Subject: artEAST Bullying
Date: March 18, 2015 11:38:28 PDT
To: Farshad Alamdari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Starting several months ago, I have made repeated efforts to connect with you to inform you about serious problems within artEAST. My latest email alerting you to the abuse has been ignored along with my inquiries; including the question of what you intend to do about it. Even if your position within artEAST is non-executive, you hold the title of President and you have an obligation to act upon reports of misconduct.
artEAST is a public institution. One of the conditions for tax exemption is that membership is open to the public. The public grants that the organization has been awarded also come with the expectation that its practices are non-discriminatory and above board. This means that any official who abuses their position or contravenes rules and regulations is a threat to artEAST’s continued operations.
I don’t know the reason for your silence, but if it means that you decided to ignore the problems and stonewall me, then you are complicit in the bullying. You may also be seen as enabling activities that are detrimental to artEAST. If you do not intend to take any responsibility for resolving problems, nor refer me to someone who will, then you leave me with no other viable option than to take the matter to others; including the membership, the community, and the authorities.
Over the past two years, individuals within artEAST leadership have slandered and abused me using unscrupulous false allegations and deceit, refused to hear my side of the story, and violated my rights as a member. With my attempts at rational communication consistently ignored or dismissed, I shall now redirect my efforts to the public arena and engage anti-bullying organizations, government agencies, and others as I continue to protest leadership misconduct and the discrimination and mistreatment I have been subjected to. Legal action is also being considered.
No one can make you communicate, but you need to understand that the implications of inaction are most serious from now on. I have not yet succumbed to threats or blackmail, nor will I. It is only through respectful dialog that a better outcome for the organization can be achieved.
This will be the last time I implore you to consider your responsibilities, moral imperatives, and the best interests of artEAST. It is my hope that you will make the heroic choice to take a stand in favor of ethical behavior and democratic principles—and against bullying.
PS: With the risk of causing cognitive dissonance, this article; The Role of the Enablers, spells out some disconcerting and relevant truths.
February 11, 2015
I haven’t seen a response to my latest emails alerting you to the bullying problem, and my questions remain unanswered. The article attached below is very relevant to the situation. The accuracy with which the descriptions of adult bullying in the article match my own experiences is unnerving.
The abuse has been going on for almost two years and I have had more than enough. Without further delay, I need to know what you intend to do about it. Hopefully, we can work together towards a resolution.
Why is it so easy for an abuser to get away with it and so difficult for an abuse victim to be heard?
The typical serial bully is a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde personality type (male or female) who has put considerable effort into establishing and maintaining a respectable and credible public persona. Bystanders may believe they know him well, that he is a genuinely righteous person, and that he couldn’t possibly be capable of the malicious behavior he is accused of. Unable (and probably unwilling) to imagine that they have been deceived, their logical conclusion is that the accuser is the antagonist, acting out inexplicable malevolence. With derogatory implications about his target’s mental state, lack of character, or foul motives, the abuser fuels this role reversal. Feigning moral indignation and playing the part of the victim, he encourages supporters to see the real victim, who is attempting to be heard, as the abusive one.
Dr. Vaknin explains: “Even the victim’s relatives, friends, and colleagues are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulativeness of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. Others rarely have a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.”
“Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties, it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey’s acts of self-defense, assertiveness, or insistence on her rights are interpreted as aggression, lability, or a mental health problem.”
Dr. Sam Vaknin, Narcissism by Proxy
Three cognitive strategies have been identified for when people deny, discount, or dismiss occurrences of abuse and for turning away from effective steps to stop it and hold abusers accountable:
|Reflexively dismissing all evidence as questionable, incomplete, misleading, false, or in some other way inadequate.|
|Using euphemism, abstraction, and other linguistic transformations to hide the abuse.|
|Turning away: ‘I’m not involved,’ ‘There is nothing I can do about it,’ ‘I have no authority, jurisdiction, power, or influence,’ ‘This is no concern of mine,’ etc.|
Bullies enjoy the sense of power, superiority, and sadistic pleasure they derive from abusing others. That’s why they do it. The characteristic malevolent delight is evident in this email from Megan Somerville-Loomis, previous president of the board of directors of artEAST, to Jamie McKay, and accidentally sent also to me:
From: Megan Somerville-Loomis
Date: March 26, 2014 at 15:28:39 PDT
Cc: Jamie McKay <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Misunderstandings
Well not I got it! I hate feeling left out, tee he
Sounding more like a gloating high school bully than the president of a reputable art organization, she says that she hates “feeling left out,” but apparently, she is delighted to belong to a gang of bullies abusing and ostracizing one individual.
Bullies are not interested in conflict resolution. My email offering to help clear misunderstandings and resolve problems, below, was rudely ignored.
On Tue, Mar 25, 2014, [Victim] wrote:
Megan and Jamie,
Almost 8 months since the decision was made to terminate my membership, and about 5 months since I found out about it, I received a letter undersigned “artEAST board of directors.” As you probably know, the letter states that other members have implicated me for feeling confused, intimidated, and even threatened, and that these reports are the reason why the board feels I should be banned from artEAST.
The explanation comes as a surprise because I have not bullied or threatened anyone and I am sure that any feelings of that nature can be attributed to misunderstandings. The best course of action when misinformation or misunderstandings are involved is to sit down and talk it over. I would be happy to participate in a respectful conversation with the affected, aimed at clearing up misperceptions. Please arrange a meeting so we can get this resolved. My schedule is fairly open this week and the next.
Looking forward to your reply,