Lawsuit Watch: Parker v. the SCA

A recent mention in social media led me to discover a currently-active lawsuit against the SCA currently being litigated out in An Tir: Parker v. Society for Creative Anachronism Inc.

As I understand it, the case was brought by Ha’kon Thorgeirsson and Alizand Thorgeirsson, a couple with long history in the Society, who became embroiled in a seemingly-endless web of disputes with other local participants, which seem to have included a mix of disagreements about how to run local Society affairs, random interpersonal drama, and the kinds of things that Americans refer to as “culture war” issues — the lead plaintiff’s social media posts include allegations of Democrats rigging the 2020 election, and claims that anti-Covid measures are motivated by a sinister desire for pervasive social control, while some of their antagonists complained about comments that were perceived as racist.

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A Decade of Sanctions

There has been a recent spate of interest in the number of Society-level sanctions issued by the SCA in recent years. This information is publicly available, as it is contained in the meeting minutes of the Board of Directors, but it isn’t organized in a consistent fashion, so counting the records is perforce a manual process.

To facilitate this type of analysis, I am making available a list of sanctions-related actions extracted from the quarterly Board minutes for the decade from 2013 to 2022. These records are found in a Google Sheets document linked to below, along with a statistical breakdown of action types by calendar year.

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Letter: Reconsideration of Sanction of Brian De Moray

I have sent the following letter regarding the sanction of Brian De Moray to the Society Seneschal, the Board Comments address, and the Ombudsman for IT, with copies to the Society IT Manager, Society Webminister, East Kingdom Webminister, and Brian De Moray himself. As always, I included my modern name and member number. Receipt was acknowledged less than two minutes later; I suspect they’re having a busy weekend over there. I will update if further action is taken.

To the Society’s Seneschal and Board of Directors, greetings from the East.

I write to you today to ask you to reconsider the January 2020 sanction of Brian De Moray, as the information available in the public record suggests that this decision may have been made in error.

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The Sanction of Brian De Moray

TL;DR: Brian De Moray is a Master of Defense and of the Pelican in Atlantia, who was sanctioned by the Society in January 2020 for an innocuous 113-word Facebook post commenting on software development work he was doing as a volunteer for the kingdom.

As far as I can tell from the information available to me, this sanction appears to have been an error, made in haste by a Board that misinterpreted some technical jargon they didn’t understand, and should be reversed.

I first became aware of this case when it was mentioned in the context of the Wistric Saga, being discussed by Aeron Harper in the second part of his “Tale of Six Sanctions” essay. Aeron’s article was focused on the procedures and policies of the sanctions process, and understandably glossed over some of the technical details, but as a software developer, my curiosity was piqued.

At the time, I was disappointed to learn that Brian was reluctant to discuss the details for fear of additional sanction, but ten days later he published additional information, including technical details of his work, after the Chairman of the Board of Directors assured him that he would not be sanctioned a second time for the same offense.

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