Port Townsend, Washington
Port Townsend, Washington WWIN/GETTY IMAGES

The witches Port Townsend resistance has won.

On Tuesday, I wrote about a group in Jefferson County, Washington, that was attempting to get Facebook to de-verify a page called Jefferson County, Washington. Why? It's complicated (read Tuesday's post for more details), but basically the Facebook page is run by a right-wing, anti-government survivalist named Joe D'Amico who has been terrorizing the county for three decades, and his neighbors are sick of it as well as him.

The Facebook page, which D'Amico uses to publicize his pet peeves (for instance, zoning laws that prevent him from opening a military training camp in a residential area) was, until Wednesday, verified, which gave it the appearance of being connected to the local government, which it definitely is not. After a mass reporting campaign developed by a group calling itself Port Townsend Troll Control, the page lost its verification badge, which should help clear up a bit of confusion for those who assume it's the legitimate Jefferson County page.

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After I wrote about this, I got a correction from the person who started this de-verification campaign, who requested to remain anonymous because Joe D'Amico has a habit of suing people. In my piece, I referred to this person approximately seven times as a "witch." I could have sworn that, as he described to me meditating on what to do about D'Amico over Halloween (when, he said, "they say the barrier between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest,") that the man called himself a witch, but he says he didn't and that this term was "invented by one of D'Amico's close associates" and used to discredit the movement. I didn't record the call and my memory has been destroyed by two decades of smoking pot so I'll take his word for it. He's not a witch. He's a... Facebook activist? Energy healer? Let's go with "concerned Port Townsend resident," or, possibly, "victor."

"We did all of this to prove that magic is real," he told me in an email Thursday. "In seven days we have done a lot to address a bully who has existed on Facebook for seven years, and in the physical world for decades. So once he is addressed on Facebook, how to remove the inordinate power he wields in the physical world? How to do so in a way which restores balance without backlash? All deep questions to meditate on, and hopefully find answers for before next Halloween."

Joe D'Amico declined to comment, but will the witches people of Port Townsend manage to wrest more than just Facebook verification from him? Stay tuned.

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