I receive some answers to my questions concerning the mysterious “SFWA confidentiality rules” from an SFWA officer:
1. Can you please inform me where in the bylaws these “confidentiality rules” can be found?
“This report contains posts from online Forums, and private emails sent to the Board in conjunction with the investigation. Just as our Member Discussion Forums and our printed Directory and The Forum are subject to Board policies regarding limited access, so is this report, both for your own protection and for others.”
2. Is it a violation of “SFWA confidentiality rules” to provide a copy of the report to my attorney?
So, let’s summarize:
1. The SFWA Board has openly and admittedly violated the clearly posted SFWA forum confidentiality rules by reposting material from the SFWA discussions forums outside those forums without the explicit permission of me, and presumably, other members.
2. The SFWA Board appears to have invented some imaginary “confidentiality rules” and appealed to them in an attempt to keep its admittedly one-sided “investigative report” from being released to the membership and the public.
3. According to one SFWA officer, these nonexistent confidentiality rules permit the release of the report to non-SFWA members, including, but not necessarily limited to, my attorney, contra the claim of another SFWA officer.
4. The SFWA Board has intentionally misconstrued the SFWA forum confidentiality rules, by claiming “the report contains material from the SFWA Discussion Forums which therefore may not be distributed outside of SFWA”.
This last claim is obviously and knowingly false, as the confidentiality rule is posted right on the front page of the forum and states: “The SFWA discussion forums are for SFWA members only, and all posts made
here are confidential. Material may not be re-posted outside these
forums without the explicit permission of their authors.” Emphasis added. Note that there is no special exception for the Board.
Since the Board has already broken discussion forum confidentiality by distributing material from the forums outside them, and since the SFWA officer responsible for the investigation subsequently informed me that the report “may not be distributed outside of SFWA”, I will provide a copy of the investigative report to any SFWA member who emails me to request one. In light of the remote, but still extant possibility that the double-secret “SFWA confidentiality rules” relating to the release of the report to non-members will magically appear, I will refrain from making it available to the public for the time being.
In addition to the SFWA Board’s violation of existing rules and invention of nonexistent ones, if there is any doubt the process is a farce designed to give cover to their true object, consider the following answer to another question:
5. There are specific claims concerning [REDACTED]. Why was I not provided with the evidence supporting those claims? The appendix included no copies of [REDACTED].
These are listed for context and the Board will be considering these, but they are irrelevant to the substance of the complaint and shared in confidence with the Board.
So, we are told, the Board will be considering things that are irrelevant to the substance of “the complaint”, which is the same thing as “the investigative report” even though, according to the protocols, the report is supposed to be “comprehensive”. As I expect will soon be readily apparent to even the most unsympathetic SFWA reviewer, it is far from comprehensive and is strictly prosecutorial. And I am warned that if I subsequently proceed to release the report to the public and thereby violate the nonexistent “SFWA confidentiality rules”, that will be held against me.
“Pelase be advised that such an action will be added to the material of
the complaint and considered by the Board in its deliberations.” [sic]
As I noted yesterday, what we’re seeing from the SFWA is a petty version of the same tactic one can observe being utilized by various governments and agencies. Just as the police in Arlington, Massachusetts attempted to secure permission for a “voluntary walk-through” before finally breaking in and doing what they intended to do from the start, the SFWA Board is appears to be trying to provide cover for its predetermined actions in order to avoid alarming the rest of the membership and alerting them to the fact that any of them can be expelled for any reasons that happens to suit eight members of the current Board at the moment.
This charade of due process is only being played out to conceal the fact that, thanks to the revision of the SFWA bylaws, a united Board can quite legitimately expel any member for anything, including their appearance or their opinions. This is the leftist’s dream structure, in which the only limits on the actions of the ruling body are its own self-imposed restrictions that can be ignored at will.
The curtain has gone up. The lights will soon be shining bright. Enjoy the play.