“A Fungus Among Us” is another post in Thomas’s series “There’s a War On.” In this post, Thomas talks about how serial abusers work their way into central community positions. They are often charming and popular and have a lot of supporters/fans/friends. They are often the most fun.
They are serial abusers. Through empirical research compiled under what is now known as The Predator Theory, we know that 90% of the assaults are committed by less than 10% of the population. Research shows around 4% and 8%. 4% is one out of 25 people, meaning someone we know.
(Side note. The number of sociopaths in society are also at 4%. One out of 25. You know a sociopath. You know a rapist. They might even be the same person, and they are likely your friend.) Again, Thomas speaks particularly about BDSM communities, but his words can be applied to any community.
Four out of a hundred, one out of twenty-five: someone we know. Someone we’re friends with. Someone we trust. Someone who is friends with our friends. It may be worse in BDSM communities, nobody has any numbers. Pedophiles try to become priests, teachers, coaches, run camps: places where their access to targets will be easy, where they can select and groom targets. Given the way BDSM communities offer access to targets and unwittingly or even recklessly provide cover for abusive conduct, why wouldn’t predators who want adult victims gravitate toward BDSM communities? Anyone who thinks that can’t be true is in denial.
He goes on to give an account of a woman who tried to warn others about her rapist, and they behaved in the exact same way. He doesn’t know the woman or the abuser, but he says it rings true because this is what he’s experienced and witnessed in his own community. All those who ask me again and again and again how I can “jump” on any accusation and believe it, and why I’m asking you to do the same (at least give the benefit of the doubt to the victim, not the accused) is because it’s the same. exact. thing. I’ve seen in countless communities. It rings true because there is a 98% chance it is true.
He also tells a story about a woman who was raped with a knife, something her dom was into and kept trying to talk her into it during their play sessions. She repeatedly said she wasn’t ready for penetration with a knife…well, he decided that it didn’t matter what she wanted. Boris, as he names the dom in his story, was very popular and central in their scene. “Boris cares more about consent than anyone, or that’s the impression he gives, and so say some of his friends.” Read the post to see just how much “Boris” cares about consent. Many, many abusers and rapists hide behind feminism and spirituality and in other places that cause you to doubt their true nature when it’s revealed through the trembling lips of one of their victims.
There’s a theme here: that silence and secrecy are the paramount values, and open discussion is to be avoided. It’s a basic function of institutions, but often of informal social networks as well, to protect the body from reputational damage. That’s what colleges do with rape: they use nondisclosure agreements so that whatever the result, nobody can talk about it. When I was in college and there was an accusation of a sexual assault on a woman I sort of knew, I got the account from her, and she said it happened and I believed her, so I told anyone who would listen about the perp. So the administration told me I’d be punished if I didn’t shut up. That’s how it happens. Not talking about it is rule #1. Continue reading