It has come to my attention that Alec Peters, owner of the Star Trek Prop and Costume & Auction Forum and Propworx (now in Chapter 7 bankruptcy) has been saying some nasty, nasty things about me on his forum. This is not news – he’s done it many times before, but now that I have this nifty new Blog, I thought I’d do what no one else has ever been able to do without getting deleted – I’m going to respond and defend myself. And I hope to God this is a one-time thing.
As usual Alec has lied about me (still not news) but this time in an incredibly transparent way (news!). Why he felt the need to write this post, I have no idea. But the reason he keeps asking/pleading with his forum members to not deal with me is plain, in my opinion. He is afraid of someone else that can control the conversation without his lies seeping in.
Frankly I’m not really sure where to begin, but I guess I’ll address things in order, explain myself, and let you judge for yourself. This will be the first time that I am aware of that Alec cannot control the conversation in any way, either directly on his forum or indirectly through the normal limitations on other forums. First, here’s one of the posts in question:
1. I’m his stalker and I attack him at every turn. Go to the RPF or the MPF and look at the threads regarding the recent Kirk Tunic that was sold by Alec, uh, I mean Profiles. First of all, you will note that I had no idea that Alec had any connection with that shirt when I posted about it. It was a physical impossibility as he had not told anyone yet! I was writing about an item in the Profiles catalog, pure and simple, just like I would later write about the Wrist Comm. Once Alec enters the fray you will see that he proceeds to get very nasty, very fast. He accuses me of stalking (keep in mind this was MY thread!!) and attacking him and proceeds to say that my doubts about the Profile piece were unfounded. I had a different opinion, obviously. But please note that the other participants in the thread did not feel that my inquiry was in any way inappropriate and thought Alec was overreacting. Only ONE person felt I was out of line – Alec Peters. Please read it for yourself and make your own judgement. If you see ANYTHING unreasonable in my remarks I'll eat my words.
2. "He stalks me on the RPF and MPF. So much so that admins from both sites have had to delete his posts and warn him." Here's what one of those admins sent me in a PM:
I don't want you feeling like you cant post...we just want posts to be neutral in the best way they can..I guess is the best way I can put it.
In all honesty I feel your pain with Alec...trust me, I do.
Thanks for the understanding"
3. "In fact when I tried to give him another chance and involve him in the Galileo project, he then attacked me again and even shocked Adam, who said Don's attacks were "Out of line" and Don got kicked off the team.” A lie. Alec and I have had no contact or communication about the Galileo, either directly or through anyone else. He never tried to give me anything – he knew better. So this is what we in the Blogoshere refer to as “a bald faced lie”. The Galileo is right here in my own backyard and I arranged to see it before the auction, as any lifelong Star Trek fan would. I agreed to share my findings with Adam Schneider, the person who ultimately purchased it. Privately, Adam called my work on his behalf “invaluable”. You're welcome, Adam. Bottom line: I never heard of any "team" nor was I offered any position with said team.
4. “He has an ax to grind and so attacked the Wrist Communicator without any knowledge of the situation just because I won it.” I’m trying to once again understand the ego required to reach this conclusion. Check out my website and you’ll see that I collect one thing ONLY – Star Trek TOS/movie stuff – like the wrist comm. And if you read my disruptor Blog entry you’ll know a bit about my process – the same process that I used on the wrist comm. As with the Kirk Tunic, this was a piece about the Profiles process, nothing more. I found out about who owned it only AFTER I had completed my article, and it didn't influence anything – I didn't change a word. Please keep in mind that my Blog is ABOUT PROPS! And since I only collect TOS/movie stuff, what else was there in the auction to write about? Willy Wonka? So much for grinding my ax.
5. It is worth noting that the above post was made by Alec after he deleted the rest of the thread. In that thread there were some forum members who came to my defense or at least felt I wasn’t a total bad guy. Since Alec cannot abide anyone disagreeing with him, he deleted it, which he has done on many occasions that I know of first hand, thus rewriting history to his own liking. On my new forum, NO POSTS WILL BE DELETED BASED ON VIEWS THAT OPPOSE MY OWN. Not ever.
So that’s it for that post. He then posted the following:
This has some of the same stuff as the previous post so I’ll dispense with that and get right to the good stuff.
1. “It has come to my attention that Don Hillenbrand is starting his own Star Trek forum, for no other reason than to piss me off.” Again with the ego thing. Evidently I go through every waking hour of the day thinking about ways to piss off Alec Peters? Riiiiight. Here’s the deal – I wanted to start a new forum because I’m passionate about collecting and wanted to offer an alternate place at which hobbyists could congregate. For far too long, IMO, one person has been the voice of the screen-used Star Trek hobby – one guy preaching his own skewed gospel. I thought it was about time to change that. I wanted to put together a new gathering place for positive, experienced collectors that didn't come with any dogma attached. And I made it clear to new members that my forum was not going to be “Anti-Alec” but rather it would be “Un-Alec”. Everyone seemed to know EXACTLY what that meant.
2. “Now he is spamming members here without their permission asking them to join his forum.” I have certainly contacted close friends of mine who also happen to be members of Alec’s forum. I also reached out to some folks that I knew previously and thought would be interested in a new forum, some recommended by friends. However, I went out of my way to avoid people I didn’t think would be interested and made no blanket invitations. If I or my friends contacted someone who considered my invitation to be “spamming” I do sincerely apologize. If that was the case, please drop me a line and I will be sure to exclude you from any future considerations. I will not rant and rave or call you a nutjob. That’s somebody else’s gig (see below).
3. “Any prop or costume he knows is mine, he attacks the authenticity in a most dishonest way”. I’ve already explained the comm. To my knowledge, I’ve never made a single comment about any costume that Alec owns. Unless he means the Kirk tunic? But how can that be – he has stated emphatically that he wasn’t the owner. Hmmmm, perplexing.
4. “This hobby is sketchy enough without us having this nutjob being given our support.” Guilty. I am definitely a nutjob. My forum members will have to roll with that.
5. “For the past 6 years I have run this forum at my own expense and helped many of you with your own collecting needs. I have organized the forum dinner at Vegas and tried to make this a better hobby for all. I hope as a sign of support you would not support this stalker.” I freely acknowledge that Alec’s forum was a boon to me and tons of others who entered into Trek collecting in a big way with Christie’s and IAW. That said, I caught Alec in several lies and called him on it. I then quit his forum and he then banned me. Here is what I believe is my last post:
According to Alec, the auction mentioned above was the impetus to drive me insane. Literally. Let me reiterate that – I was driven crazy by losing an auction to him.
Now I don't know about you, but I've lost my share of auctions without ever losing my mental faculties. But finding out your forum leader – and someone you thought was a friend – lied through his teeth is another matter. He misled me and others, lying to me and to the entire forum. That's a betrayal of trust and I can’t abide that. I don't know if the full thread still exists on Alec's forum but I would not be surprised if it had been quickly deleted before other forum members could see it. History gets rewritten yet again. The great thing about always telling the truth is that you never have to worry about what you said, nor edit it in any way.
Here’s my last example of Alec’s character. This is a post from more than a year ago, I think:
“This guy is BAD news and some of you have told me of deals that were less than satisfactory.”
That’s quite a provocative statement. The problem with it is – as anyone who knows me, or who has ever dealt with me can attest – it is simply not true. I’ve never had one single deal that wasn’t completely satisfactory for all parties involved. I say that with no small bit of pride. So who are these “some of you”?
To that end, I challenge the writer to produce “some of you” – to produce ANYONE – who EVER had bad dealings with me. He can’t, which of course makes him a liar. I would not be at all surprised if his "sources" turned out to be unavailable for one reason or other. But please don't be fooled. I would not make such a public challenge if I did not know the only possible outcome.
I, on the other hand, have never spoken a single untruth where Mr. Peters is concerned. If he or anyone else wants to challenge that, show me any statement I’ve ever made and I’d be happy to cite chapter and verse the proof about the truth of said statement. Some of his forum members may not be aware of the fact that he once sued a former forum member for speaking out against him. He lost that lawsuit because we have this pesky thing called “The First Amendment” that lets us speak our mind – especially when what we say is true.
He once e-mailed this to me: “If you were a man you would forgive and forget. But you aren't. Instead, you are a petty, vindictive, juvenile child.”
Now that is so funny on so many levels to anyone who knows him, but I’ll keep to the subject at hand. I can live with simple differences of opinion. After all, it is downright stupid to expect the rest of the world to agree with you on everything. Live and let live. And honest mistakes can always, always be forgiven. But for some reason, Alec thinks that he can say any lie he wants to about anyone and then kiss and make up. Well this isn’t politics, it’s real life, and in my life I don’t associate with liars. I cannot and will not ever “forgive and forget” dishonesty. Not now, not ever. Would you? “Fool me once, shame on you…”
So do I hold a grudge? I hold a deep and abiding hatred of lying hypocrites. I hold an eternal grudge against those that would bellow and bluster about how dishonest others are and showing themselves off as the metric of virtue, all the while doing the same kinds of dishonest things behind closed doors. And I’m disgusted by those that know the truth, but instead of standing up for what’s right, do the expedient thing instead.
My mantra is always this: character is defined by what you do when no one is looking. I don’t judge people only by what they say but by their actions, plain and simple. And if you embrace people who do these things – lie and deceive –perhaps it is you that should ask yourself why that is.
So please check out my record for yourself. Don’t take ANYONE’S word for it, not even mine. Ask around. Ask your friends and their friends in the collecting community, but do it OFF of Alec's forum. That's important. If you’ve only been listening to one voice, you might be surprised.
The bottom line is this: like others before me, I found out that Alec is a liar, plain and simple. I voiced that opinion and will continue to do so. In an effort to slander, libel, and discredit me and my reputation, he has run a campaign of disinformation, bluster and more lies, all hoping that no one will listen. I’m sure this Blog will be met with yet another tantrum so steel yourselves.
Speaking of which:
This post speaks volumes about the fundamental differences between Alec and I. I have never had a "me or him" litmus test for my friends. How ludicrous. And it has never been a quid pro quo situation with any of my friends. I have helped them when I could and they have certainly helped me in so many ways. Apparently Alec thinks "things" – props and costumes, specifically – can buy loyalty. He uses the whip of "I've helped you" and the carrot of "I can help you in the future" to keep his minions in line. We all know that works with some people. But not MY KIND of people. If your integrity can be bought with the price of a plastic bauble, you're not worth knowing, in my opinion.
By the way, I'm sure CBS would be thrilled to know that their property is being used as a bargaining chip for loyalty.
If you review the threads I have referred to and Alec’s explanation of me as a “stalker” sounds rational to you, or if his description of me as “troubled” rings true then nothing I can say will change your mind so I won’t even try. If you think I’m simply a “hater”, likewise. But look at what Alec has done in this situation – he has advised his members to stay away from the crazy guy. He has not advised them to find the truth for themselves and to ask questions, but rather to drink his KoolAid. I think the emperor has no clothes. If you disagree, more power to you – I’m not going to tell anyone how to think. And that’s the key difference between he and I.
So I have started up a new forum and it's going quite well in its Beta form. Please note that one thing members will NOT find is any mention of Mr. Peters. When starting it, I asked WWAD? (What Would Alec Do?).
And then I did the exact opposite.
I want a forum based on fun, integrity and the Golden Rule. It's really that simple. I want it to be the MEMBER'S forum, not mine alone – I'm just the janitor who turns on the lights. I want it to be a place of free discourse from people who actually think, not mindless drones that follow the company line and willingly swallow every lie they are fed.
One last thing – Alec is the Project Manager for the Galileo Restoration Project. This man whose company is now bankrupt is going to be put in charge of tens of thousands of donated dollars? What an inspiring choice.
I hope this is the last time I will speak about Mr. Peters on this Blog. I’d rather talk about Props and Costumes than this silly soap opera business any day. But he’s controlled the conversation for far too long – it was one-sided and loud and drowned out any dissenting voice.
That time is over.