The Growing Horror Of Fandom Cults (Part One)

Introduction


This has been something that I have noticed over the past three or four years. Though my expertise on this subject is mainly based in one and only one fandom, I have seen evidence of it existing in multiple fandoms. Since my experience with a woman, I only refer to as TC, I have been researching this phenomenon and collecting data in order to better understand the mentality that causes people to behave in such a way.

Since the early 2000’s when the internet really came into its hay day and provided very quick and reliable access to just about everyone, these cults were formed and started to grow. One of the biggest (and earliest) movements that I have become aware of, via the internet, is something called soul bonding. At first, when it was introduced to me via TC, I had no clue what the hell it was. Then pieces slowly started to come together as I did more and more research attempting to figure out the true identity of this woman.

Soul bonding is a very odd practice and nearly religious. Since it has to do with souls, the transferring of souls, and past lives (reincarnation) in some way it all does seem to connect back to religious experiences. In very basic terms, soul bonding is pretty much the joining of two souls that are a perfect match for each other. One can’t live without the other. In some cases, there may be a whole idea that a person is the soul of a fictional character or really was that fictional character in a past life or some kind of alternate universe.

Usually the people who create a soul bond will be very close in the sense of willing to give anything for the other, as to create a soul bond is by its very nature giving some of the core essence, the deepest and truest part of the soul, to another person. Usually these people are lovers or very close in another sense, a familiar and their partner being the other common pairing. Likewise, the pair tend to be in the mind or soulscape when it occurs, as it is much easier to interact directly with the soul at that level. (Source)

As much as this sounds like complete and utter bullshit (and for the most part it is) there is no lack of people who actually believe in this. Some use it to their advantage and some use it to explain being weird assholes to other people. The definition of this widely varies. Though the most common definition is the example I have provided, what people take away from this can be insane. Things are added to it or subtracted to it in order to create the perfect group or fan lore to drive the group.


Who Is TC?


TC is short for Tattle-Crime which used to be a website. It was created in 2013 and originally hosted through Tumblr before moving to its own domain host sometime in 2014. The website was shut down at the beginning of 2016 but the Tumblr blog (original URL with the Tumblr domain) still exists. Many parts of the blog have been removed in order to cover up some of the activity that went on in that group. The personal blog of the woman that ran that website is also still up with some posts removed. Her partner’s blog is still up but rarely (if ever) updated. Her super, personal, private blog has been set to private but has not been deleted. Two of the people who were caught up in this cult group have blogs up. One was deleted of content but still technically exists the other kept the domain name but doesn’t seem to focus on the show anymore or talk about it at all. The very last blog involved in all of this originally started on Livejournal and was active there until she decided to move to tumblr. She denies having any extended connection to TC or the rest of the group despite there being mounds of proof to dictate otherwise and she’s believed to be one of the “partners” in crime and possibly related to the original leader TC.

Why am I providing all of this information? Especially if a lot of these people either deleted information, don’t talk about the show, or deny involvement? For one, with the first three blogs, they were all directly involved and ran the cult. The original Tattle-Crime blog, as well as the personal, and the blog of her partner may be old blogs but they still contain a wealth of information to prove the state of mind of these specific people. The others? Merely to point out that they were real people and that they exist. Some of them haven’t been extremely careful in deleting and if you are dedicated you can go back a few years into their archives and see what I am talking about. I’m here to offer proof not force anyone to believe me.

TC who’s alias was Frederica Avery, started her website in early 2013 right around the time NBC’S Hannibal first appeared. The initial website was crudely designed and poorly managed until she was able to rope in others to help her as she literally never did anything herself. It was all the hard work of others who rarely (or never) got any actual credit for what they helped with. TC primarily focused on young female artists and set her attentions there.

These artists were told that she worked for NBC, was friends with show creator Bryan Fuller and producer Martha DeLaurentiis and it wasn’t until the end of the second season that she put up a visible notice on her website that she was not affiliated with the show. This was only added after I came in and started to expose what she was doing and who she really was. I won’t get into extreme detail here because there isn’t any real point but if you want to read the extent of TC and her group (with proof) you can visit this website which houses the important elements of the cult.


What Did The Tattle-Crime Cult Do?


The cult that TC ran was a pretty scary and disturbing one that I was directly a part of for a number of months. Though the members will all deny I was ever even friends with this woman out of loyalty to her (two years after she vanished and hasn’t returned) there are a few other members who knew me and will tell a different story. The main issue in all of this is none of them are believed because there is loyalty to her. Enough that former members, even having realized they’d been victimized, still will not speak out against. her and have continued to protect her and her identity at all costs. Very little has been done to take criminal action against this woman because even after the disbanding of the cult there has been some severe psychological trauma associated with what she did.

TC had two parts to her cult. The inner circle, which consisted of 4 people other than her. The partner, who’s real name was never revealed but I refer to as Gail. Then there were the two minions, Roxy and Lauren. The last member of the cult who denies ever even knowing TC (which is easily disproved by a simple online search of their history together) is named Cleolinda Jones and she is arguably the most “famous” of the 4. My current theory is that she was directing TC on how to behave to gather her own cult following as Cleolinda had one far before TC did and that’s how she currently makes her living (for some inexplicable reason). The outer circle at one point consisted of me, someone I only refer to as Sam and several other people who donated money to her website, or time in the form of artwork and never seemed upset with not being reimbursed. This also includes people who were part of her gift exchange scams, contest scams, or giveaway scams.

Over the time that TC operated her website she misrepresented her authenticity and where she was from (who she worked for). She used smoke and mirrors to easily convince people she knew the show creator and had been authorized to run this website. Seeing as how there is a website in the TV show called TattleCrime.com (No hyphen) it wasn’t a huge stretch to think she had been hired. Bryan Fuller (show creator) and Martha DeLaurentiis (Production company owner) as well as the official production company Twitter (DeLaurentiisco) run by a really shady man named Rick (who may or may not be a pedophile but certainly behaves like one) all publicly endorsed her website. Other than those official people there were the fake interviews she produced that people thought were genuine, the promotional pictures she coerced out of the cast members and the fact that some of the staff on the show like Janice Poon, Loretta Ramos, and some obscure boom mic operator (not sure of his name) all still consider her to be a “friend” and provided her with merchandise and information not readily provided to fans. This only aided in her ability to scam people by giving her some type of proof she was official. No one from the show will comment on this woman despite reasonable proof of them knowing what she did at this point and no one from the show will acknowledge the fact that they never met her, never knew her real name, and allowed her to sign contracts with an alias.

After gaining the attention of Bryan Fuller in 2013 during the show hiatus she was able to cement her following and the idea that she was in constant personal contact with Bryan Fuller. It was very hard to call bullshit on this since their Twitter conversations were very public. Yes, even I fell for it for a time period while something nagged me that it was too good to be true.

TC was able to coerce advance information of the show from Bryan Fuller, sign NDA contracts under a fake name, receive merchandise for rigged giveaway contests, and be authorized into backstage areas of conventions. Except, TC never actually went to any of these conventions herself. It was Lauren or Roxy who went (sometimes both of them). She always managed to find people who were already going to conventions that the stars were appearing at so she wouldn’t have to leave her house. I was involved in attending one of these conventions to retrieve promotional pictures of the stars for her website. Pictures which were never credited to the person who took them and TC behaving the whole time like she’d gotten the picture herself and had attended all of these conventions.

TC, believing at one point for one small moment that I could be trusted, allowed me some information that led me to realize how much of a scam artist she truly was. It wasn’t until far after that point that Sam, who was closer to her than I ever was, and a few other members of her former circle came to me and told me how truly bizarre this woman behaved and what she was really like. In the end, 99% of anything TC told anyone was a complete lie and she seemed to have the inability to differentiate fantasy from fiction, believing fully that she was the fictional character of Freddie Lounds and that her partner was the fictional character of Hannibal Lecter. She behaved this way in real life and never broke character and eventually brainwashed Roxy and Lauren into believing they were fictional characters from the show.

One night, she said to me, that I was Abigail Hobbs in a past life. I told her that was absurd and then jokingly added that if I was any character, I would be Freddie Lounds. Which upset her because she was the only Freddie, including the actress who played Freddie. That actress was only there to portray her own life on TV but wasn’t the real Freddie. In any case, she said that the reason I hated Abigail Hobbs was that I was her in a past life and I was having a hard time accepting that she used to be me, so I was rejecting her. When I continued to reject her, and this idea that she was correct about fictional characters being alive and having souls to live in human bodies, she threw a fit and for the most part our close contact ended there.


What Crimes Did TC (Allegedly) Commit?


The crimes, of course, are all alleged until she’s formally charged. Some are a bit of speculation and some are first-hand knowledge. The crimes are also ones that are what I currently know and there may be far more but she hid them far better since the actual victims are not in the business of talking. Her alleged crimes, using this fan base to commit them in are as follows:

  1. Forging tickets to get in SDCC and getting one of her group members to knowingly use them to enter the convention. This happened at least once may have happened twice.
  2. Rigging giveaway contests. If you didn’t know her, she didn’t owe you something, or you weren’t one of her good friends, mutuals, or donors, you had absolutely no chance of winning.
  3. Signing official contracts under a fake name. She signed several official non-disclosure agreements to get information about the show with her alias of Frederica Avery.
  4. Misrepresenting herself as an official member of the DeLaurentiis production company and someone who worked officially for NBC.
  5. Soliciting donations that absolutely did not go to what she claimed they were going to.
  6. Withholding payment from artists who did art for her website. Whatever payment that may have been either monetary or some other form of reimbursement.
  7. Money extortion from at least two different women and taking control of their funds using them only for personal gain.
  8. Using a fake name on a P.O Box (Freddie Lounds)
  9. Using a fake name to register a business (Freddie Lounds)
  10. Sexually coercing at least one female and possibly when she was still a minor. She at least started to groom this woman to be part of her group when she was a minor as Lauren first met TC when she was 17 and the sexual stuff started very quickly after that.
  11. Blackmail, though there is no direct proof of this, there is every indication it is happening or was considering no one will speak out against her even if they have disbanded from the group,

What Can Be Done To Stop Her? (What Has Been Done?)


Though there have been many attempts to ferret out who she really is and many theories on who she really is, the true identity of this predator is, as of now, unknown. Though I have a source who claims to know her real name (a valid and trustworthy source) I have not been given any actual information beyond that point. I do not know this source well enough to prod for additional information even though I was told I’d be kept “in the loop” as things progress.

What is the problem, then? The problem lies in the fact that this woman was female, all of her victims were female, and by the time they were meeting her in person they were all adults. As such, even if they were coerced out of money or tricked into coming to see her in some way, they made those choices as adults. There is very little evidence to prove that she did any of this, even if it’s obvious to all parties involved that she did. Furthermore, one of her victims, who had it the worst, seems to be the most reluctant to speak out against what happened to her. This may be due to her religious background and not wanting to have to admit that she was assaulted by a woman. Even if she has admitted it (or did admit it) due to the fact that it would have been a sexual assault that happened years ago, by a female it would be very hard to prove.

TC also operated on Skype Voice as much as humanly possible, or on the phone (her inner circle had her phone number which was a spoofed number as was found out when it was reversed searched). As such, every incriminating thing she told everyone was via her own voice. Seeing as how when she told people these things they would have had no reason to be recording what she said, the evidence is straight up lost. TC very rarely had meaningful text conversations that could be saved. Even the very incriminating stuff could be passed off as “roleplay” and if pushed into a criminal case, she could claim that she was always roleplaying, everyone knew that, and it was fake and being taken out of context.

From day one, this woman set up her website and her scams so she could never be prosecuted in a court of law. Everything was laid out perfectly. Labeling everything as roleplay, wording everything she did print carefully and being sure to have 90% of her very important conversations (incriminating ones) over voice chat, ensured there would be little to no evidence that she ever did anything wrong and anyone who tried to prove it would look like a liar.


Where Is TC Now?


No one has an answer to this. That we know of. It’s possible Cleolinda Jones knows. She’s the only one out of the group who obviously had contact with TC before the show even started. She was the first “interview” That TC gave and TC’s first blog originated on Livejournal before she joined Tumblr and that’s where Cleolinda was most famous. Cleolinda somehow got famous for about 5 minutes for writing really awful Twilight Parodies and then spawned that into some book deal. It’s not good writing, but, much like TC and her cult fandom in Hannibal, Cleolinda found her cult following in Twilight. The writing doesn’t have to be good as long as it has Twilight content, same with the Hannibal fandom. This is why it’s believed that Cleolinda taught TC every tactic she used to get where she got in the Hannibal fandom.

It’s possible Lauren or Roxy knows where she is currently. Her last known whereabouts where she was definitely receiving mail was in the Lake Forest area of Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago. TC claimed to live in/be from Chicago but she lived in a wealthy suburb about an hour away from there. Her P.O Box (Probably doesn’t still exist) was based out of the city of Lake Forest so she would have lived near that address.

TC is believed to be other people. The current most likely theory is that she’s a woman named Jen Cornet from another cult fandom group from Final Fantasy VII. This has been disputed by someone who has claimed that she knew Jen, however, many others who did know Jen insist this has to be Jen. It is possible that this is not Jen Cornet but the trouble arises when one realizes that this woman, Jen or not, took every precaution to hide her identity and face from day one. If she had no criminal intent (or had never done something like this before) why hide anything at all?

Currently, she is on the lose, with her partner, and considered extremely dangerous. Since she got borderline famous before and the one thing in life she craves more than anything is attention, it’s more than likely she will come back. Right now several people of interest are being watched to see if they start communications with her a second time but so far nothing has happened. The scariest part in all of this is that she has not been criminally charged, most likely will not be criminally charged, and there is absolutely no telling when she’ll escalate. This isn’t a question of if, but when, and how bad it will get when she returns.


Conclusion (Part One)


This is just a group that I personally have direct involvement with. There isn’t any lack of these types of groups on the internet. Ones that start there and then extend into real life. As I mentioned there was a woman named Jen Cornet from Final Fantasy VII and a story called “The Sarah Saga”. There is also a website dedicated to explaining what happened with that group that is still up today even though the events transpired about 7 years ago.

There is also the Blake story which ended in murder and centered around a young man pretending to be a bunch of different people. Though it has nothing to do with the Final Fantasy VII house or the Sarah Saga, it does have to do with soul bonding just like TC’s cult and whatever the Final Fantasy VII people were doing. All three of these groups (one which ended in homicide) are connected by the soul bonding theory and the cult mentality surrounding that.

These two stories that were mentioned (not including the one about TC) are fairly infamous, but that’s only because of how much attention they got. There are far more groups operating in this capacity right now. In fandoms everywhere. Some of the groups are more well known, some of them are big, a lot of them are small. Most of them aren’t doing anything criminal and if they are, they are keeping it very under the radar, much like TC did. In any case, this series of articles aims to explore the cult mentality, how it is formed, and how to know if you are currently trapped in one of these groups. You don’t want to get caught up in them, and sometimes it’s very hard to recognize so if you know the signs you can get out before it too late. As silly as it sounds, being a part of cults like these can cause massive (and sometimes irreversible) psychological trauma and it’s best to run while you still can.

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