Hillyard's Affiliations—Claimed & Actual

Hillyard's Affiliations—Claimed & Actual

Hillyard's affiliations with various organizations are mainly relevant because he has lied about them extensively—and because this man, a multiply convicted felon, claims to hold positions of responsibility for other people's children. I rather doubt most of the parents of the children in question were aware of his convictions. In fact, most of the organizations with which he claims association have never heard of the man.

The only known affiliations that are not in question are that he is or was a member of Wieuca Road Baptist Church, that he is or was involved with the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association, and that he was a volunteer with the Boy Scouts.

Tom Bennett, a deacon at Wieuca Road Baptist Church, testified on Hillyard's behalf during his 1989 trial for credit card fraud. At that time Bennett said Hillyard was a "department leader in (their) young people's Sunday School." Hillyard has claimed that he is "very involved" in the church, especially with regard to children and youth group activities, and that he was asked to be a deacon (he didn't say if he accepted or not). I have not spoken with any church officials to verify the above, and if anyone else has done so they did not pass the information along to me. I can't help but wonder, though, if the folks down at the church know that Hillyard runs a website devoted to advertising and reviewing the services of various prostitutes in Atlanta (on the hotlantaasp.com domain).

Back in July 1996, Hillyard was hosting the web site for the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association at atlantaaquarium.com. Mark Barnett, one of the club's officers, stated publicly that the AAAA knew of Hillyard's activities and had no problem with them. He also sent several emails directly to me defending Hillyard's actions, and in July 1997 Barnett posted a message to mindspring.local.atlanta claiming that Hillyard had been found "innocent" at his trial. Hillyard is not listed on the club's current web site as one of their officers (he was then), but may still be involved with them. I have not contacted anyone to find out.

On a web page for the troop at http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/1282/index.htm, Hillyard claimed to be the Cubmaster of Scout Pack 590 in Lilburn, Georgia. Concerned, an acquaintance who is an Eagle Scout contacted Tim Cooper, the Northeast Georgia Council Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America. Cooper asked if I would meet with him about Hillyard's activities. After our meeting the BSA conducted its own background investigation, and as a result Hillyard was removed from any association with scouting in October 1997. The application to be an adult volunteer with the BSA asks if the applicant has ever been arrested, and Hillyard had stated that he'd never been arrested. Hillyard claims that the BSA has continued to permit him to be a Cubmaster off the record, and in fact the web page still listed him as the Cubmaster until it disappeared sometime in 2001. I do not know if that is the case, but if it is so it reflects poorly on the BSA and should be a matter of great concern to parents of any scouts. Cooper maintains that Hillyard has absolutely no connection with Scouting now, except that his two youngest sons were Scouts.

Around January 1, 1997 Hillyard published a web page on which he listed many highly respected organizations with whom he claimed affiliation—in fact, he claimed hold various offices in many of them. As that same web page also contained hidden text saying "Cynthia Smathers is a Sicko, a bitch, and a very unstable individual!" they assumed it highly unlikely than the charities in question would appreciate the connection. I was alerted to that web page, with its hidden text, by a post from someone else—someone who archived a date-stamped copy of that web page and is prepared to testify as to its existence (along with several others who publicly volunteered to do the same). Some of those folks also publicly stated that they had mailed copies of that page to the organizations with whom Hillyard was claiming affiliation. After those people made their posts, the page was changed and the offensive text removed—an act those those same people had anticipated and mentioned, as well.

Somewhere around January/February 1998, Hillyard claimed on his web site that my inclusion of this information here was proof that I was lying about his background, and that he'd never claimed these affiliations. Then he contradicted himself, stating that he had, indeed, claimed these affiliations: "An attorney told me to put that web page up so that we could prove she would do anything to harm me." He said that the hidden text never existed—despite the fact that multiple people other than myself stated publicly that it did—and that I personally (not anyone else) contacted all those orgnizations (again, despite the public statements otherwise by outside parties). In typical Hillyard form, he says that "even if it was there (it was not) the text should not have bothered her." So he's admitted his lies, but attempted to justify them with a highly unlikely statement—when's the last time you heard of any reputable attorney advising a client to make such ridiculous claims that would only hurt his credibility?