If you are a registered citizen, you are highly likely to experience the use of the registry as a weapon against you at some point in your life. There are many ways we expect this to happen, such as vigilantes and legislators. It is a different story when the people who use the registry to attack you is a friend or family member.
I'm a rather reclusive person, but I still have friends and at one time, a family. When my mother passed away in 2010, I lost my last real family. We had made amends for her abandoning me in a hotel room, leaving me to the foster system as a child, and so my mother and I had gotten close again. Her death was my first real experience with someone close to me dying, as I had lost connections long ago It was a rough time for me, and my ex-wife decided to leave me 2 days after the funeral. She then used the registry status as a way to cause me a great deal of emotional pain during a low point of my life. Her father worked for the town in which we lived so I began suffering harassment from local authorities as well as an online vigilante group. But I endured and moved on, never looking back.
I have done well in those pas 8 years. I've always told people I have no living family all this time. The truth is, I simply had no connection to a family I never knew existed and never knew I existed. My mother tasked me before she died in 2010 to find her daughter up in Canada and gave me some info, but the info she gave me was not enough to find anyone, so over the years, I put that request on the backburner and turned my attention back to activism.
But I have a living "half brother," a person I do not consider family. He's the type of person that thinks of me when he needs me to cosign to get his utilities turned on because I have stellar credit and he doesn't, or when he's getting a divorce and asks me what the Alabama divorce law reads about alimony. So in the 8 years since my mother passed away, I've maybe had 3 conversations with this guy. I don't consider him family at all.
Well, out of the blue, I get a series of text messages. It seems someone on my mother's side of the family contacted him after finding records on one of those genealogy sites. (As an aside, it seems leaving me out of mother's obituary made it harder for folks to connect my name to hers, as intended.) So my alleged half-brother forwarded the info but then decided to start drama. I have enough drama in my personal life without adding whatever petty dispute he was having, so I told him I wasn't interested in hearing about his complaints. He was triggered and after a few choice words, he stopped texting. Good riddance, I thought. I reached out to those he sent info about. One of those people was a clown named Frank, and apparently, this alleged half-brother of mine informed him of my registry status, so my simple request to connect was met with insults about my registry status. (So much for Canadians being polite, BTW.)
Well, I can take solace knowing that mother's request to connect with her lost family was eventually completed, albeit by someone else, but as far as i'm concerned, I still have no REAL family. You want to know who I consider my REAL family? My true allies in this movement. Y'all are my real family, because DNA alone isn't enough to make someone family.
But the point is that in both these instances, once by my ex-wife and once by this other person my mother gave birth to, but definitely not family, the registry was thrown up in my face as a way to attack me on a personal level and attempt to harm me. Of course, I tell this story not because it did anything more than to piss me off in the same way seeing Rick Scott win the FL Senate race did last night, but because it is yet another aspect of life on the list we are forced to endure. Hell, this has even happened to people I have tried to help in the past who were also registered persons, people like Clay Keys (T-Sand), that hippy guy from Oregon I tried to help, or Shaun Webb. I actually find it more reprehensible for someone on the list to use the registry as a weapon than for a victim cultist like Lauren Book or even a family member to abuse the label, since they should know better.
I think this is one aspect of life on the list we haven't spent much time discussing. Perhaps you get into a family feud or argue with a friend, and the next thing you know, he's leading online protests against you or turning friends and family against you. We all handle it in our own way. I have a support network that blood ties certainly cannot provide, and that is good enough for me. But in our future discussions, we should bring this issue to light.