Accountability in Polyamory

Accountability Statement

This site was created by Franklin Veaux to address allegations of wrongdoing against me from several sources, to provide an avenue of redress for those I have wronged, and to open a larger conversation about accountability in the poly community. If you’re here, you’re probably aware that several women, including Eve Rickert among others, have made serious allegations of misconduct about my past behavior.

I have always strived to advocate for the highest standards of ethics in personal romantic relationships. I regret I have not always lived up to my own ideals. I have heard from people who say I have harmed them. This site is a place where I can share transparency as I seek to be accountable for the harm I have caused.

I will be updating this site as time goes on. In addition, I will also be posting on my personal blog at tacit.livejournal.com and my Web site at www.franklinveaux.com.

Many people have raised questions about the fact I’ve made few public statements about the allegations or my efforts to address the harm I have caused. I have not spoken publicly about the allegations for the past two years because my lawyer has advised me not to.

Why do I have a lawyer? There is more happening here than the general public knows about.

I am engaged in an ongoing legal dispute with my former partner and coauthor, Eve Rickert, over the ownership of the two companies we co-founded together, Tacit Pleasures and Thorntree Press, and the contracts regarding some of the books we co-authored together. Eve’s public accusations began after I refused to give her my shares in our publishing company without payment. I will be talking more about this in the months ahead.

The fact that I have not spoken publicly does not mean I am ignoring the accusations, nor trying to evade responsibility for the harm I have caused. Since these accusations became public, I have taken many steps to attempt to understand the harm I have caused and seek ways to address that harm and to learn from the experiences and stories of my former partners who have made statements about the harm they have experienced from me.

Some of the things I’ve done in the wake of these stories include:

1. I have been seeing a therapist with skill and experience in nontraditional relationships. This therapy has two goals: to help me better understand the experiences of the people close to me, so that I can become a better, more understanding and more compassionate partner.

2. I have assembled an accountability pod made up of people with experience in the polyamory and BDSM scenes to help hold me accountable for the harm I have caused.

3. I have established a way for people who I have harmed to contact my pod, anonymously if they like, to address that harm.

As I work with my partners and my therapist, I have come to realize specific behaviors and actions on my part that are harmful to the people close to me. I will talk more about the specifics in the months ahead.

I am committed to a transparent process of accountability and redress of the harm I have caused, which is why I built this site.

I invite anyone who has experienced harm from me to reach out, if they so desire, to my pod. You can contact my pod at the email address podreports2020@gmail.com, which you will find in the Contact tab on the upper left-hand side of this site.

I am willing to work with whatever process those who I’ve harmed feel comfortable with to address the causes of my harm, the behaviors that led to that harm, and whatever I can do moving forward to redressing that harm.

That said:

I categorically will not participate in any process that involves Eve Rickert.

I have been physically, verbally, emotionally, and financially abused by Eve Rickert. In the months ahead, I will be talking about my experiences as a survivor of intimate partner domestic violence from Eve Rickert. I do not feel safe in any process that involves Eve Rickert and I will not engage with her in any way except through my attorney.

If Eve Rickert is genuinely invested in the experiences of the other women who have reported being mistreated by me, I invite her to step back to make space for them to engage in a constructive process of addressing those harms, if that is what they wish to do. It is my hope that I can separate the process of restorative justice from the pending legal and other issues that remain between Eve and me.

FAQ

What is the purpose of this site?
This site exists for two reasons. First, as a way for me to show the accountability process I am engaging in with respect to people I have harmed in the past, and also, separately of that, to document years of abuse--including verbal, emotional, and physical abuse--I experienced during my relationship with Eve Rickert.
Are you saying you are an abuse survivor?
Yes. I have been clinically diagnosed with PTSD as a result of the abuse I experienced while I was involved in a relationship with Eve Rickert. During the course of that relationship, I also participated in silencing another survivor who had also been abused by Eve, and deplatforming her so that she would not be able to tell her story. I am deeply ashamed of the role I played in this, and part of my accountability process is owning up to what I did.
Why have you not said anything until now?
My lawyer has advised me not to.

I am currently involved in a legal dispute with Eve Rickert over the company we cofounded, Thorntree Press. When I left Eve, she attempted to coerce me to give her my shares of the company for free, without payment. When I refused to do so, she hired an attorney to try to force me out. When I hired my own attorney, she began making public accusations of abuse.

In addition, I have not been ready to discuss my experiences with Eve. I have been in therapy since shortly after I left Eve, attempting both to deal with my own trauma stemming from years of verbal and physical abuse and also to learn to understand where I myself have gone wrong and caused harm to others.

Untangling these things has not been easy, and there's still a lot of work to do. I will continue to update this site over time as my own accountability process continues.
Have you refused to engage in a transformative justice process with the people you've harmed?
No.

I have formed an accountability pod and I have communicated with the pod representing the women who feel I have harmed them. I have issued a statement to that pod that I will engage with anyone who I have harmed, but I will under no circumstance engage in any process involving Eve Rickert.
Why will you not engage in a transformative justice process with Eve Rickert?
I do not feel safe with her.

I have not felt safe with her since she hit me. After I left, I made a conscious decision to cut off all contact with her. Since she hit me, I absolutely do not believe that it is reasonable or worthwhile to participate in any process with her.

My therapist concurs with this.

I will document multiple instances of violence, consent violations, and other abuse I experienced at the hands of Eve Rickert. I will also be talking about my observations of Eve abusing others, and the role I and other prominent leaders in the poly community played in silencing abuse reports about Eve.
Are you saying you have not harmed others?
No. I have in fact caused harm to other people I have been involved in relationships with. That is a separate issue from the experiences I have had in my relationship with Eve.

The purpose of this site is twofold: to address the harm I've caused and also to document the abuse I experienced. I had originally planned to do this on two separate Web sites, but the opinion of several people on my pod is that these two things are related to each other--the same personality traits, flaws, and failings that caused me to harm others also made me uniquely vulnerable to Eve's abuse--and they can't easily be separated.

My therapist concurs with this as well.

I want to make clear that when I talk about my experiences with Eve, in no way am I attempting to excuse or justify my own poor behavior.

I invite anyone who feels I have harmed them to contact my pod using the link above and to the left. Emails sent to this address won't go to me, but to people on my pod.