Archive for March, 2013

Rant on Narcissism

Posted in trolls, writing on March 24, 2013 by The Solution

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica
Source/Photographer The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.

Throughout my life I have been aware of two main types of insane people: Sociopaths and Psychopaths.  I believe there is a much greater abundance of both of these types than most people,  including the experts, would care to acknowledge.

The psychopath is a person who takes pleasure from the pain of others. The name “Ted Bundy” often comes to mind when people think of psychopaths, but there are all kinds, including the Ted Bundys. In my previous career, I sometimes felt overwhelmed by psychopaths. I have known people whose friends or relatives were killed by psychopathic serial killers (I’m, also, aware of how they were treated by the media and the “authorities,” which is another tale of insanity), but the fact is most psychopaths stop just short of murder, especially if they think they could get caught. Because psychopaths are charming and intelligent, they often go on undetected and even when they are caught, they tend to have amassed many sympathizers and supporters. They are frequently protected and even glorified by the mainstream media.

Sociopaths are extremely common. Like psychopaths, they are often charming and manipulative. Both psychopaths and sociopaths are liars, some are masterful and others will tell obvious lies without shame. They do not have a normal range of human emotions.

Both sociopaths and psychopaths are often sexually perverted and obsessed with sex in some way. A common trait of male sociopaths is a preoccupation with their hatred of women. They want to hurt and kill women and will go to great lengths sometimes to satisfy their hunger.

Many sociopaths are, also, narcissists.

Understanding narcissists is very new to me. I had heard about them and heard them discussed often, especially by ActivismofCare who has a YouTube channel devoted to dealing with crazy people without going crazy yourself. But, I never had an understanding of narcissism or narcissistic behavior until very recently observing the behavior of some posters in the Kboards Writer’s Cafe (formerly Kindleboards).

Forums attract narcissists and other mentally disordered people because they can be whoever they want to be and, especially if the forum is a help-type forum, they will find plenty of victims to psychologically feed off of. It is important to remember that Ted Bundy, the psychopath, worked at a help center for abused women. He enjoyed hearing their stories of abuse and his co-workers thought he was wonderful at handling cases.  So, any place there are discussions of rape, abuse, women’s issues, dealing with narcissists, dealing with psychopaths or sociopaths is, also, very likely to attract the  narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths.

But, they can appear anywhere online.

Narcissists, however, may be especially attracted to writing forums.  This all relates to the previous post on Vanity Authors, in which I described people who get ego fulfillment from writing a book.  The fact is anybody can publish a book. Anybody can write something and publish it digitally or sandwich it between covers and a spine. And, now, it doesn’t even cost much, if anything to do so.

So, you can have the admiration of all your friends, family, co-workers and everyone you meet by proclaiming yourself an author. You can put your face and name  on right along side many famous, wealthy and accomplished authors. This is a wondrous new opportunity for the narcissist!

To understand why this is significant to the narcissists, consider some of the following characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

  • Grandiosity
  • Exaggeration of achievements
  • Demand for respect
  • Lies a lot and sees lying as a legitimate means of getting whatever he feels he deserves
  • Sees himself (most narcissists are men, but some are women) reflected in everything
  • Thinks every conversation is about him
  • Must be the center of attention
  • Lack of empathy

Narcissists, also, have many of the traits of a sociopath.

The narcissist will claim he knows more about a subject than anyone else. He is quick to anger if he feels affronted. Ignoring the narcissist can exacerbate the situation because they so desperately want attention – even negative attention is better than nothing, at all. The narcissist is incapable of putting himself in someone else’s shoes because narcissists are incapable of empathy.

The narcissist sees himself reflected in everything. If you say out loud, “The sky is blue.” The narcissist will accuse you of calling him blue. Multiple narcissists can quickly turn into a mob because they like to mirror and praise each other. The praise of each other can take on an almost worshipful tone.

Once you study the narcissist in action, see how he reads himself into every remark and how he must regularly pop up with his face, name and accomplishments for everyone to see, it sheds a great deal of light on issues of “authors behaving badly” like the one referenced in a previous post with regard to Vanity Authors and GoodReads.

Learn more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and how to deal with a narcissist from Activism of Care.

Here’s another good video describing narcissistic behavior in online social settings:

And, a final word – steer clear of the writing forums unless you absolutely must obtain information somehow. Then, get in anonymously and get back out.


Rant on Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe and a Warning to Authors

Posted in crazy people, narcissism, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2013 by The Solution

Warning: Poisonous Snakes!
Image is copyrighted CC: Image information: Flickr
Author Matt Frederick from USA
Reviewer KenWalker

Since things have really blown up over at Kboards (fomerly Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe on a big long thread with a lot of drama, it seems like the warning issued about this site in the previous blog post (Rant on Nuts in Writing Forums) was not strong enough.

The main danger of this site to any independent author or publisher is that it appears to be a perfectly legitimate place to get help, information and to possibly interact with other indies. But, this is a veneer and a very thin one at that.

The recent blow up, which was started by none other than one of the moderators, is nothing new. Like any forum, it goes through some ups and downs, but certain characteristics remain a constant there, even when the waters appear calm on the surface.

These characteristics are evidenced in their latest rumble in which they expelled a member suspected of trying to lure female posters into discussions about abuse.  It resulted in some long-time members leaving. This is not news, but part of a pattern of sexism at this forum where men have been allowed to call women revolting names and the subject of rape is brought up regularly in response to… well, almost anything, at all.

Posters voiced their complaints about feeling uncomfortable with others who engaged in stalking behavior and regularly discuss disturbing ideas that feed their sexual fetishes.

A lot of the thread, which is very long, included material that was deleted by the moderators. One of the posts that seems to have been deleted criticized the moderators for starting the thread in the first place. After all, if there is a moderation problem, that’s a problem for the moderators and should be dealt with as quietly as possible so as not to create a huge explosion. One can only conclude that the moderators must enjoy the drama.

Another poster who complained of being stalked around the board was brushed off by the moderators until a final post on the subject of bullying resulted in that poster being threatened. The moderators quickly erased a couple of pages of material related to that. Overall, women and LGBT posters seem to be the ones most likely to complain of discomfort at the site or report feeling attacked.

The following quote from a poster there called “Spirit Flame” sums up the culture of this board with regard to bullying of new members: “Moderators will take a holiday and only lock the thread once one of the bigger regular KB members are directly attacked. They won’t protect you unless your part of the established clique here. They will even make tidy the posts to protect the guilty, much like those people in movies.” (Reference:,122087.msg1816232.html#msg1816232)

Other complaints about the forum include too much emphasis on promotion and gaming the system. For example, authors sometimes request the help of posters there to push their books up in Amazon rankings. If you’re part of the in-crowd there, this probably works, but if you’re not, it would surely backfire very badly!

Posters who have made the mistake of advertising themselves there must tread on eggshells not to incur the wrath of the others. The moderators have a god-like status. To question a moderator will immediately bring the wrath of their worshipful following down on your head. They started their own thread about their poor job of moderation and expressed surprise when they were questioned and criticized. This is a sin for which posters are made to pay. Generally, they are just made so uncomfortable that they leave and do not return. Nearly all of these things can be seen embodied in just this one thread, except for the parts they expunged, which included criticism of them and a threat to one of the posters. What a fiasco!

Now, imagine for a moment that you went wide-eyed into this forum thinking it was the friendly, helpful place it seems to be. If you shared information about yourself and your work everything might have gone along fine for a little while until one of the favored posters there took a dislike to something you said. After that, you may be stalked around the board and have an increasing number of posters attack you. Now, you have a problem if you have allowed these people to know where to find your books. Many posters have picked up stalkers from this board. This was widely reported in the spring of 2012 when there was a great exodus of erotica writers, mostly women, who were being stalked, ridiculed and treated abusively by forum members.

The Writer’s Cafe at Kboard (Kindleboards) is a good place to study narcissists and see examples of narcissistic behavior. Narcissists look for people in whom they see a weakness to prey upon; they have an excessive need to be admired and have grandiose perceptions of themselves; and narcissists see themselves everywhere, so if you post about something there, you’ll notice a number of people will say that it is about them. They may accuse you of talking about them, even when you don’t know them and have never heard of them before.  They worship themselves and when they get in a pack, they worshipfully praise one another

The Writer’s Cafe at Kboards should be avoided at all costs by any serious writer. The same can be said of GoodReads, which is another place where writers are encouraged to post their work, post about it and interact with readers. It quickly becomes a playground for narcissists and narcissists aren’t just nuts, they’re very dangerous nuts as you can see from previous posts that discuss Vanity Authors and the dangers of Writer’s Forums.

It’s always good to take caution in forums not to disclose too much information about yourself. But, when it comes to this forum, it is probably best avoided altogether. There is nothing to be learned there, unless, of course, you are making a study of narcissistic personality disorder.

Read other articles warning of the dangers of this forum:

(Link added on 2/7/2014) – It looks like another regular poster may have dropped out of the forum after complaining about being targeted.  If I recall, this poster was one of the people who foolishly posted income figures there (although, it appears that may not be the only problem). Now, I don’t think I should have to tell anyone with two functioning brain cells to rub together why publicly bragging about your income or sales figures is a bad idea, but that was, also, a recent topic of discussion there and most of the posters were all for it! Yeah, they’re a bunch of professionals – professional comedians!!! Here’s the link:,177757.0.html   – and if you still don’t think that forum is a scary place, check this article out, especially the nastiness in the comment section:

(Update of 2/8/2014) The above thread continues to grow along with the hypocrisy. They’ve, also, added a “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” thread – yeah, that’s a good question.  “Why are We Such a Bunch of Hypocrites?” would be better. In this new thread, the mods pretend they have no idea that a particular author, who the veterans there know not to name outright (the old-timers know what they can & can’t get away with) – Greg Strandberg – has been attacked repeatedly. He’s been called a variety of names in his absence on the first thread above. As always, a mod says, if you have a problem with someone here, report it (a little Nazi-style authoritarian system they have there) and we’ll take care of it. Well, okay – one of your anointed calls him a “dickweed,” at least, twice here and then he’s called “skeevy” here for posting the above-linked article on the wisdom of suing reviewers at his personal website.   And, then a few more people piled on… but, I guess this doesn’t constitute any kind of personal attack on a single poster there… right? Well, if the mods and the regular posters there say it doesn’t, then you can be sure it doesn’t.

Strandberg, predictably, is also being attacked by Kboards Writer’s Cafe regulars at his own blog. who are chastizsing him and giving all kinds of unsolicited advice on what he should do. This is so typical.  How dare he express an opinion about something that differs from that of the narcissistic/sycophantic herd! He has my deepest sympathy.

A whole bunch of the usual tormenters’ hideous faces are showing up on this thread.  And, at least, a couple of these people admit in their posts that they are not doing well – really have little if anything to contribute to any discussion about success at publishing or writing.  (Of course, they don’t – because they spend their time hanging out on this board – just lying in wait like a spider in a web – for the purpose of attacking anyone who they perceive as having a modicum of success. That’s exactly what happened to me.) There is a certain long-standing core group there who seems to thrive on any kind of strife. They get a psychopathic joy out of causing pain in new posters who wander in who are already dealing with a problem – – be it a writing or publishing problem or being harassed by others at the forum and they just pile on top one after the other.

Here’s an idea for the Kboards Writer’s Cafe people: Maybe treat everybody who wanders into your forum to ask a question about publishing or writing with some basic respect and not TARGET them and not, dear moderators, ALLOW and PARTICIPATE in the mobbing behavior that regularly goes on at your forum. Okay – group hug, now…

(Link added on 5/15/2013) – This is someone else’s excellent rant on Writer’s Cafe Kboards in which the author likens participating in the forum to attempting “to swim with starving sharks”:

(Link added on 5/9/2013)

(Link added on 5/9/2013)

Update added on May 8, 2013: The article about Kboard Writer’s Cafe, entitled “I Quit Kindleboards’ Writer’s Cafe Today,”  linked to below has been altered a couple of times now by the author since I first posted the link. The original version discussed the culture of the Writer’s Cafe Kboards forum. You’ll find snippets from the original in a couple of the articles linked to above and an excerpt from it in the form of a cropped screenshot is preserved below, in which the author writes, “I’ve never been in a writer’s group before which was so hostile to talking about writing.  It was clear when I joined that a lot of people wanted to talk about writing, but were afraid to.”  The author of the blog, who goes by, “The Daring Novelist” and “Camille LaGuire,” seems to be upset that I linked to it as you can see from the comments below, which I regarded as an attempt to intimidate me. Linking to an an article on the web is not copyright infringement and another person sharing their experience and opinion about something that differs from yours is not a reason to request a link to be removed.

The original article spoke well for itself, but the author,  first deleted it, replaced it with a second version, then deleted that one and then erected another in which the author is unprovokedly rude toward yours truly. Note: I do not know this person either online or IRL. I only very briefly interacted with anyone at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe over the course of a few weeks prior to the time the events I describe above took place. I don’t stick around anywhere there is abusive behavior going on, especially when it’s directed at me. I found the article linked to below just like I find most of the others I link to in my articles, which is by doing a search at Google. I found it while searching for the terms, “Kindleboards Writer’s Cafe” and “hostility.”

This person’s behavior is pretty typical of my short-lived experience with other long-time members of Kboards Writer’s Cafe forum: If you post about a writing or publishing-related experience there, such as copyright infringement, piracy or traditional publishing or if – God forbid! – you rightly criticize something about the forum, and one of the regular, active posters takes offense (yes, offense to your experience!), you will be harassed – only there, it’s by a mob.  That is what happened to me.

Furthermore, I have observed over the course of more than two years as an occasional lurker there and in other writer’s forums that lots of people have had big problems at the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards – I’ve told my experience and I’ve told some of what I saw go on. I told the whole story above in third person for my protection and I think it’s clear why it’s important to protect yourself from such people.  My blogpost reflects my experience and my opinions –  and it might save other people some grief – so, it is going to stay right here!

Why this person seemed to take such personal offense to my simply placing a link at the bottom of an article on a related subject and why they have gone to so much trouble deleting and altering their original article because of my blog, which gets very few readers, I don’t know. But, there are people who simply cannot tolerate a differing opinion or even the expression of a different experience, which is something I talk about in numerous other blogposts here.

Here’s the link to the Daring Novelist’s current version of the article, “I Quit Kindleboards’ Writer’s Cafe Today” (as of May 9, it was altered, again, and re-titled, “KBoards Rocks – (was I Quit Kindleboards’ Writers Cafe Today)” Very weird!):

In the above current version, the author expresses gladness at me (and other women posters) being bullied (and one of us threatened) off the forum.  I have no idea how bullying women posters off the forum –  women who have had rape brought up to them over and over again by male posters for no reason and who were the victims of being lured into conversations about sexual abuse by perverts is a good thing.  But, again, this is typical of  the kind of invalidation and victim-blaming I experienced and observed going on there.

The following related posts were added to this blog in February 2014:

Rant on Nuts in Writing Forums

Posted in book piracy, copyright, copyright infringement, crazy people, criminals, misogyny, popular culture, sexism, society, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by The Solution

Nuts: What you will often find in online forums

Forum culture is not what it used to be.  It’s very different from the way it was back in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, it was a lot more anonymous and a lot more civilized.

It seems like less anonymity would make people behave better, knowing that literally anyone could see their information – their faces even sometimes – and attach it to their behavior. But, it seems like since the days of MySpace (when people were first asked all kinds of invasive personal questions to join a social web site) things have gotten a lot worse online, in general, and in forums, in particular.

Now, you might think that a forum dedicated to the subject of something like writing and publishing would be pretty civilized. You’d expect that authors would not want to put their bad, abusive, nutty behavior on display right next to their names, images of their books with links to sales pages, links to their web sites and sometimes even their faces.  But, if you ever venture into the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards (formerly called Kindleboards), a site devoted mainly to the Kindle, but with a section for writers called “Writer’s Cafe,” you might be surprised at what goes on.

It is a  haven for nuts!

Every so often they have threads of interests to writers and self-publishers. But, many posters there complain that they are attacked when they post about certain subjects like traditional publishing or copyright infringement. New posters are often treated with less respect than established members of what they call their “community.”   Consequently, many new members come and if they are mistreated, they quickly leave and do not come back.

If you enjoy lots of drama and watching people make fools of themselves, Writer’s Cafe at Kboards is the place. Here is an example of how the moderators there run the show:,145383.0.html#.UUpN2ze8gsI

Other forums for writers and publishers, which may be more beneficial depending on your needs:

Absolute Write Water Cooler  ( This forum is very diverse. When you post here, pay special attention to the different sub-division of forums and keep the discussion within that range of subjects. For instance, do not praise the virtues of independent publishing in the sections devoted to traditional publishing. ( This is not the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe! This site is very good for fiction writers who want to discuss the art of writing, itself.

KDP Community Support ( For those who publish on the Kindle Digital Platform, through your dashboard, you have access to the KDP community. This is a very helpful group, especially when you’re just beginning or if you have any kind of technical or account-related questions.

Another forum is WattPad’s Industry Insider Forum for Writers:

All forums have nuts. Not all forums are as nutty as others. Some are more serious-minded and are the best places to post about a particular subject. The above four have been most beneficial to me, personally.

Some nuts are harmless, but some can be dangerous. Even though you may feel safe at home behind your keyboard, forums can present a danger.

Therefore, when you use forums, remain anonymous. If you are an author, don’t give details about your business, your location or your books. For example, don’t use your real name, don’t post pictures of yourself or your children, don’t post pictures of your books with links (like you are encouraged to do at Kboards). Many people have learned the dangers of nuts in forums the hard way. They’ve been stalked, their sales pages have been trolled and they’ve had a lot of other problems. Simply being there with a picture of yourself (especially if you area woman), could cause you a problem. You can suddenly begin having problems with someone because you posted about something someone else doesn’t like – narcissists see themselves in everything you say and may take offense to something not directed anywhere near them. Then, they may stalk you. If you do not have any personal information about yourself anywhere, they will be limited to stalking you at that forum.

Keep in mind that some moderators are nuts, too. And,  you never really know who they are. For example, the moderators at the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe are all volunteers. They’re nobody special and they likely have no special qualifications to be volunteer moderators. Moderators set the tone of a forum, just like managers set the tone at a business. If you have nutty, narcissistic moderators, you may, also, find a collection of nutty, narcissistic posters.

If you happen to go to a forum where the moderators are unstable and you sign up using your e-mail address, they may be able to see that information, even if you make it private. If you send private emails to other posters, they can see those. If a forum moderator (at any forum) turns out to be unstable, they have information with which they can stalk you. When you sign up for your forum accounts, do not use your main email account. You can get temporary email accounts at, which will usually work just fine. Again, don’t sign up for an account that contains your name or anything that would help them identify you. Protect yourself.

If you look at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe forum link above (it’s a big kerfuffle involving a litany of complaints by posters about behaviors on the forum, including some very disturbing ones), you can see why you might not want to disclose your gender or sexual orientation, especially if it is different from either straight or male. That particular forum has a history of allowing men with sexually aberrant behaviors to remain on the site, despite complaints. This is just an example, of course, these people could be at any forum and you will be safer if you do not disclose gender or sexual orientation at any of them.

In fact, there’s really no need for them to know anything about you, ie. marital status, creed, race, nationality, religion, lack thereof, etc.

The best thing to do when you go to a forum is ask your question. Thank people if they give you good advice and get out. Avoid the places that are high drama.  Most of the people who get involved in the high drama are not going to help you with your writing or publishing efforts. If you find yourself having to “ignore” a lot of posters who are harassing you, be advised that just ignoring some people (for example, narcissists) only makes them more aggressive.  So, the “ignore them” advice that you’ll inevitably get if you should have a problem with a nut in a forum doesn’t work.  It may work in the short-term, but it won’t’ work for long.

Look for the forums that seem to have the most successful people and give you the most benefit.

Rant on E-book Piracy, Sociopaths and Rampant Criminality

Posted in authors behaving badly, badly behaving authors, book piracy, copyright, copyright infringement, crazy people, criminals, popular culture, society, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2013 by The Solution

May book thieves be cursed to a swift and violent death and condemned to hell!

Until book piracy happens to you, it is a hypothetical thing.

Crime is crime and theft of property is a serious one. People who steal usually have no compunction about committing violent crimes. It’s sometimes a progression of criminal activity that begins with swiping things that don’t belong to them that leads to such a progression. Some people – in fact, apparently a very large percentage of people – are soulless sociopaths and psychopaths who are incapable of empathizing with their victims.

Like other criminals, pirates have a thousand ways to justify their crimes to themselves and others. One of the lies they tell is that piracy doesn’t affect sales. They even have false surveys that they share online at left-wing sites like Huffington Post to try to convince others that stealing books online is a victimless crime that doesn’t cost. Some of these criminals even go so far as trying to make the case that stealing from writers and publishers helps them.

These ideas would be laughable except that they are so widespread among these online criminals as to be considered normal and acceptable.


Devils are friends of mine.

Online piracy is organized crime and there is no justification for participating it.  Like the sites that resell other people’s books as if they are their own, the P2P (peer to peer) sharing and torrent sites profit from a form the theft of intellectual property.  “Sharing” is a euphemism for counterfeiting. And, there are many other euphemisms for this kind of cybercrime.

The unethical people who participate in this crime might be the same people who break into your house or rob banks, but they  commit their crimes online mainly because they think there is less likelihood of getting caught and there is definitely considerably less likelihood of being physically injured or killed during the commission of their crimes.

They are extremely well organized. Not only are their actual criminal enterprises, which are criminal conspiracies, well organized, but their not-for-profit supporters are well-organized, as well. They have  important sounding names and often disguise themselves as academics who support the freedom of information. But, these organizations and their criminally-minded members don’t just want free information exchange within the boundaries of the law, they want to freely exchange what is the property of other people.


Aaron Swartz hides his face with his bike helmet in this image from while burglarizing MIT. This is the hero of the free information movement and the online pirates

This philosophy was embodied in the person and philosophy of Aaron Swartz, the man who broke into MIT and downloaded millions of files off the JSTOR servers.  A Marxist cult of  personality has been constructed around this man, who must have been completely insane, before his apparent suicide. You can read Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” at the following link: – if you are familiar with Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto,” you will, no doubt, recognize the same ideology in Swartz’s manifesto.  It’s almost like a missing page from the original 19th century document, especially written for the 21st century. It’s as if he was channeling Marx, a man who had no respect for other people’s property or persons to the greatest extreme.

You can read about the 13 charges against Swartz, which were dropped after his death, at the Smoking Gun web site:  Caught Red-Handed, Aaron Swartz Was Prepping For Key Federal Court Evidence Hearing. This is the story the mainstream news and the pirates won’t tell you about Swartz’s crimes.

If you see a site that purports to be a place for writers, like Writer’s Cafe Kboards (formerly Kindleboards) look to see if pro-piracy discussions are tolerated. If they are, move on.  If you do post, be entirely anonymous. Never reference yourself or your work or give any small details a  prospective stalker could use to target you.  This has happened to other people. And, it has happened to authors who asked pirates to stop stealing their work. These are hardcore criminals and their supporters are criminals, as well – you never know who you’re interacting with online.

If you have questions about piracy and dealing with it go to sites with professional authors – not just “authors” who sell a couple of 99 cent books at Amazon – but professional authors who earn a living from their work. These are the people who will be most likely to support you in your efforts to protect your own work and your income.

One place to seek help online is from the Authors Against E-book Theft YahooGroup.

The above is a closed group and this is so for a reason.   Authors, artists and others who try to protect their work are frequently subjected to abuses. This is something you should be aware of if you become a victim. Look for support carefully – again, not from just writers (because some amateur writers are so desperate to have their work read that they support thievery), but from professional writers.

Also, don’t be afraid to call a local copyright attorney if you have a case. Get screen shots of the violations before you send the DMCA takedown notice. There are numerous sites where you can find the template for this notice, this is only one such site: