Monday, April 12, 2010

A look inside the mind of a troll...

So I have been monitoring when of our more notorious trolls for the purpose of getting inside the strategies they employ. I am sure many of you are familiar with him. But who he is is not as important as what he is doing. And why.

I know many of you have read my post “When will we have no rules?” about the issue of when the ZM will be without rules and moderators who enforce them. I pointed out in this blog post that the intention of many of the people who want to remove these fail-safes want them removed so that they can be the new authority. Some of the trolls claimed that even some of the moderation team thought my show on this subject was BS. Then recently on another forum one of our star trolls revealed why it is he behaves the way he does.

The premise that must be understood is that these people engage in hostile behavior to assert control over other users in a chat room, forum or voice chat. Some of them are better at this then others. But it is still very real. I pointed out how they will become the real despotic authoritarians but they do it without moderator powers or rules. (Which is why they claim we don't need them.) They do it by directly insulting and therefore mentally assaulting users who do not tow the line and respect their authority.

So the quote I am about to bring up exposes this in great detail. Before I quote it though I will give you a little background on the conversation that lead to this troll exposing himself. Recently on an anti-ZM forum the users there began to go after him because of his belief in 911 conspiracy theories. Because this forum is not moderated the inevitable free-for-all of insult slinging went back and forth. They started to attack him for what is rather obvious mental delusions and derangement. After a user who obviously knows who he is exposed information about him and linked a couple of recordings of his previous maniac rants on various ZM voice chat mediums he defended his behavior of attacking a user by stating he was trying to re-program the brain of his victim. The following quotes are about this:

I definitely was acting like a drill sergeant, I was reprogramming his mind, and it was successful. Now he feels a twinge of anxiety any time he contemplates threatening people, and it curbs his behaviour somewhat.”

I know how to change minds, the technique is called repeated, rhythmic insult, and it's virtually infallible. The marines use it to turn librarians into paid killers.

Here is a link to the recording in question. Some of the parts of this recording are not really relevant, but if you get through it you will eventually get to the lunacy that ensued when this individual took it upon himself to try and modify the behavior of another person.

Here you have someone who is actively engaging in what amounts to psychological warfare. Ironically after stating that we are failing because we are using all the same failed methods of control that the “state” does. So his solution? Turn to the far more insidious methods of the “state” that are used to brainwash our soldiers. An interesting grasp on morality to be sure.

I understand the big scare people have of moderators and authority figures getting out of control. The funny thing is we are actually creating these problems within the moderation team when we constantly hound them and allow them to be hounded. There may have been one or two examples of abuse of authority by members of the moderation team. But there is also a large number of trolls who cry “WOLF!” whenever a moderator acts against them at all. And this brings to bear our inherent fear of the abuse of authority.

Then we find ourselves turning on the mods who are here to protect us. And more importantly protect the quality of conversation. And then the call of abuse of authority is itself abused. People start calling abuse of authority even when they are in the wrong. The hysteria created leads to a situation where a tiny minority continues to project itself as a majority. This minority being people who actually have problems with the moderation team. They project over and over again that “a lot of people” or “many people” or “more and more people” have a problem with the moderators.

Just a little while ago on my Facebook someone went so far as to say “This behavior is pushing out the majority of the movement! All that is left on the forums now are moderators and people in positions of authority within the movement!” which is obviously absurd. But like Hitler said

“Repeat a lie often enough and it will become truth.”

I tried to explain in detail in my previous post about authority what exactly was taking place. About how these trolls ask us to eliminate all authority and that if we do this we will all be free to talk and express ourselves.

The part they leave out is that they actually want to do this so that they will be free to control the minds of the people in the chat rooms through bullying, intimidation and repeated rhythmic insults so that they can be ones who effectively “ban” or “mute” people through their destructive language.

We can have free speech. But free speech was meant to be the free exchange of constructive criticisms and exchanges of ideas.

You cannot have either in a situation where the only people actually free to do this are the ones who are more creative and diligent in their insults and bully tactics then other users.

I realized that the best person to explain it was the worst troll in the history of Wikipedia. Codie Eugene Vickers. A.K.A Hominy Grits, A.K.A. Plautus Satire, A.K.A. Kyle Troy. And this is how he explained it:

I know how to change minds, the technique is called repeated, rhythmic insult, and it's virtually infallible. The marines use it to turn librarians into paid killers.”

Let me ask you to consider this. Is it free speech if someone has the ability to destroy conversation anytime they want by employing these tactics?

Allowing the absolute freedom of speech in situations like this is like saying that the right to own a handgun also gives you the right to shoot people with it if you feel like it. In allowing people to shoot each other with impunity in the name of freedom we just hand the reins of tyranny over to whomever is willing to do the shooting.

The whole time that this person is whining that we are supposedly using all the despotic tactics of the system that we oppose, he is using something far more insidious then laws or people to enforce them. He is willfully and intentionally engaging in psychological warfare.

The biggest threat to freedom of speech is also people abusing it. They blame the system but the reason even the best intentioned systems eventually have to put restrictions on things is not because of peaceful people speaking their minds. It's because of people acting like this. And some of them even revel in that.

“I've induced them to put harsh restrictions and an even harsher face on this movement.”

So despite all of his self-glorified delusions of being some sort of freedom fighter it is people like him that are the text book examples of the downside of freedom of speech. Along with the racists, bigots, etc.

It's important that if you want your forum to be free of pollution of this kind that you speak out against it. And if you really want to see less out of the moderators there needs to be a paradigm shift in how people address this sort of thing. The notion that it's going to happen by just throwing a lever and eliminating all authority when we are still living in the value system that makes that infeasible is absurd. The fact that people even value or think this sort of behavior is productive in any way proves that we are not ready for that. And people acting like it, enabling it or justifying it keep us further and further away from the days when we actually will have no mods or rules.

Author's note: Here is another episode of Codie Vickers the troll.


  1. Conzar, your blog on this subject is not only outdated it's absurd. We haven't been using the Karma system for some time now. And this:

    "Someone or someones (probably an admin or moderator) created a set of rules in which the users are required to follow. If a user breaks the rules, then they are banned. Again, this goes against the ideology of the whats presented in the movies. The movies advocate that government should not exhist and that no person should be able to dominate another person."

    Shows you don't understand the movement at all. I covered this in my "When will we have no rules?" post and subsequent radio show.

    The Venus Project does not advocate shutting off all authority as the solution to deal with the problems your suggesting. So long as the value system is what it is now doing so would not solve the problems of tyranny it would just hand them over to whomever was the best at intimidating others. It is highly naive to believe that we can just turn off moderators and rules until the value system has changed. You have to treat the problems at their root cause. Moderators and Rules are not the root cause. And we cannot affect the root cause without control over the environment of the people in question. Turning off moderators and rules would just hand the forums/chat over to the real authoritarians. The people who practice what I talked about above.

    Please don't post anti-ZM stuff on my blog. Thank you.

  2. "Conzar, your blog on this subject is not only outdated it's absurd. We haven't been using the Karma system for some time now"

    I updated the blog if you click on the "addendum". This provides the solution to moderation.

    "Shows you don't understand the movement at all. I covered this in my "When will we have no rules?" post and subsequent radio show."

    I've read through your blog about this and of course listened to your radio broadcast. I disagree with this but it doesn't mean that I do not understand the movement.

    I think I've made my points in my blog and the addendum page so feel free to read and respond if you like.

    Thank you.

  3. Conzar,
    I'm sorry, but I had to chime in. For one, you've titled your post "The Zeitgeist Movement Are Fascist," and then spent far more time analyzing the Zeitgeist forum, than you spent analyzing The Zeitgeist Movement. That is not fair. I was part of the "Movement" long before I actually started participating in the forums. (And for the record, I've had no qualms about the forums so far.) If your "beef" is with the forum policies, shouldn't your post be addressed to TZM Forum, and not TZM as a whole?

    Moving on to my next point, if you believe your assessment of the forum issues is an adequate summary of The Movement itself, I agree with V; you don't understand this Movement at all. You even got the section "Movement Purpose" all wrong. I think Peter, being the founder of the Movement, has made it quite clear that our purpose is to promote a resource-based-economy, closely associated (not loosely) with The Venus Project, and to share relevant information to that affect.

    Your post is essentially made up of:
    1) An outrageous definitive statement (as the title).
    2) Your participation in the Movement (10%)
    3) An attempt to explain the history of the Movement (10%)
    4) An attempt to explain the purpose of the Movement (10%)
    5) Your experience in the ZM forums (40%)
    6) Bulleted instructions on how to manipulate the forums (30%)

    The forums are hardly 70% of The Zeitgeist Movement, and if you'd spent half as much time contributing to 2, 3, and 4 - which, believe it or not, can actually be done outside of the forums - then 5, and 6 wouldn't be a problem for you, or anyone else for that matter.

    The forums are a useful tool, and I'm not saying you should just "participate outside of the forums," I'm just pointing out that the *forum* itself isn't exactly the first Test-City that requires this much scrutiny or headache. I participate through many other mediums and I'm on the ZM forums daily with no problems. Yet, I'm on YouTube daily, and I experience problems constantly (trolling, bullying, imposter accounts, etc.), but sadly, there are no moderators on-hand to help. (I've reported it several times, but no luck.)

    In short, even after reading your post and your position regarding the forums, no one who actually intends to follow the forum rules and participate in ways that are conducive to the *actual* Movement, as properly defined, should have a problem with moderators.


  4. A curious approach indeed. I suppose the Manchurian Candidate is required reading in trollville. I will siply keep spreading the love and let trolls hang out under bridges. In the end "Unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say"

  5. @prometheuspan
    I do not understand the need to attack anyone in the Zeitgeist movement.

    I read your NI4D page about TVP and think you have a mistake about TVP verses TZM. The reality is that TVP is its own entity separate from TZM. TVP is using the Zeitgeist movement as a vehicle to educate people on TVP ideas; however, the hierarchy structure consists of different parties.

    This provides TVP with an exit strategy which they so wisely have kept for many years. If the TZM is shown to not follow TVP's direction, then they can separate just like TVP did with Earth 2.0.

  6. It's despicable that this moron would use the NI4D resources for his personal vendetta campaign. I guess it sucks for him that I am friends with Senator Mike Gravel who wrote the NI4D and am in contact with the people who work on it now.

  7. Ah, now looking at his retort I simply don't care. As if it is just some private NI4D project and has nothing to do with Mike Gravel it is meaningless. Just another troll trying to attach something important to his personal vendetta that is not important. It is still despicable that he would do so but it doesn't matter. There is no reason the Democracy Foundation should spew the bile that idiot is spewing. The ZM could even be a good place to recruit people for the NI4D. Once again a troll puts his whiny personal agenda before the good of the people.

  8. I think I would definitely "mute/ignore" prometheuspan if the forums were setup with that feature.

    He claims that everyone is attacking him, but in return he directly attacks several people by name. I find no reason for this and would ignore people who choose to communicate in this way. But if others enjoy reading this, then I would not restrict their access to him.

    I think its important to re-iterate that TVP has been around over 30 years and has an "exit" strategy because they have witnessed the behaviour of support groups. They do not wish their ideas to be misunderstood. This is not evil or conspiratorial, its logical.

  9. So just to cap this off, this is the response that I got from the NI4D foundation about his little attack wiki about the Venus Project:

    "Thank you for contacting us about the issues wiki.

    We have decided that we agree with you.

    The issues site will be down shortly.

    ​Joshua Pritikin
    Democracy Foundation Volunteer"

    So that was that. I guess he can put that in his pipe and smoke it.

  10. Wow, well I just spent a painfully fascinating hour reading the troll history of this nutcase with wikipedia. The sheer dedication, the audacity of it, could bring a tear to any trolls eye.
    I see an erratic, compulsive, pathological character who's aggressive commitment to forums and other pages makes me wonder whether he is bipolar and/or PTSD. Odd contradictory behavior too of playing the endless victim while bullying and taunting others with gusto, maintaining lifelines with insipid apology letters in between attacks and trolling bouts. An obsession with seeking out adversary particularly with online quasi authorities, engaging in mind-numbingly petty exchanges and tit-for-tat, which in the big picture of things looks extremely time consuming.

    Altogether it's sad and pathetic. His emails to some of the wikipedia folks are truly bonkers. Fascinating but disturbing, like a major car wreck.

    It's sad that TZM ever had the misfortune of being lambasted by this cunt.

  11. Conzar, don't post that kind of bullshit on my blog.