Allow me to introduce:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/107291.Needful_Things

Needful Things
by Stephen King

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Leland Gaunt opens a new shop in Castle Rock called Needful Things. Anyone who enters his store finds the object of his or her lifelong dreams and desires: a prized baseball card, a healing amulet. In addition to a token payment, Gaunt requests that each person perform a little “deed,” usually a seemingly innocent prank played on someone else from town. These practical jokes cascade out of control and soon the entire town is doing battle with itself.

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I had fully intended to leave Free Republic behind as a bad dream, but the longer I am away, the more I realize that it is and was so much more. Intentionally so. The way it is structured is almost Machiavellian in nature. Like “Needful Things”, it draws in the weak and elderly, the young and naive, the lonely and sick, people looking for a place they think they belong.
And like “Needful Things” proprietor, Leland Gaunt, Jim Robinson promises that which you crave most at a dreadful price. Once you ‘belong’ you are nothing more than a hostage to the whims of a tyrant who can take your ‘home’ and separate you from your ‘friends’ anytime and any way he decides for any reason and/or excuse. You are always aware that this can happen and often does no matter how much you have contributed or how hard you have worked to raise Free Republic to a higher plane in the Conservative Movement. Jim Robinson sees to it that Free Republic stays on the fringes and will not allow any challenge to his absolute rule even if it means turning Freepers on each other.

When Free Republic was on its way to becoming a major force of nature thanks to the hard work of many dedicated people who believed in him, he stabbed every single one of them in the back rather than allow anyone to share his power. He took their money and their work and sent out his sycophants to utterly destroy them…and he succeeded to an amazing degree.

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He offers you “freedom of speech” until you try to use it to disagree with him or his inner sanctum. Then either he or his designated attack vultures will find a reason for you to ride the lightning even if they have to revive a four year old statement you once made, take it completely out of context, and slowly nibble away at you to goad you into either fighting back knowing you will be banned, or just going away quietly to heal your wounds because you cannot win.
He states over and over that FR is for God and country…unless you are a Mormon or a Jew. Free Republic is his country, and the almighty dollar is his god.

He turns Freeper against Freeper…”to keep things interesting.” Usually it starts by Jim posting an opinion about something/anything, then sitting back waiting for the usual buttkissers to come running to pat him on the back with a “Yes, Boss,” or some such fawning platitude. But inevitably, someone will attempt to use that “freedom of speech” Jim is always touting to disagree with his opinion and offer one of his/her own and BAM! It’s off to the races and Free Republic goes to war with itself just like King’s Castle Rock. Should the battle appear to subside on its own, Jim, like Leland Gaunt, will step back in and make a remark about how it’s his board and if you don’t like the way he runs HIS board, (even though YOU pay for it,) you can go somewhere else…and the battle reheats. A purge ensues and there can be three or four “zots” on that one thread. It doesn’t matter how long you have been there. You are gone.

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I have been watching this Freepathon and watching the donations as they come in from people who can scarcely afford it apologizing that they can’t donate more than maybe $3.00 and it is heartbreaking, sad, and sickening.
How many of those who sent in $3.00 have the kind of bling shown in the pic of JimRob, a quarter inch wide, 18-20 inch long white and yellow gold rope chain…while THEY are deciding which prescriptions they can forgo because the copays are so high?

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He says Free Republic is beholden to no one, but that is a lie.
Leland Gaunt drove a “Tucker Talisman” built specially for him.
Jim Robinson drives a fully rigged, customized van that was, or will soon be, customized even further to accommodate his new disability, (and I don’t begrudge him that,) but to say that FR is beholden to no one when it is truly beholden to everyone whose hard work and many, many contributions paid for everything he has while trying to scare people into donating what they don’t have so he can have even more of what they don’t is disingenuous at best.
He takes in $340,000 per year just from FR. That does not include Social Security or any pension he might receive. That also does not include other entities running off FR’s servers which pay him for space.
He also employs Google Analytics which, unless it is the free version, costs a MINIMUM of $50,000 per year so he knows where anyone who visits FR comes from and goes, where they spend their money and how much, what other sites they visit and when 24/7. In other words, YOU pay to have yourself followed by a corporation that takes every single bit of your personal information and uses it to profit themselves, gives it over to fed.gov upon demand, and though Jim KNOWS this, he uses it anyway so HE knows who you are and where you’ve been, consequences be damned.
Anyone and everyone who has ever had personal dealings with Jim Robinson with very few exceptions has been shafted BY Jim Robinson in one way or another.

And how does he repay Freeper loyalty? Well, unless you are a bonafide member of his CURRENT inner sanctum, you can expect not one iota of reciprocated loyalty from Mr. Robinson as he has proven time and again over many years.
As I said in an earlier post, Free Republic is a buyer beware site where the rules can change in less than a heartbeat. You pays your money and you takes your chances. Good luck with that. Leland Gaunt lives.

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