|Pretenders: What Shall We Do?
[11/20/2002] [Corum Hibernius]
Recently, on the Emerald Hills list, there was controversy regarding a person who was claiming a knighthood he did not have or earn, and also gave some conflicting stories (lies) on when and where he was supposedly knighted. The Emerald Hulls Circle of Knights stepped in and tried to handle the matter with restraint and mercy by asking him to serve a "penance". The discussions on the list regarding this issue has been pretty heated, and it has taken up quite a bit of space there. The perpetrator pretended to the belt for a while until he was discovered, and then suddenly he had "mundane" issues that kept him from playing Amtgard. He was also contacted by the Emerald Hills Guildmaster of Knights and was advised of the discovery of his deception, and what the Circle of Knights expected from him to shrive himself of his sin. This person has yet to acknowledge the crime, or even take the penance the knights expect. This issue was also spoken about on Redhawk Radio and promoted quite a lively discussion.
All that being said, in my time in and out of Amtgard, I have never seen a situation like this. The very thought of impersonating a knight was always absolutely abhorrent to me, and I shuddered to think of the consequences. To do something like that would mark you down as a cheater (a hundred times worse than a sluffer) and would blow your chances of ever getting a real belt in the next century (although you could hope for the entire Circle of Knights to expire).
What I would like to see is not a condemnation of the pretender, who has been roasted pretty well so far, but a condemnation of the act. We also need some sort of safeguard to prevent the act from occurring again and a process to help us deal with any other pretenders who show up.
What can we do? Can and should we actually ban someone from playing for pretending to the belt? Has anyone ever been banned? I know of a banishment years ago that humiliated the person, and he did not return until years later. Can a punishment actually be meted out to someone for that? Technically, no laws are being broken... the only things broken are the rules and trust. The pretender showed a marked lack of judgement, and an apparent contempt for the game and those in it to the point that passions flared over this (on both sides of the debate) and created quite a stir in the Emerald Hills. It is time that we get together and discuss the issue so we have a process in place to deal with the unthinkable before the unthinkable happens to us.
[ discuss on forums ]