Monday, November 21, 2011

Deumos, Part III: The Devil Made Me Do It

On September 3rd, 2011, the day after Lauren decided the best way to handle the uproar surrounding her Deumos scam was to sit drinking on Stickam for half a day and ignoring/blocking anyone who asked about it, she posted this cryptic, passive-aggressive message on her blog:

The only information that "seems to be purposefully withheld" is Lauren's explanation of why she decided to scam so many people who looked up to her. It's also interesting to note that there are inconsistencies within this claim, particularly the £210 amount. Let's have a look at how Lauren can't even keep that part of her story straight (screencap taken from efagz):

Interesting. The thing is, Lauren lost her right to privacy when she decided to open up an online storefront and accept payments from customers. Money changed hands. It's no longer a personal matter when other peoples' money is involved. Once a crime is committed and other people come forth as victims, the right to privacy disappears in that situation as well. Such an excuse would never hold up in a court of law, and, frankly, sounds like a poor excuse to justify stealing from so many innocent people. Which is exactly what she did.

Lauren then decided to--you guessed it!--go back on Stickam, scowl at her screen and ignore any inquiries about the Deumos scam. Because that clearly worked so well for her the day before, right? And more unfortunate people who had been scammed by her tried to contact her via the Stickam chat, only to once again be ignored and/or banned by her obsessives:

Shortly after this poor person (pearsani) entered the chat asking about their missing jumper, even changing their font colors in the hopes that Lauren would see their inquiries, Lauren said her Firefox browser was frozen. How convenient.

As you can see, Andy (Gnarcolepsy) reiterated Lauren's claim that her Firefox was "frozen" and therefore she couldn't read the chat. However, in the above screenshots, one can clearly see Lauren moving about on the screen fixing her makeup. When one is broadcasting a live stream on Stickam and the internet browser freezes, the live stream itself freezes as well. Anyone can test this theory out for themselves. When the browser is frozen, one cannot be so clearly captured moving about with no hitching up or pixellation, as Lauren is here. Yet another lie Lauren has spun to avoid taking responsibility for her crimes. Even though she could not accept the blame for this situation she created, she still needed validation via webcam on the internet. This is just my personal opinion, but to call it pathetic isn't even really the right word and does a disservice to the word itself. I think of it more as incredibly shameful and straight-up disgusting than anything else, really. Anyway, I digress.

While drinking on Stickam (again, or still, may I remind you), Lauren then decided to try to pin the blame on somebody else, something she does with alarming frequency. She claimed that Rich (who was out of the apartment at that time) "wouldn't let" her issue refunds, and that he was angry with her. She tried to make it sound like he controlled her finances (because it is his name on the Paypal account she uses) and that she was, once again, the victim in this situation that she created. She still did not address why she never sent out any Deumos packages in the first place, however. Lauren was still on Stickam when Rich came back home, and sometime after that she got sloppy drunk and blathered to Rich and her one and only real-life friend (whom she met on Furcadia and just so happens to take the majority of her "self-portraits") Merry that Tӓhti had allegedly sent her an apology on Tumblr and that she no longer had it because she hadn't published it. (For non-Tumblr users, if you get a message and reply to it without publishing it, it disappears. Weird, I know.) She then went on a rant about how she wished so much that she had published it, and that if Tӓhti wasn't nice in her 2nd review, Lauren was "gonna show 'em everything" (her defrauded customers? the internet?) and that Tӓhti was begging her for forgiveness for writing her original review. She kept slurring "At the end of the day, she has her shoes AND her money," (which doesn't even make sense, to be honest) and painted a picture of being "wronged" by her most well-known customer... who she scammed. This writer as well as hundreds of others witnessed this sickening, spineless display, and to date, I personally have never seen such flagrant unprofessionalism and cowardice. I have never seen a "businesswoman" handle herself in such a poor, childish and just plain embarrassing manner.

Tӓhti actually posted to efagz just to refute this drunken nonsense and add her side:

She also specified and posted a screenshot from her email that she had only been in contact with Rich, not Lauren, throughout this ordeal, and that that was because Lauren had blocked her from being able to make contact. Nice!

Right around the time that Lauren went on her drunken, confusing tirade against Tӓhti, the post containing Tӓhti's original review disappeared. Hmmmm. Strange, no? Tӓhti claimed she was receiving too many hate messages over it and marked the entry private, which makes it invisible to anyone but her. Her explanation:

The thing is, when Tӓhti began posting in the efagz community on Livejournal, no one was "trashing" her. In fact, the vast majority of the community was quite supportive of her. The only reason anyone said she was foolish was because the review disappeared, and it seemed, at the time, to not to be a well-thought-out decision on Tӓhti's part to essentially take back her word (and therefore credibility) on being scammed by Lauren. (Although, it can be speculated that Tӓhti possibly marked the review as private to ensure that she would actually get her refund in the meantime.) Understandably, members of efagz as well as users on Tumblr were confused and dismayed by the disappearance of the original review. From an outsider's perspective, it seemed like Tӓhti did it just to appease Lauren. Only Tӓhti knows the reasoning behind her decision to mark it as private, although it is understandable that she would possibly mark the review private just to ease her own mind over receiving an unstoppable flood of emails about a situation still in progress. However, it seems that the support Tӓhti received from efagz and Tumblr convinced her not to completely retract her review.

(Added on 12-4-11: Good news! Tӓhti's review is public again and can be viewed here.)

On September 7th or 8th, these posts appeared on Tӓhti's and Lauren's blogs, respectively:

Tӓhti stated that she was finally refunded on September 8th.

And here is Lauren's version of events... notice how wildly positive she tried to spin things, as well as the comment at the bottom inquiring about the 7+ other people who she ripped off and did not recompense:

Apparently, Lauren will only attempt to correct her wrongdoings to you if you are famous on the internet. Anyone else is SOL. She only cares about her reputation and not her fans (who bought items from her) as she tries to portray. She is not above bribing others or fabricating information regarding others who are well-known on the internet to cover up her crimes and pretend like nothing ever happened. It is clear that Lauren never had any intention of sending Tӓhti her shoes or refund, and only did so grudgingly after Tӓhti was forced to publicly address the situation and Lauren created a massive, unnecessary internet shitstorm over it. The situation with Tӓhti really showed Lauren's true colors--that she is a spineless, cowardly, dishonest crook, a thief with apparently no remorse and no conscience.

The fact is, no one ever received their packages from Lauren/Deumos. No one. Since her "fans" are so quick to reblog anything she posts and seem to swoon over her replying to them on Tumblr, doesn't it follow that those who bought things from her and received them would be bragging all about that, too? And yet... total silence as far as anyone receiving their Deumos merchandise. She made hundreds of dollars and never shipped one single package. It seems also that she never had any intention of following through with her orders. It is theorized that she received her Deumos samples, took her first few orders while keeping the samples for herself, realized that it would be expensive to actually fulfill these orders (something she really should have looked into BEFORE opening an online storefront), and got carried away with her newfound cash, publicly documenting her online shopping sprees and quickly spending it all on clothes and alcohol. Initially, she probably figured that she could ignore a few "unknown" people emailing about their items, since she could simply block them from commenting on any of the websites on which she has a profile--after all, who would believe a few random people calling her a scammer when everyone else loves her so much? What she didn't seem to consider, though, is that not everyone who gets scammed will turn the other cheek and let her get away with it just because she's considered conventionally pretty and popular. There are also those who, despite not being well known on the internet, really aren't afraid of Felice Fawn's personal army of misguided teenagers.

Continued in Part IV...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deumos, Part II: It's All Fun & Games Until Someone Commits a Crime

As the word began to spread around Tumblr through countless reblogs via Tӓhti's review, Lauren continued to ignore and block anyone who came to her inquiring about their items or the situation. The following screenshot was actually posted by Tӓhti on her Formspring, showing that Tӓhti herself had been blocked from commenting on Lauren's blog. Notice the comments at the bottom from others who were scammed as well.

Tӓhti's response to the same question on her Formspring:

It is also important to note that, in the screenshot Tӓhti posted in her above response it can be seen that Lauren was deleting comments on her blog from her scammed Deumos customers. The situation was posted in efagz and became one of the most commented efagz posts to date with over 1,500 commentswith not one single Felice stan coming to her defense. The situation hereafter became affectionately known on the internet as FeliceGate 2011. Throughout this two-day shitstorm, Lauren stubbornly refused to issue any statements (or, more importantly, any refunds) and instead decided to obsessively stalk her tags on Tumblr and attack or tattle to Tumblr staff anyone who questioned what she was doing. As the internet and her blog inevitably began to blow up, she decided that the best, most professional solution would be to put on one of her Deumos shirts (yes, really) and sit on Stickam for nearly 8 hours straight while throwing back bottle after bottle of booze, chain-smoking endlessly, and ignoring/blocking anyone who came into her chat to ask about their items/the situation and why she wouldn't respond.

Notice how Lauren didn't even have to do anything but sit there and get obliterated... her own personal e-creeper, Andy (gnarcolepsy) took care of nearly all of the banning and excuses for her. Yet even more proof that Lauren doesn't do anything for herself and lives a truly coddled, dependent existence. But I digress...

Even when she has committed a crime and stolen from countless people with the evidence right in front of them, her "fans" seem afraid to approach her, like they can hardly believe she has the capacity to do wrong. That, and being an irritable, defensive loose cannon whenever anyone disagrees with her certainly doesn't aid in making her approachable. Observe more of Lauren's refusal to respond or take responsibility for her crimes, and letting Andy "clean up" her mess for her:

As you can see from all of the above screenshots, several different people came in asking about the situation and she ignored every single one of them while staring into her webcam and usually only responding if someone in the Stickam chat told her she was pretty. It is also worth noting that not ONE of these people attacked her personally. They just wanted to know what was going on. But, in Lauren's world, apparently it is better to pretend that consequences for one's illegal actions don't exist and let the sycophants she surrounds herself with on Stickam do her damage control.

In summary, for 8 hours she sat and stared at the internet while consuming nothing but alcohol and cigarettes, ignoring the people she scammed and any questions about Deumos at all. I don't know about you, my dear reader, but that's probably one of the least admirable ways to conduct business that I've ever seen. Lauren Cook's actions are the actions of a straight-up, unrepentant thief, a hollow shell of a person with no morals, one who ultimately cares about herself above all else and to the detriment of others. It's also interesting (and humorous) to note that it was from this situation that the moniker "Lauren Crook" came into existence and has more or less cemented itself into efag infamy. (Honestly, it seems to this writer that trying to run away from her past by changing her name has really done her more harm than good.)

She decided that this would be the best message to post on her blog to all of her scammed customers:

Lauren posted this picture in response to Tӓhti, all of her scammed customers, and the
"haters" calling her out for taking her customers' money and not shipping their goods.

Oh, she did.

How could someone who tries so hard to have such a humanitarian image, always quick to dole out "advice" to impressionable teens and preaching at every opportunity, turn around and treat her fellow humans so terribly? Not only her fellow humans, but her own followers and fans? And to be so appallingly brazen about having such moral disregard to post herself flipping off her audience as her only testament to it all... truly a low-class display. If Lauren was even half as good and virtuous of a person as she makes herself out to be, one would think that she'd have nothing to hide and would at the very least explain herself to the multitudes questioning her, right?

... Nope, not quite.

Continued in Part III...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Deumos, Part I: Felice Fawn's Internet Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

In late spring/summer of 2011, Felice Fawn (hereafter referred to by her real name, Lauren Cook) opened a storefront on her website, claiming she was starting her own "clothing line". The store was called Deumos (now defunct). She advertised it on Tumblr, the website on which she is a notorious presence, that she would be selling Satanic-inspired clothing, mostly girls' T-shirts and hoodies/jumpers with a simple baphomet, upside-down cross, or pentagram screenprinted on them. (She also claimed these symbols to be her original designs.) She also intended to sell a pair customized PVC shoes and a spiked bra. Sometime that spring, Lauren posted that she received some "samples" in the mail and posted pictures of herself modeling them for her followers to salivate over and hopefully purchase:

Several of her followers, including fellow well-known blogger Tӓhti Syrjala, actually did purchase some items from her store. It seemed that, at the time, business was booming for Deumos. If Lauren was the entrepreneurial type, she would have seen this as an opportunity to demonstrate to her fanbase that she's a legitimate businesswoman and could have turned this tiny storefront into a serious moneymaker. But, unfortunately, that isn't the case.

All was silent until September, when Tӓhti finally had had enough of waiting, excuses and false promises from Rich (FF's boyfriend and partner in the scam). Rich had been keeping in touch with Tӓhti every few weeks throughout the month of August to keep her quiet, reassuring her that her refund was "on its way" while Lauren blocked and completely avoided Tӓhti while pretending everything was hunky dory to her followers. Tӓhti was given the date of September 1st as the day she would receive her refund via Rich. September 1st came and went, and no refund was issued to Tӓhti. In the meantime, Lauren thought it wise to broadcast to the internet that she was on a shopping spree with her newfound cash:

Perhaps Tӓhti was not refunded on the 1st because Lauren spent it all on on August 31st, as shown above. Oops.

September 2nd, 2011 is when shit really hit the fan. Over three months after she originally purchased the shoes from Lauren, Tӓhti posted of her experience with Lauren/Deumos on her blog, which attracted some attention, as she was the first person to publicly state that she had been ripped off by Lauren:

Three months passed since the original transaction. It is surprising to note that Lauren did not seem willing to fulfill her end of the transaction with her most well-known customer. Not that it is ever OK to steal from anyone, no matter who they are, but since she seems to only care about her public image and not about actual ethics or how she conducts herself both in professional and interpersonal settings, one would think that an impending review of her business dealings would at least prompt her to come through on that transaction. But then, Lauren isn't exactly the responsible, logical, or even considerate type. At any rate, Tӓhti did post her review:

Professionally written, clear and concise, with nothing but the facts on what happened. Word quickly spread around Tumblr and to other websites, perhaps most notably to efagz. It is safe to say that Lauren definitely read the review, as Tӓhti even let her know:

"I saw." No word on whether she or any of the other scammed customers would get a resolution, or even an acknowledgment that they had been wronged at all. Hmmmmmm.

Shortly after, someone asked Tӓhti on her Formspring why she had yet to be refunded:

In an attempt to get the word out on Lauren's failure to fulfill her paid Deumos orders, an efagz member created a Tumblr blog detailing Lauren's Deumos scam to spread the word, warn others and perhaps encourage others who had been scammed to speak up without fear of retaliation. This blog very quickly was deleted by Tumblr staff, more than likely at the frantic request of Lauren.

Right while this was all happening, Lauren posted this remark on her blog, verifying that she had a hand in the censorship of anything negative being said about her:

And then these comments immediately appeared within that post:

The post was very quickly deleted, like most of Lauren's posts. But the attempts at censorship and ignoring anyone who had anything to say that was not complimentary to her appearance was not about to stop those who had had their money stolen by Lauren. In fact, the drama was really just beginning.

Continued in Part II...

Felice Fawn is an Alcoholic in Denial

She won't admit to it, of course. But she has shown during her many live Stickam sessions that she drinks. Heavily. And just about always. Usually wine, off-brand Bailey's liqueur or vodka, often all at once. There is never a time where she's live on webcam (which is fairly often, usually 2-4 times per week) where she isn't drinking. She has stated that her much-espoused mother introduced her to alcohol when she was 14, and since then, it seems to have become her primary coping mechanism. Lauren seems to be stuck in a pattern of drinking herself into a stupor, spending a day (or several, sometimes weeks at a time) sick and recovering while griping about it on Twitter without ever seeming to realize why (alcoholism + anorexia = terrible health). And then--always and inevitably--falls back into the vicious cycle of alcoholism. Below is a screenshot taken from one of her live sessions in which she (drunkenly) decided to show everyone what a normal days' alcohol consumption looks like:

That's right. 4 bottles of wine in one day. If that's not alcoholism, then, dear readers, I'm not sure what is.

Screen capture from one of her old ED blogs from 2007:

Lauren claims that she "used to" be an alcoholic, and that she's more or less grown out of it (a fallacy in itself--an alcoholic does not "grow out of" alcoholism) and now claims that she "only drinks a few times a week". Anyone who has ever seen her live on webcam knows that is a complete load of shit. Not only does she not have an understanding about this disease, but the uneducated and arrogant way she defends herself against others' concerns for her is incredibly harmful to her young followers who might have addiction issues of their own. It's one thing to be in deep denial about your illness, which Lauren clearly is, but it's quite another to publicly state that you're "recovered" (while still drinking). This is a perfect example of how Lauren's lies are extremely negligent and have the capacity to negatively influence others.

Lauren's RECOVERED, everyone! And not snarkily projecting at all! Also, it is interesting to note that apparently, according to these beacons of intellignce, in the UK they've figured out the cure for alcoholism. Teens can learn to "use it as a daily drink" instead! That is totally NOT the same thing as being an active alcoholic! I don't know how she manages to even find people so ignorant as to corroborate her myopic views. What if the person who messaged her is an alcoholic as well? How compassionate of Lauren.

More compassion and self-awareness from Lauren:

Taken from her "personal" Tumblr (now abandoned)

Completely different from what, exactly? From being... an alcoholic? I'm not so sure about that, Lauren...

She "has no intentions of going back" to drinking the moment she wakes up. Interesting. Just recently (on 12-13-11), Lauren was on Stickam, drinking 3 different kinds of alcohol at 11AM. But she is "certainly not alcohol dependent."

Is this what recovery from alcoholism looks like?

(Notice how all of these were taken on different days, and most are from the past year.)