In the course of investigating these claims and 'spooks', I am coming to
understand a bit about the folks that were spreading them.
The general case of "secrecy blight" I have run into takes several
1. They are assertive and allege
one or several fallacies (depending I assume on the length of time they have
been developing the story).
2. They retract a portion of the
statements made (sometimes through intermediaries); they tend to state
'misunderstanding' between you and they, or between you and the acolyte as a
cause for this issue. They may even apologize.
3. They become aggressive again,
denying that you have any right or knowledge to question their authority,
knowledge, experience and/or training.
4. They become quiet,
interspersed with denial of understanding (you apparently did not read what I
wrote, heard what I said, misconstrued the intent, etc.). You are told (at this
point) that you are insane, you are vindictive, you are 'out to get them'
personally, or you are denying them their right to practice BDSM as they saw fit
(a "Bozo no-no" in all communities and the last resort [patriotism, et
al] argument for themselves, their claims and their honesty).
5. They may bring in experts
(people who are spokesmen for the sham or tangentially do know about the 'life'
and the issues in it's history (one person insisted I speak with someone who
actually left in disgust when he realized he was being used for something other
than he supposed). These 'experts' (as mentioned) may be duped themselves into a
sense that they are straightening out an errant plebe, or, they may be touting
the 'company line' in adherence to their 'primaries' request.
Through this all, I was accused of demeaning the
"life", denigrating and distorting history, of exposing people's real
identities to the public (one declared I was exposing her and her associates
backgrounds including that of their offspring and family's names and addresses),
of violating the law (stealing ID's for fun and profit - they said they called
the federal authorities, I am still awaiting their arrival).
These charlatans are without shame or recourse in their
manners. They create a highly stylized demeanor and story, developed
especially for the medium and the people listening. They do not bring in many of
the experienced 'leathers' they bring in the fringe elements. People who are
disassociated from the mainstream, through their personal inadequacies in
socialization, or, through events that have led them to seek something
(anything?) to believe in at the moment they are 'brought into' one of these
'folds'. In seeking their identity they meet others who have identity to spare
and freely develop more (despite the fact that it is an assumed one). They
arbitrarily cut off 'acolytes' whose only crime is to question the veracity of
the poser. These people attack the 'friend' who challenges the
fallacies they are presented with, or who questions the motivations or
statements and claims that are too wild to be swallowed.
These are the people who suffer the most. The ones who
truly believed in someone. We
cannot forget them in our requirement for the truth. Many of these people
believe in the fakes no matter the retort or proof provided. No matter what
is told these loyal folks of the lies being fed them by spoonful by
ladle full, they refuse to recant their information. They stand by the person in
question despite any outcry from the community or friends. When the
perpetrator's lies are exposed for what they are, these folks (whose only crime
is believing in someone) may be destroyed in the process.
These modern 'Pied Pipers' are afraid of any 'light'
that might expose them, of minds that challenge their presumptuous natures, and
of anything that would destroy (however slightly) this 'house of cards' that
they have carefully built, renovated and added their own fanciful plumbing to.
We are at a cross roads in the history of the general
leather community. We have developed from a closeted existence, to 'Old Leather'
(Old Guard), to 'New Leather' (Nouveau Leather), to the 'electronic leather'
that has begotten a perverted population explosion of our minority larger than
anything seen in years previous. Organizations such as the NCSF and many local
and regional leather associations would not exist or be as vibrant without the
mediums of the electronic age.
And yet, it has also sewn the seeds for a reversal in
our determined future.
We are allowing people to demean us through their
self-aggrandizing behavior. As a generality the community respects and honors a
tradition of anonymity and privacy, and the web makes this all the more easily
to maintain. But, we are not policing ourselves through a regimented requisite
to question claims that many of us know to be false. Our gentility is the cause
of our suffering. We are allowing frauds and cheats to propagate through the
inaction of our silence and our requisite and inherent requirement to remain
aloofly indifferent to other people's words.
It is this indifference to the words, web sites, claims
and credibility that has allowed these people to distort and demean the history
that so many are trying to maintain and document, to live faithfully and
that we take pride in being a part of.
We cannot challenge them without a solid knowledge
base. And, the historical knowledge that is our communal heritage is being
distorted through these flights of fancy to the point where we, who
should know better, are being fooled as well.
instances, certain senior and respected members of the leather community are
allowing the "possibility" that these false claims might be
'real' and are not questioning them or talking to others to draw a
consensus against such pretenders. These doubts and inactions arise from the
thought that such rumors have existed for so long (of fabled houses and the
Old Guard) that there is a possibility . And, they conclude that it
is about time they met someone representative of these 'places' A sad twist.
Without our revered leaders and senior community
members speaking out, who will?