Tuesday, February 12, 2019

On Zak Smith

Mandy Morbid published a post on Facebook describing abusive behavior committed by Zak Smith. You can read the testimony of Mandy and two other brave individuals, Jennifer and Hannah, HERE. If you do not have access to Facebook, the post has also been reproduced in full at Dungeons & Donuts HERE. Vivka Grey has also published a post regarding similar abusive behavior.

There have already been many responses to Mandy's post which have been written far better than anything I can come up with at the moment. I endorse the following posts, among others:
I am sorry for promoting Zak's work in the past. In the future, I will do my best to avoid writing anything on this blog which I believe would promote his work. I no longer encourage anyone to buy or use anything he produces. Zak does not deserve to be a part of any RPG community.

Please see the end of this post for an update regarding the next paragraph.
Likewise, until Lamentations of the Flame Princess stops selling and promoting Zak's work, I do not intend to write any more posts about LotFP, buy any more of their products, or otherwise promote the brand. Even if LotFP does completely drop Zak, I am not sure that I could continue to call myself a fan of the game in good conscience due to James Raggi's promotion of Jordan Peterson, as well as the way he has treated at least one of my friends in private. But if you're reading this, James, I'm sure that doing the right thing by Mandy and Jennifer and Hannah would do a great deal in earning back the trust of myself and many others.

There are many great OSR games and publishers and writers and artists out there, and many great RPGs in general. I think it is time for me to try and be more selective about those I endorse.

I am sorry for any harm I have caused through anything I have written or said, on this blog or elsewhere, involving Zak Smith. Abuse should not be tolerated.

Mandy, Jennifer, Hannah, and Vivka: I believe you.

UPDATE, 02/23/2019
Lamentations of the Flame Princess has released a statement regarding Zak Smith. If you have access to Facebook, you can read it at the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/LotFP/posts/10156179503045886

To summarize, LotFP is parting ways with Zak Smith.

Overall, I am satisfied by this response. I believe that James Raggi and LotFP are taking the right actions by cutting ties with Zak Smith in this manner. Earlier, I said that doing the ethical thing in this situation would do a great deal in the way of earning back my trust, and I meant it. Thus, I once again feel fairly comfortable with the prospect of buying and writing about products from LotFP, should I choose to do so.

My LotFP "boycott," if you want to call it that, is over for the time being. I do think I should both play and write about a wider variety of games, for the sake of my own enjoyment and for the sake of adding more variety to the blog. This could be "other stuff in addition to LotFP" or it could be "other stuff instead of LotFP," depending on my interests going forward. But I hold no ill will toward Lamentations of the Flame Princess regarding the actions of Zak Smith. I hold the latter responsible for his own actions. I will, of course, continue to avoid buying or promoting the work of Zak Smith.

11 comments:

  1. As a side note, my husband and I have discussed this for quite some time. And he is very firm on this decision which, I support 100%. I know I don't mean much in this group but my husband does. He is such a good man and I truly trust his judgment.

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  2. This is overboard.

    IMO, he doesn't deserve a boycott. Even if he does, you shouldn't be pressuring LOTP to participate in it. Pressuring people to boycott each other is Zak-style behavior.

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    1. "IMO" huh? Why should I care about the opinion of an anonymous commenter trying to tell me what to do with my blog and my wallet? Why should I take ethics advice from someone too cowardly to use a name when they do drive-by abuse apologetics? You don't like it? Stay off my fucking blog.

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    2. Organizing vicious boycotts of his enemies is some of the bad behavior zak is being called out on now, is it not?

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    3. 1. What JakeTheDM said. (Thanks.)

      2. Even if boycotting was necessarily bad (and it's not), it sure wouldn't be near the top of the list of Zak's bad behavior. You might as well say I'm like Zak because we both breathe air. So what?

      3. Actions are good or bad due to their context and effects. Flexing my finger is not inherently bad. Flexing my finger in order to pull the trigger of a gun pointed at an innocent person is inherently bad. I'm not going to go around and pretend everyone flexing their finger is as bad as a mass murderer.

      4. https://youtu.be/_uHUUwgGW5c

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    4. Boycotts don't need to be deserved. It's just people deciding where to spend their time and money. I could choose to boycott Mandy's Abuser's work over the color of his shirt if I wanted to, and I wouldn't be wrong for doing so. The fact that we DO have strong reasons for boycotting Mandy's abuser--namely that he's an abuser--is a bonus.

      While there may be others out there claiming Zak is evil for trivial things like "organizing boycotts," that isn't what this is about. This is about abuse and rape. If you think those are trivial concerns that don't deserve a harsh response, then you're wise to say so anonymously. You deserve to be excluded too.

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    5. It is utterly disgusting, anonymous, how you're pressuring everyone to de-boycott LotFP, you vicious monster!
      yeah you're words are dumb and/or disingenuous, fuck-fuck. but have fun with your "well actually" on behalf of a vicious, rapist pile of shit. alternatively, fuck off forever. i prefer the later, but free will and all...

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  3. Thanks for the link. Not sure if I was eloquent, I just wanted to submit my own apologies to my readers, Mandy and now Vivka for supporting the guy in the past.

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  4. No, it's not "overboard." What Zak deserves is JAIL, not more $$$ from the community he has abused and deceived for years. And not "well maybe..." and "go easy..." pablum from drive-by apologists.
    (Not all the nym's are Zak)

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  5. As of February 23, I have updated this post due to the statement put out by James Raggi regarding the fact that LotFP has dropped Zak Smith.

    I do still have disagreements with James Raggi. For example, I would be very happy if he were to openly and strongly disavow the sexism, transphobia, etc. espoused by Jordan Peterson, not despite Raggi being a fan of Peterson, but because he is a fan of Peterson. When you're a fan of someone's work, I think it can do the world a lot of good for you to hold that person accountable when they're wrong - after all, you're one of the people paying the most attention to them, and if they're a public figure, then you're likely one of the people giving them a platform. In such a case, I don't necessarily always think it is your duty to speak up, as I can't know all of the nuances of your situation in life, but I think it can be a powerful opportunity to do good. Maybe they will listen to their fans and change for the better. Or maybe the harm they do will be minimized when their fans refute them.

    At any rate, I do still consider myself a fan of LotFP. Just not of Zak Smith, of course. There is no more place for him here.

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