Michela Ecks' FF.net Resignation Statement
For reference for all those interested in Ecks's previous problems with the Savage family and fanfiction.net.
Jan 08, 2001 @ 4:43PM PST


Writers University is gone. At this time, it has been removed from FanFiction.Net after careful discussion and deliberation with the Writers University Advisor, Haven and Meimi. This has been a hard decision for me to make and hurts me deeply. I did not want this situation to come to this but at this time, I cannot take the added stress, will not tolerate the continued abuse and hypocrisy of several people on staff, be belittled, put down and have my work and the work of Haven minimized.

This situation has been brewing for a while and will come as little surprise to Steven, Xing, Cairnsy, Meimi, Prima, Michele and others. This topic has been discussed often. For my own sanity and mental health, they knew I had to
leave. For the sake of Writers University, they knew I had to leave. I was backed into a corner. There was no way out.

I sincerely apologize to those who visit Writers University. I value the wisdom of many of those who e-mailed me with articles, suggestion, terminology, and offers to beta read or help. You all mean the world to me.

Writers University has provided myself and Haven with a fabulous opportunity to teach many people about not only the history of fan fiction, the legal implications behind it, the words involved with it, what a beta reader is and how to write. It has also provided us both with the opportunity to expand the minds of fan fiction writers and readers. For this opportunity, I thank Xing. I also thank the many readers and followers of Writers University for enabling me the opportunity to teach them. I cannot thank you enough. I have learned so much from you all. I am deeply apologetic, upset and sorrowful that this day had to come.

Effective immediately, I resign from FanFiction.Net and I will explain my logic behind this in more depth later in this note. The duties that I am resigning from are as follows: moderator of the General, Help, FanFiction.Net Government, and Going Pro Forum; Writers University maintenance and updating at FanFiction.Net; and policy advisor in regards to site policy.

With my resignation, I ask that Xing and Steven do the following things: remove my author accounts. I have four I would like removed. The e-mail addresses are lhale@niu.edu, mecks@prodigy.net, pipedreams_98@yahoo.com and mary_sue_whipple@hotmail.com. I ask that the TOS be removed. Ninety percent of that was written by me with some commenting by those on staff. The actual writing was done by me. I would like it removed. I would like my name removed from the staff list. I would like my ability to delete posts from the forum deleted. I would like all my posts from all FanFiction.Net forums deleted. I would like my notes to all egroups mailing lists associated with FanFiction.Net removed. My resignation is not just a resignation from the site but a complete dissociation with the site. Because the actions were so upsetting, offense and petty, I want NOTHING to do with FanFiction.Net at this point. I do not foresee myself wanting any part with it in the future. I have taken the liberty of removing Writers University myself. I don't have to worry about desubbing myself from the Staff list as Steven took the liberty of doing that last night with out informing me. I will desub myself from all mailing list associated with FanFiction.Net shortly after the posting of this message.

My resignation not only affects my status at FanFiction.Net but because the problems outlined below, I have encouraged my friend Haven who co-runs Writers University, Prima who is the Writers University Advisor and Beatrice Fry who is a friend and columnist at FanFiction.Net to quit. Haven and Beatrice have or are both leaving FanFiction.Net as a result of this. Prima understands and supports my reasons for leaving. If she is asked to facilitate this problem, she will do that but otherwise it is my understanding that she too is leaving FanFiction.Net

Why am I sharing this information with you? I thought LONG and hard before deciding to draft and post this note. I wish to be associated with people are nice, open and honest. I wish to be associated with a quality product. I feel that you all have the right to know why I am doing what I am doing. I think you should be aware of the quality of person that helps to run this site.

Why am I leaving? At this point, I cannot take the abuse, pettiness, lies and hypocrisy of Steve and Michele Savage.  I cannot take being put down. I cannot STAND AT ALL my friends being put down. What follows is a point by point problem of some of the bigger problems I have faced.

One of the things I demand from my friends and  associates is honesty. I try to be as honest with my friends and associates as possible. I expect that same behavior in return. I have been repeatedly lied to by Steven Savage. I do not tolerate liars. I will NOT be associated with liars. Steven was directly confronted several times by myself and by others on staff in regards to his future plans for the CEC. Most recently, he was confronted about his plans for the CEC. He lied or deliberately mislead Cairnsy about his plans. (He LIED or DELIBERATLY mislead some one on his OWN staff.) The incident with The Voice cannot be forgiven. You DO NOT LIE. You do not lie if you are going to be caught.  You do not lie if you are not going to be caught. You just don't lie. Steven lied to me when I asked him about this.  Steven may as well have lied to Haven and Meimi by deliberately NOT telling them what he was doing. (Lies of omission are lies.) This was not the first lie Steven has told me. Another example of a lie Steven has told me is that he told me Xing told him to REMOVE and UNSUBSCRIBE Haven from the staff list. I asked Xing about this and he said he DID NOT tell Steven to do this. When we tried to work our problems out last night with a group chat, Steven LIED and said he was sick and going to bed. An hour after he said he was supposed to be in bed, he was sending e-mail to the staff list. Sick MY ASS. What the hell is the problem Steven? Can't you just say the damned truth? Do not lie to me. Do not lie to others. Do not lie to staff. I don't think that one of Steven's Taoist principles advocates lying. The middle road does not involve lying Steven. I don't tolerate it. There are other examples of it. No need to go further into this subject other than to let you know that I do NOT associate myself with liars.

I do not tolerate hypocrisy and insults. In a private e-mail correspondence, Steven called me immature. (I would beg to differ on many levels.) During this whole discussion, at NO POINT did I deliberately or unintentionally attack or put down Steven. I did bring up and discuss his actions. For all Steven's enlightenment about my own maturity, he pulls one of the most immature stunts I have ever seen. I have NEVER had any problems with Steven or about Steven outside FanFiction.Net Government issues. He moderates fanthropology, a discussion list about fan culture. I belong to this list. With out notification to me, with out telling me, with out giving me a reason, Steven desubbed me from this list. At the same time he did this, he posted to Fanthropology about egos and maturity in fandom and how bad certain people can be with what Prima saw as eluding to me. Yes, Steven. Your maturity their speaks VOLUMES. Desub me from a list that has nothing to do with the situation with FanFiction.Net and then PUT ME DOWN ON IT. Righto.  That's mature Steven. Very mature. If that is maturity old man, I don't want it.

Steven, Fish and Michele made the insinuation that I was overly emotional and that my immaturity got in the way of running Writers University. Despite this, I have yet to see ANY of them offer to help, offer SOLUTIONS to the problems or to alleviate the situation that brought out my "over emotional" tendencies. Why is this? I think its because they can't cut it. If it has gotten in my way of running Writers University, I beg of them, I implore of them, to find one person who has had contact with me in regards to Writers University who has found me to be over emotional in my response. I CHALLENGE these three to create a site similar to Writers University and to do it well. I challenge them to create such a site and not have moments of frustration where the actions of others do not frustrate them and cause an emotional reaction. What's that I hear? It's crickets chirping in the wind. Come on you three. Put up or shut up. If you have a problem with the way I handle things, say so. Give me examples, incidents. Run the damned site.  Warning though, maintaining QUALITY content and getting new QUALITY content takes a bitch load of time. Handling individual e-mails often numbering twenty plus every morning on top of htmling contacts, challenges, flames, over 20 club material, beta readers and other submissions take TIME and EFFORT and a shit load more maturity than ANY of you have demonstrated. I've seen you all take criticism. You don't handle it well. You ignore it. You turn the tables around and insult the other person. You just don't handle it. Maturity my ass. What a bunch of hypocrites. With the investment I put in to this project time was, I deserve some emotional moments. Don't you have them? I know Steven does. He told me so in a discussion on AIM while he was complaining about Michele being on the rag and how that was causing him stress and making him edgy. He allowed himself to be emotional in how he dealt with that but he doesn't allow me the same courtesy? What a hypocrite. What a bleeping hypocrite.

The person who co-ran Writers University was frozen out from the Government activities. I told Steven and Xing REPEATEDLY and OFTEN that if Haven ever left FanFiction.Net, I would leave. I told them often that she spent one to five hours EVERY DAY even Christmas helping to manage Writers University. I made it CRYSTAL CLEAR that I could not maintain Writers University with out her. They told me she would be subbed to the staff list. They REPEATEDLY made this promise yet it NEVER HAPPENED. The only reason she ever was added was because I figured out how to short cut her on. With out her, Writers University would not be. Yet, Steven (and I blame Steven since he is the moderator and own of the FanFiction.Net Government mailing list) DENIED her the right to join as she SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON. They left her out of basic discussions that staff was entitled to. They ignored her. They said she wasn't on staff. When the problems that needed to be addressed, they said she wasn't important. When I often and REPEATEDLY asserted that she was my equal and that Writers University COULD NOT BE with out Haven's involvement, that was not nice. That said to me that if the person who CO-RUNS Writers University means nothing, that I mean nothing too. They managed to make Haven angry. They made her feel bad. They made her feel unwanted. How seriously did they want us to stay? Did Steven deliberately want us to leave? Did Michele and Xing feel the same way?  Knowing my feelings, that is one of the only conclusions I seem can make based on this situation. They know how I feel because I TOLD THEM yet they did that. They made my friend feel bad and unwanted. I do not associate myself with that sort of person. I WILL NOT associate myself with that sort of person. Steven, Michele and to a small degree Xing have demonstrated that they are that sort of person.

Did I mention that Steven had a similar incident with Meimi? He was busy telling her she did a good job on one hand yet at the same time telling Meimi that she was OVER ZEALOUS and didn't even invite her to join the staff mailing list.  What the hell is his problem? Honestly, tell me what the hell his problem is. Is he power hungry and wanting to keep the power he perceives he has at FanFiction.Net to himself? Sure as hell looks like that from where I sit. He INSULTED Meimi and the work she DOES. I have talked to a hell of a lot of people. I have talked a hell of a lot of people to coming to FanFiction.Net because of the work Meimi does. She has NEVER been over zealous. She has been doing shit that needed to be done. In fact, she's been doing shit that Steven NEVER did despite his ability to do so and having that power for FAR longer than Meimi has. He accused her of being over zealous. I consider Steven to be some one who likes to sit from the heights of power saying abstract things yet NEVER doing the shit that needs to be done. He leaves that shit to us peons on staff to handle. Get your hands dirty Steven and do stuff. Don't insult and belittle those on staff who are handling shit that you won't deign to do because you don't want to take flack. Don't make my friends upset. Don't belittle my friends and those I trust and respect. Just don't do it. I won't associate with that sort of person and I won't associate myself with FanFiction.Net because it chooses to associate itself with you.

Steven belittled me. He made me feel like crap. He blamed me for STUFF that was HIS fault. The whole chat room thing, people here is a news flash: STEVEN MADE ALL THE SUGGESTIONS! He made all the suggestions for rules. I was just his patsy who was forced to implement his rules. He then had the balls to suggest that I be the fall guy for his policy decisions. Excuse me, but no thanks. Steven should have owned up to his part of that before I did. He made me feel LIKE CRAP, total and absolute TOTAL CRAP for about two days because of that. I don't want to be his fall guy. I am sick and TIRED of that. I don't like feeling like crap. I don't need to take that. I don't want to take that. I don't deserve that. I DESERVE BETTER THAN THAT. I will not tolerate that. That sort of thing, and the chat room is just one example of about four that are similar to that, I will not tolerate. Any site that has people who make me feel like crap is not WORTH MY TIME being associated with. It is not worth my effort to update a site that has people who feel the need to make me feel like crap. It undermines the work Haven and I have done. It makes me feel under appreciated.

Michele upset me. I was ALWAYS OPEN with her about my concerns. I was NEVER less than honest with her. She then said WU was a little section and insinuated it was of no big consequence to FanFiction.Net. What the hell does that mean to me than? I'm of little consequence than? Haven doesn't matter? After that, she said we were over zealous in moderation of the forum. EXCUSE ME? OVER ZEALOUS? I was enforcing the damned rules, rules which Steven helped to create and Steven was supposed to enforce. There is no real over zealous issues when it comes to enforcing the rules. You either obey them or your post gets REMOVED. It's that simple. Steven was supposed to help moderate those forums but hey, since Michela was doing that, why should he? Yeah, that's right. Call your husband over zealous. Say I'm over zealous? That's great. I had the additional pressure of moderating the forums because Steven didn't want to handle it. I never heard her say anything to me about it before. Why bother? I will NOT be blamed for doing what I supposed to do. I will not tolerated being put down for doing the job I was assigned. I don't deserve it. I will not stand for it.

I've gone on for about four pages at this point and I could include numerous other incidents that have upset me, created problems etc. I could probably go on for about ten pages but I think at this point, the point has been made.  It all boils down to respect I think. There was a complete lack of respect by Steven and Michele towards Haven, me and most of the rest of the staff. Our concerns were never addressed or were marginalized. I don't see it possible for any form of resolution to this situation. It is my sincere belief though that Steven's direction for the columns are going in the direction Writers University was already. It is my sincere belief that with Cairnsy's participation and membership on the CEC that this will eventually happen. In the not so distant future, FanFiction.Net will have some decent material about fan fiction. This material will help to foster the environment of learning, caring about what you write and lead to the improvement of fan fiction a story at a time that Writers University helped to start.

What will happen to Writers University now? Haven and I are going to take about a week or two off. We are going to get lives. After all, I have five more free hours a day in which to do stuff. After that break and during that break, Haven and I are going shopping for a server to host Writers University. Xing has said to us that the domain is ours and that he will give it to us when we are ready to move. I thank him deeply for that. I thank him for the opportunity to create Writers University and for having the opportunity to work with some people who I learned to have a deep respect for. I hope to continue my association with these people after this situation ends. Writers University will be back.

Thank you for reading this note and for your support of Writers University.

Michela Ecks - I'm a Textual Poacher mecks@prodigy.net