Honey Badger Alison Tieman has written a response to this post. You can read it here.
If you’ve been following Internet Bloodsports the past couple weeks, then you know there is some controversy surrounding the Honey Badgers Brigade. Basically, Mike Stephenson, aka Dr. Randomercam, got into it with Mr. Metokur (aka Jim, aka Internet Aristocrat), then Randomercam was allegedly supposed to go against Metokur on the big Bloodapalooza Morning Kumite broadcast. Instead of showing up, he sent Alison Tieman (another Honey Badger) in his stead and she promptly got blown out on air. A short time later, Karen Straughan got into it with Metokur as well, over on Twitter. She made a video about him afterwards, and it’s below this paragraph for your viewing pleasure.
Metokur is due to release his response video this evening. I’ll update this post with his take after it’s posted. But the reason I’m writing this is because I’ve been sent a good deal of material from former Honey Badgers. Due to the response I’ve received on Twitter and YouTube, I think folks would like to read it. When I get done, I’ll link the stream I was in yesterday with Ms. Straughan and Veeh, where she answered some of these charges directly during a cordial conversation.
On the Honey Badgers and their expulsion from the Calgary Expo back in 2015, here we have the person who created their infamous GamerGate banner. This is a long read, but I felt like it was a good idea to publish as much of this account as possible.
Alison approached me in March of 2015, one month before she and HBB were going to exhibit at Calgary Expo. At the time, I had understood that Alison was going there alone to promote and sell her comic, Xenosphora. But just a few short months prior to the comic convention, she had contacted the staff at Calgary Expo to add in the Members of Honey Badger Radio. Why? I’m not sure. But it seemed that Calgary had given Alison the OK, and she had put a fundraiser up on FeedTheBadger.com for Patreons and supporters of HBB to fund the trip for all HBB cast and crew.
Screenshots of various fundraisers are listed below:
Anyways, Alison asked me if I wanted to volunteer some work for her merchandise and promo at Calgary Expo, which I had agreed to, and knew full well that it was volunteered work, and I did not ask for any compensations, unless you include me asking for just 1 or 2 tshirts that I designed to have as keepsakes. So I created her a new Badger image with old timey scarf, goggles, and pilot vest, that was designed for T-Shirts, buttons, and DVD cover (I have screenshots from Skype of what was asked for and when, as well as the art files if you think they are relevant to see).
Now, the spring of 2015, we were seeing a lot of censorship on Twitter, YouTube, and other social media when it came to mentioning or even supporting GamerGate. Sometime in Oct-Nov of 2014 is when Alison seemed to have jumped onto the GamerGate band wagon.
At some point just before the convention, she wanted me to design a banner with the new pilot Honey Badger showing support for GamerGate and “Stand Against Censorship”. Again, another project I understood I wouldn’t earn money for and was ok with.
So with all that being said, Off Alison and the Honey Badgers good, fully funded by patreons and supporters. What comes next can all be crossed referenced with accounts from twitter and news reporting of what transpired at Calgary Expo.
Day One, not much of an issue. HBB had their booth set up, the Banner I created prominently displayed.
Then Alison and Sage Gerard (another frequent guest of HBR) went off to a Women in Comics Panel. Alison posted the whole hour-something long audio clip from the panel. About 18-20 minutes in, after a panelist was struggling to make a comment about MRAs, Alison interrupts, asking to field a question from another member of the audience. After being given permission by the panelists, Alison then attempts to promote an MRA talking point about how feminism is defined by women being victims, and that this hides men’s vulnerability. (In a sense, she walked willingly into the Lion’s Den and decided to start poking.)
Full Panel Discussion:
Now, a bit of background for me. I’ve gone to conventions before, I’ve both exhibited (sold merchandise in the booth halls) and as a panelist (hosting video game trivia panels). I speak to one of the directors for the DragonCon convention in Atlanta, GA on a regular basis, we are friends on Facebook, so I have a little more info on what it takes to organize and put these things together as well as what would be consider convention etiquette.
And Alison has admitted that she’s never been to a comic convention before and It’s a bit different from going to a men’s rights conference. (MaxKolbe, aka Dean Esmay would be someone to talk to when it comes to covering the Start of the Honey Badgers and how Alison … behaved,… when it came to participating in the First Men’s Rights International Conference.)…
Even if Alison was given permission to “field a question” this was not her platform to speak on, especially since what she had to say went against the “narrative”. It’s not even a “freedom of speech” issue. We can look to other instances where Professors go to colleges, or other events, and get interrupted or talks shut down. We can even point to last years VidCon, where yes, Sargon was basically called out just for merely sitting in on Anita Sarkeesian’s panel.
Difference is between Sargon and Alison? Sargon played it smart. He didn’t interrupt Anita, and he didn’t try to spin the argument. He barely got away by the skin of his teeth, because they attempted to label it as harassment, but all he did was sit and watch. He didn’t raise a fuss while at the panel, even after Sarkeesian called him out as “garbage human”.
I remember the Dragon Con director messaging me about this once the story got out, circulating the Mary Sue, We Hunted the Mammoth, and other news outlets what happened at the Panel, saying that even he wouldn’t approve of that kind of thing. If this told me anything, even at the time when I was defending Alison and HBB, this enlightened me to one thing: When things happens at other conventions, Organizers. Are. Watching. And often talk to each other about what is going on.
This is where things start to fall apart for HBB. Short version is Calgary is on damage control because the panelists complained about being harassed, word got around that CalEx allowed a GamerGate booth at the convention (because of the banner), and they had to nip this is the butt pronto. So Alison and HBB were expelled and banned from the convention supposedly on grounds of contract violations.
Side Note: In the very first tweet, who do we have commenting on the Badgers having a “GamerGate” booth by one GeekyLyndsay.
Now back to the man issue: most if not all Convention have a vendor/guest contract that all outside participants must sign. (Again, as having participated in other conventions myself as a exhibitor and panelist, I’ve signed these myself, and I would find it extremely hard to believe that CalEx did not have a contract agreement to sign) A standard contract will include terms and conditions, especially for booth exhibitors, things like “don’t display or sell porn/paraphernalia to minors”, “don’t sell dangerous items” “don’t sell certain types of food or drink” etc. etc.
Usually covered in this would include controversial or provocative material, to which I can point to the GamerGate banner. The only purpose it served while at the convention was to stoke the fires, especially since there was a good deal of censorship going on within online forums, news outlets, and the continuous barrage from the games journos not too long before.
So Alison used this opportunity to signal to the community, her patreons, and GamerGaters, that she and HBB were being targeted for being MRA at a comic convention.
And this is where I started to question why Alison does things the way she does. I questioned her use of the GG banner I made, which over time, I came to realize was nothing more than a target she wanted to wear to draw attention, a shield to hide behind…
But you know who this wasn’t a setback for? Honey Badger Brigade, but more specifically, Alison Tieman.
Support for her Comic skyrocketed (if only briefly) but most of the support came in the form of new patreons, more fundraisers, and an increase in shows per week. HBB prior to Calgary Expo did no more than 2-3 shows a week. After the CalEx incident they’ve increased their shows to now 4-5, sometimes 6 a week.
Alison has continued to run on this notion that she is the victim. (Go figure, because she complained in a panel for Women in Comics that women shouldn’t be victims).
If she violated the contract she would have signed before exhibiting at CalEx, then she has no case. But she is running on this “freedom of speech” and “slander” narrative, and in my personal opinion, it doesn’t hold much weight when you consider the convention is hosted by a private company with a strict set of rules for appropriate behavior in a business setting.
A few years ago, I attempted to draw attention to my suspicions of Alison’s motivations, the things she does and why she does them. I found out via another MRA that it was he who has floated the idea to Alison about purposefully getting kicked out of CalEx.
Here is the original image in an attempt to help hold HBB accountable for what happened at Calgary Expo, as well as how she treated past member Rachel Edwards. This collage of information was created nearly 2 years ago, well after Alison has offered to pay me for my work.
(archive of Rachel’s blog post venting her frustrations with HBB)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The image that goes here is so huge that you’ll have to visit this link to read it properly).
CalEx isn’t Alison’s first or only attempt in co-opting events for personal gain. Not saying that one can’t benefit from participating in an event, but there is a difference between being a participate, and trying to make the event all about “you”.
I’m not the only one that finds it strange of how many fundraisers HBB has had, and not just for the trial with a disbarred attorney representing Alison’s court case. According to Alison, he is able to practice in Alberta, but he is disbarred from practicing in all other districts in Canada. Why? For Lying. They’ve held fundraisers to buy a house to use as their production studio. Normally, I, along with others, wouldn’t have an issue with this. However, this house, as stated on their previous fundraiser was supposed to house Brian, Karen, and Dr. RandomerCam, and then held another separate fundraiser to stock it with appliances and equipment.
So the question is Where is all the money going if it’s not being used for these other expenses?
My grievances with Alison Tieman fall under wanting transparency for what they are doing. They only seem to benefit from stirring up controversy whereas people who have helped them and organized events that they later become apart of are left to pick up the shambles and broke pieces.
Now coming back to the “money”. I never asked Alison for payment, not even after I started having my suspicions, I kept that to myself. She approached me, and offered to pay and asked me what I thought would be a fair price. At first she offered royalties off each sale of the shirts I had made. I didn’t trust Alison to be honest about the number of sales, so we negotiated back and forth on a flat rate, both of which we agreed upon a final amount. If you would like I can provide screen shots of our conversations.
It wasn’t too long after Alison has paid me for the artwork, since she was doing this before she became a Corporation (and you can see Rachel’s concerns about it in the attached image) that I had put together this collage and timeline of events, trying to piece together Alison’s motivations (which we have seen from her blatant response on the Kumite Show with Metokur, Alison is motivated by promotion, which leads to more patreons, which is more $$$).
Back then, Alison and Hannah attempted to muddy the issue, saying that I was bringing this up because I wanted money. To which I had to tell her back then, and now, that I was happy with what she and I had already agreed to was a fair value for my work, and only after she offered to pay.
My grievances aren’t about money. It is about the ethics of Alison Tieman, and recent examples point to not being very ethical. I’m not looking for anything out of this other than to warn other people.
As far as what could sink their case against Calgary, simply is Alison’s motivation. Why did she change her exhibit from just her comic to bringing in the other members of Honey Badger Radio? Why ask me to make the GamerGate banner? If her motivations were purely to cause enough trouble, as was suggested to her, to get kicked out, is it not fair to question the increase in publicity and popularity they have gotten over the years,.. from being victims?…
Alison once asked me why I was “doing” this. Why I was questioning her, and why would I have made the GamerGate badger banner if I thought she was going to be malicious with it…
Why was I doing this? Simple. To warn others. Nothing special or deep about it.
I never gave her an answer to either of these questions because I never owed it to Alison to answer them. It’s Alison that owes her viewers and her patreons an explanation.
Here’s another huge image, but I’m going to try to fit it in the post. It’s a screenshot of an internal Honey Badger Skype group where former member Rachel Edwards raises issue with the financial arrangements of their organization.
In addition to that highly detailed account, I was sent some background quotes from a former member of the Honey Badgers. I read some of those on Friday’s Kumite, as well as Veeh’s stream last night. Here’s the rest of the relevant stash.
Make of this all what you will, but people have been asking for the post for days and so, here it is. I’m sorry that I couldn’t get it up sooner. I’m also pretty sure Jim’s video tonight will be more entertaining, but this is more of an info dump style write-up. Also, as I mentioned before, I was on-air for over two hours yesterday with Honey Badger Karen Straughan. It was a polite conversation where she gave rebuttals to several of these allegations.
What had originally drawn me on the show was her comment about Internet Bloodsports possibly causing suicides, which I found laughable. I also uploaded that snippet to my channel before I showed up. We talked about it some when I got on. I just think that whole bit is SJW-ish. Personally, neither I, nor anyone else, is responsible for weak-willed people killing themselves because of an online roasting. Not to mention, there are no reported suicides that have anything to do with Internet Bloodsports, but during several of Karen’s monologues, she talks as if they’re confirmed happening.
Anyway, enjoy the Jim response tonight. I’ll have it up when it’s posted. And leave me some feedback on all this down below, if you are so inclined. Oh, and consider joining the unofficial TRR Discord server if you get a chance. I have to say unofficial in case someone spergs out and does some crazy shit, since I can’t admin it 24/7, lol.
UPDATE: Here’s Jim’s video: