Tuesday, December 10, 2019

re: Zak

I know a lot of people have ghosted Zak and most people don't want to discuss him at this point. I'll be as brief as possible.

It was my understanding that the point of the #MeToo movement was for everyone to start taking women's stories of abuse and exploitation seriously.  I am 100% behind that position. But I also think that taking an accusation seriously means investigating it properly. (Which, should be noted, is harder than it should be to do in a patriarchal society.) And I still don't know what everyone is doing with the testimonials of the women who support Zak. Are their stories somehow irrelevant?

I'll admit that I was very busy with school stuff when the story broke and maybe didn't follow the discussion as closely as some people, but it sure looked like that some folks were almost jubilant to discover the allegations against Zak. As if it somehow vindicated their low opinions of him. Not only is that letting confirmation bias do the thinking for you, but it also does a disservice to the complexity of real human beings. Just because someone does X behavior that you don't like doesn't mean they are guilty of Y horrible behavior.

I've only seen a tiny sliver of Zak and Mandy's life through the screen of my computer when chatting online with Zak or playing a game with him and others. Obviously that's not a window into their entire daily lives, but, given Mandy's report, I still find it odd how often I saw Mandy casually living her life in the background of a D&D session. She didn't look like a woman living in fear of her domestic partner, a situation I have seen up close on a few occasions. In fact, the first time I saw Zak and Mandy's life through Google Hangouts, I was a little bit surprised. I guess I expected something a little bit more degenerate and hedonistic. Instead, I saw a couple of people just living their lives in a way that didn't look very different from my home life.

Maybe I'm wrong to still be Zak's friend. But I am.

329 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:50 AM

    I can already guess that this comment section will either be incredibly toxic or absolutely empty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:05 PM

      I find these comments refreshing.

      Delete
  2. Look, Anonymous left a comment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Finally, some light in the darkness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:20 AM

    Victims of abuse do not have to conform to a public persona criteria of appearing “abused enough” to legitimize their accusations. That statement is the domestic violence equivalent of the rape victim blaming of “her skirt was too short” argument.

    I would suggest taking one of the many free public webinars on domestic violence 101 before the actually relevant comment you’re fumbling to make on how we handle community responsibility to both accused and accusers during initial phases of accusations is lost in the dumpster fire of your ignorance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will you promise to look up "borderline personality disorder"?

      Delete
    2. Without an answer to that question, I'm done here.

      Delete
  5. First, what that anonymous guy said (from 8:20).

    I was unsure of the allegations as well at first. Sure, Zak is a first rate asshole, narcissist and douchebag, but still, those were some pretty damning allegations.

    What removed ALL DOUBT for me was reading his "The Statement". Maybe while you were in school you didn't have time to read it. After you are done with that, read Cavegirl's interaction with him.

    He remains a ghost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which thing in "the statement" did you disagree with?

      What part of Cavegirl's thing was me being actually bad? Me being nice to Cavegirl? Me not wanting to be harassed on 4chan? 4chan harassing me?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous3:31 PM

      Ghosssst.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous3:55 PM

      Ghooost!

      Delete
    4. Without an answer to that question, I'm done here.

      Delete
  6. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, consider all the people in my client's life that he clearly did NOT murder."

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Christ, Jeff, doesn't Temple make you take sexual abuse and harrassment training? What a bumbling response to a serious situation. You were better off remaining publicly silent.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice stalking, Anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Ain't stalking Mrs. Rients. Jeff made it publicly known where he teaches. At least, where he teaches until students get wind of how he's friends with an abuser who is suing his victim. How is that going to go over in the English department with all the woke folks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3:18 PM

      You said "victim"; I assume you mean "alleged victim". The prosecution has to do better than "The defendant is a known arsehole."

      Delete
    2. Anonymous3:47 PM

      Mandy is the defendant in the court case so how is that prosecution doing?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous4:46 PM

      He may not realize it, but Jeff Rients' life has just ended. It's only a matter of time until someone starts emailing his colleagues and trolling his RateMyProfessor page. No doubt the woke liberal arts majors with will be unimpressed with the "I believe women unless they accuse my buddy in which case who can really know for sure?" line of thought.

      So soon after he finished his dissertation too. Sad! But look on the bright side: maybe he can get a job playing the cucked husband in Zak's next porno.

      Delete
  10. Are you from RPG net?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jubilant, no. Vindicated maybe. Interacting with Zak online was a 50/50 crapshoot of an interesting conversation, or him reductively arguing in bad faith with him refusing to find common ground and becoming increasingly hostile and vitriolic unto the point he decided you were part of a vast conspiracy out to destroy him.

    Zak being ostracized from the community at large was a relief.

    Zak the producer of game books and articles was a cool dude. I had a wonderful time running MotBM, using Vornheim. But Zak the person you tried to talk to could not help himself but be an asshole.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never argued in bad faith.

      If you think I ever argued in bad faith: link to it.

      And if you refuse to answer that question: that is the -definition- of bad faith: avoiding questions.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous3:17 PM

      Here's a link for you: https://jrients.blogspot.com/2019/12/re-zak.html?showComment=1576096681942#c2861797771733495856

      You're not interested in engaging people in rational argument. You just want to berate people and win on rhetoric. We know this because we know you, we've known you for years. This is who you are and what you do. You are desperate for the attention now, for the validation. You are a petty, small, abusive piece of shit. I pity you.

      TO EVERYONE ELSE READING THIS: Please don't engage with The Asshole. Nothing good can come of it. This sordid chapter in our community should stay closed. Don't let Jeff Rients reopen this wound for you.

      Delete
    3. Please explain how that's bad faith.

      In what way does that show me avoiding questions or refusing to confront a fact presented to me?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous4:40 PM

      Not what bad faith means. Which you know, because you're arguing in bad faith. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_faith

      Delete
    5. There's a link to a specific comment. In that comment I do not do that thing you linked to.

      If you think I do, please explain, with reference to the specific text you're commenting on and the words in it.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous4:53 PM

      You really don't get it do you? Nobody wants to argue with you in good faith. Nobody is going to provide you with specific examples of when you were wrong. We're here to insult you, not have a debate. Pack it in Zak, it's fucking over.

      PS: your haircut is stupid

      Delete
    7. Mason4:57 PM

      @Anonymous.

      I am not here to insult this douchebag. I legitimately have taken the time to read this shitshow just as a reminder to myself that Zak is poison. To remind my self to stay away.

      And you are right about his haircut.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous4:58 PM

      What a pathetic shit heel, huh?

      Delete
    9. All right asshole I'm you. Answer the fucking question.

      Delete
    10. If your belief is "Nobody wants to argue with you in good faith." then you are claiming that everyone is guilty of the crime Slyphic accused me of.


      And, no, I'm not aphasic, I get that you are bad people, but:

      The reason I argue in good faith even when y'all don't is because it is the right thing to do and there's no harm in it.

      I have to uphold the standard I demand others hold to.

      Delete
    11. Without an answer to that question, I'm done here.

      Delete
    12. Yeah what I said. We're done here.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous5:13 PM

      @Mason: Fair enough mate. Spare yourself the emotional stress and leave the shitposting to the pros.

      @Zak: The thing about having a wacky hairstyle is that only the young and attractive can pull it off. When old men like you have one, it's creepy and slovenly. Shave your fucking head.

      Delete
  12. Hildissent10:49 AM

    I’m not going to judge you for who you choose to believe, or who you choose to be friends with.

    Zak made this easy, because he is abrasive and easy to dislike. His displays of dominance online jive with the control he allegedly asserts in his relationships. In my first interaction with him he told me I had to continue defending my position, or concede I was wrong, or be banned from all of his platforms. Agreeing to disagree was not an option.

    As far as the statements go. It was the little details that made me decide who I believe. The story about him saying “chin up,” not because he was being supportive but because he didn’t like the way looking down gave her a double-chin. That is such a specific detail and I feel false accusations rarely seem to go into such specific recollections. That isn’t proof enough to condemn him, maybe, but combining the allegations with the unflattering accounts of people who actually worked on projects with him has been enough for me to have lost any enthusiasm for his work.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. One of Mandy's first doctors told her that she had to fix her posture as a health thing.

      Mandy even told me to buy and install little strip mirrors around the house so she could check her posture.

      And yeah: Yo u need to defend your position or concede you are wrong--this isn't a "display" of anything. It's how adults interact when they decide whatever they're talking about is important.

      Delete
    2. Hey asshole, would you consider funding Mandy's legal case?

      https://www.gofundme.com/f/gxywr5-legal-funds?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

      Delete
    3. I don't want Mandy to be able to claim she couldn't afford a good lawyer.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous4:20 PM

      So that's a yes? Matching funds, your dad writes two equal checks and the truth will win out?

      Delete
    5. My dad? Why are you talking about my dad?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous4:30 PM

      Answer the question, man, or you are arguing in bad faith.

      Delete
    7. If you agree to play the same rules, sure, then we're talking in good faith--

      So: switch from "Anon" to an identity with a track record and answer any questions put to you. I will then do the same.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous4:39 PM

      You fucking hypocrite. Years and years of your fucking hypocrisy. Answer the fucking question or shut the fuck up.

      Delete
    9. Point to an occasion where I describe a standard I do not meet.

      I am posting answers under a persistent identity traceable to my real name and answering questions under it.

      I ask you to do that (meet the standard I am meeting) --that isn't hypocrisy by any means. It's literally the opposite.

      Delete
    10. Without an answer to that question, I'm done here.

      Delete
    11. I'm done here too. I only argue when I have complete control over the terms and can move them goal posts as it pleases me. You people are literally the opposite.

      Delete
    12. Wait. I think I'm staying. AMA assholes. I am Zak Smith. No sorry. I am Shannon Appelcline. No sorry. I am Zak and Mandy. Hit me up. Who wants an argument?

      Delete
  13. Anonymous10:57 AM

    "I’m not going to judge you for who you choose to believe, or who you choose to be friends with."

    Nor am I, but if only 10% of Mandy and the other three girls' accusations are true, you are still friends with THAT guy. An abuser. Someone who puts himself before all others.

    Do you guys exchange holiday cards?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:22 PM

      Without an answer about the holiday cards thing from Jeff, I am done here!

      Delete
  14. Anonymous, what if 0% of the abuser accusations are true? That seems more likely than playing percentages, either he did it and his banishment is justice served, or this is a super-nasty breakup and she (and her friends) nuked him from orbit.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Ruprecht, it is definitely possible that four people conspired to nuke a toxic asshole like Zak and that he is the victim here.

    But recall that the accusations of those women are not why he is de-platformed. It is because he is someone who could absolutely inspire four people to call him a rapist, abuser and general scumbag and that is why everyone (except Jeff) believed them.

    Jeff, have you considered funding Mandy's legal defense?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous11:35 AM

    BTW, Ruprecht. I like your game site. You do some fine work there.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the kind words. Anyway I don't want to defend Zak, just put out the "what if" scenario which is always good to keep in mind. As far as I'm concerned the whole Zak saga is a lesson in Karma.

    ReplyDelete
  18. cool, thanks for outing yourself as an ally to abusers, makes life easy for the rest of us who want nothing to do with shitbags like you.

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  19. Really frickin' disappointed to see you posting this, Jeff.

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  20. Took some balls to post this given the nature of things these days. Bless you for standing up, man.

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  21. Dude that makes NO SENSE. He 'didn't look' like an abuser? By that logic, did SHE look like someone who would lie about something like that, so emphatically? HE looks perfectly normal in your minds eye, but she looks like someone who would happily ruin another person's life?

    Believing survivors is the bar here, bub. If someone comes forward, or in this case SEVERAL people, and their story holds water (which it almost always does, people don't make up shit like this), then you gotta stand up for them. They're sticking their necks out, counting on your decency- an extremely hard thing to do when someone really close to you in your life has robbed a lot of your reasons to have faith in human decency.

    People don't lie about shit like this. What would be the point? I'm sure it's HAPPENED, yes, human history is vast. Politics, religion, ideology, there are things that can compel someone to lie. What would compel someone like Mandy to do that? There's nothing. To be public about something like this, for personal reasons, is a huge risk. It's extremely brave, and selfless. There will always be people who won't believe you. Sure you might hurt the person you accuse, but you'll probably have to go through worse shit yourself. Almost invariably, they will get off with very little consequence even if you DO come forward. They might even sue YOU.

    You have to be doing it out of a sense of justice. Of not letting something just slide by when you know it's wrong. Of warning others of the danger. Of fighting, even if you know the odds are stacked against you. That's admirable.

    You lessen yourself by failing to see that. You are missing the opportunity to do better. To stand up for something. People need you, and by failing them, you're failing yourself. That abnegation will make the next injustice easier for you to swallow. Eventually one forgets how.

    No one cares, really, if you're friends with Zak. Well, I'm sure people CARE, but that's not the point. They care if you promote his work, defend his actions, cast doubt on his accusers. That's a pretty bullshit move, tbh. Honestly, Zak clearly NEEDS friends. He needs to be rehabilitated, he needs to become a better person. That can't take a front seat over respecting the people affected by his actions, but it has to happen, and someone has to do that work, ideally. Just because the online community shuns him doesn't mean you have to. But you have to be honest about who you're friends with, especially with yourself. You'll have your work cut out for you. And it's not his reputation that needs saving, it's his soul.

    Take a look at what you wrote, and really consider what it means. You've taken this long to speak, maybe take a little bit longer.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "People don't lie about shit like this. What would be the point?"

      Hurting somebody you're irrationally pissed off at. "Risk" or no: it paid off. She got what she wanted and didn't expect to be sued.

      Borderline personality disorder exists. Look up the symptoms.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous4:07 PM

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union

      Delete
    3. Anonymous4:12 PM

      "People don't lie about shit like this. What would be the point?"

      That's an amazingly naive statement. Here's an example where the victim (ie, the person who didn't rape anyone) went to jail for several years:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-42453405

      What was the point of that? What did his accuser gain?

      Here's another one where very serious accusations were made without foundation:
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42366629

      Ooops, another one:
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42745181

      Gosh, I really trawled the vast ranges of human history there, didn't I? From December 2017 to January 2018.

      And here's a report on 47 cases where rape allegations were undermined by evidence which had been withheld:

      https://news.sky.com/story/cps-review-identifies-47-sex-offence-cases-where-evidence-was-withheld-from-lawyers-11395416

      Regardless of the specifics in the Zak/Mandy situation (which I don't know) you really need to drop this Victorian notion that women are the pure vessels of the Blessed Mary who would never tell a lie, let alone one so serious that someone would go to jail for it while they calmly watched without the slightest qualm just because they were pissed off at them.

      Men are assholes; women are assholes. That's why we have trials and evidence and not just, say, people screaming at each other on the Internet with truth determined by the contents of their pants.

      Word against word doesn't really mean shit on either side but we have chosen to live in a society where people are innocent until proven guilty. I'm not prepared to throw that away just because you have a bizarre notion that 50% of humans never lie unless they're "compelled" because, er, vaginas.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Perhaps you should do a bit more research on everything you missed before you publicly support an abuser. Read Arnold's post, and all of the links in it:

    https://goblinpunch.blogspot.com/2019/02/zak.html

    I took no pleasure in Zak's downfall. I went to an art show of his and had him sign my copy of MotBM. I looked up to him as a creator. I looked past his abrasive online persona, and thought perhaps he just had some emotional issues, that it wasn't that bad. They were excuses. I was wrong, WE were wrong, and YOU ARE wrong. Zak is not someone to defend. You should be standing with Mandy, and Vivka, and Zak's other victims. There is a reason he's been blacklisted by WotC, by DrivethruRPG, and by the Ennies. This isn't out of nowhere. Just because there are women in his life that he didn't abuse, or who didn't witness the abuse, doesn't make liars out of his accusers. They have no reason to lie, and every reason to stay silent (given Zak's known litigiousness and thirst for revenge).

    This is a line in the sand. Feel free to talk to Zak privately, be his friend. I don't care about that. But if you support his work, if you promote him publicly, if you directly or indirectly accuse his victims of lying, it will not serve you or your reputation well in this community. And that would be a tragic loss for everyone, all because of a person who doesn't deserve your support or friendship. Please reconsider.

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    Replies
    1. What are Arnold's links supposed to prove, exactly? That lots of people are as dumb or evil as Arnold?

      Delete
    2. I think this is a good reference point for an external observer. Claiming that Arnold (or Patrick or Paolo) are somehow "dumb" or "evil" gives an outsider a good opportunity to determine who's perspective is miscalabrated.

      Delete
    3. How so?

      If someone says things about you that are not true they have, objectively, done something "dumb" or "evil".

      If that -tone- is what upsets you, then I guess you should be reminded that deciding innocence or guilt based on tone is dumb and evil.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous4:27 PM

      Loving the use of ableist language here!

      Delete
    5. Without an answer to my question, I'm done here.

      Delete
    6. I'm still here though. Any questions for me, Courtney?

      Delete
  23. Oh Jeff...

    I get that Zak has been love-bombing you and Amy on twitter for months, but really?
    https://twitter.com/ZakSmithSabbath/status/1189033526110216192
    https://twitter.com/IHitItWithMyAxe/status/1189635449804865536
    https://twitter.com/IHitItWithMyAxe/status/1203019469208973312
    https://twitter.com/IHitItWithMyAxe/status/1198322456198561793


    There is a group of people who know Zak IRL who have said something like "I did not see these events occur. Some details of the accounts do not match with events I observed."

    Zak - and you - frame these groups as incompatible. I say they're not.

    Abuse is not something anyone spots right away. It's often not like it is on TV sitcoms, with the black eyes and broken furniture and waving guns around. If it was, I'd hope Zak's friends, many of whom seem to be decent people, would have stepped in.

    Abuse is often very slow and very subtle, and Zak, by all accounts, is very good at steering and manipulating people away from anything that might expose a crack in the facade. It's a pattern of behavior over a long period and it mostly happens when the door is closed and the public mask comes off. I am not at all surprised people close to Zak and Mandy say they didn't see anything; what would it mean if they had?! Good lord, they'd be monsters.

    Therefore, the testimony of friends and relatives doesn't amount to much. To a friend, even to a close friend, or even to the people inside the relationship, an abusive relationship can all look completely fine and normal. There is love and trust and people lying to themselves and minimizing evidence. And then when the truth comes out, those friends have a terrible soul-destroying fact to face. A good person would not support an abuser. A good person would have noticed, would have done something, would have helped... right? They consider themselves good people. Therefore, their friend can't be an abuser. And I think that's pretty much what we're seeing here.

    But that's not how it works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most cynical (but also, given Zak's M.O. most likely) interpretation is that you're getting played. I don't know of Zak asked or hinted at making this post, but it seems like a long-term play to regain some legitimacy in the eyes of the community. "If notably OSR founder and Doctor Jeff Rients says I'm OK, why don't you?"

      Once a crack has been opened, he can pry it wider and wider.

      Now, your *friend* Zak wouldn't do that, right? Your *friend* Zak is merely raising some questions. But there's a lot of stuff Zak has done (e.g. http://falsemachine.blogspot.com/2019/02/you-should-read-this.html or http://maziriansgarden.blogspot.com/2019/02/crossroads.html?showComment=1550240878318#c2458771307418037395 or https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NxvQodb0TbfoEraMLy0DFtgRRwUt8lgl/view) that your *friend* Zak wouldn't do. Because there's one mask for you and one mask for everyone else. One set of behaviors when he has to play nice, and one set when he thinks he can get what he wants.

      Delete
    2. Really? Jeff's blog brought me into the OSR as much as Grognardia. I don't know Jeff, but I respect him. IMO, he's canny enough to form an honest perception of Mandy and Zak. It's disrespectful to assume Jeff's been duped or an agent of Zak. How the fuck did this guy become such a boogey man?

      This is what's wrong with our culture and our hobby. Jeff can't just can't make an honest statement without assuming he's a victim or a troll.

      Jeff might not agree with some of you. That's okay. Move on, why are you giving this much energy to Zak at this point?

      Not everyone wants to be a victim even though right now victimhood is pretty damn chic.

      Delete
    3. Because until you've been fooled, you don't know how easy it really is.

      It's important because, as I've said, I suspect this is the start of a play to get back into the RPG scene. And I'm not particularly happy about that.

      Delete
    4. What are these links supposed to prove, exactly?

      Which thing in Patrick's screed is supposed to be a damning fact?

      Why would you assume Ben's hindsight hed-following account of a conversation he walked away happy with at the time is somehow bad?

      How is the fact I talked to you privately about your support for an abuser supposed to be a bad thing?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous3:50 PM

      Remember that time Zak S told Skerples he respected his wprk to manipulate him into doing something and then later said that he always thought skerples's work was prosaic?

      You either lied then or you lied afterwards, and for a guy who treats lying like an unforgiveable sin you sure did it there.

      Delete
    6. I though it was good because it seemed well-researched but when Skerp started putting out fll modules they seemed really bad so I changed my opinion.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous4:28 PM

      Did you inform Skerples that because his work was bad, he was free to promote Evil Hat or did you keep that to yourself

      Delete
    8. No one should ever promote Evil Hat. They are abusers. And they don't pay people enough.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous4:51 PM

      Thats got nothing to do with the fact that you lied to Skerples

      Delete
    10. Without an answers to my questions, I'm done here.

      Delete
    11. You know you can all be me. You've all wanted to *be* me for so long.

      Delete
  24. As I said at the time this whole Zak thing blew up: I refuse to condone Zak’s lifestyle or to tolerate Zak’s abuse; however, I also cannot condone what Jeff here calls "ghosting," nor can I condone the tone of many of comments here.

    Re: Jeff - It is never wrong to be a friend. I hope that your friendship is a catalyst for Zak to become the person he is supposed to be.

    Re: All those trying to smear Jeff due to his associations...just stop. If folks in my part of human existence were to use your logic both Peter (who betrayed Christ) and Paul (who condoned and encouraged the murder of Christians) would never have been given a second chance and would not now be known as the paramount of the Apostles. Sure, condemn the behavior. Sure, demand better behavior. But never give up hope that someone can come out of a situation like this one as a better person. Christ certainly didn't.

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  25. This is disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
  26. All of us from time to time encounter a difficult adventure. Sometimes it is the adventure of a friend or a family member, and sometimes it is an adventure we have written ourselves. The difficult adventure has created distress for both DMs and players for many years.

    While there is a great deal of philosophical speculation and psychological theory about difficult adventures, there are few practical guides for handling difficult adventures.

    First we must address the question-Are you playing a difficult adventure? How can you tell? Here is a handy checklist of five key questions that can help you to answer this question:

    1. Do you find the adventure hard to survive?
    2. Do you find the adventure's purpose or goal hard to understand?
    3. Are there unexpected logistical, moral, or philosophical dilemmas brought up by the adventure?
    4. Does the adventure make you feel inadequate or stupid as a player?
    5. Is your imagination being affected by the adventure?

    If you answered any of these questions in the affirmative, you are probably dealing with a difficult adventure. But if you are still unsure, look for the presence of any of these symptoms: high mortality, tactical, or intellectual activity level; elevated mood intensity; rules irregularities; initial withdrawal (adventure not immediately comprehensible); poor adaptability (adventure unsuitable for use at childrens' birthday parties, pick-up games with random hipsters, etc.); sensory overload; or negative mood.

    Working through the issues that arise as part of this relation can be a valuable learning experience. Smoothing over difficulties is not the solution! Learning to cope with a difficult session of an adventure will often be more fulfilling than sweeping difficulties under the carpet, only to have the accumulated dust plume up in your face when you finally get around to cleaning the floor.

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  27. Really Jeff? This makes me sad.

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  28. I wasn't friends or enemies with Zak. I have no dog in this fight. #MeToo while important, removes hard evidence or a fair trial of your peers, as it's enforced online and in the media. We talk about rehabilitating people, but the moment someone is accused of stepping over the line they are stalked, shamed, and often fired.

    Maybe Zak is everything Mandy says he is? Maybe he's worse. Maybe she wrote a hit piece and destroyed one corner of his life.

    This whole story a great example of the tempests in teapots that plagued G+, but don't seem as prevalent with it's demise (thank God).

    He is my opinion of Zak: He got attention because he was a porn star and played with porn stars. Some people really liked his work but hated him. Some of us didn't care, didn't care when Mandy was making accusations, and doesn't care now that he is gone. However the latter is a mistake. Zak's situation showed what can happen to anyone in the industry that makes waves. They get ghosted. The same people that cheer that Mandy is a victim and Zak is a predator often will tell you how cool Che Guevara and Venezeula are.

    If I remember correctly the dude from Talking Dead had similar accusations which proved false. Of course there wasn't nearly as much fanfare as there should have been.

    If I were in Zak's shoes, I'd sue for defemation and loss of funds. I'd also look at suing OneBookShelf.

    If we can't talk about an accusation then we can't investigate an accusation and this country was built upon Due Process and Innocent Until Proven Guilty.

    My hope is both of these people move on with their lives and stay quiet and leave each other alone.

    Thanks for addressing this Jeff. I knew you had stronger connections to Zak than I did and have been curious about your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cross:

      Talking Dead guy (Chris Hardwick) had this reputation as a super-chill, nice guy with no history of the stuff Chloe told about. He was not defended by several hard-edged sex workers; he had the support of a huge circle of personal friends, ex-GF's and professionals he's worked with who immediately stepped up. Described as a warm and supportive guy. Zak's defenders are hardly so overwhelming.

      Zak has this rep as a super-asshole, a manipulative Svengali who tried to get faithful followers like Jeff and other supporters here to carry out his vengeance on innocent game-folk who disagreed with him like some TV mafia Don. So yeah, easy to believe negative shit about him. Chris, Hardwick not so much.

      Delete
    2. How many people need to sign affadavits supporting me do I need? And what kind of likability test do Mandy's dad and Michelle and Caroline and every other woman who knew us well while we were together have to pass for their stories to be believed?

      Many of these women were not sex workers. And what makes Mandy not a "hard edged sex worker" ?

      What are your rules here?

      Delete
    3. Without answers to my questions, I'm done here.

      Delete
    4. Ask me anything, Cross Planes. Don't be shy.

      Delete
  29. Even Satine Phoenix, his greatest long-time supporter, who had more to gain by staying on his good side and knew him in the flesh very well said "I believe Mandy" and burned the bridge.

    You honestly barely know the guy, but want him in your life and more weird, in everybody else's life. This grand gesture (the type usually reserved for true part of your regular life friends you actually know well for a long time) has a lot of strange implications for you (and your partner) beyond "hey, we didn't see him brow beating her through the monitor."

    Good luck with that pal. With it you have really lowered yourself. But hey, at least you made Zak's day. He probably needed it. Big time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Satine didn't have "more to gain" by supporting me. She was explicitly told by her employers at WOTC to throw me under the bus.

      As for "barely know the guy":

      Everyone who did know me and Mandy well wrote an affadavit in support of me, so if that's your bar: I win.

      Delete
    2. Without an answer to that: I'm done here.

      Delete
    3. Who am I even talking to? There's not even a question up there.

      Delete
    4. He always said if you don't answer the question and don't want to keep arguing it is bad faith.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous5:28 PM

      Funniest thing on here.

      Delete
  30. Look, I've never spoken to Zak. I've read a couple of his game books, that's about it. No opinion of the guy personally.

    Regardless of the veracity of these accusations, I do not believe in excommunicating people for their sins. People are free to not associate with him, but is everyone he knows ostracizing him going to make him a better person? That is not my experience. Perhaps it's an artifact of my religious upbringing, but I do believe in redemption. I think that, maybe, Zak could become a better man. I know that nobody deserves to be isolated.

    Everyone has done things they're not proud of, albeit to varying degrees. If we ostracized everyone like that, I'm not sure we'd have too many people left. And perhaps if more people had been willing to hear him out, he wouldn't be suing Mandy right now.

    Anyway, I for one am glad that Zak's got at least one decent dude around to maybe help him out. Or show him a better way, if you prefer. Even if he doesn't deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Sabbath had/has this position when people he personally considered dangers should be ostracized/cancelled by all the people around him, that mere association and sympathy with such people should be punishable by cancellation. His stance on this was uncompromising, without mercy. I don't think he should be an exception to his own principles, especially not after all the harm he done. I'd say he should get the taste of his own weapon he wielded so ferociously.

      And 'saving' Mr. Sabbath, if frankly, should be not a concern of other adults. He is pushing forty, he is not a small child or confused teenager anymore for other people to spend their valuable time and effort to try and make him a better person; given his personality and the way he operates, he is more likely to manipulate this good intention for his own needs. Also he already had enough chances when his past friends tried to point him how to become better human. He squandered these chances. If any 'rehabilitation' to be done, it should start from his side, but as of now he made zero effort to change. It is my assumption that he views himself as always right and is incapable of genuine self-reflection and remorse; if we speak of sins there is a distinct pride in Mr. Sabbath in what he is doing, in everything he is doing.

      In my prognosis if more people were to be on his side now, Ms. Morbid would be not only sued by him with much more pomp and triumph, but he would use his influence to ostracize her without mercy and manipulate people under his power to harass her and people who support her into silence.

      Delete
    2. Rehabilitation is a worthy goal, but publicly supporting an abuser and throwing doubt on their accusers isn't rehabilitation. This isn't the kind of thing that is carried out in public. If one of my close friends did something like Zak did, and I mean best friends who'd I'd sworn to be there for, well yes I wouldn't abandon them, but I wouldn't defend them like this either. I'd be there for them, I'd try to help them back onto a path towards a more ethical existence, and I'd be very VERY conscious of how likely these efforts would be to fail. And, to be clear, if myself or any friend decided they DIDN't want to wade into that morass, they certainly couldn't be faulted, and in fact are probably the wiser party

      This is however NOT what Jeff Rients is doing here. If he wanted to talk to Zak about what happened, he could have done so fairly easily. Instead he decided to make a public post. Making it sound like he supports #MeToo stuff NORMALLY but THIS is an exception. Bruh, Jeff, this is the archetypal metoo moment.

      Delete
    3. @Kyana

      If you think I did or said anything wrong at all, provide an example.

      Delete
    4. @Ezra

      Rehabilitation is only relevant when you've done something wrong.

      Delete
    5. without answers to that: i;m done here

      Delete
  31. Completely aside from what actually happened, does anyone here think that _suing your ex in another country that has burden-on-the-defendant libel laws_ because they said mean things about you on the Internet is a normal, healthy thing to do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How is "fake felony accusations" just "saying mean things on the internet?"

      Can you possibly have said that in good faith?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5:03 PM

      How can you say those are false accusations when they haven't been proven false in court? Seems like you're arguing in bad faith old boy.

      Delete
    3. Nope: Burden of proof is on the accuser.

      Delete
    4. And without an answer from Adam, I;m done here

      Delete
  32. @Jeff the desire to question an abuser's role is difficult, because abusers work by getting their supporters and victims to want to maintain the status quo. I've dealt with multiple cases of abuse, and my wife is a victim herself of a step father who literally everyone protected from harm (including my wife and other possible victims) until one day he finally went one step too far and everything came out in a torrent.

    Abusers need you to doubt the victim and believe them; this is how they survive, and the thing about the abuser you have to remember is: he (or she) is a predator. A very efficient predator who looks like a friend, spouse, or relative and acts like one right up until they have you (the victim) in a corner and do something so bad that the victim can't reconcile it and friends and neighbors don't want to believe it, so whatever facade this predator offers will be strengthened by others to the predator's benefit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and liars need you to doubt the innocent person they accuse.

      That's why we have investigations.

      Delete
    2. If you don't address that, I'm done here.

      Delete
    3. If you don't address that, I'm done here.

      Delete
    4. If you don't answer that, I'm done here.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous3:14 AM

    Sad to be reading this from you. Honestly, what had you expected Mandy to do in the background while you played games? I think you might benefit from just googling "signs of domestic abuse" and reading a couple of the pages that come up because what you wrote just didn't make any sense.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Why are you posting this now, Jeff? Did it take you 10 months to come to this conclusion, or did something happen to prompt this?

    ReplyDelete
  35. "I guess I expected something a little bit more degenerate and hedonistic."

    Reality is not an episode of SVU, and you're being played like a fiddle.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anonymous6:45 AM

    guys while i don't like zak (either as an online presence or author) but please consider this:

    Playing D&D W/PornStars
    @IHitItWithMyAxe
    I think about suicide every day.

    i mean mandy and him have made a public spectacle shitshow of their relationship and numerous times we have been sucked into this. for one i don't want to think about possibility of that idiot hurting himself. jeff if you are his friend advise him to seek help please. dragging this into open again is not a way to help him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous9:55 AM

      I suspect that this blog post was in response to ZS tweeting, "I think about suicide every day." (He did go on to state it would not happen, but still.)

      Delete
  37. Anonymous7:55 AM

    To my anonymous self, you're free to make your own choices, for your own reasons. Anyone threatening your own reputation or standing because you won't conform to their approved way of thinking is contemptible.

    I really think the reactions to the allegations are owing to how people felt about Zak Smith. But I think Zak Smith earned that. As I type this almost $9,700 has been donated to Mandy Morbid's legal defense GoFundMe. Do I know that is more of a "eff you" to Zak Smith than a warm hug to Mandy Morbid? No, but I certainly believe that it is.

    A good chunk of Mandy Morbid's post about the abuse complained of Zak Smith's "online gaming arguments nonsense". The guy could not get out of his own (or anyone else's) way. I don't know if he needs some kind of therapy to stop being an abuser but I think he absolutely could use some to stop it with the endless Internet fighting, which appears to have been a major malfunction of his. But, you know him a lot better than I ever will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anonymous. Whether you're from rpg.net or not, I bet you're talking about this legal defense fund right here. https://www.gofundme.com/f/gxywr5-legal-funds. Whatever the motive, I see Canadian lawyers charging $350 an hour so a good case will eat up money fast.

      Delete
  38. Jeff, please reread your post. Note how it basically reads like a Greatest Hits of abuser tactics. That's **really** not a good thing. You're fine to have friends with whoever you want, but casting doubt on Mandy, WHILE SHE'S BEING SUED, is a really shitty thing to do.

    Maybe you should read some of wundergeek's recent posts on abusers in a community. They should sound very familiar to you. Also, look up DARVO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wundergeek saying a thing is pretty much a guarantee its not true.

      Delete
    2. If you're not addressing the fact Wundergeek's never been reliable, I'm done here.

      Delete
  39. Within the constellation of allied hobbies and subcultures collectively known as geekdom, one finds many social groups bent under a crushing burden of dysfunction, social drama, and general interpersonal wack-ness. It is my opinion that many of these never-ending crises are sparked off by an assortment of pernicious social fallacies -- ideas about human interaction which spur their holders to do terrible and stupid things to themselves and to each other.

    Social fallacies are particularly insidious because they tend to be exaggerated versions of notions that are themselves entirely reasonable and unobjectionable. It's difficult to debunk the pathological fallacy without seeming to argue against its reasonable form; therefore, once it establishes itself, a social fallacy is extremely difficult to dislodge. It's my hope that drawing attention to some of them may be a step in the right direction.

    I want to note that I'm not trying to say that every geek subscribes to every one of the fallacies I outline here; every individual subscribes to a different set of ideas, and adheres to any given idea with a different amount of zeal.

    In any event, here are five geek social fallacies I've identified. There are likely more.

    Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
    GSF1 is one of the most common fallacies, and one of the most deeply held. Many geeks have had horrible, humiliating, and formative experiences with ostracism, and the notion of being on the other side of the transaction is repugnant to them.

    In its non-pathological form, GSF1 is benign, and even commendable: it is long past time we all grew up and stopped with the junior high popularity games. However, in its pathological form, GSF1 prevents its carrier from participating in -- or tolerating -- the exclusion of anyone from anything, be it a party, a comic book store, or a web forum, and no matter how obnoxious, offensive, or aromatic the prospective excludee may be.

    As a result, nearly every geek social group of significant size has at least one member that 80% of the members hate, and the remaining 20% merely tolerate. If GSF1 exists in sufficient concentration -- and it usually does -- it is impossible to expel a person who actively detracts from every social event. GSF1 protocol permits you not to invite someone you don't like to a given event, but if someone spills the beans and our hypothetical Cat Piss Man invites himself, there is no recourse. You must put up with him, or you will be an Evil Ostracizer and might as well go out for the football team.

    This phenomenon has a number of unpleasant consequences. For one thing, it actively hinders the wider acceptance of geek-related activities: I don't know that RPGs and comics would be more popular if there were fewer trolls who smell of cheese hassling the new blood, but I'm sure it couldn't hurt. For another, when nothing smacking of social selectiveness can be discussed in public, people inevitably begin to organize activities in secret. These conspiracies often lead to more problems down the line, and the end result is as juvenile as anything a seventh-grader ever dreamed of.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Your post shows that it is possible to be Book Smart and not Real World Smart, Dr. Rients.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great post, man. You said it all. Glad to see that someone in this community that not have mob mentality, but that values facts and support the proper means to verify them. Thanks for this post. Keep it strong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think having a written testimony, with a half dozen or more people to back it up, witnesses, etc. is a pretty solid means to verify facts, actually.

      Delete
    2. Ezra clearly you haven't looked at the documents:

      Over a dozen people who knew us well wrote affadavits for me, Mandy got literally nobody to corroborate her story.

      You just made up these "half dozen" out of whole cloth.

      Delete
    3. If you don't address that, Ezra, I'm done here

      Delete
  42. "mandy didn't cry out to me for help over hangouts" fuck off

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, Chris Huth. Are you saying that Mandy's allegations of abuse are true?

      Delete
    2. If you're not addressing that, I'm done here.

      Delete
  43. Anonymous9:54 AM

    "Keep it strong" :D

    Thanks Zak.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh look another "OSR luminary" comes out as a misogynist rape apologist. Shocking.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Anonymous11:43 AM

    I think I understand what's happening here. Jeff is a double agent. He's baiting Zak, waiting for him to let down his guard and then gather damning information, which he'll then triumphantly reveal to the community and wield as a final stake to plunge into the monster's heart. Good Guy Jeff will bring him down from the inside!

    That's what's going to happen, right? Right...?!?!?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous11:56 AM

    This is some flat Earth nonsense right here, except if the Earth were a known serial abuser and bad-faith actor convincing people to advocate for its flatness.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm very disappointed, Jeff.

    ReplyDelete
  48. > "...I also think that taking an accusation seriously means investigating it properly."

    What do you mean? Social and business interactions are not a legal matter; they don't (and can't!) depend on legalistic procedures. Everybody who has interacted with or observed Zak to any meaningful degree already knew that he is egotistical, manipulative, and emotionally abusive. It only takes exposure to one of his self-aggrandizing posts or insult-flinging, deeply personal, hyperbolic "debates" to realize this.

    Multiple sources saying that his abusiveness extends into his private life as well as his public life should not be a surprise; the opposite pattern is more common. Nor should it surprise you that many people who were already troubled by his manipulative and abusive behavior decided they couldn't bear to interact with him any more after it was all laid out clearly. Even if the stories of Mandy (et al) were pure fabrications, they still served to make it clear how much of a monster he is to anybody he's not trying to curry favor from.

    > "And I still don't know what everyone is doing with the testimonials of the women who support Zak. Are their stories somehow irrelevant?"

    YES. If a burglar breaks into your house, then no matter what kind of investigation you're doing, the "stories" of all the people who weren't burgled are irrelevant. What you're looking for is evidence to confirm or deny the specific crime in question, and all of the world's infinite "stories" about everything that isn't that exact crime are by definition irrelevant.

    I'm genuinely surprised and ashamed that you'd indulge in this sort of obfuscation.

    > "it sure looked like that some folks were almost jubilant to discover the allegations against Zak."

    So? Of course it's going to be a relief when you see confirmation that your abuser is in fact an abuser. One of the primary elements of emotional abuse is gaslighting, and confirmation that your perceptions are correct (that you're not “crazy” or “broken” or “bad”) is an important step in escaping from that abuse. Nor is it strange for this relief to be accompanied by anger at the abuser. I can't speak to any specific examples you may have in mind, but overall there's simply no reasonable way you can take expressions of relief as evidence that his abuse didn't actually happen.

    > "I've only seen a tiny sliver of Zak and Mandy's life... but... often I saw Mandy casually living her life..."

    You might as well say of a suicide victim, "They didn't look like a person struggling with overwhelming despair, therefore they are still alive." Just because you don't pick up on the signs of a problem doesn't mean that it doesn't exist! And this goes tenfold for a problem like emotional abuse where, again, a fundamental component is gaslighting the victim into believing that there is no problem (or that any problems are their own fault and must be hidden).

    > "In fact… I was a little bit surprised. I guess I expected something a little bit more degenerate and hedonistic."

    Maybe that's part of the problem, eh? You were so busy looking for dissolute hedonism that you never thought to pay attention to any signs of emotional abuse, despite the fact that emotional abuse was a constant aspect of Zak's online activity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3:59 PM

      'Even if the stories of Mandy (et al) were pure fabrications, they still served to make it clear how much of a monster he is to anybody he's not trying to curry favor from.'

      What?

      I'm not saying they made it all up but you appear to be saying even if they did, that proves the story they told?

      Delete
    2. -You don't have any evidence of me being bad online. You just do not like having to defend your ideas

      -These aren't "stories of people who weren't burgled". The witnesses speak directly to every single one of Mandy's accusations--to the events. IF not: name one

      -

      Delete
    3. To anonymous: I'm sorry if it was poorly phrased. My point was that Zak has been so abusive to so many people, in public, online, even in this very discussion thread, that Mandy's story helps them make sense of and understand the real things he did to them. It's not about "proof," it's about making sense of the way he responds to every criticism not with attempts to make things right, but rather with abusive gaslighting and personal attacks.

      Delete
    4. Say what thing I said that was "abusive".

      Say what thing I said was "gaslighting"

      Delete
    5. Since you're not answering those direct questions, I;m done here.

      Delete
  49. > "Maybe I'm wrong to still be Zak's friend. But I am."

    Man, this is just a weird and creepy thing to say. What do you mean by "wrong"? What do you mean by "friend"? Everything in his public persona makes it clear that he reacts to criticism with irrational rage. (Yes, I have no doubt that if he thinks he can use you, he will respond with oily dodges instead of personal attacks... but where is the cutoff line?)

    One of the tell-tale signs of true friendship is that you can criticize each other, harshly even, without losing the sense from both sides that it's an act of love. So... have you ever found yourself troubled by something Zak said or did, but declined to mention it? Did you ever criticize him, but found yourself softening and minimizing the critique? If so, did you ever wonder why?

    Perhaps right now, you could try offering him some advice, as a friend, that cuts to the heart of his abusive nature: tell him that if he wants to stop being "ghosted," his first and best course of action should be to publicly and unreservedly apologize.

    * He should apologize to Mandy for anything he ever did that made her feel mistreated, and for responding to her accusations with public attacks and a lawsuit. The same for anybody else in a similar position.

    * He should apologize to everyone else he ever abused, whether he did it in public or in private. He should admit that his online persona was unnecessarily angry and aggressive, that this anger and aggression did real harm to real people, and he should make it clear that he is deeply sorry for that harm.

    * He should wholeheartedly offer to make amends by accepting (not demanding) contact from people he harmed, listening to their stories of the harm he did, and finding ways to make it up to them - this can be anything from the act of listening itself, to further public apologies, to agreements over damages if he harmed their professional careers.

    * He should do all of this without any expectations or demands of forgiveness, especially within any specific time-frame. Trust is always harder to to destroy than to build up, and true contrition includes honestly facing the consequences of the trust he destroyed with his rage and his disproportionate personal attacks in response to criticism.

    * He should do the above without any "buts." His apologies should be sincere and whole-hearted, without any excuses or whataboutism or both-sides-ism; without any “I was in a bad place” or “they did it first” or “it's just the internet” BS.

    As a friend, tell him firmly that even if he's innocent of specific accusation X, that what he did is still harmful and wrong. Tell him that the best way to get back in society's good graces is to show sincere repentance and a genuine willingness to do better in the future. Tell him that anger, personal attacks, and threats only serve to confirm that he's abusive, and that it's simply not possible to use force or screaming or lawsuits to get people to stop "ghosting" him now that he's driven them away.

    If you can't bring yourself to tell him that, or if you do and he refuses to listen, then you were never his friend; you were just a useful pawn in his manipulative worldview. Whether that's "wrong" is up to you to decide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jesus! How about THIS guy! ^

      Delete
    2. Anonymous4:05 PM

      Honest question, has it ever been common for Zak Smith to admit he was wrong or that he regrets some behavior of his?

      I had the idea a feature of what Ms. Morbid referred to as his "online gaming arguments nonsense" was a refusal to concede or self-correct. Perhaps not always?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous4:23 PM

      I'd like the Toronto court to give him a psych eval and a drug test.

      Delete
    4. This is actually the response I would expect from someone who was innocent.

      Delete
    5. 1. It's not Toronto. Please Fact check before posting

      2. I admit I was wrong all the time. For example: I was wrong to support most of the OSR authors I supported.

      Now you should admit you are wrong or someone might decide you're a narcissist and therefore a rapist.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous4:28 PM

      Are you a narcissist?

      Delete
    7. @-C

      Are you saying that what an innocent person would do is apologize for things they didn't do?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous4:44 PM

      This touches on a problem I have with the invocation of DARVO. DARVO seems to assume that only a rightly accused individual might, oh, DENY they did what they're accused of, respond in a way others judge as an ATTACK on the accuser, REVERSE VICTIM and OFFENDER to point out they're being falsely accused, and so forth.

      I can try to seem Internet-smart too: Kafka trap!

      Delete
    9. Since -C is not answering those direct questions, I;m done here.

      Delete
    10. Fuck, Courtney! Answer the fucking direct questions!

      Delete
  50. Anonymous3:52 PM

    >Nor should it surprise you that many people who were already troubled by his manipulative and abusive behavior decided they couldn't bear to interact with him any more after it was all laid out clearly. Even if the stories of Mandy (et al) were pure fabrications, they still served to make it clear how much of a monster he is to anybody he's not trying to curry favor from.

    Wow. Sounds like a legal argument that any lost income doesn't necessarily stem from defamation but simply a lot of people getting tired of working with him...too many bridges burned in a small industry, critical mass happens and he can't get work. Depose a couple of potential employers on whether they'd work with him and why. Is it Mandy or just the headache factor? Probably a few of them are quietly watching this very post. If the guy can be a headache, Mandy is irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:01 PM

      I also am curious to hear how someone who has made himself insufferable to an entire cottage industry and its consumer base thinks he would have gotten steady work if only that woman hadn't spread all these lies. He was insufferable before. Nothing has changed. Some of the early products were well regarded but that was 3+ years ago. James Raggi (probably a hostile witness) will admit sales of later products were not commercially satisfying.

      Delete
    2. If you have an example of me responding to criticism with "oily" anything or irrational rage: give it.

      Delete
    3. @Anon

      "James Raggi (probably a hostile witness) will admit sales of later products were not commercially satisfying."

      No: Sales have steadily increased. I made a good income from games--better than most people, I bet.

      You didn't fact-check any of this.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous4:13 PM

      Yeah, Frostbitten and Mutilated sold out within minutes and is steadily increasing. Okay.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous4:20 PM

      Most people don't have a rich dad who's willing to subsidize their "career" as a pimp/artist/serial litigator/niche game designer. And I use the term "artist" loosely.

      Delete
    6. Ask James for sales data. It will bear out that your claim I wasn't making more money each year is false.

      And that's just James--I was making way more from other people.

      Also: again this obsession with my dad. Why are you inventing things?

      Delete
    7. Anonymous4:32 PM

      I'm not sure that was my claim. Who else should we ask?

      Delete
    8. When the legal stuff is done you can request court records.


      Anyway here's the false claim..

      "and its consumer base thinks he would have gotten steady work if only that woman hadn't spread all these lies."

      I was getting steady work.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous4:51 PM

      So all that steady work means the punk icon's dad isn't funding this lawsuit with sweet Morgan Stanley cash I guess.

      Delete
    10. It's weird you forgot I have work and cash other than in the RPG sphere and that you don't understand the concept of savings?

      Delete
    11. Anonymous5:05 PM

      Evasion noted.

      Delete
    12. What is the question you believe I am evading?

      Delete
    13. Anonymous5:21 PM

      Yeah Anon don't you realize tracing SuicideGirls pics and selling them at shitty galleries in LA is extremely profitable? And then there's the money Zak's made from pimping out his terminally-ill girlfriend. Why, Zak could probably hire a dozen teams of high-powered Canadian lawyers with that sort of moola.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous5:24 PM

      Since you're not answering that, I;m done here.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous5:32 PM

      Oh man. Sorry, had to run some errands. I'm not the "evasion noted" Anonymous (I'm the one who wants to know how we can check the steady work claims) but there are a lot of other questions here about funding, Suicide Girls and so on. I'll be talking to James and finding out why Ken Baumann didn't reprint. Other than that and the Kickstarter I'm wide open to ideas. Would the gallery tell me?

      Delete
  51. ENOUGH. NONE OF YOU KNOW JEFF. GO BACK TO WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT BEING SELF RIGHTEOUS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:53 PM

      Sure, right after Jeff stops publicly supporting abusers.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5:38 PM

      That's pretty rich, considering how self-righteous Jeff acted towards James Raggi not too long ago.

      https://jrients.blogspot.com/2018/11/so-lets-talk-about-this-thing.html

      Delete
  52. Anonymous4:02 PM

    How well do you know Mandy, Amy? How's that being self righteous thing working out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone who knows Mandy well either refused to testify or testified for me.

      Delete
    2. Since you're not answering that, I;m done here.

      Delete
  53. Very bummed to read this Jeff.

    ReplyDelete
  54. On a post where Zak is called out for hisaggressive interpersonal reaction style, filled with dozens of links to the vitrol, lies, and personal attacks Zak has a history of making—the ones that got him ostracized from the community. . .

    He responds by doing the same thing in the comments.

    The fact that Zak, who's supposedly a smart man, thinks that a proper response to accusations of abuse is to justify his behavior, is, in my two decades of experience of working with victims of abuse professionally as a councilor, what abusers do. Both expected based on my clinical understanding of the situation as well as my personal experience.

    The fact that conversations are confrontational, someone has to win, and someone else has to lose, one person being defined as evil—isn't healthy communication. I don't *win* or *lose* against the people I share my life with.

    Justifying lashing out is the problem. It's not ok to hurt anyone, no matter how bad you think they are. Especially not when they are chronically ill and depend on support.

    It's pretty much working out how it's supposed to. He can change and accept that he's a fallible person, and take responsibility for his mistakes; or he's going to keep lashing out until there's no one left. No skin off my back either way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous4:27 PM

      He's just not all that smart or skilled at dealing with people except under very tightly controlled circumstances.

      Delete
    2. Facts checking isn't abuse.

      If you disagree: take it up with the court system.

      If, as a councilor, you don't establish facts and order of events, you might make mistakes.

      Delete
    3. Since you're not addressing that, I;m done here.

      Delete
  55. Anonymous4:47 PM

    I think I still believe Mandy over this douchebag.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Anonymous4:48 PM

    Anyone besides Jeff and Amy miss their interactions with Zak?

    I could go another ten months without him around, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Nothing in this post negates anything Mandy, or the other women who have come forward regarding Zak Smith, have said. Just a sad attempt by Zak to get support for his court case, which will inevitably crash and burn. At the end of all this, he'll still be the same Zak Smith who allegedly shat himself at Gen Con one year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What will you give me if you're wrong?

      Delete
    2. Since you're not answering that direct question, I;m done here.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous5:25 PM

      You're done everywhere, Zak. Welcome to your new life as a laughable cautionary tale.

      Delete
  58. IF YOU CAN'T SIGN YOUR NAME TO YOUR POST YOU ARE A COWARD.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:30 PM

      You sound shrill and unhinged.

      Love, Jerry.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5:38 PM

      You know, Amy, the thing I don't get is what your stake is in this. Jeff seems like his usual Lebowski but you seem to be taking all this very seriously. Did you have a special emotional bond with Zak or a jealousy of Mandy, or does this feed back into some other experience? What is going on here? Whenever Zak gets a nosebleed on the playground you are the first momma bear to stick up for that special little guy.

      Love, Not Jerry
      (or am I?)

      Delete
    3. Anonymous5:42 PM

      We just don't want to be targeted by known abuser, Zak Smith/Sabbath. If he knows your name, he adds you to a list. I'm not making that up, he has literally done that, multiple times, documented on record - he makes enemies lists and shares them with his groupies so they can be targeted for campaigns of harassment. I can't link to the actual posts anymore, because they were on G+, but screenshots might exist. Plus they're documented by Patrick in his timeline post: https://falsemachine.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-timeline-of-zak-wars.html

      THAT is the person you and your husband are defending, a guy that has published enemies lists to his followers, AND who abused multiple women.

      Please just stop. Zak is a trash human. You don't deserve to be dragged down with him.

      Delete
  59. Ok, I asked a bunch of questions nobody could answer. It's pretty obvious nobody attacking me or Jeff here has a solid reason for what they believe.

    The people saying they believed Mandy didn't have any facts to back it up (and consistently cited made-up stuff) and the people claiming I was a jerk all along couldn't point to any real examples, or else pointed to _asking for evidence of abuse as abuse_.

    Any remotely sane third party can see what's going on here so I'm out.

    If anybody does turn up to answer any of the questions I asked, somebody please let me know at zakzsmith AT hawtmayle dawt calm .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. It's pretty obvious I'm taking my ball and retreating to a place where I control the rules. Think what life was like for Mandy. P.S. if I don't win you are mentally ill because I am always right.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous5:31 PM

      I bet that email box is just filling up to the brim right now.

      -Also Jerry.

      Delete
  60. Anonymous5:33 PM

    See everyone, if you just insult him and refuse to engage he'll run away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:35 PM

      I just leveled up.

      Delete
  61. Jerry, I have no interest in defending people I don't know. I defend Jeff. What's your deal? Incel? Troll? Jerry. Also, relax, you can be a cool kid if you want. If you believe and with a tiny bit of magic, all tour dreams can come true. Jerry.

    ReplyDelete