“Melanie’s” Relationship Testimony With Franklin Veaux

The first-person testimony of “Melanie,” as interviewed by Louisa Leontiades. Read Louisa’s notes and supporting analysis here.

Melanie: So, yes, Franklin and I were in a relationship for about a year and a half, I would say—the majority of that being long distance. I would say it would have been around 2009, um, the autumn of 2009—my timelines might be a bit fuzzy around this.

I was living in Florida briefly, because I had—I was in the UK, but had visa trouble and ended up staying with my parents in Florida. Before I had left the UK, I had had correspondences with Franklin, online via LiveJournal, and then I think via OK Cupid. And of course those correspondences were quite flirty, and then it turned out while I was in Florida, he was in Florida visiting Amy. And so we just had a bit of a meetup. Franklin, Amy and myself. And at that point Franklin declared he had a crush on me, which again, I recognized later as a big MO of his.

I remember we were having a conversation in the café, and everything just got very excited. There was quite a lot of, “Oh my gosh, yes, that’s amazing!” And I do remember him—he does this thing where he does deliberately sort of put the cute face on, it’s like literally fluttering his eyes. I seem to recall he was actually fluttering his eyes, um, or I think about like Puss in Boots with the kitten eyes and in the animated, um, you know—

Louisa: I know it.

Melanie: I also, like, it was like a bit of a cartoon character, but it was really, it was very endearing, and quite adorable, and the fact that he was directing this kind of—yeah I mean, he literally said, “I have a crush on you, I really have a crush on you.” And then, it was so flattering to hear that, to think, “Oh, I must be a really interesting person, because Franklin Veaux has a crush on me.”

And there was quite a lot of that towards the beginning, and you know, when we were messaging and things like that. He, you know we would have chats, but he would intercede with “You’re hot” or—you know, and there was a bit of, you know, we had a bit of a phone—like he, for a little while he was doing some D/s things with me over the phone, where he would ask me to do, perform certain tasks and things like that. And that that was kind of an immediate, I do, yeah that, I do—I don’t know why I forgot about that. I was living with my parents at the time, too, so it was a bit awkward!

But there was a bit of, like, just him asking me to do things sexually and realizing that, yeah, actually this was—it slid very quickly into that, and I realized that I think I was a bit disarmed by the whole “I think you’re so cute,” and that made it feel really innocent and playful.

And I think it just has such an appearance of benign-ness to it. And I think that’s where the sort of, the gaslighting manages to be so effective. Is because there’s a real benign affect to the whole thing. Like the turning it on with the cute and the childlike wonder–type things. It makes the whole thing feel benign. On one level. And so when people are experiencing things that feel wrong or hurtful or….you know just, people are experiencing stuff that feels uncomfortable. There’s this sense that, well, it can’t be, because of him, because look at how benign he is…

So that when he started going into the D/s aspect of it, it didn’t feel dangerous. And again in hindsight, I, it’s not something I would normally do, and it’s not my, in my nature to be doing things like that, that quickly. So I found that, yeah, there is a—he disarms the women he’s interested in very quickly and pours it on quite thick with that.


Melanie: But anyway, so that was in the autumn. And then I would say somewhere after the new year, so it would have been around 2010, I went and took a trip over to Portland to visit him. And so this was the first time we’d—I mean there were all sorts of creepy things that were going on, but at the time…I mean I had dated non-monogamously before meeting Franklin, but I think you know, when you come across, like, “Expert Man,” there were things that I just assumed, “Oh, it just must be because I’m not, you know, I’m newer to this,” or “I’m less experienced than he is,” that I’m uncomfortable with these things.

So to describe some of those events…let’s see, before I even did the visit, I had Vera messaging me to lay down boundaries. And one of Vera’s boundaries was that either the three of us would be sleeping in a bed together, or I would be sleeping in a spare room on my own, during my visit.

And you know, there was all sorts of stuff like that. And then at one point, she was messaging me—and then, it’s all very fuzzy, but Chrissie, her friend Chrissie, she used to do the blog about, it was like a poly three—I can’t even remember what the blog was. But she did blog back about five years ago around polyamory. Somehow I ended up in a three-way conversation with them in which they just started having massive flirty, sexy conversation, and I was just a bit like, “Hmm, I’m just gonna sit back here and be a bit uncomfortable.”

So when I went to visit, you know it was all right. You know, there were some getting to know each other. But I do, like some of the distinct memories I have of the visit, were this like sort of, I guess it would be, “assumed transitive intimacy” with Vera is how I would term it.

I did not feel that she was entitled to my friendship. And I wasn’t withdrawing any friendship, but I was just like, I’m not going to start from a place of friendship with you. I’m open to a place of friendship, but that’s it. And I think, and there was this kind of sense that she would, she got upset with me because I wasn’t giving her the access to me that she felt she needed, or she felt she was entitled to. And so yeah, so I do remember that.

And then Vera supposedly was going to be going away for a few days to her farmhouse, but kept on not leaving. Like you know, she said, I don’t remember the specific days, like, but for example, she said she’d be leaving on a Monday, and Wednesday comes by and she still hasn’t left. And so I’m sort of asking Franklin, “Are we gonna get any time together?” And he was just like, “Oh, I don’t know,” you know. So there was a lot of that going on.

And there was some other threesome situation that ended up with Vera again that I just sort of, it happened because I was just going with it rather than something that I wanted to happen.

So that was the visit.


Melanie: And Franklin mentioned that I should meet up with Sylvia, who he had met previously at DragonCon or something like that. So I went and met up with Sylvia when I came back. And Sylvia was very charming, and we started dating. And it was all nice and well for awhile.

But, like, lots of red flags were coming up that I was just sort of ignoring and really should have paid attention to. And in the autumn of 2010, was um, the trip to France. So Sylvia’s other partner E had done some windfall at some film festival, and he rented a French villa for a week and just invited all these poly friends, and Franklin ended up coming to this. Sylvia bought him a plane ticket to come over. And the whole point was actually for us to hang out more. But that’s when Franklin and Sylvia ended up getting together and spending a lot of time together.

It was an absolute emotional rollercoaster for me. There was quite a lot of—I mean, I mean it was, I think I was just going through a situation of feeling like I needed to fit in to what was going on around me and setting aside my own boundaries slash reservations slash anything. And one of the things I’ve learned about myself is I’m a bit too good at setting aside my own boundaries for the sake of smoothing things over. But there was quite a lot of, basically, Sylvia trying to compete with me and pretty much everyone in the castle, for Franklin.

So yeah, I mean, and Franklin seeing that I was upset a good deal of the time and doing the script of comforting, but not getting any sense that he actually understood what was going on. He would follow a script pretty much.

And I found this online as well, like, if I if I said something that went on that was very upsetting to me, the answer would be a very stock answer, and he would sort of answer with “I love you.” And it’s like, “Well that actually has nothing to do with what I said, and it doesn’t really actually help.”

I always felt a bit strange with the sort of script-y things, and I think that’s why long-distance works for awhile with him, is because when most of the communication is online, it’s kind of easy to script it, or to keep it on script.

So there was quite a lot of that during that week, and it was just an absolutely horrible week. In hindsight like, you know, was just a really miserable week for me.

The only other thing—and I do remember he made a journal entry about me, because I was just asking for some kind of reassurance that he actually wanted to be with me, because I wasn’t getting that sense from him. I got it from his words, but not from his actions. And so I asked him, and that’s when, and his response was to write a LiveJournal entry about me. Which, obviously, you know, it was nice, it felt nice to have these nice things said about me. But you know, at the same time, I realized that that was the kind of thing that sustained the relationship, and not the actual actions of it

And A, Sylvia’s other partner, made one note—he never liked Franklin, I don’t think he is, still, I don’t think he still likes Franklin—but he made one note, which I found really interesting, was that [Franklin] was the only person out of everyone that stayed in the castle to not actually help out. Like we were all at some point doing dishes or cooking a meal and doing that kind of thing. He didn’t do anything. During that whole week.

So that was kind of an interesting thing. But anyway, yeah that was, that was the French holiday from hell.

Louisa: Was the sexual part of it okay?

Melanie: There was quite a lot of group sex. And, yeah, I mean at that point, I’d say, yeah, I was enjoying myself. I just wasn’t in situations that I would have chosen to do that, if that makes sense.

Louisa: Yeah.

Melanie: I had a couple situations where the group sex I found upsetting, um, basically from being completely ignored in a setting and things like that. There was a situation where we made an agreement that Franklin and Sylvia would go play for like an hour or two, or something like that, and they were gone the entire evening. And, but other than that it was, yeah, the sexual part of it was somewhat fun, but only when I was in a headspace where I wasn’t thinking about anything else.

Since then, having grown up, you know, I realized that that’s not a good place for me to be if I’m intimate in an intimate space. I don’t want to be an intimate space that feels like I have to turn things off to enjoy it. And that’s kind of what I needed to do, when I was there.


Melanie: After the holiday, Franklin was in London, Sylvia and I were in London, and um, I was working full time in a very, fairly high-stress job. Basically teaching severely autistic kids during my days, and Sylvia wasn’t working, and so there was quite a lot of, during that time, Franklin and Sylvia were off doing whatever.

And I remember the final evening before he was supposed to fly back. He had been spending all his time over at Sylvia’s and not at mine, and I was basically asking, could, you know, “I’d like to have an evening, I’d like Franklin to come over to mine for the evening.” And I remember talking to Franklin and just saying, you know, “How about you make a decision about where you want to go rather than us making that decision for you.” And, you know, it took quite a lot of coaxing. Not coa—I mean, I just wanted him to say, “I want to spend the evening with you.” You know. And then finally he did, and then I realised that was a very foreign thing, that he doesn’t tend to drive these things. That, you know, whenever spending time with him, it’s something you negotiate with his other partners, not with him and him specifically.

And so that trip happened, and I ended up moving into a group home with Sylvia. We each had our own bedroom and stuff, but it was moving into a group home. Sylvia and I were getting along less, but I still moved into the group home because my situation required it. I didn’t have any other options for living at the time, because I, the lease was up on my place. So I lived in that group place with Sylvia for about six months before we broke up. And we broke up because she was continually doing these type of toxic behaviours.

During that time, Franklin was aware of all the things Sylvia was doing and I, I had long conversations with him online, about stuff she had done that was really hurtful.

Yet he still was seeing her, yet still telling me, “Yeah that’s really shitty that she’s doing that.”

So, I broke up with Sylvia in the summer. The summer 2011 is when I broke up with Sylvia, and I was in the fringe that year. I went away to Scotland into the fringe for the month and then came back and just moved my stuff out and found a place. And I spent that year couch surfing, basically, until I could get back on my feet.


Melanie: In the autumn, Franklin came to visit Sylvia, and he wanted to see me, and we were still sort of technically seeing each other, I suppose. But at that point my investment was quite low, because he didn’t even really know what was going on in my life at the time, when I was trying to tell him, “Yes, you know, I had to move out, and now I’m pretty much homeless.” And all this kind of stuff—he just didn’t seem to be clued in on what was going on in my life.

So when he came to see me. I basically said that—I broke up with him, basically, at that point, and said, “I can’t be with someone who knows full well how I was being treated yet seems to be endorsing that treatment.” And I remember during the conversation he kept on claiming that he didn’t know what was going on, that he actually didn’t know. And I and I had to sort of—I mean I had one moment of yelling at him, not hugely, like of sort of publicly in a restaurant, you know, saying, “You, you did see this, you knew exactly what she was doing,” and he was quite shaken by it. I do remember that. But I was pretty upset at that point, and I basically said, “You knew exactly what was going on. And it doesn’t seem to matter to you. And so I don’t think I can trust you to have my back.”

And so we broke up. And that was sort of the last of any—we tried a bit of a post-mortem conversation, we were trying to be friends, and I do remember distinctly not long after that breakup. That would’ve been autumn of 2011, so sometime before the new year, before 2012, I remember us having a conversation over IM, and I was trying to explain to him the things that were upsetting me about why I broke up with him.

So in his mind, he felt that I broke up with him because he was with Sylvia and he couldn’t be around Sylvia. And I said, “Actually it’s a bit more complicated than that. The reason I broke up with you was because you were not the person making the decisions. And I don’t want to have to deal with Sylvia if I want to see you, you know, I don’t want to have to have to clear with Sylvia the time I spend with you. But also that you clearly just weren’t clued in as to what was going on. And still don’t seem to be clued in into what was going on, and so I can’t trust you.”

But he just, his—the narrative that he left with was that Sylvia made me insecure. And that was that.

And so didn’t, you know, we hadn’t talked and talked and talked until Lily made contact with me and was basically asking me questions about Sylvia and her behaviour.

And so I recounted my experience of the relationship with her and other things she had done. Like she basically—I started seeing someone else, and she inserted herself into the middle of that relationship and basically trumped me out. And that was quite a practice of hers, was to insert herself to the middle of things and sort of let the other partners get pushed off to the side.

But then, [Lily] at this point she was still with Franklin, and she asked if—because Franklin was coming to visit, and he wanted to see me. So we had a conversation, we, we met, and it was quite cordial and rather nice. And at that point, you know, he asked me about my experiences with Sylvia again. And I said, “Well this is what was happening.” And, and he kept on insisting these were not things he saw.

Louisa: That was the fourth time he denied it?

Melanie: Yeah, yeah. I mean one of the things he used to always say in his blogs and his relationship advice is, a person who is nice to you but not nice to the waitress is not a nice person. You know he’s, it’s one of his axioms that you’ll see. And it was really interesting that he watched Sylvia throw temper tantrums on multiple, multiple occasions, and he watched Sylvia treat me badly. But that didn’t seem to apply to him—that, you know, that rule.

And then, it just goes back to his actions, or sometimes his inactions. What he doesn’t act on versus what he acts on, and his words. And the fact that I do remember like, when we had that last sort of post-mortem conversation with, about the relationship, he got really upset with me.

He was getting very frustrated, um, and when I was saying things like, I, you know, “I just wanted you to choose to be with me when you’re with me.” And then [he] said, “Oh, so you want me to read your mind for when you want”—you know—“do you want me to read your mind for when you want to see me?” And it’s like, “No, no I just want you to be the decision maker.” And he’s like, “Oh, so I need to read your mind.”

And I’ve always been confused by that interaction that we had. The fact that he couldn’t hear what I was saying. Because it didn’t fit his script or narrative, then he just kept on feeding back something that could easily at that point, if I hadn’t been where I was, I could have easily been argued out of my own position.

But at that point I, you know, I was homeless at that point, I was going through all sorts of shit, and he was the least of my worries in terms of the shit I was dealing with. So I think I had no need to stay in the argument with him at the time. So the argument ended. And that was the last contact we had had until he contacted me after Lily contacted me.


Melanie: From my own point of view. I really felt that, I mean I felt like I had to get out of that relationship because I knew I couldn’t stay safe in it. And so I think I’m one of the people who managed to get out before any huge amounts of damage were done.

Louisa: Can I ask your opinion on something? I know this is subjective and possibly imperceptible, but I’ve heard so many accounts of pain left in Franklin’s wake, and I am just, putting it out there. Do you, do you think he enjoyed it? Do you think he enjoyed seeing the pain? Of other people?

Melanie: I wouldn’t say that he enjoyed it, as much as I think it fed him. In one way or another.

Louisa: What does that mean?

Melanie: It fed his image of himself.

Louisa: Fed his image of himself?

Melanie: Yeah, but I mean, I’m realizing, just looking back, how much the relationship was about him feeding. What it does is, it sort of reinforces this idea that he is way more secure than everyone around him. Does that make sense? I felt like he was feeding on me. It’s a parasite-type thing? I don’t know. I mean, it’s like somewhere between a predator and a parasite, is where he lies.

Louisa: Wow, that’s a vivid image.

Melanie: I don’t think it was enjoyment, is like—and I don’t think he derived any sort of sadistic pleasure. But I do think it sustains him in one way or another.


 Melanie: And then it also occurred to me that what is his­­—he has a quote that has gotten so famous now at least, it’s made itself onto Unitarian Wayside pulpits. As I was rethinking things, I just thought what, how sociopathic can this be.

“Life rewards those who move in the direction of greatest courage.” That’s his, that’s one of his quotes that has kind of gotten a place of its own.

Louisa: Mmm.

Melanie: And you know, that really in some ways I think was part of what, like, by setting a parameter like that of, “You’re either being courageous or you’re not being courageous in the framework of a relationship.”

That gave me a lot of hindsight around the idea of, why did I continue going forward in this relationship through times where I was distinctly not comfortable with what was happening? And I realized that a good deal of it had to do with the fact that I was trying to follow that idea of moving in the direction of courage, instead of actually just listening to my instincts.

And you know, it just made me think that it’s kind of ironic that someone who goes into, like, you know the sort of attitude that Franklin goes into relationships, the way that he treats his relationships—why would it require courage? You know? A good relationship shouldn’t. I mean, it can require a leap of faith, and that kind of thing. But you shouldn’t have to feel brave within the context of a relationship.

Louisa: His OKCupid profile is “I’m not a relationship for beginners.”

Melanie: Yes. Yes. And that was a—which brings me back to that whole thing as well. I mean it’s like, actually, you know, there’s this whole concept of, you need to be “advanced” to be in a relationship with me. “You have to be exceptionally actualized as a person in order to be in relationship with me.” Which is actually, no, you need to have thick skin to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t actually know how to empathize with you, you know, that kind of thing. And I realized that, yeah, that this concept that you needed to have courage and that that was what I was employing the most when I was in this relationship with him.

That yeah, it just really, it made me think relationships were a lot more work than they actually needed to be while I was in that relationship with him. That my relationship had to be about me making sure I have a handle on my insecurities because that was the issue. I’m going to grow as a person and not be insecure so that I can be in a relationship with Franklin.

But um, yeah, and it’s interesting, because I remember at one point having a conversation with Franklin online about Sylvia, where Sylvia and I just had a bit of a, not quite a fight, but a difficult conversation where I felt, I said, I felt like I’m being neglected in this relationship. And her reply was, “Neglect implies responsibility, and I don’t do responsibility.” And I remember talking that over, just basically talking to Franklin about that and quoting Sylvia, and he was just like, “Really? Wow, that is absolutely bullshit.”

Franklin, I believe, adheres to the exact same axiom, but somehow manages to cover that axiom up in a way that doesn’t actually—do you know what I mean? It’s not explicit in it, in how he expresses himself? But it is implicit in how he acts.

And then, I do remember at one point, it was really interesting, you know, he was talking about Sylvia’s behaviour towards Lily, and that she wasn’t very nice to Lily. And I remember at one point, we were having this relationship conversation about like, you know, saying you know, “You’ve got lots of choices here in, in, you know, there’s a real issue with how you’re doing this.” And he said, “Oh no, the issue is that Sylvia is treating Lily badly.” And I, you know, he couldn’t quite see, “Actually, no, the issue is that you’re allowing it, and that you’re inviting it.” And he didn’t seem to get that.


Melanie: I think he lacks a very core circuit in the brain for empathy. And so I think everything needs to somehow fit into an equation for him when it comes to how other people behave and how he interacts. And so he is often writing his equations or trying to complete his equations according to these interactions.

He’s experimental around how people—I mean there is very much, I mean there were a couple of times where I felt like I was being tested. It’s hard to explain, but like, when I went and visited him in Portland, I felt like I needed to respond certain ways in order to make this work. And that he had basically set parameters with which inside I had to operate.

But yeah, I mean, I think one of the other things I’ve noticed is that when I think back to what memories I have during the time we were together, is that his favourite topic of conversation is himself. And it’s about narrative building in general. So he’s, he’s constantly creating or building a narrative around himself that I think sometimes he places other people around him in such a way to reinforce or build that narrative.

You know, he probably believes it now, and that’s the thing that’s really funny, is that he’ll have a thing, you know he, whatever narrative he comes up with, he ends up believing.

Louisa: So, I, you know the brain is not reliable!

Melanie: No it’s not. Yeah, memories are a funny thing. You know we we attach them to all the things from the present and the present changes what we think of the past. And obviously, you know, my memories. There’s a lot of this kind of like, in hindsight, stuff that I think, “Why did I put up with this? Why did I do this?” and really trying to figure out what was it—I mean, I know that in my own time period, because it was a very tumultuous time in my life, I’d gotten thrown out of the UK. I still wasn’t sure what I was doing and how I was going to be moving forward in my own life. And I was trying to do an experiment where I was gonna be saying yes to things I don’t normally say yes to.

Louisa: Hopefully the long-distance thing protected you as well.

Melanie: I think it did. And I think, honestly, I probably, if it hadn’t been for the stuff that had happened between myself and Sylvia, which was full-on absolutely toxic, I probably wouldn’t have immediately broken up with Franklin. I probably would have still thought he was doing, doing ok things, you know. But the, the additional pressure of Sylvia being involved, and me not wanting to have any involvement with her whatsoever, helped clarify that also Franklin wasn’t good for me. But I don’t think that would have been as clear if I hadn’t had the experience I had with Sylvia.

Before all this stuff went down with Lily, and before seeing the things that Lily uncovered about previous relationships, and stuff like that. Yeah, I had just sort of thought that, oh, he’s just a bit of a dick, you know, just doesn’t quite get it yet. He hasn’t, he hasn’t figured out this, this thing that most of us know about other people, and feelings and stuff. And then, like, to start seeing, especially some of those LiveJournal exchanges where he goes in and attacks people, you know like, and I hadn’t really seen those before—Lily had signposted them to me. And then I was just like, wow.

And the thing that really got me about that was that I could picture him doing it. And that’s what surprised me the most, because, for someone who seems so benign, it wouldn’t seem like something I could picture so easily—it didn’t come as, I mean, it came as a surprise, but it didn’t come as implausible. So there clearly was something about how he generally acts that still suggests that he’s capable of these things, but it’s so well-masked that we don’t even consciously recognize it until, you know, at least when you’re, when you’re getting fed his interactions the way that he, however he scripts them and all that kind of stuff, you know, you don’t realize it consciously, but it’s there.

But I do remember thinking when I saw him being so vicious towards Celeste and towards people who were supporting Celeste and I realized, “I can totally see him acting this way.” I just thought that’s interesting, how is it that I can see him acting this way when he clearly works very hard to not appear that way?

Louisa: Mmm.

Melanie: Because I, I only, I didn’t know Celeste. I only knew, I met Franklin after all of that had gone down, so my perception mainly comes through LiveJournal. And yes, I mean, my first perception really was Franklin’s narrative of it, including, like actually, we had had conversations about it as well. And that narrative was that Celeste was insecure and couldn’t handle Franklin.

And then it wasn’t until after Lily had contacted me, and both through Lily, and I ended up digging a bit more, and Lily pointed me in directions, and then having, you know, finally meeting Celeste and having a conversation with her, that I was just like, wow. I mean she’s a fuckin’ superhero for what she had to go through. And like, and I know how much it devastated her life. And it just, it’s very upsetting to think about the fact that this narrative is going around, you know, there’s an entire book that is an entire fictitious lie about what actually happened, and that both of the subjects of the book aren’t even on speaking terms with him. You know, it’s just, ugh, it’s—it was very upsetting to kind of see that, but also, it just made me think, like, how much his, his narratives were influencing my views of other people. And I even think back to when I was chatting on chat boards about polyamory on stuff like that and realizing that I was drinking his Kool-Aid during that time and being an asshole to other people, who were having very human issues. You know?

I mean, there’s definitely that, that lack of empathy thing. It really just, this whole idea that you can’t understand that your actions impact other people’s feelings and things. This, yeah, just lack of complete understanding of that.


Louisa: So do you believe that any of this is intentional?

Melanie: Hmmm…I think what—yeah, this is a difficult one. I think yes and no. I think back to the process he was engaged with Lily, because when Lily and I, when Lily made contact with me, um, she talked quite a bit about the process they were in together to try and sort out this exact behaviour, and it seemed that he was on board, but then he clearly at some point made a choice, to—to bin it. And to stick with what works for him.

And so I do feel like there’s an intentionality around sticking with what works, and this real doubling down on that since, since they’ve broken up that I’ve perceived online. There was a definite point where he doubled down. On what works for him. And I think that was a conscious choice.

And it’s clear that when Franklin was challenged to a situation where he had started to realize, he was beginning to realize that he had work to do on himself. By this, you know, from, from his interactions with Lily. And clearly, clearly was a point where he said, “Nope, fuck that, I’m going to go with what works for me,” and just retreated back into this bubble.

But what’s really funny is that he still makes it appear like he isn’t in it. And he still writes, it says the right thing to make it seem like he’s all woke and, you know, your activist friend, but he’s not. You know, he’s off making fucking dildos out of 3D printers and shit, and it’s like, really? And how are you making the world a better place? Right. Yeah.

It’s also what he’s been doing forever. He’s never done more than that, really. Like just, just in general, he would—he always had the next project, and it always involved another partner working with him on it. ‘Cause I remember him in Vera had this idea of this tentacle Tarot—erotic tentacle Tarot deck. But you realize that he has to sort of take other people’s creative ideas and then go with that. And I think we all know that More Than Two would never have happened were it not for Lily. You know he would just be still farting along on a blog, and that’s it. And um, and even now, you know, it just makes me think that any of the successful writing endeavours he’s had have been on the back of Lily—how he’s going to go forward? Who knows.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Be Scofield and her writings that she’s been doing lately, where she’s outing lots of Tantric leaders and things like that for being abusive?

Louisa: Right, no, I hadn’t heard.

Melanie: And this other guy, Matthew Remski, who’s been outing yoga teachers for their predatory behaviours as well. And it’s just like, we’ve had a situation here in London with one of the big Tantra, like sort of community leaders within London that has been, you know, sexually assaulting and predatory and all this other stuff. And it’s just, yeah, I mean it just, it’s like, how many times does this have to happen? And why is it that we seem to be in a place where they can easily flourish? And I think that’s what really gets me, is that how easily Franklin flourishes on the backs of all the people that he knows.

And I mean, it’s just sort of poisoning the groundwater of an entire culture that’s come up around polyamory, as well.