Evading Accountability

According to INCITE!, people who commit acts of gender oppression, abuse, and violence can add on all sorts of additional manipulative behavior that are the opposite of accountability. A list of generally how Thadeaus has employed the majority of these behaviors is below. General examples are provided so that one can see behaviors and patterns emerge for themselves.

1) Make sure their victims/survivors don’t do anything back
Pick someone who they think won’t tell or is not in a position to tell – Thadeaus seems to have repeatedly chosen to date/abuse primarily women with little or no ties to NYC, ‘the movement’ or both.
Uses denial – Thadeaus has denied having an abuse history entirely, or more recently when required to admit to certain abusive behaviors to begin the failed accountability process he admitted to a bare minimum and continued to deny the majority.
Uses minimizing – Thadeaus has tried to minimize both the frequency and severity of his abusive actions (especially as a back-up when it has become impossible to deny various acts).
Tries to make them believe it’s their fault – Thadeaus has tried to promote the impression that survivors provoked his abuse of them or engaged in ‘mutual abuse’ by making various character judgments about them (i.e. ’emotionally unstable,’ ‘crazy,’ etc.)
Discredits their work and/or personality – In addition to previously mentioned character judgments, Thadeaus tried to link him being called out for abuse to government repression tactics.
Threatens them with physical harm – Thadeaus has used veiled physical threats or aggressive/threatening body language in place of explicit verbal threats of physical harm.

2) Make sure they don’t get caught
Do things when people aren’t looking or in ways that people can’t see – Thadeaus has been known to engage in abusive behavior only when he is alone with his target.
Start discrediting their survivor/victim, their work or personality, so that anything they say won’t be believed – Thadeaus used both personal and political discrediting tactics against at least one vocal survivor.
Organize to isolate the survivor/victim and any allies – Thadeaus tried to prevent survivor(s) from telling their story and engaging with other people about the abuse they experienced at his hands. Survivors and allies have experienced backlash including anonymous email threats.
Act in heroic, self-sacrificing or other ways so that will make people think they could do no wrong or feel indebted to them – Shortly after being called out in March of 2009, Thadeaus engaged in a few high-profile political actions.

3) Make sure if they do get caught, they can get out of it
Make up a story or stories explaining away their behavior – Thadeaus has been known to lie and/or manipulate the facts or circumstances of a situation to minimize his role.
Silently or not so silently threaten those who try to do something to
raise the issue or confront them
– People who have spoken out about their experiences with Thadeaus have experienced backlash. It is unclear, but likely due to the circumstances, that the anonymous email threats to survivors and allies originated from him.
Threaten to sue, call the police, call INS, report to funders – Thadeaus has called the police on a number of occasions and provided false and incriminating information about [former] comrades.
Claim that they are being a victim of feminists or the enemy – Thadeaus claimed that being called out for his abuse made him a target of government repression tactics.
Claim that the accusations are personal gripes, individual issues, power-plays – Thadeaus tried to claim that issues of abuse were personal issues between him and the survivors, and that a survivor was being vocal about the abuse to push him out of activism.
Start making excuses for their behavior (not to explain or understand, but to excuse their behavior and avoid accountability) – Thadeaus’ excuses hinge primarily upon character judgments of survivors.
Try to meet with the victim/survivor as a good-will gesture or as a way to be direct and honest (but really to interrogate/intimidate them) – Thadeaus has tried to meet with survivors privately, pressure them into mediations and manipulate them in private discussions.
Use relationships with respected folks within the movement, sometimes from outside the community, to back them up, prove that they cannot be abusers, shield them from accountability – Thadeaus has contacted members of the community that have moved away or are otherwise out of touch with the abusive behavior he has engaged in to back him.
Quit or leave immediately if they think they have to take some accountability (not for reasons of the victim/survivors safety or because it’s the right thing to do, but because they want to avoid accountability) – Once it became clear that certain projects or organizations were not going to be swayed by his manipulation he promptly disassociated from them.
Use delaying tactics until everyone gets worn out – Thadeaus waited for people to more or less guide him every step of the way into an accountability process and resisted true accountability rendering trying to work with him in such a process slow and arduous at best.

And It Can Get Even Sneakier and Nastier
Some oppressive, abusive, and violent people (mostly men/boys/male-identified but also women/girls/female-identified/transgender) go beyond these actions and devote considerable energy towards increasing their opportunities for abuse. Some examples include:
“Chronic” abusers, harassers, rapists, batterers, etc. who find one person (usually women/girls/female-identified) after another to oppress and abuse – Thadeaus has exhibited abusive behavior in several relationships.
Abusive persons who ask others to cover for them or organize others to cover for them – Thadeaus asked people to support him in his efforts to discredit survivor(s) and evade accountability.
Abusive persons who “mentor” other (often less powerful or younger) individuals in order to exercise power and control over them or to take advantage of them – Thadeaus has been known to place himself in these types of relationships with younger people. Years ago, when being called out for abuse he was asked to no longer mentor young women. This behavior seemed to have tapered off to an extent, but since many older activists disassociated with him as his abusive behavior continued, he was consistently associating with newer and younger people.
Abusive persons who use their skills to gain positions of leadership, status and power within the political movement in part to gain more power and control over others, increasing opportunities for abuse and escape from accountability – Thadeaus has been known to exercise power and control in political organizations, leading a large number of people to cease working with him.

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