Last Blade Standing was attacked by a small group of individuals who had a larger following, and swayed public opinion against the competition and founder. They spread rumors and false information in an attempt to bring down the competition, and, unfortunately, it worked.
Last Blade Standing was a small operation with only a couple of people involved, and rather than fight the wave of negativity and false truths, we chose to end the competition entirely. We did not want to get involved in the he-said-she-said tactics of social media, and so the competition ended after three seasons.
Read on for details…
FACT: Last Blade Standing donated $10,027.37 in 8 payments to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation in August, 2023.
* There was a $1,500 donation by FSR Homes that was made directly to the charity, because Last Blade Standing was unable to deposit their check with the bank. This was for the purchase of a blade from a smith in Georgia (name withheld). While we have confirmation from the donor, we do not have a confirmation number.
It’s a well known fact that it takes time for the money from the auction to “settle”. Payments filter in, and sometimes people don’t pay right away (or at all). Then, after the auction was completed, we had to ship out over 50 blades. The money for shipping, packing, and handling comes out of the auction proceeds. We deposited our last donation check on August 22nd. The charities know this takes time, and we were fine delivering the funds before the end of Q3 (end of September). Delivery of charitable funds often takes 3-6 months after the fundraiser, and the charity knows this (ask them), or call them at (813) 269-0955 ext 483. I can’t guarantee they will give you any information, or accurate information (after all, they haven’t yet), but maybe you can find answers there.
Additionally, we had hoped to present the funds in person in Tampa, so there was a delay. Our contact with the charity (L) departed the organization, so instead the funds were donated online, in chunks, because our bank doesn’t allow over $2,500 to be transferred per day, which we discovered the hard way in July when we tried to deposit two blocks of $5K and it was declined. Doc reported these donations prior to an examination of the account. Once he determined they were declined due to transaction amounts, he began the process of submitting the values in smaller denominations.
Many people believe the “charity event” was the competition, but in reality, it was the auction, which started in April of 2023. The funds for that didn’t start coming in until the end of May and early July.
All T-shirt proceeds from the Bonfire “Our Swords Fight Cancer” shirts went directly to the charity (via Bonfire). We did not have any oversight or control as to how that worked, though it netted $176.00.
Nothing. We never promised the charity (any charity) anything. We were not under any kind of contract with the charity and we never set any specific time limit for delivery. We agreed that they would be our sole recipient of donatable funds generated by Last Blade Standing. End of story.
That said, the entire point of this was to give to this charity, which we did. Fiscally, we took a personal loss on this entire event, and gave way more to charity than we made on this competition, as has happened every season. That has been the nature of this beast.
Not entirely sure. We think some people took it upon themselves to call the charity and ask, but here are the facts: As a private donor, the charity is not allowed to give out any information about who donated, and what amount, without explicit consent from the donor. Federal law requires non-profit organizations to obtain explicit written consent from individuals before disclosing their personal information to third parties. It’s highly likely they answered with “no comment”. If they answered otherwise, well, we are looking into that.
Any existence of any “proof” (such as a document, message, or email from the charity) would be fraudulent, as we never consented to have our donations or identity revealed.
Some jurisdictions require charities to disclose certain financial and organizational information, including donor information, as part of their transparency and accountability obligations. However, this is limited to aggregated or anonymous data and not personal details of individual donors.
To summarize, there’s no way anyone could know who or what was donated without us giving explicit consent (which we didn’t). We are presently in talks with the charity about the clearest way to release this information with our consent.
We have emailed receipts and confirmations from the charity that are an accurate paper trail of our donations.
The winner’s prizes for season three of Last Blade Standing were the following:
In total, we have delivered over $5000 in prizes to the winner…who didn’t donate their winning blade. Though to be fair, he did donate a brisket knife which we auctioned off for $400.
We’re working with the sponsors to get the rest of the prizes shipped out. This is absolutely normal, and none of the sponsors should be called out for this. It takes time for each business to provide and produce their contribution. We have two left. This is absolutely normal.
To be clear, the winners of Forged in Fire ® often don’t get their tax adjusted checks for well over a year after they participated on the show. We feel like we’ve done pretty good for 6 months, considering that we are effectively a tiny operation.
Most of our sponsors are small, independently owned companies, so it takes some time for them to assemble and ship their goods. This should in no way be a reflection of their commitment to the competition.
This would probably be the stupidest grift of all time if that were true. Let’s do a quick breakdown of the expenses incurred by producing Last Blade Standing Season 3:
Total? Around $12,755. All of that was out of pocket to put on the event for you, our friends, everyone, and zero of this includes the actual time spent producing the event.
We pulled in about $2,000 off the ticket sales for the event. That was enough to cover not even JUST THE GALLERY SPACE. The rest was paid out of pocket by Doc. Doc makes a considerable amount of money as a senior IT person, and again, doesn’t NEED to siphon any money away from charitable contributions. This would be the worst grift (or investment, even) ever.
Let’s also remember, we didn’t charge ANY of the bladesmiths in the competition, anything, to be there, and, in fact, provided transportation and/or lodging (as well as food and beverages) for many of them.
Absolutely. We didn’t even account for all of these above, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there.
None of this even includes the TIME SPENT on creating this promotional material.
Patently false. There is no proof or evidence that anything untoward occurred between Doc and any women involved in Last Blade Standing.
Over two years ago, a welder from social media was asked by Doc if she would like to produce a trophy from steel and discarded blades provided by him and other participants to comprise the Season 1 trophy. She agreed, and another person volunteered to make the wooden base of the trophy. There was an offer of a tactical knife, but nothing was set in stone.
The final trophy was assembled by Doc at home, and presented to the winner of Season 1. Following that, the winning smiths from each season produced the trophies.
Doc ordered two T-shirts to be sent to the makers as a thank you for their participation. No money was ever promised, as everything for Last Blade Standing was entirely done by volunteers. He (stupidly) addressed one of the packages to “Sexy Bexy” as a joke. The joke was not well received, and that is understandable. The recipient chose to post on social media, and any sort of communication was terminated thereafter.
No other material, of any nature, except for words, was exchanged between Doc and the welder, as has been shown in prior screenshots of text messages. There is no reasonable evidence of any other adult material being sent between the parties.
Doc and another female person volunteered to bartend that event. Doc provided all of the beverages, taps, and CO2 out of pocket from New Sarum brewing company.
At one point, Doc asked a female participant if she needed a place to stay for the night (meaning a room at the Comfort Inn), since she would be driving home for 2+ hours. She declined, and drove home anyway. This same participant has since posted videos on social media thanking Doc for doing a great job as a volunteer bartender, and has only chosen to recently change her story in light of the recent events.
After these last 3 seasons, Doc chose to not respond to the false and unproven allegations, and instead shut the competition down entirely. Any other comments/questions/concerns can be addressed by Wes, but any other responses will not be answered. Most of you have been blocked.
This is the last statement on behalf of Last Blade Standing and Doc that will be made.
Of everyone in the competition, only two people bothered to call Doc to get answers and have a grown-up conversation. Not a single person who posted any of the incendiary videos that falsely accuse Doc of the above mentioned items had the gall to pick up the phone and give him a call to find out his side of all of this. You all chose to post on social media, where Doc was tried, convicted, and executed, before even telling his side of the story.
Doc can do better, yes. You can do better, too. And you should have.
To everyone else who jumped on the bandwagon to trash me and Last Blade Standing? You never deserved my time, and I never deserved your hate.