This is a long read, but it has to be, to fully explain my reasons. I am against discrimination and racism in all forms. My brand has been tarnished by these people in an unfair way, without considering my point of view.
So I want to let you know my point of view, and why I decided to blacklist all of them.
As a reviewer, I always tell companies my duty is to my subscribers. They subscribe to me because they want to know my opinion on things. Most of my subscribers know that I always speak my mind, regardless of whether I buy the product or got it free from the manufacturer.
95% of the things I review were purchased with my own money. Some people give me free stuff, don’t like my review, and never send me anything again. I am used to getting pushback from modders and subscribers. Regardless, I soldier on.
To grow my subscribers and make my channel different from all the others out there, I experiment. I’ve created themes videos, technical and DIY stuff, regular reviews, trolling reviews, and even clone reviews.
Yes I did review some clones for a small period of time, only for high-end items that were impossible to buy unless you were “granted” access to certain Facebook groups. I tried to get them but mostly all I heard was that you “need to know someone important” before you can buy. Who that someone was, I had no clue.
My subscribers seemed to love the clone reviews, so I did more, and my subscribers grew. Eventually, I stopped them because I was getting the wrong kind of subscribers, and reviewing clones was pointless except for showing people if it sucks or not.
Besides in the squonking area, almost all the products were sold behind secret groups, with almost no presense or information about them outside those groups.
My Initial Experiences with Armor Mods
I heard a lot of good things about the Armor 1.0 RDA. Although I had the clone, I was determined to buy the authentic. I found one guy who was willing to ship to Malaysia, and he was asking $300 for it.
I asked on a FB group (I believe it was MYS) if it was actually worth that much, and someone tagged Darren Loh. He responded something like “it depends how valuable you feel it is”. So I went ahead and bargained for free USPS to Malaysia, and paid $300.
Eventually when I managed to join the group I found out that it costs about $90 and knew instantly that I overpaid. At this point though I had no idea who the people behind Armor mods were, or that it was based in Malaysia. Apparently I paid the “flipper price”.
Eventually I found out that Darren Loh was the person who ran Armor Mods, and that he had a shop in Cheras called Oriental Vape. I wondered why Darren didn’t mention the real cost to me, instead of a vague response.
It would have saved me a lot of money.
I waited for an Armor RDA list, trying to learn the sales process these guys used, which I have never seen anywhere else. As it turns out, even joining the group wasn’t enough, as there were about 4,000 people trying to buy 30 units per list. Unless I was very quick or very lucky, it would take months before I could get one.
I went to Oriental Vape to buy an authentic SVA Punto Zero. I asked if I could buy an Armor or DDP One, to which I was told they do not sell any at the store.
DO NOT SELL. Not “out of stock”, just “do not sell”.
I found this weird. They make the Armor but do not sell at their physical store?
I could not even buy replacement parts for the Armor, except for o-rings and screws. In fact they released about 100 units of Armor RDA just a few days later in the group.
I bought the Punto Zero and a bunch of other stuff, my receipt came close to RM1,900. I felt this very uneasy vibe in the store almost like they didn’t want to waste their time entertaining my questions. I actually met Darren there but he was busy on the phone. I did some small talk with him before I left, and got one-liner replies.
Later I found out that many people are indeed able to get Armor products and a whole lot more from Oriental Vape. It all depended on your “prestige” I was told. All the good stuff is reserved for people with “prestige”. If Darren Loh “liked you” then he would let you have it.
After I joined the Armor group suddenly I was able to get access to a whole lot of other groups including Dee Mods, MYS, Rajawali Royalists. I didn’t know at that time that there were all linked.
Eventually I found out that they used the same sales process (X1 quickstrikes) in all these groups. I stayed up late to participate, but was only ever able to get a Solo RDA and some caps. This is the game they said, and I have to play it.
Sure, but I was getting increasingly frustrated by what I saw as high-pressure sales techniques. You have a few seconds to decide and confirm, and about 24 hours to pay up. But if you change your mind or pay late you get banned.
I’m used to buying at a proper websites with cancellation options, money-back guarantee and warranties. All these things seemed very dodgy to me. There is zero consumer protection in these groups.
Victor Firminio & Vulcan Designs
Fast forward a month or so, and I end up in a whole lot of high-end groups. Some, I don’t even remember how I got in. I did feel like all these groups were a bit fake, mostly disguised promotions and almost no real discussions.
I saw a mod in one of those groups, the Vulcan Designs Voyeour which was apparently in prototype. That’s what lead me to communicate with Victor Firminio, and I planned to buy the mod when it was launched. Our initial conversation was pretty friendly:
I didn’t know at that time how Victor Firminio was linked to anyone else, especially that he was Darren Loh’s buddy. I was oblivious to the politics and didn’t actually want to know. I just wanted to support a Malaysian modder for his work.
I also came across Kilic Customs, and I thought their stabwood mods looked dope. I also saw that they had this brand new RDA coming soon called the Airlab. I wanted to support them although they were new, so I shared their posts to my Instagram and Facebook timelines:
No one from Kilic thanked me for sharing, which was not unusual. No one thanks you when you promote them. They just take it. Please note the dates in the screenshots.
A month later I saw that they will be releasing a new batch of their Airlab. I searched for reviews (yes I sometimes do) to get an idea of what the Airlab looks like, but could find nothing. Nothing on Google, nothing anywhere.
So I contacted them to see if they can send me a review copy. Again, I buy 95% of the stuff I review, and I do sometimes ask for review copies when I am totally unsure of what to expect.
All I got was an automated message. The people from Kilic would later screenshot this request to “prove” that I am just a freeloader. The fans of Kilic would spin their story based on this request.
The Post That Started It All
Two days later, they announce the list. I waited, but still not sure if it was worth getting this for the sake of a review. So I posted on my PERSONAL FACEBOOK PROFILE this message:
Let me repeat that: It was posted on MY PERSONAL FACEBOOK PROFILE to my followers – not in a page, not in a group, or any public place. I wanted to see if there was any response to it.
I didn’t like the way it looks, and the fact that there was no 510 adapter. If people wanted me to review it, I would have bought regardless of anything I didn’t like.
But there was poor response. This screenshot I took 36 weeks later – still only two comments and 4 likes.
I decided not to get one at the moment. Spending a hundred bucks to review something no one cares about will probably mean I get no views and no new subscribers.
The next day Victor Firmino then send me a PM, telling me not to “give Kilic a negative comment” as I might “lose audience in the future”. About it not having a 510 adapter, he says its “wiser not to mention it”.
I found all this a bit weird. It was like a subtle warning. I have never received a message like this from anyone, even close friends. Here’s a guy I barely know telling me what I’m not supposed to say on my own profile.
If he told me at that time that they were all friends and he was afraid that my comments might affect the launch of his friend’s product, I would have respected it. I still would not back down from the freedom to express my own opinion on my own profile.
I review stuff. Was that so hard to understand?
I assumed that he was a part of Kilic – but then why not just say it? This left me feeling very weird, but the next day in one of the groups (appeared in my news feed, I don’t remember joining) I see this:
“This is not a promotional review” but it was. Yesterday, he said he “heard good stuffs about it”, never mentioned that he actually owned one.
So I decide to troll Viktor a bit as you can see in the message I left. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought for sure he would delete it and block me. I just wanted him to know that I can see through his tricks.
The Great Con by Viktor Firminio
Let’s just say the conversation got nasty. But, I was so busy feeling pissed and typing / editing my replies that I forgot to screenshot them. I didn’t realize, he was making screenshots and would later use it to make up lies about the whole thing.
He replied (to my comment you see above) saying I am “stupid reviewer” and “an embarrassment to the vaping community”, and that I should “stick to reviewing clones”.
I just exploded in anger at these words, and decided to really let him have it. Doesn’t matter if he blocks me, as long as I let him have it.
You can see my comments below and yes they are nasty, in which I called him an elitist, fucking asshole, fucking arrogant etc. I don’t deny saying this, I’ve never felt so angry at anything for as long as I can remember.
My only regret is that I didn’t screenshot the things HE said.
But you can see from my reply (below) that I referenced those words. I tried to edit my comment, but it wouldn’t save. Turns out, the post was deleted and I could no longer see it.
An hour later I would decide to apologize to Viktor. Even though he had belittled my by calling me “stupid” and “an embarrassment”, I thought I would initiate a way out of this.
By that time he had already unfriended me, but I sent the message anyways.
He later blocks me permanently on Facebook so I could no longer message him. In the later conversations that follow with his buddies, none of them mention this apology, so I assume that Viktor buried it.
He already wanted to spin this nasty story about me, and an apology would just ruin that. Very smart moves by Viktor Firminio, I learned a lot from this thank you!
Zulhaikal Madhan & Rajawali Loyalists
Zulhaikal Madhan sends me a PM immediately after this incident, asking for my opinions, saying that he wanted to interview me. My previous communication with this guy was pretty limited. He did help me in a way to get into the Armor group initially.
Anyone with common sense would know that when a person is angry, don’t provoke him further. Zulhaikal doesn’t have that kind of common sense.
He starts off by saying he wants to know my opinion, but completely rejects it and instead starts lecturing me about their code of conduct etc. Just like Viktor, this guy starts talking down to me.
Code of conduct? I had no idea what he was talking about to be honest.
Then he proceeds to say that in essence, if I have a problem with anyone in Rajawali Loyalist, I have a problem with them all. According to Zulhaikal, even though I had no issue with him or his groups, it was like a universal law that applies to my “conduct” everywhere.
Wow! I didn’t know I had signed such a one-sided deal..
He just didn’t care to know my side of the story. He already believed something else. The entire conversation with Zulhaikal was a waste of time.
This is the screenshot he showed me:
I didn’t get it at first, but I realized he was not showing the insults from Viktor Firminio. He even highlighted only the part of the ugly argument that he wanted to pick on.
There was no way he could have got this screenshot except from Viktor Firminio, who deleted the post before I could get a screenshot of the replies myself.
Where’s the part Viktor Firminio called me a “stupid reviewer” and an “embarrassment to the community” that provoked my response?
You can clearly see, I was replying to something, but Zulhaikal doesn’t want to talk about that. So it was ok for Viktor Firminio to call me “stupid” and “an embarrassment” publicly, but when I reacted back publicly, that was not in line with their “code of conduct”.
Double standards of course. He completely pretends like it was an unprovoked message I sent to Viktor.
This wasn’t about ethics or responsibility, because as far as I know no one had an issue with Viktor’s insults to me. Viktor is untouchable because he is Darren Loh’s friend, and all these guys want to suck up to them for their own businesses.
It was only months later that I found out the truth about Rajawali Loyalists and who this Zulhaikal really is. I also found out almost everything I said to him about high-end vaping in their circle is pretty much true.
Zheng Ang Huan’s “Defamation” Threat
At the same time I was chatting with Zulhaikal I am PMed by Zheng Ang Huan who identifies himself as “from Kilic”. He was very polite and finally I thought, someone I can reason with.
But that only lasted so long, as Zheng starts to claim that my opinion on his product is “defamation”. I tried to explain to him that Defamation is a legal term, and completely irrelevant to having or stating an opinion about your preferences to a product.
Zheng also already made up his mind and wasn’t really interested in what I have to say, except to counter it and tell me why my opinion is wrong. He kept on insisting it was Defamation until I gave up and told him to stop PMing me.
Instead, I asked on my personal FB if anyone would consider it defamation. Posted the original screenshot of the Kilic countdown timer.
I never mentioned Zheng but he joined in the conversation. Here again with the same claims that I am defaming Kilic customs, ruining their brand etc. I could not believe how out of touch Zheng was with the people who are his potential customers..
After some heated arguments back and forth the conversation died down.
Of course it was ridiculous to call an opinion of a product as Defamation. Every other person would be in jail right now if that was the case. I commented on a product’s feature, not a brand or a person, but Zheng was just too immature to understand.
From this conversation with Zheng, I felt he is really pretty arrogant, and confident in his arrogance. Seems like a person who was sheltered and only hand around people who never said “No” to him.
The Mass Banning & Shaming Event
I just sat back and watched as one by one, they kicked me out of all the groups they owned. Actually I was already expecting this to happen. People have warned me that this would happen if you say something “unflattering” about their products.
I have to admit, there were a few I didn’t expect. Total damage of groups kicked out of:
- Kilic Lounge, Rajawali Loyalist – I can’t remember if they kicked me out or I exited, but this was sure to happen.
- MYS (Malaysian Squonkers) – Good riddance, this group is nothing more than a promotional feeder group for The Family. Everything here is fake.
- Armor Mods & Dee Mods – I owned two authentic Armor RDAs and spent RM2,000 at Oriental Vape in a single visit. Good riddance.
- Emonty (Edward Montezinos) – I bought two overpriced Entheon RDAs here just a week before, and I was in the middle of a Desce pouch buy.
- Vape Court – By Edward Montezinos. Of course so that I could not even complain or argue my case here.
- Mikey’s Mod Mart – I bought over $3,000 worth of stuff here in three months, and almost got scammed once.
- Hussar Vapes – This was the most disappointing as I have respect for Mathaeus. I had two authentic Hussar RDTAs and one authentic Hussar RTA. Unfortunately this group is indirectly owned by Darren Loh who is a moderator.
- Others that I am probably not aware of.
Shortly after, they all happily discuss this on Zheng’s personal FB profile, calling me names and other stuff:
He made this post public while almost everything else is not, probably to make sure I see it. Judging from the discussion I know they have shamed me somewhere, and sure as hell had a good time doing it.
You can see all the cowards talking shit about me, some of them were in my friends list at that time. None of these cowards ever bothered to ask me anything. They call me stupid, clone reviewer, asshole – no problems here according to Zulhaikal’s code of conduct?
Some comments were left by Viktor which I cannot see since he has already blocked me. But I know for sure, everything they said about me was based on Viktor’s screenshots, which only contained my replies.
They probably framed their version of the story as a clone reviewer trying to get free stuff, and when he didn’t, started talking crap about their products and cursing away like a mad dog.
Zheng Huan Ang, who talked so much about defamation, chuckles happily as these people actually defame me. They turned a comment about a product into a personal vendetta against me, simply because I refused to get in line and defended my opinion.
They had no problem taking my money when I gave it. As long as I sang their tune, they had no issues with anything. Clone reviews at that time was about less than 5% of my total content, and I had not reviewed any clones long before all this happened.
Their logic seems to be, that not allowing me to spend more money with them is a great punishment. Cult mentality runs deep here.
Here is how this incident changed me:
- Before, I innocently bought their products, handchecked them, recommended them. No more.
- Before, I just wanted to get good products, I didn’t quite care who made them or where they were made. Now, I check their background before buying.
- Before, if people made it hard to buy from them, I tried harder. No more.
- I learned about the feeder groups, paid promoters, incentivized handchecks.
- I learned that any group owned this cult is equaly as fake as the other, and just meant for promotions even though it may seem like a place for discussion.
After the dust settled, I just avoided these people as much as I can.
I discovered that high-end vaping is much larger than I expected. I could easily spend my money elsewhere on better products made by more humble owners. These groups are far different, with more honest discussions. Here you are treated like a real customer instead of a beggar.
I dismissed this cult and never wanted to have anything to do with them again. I’m sure they expected my life to become miserable but sorry to say that is just wishful thinking.
Like bullies, they ganged up on me. My misunderstanding with one guy turned into a clan war, a dozen people against one.
Still, I decided to put it all behind me and move on, until this happened.
It’s Okay If a White Guy Says It
Todd makes a review about the Kilic Airlab on his channel, Todd’s Review. In his video, which had over 9,000 views when I checked, guess what he says?
Two times in his video, Todd mentioned about the lack of a 510 adapter in the Airlab and how he would have preferred if it had one.
Basically, the same thing I said more than six months ago, when there was so little information available about the product. So back then the people from Kilic were saying it was defamation, what did they say to Todd?
They share it on their FB page, calling it an “honor” and that they were “truly happy”. They promised they will improve based on his review. Then they even encourage people to subscribe to his channel.
So here’s the comparison:
- My personal FB profile rant that got 4 likes – Talked down to by Viktor, Zulhaikal and Zheng. They tried to make me bend to their will, then banned my from all their groups when I refused and stood my ground.
- Todd’s public review with 9,264 views – Exalted and hailed.
There was another review in Italian which I could not understand, they shared and exalted that review also. This is because Italians are high in the list of people they want to suck up to.
No claims of defamation on this one? No PMs sent to warn Todd that he may lose subscribers?
Why not since it’s the same thing and same issue we both talked about, only mine was in a private FB profile?
These people who ridiculed me as a “clone reviewer” ignore this:
But it’s ok if a white guy does it. Like me, Todd used to review clones until he decided to stop because people saw it as “promoting clones”. He doesn’t hide the fact, those videos are still up there now.
I got sucked into reviewing clones because you get much more views, and unlike all these secret groups you can buy a clone very easily. No need for protocol, ass-kissing and X1 quickstrikes. The quality ends up being about the same, and my subscribers at that time actually appreciated it.
But then I realized it was also getting the wrong kind of subscribers – people seeking freebies and vulgar trolls. I stopped and never did a single clone review since.
So they have one set of rules for me, and one set of rules for others.
This is discrimination / racism plain and simple. The huge difference in treatment by Zheng and Kilic is too great to be anything else.
I felt it from the moment I got caught up in the groups owned by the Malaysian crony modders (The Cult), but I ignored it. My gut instinct was telling me something is not quite right with these guys, but I pushed it aside.
I have to come to this realization.
All that time explaining myself to these three people was a complete waste of time. No matter what I did or didn’t do, I was never going to be considered a “prestige vaper” by any of them. No matter what I say, they will always view me as inferior, not worth listening to.
Any business that discriminates customers by status, appearance, or how much money they have is discriminating nevertheless. Racism is just another form of discrimination. If my dollar is not worth the same as someone else’s dollar, I will take my dollar somewhere else.
“Prestige vaper” is just another way of disguising discrimination and festering racism. An Italian guy can automatically become a Prestige Vaper because it’s cool when Italians use your product on top of their SVA mods. A dark skin guy will probably never get past the door.
I hate cults, and I hate racists.
My Personal Blacklisting of The Cult
As of today, all these brands will be blacklisted by me:
- Kilic Customs, Vulcan Designs, Rajawali.
- By association Armor Mods, Dee Design, Hussar Vapes and any other related or linked brand.
- All groups moderated by people associated with the above.
- All Malaysian modders, until I check their associations.
It may seem extreme but they are all connected, linked up in some sort of circle-jerk cult. After all since Zulhaikal said that what one member of the “family” does reflects on every other person in it, I think he should understand..
Discrimination and racism is like a disease – it spreads. Since these guys have acted like a cult to bully and intimidate me, I have to blacklist them as a group.
- I will not allow any handchecks of their products
- I will not talk or use their products in any way
- I will not allow their cult members into my FB or anything I personally manage
- If they happen to be in them they will be removed immediately with no explanation
- No need to reason with people who cannot be reasoned with
To understand my hatred for discrimination, try being a dark-skinned guy in a country like Malaysia for one day. I lived it for 37 years. People look and talk to you differencely. I do not believe having people who discriminate against me is good for anything I do, and I do not want it to happen again.
This is my story, my point of view. No one wanted to listen but I will tell it anyway. Just keeping quiet only encourages more discrimination, to others.
My opinion of these brands is that they appear to be first class, but underneath it’s the same third-world mentality I see everyday. No difference.
I’m not telling anyone to boycott them. All I am saying is that I will, and as far as I am concerned these cults are not worth my a minute of my time. However, do be aware of what you are getting into, and who you talk to about their products.
If you think I am an asshole by nature, do find at least one other incident where I behaved this way, and I would agree. If you think I was wrong to use vulgarity even when someone called me stupid and insults me, you’re a much better person than me.
Anyone who wants to kick me out of more groups, even after I bought your products, please feel free to do so. At least I save some money.
The whole thing was a cleverly manipulated drama by Viktor and Zheng to gain some popularity points with their followers. They kicked me out of their groups so they could tell their lies, like cowards, behind my back.