Freyja

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Zoe Curzi's Experience with Leverage Research

Hi Geoff—have you posted the brief response comment anywhere yet?

Zoe Curzi's Experience with Leverage Research

Also, for the extended Leverage diaspora and people who are somehow connected, LessWrong is probably the most obvious place to have this discussion, even if people familiar with Leverage make up only a small proportion of people who normally contribute here.

There are other conversations happening on Facebook and Twitter but they are all way more fragmented than the ones here.

Common knowledge about Leverage Research 1.0

This is great, and straightforward, and I’m glad you joined the conversation. Thank you.

Common knowledge about Leverage Research 1.0

I think the fact that it is now a four person remote organization doing mostly research on science as opposed to an often-live-in organization with dozens of employees doing intimate psychological experiments as well as following various research paths tells me that you are essentially a different organization and the only commonalities are the name and the fact that Geoff is still the leader.

Common knowledge about Leverage Research 1.0

I have a sincere question for you, Kerry, because you seem to be upset by the approach commenters here are taking to talking about this issue and the people involved, and people here are openly discussing the character of your employer, which I can imagine to be really painful.

If your sister or brother or your significant other had become enmeshed in a controlling group and you believed the group and in particular its leader had done them serious psychological harm, how would you want people to talk about the group and its leader in public, after the fact? What sorts of discussions, comments or questions would you consider reasonable or necessary under such circumstances, and what would you consider off the table?

(Specifically, I’m not focused on whether you believe Leverage 1.0 had those characteristics, but how you would respond towards a group and its leader that you personally believed -did- have these characteristics)

Common knowledge about Leverage Research 1.0

Yup. I have known all of these things since 2018-2019, and know or know of maybe a few dozen people who also know these things. I’m glad this bare minimum is being discussed openly, publicly.

Secondhand, I have a very negative view of at least some parts of what happened in Leverage 1.0. My best guess is that the relationships and events that some people have (mostly privately) described as controlling or abusive were not evenly distributed across the whole organisation. So it would have been straightforward for someone to be working at Leverage and never see or get deeply involved with situations that a handful of people have, in private or in semi-public conversations, described clearly as cultic abuse. It seems like there are on the order of dozens of people who probably had a roughly fine time being involved in Leverage for many years, and at least a handful of people who report much more negative experiences.

(I’m @utotranslucence on Twitter; never officially had a LessWrong account before but been around the Bay Area community since 2017. I attended one Paradigm training weekend in early 2018 and some parties at the Lake Merritt building but most of my knowledge comes from conversations with friends who did work there, and there are plenty of things I still don’t know with great clarity.)