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Scott Benson details his history with Alec Holowka

aeolist

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,652
I suppose the problem with indie game dev (from an outside perspective) is that a lot of people work remotely from one another. So it makes it easier for abusers to silo off groups or people who then have no one to turn to for support.

It's amazing that this already terrible situation is actually much worse than I thought.

I'm just desperately hoping it doesn't kick off GG 2.0.
i'd say the problem is that security and stability are very hard to come by and people are pursuing their passion projects. this makes for a pool of people who are very very susceptible to exploitation and abuse by anyone who can provide even a small amount of money/experience/expertise. you see this kind of isolation tactics from abusers in less geographically disparate fields too, it's all about who has power and who is dependent.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,886
There is a vast difference between "accountability" and "total destruction".

The man is fucking dead. Suicide is ultimately the decision of the person taking their own life, but it's impossible to discount the factors, here. This dude would not be dead right now without that callout - is that not by itself reason enough to suggest something was wrong with it, or at the very least something wrong with the culture and vocabulary surrounding it?
No. The implication that you made, and you're going to pretend that you didn't make it, but you did, the implication that victims of abuse are intended to have check themselves and deny themselves a chance at revealing their abuse to protect themselves or others and take into account the possible difficulty of the revelation on their abusers life is insane.
 

Jessie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,963
This dude would not be dead right now without that callout - is that not by itself reason enough to suggest something was wrong with it, or at the very least something wrong with the culture and vocabulary surrounding it?
He’s been talking about suicide for years. It’s not like the callout drove him to that point.

And blaming others’ actions for someone’s suicide is incredibly dangerous.
 

aeolist

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,652
There is a vast difference between "accountability" and "total destruction".

The man is fucking dead. Suicide is ultimately the decision of the person taking their own life, but it's impossible to discount the factors, here. This dude would not be dead right now without that callout - is that not by itself reason enough to suggest something was wrong with it, or at the very least something wrong with the culture and vocabulary surrounding it?
you can't say an unstable person who threatened suicide so often for so long wouldn't be dead without this callout, and you're just directly victim blaming here. it's disgusting.
 

Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,332
Again, its not so easy to just "stop" when his behaviour is linked to his unhealthy mental state. It also sounds like he didn't even realise the extent of the harm he caused until he saw Bethany's tweets, at which point it sounds like he understood and felt some remorse.

He was obviously a deeply troubled guy, and I think its just an all round shit situation for everyone involved. He's not totally blameless, but I'm also fairly sympathetic to how much turmoil he was probably in personally. The fact he chose to take his own life shows how he suffered more than anyone due to his behaviour and I have a lot of sympathy towards him for that. What that doesn't mean is that I don't also have sympathy for everyone else involved in this situation.
Having mental illness does not give someone a blank check to do and say whatever they want, including abusing others, without repercussion. Again, you are ignoring the fact that Scott has flat out said this brief period of time where him and Bethany thought he got better after seeing the tweets he was just abusing other people. Alec is 100% to blame and you will not convince me otherwise.
 

Batatina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,483
Edinburgh, UK
This is such a sad story, and as someone who followed both (and is such a fan of Night in the Woods) it touched me more than usual. Benson seems to be a great guy, and I hope they can overcome this period and continue to gives us all their art and expression. And despite Alec's anger and attitude, I'm sad he couldn't overcome it all in the end and become better. This must also be a very hard time for the victims who came forward, they must be feeling so conflicted, but they really didn't deserve any of this.
 

Alien Bob

Member
Nov 25, 2017
167
There is a vast difference between "accountability" and "total destruction".

The man is fucking dead. Suicide is ultimately the decision of the person taking their own life, but it's impossible to discount the factors, here. This dude would not be dead right now without that callout - is that not by itself reason enough to suggest something was wrong with it, or at the very least something wrong with the culture and vocabulary surrounding it?
A number of things bother me about this take.

First, not every abuser who gets called out commits suicide. Second, the man had clearly been on a path of self-destruction for a long time, alienating those who put themselves in harm's way to help him. Third, the "culture and vocabulary" surrounding abusers is arises from the fact that victims have to keep their abuse secret. It's an emotional outburst fueled by years of repression. Calling a problem when it's one of the many effects of the real problem seems rather cruel to me. Many abusers have used threats of suicide to manipulate their victims, and the fact that sometimes they follow through does not make those threats any less abusive. Hell, it makes them more abusive.
 

Onebadlion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,427
Having mental illness does not give someone a blank check to do and say whatever they want, including abusing others, without repercussion. Again, you are ignoring the fact that Scott has flat out said this brief period of time where him and Bethany thought he got better after seeing the tweets he was just abusing other people. Alec is 100% to blame and you will not convince me otherwise.
Well, yeah, ultimately he is responsible for himself and what he does. All I'm saying is that I have some sympathy for the fact that much of the abuse seems to stem from his own mental illness rather than deliberate malice, and that he was clearly unwell which is quite sad.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything. You're very welcome to your opinion.
 

silkysmooth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,794
Will read after work. Don't have the time right now.

Definitely going to be one of those things where you don't think a situation could be any sadder and then it is.
 

Wintermute

Member
Oct 27, 2017
591
so a few things.

people seem to be arguing against victims coming forward to talk about their experience lest they cause harm to the person whom they might reference because that person has mental health issues.

alec painted himself into a corner, the consequences of the abuse he committed caught up with him. what has happened as result is heartbreakingly tragic, but it wasn't zoe quinn's fault, nor scott benson's. they had a right to speak about their experiences, and they did so in a moderate and thoughtful way.

also like, supporting someone with mental health problems is not as simple as giving them a hug and telling them it will be better. with someone like alec who clearly had complex needs, trying to reach out and involve yourself with that person can sometimes be extremely harmful to your own health. scott details the feeling he'd become responsible for alec in his post. the orbit he fell into trying to be a friend to alec, trying to manage him, gave him ptsd.

so, please dont criticise people for speaking out. sometimes the ineluctable result of years and years of hidden abuse and trauma is that is bubbles to the surface and bursts, sometimes with awful results like this.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
Well, yeah, ultimately he is responsible for himself and what he does. All I'm saying is that I have some sympathy for the fact that much of the abuse seems to stem from his own mental illness rather than deliberate malice, and that he was clearly unwell which is quite sad.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything. You're very welcome to your opinion.
Alec was cognizant enough of his own failings to worry openly to Scott, someone he barely even knew, about the shit he did to Zoe "coming out" and yet still continued, for years, to abuse various people and perform isolation tactics to ensure they never spoke up about his behavior towards others.

At which point do we acknowledge or at least just consider the possibility that maybe he was just a bad person at his core?
 

Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,332
Well, yeah, ultimately he is responsible for himself and what he does. All I'm saying is that I have some sympathy for the fact that much of the abuse seems to stem from his own mental illness rather than deliberate malice, and that he was clearly unwell which is quite sad.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything. You're very welcome to your opinion.
Millions of people suffer from mental illness without abusing their friends, family, and co-workers. You saying that you attribute much of Alec's abuse stemmed from his mental illness dismisses him from responsibility and accountability is disgusting.
 

the_wart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,368
There is a vast difference between "accountability" and "total destruction".

The man is fucking dead. Suicide is ultimately the decision of the person taking their own life, but it's impossible to discount the factors, here. This dude would not be dead right now without that callout - is that not by itself reason enough to suggest something was wrong with it, or at the very least something wrong with the culture and vocabulary surrounding it?
This is so transparently gamergate bullshit that I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit. No, people who "callout" years of abuse by a man who manipulated and traumatized them, in part by threatening to commit suicide, are not responsible for that person's suicide.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
The question becomes at what point does mental illness become an excuse that covers up just being a shitty person. There are millions of us who deal with mental illness and the vast majority dont end up terrorizing people.

You cannot blame every single bad thing you ever do as being out of your control you lack capacity and this story clearly indicates just how manipulative he was.

Also I'd like to point out that he basically seemed to have already decided he was going to kill himself whenever his assault allegations came out based on this so no this had nothing to do with intent mob justice as well.
This. Scott Benson himself, as he says in this piece, suffers from similar disorders as Alec did. Not to lump all mental illnesses together, but being mentally ill does not make you an abuser. Full stop.
 

Claven

Game Localization
Verified
Aug 22, 2018
2,809
I lost some respect for Scott after reading this.

It seems like everyone knew about Alec and his mental illness but no one ever talked with him about it. It's even sadder because he talks about how one time Bethany made those twitter posts how she's done with Alec and he listened and got better etc.

You would think, after that, they would talk with him more about it but it seems like they were again just silently suffering.

They made a beautiful game about friendship and mental illneses, that friends should help each other but in real life they just didn't do much.

This is just a huge fuck up on all sides.

That "I survived Alec holowka" sounds really bad. He's successful thanks to Alec.
He could have waited some more before badmouthing him. He died just a few days ago. Let his family mourn.
This is an incredibly bad take. It seems you missed the part where multiple people spent a huge amount of time and effort trying to help Alec with his issues.
 

Onebadlion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,427
Millions of people suffer from mental illness without abusing their friends, family, and co-workers. You saying that you attribute much of Alec's abuse stemmed from his mental illness is disgusting.
Scott kinda did too?

Mental illness manifests differently in people. Saying millions of people suffer without abusing is a waste of keystrokes. Plenty of other people do, so your point is a nothing point.

Nobody can really say how much was Alec being consciously manipulative and nasty and how much was a result of his illness, but everyone who has spoken about him acknowledges that he was ill. The only person who can answer that is dead now
 

mbpm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,027
I lost some respect for Scott after reading this.

It seems like everyone knew about Alec and his mental illness but no one ever talked with him about it. It's even sadder because he talks about how one time Bethany made those twitter posts how she's done with Alec and he listened and got better etc.

You would think, after that, they would talk with him more about it but it seems like they were again just silently suffering.

They made a beautiful game about friendship and mental illneses, that friends should help each other but in real life they just didn't do much.

This is just a huge fuck up on all sides.

That "I survived Alec holowka" sounds really bad. He's successful thanks to Alec.
He could have waited some more before badmouthing him. He died just a few days ago. Let his family mourn.
Strange take. One might think you have no experience with abuse or abusers at all.
 

Mazinger

Banned
Nov 15, 2017
86
So you're implying victims of abuse should never come out or come forward for fear that their abuser might commit suicide?
I firmly believe a victim has the right to hold their abuser accountable. And consequently, with the great power of such a call-out should also come a great responsibility. Especially if the abuser in this situation has a known history of mental fragility and was very likely suffering from borderline personality disorder (a heavily stigmatized mental illness with a roughly 10% suicide rate).

If he was in dbt it's almost definitely due to BPD. Those kind of paranoid thoughts (someone is trying to kill me / someone will kill me through malicious indifference / i will be killed by hateful action) often slowly become self-fulfilling prophecies. BPD sabotages your ability to make friends and romantic partners or keep them for substantial periods of time and ascribes significant blame onto people for (often perceived, sometimes quite real) abandonment or personal sleights. It's usually caused by severe, often-prolonged trauma (he mentions being PTSD, as well) and is a lifelong challenge with a terrifying mortality rate. Underlying a lot of these paranoias is a deeply inflated sense of self - you often hurt others because sleights against you are perceived as unempathetic and malicious and then lash out more than you were lashed upon. However, you also feel intense and unbearable guilt for your actions and others' words and tend to self-flagellate more than anything.

What I then ask of all of you, is whether calling out your rather unstable abuser using your platform of a 100k followers who most certainly won't be nice about it and said abuser effectively being exiled from society is the wisest approach to get him to own up to his actions. This is what I meant with "accountability" not being the same as "total destruction". We're long past the stage that naivety can be considered an excuse here, callouts frequently result in the accused departing social media, losing their job & future opportunities for employment, and significant worsening of mental health.

Alec probably was still a paranoid mess, hard to work with, and constantly feeling threatened to the point he wouldn't let people around him off the hook - but this is shit you handle on a personal level. you reach out to people around him who care for him and keep him in check, form a small network to hold him accountable if he keeps it up, keep a reasonable distance if he hurts you. You don't fucking blow him up on twitter when you know your voice immediately reaches a non-trivial fraction of a million and will travel to the millions within a day. That repeated attempts to help him didn't work out didn't warrant a nuclear option like this. Give the guy an option to come clean on his own before uploading his wanted poster. Zoe's a person with massive respect & clout within the community - not some nobody - and she absolutely had avenues available to make sure people working with Alec were either aware of or safe from his behavior without doing the equivalent of a public assassination she knew would likely destroy his career. You're accountable for how you choose to go about a callout, especially with that kind of following.

Social media doesn't understand you and doesn't understand your friends, it just understands how to celebrate or condemn. A life is not a like/dislike button, don't put one to that metric. It turns out - weirdly enough! - that total strangers don't know you, and when asked to make an evaluation of your life both can and will file into binary lanes over your worth as a person.
 

gdt

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,859
There is a vast difference between "accountability" and "total destruction".

The man is fucking dead. Suicide is ultimately the decision of the person taking their own life, but it's impossible to discount the factors, here. This dude would not be dead right now without that callout - is that not by itself reason enough to suggest something was wrong with it, or at the very least something wrong with the culture and vocabulary surrounding it?
Duudde.

No.
 

Jessie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,963
this is shit you handle on a personal level. you reach out to people around him who care for him and keep him in check, form a small network to hold him accountable if he keeps it up, keep a reasonable distance if he hurts you.
What do you think they’d been doing for 6 years?

The problem is that you only ever see your relationship with someone else. And he was alternating targets of his abuse so that no one would find out. Some of his friends would think he was getting better, while he was off tormenting someone else.
 

Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,332
I firmly believe a victim has the right to hold their abuser accountable. And consequently, with the great power of such a call-out should also come a great responsibility. Especially if the abuser in this situation has a known history of mental fragility and was very likely suffering from borderline personality disorder (a heavily stigmatized mental illness with a roughly 10% suicide rate).

If he was in dbt it's almost definitely due to BPD. Those kind of paranoid thoughts (someone is trying to kill me / someone will kill me through malicious indifference / i will be killed by hateful action) often slowly become self-fulfilling prophecies. BPD sabotages your ability to make friends and romantic partners or keep them for substantial periods of time and ascribes significant blame onto people for (often perceived, sometimes quite real) abandonment or personal sleights. It's usually caused by severe, often-prolonged trauma (he mentions being PTSD, as well) and is a lifelong challenge with a terrifying mortality rate. Underlying a lot of these paranoias is a deeply inflated sense of self - you often hurt others because sleights against you are perceived as unempathetic and malicious and then lash out more than you were lashed upon. However, you also feel intense and unbearable guilt for your actions and others' words and tend to self-flagellate more than anything.

What I then ask of all of you, is whether calling out your rather unstable abuser using your platform of a 100k followers who most certainly won't be nice about it and said abuser effectively being exiled from society is the wisest approach to get him to own up to his actions. This is what I meant with "accountability" not being the same as "total destruction". We're long past the stage that naivety can be considered an excuse here, callouts frequently result in the accused departing social media, losing their job & future opportunities for employment, and significant worsening of mental health.

Alec probably was still a paranoid mess, hard to work with, and constantly feeling threatened to the point he wouldn't let people around him off the hook - but this is shit you handle on a personal level. you reach out to people around him who care for him and keep him in check, form a small network to hold him accountable if he keeps it up, keep a reasonable distance if he hurts you. You don't fucking blow him up on twitter when you know your voice immediately reaches a non-trivial fraction of a million and will travel to the millions within a day. That repeated attempts to help him didn't work out didn't warrant a nuclear option like this. Give the guy an option to come clean on his own before uploading his wanted poster. Zoe's a person with massive respect & clout within the community - not some nobody - and she absolutely had avenues available to make sure people working with Alec were either aware of or safe from his behavior without doing the equivalent of a public assassination she knew would likely destroy his career. You're accountable for how you choose to go about a callout, especially with that kind of following.

Social media doesn't understand you and doesn't understand your friends, it just understands how to celebrate or condemn. A life is not a like/dislike button, don't put one to that metric. It turns out - weirdly enough! - that total strangers don't know you, and when asked to make an evaluation of your life both can and will file into binary lanes over your worth as a person.
Your first sentence contradicts literally everything else in this post. Can't say I agree with anything you've said here considering the mental gymnastics you seem to be doing to pin so much blame on Zoe for coming forward/out in the time, place, and method of her choosing but all of a sudden we should be concerned about how that made the known abuser (of many people) feel. What a joke.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
I firmly believe a victim has the right to hold their abuser accountable. And consequently, with the great power of such a call-out should also come a great responsibility. Especially if the abuser in this situation has a known history of mental fragility and was very likely suffering from borderline personality disorder (a heavily stigmatized mental illness with a roughly 10% suicide rate).

If he was in dbt it's almost definitely due to BPD. Those kind of paranoid thoughts (someone is trying to kill me / someone will kill me through malicious indifference / i will be killed by hateful action) often slowly become self-fulfilling prophecies. BPD sabotages your ability to make friends and romantic partners or keep them for substantial periods of time and ascribes significant blame onto people for (often perceived, sometimes quite real) abandonment or personal sleights. It's usually caused by severe, often-prolonged trauma (he mentions being PTSD, as well) and is a lifelong challenge with a terrifying mortality rate. Underlying a lot of these paranoias is a deeply inflated sense of self - you often hurt others because sleights against you are perceived as unempathetic and malicious and then lash out more than you were lashed upon. However, you also feel intense and unbearable guilt for your actions and others' words and tend to self-flagellate more than anything.

What I then ask of all of you, is whether calling out your rather unstable abuser using your platform of a 100k followers who most certainly won't be nice about it and said abuser effectively being exiled from society is the wisest approach to get him to own up to his actions. This is what I meant with "accountability" not being the same as "total destruction". We're long past the stage that naivety can be considered an excuse here, callouts frequently result in the accused departing social media, losing their job & future opportunities for employment, and significant worsening of mental health.

Alec probably was still a paranoid mess, hard to work with, and constantly feeling threatened to the point he wouldn't let people around him off the hook - but this is shit you handle on a personal level. you reach out to people around him who care for him and keep him in check, form a small network to hold him accountable if he keeps it up, keep a reasonable distance if he hurts you. You don't fucking blow him up on twitter when you know your voice immediately reaches a non-trivial fraction of a million and will travel to the millions within a day. That repeated attempts to help him didn't work out didn't warrant a nuclear option like this. Give the guy an option to come clean on his own before uploading his wanted poster. Zoe's a person with massive respect & clout within the community - not some nobody - and she absolutely had avenues available to make sure people working with Alec were either aware of or safe from his behavior without doing the equivalent of a public assassination she knew would likely destroy his career. You're accountable for how you choose to go about a callout, especially with that kind of following.

Social media doesn't understand you and doesn't understand your friends, it just understands how to celebrate or condemn. A life is not a like/dislike button, don't put one to that metric. It turns out - weirdly enough! - that total strangers don't know you, and when asked to make an evaluation of your life both can and will file into binary lanes over your worth as a person.
You make it all sound very easy. If only Alec's acquaintances had done X, Y, and Z, everything would have been fine. Did you even read Scott's post? The guy was a manipulative abuser. He said he was getting help. The people he lived with knew who he was. It's not like no one tried to help him.

No one is responsible for Alec's suicide except Alec.

You just typed a lot of words but it all boils down to "holding abusers accountable is bad and it's Zoe's fault he's dead". You seem to have more sympathy for him than his many, many victims. And it's fucking gross to be saying "they should have done this or that and they definitely had avenues to make sure he couldn't hurt anybody". Fuck off with that.
 

fiskyfisko

Banned
Mar 23, 2018
107
Oh fuck this nonsense. He is a victim of abuse. I dont know if this is even a real account of yours but you should be ashamed.
No I don't feel ashamed and this is my real account.

Yes Scott is a victim of abuse and all the other people Alec abused. That's why you should talk about it when it starts and not let it go for years and years. I understand that Scott was afraid it would damage the game or his brand and that Alec was threatening them with suicide, but if you know he's abusing everyone, don't let it bubble in pot for so long.

I dunno man, he's dead and I feel like this was preventable.
 

mbpm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,027
Give the guy an option to come clean on his own before uploading his wanted poster. Zoe's a person with massive respect & clout within the community - not some nobody - and she absolutely had avenues available to make sure people working with Alec were either aware of or safe from his behavior without doing the equivalent of a public assassination she knew would likely destroy his career. You're accountable for how you choose to go about a callout, especially with that kind of following.
How do you know she didn't do this already?

You seem to take every opportunity you can to paint black what's essentially a notice for someone's poor behaviour.
 

MajorVape

Member
Mar 27, 2019
33
User Banned (1 Week): Endorsing victim blaming rhetoric.
I firmly believe a victim has the right to hold their abuser accountable. And consequently, with the great power of such a call-out should also come a great responsibility. Especially if the abuser in this situation has a known history of mental fragility and was very likely suffering from borderline personality disorder (a heavily stigmatized mental illness with a roughly 10% suicide rate).

If he was in dbt it's almost definitely due to BPD. Those kind of paranoid thoughts (someone is trying to kill me / someone will kill me through malicious indifference / i will be killed by hateful action) often slowly become self-fulfilling prophecies. BPD sabotages your ability to make friends and romantic partners or keep them for substantial periods of time and ascribes significant blame onto people for (often perceived, sometimes quite real) abandonment or personal sleights. It's usually caused by severe, often-prolonged trauma (he mentions being PTSD, as well) and is a lifelong challenge with a terrifying mortality rate. Underlying a lot of these paranoias is a deeply inflated sense of self - you often hurt others because sleights against you are perceived as unempathetic and malicious and then lash out more than you were lashed upon. However, you also feel intense and unbearable guilt for your actions and others' words and tend to self-flagellate more than anything.

What I then ask of all of you, is whether calling out your rather unstable abuser using your platform of a 100k followers who most certainly won't be nice about it and said abuser effectively being exiled from society is the wisest approach to get him to own up to his actions. This is what I meant with "accountability" not being the same as "total destruction". We're long past the stage that naivety can be considered an excuse here, callouts frequently result in the accused departing social media, losing their job & future opportunities for employment, and significant worsening of mental health.

Alec probably was still a paranoid mess, hard to work with, and constantly feeling threatened to the point he wouldn't let people around him off the hook - but this is shit you handle on a personal level. you reach out to people around him who care for him and keep him in check, form a small network to hold him accountable if he keeps it up, keep a reasonable distance if he hurts you. You don't fucking blow him up on twitter when you know your voice immediately reaches a non-trivial fraction of a million and will travel to the millions within a day. That repeated attempts to help him didn't work out didn't warrant a nuclear option like this. Give the guy an option to come clean on his own before uploading his wanted poster. Zoe's a person with massive respect & clout within the community - not some nobody - and she absolutely had avenues available to make sure people working with Alec were either aware of or safe from his behavior without doing the equivalent of a public assassination she knew would likely destroy his career. You're accountable for how you choose to go about a callout, especially with that kind of following.

Social media doesn't understand you and doesn't understand your friends, it just understands how to celebrate or condemn. A life is not a like/dislike button, don't put one to that metric. It turns out - weirdly enough! - that total strangers don't know you, and when asked to make an evaluation of your life both can and will file into binary lanes over your worth as a person.
This is an almost perfect post. Thank you.
 

Phife Dawg

Member
Oct 27, 2017
526
What a mess this whole situation has been/still is - very hard read.

I was gritting my teeth through the entire thing. God, life is complex.

I wish we had help for people who are battling their demons. A lot of trauma is cyclical, and we have the means to break these cycles. But lawmakers don’t care.
I don't know about the legal situation in Canada but regardless of the whereabouts there is a thin line to walk between forcing necessary help (and getting the legal means in place) and letting people decide freely what to do with their lives. Besides if no one reports people who are hurt and are hurting others to authorities there is not much those authorities can do.
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,136
I lost some respect for Scott after reading this.

It seems like everyone knew about Alec and his mental illness but no one ever talked with him about it. It's even sadder because he talks about how one time Bethany made those twitter posts how she's done with Alec and he listened and got better etc.

You would think, after that, they would talk with him more about it but it seems like they were again just silently suffering.

They made a beautiful game about friendship and mental illneses, that friends should help each other but in real life they just didn't do much.

This is just a huge fuck up on all sides.

That "I survived Alec holowka" sounds really bad. He's successful thanks to Alec.
He could have waited some more before badmouthing him. He died just a few days ago. Let his family mourn.
Spoken like someone who's never been in an abusive relationship. Most abusive relationships have a layer of complicity - you often don't realize that you are being abused and you go through a denial phase. Nobody wants to admit their relationship is a destructive one, especially if you have a "fixer" profile like Scott.
 

mbpm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,027
I understand that Scott was afraid it would damage the game or his brand and that Alec was threatening them with suicide, but if you know he's abusing everyone, don't let it bubble in pot for so long.

I dunno man, he's dead and I feel like this was preventable.
No offense, but did you miss where Scott said he didn't know he was abusing literally anybody else besides him and his immediate team and he thought it was just an immediate, individual problem?

You're reading backwards assuming everyone involved had all the facts.
 

apocat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,443
A harrowing and depressing read. NITW is one of my favourite games of later years, and this whole ordeal has really gotten me down.

I lost some respect for Scott after reading this.

It seems like everyone knew about Alec and his mental illness but no one ever talked with him about it. It's even sadder because he talks about how one time Bethany made those twitter posts how she's done with Alec and he listened and got better etc.

You would think, after that, they would talk with him more about it but it seems like they were again just silently suffering.

They made a beautiful game about friendship and mental illneses, that friends should help each other but in real life they just didn't do much.

This is just a huge fuck up on all sides.

That "I survived Alec holowka" sounds really bad. He's successful thanks to Alec.
He could have waited some more before badmouthing him. He died just a few days ago. Let his family mourn.
This is your take after reading that?

Seriously?
 

Jessie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,963
No I don't feel ashamed and this is my real account.

Yes Scott is a victim of abuse and all the other people Alec abused. That's why you should talk about it when it starts and not let it go for years and years. I understand that Scott was afraid it would damage the game or his brand and that Alec was threatening them with suicide, but if you know he's abusing everyone, don't let it bubble in pot for so long.

I dunno man, he's dead and I feel like this was preventable.
Please read the story again. They spent 6 years telling him to stay on his meds, go to therapy, etc., and expending all of their energy on the guy to the point where Scott had PTSD.
 
Oct 29, 2017
663
I firmly believe a victim has the right to hold their abuser accountable. And consequently, with the great power of such a call-out should also come a great responsibility. Especially if the abuser in this situation has a known history of mental fragility and was very likely suffering from borderline personality disorder (a heavily stigmatized mental illness with a roughly 10% suicide rate).

If he was in dbt it's almost definitely due to BPD. Those kind of paranoid thoughts (someone is trying to kill me / someone will kill me through malicious indifference / i will be killed by hateful action) often slowly become self-fulfilling prophecies. BPD sabotages your ability to make friends and romantic partners or keep them for substantial periods of time and ascribes significant blame onto people for (often perceived, sometimes quite real) abandonment or personal sleights. It's usually caused by severe, often-prolonged trauma (he mentions being PTSD, as well) and is a lifelong challenge with a terrifying mortality rate. Underlying a lot of these paranoias is a deeply inflated sense of self - you often hurt others because sleights against you are perceived as unempathetic and malicious and then lash out more than you were lashed upon. However, you also feel intense and unbearable guilt for your actions and others' words and tend to self-flagellate more than anything.

What I then ask of all of you, is whether calling out your rather unstable abuser using your platform of a 100k followers who most certainly won't be nice about it and said abuser effectively being exiled from society is the wisest approach to get him to own up to his actions. This is what I meant with "accountability" not being the same as "total destruction". We're long past the stage that naivety can be considered an excuse here, callouts frequently result in the accused departing social media, losing their job & future opportunities for employment, and significant worsening of mental health.

Alec probably was still a paranoid mess, hard to work with, and constantly feeling threatened to the point he wouldn't let people around him off the hook - but this is shit you handle on a personal level. you reach out to people around him who care for him and keep him in check, form a small network to hold him accountable if he keeps it up, keep a reasonable distance if he hurts you. You don't fucking blow him up on twitter when you know your voice immediately reaches a non-trivial fraction of a million and will travel to the millions within a day. That repeated attempts to help him didn't work out didn't warrant a nuclear option like this. Give the guy an option to come clean on his own before uploading his wanted poster. Zoe's a person with massive respect & clout within the community - not some nobody - and she absolutely had avenues available to make sure people working with Alec were either aware of or safe from his behavior without doing the equivalent of a public assassination she knew would likely destroy his career. You're accountable for how you choose to go about a callout, especially with that kind of following.

Social media doesn't understand you and doesn't understand your friends, it just understands how to celebrate or condemn. A life is not a like/dislike button, don't put one to that metric. It turns out - weirdly enough! - that total strangers don't know you, and when asked to make an evaluation of your life both can and will file into binary lanes over your worth as a person.
This is an almost perfect post. Thank you.
It’s completely disgusting actually. Abusers do not own their victims and get to dictate the terms in which their victims discuss their own lives and experiences.

The concept is deeply disturbing and profoundly offensive.
 

mbpm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,027
It’s completely disgusting actually. Abusers do not own their victims and get to dictate the terms in which their victims discuss their own lives and experiences.

The concept is deeply disturbing and profoundly offensive.
Exactly.

Too many people seem to be surprised that when you attack someone, they might attack back. And when you repeatedly attack someone, they might lose capability of distinguishing means.
 

Jessie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,963
Anyway, if he was abusing his employees, he kinda deserved to lose his career prospects. A part of accountability is accepting consequences for your actions.

All of this talk of “the nuclear option” is disingenuous. Alec used the nuclear option when he abused others and manipulated his friends. They tried to help him, but ultimately you can’t control other people’s behaviour. It’s sad that it ended this way, but it’s nobody‘s fault.
 

Parmenide

Member
Dec 8, 2017
446
Actions have consequences, isn’t it tautological? The only thing I can say is the whole situation should have been dealt better, just my opinion, but we live in a free world so everyone must do as he/she please s, just, as I said in the beginning, you have to keep in mind that nothing is consequence-free. I don’t want to say more.
 

Doop

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
143
i was emotionally abused and manipulated by my mother for my entire childhood and it took me years to accept this. i'm constantly struggling with the after effects, i still blame myself for a lot of the abuse i endured, even if i know it wasn't my fault. my mother is extremely mentally ill, but that doesn't mean her actions didn't have an effect on me or the other people around her. my mother would threaten to kill herself when people pushed back and tried to hold her accountable, and she has even physically assaulted me in some circumstances. i don't think my mom knew she was abusing me, and she still doesn't accept it. i've tried so hard to get her help. my entire family has. she's even gotten into legal trouble because of her illness, but ultimately we can't force her to get help if she doesn't want it. believe me, we really tried.

the reason why i'm sharing all of this is because i find it extremely hurtful when people try to push the blame onto the victims. i have no doubt in my mind that alec's victims did everything they could to help him. if you think the victims didn't do enough or that somehow alec's death is on their hands, i think you're an asshole.
 

Wonderment

Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
9,844
When it comes to the experience of victims, the illness vs. malice question is moot. As a result of his illness' presence, he inflicted himself on others repeatedly. Like the eye of a hurricane, the moments of "self-awareness" and the momentary acquiesing and softening are where the illness re-gathers strength for the upcoming round of backside battering, using the energy of others around them the way a hurricane uses warm water for energy to gain strength.

This is hard for people to understand but it is key to understanding the experience of the victims, and the nature of some mental illness. And the victims do not diminish in importance just because the hurricane imploded.

That said, suicide is not the conscious, rational choice people make it out to be. It is not a "decision" and we should not be discussing in such terms lest we guilt people reading this thread if they themselves happen to be in that frame of mind.
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,136
Actions have consequences, isn’t it tautological? The only thing I can say is the whole situation should have been dealt better, just my opinion, but we live in a free world so everyone must do as he/she please s, just, as I said in the beginning, you have to keep in mind that nothing is consequence-free. I don’t want to say more.
How should have things been dealt with better?
 

patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,674
Part of Scott's ending here really helps detail something that everyone tip-toes around and no one wants to say. The idea that sometimes everything's fucked and no happy outcomes can emerge gets right at the heart of a massive ordeal a lot of us have seen with manipulative abusers.

Not everyone can be saved.

We have countless narratives surrounding us in every form of media and in our own lives all reinforcing the concept of a redemptive arc for abusive people. And put simply, that's not always a realistic option, for myriad reasons. From everything that has come out about this entire situation there some very consistent and immutable statements that can be made. Alec corroded everyone in his orbit, especially those closest and most willing to offer him help. Dozens of people attempted to help him as an individual and each appears to have absorbed untold long-term ramifications from it. And by all accounts, even when Alec seemed to be better he was simply deflecting, opting instead to choose a new target unaware of what he could do to them.

At what point does an individual's extreme response merit more sympathy than the relatively less severe but still unimaginable pain they visited up so many?

Sometimes there is no redemption coming.

I'll offer an anecdote. My grandfather was a pretty terrible person. He was manipulative to everyone around him and very few people saw him for who he really was. I kept my distance as much as I could but my grandmother still had to live with him, and he made sure to lob verbal abuse, gaslighting, and other means against her whenever he could. I saw him casually throw a knife at her because she had just brought him dinner and he didn't like something she said.

When he suffered a stroke a couple years ago she and I spent 5 months doing everything for him no matter how terrible he was. We handled the dozen or so medications he took per day, got his diet in order to handle his diabetes, tried like hell to get him to do his exercises, installed new handrails and such throughout the house, drove him to social events and doctor's visits. We did what you do for a person. And he was making amazing progress, at least physically. Mentally, though, he stayed a real bastard.

And the best way for him to win an argument was to tell my grandmother he should just blow his brains out. Didn't like that he couldn't have ice cream or wine every day? "I oughta just blow my brains out." Didn't like that he legally could not drive as an 83-year-old stroke victim? "I oughta just blow my brains out." He weaponized suicide threats.

And then one morning he shot his head off. The last thing he ever said to her was, "You'll be sorry."

He was clearly a mentally unwell man. I think, in hindsight, he always was. But to a certain degree he was a vortex. If you got close enough to help him he'd simply drag you down with him. Rest assured, there was no way to help him without harming others.
 

Via_Purifico

Member
Oct 25, 2017
240
The notion that victims of abuse can’t say anything about their experiences because the abuser is unstable is a dangerous path to take. This whole pushback on supposed “call out culture” only makes me question those who have an issue with it. Calling out abuse is not call out culture it’s getting your story out. People shouldn’t have to suffer in silence because the perpetrator is mentally unstable.
 

fiskyfisko

Banned
Mar 23, 2018
107
A harrowing and depressing read. NITW is one of my favourite games of later years, and this whole ordeal has really gotten me down.



This is your take after reading that?

Seriously?
Can you At least correct me or tell me what's wrong please instead of replying to me with seriously?

Some people that replied to my post I agree with and see their point of view, that's great.
 

Unclebenny

Member
Oct 28, 2017
418
i'd say the problem is that security and stability are very hard to come by and people are pursuing their passion projects. this makes for a pool of people who are very very susceptible to exploitation and abuse by anyone who can provide even a small amount of money/experience/expertise. you see this kind of isolation tactics from abusers in less geographically disparate fields too, it's all about who has power and who is dependent.
Yes, I suppose the power is the real issue.

I do think that article makes a point that it was impossible for Scott to recoginse the pattern because of the geographical isolation from Alec. If they were all in one office then this changes the entire dynamic. I don't know if for better or ill.
 

Via_Purifico

Member
Oct 25, 2017
240
Can you At least correct me or tell me what's wrong please instead of replying to me with seriously?

Some people that replied to my post I agree with and see their point of view, that's great.

You said that you lost a bit of respect for a victim of abuse because of “timing”

That’s not gonna go over well with most people. You might disagree with the method but his story and how and when he chose to tell it is still valid.
 
Jun 30, 2018
8
Fascinating to watch that chunk of the internet that had no problem with, say, spending literal years tormenting C W Chandler suddenly decide that any kind of public criticism of people with mental health issues is bad actually.
 

Commodore64

Member
Oct 25, 2017
433
If somebody is drowning the responsible thing to do is to try to save them. But there should never be an obligation to get pulled into the water with them, not even for a friend, not even for family.

Despite Alecs issues which I absolutely empathize with it should never absolve him of his abusive behavior. To the people in this thread saying that more could have been done to help Alec the folks who were trying to help him weren't trained to handle people with mood disorders, all that could really be done is to encourage him to seek councelling and take his medication, which was what Scott and probably countless others did.

And Alec Holowka dragged down and harmed, over and over.

Sometimes life doesn't give you solution.
 

Ravelle

Member
Oct 31, 2017
5,774
God damn, how awful.

Scott's a very good writer it seems too, despite the horribleness his writing style was pleasant to read, impressive when you're trying to put your thoughts to words too, especially with something like this.