Why Anonymity?


I have an archive full of unpublished blog posts.

Some of them exist only in my brain, swimming around, keeping me awake at night until I finally give in, turn on the light and write them out. Others are already written, stored deep in the bowels of my computer’s hidden cyber-recesses. A select few have made it as far as being stored and saved here on WordPress.

Tonight I almost registered a new domain, and I still might. An outlet for the rants, too controversial, too powerful, too intense even for this Blog. But then, I realized, that is what this blog was originally supposed to be about. Outlandish thoughts, radical truths, deep reality.

But, here in this new cyber-social world it’s often hard for me to go completely wild. I do find myself tempering those rants to some degree in the name of kindness. Again, In this new cyber-social reality everything is interconnected, every thought, every post, every undotted i and uncrossed t, a potential landmine down the road.

I used to make fun of people with full body and facial tattoos – “What do you mean, what am I staring at? You tattooed your FACE. You know that’s never coming off, right?” Well, the internet is like a giant full body, face and soul tattoo. Everything we put out is there for life, or beyond. And unless you’re a really good hacker, it’s all traceable right back to my breakfast bar where I sit spewing out another post.

There is really no such thing as being truly anonymous on the web. Everything we do is tracked in some form or another, measured and sold to the highest bidder, I know, I have created a fake online identity to a point as part of my personal security from that, and for true freedom of speech. They’re easy to set up but unless you follow a few basic rules and are careful they are not completely anonymous and untraceable.

Does complete anonymity or untracability really matter? In my case not as much because I am not spreading malicious lies intent on defaming, but i still take many precautions. I also have some protections under our constitution, and there is a line that I have chosen never to cross for that reason. Being honest is of the utmost importance to me.

Now consider that I didn’t even try to keep this blog anonymous. Anyone who reads it could get to me, e-mail me, call me or my family, if anyone was so inclined they could follow me as they have done to others. Harass my family and friends. You know their drill, their tactics to suppress anyone who speaks out.

But sometimes, a thought is so dangerous, so powerful, so radical that it almost NEEDS to be shouted anonymously, and just because someone doesn’t agree with that thought, Idea, opinion, truth, or reality does not make it wrong or criminally actionable, but that is the new reality of this world. We may have a legal freedom of speech but not a social one.

There is two kinds of people who want to know who I am. The curious, and those who want to stop me.

Think about the great collective “anonymous”, the Chanology group working to take down Scientology, or at least get their tax exempt status revoked. They have wreaked wonderful havoc on the Cult of Scientology (which, before you get all uppity in my face IS a cult, started by a few sci-fi authors AS A JOKE. It was a con to see if they could start a religion and show the world how easy it was to dupe the masses. The joke’s on them, it worked too well!) They wouldn’t have had the power to do what they did if their faces, names and professional identities were known.

Think of all the folk tales, proverbs, and ancient anonymous wisdom handed down through the millennia to reach us now. Even the Bible was written by an anonymous. (No, it’s not the literal word of God) So there is definable power in anonymity.

When I was in school I was asked, many times, to fill out anonymous teacher reviews, student reviews, votes, etc. Being the defiant and overly honest little twerp that I was, I ALWAYS signed my name, legibly. I was raised on the value of honesty. I was raised believing that if you were going to say something it was important to be willing to stand behind it, proud and tall. So I did.

Looking back though, I realize that by limiting myself to only that level of honesty I evaded the true honesty, the kind that might have gotten me tossed out of school, or that might have gotten a pedophile put away, or kept a bigoted teacher from bullying another student, or…..

There is power in anonymous. Power that, as this cyber-social reality engulfs us all, we might need to reclaim a little of. Not for hate speech, there’s quite enough of that out there already, thank you. But for forbidden wisdom, disregarded truths, deep and disturbing insight into this brave new world we are waking up to.

I needed that place, a place of true freedom of expression, freedom from the hate mongers and fear mongers, a place where I don’t have to login via any of our existing social networks, a place where I can be… anonymous.

Some day we all need to get together and shout our true names and our true hearts loud enough to be heard and valued just the way we are. Perhaps, in that brave new world of respect, we can rise to the occasion and continue down our brazen path openly, hoping that the people who come to read us will respect us for our truths, even if they are different. Sadly that time is not now, and there again is the great power of anonymity.

Until our differences can be accepted, and the personal war waged by those intent on the destruction of our town simply for their own gain can end I will remain anonymous. Anonymity is sometimes what keeps the truth, and reality safe from those who appose the spread of it.


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