Waking Life Espresso, a West Asheville staple for over 5 years, has recently come under fire by locals. Owners Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens, have been collaborating online to produce a blog and podcast alongside a twitter account about their sexual conquests. “Putting the sweet D in the tender V since 2013” is the title of their online narrative, and includes charming entries such as this:
Their username online, Holistic Game, appears to have been pretty active in the Twitterverse, and included content such as this:
This information originally surfaced on Facebook late last night, and since then, the website and Twitter account have been pulled. Fortunately, the internet is forever and we can provide archived content of the Holistic Game Guys. Click here for Twitter, and here for archived content of the blog.
Now dear readers, you may be wondering how we can possibly know that the Holistic Game Guys are indeed Rutledge and Owens? A podcast under the same name, with 21 complete audio episodes published online, available both through their WordPress blog, Amazon, and iTunes. Thanks to an unnamed source, we have a copy of that podcast for you to listen to below.
Do the voices sound familiar? Check out this Youtube video, starting 38 seconds in, where Rutledge speaks to a local videographer Andre Mileti about Asheville coffee:
Additionally, we have a photo posted by the HolisticGame Twitter account, with a profile picture featuring Rutledge.
We will continue to offer up more information as it becomes available. If you wish to reach our staff about your experience at Waking Life, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Update 2:52 PM, Sept 19 2015
Jared Rutledge has made a statement via pastebin.
When I was in ninth grade, I looked at pornography on my Christian school lab computers. I got suspended for seven days, and walking into chapel the next Wednesday was hellaciously shaming. It felt white hot. To know that everyone in that gymnasium was disappointed and disgusted in me was almost unbearable. But I’d brought it on myself, and there was nothing for it. That’s the way I feel now.
I know I’ve said and posted a lot of things that are offensive. Most of my life I’ve struggled with insecurities around dating. I felt like, in the past couple years, that I’d finally gotten a handle on this and experienced more success. So I made a twitter, blog, and got Jacob to podcast with me. We didn’t always say nice things, and sometimes we were downright mean. Sometimes I just vented about frustrating experiences in an immature, hateful, and foolish way. It was in particular a breach of trust to post intimate details about lovers. I was naive enough to think it’d stay anonymous, and I was wrong.
So here we are. I grew up in West Asheville and have disappointed and brought shame to the community that raised me, and there’s not really anything I can do to make it right. There are no excuses to be made. The way I’ve phrased and framed my private conduct in a sad and tawdry public way is humiliating. There’s nothing to do but ask your forgiveness for any harm I’ve caused. I’m sorry folks.
Jacob and I are both open to sitting down and talking to anyone who might have concerns to address one-on-one.
Update 2:58 PM, September 2015
Jacob Owens has made a public statement:
I would like to fully admit to what I have done. I would also like to receive the shame and necessary consequences for my actions. I am not hiding nor do I want to deflect. Most importantly, I would like to apologize and express my sorrow for how these actions have affected other people, and how their presence online will continue to do so. People that I care for and value, even though my actions, now out in the open, will not make them feel that way. I feel ill and disgusted with myself when I think of what I have done.
First to explain my part. Jared and I did an anonymous podcast on picking up women where I crassly discussed my intimate experiences with women. I would like to be very clear that I did not author any of the posts of the blog or twitter. But just as worse, I knew they existed. I did not keep up with them, or fully know what was on them. But by knowing that it was going on, and knowing that I was associated however, I am complicit. I fully accept that shame as well.
I would do the podcast with Jared while we were kicking back and drinking whiskey. I had a persona and an ego that would come out while I tried to tell other men who might be listening how to be “successful” with women. Giving others tips on approaching women with your best foot forward is not wrong, but recounting intimate details in a public forum, and speaking of women in a demeaning way is. I am ashamed and wish that I could take it all back. Under a disguise that I thought would be anonymous, without the accountability that good friends hold you too, this persona that I am fully responsible for developed into a chauvinist and a misogynist. I love women. I value them. In my experiences with them they have taught me of kindness, grace, and compassion. Many of my words in the podcast do not reflect that.
Of course I am sorry to be caught, not for my consequences, but that these women will now listen in horror and shame to me recounting intimate experiences we shared. That is my most profound regret and I should be shamed for it. I am so sorry that I needed such a dramatic outcry from my community to teach me this lesson. I have lived a life of duplicity, loving my role in the community as a business owner and friend, while also disrespecting many people in that community that I was intimate with. I have taken everyone that has been so good to me for granted. The coming months will be me attempting to fully process and evaluate my actions, as well as attempting reparation.
I have been calling women that I discussed on the podcast to express my full apology, knowing that it is not enough and that I have no power to fully make amends. Many have been gracious and supportive which makes me feel my shame even more. I do not deserve it. No one is entitled to a second chance, especially after acting shamefully repeatedly. I have also been calling family members. People that raised me in this town with love and integrity that I have proven myself unworthy of.
As owners of Waking Life Jared and I are discussing reparations for our actions, especially to our employees who no longer want to be associated, which is fully fair. I have let them down as their employer as well as their friend, forcing them to leave a job in which they were valued, skilled and passionate. We will release a company statement addressing this tomorrow. We are keeping the doors open and are here because to close and not be present seems like an attempt to hide, and like I said to start I have no desire to receive any less than I deserve.
With shame and regret,