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Recently I have been the object of puzzlement, gallant misconstruction, and personal insults (most notably lickspittle).

I'd like to clear up the puzzlement and address everything else along the way.

I was a professional writer for almost 20 years before I submitted an article to Laissez Faire City Times in 1997. Professional means that I got paid to write in Hollywood, Philadelphia, London and elsewhere, and that's all it means. I knew nothing about LFC and viewed it as just another market. They paid $100 for every article and my first submission (“Tony Blair's Neo-Fascist Third Way”) was accepted. My second submission (“Al Gore Declares World Soap Day”) was accepted, too. At the time I had little else to do, and it was gratifying to speak my mind and get paid for it. I had a nonfiction book in print, but Laissez Faire City Times appeared to be an opportunity to swing for the fences, and it came at a time when I had finally cracked an intellectual problem that bugged me for decades. The result was my 1997 manifesto Defacto Anarchy (published by LFCT as “Government Is A Quack Faith-Healer”). During the next four years I regularly contributed articles and serial fiction to Laissez Faire City Times, and without fail the editor always posted a link at the bottom of every page I authored, pointing back to Defacto Anarchy. It was persuasive, remembered, reprinted and quoted by many people in anarcho-capitalist and libertarian circles. No brag, just fact, as Walter Brennan used to say on The Real McCoys.

It's important to acknowledge that in 1997-1999 I was not a celebrated contributor to Laissez Faire City Times. Jack Wheeler, Jim Peron, Orlin Grabbe, Tibor Machan, Karen De Coster, Richard Ehrlich, Robert L. Kocher, George F. Smith, Pierre Lemieux, P.J. Gladnick, Billy Beck, and many others were considered far more interesting and certainly more important than Wolf DeVoon. How I became an LFC celebrity had nothing to do with my theory of Defacto Anarchy or any of the half-dozen articles that Grabbe mined from my website and published in 1997-1999, including a very long satire entitled “Say No To Zombie Woofs” for which he paid $350, triple the usual rate. At the time I didn't know I was dealing with Orlin Grabbe. He used the pseudonym Zola as editor of LFCT, and our contact was limited to very short email messages.

However, some time during 1998 I offered an e-book for sale on my website with third-party credit card processing. This particular book had a dismal, seven-year embarrassment of rejection. It was declined by my nonfiction publisher, who held an option on whatever I wrote next. I knocked on doors in New York and handed hard copy manuscripts to five publishers known for eclectic, risque titles. Their reaction was uniformly emphatic. It was a personal insult to them to write or submit such horrid trash. Okay, fine. I self-published it as an e-book and sold 200 copies of “An Illustrated All-Purpose Guide To Female Women And What To Do With Them.” One copy was purchased by some doofus in Costa Rica, whose name meant nothing to me. When I arrived at LFC headquarters a year later, both the City Clerk and the Crown Prince greeted me with enthusiastic thanks for writing the All-Purpose Guide. There's little doubt that it figured significantly in my being recruited to join Laissez Faire City as their celebrated writer-in-residence.

But that's not how I perceived it when Orlin Grabbe called me on the phone in 1999. He was attending an Aspen conference and asked if he could come to visit in Longmont, where I was working as a day laborer after a three-month stint as a Research Assistant at CU in Boulder. After publication of Defacto Anarchy and similarly radical articles like “The Decision To Kill,” I assumed that Grabbe was an FBI agent and I was probably headed to prison again, this time for sedition or treason. We met at a local restaurant. Grabbe explained that he was Zola and he liked my work. He spent a couple hours at my apartment and shared a couple hash brownies that left me nearly incapable of driving him back to his motel room. The purpose of Orlin's visit was to tell me that Rex wanted me to consider joining Laissez Faire City and move more or less permanently to Costa Rica.

For an Objectivist, the prospect of joining Galt's Gulch is an easy decision. Emails and phone calls with Rex settled the matter of airfare and upfront cash to wind up my obligations in Colorado. When I arrived at the airport in San Jose I was picked up by the Head of Security, who used the pseudonym Alex – a tall, tough, completely ruthless asshole who I learned to fear and hate. He drove me to LFC headquarters on an afternoon when they were installing a wireless microwave network on tall towers, connecting the consulate and Rand University. No matter what you may believe, LFC's headquarters was plush and magnificently well-equipped with computer systems and fast T1 dedicated pipes, which very few people had in Costa Rica at the time. Rand University was a gated tree-lined campus with a big luxury house, garages, and a separate building with six fairly nice classrooms. I was guest of honor at the City Club restaurant that evening with Rex, Alex, and Samantha the accountant. In the course of the next few days, Rex pressured me to read a pile of books and to write a novel about government corruption. Arrangements were made to send me to Nosara, where LFC leased a mansion overlooking the beach to accommodate visitors. I was given a car and cash and introduced to Boris, the Russian bodyguard who scared the shit out of me, but later came to regard as a friend. He was crude, rough, and had a penchant for brandishing machine guns on the patio when I was entertaining visitors, which I had to yell about and angrily order Boris to put the damn things back in his car.

200 people from all over the world came to visit me at the hilltop mansion in Nosara, and my articles in Laissez Faire City Times began to appear “above the fold.” Rex never got the book he wanted. Instead, I pitched a novel called The Good Walk Alone, and Orlin backed me up after reading the first three chapters. No author has ever had carte blanche like I did at Laissez Faire City. It went to print weekly without editorial pressure or rewrite, a story that contradicted and mocked the prevailing sentiment in Laissez Faire City, projecting a future completely unlike the fascist top-dog enclave ruled by Rex and Alex. I fought with both of them repeatedly. Orlin backed me up, and probably kept me alive when it would have been convenient and easy to have me killed. At one point I went on strike, refusing to write another word and was placed on house arrest at headquarters in San Jose. The issue was money and I returned to Nosara with cash in my pocket, which Rex did not want to part with.

I had no knowledge of the lottery or anything else behind the scenes. I told visitors that it didn't matter whether it made sense to become a “founder” of Laissez Faire City and pay in $6000 for worthless warrants in MuniCorp. They were close to rolling out encrypted banking and a stock exchange, which Orlin ultimately operated in Dubai after he split with Rex in 2002. I told people to back the effort and expect nothing in return for their investment. Win or lose, it was a worthy project to attempt a pirate cybereconomy free of government surveillance, regulation and taxation. I despised the pitch Rex made to investors. I ignored it, argued against it, saw it as yet another reason to advocate the rule of law in Laissez Faire City – which pissed Rex and all of the key players off. My articles in Laissez Faire City Times became more pointed and emphatic about the role of an independent judiciary. Everyone else wanted voluntary arbitration, or Law Merchant, or absolute autonomy as “sovereign individuals.”

When LFC was in trouble, after Orlin ran off with all the “freedom technology” software, I came back to help Rex. I don't regret it. There were 40,000 readers of Laissez Faire City Times who saw it as a beacon of freedom. There were 1,500 LFC stakeholders on six continents. I did what I could to patch things up between Orlin and Rex and the Crown Prince and a hostile Board of Governors. I failed because it was an impossible task. Too much was wrong. I saved a couple of people who were stuck in positions of trust, victims of Rex's folly and bluster. A dozen of the best people left HQ and joined me in Nosara. For several years after LFC collapsed we lived privately and happily as neighbors in a rump Objectivist community at the beach, self-reliant and entrepreneurial in a rural province that was a long way from organized government and had a local tradition of expat self-government.

In retrospect, I don't care whether I did everything right or wrong. I'm not a great genius, nor a particularly gifted writer. The work stands, however, and I can't retract any of my published articles, books, or the logic of the Freeman's Constitution. If you read my stuff, you'll see that I don't have a very high opinion of my experience or talent. I don't ask anyone to agree with my conclusions or to admire the effort in defining justice as the defense of innocent liberty.

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As a writer you obviously have no problem whatsoever effectively stringing words together into sentences, paragraphs and this article. You are a true wordsmith. It's only a matter of what you write about and the material you draw upon.

I can't turn out prose the way you can. Don't get me wrong. I can write really great prose but that takes motivation and 5 - 7 drafts = maybe two pages double-spaced. Two pages is reaching for it. If I had something like your story to tell and I wanted to match up with that quality and length, it would take me week or two. Then I'd have to bring in a grammar pro editor. I would never publish a self-edited ebook.

The story you tell is very interesting. LFC, however, comes across as a cult confused by money. If you have security people you also have de facto government. There were no such people in the fictional Galt's Gulch because, it not being really real, they weren't needed.

I have no idea how the Objectivist-influenced neo-con Jack Wheeler figured into LFC in any way unless he was much less a neo-con in the late 1990s than today.

--Brant

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(Note from MSK: The correct date for "split with Rex in 2012" is 2002. I corrected it in the original above, but I'm mentioning the correction here since the quote below contains the error and correcting it is discussed later in this thread.)

Orlin [...] split with Rex in 2012.

[A]fter Orlin ran off with all the freedom technology software, I came back to help Rex.

A dozen of the best people left HQ and joined me in Nosara. For several years after LFC collapsed we lived privately and happily as neighbors in a rump Objectivist community at the beach, self-reliant and entrepreneurial in a rural province that was a long way from organized government and had a local tradition of expat self-government.


From where did you come back to help Rex? Do you mean from Nosara to San Jose? Or had you meanwhile left Costa Rica?

If the time when "LFC collapsed" was 2012, "several years" brings the chronology to some time this year, 2015. Did you leave Nosara earlier this year? Is the "rump Objectivist community at the beach," or some part of it, still there, or have all or most of the people comprising that community gone elsewhere?

Just trying to follow the sequence.

Ellen

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Thanks Wolf, for the explanation. Did your experience in any way change your mind about rational anarchism? Are you glad to be back in civilization? What is your real name?

Peter Taylor

It can't be as good as "Wolf," so why do you care?

--Brant

What's your real name, Ayn Rand?

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Wolf wrote: In retrospect, I don't care whether I did everything right or wrong. I'm not a great genius, nor a particularly gifted writer. The work stands, however, and I can't retract any of my published articles, books, or the logic of the Freeman's Constitution. If you read my stuff, you'll see that I don't have a very high opinion of my experience or talent. I don't ask anyone to agree with my conclusions or to admire the effort in defining justice as the defense of innocent liberty.
end quote

That was well said but does not explain your less than very high opinion of your experience in Costa Rica. You say we can glean it from your published works but why not explain it here? In particular I want to know if you ever thought you had entered the world of organized crime or a cartel, because that is what it sounds like with a guy waving a gun around. Did you at any time feel your life was truly in danger and that you had entered a place where your freedoms were being curtailed? That is the supposition Objectivists make with all attempts at rational anarchism. It is not just a complaint at the lack of law and order in that place, at that time. Many rational people put their lives in danger, like soldiers, policemen, rock and mountain climbers, and hunters in the wild, but we know we have a safe place WITH GOVERNMENT to come back too. As did you. So what is the psychological state that drove you to leave your old neighborhood and still makes you define what sounds like a living hell as less than very high opinion of your experiences? It sounds to me like you are in a state of denial if not evasion. Please, explain to me how you were in any way defending innocent liberty then, and how you are doing that now.
Peter Taylor

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Recently I have been the object of puzzlement, gallant misconstruction, and personal insults (most notably lickspittle).

Lickspittle is as lickspittle does!

I'd like to clear up the puzzlement and address everything else along the way.

I was a professional writer for almost 20 years before I submitted an article to Laissez Faire City Times in 1997. Professional means that I got paid to write in Hollywood, Philadelphia, London and elsewhere, and that's all it means.

Paid by whom?

See, calling yourself a professional writer who got paid to write in Hollywood, etc., gives the impression that you're claiming to have worked for major film or television studios, newspapers, magazines, etc. If so, then identify these organizations. If not, then just tell the truth rather than trying to tart up reality into something it wasn't.

So, again, by whom were you paid? By Disney, Universal, Newsweek, the BBC, the Telegraph? Or by your wife or one of your own puppet pseudonyms? Where can we see some of your professional writings from the time? Where were they published and produced?

When LFC was in trouble, after Orlin ran off with all the “freedom technology” software...

Once again you're accusing Grabbe of having been the cause of the scam's failure. That doesn't mesh with others' observations. Not at all.

Give us the facts and the evidence. Answer the questions. I've already asked twice:

"Also, you didn't answer my question about Grabbe. You said that he seized his software. I asked why. Are you suggesting that he did it arbitrarily, or perhaps even immorally or criminally? Was he not within his contractual rights to do so? Did he give any reason for seizing it, like, for example, that perhaps he had discovered that it was being modified or abused in some way by "Rex" and his "idiot" "whiz kids"? Is it your view that Grabbe, who had a solid, above board history (as far as I can tell), was being a bully/criminal/meanie, and "Rex," who appears to have had a long history of self-induced trouble, was a sweet innocent babe who was a victim of Grabbe and of Feds who had it out for him for no legitimate reason?"

In retrospect, I don't care whether I did everything right or wrong.

See, that's the kind of thing that doesn't add up. You quote and praise yourself as being this brilliantly original "philosopher of law," and as a passionate advocate of law and justice, and yet then you are suddenly disinterested, and even bored, by law and justice and right and wrong.

I'm not a great genius, nor a particularly gifted writer.

Indeed! And yet you can't have a discussion on any topic without quoting your self-published writings, and posing and preening and otherwise very badly marketing yourself as a genius and gifted writer.

The work stands, however, and I can't retract any of my published articles, books, or the logic of the Freeman's Constitution. If you read my stuff, you'll see that I don't have a very high opinion of my experience or talent. I don't ask anyone to agree with my conclusions or to admire the effort in defining justice as the defense of innocent liberty.

The problem is that certain things don't add up between your words and actions. When your opinions that you present as your "philosophy of law" are questioned or criticized, you don't have answers. Instead, you either pout and take your ball and go home, or you repeat the same damn things which didn't answer the questions or criticisms.

So, yes, please do "clear things up!" Answer questions. Address criticism. Stop quoting your past crap, especially when it doesn't answer the questions that you've been asked. Back up your opinions with reasoning and evidence.

And most of all, if you don't want to reveal for whom you've worked in the past, or which projects you've worked on, then don't boast about them or try to give the impression that they were something that they were not. I mean, why even bring it up if you're not going to back it up with anything? When people do that, it has the effect of making them look like they're trying to con others.

Multiple things about you are generally not the characteristics or behaviors of honest men.

J

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Future computers and smart phones will be able to make and deliver smells. For instance, an app might have a list of smells like "HORSESHIT." Push that button and whom you are communicating with will get that odor discharged from his device with "SKUNK" as a handy default.

--Brant

5 day 100 degree direct in the summer sun "CARRION" is the gold standard for awful and my choice for the default (I once [1980] tried to camp downwind from a dead cow in the Sierra Nevadas--I had to move)

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Mike E. asked Jonathan: Poor baby. Where's mama?
end quote

Mike, I don’t understand your hostility to Jonathan. His questions and observations were brilliant.

And to Brant, nobody is playing good cop, bad cop and asking someone for their real name is not an imposition. Stating your real name is the most basic and LEGAL courtesy everyone should grant others. Now if Brant is a nickname and your real name is Grant, that is simply liking your nickname better, but asking someone for a REAL last name is necessary for social commerce. For instance if you conduct a business deal and say your name is Aram but it is really Alden, that could be for the purpose of hiding from a past indiscretion but it could be for the purpose of scamming someone. The words Common Decency come to mind. I demand to know your middle name Brant. Spit it out!
Peter D. Taylor

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Mike E. asked Jonathan: Poor baby. Where's mama?

end quote

Mike, I don’t understand your hostility to Jonathan.

Mikee can be very emotional, and he likes to play at being the official Online Objectivish Public Defender of those over whom he has developed odd bromances. He very easily falls for people who merely claim to be fighting for liberty and individual rights, and who sort of pose as geniuses despite their being a bit duncish. He develops deep, deep crushes on them, and gets extremely upset when others question or critically examine the details of their duncery that went right over his head. He adopts the attitude that these objects of his affection are intellectual giants, but yet that they are so fragile that they need to be protected, by him, from any challenges to their ideas or their visions of their own accomplishments, brilliance, fame or importance.

Just look at his irrational reaction to me. He's so emotionally driven that he misidentified my challenging and attacking "Wolf's" bluster as being my claiming some sort of victimhood and asking to be coddled and protected!!!

J

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Mike E. asked Jonathan: Poor baby. Where's mama?

end quote

Mike, I don’t understand your hostility to Jonathan.

Mikee can be very emotional, and he likes to play at being the official Online Objectivish Public Defender of those over whom he has developed odd bromances. He very easily falls for people who merely claim to be fighting for liberty and individual rights, and who sort of pose as geniuses despite their being a bit duncish. He develops deep, deep crushes on them, and gets extremely upset when others question or critically examine the details of their duncery that went right over his head. He adopts the attitude that these objects of his affection are intellectual giants, but yet that they are so fragile that they need to be protected, by him, from any challenges to their ideas or their visions of their own accomplishments, brilliance, fame or importance.

Just look at his irrational reaction to me. He's so emotionally driven that he misidentified my challenging and attacking "Wolf's" bluster as being my claiming some sort of victimhood and asking to be coddled and protected!!!

J

Gee. Can you also buff people up?

--Brant

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calling yourself a professional writer who got paid to write in Hollywood, etc., gives the impression that you're claiming to have worked for major film or television studios, newspapers, magazines, etc. If so, then identify these organizations

I'll give you the same answer Fred Zinnemann gave to a TV executive at a job interview:

Boy Genius: So, tell me, what have you done before?

Zinnemann: You first.

I want to know if you ever thought you had entered the world of organized crime or a cartel, because that is what it sounds like with a guy waving a gun around. Did you at any time feel your life was truly in danger and that you had entered a place where your freedoms were being curtailed?

I'd say that my life was in danger in North Philly, in Los Angeles, and certainly in prison from time to time. I carried a gun in Costa Rica and drew it safety off on occasion. It was a little like the Old West, which had nothing to do with LFC but rather extremely weak law enforcement in Costa Rica. The capital city of San Jose was dangerous, especially in the upscale diplomatic quarter. That said, it was considerably safer than Chicago or Detroit or Baltimore :cool:

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Mike E. asked Jonathan: Poor baby. Where's mama?

end quote

Mike, I don’t understand your hostility to Jonathan. His questions and observations were brilliant.

And to Brant, nobody is playing good cop, bad cop and asking someone for their real name is not an imposition. Stating your real name is the most basic and LEGAL courtesy everyone should grant others. Now if Brant is a nickname and your real name is Grant, that is simply liking your nickname better, but asking someone for a REAL last name is necessary for social commerce. For instance if you conduct a business deal and say your name is Aram but it is really Alden, that could be for the purpose of hiding from a past indiscretion but it could be for the purpose of scamming someone. The words Common Decency come to mind. I demand to know your middle name Brant. Spit it out!

Peter D. Taylor

Peter.

--Brant Peter Gaede (Peter was my great-grandfather, Brant my Mother's maiden name, Gaede was a travelling salesman)

Wow! I feel so much better now!

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Mike E. asked Jonathan: Poor baby. Where's mama?

end quote

Mike, I don’t understand your hostility to Jonathan.

Mikee can be very emotional, and he likes to play at being the official Online Objectivish Public Defender of those over whom he has developed odd bromances. He very easily falls for people who merely claim to be fighting for liberty and individual rights, and who sort of pose as geniuses despite their being a bit duncish. He develops deep, deep crushes on them, and gets extremely upset when others question or critically examine the details of their duncery that went right over his head. He adopts the attitude that these objects of his affection are intellectual giants, but yet that they are so fragile that they need to be protected, by him, from any challenges to their ideas or their visions of their own accomplishments, brilliance, fame or importance.

Just look at his irrational reaction to me. He's so emotionally driven that he misidentified my challenging and attacking "Wolf's" bluster as being my claiming some sort of victimhood and asking to be coddled and protected!!!

J

Peter:

QED. Need I say more? You can find tons of this stuff on various threads. "Wah, wah, wah"... ad infinitum.

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Mike E. asked Jonathan: Poor baby. Where's mama?

end quote

Mike, I don’t understand your hostility to Jonathan. His questions and observations were brilliant.

And to Brant, nobody is playing good cop, bad cop and asking someone for their real name is not an imposition. Stating your real name is the most basic and LEGAL courtesy everyone should grant others. Now if Brant is a nickname and your real name is Grant, that is simply liking your nickname better, but asking someone for a REAL last name is necessary for social commerce. For instance if you conduct a business deal and say your name is Aram but it is really Alden, that could be for the purpose of hiding from a past indiscretion but it could be for the purpose of scamming someone. The words Common Decency come to mind. I demand to know your middle name Brant. Spit it out!

Peter D. Taylor

Doesn't quite apply to the Internet and, now, social media. I avoid SM as much as I can, but there's stuff on the Internet I put up under my own name going back over a quarter of a century. You can even find stuff I did in real life almost 50 years ago. (Google Brant Gaede A-414.) I cannot advise, much less insist, that anyone make public displays of their identity. There are too many reasons for being off the public grid.

--Brant

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calling yourself a professional writer who got paid to write in Hollywood, etc., gives the impression that you're claiming to have worked for major film or television studios, newspapers, magazines, etc. If so, then identify these organizations

I'll give you the same answer Fred Zinnemann gave to a TV executive at a job interview:

Boy Genius: So, tell me, what have you done before?

Zinnemann: You first.

I haven't claimed to have been employed all over the world as a professional writer. I haven't been boasting and then angrily refusing to back up my bombast with evidence. I'm not alternately overly braggy and proud and then indignant or ashamed or whatever your problem is. I don't have the con man psychology of volunteering assertions about myself and then getting all pissy when I'm simply asked to show some samples of what I've been gloating about.

Unlike you, I'm here to discuss ideas rather than constantly promote a bullshit image of myself.

Having said that, however, I am a professional artist. You can see some of my paintings here.

Good enough? Does that count enough as my having gone first?

Okay, now it's your turn.

J

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Mike E. asked Jonathan: Poor baby. Where's mama?

end quote

Mike, I don’t understand your hostility to Jonathan.

Mikee can be very emotional, and he likes to play at being the official Online Objectivish Public Defender of those over whom he has developed odd bromances. He very easily falls for people who merely claim to be fighting for liberty and individual rights, and who sort of pose as geniuses despite their being a bit duncish. He develops deep, deep crushes on them, and gets extremely upset when others question or critically examine the details of their duncery that went right over his head. He adopts the attitude that these objects of his affection are intellectual giants, but yet that they are so fragile that they need to be protected, by him, from any challenges to their ideas or their visions of their own accomplishments, brilliance, fame or importance.

Just look at his irrational reaction to me. He's so emotionally driven that he misidentified my challenging and attacking "Wolf's" bluster as being my claiming some sort of victimhood and asking to be coddled and protected!!!

J

Peter:

QED. Need I say more? You can find tons of this stuff on various threads. "Wah, wah, wah"... ad infinitum.

Wow, you've got it bad for "Wolf." Your man crush on him is even bigger than the one that you had on your sweet little Vulnerable Dean.

J

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calling yourself a professional writer who got paid to write in Hollywood, etc., gives the impression that you're claiming to have worked for major film or television studios, newspapers, magazines, etc. If so, then identify these organizations

I'll give you the same answer Fred Zinnemann gave to a TV executive at a job interview:

Boy Genius: So, tell me, what have you done before?

Zinnemann: You first.

I haven't claimed to have been employed all over the world as a professional writer. I haven't been boasting and then angrily refusing to back up my bombast with evidence. I'm not alternately overly braggy and proud and then indignant or ashamed or whatever your problem is. I don't have the con man psychology of volunteering assertions about myself and then getting all pissy when I'm simply asked to show some samples of what I've been gloating about.

Unlike you, I'm here to discuss ideas rather than constantly promote a bullshit image of myself.

Having said that, however, I am a professional artist. You can see some of my paintings here.

Good enough? Does that count enough as my having gone first?

Okay, now it's your turn.

J

Real art. It's not painted to an existential muse. I especially like the naked lady drawing a bow.

--Brant

are you also a lawyer?

glad no one is asking me what I've done

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