Chapter 3 – Rob’s Social Media Presence

Case 2:13-cv-45524-PAD Document 4 Filed 16/01/20 Page 52 of 285

UNITED STATES DISTRICT – EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Annotation for Exhibit B: Please refer to the glossary at the end of this appendix for help understanding some of the internet terms used in this exhibit.


Chapter 3 – Rob’s Social Media Presence

@gottiewrites 29/08/18

A reminder to the commenters that I am only going to include evidence from legal sources in this essay. Some of the stuff you’ve shared is interesting but I’m not using it. Sorry.1

Now that the Mean Mom part is out the way, let’s get back to the essay. And, Dear Readers, I have news! Absolute oodles of news! Yesterday, I went to a coffeeshop near the courtroom, ready to eavesdrop on any potential decaffeinated lawyers who might happen to stop by.

I sat there for several hours, and had no luck with the lawyers. I was about to pack up and head home when guess who walked in? ROB HENNINGS HIMSELF. The man, the legend. In person, in front of my actual face.

He was in his hoody/sunglasses/baseball cap get-up, but I obviously recognised him straight away. He bought a drink (turmeric latte and a biscotti) and sat down. He must have been waiting for Nathan to come out of the courthouse!

I scuttled over and grabbed the table behind his, and pretended to read my book while obviously memorising every single move he made. I admit that I was partly hoping to get some kind of info RE: courthouse visits, but I was also just basking in the presence of The Man Himself.

Rob was messing around on his phone – listening to voicemails, organising photos, moving apps around his homescreen, typical ‘I’ve got time to waste behaviour’ – when he started clearing out his email inbox, deleting all the newsletters and spam. I’d managed to shuffle around to get a good view of his screen by this point, so I saw that one of the emails was a reminder from LiveJournal, the blogging website that used to be really popular a few years ago.

He only skimmed the email before deleting it, but I managed to read most of it. It said that his account was running out of storage space, and he needed to delete some files or upgrade to a plan with more memory. The account had the username ‘silentwakes’.

I did a quick google, and there is actually a LiveJournal account called @silentwakes that used to be active in the Loch & Ness fandom from 2011 – 2014.

Now, this email could have been sent to the wrong address. He did delete it very fast, which could mean that he thought it was spam and didn’t know what @silentwakes or LiveJournal meant.

But the fact that it’s a Loch & Ness account makes me think otherwise. What are the chances that the actor on the show would get this email, if it’s not connected to him? That’s a huge coincidence.

Soon after that, Rob walked over to the courthouse where I couldn’t follow him (still no info on what exactly they’re doing there – why are the tabloids sleeping on this? Do I have to do everything in this town?!). I started looking through the @silentwakes LiveJournal blog to try and find some proof that it’s his account.

If you’ve learnt anything at all from this essay so far, it’s that no evidence is considered admissible until all possible other justifications are disproven. (By the end of this treatise, you will all be issued with an official Gottie’s School of Journalism™ diploma. Get your graduation caps ready.)

Firstly, the birth date and location on the profile (1993, LA) match Rob’s details on his IMDb page, which is maintained by him or someone on his team. Secondly, Rob had admitted in many interviews to being a Loch & Ness fan before being cast on the TV adaptation.2

Thirdly, if you look at Rob’s private Facebook profile,3 his URL is personalised with a username. And guess what? It’s facebook.com/silentwakes. Meaning that silentwakes was the username he used on all social media at the time when he made his Facebook account in 2010. I’m slightly miffed that it never occurred to me to check his URL before now. But hindsight is 20/20.

If this still doesn’t prove that Rob is @silentwakes, here’s a screenshot of a LiveJournal post from November 2011 (I tracked down an archived copy recorded on the Wayback Machine at a time when the blog wasn’t so vigorously locked-down). In the post, @silentwakes took photos once an hour for a day, as part of a ‘Day in the life’ game that was going around LiveJournal. We know that Rob started his degree at UCLA in August 2011, based on his graduation date. These photos show a student going about their day on the same campus.

day.png

If you look at the third picture he took, it’s very clearly Rob’s hand opening the car door, with his distinctive burn on the right thumb. In the sixth picture, @silentwakes posts a picture of his dog. Judging by this Instagram picture of Rob last year with his parents’ dog, it’s the same dog. (Or, like, a descendent of it. I’m not sure how long dogs live; I’m a cat person.)

If you’re still not convinced this is really Rob’s account, you can go through and try to find further evidence in the posts to prove/disprove the hypothesis. But I’m more interested in telling you about what’s actually on the blog, and what we can learn from it.

I was actually going to post about Rob’s Twitter presence today, but in light of this new information, I’ve rewritten the chapter to focus on this LiveJournal account. It’s hugely interesting and informative, because it gives us rare access to Rob’s social media presence from the time before he had an online audience all watching his every move.


Rob’s pre-fame fandom participation

You can access the profile for @silentwakes (yes, the name is a Loch & Ness reference) using the Wayback Machine,4 a site which archives old websites from pre-Google years.

Three hundred entries were posted by this account between 2011 and 2014, according to the data on the profile page, and I have access to about 40% of them so far. The other blog posts were friend-locked, so that only accounts that @silentwakes had friended can read them.5

This account is of particular interest in its own right, even if we didn’t know it was written by Rob, because it was the focus of a great deal of controversy while active. But the evidence of the most vital importance to this essay is the fact that it is a Jayden/Fang shipping account.

That’s right. Rob Hennings wrote gay fanfiction about Loch & Ness when he was a teenager.

Honestly, I could end this right now and that would probably convince 90% of you that Rob and Nathan are a couple. Rob read the books and shipped Jayden and Fang?6 Then got cast as Jayden, and fell in love with the actor playing Fang?7

What a no-brainer. But because I’m good to you, and have academic standards, I am going to flog this dead horse for every shred of information available.


Information we can deduce from silentwakes

The most obvious piece of evidence we can infer from the LiveJournal account is that Rob Hennings is not straight, as his persona suggests. Frankly, I know of no straight men who write (incredibly explicit) gay fanfiction. This man is either gay or bisexual.

@silentwakes was a massive Jayden/Fang shipper – he posted fifteen fics over four years, all with that pairing, all explicit in content. His profile bio even said:

19/m/LA. I’m here for the Fayden smut, so I’m probably not going to comment on your mom-posts about your husbands and kids. But you can friend me anyway.

Mod and co-creator of @LandN_Yuletide since ’12. Future lawyer in the making. So don’t mess with me.

One of @silentwakes’ favourite tropes was ‘there’s only one bed at the inn’. He wrote four fics about it, and had another seven saved in his bookmarks too.8

@silentwakes joined the fandom quietly, at a point when there was already a significant community of Loch & Ness fans. His first few posts went wholly ignored, and even his comments9 on other people’s fics10 only garnered a friendly ‘thanks!’ in reply.

He made a few posts about his college years, though he never said where he was studying. Rob majored in Law at UCLA, which matches up with the information in posts like this:

It’s finals week at last! I cannot wait to be a sophomore and take classes with people who’ve actually decided on their major. I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was in junior high, so I just want to get on with it now.

Last summer I did an internship at a law firm, working with their copyright team, but this summer I am kicking back and relaxing. No work. No assignments. Just me, my laptop, and two new Loch & Ness books to power through.

Those kind of posts were largely ignored. @silentwakes first achieved more prominence in fandom when he posted a very moody blog entry complaining about the inaccuracies of gay sex in fic.

Listen, I know you’re all middle-aged women, but at least try to do some research before you open a word doc. You might all learn from each other’s writing in some sort of weird circle-jerk, but as a gay man, it kind of takes me out of the moment when the characters don’t use lube or whatever. HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG. PLEASE MAKE NOTES.11

There’s a lot more to the post, but I don’t feel the need to copy it here. I’ve seen the ages in some of your profiles. I’d rather not be accused of scarring the minds of minors, when all I’m trying to do is write a meticulously sourced and cited academic essay. You all get the point, anyway: Rob is a self-proclaimed gay man, who is super out.

@silentwakes’ post spread around the early Loch & Ness fandom. Surprisingly, a lot of people actually did take the criticism to heart, despite his venomous tone. He was friended by nearly fifty accounts in the next four days, all of whom he followed back.

When he posted his first fic12 a few weeks later, his follower list jumped again by another few dozen. Within six months of opening the account, he was one of the most followed users in the Loch & Ness LiveJournal community.

Even more people friended him when that winter he started up a Christmas gift exchange, where people sent each other fics as presents over the holiday season community. He ran @LandN_Yuletide with another fan. @silentwakes was officially on his way to becoming a Big-Name Fan (BNF).

There’s a lot of controversy still to come about @silentwakes, but I need to give you some greater context about the situation before we discuss that. I also don’t have the resources to provide a complete narrative right now – I’m missing some LiveJournal entries that I’d ideally want to include as evidence, which are locked to me. I’m reluctant to commit to any further commentary on this until I have the full story.

If anyone can access any more of @silentwakes’ friends-locked posts,13 please post screencaps in the comments or email them to me. I’ll use them in the next section on him. The username @silentwakes changed several times during 2011 – 2014 to @fangboy and @selkiesecrets, so the posts might come up under those names too. Thanks!

This information is so important to this essay. There is substantial evidence here to prove that Rob is gay. This helps us hugely, as we can now view his current social media posts through the lens of his pre-fame style of posting. We can now compare everything to the posting style of Rob before he had an ulterior motive for promoting a specific image under NBC’s rulings.

I think the last two chapters prove conclusively that Nathan and Rob are both LGBT+ men. For the rest of this treatise, I’m going to accept their sexualities as fact, and in the next chapter I’ll be focussing mainly on signs that they are not just attracted to each other, but in a serious and deeply committed relationship.

In other news, after the unquantifiable success of my coffee shop recon mission, I’ve decided to ride this wave of good luck as far as it will take me. I’m going back tomorrow – and I’m going to be prepared this time. I’ve worked out how to tether my phone to make a WiFi hotspot. Along with a terrible ClipArt coffee shop logo and a contact information sign-in page, I’m ready to find out what’s really going on here. I’m going to need a lot of coffees to get me through it.

– margot


Footnotes

1.If you want to know what I’m talking about, go look at the comments on my last post. I’m not moral enough to delete it, even if I won’t repost it. And please . . . don’t take this as a warning to stop.
2. Quote from a press interview at ComicCon 2017:
“Oh, man. I loved the books when I was a kid. I must have read them, like, twenty times each? It made it pretty easy to memorise my lines! I can’t tell you how much I wish I could tell my tiny pre-teen self that I get to play Jayden. Can you even imagine?”
3. FYI, his Facebook page is very locked down now, so it won’t come up if you search for him in the search bar, but it had already been found before he changed the privacy settings.
4. I’ve linked to how the account looked in 2014, when @silentwakes was at the height of his popularity and hadn’t yet started deleting posts due to controversy.
5. Don’t worry, I have insiders who are working on retrieving them. Hold tight, little ones.
6. If you’ve not read the books, I highly recommend them. #7 is my favourite. Here’s a snippet from the first book, to show you just why Jayden and Fang were so shippable, even before the TV series:
It was a routine call – or so we thought. A ‘Constable Loch’ had just been assigned as my shift partner, and though her reputation proceeded her, we’d never met before she was transferred in. I was anticipating an awkward night of chit-chat as we patrolled the streets.
“You’re the selkie, right?” she said, stubbing out her cigarette on the roof of the patrol car.
“Jayden,” I said, as she climbed in.
She blew smoke out of the open window, then pulled out onto the main road without indicating. “Lyra. Banshee.”
“I know. I heard about your inter-city potions bust last year. Impressive.”
She grinned at me. “Hasn’t got me out of night shifts yet though, eh?”
I settled in, feeling that this tour might not be so bad, after all.
The call came in on the radio at five after two in the morning. “Papa Charlie 418, can you tell me your current location please?”
“Depends what the job is,” Lyra answered. “We’re near McDonalds.”
“There’s a domestic on Levy Street. Are you free for an immediate job?”
Lyra sighed, and downed the rest of her coffee. “Yeah, we’re leaving now. Any previous at the address?”
“None that I can see.”
I flicked on the blue lights as Control filled us in on the call. When I paused at the junction to indicate, I saw Lyra roll her eyes. I’d taken control of the car keys when she made it clear that her driving wasn’t going to improve any time soon. She seemed to find my driving style just as offensive as I found hers.
“ETA, five minutes,” I said.
When we arrived at the call, the house seemed quiet. There were no lights on, but a white van was parked on the drive.
“Can you confirm the house number again for me?” I asked Control.
“Number seven.”
“Roger. We’re at the location now.”
“Do you need a back-up unit?”
Lyra and I exchanged cautious glances. There was a strange feeling niggling me, but I couldn’t work out what was ringing alarm bells. “No, I think we’re okay.”
I was about to knock on the door when a voice said, “I think you’re here for me, officers.”
I nearly jumped out of my skin. I pulled out my torch, shining it into the darkness. A man was standing motionless under the shadows of a tree.
“Are you all right, sir?” Lyra asked him, while I recovered from the shock.
“Quite.” He cleared his throat, and stepped closer, out of the darkness. He was at least six-foot-tall, Caucasian, mid-thirties with dark brown hair.
“Now, relax,” he said. “This won’t hurt a bit.”
Lyra and I didn’t have time to react as someone grabbed us from behind and dragged us into the back of the van. I struggled against them, but a hood was pulled down over my head and something tight was wrapped around my arms and legs. I kicked out, but a heavy force pinned me to the floor of the van. I could hear Lyra hissing, fighting to break free, as the engine started up and the van pulled away.
I realised then what had set off warning bells, when we had arrived at the scene. The van had no number plate.
Our radios buzzed: “Papa Charlie 418 for a welfare check.”
My radio and equipment were tugged away from my belt and thrown into the road. I heard my garlic spray explode as it broke, the crack as my police-issue wooden stake hit the tarmac.
In a panic, I ran through the standard procedure in my head, trying to work out what to do.
After approximately fifteen minutes, the van came to a stop.
“Lyra?” I whispered, after a long moment of silence.
The hood was pulled off my head. I blinked in the sudden bright light.
The man from the shadows tilted his head, staring down at me. I noticed fangs jutting from his upper lip. Vampire? Werewolf? Something worse? I wished I still had my silver handcuffs.
“What do you want with us?” I asked. I sounded formal, like I was about to begin a contract negotiation. There was no fear in the words at all.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Constable Ness.” I paused, and then kept going. You’re supposed to humanise yourself, so they see you as a person instead of an object. It makes it harder for them to kill you. “I’m twenty-six. I’ve got a sister, and I live with my parents. We’re -”
“That’s enough.” He ran a clawed thumb down my face, and I shivered.
“If you’re after a ransom,” Lyra began, “Our insurance will cover it. You’ll get it, no problem. You don’t need to hurt him.”
“I’m not here for a ransom. I want your skin, little selkie.”
I blinked up at him, the breath caught in my throat. They were here for my sealskin? Was he a warlock, then? Did he need a selkie coat for some kind of spell?
“It’s not – I don’t-” I stuttered, caught by surprise. “I don’t have it here with me. And I wouldn’t give it you, even if I did.”
“Oh, Constable Ness. I’m afraid you don’t have much of a choice.”
7. We don’t know how Rob reacted when he was cast as Jayden. He’d been out of fandom for a while by then. But I imagine it was something along the lines of ‘ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!!!!!’
8. Because I can’t resist, look at this gif from the TV series, where Jayden and Fang are forced to share a bed in an overbooked motel. Does anyone else think Rob’s pupils are dilated in this screencap, or is it just me? I wish we knew if Rob and Nathan were dating at this point or not, because wooooow. How did he get through filming this otherwise?!
9. A comment left by @silentwakes:
I loved this! I really like the line ‘Fang’s gaze pinned Jayden to the wall, his blinding blue eyes scarcely letting up, even from the other side of the room.’ Swoon!
10. A comment left by @silentwakes:
Have you read this deleted scene on the author’s website? It says that Fang was originally a girl and was going to be Jayden’s love interest. He changed Fang to a guy so he could do the imprinting storyline in book 2. But it’s still totally obvious that originally Fang was Jayden’s love interest, right?!
11. It’s almost laughable to compare the tone of this blog post to some of the coy press interviews now, where Rob isn’t even allowed to swear. In those interviews he pretends to have never considered any ship other than the canon Jayden/Lyra. If it isn’t clear to you by now that their entire actor personas are LIES, then I don’t know what to say to you.
12. The @silentwakes fics are super SUPER locked-down, and I haven’t got access to a single one of them yet, which kills me. The first one was titled FIC: Secrets of the Heart [Jayden/Fang] though – I know this because a few people recced it in the comments on community posts.
13. There are several posts in particular which I haven’t been able to get access to, which look like they might fill in some missing links – I’ve see these titles embedded in URLs linked to by other people, and I would like to read – ‘The Accusations Against Me’, ‘IP addresses and why you don’t understand them’, and ‘WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT?’.


Comments (542)

lilithfatale wait, livejournal? I was totally with you until that bit. I haven’t heard anything about that before. I don’t believe that account is truly rob’s.

Dottieday Breaking news: Nathan’s visa expired!!! He was in trouble for staying here after it ran out. as reported by the tabloids, anyway

Ellagibbons OOOH. Do you think he’s going to be deported?

Kellykardashian you wrote all this today? After discovering the livejournal? How…..did you do that so fast….please write my world lit essay for me.



final coverChapter 2 | Goodreads | Chapter 4 >

Gottie is a fangirl for Loch & Ness, a TV show about paranormal detectives. She’s convinced that two of the male actors are secretly dating, and she’ll stop at nothing to prove it. When her online investigations accidentally uncover far more than she expects, she becomes complicit in secrets beyond just a romantic conspiracy theory.

An internet thriller told in a ‘true crime’ style recollection of events, the novel includes social media extracts such as modern Tumblr posts and early-noughties LiveJournal blog entries.

More information | Support on Patreon | Discuss theories on Discord

 

7 thoughts on “Chapter 3 – Rob’s Social Media Presence

  1. I can’t get over how completely absorbing this story is, and not to mention how painfully realistic it is. It’s giving me flashbacks to my superwholock days (in a good way).

    Like

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