Mad Genius and Jon

The Jon Del Arroz publicity tour via self-fueled controversy continues at Mad Genius Club. Disappointingly it isn’t Dave Freer writing but Jason Cordova. However, what is really interesting is how unwittingly condemning of Jon the piece is.

The piece is a more serious than I would have expected attempt to describe a sequence of events leading up to Jon having his Worldcon membership downgraded to supporting. I’ll be quoting snippets, so it is important to read the whole thing to see the context of those snippets: https://madgeniusclub.com/2018/01/05/stir-the-pot/

What is revealing is how many occasions Jason has to refer to ‘claims’ Jon made. I think Jason is actually trying to write something fair-mindedly but in doing so he inadvertently lays out a pattern of behaviour. There are two questions that arise

  • What evidence there is behind the many claims?
  • What patterns of behaviour does Jason ascribe to Jon?

In the fifth paragraph Jason describes Jon like this:

“Now, Jon is… pushy, since he plays the same game that most of those who sought to discredit and destroy the Sad Puppies played. He understands how their minds work and pretty much goes right back at them with vigor, cheer, and sometimes even breathless exclamation!”

In the seventh paragraph we get this:

“Jon is local to Worldcon (he lives in the Bay Area) and was on the fence about going to the convention after claiming to have been doxxed (along with his children) by certain unidentified individuals. I remember Jon talking about this either at or shortly after Libertycon 30. At the time I didn’t really know what to think. I doubted that he would lie about something that could be so easily disapproved, but I also had a hard time believing that people who claimed to be on the side of good and equality would doxx one of the few male Hispanic authors out there in the SF&F community. I was in a quandary — someone was lying, but who?”

Jason doesn’t say who the other potentially lying party might be – only Jon is making a claim here. Nor is it purely a choice between Jon lying or not lying – he may be exaggerating for effect or have honest fears/perception of events that don’t entirely match the facts. I can’t find the orig

In the ninth paragraph:

“Here he repeats his claim that his family has been doxxed in the past, and identifies them as members of the SFWA.”

Yet according to Jason, Jon didn’t actually know who (if anybody) had attempted to “doxx” him [it is unclear in what sense Jon means “doxx” here]. So, Jason actually can draw a conclusion here based on the evidence he actually has – Jon is not being entirely truthful. Even assuming the basic “doxx” claim is correct, the claim that SFWA members were responsible is apparently baseless.

In the tenth paragraph, we get the supposed email exchange from Mike Glyer. As it appears, the exchange is innocuous enough (as Jason concedes) yet the “Goodbye Jon” is apparently from a different exchange.

In the eleventh we get this:

“Allegedly members of File 770 lost their collective minds over his joining, but I have yet to find evidence of this. Perhaps it happened and then was later deleted? Or it could have been other comments taken out of hand? At this point of the game, who knows?”

Well, no seriously. At this point in the game even in Jason Cordova’s DEFENCE of Jon, you have a whole set of claims from Jon some with minimal evidence and many with zero. It is actually quite easy at this point to spot that SOMEBODY – one person in particular – keeps making wild claims about specific people doing things for which there is no or limited evidence.

File 770 commenters (if there is a ‘membership’ I haven’t been invited!) did not lose their collective mind and as Jason Cordova notes there is no evidence that they did. A rational person should now (assuming they had any doubt) know the answer to the question as to who is not telling the truth. But no, Jason offers the possibility of a cover-up, i.e. Filee770 ‘members’ losing their collective minds then covering up that they lost their collective minds because…well, he doesn’t offer any reason why they would do either of those things.

In the twelfth paragraph, Jason discusses Jon discussing on Twitter his issues with the conventions code of conduct.

In the thirteenth paragraph, Jason says this about Jon:

“Now, quite a few people would immediately point out that Jon is a dick at times and knows how to push the right buttons. He stirs the pot and some people simply don’t like him. I’ve attended enough conventions as a pro and as a fan to understand that if someone you know has a decent following, is known for stirring the pot, and is planning on attending, you keep an eye out for any concerns they might have so that you can nip any potential problems in the bud and take away any potential ammunition they might try to use to discredit your convention.”

In the fourteenth paragraph, Jason gets to the “banning”.

“His right to attend the convention was banned after it was stated that he had made comments on his personal blog about walking into a hostile environment and expecting problems at Worldcon.

jondelarroz4

Now, this accusation is somewhat troubling, because I scoured Jon’s site while writing this and I cannot see any indication that this is the case.”

Troubling? He couldn’t find examples in Jon’s blog but he had already found examples of something very similar on Jon’s Twitter and had literally already described Jon as  “a dick” who “knows how to push the right buttons” and “pushy” and as playing “the same game that most of those who sought to discredit and destroy the Sad Puppies “. At worst Jason’s complaint could be that Worldcon should have said “Twitter” rather than “blog” but…

..in fact, Jason can’t have scoured Jon’s blog very well because it is trivial to find an example:

“This is exactly why I have to wear a body cam to go to the con to begin with, some of these folk will almost certainly try to frame me for a crime, and I will have evidence to the contrary. Worldcon needs to step it up and make sure I’m protected from these crazies so my friends and fans can have fun.” http://delarroz.com/?p=1912

That easily meets the criteria of

  • Being on Jon’s blog
  • Jon claiming that Worldcon would be a hostile environment.

In fact, Jon overtly had asked Worldcon to take steps to ensure what he claimed might occur wouldn’t occur. Worldcon did that – just not in the way he expected.

In the sixteenth paragraph Jason goes on to describe the reaction:

“Once word got out that Jon had been more or less “disinvited”, the feces struck the rotary impeller and exploded. People went onto Twitter and lauded the Worldcon’s decision, which smelled a little fishy. Why the emotional outpouring of support for a decision to ban someone who expressed concern over safety issues for friends and self?”

Smelled a little fishy? Again this is how the DEFENCE of Jon had already described him: “a dick” who “knows how to push the right buttons” and “pushy” and as playing “the same game that most of those who sought to discredit and destroy the Sad Puppies “. That’s not me describing Jon but somebody trying to write an earnest defence of him. If Jon’s allies see him that way is really, really do deeply unbelievable that others might be happy that they weren’t going to encounter him at a convention?

Now personally, I haven’t had any issues with Jon directly but that’s just me. My boundaries aren’t other people’s boundaries* and in the very, very, best most generous assessment of Jon’s online persona it would be undeniable that he does not respect other people’s online boundaries – and that would be me being more than overly generous. So no not ‘politics’ per-se, lots of people have plenty of reason to be happy not to encounter Jon in person based on assuming that in person he’d be like he is online. And again that statement is taking being generous to Jon to a FAULT. Taken less generously many people have genuine concerns about the extremity of his online behaviour.

I documented last year Jon openly boasting on alt-right social media platform ‘Gab’ about harrasing a Baen author and misusing their copyrighted materials. Persistent harrassment of others by Jon has clearly stepped beyond the “maybe it is poor social skills” line and into obvious harrassment. Nor is this particularly hidden – really if you knew nothing about Jon other than what Jason Cordova had written about him in that essay it would be possible to rationally conclude that Worldcon probably did him and them a mutual favour.

*[That isn’t a claim that I’m more tolerant or anything, just that my boundaries are different. Firstly some odd things make me uncomfortable that most people are fine with and secondly I know personally I’ve failed to spot bullies attempting to bully me in real life and AS A CONSEQUENCE failed to prevent them bullying others or been taken by surprise when their behaviour escalated. Being oblivious to bullies isn’t virtue.]

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50 comments

  1. Mark Hepworth

    I’m increasingly convinced that concentrating on the bodycam-into-consuite element is a bit of a red herring as it’s merely one of the more visible elements in the whole picture of his harassing behaviour and intention to troll people IRL at the con, but here’s the tweet in question

    What’s particularly disappointing is that Cordoba decided to end up his article by misusing the terrible story of Moira Greyland, like too many others have done. He ignores the chronology of who knew what and when in order to try to claim some sort of cover-up, when in fact everyone in fandom was pretty much immediately horrified when Greyland’s story came out (in 2014?). There hasn’t been the alleged long term “defending” of MZB because until then there were no accusations to defend against.

    Liked by 2 people

    • camestrosfelapton

      I sort of feel that way about the body cam bit as well but…the more egregious harassment of individuals is harder to cover because I don’t want to drag those people back into frame or have the attacks on them re-prosecuted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Hepworth

        Yeah, the problem is that it’s a pattern of smaller incidents, each of which can be exhaustively relitigated to “prove” he didn’t mean it or the victim was just being sensitive or whatever. His entire MO is based around semi-plausible deniability.

        Liked by 3 people

      • camestrosfelapton

        Yup – the body cam is a simpler issue to explain, in particular that he was claiming he would be in serious danger at Worldcon.

        I don’t think this would be right tack for Worldcon to take but they would have been in their rights to say that they heard his safety concerns but given that he was unable to provide sufficient detail for them to act on them (e.g. banning other people who were going to ‘attack’ him or ‘frame’ him) that they therefore could not give him the safety garuntees that he was asking for and therefore refund his membership.

        Of course, that would be then used to claim that Worldcon had declared itself unsafe but wacky false claims were garunteed from the get go.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Johan P

        Seems to me it’s reasonable accurate to say that the bodycam issue is The Problem, but it’s important to understand just how it is a problem.

        If a different person had announced a plan to wear a bodycam, we might have expected a conversation like
        A: I’m going to wear a bodycam to Worldcon so you guys at home can see all the fun I have!
        Worldcon: Be advised that filming everything is against [this] part of our code of conduct
        A: I’m sorry, I didn’t know that … I’ll leave the bodycam at home, then, and find other ways to document my fun,

        With JDA, that doesn’t work. JDA’s history, and some of the other comments he’s made about his plans for the con makes it clear his intention was to
        1) wear a bodycam,
        2) be annoying enough to provoke some sort of reaction from other attendees,
        3) quotemine the footage, editing out his own provocations and highlight the angry reactions to him,
        4) publish the quotemined footage to make people look bad.

        I.e. the problem here is not the bodycam itself, but the underlying plan that JDA wanted to wear a bodycam for. Telling him politely that a bodycam is against the CoC doesn’t resolve *that* problem – it might make him not wear a bodycam but he would just find some other way of being an asshole.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Kathodus

      Regarding the bodycam tweet above – do you think by “hijinx” he was suggesting that his troll… army? platoon? squad? engage in hijinx, or was he warning ultra-violent SFWA members that he’d be recording any of their hijinx? The wording is ambiguous. If it’s the second, he’s obviously covering his ass, as usual.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JJ

    I was surprised about how mostly sensible and articulate the first part of Cordova’s piece is. It’s the first time I’ve seen anyone on the Puppy/Frog spectrum actually scrutinize JDA’s claims somewhat honestly, rather than just parroting them mindlessly.

    Sadly, once he offers up the doctored e-mail exchange with Glyer as evidence — without acknowledging that doctoring — the rest of the piece goes downhill in a hurry.

    He blithely asserts that since none of JDA’s behavior has bee a problem for him, therefore if anyone else has a problem with JDA’s behavior, it must be a politically-motivated passive-aggressive attack — which is just a total logic fail.

    He then trots out the old “Worldcon defends pedophiles” canard — because Worldcon having banned a known predator back in 1964, 54 years ago, is somehow “recent history” to Puppies — and claims “To this day people vociferously defend Marion Zimmer Bradley — at least they did until Moira’s book came out.” I haven’t seen any defenses of MZB in my history on the internet. I imagine that there are some out there somewhere, because there will always be some people who choose denial when they discover that a beloved author is a horrible person — but if the defenses of MZB are so “vociferous”, how is it that he is unable to provide a link to even one such defense?

    Greyland’s book came out a month ago, and her blog post about the abuse came put in July 2015. Worldcon fandom has been condemning MZB’s abuse since it was revealed in an expose by Deirdre Saoirse Moen on June 3, 2014, based on her correspondence with Greyland. Moen followed this by immediately setting up the Breendoggle Wiki and a series of further posts on the issue. In addition, there was widespread coverage, and condemnation, of this newly-revealed side of MZB by many in fandom, including Jim C. Hines, James Davis Nicoll, Natalie Luhrs, and Martin Wisse, just to name a few.

    So Cordova has utterly failed to research his claims before making them, and he has nullified whatever good reporting he achieved in the first part of his post. There’s not just one egg on his face, there is a whole dozen of them.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Kathodus

      I was thinking Moen got a Hugo nomination or award for her exposure of MZB, but looking through the nomination stats for the years surrounding those writings, I don’t see anything. I must be conflating that horrifying series of posts with Mixon’s exposure of Requires Hate, a less shocking but still nasty revelation. Does anyone else recall any Hugo buzz around Moen’s posts?

      Liked by 1 person

      • JJ

        I know the piece had some nominations, because I nominated it, and I know several orher people did as well. With the Puppy nominators added into the mix, the cutoff for the longlist was 35 nominations. Without them, the cutoff would have been 26. So we’ll never know whether that work would have made the longlist without the Puppies stuffing the ballot box with their trash.

        Liked by 1 person

      • JJ

        My previous post references the Related Work categoy. In the Fan Writer category Moen had 50 nominations, and without the Puppies she would have been in 7th place, missing the ballot by two places.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Doris V. Sutherland

        For what it’s worth, back in 2015 VD said that he considered nominating Moen’s material on MZB, but specifically decided against this on the grounds that it’d be inappropriate:

        “I don’t regard the Hugo Awards as being the place to recognize investigative journalism, otherwise I would have nominated Saorse Moen’s stunning revelations about Marion Zimmer Bradley as a Best Related Work.”
        https://voxday.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/hugo-recommendations-best-fan-writer.html

        Note that he wrote this a month before Moira Greyland spoke out against LGBT culture. After that, the Rabid Puppies became more enthusiastic about nominting work relating to the abuse she suffered.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Jon Del Arroz

    All of this stuff is irrelevant at the end of the day. I committed no crime, did nothing wrong, did not intend on violating their code of conduct. No one reached out to me, no one told me what I did wrong, and this is still true. It’s targeting over my outspoken political affiliations by Worldcon staff, and that is all this is about. Everyone knows it. It’s sad to be discriminated against like this, and we’ve reached the point where the blackballing in SF professional circles has become a civil rights issue.

    Thanks for the write up, Cam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • camestrosfelapton

      You did not commit a crime…
      And neither did Worldcon…

      You may not have *intended* to break their code of conduct…
      But you gave plenty of reasons for the Con to believe that you intended to.

      There’s zero evidence that is has anything to do with your specific political beliefs.

      And…
      …in the end we both know that you wanted the publicity! You openly said joining SFWA and Worldcon were for publicity purposes and the ‘ban’ only helped!

      Liked by 4 people

      • Jon Del Arroz

        Worldcon actually did commit a crime under California law. Political discrimination is illegal. Since the same standards don’t apply to people on the left as do to me, it constitutes political discrimination.

        Like

      • Cora

        No one cares about your politics and how you voted. You got banned, because you spent the last year acting like a jerk and harrassed plenty of people and publicly announced you’d continue your harrassment at WorldCon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Contrarius

        @Jon — “Worldcon actually did commit a crime under California law.”

        I would LOVE to see you try out this argument in a court of law. Seriously, I’d buy popcorn and everything.

        But in reality — as has been explained to you multiple times, your banning had NOTHING to do with your political views. If a liberal fan or author was a proven serial harasser and had indicated their intention to continue their harassing behaviors at the con, they would be just a subject to banning as you were.

        Grow up. And you really could stand to find a new hobby.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Contrarius

      “It’s targeting over my outspoken political affiliations by Worldcon staff”

      Bullshit, Jon.

      As has been clearly explained elswhere — if authors were targeted for their political affiliations, then Jerry Pournelle would have been banned.

      You are a proven serial harrasser, and a ringleader encouraging others to harrass as well. You yourself have made statements like “getting ready to troll her by tagging on twitter/facebook with these. Would love some help. Even if not a fan, can still tag” and “Troll The Shit Out Of SJW Sci-Fi Authors On Twitter. If you want to participate, ping me. I’ll start a chat.” Worldcon has a responsibility to protect its attendees from harrassment. Your personal politics are irrelevant — it’s your own words and actions about harrassing other people that are important here.

      “No one reached out to me, no one told me what I did wrong, and this is still true.”

      Again — bullshit.

      The letter from Worldcon to you, which you posted yourself, very clearly states: “On your personal blog you have made it clear that you are both expecting and planning on engendering a hostile environment which we do not allow.”

      Free speech is not the same thing as CONSEQUENCE-free speech. You have the legal right to say most anything you like — but when your free speech includes harrassing others, don’t be surprised by the consequences.

      Stop trying to play the martyr card. You threw yourself into this fire.

      Liked by 3 people

    • JJ

      Jon Del Arroz: All of this stuff is irrelevant at the end of the day. I committed no crime, did nothing wrong, did not intend on violating their code of conduct.

      You don’t get to decide what is, or is not, relevant. You aren’t the one who gets to decide whether your year-long campaign of harassment against authors and fans was wrong. Nobody cares what your “intent” was — it’s your actions which are the issue.

      You’re not being discriminated against — “asshole” is not a protected class.

      Nobody gives a shit about your politics. They just don’t want to be subjected to any more of your harassment.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jon Del Arroz

        I am, and you know it. You actually made a direct threat to me to try to get me removed from Worldcon on File 770 comments so you shouldn’t be one to talk.

        Like

    • Mark Hepworth

      Jon, Jon, Jon. Whatever are we to do with you?

      I mean, you’re well aware that people here are familiar with your schtick, that it would take about 5 seconds for someone to throw up actual examples of what you’ve done, and yet you feel compelled to pop in and post the same lies that you’ve been hawking around everywhere else.

      Is this because you think that if you repeat something enough people will start believing you, or because you think that if you say it enough you might one day be able to start believing it yourself?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jon Del Arroz

        No schtick, I’m just honest and present. You guys are mad cuz I’m here. It’s really weird. Stop acting like a high school clique.

        Like

      • Mark Hepworth

        Oh dear, Jon. Making fun of you isn’t the same as being mad. I think of you as this fascinating experiment into what happens when alt-right marketing tactics are applied with cynicism rather than passion.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Kathodus

      What are your politics, Jon? Outside of Kekistanian Trollery, I mean. I haven’t been able to figure out any of your political stances, aside from typical trollish “virtue signalling” about SJWs. I have no idea how you feel about actual political issues.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lurkertype

      You got a portion of your money refunded because you’re a pain in the ass who loves to provoke people, and you’re a self-promoting liar. Even Puppies aren’t believing you, which is such a low bar. You’re simply a mosquito that they decided to direct elsewhere so they can spend time on people who aren’t going to be a problem. If you’d kept your big mouth shut, you could have attended just fine… but I guess that’d ruin your martyrdom-for-profit scam. I think you’re probably upset that you won’t get thrown out of Worldcon for breaching the CoC, which would have gotten you even more publicity.

      And again, even your fellow travelers don’t believe you any more. Sad!

      giggles, chortles, laughs

      Why do you continue to live in this socialist hellhole that believes in supporting poor and sick people, preserving what’s left of the environment, treating people of all ethnicities and sexualities equally and STILL managing to be the 6th largest economy in the world. Have you considered moving to a state where your politics would be welcomed? It’s not like authors have to live anywhere specific, and think of all the money you’d save on rent, gas, etc. I’m sure those places would welcome you with open arms and not discriminate at all against your Hispanicity with comments about walls and deportations and MAGA.

      Maybe they wouldn’t make fun of you like we do either.

      Like

  4. delagar

    If Jon really thinks his “blackballing” amounts to a civil rights issue, I encourage him to contact the ACLU.

    Otherwise, stop spreading this pissy little squawk all over the internet, please. People who have actually had their civil rights abrogated find your adolescent posturing tiresome.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Andy H.

    Now personally, I haven’t had any issues with Jon directly…

    Wasn’t he the one who accused you of being Mike Glyer in a rubber mask? Or am I conflating my puppies?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. yamamanama

    Is it just my imagination or is Jon Del Arroz one of those “authors” who is more famous for right-wing bloviating than any fiction they’ve written?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Jon Del Arroz

      You should stop talking smack about me on random websites, Paul. It’s a bad look and then when you complain about me responding you look foolish. Just a thought.

      Like

      • Bonnie McDaniel

        Oh, for frak’s sake, Jon. What part of “leave me alone and don’t talk to me” don’t you understand?

        Shit like this is the VERY reason you were banned from Worldcon. Yet you still don’t seem capable of learning. If I had been on the committee, I would have banned your harassing ass too.

        Liked by 4 people

  7. JJ

    I made no “threat”. I observed what anyone with an iota of sense and a knowledge of Worldcon could see — that your months-long harassment campaigns against a bunch of SFF authors, followed by your threats to show up at Worldcon and harass them some more, was going to get you banned. And lo and behold, that’s what happened. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see it coming.

    By the way, it’s clear that all those “threats” you’ve been complaining about actually boil down to one penis glitter confetti bomb. And no, that doctored e-mail you ginned up to try to make Mike Glyer look bad doesn’t count as a threat — but I imagine that the reporters you gave it to are going to be pretty angry when they figure out how you played them with a fraudulent screenshot.

    Your list of documented lies just keeps getting longer and longer. At this point, you’d be well-advised to follow The First Law of Holes.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lurkertype

      Oh please, if he was gonna follow the first law of holes, he’d have done it a year ago. He’s in too deep with this boneheaded performance art to stop now, even though his own side’s turning against his increasingly-lamer lies, and the other side’s laughing on the extremely rare occasions they remember he still exists.

      He’s just having a hissy fit that a private organization decided they didn’t want him at their gathering bothering their guests. Apparently only he’s allowed to have Constitutional rights. ::rolleyes::

      Bonus points for “penis glitter confetti bomb”, JJ. Missed ya.

      Liked by 1 person

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