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Thanfiction, for those not in the know, is the username of the author responsible for the famously controversial fanfic Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness. A couple of years back, fandom_wank exposed him as the serial con artist, minor cult leader, and inveterate liar also known as Victoria Bitter, Andrew Blake, Jordan Wood, Amy Player, and several dozen other names.
Recently, his ex-girlfriend, Abbey Willson (known by the username of OrangeBlossom at the time) has begun chronicling how her involvement with him affected her life. Suffice it to say that she ended up requiring an intervention, cult deprogramming, and lots and lots of therapy.
Her blog is here, with the entries particularly concerning Thanfiction quite appropriately categorised under the tag of 'The Crazy Train'. I suggest you give it a look. It's one hell of a read, and the fact that she managed to eventually emerge from the experience as intact as she did is frankly astonishing.
edited 7th Feb '12 2:43:12 AM by Iaculus
I've been following the blog with interest. "The Crazy Train" is a good tag for that section.
This... character... has also made a vehement enemy of Colleen Doran, which rather surprised me - seems she's good friends with some people he deeply hurt and misused, and she Doesn't Like That.
Peg Kerr speculates (scroll down to Feb 1 2010) that although he is quite talented, he's too dysfunctional to do anything that is genuinely and totally original with it.
I'm glad I didn't get any deeper involved, and now I'm observing developments from what I trust is a safe distance. It's been five days since anything at all has been posted on the main DAYDverse blog, and I'm wondering if it's writer's block or implosion or what. (Two of the other names that have appeared regularly are either sockpuppets or co-residents who let him use their accounts - and I'm suspicious of several others.)
Good on Abbey for putting herself back together so well once she was pried free of the whole mess.
edited 6th Feb '12 8:17:29 PM by Maven
Welp, now I will never read Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness.
Sporkaganza: you're actually not missing that much. There are several other treatments of Year 7 at Hogwarts from a Neville-centric POV, which don't do nearly as much violence (in any and all senses) to characters and canon. One is "The Lions of Gryffindor", by Lyras (especially nice characterization of Gran Longbottom), another is ''Under Snape's Regime'', by joehook, which is nearly as long and complex as DAYD while remaining more or less canon-compliant. There are lots more, but those are my top two choices at present.
DAYD has been Sporked by both "nevermore" and "uke-nagashi", quite effectively. If you want to know Why It Sucks without having to actually read the thing, either or both of those is a good alternative.
DO NOT bother with the DAYD sequels - they turn canon mutilation into a bizarro art form. (And the second sequel, A Peccatis, isn't finished, has been stalled several times in the past, and looks like it's stalled again.) I'm not going to re-read Sluagh for any reason, but I'm strongly tempted to take a Spork to A Peccatis myself.
edited 8th Feb '12 6:52:07 AM by Maven
Note to Iaculus: it seems the Crazy Train has completely derailed (again?), and Thanfiction is trying to find some meds that will help without totally screwing him up (and, one hopes, he's trying to pick up the pieces and patch them back together). He's had occasional interludes of admitting that he was way beyond merely crazy, but I don't know if he's ever faced up to just how wacko-delusional he was (is?).
Even if he succeeds in salvaging himself, I don't think he's going to find a lot of forgiveness.
edited 29th Feb '12 6:23:33 PM by Maven
Well, the story runs that this person has surfaced again within Supernatural.
Personally I read a lot of his essays and junk and found them to be really interesting before I found out about all this 'con artist' stuff.
Mostly it just makes me sad, because the ideas are there for him to be perfectly popular without resorting to much measures.
I was somewhat tangentially involved at the height of the DAYD crazy and... the comparisons to a cult were not far wrong. It nearly tore my life apart, and I was lucky to come out the other side mostly unscathed with my future still ahead of me.
I'm not going to give any more detail, for personal and privacy reasons, but they are not exaggerating at all.
Sorry for what you went through, and I'm not going to ask for details, but that ended up going as bad as OrangeBlossom's experiences with the LOTR stuff, did it? Yeesh.
Oh, definitely not for me personally, but for other people who were more involved with the 'inner circle'... yeah, maybe not quite as awful, but close.
And thank you. Truly. It's still a period of my life I choose Not To Think About, but I know very well I was one of the lucky ones.
edited 26th Feb '13 8:24:06 AM by RoseAndHeather
Pardon me if this sounds a tad dismissive or ignorant, but I would not quite ever expect a legitimate cult to spring up around a Harry Potter fanfic.
Well, technically speaking, first it was a Lord of the Rings fanfic, then he repeated his... success?... with the Harry Potter fandom (with a weird World War II traumatised-children thing bridging the gap), and now Supernatural.
Let's not forget that a prominent (and extremely wealthy) religion had its basis in the writings of a third-rate sci-fi hack.
But what could possibly be in it to inspire such a following? All I know about it (from hearsay) is that it started out as an alternate perspective retelling of the HP books and then turned into a GRIMDARK Kill 'Em All thing with tons of misogyny.
Yeah, but the religion started as self help stuff based around extremely effective and engaging techniques (Effective in that they get people hooked, not that they actually helped), not as sci fi crap (Which were only used retroactively later as it grew into a religion to give it some sort of background).
I am also curious how a fanfic, any fanfic, could produce a cult.
edited 26th Feb '13 3:33:48 PM by Ghilz
I suppose the best way to describe it is... ah, hell. "Cult of personality" maybe? There was something kind of... addictive about him. He could make you feel special. I know when I fell into it I had just left home for the first time, most of my real-life friends lived a couple hundred miles away, and... well, I got caught up in his spell, I guess. I still can't quite put it in words myself. It wasn't about the fanfic, really, that was just... the stage, if you will. A tool.
Him? The author?
Yeah. Sorry, forgot to make that clear.
It's all good.
i was bored today, and started reading up on this.
this is an ARG, right? theres no way this could actually happen...
No, apparently, this is real. The shootings were reported in several online newspapers.
Yikes, he's at it again.
Well, I guess this explains why the Daydverse fanfics have been fading away - oh, he claims he's still "interested", but everything he's done lately has revolved around this shiny new fandom which - he hopes - hasn't heard all the wank yet.
So it goes. I think I predicted a while ago that the third fanfic would never be finished. Probably just as well, as it had cartwheeled so far away from canon that it was headed over the cliff for a smash at the bottom of the canyon.
Caveat lector. Caveant fani.
[bilefascination]Ooooh, what fandom?[/bilefascination]
Eff. That was intended to be public. Oh well.
Known fandoms that "Thanfiction" has been involved with:
Horatio Hornblower fandom
Star Trek fandom
Lord of the Rings fandom (first major disaster)
Harry Potter fandom (second major disaster)
Made overtures to both Twilight and Hunger Games fandom, only to run away again when it became clear they had been Forewarned
Supernatural (TV show) fandom (shaping up for third major disaster if they don't watch out)
My reference to unfinished "third fanfic" was to A Peccatis, which was supposed to take the Daydverse up to the "Epilogue" from Deathly Hallows - but got repeatedly stuck for long periods of time and has, perhaps, been abandoned. (It had already committed Canoncide several times.)
edited 19th Jul '13 5:11:36 PM by Maven
It's now a year and a half later, and there have been no further installments of A Peccatis, despite occasional noise about how he was still "working on it".
Probably just as well, considering how thoroughly Crucio'd the official Canon had already been.
Meanwhile, Ye Author has moved on to, and through, Supernatural and Teen Wolf fandom (I think TW got an early and effective warn-off, as did Marvel Comics Movies fandom) and has been seen lurking on one or more Social Justice Tumblr groups, and periodically shooting his mouth off on Social Justice topics on his own Tumblr. Usually with the most oblivious irony ever. http://delwynmarch.tumblr.com/
He continues to inflict damage on vulnerable people, reeling them in when they interest him, playing with them like a cat with a mouse, and discarding them once he's done, leaving them broken and emotionally (though usually not physically) bleeding. http://fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.org/97483.html?thread=477395659#cmt477395659
A lot of people, and several Tumblrs, are now alert to his malevolence and are watching him closely (and commenting regularly). This very Thread has been referenced once or twice.
I have taken the liberty of labeling A Peccatis a Dead Fic, and posting a spoiler for how it was supposed to end as a sub-item under "Yank the Dog's Chain". https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FanFic/DumbledoresArmyAndTheYearOfDarkness. It's tagged "The Dog Was the Mastermind".
Update: Those entries were "commented out", so I posted the original outline, with my comments, on the main Discussion page.
edited 4th May '15 8:13:05 PM by Maven
I got linked to the blog in the OP when I was looking at stuff about a nearby Tumblr convention that had gone disastrously wrong and noticed a little something called "Tentmoot". Several days of reading later, I was pretty fucking spooked. I mean, really, how the fuck does this stuff happen? My mind is small and slow and easily vexed. @_@
Why isn't he in prison yet?
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