Protest Continues as Former Gigas Officer Removed from Ouranos. By Lindens.

by Alphaville Herald on 12/08/05 at 10:14 am

by Prokofy Neva

Hank Ramos, a former GIGAS Group mall investor battling other GIGAS officers in a dispute that led to Linden Lab’s seizure of their land, continued his protest in the Ahern Welcome Area last night about a new development in his land-grab saga — his summary removal from the officers of Ouranos group, an exclusive Linden award-winning builders’ and scripters’ group also founded by Adam Zaius, one of the GIGAS officers with whom Ramos quarreled. Ramos says he was ejected without announcement and without the use of the group tools and procedures. Under the coded features of group tools in SL, expelling an officer normally involves proposing an “officer recall vote” that can take up to 7 days, and in which group members are supposed to vote.

In the current version of SL, officers cannot remove other officers; the only way for an officer to be removed from a group is if Linden Lab staff go into the group and unilaterally and manually remove the officer themselves outside the game’s ordinary rules.

Ramos had no idea which Linden was involved in removing him from the group. And unlike his removal from GIGAS, when he said he received the automatic message “Adam Zaius has ejected Hank Ramos from GIGAS group,” he says he received no automatic message.

Although both Ramos and other GIGAS officers were able to achieve some of the return of Linden-seized land in a somewhat complicated land swap recently to return to the “status quo ante” dispute, some of the land is still withheld. A visit today to Garrison telehub revealed that Cyn Linden still has possession of the two main mall parcels of 33872 and 4176 square meters. It is not clear why the land seized was not yet returned to GIGAS or whether an investigation is still pending; meanwhile Adam has made a temporary group to hold other land once in GIGAS.

After deploying a protest sign about the new expulsion on Tuesday night, Hank Ramos was asked by a Linden monitoring the area to remove the sign. The Linden said builds are not allowed in the WA. Not to be deterred, Ramos then rezzed and wore unimpeded a hand-held poster stating, “Linden Lab has “disappeared” me (i.e. forcibly removed) from two SL groups (one of which I founded) without a group recall vote, all at the request of two players: Adam Zaius and Nexus Nash, against LL established policy! Linden Lab employees are also officers of said groups, which is a violation of Linden Lab policy!

Ouranos, viewable in FIND GROUPS, has 48 members but describes itself as an exclusive, 20-member only group “dedicated to the creation and maintainence of high quality group builds, and constructions.” Ouranos describes its member as “the best combination of Scripters, Texturers, Modellers & Builders SL has to offer.” The group is by invitation-only, and a stern warning on the group menu says “so please do not request to join. If we are looking for a position, we will send an invitation to someone of our own choosing.”

There are 27 officers, 5 of whom appear directly related to GIGAS (Adam Zaius, Nexus Nash, GigasBan King, Kex Godel, and splat1 Edison are all officers of both GIGAS and of Ouranos. A sixth, GigasVault King was removed as of yesterday.

One prominent officer who received an exclusive invitation to join is Pathfinder Linden, who remained an officer of the group for weeks–until today.

Spotted in the officers’ list late Tuesday night and asked why he remained a member of a residents’ group after a period in which he evidently left a number of resident-run groups to avoid the appearance of favoritism, Pathfinder said that he was merely in the group to help set up the group’s build outside the Waterhead telehub.

Adam Zaius, splat1 edison, and Oz Spade, all officers of the Ouranos Group, were the winners of a recent Linden-sponsored building contest with a prize of $50,000LL for the best design for a Linden recruitment center.

The owner of the 5088 m2 parcel for the winning build is “Pathfinder Linden” of the “Maintenance” group and many of the buildings components show “Adam Zaius” or “Oz Spade” as creators and “Pathfinder Linden” as the object owner. A few pieces examined today, however, were found still to be set to “Adam Zaius” as creator and “Ouranos” as the set group, so evidently the build was transferred from Ouranos to Linden Maintenance land, with the land set to “0″ autoreturn.

Asked about Hank Ramos’ explulsion without an officer-recall vote, Pathfinder said he knew nothing about it. When queried directly by Ramos, he told him to get in touch with

Queried as to what abuses of TOS had been alleged, such as to make the Linden override of the group tools necessary, Pathfinder declined to comment, noting that he is not on the abuse team at LL.

A check today at 11 a.m. SL time revealed that Pathfinder Linden had left the group officers list, and no other Lindens were listed in the group. A related group, Ouranos Guests, with many of the same officers and 79 members, opted to keep the membership list closed and not visible in FIND. No other Lindens are officers of the Ouranos groups.

To date, the alleged abuses and possible TOS violations in the GIGAS case have not been made clear by the Lindens. Hank Ramos said that no land dispute had occurred in the Ouranos group. Adam Zaius has not yet commented to a reporter’s query sent by IM.

But evidently fearing that Ramos would seize land he had originally donated to Ouranos back, he was summarily expelled from the group. Ramos said he had no intent to take any Ouranos land.

When land purchased by a resident is donated to a group, it becomes group land, and any officer may seize it any time.

With yet another Linden override of group tools on the record now, the fate of group land using SL group tools is extremely uncertain. Group land has always been a precarious venture, and most landowners only trust their alts, special loved ones or reliable and trusted business partners as officers in groups.

It is common in SL for different officers to put land into a group so that the group can get the 10 percent extra tier bonus, and cover more land while paying 10 percent less tier, i.e. 100,000 square meters in a group generates 10,000 square meters of “tier free” land for the group.

Yet officers often continue to pay the tier bill on the land they have donated and view it as their own land, even while in the group. It is common for officers to receive back their land, or swaps of equivalent land, when they leave the group; it is also fairly frequent for treacherous, once-trusted officers to take land, an act which other disgruntled officers view as stealing.

Some long-time residents as well as Lindens prefer to view this as “poor management of group land” rather than as “stealing” and have not really grappled with the reality of many group-land situations which involve a clear, established record of one individual paying a purchase price on land, and then continuing to pay tier on specific amounts of group land for many months, indicating a kind of “ownership” of the land while grouped.

21 Responses to “Protest Continues as Former Gigas Officer Removed from Ouranos. By Lindens.”

  1. lump

    Aug 12th, 2005

    i dunno about anyone else but i dont care about this at all


    Aug 12th, 2005

    Good story, Prok.

    I found the Our Anus group quite amusing.

  3. Ardith Mifflin

    Aug 12th, 2005

    Love Hank, but his sign needs some pizazz! Otherwise, I’m with lump.

  4. Ice Brodie

    Aug 13th, 2005

    Hank, you are a lying backstabbing [elided by Uri], you [elided by Uri], and then you whine about it in a paper safely outside of Linden jurisdiction, because you know you are wrong….

    Anyone else reading this: Hank Ramos [elided by Uri], his writings here are one sided, and largely lies, believe him if you want to be stabbed in the back, he is a petty manipulative crook, and should be treated as such.

    [note to commentors: accusations of real life crime will be elided. --Uri]

  5. John Toonie (ingame name)

    Aug 13th, 2005

    Really I think it affect anyone in a group.
    If lindens can deseat any officer they please then where is the line drawn? And I thought lindens were supposed to be impartial helpers and admins, they aren’t paid to join groups and play. They can do that off our dollar since we pay their paychecks by paying for their service to play.
    With the way the monthly land fee is its especially important, Hank Ramos in a way can kiss all the money he paid into that land goodbye because he won’t see any more profit from it and his group basically went and completely tore him from his own land and all that money spent without even a fair vote. IMHO its bull, totally unfair when you figure if the group really wants him gone they can call a vote, and if he takes back his land he donated thats his business.

  6. Ice Brodie

    Aug 13th, 2005

    I think it’s ironic that the Herald reporters can accuse innocent people and the Lindens of things, and I can’t bear witness to the actual criminal on this comment thread.

  7. Urizenus

    Aug 13th, 2005

    We aren’t interested in real world crimes, and even less interested in your judgment of what is a real world crime and who may or may not have comitted one. If that’s your idea of irony, well, as they say in Minnesota… that’s different.

  8. RB

    Aug 14th, 2005

    I agree with Uri. RL should not be relevent in a game or virtual world. I know i don’t think it is.

    - RB.

  9. Strife Onizuka

    Aug 14th, 2005

    I know the parties involved, and there has to be a part of this story we haven’t heard. If I had to guess, it involves sums of money.

  10. Hank Ramos

    Aug 14th, 2005

    Lying? Well, the article is wrong about one point. I never had any land in the Ouranos group, nor were there any financial transactions there. I never said I had donated land to the Ouranos group. I only donated a large parcel to the Gigas group.

    Backstabbing? Well, I was stabbed first when being frozen out of the Gigas group and attempted to take back the land I had donated to the group (a parcel that Gigas is currently making about USD$1250 during the current land sale in Garrison).

    Are Adam Zaius and Nexus Nash innocent? Hardly. They used FIC influence to have me kicked as an officer of SL groups and to have my land seized. They [elided by Uri] land from me, froze me out of a group I co-founded, never shared any profits or information about the group, etc.

    Pathfinder Linden conspiracy? Well, I won’t go into that. I’m sure Pathfinder was in the group for the reasons he states. Though, kicking someone as an officer can only be accomplished by Linden Lab, not regular players.

    As for the design of the sign, it was late, I was upset, I’m no artist, and threw something together. :)

  11. Prokofy Neva

    Aug 14th, 2005

    Re: “land in the Ouranos group” — yes, I see how that sentence didn’t come out right, sorry. Yes, it is indeed incorrect to state that Hank had land in Ouranos. I realize Hank doesn’t have land in the Ouranos group and didn’t mean to say he had land there — the point was that Adam Zaius and others may have feared that because Hank had a dispute in one group over land, namely in GIGAS, where he had indeed donated land, he might use his officer status in *another* group to seize from that group what you might feel was due to him from the first group.

    BTW, I don’t have illusions about Hank, his behaviour in the game, his actions, the many sides of this story that we’re not hearing in full, etc. etc. I have my own beefs with Hank. But that’s precisely why this story has to be told. Just because someone is an asshole, you don’t get to seize their land. There has to be due process. Even scumbags deserve due process and to have the rules followed.

    The state has to be able to make its case that someone is a scumbag, not just go on hearsay and fanboys’ abuse-reports. *Especially* when people are scumbags, you need to have rules to make that case because so often, the designation of “scumbag” is an arbitrary matter decided by one power grouping to discredit another they wish to crush.

    Hank is now making public a serious claim, that the group never shared information with him about profits or the group, although he was an officer. This may mean nothing, or his call for transparency at least to him as an officer might mean something not only for him but for the public. It’s hard to say. This is a big problem throughout SL. Most large businesses lie about or conceal their profits, either disguising them as too high or too low for various reasons, chief of which is their desire not to have the competition have any info about them to use to undercut them.

    Only the Lindens know the true story about sales and profits, and frankly they can’t know everything with all the out-of-game transactions in US dollars on PayPal, etc. We really have a unique situation here unlike RL, due to modern information technology at the control panel in this game, where the “federal government” is something that really does have all the data about you and your business and its transactions and can examine it and use it to its advantage at any time. The issue of the Lindens and the big businesses with which they have partnerships with on various third-party sites, who grab a lot of avatars’ information (sales, traffic, etc.), is one I raise frequently and so forcefully it’s the main reason I was permabanned from the LL forums.

    Adam Zaius now has land for sale in Garrison of 36560 m2 for $359,999 which is actually more than $1250 on GOM now I think. This land is owned by “Adam’s Temp Group” which he made to go around GIGAS. Nexus Nash still personally holds 1488 “not for sale”.

    Cyn Linden is gone from Garrison telehub as a landowner. It appears that she turned the land she was previously holding over to Adam and he combined it with some other land he was holding and now has it up for sale. I might add for interested buyers that the box “sell objects with land” is NOT checked off so it’s not clear if you get the building in the sale. There are tenants remaining in the building, and as with other mall sales, you can’t be sure they’ve been notified that their space is about to change hands and new terms may be coming.

  12. Roberta Dalek

    Aug 14th, 2005

    I presume that it is $359,999 L for 36,560 m2. It’s mature telehub land but half a sim for the cost of a full sim.

    The building is still there and the land is set to sale not including the building.

    Gigas HQ and little sandbox in Sami is no more. It’s now a telehub mall owned by RICX Curie.

  13. nerferder

    Aug 14th, 2005

    Uri said >>>> “[note to commentors: accusations of real life crime will be elided. –Uri]“

    Does this mean when Prok screams “libel” and “slander” every other sentence, you’ll be editing those accusations of real life crime out as well?

    *Waits patiently for the excuses to start rolling in*

    Every gang needs a pitbull I suppose.

  14. Urizenus

    Aug 14th, 2005

    I guess you never paused to wonder why so many of Prok’s posts are peppered with [elided by Uri]‘s, and I guess you also never paused to notice Prok complaining about getting [elided by Uri]‘d.

    Finally, it’s a kind of grey area with acusations of allowing libel “to remain” on a blog. That isn’t an acusation of libel, but being too lazy to remove someone else’s.

    Have a nice day.

  15. nerferder

    Aug 16th, 2005

    The webmaster quoth >>> “I guess you never paused to wonder why so many of Prok’s posts are peppered with [elided by Uri]’s, and I guess you also never paused to notice Prok complaining about getting [elided by Uri]’d.

    Finally, it’s a kind of grey area with acusations of allowing libel “to remain” on a blog. That isn’t an acusation of libel, but being too lazy to remove someone else’s.

    Have a nice day. “

    Yes, “lazy” when it suits your means. That is quite apparent. He does get edited, just not that which you edit so many others for.

    “Libel”. A real life crime. All I am asking is, if you’re going to play the “accusations of RL crime will be stricken” card, then, the least you can do is edit prok when he does it. Without excuses. Prok has been “elided” to be sure. However, not for accusing other SLers of RL crimes, that which you sometimes portray yourself as being against.

    You can waft a cloud of semantics across the issue if you like, but, accusing others of unsubstantiable actions is libel. You have allowed him to accuse people of it repeatedly, while editing others under your case by case (friend or foe) selective rules.

    Yeah, it’s that obvious.

    But, who’s using who here?


    Say, what does this mean? “Comments are moderated for spam”?

    Moderated for spam? I think you need to revise that.

  16. Urizenus

    Aug 16th, 2005

    Good point nerf, I’ve been letting you spam the blog for months now.

  17. nerferder

    Aug 16th, 2005

    Uri >>>> “Good point nerf, I’ve been letting you spam the blog for months now.”

    Do I really need to post a definition for spam?

    Nah, just another of Uri’s evasive tactics.

    Redirest the focus! You cleverboots you!

  18. Roberta Dalek

    Aug 23rd, 2005

    Gigas mall land was sold and the mall is gone.

  19. sachin

    Oct 18th, 2005

    please send me 30gigas invitation

  20. Nick Marquette

    Sep 25th, 2007

    In real life and US Law, this is called racketeering. I have seen people sued over such things and know a legal team that specializes in bringing action against RL city officials who would have a field day with this! I find it amazing that people would risk their jobs at a company like Linden Labs over such things! Of course, they may not view it as a risk, until Linden Labs gets sued.

  21. Nikola Shirakawa

    Sep 26th, 2007

    That may be a record for oldest article revival ever.

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