Discussion in 'Site Announcements' started by Rhed al'Tere, Jan 24, 2015.
I disagree with that last bit.
I'll let my co-counsel from the jurisdiction of Gondor address this question:
Thank you! He would certainly know.
Thank you again, Hammar, for giving us as much information as you can, considering the circumstances. Also, you absolutely rock with the LoTR reference
My view? As much as I would love to have Riley wish his mother had never kissed his father, his manipulations of this community show (to me) that he is without integrity, remorse, or conscience. Throw the book at him, I say.
Hammar, you are awesome.
Ismene, thank you so, so much for sharing. It is in my nature to think the best of people, and, even with all the posts I've read here, I was still having a hard time thinking that what he did, he did with malice. Knowing that you were bonded and that you shared (what you thought) was that closeness and you believe that he did this on purpose...I'm rambling. Anyway, I guess that some people just suck. It's very hard for me to say that, but I suppose it can't be denied in this case.
I'm sorry for the betrayal that you feel, and I applaud your bravery for sharing your feelings and thoughts on this situation. You have a much more unique vantage point than most.
If Riley were half the righteous man of God he claims to be he would've stopped what he was doing long before he got caught, and would've also come clean before getting caught. The fact that he didn't, and then tried to explain away his behaviour, lost him all credibility with me from the moment this broke. I was Treasurer as well once with full access to TV funds, and I was a dirt poor recent graduate eating peanut butter and baked potatoes for half my meals at the time, and yet never once was I tempted to steal. That shows a fundamental flaw of character being willing to consider such an action, most especially in a community where loans (even gifts!) would have been plentiful if he had just asked. HE chose to steal. HE chose to hide his theft. And all the while HE professed to be a Christian of understanding and upstanding moral virtue.
So far as I know he's still employed as a CHRISTIAN COUNSELOR. He's off pretending to be a humble man, advising and teaching others how to live righteous lives, all while he's sitting quiet on his own betrayal, theft, and lies. The hypocrisy makes me seethe.
As such I'm with the group that would happily see him prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Most of us haven't spoken to him since this came out, so we can't attest to hearing first-hand his motivations, but even so I think his actions here speak louder than words. He may still need to feed his family, yet if he had any integrity at all he would absolutely not be counseling. No way, no how. He's had more than two years and from what I understand, nothing has really changed.
All that being said, while I wouldn't trust the man farther than I can spit, I can and have forgiven him. As was pointed out, we forgive for ourselves, not for the other person. I am still angry about this, but instead of it being a personal vendetta against Riley I'd call it a righteous anger against the injustice he perpetrated. It is an anger that wants to see restitution made and the damage (such as it can be) to this community undone.
I also find that side by side with my anger is a tempering concern about Riley's family. They didn't steal this money. They didn't lie to us or betray us. And yet, they're victims too. They may not have felt an especially negative effect just yet (or maybe they have), but they certainly will if he goes to jail and/or they lose their home, car, etc. So while I absolutely feel Riley owes us and needs to not only make restitution but suffer additional consequences, I don't want to see those consequences so severe that his family is permanently scarred and messed up because of it, especially his kids. Perhaps that's an unavoidable consequence, but I find myself in favour of showing at least some mercy to Riley in our demands for justice, if for no other reason than his family's sake.
For a long time, as I read through everyone's posts, I found myself agreeing with both sides of the argument. If he had genuinely been in financial distress, maybe he took just enough to make ends meet. Then since he did it once, it was a little easier to do it again next time he needed money. After so many times, it wouldn't be too much to convince yourself it's acceptable to take it for things you don't *really* need but would make things easier, like new cell phones. A nice vacation to escape the stress. I could totally understand how each time you do it, it's a little easier to justify the next time.
I also understood the anger and wanting the full extent of the law brought down upon his head. He betrayed us, not just financially but also emotionally. We who considered him a friend. If he had just asked for help and explained his financial woes, how many of us would have happily helped him? I would have without a second thought. He didn't ask, though...he stole. He stole our money, and he stole our trust. One of those can never be replaced.
Then I read Ismene's post. His bond mate. Someone who talked to him on a much more personal level than probably anyone else (except maybe Raevyn). To read her opinion, I suddenly no longer believe that maybe it started out small with increasing justifications. I believe this was malice. This turns me from contemplative and hurt to downright furious. These people that all thought so highly of him, how he betrayed us. I'm not saying this happened, but I can just imagine him laughing at our trust as he took our money. How dare he do this? It would be bad enough if he had done it only to me, but also to so many people I care so much about. More than friends...family.
At the time this happened, I was Commander of DM, the Company Riley was in. He had not posted in DM anywhere he was struggling. I saw no signs of anything wrong at all. I was as blind sided by this as everyone else. I understand the administration was so overwhelmed and busy trying to fix what they could they totally forgot to give me any notice. I don't blame them at all. I blame Riley.
The rest of this is probably only in my own head, but this is my perspective. Did you know I wouldn't be a member here today if not for Riley? I knew him long before our community existed. We were friends from elsewhere on the internet, and when I messaged him one day, he said, "Hey, have you read the Wheel of Time books?" I had, and I loved them. I was a member here 15 minutes later, in chat, meeting Darian and Wil.
Ever since then, I imagined myself as his protege. He brought me here, and he was high up in administration. He and I were friends (or so I thought), and I was proud to follow in his foot steps. Proud to become a (I hope) respected member of this amazing community. So when this happened, a part of me, selfish as it may be, worried that others would then look at me. "Riley did this horrible thing, and he brought Eli to our community. What will Eli do now?" I felt a need to prove myself better than that, even if not one person looked badly upon me. In a way, I still feel this need today. "I am not Riley. I have not stolen, I will not steal. I will not betray those who put their trust in me."
So while I am angry at what Riley did to me, and to my family, I also want to say to everyone else: Thank you. Thank you for your support, support of me and each other. It is with amazement and great pride that I can stand with all of you and say, "The Tower Still Stands".
I am constantly, and repeatedly amazed and overjoyed at how incredible this community is, even in the face of really awful events and this kind of betrayal. Just want to say, you are all amazing, and despite all the feelings that everyone's trying to process, we remain a strong community and that is astounding and a testament to us all.
You aren't the only one who was worried there would be some secret deal and an "all is forgiven as long as you try and pay something back" arrangement
Just want to chime in and again express my appreciation for Hammar, who is likely very freaking busy with a million things but still takes time not just to answer questions but do it in an engaging way. Thank you.
Also - to express my appreciation for admin letting this discussion continue without too many bumps in the road.
Thank you for sharing, Ismene. It helps put things in perspective.
And thank you, Hammar, for your clarifications. They've brought a lot of light to help guide us from the confusion.
That -would- break the Tower. I don't think anyone is going to allow that. Though I also, have thought about how much it would suck if it came to pass.
In my public comments about this whole controversy I have been very clear that I would not discuss the what the Board would find acceptable in terms of any potential negotiated arrangement between the Board and Riley.
However, I will cautiously tiptoe over that line for this statement: not once in the time since this was discovered has the Board contemplated the secret deal suggested here, at least not in my virtual or actual presence. You need not worry about this.
Your appreciation is appreciated.
I have exacerbated the Board's problems on this issue, so it is only fair that I help alleviate it. What I mean is that the Leadership is under very strict instructions from me to say damn near next to nothing about this topic. I have done this for a lot of reasons, some of which are obvious and some of which are not. I am extremely pleased at how the Leadership have conducted themselves on this thread (mostly by staying out of it except to address tone). There are things I know some of them are dying to say that I will not permit, whether expressions of their feelings, or what they want done, or additional facts, etc.
Instead I am shouldering the burden of giving you guys the information I think we can give that doesn't imperil a good result. The Board has trusted me on this and I am honored by their trust and the positive reactions I've received from the community.
TLDR; I don't mind doing this at all.
Hammar: We're blessed to have you !
Indeed. Hammar, you are awesome.
Hammar, you are the awesome.
Ismene, thank you for your post. It was incredibly brave, and something I think we needed. You are an amazing woman.
ETA: (Hammar and others posted at the same time I did) Hammar, thank you for doing all of this for us, for helping maintain clarity, and for relieving the tension with an awesome sense of geeky humor
Since this has nothing to do with the legal case and is a membership question, I will confirm Hammar's statement and say that none of the Board has once brought up the possibility of him becoming a member here again under any circumstances, regardless of any possible form of restitution.
Separate names with a comma.