I was always raised under the axiom “never air your dirty laundry”. That being said, this laundry smells so bad I have no choice but to air it, to start over. Starting over isn’t easy by any means, and you dear reader might have a different opinion of me when this is finished than when it began. Regardless, the story must be told and told truthfully for a community to heal and for those in power to learn that silence isn’t always golden, but sometimes is nothing more than the truth waiting to be set free.
I was a leader in a community of pagans, spiritualists, witches, and others that were on the outskirts of the spiritual community on an app called Amino. I had been with that community for a little over a year and worked my way up, starting as a normal member, then a welcomer, up and up the proverbial ladder till I was made a leader in the group. As a leader, I was proud of our community and worked on multiple projects to make sure the community was in it’s best possible condition. I personally created the Boris account and managed it, was the person who put together the monthly paper using the articles of my fellow members, helped write PSA’s to keep the community up to date, as well as worked to revitalize the welcomers and content writers as needed. That on top of doing normal moderation actions and helping to enforce the guidelines. Was I always correct in my actions? Probably not, and there are plenty of times I was too nice and got burned (looking at you Moonlight, you creepy little stalker asshole). But regardless of all of these facts, I felt welcomed and loved by the community I had come to call a second home, and become close with my fellow moderators. We worked together, as a team, voting on every major decision and communicating everything to each other. This was how the community worked and how it became the amazing place that it was. We were friends, talked about our hopes and fears and struggles, used each other as job references and reviewers of products. We were a team that would have done anything to help the others.
This all changed yesterday morning. For those that do not know, the Agent Leader of The Witches Circle was Toastiel. She created the group over 4 years ago and grew it from a brand new group to the second largest witchcraft community on Amino, which is no small feat. Sure she had her flaws, like we all do, but the simple amount of blood, sweat, and tears she put into the community could combine to become an oasis in a desert. She took all of her energy and created a home for all of us. That being said, she is human. Moderators as a whole do their jobs freely. There is no pay, no compensation, just a volunteering of our free time if and when we had it. Toastiel had recently been accepted to work an amazing opportunity in Japan teaching English as a second lesson, however moving there would require money. As such, she had to break down and get a job, which she did, and this job saw her potential and quickly moved her into a role working close to 60+ hours a week. Retail jobs are rough to begin with, but considering COVID and the latest holiday season, everyone was understanding that she was busy. Or so we thought. It was at this time a fellow leader by the name of Fen or Zetrya decided to strike.
For those that might not be aware, if a community has absent leadership, a member can apply to Team Amino in order to take over as the Agent Leader of the community in question to make sure it doesn’t suffer from a lack of leadership. And this is exactly what Fen did. It didn’t matter that there were always active leaders and curators, it didn’t matter how the team felt and it didn’t matter that Toastiel was still checking in, albeit irregularly. Instead, Fen spun a story of an abandoned community to Team Amino who put her in charge. On Wednesday morning, our lovely team walked into a shit show. Fen announced she was the new agent leader, that she did it because Toastiel was absent, and that she was not planning on making any changes but wanted to revitalize our community. Needless to say, we were outraged. She admitted that she didn’t talk to us about it or put it to a vote because she knew we would react like this. When we tried to ask questions, we were all condescendingly shut down and talked down to like children. For those who have had run ins with Fen in the past, you know what type of attitude I am talking about.
After much back and forth, getting no where. Fen decided to remove all leaders except Anne/Sol and Vix (in my opinion this is due to the fact that Fen realized she didn’t actually want to mod, simply be in charge). We were all put in as curators and told we could “earn” our place back. When we asked what we had done to deserve demotion, we were told it was due to slander and disrespect and she wouldn’t have it, she would be, nay, DEMANDED to be treated with the respect due the agent leader. The funny thing was, this respect was one way and one way only.
For my part, I admit, I called her a lying little dictator. To me this is not slander but the truth. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it must be a pile of shit name Fen. Needless to say that was the reason given for my “demotion”. Not for not doing my job, indeed I was usually on twice as long as Fen doing 4 times the amount of work. No, it was because I wouldn’t fall in line and say “Sig Heil” to her wishes. Slowly but surely the other mods left or were removed over the course of a day, having lost all trust in the group and viewing the fact they needed to “earn” their place again as a slap in the proverbial face considering all the work they had done in the years past. I decided to tentatively stay on to make sure the community members didn’t suffer. As I had my hands in most administrative things, I was hoping that Fen would begin to understand why we were upset and do the proper thing. Since you are reading this now dear reader than you most likely have come to the conclusion that Fen wouldn’t know the right thing to do if it walked right in front of her.
While other members on the team, myself included, we busy trying to contact the Amino App to get Toastiel reinstated, a few managed to notice things. Certain members who had not been active in years started surfacing in chats, and new members from Fen’s other group, The Witches Conclave, were joining the group as well. We thought this was odd but not unprecedented. Before I could put two and two together, Moonlight struck. Now for reference, Moonlight is a 13-14 year old gay boy that has been in the community before. They have a tendency to be rude, brash, and say the most inappropriate things to people for no reason. I originally tried to work with him on what was obviously a maturity flaw, however it got to the point he was banned. Then he came back, again, and again, and again, always with new profiles and always stalking me in chats and starting fights with myself over nothing. He became the annoying thorn in my side that is now Fens problem #sorrynotsorrybitch. Well he decided to show up, using another fake profile, in the community feedback chat, asking inappropriate questions. When I advised him to move on, another random member named Jynx decided to jump in and give her opinion of the situation. I kindly told Jynx we were moving on to appropriate topics, however that did not stop Moonlight from dragging me through the mud. As I no longer was able to warn, strike, or ban myself, I reached out in the moderation chat begging for help. I saw Fen on, but silence. She was chatting, but apparently that was more important than helping a fellow mod. It quickly became clear that Fen cares about herself, and little else at this time. Thankfully Vix came to the rescue and gave Moonlight a strike (a temporary mute preventing members from posting, chatting, etc for a set amount of time).
At this point, the resistance was in full swing. We were coordinated, we worked together like we used to. We copied posts, flagged messages, communicated to Team Amino to get this fixed, circled the wagons and licked our wounds. We informed the members on social media what happened to help make sure you knew we didn’t willingly abandon you. We thought the day was over and we thought wrong. As all of a sudden, new mods appeared. Mods who had not been active in the group in a long time, or were brand new. Mods like Jynx whose first 5 minutes back in the community was to try to stir up trouble instead of act like a moderator and calm the situation (Jynx, I know you say you talked to Moonlight on “my behalf” to calm him down, have fun with that rabid dog cause he bites). These mods were not voted on, simply added by Fen. For someone who doesn’t want to make changes, she sure has been a busy bitch, huh?
Now I do not personally have a problem with Ivan or Bane dear readers, I want that very well known. I worked with Ivan in another group in the past and he was always kind, respectful, and with a smart head on his shoulders. I have no issue with Bane as she was new. I even sent her a message stating that while I am sorry she is joining during all this, welcome to the team. It is not her fault that Fen was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So for any readers still in the community, please treat those two with the same respect and dignity that you always treated me with for I do not blame them for anything.
That being said, the random promotion of these individuals, being told I was out of line and wasn’t trusted, and to not even be defended by the so called “Agent Leader”, my heart hurt. My head hurt. I was tired, I was betrayed, and I knew if I didn’t fall in line, I would be ousted anyway. So I did the only thing left to do. I left on my terms. I deleted the Boris account and all the blogs and newspaper articles I had created. I then went and deleted every post, wiki, PSA, etc that I ever created. I deleted all the google forms that were used to apply for various positions and all other back end documents that you, my dear reader, never saw. I erased the challenge list since none of the mods were there anymore, deleted the chronicle, and informed the welcomers, content writes, and chat hosts that there had been a change of leadership, and to check the board to see who they should go to for help. I informed the moderation team of what I had done and then promptly deleted my entire Amino account. My words are my voice, and my voice is my own. I will be damned if I let anyone use anything of mine without my consent. An entire year of hard work, writing, and dedication, gone.
Now dear reader I do have a confession to make. I DID NOT know that when I deleted my account, it would also delete all the chats I still had control over. That was unintentional and I sincerely apologize for any confusion or frustration there. I simply wanted to remove myself from a situation where what I had come to love had turned sour and sick.
In the aftermath of my leaving, apparently there were quite a few questions that promptly went unanswered or got deleted. I apologize dear reader if you experienced this. I also found out that the “New Leader” team, especially Jynx, was quite upset. It seems they expected to just take over this community in a coup d’etat, which there is no question that is what it was, and not have to actually do anything. They expected to use all the hard work of those that came before them and simply be able to stay in charge. Well, as my grandmother always said, “too bad, so sad, are you going to cry about it?”. This was a planned and coordinated attack. In one day the entire moderation team had been replaced, new rules were being adjusted, all without a single vote. All on the whim of Fen.
So dear readers still in this community, that is where my story ends. I will not return to Amino for a long time and hopefully, if you were curious to read this entire thread, learned something. I am not asking you to believe me, as the actions of Fen and Jynx always make themselves known in the end, but to simply be careful. Try not to hurt the feelings of the glorious dictator, otherwise risk a ban.
And as for me you might ask? I created this, my own website, where I control the narrative. Where my posts are my own, where my voice is in my control, and where I can write with impunity.