Tribal Solutions To Old Problems

Once upon a time I was assaulted. Three times, the last time I fought back and punched him in the head. I learned like all niafs in the BDSM scene that not everyone respects you. I grew up. I first made a space without him, got braver and called him out.

In the mean time he raped someone. Allegedly. Anecdotes piled up. Nothing really came of my honesty. Then he popped up in my other life, as a nerd.

Most of the people who deal with this turn to flight reactions, but something about this, and him, turns to fight. I check the people going to my nerdy event and he’s listed himself as interested. I know he is still out there bit I was not expecting this.

Everything gets super sharp. I tell Wildcard. I thumb open my contacts and explicitly tell the club admin who this person is and what they do to women.

My heart beat is heavy, and I make myself eat dinner. Salmon sashami, I need the calories. I message my brother and tell him I may need his help.

He’s six feet tall, with a deep voice. I’m 5’5″ in my stocking feet. Sometimes it goes tribal, old ways. I know how far people trust tiny, squeak voiced girls. I know if nobody believes me we are going to make a scene.

I don’t do this just for me, I fight because other women were hurt.

The admin hears me out, but wants more proof. I give names, but he needs in the club for reasons I understand but don’t agree with. I take a break from the conversation. I am reassured that I am believed, but this will go much easier if I have… Tribe? That is what it boils down to. I am not a reliable witness on my own. I know that.

I know that enough people believe me we will stand him down. But he is only “interested”. We don’t know if the war party is needed. I wonder who in mt extended circle knows him and invited him.

The admin gets back to me. A witness, in the club, speaks to corroborate my story. And elder member who walks in both worlds.

I rant for a few minutes about the unfairness. Wildcard listens, disagrees that it is my gender that required the second witness.

The person who assaulted me is quietly dealt with.

 

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?

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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.

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Urban Dungeon & Montreal Fetish Scene Issues

new mfwurban logoSo yeah, if you want to deal with missing stairs, unfortunately one of Montreal’s more popular fetish venues is in the middle of one of those scenarios. Urban Dungeon, a play space that hosts numerous events and is closely affiliated with Montreal Weekend, is run by someone with a known reputation for abuse. It is not challenging to find people who will tell you Herr_Kommandandt is a dangerous person. Nonetheless tons of people who are aware of this continue to hang out there including people whose friends (whom they believe!) have had alleged consent violations or other abuse happen to them.

I avoided it personally, because I got a bad gut feeling about the whole thing, one of those intuitive guesses that something seems off- maybe it was the pile of people with resumes for profiles about all the things they are involved in, which I always see as a bad sign because it means they want you to respect them off the bat and award them authority.

And because I run the 18 to 35 munch, people tell me shit. It wasn’t unsurprising to get given a FYI about eight separate incidents and people. But still, it’s really fucking thorny to deal with. There’s literally no way I can stop this, no matter how much social capital I have and the best I can hope is to close ranks with the TNG style stuff I do run and tell my friends and guests to be careful.

But other than that, it’s not like I can go to the police and say “oh by the way there’s alleged alleged abuse going down between kinky people who use psuedonyms, and probably none of the people this happened to will testify because they are utterly fuck terrified of the social or legal consequences and because he preys on people from marginalized populations (sex workers, the mentally ill whom he can say are just “crazy”). Nobody believes or trusts that they’ll be heard in any meaningful way. I sure as fuck don’t- it’s not like anyone listened about Dunter.

I’ve told my fellow organizers at MEOW and the secret TNG play party. I even told someone connected to the Urban Dungeon who has clean hands, in case he’s simply been oblivious. I mean I doubt it, but I’m clinging to the idea that he’s not an accessory because I need some innocence to stay motivated.

But it’s a rock and a hard place, because it’s nearly impossible to get anyone to publicly admit this shit happened to them. They’ll talk, candidly, and off the record, but… eugh.

All I’ve got to go on with this is fleeting social capital, so I guess if I end up publicly known as that crazy vindictive bitch in Montreal I guess you guys know what happened. It’s not like I ever go to Montreal Fetish Weekend anyway.

Siiiiigh. Sorry guys, it’s not a sexy anecdote, it’s one of the harsh realities of the BDSM scene that the terror of being outed and the limited pool of events make things a lot darker than they should be. They’re bigger than me, they have a larger pool of social capital and they have more money than me, but fuck, if I can’t use my popularity to tell people about this what good is it?

If you believe me as a reliable source, stay away from Urban Dungeon.

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