One example of the evidence we’re gathering
We are working hard on a point-by-point response to Ben’s article, but wanted to provide a quick example of the sort of evidence we are preparing to share:
Her claim: “Alice claims she was sick with covid in a foreign country, with only the three Nonlinear cofounders around, but nobody in the house was willing to go out and get her vegan food, so she barely ate for 2 days.”
The truth (see screenshots below):
- There was vegan food in the house (oatmeal, quinoa, mixed nuts, prunes, peanuts, tomatoes, cereal, oranges) which we offered to cook for her.
- We did pick up vegan food for her.
Months later, after our relationship deteriorated, she went around telling many people that we starved her. She included details that depicted us in a maximally damaging light - what could be more abusive than refusing to care for a sick girl, alone in a foreign country? And if someone told you that, you’d probably believe them, because who would make something like that up?
- The screenshots below show Kat offering Alice the vegan food in the house (oatmeal, quinoa, cereal, etc), on the first day she was sick. Then, when she wasn’t interested in us bringing/preparing those, I told her to ask Drew to go pick up food, and Drew said yes.
- See more screenshots here of Drew’s conversations with her, trying to find food for her, and saying that they could go to any restaurant of her choice within a 12 minute drive and pick stuff up for her. She then says it's alright because I went out and got her mashed potatoes. The next day, when she's still sick, Drew gets her a vegan burger.
- Of note, you could make the claim that Emerson and Drew's preference for restaurant (which is their office for the rest of the day, because they work out of restaurants) should have been ignored in favor of our sick friend's request to go to Burger King. (Reminder, she was just a friend at the time, and not working for us in any way). I think they certainly would have been even more generous had they done that. However, trying to get everybody's preferences met is hardly unethical. And you can see in all of the messages a consistent effort to try to help her get food, and just running into the difficulty that we were in rural Puerto Rico, where it's extremely difficult to get food like that. Which we still managed to do anyways, despite many hurdles.
I went out to get vegan food for Alice when I was sick myself. It's really hard to eat vegan in rural Puerto Rico, so I went through all of the products at the store and read through the ingredients, checking for sneaky non-vegan ingredients, like whey. The mashed potatoes were literally the only thing in the store I could find that were vegan that I thought Alice would want.
I have sympathy for Alice. She was having a bad day. She was hungry (because of her fighting with a boyfriend [not Drew] in the morning and having a light breakfast) and sick. That sucks, and I feel for her. And that’s why I tried (and succeeded) in getting her food.
I would be fine if she told people that she was hungry when she was sick, and she felt sad and stressed. Or that she was hungry but wasn’t interested in any of the food we had in the house. Or even that she wanted Burger King but Emerson and Drew wanted to go to a restaurant with a nice vibe (they work out of restaurants all day, so going to work out of a Burger King was more of an ask than would be for most people), so she had the mashed potatoes I got and cooked for her, which was not her #1 preference. But she told everybody that we didn’t get her food when we did. This made us look like uncaring people, which we are not. She even said in her texts that she felt loved and supported.
It’s important to note that Alice didn’t lie about something small and unimportant. She accused of us a deeply unethical act - the kind that most people would hear and instantly think you must be a horrible human - and was caught lying.
We believe many people in EA heard this lie and updated unfavorably towards us. A single false rumor like this can unfairly damage someone’s ability to do good, and this is just one among many she told. Also, this current version has been walked back from what we originally heard - that she hadn't eaten anything for days.
We chose this example not because it’s the most important (although it certainly paints us in a very negative and misleading light) but simply because it was the fastest claim to explain where we had extremely clear evidence without having to add a lot of context, explanation, find more evidence, etc.
We have job contracts, interview recordings, receipts, chat histories, and more, which we are working full-time on preparing.
This claim was a few sentences in Ben’s article but took us hours to refute because we had to track down all of the conversations, make them readable, add context, anonymize people, check our facts, and write up an explanation that was rigorous and clear. Ben’s article is over 10,000 words and we’re working as fast as we can to respond to every point he made.
Again, we are not asking for the community to believe us unconditionally. We want to show everybody all of the evidence and also take responsibility for the mistakes we made.
We’re just asking that you not overupdate on hearing just one side, and keep an open mind for the evidence we’ll be sharing as soon as we can.