I've spoken to Brian "Slipstream" Johnson exactly once, November 3, 1998. We were discussing his "freeform" gaming mechanic and I had some questions about how it was to be used. He was patronizing insulting, and rude. He left the conversation in a huff, and fled the server shortly thereafter.
Eighteen months later, an acquaintance was planning on being in the area I live in, to interview for positions with local companies. While she was here, she was staying with Collie "Zalitha" Collier and I.
She was very interested in trying FurrySpaceMUCK, as she had heard so much about it. Both Collie and I counseled her against it but, when she seemed certain, I arranged my network setup so she could share either Collie's or my connection to the Internet.
I helped her create a character, using the web pages and information available to "guests" of FurrySpaceMUCK. Since I didn't want her to have too much to keep track of, she sent in a character with one tool (the biggest she could afford) and three skills.
Brian's response to a simple request for a character was insulting, patronizing and rude. Still, she persevered and Brian passed her second attempt. Unfortunately, the in-server commands would not let her build the character that had been approved. She contacted the staff on-line for help. At first, they berated her for trying to build an illegal character and not reading the docs. It was quickly discovered that Brian had "forgotten" what was allowed to a new character. The help staff was much more helpful after that.
A short time later she was invited to participate in a planned scenario (a "tiny plot") and Jay "Red" Naylor took it upon himself to enforce his views of what was allowed on FurrySpaceMUCK by having his character attack Mystique. He plainly states that he did this to show Mystique's player that her behavior wasn't going to be tolerated. Again, Mystique took this in stride and attempted to play this out, to no avail.
A couple of weeks later, Jonah "Points" Safar (in his capacity as a "wiz" of FurrySpaceMUCK) called Mystique into his office. He accused Mystique's player of being Collie and accused her of being Toon as well. He informed her that FurrySpaceMUCK is configured to track connections by IP address, and when Mystique was connecting to FurrySpaceMUCK, Jonah was tracing her connection back to Collie's Internet account. Collie explained to Jonah that I had set up our machines so Mystique's player could share the network connection and he seemed to accept that.
Mystique was terrified that she may have gotten us in trouble somehow. We explained that Jonah was a reasonable person and now that he knew that Mystique was not Collie, and why she appeared to be connecting from Collie's account, there shouldn't be any more problems. We assumed that this was the end of the matter.
Several weeks went by and I discovered that Mystique's player had not connected in that time. When we talked about it, she said she felt uncomfortable that the "wizzes" were keeping her under surveillance and that several people were being quite rude because of (we assumed) the fall-out of the Jay Naylor incident. I told her that I would apply for a character so she would have someone to hang around with.
I don't really play on MUCKs at all, so I spent some time connected as a "guest" figuring out how com gear worked, how upkeep was calculated, how ships were built, what organizations were extant on the server, etc. (I still have questions that no one seems to know the answer to, but that's beside the point.) I submitted a request for a character and was summarily refused. The entirety of the mail I received from Brian was:
After a long period of consideration and discussion, I have decided to refuse your request for a character.
You are actively participating in an incredibly bile-filled web site, and I have no interest in having you on my muck.
I asked for an explanation, but (to no one's surprise) received no response. It is plain that Brian believes for some inexplicable reason that I'm responsible for your web site. I do know the gentleman that is hosting your site and consider him a friend. I suppose in Brian's mind that was enough to make me part of the conspiracy.
Since I had contacted folks about joining their organizations, I felt I had to tell of Brian's refusal, and warn them that if he knew that I had been communicating with them, he might take some action against them.
Later that evening, Mystique attempted to log on to FurrySpaceMUCK and found that her password had been changed. She contacted one of the on-line staff and asked for help. When they found out what character she was playing they said:
XXXXX pages, "Ah. Toon." to you.
She was directed to speak directly to the wizzes. Mystique paged the on-duty wizzes and was told:
XXXXXX pages, "This particular situation is not my jurisdiction, and should be concentrated on Slipstream only." to you.
XXXXXXX says, "You'll have to speak to Slipstream."
In order to save Mystique's player more distress, I will list only Brian's comments verbatim:
Slipstream pages, "Find a new muck to play upon. You, Bob, Collie, Toon, and the other people responsible for the hate site are no longer welcome, here." to you.
Slipstream pages, "I have spelled out this muck's stance. You, and your group, are no longer allowed to be here. Find a new muck to play upon, there are hundreds of them." to you.
Slipstream pages, "I have done this, because this character has been accessed by multiple people, iRL, which is not allowed, here. I have done this, because you and your friends have created a web site dedicated to the destruction of my muck, and slandering the good names of myself, and my Wizards, and my players. The line gets drawn, here." to you.
Slipstream pages, "Now go away, and find a new muck to play upon. There are hundreds of them." to you.
He took away Mystique's character with no cause, no warning and no reason other than Mystique was associated with Collie and myself, who are associated with the guy running the server where toon's site resides. He has also apparently told a number of people that Mystique's player is toon. Apparently, being a friend of a friend of a friend of toon is a hanging offense on FSM.
Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass what Brian does in his spare time, and don't really care if someone plays on FurrySpaceMUCK or not. But...
Brian has attacked a guest in my house for no other reason than that she is my friend. And I cannot abide that.
Apparently, he is telling folks that I am connected with your site. At this point, I would like to offer my services to you in any capacity you wish. I've written quite a lot of documentation and would be happy to write or edit anything you need. I code in a number of languages, including HTML, perl, etc. I would be happy to help you with your site. I think I can help get your site much more coverage and on more search engines. I have quite a few contacts that I'd be willing to use for your benefit and they seem quite willing to help. If necessary, I have some funds I can donate to the cause. I can't draw worth spit, but you've got that covered.
If Brian wanted an enemy I am at this point only too happy to oblige -- but let's make it official.
You are a sanctimonious, self-important, self-indulgent, back-stabbing, underhanded coward with no manners or honor. You are a liar, a cheat and a thief. I'm sure there are folks that see things your way, but I don't know how they get their head that far up their ass. To say you are emotional road-kill insults the road-kill. You are ugly and your mother dresses you funny.
To Jonah, and the other staff and wizzes that stood by and watched Brian vent his spleen on an innocent by-stander:
Shame on you.
To the other folks on FurrySpaceMUCK:
I realize that you don't see any of this in the game, and the wizzes would prefer you didn't. You probably don't think this affects you at all, but consider how the wizzes of FurrySpaceMUCK have acted in this matter. They threw someone off the server not for anything they did, but for who they knew. It is plain that they have no compunction about acting irrationally out of panic and fear. I encourage you to stay well away from anyone this unstable.
Toon, feel free to post this, or any part you'd like. If you want parts re-phrased, or want more info, let me know. If you need verification of any of this, I have all the mail and all the logs. Many of these sordid events occurred in public places, so you may be able to contact the other participants and observers for independent confirmation. I can contact some of them if necessary.
I'm serious about my offer of help. Let me know what you need, and I'll do my best to get it done. You (or anyone else) can contact me as <bob at rdwarf.com>, where I now have an email address.
-- Bob Simpson