Nearly 16 years ago, at the Libertarian Party National Convention, in Anaheim, California, I was raped by a Libertarian man.
He was a white guy, approximately 6′ tall, blue eyes, blond hair. I’ll refer to him as The White Bill Cosby. Or, for short, Fratt Cosby.
I’d first met Fratt in Chicago a year or so before, at a free firearms education event hosted by the Libertarian Party of Chicago (LPC). Several months passed after the initial gun class, but we reconnected again, when I was brought on board with the LPC to oversee the creation/implementation of an ad campaign to run on the Chicago Transit Authority commuter trains. In the beginning, Fratt Cosby was kind, charming, and charismatic. He was the life of every party.
Fast-forward to few months later, and I had become a candidate for U.S. Congress, on the ballot for the Libertarian Party. I’d also started co-hosting a cable access TV show called GUNS, DRUGS, & CHICKS, alongside two extraordinary women from the LPC. We discussed gun rights, drug war wrongs, and the failures of feminism, all on a weekly live TV show.
I co-founded the Chicago Second Amendment Sisters, became a certified firearms instructor, and taught free gun safety/basic shooting basics to classes to beginners. Some of the students had never seen a real gun before, other students were survivors of assault (men included), and occasionally, I’d bring a news reporter to the range. Taking newbies to the range was a practical way of challenging Chicago anti-gun propaganda, without ever getting much into politics.
Around that time, I started working for Chris Whitten (A Respector of Women), who’d founded The Henry Hazlitt Foundation, a non-partisan organization in downtown Chicago. Our primary focus was maintaining a site called Free-Market.net, which was essentially an online network connecting libertarians, pro-liberty thinkers, and conservatives throughout the world. It was kind of like a big libertarian facebook… before facebook was used by the masses.
(Note: HHF had no affiliation with the Libertarian Party; their work appealed mostly lower case libertarians — the non-Libertarian Party libertarians aka anarcho-capitalists. This distinction is important. When it comes to rape or other crimes, turning to The State for victim entitlement vs. turning to oneself for survivor empowerment are two diametrically opposite approaches.)
Back then, ifeminists.com was part of the Free-Market Network, and one of my e-colleagues was Wendy McElroy. She was (is) the mother of the most modern feminist movement: ifeminism. In short, ifeminism has a strong anti-entitlement, anti-establishment, anti-government edge, encouraging women to take full responsibility for their own lives.
This is where rape comes in.
Though we libertarian ladies are diverse individuals, we share the common thread of being well-read, bright, n’ enlightened. We own our bodies. We own our minds. We know self-defense. We’re ifeminists. We’re immune to assault and rape. Or are we?
After realizing I’d been drugged and assaulted in a hotel room at the 2000 Libertarian Party National Convention, I was dumbfounded. I’d been raped by a Libertarian.
The predator/perpetrator/ringleader of it all was my then-boyfriend, Fratt Cosby… who was also a prominent leader in the Chicago Libertarian Party.
I walked into the convention a Libertarian.
I walked out a rape survivor.
On the flight back to Chicago, one of the women from the Chicago Libertarian Party pulled me aside to talk about the prior night, the horrible things she’d witnessed, and her deep concern for me.
I wish I could say I went back to Chicago and never saw the White Bill Cosby again. That didn’t happen.
It took awhile to put everything together: coming to grips with the LP Convention, and other incidents thereafter.
Getting away from The White Bill Cosby was a long process and wasn’t easy. My way out of the “relationship” was a rocky road. No smooth sailing there, whatsoever. His ultra-creepy activities began to to pile up. Some were things I witnessed. Others were stories he recalled, beaming with delight for he “got away with it” such as:
– Insurance fraud
– Drinking, driving, smashing car, leaving scene of crime
– Arson (said it happened while in college at Northwestern University)
– Breaking and entering, several times, different locations (Chicago, Evanston)
– Raping a woman from a past relationship
– Blackmailing a woman from a past relationship
– Collecting video recordings without people’s consent/knowledge
– Hidden video cameras in bedroom
-Maintaining young female women in his home (Chicago, Orlando) for the purpose of collecting nude/sexual videos without their knowledge/consent, and to sell that footage to subscribers on the internet
-Child rape, exploitation
– He even DRUGGED MY MOTHER (She/we made it out alive and safe, but the incident reveals the depths of his twisted manipulation/control.)
There’s a lot more to this list.
Here’s the super-creepy part:
As things began to really implode, Fratt Cosby gleefully showed me an electronic device he used, demonstrating how he could track and listen to my phone conversations whenever he wished. Cosby even showed a channel he’d tune-in to to listen to conversations between a past partner and her friend. It was an effective scare tactic to keep me quiet. Note: This event occurred circa 2000, so imagine the technology available now.
I knew going to the police wasn’t an option. It seemed like a colossal waste of time. Perhaps a waste of taxpayer dollars?
Besides, a guy like Fratt Cosby has an endless amount of money to stalk, cyberstalk, (both of which he’s done to me), terrorize, etc. He can buy any cop, politician, etc.
The White Bill Cosby had instilled the fear of death in me. In order to move forward, I packed away the many traumas, deep into my mind. For the most part, I kept quiet. Kept silent.
Dreadful incidents of the past with Fratt simply melted away into a pain space contained in my brain. At the time, I wasn’t consciously aware that it was my brain’s way of protecting itself. This is what enables people to survive natural disasters, car accidents, wars, complex trauma, abuse, etc. What was boxed into my brain would come out later, when I was safe enough, and strong enough, to address everything.
More time passed. I’d started a new life, surrounded by loving, kind people. I sought help from from both friends and professionals. I did all the stuff a responsible woman would do, if she wished to take responsibility for her life.
It took time, money, and motivation. One of my biggest challenges was navigating through the “system” which is not exactly “setup” for libertarians. (I’ll elaborate more on that in Part 2.)
Perhaps my greatest area of grief and sadness — to this very day — is for having introduced friends, families, and colleagues to this creature, Fratt Cosby. I had no idea some of these dear people would later become his victims. I’m still working on coming to peace with this. With the passage of time… 2005, 2006, 2007… with each new year, new things are discovered about the depths of Fratt’s sinister activities.
Long story short, I never intended to share any of this – much less publish it on the internet – but…
A year or so ago, I made contact with a friend of the past. (I’ll call her Elle.) She knew I’d departed party politics long before, and that I had no association whatsoever with the Libertarian Party.
Unbeknownst to me, Elle had attended the 2012 Libertarian Party National Convention.
Ends up, Elle didn’t get to participate in the convention because she was drugged and raped, after accepting a drink at a public LP event. Elle found herself the next morning in an empty hotel room, with all the marks, signs, and sensations of assault. She left the hotel immediately, didn’t go back to the convention, and caught a flight home. She didn’t go to the police, but she did go to the hospital.
I came to realize that, had I talked to Elle and others about my LP 2000 Convention experience, she may’ve never been raped. In fact, she may’ve never attended a Libertarian Party convention, at all.
So I’m speaking up now.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re attending the Libertarian Party National Convention this year, try these three quick tips to keep safe:
Be extra mindful about:
– who you hang around
– who you accept drinks from (or not)
– well… maybe just don’t bother being there, period.
— Stephanie Sailor May 27, 2016
Part 2 Coming soon
P.S. I know not all Libertarian men are rapists. In my experience, the vast majority of libertarians I’ve met are genuinely kind, respectful people, with a sincere desire to change the world for the better.
In fact, I can name a few specific libertarian men who were supportive through my trauma recovery, helping me regain a sense of confidence, security, and safety, during my most difficult times: Joe Huffman, Ry Jones, Louis James, P.I. Mike, Mormon Mark, just to name a few. Thank you.
Nonetheless, I do find the LP National Convention to be a popular feeding grounds for guys like The White Bill Cosby and other predators. Fratt Cosby once told me he liked finding women at LP Conventions because they’re “easy prey.” I’m not sure of what he exactly meant by that.
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When Libertarians Rape Libertarians / StephanieSailor.wordpress.com 2016