In certain ways intuition is reliable. For example, any private investigator who has handled matrimony and infidelity investigations for a long time will tell you that if a wife suspects that her husband is cheating on her than he is. Experienced Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) investigators will tell you that if a company has high employee turnover in the accounting department it’s because someone in management is hiding embezzlement. My dad was a civil litigation attorney for almost thirty years and he told me that the plaintiff’s target in any trial is always the defendant who has the largest insurance policy.
With that said, in other ways intuition leads to disaster. For example, human resources managers may perceive that a candidate or a new employee who behaves strangely and suspect a mental disability or substance abuse, when in reality the person is just nervous.
Intuition is scary to rely on: How can anyone be sure that their view of the world is clear? If I perceive a person differently than you than which one of us is correct?
It’s easy to confuse intuition with Paranoid personality disorder. For example, in 2011 Jin Park left a glass of water next to her laptop in her home office and then her toddler knocked it over. It was at about 11 am on a Saturday and I was painting in my bedroom in the flat that we shared on Funston Avenue in San Francisco. Jin banged loudly on my door and I instantly realized that she was having another temper tantrum. I mustered my composure. When I opened my door she scolded, “Why did you pour water over my laptop?” She continued to yell in my face and she said that she was calling the police. Two officers came over and talked to her in her room, and then one came to my room to ask me what happened. The officer commented that he could tell that she was “too normal” (it was a reference to the police code 51-50 which is a psychiatric emergency). He told me to move out for my own safety, which I did.
Jin’s buddy Scott was watching TV in the living room and he asked me if I had any allergy pills and so I gave him one. When I returned to the foyer area to go back to my room I saw Jin running towards me like a ball of fire whooshing down the hallway. She ran up to my face, pointing her finger at my nose, yelling at me as loud as she could: “He’s my friend! He’s my friend! Get your own friend!”
She and Scott went on vacation and I thought about whether her toddler was safe around her. I decided that she wasn’t and so I had to find her father. Luckily she was already with him on vacation visiting his parents. The only information that I had about him was that he’s a radiology technician at the VA hospital in San Francisco, and so I called and asked the staff to forward my phone number to him. He returned my call having no idea who I was. Once we started talking he said that on his first day of vacation Jin filed a police report for parental abduction and the cops came to his parents’ house looking for their daughter. Luckily he brought a court document proving that the judge gave him permission to take her there.
We kept talking and I discovered that he had given Jin more money and bought her more stuff than the court ordered him to and that he had also accumulated $40,000 in legal fees trying to get 50/50 joint custody of their daughter because he had to pay for both attorneys. He did not appear like a deadbeat dad who was trying to evade paying child support. That was important because Jin had convinced everyone she knew that the reason why he filed for joint custody was to get out of paying for child support.
He told me that he has a video of Jin screaming at the top of her lungs and violently throwing objects around the apartment in front of their daughter when she was a newborn baby. I told him about the two incidents when I found their daughter home alone with a seven year old girl and I babysat them until Jin returned a half an hour later.
Part of Jin’s problem was caused by a mental condition called Borderline Personality Disorder. When I moved in she instantly began to rely on me as a free babysitter for about five to ten hours per week, and her dependence continued to grow. After about three weeks I refused to do it anymore but I was polite about it. She gave me the cold shoulder and as time passed she got worse, and then she started slamming doors and being as disruptive as she could. After about two months she began to try to pick wild loud fights over trivial things that most people wouldn’t notice. For example, I asked her politely where the trash liners were and she instantly exploded, yelling at me for 45 minutes. That’s Borderline Personality Disorder, or “BPD.”
People who suffer from mental conditions such as Borderline Personality Disorder and Paranoid Personality Disorder view the world through a distorted lens and see exaggerated forms on the other side. For example, Jin filed a police report for parental abduction against her daughter’s father when he had permission from the judge to take her. Any mother would be extremely upset under those circumstances but only an unreasonable lunatic would have filed a police report for parental abduction.
People who have those mental conditions honestly believe what they’re seeing and so they’re really good at convincing others. That’s an important reason why lawyers are forced to bring cold hard collaborative evidence to the courtroom in order to win their cases: They’re not allowed to rely on their clients’ testimonies because it could be fiction. It’s not malicious; it’s an honest mistake by a mentally ill person who views the world through a distorted lens.
I’m too scared to base important decisions on gut instinct because in my opinion it’s overly emotional. I was raised by my dad who was a trial attorney and he made me use hard evidence in every scenario and so relying on intuition feels very uncomfortable to me. Learning how to use it is as awkward as learning how to ride a bike for the first time. However, in January 2013 I was in a dating situation where my intuition was all that I had to rely on and the guy turned out to be a con artist.
His name is Thomas (“Tommy”) Miller, and a couple of weeks before we met he tried to buy an investment property for $1,200,000 with a bad check. He lives on the property as a tenant renting a small apartment inside of a converted barn. It’s at 1980 Pacheco Pass Highway in Gilroy, CA.
He’s crazy. He actually wrote a personal check that said “1.2 million dollars” on it and walked to the seller’s house and held the check up to the wife’s face and said, “You can have the money right now.” She believed him and she wanted to take the money. Luckily her husband had a gut feeling that it was a bad check and he refused to accept it. However, he really wanted to sell the property and so he asked Tommy to come back with a contract and a non refundable deposit of $30,000, which he never did.
In the meantime, while the seller was waiting for a contract and a deposit check, Tommy introduced himself to me and he said that he already owned the property and that he needed a designer. My cousin, a real estate agent in Santa Clara County, looked at the property records and Tommy was not on it. When I confronted him he explained that he was in the process of buying it. Soon after that he arranged for the sellers to give me a tour of the main house and I watched Tommy promise John that he would visit his attorney the following day to get a contract, and to pay the $30,000 deposit.
We were dating and so I did the design work that he requested for free, which would normally cost about $700. I spent most of my design time working on a different house in Discovery Bay that he said he owned which was probably also a lie.
Tommy told me that he finalized the sale on the Gilroy property with John, and that he signed the contract and gave his deposit check to the title company. Thinking that he bought the property, I scheduled a roofing contractor to give us an estimate to repair a leak, and the day before his appointment Tommy told me to cancel it and he said that the roof was fine. I knew that it was leaking. About two weeks after that he told me that he had put a hold on the deposit check because the seller promised to remove debris from the yard and then he didn’t do it. Finally I listened to my intuition and I contacted the seller, John, who told me that Tommy never gave him a contract or a deposit check.
To compound the situation, on a night when Tommy canceled our date and told me that he had to work late, John called him to ask if he was still interested in buying the property and when Tommy answered his cell phone he was standing in the middle of a wild party.
My next prospect was Troy Edward King, a former combat soldier who had been deployed four times, twice to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. When we met he was studying Arabic at the army’s language institute in Monterey, CA. On a random day he dropped off the map, and it happened to be on a day when he was supposed to come over to my house. I asked around and within 24 hours I discovered that he was already in a long term relationship with a woman who lives near his school, Jen, and that he borrowed $750 from her. He also got her to apply for a $10,000 loan from a bank, and luckily she was denied. When Jen discovered that he had been having an affair (with me) she went to his house to confront him and discovered that he had moved. He vanished like a thief in the night. I’m helping Jen get her money back and so I tracked him down. Within a few hours I found him at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, CO and that’s where he is now.
It means that I’m getting better at trusting my gut. Somehow my intuition alerted me to trouble. The hardest part was allowing the rumblings from deep inside to become noisy enough to cast doubt over Tommy and Troy.
I wasn’t always able to do that. For example, I was with my ex fiance Arash Moussavian for three and a half years, and if I had had the ability to trust my intuition when we met then our relationship would have lasted for only about two months.
After almost two years together I discovered that he attempted to date nine other women during our first year. We broke up and didn’t talk to each other for two months. We got back together and he promised me that he would never do that ever again. About a week later I discovered that while I was gone he was investigated for billing fraud by his former employer, Maranga Morgenstern, and that he was telling rock musicians that he was an experienced entertainment lawyer when he was actually an insurance defense attorney with a new LLM in intellectual property that was only a few months old. My fiance was a con artist. By then we had been together for so long that I tolerated it and then in 2010 he became verbally and emotionally abusive to the extreme. He finally left me for someone else in 2011 (Maria Toyofuku in Concord), and several months later his relatives contacted me because they discovered that he stole $40,000 from his mother’s bank account, plus the spousal support payments that his dad sent him for her care, plus the money that his dad sent him to buy a car for her, plus some of her jewelry.
His parents had done a lot for him. They supported him through college and law school and they paid for all of his school expenses. In 1999 they paid $100,000 for a down payment on his townhouse in Daly City, CA and they also paid the mortgage for the first year or two.
I was forced to make the leap from being a trusting woman who believes what her fiance tells her to becoming a skeptic with an intuitive base. I lost my innocence because of that jerk. With that said, my reality check came way too late and I wish that it had happened sooner because by the time that I figured out who he really is he had already abused me for so long that I couldn’t see straight. I thought he loved me because he said so a million times.
I also learned that when I’ve been victimized by someone there are other victims, too. For example, I was not Arash’s only victim; there were others too which includes his former employer, his parents, the other women whom he dated while we were together, etc.. Getting the other victims to talk about their experiences is extremely difficult and it boils down to perfect timing. Hesitant victims refuse to talk until they’re 100% certain that they’ve been duped and that there is no chance of getting what they wanted. They start talking when they have nothing left to lose.
Journalists use an investigation technique called “cross checking” to verify that a story is true, and once they verify it than they can publish it without getting sued for character defamation. Such is the case here. I have witnesses to confirm that my stories are true. Mine happen to be personal but they’re still true. I hope that the future victims of these lowlifes will find this article before they get hurt, too.