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I was looking at my saved letters to the old Atlantis and found the following. Wow, was BB ever ticked off! Peter

BBfromM Wed 8/23/2000, 2:48 AM to Atlantis. Here we go again! Ellen Moore wrote, The simple fact is that I do not believe that Barbara wanted to 'humanize' Ayn Rand. I do not believe that love and admiration was, or is, her purpose. I had a meaningful but brief association with Alan and Joan Blumenthal, with Barbara's sister-in-law, with MaryAnn Sures, with Leonard Peikoff, with Edith Packer and George Reisman, as well as with many other friends of Rand over the years. None of them treat Ayn Rand's personal characteristics with the maliciousness of the Brandens. There are still many left who can "tell the tale," and they knew the Brandens too. I know how to judge the difference between objectivity and subjectivity when the facts are retold by those from all sides of a conflict. Most of the people on Atlantis naively believe only the Brandens, so I judge them as being willing dupes of malicious intent."

How nice of Moore to judge most of the Atlantis members as being "willing dupes." Is it just possible that such "dupes" recognize the truth when they see it, and are no one's "willing dupes?" No, love and admiration for Ayn Rand, although I feel them, were not my purpose in writing PASSION. My purpose was to tell the truth. Ellen's "meaningful but brief association" with the people she names need to be more meaningful and less brief. She will find that, particularly but not only in the case of the Blumenthals, their understanding of Ayn Rand is perfectly consistent with mine and in fact their judgments are more harsh than mine. Why don't you find out, Ellen Moore? That's a rhetorical question; I know perfectly well why you don't find out.

Moore also wrote, "Remember that Rand withdrew from him {Nathaniel Branden} personally when he wrote her a repugnant letter in July '68. . . "

Do you care to say what were the contents of that "repugnant letter," Ellen? Apparently not.

The letter was a tortured effort to explain, as you well know, that the age-difference of twenty-five years, now that Ayn Rand was in her 60's and he still in his 30's, had become an insuperable barrier to a sexual relationship, despite his love and admiration for her. She had wondered if that were the reason for his emotional withdrawal, and he confirmed it. Surely most women would have accepted and understood the inevitable change in their relationship. Ayn Rand did not. Ellen Moore states that Ayn Rand "repudiated" me when she learned of my past lies and deceptions. Not so. She did not repudiate me when she learned that I had been covering for Nathaniel; she accepted that and made excuses for me that I would not have made for myself. It was only when I refused to attend a kangaroo court of her choosing that she repudiated me. It's a good idea to have your facts straight, Ellen, before you hurl accusations. But then, you might not be able to hurl them, and what would be the purpose of your life if that were taken away?

Ellen wrote, "And even if Rand had been hurt by the truth that he loved Patrecia, that fact could have been resolved between them by some private agreement."

You must be joking! It was precisely when Ayn Rand learned of Nathaniel's love for Patrecia that she turned on him and informed him that if he had an ounce of morality left he would be impotent for the next twenty years!

Ellen wrote, "I have never understood, and I disagree with those who condemn the 'Affair.' I understand their agreement about having an affair, and I do not think that the affair destroyed their relationships."

Oh, Ellen, there go the facts again! Of course the affair destroyed our relationships. How do you think Frank O'Connor felt, as only one example, when Nathaniel twice-weekly walked into the apartment Frank shared with his wife and he had to go out in order to allow them to experience love and sex? Despite Nathaniel's repeated suggestions, his pleas, Ayn Rand had refused to allow him to take an apartment--in the same building if she wished, since she was terrified of the affair being known--where they could have time together without putting Frank O'Connor through the hell Ayn Rand insisted on putting him through. Who, I wonder, has the greater allegiance to Ayn Rand and Objectivism--you, who insist on ignoring the facts and/or twist them out of all recognition, or I, who am concerned only with the facts? Although this letter is addressed to Ellen Moore, I know better than to think she is open to reason. It is intended, rather, for "the willing dupes" of Atlantis whom I respect and many of whom I admire, and who wish to separate facts from Moore's fantasies.

Barbara

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Ellen Moore never made the transition from the old Atlantis to the new one on Yahoo (2003).

She had no idea how dumb she was.

--Brant

no longer with us

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She wasn't dumb, just doctrinaire, which was a trait she had enhanced by teaching Objectivism. Do they still have study groups and Objectivist clubs?

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Ellen Moore wrote and quoted: *matching* refers to the concept "similarity, as differences yet of the same kind".  We perceive the first one, identify it, and that identification is integrated and stored in the subconscious. Second time, we perceive another uniquely different object and/or characteristic. Then we are still perceiving all the differences and we can identify these as similar, different yet alike in kind, as the first time perception, and that is integrated and stored. Consciousness is instantaneously aware and able to identify all differences stored in the subconscious - the differences "matching" is in the similarity in range and kind. In that sense, identification is similarity matched and is given in perception.

As Rand wrote in ITOE, p. 150-2, "No, you do something else volitionally . . . . Do you know what you will?  You will to observe. You use your senses, you look around, and your will is to grasp, to understand. And you observe similarities.  Now, you don't know yet that this is the process of abstraction . . . But you are engaged in it once you begin to observe similarities."  On the next page, she said, "As he discovers certain things, he begins to direct his sensory apparatus, and that is volitional."

Rand defined "integration" as, "a blending of the units [which she defined in ITOE] into a *single*, new *mental* entity which is used thereafter as a single unit of thought (but which can be broken down into its components units whenever required."

end quote

Brant, those thoughts are typical of Ellen.

Peter   

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Some old, saved letters. I may have posted them before. Peter

From Barbara Branden. 3/10/01 atlantis@wetheliving.com Re: ATL: RE Godlike‏: My own difficulty with John Galt is not that one COULD NOT be like him, in essence -- that is, a person of great accomplishment who embodies the Objectivist virtues, the apotheosis of the human potential -- but that in certain respects one SHOULD NOT be like him. Galt, like Howard Roark and like Rearden, (Francisco is the exception to this) is a man who deals with people, even people whom he loves, in an almost totally cerebral way; one knows by other means that he is a man of great emotional passion, but one sees it only in his sexual encounter with Dagny. One understands deductively the passionate commitment that has driven him all the years of his strike, but one rarely hears it in his words.

I believe that the emotional repression of Ayn Rand's heroic male characters is one of the reasons that so many of her admirers came to see repression almost as a virtue and not to fight it in themselves.

Ayn Rand further buttressed this error in her male characters by having her people make remarks to the effect that they would never allow a woman they love to see them in pain. This was Rand's own philosophy; she told me that when she first had met Frank O'Connor, she did not tell him of all the miserable and mindless jobs she had to work at -- because she never wanted to face him in pain. It seemed she felt that to show her suffering to the man she loved would be the equivalent of demanding his help, even his pity. Why she believed that, I do not know. And perhaps it was all the hidden and repressed pain in her life that caused her, in later years, to talk about little except her suffering. Barbara
 

On the movie, “Atlas Shrugged.” I saw the movie for the second time on Friday. It probably is against the law -- and certainly a sin -- to have as good a time as I had. It was playing in Westwood Village, a college town, and the audience was predominantly young people -- with a mix that was fascinating to me of onetime NBI students. What a strange feeling it was to see so many familiar faces from so very long ago! The house was completely sold out for the 7PM performance that I attended and for the 9:40 performance that followed. It was a joy to see a long line of people waiting to get in for both performances. Clearly, the audience I saw it with loved the movie -- and at the end, the manager came out grinning from ear to ear to announce that it would run for two weeks.

After the performance, I stood outside the theater with some friends and with some of the NBI students, and we simply gloated happily and talked about our favorite scenes. None of us wanted to leave. I don't intend to argue with anyone about the movie or to defend it or to think about what may be its deficiencies. What I care about is that I watched the first run of the John Galt Line, and it was not 2011, it was 1950 and I was sitting in Ayn's living room reading the incredible scene in manuscript with tears running down my face -- and the world was a place of limitless possibilities. And that's what it was again on Friday night. And it remains so. Barbara

Thank you, Steve. You'll be glad to know that Nathaniel -- who was with me Friday night -- reacted to the movie just as I did. It means a great deal to both of us. And almost the first thing I said to my friends when the movie ended was: "How I wish Ayn could have seen it!" Barbara

A response to Peter Reidy.

BBfromM  Thu 5/4/2000, 1:56 AM atlantis

Peter wrote: <<An evil thought would be one which, by virtue of your having experienced it, makes you culpable, as an evil action is one whose doing makes you culpable. An evil idea, by contrast, would be the sort of thing Dwyer is talking about -- one that has bad effects if we believe it and act on it.>>

How in the world can a thought make you culpable? And any idea that is mistaken can have bad effects if we believe and act on it. What is added by calling the idea "evil?"

Peter also wrote: <<there's plenty of evidence that AR and her circle believed, despite pro-forma denials, that people can be good or evil  in virtue of the thoughts and emotions they experience. . . >>

There is indeed plenty of evidence for this. I can't speak for others, but please omit me from those who believed it.

Peter wrote: <<In "Atlas Shrugged," Rand repeatedly goes into her characters' consciousness and judges them for what she finds there.  Dagny is incapable of a fundamental feeling of guilt.  Galt's face is without pain or fear or guilt.  Much of what we know and dislike about James Taggart is his unsavory mental life. >>

I believe that Ayn Rand meant--and I've said that she was inconsistent in this area--that Dagny was unable to experience guilt because she had lived a life in which she did not take actions that would inspire guilt. And that Galt's face was without pain, fear, or guilt for the same reasons.

Peter notes that we do not find in Ayn Rand's other novels the writer going into her character's minds or feelings to show that they are good or evil. Her judgments, before ATLAS, were based predominantly on their actions. I believe that what happened in the writing of ATLAS, and that resulted in an inconsistency about moral judgments, was that her view of people was souring, and so she began to turn, in fiction and in her life, in the direction of denouncing people for the contents of their minds.

I wrote in an earlier post that when I was thirteen, someone I respected told me that under communism no one would be hungry. That sounded great to me, and I decided I must be a communist. Did that idea make me evil? Was it an evil
thought? Barbara

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