Interviewed by Kali Tal on November 2, 2019.
This episode of Eve’s testimony covers the “transformative justice” process itself. See also this December 4, 2020, interview with five members of the survivor group discussing the process on the Probably Poly podcast.
Eve: I think it was Melanie initially who said that she thought we should think about going public with our stories. And I wanted to do that—like, there were various reasons that I wanted to do that. One was because of this narrative control and like public smearing that he was doing of me, and just really wanting to have my story out there. Two was having felt complicit in his erasure of these other women through my role in encouraging and publishing More Than Two and The Game Changer.
I guess that was the primary reason, but also just because I felt like I also, I still, I—this makes no sense now when I say it, because I look back at what he did at that facilitation session, when he immediately pivoted to discredit Amber. And there was absolutely no reason for me to think that he would ever believe anything she had to say. But I still had this idea that like, if he could hear the stories of the women in our words, even if it wasn’t me, it was Amber and Elaine and these women who he hadn’t already discredited, who he hadn’t put into his narrative as the bogeyman, that he might be able to, not change, but maybe do less harm.
And I guess that was another thing, was that I wanted there to be breadcrumbs for any future women. I didn’t want any other woman to go through what I had been through. And that was what I was thinking when I wrote that essay, “To the Next One,” about, if you could get out even a week sooner because of what I’m saying, then that will matter.
So all of that was involved, but I also had seen people’s lives just destroyed by malicious call-outs. And you know, these are primarily not people with as much privilege as Franklin had—like, women or trans women or women of colour, women who didn’t have a lot of power and privilege, or as much power and privilege to start with. But I had seen multiple women who were victims of abuse ostracized by their communities by preemptive accusation by their exes. I had seen people lose jobs over call-outs that were done without any offer of accountability or like, “This is what this person can do to repair.” So I really didn’t want to do anything that was just purely about tearing Franklin down, or that could be construed that way, because that really wasn’t what it was about. It really wasn’t what I wanted.
And I also, I needed to get all the women on board. And actually one of the women was someone who had been a victim of one of these abusive, ostracizing smear campaigns. And so I’m like, I can’t have anything we do replicate that dynamic, right? That disposability dynamic, which I felt was very harmful. I was like, I don’t want to do that, so if we’re going to come forward together, I want it to be in a transformative justice framework.
So you had mentioned that sometimes women are pressured to do that. I wasn’t pressured. I asked for that. Like, that was really important to me. And that also comes from my own background. And I actually think that it’s more a part of my personal values framework than it is the values framework of the other people who were involved in the process. And I think that that was one reasons why things went to shit as fast as they did, because I do think that there were people involved who were coming at it from a really punitive approach, and possibly even at some level enjoying the power that it gave them. And that kind of poisoned what happened.
So I ended up talking to three different people as potential consultants to this process. I knew that community alternative justice processes were risky and had a tendency to kind of go south, and that it was common for survivors to experience harm in them. But I really believed that if I could pick the right people and I could make sure that we had guidance from someone who was really experienced with this, that we could do it well, and we could avoid that happening. And like, maybe this could serve as an example of how other people could do this.
So I ended up talking with three potential consultants. I put together an initial pod that included people who were—I mean, it included most of the people who signed the public statement, but there was one other woman who was involved early on who left, and I’ll get to that.
And I had created a thing that was like, “These are my values. This is what I want out of this process.” I had talked to the other five women who were initially part of the survivor group and explained to them what I wanted to do. And they were all on board with it. And of course they all had different reasons for wanting to be a part of it as well. Some people just wanted their story told. Some people were really invested in the transformative justice piece. Some people wanted to support the other women. So it was just a variety.
And the pod came together with the first consultant—Bianca—and she was working closely with this other early pod member, Sarah, who had experience on accountability pods, but not (to my knowledge) on survivor pods.1 And I didn’t realize how important that distinction was.
And those two—they really screwed everything up, to be honest. Like they just really, they—first of all, they wanted to do everything themselves. They weren’t delegating to the other pod members. So they were primarily working together themselves and not communicating with the other pod members. The other pod members didn’t really know what was going on, or what they were supposed to do. And then Bianca and Sarah were telling me like, “Oh, don’t communicate with the pod, just communicate with us.” So I’m being isolated from my own pod, many of whom are my friends, and Bianca and Sarah are controlling information to me.
And at the time, this was in November, so this was when Franklin was doing his “My Abuser is Woke” talk, and he presented at Beyond the Love, and I’m like, “I don’t know when this is going to explode and get really bad for me, so I’m just going to go offline.” So I disabled all my social media presences. So I was isolated, and the only information I was getting was from Bianca and Sarah.
And then the week before American Thanksgiving, I got this text message from one of the other TJ people, from Aida—Aida is involved in the process now. So I had also talked to Aida as one possible person to be involved in this process. So I got this text message from Aida, like, “Oh, Franklin’s posting about you on Facebook. And all but naming you as his abuser without naming you. And I don’t really know, where is your process at? I don’t know if I should engage in this or not.” And so I sent a message to the pod, and I was like, “Okay, so I just got this other message, what’s going on?” And so Sarah was like, “Oh yeah, I think we need to pivot and get something up publicly really soon.”
So this was like a Sunday. I’d just flown to Chicago to be with my family for Thanksgiving week. Bianca was like, “We’ll have a draft, we will have something that can go up tomorrow.”
So Monday comes, and I asked where things were at, and Bianca’s like, “Oh, it’s almost ready to go up.” And I’m like, “Well, I’d like to see it.” So she shared it with me, but then she’s like, “But it’s not ready yet. It’ll be ready in a few hours.” And then I don’t hear anything at all that night.
And I didn’t want to push people—like it’s so weird, none of these folks were being paid at that time. And like, I had offered, Bianca had actually declined payment and was doing it for free. Which was a little strange, cause I didn’t know her, I had no community connections to her. So I was like, “Why is this person doing so much for me?”
But anyway, Tuesday comes, nobody’s communicated anything with me. I haven’t seen any activity in the doc. So I go and I read it, and it’s like really not what is needed at all. Like it made it almost sound like they were initiating an accountability process for me. And I was like “Uh, no.” So I took it and I edited it, and I uploaded a new version, and I was like, “Okay, so this is what I would be more comfortable with.” And then silence. Although one other pod member looked at my version, and then she had a call with me and stuff, and so I did have, I was talking with somebody on the pod about the statement and what it should say.
But the other thing that was happening was that nobody was updating me on what was going on publicly. And again, I was offline completely. I had no visibility into what was going on on social media. So what I had imagined was that Franklin had published a blog post accusing me of abuse and it was going viral, and all these people were talking about it, and my pod was sort of flailing and not able to respond. And what had actually happened was he’d like vaguebooked a thing,2 and a bunch of people, you know—you were actually on the thread, I saw it later—but a bunch of people jumped in there, and then it sort of died off. So it was really just a little splash. It wasn’t anything huge. And the pod had come to realize that, I guess, which was why all the activity on the public statement died off.
But nobody told me that. And nobody realized that I didn’t have this information. So I’m like, trying to be with my family, trying to enjoy the holiday. And this whole time I’m like convinced that this huge public thing is happening. And my people are nowhere to be seen, and because it was a holiday, I didn’t want to pressure people and be like, “Hey, hey, can we get that thing up?” So I was trying to wait out the holiday.
And so then like I, I dunno, like on Sunday after Thanksgiving, I got this message from Bianca and Sarah, and they were like, “Hey, we want to have a call with you.” And so they had a call with me the next day, and they were basically unhappy that I had so thoroughly rewritten the statement that they’d written, and they were like, “We’re trying to find a pod voice. And there’s too much of your voice in this.”
And like one of the things that they’d left out of their draft was the fact that there were actually six survivors, and not just me. Right? Cause I was the one that the pod was primarily dealing with at the time.
And Bianca and Sarah were like, “You have a real power dynamic with some of the people on the pod, cause like one of them used to work for you. So you need to be aware of that, and he might be having a hard time finding his voice.
And I say this now and I’m like, “That was really messed up.” Like it was really—but at the time, I was just trying so hard to placate and please. Cause I was like, “Oh these guys are doing so much for me, and I really need them. And they’re really credible in the community, and I need people to stand up for me.” And so I was just trying to go along, even though what was going on was really not okay.
And I did try to tell them—like I had tried to tell them multiple times that the situation of having to talk to the pod through them really wasn’t working for me. And they just kept rebuffing that and blowing it back onto me.
And then they were like, “Oh, it seems like you feel like there’s some urgency to this.” And I was like, “Well, I was responding to what you had told me, which was, ‘Oh, the pod needs to pivot and get something up’ and ‘Oh, we’ll have something tomorrow.’ And then you just disappeared.” And they were like, “Oh, well yeah, I guess we just realized that he wasn’t really changing the narrative in the way we thought he was.” And it was like, “Ok, but you didn’t communicate that to me.” So I’m sitting here in isolation, spinning.
So I did say—I mean they made clear that they were overcommitted, and I was like, “Great. There’s like six other pod people. So can you delegate? Can I communicate with other people besides you? Can other people do stuff?” And they kept just saying, “No, no, no, come to us, we’ll do this.” And I felt really stonewalled.
And so the next day I got this email from Sarah saying, again, like reiterating that she didn’t have the time, and she didn’t really know how to deal with that. And I’m like, okay—and I mean I was badly triggered at that point, because I was being isolated and having information controlled, which was exactly the situation I’d been in with my polycule. So my response to that is usually to write, like trying to explain where I’m coming from, cause I’m like, “Please, please, please, listen to me.” Especially because I had tried to explain multiple times and was not being heard. And so, like I sent a long email that was like trying to explain what I needed and how I needed them to use the rest of the pod, and how I needed to be able to talk to other people besides them.
And then finally one of the other pod members who was my friend reached out to me to see how things were going. And I was like, “Ah, terrible.” And I like told her everything, and she was like, “Oh my God, this must be so triggering for you.” And I was like, “Yes. Yes it is.” So she’s like, “Okay, I’ll try to advocate for you.” And she went back to the pod.
And then the next thing I know, like a day later I get this email3 from these two women that’s basically like, “We’re not going to work with you anymore.” It was really gaslighty. Like not actually saying that it was my fault or that I was too hard to work with, but sort of implying that and being like, “You know, you need to find people who you can work with and who will work with you the way that you want.” And I’m like, “You were trying to work with me?” Like, “I didn’t notice. ‘Cause I didn’t see any ‘with’ in that.”
But so that was really destabilizing.
That all happened at the end of November 2018. And the rest of the pod was really supportive, and were like, “No, this wasn’t your fault. They really screwed up.” And there was a lot of anger at Bianca and Sarah for that.
And we kind of regrouped, and then I ended up hiring Aida to step in and be the consultant for the pod. But what it did was it left this really lingering—it in some ways made me feel even more dependent on the pod, and it left this lingering sense of “Am I hard to work with? Was there something wrong with the way I communicated? Am I abusive?” Right?
And because Franklin was doing this like DARVO that he’d been doing at that point for almost a year there was like this—first of all there was always the possibility that someone could pivot to supporting his narrative, right? That the people who were supposed to be on my side, if I didn’t act in the right way, that they could turn around and decide—cause they were the ones, like it was their job to believe me, right? To believe me and like, support the idea that I was the one who had been harmed and Franklin was abusive. But what if they changed their mind, right? And that footing of placating never went away. And the feeling that they could leave never went away. And the feeling of, well if they left, what are they gonna say, and how’s that going to play into this other narrative?
So like I look back now, and I was kinda scared of my pod, right? And I didn’t feel like I could challenge them. Like even from early on. I was like, “I need these people.” Right? Like, “I can’t piss these people off.”
But things actually did go okay for the next couple of months. We regrouped, we brought Aida in. We wrote a new statement together that really I felt captured what we were trying to say. We wrote the call-in letter to Franklin. And the purpose of the call-in was to have it clear in the process of this—like if we were going to go public with these stories that there was an end goal in mind, even if it wasn’t met, which was like, one, the women’s stories matter and are important on their own and need to be heard, because Franklin has dominated the narrative for so long. But we’re not telling people that Franklin needs to be thrown away or ostracized or demonized forever.
Although, to be honest, none of us knew at that time just how bad this was, just how much harm he had done. And I think with what we know now, we might have been a bit less gentle with him. But the story as we had it at the time was different, and so that was the purpose of doing that. But it was never like, “Oh, we’re doing this public process to try to reform Franklin.” It was always supposed to be like, “Well, we’re doing this public process to give the women some visibility into their experiences and try to create some safety for those of the women who want to continue to exist in polyamorous spaces where Franklin’s narrative has dominated. And also, there’s this thing happening over here on the side, which is that if Franklin wants to do an accountability process, we will support that in our role as a survivor pod.” Right?
So that whole thing was very collaborative for a couple of months. Like we had a couple of strategy meetings together. We worked on all the documents together, all of the women got to review the letter and the public statement, Louisa started doing her interviews. Then around mid-February we finally decided we’re all ready.
And the idea was that he would be sent the call-in and given a chance to respond to it, and that if he went public, or if he either didn’t respond for a long time or responded really badly, we had the public statement lined up in reserve to go up.
And of course he went public. Reid sent him the call-in. He went public almost immediately on Quora. And so I remember I was still—at this point, my social media accounts had been shut down for almost like over three months. So I was still offline completely. And my intention was to stay offline until this whole thing was kind of over, or at least until I was able to handle any bystander shit that might occur on social media.
So I knew when they sent it, and I remember going to bed on a Sunday night and waking up the next morning and having a message from one of the pod members saying, “We’re live, here’s the link.” And so I was like, “Goddammit, Franklin, like really? Why the fuck do you have to be so predictable? Why couldn’t you have surprised us?” I kept wanting him to surprise us, and he kept not surprising us. He kept being just really, really predictable.
But what happened almost immediately after that was really unexpected for me and led to a period of time that became incredibly, incredibly damaging for me. Which was—there had been a buffer in that I wasn’t online, and I wasn’t reading the public narrative, and there was a sense that I was being protected from that. So there were people monitoring that but not discussing it directly with me, because they were telling me I wasn’t ready to deal with that yet. And it stopped being something that was sort of voluntary and became something that they were suddenly—they started operating completely independently from me, and it was like, “It’s for Eve’s own good.” Right?
Like so they had a separate group. We had all been communicating in Signal; there was a Signal chat with me, and there was a Signal chat without me. And then the pod moved into Slack, so they were on a different platform, and they just—they cut me out, like without discussion or explanation. It’s like suddenly after we went public, they’re operating on their own without getting input from survivors.
And a couple of things happened. So they started doing tasks and projects and things without checking in with me or any other survivor, or collaborating or finding out what we wanted or were prioritizing or anything. And so the polyamory-metoo website, they built that.
Well, so there was one thing that happened early on, like the first week after the call-out, which was that we had agreed that we would be keeping a public tracking document that would keep—it exists now. You have it. But that was agreed on in advance; it was created in January. Everyone was gonna add stuff to it as things came up in the public narrative. Everyone had access to it. And so that was like my only place where I could kind of see what was going on publicly in the discussion, choose to follow links if I wanted to. So it gave me a little bit of control over what information I was going to access.
But for the first few days, nobody really added to it. And then I saw that there had been some activity in it. So I go in there, and someone had been putting links to all of Franklin’s accusatory Quora posts in there. And so I went to the group and I was like, “Hey guys, what’s going on? Why is this stuff in there? This isn’t what we said we were going to track in there.”
And so people were confused. We tried to sort it out, you know. And there was one woman who had joined the pod that week, and she hadn’t been properly onboarded. And so didn’t know that this other tracking document existed, or what all the documents were. And so she was working on this separate project, which is that she was trying to arrange like a fact-checking document where they could do a side-by-side of like, “This is what Franklin claimed, and this is what actually happened” But I didn’t know that, and that project hadn’t been discussed with me, and the project that had been discussed with me wasn’t being done, and suddenly like this other thing she was doing, she was doing in that document.
So there was a bunch of confusion, and we were trying to sort it out in the chat, and the woman who had been doing the work accused me of being upset, and I’m like—I’m not actually upset. I just am confused, I don’t know what’s going on. And then she kind of had a meltdown in the chat about—I have screencaps of this cause it was so weird—about like, that I was accusing her of things and like, not everyone’s brain works the way mine does, and people have lives, and she’s like, “I know that you were really activated, but”—I don’t remember what else. But she kinda had a meltdown and left and I was like, “Oh…okay.”
So she should have left the pod at that point. Like the thing to have done would have been for that person to not be on the pod anymore. But instead what we started doing was I was communicating with the rest of the pod and not her, but she was still on the pod. But that increased the isolation, or the separation, because the person who did that was also someone who had supposedly been involved in processes like this before when nobody else in the pod had been, and so they all kind of looked to her as like an expert. So she was kind of leading, but she wasn’t talking to me at all, and it was really weird.
And then the next thing they did was they made the polyamory-metoo website, and then again they produced this like whole timeline that was all of Franklin’s DARVO, but no response to it, or no context for it. And they launched the website without even telling me that there was a website in progress. So they just sent me the link, and it’s like, oh, boom! “There, here’s a website.” And I go and look at this website, and there’s links to screencaps of all of Franklin’s accusations against me. And they’re like, not contextualizing anything. And I was like, “Um, you guys, I’m not okay with this, and I need you to take this down.” And people were upset, because they’re like, “Look, we’ve worked so hard and we need agency to decide how we’re going to tell the stories.” And I’m like,
KALI: Oh God!
EVE: Not this story. And also, I look back at that now and I’m like, “Why did you need agency? Like why was the pod’s agency a thing and my agency wasn’t?” But at the time, again, I was still on that footing of, “Oh, I need to placate and I need to be appreciative and I need to be really careful about how I set boundaries.”
But any time I was unhappy with anything, it was like, “Oh, we’re working so hard, and you’re not happy with anything that we do.” And now I look at it and I’m like, of course I wasn’t happy, because they weren’t talking to me or involving me in decisions. So I was left with the only choice that I had was to react to things. It’s like this thing is done, this thing is decided, I can react, and I have to be either happy and grateful, or if I’m not, then I’m a problem, and I’m ungrateful, or I don’t know how TJ has done. So it was really disempowering.
So they did take the website down, but they were unhappy about it. And but then later said that, oh, they’d screwed up, and that I communicated about it really well.
But then they got this communication from Franklin’s pod and I didn’t find out about that for, I don’t know, a few days or a week. I found out about it from Louisa during one of our interviews. And I was not shown the communication. But I did want to have input into how they were—I can’t remember if I asked to see the communication or, but as soon as I started—oh, I remember what it was.
So there was a list of asks, and this was referenced in the call-in. The call-in was like, “It’s up to you to decide what your accountability plan will look like, but we have a list of actions that you could take that we think would show good faith or would be good for steps towards this.” And that list had been written and agreed upon by everyone—all the survivors and the pod members. And was ready to send. And it was originally in the letter, and then Aida had said, “No, take that out, and he can ask for it. So he needs to ask for it, and that suggestion of good faith, and then you can send that.”
So I had assumed that it would be sent when his pod asked for it. And so I was asking one of the pod members, “Are you going to send the list of asks?” And I specifically referenced one of the things on the list, which was that he should be assessed by a professional program that works with abusive men, and he should follow the treatment plan that they recommend. Because nobody had any illusions that some group of friends was going to be able to actually help him stop being abusive.
So to me, if he the whole point of doing something like this, if it’s going to affect his behaviour, is to apply enough social pressure that he has to take this meaningful step towards being assessed by someone who works with people who have these patterns of behaviour.
And I was told when I asked about that, they’re like, “Oh, well we can’t pathologize or insist on professionals.” And I’m like, “We can’t? Like we know that he’s abusive.” But then I was just told that like, “Oh, well, they haven’t requested the list. We’re not at a place where we can even provide input.”
And so I was being told, “Oh, he’s put together a defence team. They’re not really a pod. They’re not really taking this seriously. They’re just parroting a bunch of accusations about you. We’re trying to deal with that.”
And then, at one point I was told how it was being handled. They were like, “Oh, well, Aida told us that we need to be independent from you”—and I can’t remember everything they said, but basically they were supposedly paraphrasing Aida to tell me why I wasn’t allowed to have any input or involvement into their conversations about how to deal with Franklin’s pod.
So I was told that I couldn’t have input on that. That was very hard for me. I wasn’t given access to any of the correspondence. I was told it would be really triggering for me. I was told it was hostile.
At some point I questioned why—so there was this bizarre setup where Reid was still in an intermediary role between the pods. And that’s also not something that’s supposed to happen in TJ. Like in TJ, the pods are supposed to talk directly to each other. And the accountability pod is supposed to take direction from the survivor pod. And they were saying like, “Oh, it’s their job to figure out what they should do. We can’t tell them what to do.”
And I’m like, “I know that’s not how it works.” Like, I know that the entire purpose of doing this this way is for them to take direction from the survivor pod, so that the survivors are safe, so that he doesn’t do some fucked-up bullshit. Right?
EVE: And they were just like, “No, no, no, we can’t tell them what to do. We can’t. And we can’t listen to the survivors or get input from them because we need to be independent.”
So there were all these like little walls and compartmentalization in the pod, with people withholding information, not talking to each other. And so Reid was an intermediary within the pod, but then even on the pod, like the only person talking to Reid was one person, and nothing was happening in writing. It would be like, that one person would have like a two-hour phone call with Reid and then go report back to the pod about what had happened. And so there was this really long chain of communication.
And I remember at some point—and by this time it was like April 2019—I was like, “Hey you guys, why don’t you just sit down with his pod and talk to them?” Right? Like “You keep telling me how you know that I’m not the abusive one. Why don’t you sit down just face to face and hash this out? Tell them why you believe what you believe. Listen to them and let them tell you what they’ve heard, because you might be able to really easily prove that he’s lying.” Right? And they’re like, “Oh yeah, maybe we can do that.”
So a couple people were open to that, and then the woman who’d had the meltdown in the Signal chat was like, “No, no, no, they’re not safe to talk to. We can’t do that. They’re not acting in good faith.”
KALI: So she was still in the pod at that point?
EVE: Yeah. Oh yes.
So something else happened. Basically, they were gaslighting me, right? They kept pathologizing me and telling me that I was triggered or that I wasn’t thinking clearly or—and I even remember one of them saying to me, “Well, you say you’re not in a fog anymore, but would you even know you were still in a fog?”
And I’m in this position of, first of all, these are the people with all the information. They’re in a group together that’s bonded, and I’m on the outside at this point, even though they’re supposed to be like my support people. They have all this authority, like you’ve got the therapist and you’ve got Aida and you’ve got the woman with the experience in accountability processes who has a book coming out on how to intervene in situations like this.
So there’s a whole lot of authority there. There’s the fact that I’m still recovering from emotional abuse that was specifically premised on me taking responsibility for a bunch of shit that I wasn’t responsible for and not being able to express boundaries, or specifically anger. And then being told that I’m not supposed to have any say in this process. And I have this whole thing hanging over my head of what happened before when the other two women left. And not wanting a repeat of that validate whatever it was that they’d been saying about me. But some of the communications, when I look at them now, were super, super gaslighty.
And like one of the things that was happening was the therapist was telling me like, “Oh well one of the reasons that I know that you’re not the abuser is that you accept influence. And so when we bring concerns to you about your behaviour, like how you’re interacting with us, then you always listen to us and try to adjust your behaviour.”
And I look at that now, and I’m like, “Whoa.” Cause I actually started to feel like, oh, now I have to have accept influence and adjust my behaviour when they ask me to, because that’s what makes me not the abuser. And if I don’t do that, then maybe I’m abusive, or they’ll think I’m abusive—which meant that like I was even less able to express any kind of boundary or complain, right?
So I had a breakdown. It was either at the end of April or the beginning of May 2019. Like what was happening to my brain was as bad as what was happening at the end of the relationship with Franklin. Like, it fucked me up.
And I talked to my therapist about this just last week and she was like, “Yeah, like once you’ve had that neural pathway kind of carved, like if you get pushed back through it again, sometimes it’s worse than the first time it happened.”
And so I remember coming into my house one day after some conversation and just shutting my door and starting to scream, cause I thought I was going crazy again. And in the meantime, I’m still giving interviews, and I’m out there in public with my name on this process.
And you know, what’s funny is, nobody ever did start using the public tracking documents. So I ended up being the one to maintain that, which meant that like I had to reactivate my social media and go back out and keep an eye on stuff to plug into there, because of all the stuff they were doing, this one thing that I’d asked for wasn’t being done.
And the other thing that I had asked for, and I had actually started asking for this in November 2018, was, “Okay, you all tell me that you believe me and you know that I didn’t abuse Franklin. And that Franklin’s accusations are DARVO. Can you write a post explaining why? Like why do you believe me? How do you know that I’m telling the truth and he’s not? How can people look at his words and discern that?” Because I knew that the way he talks is a way an abusive man talks about the women he’s abused.
EVE: And I was like, “You all know this. Can you show that? Like can you do a blog post that describes that so that people can understand that it’s not just who you choose to believe, or he said/she said, like there are things you can look for.” And I’m like, “I can’t write this for myself. Like, this is one thing that I cannot do. I need someone to advocate for me in this way. I need someone to describe this who’s not me, who has some credibility.” But I did create a document that was like with resources and links, and I had my own bullet-pointed list of like, these are the things that I can see. “I just like, I need someone to write this thing who’s not me.”
And it kept getting deprioritized, or like they’d talk about it, and they would be talking about something other than what I’d asked for. And it kept getting like bounced from person to person. Like one person would agree to start it and then it wouldn’t get written.
And then at one point after the webpage went up and the website went up and then got taken down again, I was like, “I am terrified of the fact that we don’t have any response to his accusations prepared for when he blows this up.” Right? Cause at some point he’s gonna go on the attack, and we’re not ready.” And I said, “I need you guys to prioritize that, I need that. Like to me, that is the most critical piece right now for my safety, is to have that ready. I need to know who’s in charge of it, and I need them to be working closely with me on it so that I can help guide the direction.”
So none of those things happened. It did sort of get bounced from hand to hand, and then like the people who were responsible for it didn’t do it. And then finally one person took it for a while and he took it further than really anybody else did. And he’d started collecting some commentary and collating some things together, but it just needed to be put into a draft.
And then another woman like decided that she was just going to go write it one day, but she wrote this completely different thing that was like a resource post about what DARVO is that doesn’t even reference his accusations or explain or say anything about me. And then she’s like, “I did it! I did this thing! I’m so tired.”
And I look at it, and I’m like, this is not what I asked for, this is not even remotely connected to what I asked for. I had this whole resource document that I’d prepared that outlined what I was looking for, and she hasn’t looked at it, and she didn’t talk to the person who’d been working on it before. And now I’m in the position again of like, oh, you’ve done this thing for me and I’m not grateful for it, right?
And I felt, with this group, I kept feeling like a cat owner whose cat kept bringing her dead birds. I’m like, “Oh, that’s really sweet and I don’t know what to do with that and I kind of wish you’d stop.”
So…I had this meltdown—
The thing I asked for never got written, still doesn’t exist. The one pod member finally did a first draft like in June, that at least a good starting place. But it obviously was going to need some energy from me to push it forward. And by that point I just didn’t have that energy anymore. So it’s just stalled.
—I had this meltdown in like, late April, early May 2019, and I was like, “Okay, I need some changes. One, I need you guys to stop talking about me behind my back. I need you to not have conversations about me that I am not a part of. Just full stop. Like, I can’t have that anymore.” Two, this woman who I’d been having the problems with—oh, the other thing is that I had a conversation with her where I expressed some unhappiness that Bianca and Sarah were still out there doing transformative justice work without having ever done any accountability with me or with us about the way they’d handled their role in the pod. And I was like, “I don’t think they should be doing this work, especially with survivors, until they’ve done that.” And she basically, was like, “oh, well…” she basically told me that actually she’d changed her mind and she decided that that was my fault. And so that was about the point at which I was like, “Okay, she needs to go.”
But then the pod didn’t want her to go. And then it became this whole, like, “Eve’s being controlling by wanting this person off her pod, and Eve has that power [over the pod] and, oh, should people be able to be removed just because Eve got triggered, and isn’t that a power dynamic? And Eve has this power to remove people, and we need to be aware of that.”
And it’s just like, no, like no, this can’t go on. And luckily at that time a new pod member had been brought on, and this had been planned for awhile. It had just taken a while to onboard them. And that was Marissa actually, and Marissa came in as a pod member and was like, “Oh my God, this is fucked up.” And actually started advocating for me. And the pod member who’d been working on the statement, and who had been seeing this and had been concerned about it, but didn’t have any of the experience or credentials that the other people had, and so he didn’t really feel able to challenge them or advocate for me—once Marissa started to advocate for me, he felt sort of empowered to do that too. And then I brought in another person who had experience in processes like these, and she also was like, “No, this is fucked up. Like they’re doing some really messed-up bystander shit. And also, what the hell, the survivors need to be driving this process.” And so the three of them kind of were able to, I think, push things back into a direction where we were able to do some repair.
And this was early May 2019, essentially. The old pod Slack got inactivated, and we brought all of the survivors and the pod members together into one big Slack group together. And there was a little more conflict and a little more gaslighting that went on. But at that point, because I had the other survivors in there with me and I had these other, newer pod members who were advocating, it turned the tide for me, and we got to a much better place. And from that point forward, we all started working together, like the pod members and the survivors, and it’s like, “Wow, why weren’t we doing this before? Like how did we ever think anything else was a good idea?” Right?
So things actually went pretty well at that point, because some of the survivors even were able to take on tasks, and so we were all working as a team, and everybody getting input, and it was great really for a while. And then, so no really significant conflict, after that
And then shortly after that, it was actually one of the other survivors who suggested the pod boundary announcement that we did. She was like, “You’re putting all of this energy into trying to figure out how to interact with this pod, and they don’t seem to be acting in good faith, so why don’t you like decide what, what they have to do before you’ll engage with them and then like just say that and then not talk to them again until they do that.”
So you know, so after that announcement was written as a group and, so then what, what happened was in, at the end of August or early—so sometime in June, I was actually given access to the folder of pod documents, which I hadn’t had access to before. So I had my own folder of my documents that included like, you know, drafts that I was helping with or you know, my testimonies, other supporting documents, letters that I’d written to the pod, things like that. But I didn’t have access to the pod’s stuff. And so they finally gave me access to their stuff, which included a folder of the correspondence between the two pods. But because I had been told like, “Oh, it’s so triggering and so hostile, don’t look at it.” I decided like, well, I’m not gonna—I didn’t feel ready to look at it.
So I finally decided to look at it. I think it must’ve been the beginning of September 2019. And what I saw was like, was really devastating. Because what I saw was like—Franklin was lying to his pod. Of course they were, of course he was like—we knew he would, we can never have expected anything else from him. But, but what I saw was that his pod actually were acting in good faith in the sense that like, they believed that harm had happened and they wanted to intervene and they were open to learning more about, you know, what Franklin might have done. But they were very concerned about the possibility that this process might have been, have all been set up as part of my ongoing abuse and control of Franklin.
KALI: Your pod had thought that?
EVE: No, his pod was—his pod.
KALI: Oh, ok.
EVE: So this was what I saw in their correspondence, was that they had these concerns and like, you know, the initial exchange with Reid even said like, “If Eve is the abuser here and we do this, then we are all complicit in her abuse.” And I have to say, like, that is—based on what we knew they had been told, that is absolutely a legitimate concern to have and a reasonable thing to ask about. Right? And so, and the other thing they said, is like, “We would like to provide you with more information about Eve’s abusive behaviours.”
So, you know, of course I wasn’t given access to this, wasn’t given input on how to respond. Had I—had it been my decision how to respond, I would have said, “You know, you are right to be concerned. We’re glad you’re concerned because that shows that you’re taking this seriously. We believe Eve, and we believe that Franklin’s accusations against Eve are part of his abuse of her. And we’re happy to tell you why. And also we’re happy to listen to anything you have to say about what Franklin claims she’s done. And you know, if we’re wrong, if it just turns out that she has been abusive, then we want to know that.” Right?
So just like flat out tell the truth—be honest. And also like, I would really have liked to know what he was saying about me in private. You know, I know what he was saying in public, but I have no access to information about his private narrative. And I think that that would’ve been really useful to have documented in some way.
But they decided that were just gonna dodge that completely and just not address that concern at all. And like, you know, I talked to one of the pod members about this later and he said, “Yeah, you know, I think that we were so afraid of getting gotten that like we didn’t really”—oh, what did he say? But like basically, the survivor pod didn’t engage in good faith because at the outset they assumed the accountability pod wasn’t engaging in good faith, and they were trying to outthink them instead of just be honest and like straightforward about what they were doing, which was totally counter to everything that we’d agreed about our values, which is just like, “We are telling the truth, we are going to keep telling the truth. We stand behind what we have to say. We’re going to say the same thing in public as we say in private because we have the truth on our side.” And that was not how they behaved with Franklin’s pod.
And so like, the message that they sent back to them was like so manipulative and stonewally and just did not address any of the concerns. And if I had been on Franklin’s side and I had been told what Franklin had been saying and I’d received that letter, I absolutely would have believed that he was telling the truth and that this whole process was part of my abuse, because that letter was so fucking manipulative.
And there really wasn’t much correspondence beyond that. Like there was a bunch of stuff from them, and the stuff that I saw from them was like, his pod was trying to engage and just not getting anything back from the survivor pod that was useful. And like, I don’t understand if an accountability pod was ever going to be effective—how they could be effective, even the most skilled and like, you know, well-meaning group of people couldn’t be effective if the person that they’re supposed to be working with is lying to them, and the people who know about the lies aren’t willing to name the lies. Right? It’s like, there was no way that that group of people could be effective with any kind of harm reduction.
And this is the thing. Like I have no illusions that Franklin was going to be reformed. But I do feel like there was a possibility for harm reduction, because he had had enough social pressure applied to him, that he’d agreed to do this process and form this group of people and that group of people, if they had been given the information that they needed to actually understand in some way the harm they were dealing with, they could have put measures in place that could have contained some of his worst behaviours, right? There were ways to contain the worst excesses of his abuse that were like, just never the—those opportunities were never exploited.
So, I felt like the whole process, like I had put—and so there, I will mention too that there was like, so I went back to the pod and I was like, “Okay, so, is what’s in this folder everything that happened? Because I am not seeing here what I’ve been told, or what we’ve said publicly doesn’t seem supported, is there more?” And so then, you know, the person who’d been dealing with Reid went and got everything else she had from Reid, and there was a bit more, but not significantly more, and put it in the folder. And I’m like, “Okay, like I’m really not seeing here what I was told happened and I’m pretty upset by what I’m seeing here.” And then that person like rage-quit the pod.
And you know, that person, who had been the one dealing with Reid—so she had been the one taking dealing with this correspondence. And so like, oh, well, I didn’t like the way she had handled it. So again, like I’m ungrateful and, unappreciative of this hard work she’s done so like, she can’t do the work anymore. So she’s out.
I just feel—so I’ve just been like feeling so much, so much anger over the whole thing. Like first of all, I put so much into setting this up so that would, it would happen in the best possible way. And if it was gonna go south, I wanted it to be because—which I knew it could because of him—but I needed it to be because of him and not because of us. Right? And it was like, I feel like it was sabotaged, and I feel like this thing I invested so much in—and not just like, a year’s worth of time and energy, but like money, you know, paying Aida—was just like, sabotaged by the people I trusted.
And the values that I held, and that mattered to me so much in initiating this, were not honoured—because frankly I feel like some people’s need for revenge, and to like shame Franklin overrode any of that. Like they need—I think that like there are two people in particular who like needed to show him acting in bad faith, which meant that they never really gave him a chance to act in good faith. And I think that had he been given the chance to act in good faith, he still would have acted in bad faith, but it mattered to me that he be given a real chance, right? Like I needed to see that.
And, and you know, I, it was just also the fact that I just feel so—like that I was so disempowered during that time and so, and that I was being cut off from the decisions. And so it’s brought up a lot of that for me.
But the other thing is like, they wouldn’t fucking defend me, right? Like, it comes back to that, that piece that I really wanted them to write. And seeing them like refusing to defend me in private and just like sidestepping it and not realizing that it needs to be done. Like it’s devastating. Like the people who keep telling me over and over again in private like “We know you didn’t do this, we know he’s lying, we know he’s the real abuser,” won’t say it in public, and won’t say it to other people in private. Like why couldn’t they? They were like—for some reason they decided not to name that to his pod, like, “Those accusations are part of his abuse, and as his accountability pod, it is your responsibility to deal with them.” They wouldn’t say it, and it’s just like, why wouldn’t these people who were supposed to be my advocates say the truth that they know?
And there was even a recent—I like, I made a recent Facebook post where I said this like to my friend group, where I was like, “Hey people, I really need people to speak up for me and defend me when Franklin and people close to him lie.” And like one of my pod members kinda waded in and was like, “Oh well, you know, I bring it up anytime I talk to anyone about it. And most people are like, you know, really sympathetic and already know about the survivor stories.” And it’s like, “Okay, but still still nobody has said he’s lying.” It’s just like this reiteration of that like feeling of this thing that I’m asking for is just totally invisible. That even now that pod member can’t see what I’m asking for, which is like, nobody is challenging Franklin’s narrative.
And I have for—I mean, fortunately like, like Franklin and his wife have stopped their public DARVO for about the last six months. Like finally, finally I started calling it out myself on Twitter, because nobody else would. And it was when I started doing it that they finally like shut up and stopped doing it. So it’s been like quiet for the last six months. But like for a year, I had to live with them lying about me and you know, attempting to—if I ever saw—gaslight me publicly, and nobody would call it out or defend me or like say the truth. And like, that still hasn’t happened.
And so there’s just this huge question of like, why wouldn’t they do that or couldn’t they do that? And especially when like to me it’s so obvious, when the people whose job ostensibly it is, is to help Franklin do better and do less harm are, you know, enacting Franklin’s harm by repeating these lies, why the survivor pod didn’t consider it part of their job to say, “No, those are lies. Don’t do that.” You know, like how is intervening in active, ongoing abuse, not part of the job of a survivor pod?
EVE: So, do you have questions?
KALI: Um, I’m curious. I don’t know if you want to go on record with this or not, but I’m curious about Louisa’s role, and the tension between her working on a thesis and you needing a separate set of issues addressed?
EVE: I think that that was actually a big part of that. And I think that Louisa—you know, I mentioned to you over email that that only two people have really, you know, sort of owned their part in this, and it’s Louisa and one pod member. And I think she was one of the—she was the first person to recognize how that had caused a problem, which was that like, she didn’t have a lot of—like she was, even though she wasn’t on the pod, she was sort of acting like part of the pod. So like she was in the Slack group with them. And like when she started getting complaints, you know, stuff through the form, like she would discuss that with them. And so then suddenly—like there were some things that needed to be kept from me because, you know, they had information about complaints that I and other survivors didn’t necessarily get to have access to.
And, and I feel like to some extent they switched gears from supporting the survivors to supporting her, right? It almost became like her pod. And you know, at some point during the aftermath of my meltdown where I demanded that they stop talking about me without me there, she actually came in and said like, “look, I’ve played a huge role in that by not keeping appropriate boundaries. I need to have my own support people, my own people I can process with. I need to be separate from the pod discussions and not part of the pod’s work. And ‘m sorry for how I contributed to this.”
KALI: I think it might be useful to ask her if she’s willing to do an interview.
EVE: I’m happy to ask her, but I mean you could ask her too—
KALI: Yeah, no, I was just raising that, not which one of us asked, but just raising that as a possibility, because her perspective on that—especially since she is thoughtful and reflective you know—might be really useful in terms of unpacking the the dangers of transformative justice and so maybe we can ask her that.
EVE: Yeah. You know, I—it is a danger of transformative justice, because I mean, the fact of the matter is that like, the thing about TJ is it’s a work in progress, right? It’s like the criminal justice system retraumatizes survivors, doesn’t work for survivors, doesn’t really reduce harm and leaves out a huge variety of harm that isn’t criminal. This could never be addressed in the criminal justice system. And also the roots of TJ, you know, comes from various traditions, but the, the modern movement of TJ came out of movements that can’t access the criminal justice system. So the whole idea comes out of groups of people who are being abused by the criminal justice system and have no access to it. And so they don’t have anything and they have to create something themselves.
And then here’s a bunch of white people who were like, “Oh cool, here’s this other way of doing things, and we want to take it and apply it to our stuff, but we don’t have any of those roots or any of that cultural background or like—and we have access to the criminal justice system. And in a lot of ways, we still think in a really carceral way.” Like, I can throw around the word carceral, like I know what I’m talking about, but haven’t unpacked all of that shit. And so I think that that a lot of the harm that you see happening in in attempts at transformative justice is actually coming out of white, middle-class people trying to do it without having the roots that they need to actually understand the values behind it.
KALI: And also being embedded in it. Because if you’ve got Native communities or African American communities where you have you know, both parties are members of that oppressed group, then neither has access to at least the racial power structures. Gender’s still there, and that’s still an issue. But when white folks are doing this kind of thing, one party has all of the access to all of the, you know, the structures of power that create that enforcement, because one party is usually white men.
KALI: And so I think it’s very hard to put that on the same level as say, Native communities and African American communities who are trying to enact this without recourse to the justice system, either because it threatens them or because the justice system doesn’t care.
EVE: Yeah. And we don’t have like—you know, the woman who joined the—she came on temporarily to the pod in May and was you know, one of the people who kind of helped things get back on track a little bit, at least as far as I was concerned. Like one of the things she said that she realized about this whole thing is like, “there’s no circle” as she put it. Like we’re this weird diffuse online network of people who—even those of us who have relationships, are fairly shallow relationships. We don’t have interdependence. Like, either Franklin or I could walk away from this and like never really have to deal with it again. Right? So there’s no circle to hold the process. There’s no sort of a long, you know—in an Indigenous community,you have elders—like many traditional justice processes involve the elders, and the elders, it’s their job to remember what has happened with all of these people over a lifetime. You know, our media, our memory on social media is like, you know, six months if we’re lucky. And there’s no circle to either hold me or Franklin, and this is why people like him get away with what they do. Right? Is that if he had a solid group of people around him who were like, “No, you cannot do that anymore. We’re not gonna let you,” and he didn’t have the choice to walk away from that group or not—like he wouldn’t be able to harm as much as he has. But because he has this—he can just like walk away from a community and like start over, and has done multiple times.
KALI: But isn’t that the nature of patriarchy? Doesn’t it give, you know, those privileged white guys the ability to do that, because there is no one to say no to them. And because everyone is invested in saying yes because everybody has something to lose if they don’t say yes.
KALI: In my experience, this has been, you know, one of the biggest issue—if you’re fighting an injustice is—you know, as an internet activist of many years, I have come out publicly to criticize people in power, and I will get 20, 30, 40 emails from people saying, “you’re absolutely right,” back channel. But people who are willing to say so publicly and take the heat for it, because there’s a real cost for coming out and saying these things. And I think when you’re dealing with a transformative justice pod like this, in a community where Franklin does have a reputation, even if it’s just a cachet where, “Oh, the famous man likes me,” you know, that’s actually a very powerful thing to wield. And so I keep finding in situations like this, and my experience is mostly with women who come out and testify to rape and sexual abuse and incest, is that even among the people who believed them and would like to support them, the fear factor is insurmountable for 99% of them. And so the brave person who comes forward is revictimized almost inevitably in these situations. And I find it harrowing to watch and to listen to the stories, which—I don’t know if we should stop recording now, but or maybe this would be interesting.
EVE: Yeah. I don’t know that this part of this is for release anyway, right? Like I do kinda want it recorded for—but maybe not as part of my testimony. But like, yeah, I mean, what’s ironic to me is, you know, I knew all of that, and I was anticipating the bystander harm—like the public harm of the disbelief and the you know, the victim blaming and stuff. And the truth is there hasn’t been very much of that. I have found people to be more or less very supportive. And I think that’s because in a lot of ways—like a lot of people kind of knew about Franklin and just didn’t—like they needed permission to say something, or they had been silenced before and suddenly weren’t.
But I wasn’t expecting it from my pod. Like I wasn’t expecting the disempowerment and the isolation and the information control and the gaslighting. And I definitely, definitely wasn’t expecting them to handle the process with his pod with such bad faith. I mean, frankly, that’s what it was. It was just bad faith. That really blindsided me. I was not—and I did not expect for Aida to be on board with that. And I will say, like—I had a call with Aida, and my intention had been to like, listen to Aida’s perspective and hear, you know, make sure that I under—fully understood what had happened. And like they started reiterating some of the stuff that had been used to like gaslight me, and also sort of some of the justifications for the way that his pod had been handled.
And I just lost it. Like, I ended up yelling at them—like, not really yelling, but like, like I’ve been talking this, you know, when I get excited, like I’ve been talking right now—but like basically like telling them what my experience had been. And I still like, I can’t talk about this without getting like really agitated. But yeah, I didn’t expect that from Aida, I didn’t expect it. I didn’t expect it from fucking Louisa. Like, just—these people were on my side. Right?
KALI: Well, it’s very, very interesting. I think—and I say “interesting” in the sort of painful sense of the word, because I’ve seen some of this happen in labour organizing. It’s fascinating how this can happen, where you get people who say they’re professionals and they’re good at something, and they come in and they say, “Okay, we’ll help your union for free.” And they come in and they kind of take over and do things their way and cut out all the people on the ground. And they’re the experts and they ride their expertise, and it’s disempowering for everyone else. And everyone is so grateful they’re coming in. I mean, it was so amazing listening to this, because I’ve seen exactly this thing work in labour protests. And so you’re disenfranchised by people who become professional doers of righteousness.
KALI: Yeah. You know, whatever area you’re in, whether it’s labour organizing, whether it’s a, you know, transformative justice, and it’s the same thing you see happen in nonprofits a lot of the time, where ego and self-promotion often accompany this urge to do good. And so I see this a lot. And then for the people on the ground, you all start off on the same level, like comrades in arms, and then certain people see opportunity in what’s happening—and the victim of it never sees it as an opportunity. It’s a wound. But other people who aren’t wounded can see it as an opportunity, and they get so caught up in the idea that they’re going to be the caped crusaders that they forget about the subject position of the person who’s been victimized. And this was why when Louisa first came to me and started talking to me about transformative justice, I said, “oh no, I don’t see that going well, especially for people who are naive at it.”
And I told Louisa the same thing about interviewing. I said, “It’s very difficult.” I mean the best interviewers mainly just shut up. Like you create a sense of trust with people, and then they just talk, and you let them talk. Or sometimes they need a little bit of encouragement, or some subvocalization. But it’s very hard to create that distance and really let it be about the person who’s telling the story. Cause there’s so much ego involvement in the first 500 interviews you do.
So how do you feel about it now? Are you comfortable now?
EVE: No. I mean it hasn’t been resolved with the pod. I don’t—quite frankly, like there’s, I can’t, I don’t even feel like I can really process it with the other pod members, because I just, I can’t be gaslighted again. Like, I just can’t—like, I will. And every time I tried to talk about it or think about it, I just get angry all over again. Like it just doesn’t seem to be resolving. It’s not like, oh, I process it and now I’m less angry. It’s just like, no, I still get angry. And I also feel like,—I mean I feel like the pod published some stuff that wasn’t true, and that matters to me. Like some stuff about what Franklin’s pod did that I don’t think they did. And I don’t know, like part of me wants to see like some public ownership of that, or like to distance myself from that publicly and say, “Look, I didn’t have anything to do with this.”
But also, I don’t want to discredit the process or the other survivors or make it out to be like, “Oh, well Franklin was a victim after all,” because you know, he was lying to his pod. And, and you know, I think they were engaging in good faith, but I don’t think he was. And they were just—they were naive and unqualified and just took his words at face value, when the whole point was like, “He’s a liar. You’re dealing with a liar.” Like why my pod didn’t say that? I don’t understand.
But anyway, yeah, so no, it’s not okay. And, and I mean there essentially is really no survivor pod right now. Like we’re finishing up these testimonies and this process, but Louisa has checked out, the pod’s checked out. It’s pretty much diffused and fallen apart at this point. Like ostensibly there are still four pod members, but nobody’s really doing anything. And since I challenged them on how they handled Franklin’s pod, they haven’t really—I don’t know. It’s just like nothing. I mean, efforts like this, they kind of, they kind of end up just diffusing eventually anyway. So, yeah.
So I feel like a bunch of really bad shit happened and I never got a chance to kind of resolve that.
1. I found out after this interview that Sarah (along with Aida) had been on the survivor pod , not the accountability pod, for the Reid Mihalko process. One of the survivors from that process has also spoken publicly about her experience in that process.
2. This post and the subsequent comments refer to “multiple attempts at accountability” and “hijacking of restorative justice processes.” Franklin and I had never engaged in or attempted any form of accountability or restorative justice process.
3. The email was sent only to me, no other pod members. I had to tell the rest of the pod.
Update, March 25, 2020:
As a result of the harms done in this process, two requests for accountability and repair were made of all the survivor pod members and consultants in late 2019/early 2020:
- That they read the interview above.
- That they participate with a one- to two-hour interview with trauma scholar Kali Tal as part of her in-depth, year-long research on this process.
All of the survivor pod members and Louisa engaged with these requests. Only the three individuals who work as professional consultants or instructors in accountability—Aida Manduley, Sarah Sloane and Bianca Laureano—as well as Reid Mihalko (Bianca and Reid were asked only to do the interview) either refused, did not respond, or agreed and did not follow through. All three consultants continue to teach restorative and transformative justice and take paid work on accountability pods, including working directly with survivors.
In addition, all pod members and others associated with the process who are listed on the pod bios page (except Reid) were asked to make their own decision whether to sign the final pod wrap-up statement acknowledging mistakes made during the process.