Smoking Gun busts Survivor Contestants
More Sleazy "Survivor" Secrets
Fun with meth, acid, coke, booze for CBS show's contestants
SEPTEMBER 2--In a reality television first, CBS has disclosed an arrest in the biography of a woman competing on "Survivor," a new season of which starts September 18. But the minor bust of Christa Hastie is hardly the most interesting thing in the background of the California free spirit.
Turns out while the 24-year-old woman was a University of California, Irvine undergrad, she posted several incriminating messages to online newsgroups devoted to illegal drug use. Hastie's messages to the alt.drugs.hard and alt.drugs groups came in 1998 and 1999 and carried her full name, Christa Hilda Hastie. Sent from Hastie's college e-mail addresses, the messages are part of the Usenet archive that has been maintained since 1995 (first by Deja.com and now by Google).
In a June 1998 posting to the alt.drugs group, Hastie sent a message with the subject line "I want meth in LA or OC?" Her note asked, "where I can hook up w/ some meth in Los Angeles or Orange County...and how and who do you know to ask about this shit?" She received no responses to that query about methamphetamine, the addictive stimulant. At the time of her posting, Hastie was living near UCI's Irvine campus, which is in Orange County.
In another June 1998 post, this one in response to a question about "alternatives to speed," Hastie offered a recipe featuring Aspirin, Vivarin (an over-the-counter stimulant) and Ephedrine, a prescription weight loss pill. Hastie noted, "that should work ok....hang in there, I understand :-)!"
When an online buddy named Phreex suggested in September 1998 the establishment of a first-ever "National Methamphetamine Week," Hastie replied enthusiastically. "I'll make the web site for this wonderful idea," wrote Hastie, who is an accomplished computer programmer. In a later exchange with Phreex, Hastie offers to send him "some really cute new pics taken with my digital camera." After he jokes that those photos should include "NAKED CHRISTA, JELLO, and METH!," she responded, "Well send those rocks on over my way and I'll send you a thousand pics! That would be enough to make anybody orgasm..."
A January 1999 post to alt.drugs asks for "any good recommendations for getting the most out of your cocaine? I mean, can you take any pills, i.e. Vivarin, to keep your high for longer periods of time?" Hastie also asks for a suggestion as to where she could purchase a "coke bong" near Los Angeles.
Later newsgroup postings by Hastie--via school and work e-mail addresses--involve computer-related matters only. Hastie, who apparently graduated from UCI in June 2000, was once arrested on a misdemeanor charge of "disrupting an officer's abilities to perform his duties," according to her biography on the CBS web site. While in college, she refused to get off her car's hood as it was being towed, the network reported.
Remarkably, Hastie isn't the only new "Survivor" contestant to have sent messages to Usenet drug groups.
Ryan Shoulders, who CBS describes as a 23-year-old "produce clerk" from Tennessee, posted several messages in 1999 and 2000 to the alt.drug.psychedelics newsgroup. In an August 1999 response to a complaint about the difficulty of scoring acid in Atlanta, Shoulders wrote, "Blah blah... Nashville is worse...I think they forgot what acid is here." Shoulders lives in Clarksville, about 45 miles from the state capital.
In a November 1999 message, Shoulders, who has used the online handles TossSalad and Frog Muffin, actually sought advice about sending drugs through the mail. "Is it possible to send gel tabs thru the mail?!," Shoulders asked. "How well does the post office check for things like this? Do they check at all? Should it be sent in a regular envelope wrapped up in something? Or should it be sent in a small package in something like a CD case or something?" The term "gel tab" is often used as shorthand for windowpane acid, which can be extremely powerful.
Shoulders sought "some tripping ideas" in a May 2000 alt.drug.psychedelics posting. Noting that "tripping is fun," Shoulders wrote that, however, "there are a few dead spots everytime our group trips (which is not often because it is very hard to find). Are there any games or activities anyone can suggest to fill in the dead spots where we are sitting around anxiously on the carpet trying to think of something to do?"
Finally, while CBS disclosed Hastie's misdemeanor bust, the network forgot to mention that another "Survivor" contestant was popped last year for drunk driving.
Jon Dalton, 29, was arrested last February by Los Angeles cops for driving under the influence, a misdemeanor. He entered a no contest plea on March 14, 2002 to the DUI count and a charge of driving without insurance. Dalton, who CBS claims recently worked as a "senior art consultant," was sentenced to two days in jail, fined $510, and placed on probation for three years.
Ryan Opray, 31, was arrested in February 2000 by California cops and charged with vandalizing the lawns of nine homes in his Los Gatos neighborhood. Opray apologized to police for the vandalism, which he referred to as "lawn jobs." According to this police report, Opray told cops that he did the damage with a Ford F-150 pickup truck while driving home (at 3:30 AM) from a night of partying at a Santa Clara club.
Opray pleaded no contest to eight misdemeanor charges and performed community service and paid restitution totaling $938.
CBS spokesperson Colleen Sullivan said that Hastie's April 2000 arrest was included in her bio because the facts of the case were "kinda funny." Hastie pleaded to the charge and was sentenced to a year's probation, five days of community service, and ordered to pay restitution. Sullivan said the network was aware of Dalton's drunk driving case.
As for the Usenet postings by Hastie and Shoulders, Sullivan said that the network would not comment on such "speculation" and refused to say whether CBS was aware of the drug-related messages before being contacted by a TSG reporter. While Sullivan confirmed details of the Hastie and Dalton criminal cases, she repeatedly refused to address the drug messages, since the postings were not "public," as are the details of court cases. "Survivor" finalists are subjected to drug testing, said Sullivan, who added that such a test resulted in the dismissal of one previous "finalist" who tested positive.
I think Sucks already got this, except for the parts with Jon and Ryan O. Interesting bits with the people mentioned above, anyway.
Fool... but no pity.
Yeah, there's a discussion elsewhere already on this forum about the whole thing. Sucks broke at least two of these scandals, John posted them here (fully crediting Sucks), and then TSG stole the scoop without crediting Sucks--although they did add more detail, and at least one extra scandal. Also, E! and TV Guide have run with the story, crediting TSG as the originator.
Originally Posted by haejin11377
The race is back!
By the way, I e-mailed TSG and complained about the uncredited Sucks info, and the TSG editor responded to me. Let's just say that I'm willing to believe that they were pursuing the same info at the same time, and Sucks just beat them to publication. In my opinion. Sucks still gets all my props for Christie and Ryan S though.
Fool... but no pity.
Well, I guess it makes sense, but you have to wonder if the Google search was the kind of thing two different outlets really would independantly think of. From now on, going forward, I'm sure everyone will do this for every contestant possible, but wasn't this really the first time a Reality show person has been caught in this unique manner?
I've still got at least some suspicion that TSG was working already on the Arrest report (they always do that kind of thing and I have no trouble believing that they were doing so once again), and added the Newsgroup stuff after seeing the "Sucks" scoop. Which means if that were true they still should have given partial credit, although since there is really no way to prove this I guess this is kind of the end of it, right?
The race is back!
I think this is the first time info has shown up like this, too, which makes it kind of a test case. TSG promises that a search of Usenet group postings is part of their standard check for reality show contestants. Along with other search engines, Lexis/Nexis, and so forth.
Sorry, I started a new thread on this before I found that John had already posted the link in another thread. (I get excited when I think I've found a great article before the Great John gets to it - okay, so I have no life.)
When I read this, I thought the same as the rest of you - it was what we had already read from the Sucks scoop.
I have "found" other reality show contestants thru a simple google search. Some of their usenet posts are pretty interesting. But nothing like Christa and Ryan ...
Does CBS not do background checks anymore?
I guess not.
Originally Posted by Jughead Jones
Fool... but no pity.
Oh that's debateable too. I think the current theory in vogue is that they WANT scandal.
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