Personal Statement from Frank Gormlie on Having His Email Hacked

by on June 20, 2014 · 2 comments

in Civil Rights

Some of OB Rag Email Contacts Stolen – As He Calls for His Former Contacts to Email Him

Yes, it is true, and at first, I sort of laughed it off, as I went ahead and changed my password to the email account that was hacked on Thursday, June 19.

But then I realized all 2300 of my email contacts were gone ! – stolen by the hacker. Hundreds of  those were my OB Rag email accounts. (It was my personal yahoo email account that was hacked – not the OB Rag gmail account.)

This is a real blow – as it’s through emails that I contact OBceans, planning and town council leaders, other activists, other journalists. And now I have none. I have no way of contacting the hundreds of people on my “OB Alert” list for example.

Yes, I’ve contacted Yahoo and they’re working on it and hopefully they’ll be able to re-establish all my contacts.

In the meantime, without painful and time-consuming reconstruction of my contact list through old emails, etc, I don’t have any means to contact people – outside phone calls and one-on-one’s of course – like friends, family members, and associates.

This has all forced me to think about the whole issue of emails. Emails are certainly a two-edged sword. How many times have you angrily or emotionally or unthinkingly sent off an email and then later regretted it. I have.

But also it was via emails that I established this online version of the OB Rag. Back in the early days of this publication, in late 2007 and early 2008, before we were known, I used to send out hundreds of emails to friends and other people I had contacts with. Slowly we were able to build up both our readership and my email contact lists.

Back in 2010, I was laid up on the couch for weeks due to medical problems.  I learned that local San Diego tea parties were organizing a big rally down by the County Administration building.  I felt strongly that progressives had to bear witness to this extreme right-wing gathering – that was to include at least one guy with a gun strapped to this hip – but I was on the couch.

So, I turned to the internet, to my email contact list and for a couple of weeks I kept sending out emails every day until I had commitments from at least one hundred progressives. On the day of the rallies across Harbor Drive from each other and even though it rained we had plenty of folks singing songs and waving signs. It had worked – and I had never done anything like that, as I’ve always relied on leaflets, fliers, phone calls, etc to organize rallies.

And of course, email has a dark side.  The other week I received a google – like email request from a woman I’ve known for years.  Trouble was she died a year ago.  Other friends of hers also received the same exact email request. I hope her family didn’t get any.

Right now, though, the only way I can communicate with everyone is through this OB Rag post.  I ask you – if you were on the following email lists, please help me to re-construct them:

  • If you are a supporter of the OB Rag and were on our support email lists, please send us your name and email to the OB Rag email account:
  • If you are a friend, associate or acquaintance who has been sharing emails with me, please go ahead and email me at my yahoo account – it’s been fixed.  If you are too squeamish to do that, send it to the OB Rag account –
  • If you wish to get on an “OB ALERT” email list – a list that is alerted for important community events, issues, rallies, meetings (I don’t mean the Chili Cook-offs), please send me an email via the OB Rag:

Thanks to those who are helping me to do this.

And I apologize to anyone who received the bogus email message purportedly from me, supposedly stuck in the Ukraine, asking for financial help.  Be aware of these scams – as I certainly am not the first or last to be victimized by these hackers.  We found two sources of being hacked: Pennsylvania and Nigeria.  They were able to hack into my busy email account and redirect my emails to another email account with my name but one that only they could open.

Such is the world of emails.  The good and bad and ugly.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike James June 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I canceled the $200 check I sent to the Ukraine. Glad to see you are all right.


Gail Powell June 21, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Actually this hacker might have done Frank Gormlie a big favor. This could be the start of a great creative OB Rag fund-raising pitch: Where is Frank Gormlie and can you save him? Occasional alerts can go out when the Rag is short on dough asking readers to send money to bail Frank out of jail in the Congo or pay off a dowry to Frank’s angry father-in-law or else!


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