Steve Winter FAQ V2.02 Subject: The Steve Winter FAQ, v 2.02 Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 02:03:
Steve Winter FAQ V2.02
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Adams)
Subject: The Steve Winter FAQ, v 2.02
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 02:03:36 GMT
[This is version 2.02 of the FAQ. Thanx to those who have
contributed information. If you have information for the
FAQ, please forward it to email@example.com]
** New **
This FAQ can now be found on the web. Point your browser
Mr Winter's attempts to rebut this FAQ can be found at
NOTE: All correspondance relating to this FAQ or Steve
Winter should go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW IN THIS VERSION OF THE FAQ:
- Update on Netcom Lawsuit
- Web site now active!
The purpose of this FAQ is to provide corroboration for
persons on the net harassed by Steve Winter. It is
designed to be sent by such persons to Sys Admins and
ISP's to prevent Steve Winter from having their accounts
revoked or their employment endangered.
It should be noted that Mr Winter will claim that all of
the information here is meant only for the purpose of masking
my opposition to his religious views. Nothing could be further
from the Truth. In this case, and for this purpose, I don't
*care* what doctrinal views Mr Winter holds.
Mr Winter continues to claim that this FAQ is false and full
of lies. I (and others) have repeatedly asked him to indentify
the mistakes, errors or other problems with the FAQ. He has
refused to do so. On my own, I have discovered new information
and made changes to the FAQ in light of this information.
Numbers in () refer to footnotes at the bottom of the text.
100. Who is Steve Winter?
Steve Winter is the operator of a system known as
"PRIME.ORG". He lives in Durham, NC, and is also a re-seller
of computer equipment(1). Recently, he has begun to re-sell
internet services (presumably from PSI). Mr Winter claims to
be a Reverend in "Jesus Name Apostolic Holiness Church, Inc."
He operates a Web page (http://www.prime.org) which describes
his particular doctrinal distinctives. He claims the page is
a ministry of the aforementioned church.
Mr Winter's email id's are:
[Note: anything from prime.org is most likely Mr Winter]
Old winter accounts since October 95:
Be warned that if you send him email, it is likely that he will
complain to your provider or employer that you are harassing him.
See below for details.
101. What is PRIME?
PRIME stands for PreRapture(tm) International Message Exchange.
It is Mr Winter's personal network of BBS's. They carry various
forums for his sect. You can access a list of the forums by
downloading the file "prime.zip" from his WWW. He also provides
information on home schooling, and his legal dealings with his
102. What is "Jesus Name Apostolic Holiness Church, Inc."?
This organization does not appear to be anything other than
the corporate charter for a religious organization. This is fairly
standard practice amongst churches, but that corporation then may
not engage in certain businesses, or if it does, must properly
delineate it's for-profit and non-profit business.
103. What is Mr Winter's "modus operandi"?
Steve Winter posts lengthy duplicate messages stating his
positions, often simply reposting verbatim his scriptural
citations with no supporting exegesis. These messages are
usually massively cross-posted, without regard to whether or
not the message is on topic for the group. He has harassed
numerous groups, including soc.religion.quaker and the
"christnet.*" groups so badly that the Christnet groups and
the uk.religion.* groups went moderated, aus.religion.christian
is now retro-moderated, the Quakers considered but rejected
moderation, and the promisekeepers group has recently been
created as a moderated group.
If anyone questions him, he responds by:
1) Calling the person a "Lying, dirt, false Christian scum," or
some variation thereof.
2) Posting a slightly modified version of his "Acts 2:38" posting,
or one of his other "canned" responses. He modifies them just
enough to avoid the SPAM detectors. See item 109 below.
3) If the person sends him email to try and debate the issue, he
sends a "do not ever email me again" message. Similarly, any
attempt to discuss his abuse of newsgroups is treated similarly.
On occasion, he skips this step and goes to step 4.
4) He emails and or calls the service provider or employer of the
person who disagrees with him to have their account pulled or
service cut off. He attempted this with me both by calling my
company and by calling my service provider. In both cases, he
was more or less laughed at.
Several correspondents have reported similar action by Mr Winter,
including emails and calls to employers. In most cases,
fortunately, no action was taken. In others, employees have
been asked to remove signature lines that reflected on the
company, etc. Mr Winter seems to prefer silencing his opposition
to actually trying to win debates.
5) If he does not get satisfaction, he either makes harassing phone
calls (several people have reported this, and I have experienced
it personally) or begins posting hate-filled falsehoods to
newsgroups about the person.
6) If he is unsuccessful in the above, in at least one case he has
resorted to an attempt to extort $50,000 from the employer of
one of his opponants. He has also resorted to posting false
and defamatory statements about the employer on investement and
7) He has claimed to have filed numerous police reports and made
complaints to the FBI in an attempt to silence those who disagree
with his methods and/or theology. It does not appear that any
action has been taken by any law enforcement agency on his behalf.
Mr Winter has been repeatedly asked for case numbers or the names
of the law enforcement professionals involved, but has never given
any evidence at all that his claims are true.
8) In numerous cases, Mr Winter has threatened ISP's with lawsuits,
and now, has actually filed one against Concentric Network, as
well as one against Netcom. (He claims the Netcom suit is now
settled, and it appears that they paid him to drop the suit.)
With regards to Concentric, the case has been removed from
North Carolina State Court to US District Court. Mr. Winter
has also claimed to have filed a lawsuit against his former ISP,
It should be noted that Mr. Winter originally named individual
employees of Concentric as co-defendants, but may have since
dropped them from the suit. In both cases, he is seeking
monetary damages. Link to http://www.prime.org/legal/index.htm
for Mr. Winter's complaints and responses to various motions.
You will not find any information regarding the actions of the
other parties in these suits, as he has not seen fit to publish
them. I have copies of the Concentric Counter-Claim, plus an
order from the court rejecting one of Winter's ammended claims
for deficient legal reasoning, failure to abide by legal rules
and various other reasons.
Concentric's counter-claims deny most of the claims made by Mr.
Winter (they do admit to the obvious - that he was a customer,
that certain people work for them in the capacity claimed by
Mr. Winter and that they cancelled his account). They present
several affirmative defenses, including lack of cause of action
in Mr. Winter's lawsuit (obvious, I think to any legal scholar);
failure to mitigate (which means he didn't take the actions
necessary to protect himself - follow the rules of Usenet, for
example); incorrect venue (ie he sued in the wrong court); and
that the complaints made are uncertain, ambiguous and not
entitled to relief from the court.
Needless to say, Concentric has counter-sued and asked for
sanctions against Mr Winter, including sanctions for defamation
and for unfair trade pracrtices! They ask for dismissal with
prejudice (ie he can't refile the claim), attorneys fees and
triple damages under North Carolina statues.
It should come as no surprise that Mr Winter has not posted
Concentric's responses or the orders of the court. One thing
is clear - should Concentric successfully press their counter-
claims, it will be a simple case for any party to stop Mr.
Recently, Mr Winter has changed his web page to say that an
out of court settlement is pending.
He has recently posted public threats to file lawsuits against
the company that "created alt.fan.steve-winter" and against
the creator of the "Steve Winter FAQ" (ie, me). He is seeking
a lawyer to take those cases, but to date has had no takers.
9) Harassment of regional Newsadmins.
Several Regional News administrators who enforce the charters of
their regional NON-USNET groups report getting email and phone
calls from irate users who claim that they received email from
'email@example.com', claiming that their article was
censored from the net. This is sent not only to the user, but
also to any identifiable news host that might have carried the
original cancel. See item 110 below.
Mr. Winter is, in this case, clearly trying to drum up support
against News Admins who are doing their job. I have seen several
of his email complaints, and copies of this FAQ have been
forwarded to several ISPs and system administrators.
See http://www.prime.org/cwatch.htm for Mr Winter's version of
104. What kinds of tricks does Mr Winter pull?
When Mr Winter is kicked out of a group (eg alt.org.promisekeepers),
he tries to use that as a way of harassing people. For example, when
the aforementioned group set up an anti-crosspost bot, he posted to
other groups, but set the followups to include a.o.p. This would cause
replies to his posts to be autocancelled.
Mr Winter also would post to 10 or 15 "Big 8" and regional groups,
but set followups for one "alt" group which did not have good
propagation. If the reply was restricted to 1 or 2 "on-topic" groups,
he would put back all of the off-topic groups and again restrict
followups. In recent times, he has begun to honor follow-ups, though
he (understandably) often removes alt.fan.steve-winter from his posts.
Recently, Mr Winter began issuing cancel messages for "NoCeM" posts
in alt.nocem.misc. The purpose of the "NoCeM" posts is to allow those
who do not wish to see any of Mr Winter's posts to have them
automatically ignored by their newsreader. He has solicited an attorney
in misc.legal to represent him in a lawsuit against those sites and
users who post the "NoCeM" articles.(2) Mr Winter's claim that NoCeM
posts are censorship are patently false, in that nothing is cancelled,
and they are used only by those who want to use them. They do not
remove his articles nor interfere with his articles movement from one
system to another.
105. Where has Mr Winter been banned?
Mr Winter has, at one time or another, been removed/banned/cancelled
from the following groups/networks/ISP's:
FIDO net (3)
Concentric Network (cris.com) (5)
AT&T ( Worldnet.att.net) (6)
RIME, ILink & Intelec networks
(for flames, personal attacks and harassment) (8)
(robo-cancelled for excessive x-posting)
(posts rejected due to charter violations)
(moderated due to his harassment)
(retromoderated due to his harassment)
There may be others, including soc.religion.christian, but I have not
verified this as of yet. Note also that he may have or may in the
future obtain new accounts from these providers/networks.
This list is only meant to show a history of his accounts, not
give a list of where he does or does not have access at any given
106. Why has Mr Winter been banned?
He was TOSed (TOS=Terms of Serice - ie kicked off for violating the
rules of the provider) from Netcom and Concentric Networks, and the same
appears to be true for AT&T Worldnet and Nando. The newsgroups banned
him either for excessive cross-posting or failure to abide by the
Charter, or both.
In the case of the Bible Study group, he refused to refrain from
making personal attacks on other members of the group. His theology was
never an issue, and anyone who examines the content of the Bible Study
group will see that opinions from every side of an issue are permitted,
so long as the Charter is followed. Mr Winter claims that Charters
have no force and he is not bound by them. If he would agree to abide
by the Charter, his posts whould be welcomed.
107. What else does Mr Winter do that causes him problems on the net?
Mr Winter runs a business that supplies computer-related hardware.
He posts advertising for his business in places which do not generally
accept advertising or where the advertising is off-topic. He has had
numerous articles cancelled for this over the past several years.
In addition, he posts material to regional groups which do not
want it, and have charters which state that the material he is posting
is not wanted. Most of this has to do with his business.
108. What should you do?
If Mr. Winter is violating general nettiquette, contact the
adminstrator of the site he is posting from (generally "news@site" or
"postmaster@site"). Respond to him in the newsgroup as necessary, but do
not try to contact him directly, nor send him anything via email or regular
mail. In other words, work with the system and do not harass him. If
it is a post or email from prime.org, then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
109. Is Steve Winter a SPAMMER
The answer to this questions seems to be "Yes." He deftly avoids
the automatic SPAM detectors by altering the order of his quotes, etc.
A simple examination of his responses to any deviation from his view of
theology show that it is the same canned material, slightly altered. I
have read nearly every article Mr Winter has posted to UseNet, and it
can be verified by looking at DejaNews and comparing the various
110. What is "Cancel Watch"?
In an attempt to gain support for his refusal to abide by charters,
regional group rules, etc, Mr Winter has created something he is pleased
to call "Cancel Watch", and has posted a FAQ on this to various groups.
Mr Winter claims that Cancel Watch is protecting people from being
cancelled by notifying them of a cancel issued against their post. His
goal seems to be to eliminate controls on cross-posting and regional
newsgroups. See http://www.prime.org/cwatch.htm for a copy of the FAQ.
The most important thing to note about this is that he doesn't
notify users when HE cancels articles!
111. Who is Steve Adams?
Steve Adams is the moderator of a soc.religion.christian.bible-study,
and is a long time participant in UseNet (since 1985).
(1) Verified in "ProPhone 1996" from Selectphone. They list his name,
address & phone number, and the SIC code (5734B - Computer Parts sales)
for his business. The listing is for "Steve and Nancy Winter" - his
wife's name can be verified by looking at his PRIME signup kit and seeing
her name listed as a moderator. I do NOT give his address or phone number
because I'm not interested in invading his privacy or helping anyone else
to do so.
(2) Reported via email and netnews postings by several persons.
(3) Reported via email and netnews postings by several persons. It has
been reported that he is once again on FIDO net. Apparantly he has
twice been kicked off, but by threatening lawsuits forced his way back
(4) Reported by Netcom administrators in UseNet posts. Verified by his
lawsuit against Netcom, as posted on his own web page. Note that he
apparantly collected money from them when the suit was settled.
(5) Verified by his lawsuit against Concentric, as posted on his own
(6) Verified by his 'Formal Complaint Against ATT', as posted on his own
(7) Verified by his 'The Nando Lawsuit', as posted on his own web page.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author
email@example.com "Space-age cybernomad" Steve Adams
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank