Response part I

“Many SFWA members have contacted members of the Board to express an opinion on this issue. In total, 66 Active, Associate or Affiliate members sent e-mails on the topic that were either received by the investigator or forwarded to him by the Board members who initially received them. Since not all Board members were able to forward the e-mails they received to the investigator, it is likely that some voices are going unheard.”

That is a quotation from the supposedly “comprehensive” investigative report that was sent to me last week, complete with pie charts.  After repeated requests spanning several days, neither Matthew Johnson, the Canadian Regional Director, nor Steven Gould, the President, were able to provide me with any evidence for the existence of the double-secret “SFWA Confidentiality Rules” to which they had both appealed.  They also refused to respond to my questions about their self-admitted violations of the discussion forum confidentiality rules, concerning which I have now lodged a complaint with the SFWA Ombudsman.  As those members to whom I have already sent the report can substantiate, there is no claim to the confidentiality of the report anywhere in the report itself.

As for the pie chart, I’m sure you will agree this must be a very vital matter indeed if 3.7 percent of the
membership was moved to express their opinion on it. And no less
than 2.6 percent of it were demanding expulsion too… as if they couldn’t
have gotten nearly the same percentage back in 2005 when members first started calling for it.  I
note that there are still fewer members who have demanded my
expulsion than voted for me for president.

Concerning the investigative report, I have been told that I must provide any additional evidence I would like the Board to consider by July 25, 2013.  Which, it turns out, is necessary, as despite the protocols which call for the report to be “comprehensive”, as you’ll see, the report is more than just a one-sided brief for the prosecution.  It’s even more than an attack on my right to freely express my opinion on my own blog, it is a direct assault on the free speech of every single person who comments here or on any other SFWA member’s site.

You might think I’m exaggerating, especially about that last bit.  If so, I encourage you to reserve judgment until you read the 34-page report, which doesn’t count the 46-page appendix.  As you’ll see, this attack isn’t something that is of relevance merely to me, or even to those who share my views, but to everyone who either permits a moderately broad range of discussion on their web site or participates in one.  As I will show, it pertains as readily to many of my critics as to me.

What I’m going to do, in effect, is crowdsource my response to the Board.  Each day, I’m going to post a section of the report and invite those interested in participating to contribute their thoughts, as well as provide links to various evidence on the Internet which they believe to be relevant to my response.  If you are either a) a member of the SFWA, or b) a regular willing to assist with the crowdsourced defense, email me and I will send you a copy of the report so that you can see exactly what is in it, and in the case of (b), get a jump on hunting down the relevant evidence.  All evidence gathered should be posted as links in the comments to post addressing the relevant section and may be posted as Anonymous if that is deemed necessary.

I’ve already amassed a quantity of solid evidence, of course, but the more hunters, the more and better information we’ll have to hand.  And if this subject bores you, then I suggest you focus your attention on the three other non-SFWA related posts per day instead. I think I have made it clear over the years that I am totally unconcerned about the possibility that any reader here believes himself to be insufficiently entertained at any given time.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention this, but the Board has rendered it impossible for the membership to discuss the malfeasance of the Board with regards to this matter because the Board has banned all discussion of me in the discussion forums and put me into a “permanent moderation” that prevents me from posting there.  That’s not a problem for me, because anyone who wants to read about what’s going on can do so here.  But it’s not hard to see what effect the Board’s clampdown on internal communication would have on a member without an effective alternative communications channel.

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