Fandom History, Epic Wankers Edition: Victoria Bitter/Jordan Wood/Andy Blake

Fandom History, Epic Wankers Edition: Victoria Bitter/Jordan Wood/Andy Blake

So, one of my soon-to-be fellow graduate students at A&M asked me to give her a rundown on Andy Blake and I was like GIRL, GO MAKE SOME POPCORN AND GET FIXINGS FOR S’MORES AND THEN COME SIT BY THE CAMPFIRE AND I WILL TELL YOU A TALE THAT WILL CHILL YOUR BONES.

And then I was like “… actually this is gonna take me a while, so… hold on?”

Seven and a half pages worth of Word document and approximately 4500 words later, I have finished my summary of the Sordid Tale of Victoria Bitter/Jordan Wood/Andy Blake. I figured since I went to the trouble of writing it all down, I might as well publish it here as opposed to just passing it along to my friend. If anyone reading this has anything to add that they feel is important and/or which I couldn’t put here because it’s now in locked posts that used to be public or which you have permission to disclose/make public, please feel free to comment!


Once upon a time in Lord of the Rings movie fandom, back in the early 2000s, there was a great disturbance in the force (I know I’m mixing my metaphors here, but go with me): amongst the RPS (real person slash) tinhats (aka the ones who were crazy enough to think they weren’t just reading hot fanfic but were onto Great Truths About the Actors) there was a great divide! Was Dominic Monaghan engaged in a torrid affair with Elijah Wood or Billy Boyd? The battle between the tinhats was fierce and much pixelly blood was shed. It was onto this stage that Victoria Bitter first strode.

(Note: Andy Blake is male, but previously identified as female before coming out as transgendered FTM. I am not entirely sure of the etiquette for pronoun usage in this case – female pronouns in the past and male pronouns now, male pronouns all the time? – but the folks at Fandom Wank seem to have settled on male pronouns all the time, so that’s what I’m gonna go with. Apologies if it is confusing. But VB/Amy Player/Jordan Wood/Andy Blake are all the same person.)

Amy Player was a generally well-regarded member of LOTR fandom who went by the pseudonym Victoria Bitter. And then one day he started posting on his LiveJournal that he was having the dreams of Merry Brandybuck. Not dreams about Merry, but dreaming as if he were Merry because he was channeling Merry’s spirit. He was also apparently doing, like, automatic writing in something that was supposed to be a language of Middle Earth but according to fans who were into Tolkien’s invented languages in a serious way was actually nothing like any of them. In the words of the Fandom Wank wiki: “This would just be crazy if Merry had simply lived hundreds of years ago, but since he’s a fictional character from the Lord of the Rings series our diagnosis must progress to wiggling our finger over our pursed lips.” I concur. However, he still managed to attract the attention of some of the crazier members of LOTR fandom, including a woman named Abigail Stone, whose screenname was OrangeBlossom and who also thought she was channeling the spirit of a fictional hobbit. AS YOU DO. [Edit 7/10: It has come to my attention in the comments that Abbey did not initially believe she was channeling hobbits, and that it was VB’s cult-like practices that would eventually convince her that she was.]  VB soon relocated to Oregon to begin a romantic relationship with OB, and they start a website called BitofEarth.net (which will be very important later).

VB and OB soon rocketed to dubious fame in the LOTR fandom, particularly in “Domlijah” (Dominic/Elijah) tinhat circles by claiming to be friends with Sean Astin. They then of course claimed that through this super special connection to Elijah they could prove he was engaging in a passionate affair with Dominic. They even made a sockpuppet LiveJournal which they purported to be Elijah’s LJ… and then they “revealed” that actually, they knew Elijah was banging Dominic because VB was channeling Elijah’s spirit, much like he had Merry’s.

At which point even the tinhattiest Domlijah tinhats were like “whoa, Nellie!” and backed away slowly.

In the wake of the dual channeling wanks, VB essentially disappeared from fandom. I believe there was even some kind of “bye folks, I’m out!” post on his LJ, and then “Victoria Bitter” was no more.

Eventually, OB was now dating someone called Jordan Wood, who identifies as a man and who has – completely coincidentally they swear! – taken over the same position at Bit of Earth that VB used to fill. Rumors begin to surface that Jordan might actually be VB, but OB vigorously denies them, insisting that Jordan is a man and Jordan had always been a man, and she would scan his driver’s license if she thought it would help, and actually VB had committed suicide because OB had left VB for Jordan.

Eventually, however, Fandom Wank comes to the inescapable conclusion that Jordan Wood is not only VB, Jordan Wood is VB claiming not to be transgender but to be magically growing a penis and turning into Elijah Wood because that is a thing that happens when you channel someone’s spirit hard enough apparently. Pictures of Jordan surface and everyone agrees that they are just VB with a buzz cut, wearing boys’ clothes and blue contacts. Fandom Wank shakes its head, especially when it’s realized that back in Virginia, poor Amy Player’s face has been put on a milk carton because Amy Player is officially a missing person and the Player family has no idea that “Jordan” is in Oregon, growing a magic cock. [Clarification 7/11: PLEASE NOTE: that is not this author’s actual view of trans* issues; that is the story – or at least a story – that was being circulated at the time, and my goal is to document that.]

Then all hell broke loose.

So BitofEarth.net started out as a LOTR fansite with a special dedication to Sam Gamgee/Sean Astin (hence the name). At one point, they even had an event which Sean Astin attended where they opened a garden of some kind for children or something (details fuzzy in my memory, sorry) and Jordan enlisted a probably very confused Sean to be part of his marriage proposal to OB.

[Edit 7/8: Thanks to a commenter, I can clarify that the above mentioned event was the creation of a reading garden originally intended to be planted at a city library in a town near Portland, and then at a bookstore across the street when the plan was vetoed by the library. The event was billed as a fundraiser for Reading is Fundamental, but money/the process was poorly managed and so there were no proceeds left to donate after the costs of materials etc. Commenter reports, however, that the garden is still there, has been added to in the intervening years, and is pleasant to visit.]

Then in late 2003 they started planning something called Tentmoot, which was going to be a LOTR fan convention in Oregon. They booked actors from the movies including Manu Bennett (he played lots of the orc/other covered-in-complicated-makeup characters) and possibly Sean Astin again iirc and a bunch of others, and the band Black Seeds. Jordan and OB were to be in charge of booking a venue and making travel arrangements. In doing so, they claimed charity status for BoE in order to get discounts.

Just days before the con was supposed to happen, Jordan and OB told a BoE member who was helping them organize the con, Turimel, that Air New Zealand had backed out of an offer to fly con guests to the US for free. Turimel stepped forward to save the con and paid for tickets, but then found out that Jordan had never actually made any deals with Air New Zealand in the first place. Naturally alarmed by this obvious red flag, Turimel attempted to cancel bookings because it was clear that things were about to fall apart, but three actors arrived in LA before she could do so. The actors had been promised accommodations, but those were also unsurprisingly not booked. The entire con was cancelled when OB came forward and claimed that Jordan had been hospitalized due to, you guessed it, a suicide attempt.

Turimel was understandably furious at finding herself thousands of dollars in the hole and with actors she admired angry with her. She reported OB and Jordan to the Oregon Department of Justice, which investigated them for charity fraud and identity theft (which is I guess what Oregon charges you with if you operate under a false identity, because that’s what Amy/Jordan was doing; he had false papers with the name Jordan Wood on them), among other things. Eventually, they were put on probation and told to go forth and sin no more, by which I mean they were prohibited from ever soliciting money for BoE or any charity at all in the state of Oregon ever again.

So naturally, they moved to California. Turimel, meanwhile, wrote a book about the whole debacle called When a Fan Hits the Shit. So, that’s a thing that exists.

[Edit 7/8: Per same commenter as above, who has read Turimel’s book, she (Turimel) managed to stop the charges for the airline tickets, but the airline reported her to credit reporting agencies. If I recall correctly, it took several years of legal wrangling before that was all cleared up, and much of Turimel’s lingering animosity had to do with collections issues hanging over her head constantly. Also according to our intrepid and helpful commenter, the actors stranded in LA were Jed Brophy, Brian Sargent and Paul Randall. Lawrence Makaore was checked in for his flight, but the gate agents caught wind of the cancelled charges and kept him from boarding the plane.]

When the internet next caught wind of Jordan and OB’s activities, it was summer 2004 and an eagle-eyed Fandom Wank member spotted them working on Hollywood Blvd as costumed characters. Other FW members who had recently been along Hollywood Blvd freak out over the idea of being so close to Victoria Bitter without knowing it. In October 2005, the Wall Street Journal published an article about street performers dressed up as movie characters taking pictures with tourists on Hollywood Blvd for cash. Pictured in the article were none other than Jordan and OB as Puss ‘n Boots and Fiona (respectively) from Shrek.

For two long years, all was quiet on the VB front. The wank slept, waiting. Unbeknownst to Fandom Wank/the internet, Jordan builds himself what amounts to a small cult in LA. This information didn’t really come out until later, when OB/Abbey broke free and told her story. Basically, Jordan was still channeling spirits, to an even greater degree than before. Some were fictional characters from established works of film and literature and some were just, you know, fictional. According to Abbey (I refer to her as Abbey when she is no longer in Jordan’s clutches and OB when she is, basically), much of what Jordan was ~receiving from the spirits~ during this period would eventually be reworked into his epic Harry Potter fanfic, “Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness” (DAYD). The “Andy Blake” persona he now lives under apparently is one of the spirits he channeled during this time [Edit 7/10: Delightfully, he was apparently a version of Orlando Bloom in the same way Jordan Wood was a version of Elijah Wood], and according to Abbey he legally changed his name to Andy Blake while they were in California, but he didn’t start using it online until later, so I’ll continue to refer to him as Jordan until then. Slowly, things in LA began to fall apart. Money was tight, and the cult members began to fall away until all that was left was OB and a sparrow (whose presence Jordan would one day use to pretend that OB had absconded with a son, leading to the classic Fandom Wank quote of “His son? A sparrow!”).

Abbey would later recount a harrowing tale of Jordan declaring that they had to fly to Buffalo, NY, and then walk across the border to Canada, because secret government agents might chase them otherwise? Or something? And naturally despite the fact that OB had a legal passport and Jordan had legal ID with which to obtain a legal passport, they tried to claim asylum in Canada because secret government agents. Naturally the Canadian border patrol laughed in their faces and, given that this was in February (2007), they spent an uncomfortable night in the border patrol office rather than go out and sleep in an American/Canadian dead zone snow bank. The next morning, Abbey called her mother for help, and thus began the process of escaping Jordan’s cult.

While Abbey was spending a month with her mother and Jordan was “stuck” with his parents, he shocked the internet by creating an LJ account under the name “amy_player” and posting an “apology.” In it, he made all sorts of claims about having a screwed up childhood and being confused about his sexuality and his gender identity, and how that confusion and reading smutty fanfic led to him creating alternate online identities. He said he was “unusually intelligent” and “a little too good [at lying] for my own good.” (Hahahahahahahaha oh my God.) And then he went to college and was further corrupted by the stereotypically weird theatre people *gasp!*. (Again, hahahahahahahahahaha oh my God.) After falling in with them, he met “the Priestess,” who Fandom Wank to this day hasn’t decided whether not is real or a figment of his fevered and crazy imagination. The Priestess told young VB that he was a “Rare Lesbian Paladin” ACTUAL QUOTE FROM AMY PLAYER APOLOGY and was therefore capable of channeling an unlimited number of souls, and that it didn’t matter if they were alive or dead or fictional or real. Oh and also, JRR Tolkien didn’t actually write LOTR, he translated it from a “single faded volume” that chronicled “a history lost to the brutal censorial axes of the post-Constantine Romans.”

Yeah.

He also says during the course of his fauxpology that he had become Christian again, and spoke for both himself and OB regarding future plans (something which angered her when she saw the post). Jordan also made a second post on the amy_player journal, claiming that he was LEAVING FANDOM FOREVER: “I have said my piece and taken responsibility for all my lies and misdeeds in the fandoms I was involved in and all the people I hurt, and I have clarified the things that were unclear. I will still be watching this for people whom I owe private apologies to to come forward and give me contact information, and I will send those people apologies individually as needed. However, I am not getting drawn back into fandom, and there will be no more public posts under this or any other identities, and private correspondance will only be forthcoming with those whom I had actual relationships with.

So while Fandom Wank gleefully analyzed Jordan’s fauxpology and everyone’s reactions to it, Abbey’s month with her mother ran out and she returned to Virginia to be with Jordan again, although her mother came with her for the first week. Abbey recounts that when she first saw Jordan again, she felt “sick,” and “winced,” and that this upset Jordan enough that he lectured her over it. He had, in her absence, supposedly found and lost a job within a month; he now pressured her to get a job to support the two of them. Finally, Abbey asked her mother if she could come home for good, and her mother booked the plane ticket right then. Abbey told Jordan she was leaving him; he screamed like a child as she walked away.

But the story isn’t over, because he definitely wasn’t leaving fandom forever.

For another two years, things were generally quiet. And then a shudder went through Harry Potter fandom as Fandom Wank realized that “thanfiction” aka Andy Blake was in fact Victoria Bitter, and not only had he written an epically long and extremely (for the time) popular HP fanfic (the aforementioned DAYD) and was – cue the gasps of horror – planning a con for fans of said fic. Quoth the writer of the wank report: “By con, I mean “convention” and not “swindle” although, who knows, it could be one and the same again.” He says he’s not asking for people to send him money or stuff, but if people really really want to, he’s setting up a special PayPal account where people will be able to send money or frequent flier miles and stuff to help people who want to attend the con but can’t afford it. FW is skeptical, for obvious reasons which are very obvious. They are also concerned when they realize that DAYDians (as fans of DAYD call themselves) refer to Andy as “Commander” and that Andy had set up two DAYDians in a creepy underage marriage AND that he had a “writing class” that included a three-day fast because, you know, CULT. AGAIN.

Members of Fandom Wank are also highly amused by some of Andy Blake’s claims about himself, such as that he has fought for not one, not two, but three different paramilitias; that he has a 14-inch scar on his chest from a swordfight in a pub when he was 16 (a 16-year-old Irish boy, mind you, not a 16-year-old American girl, because at this point Andy Blake is copping to neither being VB nor being FTM transgender); having a heart condition that gives him various short periods of time to live; and being really super chivalrous because “Even after coming nearer than I ever have to being destroyed by a woman I loved for almost seven long years, even after she took my son from me without so much as a goodbye and left me destitute for someone she’d been seeing behind my back, I still hold no grudge against womankind.” (This is what prompted Abbey to exclaim that his “son” was A SPARROW and the rest was FW history.) Actually just the whole post those facts come from is hilariously over-the-top so the screencap is worth checking out.

Throughout the comments on the Fandom Wank post various things come to light. Andy, it turns out, when meeting people in person, is using a fairly bad Irish accent and maintaining the story that he is actually Irish. He has a DeviantArt profile where he posts lots and lots of popular art based on DAYD which he gets a lot of praise for and apparently sells – but it turns out that most of them appear to be just tracings over pictures of celebrities with the details changed to fit his characters. The comment thread discussing it has a number of comparison links if you’re curious.

AND THEN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING HAPPENED, BUT IT HAPPENED IN A POST THAT IS LOCKED NOW SO I CAN ONLY TELL YOU BASED ON MY MEMORIES AND HOW PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT IT, BUT IT WAS GLORIOUS, OKAY.

An LJ/JF user called “luvscharlie” made an LJ post and linked to it in the comments on the second Fandom Wank post in which she said that “A DAYDian, who thinks he’s full of shit has spoken.” In that post, it was revealed that Andy was telling people he wasn’t Amy Player/VB – HIS EVIL TWIN SISTER WAS. HIS EVIL TWIN SISTER. This happened about ten days before Christmas in 2009 and I’m pretty sure somewhere on that FW post is a comment from me saying that Christmas had come early, because that is just GLORIOUSLY HILARIOUSLY TERRIBLE. He was also insisting, very strongly, that since VB was not him but his twin sister, he was not trans*, he was a cis male who was very cis and had always been and always would be and he was straight and always had been straight and nope he had never ever been a lesbian female. Which, everyone agreed that sometimes trans* people feel the need to cover up the fact that they are trans* for their own safety, but in this particular case and with his history and given the fact that he was acting kind of like being trans* was something he would be ashamed of if it were true (I mean, VB – who had admitted in the amy_player fauxpology to being trans* – was at this point supposed to be his evil twin sister who was locked away in a mental institution for the third time), everyone also agreed that something wasn’t quite sitting right with them there.

The rogue DAYDian also confided that Andy was “not going to fake his death this time because that would be wrong” (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA *wheezes*), which FW posited might mean he was admitting to lying about the fatal heart condition, and that he was “getting a group of friends to help him create a new identity.” FW wondered why said group of friends wasn’t questioning him at this point. (All of Andy’s public denials were happening, mind you, despite the fact that he’d sent Turimel an LJ message begging her to leave him alone, it had been seven years, he had a new life, he’d send her $100 if she would just leave him alone. Because he was VB. I know she went public with screencaps of that in April 2010 but I can’t remember if she made a post about it in December ’09, and sadly not all of her VB-related posts are still public so it’s difficult to check.)

So discussion went on for a several days on the second post. The DAYD con happened and apparently no one felt conned out of their money, so that’s good at least.

AND THEN. IT GOT EVEN BETTER. This was the best Christmas Fandom Wank ever gave us, it truly was. A couple days after Christmas, another DAYDian stopped drinking the Kool-Aid and came forward and said that she had received a series of emails from Andy and another DAYDian claiming that their friend Cfc “was under some sort of psychic attack from a 16th century, undead shaman-wizard.”

UNDEAD SHAMAN WIZARD.

I mean REALLY. (So clearly Andy was still doing the whole channeling thing, and it was just as crazy as ever.)

A couple weeks later, in mid-January, Andy makes a post in the DAYDverse community saying that he will be “stepping back from daydverse and more or less from the internet.” He blathers on about the community and briefly touches on the wank, not admitting to anything and generally being defiant, and then mentions that – provided that his mysterious heart condition doesn’t kill him in six weeks – he’s going to go to college as soon as he gets his FAFSA in order, and he just took the GED test the previous week. He also says that he will “stop by now and again to peek in on things, drop by the RoR, post AP, as well as the occasional one-shot or art, and attend any cons you guys decide to hold (paying my own way, of course),” which totally sounds like leaving the fandom to me, yep. Totally. Of note: the icon he uses for the post has a poor translation into Gaelic of the phrase “I have no regrets.” So there’s that.

Andy falls off Fandom Wank’s radar for quite a while at this point, but I think it’s more a function of the decline of LJ and, as a consequence, the decline of JF/Fandom Wank. Wank is harder to track on Tumblr; so is Andy.

But Turimel, who he cheated out of $10k, who still shills her book to anyone who’ll listen, she’s still keeping track of him (although she problematically insists on continuing to refer to him as Amy and use female pronouns). And so it’s thanks to Turimel that I can tell you that in 2011 actual literal blood was shed and people actually died in connection to drama surrounding Andy Blake.

Andy fell in with a woman named Brittany Quinn [Edit 7/8: A commenter has pointed out what I have failed to notice in all this time: Brittany Quinn is in fact the DAYDian who sent the undead shaman wizard emails, so Andy had known her for some time] and, according to her family, proceeded to be a predictably bad influence on her. According to an email her father sent to Turimel, Andy pushed her to sell her belongings, borrow money, and to file court actions against her ex-boyfriend in order to collect money for Andy. “Andrew was always whispering in her ear when she had a conversation with anyone else while he was there and had a weird control over her,” he continued. Brittany and her ex, who she eventually moved back in with because otherwise she’d be homeless (bringing Andy with her “as a neutral third party”), reportedly had a combative relationship about money, something which Andy’s machinations would have only exacerbated. They were embroiled in what was by all accounts an ugly lawsuit over the process of selling a house, and Brittany had just filed a countersuit to her ex’s original suit. The next day, he shot and killed Brittany, another roommate, and himself. Andy had locked himself in a bedroom and was shot in the foot when the ex fired through the door.

So at this point three people are dead and Andy’s right in the middle of it, and what does he decide to do?

If you guessed “start another scam,” you have been paying attention!

Without permission or support from Brittany’s grieving family and having moved across the country from where they lived, he started a website called “It’s About Power,” which he presented as a charity geared towards preventing domestic violence and promoting awareness, but really it was about getting money into Andy’s pockets. At first he wanted to take a trip to New Zealand – in Brittany’s memory of course – but then the plan changed. He needed the money, he claimed, as sponsorship money so that he could hike along the Trail of Tears in her memory instead. After being shot in the foot.

[Edit 7/10: Thanks to “Tea Blogger” in the comments, I have the following account of the Trail of Tears hike to share with you:

It happened. Andy did the hike with two DAYDians whose names I can’t remember–which is just as well, as they’re still suffering the effects of that poorly-planned and -executed debacle and I’m sure would like to move on with their lives.

Without identifying them, I can tell you they were a young man and woman who Andy later reported had fallen in love over the course of the hike and decided to get married at the end. The trouble was that the guy was from the UK and neither of them had really thought about citizenship issues, so now all kinds of paperwork needed to be filed and fees needed to be paid ASAP! Would fandom be so kind as to send money to Andy–strictly to help them, of course! There was an outcry, but if I remember correctly, the DAYDians rallied and all the red tape was taken care of eventually.

Much later, it came out that although the couple did genuinely love each other, Andy had pushed them together and into marriage MUCH earlier than they were really ready for it. (“Encouraging” younger people to get heavily involved in romantic relationships and/or to have babies is a pattern with Andy.) They are still together, but neither of them talks to Andy anymore. And sadly, both still have some degree of health problems as a result of the over-work, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and injuries they suffered on the hike.

Source: the female hiker’s tumblr, now deleted because Andy and friends found it and (presumably) got after her for posting about all of the above.

Thanks again to “Tea Bagger” for sharing that information!]

Fandom Wank becomes sort of vaguely aware that Andy is active in Supernatural fandom, occasionally mentioning him in the comments of other wanks, or bringing him up at wank_report or clairvoyant_wank, but nothing pops up on Fandom Wank proper until New Year’s Eve 2013. Prior to that, however, someone takes it upon themselves to Inform Supernatural Fandom of the Danger They Are In.

Andy had established himself fairly well in at least certain circles of SPN fandom on Tumblr, at least as far as I can tell. I stopped watching SPN before I made the transition to Tumblr for my fandom activity, so I’m not really involved in that section of Tumblr. I certainly don’t follow Andy, and none of the people who I do follow who still watch SPN have ever reblogged any of Andy’s meta (or at least not that I’ve noticed).

From what I’ve heard, however, he seems to be pretty clearly following old patterns – tying himself to one of the actors, strongly identifying with a particular pairing/character, talking about being a “vessel” (the SPN-ified version of channeling, presumably), and most insidiously, encouraging fellow fans (especially ones who are younger than him) to call him for support and advice when they are at their lowest. In other words – when they are at their most vulnerable, in the easiest state for recruitment into a cult. So that’s… happening.

At any rate, the “1purp0se” tumblr looks to be doing a pretty good job of keeping track of Andy’s activities on Tumblr, so I’m gonna have to go through that more closely to get a better idea of precisely what Andy’s been up to in the last couple years. He only showed back up on Fandom Wank’s radar, as I said, on New Year’s Eve, when someone noticed that he was trying to organize a LARP convention to celebrate the season nine finale of SPN. The wank report notes that people from other corners of the fandom pretty quickly began to speak up and advise people not to, you know, give Andy Blake money because CON-ARTIST AND CULT LEADER. Naturally, Andy denies everything because that’s just what he does. In another post about the LARP convention, Andy mentions that, as the wank report puts it, “everything might go wrong and that’s just the way that cons work, and that pretty much all of the cool stuff mentioned thus far might be too expensive if they don’t get enough participants.” That is maybe the way cons work when they are run by con-artists, Andy.

Two weeks after the FW post went live, Andy makes the not-at-all-shocking announcement that he is cancelling the con because he needs to “prioritize health issues.”

The 1purp0se tumblr is still evangelizing (for lack of a better word), and forcing Andy to face his past. In skimming through it, it seems as though perhaps it has forced him to at least finally admit that he was in fact Amy Player. Which does seem like a positive development. Unless he decides to commit pseuicide again and choose another name/identity we’d have to suss out all over again. His apparent narcissism might actually work in the world’s favor in that regard, though, because given all the work he’s put into things like DAYD and the SPN fandom under the name Andy Blake, he might be a lot less likely to abandon it than he was the Victoria Bitter and Jordan Wood identities.

AND NOW, just in the last few days apparently, he has popped up in the Teen Wolf fandom, leaving weirdly creepy (if you know who he is) overly-flattering messages in popular TW bloggers’ ask boxes. ABORT, TEEN WOLF FANDOM, ABORT!

So that, seven and a half pages and 4500 words later, is the sordid tale of Victoria Bitter/Jordan Wood/Andy Blake.

  • avatar image
    sorrywhat??
    July 9th, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Lordy, it’s amazing to see it all written down like that, isn’t it? A few things:

    The Bit of Earth garden still exists. It was billed as a fundraiser for Reading is Fundamental, but the process was so badly handled that all the money they took in was apparently spent on materials; nothing left to donate. Sean Astin was indeed there, and a real trooper by all accounts. The original plan was to build a reading garden at the city library in a town near Portland, OR. The library vetoed it, so the garden was built across the street on a piece of property owned by a small bookstore. The business has changed hands, is still a bookstore and the garden’s still there, grown up a lot and added to over the years. It’s quite nice, not far from where I live; I’ve visited it a few times. Some of the original pathway stones made at the time are still there.

    Re the Air New Zealand thing: IIRC from Turimel’s book, she wasn’t actually out the money for the tickets (she stopped the charges), but the airline reported her to credit reporting agencies. It was a real problem for her for a long time. She WAS out money she’d lent the group for various things (apartment deposits, etc.) – less than the $10K but still a significant amount of money, which they stiffed her for. The actors stranded in LA were Jed Brophy, Brian Sargent and Paul Randall. Lawrence Makaore had checked in for his flight but was prevented from boarding the plane because by then word of the cancelled credit card had filtered to the gate agents.

    The other DAYDian who participated in the undead shaman wizard thing (I love that phrase, it was something of a meme in the FW community for awhile) – anyway, the other person involved in the seance/mystical ancient spirit channeling/whatever the hell it was, was Brittany Quinn. That was about 18 months before she was killed. The person responsible for her death was the one who pulled the trigger. The guy was scary and unstable before; it’s hard to understand why they thought it would be a good idea to live there. Very tragic.

    Anyway, this is one for the record books, or the annals of Internet crazy, or whatever somebody winds up writing someday. A cautionary tale, certainly.

    Reply
    • avatar image
      victoria
      July 9th, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Right?! When my friend asked me about the whole thing I was like “… I’m gonna have to write it all down first, I can’t just tell you in a chat.” Because I knew it was gonna turn into a monster, although even then I didn’t think it was gonna get this big.

      Thank you for the clarifications! I compiled this by going through mostly old Fandom Wank posts and surviving links contained therein, Wayback Machine cache of the FW Wiki, and what posts remain unlocked on Turimel’s journal, so I figured there were bound to be some holes and some inaccuracies. I will make a few notations/clarifications for accuracy’s sake 🙂

      I don’t think I ever realised that Brittany Quinn was the one who sent the undead shaman wizard (and yeah that phrase will never fail to be hysterical) emails. I never bothered to click over the LJ profile of the person. I feel like a very irresponsible chronicler now. Ah, well. I do absolutely agree with you that the person responsible for her death is the person who pulled the trigger, but I also think that the fact that Andy was so entwined in her life when it happened is extremely relevant to the overall story. Especially considering the statements that her family has made regarding what they felt like was his excessive influence in her life and how it might have contributed to the circumstances that led to her death. So yeah, Andy’s not responsible, but I don’t think his presence could have done anything but exacerbate an already fraught and dangerous situation. It’s tragic any way you slice it, really.

      Definitely a cautionary tale, and one I hope people in the Teen Wolf fandom and whatever other fandoms Andy decides to target next listen to carefully.

      (I heard he tried for Marvel fandom prior to Teen Wolf and when I heard that I was like “NO WAY YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY BABIES, ANDY. YOU STAY AWAY FROM STEVE AND BUCKY OR SO HELP ME JESUS,” lol.)

      Reply
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        sorrywhat??
        July 9th, 2014 at 10:23 pm

        The person who was, I think, posting during the USW seance (I’m sorry, I’m giggling…) was moquinn, which was Brittany’s LJ name. I don’t even know if it’s still accessible; it’s been over a year since I read through it the last time (I had to reread several times; my WTF?? meter was interfering with my focus.).

        I like the way you put it: Andy wasn’t responsible for the deaths, but his presence exacerbated a very dangerous situation, contributed to those circumstances. I think he never quite believes things could go wrong; he thinks everything’s fine right up until it isn’t. I’m sure, whatever his role was, he was genuinely shocked to find himself being shot at.

        I check in on his tumblr every now and then, but not often enough to have seen the Marvel fandom stuff. He’s definitely into TW now, along with some SPN. And of course he’s stirring up controversy about his personal stuff too. It never ends.

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    KumquatWriter
    July 10th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Nice job, and reasonably accurate overall! I haven’t even attempted a full rundown -but then, I have a ton of excess info from the years I was alone with him. He’s been very active on tumblr, especially lately, trying yet again to rewrite the past.

    I have lots of info on my blog and my tumblr (also under kumquatwriter) and you’re welcome to contact me with any questions. What an undertaking!

    –Abbey

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      victoria
      July 10th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and to leave a comment. Your blog was definitely one of the resources I used to fact-check my memories when putting together this post, but I also haven’t read all of your posts on the subject – I actually bookmarked a few so that I can go back and read them later. If/when I put together anything more formal than this blog post I most likely will take you up on your offer to contact you sometime in the future. (But if there is anything in particular you would like me to add or change to this account, just let me know. It’s totally a living document as far as I’m concerned, lol.)

      Also, I just want to say that I think you have shown incredible strength of will and of spirit, getting away from him and building for yourself the kind of life that you have. The glimpses of your life that I’ve seen on your blog – your husband, your son, your fun hair – I’m so happy for you, and I admire you for what you’ve accomplished and how you’ve faced and moved beyond your past mistakes.

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    tacita et incognita
    July 10th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    This is a great write-up. A couple of things to add: It’s pretty clear from Abbey’s after-the-fact account that she did not believe she was channeling hobbits until Jordan put it into her mind; she describes how he built up to it, stretching credulity a little at a time while wearing down her self-esteem and self-confidence, and how he “let” her “figure it out for herself” by dropping heavy hints. The way this post phrases it makes it seem like she already believed that before they met.
    Also, “Andy Blake” apparently started as a channeled identity of Orlando Bloom, just as “Jordan Wood” was Elijah.

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      victoria
      July 10th, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you! Ah, I was mainly writing that first section based on my memories of wank reports and then fact-checking off of Wayback Machine copies of the FW wiki, and I picked up Abbey’s account starting in the Bit of Earth days, so thank you for the clarification.

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    thosecombustibleheads
    July 10th, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    (I heard he tried for Marvel fandom prior to Teen Wolf and when I heard that I was like “NO WAY YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY BABIES, ANDY. YOU STAY AWAY FROM STEVE AND BUCKY OR SO HELP ME JESUS,” lol.)

    That’s how I feel about Teen Wolf. I know he’s going to identify with Stiles or Derek and potentially “channel” them, and it just makes me sick. Apart from reblogging all the warnings, though, idk what I can do. And I don’t want to reblog too much or no one will pay attention to it anymore.

    GODDAMMIT ANDY GET AWAY FROM MY FANDOM YOU ARE A DANGER TO US

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      victoria
      July 10th, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Yeah I’m like, marginally protective of Teen Wolf as well, but my advantage with that fandom is that I started watching for the dads, lol. (This is how I know I’m getting old, heh.) But I figure if he does get a foothold in TW fandom, he’ll be doing it with Sterek, and I’ll be over in the corner having feels about Papa Argent and Sheriff Stilinski/Melissa McCall like LA LA I CAN’T SEE YOU, ANDY.

      That said, TW fandom does not deserve Andy Blake. No fandom deserves Andy Blake.

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    Tea Blogger
    July 10th, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Re: It’s About Power/the Trail of Tears hike:

    It happened. Andy did the hike with two DAYDians whose names I can’t remember–which is just as well, as they’re still suffering the effects of that poorly-planned and -executed debacle and I’m sure would like to move on with their lives.

    Without identifying them, I can tell you they were a young man and woman who Andy later reported had fallen in love over the course of the hike and decided to get married at the end. The trouble was that the guy was from the UK and neither of them had really thought about citizenship issues, so now all kinds of paperwork needed to be filed and fees needed to be paid ASAP! Would fandom be so kind as to send money to Andy–strictly to help them, of course! There was an outcry, but if I remember correctly, the DAYDians rallied and all the red tape was taken care of eventually.

    Much later, it came out that although the couple did genuinely love each other, Andy had pushed them together and into marriage MUCH earlier than they were really ready for it. (“Encouraging” younger people to get heavily involved in romantic relationships and/or to have babies is a pattern with Andy.) They are still together, but neither of them talks to Andy anymore. And sadly, both still have some degree of health problems as a result of the over-work, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and injuries they suffered on the hike.

    Source: the female hiker’s tumblr, now deleted because Andy and friends found it and (presumably) got after her for posting about all of the above.

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      victoria
      July 10th, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Wasn’t there also an underaged or otherwise super-young DAYDian couple he also convinced/encouraged to get married, or did I just not know that they were also the citizenship issues couple? (I start to lose track of him in the DAYDian days, obviously.)

      I will definitely add this to the account, though, thank you for contributing!

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        Ex-Daydian
        July 10th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

        Yeah, there was, but they broke up before too long. They weren’t underaged though, just very young.

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          Ex-Daydian
          July 10th, 2014 at 8:14 pm

          And they never actually got married. They were strongly encouraged to by Andy, though.

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          victoria
          July 10th, 2014 at 9:11 pm

          Okay, thanks for the clarification!

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          Another Ex DAYDian
          July 10th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

          If we’re thinking of the same young couple, wasn’t it the case that the young man was of age but the girl a minor (16 or about that)? There was talk of whisking her away across state (and national) lines and out of the clutches of her “abusive” mother to marry this fella, but I’m almost SURE that I remember someone (who got drowned out) bringing up the question of wasn’t that flirting with laws about felony transporting minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

          This was the couple that was supposed to get married in Vegas, but when one or both of them thought better of it, the ToT hike couple married each other there instead. Mazel tov!

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            Another Ex DAYDian
            July 11th, 2014 at 12:08 am

            Wuh-oops. Correcting my memories of these couples: it wasn’t the ToT hike couple who got married around that time (that was a few years later, after the homicide)… it was a third DAYD couple, both parties of which WERE of age. AFAIK they’re still married.

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    Kelly
    July 11th, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Wow. I knew most of it, though not the timing of all of it. How recent the Irish Republican Army claims were (both sides just let you waltz back and forth between them? Really Andy?), for example. Time telescopes oddly on the Internet–somehow I’d thought that was from back in the Domlijah days.

    That sorting app, though, is a fountain of utter Gary Stu-dom. It reeks of self-centredness and assholery, and gets worse and worse with every repetition of the author’s supposed bravery and chivalry. People who are actually brave and kind don’t pitch gigantic screaming fits about it–and it wouldn’t help if they did. That application fairly shouts that this person will be horrific to roleplay with. I would not want him on any fannish project of which I was a part. And that’s without knowing he’s already a cult leader. Knowing he’s Andy, it just gets worse.

    And is it just me, or does all that OTT languague about protecting the magical fragile nature of feminine power come off really squiffy to anyone else? People who talk like that rarely treat actual live women like full people with agency. We are not your fucking poseable dolls, jackass. Ugh. (And again–even worse when you know the dude’s history. But I honestly wonder if he got into the group or if they saw the epic clusterfuck headed their way and noped out.)

    Anyway. Thanks for writing this up. It will be a good resource to point people to for context when they ask just why the guy gives us the willies.

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    Gaeil
    July 12th, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Just wondering if by Gaelic you mean Irish ? There are three languages that are Gaelic but given Andy’s gross obsession with American concepts of the Irish and Seamus Finnegan during DAYD times, I’m guessing the icon was along the lines of “tá mé aon oth”. Since that’s the best Google translate can do.

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    Yet another ex-DAYDian
    August 8th, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Thanks for the write-up! I actually ran into this character in LOTR and HP without realizing it was the same person. Although I was getting some seriously creepy vibes from Andy in the DAYD long before the FW post, that definitely speeded up my hightailing it the hell out of that community.

    I happened upon his “apology” on DAYD the other day, which appears to be right along his MO. Funny that his disappearance just so happened to coincide with him getting into yet another fandom. What’s that expression “Fool me once…”?
    http://daydverse.livejournal.com/355215.html

    Speaking as someone who’s been observing this on the fringes, it seems to me that he operates on a couple of assumptions: 1) that there won’t be much fandom crossover, so his fans in one fandom probably won’t know about his shenanigans in any of the others; 2) that the sub-fandom is so far off the orbit of the rest of the fandom in question that little if any information will seep in and any that does will be dismissed as “wank”. (That’s of course leaving out all the cultish aspects that would keep his followers in line too.) On DAYD, I seem to recall that the FW reports were basically ignored or obliquely referred to as wank, with nothing further said. Maybe this has changed because of Tumblr, which I don’t use, and how quickly this kind of information now seems to spread, but that’s how it looked to me a couple years ago.

    Reply
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    Steemler
    September 7th, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Found this from Reddit in a thread about the Sarah Saga. You need to write about that, too.

    Reply

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