A Narcissistic Misogynist with a Persecution Complex

They’re Heeee-re! The books, the first pilgrims, and the boring haters.

The books arrived this morning. Fifty of them. Ready to be delivered into the hungry little hands and curious minds of my fellow Olympians. They smell delicious. This weekend (March 30th) I’ll be making “Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree Of Olympia” available for the first time locally when I host The Blackberry Bushes and Dead Winter Carpenters at The Olympia Ballroom; a haunted venue featured in the book. We’re expecting some paranormal researchers from Bremerton to document the event, and I’ll even be slinging a couple of Radio8Ball divinations. I can’t imagine a better coming out party for my magickally-intended little tome.

This week has seen several visitors to Olympia. They came to ooh and ah over my galley copy of the book and walk The Tree. Dan Bern came through on his way to play a gig in Seattle. Brinke Stevens; my old cast-mate from Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama, and our mutual friend/fan; Rhonda Baughman, came for a visit, stayed at Fertile Ground and enjoyed their sojourn in The Tree. They all seemed moved by the experience and full of optimism that many more intrepid seekers will be drawn to this artifact in the coming months and years. Dan envisioned Olympia turning into a northwestern Sedona, complete with a floating vortex casino, Kabballah ballrooms, and lots of nick-nack shops selling maps of The Tree and, of course, copies of my book. It sounds a bit nightmare-ish to me, but also kind of awesome. That’s the way Dan’s poetic mind has always worked.

The boring haters showed up in between the pilgrims and the books. A couple of days ago, one of the characters from AI; Merwyn Haskett, walked out of its pages and took center stage on the Amazon review boards.  He was the first to leave a testimonial. You can read it, and the corresponding kerfuffle, on my Amazon book page (while purchasing a copy or two in solidarity?). I just want to talk about the title of his review here. I have co-opted it as the title of this post.

“A Narcissistic Misogynist with a Persecution Complex”

While this kind of dramatic labeling of those we disagree with is nothing new in Olympia, in fact, it’s one of the negative patterns I take aim at in my book; I think we can have some fun dissecting the particular branding being directed at me and my book by Mr. Haskett.

It is true. Accidental Initiations is a deeply narcissistic book. It’s basically just me writing about myself and the things that have happened to me in and around The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia. When I’m not talking about myself I’m sharing my thoughts about the world. There is almost no listening in my book whatsoever. Just pages and pages of me writing.  Perhaps if I had left some pages blank it would have created more room for others to express themselves. Now my oppressed readers have to write in the margins, or post on Amazon, if they want to get a word in edgewise. How do other writers solve this conundrum?

As for being a misogynist; it’s hard to prove a negative. I know I don’t consciously hate women. I suppose that, just like I could be a deeply closeted gay man, even though I’ve never had sex with a man and don’t plan to; I could be a very repressed misogynist who only thinks he loves and admires women as mentors, allies, friends, collaborators, sisters, and potential lovers. Misogyny is a pretty intense label. The hatred of women? I mean, sometimes I hate everyone. We all have our bad days.  Sometimes I get annoyed at certain women, and even at some general patterns of behavior that some women fall into, such as, I don’t know, expecting men to pay for stuff, or having to pee all the time, but it certainly doesn’t rise to the level of hatred. There is an interesting question here. Will misogynists find comfort in my book? I would be surprised if they did. If I am a misogynist it’s a particularly femme-y goddess-loving brand of misogyny. Not exactly something Rush Limbaugh’s going to go for.

Now, when Merwyn says I have a persecution complex he is right. I got it from being persecuted. I was raised by people who were persecuted in Europe and America; as Jews and as Communists. This kind of thing shapes the way a person views the world, leading to a potentially more complex understanding of persecution than those who have been raised without the fear of genocides and blacklists informing the parenting they receive. Some of the things that have happened to me personally, first as a child in the Olympia school system, and then as an adult living in Olympia – things I write about in AI, have felt oppressive. Radio8Ball being taken off the air and lied about by KAOS administrators is a ready example, or the way Merwyn and his wife, Tammy, led a campaign of harassment against me that she confesses to in my book. There is even something persecutorial about Merwyn’s name-calling review, clearly posted with the intent of scaring people, particularly women, away from my book.

When Tammy T initially got in touch with me to try and make things right, eventually leading to the confession that lives at the center of AI, she told me she was doing so behind Merwyn’s back; I assume because he is the one who has a hard-on for me. And not in the good way. He has a long history of lashing out and posting negative things about me online; just like he’s doing with his review. I seriously doubt Tammy would have gotten into any of the mischief she confesses to in my book if he hadn’t goaded her into it, which is why she couldn’t tell him she was racked with guilt and needed, for her own sake, to make peace with me. For this reason, I’m kind of glad he outed himself this week. I really downplayed his role in AI because I didn’t want to invest any more energy in his direction than I had to. The truth is; he is a huge part of my accidental initiation, in that during the entirety of my practice with The Tree he has worked in the office directly across the street from The Capitol Lake dam, right before the Chokmah Mound. His offices used to be an old-school Kentucky Fried Chicken I loved to go to with my father when I was chicken-eating child. Now it’s some kind of administrative building and Merwyn is the receptionist, with a clear view of the lake from his desk. Every time I descend the stairs, after “emptying my cup” into the vortex/abyss, he is waiting there for me. I am very aware of him. I assume he sees me, has seen me over the years. Perhaps he has even wondered what I am up to (What’s he building in there?). Part of my meditation is to forgive him. It has to be. Otherwise I’d be consumed with hatred, and all my good work would be for naught. I’ve come to appreciate the influence his presence has had in deepening my practice with The Tree, and in developing my own reserves of wisdom and mercy. Don’t get me wrong. I would still like to punch him in the face. I just don’t allow myself to gnaw on that particular brain bone for very long before breathing it out.

I’ve been telling people that, if “Accidental Initiations” were a movie, the end of the book would only be the end of the second act. The third act begins now, and with it, a star is born! Originally cast in a minor role, Merwyn Haskett, has distinguished himself as a major player; the epitome of the boring hater. Who do you think should play him in the movie?

Merwyn Haskett

Note: I know it’s a tad hypocritical for me to take Merwyn to task for labeling me, and then cast him as a “boring hater”. I hope this is mitigated by the fact that, rather than inaccurately branding him as an anti-semite or an abusive boyfriend, labels which carry the sting of history. The label of “boring hater” is fresh and made up especially by me for him and his ilk. Also, it’s accurate. He is clearly a hater and I am unaware of him ever creating anything beautiful, just shitting on those who do. He’s already less boring to me now than he was before I wrote this.

Yay ART!

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5 Responses to A Narcissistic Misogynist with a Persecution Complex

  1. accidentalinitiations says:
    Tammy’s Confession First of all, I do not recommend reading this post. If you are like me, it will make you sick to your stomach but, since Tammy has recently been denying writing the confession she sent to me, and I re-printed in my book, I feel I must address it here in the sequel. In January of 2010 Tammy left a message on my machine, asking if I was available for a phone call and we made a plan. I was house-sitting for Tamara Newmoon and her husband at the time; a magickal little cottage in Columbia City. Tamara is highly respected teacher and her home was a very peaceful setting in which to accept Tammy’s call. During this conversation, as I recount in AI, Tammy admitted to everything in the letter re-printed in AI. The things she didn’t admit at first, like writing slanderous things about me on the magazines at a local bar, or sending me anonymous and threatening e-mails from a dummy account, she readily accepted responsibility for when I asked her about them. This call ended with her agreeing to write a letter of confession, aimed at getting me my show back on KAOS. This process started our peacefully enough. Tammy sent me several long e-mails, asking me questions like who the letter should be addressed to (KAOS administrators, Evergreen?) and explaining why she felt justified in doing what she did to me, even though she regretted it now. I told her it would be best if her letter was addressed to me. Tammy sent me a draft of her confession on February 3, 2010, in which she admitted to most of the behavior she confirmed in our phone call, but left out specifics like the names of the KAOS administrators who asked her about her blog, and the specific and violent language she used in her graffiti, her threatening e-mails, or that Merwyn used in the things he posted about me. —————————————————– Sorry, it is a bit long and wordy, but I think it covers all you asked for? I spent a lot of time covering the years we worked together but I really think that’s where a lot of the tension began. I hope this is successful in helping you obtain your goals. Let me know if it works for you, or if any editing needs to be done. Then I can get you a hard copy, and you give me the signed document you offered. Thanks! Tammy ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Andras, I am writing in regard to the conflict that began with our four-year collaboration as co-hosts on Radio8Ball on KAOS 89.3 FM, and ended with your eventual firing from the station and ban from The Evergreen State College campus in July of 2008. While I never intended for things to end the way the did, I believe that I contributed to much of this conflict. I would like to sincerely apologize for any pain that I might have caused you, and for any damage that I might have inflicted on your show. Although 2008 was a particularly difficult year, I actually think the conflict began while we were still working together. As you know, we had a rather tense relationship throughout much of our collaboration. In general, I had a lot of fun working on the show, and I learned a lot from you. I’m glad that, in our time working together, we had some periods of peace, and some genuinely fun shows. However, there were plenty of tense moments both on the air, and especially off the air, which resulted in a working relationship that was oftentimes very difficult and awkward. Much of this uncomfortableness stemmed from my own behavior “behind the scenes.” I once (perhaps wrongly) cited “unrequited love” as a potential reason for our difficulty in communication. While it’s true that I had a slight “attraction” to you, I think the bigger problem is that I (unwittingly) placed you on a sort of pedestal, and (maybe because of your role on the show) I began to think of you — and often treat you — as some sort of personal therapist. On top of this, my shyness and social anxiety, at many times, made me almost afraid to talk to you in person. So this in itself created a rather awkward dynamic. We were both aware of this problem, and we tried to address it many times while we were working together. Unfortunately, my way of “fixing” things most likely made the situation worse. You once described me as “passive-aggressive” — and specificed that you meant “passive” in person, while “aggressive” in writing. I believe that this was a fair and accurate observation. I remember that, most of the time, we tended to “superficially” get along while we were together at the station. However, after each night’s show, I would go home and send you an email about my personal thoughts and observations about that week’s show. This might not have been a problem if the emails were more brief — and actually focused on the show. Usually, however, my emails to you were very long, and I tended to delve into other issues (sometimes personal ones, sometimes related to our awkward relationship). At times — if you’d said something during a show that hurt my feelings — I would tell you this in the email, and then launch into various reasons as to why my feelings were hurt, or why I felt I was treated wrongly. In retrospect, I’m sure that you never actually intended to hurt my feelings, so this kind of “lashing out” surely made the problem even worse. Eventually, even if I did have a serious concern, I can see how you might have had a difficult time taking me seriously, considering the number of times I vented to you about things that were really minor issues (or even non-issues). I would also sometimes email you “between” shows. Occasionally these emails were friendly; however there were several of them in which I certainly crossed some professional boundaries. Again — at some point during our collaboration, I projected onto you the role of “therapist.” And at some points I remember emailing you some things that one would have been better off telling — well, an actual therapist — or at least somebody who was closer to me than what you actually were, and what I should have rightfully treated you as: a business/creative partner. Several years into our collaboration (in November of 2006), I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I spent most of 2007 in active treatment. Although this shouldn’t have caused any further problems between you and I, I’m afraid the stress of my circumstances and the effects of my treatment might have exacerbated our personal troubles. I know that — almost from the beginning of our collaboration — I would mention my (geniune) fear of being fired from the show. This subject was brought up quite a bit in 2007, and eventually turned into a sort of on-air “joke” (at least that’s how I regarded it). But for me to keep bringing the subject up (even if we did in fact “joke” about it), I might have actually been manipulating you in a way (and if so, this was truly unintentional; but I can see how it may have added to the tension, especially if you were seriously considering letting me go, and felt guilty about how to go about doing so due to my health situation). 2007 turned out to be our last year of working together, and also — I belive — the most difficult year of all. Ironically, I think that our on-air dynamic was at its strongest that year. I recall, in previous years, sending you many emails in which I shared worries about whether I was “good” enough, whether I had messed up, whether you were going to fire me, etc. In other words, it took me a long time to feel truly comfortable with you on the air (and I made sure to tell you this in my emails!). But for some reason, in 2007, I was finally able to go into each show in a relaxed mode, banter with you a bit, and genuinely have fun with the show almost every week. Despite this, the situation behind-the-scenes grew even worse. I think I emailed you even more than usual this year. I believe that 2007 was also the year that you began to branch out with Radio8Ball, bringing it to the stage and to an AM station. You didn’t involve me with much of this (and, given the past three years, I’m sure you had some good reasons). But I still felt very hurt. I didn’t fully understand at the time that there simply might not have been a place for me with these other forms of the show. I just felt hurt, left out, and perhaps a little betrayed. I felt I’d given and done a lot for you over the years at KAOS. Of course, you’d done the same for me. But I still didn’t know how to communicate with you properly, and thus I continued emailing you my complaints. Inevitably, this made our dynamic even more tense than before. Finally, at one of your live shows, something (I don’t recall what) really brought out these hurt feelings, and I recall acting rather bitter at your show. Later, I ended up calling you to apologize about this. We had a fairly civil conversation, but I remember you stressed that you were uncomfortable with the direction things were headed, and told me you would prefer I limit my emails to only business-related ones. Just a few weeks later, however, I sent another email in which I vented my anger over something mentioned on (what turned out to be our last) show. I think at the time I felt I was “sticking up for myself” , but given the nature of our relationship — by that point, I’m sure my comment came off as merely angry and bitter. I remember we had a VERY tense phone call the next day, in which you shared your side of things. And the day after that, I called you back, left you four or five messages, and basically poured out my own bitterness over all of our troubles. The next Monday, I logged into my email account, and read an email in which you — finally — officially “fired” me from the show. I should have seen it coming (especially given the recent phone calls) but I was flabbergasted. For several months prior to this, I had a new fear: that you would get so into the new forms of Radio8Ball, that you would grow tired of KAOS and “leave me behind.” I wasn’t so worried anymore about being “fired” anymore. Despite all our “joking” about it, I never thought that you would actually let me go from the show. I do remember that (while shocking) your letter was fairly compassionate, and that I called you right back about it, hoping to change your mind. There were some tears on my end, but you were firm, and said you’d thought a lot about your decision, and that you could no longer go on working with me. At tne end of the conversation, you agreed to meet me at the Brotherhood Tavern. Later, at the “BroHo”, we had what I felt was a civil conversation, and you explained to me more about why you needed a break. I also brought up the idea of a “goodbye” show (for closure), and you told me it could be a possibility within the next month. Oddly, that night, I wasn’t even feeling hurt. However, the next night, I tuned into your (newly solo) Radio8Ball, and it was rather shocking and heartbreaking to me to hear the show continue as normal, only without my presence. Eventually, it got to a point where the show began to weigh heavily on my mind. I had some conflicting feelings, to say the least. There was a secret, hopeful side of me that wanted you to decide that you were wrong, and hoped that you would ask me back. At the same time, the loss of the show was extremely painful, and I found it impossible to listen in on Tuesday evenings. I did look forward to my “goodbye” show, which was scheduled for early January,and which gave me some extra hope. A day or so before the show, you emailed me to say that you were enjoying going solo, and having second thoughts about bringing me back to say goodbye. I wasn’t sure what to make of this email. While contemplating, though, I recalled that somebody (YEARS ago) had joked about the idea of writing a “tell all” book about working with you on your show. Remembering this suddenly gave me an idea: that writing a blog about the show might be a better way to get closure (and this is where things started to get REALLY ugly!) In the end, it turned out that you were kind enough to bring me back for a final show after all; but (crushing my secret — and, let’s face it, most likely irrational — hope of being brought back), the final show really was the final show. I realized that you had no intention of bring me back for good. And thus, I finally began to really “mourn” the show. I also had some other issues going on at the time (the loss of a job, and the transition from “cancer treatment” back to normal life. Later, I learned that this transitional period causes depression in many women who go through treatment, though I didn’t know this at the time.) These other issues — while not excuses — only added to my sadness over losing the show. So, in January of 2008, I began to act out my hurt feelings in some spiteful ways. Shortly after my final show, I noticed a Radio8Ball poster up on the bulletin board at KAOS. Selfishly, it actually hurt me to look at the poster, so (not considering that I might be depriving others from learning about and possibly attending the show) I merely took the poster down, so that I didn’t have to look at it. I did this again in February, when another poster showed up. Meanwhile, there were some other incidents that occurred in January or February. Sometime around this time period, I began my blog, in which I covered virtually every month of my time on Radio8Ball. I honestly didn’t start this blog with malicious intentions, but as time passed — and more people began to read and comment on it, and then send angry letters to you because of it, which only added to our tension — the blog may have taken on a more “revengeful” tone. Even at the beginning of the blog — when my intentions were still good — I broke one rule. I know I asked you about the blog, and you gave me your “blessing” to write it, so long as I kept it professional. However — merely mentioning you and the show by name was absolutely not professional — and very possibly contributed to the angry responses from people who read it. In February of 2008, an article about your show appeared in a Seattle publication. Something inside me (hurt? jealousy?) responded to the article, and I reacted in a very meanspirited and sinister way. I sent you some anonymous emails (under a false account). Most of this “correspondence” between the “anonymous” person and you consisted of a lot of curse words, as I recall. However, two of the comments were particularly cruel — the first one, and a follow-up email, in which my meanspirited “alter ego” took a cheap shot at your girlfriend. (I later apologized to her for this, and she graciously accepted, but this still doesn’t excuse the cheap shot — or the anonymous emails — which I don’t doubt caused you much distress.) In March of 2008, it was time for pledge drive at KAOS. For some reason, I volunteered to help during Radio8Ball (I don’t think my intentions with this were necessarily mean ones, although who knows — I was very conflicted at the time. However, I think I volunteered merely because I just missed the show — and I was clueless that my presence there might result in some uneasiness on your behalf). I think we basically ignored each other that night during the drive. But before I left the station, I saw a note about the vanishing posters up on one of the KAOS boards, and I began to feel guilty about it. Later, when I returned home, I sent you an emailed apology and confession. I’m not sure what I expected, but not long after that, you replied to me and told me that you felt horribly betrayed by my actions, and that I was from that point “banished” from the show. I now have a better grasp of how distressed you were at the time; but for me, at that moment, this “banishment” caused another torrent of hurt and distressed feelings — and some betrayal felt on my end, as well. We had a heated email argument that night, and you told me not to contact you any more. The next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and ended up crying and very emotional (and conflicted to the point where I was having some serious suicidal thoughts) throughout the day. Somebody who was with me for part of that day, and witnessed my own distress (someone who had also listened to me vent about you many times in the past) responded with what I know he felt was a protective and justified response; he posted a blog consisting of your picture, along with a derogatory headline. Although I know this blog wasn’t just posted “for laughs” (I don’t think he know how else to deal with the pain he felt you caused me), somehow the blog circulated around our small community. He deleted it shortly afterward, but I’m sure at that point it was “too little, too late” and I know the blog caused you much embarrassment. Meanwhile, as far as blogs — I wasn’t near finished with my own. All in all, my blog about my experiences on Radio8Ball took around five months to complete, and finished at around 80 pages. Throughout the process of posting, things were getting worse and worse. Although some of the blog was positive, there were parts of it that certainly painted you in a less-than-flattering light. I also “conveniently” left out some of my actions against you, though I was certain to include any action that I perceived that you took against me. People (including some mutual friends) were leaving negative comments on the blog, contacting you about comments that I either misheard or took out of context, writing their own angry blog entries about you, etc. etc. At the same time, you and I were in engaged in a bit of an email “war” of our own — in which you asked me to take the blog down, and I refused. At some point, a fellow KAOS deejay posted a very angry comment on my page (I believe he sent a duplicate message, as well). It was sometime around here that the KAOS general manager contacted me, and asked if he could read my blog. The manager and I briefly discussed the blog; however, I did not fully disclose to him all of my actions (including the angry or anonymous emails I’d sent), or the angry responses people were directing your way regarding my blog. I think you mentioned to me that you were feeling harrassed, and I later learned that you complained of this harrassment to the managers — and that you felt they brushed you off. If I’m not mistaken, you feel the managers did not take you seriously because they felt you were just being “paranoid.” While I didn’t speak to them about this myself, it now seems like a logical possibility; and if is indeed the truth, I might very well be responsible for this “brush-off”, due to lack of disclosure about my full role in our conflict. I finished my blog in May of 2008, but there may have been some other angry responses directed your way. A couple of months later, in July of 2008, from what I understand, you were suddenly fired from the station and banned from campus. Now — for all the actions I committed toward you, I truly did not knowingly plan or participate in your firing. In fact — while at many times, I at times found it a little awkward to be working together at the same station (and still found it hard to listen to Radio8Ball) a part of me felt a little sad to see you go. (There went my last secret hope of returning to the show!) I learned of your dismissal via “gossip.” I can’t fairly comment on the “official reasons” for your firing (for example, I wasn’t there to witness one of them). However, if it’s true the managers knew only what I told them of our conflict — and did in fact just brush you off as “paranoid” – – I feel that I must take some responsibility for this, as, again, I should have disclosed the full story of my role in our so-called “war.” As it is, my actions did not stop with your dismissal from KAOS. After KAOS cut your show, you referenced the incident on your KKNW show. A friend happened to be listening that day, and alerted me that you had referred to me as a “stalker” on the air. I immediately called the station (truly more out of fear and self-defense than to actually hurt you) but later I learned that you did not disclose my “full” name, and therefore I jumped the gun (and perhaps damaged my own reputation more than yours) with the complaint — though I realize now it could have had serious repurcussions for you. Very shortly after your KKNW show, an Olympia musician (who had been your guest that day) contacted me and sent me an email, which I interpreted as a threat — it seemed to me that he was saying that he would not work for a music promotion company (which I happened to be working for at the time) if you and I did not settle things. I alerted my business partner, who contacted you to ask what was up. It turned out that this musician did in fact do business with the company after all, so this was another case of “jumping the gun.” (Talk about paranoid!) Finally, in summer of 2008, while hanging out at the Brotherhood, in a moment of drunken stupidity, I did something very foolish. There were some Stranger magazines there at the bar, with some advertisements inside them for Radio8Ball. In the midst of my drunkenness(which is absolutely no excuse) the ads stirred up some hurt/anger, and I happened to have a pen handy, so I wrote some crude statements about you above the advertisements on about six of the magazines. (I guess I could have “gotten away” with this, but one of your friends/neighbors happened to find the stack and show it to you.) Everything finally came to a close in August of 2008, when you and I (along with my then-fiancee) appeared in court, each explaining our own side of the conflict — and attempting to get restraining orders against each other. Neither of us was successful in the restraining order part. And basically, none of us have communicated since then. With that said … you and “the conflict” have been on my mind quite often since that court date. In fact, it was that day in court that made me realize things had blown way, WAY out of proportion — to a point that I never intended, but largely (I realized) initiated, both by engaging in actions against you and lacking to disclose the full truth to some members of our community who probably needed to know the full truth. I’ve wanted to make things right with you again as early as that court date — but didn’t know how (after all, we’d both ordered each other not to contact the other). More importantly, I realized that we truly needed some time apart before any attempt at reconciliation could be made. In 2008, I was re-diagnosed with cancer; this time, it had metastasized to my spine. This was another particular time when I realized that I really wanted to patch things up with you (my immediate thought after the recurrence was that I might die soon — and for all of the distress we caused each other, we did have some good times working together, and I’d learned a lot from you — and even though I might have earned it, as long I could help it, I did not want to die with you as my enemy). However, something still didn’t feel right — and I decided to wait until “the time was right” before I contacted you again. After the cancer recurrence, 2009 should have been a horrible year, but it actually turned out to be a wonderful year. This was due to many things (I got married, took some wonderfult trips, my health remained stable, etc.) But 2009 also gave me some perspective. Although you were no longer part of my life, I would still sometimes think about you and the show. I realized that one reason I enjoyed 2009 so much was that (despite the cancer) it was a very stress-free year. And at some point, it clicked with me that (as hurt as I was at the time) your decision to let me go from the show was a good one. It took me awhile to admit it, but (to paraphrase your “dismissal” email) our “working relationship was indeed not working.” I truly did love the show and considered it an extremely important part of my life. In a way, I loved you, too (and again, not in a “sexual” way) although at most points, I communicated this in some quite inappropriate, boundary-crossing manners. I might be more appropriate to say I admired you, and in many ways, I still do. I always wanted what was best for the show, and I think in general I gave it my all, although I messed up many times; and obviously, did not know how to deal with messing up. I’m still proud of some of my contributions to the show, particularly toward the end of my tenure All in all, if I’d known better how to communicate with you, our working relationship could have been much happier — but in truth, it was just way too tense. It took me awhile to realize this, but just for the stress our partnership caused alone, you were right to let me go. And I deeply regret my blog, as I do believe it was more trouble than it was worth, caused much tension with our mutual friends and small community, and perhaps may have even played a role in your dismissal from KAOS. I am also sincerely sorry for my other actions. I was in a messed-up place, emotionally, at the time, but there is no excuse for intentionally causing another person distress. My blog might not have started out intentional, but it certainly headed in that direction, and obviously I didn’t even have good intentions with some of the other actions — I was just acting out. Unfortunately, since I did not directly get you fired from KAOS, I’m not sure how to fix this issue, but I am willing to meet with managers/campus staff to help try to fix it. I would certainly have no problem with you returning to KAOS. I know you would also like to return to campus to visit your father, and I would very much like for you to be granted this right. I know your father played an important role in Evergreen history. My father has a terminal illness — if something happened to him, and I couldn’t visit his resting place, I can’t imagine the hurt I would feel. Similarly, with my own technically-terminal illness, if somebody told my husband that he couldn’t visit me — I don’t even know. But I think visiting loved ones is a right everyone should have. In January of 2010, I was hospitalized, witnessed a moment of “synchronicity”, and took that as a sign to finally call you with an offer to patch things up. I really would like to make peace with you, Andras. While we may never work together again, or even be friends, I know we are both pop music geeks, and I miss chatting music with you. Speaking of music, as a small peace offering, if you are able to return to KAOS, I would like to offer you my Sunday morning time slot as a space for you to host a farewell show on the station. I know you’ve had many moments of success with your show onstage, and I wish you the best with future endeavors. I’m proud to have been a part of its early stages, and I’m sorry things ended between us the way they did, but I wish you much peace and success. Sincerely, Tamara Tillinghast ——————————- Here is what I wrote back to her the same day. ———————————————- Tammy, Thanks for writing this. I do think it needs some editing. While this gives an in depth account of your feelings and experience it is vague about the actions taken against me. For example, there is a difference between saying an unflattering thing, and posting a site with my picture and the words “THE BIGGEST ASSHOLE IN OLYMPIA.” I would like for you to be more specific about the things you wrote and said about me. There is still this weird sense of equivalence about “things being uncomfortable between us.” Things were uncomfortable because you were behaving inappropriately toward me. I understand your reasons now and I hope you do too, but at the time you were deeply entangled and attached to whatever trip you were running on me, and I was just a guy who was sharing his project with you and was confused by your irrational behavior. I didn’t make things uncomfortable for you, except that I expected you to behave professionally. When you didn’t I would express displeasure. This does not in any way justify you or Merwyn projecting so much negative stuff in my direction (some of it public) long before I made the decision to ask you to leave the show. I appreciated your mentioning that people at KAOS spoke with you and viewed the blog. It would be good if you mentioned that they did not ask you to stop writing it or to take it down. You should probably also say which administrator spoke with you. Again, please be specific. (I understand why you are leaving Merwyn out.) In general I think that it is important that you refer to your conflict with me, not our conflict with each other. I never had a conflict with you, other than wanting to have space when you were acting irrationally toward me. An example of this shows up in the part about our court experience. You were harassing me and it didn’t stop after I was fired from KAOS so I tried to get a restraining order against you. Rather than either stopping your harassment or admitting to it, you and Merwyn responded by taking out a restraining order against me in spite of the fact that I was doing nothing to harass you and you knew what you were doing to harass me. This letter should probably be no more than 5 or 6 paragraphs. 1. Why you liked doing the show and how it got confusing to you 2. How you (and your “ex-boyfriend”) treated me while you were working on the show in ways which I clearly communicated to you made me uncomfortable 3. The emotional actions you took against me after I asked for break and eventually decided to do the show without you, with specifics. 4. Your meeting with KAOS and your continuation and escalation of events after speaking with them. 5. Your continued harassment of me even after I was gone from KAOS, leading to my trying to get a restraining order against you and your disingenuous response of claiming that you needed to be protected from me. 6. Your commitment to doing whatever it takes (here you can be general) to see that your previous harassment of me doesn’t continue to tarnish my reputation or standing on the TESC campus, and your belief that Radio8Ball deserves a “Goodbye Show” and that you are glad to offer up your time slot for this purpose. Obviously, it might be necessary to get into some detail of your experience but remember the purpose of this is not to justify your actions but to acknowledge that there is no justification for that kind of behavior against anyone. Thanks, Andras Jones ————————- And now her response from February 6th. Notice her willingness to work together to craft the document. ———————— Andras, Alright, I appreciate your feedback. I will give it another try. I might need another day or so. This is very difficult, because, while I understand where you’re coming from now, a lot of it I’m only recently, CLEARLY understanding after these recent conversations (and our phone call a few weeks ago). In 2009, (when I was keeping my distance from the show), as I mentioned in the original letter, I would think about the experience from time to time, and I think this gave me some more perspective of your side of it. However — throughout working with you on the show, your “firing” me and the resulting actions and conflict (leading up to the court date), it was a very different story. Obviously, during the show, I didn’t know how to properly communicate with you, crossed boundaries, took things too seriously, etc. (and this resulted in a lot of venting at Merwyn). I can agree with you that these things caused tension (I can also see how my inability to communicate made you confused) but I’m honestly not sure how to refer to this period of “tension between us” without specifically indicating how I contributed to the tension, due to my inability to communicate with you. Does this make sense? I really do want to make it clear that my emails, etc. and fear of just speaking to you in person caused a lot of conflict with the show — but (correct me if I’m wrong) you felt awkward around me when we were working together, too, right? That’s what I meant when I refer to “tension between us.” When I use this particular phrase, I’m on the same page with you that I think it’s important to clarify that any akwardness on your end was a result of your confusion regarding my behavior. The trouble is, I’m just not sure how to properly write this. But it’s not that I want to just “justify my actions” — however, there was a lot of “delusional thinking” and misunderstandng on my part (i.e. some of those times when you might have been confused or when you expressed displeasure toward me, I would take that as a personal attack. I was confused, too — albeit for different and not necessarily rational — reasons. There were several instances, for example, where, even if you just gave me some constructive criticism, I would take it too seriously or overanalyze it… and instances like this led to some points where I actually, genuinely felt that you hated my guts. Obviously this wasn’t true, but it’s how I felt at the time.) So I think my “delusional thinking” and my own personal conflicted feelings about you/the show are very important to clarify — however, at the time time, I don’t want them to come off as “justification” for my behavior, or be used against you in any way by anyone who might read this letter. Does this make any sense? I hope so! Anyway, this part of the letter will be very difficult to write, and it will be especially hard to keep it brief. (However, I understand how delving too much into it might take away from the real point of the letter.) So if you understand where I’m coming from, and have any suggestions, I would appreciate your input (if not, I know this is my letter to write, so I will give it my best attempt in the second draft). If, in my next attempt, I end up delving too much into my own conflicted feelings and how they influenced my behavior, perhaps some of it can be deleted; although, if this is the case, and we end up meeting with campus officials, I hope that I might be able to clarify without making you look like the “bad guy.” -As for going more into detail about things like the title of Merwyn’s blog, yes, I can be more specific there. What about the anonymous emails and the Stranger graffiti? The only trouble is, I no longer have these things … I don’t think I have the password for that fake account (if it even still exists) and obviously I don’t have the Strangers with me. So if you would like more specifics about these, I might need more reminders of what I said. -I will also mention Jerry’s name. (I mentioned to you before some personal discomfort about “betraying” KAOS, but I think it’s fair to mention his name, since he is the one I speficially spoke with, and the only one I know for sure read my blog.) I should clarify that we didn’t exactly have a meeting, but he did come in to the studio once when I was hosting my Scandinavian show and mentioned that he read the blog, and it is true he did not ask me to take it down. -Finally, regarding the actions taken against you after my blog went up (and throughout and after your dismissal from KAOS), I think this goes back to the “delusional thinking” thing. I hope this does not come off as just brushing off your concerns — as you are absolutely right that we/I continued to create much distress for you. However, during this time, you were sending some emails and posting your own blogs — and, especially given the circumstances I had created with my blog — you had every right to share your story … but (due to hurt, paranoia, lack of understanding, inability to see things from your side, etc.) some of your correspondence to me felt threatening. That year (2008) I was in a REALLY messed-up place through the first half of the year. So at the time, to me, the conflict to me truly felt like a genuine “war.” Again — key word, delusional. I know that this was more my problem than yours. I deleted most of our old correpondence (after court, I just wanted to forget the whole thing); but I think, for one example, in some emails, you were just asking me to take the blog down (which I stubbornly refused to do) … however, I interpreted some of your language as “harrassment” toward me. I really , at the time, felt that we were battling (hence the return retraining orders). So, again I’m not sure how to explain this, or how much detail to go into about it. If possible, though, I’d like to include at least once sentence — not as “justification”, but more for clarification — about how things escalated because of my messed-up mindset at the time. I don’t know if you can believe this, but we truly weren’t harrassing you for “shits and giggles” (with the possible exception of the drunken Stranger incident); we really felt (however wrongly) that you were threatening us, as well. At least, I know I felt this way. And I selfishly focused at the time on my own distress, and didn’t give much (if any) consideration how my behavior caused so much distress for you. I hope you alright with my referencing this, at least in perhaps as brief a way as possible? I really am not wanting to make you the bad guy … I understand the point of the letter … and you did not deserve the tension we caused, and especially not the loss of your right to visit Evergreen. I do think that (whoever reads this letter) might wonder why we made things difficult for you (similar, I guess, to how, after any crime is committed, people wonder “why did he do it?”). And if I can figure out how, I would very much like to explain “why” without it coming across as “justification” for my behavior. I know I am repeating myself (sorry) but I hope this makes sense, and if you need more clarification, or have any further concerns of your own, please feel free to share them via email or even phone (sometimes that’s easier) — I’m at (360) 480-8585. I know, again, that this is my own letter to write, but since you have some clear ideas on what you want from it … (while I know you have a life and other committments and priorities of your own), I would appreciate any suggestions/insights on the parts I am struggling with. Thanks for the list/outline of suggested paragraph. That will help some, although I have a feeling I might still get too wordy (keeping things brief is obviously difficult for me, as evidenced by this email and a million others). Hoping we can come up with a letter that will, ultimately, lead to peace and the outcome you are hoping for — Thanks again, Tammy —————————————– And now my response from the 10th. —————————————– Tammy, I have been waiting for your second draft but maybe you were waiting for answers to some questions in this e-mail. I did not see The Stranger magazines myself. Only heard about it from other people. “Andras Jones is a sexist asshole” is one of the phrases I remember. What is more important than the actual words is the intent. Can you imagine if you knew that someone was committed enough to attacking you that they would scrawl your name on every Stranger magazine in the stack with violent and sexual language against you. What is important for you to understand that, while for you, it may have just been a drunken mistake. For me it was slanderous and threatening in the extreme, especially because I was not sure of the source. You and Merwyn may have been working alone but you gave the impression of being part of a mob and, to be honest, I haven’t felt comfortable going out in Olympia since then. I still don’t. I can’t explain exactly why. If you are ever stalked and harassed and slandered and fired and persecuted by someone who is VERY confused about you, without anyone doing anything to stop it or support you, perhaps you will understand. I hope you never have t go through anything like this. And I hope that your letter will help to assure that no one else at Evergreen ever has to endure this kind of treatment. The only other piece I want to address is you saying that I was blogging about you. I posted one blog about Radio8Ball getting canned and another about your calling the station. All of this was long after you and Merwyn had been internet stalking, harassing and slandering intensely for several months, and intermittently for years. You may have objected to being referred to as a “Boring Hater” but, as you said, I didn’t use your full name and, in truth, you were being a “Boring Hater.” Instead of enjoying your own life you set about destroying mine to make yourself feel better. That is boring and hateful. I appreciate your trying to make amends but please stop acting like I ever did anything to you except disappoint you by not wanting to make myself available to your conflicted projections onto me. I am sorry if this all sounds harsh to you but this process, though necessary, is very painful to me and I would like to bring this phase to a conclusion this week. Please write a letter of apology for all of the things you did without suggesting that I took any actions against you, because I didn’t. Presently, Andras Jones ————————————— And now more from Tammy on February 11, 2010. Note: This is where you might want to have some Tums handy. ————————————- Andras, I haven’t forgotten your letter. I have been thinking about it. And struggling with it. I wish that we could meet in person to discuss this, or speak on the phone, although I understand if there’s a conflict of interest there. It’s just that — for me, at least — it’s difficult to convey “tone” in email. And in a situtation like this — where we both seem to be hoping for a closure, yet in the process are opening up old wounds — it’s very, VERY difficult to find the right words to say, and the right way to say them, without coming across as flippant or angry or disrespectful. (For the record, I don’t think your email was too harsh; although it does seem like remembering this particular period is still causing you a lot of pain, which makes it even more difficult for me to reply. I’m afraid that some of things I’m about to say will just make things worse for you.) However, I’ve talked with a few third parties about how to approach this (including a therapist, as you suggested); and the general answer I got from all of them was, “Do you what think is best” and “self-advocate.” So right away, those answers cause conflict for me. In all seriousness, I WOULD like to do what’s best: mainly, own up to what I did (a process I’ve already started by admitting these things to you). And I would like to make things right for you. If I had a magic eraser that could change the past, I would so do in a heartbeat. Again, I could “feel” the pain in your email — and I can’t tell you enough how sorry I am for any stress that I caused. But in the interest of “self-advocating” (please hear me out): I’m still very skeptical about the way you’re suggesting that I heal things — via this letter to Evergreen. Before you read on, please know that I DO understand that I caused you a lot of grief. And while I see some discrepancies in your most recent email, I don’t think those minor details are important — I think what’s most important is the way that I (we) made you feel. I mean… if it’s true that I made you feel uncomfortable just walking around in Olympia, then that’s horrible! I wouldn’t even know how to begin to properly apologize for that! I also want to say that I’m not opposed to publically admitting what I did — truly, I would do so in almost any manner (I’d even be willing to risk damage to my reputation, and make the admission even more public than a letter to campus officials, if I honestly believed it would help). I just have a really hard time believing that a letter to Evergreen staff (especially one from me) is the best way to go about fixing things. For one thing — from how I see it — this seems to be more of an “Olympia” issue than an Evergreen issue. (Most of the incidents, for example, took place away from the Evergreen campus.) I believe I have also mentioned to you (and I know this both from experience, and from knowing several Evergreen contacts myself) that the school tends to distance itself from KAOS. I may be wrong … but this is the impression that I’ve gotten. And to be blunt, I still have a hard time believing that (no matter what I might say in a letter), that any Evergreen official will even give a s**it, much less move forward in re-examining the situation. As far as KAOS itself — this is the part that makes me most uncomfortable. For all of the ways in which we caused you torment, I need to stress (and I don’t know if you will believe me, but it’s true) that Merwyn and I did NOT play any active role in firing you from KAOS. It’s true that Jerry read my blog, and didn’t ask me to take it down (however, this was a good month or two before he fired you). We can speculate — and it may even be the truth — that my blog might have influenced his decision, but he never actually admitted this to me. Your firing from KAOS — quite seriously — was as much a surprise to us as it was to anyone. As for John Ford, we all knew he hated the show from the beginning, and even called you names (but I never supported this behavior from him when we were working together). I think John is just a tacky person sometimes. It doesn’t excuse his behavior, but for whatever it’s worth, he has also insulted Think Tank (standing right next to the door when I was hosting it!) and God knows how many other shows. (And Ruby was brand-new when our conflict began; I barely knew her myself, other than that she used to listen to Think Tank YEARS ago; and I insist that I didn’t know of your communication with her until after I received the court document.) Anyway, I’m VERY uncomfortable even bringing KAOS into the letter, in some ways because there’s no proof that my blog influenced your dismissal: but mainly because I had nothing to do with Jerry’s two “official” reasons for firing you. I wasn’t involved with your KKNW show, and I wasn’t there to witness the alleged “threat of violence.” I imagine that if campus officials DID re-examine the situation, my name wouldn’t be mentioned anywhere in the “goodbye” documents. And — although I’m still okay with offering my time slot for your goodbye show, if I had the power to do so … even suggesting this in the letter makes me hesitant … as I don’t believe I have the power to offer air space on KAOS’s behalf. I mean, if campus agrees to it, and you’re able to get back on the air, the time slot is yours — but I’m really uncomfortable bringing this (or most of the KAOS business) into the letter before any of this is resolved. Because, truly, I really am “just” a volunteer programmer — I’m barely in touch with the staff — and (as much as I would love to program shows and hire volunteers!) I just don’t have those capabilities. So all of these things make me wonder about the success of a letter to Evergreen staff. I really, honestly don’t think that a letter from me will get you anywhere (although I would love to be proven wrong). I still feel that, if you REALLY want to involve Evergreen, a meeting would be more effective. I would be happy to attend, although I do think it’s necessary for Jerry and the other managers to attend, as well — because, really, they are the ones directly responsible for your ban from campus. (However, I will be there to clarify that my blog didn’t cover the full extent of my actions. If there’s a meeting, or hearing, I will also offer my time slot there; I just don’t think I can so do in a letter, without the station’s consent.) Finally, if there’s any way I might make a difference in your returning to visit your father’s grave, I’m still interested in that. (Which begs the question: I’m not sure if you are “just” banned from KAOS and the CAB building, or from the entire campus? If it is in fact just KAOS/CAB, were you aware that KAOS is currently in a different building … and that the CAB is currently under construction? I don’t know if this would make any difference in your right to visit your dad, without violating your “ban” … but I thought I would throw it out there.) So with everything I just said regarding my skepticism — (and if you’re still willing to read anything from me after all of that….) I give you my word that I would consider almost any other way of publically owning up to my wrongdoings (and will agree to at least one way of doing so, if it doesn’t turn out to be a letter). However, if you are adamant about a letter — I will give that one more try, and get it to you by Friday-ish. That said, you seem to have very clear ideas about what you want in this letter, and I’m rather hesitant as to whether I can meet your needs. I’ll try, but I’m uncertain whether I can meet your needs. 😦 I think by now that I do understand what you’re requesting in your letter, and I have a responsibility to admit what I did to cause your anguish. I understand your request to give limited background on my end, and how that might come across as “justifying” my actions. I also agree that how we made you feel is the most important part to convey (most, if not all, without “good reason”): But I believe that some background on my behalf is important. Whoever might read this letter might want to know why we caused you pain, and — as sorry as I am for causing it — if I write this letter you suggest, I want to get your main point across, but I also don’t want to paint myself as just some monster … because I’m not a monster. You’re right, I acted like a “hater” … but the fact is, I don’t hate you. I f***ked up in many ways, and I deeply regretting ruining a working relationship that could have been very productive. And I still miss chatting music with you. I don’t think that it’s a good idea for us to work together – or to spend much (if any) time together; however, I wish I could somehow show you that I’m not just an evil person out to slander your name. Rather, I’m a human being, just like you — albeit, maybe a little more messed-up, even today (although much less so than two years ago!) — but still, a human, one who has made many mistakes (and who once deeply hurt someone she liked, and still respects) but also, one who is in the process of healing. One of the lessons I’ve heard repeatedly in therapy is to “live in the here and now.” Even in Landmark (sorry to bring that up, as it was a bit of a touchy subject with us; again, not your issue, as you merely tried to share it with me, and I just generally didn’t care for it) — but one of the positive hings that I took away from Landmark was that “the past doesn’t matter.” To an extent, I think these things are true. When I originally contacted you with my first apology since the controversy, and my “peace offering”, I guess I was in that mindset — to focus on the present, perhaps “start all over”, and possibly have (even just a superficial, music-sharing) future. But maybe — in this case — you need to focus on the past, at least long enough to get this public admission from me. I am willing to work with you on that, if I can. I hope I can give you a second draft that you’re satisfied with. If not — and if there’s no other way I can help you with your need for justice — then perhaps we have to end things here. I would really regret that; I’ve enjoyed the points of civility up until now — but if I can’t help you the way that you need it, perhaps it’s just “meant to be” that we should keep our distance. If that’s the case, I still hope that someday, in some way, I can show you I’ve changed. And I’ve learned before (especially in recent weeks) that I can be quite an advocate for justice and fairness, if you ever need one for anything (ironic suggestion, considering our situation … but it’s true! Maybe I picked up some of that from you?). Just a couple more things: I’m sure that I earned my share of bad karma in 2008, but I’m trying to make up for it in other ways (volunteering, exercising as much compassion as possible — despite what happened between us, compassion is one trait I value more than anything). If the letter doesn’t work, and we end up ceasing contact for now, I am still leaving the door open if there’s any possible way to directly reverse the bad karma I earned from harrassing you. Are you sure you still want a letter? Again, I don’t know that I even know how to write one that’s not novel-length! And finally: I’m guessing that much of this email might frustrate you, but I hope my tone in general didn’t upset you. If you need clarification on anything, please ask. So far, your pointing out your issues of what I might have said in previous emails has been duly noted, and (despite some minor disagreements) I haven’t taken offense to anything you’ve said (except that “cancer capitol” thing, which, once you’ve explained, was a non-issue.) Thank you for reading. A part of me feels like this might take an uncomfortable turn, but I hope I’m wrong. I still want peace; or at the very least, to not be “enemies.” Sincerely, Tammy ——————————— I am not sure what happened on February 11th. I think there was a phone call with Tammy but I can’t be sure. Clearly something shifted here for me and made me uncomfortable with this process. I had showed Tammy’s first draft to an aunt of mine who is a lawyer and she said that, from her point of view, Tammy, although she may have felt sincere in offering to write the letter was, in fact, continuing the pattern of harassment from before, and was merely using this process to once again involve herself in my life. It all felt very sticky and familiar and this is how I responded. ——————————— Tammy, I cannot take this anymore. You are still writing me long letters and engaging me in your drama. I want closure. You admitted to doing horrible things to me. I would like that in writing. The rest of this is just more harassment. Please honor my request or leave me alone. I simple cannot take your continued abuse. I am sorry if I am being emotional now but you are absolutely toxic to me. Please stop fucking with me. Either be honest in a letter about WHAT YOU DID or just leave me alone. You are playing politics with my life and with the truth. My request is that the next e-mail from you be a direct and clean admission of what you did or I am going to ask you to simply go back to leaving me alone. Andras Jones ————————- And now her response from the same day ———————— I’m sorry. I should probably save this until later in the morning, but that “toxic” comment really hit me (not hurt me, just “hit” me — as in, it may just be hard truth.) And it made me re-consider the letter. Not because I want to fuck with you; but if I am hurting you as much as your email indicated,then it might be better to just end things here. If you would still like me to write your second letter (which I will write as you suggested in one of our correspondences — the one with the outline of paragraphs) I want very much to do so without causing you further pain. If, however, you’re no longer interested a second draft of the letter — if it helps bring you closure, you can take my first draft, and edit out the parts you find uncessary. I don’t know if that will help. (I can also send you a “snail mail” letter if that’s easier. Email doesn’t seem to work for us.) I wasn’t sure to expect when I first contacted you a few weeks ago, but please believe that I really never meant to cause pain when I began the process. I regret that things turned out the way they did. I might have caught you at an emotional moment this morning; or the damage from two years ago may just be too strong to undo. Either way, I hope you can find a way to heal from the damage I caused. I wish I could tell you this face-to-face or over the phone, and end things civilly, but I understand if you’d rather not hear from me again. Until tomorrow (or until you indicate to forget the second letter, and just leave you alone), Tammy —————————————– And it continues. In frustration with this process, and perhaps Tammy’s lack of ability as a writer, I did as she suggested. I took her initial confession and edited it down into something that conveyed her tone but also addressed the harassment specifically. This was also from February 11th. ——————————————- Dear Andras, I am writing to apologize for the ways that I behaved inappropriately toward you when we were working together at KAOS, and the ways that I harassed you after we stopped working together. I am not sure but I think that my behavior may have led to your dismissal from KAOS and, if so, that is something that should be set right. If there is anything that I can do to assist you in being re-instated at the station that you served happily for ten years before I did what I did, I will gladly do so. So what did I do? For one, I recognize that while we were working together on Radiio8Ball I had some very strong and conflicting feelings about you that had nothing to do with you but more to do with my own feelings and personal history. This led me to send you lots of what must have been very confusing e-mails after our shows, and to act towards you in ways which made the show uncomfortable for both of us, and probably for the listeners as well. It was also during this time that a then-boyfriend posted several malicious things about you online which you had to ask us to take down. I would like to say that this was the last time you had to deal with me and my friends posting slanderous stuff about you online. When you finally did what you felt you had to do for the good of the show and asked for a break from working together I did not react well. I asked if I could write about leaving the show in my blog and you said that was fine but you probably had no idea that I would write an 80 page series spanning several months, devoted entirely to exploring my feelings about leaving the show and you. I made no attempt to hide you identity, in fact, I can see now that much of the blog was directed at punishing you for not wanting to work with me anymore. My then boyfriend also posted a much shorter blog about you which I know that you (and many other people) saw. It was simply a picture of your face and the words “ANDRAS JONES – THE BIGGEST ASSHOLE IN OLYMPIA.” He did take it down reasonably quickly but it never should have gone up in the first place. The blogging was bad, as I know it inspired many of my friends and fellow KAOS colleagues to contact you with questions, criticisms and, in some cases, outright hostility, but I did not stop at blogging about you. When I saw the posters for Radio8Ball at KAOS I tore them down on several occasions because I couldn’t stand to look at them. I understand now that the combination of my blog, the calls and e-mails from my friends, and my vandalizing your posters must have given you the impression that I had quite a posse out to get you. Although it was all much more haphazard and emotional than that, I can see now that this situation must have been terrifying for you, which is probably why you contacted the administrators at KAOS about my harassment of you. I was asked by KAOS Program Director Jerry Drummond about my blog and I told him where to find it. I do not know if Jerry read it but neither he nor anyone at the station asked me to take it down or to stop harassing you. If they had I would have stopped. Instead, I guess I felt emboldened to continue, and it was then that I started sending some really scary and threatening e-mails to you from a dummy account in which I called you names like “fucking asshole” and referred to your girlfriend (who was always nice to me) as a “whore”. One night when I was at The Brotherhood Tavern me and a couple of friends sat around drinking and noticed that your show was mentioned in The Stranger. We decided to write things like “ANDRAS JONES IS SEXIST ASSHOLE” on the cover and inside of each magazine and then leave them in the pile for people to pick up and take home with them. We thought this was funny. I can see now that it was part of the pattern of harassment that you were contacting KAOS administrators about and, when that didn’t work, eventually went so far as taking me to court to get a restraining order against me. Even then I should have come clean about my unconscious campaign against you but instead I perjured myself by filing a restraining order against you when, in fact, you had taken no action against me other than to ask the authorities which were available to you to help you. I did other things I am not proud of. I contacted organizations that you were working to express my disapproval of you even after you had lost your show on KAOS. I still don’t know why I felt justified in treating you like this. Mostly, I am sad that I waited this long to come clean about it. I can’t imagine how I would react if someone did all of the things to me that I did to you. If it were happening to me it would have felt like a very scary case of sexual harassment. I don’t know how it must have felt to you. Why am I writing this now? Because I want peace. I want peace for myself but mostly I want peace for you. You were always very supportive and kind to me and the way I treated you was horrible and, I believe, helped to create an environment which led to your dismissal from the station by the very people you tried to get help from. I am hoping that when people at Evergreen and/or KAOS read this they will re-examine your case and, even if they don’t, I think it is important that you know the truth. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. ———————————- Tammy responded the same day with an edit of her own based upon her original e-mail and my suggested changes. —————————- Does this work? I used many of your words. I hope that is alright. If you approve of this, please let me know what you would like the next step to be. ~~~~ Dear Andras, I am writing to apologize for the ways that I behaved inappropriately toward you when we were working together on KAOS, and the ways that I harrassed you after we stopped working together. I am not sure but I think that the sneakiness of my actions and lack of diclosure on my part to station officals may have influenced your dissmissal from KAOS, and if so, that is something that should be set right. If there is anything that I can do to assist you in being re-instated at the station, I will gladly do so. Here’s what I would like to apologize for: To begin, I recognize that while we were working together on Radio8Ball, I had some very strong and conflicting feelings about you, due not so much to actions of your behalf, but rather to my own personal issues and history. I projected a role of “therapist” on you, which I imagine must have been uncomfortable for you, and which led me to send you emails after each show (and sometimes between shows) in which I tended to “spill my guts” to you, as if you were my actual therapist. I’m sure these emails must have been confusing to you, and in many ways, probably crossed some professional boundaries. On top of this, my behavior around in you in person was usually much more superficially “passive.” This passive-in-person, aggressive-in-email behavioral pattern contributed to a very awkward dynamic, which often made the show uncomfortable for both of us, and possibly for some of our listeners as well. It was also during this period of working together that a then-boyfriend (after I privately vented to him after some of these uncomfortable shows) reacted to my venting by posting some malicious things about you online, which you had to ask us to take down. I would like to say that this was the last time you had to deal with me (or my friends) posting mean-spirited things about you online. Unfortunately, this was not the case. When you finally did what you felt you had to do for the good of the show, and asked for a break from working together, I did not react well to the news at all. My confused feelings (and other personal ongoing issues, which had nothing to do with you) led me to lash out in many ways. First, when I saw some posters for Radio8Ball at KAOS, I tore them down on more than one occasion, simply because it hurt me to look at
  2. accidentalinitiations says:

    Oops. Cut off there. Here it is continued…we’re almost done.

    First, when I saw some posters for Radio8Ball at KAOS, I tore them down on more than one occasion, simply because it hurt me to look at them. I was thinking of myself and my own pain, and did not take into account that by removing your posters, I was cheating others out of the opportunity to take part in your show.

    Around this time, after an article about your show appeared in a Seattle newspaper, I’m ashamed to say that (again, due to my own hurt and conflicted feelings) I sent some really scary and threatening e-mails to you from a dummy acount, in which I called you names like “fucking asshole” and (even worse) took a cheap shot at your girlfriend (who was always nice to me) by referring to her as a “whore”.

    Meanwhile, while you still had no idea that I was behind these two actions, I asked you if I could write a blog about my experiences on the show. You gave me your approval, but you probably had no idea what it would turn into. I’m not sure that I even knew what it would turn into, but let’s just say that the blogging led to several serious repurcussions for you. I may have began the blog with (what I thought) were good intentions, but eventually it turned into an 80 page saga. My biggest mistake in writing this blog is that I made no attempt to hide you or the show’s identity. As I proceeded with the blog, it took on a much more spiteful tone. You asked me to take it down, but I refused to do so.

    One night, I finally confessed to tearing down your posters. You told me that you had had enough, and asked me to stay away from you and the show. It wasn’t an unreasonable request, but my state of mind at the time caused me to react to this news even worse than when you first asked to take a break.

    My then boyfriend witnessed my anguished, devastated reaction, and in response he posted a much shorter blog about you. It was simply a picture of your face and the words “ANDRAS JONES – THE BIGGEST ASSHOLE IN OLYMPIA.” He did take the blog down reasonably quickly but it shouldn’t have gone up in the first place (and probably would not have if he did not feel he had to protect me due to my conflicted emotional state. Unfortunately, word of his blog spread quickly around Olympia, and I know that you (and many other people) saw it before it was removed.

    All of this blogging only created further tension, as I know our blogs inspired many friends and fellow KAOS colleagues to contact you with questions, criticisms and, in some cases, outright hostility. Still, I continued blogging until May, and once I was finished, I continued to refuse to take it down.

    I understand now that the combination of my blog, the calls and e-mails from my friends, and my vandalizing your posters must have given you the impression that I had quite a posse out to get you. Although it was all much more haphazard and emotional than that, I can see now that this situation must have been terrifying for you, which, I believe, is why you contacted the administrators at KAOS about this harrassment.

    At one point, I was asked by KAOS General Manager Jerry Drummond about my blog and I told him where to find it. I do not know which staff members actually read it but nobody at the station asked me to take the blog down or to stop harrassing you (possibly because, even if they had read it, I did not disclose the full extent of my actions). If somebody had spoken to me I would have stopped.

    Instead, I continued to target you. One night, when I was at The Brotherhood Tavern, some friends and I sat around drinking and noticed that your show was mentioned in The Stranger. We decided to write comments along the lines of “ANDRAS JONES IS SEXIST ASSHOLE” above the advertisements inside several of these magazines and then merely left the stack of magazines back in the pile. At the time, we thought this was funny. I can see now that it was an example of the pattern of harrassment that you were contacting KAOS management about.
    After you lost your show at KAOS, yet another action I took involved contacting an organization that you were working with and (out of a misguided sense of fear) filing a complaint against you. This was a mistake, as it could have resulted in damaging your reputation and (ironically, though I believed at the time that I was protecting my own reputation) probably did damage mine, as I realize now that was a case of “jumping the gun.”

    Eventually, we ended up in court. I felt justified at filing a restrainining order against you, but the judge said (probably rightfully) that such an order was a waste of her and the court’s time.
    I still don’t know why I felt justified in treating you like this. I was going through some personal conflicts, and perhaps misreading and misunderstanding some communication, but in through there is no excuse or justification for engaging in any form of harassment or terror against a person. Mostly, I am sad that I waited this long to come clean about everything that I did to you.
    I can’t imagine how I might react if I were on the receiving end of the actions that I took toward you. I know I would have certainly felt threatened. I don’t know how it must have felt to you but my guess is that it must have created a very scary, ongoing feeling of (possibly sexual) harrassment.

    Why am I writing this now? Because I want peace. I want peace for myself but mostly I want peace for you. I learned a lot from you when we were working together. Despite the akwardness that was so often present (due, in large part, I’m sure, to my emails) you were in many ways very supportive and kind to me. There is no excuse for the reaction you received after you let me go for your show. I do believe that, by not admitting the full truth or speaking to managers about the situation myself, I might have helped to create an environment which led to your dismissal from the station.

    I am hoping that when people at Evergreen and/or KAOS read this they will re-examine your case and, even if they don’t, I think it is important that you know the truth. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

    Sincerely,
    Tamara Tillinghast
    ————————————-

    And my response from February 12th

    ————————————

    Tammy,

    Thank you. This should work. There are a couple of typos and I think it is best to just leave the part about our time in court out of it.

    Are you free to exchange our letters on Tuesday?

    Andras Jones!

    ————————————————–

    What followed was a series of e-mail in which she sent me a final edited version of her confession on February 15th (re-printed in Accidental Initiations) and we made a plan to meet for her to sign it on February 16th at Batdorff & Bronson in downtown Olympia. I was drained by this whole process and was ready for this part to be over. When Tammy arrived she informed me that she was still uncomfortable about signing the letter and wanted a few more days to think about it.

    Merwyn (who wasn’t there) has recently described this interaction thusly:

    If Mr. Jones was an honorable man committed to sharing the truth with his readers, he would have included the part where he presented his version of the letter to Tammy at a local Olympia coffeeshop, and that when she refused to sign it he screamed at her that she was ****ed while waving his fist (the same sort of behavior and action that got him banned from KAOS and Evergreen.)

    Tammy’s memory of the events (as recounted on my Amazon review page) goes like this:

    I never did sign Jones’s version of the letter; he elaborated and exaggerated to the point of trying to pass off the feud between us as a “sexual harrassment” case, which was completely unfounded (and, frankly, ridiculous). After we met at a coffeehouse in February 2010 and I asked for a few more days to consider signing the letter, Jones screamed swear words at me, threatened me, and raised his fist before he stormed away; these actions were similar to the allegations of violence that resulted in his ban from the Evergreen campus two years earlier. (I have not seen Andras in person since, nor did I make any attempt to contact him until he contacted me right after this book was published; however, a few weeks after the coffeehouse incident, in response to a comment written by my husband in an online forum that angered him, Jones sent my husband a message threatening to “make Tammy suffer” if my husband didn’t knock it off.)

    With each passing day, this event seems to be being built up by these two as some kind of grounds for the years of harassment that preceded it. My memory of that day is that, yes, when Tammy told me she needed more time to think about signing her confession. I told her that this was “fucked”. I may have clenched my fist when I said it. I did not scream, and if I threatened her, as she claims, the only threat was that I was going to use what she had already written to me to get my show back. As far as the e-mail to Merwyn threatening to “make Tammy suffer” I don’t have that e-mail but I know that my contention to him has always been that his actions to protect his girlfriend only served to create more suffering for her.

    Here is what I wrote to Tammy after this meeting went poorly.

    ———————-
    Subject Heading: I can’t believe you

    Tammy.

    You say you want peace but you continue to torture and harass me. I am sorry that I do not have more time to waste while you decide if you feel OK about actually committing to the peace making process. I need to put this to rest and I was hoping to do it in a way which made you look good. This is how I have approached this conflict from the beginning; trying to protect both of us from your viciousness and your cowardice.

    Do not read this as a threat. I do not threaten. I am just telling you that if we don’t do this together you are the one who is going to look very bad.

    Someday soon you are going to wake up and regret choosing to continue to make me the enemy when I am your victim. Someone in your position should maybe think a little bit more clearly about what they want to take to bed with them.

    You still have the opportunity to sign the letter and show some solidarity with me but I am forwarding your copies to my mother tonight and they will probably be in people’s hands by the end of the week.

    Andras Jones
    —————————————-

    Can you say “ugh”? I hope this makes things clearer and puts an end to Tammy’s claims of not writing the confession. If so, it should make people question the other things she is saying about me. Now, please try and forgive me for dragging you into this drama.

    I recommend drinking a glass of water, taking a deep breath of air, feeling the ground beneath your feet, and reminding yourself that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, everything is exactly as it should be.

    That’s what I’m going to do.

  3. Pingback: Unlikely Allies | Accidental Initiations 2

  4. This has sincerely intrigued me, and I plan to buy the book on Amazon.
    Oh, and the Rush Limbaugh line was excellent!

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