Tuesday, August 4, 2015

When Dealing with Ken Whitman, How Do You Know He's Lying?

...because his lips are moving. #rimshot

Naturally, even a diagnosable sociopath like Ken Whitman has a few friends, allies, and girlfriends who are quick to rush to his defense. Urged on by Ken, they often confront the overwhelming evidence of Ken's career-long penchant for coat-tail riding gaming industry veterans and using their reputations and clout to enable his own scamming activities with more bold-face lies. The strategy is to reduce any discussion about Ken into a "he said-she said" argument, creating the lingering doubt that somehow, against all odds, Ken is the unfortunate victim of his own victims.

Why do they do this? That's easy.

Some are longtime associates of Ken that he just hasn't gotten around to ripping off yet. To them, he's the lovable doofus who briefly worked for TSR 25 years ago — the harmless perpetual screw-up. But the allies and the girlfriends have a vested interest in strongly defending Ken, often by repeating the same documented lies that Ken constantly uses himself. Why? Because these people have bought heavily into the Ken-sociopath dreamscape. If the hundreds of backers of Ken's 6 failed kickstarters are right, if Jolly Blackburn and Larry Elmore are right, if the other many, many victims of Ken's shady business practices going back nearly 20 years are right, then they are wrong. And they're not just wrong about this issue — they're wrong about the entire array of life choices that led them to become a ongoing part of Ken's world. Thus, an attack against Ken is an attack against their very self-image. Wars have been started for less.

Here's a prime example, from just one of Ken's on-again-off-again significant others:

Notice how at first she asserts that Knights of the Dinner Table fans are deranged and bloodthirsty (presumably because they have now been calling Ken to task for his multiple failures to deliver on the KoDT LAS kickstarter). That's an easy enough idea to dismiss out of hand, and at a stretch a forgivable lapse in judgement when emotionally defending a current/former SO. But then in the next comment Kristin piles right into repeating the demonstrably untrue and garden variety Ken Whitman lies that "everyone got paid" and the money just "ran out." Then we end with another characterization that people who just want what they paid for are hate mongers using Ken for a punching bag. This from someone who accompanied Ken on a cruise vacation immediately after the KoDT LAS kickstarter funded.

But forget all that. Let's look at the idea that Ken is somehow being maligned by his own customers, clients, and backers. There are a lot of folks out there who feel harmed by Ken, and not a few who looking for some online justice. Without a documented pending court case against Ken, it's a fair point that the online situation is indeed a "he said-she said" situation, even if it's 5-6 "he saids" versus hundreds of "she saids." How does one weigh the two sides of that argument fairly? How do we know that somehow this isn't all a giant online witch hunt, with Ken playing the misunderstood monster surrounded in the burning windmill by pitchforks and angry villagers?

In a court of law, testimony is weighted by it's character, consistency, and verisimilitude. With just a little light reading, you can do that too. Linked below are some of the best collections of evidence and testimony against Ken you can find on the Internet. Read through these links, which include eye-witness testimony to actors not getting paid, Ken's ridiculous car purchase with a portion of the KoDT LAS kickstarter money, Ken's infinitely reversible positions depending on who he's try to grease out of what on any given day. Judge for yourself, and be forewarned.

If all that doesn't convince you, then by all means contact Ken Whitman immediately and offer him some money to help him "finish up" his many languishing projects. We all know he'll take it, and sometimes the only way to learn a lesson is the hard way.

Hack n' Slash Blog: On Principled Profit, the Con Man, and the Fraud
(A copious collection of links to Ken's scamming activities dating back over 10 years)

Tenkar's Tavern: Kickstarter: Ken Whitman Redefines Failure Yet Again, Part I
(Includes direct quotes from a KoDT LAS actor who never got paid and knows Ken bought a car with part of the kickstarter money)

Tenkar's Tavern: Kickstarter: Ken Whitman Redefines Failure Yet Again, Part II

Tenkar's Tavern: Kickstarter: Ken Whitman Redefines Failure Yet Again, Part III

Larry Elmore's comments about problems with Ken Whitman