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Nicolas Biekert, SEAS ’13, aka The Dark Hand

specsucks is a blog unhinged with hatred for the Spec. Those behind it take extreme measures to maintain anonymity. Efforts to identify any of them have so far been futile, but Sam Aarons, Alex Jones, Conor Skelding, and Brian Wagner took the case.

Bwog has discovered the identity of The Dark Hand, specsucks ringleader and most prolific Bwog commenter/troll ever.

The Dark Hand is Nicolas Biekert, SEAS ’13.

We’d been wondering about the people behind specsucks as of February of 2012, but all leads went cold in April. They were intelligent. Their posts referenced internal Spec and Bwog gossip, and by late last semester, they had leaked some stuff from inside Spec. They had information.

Remember that CUCR/Ahmadinejad debacle last year? We didn’t actually break the news that Spec was wrong and CUCR hadn’t invited Ahmadinejad—specsucks did. This semester, specsucks covered campus in fliers, calling themselves, not unjustly, “[t]he premier secret society at Columbia.” They performed an obscene ritual as if moved to it by an occult hand. The Eye joked about it. Somebody chalked it in the Spec office.

The Dark Hand in a video chat

What was last year a blog that appeared to be ravings of a questionably-stable individual now appears to be an organization made up of cells of informants across student groups that feed information to The Cloaked Mask and The Dark Hand.

As TDH later pseudonymously told The Blue and White in an email:

The Dark Hand isn’t really my idea, it’s more of an idea. Anyone could be the Dark Hand. The Dark Hand doesn’t really belong to me in this sense. […] My message is the Cloaked Mask’s Message. Spec has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die.

When bored@butler returned, we noticed that TDH had a strong voice there. So we waited. We got knee-deep in bored@butler. We lurked long hours in their chatroom. (It was totally a stakeout that we could conduct from our dorms.) On November 19th, we saw something: the specsucks and b@b people videochatting. We took screencaps.

Fund. of Photonics chat

So we knew what his face looked like, partially. And we had seen inside his room. Judging by the mantel and the orientation of the room, we knew that he lived on a room in the 21 line of Ruggles.

Later that night, we saw TDH and another user talk about a class they were in together. Again, we took screencaps.

From those, we knew that the The Dark Hand was in Fundamentals of Photonics. A week later, at 5:30 pm on November 27th, we waited outside the classroom: 227 Mudd. We made the positive ID from the video chat screencaps. He was tall. We tracked him to Uris and then broke off. One week after that, we again followed him from 227 Mudd. Switching the tail at College Walk, we followed him back to Ruggles. He didn’t look back, and we watched him enter his suite—a room on the 21 line of Ruggles.

More chat

We ran all the names on the door, and came up with Nicolas Biekert, SEAS ’13. He is an Applied Physics major, which explained Photonics. His residence was listed as Ruggles 21-line, which, as you can see from the floor plan, is in the back-right Ruggles suite, and has a mantel.

There wasn’t much to be found on the Internet about Biekert, besides two pictures that strongly resemble The Dark Hand from the video chat. He was valedictorian of Avon Old Farms School. His crowded resume included President of Habitat for Humanity, elementary school tutor, Model UN, and Special Olympics soccer helper.

So this afternoon, just before this post was went up, we knocked on his Ruggles door. Admitting us to his room, Biekert was a good sport. He did admit that he was The Dark Hand, but told us little else. When questioned about the structure of specsucks, he confirmed that he and The Cloaked Mask are in charge; but when we asked how many others made up the “lejun” he only smiled and said “thousands.”

Picture of Biekert from Avon Old Farms

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  • JJ 13 '13 says:

    @JJ 13 '13 really?!

    1. also JJ 13 says:

      @also JJ 13 yeah seriously whaaat

      1. more JJ13 (09-10) says:

        @more JJ13 (09-10) whoa!

        1. JJ 13 (1897) says:

          @JJ 13 (1897) No way guys! And this internet thing is awesome!

  • The Dark Hand says:

    @The Dark Hand I am internet famous

  • Thank you bwog says:

    @Thank you bwog for delivering on something no one gave a shit about

  • What If I Told You says:

    @What If I Told You that The Cloaked Mask writes for Spec?

  • The Dark Hand says:

    @The Dark Hand u can cut off one head of the specsucks hydra but 2 moar will sprout in it’s place

    1. I believe you mean says:

      @I believe you mean “you can cut off one hand”

      1. The Broadway Bomb says:

        @The Broadway Bomb Good effort, poor execution. 4/10, would not groan.

      2. Um, says:

        @Um, no, the hydra has multiple heads dawg.

  • Seriously says:

    @Seriously why are you doxing pretty uncool

  • Wut says:

    @Wut 1) thats really f’d up that you guys gave away someone’s anonymous identity that they use online to share their feelings 2) you guys are creepy as shit stalkers

    1. anonymous says:

      @anonymous does he have specsucks on his resume? if not he should add it. it is a quality campus publication.

      1. The Dark Hand says:

        @The Dark Hand I plan on working for specsucks full time after I graduate

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Oh get off your high horse. No one has any right to anonymity, even to “share feelings.” And he admitted to it!

    3. God forbid someone not being anonymous anymore says:

      @God forbid someone not being anonymous anymore You mean to say he might actually be responsible for what he posts? You mean he might think twice before he offends someone? This should be applied to everyone so that you can’t make an offensive/racist/homophobic/anti-greek comment and get away with it anymore.

  • The Ban Captain thepoet says:

    @The Ban Captain thepoet Here I was enjoying my scones and now I’m going to have to weep while handing out so many bans ;_;

    1. The Broadway Bomb says:

      @The Broadway Bomb Why even bother with the bans? they’ll just spend 5evr in the moderation queue until Jae gets bored and repeals them. Like always.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous But what about Conor and Alex? AREN’T THEY ALSO SPECSUCKS?

  • Nick says:

    @Nick But in all seriousness I am amused. Gotta be able to take it if you dish it out.

    1. Take what? says:

      @Take what? Take what, exactly? Gotta take spying and stalking students online and on campus? What the fuck is wrong with you?

      1. The Dark Hand says:

        @The Dark Hand I didn’t stalk anyone. I hardly even have any affiliation with specsucks. Bwog got trolled pretty hard.

        1. Take what? says:

          @Take what? I know, TDH. I love you. I will follow you anywhere. #lejun

          1. The Dark Hand says:

            @The Dark Hand :3

    2. CC '13 says:

      @CC '13 why is this a favorite comment? bwog, you can’t possibly expect nick’s ex post facto approval to serve as justification for the publication of this article.

      1. The Dark Hand says:

        @The Dark Hand Meh. The joke is on them for actually publishing this garbage.

      2. CC '13 says:

        @CC '13 that wasn’t really clear. what i mean is that you can’t justify one thing (i.e. this article) with something that comes AFTER it (i.e. nick’s approval). it doesn’t make sense to do so.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Meh, I think it was more interesting when he remained faceless.

  • Me says:

    @Me This is comparable to “outting” someone’s sexuality. I can’t believe you disrespected this guy’s privacy and revealed his identity

    1. CC '16 says:

      @CC '16 …really?

  • Wait says:

    @Wait where does the joke end and begin? Is bwog in on this joke? What the hell?
    I’m so confused.

    1. The Veiled Mouth says:

      @The Veiled Mouth Is the rabbit hole 2deep4u?

      1. Huxleynaut says:

        @Huxleynaut WE NEED TO GO DEEPER

  • SEAS '13 says:

    @SEAS '13 Bwog. Stalking people is creepy. Just thought you should know.

  • broken_symlink says:

    @broken_symlink Today is a sad day in the history of the #lejun, and as we mourn the loss of TDH I’d like to remind everyone that The Cloaked Mask is still among us and I for one eagerly await his orders. I demand retribution. The streets will run blue and white with the blood of bwoggies.

    1. CC '13 says:

      @CC '13 i prefer the terms bwogger, bwogster, and bwogski

      1. So says:

        @So What are the preferred pronouns that go with that?

  • GJ BWOG says:

    @GJ BWOG And they call us terrorists…

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This was a cool endeavor but the whole post is so gratuitously written, from the first mention of conor Skelding to the very end, typical Bwog wanting to be gawker

    1. CC '12 says:

      @CC '12 Okay, for the record, Bwog started off trying to be Gawker in 2006 or so, and it was a hell of a lot better than when it tried to be a pretentious legitimate journalistic publication, like 2010-2012.

  • anon says:

    damn fools

  • The Honourably Based FILGB says:

    @The Honourably Based FILGB This made my day

  • What a fucking loser says:

    @What a fucking loser This kid is probably the biggest loser on the planet

    1. The Dark Hand says:

      @The Dark Hand What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

      1. anon says:

        @anon dude, wtf’s the matter with you.
        *guerilla. can’t spell for shit huh? the pen is more powerful than the sword, that’s why I’m sitting on my ass for 12 weeks at a time instead of building up these biceps.

        1. Welcome to the internet says:

          @Welcome to the internet you must be new here. You legitimately made me chuckle with your attempt at correcting its spelling.

          1. anon says:

            @anon This was more than a spelling mistake. He probably actually thinks it’s gorilla warfare. This is semantic.

        2. GJ BWOG says:

          @GJ BWOG Okay guys, this isn’t funny anymore. The cops fucking knocked at my door today and asked me about the #lejun I’ve been visiting. I NEVER go to any sick spectator places or anything like that so it must be this place they’re talking about. For god’s sake stop screwing around with the spec shit, you’re going to get yourselves arrested. Trust me the authorities are watching and they’re taking it VERY seriously. Don’t believe me, fine, wait a while and you will. I just hope you have a good lawyer. Goodbye forever you sick fucks, I’m going to wipe my hard drive.

      2. What a fucking says:

        @What a fucking loser. Actually a piece of shit.

  • BSGS says:

    @BSGS Sooooo, he trades Magic cards too. lol

    1. The Dark Hand says:

      @The Dark Hand you jelly of my dual lands??

  • Bwog says:

    @Bwog basically stalked a student online and IRL and then showed up unannounced, verbally confronted a student, and then posted this article without the student’s permission. that’s fucking creepy on several levels. Not cool Bwog. “Oh blah blah blah journalism freedom etc etc,” EVEN SO, there’s a reason people want to be anonymous and you completely violated that privacy. Not. fucking. cool.

  • The fuck? says:

    @The fuck? Lol this dude was my partner in lab, a legit nice guy who seemed like he would never want to stir up any trouble or controversy

    1. CC '13 says:

      @CC '13 it’s the nice ones you have to watch out for

  • nightfan says:

    @nightfan This fuck was my roommate for 2 years in John Jay and Shapiro. I can’t believe I’m still friends with this troll, we just played Smash yesterday. I should have known he would troll the interwebs based on all his 4chan browsing back in the day. Congrats, bud, you’re internet famous now.

    1. The dark hand says:

      @The dark hand fuck you ni99a I thought we were boys. If I ever see u in the street again it’s done ni99a. I said its DONE NI99A. Now play with me if u want to.

  • The Honourably Based FILGB says:

    @The Honourably Based FILGB Honestly this does seem a bit out of order though for Bwog to track someone down and knock on their door and ask whether or not he’s an internet personality that wants to remain anonymous. Shit tier reporting

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous can’t tell if student or darth sidious

  • Please note says:

    @Please note This isn’t Varsity Show-worthy. I don’t want to see any references to this. Varsity Show: you’re on notice.

    1. Disillusioned NYU Transfer says:

      @Disillusioned NYU Transfer agreed. this is way too obscure for a Varsity Show.
      Maybe not NYU musical theater though…

  • I expected more from you, Bwog. says:

    @I expected more from you, Bwog. You could have handled this in a significantly more classy manner, but you chose not to. If you think specsucks is so low, you’ve decided to go significantly below the bar you found them beneath of for petty vengeance hidden with sub par humor. Bwog used to be my favorite site, but it’s changed a lot while I’ve been here, and the direction it’s chosen has just decreased its quality and now, apparently, its ethics. The different between specsucks and Bwog is now this: they have morals; they specifically have never posted anything in a truly malicious manner, because they remain for the purpose of comedy in a sea of far too serious publications and furthermore, a serious lack of it on Bwog and Spec; and when they do post names, they always ensure that the post is absurd and obviously a joke, so as to never harm anyone’s reputation through Google when said person is searched. For example, how do you think something like this might impact a student’s future job prospects? A college student trolling in a harmless manner should not rustle the jimmies of Spec and Bwog to the point of SERIOUSLY stalking him from his classes to where he lives, taking screenshots of his conversations and cam conversations with other students, and, more than even that, making all those listed in this article as those doing the stalking the equivalent to Edward from the Twihard films. Maybe you should put all of that extra time you’re obviously not spending on school and focus on making Bwog a credible whilst still entertaining website for student life on campus. Take this massive failure of ethics and use it as a wake-up call for those that did this and those that allowed this to happen so that they can finally see how far they’ve fallen. You’re better than this. And for fuck’s sake, take this article down.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I agree. The fact they even included the “retracing the footsteps” bit is pathetic. Congratulations, you’re investigative journalists. Guess what? So are all the journalists who uncover things without patting themselves on the back for eleven paragraphs for uncovering them. *dramatic eye roll*

      1. What do you mean? says:

        @What do you mean? Bwog is totally full of investigative journalists! Remember what a good job they did with CUCR back in the spring, with fact-checking and all that jazz? EXCELLENT journalism.

        1. FYI says:

          @FYI for those of you that don’t catch on: big-ass sarcasm alert.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Alex jones is not a good reporter and only contributed negatively. Hence this post and the whole project. Connor is just his bitch, Brian just wanted to be part of something that people might give him credit for, and who tf is sam?

  • um says:

    @um he’s cute

  • Wow says:

    @Wow I’m sure this will go over really well with this guy’s prospective employers.

    1. The Dark Hand says:

      @The Dark Hand >implying I was going to get a job anyway

  • landau says:

    @landau Bwog you’ve just become less funny for me.

  • shrinking violet says:

    @shrinking violet Morals, oh, things that bwog doesn’t have?
    I’m coming for you bwog. the legion lives!

  • valery palme says:

    @valery palme not again!

    1. anon says:

      @anon *face-palme*

  • The Honourably Based FILGB says:

    @The Honourably Based FILGB I find this article to be an example of Bwog’s crappy journalistic and ethical standards for several reasons.

    A – The focus of the article. How exactly is SpecSucks so relevant? Answer: It’s not, just like the whole 1020/Kristine thing. Neither are funny either. They’re loudmouth pieces designed to kick up shitstorms, nothing more.

    B – The naming. But it isn’t just naming, it’s a full on biography of a student, including a photo from when he was 15 or some shit. How is it ethically sound that half the campus now knows what extra-curriculars Nick did because of the fact that he likes to troll the Spec?

    C – . Bwog’s treatment of b@b. They write a story about us for the Blue and White and then goes around and spit in our collective faces by actively seeking out someone on b@b and revealing them. Great job at treating your sources right.

    This isn’t investigative journalism. This isn’t funny or ‘under-the-radar’ campus news. It’s shit-tier journalism done with little or no ethical regards. Congratulations Bwog, you’re now Columbia’s equivalent of the Daily Star.

    1. landau says:

      @landau @The Honourably Based FILGB: I agree with you on all points, though I found the 1020 affair to be damn funny.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous U MAD BRO?

    3. The Ban Captain thepoet says:

      @The Ban Captain thepoet nice try filgb we know you ride the Spec’s phallus to Phyrgia every damn time

  • yo, says:

    @yo, DTF

  • Cease the butthurt says:

    @Cease the butthurt TDH is amused by it, why is everyone acting like Bwog just spilled raw video of them spanking it to midget porn? The Michael/Kristine incident (aka 1020Gate) set the precedent.

  • anonymous says:

    @anonymous Because he’s the hero columbia deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark hand.

    1. Oh, honey says:

      @Oh, honey So funny!!!! Really.

  • This is disheartening says:

    @This is disheartening Bwog. Terrible reporting (as per usual), and what you’ve done–more importantly, how you’ve gone about about it–well…
    I just don’t have any words.
    Do you know what integrity means?

  • You're still failing on my expectations. says:

    @You're still failing on my expectations. How about proving that you’re above this by removing this article and issuing an apology for stalking a student and jeopardizing their future career in the process.

    1. I agree. says:

      @I agree. I think you’ve crossed line, Bwog… (just like you did with the whole Kristine thing)

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bwog, if you’re gonna be morally edgy and shit, at least be funny.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Motion: someone should track down the anonymous user identities of Alex Conor Brian and Sam and post all of their comments itt, as well as pictures of them, their dorm info, their high school resumes, and the emails they send on the Bwog list serves.

    Like reddit, b@b, etc… And their face books of course.

    1. CC '13 says:

      @CC '13 moderators. they exist.

      1. CC '13 says:

        @CC '13 Also, according to the Comment Policy: “A comment may be moderated if it contains…Unauthorized use of a person’s identity [or] Personal information about an individual.” Shouldn’t Bwog’s staff be held to the same standards as those who comment?

  • What The Fuck says:

    @What The Fuck Before I knew who this kid was, I didn’t care. And I still don’t. But, what the actual fuck, Bwog? This is beyond creepy. Disturbing really. Please don’t tell me this is a part of what you guys do.

  • CC '13 says:

    @CC '13 as someone with the highest possible security clearance (don’t repeat that!), this doesn’t bode well for nick’s job prospects.

    1. whatever says:

      @whatever honestly, I can’t imagine that the extreme immaturity this “journalism” quite clearly demonstrates sends much of a positive message to future employers of the authors, either.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous I think an employer would have to be ridiculously uptight to actually care if someone their hiring liked to troll anonymous internet forums. Its not like he’s ever said anything offensive or illegal.

        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous * they’re

  • Spec supporter says:

    @Spec supporter Does this schmuck even lift?

  • bwog, wtf says:

    @bwog, wtf Bwog, you need to take this shit down, like now. You’ve breeched someone’s privacy, do it, or else, I’ll start a petition and let everyone know what a shitty publication this is.

    1. GJ BWOG says:

      @GJ BWOG I think we all know what drivel garbage bwog is responsible for.

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Please look up the Streisand Effect.

  • seas13 says:

    @seas13 gonna be out of here soon and this really means absolutely nothing to me. in fact, you all look like little kids

  • so just to clarify says:

    @so just to clarify do we hate this or the redesign more? gotta get my rage-priorities sorted.

    1. um says:

      @um the redesign

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous bwog is now officially the New York Post of this campus.

    1. but says:

      @but not funny

  • Ruggles 21 line occupant says:

    @Ruggles 21 line occupant um… mantel in my room. Not all the 21 line rooms in Ruggles have mantels. Just saying. It worked this time, but a floor plan won’t tell you everything.

  • Uhhh says:

    @Uhhh Is it just me or is Bwog not allowing me to comment?

  • ... says:

    @... Is this a trick question?

    1. ... says:

      @... Stupid recaptcha. That was to Uhhh.

      1. Uhhh says:

        @Uhhh I understand the irony, but no. I tried to post a comment like six times over the course of two days and it just never showed up.

  • Zero Dark Thirty says:

    @Zero Dark Thirty Like the hunt for Bin Laden, except nobody gives a fuck except people inside the publications.

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