Robert Scott Anderson
aka Guardian2000, aka DarkStar
"He's really good at appearing reasonable while making the most ridiculous claims. I caught myself about to fall for one earlier. Won't happen again, but it's unnerving." - Rogue 9 (forum user)
"Dear God, this man is clearly insane." - SomethingAwful.Com on Darkstar
"But as the saying goes, "if the facts are against you, argue the law ... if the law is against you, argue the facts ... if the facts and the law are against you, yell like hell." Highwind, et al., that's your cue. I've made my point." - Darkstar accusing Star Trek writer Mike Sussman of dishonesty for disagreeing with him about the ENT episode "The Augments" (note: Mike Sussman wrote that episode, and Darkstar would subsequently demand that his words be deleted from memory-alpha.org).
To make a long story short, Robert Scott Anderson (henceforth dubbed "RSA") is an uneducated help-desk operator who took a hobby and turned it into an obsession. He also suffers from paranoid delusions of persecution, and he basically see himself as Captain Ahab and me as Moby Dick. By way of explanation, go to his website at www.st-v-sw.net. Just to give you an idea of the sort of paranoid obsession I'm talking about, his website's Introduction page mentions me by name as part of the site's entire reason for existence, and out of 38 topical articles linked on his main site index as of June 27 2004, nearly a third of them mention me by name! As a further example of his obsession, out of 36 E-mails he selected for publication on his Feedback page, no less than 14 of the messages or his responses to them (that's more than a third) mention me or my site by name, usually in derogatory fashion. Naturally, like most deranged and obsessed personality types, he believes the obsession runs the other way, ie- that I am obsessed with him. Naturally, it should come as no surprise that he has no girlfriend and no prospects.
If that's not enough for you, he even makes the absurd claim that Wayne Poe and I tried to have him killed! As he puts it, "Wayne Poe's obsession with me runs so deep that he openly fantasizes about killing me, and Wayne and Mike Wong (in his Hate Mail section) still try to publicize an old site intended to help with that goal." Intent to have someone killed is a pretty serious charge; in fact, it's so serious that if it had a shred of validity and he wasn't so obviously delusional, Wayne and I would have been charged for it by the police. So why hasn't this happened? Why didn't the police visit? Or even make a phone call? I suspect you can guess the answer to that one.
RSA's behaviour is often characterized by a Trekkie persecution complex. It goes without saying that he accuses me of automatically abusing ST fans on my forums (even though one of my moderators is one of the former so-called "Spacebattles.com Babies" who once donated an article to RSA's website and was promptly accused of being a "rabid Warsie" when he tried to sign up on RSA's short-lived forum). But he even makes similar accusations about the SpaceBattles.Com forums, saying that there is "a Warsie majority here with a moderator to back them, and you will be banned if you upset them by posting evidence against their positions.". As with my forums, RSA's accusations are best refuted by asking you to sign up and/or observe them for yourself, rather than letting someone help you judge it sight unseen. And would it surprise you to know that he even accuses the unmoderated (read: free for all) alt.starwars.vs.startrek newsgroups of being a "Rabid Warsie support group", or that after all of this, one of his favourite accusations against others is, ironically enough, "poisoning the well"?
Of course, it's important to know what kind of arguments he has generated in the past, so without further ado, let us look at:
Some of the uneducated troll RSA's more bizarre claims
"Of course, given that we have nothing to compare it to, it may simply represent the natural order of the dominant humanoids of the SW galaxy." This is RSA arguing that Vader's obviously mangled and subsequently repaired spine is naturally that way (click here to see the original thread where this takes place around page 12, although you'll have to sign up on the forums to view it). The idea is to diminish Imperial medical technology.
Despite the obvious concrete appearance of Docking Bay 94 in ANH, he believes that it was a "dirt pit". Or as he puts it, "Wow, Han's blaster truly is extraordinary . . . it disrupted the structural integrity of packed dirt within a big hole." He bases this on a "dirt pit" quote from the novel even though the movies override the novels in the event of a conflict and the Tatooine docking bays are obviously not mere "dirt pits". Of course, in other pages, he makes a point of reminding the reader that the novels cannot contradict the movies and in fact has numerous pages and very long dissertations on the precise nature of canon hierarchies; I guess he just suffered temporary amnesia when Docking Bay 94 came up.
"Canonically, the Millennium Falcon's weapons range is no more than about 200 meters." Yes, he really says that, even though we can see hand weapons being used at far greater range (many kilometres) in AOTC and TESB. He bases his claim on the assumption that the focal length of a 35mm film camera is fixed at 35mm, regardless of zoom (please consult a photographer if you don't understand how absurd this is), so he figures he can calculate the distance to any object is by simply looking at how much of the screen it takes up.
Regarding the Death Star superlaser striking Alderaan: "no atmospheric effects are observed". Yes, that's right. He believes there was no visible effect on the atmosphere of Alderaan when the superlaser hit it: an astonishingly strange claim upon which he bases many other arguments, such as his conclusion that the Death Star superlaser was below "23.5 gigatons" in yield (that's roughly 0.02% of the yield of the real-life "dino-killer" asteroid 65 million years ago). This is but one of the many bizarre components of his various Death Star claims, among such oddities as his "bands of brightness" moving over the surface of Alderaan which nobody but him can see or his strange "fire rings therefore mysterious chain reaction" argument.
He believes that the asteroid in the Star Trek Voyager episode "Rise" can be assumed to be totally vapourized for the purpose of calculations even though we can see solid fragments flying away from the blast and one of the crewman even estimates how big they should be. At the same time, he believes that the asteroid in TESB can not be assumed to be totally vapourized even though the only visual remotely resembling a fragment is a few reddish glowing clouds which dissappear in fractions of a second.
Regarding Leia in the shield generator control room on Endor in ROTJ (from his website): "Leia comments that the "fleet will be here at any moment". That, of course, is absurd . . . the fleet doesn't arrive until pre-dawn on another day." Yes, that's right: he figures that when Han, Leia and Co. were captured, a whole day passed before they were brought outside to the clearing! If that isn't enough to make you shake your head, he also claims that after they broke into the complex in the first place, they took half a day to reach the control room! He bases his argument on exhaustive analysis of the direction of shadows (and some assumptions about the orientation of the complex, the planet's direction of rotation, etc). Naturally, he uses these "facts" to conclude that it took two days(!) for the Rebel fleet to jump from Sullust to Endor, so hyperdrive is slow.
His "crown jewel" argument is his belief that the Death Star must have used some kind of mysterious chain-reaction to destroy Alderaan, because apparently the superlaser creates some kind of mysterious "superlaser effect" which converts matter to energy in a self-perpetuating chain-reaction. At the same time, he believes that the Empire does not possess a means of annihilating matter into energy, which is why they are limited to nuclear fusion for power generation ... thus proving that they must have this energy-generating "superlaser effect". See if you can spot the obvious self-contradiction in this argument.
RSA's Oh-So-Important "Canon Policy": For some bizarre reason, RSA has made his "Canon Policy" the centrepiece of his entire debate strategy. Find out what that's all about.
A Critique of RSA's Website, by Mike Blackburn. This is a page by page critique of RSA's website as of Year-end 2002. Strongly recommended, particularly since it discusses many of RSA's specific sci-fi arguments, as opposed to his endless ramblings over the oh-so-important "Canon Policy". Note: I added some editor's notes to Mr. Blackburn's articles.
Darkstar's Big Forum Adventure: Governments aren't the only people who can spin-doctor their failures.
Debate: My debate with RSA (warning: very long).
RSA backgrounder: General info about RSA's past debating practices, including a "How to Debate like Darkstar" primer.
The RSA Archive, by Crayz9000 (offsite).
Rob Dalton's G2K Troll page (offsite).
hardly ever post on any forum but my own, I felt it was necessary to convey this
exciting message to you guys. Mr. Star decided to email me regarding my choice to
profile him for today's ALoD, mostly based off the fact that he's loony. However,
just to be up front and honest, I think this site is equally insane and most of you
people are nutso as well. However, you don't seem to suffer the extreme paranoia
and schizophrenia that Mr. Star seems to be inflicted with.
I'm not going to even bother replying to him, as posting on this forum is going at least nine steps further than I normally go in response to an ALoD. But hey, I thought you guys might get a kick out of it, so there you go." - "Lowtax" from SomethingAwful.Com on Darkstar's response to being an Awful Link of the Day (predictably, RSA responded by trying to convince SomethingAwful.Com that Wayne Poe and myself are the real crazies). I suppose it bears noting that Lowtax considers all hardcore sci-fi sites to be crazy, with some justification ;), but there is a difference between being a sci-fi fanatic and being an actual paranoid schizo, and anyone who observes RSA in any detail will inevitably conclude that he is indeed a few cards short of a full deck.
How to Respond?
Is it wise to give too much attention to someone like the uneducated troll RSA? Like a Jehovah's Witness, he has polished his rhetorical salesmanship technique to a finely honed art over the years. We're talking about a person who wrote a whole webpage about how there was nothing wrong with him linking directly to AVI files on my site (on my bandwidth which I pay for) without permission and how I was being completely unreasonable and totally dishonest for taking offense at it. Everything I say or do is "analyzed" exhaustively by him, even such things as a story I once told on my webboard about a hostile encounter with another driver in a grocery-store parking lot. Worse yet, he tends to mirror anything I say about him, so that if I say he's projecting his own faults onto me, he accuses me of projection the very next day, and if I say he's obsessed with me, he will accuse me of being obsessed with him, and so on (if you believe him, feel free to compare the ratio of articles I've written on my site which mention him by name to the ratio of articles on his site which mention me by name).
The best approach to dealing with such an individual is subject to debate. Some say that I give him too much attention by even acknowledging his existence. Others say that I have not given him enough attention because he has spent the last two years writing long diatribes about what a horrible, dishonest, evil person I am on multiple webboards across the Internet and I have not responded to every one of his accusations directly. In any case, I consider it most likely that this situation will not stop until he knows the touch of a woman, so I don't expect it to end any time soon.
Ultimately, the choice between responding or not responding is forced by circumstance. Since I have a wife, two kids, and a full-time job to juggle, it is just not a realistic option to respond directly to every single accusation he makes about me. Just look at his Links page and its description of my website:
Mike Wong's pro-Wars propaganda site, and the source of the term "Federation Cultist" and other far more colorful metaphors to refer to anyone who disagrees with his views. Basically, to make his site, you take a handful of the best possible parts and interpretations of Star Wars facts, a truckload of the best parts and interpretations of the SW Expanded Universe, and any of the worst possible interpretations of the worst parts of Star Trek. Shake it all together, and serve flaming.
However, the site is useful, as a source of many of the pro-Wars myths you'll likely hear, even after they have been debunked time and again. This is also one of the main holdouts of the anti-Trek myths such as "The Federation is Communist", and so on. It is strange . . . Wong is ardently anti-creationist, yet is willing to use many of the same tactics and maneuvers of intellectual dishonesty that creationists use, which is a very unusual combination. Take a look at his hate mail page, especially the debates, to see the some of the character-attacking, spin-doctoring depths to which Wong will go. (On the other hand, his fanfic, though severely biased, is well-written.)
There's also a discussion board on the site, interesting insofar as seeing how a petulant child runs one. Undesirables or trolls (or any other Wongian synonym for Trek debaters) get posts edited, personal information altered, and/or get their posts moved into the "Hall of Shame", where he and the other moderators "have free reign to add insulting comments to a troll's posts at will and undertake other actions which are normally frowned upon in the other forums", meaning they are finally doing openly to pro-Trek debater posts what they previously denied doing. They also perform "invasions" of other boards as a matter of course. It's basically the same pro-Wars circle-jerk as usenet's alt.startrek.vs.starwars, but with even less scruples.
An interesting recent note was the board invasion they perpetrated against TrekBBS, which somehow led to conflict with a place called "TrollKingdom.com". The "hate triangle" they formed eventually got someone angry, the SD.Net BBS was hacked (evidently by the TK group, though Wong insists that they united with TrekBBS and were all out to get him), and the moderator's forum was made public. It's an interesting read . . . check out page 5 of the forum copy to see how the SD.Net moderators created most of their own Trek trolls themselves, over and above the comparative few they'd admitted to. In short, they created almost every one of their own problems. So much for integrity. (They even have a "Guardian 2000" sock puppet that they bring out from time to time to make ridiculous posts with, though everyone eventually figured out that it wasn't me.)
Keep in mind, that whole block of text is just the description blurb on his Links page! I'm tempted to produce a "rebuttal" to this long list of attacks, but then he would no doubt produce yet another series of attacks, with attacks on me for having the temerity to even post a rebuttal. But just to give you an example of the way he distorts facts, Alyeska (yes, one of the Trekkies from my Hate Mail pages) was made one of my forum's moderators despite his claim that all "pro-Trek debaters" are automatically classified as "undesirables or trolls" on my forums and severely mistreated.
This kind of distortion is typical for him. When I E-mailed Sheffield University to ask them what is required for a teaching certificate in Britain (click here to see the message), he said "Wong has harassed personnel at Graham Kennedy's old school, just in a vain attempt to gain some sort of points for his anti-Graham "hate mail" page." When I E-mailed him to say he'd gone over the line by resorting to slander and said "If you had any credibility, you would be in an actionable situation. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), you don't.", he called it "Wong's Attempt at a Legal Threat." and crowed that I was trying to silence his Star Trek arguments via legal means.
His vitriol over my website and forum is perhaps best refuted not by arguing against his myriad accusations about my character (my wife and others who know me well can vouch for my honesty), but by the only tried and true rebuttal to such accusations: asking you to try it for yourself. Sign up on my forums and find out whether all "pro-Trek debaters" are automatically classified as "Undesirables or trolls" regardless of their conduct. Ask yourself why and how certain Trek fans have become long-term members of the board and in one case, even a moderator. For that matter, take a good look at the people who were classified as trolls. Read their threads, see if they're lying or playing games rather than discussing things honestly, and come to your own conclusions about whether "troll" was an accurate description. You can rest assured that anyone who gets slapped with the "troll" label will complain that it was unfair, but have a good look. Read their threads. Sign up yourself, try to discuss things honestly, and see how you get treated.
Sticks and stones ...
"If I had to use two words to describe this site, I would choose "nuts" and "fucking," although not in that order. In addition, I would repeat the word "fucking" approximately 15,000 times for emphasis, as this is simply the most ridiculous and ungodly site I have ever gazed my eyes upon." - SomethingAwful.Com on DarkStar's website
Return to main Hate Mail page
- Dalton, for his hilarious G2K page, and also for notifying me of Darkstar's posts, since I don't have time to check ASVS on a daily basis.
- The forum moderators who dealt with Darkstar's bullshit for so long on my BBS and somehow resisted (through Herculean effort, I imagine) the urge to simply delete his endlessly repetitive and dishonest posts.
- Mike Blackburn, aka "Master of Ossus", for contributing his page-by-page critique of RSA's website.
- Everyone who has the patience to waste time fighting endlessly with him at other venues on the Internet such as the Spacebattles forums (click here for an example).
- Wayne Poe for keeping abreast of developments in the strange world of RSA, particularly his big forum misadventure.
- Xalev Savaanuk for saving a copy of RSA's TrekBBS misadventures so that I could make a PDF version of them (I initially didn't realize that TrekBBS has a policy of deleting old threads).
- The forum user "Kuroneko" for helping me make an archive of RSA's starwars.com misadventures, in case that thread ever gets taken down.