On May 24, 2013, the world lost a wonderful soul. Collin McKinny, professional woman, resort owner, philanthropist, died suddenly at her resort in Fiji. The resort’s name, Lomalaji, reflects her philosophy. Translated “Heaven,” Collin basked in her island paradise, and she loved sharing her love and peace with everyone she came into contact with.
She struck up friendships easily. Always approachable, easy with her gifts of love and business savvy, she shared her many blessings with everyone who came into her life. From banking executives – Collin was the first woman in the U.S. Banking system to break the glass ceiling for female executives – to innovators – she invented the Air Miles Card – to celebrities – George Harrison is counted as one of her close friends – to the indigenous people of her new homeland, Fiji. Collin was eager to share her joy and love of life.
Her death last week was a stunning shock to everyone who knew and loved her; she had, the week before, just buried her beloved dog Bandit, a 3-year-old mutt who died suddenly and without cause. And just as suddenly, a week later Collin was gone.
Now, you may be wondering why I have titled this piece on Collin “Portrait of a Hater.” Collin was far from hateful.
Well, this isn’t about Collin. It’s about the response to her death by someone who calls herself a spiritual life counselor. You see, within hours of learning of Collin’s untimely passing, Ariaa Jaeger posted this on her Twitter feed, @AriaaJaeger:
The hashtag #FijiC is in reference to Collin, as she was known for her Fiji resort, and called herself @fijicollin on her Twitter feed.
The slam was quickly picked up by Collin’s many friends, and was greeted by both derision, scorn, and, in some cases, incredulity. Why would someone who professes to a career of love and spiritual uplift stoop to such a small, petty, and hateful statement?
The response was swift, and rightfully damning.
Within hours after these posts calling Ariaa out, she locked down her Twitter profile.
One would think an apology was in order. Some public act of contrition. But, that was not fitting with Ariaa’s MO. You see, it has since come to light that Ariaa’s past dealings with her public have been anything but exemplary; her behavior is not generally in keeping with the image she has carefully cultivated of the spiritual, loving guide.
Past accusations against Ariaa have ranged from public scams to garner financial support – scams which include questionable claims of bodily injury for which she needs monetary contributions; accusations of stalking married men, calling their wives and accusing these men of affairs – affairs they did not commit; accusations of setting up false profiles on dating sites of people who have brought her questionable dealings to light – and using those profiles to damage these people; wishing someone with cancer would die the most painful death imaginable; accusations of claiming victim hood, and asking those who follow her to “report” her accusers and get them banned from social media.
Her public response in this case fits the profile of “Ariaa as Victim.”
This last response from Ariaa is very interesting, because if you follow the Facebook link, you are greeted by a picture – claimed to be non-photoshopped – of Ariaa and her “halo”:
Another response to her “haters,” with a “halo” picture:
And, as in the past, there are always those who will fall for the ruse.
Now these prior accusations, while troubling in and of themselves, were hitherto not known to me. I had no indication of Ariaa’s history, nor can I – at this date – confirm through third parties any of these accusations. So they remain “he said, she said.” Yet, they do paint a very consistent picture of Ariaa, a picture which is somehow confirmed by her most recent hate post against Collin.
For, if someone is small and petty enough to celebrate the death of a fellow human being, isn’t this person also capable of the other offenses of which she is accused?
If you follow Ariaa, support her, or are just curious, you might want to ask her why she so maliciously celebrated the death of @FijiCollin. And why she, as of this writing, has yet to not only publicly admit her statement – even though it is still on her Twitter timeline @AriaaJaeger, but to apologize for it. Even more to the point, ask her why she is hiding behind the fiction of Ariaa The Victim, accusing those who question her behavior as being the haters, and asking her followers to report and block them.
Too many questions are as yet unanswered by Ariaa. I, for one, am not interested in her past exploits. Let those chips fall where they may. What I am interested in is this: why the hate? Why celebrate the death of someone whose shoes you are not worthy to untie?