• Bill Holmes

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 4 – How I got canceled: Lies, lies and more lies!


Honorable people can find themselves at a disadvantage

“I’m not upset that you lied to me; I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“Lies are like cockroaches, for every one you discover there are many more that are hidden.” Gary Hopkins

Cancel culture is part of our society now.

You can’t just disagree with someone; you must destroy them. A friend and I were canceled from a nonprofit fraternal organization, and I am sharing the process that was used. To battle something, you must first understand it. I’ll then explain what we could have done differently.

We had been accused of accusing someone else of something. It is hard to believe that adults would behave like this, but there we were. The leader had called a special meeting to discuss how we could “move beyond this” and determine the underlying cause for the “allegations”. My colleague and I had already stated that the accusation never occurred, but we were having the meeting anyway.

On a beautiful summer evening, we attended the meeting.

I can only describe the meeting atmosphere as very odd. It was obvious that there had been a premeeting to discuss what was going to occur, and it was also obvious that only some of the board had participated. We sat down and the leader began with a reconciliation prayer that described how we all needed wisdom to move beyond any disagreements and come together for the greater good. After the reconciliation prayer, the lies began.

He began by showing a screen shot of a text message between my friend and me. With a sad face he walked through the exchange, pointing out how we were making fun of him and musing about why we had such ill intent toward him. Sadly, he looked to us and asked “Where is this anger coming from? What did I do?”

But it was a complete lie! He had literally taken screen shots of the discussion and edited out his comments. The few pictures he showed were part of a group discussion that went back for months, and he had altered it to make himself look like the victim! I explained that he was completely misrepresenting the facts and that I had the actual unedited text exchange on my phone for anyone to see.


It didn’t matter and no one wanted to see the truth.

He seamlessly went to the next exhibit, a screenshot of an email where, among other things, I asked what would a “fresh set of eyes see if they looked at the books?” He took that rather innocuous statement and turned it into an accusation. I explained that it wasn’t an accusation, it was a request for transparency and good governance. My colleague mentioned that there were very serious issues with construction work being done on site without permitting. Furthermore, the permitting and environmental violations were so significant that they could be considered acts of malfeasance.

And that was that. He was marked for removal as well.

The meeting ended with nothing resolved, but we all promised more civility.

If that meeting was a trap, the next one was a slaughter.

Coda

I wanted to thank everyone who has providing me support as I recount our experience being cancelled. I agonized if this was an appropriate topic, but with so many people now facing the same tactics, I felt it was important. Had I realized what I was facing earlier in the process I could have adjusted my tactics. There is power in knowledge, and I hope this is informing you. And any topic that can lead to a Nietzsche quote has to be fun!

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