Anon #5

Anon #5, Jan 2018, with permission

I have wanted to keep this private, but with @(name) and @(name) and @(name) and others speaking up about GKE being unsafe, I need to do the same.

July 4, 2015

I was sexually assaulted. This is not about my sexual assault. I will refer to the person who sexually assaulted me as GT.

August 25, 2016

I learned that GT, who I knew was a frequent attendee at JM’s events, was volunteering at those events as well.. I emailed the main address of JM's company (JME) and asked who I should contact about a consent violation. JM responded within an hour and said to contact him, as well as other specific staff members. I replied to the requested list of individual staff members with information on my sexual assault, and included the following:
While I would not keep him from attending events, I feel it is important for you to have the data on his sexual assault background so you can consider whether he should be kept on the staff/volunteer list.

August 27, 2016

JM made a post on Fetlife that included the following:
We are REALLY FUCKING OPEN to listening. We lend an ear. We lend an ear to people who aren't in our geographic range, we lend an ear to things which happened years ago, we lend an ear to things which didn't happen at our events. We make it clear that WE LISTEN. We do not, we do NOT go around making bans all over the place every time we hear of something. But we sure as HELL listen, try to protect the listener, and try hard to take appropriate action.
Based on this post, I figured that even though I wasn’t in their geographic range, even though it happened a year prior, and even though it didn’t happen at their event, my concerns would be listened to and JME would respond appropriately.

September 1, 2016

I had not heard anything in response to my August 25 email, and I inquired if they had seen it.

September 4, 2016

I heard back from a JME staff person. The email said:
Rest assured that GT will not be volunteering for us anymore.

September 5, 2016

I replied and said thank you.

November 15, 2016

I sent the following email to JME staff:
I wanted to make sure that you were aware GT was wearing a Presenter ribbon at the recent GKE, in addition to volunteering in Serenity Space. This does not seem to be in accord with your statement on 9/4 that he "will not be volunteering for us anymore."

November 18, 2016

I had not heard anything in response to my November 15 email, and I inquired if they had seen it. Within 10 minutes, I had the following response from JME staff:
Sorry for the delayed response. We are currently discussing what happened and where the communication breakdown happened, when we have an answer, we will be able to give you one.
I replied and said thank you.

November 28, 2016

I had not heard anything since November 18, and I emailed JME staff once again, including the following:
Please respond within the next 24 hours with an explanation of what went wrong and how you plan to remedy the situation, or I will begin advising in public forums that members of the community steer clear of JME-produced events for their own safety, and will include timelines and contents of communications so far.
I received the following within 15 minutes, from JME staff:
From my understanding of the situation, he came in under the serenity space, so we weren't even aware he applied for that.
Also none of us were aware that he even applied to be a presenter.
What were [sic] doing now is not allowing anyone to volunteer unless they go through the official application. And making sure that the performance team knows when someone is banned.
Another email five minutes later:
He has been added to our volunteer and presenter ban list.

November 29, 2016

I replied and said thank you.

November 12, 2017

I sent the following email to JME staff, in the same thread as last year:
Please explain how, despite GT being on your volunteer and presenter ban list (see below), he had a "Guest" badge at GKE 2017 and was serving as a massage volunteer in the Serenity Space, which is supposed to be part of your official application process now.
I received an autoreply from JM’s email, indicating he was currently running GKE and would have a large backlog of email when he returned. I received a bounce from one of the other staff addresses, stating that address had been disabled. Two other staff addresses did not produce a response.
Multiple posts by JM on Fetlife refer to consent. Some that I found particularly salient here:
From February 2017, a post included the following:
Predators: I know how to spot you. I won't, can't, and shouldn't tell other events what to do. But stay the fuck out of MY events. Not because I'm perfect, but because I have more data about you than anyone. Yes, I can recognize your fucked-up, abusive behavior, and YES, I will ban your ass, and I do not give a fuck who you are or how much political shit I will catch for it.
A few months later, he wrote this post in June 2017:
“ I run? Those are deeply flawed, too, but at least I feel like I can address those flaws when we find them...”
Finally, another post, also from June 2017:
“Because when the scene fucks your shit up in a longterm, not-fucking-okay way, and you are permanently harmed, and then fucking silences you half the time....
....yeah, you're not going to come out and say, "For Christ's sake, ban my abuser".”
I tried that, and nothing happened. Trying for months to be heard left me feeling frustrated, confused, angry, disappointed - and silenced and ignored. I felt like the trauma of my sexual assault got renewed every time I tried to follow up.
This has nothing to do with GT as an individual, this is not about my sexual assault. This has to do with JME staff confirming someone was placed on a ban list, and then that same person getting through the cracks. When JME staff were told about it, they promised to patch up that crack. And they failed completely.
If someone is going to talk the talk about consent, we as a community deserve to have a reasonable expectation that they will walk the walk. JM and JME have proven over an extended period that they are incapable of this.
After several attempts to find mediation, I contacted NCSF on 11/20/17 and asked for advice. They kindly offered to reach out to JM. He finally responded on 11/22/17, asking me again to provide the details of my assault, and blaming the lapse on people who had left his staff previously. He said that he would ban GT from the event entirely. I have absolutely no confidence that this will actually happen. How can I, when I've been told twice that it will, and it didn't?
JME is incapable of enforcing ban lists. Do not attend JME events.

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