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September 30, 2011

First they came for the kobolds

It isn't that Dragon*Con founder Ed Kramer has allegedly been molesting children for decades, for him the justice system will run its course. It is that so many people for so long knew exactly what was going on and said nothing for fear of losing their vendor's booths (via Five Feet of Fury).

If this seems hard to fathom, you have to understand how the fandom industry works — and how lucrative it is. Long forgotten sci-fi authors who toiled away in obscurity can achieve new popularity and legitimacy just by being included in the program.

Objection: Armored Facilities Manager writes.

I have to take some exception that _everyone_knew_ all along and didn't say anything. I say this because I was in the gaming organization, DAGR, that Ed started and ran for years prior to Dragon Con and I knew Ed for years while I was in middle and high school.

The creepy factor was not obvious and in many cases the accusations seemed VERY much the case of it looks like this and so it MUST be the worst conclusion possible. Given how interpersonal-politics in business between people works and how a nominally innocent situation could be readily construed, it was the sort of thing I questioned for years when I did hear the accusations because, again, I was in the same circles and had not come to the same conclusions nor seen any convincing evidence. Just accusations that seemed spiteful from start to finish.

As Nancy states, the more blatant behavior started later but the early accusations on such tenuous evidence helped me to discount the accusations.

In retrospect, with victim testimony and corroboration, Ed's behavior was execrable, there's no doubt about that. But if I assumed that every instance of people having arrived freshly showered equated to them just having been In flagrante delicto, then EVERYONE was having some sort of salacious activity and that was simply not what I saw or thought what was obvious.

Put another way, folks would borrow showers in a hotel room because many were either short of funds to actually get their own hotel room or they were just unavailable, so using a shower or getting an offer of one was a boon (little used enough by some sadly). I myself surfed a room or two at the con when in High School (Late 80s). Some argue that the folks who don't take the time to get a shower is often an issue.

Some of my unsettled response to the "Everyone knew!" attitudes after the fact is that it bears a remarkable resemblance to the sudden and dramatic agreement after accusations of witch-craft, or similar, by a gaggle of people all too willing to confirm what everyone knew. I even saw the example that Joe Christ cites at Goth-Con and frankly, I didn't jump to the same conclusions.

I have to take some exception to the above articles salacious terminology and ridicule of the sci-fi community. It's ill mannered and ill conceived. More so the idea that Ed held the power of god over everyone. Given how much of Dragon Con is entirely run by volunteers who have ZERO financial stake in the convention itself, it stands to reason that someone who saw the obvious would have raised a flag if it was in fact that obvious.

Having been of 'that age' around Ed and having no inappropriate conduct at all ever from him aside from kindness and courtesy it was hard for me to believe or credit the accusations whispered by various people.

Hindsight is 20/20. Jumping to the obvious conclusion that everyone should have known all along is a poor logic.

Again, as it became clear the whispered accusations were in fact true, I found myself disappointed in a man that I thought was an ok fellow. whispered accusations were in fact true, I found myself disappointed in a man that I thought was an ok fellow.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 30, 2011 08:54 AM