Aaron's Final Post re: Kevin L. O'Brien

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Aaron Vanek

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Mar 29, 2004, 6:41:30 PM3/29/04
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(long but very final post re: this topic)

Kevin, I'm sorry to do this to you, I really am.

On 3/27/04, Kevin L. O'Brien wrote:
By the way, thank you for admitting that your motive for starting and
continuing this flamewar went beyond simply "asking questions" and
"providing alternatives" to being a vindictive attack (despite your
insinuation above).  My lawyer loved it.  He says we now have grounds
for a countersuit if any of these posts show up in any case brought
against me.  He also points out that this supports a claim I made
earlier, that you lied to Chaosium about my motives.  Had you reported
my statements to them accurately, they would have had no reason to
suppose I might offer the game supplement for download off the
internet.  They could only have assumed that possibility if you misled
them about my motives.

[please note the following parargraph, emphasis mine]

I wasn't going to mention this, since you think I'm lying in any
event, but he contacted Chaosium's lawyers.  He explained to them what
my actual intentions are.  He told me that they were "rather upset"
that they had been given false information about what I intended to
do, and they sent us a copy of the email message you sent.  I've read
it; it's fairly incriminating.  So if necessary, we can also make a
good case that you lied to them in an attempt to get them to sue me.
******
Later, Kevin L. O'Brien wrote:

The simple fact is, you and I know that you lied to them, so I don't
need to prove it to anyone else.  You will continue to lie about it,
just as you continue to lie about what motivates you to attack me on
this group, but we both know what the real truth is.  And if necessary
I can prove it in a court of law.  That is enough for me.
*****

These are the accusations. That I lied to Chaosium, that Kevin's lawyer contacted their lawyers, and they're very upset with me. I am guessing that he wrote the above for one of the following reasons:

1. To intimidate, threaten, bully me into leaving him alone
2. He's a bright but bored teenager who loves controversy, and this is all a big joke that I am missing
3. He's playing with a single-digit Sanity score (not with a full deck, for the non-gamers)

Let me pause for a moment to describe my relationship with Chaosium, which I reprint from my tribute to the company after they were awarded the Robert Bloch award by the last (hopefully not final) NecronomiCON (convention) in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2001, and printed in the convention guide [I added links as appropriate]:


    Chaosium made me a filmmaker. It started at Pacificon in the eighties. I noticed this game, Call of Cthulhu, that had an average kill percentage of 80% for each adventure, whereas most AD&D games, which I played, had a kill percentage HIGH of only 5%. I had to try this new, deadly RPG.
    I bought the rules that weekend (second edition), and raced through them. Brilliance! The simplicity, the horror, the beauty of designing a game where the more experience you get, the WORSE off you were!
    The game led me to Lovecraft's stories, and the stories led me to movies. I didn't consider a career in filmmaking (I wanted to be a horror writer like Stephen King, until I discovered that pretty much only Stephen King can make a living selling horror short stories), but something about Lovecraft's story "The Outsider" gave me these visions. I could see the narrator creeping around a graveyard, crawling into a mansion window, and catching his horrible visage in a mirror. I didn't want to be a filmmaker then, but I wanted to make that film.
    Years later, "The Outsider" became my first big movie in film school, and my first Lovecraft film. Even more years later, Chaosium helped me make "Return to Innsmouth", an adaptation of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", by offering discounts for contributors to the film fund, and Eric Rowe of Wizard's Attic graciously donated merchandise for fundraising. One of the high points of my life was screening RTI to a standing room only audience of 300+ people at GenCon 1999, sponsored by Chaosium.
    So to the entire quorum of evil that works for, and has worked for, the company that not only introduced me to my favorite RPG, but also helped put me on this long downward spiral into filmmaking madness, I thank you from the bottom of my sanity, and salute you from the bottom of my blood-filled chalice.

Aaron Vanek
August, 2001
Los Angeles
****

I would like to add that, while I was in Chicago, I was working on a supplement for Chaosium (when Lynn Willis was in charge) regarding crime and law enforcement in the time of Lovecraft. I never got further than a detailed outline, but I did get to read the original court transcripts regarding the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, which read just like a movie script (if you get the chance to look at them at the Chicago Historical Society, I recommend it--they are free to read but expensive to photocopy, and you have to fill out some forms).

I also should mention many of my long-term friends who have contributed to Chaosium:

Mike Tice ("Taint of Madness" and CoC rules v. 5.5 and d20)
John Tynes (Delta Green, CoC d20)
Toren Atkinson (CoC d20 artwork, Mythos cards, etc.)
Ann Koi and Jason Soles (d20 artwork)
Scott Glancy (Pagan Publishing)
I'm sure I'm forgetting more people to namedrop, and I apologize to them, but I don't want to go on forever.

The point is, I regard Chaosium not just a friend, but as one of the companies that has had a huge influence on my life (almost as much as Atari and Marvel Comics).

So I am a little incensed that KLOB would suggest that I would lie to Chaosium.

[Read this next bit like Nice Guy Eddie from "Reservoir Dogs"]:
So let me get this straight. What Kevin is saying is that this company, with whom I've had a favorable relationship for almost a decade, who has willingly and financially helped me in my career, would just DECIDE, out of the f8ckin' BLUE, to "get upset" with me?!? Why don't we look at what REALLY HAPPENED.

Here, then, is my response from Charlie Krank, president of Chaosium, and the letter I wrote to Charlie below that:


Hi Aaron,
Fergie has forwarded your past few emails concerning Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Neither we nor our lawyers have been contacted by anyone's lawyers. We are not "rather upset", but instead become more interested in the situation. [emphasis mine]

Copying books in any form is a violation of copyright. We do give permission to photocopy character sheets. [emphasis mine]

Are there web links to this material?

In Sanity,


Charlie Krank
President


Chaosium Inc.
Publishers of Books & Games
895 B Street #423, Hayward CA 94541
Phone 510-583-1000    Fax 510-583-1101
http://www.chaosium.com

From: Aaron Vanek <aa...@somecompanyfilms.com>
Organization: Some Company
Reply-To: aa...@somecompanyfilms.com
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 12:04:52 -0800
To: Fergie <fer...@chaosium.com>
Subject: question for Chaosium
Resent-From: Fergie <fer...@chaosium.com>
Resent-Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:11:20 -0800


Hi Fergie

(I'll try to make this quick)

I'm sorry to bring this up again, but things have escalated a tad on alt.horror.cthulhu, and I want to make sure I know what's going on.

Kevin L. O' Brien, publisher of the print on demand books at Lindisfarne Press (including an Ann Schwader collection), has copied his original version of "Masks of Nyarlathotep" as a PDF for his "personal research." I asked you about it already, and you said it was fine. Still, this copyright question has continued, and now Kevin is accusing me of misrepresenting him to you (Chaosium). He writes (note the second paragraph):
By the way, thank you for admitting that your motive for starting and
continuing this flamewar went beyond simply "asking questions" and
"providing alternatives" to being a vindictive attack (despite your
insinuation above).  My lawyer loved it.  He says we now have grounds
for a countersuit if any of these posts show up in any case brought
against me.  He also points out that this supports a claim I made
earlier, that you lied to Chaosium about my motives
[emphasis mine].  Had you reported
my statements to them accurately, they would have had no reason to
suppose I might offer the game supplement for download off the
internet.  They could only have assumed that possibility if you misled
them about my motives.

I wasn't going to mention this, since you think I'm lying in any
event, but he contacted Chaosium's lawyers.  He explained to them what
my actual intentions are.  He told me that they were "rather upset"
that they had been given false information about what I intended to
do, and they sent us a copy of the email message you sent.  I've read
it; it's fairly incriminating.  So if necessary, we can also make a
good case that you lied to them in an attempt to get them to sue me.
> >>>
Is this true? Has his lawyer, or Kevin, been in contact with you or your lawyers? It seems farfetched to me, but maybe it's true. What bothers me most is that he says Chaosium is "rather upset" with me about something that seems to be a non-issue. And I don't think I was encouraging a lawsuit; I just wanted to find out the answer to copyright.

Can you please clarify (check), and can I quote you on AHC to finally settle this?

In other, better news, what do we have to look forward to coming out from Chaosium?

Sorry to take up your time.
--
Aaron Vanek

My latest movie reviews:
http://www.flipsidemovies.com/yellowsign.html
http://www.filmthreat.com/Reviews.asp?Id=4472
Also Check out: http://www.webnoir.com/yellowsign
My last movie, "Return to Innsmouth" available at:
http://www.beyond-books.com/catalog/

*****
 
I have never, until now, accused Kevin of lying. I think that he is wrong very often, but that's not the same as lying. I think he honestly believes what he is doing is right, and that he probably DID hear or see the word "virii" somewhere. However, at this point, I think he has gone off the deep end, and is consciously and willfully lying to slander me. I would have accepted proof of his right to copy from a lawyer, assuming he has a lawyer, or even Chaosium themselves, if he would post it, but Kevin has NEVER posted anything in any flamewar from anyone besides himself or websites he found. He has no support. I, however, try to make a point of going outside myself for the answer, since I will readily admit I don't know everything. But I know who to ask, and am not afraid to do it.

Yet this is all pointless. I truly believe that Kevin has some kind of low-grade mental disorder (Asperger's Syndrome, maybe?) since his reactions here are beyond the pale. He constantly attempts to transform the world to fit his own version of reality. Unfortunately, the two do not mix, hence the frequent flamewars we have here.

I see now that there is no point in arguing further with him on any level. There is absolutely no way to sway him once his mind has set (ossified). I will waste too much of my time, and other people's time, going head to softhead with KLOB.

Now, Kevin is doing something constructive for the Mythos in general; he is publishing stories that might not otherwise see distribution (I don't want to say "print" since they are not printed as normal books are), or that are conveniently collected in one volume. If you are interested in his print-on-demand collections, go to his website here.

However, I do want everyone to note and remember (since I will no longer do it), despite his publishing credits, what kind of person he truly is, what he has said here (see above), what he might say or do in the future. Personally, I don't see how anyone can believe anything he says outside of his book/story news. But that is for you, dear alt.horror.cthulhu, to decide.

Finally, I PROMISE I will not respond to anything else KLOB says, UNLESS it is directed at or involves me or someone I consider a close friend (I will not respond to anything on this new thread, either). Whatever claims he makes, I will not debate, for I know the outcome will simply be more lies, more distortions, more time lost, and more people pissed and bored of all the posts dealing with the same dumb topic. I cannot argue against someone unable to cope with reality.

So, I offer a last apology to the group for taking up so much of your time, and to anyone other than KLOB whom I may have offended.

-- 
Aaron Vanek

My latest movie reviews:
http://www.flipsidemovies.com/yellowsign.html
http://www.filmthreat.com/Reviews.asp?Id=4472
Also Check out: http://www.webnoir.com/yellowsign 
My last movie, "Return to Innsmouth" available at:
http://www.beyond-books.com/catalog/

"Laney's belief that the word of God was infallible...
destroyed her ability to discern the wrongness of her act."
--Attorney for a Texas woman who bashed her sons' heads in with a rock

Dan Norder

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Mar 29, 2004, 8:28:56 PM3/29/04
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[snippage]

Kevin wrote:
>>I wasn't going to mention this, since you think I'm
>>lying in any event, but he contacted Chaosium's
>>lawyers. He explained to them what my actual
>>intentions are. He told me that they were "rather upset"
>>that they had been given false information about what
>>I intended to do, and they sent us a copy of the email
>>message you sent. I've read it; it's fairly incriminating.

Aaron, presenting an email he got from Chaosium:


>Fergie has forwarded your past few emails concerning
>Masks of Nyarlathotep.
>
>Neither we nor our lawyers have been contacted by
>anyone's lawyers. We are not "rather upset", but instead
>become more interested in the situation.

>Charlie Krank
>President
>Chaosium Inc.

As predicted, Kevin was caught in yet another lie. Or I suppose this time he'll
claim that the president of Chaosium is the one lying.

I applaud Aaron for deciding to ignore Kevin. As I already have KLOB killfiled
(and only respond to him when someone quotes him and he says something stupid
or a lie, which is frequently), that should cut down on the flaming.

Kevin L. O'Brien

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Mar 30, 2004, 12:33:44 AM3/30/04
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I think it's pretty sad to see someone like Aaron have a total nervous
breakdown like this, but then that's what comes of being so obsessed.
Plus he has to try to save face somehow and for someone like him this
is the obvious way to do it.

What it still comes down to Aaron, is that you and I both know you
lied and we both know you are still lying.

Kevin L. O'Brien

Franklin Hummel

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Mar 30, 2004, 5:43:13 AM3/30/04
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"Kevin L. O'Brien" <kevi...@clare.ltd.new.net> wrote in message
news:ed6ccb78.0403...@posting.google.com...

*yawn*


Doctor TOC

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Mar 30, 2004, 5:29:33 PM3/30/04
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Kevin L. O'Brien wrote:

> What it still comes down to Aaron, is that you and I both know you
> lied and we both know you are still lying.

So if I contact Charlie Krank (I've got his card on the desk in front of
me) and ask him if anyone has contacted his lawyers, he's going to
refute what Aaron says? Want me to test that?

Doctor TOC
--
The Reverend Doctor "The Other Chris"
Secret Elf, Jive Talkin' Choirboy, Kóri Wulfmangler
ICQ # 4814586
Argent Games - http://www.argentgames.com
alt.tv.sevendays FAQ - http://welcome.to/7-Days
The TOC Files - http://members.fortunecity.com/toc

Dan Norder

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Mar 30, 2004, 6:39:42 PM3/30/04
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Doctor TOC other...@erols.com wrote:

>Kevin L. O'Brien wrote:

>> What it still comes down to Aaron, is that you and I
>>both know you lied and we both know you are still lying.

>So if I contact Charlie Krank (I've got his card on the desk
>in front of me) and ask him if anyone has contacted his
>lawyers, he's going to refute what Aaron says?

We all know he won't. Kevin just had to try to get in a last ditch attempt to
fool the few people here who are still naive enough to trust him.

I think the president of Chaosium has better things to do than keep getting
hassled to verify that what Kevin, a known chronic liar, says is a lie. But
then, hey, if you were contacting him anyway I'm sure an independent
verification would be irrefutable. Maybe Kevin would finally be forced to
apologize.

C.S.Strowbridge

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Mar 30, 2004, 9:47:25 PM3/30/04
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Kevin L. O'Brien wrote:

No one's buying it KLOB. Seek mental help, now.

C.S.Strowbridge

C.S.Strowbridge

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Mar 30, 2004, 9:53:40 PM3/30/04
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Dan Norder wrote:

Are you fucking nuts? KLOB would accuse Doctor TOC of lying. Maybe
initiate him into the M.M.S., if he isn't there already.

There is nothing more unlikely than KLOB apologizing at this point. Nothing.

C.S.Strowbridge

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