The First International Conference on Men’s Issues, at least the one for 2014, has come and gone without significant incident. In fact, it was an astounding success. It may well prove to be the seminal moment for the men’s rights movement for many years to come.
No thanks to the DoubleTree Downtown Hilton in Detroit, Michigan, where the event was first scheduled to take place. In fact, as it turns out, we were able to have the event, complete with a stellar lineup of speakers and a bevy of media coverage, despite the best efforts of the DoubleTree to undermine what we were doing.
Yes, I mean that literally.
Prior to the event going off without a hitch in St. Clair Shores, a quiet and friendly suburb of Detroit, there were rumors and questions flying across the Internet and the mainstream media about why a change in venue was necessary. It was a complicated affair that we could not take the time to adequately (or prudently) address while scrambling to find another place to hold the event — and accomplish the almost endless tasks associated with making that happen.
Today things are much more relaxed.
While there are still some questions that remain unanswered, primarily because of a lack of transparency from the DoubleTree Downtown Hilton, we have been able to narrow down events to the two most likely scenarios based on what evidence we have.
One is that the Hilton got serious about “escalating” death threats against their employees, guests, ICMI speakers, and attendees, prompting them to go into emergency mode and invoke the security clause of our contract with them. Their demands forced us to raise tens of thousands of additional dollars to literally blanket the event with Detroit police, just to make sure no one wound up dead.
In fact, below is the unedited letter from DoubleTree General Manager Shannon Dunavent explaining the impending dangers and need to secure immediate police protection for all concerned.
That would be the same police that they had not even bothered to call at that point. It is the same police that did not even know about any supposed threats when we called them to inquire; the same police that the DoubleTree used to attempt to shake us down but neglected to even call until after they engaged in an attempt to force us to spend our way out of having our conference.
It was like the following series of events occurred, by the DoubleTree Downtown Hilton’s own admissions. A conference was scheduled, death threats were made against all involved including Hilton staff, the Hilton sprung into action and called their own lawyers, started a shakedown attempt on AVfM, and then figured out they might want to let police know there was danger afoot.
It must be noted that during this supposed threat, while Hilton management was fully aware that a sitting senator was scheduled to speak in one of their conference rooms, said senator’s office was never notified of any looming threat. In fact, they were not notified by the Hilton of anything at all.
That is one scenario, the best case of which implies such negligence and greed on the part of Hilton management that they were more interested in security clauses than security itself, and they were willing to put the life of a senator at risk to prove it.
The other possible scenario is that what the DoubleTree Downtown Hilton got was a couple of irate phone calls from privileged little college girls who don’t want men and women to talk without their permission, and with the help of a sympathetic general manager in the middle of labor problems with the hotel’s union, it was decided to use those decidedly nonthreatening contacts to breach their contract with us and keep protesters away from their hotel.
Either possibility leaves the DoubleTree Downtown Hilton Detroit looking scummy, and for damned good reasons.
Mind you, during all this likely concocted nonsense on the part of the Hilton, we were urgently trying to meet the security clause requirements. As it turned out, the only way to do that [hire the Detroit Police Department for the event] was through one contract company that happened to be located in the Houston area.
The Hilton did not tell us this, of course, and sent us directly to the Detroit Police Department, wasting valuable time and effort on our part.
We finally did locate the company we had to do business with, and a very nice lady there was preparing a quote for us when, lo and behold, in the middle of that process, she informed us that her boss had instructed her not to do business with us. Yes, we have that on a recorded phone call, which will be the subject of another (of many) future articles on our dealings with the DoubleTree Downtown Hilton in Detroit, Michigan.
So, as it turns out, while in the middle of meeting the security demands of the Hilton, someone stepped in to sabotage that, making it literally impossible for us to comply, giving the Hilton the excuse to pull the plug.
Gee, wonder who was behind that?
Coincidentally, and because things were starting to stink a bit, we were already exploring options that would serve as an alternative venue (and that, unlike the Hilton, honestly represented the seating capacity of their conference rooms). As those who attended know, it turned out for the better.
Below you will find all the documentation associated with this double fiasco, including the letters from the Hilton in their entirety, and the letter from our attorneys.
A note for Hilton lawyers: I am aware that there is a clause in our contract for the event that prohibited AVfM from publishing your communications with us. In fact, when we still entertained the silly idea that you were being forthcoming and trustworthy, we removed a letter from you from this site that we had published in order to be in compliance with our agreed terms.
You fucked that up when you sabotaged our agreement and breached our contract in decidedly bad faith. The letter is being reposted, without being redacted of names, and it is not going to be taken down. You are welcome to attempt legal measures to force our hand at that. We will be happy to sort that out with you in court, and look forward to the routine discovery that will reveal evidence that your invoking the security clause of our contract was not a fraudulent ruse.
In the meantime, we hope this story serves as a lesson, particularly to those in the political arena. If you want to stay somewhere that might actually have your security in mind, you might be better off staying at a Motel 6.