This page is to address the ongoing harassment from co-founding ex-band member Thomas. Thomas left the band in Summer 2019 and has periodically pushed many false narratives in an attempt to damage us. With the assistance of his partner, Marina, Thomas has accused us of sexual assault, psychological abuse, grooming of a minor, falsifying Spotify streams and engaging in cover ups of all of it.
Furthermore, he has poached followers from our various social media accounts and privately messaged our fans to spread this misinformation as far as he can.
First and foremost, we are stating this clear as day. Bear Ghost absolutely does not condone any kind of physical, emotional or psychological abuse in any capacity. PERIOD. FULL STOP. We are very passionate about providing each other, our staff, our business associates and our fans with a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere in every possible way we can control, as well as encouraging open communication.
At the time of this writing, Thomas has taken nearly everything we have said in response to his allegations and selectively rewritten whatever he could to spin it into his ongoing narratives. He will undoubtedly do that with what is stated here. These words are our own, they have no hidden meaning and any twisted subtext he pulls from this are his opinion and nothing more. What follows is an accurate summation of a very long and complicated few years.
Bottom line: while Thomas had raised concerns about the optics of Andrew’s relationship, he ultimately left the band over a personal grievance with Ryan. He then blackmailed us, demanding that he rejoin under the condition that he receive creative control and final say on everything Bear Ghost related, and Andrew be temporarily replaced for the duration of his relationship. If we didn’t agree to those terms, he threatened to “out” us. We didn’t agree.
Thomas began by accusing Andrew of grooming a minor. In 2018, Andrew entered a relationship with someone who was 18 years old. It is true he had known her prior, however, no grooming took place and this is backed by several first hand accounts who are familiar with both parties. While understanding that the origin and basis for this relationship could be viewed as problematic by some, both Andrew and his partner have refuted Thomas’ narrative. It is very important to note that even Thomas admits that any incident of grooming is pure speculation on his part. This has not stopped him from presenting it as fact, or casting Andrew’s partner as a victim and then calling her a liar when she rebuts his claims.
The idea that there was any sort of cover up to the relationship is false. It was openly acknowledged by all people close to Andrew and his partner from day one and details have never been actively hidden from the public. Thomas’ insistence that we wanted to “keep quiet” about it appears to come mostly from us not understanding why it made any sense that our professional accounts would need to acknowledge a private relationship. Privacy is not the same as secrecy. The relationship is nobody’s business. If you, as the reader, take issue with the age gap, that is understandable, but Thomas’ embellishments are incorrect.
Thomas’ campaign persisted through the summer, including but not limited to purloining our fans from our various social media accounts, using our hashtags and branding to spread the false narratives, the creation of new social media accounts in our likeness that he used to confuse our followers, locking us out of and rebranding accounts he was still able to gain access to, entering a local radio competition and using his air time to push his story, harassing and shaming anyone that countered his narratives and more. He and his partner made phone calls and sent messages to other artists, venues and any parties we do business with in an effort to stop us from being able to play shows or do business, and in one instance resulting in our record being pulled from the shelves of a record store.
We promptly began speaking to an attorney about Thomas and his partner directly attempting to sabotage our reputation and revenue streams. The following December as we were drafting a Lawsuit for Tortious Conduct, and after months of Thomas throwing endless, random false allegations at the wall, his partner Marina accused Ryan of sexual assault, at which point Ryan released a public statement. Many witnesses of the events leading up to the incident she described came to Ryan’s defense, and concerned readers pointed out that it looked as though she’d actually taken advantage of him in a separate event she had detailed. In response, Marina changed her story and accused Ryan of a second incident. Her words were included in the pending lawsuit.
In response to the lawsuit, Thomas and Marina’s lawyer had them immediately delete everything they had posted about us, though they’ve continued their attempt to tarnish our reputations by simply omitting our names in their messaging ever since. Negotiations between our attorney and theirs began, but those negotiations ceased when their lawyer stopped replying to ours.
Thomas and Marina have since painted this as a SLAPP lawsuit, though prior to all of this, Thomas had publicly stated support for a lawsuit, stating it would be our best course of action if he was lying.
Despite his insinuation, no one has been threatened with being banned or blocked from any social accounts for discussing this. The only people who have been removed from our social media platforms over this are people who are either suspected of feeding our follower lists to Thomas’ misinformation campaign or actively harassing us. It is the reason our Twitter account is private. When this started back in summer 2019, admittedly, we did not know what to do or how to handle him spamming our followers, and may have we made some missteps in an effort to hold him off until we could figure out our best course of action. However, since then we’ve remained consistent in keeping our channels of communication open for fan discourse.
At the time of this posting, our Instagram followers are being collected and added to a new account that has been created to start the cycle all over again.
Thomas’ newest blog, as has been consistent with all of his previous attacks, is riddled with dangerous omissions, wild mischaracterizations, selective retellings of events and conversations, and spiteful fabrication.
During all of this, we’ve managed not to sink ourselves to his level of malice or enlist our fans to defend against his crusade to demolish our band. Even as our reputation was crumbling with some fans who were persuaded by his narrative, we’ve remained silent. As his false allegations are just that, we will continue to do so. This will be our only public statement as a band and we will not be engaging any further, regardless of whatever new “revelations” he may have about us in the future, or how many ways he finds to spin our words to his liking.
– Bear Ghost 5/2/21