Pastor Crudmonger’s Church of Light. “The Hope Of Understanding.”

Hello, fellow light-bearers. I stand here today before you as your humble servant. It has been a rough and difficult week or so here in the comic industry in the Midwest, has it not? Many of you out there have not been subjected to this, and you could be grateful if it wasn’t such a disaster, and such a lesson to be learned.

Many of you out there are reading of these deplorable incidents and wagging your sad little fingers saying “tisk tisk!” And the few of you out there, the ones who have read about this, or even involved in this, and are seeking understanding, you are the true independent thinkers, and in this industry, as well as any other art form, it is important to be able to think for yourself.

I apologize if this sermon is a long one. I also apologize for our timing in starting this site just as this scandal was breaking, but perhaps it is for the best. Perhaps timing really is everything.

Perhaps it is time that people woke up and grabbed their own lanterns and started shining light into the dismal dark corners of this, this wretchedness that pervades in our market, in our house, in our very church. We are here, not as sad unthinking sheep, but as truth sayers. Our quest to entertain others has become hindered, bewildered, abused, and RAPED around us. Yes, I used the “R” word because what has happened has sickened me to the bone, as it should any other light bearer, any other free thinker, anyone with enough self-confidence, passion, sense of ethics and sheer will to be in this business. This business that has now been raped of some possible talent, some genuine artistic viewpoints seeking refuge in an art form they like, only to be traumatized and tossed in the wastebasket like a tissue filled with snot.

We all know this is not a big business. We all know that it is a shrinking business, but one with infinite potential. Sometimes, we all know each other…or really,… seriously, DO WE??

Reading these last few weeks about this “Do Better” situation, pondering it as we all must, hopefully from a viewpoint of seeking truth, hopefully with a lantern in hand shining light, as opposed of having light shined upon us, we all seek for an understanding. We can’t turn away anymore. We sit there in front of our computer screens and we shake our heads and ask all of the simple questions: What? Why? How? When? And the answers are all there, right in front of you and I hope you have the honesty, you have the courage, and you have the independent thinking enough to grasp it.

These accounts that come forward are not done easily. These women are embarrassed, sickened, traumatized, to the point where they had to cower deeper into the darker corners of their souls. Hopefully, they have sought help, had time to reflect and heal, arrange their thoughts, scattered and shaken by what I would imagine can only be described as pure evil. One account could be easily dismissed as a #MeToo wackadoo, two accounts might be chalked off as coincidence, three accounts? THREE ACCOUNTS ALL ECHOING THE SAME BEHAVIOR?!? That my fellow light bears is what they call a “trend”. And I believe that trend is going to bring forth other brave souls, all traumatized, all mentally and financially abused, all leading back to one person.

Now here’s the truth; all leading back to one “cult leader”.

A cult is defined as “a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its modern interest in a particular personality, object or goal.”

Visibly it all started with one little tome, one diatribe, one manifesto that seemed to want to help. A handy guidebook to get you into our wonderful industry. A helping hand from someone who on the surface seems to be genuinely caring, someone who wants to help you, someone who had inroads into this industry that wanted to give you a hand up. Little did you know that it was the call of a howling wolf looking to prey under that half-hidden face. Did you bother to look beyond the kind face, the slick hair, the silver, sugar-coated tongue? I’m sure the abused were unsuspecting, that silver tongue bending their mind back onto itself to think maybe it was them because after all, they didn’t do anything without permission, right?

That’s how cults start you know. Someone out there seeking to help people who are looking for truth and guidance. They take you in then with their silver tongue they hook you. With their con-man ways they have you do things that maybe you don’t necessarily want to do, or they prey upon your emotions, your ambitions, your weaknesses because that’s what good cult leaders do. They take you, they mold you when you’re not looking, they hook you, then they use you until you can’t be used anymore. And then, in the end, they likely discard you. It’s there, it’s a simple truth if only you look, and more and more people are seeing it every day,

Oh, if the cult leader is caught they’ll apologize. IF caught, absolutely! They’re sorry but, guess what? They weren’t really the ones at fault here, it was all those pieces of clay. It was all their fault! Read up on Charles Manson, read up on David Koresh, read up on Jim Jones, and then think, please think for yourself, but think about the microcosm that is the comics business.

They’ll apologize again, perhaps even more personal this time, and, like stepping through a minefield, carefully choosing their words because they are supposed to be a writer, after all, weeding out the free thinkers and keeping the pliable sheep under his wing to further mold. That’s what cult leaders do. But there’s no conscience at work here, no remorse, no offer of recompense or penance. Just a going on of the daily affairs with an “I’m sorry, I’m SO sorry”. with a deep need to step around the corner so that they can laugh hilariously at your gullibility.

New age wispy words, about as direct and succinct as your daily horoscope, so that you can apply it directly to your life and “feel”, feel almost as if they’re talking to you, almost as if they cared. In actuality, they’re still looking to abuse. Nothing sincere Is said or done. It’s the mind of a sociopath, constantly looking for the next thrill, the next notch in their bedpost, the next chalk line in his private count. Being cute suave, and a smooth operator is all part of the GAME, And to the mind of the predator, the cult leader, it is NOTHING but a game. Acquiring love and admiration, getting a freeway or a free feel like collecting monopoly money, all the game.

Think for a minute. Stop and reflect on what I’m about to tell you. I’m sure you will come to the same realization as I have. The tome was part of the game, part of the attraction. The game was to abuse, however, abuse could be done, alone or with others to help, until they couldn’t use anymore, or until another bright shiny target appeared on their horizon, then the prey is discarded, like that filled up tissue I mentioned before, while the new target or targets are acquired.

It’s all been a game. The fake name, the fake persona, the fake caring personality, the half-hidden face, the smooth, smooth words, the winking at the camera as if a secret symbol of conquest, all in a thrilling game of abuse. And of course, it might not be sexual abuse, that’s not part of the game is it? You look at these accounts and say “oh it wasn’t sexual”, or “That he didn’t do anything they didn’t approve of”. But really? Isn’t a smooth tongue like Rohypnol after all? Isn’t preying on emotions, and praying on pocketbooks abuse?? If you don’t see that as abuse, then like I said in my first sermon you need to go back home to your parents and learn a little empathy. You also need to get out of our house, out of our industry, and get some god damn counseling!!!

All these floodgates opened, the scabs were ripped off from this “Do Better” post. This call to “toxic” men and bow in the wake of who, really? Was it really a call to empathy as much as a call to worship? Remember sociopaths have no conscience, but they’re always looking for the next thrill. Was this a dare? Was the poster feeling invulnerable and thus sending out another cattle call for possible more lumps of clay to mold? Could this have been a sad miscalculation when moving the next piece up the board on the game? You decide. I’m not here to think for you, just shine a little light.

But maybe for you, apologies are enough. The sweet talk that things can be fine again, that these accusers are somehow totally wrong in their perception of abuse. Maybe the predator is really some saintly being, persecuted and pointed at as a target. Maybe he’s been ridiculed enough and he can just go on peachy squeaky clean in this industry. I think we’ve just shown the light in his corner. I also think we need to make this industry respectable again.

When this started I had no idea of the 2012 article accusing this predator of using the term “fake geek girl”. The sugar smooth apology sure worked well back then! No penance needed!! In the meantime, others who use that phrase were trolled and doxed. Kept out of the industry and forced to fend for themselves and align themselves with others who were like likewise trolled and doxed over the years, solely for admitting that they voted the wrong way. We don’t need to talk about those people, because those people seem to be doing just fine.

Think of the timing of this “Do Better” post. Posted shortly before a major hometown convention. Coincidence? Or cattle call howling for more lumps of clay because the current ones have become a little dingy, maybe about to be discarded? Perhaps the thought was “The game is afoot” to this predator thrill seeker who now finds a foot or three, or more, stepping on his throat.

I’m not here to play games. I’m not here to smooth talk you into anything, and I don’t even want you to have the impression that I am. I want you to think for yourself. I want you to have some empathy, some consideration, some ethics, and without sounding too preachy a little morals and respectability when it comes to this industry. I want you to bear some light, and be the light out to everyone to show people how bright, how much FUN this industry can, should, and with your help will be.

Let’s all get past this. Let’s all keep shining and push those that are pure evil away from us and out of this industry. Let’s get them some counseling, get them some help, and get them the f*** out of my sight! And when things calm down maybe all personally reflect on our actions, on our beliefs, and in the future, who you want to put up on a pedestal. May it make us all better people and may it make our industry better, cuz if not we’re going to end up in a dimly lit corner, gossiping to each other, trolling for The change we should fight for, and the industry and the livelihoods and the passions we so desperately, desperately want to have.

I long for the day when being anonymous on this site isn’t necessary. I long for the day when we can all stand in the sunshine and not have to talk about abuse, no matter what form it takes. I long for the day when we can be proud in this industry again.

Please go forth and shine.

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