Herr Kommandandt + Urban Dungeon Pt. 2

new mfwurban logoSo the post I did last about Herr Kommandant wasn’t a spur of the moment thing.

Specifically I started getting tips about three weeks ago, and poked about for more info on my own. I only decided to go this public because when I independently investigated, I found piles of corroboration. Thus, I can verify that Herr Kommadant does not have a good reputation in the Montreal community. I can verify that people believe they were emotionally, physically and financially abused by him and that bystanders believed they witnessed inappropriate behaviour.

The more public I get, the more feedback I get, almost all of it affirming the conclusion I reached. Tragically, when I started talking poking at this, the first thing that happened was not mass shock about how this person could possibly be bad, it was a collective shrug of frustration: “Oh him. Yeah. Everyone knows about him.”

So what followed the last post?

The guy behind Montreal Fetish Weekend reached out to listen to what is going on. He’s being professional and calm about this, and given all my interactions with him to this point, I would describe him as someone trying to hammer something functional out of the scene as-is. We’ll see how he handles this, but he did manage to dissociate himself from Dunter, so even if you aren’t a fan of the more commercial/traditional fetish side of the scene, he at least has past evidence of shaking entrenched toxic people from his projects.

I got a lot of private messages and gentle back pats that I bothered to make such a hard stand on the subject, and various people affirming either they saw things that made them uncomfortable or that they were victimized. The more I hear, the more I feel like I made the right call.

Other than that, I got two impassioned replies in the comments, from his business partner Opal Blacke and one of his current partners, PetiteFay_HK. Their arguments boiled down to claiming this was the ill words of vindictive exes (or other event organizers who were “jealous”).  There’s a revealing problem with their arguments, though:

  • Nothing I said about Herr Kommandandt claimed was an ex partner who was victimized, or for that matter any people who represented themselves as a partner past or present. This tells me that PetiteFay and Opal are both aware that there are multiple people who claim they have received abuse from him.
  • As far as anyone in competition with Urban Dungeon I have heard nothing from them. Other event organizers have wanted a heads up to protect their own guests, but the flow of information has definitely not been vituperative stories about how they are so much better, but people unrelated and not in direct competition saying “really? shit!”.

Since Opal and PetiteFay reached out to counter my conclusion, I’m providing what hey said here- it was originally intended to go in the comments, but the nature of their responses demand additional attention- among many things both fall into the typical patterns of people making excuses for abusers and both have a surprisingly unified narrative suggesting they were aware that something was rotten in the metaphorical state of Denmark.

So, after the jump is two messages from PetiteFay and Opal, for the my more wordy rebuttal.

Talking about this at the world at large has an extra level of challenge, in that the conversation takes place in French as well as English and I’m only 100% confident in the latter- I can function in French but I lack the depth to confidently translate nuance. Luckily I have friends who are linguistically talented. It’s important for me not to take advantage of this person’s comparative fluency, so I got it properly translated to make sure that even if I think she is wrong, nobody is disadvantaged in the back and forth language issue.

Translation by D20, PetiteFay’s message is in Red:

PetiteFay:

I can’t say how disappointed I am to see your post against Herr Kommandandt, someone you do not know.

Not personally knowing someone’s side of things, or the person is not really relevant. I am not a legal court, but neither do you need to be best friends with someone to make a judgement call on their alleged behavior.

You know, it’s wise to look at the big picture and to hear everyone’s version before making your own opinion of someone. Of course his exes will speak against him… of course, those envious of him and other event promoters want him publicly shamed so they can take his place…. We don’t know each other very much, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t remember me.

Exes? Which exes? Can you be specific? What are the exes saying about him? How many are there? It’s not that remarkable to have one relationship that crashed and burned, but several?

But, I want you to know I am neither naive nor stupid: I have a bachelor’s degree, I have been a supermarket sales director and I am also a massage therapist. So I’m not just some idiot that would follow an asshole. With that said, for your information, Herr Kommandandt has never abused me or any of his friends. He gives everything he has for the scene.

Just because you personally have not had a negative experience does not mean that person is not capable of bad things. Furthermore your level of education has no bearing on whether or not abuse may be present- abuse of all kinds happen at prestigious universities and organizations, by and to people from all levels of social prestige and power. Multiple people have made allegations. It is unlikely he is the victim of an elaborate conspiracy.

Yes, he can be scary to some sensitive people, but he IS NOT an abuser. I am convinced that you won’t go back on your decision, even if you take the time to read this message, but it wouldn’t feel right not to ask you this.

So basically even people close to him admit that he routinely makes people uncomfortable. But it’s the fault of “sensitive” people. I wish I could say this was a huge misunderstanding based on appearances, but this is very common camouflage abuse behaviour. A red flag is where a group at large is expected to make exceptions for someone who makes them uncomfortable, and is extremely ill becoming of a person who wants to be a community leader not to take steps to remedy that.

Please, delete your post. It is sadly wrongful.

PetiteFay_HK

Original, en francais:

Je ne dirai pas a quel point je suis décue de voir ton post contre Herr Kommandandt, quelqu’un dont tu ne connais pas.

Tu sais, il est sage de voir le portrait d’ensemble et de comparer les versions des gens avant de se faire sa propre opinion sur quelqu’un. C’est sure que ses ex vont parler contre lui… c’est sure que des envieux et d’autres promoteurs d’évènements souhaitent le voir couvert de honte pour prendre sa place….

On ne se connait pas beaucoup, je ne serais même pas surprise que tu ne te rappelle pas de moi. Mais pour de dire je ne suis pas naïve ni stupide: j’ai un baccalauréat, j’ai été directrice des ventes d’un magasin de grande surface et je suis aussi massothérapeute. Donc je ne suis pas une des greluches qui suivrait un connard.

Cela dit, pour ton information, Herr Kommandandt n’a jamais abuser de moi, ni de ses amis-es. Il se donne corps et âmes pour la scène. Oui il peut etre effrayants pour les gens sensible mais ce N’EST PAS un abuseur. Je suis convaincue que tu n’en fera rien, si meme tu prends le temps de lire ce message, mais je ne me sentirais pas bien si je ne te faisais pas la demande.

SVP Retire ton post. Il est malheureusement non fondé.

PetiteFay_HK

Opal Blacke, who is a business partner with Herr Kommandandt, weighed in.

Opal:

As co-owner of the Urban Dungeon, I’m shocked to read this post.

Good. It would be horrifying if you were complicit in his alleged behavior.

You’ve never set foot in our dungeon or talked with us to get both sides of the story yet you write this hatefull and judgemental post which bashes on both the alleged abuser AND the alleged victim by presenting them as “marginalized populations (sex workers, the mentally ill whom he can say are just “crazy”).

Wow! There is a lot to unpack here. It’s not bashing someone to say they have mental illness or work in the sex industry. One is a legitimate health concern and the other is vocation. I’m very much pro-sex work, whether you are a fetish model, a prodom, a stripper or an escort. Or you run a fetish venue, as you do. So not only is Urban Dungeon co-run by someone with a reputation as an abuser, but you openly discriminate.

I’ve personnally met HK’s partners and got to know them and they were not crazies or hookers nor is Herr Kommandandt the monster you make him to be. They had issues in their relationships and it was overly publicised but they have all moved on.

That’s pretty appalling whore-phobia AND able-ism you are showing. Given your fixation on past partners, you are acknowledging this guy has a lousy reputation.

As nothing concrete is presented and no one has contacted us on such issues, it is unclear what the reproach to the Urban Dungeon are alleged to be or why people should avoid it based on difficulties within a personnal relationships.

Why would people who believed Herr Kommandandt abused them contact his venue? If you are not clear what I am talking about, I would say you lack any familiarity with the larger Montreal BDSM community because it took me very little time to find people who claimed to witness everything from getting a newbie drunk past consent, to erratic tantrums.

Even the people who are closest to him describe him as someone with as a string of exes who had abuse seeming issues with him and as someone others might find scary. Egads.

Follow along here:

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18 Comments

  1. Anonymous Coward

     /  September 21, 2016

    Interesting that when Herr Kommandant makes dramatic and paranoid posts on Fet, people who like him and promote his venue as being particularly safe say “Oh dear, he’s off his meds again, so sad.” But saying “People with mental illnesses worry that the police won’t take them seriously“ is bashing? How is that supposed to work?

    Question for Miss Pearl: what action are you recommending we take?

    Reply
    • The only action I can take is to say that I personally cannot verify the safety of his venue and that is is possible to easily find people who believe he is dangerous to one degree or another. How much weight you give that is a choice that people have to make for themselves. I’m not the police and have no capacity to investigate other than listening to what people tell me and reporting what they are willing to share.

      Reply
  2. Shawts

     /  September 21, 2016

    Putting aside your mission to publicly convict Herr K based solely on allegations, rumors, corroborations and hearsay, I must state that there is nothing unsafe about simply being at Urban Dungeon, to hang out, to stage a scene, to enjoy one of the many interesting events and workshops. A few other organizers host events there besides the owners, and you are doing a great disservice to the community by condemning a space that has been created and maintained through much effort, for low to no profit, and brings a wide variety of people together. No, you can’t verify the safety of a place you have never visited. You should stick to assuring the safety of your own event(s), for as you say in your banning policy on your profile: “I follow with believing the victim by default, but the consequences can’t be worse than choosing not to have the perpetrator in my company, because that way lies madness” I wasn’t asked to write this, and I’m not afraid to say my name.

    Reply
    • “But we won’t have this awesome play space” is a very unfortunate excuse. A lack of venues is a terrible reason to tolerate anything.

      In my judgement, based on the number of complaints and anecdotes, I deem as long as Urban Dungeon is run by and welcomes HerrK, I neither trust nor feel it is safe. As the person who runs the 25-45 munches, I know you have a strong publically stated affiliation with Urban Dungeon, so you can certainly disavow anything I say.

      Reply
    • Anonymous Coward

       /  September 21, 2016

      Shawts,

      I understand your position to be this:

      “I do not deny that Herr Kommandant himself is a loose cannon and might be dangerous. However, his space is safe as long as someone else is hosting the event.”

      Have I understood correctly?

      Reply
  3. Shawts

     /  September 21, 2016

    All I am interested in is giving another perspective. I am not an affilate, I made a choice to be a part of the team, to go to the events there and to host some myself. You’ll stand by your words, and I will by mine, twist them all you like. People (including me) will make up their own minds based on whatever info is available, and based on personal experiences.

    And you have not understood correctly, A. Coward. You put words in my mouth. I know what I know, and I’m around him a lot. I have no problem feeling safe in his presence. If anyone wants to write to me with real evidence, they know where to find me.

    Reply
    • Shawts, you publically list yourself “In a Pack” with Herr. You are directly affiliated with him.

      Reply
    • Anonymous Coward

       /  September 21, 2016

      Shawts,

      You did not deny in your first comment that Herr Kommandant himself is a loose cannon and might be dangerous. While you now specify that you do not believe him to pose a threat to you, you have still not yet said anything that suggests you don’t believe him to ever pose a threat to anyone.

      What you did assert were safe were events held in Urban Dungeon hosted by other people.

      Are you able be specific about what I’ve attributed to you that you didn’t say?

      Reply
  4. concerned sub

     /  September 21, 2016

    Shawts,
    maybe you should talk, personally, with some of his victims… I’d let you see the physical scars/burn marks he provided, with his dangerous attitude.
    of maybe the proof of money he still owes me…
    but the physical scars and the lost funds are nothing compared to the psychological scars he left… with his behavior.

    Reply
  5. Shawts

     /  September 21, 2016

    I repeat, they know where to find me.

    Reply
    • I think it presumes a lot to expect a person who believes they have been victimized to seek out a person known to endorse the person they perceive as their abuser. A lot of the argument of you, Faye and Opal boils down to nobody approaching you personally but…

      Thing is, none of you are very open to listening. Opal said terrible things about sex workers and persons with mental illness, Faye branded anyone who objected as a jealous ex or overly sensitive, and you feel speaking about an apparent risk attached to a venue is harming the community as a whole, more so than staying silent.

      On a personal level, I’m disappointed with you as the current organizer of the 25 to 45 munches, in that your response to alleged abuse is not to research what is going on but instantly create a hostile environment for these kinds of conversations to take place. I recognize it’s challenging to have put your faith in someone and know that your own projects are tainted by rumour, but this is NOT how you handle abuse allegations if you want to build a safe community.

      Reply
  6. Concerned sub

     /  September 22, 2016

    Yes, of course…to be confronted, told they are liars, or a disgruntled ex.
    Or just trying to cause problems. Or wathever other arguments/excuses we keep seeing and hearing.
    Because, as i’ve been told, “you know, he’s a prominent figure in the community ” blah blah blah.

    Your previous replies, and status of being “in a pack with” ensure nobody will.

    Any newby, doing what he’s done, would have been shunned by the community
    Yet, because he does his shit in private, with newbies, (who don’t know better at first), he always manages to cause enough confusion,
    and turning things against the poor sub, he manages to wiggle out of it.

    Think back….
    They cheated on him, they lied, they had problems, they were to bratty, they chose to leave, they chose to not continue, they, they they.

    What most are doing is voluntary blindness. Looking away. Not my problem.
    Some came to me, doms, dommes, dunjon owner, key holders, confirming this too, wanting to out him … for many many years

    Miss Pearl being the first one to have the balls to do it.

    Reply
  7. Blacksprite

     /  September 22, 2016

    This was first brought to my attention by Miss Pearl, both as a concerned member of the BDSM community, and because we share a ban list for our respective events. I, like Miss Pearl, support and stand behind survivors/ victims and take very seriously allegations against any member of our community, regardless of their fame or stature in it and despite any negative backlash the community as a whole may experience. I believe survivors/ victims, period.

    Blacksprite, organizer of the 18-35 play parties

    Reply
  8. Robert Lemieux

     /  September 22, 2016

    D2O did an amazing translating job on PetiteFay_HK’s text considering that, although she night have a university degree, she has VERY poor writing skills.
    Kudos to you, fellow wordsmith.

    Reply
    • I don’t want to attack the person, just the arguement and I want them to be understood.

      Reply
    • PetiteFay HK

       /  September 27, 2016

      I made it simple so that simple mind can understand it. I guess you did understand it yay bravo lol

      Reply
      • Robert Lemieux

         /  October 19, 2016

        “…simple mindS COULD understand…”
        (ps. Thank you for proving my point for me)

        Reply
  9. concerned sub

     /  March 19, 2017

    interesting fact : Opal, after pulling out of Urban, is now … not even friends with the abuser, any more…
    well well well…
    what do you know.

    shall we call a spade a spade…
    and Opal a victim of KerrK’s financial abuse ?

    leaves me to wonder

    Reply

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