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.
I don't care how ‘secure’ your systems are. If you have stupid people running them and using them, you can't win.
For those that know