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Not Another Dime! is dedicated to documenting the assorted, and sometimes wild, details of Mr. Ken Whitman's business dealings within the Role Playing Game (RPG) industry. This place is NOT intended to be a medium of discussion about Mr. Whitman, pro or con, but instead be a "jumping off" point to enable the reader to make their own informed decision about Mr. Whitman's history and business character.

Whenever possible, links to the original source material will be provided, but in many cases that information may have been deleted or secured behind restricted-access (like a private Facebook page) accounts.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

2016.07.17 Kickstarter Exchange

2016.07.17 Kickstarter Exchange
The email sent to us by Impact! Miniatures had two attachments. Screenshots of posts made on the backer-only updates page for the KoDT:LAS Kickstarter. The 1st attachment dealt specifically with one question & answer back & forth between Jolly Blackburn and Ken "Whit" Whitman.

The second screenshot was of more questions & answers and it is a little more difficult to read. Hopefully we will have someone give us either a better screen shot, or much better yet a copied (cut & paste) selection of the text itself so it could be posted here for folks to read. 2016.07.18 Edit Someone did!

Again, since these exchanges are pretty much locked behind an old paywall, you'll have to use your own judgement on the truth of these words to begin with. Don't take our word for it! Ken "Whit" Whitman's words are highlighted a light purple and Jolly Blackburn's are regular text, mirroring the text as it appears online.

2016.07.17 Kickstarter Exchange
"Take notice that Ken will not answer specific questions such as why he sold backer products he had in hand to a retailer instead of mailing them out.
Or why, if he was from completing the editing a year ago last month he has kicked the date to a full year ahead (two years from his original date).
Or why he posted a year ago in August that he was burning 10 dvds a day to mail out to backers.
He never admits to lying. He only responds with excuses and claims he's being victimized and harassed.
My dealings with Ken consisted of nothing but the above. Promises, assurances and then nothing. With him constantly steering the conversation away when faced with difficult questions or confronted on why he had lied when the truth would clearly come out.
So color me skeptical.
As I've been saying for two years a little honesty and a little communication would have gone a long way toward maintaining some trust and keeping anger contained. But the way he's treated the backers and those who were helping him on this project pretty compounded his problems.
A lot of people were pulling to make this happen and end well. And a lot of people (myself and ZOE for example) have offered to help with editing the film and seeing this through to no avail.
You'll notice virtually no one involved with this project at the start  — or during production are any longer involved. That speaks volumes."

"Q. He never admits to lying. He only responds with excuses and claims he's being victimized and harassed.
A. I actually have documentation of you contacting people I work with that you don't even know, That's a federal crime and harassment. I am trying to take the higher road here. Stop doing that Jolly!"

"Q. Or why he posted a year ago in August that he was burning 10 dvds a day to mail out to backers.
A. Because I did not want to be pressured by Jolly Blackburn to put out a sub-standard product."

"Q. Or why, if he was from completing the editing a year ago last month he has kicked the date to a full year ahead (two years from his original date).
A. I am still tweaking the editing. I am a perfectionist, I want this to be great!"

"Q. So color me skeptical.
A. I color you a concern Troll"

"Q. My dealings with Ken consisted of nothing but the above. Promises, assurances and then nothing. With him constantly steering the conversation away when faced with difficult questions or confronted on why he had lied when the truth would clearly come out.
A. Jolly Stop. Please help this situation. Why are you cutting off your nose in spite of your face. It makes no sense?! I am trying to get things done!!! Please."

"Q. A lot of people were pulling to make this happen and end well. And a lot of people (myself and ZOE for example) have offered to help with editing the film and seeing this through to no avail.
A. No, no you have not Jolly. So me a post in the last two years where you have one positive thing to say. You simply want to have this out of my hands so you can say XXX saved the day.
Not gonna happen, I want people to know, its took longer then we thought by KEN WHITMAN produced a great product. For the integrity of the product I will finish the project in house and I will deliver it to my supporters."

"Ken suggesting to someone that they google a person's name and decide for themselves whether or not to work with that person isn't a crime."

"Jolly, you sent emails to a producer I am working with that you found on facebook. She did NOT google my name, you directly contacted her. I have the screen captures and someone willing to testify on my behalf. So yeah, you pretty much committed a crime that I am trying to overlook because i understand how passionate you are about this product.
I am trying my best to get this out with you trying to stop me at every TURN!
What I think the Backers would like is to hear you say, KEN KENZER CO WILL DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO HELP YOU GET THIS OUT. EVEN IF THEY HAVE TO GIVE A COPY AWAY IN EVERY ISSUE OF THE MAGAZINE.
Hell if you throw a copy in every bag, thats covers shipping! And I can probably produce the DVD cheeper in Bulk.
But no, what we will here is, Your problem Ken, Clean up your own mess. Because in reality, you want to see me fail more then you want to help these backers."

"if you think that's illegal I will gladly face you in court. We can just roll all this stuff into once court date."

"exactly as I said. I told her to google your name directly."

""But no, what we will here is, Your problem Ken, Clean up your own mess."
And you got that exactly right Ken. We didnt take in cash from six separate Kickstarter projects and who knows how much from your spamming lists and online store. Nor did we spend that cash. You blow through upwards of 200k and want someone else to pick up the tab?
What color is the sky in your world?
And you we offered to help you finish this. You gave your answer below. NO. Something about the integrity of the project. Did you forget my open letter to you six months ago saying if you turned over the raw footage for ZOE to edit we'd consider our differences resolved...?"

""Not gonna happen, I want people to know, its took longer then we thought by KEN WHITMAN produced a great product. For the integrity of the product I will finish the project in house and I will deliver it to my supporters."
Nothing would make us happier. PLEASE do. Though I have a feeling we will still be talking about this unfitted project in 2018."

"Ken i think for the 'integrity of the product" you should personally mail those dvd's to your backers in the nice cases you promised. That way you can include the poster most people ordered as well. It's your project you should get the credit, as you said, for delivering it. I know how much pride you take in our work."

"Anyway good luck finishing this. 3 months from the last update was a long time. And last time you indicated it would be 'soon'. Now we're told it'll another year. So people are understandably confused and feeling jerked around some more."

"Jolly, Harassment is a criminal offense, you don't get to face me, you get to face a jury!"

"Ken unlike you people know where to reach me at any time. I answer the phone, email an FB pm's. I don't need to hide, change my name or feel the need to call those who give me money whiners. I deliver what folks pay for. I respond to complaints when they pop up and try to remedy them to be best of my ability. Hell, I've even fixed YOUR problems. Helping find backers who got screwed on books so they could get the books you sold to someone else. We want to talk about people not helping you clean up our mess..?
How about ZOE and fans scrambling to find a venue for the party YOU promised? Of folks who donated money for travel and lodging and badges for the actors YOU were supposed to bring to GenCon last year?
How about the offer that's still on the table to edit sound/color correct the footage for FREE...? Something you agreed to for months but somehow you just couldn't find that last 20% of the footage. It was lost, then it wasn't, then it was found but you needed cash for a harddrive to put it on, then it was no and something about 'integrity'. And now Im' hearing you are telling people it's actually been done for 'a few months' but you're just sitting on it.
You say you don't want someone else being the "savior" and delivering the film which might diminish your credit - nope. You don't want help. You want to do it all yourself. Then you turn around and want to leverage free shipping and put the cost of production on someone else.
I get you need to put it out there you are still working on this and your other five projects due to all the legal problems you have mounting but coming here and playing the victim/blame card isn't helping garner you any sympathy.
If posting about this failed project here on Kickstarter and on Facebook on my wall is considered 'cyberstalking" then guilty as charged. But I sort of seeing it as being held accountable.
Nice if we could all just walk away from out responsibilities. But somethings you just need to adult and own up to your mistake and make them right.
With that I'm done here for the time being. I've got product I need to get into readers' hands.
It's interesting how you wave threats of legal action like a sword though. This coming from a guy who is in hiding. Eventually someone is going to figure out a way to get paperwork to you, buddy. You can't self promote and hide at the same time."


Right off the bat we see Ken "Whit" Whitman trying to deflect the actual question by claiming victimization followed up by a vague threat of legal action.

Instead of admitting to lying about "burning 10 dvds a day" Ken "Whit" Whitman tries another deflection, this time about being "pressured" by Jolly Blackburn.

This begins the general downward slide into claiming victimization. Instead of just being quiet the man sends out small posts that still do not answer the original questions to any extent.

Eventually the one-sided conversation degrades into another vague legal threat and maybe even some persecutory delusions.

The suggestion that KenzerCo pick up some of the burden of responsibility by shipping out DVDs with comics is almost laughable. 1st off because some backers should get DVDs and others get Blue-Ray DVDs. Also at 795 backers overall, that number is far fewer than the monthly distribution of KoDT. The idea just doesn't make sense from almost any perspective.







10 comments :

  1. One of the things that bothers me with Ken's KS projects is all the updates being Backer Only. I have run 25 KickStarter projects and I really believe even if things are bad that there is only 2 reasons for an Update to be Backer Only. 1) You need to post information to your backers that legally should not be easily public knowledge or 2) You are providing a link for a backer only reward (like to a PDF).

    Ken posting behind the Backer Only wall every time for every project ... just is a business practice that just personally really bothers me which is why I sent the screen shots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He tries to compartmentalize people so they don't talk to each other. He's always done that. Things unraveled on him on KODTLAS early on because those of us involved started using social media to compare notes on what he hand said to whom. It was amazing to learn he how he would tell one person one thing, to turn them them on another person. And then tell that other person something to do the reverse. For exampled telling most of the actors the reason he couldn't pay them is because he was waiting for a check from KenzerCo. A bold faced lie because there was no reason for money to ever flow from us to him. He had no problems throwing me and Kenzer underbus however as an excuse - because he assumed they (the actors) would accept it as gospel. Fortunately for us one of those actors felt something wasn't right and contacted us directly and asked straight up what the deal was. That caused the web of lies to come crashing down and opened a lot of eyes.

      Delete
  2. So, let me see here

    1) Ken admits that he lied about burning 10 dvds/day, in order to keep from being pressured to release substandard materials.

    2) Ken's decision to release this a year from now (instead of last year) was simply to 'tweak' the editing to make it perfect? Tweaking is something you do at the end of production, once its complete, you take a a small amount of time and tweak it. Tweaking is not a 2-year process

    3) Ken lied to everyone (again), saying that the HDD was corrupted and all raw video files were on a ruined HDD which is why he couldnt pass them over to ZOE. Now it turns out that the files, seemingly, are not corrupted and are absolutely fine, and he simply wants to put his inflated ego above his own responsibility to do the right thing to the people who supported him.

    This flies in the face of accountability.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A strange thought just occurred to me - normally, Contracts for IP Licensing are for specific performance within a specific duration. I don't claim to know the particulars of Jolly or Marc's agreement with KWW, but those rights, normally, fully revert back to the Owners unless performance metrics are met.

    Granted, that leaves the fans that backed KWW's Kickstarter(s) high and dry without anything to show for their investment - so I can see the reluctance of Jolly and Marc to yank their License back. However, if their agreements had any sort of 'exclusivity' clauses, then this also prevents them from licensing their IP for development to other, reputable, entities. KWW may be holding up any further development of their IP by his failure to perform.

    Both Kenzer and Far Future may be hostages to this unpleasant situation. And I guaran-damn-tee that BOTH will be very reluctant to enter into agreements of this nature in the future because of the bad-faith actions of KWW.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Everything out of Whitman's mouth and keyboard is a complete fabrication and always responds with threats. I just posted to his last three kickstarters calling him on his litany of shipping update lies. I'm sure I will go ignored.

    ReplyDelete
  5. One thing doesn't make sense:
    If Ken Whitman was dishonest regarding his stated updates for KoDT:LAS because he was afraid of "being pressured," where does that leave the updates for the other unfulfilled projects? Clearly, he made equally grandiose (later to be proven false) claims about his progress on Traveller, C&C, the pencil dice and the card game. Was he lying about all of the projects? Does he think that everyone is out to get him? Why mention Mr. Blackburn alone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it comes out of Ken's mouth, the safe money is that it's a lie. The guy has been scamming people as far back as the early 2000s when he was operating Rapid POD (he failed to fulfill orders and produced substandard books that were literally falling apart upon receipt) and, potentially much earlier. I've seen an anonymous source state that Ken STILL owes them monies for printing the Wizards RPG, which was when Ken was operating as Whit Publications circa 1992. I cannot confirm that this source is telling the truth, but I CAN confirm that Ken Whitman has lied over and over and over again, pretty much every time he says or types anything, so I'm much more willing to believe the anonymous source.

      Delete
    2. "Was he lying about all of the projects?"

      Yes.

      But, you can't say that Ken lies! That's wrong! He said so in an email to me when I asked (again) for my refund:

      "In the real world, things change based on events. These event usually change the outcomes of other events. Thats called reality. When things change we tropically don’t start yelling YOU LIED TO ME. Like when a doss fires you. You said I could work here till I retired, YOU LIED TO ME YOU STUPID POOP POOP HEAD! I mean please, are you 11?"

      Delete
  6. Just another public statement - Ken has been posting everywhere that his site (and other sites chronicling his exploits) are run by ME (or affilated with me somehow). No - absolutely not. I simply post here, on Kickstarter and elsewhere where KODTLAS is being discussed. I try to limit my posting about the Kickstarter projects themselves. I have never attempted to contact Ken's kids or family — and I try to discourage others from doing so. I also try not to interfere with his livelihood or personal life.

    That said — I feel anyone who is thinking of investing in one of Ken's projects or going into business with him should be advised to at least google the guy's name and form their own opinions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ken Whitman, I know you lurk here. I saw your post complaining the owner of this site won't let you 'defend' yourself here. Whatever.

    Anyway I wanted to pass this along.

    If nothing else the exchange I've had with you on Kickstarter over the past few days has reminded me why it was so futile to try and reason with you during this project and why arguing wth you is a fool's game.

    I don't see you finishing this project unless you are under the threat of legal repercussions to do so. And as you say — that is up to the courts. And is subject to someone actually being able to find a way to serve you.

    I'm done trying to prod you to do the right thing and be honorable. I'm done hoping you'll show some sort of remorse and actually own your failures and make an honest effort to salvage something here.

    Although I will occasional post here to update backers on any news I have learned, I'm done with you as a person. And I'm done talking about you. There are enough dedicated sites chronicling your behavior and, as they say, Google is a friend for those who use it and know how to enter a name. I don't see how you come back from this, especially with the way you've treated people who were there going to bat for you for so long through all this. And how you treated the very people who had faith in you and gave of their time, talent and money.
    Sad thing is you don't care about any of those people.

    Anyway, as much as I wanted to see these episodes get into the hands of backers (and I hope that will still happen somehow), I think I'm done responding to you directly.

    I look forward to seeing how the legal side of things on this unfold.

    ReplyDelete

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