Have you ever met people who are absolute geniuses at one, specific thing but at the same time lack any common sense? Bruce Raisley seems like one of those guys.
Raisley was sentenced today to two years in prison, ostensibly for a cyber attack against Rolling Stone. A guy who can program 100,000 computers to attack the magazine that published Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas should know something about the Web, right? But the real reason Raisley ended up before a judge was because he believed that a stranger on the Internet loved him.
Once upon a time in happier days, Raisley was tight with the Internet-vigilante group Perverted Justice. Even if you haven't heard the name, you know its work. Chris Hansen got the credit for busting all those guys with Smirnoff Ice in one hand and a crinkled Lifestyles condom in the other on To Catch a Predator, but it was Perverted Justice behind the scenes that lured the prey in with promises of sticky tween sex.
Raisley had a falling out with the group's founder, Xavier Von Erck, and started publicly criticizing and questioning the group's tactics. Von Erck decided that the best response was to destroy Raisley's life and created the persona of "Holly," with whom he seduced Raisley online.
As has been noted, Raisley was an active member of a group that made its name through desperate men willing to believe that underage girls they'd never met in person truly wanted to be deflowered by a 45-year-old fry cook while their parents were out of town. Considering that, his lunatic trust that "Holly" was who she said she was could make this story into a Greek tragedy if it wasn't so stupid. Not only did he begin an online relationship with Von Erck's avatar, he left his wife for her. Just like any other Perverted Justice target, Raisley's foolishness led him to an epic public humiliation when the group snapped and released photos of him at the airport waiting to meet his dream woman.
All of this made it into a Rolling Stone article on the feud. More accustomed to swinging the paddle, Raisley wasn't so happy to be on the receiving end of a public spanking and retaliated with his computer virus. Every infected computer was programmed to attack the sites that had painted him in a bad light. This accomplished absolutely nothing.
Ironically, because of his attack, all sorts of journalists are again writing about what a loser Raisley is, which just piles on the prison sentence and a $90,000 fine.