“The surest way for the wicked to prevail is for enough virtuous men to remain silent–lest they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” –Unattributed
“The sleep of reason breeds monsters.” –Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
PHOENIX JONES I’d like to make a public statement addressing the ‘news release’ posted earlier today by the district attorney Peter S. Holmes: first of all, no surprise that I was not charged with a crime as I did not commit one.
PHANTOM ZERO Ben Fodor was not charged with a crime because the individuals who he allegedly pepper sprayed did not step forward and left the area before they could be contacted by the police. Had those people stepped forward or statements had been taken, it is likely there would have been a criminal (and possibly civil) trail. Just because there was insufficient evidence to build a case does not mean that there was no wrong doing.
PHOENIX JONES Holmes claims I am a ‘deeply misguided individual.’ my concern about that statement is if I am ‘misguided’ while out on the streets of Seattle protecting people from violent assaults.
PHANTOM ZERO Holmes is free to think or say whatever he wishes. It’s his first Amendment right. His opinion might be informed by the fact that he is a District Attorney. Ben Fodor is also free to refute those claims, or if he is feeling particularily litigous, sue for slander or libel.
PHOENIX JONES ..would a ‘guided’ person just keep walking and allow someone to be kicked repeatedly in the head?
PHANTOM ZERO First, in the stabilized footage, there is evidence there is a fight. There is no evidence that someone is being kicked on the ground.
Second, a person might try to disperse a crowd without escalating the situation. Announce the police have been called. Stand, without weapons, as a witness. Perhaps by stating a camera is present, and also stating said individuals will turning the footage over to police, that those individuals are going to face police prosecution. Standard pratice for citizens should be: “observe and report.”
Third, a loud sound or a bright light, which is disconcerting and might evoke a fear response, might be a better stimulus to use than pepper spray, which is a pain response. Adrenalized (and possibly drunk) individuals tend to respond to pain stimulus by either fleeing or fighting–favoring fighting.
PHOENIX JONES He goes on to encourage legislature to pass a law about using large cans of pepper spray. Pepper spray is defined as a self defense tool and is very hard to use offensively,
PHANTOM ZERO If a person is actively seeking out trouble, or if they are purposely interposing themselves to escalate the situation to get police involved, that is an offensive, not defensive, undertaking.
A stiletto heel usually isn’t defined as a weapon, but can still be used offensively.
A shield is, by definition, defensive, but can be used offensively.
People have varied responses to pepper spray, and some people can have fatal reactions. In prisons some, whenever a guard uses pepper spray, it is mandatory report must be filed and that documentation reviewed to make sure that the use of force was not excessive, unwarranted, or an abuse of power, a medical professional must be present and that individual must immediately be tended to checked for an averse reaction and to make sure it is non-fatal, and the use of pepper spray is only warranted in situations where there is a threat of imminent and unavoidable harm.
There is no rational reason to carry a bulk of pepper spray unless you fear assault from an exceedingly large mob of people, and brandishing such weaponry can be considered threatening.
Self-defense is just that. Defending one’s self. Self-defense does not apply when attacking others. That’s called assault. That’s not defensive. That’s offensive.
PHOENIX JONES In the statement, they accuse me of having a vigilante alter ego. I have been very clear from the beginning that I am not a vigilante
PHANTOM ZERO I could be very clear that I am a Christmas elf, but that does not mean I am by my own subjective assessment.
PHOENIX JONES What I do is when I see someone in the offense of a violent crime and I detain them until the official police arrive, who have taken a public oath to serve and protect and follow the legal procedures that have been voted for by the citizens.
PHANTOM ZERO Any self-appointed person who undertakes law enforcement in their community without legal authority, as by avenging a crime, is a vigilante.
PHOENIX JONES Holmes was careful to point out that I am ‘not a hero’. I believe that the victims on the street I have saved from being car jacked, bus jacked, assaulted, the people who have needed medical attention, and the 39,827 other people here on this page alone support what I do on a daily basis
PHANTOM ZERO Public opinion, popularity, or a myriad of good deeds does not give you special status of exemption from the law. When you are in violation of the law, you suffer the consequences–and while Ben Fodor’s character and other good deeds may be taken into account–it does not automatically grant a free pass.
PHOENIX JONES A hero can be defined as a lot of different things
PHANTOM ZERO “Hero” is a word. Claiming it for one’s self does about as much as claiming one’s self a Christmas elf.
PHOENIX JONES the good part of this is that district attorney Holmes is familiar with the law and came to the proper conclusion that I did not break the law.
PHANTOM ZERO Holmes didn’t push forward because the people Ben Fodor allegedly pepper sprayed didn’t step forward and there was insufficient evidence.
PHOENIX JONES However, what troubles me is that he wants to change the good Samaritan law that currently protects the citizens rights to interject themselves into situations where other people are being harmed and they need to know that they will not receive legal retribution for doing what is morally right. This in also an important day for activists and superhero alike as our way of life was being challenged.
PHANTOM ZERO Broad laws must be altered to cater to specific circumstances because of the lowest common denominator–the actions of a few who are irresponsible, or worse, abuse, distort, and corrupt the letter of the law.
In this case, Ben Fodor is the lowest common denominator.
If Ben Fodor feared for how the changes in this law will effect the citizens, understand that the result of his own actions are solely to blame, and the result this has on incidental bystanders, concerned citizens in his local community doing legitimate community watches, and/or other Real Life Superheroes rests solely and squarely on his own shoulders.
I find the sudden and unexpected convergence a bit disquieting, considering that the majority of the real life superhero community has shunned and decried Ben Fodor from his start of being “Phoenix Jones,” and Ben Fodor has taken measures to seperate and distance “Phoenix Jones” from the real life superhero community and movement by giving himself the label and claiming to be a member of the “Rain City superhero movement”–an organization which he claimed was completely seperate from the real life superhero community–and now that Ben has gotten this exceedingly bad press, it seems he seeks to distribute this new negative attention, and impose both his fight to regain credibility and his stigmata off on real life superheroes, which he consequently constantly puts down and has nothing to do with. (Edit: And, also, consequently, censors any voices of dissent which would be negative publicity by erasing the wall posts of individuals who voice concearns, or criticize his actions or methods–such as most recently in the case Drago Hammer, but also in regard to any RLSH, or RLSV, or any private citizen…)
Ben using this as a kind of clarion call to try and rally others behind him, by trying to suddenly associate himselfself with the real life superhero movement, is insulting. Realize that by he acting in this manner and by stating such an association, Ben Fodor casts a negative light on the masses who would not judge us an individuals, but who would seek to crush us as a collective group. By stating such, Ben Fodor risks tearing the concept of real life superheroes down, including those who are perfectly peaceful, altruistic/charitable, law abiding sensible do-ers of good–as well as the entire spectrum of the completely indepenent individuals who fall under the umbrella of real life superheroes who came before you who have operated exercising discretion and sound judgement.You don’t champion a cause or an idea with bad behavior, and you certainly should claim you are doing it in the name of a pro-social movement.

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Real Life Superhero Statement

The Real Life Superhero social movement is composed of many individuals, hundreds strong, united by missions which contribute positively to society through service and self-funded good deeds. We hope to enact social change by encouraging and inspiring citizenry to become active and give back to society.
Real Life Superheroes hail from diverse backgrounds, from all over the United States, from all over the world, taking up a unique visage which draws upon the archetypal superhero from the distinctly American folklore found on the pages of comic books. The eponymous “superhero” within the label each of us has embraced is used to raise awareness and promote the concept of doing good deeds.
Real Life Superheroes have a long, well documented history of participation in positive, pro-social action: organizing blood drives, establishing neighborhood/community crime watches, contributing material goods to the needy, visiting sick children in hospitals, as well as participating in and donating to charity fund raisers. Our ranks have grown in the past few years, but the core principal of upholding ethics and morals have remained consistent. Composed of an informal grouping of individuals, teams, and organizations, we are all good citizens, law abiding citizens, wishing to contribute to our communities in the best way we can. With that in mind, one of our most basic tenets we share is offering our full support to the authorities who serve, cooperating as good citizens should, but never obstructing or interfering.
We have a culture, but we act as independents, of our own free will. We act without any overarching internal mandate. We have no board of approval; We have no director of activities; We have no standing tribunal or body which handles disputes or deals in internal affairs. And while many teams and organizations exist, no individual is necessarily bound by a collective discretion we exercise.
That said, our social movement has no control over the very few individuals who may exercise poor discretion and/or impaired judgment, or whose motives are driven by something other than selfless altruism. Regrettably, these individuals, who take the selfless acts of the many who call themselves Real Life Superheroes to selfishly and duplicitously portray themselves as moral crusaders or vigilantes–who often crave and seek out conflict or publicity for attention and ego’s sake, and in turn receive publicity and media attention for their larger than life egos–are the worst example of who we are and what we do.
Please take time to read about and reflect upon the history of this social movement, and the many good deeds that a handful of concerned citizens have accomplished, before passing judgment or condemning the whole of us prematurely.
As individuals, and as active members and participants the teams and organizations which represent and support us, we assert this above statement to be true, and have listed our names below.

The Violation of Healthy Distance
The Violation of Healthy Distance (and how it pertains to the RLSH community)
Individuals should have freedom to exist and express themselves in a community without fear of reprisal.
Optimally, communities function under an umbrella of mutual respect. There are personal boundaries one must observe to respect an individual’s privacy. There should be a concept of “healthy distance” in any on-line community. These are unenumerated rights and unspoken rules which should be acknowledge and followed.
Thankfully, these people constitute a good portion of the Real Life Super Hero community.
There are also individuals who have a diminished capacity to, or have chosen to have a diminished ability to, compartmentalize (similar to how people must learn to compartmentalize family life, work life, school life, etc. and then from that point prioritize). These individuals are unwilling or unable to some degree to draw a clear line between what transpires in the RLSH community and the line that separates it from other facets of real-life. This can be somewhat understandable, as people in the community can be very passionate about what they do, and for many it represents a great investment of time, and identifying as a Real suffuses multiple aspects of their lives. Often times, if this is the case, these individuals may in some cases take things too seriously or too personally, but at the bare minimum, they are able to interact with others with a modicum of decorum and tact within a relatively normative or expected spectrum.
There are also select individuals who associate with this community–somewhat on the fringe, and a relative minority, but who still known and walk amongst it even now–who can be observed to be problematic. Some people take it a step further–and not a step in a positive direction. They develop an unhealthy fixation on the community and/or individuals therein  There are no lines, no boundaries, no remorse, and no redemption. Either by merit of delusion/insanity, cowardice, compulsion, spite, hatred, jealousy, zealotry, or perversity–blind or uncaring of boundaries–they seek to invade other’s healthy distance, they seek to prey upon the weak, malign or harm individuals or groups, or ceaselessly and unrelentingly assail sound and rational ideologies, while promoting themselves, their weakness, or unsound ideologies. (My theory is some people lack emotional maturity or restraint, and have yet to be truly self-actualized. As often times there are no other areas of their life, and community becomes their life. But I digress… at least for now).
I know of a number of luminary individuals in the community, both past and present, who have been mistreated as such by these unscrupulous individuals, as well as a number of promising individuals who were chased off or decided to leave after being mistreated by the same unscrupulous individuals.
Violations of these boundaries which I have observed against individuals in the community include, but are not limited to:
? Acting in a manipulative or predatory manner, especially in respect to minors or individuals in a cognitively, emotionally, or psychologically compromised/disadvantaged state
?        Attempting to acquire information, such as IP address or phone number, by soliciting an email or phone call–wherein afterwords the call or email can be traced via ip trace, online services, web searches, caller id, etc.
?        Attempting to force someone to do something, especially when the consequence of refusal is potentially very disadvantageous to the individual
?        Banning or censoring, or threatening to ban or censor, an individual from a message board or forum without cause or provocation, or with the intent to manipulate or ply leverage (NOTE: Not so much a concern now, but a major problem during the earlier days of the RLSH community, where checks and balances did not exist and individuals’ fickleness and megalomania ran unchecked)
?        Being disingenuous (e.g. claiming someone else’s work as your own)
?        Bulling/Cyber-Bullying
?        Contacting someone or threatening to contact someone unsolicited in the real world (e.g., showing up at someone’s home or place of work)
?        Contacting someone unsolicited by telephone/text, or private (esp. “civilian”) e-mail, especially when said telephone or e-mail number was given without prior consent, and especially if the intent is to disquiet or disturb
?        Contacting someone via telephone while other unannounced parties are listening in without prior consent
?        Demanding someone’s attention, communication, or private contact information on the basis the individual owns, operates, or moderates a web site, service, message board, or forum, especially if said request is an attempt to circumvent a previous request for non-contact or is an attempt to disturb or disquiet
?        Disseminating personal information (name, phone number, email address, or personal records), even if such information is readily accessible, especially if such information is passed on to individuals whose intent is to harass the person in question
?        Distorting the truth, omitting the truth, or fabricating the truth (outright lying) to con, convince, or manipulate an individual, be they a member of the community or a representative from the media, or a group of individuals, especially if said deception makes the individual making said claims seem more credible, more enticing, more legitimate, more popular, etc. in the eyes of another individual, media or general public
?        Doing/threatening to do vandalism or causing/threatening to cause damage or outright destruction to one’s property
?        Gathering, archiving, or actively searching for personal information on individuals within the community, with the intent to use that information for leverage at a later time, either personally or via proxy
?        Harassment
?        Making private correspondence public without prior consent
?        Not observing etiquette and politeness within tolerable levels, especially when the intent is merely to bother or cause disruption
?        Publicly slandering someone via name calling, perpetuating unsavory character assignations, or spreading rumors/misinformation
?        Purposely instigating a fight between individuals, groups, message boards, or social/philosophical factions in hopes of causing a fall out or flame war
?        Recording a phone conversation without consent
?        Rejecting a person’s right to wish to disassociate with you should they ask you to leave them alone, be it directly via phone calls, text messages, e-mail, private messages, or publicly by continually referencing that individual or by making it obvious that an individual’s online activity is being persistently monitored or followed
?        Sending correspondence which is seeded with malware or spyware, especially if the intent is to cause harm to another person’s computer or gather personal information
?        Showing up at a gathering of peers in a public place unannounced (crashing) with the intent to disquiet or disturb, especially so if the individual refuses to leave if asked by the organizers), or if it is a general sentiment expressed by the body of individuals, or if select individuals have reason to be disturbed or disquieted (i.e. only being present somewhere to act in an obtrusive manner and harass that individual or group)
?        Stalking/Cyber-Stalking
?        Threatening someone’s spouse, family, or the sanctity of one’s home or workplace, or purposely engaging in an activity that would compromise someone’s career or personal relationships
?        Unwarranted sexual advances or inappropriate comments to that effect, especially with intent to demean or objectify
?        Using/threatening to use any form of unwarranted social/community leverage or other forms of coercion or manipulation
?        Using/threatening to use physical violence
?        Violating someone’s personal space, which includes unsolicited touching or tampering with one’s personal effects or personal space
The reasons why the above examples are improper behavior should be self-evident (especially since much of the above is illegal, if not immoral, and highly unheroic). Many people still choose to associate with these unscrupulous individuals. Some, because the unscrupulous parties in questions seek out new blood. The unscrupulous individuals misrepresent themselves as benevolent and helpful emissaries, seeking allies to buffer themselves against detractors (or possible future marks); as the new bloods are unaware of a person’s track record or history, the new bloods don’t know any better. Others in the community, out of a malformed sense of camaraderie and manipulation on the part of unscrupulous individuals, refuse to question aberrant actions, or accept whole cloth lies conjured up as justification. Some individuals in the community even accept these some of these individuals out of pity, as some unscrupulous individuals do such to fill voids in their life out of a parasitic need for attention. Some individuals in the community tolerate unscrupulous individuals in the community out of fear of reprisal, for in rejecting that individual they may bring down some wrath upon them, or by rejecting the unscrupulous individual it may seem like they are acting in defiance of the status quo.
Why I found I should post this:
My hope is that I can convince more people to be aware and exercise caution and discretion when engaging individuals before offering them their unrestricted access, confidence and trust. Individuals caught unaware will only empower these unscrupulous individuals and sustain their existence. Forearmed with knowledge, we can halt victimization in the community, and sap those few unscrupulous individuals of their strength as to make them a non-issue.
My hope is that you can avoid harm and heartache others have been subjected to, learn from the past, and look towards the future.
Be Well,
Phantom Zero
EDIT (9/19/10) Corollary Statements:
I realize I illustrated a number of bad behaviors above, but not how to avoid them or what to do about them. It is far from being a complete list. As follows, in no particular order:
? If you are aware that someone is acting in a predatory manner towards a minor or other disadvantaged individual, report it to a moderator (if a forum/message board), a complaints department (if a social networking site), or otherwise to the local law enforcement.  Even if they can’t take direct action based on evidence provided, it will go on record, so if such violations are serial behavior, the level of concern will be heightened.
?        Don’t arbitrarily call or email an individual, because there are ways to trace it back to you.
?        Don’t let someone victimize you by using leverage or blackmail. The most common threat against individuals I hear about in the community is having someone reveal their RLSH identity in their civilian life to members of their work, school, or family in an attempt to embarrass or threaten the stability of their normal lives. The threat of spreading a rumor about an individual has also been levied against members of the community.
?        If someone threatens to do damage to your property, or does damage to your property, log it with the local law enforcement.
?        While there are kind and good moderators on forums or message boards, the truth of the matter is that they are privately owned or operated, so what they say goes (even if you don’t like it). I’ve seen too many people worn thin by a bad experience on a message board and then carrying a torch of ire against that particular establishment. These sentiments end up festering, and people who share these negative opinions tend to cluster, causing mass disruption and social strife in a community that is geared towards helping individuals. If you have a problem, my suggestion is you just fold and move on and not cause that particular institution any more trouble/grief. In my opinion, it is better to interact on a site where there is private filtering so you control what content you see and who you interact with. (It should be noted that I have never been an active member of a forum or message board as a RLSH–solely based on my past experiences. Also, because it is a major investment of time.).
?        Give credit where credit is due. You’ll find that helping your fellow RLSH out strengthens the bonds within our community. In addition, try to be truthful and honest. Don’t try to garnish the truth or fabricate stories, as it makes you look disingenuous. Bullying is comprised of serial behavior where in “a more powerful individual or group emotionally, verbally and/or physically abuses those who are less powerful. Cyber-Bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.” Once again, if you are being bullied by a member of the community, report it to a moderator (if a forum/message board), a complaints department (if a social networking site), or otherwise tell someone in it who you trust.
?        If someone online shows up unsolicited in the real world, report it to your superior at work, to an authority or security agent at school, or to the local law enforcement.
?        If someone contacts you by telephone/text, or private (esp. “civilian”) e-mail, ask them where they got said information.  If it disturbs you, ask that they not call again. If they persist in calling after you’ve asked them to stop, request a copy of your phone records and take it to the local law enforcement, block the number, or change your number.
?        While information may be accessible easily, you shouldn’t arbitrarily spread it around. Make it a point not to put detailed information online, as even small bits of outdated info can help an individual trying to investigate you. There are people who will try to piece together information about you.
?        If someone codifies in you, assume (unless otherwise stated) that the information is private (be it a telephone conversation, an email, or a private message).
?        Some basic netiquette (modified from Wikipedia’s entry on netiquette): Avoid flame wars and spam. Avoid typing in all caps or grossly enlarging script. One’s posts in a public forum are public. Keep private posts and information private–this includes using BCC when addressing a large group of individuals in mass mail, and not sending mail to civilian or work accounts. If someone asks to be removed from an email thread, please respect their wishes. When someone makes a mistake, be kind about it. If it’s a minor error, you may not need to say anything. If you need to correct, address, or rebuke someone for someone, better to do it in private (via email or private message), as to minimize a person’s embarrassment, as doing it in public only provides a stage complete with audience for another person’s humiliation.
?        Avoid spreading information or rumors without confirming said information from he source or finding some other way to confirm the credibility of the received information. Often times, people will seed information with is purposely untrue in order to proliferate it through the community. Even though the information is not publicly broadcast, it finds a backdoor through this private rumor mill. Many people assume it is truth. In this way, you act as a pawn in another person’s attempt to manipulate members of the community.
?        If someone asks you to leave them alone, leave them alone.
?        Keep your virus scanning software, spybot software, firewall, and/or other protections up to date (for a list of downloads, see below).  Educate yourself in regards to net security.  Don’t open up suspicious attachments on emails, or even emails from a strange or unknown source. Don’t follow links from an untrusted source.
General Downloads
AVG Antivirus
Spybot Search and Destroy
Windows Defender
Add-Ons For Mozilla Firefox
Adblock Plus
Note: The above advice is given in good conscience and good faith.  However, Phantom Zero takes no responsibility for the installation/misinstallation or use/misuse  of the above applications/software.  Any difficulties, problems, errors, or damages to one’s own or another’s  computer upon using/misusing the above are the sole responsibility of the installer/owner of the computer, and both Phantom Zero and the providers for these services (via their Terms of Use) hold themselves free of responsibility.
?        Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to: “unwanted, obsessive attention by individuals (and sometimes groups of people) to others.” Cyberstalking is defined as: “the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass.” Both are illegal in most jurisdictions. Archive any correspondence. Contact your local law enforcement.
As a side note, even though it does not pertain to the RLSH community per say (all though I know a lot of you have kids), if you are a parent and you have a minor who has access to a computer, consider parental monitoring and restriction software. Many phone companies also offer plans where in a child can call out/receive calls to a list of restricted numbers, block numbers relatively easily, set limits on calling time, texting, instant messaging, and/or have calling is heavily monitored.
Feel free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the above whole text (including this disclaimer) in bulletins, blogs, on social networks, message boards, forums, e-mails, so long as you attribute the above to Phantom Zero for re-use (but not in any way that suggests that Phantom Zero endorses you or your use of the work). You must also place a URL to link citing the initial posting so others may find the original work ( ). This work may not be reproduced for non-commercial purposes. Please do not alter, transform, make derivative works which build upon this work, or dissect any part of this work as to have it taken out of context. No content from this post may be used for republication in periodicals, newspapers, magazines, or in news reports by the general media without express clearance from Phantom Zero. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from Phantom Zero.