What Goes Down in Facebook Groups, Stays in Facebook Groups

And here’s why, but don’t tell anyone

I’ve been feeling paranoid lately. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Lee, is this opening paragraph just an excuse for you to set the scene for a satirical swipe at someone or something?” No. Of course, it isn’t. What kind of person do you think I am?

So, where was I? This paranoia has led me to believe I’m in some kind of Medium led cult. “Lee, avoid dangerous cults, practise safe sects!” I hear you cry. Yes, I am well aware of these dangers. I’m not gullible, you know. Apart from that one time my blind neighbour sold me his guide dog. The irony is he’s the one that saw me coming. He claimed his dog could sew any article of clothing. But all it does is pants.

“Lee, wait! Medium is not a cult, nor is it the kind of platform to shamelessly promote its own publications at the cost of unique and original content produced by up and coming writers. Nor has Medium knowingly allowed itself to become saturated with social media marketers, with original and refreshing content being overlooked and disregarded.”

Your opinions aside, I am convinced I am in some kind of Medium led cult. Allow me to explain why.

The other day I found myself chatting with a couple of people in one of those Medium Facebook Groups. To the uninitiated, these groups are viewed by many as somewhat of a revolutionary movement against Medium. I’ve heard rumours this movement is known as the People’s Front of Medea. Not to be confused with the Medean People’s Front. I’ve also heard there is a Top Writer in Satire that promotes this revolutionary movement in satirical, pun-laden stories. Crazy fool.

So there I was, in this Facebook Group, chatting to someone about why we need more Medium stories about social media marketing. And then, the very same evening, as I walked home, I noticed I was being followed by a shadowy figure. “This is crazy Lee! Are you sure your mind wasn’t playing tricks on you?” I hear you ask. Of course, I’m sure. I’m not an idiot. Unlike those so-called Medium curators who don’t even know the difference between to and too. There so stupid.

So, the night in question, I was walking home in the dark, being followed by a suspicious-looking figure. As this figure got nearer I recognized them to be a mime artist. From head to toe, they were dressed in a bright blue uniform. Emblazoned across their sweater was the logo ‘M&M.’ The font of the first M was ‘Noe Display’ and the second M was ‘Aachen SB-Medium’. This figure had an uncandy resemblance to the hoodlums that kidnapped me that one time:

This figure caught me up and then attacked me. While defending myself I managed to break their left arm. This figure got arrested and I got taken home safely by the authorities. Apparently, the mime artist still has the right to remain silent.

“Hang on a minute Lee,” I hear you say, “how do you know, this incident wasn’t just an unfortunate coincidence?” Well, consider if you will that Jack the Ripper, Vlad the Impaler, and Winnie the Pooh all share the same middle name. Now that can’t be a coincidence, can it?

The very next day, I decided to put this theory to the test; to see for sure if this incident was more than coincidental. So, I purposely disengaged with the aforementioned conversation in the M*d*um Facebook Group. And lo and behold, that evening, as I walked home from my paranoid schizophrenic support group, I no longer had the feeling I was being followed; the voice in my head told me so. Don’t worry, I’m not a full-blown schizophrenic anymore. I’ve recently been diagnosed with ADD with elements of schizophrenia. Basically, I hear voices but not for long enough for them to drive me crazy.

Now, as a male victim of domestic abuse, I’m accustomed to the authorities not believing me. I recently tried telling them that my ex-wife is stealing the signs for the street she lives on. The police went to her house. All the signs were there, but they still didn’t believe me. I know the truth. She just doesn’t like people knowing she lives down Sico Path. Incidentally, she lives just outside the county of Shittonhim. Also, earlier today I accidentally glued myself to the first draft of my autobiography. I attempted to call emergency services, but again, no one believed me. But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So, with the above in mind, please allow me to apply some analytical thinking to underpin my hypothesis that I am in some kind of Medeum led cult:

Cults Have a Lack of Financial Transparency

Following M*d*um’s recent questionable payment changes, I’ve been unable to pay my monthly exorcism bill. As a consequence, I’ve been repossessed. I’ve also heard M*d*um is branching out into the monastery business. I emailed them the other day asking what was going on. They replied, telling me it was nun of my business.

Cults Suppress Scepticism

I’ve been in the curation slammer since I joined M*d*um back in 2017. “I’m sorry Lee, but I don’t know what the curation slammer is,” I hear you say. Of course, you don’t know, cause you weren’t there man! Let me explain. A couple of weeks ago I accidentally clicked on an in-house publication. My instinct told me to leave, but I couldn’t. Everywhere I looked were stories of how successful the people who live here are. All around were promises of riches beyond my wildest dreams. These stories professed to be offering invaluable advice to aspiring writers. Such as how to write about writing. And how to write about marketing. Some of the stories looked really in-depth, challenging and compelling. Especially the ones that offered advice on how to write about people, who write about writing.

Then something caught my eye. Talking about eyes, I recently rubbed ketchup in my eyes. I really regret it. But I guess, that’s the luxury of Heinz sight. Sorry about that sh*t joke. But I do like jokes about eyes. The cornea the better.

So, apologies for the digression. So I’d clicked on in-house publication by mistake and something had caught my eye. A story about how important it is to take a break from writing satirical, pun-laden stories that poke fun at M*d*um. Now I consider myself a smart man. But for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why M*d*um would promote such a story.

So that aside, I woke the following morning with the decision to take a break from writing. And plus, a voice in my head told me it might get me out of the curation slammer for good behaviour. At the end of the day, after a hard day of sitting staring into space, doing absolutely nothing, I went to bed. As I was about to lay down, a voice told me “don’t do it, Lee!” So I didn’t. But then I got taken to court after my pillow charged me with resisting a rest. I lost my case. I wasn’t sure if it was my schizophrenia or not, but all the jurors looked like giant M&Ms.

I’ve got talking to certain people during my time in the curation slammer. The general consensus is that the only things M*d*um is okay with being opposing are thumbs and forefingers.

Cult Leaders Are the Ultimate Authority

I’ve heard rumours that Ev Williams likes to sit at home online, dressed as a Nigerian prince, selling timeshare retreats that teach you how to avoid Internet scams. Apparently he’s made a fortune from charging unsuspecting victims $5 a month for the service. I would never fall for such a scam again. Not since I was recently scammed by another Nigerian Prince. His version of Purple Rain was abysmal. Particularly the backing singers, they were too clicky.

Anyway, where was I? I’ve heard Ev managed to get a Top Writer in Satire who kept ridiculing M*d*ium, scapegoated for these online scams. Apparently this poor guy went to jail for two weeks every year for 20 years. The whole court process was a sham. But let’s not forget it would be a shame if somebody added an e.

So, whatever you do, don’t tell anybody what I’ve just told you.

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

Originally published in Medium publication MuddyUm, 22nd November 2019.

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