The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-12-2011, 02:48 AM
Mississippienne Mississippienne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
The 'saga' of Amy Player and the fleecing of the LOTR fandom

Quick explanation for n00bs: "Fandom" is a term used to refer to any collective group of fans of any work of media; there are fandoms for TV shows, movies, comic books, you name it. People who participate in fandom are called fans or collectively "fen", and they often produce works inspired by their favorite characters, such as fanfiction, fanart, etc.

Fandom also produces drama and wankery. And in my years in fandom (10-ish to date) I have never encountered anything like the Amy Player 'saga'.

Amy Player has gone under many names. I'm going to stick to the name Amy Player, which is his 1 legal, birth name, for simplicity's sake. When Amy first popped up online in... was it Due Southfandom, I think? -- she was a young girl who claimed to have been the longtime victim of an organized sex slavery ring, spinning extremely detailed accounts of sexual abuse, only to have escaped her evil masters and being adopted into a loving family. No basis in reality has been found for any of these statements.

A couple of years later, Amy Player got involved with Lord of the Rings fandom. Things took off from there. First, Amy Player discovered she was a lesbian. Then, no, she wasn't a lesbian, he was the mind of a man trapped in the body of a woman. No, that wasn't right, he was the soul of a Hobbit, trapped in the mind of a man, trapped in the body of a woman. Amy was claiming to have the dreams of the Hobbit, Merry, from the LOTR movies. At some point, Amy met a female fan, OrangeBlossom, online and moved across the country to live with her.

A lot of crazy fuckery ensued, which would merely have been sad had it not exploded into what it did. Amy and OrangeBlossom apparently ripped off OrangeBlossom's (henceforth, OB) ex-husband for some money, trashed OB's home, and abandoned a car in the streets of Salem, OR. They also got a lot of attention online by claiming to be friends with some of the LOTR actors, and claiming knowledge that actors Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan were in a secret relationship with each other. They even started a livejournal, supposedly belonging to Elijah Wood, but which was actually written by Amy Player -- who claimed to be channeling Elijah Wood's spirit.

When this fraud was found out, OB announced that Amy Player had committed suicide. OB moved on soon enough with a "new" lover, calling himself Jordan Wood, who was -- surprise surprise -- really Amy Player, alive and well, after all. Amy-as-Jordan had a bizarre backstory as an ex-child star/stuntman/Elijah Wood's cousin. OB and Amy were helping run a large LOTR fansite called BitofEarth.com, and they put out a call to start a charity event. A screening of one of the LOTR movies raised several thousand dollars, ostensibly for the Reading is Fundamental group, but really used to line Amy and OB's pockets. This 'success' caught the attention of another LOTR fan called Turimel. Turimel was an average suburban mom who was thrilled to help out with a charitible event, especially after LOTR actor Sean Astin signed on to help.

OB, Amy, Turimel, Sean Astin, and a pack of other volunteers showed up to help build a small garden. OB and Amy started planning more charity events, but things got a little derailed when OB's home got foreclosed. Turimel ponied up the money for her newfound friends to move near her and shack up with a couple of other LOTR fans. Soon, they were joined by another sponsor, Sue, and at least two teenage minors who were living with them sporadically. According to one of these minors, Little Sam, Amy took her aside and confided that he could channel the spirit of not only Elijah Wood, but also the Hobbits and Elves from Tolkein's Lord of the Rings Saga. Soon they were spending time in the woods, where Amy would "channel" various magical spirits. He claimed to have also had a mystical encounter while in college with a 'Priestess' being who revealed to Amy that he was a "rare lesbian paladin". 2

After recruiting Sean Astin to help them build a garden for charity, OB and Amy moved onto bigger and better things. First up was a music festival, for which no bands were booked and all the money donated for it mysteriously disappeared. Then there was a fan convention called Tentmoot, for which Amy and OB recruited numerous "celebrity" guests, most of them bit actors from the LOTR movies. In order to fly these guests from New Zealand to the US, Amy approached Turimel, claiming that Air New Zealand had reneged on a promise to provide cheap airfare for the guests. In an effort to salvage the convention, Turimel charged $20,000 worth of airline tickets on her credit card.

But a subsequent phone call revealed there had never been any deal with Air New Zealand in the first place. Turimel desperately tried to cancel the tickets, but three of the bit player LOTR actors had already checked into the airport. These actors ended up sleeping on the floor of Amy and OB's apartment, wondering what they'd signed onto. Only a handful of tickets to Tentmoot had actually been sold. With just days to go, Amy allegedly attempted suicide. Tentmoot fell apart, and an investigation by the state of Oregon revealed that the charity OB and Amy had set up had never made a single donation to anyone but themselves, and they had defrauded thousands of dollars from various venues.

Meanwhile, Amy's dad contacts the police looking for his daughter, who turns out to have been going under the Jordan Wood persona all along. Amy had written his parents a melodramatic suicide letter, blaming Jordan Wood for stealing his girlfriend OB. Amy was also arrested for identity theft, and has been caught forging fake birth certificates and ID cards. He also stole Turimel's SS number and used it on cell phone applications and rental applications.

BUT WAIT! There's more! Amy Player and OB panhandled in L.A. for awhile before breaking up in awesomely douchey fashion -- with Amy accusing OB of stealing his son from him (this 'son', by the way, was a sparrow they had found and rehabilitated together). Then Amy switched names and fandoms to Harry Potter. Now claiming to be Andrew Blake and sure to die of a lethal heart condition -- for real-real, any moment now -- Amy also claimed that all his woes were caused by his evil twin sister. With a newly acquired Irish accent, Amy claimed to be a soldier on the run from the IRA. He also sent fake Ceast & Desist letters to Turimel, the LOTR actors, and even Leonard Nimoy, trying to intimidate everyone into not talking about the cons he'd pulled off.

Amy's most recent drama was being the only survivor of a triple homicide. Tragically, unlike all his other dramatic backstories, this one's true. Amy's response to seeing his friend murdered before his eyes was... to put out a call for donations so he could fly to New Zealand and hike across the country. Yes, really.

Sometimes I get a little ~TROLLFACE~ about awesome fandom drama, and the Amy Player saga has it all. Lies, obsession, con artists, identity theft, and Hobbit spirits. It's also an excellent cautionary tale to remind us all to be careful who we associate ourselves with -- online and offline.

1. Amy Player identifies as a transman (FtM). The matter of what pronoun to use when referring to Amy has caused all manner of wank. Turimel, who documented Amy's con-artistry, refuses to call Amy by a male pronoun, believing that Amy's stated transgenderism is just another con. To be honest, I think Turimel's theory is entirely plausible; that Amy was never transgendered, but it was just something he latched onto when he realized it would get him sympathy from his chosen pool of victims, in this case, fen. Be that as it may, I'm gonna use the male pronoun, to be on the safe side.
2. Isn't this how cults get started? A charismatic bugfuck nuts leader and some easily led, naive kids out in the woods? It's a wonder no one drank the koolaid.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-12-2011, 03:07 AM
Capitaine Zombie Capitaine Zombie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
http://wiki.fandomwank.com/index.php/Victoria_Bitter

Hobbits suck dicks.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-12-2011, 03:53 AM
Cinnamon Imp Cinnamon Imp is offline
DramQueen
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Strathclyde, UK
Posts: 1,851
Reminds me of the Sarah Saga - some poor soul living with housemates who thought they were channelling the characters from Final Fantasy 7.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-12-2011, 08:11 AM
Regallag_The_Axe Regallag_The_Axe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitaine Zombie View Post
I once swore that I would never again click any link about hobbits sucking anything.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-12-2011, 09:11 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 9,564
I love this story. Been following it for years.

One thing, despite the craziness going on in her head, if that person has a vagina, I'd refer to "her" instead of "him". But thats just me.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-12-2011, 10:30 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
That goes beyond drama and into mental illness, judging just from this overview (I'd never heard of any of this before...which outlines the difference between "a Tolkien fan" and "LOTR fandom"). Someone(s) need(s) to get some professional help, methinks.

(ETA: I should clarify that "mental illness" presupposes that some of the more pathetic and less con-artisty stuff (like the whole sparrow "son" thing, at least, and possibly the "channeling elves and hobbits" things, as well) is actually sincere belief on Amy's part rather than part of the deep con)

Last edited by jayjay; 09-12-2011 at 10:33 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-12-2011, 10:35 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
One thing, despite the craziness going on in her head, if that person has a vagina, I'd refer to "her" instead of "him". But thats just me.
Not wanting to hijack the thread, but if the person is genuinely FtM transgender but hasn't had reconstructive genital surgery, the person is still a he. Most FtM never have the "downstairs" surgery, at least in part because they still haven't figured out a way to make a constructed penis anything more than cosmetic. That doesn't make the majority of FtM transgendered people "she", though.

ETA: Which is entirely aside from the question of whether or not Amy was ever actually sincerely transgendered, as opposed to playing to the con.

Last edited by jayjay; 09-12-2011 at 10:36 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-12-2011, 10:44 AM
GythaOgg GythaOgg is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 494
Been following this for several years, as well. Amy/Jordan/whatever his name is this week is definitely a psychopath and a con artist, no doubt about that one at all. It's a fascinating story.

Turimel has, sadly, managed to convince a pretty large portion of the fandom that she's dangerously crazy. Her grievances with Amy/Jordan are quite real and well documented and she was a victim. However, since then she's become obsessive and stalkery, going so far as to absolve the abusive husband of any of the blame related to the murder mentioned in the OP simply because Jordan was on the scene and if Jordan was there, he MUST have been responsible somehow, not the abusive, known-to-be-violent, angry ex.

It's a big serving of crazy all around. It's interesting - from a distance. A good, long, distance.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-12-2011, 11:23 AM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Ok, this is funny... I don't know anything about fandom, let alone this LotR craziness, but I was at Six Flags Great America yesterday and noticed that several times during the day the PA announcer would ask for a certain person to come to the park service office. At first, I assumed it had to do with a lost child or something - but after hearing the announcement for the fourth or fifth time, I decided it must be park code for security or something being needed.

The name they kept asking for: "Jordan Wood."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-12-2011, 11:29 AM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
This 'son', by the way, was a sparrow they had found and rehabilitated together.
This is my favorite part.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:02 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 58,797
What was the deal with the triple murder? Who got murdered?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:15 PM
kushiel kushiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
I miss fandom_wank. I should probably get the new RSS feed, I stopped reading when the old feed broke.

She wasn't ever this malicious, but this is also why I steer clear of Cassie Cla[i]re.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-12-2011, 01:10 PM
lavenderviolet lavenderviolet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
What was the deal with the triple murder? Who got murdered?
Supposedly the estranged husband of Amy's most recent lover went on a murder-suicide rampage in which Amy's lover was killed. Scroll down a bit on this page:
http://adistantsoil.com/2011/07/15/a...n-rob-granito/
Or just read this one: http://turimel.livejournal.com/102660.html where someone speculates Amy may have even been the actual killer.

Supposedly, it looks like one of the things that may have pushed the ex-husband over the edge was that the dead woman was planning to claim he raped and abused her unless he was willing to give her massive amounts of money. Apparently the dead woman's father thinks she was inspired to act that way by this Amy person's conning/money-grubbing ways.

Last edited by lavenderviolet; 09-12-2011 at 01:11 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-12-2011, 01:18 PM
gurujulp gurujulp is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 1,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
What was the deal with the triple murder? Who got murdered?
I want to know this, too...

OOps! Answer appears to have been posted.

Thanks!

Last edited by gurujulp; 09-12-2011 at 01:18 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-12-2011, 01:52 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 58,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavenderviolet View Post
Supposedly the estranged husband of Amy's most recent lover went on a murder-suicide rampage in which Amy's lover was killed. Scroll down a bit on this page:
http://adistantsoil.com/2011/07/15/a...n-rob-granito/
Or just read this one: http://turimel.livejournal.com/102660.html where someone speculates Amy may have even been the actual killer.

Supposedly, it looks like one of the things that may have pushed the ex-husband over the edge was that the dead woman was planning to claim he raped and abused her unless he was willing to give her massive amounts of money. Apparently the dead woman's father thinks she was inspired to act that way by this Amy person's conning/money-grubbing ways.
Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-12-2011, 02:02 PM
ArrMatey! ArrMatey! is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Waaaaay over here!
Posts: 3,376
*gets out the popcorn*
This is more entertaining than most television!
__________________
"Try this: Before you post, say what you wrote down out loud. If you find yourself shaking your head and exclaiming something along the lines of, "What the hell does that mean?", delete."
-Czarcasm
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-12-2011, 02:15 PM
phouka phouka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississipiene
2. Isn't this how cults get started? A charismatic bugfuck nuts leader and some easily led, naive kids out in the woods? It's a wonder no one drank the koolaid.
I've been watching too much Criminal Minds, which is why I can answer this. Amy is far too disorganized to start and manage a cult. Notice how she moves from target to target within months? Then switches fandoms, cities, and even countries? She can take in credulous, needy people for a little while, but she can't keep her lies consistent, and within a short time, her story falls apart. Within that timeframe, though, she is a master manipulator, a predator, and a remorseless egotist.

Is she a psychopath? Sounds like she fits some of the criteria. Other possibilities are sociopath, anti-social/psychopathic disorder, histrionic disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

Whatever mental debilities she's carting around, she needs to be locked up for the safety of others.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-12-2011, 02:59 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 9,564
I heard she had moved to Harry Potter stuff too.


Geeks, watch out!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-12-2011, 03:07 PM
Angel of the Lord Angel of the Lord is offline
Resident Archangel
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Bellona
Posts: 3,276
That is some industrial strength crazy. Like distilling every crazy person I've ever met at a LARP, or in a fandom group, or in Second Life, or in college, and distilling them into some ultimate crazy ubermensch.

And, really, all I can think is, thank God I've never run into this person. My track record, and they'd likely glom on like balloons on fur.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-12-2011, 05:39 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 9,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
I love this story. Been following it for years.

One thing, despite the craziness going on in her head, if that person has a vagina, I'd refer to "her" instead of "him". But thats just me.
I stand corrected replace "vagina" with "penis" and "her" with "him".


I always get those two mixed up!

Last edited by BMalion; 09-12-2011 at 05:40 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-12-2011, 06:33 PM
The Dord The Dord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
and I thought furry fandom got crazy!

Eeeek!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-12-2011, 11:01 PM
Mississippienne Mississippienne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by GythaOgg View Post
Been following this for several years, as well. Amy/Jordan/whatever his name is this week is definitely a psychopath and a con artist, no doubt about that one at all. It's a fascinating story.

Turimel has, sadly, managed to convince a pretty large portion of the fandom that she's dangerously crazy. Her grievances with Amy/Jordan are quite real and well documented and she was a victim. However, since then she's become obsessive and stalkery, going so far as to absolve the abusive husband of any of the blame related to the murder mentioned in the OP simply because Jordan was on the scene and if Jordan was there, he MUST have been responsible somehow, not the abusive, known-to-be-violent, angry ex.

It's a big serving of crazy all around. It's interesting - from a distance. A good, long, distance.
I've read over the stuff about Turimel, both pro and con. I don't know the woman in real life; she could be a saint, or a shrill bitch, or, more likely, something inbetween, like most of us. Even if she IS a shrill bitch, that in itself is not a crime, while Amy Player is a con artist and a criminal. Turimel may have been suckered into enabling Amy's schemes (and she was by no means the only one) but once again, that's not a crime.

I'm gonna be perfectly honest. I'm not a 'nice' person, and if I'd been taken in by someone like Amy, and seen him abuse me and my friends, and THEN seen him go on to do the same to multiple other people, with very little punishment, I'd be mad as hell. Turimel is, if anything, much calmer than I would be. If Amy Player had come into my life and wrecked this sort of havoc, I fear I would've done something rash and violent.

I'm not going to excuse Mr. Eisenburg. Ultimately, he was the triggerman and responsible for the murders. I did see Turimel point out how everyone was focused on Eisenburg, Ms. Quinn (his ex-wife/victim) and Amy Player, but ignoring poor Mr. Chambers, who also died in the onslaught. Even Amy ignores Mr. Chambers' sad fate (and notice how, in his own recounting of events, Amy all but implies he was the one who took down Eisenburg -- despite the polices' version of events showing that Amy cowered in the bathroom during Eisenburg's rampage). Amy is a crazed narcissist willing to spin any tragedy, no matter how horrific, to his benefit.

Even IF Amy had nothing to do with making Eisenburg snap, his past behavior is so suspicious that people can't help but speculate. He and OB blackmailed OB's ex-husband and stole money from him; that right there makes it suspicious that once he moves onto this new girl, Brittany Quinn, all of a sudden he's portraying her ex-husband as having locked her in storage sheds and forced her to work as a slave and the like. Almost identical to what Amy claimed OB's ex-husband had done. When you're a manipulative liar, con artist, and convicted criminal, you can't be shocked when people suspect you of all sorts of things. I'm not sure Amy caused Eisenburg to snap, but I doubt he was a good influence on the situation, either.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-13-2011, 02:55 AM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 30,554
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavenderviolet View Post
Supposedly the estranged husband of Amy's most recent lover went on a murder-suicide rampage in which Amy's lover was killed. Scroll down a bit on this page:
http://adistantsoil.com/2011/07/15/a...n-rob-granito/
Or just read this one: http://turimel.livejournal.com/102660.html where someone speculates Amy may have even been the actual killer.

Supposedly, it looks like one of the things that may have pushed the ex-husband over the edge was that the dead woman was planning to claim he raped and abused her unless he was willing to give her massive amounts of money. Apparently the dead woman's father thinks she was inspired to act that way by this Amy person's conning/money-grubbing ways.
How do we know Amy's lover wasn't a Jack Russell Terrier?
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:13 AM
GythaOgg GythaOgg is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
I've read over the stuff about Turimel, both pro and con. I don't know the woman in real life; she could be a saint, or a shrill bitch, or, more likely, something inbetween, like most of us. Even if she IS a shrill bitch, that in itself is not a crime, while Amy Player is a con artist and a criminal. Turimel may have been suckered into enabling Amy's schemes (and she was by no means the only one) but once again, that's not a crime.

I'm gonna be perfectly honest. I'm not a 'nice' person, and if I'd been taken in by someone like Amy, and seen him abuse me and my friends, and THEN seen him go on to do the same to multiple other people, with very little punishment, I'd be mad as hell. Turimel is, if anything, much calmer than I would be. If Amy Player had come into my life and wrecked this sort of havoc, I fear I would've done something rash and violent.

I'm not going to excuse Mr. Eisenburg. Ultimately, he was the triggerman and responsible for the murders. I did see Turimel point out how everyone was focused on Eisenburg, Ms. Quinn (his ex-wife/victim) and Amy Player, but ignoring poor Mr. Chambers, who also died in the onslaught. Even Amy ignores Mr. Chambers' sad fate (and notice how, in his own recounting of events, Amy all but implies he was the one who took down Eisenburg -- despite the polices' version of events showing that Amy cowered in the bathroom during Eisenburg's rampage). Amy is a crazed narcissist willing to spin any tragedy, no matter how horrific, to his benefit.

Even IF Amy had nothing to do with making Eisenburg snap, his past behavior is so suspicious that people can't help but speculate. He and OB blackmailed OB's ex-husband and stole money from him; that right there makes it suspicious that once he moves onto this new girl, Brittany Quinn, all of a sudden he's portraying her ex-husband as having locked her in storage sheds and forced her to work as a slave and the like. Almost identical to what Amy claimed OB's ex-husband had done. When you're a manipulative liar, con artist, and convicted criminal, you can't be shocked when people suspect you of all sorts of things. I'm not sure Amy caused Eisenburg to snap, but I doubt he was a good influence on the situation, either.
Turimel has left a bad taste in a lot of fan's mouths with her behavior - certainly trying to post to fandom_wank when the murders occurred, crowing and bragging that this tragic event proved how right and wonderful she was, didn't do much to endear her to a lot of folks. (The post got removed and she was banned from f_w permanently, and any mention of the murders is considered a 'don't go there' issue on f_w. Their point is a wank community isn't the place the place to gleefully gloat over the death of other human beings, no matter what. One of the mods is a fandom friend of very long standing.)

Again, Amy/Jordan/Andy is a psychopath and a despicable human being. However, Turimel's reporting on and attitude about the whole issue has gotten very skeevy, especially the last year or two, and she's lost supporters. Her gloating about the murders, as well as some of her statements about LGBT folks, have made a lot of her former supporters back away. She also got smacked hard by LJ for posting private information about A/J/A, including her SSN and scans of her driver's license. Righteous anger over having been scammed is one thing; but the fandom is starting to sense that Turimel has slipped over a line and it might not be safe to be too close.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-14-2011, 02:17 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
This is what geeks have instead of The Young and the Restless, right? Color me bored.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 09-14-2011, 02:22 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
This is what geeks have instead of The Young and the Restless, right? Color me bored.
No, this is what geeks have instead of Real Housewives.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 09-14-2011, 09:44 PM
Rilchiam Rilchiam is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Is Turimel the one who wrote a book about this?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 09-14-2011, 10:16 PM
Vihaga Vihaga is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
You lost me at "fen." What's wrong with "fans"?


That is a seriously crazy story. You'd think people would have stopped giving them money earlier, but I guess it's easy for that stuff to get out of hand when people are ballsy enough to pretend they're raising money for charity.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-14-2011, 10:28 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vihaga View Post
You lost me at "fen." What's wrong with "fans"?


That is a seriously crazy story. You'd think people would have stopped giving them money earlier, but I guess it's easy for that stuff to get out of hand when people are ballsy enough to pretend they're raising money for charity.
Ah, fen (and fen is important because the obscurity of fannish language is part of the secret handshake), by and large are two things - very trusting, and extraordinarily tolerant. Past tolerant into "we actually want to encourage those with alternate views on life." They are also, again, generalizing, agog at celebrity, even that sort of "I went to school with Harlan Ellison's third cousin" sort of celebrity.

This story is unusual in its scope and vision, but it isn't actually that unusual. Amy really does seem to have tailor made his con for the community.

(Normally its just more in the fundraiser for someone who has cancer who leaves town and you hear they died, but years later you hear they didn't - or the let someone move in with you who has fallen on hard times, and discover they've been stealing your stuff. Or the embezzeling convention funds. Or http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/dra...d-1181076.html.)

God, I don't miss that community at all. Still have LOTS of friends there, the sane ones who don't let this sort of stuff into their lives.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 09-14-2011, 10:39 PM
even sven even sven is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Turimel was getting something out of it. I don't know what, but it was something. You can't con an honest man.

If I asked my own mother for $20,000 and the situation was anything less than "I'm kidnapped by Columbian drug lords and they need ransom" she would tell me no. Normal people never give that much money to anyone, and especially never to people outside of the family.

People who do that sort of thing are generally not acting rationally. Usually that's because they are some variation on "in love." Whether it's sexual or not, something was going on there.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 09-15-2011, 10:02 AM
Zeriel Zeriel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermette View Post
Reminds me of the Sarah Saga - some poor soul living with housemates who thought they were channelling the characters from Final Fantasy 7.
The scary thing is that site is just the tip of the iceberg on that particular case--I lived across an apartment complex courtyard from that entire thing in 2002.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 09-15-2011, 10:22 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeriel View Post
The scary thing is that site is just the tip of the iceberg on that particular case--I lived across an apartment complex courtyard from that entire thing in 2002.
Jeez...that's the kind of thing (possible alternate dimensions where fictional worlds exist) that I half-believed/half-wished when I was TWELVE! And grew out of by the time I finished high school.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 09-15-2011, 10:23 AM
Cinnamon Imp Cinnamon Imp is offline
DramQueen
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Strathclyde, UK
Posts: 1,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeriel View Post
The scary thing is that site is just the tip of the iceberg on that particular case--I lived across an apartment complex courtyard from that entire thing in 2002.
What can you tell us? Or are you in hiding from them too!
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 09-17-2011, 09:11 AM
lavenderviolet lavenderviolet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
Turimel was getting something out of it. I don't know what, but it was something. You can't con an honest man.

If I asked my own mother for $20,000 and the situation was anything less than "I'm kidnapped by Columbian drug lords and they need ransom" she would tell me no. Normal people never give that much money to anyone, and especially never to people outside of the family.

People who do that sort of thing are generally not acting rationally. Usually that's because they are some variation on "in love." Whether it's sexual or not, something was going on there.
I don't know the person well enough to know if it was a romantic thing, but I am wondering if the con artist preyed on people in fandom because there are people in that community who are very socially awkward and may not understand normal social boundaries the way that the rest of us do.
I certainly would never give someone $20,000 unless it was a member of my immediate family in a dire life-threatening situation, but I can picture someone who is very naive/socially awkward and desperate to be liked falling for this sort of con.

Last edited by lavenderviolet; 09-17-2011 at 09:12 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 09-17-2011, 08:08 PM
Zeriel Zeriel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermette View Post
What can you tell us? Or are you in hiding from them too!
Well, the short version--the person who maintains the site isn't innocent either--despite being mostly correct about how everything went down, she's kinda borderline and has exhibited pedophilic/ephebephilic tendencies in the past.

Actually, I met "Hojo" from being associated with pagan society in college. As much as it pains me to think I put up with them now, I'm the "Cid" in the story (one of the articles even mentions me by this handle, IIRC). She and "Jenova" have straightened out since then, pretty much, although they all kinda go back and forth--I don't stay in touch with them, but a friend does ("to keep an eye on them", he says).

Also--the guy who is mentioned who they were living with ("Ghast", I think the nickname was)? Yeah, he's been in jail twice since then. Both times were sexual offenses.

And one of the other storytellers was involuntarily committed at some point in CA for trying to start a cult based on the Suikoden games a few years back--I think she'd threatened to kill the guy she was scamming free room and board with when he told her to stop having random groups of internet people over with no warning.

So yeah. Huge lump of crazy all around.

Last edited by Zeriel; 09-17-2011 at 08:10 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 09-17-2011, 08:41 PM
kushiel kushiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeriel View Post
Well, the short version--the person who maintains the site isn't innocent either--despite being mostly correct about how everything went down, she's kinda borderline and has exhibited pedophilic/ephebephilic tendencies in the past.

Actually, I met "Hojo" from being associated with pagan society in college. As much as it pains me to think I put up with them now, I'm the "Cid" in the story (one of the articles even mentions me by this handle, IIRC). She and "Jenova" have straightened out since then, pretty much, although they all kinda go back and forth--I don't stay in touch with them, but a friend does ("to keep an eye on them", he says).

Also--the guy who is mentioned who they were living with ("Ghast", I think the nickname was)? Yeah, he's been in jail twice since then. Both times were sexual offenses.

And one of the other storytellers was involuntarily committed at some point in CA for trying to start a cult based on the Suikoden games a few years back--I think she'd threatened to kill the guy she was scamming free room and board with when he told her to stop having random groups of internet people over with no warning.

So yeah. Huge lump of crazy all around.
I've always been slightly confused with this story, maybe you have an idea. The demon-sushi.com link says at the top that they no longer own hojo.org and it is owned by unrelated non-crazy people. However, I knew someone named Kat (also known as EK and Hojo no Miko) who owned hojo.org at some point. There is also someone named Kat in the letters on demon-sushi. Is this a coincidence, or are they the same person?
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 09-17-2011, 09:23 PM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 11,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermette View Post
Reminds me of the Sarah Saga - some poor soul living with housemates who thought they were channelling the characters from Final Fantasy 7.
For the life of me I can't make heads or tails of anything in that link. Can somebody sum up the story in a paragraph please?
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 09-17-2011, 11:12 PM
Zeriel Zeriel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by kushiel View Post
I've always been slightly confused with this story, maybe you have an idea. The demon-sushi.com link says at the top that they no longer own hojo.org and it is owned by unrelated non-crazy people. However, I knew someone named Kat (also known as EK and Hojo no Miko) who owned hojo.org at some point. There is also someone named Kat in the letters on demon-sushi. Is this a coincidence, or are they the same person?
There were at least two Kats involved, neither of whom I knew personally. Sorry, can't help you there.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 09-17-2011, 11:15 PM
Zeriel Zeriel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
For the life of me I can't make heads or tails of anything in that link. Can somebody sum up the story in a paragraph please?
Couple of FF7-obsessed folks (by which I mean, they believed that they were the reincarnations of characters from the game) with surprising amounts of charisma convince several other people at varying times to move in with them and pay their way, with at least some emotional and physical abuse involved. Hilarity ensues when one of their followers decides to create a gigantic internet warning page about them before going batshit insane herself.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 09-18-2011, 12:09 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 14,968
Identity Politics is a wonderful thing, eh?
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 09-18-2011, 12:29 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Wow...that whole Jenova/Hojo thing on the Sarah's Saga link happened in my old backyard, State College!
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 09-18-2011, 02:19 AM
BigT BigT is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
This is what geeks have instead of The Young and the Restless, right? Color me bored.
Says the woman who plays WoW nearly 24/7.

Face it, hon. You're a geek, too.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 09-18-2011, 09:03 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Says the woman who plays WoW nearly 24/7.

Face it, hon. You're a geek, too.
Speaking as a fellow geek, it doesn't automatically mean you find the soap operas interesting. (I personally find it kind of trainwrecky-scary, in the same kind of way that I'll watch an episode of Hoarders and go and clean my house again, but watching too much of it just makes me feel sick and shut the TV off.)
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 09-18-2011, 09:54 AM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Says the woman who plays WoW nearly 24/7.

Face it, hon. You're a geek, too.
Please. Playing a video game has nothing compared to the weirdness of this shit. I consider myself a hardcore geek and I never even knew any of this existed. It's very possible to be a geek and not deal with any of this "fen" bullshit.

I mean, fen, really?
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 09-18-2011, 10:10 AM
Zeriel Zeriel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
Wow...that whole Jenova/Hojo thing on the Sarah's Saga link happened in my old backyard, State College!
Hell, I can point out the apartment number. =P
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 09-18-2011, 10:45 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
Please. Playing a video game has nothing compared to the weirdness of this shit. I consider myself a hardcore geek and I never even knew any of this existed. It's very possible to be a geek and not deal with any of this "fen" bullshit.

I mean, fen, really?
Yeah, really. That's why you have to be careful when self describing yourself as a geek. Identify as a Christian and some lump you into the anti-evolutionary camp. Identify as a Republican and some will lump you into the racist/homophobic camp. Identify as a Democrat and risk getting lumped into the "eat the rich" camp. Identify as a geek and someone out there will lump you in with "barely attached to reality, dysfunctional poly communes."

Fortunately, for us "mainstream geeks" the stranger side of geekdom is pretty hidden until you start going to Cons. Most people don't know it goes farther than those weirdos who have Star Trek weddings - or maybe they say the Furries episode of CSI.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 09-18-2011, 10:53 AM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerosa View Post
Yeah, really. That's why you have to be careful when self describing yourself as a geek. Identify as a Christian and some lump you into the anti-evolutionary camp. Identify as a Republican and some will lump you into the racist/homophobic camp. Identify as a Democrat and risk getting lumped into the "eat the rich" camp. Identify as a geek and someone out there will lump you in with "barely attached to reality, dysfunctional poly communes."
Honestly, I think most "mainstream geeks" have no idea these fen losers exist. Worrying about what the real mainstream thinks of them is of even less concern.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 09-18-2011, 11:24 AM
Maiira Maiira is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermette View Post
Reminds me of the Sarah Saga - some poor soul living with housemates who thought they were channelling the characters from Final Fantasy 7.
Wow. If this is real, it's truly disturbing. (The sad thing is that I believe every word.)
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 09-18-2011, 11:52 AM
Angel of the Lord Angel of the Lord is offline
Resident Archangel
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Bellona
Posts: 3,276
So, I have to ask. . .is this stuff ridiculously common?

The reason I asked is that I read the Sarah's Saga link. I ended up reading all the associated links, partially out of idle fascination, and partly because I wanted to make sure that I didn't know these people.

A little background: when I was in college, I was less apathetic agnostic and more apathetic pagan. I had a few books with Wicca in the title. When two of my sophomore year roommates saw them, they asked if they could talk to me in private.

Figuring that since I was at a Lutheran college, I was in for some well-meaning sales pitches, I said sure. I figured, hey, since I was going to be rooming with them, I owed them at least the courtesy of listening and the chance for them to witness. So the two of them and I go out walking one early September night, and they start talking. . .

I posted a thread about it back in the day, but the gist of it was this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Much More Immature Angel of the Lord
They're part of a huge battle between light and darkness. They have battles on the astral plane. One of them is going to rule the universe for a thousand years about two incarnations down the road. There are anime guys all around on the spiritual plane. They're soul sisters. Their soul brother is Caine (yes, for you gamers, the same Caine from Vampire: The Masquerade). And Aleister Crowley is trapped in our residence hall's chapel.
I wondered for a while after that whether they were actually crazy, or just having a laugh at my expense (my reaction was to just sort of smile, nod, and never talk about this again). This was answered a few months later when one of their friends stayed with us for a week. Because she thought her ex-boyfriend was spying on her. Through the eyes of her cat.

Now, these aren't the same people; for one I was in Indiana, and for another they turned out reasonably normal, as far as I can tell on Facebook. There was also, as far as I could tell, none of the weird relationship/abusive stuff; the two of them only comprised half the quad, though, and Shadez, the fourth roommate, was blessedly normal and awesome. But, damn, that's close. It makes me wonder how common this sort of thing is in college students of a certain stripe, and amongst fandom in general.

Anyone else run into the freaky shit?
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 09-18-2011, 11:59 AM
Zeriel Zeriel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of the Lord View Post
So, I have to ask. . .is this stuff ridiculously common?
It's more common nowadays. Even as late as the early 90s, it took a lot of luck for people with similar outlandish beliefs to find each other and start reinforcing behaviors. Now with the advent of the internet, it's trivial to find the other 30 people globally who believe that Anime/Game characters are real and that's enough to form a weird cult.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.