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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Frank Mentzer Posts on Facebook re: Gary Con

Frank put up two posts on Facebook today. I'm sharing without comment:

https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer

PLAY GAMES

A YUUGE show is selling tickets for 2020! A colossal extravaganza!
Play the latest new games, Buy the cool Stuff… and New School rocks!
https://tabletop.events/…/hotel-registration-for-gary-con-2…

The Company is also warning you about a Clear & Present Danger:
https://garycon.com/blog/2019/02/18/harbinger-unheeded/
(Another source: https://boundingintocomics.com/…/garycon-removes-frank-men…/ )

I haven’t been the company’s Guest since 2017. I don’t know why I’m being harassed.
You’ve waited patiently for details of the accusations in that February post. You’ll have to wait longer.

I know as little as you. I’ve been in the waiting room for 3 weeks.
The Company wrote to me and said “Don't contact me again by any form of communication”. (I will not reveal details about actual People.)
Catch-22; I cannot fix this.

This Company speaks of “toxic aggression” while it does the same.
It warns of terrible danger while asking for money.

I’m a retired wizard, not a young fighter.
A creepy corporate monster ate my friends. Someone should free them.
I shall be wary of this danger. You can decide whether to flee or obey.
Is there a monster-slayer among you?

-- mustengo
(the dead horse still being beaten)

and...

The Assassination Game

"we must ensure that everyone feels welcome, safe, and believes that they are a valued member of our community regardless of..." (etc etc) -- a Gary Con business executive

Except me, of course -- for reasons Gary Con has yet to explain.
I'm just an ailing retiree, not valued at all.
Ask them why.

My public execution was a month ago. We're all waiting for the mock trial that should follow.
Ask the con for details. They haven't told me yet.
Gary Con has accused me of the following. No due process, just internet smears.

past misconduct
harassing behavior
threatening behavior
threatening communications
tone-deaf unapologetic responses
violation of the ethics policy
violation of the harassment policy
toxic aggression detrimental to the safe space

And of course Gary Con is breaking all their own rules -- a month of one-sided internet attacks -- but don't bring that up. (Oops! Do as we say, not as we do...)

"left the door open for him to attend Gary Con" -- a business executive

Yes indeed. I could again be treated like an Unperson and an outcast -- "That Guest" of 10 years and a family friend for 35, who had been Cast Out and conspicuously erased from the ranks of the Privileged.

No Thank You.

23 comments:

  1. Sad. I don't share some of his viewpoints, as he has expressed them in social media. I think some of the evidence against him is flawed, and from believing my own eyes and ears, Frank has never been anything less than a gentlemen in the admittedly limited context in which I have encountered him. I don't demand my creators think the same way I do, so his world views don't offend me. I don't buy the "hacking" excuse for some of his behavior, but if he just owned up to it or gave credible evidence, I personally say he's suffered enough. One good apology would satisfy me. A person in his position could be excused for being prideful, even vengeful on a bad day - it's getting over a bad experience and learning from it that we get better as people. I don't think he needs to be an outcast from our society, and if anyone has issues with him, they can just not go near him, just as I do with the people I don't care for or trust in our hobby. That is my viewpoint and opinion.

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    1. The problem is, he hasn't owned up to his behavior and he hasn't apologized - which proves that he hasn't learned anything.

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    2. He did personally apologize to me for his behaviour, when I asked him. There is some level of contrition to the man.

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    3. Glad to hear it. That shows some degree of introspection and willingness to (hopefully) change.

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  2. If he hasn't committed a state or federal crime then I fail to see why he should be banned. This crap is getting ridiculous about safe spaces and the offence industry.

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    1. "Yes indeed. I could again be treated like an Unperson and an outcast -- "That Guest" of 10 years and a family friend for 35, who had been Cast Out and conspicuously erased from the ranks of the Privileged."

      Frank was not banned. He lost his Special Guest status and would have to attend as one of the unwashed - a simple gamer.

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    2. Erik, do you (or anyone else, for that matter) know if he's still allowed to exhibit/sell from a booth at GaryCon?

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    3. I believe all booths are sold for 2020 (as are all rooms for 2020). If the question is "would Frank have been allowed to buy a table in 2020?" that I do not know.

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    4. "Frank was not banned." - After all the character assassination that's been going on this year, would you want to attend? He's be treated like a criminal (and he already is :( ) Frank is not perfect, he made many very stupid actions and mistakes - I don't know Frank well, but I've never seen him do anything unforgivable at a convention. Should he apologize adequately if he has not already? Probably, but I think Frank has payed his mistakes many times over and it's just another wound to re-open. I think it's time for some forgiveness at this point - we're all human, and I think he's getting flayed many times over for bad mistakes. My $.02.

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    5. "Should he apologize adequately if he has not already?"

      He certainly has not apologized. He blamed a "hacker" for his nasty PM to EOTB, and he told people not to believe their lying eyes when it came to the inappropriate messages he sent to Jessica Price. He hasn't "paid" IMO because he hasn't even acknowledged what he's done.

      I guess Mr. Mentzer will just have to forget about being in "the ranks of the Privileged", as he so tellingly puts it, and join the rest of us "Unpersons" on the floor.

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    6. Yes, Cory, but it is perfectly clear that he does not believe himself to be at any real fault. And the outpouring of support on the net from some quarters indicates that he could count on supporters wherever he goes. So the "be treated like a criminal" excuse doesn't wash.

      Tenkar has it right. He'd be treated like "a normal person." That's the cred he can't bear. He doesn't see that it's his responsibility at this point to clean himself up, 68 or not, GO, be sociable and friendly, have no expectations, mend fences and let time solve everything.

      Instead, he wants to fume like a lord in his castle, demanding his privileged rights as though the rest of us are no more than his subjects, whether we like him or not.

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    7. I bore no ill will toward Frank, but pitching a fit like a spoiled child is not a good look for a "Retired Wizard".

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  3. Just wondering; I'm assuming he would have been, but I don't want to contribute to internet gossip. (Yes, I understand that's just about all the internet is good for, but I try to make an effort, okay?)

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  4. "we must ensure that everyone feels welcome, safe, and believes that they are a valued member of our community regardless of..." (etc etc) -- a Gary Con business executive"

    Then why, after countless years, have I been told that 1-day passes that would allow me to pre-register for events,after stating that I had a mental illness, be told time and again, that it would _never_ happen, and that Staff were not there to "hold my hand."

    I simply require the ability to schedule the one day I can be there. I'm not asking for a staff member to be a guide dog, or to make sure I get from point a to point b. I just want the same access that others get.
    I point out that I'm being denied access via the rules of the ADA, but that's laughed off as that's only for "physical issues."

    For people who claim they want everyone to feel welcome, they certainly do a good job of shutting people out.

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    1. You can buy a one-day badge and pre-register for games. If you couldn't before, it was either due to how pre-register worked then, but it was available for this year. I implore you to try for 2020.

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    2. They don’t do anything meaningful to help those with physical issues either. The ramps are 7x too steep for ADA, and are not safe (converted stairs). Nearly impossible to roll up them in a manual chair. I was assigned a room on a floor that I could not access from my wheelchair while the rep looked at me in my chair.

      I was blocked and ignored when I tried to discuss these issues.

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    3. Good to know as I am now in a wheelchair as well. Discovering most places are not set up for wheelchairs.

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    4. you should sue them under the ADA and get a fat check. if the ramp is to steep get proof, get a lawyer and sue them and get a fat check and make sure its changed next year.

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  5. Some commenters repeat the oft-claimed line that Mentzer "hasn't apologized." Wrong. I'll provide citations because I'm tired of hearing that.

    I do this because I'm a stickler for accuracy; I'm the same way with D&D rules.

    It seems some people don't really care about the truth & just want to accept & repeat the worst things they hear, to make Mentzer into a villain (not that I'm saying he's a saint). E.g., his statement was about how HE would feel like an 'Unperson and an outcast' after what Luke Gygax said (including 'unapologetic'), not a disparaging comment about those who are not the "Privileged."

    The truth isn't that hard to find if you look. Here's what I found by facebook searching (& I don't assume these are the only apologies he made, just what I found today).

    One of the first posts he made when the Price thing blew up was a broad apology:

    Oct 27, 2017
    https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/posts/1570478333031912
    "I offer my sincere apologies to anyone offended by isolated incidents during my 37 years in the public eye, including the most recent. I stand proudly on my pattern of behavior and my character, including more than a decade of problem-free attendance at dozens of game conventions. I have never been accused of dirty jokes, obscenity or vulgarity, touching, or any repeat offense whatsoever."

    If you're interested in his side of that incident, see here:

    Oct 30 2017
    https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/posts/1573416842738061
    No further apologies there, except a statement saying any errors or bias were unintentional, & that any victim-blaming (which he's been accused of) would not be tolerated.

    I also saw this post where he made a pretty humble apology to Tenkar for an incident back then:

    Oct 29 2017
    https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/posts/1572473846165694
    "I thus name Mr. Erik Tenkar, a gentleman who copes admirably with the problems inherent in running an online news site. Again sir, I apologize if I offended you, and I salute your integrity and honesty."

    (But I don't know if things are still good between them. Things change. Also, thanks for not banning me, Tenkar :p )

    Now, in his recent post (which I'm pretty sure Tenkar blogged, leaving little excuse for Tavern readers to still be claiming Mentzer never apologized), he does again:

    Feb 28 2019
    https://www.facebook.com/frank.mentzer/posts/2166010183478721
    To Price: "My words obviously affected and insulted her. She incorrectly treated my words as a threat, imagining nuances I did not intend. I was wrong to use the phrasing I did. I apologize once again for anything my words caused. I have tried to learn from my many errors, and I will keep trying."

    And he mentions his past apology (not sure if he refers to the one I quoted): "I publicly apologized to her for whatever I had done ..."

    (I note, because I'm a about accuracy, that I think his recent post's summary of the 2015 Price exchange is inaccurate. He's probably going from memory.... The link I gave above from 2017 seems a more accurate summary from him.)

    Then he makes another general apology: "I do take full responsibility for my mistakes, and sincerely apologize for my errors of ignorance."

    So, it's flatly false to say he is unapologetic or that he never apologized. I'm sure some will now say, "Not good enough. Not sincere. He didn't apologize in the exact way or to the exact person I wanted, so I don't accept it."

    Whatever. But you'd still be wrong to say he never apologized.
    I guess it's true he didn't apologize for the nasty PM at Dragonsfoot, which he insists he didn't write. So on that issue you might have a valid claim. But... that was hardly anything, either way, that seems deserving of hard shunning.

    I can only speak for myself and say that if I send angry messages, I stand behind them ;)

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    1. I reply here on the record as already having said above that he apologized to me.

      But clearly (and this is not merely for the benefit of "for some folks") an apology just isn't enough. We are living in a climate now where celebrities apologize all the time. We're inured to it.

      Back in school, when I was growing up, they used to make us say something else after the apology, that had a sting to it: "... and I'll never do it again."

      This we don't hear so much from celebrities. An apology has to mean more than just being sorry. It is supposed to include repentence. The words,"I have tried ... I will keep trying" don't meet the standard. The "responsibility" we're supposed to be taking is that we WON'T do it again.

      As well, whenever anyone uses the word "if" in an apology, it is not repentence. We, the listener, understand that.

      Finally, Mentzer tends to refer to himself in ways that obsequiously begs for our sympathy, particularly in reference to his age, in a way that is syncophantically repulsive. "I'm a retired wizard;" "I'm just an ailing retiree;" and the sign-off, "the dead horse still being beaten." Human beings largely respond to these phrases as passive aggressive, with a whiff of insincerity ~ it hints that Mentzer is just saying the words and that he is not really repentent.

      So when people keep repeating, "He hasn't apologized," it is because they feel in their gut that he really hasn't. Sorry to say, but human beings are a hodgepodge of emotions, and we've all be subjected to people who use apologies as a "get out of jail free card" or as a weapon. It isn't as simple as putting up a bunch of quotes. For many people, those apologies have to be more than words.

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    2. Indeed the quoted apologies here are well described as "tone-deaf unapologetic response".

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    3. "To anyone offended", "isolated incidents", "any errors or bias", "if I offended you", "incorrectly treated my words as a threat", "imagining nuances I did not intend", "for anything my words caused", "for whatever I had done". These are not words of apology. These are the weasel words of a politician-style "nonpology" (best summed up as "I'm sorry you were offended"). You can split hairs however you like, but there's certainly nothing apologetic about the statements you quote, and I'll say that "flatly".

      Not to mention the fact that Mr. Mentzer has refused to take responsibility for, and apologize for, the troubling PM he sent to EOTB (which, regardless of how you try to minimize it, involved an industry veteran threatening - admittedly in a delusional and ludicrous manner - a random nobody RPG fan with a ban on convention attendance and product mail order). And make no mistake: despite his various rationales for claiming he didn't, Mr. Mentzer sent that PM. The term "Bote" is used for EOTB in both the PM and the "Once Upon a Time" post that Mr. Mentzer acknowledges making. Given that the "Once Upon a Time" post was made immediately AFTER the PM, and given that Mr. Mentzer never used that term on Dragonsfoot previously (I checked), this is a smoking gun that he authored both. So the PM itself is troubling, but the fact that he refuses to take responsibility compounds the offense. Had he simply said, "I lost my temper and said some things I shouldn't have, and the Dragonsfoot mods were right to ban me" I doubt anyone would have held it against him. But instead it's the phantom hacker or the phantom houseguest - who somehow managed to send a PM on Mr. Mentzer's machine immediately between two public posts he acknowledges making - to this day. I see no apologies and nothing apologetic here, although I do see some things (and some people) that are really pretty sorry.

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  6. I could pretty much just sum up your post exactly as I predicted: "Not good enough. Not sincere. He didn't apologize in the exact way I wanted, so I don't accept it."

    But I will go a little farther, even though I probably shouldn't (because I am the same way with D&D rules debates: focused, thorough, and excessively wordy!)

    TLDR: People are gonna believe what they want, but that doesn't change the fact that Mentzer apologized.


    You say it just doesn't meet (YOUR) standards for an apology because it didn't include the magic words, "... and I'll never do it again" (because you just know when a kid of forced to say that, he MEANS it -- I bet when the school kids had to say that, they truly never did the thing again, right?). Egad, Mentzer instead used the words, "I have tried to learn from my many errors, and I will keep trying."

    Apparently you wanted to hear with certainty, "I will never make another mistake."

    I wouldn't trust someone who said the latter thing or something similar.
    The pledge to "try" is honest and human, admitting to not being perfect.

    But I think the nit picking of his phrasing is disingenuous anyway, because I don't think you would accept anything he says.

    As another point about accuracy, notice I was careful to specify there "I think." Whereas upthread you simply make the pronouncement, "it is perfectly clear that he does not believe himself to be at any real fault."

    But Mentzer said, "I do take full responsibility for my mistakes, and sincerely apologize for my errors of ignorance."

    So are we to believe that you can read his mind and tell us his true villainous thoughts? He can't be sincere because he refers to himself in sympathetic terms?

    Accurate phrasing is important, because if people were more accurate in saying things like, "I don't think he..." "I don't accept that he..." "I don't believe he..." it starts to reveal that these statements are often as much about the person making them as they are about the person they are directed at.

    As a final note in that regard, you end by saying, "So when people keep repeating, 'He hasn't apologized,' it is because they feel in their gut that he really hasn't."

    Well then guess what? Those people would be liars. The difference between saying, "He hasn't apologized," vs. "I don't feel his apology was valid," would be similar to the difference in me saying, "Alexis never posted a rebuttal," vs "I don't feel his rebuttal was valid."

    If I said the former thing, I'd be a liar, no matter how I FELT about your rebuttal.

    My actual position wasn't that people were lying, but that they were saying, "he never apologized" because they weren't aware he had. But that's still kind of "on them" for repeating negative things without checking the facts. So I presented the facts.

    Not that I expect "facts" to get in the way of anyone's feelings, but rather than lying, people should at least shift to, "he apologized but I don't accept it," which, again, is more accurate and probably reveals a bit about the person making the statement.

    Of course, if the statement became, "He apologized but I don't accept it because five women came forward revealing he made inappropriate passes at them this year," that's a different story.

    "He apologized but I don't accept it because he called himself an ailing retired wizard" doesn't quite have the same weight.


    ... Yeah, I'm going to have to step out of here now, and just be content that I posted the facts, which is why I came. As I mentioned, I get way too wordy with debates, and I've probably used up enough words on Tenkar's blog!


    -- signing off, just a poor, sad, short hermit who eats worms every day, who you should all feel sympathy for, Aaron. :p

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