The Secret Codex Of The Spoiler Boards
Part VI - The Return of Nilla, The Great Fake Thread Controversy and the birth of an Uncle
The foreign boards had retreated behind their walls again. Even Cygnus was quiet. Of course, we were approaching Thursday night and another episode. EZ had developed a steady cycle. Things would start out quiet as the weekend took hold and people remembered they had lives off board. Slowly, the noise and chaos would build until it peaked on Thursday. The day of a show, the posting was so furious that at times we simply could not keep up. By the time you locked one thread, three more would appear. Some Thursdays I would just give up and let the trolls run rampant. The next day I would come through like a high school janitor armed with one of those monstrous push brooms sweeping up the gym after the prom.
During the entire Gator board episode, I didn’t have time to notice many details of what was happening around me. After it was over, I realized something. Vanillaslave was nowhere to be found.
I assumed she was off licking her wounds. Her powers had been stripped and she was the subject of some horrible pranks. Someone had found her picture and posted it in Sucks. The comments that followed were tasteless. Even for Sucks. Other admins caught the picture and deleted it. It was understandable that Vanillaslave might take a few days away from the board. She might not even come back after receiving that much abuse.
Like the planets aligning, items that seem innocuous sometimes take a life of their own. SurvivorSucks was running a little game called Fantasy Outback. It was entertaining and even I was playing. Each week there were four or five questions about the upcoming episode. I think the winner received a hat.
It’s inner workings partially exposed, Ellipsiiis began making frequent appearances as the subject of EZ conversations. The mystery board was becoming very well known because of its predictions. After correctly selecting Jeff Varner as a bootee, the following week the Ellipsiiis Brain Trust (EBT) as it was now known correctly predicted five events on that weeks episode. They chose to make predictions based on the questions associated with Fantasy Outback and they had nailed every single one. A new team also appeared in league play on Fantasy Outback. Team Ellipsiiis. Naturally after nailing all the questions, this new team shot immediately to the top of the standings. After remaining elusive for so long, the EBT was suddenly showing up in very public places. Its success was not well received.
The EBT was also publishing its picks each week for the world to see. This was usually done on Thursday afternoon just hours before show time. On this particular Thursday, I was watching the Spoilers forum writhe and seethe. I would take care of anything that was truly outrageous but as usual I was not attempting to take out all the garbage. Particularly amusing was watching how many different “When is Ellipsiiis going to announce its picks so I can do FOB” threads were started. Usually as quick as one would fall half way down the page, someone else would start a new one. This behavior practically drove one particular poster mad. Well, she was a little mad anyway but I thought she would go postal this time.
Then, it appeared. A post from Vanillaslave. She was back and she came armed with predictions. Modeling her post after the EBT public predictions, she posted her own personal predictions for that night’s episode. As I have said before, I am a member of Ellipsiiis, so I knew what the EBT predictions would be even though they were yet unpublished. Reading Vanillaslave’s post, I was a little disturbed. Her predictions matched the EBT’s to the letter. With it now known that there were moles running all over the place and even posts in secret forums was not safe, I knew this was going to cause some people to be very uncomfortable.
I contacted Vanillaslave. I guess my adrenaline was flowing a bit because I was pretty abrupt. I needed to know where she got her predictions. Did she have her own mole? She had never made a secret of her distaste for the EBT. Like many people, she didn’t particularly appreciate the great voice from the mountain prediction method. She thought they were arrogant and the one thing Vanillaslave can’t stand is arrogance.
She convinced me that she did not steal the predictions although she was pretty gleeful about stealing the thunder. Whether she received a tip from the inside is still speculated in some circles. I will say this, I believe she created the predictions on her own. As absolutely bull crazy as she is, in her day Vanillaslave was a very good spoiler.
The unfortunate part of this whole prediction mess was that now Vanillaslave had a new target. She no longer had the power to harass the Amish and now she was being blasted yet again. This time by someone that she considered a friend. This time by me. So with her usual laser like tenacity, she decided it was time to take on Ellipsiiis.
She definitely went loopy. She began posting over and over again in Spoilers. All the threads were about Ellipsiiis and how she had beaten them. Of course they were all off topic so they were locked as quickly as she posted them. Not by me. I wasn’t around but one of the nameless admins was certainly on the job. I, however was not nameless. I was also a member of Ellipsiiis. It was easy equation to complete and soon Vanillaslave turned her attacks directly on me. She also now was locked onto the theory that EZ was secretly run by Ellipsiiis. It wasn’t true, but the charge would stick like bare thighs on leather in the middle of July.
I found it a bit ironic that Vanillaslave was doing exactly to me what had been done to her during the Night of Thread Deletions. I certainly hadn’t locked her threads but since I was the public face, I received the blame. Back in those days, stuff like that bothered me somewhat.
After having all her threads locked down, Vanillaslave cooled down for a while.
It was now known that many of the “name” posters had left EZ to take up residence in places like the Gator Board and Ellipsiiis. Most had not been back since the death of the old boards. So, it was a little strange to suddenly see threads from Randomguy, AtlantaFatMike and yes, even griftd pop up in Spoilers. There were others as well. In a very short span of time, there were many posts that contained high quality spoiler information. Of course, no one knew that it was part of a game. Not yet.
I knew what was going on. I had been contacted about this game through the usual channels. They knew it couldn’t be pulled off without my cooperation. The basic premise was for some members of Ellipsiiis to post a spoiler and see who could get the most replies. It started on Friday and I was one of the participants. I agreed to this game because I felt like this would provide EZ with some great spoiler material. The first threads that were posted were fantastic. Spoilers like this were few and far between on EZ. It was like throwing a bucket of red meat in a kennel of hungry dogs.
A few took it too far. What I had thought would be a nice way for certain posters to give something back to the place that had spawned them took a nasty twist. Several people became more concerned about winning the game than providing spoilers. A fake spoiler was posted. Then a poster offered endorsement for EBT membership for the best spoiler analysis. Finally, someone just offered cold hard cash for the best spoiler. It became absolutely ridiculous. I was not at the controls when all this started happening but a nameless admin locked the fake spoiler and the one offering cash.
I am always amazed at how these simple things turn so quickly into nightmares. The game organizers contacted me as soon as I got back online. They initially wanted me to just get rid of all the threads. I did get rid of all the ones that were fake and the one offering cash, but I couldn’t make myself get rid of the one offering membership. It was just too damned good. The spoiler information in it was as good as anything since AFM’s Mike’s Hands picture. Instead, I told them to get the author to edit out the ridiculous bribe and leave everything else. He did and the Ellipsiiis members quickly scurried back into the darkness.
Having people come to EZ and offer obvious bribes did not sit well with a segment of the EZ citizenry. It was just a bit too arrogant. Finding out that they had been unknown participants in a game felt like a slap in the face.
Vanillaslave was no longer an administrator but she still had access to the Rathaus. The Faceless One, after taking away her powers, did not change the password and she still had it. Of course, with the Spoilers forum in an uproar over the bribe threads, the various admins and mods were discussing what was going on and how to handle the situation. One informed the others that it was part of a game and it was decided that as long as the threads remained on topic, they would be left alone. When Vamillaslave discovered this, she knew she had the silver bullet she was seeking. She promptly announced the details of the game in the spoiler forum and all hell broke loose.
Then Cygnus showed up.
He was under a new name of course since he already had a half dozen names banned. Like the proverbial bad penny, he kept showing up and kept posting links to his board. He was very persistent.
The thread game was the magic bullet Cygnus was looking for as well. It became a great opportunity for him to rail against both EZ and Ellipsiiis. Oh, and of course, try to advertise for his board.
I slowly watched my nightmare unfold. Vanillaslave and Cygnus joined forces. They screamed about fake threads. True, but they were deleted. They screamed that Ellipsiiis was spamming the board. Not true, there were maybe a total of eight Ellipsiiis posts. The story grew and grew. It was a startling thing to watch. Soon, the story was that Ellipsiiis ran EZ and therefore anything that occurred on EZ was subject to the whims of Ellipsiiis. This whole theory was absolutely insane. Of course, we admins hadn’t really helped matters by allowing the game to be played. It certainly had the appearance of complicity.
Spoilers was in an absolute uproar. Everyone was either trashing Ellipsiiis or arguing over which threads were fake and which were not. There certainly wasn’t much spoiling going on. Cygnus and Vanillaslave kept the fires in a tidy uproar. Cygnus was finally banned again. Not because he was anti-Ellipsiiis. He was banned for the umpteenth time because he continued to post off-topic and also because he continued to post the link to his board. I didn’t ban him. I had yet to ban anyone. I just couldn’t make myself do it.
Vanillaslave lasted a little longer, but there was no stopping her now. She was on a crusade. She saw Ellipsiiis behind every dark corner of EZ. Her posts were getting further and further out there. She blamed me for everything and publicly stated that getting me promoted to moderator was the biggest mistake that she had made. She called me a hypocrite and a liar. It got old quick. Still, I didn’t ban her.
Someone else did. There was no reining her in. She was keeping the Spoilers forum in an uproar and it was never going to come back into anything resembling order with her there. Finally, the Faceless One banned her. For the first and only time, a former administrator was banned.
Still, there was little that could be done about EZ’s new favorite topic: Ellipsiiis. There were the startling predictions, the success in FOB, the conflicts with the Gator board, the ridiculous thread game and now allegations that ran from Ellipsiiis owned EZ to Mark Burnett owned Ellipsiiis. Everyone loves a mystery and now EZ had its very own.
I tried to just stay the hell out of it. I knew that my being a member of Ellipsiiis would be thrown in my face anytime I said anything about the controversy. I was not here to be an advocate for Ellipsiiis. I was here to try to keep the Spoilers forum free of trouble. I sat back and did my best imitation of a Swiss Guard.
The Great Fake thread controversy finally reached some closure when Mediator88, one of the creators of the game, posted in the FAQ explaining what had happened. It cleared everything up but the hurt that some members of EZ felt was pretty obvious. No one wanted their home to be the personal playground of anyone and they let him know it.
I watched, said nothing and went back to Spoilers.
Sometime in February, a poster named RyanBBB posted a spoiler where he claimed to know the entire boot order. A short while later he admitted it was hoax and admin got rid of the thread. A strange thing happened though; RyanBBB’s boot order was turning out to be right. Poster kingmarkburnett posted in spoilers asking if anyone still had a copy. BeefJerky took an interest in this long lost spoiler and actually began digging around trying to find the damned thing. Some thought the spoiler must be true. Some shouted that it was fake and the author had admitted to the hoax. Some even theorized that it was true and was deleted because Ellipsiiis and Mark Burnett secretly ran EZ. More weirdness and it was all because some kid had an Uncle who was a Cameraman.