I am very disturbed to hear the allegations about Paizo these days


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Halek wrote:
I am not seeing how paizo is at all responsible for these alleged incidents. I dont understand the drive to assume truth in some random person's statements 2 years after the alleged incident.

Not sure why you're having trouble:

One occurred at Paizocon, with Paizo executives directly involved in the response, so the link is obvious.
Jessica Price worked for Paizo at the time of the Frank Mentzer incident and was allegedly pushed by Paizo to keep it quiet.
The third involves a PFS volunteer, so again the link is obvious.


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Knight who says Meh wrote:
And now I’m deeply disappointed in the Paizo community...

I am sure the Paizo community is crushed by your disappointment.

And of course our juridical systems aren't tilted in the favor of the accusor. It is considered to be a fundamental human right and article 11 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly states that everyone should have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Dark Archive

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I noticed that the poster above assumed that all not guilty cases committed the offense they just got off. Why not assume they are innocent?

Also how do you get a false reporting rate of 2% when the conviction rate is 10%? I might be missing something here.

If the conviction rate of rape is 10% then doesnt that mean the vast majority of such accusations are false?

If you need a reason that false accusations might be made simply look at the someone who ruined a mans life who she was obsessed with a made a tidy sum of money and got course credit.

Emma Sulkowicz aka matress girl. She accused Paul Nungesser and ruined his life. She got to publicly brand him a rapist as her senior art project. If you assume the accuser is always telling the truth you get stuff like this.


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This sort of back and forth drama is why I avoid Twitter and Facebook.

It's clear that multiple somethings happened and impacted a number of people. And perhaps we'll hear from Paizo, although I am not sure that we are owed any sort of explanation no matter how nice it would be.

Nor am I quite clear on the whys of people deciding that they'll never buy from FGG or Paizo again. Sure, you are welcome to vote with your money, I'm just not sold that if something happens that I should take all my books out and torch them or never buy something again. It seems a little overreacty to me.

If I avoided purchasing something from a company that upset me or did something questionable, I likely wouldn't have anything to eat, watch, or play.


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I think there is an obvious middle ground here that is, perhaps, getting ignored. As Robert Brookes has said, there are a lot of good people working at Paizo who are apparently attempting to make the situation better on the con front. I hope that they do.

It is also clear to me, however, that there are a lot of problems in the gaming community and that Paizo is complicit in at least some of them. I do not think that it is unreasonable for people to ask Paizo to do better--which is, indeed, all that's happening here. So you can relax a little, everyone accusing concerned customers of a "witch hunt." Nobody's taking Paizo to court, nobody's suing them, nobody's doing anything other than expressing concerns for the way that the company has handled issues of sexual harassment and assault.

Even if Paizo is legally obliged not to enter into a fully transparent discussion of these incidents (which seems likely to me), I as a customer would greatly appreciate them making a statement to address these concerns and explain how they're working to be better--one with some, even if broad, actionable steps they're taking spelled out. What are they doing to ensure the safety of their staff and volunteers? What are their policies (if any) on employees speaking out in public about events that do not occur in the company? These are issues of concern to me as a customer who got into Pathfinder and has recommended Paizo as a company to many friends and colleagues in no small part because of my perception that they were dedicated to creating a safe space for all gamers.

Paizo's official response to this discussion will be a big determiner in how much and whether I continue to patronize them. And I, for one, am glad that this issue was raised on a weekend when there could be a lengthy discussion. If the volume of the response here is such that it forces Paizo to take notice of their customers' concerns, I think that is eminently worthwhile.


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Halek wrote:

I noticed that the poster above assumed that all not guilty cases committed the offense they just got off. Why not assume they are innocent?

Also how do you get a false reporting rate of 2% when the conviction rate is 10%? I might be missing something here.

If the conviction rate of rape is 10% then doesnt that mean the vast majority of such accusations are false?

No, it means they are unproven.

Even a best case scenario where prejudice doesn't play a factor, many rape cases come down to two conflicting stories with no recordings or physical evidence, it's very hard to reach "beyond a reasonable doubt".
That does not mean it's been proven the accusation was false.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Does anyone have any information on what sort of "injury" this Bill person perpetrated? All I've read is that he caused "injury", but that could mean accidentally backing up and stubbing another person's toe, just as well as it could mean throwing several intentional punches. I don't think the former merits banning from future cons, but I think the latter definitely does, so it's difficult to judge appropriate response without knowing what "injury" actually was.


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thejeff wrote:
The combination of "They didn't say anything at the time" and the backlash of "there's no proof!" we see here is particularly nasty.

Not to mention ubiquitous and predictable.


bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The combination of "They didn't say anything at the time" and the backlash of "there's no proof!" we see here is particularly nasty.
Not to mention ubiquitous and predictable.

Yeah, people saying that there is no proof and that jumping to conclusions is dangerouc, could be rather predictable when there IS no proof and people are jumping to dangerous conclusions.


bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The combination of "They didn't say anything at the time" and the backlash of "there's no proof!" we see here is particularly nasty.
Not to mention ubiquitous and predictable.

Yeah, I wasn't thinking of just this case. :)


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knightnday wrote:
Nor am I quite clear on the whys of people deciding that they'll never buy from FGG or Paizo again. Sure, you are welcome to vote with your money, I'm just not sold that if something happens that I should take all my books out and torch them or never buy something again. It seems a little overreacty to me.

To address this point quickly--there's no reason to burn your books, since you already bought them. And I will probably keep playing Pathfinder (using websites, etc. for rules if need be) even if I were to stop buying their products.

I do think, however, that financially supporting a small company whose LEADER sexually harassed or assaulted someone in public is pretty bad, unless the company has taken steps to address this. Small tabletop companies are...pretty small, so both their customer base and their staff's realms of responsibility are implicated in the behavior of someone like this.

Paizo is a rather different question. The likeliest interpretations of these events seem to be that the company handled a few cases of sexual harassment, and possible assault, pretty poorly. The case with Jessica Price (whom I greatly admire) is a bit ambiguous--I'm inclined to be worried, given that she clearly left Paizo under a cloud, but telling her they were "thankful that she hadn't gone public" is unfortunate but not damning. (I mean, it would be trouble for them, but that shows a lack of courage rather than malice. I am more concerned by her implication that there was a limit to what they would "tolerate;" unless she spells out what was said to her in greater detail, we may never know the extent of that.)

Given that--a series of failures rather than a series of active attacks--I'm hopeful that Paizo will publicly address their failures and work to be better. I don't hold anyone to a standard of perfection, and if they say that they are working to be better I will happily keep buying their products.

People and companies evolve. Their art is a lot less objectifying of women than it used to be, which I find a welcome change. If they handle this decently, they'll move past it just fine.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
John Mechalas wrote:
Society has a long, well-established, and well-documented history of victim-blaming. "She put herself in this position", "They didn't fight back", "They didn't say anything at the time", and a host of other excuses are commonplace. A victim that reports frequently ends up having their reputation soiled, and the details of their private life put on public display. We are starting to see a shift in attitude in the U.S. thanks to several, recent, high-profile cases, but that problem is by no means "solved".
The combination of "They didn't say anything at the time" and the backlash of "there's no proof!" we see here is particularly nasty.

Are you honestly surprised though? You’re one of the few people on these boards who strike me as honestly empathic and even handed. When you post I know that even when I disagree with you you’re not coming from a place of malice.

You’re literally one of maybe 5-6 people here I feel that way about. And you and I have been in these boards for a looooooong time.

Years ago in a thread about Ferguson and police brutality several people were absolutely fine with police murdering unarmed civilians based ONLY on the police account. They were fine with guilty until proven innocent then and had no empathy for anyone other than those that protected and reinforced their own interests. One or two of those people have posted in this thread lamenting witch hunts on Mentzer and Webb.

Is it really surprising to see this here? Not really.

Like you i assume I don’t have to BE someone to empathize with them. And honestly I used to be skeptical of accusations of harassment and rape even though I’ve had women friends who were assaulted and harassed, I believed THEM but not everything that I’d read in the papers. But after looking at the numbers and how these women (and men) are treated by the public and the legal system I’m going to listen and believe them until it otherwise shown that they are wrong.

But this? What you’re seeing here on these boards? If you’ve been paying attention at all? NOT SURPRISING.


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taks wrote:
I'm curious how this Frank Mentzer thing is applicable to Paizo. He's not an employee, is he? He held no power over Jessica Price, as far as I can tell. Regardless of what he did, I'm not seeing the relevance.

He was a guest at Paizocon, during which he attended an industry dinner with Jessica Price. After the con he sent her a creepy, harassing PM.

She has said she was pressured not to make this public, and at that time it wasn't a hill she wanted to die on. She's now in a different industry and has made it public.

The specific quotes that make it relevant to Paizo are:

Quote:


And I don't work for Paizo anymore. I was warned, when I did, that there were limits to how much of this sort of thing they'd tolerate.
So when I told them what had happened, in this particular instance, while I was still deciding whether to talk publicly...
...they "thanked" me for not going public with it. I decided this wasn't the particular hill I was willing to die on.
...there are a lot of those hills.
But that was then, and this is now.

https://twitter.com/Delafina777/status/920879215301476352


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Samy wrote:
Does anyone have any information on what sort of "injury" this Bill person perpetrated? All I've read is that he caused "injury", but that could mean accidentally backing up and stubbing another person's toe, just as well as it could mean throwing several intentional punches. I don't think the former merits banning from future cons, but I think the latter definitely does, so it's difficult to judge appropriate response without knowing what "injury" actually was.

Lisa was willing to involve the police, but did not at the victim's request. If the cops were seriously considered, it was more--likely much more--than a mere stubbed toe.


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Halek wrote:
If the conviction rate of rape is 10% then doesnt that mean the vast majority of such accusations are false?

No, it does not. It means they are not proven to the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt". And, that 10% is 10% of cases that lead ot an arrest. That means only 1% of cases that are referred to police result in a conviction. Compare that to robberies where it's 3%, and assault and battery (non-sexual) where it's 5%.

And think about what you are implying: that well over 90% of the cases that are reported to the police are falsified. Research says 1 in 6 women are victims of sexual violence in their lifetime. You are suggesting that a staggering 15% of women in the U.S. are committing a crime of false reporting.

Quote:
Emma Sulkowicz aka matress girl. She accused Paul Nungesser and ruined his life. She got to publicly brand him a rapist as her senior art project. If you assume the accuser is always telling the truth you get stuff like this.

I remind you: the singular form of "data" is not "anecdote".

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Thanks, Ambrosia. That does sound pretty extreme. Sounds like good grounds for banning.


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Victor Ravenport wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The combination of "They didn't say anything at the time" and the backlash of "there's no proof!" we see here is particularly nasty.
Not to mention ubiquitous and predictable.
Yeah, people saying that there is no proof and that jumping to conclusions is dangerouc, could be rather predictable when there IS no proof and people are jumping to dangerous conclusions.

Gosh, I suppose it's possible that Jessica fabricated those screenshots in the hopes of being publicly shamed. After all, just look at how much she has benefited, what with leaving Paizo and all.

Seems legit.


CPEvilref wrote:
He was a guest at Paizocon, during which he attended an industry dinner with Jessica Price. After the con he sent her a creepy, harassing PM.

Ah, thank you for this. I'd missed the fact that this happened as a result of PAIZOCON; I feel that that explains much about the response...not sure how I feel about it but it ain't good.


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Personally, I have a pretty simple rule of thumb: When someone tells you that something you're doing is making them uncomfortable, you apologize and then stop doing that thing.

You don't accuse them of overreacting, and you definitely don't threaten their livelihood. Because that would be terrible.

If that makes me an SJW, then where do I sign up to get the tattoo?


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ShinHakkaider wrote:
thejeff wrote:
John Mechalas wrote:
Society has a long, well-established, and well-documented history of victim-blaming. "She put herself in this position", "They didn't fight back", "They didn't say anything at the time", and a host of other excuses are commonplace. A victim that reports frequently ends up having their reputation soiled, and the details of their private life put on public display. We are starting to see a shift in attitude in the U.S. thanks to several, recent, high-profile cases, but that problem is by no means "solved".
The combination of "They didn't say anything at the time" and the backlash of "there's no proof!" we see here is particularly nasty.

Are you honestly surprised though? You’re one of the few people on these boards who strike me as honestly empathic and even handed. When you post I know that even when I disagree with you you’re not coming from a place of malice.

You’re literally one of maybe 5-6 people here I feel that way about. And you and I have been in these boards for a looooooong time.

Years ago in a thread about Ferguson and police brutality several people were absolutely fine with police murdering unarmed civilians based ONLY on the police account. They were fine with guilty until proven innocent then and had no empathy for anyone other than those that protected and reinforced their own interests. One or two of those people have posted in this thread lamenting witch hunts on Mentzer and Webb.

Is it really surprising to see this here? Not really.

Like you i assume I don’t have to BE someone to empathize with them. And honestly I used to be skeptical of accusations of harassment and rape even though I’ve had women friends who were assaulted and harassed, I believed THEM but not everything that I’d read in the papers. But after looking at the numbers and how these women (and men) are treated by the public and the legal system I’m going to listen and believe them until it otherwise shown that they are wrong.

But this? What you’re seeing here on these boards? If you’ve been paying attention at all? NOT SURPRISING.

Surprised? Not at all. Not on these boards, in this country or on this planet.

Just pointing at the nasty effect of the combination of laying blame for false accusations on anyone speaking up without being able to prove it and then blaming those who didn't speak up once more comes out.

And yeah, the difference in how unproven allegations of sexual harassment or rape are treated in comparison to other crimes is striking. Even beyond the controversial cases like police shootings, we all kind of chuckle when the media talks about alleged mob leaders or some such.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For allegations of harrassment, my standard response is usually to think it's probably true. I will not speak in a negative way of the accuser, because they are probably a victim. If they are someone I know, I will seek to provide any support or help they want from me. If they are someone I do not know, but only hear the story from the media, I will not demand they provide more details than they are comfortable with, and I will not accuse them of lying for refusing to provide more details. They are entitled to the benefit of the doubt and any help they need from all people of good will.

When it comes to the accused, it's a lot dicier. If I know them in person, the possibility is enough that I will seek to avoid being alone with them in order to preserve my own well-being. I will in other ways seek to give them the benefit of the doubt also. I will not act in a way that hurts them on the basis of an accusation.

If something like this happens in front of me, I will do what I can to stop it. If someone makes comments in front of me suggesting that this kind of behavior is 'not a big deal' or other such nonsense, I will make clear that this is nonsense, if I possibly can.

I am not in any sort of position where I might need to make decisions such as banning people from events due to accusations, so I cannot say as much here. I hope that anyone in such a position acts with care, thinking before each thing they say and do, seeking to protect any possible victims, and minimizing the chances such things will happen again. I also hope they would at least give the accused a chance to explain.

I can off the top of my head think of four times when I was the victim of sexual harassment. I was not physically injured in any of them, and three of them I just shrugged off. The other still brings back almost overwhelming feelings of shame and embarrassment 25 years later. Even in that case, I just wish someone had told the jerk that his comments were not OK; that would have been enough to change everything.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For the record, I'm not saying they aren't true, just that we shouldn't overreact to Paizo's role in this until they have a chance to respond.


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...

What? The F@@&?

I just woke up not long ago and found this thread.

I'm still eating breakfast.

What the hell is going on? I have been going to conventions for YEARS and I am familiar with the occasional drunken outburst, but that should get you removed from the convention *immediately* and likely *permanently*. Its why I dont drink at the con! No excuse for that kind of behavior!

This man is a pariah, and should be barred from other conventions as well. This will negatively affect his company, Paizo should do everything to keep this from negatively affecting theirs and do the right thing!

Disgusting oaf! He's ruining a convention I always wanted to go to but never could!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
For the record, I'm not saying they aren't true, just that we shouldn't overreact to Paizo's role in this until they have a chance to respond.

Exactly.


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These accusations are concerning. I believe the victims and those that witness harassment. I was a victim myself when I was a teenager. I didn't say anything. Silence is not consent. Not wanting to involve police is not consent.


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WormysQueue wrote:
At the time of the trial I read an interview with Bernd Brinkmann, one of Germany's foremost forensic experts and founder of the Institute of Forensic Genetics. In this very interview*, he said about their examinations regarding such cases, that in 20% (not sure if I have the number correct, but I think it was 20 %) of the cases, they can prove without a doubt, that the victim was definitely raped. What really shocked me, though, was him also saying that in another 20% of the cases (again, not quite sure about the number, but it was definitely the same number), they can prove without a doubt that the allegation was nothing but a lie (the big share of 60% are cases where they can't find definite evidence about one way or the other). If those numbers are true (and I have no reason to doubt the expert on that), it's not true that 99% of all those reports turn out as facts.

With all due respect, I think the fact that his "20%" number regarding false accusations is substantially higher than other research (some of it already linked in the thread) is reason to doubt that particular expert. I mean, maybe all the other research is flawed and he's the only guy getting it right, but I somehow doubt that.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Hey folks, we take these issues very seriously and want to ensure that we can address them as clearly as possible. Since this has come up on the weekend when no one who can respond is in the office, I'm going to temporarily lock this to prevent this from spiralling out with excessive speculation.

Paizo Employee CEO

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My name is Lisa Stevens and I am the CEO and owner of Paizo Inc. Events of the past few weeks have compelled me to make this statement.

My company will never condone any sexual harassment or assault against any of our employees, male or female. We will never condone any sexual harassment or assault against any of our customers on paizo.com or at sanctioned organized play activities. Whenever I hear any allegations of sexual harassment or assault related to Paizo’s activities, I always immediately drop whatever I'm doing and I make getting to the bottom of these issues my top priority. We have banned people from paizo.com. We have banned people from participating in our organized play activities. We have stopped doing business with individuals. And we will continue to do so.

As a woman and a survivor of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape, I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of these attacks. I know what it is like to feel the shame, the terror, how it changes your life forever. And because of this, I will never stand for my company to condone this behavior.

Paizo’s employees are encouraged to come forward with any allegations of sexual harassment or assault and let a manager know as soon as possible. If criminal activities have taken place, they are encouraged to report it to the police and take legal action against the perpetrator. We have asked our employees to not engage in explosive and angry dialogue on paizo.com. We want our website to be a place where our customers feel safe and among friends. If there is problem on paizo.com, then our community team will handle it and, where appropriate, ban the perpetrator.

In closing, you have my word that I have zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault, and the same is true of Paizo. Please be aware that we treat these issues with tremendous sensitivity, and only disclose the specifics and resolutions of any such incidents on a need-to-know basis, even within Paizo or with our legal counsel. We do not and will not discuss these matters publicly. Every instance that I am aware of has been thoroughly investigated, and appropriate actions have been taken or are in the process of being taken. You have my word on this.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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(I'm leaving this thread locked until our community team is available to moderate as needed.)

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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I apologized for not updating this thread, I mentioned in Lisa's thread here, but forgot to cross post: this thread will not be reopened.

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