Bad Moon Rising, part 2: Sex-positive feminism or sexual misconduct and manipulation?

(Photo by Jeff Bisti)

Part II

Read part I

In the wake of Eric Francis’ removal from the pages of Chronogram magazine and the airwaves at Radio Kingston, the veteran astrologer and investigative reporter claimed that his “deplatforming” was “political payback” for writing skeptically about the #metoo movement. In fact, a group of women did come together following publication of the piece in the February issue of Chronogram, and their allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior, gathered and recorded by Chronogram and Radio Kingston journalist Hillary Harvey, led to Francis’ dismissal from both.

But allegations of Francis treatment of women were already circulating before the “Take a Step Back” was published.

In a December 2017 Facebook thread on the page of astrologer Samuel F. Reynolds, a number of people commented on Francis and his reputation. Two women in the thread referenced personal experiences with Francis. Other commentators said that they had heard stories about his behavior.
The thread emerged as the #metoo was reaching a fever pitch with near-daily accusations of prominent men losing media “platforms” based on allegations of behaving badly with women. Harvey and other women familiar with the December Facebook posts suspect “Take a Step Back” was his preemptive response to a gathering storm around Francis’ own reputation.

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“I have no doubt that he knew he was vulnerable because of his behavior, and he was trying to get ahead of things,” said Priya Kale, one of the women who commented on Reynolds’ thread.

Kale lived in Kingston and worked as managing editor of Planet Waves, Francis’ web-based publication, from 2006 to 2008. In 2013, she stayed briefly at Francis’ studio while helping prepare an event for the annual Chronogram street fair. Kale, a 41-year-old astrologer who produces the Cosmic Diaries website, considers Francis a former mentor and teacher. She said she left his employment after becoming disturbed by what she described as manipulative and predatory behavior towards women and what she describes as his emotional abuse and devaluing of her work.

“I can only speak for myself, but I found him to be extremely mentally, verbally, psychologically abusive, and sexually as well,” said Kale in an interview with Ulster Publishing, parent company of Hudson Valley One and Kingston Times. “I never had sex with him, thank God, but it has taken me years to heal from what I went through. He is very good at spinning his web.”

In 2013, Kale said she felt more confident as an astrologer and a woman and decided to take Francis up on his offer to help him set up the Chronogram event. Kale said that she stayed briefly at his studio and Francis made sexual advances toward her, which she firmly declined.

Kale said her work with Francis ended for good after he publicly berated her at a Kingston event.  Kale said the verbal assault came after she came to the defense of young female employee of Francis whom he accused of stealing money (the missing money, Kale said, later turned up). But Kale believes the root of Francis’ fury was her rejection of his advances.

“He wanted to have sex with me so he dangled work in front of me,” said Kale, who shared an email from Francis sent after their 2013 falling out in which he relates a “jealousy fantasy” of wanting to masturbate while watching her have sex with another man. “And when that didn’t work it was, ‘I’ll throw you out of the house’ and that’s what he did.”

Kale said Francis’ reputation had been an open secret among astrologers who knew him personally. But, she said, most kept silent, either because they felt ashamed of their own relationships with him or because they found it professionally beneficial to keep him in their circle.

“Eric is like Windex,” said Kale. “Some people don’t know how toxic you are, so they use you. Some people do know, and they won’t touch you with a ten-foot pole. And some people know but they’ll still use you, just at a distance.”

 

‘Exploited, manipulated and coerced’

Another woman talked about her own experience with Francis. The woman, who does not live in New York, spoke with Ulster Publishing on the condition that her name not be used.

The 42-year-old woman said that in 2014 she was “dabbling” in astrology and looking to make the jump into professional reading. She had been a longtime fan of Francis’ work and reached out to him for advice.
The woman said that Francis made her an offer: In exchange for buying a $250 annual subscription, he would walk her through ten practice astrological charts. The woman, whose relationship with Francis and her account of events is corroborated by email correspondence shared with Ulster Publishing, said she was initially taken aback by Francis’ approach to their teacher-student relationship.

“He kept telling me I was sexy, I had a sexy smile, my chart was sexy,” said the woman. “I was kind of shocked, it wasn’t what I expected from a teacher.”

The woman said she found other things disturbing about Francis’ approach to his work, including a standing offer on the Planet Waves website soliciting women to pose nude for “Book of Blue” in exchange for astrological readings. In September 2015, she said, she was appalled when Francis hosted Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens on his podcast. The men, who ran a coffee shop in Asheville, N.C., stirred national controversy when they were exposed as hosts of a podcast for “Pickup Artists” — an anti-feminist subculture that celebrates the use of psychological manipulation to have sex with women. The woman said she was horrified that Francis had given the men a platform and, she believed, a sympathetic ear.

By that time, she said, her relationship with Francis had taken a turn when she had an online sexual encounter with him. The woman acknowledged that the encounter had been consensual but, she said, after Francis stopped responding to her emails, she felt she had been manipulated and Francis had employed the same “game” used by the Pickup Artists. The woman said that she eventually ceased all contact with Francis after, she said, he insisted that she sell “Planet Waves” products without taking a cut.

“‘Exploit’ is the word,” the woman said. “I really felt like I was exploited, manipulated and coerced into things I would never normally do. You go through life, you have experiences with men and sometimes they’re not so great. But this was the first time I felt like something was stolen from me.”

In mid-June, the woman reached out to organizers of the Kepler Conference, an astrological convention slated for January 2019, where Francis was scheduled to be a featured speaker. The woman told organizers that Francis had a history of being sexually manipulative with women. By that time, Courtney Conrad Roberts, director of the Kepler Conference and sponsor of the Canaveral Institute, had already heard of the allegations against Francis, based on his own writing on Facebook. On June 14, Roberts said, her board of directors voted to rescind Francis’ invitation.

“What really did it for me was his Facebook screed about being dismissed from Chronogram,” said Roberts of the decision. “There was no sense of taking personal stock, just denial and attacking his accusers.”

Roberts said that the allegations against Francis are part of a bigger issue of sexual harassment in astrology. Roberts said the dynamics of the industry, in which most of the followers are women while the majority of the field’s “superstars” are men, leaves ample room for abuse. Roberts added the act of reading an astrological chart could be deeply personal, similar to a therapy session, leaving recipients open to manipulation — sexual and otherwise.

“A lot of people really look up to astrologers. It’s like they’re this superior human being who has some special insight into me and my life,” said Roberts. “There’s just so much room for potential abuse, and when you combine that with sexual domination it’s just awful.”

Francis has denied ever using astrological readings or spiritual work to manipulate women for sex. In a July 22 email to Kingston Times editor Dan Barton, Francis wrote; “Also, to mix sex in any form and a spiritual session, someone would need to have a gun to my head. It’s not appropriate. It violates all ethics. It did not happen — ever.”

 

‘Just felt wrong’

Francis’s reckoning with his accusers comes in the midst of an ongoing #metoo campaign exposing men for behavior ranging from the violent sexual assaults that disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein to behavior that in times past might have been described as “caddish.” The movement has also opened up a debate on what constitutes socially acceptable sexual behavior by men and, in Francis’ case, whether it’s possible to push the boundaries of conventional thinking around sex without becoming embroiled in a #metoo moment.

“Eric is very open about his sexuality and it freaks people out,” said Zoe West. “But in my experience he was never forceful about it.”

West, 28, is a professional model who travels widely posing, often nude, for professional and amateur photographers. In 2008 she was 18, just out of high school and working in a cigar shop on Broadway when Francis approached her about modeling work. She would go on to pose for his “Book of Blue” — an experience she described as positive and empowering. She credits Francis with launching her modeling career and still considers him a friend and mentor.

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For West, Francis’ frank approach to sexuality was within her comfort level, a level she freely admits is a bit broader than most women’s. Would West recommend fellow models work with Francis? “I would definitely give the disclaimer that he’s very open about his sexuality. But it’s a matter of perspective knowing him as I do, as a friend,” she replied. “I wouldn’t recommend that a model goes into shooting with him without an understanding of his behavior. But as a model you’re going to experience men like that. It’s part of the job.”

In a July 18 statement to Ulster Publishing, Francis, who has so far declined to answer specific questions put to him for this story, wrote via email: “For the past three and half months (since April 4), I’ve been the subject of a trolling, harassment and defamation campaign spread on Facebook by a small group of people. This was payback for an article I wrote earlier this year about the ‘Me Too’ movement. In that article, I warned about the possibility of men being the subject of false accusations, and that is precisely what happened. I am pursuing the matter legally, and through other governmental remedies.”

Francis himself freely admits to being up front about his sexuality in a way that could cause discomfort while fiercely denying any impropriety with any of his accusers. In a July 22 email to Kingston Times editor Dan Barton after last week’s publication of Part 1 of this story, Francis wrote, “That is the problem with the article’s premise: that I have been dividing my character and something is now being ‘revealed,’” Francis wrote. “The reality is, I exposed my inner character all along, by describing my actual sexuality and relationship orientation, and that pushed some people’s buttons over the years.”

But women like Dana Barnett — whose allegation that Francis had manipulated her into an unwanted sexual encounter when she was an 18-year-old college freshman sparked the #metoo campaign against Francis — saw reflections of their own negative experiences twisted and filtered though Francis’ lens of enlightened, “sex-positive” feminism. Whether in an erotic poem, a horoscope, or an article on #metoo, Francis’ New-Age take on sexuality felt more like cover for old-fashioned predatory behavior. And they see it as something worse — a form of “gaslighting,” the practice of spinning a web of deceit and manipulation dense enough to make a victim doubt their own perception.

Hillary Harvey points to those women who feel that “Take a Step Back” was Francis’ attempt to gaslight the entire #metoo movement.

“For the women who came to me with their stories [experiences with Francis] didn’t feel sex-positive,” said Harvey.  “They didn’t feel feminist, they didn’t feel empowering. They just felt wrong.”

 

There are 123 comments

  1. Eric Francis is scum

    I know for a fact there are numerous women in astrology who have stories to share about Eric Francis being inappropriate and oreying on women. I have heard of stories of women going to live with him and then being abused and left traumatised. Most don’t want to relive these experiences but please know there is strength in numbers and outting a predator like this may help to save others from such abuse. Thank you to all who made this story possible.

  2. Erica

    The stories in these article are just the tip of the iceberg. I have heard many stories from friends about him creeping on underage girls, using his astrology to make sexual advances, seeking revenge on women who reject his advances, sending lewd pictures, and coercing with drugs. Can you blame them for not wanting to come forward when they are going to be verbally attacked and/or stalked and/or sued? This story epitomizes why more women and men don’t come forward. And the whole, he can’t have hurt anyone, because he hasn’t hurt everyone, is total bs. Most of us know that harassers and abusers get away for it as long as they do because they aren’t ALL bad. The good doesn’t outweigh the bad when you’ve been a serial harasser (and worse) for decades.

  3. Diego

    I’m not an astrology buff; it all seems pretty silly to me. So I ask this question as someone who doesn’t take astrology seriously — to the extent that Eric used his reputation as a horoscope writer to “manipulate” some of these women into sexual encounters (real life or online), aren’t these women simply suckers and willing participants? None of them claims to have engaged in non-consensual sex; one person claims that Eric kicked her out of his home after she refused to entertain his advances. What’s the real harm? That these women have arrived (belatedly) at the realization that some men are Interested in having consensual sex with them?

    Also, I get that power dynamics played a role in the Weinstein and Lauer incidents, but come on — this is some self-important horoscope writer who fancies himself a muckraker. Eric Francis has no power over any of these dames; rather, some people need to take responsibility for their actions and be mindful of the situations into which they knowingly walk. Some of these allegations sound like the ridiculous Aziz Ansari allegations — “yeah, I knew what I was doing and I never gave the guy reason to doubt my interest, but I didn’t feel good about it afterwards.” Come on.

    All that said, Eric sounds like a real creep and doesn’t deserve much sympathy. Alls I’m saying is that based on what’s been reported so far, he doesn’t belong in the same category as the real monsters.

    1. Eric Francis Will Become a Black Hole

      Diego:

      “The big deal” is a man in a position of relative power in a community where participants are also vulnerable. An astrologist is akin to a spiritual advisor to those who believe in astrology. This would be similar if a priest, rabbi, yogi, or other spiritual advisor would use their position to facilitate their own sex life. Ethically, it’s dubious at best.

      Nobody is “putting him in the same category” as anyone. He stands alone as a case study of a person who abuses his stature to exploit women.

      Just because you can’t empathize how it feels to be driven to a remote area and suddenly realize the person you were admiring and trusting has the high potential to turn dangerous really fast, you can’t understand why these women are coming forward.

      Some of the stories are fairly innocuous, but when you compile his pattern of behavior, his deplatforming was entirely justified and WAYYYYYY too late to be effective. Regardless, Eric is gone from the public eye for now, and his cute little star blog will dwindle as he becomes his own ego-death blackhole, obsessed with the “wrongs that have been wrought upon him unjustifiably” as I’m sure he asserts.

      Good riddance to bad rubbish.

      1. CinnamonWoman

        And I’ll add that anyone in a position of teacher, mentor or employer – which he had been to some of these women – also creates an imbalace of power which he clearly perverted. The fact that he cloaked himself in a veil of healer and spiritual guide to then prey on these women like a wolf in sheeps clothing is so much worse. Like spiritual rape. His karma is coming home to roost.

  4. anon

    Reading the stories presented here, and more in the previous article, are troubling, and take away from my previous overall-positive feeling about Eric’s work. The people who have been harmed need to be heard and their input respected on what are helpful ways to address what has happened.

    Some of the reporting here is also troubling though. It makes it seem like perhaps its not all that it’s hyped to be. It gives reason to look at what the underlying dynamics might be.

    RE: For the Facebook thread mentioned, article part 1 wrote “in which several women accuse him of using his platform as a well-known astrologer to lure and manipulate women” and this article, part 2, writes “Two women in the thread referenced personal experiences with Francis. Other commentators said that they had heard stories about his behavior.”

    If you read the Facebook thread, there is one person (Priya Kale, interviewed in this article) who presents personal negative experience with Eric, and another woman (Lynn Bell) whose personal experience was to have dinner with him along with the board of an astrology org. The part about Eric is one comment sub-thread on a much larger astrology discussion thread that isn’t focused on metoo. Kale is the only woman who says he does anything inappropriate; Bell says that many young women have uncomfortable experiences with his polyamory. There is one other person (a male astrologer, Adam Elenbaas) who communicates personal knowledge of Eric’s behaviours, confirming has done “this” with several people, and another woman who says there have been rumours.
    – Did several women accuse him of using his platform to lure and manipulate women? No, directly contradicting what was reported here.
    – Did two women share #metoo experiences of him in that thread? No, contradicting what was implied in this article.

    Then, RE: reporting on Priya Kale’s situation in this article.
    “Kale lived in Kingston and worked as managing editor of Planet Waves, Francis’ web-based publication, from 2006 to 2008. In 2013, she stayed briefly at Francis’ studio while helping prepare an event for the annual Chronogram street fair.” But in the Facebook thread, Kale wrote she lived for months at a time at Eric’s house between 2006-2008. It looks like information is being misrepresented here by omission?

    Also, “She said she left his employment after becoming disturbed by what she described as manipulative and predatory behavior towards women and what she describes as his emotional abuse and devaluing of her work. “I can only speak for myself, but I found him to be extremely mentally, verbally, psychologically abusive, and sexually as well,” said Kale in an interview with Ulster Publishing, parent company of Hudson Valley One and Kingston Times. “I never had sex with him…” ”
    – It may be the writer’s problematic placement of the quote, but she obviously is speaking for others’ experiences.
    – Describing him as “sexually abusive” seems vague if it is not in the context of having sex. A quick search for definitions of (non-child) sexual abuse online include “[forcible] infliction of sexual contact” (Merriam-Webster), or, “knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat” (Houghton Mifflin). Is this what is meant?

    When there are these problems in how things are reported – inconsistency, vagueness, misrepresentation – it hopefully makes people see they need to not accept everything without questioning. I don’t want to undermine anyone who is coming forward with personal experiences of harm, I also think it’s the reporter’s responsibility to ensure those stories are accurate and shared accurately.

    1. CinnamonWoman

      Interesting you did sooo much research as to go through that extremely long FB thread with such a fine tooth comb as to count the voices! Hmmmm. Wonder what was the motivation for that, anon? In fact there were other voices on that thread that didn’t want media attention and deleted their responses. Most people don’t want to be associated publicly with such a creep.

    2. Trolling Trolls

      People delete their Facebook comments when met with private messages threatening them. Just sayin’.

    3. A Student of Eric's

      SERIOUSLY. Give me a f***king break. This is such a pathetic attempt to discredit dozens of people who have given personal experience. Both articles are extremely long, and there is only so much room for the LAUNDRY LIST of HUMAN BEINGS who have felt VIOLATED in some way, shape, or form that they are willing to speak out.

      I agree with the commenter (can’t find who said it), but YES: this is exactly like a Priest, Yoga Guru (Bikram, anyone?), or Rock Star (which Eric is clearly obsessed with emulating), Doctor, or Rabbi who abuses the trust that his victims have in them. It doesn’t matter that you think Eric Francis didn’t have any real power. Whatever.

      Wake up people. No-all these people are not all lying.

    4. Bee Kay

      What’s the real harm? Fuck you, dude. Let’s see how you’re talking when your daughter or sister gets treated that way. Thanks for stopping by and being a mansplaining douchebag. “This doesn’t affect me, so I can be “objective” and “rational” and not realize I’m blinded by my penis”

      1. Diego

        Bee Kay, apologies — meant to include a trigger warning at the top of my post. Didn’t mean to upset you with actual questions (which you declined to answer, other than with a “fuck you”), rather than the echo chamber drivel that you must be used to. Here’s hoping you can find yourself a safe space from nuanced, civil discourse with which you may not agree.

        Then again, maybe you simply dislike men in general, in which case I apologize for my penis.

        In any event, I clearly am in the wrong for voicing an opinion and query not in line with your own.

    5. Bee Kay

      Ive got a solution for you. Believe women. There are dozens and dozens of stories like these; “I don’t want to undermine anyone’s story, even though I just spent several paragraphs doing that.” I hope your dick falls off

      1. Diego

        My post doesn’t doubt the accusations. Rather, it doubts the severity of the harm — to the extent that some of these incidents resulted in any harm at all. Based on everything that’s been reported, Eric comes off as a jerk. We get it. But two thirds of the reported allegations seem pretty innocuous. Shall we commence a vigil every time a construction worker whistles at an attractive (or homely) lady walking down the street? How about a tearful plea for societal change each time a woman realizes she’s been ogled by a passerby on the street?

        1. Enough

          Diego even if you can’t fathom the trauma these women have experienced then if you do indeed believe them then you just really need to shut the hell up. This isn’t just philosophical discourse. These are real women and real pain and every doubt against them is just deepening the pain.

        2. a woman

          Diego – Try being thrown out of your ‘home’ in a strange town where you know nobody and have no money – by someone you consider a mentor. After having being psychologically raped then come back to tell us how innocuous it is. Actually, no don’t tell us – go suck Eric’s dick instead.

          1. Gerbal

            You must be referring to the woman to whom Eric provided shelter. If that individual did not want to run the risk of being hit on by an unmarried male, then she should not have couch-surfed at the home of an unmarried male. If I wish to avoid bears, then I do not venture into the woods where bears are known to live. It’s that simple. People (both in and outside of the context at issue here) need to make good decisions.

      2. Eric's echo chamber is not helping him

        Gerbal: Men are not bears. Men are not bears and they are not dogs. Men are not wild animals, and I strongly object to comparing men to animals of any kind. To do so is to undermine THEIR AGENCY.

        We do not hold animals morally or ethically responsible for their behavior to the same extent we hold humans to, because animals are not capable of the advanced thought processes required for human socialization.

        We can, and SHOULD hold men responsible for their behavior, unless you want to continue to purport that men are somehow sub-human.

        An offer of shelter is an offer of hospitality and protection, not a license to publicly berate them and take advantage of their dependence on you. Again, as we have seen here, you are blaming the victim.

  5. Manush Dario

    This is nothing but provincial gossip! Do you Upstate bumpkins even know what true journalism is? In February 2018, internationally heralded Investigative Journalist and universally renowned Astrologer Eric Francis published a column (which was infinitely better written than this article) in which he insightfully deconstructed the excesses of the #MeToo movement and predicted that in the near future there would be false accusations levied against even the most unimpeachable and ethical members of the community. And that’s just what happened. Eric Francis, who is prominent while none of the people involved in this story are, knows more about astrology than most residents of provincial Kingston NY have forgotten about any subject. He could see what was coming. And it came. I have not personally read his Chart but I’m sure he is aware that this would happen just as it did… and what will come next. Francis is operating at such a higher level than any of you that it is sad to see such a gifted and prominent soul be subjected to such petty and baseless allegations levied by small-minded Pharisees and published by this parochial rag, which lacks all credibility.

    1. Donna

      This provincial prefers science. There is no scientific validity to ‘chart reading” and believing someone is operating in that activity at such a higher level than the upstate bumpkins pretty much means nothing.
      Being such a gifted and prominent soul I would hope he didn’t need to be so abusive and petty to women refusing his attentions. He should be able to move on to someone more appreciative of his gifts. I am glad I do not have to deal with such a loser.

    2. Bee Kay

      Dude, just shut the fuck up. So in order to not be provincial, women just have to shut up and take whatever a self-styled guru dishes out? If that’s how you sophisticated city folk roll, feel free to a) stay there and b) jump up your own ass and die. Eric Coppolino harassed these women like he harassed SUNY New Paltz. He is no hero.

  6. #MeToo

    The bullying that the women who came forward are going through is the reason why it has taken this long for these stories to come out. This man is an expert in threat and intimidation. His tactics are manifold.

    You can probably see that for yourself if you take a look at the bullying quality to Eric’s comments. There is also plenty of reason to believe that Eric has told several men’s rights activists to flood the comments sections with verbal backwash. So read with a discerning eye.

    The man in question is an expert silencer. But this time, his time is up.

    1. A Man

      Look to yourselves… “Shut Up” “Fuck You”… Who’s bullying who? Who’s trolling who? Who’s losing a job? When will ‘your’ time be up? The abused becomes the abuser. There is no enlightenment here.

  7. Dan O'Shea

    This entire article and allegations behind it are nothing but pure garbage designed as a “hit piece” to take out an individual who had the glaring audacity to challenge the footprint of the #MeToo act.
    It is disgusting and I hope that all these allegations, not based in pure fact, but rather perceived facts, are answered with a resounding summons and complaint causing this fringe #MeToo crowd to put up or shut up.
    As for the Kingston Times it is unfortunate that so called “editors” chose to print such unabashed garbage!
    I will now use it to light my fireplace.

    1. Not feelin' this influx of MRA commentary

      “Perceived facts,” what is that, the cousin to “alternative facts”? Come on. Your not liking the facts doesn’t suddenly make them fictions. As MRAs like you are fond of saying, “facts don’t care about your feelings.”

      A summons & complaint? Lol. To use the parlance of the day: I WISH YOU WOULD. Eric would choke to death on his own dirty laundry if he went to court.

    2. Really not feelin' this influx of MRA commentary

      “Perceived facts,” what is that, the cousin to “alternative facts”? Come on. Your not liking the facts doesn’t suddenly make them fictions. As MRAs like you are fond of saying, “facts don’t care about your feelings.”

      A summons & complaint? Lol. To use the parlance of the day: I WISH YOU WOULD. Eric would choke to death on his own dirty laundry if he went to court.

  8. Times up

    “gun to the head” is a favorite phrase of EFC, huh? He used it to describe to me how he felt about monogamy — as if someone were holding a gun to his head — while he tried to made sexual advances towards me during a chart reading

  9. False Rape Accusations are a Misogynist Myth

    This comments section is rife with people discounting Eric Francis’s accusers with the dangerous and misogynist myth that false rape accusations are commonplace. What needs to be shouted from the mountains, taught to every little boy and girl, and hammered into our collective psychology is this: FALSE RAPE ACCUSATIONS ARE RARE. They are rare. They are rare. They are rare.

    But rape, unfortunately, is not rare.

    The real truth of the situation is that most rape and sexual assault cases go unreported, because survivors are too ashamed and traumatized to want to retell their stories. Indeed, even doing the work that journalist Hillary Harvey did to collect stories was most certainly traumatic for her and for the women telling their stories. As a victim of child sexual abuse myself, I can tell you that exactly 7 people know what happened – my husband, my 3 previous partners, and 2 therapists. My current therapist wants to talk about it with me, but I am loathe to relive that trauma, which happened when I was younger than 7, and most of which I don’t remember. Even writing those words bring up the trauma of what happened, which has affected my entire life since, and which rarely a day goes by when I don’t think about it.

    If you are one of the people perpetuating the myth that false rape accusations happen all the time, this comment is probably not directed at you. But if you are someone who is wondering whether there is any merit to this claim, there isn’t. Do your own research. Then think about the trauma of sexual violence, the vast majority of rape and sexual violence cases that go unreported, and the kind of crazy person you’d have to be to accuse someone of rape, and draw your own conclusions.

    And if you are a man reading this and you agree with me, please speak out: here, with men you know, to your kids, anywhere and everywhere.

    1. This Story Is Not About Rape

      I am unaware of Eric’s ever being accused of rape. I am unaware of his being accused of any sexual crime, for that matter. What I have read in this series are numerous charges of inappropriate behavior none of which is technically criminal. This comments imputes horrific behavior to Eric that isn’t called for by the evidence. I note this not to discount the cumulatively persuasive testimony of the women who’ve complained about Eric’s conduct toward them, but to make the point that facts matter, and language too. Let’s not be talking about rape unless rape is the actual subject. It’s misleading and inflammatory.

      1. Compassion does not hate

        Has anyone noticed that the unusually large number of hateful comments against EFC are from anonymous people who love the same aviatar? None were raped by him but they all hate him that’s for sure. I wonder how many people there actually are? Maybe it’s just a handful of journalists who are very jealous they never could achieve what he did? It’s seems like character assassination and vengeance on a most evil scale. #metoo just shot itself in the p@$$y thanks to the mean spirited cheerleaders who absolutely loathe EFC. Hate is an awful affliction and it’s very evident in these writings and comments. Please get psychological help before you destroy more people’s lives.

  10. XYZ

    He’s an “astrologer”. Substitute “priest”, “shaman”, “pastor” take your pick. Add in “I sell my beliefs”. Mythical mumbo jumbo has existed from the dawn of man and will persist. Some people try to use it to actually do good things, some use it destructively.

    1. Ivs

      This is irrelevant to the MeToo-conversation, and the journalist at WaPo who wrote that was mistaken to connect the two with that headline and premise.

      The man, Benny Andersson, was NEVER accused of rape, and nobody was calling him a rapist or a sexual criminal. What happened was that, in Sweden, the MeToo movement not only started the conversation about sexual harassment, but also about powerful men abusing their influence in general. Over 40 people came forward speaking about Benny Andersson’s management style and the different ways he had traumatized and discriminated his employees over the years: like ordering an employee, a woman, to have an abortion or lose her job – something that, it goes without saying, is deeply traumatizing and not acceptable, ever.

      Further, there was never any question whether or not he was guilty of this behavior; it was out in the open at the theater, barely a secret. And a lot of people supported him openly through this, seeing how much good he brought his theater company, and they contextualised his behavior. Others, rightly so, didn’t – and it was that judgement that presumably drove him to suicide.

      Ann-Sofie Von Otter is a grieving widow, so I won’t comment on her own stance. But consider yourself corrected, because in no way does that situation apply to Eric Francis.

  11. Erica

    This story is not about rape, but it is about rape culture. I think the point is false accusations are rare. It is very misogynistic to think women make these stories up for, well god knows what reason. Coming forward is an exercise in deep vulnerability, and I can’t fathom anyone doing it lightly. And sexual violence of any kind, from harassment to rape are notoriously hard to prosecute. The criminality of behavior is not all that matters in the world, what EFC did to numerous women, and men too, was unethical, abusive, and harmful. I don’t doubt some of it was criminal, but again these types of crimes are very hard to prosecute. I can think for myself without a court of law telling me good from bad. And people lose their jobs over matters that don’t go to court. Treating people the way EFC treats people is fucked up, regardless of a judge and jury.

    1. Take a deep breath

      Sorry, rape culture isn’t a thing. There are indeed rapists out there; perhaps those rapists are part of a culture of rape within their rapist communities. That said, to label this as symptomatic of a “rape culture” that supposedly trivializes rape isn’t doing anyone any favors. There are also murderers out there; does that mean we live in a murder culture? Rather, it’s the type of super liberal, meaningless phrase (like cultural appropriation) that turns people off to the progressive cause.

      1. You have no shame, Eric

        There absolutely is such a thing as rape culture, which is the celebration and perpetuation of the misogynistic treatment of women, call it whatever you want. A woman knows when she’s been violated, there’s no argining someone out of it. And, yes, sometimes it is after the fact especially when they’ve been manipulated by someone they’d put their trust in.

        By the very nature of Eric and his brainwashed supporters to be treating this accusations with such scorn and contempt is a perfect example of their coldheartedness toward what has been a very emotional and difficult experience for many of these women to have to re-live their trauma and share it publicly. It is not at all fun and I’m sure most would have preferred to get on with their lives but if this is what it takes to expose such a callous and smug beast, hopefully it will be worth it for them.

        1. Goose

          Not everyone who you disagree with happens to be Eric or, for that matter, someone who knows Eric. If your definition of rape culture doesn’t require so much as a single rape, then perhaps you should find a different term for the idea you wish to convey. Otherwise, you diminish the power and meaning of the word rape, which does a disservice to actual victims.

          1. Truth

            Wrong! Women who have been raped appreciate that there is an identification of the culture that perpetuates what leads to an includes rape. Get your head out of your ass.

  12. This Story Is Not About Rape

    Erica, I agree on pretty much all counts. But my basic point remains valid, I think. Accuracy and fairness matter. They matter a lot, and never more so than when people’s passions are up and the spirit of vengeance is in the air.

    1. Erica

      I think you have a very good point. The experiences of these women is valid, and the behavior of EFC is unacceptable, even if it’s not rape, and even if there’s no legal prosecution. The same goes for all people who have experienced abuse or harassment. No one deserves that treatment ever.

  13. TomInUlsterCounty

    It should be noted that men in our community believe the accusations against EFC. I am a local man and, for the reasons listed below, I believe the accusations and agree with the decision to remove him from his position.

    As far as I know there is no trend of rampant false accusations of sexual assault. It does not seem logical to me that a person would expose themselves to all the public scrutiny (that the victims themselves are unfortunately often subject to) just to get someone fired. And many accusers all teaming up to do the same seems highly unlikely. There is a disturbing trend in society to accept sexual assault, defend the assaulters, and to attack the victims, and I believe that can/must change. I, personally, hope I can be a positive force for respect/safety/consent in my community. And one way I can do that is by speaking up for the victims of sexual assault, often women and others vulnerable to people in power positions.

    I have to note that I am biased against this person for a few reasons, one being that he attacked me by name in one of his columns a few years back (although it was a pretty lame attack in the end) after I had politely and explicitly asked him not to involve me (he was quoting/disparaging a private/polite email from me to another person). This does not in and of itself prove anything, just adds to a picture of a care-less person.

    I should also note that I am friends or friendly with at least two of the people who did the investigating/reporting on this topic and they are thoughtful, careful people. I respect their reporting and believe the people coming forward with allegations against EFC. I respect the Chronogram for sending him packing.

  14. It's a Pattern with Him and With All Narcissistic Guru-Types

    I had a professional experience with this man where he tried to use his public status and position as an astrologer in (I felt) a very shady way toward me.

    He also took what was, in my mind, a purely professional exchange and turned it to sexual matters very quickly and unexpectedly.

    I immediately severed all contact with him.

    I believe the women who are coming forward. I think this is a pattern with him. I believe he abuses his position of power and his public status, particularly as an astrologer in a world that is too-often filled with people a little too willing to place these dickbags on a guru pedestal.

    What I want to know is: why are these guys being given this type of “guru status” in the first place? We have to start breaking those power dynamics down right quick. Deplatform “The Guru” in all respects. Don’t give them that power. It a very outdated dynamic and needs to go.

    And yes, being manipulated into having sex with someone is a horrifying experience. Being harassed by someone you have no interest in and have asked to stop is a horrifying experience. Having graphic sexual advances made toward you out of nowhere in what was supposed to be a non-sexual interaction is a horrifying experience. No one should be downplaying those things with the equivalent of “boys will be boys” bullshit.

    This may not be legally criminal behavior, but it’s certainly morally criminal and should be socially criminal. We have to make this crap completely socially unacceptable, and anyone downplaying it is maintaining the current sicko status quo.

  15. Not about rape... yet

    This story is not about rape… or is it?

    The MeToo movement shone a spotlight on the breadth of sexual harassment and shattered its normalization. However it seems to me that this story is yet another Watershed moment as it uncovers a Svengali who left many women feeling violated, victimized and traumatized through his sleezy Machiavellian ways. Perhaps there waan’t physical rape but maybe the concept needs to be redefined to include emotional fraud and distress?

    Or maybe there will be rape accusations soon to come, who knows? In October Mario Batali was accused or being gross at a party and only recently rape charges have been brought and he’s being investigated by the NYPD.

    This story is nowhere near over. And the more that creep Eric Francis continues to attack and threaten his accusers the more he’s just taking all that extra rope to hang himself. Tick, tock… tick, tock…

    1. This Story Is Not About Rape

      Not About Rape … Yet: You ask a fair question: What should the word ‘rape’ mean? Personally, I believe we start digging a deep hole for ourselves when we engage in ‘meaning inflation.’ If we expand rape to mean emotional exploitation, then we need to find a new word for its current meaning (“unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury”). And the current word works fine.

      We are starting to have an important national conversation about sexual seduction and come-ons. We don’t improve the conversation by muddying the language.

  16. Anne

    Holding Eric accountable for his behavior is a good thing, but I am concerned that this multi-part expose does little to reveal Chronogram’s role in helping to perpetuate this behavior. Was he in appropriate in the workplace? Were complaints made internally about his professional behavior that were ignored by his employer? Was Chronogram in the dark about Eric’s conduct? Shaming Eric seems to be cathartic for many people. I get it, he’s a manipulative pervert, but in my view he has successfully exploited a system that allowed him to behave like this for decades – and got paid for it. Is it too touchy to expose Chronogram’s management style because the author is now employed by them? Let’s use our energy and collective disgust for this type of behavior to attack and change the systems (and managers and bosses) that allow this behavior to go unchecked. We need to hold those in power accountable in ways we can measure.

    1. Jesse J. Smith

      Anne,
      For the record I am not and have never been employed by or written for Chronogram magazine or Luminary Publishing. I am a staff reporter for Ulster Publishing.

    2. Employer's Purview Is the Workplace

      Wow, talk about a slippery slope. The employer’s purview is the workplace, and with freelancers (which Eric was) even that is fuzzy because freelance writers don’t spend much time in the workplace. Let employers start making employment decisions based on their employees’ off-workplace, non-criminal conduct and … well, the notion gives me the willies. Company A fires Joe because he gambles away a big part of his salary and we can’t have that, can we? Company B fires Jill because she is alleged to cheat on her spouse. Company C fires her because her spouse happens to be female. I don’t want the morality police governing my life, whether it’s the fundamentalist right or my opinionated employer. In fact, I’ll take it one step further: I don’t want to be part of a society where employers have that sort of Right to Meddle.

  17. Saintly

    I noticed Eric Francis published a page of testimonials to his character on what a saint he is. What a load of crap. Knowing him, he likely wrote many himself. In his postings alone where he vilifies these women it’s clear he is vengeful against the very gender he claims to sympathize with. The best case scenario would be that he takes this as a come-to-Jesus moment and realizes that these women are sensitive human beings who deserve respect and to whom he owes an apology. Would he go so far as to ask for forgiveness? Doubtful. But let this be a lesson to you, Eric – if you want to live up to your self-anointed sainthood, now is the time. Let these women have their say. And listen.

    1. mirage = gaslighting

      One man. Several women from all over the USA whom he’s victimized. Get your facts straight.

    2. Is Kingston the bastion of sainthood?

      OMG!! Thank you for saying that. I think that these women are upset that Eric hasn’t/won’t apologize and keep digging in. And some of them are really digging (stretching) to find accusable moments in their past. The level and persistence of meanness is hard for me to read. What about teachable moments? When will enough be enough? When will people return to their corners and take a deep breath and move forward? Is Eric even welcome in your community? Does he have to move?

      It seems he’s done a lot of good things for people and given good advice along that way. I think all those character statements are legit. Does anyone notice that he, too, is a human being with feelings? While I don’t doubt there was cause to address his behaviors, I don’t see that there is cause to take away his livelihood or attack him for an entire month. And by the way, why did it take YEARS for anyone to tell Eric that there was a problem? Is anyone going to take responsibility for their shortcomings, there? Why not bring this to his attention and put him on notice?

      All these obsessive posts (and some are beyond obsessive) with no regard as to the emotional affect that comes from an entire town putting down a single person whose only wrong was that he aggressively pursued but, did NOT sexually assault, a handful of women is, to me, more loathsome than anything I have seen him credibly accused of. It just didn’t have to come to this.

      Would there even be any forgiveness if he apologized? Instead of everyone piling on the shit, how about everyone agreeing to pause, give Eric an opportunity to use his considerable writing skills to address his behaviors, honestly and contritely and then perhaps, give him a chance to get back in good stead with the community. Make him earn it – perhaps writing for a non-profit, perhaps teaching that consent is not just about consent to sex but, consent to pursuit, as well. And maybe he needs a few lessons on how to respectfully approach a woman? Maybe through trying to find a little forgiveness and compassion, everyone can begin to heal. You know what they say, “let he (or she) who is guiltless cast the first stone.” Does Kingston really fancy itself a town full of saints?

      I am all too aware that Eric thinks himself superior and better adjusted than those around him. He likes to tell women (not sure about men) to “do the work” and “be honest with yourself.” This is because he likes to be in control and needs to feel dominant. But this “therapist” he has been seeing is a wanna-be hack who likes to offer assurance and permissiveness rather than actually get you to be objectively honest and deal with the real issues. I don’t think Eric even understands his bad behaviors. I think this caught him very much by surprise.

      Also, please stop being abusive toward people who are speaking out on Eric’s behalf. I am sure he is a good friend to many. They have a right to defend a friend even if they may have also been aware of his behaviors. Try to accept that their experience with Eric has been different than yours. None of my friends are flawless but I love them anyway and would come to their defense because in balance they have shown me much more goodness than badness.

      You are all trying to make Eric out to be a monster. He’s just a flawed man in need of a much better therapist and a chance at redemption. Can we try that, instead? After all this meanness, I think the otherwise good people of Kingston need a little redemption as well.

      1. Therapy

        FYI Eric apparently has a therapist if you hadn’t read and it has not curbed his behavior one iota from all appearances. Sad situation indeed.

  18. Trish

    I’ve been reading Eric’s Planetwaves astrology column for many years. Over the duration, his readership has come to know that he is a sexual man who takes inspiration from his sensual encounters and elevates them to an art form. His approach to erotica is refreshing, unique and expressive of his highly creative personality. I’ve always appreciated his open mindedness, his personal candor. As a female, I rather liked having a deference point for being allowed to understand the male sexual experience from someone who is sensitive to both genders in equal measure. As much as the climate of the #metoo movement is to corral the sexual experience into sterile airtight packages approved by the committee , Eric presents very much as a maverick to be sure. Eric was not hyper-critical of the #me-too movement in questioning its aggressive stance on demonizing men who may be merely flirting. Pandering to the #metoo movement at the expense of logical deduction is not something Eric did either. I believe he approached the subject matter in a balanced and sober way. Let’s be fair but let’s also be honest. Women are not children. Beyond the age of consent, openness to the possibility of sex is implied in agreeing to a date – even if the net result is not mutually enjoyed. It is unrealistic and unfair to expect personal sexual gratification to be subject to one set of constraints initiated by females exclusively. I don’t believe Eric coerced anybody into doing anything. Sexual approaches initiated by either Eric or his potential partners are simply just that. Coloring these approaches with a predatory wash on Eric’s part is frankly unfair. Women who consent to dates with men are to expect some degree of sexual flirting and innuendo if attraction is to be reflexively built. It’s a basic premise of the sexual encounter in which responsiveness is measured. There are no guarantees that each sexual encounter will produce enrichment or pleasure for both parties but crying #metoo doesn’t change the equation, nor should it. Eric is a gifted writer and astrologer. It is truly surprising and a bit alarming that he is being gratuitously herded into a category of the most unsavory sort. He doesn’t deserve it. Spend some time with the body of his writings and you’ll reach the same conclusion.

    1. Truth

      Trish, I enjoyed Harvey Weinstein’s films and Mario Batali’s restaurants, that doesn’t exempt them from being perverts, predators and rapists. This is the very argument that perpetuates this sick behavior, that these poor men have created such good things in the world, leave them and their genius alone. Well what about ALL the women who’ve been victimized, violated and traumatized? What about their goals and dreams that were crushed after they were used, abused and cast aside like trash for the sick temporary pleasure of these men? Time’s Up for that, women are rising now. There’s no denying how disgusting their behavior looks when the light of truth shines upon it.

      1. Trish

        Truth, Eric wasn’t charged with anything. If these accusers really believed he had harmed them criminally then why didn’t they go to law enforcement with their accusations and initiate due process? Flirting is not illegal. Sex between consenting adults is not illegal. Fictional erotica is not illegal. Mentoring is not illegal. Personality is not illegal. You cannot defame someone’s character based on what you personally find inappropriate. Some people find sex outside of marriage inappropriate. Some would argue taking nude photographs is inappropriate. Some people consider going to the express check out with more than 12 items inappropriate. You cannot start a slander campaign based what you dislike about Eric. You can go to the law and report it or handle it like an adult and talk to him personally. I understand where you’re coming from but I’m also not seeing harmful intent in Eric’s behavior. There has to be a distinction or lives, careers and reputations are ruined for unsubstantiated reasons. Put yourself in Eric’s shoes. He is the proprietor of his business and worked hard to build his brand and success. That an employee or contractor charges him with lewd behavior and screams it from the treetops does not make it so just because she says so. Remember, those that worked with him were versed on his content and methods. The Book of Blue editor was to expect some creative license while editing a proprietary erotic work that is deeply personal in its presentation. I’m familiar with the content of Book of Blue and the pictures he sent the editor were consistent with the theme of his work. How SHE chooses to construe his work suddenly gives her license to appropriate it under her specific sensibility? Under what authority and with what permission? See? Suddenly Eric is a giant pervert in the eyes of the world because a nameless, faceless person says so who he trusted to edit HIS work. You can’t suck and blow at the same time. If she didn’t want to see pictures of Eric masturbating, then she should have said so before committing to the job and can’t suddenly turn the situation into something it wasn’t in the eyes of the public just because she decides to be offended or disgruntled. Eric is not running a corporate glass tower machine. Anyone that is familiar with his work knows that he attracts and values empathic, polyamorous relationships. He’s a writer and an artist trying to make a living in a familial and friendly environment and has the right to consider himself integral to a community ethos he built. #Metoo is trying to force him to define himself by their rules and tomes and has assumed authority over his public image without a legitimate cause or right to do so. Time and ago workplace relationships were not taboo or subject to #metoo parameters. If anyone was disgruntled in a situation, be it workplace or connected to the workplace, they just worked it out by communicating with each other. Under this modern and dangerous climate of potential accusation, women hold the kind of power to define and assume excessive authority over men that supercedes even the law. This is just plain wrong and frankly indecent.

        1. Disgusting

          Shame on you for supporting this predator and by doing so perpetuating patriarchal disempowerment of women.

          1. Trish

            No, shame on you for using the #metoo platform to endorse what to me amounts to epically childish behavior. #Metoo will discredit itself for becoming a platform for public tantrums and defamation. And I repeat, women are not children. They need to take responsibility for their part in the equation. You cannot agree to be mentored by a world famous astrologer and then scream #metoo when he makes business decisions that are not aligned with your expectations of him. You cannot agree to work for an openly polyamorous erotic artist and photographer and then judge and defame him when he lives his principle respectfully. You cannot agree to go on a date with this man hiking in the woods, admit the sex was consensual and then cry #metoo when you for your own personal reasons regret doing it. By your obtuse logic Eric should become a monk who doesn’t pursue any relationships, polyamorous or otherwise, doesn’t mentor astrology students or demonstrate his formidable talent, doesn’t produce erotic literature and photography and doesn’t have a voice because of your insistence that all these things somehow make him a patriarchal pariah. Your position on this sounds utterly ridiculous to me. Are you even familiar with his work at all??? And I repeat, he isn’t charged with anything. The inquiry found nothing of note to remark on. I don’t think the fact that I’m able to see the truth is something that I should be ashamed of. Think before you speak and know of whom you speak for.

          2. Creepiness Is In the Eye of the Beholder

            ‘Disgusting:’

            Creepiness is energetic. It can apply to a person’s sexual behavior; it can apply to their politics too. Your comment felt creepy to me.

          3. Trish

            @ MeToo: Uh-huh…so if I rounded up all your past lovers, exes, flirts, co-workers, neighbors, etc. and asked them to do their worst in a smear campaign about you and wrapped it all up with a sloppy bow called #ustoo and threw it out there without due process, proof or fair consideration…you would just be okay with that and say “Multiple accusations going back many years speaks for itself.” ??? What if they all publicly and loudly labelled you ignorant, self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, presumptive and generally a very bad person. Despite whatever you believe #metoo to be, it isn’t a free pass to subject people to the court of public opinion. I want you to think about that a minute.

          4. Grow up

            “Disgusting” has made a point of trying to shoot down several posts that posit sensible ideas/positions with which she disagrees. As Trish rightly notes, “Disgusting”‘s view seems to be that women are nothing more than powerless children who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions. Such an argument sets us all back not years, but decades. If anyone is espousing a viewpoint of female disempowerment, it is “Disgusting”

          5. Diego

            Shame on you for treating grown women like children who can’t make their own decisions and live with the consequences. You truly are disgusting — you chose an appropriate name.

          6. Power games

            All of you need to read the work of Dr Peter Rutter about ethics. His book Sex in the Forbidden Zone: When Men in Power Biolate Trust explains tranference inpower dynamics. It is extremely emotionally damaging for women to place their trust and hopes in a man to then be used just for his sexual pleasure. There is a subconscious tranference of power like child to parent. So yes in some ways it is like being a child. Eric Francis knows this and exploited it, thus such a strong outcry against him.

          7. MammariusHex

            Your question wasn’t directed at me, Trish, but I’ll answer you.

            If you “rounded up all [my] past lovers, exes, flirts, co-workers, neighbors, etc.,” sure, one or possibly two might tell you I’m “ignorant, self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, presumptive and generally a very bad person.”

            What you will not find is one single person, let alone dozens upon dozens of people telling you I’m sexually coercive/manipulative/intimidating/pressuring/harassing.

            Soooo, like, what’s your point?

          1. Trish

            Oh brother…you just summed up and proved my point exactly. Go ahead and jump to stupid assumptions and then cast the worst aspersions on a level-headed and cohesive argument made by me and definitely not by you. Is that all you’ve got you birdbrained hencluck? Mental midgets like you give the #metoo movement a thug like image.

          2. Trish

            @Power Games: I know it is convenient to flip the omelet and make it seem like an abuse of trust occurred here. Despite the nameless, faceless accusations, hearsay and unsubstantiated stories aimed at humiliating his sexuality, the fact remains that his sexual encounters are his business and not for you or I to judge. He didn’t rape anybody, he offered to barter chart readings for consensual sex and was met with consent by his partners. If those who say he was sex obsessed were offended by this – they could have just told him. He is openly polyamorous, has never hid this and maintains his readership and following just the same for many years now. Ladies, own your part in it – HE DOESN’T HAVE TO CONFORM TO YOUR STANDARD OR CARE THAT YOU’RE OFFENDED BY HIM! YOU CAN CHOOSE TO SAY NO THANK YOU IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHO HE REALLY IS. It is very hard to get the #metoo mob to understand this point: Why is it Eric’s responsibility or onus to answer to how he’s construed after the fact? If you really believe it is your birthright to condemn him for seeking sex within a community of presumed kindred spirits, then I can assume your individual sex lives and intimate connections should be plied through the same heavy scrutiny. Are you always up front about your motives with sexual partners? Do you game the opposite sex when it suits your purpose? Are you sure you’re always on the same page as your love interest? Should one night stands be plied through an application process from now on and forever? People disappoint all the time…but that shouldn’t negate basic rights and autonomy over your own sexual practices. If Eric wants to barter consensual sex for a spiritual reading – that’s his business. You can always so No Thanks if you’re really not feeling it. When you cry #metoo that you were made uncomfortable by the proposition and after you consented, you’re deferring to your inner 12 year old. So if you want to be treated and seen like an independent, autonomous woman, then ACT LIKE IT!

          3. contact with Eric

            I have been in touch with Eric re these comments. He adds:

            “Any claims of bartering sex for astrology readings, or any offer to trade photography for readings, are false. No such thing ever happened; both are against my personal and professional ethics.”

            There are many other problems with Kingston Times coverage, including the omission of this fact:

            http://planetwaves.net/official-statement/

            Thank you.

          4. Agency ladies ... A G E N C Y ! ! !

            Oh Trish, you and I could be besties! Thank you for defending Eric and explaining, simply, that women need to own their choices and deal with their regrets.

            I love that Eric is so unabashedly sexual. It’s refreshing that he doesn’t hide or couch what he wants. Women have the right to say “No!” It’s called AGENCY.

            Someone had it out for Eric and leveraged HER position of power to attack him, using her followers. Isn’t that what they accused Eric of?? Her victim (Eric) had no choice … or chance to say, “no.” Eric’s alleged “victims” had that choice each and every time.

            I am a woman … fierce and independent. These so-called feminists are an embarrassment to women. Seriously. Eric didn’t sexually assault anyone! He let a few women know he was sexually interested in a direct, unveiled manner. Maybe a little more persistent than one would like but, that is not a crime, just an annoyance. Many accepted. And in HINDSIGHT they feel this was a bad choice? Ladies … OWN YOUR CHOICES. Don’t expect the be respected as women until you can at least, do that.

            The only victim here is Eric. Shame on you all!!

        2. Not Trish

          Trish, here’s how I’m interpreting your comments. You’re saying that Eric hasn’t committed crimes, that he has a right to his sexuality, and that if women have an issue with his behavior they can tell him to stop and he will. It’s a legalistic attitude: He’s within his rights to behave as he does, so bug off if you don’t like it.

          Here’s one way your approach goes splat: Society is driven by norms as well as the law, and Eric appears to have violated norms again and again and again. Here’s another way: According to more than one woman, he didn’t back off when they told him to. They have rights too, yes? And finally: This isn’t only about the law and norms. It’s also about feelings. Eric appears to be stubbornly (even proudly) disregardful of how his behavior has upset women over the years. The vast majority of people, upon learning that they’d made dozens of people uncomfortable, would have a heart-pang and go, ‘Oops.’ They’d feel remorse and resolve to do better in the future. Eric seems incapable of that. His refusal (or inability) to express empathy is the gaping hole at the center of this story. It’s the fuel that keeps the story running, and it’s also why he’s got an uphill battle not to be seen as an incorrigible villain.

          1. Trish

            Not Trish: The difference between your interpretation of my comments and my slant is that I simply either don’t believe or give credibility weight to the accuser’s stories as they are presented. It doesn’t stand to reason that Eric would use his astrology community clout (of which he labored to build) to lord it over women by making overtly aggressive sexual advances that cross over into harassment. That pattern of sexually aggressive and deviant license is usually demonstrated by an elitist person who is so sheltered by wealth and position that they believe they can get away with it (like Weinstein) or a common criminal that doesn’t know better or even care about social norms. Eric is not living on a cloud. He is aware of the law. He has faced censure over his polyamory. He has written on sexuality (including his own) and understands these nuances of social norms and what it means to live outside of them. All of this mess seems to me to be the product of Eric’s past women questioning themselves and if they’re really aligned with his personal philosophy on sexuality. #Metoo has allowed these women to collectively subject the rest of us to their internal struggle with it. The #metoo “re-education” is bound to flag sexually explorative men gratuitously. In my opinion, that’s what’s going on here. So all we really have in this story is the word of the law – of which Eric is on the right side of. Everything else is hearsay and fish tales ((sorry Eric!…I know you’re a Pisces!))

        3. Not Trish

          Trish: Where there are, what … 15? 20? 25? clouds of smoke, there is probably fire. Do you believe Trump’s blanket denials of his many female accusers’ charges? While EFC’s alleged offenses are considerably more modest, there is rough numerical equivalence. I can no more discount his accusers, considered as a whole, than I can the Drumpfster’s. And even if we accept that some of EFC’s accusers have revised their feelings after the fact, it remains an indisputable fact that lots of women have responded with fear and loathing to Eric’s behavior. When a person’s defense depends on invalidating feelings, it’s mighty problematic. It’s mighty hard to prove, it’s emotionally and spiritually clueless, and it’s nasty and mean-spirited.

          1. Trish

            Not Trish…you said:

            “When a person’s defense depends on invalidating feelings, it’s mighty problematic. It’s mighty hard to prove, it’s emotionally and spiritually clueless, and it’s nasty and mean-spirited.”

            Have you considered the possibility that maybe from Eric’s perspective it wasn’t like this? Have you considered that perhaps these women gave enthusiastic consent which he accepted as validation and kindred alignment? Why are you carting out Trump and his accusers as a support for your point? Did it not occur to you that these Trump women are conveniently propped as political agitators and he might be too busy and too focused on being President of a nation to be baited by silly media games? “Fear and loathing”?? Eric’s an astrologer. Use some common sense. Would he really want to scare and make the women who follow his work want to fear and loathe him? I’ll tell you what’s nasty and mean-spirited. I’ll tell you what’s clueless: Eric’s being excoriated over the fact that he took a position on #metoo that recognizes how punitive the movement can be to men’s sexuality. In the stampede of women joining in the #metoo fray who have no idea who Eric is and what’s he’s all about can now collectively launch a dedicated attack on him for just remarking on the problems with #metoo in practice. He is not invalidating anyone’s feelings. If anything, he’s invalidating his own feelings because of being forced to try to defend himself in the court of public opinion for just questioning something. And I repeat, this is what the law is for and let’s call a spade a spade. There is no real case against him. So I’ve taken a position to defend Eric because I don’t believe that he is this horrible man that harasses and intimidates women. From my vantage point, it’s #metoo who is being “emotionally and spiritually clueless, nasty and mean-spirited” to Eric.

          2. cj

            “it’s emotionally and spiritually clueless, and it’s nasty and mean-spirited”

            That pretty well sums up this entire attack on Eric.

    2. speed racer

      “He has faced censure over his polyamory…”

      Why do people keep bringing up polyamory? What does that have to do with anything? The issue with the behavior is not that this person has simultaneous relationships with different women. It’s how he acted toward the women who have come forward with their stories, none of whom gave a crap about who else this guy was involved with.

      1. Trish

        Speed Racer: It’s about context. Eric has written extensively about polyamory and sexual themes and is versed and self aware. I think he would know if his behavior was upsetting people or if he was crossing lines. He runs a subscriber based service that isn’t Fort Knox. I’m sure his team at Planetwaves would have fielded and responded to complaints long before #metoo were these allegations to be in any way legitimate. The whole tone of Eric’s thought pieces on sexuality emphasize the opposite of the behavior of which he’s being characterized: mutual respect, affinity and a thoughtful approach.

        1. J.Dee

          Trish, many people in the Hudson Valley identify with and practice polyamory. No one is judging Eric on that. Eric has known about his behavior and the way he chooses to treat people for a longtime. The complaints are very real and legit, and have been brought to his staff before. In fact, many people who either have worked for him or still do have had similar complaints. Choosing to still be employed/contracted by him is their decision. Have you ever worked for Eric? Have you ever lived in the same community with him? Eric’s tone in writing is very different than who he is as a person, or at least how he behaves. I like sex, I like feeling sexual. However, I do not like strange men telling me that they want to “sniff my…..” when I’m grabbing breakfast after dropping my kid off. Maybe my own personal boundary, which should be respected—not laughed at.

          1. Trish

            No, I don’t know Eric personally and have never met him. I really do find it hard to believe that he would be emboldened and out of control to this extent, which suggests harassment. It certainly does not sync up with the tone and character of his writing or the general philosophical platform of Planetwaves. Did he really say that to you and then laugh? There’s a difference between illegal and immoral behavior that hurts people and embarrassing or inappropriate behavior. In many parts of the world the very fact that you admitted as a woman that you are a sexual person would be seen as too forward and possibly offensive to some. The notion of inappropriateness is relative to society, gender, station in life and even down to the individual’s sensibilities. What one person finds inappropriate, another person can find appealing or provocative. This is especially true in Western society. That’s why it’s really important that you talked with Eric directly about it (assuming you didn’t). That you instead found a group of women that deem sexual comments inappropriate does not make it so universally or criminalize it. Are you able to accept this distinction or do you really believe there is a universal norm with regard to sexual expression?

        2. MammariusHex

          Well, we agree on one thing: “I think he would know if his behavior was upsetting people or if he was crossing lines.” He does know. He doesn’t care. His self-centeredness, sense of entitlement, and lack of empathy (as evidenced in his weird, whiny, vicious defenses) reign supreme.

    3. Eric's echo chamber is not helping him

      Hey Trish! Are you really Eric?

      Because you claim to know very much about his body of work, and you are clearly assuming A LOT about the particulars of the transgressions he has been accused of. That just seems strange, for someone who has never met him. I’m going to quote you; “Spend some time with the body of his writings and you’ll reach the same conclusion.” I challenge you to spend some actual time with Eric, and see what conclusion you reach.

      I suggest that both are true. The Eric you see, and the Eric his accusers see. I’m going to quote you one more time; “Think before you speak and know of whom you speak for.”

      1. Trish

        LoL… The last time I checked, Eric is NOT a 52 year old married mother from Toronto. And yes, 20+ years of reading an astrologer-author does give you assimilation and osmosis with the spirit of his work. I’d love to spend some time with Eric actually. Maybe I’ll finally get the chance to do that. Just to clarify, “think before you speak” refers to all those who jump to the conclusion that Eric is a weirdo creep because #metoo is a blank canvas for this kind of amorphous construct….”know of whom you speak for” refers to the women who are so wound up in some kind of man-bashing fever rage that they know not of whom they speak. Read this and you’ll vibe his take on this whole mess and maybe even understand where I’m coming from in pitching an enlightened defense for him:

        http://planetwaves.net/astrologynews/are-you-my-mother.html

        1. Eric's echo chamber is not helping him

          Yeah I read that. It explains a lot about his systemic bitterness and resentment towards women.

          20+ years and you never once reached out to the actual person to connect over a cup of coffee? Interesting. He’s not exactly hard to get hold of…

          Reading his work might make you think you really know him. You’re deluding yourself.

          As we have seen with several people who have been called out by #metoo, there is a big difference between the persona someone projects out into the world with conscious deliberation (as such required for art through writing, music, film, etc.) and the actual way they move through the world and treat the people around them.

          His writing does not show you his behavior. It does not show you the side of him that can sometimes behave like a silopsistic asshole who is emotionally erratic, arrogant, short-tempered, condescending, confrontational, and rude to service people.

          It absolutely strains the limits of credulity that anyone could collect this many complaints against their behavior and not claim one single mea culpa.

          1. Trish

            I’m glad I caught this comment while reading comments on the newest post where Eric himself responded and I’m glad he did. Firstly, I’m not Eric’s or anyone else’s “echo chamber” and aren’t you the astute genius that first thought I was Eric himself. It doesn’t take much book smarts to notice my writing style is completely different than his, as is my thought train. Eric might not like some of my opinions because he is much more open-minded than I am. I have however over the duration of 20 years of reading his work grown to become a more empathic person from the sad, broken misanthrope I was when I first starting following Planetwaves. I found myself being drawn to Eric’s worldview and perspectives about society even though my life was radically different than his. As an astrologer, he is by profession very social. My profession led me to an isolated and often lonely existence where my tether to the outside world was often virtual. His was a soothing, engaging voice in my anxious world that helped. He understands social anxiety well, among many other things. To call me delusional does not negate the reality that he presented as a helpful presence in my world, even if I don’t know him personally. So it stands to reason that if he helped me he helped others as well. It also stands to reason that it is important for him to be that person who helps people. It doesn’t take an exceptional IQ to know how hard he works at what he does and produces on an ongoing basis or how busy he must be in keeping the material flowing. And guess what, I work hard too. I don’t live in the Hudson Valley or NY state. I’m not so self-important and intrusive that I would insert myself into his daily world assuming he’d need or want that for any reason. I’m a core reader and I tap into his world lightly as he gives more than he receives. In reading the linked piece….did you not notice how he turned the mirror inward not for his own benefit but for yours? It absolutely strains the limits of credulity that you could read that article and not realize the point: Women are capable of the same degree of cruelty and collective cruelty as men (even if it is subtle) . By your stupid logic, we should just go back to the middle ages where thousands of people claimed witches were causing destruction in society and should be rooted out by mob justice because a bunch of angry religious battle axes believed it to be so. So the “mea culpa” you’re looking for is nothing more and nothing less than your own justification for gratuitous cruelty toward another human being to validate your own misguided anger and lack of understanding. Leave him alone. He doesn’t owe you anything and you have absolutely no right to ask that of him. It’s tantamount to me demanding you admit the fact that you’re actually an evil witch…and I guess I have just as much reason to believe so.

          2. Trish

            Who’s the cannibal? Eric? No, I think he’s a vegetarian. Me? Fair enough… I bite off noses all the time (both male and female). But I’ll still bake you an angel food cake and buy you a lotto ticket for your troubles because I’m a good, evolved kind of cannibal. In my opinion, it’s better to be a nice cannibal than an evil witch.

  19. A Sad Situation

    Eric has hoist himself on his own petard. Doubly, actually, first by going over women’s line repeatedly, and second by proclaiming his absolute innocence, which (given the lengthy list of finger-pointers) is about as credible at this point as a certain Mister Drumpf’s claims of innocence.

    That being said, I am baffled or put off by some of his critics’ arguments.

    Priya Kale argues that he was trying to get out ahead of his attackers by writing a column about #MeToo. So: Because he knows he’s about to get blasted by #MeToo, he writes an article that’s critical of #MeToo? Seems like a very odd strategy to me, one that in fact is more likely to get him called out than not. Which is exactly what happened.

    And then there’s the woman who has an issue with his standing offer on his website to exchange astrological readings for posing nude. In and of itself, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that offer. What if it had been posing for an art class, for instance? It’s a legitimate offer and a legitimate way to make money. There is an element of sex-negativity in this complaint that actually lends credence to one of EFC’s arguments, that he’s being railroaded for his sex-positivity.

    As for the commenters who bemoan the lack of compassion in Kingston, this isn’t Kingston’s problem, or not Kingston’s problem alone. Look at social media broadly; look at public discourse broadly; the lack of compassion is everywhere.

  20. mirage = gaslighting

    “From all sides” just like Trump said about Charlottesville and the Nazis? There is only one perpetrator here, Eric Francis.

  21. Erica

    I read and really loved EFC’s writing and horoscopes for years. I enjoyed his sex positive spin. BUT it all turns out to be bullshit, because he’s been treating women like crap. He has played power games and exploited and used people. I know plenty of polyamorous people and they don’t behave like EFC. They respect boundaries, treat people well, and build relationships, they don’t pursue sex with people who don’t want it, or seek revenge on people who won’t sleep with them. Maybe it’s your turn to read these articles and comments and realize EFC has been harassing and mistreating and abusing people.

  22. Christina

    It’s important to note that due to the organisation of the local women who’ve been victimized by him, he’s been fired from Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY and banned from their campus, banned from the campus of Center for Symbolic Studies in New Paltz, fired from his position as astrologer from the Chronogram which he held for 25 years. These are serious consequences for serious actions and I’m sure it was not easy for these women to come out and share their painful stories.

    It is always the responsibility of the person in power, the trusted figure, to set and enforce appropriate boundaries. Astrologers need to have better training that includes concepts such as projection and transference where the client projects their unmet childhood needs onto the therapist. In therapy these are extremely clear and it is absolutely not ethically or legally allowed for any kind of sexual transgressions to occur between the therapist and the client/student. This is also the case in general terms for teachers, bosses and those in the healing professions, astrology should not be exempt.

    I am not at all surprised to hear about this repulsive behavior by Eric Francis. He has been quite rightly ostracized and marginalized from professional astrology presumably because of his lack of ethics or just plain sliminess. Unfortunately, however, this seems to have given him free reign to right his own rules and do whatever he pleases which clearly includes being a pervert and a predator. Is there any way to rein this guy in or others like him aside from public shaming? Probably not unless the women bring criminal charges against him. In the meantime as a community, astrologers can use his example of how not to behave and begin to set better standards for the profession.

  23. Rhi

    What is the crime?

    I understand he made you feel uncomfortable but what did he do that was criminal? The stories are vague.

    1. Trolling Trolls

      Sexual harassment can be a crime, but it isn’t always. Just because a situation of sexual harassment is not criminal doesn’t mean it’s not *unethical* and grounds for being fired. Are people upset that he was unethical towards dozens of people over decades? Are people upset that he was fired? No, they’re just upset that women are speaking out without having criminal charges. That tells you something, doesn’t it? Check your priorities, people.

  24. Mother's Milk

    ‘Returning Milk to the Mother’ does not sound very erotic. At 18 and a virgin, Dana was not a mother then. It sounds more like the description of a ritual. I read that Eric said it was from a Beltane ritual. How are we to believe that this was an erotic poem given to someone who had a sexual experience…it doesn’t make sense.

  25. Marie

    This man should not be saying he is a healer and using his position to try to seduce women, much less emotionally abuse them. That is just wrong.

    1. Paula F.

      Dear Marie (aka ‘CinnamonWoman’ aka ‘Eric Francis is Scum’ aka Truth aka Disgusting aka MeToo aka ‘You have no shame Eric’):

      I ask this question with sincerity: Do you think that you are doing important work here? I am genuinely curious.

    1. Someone from Kingston

      Because, friend Bart, emotions are high on this subject and personal attacks and vilification are as much the rule as the exception. Yours would be a fine notion if this were a compassionate dialogue but it is rarely either.

  26. publish the poem

    I think it is important the the poem be made public along with the envelope – this would clear things up – My problem is why not even a small portion of it has not been made public, but many accusations have been shared ..why?
    An Beltane is a ancient ritual on May 1 – to honour the goddess and is often celebrated with May Poles and so one ..

  27. Rosendalechic

    As someone who has seen Eric “in action “ since the late 1980’s, he’s getting exactly what he lives for and gaines his success from: attention, controversy and conflict. Please let the legal system take him down and stop feeding the beast with the media attention he thrives on!

    1. speed racer

      There’s nothing here for the legal system to deal with. This is about a particular kind of non-criminal behavior (being very sexually forward at arguably inappropriate times) having a bearing on one’s employment. It’s not clear what’s going to happen but it’s obviously something we need to figure out as a society.

  28. Re. Beltane poem not erotic

    Eric Francis on Beltane, first Google result:

    “Beltane is a Pagan holiday devoted to fucking and trees.”

    1. cj

      From the article…
      http://planetwaves.net/beltane.html

      Each Spring, the Earth is renewed and we are given a fresh chance to live, and this is the most simple meaning of Beltane. While we may view this metaphorically today, in earlier times there were no guarantees of surviving winter. Harsh climates throughout Europe and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, and many unchecked diseases, compounded by lack of supplies and medicine, provided long and challenging months. Emerging with one’s life intact in the warmth and renewal of Spring was something to celebrate. And celebrate they did. As Loreena tells it, “And so they linked their hands and danced / Round in circles and in rows”

      In honor of Spring, trees were dressed in garlands, wreaths and ribbons. The May Pole, the ancient symbol of fertility, was celebrated in a dance involving the interweaving of ribbons, symbolic of the entwined fabric of the human family. And then, as evening would fall, something unusual would happen. For one special night, the normal rules of community were suspended, and people would have sex in the forests and fields, often with people other than their husbands and wives. In some comminutes and cultures, The May was celebrated all through the month.

      “Marriage vows were temporarily forgotten during this honey month, writes Donna Henes in her book Celestially Auspicious Occasions. “People coupled freely in the woods and fields, fertilizing the soil and each other, sharing a fervent participation in the regenerative magic of the Earth.”

      “In pre-Christian Europe, sexual activity was considered sacred, and Beltane was literally a night of love,” comments Marion Weinstein in The Ancient Modern Witch. “Women and men met in the dark, and paired off under groves of tress, or lay on the newly-sown fields. This was believed to create healthy babies, and simultaneously provide a blessing for the crops. Any child conceived on Beltane Eve was considered a child of The Goddess and The God.”

  29. Justice & Mob Justice

    Those who are speaking up for Eric are not committing both-siderism. They’re doing it because there’s a difference between justice and mob justice, and we need to find the line between the two.

  30. prairienut

    I do not know Eric personally but knew about him from his inaccurate and biased screed against Mohonk Preserve over a land dispute, a court case which the Preserve eventually won fair and square based on the facts and common sense. I have read the articles about the accusations against Eric and have also read Eric’s responses to them. I come away with the understanding that Eric did nothing criminal or illegal but has behaved like an entitled jerk with women. I liken his behavior to that of the charismatic leader of a religious cult where the leader uses his position of influence and the power of his personality to lure others into a dependency which he then exploits for sexual gratification. This type of behavior in my mind has little to do with religion, astrology, or a so-called “polyamory orientation” (better dubbed “horny guy syndrome” and not much to do with love). Eric managed to keep out of serious trouble up until now by being careful about the age of his targets. Some of the stories seem pretty mild; others are more disturbing; all remained in the realm of “creepy behavior but just short of illegal.” He seems to have a good number of self-described friends who are sticking up for him. Looks like he will have to be content with those people as his social circle and astrology dupes.

  31. Jezebel

    This comment is intended for those outside of the Hudson Valley Feminist commentary and looking in on this saga (hopefully, from a happier locale), the purpose being ‘keep it in perspective’. And – as the dust settles – this really does come down to perception.

    Early on, I voiced my own perception of my interactions with Eric. (These were certainly not negative interactions.) I was quickly dismissed on Facebook for ‘dismissing’ the voices of the women who spoke out. I did not do that at all.

    In the end of what could have been an intelligent dialogue, a local activist/commentator messaged me to “just let me know” that I was “too ugly” and that’s why Eric was never ‘predatory’ towards me.

    I am a feminist. But this particular group of feminists are in a different camp than me. Again, perception.

  32. Trish

    Thank you Planetwaves team for acknowledging truth and substance in highlighting my post stream. I believe HV1 should remove this entire “Bad Moon Rising” article series because when taken from the broad perspective, it seriously reads like the brainchild of a bored junior high school busybody from the late 1950’s. At this current juncture in the time-space continuum, we need to open the dialogue from a new vantage point that recognizes the serious fissure happening between the sexes. Myths of the sexual revolution need to be looked at squarely. Both male and female sexuality in the social context needs to be examined from a more progressive understanding. There are serious problems in society that will have future implications if dialogues are not opened with the right spirit of intention. The #metoo movement does not have a stable foundation when it is built on the shifting sands of personal feelings and hurt pride – this is a solid step backwards for the female kind if the movement paints itself into that corner. #Metoo should also not be trying to transform itself into an excuse to weaponize feminism. Some of us can see this alarming direction in simple examples like this one involving Eric Francis. If some humans choose to tragically devolve in packs, others will intelligently choose to evolve as a counter measure. Humanity itself is built on this track. I thank Eric Francis Coppolino for having the courage, journalistic skill and intelligence to demonstrate synthesis on this #metoo topic.

    1. CinnamonWoman

      HAHAHA this thread isn’t going anywhere! And even though Eric Francis and his DELUSIONAL self is trying to take it down, mock it and create other fake sites… he is trash and so are you Trish.

  33. I’m with Trish

    @ Trish. YES! THIS ^ The whole saga has become juvenile and retrograde and that has become very clear. I too agree that there are some major problems here that should be unpacked at some point.

    This trajectory is REALLY alarming/dangerous, and I’ve followed the comments since the very first Facebook post: The weaponizing of feminism, obviously, but also the ‘mean girl’ undercurrents (well, you must not be attractive enough and that’s why you haven’t had problems him), the inability to go off script (e.g. the whole ‘believe the women’ guilt trip, the loose use of terms like gaslighting, rape culture, rape apologists … seriously, ladies and allies?!), and on and on and on…

    These articles are talking about women, not children. I think everyone forgot that important aspect.

    So, I’m being cowed to rally in the name of feminism for silly little 18-year-old Dana (a woman in college)? Why?

    Really though, what’s the problem with a woman going on a drive (or god forbid, a date) with a 30-something year old if that’s what she wanted to do? Absolutely nothing. She made that decision. She could have done anything she wanted. Literally, anything. And now, DECADES later, she regrets it? That’s perfectly fine.

    But now, here’s the thing, as a feminist, I’m now supposed to be pissed at this man because this woman made a decision? Because a woman just can’t make her own decisions? Or she can, but she just can’t be held accountable for them? Since she’s too fragile and too impressionable and too dumb and too weak and can’t be trusted and doesn’t have agency?

    See the problem here, people? Is anyone actually THINKING and noticing this SLIPPERY SLOPE?

    And now here we are. A little Me Too off shoot was sprung. But really, as a woman (also with my own regrets, of course, duh), I’m EMBARRASED. I’m embarrassed as a feminist. I’m embarrassed that this has been published as a ‘gotcha’ story in my local paper. But I’m especially embarrassed for the survivors. All of them, every brave woman who survived and spoke out against Weinstein, Cosby, et al. These women were raped. They were drugged. Nasser fingered children.

    Meanwhile, the Hudson Valley Feminists are still hard at work. ‘Egg Slut’ will not be offered on a local cafe’s breakfast menu. This is all because EFC sports a sweatshirt with a ‘Yogi Slut’ decal. That’s some important work *clears throat*.

    We have got to get a grip.

  34. Christine Boyer

    Trish and “I Am With Trish” , Thank you for your words. I feel the same way. Publishing these stories without substantiation, after an investigation turned up nothing, is just merely people going on a smear campaign. I have known Eric since 1992. While his insights and such can be uncomfortable, they are incredibly thought -provoking, soul-searching, and valuable. He is a very thoughtful and caring person. He loves making people stop and re-evaluate their views and opinions. His in-your-face approach is often what is very needed, and can make some people cringe. I have NEVER seen him behave in a predatory or creepy manner.

  35. A Student of Eric's

    I’ve been a student of Eric’s and subscriber for almost the entire time Planet Waves has been around, although I am not local to this community. I am SO SAD and heartbroken about this entire thing: because I know it’s true and I was able to dismiss his behavior and separate what I knew and continue to compartmentalize his work from his personal life (that he is not only a CREEP to put it mildly, but has crossed lines with MANY women) . Well, that is over.

    Like loyal Trump supporters, it seems by reading through this thread of comments, that his “friends” refuse to believe that he is a sexual predator and especially likes to prey on young women. YOU ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. Obviously, just because Eric likes to openly share his sexual philosophy does not mean he is incapable of crossing lines, violating people, etc. The truth hurts, but he is this person the story describes and the fact that he is acting like a lawsuit-threatening-VICTIM just shows he is not the Consciousness Expert he believes himself to be. If you can’t read social cues that you are DISGUSTING PEOPLE and your advances are not being received well, YOU. HAVE. A. PROBLEM. You need help and I think it’s time for a new therapist.

    I personally have witnessed his aggressive sexual advances and know VERY WELL 2 women who slept with him consensually, who BOTH later said, they were DISGUSTED that they “caved” and gave in to his advances. BOTH claim they were in a vulnerable place when it occurred and that he offered “free readings” to them, took them to the woods, etc. After one of them tried to say she was no longer interested in any kind of relationship with him because she felt “off” about it, he proceeded to call her and leave an excrutiatingly long voicemail of him masturbating into the phone, moaning, and saying all kinds of things that are pretty sexually deviant. I heard the message with my own ears, and it LITERALLY SHOOK ME. I really, really, wished I had never heard it.

    So, Eric, if you are reading this-I’m sorry I didn’t call you out for your behavior a long time ago. I thought about sending you a direct message, but I actually don’t want to interact with you anymore and if you are suffering the way you claim to be in your newsletter, I don’t want to contribute to that. I learned a lot about astrology from you, but I learned way more about life, and Misogyny, and Fake Feminists, and Manipulation, and am REALLY THANKFUL that you were not “interested” in me sexually. In fact, the first time you looked at my chart when I first met you in person, you basically launched into a 15 minute rant about how I’m “sexless” and basically frigid, while then turning your back on me in a restaurant when I was the third wheel at your “date” with my friend, and I witnessed your shadow-lusting after another young woman 30 years younger than you (who btw, has ALL KINDS OF ISSUES WITH HER SEXUALITY, so it’s no surprise you took a fancy to her).

    So, yes, I saw with my own eyes, what that determination to get inside someone’s pants looks like. And then I saw her shame and disgust with herself for whatever exactly transpired between you two (she would never share the details and I have since lost touch with her). But to see this level of people (even on this thread) who are confirming what I knew, but didn’t want to admit to myself. My teacher is a Pervert and Sexual Predator. This isn’t about free love, polyamory, etc. That’s all an excuse to get laid. Rarely saw any erotic art from Eric that was of a woman over the age of 30. And I’ve heard MANY instances of Eric knocking feminism in every wave, and he has said how older women (I was 35 when we had this discussion-is that considered “older” to a Man in his 50s?)

    And I really wish you would have had the CONSCIOUSNESS level to say “Geez, maybe I did make people uncomfortable and maybe I did cross boundaries.” But no, total denial of responsibility is what brought you to this moment. I thought the Chiron Return was about Healing our wounds once and for all-and it is apparent that this has not occurred for you, Eric.

    I hope that you find your way, but you better find the help you need to take a good look at yourself in the mirror and see the real you. It would be nice if you ever in 20 years shared your chart-it always struck me as “odd” that you wouldn’t just post your damn astrology chart. Every other astrologer I know does-what are you hiding?
    Oh, well, I guess this.

    Sad on this potent Eclipse to be getting to reading this article-but feels appropriate to be releasing my feelings, even to this thread. I wish all the women who have been affected by this to LET IT GO and heal and move on in any way you can. The future is waiting for you-we need you.

    And to the idiots who claim just because they are ‘friends’ with Eric that this is OKAY, it’s not.

    1. Trish

      It really is beneath me to answer to trolls like you but I basically know you’re full of it so I’m calling you out. I see you’re very bold with the defamatory stance you’re taking but who in fact are you? How am I not to assume based on so many clues in your post that you aren’t just some bitter, post-wall woman who is going on a rant about someone who happens to find younger women more attractive. How am I not to assume based on so many clues in your post that you (and others) didn’t seek out Eric’s advice about your sexuality and then take umbrage to what he said about it? Or worse, twist it to be construed as a come-on (?!). The fact that you’re asserting it’s your right to see Eric’s astrology birth chart tells me you think you’re his mama (and only she really has the right to want access to his birth chart). Anyone can go online and make up crap. I can sit here and say I’m an inter-dimensional alien who came to earth in a blue streak to defend Eric Francis. I can compellingly and convincingly portray that. I can stand by that by artificially spawning an army of partisan internet trolls who will validate my story even though they don’t really know me or each other. I can make a grand conjecture into a federal case just because I feel like it. This has become so ridiculous it’s almost too funny. At the end of the day though, I can say with 100% confidence that I am in fact a real world student of Eric’s. I’ve followed his extensive body of work for many years of my life. I’ve learned and gained from his tutelage as a loyal reader. Eric Francis contributes meaningfully to society. What has been your contribution to society? This annoying, anonymous defamatory “metoo” rant about Eric? You’ve got nerve. Are you in fact ready to defend your position as a liar and proliferate of baloney? Is that in fact what you mean by “metoo” in this baseless attack on a hardworking, talented man? Are your “feelings” so empathic, soft and trembling and in desperate need of attention that you need to tear someone down with your bare claws…including me? And I repeat, who are you?! Right now, you’re nobody and no “metoo” hashtag is going to change that status.

      This is precisely why this trash heap of an article will most surely be taken down. It’s frankly not even worth commenting on anymore.

      1. CinnamonWoman

        Beneath you? That’s rich. Clearly NOTHING is beneath you Trish. Defending Eric Francis is as low as it gets. Pathetic.

      2. CinnamonWoman

        Interesting that you call a woman out for being a “nobody”. Someone who claims to have been victimized you shame for being unimportant and mock her pain. More importantly Trish, who the hell are you to make such judgements on someone you don’t know? YOU ARE NOBODY. And you are just as bad as Eric Francis who treats women as inhuman blowup dolls and as if their feelings are of no consequence. Thank you for proving the point of #MeToo.

        1. Trish

          Listen you dullard, do you know what defamation is??? You can’t just go around making anonymous accusations against a person without proof and hope for it to stick. Of course a petty, treacherous person like yourself believes its your birthright to do that. The internet was created for trolls like you. So yeah, “Student Of Eric” is a nobody until she’s somebody. And, I’m a somebody who is calling it out. Remember genius, I’m not the one making defamatory accusations, am I? You need to up your simpleton game if you want to be able to engage me in a debate about this. Just look at her post…she brings up President Trump while she’s rolling out her argument?! Like she would have even the foggiest pink clue how to lead a nation…let alone present a plausible argument that can’t be torn to ribbons by a “nobody” like me.

  36. Vision Quest

    Hopelessly passing your time in the grassland away
    Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
    You better watch out
    There may be dogs about
    I’ve looked over Jordan, and I have seen
    Things are not what they seem

Comments are closed.