Monday, August 13, 2007

Evidently, Cheryl Seelhoff Lieks Moar Drama

I'm really disgusted to have to even write about this but I can't remain silent either. Never before have I encountered someone as despicable as Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff (also known as "Heart" or "AmazonHeart" on some internet boards). I've had more than my share of dealings with her in the past but never before have I been this furious about any of her asinine behavior. Most of the time, I can just point and laugh or shake my head when I happen to read about her internet antics. However, I'm so-oo-oo past that right now.

Of course, if you need to, you could probably get some hearty laughs of your own by reading about how she has decided to enter into the presidential elections race. That's right, Cheryl "Fight The Establishment" Seelhoff is running for the position as Commander in Chief of the United States military. It makes sense, right? I mean, it's not as if maintaining a military force would make one a tool of THE PATRIARCHYTM, right?

Then there's the fact that she wrote her own wikipedia page. Now, that is a riot all by itself! Don't bother looking for it on the site because it's already gone but you can check out the cached version of it on Google. For some reason, the editors didn't think that having one mention on page three of an article on Salon.com constitutes sufficient proof of fame. I wonder why! Is anyone surprised that no one besides Heart and her (less than a dozen or so) regular commenters thought that she was notable enough to warrant having a wiki listing? There are some people who have become moderately famous in real-life thanks to their internet following: Mario Lavandeira aka "Perez Hilton", Amber Lee Ettinger (Obama-Girl), William Sledd (from "Ask a Gay Man"). Now, we can argue about whether these three people should have listings, but Heart? That's a no-brainer.

I found it interesting that her self-praising blurb mentioned that, back in 1998, she won a court case against some folks at the church she used to attend. According to Heart, she was awarded in excess of one million dollars. So why was she begging her fan-girls for money last week?

"If you can help me to get to the Festival, I will be eternally grateful. Airfare to Fest as of just now is $503 round trip, which is the cheapest fare. I need to take my youngest daughter, Maggie, so the total cost for both of us would be $1,006. The womyn raising money to help us all get home are hoping to be able to help get me a ticket for Maggie, but that is still not certain, so I may need $150 for her ticket at the gate. I also would need two shuttle tickets to get us from the airport to the land and back, a total. The total is $1,236."

Now, unless Heart has managed to spend an average of 100,000 dollars each year for the past ten years--that's not even factoring in the fact that she has a full-time job that has been generating an income during this time, as well-- there is no way that this woman could be broke. That makes it all the more disgusting to see her go on to say,

"It’s bizarre to me to read, as I sometimes do, that this event is for rich white women. That’s foolishness. It’s for lesbians, a comparatively impoverished, disenfranchised group, no men to depend on, no men paying the bills (as is true of quite a few of Fest’s detractors)."

The fact that this came from the lips of a person who brags about her $1,000,000+ settlement makes that particular claim sound pretty dern hollow, in my book. And why is she asking for money? It's not because she doesn't have enough money to put food on the table for her family. It's not because she needs airfare to go and be with a dying relative. It's so that she can go and hang out at a festival for a week.

Oh, and by the way, she has a husband. That's right! This woman who goes around calling herself a lesbian is married. Her and her husband have been together for over ten years now. And lest one think that it was just some sort of "arrangement of convenience"--a concept that I find completely understandable given the situation that lesbians face in some other countries--this is the same husband that's the father of her two youngest children. She doesn't really talk about him on her blog. Perhaps it's because doing so might show what a fake she is when she waxes on about being a lesbian. After all, as Heart says,

"A female entering a relationship with a male? That’s a heterosexual relationship, no matter how anybody 'identifies.'"

It's crazy. If you're heterosexual, then what's the problem with being honest about that? You don't have to have a spouse that agrees with every view you have in order for them to, at least, be worth acknowledging. The German and I certainly don't see eye to eye on everything but does that mean that I'm going to pretend he doesn't exist whenever I'm talking about what and who is important in my life? Of course not! You don't have to be dishonest in order to be a real feminist. In fact, I'd say that a major part of being a feminist means being willing to speak truth to power. For all her so-called"rad-fem" beliefs, it seems Mrs. Seelhoff never figured this out.

Anyway, I've gone on long enough about Heart's other antics, so I suppose it's best that I get to the reason why I've taken the time out of my day to point out Heart's hypocrisy and lies. I had decided that Heart wasn't really interesting enough for me to expend any more energy writing about here on My Private Casbah. It's quite clear that she's proud to be a racist, disablist, transphobic bigot, so there really isn't any point in trying to reason with her. This became especially apparent to me once I saw that there are other self-proclaimed "radical feminists" who are willing to consider the idea that feminism necessarily includes the principle that all women are worthy of protection. After speaking my mind with the award, I moved on to other topics.

Well, that was until someone was kind enough to hip me to one of Heart's posts on the forums for the Michigan Women's Music Festival. In it, she uses me, bint alshamsa, in an attempt to buttress her transphobic views. Now, it's one thing if Heart wants to spout her garbage all across the internets, making herself look like an idjit. However, when she tries to use MY disabilities as proof that people should be afraid of teh evil transgender people, that's when I have to speak up about it.

Here's a snippet from her post:

"Last winter a young, disabled woman blogger, unaware of who Renee was (Renee was going by "Womansspace" at the time (!)), all but invited Renee to stay in her house with her after having been e-mailed by Renee and subjected to the RainSong routine! I should leave Renee out of this discussion precisely why? So other women reading -- a LOT of women read here who aren't Festies, and some of them have encountered Renee via the blogosphere -- can get sucked in by her and have their lives all fucked up by her like a whole bunch of other women"... If anyone wants to see the blog posts where RainSong almost ended up moving in with the young disabled woman, e-mail me.

Now, would you like to see the blog posts that she was talking about? Here is it:

You've Saved My Life

Now, granted, it was several months ago but even then, does being thirty years old mean I'm so young that I couldn't possibly make an informed decision about who I wanted to let stay in my home? Does the fact that I have a disability really have anything to do with whether or not I am intelligent enough to determine whether or not someone is "safe enough" to have around?

I mean, why did Cheryl think that invoking my identity as a person with disabilities would add validity to her transphobic views? See, this isn't the first time I've dealt with this sort of thing. It's disablism, pure and simple. By referring to me as a "young, disabled woman blogger", Heart is trying to position me as someone in need of protection, a feeble child in danger of falling into a trap that only the transphobic rad-fems can save me from. It never occurred to her that a woman with disabilities could actually make up her own mind about who she wants to have around her by CHOOSING to be around transgendered people. I guess someone forgot to tell me (and millions of other people with disabilities) that we're supposed to walk around scared to make the same sort of decisions that non-disabled people make every day. After all, we might be Taken Advantage OfTM! Quelle horreur!!!

According to Heart's mentality, because I have a disability, I'm supposed to be frightened to death by the idea of having a sixty year-old transgendered woman visit my house. Okay, that seems silly to me but I can understand why the idea of taking in folks from off the street might be a bit too much for some people to handle. What I don't get is why, of all people, Heart is the one who supposedly knows best how to judge what kind of person someone is. She doesn't exactly have a good track record of choosing emotionally-healthy people to share her life with.

I, on the other hand, have plenty of experience with successfully living with those that others might not be willing to take a chance on. Ever since before I was born, my mother took in others who were in need of a more stable living environment. When I became an adult, I did the same thing. In my lifetime, I've lived with:

1.a woman with paranoid schizophrenia
2.a sex worker
3.several pregnant teenagers
4.three siblings who were the children of a woman with a drug addiction
5.a seventeen year-old boy who had never had his own bed before moving in with us
6.five children (male and female) who had been sexually abused and abandoned by their mother
7.a girl who was a member of a gang,

And that's just a sampling. The others I won't mention because I don't know for sure if they'd be comfortable with me talking about it here. Now, despite the issues that these individuals faced, my mother made sure that no harm ever came to us from those she let into our home. For all her faults, she never taught me to live in fear of my fellow human beings. She NEVER accepted the idea that having a disability meant that I should be pitied or shielded from the world that everyone else had to face.

But none of that matters to people like Heart. To her, it's perfectly acceptable to use people with disabilities as pawns in her campaign of hatred. It's the same thing she tried to do with people of color and then had the nerve to get angry when numerous bloggers called her to task for it in the same way that some of the other posters to the Michfest boards have done lately.

She can't support her assertions with any sort of rational arguments. Instead, Heart anoints herself spokesperson for all sorts of groups that she knows nothing about and then she begins to claim to be an authority on what these people think. She's been in two inter-racial marriages. Therefore (according to her), that makes her an authority on what it means to be black. That idiotic idea didn't work on the people of color bloggers that she tried to present it to and that dog won't hunt here either.

I'm the one who has had their body cut open, stapled, stitched, sawed on, and irradiated. NOT HEART. What has she done to earn the right to claim what my disabilities prove?
Only a disgusting individual like Cheryl would have the unmitigated gall to use someone else's--a woman, I might add--disabilities as a means to bolster her hateful and fundamentalist assertions. Well, I've decided that I'm not just going to sit back and do nothing about it.

I'm placing a link to this post on the site that Cheryl is telling people to go and look at. That way, those who want to can see who it is they are dealing with when they talk to her. Renee's problems are nothing compared to the utter fraud that is Mrs. Cheryl Seelhoff.

P.S. Don't expect me to have any sympathy for her because she and some of her buddies have managed to piss off some folks over at Ebaumsworld, Encyclopedia Dramatica and 4chan. I'm sticking with the same position I stated when it first began. Malcolm X has a quote that keeps coming to mind when I think about this situation:

"Chickens coming home to roost never made me sad. It only made me glad."

30 comments:

Debra said...

I can't believe her nerve in asking for donations for Michfest so closely following her asking and receiving donations to go to the Hullaballo Festival. And for Michfest, she also said she needed to take her daughter along. I followed your link to the Michfest forum and as far back as June she was mentioning she wanted to go and WANTED to take her girls (guess she narrowed it down to one so as to not appear too selfish). There's a difference between wanting to take someone and NEEDING to take them. Anyway, I don't understand why she waited until a week before Michfest to ask for money from her followers, especially since she is on those forums in June stating she wanted to go. I think she's a big scammer. Where the hell is that million dollars? She ought to be shelling money out and not asking for others to support her.

The fact that she used you in her post doesn't surprise me. Several people on that board were jumping all over her and calling her a hypocrite who rewrites history. She's a person who has to be all knowing at all times and feels entitled to use other women to make her hypocritical points. Who's oppressing women now, Heart?

I don't understand about her being married. Are you saying she is currently married and also claiming to be a lesbian? What would be the reason for this? Is she a fake lesbian as well?

Ravenmn said...

Oh crap-o-rama. That is beyond tacky.

Eloquent smack down, Bint.

I also notice familiar tactics on the board. Heart questioning someone on her internet history. How long before someone gets accused of being a man?

Daisy said...

She's still married???? I had NO IDEA!

It's fundamentalism. Heart takes the same approach to feminism as she did the Bible. It's actually pretty easy to understand her, when you keep that in mind. She just went from one extreme to the other.

Not PLEASANT to understand, but easy to understand.

Renegade Evolution said...

Bint:

You rock, that is all.

stacey said...

i've never heard of her before (pretty new to the blog world) but i'm glad you blogged about it, especially about the disability part. paternalism is one of the biggest things we face and her statement was definitely rooted in that--- bleh.

bint alshamsa said...

Yep, she's still married alright! As far as why she lies about being a lesbian/lesbian separatist...Well, all I can think of is that perhaps she thinks being a lesbian gives her more "street cred" in the feminist blogosphere.

Personally, I find her faux-lesbian game pretty dern offfensive. As the sister of a young lesbian, I've watched the sort of struggles some of them face. However, I don't have to be gay too in order for me to fight for gay rights. But I guess that's not enough for Cheryl. She has to co-opt being a lesbian just like she tried to co-opt being a person of color.

This woman's dishonesty never ends. I'm considering writing another post all about how much damage she did to women when she was going through her phase where she was kissing up to Focus on the Family's James Dobson et al.

belledame222 said...

I never did figure out if she's still actually married; still she does use his name and she never talks about divorcing him; which, you'd think she would do, if she had, radical political lesbian separatist an' all.

also i noticed she thanks "Rick seelhoff" for helping her go through all the spammers' crap in her inbox.

I'm not sorry for her personally; I still think that this whole /b/ thing is totally fucked and actually gives them credibility (the eternal Martyr thing, of course) just when they were on the brink of being written off completely by sensible people.

and, no one deserves real life harassment. although it looks as though the bulk of it is now being directed at Beeb, and her poor kid, lucky him, being "saved" by a bunch of bored, malicious teenagers. christ, and i thought radical feminist "interventions" were bad...

belledame222 said...

o and she uses the whole "political lesbian" thing, you know, you don't actually have to fuck or even desire women, just eschew men.

but even by that dubious definition, i'd say remaining married to your husband probably wouldn't go over really well.

bint alshamsa said...

To me, the /b/ thing is just a situation where she's found her (mostly) male equivalents on the web. I mean, really, what's the difference between the two of them? They both have no qualms about trying to degrade and shame women into compliance. They both prefer to be a part of a mob rather than stand on the strength of their arguments without their bullying buddies around to keep others "in their place".

And let's face it, what BitingBeaver said was just incredibly awful. I'm pretty gung-ho about reproductive justice but her remarks were just cruel. She used the abortion angle to try and draw the same sympathy that people felt for her when she was going through the ordeal with the emergency contraception issue earlier this year. To me, this is much different. While I support a woman's right to bodily autonomy, I don't support fucking up your kid's emotional health by making it quite clear that you wish they were dead right now.

bint alshamsa said...

By the way, according to what Rick has said fairly recently, they are still married. He seems to be a rather decent fellow from all I've seen and heard of him. It's a shame that Cheryl lies to cover up their quite heterosexual relationship.

belledame222 said...

Oh, I agree it was awful. I'm just not at all clear the tender mercies of the /b/ crowd exactly helps the kid in any way, you know.

where did you find the Rick quotage?

belledame222 said...

i guess the main difference (apart from Stormcloud) is that the radfems don't generally go hunting up other peoples' personal RL info for "deserved" outing/shits and giggles.

as far as i know.

they seem to share rather similar stances on transfolk, at any rate ("it")

bint alshamsa said...

I luvs you Belle but I have to say I'm not so sure I can see the difference. It wasn't just Stormcloud. Heart's done the same thing. In fact, the post on the Michfest site that mentioned me came about because others thought that it was awful how she used every single opportunity possible to tell people all the lurid details she's scrounged up about Rainsong/RainSinging/Renee. She gets off on it, just like Anonymous does. And that's not even going into how often she pulls that stunt with Amp (e.g. the recent comments she and her goons made about his weight). Does she ever fail to use his legal name whenever she gets the chance? I know I've been on the internets a lot longer than a lot of folks but I think that everyone who isn't exactly new to it knows that it is considered good manners to use whatever nom de guerre that a person makes clear they'd like to be identified by. Of course, Heart has never seemed like the sort to care much about what's respectful when it comes to other people's identity.

That's pretty much why I have NO sympathy for her now. Lord knows I'm no fan of the other radfem (DD) but even she is better behaved than Cheryl, which says a lot!

belledame222 said...

eh, the thing with Renee was messy and complicated and gross. i dunno who started it really, but there was all kinds of mutual digging-up shit going on there. as for Amp, yeah, she's been a fuckbrain about him, and it's poor manners to use the real name, but it's not like it's a seekrit, Amp's name; and, unlike these twits, as far as I know they never tried to track down his address and mail him all sorts of harassing shit.

doesn't mean i know for sure they haven't or wouldn't, or that Heart hasn't done all kinds of other dodgy shit, i'm just saying: not exactly parallel here.

WomanSpace said...

"it was awful how she used every single opportunity possible to tell people all the lurid details she's scrounged up about Rainsong."

The point is, if you look closely, there are no details or specifics, there are simply innuendos and spins where she's pretty good at setting people up to follow the bouncing ball.

She made a mistake this time in that she actually gave some information and Bint caught her.

I don't have any grudges against Heart and I especially did not like seeing the attacks in the Encyclopedia Dramatic. heart has her quirks BUT that encyclopedia is really about attacking any eqivalent radical feminist - if only Heart actually was teaching radical feminism. It's not and I've shown clearly on my blog why it isn't radical.

Belle, I don't have anything against you. It's pretty clear you don't like me. That's OK. I'm just not a liberal feminist. You have your views and I have mine. I probably really prefer being unpopular. That's a sign that I'm saying things that need to be said.

bint alshamsa said...

Damn you Belle for making me see things your way even when I don't want to! Okay, so MAYBE she isn't quite as bad as Anonymous...but I still don't feel a bit sorry for her!! And that's as far as I'll budge! ;P

belledame222 said...

ACK. -Still?!-

slip

bint alshamsa said...

Belle,

Yeah, it would appear so. It was bound to happen, I suppose.

*sigh*

Ravenmn said...

Just to prove that non good deed remains unpunished for long, someone has used Bint's post at the MichFest board to call Heart out for not being transphobic enough!

It boggles.

antiprincess said...

seriously?

got a link?

bint alshamsa said...

Here ya' go, Antiprincess.

The link

antiprincess said...

thanks!

robinshood said...

So, that poster who used Bint's post to attack Heart for not being transphobic enough, that's Rainsong/Renee. She is the one who everyone on the board I've ever spoken with in real life says is a transwoman, and she is obviously transphobic. Folks are actually handling her pretty well this time by not rising to the bait and responding. I could tell who she was in her first post before she outed herself because her language is unmistakable and she makes the same typos. I think she's been banned, and that's hard at that forum.

I'm just hoping that Bint's fine post and good points aren't completely lost when the regular politics posters return to the boards. If you read the thread you saw how the very mention of Renee derailed all other discussion.

bint alshamsa said...

Robinshood,

Yes, she pretty much admits that "MaryAnn" is her. I didn't respond to what she wrote because my comment was not about her and I don't want it to become about her. Heart would love it if the attention could be deflected off of her behavior and I'm not going to provide her with the fodder she'd need for that to happen.

Anonymous said...

"I never did figure out if she's still actually married; still she does use his name and she never talks about divorcing him."

I'm quite positive that Cheryl and her husband still live together. I think he homeschools their youngest children while she works out of the home. Heart seems to prefer people not think of her as heterosexual and married. Perhaps a presidential campaign, even an obscure one, might bring the fact she's married into the foreground.

Suzie Saint' said...

Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff "Heart" is married to a man she met on the internet while she was still married to her first husband. Just do a search for her case against Sue Welch, Calvary chapel (her former church) and MANY others. Sue Welch was the only to not settle out of court. It's all there as a matter of record. Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff has gone off the deep end and is soon to hit the bottom of the pool! Lesbian my ass!
religious.reject@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what's been going on in Cheryl Seelhoff's life, lately, but I have to speak out and correct the spurious, catty comments about "what did she do with all that money she won."

What did she do with it? For one thing, she invited every single one of her friends--who stood with her through the trial and all the tribulations it brought--and our families to a celebration party at a lovely hotel, in a large city, and PAID FOR EVERY PENNY OF THE ENTIRE THING, including airfare for entire families from all over the country, hotel rooms, wonderful, catered meals, music, etc. She did this as a very generous, very heartfelt "thank you" and I'm sure this gesture, alone, cost her thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Then, you seem to forget that their are costs commensurate with such a long, legal battle.

AND you seem ignorant of the fact that the long, nasty battle waged by the losing side of this court case, against Cheryl's magazine, "Gentle Spirit", cost her the bulk of her subscriber and advertising base. By the time of the settlement, she was already deeply in debt from trying to save her business, and sunk the bulk of the remainder of the settlement into trying to rebuild the publication.

You all sound like sanctimonious, ignorant cats, to me, honestly.

Get a life.

bint alshamsa said...

So, Cheryl chose to spend thousands of dollars on a party for her friends and the rest of us are supposed to feel sorry for her? If I decided to spend my money on something completely frivolous and then wanted to go on vacation to another completely optional festival, do you think it would be ethical for me to tell people that I need them to send me money?

Look, your defense doesn't change the fact that unless she has spent over $100,000 a year for the past ten years, she isn't any more broke than she is a lesbian. Unlike you, I am well aware of the details surrounding Cheryl's court case. She used her magazine, "Gentle Spirit", to spew right-wing, Christian fundamentalist propaganda all the way until she was kicked out of the movement. If trying to save this magazine put her deeply into debt, it still isn't even close to what she deserved to go through given how many women's lives she made worse by telling them that they should submit to the misogynistic treatment that this movement advocated.

Maybe you should go and tell your old friend Cheryl to get a life instead of trying to co-opt the experiences and lives of people who actually are lesbians or actually are disabled.

Now piss off, ass-wipe!

Anonymous said...

I grew up with my mom constantly quoting Cheryl to us and constantly reading her gentle spirit magazine.
It drove me crazy. It felt wrong.
So when all this crazy stuff happened to her, with her affair and leaving the church and movement I was amazed.
I have kept track of her every few years looking her up online.
Imagine my surprise to see she now runs a feminist lesbian blog and calls herself Heart. I thought what her old church and community did to her was awful, but now she seems to
have turned into the opposite side
of the same coin.
Just as critical, judgmental and cruel and I must say CRAZY as the church she left. She seems like she is cult leader herself.
She is one messed up person for sure.
What a crazy ride this ladies life is.
I wonder what the finale will be?

Anonymous said...

Take it from someone who knows her on a personal level (I.E - as one of her children): She is nuts. Example A: She used one of her childrens' stolen credit cards to pay for much of that trip to Michfest we took years ago and opened other accounts in her own flesh's name. So much for being a "feminist."

The reason why you don't resonate with her is because what she says is 100% bs. She is not a feminist. She's a person with deep-rooted issues with the men. She was never a real God fearing Christian woman. Our (her childrens') lives were nothing like what was depicted in those magazines. She was a narcissistic and neglectful mother and in our adulthood, she tries to use her twisted ways to control us. Funny above one person on here said something like 'it's like she's a cult leader' and that's exactly how I feel. I guess she picked it up along the way but I don't try and figure it out because I don't want to understand someone like her for fear maybe then I'll know how to become it.

I didn't realize any of this until adulthood and I'm sad to know that it's the truth. I'm sad to know that this is who my mother is and that this is real life.