$T$H$E$ $E$V$I$L$ $E$M$P$I$R$E$

To the person who was posting anonymously in the Whatever forum whining that ModProm and IAM and BME are just scams for me to make money off, I think you need to realize a few things:

  • How much are people charged to use the IAM site? It's free, even though it costs me a big chunk of money.
  • Ok, you do have to write a story or send a picture, but where do most of those pictures go? Do you really think I'm somehow rolling in a pot of gold because of your tongue piercing story?
  • They go in the free sections of BME. I don't only give you a membership for your picture, I then lose money on it because I then distribute it for free. They're there to help other people, not for profit.
  • BME was run totally for free until the bandwidth in the adult sections became so staggering that there was no choice but to charge for those areas.
  • Outside of BMEshop, there's no advertising on BME. I could take adult ads like most E/N sites have done, but I don't want to portray that image to the world.
  • BMEshop makes enough to cover IAM's bandwidth and hosting costs. It pays salaries to the people who work at it (it's a full-time job, why shouldn't it), but there is no profit from it that goes into my pockey. ALL money from BMEshop goes to supporting free sites.
  • BME/HARD does well, and does operate at a profit. It has many paying members that enjoy it a great deal. But it also has ten times that many free members. The profits pay for BME's bandwidth, and, when times are good, raise capitol for things like ModCon (which has cost me at least $50,000 to host over three years. Even if the book sells well, I will not recoup that investment), and BMEradio, and Modified Mind, and SPC, as well as donating significant amounts to causes like iWasCured and the Church of Body Modification. Sometimes BME makes more than this and I draw a small salary from it (and why shouldn't I if it's taking enough time to force me not to work on other projects), but at other times it doesn't and I push money back into it.
  • Thanks to a banking system that doesn't like “my type of business” (their words), long periods have gone by where BME/HARD wasn't even generating money and I had to cover all costs out of my pocket (and from donations as well).
  • As far as ModProm, you can look up the numbers yourself and do the math yourself. It's a break-even event at best.

I work an 80+ hour week. I used to work more. I own multiple telephony and internet software-related companies and do occasional consulting contracts in the same realm. My take home salary, especially after BME's costs are taken out, is not that high — it would certainly be higher (easily triple, if not more) if I just gave up and took a traditional job. The Mercedes (since sold) and TT were leased, and that lease was split with a friend. The rest of the vehicles were inexpensive project cars, with much of the work done by me and friends. The land I'm buying is scrub land that costs a fifth what a nice house in the city costs. The houses we are building there are built out of recycled materials and cost nothing but labor.

If it was really such a scam and I was rolling in money, don't you think that there would be lots of BME's sponsored by porn companies? Did it ever occur to you that if I wanted to make money I could just make the entire site a paysite and suddenly start making an order of magnitude more? I do this stuff because I believe in it, not to make money.

On an unrelated note, does anyone know what's up with Dennis from DMT? I've got quite a few messages from people asking me because they're waiting on orders and are getting no phone or email responses. Because I host his site, I know that he hasn't checked his mail since the 6th of September — if anyone knows if he's OK or not OK, please let me know.

And, I guess that at the end of October, I'll be driving from LA to Toronto. ://trinity is coming back… Assuming congress passes the new anti-terrorism bill, or some variant thereupon, I suspect there will be a wave of computer professionals leaving the US as well. Among other things, it institutes life sentances for even minor computer hacking crimes, and pretty much throws out the right to private communication.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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