Del Arroz Not Allowed To Attend Worldcon 76

The 2018 Worldcon committee has notified author Jon Del Arroz that his right to attend Worldcon 76 in person has been revoked. He will still be allowed to retain a supporting membership with Hugo voting rights. They made the announcement today on social media. Here is the Facebook version:

Worldcon 76 has chosen to reduce Jonathan Del Arroz’s membership from attending to supporting. He will not be allowed to attend the convention in person. Mr. Del Arroz’s supporting membership preserves his rights to participate in the Hugo Awards nomination and voting process. He was informed of our decision via email.

We have taken this step because he has made it clear that he fully intends to break our code of conduct. We take that seriously. Worldcon 76 strives to be an inclusive place in fandom, as difficult as that can be, and racist and bullying behavior is not acceptable at our Worldcon. This expulsion is one step towards eliminating such behavior and was not taken lightly. The senior staff and board are in agreement about the decision and it is final. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to share them here or in email at IRT@worldcon76.org

They added on Twitter:

545 thoughts on “Del Arroz Not Allowed To Attend Worldcon 76

  1. ULTRAGOTHA: The seated Worldcon committees can kick anyone out for just about any reason. Or refuse to take their membership money in the fist place.

    Exactly.

    What a lot of people are missing here is that Worldcon 76 has no obligation to provide a detailed explanation for their decision to the public. It is sufficient to say “We have determined that his behavior violates our Code of Conduct”. The public is not entitled to a detailed explanation for the expulsion.

    Most of the time when SFF conventions ban people, the only explanation given to the public is “We investigated what we observed / what was reported to us, and determined that a banning was warranted.” The reason for this is that providing a detailed explanation for the banning 1) invites massive public dissection and rules lawyering of their reasons — mostly by people who have no idea what they are talking about, and 2) gets the people who reported the harassment harassed and victimized all over again.

    In my opinion, giving the bodycam explanation was a huge mistake on Worldcon 76’s part. It’s just opened up a massive can of rules-lawyering worms and well-intended, but utterly misinformed and misguided, people arguing the Geek Social Fallacy.

  2. @Lydy: This particular situation is in no way an attempt to “manage all of fandom”. It’s telling people who will be at Worldcon that a person who has harassed them, and posted publicly that he intends to harass them at Worldcon, will not be allowed the opportunity to do so. It’s prioritizing the safety of targets of harassment over the harasser, which is where fandom has been trying to get to for years.

    There are people who potentially could be nominated for a Hugo, very much Worldcon’s business, who JDA has harassed, is harassing, and intends to harass in the future. Who he’s stated he would go to Worldcon in order to harass. I don’t know how much MORE that could be Worldcon 76’s business.

    This is a decision that is good for Worldcon 76, good for this year’s members of WSFS and good for con fandom overall.

  3. Lydy Nickerson: I respectfully disagree with you. It cannot reasonably be Worldcon’s job to police all fandom.

    But that isn’t what they are doing. Many of JDA’s statements on Twitter, Facebook, Gab, his blog, and on video, are about what he is planning to do at Worldcon 76 in terms of harassing other authors.

    They had very good reasons for this decision. People who haven’t seen what’s been going on are assuming that the decision is based on a general “We think he’s a bad person”. Worldcon 76’s decision has in fact been based on very specific examples of behavior relating to the con.

  4. ETA on my last post: There are also people who are not in the running for a Hugo he’s been harassing, who nonetheless intend to go to Worldcon. That’s also W76’s business.

  5. “But that isn’t what they are doing.”

    It pretty much is. They are banning him based on stuff he did outside of the venue when the event they’re sponsoring wasn’t even taking place. They have every right to do so, because, as is mentioned above, it’s their baby to do with as they wish, but don’t mistake the fact that that’s what they’re doing.

  6. As an organizer, trying to explain reasons for banning is just pouring gasoline on the flames. But I also think banning shouldn’t be publicized at all. It is a matter between the banned, the organizer and others directly affected.

    If the banned want to publicize, then it is on them.

    With regards to JDA, no sane convention would accept a known stalker that has harassed their own guests. It does not have to be explained.

  7. @JJ: I think we may be in violent agreement. I am so very, very happy with the way Worldcon 76 handled JDA, and it is so much better than how Sasquan handled Lou Antonelli I can’t even. The only point on which we may disagree is whether citing the body cam was a good choice. I could be persuaded that they should not have said as much. But I am very pleased, over all, with their handling of the problem.

  8. idontknow: It pretty much is. They are banning him based on stuff he did outside of the venue when the event they’re sponsoring wasn’t even taking place. They have every right to do so, because, as is mentioned above, it’s their baby to do with as they wish, but don’t mistake the fact that that’s what they’re doing.

    That is not “policing all of fandom”.

  9. Lydy Nickerson: I think we may be in violent agreement. I am so very, very happy with the way Worldcon 76 handled JDA, and it is so much better than how Sasquan handled Lou Antonelli I can’t even.

    I violently agree with you on that. 😉

  10. “That is not “policing all of fandom”.”

    If you are having to make decisions about someone based on reports or evidence of their behavior outside the time you are running your event and at times that have little or nothing to do with you, then you are pretty much acting as a moral policeman. JDA seems to be quite the asshat, so I don’t really shed any tears that he’s not going to be able to go to WorldCon and be even more of an asshat, but, yeah, in this instance, WorldCon is taking up the cop role. Which again is fine because, hey, their baby, they can do whatever they want with it.

  11. Most of the time when SFF conventions ban people, the only explanation given to the public is “We investigated what we observed / what was reported to us, and determined that a banning was warranted.”

    Given how Del Arroz has acted online, I would have accepted an announcement from Worldcon that he had been banned without specifics.

  12. In addition:

    Truthfully, though, I doubt he really wanted much to go to WorldCon, so much as to obtain a bludgeon to use for him and his pals to label all of you guys as hypocrits and evil leftist SJWS and so forth with. That seems to be his game anyway.

  13. From Twitter:

    Castalia House is formally boycotting worldcon2018 over its shameful treatment of Hispanic science fiction author jondelarroz.

    That’s the best laugh I’ve had yet this week. 😆

    Don’t let the door hit you, etc.

  14. My reaction to that tweet was “I’m sure the WorldCon 2018 organisers are crying into their beverage of choice now.”

    A Twitter pal of mine also suggested that Castalia House should boycott the Hugos, too.

  15. A Twitter pal of mine also suggested that Castalia House should boycott the Hugos, too.

    They shouldn’t be so indecisive. They should boycott all speculative fiction.

  16. Aaron: They should boycott all speculative fiction.

    They’re already abstaining from publishing speculative fiction. What more do you want? 😀

  17. @Mike

    re: fabricated email

    REALLY? Holy crap. If I didn’t think JDA was a chickens*** before, I surely would now.

  18. @idontknow
    based on stuff he did outside of the venue when the event they’re sponsoring wasn’t even taking place
    Based on things he said/wrote to and about people who may be guests of Worldcon, based on things he said/wrote he would do AT Worldcon, or functions held during Worldcon (SFWA events). Which clearly fall under Worldcon’s purview, as they’d be responsible for dealing with the messes he’s clearly trying to create.

  19. @Contrarius: HOLY CARP! (I just watched that video.) Insert open-mouth emoji here! (And also a suppressed LOL, thanks.)

    @P J Evans: “*PLONK*” Oh, heh, how could I forget? When I get home – yes, good idea.

    @Ivan Bromke: “But until someone actually breaks the rules, we should take them at their word that they won’t.” – Er, surely the reverse (inverse? something) holds as well. We should take them at their word that they will break them.

    @JJ: JDA is Hispanic? I had no idea. /s 😛 I’m trying (not very hard) to figure out how CH is boycotting, BTW; does this affect anything they did or were going to do? LOL. Next thing you know, Beale won’t buy any Tor books or something. WHAT NEXT?! 😉 . . .

    @Cora, @Aaron (read my mind at this point), @JJ, @Jon Meltzer: . . . LOL at what comes next!

  20. Next thing you know, Beale won’t buy any Tor books or something.

    That reminds me–shouldn’t Tor be dead from the boycott by now?

  21. JJ on January 3, 2018 at 12:59 pm said:

    From Twitter:

    Castalia House is formally boycotting worldcon2018 over its shameful treatment of Hispanic science fiction author jondelarroz

    That really is hilarious.

    Think Worldcon will even notice?

  22. Darren Garrison says That reminds me–shouldn’t Tor be dead from the boycott by now?

    Ironically Tor publishes conservative writers like John Wright. In theory, a boycott would end up hurting authors they like. In practice, I doubt the average reader of Tor Books even knows there’s a boycott going on and certainly would give a rats ass anyways.

  23. @mIke, re: the Fabricated email.

    I wish I could say that I am surprised…but really, given my dealings with him, I am not. Sympathies.

  24. idontknow: If you are having to make decisions about someone based on reports or evidence of their behavior outside the time you are running your event and at times that have little or nothing to do with you, then you are pretty much acting as a moral policeman.

    Of one person. Who has provided more than ample reason to do so. It is not “policing all of fandom”, which is what you were claiming when you originally contradicted me.

     
    idontknow: I doubt he really wanted much to go to WorldCon, so much as to obtain a bludgeon to use for him and his pals to label all of you guys as hypocrits and evil leftist SJWS and so forth with. That seems to be his game anyway.

    He was fine either way. If he went to Worldcon, he’d get to harass people, just like he’s been harassing them on Twitter. If he then got kicked out, he’d make a huge production of it online with a bunch of lies, to try to win sympathy and sell books. If he got banned in advance, he’d make a huge production of it online with a bunch of lies, to try to win sympathy and sell books.

    In other words, he’s going to do this stuff anyway, and the best move Worldcon 76 could make was to prevent him from going and harassing people to begin with — which is what they did.

  25. Rob Chilson on January 3, 2018 at 8:08 am said:

    Re Hispanic SF writers: I hope that the name and works of Lester Ramón Felipe Alvarez-del Rey have not been forgotten.

    Apparently not so:

    Del Rey often told people his real name was Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey (and sometimes even Ramon Felipe San Juan Mario Silvio Enrico Smith Heartcourt-Brace Sierra y Alvarez del Rey y de los Uerdes). He also claimed that his family was killed in a car accident in 1935. However, his sister has confirmed that his name was in fact Leonard Knapp, and the accident in 1935 killed his first wife but not his parents, brother, or sister.[1]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_del_Rey#Birth_name

    The link in the wiki goes to an issue of Locus.

    And the SF Encyclopedia: http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/del_rey_lester

  26. Am I right in thinking that not knowing who this guy is, nor what he’s been doing, is a good thing?

    About Lester del Rey: the only wife I knew he had who was killed was Evelyn, killed in a mid-1960s car crash. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was thrown clear, then the car rolled over on her.

  27. Greg Hullender on January 3, 2018 at 8:19 pm said:
    Do you think the Rabid Puppies will boycott WorldCon76 too?

    I assume that’s the plan – a face saving way of giving up while claiming they are striking a blow for the godemperorofalphamales or whatever.

  28. Asshat on internet discovers being an asshat has consequences. In other news, water is wet.

    Also on that email to Mike? That’s deeply unpleasant on many levels.

  29. I also think banning shouldn’t be publicized at all. It is a matter between the banned, the organizer and others directly affected.

    When the banned has been so volubly public about their intent to be a nuisance, a public announcement is probably the best way to let potential attendees know that the nuisance will not materialize.

    In other circumstances, maybe other approaches would be merited, but I can see the reason for a public announcement here.

  30. “Arroz by any other name would scroll the same.”

    “Arroz is what Moses supposes his toes is.”

  31. @idontknow: “If you are having to make decisions about someone based on reports or evidence of their behavior outside the time you are running your event and at times that have little or nothing to do with you, then you are pretty much acting as a moral policeman.”

    Scenario for ya. Say you’re involved in running a weapon-enthusiast convention – same concept as an SFF con, but for people who are fans of guns, knives, and other such deadly things. You get an email that someone has written several Facebook posts about how he’s looking forward to getting there with his tactical gear, loading up on cool weapons in the dealers’ room, and spending the rest of the weekend cutting down anyone who looks at him funny. You check the records, and not only do you see the posts in question, but you find his preregistration.

    Do you let him in? After all, it’s not like he’s actually done anything. Heck, the event hasn’t even started yet! And those reports you found from his ex about his history of domestic abuse… well, what does that have to do with anything? What could possibly go wrong?

    Whenever you get a notice that someone is planning to make mischief at your event, you are necessarily in the position of “acting as a moral policeman.” Whatever decision you make, you’re choosing to trust (at least) one person over another, and the safety of your members is only one of the stakes. There’s also your good name, both as an individual and as a social organization, and possibly your financial and emotional welfare if something horrible does happen.

    Allowing a reported-threatening person to attend is almost always the riskier choice. I am not at all surprised that Worldcon 76 opted for the less risky option by deciding not to subject their other members to the attentions of an attested harasser. It’s the sensible thing to do.

  32. “Castalia House is formally boycotting worldcon2018 over its shameful treatment of Hispanic science fiction author jondelarroz.”

    Well, it is not that I saw anything of them in Helsinki, and that is where they are based as a publisher. My guess is that we will see as much of them at Worldcon 76 as at any previous Worldcon. Nothing whatsoever.

  33. “In other circumstances, maybe other approaches would be merited, but I can see the reason for a public announcement here.”

    Yes, I can understand that logic too. We so many people involved or affected, having separate discussions with everyone might be unmanageable.

  34. You can’t decide who’s an acceptable fan and member of the speculative fiction community. You certainly can’t make this decision based on your politics, which is obviously what’s happening here. It’s unconscionable.

    Too many of you are too certain that you’re the voice of what’s right and true.

    I understand that many of you believe you’re on the right side of history, but I urge you to consider your position more fully. At what point do you accept that you’ve become bullies? At what point do you accept that you have exercised your own power and privilege to actively block the career and thoughts of another?

    God help us all when we start telling one another how we’re allowed to imagine and create.

    If a man wants to wear a camera to record what’s happening, then let him record you at your finest. Let him record you welcoming him with open arms. Let him record your smiles and your honesty, and let him watch that footage as many times as it takes to heal the horrible scars that divided this once great community.

  35. My guess is that we will see as much of them at Worldcon 76 as at any previous Worldcon. Nothing whatsoever.

    I got the impression that they encouraged and perhaps even funded the likes of JCW to attend Spokane, and if they’re not playing that game any more then it will be welcome. I’m not terribly surprised that none of the editorial Castillians were prepared to put their heads outside their bunker, even in their home town. They don’t seem the type.

  36. Ah, perhaps they meant the authors and not the publishing house as such. Well, as they are mostly no-names (and if known, then not for their writing), it won’t make much of an impact.

  37. @idontknow

    based on stuff he did outside of the venue when the event they’re sponsoring wasn’t even taking place

    This… sounds like a good idea, yes.
    If you estimate somebody has a one-in-ten chance of, say, committing arson, based on stuff he’s done elsewhere, you probably want to say neither “Well, but that wasn’t at our event, he’s got a blank slate with us,” nor “Well, it’s not a certainty, heck, there’s a 90% chance everything will be fine.”

    That’s how risk assessment works. You obviously need to define what the risk is, what odds you’d give them, how severe the damage is, and what the price of reducing the risk is. But if you’re Worldcon management, and you’re doing risk assessment for “Will he harass members; will he make an awful scene; will he try to incriminate other guests; will he be using Worldcon as a platform for trolling and shit-stirring,” and you’re doing that based on existing behavior and statements outside of Worldcons,

    Then yeah, it sounds to me like you’re doing your job.

  38. Hampus Eckerman: Ah, perhaps they meant the authors and not the publishing house as such. Well, as they are mostly no-names (and if known, then not for their writing), it won’t make much of an impact.

    I don’t think that the popularity of Castalia House authors is relevant. Obviously, there’s a small niche demand for their work — and that’s fine, as long as they are not libeling or harassing others (but sadly, they frequently are doing so).

    The relevant issue is that most of them have never been Worldcon attendees, anyway. They are loudly announcing that they will not attend something that they never had any intention of attending in the first place — as are a bunch of their rando followers on Twitter, who mistakenly believe that Worldcon and its members will actually care and be upset that they are not going to be there.

  39. JJ on January 4, 2018 at 3:16 am said:

    The relevant issue is that most of them have never been Worldcon attendees, anyway. They are loudly announcing that they will not attend something that they never had any intention of attending in the first place — as are a bunch of their rando followers on Twitter, who mistakenly believe that Worldcon and its members will actually care and be upset that they are not going to be there.

    Reminds me of the Tor Boycott.

  40. Harold Osler: Yes, people who once considered him a friend in his gaming fandoms (Doomtown: Reloaded and Legend of the Five Rings) spent many a post explaining both his poor rhetorical skills and the fact that people weren’t reacting negatively to him due to disagreements but because he was acting like a complete asshole. As far as I know he blocked most of them. His Facebook “arguing” skills make Cheeto Mussolini look like Stephen Douglas in comparison.

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