Death of Le clown: A case study in the pathology of a predator

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Whatever you know him by, Le Clown or Eric Robillard, there is a story to be told, and it is finally being heard. Why has it taken so long? Well the same could be said about any predator. People will say, well that happened X days, Y months or even Z years ago, what took so long? What takes so long is that abuse takes time to process.

I am not a psychologist, but I have taken quite a bit of classes on the subject trying to make sense of my past and how I reacted to what happened. My wife will attest to my nagging about different quarks and what caused them. So to understand what, or why these things happen, we need to look at the action and the reaction of the predator in respect to the person being abused.

If you read this particular post in question we will discuss it, at some length.

Why that post?

Because, while I cannot say with certainty, that it happened to her, as I do not know this individual personally. I can say that it has very striking similarities to the language [almost word for word] and events that happened to my wife. To which, I can say, after seeing the proof first hand directly from the source on Facebook, that it definitely happened to her. So I will use this post as a reference point because there are screenshots of the conversation which makes it easy to follow.

There are typically three different steps that a successful predator will follow, the first is the grooming process. This involves the selection of a person, getting to know them and getting to know what makes them tick.

This is a textbook example of how someone can do that, through the guise of mental health blogging he tapped into an innate vulnerability of an abuse survivor, the want to be heard and believed. 

From this he got to know the victim, they opened up to share a traumatic event or events and gave them a ‘safe’ place to do that in the eyes of the victim. By doing this there is a sense of trust that is built.

Remember a abuse survivor is typically a person who is given mixed signals their whole life, or worse told flat out that it isn’t a big deal, wasn’t ‘that bad’ or that they where the cause of the abuse.

The second step is testing and pushing the boundaries of the victim. This is done subtly at first, a victim will feel like this is someone who is making a joke or maybe as in this particular case study, playful flirting. They might not even really pick up on it, this step can last as short as a few weeks or as long as months or even years depending on the person and how traumatic their past has been.

This step is important to a predator because it lets them know how much control they have over the victim. This also typically involves a lot of apologizing when the victim realizes that the predator is being inappropriate.

To a non-abuse victim this would not make sense because if someone was pushing boundaries they would typically separate themselves from that person. This part to a abuse survivor is confusing however, the reason for this is due to the past abuse.

When a survivor has not had the typical healthy boundaries that a average person was given, knowing what is healthy and what is unhealthy for an abuse survivor can and is typically very difficult to establish. It would be like learning a whole new language with no guidance.

An predator will take advantage of this confusion between the healthy and the unhealthy boundaries to work their way towards what they want from the victim. Slowly pushing the boundaries so they remain comfortable and are desensitized to the situation instead of raising concerns about the inappropriate behavior. Which furthers a victims confusion about what is healthy and unhealthy.

What makes matters worse, most victims will not seek help from trusted friends or from family because of shame or inability to discuss the past abuse in an environment that they view as unsafe.

In this particular case, the victims boundaries were pushed followed by apologies, then again pushed in the guise of a ‘joke’ to help mask intent and to make the victim feel like this type of behavior is ‘normal’.

Now we reach the final step of the predator. Step three, now the predator uses his control over the victim to get what he or she wants. This step isn’t over when the predator gets what they want however. They still need to silence the victim.

To do this the predator will typically apologize and use their influence over the victim to make them feel guilty, confused, or at fault for what occurred. By doing this, the predator is mirroring past abuse. Thus making it hard to distinguish as an unhealthy behavior, or even as something that is wrong to do.

In this case the predator uses the child he had from a previous marriage as leverage for the victim to remain silent. Pleading that he does not want to lose the child, which shifts focus from what the predator did, to what the victim is now ‘doing to the predator’. [It is important to note that he did not do this part in the case of my wife. But is still important to point out because of the logic that is being used.]

As we can see from Le Clown, after the he was unsuccessful in placating the victim with apologies, now turns towards what the victim wanted in the first place, the chance to have a voice through some power the predator claims to have, in this case different resources and other blogs that are being run. This was the exact same strategy he used to attempt to not only silence my wife, but keep lines of communication open so he could continue to manipulate her.

This is a text book example of an predator and the mentality they use to manipulate people. We are thus thankful to the survivors for coming forth and breaching this difficult and painful subject in order to bring it to light and help future abuse from happening.

To close friends and even family they are well respected, thought highly of and often are in a place of perceived power, like a youth leader, priest, or in this case a blogger trying to help give a voice to victims.

In the face of the evidence at hand, in this case several private messages between the victim and predator [because privacy is a very important key to the predators strategy], the predator will do everything in his power to make the victim look ‘crazy’ or deny that the events even happened.

Thankfully in this particular case there are several persons involved that have corroborated the events. Including myself, who has seen first hand the skill at which he used to manipulate people.

Understanding the thought process behind an predator is important for people who are on the outside looking in, people who have not had to deal with abuse. To the average person looking in, it is a confusing mess and this is because they lack the proper frame of reference.

Hopefully, this [somewhat brief] writing on the topic has helped shed light on something victims [including myself] forget about. Explaining why an abuse survivor is so susceptible to repeated abuse and why it works the way it does.

Let’s stop the victim shaming and start offering support. Because at the end of the day if you were in the victims shoes, you would want with all your heart and soul to be heard and believed too.

Please, let’s stop this, together.

As an update, since events have happened prior to the writing of this. Apparently LeClown is gone for the moment or at least his personal blog, hopefully for good, but I highly doubt it. Sides unfortunately have been drawn and in a particular case despite all the evidence to the fact that this man is, at the very least, a predator, he still has support.

There are people who have attacked the individuals who were brave enough actually to speak about this man. Claiming apparently creating a very elaborate hoax [for no given reason] or for the fact that they even spoke out, which is sad and disgusting that the world still works this way. This makes my following offer even more important to certain people who do not feel strong enough to weather that kind of storm.

_____________________________________________________

To anyone, who is a survivor and wants to be heard. You are always welcome to write something and have it posted here, anonymous or not. I know what it is like to not have a voice, so if you want to be heard, I will listen and share it for you.

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32 responses to “Death of Le clown: A case study in the pathology of a predator

    • Thanks, we’re fighters so we will make it. I agree that looking in it is hard to figure out a victims thought process, I saw comments not understanding and suggesting that it was blurred. But for the average survivor it is a normal way to react to abuse the way that it happened. I figured this would be a good way to explain it to someone who hasn’t been abused before [thankfully].

      • It really is. I might add as something helpful that my former therapist told me, that because we’ve been abused thepart of our brain that would help us stand up for ourselves is damaged, and therefoe we are often unable to respond in the moment, we freeze. You know that feeling after something’s happened where we wish we would have said xyz or, we ask ourselves how we didn’t see in the moment that xyz was wrong? That’s because of that part of our brain.

          • Thank you when she told me that, it helped me not be so hard on myself when caught in a bad situation and frozen. 🙂 Something good is coming out of this sad situation. I’m meeting some amazing new bloggers such as yourself.

          • From Rae. My comments are all in moderation limbo at her place, and she won’t respond to any of my messages anymore. I’m not sure if it was for freezing up (and not spurning E more immediately), or admitting something while trying to show support… I don’t know what I did wrong.

            I was unbearably close to this situation. I was preparing to write my own story for BBW when all this hit… and well, I told you about my father’s bombshell of a question.

            I feel nervous just admitting this. I don’t want more pain to be felt because of anything I did or didn’t do.

          • Rae and I have worked things out. I would say your best bet is to let this now drop. The longer we keep it alive the more we are giving energy to the yuck. I’m going to move on from here and keep doing what I do. I’m sorry that you’re hurting too

          • There was a momentary lapse in communication– I understand a little better what was recently going on.

            I’m still mired in this; not totally out of my own choice. Still trying to work things out, but I am getting some clarity.

          • Well you are more than welcome to write something here if you are interested. As far as everything else goes, I don’t know so I cant be much help there.

          • I appreciate that, Gabriel. I still haven’t put anything together, but I figure it’d be good to let it rest for a while, and come back to it later.

  1. I was one of the ones who spoke up. I wouldn’t say I was abused as a kid, per se, but the dynamic between my parents, brother, and me was not normal. There was a lot of control, and there was my tendency to please, and all their criticism, while usually well intentioned, made me feel I could never make a good decision on my own. That set me up for a lot of what you spoke of.

    I was one of this guy’s victims. He didn’t come on to me like he did her, but I never showed him a picture. He just gave me the praise I wanted so desperately for my writing, and let me belong, as I never had in high school where I was often bullied for being too sensitive. And then he yanked it away. It was bad.

    I’m not sure what happened with your wife, but I am sorry she was manipulated as well. I had no idea it had happened to that many people. But I feel like I’m getting a little power back, and finally some more confidence in myself. I commented on her post, and just recently I wrote my own post. It took a lot of courage, but I’d never have done it if Rachel hadn’t begun the process, and if people like you had not supported and believed her. Thank you.

  2. I also want to say thank you for doing this. This is really important for people to understand when looking at what I posted, in order to put in a more appropriate context. He preyed upon my weaknesses. But the kicker is I clearly told him to stop and he went even farther. There is no excusing that. I really appreciate your support and I am so very sorry about what happened to your wife. I hope she knows that it is not her fault. I know that sometimes we blame ourselves for letting someone overstep some boundaries. But that person knew that about us and used that to take advantage. THAT is wrong. It’s disgusting. And he’s done it to a lot of people. I have an email from Canada that is a prize collection right now. I will not release the contents or who sent it. Let’s just say that if Eric really did nothing, he could sue. Except he has a RECORD of this. And there is hard core evidence, of which I have. His friends can make up all the excuses in the world. The awful truth is that this man is predatory and HAS been for a long, long time.

  3. Well said. This whole episode has prompted me to write a post about narcissism, going up tomorrow morning.

    I’m really sorry to hear about the experiences of your wife. Sounds like you have a good, healthy, supportive relationship with each other.

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  5. *stands up to clap*

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I appreciate this read very much, although it is chilling and upsetting. It is empowering to see people not keeping silent about abuses and breaches of boundaries and trust, despite the source being someone who had established a form of fame and presence in a forum we endeavour to see as a safe place. It is truly despicable what Eric has done, and I am overwhelmingly gobsmacked at the sheer number of women he has victimized. I shudder to think of how many more there are who have not come forward.

    My heart goes out to you, your wife, to the many authors of stories which continue to unfold as a result of this predatory clown, and to Sara (the wife of the aforementioned clown).

    Once again, thank you.

    Veggiewitch

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  8. Hi,
    I only found out about this today and I think she was really brave to post about him, and I’m glad she did; men like that are monsters.

    • Sorry, I was so shocked at what I read, I forgot to add the words ‘IMO’ to my words of ‘men like that are monsters’; I have a real problem finding compassion for men who harm women and kids; their actions can make some women feel more than uncomfortable around men; acts like this don’t help remind us there are good men in the world too, which fortunately there are 🙂

  9. When I first found out about this I was so surprised. I followed Le Clown’s blog and had never had any experience like your wife’s or Rae’s, thank God! Then I read Rae’s posts with the evidence showing his emails and was angry that he had done such horrendous things. I think what you all have done is brave and I hope Rae and her husband continue to fight back and get justice for all of the women he harrassed.

  10. “To close friends and even family they are well respected, thought highly of and often are in a place of perceived power, like a youth leader, priest, or in this case a blogger trying to help give a voice to victims.”

    Wow…you just described my grandfather, who has been dead for 1 ½ years but the damage, turmoil and shame he left behind to my mother, my aunts and uncle, even my own sibling, (only to mention a few people affected) was tremendous and will exist many more years after he’s dead.

    But what I quoted above…is exactly who he was. He was a well respected church head pastor.

    Your step by step is spot on and helps to put things into perspective.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, I know it’s hard to talk about sometimes. I’m also glad I could put things into perspective a bit, sometimes people are so confused by what happened they don’t understand what kind of mindset the victim is really in.

  11. Although it,s late in the day, I have wanted to write in support of Rae and now your wife…..I feel so sick for them having to suffer at the hands of the cruel predator..who seems to still be in denial.. But by Rae showing the evidence in his pathetic emails, the truth has outed him…thank you and thank you Gabriel for so accurately describing the predator as atypical…he continues, along with his wife,s support to lie and live a dishonest existence…I so hope Karma finds him….how very sad for his kids
    Thank you again

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