modern culture since 1991

Wings over Sealand

Exciting Benchmark Reviews update!

Posted on July 22, 2010 by RevStu

Wow. I got home from a poker game in the early hours of this morning, and idly wondered if busted shill/"executive editor" Olin Coles might have replied to my polite request for his side of the story with regard to his hopelessly dishonest excuse for a website. What I found was that Mr Coles had instead chosen to post on the Benchmark Reviews forum, in a thread entitled "Forever banned: Hall of Shame". The thread describes itself thus:

"Like any writer, our work comes under fire from time to time. Most of the criticism is taken to heart and used to improve future work, but occasionally the critic can go overboard and begin making personal threats and accusations. This thread is intended to show our visitors that their accusations and threats do not remain anonymous."

I had of course made no threats whatsoever, made an enquiry rather than an accusation, and had invited them to offer an explanation using my real name, not anonymously. Benchmark Reviews' response to being caught red-handed printing press releases under the guise of a review, however, was to not only ban me from their site, but to publish my name, address, email address and phone number, implicitly inviting people to harass me or worse.

It's hard to imagine a guiltier response, or a more cowardly one. I think we can safely assume  from this deranged outburst  of panic that we've caught Benchmark Reviews with their grubby little hands right in the cookie jar.

7 to “Exciting Benchmark Reviews update!”

  1. Gabe says:

    Of course, publishing 'your' details is only punishment for you *if* that site had thousands of fans, outraged at your activity, and baying for blood.
    Alas, I fear that the community in question is as numerous/motivated as the South Hobart scarf knitters forum.

  2. Damian says:

    … Darius Burst?

  3. Cook says:

    Very scummy and childish move by BS Reviews. I don't see how they thought this tantrum would do anything other than make them look more guilty.
    I'll be sure to remember just what kind of people are behind that site and warn others.

  4. The Nixon Administration says:

    Ironically, I'd never even heard of Benchmark Reviews before this farce, but Olin Coles is clearly a prize crapweed.
    I did a very cursory Google search of his name to see if there was more corking material out there, and (apart from a Facebook user photo that tells you pretty much everything you need to know), it transpires he's on LinkedIn – turns out he's ex-military (having "left" the Marines in unexplained circumstances in 2002).  Explains an awful lot, including the repeated use of terminology like "dishonourable discharge" to describe banning someone from a forum that discusses reviews of computer equipment and chairs.

  5. Lenny says:

    Isn't publishing somebody's name, address and other contact details a breach of the Data Protection Act?

  6. RevStu says:

    Almost certainly. His webhosts ( have a totally broken contact page, sadly.

  7. Irish Al says: is registered by


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