Yes, this is true. Joe Biel from Microcosm is threatening Jessie Duke from Pioneers Press with a $48,000 some-odd dollars lawsuit. And we’re not the first zinesters he’s threatened with lawsuits this year …
Don’t ever sign a contract with Joe Biel.
Don’t ever intern with Joe Biel.
Don’t ever buy anything from Joe Biel.
Don’t get your zine published or distroed by Joe Biel.
Put your money (and ethics) where your mouth is.
DON’T STAND FOR ABUSERS SUING THEIR VICTIMS.
Always speak out!
Boycott Microcosm Publishing!
Well, I didn’t expect my day to be ruined first things in the morning by Joe Biel. I have his blocked in facebook so I never have to see him. This becomes weird when some conversations on posts don’t make sense or when I didn’t know if he will be going to an event so I just don’t…
We get Joe sucker-punches all the time too. It’s the fucking worst. We’ll be having the best week ever and then he pops up and it’s totally derailing. He’s like a shark smelling blood in the water. His latest bullshit with Pioneers Press is that he has this debt collector/yogi/hypnotist (yes, seriously) harassing us to pay Joe this ever increasing amount of money. I think it’s up to $40,000 now? And threatening us with a lawsuit. (One of the complaints against us in the certified mail legal document thing that was sent to us by some third party is that we didn’t return his stapler - even though an ex-Microcosm collective member in Bloomington has it and it was never even in Kansas. Again, seriously.) Suing fellow punks/activists/zinesters seems to be his favorite past time right now. If there’s the slightest chance that he’s gonna try to rain on everyone’s parade at the PZS, the Pioneers Press and extended ex-Microcosm Collective crew will stand outside the event as PZS bouncers. No joke. Fuck Joe Biel and Microcosm forever.
Wow, seriously? it’s so convenient for him to create his own little delusional dream world. I frequently start feeling the gaze and then he shows in some way like the PZS thing or in a dream or something, it’s the worst. I wanna say that you folks are total welcome to come to PZS. I just want to extend that. It sucks when solidarity is found in shitty places, but it’s always a start.
Wow, if you don’t mind my asking, who else is he trying to sue? Funny, he got extremely pissed at me for consulting my own attorney when we were going through divorce. He also tried to get me to sign a statement that I wouldn’t “talk bad” about Microcosm.
Also, in my family we use the term “Joe Math” for all sorts of calculation fuckery.
I wish the other people that were actively dealing with similar legal issues with Joe or felt threatened that he may take legal action against them felt comfortable with their experiences being made public. I will say that these folks are well-known in the zine community.
We are continually contacted by current and past Microcosm authors and artists who want out of their relationship with Microcosm but fear reprisals from Joe. They ask our advice and sadly the best I can do is tell them to cut their losses. “Joe Math” and “Joe interpretations” of agreements (both “contractual” and “gentleman’s” agreements) are the most common complaints I hear.
People who have witnessed your (Alex) fallout with Joe and have seen his seemingly inexhaustible energy to debate, victim blame, harass and demonize his detractors are terrified of having similar experiences. In my experience, the people Joe has been abusive or manipulative to don’t come forward for either or both of these reasons: We are terrified of continued harassment, and/or we are trying desperately to move on and we don’t want people (including ourselves) to forever associate us with this experience.
Listen folks, Joe wants you to believe that he made “mistakes” IN THE PAST, that he was held accountable, that he has admitted to these wrongs, that he sought forgiveness, and that he has changed (or is continually working towards change), and above all that he is just misunderstood. Joe wants you to see him as this great champion of punk ethics, as a community builder, as a social justice activist, as a supporter of underground politics, art and literature. AND IT’S ALL BULLSHIT. He is ACTIVELY harassing me, Alex and other members of our community. He is ACTIVELY screwing over artists and authors. He is ACTIVELY pitting people against each other and weakening our community. He is ACTIVELY making money on our community while working in direct opposition to the ethics we hold dear. He doesn’t even want to be a part of this community anymore. He thinks “community” is a joke. He’s got bigger fish to fry. But he’s going to stay just enough engaged to keep feeding off of us.
Every time I make a public statement like this now, I get more threatening letters from third parties saying I owe Joe larger amounts of money. He and his inner circle find this all terribly amusing and are masters at spinning information and spreading rumors. Don’t buy the hype. Boycott Microcosm Publishing.
hoax zine supports the boycott of microcosm publishing