Cognitame

'Ignored inconveniences accumulate, rather than disappear. When they accumulate in sufficient numbers, they produce catastrophe - a self-induced catastrophe, to be sure, but one that may be indistinguishable from an "act of God".' -Jordan Peterson, Maps of Meaning

Why I Left NH Regional CopBlock

by Ethan Glover, Thu, Jun 09, 2016 - (Edited) Sun, Feb 25, 2018

When I decided to leave NH Regional CopBlock I expected to be met with a heavy dose of drama. I took the notes and prepared to write this in order to explain myself as soon as JP Freeman made a public statement about me that contained lies. I knew a simple, "I'm out." message would lead to an unnecessary overreaction and shit storm. But it had to be done.

The first time I went copblocking was out of curiosity, just to do it once. I was impressed by how JP handled it but didn't exactly "catch the bug". Still, JP was doing a lot of great work that wasn't getting recognized. Judging by conversations with him, his life is dominated by drama. Half kept alive in his own mind, half kept alive by reminders from people who want to trudge up old pasts. The impression people have of him, amongst almost everyone I know, isn't positive. But I don't judge by judgments, I judge by experience.

I took to building up the NHRegional brand online. JP played a tremendous role in this, his skills with strangers are great. His ability to talk to people and sell them on copblocking may be unmatched.

Through that, some branded gear and a few tips from myself; the NH Regional CopBlock channel (formerly Keene CopBlock) started to see some real growth. After years of existence, the channel hadn't amassed anymore than 250 subscribers. One year of our work, it's nearing 2,000. Specifically, it gained 1,695 subscribers in one year. Roughly a 900% increase surpassing my goal and expectation of 500%.

From here, I was ready to take the next step. Give it some real dedication. I tried to do a podcast with JP. Unfortunately, he can't go five minutes without complaining about how much he hates the FSP, Free Keene, SFK, or Manchester liberty activists. I've done my fair share of criticism, but the constant nagging about one of these groups had me on edge. JP seems to feel he's the only one doing any activism. He stated it publicly more than once but I won't trudge up old Facebook posts. On many points I agree with him, but I dislike drama.

I reminded him more than once, many times in fact, that I grew sick of the complaining. He's not one to listen. Instead, when given such reminders he likes to complain about "being controlled" and that it's just "free expression."

So I can't do podcasts, I struggle to talk with the guy in my own car because I'm afraid that any topic will lead back to drama. I recommended that he continue to do podcasts on his own and leave me out of it, I made it clear that the reason was because of the drama.

My next idea was to start pushing him to get into guest spots on podcasts on the national level. I'm no stranger to email copy and contacting busy people. I said he can start with local people he knows like Ian Freeman and Robert Mathias, but I'd work on the shows that could mean millions of viewers. I gave him one stipulation. Act politely and respectfully. Shows that aren't intimately familiar with the Free State Project will ask about it. It is unnecessary for them to hear JP's common line, "I'm not FSP, I'm on a whole other level." JP is free to say what he wants. But if I'm the one to represent him in initial contact, I refuse to allow the conversation to spiral from that comment into a complaint fest about how no one is doing anything except for him.

This was again interpreted as trying to "control" his speech. I gave JP a few links and authors as a recommendation to learn how to write to busy people and clean up the copy. He said he's incapable of learning new things like this. Fair enough. Being unable to do podcasts or outreach is no skin off my back, I'll find something else to do.

It was at this point that I had become nothing but a ride for JP. As I told him, he is doing well with the YouTube channel and can continue growth as is. There's nothing left for me to do.

I currently spend $400-$450 per month on gas on a car with 172,000 miles. The relative costs for me to drive JP all over the state are higher than most. I'm happy to do it. But it will not be the only thing I do.

I need to move on to a new project, or continue with school and do so later. But I won't be returning to CopBlock.

I have screenshots, voicemails, texts, all to prove that JP's reaction to my leaving was as bad as expected. It started with emotional manipulation, then an attempt to redirect guilt, then excuses, then blaming my "communication," a half-assed passive aggressive apology, passing blame, lying, acting like everything is cool, straight insults, and finally asking for help in cleaning up the mess he had just created.

I've ended relationships before. Jobs, lovers, friends. Most go well, end with a goodbye. Sometimes these things happen. Someone is warned time and time again that their behavior is unacceptable. Then when you finally leave, they throw a fit.

I'd have hoped to get a "there's nothing I can do to make you stay, thanks and good luck." That's how respectable relationships end. But as I think about it more and more, it seems I was being used. I received many warnings about JP, most of them were wrong, but some of them proved to be right on the nose.

He doesn't lie about his past or the military, he's not absolutely crazy or aggressive. But he is a 41 year old with the mind of a 19 year old. By his words. This kind of departure is exactly what I'd expect from a teenager.

I offered to help him tie things up. But he wouldn't listen. Didn't even respond. Instead he wanted to argue and things went south. It's unfortunate, but not surprising. I left JP with advice to keep the channel growing but my hopes for it are low. It has potential, but requires management that JP is not capable of handling. Maybe he'll prove me wrong, but my work with NH Regional is done.

Update: Threats to Sue

Below I'm including a timeline of contact times and what was contained in private messages. JP began contacting me in a fashion similar to a stalker when I sent him the message in the image above.

June 8

Messenger 8:36 AM - Acts like he doesn't understand my message telling him he can continue on his own.

Messenger 8:36 AM - Same as above.

Voicemail 9:58 AM - 2 seconds, no message left.

Voicemail 9:58 AM - Talking about unrelated, unimportant matters, acts like he doesn't understand me telling him I have nothing left to help with again, says I'm being irresponsible because he has six children (all manipulation).

Messenger 10:00 AM - Asks if I'm quitting.

Messenger 10:00 AM - Asks about plans that he knows I have no skin in, nothing to do with.

Messenger 11:25 AM - Message reads, "??". (He knows I usually sleep from 5AM to 1PM).

Text 11:32 AM - Asks if I'm up. (As if all the previous messages and calls weren't an indicator that I wasn't available.)

Messenger 11:57 AM - Talking about ex-wife again, exact same subject as earlier voicemail.

Voicemail 12:11 PM - Another voicemail about his ex-wife and plans that I have no involvement in. Says I'm butthurt, acts like he's confused.

Text 1:21 PM - Telling me to pick up my phone.

Messenger 1:56 PM - Asks me where I'm at. (He knows I'm at home.)

Text 2:08 PM - Asks me to call him.

Voicemail 2:08 PM - Total change of tone, new strategy with lightening up voice, tells me to call him.

Messenger (Me to him.) 3:13 PM - Annoyed by stalking behavior, I ask him if he knows I was sleeping, why does he keep ringing my phone and trying to contact me with the same messages. I tell him I'm going to work and am NOT available.

Messenger 3:13 PM - Sends me a wall of text for purpose of manipulation. Is sure to stress things like "Jess and I both showed you LOVE" and "cutting me out completely." I haven't responded to anything at this point, he's panicked because A) I didn't respond passively to stalking and B) the thought that he can't use me anymore.

Messenger 3:13 PM - Another wall of text with guilt tripping about how much he works (his primary source of income is the courts, hence the threats below), and continues to send me messages while I'm unavailable.

Messenger 3:34 PM - Another long manipulative message about how he "cared" and he has "feelings." I still haven't said anything other than the fact that I can't help him with copblocking.

Messenger (Me to him.) 5:19 PM - I tell him again that I'm not available and can't answer his messages. I scanned the messages above and told him he's freaking out over nothing, if he continues the more pissed I'm going to get.

Messenger 6:49 PM - Manipulative long message including, "I do not deserve the treatment I'm getting from you."

Messenger 7:00 PM - He says I'm being mean to him because he refused my help and I walked away. Again, he was using me as a ride. Acts like I was trying to "control" him after he said, "No I don't want to do what you suggest." and I said, "OK, there's nothing I can do, keep using the advice you did accept and you'll be fine."

Messenger (Me to him.) 11:16 PM - I'm finally off of work, he had already made a long, insulting facebook post on his wall at this point (now deleted), I told him I'm out, move on. This resulted in a larger, pointless argument where he tried to make me feel guilty and manipulate me into feeling bad because I was "mean" to him after I told him to stop contacting me when he knows I'm unavailable.

June 9

Email 7:21 AM - Long message threatening to sue if I don't restore my own website and give him my domains within 24 hours. I offered to help him set them up under his own hosting account but he wanted to argue instead, he asked at the end of the conversation after many insults and after I had already removed myself from NH Regional to include deleting my website. He demanded an apology to his family (I hadn't contacted any of them), compensation for daycare, compensation because he wanted to go to bike week, and compensation because Jessica had to take two days off of work. Nothing I had heard about, and obviously nothing I have an obligation to.

June 11

Email 10:33 AM - Another long message threatening a small claims suit based on a non-existent "contractual agreement" on my domain names. He's acting like they belong to him. He doesn't understand how to transfer them, or what a hosting provider is. He thinks because I made him a WordPress administrator, he has any say over my dedicated servers.

Update: Full Context

JP thought it'd be cute to share private messages on Facebook (mirror of shared messages), so without further commentary, here it is. All private messages, voicemail transcripts, threats to sue, and the sorry, ignorant attempt to steal my website.

The "Rules" I Gave Him:

Messages:

Voicemail Transcripts:

Email Threats to Sue:

Emails to Take Site (Failure to Deliver):