There was, of course, no edict that we couldn't talk about Rook, just not to him. So the following year we started up an "E-group" (which later became Yahoo Groups, which later became totally obsolete) called "MOCKFANDOM," and then proceeded to start a flame war between several sock puppet accounts on the subject of whether "MOCK sux!" or "MOCK rulezz!" for a few weeks before actual MOCK members caught on to the group's existence and began to join in.
This was interesting for a few reasons. One, we got to rant anonymously about the whole "Kronies" incident that was infamous at the time and air our actual grievances about Rook. We could also play host to similar stories from others; Rook had been on a rampage of banning former members and guests if he thought they were part of the conspiracy-you know, the one he'd denied actually existed in court. Some of these former friends came to our page, sometimes by our own invitation, to air their own dirty laundry. The official MOCK message board was notoriously censored, with the sane, rational side never being heard above the din of Rook's ranting and imperious use of the delete function. In those days before Facebook or MySpace or any of that shit, we provided a forum for the other side of the argument. Much of it was standard Internet bitching, but gradually some interesting nuggets began to appear.
A group of MOCK members who liked the style of the con but had become sick of Rook's politics and rants had formed another convention which shared several staff members. Following the 2000 MOCKTOBERFEST, one of these described a message he'd received from Rook which stated that the next MOCK just happened to fall on the same weekend as the other con, by complete and total coincidence, of course, and so staffers needed to decide which con they were going to work in what was clearly a blatant loyalty test (Rook had previously moved MOCK head-to-head with other local cons before, always with disastrous results for his own show). When this staffer had complained of this inconvenience on the MOCK board, Rook had furiously denied he'd even set the con dates yet and called him a liar, in response to which he simply posted Rook's email to him on our board, where it couldn't be touched. Around the same time, stories appeared on the MOCKFANDOM board of how the few remaining members had tried to bring new friends to bolster the ranks, only for Rook to refuse them badges and then threaten to call the police if they didn't leave, in a final, desperate rush to the bottom. Angry staffers and members flooded the official board with demands to know the dates until Rook, unable to keep up with the deleting fast enough to quell the uprising, shut down his own website. A concensus was being reached even amongst Rook's most ardent supporters-that he really was, despite what they might've believed before, a complete and total asshole. Rook had gambled and lost utterly, for the last time.
2001's MOCK was held in a somewhat more building-code-adherent location, but it was in its death throes. A few months before it was held, Rook at last resigned as con chair. A few old guard staffers attempted to continue in his absence, but the damage was already quite irrevocably done. After one single, Rook-free show, MOCK finally gave up the ghost and faded into memory, a cautionary tale for future cons to regard with dread.