About Forums and Truth-- Part 1

Reginald Firehammer

A Journal for Western Man-- Issue XXXVI-- June 20, 2005

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about," Oscar Wilde said. I am therefore delighted that, at a certain forum, where my presence is no longer welcome, the participants just cannot resist talking about me. How could I not be flattered that those who claim to despise me find me so fascinating they can hardly think or talk of anything else. I did not get that kind of attention even when participating there.

I admit much of the talk about me there is not what most would consider flattering, since it is mostly accusations of the terrible things I have said and done, and consists almost entirely of very colorful and imaginative names. I also admit if that kind of talk about me came from any other source, I might be a bit dismayed, but it is always very important to understand the nature of the source. It may not be very flattering, but they're doing the best they can.

Normally, I would just be thankful for the free advertising I am receiving there, because there is really nothing of substance to address, but there is one thing that nags me just the tiniest bit. It is not so much a thing that bothers me personally, but the fact that just maybe there might be someone who reads what is written on that forum who would like to know what the truth is.

Possible Misunderstanding

I must confess that I am guilty of much more serious things than those I seem to be accused of on SOLO. Those things I'm accused of, in fact are not true, but misunderstandings are possible and memories are not always reliable, and because I do not like to call anyone a liar, even though I have been so called: "As phor Phirehammer, he repeats to this day the lie that he was banned phor opposing homosexuality."
[http://solohq.com/Forum/Quotes/0688.shtml#17]

That is an example of what I mean by misunderstanding. I not only do not repeat that, I have never said or written it even once. I know exactly why I was banned and have explained it several times. I ought to know; I was the one that instigated it, which I will explain in due time.

Explanations That Do Not Explain

While I know why I was banned from SOLO, most of those at SOLO do not; but there is no shortage of incorrect explanations.

For example there is this:

"Firehammer was put under moderation only after he dishonestly characterized as a "banning" Lindsay's polite request that he stop discussing the issue on *one* particular thread. He -- along with his lover-crony -- was banned months later for making vile personal insults." [http://solohq.com/Forum/Quotes/0688.shtml#15]

That is not the reason at all, but it really doesn't matter. Understand, I had no objection to being moderated, or banned, or anything else SOLO chose to do with their own site. You will never find a word of complaint about any of that in anything I've written, because it just did not and does not matter to me. Interestingly, at the time of the incident, I had mentioned to a major SOLO personality, an hour of that moderation, that I would most likely be put under moderation and was reassured that would never happen, even though she already knew it was a fact. (I have the emails if this is challenged.)

Thanks For Nothing

An explanation that doesn't explain is worth exactly nothing; nevertheless the above explanation received the following peculiar acknowledgement which contained its own misrepresentation of the facts.

"Thank you for that information. It was not clear in my mind (and I had no wish to go through those articles of his again - I read them a while back - where he yapped on and on and on about the exact time of this and the exact phrasing of that, or complained about idiotic stuff like Linz wanting to change the world we live in as if that were a bad thing - I think he said 'save' the world - well, whatever - I didn't want to read that crap again.)" [http://solohq.com/Forum/Quotes/0688.shtml#16]

Of course, it's much easier to just take someone else's word than to do the honest work of checking the facts. What he is referring to was my first explanation, for those who had asked me for it, of exactly what had happened, ''My Confession and Apology." For anyone who really is interested in facts and the truth, they will discover there is not a word in it about Linz changing or saving the world.

Because, No One Checks

The problem with wrong explanations, and possibly the cause of them, too, is that no one checks. As the above writer indicated, he just didn't want to do his homework.

Such explanations have the very opposite effect from that which the founder and principal of the forum suggested, "For the newbies here, I hope all is clear from the preceding few posts." It may be clear, but clearly wrong.

His own "additions" to the explanation serve only to further muddy the waters. After his mistaken accusation, "As phor Phirehammer, he repeats to this day the lie that he was banned phor opposing homosexuality," which I explained above, he adds, "He and his equally unappetising cohort Cass were banned phor posting gutter innuendo against the Brandens." This is what the earlier poster referred to: "He -- along with his lover-crony -- was banned months later for making vile personal insults."

This is both factually wrong and wrong in spirit. No individual was ever named, and the comments we made only concerned one individual. To make it explicit, Barbara Branden is not involved at all in anything we said, unless she's still carrying a torch for Nathaniel Branden, who was the only target of our comments. Although we never named him, and our comments could have been about any number of individuals, the statements we made were apparently so accurate and obviously true, everyone knew instantly who was meant.

For those unfamiliar with the history, the use of "ph" for "f", by the way, it is an old joke, once rather humorous, but now overworked and boring; typical of the unimaginative and trite. The joke, like most jokes on that forum, is used to ridicule, abuse, and insult an individual. [http://solohq.com/Forum/Quotes/0688.shtml#17]

If anyone would like to do some homework and compare the kind of posts I and my "lover-crony" contributed to that forum, you may see for yourself any or all of my 725 posts or Cass' 171 posts.

How I Got Myself Banned
(The Predictability of the Pusillanimous)

The one part of the explanation for my banning no one has mentioned, and will not, because they don't know it, is the worst part of all. It was a conspiracy. Cass and I colluded to get ourselves banned, partly to prove a point, and partly because we had grown tired of some aspects of SOLO, and no longer wanted to be considered supporters of what SOLO supported.

The following are "heinous personal attacks" that got us banned from SOLO. If you would like to check it out, here is a link to the original.

There were only four significant posts, one by Cass, one by me, and two by the founder and principal (FP)


Cass:

Well, you know how it goes Regi, "our best response to our highest values" and indeed those whose lives epitomize those values.

I hear tell around here they feel that way about some guy who has a reputation for spilling the beans about private love affairs when the subject is dead, and not being able to keep his pants on for two minutes together.

I guess in our own ways, Regi, your wife and I are both "a bit prejudiced."

Lots of love,

Cass


FP:

I hope everyone takes due note, from Cass's post just above D...'s, of what a thoroughly nasty piece of work she has shown herself to be. Her last few posts have been malicious to the point of obscenity. She's been placed under moderation, & I don't rate her chances of ever making it through.


Regi:

Dear Cass,

Thank you for explaining, but my wife and I have been trying to figure out exactly who the "guy" you are referring to might be. Could it be that geriatric psychologist who is so famous for helping young women uncover their repressed desire to go to bed with him?

It's just a guess, of course.

Lots of love to you, too.

Regi


FP:

Editor's note: just after I posted re Cass, the following came through from Regi. Since he here shows his true colours, for the benefit of those who still needed persuading that this creature is a scumbucket, I am letting it through. And that's his lot. Both Regi & Cass are now banned.


What I Think of SOLO

As anyone can see, the conspiracy worked perfectly, and we were both banned. It might seem to the uninitiated almost incredible that such innocuous statements as ours, which anyone would normally understand to be very subtle jabs at the somewhat famous reputation of someone, (verified by the individual himself on that very forum), would result in being banned. This is the "point" we were trying to prove. It is not principles, philosophy, or values, that are important, but personalities, and some personalities are so sacrosanct, nothing short of total adoration will be accepted.

It is one of the reasons we found we were no longer interested in supporting SOLO. At least two of those vaunted individuals were responsible for vicious and false character assassination of Ayn Rand, and caused, and continue to cause great damage to both her personal reputation and her philosophy, that we could no longer be associated with that organization.

This was a very personal decision having to do with personal values. SOLO is a very successful forum, and many people enjoy it. I disagree with some of the official positions it takes philosophically, but I certainly see no reason why anyone should not join and support it if they enjoy it. I know there are many members of SOLO who do not agree with everything SOLO supports or does; they take what they can use and leave the rest aside. I have never and would never recommend that anyone not join SOLO or, if a member already, terminate that membership.

There is one great mistake made about SOLO, however, both by those who "oppose" it, and those who support it. It's importance is highly exaggerated. No one can estimate its importance for those who find value in it and no one has a right to make a judgment about that kind of importance. In the grand scheme of things, however, SOLO is just a forum, and as forums go, it is a very tiny thing.

I belong to a forum with over 150,000 active members. There are millions of threads and thousands of philosophy threads, some with thousands of responses by hundreds of responders. Some of those threads include very sophisticated conversation interspersed with humor and good-natured insults. People from every field from all over the world participate in those conversations, and they all manage to say perfectly clearly what they have to say without resorting to insult, name-calling, or vile language.

Really, any forum with less than 50,000 members is just a club. Certainly it is of value to the members—the rest of the world is unlikely to even notice.

Reginald Firehammer is a filosofer and author of the book: The Hijacking of a Philosophy: Homosexuals vs. Ayn Rand's Objectivism. He is the author and host of The Autonomist, an online intellectual journal, as well as a contributor to The Rational Argumentator. In the future, he intends to produce a comprehensive treatise on ontology, consciousness, and ultimately filosofy itself. Mr. Firehammer can be contacted at regi@usabig.com.

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