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View Full Version : A Brief History of Project Avalon



Bill Ryan
16th January 2019, 23:37
Hello, everyone — this is one of those threads that should have been started long ago. It was prompted by a message from a new member asking for some background information, saying they couldn't seem to find much about it.

As the Chinese proverb goes: the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. :)

Project Avalon was started by Kerry Cassidy and myself in August 2008. It was initially envisaged as a resource base for solutions, to complement all the major problems highlighted by Project Camelot. At the very start, it focused a great deal on self-sufficiency in potential times of crisis. (That's still mirrored in the Living Off The Grid (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/forumdisplay.php?69-Living-Off-The-Grid) section here.)

The forum was launched soon after (it had two main sections: Project Avalon and Project Camelot), and within 3 weeks we had 7,000 new members and a team of totally inexperienced moderators who didn't even know each other. It was utter chaos for a while. :)

I was still very active with Kerry in Project Camelot at that time, and so wasn't involved on a daily basis as I am now. in April 2010 I logged on one day to find the forum had been closed, and a version 2.0 re-launched. The decision had been taken by Richard Hertzog, the senior admin at the time (username Richard, whose wife was member Celine).

What had happened was that one particular thread had become so contentious and highly-charged that a huge amount of upset was raging ('Q', Corey Goode, or the Flat Earth had nothing on this!), and everything was utterly out of control like a large pot of milk boiling over. The moderators team was also split clean in half, with strong feelings about it in each direction, and the mods could no longer do their job. So Richard pressed the metaphorical big STOP button and closed the entire thing.

For short, we sometimes call the old forum AV1. This is AV2. The old forum is locked and closed, but is still fully online and can be viewed in its entirety here:

http://projectavalon.net/forum

Interestingly, if you click that link, you'll see that this was the logo:

http://projectavalon.net/black_header_logo_narrow.gif

That's HIGHLY strange, considering that at that time I had not the faintest clue (or slightest intention) I'd end up living in Ecuador. :)

The former members were all asked to confirm their invited membership of the new forum, but I don't have the stats on how many members there were in the old forum, and how many opted to re-join. Of course, we must have lost a bunch of people then, and we definitely lost half the moderators. So the entire thing was a major re-boot.

About 6 months later, we opted to launch the membership application process which still works very well today, and has barely been altered all this time. As almost all readers here will know, that provides us with a kind of filter so that we can gently exclude people who seem likely to be socially problematic, like those with aggressive or toxic attitudes, extremely weird views, seem mentally unwell (sometimes, the applicant freely admits they're in psychiatric care, with off-the-wall application content that seems to support that) or, in some cases, who simply don't speak English.

It also helps the mods team a great deal, as we have a little background information on each approved, invited member — always kept tightly confidential — that really does help us sometimes when (e.g.) trying to understand a problem or a dispute.

Kerry Cassidy herself had by this time stepped away from Avalon, though she's still a member (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?7-Kerry-Cassidy) in good standing and occasionally posts. She and I had decided at the end of 2009 that she'd take Camelot, as it were, and I'd take Avalon. It was a little like a divorce agreement, though we still worked well together in mid-2010 when we were asked to shoot a pilot episode (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQD0rUqbGo) for a TV program which never went to series.

The next major thing that happened was that 'Charles', an infamous insider (he really was infamous, and he really was an insider) joined the forum in November 2010 by my invitation under the username BMW (which he said made him laugh so much he spit his coffee out: it was a joke about his car, which he was missing at the time), changing that to Atticus in January 2011.

That prompted a huge influx of new members, and many reading this may remember that. 'Charles'/Atticus answered every question posed to him, and attracted quite a following... and also some detractors. This too started to spill over like another pan of boiling milk, and in March 2011 Richard, his non-moderator wife Celine (though who was highly influential in Richard's decisions and attitudes), and almost all of the moderator team all resigned. (To be exact: I asked Richard and Celine to resign, and then most of the other mods quit in protest.

Only two remained: administrators — at that time very inexperienced on Avalon — Paul (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?2030-Paul) and Ilie Pandia, who has himself just recently left the team (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?104824-Bill-Ryan-s-personal-Question-and-Answer-thread.-Pile-it-on.--&p=1263555&viewfull=1#post1263555) for reasons undeclared by him. (One of those little details I remember: Paul's username was 'The Pythonic Cow', which he swears is on his birth certificate, and Ilie was 'Pixel'. Many reading this will be aware that very early on, in AV1, I decreed that all moderators should have their real names as usernames, to make us more human, friendly and accessible. To this day, as best we know, we're the only social media platform that does this anywhere in the world.)

Just two moderators plus myself, a team of three, was still a crisis. I asked Dennis Leahy (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?104824-Bill-Ryan-s-personal-Question-and-Answer-thread.-Pile-it-on.--&p=1263555&viewfull=1#post1263555) to step in, and he immediately jumped to the rescue, something which I thank him for to this day. (He later stepped down for personal reasons, but knows he'd be welcome back in the control room any time.) And Limor Wolf, recently retired from the forum, joined the team then as well. From that solid platform, we slowly rebuilt.

We seek to improve what we're doing all the time, and are always making small improvements when they come to mind... like this thread. :) There are many things we'd like to do to the forum interface, but we're hamstrung there as almost everything you see on each page is hard-wired into the software, inaccessible to modification. So we're kind of stuck with the large but pretty serviceable house we're living in, and all we can do is keep it tidy and the family in good shape. :)

We do know you all help us to that, of course, and there are MANY members who take the time and responsibility regularly help us do our jobs by bringing things to our attention which otherwise we'd surely miss... the forum is that big now.

Finally, and maybe of interest, among the currently active mods, 7 (myself, Billy (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?3600-Billy), Hervι (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?4925-Herv--), Jean-Marie (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?3690-Jean-Marie), Kristin (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?97-Kristin), Paul (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?2030-Paul), and Sierra (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?3634-Sierra)) will all have been on the team for 8 years next month, with Debra (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?9646-Debra) close behind at 7 years. That's quite a bunch of remarkable, commendable, dedicated service. Count the years in total! All these guys (and the slightly newer mods, too: Rachel (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?24844-Rachel), Joe from the Carolinas (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?32344-Joe-from-the-Carolinas), Mike (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?3356-Mike), Tintin (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?32113-Tintin), and Chip (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/member.php?13081-Chip)) are solid gold. They combine to help make this what we're OFTEN told is the best, highest quality, most friendly, most aware, most articulate, best-informed, and most civilized forum on the net.

And I'd agree. :highfive:

Violet3
17th January 2019, 11:11
Thanks for the background Bill. I am curious about the infamous 'Charles/ Atticus': why was there such a following, then controversy? Why was he infamous anyway, and what was he an insider to? Also why did you ask Richard and Celine to resign?

Sunny-side-up
17th January 2019, 12:23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQD0rUqbGo

Thanks for reminding me of our great and very important production/pilot Bill, such a must see, pure gold.

Great to see Avalon history neatly laid out in one nice post.

Concerning that pilot film, which question/s would you add or ask differently now if you could have?

waree
17th January 2019, 13:25
Thank you for the brief history. I really want to see you in the field investigation again. You and Kerry were better than X-file series. Kerry even though she has a strong personality but her fearless attitude and your noble demeanor were really a nice contrast. I would love to see you guys' on the adventure again. There is no such team like you ever since.

Billy, I wonder if your reason to be off the grid is due to threat from the power that be (like Charles) or because of the possible cataclysm or because you just want to live like a Yoda. :)

Soda
17th January 2019, 14:01
Hi Bill,
This is great. Even though I only joined the forum 6 years ago, I have been following the forum(s) from the beginning and your post helped fill in some gaps and corrected some assumptions I had made. That logo is crazy! :happythumbsup: I remember Kerry once saying that she thought Charles worked for Tavistock. Is that true?
Thanks,
Soda

Jantje
17th January 2019, 14:39
I surely don't wanna see Bill and Kerry work together again, and much prefer at least avalon the way it is now.

One thing is for certain. It is Bill and the very good mods that make this forum as great as it is. Hats off !

Bill Ryan
17th January 2019, 16:40
Thanks for the background Bill. I am curious about the infamous 'Charles/ Atticus': why was there such a following, then controversy? Why was he infamous anyway, and what was he an insider to? Also why did you ask Richard and Celine to resign?

There's a fair amount about this on my personal Q-and-A thread (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?104824-Bill-Ryan-s-personal-Question-and-Answer-thread.-Pile-it-on.--). Search that thread for 'Charles' posted by my own username, with the results shown as 'Posts', using the Advanced Search Thread function here:

http://projectavalon.net/FAQ_images/Advanced_thread_search.gif

And then use that search page, which looks almost identical to the main forum Advanced Search:

http://projectavalon.net/FAQ_images/Thread_search_example.gif

In summary: I did an interview with him posted on 1 January 2011, which has since been taken down from my AlphaZebra channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/AlphaZebra) by his request (although it can still be found elsewhere by searching YouTube).

He worked directly for a group which he described (my paraphrase) as the Ruling Council for Planet Earth, which was unnamed but which consisted of 33 people, all I believe men, one from each primary bloodline.

Mostly (or maybe fully), these would NOT be names known in the public domain. The majority were British or mainland-European, but at that time (2010-11) there were a few from other countries. Other groups like the Illuminati, Masons, Skull and Bones, Kinghts of Malta, etc, were all junior to this one group.

'Charles' (not his real name) had the task of 'making problems go away'. In Hollywood parlance, he'd be called a 'hit man', though he only killed people as a last resort. He said that there were always far easier and less messy ways of handling people who were regarded as 'problems'. He actually told me one might be surprised at how many people in the caved in quickly to blackmail, or $$ payoffs.

In mid-2010 he was ordered by his immediate superior to handle ME as a problem, which how was regarded by this ruling group. Interestingly, they didn't care about Kerry Cassidy, who was not considered a threat (he said). But he himself wanted to make a break from his ties, and told me that he was going to disobey orders and NOT 'handle me' at all, but instead invited me to ask any questions about anything I wished to know.

In the first two weeks of August 2010, we had two four-hour Skype conversations that were the most interesting I've ever had. He didn't know a lot about many things I asked him, but just bits and pieces that he'd learned by overhearing conversations, etc etc. I was convinced he was authentic.

To cut a long story short, he went on the run, occasionally messaging me, but failed to make his break. In November 2010 he was obliged to face the Council in their equivalent of a court-martial. The deal was simple. He sat in a large chair with his right arm clamped under a guillotine. If he lied in response to any question, he;d lose his right hand, and there was an ambulance waiting outside. He said it was all very easy. All he had to do was tell the truth. And he had to, because he'd never know what they already knew and what they didn't.

From that moment on, he was playing both sides, and told me so. But he was by that time also an Avalon forum member, and it was that which attracted such a great deal of attention and controversy. Many now have dismissed him as a 'con man', who somehow took me for a wild ride, but he wasn't that at all. He was pretty much everything he said he was. I did make mistakes, but on the whole I was always super-mindful to do my very best all round in a really interesting set of circumstances.

To make the story even shorter, things became very difficult in many ways, and as I explained on my Q-and-A thread I made a couple of major mistakes by grossly disrespecting him. That really wasn't very smart of me, and had never been my intention. (To the contrary: I'd always understood from the outset how important it was to understand his own particular Code of Honor — a serious matter — and operate by that.)

Ironically, as I think I said on my Q-and-A thread, if I ever met him again the first thing I'd do is buy him a beer. I actually liked him a lot. Many may never understand that, but I do think he would. :)

Eventually, he started to regard me as an opponent or adversary — something which I'd never intended or wished to happen — and of course this became a major problem on the forum, to some degree behind the scenes.

Richard and his wife Celine were involved because Richard was the head of the mods team: at that time I'd pretty much empowered Richard to choose his own team, something which no longer happens: now we operate by very careful genuine consensus. But moreover, he was heavily influenced by his very difficult and bipolar wife, Celine. (No insult here: she was open about her mental and emotional condition, which was always challenging for Richard to handle. Richard himself was not any kind of bad guy.)

Celine was a wild card that was almost impossible to deal with. She was, for instance, having a bunch of private conversations with Charles behind all our backs, and this never helped a thing. Richard was unable to control her, and, very much trying to keep his own domestic peace, grew to very strongly disagree with me about what was the best course to pursue.

That disagreement became deadlocked and completely irreconcilable, and so I asked both him and Celine to leave. I took the unusual and unique step of NOT unsubscribing ('banning') them immediately, but gave them a day's period of grace so they could make any final posts they wished. It was a little like in a corporation when someone would be told they'd be fired not right now, but the next day. (Not that smart an idea, though I was trying to be gentlemanly about it all, because of course Richard used the time to copy almost everything he could from the forum and then start his own.) And, as I wrote above, almost all of the mods team then resigned as well.

That's the briefest summary. All of Charles' threads have been archived away, again by his own request, but Richard's and Celine's posts and threads can, I believe, still be found. It was really all quite a hiatus, and that might be quite an understatement.

:)

Moderator note: You're most welcome to ask further questions about this, but please do so on my personal Q-and-A thread (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?104824-Bill-Ryan-s-personal-Question-and-Answer-thread.-Pile-it-on.--). THX. :thumbsup:

Bill Ryan
17th January 2019, 16:47
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQD0rUqbGo

Thanks for reminding me of our great and very important production/pilot Bill, such a must see, pure gold.

Great to see Avalon history neatly laid out in one nice post.

Concerning that pilot film, which question/s would you add or ask differently now if you could have?

To respond to this in a right-angled way, one reason the series was never taken up was that the TruTV network executive who was buying the show did NOT like Kerry.

They said they did want to go ahead with the TV series, but only with me alone: the Indiana Jones guy with the English accent. :)

I said No. Even though this was in 2010, and Kerry and I had been through Hell and High Water and had already agreed to part ways, she was my partner in this.

It was one of those timeline-splitting, 'Sliding Doors' moments in my life. If I'd said Yes, I'd have had my own TV show, and my life right now might be very, very different.

Bill Ryan
17th January 2019, 16:56
Thank you for the brief history. I really want to see you in the field investigation again. You and Kerry were better than X-file series. Kerry even though she has a strong personality but her fearless attitude and your noble demeanor were really a nice contrast. I would love to see you guys' on the adventure again. There is no such team like you ever since.

Bill, I wonder if your reason to be off the grid is due to threat from the power that be (like Charles) or because of the possible cataclysm or because you just want to live like a Yoda. :)

Yes, we often joked that (100% accidentally!) we were kind of like straight out of central casting. But the entire thing was utterly unplanned. No marketing agent, no PR, no strategy team, no admin or tech support, no nothing. Just us, doing our thing and taking a camera with us everywhere.

We really were the definition of 'grass roots', and I think a lot of people could identify with that. It was like a real (micro!) 'people's movement'. Looking back, I actually can see quite well how come we became so popular as a Mulder-and-Scully duo. :)

And we never sold a thing. Everything we published was free. Our watchword was that we didn't own the information we were coming by, so we had no right to try to sell it. We never copyrighted anything, either. That thought was anathema to us. I still operate 100% that way. I just wish more people would, but that's a different story.

Star Tsar
17th January 2019, 16:58
I really like that old logo!

Bill Ryan
17th January 2019, 17:01
Hi Bill,
This is great. Even though I only joined the forum 6 years ago, I have been following the forum(s) from the beginning and your post helped fill in some gaps and corrected some assumptions I had made. That logo is crazy! :happythumbsup:

Yes, it is! :)

http://projectavalon.net/black_header_logo_narrow.gif


I remember Kerry once saying that she thought Charles worked for Tavistock. Is that true?
Thanks,
Soda

All I can really say is that I don't believe so.

James
17th January 2019, 18:31
I remember Kerry once saying that she thought Charles worked for Tavistock. Is that true?

He would find that amusing... just like all the other claims that popped up after his chat with Bill.

Something closer to the truth is that Charles is someone who is alien to the rest of us because of how truly human he is. It’s off-putting and kind of frightening to interact with someone who has no physical or mental leashes the rest of us seem to burden ourselves with, consciously or not.

Whisper
17th January 2019, 18:38
Hey, Bill,

all of you are doing a great job. Thank you so much, for giving all of us the possibility to communicate and learn world wide from each other around here. :Avalon: This forum is a very amazing place and I am glad I found it on the net. A big Mahalo/thank you to you and your team. I sure appreachiate it a lot! It gives me more insight`s into other people`s opinion and knowledge and help`s to discover new informations and facts, we all need to know. :happythumbsup: :handshake: :waving:

toppy
17th January 2019, 19:55
Thank you Bill and Kerry!
I feel like I (myself) is a part of this wonderful story.

Orobo
17th January 2019, 22:17
That means... I have been taking in your work from before 2008.

Now I think of it, I have seen almost everything you've put out since...eh..Mr X? At least once.

After I listened to an interview with Graham Hancock on his 2005 book Supernatural, I found you and Kerry talking about stranger stuff still. offered by youtube in the side-bar..

Thank you.

About time I donated, cheapskate. ( Well I am dutch after all...) Now where's that button? Let my blushing be an advance.

Carmody
23rd January 2019, 15:20
I was there through the whole ride, mostly. Before Charles but after the old forum. August 2010, IIRC.

Bill and I both noticed some interesting aspects during the Charles run, which we only directly spoke about -a few years ago. I had no clue (awareness of) and no prejudgement on Charles, I did not know him and would not possess judgement if I did know him. No point.

Although the bits about crowd control and the like were interesting, and also the clear prescience thing played into it. I could spot Charles in time, pre event or concurrent, if I wanted to, but left him to his (unspoken) requested privacy. Which led to the 'not all that obvious' aspect that both Bill and I noticed and I openly mentioned a few times during that phase.

As I was concentrating daily on the scenario at hand on the forum, at the time, thus.. inevitably the seeing and the prescience creeps into it, so I had to defocus, in order to let the scenario run unencumbered.

As to what people thought of his (Charles) er, communique's greater and minor meanings, I always note that what he said had no faults, to this day. So far. Considering the time that has passed, that makes it a fairly interesting record. (that one's interpretation of his meaning can play into finding fault or whatnot, that the general arc of notes of direction and whatnot are still/were all solid)

greybeard
23rd January 2019, 15:51
Charles was extremely clever and likeable.
He implied rather that came straight out with
He was all things to all people at least those looking for a "saviour"

At that time I tried to defuse the extreme points of view and opposing by saying--"Wait and see"
There were if I remember correctly 50 threads on what Charles said and what he meant.
He used flattery too particularly on Celine with disastrous consequences to my mind.
There were Psychic attacks on members.

Cant see that since leaving Avalon Charles made any kind of impact on the world---but then I was not a follower so I dont know where he went or what he did.
A lot of hype at the time, hopes raised, for some.

Chris

Nick Matkin
25th January 2019, 13:03
Interesting video in your post #8 Bill. But that perpetual crash-bang-gee-whizz-wow music/sound effects was meant to appeal to who? Would the dialogue and imagery not suffice? Maybe it's just me who doesn't much care for melodrama...

Bill Ryan
25th January 2019, 13:09
Interesting video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQD0rUqbGo) in your post #8 (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?105707-A-Brief-History-of-Project-Avalon&p=1270106&viewfull=1#post1270106) Bill. But that perpetual crash-bang-gee-whizz-wow music/sound effects was meant to appeal to who? Would the dialogue and imagery not suffice? Maybe it's just me who doesn't much care for melodrama...

I couldn't agree more. :)

During the editing process, Kerry and I submitted a ton of feedback, recommendations and requests to the production company — but most of it was ignored.

Nick Matkin
25th January 2019, 14:36
Interesting video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slQD0rUqbGo) in your post #8 (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?105707-A-Brief-History-of-Project-Avalon&p=1270106&viewfull=1#post1270106) Bill. But that perpetual crash-bang-gee-whizz-wow music/sound effects was meant to appeal to who? Would the dialogue and imagery not suffice? Maybe it's just me who doesn't much care for melodrama...

I couldn't agree more. :)

During the editing process, Kerry and I submitted a ton of feedback, recommendations and requests to the production company — but most of it was ignored.

Ah, yes. The post-production monkeys. I should have guessed! Say no more...

Incidentally, the photo shown by Dave Rosenveld at about 37' 27" looks just like a sprite or elve shooting up from a lightning storm in the distance.

Orobo
26th January 2019, 12:28
I had not seen that whole episode because of all that fluffing. I did now.
It is the opposite of how I know Avalon, and Bill, to be. That is why I come back here again and again, even if I am your worst for continuity. Must be the ephemeral whimsical artist mind...

I could only throw off the visceral reaction by hopping into the groove that it is meant satirical, while picking up on the kernels... Yeah that is what it was. Being led on a breadcrum trail. Fook dat.
Could be done in a few minutes actually.

I bought some books from US authors, and it shows there too. Willed repetition and fluff. My (european?) head doesn't digest that too well.

The lack of just that is what I like about (y)our forum.

triquetra
25th February 2019, 08:13
Agreed, Orobo. Some of us that have been around (off and on of course, perhaps under more than one name) from the very beginning in 2008 have likely also seen an evolution, even while there's been *ACTUAL EFFORT* towards maintaining a standard all the while. This is what sets the forum apart.

It may have gained a lot of new traffic after the Michael Tsarion forum fell apart around that time. I have noticed patterns of sabotage, including two directly against me in end of 2008 and again end of 2016. Guess I'll have to keep my head up end of 2024 (or sooner).

Also have noticed over the years the patterns of creating divisions between groups of people, always these binary divisions, to turn people against one another, generating partisanship of any kind. That we still fall for it is disappointing.

But this brings me to questions I had pondered asking Bill in QnA thread but are probably more approriate here:

1. Have you noticed patterns of attempted sabotage yourself, either personally or against the progress of the forum?
2. Do you think the consciousness of the forum has, on the whole, been rising in the past decade? Might we be more resilient, less easily fooled, further along our own respective paths? This is the sort of thing only moderators could answer.

Last one is probably most important:

3. The forum tagline "Chronicles of human awakening... where science and spirituality meet". I know you must really believe the forum capable of delivering on this tagline. Though of course it is something that spans more than one decade. Might this really be all there is to it after all?

Symbolically speaking, we are taught to believe that no things are further apart than science and spirituality. We are trained in establishing that as one of the firmest binary divisions there are. But is it not a load of rubbish? Although we might place something like the arts, music and so forth between them, might they all be understood better in some type of triangular formation where they are all connected together, a circle twisted three times into a knot?

By that logic, where science and spirituality meet is indeed the missing link, the one that completes the formation.

Anything you could say regarding your own take on the tagline would be very interesting. I hope my take was of some value. I think the potential of this forum might explain attempts at sabotage, introducing artificial drama, etc. If it does not totally destroy a forum (as with the M Tsarion forum), it can at least hamper its progress.

And so many (topic related) forums are just too out there. So many people in their Dark Night wind up in them. It takes a certain kind of environment to help people get through it and not thrash about or even make the Night last longer.

Here is an article to explain what I mean a bit better. It was an upsetting read for me, but it shows that sowing seeds of division can happen anywhere, even in meditation. No one ever wants to help others get through their Dark Night. Except places like this :)

https://www.esquire.com/uk/latest-news/a25651175/the-other-side-of-paradise-how-i-left-a-buddhist-retreat-in-handcuffs/