The Nature of Private Correspondence - The Sciabarra Smear


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I found it interesting today after I was told by someone that my name was brought up in it. What the hell did I do to get mentioned in all this? I was given a possible reason. But you can't be friggin' serious.....absolutely amazing

I went to look at the profiles of these so called O'ists and what I saw, pix, etc., these are a bunch of kids talking out their butts. How old are these people anyway?

To me, they lack serious credibility. Me personally I would never ever engage in anything with them. I would never give them the satisfaction of MY TIME. But I can understand the reasons why others may want to ask questions, etc. For me, I'm so far out of the loop. I don't know any of these people, etc., so it would be silly to become involved in it but nevertheless my name was still brought up...amazing.

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Angie,

Don't worry about it. They are baiting you because they are losing audience and need new converts. At least token opposition. You probably look like the easiest prospect at this point.

(Not that you are - and I saw that when you arrived. You know tough luck and how to get out of it. That's always a tough convert for a scapegoating mob.)

Michael

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Ha! Here's Perigo's latest:

Mr. Sherk ...

Yer an idiot.  

A now-moderated idiot.

So much for all those big words about no moderation on that site (not necessary for all those heroic KASS fighters!). But as soon as Perigo is made to look like a fool, he shows his true colors: if you have no argument left, you just silence your opponent by moderating him. What a pathetic weasel!

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Hi, Mike.

LMAO...that's what I was told by a few today after finding out that my name was brought up. I was told that they were looking for fresh meat to convert over similar to hardcore religion and also traffic to their site amongst other little goodies that I was told, plus my own personal opinion regarding that which some heard about.....WOW.....trucker's mouth on me....LOL :D

Yes, they would have a very difficult time, if not impossible, to convert me, I'm too strong willed, too strong minded to fall for it.

LOL....it wasn't so much luck, they just broke the mold with my family and a lot of people I was around at that time.....my family took the cake, the icing, the candles, the ice cream, the banners, the balloons...what the hell, the whole damn shebang on that one...LOL Boy, do I have some stories I could tell you....but look back on it now and laugh believe it or not......oh, the insanity of it all. But yeah, definitely got out of it, put my foot down and told it like it was and said, c-ya, kiss my big butt. :D

Angie

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Heh- Mr. Sherk has been put on moderation

Ever see how a little kid will cover up their eyes because they think if they do so, it makes what they're seeing go away?

It's kind of like that, don't y'all think? That and the emperor's new clothes story.

How robustly KASS. Kickin' A Solo-Style (high fives and a towel snap on the butt).

And the mention of CNA is of course if not priceless, it is for sure telling.

I'm sure that one also involved trying some way to take a shot at Mr. Campbell.

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Rich,

Yeah, Mike Mazza accused me of trying to scare Angie, by linking to the policies for the Harry Binswanger List, and suggesting she read the Loyalty Oath.

I don't see how Lindsay Perigo can complain about the "B-S" (Binswanger-Schwartz) culture at ARI, on the one hand, and insist, on the other, that the ARIans who now post on SOLOP have moved past that culture.

Because, so far, none of the ARI-aligned contributors to SOLOP have criticized a single action taken by either Harry Binswanger or Peter Schwartz.

Which leads me to infer that either

(a) they all approve of every action taken by Binswanger or Schwartz

or

(b) some of them may not approve of some actions taken by Binswanger or Schwartz--but no way do they dare say so on a public forum.

So much for the purported signs of progress at ARI.

Robert Campbell

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Robert-

Yes, I was thinking along the same lines.

I also thought it pretty reachy when Mazza brought in the whole "scaring" thing. I'll tell you one thing- from what communication I've shared with Angie, it would take a whole bigger can of whup-ass to scare that girl.

And, I'm pretty sure I had the feel for where you were going with that question. As a matter of fact, I went over there and read that silly oath-thing again.

It was just such an obtuse, silly kind of shot to take.

Talking about that oath, to digress...You know, the thing I get out of stuff like that is "enemies." Intellectual enemies, blood-sworn. Do these people ever have actual, real enemies? People that want to and will physically mess you up, or take your money, or whatnot? It's a bunch of narcissism, it's ivory tower crap, and above all, it's from outer-freaking space. Such lofty, bloated self-importance. "You can't come play in my fort until you do the double secret pinky-swear." Eff that!!

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Damn straight, Rich......It would take one HUGE ass can of whup-ass to scare me. And even if they attempted, I'd laugh in their faces. You know it as well as I do !! //;-))

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Heh- Mr. Sherk has been put on moderation

Ever see how a little kid will cover up their eyes because they think if they do so, it makes what they're seeing go away?

. . . events move quicker than we mortals can capture, at times. I know I am often flabbergasted, which should not be possible given my cynicism.

I am pleased that my moderation was rescinded, just as I am pleased that Lindsay is as yet unable to spell my surname. It shows the cohesion and masterful grasp of details that characterizes his genius. As my fans will understand, I am appreciative of all forms of irony, and today's events are rich and copious. Burp.

[i was the entirely other kind of kid, Rich. What I knew deeply in my heart was that if the monster under the bed or the monster in the closet, or the monster in the basement could be watched, then I was relatively safe. Under the covers was death.

My early nightmares (triggered by a too-young viewing of the Outer Limits) set the tone and plot of a lifetime attitude (as my innate atheism kept me a skeptic), and a key to my character. On top of my sunny disposition is the certain knowledge that monsters walk the earth. IF I keep my eyes on them, they cannot eat me. Thus my interest in SOLO]

I admit to being irked by the sloppy criteria for banning. As a nuke protocol it is weak. The 'host' analogy extends no further than putting your drunken maniac of a host to bed, although he has just ordered you off his property and threatened to dismember you. Analogously, the host, because he a great great man, and a friend to all . . . is watched over throughout the night, is turned to the left and examined for coma, and has his drool gently wiped from his face.

And in the morning the watch continues. Someone makes coffee and brings it to the host, who gets a bit choked up and hugs his 'enemy' very hard.

And we get back to the business of living.

And the mention of CNA is of course if not priceless, it is for sure telling.

I am such a dope. I haven't yet figured this one out. WHO THE HECK IS MS, and WHO THE HECK IS CNA?

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Heh- Mr. Sherk has been put on moderation

Ever see how a little kid will cover up their eyes because they think if they do so, it makes what they're seeing go away?

. . . events move quicker than we mortals can capture, at times. I know I am often flabbergasted, which should not be possible given my cynicism.

I am pleased that my moderation was rescinded. It shows the grasp of details that characterizes SOLO's genius. As my fans will understand, I am appreciative of all forms of irony, and today's events are rich and copious. Burp.

[i was the entirely other kind of kid, Rich. What I knew deeply in my heart was that if the monster under the bed or the monster in the closet, or the monster in the basement could be watched, then I was relatively safe. Under the covers was death.

My early nightmares (triggered by a too-young viewing of the Outer Limits) set the tone and plot of a lifetime attitude (as my innate atheism kept me a skeptic), and a key to my character. On top of my sunny disposition is the certain knowledge that monsters walk the earth. IF I keep my eyes on them, they cannot eat me. Thus my interest in the extremes.]

I admit to being irked by the sloppy criteria for non-moderation. As a nuke protocol it is weak. The 'host' analogy extends no further than putting your drunken maniac of a host to bed, although he has just ordered you off his property and threatened to dismember you. Analogously, the host, because he a great great man, and a friend to all . . . is watched over throughout the night, is turned to the left and to the right and examined for coma, and has his drool gently wiped from his face.**

And in the morning the watch continues. Someone makes coffee and brings it to the host, who gets a bit choked up and hugs his 'enemy' very hard.

And we get back to the business of living.

And the mention of CNA is of course if not priceless, it is for sure telling.

I am such a dope. I haven't yet figured this one out. WHO THE HECK IS MS***, and WHO THE HECK IS CNA?

**I extend the metaphor in a post-'oops, I can't say sorry, but I goofed. Yer actually not moderated' post (a kind and encouraging response to Lindsay's sense of life).

*** OK, I get that Mysterious Stranger is somebody. Just who?

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WSS,

Mysterious Stranger's secret identity is Greg Salmieri. Mr. Salmieri is a doctoral student in philosophy at Pitt, where he is Allan Gotthelf's research assistant. He was Diana Hsieh's chief adviser in her transition to the Ayn Rand Institute.

Ms. Hsieh consistently refuses to confirm MS's identity, but it's never been hard to figure out.

Robert Campbell

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Robert, are you sure that the oft-appearing Mysterious Stranger was always Greg Salmonella?

My understanding was that any time a person failed to give at least a pseudonym when they posted on Poodle Poop, the server automatically assigned them the name "Mysterious Stranger."

Whoever M.S. is/was in the specific attack on Chris referred to in "Dialectical Dishonesty," however, it's abundantly clear to me that Dyin' O'Shame was only nominally standing by her (supposed) intention not to criticize Chris's work -- in approximately the same sense that the Taliban, who harbored Al Qaeda and allowed them to operate in their realm, are not responsible for Al Qaeda's attack on 9-11. That the Hsiehster is being transparently disingenuous about this is an understatement, and if anything, Chris was being overly gentle in calling her on it.

Which brings up a related point: There is a glaring and essential difference between objecting to people criticizing the results of your work and objecting to people attacking your character and motives related to your work, and the Hsiehster seems to be oblivious to that distinction. (Ah, but is she?)

When Chris objected to Mysterious Stranger attacking his work, it is obvious that he was referring to M.S.'s attacks on Chris's character, intellectual honesty, motives, and good will -- not any particular conclusion or finding that Chris published as the product of his efforts. M.S. called Chris a "charlatan," among other things. This was not a reference to and criticism of Chris's assertion, for instance, that Rand employed a dialectical process in working out the various forms of the mind-body dichotomy. It was a smear of Chris's moral character, an insinuation that he was up to no good, that he was trying to put something over on people, that he knew he was selling intellectual snake oil -- not that he was honestly mistaken.

Incredibly, the Hsiehster allowed this smear to stand -- and she then had the gall to try to persuade us that Chris was out of line for objecting to it, that he was somehow trying to "pressure" her into accepting the conclusions of his work, when it is manifestly clear from his repeated, tortuous attempts to communicate with her that he simply wanted to be respected for being a well-intentioned, serious scholar, whatever his errors might be.

The Hsiester is a very intelligent person. It is extremely difficult to think that she could miss this point, which is not at all subtle. Perhaps under the influence of extreme, reckless passion to stack up as many plausible critical points against Chris's character as possible. Perhaps. But such recklessness is not wise -- or moral. And that's giving her the moral and intellectual benefit of the doubt. One might be excused for thinking that there is something darker than mere emotion-driven, blind-spot recklessness going on in the Hsiehster's behavior.

REB

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Hi, William

I am CNA, aka, Angie. I'm amazed that somehow my name was mentioned in this and I have a few ideas why it was. I'm so far out of the loop on this. I'm not keeping track of it because quite honestly it doesn't affect my life in any way. I do not know any of the parties nor have I read most of their work, with the exception of a few tid bits here and there as well as hearing quite a bit on OL about the different actions and choices on all ends of the chaos. But nevertheless my name was still brought up. And I'm a little curious as to what the real reasons were for bringing my name into it in the first place. I've been told a number of reasons that are probably the correct ones but still brought up as the "alleged" newbie and I was scared away. That conclusion is way off track as a few know all too well. But anyway....

But at any rate, I'm just over here kickin' it, Living My Life no matter what goes on amongst the others in the O'ist world.

Angie

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Roger,

You asked,

Robert, are you sure that the oft-appearing Mysterious Stranger was always Greg Salmonella?

My understanding was that any time a person failed to give at least a pseudonym when they posted on Poodle Poop, the server automatically assigned them the name "Mysterious Stranger."

Whoever M.S. is/was in the specific attack on Chris referred to in "Dialectical Dishonesty"...

It's true that anonymous commenters on NoodleFood are always called "Mysterious Stranger" (contrary to the former practice on the Flybottle, where they were uniformly tagged "Anonymous Coward").

Therefore, others could have appeared, from time to time, as Mysterious Stranger.

However, the MS that Chris Sciabarra was complaining about is the same one that I complained about on a couple of occasions... i.e., Greg Salmieri. Same modus operandi, same extreme animus against CMS, and high percentage of agreement between this Mysterious Stranger's opinions and those I have heard and seen ascribed to Greg Salmieri, whether under his full name or his initials.

Robert Campbell

PS. Ms. Hsieh always wants to be tipped off in advance as to who is going to comment anonymously. An unscheduled anonymous commenter will quickly be met with a challenge to reveal himself or herself...

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Robert, could you propose a reason why Greg S. might prefer to remain Mysterious on Diana H.'s blog comments? I mean, he is not running "stealth" as an Objectivist. Am I missing something? Thanks, John

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John, perhaps Salmonella wants to "protect" the Hsiehster from accusations that she is allowing her friends to beat up on Chris on her blog. And/or, perhaps he wanted to post at a level of crudity that would not be "seemly" if he were using his real name.

REB

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When Perigo has outdone himself - like he has recently - with trying to show the world that he really has no commitment to philosophy or reality, just self-promotion through bashing others, I think he can't do too much worse. But he can.

He just wrote some incredibly condescending crap about Chris Sciabarra. Here is a small part:

I saw the fundamental Chris the night of The Flood. My hope in all of this is that The Fundamental Chris will disavow the feeding frenzy of hate his own "supporters" are currently engaged in, assume an upright posture, renounce the sleazebags to whom he is in thrall, dump the Polish, and become what he truly might be, ought to be ... and beneath it all, actually is.

We are to conclude that Perigo knows the "real" or "fundamental" Sciabarra much more than Sciabarra knows himself - or much more than Sciabarra's lifework amply shows. Ha!

And once again Perigo displays his hatred of the good for being good ("dump the Polish" yada yada yada).

What Perigo means, just in case anyone needs a translation at this point, is that he wants Sciabarra to DESCEND to his level. Perigo sure as hell ain't going to RISE to Sciabarra's level.

On top of not wanting to, I don't believe he has the capacity (although that's my opinion). You need to study in order to understand Sciabarra's manner of writing, not engage in cheap gossip all day. It takes a lot of effort to use your mind. Perigo has made it clear that he doesn't study (he claims he doesn't like to read).

Some see Objectivism as a philosophy of the mind. Others don't. It's a question of fundamental values.

Michael

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John,

You're right about Greg Salmieri not being a "stealth" Objectivist. He's not like "Noumenal Self" or several of the initialed commenters at NoodleFood--or, for that matter, like kraorh on this board.

However, when Diana Hsieh began her conversion to ARIanism, I noticed that she would refer freely to Mr. Salmieri in conversation (for instance, when she said she had accepted his case for never publishing in JARS), but in her blog entries she has most often referred to an "ARI friend," or other words to that effect.

And when I asked her point-blank, in April 2004, whether the Mysterious Stranger who had been running down Chris Sciabarra in comments on her blog was Salmieri, she said merely that she had promised not to reveal MS's identity.

Beyond that, I can only hypothesize. It would be helpful to know, for instance, whether Allan Gotthelf would approve of Mr. Salmieri openly campaigning against Chris Sciabarra out in cyberspace. Or how Mr. Salmieri personally assesses the impact of public involvement in factional food fights on his prospects of future employment.

What is clear is that Mr. Salmieri has been strongly encouraging junior ARIans, such as Diana Hsieh and Mike Mazza, to campaign against Chris Sciabarra--while trying to keep his own name out of the campaigns.

Robert Campbell

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WSS,

Mysterious Stranger's secret identity is Greg Salmieri. Mr. Salmieri is a doctoral student in philosophy at Pitt, where he is Allan Gotthelf's research assistant. He was Diana Hsieh's chief adviser in her transition to the Ayn Rand Institute.

If this is true, does it add missing context to the brouhaha over Greg Salmieri's comments (hiding behind 'Mysterious Stranger', Sciabarra's reaction, Diana's defence of her chief advisor, and Chris's retraction . . . followed many months later by Diana's return to picking her scabs?)

Is this supposed to be an insider 'open secret' or is La Mertz somehow justified in not confirming identity (well, MS hisself is the coward, not her, if this is an open secret, IMHO)?

-- I wish Phil had made a concordance along with his valiant analyses -- it is really hard to sort out the chronologies, missing information, unexcerpted exchanges, and identities (and dang it, how come you folks don't give references more often, fergawdsake?) -- El Divino Salmieri takes on El Monstro Chibarro.

The take-home message on this point is Excluded Middle.

-- an honest judge would compel the revelation of identity. How many Mr X's -- hooded, voice-garbled, pixilated, or by way of secret affidavit -- do we see these days, and in what sorts of juridicial venues?** Not being able to face and question one's accuser is a weak stab at justice, the way I see things . . . I am so struck by the (non-christian) appearance of the contrary virtues in the skirmishes of La Sciabarra Lucha Libre . . .

I picked up this snippet at <a Changingminds.org, and so cannot testify to its originality -- though I do wonder if they obtain in the excellent 'whole brain'*** comments of Jenna and Roger on a companion thread):

Okay, let's move on to "Mysterious Stranger": No morphing has been involved with the scare-quote "scholar" reference to Sciabarra. Go visit the usenet group hpo someday, and see all the naysayers line up in a row to denounce the "so-called 'scholar' Sciabarra"... this hit the height of absurdity in the days following Bernstein's apologia for having published in the Satanic Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. I have friends who have gone to ARI conferences, where the same behavior is on display among their teachers.

As for the string of assertions in Mysterious Stranger's comments here: Rand ~herself~ claimed to know the Greek philosophers well and claimed to having studied them with Lossky, and I uncovered the ~fact~ of that study in her college transcript (oh, and the quote you want is on page 130, not 30). And she certainly knew one of those Greeks ~very~ well.

Dialectics has nothing to do with arbitrary assertions; it has to do with keeping context... also something that Ayn Rand did ~very~ well.

I don't mind going by the alias of Madame Cleo... if you don't mind telling us who you really are, Mysterious Stranger. Or is that something else that needs to be airbrushed out of existence---for fear that somebody, somewhere might see the real identity of the person who is wasting time denouncing me?

Lucha Libre en Noodlefood

el_extranjero.jpg

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Michael,

In the same post that you referenced

http://www.solopassion.com/node/901#comment-8626

Mr. Perigo keeps right on digging himself in deeper, regarding the charge that he agreed to publish James Kilbourne's "Drooling Beast" on SOLOHQ in order to trap Barbara Branden into endorsing it.

In the very process of denying that he set BB up, Mr. Perigo keeps confirming that that is precisely what he did.

Robert Campbell

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For some background on Mike Mazza's antipathy to Chris Sciabarra's work, and his reliance on Greg Salmieri as a source, see

http://www.dianahsieh.com/cgi-bin/blog/com...689500290317#18

and

http://passingthoughts.blogsome.com/2005/0...a-package-deal/

As a bonus, Mr. Mazza's now-classic description of The Russian Radical as "arbitrary gibberish" can be seen at

http://passingthoughts.blogsome.com/2005/10/05/63/

Robert Campbell

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Robert,

Thanks for your thoughts - and links! - on Greg S. He does look like an influential person in this particular meeting of minds. I suppose you're right, that this nacho-libre fighting violates common standards of scholarly decorum, and would threaten one's professional standing.

John

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If you check the archives of Mr. Mazza's now-suspended blog, Passing Thoughts, you'll see

(1) A comment by Diana Hsieh on April 3, 2006, asking for Mr. Mazza's email address: http://passingthoughts.blogsome.com/2006/0...on-solopassion/

and

(2) Mr. Mazza's reference, on April 7, 2006, "a little tidbit that I’ve been itchin’ to make public, but I promised my source that I wouldn’t steal their thunder." (His source was Ms. Hsieh.)

http://passingthoughts.blogsome.com/2006/0...he-smackdown-2/

In between, on April 6th, Mr. Mazza participated in denouncing Regi Firehammer when the latter made the mistake of commenting on Ms. Hsieh's blog, and was promptly banned. See the comments starting at

http://www.dianahsieh.com/cgi-bin/blog/com...0811947135693#7

Robert Campbell

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Phil,

You just posted on Solo Passion:

I just realized I have just spent HALF THE FUCKING DAY on this.

Now there is a sentiment I can sympathize with. Notice that about half of your half-day was spent on analyzing the meaning of "Stalinist," i.e., whether or not it meant brutality within the context of Sciabarra and ARI (as if any normal folks would think Sciabarra could have possibly meant real guns and death).

This reminded me a great deal of my own long discussions about PARC (a list of them is given here).

Now, Phil, here is the interesting part. Those long hair-splitting threads received a lot of views at the time, just like your present one is getting, yet nowadays nobody reads them anymore.

I remember being extremely frustrated at the time because I was arguing about such obvious things. I had the feeling that intelligent people could not be so blind - so I just had to reach them. I had to help them see and then they would be rational again, or at least on the way back.

I later analyzed the situation better. These people do not value reason. They use it to promote their finger-pointing games and gossip. Also, the high number of views was from an innate impulse in people to stop and watch a good fight or gather at a traffic accident. Most people just didn't care at all about the issues. They merely wanted to see who was going to call whom a scumbag.

Now here is the really interesting part. After I was banned from Solo Passion, I didn't have my days consumed any longer arguing about the benefits and hazards of painting by booze bottle and other world-shattering concerns, so I was able to use my time to develop OL.

On a value scale in terms of my life and intellectual satisfaction, how would you rate that against my online engagements on SoloHQ and Solo Passion about PARC? And on a value scale of getting my point across about the severe limitations of PARC to a broad select audience, how would you rate that?

I know how I rate it. Frankly, now I realize that I was wasting my time. OL does a hell of a lot more good than all that. At the time, though, I couldn't give up bickering with those misguided souls for some damn reason.

Michael

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