SCA Removes King of An Tir

The Society for Creative Anachronism Board of Directors has removed Emerson Waite (SCA name Christian Bane), as King of An Tir, their membership territory encompassing the Pacific Northwest and parts of Western Canada. The “Resolution to Remove the Sovereign of An Tir” published yesterday reads:

On October 27, 2021, at a Special Meeting of the SCA Board of Directors, the Board took a rare step and unanimously voted to remove King Christian Bane as the current Sovereign of An Tir, effective immediately. The Board reached this painful decision after significant deliberation and with the advice of our Officers.

At this time, An Tir remains in the capable hands of Queen Helene d’Anjou, until the Coronation of the Heirs to the Throne. We wish great success to her Majesty in serving independently for the remainder of Her Reign.

The SCA Kingdom of An Tir’s borders include the states of Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho, plus most of the Canadian Province of British Columbia, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories. 

An “Announcement of Board Motions” on the Kingdom of An Tir website quotes the full motions that were before the Board and the results of the voting.

Yesterday, October 27, 2021, the SCA’s Board of Directors met and took the following actions:

Motion by Ross Roegner to remove Emerson Waite (Christian Bane) as Sovereign of the Kingdom of An Tir, effectively immediately. Second by Dale Fong-Frederick. Opposed: None. Chairman Dan Watson exercised his option to vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion carried. 

Motion by Dale Fong-Frederick to direct the Society Seneschal to issue a Temporary Removal from Participation in the Society to Emerson Waite (Duke Christian Bane) and to further direct the Society Seneschal to begin an investigation into possible sanctions up to and including revocation of membership and denial of participation, effective immediately. Second by Gigi Coulson. Opposed: None. Chairman Dan Watson exercised his option to vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion carried. 

This sanction precludes attendance or participation in any manner at any SCA activity, event, practice, or official gathering for any reason, at any time. This includes a ban on participation in officially recognized SCA social media sites, officially recognized SCA electronic email lists, and officially recognized SCA webpages.  

Please note that Queen Helene is now acting as both the Sovereign and the Consort of An Tir.  Crown Prince Sven and Crown Princess Roukinn are still the Heirs of An Tir.  Coronation will still take place, as scheduled, at 12th Night in January.  All awards, peerages, and honors bestowed prior to these board motions are still valid. 

A discussion on Reddit has so far unsuccessfully tried to crowdsource the details behind the Board’s action.

A 2017 Facebook post by someone who said, “unfortunately” Christian Bane mentored her as an SCA fighter claimed “He can be cruel in his treatment of those in fealty to him, as well as manipulating those he harms into silence“ and pointed to a previous SCA disciplinary action against him.

Due to the potential for lawsuits, the SCA itself ordinarily does not give reasons for such decisions. The background tends not to come to light unless law enforcement is involved and the story makes the news, for example, as happened when an SCA King was arrested as a murder suspect in 2019.

15 thoughts on “SCA Removes King of An Tir

  1. I don’t know any particulars, but I can say that any motion seconded by Gigi Coulson is probably a good one.

  2. Is this the guy that some fairly highly placed fellow quite the society because of his alleged racism? I may be getting ALL of this wrong, I just have a vague memory of several long open letter the guy who resigned wrote.

  3. Rochrist: That was a protest about the King of Trimaris several years ago, which is Florida.

  4. One of the basics of American jurisprudence is that the accused has the right to be confronted by the accuser in open court of law, and that the charges must be stated clearly.

    We are now in a country where it is common for anonymous accusations of unspecified charges to lead to convictions of people who don’t even know there was a complaint until after the fact. Because of the probability of suits and counter-suits, and because so few people have the money to defend themselves in a country with more laws that any nation in the history of the world (statistic from a paper from the American Bar Association) these actions are taken outside the purview of actual law: leading to a culture of systemic assassination by gossip.

    The guy may have been guilty of ‘something,’ he may have been a complete bastard, but the reportage does not really tell us anything and only contributes to the general atmosphere of conviction by calumny.

    This is very different from the reportage of the king who killed his girlfriend.

  5. Jon DeCles, We are now in a country where it is common for anonymous accusations of unspecified charges to lead to convictions of people who don’t even know there was a complaint until after the fact.

    This man hasn’t been “convicted” of anything. He’s been removed from a position of authority in a private club by the vote of that private club’s board of directors. Are you suggesting that the Rotary Club or the Smallville Chess Association should not be allowed to demote chapter presidents or kick out members? Do you think that, once admitted to any society, club, or organization, that you must remain a member in good standing for the rest of your life, regardless of your conduct or whether you meet the conditions of membership?

    Do you really think that the government should have that sort of authority over private clubs? Funny, I rather got the impression you were against overweening government authority.

    We don’t know what spurred this decision, and it’s none of our business. For all we know, he failed to pay his dues.

  6. This isn’t about a court of law, this is a private organization that has codes of conduct and regulations that presumably this person is alleged to have viotaled with sufficient evidence to do a full investigation. Getting the Board of Directors to do this is hard enough, getting one alongside a temporary ban from attending events, and on a sitting King to boot, is a very high bar to reach. Again, I don’t know the specifics here, but I would bet that either he is found to have violated rules or the code of conuct very egregiously and is eventually expelled permanently, or that there’s a large conspiracy among a lot of people who know him to fake this up to get him removed for some reason. I know which way I’m wagering on that.
    The usual problem the SCA has had historically is the missing stairs, the people who skirt the behaviour lines over and over again without breaking any rules, at least not in a provable way. The fact that the Board is taking action here is actually a very encouraging sign.
    The SCA as a whole has many thousands of people, spread over 20 kingdoms, with (usually, mostly) 2 sets of royalty each year per kingdom. Having a few bad apples when the main requirement to reign is that you can swing a heavy piece of rattan really really well is pretty much a certainly. It looks like the SCA is doing something about this.
    I say this as a current member for about 7 years.

  7. The SCA is a private membership organization, and neither a civil nor criminal court.

    The SCA also has a written code of conduct that all members agree to as a condition of participation. Non-members are allowed to participate as long as they also agree to abide to that code of conduct.

    To become reigning monarch in the SCA you have to be a current member, which means you have agreed to abide by that code of conduct. The code of conduct is published and available to all to read, including on the World Wide Web

    For any matter to rise to the level of sanctions by the Board Of Directors it is serious, and means the dispute either is affected by a matter of civil or criminal law, or successive levels of dispute resolution have proved intractable. Which means the individual is fully aware of any allegations and had the opportunity to respond.

    The person being sanctioned has, of course, the option to sue the corporation over the expulsion. But that will also require the cause of action to be revealed in open court, thus invoking the Streisand Effect.

  8. Jon DeCles: This is very different from the reportage of the king who killed his girlfriend.

    The SCA didn’t comment on that, either. The SCA doesn’t publish its deliberations about any of these cases. The reason we know that story is because the murder was covered by the media, who reported the suspect and victim’s SCA connections.

  9. The lawsuit filed by Jon Del Arroz against San Francisco Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon 76) shows why private organizations might not publicly comment on why an action was taken against a member.

    The SCA’s policy might be unsatisfying to its members who want fairness and openness, but since the reasons for punitive actions would adversely affect someone’s reputation, airing them publicly exposes the organization to more legal risk than it is willing to accept.

  10. rcade: The lawsuit filed by Jon Del Arroz against San Francisco Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon 76) shows why private organizations might not publicly comment on why an action was taken against a member.

    Exactly. Worldcon 76’s mistake wasn’t banning JDA from the con. It was making a public statement about why they’d banned him from the con.

    Private organizations are entitled to make these decisions based on their CoC. Much as the rest of us voyeurs might be dissatisfied and feeling deprived about not being given the gory details, they’re not obligated to provide them.

  11. Rule of thumb: If you hear about somebody having actually been removed from an office like this, and you hear further that it’s for some trivial or falsified claim, chances are overwhelming that you’re not hearing the full story.
    Example from my own neighborhood: A school teacher who was suspended, supposedly for giving out handouts of the Declaration of Independence in class. Wrong: What he had been handing out was religious tracts that quoted from the Declaration of Independence.

  12. I’ve heard a fairly wide range of speculation, some of it from people from An Tir and related to the cases. I CHOOSE not to speculate or challenge or evaluate any of the possibilities for one simple reason: This is not a court of law, and unless I was one of the possibly existing victims, accusers, complainants, or responsible for making a decision based on the evidence, it’s Not my damn business.

    The fact that the actions of a private company differ in kind from those of a court of law has been covered, but there’s an even more obvious point:

    There’s an intrinsic folly in presuming, that because an organization doesn’t comment publicly on a case, and you, personally, have not seen public commentary on a case, therefore the person so accused hasn’t heard the charge, had a chance to respond, or had his side heard. That’s not how that works EVEN in a court of law; Jon Schmoe doesn’t have to know what happened in the court for the court to be legitimate, the accused to know their charge, or their defense to have been provided.

  13. There’s an intrinsic folly in presuming, that because an organization doesn’t comment publicly on a case, and you, personally, have not seen public commentary on a case, therefore the person so accused hasn’t heard the charge, had a chance to respond, or had his side heard. That’s not how that works

    Right. There is a requirement that the person be notified, he gets information we don’t (like what the issue at hand is), and there are clear procedures for appeal. The suspension is temporary, and he has his chance to make his case before more permanent sanctions come down.

    One can infer, however, that since the Board felt a.) that it needed to intervene in branch affairs and b.) remove a sovereign who would be replaced at Twelfth Night anyway, two months early that they are expected to be pursuing those further sanctions.

    Luis Rondon (see this blog for his murder conviction) abdicated, before being suspended – the Board didn’t remove him. Caid’s swastika royals abdicated. The Board didn’t remove them. This is super unusual, which is part of why there is so much head scratching.

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