Please note my post 'Appendix' for comments by other people who were close to me, my assaulters, the whole situation and its context, and posts such as this one which highlight ongoing discussion about how rape accusations are used as weapons of character assassination and divisive scene politics in so-called 'radical communities'... Apr '12
This is the statement by me, Jan Dichter, written and posted specifically for the reason of countering the various lies and rumors being propagated on the internet in connection with my name, addressed to the general public and not the "radical community" or readers of my previous blog specifically. This is not easy for me to talk about, so i apologize in advance is this is rambling and poorly-organized. It is upsetting enough for me to discuss this without spending a lot of time proofreading and editing although i might one day return and do that.
I criticized popular authoritarian-leftist political projects, tactics, organizing methods and stances from an anti-authoritarian perspective, and it is exactly these same people who organized the attack on me and who have written various lies to bolster their claims in the debate that has unfolded online and around the country about it.... I was targeted for the political gains of others. I do not believe that people who talk about "accountability" and "community" as positive values would have committed such a cruel, violent and divisive action, nor would they have done so while hiding their faces and their real agenda.
It saddens and embarrasses me very much to admit (to have been forced to admit) that I have not always been a good, trustworthy and respectful companion to the women with whom I've been sexually involved (although this is certainly not true in all, or even most cases). However, to go from this to saying that I coerced someone in a sexual situation is not simply an exaggeration, it is replacing the truth with a blatant lie. This lie took root in the overblown rhetoric, idealism, groupthink and manipulation that characterize the radical/student activist scene in which I was regrettably involved. I suppose some of the aggressors thought they were going to teach me something about my personal behavior, but I feel like I learned a lot more about that whole social and political scene, namely, how childish, pathetic, and nurturing of pathological personal and social dynamics it is, and how I should never have taken part in it.
It's further worth pointing out that some of the people who worked most aggressively to spread false negative gossip about me were in fact men who were acting out of sexual/romantic jealousy - from a monogamist perspective, I'd 'stolen their girlfriends' (or their partners had 'cheated' on them with me etc), notably "Moxie Marlinspike" a hacker activist whom one can see has published tools for antisocial crime such as ID theft, and Leandro aka "Nachie" of RAAN, a group I had always criticized for its mission of subsuming anarchism with leftist thuggery.
On a personal level I have cut contacts with virtually everyone I knew through radical politics since most of them were too intimidated to stick up for me even when they admitted to me in private that they were aware the attack on me was an act based on deception, delusion, and political/ideological conflicts; I have become somewhat of a loner, and I continue to suffer horrific nightmares and episodes of severe anxiety and paranoia, for which I have had to seek professional help in order to be able to carry on with my life, a life I'm afraid (rightly or not) has been utterly ruined for me, just when I finally was maturing enough to give up the stupid game of playing revolutionary and try and get on a more realistic track, and to put to use my talents in a way that might actually benefit my family, community, loved ones and myself. I am deeply embittered that a couple of aspiring leftist student politicians and their misguided followers, all of whom knew so little about me except as the caricature of a political and moral enemy, could wield such an abusive and oppressive power over my life and the lives of others whom they have also impacted.
The 'communique' and other allegations circulated against me contain many direct lies, most of which are simply baseless claims that anyone could make. One of the most ridiculous is that the group tried to confront me and I refused communication when really the *exact opposite* happened (I contacted the group, respectfully and humbly, via email once someone involved in it gave me a vague warning of what might be going on). Although, I was assaulted by two drunk men aligned with them at the Santa Cruz Diner. Other falsehoods appear in the form of omissions: for instance, the main accuser, a communist UCSC student named Angela Yonker, revolved her claims around a night that she had taken me back to her dorm room when I was quite a lot more intoxicated than she was - had the genders been reversed, I'm sure the direction of the accusation could have been too - and afterwards she had led me to believe everything was fine, and we hung out as friends numerous times until (it seemed) other kinds of friction got between us. Another is that another main instigator, another communist UCSC student (pretty much all these people were, in case that somehow isn't apparent) named Olivia Egan-Rudolph had earlier unsuccessfully tried to mount a similar attack on her ex, another UC commie named Evan Calder Williams, for "cheating" (?) on her while they were in an open relationship (it is the considered opinion of several people from that circle that he somehow tried to influence the group to attack me instead; it would be no surprise as it seems I was collectively 'thrown under the bus' for a variety of reasons). The failure to understand, accept, or participate in with honesty and good faith non-monogamous relationships is - I believe - at the root of many of the radical scene's dysfunctions regarding sexuality and supposed misdeeds thereof, certainly in my case. And then of course there is the general political backdrop of all this (of which more later).
If the bare facts demonstrate anything it is the prevalence of hypocritical groupthink and hubristic self-righteousness on the playground for disaffected middle class kids that calls itself "radical politics". But yes, I don't disagree that most of the people involved probably really believed they were doing the right thing (as if that proves or justifies anything itself). It is clear to me that at the very least, certain people, however consciously or not (I suspect it was very much conscious, at least to the extent that they believed what they chose to, rather than actually getting to know me, or the many women who have had positive experiences with me, sexually and otherwise), manipulated and misled others into an attack on a "straw man" opponent. This is entirely in keeping with the organizing culture and social scene that it was born out of, the avowedly leftist California student social movement, from the insurrectionist faction who placed most of their energies into trying to engineer contrived confrontations, to the identity politicians and traditional leftists who never hesitated to denounce anyone they disagreed with as racist, anti-worker, later sexist, etc.
For my part, while becoming - briefly - friendly with many of the university students involved in these events, I focused my terms of participation into trying to develop an anti-authoritarian analysis of the movement in course because I felt that any social movement which failed to nurture such a perspective was bound to simply become fodder for the opportunism of authoritarian revolutionaries whose entire political ideologies and methods are based on exploiting this kind of discontent to build their own power. There is a lot of historical and political analysis that is maybe too much of a digression here, but examples abound in every revolutionary situation in history, for instance in France 1968, Spain 1936 and Russia 1917: the machinations of parasitic, power-hungry radicals have turned every genuine social uprising into the basis of a new regime, a new police state. Many of the students who were key members of the UCSC scene were Marxists (a lot of them from Orange County) and students, employees, friends and apostles of certain influential UC Marxist professors, including some involved with the New Left Review, a neo-Trotskyist publication.
In other words I guess I of all people should have really seen how stupid this all was, how in their hands it already all was, and how badly it might go for someone like me. I underestimated their arrogance, cruelty, self-righteousness and lust for power. Frankly, I was already back in school myself after years on the road, and feeling a bit old for these kinds of shenanigans. I was buoyed along on a wave of youthful enthusiasm and turbulence and foolishly thought I could help it cross the boundaries of academic Trotskyism and change its course in a genuinely liberating direction. I should have known I would be first against the wall as the new little Robespierres consolidated their gains. (Not their gains towards the movement's actual goals, which as we all now by now went nowhere and has been devouring itself and disintegrating - no, their gains towards their OWN goals...)