digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/09/marryourdaughtercom-dowries-and.asp’;
I was actually hoping to sit on this story until Monday. A fellow best described as a part-time researcher for the show fielded a story my way that stopped me short. He sent me a quick chat message pointing me to “MarryOurDaughter.org“, which I quickly relayed to my twitter to see if anyone else had heard of it.
Most of the blogosphere hasn’t heard the news, other than to be repulsed by the idea of families selling their daughters off to men of questionable repute.
Yes. Take a look:
Kristin has a wild streak. She likes parties and has spent more time with boys than we’d have liked her to. We had a family talk and decided that it was time she settled down with a man who could meet her needs and help her fulfill her dreams of being an actor or singer. She’s a bit fiery but worth it.
Kristin is one of twenty-some-odd girls ranging from 14 to 17. The guiding principle behind the site seems to be getting underage girls into an arranged marriage with a supposed older Christian husband.
It would appear, according to several sources though, that this is a completely fake site. Color me relieved.
The whole project is a hoax perpetrated by a man known as John Ordover, a publicist behind many scandal-driven (or at least scandalous) projects, such as nude cruises and Technical Virgin, a site that caused some big problems for the actress down the road.
John Ordover used the alias Roger Mandervan on a number of FM talk radio shows around the country (including, according to the Times: Las Vegas (MIX-FM), Houston (KRBE-FM) and Philadelphia (WYSP-FM)). Of course, he didn’t let the audience, or presumably the hosts, in on the gag. By all counts I’ve found, he didn’t plan to release information on the nature of the hoax until Sunday or Monday.
Interestingly enough (and I’m awaiting confirmation on this from the source), but this seems to be the same John Ordover that is (was?) an editor at Phobos Books, a publishing firm specializing in science fiction. According to his Wikipedia entry:
He was previously an editor at Pocket Books responsible for overseeing the licensed novels of the Star Trek franchise. He is the co-creator of such spinoff series as Star Trek: New Frontier (with writer Peter David), and Star Trek: Challenger (with Diane Carey).
According to Peter David, the basic concept for New Frontier was Ordover’s, as was the notion of using several already existing characters, with David having fleshed out the concept and created the original characters.
The dots were connected for me by the last lines in his Wikipedia entry: “Ordover is also an active nudist, the founder of Clothing Optional Dinners, a dining club in New York City for nudists. On July 11, 2007, Ordover launched a nude dinner cruise from Sheepshead Bay, New York“, a detail mentioned in the New York Times article on the MarryOurDaughter site.
I’ve arranged for an interview with John Ordover over this weekend, which if it goes off well, we’ll include on Monday’s podcast. The gist of the story appears to be out in the open, though not widely discussed: a women’s organisation for those disillusioned with their failed arranged marriage experiences wanted a site to create controversy and discussion about not only the conflicting laws on underage marriage, but the dangers of underage and arranged marriages.
In the mean time, if you’re looking for extra details on the story, check out one of the more in-depth articles below, and don’t forget to tune into RizWords on Monday for words from the site’s creator.
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