Free Speech and Anonymity

Typical bullies... They're entitled to hurt you for fun,
but they play the victim when you push back.
Contributor

December, 2013

The board’s response to Beaver-Ridge.com on the official site does not factually refute anything said here, but it does claim that we publish anonymously and hide behind free speech. 

In truth, free speech is not an absolute freedom, even in America.  One does not have an open-ended right to defame organizations or individuals with knowingly false and malicious slurs.  To our knowledge, everything said here is true and can be supported in court.

The right to publish anonymously exists to protect truth from intimidation, financial consequence and harassment - each of which has been brought against detractors at Beaver Ridge (critical context, which the board neglects to advertise).  The intense interest in identifying, discrediting and punishing critics belies a personality-centric agenda that is at odds with an organization striving for improvement.

Owners suspected of participating in this site, even mistakenly, have been ostracized or compelled to publicly affirm their loyalty.  The fate of those who actually do contribute - and do so openly - is much worse. 

One critic has suffered retaliation in both his personal and professional life.  Board members found out where he worked, slandered him with false criminal accusations, decimated his investment and even threaten his family. 

According to that individual, the president and his wife hide behind other board members while leveraging the weight of the association against their critics.  From a position of relative safety, they induce material loss and threaten lawsuits funded by membership dues (all in the interest of "official duties", of course).  They do not even sign the letters they author, so as to protect themselves from personal liability.

We think that that the board's public response is disingenuous.  Astute readers probably noticed that they did not even put their names on their own website article denouncing anonymous website articles.  Much like their stated "support" for free speech, it seems that their 'manifesto' is more for show. 

Few HOAs have entire websites devoted to problems.  Fewer still would perpetuate the issues instead of finding a resolution.  The Custers have worked hard to ensure that nothing changes without their approval.  If they did not feel that Beaver-Ridge.com was personally useful in some form or fashion then it would no longer exist.


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