Enough is Enough!


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Enough is enough. I'm sick to death of pulling my punches. Diana Hsieh has published, on her web site, Noodlefood -- and, of course, on Solo Passion -- as disgustingly unjust and irrational an attack as I have ever seen, and on the one person I know who least deserves it: Chris Sciabarra. Occasionally, if rarely, when one sees a vicious attack on these two forums -- and the number of them begins to seem infinite -- one can, with conscientious delving and mulling, find a modicum of rationale for a clause, a phrase, sometimes even a sentence of the vitriol. That is not the case with the present screed. It should be taught in every logic class in the country as an example of unqualified illogic. And as an example of what the desire for vengeance for imagined slights can do to a mind.

A commenter on Noodlefood who identifies himself only by his initials wrote: "The case against him is so clear that his only recourse is to do a Branden. That is, claim that the accusations against him are so obviously ridiculous and off the wall that no defense is necessary, and that only randriods (sic) can take Diana seriously." Mr. Anonymous has it right. I hope that Chris will not dirty his hands by responding to Hsieh. I would be happy to dirty my own hands if the spittle she directs at him -- with the connivance and encouragement of sputum-thrower-in-chief Lindsay Perigo -- had the least semblance of sanity, much less of justification. But it has not. However, Anonymous is mistaken in one respect: I think he insults Randroids.

Ladies and gentlemen, the barbarians are at the gates. I ask that all of you read Hsieh's attack and form your own conclusions. And I ask, in the name of your allegiance to that which you value, that if you agree with my assessment, you take a stand, loud and long, in Chris' defense. Michael Kelly quoted part of a letter I wrote in 2004 in which I criticized those who attacked Chris because of his monograph, "Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Nature," as follows:

"We are all in Chris Sciabarra's debt. We now have an opportunity to partially repay that debt. I am asking each one of you - through your web sites, through your writings, through your talks to Objectivist and libertarian groups, through your participation in discussion groups, through your blogs, through conversations with friends -- to take a stand for Chris, to denounce the haters, and to make it clear that those who attack him on such irrational grounds deserve to be called neither Objectivists nor libertarians. The evil that Chris is being subjected to can continue only if we are silent."

I ask this again. And I ask something more: that you have nothing to with either Noodlefood, Solo Passion, or their principals. It is unconscionable that any friend and/or admirer of Chris Sciabarra should have dealings with such purveyors of unreason and brutishness. Evil can prevail only if the good do nothing.

Barbara Branden

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Barbara,

Here is the link to your letter here on OL that I posted.

Let me say that I fully endorse your call and make it my own. For myself, I do not interact with these mediocre mean-spirited jerks.

I want to repeat something I posted in another thread: Chris Sciabarra is a magnificent human being and a benefactor of these petty little people that they do not deserve. Chris only brought benefit to their lives. Look what they did in return.

Michael

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Barbara,

I can't help but feel you are giving them exactly what they want. They feed on the energy of other people's attention and you are giving it to them. Beyond this, you are using your social status to influence others. I know this is deeply ingrained in the O'ist culture but it tastes bad.

I feel a little strange sitting here, a new comer to O'ist discussions, and passing judgement on events I know little about. I have earned no social status here but I know what I see. How else can this be handled?

Paul

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Barbara,

I can't help but feel you are giving them exactly what they want. They feed on the energy of other people's attention and you are giving it to them. Beyond this, you are using your social status to influence others. I know this is deeply ingrained in the O'ist culture but it tastes bad.

Paul,

I would have to disagree with you here.

Although I am also a relative newcomer to Objectivism and still trying to catch up on the full story of what has brought this schism to the community so I can better understand the involvement of the different players, I believe it would be a disservice on Barbara's part if she did not stand up for a person she considers a friend in spite of or maybe more aptly because of her postion in the community.

L W

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LW: "I believe it would be a disservice on Barbara's part if she did not stand up for a person she considers a friend in spite of or maybe more aptly because of her postion in the community."

Thank you, L.W. for understanding.

Paul: "I can't help but feel you are giving them exactly what they want. They feed on the energy of other people's attention and you are giving it to them "

Paul, I understand your position, and in certain contexts I would agree with it. But not in this context. There are people, particularly people relatively new to Objectivism, who will see that the sycophants on Noodlefood and Solo are loud in their agreement with Hsieh and Perigo, and may conclude that since people who are supposedly schooled in Objectivism endorse the attacks, their must be some truth to them. It is for this reason that I feel strongly that voices must be raised to speak for a fine and honorable man whose dignity will not permit him to speak for himself.

You suggest that I am using my "social status to influence others." You're damn tootin' I am. Whatever status I have has been earned. To the extent that my voice is respected, I can think of no finer use for it.

Barbara

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[This is an excerpt from what I just posted on another RANT thread.]

Dizzy Vertigo and Dyin' O'Shame are SO lame, SO impotent, that the worst they can do to any of us is to quote our private, confidential emails out of context. If that is what they want to spend their time and energy doing, LET THEM! In the meantime, let's take our attention off the religious addicts (for that is what they are) and put it on OUR VALUES -- our work, our friends and families, and the pursuit of our happiness.

And beware the Holocaust Fallacy. You have heard it said that "the only way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." This is correct. But if your life or the lives of others are not in jeopardy, then "being loyal to your values" and "doing something" does NOT require you to go into battle with evil people. Going into defensive mode in cases like the present only robs you of time and energy for doing things that create positive value in your life.

By all means, send Chris or whomever a private email of moral support, or call them in support. Even go on Solo Passion and make your public statement of support for Chris, for TOC, Kelley et al, or for Nathaniel and Barbara, if you are so moved, but SAY IT AND LEAVE. Don't stick around for the mud-fight. Don't make the mistake Robert Campbell did.

And whatever you do, do NOT trust Dizzy, Dyin', or anyone who has mistreated you or anyone you care about -- above all, do not trust them when they come, all civil and reasonable sounding, trying to probe for information so they can "understand" whatever, let alone trying to entice you into entering into a "dialogue" on So-Low Bashin' or wherever. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A DIALOGUE WITH THESE PEOPLE -- ONLY TRAPS TO ROB YOU OF YOUR TIME AND ENERGY AND SERENITY. Value yourself and those you care about. Stay out of the snake-pits.

And remember one more thing, taught to me by my good friend Douglas Rasmussen: It is not your job to make sure that the next generation correctly understands Rand's philosophy. It is your job to understand it yourself and to be a good example of what you understand it to be, to the extent that that promotes your life and your happiness. YOU DO NOT EXIST TO SERVE OBJECTIVISM. OBJECTIVISM EXISTS TO SERVE YOU. It is a tool of YOUR survival. If others render the widely available form of Objectivism worthless for the human race, that does not have to rob you of what YOU know to be the truth about the world, knowledge, right and wrong, and your happiness.

REB

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Paul,

You are one of my most valued new online friends. I certainly sympathize with your perplexity on this issue. However, a point has been reached - a point in a situation which, thankfully, you have not taken part. Here is something I just wrote on another thread to help you understand:

There is a problem, though. I'll illustrate by metaphor.

If you are farmer and you receive a vermin attack, you have to deal with it in some manner. Otherwise, the vermin will damage all your hard work. Do you simply devote all your energies to the vermin and ignore planting, weeding, harvesting, feeding the livestock, etc.? Of course not. You go on with your productive work, but if you don't deal with the vermin in some manner, they will make their presence felt destructively.

One thing I can guarantee you. Barbara will use her influence to come to the aid of a dear friend and honored scholar. I will, too, in whatever capacity I can. But she will go on writing her books and articles and making speeches, just as OL will go on being a place to check premises and enjoy a good civil intellectual environment, and just as I will go on writing my books and articles.

OL is not about to hover in the orbit of second-handers as its reason to exist. Intellectual ammunition, however, will be provided to combat the present attack on the good.

And I now openly encourage people to stop patronizing these mediocre petty people as if they were the good. They aren't.

Michael

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I don't know what's up with Diana, and in general I don't care- as far as I'm concerned she went three sheets to the wind a good time ago, and that is a damn shame. It is always my hope that someday, people like this will come by a moment of clarity, where they realize exactly how precious and short life is- definitely too short to run around throwing manure (albeit sophisticated, well-tilled manure) at other people for no reason.

But Barbara is right on this one. I don't know how much good it will do, but she is absolutely right.

The bottom line is that Chris Sciabarra deserves nothing but respect. And if one is lucky, they will be able to enjoy interacting with him- the world, for sure, is a much brighter place with Chris in it. I have never met him in person, but I have corresponded with him at length for quite a few years now, and all I ever get from Chris is positive energy. Chris is the real deal.

If these two weren't so tied up switching between looking down their noses and putting their noses, along with the rest of their heads, up their asses (or, more recently, up one another's), they might've actually figured that out about Chris. But probably not, because that kind of emotional intelligence, that kind of benevolent enjoyment of others,is too simple for these (to quote the only thing good Spiro Agnew ever had written for him) effete snobs.

As far as the work goes, find me one person that knows anything about anything who can say that even the combined body of work (such as it is) out of Hsieh and Perigo even equate to sufficient wrapping paper, were one to have to package up one of Chris' pieces. For most of it, I can think of other uses, mostly in unplumbed rural communities.

I am pretty sure how Chris will handle this, because he is such a gentleman, and all around kind soul. But me, not so much.

Perigo, Hsieh- keep it up: the way you operate, no one will have to do anything. In the world of freethinkers, of comrades, you are going to die old, and alone. Effing believe it.

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So much turmoil and so unfortunate and sad. Pardon my ignorance but I haven't read many books that have to do with O'ism. The only books I have read concerning O'ism are Atlas, Virtue of Selfishness, part of We The Living and stopped it unfortunately, and I think one other from Piekoff, basically I have maybe 3 books or so, that's it. I do not know much about Chris or unfortunately the other people that have made such an impact on Objectivism.

So what most everyone is talking about goes over my head because I'm not familiar with the parties and what has happened over the years. I am reading bits and pieces here and there to help me understand a little bit better as to what is going on and as to what happened. It's just obviously whatever happened towards Chris was pretty big and obviously disprespectful unfortunately. That's such a shame. It would be so nice if we can all just lead happy, productive, fulfilling lives without being beaten down for it.

Wanting to understand more ??

Angie

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Ms. Hsieh seems to be decompensating, I wonder where it will end, her behavior becomes more and more pathological, I've seldom seen such a continuous fanatical obsession with denouncing all her "enemies", it seems to have become the goal of her life. Now one of her fans on that unsanitary backyard forum writes: The larger issue is the claim that Chris's deceptions are not merely personal but have a negative effect on those who adhere, or would like to hear, to the philosophy of Objectivism, and the effect on the philosophy itself. ROTFL! Courageous warriors indeed! Those people really live in fairyland and have lost all sense of reality. And those "courageous warriors for justice" are supposed to be the true representants of a rational philosophy? No wonder that so many people today think that Objectivists are nutcases.

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Paul, I understand your position, and in certain contexts I would agree with it. But not in this context. There are people, particularly people relatively new to Objectivism, who will see that the sycophants on Noodlefood and Solo are loud in their agreement with Hsieh and Perigo, and may conclude that since people who are supposedly schooled in Objectivism endorse the attacks, their must be some truth to them. It is for this reason that I feel strongly that voices must be raised to speak for a fine and honorable man whose dignity will not permit him to speak for himself.

You suggest that I am using my "social status to influence others." You're damn tootin' I am. Whatever status I have has been earned. To the extent that my voice is respected, I can think of no finer use for it.

Barbara

Like some of the other posters here, I am also new to objectivism and especially to participating online with the objectivist community (this is the only site I visit because I don't have that much time). This fighting between parties is the saddest thing that I have found. When I read Ayn's books I finally found justifications for alot of the thoughts I was having about the world, morality and individuality. I came online to find similar types of people since it is hard to find them on the street, and all of the bickering is very unfortunate. I aplause Barbara for standing up for her friend (I do not know anything yet about Chris, but from the impressions about his writings that I get on this board I certianly will read his work in the near future) and she is right to do so. I donot see how any of these attacks will do any good. People should be judge on their work, and if their work is not adequate it will be obvious to the individual thinker.

Also if anyone new to objectivism takes another person's word on the character and ability of another person and their work without reading and finding out for themselves then I would highly doubt their understanding and commitment to objectivism.

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To Angie and Aggrad02: I am so very sorry that your introduction to Objectivism had to involve exposure to the madness of some Objectivist forums. I wish it could have been otherwise, and I sympathize with the bewilderment you must be feeling.

I can only suggest that until and unless you decide to investigate the charges yourselves-- and I can't imagine why you would want to -- that you try to limit yourselves to reading the works of Ayn Rand and to reading those forum articles and posts that are free of invective. And please do notice that the worst of the invective comes from only a handful of people, and they are those who have contributed nothing to Objectivist thought; perhaps they seek to be important by tearing down those who have made a contribution.

Barbara

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Thank you, Barbara

I'm very grateful I found this site first, well, second site. The first site I posted at, wham, hit with all kinds of stuff from a crazy krishna guy and recieved a lot of emails unfortunately. But I think I finally put him in his place because he actually apologized for his actions. Now, I just go about my own business, doing my own thing happily !! I've come to my own unfortunate conclusions on some issues but it is better for me to stay away from it; such as, the madness on other sites I've also seen.

I'm not really confused about all of it. I'm a pretty strong thinker as some on here know and very firm in my beliefs. It's just so unfortunate to see so much fighting, especially towards someone who has had such a tremendous impact obviously to Objectivism and who has also had a tremendous impact on the lives of others due to their hard work and their achievements. It's unfortunate that their achievements have to be drug through the mud by these people, possibly due to jealousy/envy and their knowing deep down that they themselves cannot rival Chris' achievements; i.e., their insecurity or possible fear of such a great man.

I don't know all the individual parties and do want to read more to help me understand more and how each person impacted the growth of Objectivism. But unfortunately also due to time constraints, I am limited to an extent but still chugging along with it slowly but surely. :D

In regard to someone's hard work and achievement, as they say in my profession, the evidence/work speaks for itself. In Chris' case, his work will speak for itself. Obviously his work has touched so many and Objectivism has flourished because of it as well as any other individual that has made tremendous contributions to Objectivism.

Angie

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I agree with everything Dragonfly wrote, especially this:

...if there is anything that will have a negative effect on those who would like to hear the philosophy of Objectivism then it is those absolutely crazy sectARIan rants against anyone who deviates a hair's breadth from the True Faith. Any adult and rational outsider will conclude that he's arrived in a madhouse and will make a hurried exit; with those inmates Scientologists seem sane in comparison. Are those people so brainwashed that they don't realize that?

More importantly, WE need to realize that hanging around with the ARIan Witch Doctors and their Attila Brown Shirts will make people wonder about OUR sanity. Barbara suggests that we should, for the sake of the relative newcomers, speak out against the irrational Judgmentalists who are trying to destroy Chris, the Brandens, and TOC. Perhaps so, but not on So-Low Bashin' or on Poodle Poop -- and not as part of a dialogue with them.

Rich Engle also wrote some good things:

The bottom line is that Chris Sciabarra deserves nothing but respect. And if one is lucky, they will be able to enjoy interacting with him- the world, for sure, is a much brighter place with Chris in it. I have never met him in person, but I have corresponded with him at length for quite a few years now, and all I ever get from Chris is positive energy. Chris is the real deal.

If these two weren't so tied up switching between looking down their noses and putting their noses, along with the rest of their heads, up their asses (or, more recently, up one another's), they might've actually figured that out about Chris. But probably not, because that kind of emotional intelligence, that kind of benevolent enjoyment of others,is too simple for these (to quote the only thing good Spiro Agnew ever had written for him) effete snobs.

As far as the work goes, find me one person that knows anything about anything who can say that even the combined body of work (such as it is) out of Hsieh and Perigo even equate to sufficient wrapping paper, were one to have to package up one of Chris' pieces. For most of it, I can think of other uses, mostly in unplumbed rural communities.

I've known Chris for nearly 11 years now, and I've seen a steady, consistent, unbroken record of intellectual productivity and civil, respectful behavior. And I've never had reason to doubt Chris's honesty and trustworthiness, not for a moment. Chris is not the one whose ideological gyrations and shifting loyalties need explanation or justification. He has been like a moral and psychological Rock of Gibraltor in these turbulent times.

As for what Dizzy Vertigo or Noodle-in-a-Hsiehstack might figure out if they weren't trying so hard to bury the truth, don't kid yourself. They already know it. They don't hate Chris because he's evil. They hate him because his existence is the most deadly reproach to their own shortcomings that there can be: an INDEPENDENT, HONEST, PRODUCTIVE SCHOLAR. Who also, not coincidentally, knows more about Objectivism than the Hsiehdy Lady will ever know -- and who has already WRITTEN more books than the Captain of the Judgmentalist Brown Shirts will ever READ.

More wisely than some of us, Chris has managed to confine his frustrated rants against those who abused him to his private conversations with those he trusted. Perhaps no more wisely than most of us, Chris has also managed to trust some of the wrong people with confidences. Despite the pain and indignity of the current torrent of sewage being dumped on him (with more to come from Captain Attila, once there is a two-second gap between posts on Tyranno-Sore-Ass's thread), he'll live, and he'll go on to do a lot more productive work -- but only because he is putting this behind him, rather than wallowing around in it. I again suggest that we do the same and avoid getting drawn into the utterly counterproductive swamps on So-Low-Bashin' and Poodle Poop.

REB

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Roger,

Thanks for your perspective. I haven't had time to explain myself but you have done the job in technicolour. I also agree with Dragonfly. As I asked previously, "How else can this be handled?" What you have suggested is where I was leading and bares repeating.

...let's take our attention off the religious addicts (for that is what they are) and put it on OUR VALUES -- our work, our friends and families, and the pursuit of our happiness...

...if your life or the lives of others are not in jeopardy, then "being loyal to your values" and "doing something" does NOT require you to go into battle with evil people. Going into defensive mode in cases like the present only robs you of time and energy for doing things that create positive value in your life...

By all means, send Chris or whomever a private email of moral support, or call them in support. Even go on Solo Passion and make your public statement of support for Chris, for TOC, Kelley et al, or for Nathaniel and Barbara, if you are so moved, but SAY IT AND LEAVE. Don't stick around for the mud-fight.

Psychological terrorists feed on the energy of attention, especially from those with high social status. They attack for the purpose of feeding this need. A passionate response feeds them. A dispassionate response does not. We should see the game they are playing, identify it for all to see, and expose how powerless they are without the energy of others.

Every time anyone of value enters a debate with a terrorist, the terrorist's status is raised to the level of their opponent. It is a no win situation. If we enter the debate, we are providing the parasites with our value and our energy. Both will be turned against us. We provide them not only with their esteem in their own eyes but also with their esteem in an observer's eyes.

Any statements about them are best left to the cold, hard, objective facts identifying the nature and the motives of their attacks. They are best viewed as objects, not subjects. They are best talked about, not to. Talking about them will not last very long because they are not that interesting.

They know their ego has no real existence. Expose that reality. Don't help them fake an ego they do not have. They exist in the realm where reality is intersubjective. They want to manipulate and feed off your perspective. Do not give them a piece of your soul. They are not worth it.

Paul

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Roger: "Barbara suggests that we should, for the sake of the relative newcomers, speak out against the irrational Judgmentalists who are trying to destroy Chris, the Brandens, and TOC. Perhaps so, but not on So-Low Bashin' or on Poodle Poop -- and not as part of a dialogue with them."

I emphatically agree that one should not enter into one second's debate with these people -- for the sake of one's stomach, if nothing else. I hope it was clear that that was no part of what I was suggesting. To debate such people is to grant them intellectual respectability. Rather, I suggested that one ignore them. They will soon enough, as Robert Campbell has predicted, begin destroying one another in a civil war of hysterical denunciations. They don't need our help.

Barbara

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Ms. Hsieh seems to be decompensating' date=' I wonder where it will end, her behavior becomes more and more pathological, I've seldom seen such a continuous fanatical obsession with denouncing all her "enemies", it seems to have become the goal of her life. Now one of her fans on that unsanitary backyard forum writes: The larger issue is the claim that Chris's deceptions are not merely personal but have a negative effect on those who adhere, or would like to hear, to the philosophy of Objectivism, and the effect on the philosophy itself.

Madhouse is right. I've linked only Chris on my personal website and I've written personal email to him stating my support, and that she is sick in the head. I'm out of SOLO, definitely staying away from Diana, and whoever else carries it that far, and so what if someone calls me a "buttlicker" for being OL.

*rolls eyes* I have an appointment to make, i.e. I have a life. I'm glad to know you guys here. I'm glad to know Chris exists. I'm glad for everyone who has a level head on their shoulders, with their feet stuck firmly in reality. :)

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Jenna,

I have read your different posts and I see that you are quite upset about all this. I know a little about you from you very moving article, "Finding myself and atheism," here on OL. I can certainly see where you might be getting some horrible flashbacks.

Purges, denunciations, "witnessing," warped logic and false premises - it seems like it's always a different story but it's always the same old story. This crap was done by your Christian cult and it is now being done loudly in the name of Objectivism.

I don't like being pushed into this "us against them" mentality that is starting to prevail. I don't see much of an alternative, though. The irrationality and noise level are too high.

I want to reassure you that:

    Objectivist Living will never be like that, here you are free from the danger of public personal attacks by former friends (and you may come and go as you please, but your presence is always great pleasure for us),
  • Objectivism is not like that - only one branch of the subculture is, and
  • I am at work on a "roadmap" article aimed at newcomers and even others who are too busy living their lives to read all the acrimony, so they can make some sense out of the hysteria.
      I am glad you have announced you have stopped going to SLOP. People need to understand that SLOP's core group wants to attack others, likes to attack others, thrives on it, and will keep doing it, even if they say they will stop one day (after the "job" is finished).
      Attacking others is both their nature and their choice in life. People who generate audience for them in good faith with intelligent or charming discussions also give them an audience for their attacks. That is precisely what they want.
      One other point: notice the low level and mediocrity of their achievements in life. If you step outside the denunciations and look at them, it is a poor sight to see. I dealt with some of this in my rant, Online Objectivist Mediocrity.
      Objectivism is a philosophy aimed at productive achievement. These crummy little people who make a career out of pointing the finger at others do not achieve much and, with very, very sparse exceptions, what they do manage to produce is poor quality.
      Try to get over your shock and revulsion. It's a beautiful world. You are in it and you help make it so. You certainly help brighten up the place around here. (Notice, also, that there are quite a few like that around here.)
      Michael
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Thank you, Mike, for your wonderful post, so caring and so loving and so respectful. It's obvious what you value and much respect to you for that.

Jenna, girl, just try to let it roll off your back. Don't give them the satisfaction of getting you upset over all their incoherent babbling and club wielding ways. Don't ever allow them to get you in that way. Put that shield up in front of you so when they start flinging all their chimpanzee crap at you, it will never hit you and you'll always walk away clean.

Angie

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Jenna,

I have read your different posts and I see that you are quite upset about all this. I know a little about you from you very moving article, "Finding myself and atheism," here on OL. I can certainly see where you might be getting some horrible flashbacks.

Purges, denunciations, "witnessing," warped logic and false premises - it seems like it's always a different story but it's always the same old story. This crap was done by your Christian cult and it is now being done loudly in the name of Objectivism.

I don't like being pushed into this "us against them" mentality that is starting to prevail. I don't see much of an alternative, though. The irrationality and noise level are too high.

I want to reassure you that:

    Objectivist Living will never be like that, here you are free from the danger of public personal attacks by former friends (and you may come and go as you please, but your presence is always great pleasure for us),
  • Objectivism is not like that - only one branch of the subculture is, and
  • I am at work on a "roadmap" article aimed at newcomers and even others who are too busy living their lives to read all the acrimony, so they can make some sense out of the hysteria.
      I am glad you have announced you have stopped going to SLOP. People need to understand that SLOP's core group wants to attack others, likes to attack others, thrives on it, and will keep doing it, even if they say they will stop one day (after the "job" is finished).
      Attacking others is both their nature and their choice in life. People who generate audience for them in good faith with intelligent or charming discussions also give them an audience for their attacks. That is precisely what they want.
      One other point: notice the low level and mediocrity of their achievements in life. If you step outside the denunciations and look at them, it is a poor sight to see. I dealt with some of this in my rant, Online Objectivist Mediocrity.
      Objectivism is a philosophy aimed at productive achievement. These crummy little people who make a career out of pointing the finger at others do not achieve much and, with very, very sparse exceptions, what they do manage to produce is poor quality.
      Try to get over your shock and revulsion. It's a beautiful world. You are in it and you help make it so. You certainly help brighten up the place around here. (Notice, also, that there are quite a few like that around here.)
      Michael

Michael, high five! And a sincere high five to all people--- no matter what forum or whoever in real life--- has treated me well. Even if they don't get along personally outside of their relationship to me, I salute the fact that anyone who has treated interactions with me kindly (benevolently) knows how to deal with an individual on a case-by-case basis.

I *know* that people here are cool. I *know* I can also feel fine at RoR as well. But, SOLO is out. I get a creepy feeling from it. So is ObjectivistOnline. Creepy #2. So is 4AynRandFans. That place sucked. So is any other place that *requires* me to capitalize Oism, face philosophical epithets, control my personal habits like what books to read or face some sort of inane denunciation (bullshit!), control what I SAY (bullshit #2!), or else I get booted. I own my own mind, and I don't take it kindly that anyone would treat me as if I don't.

The whole is, is that I know my values deeply. I am having one big, massive reaction based on these values. It didn't help that two of them occurred in my personal life, the same time I started to email Chris S, and afterwards that I read that out-of-perspective blog posting (out of very many other Diana posts on her site) that it just boiled over and my bullshit meter went haywire. All of a sudden every single Objectivist-backed vitriolic rhetoric just flooded into my brain--- and I realized that I was ignoring my own good judgement on what was good for me and what was bad for me.

And I had to take the MCAT too. But that's my decision, my responsibility. The other bullshit-- not mine.

I know exactly what I am reacting to. I know I do sound strong right now, but I am keeping my head. I don't have fear, I have a mixture of feelings tha comes when you realize "This is not the world I expected. WTF?" I'm over that one 5 minutes ago.

If I can get over sexual assault in one week, and hardly ever think about it until the topic comes up (and not get histrionic because I really am over it), where is the perspective on airing dirty laundry of a 2-year ex-friendship? *This* is what disturbed me. This lack of perspective.

I will get over this revulsion in a week. At the MOST it will take me two. No longer than that. I know myself: I am the Queen of Moving On. Yes, people have called me cold, unfeeling, unemotional, etc. for that, but hey, is dwelling and wallowing a better option? I figure it's better to swivel my head the other way and march forward. If you do not let yourself move forward, you'll do no growing.

On that post: I can see a lot in it because I did not *let* myself get drawn into her words. I distanced myself emotionally, mentally, psychologically from actually following her argument. Because I do study neuropsycholinguistics, I know the power of words to influence the mind. I know how subtley rhetoric can build up in a way that before you know it, you can't help but agree. I can distance myself and not be involved in things personally. That is the single most important adult lesson I've ever learned. To be able to detach has saved my ass more times I can count. It's saving my ass right now as I type. I hope it helps someone else--- the "newbies". I would beg anyone to learn the nature of personal boundaries. You know when this works when your argument is attacked and you can still laugh with the person afterwards.

My message for the newbie (and for myself):

1. Do not make Objectivism YOUR PERSONALITY. That is not its role. Rand mentioned philosophy as a guideline. I'm sure the more seasoned citizens here can find that quote :)

2. Be very, very careful of what you mean to yourself when you say "hero worship". There is a healthy way to do this. There is an unhealthy way-- that way is when you think that your hero can do *no* wrong. The unhealthy way is when you cannot cope with others criticizing your hero. One of my "heroes" is Stephen Jay Gould. He got criticized. I don't care, I still like him. His critics do have valid points. I can still deal.

3. Read/write/think whatever the hell you want. It's your life. F*** everybody else.

4. A personally taken reaction against a critique of Rand's philosophy is not a good sign. Her philosophy is not your identity. Someone else attacking her philosophy should not take anything away from you. If you're basing your grasp of sanity on her philosophical structure, you need a psychiatrist.

5. Don't become what you hate. It's unsightly and not in good taste.

6. Don't moralize like you're a preacher. You'll gain a crowd of followers and the people who DO have minds will (eventually) think you're ridiculous.

7. Don't air out personal laundry in pubic. If you hate the person, call them up privately and scream at them. Get it over with. Dragging other people into it and making a philosophical punk rock show out of it is in bad taste.

8. Ayn Rand and whoever else that published on Oism does not stand in for your brains. My exercise is that I try very hard to minimally quote a single person, and to try to have my very own ideas. Be proud of your brain. Don't be a parrot--- quote and extrapolate. Use evidence or alternative sources. If someone hates you for thinking, f*** them.

9. Don't let people tell you that it's either 0% or 100%. This is an argumentative method. Don't fall for that. I don't know what it's called, but reality is not like that, and neither are people.

10. There is such a thing as a philosophical epithet. Yes, I had no idea. It's when someone calls you an -ism as if they were calling you Satan/bitch/a**hole. Or it's when someone calls you an -ism that is NOT who you are so they can critique you. In any case, f*** them, and move on. YOU are the person who defines YOU. No one has any right to tell you who you are. Some people are more direct and will call you nasty names. Like my mother told me when I was THIRTEEN, "Ignore them. They're just jealous of you."

11. You don't have to be a romantic realist. You don't have to hate Beethoven. You don't have to glom onto Aristotle. You don't have to squirm at theoretical physics. You don't have to abhor modern art. If you *happen* to beforehand, fine. Learn about it. If you don't, you *don't*. Just know what you want out of life, know your own values, look at what's out there (reality) and for goodness' sake, just LIVE.

I would expect anyone to hold me to this too. And I will be around. I don't know if I'll be posting a lot, but I'll check in.

I'm good. :) Thanks to all this, I know even more clearly who I am and who I am not!

All the best and I will be around,

--J

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Thanks Jenna,

I truly enjoyed experiencing your perspective. You are the kind of protagonist I can root for. You are a passionate and heroic character. That is no fiction. For what it is worth, you have my respect.

Paul

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