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RCRAA — Controversy Addressed

Recently a new RC racing sanctioning body was announced, the RCRAA (Radio Control Racing Association of America). This organization was founded by Robert Smith, Buddy Hodge, Lance Forhon and Dave Vance with Smith seemingly functioning as the group’s spokesperson at the moment. All information regarding RCRAA has been supplied by Smith.

Shortly after the news of RCRAA spread around the RC community, the organization faced criticism for allegedly being linked to a man named Aaron Mortensen. Mortensen has been accused of alleged fraudulent business practices–both in RC and in full-size off-road racing. It’s important to note that these allegations consist of online criticisms. The alleged connection between RCRAA and Mortensen was said to be via website hosting. Smith denies any association (see interview below).

OUR TAKE
The bottom line is there are at least two sides to every story. Hosting of a website doesn’t necessarily prove association. And, guilt by association isn’t enough to make claims of scams and fraud. As professional journalists, we don’t rush to judgement or run with loose connections. Our take is judgement should be reserved until there is something to judge. RCRAA should be judged on what they do or do not accomplish. Apparently, no has sent RCRAA money and at this point, no one should. We advice everyone to wait, watch and see what does or does not develop. To be perfectly clear, we are not siding with RCRAA and we are, just the same, not siding against them. To do so would be unprofessional as journalists.

RC Truck Stop:
Where are you and the other founders each located out of?
Robert Smith:
I am in Northern California, one is in Idaho, one is Southern California and one of us is in central California.

 

RC Truck Stop:
Do you know Aaron Mortensen? Have you ever met Aaron Mortensen and is there any sort of connection or affiliation with Aaron Mortensen and RCRAA?
Robert Smith:
I have not personally met him, and no there is no connection or affiliation with him. There was concern as our previous website host which was through one of his companies, but once that was realized that was changed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, because of how the RC community has reacted to us using any company that has any staff or owner that may be affiliated with an RC company, the same strict rules would be followed by us in using “RC” companies for T-shirts or stickers for events as well. This makes sure we can stay [unbiased] in everything per the request of the RC community.

 

RC Truck Stop:
Has RCRAA collected any membership fees or had any revenue as of yet?
Robert Smith:
No fees or revenue has been collected. Which is a major point in that many have said this is a scam or fake, but if you look at it, we don’t charge tracks to signup, individuals can signup for free currently as well. No one is forced to signup either. I fail to see personally how anyone can even make a claim of “scam” with no request of revenue or payment.

 

Also Check Out: RCRAA — Radio Control Racing Association of America

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17 Comments

  1. Did you talk face to face with Robert Smith? Did you view his drivers license or other such information social security to confirm that he is a real person? or did you just email or talk via facebook.

    RCRAA is a business, the 4 people claimed to be involved are business people, yet, none of these people can provide any information about the registration of this business. No entity number, no EIS with the IRS. None of the people exist anywhere on the internet other than a couple of week old face book page for robert smith.

    Do some deep investigation on this mob and uncover the truth because it is all a scam.

    1. Thank you very much for reading the article and even more so for commenting. I am and will continue to dig.

      To answer your question, Robert Smith is in California and I am located out of Connecticut, so as much as I would have preferred to, I have not spoken face to face.

  2. So 3 of these guys are in California, and 1 is in Idaho, and they’re supposed to start a brand new nationwide RC racing organization.

    Really?

    1. RogerDaShrubber, you are entitled to your opinion, but as I’ve said before words like “scam” and “fraud” are pretty serious accusations.

      Here’s the breakdown:
      I have communicated with Roger Smith numerous times–via phone, email, text and standard mail. While he, by what he says is choice on his part (he doesn’t feel the need to provide personal information to forum critics who have established that they will never be satisfied), has not proven his identity to a half dozen critics on an RC forum, the reality is there is just as much–if not more–positive evidence for him and RCRAA than there is against. The most serious accusation levied against Robert Smith and RCRAA is that he is actually Aaron Mortensen (an alleged “scam artist”). Let me be perfectly clear: while I can not unequivocally prove Robert Smith is not Aaron Mortensen, I certainly can not prove in any way that they are the same person. Regardless of the “group thought” on an RC forum, there simply isn’t real evidence.

      Any mature adult (who isn’t letting an internet forum think for him) knows there isn’t real evidence. I have pushed Robert Smith for more and he has declined, which is, of course, his prerogative. This is not a trial and he doesn’t have to provide any information he doesn’t elect to. Personally, I would want to put rumors and speculation to rest, but it is not up to me.

      Numerous times, I have suggested that no one send money. The scam is powerless if it isn’t collecting money. That’s pretty simple. Jumping on a bandwagon and potentially slandering someone may be typical forum behavior and all too common in RC, but it is immature, dishonest and a serious indicator of poor character. Let RCRAA go about its business and see what they do or do not pull off.

      The sheep-like group thought by a handful of individuals on an RC forum is pathetic at best. People went from lambasting ROAR to practically instantly claiming Robert Smith is committing criminal acts. I am the only person that has consistently said “wait and see.” RCRAA may or may not prove itself to be a legitimate venture, but either way I won’t have any words to eat. If people were to follow my advice, no one would be scammed, and yet I have received personal attacks for basically not jumping on the bandwagon. Again–for about the 100th time–I can not prove Robert Smith is not Aaron Mortensen. But I can’t prove that he is either. The so called pile of evidence is NOT real evidence at all. It may be enough for an RC forum to convict, but it wouldn’t even get you a day in court in the adult world.

  3. I called each of the numbers and extensions a number of times over a period of 3 weeks, at RCRAA, same voice answered all of them, same voice, different names being used. Sometimes i would ask for Buggy, other times Robert and after a little time on hold, the same voice would come back as a different name, or slightly changed with the exact same background noises. You might be able to fake a voice, but it is hard to fake being in the same Mall doing some shopping. Oh how mobile phones give so much away.

    Maybe you should try a conference call with all 4 of them, that is going to be hilarious. If you can pull that off and be satisfied you have 4 real people or better yet, fly to CA and have lunch with them and conform they are real people and not Arron Mortenson.

    And while the evidence might not be real evidence in your opinion, or in a court of law either, what that evidence does prove is that the RCRAA is not very truthful, not very transparent and looks like a clown car crashed into it with its absolute incompetency.

    RCRAA website says Proline is a sponsor, yet Proline company officials have confirmed they have no such sponsorship arrangement with RCRAA. RCRAA website was stolen from NASCAR. Both these things are fraudulent and kind of hard to make excuses about or dismiss, website is still hosted on Arron Mortensens webserver, along with prograde and friends.

    1. RogerDaShrubber, I am not sure what your point is other than further stating you are not a believer. I don’t mean that to sound insulting, and insulting you or anyone else on this issue isn’t my desire in the least. You are 100% entitled to your opinion.

      The purpose of my follow up with Robert Smith and RCRAA was simply to give them an opportunity to tell their side of the story–to address the controversy. I am not looking to prove they are legitimate or fraudulent. Their PR is their problem. I will not be flying to CA or even attempting to schedule any sort of conference call.

      Who is speaking on behalf of Pro-Line?

  4. My first point is, whatever Mr Smith has to say, should be taken with a grain of salt. RCRAA has lied about Proline, it has stolen a website, they have lied about tracks hosting events, they have lied about membership cards, they have lied about being open and transparent, so anything Mr Smith has to say, is in all likely hood Bull Crap.

    Mr Smiths credibility is zero here because of the very things listed above, but you treat him like the next messiah. To be trusted no matter what happens. As a science major, i was taught to question everything, and anything Mr Smith has to say really needs to have 3rd party conformation, because they have lied so much already. There is nothing to corroborate anything Mr Smith has to say, which leaves only questions.

    My second point is that Mr Smith is one person pretending to be 4 people, the same voice answers the phone as Smith, Vance et al.

    Whether i am a believer or not, is really not the issue here. Facts are facts, whether you like them or not, the facts here are that the RCRAA has been caught with its pants down many times. From blatant lies to website theft, which really should call into question anything that Mr Smith as to say.

    1. You were doing okay in the first paragraph. When you said: “. . . should be taken with a grain of salt.” I would have pointed out that I agree and have essentially said the same. I would have asked who at Pro-Line has said that the sponsorship claim is false. And, I would have also pointed out that I have seen membership cards and added that the existence of cards doesn’t really prove anything.

      You, however, completely fall apart and show your true colors in the second paragraph. Show me one statement I have made that would validate that I “treat him like the next messiah.” I’ll be waiting. Before forming an opinion on what I have said I suggest you actually read it.

      RCRAA should be judged on what they do or do not accomplish. Apparently, no has sent RCRAA money, and at this point, no one should. We advise everyone to wait, watch and see what does or does not develop. To be perfectly clear, we are not siding with RCRAA and we are, just the same, not siding against them.

      You and the others on the bandwagon (there’s about four or five of you active on a single forum) are often using words like facts and evidence. The reality is real proof one way or the other hasn’t been presented and that’s why this hasn’t gone away. When I looked into this I wasn’t looking to prove or disprove–I wanted to see what I could find. A lot depended on how cooperative Robert Smith wanted to be. I haven’t hidden the fact that he hasn’t been 100% forthcoming. Meaning he hasn’t complied with every request I have made. But you have to realize and accept that he is not obligated to.

      People aren’t just “calling into question anything that Mr Smith as to say”[sic]. That would be fine. People are using words like fraud and scam–a lot. Since this is a business venture that’s slander and defamation of character. You better hope you’re right. Maybe you’re not an adult yet (I could be the fool debating with a 10-year-old online) and you haven’t learned this, but there is no I Told You So prize. There is no trophy waiting for you if you’re right. I am personally not looking to be right or wrong. I have advised that people that they should not send money and I stand by that. From what I have seen, the tracks that have signed up have been pretty smart and no one stands to be scammed out of a penny.

      By the way, using someone’s code isn’t illegal. Look it up. It’s not how I would build a site, but it’s not stealing.

      The bottom line is if RCRAA doesn’t mean your standards, I understand and that is your call. That said, the forum thread you have migrated here from is a joke and completely ridiculous. It is a poor representation of the RC hobby. Dealing with this should be very simple–don’t send money to this or any other organization you don’t know or that hasn’t proven itself.

      Here is some required reading.

  5. “You were doing okay in the first paragraph.”

    Blaa Blaa Blaa, is the best you got insults, because it seems that when ever anyone challenges your position, you end up trying to play down their intelligence or English skills.

    Shall we do this in Portuguese, which is my first language? No? I thought not. So lets leave the school house bully stuff out of this.

    And there is the thing, you are presenting certain information as fact, none of this is corroborated or substantiated. The only information that matters is what can be substantiated, read my posts carefully, and look at the information presented, i have only included things i can personally substantiate.

    As for the copying of webcode, a page layout or
    design, which is the creative work of an author in putting pieces of code together in a specific order IS copyrighted, The artwork is copyrighted also. So in this case, the RCRAA stole the NASCAR website, the page layout and artwork, which are covered by copyright. Don’t believe me, call and IP lawyer and get yourself some legal advice.

    As for Proline, call the company and ask, this is what i did.

    1. You really need to go back and review what I have said here or anywhere else. I haven’t insulted you or anyone else. As far as my comments to you on a forum, in my opinion, if you’re going to sarcastically give someone advice on being a journalist and if you’re going to do so in an intentionally rude manner, you may get a little advice thrown back at you. My responses to you are pretty reasonable given the nature of your comments. Again, no name calling, no rude comments or anything similar from me. It has never happened and never will.

      The fact of the matter is you can try all you like to turn this around, but I haven’t bullied you or anyone else. I have not been the one making personal attacks, but good try.

      Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way . . .

      What facts, what “certain information,” have I presented that isn’t, indeed, factual? That is more of a rhetorical question.

      What has really happened is that because I openly remained unbiased, I have been attacked on RCRAA’s behalf. Forums can get in feeding frenzy mode and people are going after anything that doesn’t look like another shark. I haven’t even come close to defending the RCRAA organization or Robert Smith, but I have been attacked because I am not against them either. The reality is I have nothing to do with this, it isn’t about me, but I have no intention of jumping on the bandwagon either. It’s unfortunate and ultimately counterproductive. I’ll just keep repeating what I’ve said all along. No one should send money. If no money changes hands, no one will be scammed. End of story.

  6. “I have been attacked on RCRAA’s behalf.”

    It is your position being attacked here, not your person. There is a big difference between the two.

    By providing air to RCRAA you legitimize their actions. Their actions thus far have included theft and fraud. Those two things are undeniable.

    These two points alone should be enough more than enough reason for people to avoid the RCRAA for good.

    1. I have no position on the issue as I have said over and over and over. I do not endorse RCRAA and have made that perfectly clear. Do you need examples of the personal attacks? I’ve taken a ton of flak for simply not jumping on the bandwagon. None of the insults are anything to worry about and I don’t want to overstate the matter. I am no victim here. It’s all typical forum behavior, but I wanted to be perfectly clear that I wasn’t making personal attacks, insulting anyone or bullying anyone–as you claimed.

      By providing air to RCRAA you legitimize their actions.

      The above comment is simply backwards thinking to me. I completely and fundamentally disagree.

  7. “I have no position on the issue”

    But you do have a position, and that is one of fence sitting. This position allows the RCRAA to respond to claims against it without any qualification, or corroboration and verification of the facts they are claiming. This does not address the controversy surrounding the RCRAA as this thread is titled, it only adds to it.

    Sure you back your position with do not send them any money or lets wait and see what happens, but do you really want a dishonest and allegedly law breaking group in control of any aspect of our sport/hobby?

  8. SO Matt, any thoughts about what happened in Oregon? Rcraa lied to the track owner about having 100 entries for the 2 day state titles and the reality was there were 15. Plus the rcraa hired some joker from craigslist to run the event, who had no experience at all and made a mess of it.

    Still fence sitting? now that the dust has settled, this has Arron Moronson written all over it.

    1. I didn’t realize you lived in Oregon. I heard the same rumors you did. And, that is what they are at this stage—just rumors. I sent out a few queries to follow up on what I heard and that is it. To be clear and fair, at this stage, I don’t know what is fact, rumor, exaggeration, etc., etc.

      You seem to be highly confused on about my role. Yes, I am still “sitting on the fence.” That is what I am supposed to do. I have said from the beginning and over and over that I am going to be unbiased. I am sitting on the fence with RCRAA, with ROAR, etc., etc.

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