Herr Kommandandt Quits. Now What?

nikeHerr Kommandandt has stepped down from his role in Urban Dungeon, and allegedly the BDSM scene. After the number of abuse allegations climbed to 11+ separate individuals with startlingly similar stories of rape, injuries they never consented to, theft and abuse, and a post of mine that made Kinky & Popular on fetlife, there’s some sort of response to all this other than denial. Well, that’s pretty vindicating.

The allegations are getting fully talked about. Other people are talking to MasterSin about the involvement of Montreal Fetish Weekend. I’m getting talked about, in that oblique and careful way that fet does, as a “kinky blogger”. There’s a statement on his profile and in an event thread in the fet group- and one here in the comments of this post from Shawts, which I’ve given a reprint to make it easier to find.

His original statement was in French, so once again D20 has stepped in with his patient translation skill. That guy is a gem of a human. If you see him at one of the munches, please buy him a beverage and tell him nerdy jokes. Seriously.

Herr Kommandandt’s Statement:

Dear Fetlife community,

I address you all in response to what I have read about myself in the past few weeks.

Formerly, impulsive as I was, I would’ve replied immediately, but I wanted to consider the weight of my words and truly think about the matter. For a certain time, as those close to me already knew, I was planning an exit from the fetish scene for an undetermined duration, perhaps even a permanent one.

About two or three months ago, I realized I did not like the person I had become and I asked myself several questions about this subject. Those who have known me for seven or eight years know I am but a shadow of the guy I once was, the friendly and smiling guy, never judging others, never holding a grudge.

It made me realize that, since my breakup with my ex wife, the mother of my daughter, I have been dealing with a major depression for all those years and I did not give the bitterness caused by this breakup the time it needed to heal.

With the years, I became spiteful, moody, I cultivated an unhealthy feeling inside of me and it all affected my actions in my everyday life. I often resorted to negativity and verbal attacks, threats, psychological violence (often without realizing it) and, because of my depression, I was unable to deal with a stable job for medium or long amounts of time.

The advent of Urban Dungeon had worsened these negative feelings and, in the position of power I found myself in, I probably psychologically abused certain people and my recurring poverty meant that, several times, I became dependent of my partners. The taste of power went up to my head. The simple guy became a vindictive, cruel and sometimes illogical guy.

Each breakup in my D/s relationships or love life was epic, laborious and especially complicated. I often only looked at my side of things, without caring about the suffering of others. Sharing my mood swings on social network websites hurt many people… and today, I fully realize it.

Because I love this community, because I gave a lot despite everything, I have made the decision to leave my position as the owner of Urban Dungeon and to cease my BDSM activities.

I’m only a human being, but I did not like what I saw in the mirror when I woke up in the morning. So, a few weeks ago, I took a concrete action to fix my personal problems and as long as my mental and moral conditions do not improve, I will stay away… and I am considering a permanent departure.

I am currently being helped by professionals. Psychiatry and psychology. This help will allow me to thoroughly sort this inner mess, which will certainly require lots of time. It will be painful, but it is time I make this person disappear, this Kommandandt who has been so often talked about in the past few years, and not always for the right reasons.

In the process I have recently begun, I am lucky to have found an angel, a voice of reason, in my submissive, [Faye], who is slowly, and as much as she can, showing me how I can be myself again… how I can become a human being again. Her support is exceptional and I am very grateful of making me rediscover the simple things in life such as happiness, the right path, a life worth living.

So I take the time here to deeply apologize, before leaving, to all those I might have hurt. I was clearly not 100% myself during the past two or three years and I clearly owe you apologies. I have begun to contact each of these persons and to express my regret and present them my sincere apologies (to those who were ready to hear them). To those who wanted to receive them: exes, ex play partners, former friends, etc.

The path I am about to continue on, that I began treading too slowly, this path towards change, permanent change, a return to normal for me, Jack, will be long, painful, but I am ready to face it. I am tired of hurting people I care about, my entourage, and this scene that allowed me to develop myself.

Now that I have identified all my problems and what I must do, I must and will do it. I have already started this process. I will no longer live in negativity nor denial. I will not live in misguided pride. I no longer act in anyone’s name but mine. I will no longer try to run away and I will try to look at problems as they come and attempt to solve them and to make honorable amends at the best of my ability.

With that said, I offer my apologies to all persons, locations, events, venues or other entities to which I might have said things that were either negative, exaggerated or false. I ask all of you to forgive me. It was selfish and irrational of me.

I also offer my apologies to all persons I may have, directly or indirectly, abused of my power or position of power on. I am deeply sorry and I must also work on that important fact. Being a figurehead does not necessarily mean being a harsh dictator or an insensitive being looking for thrills.

I would also like to mention that several people, without naming anyone, out of respect, have deeply hurt me, have harassed me, have caused trouble for my family, have broken my heart and my kidneys… but I forgive you all, each and every one of you, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS. I am tired of living in bitterness, pain and bad memories. I now want to live day by day with a positive mindset.

I have decided to turn a new leaf, to work on myself, no matter how long it will take, even if it takes the rest of my life… so that I don’t make anyone relive these dark years! Not myself and especially not those I love and the woman I love. No one deserved the shitty attitude I may have sometimes displayed.

Now, I take my leave to heal, feel better, take care of myself, my life and my partner. Big thanks to those who have supported me against all odds during all those years, but especially MissOpale who, despite everything, despite certain disagreements, has always been a loyal partner during our adventure. She is also one of the reasons why I am still here, typing behind a keyboard to you today.

The Urban Dungeon was a dream, built with love, passion and in the image of the people that would spend time in it. MissOpale will take my place and will continue the mission of the Urban without me. I will no longer be associated to this place, even if my soul and my heart will remain Urban forever. For the love I have for this community and my friends, I pass the torch. Do not deprive yourself of a beautiful place to play and meet people. And I will add that MissOpale is an extraordinary person. I had become the problem… and I am doing what it takes to fix that problem. I do not deserve a prestigious position at the moment and I especially do not deserve to be a standard bearer. Do not make a venue and fantastic events pay for my mistakes, as it would be unjust of you to make an entire, wonderful team pay for mistakes I have made in the past due to my lack of a better judgement while I was going through depression!

With that said, and with a tear to my eye, I tell you… see you next time, if there ever will be one.

What happens now?

Eh, I’m glad that he’s away from people, although mental health is not an excuse for the type of allegations he’s got leveled against him. The vast majority of people living with mental illnesses are no harm to anyone except perhaps themselves. Even the stereotypical boogeymen out of the mental health ailment family, the personality disorders, generally don’t harm people at the rates we accuse them of. But… I don’t think my feelings about a “perfect” conclusion matter as much. This was never about victory, this was about safety. People are, based on belief of the allegations, safer with this outcome. I don’t like the justifications and the lack of specifics in the apology, but my need for perfection is not as relevant as a functional solution.

The main thing is the comfort of the survivors. Charges may or may not still be pressed, although as I stressed to people, getting the police in Montreal to move forwards with things is like pulling teeth, and Gohmeshi has taught all of us that “reasonable doubt” basically means perfect victims. They survivors will make the choices that best help with their ongoing recovery. Please do not scold them, even if you find the lack of criminal progress frustrating, some of these people went through years of terrified hell over this already and do not need “yes but!!!” backseat driving instructions on how to manage the problem.

Next to that, the consequences need to be enforced. There can be no back sliding, weaseling, allowing people with abuse allegations to come hang out but not play- all these must be watched for and enforced. And I am reasonably sure that some people are doing just that already. Watching and being there.

As far as Shawts’s statement, before his came out…

I am not a fan of using restorative justice here. It’s a nice concept, but if he’s truly so mentally ill that he was compelled to commit even half the allegations against him, it’s going to take a lot more than a community over watch and a medication- and a lot more ownership than simply being sick if he really wants to take ownership of this.  The allegations already happened while many supposedly responsible individuals were watching or informed immediately after, and we were not equip to stop it this way the first time.

We are not the Amish, united around one creed and a well networked community- as Shawts themselves pointed out, we are a fragmented collective of private individuals. Some of the group’s members will be happily oblivious this was ever a thing. Since the perpetrator of abuse in question isn’t exactly giving an itemized list, he’s not ready to make specific amends as per the concept and re-integration into the community is asking a lot of the survivors. If he comes back, several of this 11+ group are going to feel unsafe enough to leave and they don’t need to deal with that.

Do you want to help?

It worries me that until I started banging an alarm and using my exceptionally large soapbox, this was years of widely shared whisper-knowledge; secret hurts held by many women; and an exceptionally strong reliance on gut feelings that never went beyond your close friends. Whatever happened we can’t go back to that. We can’t depend on only sorry when you’re caught behaviour.

I think we all need to take a serious look at our understanding of consent. I think that if we start looking at the community we’re all going to find things we don’t like. But we are going to need to go through that if things are going to get better.

You can help by doing the following:

  • Sharing support resources.
  • Acknowledging and calling out problems in your own community.
  • Standing between survivors and the people who harass them.

Myself, I leaned really heavily on my support network. Tilari, Ferns, Wildcard, D20, Mr. Kittykat, JT, even the survivors themselves and many more people made going public with allegations possible. If you want to help,as much as all the praise I’m getting is nice, supporting them is also really, really important. Even the liking/sharing crew who made this grow legs mattered and you made as huge difference to the people who had been victimized because one of the lasting injuries was the feeling that nobody cared or believed them.

Following Along?

Picture is Nike, goddess of victory. She’s a classical sculpture  by Paeonius, c. 424 BC and currently on display at the Louvre.

3 thoughts on “Herr Kommandandt Quits. Now What?”

  1. He did not quit.
    he created a smoke screen… for a few weeks … to give the impression of dealing with his issues..
    reality is,
    he’s back
    barely a few days after his latest girlfriend/sub, dumped him.

    same patern

    as seen for so many years.

  2. Urban Dungeon : Le retour / The return
    see !
    barely a few weeks … and he’s fully back.
    i need the name of that therapist..
    seems to work wonders …
    maybe we should refer his victims to this therapist … so he can perform the same miracle.

    now keep your eyes open folks..
    the new victims are just about to be victimized


    oh and the Urban duneon being back in the control of a serial abuser… it’s again, not safe

  3. same situation now happening at triskelion same owner new name mein commandant

    he seems like everyone’s best friend till you seem better then he is then he is the devil reincarnated


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