Seattle has had a Real Life Superhero named Mr. Ravenblade for some time now. He keeps a blog on LiveJournal. Over the weekend, Mr. Ravenblade struck out at Phoenix Jones and the RLSH who were profiled in the Seattle P.I. last week.
What really angers me, is that I just have no way to speak out against this criminal loving guy posing as a RLSH without looking bad myself. I could be passed off as the an attention seeker, or jealous, or worse. And that hurts me even more because it makes me feel helpless to protect people from a guy who clearly is abusing others faith in them. All I want to do is help people, protect people, do good deeds and be the sort of man I could look up to if I was younger, like I did Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, or any number of others when I was younger. This guys seems to worry more about his media exposure and what he has to gain from it personally; What if that criminal he refused to put behind bars was a rapist or pedophile? And what is that criminal doing right now?
...I also cant help but feel like this guy pretty much ruined all the progress we have made overnight when he refused to put a violent criminal behind bars, and that strain on the trust the RLSH community has been working to gain with the Police of Seattle makes it that much harder in turn for ANYBODY who is RLSH - or just wants to do good works - to be taken seriously by the good people who we call Law Enforcement Officers. The inaction and selfishness of one person, hurting so many. It breaks my heart.
Already we see one sided stories on KOMO - lacking the journalistic integrity I would normally expect based on my prior work with CNN - about the Rain City guys, as if we as a RLSH community are suddenly new and sprang up out of the dirt overnight. Did they do any research at all? It does not look like it. Did they look at the facts? It does not look like it. Or did they just accept what this guy said as valid? That is what seems to have happened. To make it worse is the "brand new" marketing spin, They seem to have already forgotten all the press and coverage we RLSH got not that long ago, about the rules we proclaimed we followed, about the love we have for our cities, communities, and the people we seek to protect by being RLSH.
He also posted an open letter to Phoenix Jones on his blog, but that seems to require a LiveJournal account to access it. You can find the full open letter after the jump (short version: Mr. Ravenblade is offering to mentor Phoenix Jones and his associates, to give them "a chance to earn your place in our community and prove yourselves if you are willing to do the right thing, and follow the high ethical standards and rules we RLSH set for ourselves.") Just goes to show that life imitates Marvel Comics: You can't have two superheroes in the same city without a fight breaking out over a misunderstanding.
An Open Letter To Phoenix Jones, Hero In Training
from Mr. Ravenblade's RLSH Blog
I am writing this letter publicly, because I have no other option. I have tried to contact you multiple times, as have others in the RLSH community. You have refused to communicate to every single one of them despite your public claims otherwise, and we feel that is dishonest. I and others in the RLSH community have tried to contact you every other way, and I feel trapped into making this open letter. So I hope that this has the desired effect, as you have a history of SAYING you are willing to talk but have always refused to actually do so.
Phoenix Jones: I am posting this because I have been asked by several of my friends in the RLSH community to be be the guy that checks you out, etc, as I am our most Sr. Member in the Seattle area. Because you have publicly claimed to being affiliated with a community that until a few nights ago, has never even heard of you.. we have a lot questions for you. This is not just me, this is multiple respected members of the RLSH community as featured on TV, News, Radio, and even print (In Magazines like GQ and the Rolling Stone).
Additionally, a lot of the Top Respected Members of the RLSH community that has existed for years without you - both in Seattle and internationally around the world - are not happy at some of your actions, and the claims of affiliation that you have made that have in turn damaged our collective reputations. We have worked hard to earn our reputations, so it is understandable that we are protective of them as they allow us to do greater good in the community and allow greater opportunities for us to make a difference and do good works that actively help the world become a better place.
The fact is you have publicly claimed to be one of us - A member of the Real Life Super Hero Community - means you have taken it on yourself to be bound to the many duties of being a RLSH that you have not been fulfilling. And RLSH is not a title you give yourself, it is a title you Earn and am given by the community you have claimed to be a part of. Technically the real title you have is "HIT" (Hero in training) or even "Super Hero In Training" (No offense intended by the acronym that creates).
It also means that by not fulfilling these obligations and duties, that you have harmed The RLSH community and the support that it had gained in law enforcement circles. As such, we are not happy with your actions (and lack of ethical actions), as many of us have worked hard for the communities that we serve and you have damaged our reputations as a result. It is counter productive to allow somebody to claim to be one of us who does not follow our agenda, and it is actively harmful to the world if we do not speak out against such actions even if we ourselves must sacrifice to do so. That is what heroes do.
We are sure that the small amount of media attention (yes, it is considered small to many of us) you have gained has made you happy, but let us ask you this: Have you really made the best use of that media attention to further the causes you claim to serve? Have you really acted like a hero?
Maybe you are just new at this, maybe you honestly want to help and just don't have the training or experience that some of us do. Maybe you rushed into this, got some lucky media attention, and just see my own humble attempts to mentor you as nothing more then attacks instead of the constructive criticism that you should take it as. But keep in mind I'm the guy our community associates with Seattle the most, because I have been here for years helping people the longest with patrols, homeless outreach, and more. So yes, I have the obligation to look you up, check you out, test you, etc.. because I have a duty to not stand idly by as you claim to be something you are not in the area that I and the others in the community am known for being in.
And that is a very important thing I need you to understand. You may feel like you are alone, that you are the only one in Seattle interested in protecting people (Outside of the Police, Firefighters, Ambulance Drivers, and other real Heroes that help people every day) but others in the RLSH community have actively patrolled Seattle for YEARS as RLSH before you ever saw your first superhero movie and thought about joining us. You are the new kid on the block, so please stop all the silly, childish territorial disputes as they are really worthless and do not serve our larger group goal of doing good works.
So here is my offer: I'm perfectly willing to give you - and your associates - a chance to earn your place in our community and prove yourselves if you are willing to do the right thing, and follow the high ethical standards and rules we RLSH set for ourselves. Just contact me to start the process, I sent you all the data you need via email earlier today, you have multiple ways to contact me bpth directly and through others, and since every other attempt I have made to contact you has either failed or been ignored I have no other options but this.
Not everything I have heard has been positive, but just as a coin has two sides I'm willing to extend to you an olive branch. It is however up to you, the potential, to act like a true hero and accept our offer with humility. If you choose not to that would show us - and the world - your true intentions.
- Mr Ravenblade, RLSH of Seattle