User:Bicycle Wheel/RationalWikiWiki T

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


TK was the most controversial member of RationalWiki (MarcusCicero is the second, with Fall down trailing a distant third). Because of his history (see below), he was always given a cold reception at RationalWiki. Also because of his history, the more established members of RationalWiki were prone to grossly overreacting to his (admittedly thoughtless and abrasive) comments (per the TK Protocol). Indeed, for much of RationalWiki's history there was no Headless Chicken Mode without TK, and it was not until he was banned that RationalWiki underwent its first Headless Chicken Mode in which TK was not somehow the root cause. TK is also known as by a variety of backronyms, often rendered by a randomising template. 'Team Killer' and 'TeaCake' have been used often though.

Eventually the only friend he had left on RationalWiki was Bohdan, and this was not enough to keep him on the site.

Modus operandi[edit]

TK utilized a number of techniques for tearing down a community. The employment of these methods suggests a bright but bored (with real life) person, who is either an unappreciated genius or an old hand at this game. Additionally, his desperate grabs for sysopship on RationalWiki and his attempts at pulling rank on Conservapedia even after he was de-sysopped suggest a psychological need for power.

One of TK's favorite methods was to contact newer editors privately, and politely, so there slowly develops a group of editors who have only seen his "pleasant and helpful" side. Those editors then jump to his support when other older and wiser editors take the past into account when criticizing him in the present. TK is quite the rat, perhaps he's The King rat.

TK really loved to fragment discussion or dialog into various private, undocumented (not available, say, as wiki diff-links for all to see) venues such as private email, instant messenger chat sessions, and various chatroom forums.


Before joining Conservapedia or RationalWiki, TK was a moderator at the matchmaking site "Hot or Not". There, he devastated the moderator community by playing moderators against each other, destroying any goodwill between them, and obliterating users' trust in the moderators. All of these are tactics he would later use on Conservapedia and try to do on RationalWiki.[1]


The Fellowship[edit]

On Conservapedia, TK was, for a time, a member of ASchlafly's inner circle, and his authority was, in effect, second only to Schlafly's. He was also a member of the Special Discussion Group. TK was notorious as the most tyrannical of the sysops on Conservapedia, and even the other sysops feared him. He casually blocked many thousands of IP addresses and hundreds of CP users, including most of the users who would later establish RationalWiki.


TK's tyranny would eventually grow to the point where he would subtly challenge ASchlafly's authority, reverting Schlafly's edits and ceasing to defer to him as the final word on CP policy. Many RationalWikians had been predicting a showdown between TK and ASchlafly, though it was often hard to tell who they were rooting for. Eventually, ASchafly had had enough of TK's antics and stripped him of his sysop powers.

Return of the king[edit]

TK returned to Conservapedia on the 23rd of March, after being unblocked by Geo.plrd. Although he was supposedly on parole[2], the document that discussed the specifics of this status was quietly deleted (again by Geo.plrd) on 28th March with the comment "Per private discussion"[3] (although as usual on Conservapedia, other sysops voiced no objection[4]).

His user page on Conservapedia has a userbox saying, "This user has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior."[5] It will surprise some people that he accepts anybody but himself as Lord. His block log on Conservapedia seems to have at least as many entries as it does on Rationalwiki.[6] As of May 3rd, 2008, he has no blocks in effect.[6] Nonetheless he stopped editing after April 12th, 2008, for several months.[7] when he was blocked for six hours.

On Conservapedia TK was a "Senior Admin", a term he made up himself.

RationalWiki 1.0[edit]

TK maintained a sockpuppet on RationalWiki 1.0, although its identity was only discovered upon the opening of the Special Discussion Group.

RationalWiki 2.0[edit]

Before shutting down RationalWiki 1.0, ColinR presumably mentioned that that all members of RationalWiki 1.0 would be up for sysopship on RationalWiki 2.0. Following the creation of RationalWiki 2.0, TK insisted that ColinR's off-the-cuff remark gave him the right to sysopship because he had had an inactive sock on the previous site (which he was partly responsible for bringing down in the first place). Not surprisingly his sysop request led to some acrimonious debates, both because of his activity as a sysop on CP and because of the nature of his involvement on RationalWiki 1.0.

Just before he left RationalWiki, ColinR created the infamous "Clean Slate" directive (incidentally, this was his last official act on RW). The Clean Slate policy stated that actions committed prior to the creation of RationalWiki 2.0 could not be held against a user. The bizarre timing of this initiative mostly benefited TK, because the other RationalWikians were already non-judgmental of each others' past offenses.

Although this gave TK a free pass by preventing RationalWiki from simply banning him on the spot, he was still unable to attain sysopship there. When it was suggested that sysops be elected democratically, TK fought the proposal, opining that elections would become a "beauty contest",[8] probably knowing he was too ugly could never garner enough votes to be elected.

It was around this time that the Great Spica/TK battle commenced, essentially centered on TK repeatedly stating that Spica had been "demanding" things (although TK never stated what Spica was supposed to have demanded) and generally tearing into Spica. Spica applied the basic techniques of manipulation against TK, tying him into an incoherent knot so that, no matter which way TK answered, TK would be wrong.

After his frantic attempts at wikilawyering himself into sysopship ended in failure, TK took his ball and went back to CP.

Return to RationalWiki 2.0[edit]

TK made a few subsequent forays into RationalWiki using sockpuppets.

At some point, TK was being assured by AmesG and a few others that they were willing to grant him entry into the secret RationalWiki Forums. Cracker, in a moment of either whimsy or insanity, gave TK access to the Cabal, purportedly to expose to him that behind his back, no, they still really didn't like him. Thus was TK the only person to hold simultaneous membership in both the RationalWiki Secret Forums and the Special Discussion Group.

Later, he visited RW again under the now-outed sock NightTrain, where he attempted to foment a mass assault on Conservapedia. Sadly, the sock's attitude and behavior easily led people to deduce the sock's puppet master.

Wrath of TK[edit]

His ambitions foiled yet again, TK used information he obtained from his time on the RationalWiki Forums (or possibly the decoy forums set up specifically to divert TK, Cabal 2), to create the website The site was both revenge and an attempt at blackmailing RationalWikians into cutting him some slack. The site failed fantastically at this and met much mockery and general disinterest.

Around this time, he was desysoped on Conservapedia (see above). In revenge for this he temporarily opened up their Special Discussion Group for general viewing, although this only lasted a short time before alleged legal threats from Andrew Schlafly and his FBI agents forced him to lock it down again.

Second return to RationalWiki 2.0[edit]

With nowhere else to go, TK returned to RationalWiki. There he continued his campaign for sysopship, this time by lobbying for the rules to be altered to facilitate his bid for sysopship.

TK continued his battles with the old guard (Human, SusanG, Kels and AmesG), but also behaved amiably towards the newer editors who had no previous negative experiences with him. When the call to ban him was sounded, many of those who defended TK were these younger editors he had befriended.


See full article: Great TK banning Incident

Following a very high profile, half-assed, and very chaotic voting process, in which the full glory that is a mobocracy was revealed, TK was banned from the site. His ban length was then altered several times because of either appeals for leniency or to keep the ban consistent with the Fibonacci sequence.[9] He maintained several little-used socks on the site, but only to post a few poisonous messages. He would give himself away by making the same idiotic spellin mistakes.

Some time after his banishment from RationalWiki, TK was banned from Conservapedia, allegedly for trying to pull rank and bully other users (in spite of the removal of his sysop powers). Thus, TK was silenced across all venues, and he dropped off the radar after this.

Not quite the Comeback Kid[edit]

TK's block expired on schedule on March 10, 2008. Once AKjeldsen unprotected his talk page, TmtamesP (Bohdan) cheerily welcomed TK back.[10] AmesG came along and speculated hopefully that TK was gone for good, which TmtamesP clearly did not appreciate, shrilly calling AmesG a troll and reverting his comment.[10] Less than 30 minutes after AKjeldsen unprotected TK's talk page, Genghis Khant jumped the gun and re-protected it.[11]

Despite much hopefulness and anxiousness on the part of TmtamesP, TK never really returned. He did poop out share some words of wisdom on one of Bohdan's talk page archives (was he trying to be stealthy?) in the wee hours of March 21.[12]

The saga continues with a whimper and not a boom[edit]

From the 25th to the 30th of March, TK was repeatedly blocked and unblocked by various sysops.[9] The final blow was delivered by Cracker, who blocked TK for eighty-eight days and forbade other sysops from unblocking him.[13] TK's most recent block expired on 26 June 2008, at which point he was free to return (not that anyone wanted him back).

He did make one ambiguous comment edit in mid November 2008[14], which, together with this article, prompted Proxima Centauri to volunteer him for the vandal bin. Given that RationalWiki never bothered to establish a protocol regarding who can/should be vandal-binned, there is no way of telling whether Proxima was right or wrong to do so. Presumably based on the fact that the action was carried out by Proxima it was reversed by RA the following day.

At the same time TK was running riot over at Conservapedia[15], where he was initially welcomed but quickly received his first post-return block.[16] While there, he caused the usual amount of pandemonium and drama associated with him, including the usual over-the-top suggestions of drastic action.[17]

He occasionally popped up on Talk:WIGO_CP to add snarky replies to discussions regarding his CP behavior [18][19][20].

On March 29, 2010, TK was banned from RationalWiki for making legal threats. [21].


On 2 February 2011, it was reported on WiGo:Conservapedia that TK, evidently, had left, never to return.[22] Interestingly, this was met with both overwhelming joy and saddness at RationalWiki.

Known sockpuppets[edit]

  • NightTrain
  • E.Wig

See also[edit]

TK Protocol[edit]

The TK Protocol was an unwritten rule on RationalWiki. It stated that TK's presence or involvement in a situation gives cabal members carte blanche to become indiscriminate shit-tossing yahoos.[23]

Additionally, cabalists would close ranks and defend one another to the death. An attack on one cabalist was perceived as an attack on all, and anyone (TK or earnest fellow RWians) criticizing a single cabalist while this Protocol was in effect would find themselves subjected to a storm of defensive maneuvers executed by all the cabalists.

It was sometimes maintained that Non-cabalists (i.e. post-Conservapedia members) were still held to normal standards of behavior during such periods while cabalists were not. However, as some suspect that the cabal is not an entirely closed group and that new members have been admitted from time to time, the equation - non cabalist = post-Conservapedia may not hold true. The distinction may have been between those who remembered TK and those who don't. Naturally, with the passing ot TK, the TK protocol has ceased to exist.

TWIGO:CP deletion incident[edit]

The TWIGO:CP Deletion Incident was an occurrence on RationalWiki that is more notable for its technical effects than for its effects on the RW community.

On January 14, 2009, somebody posted personal information about the Conservapedia sysop Karajou to the WIGO:CP talk-page.[24] This was in violation of the RationalWiki privacy policy, which forbids publication of any personal information not released into the public domain by the person concerned.[25]

The newly-demoted bureaucrat TheoryOfPractice, having no intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of MediaWiki, and well-known for possessing a short fuse, overreacted and immediately vaporized the entire page.[24] This broke all diff-links to the page, causing immediate angry reactions.[26]

When attempts were made to rectify this situation, it was found that since the page had contained over 37,000 edits, its deletion had completely locked up the Wiki's database. A small lynch-mob began forming, despite repeated apologies from TheoryOfPractice.[27][28]

Tmtoulouse had to take down the database for an hour to fix it as the mob spilled over onto RationalWikiWiki.[29] Later, in the midst of a debate about whether to enable the Oversight extension, Tmtoulouse overruled everyone and issued a fiat decree about site policy: Oversight would be enabled.[30] Later, this was moderated to RevisionDelete powers for all sysops.

A similar event occurred when Ed Poor deleted the "VfD" file at Wikipedia.[31]

The "Atheists say the darnedest things" incident[edit]

The Atheists say the darnedest things incident occurred in September 2010. It was the first time in a long time that anything really resembling HCM occurred, perhaps between five and four. But even then it was a pale imitation of the HCM of old. On the other hand it did involve a handful of major personalities getting irritated with each other. It started with the creation of a provocative article by Human (who else?) who seemed to have had no objective other than making a "better" article than the CP one. As an aside, this also harked back to the old days when RW saw itself as a competitor to CP. The title of the article "Atheists say the darnedest things" could not have been better designed to create friction in the community and it was initially greeted with scepticism both in the bar and on the talk page. Bob M took especial exception, pointing out that the quotes used had nothing to do with atheism. Armondikov accused him of letting his prejudices show and received short shrift from the usually calm Bob M. Nx deleted the examples but they were re-instated along with the suggestion that Nx was some sort of atheist fundamentalist. He reverted this with the edit comment "fuck off". Bob M continued to question the relevance of the dubious quotes and ZooGuard thought this questioning was worthy of mention in the article. Another revert followed. (ZooGuard later apologised on Bob M's talk page) Nx decided to add something from an irrelevant nobody which was at least relevant to the article and again removed the irrelevant quotes. The situation might have ended there with an actual relevant quote and added verbage from Armondikov. But the disputed quotes were again re-inserted. In yet another hark-back to the good old days little or no attempt was actually made to justify the inclusion of the disputed material. In the end those complaining seem to have walked away from the subject (causing Armondikov to describe them as "butthurt) so the article will likely stop developing now that nobody is arguing over it. Or aren't they? We will have to wait and see.

The Battle of WikiSynergy[edit]

The Battle of WikiSynergy was an incident which occurred during The Great Server Crash of Summer '09 which, eventually, led to the temporary shutdown of WikiSynergy due to direct threats made to the site's owner, Purple Scissors.


WikiSynergy was a wiki designed to bring people who believed in woo and people who are skeptics into debate about so-called "frontier topics." After the Great Server Crash, refugees from RationalWiki began to flock to and colonize WikiSynergy, which was (up until then) mostly run by the so-called "Believers;" those that believe in woo and pseudosciences. Among these refugee colonists were Human and Gooniepunk2005.

The start of the battle[edit]

The battle started during a period in which the site owner was away, leaving only one other part-time sysop for the site. During this period, on the WikiSynergy page about Woo, Gooniepunk2005 encountered a woo-meister named "green goose." Green goose was editing the article to be dismissive of the term "woo," while Gooniepunk2005 thought it should be more neutral (and by that, we mean it should portray the term in a positive light). Eventually, they would debate on the talkpage, and Gooniepunk2005 would be insulted numerous times by green goose. Gooniepunk2005, sick of being green goose's punching bag, called green goose a "narcissistic hypocrite." This caused green goose to lose his temper, and sent the wiki into a variant of Headless Chicken Mode. During this HCM, Gooniepunk2005 tried to call upon Human and other RationalWikians for help, but to no avail. The only other sysop on the site then tried to stop the downward spiral by placing a "Cool Heads" break in the argument. Somehow or another, Gooniepunk2005 realized that the question which he was accusing green goose of not answering was, in fact, answered earlier, and called for a truce and an end to the HCM, apologizing everywhere he could for his "stupid mistake."

The bloodletting starts[edit]

After a brief breather, the still-unstable green goose starting flailing around the site, honking and hissing at anyone trying to reason with him. Demands were made (and legal threats issued) to remove some article on cryptozoology gg had cribbed from some blog written the day before. Edit and deletion wars ensued, with the final result on that issue being a completely re-written and expanded article being built by human and Gooniepunk.

Making mountains out of molehills[edit]

Gg now went on a similar rampage over yet another article which supposedly was another copyright violation, including yet another round of heavy-handed legal threats. He, then, also began trashing all the userpages and talkpages on the wiki, especially Gooniepunk's. Since WikiSynergy only, at the time, had 2 sysops, all the other editors could do is "undo" his vandalism and trolling. Even when he was blocked by the sysops (Purple Scissors and Tom Butler), he'd create a new account and continue his rampage.

The nuclear option[edit]

Apparently, behind the scenes (or in oversighted edits), gg started to threaten purple scissors livelihood and general reputation in real life. Ps' reaction, or solution, whatever one wants to call it, was to close the site down, leaving her email address as a contact point for people who desired text of articles they had written.

A few days later (roughly 9/5/09?) the site was reopened, but with viewing and editing restricted to sysops. She also made sysops of all the RW editors she recognized, and few more after people told her who they were. At this point the site's sysops/contributors consist of roughly 20 or so RWians, two or three "proponents", and the host, ps.

Restarting life on WS[edit]

The long term, slow-moving plan was to rejuvenate the site in a way that it is not connected with PS. However, it looks like it is back to being just the same as it was before, with maybe a few more or less contributors, and with PS playing a less active role. The green goose vandal has not been seen since.

The Wikiindex incident[edit]

The WikiIndex Incident was a rather bizarre tangential meltdown that occurred in parallel with The Great Server Crash of Summer '09.

Round one[edit]

In updating WikiIndex's article about RationalWiki to mention the then-current lack of service, Proxima Centauri made a number of factual errors,[32] random surmizations, and of course used poor English to express them. Which is normal for her. What was strange is that when a few RW editors corrected the errors and improved the prose, she went on an edit-warring spree which resulted in PC locking the article in its error-laden state.

Attempts to complain and bring the issue to the attention of other sysops or even bureaucrats resulted in the discovery that there really aren't any "active" 'sops or 'crats[33] on WI, and that they also don't[34] have any readily available policies on edit-warring, blocking, or article content.

In an effort to raise the profile of the issue and grab the attention of sysops some members of RW indulged in vandalism. It is possible that this action prejudiced the RW community in the eyes of the few sysops who were there.

Round two[edit]

After PC's two-day lock of the RW article, Human, surprised to be able to do it, repaired the damage. Then all hHell broke loose.

Another pair of tangents were developing - one, the "issue" of whether criticism of wikis should be presented in an article (no one knows who got this started, yet), and two, the arrival of Lumenos with his equally peculiar use of the English language, links to invented terms on his own wiki, and persistent links to a "policies and guidelines" page he created.

Lumenos also added a rambling description of what he thinks his one-man wiki contains at its article, which also resulted in days of off-and-on edit warring.

Round three[edit]

One of the few remaining old-guard managers of the site, Mark Dilley, decided the "solution" would be to cut all the descriptive language, none of which was controversial, from the articles to the talk pages of all five or so wikis loosely associated with RW (RW, RWW, LP, CP, and aSK).

The article on Luminowiki at this point still contained a long, rambling description written by its owner, who was also dominating recent changes with his odd pronouncements, and wrecking talk pages by editing them into what he calls "debate maps" that no one (but he) can follow.

Round four[edit]

After Phantom Hoover edit warred with Lumenos for several days over criticism of RW inserted into its article, another admin showed up and told them both to stop it. He then seemed to get annoyed with Lumenos and, after some attempts at discussion of new policies, the whole thing just petered out and Wikiindex has now returned to a fairly quiet state.

The Great Block War[edit]

The Great Block War was a blocking war that started at about 8pm on March 22, 2009, and lasted until about 9:30pm. The result was that the wiki was overrun by the war, with anyone trying to edit being blocked and the main participants being unable to edit between the hail of blocks.

File:Great Block War.png
A memorial of all those lost in the heat of battle.


  • 7:26 - Tension mounts when Theemperor blocks Doggedpersistence.
  • 8:00 - The first shots are fired. Totnesmartin jokingly blocks Doggedpersistence, blissfully unaware of the horrors about to follow, as fire is returned on all fronts.
  • 8:08 - Phantom Hoover joins, and officialy declares a block war.[35]
  • 8:15 - Klapaucius joins, and quickly drops out.
  • 8:21 - Ttony21 joins, and full scale war begins.
  • 8:46 - Civilian casualties reported.[36]
  • 8:56 - DickTurpis enters, and all of the major players have arrived.
  • 9:14 - Attempts to get Yossarian and π involved fail.
  • 9:22 - High-powerd explosives detonate.
  • 9:32 - Ttony21 executes a swift quintuple block of the major players, and major combat operations end. He then commits suicide by cyanide pill.
  • 9:33 - Phantom Hoover puts an end to the madness.[37]
  • 9:39 - Theemperor has the final block at 9:39, banhammering Ttony21 for 31 seconds, ending the war.
  • 9:54 - Phantom Hoover uploads picture of block log for war, deletes.
  • 10:07 - A minor border scuffle between Theemperor and Sterile springs up. No casualties reported.
  • 10:56 - CUR, angry at having missed the greatest block war since his arrival, blocks Theemperor, who is promptly unblocked by π.
  • Five days later - CUR goes on a rampage, annoys the hell out of everyone. Toast decisively desysops him, but is undone by Phantom Hoover.


The block war lasted for over an hour. A table detailing the results follows.

NameBlocks givenBlocks received
Phantom Hoover6832


There is a lot of controversy as to whether this war is even notable, as it had no lasting effect on the site. Helluva fun though.

The Great Deconservapediafication[edit]

The Great Deconservapediafication began in late March 2012, and involved the mass deletion of loads of old Conservapedia:space articles alongside a general move away from Conservapedia in general.


The project owes its origins to the private or otherwise decision of Board member Nutty Roux that "RW 'must' go post-CP to some extent if it's going to help attract outside funding for the RWF."[38] He proceeded to delete some[39] of the more childish Conservapedia-related snark around,[40] up to and including outright deleting articles.[41]

This prompted opposition by Ace on the grounds that Nutty was not following the community standards in this regard.[42]

Centralised deletion page[edit]

Opposition generally revolved around Nutty's lack of discussion and a coherent plan. P-Foster took the matter to the bar.[43] He offered a nickel to Tyrannis if he would make a page and "fill it with a list of every CP-related article on the wiki, each with a keep/delete poll",[44] reminiscent of—but more than three times larger than—the page created as part of the "Funspace Cleanup Project" of the previous year.

Surprisingly[45] Ty obliged, and "RationalWiki:Do we keep these CP-related articles?" was born. It included the entirety of CPspace, but none of the "fun" Conservapedia articles (unless they had CPspace redirects).


  • Nutty Roux quickly disclaimed responsibility from the monster he had created.[46][47] He pointed out that his "motives were likely different that those of the post-CP people who jumped in".[47] He appeared to want licence to nuke any page he felt needed it, without the "makework" discussion.[48]
  • P-Foster was supportive of the cleanup effort, but wanted the community input.
  • KnightOfTL;DR explained repeatedly that she's new and can't judge the articles in their historical perspective.
  • God Himself felt obliged to hide the mass of edits to the list from Recent changes.
  • Ty, of course, was prepared to nuke the majority of CPspace if he was allowed to.
  • TerrenceKoeckring voted without comment to keep every single article.[49] Despite having voted to delete one when the debate was still on talk pages.[50]
  • LArron didn't see the need to delete the 'attic of heirlooms.'[51] He was also keen on retaining the discussions relating to deleted pages rather than simply removing them too as had been done. He hasn't been seen since, though his bot did get around to updating the active users page on the 17th.[52]
  • Sterile wasn't all that keen on how things were being done,[53] though he was actually quite supportive. He just didn't want it rushed and felt the lack of communication would lead to chaos.[54]
  • Bootmii is the main guy responsible for archival, as already discussed in the WIGO.
  • DickTurpis deleted a suprising number of articles, and also started mergeing some into a special CP dyslexicon.[55]
  • Ace McWicked was critical of Nutty's lack of coherency, decided he didn't like Ty anymore and agreed with Sterile.
  • Mikalos209 just wants everybody to be calm and thinks core articles should be kept.
  • Reckless Noise Symphony thinks that everyone should actually read the articles before voting on them. What a fucking weirdo. He believes that an article should be kept if it relates somewhat to RationalWiki's mission and isn't just useless bitching about Conservapedia and glorifying parody/vandalism.
  • Phantom Hoover voted to delete every article - thus cancelling out TerrenceKoekring (democracy in action, Ladies and Gentlemen).[56]
  • TheCheat despaired of the dullness of the drama and demanded that the masses dance for his entertainment once again.
  • Blue was initially apathetic,[57] but much later voted to delete the vast majority of the remaining articles after noticing just how bad they were.[58][59]


So far, many of the obviously good or important candidates have been saved, and a small number (such as Affirmative Action President) were even recommended for mainspace. About a quarter have been deleted at this stage, though the list is about a third of the 674 it began with. Most entries removed so far have been redirects.


As of 12:24 May 8th 2012 CST

  • Deleted articles: 337 (50%)
  • Moved to fun: 4 (0.59%)
  • Moved to userspace: 3 (0.45%)
  • Moved to mainspace: 1 (0.15%)
  • Moved to forum: 2 (0.30%)
  • Merged: 11 (1.63%)

The Great Server Crash of Summer '09[edit]

The Great Server Crash of Summer '09 was the the worst server crash in RationalWiki 2.0's history. It combined the "perfect storm" of what should have been a minor hardware or software glitch with Trent's absence from the dedicated server for a visit with family and friends.

Signs and portents[edit]

On Sunday, August 16, a few days before Trent was to leave on his biennial trip home, the server crashed and was inaccessible for a short time. He reported difficulties with MySql connections [60] π was allegedly seen tampering with the server. This came as a great surprise to Trent, who couldn't work out how Pi had got into his apartment, and to the Canadian immigration authorities, who couldn't work out how he got into the country without a passport. Some have accused him of being the cause of the crash (see also The Great Tor Debate);[61] whilst the police say he slipped across the border from the US where, even after 9/11, they still have not fixed security holes that allow undocumented Antipodeans entry to the country.

The Crash[edit]

On Wednesday, August 19, the server crashed again. Having already left, Trent did not have physical access to the server and was unable to reach the server through the internet.[62]

There was nothing he could do short of:

  • hopping on a plane and getting back home ASAP, but he didn't do that, the lazy bastard.
  • asking someone with access to his house/lodgings/flat/mansion/castle to reboot the server. But presumably nobody had a key.
  • asking someone to break down the door with a sledgehammer. Come on, it's only a door. Priorities man!

Where they went[edit]

Several users invited the mob to their own websites, including Bob M, who turned over his wiki, teflpedia, to the mob. Somewhat weirdly, this was the most popular destination for refugees,[63] and versions of some of the WIGOs were recreated, along with a replacement for the Saloon bar, the Student Bar. This had the effect of sending Teflpedia's editing rate through the roof; driving any regular editors into horrified silence; and eventually burning through the last of its bandwidth on the final day of August.

In addition, several articles were created there, to be imported once RationalWiki came back up. Slightly surreal hilarity ensued. A RW template was also issued to try and keep things separate.

Besides Teflpedia, there was extra activity at a number of places including.

  • Rationalwiki blog Status of problem and updates the most logical place to look.
  • A Storehouse of Codswallop Ask certainly seemed to have become more active during the period, but whether it actually benefited from the increase is a moot point. The fun included blocks, unblocks, insults and counter insults.
  • Wikisynergy piqued the interest of Human, Gooniepunk2005, Bob M and a few others. In fact the site became more densely populated with skeptics than wooers. But, as with Ask, it's not clear if this was a benefit to the site. Furthermore The Battle of WikiSynergy led to a security incident (in which a direct threat was made to the site owner) took the site off-line in early September (while RW was down) but it later came back up with significantly enhanced editing restrictions.
  • Wikiindex where a number of debates about something began. Initially the debate was about Proxima Centauri's editing and locking the RW article; but later the somewhat weird re-editing beliefs of User:Lumenos left everybody confused about the issue being debated. But, whatever it was, it was very important. The end result was The WikiIndex Incident in which any wiki even tangentially involved in the debate (whatever it was) has its entry blanked.

Within a few days of the return of RW the wikis returned to their normal statuses. Teflpedia whitewashed the Students' bar and returned to its plodding academic ways; Lumenos tried to keep a debate going at WikiSynergy but shortly thereafter people started to ignore him and he ended up talking to himself (although he seems to be quite happy doing this); Ask lost some of the more interesting RW members, although RW activity continued; Wikisynergy suffered most of all - the combined effects of its temporary down-time, the departure of the troll Goose Green, its changed editing rules and the reopening of RW all conspired to reduce its daily edit rate to single figures.

Contact points which could have been used but weren't really[edit]

A few people may have made a couple of comments on these sites, but there wasn't much activity.

  • Liberapedia (where Proxima Centauri & SuperJosh rolled out the red carpet for exiled RationalWikians). Unfortunately, despite Proxima's slightly desperate pimping of it, it was not a popular destination. This was probably a lost opportunity for LP as it could be argued that it would have been the most obvious place to congregate.
  • Psygremlin's CP blog Which claimed to be "continuing the good work of pointing out the insanity at CP." Moderation was removed during the outage in order to give editors from RW a freer hand.
  • Rationalwiki IRC IRC channel - Had some minor chat, but not as much as might have been expected.
  • RationalWikiWikiWikisWiki, a joke wiki, which somebody wanted use to be made of but nobody really did. We at RWW think that is shame because we would like somebody to report on us.

Rumors that some RationalWikians and fans of the site turned off their computers and got lives cannot be confirmed.

Why Teflpedia?[edit]

Nevertheless it was Teflpedia which got the lion's share of the action. One might speculate on why it was that Teflpedia - a wiki for English teachers - became the preferred summer holiday location instead of other locations which might, at first glance be more appropriate. Reasons may include:

  • It was fully owned by "one of the gang" who would not object.
  • It had no pre-conceived stance in respect of the issues in which RW is interested.
  • It was simply the first place people went when they had an offer.
  • The wiki is not highly active anyway, and in the summer it was even more quiet.
  • The website is wiki-based, and attracted the wiki-comfy users.
  • Everyone loves Bob.


As nobody believes "official explanations" many conspiracy theories have been advanced about the "real" cause of the problem. Some more serious than others.

  • Pi's robot (what?) was suffering from Alzheimer's and had been misplacing its keys and forgetting his daughter's name.
  • The powerful Astrologers Union used their Mafia contacts to intimidate Trent, leading to suggestions that his "holiday" is actually a cover for him entering the "rationalist protection program".[64]
  • "Moslim" terrorists had taken control of the server, in an attempt to obtain the names of all the atheists.[65]
  • ListenerX's contacts from the coven had cursed the wiki in response to members of Rationalwiki challenging the witches to curse them.
  • It was part of a social experiment by Trent to study how users respond when they find that their addictions cannot be fulfilled.
  • It was the beginning of the final phase of Ken's Operation Flying Fortress And Ladies Undergarments. In order to defeat evolution on the Internet in a convincing way, it was claimed he had started a massive denial of service campaign against pro-evolution websites, beginning with RationalWiki.
  • It was an act of God. [66]

Official cause[edit]

The official cause for the crash has been listed as a failing power supply.[67]

The return[edit]

As promised, Trent turned the server back on on the 6th and, after a bit of magical data work by the data miners, everything came back on line. As a result of the crash he improved RationalWiki's fault recovery and remote administration capabilities to avoid any recurrence.[68]

The Great Funspace Purge of 2011[edit]

The great Funspace purge of 2011 was a massive purge of funspace articles that took place in April 2011. Despite complaints directed toward Mei and Ty, the majority of action was performed by Totnesmartin and Weaseloid.

Oh you wanted details? all right then[edit]

After Bob M started a forum page on 3 April to discuss renaming funspace, the usual RationalWiki act-first-think-later stuff happened, with people deciding that what Bob meant to say was that Funspace should lose its non-funny articles. the first opening salvoes took place later that day, with a flood of removals mostly taking place over the following two days. Eighteen articles bit the dust, and another seventeen were moved. The fate of over 200 more was deferred as people went back to usual RW business.


  • 1959 - copyvio
  • A day in the life of Barack Obama - no reason given.
  • Alas! Alas! fair Conservapedia may end - no reason given.
  • Bedfordshire - Author request
  • Cabbage: Spam [even though it wasn't - Ed.]
  • Fat People - no reason stated
  • Harry Potter - "no valid content"
  • Jim Beam - no reason given.
  • John Woo - author request
  • Kill my landlord (poetry) - copyvio
  • Kitty-O was "a strange relic of the CUR era."
  • Leonard Cohen - copyvio.
  • Resistance is futile - "Resistance is useless!"
  • Short people - "just an EL to something or other"
  • The Preconception - attack page
  • Tribble - "beamed into space" and "CURcruft"
  • Why men and women are different - spam
  • Windstream - "drive-by comment, not fun."

Moved to userspace[edit]

  • Atheist names - to Ty's userspace.
  • Belgium - to Totnesmartin's userspace.
  • Days of the week ending in G- to Human's userspace.
  • Dogs vs. cats to Pacodog's userspace.
  • It's three in the morning, no one else is editing, and I'm bored as hell - to Radioactive afikomen's userspace.
  • Tartar sauce - to Barikada's userspace

Moved elsewhere[edit]

As well as returning a truckload of mainspace articles about musicians that had been moved wholesale into funspace the previous December, there were:

  • Curse of Ham - added to mainspace version
  • Fucking - content moved to Austria.
  • JPatt - moved to Conservapedia:Jpatt
  • Kara Duhe - merged to Conservapedia:RobS
  • Lord of the Schlaflies - to CPspace
  • Movies about preadolescents - merged to Conservapedia:Ed Poor
  • Satyr - moved to Goat
  • Sir Farnaby Widdecombe - to CPspace
  • Sockpuppetry - merged with Internet
  • Weapon of gun - to CP space, natch.
  • WWCD - merged with Cthulhu

By 6 April the initial rush was over, leaving only the amply replete category "things you should imagine Mei is pointing at" for people to pick through at leisure.

Round 2[edit]

By 9 September, the mass purge began anew. An enormous centralized deletion page was created. [69] Over the course of about a month, some 155 pages were deleted by humorless nerds, with only token opposition. The project ran out of steam by 7 October 2011.

The Great TOR Debate[edit]

Template:HCM The Great Tor Debate started life on TOP's talk page, from there TOP threw it over to a debate page. TOP has always been one of the great IP banners of RW and, as such, was happy to find minds of similar color. Regular users may remember his attempts to individually ban all TOR IPs from the wiki.

On and off[edit]

User Armondikov was, sort of, in favor of the idea and user π offered to help out and advised on the scale of the problem. Upon hearing the numbers, TOP had no doubts: There are that few? Let 'er rip. quoth the new wiki leader. (Later comments by TOP seem to suggest that he may have been a little "tired and emotional" at the time.)

In usual RW fashion, others had some doubts. PitchBlackMind expressed his concern, and Pi relented. Nevertheless more confusion and opinion followed and the blocking was back on again.

Then Bob M chimed in, pointing out that a debate page was not the place to decide such changes and Pi once again had to remove his blocks. Now π moved the debate to community standards and a message was put on the intercom for all interested parties, unfortunately he neglected to include a link back to the original debate and none of the subsequent contributors thought to add one either. What followed was a pretty standard and mild-mannered RW debate about the issues which gave a clear RW "open editing" result.

A Human reaction[edit]

Then Human came in from the bar.

It's not clear what really hacked him off about this process. He objected to the very existence of the debate. He strenuously objected to π's actions. He complained bitterly about the fact that the two pages were not linked. Then he complained about it again. He suggested that Pi was trying to whitewash his actions by not making the link. He seemed to suggest that no bot should have sysop powers. He shouted and yelled a bit more so that he got a couple of Step Away from the Keyboard suggestions.

Anyway, π wasn't the only one involved and did not act unilaterally but at the suggestion of TOP. And what happened to TOP? Why did he not come out to support π's actions?

More top action[edit]

Of course that was not the only unilateral decision that TOP and Armondikov came up with that night - and this is why we wonder about TOP's chemical state at the time. They also decided to get rid of unnecessary and redundant CP references in mainspace, but as (almost) nobody noticed that they slipped that one in, it's OK.

The Weeping Lion[edit]

The Weeping Lion was the name of Arthropleura's bar / restaurant on RationalWiki.[70] It opened on 4th June 2009 [71] and, according to Arthropleura, is intended to attract a more "classy" clientele.[72] How Arthropleura intends to tend the Saloon Bar as well as running the Weeping Lion is an issue not yet addressed by the RationalWikians.

Other names considered for the Weeping Lion included "The Goat and Jerboa" from JeevesMkII, [73] "The Sordid Palour of the Goat and Jerboa",[74] "The Exploding____" [75] and "The Weeping Vagina", all from Ace McWicked,[76][77] and "A Hundred Legs of Beer on the Wall"[78] from Human.

After what was termed "The Weeping Lion Incident," the bar was boarded up and vacated by Arthropleura, leaving nothing but the demolished mess and vacant space behind. Rumor around the Wiki has it, however, that there are vast plans underway to transform the former bar into the TK (Terry Koeckritz) Memorial Landfill.[79]

The Weeping Lion Incident[edit]

Major controversy regarding the ownership deed to the Weeping Lion has occurred in its brief existence. The Weeping Lion has been vastly trashed improved by its inebriated occupants,[80] and renamed as "The Greasy Ham Wallet" by Ace and later "Hot l Baltimore" by Human.[81] After Arthropleura returned and everybody had left, he attempted to clean up the bar with his bucket and mop,[82] Nutty Roux trashed the joint and opened the doors letting everyone else back in.[83] Arthropleura again threw everyone out,[84] prompting Nutty Roux to block Arthropleura[85] in what was deemed by Arthur as "power abuse".[86]

Later the place was trashed again,[87] but Arthropleura had a 'kangaroo bouncer' to help out.[88] It is quite possibly more obnoxious than him. =Therian Incident=The January 2009 Therian Incident was a tempest in a teapot, that engulfed "CUR"'s attention for approximately twenty-four hours, on the subject of "therianthropy"[89]

Hints at the coming storm appeared during early January 2009 in content disputes and edit wars over RW's article on "furry fandom", during which ConservapediaUndergroundResistor (CUR), identifying himself as a "therian", objected to various comments and jokes within the article.[90]

On 21st January, CUR posted a thread on WIGO:Conservapedia talk about asking Andrew Schlafly's "policy" on therians. Other Rationalwikians were nonplussed.[91] Shortly afterwards, TheoryOfPractice, possibly unaware of the thread on WIGO, started a discussion at the Saloon bar about an article he had read on furries and "otherkin". CUR responded on behalf of otherkin and therians.[92]

The discussion rapidly mushroomed, being moved to a separate debate page, but also engulfing at various times the articles and talk pages on "therian" and "otherkin" (which were written as a result of ToP's Saloon comment and the debate), a couple of user talk pages, RationalWikiWiki, and a therian forum called the "Werelist". CUR wrote several epic posts (described by him as "Lenski-esque") defending his beliefs, which failed to persuade other editors. By the end of the debate, two members of the Werelist (named Foreverchagrin[93] and Anuolf[94]), having been alerted by CUR to events at RW, crossed over to participate in the debate.[95] Both were reportedly offended by the attitudes and treatment they received at RationalWiki (Foreverchagrin more visibly).

At this point, the aftermath is not completely understood, but:

  1. The Werelist and RW know of each others' existence. Whether this knowledge was exciting the Werelist is unknown, but the attitude at Rationalwiki might be generously described as enthusiastic complete indifference, resulting eventually in only foggy memories.
  2. RW has annoyed two prominent members of the Werelist. (Something which, no doubt, has RW editors losing lots of sleep).
  3. Therians were accused of various things, such as "recruiting", though this was quickly denied.[96]
  4. CUR may have felt he was trapped in the middle, as he maintained he was both a rationalist and a therian.
  5. CUR has been called the resident wingnut.
  6. Toast told CUR to have his head looked at if he believed this.[97]
  7. CUR has become more prominent on the Werelist [citation needed], and became even more irritating on RW.
  8. CUR and TheoryOfPractice were at odds. . . again.
  9. It has been clarified that some RationalWikians think therianthropy is comparable to a religion, while CUR, at least, thinks it is a secular philosophy. [98]
  10. CUR has succeeded in being threatened with the vandal bin. A unique and memorable achievement for a sysop.

Tisane affair[edit]

The Tisane Affair was an episode of HCM which took place in August 2012.

What set the Tisane Affair apart from typical instances of HCM was that the question at hand was not only an argument over procedural matters, but it also brought into question whether RationalWiki should maintain an absolute commitment to the right to free speech no matter what ideas that right was used to promote--even if said speech appeared to advocate criminal behaviour of the worst kind.

On 25 August, Tisane -- an unpopular user with a record of making edits that other users did not like -- wrote an essay titled "There is a lack of strong evidence and sound logic for concluding that there is a high likelihood of severe harm from child-adult sex." The essay could be read at worst as a defence of pedophilia and at best as a troll JAQing off.[99]The essay was so controversial that Sophie deleted it on sight, and even AD, an editor known for his open-mindedness and desire to keep an even keel[100] found its content unsuitable for the wiki, recreating the essay and vaping it anew moments later.

Sometime after the essay was vaped, Tisane made a comment on the relevant talk page that sent TheoryOfPractice into a predictable moralizing tizzy.[101] ToP brought Tisane to the Coop,[102] and began a wheel-war, unilaterally promoting and blocking Tisane; AD briefly removed ToP's rights in an attempt to cool things down.

The argument polarized, and a vote on a 2 year ban was initiated. This argument slowly devolved from being one about whether or not Tisane should be banned into an argument about the limits of "free speech" on the wiki. The Affair came to an end on 28 August when AD, following a discussion with some mods, banned Tisane for one year, archived the coop and memory-holed the talk page for the offensive essay. The case for banning Tisane was leading at the time, albeit just short of the 2/3rds majority, and the vote still had a few days to run.

Psygremlin and TheoryOfPractice both LANCB over the incident, shrieking as they went.


Following his banning, Tisane went on a butthurt rampage, creating essays on his various wikis, Libertapedia, Nathania, and even creating a new RationalWikiWikiWiki. This continued for a few days, until the legal threats and notices started coming from his site hosts, resulting in the death of both his bliki, and his RationalWikiWikiWiki, which resurfaced later after a couple of changes of webhost.


  1. Revealing commentary discussing TK.
  2. Parole statement on TK's userpage.
  3. Deletion log User:TK/Parole, which stated the conditions of TK's parole.
  4. CP sysop Philip J. Rayment quietly "updates" TK's userpage to bury the freshly deleted parole document.
  5. TK's Jesus userbox is third from the top.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Block log for TK on Conservapedia.
  7. Contributions by TK on Conservapedia.
  8. TK's opposes democracy.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Block log for TK.
  10. 10.0 10.1 TmtamesP welcomes TK back[1]. AmesG comments [2]. TmtamesP reverts AmesG's comment[3].
  11. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, all in the span of a half hour.
  12. TK's turd on Bohdan's talk page. Note that he posted on an already-archived talk page of Bohdan's.
  13. Cracker's blocks against TK.
  14. TK's November contributions to RationalWiki.
  15. Witness his November contributions to Conservapedia.
  16. Blocks received in the month of November 2008.
  17. HelpJazz talks of leaving Conservapedia so long as TK is there.
  22. [4]
  23. Only those who have read Jonathon Swift's Gulliver's Travels will appreciate how insulting this is.
  24. 24.0 24.1
  33. (See last comment)
  38. 28 March 2012, on the Roger Schlafly talk page.
  39. A very small 'some' at this stage still.
  40. An example.
  41. E.g. Fun:Andy Schlafly as an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Character, as "embarrassing", and Conservapedia:Andyland as "more embarrassing".
  42. Apparently unironically.
  43. The first Bar thread
  44. Foster pops the question.
  45. To P-Foster, that is—in hindsight it probably wasn't all that unexpected.
  46. "Just FYI ... I accept 0 responsibility for any of his, especially the parts where I'm a dick".
  47. 47.0 47.1 And also here on RWW.
  48. "80% of these pages are beyond question. I guess I'll go through and remove the obvious ones tomorrow."
  49. We can only hope he did it using CTRL-V or a similar method...
  50. [5]SR Terrence votes to delete
  51. "you behave as you have married upwards and are now trying to get rid of your family heirlooms as a paint-by-number picture of a couple of dogs playing poker drawn by your deceased uncle is beneath contempt for your new relatives".
  52. "update - sorry for the delay"
  53. See Thread:User talk:Tyrannis/Deleting CP stuff.
  54. Which it has.
  55. Does anyone even use the normal one?
  56. "Delete for all"
  57. could care less
  58. [6]
  59. [7]
  63. For example, this article was initially created there.
  64. Anyone can see these RationalWikians are being deliberately unpleasant. Only close insiders know what the real problem is though if the problem is what it seems RationalWiki will probably be back on or soon after the 6th of September. I don’t rule out that there may be a worse problem, I don’t rule out that there are legal problems involving those connected with Conservapedia or with any of the many who RationalWiki has branded practitioners of Pseudoscience. Many astrologers and other similar people quite likely have their livelihoods affected by what RationalWiki says and they will pay large sums of money to lawyers to stop what RationalWiki says about them. Yes, she really wrote this. [8]
  65. In some Moslim if it comes out that a person isan atheist that can mean a death sentence, therfore users need a warning that their privacy isn't safe at RationalWiki. Yes, she said this too [9]. Despite accusing RationalWiki of grassing to Al-Qaeda, Proxima Centauri has taken no action to hide the same information on her Wikipedia user's page.
  66. "This news made my day"
  67. Server crash post-mortem, RationalWiki Technical blog
  68. Fault protection take 2, RationalWiki Technical blog
  69. The page in question
  70. The eatery itself.
  71. The Grand Opening
  72. "Those who are classy can eat here."
  73. "The Goat and Jerboa"
  74. "The Sordid Palour of the Goat and Jerboa"
  75. "The Exploding_____"
  76. "The Weeping Vagina"
  77. "The Weeping Vagina" seconded by SuperJosh.
  78. "A Hundred Legs of Beer on the Wall"
  79. And I am the one starting the rumor. Starting now.
  80. As seen on the history Page
  81. Name changes
  82. The violent rampage itself
  83. Opening the doors...
  84. Chuckin' everyone out... again...
  85. Block log
  86. As described by Arthur here.
  87. Here we go...
  88. Stated here
  89. If you don't know what this means, follow any of the links here to find out.
  90. See various threads on the talk page.
  91. See this archived thread.
  92. ToP's Comments. CUR's reply.
  93. User creation log for Foreverchagrin
  94. User creation log for Anuolf
  95. See contributions by Anuolf and Foreverchagrin.
  96. See this thread.
  97. On Weaseloid's talk page.
  98. His opinion is based on this
  101. The essay in question and its talk page have been memory-holed, so no diffs are available at this time
  102. [10]