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Response to Ali’s Recent Post

DANIEL VITALIS·WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2018
Hello everyone. Let me begin by apologizing for the following message. Its content
is intimate and private, and really should only be meant for the eyes of one
person. However, this conversation has been brought into the public sphere and I
now feel compelled to respond. My former girlfriend of five years (we separated 3
years ago), someone I lived with and alongside, and for whom I cared for deeply,
has recently accused me of abuse, and I’ve dealt with coordinated social media
attacks for several days now. This has come as a surprise since the last text
messages between us were just one year ago and very loving and supportive. While I
would prefer to just ignore these false, exaggerated, and manipulated claims, I
think it’s time I shared my side of the story. This is a strong departure from the
kind of content I prefer to post, and I can promise you I’ll be back to my usual
content soon. For those of you who’ve privately messaged me with support (for fear
of online bullying), thank you. For those of you who have written vitriol about me,
especially those who don’t know me personally (or Ali for that matter) I am
honestly glad to be parting ways with you here. I don’t think we share common
values and it’s probably best we move on. If you’ve been on the fence about all of
this, it’s my sincerest hope that this message adds context to a story which I feel
was deeply lacking it, and allows you to decide for yourself how you feel. Lastly,
if you don’t know what I’m talking about you may choose to skip past this
altogether.
Ali,
Let me begin by saying I’m sorry. I apologize for the many ways I may have hurt
you, or you have felt wounded by our time together.
For the record, I admit that there are many things I have to work on in my life. I
had a very traumatic and abusive childhood and witnessed tremendous emotional,
physical, and mental abuse in my many childhood homes (I’ve shared rather
intimately about this on my podcast) and as a result, there are things in my adult
life that need some serious work (and probably always will). You know me better
than most, enough to know that I am continuously addressing these issues.
I’m sorry for the ways that I’ve hurt you. There are two significant claims you’ve
made that I must acknowledge have a basis in truth. One is that I have a problem
with rage and anger. I do. I learned this pattern from my mother, and it was a
survival strategy of my early childhood. It got me through many difficult and
dangerous situations in my youth but doesn’t really serve me well now. As many
people will understand, shedding old patterns is easy to talk about but often
difficult to do. The other is a strong sexuality that I’ve been known to indulge
over the years. I will be extremely clear here, due to the vague accusations you
and some of your followers have lobbed against me, I have only ever had consensual
sex with the people in my life. I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, and never
would. You and many of the women in your circles have been referring to me as a
“sexual predator”. This is a very serious accusation, at least in the way the
general public defines it. When I hear those terms I imagine a person who sexually
assaults people, forcing them against their will. However, I think you may mean “a
person (man) who goes out with the hopes of meeting someone for casual, consensual
sex”. If the latter is in fact what you mean, then I, like millions of men (and
women), have been guilty. And so are you. You’ve done the same and are eager to
talk about your exploits while aggressively admonishing others not to judge you.
It’s very confusing to sort through whether you’re taking a sex-positive or sex-
negative stance because you seem to take both positions simultaneously. I’m sex-
positive and support adults having consensual sex however they see fit. The women
I’ve had sex with have all chosen consensual sex with me too. Stop claiming
otherwise, as it is libelous and slanderous to intentionally try to defame someone
in this way. It’s strange to have a “writer on woman’s rage and sexual freedom”
shame me for having rage issues and being sexually free. I understand the nuance
and distinction here, but you must see the irony?
When we started seeing each other you were just about to turn 20. Very young, and
as you mentioned in your message, probably very naive too. What you don’t mention

spouses. Lying like this undermines people's ability to trust what you say. you were always compensated for the work you did. I advocated for you to my business partner because I believed in you. You pretended to have lived on your own and even lied to me about “having your own apartment”. While we were very much in love at the time. this was a dream job. You say you worked for “little compensation” which is a total fabrication. we even bought you your computers and phones. the Amazon jungle. Despite having no skills or background in the work we do. You’d exaggerate stories to make it seem as if you were the same age as myself and our community. especially when leveling more serious allegations. which happened about that same time you came to stay with me. There were many other lavish perks as well. Your parents pretended to be a happy couple until you and your brother left the house. We gave you generous pay and outstanding perks. and your claim is flatly false. and abundant lifestyle. In addition we helped you go through “B School” to get you started on your new online venture. small town in Maine” as if I hid you away there so I could “abuse” you. and our women’s body-friendly policies like “you can work from bed if you want on your moon days”. gave you a platform to launch your work (I even came up with the initial business name for you — Wild Woman Speaks -. and essentially left you on my doorstep with nowhere else to go and no income. you learned how to organize and run workshops and retreats. Having spent my 20’s working with foster children that had been displaced from their homes because of special needs.and let you launch your platform to our audience. movie stars. You also leave out details like the business being 50% woman-owned and operated. I didn’t “make us do that”. and artists. the Grand Canyon. and did my very best to provide you a safe.in your post is the way you persistently pretended to be older and more mature than you were. you were paid hourly and self-reported your hours. You even had me use the back entrance trying to convince me it was a private apartment. went to after-parties and music festivals. or work history. or unfit parents. In fact. or family. I must admit. They immediately divorced and sold your family home. You had no real work at the time. and various desert hot springs. What you don’t say is that I already lived there when you moved in. paid travel around the country (sometimes even first class) and even trips to exotic locations like Machu Picchu. I also felt almost completely responsible for you. Additionally. I find it very manipulative. exciting. the team here is . In fact. against our better judgment — since people always say never hire friends. You’d become visibly irritated and contemptuous if anyone mentioned your age or anything that indicated you were younger than the rest of the group. You were in your early 20’s and had no prior education. which you acknowledged and thanked me for after you successfully launched some retreats of your own. Arizona so we could get away from the cold weather for a couple of months. Additionally. so of course. You stayed in paid suites. Not only were you paid far more than the wage of an average Maine employee of your age and skill level. you were the recipient of several raises and financial bonuses over the years. Well. so they could go through with the divorce they had planned but concealed from you. I’d also point out how quick your parents were to see you off. as they were eager to get you out of the house. you were a very faithful and responsible staff member. For a young woman with no work experience. I recognized you as a person who wanted to do similar work in the world and I wanted to help you achieve that. received free gifts that came from our many business associations. behavioral issues. You claimed in your message that I “made us live in a rural. and attended meetings with musicians. the way you’re attempting to paint yourself as “having your innocence stolen” as you actively sought out the relationship. you learned it quickly. I felt compelled to “take care of you”. so we (myself and my team) offered you a job. You chose to move there from the city where you were living. healthy. We have all the financial records to back this up. such as working from home. that's just where I lived. and fit into the organization fast. training. taught you the skills you now use to market yourself online. In fact. To say you were not fairly compensated is an outrageous lie. a young woman. You might also remember two consecutive winters when the company rented homes in Sedona. which turned out to simply be the basement of your parents’ house.

by contrast. Your journal was sitting there. It’s interesting the way you have used your written words to slander and defame me by manipulating the truth. and the effects of lies. I think we both enjoy that. I was wrong to break the bond of trust with you. I’d had a robust sexual history. Also. I felt so guilty that I came to you and confessed. but I would also ask you to acknowledge that many couples are experiencing this every day (cheating). not the mason jar — and taught me a deep lesson about guilt. That’s also very exaggerated. so I’ll tell the rest of the story. I won't deny that this has happened at times over the years. I have a deep respect for the privacy of others and violated my own sense of personal ethics. a writer. When we got together you were turning 20. It is clear you want to destroy my public reputation. You kept journals the entirety of our relationship. and that’s why I told you about it. but eventually did have sex with another woman (once. I felt silly and embarrassed and immediately closed it. like a lot of women who attend retreats. I am a student of communication — like you. Again. You’re attempting to paint the picture that I was spying on you the entirety of our relationship. i. That was roughly half-way through our relationship. which you leave out of the story. regarding your accusations about me having sex with women I’ve met at my workshops or at retreats I’ve been a part of. and because you would scarcely communicate with me about your inner world. “marketing” it online) is just as unethical. I’ve grown and changed and publicly shaming me for it (especially in a coordinated way. One day. this is flatly false. You accuse me of being a linguistic manipulator and using that skill to get what I want. from both the men and women who perpetrate it. You. and read half a page (which appeared to be an early beat-poem you’d written). year by year. We stayed together another two and a half years after that and I never cheated on you again. I’ll admit it can be a pleasure to get folks to do things they do want to do but are struggling to initiate. The sex between us was a constant challenge. and you’re omitting important context in your telling of the story. and more so because I’d lived an openly polyamorous/promiscuous lifestyle for several years before we were together. After some time. and in a moment of personal weakness and insecurity I picked it up. this is not an attempt to justify that betrayal of trust). and communicator. I’d made a decision to operate in full disclosure and honesty and have for 5 or more years now. so I’d like to share my side of that story too. It was at a workshop I was speaking at. In the early part of our relationship. I’ve done that work. I kept myself from ever having intercourse with anyone for a while. and I’ve never done it again to you or anyone else since. just started to develop one. That moment was life-changing for me — the confession. and that I probably continue to do it today. and it ate me up inside. I hid this too. It seems like you are doing the very thing you’re accusing me of. and everything else to you too (you’ll probably remember hitting me in the face with a mason jar while I was driving). I’m the one that told you about that incident. I finally confessed it. and even supported the launch and success of your online business. shame. Your failure to acknowledge that in your message leaves the impression that I continued to do this throughout our relationship. I never read anything else that you wrote in privacy. We explored various forms of open relationship and some challenging things happened in that time. but we were both complicit in that.e. in fact. while visiting friends you asked me to carry your bag to the car. I’d begun. I had several incidences of casual kissing or physical touch with other people that I’d hid from you (I’m sorry. that’s our work. and you were. If your allegations are legitimate why this need for so much exaggeration? You shared about how I cheated on you during our relationship. it was not an ongoing affair). and that’s really unfair. I would like to remind you where you and I met. Now. Omission is like lying. Ali. I have zero interest in “getting” anyone to do anything they don't want to. This is hardly uncommon and happened many years ago. You also claim “I read your private journals”. speaker. . to wonder what you were always writing about.deeply hurt that you would say something like this after we took such good care of you for all those years. and I was 11 years older. Helping people break through those kinds of blockages.

The focus of my work has shifted significantly. committed relationship and have been for 3 years. it seems. I did yell. but we did both laugh about it later). That said. oppression and shaming. and this is something I’ve promoted too. you were nearly as mean and angry towards people then as you act now on your social media. and I’m on to new things. My fiancee and I are truly shocked and saddened that you would do this. Are you insinuating that women who attend events aren’t capable of sound decision making? During my 30’s I publicly promoted the idea of open sexuality. For someone who speaks so much about sisterhood and the unspoken code between sisters.concerts. comedy shows. you and the women’s movement could begin addressing this all-too-common behavior amongst yourselves in addition to asking men to stop “abusing their power”. In fact. You yourself often talk and write about ending sexual suppression. and the much-needed personal development that I was seeking. I’m sincerely sorry for all of that. You shouldn’t have had to experience that kind of violence or pay the price for my personal issues. It’s hard not to notice that you started posting all of this just after I announced my engagement to her. It’s a public record of my personal confrontation of my own childhood trauma. Yet. you were cold and unfriendly to nearly everyone I’d have over. Even when my mother visited (I think you only met her twice) you completely ignored her. Most days you wouldn’t even look up from your computer to say hi. here you’re sexually shaming me. offer anything to our guests. I learned a lot about myself and other people too. You say you were too afraid to open up. and a few times I even broke things (remember the time I almost broke that 6-gallon glass carboy. and other public events. I want to be clear. I’m not ashamed of it. Now. It seems like a double standard. you had a part to play too Ali. were eager to connect with a man you imagined to have social power. and how happy I was). Once I even punched a hole in the wall. There were only a handful of people who you didn’t give the cold shoulder to when they’d visit. She’s as real as they come. I’m now in a very happy. polyamory. but Avani exemplifies true sisterhood. It’s an embarrassing memory. This phenomenon is well known throughout our culture. In fact. You were prone to extreme bouts of jealousy and grudges and used silent treatment to punish the people around you. political rallies. She didn’t feel comfortable to visit us again after that. but you texted last year to say you’re sorry for the way you withheld love all those years and that this is a lifelong pattern of yours with the men in your life. you are just more comfortable to express it openly. we had some really unhealthy patterns in our relationship. I would ask you day after day to just tell me you loved me. You subtly pressured me to stop public speaking due to your jealousy and I even felt pressured to isolate myself from my public work to avoid your insecurities. When we finally broke up I gave you several thousand dollars in cash. and a consensual sex-positive approach to living. I know you’ve never met her. and the way you begged me to leave her and take you back (after you saw my new home. as well as physical gold and silver bullion just . and it will probably continue long into the future — women are equal actors in this drama and to deny that is to disempower them. you were very quick to attempt to destroy the relationship of a woman you don’t even know. As for healing. I frequently had to apologize for the way you ignored people. While I feel differently about a lot of that today. the last three years of my podcast. We were both complicit in our relationship. and after you tried to get me to sleep with you while she and I were already together. but I’m the one who set up a private house for you towards the end of our time together (just outside the city of Portland). You withheld love and affection from the very beginning. You say you were scared to live with me. which began around the time we were separating. movie sets. represents a multi-year journey of my self-exploration and growth. It was part of my public identity and brand (again. then last minute switched to that little glass turkey baster. or engage in a conversation. especially publicly. reference my podcast). Though that has changed for me now that I’m in a new relationship and have matured (I’m entering my 40’s) those years continue to inform my worldview. If this is something you don’t like or feel is unethical. or to show me even the slightest affection. social programming.

I never hit you or physically abused you. and rage. but you feel you must do this to me for “justice”? Why only the man with a significant public following and reputation. and I’ve even lost some things I care about. That’s why your recent attacks on my character have come as such a shock. I continuously suggested you needed to get out on your own to explore who you were. multi-channel attack against my businesses and character? Why have you not publicly named the man you alleged raped you since our break up? You allow that man to walk about freely where he can rape other women. You wrote me afterward to say you’d quit drinking. I did this because I genuinely loved and cared about you. We decided once and for all to move on . and are in a new relationship and even getting married. I do not believe you’re the victim you’re claiming to be. at least you haven’t been at my hands. as it seemed you were on a new journey of self-discovery. though I miss her daily) and you two crashed and totaled that car on the way here too. or attack my businesses (and all the people and families who depend on them). did you never write me personally about any of this. at my expense. a computer and phone and a rather privileged family in Burlington. The card you gave me with it pictured a medieval knight and read “You’ve always been my knight in shining armor” — which is strange given the stance you now take on men and classical gender and relationship dynamics. It’s also hurt several people around me. We said that we’d always support each other. Especially when they have done deep transformative work. It was shocking but I was happy for you.to make sure you could get started on your own and would have a nest-egg. apparently being influenced by an older woman with a radicalist agenda. some of whom have truly supported you and helped you. though . where you tried to seduce me into sex — despite knowing that I was in a committed relationship with Avani — and then left an 11 page letter apologizing for the way you withheld your love and intimacy for years and begging me to leave her and enter back into relationship with you. and deep love that was shared between us. even after the way you’ve slandered me. Eventually. It feels like you may have other motives. despite having a vehicle. I barely even recognized you. key-worded and hash-tagged. and you’re desperate to revive it? If you simply wanted to hurt me. Now that you’ve done this damage I hope your appetite is satisfied and we can simply move on. I was the one trying to exit the relationship and you were the one who. You’re embellishing a fairly common failed-relationship story and attempting to turn it into something much more severe. or write the people you have claimed were “complicit” in this story? Why this highly marketed. This has hurt a lot. The direction you’ve taken your work and brand looks and feels very unhealthy. You were never in danger. clung to the relationship. You and a friend came to my new home so I could visit with our dog (now your dog. Lastly. and were coming to terms with the alcoholism that runs deep in your family. a private home to use. as I felt that you hadn’t had the opportunity to explore the world in your 20’s the way we both knew you were wanting to. You are also leaving out all the many years of great times. had gotten some help. anger. It has challenged long- standing friendships. It appears to be constant blame. You were “stranded” at my house for 4 days. Why I must ask. Perhaps you’re also hoping to be part of this historic women’s movement and saw me and our relationship as a means of legitimizing yourself as a victim? Maybe your business has been losing traction because your content has turned dark and rageful. The last time I saw you you’d just totaled your vehicle while drunk driving in Burlington. cash. damage my friendships and reputation. but not the man who raped you? My team and I couldn’t help but notice the way you used the attention garnered from this post to push sales of your CD and to ask for monetary donations from your networks. in order to get the space I wanted so desperately. When we finally saw each other again you’d completely changed. and have each other’s back like family. I bare you no ill will Ali. I left the country for a few months so I could get some time away from our relationship. I’ll admit we’re all a bit concerned for you.to end our relationship. Waiting 3 years and then publicly shaming someone for an unhealthy relationship that you were an equal member of is wrong. amazing experiences. then you’ve been successful.

Trying to position yourself as a victim does nothing for women’s empowerment. Lastly. Much of the work I’ve done since we separated — or at least a significant part of that process — has taken place in the public eye. I’m truly sorry that this is how we’ve chosen to get closure. I’ve attached a screenshot of an email between us. and publicly defaming people is not the way to accomplish that work. in all fairness. It’s a testimonial you wrote about me a year after we parted ways. I would have listened. you have a lot of work to do as well. After everything. Ali. I truly hope you find peace in your life if that is in fact what you want. and successful. It’s time stamped and tells a very different story from the one you wrote about me this year. and I hope you can see that I’m doing that. I hope in time you’ll forgive me. In closing. I just want for you to be healthy. or at least trying to. and also drinking at your retreats too. ~D . I don’t judge the use of alcohol. I know I have a lot of work to do. Despite what you are doing now.recently I’ve noticed you’re drinking alcohol even while recording your podcasts. I wish we could have just spoken personally. but I hope you won’t repeat the kind of tragedy your family has already endured. happy. I’m sincerely sorry for how you may have been emotionally wounded by the unhealthier parts of our relationship. and by me personally. I really want to forgive you too.