Well, it’s been a strange few days to say the least, but just when I thought that things couldn’t get any weirder…they did, and that’s a pretty massive understatement at that.
It all started with an article written by Andrew Dreschel of the Hamilton Spectator, where he, like it or not, questioned why it was that Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was “being mythologized as a hometown and national hero.”
No harm in asking, right?
Dreschel then went on to say that “Cirillo’s death was tragic and senseless, but in no way was it heroic” – a criticism that was met with a variety of mixed emotions (emphasis on emotions) from many of his readers. In fact, in just a few short days, it had managed to grow a life all on its own, as the debate raged on, and the Internet warriors on social media continued to rabidly attack Mr. Dreschel from all angles for his apparent insensitivity, and for what some of them had even deemed, cowardice.
On the other hand, many others, myself included, believe that Mr. Dreschel was unquestionably entitled to his opinions, regardless of whether I, or anyone else for that matter, agree with him or not. With the exception of hate speech (which Mr. Dreschel’s article most definitely was not), freedom of expression [speech] in Canada is a fundamental freedom, protected by Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and has been thought of by some as being the most important guaranteed right in any democratic society. In other words, freedom of speech is the exact sort of thing that Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was defending as a member of the Canadian Military, so like it or not, Mr. Dreschel was absolutely in his right to voice an opinion that represented what many other Canadians just so happened to be thinking.
“Does that mean anyone who dies while in uniform is automatically a hero? If so, what do we call those who really do perform lion-hearted acts? The sad reality is we’re doing truth an injustice by minimizing the true meaning of the word and elevating Cirillo into something he wasn’t.”
The term “hero” has now become the military equivalent of every kid gets a trophy.
Then, an on-line petition created by an anonymous blogger who goes by the name “Brianne Chantal Patterson” (yes, the person’s true identity is definitely in question at this time) reared its ugly head by demanding that the Hamilton Spectator FIRE! Mr. Dreschel, who the offended author described as being “one of the most heartless individuals [they] have ever come across.”
When I asked “Ms. Patterson” via Twitter if she thought that Nathan Cirillo had died so that people like her could protest against civil rights and freedom of speech, my question went largely ignored (twice). Ironically, she criticized others on her Twitter account around that same time for not answering her own questions, claiming that their silence meant that she was in the right.
Now this is where things start to get a little (lot) weird…
After visiting “Ms. Patterson’s” Twitter timeline, I quickly became aware of the fact that she wasn’t playing with a full deck of cards, so I decided to just leave her alone. Clearly, this was a person with emotional issues, massive insecurities, relationship problems, and a possible painkiller addiction. She also fancies herself as a person who is always one step ahead of others, and she appears to manage several other on-line Twitter, Facebook and blogging accounts, including a fundraising movement called Rest in Peace Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, usually with different names and aliases, particularly in the comment sections (just my own observation based the consistent use of language).
I also started to get the impression that she would use these various accounts to play against each other, in an effort to either make herself seem like the victim, or the martyr.
Then I received a very strange message (was it from her in an attempt to gain even more publicity? Or was it just someone with an obvious axe to grind?) asking that I look up the name “Brianne Duke Patterson,” but admittedly, the Google results came back just as sketchy as the accusations that they were making. It was becoming more and more clear that nothing about this Brianne person was in any way, clear.
Who was this person who was being accused of being a professional celebrity stalker?
Who was this person being linked directly to the possible criminal harassment of stars such as Kelly Clarkson (who’s middle name also happens to be Brianne)?
Who was this person who had taken it upon herself to create multiple pages on behalf of Nathan Cirillo?
Who was this person that was being accused by others for being a liar and a fraud?
And how about a little transparency with any fundraising efforts? A list of names (initials would be fine), the exact amounts donated, and the confirmation that those funds went directly towards the Cirillo family. In other words…proof that Brianne isn’t simply stealing the money.
Sadly, I don’t have the answers to any of these questions, but the further I seem to dig in an effort to find them, the more apparent it’s becoming that this is not a person to be trusted, regardless of the truth.
Oh and just a head’s up – if ANY of you have donated ANY money to ANY of her charity pages, my suggestion is that you immediately contact the RCMP to make sure that she is not committing fraud by exploiting the death of our fallen soldiers. Better safe than sorry.
And in completely unrelated news…
Sociopath: A person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage. They are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place for very long. It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules. In the eyes of others, sociopaths will appear to be very disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath, including murder, will tend to be haphazard, disorganized and spontaneous rather than planned.