Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Author's Note: The response to this article was overwhelmingly positive. A tremendous number of people reached out to me to express their support of me, our family, and everything we have done for the community. There are still one or two people who have disappointed me, but overall, the sentiments expressed in this article were quickly dispelled by the outpouring of love we received.

My thanks to everyone who expressed their feelings.

Amy, my daughter and I had a good life. We were part of a community that we believed in. We would see them at events and we were family. Then everything changed.

A fire broke out and we ran in to try to help. We did it because we cared about the community that we had come to know and love. We did it for people in the community that we didn’t even know because it was the right thing to do.

Then the lies began. I don't understand why people think that we are the enemy. It would be like running to a fire to try to help put it out only to be charged with arson.

It doesn't bother me that strangers believed the lies. They're strangers. They don't know any better. But my friends, people I'd known for years believed them. Even when the truth was available for them to read, they accepted lies rather than look at the truth for themselves.

And that's what hurts. Not the time we wasted. Not the struggles. Not the money we lost. Not the fact that someone called DCF on us or the threats. What really hurts is that people we thought were friends turned their backs on us.

We have spoken to our friends who are involved in this new event, and some say that it might be best if we did not attend. I've seen a statement which declares that this new event is now being run entirely by members of the community, as though I am not a member of this community anymore.

Now, it sounds like we are told that we are not welcome in this community. Not by strangers, but by our "friends", those who we had considered family. By the people who told us that they supported us. People who privately thanked us for all we had done but publicly could not stand far enough away.

We are hurt. We are deeply hurt. We are hurt in ways that I cannot begin to put into words.

I am sad. I am angry. I am disappointed. I am shocked. I have far fewer friends that I believed I did even two weeks ago.

We had a good life. Then everything changed, and nothing will ever be the same.


  1. You are not alone, Michael. I am one of many people who have attended SWF on and off for the better part of a decade. I no longer consider myself a member of that community; I'm pulling back. Why? Because as an uninvolved bystander witnessing that implosion of JME, I watched you run into that fire and saw what was done to you. I saw the rabid posts. Complete strangers urged me to join their angry mob. Complete strangers attacked me for pointing out that what you were trying to accomplish was legally complex. When I noted that every explanation you posted made perfect sense to me, from my brief stint in a law office, the furious imps came after me. And that's how they seemed: Immature, unaware, furious children, who had no concept of how hard it must be to unravel and then reweave the SWF. I am disgusted with the way you were treated. I have no intention of attending anything "Steampunk" any time soon, not with those pissy hyenas still loose in that community. I suspect there are many other witnesses, less vocal than I have been, who've been left feeling estranged from Steampunk, possibly for good.

  2. At first, I was sympathetic to an apparent group of victimized people innocently preyed upon. As time has gone on, it appears to me to be a well-organized terrorist cell bent on destroying a community they claim to be protecting. I am not sure what "community" they are speaking for-- who voted them in as spokespeople--particularly when many have admitted they haven't attended events in years. The longer they weaponize their hurt against an innocent community and particularly focus on a group who were genuinely trying to save a much-beloved community event, the less they come across as believable innocent victims.