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Rich Mackin: writer, zinester, activist and sexual predator.
Who is Rich Mackin?

Rich is a somewhat well known writer, zinester and activist who recently moved to Portland from Boston. He is best known for his Lazlo Toth imitation (sending letters to corporations then publishing their humorous responses). He considers himself an anarchist.

In addition to the above, he is also a dangerous member of our community. Rich Mackin is a sexual predator.

Upon moving to Portland, Rich was looking to involve himself with the Anti-Capitalist Action group.
In response to his request to be part of the ACA community, Little Beirut #4 has published a list of demands put to him by survivors of his sexual assaults (and their supporters). The 8 demands can be read on page 4 of this pdf file:

Rich meeting these demands is a crucial part of the survivors' healing process, as well as his own, and is also crucial to the safety and health of the local activist community. Rich has chosen to sidestep and in certain instances completely disregard this list of demands. In doing so, he has repeatedly shifted the focus onto himself and what he alludes to as his own victimization that he hints was brought about by the zine BABY, I'M A MANARCHIST and the survivors' list of demands which is being sent to event organizers with whom he is involved.

BABY, I'M A MANARCHIST is a FREE zine written by some of the survivors of his sexual assaults. Look for it at your local radical info sources or at the zine symposium.

If you can't find it, ask for it.

We encourage you NOT to support him by buying his zines, books, or other zines that publish his material, such as RAZORCAKE. In fact, please consider writing to the publishers of these materials and voicing your displeasure with the commodification of the tragedy Rich has put forth.

Rich Mackin rides in Critical Mass. He attends a local radical mens' group. He is studying Zen Buddhism.

You should also be aware that Rich Mackin, when asked to leave a radical space in which women feel threatened by his presence, will refuse. He will ask to tell "his side of the story", continue to refuse repeated requests to leave, and will eventually make legalistic justifications as to why he should be allowed to remain at the perimeter of the space.

The following is taken from an anonymous flyer found at the Portland Zine Symposium:

SOME THOUGHTS ON "ADVICE TO MYSELF" (Rich Mackin's zine response to "Baby I'm a Manarchist")...

While Rich Mackin attempts to portray this zine as a humble and sage collection of advice to himself, his tone and direction thwart this effort, resting largely on a subtext of defensiveness and self-serving attacks on the integrity of the women who have come forth publicly about having been sexually assaulted by him. He relentlessly barrages the reader with "his side of the story", and while curiosity may be piqued by his inclusion of intimate details, their relevence is little more than smoke and mirrors distraction. His lack of sensitivity and blatant disrespect for these women involved compromises his own integrity.

Though later in the zine he advises against "taking sides", he attempts to draw readers into the position of playing judge and jury, exploiting each detail as an opportunity to absolve himself of responsibility (along the lines of, " I was sleeping; how'd that happen?"). That he is so intent upon exposing and pulling apart minute and personal details is not only in and of itself a violation, but clearly shows a lack of sensitivity for the impact that his transgressions have had on the lives of these women.

Throughout the zine, the reader is drawn into Mackin's self-analysis, but while he writes about self-awareness, it is unclear if this is a genuine desire to feel compassion for those he has hurt, or if it is more entrenched in a pathological narcissism. Something rings false. While Mackin uses all of the correct phrases and terminology about sexual assault, he couches it in parenthetical asides, hypothetical situations, barbs aimed at the feminist therapists he saw, condescending and offensive analogies, cryptic complaints against anonymous groups of people and a brief on Zen Buddhism that does little more than distract the reader from the reality that Mackin himself has some pressing and relevant issues around sexuality that need to be dealt with.

The dichotomy between the narrative of the first part (THE STORY) and the theoretical discussion of the second part (WHAT I WANT TO SHARE) is alarming, and leads one to doubt the sincerity of his soul searching. When abstractly discussing sexual assault, Mackin is clear, concise and makes some good points. But the dramatic shift between theoretical and personal indicates that Mackin has more work to do to internalize his book report information. While we support all attempts towards compassion and empathy, we feel that this "advice" is at best premature. Mackin may indeed be on a road to greater understanding but still must deal with some stumbling blocks.

Mackin's most flagrant affront in all of this is the sticker price. His audacity to sell this narcissistic work-in-progress indicates a lack of sensitivity not only to all readers and survivors but to the two women he claims to care so much about as friends. SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NOT A COMMODITY. We are insulted and offended that what could be a sincere and open dialogue with the community has instead been crafted into profiteering and more image-building for Rich Mackin.

I wonder... 02.Aug.2003 05:27


I wonder if he knows Jim Goad?

Good God 02.Aug.2003 09:34


The list of demands sound like some sort of re-education camp bullshit. The lesson here seems to be to just stay the hell away from the so-called activist community unless you're ready to be programmed. It's disappointing to see the wide variety of supposedly smart people that have been pulled into these witchhunts.

To "M>" 02.Aug.2003 09:56

wind-up bird

I think the activist community most definitely SHOULD be, as you put it, "reprogramming" males to put an end to sexual violence.

The list of demands reprinted by Little Beirut was drafted by the SURVIVORS of Rich Mackin's sexual assaults. Not by Little Beirut or any formally named activist group. Your comment might be relevant if the statement of demands came from any other group besides the women who have survived his assaults.

Furthermore, we shouldn't remove or shift the focus from what Rich has done, which is what your comment attempts to do. Lets instead support the oppressed, as we are known to do in the activist community.

If Rich is at all interested in the healing of the women he has stolen from, and the community he has damaged via his repeated sexual assaults, he will follow through with the list of demands without issue.

As for your usage of the term "witch hunt", keep in mind that witch hunts were a tool of the OPPRESSOR. That is the complete opposite of what is occurring here. Secondly, the archetypal "witch" of those hunts DID NOT EXIST, and DO NOT EXIST. However, sexual predators existed then and exist now.

on witch hunts and tools 02.Aug.2003 11:08

of the oppressor

the oppressed often become the oppressor. And that is what the witch hunt comment is referring to.

Reprogramming is language that is being used exactly as it is seriously meant... Re-education would be more a more appropriate term, and if that were the approach that is being used, I would advocate for use of this terminology. Since it isn't being practiced much here at this point, I suppose it is not yet important enough to argue semantics on this wording accurately describing what is going on.

This post is referring to a specific person. He has resisted reprogramming. He has not run away.

Others have accepted reprogramming and are helping other men by re-educating them. Others have run away. Many of both genders are not getting involved. Those who do and who are in favor of re-educating their gender are ostracized and ridiculed for having compassion for others who were raised in the same fucked up system we all were. Many groups and households have disintegrated as a result.

Nothing is being done to address the fucked up system in a way that could heal those who want to be healed.

Support for survivors is given exactly as the racist white activists offer support for groups and people of color... we know the way you need to be supported. .. We'll take care of everything... You don't have a voice, you are just a victim, and need to continue to be made to feel like a victim, so that we can continue to oppress our oppressors...

Divide the people and they will never focus on the system that oppresses them.

Keep the masses busy and the gangs killing each other and no real change will ever happen... and the machine grinds on.

be careful.... 02.Aug.2003 13:37


ok, this seems pretty simple to me:
* If you don't want people to make zines about you sexually assaulting other people, don't sexually assault other people!

* If someone is "falsely" accusing you of assaulting them, maybe you should have spent more time getting to know them and how they felt about things and what they consider a violation of their person, before you had sex with them?

Of course, there is always the possibility of COINTELPRO. But this should not be taken lightly...

To Wind-up Bird 02.Aug.2003 14:11


Definitely keep capitalizing things as it makes your point STRONGER.

Personally, I think it's DISGUSTING that a needy group of people are attempting to politicize the PERSONAL. As far as I'm concerned, you're AIRing A WHOLe lot of dirty laundry and trying to use it as some sort of currency. My only consolation is that I plan ON never having anything TO do with any of you. You make COINTELPRO completely redundant.

Being very kind 02.Aug.2003 14:54


If he really has sexually assaulted people, or raped them, as has been implied (non-consensual sex), then these women are being extremely kind to him. If he does follow their list of demands, he will be a better person. Their demands are not punishment at all, they are healing and growth.

But it is doubtful that this will work. It sounds like the list of demands will just be integrated by him into his world of victimhood/victimizing, and the unwilling participants are continuing to participate. He must like that. Attention from chicks... acknowledgement of his effect on them... it all becomes a part of the game.

My main question is, if he did this, why isn't he in jail?

Women who have been victimized shouldn't try to do the rehab themselves. It won't work. It just gives him more opportunity to rub himself up against you, psychologically if not physically.

If he did this, put him in jail.

prison rape 02.Aug.2003 15:33


Here's a link to some interesting essays regarding Prison Rape:


scared into anonymity 02.Aug.2003 17:34


This guy Rich obviously needs serious help in order to stop assaulting women and in order to do that he needs to be treated like a human being rather than as a 'marked man' or a 'criminal element' within the anarchist community; these eight demands are really over the top and bring to mind the sort of 'people's justice' that Chairman Mao would advocate - whatever happened to the once common anarchist belief that people can change if they are given a chance? The first thing he should do is call a rape crisis line and tell them he has problems controlling his sexual urges when he is around women and see what they recommend; there are alot of things he could do to change himself and there are alot of things the anarchist community could do to support that while also supporting those who have been hurt as a result of his mental illness, which in one way or another is a result of living in an extremely fucked up society and which can be changed. The first thing for anarchists to remember in situations like this is that this sort of thing happens ALL THE TIME amongst all kinds of people without ever going reported. Chances are very good that some of the males at the forefront of shaming Rich for these actions have assaulted women themselves and I wouldnt be surprised either to find that some of the women at the forefront have also hurt other women and even men though perhaps in different ways - one thing that I think may actually tear the anarchist community apart is the notion of purity, the idea that any of us are completely righteous and free from blame; we should accept that none of are the least bit pure, that we have all hurt other people in our lives and that we all are in serious need of some deep healing - this is a damaged world and we are damaged people each and every one of us. Lets not forget that.

scared into anonymity 2 02.Aug.2003 17:51


One more thing - you may wonder what I think should happen then? I think that given what has occurred in this case, with his name being dragged through the public sphere, not just within anarchism and activism but also in public venues such as Indymedia and Little Beirut, it would probably be best for him to move to a different city or to stop associating with the anarchist community for a good while and to use the new context that he would have as a result to work on himself and to get help; the thing is, these punishments are so over the top that I cannot imagine them ever working on someone, in fact they may push him into such a feeling of resentment that he will hurt more people. In my opinion, what is needed here is 1) for Rich to remove himself from this community (at least as much as possible) and to spend several months maybe even a year working on himself in order to get better in order to be able to function in the community 2) for the community to have a little humility and recognize that it is extremely unlikely that he is the only 'criminal' in the crowd and that he may be acting out this mental illness as a result of himself being abused in the past, as a result of alcohol or drug addiction, overexposure to an extremely patriarchal culture or all three combined 3) I would not consider the Portland anarchist community to really be mature until it gets to the point that rather than it being 'shocking' it becomes 'normal' to hear from other males that they have at some point, in some way or another, sexually harassed a woman because more likely than not, this is the case for almost each and every one; the question is, are they willing to try to change or are they not? The focus should be on systemic change at the mass level rather than singling out one person and letting them be the 'fall guy' for something that is probably far more rampant than such proceedings would indicate.

This is about ALL womens' safety 02.Aug.2003 20:24

GRINGO STARS and wind-up bird

A rapist has been called out. And everyone jumps to his defense. This is beyond disgusting. When a woman (or in this case many women) has the courage to admit to being sexually assaulted, you people don't believe them? You people are why we live in a rape culture. Quit defending rape. Quit defending rapists. I am astounded that everyone's first reaction is the same as a cop's; one of disbelief. As if it gains these women to lie about Rich Mackin.

The original post is to make sure that Rich, an unapologentic and unrepentant serial date rapist, does not create more victims in Portland. All you internet rapist apologists are precisely why rape survivors very rarely admit their experiences online. It's why zines and personal journals are the norm for survivors working through their terrible experiences. Because ignorant assholes in their underwear who read but don't digest anything make fun of activists who use capital letters more than they would prefer. This shit is funny to you? Go be a standup and leave activism to people that care about this is my advice.

The demands placed on Rich by the survivors are very easy to perform and no problem whatsoever compared to the alternative of being jailed for years in a murderous penitentuary full of the systematic rape of men, by men. The demands are also NOTHING compared to the legacy of living daily with being a rape survivor. He has stolen from these women and he is too petty and self-absorbed to give even a shred of power back to these womens' lives.

The survivors have shown amazing restraint in not prosecuting him. Keep in mind that most women never report their rapes to the authorities because of the humiliating scorn shown to them by the professional defenders of rape culture. To come out and say you've been raped requires a LOT of courage, but to go to the authorities and relive the details repeatedly in front of unsympathetic judges and juries is far too much to ask of a survivor, which is why a vast majority of victims never come forth.

Why hasn't Rich been jailed? Because rape survivors are faced with the same attitude that has been exhibited here on "enlightened" IndyMedia. After being raped, you do NOT want to go to th ER and be poked, prodded, explored, examined, questioned, sampled, giving rapist semen from your vagina - most survivors want to go home, take a shower, scrub your flesh with pine sol and bleach and want to die.

Why hasn't Rich been jailed? Because when you go to the cops, as a survivor, you will get the same heartless treatment that is supplied here on IndyMedia: "Date? Time? DNA? What were you wearing? Were you drunk? What was your relationship before? Have you ever been on any medications? Do you have a history of mental illness? have you been raped before? Have you ever been a sex worker?" You people are cops. Anarchy is about personal accountability. Rich Mackin is not personally accountable. He has refused to take responsibility.

I don't know of any men who have the courage that these women have to even make demands of Rich. Why aren't the men of this community standing up for these survivors? Why aren't they saying that he must earn their trust by doing right by the survivors of his rapes? Why shouldn't the anarchist/activist community demand he make reperations? What possible reason

Why hasn't Rich been jailed? Because the survivors are anarchists who know that jailing Rich Mackin will make him into a monster by the time he leaves prison. They are interested in healing themselves as well as saving other women the pain they now live with daily.

Since this is an activist newswire, let it be known that by all indicators, Rich will rape again. He has exhibited only a show of shame.

I would like to hear of one instance of the oppressed becoming oppressors. And do you honestly think that the survivors of Rich Mackin's rapes will actually become oppressors? That a middle-class, educated, white male will become oppressed by the survivors. One of them was 16 (and he was 30 at the time) and is now 17. Is SHE going to oppress him? You know NOTHING of oppression - oppression is activity that is backed by the full weight of the establishment, the culture of rape. Is any women ever going to oppress any man? It's not going to happen in this world and not within this lifetime. Look at our rape culture.

The personal IS political, like it or not. What you do, the food you eat, how you get from place to place, the clothes you wear, the products you buy, the news you read/hear/see, whether or not you rape - are ALL political choices. You cannot divorce a person from their politics. Everything is political.

And to the stupid COINTELPRO comment; Rich Mackin is a joker. Read his light-weight BS sometime. He makes inconsequential ha-has about corporations. He is no real threat to anyone. He is no Craig Rosebraugh who poses a real threat to the establishment by seeking the violent overthrow of the ruling elite. Rich Mackin accomplishes nothing which isn't self-serving or which does not stroke his oversized ego.

Rich Mackin could never be a threat to the ruling elite because he has his head up his ass and his dick falling out of his pants. He is too caught up with himself and the attention he desperately craves.

But Rich Mackin has been a threat to women. And he remains a threat to women.

Right now I am disgusted with the lack of awareness and compassion demonstrated within this thread. It is very true that the activist community is no different than Republican countryclubs or society at large when it comes to dealing with PERSONAL issues of homophobia, class, rape and sexual assault, transphobia, racism. A lot of work must be done here. You people are in denial and you need to get real and wake the fuck up. It's your mother, your sister, your daughter, your wife, your girlfriend, your friend that we are talking about.

again, directed to M> 02.Aug.2003 20:36

wind-up bird







For the record, I neither myself nor GRINGO STARS are affilliated with any group at this time. We are, however, allies of ALL survivors, whether they are Rich Mackin's survivors or anyone elses.

As for you having anything to do with us, it is highly unlikely that we would ever seek out someone such as yourself to befriend or work with. The repulsion is certainly MUTUAL in this case!

I thank you for your brilliant commentary which has added so much to this discussion!

Allied with Survivors Everywhere,

Wind-Up Bird.

Prosecute 02.Aug.2003 22:19


The cops should have been called in every case and this man should have been prosecuted if he is guilty. What I am seeing here is a Kangaroo court with no real punishment for the man and no lasting safety for the women who might be raped in the future. This man should be off the streets if he is guilty.

Gringo goes wild-eyed again 02.Aug.2003 22:20


I shouldn't involve myself in this debate, because I really don't have much to offer here. (I also wasn't able to read the list of demands PDF). So I have absolutely no opinion on what happened. I read the LiveJournal link posted by "A", and it seemed pretty divisive. Let me just be clear: I am in no way trying to pass judgement on the women involved or Rich, as I'm completely in the dark.

But I just wanted to respond to one thing that Gringo said:

"Why hasn't Rich been jailed? Because when you go to the cops, as a survivor, you will get the same heartless treatment that is supplied here on IndyMedia: 'Date? Time? DNA? What were you wearing? Were you drunk? What was your relationship before? Have you ever been on any medications? Do you have a history of mental illness? have you been raped before? Have you ever been a sex worker?' You people are cops. Anarchy is about personal accountability. Rich Mackin is not personally accountable. He has refused to take responsibility."

Look - I understand the trauma caused by rape. My own mother was raped twice in the same week, by the same man who invaded her home. She did goto the police, where they gave her a polygraph test. She failed the test, and they asked her to leave, and would not investigate further. I know how traumatic it was for her, even now, years later.

But those questions are important, Gringo, and they absolutely have to be asked. (Except, perhaps, questions about clothing and any history of work in the sex industry). There's no delicate way to put them.

What would you have the police do? Arrest men on nothing more than an accusation of rape? Rape is a terribly difficult issue to prove because it often doesn't leave physical evidence. We absolutely _cannot_ just take a woman's word for it. With a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years in prison under Measure 11, we better be damn sure the crime was committed. And unfortunately a single person's word alone is not good enough.

Rape is a terrible act of violence. So is 8 years in prison. The stakes are far too high to make a mistake.

So victims of rape face a horrible choice: Shower twice and cry, which is what you'd naturally want to do, or goto the emergency room. Be interviewed by the police. The crime _has_ to be understood. Was alcohol involved? What time was it? Do you know this man? Et cetera. It's terrible, I know. But there's no way around it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with furthering a "rape culture." It has to do with preventing a police state, where people can be thrown in prison upon the testimony of only one.

The police should not be skeptical of a woman's claims. They should be neutral. I imagine most all cases of reported rape are completely truthful. But they must be proveable beyond any reasonable doubt. We can't change the standard of guilt in rape cases just for the victim's sake, lest we change our system of juris prudence such that "the accused are innocent until proven guilty, unless they are charged with rape, in which case they are guilty until proven innocent."

Gringo 02.Aug.2003 22:26


Not everyone was defending the rapist and condemning the victims. When I asked why he wasn't in jail, it was not because I doubted the victims' word, it is because I think he should be in jail. He's already a monster. Continuing to engage in dialogue with this guy is a continuation of their victimization. It seems he has found a very convenient community where people are so open minded and big hearted that they will give him such chances. He doesn't deserve them because he won't take them, he'll only abuse them. You seem to know this in a way, since you are sure he will rape again.

The conditions are easy compared to jail, but only if he has to do them. But he doesn't, so he won't. It's too easy and too much fun not to.

Rapists should go to jail.

It's not a perfect system, but it's all we have. These women should be able to get this over with and put this behind them. That means not having to deal with this person at all, and getting the counseling they need to get over this.

Try and put yourself in his head. He doesn't think like you or the victims do, he sees all this goodheartedness as more opportunity.

For the record I don't know this guy. I am speaking about him as a type that I think I understand by now.

It is great that you are spreading the word about this guy in order to protect others, but more should be done. He should be put in jail. I can't say it enough, because he will always find a younger, more innocent, more vulnerable person who hasn't heard about him... or who feels sorry for him.

Watch him like a hawk, and the next time he does something, slam him.

I Am A Rape Survivor 02.Aug.2003 22:40

healing not punishment

I am a rape survivor who was raped by my own father and I know for sure it was him because he admitted it to me; does that matter to you in regard to whether you listen to me or not? Well regardless, here is what I say: this guy Rich obviously needs serious help in order to stop assaulting women and in order to do that he needs to be treated like a human being rather than as a 'marked man' or a 'criminal element' within the anarchist community; these eight demands are really over the top and bring to mind the sort of 'people's justice' that Chairman Mao would advocate - whatever happened to the once common anarchist belief that people can change if they are given a chance? The first thing he should do is call a rape crisis line and tell them he has problems controlling his sexual urges when he is around women and see what they recommend; there are alot of things he could do to change himself and there are alot of things the anarchist community could do to support that while also supporting those who have been hurt as a result of his mental illness, which in one way or another is a result of living in an extremely fucked up society and which can be changed. The first thing for anarchists to remember in situations like this is that this sort of thing happens ALL THE TIME amongst all kinds of people without ever going reported. Chances are very good that some of the males at the forefront of shaming Rich for these actions have assaulted women themselves and I wouldnt be surprised either to find that some of the women at the forefront have also hurt other women and even men though perhaps in different ways - one thing that I think may actually tear the anarchist community apart is the notion of purity, the idea that any of us are completely righteous and free from blame; we should accept that none of are the least bit pure, that we have all hurt other people in our lives and that we all are in serious need of some deep healing - this is a damaged world and we are damaged people each and every one of us. Lets not forget that. One more thing - you may wonder what I think should happen then? I think that given what has occurred in this case, with his name being dragged through the public sphere, not just within anarchism and activism but also in public venues such as Indymedia and Little Beirut, it would probably be best for him to move to a different city or to stop associating with the anarchist community for a good while and to use the new context that he would have as a result to work on himself and to get help; the thing is, these punishments are so over the top that I cannot imagine them ever working on someone, in fact they may push him into such a feeling of resentment that he will hurt more people. In my opinion, what is needed here is 1) for Rich to remove himself from this community (at least as much as possible) and to spend several months maybe even a year working on himself in order to get better in order to be able to function in the community 2) for the community to have a little humility and recognize that it is extremely unlikely that he is the only 'criminal' in the crowd and that he may be acting out this mental illness as a result of himself being abused in the past, as a result of alcohol or drug addiction, overexposure to an extremely patriarchal culture or all three combined 3) I would not consider the Portland anarchist community to really be mature until it gets to the point that rather than it being 'shocking' it becomes 'normal' to hear from other males that they have at some point, in some way or another, sexually harassed a woman because more likely than not, this is the case for almost each and every one; the question is, are they willing to try to change or are they not? The focus should be on systemic change at the mass level rather than singling out one person and letting them be the 'fall guy' for something that is probably far more rampant than such proceedings would indicate.

Not a Fall Guy 02.Aug.2003 23:13


if he has raped, he is not a fall guy.

he will not seek help unless he sees a reason to.

he will not see a reason to, unless he suffers some consequences to his actions.

I Am a Rape Survivor 2 03.Aug.2003 00:13

healing not punishment

My Response:


He is a fall guy if he takes the fall when those who are prosecuting him have raped as well or are not so 'pure' themselves in hundreds of other ways that are constantly ignored in anarchist and activist communities; are you *really* sure that those at the forefront of this public shaming and punishment ceremony have never raped or seriously hurt anyone themselves? I know I am not - there was an incident like this up in Washington that I heard about where the woman who was assaulted (she forcibly kissed on the cheek) and didnt want the activist community to do all these kinds of humiliation and punishment kinds of things but they did it anyway contrary to her own desires which is just one small example that shows how crazy this stuff can get when we are not thinking before we act - there has to be another way to deal with this kind of abuse that is not replicating the punishment / humiliation structures of the current penal system, I am sure everyone means well but I dont think you all have thought this through enough; as for myself I chose to forgive my rapist and have entered into counseling which he has done as well - I chose this course of action as a reflection of my anarchist beliefs in people's abilities to change.


Are you really sure that publicly shaming and punishing him like this, not just before his peers but also before the entire Portland community and before the cops, capitalists, communists, nazis and everyone else who happens across this site will make him want to seek help or do you think that just maybe it might simply make him that much more resentful towards women and maybe even activists now, thus resulting in his continuation of these abuses and possibly even new ones? How do you know that he will not seek help are you just making that up as a knee jerk reaction or has he said that he will not seek help? Does this individual not have any close male freinds who might push him to do so in a more private manner that is not so sketchy and wreckless? Do you ever wonder why the average person cant stand most of activists? This kind of thing is a pretty good example of what that is, it makes us look like we have no real alternative to offer other than a "lefty" version of the same old shit.


If he has any consciousness at all he would have started suffering the moment he realized what he had done; as an anarchist I simply cannot believe that people must be made to suffer before they will seek help to change - he may be suffering from all kinds of things of which you have no idea and I think that there are many other ways of dealing with incidents like this other than punishment and humiliation - we really have to stop thinking like the cops we are fighting against, folks. And I must say, the fact that this is being published on a completely public website and in completely public newspapers shows how far we as anarchists still have to go before we understand that these Inernet spaces are not simply "our" spaces but they are completely open to the cops, intelligence services and all other authorities and enemies who are just dying for some good material to use against us and make us look as fucked up as possible - this just does not make good strategic sense any way you look at it; I appreciate the desire to want to make the victims of these assaults feel better but we are going to have to think a little harder next time before we act and try to come up with something else.

What does Rich Mackin look like? 03.Aug.2003 01:10


Will someone please post a picture so that we know this guy when we see him?

Call out ALL rapists/sexual predators 03.Aug.2003 01:44

GRINGO STARS and wind-up bird

Rich has admitted what he did. That is not the question here. Rich has admitted to one of the survivors that what he did was rape. He used the word rape. YES, RICH MACKIN IS A RAPIST. He admitted it folks. Go get the zine BABY, I'M A MANARCHIST to read all about it so you can play judge and jury.

Today at the Portland Zine Symposium, one (out of many) of the targets of Rich Mackin's sexual violence stated how she should never have had to write a zine about Rich. And it's true; as a community, her allies should have stepped up to publicize what he had done to her and others. It was very painful for her to have to spend a few hundred dollars to print out copies of a zine all about what Rich did to her. In retrospect, given the Boston community's bizarre response to simply not believe her (mostly due to mackin's character attacks on her but also partly due to the rape culture which is rearing its head in this thread) she decided it would have been more healing to write a zine about her own healing process. The calling out of the rapist should have been carried out by her allies - people she trusts to make sure that he won't do this again.

The survivors want Rich Mackin called out as a rapist. This is what they requested. They want him to have no unwitting women available to him in Portland to sexually assault.

Today I sat in a PSU lecture hall FULL of rape survivors, one (and possibly more) of them males. Most all of them were women. None of them went to the police because of dismissive and unbelieving male reaction that the police have towards survivors. The same rapist-apologist attitude that is right here on this thread is also at the police department. The healing process is lifelong. YOU NEVER GET OVER RAPE. No one is ever the same after a rape - you can only change into someone different, hopefully something better. You can't "deal with it" because you have demeaned into someone who considers yourself subhuman. Rape causes you to question yourself to an extreme degree. Survivors have been known to block out memories such as the fact that a gun was involved. One cannot "get over" a rape and "put it all behind" as someone above said. Rape is the "gift" (a curse really) that keeps on giving - for your whole life.

The survivors know that sending Rich to prison will make him MUCH, MUCH worse upon "graduating" from the penitentiary system. The survivors KNOW that Rich is already a monster. He is dangerous because he utilizes the rhetoric of feminism in order to victimize women, many if not all are considerably younger than him. But after years of state-sponsored dehumanization, he will be a far, far worse threat to women everywhere.

James, you are right. This issue is much too serious for you to add your under-informed opinion. But it was sad what you said and I feel horrible for your mother. Your mother was raped twice, James. And she was discredited and turned away by the cops. The system failed her terribly. And yet you defend this heartless system. Why should ANY of those demeaning questions be asked a recent rape survivor? Why do ANY of those questions have anything at all to do with whether someone has been raped or not? Does mental illness mean that someone could not have raped you? Does having consensual sex with someone previously mean that that person could not possibly rape you later? Does being drunk mean that someone can't have possibly raped you? Go through ALL of those questions and please explain what the hell ANY of them have to do with whether or not a rape actually occured. better yet, turn off the computer and talk with your mother, if she is willing to discuss it with you. Most of us know many rape survivors.

Your dismissive comment title about me being "wild-eyed" only shows how you accept rape culture, as does the quotations you placed around the term RAPE CULTURE. Yes, James, we live in a rape culture. I commend your intention to not want a police state. But it is the police state that treats survivors like criminals and therefore discourages the reporting of rape, which thereby encourages rape. I think there should be a seperate, female-overseen justice system for sexual crimes. But that is merely my opinion and besides the point here. James, you don't want a police state yet you want the police, of all people, to ask pointless questions and become part of the horror that is rape. You want women to immediately come in to the police and subject themselves to the humiliation that you know your mother suffered? God damn right I'm wild-eyed. But only because I know what's happening yet no one cares and everyone blames the victim and defends the rapist. Is it opposite day today or something?

What should a black person do upon being beaten by the cops? Many here on this thread seem to think that the person should go to the cops and file a complaint. Do you know what the cops' reaction will be? Duh; Along the lines of "We will beat you until you can't walk, next time, nigger!" VERY few women go to the police because law enforcement treats women as if they are operating and living with the advantages and the power of being a white male in this society. Because police ARE men, most of them white. The rare woman in law enforcement that deals with rape is always highly publicized. That is the rare exception. The rule is that men expect women to "get over it." The police's idiotic questions lead one to believe that only a virgin or a child can truly be raped, and that otherwise the woman is somehow to blame.

Do you realize the mental process involved with surviving a rape? It can take decades sometimes to even admit to YOURSELF that you have been raped, if you are able to get to that point in the process of surviving. The survivor usually blames herself. One woman actually told her therapist, after being tied to a chair and beaten by her father, "At least I wasn't raped." Rape is the most demeaning thing that can possibly happen to a human. That is why so many survivors become suicidal. Denial, shame and guilt are huge parts of the processes endured by survivors.

To "healing not punishment"...
The intention here is to honor the survivors by making sure people know about Rich Mackin so he won't do it again. I feel that the demands placed on him by the survivors are INCREDIBLY lenient given the alternatives, and that the demands have his rehabilitation in mind. What is the punishment you are referring to? They did not prosecute him to turn him into a hate-filled monster. As it is now, he might very well become a decent human IF he learns to take responsibility in his actions enough to take part in the survivors' healing process, which he has monstrously refused to do. He has an amazing opportunity to set things right (damage which he alone caused) and he's blowing it. The survivors (and their allies) merely want women to know about him, an admitted rapist: Rich Mackin.

Regarding your final comment, you speak idealistically about an anarchist community that operates on the faith that people will change if given space/time to do so on their own. How does this work without 100% accountability of all community members? Why do you suggest we nurture rapists and sexual predators as opposed to the survivors? Calling out Rich Mackin, which is what is going on here and in Little Beirut and in the zine, Baby I'm a Manarchist is being done with the explicit approval of the survivors, just so you are aware.

As for the police and right-wing extremist groups reading indymedia, the radical papers, etc. I think everyone is well aware of that fact. Are you saying that this should keep us from calling out rapists and sexual offenders who dwell and socialize amongst us? If so, that is completely ludicrous and suicidal from the community standpoint. And just so you know, Rich Mackin publishes on the very public internet, as well as in his very public zines which he is charging cash money for--admissions of his own guilt and character assassinations of his survivors and their allies.

People here are sensitive to certain issues but not at all sensitive and/or educated about other issues. When Kendra James was murdered, there wasn't nearly as much blaming of the victim as there is here. "Oh she shouldn't have driven away" or "she shouldn't have been high" or whatever. The well-placed compassion for various minority groups should find its way to other oppressed people - take into account that women are an oppressed minority still, and have been socialized in a particular way, just as other marginalized groups have been. All these males posting about what the survivor should or shouldn't have done probably have yet to deal with their social privilege. Being a white male means never having to say you're sorry. And it also means inheriting a nasty habit of telling others how to handle their own lives. Face up to the fact that you are sitting at home typing out kneejerk reactions to someone's lifelong tragedy. Think five times before discounting their side of the story. It takes more guts than you have to admit to being raped. Strive to understand this. It's not all about you.

Finally, this is most certainly NOT all about Rich Mackin, either. This is about calling out ALL rapists/sexual assaulters within our community. This is about responding as a community to rape and sexual violence. This is about recognizing, learning and healing. This is about admitting you are not so aware, or that maybe you never considered the plight of a survivor. This is about admitting to the part you play in keeping sexual violence the widespread tragedy that it is, whether you are an offender, an apologist, or simply ignorant as to the reality of rape culture. This is about growth and change and PROGRESS, as this is supposedly a "progressive community".

This is what Rich Mackin looks like 03.Aug.2003 02:01



To rape survivor 03.Aug.2003 02:04


Since you were addressing my points I will answer, although you weren't really talking to me, because I am not an anarchist.

1) He is not a fall guy. If he is punished for rape, it is because he is a rapist, not because he is taking the punishment for every other rapist that hasn't been caught.

Am I really sure that those who condemn this guy have not committed rape themselves? No, I don't know these people personally. I will wager that his victims, the women, have not however. There certainly are many rapists around who go unpunished. If any of them are in the community that is condemning this guy, then they should be punished for their crimes too. For their crimes and for no one else's. And the particular victims should know that the wrong that has been done to them is acknowledged and cared about. But HIS crimes should not be ignored just because others have committed crimes too. And by the way, you simply say that others who condemn him MAY have committed crimes. That they may have committed crimes is not enough reason to ignore his. If you KNOW they have committed crimes, maybe you should say something about it.

The incident about the girl who was kissed. It must have been horrible for her, but it wasn't rape. She may have thought it didn't warrant public action. Her wishes probably should have been honored. However, it wasn't rape. And I may be wrong, but it is my impression that this person's victims are involved in this action against him, so maybe that is not a good analogy.

I understand your choice to go into counseling (every rape victim needs it), and to forgive your father. Your situation is even more complicated because he is your father. There is literally no way that you can seperate yourself from your tormentor. Thank God he has seen the light and is in counseling too.

I believe that people can change too, but they don't always do so unless pushed, and even then.

2) Am I sure that publicly shaming him like this will make him want to seek help? No I am not. Everyone is different. Some people change the first time they see consequences. Some people just get used to the conditions under which they live and continue, or get worse. There is no foolproof consequence that will force all people to change. But one foolproof way of helping a rapist continue is to let him do so, without consequence. Personally I don't agree with this do-it-yourself intervention. I think that the women should have taken it to the police and let them handle it. In your case you have no choice but to continue to be involved with your victimizer. Even if you never see him again, you can't escape it, for he is your father. For that I sympathize very much. But these women have a chance to move on. And they should be given that chance. It is my opinion that their continued involvement with him in this attempt to rehabilitate him will only harm them further, mostly because it won't work, and they will see others get hurt, and they will be hurt further.

How do I know he won't seek help? I don't know that. I am just going on the information given in Gringo's posts, and my own knowledge of this kind of person. He might have friends... I don't know. It sounds like he is a sick person though, and he is being allowed to continue. These women made these demands because they saw that he was still a risk. If you ask me, if he were really intent on changing, it would be evident to those around him. He would already be putting in the kind of effort that they are asking for. Buy why should he? No one is forcing him to.

Rape is not a leftist issue. I don't think calling attention to it can open the leftist community to criticism. Although I wouldn't handle things this way, and I don't think it is effective, in changing him, I can't criticize their intent at all. If you can't prosecute someone for their crime, you should alert potential victims.

3) Your last point is baffling. How is it that you see this action as something that would reflect upon the activist community BEFORE seeing it for what it is, which is an attempt to protect women, an attempt to vindicate, equalize, or comfort those who have already suffered from his actions? Why is it that it seems more important to you that the rapist be protected? Why is the image of the activist community more important to you than seeing that women are protected from this person? One of the worst things about being victimized in this way is that you know you've been profoundly disrespected. You feel like you've been treated like a piece of trash that can be used and tossed away without any thought at all. How is it that you can be so callous to your fellow victims? They should just shut up and take it? His suffering is more important than theirs?

As for his suffering. I wouldn't doubt that he is suffering. That is unfortunately the human condition. But if we know that he habitually causes others to suffer and we can do something to stop it, we should. If he is suffering, then he should tell the appropriate people who can help him. Those would be professionals. At the same time, he should not be allowed to roam freely with the rest of us where he can cause harm to the most vulnerable (I'm sure he knows how to pick them) at his whim. This is why rapist need to be taken off the streets. Best case scenario is that while they are incarcerated they will get therapy that will help them to change. Worst case scenario is that they will roam free and pick off victim after victim. It is so easy to do. Barring the best and the worst, he, and any other rapist should be taken off the streets, until they are rehabilitated.

Citizen X 03.Aug.2003 03:01


I just read your comment. I have to think that you don't understand how offensive that joke was. One of the problems between men and women is that we don't understand how the other thinks. That's why it's easy for women, especially young ones, to be victims of rape. We just can't fathom the intentions of a predatory male. We think that he asked us out because he likes us and is interested in what we have to say. We are, after all, interested in what he has to say. And we think what we have to say is valuable too. We think that he just wants to be friends. That's how we feel anyway. We like to be friends with lots of people. We think that the comforting, disarming things he says are true. We tell the truth after all, and we've been taught to be nice and non-judgemental. Well one thing we have to learn is that men don't think like we do, especially predatory men.

I'm not labeling you a predatory man, but I think you are a man who just cannot fathom the thoughts and feelings of a woman. Because of that, I think you must not understand how offensive your joke must have been. I'll try to explain it to you. Our charms, are not a commodity to be given so carelessly. They are pieces of us, of our souls, not just our bodies. And if used up and disrespected, they deplete us. The cure for a rapist is not that women give it up easily. It is really shocking that you can admit that rape is a serious crime and in the same breath make that kind of a joke. It is not up to us to supply you with pleasure willingly or suffer rape. It is not an either or situation. I hope you can come to some level of understanding of this, but I am not confident that you will. Sometimes it takes having a daughter to understand the wholeness of a female person. But as shown by a poster in this thread, even that is no guarantee, for fathers can rape their daughters too.

I'm sure you may have run across some women who do give it up easily. You can bet they have already been victimized, and learned not to value that which is valuable in them. If you are disrespected profoundly, you learn to disrespect yourself.

In defense of Indymedia, I believe they trimmed your comments in order to protect those that they knew would be very hurt by them. Your joke, believe it or not, devalues all of us.

I'm impressed 03.Aug.2003 03:24


Impressive list of demands. Reminds me of the US government demands to Afghanistan and Iraq. No hope in hell that he'll so much as try to meet them.

Just as well : they are harmful to him.

Probably harmful to Laura and Tali, too.

Certainly will not help their recovery.

They harm other women. Women who want men to take responsibility for and correct their behaviours, but wish to stop short of destroying their lives, will likely fear provoking this sort of righteous rage.

They harm other men, the whole activist community, too. Remember : "we live in a rape culture". Most men behave abominably, at one time or another, often beginning when they are about three years old. It will be difficult for men to recognize their sins. If their loved ones and casual acquaintances hesitate to speak up, for fear of knights errant. If the men habitually deny or excuse, for fear of the sky falling.

If you attack someone, regardless how holy your cause, they will fight back. Bystanders will become collateral damage. The more thoughtful will question the interpersonal skills and trustworthiness of everybody who willingly involves themselves.

I looked at Rich's 'livejournal'. I saw a fairly typical case of two scumbags, yes, TWO scumbags, richmackin and ciarraxyerra, goading each other to say (and persuade each him- and her-self to believe) what they probably would not express so extremely separately. Hardening of defenses. Coagulation of scum.

Guess what's happening here?

So, this is made public here and in LB4. Impossible demands. Intentionally impossible.

Rich goes away, teaching himself that his behaviour was not THAT bad ... a few minor changes here ... a little subtlety there ... but basically confirmed correct.

Sexual misconduct will be minimized and denied, covered up -- by all participants -- because this sort of extreme reaction is presented as appropriate.

Then, there are Laura and Tali, and perhaps others unnamed. One hopes they will begin to recover, to heal the wounds.

Someday, each will need to ask herself, "Is that really the way it happened? What did happen?" Each will need to find answers which are brutally honest.

Not honest for you, Gringo. Nor for you, Wind-up. Not even for me, Bill. But brutally honest for herself, because she already knows those answers.

Without each her own answers, she will be stuck, leaking puss and blood, forever.

That's what causes the forty years, you mentioned Gringo. Not the rapist. The well-meaning 'friends', with their own axes, telling her what to think, what to feel, especially to feel damaged.

That list of demands makes great politics in LB4.

It also makes it damn near impossible to ask honestly, let alone answer.

It prevents recovery.

Further reading 03.Aug.2003 03:44


Anyone who wishes some real information would do well to start by reading the books of the Suisse psychologist, Alice Miller :


I do not vouch for anything else on that site. I have read nothing except the page on Miller.

citizenX: buzz off 03.Aug.2003 03:59

random imcista

Sorry sir, but I'm making an executive decision here: buzz off. Your comments are over the top. You're an avowedly rightwing, anti-radical anyway, so why is this discussion of oh so much importance to you? You find it amusing, eh? Sorry. Go find your amusement elsewhere. Your ignorant and offensive distractions don't belong in this discussion, which is a very painful one for many people who DO take it seriously.

There are caveats galore 03.Aug.2003 04:42


I'm not telling anyone what to do; they're free to do whatever is right for them. However, if a friend or relative were to ask for my advice on the subject, I'd absolutely suggest they goto the police. I have no fantasies of reforming such men. I certainly do, however, advocate their seperation from society.

It's for this reason that I would ask rape victims to go to the police and submit to such invasive questions -- to protect others. Unlike others here, I don't believe in any fundamental good within people. I believe, and my life experience would seem to confirm, that while most people are fundamentally good-hearted, certain people are simply endowed with bad and violent characters.

I find the reluctance to accept this fact -- that bad behavior is the result of anything except the character of a man -- very frustrating.

When my mother was raped, she went to the police with full knowledge that they would ask her such questions. She didn't want to do it, but she did it all the same -- in the hopes that her attacker would be put where he belongs. (Though she certainly did not expect the treatment she received).

I wrapped rape culture in quotes, because in my view, that type of idea represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what rape is. Rape is not a sex crime. Rape is a crime of violence. It's not about sexual release. It's absolutely not normal male behavior within a society. It's about asserting power over the victim.

This is not the result of American culture, Western culture, or Abrahamic influences. The problem is hardly limited to our neck of the woods. Human nature is the disease. Society and culture are the cures. These thoughts and urges are already in the minds of men. (And anyone in a position of power, I imagine). It's society's role to remove those thoughts.

Now, that's not to say culture does not sometimes influence the thoughts of men the other way. How many movies have been made in which Humphrey Bogart grabs a woman within his arms, she resists and struggles, but he restrains her, romances her and suddenly she's in love with him? Those fantasies undoubtedly have affected the thought process of some men.

But Humphrey Bogart cannot be blamed for sexual violence. He and his movies are expressing the basic human urge to exert control over others. They're not causing it, they're reflecting it.

Please let me be clear about the lengths of my support for "the system." Administering a polygraph test to a rape victim is perhaps the most horrible, awful thing I could ever dream of. The implication is clear: we don't believe you. Police departments should have special investigative units for sexual assault cases. (Indeed, many do). And it may be a good idea for such units to be run by understanding women. I don't mean to argue for the status quo. If there are things we can do and concepts we can understand which make this easier for the victims, while not lowering the standard of guilt, by all means, let's do it.

But in the eyes of the law, both people must be treated and trusted equally. Would you deny an accused rapist the opportunity to confront his accuser? To question his accuser under oath at trial? From what you're saying, I get the impression that you would. Talk about slippery slopes: under such a system you can be sure you will be sending innocent men to prison. And from a social standpoint, I'd rather a rapist not be convicted than an innocent man be sent to prison for the better part of his life. Do you differ?

What do questions like "What time did this occur?" have to do with the rape? The accused may have been 1,000 miles away at the time. These are simple, basic facts which could be exculpatory. I'm sorry -- I feel terribly for rape victims -- but that cannot be a reason to treat the victims of this particularly terrible brand of crime so fundamentally differently. The elements of the crime HAVE to be established if we are to remove these predators from society, while keeping innocent men out of prison.

Without asking these questions, how can the state possibly determine if it is doing the right thing? The victim may not even know their attacker. Even today, when we do ask these questions, we're still sending innocent men to prison. Victims have testified against men, claimed that they absolutely are the man who raped them, without any doubt -- only to be proven wrong years later by DNA testing. That's an aberration for sure. But it just illustrates how difficult it is to determine guilt from innocence in these cases.

I'm CERTAINLY not saying the police should ask "Did you like it when he fucked you?" But the questions you listed are by and large important to ask. Unfortunately, it is pertinent whether the victim has certain mental illnesses. The existence of such an illness does not mean the rape didn't happen -- but it could be exculpatory. I can empathize with the rape victim who does suffer from mental illness -- the veracity of her claims being questioned in public at trial, her disease being twisted to instill doubt. But there's simply no alternative. I don't pretend it won't be painful; it will be. It's not the right choice for everyone.

"Denial, shame and guilt are huge parts of the processes endured by survivors."

In time, society will recognize rape as what it is; a crime of violence, not of sex.

"I'm sure you may have run across some women who do give it up easily. You can bet they have already been victimized, and learned not to value that which is valuable in them."

I disagree with that on many different levels. If we live in a rape culture, then we also live in a victim culture. Not everyone views sex as a special treasure, only to be shared with special people. Many women enjoy the act in and of itself. It's offensive to suggest that every woman who enjoys the act absent love has been victimized. It's a gross generalization, and in my view anyway, demeaning.

But why listen to me, I'm just a man grappling with my limited understanding.

James 03.Aug.2003 06:16


My comment was not to imply that no woman enjoys sex without love, nor that all women view sex as a "special treasure." Possibly the term "giving it up" was a little misleading. It is hard to explain something that can be so complex in few enough words sometimes.

It is true that some victims of violent sexual crime often become hyper-sexual. This doesn't mean that they enjoy sex unfortunately. This is a reaction to the trauma. An attempt to gain control over the sexual act in which they were once rendered powerless. Those are the women that I was talking about. You may know some healthy fun-loving women, who are lucky enough to have a good time with men who respect them. I'm not talking about them.

And as far as the "special treasure" goes... if you don't want to give it, and someone takes it from you, you have lost a treasure. It's not sex. It's your own free will. It's your idea of self worth. The great tragedy of women is that we care what other people think of us. It is so hard to work that out of us. That someone can so disrespect us has a profound effect. And even those fun loving women will have lost that same thing if it were taken from them at the time when they just didn't feel like it, but were forced to nonetheless.

Having said that, I venture to say that you know many more victims or rape, or other sexual assault or manipulation than you realize. It's not something we talk about with everyone. Women often pretend this thing doesn't exist. People don't want to hear about it after all. "Why doesn't she shut up" is a question that pops into the minds of both men and women when one talks about this too much.

James, I can't argue with anything else you have written. Even if it is difficult for women to go to the police, it is something that must be done. To shy away from that is to continue to be a victim. It is letting the system push us down. Rapists often know how to choose the person who is weak, the person who will be too afraid to go to the police. I'm sure that sometimes women are still treated callously when they go to the police, but I'm also sure that it is a lot better now than when this happened to your mother. There are now women in the police force. Medical staff in the hospital who take the tests surely must be sympathetic. No woman should be discouraged from reporting a rape, because there is no way she can make things right on her own. This is something that will fester and fester as long as the rapist is able to continue with his life unpunished and unrepentent and unchanged.

Gringo, please consider this Kobe Bryant case. The young woman is facing a lot of public scrutiny because of Kobe's fame, but she was taken seriously by the police. I don't think her situation is an anomoly. Some cops are abusers, but some are fathers, and brothers, mothers and sisters too.

Kobe Bryant case 03.Aug.2003 06:40


Yeah, let's talk about the Kobe Bryant case:

Did you catch the part where the radio show host released the name, phone number, and home address of the said teenage victim? Talk about lacking compassion! We live in a power-hungry society that supports rape, whether its the rape of the land, rape of the working class, or rape of women and children. Denying this fact is pointless, changing this fact is not.

Anonymous 03.Aug.2003 09:00


"He's already a monster. ... For the record I don't know this guy. I am speaking about him as a type that I think I understand by now. "

Your personal biases are getting in the way of your critical thinking skills. That's a shame.

People on this thread have posted just about everything but what Rich Mackin DID. Just brandishing the word RAPE doesn't prove a thing. Rape these days is so overly broad it has lost its meaning.

Who are any of us to tell the survivors what to do? 03.Aug.2003 10:54


Calling out a rapist is all we are doing here. Making sure it women know about Rich Mackin and what he's done. This is WHAT THE SURVIVORS WANT. Who the hell are any of us to tell these women (there are many survivors of Rich's daterapes - more than the 5 I know) what to do? They are attempting to take control over their lives and I, for one, will not tell them what to do. Personally, I would like Rich Mackin to be imprisoned, both to save more women from being sexually assaulted by him, and also for him to experience rape at the receiving end - but my opinion isn't what matters here - the survivors must be respected. I am not so fucking concerned as to what happens to Rich Mackin. Bill, why do you give a fuck about such a life-ruiner as Rich? None of these survivors will EVER "get over it" and THEY are the ones who have requested the truth be known. These are all activist women who fear the police - they have their own good reasons for not going to the police and these reasons should be respected. They do not want to deal further with the likes of you taking further power from them by dismissing their words. The survivors should be respected. Bill, some people must be trusted - if both rapist and survivor have admitted what has happened (as in this case) then what the hell good will it do to question the events? We have been doing this for awhile now. You are the one who needs some catching up. Also, please explain how the demands of the survivors are in any way impossible? What the fuck are you saying? These demands are ALL possible, even easy - especially compared to living with having been raped or living in prison, probably getting raped by men (that will quickly make Rich the heartless fuckwad he is now only slowly becoming) and becoming filled to the brim with hate, especially towards women. Which demand is so fucking impossible?

James; you do not even understand the concept of rape culture and you have some catching up to do. TRANSFORMING RAPE CULTURE is a collection of work by 37 active feminists, 25 of them are female, 12 of them are male. There is no victim culture because they have NO power in the current setup. Capitalism, militarism, racism, pornography, ageism, classism, prostitution, and rape all coexist happily together. Talk to a military man about sex and you'll know what I mean. They look at porn before bombing civilians. They get hard-ons while killing shooting people. DynaCorp mercenaries have underage sex slaves in Bosnia (one of the precious few times military men have been busted for this) - EVERY instance of war, including the Iraq war, are rife with rape. All of these issues are interconnected. James; check it out;


Portland IMC: The Left-Wing Virtual Prison? 03.Aug.2003 11:29

healing not punishment

So does this mean that Portland IMC is now going to become the new left-wing virtual prison where the 'criminals' amongst us will be publicly shamed and punished, not at all unlike the public executions of medieval times? What is the threshhold for when this is and is not a good idea to be doing? Or is there one? If my traveller freind robs me blind or gets mad and beats me up when he is drunk should I start posting his pictures here too? Should I post the pictures of people who have made sexual advances towards me against my desires if they never touched me? What if they did touch me but didn't go "all the way" against my will? Should I post pictures of people I hate for my own reason? Where does it stop? Where does it end? Is this the way justice will be carried out in an anarchist society? Having been raped myself I sympathize with the victim's desires to make sure Rich does not rape anyone again in the future but I do not think this process is very well thought out. If you want to make sure he doesn't do it again personally I think you could have made flyers and passed them around within the anarchist community in a little more private manner than doing it on IMC like this where everyone and their brother will see it. If this becomes a new norm within the IMCs and within the anarchist community all I can say is it won't be long before anarchism becomes just another meaningless word that does little more than reflect the larger society. We really need to spend time thinking about the whole concept of 'public shaming' and 'punishment'. Where do these ideas originate from and are they really the kind of thing we want to continue in our everyday lives? Anarchists should be thoughtful enough to be able to come up with strategies for preventing future rapes in the community that do not turn our alternative institutions into virtual prisons.

Feeling the pain 03.Aug.2003 11:33


As a SURVIVOR OF THIS THREAD, I would just like it to stop. You seem upset that people are discussing this issue from their own vantage points, Gringo. That makes me wonder why you posted it.

M 03.Aug.2003 12:39


My bias? I am talking about this person as he is described in this thread, as an admitted rapist. You notice that I am not addressing him by name. If he is not a rapist, then everything I said does not apply to him. It does apply to someone who rapes teenagers, and gets away with it. So if I have a bias against men who rape teenagers, it should be showing. That's not a bias I think I need to be ashamed of. I do not have a particular bias against this individual, because I don't know him.

It should be understood that this is a public forum open to both people who are involved and people who are not. For those of us who are not, it is the issue that we are commenting upon.

The monster comment was made in response to Gringo saying that prison would turn him into a monster. However Gringo also said that he is sure to rape again. Thus, monster. Monster is however a subjective term.

Rich Mackin's Live Journal 03.Aug.2003 13:43

richie rich

If you go to  http://www.richmackin.org you will see the following quote from him about one of his accusers: "She used the word 'rape' to describe how she felt some of my actions were coercive. This crushed me. The fact that my actions could even be perceived as such by the woman involved- someone I loved and admired and respected felt THAT hurt by me, was emotionally crippling." This indicates that he does not agree that he has raped at least one of these women....people should really check out both sides of the story.

Notes on Rich Mackin 03.Aug.2003 14:06

richie rich

It should also be noted that his position is that during a massage he touched a woman's breast while in another case he kissed a woman on the belly who was sleeping in his bed - he does admit that he has sexually compulsive tendencies and states that he has been to several feminist therapists and is now in a 12 step program for people with relationship problems. He does not come across as a monster at all but as someone who has issues that he needs to deal with and someone who is genuinely apologetic about what he did (which I am not sure would be called rape). The problem here is that those who were victimized are not saying exactly what happened and the blanket term "rape" is being used to include things such as kissing on the belly and touching a woman's breast as though it were self-evident that this is all there is to it - I dont understand that logic at all and it seems pretty fucked up to equate something like that with the experience of having been forced down and penetrated repeatedly against one's will.

As he states "Some people think I am being overly apologetic; that I shouldn't feel as bad as I do because I didn't actually do anything that bad. Well, I am sorry that I did ANYTHING bad, even if worse things exist. Because this was made so public, I HAVE to deal with this publicly, because it isn't three women that are mad at me, it's hundreds of people who hear rumors, some of whom are under the impression that I am a violent serial rapist by the time it gets to them." "I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. I react to an attack, I am "being defensive". If I admit to anything, I am pressured to admit to worse things than I actually did. If I omit a detail, I am in denial. If I present a view, I am being a spin-doctor. If I go into detail I am violating confidence and making private matters public. I'm being asked to do one thing by the women involved and other things by people speaking as if they act on their behalf. I'm being told I shouldn't be public with something that was made public by others. I'm being told not to be public with something I'm being told to be public with! I'm being told to go take specific actions, and when I take these actions, and then being criticized for doing them. " "A word about holding people accountable╔a few friends of mine have reacted to all this by mentioning that they have noticed that I do seem a bit overly sexual, or numb to boundaries, or something similar. The feedback, even by some people who know the accusers, is that I am harmless, but irritating. While only I am in charge of my behaviors, I want to say that if you ever find yourself in this sort of friend role, PLEASE speak up. You don't have to call your friend a sexist asshole, just point out specifics as you see them. If a friend annoys people, and it doesn't seem to be a decided action, consider that they might benefit from being called on their shit. Part of being friends is helping someone grow. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is give them a wake up call, no matter how little they want it. "

There are always at least two sides to every story and I encourage folks to seek out as much information as possible before passing judgement on this person.

A zine commercial in the guise of victimization 03.Aug.2003 14:11

Stop the commercial

One out of three women are sexually assualted.

One out of every seven men are sexually assualted.

We are not victims, we are survivors.

There is a difference between coersion and not having the ability to set boundaries as an adult, and the differenceof being visciously raped and saying NO and fighting back.

These women need therapy.

This man needs therapy.

Both sides need to do it their way.

The victims sound vague and accusatory, making insinuations while never directly stating what took place. I don't want to buy your goddamn zine to verify this information. If you want to report the news do it honestly and accurately. Do not be vague and accusatory asking me to buy your goddamn shit.

THIS should NOT be a commercial for sexual assault zines.

Without pertinant information in the original post that is all it amounted to.

We need to reach out to the men in our community who have been the victims of sexual assault.

self-determination is the question 03.Aug.2003 14:30


It seems to me the real question is, do these women, and their supporters, or any other group of people, have the right to determine for themselves the way in which to attempt to remedy a deplorable situation such as this? Or, must they necessarily conform to a DOMINANT SYSTEM which they fundamentally distrust and reject? It seems crystal clear to me that, whatever one's own personal preferences, they or any other such group of people SHOULD have such a right to self-determination. No one, not them, Gringo, or anyone else, has claimed that they are trying to socially engineer some perfect utopia here as an alternative to the vicious brutality of the society we live in. To critique them on the basis of a standard they're not setting up for themselves is absurd.

Having said that, I personally think that this episode could actually represent in a very limited way a model for dealing with a terrible situation in which a person has apparently abused the good will and trust of a community of people he claimed some kinship with for foul purposes, without having to resort to a dominant system fundamentally distrusted and rejected by this community. That's not to say we're coming up with some fully formed alternative for the adversarial legal system, due process, and all the rest, or that we necesarily want to immediately achieve the instantaneous elimination of that system. In fact, there is no necessary inconsistency in insisting on both the importance of due process, legal counsel, habeas corpus, and other constitutional rights for those accused under the dominant legal system, while also choosing to reject involvement in that system in our own personal lives on certain or many or even all occasions. Unfortunately, James and others have clouded the issue by mistakenly perceiving an inconsistency where none necessarily exists.

As to James's arguments about "rape culture," this is getting into the realm of pure philosophy and metaphysics. But, sticking to the less airy realm of history and anthropology, James will find if he studies the subject that there are wide variations between cultures, and that there are indeed cultures where rape is practically unheard of, sometimes to the point of lacking a single word to describe it, and others where it is quite common, so we can infer that culture has a lot to do with the matter. Figuring out exactly what the elements are that underlie these different patterns is a topic for a whole other discussion, an interesting one that no doubt could fill volumes, but not relevant to this thread.

your self-determination, his virtual prison 03.Aug.2003 15:07

richie rich

The problem with the argument that its all about self determination is that 1) the people who were victimized are not the ones who are speaking in their name on this newsboard 2) one person's "self-determination" can easily impose on anothers and things can quickly get out of hand 3) when one post photos and accusations about an accused person on a site like this they are demonstrating an awareness of "self-determination" that is only a little more developed then 18th century public execution ceremonies 4) these public executions were eventually banned and this is why we have "private" executions and punishments now in the larger society 5) if we as activists cannot see past the logic of criminality, humiliation and punishment than what are we heading towards? This is creepy.

Comment 03.Aug.2003 15:20

Making comment

What is not being made clear here is: is this person accused of the crime of RAPE?

Or is he accused of the crime of inappropriate touching/overstepping boudarys/betraying trusts/being a jerk?

These are serious accusations and you should be quite clear what you are accusing someone of.

"virtual prison"? give me a break! 03.Aug.2003 15:23


Come on. You're not very convincing with such hysterical comparisons as 18th century public execution. Is this perhaps humiliating for Mr. Mackin? I don't doubt it. But did he do something utterly reprehensible that deeply hurt a number of people and was an egregious violation, both of individuals and a larger community? If so, then I can hardly shed a lot of tears at his humiliation. I'm more concerned about preventing him from doing this again, as should we all. That should be our uppermost concern, not Rich's emotional suffering at being humiliated by having his misconduct spoken of publicly, when there are absolutely compelling practical reasons to do so.

Moreover, the remedies sought by the victims are hardly unreasonable on their face. No one here is calling for Rich to be drawn and quartered. No one is trying to exploit the pictures of him to target him for violent retribution. If Rich or someone else wants to raise problems with some particulars about these demands, then go ahead. But on the whole, they strike me as highly appropriate.

Clarify? 03.Aug.2003 17:37

Just wondering

Gringo Stars writes: "A rapist has been called out."

Is he a rapist?

Gringo 03.Aug.2003 17:52


You have not read the words I wrote.

You have read something that exists only in your own head.

Yes, please clarify 03.Aug.2003 17:53


I hadn't directed my comments to this specific case before, precisely because I wasn't aware of the specifics. I'm still not. But there have been comments posted which claim the "rape" in question consists of inappropriate touching, and a kiss on the belly.

Is this true? Please clarify.

If it is true, this consternation we're drowning in, this whole thread, is fucked-up beyond all belief, completely wrong-headed, worthy of our collective scorn. It's sick, twisted, hideous and reprehensible. It cheapens the vicious crimes that millions have suffered. It's so wrong I can't even begin to formulate the words to express it. It's The Fountainhead realized, a manifestation of society to come, wherein we're forced to seek prior written consent of our romantic intentions, duly recorded with the State, lest we be ridiculed and imprisoned for sex crimes.

Her eyes became two narrow slits of gray; gray as the gray of the quarry granite. "You want something, don't you? What do you want?"

"I want to take you sexually by force. Okay with you? I know you're the type of dame who won't put out for just anyone."

"Goddamn you," she hissed. "Submit the appropriate forms to the Ministry of Romantic Foreplay."

mackin made an admission 03.Aug.2003 18:09


My understanding is that Mackin made an admission. He admitted in a round-about way to committing rape, certainly didn't forcefully object to the use of that term to describe some of his conduct, merely quibbled over some details. Excerpts from extensive dialogues between him and his victims were reprinted in the "Baby I'm a Manarchist" booklet. Can someone here produce a precise quote?


wind-up bird

to "stop the commercial",

if you had bothered to read the initial post completely, you would have realized that the zine we have been speaking of is FREE of charge to virtually everyone.

however, Rich Mackin, the "anarchist" with a marketing degree IS charging a fee for his zine, and thereby profiting via his survivors.

??? 03.Aug.2003 19:03


Windupbird maybe you can answer the question? Is he actually accused of rape? I have not heard him admit to that. There would seem to be a real difference in inappropriate touching and rape. I feel this is an important distinction. Neither are acceptable but one is more serious than the other and he HAS been accused of rape here in this thread.

Was it Really Rape? Is This Really Justice? 03.Aug.2003 19:50


Rich Mackin's zine is free too on the website at  http://richmackin.org so I dont think you are going to escape the point blank question that is being asked here repeatedly and which he denies on his website, "did Rich Mackin actually physically rape someone or did he grope their breast, kiss their belly and act like a misogynist jerk in general?" - though this is a debatable issue, here is the definition of the word rape I found in the dictionary:


Eurasian plant cultivated for its seed and as a forage crop [syn: colza, Brassica napus] 2: the act of despoiling a country in warfare [syn: rapine] 3: the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will [syn: violation, assault, ravishment, sexual assault] v 1: assault sexually; force to have sex [syn: ravish, violate, dishonor, dishonour, outrage] 2: destroy and strip of its possession; "The soldiers raped the beautiful country" [syn: despoil, violate, plunder]

As anarchists no one should have to tell us the power of certain keywords which can whip up a hysterical frenzy leading to all kinds of bizarre punishments and horrific repressions of various kinds - the term 'terrorist' is as good an example as the word 'anarchist' - both of these terms connote dozens of things other than what they mean to those who are labeled as such ("one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter") ("anarchists are chaotic bomb throwers who are basically totalitarian" vs. "anarchists believe that people can live in a world free of coercion of any kind")

Likewise it should not be hard to see that the term 'rapist' can be used to competely delegitimize someone who is disliked by many people for other reasons through the use of a highly loaded term, which then allows the complexities of the actual events to be completely squashed and ignored while the loyal and angry citizens rally around the virtual scaffold throwing small stones and tomatoes at the 'enemy within' even when this individual claims to have only groped one woman's breast while massaging her, thinking she was interested in that, as well as kissing another woman on the belly as she was waking up.

True, this last woman claimed that he put his hand down her pants in the middle of the night and that certainly would constitute sexual assault and possibly even the term 'rape' as well, but he said he did not know whether he did this or not since he was asleep, but if he did, then he wasnt sure how exactly how guilty he should feel about it since he we was unconscious, though after looking back over his history he began to see an ongoing pattern of borderline fucked-up situations, and then he realized that he wanted to do something to change his behavior in the future so that wouldnt happen again, which is exactly why he moved to Portland, to start over and to try to change his behavior.

The thing is, to be frank, this actually seems like the right thing to do upon recognizing a pattern like this in one's history and he says himself that he joined a 12 step program to deal with it and to try to change, so as far as I am concerned the question now is, are those people in Portland doing the right thing in their extremely public punishments, humiliations and shamings of this person all over the world wide web and the activist media (potentially exposing him to MILLIONS of people's scrutinies and misinterpretations) with someone who may or may not be a "rapist" but is definately someone with sexual boundary issues who is working on himself to get better, or might there be a different less authoritarian way to deal with this problem this individual has (and alot of other people have as well that are being ignored)?

We should try not to forget that statements like "I can hardly shed a lot of tears at his humiliation. I'm more concerned about preventing him from doing this again, as should we all. That should be our uppermost concern, not Rich's emotional suffering at being humiliated by having his misconduct spoken of publicly, when there are absolutely compelling practical reasons to do so" are the exact same types rhetoric that we hear from advocates of maximum security prisons, death sentences and three strikes your out. The obvious question is, why is there this resonance between the two? I think its because people are not interested in the uncomfortable complexities involved in the story and prefer to replicate the 'cop mentality' of the larger society which is more or less, guilty until proven innocent and publicly humiliate and vilify the criminal element so that there is no chance in hell of them really changing for the better (and no the demands are not fair because they demand that he not tell his side of the story and they demand that he publicly denigrate himself as a 'rapist' to everyone he has ever known, everyone he knows now and everyone he meets in the future. That is not reasonable, though the rest of them are not an issue anyway since he seems to be complying with them).

Sleep sex 03.Aug.2003 19:58


usandthem -- What you relate sounds like a classic incident of "sleep sex."


It's supposedly treatable, and it sounds as though Mr. Mackin should be looking for such help.

honor and empower the survivors, not the predator. 03.Aug.2003 19:59

wind-up bird

For James, and all others concerned with details:

Rich's survivors are not disclosing the full lurid details of each of their experiences with him. Sorry if this disappoints or disgusts you.

Why not?

As stated numerous times before in this thread, they are certainly not obligated to do so, and looking at the much larger and infinitely more serious picture beyond your own titillation or your own thirst for knowledge of these incidents, the survivors are NOT comfortable with this level of disclosure.

An important point that needs to be reiterated here is that the details surrounding these experiences are of ZERO importance when someone has come forward and revealed the fact that they have been assaulted. In this case, multiple someones.

Do you understand what is happening here? These women are turning to the community and saying, "We have been raped. We have been sexually assaulted."

And yes, Rich has RAPED. Rich has SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. and YES, Rich has admitted this. If you read, "Baby, I'm a Manarchist", this is clear, not only from the testimony and the personal emails, IMs and journal responses from Rich himself, but is discussed in a section towards the end of the zine aptly entitled "drama".

Here is the direct quote someone asked for:

Fifth paragraph down on the "drama" page, from one of Rich's survivors: "I have, however, confronted Rich extensively about past situations, and he has not denied any of it. Nothing is being said or alluded to publicly that Rich has not already been made aware of. Dates and details have been clarified with him. I have used the words rape, sexual assault, nonconsent, lying and danger talking to him about our history. His response described my account as "fair and warranted," "valid and justified"."

To process this information in the most helpful and thoughtful manner, I think first you would have to understand (or work to understand) exactly how courageous that act in itself is. Secondly, you would have to recognize the fact that not only does it take an immense amount of strength and courage, it takes TRUST. Typically speaking, survivors do not recount their assaults for the hell of it while chatting over coffee, much less an internet site, regardless of how "progressive" that space may be . For these women to trust the community to this degree says a great deal about their personal investment in said community. Also understand the fact that their coming forward has a great deal to do with their interest in protecting other community members. That also illustrates their level of commitment to the radical community.

When a survivor comes forth, it should be a call to us as a community to DO SOMETHING. To advocate for them if that is what they wish and to aid in their own personal healing processes as well as the community healing process. I want to make it perfectly clear what I am getting at here. Our role as a community should be that of SURVIVOR SUPPORT. In the case of Rich's survivors, they wish for Rich to be held accountable. They wish for their formal list of demands to be met, none of which are unreasonable or "tyrannical," as someone so eloquently put it.

Lets talk about the problem with details, since it seems most of the commentors on this thread are in the dark about what a survivor experiences.

First and foremost, details are EXTREMELY painful to recount for most survivors. Details are something we loathe, even with our most trusted therapists, most trusted friends, those who we love and trust. The details bring the entire trauma back to us in sharp relief over and over again, every time someone begs or needles us for them, demanding that they are necessary in order to "prove" that what we say happen really did.

In addition to the pain they stir, details are used by perpetrators, their apologists and others who are neither sensitive nor aware in terms of rape to pick apart the survivor's stories. Details are often times used to minimize the survivor's experience. In many cases, details are used to completely absolve the offender of culpability, or to allow the offender to remain in denial surrounding his/her actions. Details are also something many men and women fetishize and eroticize. Need I explain how and why that would be offensive to a survivor?

I strongly urge all those who are so inclined to please pick up a copy of this :: FREE :: zine and READ it, rather than sitting here on the indymedia site second-guessing these womens' accounts.

Please also be aware that by second guessing and behaving in this manner when women come forward, you are hurting survivors everywhere.

You are furthering and enabling rape culture. This is exactly what rape and sexual assault thrive on. The fear women have of this exact scenario. The second guessing, the demand for proof, details, DNA, what have you. The refusal to simply take their word, as SURVIVORS that they have experienced what they say they have.

This response is damaging to women, its damaging to men, its damaging to the entire community. Please educate yourselves as to how to deal with these serious issues with sensitivity and tact and from a place of awareness rather than denial, which is where you seem to be at now.

Rich is NOT in compliance, usandthem. He is in full-on denial. 03.Aug.2003 20:32


First issue: Mackin's zine was and is being SOLD. I am not aware of it being published on his website, though it very well may be. Nevertheless, he is still capitalizing on his crimes, profiting off his repeated assaults/rapes.

I gave an example of Rich's admissions to rape, sexual assault and inappropriate/dangerous behavior which i took from "Baby I'm a Manarchist". See my above comment for that.

As for what Rich claims in his zine, website and articles-- the groping, inappropriate behavior, overstepping boundaries that were "unclear", those statements have been acknowledged by the survivors and their allies as Rich's way of manipulating the truth, denying the gravity of his actions and HIS spin on what happened in each instance. By the way, Rich has not only assaulted on "two instances", as you asserted. There are more than two surviors, and MANY more than two separate instances. You would not know this from reading "his story", i know.

Rich is guilty of rape in the dictionary sense, yes. I am not confused about this in the slightest. Once again, I strongly urge you to read the zine his survivors wrote.

Personally, I am not interested in "punishing" poor Rich Mackin. I am however, very interested in calling him out, and very interested in holding him accountable for his actions. I am also very interested in honoring and empowering Rich's survivors and any other survivors out there who wish for autonomy and safety.

As for the delegitimatizing issue, I am personally not aware of anyone who has a personal vendetta against Rich Mackin. I know of no reasons why anyone would want him "destroyed" or "delegitimatized" other than the fact that he has been raping and assaulting women. This is an aside from his professional life, as far as I am concerned. This is about womens safety, calling out a rapist, and healing the community. This is about restoring power to the women who have been stolen from by Rich's assaults. This is about awareness.

Rich was already planning his move to portland before he was called out by his survivors, so his move from Boston wasn't so much as 'starting over' as it was a personal or perhaps professional choice.

I agree, on the surface it really does SEEM as though Rich is making an honest attempt at rehabilitating hismelf, and I think he may be in some areas. However, you mention the 12 step program he has been attending. This is for sex addicts. Rich has used this term, "sex addict" to invalidate the serious charges made against him and to smooth over or minimize the REAL issue, which is that he is a SEXUAL PREDATOR. This is entirely different from a sex addict. Sex addiction is not an excuse to rape. Sex addiction is a coping mechanism. Rich going to the SA meetings and passing this off as "compliance" with the survivor's demands is ridiculous.

I am not aware of the "extremely public punishments", "humiliations", and "shamings" you speak of regarding Rich Mackin. Do you mean the fact that we are calling him out as a sexual predator? Sorry to offend you! I am simply interested in raising awareness about him and honoring the survivors wishes.

This isn't about "authoritarianism". Most of the people involved in his calling out are anti-authoritarian types. Like I have said repeatedly, this is about awareness and SAFETY.

What is with all this concern for an admitted rapist, anyhow? Why don't you kick his survivors and their allies in the teeth about ten more times, while you're at it.

Lets stop shifting the focus away from the survivors and what their needs and wants are. Empower and honor them, worry about them, not their fucking attacker.

None of us involved in the calling out of Rich Mackin advocate death sentences, prison culture, cop mentality, and whatever else you have alluded to in your assanine attempt to shift the focus away from the real issue at hand, which is the survivors and the safety of the community at large. Give me a break, please.

respect both the survivors and the 'predator' 03.Aug.2003 20:37


I think there needs to be respect for everyone involved here, none of us are without blame in a society of the kind in which we live - this person's victims must be respected and honored and this perpetrator must also be at the very least, respected as a living, breathing, emotional human being with faults and habits and abilities to change, just like everyone else. This person is complying with basically all of the demands being made of him and in return for that gesture he has now been publicly punished, shamed and humiliated in front of potentially millions of Internet viewers. This is not so much 'honoring and respecting the survivors' as it is a return of some of the most authoritarian and fucked up aspects of the human culture of punishment in the last several thousand years and all simply because of a lack of thoughtful reflection on the power of the Internet and of the newspaper; I will say it again so that it comes through loud and clear: there are elements of this process that are far more authoritarian than what is considered acceptable judicial process in any court of law in any Western capitalist state - all I am saying is that at the very least we should not be outdoing those who we oppose! And especially not when this perpetrator seems to want to honor his victims, to make ammends and to work on himself in order to change.

From stop the commercial 03.Aug.2003 21:10

stop the commercial

well, I am glad I don't have to buy anything. However there are many people who may be reading this from around the globe. I understand that you are publishing this on the behalf of other people, who may or may not have your consent.

I ask that you please be less vague the next time you post something like this. If you are accusing him of rape say it directly. How many women have been assaulted? What city was it in before he moved here? A picture of his has been put on the site. These are seroius allegations and not to be taken lightly.

I knew a woman in college who claimed she had been raped. We gave her the book Against Our Will and talked to her for hours. When we attempted to take her to Planned Parenthood the whole lousy charade ended. She addmitted that she had made the story up. I believe that sexual assault in our community happens. To both men and women.

I also know how the Handmaid's Tale can happen.

I am not going to pick up the zine as I do not live in Portland. I just urge caution in how you report such serious accusations.

I do not think it is to much to ask. If you feel the need to keep reposting this about Rich please put the woman's zine on line, if you are not willing to share details. This is a global news source.

another comment 03.Aug.2003 21:24


"An important point that needs to be reiterated here is that the details surrounding these experiences are of ZERO importance when someone has come forward and revealed the fact that they have been assaulted. In this case, multiple someones. "-Windupbird

No I think the details are very important. People want to support the wimmin who have been abused, but there have been several instances where people within the NW activist community have been accused of sexual assault, blacklisted within the activist community as a result, and then the allegations turned out to be untrue. So people want to sort things out before villanizing a person.

Rape is a very, very serious allegation.

The truth will be known in the end.

hey windup bird 03.Aug.2003 21:27


okay you say that he admitted to rape by negation, stating that the evidence is found in someone else's article other than his, in the zine 'baby i'm a manarchist' - as you put it:

"Fifth paragraph down on the "drama" page, from one of Rich's survivors: "I have, however, confronted Rich extensively about past situations, and he has not denied any of it. Nothing is being said or alluded to publicly that Rich has not already been made aware of. Dates and details have been clarified with him. I have used the words rape, sexual assault, nonconsent, lying and danger talking to him about our history. His response described my account as "fair and warranted," "valid and justified".

but this is not conclusive of anything; just because this person used the term rape and he said it was valid doesnt mean that he raped anyone in the dictionary sense, he may have felt the need to own up to whatever he did do, without minimizing it by squabbling over definitions and terminology with the person accusing him so as to be respectful. then there is the fact that in his own essay he says he didnt rape anyone though he agrees that he certainly went beyond people's boundaries without knowing that he was doing so and that he was seeking help about this.

so I dont get the sense that he has stated that he engaged in "the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will" as the dictionary definition of 'rape' puts it especially not after reading his own statements. Are you saying that he has admitted that he did this or that these women are saying that he did this? the thing that stands out for me is that whether he did actually rape someone or sexually violated them in another manner, the point is he did some things which need to stop happening and something needs to be done to make sure this occurs - only i am not sure that publishing these accusations rife with emotionally loaded terms that are iffy at best all over the IMC and other places is going to make that happen and I also think it might make it worse as will some of the conditions that are over the top.

all this concern for the perpetrator and none for the survivors? 03.Aug.2003 21:53


Everyone is so interested in the predator. How fucking touching. After conferring with two of the many survivors of Rich Mackin's sexual assaults, who are interested only in the lifelong healing process that occurs after rape, they are grateful that other women are being warned. I decided nothing for these women at all. And at my own expense I am copying more copies of their zine, which will soon be available at Reading Frenzy, Laughing Horse Books, and other radical information sources.

NO ONE here on this thread has asked how the survivors are. NO ONE seems to be concerned that these women have created and printed, at great personal expense, zines (yes there is more than one) detailing Rich's attacks. But everyone here is all fucking choked up that the rapist might be somehow harmed by accusations of rape, and then you go to his site and swallow all his BS excuses whole? Dupes. This is the problem with the internet, everyone reacts before they even read both sides of the story. I've read Rich's BS excuses. Rich is not at all concerned with the survivors, just as few people here seem to be. At the zine symposium today, Rich, attention whore that he is, was turning tricks just outside the symposium. Precisely as it ended (4pm) he had a forum, led by him, to do character assassinations on the survivors of his attacks and shift the blame and focus onto the survivors. This lasted over This is the classic colonial BS attitude towards rape; rape is the fault of the survivors, in ancient times. Rich fully knew that two of the survivors of his rapes were at the symposium, be Rich doesn't care about them at all. In fact, he has taken great pains to paint them as wild-eyed women who are crazy and untrustworthy. They are not. At all. Rich cares deeply, however, for his own ego and his own image, which have been bruised and tarnished but I don't care about that. He brought all of this on himself by stealing a part of these womens' lives. Honestly, he deserves far far worse if you believe in karma.

James, YES YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPLICIT CONSENT BEFORE HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE - OTHERWISE IT IS RAPE. I do not partucularly care if this goes against your book-larnin' or your theoretical abstractions. Rape is a very simple concept. There is NO "grey area" involved whatsoever. If someone does not give consent yet is violated, this is rape. Who the fuck is ANYONE here to second-guess the survivors?

Yes, James, RICH MACKIN IS A RAPIST. Try reading the survivors' side of things instead of only the perpetrator's BS sidestepping and insincere apologies. If he was sincere, he would submit to the demands made of him. He is full of shit and goes on SELLING his zines that are responses to the FREE zines that call him out as a rapist.

To those of you defending the right of a rapist to be anonymous - I don't particularly care what you people think about this. All I care about is the survivors and their openly stated wishes. Their wish is to save others from being raped. Bill, who the fuck are you to question whether the demands placed on Rich by the survivors will help the survivors in the healing process? That is precisely why the demands were made; in order to facilitate their healing processes. If someone wants to see what Rich Mackin looks like, I'll post pictures of him. So I did. Ladies, stay away. I care a lot more about protecting the anonymity of the survivors than whether a rapist feels hurt by this. How this is somehow harmful to the community I don't know - because it is the most healthy thing to do for the community. This is being remarkably lenient.

I'll let all of you go on about how we should "respect the predator." It's like talking to a wall in here. You are all knee-jerk reactionaries who should take a break from the instant-gratification of internet arguments and THINK for a while, read a book since you know schitt about rape culture.

I guess we should all just respect Mark Kroeker. I guess we should all just respect George W. Bush. I guess we should all just respect Vera Katz. I guess we should all just respect corporate america. I mean; all this mean ole' identifying of abusive behavior and we don't take the predators FEELINGS into account. Fuck that.

Someone wrote some BS slippery slope fallacy rhetoric above. In response; IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO HAS RAPED SOMEONE, AND THE SURVIVORS WISH FOR THAT PERSON TO BE CALLED OUT (you *must* get the survivors' permission first) - POST HIS NAME EVERYWHERE YOU CAN. IndyMedia, bathroom walls, graffitti it, stencil it, make zines, flyers, T-shirts, ANYTHING to warn people of a predator amongst the community. It takes a huge amount of courage to admit to being raped. The survivor should not have the burden of doing this, as it is extremely painful. The amount of denial, shame, and guilt involved with being a rape survivor is so staggering that many survivors continue to blame themselves, just as all of society (and many here on this thread) blames the survivors. That is sick and wrong.

Rich Mackin and the rapes he has committed has already been all over the web. This thread is new only to Portlanders, and only some of you at that. Go to Baltimore's IMC and read all about it. The person most interested in clarifying things (and clearing his precious name) is Rich Mackin, the capitalist anarchist with a marketing degree. And you all swallow his BS. Do you also watch FOX news? Do you believe CNN too?

Rape is a serious accusation. Rape is also a VERY serious crime. And when rape goes unaccused and unacknowledged, it is even more dangerous.

People here seem to be mired in denial. Men don't want to admit that this happens in activist circles (it does) - you don't want to admit that your favorite rock stars rape people or that you may have actually raped someone yourself, or that you have been the victim of rape or sexual assault. Get over yourself. Rape happens everywhere, in all types of communities, no matter how great you think your social circle is. Rapes are on the rise in Portland, particularly within the radical community. This is an unpleasant TRUTH. This can be easily verified by talking to various radical womens' groups, or even rape therapists working within the system.

I'm not going to continue commenting on this thread because it is unproductive trying to bring people up to speed. The rape apologists upholding the system that blames the survivors are all here on this thread, blurring the boundaries of what is RAPE. This is an activist newswire, folks. Go read BABY, I'M A MANARCHIST.

Rich Mackin is a rapist, folks. Women have now been warned.

Two Quick Off-topic Comments 03.Aug.2003 22:19

A (Again)

Two points on some earlier comments, from both here and maybe others sources (perhaps the livejournal, I don't remember):

- Gringo asked earlier why the men of Portland's radical community aren't standing up for these survivors, and its a good question. I think the reason men have remained distant from discussions of rape is that the topic has been conditioned (via the media, education, liberal politics, etc) as a women's issue. For example, several months ago a rape crisis group was formed, announced here on Portland Indymedia, and was exclusively womyn born womyn. My argument is that if the majority of sexual predators are men, than rape is as much a men's as it is a women's issue. Unfortunately it appears that men will only get involved with this issue if they are asked.

- Some have given the impression that the fact that the victims have not filed a police report against Rich Mackin is evidence that their claims are invalid. I think this is somewhat illogical, and this line of thinking can easily be reversed onto Rich Mackin himself. For example, the fact that Rich Mackin hasn't issued a lawsuit against the women in question could be used as evidence of his own guilt. If he is innocent he should have no problems with going to court and proving that the women's comments are slanderous.

'all this concern for the perpetrator and none for the survivors?' 03.Aug.2003 22:30


Why the false dichotomy GRINGO? Concern for the truth is not necessarily concern for the perpetrator. That you assume so implies you're checking logic at the door on this one.

I agree 03.Aug.2003 22:42


I agree with that last post. I think people are very concerned with this issue and that is why they are taking the time to sift though the contents of Rich's writings and are willing to read the writings of the victims.

Many of us have been down this road in the past and as I said before there has been false accusations in the past. Don't confuse wanting to get at the truth with lack of concern for the victims.

Thank you to A, and anyone one else speaking in solidarity with us. 03.Aug.2003 22:55


stop the commercial: as i said, i am allied with Rich Mackin's survivors. I am not acting outside of their knowledge or consent. I have said very directly what Rich's sexual offenses are. Seems to me that you aren't reading this thread thoroughly. I don't believe I was "vague" in any way. If you are referring to the lack of details provided, read my comments again, thoroughly. The answers to your other questions are also contained within this thread, such as what city he moved from. Also, please be aware that this zine, "Baby I'm a Manarchist" is available in many other cities outside of Portland, OR. It can also be obtained from several online zine distros, I believe. I thank you for mentioning that MEN too are in fact survivors of sexual assault. This is an important point that is often ignored or overlooked. Finally, I am not sure what you are referring to with the "reposting" comment you made. For the record, I have only posted ONCE here on indymedia, or the public internet if you will, regarding Rich Mackin...Rapist at Large. If you have read other posts similar to mine, they have been made by other people, not myself. As for putting the survivors zine online, I would have to get their permission first, then go about securing webspace for it, and a person to put it up, as I do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so myself. I will consider the idea and see what Rich's survivors think about it. It is ultimately their decision, and if I were them, I don't think I would choose to do so. That is ME, not them.

to CC- The specific details surrounding the assaults and rapes are NOT important, I disagree as I stated earlier. Besides that, I am not able to give specific details other than what I have read, heard and discussed from/with his survivors and others who are allied with them. I am much more concerned with the SAFETY of the women in this community and the healing of his survivors than the possible "villianization" of Rich Mackin.

to themandus- Rich has raped women. Rich has sexually assaulted women. I am working with my own personal knowledge of the material some of his survivors have put out. I am also working with my own understanding and awareness of rape and sexual assault, abusive behavior, manipulative behavior, consent, nonconsent, etc. I will stop there. What I am saying is that it seems as an ally of these survivors and survivors everywhere, I am operating and responding to this serious situation in a way that I feel is appropriate as it honors the wishes of Rich's survivors. It empowers and heals them. It also keeps the women at large safe, when we boldly call out rapists. I truly care about women's safety. You should as well. Beyond that, I really don't feel like bickering with you in a childish manner about what RAPE is, what consent is, what it is NOT, etc. I suspect that it would be a tiresome battle that would never amount to much, as we are interacting via the net and not in person. Honestly, I don't have the time or the energy to sit at someone else's computer while the thread swells, growing more and more ridiculously apologetic, dismissive and insulting. As I have suggested over and over and over, to everyone involved in this "discussion", please get your hands on a copy of Rich's survivors' zine, "Baby I'm a Manarchist". I think you will understand more after reading and reflecting upon it.

To the rest of the thread- I have grown tired of the internet arguing game. I am going to post the Antioch College Sexual Offense Prevention Policy (SOPP) to the wire a bit later, possibly tomorrow, along with a few comments on consent. I think this is very necessary at this stage and should clear things up for people. In particular, people such as JAMES, who have little to no understanding of what exactly it means to get CONSENT before interacting with people on a sexual level.

I am finished commenting within this thread. I thank those who spoke in solidarity with GRINGO STARS and myself (A's last comment was particularly good) and want to make it very clear that I am interested primarily in the safety of women and the healing and empowerment of survivors everywhere, secondarily in educating the public about rape, sexual assault and consent.

Watch your communities for upcoming actions and educational opportunities addressing rape and sexual assault coming your way.

Very telling 03.Aug.2003 23:10


Notmatter what your viewpoint/opinion is, it is very telling that we are the majority in discussion. 60 postings on IMC cannot be discounted. Why isn't this a main posting?

its as simple as that?!?!? 03.Aug.2003 23:17


what about the fact that most perpetrators of sexual assault have a history of being sexually assaulted themselves? this is well known but can be verified in the statement "While it is true that most perpetrators have histories of sexual abuse, it is NOT true that most victims go on to become perpetrators" which can be verified at the 'male rape and sexual abuse' site at  http://www.bigglesguy.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/rap.html - in other words if someone has been sexually assaulted and they then end up reenacting this history in their dysfunctional relationships (which sometimes do occur and other times do not occur) in the aftermath of that isn't it a little bit 'black and white' to paint the issue the way that it has been done here? is there really no room in our communities for 'sympathy for the devil' when the vast majority of those who commit these acts have been sexually abused themselves? do they really deserve to be publicly called out like this on a medium with potentially millions of viewers, thus magnifying the pain of their own histories of sexual assault and possibly leading to more and more serious dysfunction? Is there no choice in this matter? Is there no other way?

another quote on reproduction of abuse experiences 03.Aug.2003 23:43


Another thing that site on male sexual abuse says is that "research by Jane Gilgun, Judith Becker and John Hunter found a primary difference between perpetrators who were sexually abused and sexually abused males who never perpetrated: non-perpetrators told about the abuse, and were believed and supported by significant people in their lives." So being that most male perpetrators have been abused themselves, we can learn from this that the best way to stop continued perpetration is to listen to them and to believe them when they say what happened to them in their own pasts and to take into consideration that in many cases the lack of this validation of that person's experience plays a part in their reenactment of the perpetration, so statistically, like many male perpetrators, Rich Mackin is fairly likely to have been sexually abused in the past whether he is aware of it or not and therefore what is happening here on IMC is probably not a positive tradition to be starting as some new norm in that it will not result in any kind of validation of his (hypothetical) pain but will instead enlarge it. By the same token this also means that those who were sexually violated by him in whatever way need to be believed and supported as well and not just out of respect for their painful experiences but also in order to help them keep from acting out their experiences in whatever dysfunctional way may emerge in the future (again this it is a myth that victims always reproduce their experiences but it is not a myth that most perpetrators have been victims) - so that is the strongest case I think that can be made that both the victims and the perpetrator must be respected and given validation and consideration in these very difficult and very complex situations because in the vast majority of cases, the perpetrators have been victims themselves and there is only one verifiably good way to stop thevicious cycle; to listen to everyone's experiences and to try to do the best thing for everyone involved, including the perpetrator.

My 2 cents 03.Aug.2003 23:49


I am in complete support of the survivors.

I support there demands.

I believe that there demands be met before he is allowed within the community.

I don't believe anyone is making this shit up. This has come from multiple womyn. Read the zine. I don't believe it should matter whether its 1 womyn or many womyn.

He has acknowledged that he is a sexual predator and a rapist. He has not supported or accomplished the survivors demands.

No political analysis from me here in this thread. I supported the zine "Baby, I'm a Manarchist" at the zine table we squatted, along with an anti oppression statement. I feel the community needs to know.

Oh and by the way. I identify as male. I'm also an anarchist.

I am 03.Aug.2003 23:49


I am a survivor, a therapist (with training) and a crisis counsellor.

OTOH, you, Gringo, are a self-important ignoramous.

Significant people 04.Aug.2003 00:05


"a primary difference between perpetrators who were sexually abused and sexually abused males who never perpetrated: non-perpetrators told about the abuse, and were believed and supported by significant people in their lives."

This is also the primary difference between those victims who become survivors and learn to live again, and those who remain victims.

How many here are "significant people" in the lives of the alledged victims?

Probably, zero.

How many here could have predicted the reservations and out-right disbelief we read above?

Probably everybody... Even Gringo if he had thought about it for 2 or 3 seconds.

More further reading 04.Aug.2003 00:14


John Taylor Gatto

The Underground History of American Education :
An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling
(New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001)

< http://www.johntaylorgatto.com>
contains the first half of the book online for free.
plus one more chaptre every month.

Damn HTML! 04.Aug.2003 00:40



contains the first half of the book online for free.
plus one more chaptre every month.


Farewell, everybody!
Portland imc is one of the most interesting places on the planet, after Argentina.
Many of you have help me clarify many issues -- Gringo, too.

I have found a university with significant representation from Europe in its faculty, particularly 'continental' philosopher, and is willing to teach an old dog.

I shall return in four years.

Gatto will be on the exam.

These might interest some :

'Hard Times', Charles Dickens
'Poetic Justice', Martha Nussbaum

and 'Women and Human Development', Nussbaum.

Bill 04.Aug.2003 01:43


Bill, you don't have to go. It is the internet after all. I found the first link you posted very interesting. Couldn't finish reading it, but bookmarked it.

One thing I would like to know if you can share, since it has been mentioned in this thread... males who have been sexually abused, who were not believed or supported, turn into perpetrators, but do they tend to victimize males more often than females, when their own tormentors were male?

Is it possible that it is not just sexual abuse that turns men into abusers, but simply physical abuse that can do that? Meaning that sexual predators/rapists who victimize women tend not so much to have been sexually abused, but rather physically or emotionally abused?

Having said that, my opinion is still that the guy, if a rapist should be taken off the streets, treated yes, if he is ready, but taken off the streets first.

And encouraging the survivors to go to the police even if it is difficult is NOT being insensitive. Difficult situations must be faced and handled if one is ever to overcome the the cycle of being a victim. I was not raped, but I was abused and people advised me to not report it, because that would cause even more problems for me. Can you imagine, in this day and age, well meaning people are still asking us to cover it up for our own good? This is something that I cannot undo. It is something that will always be unresolved. And the people responsible are still free to continue in their sickness. Just like this guy.

Gringo, you might consider that some people are offering advice, because they think it is their duty, based on their own experience and because they have concern for the survivors/victims, whatever term you want to use, for the chosen term does not change the conditions with which the person is dealing.

After you have been abused everything becomes difficult. You don't have to tell many of us that.

Whereupon I deny fulfillment has yet to arrive 04.Aug.2003 04:43



Yet again in this thread, as in all others, you charge in with your unmatched hubris and arrogance. You condescend to tell me what rape is, to explain rape culture to me, to treat all those who disagree with you as though they are children, uneducated, wretched little ignorants furthering the scourge of rape. I'm fed up entirely with your hypocrisy; "keep an open mind" to you means "if you disagree with me you're wrong."

I have only two words to that: *fuck off*.

I don't need you to tell me what rape is, you cavalier little piece of shit. I've enough experience with it on my own, thank you. I need no education or "catching-up." Did the definition of rape change without my being notified? What the fuck do I have to catch-up to?

I have no interest whatsoever in living in your faux-utopian society, Gringo. I don't want to seek explicit consent before sexual encounters, and I don't want anyone to have to seek it from me. I want it to happen naturally and implicitly, as it always has. And if someone forces me to do something I don't want to do, I want them to be in prison where they won't be doing it again.

I want no part in your world, and I don't believe I've ever met a person who would like to live in such a world.

By your sick definition of the word, I have been raped myself. But it's funny, I don't feel raped. I feel fine. And I'm more than happy to recount the details to you, even though it will seem extremely strange.

My sister, older than I by several years, had a male friend over to our house. I was in the 9th grade at the time, so however old that would make me. It was late at night and everyone else had gone to sleep. He recounted to me how he had entered and won a poetry contest held by UC Berkeley. Having won the contest, the story went, Berkeley invited him to publish his poetry in an upcoming book. The poetry was somewhat avant-garde, according to him, and he required similarly daring images to go along with his writings.

Would I help him by taking pictures of his penis? It would be the perfect accompanying image for a particular poem. He'd pay me $100.

Sure. Why not. I took the pictures. They turned out pretty well. All was fine.

A few weeks later, he needs more photographs. Would I help him again? He'd give me another $100.

Why the hell not. That'd buy a fair amount of weed, which was basically my only expense at the time.

Only this time he needed another photographic subject as well. Would I be willing to let him take a photograph of my penis?

Sounds okay to me. We took the pictures, upon which he began to grope me, in a seductive way. I told him to stop, and brushed his hand away. He grabbed again, trying to fondle.

I pulled my pants up and walked away.

The poetry contest, as it turns out, was invented, as were many other things which were claimed by this particular person.

This was not abuse. It was an extremely odd situation which I never should have gotten into. It was an unwelcome advance. Nothing more, nothing less.

I'm not embarassed by it. I'm not upset by it. While I was somewhat annoyed by it, it didn't bother me enough to disassociate myself from the person.

Was this experience comparable to what these women seem to have suffered? From what I'm hearing in this forum, it would appear not. They appear to have suffered something far worse.

It was I, Gringo, who brought up the slippery slope. But it was in an entirely different context than that which you purport it to have been. I was speaking to the criminal justice system, and how dangerous it would be to simply take the victims at their word, without any investigation or questions.

It makes me sick to my stomach reading things such as the following from wind-up bird:

"You are furthering and enabling rape culture. This is exactly what rape and sexual assault thrive on. The fear women have of this exact scenario. The second guessing, the demand for proof, details, DNA, what have you. The refusal to simply take their word, as SURVIVORS that they have experienced what they say they have."

That sort of rife hypocrisy disturbs me so much, this being an activist board. I'm sorry, wind-up bird. There are only two options: don't speak of it in public, or answer the relevant questions asked of you when you make the accusation. Unfortunate as it is, we live in a society in which some people are dishonest. Gringo, in the midst of his arrogant, self-aggrandizing lecturing, posted a link to a website which describes the so-called "rape culture." In it is a section, Lies and Statistics, which attempts to set the record straight. Their statistics show that 1 out of every 10 rape accusations is either a false accusation (2%) or not really rape in any sense of the word (8%). (They make the point that those rates are comparable to other felonies, but that's not relevant).

I cannot and will not take someone's word about such a charge without some form of proof. And I certainly won't apologize for that! I'm expected to go to a book store and read a zine, and accept a zine written by the victims as proof? That's absurd. The more I read this thread, the more disgusted by it I become.

These women, who I feel badly for, should have gone to the police if they were concerned for the safety of other women. Not to rehabilitate this man, but to seperate him from society if he is a danger. (If he can reform himself, great. But seperation is the primary goal). What is the point of this public outing? To protect the activist community? If Rich Mackin is really a rapist, as has been posited, what logic is there in supposing he'll only target other activists, who might have access to such material? What about all the other women in Portland? (Or anywhere else?)

I won't let that emotion get in the way of actually listening to both sides though. Gringo writes:

"I guess we should all just respect Mark Kroeker. I guess we should all just respect George W. Bush."

Your logic displayed here is the exact same faulty logic which leads us to the horrible situations these men have led us to, which is why I found that comment particularly stupid.

"The terrorists want to kill us! Don't think about why. Don't try to look at the issue objectively. Just bomb the hell out of the countries which supported them. Don't look at Saddam Hussein's side of events. He gassed his own people! Why are you supporting Saddam Hussein? You're sick! You support Saddam Hussein, you evil bastard! Just accept my version of events at face value, and bomb the hell out of 'em!"

I have no way of determining which side is telling the truth. You point to pattern, yet Rich Mackin points to an altogether different pattern, with others willing to back him up.

What you've done is introduce innuendo and a sampling of the facts to a public forum -- a character attack -- under the guise of protecting women. And then you get upset when others demand some proof before they burn the image of Mr. Mackin into their minds with the attached label of "rapist"?

It's sick. Who is the arbiter of these things? It can't be me. I won't accept the responsibility. I don't have the tools or experience at my disposal.

Gringo's notion that there is no gray area in rape is similarly disturbing. Of course there is! This is what makes the issue so hard to deal with. If a man and a woman are both extremely intoxicated, and they have sex -- and the woman consents to sex at the time, but is in no position to make such a consension, was it rape? That's just one gray area among many. Some states now consider that rape -- that if a woman is extremely intoxicated and a man has sex with her, even if he himself is extremely intoxicated, he raped her. That's a gray area.

Gringo would seem to have some crystal ball, capable of determining truth from untruth. I have no such crystal ball, and if I'm expected to accept that someone has committed a crime, I need to hear and understand the proof -- from both sides.

My words above are extremely harsh. Mainly it's a reaction to Gringo's unabated egotism and self-righteousness. But it's also a reaction to the sick tendency displayed by some here to rush to judgement in such cases, without even giving the other party the benefit of the doubt. The proper reaction in such cases -- absent personal, first hand knowledge -- is to remain neutral. Not skeptical, but neutral. Some here know the people involved and are in a much, much better position to evaluate these claims than I. If any of my friends came to me and said they were raped, you can be damn sure I would believe them without question. Because I know the character of my friends. But I don't know any of the pricipals in this instance. And that is precisely why this never should have been posted here in the first place. (Because as others have said, it's a global forum -- and we certainly don't share the same circle of friends and acquaintances).

the complicatedness of the term 'rape' 04.Aug.2003 12:38

Ben Allick

It seems like alot of the debate on this thread centers around whether groping and kissing are 'rape' or if they are more appropriately called sexual harrasment / sexual assault; this is not just a question here but everywhere, ever since the concept of 'date rape' became widely used in the early 1990s; its obvious that the majority of rapes are by people the victim already knows but part of what has happened in the past decade or so is that this fact has started to considerably muddy the definition of the term 'rape' so that to some people it has become appropriate to use the term with so little an incident as an unwitting kiss on the belly or an abusive verbal exchange - on the other extreme are those who would excuse these acts as harmless which is no less messed up. The following article explains more in detail:

"Women charge that date rape is the hidden crime; men complain it is hard to prevent a crime they can't define. Women say it isn't taken seriously; men say it is a concept invented by women who like to tease but not take the consequences. Women say the date-rape debate is the first time the nation has talked frankly about sex; men say it is women's unconscious reaction to the excesses of the sexual revolution. Meanwhile, men and women argue among themselves about the "gray area" that surrounds the whole murky arena of sexual relations, and there is no consensus in sight. In court, on campus, in conversation, the issue turns on the elasticity of the word rape, one of the few words in the language with the power to summon a shared image of a horrible crime....

A more extreme form of that view comes from activists who see rape as a metaphor, its definition swelling to cover any kind of oppression of women. Rape, seen in this light, can occur not only on a date but also in a marriage, not only by violent assault but also by psychological pressure. A Swarthmore College training pamphlet once explained that acquaintance rape ' spans a spectrum of incidents and behaviors, ranging from crimes legally defined as rape to verbal harassment and inappropriate innuendo." No wonder, then, that the battles become so heated. When innuendo qualifies as rape, the definitions have become so slippery that the entire subject sinks into a political swamp. The only way to capture the hard reality is to tell the story...

Taken to extremes, there is an ugly element of vengeance at work here. Rape is an abuse of power. But so are false accusations of rape, and to suggest that men whose reputations are destroyed might benefit because it will make them more sensitive is an attitude that is sure to backfire on women who are seeking justice for all victims. On campuses where the issue is most inflamed, male students are outraged that their names can be scrawled on a bathroom-wall list of rapists and they have no chance to tell their side of the story....

It would be easy to accuse feminists of being too quick to classify sex as rape, but feminists are to be found on all sides of the debate, and many protest the idea that all the onus is on the man. It demeans women to suggest that they are so vulnerable to coercion or emotional manipulation that they must always be escorted by the strong arm of the law. "You can't solve society's ills by making everything a crime," says Albuquerque attorney Nancy Hollander. "That comes out of the sense of overprotection of women, and in the long run that is going to be harmful to us. What is lost in the ideological debate over date rape is the fact that men and women, especially when they are young, and drunk, and aroused, are not very good at communicating. "In many cases," says Estrich, "the man thought it was sex, and the woman thought it was rape, and they are both telling the truth." The man may envision a celluloid seduction, in which he is being commanding, she is being coy. A woman may experience the same event as a degrading violation of her will....

On the other hand, those who downplay the problem should come to realize that date rape is a crime of uniquely intimate cruelty. While the body is violated, the spirit is maimed. How long will it take, once the wounds have healed, before it is possible to share a walk on a beach, a drive home from work or an evening's conversation without always listening for a quiet alarm to start ringing deep in the back of the memory of a terrible crime?"


Some comments 04.Aug.2003 14:13


First, Gringo, I love you. Thanks for your comments. (Even if you did say, "I would like to hear of one instance of the oppressed becoming oppressors." Israel. Duh.) I have a great deal of respect for what you say, and you make some excellent points about rape culture and people's reluctance to believe survivors of rape.

I just want to make one point, though. I don't know any of the people involved. Not rich, nor any of the people he allegedly assaulted. So I think it's important to have questions before just condemning someone like this. The thing is, blacklisting someone based on something someone else says is a dangerous, slippery slope. Not for you, Gringo, because you apparently know at least one of the survivors, so you know it's true. And if someone I know comes up to me and says s/he has been assaulted, I would believe that too. And yes, I would even believe a stranger because people don't generally make shit like that up. But people are probably wise to question something that just appeared on a website condemning someone. Because...what if it wasn't you, Gringo? We know you, and trust you. But what if someone just made something up to discredit someone and posted it here? I think it was wise of people to want to know more about this before making a decision, and I don't think that means they are supporting the oppressor. It means they are thinking critically, thinking for themselves. This is a valuable skill in this culture.

I also wanted to say something to James. James, it's hard to imagine why you can't understand why women victimized by a rapist would refuse to "go to the police." You yourself just gave the clearest example I've ever heard about why a woman would not want to go to the police. They are ineffective, they refuse to believe the victim, they are intrusive, and their behavior generally constitutes a continued assault. I'm sure you are aware of at least some of the sadly numerous cases in our "justice" system in which a rapist was acquitted because of some characteristic about the survivor of his crime that didn't meet the standards of the hypocritical criminal justice system. The many women, for example, whose claims of rape were dismissed because they were wearing something "provocative" at the time of the attack. The woman in Texas whose rape case was dismissed because she begged her attacker to use a condom. The many women whose claims were dismissed because they had been drinking. In the 1970s, many many women had rape claims dismissed because (GASP!) they were not virgims at the time of the attacks. Even today, the fact that a woman has a prior relationship with her attacker seems to give him license to have sex with her against her will. Please, James. Put yourself in the position of the victim. Would you want to be re-assaulted like that at the hands of "the authorities"?

In any event, it seems that this issue has touched quite a nerve, and perhaps some work does need to be done on this in the radical community as elsewhere. I commend the survivors of this for setting forth their demands. I disagree that these demands are overly harsh or otherwise unreasonable. On the contrary, if the charges are true, I think they are reasonable and if followed, helpful. It's the least he could do.

the nature of consent 04.Aug.2003 15:03

consenting adult

explicit consent is sexy and honest

the assumption of implicit consent is dangerous

we are a culture that does not believe in implicit consent for much, if anything
except in the case of having sex
perhaps we should see this as important

some say that a woman has the responsiblity to say no
but what if she fears she will be harmed if she does so
if i am being mugged do i tell the mugger that i do not consent
or do i go along to keep from being harmed further
does that mean i have consented to being mugged?
what if the mugger believes that i have consented, can he be cleared of charges?
what if i left my wallet in my back pocket where it is more visible, am i asking for it?
what if i give the mugger my cash but ask to keep my credit cards, have i then consented to the taking of my cash?

sex and rape may involve similar acts, but they are not the same
we do not confuse a boxing match with being beaten up
we do not confuse robbery with moving
we do not confuse arson with a bon fire

we should not confuse rape and sex
we should make assumptions about consent

I couldn't agree more, Lasso 04.Aug.2003 15:06


Please don't misunderstand me -- I definitely do understand why some victims would not want to turn to the police. It's a long, drawn-out affair, and will certainly be painful. I would never fault someone for making the choice not to. (For whatever reason -- they don't believe in the criminal justice system, they don't want to be put through the ordeal, et cetera).

But I became more and more upset in this thread with the idea that I, or anyone else not personally involved, should be expected to figure this out -- without asking any questions. I don't know how I can do that, and that I'd be accused of "furthering rape culture" by not agreeing to just accept as fact what I don't know to be true, well, I found that particularly disturbing.

That's all that I was trying to say.

This Shouldnt Be on the IMC 04.Aug.2003 15:47


I for one support Gringo, windup bird, the victims of these assaults AND those who are disconnected from this community and are skeptical about it, since this is a worldwide venue and therefore it makes sense to ask for more information on Rich before they condemn him as a rapist. This is an issue that belongs within a community of people who know all of the people involved and who can therefore make better judgements about what it all means and how they would all like to go about dealing with it - it does not belong on IMC because most of us dont know who you all are and know nothing about the context which is why there is so much confusion and mudslinging in this thread.

to james 04.Aug.2003 20:54


Wow, at first I was upset with you for seeming not to get it. But after you say that, I'm really impressed that you have the communication skills you do. It's hard, and so important to good community, to back up and explain what you mean. I understand what you're saying now.

And I also tend to agree with the person who wrote the post below yours. Probably this isn't the best forum for this specific case, since few of us know any of the players. I do think that, if true, it's probably best for us all to know about it so we can be careful. But as you say, it's hard to know from the outside. Always good to ask questions, and usually dangerous to comdemn people for asking questions.

Another Show of Support 04.Aug.2003 21:15


I also support Gringo and others as that individual's reputation on this forum, in my opinion, is highly credible. I don't have all the facts and am not acting as judge and jury, but there obviously are victims out there and this case needs to be pursued.

No lack of support 04.Aug.2003 21:48


I have not heard anyone expressing any lack of support for the people that were abused.

Our hearts go out to you and hopefully healing will be as complete as possible and rapid.

I do question the manner in which Windupbird and Gringo Stars have handled questions about the way in which this information has been presented.

Serious questions need to be asked about information such as this that is being presented. There has been problems within the NW activist community with false allegations over the past several years and activists have been harmed in the process.

Each situation is unique. There has been more than one "verified" perpetrator that later turned out to not actually be guilty of anything.

So don't expect people to not want to hear enough about a situation such as this to make their own informed decision.

some thoughts 08.Aug.2003 10:43

cat cat@hush.ai

i haven't read the zine yet, but i've checked out the comments on this board as well as the pittsburgh indy media as well as mackin's response to the zine.

-mackin was based in boston, and has moved to portland to "start a new life" for himself. that he thinks it's ok to just pull up and move to a different scene to escape this is troubling. that he's resistant to community demands in his new city as well is even more so. he has admitted that he has a problem and is seeking counseling in a 12 step program- there is no 12 step program i know of that advocate abandoning your problems before you have reached a closure and made atonement to the people you have hurt.

-aside from people who are obviously here to troll, i am shocked at how many people are questioning the survivors for not reporting to the police. this is within the context of a radical community- the police are not our friends. most of us are working for fundamental, significant changes to our society- many of us are activists around the prison industrial complex and the injustice department. it makes all the sense in the world to try to find ways to deal with this within our communities, to create new systems of accountability where people are responsible to the people they are with for their actions.

-as far as reporting rapes go, we all seem to be aware that not nearly every rape or assault that happens is reported. how many people are aware of the number of reported rapes that lead to convictions? how many of you know how many reported and prosecuted rapes lead merely to another humiliating ordeal for a survivor to go through?

i'm wondering in what universe women profit from accusing men of rape- judging from the reactions on this board, it clearly isn't this one.


More comments on this article 08.Aug.2003 21:48

Portland female

And how many people seem willing to take unsubstantiated allegations as fact? That's not the world I want to live in. At least with the current set of popos, I can still have sex outside of the airless confines of explicit consent. By at least one definition on this page, sex minus explicit consent, everyone I know is a rapist. Me. You ... probably.

I'm disappointed in you cat. And you gringo. And the rest of you.

If truth is the enemy of war and domination, dogma will be the undoing of any chance of change.

heya Portland female 08.Aug.2003 23:40


Go read BABY, I'M A MANARCHIST. That will clarify many things. Recommending that 'zine is part of the allegation. Read it BEFORE spouting off on things you know absoolutely nothing about.

Why do you accept as fact allegations made against Bush & Co? Because oppressors lie. How does it benefit women to accuse Rich Mackin of rape FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS? What is in it for them? All the scorn and disbelief?

Are women equal to men? Are men not at all oppressors? Are women not at all oppressed? Is that what you think? Have you "come a long way, baby" like Virginia Slims thinks? The men of western society would probably like to thank you for being a female collaborator in rape culture.

It's too bad that consensual sex chokes the air out of your lungs. Good for you that oppressors all over the world agree with you.

I read the "Manarchist" zine... 09.Aug.2003 14:06

...and then I talked to Rich.

Hmm...I wish I'd come across this thread long before now. Should probably start a new one with some necessary clarifications for people who gave up on the thread.

"Go read BABY, I'M A MANARCHIST. That will clarify many things. Recommending that 'zine is part of the allegation. Read it BEFORE spouting off on things you know absolutely nothing about."

I came across a copy of "Baby, I'm a Manarchist" a few months ago in a local bookstore. I read their copy cover to cover, and came away with absolutely no clarity. There were unsubstantiated claims that Rich was essentially a violent sexual predator, without any explanation of the "crimes" committed.

In response, I did something very shocking and radical. I contacted Rich Mackin about the issue and asked to discuss his version of the story. I did a Google search on his name, found his email address on his website (it's  richmackin@earthlink.net) and I sent him a note saying "Hey, I came across this zine about you. I would like to learn your side of the story. Can we meet and discuss it in person?"

So I met with Rich, and he explained his side of the story, and _that_ clarified things immensely. He explained in detail the facts that were omitted from "Manarchist." He explained that he crossed some important boundaries and hurt people (emotionally, NOT physically). He also outlined the steps that he was taking for self-examination and atonement. Since that time, he's put together a zine which details all of this, which is available on his website (www.richmackin.org - go to "Projects and Stories" and then click on "Advice to Myself.")

Basically, GRINGO STARS is full of shit on several levels. Rich has never claimed that he was a rapist or physically harmed someone. There was no violence or penetration in the incidents he committed. He is not a predator. If you get to know him, he's actually a fairly nice guy who is being made into a scapegoat for millenia of sexual assault and oppression against women.

I feel bad for the victims of his actions, because they did not deserve the insensitivity that he displayed. I will not call them "survivors" however. I think that used in this context, the term cheapens the horrible tragedies experienced by victims of genuinely violent sexual assaults. Rich can be construed as being a rapist or a sexual assaulter only by using the broadest possible definitions of those terms. As much as I have sympathy for the victims in this case, I'm outraged by the witch hunt that has been conducted against Rich, and the degree to which this has been blown out of proportion.

In the end, all I can say is that if you want to learn more, contact Rich. He's very open to discussion regarding this issue because his life has forcibly been turned into an open book. GRINGO STARS, you're the very first person who should take advantage of that opportunity. Unless you're afraid that honest communication will diminish your distorted, self-righteous diatribes.

to the one who posted before me 09.Aug.2003 16:35


yes, rich is willing and eager to discuss the issue with anyone who approaches him. i would be, too, if i was a sexual predator with the ability to talk my way out of anything. you're trusting rich mackin to tell you the truth about everything he did? you DO know about the way oppressors angle stories so they don't see like they're in the wrong, don't you?

"if you get to know him, he's a fairly nice guy." so you got to know him through that one conversation? and therefore you have a better perspective than the women who have known him for years, and have been in private sexual situations with him? can't -everybody- be a nice guy for a day? some of the biggest creeps i know are polite and friendly when you first meet them.

i wouldn't consider conversation with rich mackin to be honest conversation, anymore than i'd consider the police's perspective on incidents of police brutality to be the honest story. oppressors have interests in protecting themselves & not telling the truth. rich mackin will admit to more that he's done once it becomes more unavoidable, just wait and see...

to portland female 09.Aug.2003 23:05

cat cat@hush.ai

i'm wondering if you would still be disappointed in me if you reread what i wrote closely.

check out his website and the response to the zine. check out his livejournal ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/richmakin) and the responses he has to comments there.

that said, i'd be very open to a dialogue on how we deal with issues of patriarchy within the movement- not just with this particular case, but in general as well. i feel that if we are serious about tackling sexism, and racism and classism, etc within the left we need to have systematic ways of approaching this... structures and methods to put in place that provide those coming forward with the support they need while making sure that in cases where change and atonement can occur that it does.


jayeezus fawking kyurayst!!! 09.Aug.2003 23:28


The bottom line is that if a person is unable to explicity state what exactly somebody did to them, then they're not even making any true "allegations". The only accusations of Rich Makin I have read in that zine are vague insinuations. Then, he comes along and says that "all" he did was cop a feel on a few people. I have yet to hear/read ANY rebuttals of his statement. If that IS the extent of it, then yeah, he needs to figure some shit out and stop doing that, but IT DOESN'T MAKE HIM A GODDAMNED RAPIST. It makes him a sleazy, creepy guy, nothing more.

I have read closely 10.Aug.2003 08:57

Portland female

and I'm still disappointed in you. btw: nice flame gringo; i think you're losing your mind.

to clarify 10.Aug.2003 10:02

Portland female

my last comment was directed at cat and gringo, not the other posters proximately above.

to portland female and everyone else 11.Aug.2003 20:02

cat cat@hush.ai

maybe the response you're looking for is sorrow for not living up to your expectations. but i'm having a hard time figuring out what could possibly be disappointing by sharing information that i got from mackin's own writing, wanting to open dialogue on the process, and questioning the efficacy of the "legal" system. i'm also wondering what alternatives you are proposing, what your contribution to the dialogue is other than voicing disappointment and leaving cryptic comments about "airless confines of consent." what that means, i have no clue.

perhaps this isn't the right forum, but if dealing with sexism and sexual assault is something that is pertinant in activist communities around the country, it seems like it would make sense to try to come together on how we deal with this on a scale that allows us to look at what has and hasn't been successful- in portland, in boston, in philly, everywhere. i know i sound redundant, and maybe people just aren't interested in doing something like that, but it seems like there are serious issues with how to handle violence, assault, and oppressive behavior within leftist communities.


what's the point in reporting him to cops?? 21.Sep.2003 23:27

zann zann@riseup.net

in no way do i sympathize for this mackin guy. however, there are a few facts that people have to realize when talking about mackin doing jail time for his actions. its just not how the system works. breaking the silence and publicizing personal accounts, warning other cities, is far more productive than anything the state could possibly do.

in 2001, one of every 3 rapes/sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials. (also remember that there are MANY rapes that remain silent until many years later, so the number is probably significantly higher)

61% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to police, those rapists NEVER get punished.

if the rape/assault IS reported, there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made.

if the arrest is made, there is a 80% chance of prosecution.

if prosecution occurs, there is a 58% chance of a felony conviction.

if there is a felony conviction, 69% of those convicted will serve time.

therefore of the 39% of rape/sexual assaults reported, 16.3% of rapists will end up in prison.

THEREFORE, 15 of 16 rapists WILL WALK FREE!!!

Its disgusting.

If we can't call the cops (b/c they do shit) , AND we cannot rely on our activist/anarchist community for support and solidarity to break the silence and publicize personal accounts of rape and sexual assault within the activist community, to remove those predators from our movements, then where do we go?!?!? Its up to us now... each city..... to remove those predators by whatever means necessary, to break down our walls of defense, in order to collectively organize to smash the state. (however, i also feel there's a need to get this information outside of the activist/anarchist community, for all people to be aware of sexual predators)

This is a lovely start.

Break the silence.

Unwelcome Advances 27.Sep.2003 16:45


I write this as a survivor of rape by your own definitions. I was sexually involved with a person in this community two years ago. this person happened to be married. after our second sexual encounter i decided that i couldn't, in good faith, continue this relationship. The following evening, i awoke to this person in my room, drunk and disrobing above my bed. At that point the perpetrator climbed on top of me and tried to initiate sex despite my repeated demands to stop. eventually this person did indeed stop, but not before groping my genetalia and kissing me about the neck and nipples. after a half an hour of firm literal requests to leave, this person finally aquiesced, returnend home and as i later discoverend, proceeded to beat their partner to a bloody pulp. I know this to be true as i spoke with their partner the next day and saw the bruises, black eyes and split lip. This persons partner was much smaller in stature and unable to defend against the attack. Now i beg the question, was i raped? Before anyone answers let me also add that the perpetrator was a womyn and I am male, as was her abused partner. A twisted but true tale i know. Let me also add that when i informed members of my community there was no outcry from the feminists. Only snickers and jokes. I know many min whom when pressed, will cop to similar stories of survival. However there is absolutely NO COMMUNITY SUPPORT for US! All we got was to be the butt of jokes. Let me also add that your forum is a den of venomous spiders and that i would never seek any of you for support. All i see is a group of individuals using other peoples agony to further their own selfish agendas and personality cults. To hell with all of you! I won't be coming to your version of any revolution. I have seen your movie before and it ends a tragedy.

Unbelievable 26.Mar.2004 11:03


He's not a rapist at all, according to his account of what happened. Are you people saying he is blatantly lying about what happened, or are you saying that the inappropriate touch and the belly kiss qualify as "rape"?

I'm sure I'll get pummelled here for sounding insensitive to the "victims" but I just think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

I reallty have to Call on Shakespeare about this one or bad science fiction 18.Jun.2004 08:05

You Really want me to say;)

It's not much ado about nothing. It is much ado about all too little. It appears someoone blew it. They didn't know what someone else wanted and failed to recognize this initially. However they did back off pretty soon. Considering all in all this seems be very difficult to expand this all to some heinous crime.

Seeing as that involved two other human beings who would really be the hurt parties in this case, did anyone ever talk to them and get their take on it? I mean if they aren't very alarmed it seems silly if people
get alarmed for them.

Most of us humans are pretty good at detecting what is consentual and what isn't. I figured it was OK because she climbed on top; I was so pleazantly surprised I never put a stop to it. I found out my new found love was 17. Luckily the state I was in had the age of consent at age 16 for everyone, so it didn't matter if her freinds thought it was kind of creepy. Considerring she had a credit card with a $5000.00 limit on it I don't think there was much of a so-called power differential.;)

People should be more careful, but startup in relationships is often difficult. Especially if one happens to live in a subculture where women are supposed to not be easy.

Whenever I hear these stories I think of stories I hear from people who have been successfully together for a number of years. A lot of those had "sloppy startups". If the relationships had not worked I could imagine the sloppy startup being thought of as being grieviously bad at least in one case I know of.

Note my boundaries are pretty loose. Any number of gay males have made passed at me often physical. I figured the pass was Ok as long as it didn't hurt me a they went away when I said I was not interested.

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