About Matt McFarland

Monday Meeting, News

Warning: This is a short post and I try not to go into any disturbing details, but the overall subject matter itself may be disturbing.

It is, and continues to be, important to me that none of our creators feel that they are being put into inappropriate or unsafe working situations.

Many of you will recall Matthew McFarland, a writer and developer for the original White Wolf and then later a freelance writer and developer for us at Onyx Path.

In 2017, Onyx Path stopped working with McFarland because of accusations of abuse and rape that were made against him concerning a relationship several decades earlier.

Last week, several more people came forward to further accuse him of abuse and harassment that occurred more recently.

I personally, and all of the crew here at Onyx Path, have spent the last week fumbling our way through renewed, intense feelings of betrayal. Many of our developers looked to McFarland as a mentor, coworker, ally, and friend. We are horrified at the actions he took while working with us.

We hear his accusers and believe them.

We have been building an inclusive environment that fosters creativity, and there is no place in that for anyone who abuses their position to harass others.

We are rewriting the last two assignments given to McFarland prior to our decision to end his involvement with our projects, Hunter: The Vigil 2e and They Came from Beneath the Sea!, and are examining further options for his previously published works. In the weeks to come, we will make sure a clear, written harassment policy is available to all of our freelancers.

While this post is freelancer-facing, we want to be clear that we do not tolerate this behavior and are learning and doing what we can to ensure we have a safe and inclusive work environment.

Thank you for understanding.

  62 comments for “About Matt McFarland

  1. Greg Davis
    February 19, 2019 at 1:06 am

    “…and are examining further options for his previously published works.”

    What does this mean? Rewriting sections of Werewolf? As awful a person as he seems to be, this may be somewhat overkill. As an equivalent, it’s hard to watch films that Kevin Spacey was in, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth watching. I’m not sure that eliminating someone’s artistic history heals anything. So many of the world’s most revered artists were abusive.

    On the other hand, I don’t know the situation, or who’s involved, or if any of them are sickened every time they open the credit page of the books he’s been involved in.

    What I guess I’m saying is: what an awful thing to happen to those poor women, and to Onyx Path. No good choices.

    I can only support your decisions, and offer my sympathy to those whose lives have been toyed with.

    Aroha, kia kaha.

    • RobertD
      February 19, 2019 at 2:24 am

      Thank you for your honesty with the onyxpath fan community about these recent and past events. I don’t pay much attention to a lot of what’s on the internet, so this is the first I’m hearing of this particular situation. Joining those who wish to show support to the survivors of this person’s abuse, and wish to show the Onyxpath crew support as well as it confronts this issue.

      May I ask what options the crew at Onyxpath is considering concerning Matt McFarland’s prior works? He has been at least a submitter to many books and lines, and while I have no desire to support his income in light of recent events, those Onyx Path books are not his books. I do not wish to ignore the hard work of the many innocent writers, artists and developers that he worked as part of the creation teams for these books. It is a difficult situation.

      I for one plan to continue supporting, playing and enjoying Chronicles of Darkness and World of Darkness games as well as the new game lines and systems of Onyx Path; playing them in respectful ways to all involved in the session. I believe that all of us fans will continue to show what the cooperative spirit of what RPG gaming truly is; that it cannot be broken by the actions and betrayals of one person.

      As Greg said above, there are hard decisions ahead, and I offer support for your decisions and sympathy to those harmed.

    • Ryan
      February 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

      I would say that the difference between Spacey and McFarland is that Spacey’s works are already out in the wild and would be difficult to scrub him from the scenes or performances.

      As digital written pieces, especially for those that aren’t released yet, it is much easier to carve his section out and let someone else (preferably someone underrepresented) take the reins on that work.

    • Frank Bromley
      February 19, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      it’s not overkill,by redoing the parts he wrote it means he won’t see another DIME from anything he worked on related to the world of darkness

  2. C.T. Phipps
    February 19, 2019 at 4:58 am

    My sympathy for such a terrible and horrifying position. I can’t imagine the sense of betrayal you must feel. I also give out my sympathies to the victims. Words cannot express what you must be going through.

  3. jay
    February 19, 2019 at 5:49 am

    talk about a rock and a hard place, I do wish you and the rest of OP the best in riding this out Rich. We got your back.

  4. February 19, 2019 at 5:56 am

    If this man has not been found guilty through due process, then this article could amount to slander. Taking disciplinary actions behind the scenes and talking about it for all the world to see are two very different things.

    • Troy
      February 19, 2019 at 6:21 am

      That’s the kind of thinking that allows predators to hide and continue what they’re doing. The only way to stop it is to speak out. Thank you to OPP for that.

      Besides, by your reasoning, OPP isn’t guilty of slander, since they haven’t been convicted of it.

      • February 19, 2019 at 6:29 am

        Due process, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and the right to face your accuser are not tools to let predators hide. They are the foundation of true justice so that liars are prevented from open tyranny. McFarland may be the bad guy he is accused of being, but the right way to handle it is to put him in a probationary suspension (quietly) and begin due process. We live in a day when people fake their own hate crimes, for goodness sake! Liars are real. I’m not saying that any of these accusers are liars, but if they are not, then their testimony should hold up under due process. I guarantee you that you would want the same if people started accusing you.

        • Paul
          February 19, 2019 at 6:43 am

          You’re talking nonsense. This is the standard rubbish whenever a man is accused of abuse or harassment.

          Also, you seem to have missed that McFarland has admitted to his abuses.

          But do please keep telling everyone how men are the real victims.

          • Andreas Rayne
            February 19, 2019 at 7:34 am

            Um..I don’t think he was saying anything of the sort, just expressing the importance of due process.

            Scumbag or not, if we are going to start arbitrarily dismissing due process we might as well overturn the drum and sharpen the executioner’s axe.

        • Troy
          February 19, 2019 at 8:34 am

          He got fired/let go/had contract terminated/however you want to phrase it. Onyx Path is telling us why because they feel it’s important the public know there is a possible danger in hiring Matt. Any potential employer will have to decide for themselves if Matt is someone they want to hire, but now they’ll have more information with which to make a better decision. They’re doing a public service and a service to the industry.

          There is no legal proceeding happening. There is no requirement for due process. There is no requirement for a presumption of innocence.

          • Paul
            February 19, 2019 at 9:25 am

            I’m not sure Andreus understands the difference between private corporation and government.

            I’m not sure they understand the difference between private citizens and the government.

            I’m not sure what they do understand, certainly nothing relevant here.

        • Ryan Spinney
          February 19, 2019 at 11:40 am

          You are a 100% right, and I’m horrified that Onyx Path has basically convicted him without trial. Not just that but they are going absurd lengths to make it seem like he doesn’t even exist. This is absurd.

          Look it’s not Onyx Path’s job to be police, judge, jury, and executioner, let the proper authorities do that.

          What happens if it turns out that evidence comes out showing he’s completely innocent? How will Onyx Path look if it punished an innocent man?

          I’m not saying he is innocent, but he could be.

          Look it’s not like I’m a Mathew McFarland fan boy, I had some issues with how he acted in reguards to gamergate, but this seems morally wrong to me.

        • Dawngreeter
          February 19, 2019 at 6:31 pm

          What you don’t seem to understand is that no one is talking about guilt in legal terms. Let’s put everything aside and say that, hypothetically, everything he did was entirely legal. Or better yet, because I am very much uncomfortable assuming any kind of rape is legal and I assume many others are, let’s take a hypothetical person. And let’s call this hypothetical person… er… Dick Spenceman.

          Dick Spenceman has done nothing illegal, as far as anyone can tell. There is no due process because no one is even implying that there is anything to duly process. He engages routinely in acts of free speech where he says despicable things and advocates despicable policies but, much like the KKK, as long as he is not actually breaking the law, everything he does is legal and protected by free speech.

          But, as we all know, free speech means the government can’t incarcerate you for what you’re saying. It does not mean freedom from consequences. Among said consequences are people finding Dick to be human dumpster fire and want to avoid having anything to do with him. If Dick was someone working with The Onyx Path, people reporting that he does what he does would probably result in him no longer working with The Onyx Path. Or many other similar companies. And the world would be better for it. All the while never even so much as implying that there’s something illegal about what he’s doing.

          And of course now I realize that my hypothetical name should probably be Zack Camarilla. Just assume I used that one instead.

    • Monica
      February 19, 2019 at 6:40 am

      Private companies are not obligated to provide due process.

      • Ryan Spinney
        February 19, 2019 at 11:42 am

        No that is the job of the authories and Onyx Path should leave it to them, instead of acting like judge and giving punishments.

        • Rodolfo Schmauk
          February 19, 2019 at 1:55 pm

          They are not acting as judges, they are acting as a private company with economic interests and enterprise values, and thus terminating a contract and relationship with someone that has admitted that doesn’t fit the corporate values (and committed one or more crimes he is being accused of). They can fire him actually for any reason they want, and if the affected person thinks it’s unjust, he can sue.

        • Nathan Henderson
          February 19, 2019 at 7:58 pm

          No Ryan, you are confused – Onyx Path is not putting Matt in jail. Thus the invocation of judges and criminal court rules of evidence are ridiculous. They are acting as a private company cutting a professional relationship. That is very much their role.

          I swear you people don’t even understand that not all courts have the same evidence standards. Civil Court requires a preponderance of the evidence. Innocent till proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt is unique to criminal proceedings because someone’s freedom is on the line. Matt’s freedom is not being threatened by Onyx Path and there is far more than a preponderance of the evidence for economic and social ramifications ala a civil court.

    • Stupid Loserman
      February 19, 2019 at 7:00 am

      This kind of reflexive defense doesn’t seem to crop up so strongly when people are accused of other forms of wrongdoing, simplifies any process of justice or of social response down purely to the actions of the legal system (which, notably, assumes a radical presumption of innocence until proven guilty specifically as a counterbalance because the penalties can be severe and because it is easy for those in power to balance cases against defendants – it is not a standard expected to apply in common discourse), and elides the many reasons victims of abuse fear unjust treatment should they take their case to the courts.

      It also, in this particular case, misses that Matt McFarland has himself posted a statement acknowledging truth in the accusations and admitting a position of wrongdoing:


      • February 19, 2019 at 7:35 am

        Thanks for the link. So if he has responded to all this himself, why is it being rehashed here?

        • R LaMont
          February 19, 2019 at 7:48 am

          Again, private companies do not owe anyone “due process” when it comes to ongoing professional ties. They have not sentenced him to prison time of death. They have decided that even the accusations are serious enough to terminate their association with the accused.

          Also, I’ve reread this post a fair number of times and cannot see where OPP organized a vote on what they’ve decided is right for their company. If you’re all about the silent protest where people just do what they want and don’t talk about it, shouldn’t you take your own advice?

        • Ross
          February 19, 2019 at 11:27 am

          I mean… This is actually the first I’ve heard of this, so I find it pretty valuable. So… Have you just backed yourself into a corner where you can’t admit this is the wrong approach and feel the need to be kneejerk defensive, are you a troll, OR … do you actually believe all of this? That abuse shouldn’t be talked about, that information that paints a man in bad light shouldn’t be allowed under the 6th and 7th amendments of the US constitution? If you feel this is slander… fine, but it’s not up to you to bring suit, it’s up to McFarland. If you have a concern, you should inform him, not try to shut it down here…

    • Mechalith
      February 19, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Unlikely at best. The article sticks to verifiable facts and their stated opinion on them. Nowhere does it state in absolute terms that BlackHatMatt is guilty, only that new allegations have surfaced and that OPP finds them credible.

      Mentioning accusations made in private against an individual who is not already under public scrutiny may be inappropriate (depending on circumstance), but when the matter is already *very* publicly under discussion then silence and discretion only serves to aid abusers.

    • Nathan Henderson
      February 19, 2019 at 8:00 pm

      He has not been found guilty is a criminal court through due process THUS HE CANNOT BE PUT IN PRISON. That’s not what Onyx Path is doing Corey. There is far more than a preponderance of the evidence here including Matt’s own admissions. Making a business decision to cut a professional relationship is not a violation of anyone’s rights.

      I swear to god, a lot of you people need to take high school civics again.

    • JetstreamGW
      February 19, 2019 at 9:28 pm

      Slander requires that someone make a statement that they know to be false with intent to harm another’s reputation.

      The fact that accusations have been made is a fact that can be verified.

      This cannot, in fact, be slander.

    • tasti man LH
      February 20, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Ok, let me be even more direct in what other people have already said:

      The reason victims aren’t going to the law first is because the law can’t help them.

      The justice system as is wasn’t really built to accommodate the unique circumstances that comes from sexual assault crimes that most other crimes don’t account for, and not even necessarily because the court gives the accused a pass:

      -Testimonies can’t be given by victims due to how traumatic incidents can affect memory, fear of societal shaming for testifying, AND be retraumatizing for the victim to recall the events…while doing it in front of several strangers (police officers, judges, jury, etc)

      -The statue of limitations being a thing where, even if the victim IS ready to testify, too much time has past and the court legally cannot reopen the case.

      -Gathering of evidence could be considered invasive if it involves gather body samples and thus not wanting to go through with giving their permission on their end.

      Calling out on social media is the only space that people feel comfortable with doing this sort of thing due to the Internet providing a…better…barrier of anonymity to at least slow down any potential harassment. And instead relying on the companies that hire the accused to make the final decision themselves instead of the law institutions. Which even then, it doesn’t guarantee results that people want.

      The “trust victims” mantra and people favoring “the court of public opinion” over the “court of law” isn’t JUST a sign of solidarity. It’s the only thing they have.

      It’s not that the law won’t help them. It’s because they CAN’T help them.

  5. YOLF
    February 19, 2019 at 6:35 am

    Thank you for finally addressing the issue and making commitments to improve things and make up for your association with McFarland.

    I hope this means you are conclusively cutting ties with him, which I expect to be followed by a community/forum ban.

  6. Simon Taylor
    February 19, 2019 at 7:13 am

    Given that Matt McFarland is not the first person associated with Onyx Path to be outed as an abuser, will you be looking at any failures of your own internal governance that have fostered an environment where predators can thrive?

    • Nathan Henderson
      February 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      Well he said they were addressing an explicit sexual harassment policy, and rightly so!

      But are there cases of Onyx Path shielding a predator once accused? I’m not aware of any – but obviously I’d want to know if I’m wrong.

      Unfortunately based on the mess across the industry right now, Onyx Path having employed more than one predator in the past reflects more a cultural problem in the hobby than a specific policy failure on their part resulting in any higher density of predators than anywhere else.

  7. Yiodan
    February 19, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Oh dang. That can’t be fun. But you guys are rock solid. You’ll pull through and you are doing the right thing. This is going to be very emotional for a lot of people but you can keep the helm steady. You are taking action in the only proper way you can. This is good. Y’all are awesome.

    To any victim. You’re awesome too. You survived. You’re strong. You got this. Won’t be easy. But you got this.

  8. Saul Schimek
    February 19, 2019 at 9:31 am

    (<- Law Student) If the Allegations are true…Yike. I hope this goes to trial and things are dealt with properly. And it sounds like this guy has a history of this sort of thing, which is unpleasant to say the least. I support your decision *tips hat*

  9. Leliel
    February 19, 2019 at 9:33 am

    You aren’t. They actually cut him loose two years ago but were quiet about it due to it still being vague and due to things that happened before he worked with them. This statement, and outright expunging of his work, is in relation to things he did while working at OP that they are now aware of.

    • Leliel
      February 19, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      For the record, this post was made in response to a deleted one. Sorry for the confusion.

  10. Phaolan
    February 19, 2019 at 9:53 am

    This is not what I want to hear – about him, about the situation, about ANYTHING – but I am glad to hear it from you. For what it’s worth, that you take accountability seriously does matter. This is part of how we make the world better.

  11. PepsiJedi
    February 19, 2019 at 10:17 am

    To those being offended, please follow the link that had been given above.

    In his own statement he admitted to Statutory Rape, and -other things-. Which were not gone into detail. How many other things, what they may be, we’re not sure of. He has admitted through his own word that the Statutory Rape happened, and more of the accusations were true.

    So any ‘defense’ of the man is absurd. For just what he’s admitted to, he should be shunned and kicked out/fired, what have you. If the rape happened 17 years ago chances are he can no longer be tried legally. Sadly the statute of limitations has likely expired.

    What -can- be done is what Onyx path is doing. Severing all ties from the individual and publicly stating “WE DO NOT ALLOW THIS” and also stating “WE BELIEVE THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HURT”

    Onyx Path is doing what they should do. Doing it with far more class than the guy deserves.

    Also stated above. Past works are… past. It’s regrettable that we may be in possession of material produced by a child rapist. (Lets not pussyfoot around that. That’s what Statutory Rape is) We were ignorant of that at the time. We can, -now- that we know, do exactly what Onyx path is doing. Refuse to further fund the guy, and buy ‘more’ product produced by him. In doing this we show that -we- do not accept his actions. That we vilify them (Rightly), and while we are not courts of law, we do not support one that has done the things this individual has done, through continued patronage or financial support.

    • Ryan Spinney
      February 19, 2019 at 11:51 am

      “Jumping ahead to the last few days, I’ve seen a frankly dizzying number of accusations and narratives. Some of these are true, some of them have some truth in them but are missing a lot of context, and some of them are outright fabrications. I’m not going to crawl through Twitter and everywhere else my name has come up and refute, confirm, or clarify everything that I’m seeing. There is far too much hurt and anger in the industry right now for any good to come out of that kind of action, and I have no wish to contribute to it further.”

      He admits that some accusations against him are true, some are out of context, and some are lies. He doesn’t say which the sex with a minor or sexual assault were.

      And this accusation was ananomous?!? It could have come from any random internet troll. This is descending into madness.

      • Dixie Cochran
        February 19, 2019 at 12:15 pm

        To clarify, it is outwardly anonymous. The person’s identity is known/verified but they wanted to remain anonymous to the public, so we’ve respected that.

      • PepsiJedi
        February 19, 2019 at 12:16 pm

        You are cherry picking from the article. You skipped the first half when the accusation off Statutory rape was addressed. Where in he quit all the different things, didn’t quit his wife’s company brought shame to it and eventually quit from it as well, after saying he should have quit that one even sooner.

        You’re picking up at the SECOND round of accusations where in more people came forward with claims against the same person, who already 2 years previous had been accused of stat rape from 17 years ago and quit all his functions due to it.

        If the original complaint had no merit. He wouldn’t instantly have pulled out of all those things and quit, or admit he should have quit from his wife’s company sooner. If you’re accused of such things and they’re false, you fight them tooth and nail with everything you have to save your goodname. You don’t resign in disgrace and flee the field.

        There is no ‘decent into madness’. He has ADMITTED SOME OF THEM ARE TRUE.

        At that point, while it very much matters which ones were true (If not -all- of them. Pardon me if I don’t trust an -admitted- sexual predator on which predations he considers factual or credible.)….. the point remains. –he’s admitted to doing at least some of the things he’s been accused of–.

        The only ‘madness’ is defending someone who’s admitted to the crimes they’re accused of.

        This isn’t some movie star. This isn’t some politician. People aren’t coming out of the wood work with false claims on a RPG writer hoping for a pay day. There’s nothing for these women to gain here.

        And again. Lets not forget, the original charge was sex with a minor. This isn’t some dropped comment to a female coworker. This isn’t a slap on the ass.

        Do not forget that. This is serious from the start.

  12. Luka Carroll
    February 19, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Thank you, Rich. I appreciate it.

  13. David Meloche - ManBearPig
    February 19, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Fuck him. This isn’t on you guys. Delete his additions on projects, hire the best writer you hadn’t used in said project (runner up) and crank it out. If.he has admitted to these allegations, he’ll either go to trial(if SoL hasn’t expired) or he’ll be sued civially. Either way, screw him…and move on. Don’t dwell. It’s done.

    You folk don’t all work in the same office in cubicles or at desks next to each other 9-5, M-F, so it’s not like this was some willful ignorance, or being duped by a psychopath. He’s a good ttrpg writer, you’re a company that contracts those people. In that aspect, sucks but whatever. There is no way anyone should blame you, yourselves included.

  14. Paul Wise
    February 19, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Ugh. To all the survivors of Mr. McFarland’s abuse: I am so sorry this happened to you. For whatever it’s worth, you’ve got my solidarity, love, and support.

    To OPP in general: Totally understandable that you would take these actions. Human lives and quality of life take priority over even the greatest contribution to a roleplaying game quite apart from the question of how much I may or may not enjoy the work of the writer in question. Do whatever you have to do to make it right.

  15. Philipp Leito
    February 19, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I am well aware that this is a sensitive topic. But I realy hope that all that damned that man, were aware of his admitting these things. Because Corey is right in his wanting due process because it has become too easy to just go online and throwing accusations around and destroying lives.

    • Paul Wise
      February 19, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      Due process is for a court of law, friend. Innocent until proven guilty? Sure. In a court of law. Outside of that context, if someone tells you that a third party raped, assaulted, or otherwise abused them, ignoring or otherwise not believing the accuser without a very good reason for doing so is negligence with a side order of cruelty. The severity of that negligence and cruelty increases in proportion to the number of people who have come forward to accuse the person in question.

      Unless you have specific and moral reasons to do otherwise, you should believe survivors.

      • Ryan Spinney
        February 19, 2019 at 11:34 pm

        You guys are all suggesting that Due Process is simply a legalism, it only matters before the courts, you are wrong. It’s a moral law, otherwise it becomes far to easy to ruin people outside the law.

        You using the due process doesn’t matter outside the courts to justify a Lynch mob mentality and it is absolutely wrong.

        And it has consequences beyond Matt, it’s damaging the fabric of society.

        You guys can hide behind it’s private, not courts all you want, it doesn’t make it right.

        If not courts then it should be mediated and worked out, not Lynch mob.

        • richt
          February 20, 2019 at 8:22 am

          Ryan- did you read the statement and did you read McFarland’s or are you reacting to the concept and not the specifics? The details in this specific case are hardly those of a knee-jerk response. We have not made a rush to judgment here, in fact we spent time looking into the accusations and talking with McFarland. Which I stated in the blog.

          • Ryan Spinney
            February 23, 2019 at 8:18 am

            A mix. For the most part my primary concern is the broader issue, but I have pointed out it’s not clear from what I have read what exactly he is admitting or not admitting from what he wrote. I also know compared to right-wingers and progressive women, progressive men, as Matt sees himself, tend to not defend themselves in this situation even when innocent, they make easy targets. It’s why most of the targets of this sort of thing are left-wing men, left-wing women and right-wing men usually fight back, often sueing to clear their name. Left-wing men don’t, they take it on the chin no matter what the truth is, accepting their fate. I’ve seen it too many times, sometimes even to the point of suicide.

    • Leliel
      February 19, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      You know it would be nice if you actually read the whole thread, and found that McFarland himself has actually pleaded guilty before coming out and screaming “Well, actually…”

      Do not try to defend an accused sex offender with another one. I don’t care if the other is innocent, it’s still incredibly cowardly and condescending to assume you know more than an employer just because it is convenient. End of story.

    • Nathan Henderson
      February 19, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      There is vastly more than a preponderance of the evidence in this case, which is the standard of civil court. The falling back on the standard of criminal court (a standard that is required because someone’s freedom is on the line) to protect potential victims from a predator in a position of professional power socially is nothing but shameless desire to protect predators from ramifications of their actions.

    • Noneofyourbusiness
      February 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      As has been pointed out many times, he admitted to the truth of the original accusation, which was statutory rape of a minor. If he has done that even once, Onyx Path is more than justified in severing their professional relationship with him. End of.

  16. Dara Mac Donnacha
    February 20, 2019 at 2:15 am

    For all those shouting ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ would you feel the same way if, say, he had been caught stealing from the company? Or if his boss knew he had attacked someone in the street and put him in a coma? Would OPP be obliged to continue employing him until he’d been tried and convicted?

    Because if you do believe that, you need to take some basic civics classes. And if you don’t, then why is it different in the case of a rapist?

  17. February 20, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Thank you Onyx Path. You show commendable dignity in a fraught time when far too much hate is flying around. You have nothing to apologise for, once you became aware of the allegations being made, you took action. That’s all anyone can do.

    Now let’s get on with making and playing games, with having fun together in an environment where everyone is welcome and safe, OK?

  18. tasti man LH
    February 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Re-posting down here just to blanket-address “what happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty???'” (and in light of similar events that have happened):

    Ok, let me be even more direct in what other people have already said:

    The reason victims aren’t going to the law first is because the law can’t help them.

    The justice system as is wasn’t really built to accommodate the unique circumstances that comes from sexual assault crimes that most other crimes don’t account for, and not even necessarily because the court gives the accused a pass:

    Testimonies can’t be given by victims due to how traumatic incidents can affect memory, fear of societal shaming for testifying, AND be retraumatizing for the victim to recall the events…while doing it in front of several strangers (police officers, judges, jury, etc)
    The statue of limitations being a thing where, even if the victim IS ready to testify, too much time has past and the court legally cannot reopen the case.
    Gathering of evidence could be considered invasive if it involves gather body samples and thus not wanting to go through with giving their permission on their end.

    Calling out on social media is the only space that people feel comfortable with doing this sort of thing due to the Internet providing a…better…barrier of anonymity to at least slow down any potential harassment. And instead relying on the companies that hire the accused to make the final decision themselves instead of the law institutions. Which even then, it doesn’t guarantee results that people want.

    The “trust victims” mantra and people favoring “the court of public opinion” over the “court of law” isn’t JUST a sign of solidarity. It’s the only thing they have.

    It’s not that the law won’t help them. It’s because they CAN’T help them.

    • Ryan Spinney
      February 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      Your are refering to bad memory science, no neurologist that I know of endorses the idea that psychological trauma impairs memory formation, it doesn’t.

      And no one promised that getting justice would be easy or pleasant, but state and public enforced punishment is sever enough that it is absolutely demands it a high standard of proof.

      Whatever is at stake for his accusers is less then what is at stake for Matt, as so soon by the fact that his accusers are facing no bannings, no penalties, no social exile, while Matt is experiencing all of that.

      Look at what has already befallen both Mat and Zak, they from been stripped of their lively hoods, their hard earned reputations are ashes,there is the possibility they might be subject to vigility violence, they have been ostrized from their communities, and it might be enough to drive them to suicide, as has happened several times at least in relation to #Metoo allegations.

      This is toxic, it’s a mob mentality, and it has consequences far beyond Matt or Zak Smith and so on.

      The true basis for the believe statement is that women never lie, and men always do, therefor, #believewomen, but the truth is once should focus on evidence, not the gender, race, ect… Of the person in question. You are all gender profiling.

      Would you all just believe if say hypothetically it was Rose Bailey or Dixie who stood accused instead of Matt?

      No you wouldn’t.

      • Dawngreeter
        February 20, 2019 at 7:47 pm

        Ryan, you are clearly traumatized by all of this. I think professional counseling is more effective than whatever you think you’re accomplishing here.

      • Dara Mac Donnacha
        February 21, 2019 at 8:46 am

        Ryan, women who come forward about their abusers risk being ridiculed, attacked, having their reputations torn to shreds, their careers ruined, they risk violence and may be driven to suicide. And the cases against Zak and Matt are not just a case of believing a woman over a man. In both cases we have multiple accusations. In Matt’s case we have his own statements effectively admitting his guilt to at least some of the accusations. In Zak’s we have his abusive behavior towards people online. This is not just he said/she said. There is more than enough evidence to socially ostracize both of them.

        • Purple Snit
          February 22, 2019 at 1:08 am

          There has been a huge preponderance of actual, factual examples of the sort of hatred that women have been subjected to in the gaming community [table-top and electronic], simply for asking not to be treated as lesser beings; these have ranged the gamut right up to literal death threats and calls of “go kill yourself.” So when a male is accused by a number of women, all with similar but not identical stories, their peers say “well, yeah, we all kind of knew something was wrong”, and the individual in question comes out and admits to wrongdoings; this isn’t vigilante justice or a “mob mentality.” It is simply what should be the natural consequences of the nature of the incidents. If someone working in a bank said, “well, I admit to SOME of the thefts, but not all of them”, and was then fired by the bank, no-one would complain; if any of the stories are true, then you are someone who cannot be trusted. Period. And if you, as owner of a company, decide that an employee fails to meet your standards, you have the right to fire them. We have the right to boycott, to spread the links to the accusations and the “apology”, and to say that we support the victims of abuse and sexism, and do NOT support the admitted perpetrator of the acts. And men also have the complete freedom to choose not to treat women like objects, or to pursue underage individuals – no one made them act the way they do. This is simply a case of actions leading to consequences, and there is no valid defense for said actions.

          • Ryan Spinney
            February 23, 2019 at 8:04 am

            Research actually shows male gamers get more of that kind of trolling, it’s far from unique to women.

  19. Zen_Hydra
    February 20, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve been out of the loop for a couple years, and then I stick my head back in, and…. What a nightmare. I started to catch up on all this, and came to the horrible realization that I’d been internet friends with this guy for years. It sickens me to think that I materially supported this abusive fuck. Hell…I even admired his work. I appreciate OPP taking aggressive steps to remove his association with the company and product lines. I hope those hurt by him get the help they need.

  20. Nicolas Flagey
    February 20, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    “We hear his accusers and believe them.”

    This. Thank you for this!

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