Would you call this blackmail?

Justmehere

Sponsor
Long story short, I am feeling really bullied. In the middle of it... I need feedback on how people see the word "blackmail."
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I was at an organization where I have volunteered and now I'm on the board of the org. A man on the board had started a new group in the org of sorts. The board is supposed to be notified about all such groups, but this one was started before we were notified... and I'm concerned about the nature of the effort. It's not a healthy set up. But the lead of the new group was there, was being amicable, so I figured I'd reach out and talk. I'm known for being really diplomatic & experienced on this issue (it's actually why I'm on the board.) The guy FLIPPED THE EFF OUT. He eventually calmed down. Then he re-flipped out and walked himself out the door... to my relief. It was weeeird and wonky. Later the security camera footage and audio was pulled, I've seen it, and I must say, I'm kind of pleased how I handled it... I stayed calm. Chill. Used skills. He insulted me over 30 times. I wasn't that triggered.

When I got home he had left a message threatening to use whatever he thinks he knows of my history to humiliate me if I spoke up about my concerns about the group. I have no clue what the hell he thinks he knows that he thinks I need to hide... but what...?! PTSD has been triggered like all GET OUT when he went there.

It's kind of blackmail? Is it? I mean it's emotional blackmail... but I called it blackmail without the qualifier of "emotional" before "blackmail." Am I in the wrong?
 

Friday

Moderator
Threatening to expose XYZ about you/loved ones/interests/etc., unless you do ABC for them? Is the specific kind of threat known as blackmail.

It’s usually only illegal -in the US- if it becomes extortion; the ABC they want you to do is pay them money for their silence. But the way in which someone threatens you can be straight up illegal, or argued to be illegal. You’d need an attorney familiar with your local laws, to know for certain.

That you have video of the first encounter, however? Guarantees you a restraining order &/or order of protection in every area I’m familiar with. Which makes any further attempt to threaten or harass you straight up illegal, regardless of the content. Which would be my besty’s go to response for this kind of situation. As it puts the full force of the law on her side, and removes the ‘he said she said’ aspect of any future encounter, as there is already court record of rational & commensurate response on her part. IE it’s the smart thing to do. I’m not particularly known for doing the smart thing, so we’ll just ignore what I tend to do in these situations. 😉
 

Sideways

Moderator
Which would be my besty’s go to response for this kind of situation.
And speak to someone about the specific threat. That's important (1) to get professional support when being harassed by colleagues; (2) very often written in to obligations (reporting abusive behaviour within the organisation - mostly because being a shit to you often means they're doing the same thing to other employers, and employers have a duty to act on that, or risk civil and sometimes criminal penalties depending on the jurisdiction); and (3) to have pre-existing context to any further outrageous behaviour so that it can be dealt with promptly and effectively.

While the threat feels personal, it actually isn't. It could produce the same hair-raising response from any employee or board member in this age of tech where a little digging on almost anyone can produce nasty results. So if you report the threat as it is, you aren't exposing yourself in any way, just him.
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
It was the intent to use "history" if I bring light to the matter... like... wtf. Who even does that? Assholes. That is who does that. I don't even know the guy and this was enough to jump to blackmail? Wild.

I did speak to a legal expert about the video, and because all he does is raise his voice and insult me, and I had freedom to walk out... it's not a restraining order territory in my neck of the woods, as no imminent threat of bodily harm (or blackmail) on the video. Just being called names. Not enough. Sigh. I asked about that part the night of the incident...

The threat to use history if I speak up actually happened. I didn't think to ask of it... d'oh. I think it actually took a day for it to sink in. Then I freaked...
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
Having PTSD makes it hard to really trust my sense of it. During all this, I have made a lot of progress simply stating a boundary, keeping the boundary, and not taking bait to explain or defend it. But I'm on wonky ground.

I notified top people of the board & him that I will not tolerate blackmail by the board member in question, he's not to have further one on one contact with me at this time, and I hope he cools off. I have not shared the blackmail message with the org. I told them it will go to law enforcement if I decide to take further action. (I don't know why I said this other than I don't want to help him clean up his story.)
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Long story short, after 3 weeks of pushing I agreed to a meeting with him, mostly on my terms, now regretting agreeing to this. Sigh. I have more to learn.
 
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Ismacccam

New Here
We are faced with a special kind of blackmail, which implies psychological pressure. On the Internet, this is most often encountered by girls.
 

Ismacccam

New Here
We are faced with a special kind of blackmail, which implies psychological pressure. On the Internet, this is most often encountered by girls.
The attackers promise to publish their naked photos or some obscene stories if they do not pay money or do not send more nude photos. However, in your case, the best solution would be to get the organization's superiors and tell them about this situation. It is impossible to ignore a person who does not know how to control his emotions and does some strange things.
 
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