The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment

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Name: The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment
Dates: early 2000
Fandom: The X-Files
URL: The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment
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The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment was a webpage devoted to advice and scoldings regarding the content and technical quality of X-Files fanfic posted to newsgroups.

website front page

Hosts were Midwest, Yukon, Raging Tundra, Sandwich, Switzerland, and Manwich.

A fan in 2012 commented: "I thought the Wicked Witches gave a lot of good pointers, but the stories they chose to pick on were too easy targets. It was like kicking a puppy." [1]

A similar group was Debbilmice.

Some Random Quotes from The Rules

From Meet the Witches:

  • "It is unbelievably rude to post misspelled, badly punctuated, ungrammatical stories to newsgroups. There are rules in the English language (strange as they are) for a reason. Their reason is mutual intelligibility. If your method is to write something down and post your first draft as soon as you finish, - STOP- step away from the keyboard - take a firm grip on your knickers - and DON'T DO IT! Then no one will get hurt."
  • "HARLIQUENISMS [sic]: Mulder is NOT a romantic guy. His idea of entertainment is watching porn videos, ok? So I don't think we should be reading stuff like, "I love you, Dana Katherine Scully! We were destined to be together forever!" If they're destined for anything, it's to be abducted by aliens and whisked off to Alpha Centauri for painful medical experiments. "The X-Files" is about fear and loathing, death and decay. Not hearts and flowers and cute little puppy dogs. That's why I like it."
  • "Just because YOU'D like to do Skinner doesn't mean Krycek does."
  • "Whereas the occasional Christ-esque reference is ok, any reference to Mulder as any form of actual deity in any religion across the known galaxy is *not*. I don't care if you think it's brilliant to pronounce him the Grand Peener-Weener from the dark side of Uranus, he's a man first. Start there."
  • "[No] Potty-Mouthed Scullys and Violent-For-No-Apparent-Reason Mulders."
  • "To help you, here are some words to avoid in describing their miscellany tingly places: Core, center, special place, or hoo hoo. For Mulder: Throbbing anything, bulge, hardened shaft or engorged member. If you can't take the heat, then write yourself out of the love kitchen. Let them hold hands and swoon."
  • "And in addition to not being children, speaking like children, or being able to bear miracle children, our intrepid heroes do not groove to bubblegum pop. I guarantee you that if we could somehow catch a glimpse of their respective CD collections, Brittany Spears, Shania Twain, Ricky Martin and Celine Dion would NOT be amongst them. Hmm, despite the fact that they are always in the car, how often do we see them grooving out?? Gee, hmm, how about NEVER? References to today's hit songs in fanfic? They don't impress me much. If for some reason you are forced at gun point to refer to a song which inspired you, take a quarter, buy a clue and do it with a modicum of restraint. This isn't American Top 40, it's fanfic. Don't name the artist and title a kajillion times."
  • "And speaking of children, SCULLY CANNOT BEAR ANY!! At least not without a goodly bit of medical assistance. This means that no matter how mighty the Main Man Mulder's macho manly might may be, he can't give rise to a miracle child in that first blessed boinking with Scully in an earth shattering spurt of love. Any miracle babies of love conceived in fanfic will be promptly shoved into my gingerbread oven and baked into tiny little adorable saccharin sweet baby cookies for myself and my fellow witches to quickly devour them then vomit back up. And speaking of vomit, authors who regurgitate the names Fox William or Dana Katherine or Melissa or Samatha and spew them onto the miracle children they create, well those authors will be subjected to tortures most foul!!"
  • "Mulder has never listened to Sarah MacLachlan in his life. Thusly, it would never occur to him to quote song lyrics to Scully, saying "This is how I've always felt!" Not even if they ended up in a vanilla scented bath together."
  • "Scully is not a virgin. Scully is not a virgin. Mulder is not inhumanly enormous. Simultaneous orgasm, every time, as choreographed by a man who apparently watches erotica without even masturbating, is nearly IMPOSSIBLE."
  • "POV shifts need to be signaled so we don't all go mad. So then Mulder looked at me and said, "Why yes, Scully, "My Heart Will Go On" IS my favorite song." And he was kissing her and she tasted like a yummy, yummy banana split with cherry sauce on top. Scully could feel his tongue shoving down her throat until we all gagged because we couldn't tell what was going on or who the viewpoint character was!"
  • "If you don't know how to spell a character's name, LOOK IT UP. One more "Krychek", Frohicke", "Langley", or "Buyers", and I'll turn all of you into toads."

A 2000 Discussion on

The topics: pseuds, fandom-policing, freedom of speech, sock puppets, witch hunts, using someone's fic without their permission, and references to some X-Files ugliness from a few years back ...

I'm seeing a lot of discussion about finding out who these unpleasant people are, and 'outing' them. Let's think about this. Pardon me -- I'm going to get a little longwinded.

I support the Witches' legal right to say what they do. I think it's mean, it's a waste of effort and bandwidth, it hurts people's feelings, and it produces no good effect. And it's a poorly-designed site.

But from my understanding of the law of defamation, they have a right to do what they do. (With the possible exception of reproducing that private email -- that's questionable, to my mind.) I'm not going to go into a full legal analysis but suffice it to say it qualifies as parody or opinion and is protected as such under the First Amendment. I hate what they say but I will support their right to say it.

I hope my statement of support for the First Amendment has not just branded me a Witch. If it has, <shrug>

The question of misappropriation of intellectual property (i.e., putting up someone's story in order to roast it) is something else.

In ficdom we have an entire community that is focused on the violation of somebody else's copyright. We all put disclaimers in the headers of our stories, acknowledging that we have no legal right to these characters (except for the occasional OC), and asking 1013 to please not sue us.

The very stories that were so unkindly roasted on the site in question were written in violation of copyright. I find it highly unlikely that any of the writers of those stories could make the argument that *their* copyrights were violated.

Let's look at the likely consequences of 'outing' these people.

Darned near everyone who writes fic writes under a fake name. For good reason -- we do have real fears about the copyright issues, and if I were a smut-writer I wouldn't want anyone to EVER discover my real name.

What happens if someone discovers the real name of a Witch? Will it be posted on the newsgroups? That would set a precedent I'm really uncomfortable with.

Exposing them serves us little. They can adopt a new persona and continue writing. They can set up another site, pull stories off Ephemeral or the newsgroup, and continue the unpleasantness. They are unlikely to be publicly shamed into stopping.

And the possibility of someone filing *suit* against them makes my skin crawl. Believe me, you don't want the merits or even the topic of fanfiction to see the inside of a courthouse. If we're lucky it gets laughed out by the judge. If we're not lucky the judge takes the case, then we get swarmed by lawyers from Fox and 1013. In a worst-case scenario, we'd all end up back underground, distributing our stories by mimeo.

...Ignore them. And with Jess -- the witch-hunt is causing far more damage to this community than they themselves have. [2]

I don't think outing them is the answer. I obviously don't think that ignoring them is the answer.

Laughing them out of the community, however, appeals to me. Obviously.

It's not unlike the Great TOS Epidemic a year or two back; it may give some temporary satisfaction, but it's a bad precedent to set. Cici was TOS'd by someone with a grudge and lost her entire account, simply because she had NC-17 MSR on her archive page. I think Sheryl Martin got TOS'd as well, and a few other people from both Slash and MSR genres.

Yes, fanfic is written in violation of copyright. There have been some among who are attorneys who argue both sides, that fanfic does have some protections, and that fanfic has none. I personally, not being an attorney, have no idea which is valid and which is not.

I'm not advocating a witch hunt. I'm certainly in favor of embarrassing the Witches, true. But....people can learn from their mistakes, one hopes. Given the opportunity to slink quietly away, perhaps one or two or more of the Witches will do so. [3]
Talk of suing is just big talk. No one is going to sue anyone. There are not enough monetary damages for any lawyer to take on the case, not to mention it wouldn't be a strong case anyway. So, the witchies can unbunch their panties on that issue.

This is a community issue and can be handled from that angle. Assuming that the WXW would honor an author request, the WXW would have no stories if the authors requested their stories taken off the site. The process could be repeated until the WXW got tired of writing 'critiques' for new stories that they would have to take down almost immediately after each update.

If the WXW would not agree, then site could be forced off the net today, if someone was motivated to do it. All that would be necessary is an author contacting Geocities and making a complaint that the WXW have published to the web your content which you've expressly asked them to take down.

Or more insidiously, *anyone* could complain about the NC-17 content breaking the Geocities TOS. Ask CiCi Lean (a.k.a DBKate) or Sheryl Martin about that.

These unsavory tactics would of course work with any free server, and probably with a few pay ones, too.

Another point to make is that these tactics have NOT been used. The WXW have been asked to either change their tone or take the site down themselves.... Everyone also has the option of ignoring/killfiling threads. As long as there are creative folks who feel inspired to write about the XF Universe, the fanfic community will be around. These witches or the subsequent witch-hunt are just a rerun. They aren't original in the least. It's been done before, a lesson the WXW seemed determined not to learn.

The sad thing is, the badfic/critique concept isn't by default a bad idea. It's all in the execution. Be upfront, start with your own or a friend's fanfic (with permission, of course). Ask established authors to send in critiques of their own work or offer up their least favorite work for critique. Create example badfic stories (which could be fun and educational). Always ask permission of authors first. You might be surprised how many would agree to participate. Make the atmosphere friendly, don't sneer. Be sincere. Leave the catty sarcasm at home unless directed at your own work. List your peeves, let others do the same. Give the author a forum to respond (either defending choices or agreeing with criticisms) on the same page, if they choose. I'd also suggest a public chatboard for full participation. [4]

Exactly. I don't want to see this kind of action at all, at all. We all have or have had free server sites and paid server sites that have fic on them that could be construed broadly to be offensive to someone. The TOS jihad of a few years back, as Binah points out, is a case in point.

The satisfaction gained is unlikely to be lasting and it just starts that 'unsavory' trend again. <shuddering>

But I agree with Binah--if they were immune to shame, why don't they put their own names on the site and post their fiction under their own names. Perhaps I should say posting names.

<shaking finger at witches> Witchlies, my darlings, you've got to stop pretending it's all about the fic when you start eviscerating someone's email! That was very very naughty, and not merely from the XF point of view. That's bad Netiquette! [5]
I guess there are only so many times you can say "Me funny, you bad" while ripping up fics written by kids and foreigners before you're forced to move onto E-mails and newsgroup posts. [6]

I'm just a lurker here, so I don't expect anyone to take my opinion too seriously, but here it is, anyway. I checked out the witches' site, out of a sheer perverse need to see what all the fuss was about. I can understand where they're coming from. I can't even remember how many times I've been ready to throw a rock through my monitor if I ever again saw the word 'loose' used for 'lose' or 'who's' used for 'whose'. Not to mention tack/tact, waste/waist, shudder/shutter, manor/manner and a few dozen others. Reading badly written, badly edited fics annoys me as much as the next person, and I will defend to the end of the earth the witches' right to vent their annoyance, however snarkily. My one serious problem with the site is the same as Binah's and Zoot's: why the anonymity? The only possible reason the witches would refuse to use their usual posting names is cowardice at hosting a web page so inherently controversial; I find it ironic that six people who put 'If you can't stand the heat ...' in prominent, animated type at the top of their site, themselves refuse to step publicly into the kitchen. [7]
Piping up here as one of the Old Guard who has *never* used a pseudonym or fake address on ATXC, I have to agree with Binah. Back in 1994 <creak> the use of pseudonyms didn't occur to most of us--this was a small, friendly community and we were proud of our creativity and contributions to the board. I understand why people use pseudonyms, especially in this age of cyberstalking. But I guess I've just been too lazy to try to create a new persona.

Yeah, I've written smut under my own name. Frankly, I'm more ashamed of stories I wrote with no understanding of what POV was. <g> And to be honest, there was a point a few years back when it could have been professionally damaging if anyone found out that I wrote XF fic. But my stance was always "I do this for fun and it's a creative outlet that isn't hurting anyone. What the hell?"

I really hope that the basic foundation of this community hasn't been eroded by the population growth over the last few years, and the tension created by different cliques, but I suspect in some ways it has.

Personally, I agree with Deslea that the Witches make some valid points. I'm not condoning the way they go about it. In fact, I'm in the middle of putting together a web site right now that will be devoted to writing resources for fanfic authors, including original articles on the craft of writing by your favorite authors, extensive interview [8], and links to useful resources. Unlike the Witches' site, Working Stiffs will be a place that hopes to encourage fanfic writers to look at their work a little more closely, not condescend or criticize. I really hope that everyone here visits and finds it valuable and affirming of the creative potential of this newsgroup.

I really hope that the basic foundation of this community hasn't been eroded by the population growth over the last few years, and the tension created by different cliques, but I suspect in some ways it has.

The pettiness and just plain discourtesy of some of these recent posts has made me nostalgic for the "good old days." But to be honest, we probably had flame wars back then (I've just conveniently forgotten them). Times have changed; I know this. But rudeness and Witch hunts are poor reflections on any community, be it on the Net or elsewhere.

Remember people, what you get out of this community is exactly what you put into it. If you want to say nasty things, be defensive or even take private fights public, that's your right. But don't be surprised if someday it comes back to bite you in the cybertushie.[9]

As a lawyer person (if only dear Kim felt like talking), I have to agree with you regarding the legal issues. I don't think the Witches are concerned, or need to be, about lawsuits. But friends, Romans, lurkers....I never went to the site at all until I saw all the long, long, long threads condemning it. You guys are doing all the publicity for them, making that hit counter roll the numbers up...why can't you ignore them? An entire lack of feedback or mention on the newsgroups would probably have a chilling effect. Oh, wait...that's right...this group doesn't believe in ignoring anything! <g> [10]
The problem isn't so much about speaking against grammar problems. It's a matter of picking specific stories as the most horrible and *trying* to MST them. I say trying to MST because instead of inserting biting but funny comments, they tend to insert biting but boring grammar corrections which, incidentally, are not always accurate. Another issue is that a number of their targets are obviously kids. It should be obvious why this is a problem; but I'll give an analogy anyway. It is one thing to sit in your living room and laugh at the funny ideas expressed by children on the TV show "Kids Say the Darndest Things." It's another to hold up a child for ridicule by gathering a crowd around him and announcing, "Hey! This stupid person actually believes Swiss cheese has holes in it because mice ate them!" Then of course, there's the nastiness of the head witch who just can't seem to resist making personal attacks on writers. Oh, they like to claim they don't do this; but head witch can't help herself sometimes. So she does it; then after some time takes down her most offensive work claiming it was merely "close" to a personal attack. Claiming someone is unable to perform his/her day job or that one hopes a kid won't attend medical school or that a writer is mentally ill (Oh sorry, that wasn't head witch. That was someone else. :O) based on a piece of fanfic writing is more than "close" to a personal attack.

Do they have a legal right to do this? Sure.

Should we *try* our best to ignore them? I think so. I have no earthly idea why zoot believes I'm good at taking the high road on this issue. I'm obviously not;<G> because I absolutely can't resist someone trying to imply what the witches do is in any way constructive. It is not. It is absolutely, completely destructive.

Possibly, what's most destructive is the anonymity. Yes, I know. Most writers here use pseudonyms. However, everyone knows what we are talking about is being sweet and reasonable as "Turtledove;" and secretly being as nasty as you want to be as "Witch #8." I know the "witch hunt" is wrong. However, this is a direct product of the witches anonymity. I'll be blunt about it. My reasonable mind knows it's unfair to suspect members of the "Yes, Virginia" list. The majority of the members of that private list are not witches and probably, the majority don't support them. However, I must admit whenever I see that list credited in a story, I think about the witches for a moment.[11]

... just because the witches have created a bad situation, I see no reason why we have to make it worse. I have yet to see *any* hard evidence presented here or in any other forum that would allow anyone to paint a whole mailing list with a big fat scarlet W. [12]
Constructive criticism is based on helpfulness, encouragement, and respect. Nothing the witches do is meant to be helpful to another writer, their boilerplate disclaimers aside. It's meant to give the little witches some orgasms over how smart they think they are, and how stupid they think another person is. It goes without saying that this is inherently cruel and contemptuous, and anything but respectful.

Nothing the witches do is actually encouraging good writing. What they do is akin to shaming, sneering and mocking those they deem unworthy. Their 'advice'

is unwanted and their methodology meant only to be amusing in the Joan Rivers sense of 'amusing.'

The Witches are not trusted betas or the invited critics of the writers they mock. (At least I hope not!) A beta or critic should approach a writer with respect for his or her vision and make suggestions as to improving the expression of that vision, whether it be through improving grammar, spelling, characterization, plot or theme. The Witches are not doing that.

There will be excellent, fair, good, mediocre and bad writers among us. Nothing the witches are doing can change the fact that some people really do well with writing XF fanfic, and others do not. It seems to offend the Witches on a cellular level that some writers are not good enough for them. Too fucking bad. Close the story and move on. OR, if they can get off their ego trip, they could offer some constructive criticism - that is, of course - REAL constructive criticism.

Or they could just fuck off and die. That's always a good option. They have hurt feelings, created suspicion, pain and confusion among groups of friends, and all the while, they're cackling and getting off on attention and fear and pain. There offer nothing except misery and as the song goes, I haven't got time for the pain. [13]

I know many of the YV writers -- some by reading their marvelous stories, others as friends. Those that I know are not Witches. They are wonderful writers, witty (this alone disqualifies them as Witches), caring members of the fanfic community.

It makes me sad to think that this Witch Hunt is going to change the nature of their list forever. The YV members that I know don't deserve that.... If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if someone was using this newsgroup to play out an allegory. It's just too perfect. 1. The Wicked Witches are boring, self-centered and cowardly. 2. No one has presented concrete evidence on this newsgroup that would accurately identify any of the Wicked Witches. 3. I can state as fact that there are members of the YV list who are NOT Witches and do NOT support the Witches actions.

Oh, btw, some of the posts in these threads have been laughably hypocritical. "I'm shocked, simply shocked that anyone in this community would publicly humiliate or denigrate other authors under a veil of anonymity!!" Snort. [14]
It's not unlike the sock puppets who use their familiar screennames to decry sock puppets, and then turn around and post using those puppets. Of course, we all live and learn and have regrets so perhaps some of those very posters have learned, to their regret. Nah, what am I thinking, some of them are probably participating as guest witches! [15]

Haven't people been saying all along that the Witches are not-so-talented writers who are taking out their frustrations because they don't feel their work has gotten the recognition it deserves? How does this apply to the Virginians, some of whom are among the most talented and respected authors around? I'm sorry to see a stigma placed on an entire group of writers for what one or two of them have allegedly done. [16]
I'd never even heard of the YV list until this witches thing blew up, and I'll bet there are dozens of people out there who would never have heard of the witches if we hadn't all made such a big deal of them on the ng. I'm really disappointed in so many of the posts I've read here in the past week -- I've always thought x-files fans as a group, and certainly x-files writers as a group, were above average intelligence, and that, to me, is incompatible with the kind of knee-jerk prejudice I've seen on display here recently. If you think this is hurting the witches, think again -- I'm sure they're all sitting back and rubbing their hands in glee at the dissention and nastiness *we've* engendered, and all without any effort at all on their part. [17]

So now we now have a small, easily identified group on which to pin our anger. And isn't it *so* much easier to feel this way than to look over our shoulders in suspicion at the anonymous thousands out there? Why, before this fingerpointing started, we could only assume that anyone could be a witch, including me, including you, Teddi, even including zoot, who was accused (without foundation) almost as soon as this mess started earlier in the year. [18]

A Discussion About: "Yes Virginia" -- "Debbilmice" -- The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment

In September 2000, an emotional discussion occurred that included: fans confusing several X-Files fan groups, statements that not publically standing up against one list was approval of another, privacy and security, witch hunts and whisper campaigns, censorship, and more.

<trying to keep a lid on my anger>

I am a Virginian, for anyone who doesn't know that already. I am damn proud of that fact. Let me make a couple of things clear for everybody:

1) YV is a small, private, beta/conversation list. We are basically a group of friends who hang out, converse, rec stories to each other, beta for each other and so forth. I have never experienced a nicer forum in this fandom.

2) If any of the other Virginians are part of the Witches group, I can say in all honesty that they have never said as much to the other YVers. Unless any of them ever do, I shall continue to regard YV as a witch-free zone. Even if any of the Virginians were witches, that would really have sod-all to do with YV and the purposes of that list as laid out above.

I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned with the atmosphere in this newsgroup. I have been a member of this fandom for nigh-on two years, and have enjoyed almost every minute of it. Now I wake up one morning, drop into the newsgroup and find a rather unpleasant blanket accusation being leveled at myself and my friends. Paige, if that was intended as a veiled accusation against Yes Virginia, why bother veiling it? If you have something you'd like to say, say it. At least perhaps that way there's a chance of a level-headed, honest discussion rather than engendering a great deal of bad blood. Ashley: it *figures*, does it? Would you mind explaining to myself and the other Virginians exactly *why* that is?

Oh, and FWIW, I agree with Kipler. Giving so much attention to something hardly seems like the best way to discourage it.

May I suggest that if anyone else wishes to make accusations of this nature, they at least offer some basis for them? I don't know who the Witches are and frankly I don't care. All that can be accomplished by spreading whispers and rumours about who they are is a poisoning of the atmosphere in this fandom, and I think that that would be an incredibly sad thing. [19]

I'm on YV too. Anyone who knows me would laugh at the thought that I'm a Witch. Why? I'm just too damn lazy to be bothered. Yeah, they're mean, they're stupid, they're annoying. I want to write fic. I don't bother beating up other people's fic, since that would be... a monumental waste of time.

Plus, my grasp of English grammar sucks big donkey dick. I don't think I should be commenting on anyone else's.

As far as I know, none of the YVers are Witches. At least, none of them logged on and said: "Hi, thanks for inviting me to be on this list. By the way, have I mentioned I'm a Witch? Now, who needs a beta? I'm very clever."

We'd probably have kicked the crap out of them for that, anyway. I don't think any of us like the Witches anymore than anyone else. Ah, that's the problem with being a nasty, vindictive person... you can't tell your friends!

Anyway, let's leave off with the speculation as to who they are. I just don't give a flying rat's ass. They aren't nice, they design bad web pages, and they take up waaaaaaaay too much space on this NG. I'm with Kipler. Ignoring them is the only way to make them go away. [20]
What's this, Ambress? You hang out with that evil list, where they're all evil and everything they do is evil and pro-WXW? Why, shame on you for liking people despite the fact that someone's insinuated that someone else maybe might be could be tactless, insensitive, un-funny and carrying around an inflated opinion of herself!

Oh, wait. Applying my incredible talent for logic, I suddenly saw problems with my above statement.

1) there are *all* kinds of tasteless, tactless, insensitive, humorless, egotistical people *around here*, not just on lists. And there's proof in their many nonsensical posts! Who knows who could be a witch, who is a troll, who is a sockpuppet and who is just dumb??

2) I'm blaming you for something I do myself! I completely forgot that all those lovely, talented folks I chat with are wicked, damnit. I also completely forgot that I've mocked stories too--albeit in private, and with more humor and less personal attacks than the witches use. Does this mean that I'll be kicked off lists and considered some kind of evil conspirator?

3) Making generalizations about a group of 30+ people is silly. D'oh! Especially based upon the fact that one person, who appears to have a grudge, claims to have proof against *one other person*. One. Uno. Out of *thirty*. All you folks who are thinking anti-YV thoughts, do you even know who the YV are? Have you realized that many of the YV are incredibly talented, popular, and respected authors? Have you even *thought* about what this 'witch hunt' is all about, and who is being dragged through the mud because of it?

Well, gee. Looking at just those three little things makes me feel dumb. Some might argue that I am--especially those who dislike sweet MSR and think all who write it are only writing for the feedback (just to drag another personal grudge into this already nutty thread).

But seriously, and as someone who chats with YV folks, I wish people could take just a little time to think this through *logically*.

Now, I'm going to go off and make me some cookies, read a little fic, and remind myself that it's all just online silliness and chocolate solves everything.

Dreamshaper, who apologizes to Sab and the rest of the YV for adding to the thread, but just couldn't take it anymore! [21]

For those who don't know, I'm the YV listmom, and I feel oddly compelled to say...I, but I just don't have the foggiest idea where to start. I mean, on the one hand, Paige -- a former YV member, and by last count, a friend -- seems to suggest that the YV group IS the Witches. So, okay, so we KNOW that's not true. Now, learning whether ANY of us is a Witch is a little more (*sigh*) witch-hunting than I'd like to do.

But then there's Laurie saying that that's tantamount to supporting them, also bringing down my poor little list for no reason. I mean, if someone suspected there was a Witch on Scullyfic, would you REALLY nail JILL for it Or any of the other two hundred people (okay, so I am totally pulling that number out of my ass <g>) on the list?


We're here because we like to talk fic with our friends. YV is a bunch'a friends who like to talk fic... [snipped] if you don't like the Witches, don't deal with 'em. Ignore them and they'll ignore you. You know, like bees? Or those dogs, with bees in their mouths...<g>

Now I'm just getting batty. Anyway, FWIW, YV is NOT a Witch mailinglist, it's MY mailinglist, one I started simply because I unsubbed from XFC and XAPEN (which is of course Phoenix now) and Scullyfic because I couldn't handle the volume of messages, but still wanted to get recs and correspond with my fic-friends, while not TOTALLY evaporating from RL. <g> You know the feeling. I know you do. . [22]

...what the Witches do on their website is petty, immature and cruel---but it is not Evil The Likes Of Which The World Has Never Seen Before. It's certainly not worth being compared to the Third Reich, regardless of the points being made.

However, hyperbole isn't Evil, either---annoying but not Evil. So Inquisitor's use of hyperbole is hardly worth raking him over the coals. His attitude is snarky, yes. He made a horribly cruel mistake in another thread by not taking the time to get to know people on the newsgroups before he went off half-cocked. He's hardly the model of logical and constructive discourse. But that's the sort of thing that calls for a filter, not for an all day flame war (and dinner on the ground).

As for Yes Virginia--I don't know anything about them. I don't know if any of them are Witches or Goblins or Leprecauns or Libertarians. I have no personal stake in the continuation of the group. And yet, I'll defend to the death their right to discuss whatever they want within the confines of their private list, as long as no laws are broken and no fluffy, furry little animals are hurt in the process.

I'll even go farther---to some extent, the Witches have the right to post on their webpage whatever they like within the law. I don't have to like it, but as a believer in free speech, I won't call for it to be taken down unless it breaks a law. I can, however, encourage people to stop discussing it as if it merits this sort of discourse. It doesn't. The website is not helpful, it's not funny and it's not worth spending this much time and bandwidth on discussing.

As for the witch hunt that seems to be centering on YV---I'm appalled, especially since I've seen none of the accusers of this group present anything like evidence to support the allegations. Have we learned nothing from our history? If you're going to throw around historical allusions, how about the Salem Witchhunts? Are we going to ask that the YV members take the dunk test? [23]

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  1. ^ badforthefish at [xf book club]
  2. ^ cofax, September 8, 2000
  3. ^ WickdZoot, September 8, 2000
  4. ^ Binah, September 8, 2000
  5. ^ WickdZoot, September 8, 2000
  6. ^ DBKKate, September 8, 2000
  7. ^ Nancy, September 8, 2000
  8. ^ See Category:X-Files Fan Interviews for these conversations.
  9. ^ Nicola S, September 8, 2000
  10. ^ Tesla, September 8, 2000
  11. ^ Teddi L, September 9, 2000
  12. ^ Barbara, September 9, 2000
  13. ^ Kim, September 9, 2000
  14. ^ Jerry, September 9, 2000
  15. ^ Blissa, September 9, 2000
  16. ^ Leslie, September 9, 2000
  17. ^ Violet, September 9, 2000
  18. ^ Barbara, September 9, 2000
  19. ^ comment by CazQ at Foiling the Wicked post at, September 5, 2000
  20. ^ comment by Jess at Foiling the Wicked post at, September 5, 2000
  21. ^ I like the company I keep, post at, September 11, 2000
  22. ^ comment by Sabine at Foiling the Wicked post at, September 5, 2000
  23. ^ Personal attacks, debates, etc.. , post by Paula Graves at, September 15, 2000