I complained again on Lingwë that the Amazon review had not been reinstated (in one of my worst-written posts; it makes me wince to read it again), even after Amazon representatives claimed it had been. I wasted more time than I care to admit going back and forth with Amazon on this. In the end, they claimed the review was not in keeping with their standards. Specifically, they said it was removed “because your comments in large part focused on authors and their intentions, rather than reviewing the item itself. Our guidelines do not allow discussions that criticize authors/artists or their intentions […].” Nonsense. Just browse Amazon at random, and you’ll find plenty of reviews that do both but weren’t removed. And as I wrote on Lingwë back in 2007, my review was only removed from the product page; you could actually still find it on Amazon, if you knew where to look.
Now I had just about forgotten all of this, so imagine my surprise when Google alerted me this afternoon to this web page. Apparently, Mr. Vander Ploeg has achieved the distinction of making UFO Watchdog’s Hall of Shame, “a list of those we deem are not advancing the field of UFO research. Some are frauds. Some are delusional. Some are just nuts!” Some, I daresay, are all three. Surprise, surprise: the good folks at UFO Watchdog quote my Amazon review: “It had to happen eventually — that the Da Vinci Code, Nostradamus, Celestine Prophecy, Mayan Calendar, extraterrestrial, mock-religious, mock-scientific movement would infect Middle-earth and seek to capitalize shamelessly on the success and popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien.” Indeed!
So, taking a look at the product page for Quest for Middle-earth, I now find that my review has been silently reinstated. Silently, because no one from Amazon ever notified me (and this, after a chain of emails lasting more than two years). I have no way of even knowing when they restored it. Well, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth! And now you know what to do if one of your reviews is ever suppressed: simply make a lot of noise, carp and grouse for over two years, and you’ll wear ’em down, I reckon. At least, that’s what I did.