I had been a member of AboveTopSecret since the early 2000’s. Probably about 2002. In one form or another I have participated in the conspiracy based website, mostly from an interest of anything to do with space, cyrptozoology or paranormal things. Back then it was much much more random and if you wanted to engage in topics that were out there, you could. I can’t even remember how it came to be that I found the place. But I did, and out of all the websites that did deal with such topics, this one seemed to hold itself together pretty well.
But as a drunken intoxicated bum I often would go over the top. I’d see someone post a topic about some absolutely ridiculous thing, and I’d be unable to restrain myself. So I guess I became something of a nuisance at times, never mean or abusive, just poking fun at the ridiculous nature of the contents of some peoples minds. It was fun, it wasn’t ever intended to be more than that.
Of course over the years I copped my fair share of warnings, penalties.. Back then you would lose ATS Points for action taken against you, which meant you couldn’t spend them at the ATS Store. To buy things like a custom profile colour or background colour, and all sorts of stupid crap. You could buy a larger avatar size. That sort of nonsense. The store went the way of the dodo but for some reason points remained. And were deducted when you were hit.
And over the years the format of the forums changed, from what would have been fitting for a 1995 netscape navigator wysiwyg job, to what now is considered all touchy-xboxy. I didn’t really care, I was more interested in the topics. Because at the heart of it, I’m a fruitloop just like everyone else, I just spent all of my time hidden in a bottle so no one would notice.
But as I’d be noticed more and more and getting penalties for things that meant nothing in the grand scheme of things, I started to notice a trend. Certain things you could not talk about regardless of their nature. It is one thing to say that there is a NO ILLICIT DRUG DISCUSSION policy. But another to see moderators and certain people get away with it with no rhyme nor reason. And on the topic of legalisation and law policy, it was even more confusing. Even when it becomes legal somewhere, you get pinged for mentioning it.
But hey, discuss someone being shot point blank in the face as much as you want.
Again, moderators would start entire threads dedicated to this topic, but if any typical member dared even contribute to this genre in another thread, in comes the power hungry miscreants to snigger and snivel and claw at you like the ravenous little vermin that they are and then proclaim indignation if you question them. If they even respond at all, that is.
A little harsh? I thought so once, too. Because as I’d seen the forums grow and become popular, I felt a semblance of loyalty and dedication to the place. I stood up for the place when people would attack it vehemently without any consideration. And some of the attacks on AboveTopSecret were very very irrational. I felt it was my duty as someone who believed in the original idea of the place, to put my voice out there into the mix, and call nonsense where it lay.
Over the years, from compiled lists of membership distributed across the internet, to accusations of being a CIA operation set up to collect your personal data, to an illuminati freemason den of magic wizards sacrificing children on the alter of .. you get the point. Nonsense. The place was started with the same ideas as many of the membership have now, and had any one of them started a small website with such an idea, to accuse them a decade later of being the very things they had sought to expose, needs to be shown for the nonsense that it is.
Having said that, this is not to say that AboveTopSecret has not been infiltrated by the very people that they are accused of being. It would not be hard for an agenda to be set in place for this to happen. However, in my ignorant addled brain, this is as likely as having microphones hardwired into your cpu so that the NSA can hear you masturbate while watching footage of miffy humping elmo, to catch you in your acts of depravity… as likely as fuck all. As I have said on there time and time again, as individuals with a bunch of conspiracy theories in mind, individually we’re not that important.
Collectively, yes. And collectively, you don’t need to secret away your personal ideas. They can do that just by reading the forums in general and seeing who has what intentions and ideas. And if someone is vocal enough to be that guy, then they are already on a list, in a file, on camera, being followed and having their poop dissected for nuggets. Seriously, the effort involved in putting a trap inside the hierarchy of AboveTopSecret would net very little more than a handful of bernard schnitzels and a plethora of sky dot ufo videos.
But nonetheless, it caused AboveTopSecret to be the focal point of so many people who were either kicked out or left once they realised that they could not solicit a fan base or sell their book. And in more recent years this lead to a torrent (no punny) of DdoS attacks against the forums. Hazzah. Good on you guys for that, it created something special that is not part of this rant. But thank you.
So in all of this kerfuffle, in all the noise, one lone little dick head named winofiend, who had found sobriety and found his direction in life, who had set about attempting to be someone that HE could be proud to face each morning, had changed his tune. He had stopped being the guy who hassled some twit posting nonsense about holographic planes and space lazahs and thermite magic.. He had become someone, who still had many faults, but who also had tried to be of help where he could.
The final incarnation of this entity. So many faces over the years, from being post banned, perm banned, or simply leaving out of frustration. Winofiend was, he thought, I thought, the one guy who would make it. That is… until christmas day 2013. Ahh never let the truth get in the way of a good revenue raising business.
Back to the drug policy. As confusing as it was, as interesting as it was to watch, it started to develop a form. A shape. It was something that grew visible out of the subtle changes over the years. Like a small seed, it was now a large bush and it was not being trimmed any longer, as it no longer needed to be hidden. I could understand it back in the early days, where the policy stemmed from not wanting to drag the quality of the topics down to the “Hur hur Im so baked dude..” conversations as was evident on .. pretty much the rest of the internet. And AboveTopSecret was, if nothing else, known for it’s higher quality and standard of content.
But now, not even the mere mention of the topic was allowed. Anything in the media, anything from history, anything at all, was cause for moderator action. It became something of a joke when you considered the sites ever glowing motto – Deny Ignorance. Ignorance of the truth is something to deny wholeheartedly. Ignorance of logic, ignorance of reason, ignorance of morality. Yet here was a policy that did nothing to do that. It, in fact, promoted ignorance.
Yet still, I towed the T&C because I felt that as I had been there so long, even if my new incarnation was only a few years old, I owed the place that. In my mind, even if I disagreed with it personally, I had agreed to it in practice. And even though the idea of what I had agreed to had changed, I was, I suppose, willing to forgo the arrogance surrounding it. I sold my own morals for a slice of ignorance pie.
On christmas day 2013, some clever soul asked, seriously, the question “Is Santa an Alien?”.
Quality topic right there.
Now, this lead to a whole array of replies detailing the history of the santa myth. From the tales of the old nordic man wearing a gutted reindeer skin, to the concept of him being nothing more than an icon for coca cola. However I also know of another angle, which involved the use of the magical little mushroom, amanita muscaria. Or Fly Agaric. Not to be confused with the psilocybin variety. Very very different in fact, with the former being related to Death Caps while the latter being simply a pure gift from nature.
The point I was making in that thread was that historically these fungi had been collected and dried out to be consumed in a traditional manner. It was in an area where pine trees would be found with these little red caps situated near them. It has been noted that people would collect these caps and place them on the tree to dry out, before consumption, and this is likely the origins of the decorating of the christmas tree, as the amanita muscaria is used in many images of christmas decorations, and symbolic of the festive season all around the world.
Perhaps, it has been pondered, that people may have consumed these gifts and in their heightened states of awareness had witnessed old nicholas sledding past with his slew of reindeer across snow peaked mountains, and to them it appeared as if he were flying. Perhaps.
However, this was an atrocious crime to one moderator of AboveTopSecret who removed my post immediately and issued me with a Warning that would last 3 days, and any further infraction on my part would result in a permanent ban. What the Glorious Fuck? I responded to that post removal with my absolute disbelief that the information was removed, and that I had not intended the post to be a “Get high man, santa is a trip.” type of post. It was based on facts, on historical myth, and on evidence.
I also responded to the moderator in question stating my utter dismay at his action and using not uncoloured language to relay this.
This lead to that post being removed also, and an immediate post ban being placed on me.
Now, you see, as I don’t drink any more, as I don’t do anything that inhibits my thinking, as I am actively trying to better myself, as I am seeking a better path for my future and I have changed my means in so many incalculable ways, this slapped me in the face and told me “Fuck you, Shut the fuck up, you god damned idiot, I am the boss and you’re nothing but shit.”. I felt absolutely denigrated to the point of utter shock. I did not take it mindfully.
I had been trying so hard to be a better participant of the forums I had considered part of my life for near a decade. I felt that I was now contributing relatively reasonable material to a place I had long considered a worthy place for information, but had only ever given half of my mind to. And suddenly, despite a year of not so much as a slap on the wrist, here I was post banned for posting valid factual information to try and help someone out who has the idea that maybe, just maybe, santa caluse was a god damned alien from another planet who flies to earth to give children presents. For Fuck Sake.
I do regret one thing out of this. Calling the moderator a prick and telling him what I thought. But, you see, a post ban prevents me from posting on the forums. I could still send personal messages. So I know I was being punished for hurting his feelings and not for what I had posted. Despite his claims to the contrary, he was butthurt and I was paying the price.
The personal message I did get from this ignorant person masquerading as a moderator was to not do anything. Don’t dare move, or you’re dead. Sit still, shut up and wait. So I did.
3 or 4 days passed and I heard nothing. Do I wait forever? Is this like the bandit telling his victim to count to 100 and don’t look around or they’ll shoot? So I thought I would ask some of the more reasonable (so I thought) moderators that I had either seen or known in the past. The first one I asked simply how long a post ban lasts, do I have to do anything or does it expire once the staff have checked it all out. He did not reply for at least another day, only to tell me that he doesn’t know but will ask and find out.
In the meanwhile I though that as it’s the festive season, I can’t even say merry xmas or happy new year to the few people on the forums that I actually enjoy conversing with. MIA is a terrible fate and so I change my Avatar to reflect my dilemma and include the words “Save the Wino”. A little joke at my own expense. I should have known, this avatar was removed by another moderator, and I was given another telling off. “your avatar is in breach of the T&C. Read them here. Change it.” and when I read the T&C to see just what I missed? Nothing.. I could not find a thing. Ahhh tyranny. How many faces do you have?
Nothing was heard back yet by this time. And another day. So I asked another moderator, one I’d interacted with in the past, and who I’d known when he was a mere member of the board and not a moderator. His reply, while more informative, held no answers either. He stated that he was aware of the situation, but could not help, and that no, the post bans do not automatically expire, and that I should contact the one who post banned me. Ugh, something I had not intended on doing. But nonetheless, I did send the post ban authoring mod a query.
His reply was that “hey it’s new years Im going out, you can wait.”
Sure no probs. I wait. I am in no rush.
Then I receive the magnanimous message detailing how it was my fault that he had not gotten back to me because he was waiting for me to stop Mod Shopping and that all of my correspondence (privately) with the other moderators had been put into their open forums for all to see. Ok, that pisses me off intensely. Fuck. And he then goes on to tell me off for posting about drugs, that I know better and not to insult his intelligence.
This is a moderator of less than a year. Who the fuck does he think he is.
I replied to his arrogant bloated self serving message, point by point, and thought that would be the end of it, I’m not going back. I apologised for my outburst as regardless of everything I still feel I am better than that, and it was a definite moment of weakness. I still, had expected no reply and that my time on AboveTopSecret had come to an end.
But wait, a reply. “Just say you won’t talk about drugs and you’ll stick to the T&C, thats all we want.”
Hmm, well, I can agree to that. I have learnt my lesson, don’t try to help people, just play along, and don’t consider myself part of the community there, just keep things on a low keel. So I do this, I reply stating that I will not post anything relating to drugs and that I will abide by the T&C. I hit Send.
12 hours or so later, another moderator responds telling me that they have decided to lift the post ban and that I need to be aware that I am now on my last chance. Ugh, what ever, at this point I have no interest in listening to their bullshit, they’ve all proven to me that not a single one of them is worth pissing on if they’re on fire.
I lie, there are about 2 moderators I would consider decent people. It’s a shame that they are part of that place however.
So I am in no rush to get back into posting. No reason to be eager to do anything. I am certainly in no mood to express my relief at being set free from my incarceration. I make a few posts in relation to time travel, a few in relation to someone venting their frustration at the Elitist attitudes of the membership of late.. one in relation to someone calling out Atheists..
It was the last one that got me. I have no idea why. I hit refresh to find my post and any new posts, and viola! 404. Page not found, and I am redirected to the Error.html page. Every single page I try, 404, error. I am flabbergasted. I am not sure if it is me or the forums. So I log out, but I can’t. 404. I reboot my router to get a new IP. 404. I try a new browser. 404. I try a new browser without my log in, and suddenly I can access things. Log back in, 404.
They had banned me. Those snivelling little shitbags had lied to me.
Why? I still do not know. I sent them a message at their contact address, but typically, I have not had any reply. I do not expect one either. AboveTopSecret is retardedly renown for not answering to any of their staff action.
How dare you ask why you were post banned, banned or otherwise penalised, you’re scum and you do not dare ask the glorious staff questions, get back to posting quality content and making us rich with advertised revenue raising you god damned shits.
It seems all they wanted was for me to beg and grovel. To admit my shame. They would hold the leash on me until I did this, and then once I admitted guilt, they would open the trapdoor and let me drop to my demise. I went back over all of my recent posts since my reprieve and not a single post had been actioned against. Or if there was one, I missed it.
So, the moral of the story here is, Fuck you AboveTopSecret. You and the conspiracy horse you rode in on. And if anyone wants to LOIC the place, know that it does hurt the membership. The owner and staff will say it’s like water off a ducks back, but it certainly does piss the users off who cannot post replies or start threads. Constant gateway timeouts, they love it.
Not that I advocate any of that mind you.. but I just gave my last fuck to someone stealing all my cares.