I know it was you, Fredo

I always knew that John Scalzi was primarily responsible for the SFWA “expulsion”*, but I didn’t realize that I had proof of it sitting right in front of me the entire time. Consider this statement from page 23 of “Evidence regarding the complaints made against Theodore Beale, Report to the Board of Directors of SFWA”, dated July 1, 2013.

Most prominently, an outgoing Board Member indicated that he intended to let his membership lapse until Beale was no longer a member: “My membership is due and I can’t in good conscience renew it until SFWA finds the means or moral backbone or whatever’s ultimately required to expel someone as hateful and wilfully destructive as Beale—notjust from the organisation but from the culture present within it.”

And from Twitter less than two hours after I announced the Board’s action against “an unidentified member”:

John Scalzi @scalzi
I just renewed my @sfwa membership!
2:18 PM – 14 Aug 2013

P Nielsen Hayden ‏@pnh Aug 14
@scalzi So did I! What a coincidence! @sfwa

Now, you might rightly say that these remarks by the outgoing president of the organization and the most influential member of the organization (Patrick Nielsen Hayden is a Senior Editor at the largest SF publishing house and gives his address in the SFWA membership directory as the Tor Books address on Fifth Avenue in New York City), are merely circumstantial evidence. And that would seem be true, since there were five outgoing SFWA Board Members in 2013. However, only two of those outgoing members were male. Compare the two successive lists of Board Members from the 2013 SFW Directory.

Board Members beginning July 1st, 2013
Steven Gould, President
Cat Rambo, Vice-President
Susan Forest, Secretary
Bud Sparhawk, Treasurer
Sarah Pinsker, Eastern Regional Director
Lee Martindale, South-Central Director
Jim Fiscus, Western Regional Director
Tansy Rayner Roberts, Overseas Director
Matthew Johnson, Canadian Director

Board Members through June 30th, 2013
John Scalzi, President
Rachel Swirsky, Vice-President
Ann Leckie, Secretary
Bud Sparhawk, Treasurer
Catherynne Valente, Eastern Regional Director
Lee Martindale, South-Central Director
Jim Fiscus, Western Regional Director
Sean Williams, Overseas Director
Matthew Johnson, Canadian Director

So, we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that either Sean Williams or John Scalzi was responsible for threatening to quit the organization if I was not purged from it, and that John Scalzi did let his membership lapse precisely as the “outgoing Board Member” threatened to do. We observe that the outgoing Board Member is not a particularly coherent writer. And we also know that John Scalzi has evinced considerably more interest in my career over the last 10 years than Sean Williams, who lives in Australia and has hitherto exhibited no signs of even knowing that I exist.

But although that is sufficient evidence to surmount the standard of reasonable doubt, it is not absolute proof of Mr. Scalzi’s guilt, since it is remotely possible that both outgoing Board Members happened to let their memberships lapse at the same time for different reasons. Therefore, in the interest of historical accuracy, I have contacted Mr. Williams and asked him to either confirm or deny responsibility for the statement quoted.

While we’re on the subject, it is interesting to compare the list of 2012-2013 Board Members to the recent list of Hugo and Nebula winners. Note that last year’s Novelette winner, Mary Robinette Kowal, was previously SFWA’s Secretary and Vice-President. Perhaps award-watchers should keep an eye out for Mr. Gould, Ms Rambo, and Ms Forest inexplicably outperforming in 2015 and 2016.

* Assuming that it was, in fact, a genuine purge. More than one lawyer has looked at the case and informed me that I am still a member in good standing of SFWA despite the public pretensions of the SFWA Board. There was never a vote of the entire membership, which under Massachusetts law, is clearly required to expel a member. This is why I have not filed a lawsuit; I have no damages of which to complain. The “expulsion” was a legal charade concocted to placate certain elements of the membership, as the bylaws under which I was “expelled” did not come into force until 15 May, 2014, ten months after SFWA’s announcement of an SFWA Board vote on 14 August, 2013.

Notice that SFWA has never officially announced my expulsion. That’s because it never took place. They informed me privately of the Board vote for my expulsion, which was true, but they could not announce my expulsion publicly because “the Board’s decision” was not, in August 2013, sufficient to actually expel a member. Note in particular the reference to “ the existing Massachusetts By-Laws” in the 2013 announcement.

Title XXII, Chapter 180, Section 18: No member of such corporation shall be expelled by vote of
less than a majority of all the members thereof, nor by vote of less
than three quarters of the members present and voting upon such