By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
A Rubinesque Story
A fool and his money . . . : Another killer story, this time on divorce mediator Gary Karpin, by Paul Rubin ("Dr. Buzzard," January 27). Without Rubin here in Phoenix, we would never find out about the charlatans in our midst. What amazes me, though, is that -- like that other guy Rubin wrote about [Robert Owens], who worked for many attorneys in town swindling their clients -- this guy is still walking around free. Isn't what he's doing illegal? If it's not, it should be.
It's hard to believe that some of these people were as dumb as Rubin describes. Because you'd have to be dumb as a rock to pay that guy that much money to do stuff you could do for relative pocket change. One thing about Dr. Buzzard, he was smart as a whip. A great con man! In fact, it seems that Rubin specializes in con men.
Desperate for housewives -- and husbands: Just an interesting Gary Karpin anecdote for you:
My wife and I were going through a rough time in our first year of marriage; I think it was the summer of 2002. We responded to an ad -- I think it was in New Times -- for "couples counseling."
Many of our problems were financial. Not the typical kind: We were making a lot of money quickly, and we had just come from being dirt poor. Having money for the first time in our lives was actually the issue.
Anyway, long story short: After "Dr. Gary" charged us $275 per session a couple of times, I decided that it wasn't worth it. I felt like $550 per week was just too damn much money and that I could handle my own problems, thank you.
I called Gary and told him that if I can't figure out how to get along with my wife, then we'll just get a divorce.
He left me a desperate voice-mail message the next day. (Desperate, because he knew that I earned a nice six-figure income, in my opinion.)
He said: "If you are going to get a divorce, Mike, that's fine, but you need me either way. I will have to take you through divorce mediation and settlement. It is an arduous process. You need me, Mike. Call me. You need me."
The funny part was how many times he told me I needed him in his voice mail. I genuinely detected desperation in his voice, like that of a child.
My wife and I worked everything out and are now very happy. Man, I feel dumb that I gave the guy any money, but not as dumb as the subjects of your article must feel.
Michael George, Mesa
Interesting and scary: I just read Paul Rubin's article on Gary Karpin, and it's very interesting and scary! I hope he's on to a more pleasant story.
Caitlin Gallup (former Karpin client)
A Sensitive Subject
More than meets the eye: I've been watching Robrt Pela develop into a skilled interviewer. For me, his interview with Karen Johnson was one of the most provocative he's done ("Karen in the Hot Seat," Speakeasy, January 6). I'd like to see Pela expand far beyond the issues addressed here.
I've long thought that molestation and its effect on victims has been ignored by too many, including intelligent and articulate gays like Mr. Pela, who could shed a great deal of light if he chose to go in this direction.
How many gays does he know who were molested, and to what extent do they think this affected their sexual habits?
Pela might have to do considerable probing to encourage gays to look for contributing factors to their homosexuality besides the "gay gene." I know from being molested that people are willing to condemn the victim for resulting sexual confusion and acting out.
I have been accused of being mentally ill many times in a denigrating way, even though an adult male shattered my innocence at 5 years old with molestation. Another contributed more stress from the age of 10 to 13. Yet the victim often ends up feeling victimized again by exposing the crime.
With great difficulty, I've been writing a memoir about my relationship with my father, who I believe to have been a bisexual who had homosexual relations during most of his 35-year marriage to my mother. He was probably sexually involved with his male elders from childhood on.
I am 73 and grew up in an age when ignorance about homosexuality by mothers, grandmothers, wives and daughters was considered a virtue. A memoir like mine was unthinkable, and still is to a large extent. I applaud Robrt Pela for having the courage to tackle what he does.
I also have to applaud Karen Johnson for allowing the interview. Please keep up the good work.
Geraldine King, Phoenix
Just the facts: This is in response to this statement from Amanda Rinaldi (Letters, January 27): "I'm still wondering how Scott [Peterson] could have been guilty when his wife's body was never found." How can you be an avid reader of anything when it comes to this case, Amanda? Laci Denise Peterson's body washed ashore. Get your facts straight.
Name withheld by request