That was the question I started contemplating over the weekend, and it led to an uncharacteristic ambiguity on my part. I've said before that I highly pride my tendency to look at a situation and come to a conclusion. Talking endlessly around every topic without ever giving your position is the sign of a weak will.
But I honestly don't know what to make of these departures. Looking at Dotlan, you can see dozens of corporations and pilots fleeing the sinking ship of the CFC in droves. Consider all of the "former corporations" between February 1 and April 15 for SMA. Or between March 1 and April 15 for FCON, TNT, or LAWN. And if you look at the pilot counts alone, you can see individual pilots cutting bait and running for the door.
Money Badger Coalition sources would argue these are awakenings of those blinded by the propaganda of the CFC for all these years. CFC alliances would argue this is shedding dead weight as ratters and fair-weather friends leave. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Certainly - if you can take anything from Circle of Two's switching of sides, some PvPers and formerly content organizations are disenchanted with what the CFC has become. At the same time, large numbers of these corporation are joining other alliances well-known for being renters or other ratting-focused alliances. There are definitely a lot of useless members - from a sov defense sense - leaving for stability and safety.
But I can see support for both viewing each group as both a traitor abandoning the CFC in its time of need and as a rational decision made as the result of leaks from Goonswarm leadership about the depth of contempt for their allies.
Let me paint two narratives for you, both describing the same situation.
For years, your alliance has provided you safety and friendship, treated you fairly, and only asked that you contribute a ship or two - the cost of which is fully refunded in case it explodes during the course of alliance duty - on occasion, as measured by fleet participation points. Through repeated examples of inclusive and cordial policies, your alliance demonstrated that it considers the opinions and concerns of its members and works hard for you. For several years, you've enjoyed safe ratting space and the protection of the CFC. You've gained access to the widest range of PvP activities of any organization or area of space. And you've been heavily subsidized to contribute to alliance objectives. But now, when it needs you most, you respond to this long history of generosity by abandoning them in their time of need because you don't want to risk your predictable ratting income. Has their loyalty over the years earned no obligation from you in return? For all these years, you've been content to profit from their hard work, yet you abandon them in their moment of need - and only at that time. When the going got tough, you ran for the door, you entitled, selfish brat.
And the second...
For years, you've contributed to the objectives of the alliance, dutifully showing up for fleet fights and pouring long hours and red eyes into every inch of space your alliance won. And win, they did. Though the alliance with the CFC enabled you to mass the numbers necessary to conquer the north, your alliance was there, conquering the north. It wasn't handed to you, you and your alliance-mates conquered it. But over time, you watched your alliance grow soft, depending more and more on Goonswarm. Your key FCs left, disgusted by timid alliance leadership who took the easy path of content-generation by relying upon Mother Bee to spoon-feed them instructions and commands. Yet you remained loyal, desperately hoping they'd turn it around and lead your alliance to a new golden age. But then you watched Goonswarm order - not tell - your leaders to defend the north... by inexplicably running away to Saranen. And your leaders actually did it, leaving lesser alliance to swarm over the systems you fought for and loved. All your hard work was given away because of your cowardly leaders slavishly obeying their Goonswarm masters. Masters who reveal that they "literally don't give a fuck" about your alliance and want you to collapse so you have no choice but to fold, broken and devoid of any further value, into Goonswarm. This isn't the alliance you fought for, not any longer, and you owe such weak cowards nothing in return.
Who's to say which is more correct? Should we deride those jumping ship as fair-weather friends and cowards who we shouldn't let into our alliance? How could a person abandon their friends in their time of need, when they were content to profit from the corruption all around them until they met pressure?
Yet, on the other hand, who could blame anyone for wanting to leave the CFC after the extent of contempt in the leaked logs showing a clear, concerted effort to strengthen Goonswarm at the expense of every other ally? Those logs seem to confirm all of the worst interpretations about the CFC over the years.
I'm torn, to be honest. The truth is, it's probably a case-by-case basis, but doesn't the question need to be asked?