The Stretchster Affair - A Backrooms Tragedy
by Harmony B
Longtime Backrooms community member and staffer, Stretchster, has been permanently banned. Revelations of his conduct during that long tenure has led to a reckoning from the ghosts of his past. Among the charges levied against him are denying credit to his collaborators, letting bad behavior go unpunished, and — yes, yet another case — sexual misconduct. These allegations have tarnished a once-great career. Although he cultivated a reputation as a nice guy who liked to say “Gonk!” a lot, Stretchster apparently had more going on behind the scenes.
The official 35-page report (archive) that most information about this event is drawn from concludes that Stretchster is a danger to those around him because he has shown no compunction about demanding sexual favors from minors, an assertion that, if true, is hard to argue with.
A progenitor of the Backrooms limfic scene, Stretchster was a key early figure in the Fandom wiki, not to mention his work as a staff member of the Backrooms Wiki. But as of December 2022, he is no more. Revelations of his behavior have reverberated throughout every part of the Backrooms writing scene, a writing space he has now been forced to leave behind forever. So it begs the question, why has Stretchster been permanently removed from these spaces he spent so much of his time and effort constructing in the first place?
It seemingly comes down to how he treated other people. Allegations of taking from them not only credit for their work, but their feeling of safety, in some cases their innocence. Although not as insidious as AdminBright or controversial as Etoisle, Stretchster has been accused of some truly reprehensible behavior.
Etoile, for all of the bad things ze did, also put in the work to legitimize the power ze held over the Backrooms. Bright held together the SCP Foundation from the top for at least a year, he did do the work even as he simultaneously used his position to solicit victims from the application pool. Stretchster, it is alleged, did none of that work. There was no opportunity for him to use the application pool for nefarious purposes because he did not process them. Former TS staff member and SCP author ghostchibi in particular knocked him for this in her testimony on the Stretchster Affair, saying that he acted as little more than a mascot and let his official duties fall to the wayside for others to pick up the slack.
Not fulfilling his responsibilities as a staff member of the Backrooms is not an unforgivable crime, the worst one could expect to get from it is to lose the job they're not doing. But if true, it speaks to the character of the man, that he was far more interested in chasing the clout his position brought to him than he was with actually doing the job. Wide awake for the glory whilst sleeping on the job.
Stretchster always liked to give himself a central role in discussions of how the Backrooms wiki started out. In particular, the story of the origin of the TS Wikidot community came from his claims that Warpez, another early key figure in the Backrooms writing movement, was opposed to its creation so the work was done by himself and his then-partner Evie.
But speaking of Evie, as seems to happen far too many times in containment fiction, Stretchster was allegedly engaged in abusive relationship practices with her while also leading the Backrooms. This relationship with Backrooms community member Evie shows a lack of care when it comes to relationships with others. If his accusers are to be believed, his needs could not be fulfilled, then it was the fault of the object of his affections and not his own responsibility.
Stretchster saw himself as the victim here, that his repeated crossing of boundaries and demanding attention of his significant other was only a result of his being in love. That any negative reaction to his behavior was a betrayal, which justified his own negative behaviors. This unapologetic attitude speaks to the lack of sound judgement on the part of this former administrator.
When Evie grew weary of his behavior and broke up with him, he then went out of his way to badmouth her behind her back and to use his position of power within the Backrooms to project a message of negativity about her. This, obviously, is extremely unprofessional and unbecoming of someone in a leadership position. Those who are in leadership have a duty to be even-keeled, not to use their power to lash out against those they perceive as having wronged them.
Following this relationship ending, Stretchster began to use his position of power to find other people to fill the void she had left in his life. Stretchster, being 18 at the time, found a 17 year old whom he allegedly exposed himself to. This individual also reported Stretchster pressuring her to show him her chest. If true, this is a gross abuse of power and demonstrates what Stretchster was interested in getting from his leading the TS Wiki. This abuse caused those he was pressuring to exit the community because of how uncomfortable they were being around him.
It is important that this information about Stretchster be shared throughout the Backrooms community, in order to prevent there from being such incidents recurring in the future. It is a sad ending to a career that could have been great. If Stretchster had been more willing to work with others, refrained from using his power to solicit romantic and sexual favor, and shared credit with others, he may have gone down in history as one of the most important figures in the Backrooms creative movement. When asked for comment, Stretchster had this to say:
An earlier version of this article overstated the importance of Stretchster and Warpez in the development of the Backrooms, this has been amended.
© Confic Magazine