“I am who I am and I’m not ashamed of it, not one bit”
On Thanksgiving day 2002, the front page of The Washington Post carried an article highlighting the kinky sexual proclivities of a U.N. weapons inspector, Harvey John “Jack” McGeorge II (1949-2009). Jack McGeorge was a weapons expert who had been hired by the U.N. to serve as part of the team assessing Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction programs. He was also a prominent member of the BDSM community in Washington DC, and a respected national-level kink leader. The Washington Post article highlighted McGeorge’s status as a BDSM community member to cast doubt on his professional competence, and by extension the competence of the entire UN weapons inspection program. Jack became the target of an international media frenzy that focused on BDSM, deflecting attention from the dubious claims then being made to justify war in the Middle East.
Finding oneself negatively framed on the “Cover of The Washington Post” is a phrase used among federal bureaucrats to describe a worst case scenario. It’s a phrase that Jack was doubtless aware of from his many years of government service. Starting in 1970, when Jack joined the Marine Corps and was trained as an explosive ordnance disposal technician, he served for many years as a weapons specialist in the federal government, including uniformed service as a Marine and service as a munitions countermeasures specialist for the U.S. Secret Service. He also worked in private industry in senior roles in security-focused companies, and in 1983 founded his own consulting firm, Public Safety Group, Inc.. As President of Public Safety Group, Jack developed specialized products such as a database of chemical and biological warfare weapons systems, and provided consultation and training on munitions and weapons related topics to various governmental agencies, including the intelligence community and U.S. military. In 2000 he was recognized for his international expertise on chemical and biological terrorism with an honorary Doctorate degree conveyed by the Academic Council of the State Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology in Moscow, Russia. In his career Jack published over 56 professional articles, book chapters, and reports on weapons and security topics.
Concurrent with his very successful career as an international weapons expert, Jack was an incredibly energetic leader in the BDSM, kink, and master-slave communities. He was a founding member of Black Rose (1987), a pansexual BDSM organization in the Washington DC area and served as Black Rose President, board Chair, and board member. He held a variety of community leadership roles, including with the Leather Leadership Conference (LLC), and the CommunityAcademic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities (CARAS); he was also the first chairman of the board for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), He was an innovator in Master/slave relationships, an instructor for the MTTA Academy, and the namesake of the Master/slave conference Master Jack McGeorge Excellence in Education Award.
It was perhaps in his role as a Kink educator that Jack’s prodigious energy was most evident. Between 1993 and 2006, Jack made over 342 presentations covering 80 unique kink-leather topics, for 56 organizations and 69 community events. Jack developed lectures and workshops for an amazing range of topics, including: M/s relationships, dungeon design, community leadership, knife play, flogging, heavy metal bondage, leather families, playing with fear, consent, rubber, party etiquette, and “defining ourselves.” Jack meticulously prepared for each of these educational events, and those who worked with him quickly learned that he demanded an outline, handouts, and careful planning for each session. Over the years there were thousands of attendees at Jack’s educational sessions, covering all branches of the Leather, kink, M/s, and BDSM communities. His co-presenters and mentees became acculturated to a high standard of professionalism and content in their work, which has now had a positive effect across generations of kink educators and leaders. The particular effort he put in educating others throughout his life and the excellence of his teaching earned him a very special recognition from the community: he was the first to be designated an Anthony DeBlase Professor of the Arts and Letters of S/M (1999).
Jack was the recipient of many other community awards including: a Community Service Award from GMSMA (2006); the Man Of The Year Award (2004) and two Community Service Awards (2000 and 1998) from the Pantheon of Leather; the Pat Bond Community Service Award from TES (2003); both the Elder Award (2000) and the Vaughn Keith National Education Award (1998) from Black Rose and the Centurion Award (2000) from Joseph Bean and the Leather Archives and Museum. In 2005, with slave Raven, he was Northeast Regional Master and Slave
In the final years of his life Jack was passionate and creative in his development of Master/slave (M/s) relationships, a controversial area even within the BDSM-kink communities. He developed and led a successful leather family, the Order of Discipline and Service (ODS). As with all of his activities, Jack’s work on M/s relationships was informed by research and careful planning. He explored historical models such as monastic orders, which he updated to inform a framework for sustainable relationships within his own leather family.
Underlying all of these accomplishments, as an international expert on weapons and a kink community leader, was character – a deep personal strength and integrity. Few if any members of the kink community have been so publicly outed and forced to “weather the storm of public controversy” as Jack was when he was attacked, as a convenient target, while serving as a U.N. weapons inspector. His response was to stand firm; he offered his resignation in the interest of the important UN mission (which was rejected), and he publicly acknowledged and embraced his sexuality and community. History stands with Jack McGeorge, whose work in Iraq helped to uncover the fact that Saddam Hussein did not have an active weapons of mass destruction program. Jack’s experience of being attacked as a “pervert” in an effort to discredit that UN work also helped to clarify, for the world, that one can be kinky and a world-class expert in their field, and as well a person of great personal integrity and character. It’s a lesson for everyone provided by one of the greatest kink educators, Jack McGeorge.
(Thanks to Lolita Wolf, Gayle Rubin, Guy Baldwin,
Alex McGeorge, and Rostom Mesli for comment and suggestions
on this document and earlier materials addressing Jack McGeorge).