Frank's Niece!


Jonathan

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I don’t know that I’d set the bar of evidence quite so high as you Jerry, but I’ll tell you what I’m having trouble with…

The fact that she keeps calling Ayn Rand “Aunt Alice” to a group of people that she is fully aware know the lady as Ayn Rand. Also, the fact that she keeps calling FO’C “Uncle Frank”. That’s one.

Now, I’ve never been too close to my family, but I stopped calling my uncles and aunts “Uncle Rick” and “Aunt Mel” a long time ago. I’m only 40 – this lady is claiming to be a bit older than that.

I don’t honestly know anyone who does that at that age. I’m not saying no one does, but… she came out and said “they were my aunt and uncle”. Why the need to continually re-emphasize it? That’s two.

Also, the fact that no one has ever heard of her. That’s three.

Add to this the idea that she’s never been curious enough to read a word that her famous aunt has written… yet she shows up at SOLO and starts posting?

I don’t know… my bullshit detector is rattling louder and louder the more I think about it. I'm simply not prepared to take this person at their word that they are who they say they are.

She called Frank "uncle" as a young teenager, it seems. I missed the part where she addressed Rand as "aunt" or "aunt Alice"--she may have merely been told she was "aunt Alice."

--Brant

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She said "I know my uncle had input on the writings of Ayn's just like my uncle Nick did. Frank wouldn't/couldn't handle the attention that Ayn could."

Then, in a later post "This may surprise you, but I never knew Ayn Rand, I knew Aunt Alice."

She seems to claim knowledge of some very delicate subtleties without ever having know "Ayn Rand". Not to mention, AR stopped using the name "Alice" in the 40's. But Cathy O'Conner wasn't born until the 60's (based on her own statement that she was in her early 20's when Ayn died).

This would mean that, by the time Cathy met her, she would already have long since written Atlas, she would long since have done her Hollywood production of "The Fountainhead", and she would've been very famous by that point. There's no farging way she'd have know little ol' Aunt Alice without knowing of her celebrity. Yet today she wrote "I just found out a few months ago who Ayn Rand really was...and believe me, I was shocked to say the least!"

I'm not buying it.

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I don’t know… my bullshit detector is rattling louder and louder the more I think about it. I'm simply not prepared to take this person at their word that they are who they say they are.

In addition to the many oddities that have been listed, Cathy appears not to have read either of the Brandens' books, but, as MSK suggested in post 15, instead she has very Valliant-like interpretations of what they contain. It's as if she read and believed Valliant's strange, lawyerly spinnings of those books rather than the books themselves, but yet she has asked the SOLOPsists who James Valliant is and how she can get in touch with him.

She states her opinion on what "most people" think of Frank, which doesn't reflect what most of the people I've known think of Frank. Not even close.

She claims that Ayn's and Frank's "thoughts were alike" (suggesting that Frank was more of an intellectual equal than people might think), yet, having not read any of Rand's writings, how would she know if anything that she and her family knew of Frank's views were "on the same page" with Rand's?

Perhaps Cathy is who she says she is, and a bit scattered. But then again, perhaps she's a sock puppet.

Do we know anyone who has been similarly horrible at sock puppetry in the past? Hmmm.

J

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She said "I know my uncle had input on the writings of Ayn's just like my uncle Nick did. Frank wouldn't/couldn't handle the attention that Ayn could."

Then, in a later post "This may surprise you, but I never knew Ayn Rand, I knew Aunt Alice."

She seems to claim knowledge of some very delicate subtleties without ever having know "Ayn Rand". Not to mention, AR stopped using the name "Alice" in the 40's. But Cathy O'Conner wasn't born until the 60's (based on her own statement that she was in her early 20's when Ayn died).

This would mean that, by the time Cathy met her, she would already have long since written Atlas, she would long since have done her Hollywood production of "The Fountainhead", and she would've been very famous by that point. There's no farging way she'd have know little ol' Aunt Alice without knowing of her celebrity. Yet today she wrote "I just found out a few months ago who Ayn Rand really was...and believe me, I was shocked to say the least!"

I'm not buying it.

I'd say she was born in the late 50s. So far I still find her credible overall. There's a possibility she is Frank's niece but she has mixed some bs into her story.

--Brant

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You never know if someone is who they claim to be online, but, yeah, this looks like it's probably legit. It'll be interesting to see what else she has to say. Was Frank not only accepting of Ayn's affair, but turned on by it, as certain people have suggested?

J

The person who "suggested" that was Ayn Rand, according to Nathaniel's report in his memoir.

"He finds it an inspiration," off the top, is what I remember Nathaniel reporting as Rand's report of Frank's attitude toward the affair.

Ellan

Thanks!

I think I'm going to have to reread TheBrandens' books. It's been a very long time and I'm definitely getting fuzzy on the details.

J

P.S. I thought it was bad enough when Leonid was misspelling your name, but now you're doing it too!!! Ellan! Ha!

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Jonathan,

I found the Valliantsque interpretation of Rand's life and the "Who is Jim Valliant?" on a thread which starts out "In The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics, James Valliant claims . . . " curious as well.

But JV would never refer to Rand as "Kooky Aunt Alice" or whatever.

-Neil Parille

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I don’t know… my bullshit detector is rattling louder and louder the more I think about it. I'm simply not prepared to take this person at their word that they are who they say they are.

In addition to the many oddities that have been listed, Cathy appears not to have read either of the Branden's books, but, as MSK suggested in post 15, instead she has very Valliant-like interpretations of what they contain. It's as if she read and believed Valliant's strange, lawyerly spinnings of those books rather than the books themselves, but yet she has asked the SOLOPsists who James Valliant is and how she can get in touch with him.

She states her opinion on what "most people" think of Frank, which doesn't reflect what most of the people I've known think of Frank. Not even close.

She claims that Ayn's and Frank's "thoughts were alike" (suggesting that Frank was more of an intellectual equal than people might think), yet, having not read any of Rand's writings, how would she know if anything that she and her family knew of Frank's views were "on the same page" with Rand's?

Perhaps Cathy is who she says she is, and a bit scattered. But then again, perhaps she's a sock puppet.

Do we know anyone who has been similarly horrible at sock puppetry in the past? Hmmm.

J

Darren is one I can think of who could pull this off. The only other is Seymoreburger (sp?). Cathy O'Connor has put up some material on Rand (see Rand on Find a Grave) and click on Alan Kaufman.

--Brant

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I say cut the lady some slack.

She appears to be coming out on a forum for the first time, not used to public writing, and a bit overwhelmed by the attention. People can say odd things at that time. (I'm not saying whether she did or didn't. I just know the feeling, so I'm mentioning it.)

As I said to another person, if her story is true, it's an interesting story.

If she is a fraud, that's an interesting story, too.

Win-win for us entertainment junkies.

:)

Michael

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Well, the quality of her writing isn't reflective of someone who does much reading. Rand didn't have to call herself "Alice" nor was it said she did. Regardless of anything I can think of, Cathy's stories aren't going anywhere or will do much and she'll either run out of material and stop posting or run out of material and keep posting--what?--and expose herself more to as whoever/whatever she is. The biggie is why anyone would do this who wasn't actually Frank's niece? Think of the effort needed to concoct all this using the extant public information. As for SOLO rather than say here? If it's a scam it wouldn't have much shelf life. Too many questions from too many people, including you (Neil) most of all. So far, the whole thing is light, diversionary, interesting fun for me putting the pieces together seeing how well they fit. Cathy does need more data about "Alice" and the few times she saw her to re-enforce her posts so far. You'd think she would have mentioned ...? Not saying it here, please don't guess; please don't corrupt the public discourse as to what she will post by possibly giving her ideas.

--Brant

My reaction is very similar to yours. If she was separated from her family by adoption at age 13, and really didn't know her aunt was Ayn Rand until lately, I find her credible (even if she is really Darren or Serapis, the story is still credible). Some people as you note are not readers and are not curious about literary celebrities, and take no notice of celebrity names they are not interested in. And though she may have heard of Ayn Rand, as most people have, she would not necessarily have checked out what kind of celebrity Rand was, if she was not interested in novels or philosophy. Believe it or not there are a lot of people who do not recognize her name or know the first thing about her.

In the early 70s when she was at the height of her fame and NB1 was apparently going strong, I had never heard of her until I met an Objectivist -- and I was a reader.

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Ohboy, I sure hope she is real! Her account of Pope Lenny's response to her enquiries is priceless - made my day.

Those O'Connors sound like a fascinatingly screwed-up bunch. No wonder Frank and Nick lit out for the Territories.

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I just read the latest entries of Ms. Dupler.

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder...

Her descriptions of her family members show she has studied creative writing somewhere. But the spelling and grammar are all over the place.

I ain't prepared to say she's a fraud yet.

But I am prepared to say the following:

Heh.

:)

Michael

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Michael,

Either she has been studying Rand's life for a lot longer than she lets on (she claims she heard of Rand only six months ago); or as a near child, she was privy to things that no one else knew.

I report, you decide.

-Neil Parille

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Michael,

She now says that Ayn and Frank would visit the family in Ohio once a year and talk to them several times a year on the phone.

I don't think this is confirmed. I believe that the only member of the O'Connor clan that Ayn talked to regularly was Mimi Sutton.

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I just read the latest entries of Ms. Dupler.

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder...

Her descriptions of her family members show she has studied creative writing somewhere. But the spelling and grammar are all over the place.

I ain't prepared to say she's a fraud yet.

But I am prepared to say the following:

Heh.

:smile:

Michael

How can you tell she studied creative writing?
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I am Cathy O'Connor Dupler, the niece of Frank O'Connor and Ayn Rand. Instead of you running over to Solo and reading my posts, I decided to make it easier for you and came here. MiMi Sutton is really Muriam Papert, the daughter of my Aunt Agnes, my first cousin. Aunt Agnes had another daughter named Connor, Connie for short. She named her Connor because she was suppose to be the last of the O'Connor's until we came along. My twin's sister's name is conny, spelled with a "y" so it was unlike Connie Papurt. She was named Conny because we ARE the last of the O'Connor's...I wasn't expected to live at birth. Everyone with their "rader" on and beeping away...weather you believe me or not, I am who I am.

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Hello Ms. Dupler,

Welcome to OL.

I don't know where this will go as you have one hell of a curious story preceding you.

But my welcome is from the heart.

I hope you realize how much genuine love and affection people have for your uncle in O-Land. So I sincerely hope you find the time to visit the other forums and blogs that deal with Objectivism, and not limit your presence to just here and Solo Passion. I am certain many in the subculture would love to talk to you.

Michael

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Cathy,

Hi, and please accept my genuine welcome to this community as well.

I am skeptical, I admit. But it's not borne of any personal desire for you to either be or not be who you say you are. Honestly, I'd be quite happy to find out that you really are Frank's niece. I never knew the man, but by all accounts, he was exactly the kind of guy I'd have liked to spend time around... more concerned with how people felt than with whether they saw the world exactly as he did.

I guess the only reason I have a particularly critical eye is because I've been lied to enough times in the past, and I've seen enough people masquerading as other people on message forums, that it makes it hard to accept things on face value.

Anyway, I do hope I'm wrong on this count. I will take you at your word that you are who you say you are ... hope springs eternal ... and if that turns out to be the case, it will be an acquaintance well worth having made.

- Kacy

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Hi Cathy,

Welcome to OL. I think Kacy said it well: our cautious response to your posting of your comments over on SOLOPASSION is due to the fact that people sometimes show up online pretending to be someone they're not. It's nothing personal.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on Ayn and Frank.

J

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Hello everyone, I can understand how you feel. I wish there was something I could do to prove to you who I am. Would you except a picture of my birth certificate? I will try to get it on later tonight. I am not into Objectivism...sorry, I am really trying to find out information about them in their later years. I would like to know about Uncle Frank, people have emailed me when they saw Find A Grave, and referred to him as "the long suffering Frank". That is not how I remember him. I have ordered some of Alice's books. Sorry for calling her that, but that is what I am use to, and I never knew her by Ayn. The problem with reading about them, is books are very black and white...I really would like to know from people who personally was around them the years I missed. Leonard Peikoff is no help, he might be skeptical to...he probably thought we were dead since there wasn't any news about us all this time. But I know he knows about us, I am sure he meet my Aunt Agnes and he may have even meet us. Does he come on here? Where all of you know Ayn Rand and Frank, I knew Alice and Frank. Right now I don't want to know Ayn Rand and her views...maybe later. I remember Uncle Frank being so patient and kind. He would do magic tricks for us, I really thought it was magic to. I grew up remembering some of those tricks and it took me a while to figure out how he did them...lol I realized how really simple they were...but only when I was older. Uncle Frank took everything with a grain of salt, where Aunt Alice was more cynical of things. If she would ask me if I did my homework and I said yes, she would give me the eye...as to say, did you really??? Uncle Frank would just say, ok, and shake is head yes. I know it was said that people my age doesn't still say aunt and uncle...I do, for all of my aunts and uncles. My children was also raised to be respectful and call Conny Aunt Conny. My oldest is 35 years old and still calls Conny Aunt Conny...and he always will...that's the way my sister and I both raised our children. I also read that I mixed BS in with my perceptions of growing up around my aunt and uncle. I do not BS! These are my memories as I recall them. I am going back over 30 years on memory that I pushed aside a long time ago, and haven't thought about until 6 months ago. One good thing out of peoples skepticism of me, has made me remember so much more...and I want to thank you all for being my skeptics, because I never realized how much I really did love them and how much I truly miss them. ~Cathy~

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Cathy,

You might want to read 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand, for more information on Rand and Frank's relationship.

The concern that I have is that best I can tell, Frank and Ayn made only one trip to Ohio, in the period of 38-40.

You said on SOLO, "Frank and Alice would come about once a year to visit...less at the end." During what period of time were Frank and Ayn visiting yearly?

-Neil Parille

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AS far as I can remember the last time I recall seeing them would have been in 68/69. My father was pretty sick with cancer by then...and I don't think (not for sure) that he wanted anyone to see him like that. But my Aunt Agnes was around...until the falling out. I remember they always came in the winter...or colder months...if that helps. I don't know if they came in on their way to somewhere else or not. It was always a whirl wind when the would come, and they never stayed over night, except for Aunt Agnes. Aunt Alice also came to my mother's house, either in 64/65...in Media Ohio.

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