On Friday, January 12th, 2018 Microcosm’s lawyer filed a complaint against Alex Wrekk, Joe’s ex-wife of nearly 14 years ago. The complaint comes after over a decade of attempts at settlement, mediation, negotiation, accountability processes, and many other earnest attempts at resolution. It is our last resort and one we are not at all thrilled to have to take.
Our sole goals with this complaint is to resolve an old conflict so everyone can move on with their lives and end Wrekk’s persistent harassment of Joe Biel, Microcosm staff, and people who believe in and support Microcosm. In 2006, Wrekk began publicly claiming that Biel’s literal communication style and disability to notice and respond to others emotional expression and nonverbal communication neurotypically were “emotional abuse.” Pathologizing of autism is common and if you’re unfamiliar here’s a story on Invisibilia about an autistic doctor who had seven medical assistants quit in one year due to, as she puts it, “over and over again the world didn’t respond the way she expected.”
Wrekk’s persistent campaign of bullying and neurophobic harassment has caused untold amounts of suffering to hundreds of people in the form of stress, trauma, poisoned relationships, canceled events, and friends told that they have to choose sides. We wish her no harm; we want only to be left alone to be able to go about our lives and our work without fear, just as we leave her alone.
We did not want to continue having this conflict publicly because our goal has always been to seek an end to this drama. However, as she continues to harass us, we want to again push for resolution so we can all move on and do the things that we want to be doing. If you have questions, most of them should be answered here and if you have something pressing that isn’t, feel free to drop us a line.
Update – June 1, 2018 –
As you may have heard, in response to our complaint, Joe’s ex filed a motion to dismiss our case on first amendment grounds—stating that she has the right to continue to harass Joe and the staff and authors of Microcosm Publishing as a matter of informing the community about an issue of public interest. We disagree strongly, and contested this motion to the best of our efforts. Unfortunately, due to the statute of limitations, her motion was successful. We were simply too late in speaking up.
We are deeply disappointed by this outcome, but know that we did our best. From here on out we will continue to focus on our work, publishing books that matter to our readers and providing tools to build a healthier, more empathetic world. We ask that Alex and her cohort do the same: leave us alone as we leave you alone, so that we can all live and do better.