July 2014 http://falsemachine.blogspot.com/2014/07/zak-smith-is-not-homophobe.html
February 2017 http://falsemachine.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-timeline-of-zak-wars.html
September 2017 http://falsemachine.blogspot.com/2017/09/fuck-all-of-you.html
February 2019 http://falsemachine.blogspot.com/2019/02/you-should-read-this.html ]
This is my attempt to put together a timeline of the case against Zak Smith/Sabbath. I tried to do so, where possible, using only verifiable links that are publicly available for anyone to access.
it should be noted (as a quick google of my name will confirm) that I am financially (through Maze of the Blue Medusa) and socially connected to Zak, so you should read with that in mind.
(Also, apologies to anyone sane from outside the culture that has to read through this.)
October 15th 2008 – Zak Starts His Blog
The Long Build Up/The Sex Wars
Feb 2010 to Dec 2013
February 2010 – The Canon Puncture Incident
February 11th 2011 – The Hyung Tae Kim Incident
I've been asked to point out that Zak wasn't invited into this thread, he just turned up, which is true, he hasn't been invited into any of these threads, but neither has anyone else? They are almost all public posts or they wouldn't be available to link here. This has been described as a scary incident to me.
Well, take a look for yourself.
December 2011 – The Maxim Article
February 2012 – 'Confessions of a Dungeon Master' thread on Storygames,
February 29th 2012 – Zak Encounters Somethingawful
April 2012 – Zak Banned from Story-Games.com
September 27th 2012 – The Math Skills Fight on Somethingawful
August 3rd 2013 – The Numenera Succubus Incident
August 5th 2013 – Zak Banned from RPG.NETThe succubus thread is what finally gets Zak permanently banned from rpg.net. You can read the exact wording of the ban here;
He's banned by Ettin, which is a name you will see several more times in this chronology.
It's interesting at this point to take a look at the different viewpoints. Here is part of the argument for the ban;
"You serially derail sexism threads with bad-faith arguments. You insist that nobody can ever make generalizations about anything ever (even when they're not), then post generalizations. You pull out arguments that boil down to "words don't mean things" like that's ever been constructive outside the philosophy forum. You're passive-aggressive and occasionally condescending, you post anecdotes as facts, you tell people that things can't be sexist because you know ~females~ who would disagree. You're convinced that you're always right and refuse to consider otherwise, or at least that's the only explanation I can think of for why you keep making up strawmen to dismiss people who disagree with you (cf. the pass-agg "stop assuming all women are alike!" business, asserting that feminist game bloggers and others who disagree with you must be "conservative", every time you say "Tipper Gore" ever). You don't take anything that isn't agreement for an answer, and will argue in circles about it instead of making the positive contributions you could be until you get bored or someone makes you stop."
And here, from the ban itself, is the mods example of Zak doing this;
"Nobody does this research or even seems to ask for it. And they should.
That this idea is going to turn away more women than it brings in has no experimental evidence behind it.
That this idea is going to make folks' attitudes towards women worse has no experimental evidence behind it.
So if your only case against the trope is Monte is being accidentally sexist (via effect) it's pretty much accusing someone of sexism with no evidence.
The idea that this is even a sexist trope in Monte's hands is based on claims it will have a sexist effect. It requires them to be true. It doesn't seem fair or right to do that in absence of anybody trying to test it.
Me, here's who I can test: 2000 blog readers and G+ people. 4 figures of "I Hit It With My Axe" fans on Facebook. Mandy's fans which are like in the 5 figures. We ask what keeps women from gaming: The data we get has nothing to do with content and everything to do with a social environment of weird controlling nerd boys.
But, hey, that's a biased sample
Somebody do some research, rather than assuming all women are like the ones in your environment.
The closest thing we have in terms of experimental data on anything moving the needle of gaming concerning women is the advent of Vampire which proves:
Tim Truman illustrations of sexy vampires --male and female--attract female gamers, a lot of whom want to dress like them.
Folks who run conventions and publishing companies and forums should try to do a better job by publishers, designers and women by actually basing claims about what is and isn't bad for the community on testing stuff."
August 5th 2013 – Zaks 'open letter' to rpg.netIn response to this perma-ban, Zak posts an 'open letter to the managers of rpg.net;
This is also the first time I recall hearing the name Shannon Appelcline in this history. It will come up again in Febuary 2017. You will see that below.
December 16th 2013 – The James Desborough Rape Threat Accusation
Desborough has been involved in culture-war arguments with this faction for some time and, in my opinion, persistently trolls them. The verbal violence between these groups is intense. Just google "james desborough in defence of rape" or any combination of those words to take a look at the shitstorm.
Now Jon didn't name names, because he "doesn't want a witchhunt". Which is respectable. But I'm not Jon and I do think the RPG community as a whole deserves an apology from every single one of these people for confusing and distorting a very real and very serious issue of real violence that actually affects peoples' lives.”
Many of the people on this list appear elsewhere in this chronology, almost always as opponents of Zak I think. I can't really point out who because, like I said, its alleged to be an act of harassment or directing harassment towards those parties so if I repeat the same names then this chronology also becomes harassment.
December 17th 2013 – Paul Ettin Recommends plussing the Rape Threat Post
Act Two. The Summer of Hate
July 2014 to August 2014
As soon as it came out that Zak and Pundit were consultants on 5e, the attacks, accusations and counter-accusations come in thick and fast. This is a very short period of great intensity.
July 3rd 2014 – D&D 5e Released
July 4th 2014 – Ettin Admits Trolling
July 6th 2014 – Eric Haddock Asks For Evidence on G+
This is one of your tactics. You ask others to present evidence so you can play your lawyer roleplaying game. You have no actual interest in evaluating your actions or your impact. You are resolutely convinced you cannot possibly be wrong.
You are telling me what I need to know here. You don't acknowledge the harm you've caused, nor your capacity to cause it. Anyone who claims you've harmed them is Swine (or a liar, or worse). I am disinclined to spend any more time on this, since it is clear you've made your choice to stand on the treacherous ground of your own making.
As for being discredited... I think not. Your refusal to give even the slightest ground, to acknowledge even the minimal amount of flaw or fault, delineates your narcissistic arrogance in clear, bold colors.
There was an opportunity here, Zak. You pissed it away. You've discredited yourself, sir.
My credit will remain intact, thanks."
July 7th 2014 – My Defence of Zak
July 7th 2014 – The Pigfucker Post
July 9th 2014 – The “The Internet is Screaming” Post
So, I've spent a few hours doing as much research as I can, and I've talked to folks some more.
I'm not going to equivocate. People made accusations against you without proof, the accusations got amplified and distorted and repeated through the Telephone Game effect, and I bought into it when I shouldn't have.
I don't think anyone I talked to privately is intentionally lying about this. I think they believe it. But perceptions color memories, as does hearing the same event discussed by multiple people, and some of things look a bit stretched by this point. I can't base an opinion on stretchy-looking facts."
The whole thing is quite interesting and you can find it here;
Zeea then (according to this post) retracts their statement based on the 'outing' controversy of July 26th (see below).
July 2014 – The David Hill Death Threats
July 19th 2014 – The Scrap Princess Defence
July 21st 2014 – Fred Hicks Weighs In
July 26th 2014 – The ‘Outing’ Incident
Going forward, this incident forms one of the core pieces of evidence against Zak in future arguments. If you read someone saying that he outs trans people as a form of retaliation or revenge it is probably referring to this incident.
The case against is I think that Zak knew this person was trans and linked two of their names to out them.
The case for the defence is that Zak and Mandy had argued with this person many times, knowing them only by non-gendered internet handles,and had no idea what gender they were, or that the handles referred to identities with different genders, when the two names were linked.
July 31st 2014 – The Failforward Article
July 31st 2014 – The First Dongion Accusation
This tumblr reblog of the failforward article is the earliest I have been able to find that links the Dongion blog to Zak. It also links the Dongion to the Outing Incident.
August 2014 – “Get at him” Screencap
August 2014 – “Destroy” Screencap
August 2014 – Zaks Response To The Failforward Article
Act Three; The Small Wars
January 2015 to August 2016
Inexact Date but probably Jan 2015 – The Ettin Dongion Accusation
January 1st 2015 – Mandys Chainmail Bikini Feminist Defence
March 10th 2015 – Anna Krieder Posts Her History With Zak
It's quite interesting and I recommend going through it if you have the time and if you want to see the whole fucking cavalcade through the eyes of someone on the opposite side. It's almost like the mirror/antiverse version of this post with many of the same events from an entirely different perspective.
Amongst other things it locates their first contact in January 2011 and the the opening of hostilities to the storygames thread in April 2012, not the Hyung Tae Kim Incident in February 2011 as I have above.
March 13th 2015 – The Sampat Mob Assault Accusation
August 2015 – Red and Pleasant Land Wins At The Ennies
October 20th 2015 – Zak Mocks David Hills Views on Star Wars
This has been described (in the comments below) as "a blatant attack on David Hill, using screenshots of social media accounts that Hill has said he blocked Zak from."
"I am blocked from David's social media, it is still public information available to anyone not logged in.
Criticism is not harassment. David Hills Star wars problem is he hadn't seen it when he made his years worth of irrational accusations about it."
Both sides get deep into it in the comments of this post if you want to read more.
April 11th 2016 – "Why There's No Tabletop RPG Theory
It has stuff on Luke (half way down), Cam Banks, Ettin and a few other people. You can read one of the interactions with Luke Crane in a storygame thread entry for 2012 above.
August 26th 2016 – Zak Calls His Critics Psychotics
July 26th 2016 – The Magpie Games Incident
July 28th 2016 – The Invisible James Raggi Accusations
I think this was about Raggi postulating the possibility of working with Varg Vikernes, an actual 100% blood-and-soil white nationalist and actual murderer, but I'm not sure.
July 28th 2016 – Zak Talks About Mental Illness in the RPG Community
August 4th 2016 – Zak on Anna KriederYou've seen Anna Krieders chronology from March 10th 2015, now you get to read Zaks, equally long, response to that. And yes all of this is slowly killing me
Act Four; We Eat Blood
Feb 2017 - Ongoing
February 17th 2017 - 'We Eat Blood' Begins
February 19th 2017 - The We Eat Blood rpg.net megathread
(I was banned from this thread).
The main charges against Zak are;
The SAppelcline Situation
I was bothered enough by this that I contacted Zak directly about it.
This, more than anything else, damages Zak in the eyes of many people.
Also, if anyone else ever did this to him he would absolutely, unquestionably, never forgive them and would refer to them as an identity thief till the end of time.
The Avery Situation
February 19th 2017 – Stacey Dellorfano Responds
February 21st 2017 – Sarah Horrocks Responds
February 22nd 2017 White Wolf’s Response
May 13th 2017 - Still Eating Blood
If you've gone through all of this you will see the same accusations from the same people, everything basically unaltered. This thread got locked soon after I posted it here, with 290 posts on it.
Then, the thread from back in February, got woken up. As of the time of writing that one has 1390 posts. (Looks like that has been shut down as well.)
June 20th 2017 - The Mark Rein-Hagen Thread
After a few nice posts, this comes up;
Which, as you can see, has 358 replies as of the moment of this entry. So far as I can see the accusations are all things covered so far.
August 3rd 2017 - 'Art and the Artist' on RPG.NET
I'm not trying to start any fights here, but can someone give me some links or information on the above? Being an abravise person who use's sock accounts, and makes some dumb blog where you talk shit all day, that's shitty and all, but it's not really enough to send me over the line of "I'm not doing to buy your books".
August 13th 2017 - I am Banned from Defending Zak on RPG.NET
You have received a warning at RPGnet Forums.
Since your previous ban, we've reviewed your posting history and noticed that you've been posting exclusively in threads discussing a permabanned friend of yours. Specifically, you've been trying to reframe these discussions around a blog post you wrote. Though you present your views as a reasonable, neutral foundation for discussion, your posting mostly consists of attacks on other users and anyone who disagrees with you. Some of these posts are simply drive-by speeches directed at hypothetical future lurkers, and don't engage with the discussion in any meaningful way.
You've made it clear that you have personal and financial reasons to continue this behavior, and have no intention of changing. After discussion, we've decided to formally topic ban you from discussing Zak Smith, including linking to blog posts discussing him. You're still free to promote and discuss any games you've worked together on, provided you focus on the games themselves. You're also free to discuss any other topic on RPGnet, and we hope you take this opportunity to find other threads you'd enjoy participating in.
Warnings serve as a reminder to you of the forum's rules, which you are expected to understand and follow.
All the best,
August 15th 2017 - 4Chan False Identity Accusation
And if you are thinking; "Does this mean someone can publicly accuse me of Fascism and I can't publicly reply because my reply would be considered harassment?" Then yes, that is what it means. Those are the rules of the Culture War I'm afraid.
Later on we get Zaks denial of the accusation (G+ link may not be accessible to all);
It's one of the most epic, intense, byzantine and overwhelming tragedies I've ever seen. Its like Moby Dick if there were about 20 whales all called Moby Dick (and this is not a comment on the weight of the people involved).
I mean holy fuck what a gargantuan and insane mess. It staggers the mind.
And its a tragedy in the classical sense I think. Everyone involved is way too deeply bound to their narrative to turn back or let go now. The only way is forward, forward to doom.
I had to close the comments as things were getting too crazy in there to keep track of. If anyone has new evidence or new accusations from a publicly available link then you can let me know on G+ or Facebook or Reddit. You can find my social media in the site reached by the link at the top right of the blog;