Mailvox: what would you do?

David of One is curious what I would have done if I had found myself in Steven Gould’s position:

It isn’t hard to imagine, Vox, you having had become president of that foul organization only to discover … to realize at some formal function that you were in the midst of a great number of unwashed and perverse “artists”. Such an occasion and realization that you were in the company and leader of eaters of the dead that relish the flesh of the living young. In truth such is the case now of modern day vampires of the living with the exception you are not, by God’s grace and love, a leader amongst perverters of the the mind, body and soul. Such would surely be the making of a real life horror story.

I cannot help but ask you what you would have thought and done if such a situation were to have actually occurred during the annual formal function when such a realization might have occurred?

I would have held my tongue, smiled and concealed my realization, and done my best to learn as much as possible while I was in their midst. Then I would have quietly launched inquiries and hired private investigators with the organization’s money to look into the backgrounds of the most suspicious parties.

Once I was in possession of the necessary information, I would have spoken directly to the various parties and given them the opportunity to come clean, with the warning that the relevant information had already been sent to the relevant authorities. I would also have made sure that multiple parties beside myself were in possession of it; those who keep information to themselves create an incentive to be silenced in one way or another.

(In case it is not clear, neither I nor Daniel are researchers. We are merely the initial outlets for those who know considerably more than we do about all of this sort of nasty thing.)

After they either came clean or declined, I would have released a statement to the organization and to the media, with links to the full report. Then I would have asked the SFWA Board, and the membership, to vote on expelling the various individuals and stripping them of all honors.

SFWA instead voted to elect the man who selected Samuel Delany as a Grand Master. That’s on their heads, and on their consciences.