The Msscribe Story, Chapter Seven
I wish I could thank you all personally for the kind comments and the useful corrections. I am incorporating them into the text as quickly as I can.
As some of you have correctly surmised, I am neither unbiased nor uninvolved in the events I am relating. However, my main goal is to tell the truth. If Msscribe can show that she is innocent of the main accusations I am making about her -- if she can show that "Louis" truly did exist and stalk her, or she really did work for a state senator and got outed by letters, for instance -- I will give her an abject public apology as Charlotte, as my usual fandom self, and in my real-life name as well. I will also donate $1000 to the charity of her choice.
An Unauthorized Fandom Biography
Msscribe Settles In For The Long Haul
September 2003 - Msscribe and the Fall of Gryffindor Tower
Finally, I am going to chronicle something that cannot possibly be blamed on Msscribe. Oh, you could argue that the pressure of Msscribe's attacks and the resulting fandom hatred put stress on the GT people and caused them to be emotional and overreactive. But you could also argue, and I think more credibly, that the presence of outside enemies brought the GT people together and welded them into a cohesive defensive unit. Perhaps it was the relative absence of pressure that precipitated the sudden collapse.
Either way, divisions had been building between two factions within the GT admin group for at least six months. The main tension appears to have been between tartanboxers and stolensocks, or Imogen. In September of 2003, tensions between the two groups came to a head and exploded spectacularly, and the entire website was closed permanently. Here is an account on the Fandom Wank Wiki, if you are interested.
None of this had anything to do with Msscribe, but it affected her. All the IP screencaps of Msscribe and her alleged sockpuppets were hosted at the website, which was now deleted. The Gryffindortower LJ community, which was where most of those IPs had been harvested and where GT had published the IP evidence, was deleted and is now irretrievably lost. Possibly even more helpful to Msscribe, it might now be possible to play the two sides off against each other. Msscribe could pursue the strategy of "good GT" vs "bad GT". The "bad GTers" would be the group associated with Imogen -- the ones originally more associated with Chryslin and Jeff, the ones who possibly had tastes and moral preferences less consonant with the larger fandom (teen marriage and pregnancy okay, public smut not), and the ones with fewer fandom friendships. tartanboxers and her friends, the ones who were more into slash, didn't care about public posting of smut, and seemingly had more ability to be cool and funny, would be allowed to escape the worst of the stigma and be the "good GTers," if they were willing to sell out and abandon their former friends/now bitter enemies. To their credit, they weren't, and both sides would stand firm that none of them had harbored Nutty Christians, faked or misinterpreted the IP evidence, or outed Msscribe at her workplace. Not that THAT convinced anybody.
The final and most important effect of the fall of GT on Msscribe was that she jumped on it and milked it for all it was worth, in a public relations sense. She made three posts on her LJ on September 20, 2003, the day the fall of GT became known, and five more on September 22. She was also the person who brought the great news to Fandom_Wank.
On September 20 at 2:16 PM, someone created a new JournalFen account specifically to rejoice in the downfall of GT. It was called Karma_Bitch (get it? - Karma is a bitch, and GT fell because of their terrible treatment of Msscribe and Cassandra Claire!) and went by the title "Miss Fit." Karma_bitch friended a group of Msscribe's particular friends -- alex_fen, bnfshavemorefun (Aja), ladylisse, littletort, malachan, muffinbutt, quecojones, resmiranda -- all of whom except Malachan (cygnusfap) friended her back. Months later, Msscribe's friend irinaauthor would state publicly on a GTer's LJ that Karma_bitch was Msscribe, so I think we can take that as confirmed. Here is the icon she used:
taken from Karma_bitch on JF
Three minutes after her journal was created, at 2:19 PM, Karma_bitch made this Fandom_Wank report:
Harry Potter "Pre-Wank"
Even without anything else, I would have suspected that this was Msscribe from the use of "lovely little explanation" -- that is such a characteristic phrase of hers. Writing as Karma_bitch, Msscribe characterized GT as "best known for spawning a few stalkers and being an all around nasty group of vindictive fandomers," made fun of tartanboxers for admitting that she had suffered from depression (this part didn't go over so well with Fandom_Wank members), and reminded everyone of her "cockroach" label for GT (but without mentioning that it was she who coined the term). She also -- no doubt pleased and excited by Paula's angry email to the other admins that they'd "lost your f***ing minds," which was made public at some point -- seemed to be setting up Paula as the "good guy" of GT. One of her comments as Karma_bitch was...
Paula does seem pretty sane. It's unfortunate she had to surround herself with these wenches... and she also supported Paula in this comment. I believe that Msscribe made friendly advances to Paula at this time, sending her an email of condolence about the end of the website. I suppose she hoped to induce Paula to dish dirt on some of the other admins, but I understand that Paula did not answer the email. Later, Msscribe would try to cast tartanboxers in that same "good guy" (or at least "less bad guy") role.
I am going to relate something now that I can't verify, because the post is long since locked. angua9 claims that when she first saw this post by Karma_Bitch she immediately suspected it was Msscribe. She looked in Msscribe's LJ and saw that Msscribe had posted and linked to Karma_Bitch's post (without saying that it was her). Angua says that one of the first commenters quoted one of the snarky remarks from the wank report and said something like "that was you, wasn't it, Dionne? I recognize your wankalicious style!" Less than two hours after Angua saw that comment, the post disappeared and she could no longer see it, though perhaps some of you reading this can. This incident will come into the story again later.
This was the only Fandom_Wank post Msscribe made as Karma_bitch, though she happily participated in the comments of the next two posts that others made on Fandom_Wank to discuss the GT situation. Months later, Karma_bitch would comment on a post made by another likely Fandom_Wank identity of Msscribe's named Sporkify, as you will see in Chapter Eight.
We can see just how successful Msscribe was at exploiting the GT collapse to further her two public relations objectives of making GT people look untrustworthy and getting lots of sympathy and attention for herself and her fics by looking at the fourth Fandom_Wank report about GT's collapse, written by Oulangi. Oulangi was (and is) a real person, definitely not a sockpuppet, and not particularly a friend of Msscribe's. Here is the report she made on September 27:
Two for one H/G HP wankNote where the last three links on Oulangi's report go: she was getting her information from two posts Msscribe had made on her LJ. I should explain that "Knockers" was (or I suppose I should say is) a burlesque H/G fic that Msscribe wrote in late May or early June 2003 to demonstrate her ship tolerance and to give her another thing to torment GT with. Subsequently, she submitted that fic to SQ, where it was rejected without fuss, and then to other H/G archives such as "Sink Into Your Eyes," where she finally succeeded in getting the outraged reaction she wanted. On FictionAlley, "Knockers" is actually Msscribe's most popular fic.
Msscribe commemorated the spectacular fall of her enemy in the traditional way -- with a self-described "epic poem." Posting as getlaidmarian, she enshrined her version of GT's story in verse on October 9, 2003 at the gt_hidden_room community:
Once Upon a FandomAs you can see, she used real (fandom) names for the heroes of her story, but disguised her villains with clever parody names, possibly to avoid trouble with LJ Abuse, just as she had with her parody sockpuppets like "Swolencocks" and "Tartinboxers." "Zu" is presumably meant to be Chryslin, "Manian" Ladymaidmarian, "Ashy" Tartanboxers, "Lemogen" Imogen, and "Pola" Paula. Perhaps I should have followed her crafty example and written the fandom biography of "Mswrite" or "Msslime."
After the fall of GT, as far as I can tell, the fandom enjoyed three whole months -- October, November, and December -- without any drama or wank that I can connect to Msscribe, a thing that hadn't happened since she got started in March (although, judging from this post entitled "2003-10-21: msscribe: Super Sekrit Project - (Filtered Post)" that I found in her friend sincelastjuly's LJ Memory page when I was Googling "msscribe," she may have had some other scheme that never came to light -- or, of course, she may have been planning a birthday celebration).
But if I thought Msscribe's machinations were over and the peace would last, I was dead wrong. Because in January of 2004, Msscribe -- in my opinion -- created Fandom_Scruples.
January-March 2004 -- Msscribe and Fandom Scruples
I say that in my opinion Msscribe created Fandom Scruples, because I actually have a fair amount of evidence that she did. No, not IP evidence, but... well, you'll see. First let me set up the situation.
Way back in Part One of this saga, I described the relationship between FictionAlley and the Sugar Quill as "polite but strained." That continued to be the case. Both sides nursed grudges dating back to the ship wars on HP4GU and early FAP threads, and there was periodic sniping back and forth, some open, some rather poorly disguised. In particular, SQ admins held little affection for their old debate opponents -- Penny, Ebony, and Cassandra Claire -- and that lack of affection was clearly returned.
In December 2003, the Return of the King movie came out, and thousands of people visited epicyclical's live journal to see if she would write any more Very Secret Diaries (she didn't). I visited her LJ myself, and I have to go from memory here, because I can't see the post now. What I remember is that Cassandra Claire posted something about the NC-17 Ron/Ginny fic she was writing (later posted as "Mortal Instruments"). The SQ crowd tended to be annoyed by Cassandra Claire writing Ron/Ginny anyway, because she made no secret of how much she disliked both characters and it seemed to the SQers that she was writing incest-fic about them as an expression of that dislike. And several SQers thought that it was questionable judgment on Cassandra Claire's part to introduce her thousands of LotR-related visitors, not to mention her hundreds of teenaged Draco Trilogy fangirls, to the pleasures of incest smut. Angua9 had made a reference to it in this essay back in May of 2003, and in early December Arabella posted a rant about the public posting and discussion of happy, fluffy incest fics that I believe was prompted by it, though in general terms, not naming Cassandra Claire. Several of Arabella's friends responded with "word," including (if I remember correctly, because Arabella's journal was later deleted) moeyknight, piperx, firoza, perceval, dr_c, chrysantza, and wahlee_98.
Then nothing happened. At least, nothing happened until January 9, 2004, when Msscribe found (or "found"?) Arabella's rant. Msscribe was talking back and forth with a friend in this comment thread on a post in her LJ (a post she had made a couple of days earlier, on Jan. 7). I can no longer see the comment, but from what I and others I talked to remember, the friend bewailed the lack of good incest fics. Msscribe said something like "Maybe it's because of Arabella -- look what I found cruising friendsfriends!" and linked to Arabella's post. I can't remember what the friend replied (or who it was), but Msscribe said "someone needs to Fandom Wank this." She made this comment at 10:41 AM by her timestamp. Four hours and eighteen minutes later, a journalfen account was created over on JournalFen for Sporkify ("Ron's Red Headed CumQuat"), using this icon:
taken from Sporkify at JF
Six minutes later (she must write up the wank reports while she waits for the new journals to be created), Sporkify made this Fandom_Wank report:
arabe1la, Sugarquill co-founder rants about incest fics, and moeyknight weeps, WEEPS for the ickle children of the fandom.
A little over three hours after that, moeyknight, an admin at SQ who was featured in the wank report, received this spiteful anonymous comment on her LJ:
Happy Birthday. You've been wanked. (http://www.journalfen.net/community/faThe IP was 220.127.116.11, in the same series as the GTE/Time Warner IPs that GT had published for Msscribe. moeyknight -- who had IPs for Msscribe from several emails, both about the submission of the "Knockers" fic to SQ and about Arabella's post -- concluded that this anonymous commenter was Msscribe.
So... who is Sporkify? Here are all the possibilities I can see, in order of descending likelihood:
1 - Sporkify is Msscribe;I like #1. Msscribe said someone should wank it and four hours later someone did wank it. The simplest solutions are usually the best.
Arabella's opinion was not surprisingly an unpopular one with Fandom_Wank members, especially when presented so negatively (yes, I realize it would have been unpopular anyway). Much mock was made on Fandom_Wank and, because this was in the era before Fandom_Wank's no-trolling rule was enforced (or even created?), Arabella's LJ received a few hundred posts disputing her opinion in terms ranging from polite reasoning through patronizing sarcasm to abusive cursing. When she returned from out of town and found it, she made an "I give up, post your incest anywhere you like" post, deleted her LJ, and basically left the fandom.
Did you notice Msscribe's pet phrase, "a lovely, little afternoon wank" in Sporkify's wank report? I would also particularly direct your attention to these words (bold mine):
they have no scruples! Alas, arabe1la has scruples!I presume that "scruples" is a word that Arabella had used in her rant, though of course I don't remember. Anyway, it obviously caught Sporkify's fancy, and four days later someone -- and I'm thinking Sporkify -- created fandom_scruples.
fandom_scruples was created on January 13, 2004, with the following userinfo:
Fandom ScruplesThe journal was created at 8:01 AM. The only people it friended were the people on its list of "Goldlist authors." This consisted of Arabella and all the people who had originally commented positively on Arabella's rant, plus a few others associated with SQ and the former GT. No record remains that I can find of Fandom_Scruples' original "Goldlist" but here is the list as it stood on August 1, 2004, when their political leanings were being discussed on Fandom_Wank:
Anguamisspince, ladymaidmarian, and edeainfj were originally on the list, but were removed when they proved that they did not meet the standards. tartanboxers and themorningstarr were also on the list, but were taken off when they asked to be removed. Everyone listed was either from SQ or the former GT, or an R/Hr or H/G shipper.
At 11:22 AM, Fandom Scruples made its first post. At 3:14 PM, Sporkify reported Fandom Scruples to Fandom Wank. At 4:36 PM, Fandom Scruples received its first comment, an anonymous one.
Think about that for a moment: A sockpuppet LJ is created. Someone finds it within hours (how?) and reports it to Fandom Wank. Who could this be? It had to be either the person who created it, or one of the people it friended. There is no other serious possibility, unless you think Sporkify was continually monitoring one of their userinfo pages (Arabella's, perhaps?), noticed within hours that one new person had friended whichever person he was monitoring (and if it was Arabella, she had a very large friends-of list, so he'd have had to be sharp-eyed), and rushed to investigate. And everyone Fandom_Scruples friended was a person who liked and admired Arabella. Most of them had commented positively on Arabella's rant and been mocked for it on Sporkify's Fandom_Wank report. Isn't it obvious that none of them were Sporkify? None of them wanked Arabella's post a full month after she made it. And none of them reported a new sockpuppet troll that was obviously designed to embarrass them and make them look bad to Fandom_Wank. Sporkify created Fandom_Scruples. And Sporkify, by all available circumstantial evidence (not to mention motive and MO), was Msscribe.
At least, that's what I and many others concluded.
All further developments only served to reinforce me in that opinion. It was obvious that the "Goldlist" was made by someone who knew very little about the SQ area of the fandom. The list of people supposedly conscientiously protecting children included at least one person who ran an NC-17 archive without a password. It also included sunshyndaisies, whose LJ was well known in that part of the fandom as an excellent source of smut (which was NOT locked), not to mention Arabella and Zsenya, whose smutty fics were not always password-protected away from minors -- especially the wonderful shorts Arabella had contributed to seviet's Smut Week in protest of President Bush's Marriage Protection Week. Apparently, Fandom_Scruples didn't know about those -- and neither did Sporkify, who made the ludicrously false claim that Arabella had only ever written R/Hr and H/G! edeainfj and angua9 had also posted, and have posted since, smutty fics without protection from minors. The list also contained two people who had never published any fanfic at all. It included dr_c, who had basically left the fandom long before. It included ladymaidmarian, who immediately published smut on her LJ (with a link "KIDDIES CLICK HERE FOR FREE PORN") to show her opinion of Fandom_Scruples. In other words, the list was a joke, and the "Goldlist" crowd generally thought that it was a parody meant to make the "Goldlist authors" look bad.
The next thing Fandom_Scruples did was to publish the
Msscribe was near the top, of course, along with Cassandra Claire, Lissanne, and Aja (Bookshop), Msscribe's newer friends and supporters (especially those who had been involved in Msscribe's fight against GT), and a few less-well-known friends of hers like bunny_wabit from Portkey. A few popular Fandom_Wank people -- notably Oulangi and Eljuno -- were also included, presumably to make it play better on Fandom_Wank. I remember that misspince was removed from the Goldlist and added to the Blacklist after she pointed out that she co-ran a passwordless smut archive, so I have drawn a line above her and am going to assume that all the names below that line were later additions to the original list.
The effect of this was basically the same as Fermatojam's Big Name Sinners list and Watchful Entity's Watch list, though not quite as much troll-baiting fun since Fandom_Scruples, perhaps tired of its overflowing inbox, frequently froze or disabled comments. But when it did allow comments, the fandom flocked to oblige. Whatever else you might say about Msscribe, she knows how to reach her audience. People eagerly brandished their credentials for being on the Blacklist, some posting their unlocked porn right in the comments, and a few of them -- all of the ones below MissPince on the list above and a few more on Fandom_Scruples' next post -- were fortunate enough to be added.
Like Watchful Entity, Fandom Scruples was discussed at Fandom Wank many times: Jan. 13, 2004, Jan. 14, Jan. 14, Jan. 26, Jan. 26, Jan. 27, Feb. 18, Aug. 15, Aug. 22, Aug. 23, Sep. 29, Oct. 4, and Jan. 21, 2005.
If we look at Msscribe's known and suspected troll sockpuppets in sequence, we see them become progressively less closely connected to her. This means that they became less risky, in the sense that she would be less and less likely to be suspected of making them, but they also became less effective at directing fandom attention toward her. The first major one, Fermatojam, targeted and stalked Msscribe in person. The second, Pottersginny, insulted her personally with vile racist epithets ("zebra," "mulatto") and posted on her LJ. The (probable) third, Watchful_Entity, friended her and others that people could recognize as being associated with her, and vaguely associated itself with a group (GT) known to dislike her. But the fourth, Fandom_Scruples, didn't single out Msscribe (other than listing her as one of the writers on the Blacklist) and associated itself with the Sugar Quill if anything -- a group not known to have any particular emnity for Msscribe other than presumed shipping differences (and since Msscribe never maintained that Harry and Hermione were going to end up together in the actual series, the canon-thumping SQers would actually have had no issues with her). Moreover, because fandom_scruples set itself up as a list only of people who posted NC-17 fics not behind passwords, Msscribe couldn't "honor" all her friends by targeting them on the Blacklist and include everyone in the fun troll-bashing frenzy that she wanted to include. In particular, she couldn't include heidi8, who had never written any fic above PG-13. But she soon found a way around that.
In its second post on January 14, Fandom Scruples lobbed a shot right across Heidi's bow:
It has also come to our attention that a few of the writers mentioned are key organizing staff for Nimbus 2005 (which we won't link to) and we are calling for a boycott of that conference unless they make a reasonable attempt to keep their adult material away from underage readers. We don't think this is an unreasonable request.
Threatening Nimbus and FictionAlley, and mentioning Heidi by name -- that should fetch her! And, of course, it did. Heidi made a locked post in reply to Fandom Scruples on Jan 14, and then three more posts indirectly responding to it on Jan. 14, 15, and 19.
On Jan. 26, Fandom Scruples made a post on obscenity law and a threat:
To those who might not know it, Child Online Protection Act (COPA) was passed on Oct. 21, 1998. The Act makes it a federal crime to use the World Wide Web to distribute "for commercial purposes" material considered "harmful to minors," with penalties of up to $150,000 for each day of violation and up to six months in prison.
Again, Heidi responded with two public posts on Jan. 26, and on Jan. 27 linked to a post by another fandom attorney, ajhalluk, suggesting that what Fandom_Scruples was doing might be blackmail. Comments on Heidi's first post are a good sampling of how the fandom saw Fandom Scruples:
Apparently ari_o suspected Pottersginny:
ari_o, maybe you're right -- maybe it's the same person that pottersginny was?Yes. Yes, I do believe it was the same person. ;)
sincelastjuly suspected GT: I recognize one or two from GT, and one or two from SQ. I'd place my money on GT, though.
heidi8 defended her fellow site admins:
I doubt it's any of the GT ex-Queens, and I am 100% sure it's none of the admin or mods on SQ. They know the law beter than this. I know this because I've talked with a number of them about it. They wouldn't need to go to the KFCs as morality in media!
chickadilly reminded people that those on the "Goldlist" might be upset as well:
if F_S starts up more shit and continues to threaten people and continues to keep the people on the so called 'gold list' who have asked to be removed; thus making it look as if they support F_S do those F_S folks have a legal leg to stand on if they wish to sue based on defimation of character?
On Heidi's second post, angua9 commented:
It is my opinion that Fandom_Scruples is a sockpuppet by someone who couldn't care less about smut on the internet, but just wants to cause excitement and flaming in the fandom. That would explain why they are behaving in such a ridiculously offensive and counterproductive manner for their so-called "cause."Angua says that she was sure at this time that Sporkify was Msscribe and she thought some of Msscribe's friends might know that, since she knew that they had recognized Karma_bitch as Msscribe. But apparently they didn't.
On the same post, Msscribe (now showing as light_music) rose above the whole mess:
After making the first Fandom Wank report about Fandom_Scruples, Sporkify left it to others to report its doings. Fandom_Scruples continued to keep the fandom entertained with another posting of so-called obscenity law later on January 26 and a call to think of the children on February 18. Like Fermatojam and Pottersginny, Fandom_Scruples copied its arguments from online sites; unlike them, it credited its sources -- primarily "Morality in Media." The responses varied between scornful rebuttals of Fandom_Scruples' legal claims, attempts to get Fandom_Scruples ToS'ed from Live Journal, calls of "don't feed the troll," and continued but now unsuccessful clamoring to be added to the Blacklist.
As for Sporkify, he found new targets. On January 24, five days after he brought Fandom_Scruples to our attention, he made this Fandom_Wank post about the former GT:
Harry Potter Fandom is better than Springer!"Sporkify" sets up a false dichotomy:
the same archive that accused HP BNF msscribe's nanny of having a trillion identities because their good friend Imogen couldn't possibly be nutters.This implies that the question of Imogen being "nutters" was ever a part of Msscribe's dispute with GT. It wasn't, of course. Imogen was particularly busy at that time and was hardly involved -- the main investigating was done and the announcements made by carissa_lynn and tartanboxers. But scapegoating Imogen and letting Tartanboxers be the "good guy" appears to have been Msscribe's strategy at this time. Sporkify's wank report approvingly portrays Tartanboxers as "very amused" and giving "nifty" links, while Imogen is "nutters" and "really ... teh evil," and her attitude is "worse than her writing."
I hope I don't need to point out that "HP BNF" Msscribe's nanny publicly accused herself of having many identities -- though admittedly not "a trillion."
Two days later, on January 26, Sporkify went on to report some R/Hr shippers calling themselves Sidekickers who were trying to start a petition to keep a hug between Ron and Hermione in the third movie. Then, on March 1st, he found something even better...
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