5 Incredible Sagas of Fandom Scams and Deception

Author Thumbnail Caitlin Donovan November 05, 2015 21:55 PM

1Andrew Blake's Cult of Shamans and Sparrows

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Buckle up kids, we’re going for a ride. This is the story of Andrew Blake, a man who has claimed to channel hobbits, cheated people out of their money and pretended a sparrow was his son. He’s still going strong, having jumped from fandom to fandom, reinventing himself each time!

(It should be noted that Blake was assigned female at birth and was presented as such until the time he took the name Jordan Wood. Using incorrect pronouns is not just hurtful to Blake, but to transgender people in general, so I will be using he/him throughout my narration, regardless of what pronouns he used at the time of the event I am describing. Commenters should do the same. I am only mentioning any of this because the story is confusing otherwise.)

Blake’s first documented activity in fandom was in 1998. But Blake’s shenanigans really start with Victoria Bitter (VB). As VB, Blake entered the Lord of the Rings Fandom, started a LotR-themed charity group called “Bit of Earth” and quickly gained followers.

Blake (l) and Abbey Stone (r) as Hobbits in 2002, via kumquatwriter

He told a select few friends he was actually channeling the deceased soul of Merry Brandybuck (Apparently a priestess had told him he was a “rare lesbian paladin” …) as well as several other people, including Elijah Wood, who he asserted  had a childhood rife with sexual abuse (he later claimed the same of Orlando Bloom when he “channeled” him). Blake (then known as Amy Player) eventually claimed he had Wood’s “duplicate soul”, and his original soul was now dead. Thus, he became “Jordan Wood” and VB disappeared from the internet.

An ex of Blake’s noticed that Jordan was VB, but Blake’s current girlfriend Abbey Stone (who had fully bought into Blake’s fantasy world, comparing her experience to that of a cult member) informed everyone VB had committed suicide. Blake actually sent a fake suicide note to his real family claiming this as well, leading a detective to come to the door. (Blake claimed that Jordan Wood’s identity had been stolen by the supposedly deceased Amy). Blake gathered a live-in group of fellow fans and friends who were dubbed the Bagenders. One of this group writes that Blake sexually abused her and Blake has admitted to having sexually abused his partners as well.

Andrew Blake (l), Sean Astin (c) and Abbey Stone (r) during Project Elanor, via kumquatwriter

The group decided to create a LotR convention, Tentmoot. In order to get a venue, they falsely claimed to be an official charity. Then came time to fly in LotR actors for the con. Blake’s friend, Jeanine Renne, received a call from him where he claimed the airline had “backed out” of the deal to fly the actors in for free. Renne paid the airline, only to discover the “deal” Blake claimed had never actually existed. She quickly canceled her funding, but three of the actors had already been flown in, only to find the convention had collapsed completely. Rather than face up to his lies, Blake (allegedly) chose to fake a suicide attempt and left the rest of his group to deal with the fallout.

Renne reported Blake and his group to the police. Blake and Stone escaped charges by voluntarily signing an agreement to never do charity work in the state of Oregon again. They were also investigated for identity theft, since Blake had signed papers under "Jordan Wood".

Elijah’s soul “died” and is replaced with Orlando Bloom’s. Blake legally changed his name to his current one.  Stone’s mother came to rescue her from falling further into Blake’s fantasy world. Stone was basically “deprogrammed”. She writes about it here and her further experiences with Blake here.

Blake resurfaced in the Harry Potter fandom as “Thanfiction”. He wrote a novel length fanfic called Dumbledore’s Army and The Year of Darkness. It gained quite a following (though in my opinion it’s misogynistic grimdark nonsense, despite Blake's claims it’s better than Harry Potter itself).  

The cover to the self published and "for sale" edition of Andrew Blake's fanfic.

Blake proceeded to claim he was an Irish genius who looked just like Harry Potter, had fought in wars and would soon die from a heart condition. He also claimed that Abbey Stone had taken his son from him…it was actually their pet sparrow. He gathered followers again and ends up claiming “undead shaman wizards” were trying to eat their children. His past as Amy Player was uncovered, but he assured everyone that Amy was actually just his evil twin sister.

Things then get tragic. Brittany Quinn, Blake’s roommate and alleged follower (her father asserts (warning for misgendering) she was in his thrall similar to how Stone was) was murdered by her abusive ex in their home and Blake was the only survivor. Blake compared her murder to his fanfic (see May 16). He created both an unsettling website in her honor and also put on a disastrous hike in her name.

Andrew Blake via Twitter

Blake has jumped to Supernatural fandom and has claimed to be a reformed man of the people and champion of social justice who young, vulnerable people should totally come to for advice. His previous victims aren’t buying it. As they point out, Blake certainly repeatedly uses fandom to build an army of followers to manipulate. His recent actions don’t deviate from the pattern, so I’d steer clear.

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Caitlin Donovan is a long-time nerd with a passion for superheroes and epic fantasy. She lives in North Carolina with her cat and wrestles with writing novels and doing editorial work when she's not ranting about pop culture online. She runs a blog at ladyloveandjustice.tumblr.com
@Caitlin Donovan | [email protected]