Jim -:- My reply to WS (from Pia's site 'staff') -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 05:23:45 (GMT)

__ Jim -:- Just re-read my post -- really good one, Jim! -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 18:45:19 (GMT)

__ __ PatC -:- Yes, it is a really good one, Jim! -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 21:06:02 (GMT)

__ __ __ Gary -:- Yes, it is a really, really, good one, -:- Sun, Jun 10, 2001 at 07:34:31 (GMT)

__ A gardener -:- Wrt 'dead' seeds -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 16:24:22 (GMT)

__ Jean-Michel -:- And MY version of the Combat publication's history -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 07:35:43 (GMT)

__ __ Katie H -:- Thanks, J-M - should be BEST OF FORUM, or... -:- Sun, Jun 10, 2001 at 16:29:24 (GMT)

__ __ __ Jean-Michel -:- It's a bit more complicated -:- Sun, Jun 10, 2001 at 21:32:32 (GMT)

__ __ Richard -:- And MY version of the Combat publication's history -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 15:21:30 (GMT)

__ janet -:- your analyses always draw me-but a few pointers -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 07:21:16 (GMT)

__ __ Jim -:- you talk your way, and I'll talk mine -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 08:37:24 (GMT)

__ __ __ janet -:- ya know, jim...i pointed this out in effort -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 11:28:56 (GMT)

__ __ __ __ Jim -:- Yes, thanks, but give me a fucking break -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 16:07:16 (GMT)

__ __ __ __ __ janet -:- you might be surprised to hear it, but -:- Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 10:23:40 (GMT)

__ __ __ __ __ __ Jim -:- And furthermore ........... -:- Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 16:06:03 (GMT)

__ __ __ __ __ __ Jim -:- Fuck off, Janet -:- Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 15:33:59 (GMT)

__ __ __ Jim -:- Oops! Typo -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 08:40:29 (GMT)

__ __ __ __ Jerry -:- That still doesn't fix it -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 17:12:49 (GMT)

__ Steve M -:- Jim that's superb analysis - thanks nt -:- Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 06:27:17 (GMT)

Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 05:23:45 (GMT)
From: Jim
Email: None
To: Everyone
Subject: My reply to WS (from Pia's site 'staff')

Current Focus

Of praise and criticism of Maharaji, and the purpose of this site

Maharaji has been both publicly praised and publicly criticized since he was very young. Even before he was proclaimed a living Master at the age of eight, thousands in India would listen with amazement while he spoke with profound understanding about human life and its possibility.

I used to think his satsangs from back then were profound and amazingly precocious as well. I don't any longer. Indeed, far from being filled with any kind of understanding about anything, they're simply run-of-the-mill spiritual slogans, cliches and hoary old stories parroting his guru father. When he actually ventured out of the mold to try to comment on the real world, he revealed how young and immature he really was. Here, for example, is Maharaji at 14 on diet:

The root is the consciousness, but where does the consciousness actually lie ? Because root, if you take root itself, it's in a seed. You see, there is a little explanation to that. If you are eating meat, you are eating out of a being, right ? Like supposedly, some people eat cow, right? Cow comes from life, a mother. Right ? And that also come from a life, and it's a life to a life to a life circle. But a plant does not come from a life. It comes from dead, from a seed which is dead. It doesn't need any nutrition. It's a dead seed. When you plant it, and that's when it becomes (alive), for it to grow, and to give you fruits.

or this disposition on life and 'karma':

A man did some sins and he dies. His ego flies with the sins. His soul flies with the things which are good. Right? Now these two things fly and this ego jet tries to follow where the soul goes. Now this soul goes and lands in that little boy - right? - And these bad actions that were being carried by ego also go into that little boy. As soon as he is taught 'I', you know, and he understands 'I', right from there he has done a mistake. And 'I' means ego. Because he understood 'I' he has done a mistake. He does not know it then, but after some time he does know it. And then all these other things start, because he has accepted that ego. And by now that ego has completely landed. First it had not landed, it was just flying around. Soul had landed. It took a birth. But as soon as he said 'I', ego said O.K, land now. And at that moment it has landed.

Pure balderdash, both. Or do you think otherwise?

He spoke with an ease and conviction that defied rational explanation and attracted the highest of praise, even reverence, on the one hand and skepticism or even harsh criticism on the other.

The 'ease and conviction' made perfect sense given the fact that he grew up in such bizarre circumstances where his father was reverred as God incarnate. Maharaji merely siezed the mike and played at daddy's game. The skepticism and harsh criticism came from outside the cult. Those inside were wrapped up in a fairly-tale existance wherein Shri Hans' whole family was divine. Hardly objective.

After one of his presentations given before an audience of tens of thousands of people in New Delhi, a news article was published claiming that 'the boy guru' was a fraud and was not speaking the words being heard at all, but simply mouthing them while a tape recorder was playing through the loudspeakers.

I'm sure that theory wasn't true. Rather, Maharaji was just adept at performing daddy's vaudeville routine. Any transcripts of Maharaji's early talks prove the point handily. There's nary an original thought. It's all hindu boilerplate. Impressive? No.

The explanation was offered that the charismatic boy was being used as a mere circus attraction for his parents and to promote a particular brand of Hinduism. Such was an early attempt to explain a phenomenon that did not lend itself easily to rational explanation. After a few years, the young Maharaji, while still attending grammar school and speaking only on weekends and holidays, was earning a growing reputation. It was not unusual for hundreds of thousands of people to travel long distances to hear him deliver a timeless, yet confronting message.

It's no defense at all to say that Shri Hans' own cult followers started worshipping Maharaji on cue. Really, what's that? Indian's love their religion, that's a fact, and they love their gurus. It matters little to say that Maharaji was so reverred. So were his brothers. So was his mother. What about them?

Reduced to its simplest form, his message was extremely simple, 'What you are truly looking for can be found within.' It was at least obvious to most who listened to him that his speaking was his own and not a trick. He was neither lip-synching his discourses nor even memorizing prepared statements, but was speaking his own words spontaneously.

Again, what is the big deal about this? The kid's father trained them to give these sermons and they did. Big fucking deal, already!

Many began referring to him as Perfect Master, Satguru, or true guru of the times.

This only occurred after Maharaji was annointed accordingly by his mother and the cult leadership. Why do you lie like this? Who do you think you're fooling?

Others said that some who were praising him were more interested in proclaiming Maharaji's identity in terms of the Hindu cosmology than they were in taking his message to heart.

How about Maharaji's own interest in doing so? Why else would he say things like:

'Who is Guru? The highest manifestation of God is Guru. So when Guru is here, God is here, to whom will you give your devotion? Guru Maharaj Ji knows all. Guru Maharaji is Brahma (creator). Guru Maharaji is Vishnu (Operator). Guru Maharjai is Shiva (Destroyer of illusion and ego). And above all, Guru Mahraji is the Supremest Lord in person before us.

Again, who do you think you're fooling? New people? Only so long as they don't find EPO. I'm sure you'll one day regret the fact that you posted all these lies under your own name, Mr. Strait. Most premies who do so lie anonymously, either with psuedonyms, first names only or, in the case of the EV Frequently Asked Questions, unmaned entirely. You, however, have put your own name and integrity on the line here. Too bad for.

While Maharaji was being praised with the highest of accolades offered by Indian tradition, new criticisms began to be leveled against him in the press. An article designed to discredit the young boy in the eyes of Hindus appeared in the Times of India under the sensationalist banner headline, 'I am not a Hindu!' The quote had been taken out of context from a press conference in which Maharaji had been asked by a reporter, 'Do you follow the Hindu religion?' Maharaji had responded to the question by saying that he was not a Hindu, nor was he a Muslim, nor a Christian, and that while he respected all faiths, he was not here to proclaim any particular religion or to start a new one. He simply wanted to offer people an inner experience he called Knowledge.

Your point, if I read you right, seems to be that Maharaji was once slightly misunderstood by the media. Sorry, but if that's your example of sensationalistic lies and distortions, it isn't much. It is, in fact, an arguably accurate inference from Maharaji's own words. Beside that, though, even assuming for argument's sake that this was a terrible misrepresentation, so what? All public figures, especially, I'd imagine, those who claim, as in the quote above, to be 'the highest infestation of God' (joke!), get a little flack from time to time. Deal with the Combat article allegation by allegation if you really want to meet your cult leader's criticisms face-on. That's my advice.

A few years later, by the time Maharaji declared his intention to take his message to the West, his reputation had grown beyond the boundaries of India and began attracting the interest of many from Europe and America. But his detractors were also growing in vigor. He became the target of slander and sometimes violent demonstration by an organization that believed all gurus were unnecessary frauds. Now, over thirty years later, Maharaji has traveled to most countries of the world offering the same message.

Why are you so maddeningly vague about everything? Are you referring to the Aryan Samaj or whatever that Indian political group was called? But that was an Indian organization and that challenge arose during Maharaji's father's days, not after. Unless there's another, similar 'organization' I'm unaware of, that sentence is extremely misleading. You make it sound as if Maharaji met this opposition after he began spreading his 'teaching' outside India. That's simply untrue.

Moreover, you're forgetting to mention that Maharaji breathlessly courted the media when he first came to the west. Remember 'Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?' He wanted all the media attention he could get. What happened? The truth is, you don't really know. Well, guess what, Mr. Strait. The answer's readily apparent in the comic documentary, 'Lord of the Universe', a video clip of which can be found on EPO. Maharaji's last press conference was at Millenium and, if you watched the clip, you'd know why. Even a 'hate-filled ex-lover' like myself had to feel a little pity for the poor, little boy stuck in such an awkward moment. There he was, confronted by the world and for al intents and purposes lost and frightened. You can tell he was almost ready to cry. Why? Because he couldn't handle the press' extremely fair and respectful questions.

His programs have attracted audiences large and small from the widest range of cultural backgrounds and interests. His message still evokes the highest forms of genuine praise in some, while it is dismissed as unimportant or even dangerous by others.

Fine. So let's forget about the popularity contest and get into the substance. We all know that cult members like their cult leader. What does that add to the analysis? The real question is, 'what exactly is he saying and what should we make of that?' But, no, we don't expect you guys to actually examine Maharaji's words that way. He's your cult leader and such a venture is strictly taboo. You can only talk around these matters. Don't forget, only last month Maharaji ordered you to 'NEVER QUESTION THE PURITY OF THE MASTER!' Harsh, eh?

Typical criticisms are both varied and contradictory: 'He is a fraud, claiming to be something better than the rest of us.'

Nothing contradictory about that. I stand by it. Want to discuss it? When? Where?

'He should not be rich.'

The point, Mr. Strait, is that he should not be rich on account of exploiting the trust of his cult members and dipping deeply into their pockets. I understand that Maharaji has become a millionaire many times over since the early seventies. Do you have any idea how much money he has? Do you have any idea how he's gotten whatever wealth he possesses? If not, how can you even comment on this?

'He should not fly his own plane around the world.' Whatever.

'He should make the message more intelligible to the intellect.'

No, not at all. Rather, he should answer the questions and criticisms that suggest that his message is empty.

'He should have a better organization.'

None of the critics I know, including ex-premies and informed outsiders, looks at his organization as anything but an extension of the cult leader himself. We're well aware of the pathetic and cowardly attempt Maharaji's making to scapegoat his followers but that's your trick, not ours. If the organization's flawed, it's only because Maharaji's made it so.

'He should have more followers by now.'

That's merely a reasonable take on the fact that he did, after all, promise to bring peace to the world:

Therefore, dear premies, the time has come. See how peace will be established in the world. There will be peace on earth. That peace which disappeared shall prevail again. It will come, and once again the world will understand. So listen to me and act accordingly. Bow down before Guru Maharaj Ji!

What happened?

'He shouldn't have followers at all.'


'He is not a spiritual master.'

Bingo again.

'He should live the life style of a spiritual master.'

No, he should resign.

'He shouldn't live in a large house.'

The wealth issue, as I said, is all about how much he's got and how he got it. Being that we were all pressed countless times in countless ways to give him, personally, money (e.g. envelope guantlets at darshan lines), we're 'stakeholders' in his fortune. Especially, if he's NOT the Lord of the Universe as he lead us to believe. Is he?

'He shouldn't have started ashrams in the West in the '70s.'


'He shouldn't have closed those ashrams in the '80s.'

No, he should most certainly have closed them. But he should have closed them with more respect and support for the residents. Moreover, he should have spoken openly and honestly with them about why he'd earlier threatened them with eternal damnation should they ever leave, only to close them himself a few years later.

'He shouldn't have gotten married and had children.'

Whatever. Perhaps more interesting is the criticism about his longtime mistress, Monica Lewis, his other affairs and numerous attempts to fuck premie women. I mean, if you're going to spell out the criticisms, you might as well get them on the table. Similarly, I notice nothing here about Maharaji's alcoholism or drug use. Nothing about his real involvement in the Fakiranand incident, nor anything about his killing the bicyclist in India and letting someone else take the rap for it. Why not? Too hot to even mention?

'Having a family, he shouldn't travel so much.'

Big fucking deal.

'He should talk more about God.'

Now come on! Who in the world says this? Maybe you do, can't think of anyone else I know. Most people I know think he should just shut up.

'He shouldn't talk so much about God.'

See above.

'He should be more humanitarian.'


'He should teach values.' 'He shouldn't teach values.'

I'll deal with these together. The real criticism is even more fundamental; it's that he shouldn't teach anything. He's obviously a very weak, flawed personality and not in any position to offer any leadership or wisdom in any realm.

'He should be a leader, responsible for the actions of those who listen to him.' 'He shouldn't be a leader at all.'

No, it's not either. It's more like, if he's going to be a leader anyways, which he is, he should be an honest one. That he's not. He scapegoats his followers mercilessly. YOU'll know what I'm talking about first-hand if you fuck up, won't you?

'He should state his message so it can be more easily understood.'

No, he should openly dialogue with people so that his 'message', such as it is, can be better understood and evaluated by anyone interested.

In short, he and his message should be something we can label, fit into a definite category, and get our minds around. As someone put it succinctly, 'He should walk our talk.'

Try this: he should talk in such a way that people understand him. If that means dialoguing openly, he should do it. Of course, the moment he does that, it's game over. Let me dialogue with Maharaji in public for half an hour and you'll see what I mean. Same with any informed ex-premie. Maharaji's a paper lion and you know it.

There is a new factor in the old equation of criticism - one being faced by almost all public figures - and that is a new means of delivery. The technology of the Internet makes possible the widespread distribution of false rumors and allegations by anyone who feels so inclined with a minimum standard of responsibility.

Why the bias? The internet makes possible the widespread distribution of all sorts of stuff, true or false or mixed up this way or that. As for responsiblity, hey, WS, SUE ME if you like. Can't imagine taking any more responsibility than that. But really, if I'm wrong, talk with me. Set me straight. Other than that, fuck off with this 'responsibility' shit. You're projecting.

Such critics can malign individuals and groups they hate without having to make their statements to anyone's face, or even use their real names. They can be as irresponsible as they like with minimum accountability.

The name's Jim Heller. You can call me at (250) 360-1040. You can sue me at 7-547 Herald Street, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 1S5. Email me at heller@bc1.com. You guys, on the other hand, who are you? What are all your names? Where can we find you? When will you talk with us?

Coupled with the principle of free speech, the Internet makes possible the spread of damaging misinformation just as it makes possible the wide dissemination of useful information. It is easy to take something that has a kernel or semblance of truth and under the guise of 'information' put it forth as 'the whole story.' In this new environment, those of us who have initiated this site feel that a response is called for. Yet, at the core of what Maharaji teaches is the premise neither that the truth of his message about the possibility of Knowledge nor the authenticity of its messenger need be a matter of conceptual belief or rational persuasion. They can be discovered only by means of direct experience and personal recognition. In short, people make up their own minds and hearts, not based on what others say for better or for worse, but on the basis of personal experience and all the powers of human understanding that give a valid basis for arriving at one's own conclusions.

If that's all true what the hell you doing with this website? Transcend, friend, before it's too late!

So if this site succeeds in the uncovering of misconceptions and misinformation whether in the name of praise or criticism, it serves a valid purpose. In fact, it may be true that much false criticism arose out of false praise. The error of each is the same - to attempt to explain or label what cannot be explained or labeled. Often, in reaction to the discomfort of 'not knowing' or not understanding, people take a fragment of truth and create from it a belief system (negative or positive) and then defend it as the whole truth.

Your consistent vagueness is tiring. Is this almost over yet? All your site is succeeding in doing is placing us ex-premies front and centre in the cult membership's minds. Thanks for that and William, I really mean that. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

We are also aware that there is nothing that gives us a special grasp of what is true nor immunity from error but our effort to be conscious and our commitment to clarity of thought. And as with all other things, those who choose to read our words will be the judge.

You want to defend Maharaji but your'e afraid to interview your 'client' to get the real facts. Cute.



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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 18:45:19 (GMT)
From: Jim
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: Just re-read my post -- really good one, Jim!

Not a word out of place, except for some of them. Too bad thse jokers don't reply to all the good feedback they're getting.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 21:06:02 (GMT)
From: PatC
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: Yes, it is a really good one, Jim!

Meant to say so when I read it in the wee hours of the morning but forgot. But I can't just keep congratulating you on your writing. How about I just reply when it stinks? And you can take my silence as applause.

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Date: Sun, Jun 10, 2001 at 07:34:31 (GMT)
From: Gary
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: Yes, it is a really, really, good one,

but it smells a little funny, what did you eat for dinner?
A ripe and well-reasoned candidate for ***BEST OF***

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 16:24:22 (GMT)
From: A gardener
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: Wrt 'dead' seeds

From an m quote above ...

'But a plant does not come from a life. It comes from dead, from a seed which is dead. It doesn't need any nutrition. It's a dead seed. When you plant it, and that's when it becomes (alive), for it to grow, and to give you fruits.'

He doesn't even know the basics here ... only some seeds are 'dead' or slowly die over time - they're the ones that won't sprout.

There is a more accurate description of a liar that I've come across - it's when you state something as true when you don't really know about it. m seems to be highly guilty of that, especially considering his role as a'teacher'. He'd be a joke, but it's not at all funny.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 07:35:43 (GMT)
From: Jean-Michel
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: And MY version of the Combat publication's history

and the following EV PR's disaster (thanks to Janet for the translation!).


A lot of rumors are circulating with regards to the origins of this publication. It appears pertinent that I give my version of the facts, now:

I received an email in my mailbox from Gilles Alfonsi on the 24th of October, 2000. I'd never heard of Gilles before - I didn't know anything about him and I didn't know anything about the magazine he was
working for either. I vaguely knew the name, but didn't know anything about the magazine. I did not know his political stance, nor the subjects on which he worked. This is a broad excerpt of his email, which
said, in essence, the following :


I am closely interested in Elan Vital- its history, its actual directions, its attempt to 'normalize' itself as some ordinary, regular, association , its economic connections, etc...

I have, little by little, assembled a lot of information, and documentation.
All of this is going to constitute the matter of a special publication.
I will be contacting you about this in the future.

I don't know if there will be a place in this publication for certain aspects, more damning than those presented right now on the Ex-premie website, which interests me also...(I am omitting this part which
mentions facts and people whose names I don't want to make public here).

Do you understand what I am talking about?

At any rate, I am interested in discussing this by email, ( mine is *******@voila.fr) and later, in meeting you, if that's alright with you.
Till next time, at your convenience--

We had some exchanging of emails for several weeks. I was very careful with the information that I gave him, not knowing Gilles, nor his motivations, or the tenor of the sort of publication he was preparing.
In doing some research on the internet, I discovered that he worked for the Combat review, which centers on the problems caused by AIDS and drug usage.

I was not opposed to the idea of participating in the publication, but I was hoping for something intelligent, that didn't demonize Elan Vital,
or the premies or their guru; which contained pertinent information, and not scandal and clichés, and the sort of articles one encounters in
the sensationalist magazines. I did not want my name to be mixed up with a polemic I did not agree with.

After having read several samples from Combat, I was reassured by the quality and the contents of their publication. We finally met each other on friday, the 1st of December, 2000, in a café. He was accompanied by a person I dimly recalled having crossed paths with, a couple of times, at reunions of Elan Vital -- a longtime premie, who was now deeply questioning, who had distanced himself from Maharaji and Elan
Vital, some months ago, as I then learned.

I felt a little bit more confident, and we all decided to go eat dinner together, at a little Lebanese restaurant in the neighbourhood, after we had made acquaintences well enough. We talked about one thing and another with regards to the subject we were all interested in. I did not know anything very exact at that time, as to what the contents of this future special issue would be, save that Gilles and certain of his friends had already done a deep and profound
investigation; that they already had a tremendous amount of information; that they were in contact with other longtime disciples; and that they had no dearth of documents and original information, certain of which I discovered with astonishment.

We continued our correspondence by email, in the course of which Gilles asked me for different details and specifics, pertaining to the articles
on which he was working. Over the month of December, he asked me to respond to a series of questions, after doing an interview on my past involvement that would constitute an article in the special issue.

During that time frame, it was more or less projected that the magazine would be published in February 2001, as a special issue. For various technical reasons, the publishing was delayed until the end of April. It was not until the 19th of April that I got to glance over a
part of the project, at which time some articles were still missing, because they were still being written, and were not finished. I made several suggestions, and proposed several corrections. Certain details didn't match what I knew of Elan Vital, and it was
important that these be corrected, lest they detract from the quality and the credibility of the overall publication.

Then I participated in a general meeting to proofread and check the whole magazine's content, the last check before going to press, which was held during the 15 days preceding the issue's hitting the stands. We
found out the magazine was coming out in June of 2001, 15 days before Maharaji was coming to France.

Of course the Staff of Combat worked hard to make sure to make his day, making sure the issue would be noticed. We recalled that on that date, the OTS trial of the 'Solar Temple' would be in full session, and the National Assemblies would be convened, working on the new Picard Law project about cults. The subject was
regularly making page One news, and by pure chance, it just so happened that the media didn't have much to chew on, that weekend, when Mr Rawat had his bright idea to come to Versailles.

You know this assured media coverage, without us having to influence or persuade the media to do it!
I hope I haven't left out any important details. If there's anything else about it that comes back to me, after saying this, I'll be sure to follow up, and add it here, immediately.


Anything beyond this is 100% fantasy.
This is how the whole thing happened, and I can give more details if needed....

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Date: Sun, Jun 10, 2001 at 16:29:24 (GMT)
From: Katie H
Email: None
To: Jean-Michel
Subject: Thanks, J-M - should be BEST OF FORUM, or...

...on the site somewhere, with introduction.

Hey, hasn't 'Combat' been around since the 1930's? Or is it a new magazine with the same name?

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Date: Sun, Jun 10, 2001 at 21:32:32 (GMT)
From: Jean-Michel
Email: None
To: Katie H
Subject: It's a bit more complicated

Combat's been around for a very long time. It used to be a daily newspaper sometimes, then weekly, then occasionla, like for elections, and also quarterly magazine.

The staff changed many times, it used to be independent, now it's funded by the government. I don't know the details. Maybe you should ask Vincent at Combat to come here and give his version. He's been living in the US and is a professional translator.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 15:21:30 (GMT)
From: Richard
Email: None
To: Jean-Michel
Subject: And MY version of the Combat publication's history

Very interesting, indeed J-M. Thanks for pointing out how this article and subsequent media flurry unfolded organically. Your version is certainly much less glamorous and conspiracy-ridden than EV / Pia's version. So does this mean you really are NOT our beloved EPO Subcommander Kahn but, in fact, just Jean-Michel? Just in case your story is just EPO spin, we will begin referring to our clandestine meetings with press as 'Lebanese Nights'.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 07:21:16 (GMT)
From: janet
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: your analyses always draw me-but a few pointers

on the whole when you do one of these, i am drawn in by your willingness to address the other pwerson's oversights, point by point. however, you must be conscious that you yourself often slip and resort to personal defamation when you grow irritated and fed up with the other person's density. You've got to work on that, Jim. It detracts from an otherwise erudite and eminently intelligent invitation to sanity and clarity.
i would remind you, in all good faith, to take a moment out, at those times, and air out, cool down and come back with fresh clarity before you continue. it is far stronger to keep your discussion trained on the immediate and material facts, and useful examination of them, than to degenerate into profanity and irrelevant personal accusations or schoolyard namecalling. take the time with yourself to practice Not Indulging in that impulse when you recognize it rising in you. You'll be a better lawyer and a better debater for it.

generally, individuals reading your presentation can focus on your arguments with respect to the facts in an impersonal and clear way, and can follow and agree with the sense of them, but as soon as you give way to the temptation to belittle the person opposite you , rather than address the subject, you lose the respect and the endorsement of your audience. people can change their stances and their beliefs, but not who they are.
arguments stand on their own merits, irrespective of who supports them. they stand apart from any individual proposing them or opposing them. the people can change sides, but the argument remains in the center.

if you change your focus, from the argument, to attacking the essence of the person you are taking issue with, you are therefore asking your audience to make that change with you, and many will not do that, for it is not relevant to the discussion, and you forfeit whatever progress you were making with convincing your audience to see the issue as you see it.

i point this out to you in genuine desire to help you improve your ability, and in genuine admiration for what you do well at the present. for the most part, you have the makings of great talent. but like the singer who loses their breath, halfway through the song, you need more practice at your techniques before you will display the full potential you are capable of reaching.
I have full faith that it's in you.

i guess this is why they call it 'practicing' law.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 08:37:24 (GMT)
From: Jim
Email: None
To: janet
Subject: you talk your way, and I'll talk mine

Forget it, Janet.

I'll say what I want to say how I want to say it and that's that. I really only responded to what's-his-name for the hell of it. I like doing it, it just feels kind of natural to talk back to that bullshit, bullshit that somehow's landed right in the center of my field of vision. Well, of course, I put it there. But, anyway, I talk back to that stuff, to the people that say that stuff, just the way I want. I might feel serious one phrase and then something gets me and it's all a big joke the next. Or something makes me a little more angry, or this or that. Yeah, sometimes it's like that.

So, sorry, it's not that your points might not make sense in some abstract sense or something, it's just that I'm not interested.

In fact, Janet, I wish you'd keep doing this altogether. Stop giving me advice. I mean, give me your opinions. Tell me what you think about things, whatever. But, please, none of these big, unsolicited advisory things. I'm sure you mean well and all that but I'm not interested. I'm not trying to do anything in particular, at least not anything I'm looking to 'refine'. You're not my coach and, well, thanks anyway.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 11:28:56 (GMT)
From: janet
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: ya know, jim...i pointed this out in effort

to help you be more effective, both in your work at law, and in your role here, as one of the more aggressive dismantlers of the prison we see these people caught in. I would think that you would see the value of it, for itself, and take it up as a genuine goal to aim for, in improving your method.

You used to feel quite free about pointing out my weaknesses in communication here, not so long back, as I remember. Between the numerous complaints to me to paragraph, to punctuate, to capitalize, you had a field day with correcting my style here at will.
And I have witnessed you, forever wading into it with Sandy, and others, about their specious arguing style, their inability to answer straight questions, their using illogic and various bankrupt references in their hopeless responses to your spotlight.

This would have to come out of your own innate sense of what makes for a sound argument and a sane discussion of the issues, no?

In light of your own history of returning to this issue with so many posters, I find it peculiar that you would attempt to beggar off the point when addressed about it in your own approach.
Don't you think it holds true when applied to you also?

You're welcome not to heed it, but if so, don't be surprised when your own lack of ability to direct yourself to the salient discussion you opened, results in everyone else whose attention you commanded, abandoning respect and willingness to listen to you, much less to honor or support your position. If you drop your own focus first, others have no choice but to follow, in turn.
If you can keep their attention on it, you can win the point, the argument, the day, their respect, and your own satisfaction.

Or, you can shit all over yourself.
Its up to you.

but since you felt so free to criticize me, I thought the right was available to me as well.

And it's so white of you, to encourage me to use my own style. How generous of you, to do that, Jim. I'm so relieved that you've decided I'm acceptable in your sight, now.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 16:07:16 (GMT)
From: Jim
Email: None
To: janet
Subject: Yes, thanks, but give me a fucking break


I know you mean well but please, how in the world can you compare my telling you that your text is impossible to read easily unless you broke it up into reasonable paragraphs and threw some punctuation in (which you've since done -- I know, I know, you had your problems with WebTV), with telling someone what to say? And how dare you assume how effective I am or am not in my profesional life? Did I tell you I had some difficulty communicating effectively in court? Did I ask for your help? Never.

Even when I confront Sandy or some other premie or premie-type kind of person about something, it's about the substance (or lack thereof) of their words. I just finished a long, long post to this Strait guy. Did you have anything meaningful to add or comment on reagrding any of it? No? Then fine, leave it. I guess the point is simply that I'm comfortable expresing myself my way and I don't need you assuming I need or want your help anymore than you would if I did the same to you.

And Janet, don't think I couldn't. Don't think I couldn't pick apart any of your long, florid posts, 'help' you whittle down the purple prose, streamline the hyperbole, strip away some of your particular style of melodrama, avoid redundancy. But I don't do that, Janet. Instead, I comment on the substance of what you write. I take issue with you when I don't agree or find your logic wanting. Otherwise, I'll tell you I agree or say nothing. One thing I don't do is assume that you're my writing or communication student. What makes you any different?

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Date: Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 10:23:40 (GMT)
From: janet
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: you might be surprised to hear it, but

if you wanted to give me lessons in doing all those things you cited, I would pay attention and try to absorb your pointers.

I hope you dont do in court what you do when you lose it, here, because if you do, you are blowing it bigtime.

What was offered was not done so in a mean spirit. I didn't mean to come off sounding high and mighty. I genuinely enjoy clear arguments with points well presented. They nourish me like good food. The degenerations are much like coming across sand or shit in the midst of a mouthfull. Let's get those out of there. You could be right up there with Jim Sanders and Gary E. and Chuck Sprague, if it werent for your side trips into the schoolyard bullying. You don't need it. Resist the urge to succumb to it. We need your brains here.

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Date: Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 16:06:03 (GMT)
From: Jim
Email: None
To: janet
Subject: And furthermore ...........

I hope you dont do in court what you do when you lose it, here, because if you do, you are blowing it bigtime.

I dare you to go through my post and point out all the places I 'lost it'. Come on, Janet. Let's see what you got.

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Date: Mon, Jun 11, 2001 at 15:33:59 (GMT)
From: Jim
Email: None
To: janet
Subject: Fuck off, Janet

'You could be right up there.....'

What an entirely stupid thing to say! What do you think this is? A creative writing class or something? For what it's worth, I'm pretty proud of many of the things I've thought, said, written and done about this shit over the last six years. In terms of being effective, I think I've been most effective in a number of ways always bearing in mind the simple truth that you can't please everyone. Perhaps I sould search through the years for some of what I think are my most 'brilliant' comments and put them in a portfolio for your review? Fuck you!

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 08:40:29 (GMT)
From: Jim
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: Oops! Typo

In fact, Janet, I wish you [wouldn't] keep doing this altogether.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 17:12:49 (GMT)
From: Jerry
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: That still doesn't fix it

What does putting brackets around a word do to clarify what you meant? As far as I'm concerned that only highlights and emphasizes your mistake, as if you're glorifying it. It's sort of like, here, check out this word [wouldn't], what a great word, eh? Otherwise, an erudite (I learned that word from Janet) if not rather long and borish [what's a good word, here, Janet, I can't think of one].

Seriously, Jim, you're the one who should write the book. Another excellent post.

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Date: Sat, Jun 09, 2001 at 06:27:17 (GMT)
From: Steve M
Email: None
To: Jim
Subject: Jim that's superb analysis - thanks nt


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