Tor Project says accusations against Jake Appelbaum are accurate

Originally published at:

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This is Isis Agora Lovecruft’s blog posting about her experience with Applebaum:


Dude. Apologize. Admit wrongdoing, and explain how you’re going to do better.

At this point, nearly all doubt is gone. Your reputation is gone. All you have left to salvage is your dignity.

Own up fully and without weasel words, offer a sincere apology, promise that you’re going to be a better person from this day forward, and then withdraw quietly into private life. It will all go away eventually (except for the occasional moments of, “Remember that guy?”).

Fight it, and you’ll only dig yourself into a deeper hole, and spread news of your actions even further. It will help no one (except your lawyer), especially not you.

It’s over. Accept that fact with some dignity.


From the blog you linked:

I was involved in an anarchist collective process for a male person in an anarchist activist community who was accused of and eventually admitted to raping two anarchist women. Since none of us would turn him in to the police, we gave him a choice of either leaving or going through a rehabilitation programme which we would create


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It seems consistent with this later passage:

Not to mention that, if our goal is to prevent more people from being harmed by Jake, prison is not an option. Overwhelmingly likely, even in Germany, Jake would be raped in prison. I do not wish these painful things I’ve gone through on anyone, not even those who have caused me pain. Further, most abusers have a history of having been abused at some point in their past, and Jake going to prison certainly will not help him amend his behaviour.

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I dunno.
If the guy’s a psychopath, there’s no fixing him. There’s no rehabilitation, no treatment, no “better.” He is what he is, and he isn’t capable of change.
So: he goes away. Prison is a terrible place I’d not wish on anyone, but it’s the other place that keeps everyone else safe from him.

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That’s not the attitude that, for instance, Norway takes towards prisons, and they have one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world.

Psychopaths make up about 1% of the population. I find it impossible to believe that they’re all incapable of functioning in normal society without harming others, and if any are, then psychopathy will not prevent him from becoming “better” in such a way that he stops harming other people.

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If the guy in question here is an actual psychopath, every bit of research I’ve read says he can’t change.
Obviously, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try- but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Who knows? Maybe it’s something else that manifests like a psychopath without actually being one- and maybe he can change. But given what appears to be a sizable swath of destruction he’s left behind, it’s not looking great for the future.

edit for emphasis.

Not mention that not all rapists and serial rapists are psychopaths. Think about it statistically: How often has someone mentioned in a story on BoingBoing who did something shitty called a psychopath in commentary? 100% of the damn time. Sorry. No. Your (universal you, not you personally @nimelennar) armchair diagnosis is not worth the electrons it’s transmitted with.


Agreed, 100%.

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I’m glad y’all are blogging this. It’s not a happy story and it’s especially painful given the relationship Appelbaum has had with BoingBoing and its contributors. It would probably be easy to just quietly avoid the topic and let someone else deal with it, or maintain a perpetual “wait and see” policy. I’m glad you’re not.


Why does Rob need to apologize?


That’s between me and him, and I’d prefer not to discuss it. He knows what he did.

Betray the Commonwealth, will you? Become an American, will you? We’ll pull you back in, mark my words…


[quote=“nothingfuture, post:6, topic:82234”]
If the guy’s a psychopath, there’s no fixing him. There’s no rehabilitation, no treatment, no “better.” He is what he is, and he isn’t capable of change.So: he goes away.[/quote]

  1. Armchair psychiatry is destructive and unethical bullshit. Don’t have a license to practice, don’t know the subject? Don’t diagnose.

  2. “Psychopathic personality traits” are not the same thing as Hollywood-stereotype “psycho” behaviour. And, AFAIK, the immutability of personality traits is still a far-from-settled area of debate.

Apart from the guards, the maintenance/medical staff and the other inmates. They’re all part of “everyone”.

That said…Jake sounds like a right fucking bastard, and I’ve got no problem with locking him up if he did what’s alleged (which appears to be nearly certain). Actions have consequences, and IMO once you’ve seriously damaged another’s life, you lose the benefit of the doubt.

I didn’t diagnose him. I was very careful about that- I made two posts, and in neither did I assert that Jake was a psychopath.
The point I was attempting to make was that there are disorders for which there is no effective treatment. In those cases, it becomes less about rehabilitation and more about mitigating the risk to the rest of society.
I don’t know Jake. I’m not interested in speculating on his mental condition, and that wasn’t my point.
I’m sorry if I didn’t make that adequately clear.

I would imagine proper counseling and a desire to change should at least curb his impulses. The latter being necessary or it will just be an exercise in futility.

Yep. Psychopaths don’t necessarily commit psychopathic acts. But they are still psychopaths. Same as you, my education (amateur) informs me that they are hardwired differently. From what I’ve encountered IRL, this is utterly true.

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