An Open Request to Current and Former ARMA Officials

E RecordsOne of my three wonderful kids was born with an autistic spectrum disorder. Jackson, our middle child, is a terrific boy and an absolute joy to his brother, his sister, and his parents. None of us could ever imagine life without him.

But as he was growing up, Jackson’s condition required fulltime care which prevented my wife from taking a job. This left me the sole source of income for my family.

So, when IBM forced me out of the company in March of 2018 at the insistence of one or more members of ARMA leadership, my family had no second income to fall back on while I looked for a new job. Already overloaded by bills, my wife and I decided that we had no choice but to put our house on the market immediately and move into a nearby rental home. That night I had to tell my children that I was unemployed and we were selling the only home they ever knew. Next to the day my father died, it was the worst day of my life.

What ARMA leadership did to me and my family was not simply dishonest. Or unethical. Or even heavy-handed business tactics. It was evil. For several years I had been publicly defending the records management profession against what I believed to be existential attacks, and ARMA leadership chose to use their considerable industry influence to see to it that I was silenced and my life was destroyed.

I am not wrong about this. Once I determined that the person who contacted senior IBM leadership and demanded my termination was a member of upper-level ARMA leadership, I began to refer to her as “the woman from ARMA” and no one at IBM ever bothered to argue I was wrong. In fact, some members of IBM management began referring to it as “the ARMA matter” during our conversations together.

Here is a redacted email I sent to my manager during my last few days at IBM asking him to identify the person in ARMA leadership who demanded IBM force me out of the company:

Final email 1

Here is my manager’s response:

Final email 2

Notice that my manager never denies any of the accusations I make about ARMA, he only reiterates IBM’s ‘official’ reason for my termination. This is because at this point, we both knew I was being forced out of the company at ARMA’s insistence and any denial of that fact was pointless.

Here’s another example. This is a partial transcript of a March 19, 2018 voicemail I have from someone else in IBM leadership discussing the real cause of my termination:

…this action, um, for your separation didn’t have anything to do with any previous instance, be it, you know, the ARMA thing or whatever. It’s based solely based [sic] on utilization…” 

The ‘ARMA thing’ this person is referring to is, as you’ve probably guessed, the Association’s efforts to have me terminated. This person, as with my manager, regularly used this term in our conversations to refer to the ARMA’s attack on me, and he used it here again in this voicemail.

These are just a couple of examples of records I have that provide conclusive proof of ARMA’s successful efforts to have me terminated from IBM. (Of course, both ARMA and IBM have countless other relevant records, too – assuming either organization practices effective, ethical records management.)

I believe most people are good and generally want to do the right thing. And I have to believe that there are at least a few current and former ARMA officials who are repulsed by the actions of their current or former Association colleagues.

I am reaching out directly to these people: Please help me and my family. If you have any inside knowledge or Association records documenting ARMA’s successful efforts to have me terminated from IBM, please contact me via my encrypted email at:

don(dot)lueders(at sign)protonmail(dot)com

Any help you can provide us will remain confidential and is greatly appreciated.

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