Question from Josh:
"Hey Mandy! I know this is a weird question but I don't know who else to ask about this. I have been ripped off and lied to by everyone on the Internet. People never tell the truth about themselves. Every time I talk to somebody I find out they are totally full of it. Am I just a stupid guy or does this happen to other people too? Have you ever been fooled by someone you met on the Internet? If so what happened?"
Please don't feel bad about that my friend. You are not stupid for giving people the benefit of doubt. In fact that is a very admirable trait to have. The joke is not on you for being kind enough to give people a chance without judging them right out of the gate. The joke is on them for screwing up a friendship with a great person like yourself just because they are incapable of telling the truth.
You are not the only one who has been fooled by some nut online. That can happen to the best of us. Let me tell you a story about what happened to me fairly recently.
Ever since I started my first Myspace page I fell in love with the ability to interact with my extended RNR family on a world wide basis. With very few exceptions this has been an extremely rewarding experience. The Internet is a strange place that allows people to be as honest or dishonest as they want to be. Some people use it to fully express who they are and others create a world of lies and deception the real world would never allow them to. Let me tell you about one of the experiences I have had over the last few years with a friend I met online...
One of the many people who write to me every day was this guy who's name I won't use here. I will refer to him just by his initials. So, K.A. started writing to me a few years back. He was very courteous, complimentary about my music and seemed like a very nice person all around. I responded to his e-mails and slowly but surely we developed a friendship. The fact that he told me he was a huge animal lover, dedicated musician, drug free and a self professed man of honor made me think of him as someone I would be proud to call friend. Eventually we spoke on the phone and sure enough he seemed like a perfect gentleman.
I thought him a friend to the point where I even consented to finding a dog of my beloved Gabriel and Raphael's bloodlines for him. This is something I very seldom do for people, because dogs of this particular bloodline are a huge responsibility. They are extremely expensive, huge, more powerful than anything else in the world of the K9 species and it takes a powerful and kind person to handle them. Powerful and kind in mind, body and spirit.
K.A said all the right things to make me believe he could handle the responsibility. He said he worked out all the time, loved dogs more than anything else in life, seemed to have his shit together and appeared to be an all around great person who could handle such a dog. He also made it very clear that he had the resources it takes to purchase and maintain an animal of such magnitude. Based on all this information he gave me I went forth and started looking for a suitable pup for him. Great dogs come to those who wait so it took a while until I found an absolutely spectacular pup for my buddy. Here is when things started to look odd.
As soon as I left a message telling him that I had found THE perfect puppy for him he fell off the face of the earth. I tried everything to get a hold of him like e-mails, phone calls, texts, MySpace messages, Morse code, flare guns, homing pigeons, smoke signals and telepathy... nothing. Very odd behavior for someone who one moment seemed to be in a huge hurry to get a dog yet as soon as I found one for him he disappeared quicker than Richard Simmons does when confronted with vagina.
After trying to contact him for months I eventually gave up and called the breeder telling him that my friend had either been killed in a freak gasoline fight accident or flaked on him, me and the puppy. My breeder friend was not happy about this because I made him hold that puppy for much longer than he wanted to. Things were made worse by the fact that everyone and their mother wanted this puppy in the worst way. We are talking about a female which was bigger than a large male usually is. He had to turn down many high dollar offers because he was waiting on me to tell him when to ship the dog.
Plus it was not fair to the puppy to have to wait and live in a cage any longer than it should have to. Breeders have too many dogs to give love and attention to each individual pup. It just is not possible for them to find the time. This is why a puppy should be placed as soon as possible with the people who will care for it. So making this puppy wait and eventually flake on it altogether made me very much less than happy and it also showed me that his "love" for dogs was not all he said it was. Actions always speak louder than words.
This is where I first started having doubts about my friend K.A., because he let me, my breeder and the puppy down. He flaked on all of us. The breeder had to wait and was put out. The puppy was lonely and waiting for a good home for longer than it should have... and my reputation with my long time breeder friend took a big hit. This was the first time my breeder saw me not come through with something I said I would do. Courtesy of K.A., I now looked like a flake to a man I had known and done business with for 2 decades... all around just not a good thing.
Eventually K.A. reappeared. He was very apologetic and assured me that "flaking" was not in his nature. He swore to me that he is the embodiment of a living Spartan... His word is his bond and to count on him and anything he says like I can count on the sun rising in the morning... RIGHT!!
I figured that everyone should be allowed to be a douche once in their life and forgave him. In the process of catching up on everything that had happened he told me that he was too busy to respond to my messages regarding the pup. I really... Really... REALLY hate it when people use this bullshit line. In today's world no one is too busy to respond anymore. I don't care if you are the president of the United States you have ten seconds to respond to a text within a 90 day period. If you are the pope you have 30 seconds to call someone back within three months. You can e-mail someone or send a personal message on one of their social networking sites. None of these things take more time than taking a leak. You CAN respond if you want to. There is no excuse short of a coma that doesn't allow you to make a call or text someone in a three-month period. Especially if you know that a puppy is waiting for your lying flaky ass.
I realized then that this guy was very much less than he made himself out to be. He lied to me and what made it even worse was that he thought I was dumb enough to believe the lie. But I let it go.
Then he sent me pictures a dog he seemed to have purchased during the time he was dodging my calls and messages regarding the puppy I found for him. No time to respond to me about the puppy he asked me to find for him but plenty of time to contact breeders and buy some other dog. Oh well. He sent me a picture of a dog that looked to be a year and a half old and he said that the dog was 8 months. No doubt to make the dog appear more impressive. Had he pulled through with getting the dog I found for him no exaggerations would have been necessary because that pup was superb and HUGE.
It just didn't end with this guy. It was like he was allergic to the truth. Anyway... I told him that this dog was not 8 months old because I know dogs and how they develop. Then he changed his story and said that the person he bought the dog from lied about the age. Another lie. He had bought a pedigree dog. You have the age of the dog on the pedigree. Unless someone cannot read or is too dumb to know what the funny looking black things on the paper are, they know how old the dog they have bought is. Come to think of it, I am not even sure the pictures he has up are his dog. For all I know this could be some pictures of some dog he found pictures of online. I mean the guy lied about everything else so why would he stop here?
Spartan my ass. Had he been in Spartan he would have had a snowball in hells chance of survival. Spartans were the epitome of integrity who hated deceitful people and dealt with them swiftly and permanently.
He also made many a plan to see my band and meet me in person. He asked me countless times when and where I would be performing so he could attend and meet me in person. As I am sure you already guessed he NEVER showed up. Not once... which, of course cemented what I already knew about him... he is just a flake. All talk big show with absolutely zero go.
But no matter. He had lied to me repeatedly but had not yet created any actual problems with his dishonesty other than an occasional chuckle. Thank goodness I worked things out with my breeder as well.
I find it amusing when people lie for no apparent reason just to make themselves look more impressive or make excuses for stuff they fail to get done. Their agenda is to look impressive but inevitably it just exposes them for what they really are. Insecure, weak, incapable and sad little failures.
He still called every now and then and he would again, on occasion, bring up his desire for me to help him get a female puppy of my lines. Yea right! I had already made up my mind not to participate in another cluster fuck of monumental flaky proportions where another puppy would surely get the shaft again. There is no way I would send one of my beloved pups to anyone who was less honest than Baron Muenchhausen himself. A dog needs a stable, reliable person to take care of them properly for life. K.A. as it turns out, is the opposite of that kind of a person.
Over time he often expressed his desire to play drums in my band. He told me that if I ever needed a drummer he would want me to consider him for the job. Even though I already knew he was completely unreliable I figured I would give him an opportunity to change my mind if I was looking for a drummer again. With some small trips coming up which are a rehearsal tour for some bigger shows in the future I ran into an issue with my current drummer.
Now don't get me wrong... my current drummer Jamie Harris is a complete gentleman and ultra reliable person but due to some real and very good reasons he would be unable to do the upcoming tour. So I decided to give K.A. an opportunity to convince me that he could rise to the occasion to be a real man of worth and a capable drummer. I told him I needed a current press kit for management to look over before we go ahead. He gave me his "word" (oh dear) that I would have that overnight. You guessed it. The press kit never showed up. What should have taken less than an hour to accomplish did not happen 6 weeks later and in fact has not happened yet. He said, "I swear to God", that his files were too big to send to my mailbox.
Now, even a child can figure out how to either compress files to send them. There are websites like Megaupload.com where you can send large files of any size to anyone, or you could send several e-mails with less content and so on. So either this guy was lying to me again or he was really too dumb to solve a simple problem. I figured it nicer to think him a liar rather than an idiot with the problem solving skills of a meatball sandwich.
By then I was definitely getting miffed at his complete inability to be honest or get ANYTHING done. I guess out of pure curiosity I still cut this guy some more slack and told him to meet me in person to discuss the upcoming audition. Well, of course he never showed up. Made up more excuses. He tried to make it look like I was the one who didn't show. That is a bad call when you are supposed to meet me at the Rainbow where everyone knows me. He said he had a reservation. What kind of a half-wit would make a reservation and not be there to claim it if they had an important business meeting? He ignored the fact that I again called, texted, smoke signaled him and so on. What a complete and utter waste of time this guy is.
By the time I got home I had an e-mail waiting for me from my people who, because his press kits never arrived, took it upon themselves to check him out online to see what he had going on. Talk about something back firing! Had he just sent the press kit he might have been able to hide some of his unsavory reality for a little while longer... WOW! Let's just say that K.A. set new standards in complete bull crap the likes which will most likely never be reached again. Literally every single piece of information on his web sites, other than his name (and I have some serious doubts about that one too), turn out to be complete fabrication.
According to him he is endorsed by everyone from Aquarian drumheads to Sabian to Monster energy drink to you name it. Here is the big "shocker"... NONE of these companies have ever heard of K.A. He has uploaded pictures of concerts he says he played which are actually pictures of concerts of bands I know personally which have never heard of him either.
The guest book area of his main web site has a fake visitor counter with over 4 million hits (not an actual counter but rather just him putting the numbers up) and a few dozen entries from "fans" which are all written by the same person... How do we know that all of them were written by the same person you ask? Because every single "fan" makes the exact same spelling mistakes on the exact same words, using the exact same phrases as K.A. does when he "answers" them. But it so doesn't stop there...
There is a supposed custom drum company he owns which is extremely successful if you ask K.A. A booking agent contacted me because one of his bands drummers had sent K.A. money to build him a drum kit and never got a kit nor his money back... K.A.s excuse for not making good on his obligation to deliver the product the drummer already paid for was the following: K.A. said "I am sorry I have not had time to build your drum kit but I have been too busy to get that done because I have been on tour with Mandy Lion!!!" Mind you I have not yet met this person, EVER.
My people actually found entire web sites dedicated to people who have been ripped off by his custom drum making "company". It seems like there is not one single person online who got an actual drum kit delivered. There is not one single positive response online anywhere. Big surprise there.
I have to say that in all of my years I have never come across anyone so completely full of crap. He speaks of integrity, honor, being a man of his word, the Spartan code and so on.
This person knows less of being a man, Spartans or honor than a three legged baby goat on his third bottle of Jack Daniel's.
What confuses me is that you would think even the least intelligent pathological liar MUST realize that the lies can never get them anywhere. If you say you are endorsed by Aquarian drumheads and you aren't then one phone call is going to expose you for the complete fraud that you are.
I finally understand who and what this person was and is and why he flaked on every single thing he ever promised. He flaked on the puppy because he has neither the money nor the ability to obtain much less maintain such a noble, powerful and demanding breed. He flaked on seeing shows he said he would attend because he could not afford the travel expenses. He flaked on sending press kits because he does not have any. But even if he did have press kits what on earth would he put in there?
Information about all of the imaginary projects and concerts he has participated in? The bullshit endorsements with companies who do not know who the hell he is? The bogus musical history and gigs he made up in his loony head? And finally he flaked on meeting me because he realized he was out of his depth... musically, ethically, mentally and so on. I guess he thought it better to quietly slither away rather than manning up and admitting what a fraudulent half-wit he is. Ever since I sent a letter telling him that I see through his bull he has not responded, of course. It takes at least a fraction of a man to own up to your shortcomings so I don't expect to ever get that apology from him.
I know that in some sense he did this to win my approval. The sad thing about this is that this kind of behavior will get you my disdain at best.
Here is some truth for K.A and everyone like him: If you want to appear big then remember that the biggest lie is smaller than the smallest truth. Stop pretending to be "more" than what you are because if by chance you actually succeed at gaining someone's friendship for five minutes it will be worthless. Why you ask? Because if you pretend to be something you are not then you do not even give someone a chance to like YOU for being YOU. All that person can do is like the fictitious person you made up until they see through your bull crap.
If K.A. had been honest from the beginning and let me know that he doesn't have much money, cannot afford a huge rare and expensive dog, hasn't had a career yet, isn't that talented at playing drums and doesn't have any endorsements then I am sure we would still be friends. I would have respected him for his honesty and for just being real. I don't respect people for what they have. I respect how they conduct themselves and how they treat others. If you are a homeless person who shares your last sandwich with a dog then you are my hero. If you are a billionaire liar and cheat then you are not worth my time.
I don't think it would take much for people to get along in this world. It is easier to be kind to someone rather than being mean. It takes much less effort to be honest. I cannot even imagine how stressful it must be for K.A. to keep track of his entire catalog of bullshit and how much effort it takes to keep it up. Plus hiding from all the people he ripped off for their hard earned cash must be a huge pain. It feels much better to be honest and respectful and it creates much longer lasting relationships in business and life than short-lived bullshit ever cold.
Just be yourself. It is better to be hated for whom you really are than to be loved for whom you are not.