Sunday, March 30, 2014

E1/Sohkar: Getting the FULL Story in 3.5 Hours + Final Thoughts (Unless something else happens)

I owed it to the victim to understand his story. He lived through it. The least you can do is understand what he was put through... for more than two hours. -Ripard Teg, who never actually spoke to the victim, even when the victim tried to speak to him.
I'm leading off today's post with that very ironic quote. Since no one else has bothered to get in contact with either Erotica 1 or his victim sohkar to get both sides of the story, I decided to take it upon myself to gather as many people involved either directly or peripherally in the bonus room incident that has everyone in such a twist this past week.

I've seen a lot of angry posting on forums this week. Other bloggers and podcasters have covered the issue. Cap Stable had Ripard Teg over for a chat to talk about Erotica 1 and the horrible things that happened to sohkar. They talked to Ripard, sohkar's champion, but they did not bother to reach out to sohkar and ask him how he felt, nor did they bother to talk to anyone involved in the dubious bonus room to gain context on what happened. How much CCP has been involved in the past, what CCP may or may not have been aware of, and what they have let slide thus far were also not part of the discussion.

I firmly believe that in the court of public opinion, even the worst of us deserve to be able to tell their side of the story. I certainly believe the victims in such cases should have their own voices heard, not just their causes championed by others who have never even talked to them. I personally believe that in dire cases where opinions and judgements must be passed on people, we owe it to ourselves to get the story from those involved, and not just from a 3rd party with an agenda, with his/her opinions and views already coloring what transpired.

For the history of the incident that lead up to this, I will refer you to my last posting on the matter. If you have not read that yet, you should because I don't plan to waste time here re-hashing the incident, and it will save you from listening to the first 45 minutes of the recording.

For Ripard Teg's take, you can read his blog posting on the matter. For further information on the agenda he's trying to push, I'll refer you to Eve Compared to D&D in the early 80's and A World Without Sin.

On with the Show

In the wake of Erotica 1's ban Friday morning, upon getting home from work I put out a call for anyone directly involved with Erotica 1, sohkar, and the bonus room to please help me contact them and invite them on the show. Several of E1's escrow agents stepped forward, but unfortunately no one knew how to contact him outside game. Even James 315 was at a loss. We started the show at Midnight Eve Time with the regular crew, and slowly added people involved with the issue as time went on and we were able to find them.

Ripard Teg was invited, but did not respond. During a skype conversation among podcasters during the show, he gave his reasons for declining to be interviewed by someone else. His stance makes sense. At this point he's won, and has nothing to gain by having to defend his assertions.

The entire recording is nearly 3 1/2 hours, so I will forgive those of you with little patience for such things if you do not listen to everything. I'll give a synopsis with times below so you might be able to skip around to the parts you would find most interesting.

You may DOWNLOAD the entire broadcast here.

It Begins
Background of the issue with our standard crew of co-hosts: Bajran Bali, Charlie Firpol, Zeratha, Elijah Ghost, Doc Nielsen. We talked about the incident, tried to get the timeline together, and a lot of us had a lot to say about what happened.

Joined by Jaschar Verge, the the CEO of Dark Aether Operations. He tells us the story about how he heard the Bonus Room recording back when it was covered by James 315 in February on Minerbumping, and decided to take sohkar under his wing. sohkar was in his corp for nearly 3 weeks until being removed for his own protection. sohkar is free to rejoin whenever he thinks he'll be safe again in a player corp.

Once Jaschar tells his story, we get back to the time line, now we're at last week. Ripard's blog was brought up, and this bit of skype conversation was mentioned, pasted so that we can get a little more insight into Ripard's motives.

Interlude while we switched to TS3 to accommodate some of Erotica 1's Escrow Agents. CCP's HTFU song.

Joined by several of Erotica 1's escrow agents. I asked a lot of questions about their involvement in the bonus room, how the bonus room works, it's history, and some examples of other bonus rooms that have taken place. The losers, and the very few winners were discussed. One winner was actually paid out, others were not paid, but were then invited in on the con after where many made their money back.

Average time of a bonus room was 5 hours long. (!!) The longest was 12 hours. (!!!) sohkar's reaction in the bonus room, they claimed, was by far the worst they had ever seen. They state that maybe 1 in 15 bonus room players have actually gotten to the point of rage, most figure the scam out and simply quit.

To understand the bonus room, and it's history, this is a good section to listen to, but keep in mind the story is told by the people who were part of the con.

The discussion shifts from the bonus room, to Ripard Teg's crusade against not only the bonus room, but all forms of naughty behavior in Eve.

I read a statement from sohkar.

Westboro Baptist Church is brought up as an extreme example of how people can be some of the biggest dicks on the planet, but still be within the bounds of rules and law.

Back to Eve. Allegedly CCP has known about the bonus room since at least November. sohkar's bonus room was well publicized on a month ago, was not a secret. The victim says he was over it, and got on with his life. 1 month later, CCP suddenly "gives fucks" when Ripard Teg whips less than 500 people into a frenzy on a threadnought on Eve-O.

I address CCP directly. What have you opened up with this action of banning a player for out of game actions? I talk about some of the things people have done outside of game in relation to The FunkyBacon Show. The difference between us and the bonus room? We pay out at the end for what we say will, and most of the things people do are their own ideas. It is suggested at one point that someone should make a thread somewhere of the worst things people have done outside of Eve. Maybe it would make Ripard Teg pee his pants to learn some of the things that have happened outside of Eve that were in some way tied to the game.

Joined by an operator who was IN the bonus room with sohkar. The question is asked "Do you feel that based on Erotica 1's ban, you also deserve to be banned?" All Bonus Room escrow agents present declare unanimously that if Erotica 1 has been banned because of his involvement in the Bonus Room, then they ALL deserve to be banned, no question.

Erotica 1 was apparently located on another TS server at this point, people head off to fetch him.

Erotica 1 is finally located and joins us. I ask a lot of questions, some similar to the round done at 1:12. He confirms his ban, tells us bits about the bonus room his associates could not. Tells his side of the story.

Erotica 1 gives a story where he had been blackmailed outside of game by another player petitioned but was told by CCP GMs that they could do nothing with evidence supplied from outside the game.

Sohkar joins us. If you listen to no other part of this recording, listen to this part moving forward. As far as I'm concerned, the opinions of the person on the receiving end of this scam which was apparently the reason for CCP to step into the metagame, should count most, even over the voices of those who claim to be "defending" him.

Interesting things were said. Sohkar was never contacted by Ripard Teg who claimed to owe it to the victim to understand his story. Sohkar states that Ripard's coverage of his bonus room has done more harm to him than good in the game. He never petitioned Erotica 1, does not believe Erotica 1 should be banned, and comes out and says that he should technically be banned for the things he said himself while raging at E1 and his associates if the recording is considered legit evidence for TOS violations.

Sohkar rejects the claims that he was tortured. He got angry. He points out that after Ripard's blog post, he tried to reach out and talk to Ripard and sent him an eve-mail. Ripard has still not responded to him after several days. It's thought at this point that Ripard Teg doesn't care about the victim at all, and is simply trying to push his anti scamming agenda with inflamatory language and rhetoric, and trying to put out the worst examples he can with no regard to how this will affect even the victims involved.

Former CSM member and current podcaster Aleks joins us. CSM, and political implications are discussed.

Final thoughts from everyone involved.

Afterthoughts, and my CSM9 Campaign

As the days move on, my stance on this is becoming less and less about this specific case, but where I see this snowball headed as it continues to roll down hill. I've been asked a lot of questions about this in my campaign thread on Eve-O, as well as on twitter, reddit, and even Facebook.

Unless something else earth shattering happens, this will be the last time I address this specific incident on this blog. Voting for CSM starts next week, and I have a lot of ground to cover for my friends living in lowsec, many of whom probably don't give nearly as many fucks about this as they do about fixing lowsec.

I'll leave with you with a response I made on Eve-O to a question posed to me by current CSM member, Mynnna:

This keeps going back to E1 specifically, and that's one of the problems I have here Mynnna. My stance here has little do do with E1, and everything to do with the next step after this, and the next step after that. If this is where it stops, and the line is CLEARLY drawn here, that's CCPs prerogative. I'm not doing a "Free E1 campaign". He's banned, there's no reversal coming nor would I ask for one.

For 11 years CCP has not acted against any player when CCP logs have shown no wrong doing. That has now changed.

Let me toss you a loaded question. Let's say we're chatting in Eve, and I say "Hey Mynnna, my hands are getting tired. Let's pop over to my TS3 server and talk about this."

I'm in there with you, maybe a couple other people. I make a recording of it, and then put it up on soundcloud. People listen to it and are outraged at you for what transpired, I blog about it, a threadnought appears.

But here's the rub: You come out on the forums in the threadnought afterwards and claim you were framed. "That's not me," you say. Other people claiming to be on the server at the time say it WAS you. They were there. Eve logs show us chatting amicably, and me suggesting we move to TS3. CCP has no way to confirm that the TS3 conversation on soundcloud is the one that happened at that time. They can't confirm I didn't doctor the recording. But it sounds like you. You didn't think to record the session yourself, so you have nothing but your word that you didn't do whatever it is we say you did.

Now, you're part of Goonswarm, so I would imagine your friends would have your back in this, and the counter smear could get ugly and result in nothing more than a locked thread, some warnings are given and nothing more comes of it. Maybe I get DDOSed a few times, obviously by one of your fellows, but I can't prove who it was so nothing happens there either.

Suppose for a minute though that you don't have many friends in Eve. Everyone has already made up their mind that you're guilty. Your supporters in that threadnought are few and far between. What then?

THAT is where I'm afraid we're going here, and ANY steps taken in that general direction are what I'm opposed to.
-DJ FunkyBacon


  1. Comments about the WBC - maybe people get away with this kind of shit in America, but in literally every other country in the world, the WBC's activities would already be illegal, or would be declared illegal and retroactive punishment would be dished out.

    Rules lawyering and breaching the spirit of the rules while staying technically on the right side of them is still breaking the rules in most peoples' book. And there wasn't even a technicality here - CCP have anti-harrassment regulations in place already.

    1. maybe because America realized the freedom of speech is there to protect the unpopular speech, and not the popular speech.

  2. FunkyBacon, you've mentioned that your opinion of the events of Sohkar's bonus room was changed by this interview. I know you've said above that you are thinking more now about the general ramifications, but do you now believe that Erotica 1 was justifiably banned? And do you believe that Ripard's actions were equally morally bankrupt?

    1. Upon hearing the victim's side of the story, I'm far more tolerant of what happened than I was prior. I still won't go so far as to defend the actions taken in the bonus room, but if the person on the receiving end is ok with it, I'm not going to refute his claim otherwise in this instance.... 2 consenting adults and all that, it's just not my business to judge if it doesn't affect me directly and all parties involved are ok with it.

      As for the ban, it recently came to my attention that E1 posted a link to the recording and promoted it on Eve-O. If that was the case, you can get banned from Eve for calling someone a dirty name in local, and E1 should have known better than to bring this into official Eve channels. He very well may have been banned for that reason, and that would explain why the escrow agents were not banned with him, the logs showing nothing and all, but that's all speculation at this point.

      I AM disturbed that the bonus room was brought to CCP's attention at least in November and they chose to do nothing for months until a blog post and a threadnought whipped people up into a frenzy over it. If CCP feels what E1 did was bannable, why not do it back then? Why let it go on this long? My guess is that they saw nothing wrong until their minds were changed by the angry mob. If angry mobs are what dictates CCP changes in policy enforcement, that bodes ill for the next target of the community's ire, which may not be as vile as people consider E1 actions to be in this case.

    2. LOL...CCP let's the goons dictate their moves, or at the very least 14 people, dictate the direction of Eve. Why are you upset that some evil bastard got his due, because 500 rose up against him. The only thing you are correct about is the fact that CCP are cowards and sat on this for weeks, until the community rose up. The fact that CCP clearly condones this behaviour, until bright lights are shone on it, speaks volumes about the type of people calling the shots at CCP.

      And don't give us that carp about the ToS and the Eula. People inherently know right from wrong, and anyone who is not some psychopath and does not play Eve would not hesitate a second to recognize this evil should be purged from the game, or ANY social group.

    3. "If CCP feels what E1 did was bannable, why not do it back then?"

      I'm not sure if you're purposefully playing the idiot here Funky Bacon or if you've just hit rock bottom. You do realize that exactly the same thing does not happen every time when someone gets onto TS? You also recognize that CCP require evidence to ban people and don't go just on hearsay? I'm sure you'd be one of the first to shout about it if they did.

      Please go and read the various Dev comments made about this.

      When you understand why CCP banned Erotica 1, maybe you'll be in a position to comment on it. As it is, your witch hunt for Ripard Teg is causing you to come across as a bit of an idiot.

    4. Or, FunkyBacon, CCP did exactly what you expected from them in your other blog posts and waited until they had proof.

      Btw, do you realize that Sohkar could simply playing down the event as a way of coping with it (saving face, damage control, Stockholm-Syndrome, whatever). Not saying he does. Maybe it's just me, but it sounds this way to me.

      Besides, why do you allege more and more that Ripard Teg has dishonest motives? It just weakens your arguments if you go after the messenger instead of the message.

    5. Alistair Drake31 March, 2014 22:46


      The point he's trying to make is that Ripard SHOULD have been in contace with Sohkar as he is ostensibly championing the cause, and he even stated he's not so much "white knighting" he's "black knighting" which to me says he's not so much there to help anyone, he's only out for pulling Ero down.

  3. This world is doomed by liberal cry baby pussies...everyone needs to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions.

  4. To me, this sets a disturbing precedent for EVE Online. Seemingly, the game's "judicial system" can be completely circumvented by an unaffected third party, against the will of the "victim", so long as he creates a giant fuss about it.

    Make no mistake, Ripard Teg banned Erotica1, not CCP. The running theory is that he has been trying to do this for some time, to further his anti scamming, anti ganking, anti hurt feelings agenda. This was his headshot attempt, and it worked. So he will be emboldened.

    I just wonder who is next on his hit list?

    He talked about Fight Club.

  5. While it may seem like a stretch, it really isn't when I say a particular CCP person flashed boobs outside of Eve for "gifts", but someone else can get banned for playing a "game show" outside of Eve? While I certainly don't agree with E1's actions or even condone them, but to me it seems the line in the sand was drawn when they hired the flasher, and E1 is well within that line and should not have been permabanned.

  6. The clearest position statement on what the CCP process and reasoning behind the band is probably the response CCP Falcon made in Malcanis' thread.

    I'd argue that clearly articulates the difference between this case and any hypertheticals involving singing ransoms or corp/alliance comms.

  7. I've listened to most of the audio of your show (from about the 1 hour mark), and found it quite interesting.

    I tend to agree that Ripard has engaged in a personal crusade against scammers and Erotica 1 in particular, but that doesn't mean that the issues that he raised aren't important.

    To that extent, I think focussing on Ripard is a mistake, when there are other voices that are both more reasonable and articulate the issues with what happened in the bonus rooms far better than he did.

    For blogs, you've got posters like Mabrick at:
    or even Eve Uni's Neville Smit:

    The latest podside had a couple of good discussions featuring a fellow CSM candidate DNS Black, and then later the current CSM member (and another candidate) Mike Azariah.:

  8. I appreciate FunkyBacon for having an open mind. We had a nice civil conversation. I realize it's hard to believe "a scammer," but please recognize that I no longer have the incentive to "maintain the brand," if that makes sense, and have no reason to hide the "behind the scenes" parts anymore.

    A lot of assumptions get thrown around and repeated. Some of those were planted. Look, I'm not going to say I'm an angel, but we have done tons of these, many of which have been on Minerbumping over the past year.

    I have never received a prior warning regarding a bonus round or anything to do with isk doubling.

    What people don't hear are the unrecorded parts at the end for the clients who took it well. It's not like we are going to record and post us talking about the scam with them later. I did not offer refunds, but a number of clients asked to be escrows and were accepted to do so. Many said it was the most fun they ever had in the game.

    There have only been a handful of clients who got really upset or sad. The very few that seemed hurt were comforted behind the scenes both emotionally and with assets. I told them all to not breathe a word of it for my "reputation." The branding of Ero was done intentionally to show what could be accomplished in a scam despite ample evidence in the forums and elsewhere- much of which I actually asked people to post.

    It's really difficult to give a full explanation in only a few hours with many people talking (and my connection sucks) but listen to the full podcast with an open mind is all I ask. Many were upset, I believe, because the framework was already set for them. The random people I've had listen have all hysterically laughed, and that's including various people who would never scam in a million years.

    I'm happy to have more friendly chats with anyone else as well, and I hope EVE Radio will have me back in the future for anything- either this topic or any others of interest.

    If you live in the Indianapolis area and promise not to try to kill me (lol) maybe we can chat over a drink or something.


    1. Dear Erotica 1 a couple of questions from nobody specially.
      Number 1 why should anybody take your word on anything, i mean where you banned i have no idea because there is no public ban list or anything, given eve is a place of hidden rules and hidden trails all we have is your word that you where conficted.
      Number 2: assuming you are not telling a lie about being banned did CCP make it clear that it was about the bonus room ?
      Number 3: Why has you giving away stuff to former clients never leaked ( it seems impossible to keep such a thing secret aka the people you just screwed over don't seem like the best targets to bribe ;) ).
      Forgive my skepticism but your word isn't exactly known to be of large value.

    2. Burn Jita until the ban is over turned, or why can't the bullshit reported be petitioned for causing harm to the "victim" he never asked consent to use his recording or to publish names and events, which in turn caused the guy to get kicked from corp and so forth, so lets report riptard

  9. I suspect that the perception of Eve Online as a brand name is a big part of CCP's decision regarding the actions against Erotica 1. Personally I feel the game is a better place without such persons, but that is neither here or there, nor is it my point.

    CCP has to protect Eve Online as a brand name. Outsiders (those not playing Eve) can not be allowed to perceive the game as something that crosses whatever arbitrary line that social standards care to hold in its mind at the time. This is the reason that some things het acted upon and others not. Had not The Mittanis Fanfest Wiz speech been so much publizised the effects could have been none. As could have been in this case.

    Right or wrong? /Shrug. Companies must protect their brand name, and CCP has to walk a fine line as the sandbox does allow for some pretty mean behavior in the game. Frankly it's not a job I envy their marketing, community and PR departments.

    1. Spot on Akely.

      So many players are shouting about the EULA not being broken and arguing semantics etc. All of it 100% irrelevant.

      If CCP believes their association with certain activities or people is damaging their reputation or business, they can chose to disassociate themselves with them. It's perfectly legal and requires no justification.

      To the players who say it sets a dangerous precedent... Apart from hanging around to incite fear & rumor, why are you still funding CCP? As you would probably state, you're free to leave at any time. No one is forcing you to stay here, continuing to pay a company to do things you disagree with.

  10. You got played.

    Erotica was bragging last week about how he's secretly pals with Chribba, and he was absolutely salivating at the idea of a public debate with Ripard Teg, moderated by Chribba, only the most well-known player in the game and someone virtually everyone respects.

    Erotica is delusional if he thinks people with that much credibility and stature would share a stage with him.

    Why would someone like you who is trying to build credibility as a CSM candidate give a lowlife like that a platform?

    1. Well, FuncyBacon answered that in the post, already: "I firmly believe that in the court of public opinion, even the worst of us deserve to be able to tell their side of the story."

    2. Because of a thing called "the marketplace of ideas."

  11. I thought CCP's brand was to promote such things? Who decides when it's too much? That shaky hypocrisy could pull a tree out of the ground. It stands on its head. Thank goodness FOR the CSM because CCP hardly needs help driving it into the ground with some bad choices of their own. These things are all but invited. Take them in stride, just like every other theft and trick. Right, Jason?

    1. An argument on behalf of saving face has little to do, I think with the reasons CCP gave, all assuming. I will get to that link too. Ultimately, CCP either needs to more clearly define the EULA because it's not so much a business as it is a service; Eve Online is not so much Internet Spaceships as it is a Sand Box. Judgment calls are made in regards to influence, from without, what players do, interact with and build in that sand box - rules made up as we go, then it is no longer a sand box. Someone is punished, not because of ignorance and a voluntary level of cooperation that further reinforces bad sense, but because ill-defined rules or the lack of them. There is a void that needs to be filled here and anyone that sees justification for anything is not seeing it clearly. Some one lost what they felt was a large investment of time due to their own ignorance. Another could lost a greater investment in YEARS because of a glass ceiling, a border/limit that gave no warning to extremes.

  12. People have to realze it doesen't matter if laws or the EULA were broken. CCP is not NOT a public institution and they can ban who ever, when ever they want without any reasoning. So stop acting like advocats of free speech cuz that is not the issue here.

    CCP also has to protect themselfs. People come to play EvE because they read of battles like in BR in the main stream media. Of course some are aware of the scams in game some aren't but the scam was not the issue. The story snowballed and it just takes a website like KOTAKU or RPS or any of the Game Youtubers with 500 000 subs to start a major shitstorm no company wants.

    I'm glad about the ban, even if the victim is over it. It could have taken a much uglyr turn. I have seen it before back in the days of UO/EQ how much damage a certain amount of publich humilation can do to a person. There is a certain line that shouldn't be crossed.

    1. Every single time a personal friend asks me about Eve, they mention the cut-throat press it gets. If they mention massive TiDi battles, they immediately follow that with a question about griefers. If we're being honest about it, that's not something you can deny was used as a lure for subs as well. CCP can wash their hands from it to keep the outcry subdued if they so wish, but becoming two-faced about it... well that bothers some more than others. Free speach had nothing to do with it. The advertisement campaign about ruthlessness, deception and ambition does.

    2. Well heres the thing, I know alot of gamers many of whom tried eve and quit because of the ganking and griefing. If CCP wanted 3 million subs they would have a true sec zero non-consensual pvp zone. Instead they advertise be the villan.

      I read that link to ccp falcon in the malcanis thread and it STILL doesnt answer a basic question: I go out this saturday can flip a mission runner and then say "pay my ransom or lose yr faction fit navy raven mr carebear!" You scumbag, whats yr ransom? arggh stop shooting me!
      a) 100 million isk CCP is fine with this
      b) come on my teamspeak. Ok great now sing "teletubbies say Eh-oh", he sings. CCP is fine with this
      c) come on my teamspeak. Ok great now sing "teletubbies say Eh-oh", "fk you you fking (insert homosexual slur) N-word cunt. I hope you die Irl Im not singing that. I wish I knew where you lived so I could smash your face then break all the fingers in your hands!!!1"

      CCP ban me.
      cos thats what happened to Er1 in my opinion. See my problem with this?

  13. CCP is a business, eh? CCP can do what they want,huh? Listen to yourselves. I hope they fire back with golden ammo again. You're all a bunch of hypocrites too. CCP has always been swayed by money, but what have all of you been moved by? That's the last I'll say on this.

  14. Random McNally05 April, 2014 22:41

    Did you really feel it was relevant to copy paste our chat logs in Skype? I and several others tend to feel that what is spoken in that chat is amongst ourselves. I'm fairly disappointed that you felt it necessary to air our conversation. This just creates more distrust since now we can no longer speak our minds. If you don't believe me, ask the Cap Stable guys who wont be returning.

    Yea, one of my comments was in that pastebin.

  15. Its a pity that when Sohkar started losing it Erotica 1 didn't call time on the scam. However from this interview he clearly was always in total control perhaps they got have got his wife to participate a bit more in the bonus room she seemed a good sport too.
    Btw why was Erotica banned from goonswarm again? Perhaps you could link those innocent photos Funkybacon plz in the interest of balance of course.:)

  16. One:

    CCP may take any action it deems appropriate regarding any User Content, if CCP believes, in its sole discretion, that such User Content violates the EULA or may expose CCP, its licensors and/or its suppliers to liability, damage CCP's relationship with any of its suppliers, licensors, ISPs or other users of EVE, harm anyone or harm CCP's reputation or goodwill.


    CCP reserves the right to close, temporarily or permanently, any user’s account without advance notice as we deem necessary. Furthermore, we reserve the right to delete all user accounts or inventory of characters as warranted.

    And if you play eve.... You signed that document.

    Why is this dead horse still being beat?

  17. after a year away from the game, because of what they let that bitch E1 get away with doing to me, i am dancing in the streets! im not ashamed to say that (a year ago, not now) i'd have held her down while that guy broke her fingers. no joke. the collection of depraved sickos at CCP is mindboggling and the whole nation they're based out of needs to throw the whole load of them into the sea. -see you in another year, no i wont lol.

    1. So you would physically harm someone for what they did to you over a video game? Okay then...