Living our values

The Drupal community is committed to welcome and accept all people. That includes a commitment to not discriminate against anyone based on their heritage or culture, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, and more. Being diverse has strength and as such we work hard to foster a culture of open-mindedness toward differences.

A few weeks ago, I privately asked Larry Garfield, a prominent Drupal contributor, to leave the Drupal project. I did this because it came to my attention that he holds views that are in opposition with the values of the Drupal project.

I had hoped to avoid discussing this decision publicly out of respect for Larry's private life, but now that Larry has written about it on his blog and it is being discussed publicly, I believe I have no choice but to respond on behalf of the Drupal project.

It's not for me to judge the choices anyone makes in their private life or what beliefs they subscribe to. I also don't take any offense to the role-playing activities or sexual preferences of Larry's alternative lifestyle.

What makes this difficult to discuss, is that it is not for me to share any of the confidential information that I've received, so I won't point out the omissions in Larry's blog post. However, I can tell you that those who have reviewed Larry's writing, including me, suffered from varying degrees of shock and concern.

In the end, I fundamentally believe that all people are created equally. This belief has shaped the values that the Drupal project has held since it's early days. I cannot in good faith support someone who actively promotes a philosophy that is contrary to this. The Gorean philosophy promoted by Larry is based on the principle that women are evolutionarily predisposed to serve men and that the natural order is for men to dominate and lead.

While the decision was unpleasant, the choice was clear. I remain steadfast in my obligation to protect the shared values of the Drupal project. This is unpleasant because I appreciate Larry's many contributions to Drupal, because this risks setting a complicated precedent, and because it involves a friend's personal life. The matter is further complicated by the fact that this information was shared by others in a manner I don't find acceptable either and will be dealt with separately.

However, when a highly-visible community member's private views become public, controversial, and disruptive for the project, I must consider the impact that his words and actions have on others and the project itself. In this case, Larry has entwined his private and professional online identities in such a way that it blurs the lines with the Drupal project. Ultimately, I can't get past the fundamental misalignment of values.

Collectively, we work hard to ensure that Drupal has a culture of diversity and inclusion. Our goal is not just to have a variety of different people within our community, but to foster an environment of connection, participation and respect. We have a lot of work to do on this and we can't afford to ignore discrepancies between the espoused views of those in leadership roles and the values of our culture. It's my opinion that any association with Larry's belief system is inconsistent with our project's goals.

It is my responsibility and obligation to act in the best interest of the project at large and to uphold our values. Decisions like this are unpleasant and disruptive, but important. It is moments like this that test our commitment to our values. We must stand up and act in ways that demonstrate these values. For these reasons, I'm asking Larry to resign from the Drupal project.

Update March 24th

After reading hundreds of responses, I wanted to make a clarifying statement. First, I made the decision to ask Larry not to participate in the Drupal project, and separately, the Drupal Association made a decision not to invite Larry to speak at DrupalCon Baltimore or serve as a track chair for it. I can only speak to my decision-making here. It's worth noting that I recused myself from the Drupal Association's decision.

Many have rightfully stated that I haven't made a clear case for the decision. When one side chooses to make their case public it creates an imbalance of information. Only knowing one side skews public opinion heavily towards the publicized viewpoint. While I will not share the evidence that I believe would validate the decision that I made for reasons of liability and confidentiality, I will say that I did not make the decision based on the information or beliefs conveyed in Larry's blog post.

Larry accurately pointed out that some of the evidence was brought forth in a manner that is not in alignment with Drupal values. This manner is being addressed with the CWG. While it's disheartening that some of our community members chose the approach they did to bring the matter regarding Larry forward, that does not change the underlying facts that informed my decision.

Update March 31st

Megan Sanicki, Drupal Association Executive Director, and myself posted a follow-up statement on As with any such decisions, and especially due to the circumstances of this one, there has been controversy, misinformation and rumors, as well as healthy conversation and debate. Many people feel hurt, worried, and confused. The fact that this matter became very public and divisive greatly saddens all of us involved, especially as we can see the pain it has caused many. We want to strongly emphasize that Drupal is an open-minded and inclusive community, and we welcome people of all backgrounds. Our community's diversity is something to cherish and celebrate as well as protect. We apologize for any anxiety we caused you and reiterate that our decision was not based on anyone's sexual practices. It will take time to heal, but we want to make a start by providing insight into our decision-making, answering questions, and placing a call for improvements to our governance, conflict-resolution processes, and communication.

Update April 9th

I posted an apology for causing grief and uncertainty, especially to those in the BDSM and kink communities who felt targeted. This incident was about specific actions of a single member of our community. This was never about sexual practices or kinks.

Update April 10th

It is clear that the current governance structure of Drupal, which relies on me being the ultimate decision maker and spokesperson for difficult governance and community membership decisions, has reached its limits. It doesn't work for many in our community -- and frankly, it does not work for me either. Community membership decisions shouldn't be determined by me or by me alone. I announced a framework for how we can evolve our governance model.

Update April 16th

The Community Working Group published a more complete explanation for what happened to address some of the misinformation and speculation: "We strongly reject any suggestion or assertion that Larry was asked to leave solely on the basis of his personal beliefs or what he does in his private life. If any of us had any reason to believe that was the case, we would have resigned immediately from the CWG."

(Comments on this post are allowed but for obvious reasons will be moderated.)


Erik Baldwin (not verified):

This would not be a decision you would also make if ones religious beliefs were in question. I believe that whomever has perpetrated the rumors and also made it a personal vendetta to "out" Larry's personal life and directly violated his privacy should be banned from our community. The CoC is meant to protect our personal interests from these types of attacks. In all of my experience working with Larry - albeit limited in my Drupal development - I have never, not once, ever heard him say a disrespectful word against anyone.

March 23, 2017
SKrossa (not verified):

I am very disappointed & concerned by this response. A couple of things struck me as the heart of this. Dries wrote:

"The Gorean philosophy promoted by Larry is based on the principle that women are evolutionarily predisposed to serve men and that the natural order is for men to dominate and lead."

Even assuming this is Larry's philosophy, it is pretty much the same philosophy shared by many women & men in various conservative religious faiths, including branches of Christianity, Judaism, & Islam—only they add in the idea that it is divinely ordered. Are we now going to expel all who hold such religious beliefs?

It would seem so, from Dries own words:

"It's my opinion that any association with Larry's belief system is inconsistent with our project's goals."

This makes it clear this decision is based on Larry's *beliefs* (or, worse, what people think are Larry's beliefs), not any inappropriate behavior or actions within or associated with the Drupal community.

If this ban is justified based on Larry's beliefs, not behavior, how can it be just? And whose belief system will be the next to be banned?

March 23, 2017
Beth Binkovitz (not verified):

I worked closely with Larry for two years and even though we had our major points of disagreement, his behavior towards and around me and every other non-male colleague has stood out in my mind as being exceptionally ethical and respectful. I recall several times when he offered practical assistance when other people were being subtly sexist towards me.

When you have people like the head of PHP Women telling you that this kind of outing and ostracizing of a person makes the community less safe for women, it makes this move on your part seem like it's more about what people in power personally find icky than it is about any kind of safety or accountability.

Given the amount of trouble our industry has with actual bad behavior (I remember things like a man once threatening to kill me in the #drupal-support channel after learning my gender, and being told it's "just a joke on chat" and "probably a cultural difference" so it wasn't really a code of conduct violation, just for a run of the mill, workaday example) I find it pretty rich that this is being done in the name of some kind of community inclusiveness values.

March 23, 2017
Shannon Vettes (not verified):

I feel like I need to comment. It's a very difficult situation, all this. I consider Larry a friend, and have for years. We've disagreed on the "feminist" movement in terms of it's tactics, but I thought that we shared a core belief of "women are not inferior to men" (and vice verse). Right now, I am pondering this assumption, and asking for clarification.

I believe that Larry is a good person, a good friend, and good contributor to this community. I feel like I know him well enough to make that judgement. I don't think anyone is defined by one thing. We are a composite of actions, emotions, and beliefs; and we all hope that the balance tips toward "good".

I also feel that without all the information, it's really hard to know if this is the "right" decision. I want to support my friend, but I also want a safe, unbiased community.

At this point, I suppose I'm in the minority of people who trust that Dries would not make this incredibly difficult and controversial decision without good cause. He is seemingly more informed at this point, and frankly, I don't feel like I need to know the details if it's best to protect my friend's privacy.

Without all the information at my disposal, I'm going to be "swiss" on this topic, my pov is:
- my friend is still a good person, his private life is not my concern as long as no one is getting hurt
- the gor subculture's views on feminism are at odds with the drupal project's values
- this decision does not seem to me to be based on prejudice, but on precaution

I will stand by and hope for clarification on the things I don't understand. In the mean time, I also hope I'm not wrong to trust that Dries is trying to do what's right.

March 23, 2017
marcvangend (not verified):

I am amazed and sad to see this happening. As a community, we should have betters ways to handle situations like this. Are we really banning respected contributors from the community because they have a private life that someone doesn't approve of. If it's really someone's goal to promote a certain philosophy, it wouldn't take 12 years to find out.

Larry has been promoting a lot in the Drupal community: Getting of the island, dependency injection and functional programming, to name a few. But Gorean philosophy? I have not seen anything like that on all occasions I have seen him talk, code-sprinted together, or went out for dinner during a DrupalCon.

If the CWG would have supported him in keeping private things private, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Please, Dries, let's celebrate diversity and let this become a moment of mutual understanding and forgiveness.

March 23, 2017
James R Stone (not verified):

Instead of more public discussion and mature handling of this situation, you forced this man to out himself and attempt to defend his personal choices.

Living our values??? This is very sad and indicative of the New Amerika. Microcosm reflects the macrocosm.

Quite sad about the demise of your Drupal community Dries - you are the cause of this one, baby.

March 23, 2017
Jens (not verified):

I looked at Drupal as a potential new user and came here because the linked from seems to be broken. Being an outsider I have nothing to do with this subject matter, nor any real insight, but I felt that I could anyhow give the outside view of this post.

To me, it's a good thing that there is some kind of board or community moderation at hand. I can only assume that Mr Buytaert officially represented those when he contacted Mr Garfield. I understand that his post is not a place to ventilate details, but I must say that the post stands out as a great mystery. Are any of the claimed offences within or against Drupal? Did he ever object to Drupal maintaining the mentioned open-mindedness or freedom for all or other Drupal values? Are he the one that "blurred the lines" between private matters and Drupal service, where is that?

"We can't afford to ignore discrepancies between the espoused views of those in leadership roles and the values of our culture."

The meaning of "resign from Drupal" would need to be more clear if this post is meant to be a demonstration or test of values. Are you talking about resigning from leadership or usage, contributions or promotion?

"It is moments like this that test our commitment to our values."

So, how will you evaluate the test? There seems to be plenty of replies saying your decision/stance is a violation of the same values that you are claiming to protect. Are you willing to review the test results based on those protests? Are you ready to step down from leadership if your personal view is not supported by the community-at-large? Is it at all part of Drupal leadership duties to judge personal beliefs or might you want to limit yourself to assessing the actual actions within the community? Are dictatorship within the lines of "equal value for all people"?

As I said, I have no insight in the original complaints or personal beliefs of anyone, but if asking people to leave is the way to handle problems I can only call that dysfunctional and the ultimate way to jeopardize the community. I'm sorry to see this happen. Basically, from what I read I fail to see how anything here was disruptive for Drupal until someone decided that Mr Garfield's personal beliefs (not actions) and writings (not code) was any concern for Drupal leaders. If he himself was the one to repeatedly raise his personal problems to the CWG that could be disruptive, but IMHO in that case something much more reasonable to point at rather than saying the reason to ask him to resign was "The Gorean philosophy".

Of course I don't know if there is any actual value of posting this comment publicly. I just wanted to say what I thought, and if moderators read it and think about it, that may very well be enough. Keep being open-minded!

March 23, 2017
phenaproxima (not verified):

I'm sorry, Dries, but this strikes me as a very flimsy excuse for expelling Larry from the community. I'll admit that I haven't had much contact with him, but as far as I know, nothing about his conduct has ever shown him to be a misogynistic person. There are enough strong, powerful women in the Drupal community that, were a contributor as high-profile as Larry actively and publicly promoting misogynistic views, he would have been kicked out long ago, and kicked out so hard that he'd still have a footprint on his ass.

I don't think this decision is purely precautionary; the guy has been a major and extraordinarily valuable contributor for a decade. I think this is about appeasing reactionaries. There are *many* elements of culture, both alternative and mainstream, that have virulent misogynistic elements (classic Star Trek? Michael Bay movies? give me a friggin' break), and it is, was, and always shall be up to each and every one of us to recognize, call out, and rise above those things.

I'll put it another way -- if Larry is getting kicked out for this, why aren't we also witch-hunting and expelling any Drupal contributors who voted for a shameless misogynistic prick like Donald Trump (assuming any of our members *did* vote for him)?

I don't know anything about Gor, but if it's misogynistic, it's quite clear by all accounts that Larry has done an excellent job of keeping that shit out of Drupal. Go by his actions, and reverse this decision -- assuming Larry even wants to return at this point.

March 23, 2017
phenaproxima (not verified):

I want to follow up on this comment a little bit after having had some time to reflect and discuss with other community members.

I remain true to the essence of what I said -- nobody should be kicked out of Drupal, or any technical community, for their beliefs. But in re-reading Dries' and Larry's blog posts, I've realized that there are a few elements of this situation that don't quite add up or square with my own personal experiences with other high-profile Drupalists and Drupalistas. In short, I don't think all of the facts are out -- which Dries alluded to, but which I mentally glossed over -- and I should reserve judgment and action until they are.

I'm a trigger-happy hothead when it comes to posting strong, angry comments and fiery opinions, but I believe that Dries is a sincere person who really does value inclusiveness, and who acts in the best interests of the Drupal community -- which is easy to forget when you're talking about such a powerful individual. In my fury, I forgot that when posting my initial comment, and for that, I apologize.

March 23, 2017
Jeff Walpole (not verified):

Well said @dries. Thank you for having the courage to make difficult and complex decisions to protect the project.

March 23, 2017
Todd (not verified):

Haha, cmon man, this is to protect the Acquia IPO, it has nothing to with Drupal as a community. The dichotomy is stark, those you have monied interests in the commercial success of Drupal, such as yourself, side with Dries, while those who are in it more for the coding aspects of the Drupal community side with Crell.

If we're going to go simply on systems of beliefs that could be interpreted to actually subjugate women then I'd like to see all muslims removed from the Drupal community, ya know because its a core tenet of the Koran.. Even that, what Crell does sound most like harmless role play between consenting adults that some self righteous people get off on exposing.

Regardless, hopefully the Acquia IPO tanks, nothing would be better for the Drupal communities future. Dries took too much VC money, its not his project anymore and decisions like this definitely show that now everything is about protecting the brand, not the community aspects of Drupal.

March 23, 2017
Barrett (not verified):

Dries, if you have evidence that Crell was using his position with Drupal or DrupalCon inappropriately, you need to make that public. Because after reading your blog and his, it sure looks like he has been shoved out because he does some weird things in his personal life; and what he does in his personal life with consenting adults, or thinks inside his own head, is none our damn business. I've had several lengthy conversations with him and beyond learning that he is an uber-geek (which I mean as an honorific), I learned nothing about him personally. Whatever views he has, he certainly did not attempt to foist them upon me.

Loosing Crell is a huge blow to the intellectual force of the Drupal project and the community. There had better be a much stronger reason for it than you have articulated here.

As an aside, if his predilections ran to the submissive rather than dominant side, would you be reacting the same way?

March 23, 2017
Liza (not verified):

I support your decision, and I trust that you wouldn't have made it without incredibly strong reasoning. You've always been extremely thoughtful and deserve the community's credit and trust for that.

Ten or so years ago (!) after I spoke at a DrupalCon, Larry came up to me afterwards, very agitated about something I'd said referring to women having trouble in Drupal because men often expected us to say yes to every opportunity given to us. The way he spoke to me made me uncomfortable (as I mentioned to several people at the time) but I wrote it off as awkwardness and stood my ground to him.

I'm sorry that things went so far, and am sad to think that other women in Drupal might have also been made to have felt uncomfortable.

I commend you for drawing the line and for taking a stand. The community will ultimately be stronger when people, especially those without full advantages of power, feel protected.

March 23, 2017
Sina (not verified):

You should not have involved yourself in this case, you are not a thought police, and the way you reacted is against Drupal's community code of conduct. Even if we all agree that the accusation were true and Larry Garfield is really a very bad person (Which i doubt given his more than a decade of good reputation prior to this incident) the least you could do was to also excommunicate the person that violated Larry Garfield's privacy.
This was a complicated situation, perhaps you should have consulted experts before jumping into conclusion.

March 23, 2017
jhodgdon (not verified):

First, I question whether you have Larry's *beliefs* correct, especially in light of his rather eloquent statement on his blog post. Please consider that anything you think you know, may have been taken out of context.

Second, I will just state for the record that as far as I know, and in my experience -- and admittedly I may be clueless as to others' experiences -- Larry has always *acted* with respect and consideration towards everyone in the Drupal community. Not only that, but he has often been one of the loudest voices championing diversity and condemning the type of intolerant behavior that is prohibited by the Drupal Code of Conduct (DCOC). In fact, my recollection (correct? maybe not) is that Larry was one of the people who advocated for the need for the DCOC when it was first drafted, and participated in its drafting.

Third, banning someone from the Drupal community on the basis of his or her beliefs or private life is exactly what the DCOC says we should not do, and exactly what I thought the Drupal community stood against.

There are *many* people in the Drupal community whose beliefs, private lives, political leanings, and religious practices I find to be antithetical to everything that I stand for and act on in my private life, and I'm sure they would feel the same way about my beliefs. In fact, there are people in my local, very small Drupal group in Spokane whom I'm quite sure fall into that category. Yet, we normally all manage to treat each other with respect and consideration, and collaborate on Drupal -- this is the essence of the DCOC.

If Larry has been shown to have treated other members of the Drupal community with something other than respect and consideration, or if he has bullied or harassed someone in the Drupal community, that would be a reason for Dries, the Community Working Group, or the Drupal Association to take action to ban him from certain events or from the Drupal community. But that is not what I'm seeing, in either Larry's post on his view of what happened, or here.

It seems, instead, that he is being banned due to someone's perception of his private beliefs, for what he does in private, or for what he says in private channels amongst other consenting adults, not for his conduct in the Drupal community. If that is the case, it is not right.

Dries: This post has not made your case. I urge you to reconsider.

March 23, 2017
Rene Hache (not verified):

Dries, after reading both Larry’s and your post, I feel pretty strongly that it’s now too late to withhold that "missing information" that you are referring to. Larry's post is well written, reasoned and thoughtful, even if I completely disagree with the lifestyle choice. So if he's omitting something so egregious that it justifies expulsion from our community, we need to know.

Taking somebody's word on it -- no matter who they are -- is not acceptable and it sets a bad precedent. Furthermore, a decision like this should not be taken by a single person in a community based project.

March 23, 2017
Tim (not Plunkett) (not verified):

It would be very nice to know which tenants Larry broke of the DCoC that caused his dismissal. Because all we have are vague implications at this point. I understand and respect that privacy for those who have reported things to you is important. I'm not asking for names, dates, or details. But a simple "It has been reported that Larry is neither considerate nor respectful, and is in violation of the DCoC as a result" would be better than "Personal philosophies clash, therefore he has to go".

March 23, 2017
EclipseGc (not verified):

100% agree. As a long time community member this feels like Friend A saying Friend B is no longer a member of our group of friends because "Trust me, it's bad".

Sorry, can't do that. Larry has been as transparent I could have asked for. His blog was LONG and much more specific than I would have expected. It's clear that Larry wants to have this conversation out in the open because transparency is his only defense. I cannot in good conscience simply accept the outcome without more information.

I'm not the first to observe that Larry has not been accused of a DCoC violation. What seems to have transpired here is a bit of bad-luck plus some very very specific targeting of Larry personally. Allegations against a community member of Larry's standing should be rock solid, clear violations. That seems the polar opposite of what we've gotten.

I have stayed silent for a number of recent Drupal-drama episodes. I'm still arguing about "better judgement" here because frankly, anyone who comments in any direction on this is asking for trouble, but this feels akin to "first they came for the Goreans..." In all honesty, every major religion on the planet has a lot to say about gender roles and sexuality. How long until all religious members of the community are asked to leave because they subscribe to a belief system which includes rules on sexuality and gender roles.

March 23, 2017
None of your b… (not verified):

Sorry to say this is very disappointing. Abuse of power - dictator. Goodbye Drupal.

March 23, 2017
mherchel (not verified):

I'm deeply conflicted on this. The Drupal community is inherently political. And in politics, _perception is reality_. If people perceive that some of Drupal's leaders are misogynistic, that will become their reality.

Even if Larry didn't specifically do anything wrong within the community, there will always be the perception that he has or may. And that cannot be the perception of Drupal's leaders.

I do see two issues.

1) Why not the CWG do their job and provide a recommendation?
2) Why remove him from the Drupal project as a whole if he has not violated our code of conduct?

Thanks for the response.

March 23, 2017
Orb (not verified):

Maybe instead of acting like a judgemental group of hypocrites, you could have attempted to "work hard to ensure that Drupal has a culture of diversity and inclusion," and acted like the leaders we all have come to acknowledge you to be over the years. Your decision making process in this case is insulting to so many people, and is entirely an abuse of authority on your end. If you cannot understand this, that's fine, it's your prerogative to make decisions the way you do, but don't be surprised that everybody reads into who you have become in your post, more so than you can see yourself in your own life.

You have literally shamed somebody based on their lifestyle, without actually bothering to fully investigate, and understand this individual's actual views on the issues you feel so strongly about. Furthermore, you are affecting their professional life negatively with your actions. This is despicable.

March 23, 2017
Mike Ryan (not verified):

I do not want to rush to judgment on any side here - clearly, from out here we don't know everything that's happened. I do understand there's a difficult balance between transparency and confidentiality, and Dries and the CWG cannot reveal everything. But, I do want to express my two main concerns:

1. Larry describes a pattern of harassment that, to my mind, is extremely serious - to my mind, if what he says is true, it's a clearer and more serious violation of our code of conduct than anything Larry himself is publicly accused of.

2. "I did this because it came to my attention that he holds views that are in opposition with the values of the Drupal project." As others have said, it's concerning that according to this post his ban appears to be based on his beliefs rather than his actions.

There's one question I have which I think would provide transparency without violating confidentiality: Without revealing any specific names or details, were there any *actions* by Larry contrary to the Code of Conduct which led to his ban?

March 23, 2017
Ruby Sinreich (not verified):

So why do we have a Community Working Group again?

March 23, 2017
Reinhard (reglogge) (not verified):

Dries, I have been a member of the community for 9 years and 4 months. I have contributed to Drupal core, helped organize local and regional Drupal conferences as well as several European DrupalCons. I have founded one of the larger Drupal agencies out there and Drupal has been a big part of both my private and professional lives.

If I read your post correctly, your issue is entirely with views and a philosophy that Larry has expressed outside his activities in the Drupal community. At least I read nothing in your post that referred to anything that Larry has said or done while working for Drupal or within the community, be it in Drupal related publications or at Drupal events. If that is the case, then I think that your course of action is dead wrong.

It would open a horrible can of worms if the Drupal community started to apply all kinds of litmus tests, be they based on religion, politics, life style or sexual preference for people being able to participate. Where do you draw a line? How do you determine which view is good and which one is bad? There clearly can be no good answer to these questions. So all we can do is fall back to the position that only actions that an individual has undertaken while actively participating in community activities should be addressed by the community.

I think back to the time when Morten was asked to resign from the DA board. Here we had a very different case. Morten had repeatedly offended people while speaking at Drupal conferences, so it was fine in principle to take action. After all you have shared here, I see not a shred of evidence that Larry has ever done something even remotely comparable while being active in the community.

So I think you should reconsider, reverse your decision and also publicly apologize. I for one do not want to be part of a community that censures people solely on the basis of their privately held and privately expressed opinions, leanings or lifestyle choices. Thanks for listening.

March 23, 2017
Alex UA (not verified):

"I for one do not want to be part of a community that censures people solely on the basis of their privately held and privately expressed opinions, leanings or lifestyle choices."

I agree, but what if it's publicly held? These are things you can find Larry advocating for and participating in on the *public* internet. If he had more discretion and didn't use his "professional" alias I don't think this would be an issue at all, but he chose to be "out in the open" with statements that women should "fall to their knees" before him, and statements like "I currently have an opening for a slave, if she is worth my collar. I am not looking for a bratling, but a girl actually interested in serving within the framework of a Gorean relationship".

Similarly, I don't care if someone who advocates for antisemitic beliefs says they aren't really antisemitic, they just want to play an antisemite in their bedroom. If they dress up as a nazi in public or express antisemitic views then they are my avowed enemy.

March 23, 2017
SKrossa (not verified):

I've seen several comments here & elsewhere—including Dries in his post—note that Larry used the same alias/handle (Crell) in both the Drupal & Gorean communities, and that this is itself a problem & sign he was not keeping his private life sufficiently separate from his Drupal activities.

But what if Larry hadn't used an alias/handle online at all, but had only used his own name in both communities? Would it make sense to present as evidence & justification that he used his own name in his private life? Would it make sense to present as evidence & justification that he used his own name in the Drupal community?

If Larry has breached the Code of Conduct, appropriate action should be taken. But if so, the justification should be based on his conduct, not the name he used.

March 23, 2017
Dave Terry (not verified):

+1 to what jhodgdon has said.
Dries - the issue has already become public. To NOT share context around what you know that others may not (i.e. what caused you to be shocked and concerned) only creates additional confusion. It portrays you as imposing your personal values and thoughts around "what is best" for the community. While people generally trust, empathize, and appreciate your leadership they want full transparency. In short, you should not be selectively opaque out of concern for Larry's personal life when you have are now contributing to making the discussion more public.

If I understand correctly, the first time you reached out to Larry was after you already made a decision based on the information certain people had been feeding you. This is not due process. If you are ultimately the judge and jury (I realize that apparently Larry sent the DA Board of Directors a letter similar to his blog post and there was an attempt to meet) it comes across as biased and reactionary when you do not give another party an opportunity to express their views that greatly impacts their livelihood and career.

Finally, freedom of expression and speech is critical despite how much an issue may be contrary to one's own belief system. Larry should be allowed to stay or leave the Drupal community based on his compliance with the policies of the Drupal Association (i.e. Code of Conduct). Period. Do you really want to start the slippery slope of policing people's personal views? As Maya Angelou said: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

March 23, 2017
Alex UA (not verified):

I feel pretty conflicted about this- I think banning people is a very harsh move, and do so based on a person's belief's is a very slippery slope. I very firmly believe that people have the right to believe what they want, no matter how offensive and misguided I find it, but I ultimately support the move for a few reasons.

1) The issue isn't what Larry did in private, it's what he (and his friends) said and did in public. If he had used the alias Llerc, or any other pseudonym not associated with his public persona within the Drupal community that provided just a bit of plausible deniability, then I'd feel differently. I personally live what some would call an "alternative" (or even "criminal") lifestyle. While my lifestyle is gaining more acceptance, is legal in a good # of US states, and I feel zero shame about it, I still don't scream it from the rooftops because I realize that I have to exist in a world where some will see it as a serious character flaw. So I use a tiny bit of discretion, and Crell should have too.

2) When you are a "public figure", which Crell is (in that he holds public positions in a large open source community) you are going to be held to a higher standard than "consenting adults". If Crell is going to be seen as a leader of Drupal, then his publicly stated beliefs are going to become intertwined with the image of the Drupal community. Crell's public profile states "If a man is truly a Man, in every meaning of the world...then women around him will respond in the only way they can, by falling to their knees." ( ). So, do you feel that Drupal should be associated with the idea that women should fall to their knees before men? Neither do I.

3) The idea of female subjugation is disgusting to many, including to me, and advocating for it in public should be a shameful thing. Can we have a community that is welcome to both women and men who fantasize and fetishize enslaving them? Can we have both Jews and Nazis? *I will say that this is where the conflicted nature of my thinking comes in. I find Orthodox religions to be abhorrent in their treatment of women and minorities as well, but would you be willing to ban Haredi from Drupalcon if they refused to be seated near a woman or said something typical of (what I, as a firm believer in Liberalism and Science see as) their archaic belief system towards women?

4) Female slavery is a modern day problem, and not just sex trafficking. This is what I think about when I hear about some dude's female slave fantasy:…

Tough stuff, and none of us is without sin, but ultimately I think that we cannot allow for both Women/Jews/African Americans and those who fetishize their subjugation and expect that things will just be okay- either there will be conflict or one of the sides will leave. The power dynamic is just too painful to pretend that they can coexist.

March 23, 2017
Sam (not verified):

Let this be a lesson to all watching: codes of conduct do not exist to promote tolerance, diversity, respect, or to avoid unconstructive resolution of conflict. They exist to create a gray zone that allows for political pressure to be exerted, and to excuse backchanneling and bullying under the guise of morality. Some are more equal than others, and some behavior will absolutely be excused in order to justify a witch hunt.

"Larry has entwined his private and professional online identities in such a way that it blurs the lines with the Drupal project."

No, that was done by the people who stalked his personal life and leaked parts of identity he was careful to keep separate. You're presenting it as if it was an Act of God and that now you have no choice but to pick up the pieces. This is nonsense. You are explicitly choosing to align your interpretation and policy with that of the bullies. Either you're the project lead and your voice has weight, or you're a figurehead to be used for political aims.

To quote Orwell: the object of power is power. "Diversity" has become a protection racket, aiming for goals that can never be achieved by design, because there is always something new to be outraged about. How many are applauding the speeches, simply afraid of what will happen if they don't?

March 23, 2017
David Snopek (not verified):

I've been trying to come up with a comment to write for 30 minutes or so now. There's much I'd like to say! But I'm struggling to find the right balance between supporting Larry, and not saying something that could potentially damage my career or relationships with other people in the community.

But here goes...

"I cannot in good faith support someone who actively promotes a philosophy that is contrary to this. The Gorean philosophy promoted by Larry is based on the principle that women are evolutionarily predisposed to serve men and that the natural order is for men to dominate and lead."

If Larry says that's not what it means, and he's the one living this alternative lifestyle, who are we to say otherwise?

I don't know anything about Gor, and I haven't seen the "evidence" (frankly, I don't want to - that's someone else's private business!), but Larry has done such a good job keeping his private sex life separate from his professional life, that this was news to everyone. He's never promoted this lifestyle at a Drupal event, or acted in a discriminatory way towards women, as far as anyone knows. If it weren't for Larry coming forward after these events, no one would ever have known what he does in his sex life.

I feel that should be the metric that someone should be judged on. Worrying about what others will think of the project because of one community member does in their sex life seems short-sighted.


"Second, I believe someone's belief system inherently influences their actions, in both explicit and subtle ways, and I'm unwilling to take this risk going forward."

If there were any evidence that Larry discriminated against women in even subtle ways, sure, we should take him to task on that. I'm not aware of any evidence of that.

(Although, as a side note: in the case of discriminatory behavior, expelling someone from the community certainly shouldn't be a first step. If someone acts inappropriately, they should first be given the opportunity to apologize, learn and grow and become a better person. What opportunities to "change his wicked ways" was Larry given? Just writing that seems absurd, because what could he do? Get even more closeted about his sex life?)

Anyway, I'm very disappointed in the way this has turned out. However, I'm hopeful that this will be an opportunity for the community to learn and grow and become better :-)

March 23, 2017
googletorp (not verified):

I'm shocked, horrified and disgusted that Drupal with backing of you Dries could make such an act.

How can you ever justify expelling any one from Drupal based of things said or done in private. In the public space Larry has been a perfect role model with his words at conferences, writing on issue and work with Drupal. In any thinkable way for the past 12 years everything done in public has been worth following, yet you find that he should be expelled from Drupal community.

Drupal/CWG should not police community members and all should be free to do whatever they want in their private space.

Even if any one did some illegal, it's not Drupal/CWG that should police any one. We live in a democratic world with courthouses judges and juries. They should handle those matters and figure out who is innocent and guilty. Based on their judgements CWG could act accordingly. In this case, nothing wrong has been said or done in public.

I lack words to describe how much faith I have lost in DA, CWG and you as BDFL. Your acts is a violation towards the things you wish to protect. I hope you will see this and reconsider your actions and what this will mean for Drupal as a community and as an OS project.

March 23, 2017
Jess (not verified):

While I understand that some beliefs might be distasteful, a code of conduct refers to actions, not privately held beliefs.

Unless there is evidence of behavior that violates Drupal's values, this seems to be more a method of distancing Drupal from controversial press rather than protecting the community. If there is evidence of behavior that violates the code of conduct, then that evidence should be presented (without specifics) instead of using a 'fundamental misalignment of values' as the reason for asking an individual to leave the project.

I don't know Larry terribly well, but I first worked with him 10 years ago and periodically have interacted since. I never felt that he judged me differently based on the fact that I was female. I recognize this is only a single limited case, but beliefs do not always translate into actions.

March 23, 2017
Chris Johnson (not verified):

Dries, I think you may have screwed up, in a big way.

I have my own complaints with Larry Garfield, but none of them are based on his private life (about which I knew nothing until just now) nor on his behavior in the Drupal community (pretty much exemplary). From where I sit, I don't believe Larry has done anything against the Drupal Code of Conduct, nor remotely harmful to any part of the Drupal community.

Do you have hard evidence -- not just accusations or imaginary fears or revulsion -- to the contrary? If so, you'd better state them quickly, before Drupal explodes. (Well, actually it already has, thanks to this -- but how many fragments and can it be reassembled?)

It is BEHAVIOR, not internal beliefs, which matter. Otherwise, we'd be arguing that 95% of the Christians, Jews and Muslims in the community need to be ousted -- something nobody (including me) would ever advocate.

However, Klaus Purer's BEHAVIOR appears to be in violation of the Code of Conduct. If anyone needs to be asked to leave, it would be him. And even that's an extreme measure.

March 23, 2017
Alex McCabe (not verified):

I've summed up my thoughts here:…

tl;dr, I think Larry's record as the PHP track chair (between Baltimore, Dublin, and New Orleans, 27 sessions, 27+ speakers, zero women) has more than adequately demonstrated that his privately held beliefs that he supposedly doesn't allow to mix with his presence in the Drupal community totally influence his actions in the Drupal community.

I support Dries on this.

March 23, 2017
Bruised Tonsils (not verified):

You, Sir, are a hypocrite. Plain and simple.

March 23, 2017
Matt Davis (not verified):

"In this case, Larry has entwined his private and professional online identities in such a way that it blurs the lines with the Drupal project."

Did he? If so we haven't seen any evidence yet of Larry actively entwining his private life with his participation in the Drupal community, instead it sounds like others had to dig through private community groups to surface his beliefs.

This decision was made privately, but now that it has become public, it can only stand on its own merit if the community has a clear understanding of how exactly Larry brought his private life to bear during his participation in the Drupal community in a way that actively violates our principles.

I'm not sure what to think about all this, but what seems clear to me is that if Larry has done something worthy of a ban at Drupal events, as opposed to privately believing something that some may find odious, your post does not present that evidence.

March 23, 2017
Carson Weber (not verified):

As a Drupalist with an MA in Christian Theology and a philosophical background, I can't help but notice the irony of dogmatizing diversity while ostracizing a diverse opinion/belief that is contrary to the belief held by the majority.

In a morally relativistic society, without the underpinnings of the Natural Law written on our hearts by God (not to confused with the laws of nature:, it's difficult for a leader to rationalize the punishing of someone who holds a differing belief while simultaneously glorifying diversity.

Perhaps it's time that we question Justice Kennedy's assumption: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life," in the landmark Supreme Course, Roe v. Wade. Or, let's be consistent and uphold Larry's liberty to think or believe whatever the hell he desires.

March 23, 2017
William O'Connor (not verified):

We start with "The Drupal community is committed to welcome and accept all people" and finish with "I'm asking Larry to resign from the Drupal project."

Without all the facts to review, it will obviously difficult for people to make a fully informed decision, but the facts as they seem to exist here make this look at best unfair and at worst wholly discriminatory. If it can't be shown that Larry's personal life has a negative impact on the Drupal community, then I cannot see how this decision can be made.

I'm not a rioter or a picketer. I am quiet on many social issues, but I cannot see how Larry has been anything other than a benefit to the Drupal community over the last decade. Likewise, I have not heard nor seen a single instance where anyone claimed that Larry did anything within the Drupal community that even remotely touched on being inappropriate. I am staunchly of the belief that this is an unfair singling out of an important and influential technical mind -- a singling out the reflects poorly on Drupal as a community and at the same time weakens our community moving forward.

I believe Larry deserves better.

March 23, 2017
Mohamed (not verified):

I trust that Dries and his mates did the right thing to protect Drupal project's values. Yes, it's Larry's life and the people who are shouting and screaming under the pretext of 'personal life'. If it's personal, then keep it to yourself. Don't share it with the rest of the world on forums and say things that can be taken against you and then complain that people are bullying you. You can be whatever you want without stepping over others' values and principles and above all, you must consider the work policy and environment you are working in. I work for a company. If I post a fun video that sees women are created to stay home and serve men, I would be reported to HR. With freedom comes also responsibility. I trust in your decision, Dries.

March 23, 2017
Michelle (not verified):

For me this entire situation begs the question, what's the other side of the story? I mean that rhetorically because if the D.A., Dries and CWG felt the evidence was prudent to share, they would have. Has everyone that's demanding the evidence actually thought through their ask to share Larry's confidential information? Keep in mind Larry came forward, painting himself as a model citizen with different bedroom behavior than I practice. Larry said this is why he was asked to leave the community, but I disagree, there is clearly more. I also agree with earlier posts about Larry’s leadership role in the community being held to a higher standard; I think this is true for anyone regardless of gender or sexual orientation. There are also solid facts shown he hasn’t implored any women speakers at DrupalCons for the last three years.

I've known Dries and Larry for years. Dries is extremely level-headed and non-judgemental, so for him to make this decision wasn't irrational. The D.A. Board is a diverse group of individuals that want to uphold the values of the project, so for them to make a decision of this magnitude was likely very well thought out. No one has doubted or said Larry didn't contribute to the project; that's not the issue at hand. I believe many of us have trusted Dries leading the Drupal project for years, or you likely wouldn’t be reading this comment. I will continue to trust him without seeing all of the context. 

March 23, 2017
Liz (not verified):

If Larry has allowed his views to interfere with other people's work or participation in the Drupal community, then he should face restrictions and agree to make tangible amends to those people he has harmed. But if his beliefs, no matter how upsetting, have NOT been reported by anyone to have interfered with their full participation, professionally and socially, in the Drupal community, I would not censure him. Women should have the full right to join in and be respected exactly as men are, and if Larry has practiced that in every circumstance that a Drupal member can mention, then he doesn't seem to be in violation of policies. On the other hand, if there are any reports of abusive behavior toward anyone behind closed doors, then Larry should be restricted from participation as needed, and ought to make amends to the satisfaction of those harmed. Any such reports should be reviewed by a leadership committee rather than just our fearless leader Dries. I do appreciate that there is some concern being expressed by Dries, and if he is taking a stance against institutionally empowering a private abuser who abuses non consenting persons within the community, I greatly appreciate his willingness to take a stand. It's quite difficult to get even a criminal out of a powerful position if their behavior is always done in private - and the worst abusers are careful to avoid witnesses. In my two PUBLIC encounters with Larry, he was professional and helpful. But I know that private behavior can be extremely different than public behavior, and if private abusive behavior is brought inside the community boundaries and involves non-consenting persons, then it needs to be caught and punished strongly IMHO. That way everyone knows that you don't abuse people, whether someone is watching or not.

March 23, 2017
Transparency (not verified):

Clearly there is no transparency in this decision. Dries has provoked us to pontificate about what this secret damning information could be. "Oh, it's bad, trust me! But I'm not saying." What a terrible thing to do to someone based on their private life. This is a terrible day for transparency and for the Drupal community.

March 23, 2017
Peter (attiks) (not verified):


Thanks for clarifying, but it would have been nice to read this as part of your initial post. I agree a 100% you have to protect the victims.

March 23, 2017
Andy Thornton (not verified):

I read every word of Larry's post and everyone word of this one (including all the comments) - feels like Drupalgedon 2.

FWIW, I think it all hinges on this paragraph from Dries:

"What makes this difficult to discuss, is that it is not for me to share any of the confidential information that I've received, so I won't point out the omissions in Larry's blog post. However, I can tell you that those who have reviewed Larry's writing, including me, suffered from varying degrees of shock and concern."

Clearly, there is confidential information that we are not all privy to. It is clear that Dries is suggesting that there is pertinent information that has been omitted from Larry's post. All I hope is that Larry was given an opportunity to respond to his accusers - if that indeed is what this paragraph is suggesting.

I don't know it would be feasible, but perhaps the senior Drupal folks could consider taking the specific reasons that has caused Larry's "firing" to a third party to mediate, but exclude any information harvested from private message boards and any of the so-called "witch hunt" stuff. As we all seem to agree, Larry has the right to his private life, his has the right to think what he likes, he has the right to read what he likes - so it really should just be the very specific actions that have impacted other individuals in the Drupal community or that violate the Drupal Code of Conduct that are being considered. He should have a presumption of innocence, and the penalty should be demonstrable comparable to other cases where people have been banished.

Whatever happens here, though, it is a sad day. Thanks to all you senior community folks for taking on this tough stuff.

March 23, 2017
Eda C. Melénde… (not verified):

See, this is exactly why I like this organization since the very beginning. I felt that women here are persons like men, contributors, users or developers, but not "women" ... and although I am very proud to be a woman, I am not aware of it when I am trying to design a view in Drupal or do whatever comes into my mind using this wonderful tool.

I bet it was a difficult decision for Mr. Buytaert to tell his friend to leave but I agree, we have to live up to what defines us as a person; overseeing or ignoring such a thing is like accepting and approving the attitude behind it.

I just hope that Mr. Garfield will learn from this and comes to appreciates Mr. Buytaert difficult decision.

March 23, 2017
Stella Power (not verified):

I completely understand that there is confidential information that can't be disclosed, and we are missing that information when drawing our own conclusions. At a minimum I think we need to know, however, if the "ample evidence provided from different sources" mentioned is evidence of actions _within_ the Drupal community? or whether it is external to the Drupal community?

Because to be quite frank, if it's external to the Drupal community, I think it should be excluded from the decision making process. Unless there has been an impact on the Drupal community and its members, it is not relevant.

Larry has always been an exemplary community member and contributor to the project and I never once felt that he judged me differently or treated me differently because I was female. I believe whatever one does or believes in their personal lives, should be considered personal/private, and unless they have done something within Drupal or are imposing their beliefs on others in the Drupal community, that then and only then, could be considered as evidence.

So, is any of this ample evidence from within our community? If so, is it serious enough to warrant being banned on its own merits? We don't need the confidential details, but knowing whether the CoC was infringed or not is important.

March 23, 2017
Elaine (not verified):

Kinky nerdy queer female geeky BDSM educator here.

I'm not addressing the entire issue; I'm just addressing a fallacy of logic I see. It's common when "X" lifestyle / hobby / pasttime / relationship pattern is combined with sexuality, and is often ignored when it's *not* regarding sexuality.

We may think more clearly about kink vs real life if we first consider this set of analogies:

- Roller coaster riders don't wish to plunge over a rocky cliff to their deaths in a car.
- CLUE players are unlikely to be plotting how to do in Colonel Mustard in the library.
- Watchers of CSI are unlikely to be storing human bodies in freezers.
- Rugby players are not going to war, even if they collect almost as many injuries.
- SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) players are not advocating a return of the monarchy, even if they do pepper conversations with "my lady" a little too often for my (personal) taste.

The games we play are just that -- we take our bents, our thrills, our desires both wholesome and dark, find willing partners and revel in expressing our joy with them. When we join with a community of folks who love the same things, we do experience it as a culture. But this is the important part: How we play is one thing. How we ACT in the real world is another.

Please, non-kinky folks, when you are thinking about this issue, divorce your personal "ick" feeling about BDSM sexuality from the reality of humans interacting with each other.

There's about the same percentage of jerks, abusers and reprehensible bastards in any given community, whether that's professional chefs or perverts. It's important to address sexism, abuse, consent violations and such behaviours in all communities. But don't take consensual sexualities wildly out of context and apply them as if the kinky folks are attempting to play out their dynamics in the workplace / at conventions / in actual real life.

Otherwise you'll have to feel nervous about carpooling to a Drupal convention with that roller-coaster aficionado.

March 23, 2017
Andres (not verified):

Fuuuuuck off you awful bigot never using Drupal again. Hope ur kids turn out kinksters

March 23, 2017
matt2000 (not verified):

Here's hoping one of your values is acknowledging when you've made a mistake and correcting the situation. This situation is very wrong. I don't know or care what Larry's beliefs about personal relationships are, but I'm pretty sure a lot of people here and elsewhere have misrepresented them. But I've only seen his behavior as exemplary.

This "protecting privacy" claim is B.S. If Larry has behaved toward community members in a way that is serious enough to justify stripping him of his positions, then those of us who will continue to interact with him have a right to know, so we can protect ourselves. I highly doubt he has done any such thing, and that this expulsion is a baseless witch hunt.

March 23, 2017
Richard (not verified):

Yeah, let's promote diversity. Until someone thinks really different, that is.

March 23, 2017
Dailen (not verified):

I can't say how profoundly disappointed I am in Drupal making this decision. Klaus is clearly an opinionated, narcisstic, not to mention meddlesome. The very definition of a bigot if it's true that he went to great lengths to ruin Larry's relationship with the organization.

In light of playing such a role it seems to me, Dries and Krause should be the ones to resign. They've brought shame to Drupal and have permanently detrimented the brand.

March 23, 2017
John Yunitas (not verified):

I think that this an unfair treatment to Larry and became to be the victim of DA, Klaus Purer, Dries, CWG, and Megan Sanicki.

It's a clear case of discrimination against one of the community members and seems is only based in the idea that his private practices are wrong.

Drupal code of conduct was not affected by him.

No one complained of him on the Drupal community about being unprofessional, or having a detriment behavior with his colleagues male and female.

I don't think that he even had a fair discussion with CWG or DA or anyone.

Out of the blue and because there were some rumors of his private life he was condemned for the leader of the project Dries that does not present or provides any evidences of wrongdoing in the Drupal Community. At least not evidences that weight towards the Drupal Code of conduct or to even harm at any level Drupal project, events or prestige.

DA, CWG and Megan Sanicki, would have a poor role on this matter. Seems that the DA entirely is at the service of Dries.

CWG decisions were dismissed for the leader like a good dictator would do. He gives no chance to hear all the parties involved. He does not cared about the implications.

Finally and worst Klaus Purer, the way that he operated, was bullying, threat people, harass Larry in their private life that does not have anything to do with Drupal Community.

Dries and DA you are destroying a community with theses actions, is shameful and wrong that this happens this way.

Dries you are the one that is violating the Drupal code of conduct by discriminating somebody for his sexual orientation or beliefs. if you have evidence present it otherwise hold your decision, but also hold the disrespect for you and DA which seems obligated to your will.

March 23, 2017
BB (not verified):

We are engineers. We are Open Source. We believe in a meritocracy.

If Larry's actions (not beliefs) have cast a pall over the Drupal project, then quietly ask him to resign for the good of the community. If people think his beliefs are, as one person put it, 'icky', what. My wife likes zuchini, which I personally find icky..I wouldn't dream of asking her to leave my family because that would be ridiculous. While the Gorean lifestyle literally physically makes me nauseous, it is a belief, and to paraphrase Spock...IDIC (infinite diversity in infinite combinations) is what makes the Open Source community who we are.

I will not be using Drupal again, because the actions of the Drupal community leaders (as of this time) demonstrate they hold views that are in opposition with the values of the implicit in the tenets of the Open Source community at large. Please tweet your support with three hash tags:
#NoDrupal #LetLarryBe #SupportWomenWhoCode

March 23, 2017
Eric Rasmussen (not verified):

This is a sad response and I'm disappointed with you and your Drupal project -- apparently it remains *your* project and the idea of a community is an illusion.

As has been stated elsewhere, a great number of people in the community and in larger society hold religious views (regarding gender roles, homosexuality, etc) that would fail your purity test. If we restrict ourselves to only deal with others who are as ideologically pure as we are, each of us would be quite lonely.

I don't care about the thoughts in Larry's head or what he posts on an obscure forum somewhere. The only thing that matters is how he treats other people while active in the Drupal community. He says he has always been respectful and inclusive. You say that you are "shocked and concerned" about secrets you've heard. Sounds like Larry is right about the whisper campaign. And now you're leading it. Sad.

March 23, 2017
Michael (not verified):

I can't believe that I'm reading so many approving comments of Dear Leader, based on no evidence. This response from Dries is utterly insufficient and unless there is some extremely damning information being withheld - and I am simply not willing to agree with the destruction of someone's entire life based on vague hand waving and a "trust me it's bad!" - then it seems clear to me that he is going above his responsibility, and outside of proper channels, purely to protect his commercial interest with Acquia. He needs to step down, this is a damning indictment of 'the community' which is apparently Drupal's biggest draw and I don't see how it can possibly recover. Aside from that, we've lost an enormously valuable asset to the project and, until someone can give me a valid reason to change my mind, I am 100% on the side of Larry.

"In this case, Larry has entwined his private and professional online identities in such a way that it blurs the lines with the Drupal project."

No. He did not do that, the people who invaded his privacy and started a witchhunt did that, and they should be the ones removed from the Drupal project. Bullying and harassment under the thin veil of values and outrage should be stopped.

March 23, 2017
William Simpson (not verified):

Are there any disciplinary actions that are going to be taken against Klaus Purer? If there's any truth to half of the things Larry said in his post, it would seem that he was certainly engaging in harassment and bullying, both of which are strictly prohibited by the code of conduct. I am extremely disappointed by the decision of the CWG. If their idea of enforcing the code of conduct is siding with a bully and a creep who violates people's privacy and publicly shames them for what they do with consenting adults, I don't feel that this is a productive place for me to be.

March 23, 2017
Benjamin Doherty (not verified):

This betrayal and violation of Larry Garfield is cruel and stupid.

There is a lot of talk of "evidence" but who are his victims? What has he done? Has Larry harmed someone? Is Larry a predator?

Or has some bully and troll provoked your disgust by exposing Larry's very private life?

If there are victims, say so. Otherwise all this talk about evidence tells me that you're disgusted about something that isn't any of your business.

March 24, 2017
Matthew Slater (not verified):

Nothing in this post or in Larry's post justifies a purge.

Either he should leave voluntarily, or the community as a whole deserves an explanation for the use of force.

It feels wrong to exile or shun a member of a community without everyone knowing the reason why, or even participating in the decision.

March 24, 2017
gonssal (not verified):

I've read everything (both posts & comments). I'm simply shocked by this decision and, as others have done, I demand the exact reason for the request to "leave the Drupal project". If it's his alternative sexual preferences, we should start thinking if the current leadership is the right one for the project. I only see a comment by a female drupalist saying that 10 years ago she had a conversation with Larry that in the end she attributed to "weirdness".

I understand there's a need to protect victims, if there's any, but we are not asking for names and shames here. We are asking for the actual fact or facts that lead to the decision of requesting Larry to leave the project, with the consequences this will have on his professional life and the Drupal project.

I think everyone on the community deserves to know for what reason someone can be expelled, not to make any judgement about it, but to know what kind of behaviour, attitude, words or whatever can get you expelled from the project and make an informed decision to continue investing on it if you are at risk of being requested to leave.

March 24, 2017
Tom Geller (not verified):

Dries, your relatives chopped off the hands of Congolese slaves and kept them as trophies.

That's as relevant to your involvement in Drupal as Larry's private beliefs.

Beliefs, that as others have pointed out, are (a) left outside Drupal community involvement, and (b) claimed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

To start this witch hunt particularly against someone notable for his demonstrated contributions and egalitarianism is especially disgusting.

Shame on you.

March 24, 2017
Ronald Ashri (not verified):

A few big pieces of the story are missing for me Dries. I have a few questions that could help me understand better.

1. What specific belief or beliefs of Larry got him expelled? I am not familiar with the complexities of the belief system of the community Larry is a part of.

2. Do you believe Larry ever acted on those beliefs within the Drupal community specifically treating anyone with anything other than respect or as an equal?

3. If yes then could you please elaborate? No need to share personal information of course but please explain what those actions were and where the evidence to support those accusations came from. Witnesses, online transcripts, etc? Simply saying "there is more" is unfair to the accused.

4. If there are no specific actions is your concern that he might behave in such a way in the future? Is that why he is being expelled? If Larry stayed and was an exemplary member of the community (as he seems to have been to my uninformed self for the past 10 years) would his beliefs still make him incompatible?

5. Was he expelled because his views make others feel unsafe? In other words, even if Larry does not do anything just looking at him speaking or participating in a Drupal event and knowing that he thinks certain things is a problem?

6. Can we expel others with beliefs that do not align with ours and make us uncomfortable? People that believe in creationism and teach it to kids? People who believe there is no god? People who believe women should wear veils? People who believe there is a God that decided you cannot work on a Saturday?

7. Ultimately the key question for me is whether the Drupal community is a tolerant one or will it not tolerate different opposing belief systems within its community?

From where I am standing right now it looks like Drupal is not a tolerant community and as such not promoting diversity. Tolerance is a low bar but it's probably the best we can achieve as people. By tolerance I mean tolerating the other even though they hold different beliefs. I know that at times as I walked in a room my dark skin made that place no longer a safe place for the people there. Their beliefs said I was probably dangerous. At times people were intolerant and asked me to leave. At other times they took a deep breath and tolerated me. The former learned nothing the latter maybe learned that I wasn't as bad as they thought.

If we can't even tolerate each other we learn nothing. It's uncomfortable but necessary. To me, the job of open communities is to teach tolerance not to impose a belief system and exclude all others. With its latest actions, it is looking as if Drupal is aspiring to something different from tolerance. It would be helpful to get some of your and the DAs thinking around that.

March 24, 2017
Andrii Podanenko (not verified):

I'm really sorry to see such types of decision, Dries.
I know, I can't see and rely on facts on your table, because I'm blind here, but this looks not that good for the overall community attitude.

I thought we have distributed community without tough administrative vertical. But now it looks differently. Probably I've missed something, correct me if I'm wrong.

I foresee a lot of issues because of this, security issues. Also, I would say - even cracks in a community grow.

I hope the things, that are between the lines worth it to get decisions like this one.

March 24, 2017
Sheldon Rampton (not verified):

I've spoken with Larry on a few occasions but don't know him well. I do know that he has a long history of valuable contributions to the Drupal community.

I think the bottom line here is the question of whether he has gone beyond personal beliefs and actually behaved in such a manner that his behavior undermines the shared values of the Drupal community. I have not seen any evidence that he has. Dries writes, "The Gorean philosophy promoted by Larry is based on the principle that women are evolutionarily predisposed to serve men and that the natural order is for men to dominate and lead."

I am a former Mormon. The Mormon religion calls itself a patriarchy and teaches that "women are evolutionarily predisposed to serve men and that the natural order is for men to dominate and lead." I find those views abhorrent, which is one of the reasons for my decision to reject the religion in which I was raised. However, I would never propose that someone should be excluded from the Drupal community or from any other position of employment or public leadership simply for being a believing and practicing Mormon.

From what little I know of Larry's belief system, I'm guessing that I would at least strongly disagree with some of his beliefs. However, this is no reason to discriminate against him.

I think Dries is in a difficult situation here. Perhaps there are facts of which we are unaware that Dries cannot disclose for reasons of confidentiality and privacy. I do not want Dries to disclose those facts if they exist. However, if the only issue with Larry is some abhorrent beliefs that he has expressed, then the Drupal association owes him reinstatement and an apology.

March 24, 2017
Anonymous (not verified):

Can Muslims contribute to the Drupal community if they believe and practice Sharia Law? Does Drupal discriminate against Muslims?

March 24, 2017
Bruno R. (not verified):

"Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert." I don't trust a man who puts this on all the websites built by COMMUNITY of people. Even Donald crazye EGO Trump doesn't do that. Go and put that on your Acquia site and leave us alone, it's not your project anymore and you can't kick people on your personal bigotry.

March 24, 2017
Andrea Beithon (not verified):

This was a lose-lose for everyone involved no matter how it shook out. It takes an immense amount of consideration and strength to process a decision like this in private, much less publicly. I support you, the DA and your decision.

March 24, 2017
Kent Bye (not verified):

Using private information illegally attained to push someone out because of their sex life? Whatever is done within the context of mutual consent is actually none of your professional business, and I'm afraid that you're going to end up on the wrong side of history here.

March 24, 2017
Vito Gesualdi (not verified):

I would advise people to stop contributing to Drupal until they post a clear list of the following:

- Which religions contributors are allowed to follow (only the major ones, or would you deny a Scientologist for instance?)
- Which romantic practices contributors are allowed to take part in (BDSM seems out)
- What private ideas individuals are allowed to hold (none surmising the potential difference between sexes of course)

Oh and of course, I'd like to know how far I may go in collecting private information on an individual with the sole intent of trying to oust them for violations of the above clauses. Can I break into their house and steal documents if it's for the good of the Drupal community, or can I only scour their private profiles on websites wholly unrelated to the project?

March 24, 2017
Astonished User (not verified):

This is absolutely astonishing. This is a clear cut case of discrimination against a person purely based on their personal beliefs. I am not personally acquainted with the people involved, but after reading the statement made here, I feel very disappointed. Discrimination or hate against persons based on their religion, skin, gender, personal opinions etc. is absolute unacceptable, and is in no way justified by someone having an private opinion not voiced through their work. This can not ever be acceptable, not here and not in any other case. Knowing this, I no longer feel comfortable using Drupal as the base framework for my websites. Supporting an organization publicly discriminating against an individual for their personal belief is something I cannot bear myself doing.

March 25, 2017
Danny (not verified):

The Drupal community is committed to welcome and accept all people. That includes a commitment to not discriminate against anyone based on their heritage or culture, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, and more. Being diverse has strength and as such we work hard to foster a culture of open-mindedness toward differences.

I privately asked Larry Garfield, a prominent Drupal contributor, to leave the Drupal project. I did this because it came to my attention that he holds views.

Yeah, that's a contradiction. I hope you can see that.

I hope you agree that witch hunts are not good - and that's what you are doing: witch hunt - "an attempt to find and punish people whose opinions are unpopular and who are said to be a danger to society".

Please stop it while you still can. We've been down this road before - that age was called the dark age.

March 25, 2017
Jacob (not verified):

I can't stop but to get a weird vibe from Larry getting fired like that. While I don't feel close to his views, I don't see it as a good reason to throw him out altogether. It sounds to me more likely that there was a personal issue and this was used as an excuse.

Speaking of Drupal, I feel like you've lost it anyway. I don't use Drupal and I don't see easy way to use it to make websites for or clients. You'd better focus on making a CMS which is attractive and simple instead of throwing out people whom you don't like.

March 26, 2017
Melissa Anderson (not verified):

On the surface, this situation seems like it has something to do with women, but what I hear is a man asking us to feel sorry for him about how hard it is to do his job. He tells us he's discovered something so toxic in his friend and valued colleague that he was forced to ask that friend to leave the community. He follows this by letting us know that he *really* wanted it all to happen in silence and secrecy out of respect for his friend. He subsequently tells us his buddy has made things even harder by refusing to go quietly, which has tipped the balance of power.

Let me get this straight, Dries. You are expelling Larry without naming any specific reasons. Your action happened after revelations about his private life were brought to light by a cyber-stalking community member. You are the project's dictator for life, the CTO of a company with powerful influence on the open source project, the president of the Board of Directors, and *Larry* tipped the balance of power by preventing you from sweeping the whole situation under the rug?

This is how you act to protect the community and foster inclusion?

The Drupal project is built on the model of patriarchal leadership with unlimited power for life. As a result of the project's escalation policies, you have expelled someone for unspecified transgressions. You have demonstrated that you can and will exercise your power as project lead to try to shame people into silence. Whatever this is about, it it not about inclusivity, justice, or protecting the community, and it certainly isn't about equality for women.

March 26, 2017
David Rothstein (not verified):

You wrote: "The Gorean philosophy promoted by Larry is based on the principle that women are evolutionarily predisposed to serve men and that the natural order is for men to dominate and lead."

I have seen no evidence that Larry believes in or promotes this idea. Since you have accused him of this publicly, can you provide the evidence?

It sounds like this is also based on private (or semi-private) writings of his, possibly within a "fantasy/role-playing" context. I understand that you can't provide that evidence, but I want to point out that there is an enormous risk of misinterpretion in that scenario. I would be skeptical of taking anything like that at face value, unless he himself actually said it was meant to be taken at face value.

And this doesn't even get into the question of whether someone should be asked to "leave the Drupal project" just because their views are in opposition to Drupal's values. That seems very harsh to me.

March 26, 2017
Tony (not verified):

I am having trouble to find words. Shame on you Dries. Like some other's mentioned, you are a very bad dictator. CWG and DA is just a smoke screen. Drupal was never a real community because of you.

March 27, 2017
Dirk Moerenhout (not verified):

Dries, so I assume the next thing is banning everyone who is Muslim, Catholic ... given their belief system is against a lot of your values? If not your logic fails 2 paragraphs into your narrative. Given the average religion is far worse than whatever sexual roleplay between consenting adults results in I hope you make haste and get it dealt with. I will happily promote Drupal again when I am assured that all contributors respect the values 100%. Have fun during the cleansing and keep us updated on all the heinous crimes against the values you come across.

March 30, 2017
April (not verified):

Drupal is software. I use it because it is great software. I have met some inspiring, hard-working and kind people at various Drupal events, and they have enriched my Drupal experience. I don't feel that expelling a member of the development community has anything to do with Drupal USERS like me (even superusers). It should be a decision made by the Drupal core development team - specifically the people who must work with the expelled person.

Seriously - how many of us have had to walk away from projects, companies and relationships that are toxic to us? It isn't about the expelled ex-team member being declared "guilty" by a majority vote, it's about whether that person's beliefs make it impossible for the team to work together. Dries (to my knowledge) is in charge of this team, and it is his job as team leader to make the tough decisions. He knows some other team members might disagree and leave. He must deal with the legal issues, and "branding" issues, and people questioning if he is the right leader. That is the nature of leadership.

March 30, 2017
Mark (not verified):

It's called kink-shaming and it's not something nice people do. This kind of virtue-signalling says to me that you're weak, feeble-minded and only care about those others whose morals precisely align with yours.

March 30, 2017
Ben Gong (not verified):

As many have pointed out, Dries please share some of your evidence without naming any of Larry's victims. I do not see anything that is even close to evidence in your post. Otherwise it is just as someone pointed out, you are trying to protect your Acquia IPO.

March 30, 2017
mfrank (not verified):

Dries, as founder, project leader/dictator you are free to make decisions that you think best serve the community. However one of your guiding principles has been "free software", a concept of freedom that has roots in emancipating humans from oppressive conditions.

Unfortunately the notion of defending women (or the Drupal community) through shaming and censorship does not promote concepts of freedom and does nothing to improve material conditions for anyone. Let's be clear about your real motivations (which I do not judge you for) -- you wish to minimize controversy in order to preserve Drupal's standing in the business/tech world and to continue to grow Acquia. This is just how it is under capitalism unfortunately -- it forces us into a situation where despite our best intentions we fight and subjugate each other using class (race, gender, sex, wealth) while at the same time obfuscating and justifying our actions using flawed moral and neoliberal arguments. There are no exceptions to this, capitalism is a totality that we are all part of.

The truly progressive action in this situation would have been to do nothing and reinforce the concept that only improving material conditions matter. Positive discrimination is still discrimination. As folks used to say: "Talk is cheap. Code is gold." It seems that is no longer the guiding principle, not just in Drupal, but elsewhere in the open source world (and in leftist circles). The left has truly lost it's way, abandoned any belief that true egalitarianism is possible, and instead now we are stuck policing phrases, languages, and ourselves.

March 30, 2017
JustKristin (not verified):

I am a beginner Drupal dev who has gained from your involvement in the community. I am also involved in the BDSM community. I hope that the actions of you, Dries, and the Drupal board, aren't a sign that I should be switching my career path. I can't support a group that punishes people for consensual activities that have nothing to do with their subject matter.

March 30, 2017
Luke (not verified):

I have been a proud member of the Drupal community for over a decade now. I run our local Meetup group and have spoken at several Drupal Australasian conferences. I run a Drupal shop and maintain several Drupal modules.

What I am trying to say I really care about Drupal but this stinks!

There has been a massive amount oversite and you and the DA, yet to provide any real evidence that your decision is justified.

The community is clearly not in agreement! And you recuse yourself? Grow a pair and man up!

Given the evidence I've seen, I am not in favour for dismissing Crell.

I can't speak for the community and each person should do as they see fit. As for me, I am suspending my Drupal commitments as of right now. That means no bug fixes to contrib or core, no meetup groups, no conferences, no DA membership ... basically no contribution.

March 31, 2017
Mike (not verified):

I'm really struggling to understand the situation here, as I think most members/ supporters of the Drupal Community are. From what I can understand, there were reports by numerous members, these members were offended by some of Garfield's conduct, but upon investigating the conduct it was not in violation of the Code of Conduct.

This is where I am struggling - under what grounds was a prominent member of the community removed? If it was not a code of conduct matter, then how were the reported posts relevant?

I am also troubled by your (now redacted) statement about belief systems not being compatible with Drupal's ideology. Perhaps it was simply poor phrasing, but I have found that most ideologies are in fact NOT inclusive (I've yet to go to a Democratic or Republican rally where the opposition is invited to speak freely at the podium, or to a religious event that doesn't state their beliefs are correct and all others are wrong). As such, I think you would find members on all sides of the spectrum - are we to say that members that hold religious or political views should not be allowed more significant roles within the community, because these beliefs will in-evidently, perhaps just subtly, turn into actions that cause exclusion? Or when does such discretion (if it is not based on actions/ COD violations) come into place?

Please understand, I mean no disrespect. I am just really struggling to understand DA's position, the reasoning for the expulsion, and how this decision sets precedent for future decisions. Clarification on these matters would be very helpful, as they draw significant concerns both from a community perspective, as well in terms of business decisions.

Many thanks,

March 31, 2017
hansfn (not verified):

Dries, I admire you for making this tough decision, but it seems to be wrong. How about admitting you (and the DA) made a mistake and publicly apologize to Larry? It's still not too late ...

March 31, 2017
Michael (not verified):

Dries, this is not how an open minded person would act.

We usually respect that sexual preferences - when they are not brought into ones professional life - have no importance for peoples professional lives and how they should be treated in that capacity. From all I can read from this and other posts you are not able to adhere to this principle. On such an important topic you should not as an individual (because I believe that Drupal is now a community project) make such value driven decisions.

I totally lack any reference in this case to any actions of Larry which should warrant his exclusion from the community. And it is really sad to read that you cannot specify a reason because of "liability and confidentiality" - the man is already shamed and he should not have been in the first place if no reasonable public reason can be given. In my view you simply cannot expel someone because of their sexual preference, even though it may be very different from your or my preferences.

This is so bad and will - if not solved in a fair way to Larry - have sincere implications for my view of the Drupal community and its values. Values are shown through actions not simply by words. And your actions in this case unfortunately shows your intolerance rather than your protection of some higher values. Please reconsider.

April 01, 2017
Ran (not verified):

I haven't read Larry's post yet and I am not sure it is even relevant. Drupal is one of the greatest platforms in the world for expressing opinions. It supports millions of websites that express almost any belief or opinion that exist. Some of these opinions may be in complete contrast to Drupal's spirit and values. So what? Is anyone going to ban the Drupal platform because it supports values that the Drupal community disagrees with? There are probably websites built with Drupal that display extreme racist ideas, child abuse or other horrible things. If Drupal could detect such harmful sites and shut itself down, I believe that should be considered, however, that's an extreme measure against extreme cases. Who makes the decision of what's to be considered extreme? Was Larry's case such an extreme case demanding such an extreme measure as banning him? Of that I am not sure.

April 02, 2017
Drupal Fan (not verified):

Dries your achievement with Drupal is awesome but your account of Larry's condemnation sucks - thought crime, kangaroo court, secret evidence. You defeat yourself with your acknowledgement that this sets "a complicated precedent" - now you must either proceed to examine the philosophical beliefs of all Drupal contributors - how absurd would that be?? - or you must justify the apparent unfairness that Larry alone is singled out for prosecution when similar or worse beliefs are easily found, particularly in religion. In short this was a wrong turn for Drupal and for yourself.

April 02, 2017
Jan (not verified):

You're getting what you deserve for being a hypocritical wannabe dictator, Dries. Shame on you for being prejudiced and trying to justify your smallminded prejudice with some "values". Drupal is dead, not only to me but to many others, who straight out refuse to support such a display of medical condition called "head-in-ass".

April 02, 2017
Gor Martsen (not verified):

It requires integrity to be a proper community leader.

Humanity has a long story of *bad* decisions.

But it takes some courage to accept mistakes and do what you can to fix that.

Harm has been made. It's up to you how big it is going to be.

Choose wisely!

April 02, 2017
GuyveR800 (not verified):

Unfortunately this is not the first time I see someone in a position of power throw a supposed friend under the bus and thereby hugely damaging a community. Goed bezig, Dries, goed bezig...

It's heartening to see, contrary to what I've seen before, the Drupal community stand up against this tyrrany in great enough numbers to hopefully put an end to it.

April 02, 2017
Gerhard Killesreiter (not verified):

What values really? When I started to contribute in 2002 or so I didn't sign up to any agenda. I always assumed that the agenda was to create a better CMS.

I pretty soon learned that the Drupal people were a diverse bunch, and I am pretty sure I didn't always like it, but I accepted it.

What happened to that?

April 05, 2017
Marko B (not verified):

Kudos Dries for keeping open comments and all. With all that said I think Dries was pushed into this decision by Megan or others. He is a father and leader of big company and even bigger community, most of us are just trying to have work and be a good family man. Think he just couldn't handle all this properly and he got overwhelmed. But now this is a huge issue as he has got so many people resenting him and will do so in future if this is not cleared, there is no way back and this was a mistake. If this is Megan's work I think she should step down. Dries to admit his misjudgment. With this community would ease down and restore to order. Without this, community will be left full of resentment. Please Dries don't do that to us.

April 06, 2017
Vacilando (not verified):

Dries, your explanations above ring hollow. In case you know of any criminal offense committed by Crell, please report it to the police. Anything else is Crell's personal business.

By attempting to excommunicate Crell you have dealt a blow to the very community you started and fostered with so much care.

As you have seen yourself by now, an overwhelming majority of the comments here and in other blogs reacted with disbelief and disappointment -- not about Crell's life choices, but about your and the DA's attempt to persecute him. It shows how inclusive and resilient the Drupal community really is. Let's hope you and DA will backtrack, apologize, and restore some of the trust you lost.

April 06, 2017
Juan Rodriguez (not verified):

Dries, I think that the person who has popped up those Larry Garfield's private conversations should receive at least the same punishment than Larry. If the DA don't do so, clearly this will be seen as un unbalanced outcome. Revealing private conversations without consent is quite a serious issue, even it could be persecuted by justice in some countries.

April 07, 2017
past_drupal (not verified):

After over 10 years in the community, contributing a few modules and more patches, participating in a few cons and more local meetups, I'm done.

Dries, your tech vision and the code that you gave us was really good, incredible for its time, and it has been a game-changer for the web. Perhaps you should consider a position doing something more technical instead of leadership. You were really good at the technical stuff, but not so much at leadership. Play to your strengths, no disrespect meant. Your work creating awesome things for the future is highly valuable and much appreciated. Your work publicly humiliating people and encouraging an atmosphere of bullying, intimidation, and repression is not. It's unethical.

No legitimate reason to kick someone out of the community (like misconduct at a community event), was ever stated. Therefore, we must assume that there was no legitimate reason. It reads like a witch-hunt. The victim was tried, found guilty, and punished without ever being charged with doing anything wrong. That is unacceptable.

Perhaps there is secret information that validates Dries' stance. But it doesn't really matter now. The way that this was handled publicly was unacceptably wrong. And it's not a one-off occurrence, it's becoming a recurring theme. The Drupal community has been good to me over the years, but I've seen it hurt several other people. I don't want to be part of that. And I won't.

I'll continue supporting the existing Drupal projects that I work on, but I won't be contributing anything or attending any more meetups or cons. In the future I'll plan to build on a different system with a better community. One that can behave maturely, and can handle interpersonal conflict professionally.

April 12, 2017

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