June 8, 2016
Last week we completed our investigation into consent allegations involving Max and notified him of the outcome. As we always do when we make a major HR decision, we want to share some thoughts with you.
When we began our investigation in late March of this year, we sent you a message letting you know what was going on. That message was quickly forwarded outside SA, which is fine—we don’t expect that anything sent to over a hundred people will be confidential. As the message travelled further from our shores, however, we were disappointed to see it being used against Max in ways that we don’t consider appropriate or constructive.
We don’t want that to happen again, so we are making this message public in an effort to prevent the spread of misinformation.
You have seen the open letter we wrote to Max—we don’t have anything to add to it.
We want to stress that we make no recommendations about how other people or organizations should engage with Max. That includes you—If you choose to socialize, play, or collaborate with Max in any way, do so with our blessing. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: as a matter of basic policy, SA does not hold grudges and we do not conduct or condone vendettas. Don’t ever shun anyone on SA’s behalf.
No matter what, please don’t be unkind to Max. He is a dear friend to many of us and a real human being who has suffered tremendously through this process.
We aren’t looking forward to it, but some amount of drama surrounding a high profile consent case like this one is inevitable.
It is entirely possible that a few people may direct retaliatory allegations at Suspended Animation or other regional bondage instructors. We will engage with those accusations in good faith and we will assume that everyone who approaches us is acting in good faith until they prove otherwise.
Suspended Animation has dealt with adversity before, and we will endeavor to handle this the way we always do: with grace, good faith, and focus on our core mission.
It is a credit to the Seattle kink community that this issue has so far generated very little conflict. We’d love to see that continue, and encourage you to be thoughtful about if and how you discuss this, especially on social media.
Remember that there are people of good faith who disagree with how Suspended Animation and other organizations are handling this. As we struggle to navigate through difficult and largely uncharted waters, disagreements are inevitable. The most productive path forward may be to respectfully listen, learn, and politely agree to disagree.
Please be thoughtful and kind, and endeavor to de-escalate rather than fanning the flames.
Zang and Tornus
This letter is accompanied by an open letter to Max.