Chapter 13 – Silentwakes’ last stand

Case 2:13-cv-45524-PAD Document 4 Filed 16/01/20 Page 152 of 285

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT – EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Annotation for Exhibit D: Please note the date of this chapter. By this time the death of the victim had already taken place.


Chapter 13 – Silentwakes’ last stand

@gottiewrites 25/09/18

While I recover from my adventures yesterday, I’m going to go ahead and post this chapter, which I had waiting in my drafts. There’s more I need to tell you about what I found at the house (allegedly, if you wish to believe I went, not that I’m admitting to anything, etc) but I need a bit more time to write that up.

So – in this entry, we’re approaching showdown for @silentwakes. I know you’re all dying to find out how it all ended for Rob.1 His attempts to stop me have just made me all the more determined to post everything I know. I’m not going to leave you hanging any longer.

A few days after @effiemeral purged her blog, a new community quietly opened on LiveJournal. It was called @landn_honesty, and it set itself up to be an anonymous community where:

Anyone and everyone can throw off the shackles of identity to spill the beans about their secret Loch & Ness fandom annoyances, worst enemies, and most-hated BNFs. Kick back a seat, turn on anonymous posting and let the nastiness fly.2

Basically, once a week a new blog post went up naming fifteen random people in the fandom. People went wild in the comments, anonymously posting their opinions of the users, and goading each other into saying meaner and nastier things. It was a horrible format that unfortunately existed in many fandoms back in the noughties,3 but this was the first time a community of this type had existed in the Loch & Ness fandom.

People were alternately delighted and disgusted by the idea. The first post on @landn_honesty named and shamed @effiemeral (of course), as well as few of the biggest fans. It notably excluded @silentwakes.

It garnered nearly a thousand comments, of which this is a random sampling:

Anonymous I’m so glad that @effiemeral4 is gone, she was so whiny. She spoke like she was about 12. Good riddance, the blogosphere is better without her. Kudos to @silentwakes there.

Anonymous Enquiring minds want to know: why does @angelspike always describe characters’ skin colours in her fics? e.g. My porcelain hands reached for the gun. It drives me nuts! headdesk

Anonymous Pet peeve: @mrsjacksparrow nitpicks all the grammar in people’s blog posts. Just leave people alone?! *your **its ***though

All in all, it was a very successful inaugural outing for the new community. The next week, one of the users chosen by @landn_honesty to face their turn at the stocks was @nessiesgirl, of course.5

Within minutes of the post going live, an anonymous commenter posted this:

Anonymous @nessiesgirl is so old. Doesn’t she have anything better to do than go online? It’s creepy that she’s talking to people so much younger than her. People her age shouldn’t be in fandom with teenagers. She can only have one reason for being here, if you know what I mean…..

A few minutes after that, a second, equally venomous (and apparently prepared) anonymouse posted an image in reply to this. The picture was a photoshopped version of @nessiesgirl’s icon, manipulated to make it look like her avatar was engaged in an explicit sexual act.

Now, Rob was quite clever here. He made his own community, so no one else had access to the IP addresses of the anonymous commenters (he’d already been caught out that way once). Then he went after @nessiesgirl with the worst possible accusation, providing a memorable and easily shareable way for this information to spread: through an icon. It’s an incredibly effective smear campaign.

Unfortunately, his comments received this reply:

I checked the source code of the icon to see where you hotlinked the image from, and it goes to http://www.silentwakesficarchive.com.6 Hi, @silentwakes. Haven’t you had enough to do recently, what with destroying @effiemeral’s life?

@nessiesgirl has been in fandom for longer than you’ve been alive, and she built this community single-handedly. By implying that she’s ‘too old’ for this, what you’re really saying is that women over a certain age should spend their free time doing housework and chores instead of engaging in their hobbies. People don’t just get to forty and lose all interest in their favourite things. Would you attack an older man for playing golf with someone younger than him?

Do you have any idea of the history of fandom, and how much @nessiesgirl has helped fight over the last decade to make a safe space where women can exist without fear of judgement or violence? You’re an oblivious, naïve little boy who has no idea what kind of accusations you’re making without evidence. I highly recommend you delete your comment, and never post here or anywhere else again.

honesty1

honesty2

Instead of tarring and feathering @nessiesgirl like he’d intended, the comments devolved into a discussion of @silentwakes himself. His claims against @nessiesgirl didn’t stick, and, in fact, people started mocking him, and making photoshopped versions of his own icon. @silentwakes deleted @landn_honesty in disgrace.

However, he apparently made one last attempted to take down @nessiesgirl. Three days later, she posted this blog entry:

I’m in shock. Today I received a letter in the mail at my home. It was addressed to my real name. Here’s a scan, with my personal details obscured:

letter.jpg

_________

______

____

_______

Dear ______,

I work in Human Resources at _______. This is a courtesy letter to inform you that your direct superiors have become aware of your activities on your blog at http://nessiesgirl.livejournal.com.

I’m writing to recommend that you delete all online activity, including any and all smutty or pornographic content, before the review board meets to discuss your case.

I can’t guarantee that this will help save your job, as a lot of entries have already been recorded in downloads, but it may be the best chance you have of leaving the company with part of your pension and severance package intact.

I’m very sorry to be the one to pass on this news. In total honesty, I shouldn’t be telling you about it at all. I couldn’t stay silent in this matter in all good conscience when you stand to lose so much. All of our mutual colleagues have only ever spoken of you in the highest regard.

          Yours sincerely,

          ___________

When I spoke to the senior staff members about this, they told me that I wasn’t under review at all, and they didn’t care what I posted online, as long as it wasn’t illegal. In fact, none of them even knew what fanfiction was. Someone wrote this letter as a prank – a mean and spiteful one designed to make my work life self-implode.

I have my suspicions about who sent this letter to me, though I don’t know how he got hold of my name and home address. @silentwakes has been trying to drive me out of fandom ever since I accused him of sending himself a false donation using the @lillyletters sockpuppet. He took down @effiemeral, and when the hate campaign on @landn_honesty failed to do the same to me, he took more drastic measures with this copyright letter.

I confronted him about this on AIM, and we had the following conversation:

Nessiesgirl: Please stop harassing me. The letter is fake, and I know it.

silentwakes: What letter?

Nessiesgirl: Just stop.

silentwakes: You’ve accused me of creating false accounts, faking money transactions and now sending letters? Why can’t you leave me alone, Margaret?

Nessiesgirl: I never told you my name was Margaret. I never told anyone on LiveJournal my real name.

At that point, he blocked me both on AIM and LiveJournal.

I know it was him. He clearly found my name, address and workplace from somewhere and sent me this awful letter. Well, if his aim was to drive me away from this website, then he’s succeeded. I’m going. This is all too much for me.

I can’t believe it’s come to this. I first joined a fandom in ’89. I worked on a military base as a secretary, so I had access to a networked computer back when they were very new, in the early days of the internet. I used to stay in the office after work so I could go on Usenet and read the conversations happening on alt.rec.arts.television.twincrests. I had friends who didn’t have access to computers, so I’d print out the discussions on long reels of dot-matrix paper. They’d pass them around, so we could all read everyone’s theories about the show Twin Crests.

Over the years, I moved around from fandom to fandom, following my favourite writers to wherever they went. The world of fanfiction has always been a huge source of enjoyment and creativity for me, but I think this is my last fandom.

I don’t feel welcome here anymore. @silentwakes has driven out @effiemeral, and now he’s driven me out too. I’ve seen ship wars happen online before, but nothing with this level of pure level of malice and genuine bad will. This has turned into a massive source of stress for me, and I see nothing here that I want to be a part of.

The vibrant LiveJournal community has been in the midst of a mass exodus to Tumblr for several years now, and I’ve hated seeing this social group get quieter and quieter. It’s time for me to join the departing masses.

Tumblr isn’t for me, but I’d very much enjoy staying in touch with anyone who would like to, via email. But for everyone else, goodbye. I won’t say it’s always been a pleasure, but it’s certainly been interesting.

Yours,

nessiesgirl

I didn’t know about this post until this week, when someone uncovered it in the course of their investigations. I had no idea Rob’s attacks sank so low. I’m not sure how he got hold of @nessiegirl’s address,7 but his plan wasn’t quite clever enough.

He succeeded in his goal of driving Margaret off LiveJournal, but it backfired on him. @nessiesgirl’s blog post was so heartfelt and honest that everyone believed her in way they hadn’t believed @effiemeral when she denied the accusations of plagiarism (see Chapter 11). The fact that @silentwakes had been caught posting vicious messages about @nessiesgirl in the @landn_honesty hate thread was only further evidence against him.

One by one, people started going back over everything that had happened since his fundraiser and realised that the accusations made against @silentwakes must be true: he really had faked a huge donation of money to himself. They all started discussing this, trying to work out why he would do such a thing and then go to such great lengths to deny it.

And that, basically, was the end of that. @silentwakes got scared that someone else would find out enough to discover the truth, whatever that may have been (we still don’t know).

He put up a good fight, but in the end, he had to give in and admit defeat. He quietly closed down his account, making all the posts private and disappearing for good. He never even made a final attempt to stand up for himself.

We’re not aware of any other social media accounts that Rob used until his official acting profiles were created. No one ever heard from @silentwakes again,8 and Rob disappeared from the internet, only resurfacing three years later when he was cast in Loch & Ness. I don’t even know what he was doing for work in the intervening time.

We’re not sure what Rob was trying to do with his fund-raising in the fandom. He might have just been trying to get more friends and increase his BNF status, as we know he thrives on fame. I think there’s clearly something more going on though, especially if he went to the effort of stealing my laptop to hide it.

Hopefully one of you will be able to give me some more info which will help. If not, this is all I’ve got on this story.9

– margot


Footnotes

1. Especially now it seems that he’s willing to do anything to make sure this doesn’t get posted online. He stole my laptop to stop me! So if you’re reading this, Rob, hello! Sorrynotsorry!
2. The full text of this post has been lost to the ravages of time, but this choice snippet remains from when the new community was promo-ed in a fandom newsletter
3. This was from before Tumblr’s anonymous asks helped fandom really spread the hate.
4. On LiveJournal, a strike-through username indicated that the account had been deleted. @silentwakes tended to leave a trail of them in his wake, silently. No, I’m not sorry about that joke.  
5. Again, @silentwakes was not mentioned. Can anyone guess why….?
6. Tragically, I can’t find any archived versions of this website. I wish we had access to all his fanfiction, and whatever else he’d put on his website, but it’s just not out there anymore.
7. ETA: probably in the same way he found mine. I didn’t know he was the one who’d broken into my house to take my laptop when I wrote this chapter, so rereading it today before I posted this was a shock to the system. He’s been doing the same thing for years and year, first to Margaret and then to me.
8.Although in my research I have noticed a few odd anonymous hate comments were posted on various blogs in the Loch & Ness fandom over the next few months. I’d love to see the IP addresses on those. I bet they’d track back to LA.
9. I’ve uploaded all of the new @silentwakes posts I’ve been sent here, which include a few I didn’t include in this essay, if you’re curious. There are a few I’m 90% sure are faked, which I’ve included in an appendix. If you sent these, please know that you are disrupting the cause of justice in obscuring the truth about Nathan/Rob, and I will hate you until your dying day. Especially the person who sent the fake @silentwakes post where he talks about how much he likes fuchsias ‘because they remind him of the reassuring comfort of his mother’s womb’.

Comments (4732)

crowleysbetterhalf here 👏 for 👏 this 👏

lockedup (through tears) have you ever seen anything so BEAUTIFUL? I don’t even care if this is made up, gottie is spinning us the best yarn since Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way made her FanFiction.Net debut.

RIAxoTT Let’s catch everyone up on the timeline of this “expose” (air quotes to represent my utter DOUBT that this is true in any way). This is all blowing my mind right now:

2014 – Rob gets caught messing around online, retaliates by doxxing local internet users as an intimidation tactic

2016 – gets cast in a tv show and promptly gets MEGA FAMOUS, we all acquire a new collective fandom boyfriend

2018 – gottie starts recapping his past antics online, so he DOXXES HER TOO

2018 – gottie DOXXES HIM BACK?

2022 [extrapolated] – gottie gets cast in a tv show as rob’s love interest, the internet starts shipping them, they both get doxexd by another fan

tinyshaz i-GUESS.jpg

Anonymous You literally cannot make this up. I mean, honestly. Who thought it was a good idea to let people who grew up posting dumb stuff online get famous?

Anonymous tbh its surprising that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often. Cant wait until the day a royal youth’s secret insta is uncovered, and we get to see what sick memes the heir to the throne of England posts when he’s avoiding doing his homework at Eton after beef and plum pudding

anxiousalien we’re all hot 4 dank fortnite memes!!

GottiesMouseArmy I love you gottie!!! you’re THRIVING!

Anonymous STOP ENABLING HER!!!!

FantasticBooksAWTFT okay so obviously we have to take everything gottie says with a pinch of salt, but I have to say that this is a solid write-up. this livejournal stuff did really happen. The claim that rob is supposedly silentwakes aside, and ignoring the OBVIOUS lie that he stole some rando blogger’s laptop, there is some genuine fandom history right here. good work on that at least, I guess. *gold star*

Anonymous Someone posted gottie’s fb in the comments of the last chapter, and I managed to track down her personal website where she posts the articles she has written for her school newspaper. Pretty similar style to this essay, actually. Here’s one:

School Meals Debt Lifted for Upper Grades

by Margot Garcia

The school governors decided at their quarterly meeting, which took place last Thursday in the auditorium, that from next month on all unpaid lunch debts will be wiped from the record at the end of each semester. Previously, debts were carried over until the end of the school year.

This unfairly targeted lower-income students, as penalties are added to accounts with unpaid credit, reducing their daily meal allowance. In a statement yesterday, the student president vowed to campaign for these penalties to be discontinued too, so there are no negative effects that would cause students to skip eating due to lack of money. The governors will discuss this at the next quarterly meeting, set to take place after Christmas break.

The principal said, “All students are a valued part of this community, and we recognise that previous rules were weighted against certain socio-economic groups. We value all feedback from the student body and will continue to make changes to our guidelines as we become aware of unintentional implications.”

If you have any comments or concerns, you can leave anonymous feedback in a Suggestions box outside the school reception, or direct them to the school president, whose homeroom is Room 7H.

EllaEnchanted notice how gottie has stopped replying to comments now that we’ve all let loose and started absolutely roasting her? I bet she’ll delete her account by the end of the day.

gottiewrites I’m still here. I’m just busy working on the next chapter. I’m not going to waste time engaging with trolls in the comments when I know I have proof coming up that will persuade every single one of you that this is all real.

EllaEnchanted Can’t wait to see what lies you’re making up for the next chapter!!

macdenclown pepe silvia did it.

Anonymous who was it that said in the comments on one of the first few chapters that said we shouldn’t trust gottie because she’s a fraud who has a habit of leaving fandoms when she gets called out, and starting over with a new name? you CALLED it! dang!


final coverChapter 12 | Contents pageGoodreads | Chapter 14 >

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 | Leave a tip on Ko-fi

 

11 thoughts on “Chapter 13 – Silentwakes’ last stand

  1. the SOUND i made when i read the annotation at the beginning, i cannot believe this
    this is so good, god i can’t wait until we’ve reached the end so i can go back and reread everything and go “hehe” at every clue i’ve completely missed the first time around

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I don’t even care if this is made up, gottie is spinning us the best yarn since Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way made her FanFiction.Net debut.” – A big, big mood!
    Also who will die?! I am on the edge of my seat!

    Liked by 2 people

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