

    Reg is one of the nicest men I have ever known. He has worked hard in his position at the library and has done an exemplary job. But he is retired and needs a break to enjoy life and we will all miss seeing his wonderful face there regularly.
    That is it. End of story.

    This lie spewing campaign against Brazos has nothing to do with Reg or the library. I guess Luis just ran out of targets to trash.

    I had to tell Luis about 3 different times over the past few months, under his various aliases, to quit sending me this ‘crap’ and so he finally did that. Everyone else should do the same.

    The library community loves you Reg and we wish you all the best.

  16. Reg

    Kiss today goodbye,
    The sweetness and the sorrow.
    Wish me luck, the same to you,
    But I can’t regret
    What I did for love, what I did for love.

    Look, my eyes are dry.
    The gift was ours to borrow.
    It’s as if we always knew,
    And I won’t forget what I did for love,
    What I did for love.

    Love is never gone.
    As we travel on,
    Love’s what we’ll remember.

    Kiss today goodbye,
    And point me t’ward tomorrow.
    We did what we had to do.
    Won’t forget, can’t regret
    What I did for love.

  17. Allison

    Do you think there is any direct connection among these (cliques, violence, poison pen)? Is the impetus behind the poison pen attacks anything larger than one malicious wacko? Fortunately, anyone who knows Reg will give no credence to his detractor. Ditto for anyone who knows you! 🙂 Eventually, the pen will poison the author (though the wait can be agonizing).

    Cliques are more challenging to tackle. They seem to be endemic to “closed” communities. Broadening the circle can sometimes diffuse such negative energy.

    Carry on and keep to your ideals!

  18. Marianne

    The slanderer here is a felon with a previous conviction in the U.S. up to the same tricks as before – websites under pseudonyms, vicious personal attacks that bring down not only good people, but outstanding organizations whose only aim is to help our community. And the next person he’s victimized, Reg, is a pillar of our community and a friend to all he meets, as well as a most able and beloved director of our english language library.

  19. This witch hunt to vilify and criminalize anyone having had an association with Brazos Abiertos reminds me of the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950’s in the U.S. Reg Deneau has given selflessly to our library and our community. Let’s all do what we can to support him.

    Rainie Baillie Bowie

    My Dear Joanna,

    We agree with you completely. Thank you for writing about this attack on Reg so very eloquently. we are here to support him in every way possible.

    We have all experienced the rantings and ravings of crazy people against us at one time or other in our lives. The sad thing about it is that it is impossible to fight or argue against this insanity. We have found that the only thing that one can do is take the high road and hope that most people realize from where the bad things are coming from.

    Mil gracias, Love, Tonia

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