Smeared Into Oblivion

Ray Kooyenga
Mar 6 · 6 min read

(the most f***ed up business story you will ever read)

One day as I was in tears and borrowing money to pay my electric bill, unsure how I would cover rent as a million dollar deal mysteriously went south that I worked very hard on, a close friend said: "I spoke to your partner, it’s not that bad. He said he left you plenty of money, clients, and would buy you out of your shares".

Let’s file that under "things that never happened" category. My real golden parachute is a bit more complicated, and depressing. I got an eviction notice, and smeared to everyone I do business with.

No stone left unturned, I’m disparaged to my best friend, former employees, current partners whose trust was critical to my survival, even my ex-girlfriends I havent seen in ten years were told to avoid me (why that was necessary is anyone’s guess).

Messages like this went out immediately about me:

The same friend who said it’s not that bad just days ago offered that my now former business partner DOESN’T wish to destroy me at all, and doesnt really think I’m on drugs, dishonest, a car thief, and that no one does in fact.

Coulda fooled me.

I lost EVERY deal, my reputation, my house, my girlfriend’s dad DISOWNED her when police called. If destroying our life wasn’t the goal what the fuck was?

I just received this message a week ago from a colleague:

The worst part is my inability to survive/thrive amidst this bullshit is now said to be evidence of my obvious worthlessness. What?!

People in my circle said they idolized me literally months before the very rumors they themselves have admittedly cut me out of business deals over, not hired me, broken contracts because of.

Nobody thought less of me or blacklisted me, until precisely then. That’s a fact!

If you go around town telling folks I’m in a "mexican cartel", "insane", "lying", "stealing cars on coke", "for your FAMILY SAKE cut ties with Ray"– and everyone does exactly that because YOU said to...isn’t it logical to assume I may henceforth struggle opportunity-wise?

No the worst part is that I would ever have to explain how my downfall subsequent to being booted from a corporation with nothing falsely accused of crimes, and smeared to everyone I worked with for 15 years, is at all related.

Worse still is people still dont see a relationship there.

So that’s why I’m now a middle aged homeless guy whose career is by any objective standard over, quite frustrated, looking for bottom rung jobs to not starve on the street. 6mos into which I see no way around blowing my head off as it’s not the life I worked for or want.

It’s a hopeless situation. And to think, some people actually wonder why my girlfriend of 7 years said fuck it and left me on a streetcorner to die replacing me with a financially stable man…who didn’t get her disowned.

How did this all start? Simple. A rental car I returned was lost and despite my denying involvement, a knee-jerk reaction and hair brained theory I intentionally stole it prevailed.

Why would I do such a thing? “Cocaine bender". Was the explanation arrived at. As was my supposed desire to commit “insurance fraud".

And monetary gain or intoxication aside, my motivations were of course to “bury" my partner and destroy his life. Obviously.

The only rational thing to do in such a circumstance of course is to not believe it has nothing to with me (as I stated), but to get revenge on me. After all, if I’m trying to “bury” him, better try to destroy my life in return I guess.

Mission accomplished, and then some actually. As my life since is evidence of. A job done expertly and exceedingly well.

Except for one thing. The car really was never gone in the 1st place. It was returned the same day it was rented and parked ~20 feet from the office the whole time. As indicated in the picture I took…of me returning it the same damn day.


Would I be allowed back into a company I co-founded? Would there be apologies for the outrageous offensive and traumatizing accusations that I would steal my business partner of ten years' car on a cocaine bender to commit insurance fraud and malicious desire to destroy my partners life?


Would the people who were told to cut me out, cut me off, cease doing business with me, not trust me because I’m a lunatic-drug-addicted-car-thief be told it was an embarrassing mistake and in fact I had done nothing wrong after all and it was just hysteria and paranoia?


Would I be compensated for my losses given I lost my business, subsequent deals and businesses, the girl I wanted to marry, my house, my reputation, and ended up bankrupt and literally homeless as a result of these allegations and the rumors that spread like wildfire across 3 countries?


Would anybody even say “whoops, sorry”?


And I’m still refused opportunity and jobs to this day over it. Even years later. In fact I’m still this past week learning more of the people I’ve been smeared to who have thought these things about me all this time.

In fact rather than compensation, or apology, or even acknowledgment of what this has done to my life, the only thing I receive is more disparaging shit behind my back. Reasons why I deserved this even if I’ve been acquitted of wrongdoing.

Example: OK, well maybe Ray didnt really steal a car while addicted to crack and commit insurance fraud…but he didnt work hard enough in 2012 so hes a piece of shit for that regardless and deserves all this and more believe me.

Apparently that works. Which is why after a lifetime of running successful businesses and having the respect of the people around me, when my girlfriend (who I was madly in love with) said she can’t live with this madness anymore and dropped me off in a parking lot to die, nobody came to get me.


And it’s why I’ve been refused jobs weeks prior to her doing that. And it’s why people I havent seen in 10+ years, even my own family, avoid me like the plague.

Am I a perfect person without faults? Hardly. But nobody deserves what I’ve suffered. I will have nightmares the rest of my life from the terror of being left on a street corner limping and bleeding in the rain.

Be careful when you set out to destroy a mans life, and make damn sure he deserves it, because you just might be successful.

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