'Criminal Spectacle The Martha Stewart Way' Sociology Project Turned Book

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CU Boulder Sociology student Shawn Auer started a social experiment project upon Martha Stewart's release from prison asking for an answer to the question: "did Martha Stewart Lie?". Since the loss of Martha's court appeal, Auer is turning his experiences, and those involved in his project into a book to come out in late April. Auer will donate any profits from his book to start a minority Sociological coallition for students in financial need at CU in Boulder in an effort to encourage diversity of the student population interested in Sociology at CU.

CU Boulder Sociology student Shawn Auer who started the website realmartha.com in direct opposition to the savemartha site, was only concerned with one question: "did Martha Stewart lie?".

Auer's website hit the internet shortly after Martha Stewart was released from prison. Auer said " I started the website to encourage that an answer to the 'lie question' be asked for from Martha herself". Auer continues "Martha claimed innocence throughout this whole 'criminal spectacle', trying to use a pr strategy which encourages disbelief in the effectiveness of the legal system, and distrust in the fairness of the stockmarket. While both of these issues are worthy of consideration, is this a strategy that should be used to benefit"? Auer goes on to say " should lying be considered a wise business decision like going to prison?".

Auer also feels that a confident media who feels they can "spin" Martha Stewart's crimes into "a good thing" by making deals prior to her release from prison is worthy of further study, and speaks of complacency. Auer has had t-shirts made with the help of a Denver company graphic artist showing a likeness of Martha Stewart with the word FELON under it, and has sent them around the country, and internationally, has had the wearers keep a journal of their experiences, and reactions to the shirts.

Auer claims that since he has started his social experiment project, he has been labeled as everything from a stalker, to obsessive, to malignant for trying to get publicity for the "lie question", and that some people in the media have made the "lie question" wrong to ask. Auer admits that some of his approaches such as trying to win an auction offering a day with Martha Stewart to ask her personally if she lied or not may not have been the best way to go about trying to effectively bring his project to conclusion, and will analyze this methodologies.

Auer says "the question of did Martha Stewart lie is not a moot point, especially after the loss of 'the appeal', because she has claimed innocence since the first announcement of the investigation. "Either we have an innocent billionairess who was wrongly convicted and imprisoned, or we have someone who has chosen not to tell the truth repeatedly." Auer continues "if Martha did in fact lie about her sell orders of ImClone stock as Donald Trump has recently highlighted, then you have a string of lies: first to the Federal Investigators who conducted the investigation, in court, to the media, her shareholders, her employees, and last but most importantly not least the public and her fans."

Auer has just signed an agreement with authorhouse publishing to turn his own experiences, the experiences of others who have have worn the t-shirts he has had printed, and the knowledge he has gained through his Sociology professors into a book. Auer has chosen a working title: "Criminal Spectacle,... the Martha Stewart Story". Auer claims this is a work in progress, and is preparing for graduation.

He has used the song "Southbound" by a local Denver band the Railbenders with permission from the members to describe Martha's case in a song format. Auer is also working with a local photographer Todd Radunsky of Visual Concepts Photography for the cover of his book. Auer has also stated that none of the profits from this book, if there are any, will not go to him. "The profits will go towards starting a minority Sociology coalition fund for those who may be in financial need to encourage diversity in the student population at CU" promised Auer.

The book will discuss white-collar crime, the use of the media, the pr strategy used in Martha's case as interpreted by Auer, alternatives to prison, the possibility of considering insult to the legal system as a form of violence, "business decisions", the posibility of public amnesty hearings for white-collar criminals, male vs. female white-collar criminals, race issues, as well as other topics to be explained in the book. Auer anticipates the book to be on shelves sometime in April. These topics are controversial, and Auer has not been left to proceed at will.

"I have listed the companies and individuals who have tried to prosper from the 'criminal spectacle' on my website. Shortly after I started this project I started receiving unusual and threatening emails on my computer. I have notified the proper authorities, and they are handling this case" , Auer stated when discussing some of the negative aspects associated with his experiences since the N.Y. post first gave mention of his website. Auer will also be analyzing the effects of doing such a project, and how this has affected his research. Auer insists it is not Martha he has a problem with, but is willing to admit since he started this project, his opinion is skewed against her, and that this subject is worth investigating and analyzing.

Auer stated "the question of did Martha Stewart lie is not wrong to ask, it is the answer that may be troublesome. One may want to ask, why is there a question of her guilt or innocence at all?". Auer uses the slogan Breal as associated with this project, and will have shirts printed with the slogan in multiple fonts available. Auer closed with "this project has never been about making money. I have spent countless hours on this project, and have invested my own money in the different aspects of this project. If any profits are made from the book or shirts, they will be donated. I wonder if John Small from savemartha, or anyone associated with his effort can say the same."

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