As I continue to write about the Cpl. Jim Brown investigations, and now the investigation(s) that will open up into Mr. Charles (if it/they have not already), I experience a lot of flash backs and nightmares that reveal to me that I am working through some aspects of my childhood sexual trauma. The situation I was in in my natal home runs exactly parallel to what Mr. Charles did to his own son. But I am also reading a lot of rather ironic twists unfurling into more and more unrelated conversations as a result of two simultaneous scapegoating campaigns: one targeting Jennifer (directed by Reive and a few others, but mostly Reive), and one targeting myself (directed by Jennifer). Chiefly, the panic wave these two started (with some enthusiastic help I’m sure neither of them were counting on), is now coming to bite them in the ass. I’d like to help that along a little bit by explaining the irony of the situation in this blog post.
Accusations of confidentiality violations abound. First, Jennifer was publicly accused of violating her promise of “confidentiality” to three people (in addition to “outing” them as perverts in the same gesture). While I don’t know exactly what transpired (because she has refused to come forward and be transparent about that), I do know that she could have phoned all three of them up at any time between the news media interviews she pursued as a top priority in her Jim Brown Is A Man Of Integrity® campaign; and instead chose only to phone them up after, presumably, RCMP appeared uninvited on her front door step (as they did mine), with threats of indefinite detention until she cooperates (they can actually do that, and it’s legal — though this is speculation, albeit better-informed speculation than anyone who hasn’t personally spoon-fed her son when he was a year old, as I did).
Next, Reive came forward with a series of details into his personal life, during a time when it intersected with Jennifer’s, to build a “case” for widespread perception that not only is she in a position to violate expectations of confidentiality (more on what exactly this means in a moment), but she has done so in the past. Repeatedly. Reive managed, fairly single-handedly, to band the entire community together to essentially ostracise Jennifer*. It’s not unlike people chasing someone out of their village with pitchforks and torches; or even unlike ancient Jews placing their hands upon the sacrificial goat on the Day of Atonement, and driving it out (with all of their misdeeds spiritually bound to it) of the forest to die in the desert during the Exodus. I’m a writer, I tend to be a bit poetic like that from time to time. Jennifer, if you’re reading this, yes, I did just compare you to a goat everyone puts their unwashed hands all over.
* Update: It has become fairly apparent to me that despite sharing a great deal of personal information about his history with Jennifer, Reive may actually have not intended to direct an “ostracise Jennifer” campaign. Of course, with ambitious and enthusiastic help from someone with an axe to grind (who also has a serious case of Tunnel Vision® and refuses to engage with any reason to believe Jennifer put herself in a vulnerable position by getting so publicly involved in this), the apparent ostracism is the result anyway: someone else has literally suggested arranging a (presumably angry) Town Hall meeting to put this into effect.
Then I started getting emails about Jennifer trying to use my blog posts to “build a case” for public accusations that I’m the one who handed information on three people over to the RCMP. For the record, I still don’t have any personal contact information for the first two (only one of whom which I am actually cognizant of a real first name), and only since receiving a phone call from the third (who I refer to as Mr. Charles), do I have his phone number. I still don’t have even the slightest idea why the contact information for the first two people was handed over to RCMP. But now, either a majority of people have become extremely confused (conversations online revealing of just how confused most people are); or they fail to understand, even in principle, that I acquired the photos I’ve used in my blog posts by going to the video archives on a national news source website and taking a screen shot from one of the multiple airings of the same story (which was broadcast nationally, multiple times daily, on multiple news sources, for multiple consecutive days). I don’t know what privacy — let alone confidentiality — a majority of people in Vancouver kink think I personally have violated. Anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can watch those photos flicker by, just as I did the night the story first aired on the news, and take a screen shot and re-post anywhere they please. In fact, at this point, I encourage it as a teaching point.
What everyone seems to be missing in all this flinging of red herrings is that someone else violated (actual) confidentiality. Multiple times. His name is Jim Brown, and he’s the RCMP officer whose public exposure as a pervert on national news started this entire conflict. If he hadn’t violated my confidentiality by going into the RCMP database and looking me up without even telling me he was going to do so until after he was finished, I wouldn’t have had much to say about what a man of integrity he is not. If he hadn’t violated the confidentiality of a man who has no criminal record, but who was stalking me using his cell phone, I would have had even less to say about where he crossed the line as an RCMP officer. And if he hadn’t violated the confidentiality of a man who does have a criminal record, after I met him just once, I’d have even less to talk about. And the irony of it all? He refuses to violate the confidentiality of critical Pickton witness Ross Caldwell, who corroborated testimony of a witness authorities suddenly stopped cooperating with months earlier, in 1999 — nearly three full years before police finally arrested Pickton (on my oldest sister’s birthday, even). Three years during which women, including the half-sister of the man who told me to tune into the news the night the photos aired, continued to disappear while police did nothing to stop it.
Update: Brown has come forward with details of his involvement in the investigation. A relevant section of a civil claim for libel (in which Brown airs the factually accurate details of his involvement in order to demonstrate that he was indeed libeled) is quoted in this entry.
We should expect confidentiality when we phone the police or RCMP. I have nothing to hide, really, so in 2008, when Cpl. Jim Brown started looking up my information and telling me all about it later, I didn’t think of it at the time as a big deal. When he told me all about the files of those two men, I thought it was hilarious, even though it made my skin crawl. But something about it stuck in the back of my head all these years, because something about it just wasn’t quite right. What if I had children or a partner who wasn’t aware of what I was doing with my spare time? What if I had a criminal record I wasn’t telling anyone about? This is how people get blackmailed. And when I posted that first blog post and saw the RCMP watching it in my referrers list, I nearly shat my pants (metaphorically speaking). I didn’t know just how serious these transgressions were until two RCMP officers were at my door two weeks later, to ask me a series of questions probing into everything I could remember about events like the times he told me about the content of those confidential police files (among many other things, while virtually no questions were ever asked about consensual kink in a public space, despite that event being part of my writing too).
I shouldn’t know about what the RCMP really think of me, from events going back as far as 2006 (or possibly even later than that, for all I know). Their files are confidential. The way that whatever a client says to their lawyer (except for legitimately serious and specific threats against the safety of another person) is confidential. The same way that whatever a patient discloses to their psychiatrist, therapist, psychologist, dentist, or medical doctor (again, except for legitimately serious and specific threats against the safety of another person), is confidential. The same way that whatever I disclose to a social worker is confidential. What I’m getting at here is that word means something: actual serious legal consequences (as we are seeing in the case of Cpl. Jim Brown being investigated) for violating another person’s confidentiality. We don’t have a reason to expect this from someone who runs a sex club, a kink event, or a digital camera. Although it would be awfully generous of them to offer that, there is no legal obligation to uphold it. This is especially true when there are multiple criminal investigations involved. Even more so where the lives of children intersect.
Your best defence against having your privacy violated is to just not get involved, and if you feel compelled to, keep as much of your personal life out of it as you possibly can. That means not doing things like posing for staged photos that resemble a Pickton murder, then posting them all over the internet for your friends to see how “artistic” your tastes in “erotica” are — not telling anyone your last name and keeping this community away from your home and your children is yet another way to protect yourself (the value of which cannot be understated).
Think For Yourself And Wake Up
I know a lot of people are speculating right now about why I keep writing — what am I getting out of this? Well, I keep writing because I am motivated to incite people to speaking about things they have been silenced about for far too long. I keep writing because the RCMP showed up at my door two weeks after I posted the first entry on this issue, or I would have left it there and just not taken a look at what’s going on in the Vancouver kink community. I keep writing because I’m directly involved, and though the thought police are on patrol, they can’t change or negate the fact that my investment in this issue is a product of my involvement in it. I don’t care if I’m ostracised or black-listed for doing so. I keep writing because I have nothing to lose.
What people should be speculating about right now is what everyone else involved has to gain by continuing to scapegoat and smear. Are the people who are leading these conversations (simultaneous campaigns of both condemnation for one person and redemption for another) running events* on the hard-earned dollars of those who are following their every word? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to open your eyes and take notice that they are invested in this issue because they want your money in their coffers. If your answer is no, see the next paragraph.
* Update: I want to be completely clear here, so there is no mistake, since it has become apparent to me that what I’ve said is just vague enough to cause a problem in perception — a person who categorically condemns one person while categorically denying any fault on the part of another, all while refusing to own the shit they added to the pile, is manipulating people for their cash. It’s a completely different story when someone is both honest and self-accountable, while relaying information that exposes the vulnerabilities of multiple people (themselves included).
Are the people who are leading or steering these conversations into Tunnel Vision® merely attendees or (past/present) volunteers of those events, rather than organizers or business partners? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to stop and think about what they are trying to hide by distracting you with their red herrings. That is the only legitimate reason they could be so invested in something they clearly know fuck-all about. If your answer is no to this one too, see below.
Those of us remaining after those questions have been asked are invested in this issue because we want justice. We aren’t just doing all of this writing in conversations on the issue (or blogging) merely for attention — for fuck’s sake, I’m an introvert and I live on a fixed income like a textbook shut-in. How else do you think I have all this time to spend writing and thinking so much? I’m not even paid for all this writing. And I’m not the only one who is directly involved, whose lifestyle and available energy is similarly classifiable.