Also note I had all the steps correct, but I was not connected to the right server for IRC. If you believe you have everything correct, make sure you connect to: hub.irc.hackthissite.org and not just irc.hackthissite.org because you may end up on nesoi or ethos. This resolved the issue I had for a while. Thanks to weekend hacker for pointing this out to me.
Spreading knowledge just once a day, can help keep the script kiddies away ⠠⠵
The mystery is intensified by the facts.