Hi everyone. I am no longer active on this blog, but I know that people frequently read and link my post about DXE. It has come to my attention that DXE is again dealing with sexual predators in their midst. I will always stand beside survivors and those fighting to make the animal rights community a safer space. Abuse of any kind should never be tolerated and it is up to leaders within the community to stamp it out. Leaders who push it aside, make excuses or otherwise allow this sort of behavior to continue MUST be held accountable.
You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to speak to anyone about this. The following is a comment I received on the main DXE post, and I felt it would be a good idea to include it here so that it is more visible.
Given DXE’s latest rapist has been revealed over this past weekend and, once again, the members of the org/cult are up in arms over the miserable handling of the circumstance by their leader Wayne Hsiung and his own victim of abuse, his second in command, Priya Sawhney, now might be a good time for a follow-up post since folks are linking this one in their current conversations.
More than a year later we now know DXE did NOT handle this situation with Hugo “gracefully”. After forcing Hugo to make a statement and leave the group/Facebook, their Chicago members were revealed to have thrown a party for Hugo, much to the dismay of many members–both inside and outside of Chicago. Many members were seen defending Hugo all over Facebook while at the same time blaming and lambasting his victims. Some went so far as to dismiss the whole thing as a racist witch hunt because Hugo is a man of color and apparently white sexual predators within DxE had not been treated in the same way.
Hugo did move to Australia–where he dated a woman that he apparently abused within the context of their relationship. He then moved back to the US and began dating another woman, named Naomi, he was also abusive to. Ultimately, she released a public statement begging people who knew Hugo to please ask him to leave her alone.
Meanwhile, DxE members learned Hugo had been welcomed back into the DxE fold, with no org-wide conversation or notification, via a couple of taunting posts made by DXE members in Los Angeles. They posted a pic of him in their home with the threatening message that he was going to be at that day’s potluck and anyone who didn’t like that could just fuck off. This was very upsetting for members who felt blindsided, members who had previously suffered some form of assault and who felt unsafe with Hugo or his supporters around, allies of Hugo’s previous victims, and members who felt DxE’s leadership had failed to follow through on their commitments made in the immediate aftermath of the revelations of Hugo’s predation.
Now, DXE has once again given safe harbor to a rapist who has, once again, violated another female DxE member. And, once again, Wayne has no intention of removing this preadator–John Bowlin (who one year prior to the revelation of his rape of a DXE organizer had aggressively pursued women in an anti-DXE Facebook group that I run via multiple Facebook profiles.)
DxE is an unsafe organization. Numerous former members have identified the group as a cult. This happened after their departure from the group when they were shown literature describing cults and their practices as well as checklists that help folks determine if they’ve actually been in a cult. All the folks who participated in this exercise were forced to admit DxE is, in fact, a cult. That alone is tremendously concerning–people are being manipulated and exploited, pressured, sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, harassed, lied to, lied about and when they have tried to raise their concerns with DXE leadership–especially Wayne & Priya, they are gaslit, they are love bombed, they are denied validation and acknowledgment, they are implored to keep their concerns to themselves lest they hurt the animals. And when female members express concerns about predatory men they are repeatedly denied justice and are instead met with hostility and, most shockingly, protection of and support for the predators–this is often the catalyst for members to leave.
Now another woman has been raped by someone Wayne is determined to protect and to provide safe harbor for within DXE. It’s time everyone understand what DXE actually is and the wife and varied harm it is causing to our communities and the individual vegans that make them up.