"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
I wrote this originally as an email to someone who inquired as to why all of the Dagstine/Philbin/Nicky stuff was on this blog.
Most of the writers involved in the cabal operate out of a small press called Silverthought. They had a different site back in 03 and 04 under a different owner/operator. When Dagstine first went after me, I was puzzled and confused and thought it was simply me. But the years I spent as a journalist left me with some bad habits called “investigate it.” And I started finding that Dagstine had more or less destroyed some newbie writers who had more talent and ability than he did. The head games he played on them would have done an old fashioned Fandom Feud justice.
Dagstine has made Ellen Datlow miserable on several occasions and that pissed me off.
I am not certain if you ever heard of Ron Horseley? (I think that was the guy’s name, but I’m not certain on the spelling of his lastname). But it all turned into a matter of these guys finding each other and then forming their little cabal.
Mike Philbin was a trouble maker who was banned from several boards many years ago and is still not welcomed a lot of places. He tries to make himself look important and yet the writing does not carry the concept because he’s too obsessed with sexual metaphor and poor characterization. His first published book was Boy Fist, Girl Suck. But he’s better known for a time travel story in which the time travelers rape baby dinosaurs. I’m not making that up.
Mike befriended Pacione and so did Horseley. There is no question that Pacione is mentally ill. The trouble is that until The Rusty Nail started documenting it there were a lot of young boys who were victimized, terrorized, and intimidated by Pacione. He ‘bought’ their stories for his anthologies. The youngest boy was 12 (he’s now 17), Kyle Kuchek. Most of them Pacione met online at places like horrorfind boards and gothic net. and a few other blogs. He had been chased off a lot of places that are now gone from the net. Quite a number of women were terrified of Pacione as well.
He had started with the Gothic community, wore out his welcome there in short order, and moved onto the horror community. It took a while for the community to catch on to the fact that he was simply crazy and not doing the shit simply for the hell of it. I suspect, from talking to a psych nurse, that Pacione is schizotypal with a narcissistic axis. He seems to honestly believe that what he is saying is true. I have known a large number of schizos over the years. I have one that sometimes posts to my blog, John aka trawlingfrogdog who I have known since the 1980s.
Mike’s main target when I first encountered him was Brian Keene. Then it shifted over to me. Ron left me alone. However, because of his verbally abusive support of Philbin and Pacione, Ron was eventually ostracized. The real shame was that Ron was the only one of the three with real talent. I have not heard from or seen any sign of Ron since his nervous breakdown in 05.
Mike went all over the various boards at the time that Ron had his breakdown starting threads with the subject line “Ron is no longer with us.” That was deliberately done to trigger a specific reaction, to make people think Ron was dead. I banned MIke from my messageboard along with his supporters because I did not want to deal with it and I thought (as I have so many times before) that would be the end of it. It was not. Philbin continued to periodically harass me.
Philbin found his way, after many years of self-publishing, to Silverthought where he met Dagstine three years ago. Philbin introduced Dagstine to Pacione. Now we come to the spots where I don’t have all of the pieces. In 06, Dagstine started a small zine called The Literary Bone and he managed to put together a decent looking group of writers and artists, including some lower level horror pros for issue #1. and then he announces that he has bought a story from Pacione and starts trying to play Svengali. I didn’t know at the time, but Dagstine had started compiling a collection of screenshots and other information on me. In May of 07, Dagstine posted an interview with Nicky Pacione on the myspace account for his zine. The interview was disgusting. Highlights included Pacione stating as fact that Mary Sangiovanni got her contract with Leisure books by sleeping with Don D’auria. I was included in the shit fest of an interview. Then Dagstine tries to play the crowd, asking for proofs that what Nicky has said is not true. And I responded about Pacione harrassing my daughter. Dagstine zeroed in on me and ignored the rest of the people posting comments and dropped his net and the first of his threats. Judging from things he said later on Peter Barnes’ xanga blog, Dagstine had spent at least two years studying me.
I realized then that Dagstine was running a game on the horror community. He tried to twist it all around an pretend he was the messiah who would save everyone from Pacione, but he had set up and correographed a year of abuse directed at various people by Pacione. When I revealed that it was a game, I was getting deluged with emails, most of them with links to other places and I started to put together a time line of what was going on. It’s in my xanga, so I’m not going to exhaust myself going into further detail on it. But after that the abuse never stopped.
However, one peculiar thing that Exposethetard posted is worth noting. When the shit hit the fan and Dagstine started catching hell from all directions, someone named Valentinevegen began sending emails to Pacione implying that there was a huge conspiracy out to get him. The conspirators included myself and Brian Keene. Every time that Dagstine would start to get cornered again for his lies and other misbehaviors, Pacione would get one of those emails and it would set him off. That was a distraction for the people who were focused on Dagstine. Eventually it was discovered through IP matching that Dagstine was Valentinevegen and he twice admitted to it.
And it shows no sign of slowing down. Whenever I relax and start to post about what I’m doing or whatever other trivial good news I come up with to post, the attacks are renewed. It’s ugly.