So it all started when someone asked Andy:
Do you really have a cult, like that tumblr post says that’s going around?
Obviously, Andy couldn’t answer neither “Yes” nor “No”: it’s public knowledge that he had a cult - at least twice* - but he can’t confess he deliberately mounted those personality cults for his own selfish goals either. (* One in the LotR fandom with some Bagenders, then some time later another one in the HP fandom with some DAYDians.)
So he went for one of his favourite tactics instead: drowning people in words, words, and more words, until everything just becomes a blur of meaningless symbols on the screen, and the readers’ eyes just glaze over, and their brain disengages completely.
Just as obviously, I can’t deconstruct what I’ve come to call the “Monster Post” in one big shot, without running straight into the same problem.
A friend suggested that instead, I post smaller installments chronologically. I wasn’t convinced at first, but I eventually figured they were right. A long series of short posts sounds much better and much more useful than one (or a few) ridiculously long post(s). Though, er, looking at the length of this one, I’m not sure “short” is the right term to use…
So anyway! Andy, here we go!
Answer: Yes, I did, though not on purpose and not any more.
… Not on purpose. This claims baffles me, really.
I mean, this is how much it baffles me: “Yes, Your Honour, I deliberately bought a gun and ammunition. Yes, I deliberately loaded the gun at home. Yes, I deliberately went to that person’s home with the gun on me. Yes, I deliberately pulled the gun out. Yes, I deliberately took the safety off. Yes, I deliberately aimed at a vital part of that person’s body. Yes, I deliberately pulled the trigger. But no, Your Honour, I didn’t kill them on purpose.”
That’s how baffled I am.
Let’s examine what happened:
- Did you deliberately present yourself to some people as a Unique Person with special abilities and/or knowledge? Yes.
- Did you expect them to believe you? Yes.
- Did you expect them to believe every word you said, to take your word as absolute Truth? Yes.
- Did you pretend to have been entrusted by Higher Powers with some unique missions related to your special abilities/knowledge? Yes.
- Did you ask people to help you carry out those special missions? Yes.
- Did you present those missions as being of extreme importance, such as saving souls or ending massive amounts of suffering for innocent people? Yes.
- Did you use special techniques, which nobody else could reproduce, to impress your followers and/or to give them tasks to accomplish? Yes.
- Did you ask your followers to sacrifice various things (time, energy, money, etc…) in order to help you? Yes.
- Did you ask your followers to do unethical things they would not have done otherwise, such as lying to their families or friends? Yes.
- Did you ask some of your followers to actually change their life to better carry out the missions you gave them, such as: moving in with you (or let you move in with them), cutting ties with their families and friends, leaving their jobs, or any other such drastic life-changing measures? Yes.
- Did you impose extremely demanding and/or detailed routines on some of your followers? Yes.
- Did you use shame or guilt to control some of your followers? Yes.
- Did you notice that your demands were having a seriously negative effect on the physical or psychological health of some of your followers? Yes. Did you ask them to keep going anyway? Yes.
- Did you impress on your followers how important it was to keep as complete a secrecy on what you were all doing as possible? Yes.
- Did you threaten at least some of your followers that if they were to leave your group, horrible things might happen to them and/or to you and/or to fictional people you had previously convinced them were capable of real suffering? Yes.
- Did you deliberately create an Us-vs-Them mentality in your followers? Yes.
- Did you, personally or through your followers, seek to recruit new people into your secret groups? Yes.
- In short: did you create a Textbook Cult, twice? Yes.
- And did you do all of this deliberately, regardless of the validity of the reasons that may or may not have motivated you? Yes.
So how can you argue that you did not do it on purpose?
You cannot. There’s absolutely no way in any universe that you can argue that you didn’t do it on purpose. You absolutely, 100% created at least two cults on purpose.
So what exactly do you mean when you say you didn’t do it on purpose? Well, the rest of your post gives the answer to that question.
Your entire argument is that you suffered from some kind of psychotic and/or schizoid mental illness which made you believe in your own claims.
That in itself is perfectly fine: that’s precisely what delusions and hallucinations are all about. You certainly wouldn’t be the first person to believe you’ve been tasked by some Higher Authority to save the world or something of that kind. So I have no problem with that.
I do, however, have a major problem with the next logical step you want us to take, namely that because you believed in your own claims, it was okay for you to deliberately create cults around them.
That logical connection does NOT exist.
- Is it okay for someone who is convinced of something to try to spread the word? Of course.
- Is it okay for a group of people who hold shared beliefs to organise their life around said beliefs? Of course.
- Is it okay for anyone to deliberately put another human being’s physical or psychological integrity at risk, in the name of one’s own beliefs? No.
- Is it okay for anyone to keep asking someone else to do something which is clearly hurting them, in the name of one’s own beliefs? No.
- Is it okay to encourage anyone to do unethical stuff they wouldn’t normally do, in the name of one’s own beliefs? No.
- Is it okay to isolate anyone from their friends and family, in the name of one’s own beliefs? No.
And so on and so forth.
"But mental illness!", you say? To which I answer, "No."
Psychotic and schizoid illnesses do NOT empty their sufferers from empathy and conscience.
Psychotic and schizoid sufferers do NOT believe solely by virtue of their mental illnesses that it’s okay to make innocent people suffer.
Does it happen that psychotic or schizoid patients, while in a complete break from reality, hurt or even kill other people? Yes, unfortunately. But see, the trick is that at the moment they do that, they are utterly convinced that the person they are hurting is evil - NOT innocent, not even normal, but dangerous and malevolent. That complete conviction is the very reason WHY they hurt them in the first place.
You, Andy Blake, on the contrary, have admitted that you kept hurting your innocent followers even though you were aware that it was hurting them. This is NOT something that is EVER brought on by psychotic or schizoid syndromes, so you do NOT get to claim, “My psychotic/schizoid mental illness made me do it.” You simply do not.
Having been diagnosed with a psychotic/schizoid illness does NOT explain why you kept hurting innocent people even though you were aware you were hurting them, because deliberately hurting innocent people is NOT a symptom or consequence of having a psychotic/schizoid illness.
Let’s move on now to the “not any more” part of your answer.
- Are you still in fandom even though you’ve promised to leave it for your and other people’s safety? Yes.
- Are you still mixing internet and real life interactions? Yes.
- Are you still encouraging people - including particularly vulnerable ones, such as depressed or suicidal youth - to confide in you? Yes.
- Are you still organising get-togethers at your home or the home of other fans? Yes.
- Are you still organising fandom-related projects or events? Yes.
- Are you still attending cons and meeting with other fans or with celebrities? Yes.
- Are you still participating in group fandom events? Yes.
- Do you have a group of close friends? Yes. Which happens to have its own special name? Yes again.
- In short: have you in any significant manner changed your ways compared to those times when you were creating or leading fandom-based cults? No.
- Also: have you apologised to all those of your cult victims who have come forward and indicated they wouldn’t refuse an apology from you? No. Edit: hey, of course, you just apologised to Little Sam. That still doesn’t make it ALL of your cult victims who have come forward and indicated they wouldn’t refuse an apology from you. So my point still stands. Also, shitty apology, but that’s off-topic.
In other words: you have not changed your fandom ways in any significant manner, and you have not shown any true remorse or willingness to come clean regarding what you did. There is therefore no reason at all to believe you have changed and won’t repeat your abuse.
- You deliberately, absolutely on purpose created at least two Textbook Cults in which you did a lot of damage to a lot of innocent people.
- The creation and maintenance of these cults CANNOT be explained by your having been diagnosed with a psychotic/schizoid illness, because deliberately and knowingly hurting innocent people is NOT a symptom or consequence of having a psychotic/schizoid illness.
- Since you already deliberately created Textbook Cults at least twice, and have never shown true remorse about it, yet keep acting in the exact same ways as you did when you were secretly creating and leading these cults, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that you don’t now or won’t in the future attempt to have another cult.
I rest my case.
THANK YOU. delwynmarch, you’re so amazing. <3 Andy’s claims about mental illness have been really upsetting me recently so this takedown was a definite balm.