Talk:Aesthetic Realism/Archive 7

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Because of their length, the previous discussions on this page have been archived. If further archiving is needed, see Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.

Previous discussions:

New AR items

A couple of items of note, though I don't know whether they're worthy of referencing in the article:

  • AR people have been abusing Google's Adwords system. A few months ago they implied an endorsement from Minnesota State University, and now they're running an ad that says: "Eli Siegel's System Lives / The Baltimore Evening Sun reports on history of Aesthetic Realism / www.baltimoresun.com". But the ad doesn't take you to baltimoresun.com, it takes you to (drumroll) AestheticRealism.org. Big surprise there. There's more about this http://michaelbluejay.com/x/news.html on my website.
  • I've finally posted the entire transcript of http://michaelbluejay.com/x/mylesson.html my lesson with Eli Siegel when I was two years old. This is significant because, to my knowledge, it's the only account of an AR lesson ever published online.

Michaelbluejay 02:51, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

*[Samivel says BLUEJAY IS LYING.] It is actually Bluejay who is abusing truth in his accusation. Who actually posted the Baltimore Evening Sun article is unknown. But last time I looked it went to a reprint of the article. That is not deception. Further, Minnesota State University reprinted an article by an Aesthetic Realism consultant and it has been on their website for years. That is not an "endorsement" as Blujay falsely says, it is respect for the intellectual content of the article and the intellectual integrity of the Aesthetic Realism consultant. Mr. Bluejay can't keep his facts straight because he is so eager to accuse and smear. He should stop the sleazy accusations. He is a true exemplar of dishonesty. --Samivel 03:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Dr. Perey, perhaps you can answer these questions:
  • The traditional definition of "lie" is "to present information that one knows to be untrue". Do you disagree with this? If so, please provide whatever bizarre definiton of "lie" that they use in your universe.
  • If you agree with the definition, then will you please state what, specifically, I am lying about? What is it that *I know to be false* that I am stating?
  • Are you aware that if I say something that *I truly believe to be true*, that I'm not lying? Can you understand that distinction?
  • I honestly believe that you or some other AR supporter is running the Baltimore Evening Sun ad. (Dare I say, "Duh!"?) Who else would run that ad besides a supporter of AR? An *enemy* of AR? Some disinterested third party?
  • Do you dispute that I honestly believe that an AR supporter placed the Baltimore Sun ad? If not, then how am I lying about that?
  • I truly believe that since the ad says "www.baltimoresun.com", and then takes you to a completely different website, that that constitutes deception. Do you deny that I truly believe that? If I do believe it, then how can you say I'm lying?
  • When you say that the University reprinted the article in question, that is not true. The University did NOT print the article, they only donated the webspace. It says as much on the home page of the article in question.
  • I truly believe that the University did not reprint the article, because it says as much on their website. Do you deny that I truly believe this? If I do believe it, then how am I lying?
  • Since AR's ad was written "Aesthetic Realism truly described on University's award-winning website," that certainly seems to me that the AR people are trying to trade on the University's good name. Do you deny that I truly believe this? If I do believe it, then how am I lying?

These are not rhetorical questions, I truly expect specific, direct answers. Dr. Perey, you and your friends play fast and loose with words like "lie", "liar", "dishonesty", etc. If you're going to smear me like that then you need to make an effort to back up your accusations. It's time for you to put up or shut up.

Incidentally, the university in question was Minnesota State University, not the University of Michigan. I edited my earlier post and Dr. Perey's to reflect that. Michaelbluejay 15:48, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Arnold Perey's repsonse

  • The traditional definition of "lie" is "to present information that one knows to be untrue". Do you disagree with this? If so, please provide whatever bizarre definiton of "lie" that they use in your universe. [Yes, I agree with that definition. But it has an aspect that you are leaving out. When a person presents information which he hasn’t checked properly, and uses that information to hurt another’s reputation—indeed twists it for that purpose—he has libeled that person. An untrue statement has been made with malicious intent. That is a LIE. This is not a bizarre definition of lie but one used in libel cases. I say more below. -- AP]
  • If you agree with the definition, then will you please state what, specifically, I am lying about? What is it that *I know to be false* that I am stating? [I do apologize for being so quick to say “Bluejay is lying” in such big letters when I wrote the above; yet I think it is so. The fact is, what you wrote is highly colored and exaggerated. I think you knew your statements were falsely colored to give an appearance of “evildoing” when there was none. -- AP]
  • Are you aware that if I say something that *I truly believe to be true*, that I'm not lying? Can you understand that distinction?
[In fact, you leaped to two false conclusions without adequate checking. Can anyone *truly believe* an accusation, a smear, that he hasn’t carefully checked the validity of? (1) When I and a colleague said an article was posted on an award-winning site (part of a University website) this was standard English usage and was not “claiming” an “endorsement” or doing anything fraudulent. You colored it spectacularly by using a very unusual and hair-splitting interpretation of our sentence. Further, you cited a disclaimer which isn’t there. You wrote (below) that the University “only donated the webspace. It says as much on the home page of the article in question on the home page.” A search of http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/stutter.html shows no such dislaimer. What is the URL of that disclaimer? True, no permission was asked to have the Google ad; and it has been suspended until permission is granted. Meanwhile you portray in a lurid light something that took place because a person did not know all of Google’s not-very-user-friendly rule system. Google knows its system is too obscure for many advertisers and is trying to change that. (2) Secondly, the Baltimore Sun link was not made by me or anyone I know, and not under our control in any way. If you had asked me a couple of simple questions, and done a 15 minute cross-check, before making your false accusation, you would have known this. I believe you were glad to find some ground to accuse us on, and so you did not care to think through the real circumstances. A false accusation of that magnitude, YOU KNOW is not telling the truth. If it is not a lie, what is it? --AP]
  • I honestly believe that you or some other AR supporter is running the Baltimore Evening Sun ad. (Dare I say, "Duh!"?) Who else would run that ad besides a supporter of AR? An *enemy* of AR? Some disinterested third party?
[An unknown person whom you are calling a supporter, but may not be, is not a person the Aesthetic Realism Foundation should be attacked for. --AP]"
  • Do you dispute that I honestly believe that an AR supporter placed the Baltimore Sun ad? If not, then how am I lying about that?
[One aspect of your lie that it is common practice for webmasters to do things which get other webmasters in trouble with Google. Linking them into “bad neighborhoods,” etc. etc. You never even considered this might have happened here? I don’t believe it. Another aspect of your lie is that you never inquired whether it was our ad. When there is a reasonable opportunity to check on a fact and you don't take it, but assume the worst, and post your untrue version as if it were fact, you are lying. --AP]
  • I truly believe that since the ad says "www.baltimoresun.com", and then takes you to a completely different website, that that constitutes deception. Do you deny that I truly believe that? If I do believe it, then how can you say I'm lying?
[In this instance, there may have been something deceptive. But the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, which reprinted the article, was not in control of it or even sufficiently aware of. I have reported it to Google and steps will be taken. --AP]
  • When you say that the University reprinted the article in question, that is not true. The University did NOT print the article, they only donated the webspace. It says as much on the home page of the article in question.
[The home page says only this: “Web space is provided by Minnesota State University, Mankato.” There is nothing about “donation.” But the fact remains, our sentence implies nothing at all sinister. We wrote: "Read about Aesthetic Realism on University's award-winning site." And this is quite true. --AP]
  • I truly believe that the University did not reprint the article, because it says as much on their website. Do you deny that I truly believe this? If I do believe it, then how am I lying?
[It was unfortunate that I used that terminology on the Talk page. It was a bit careless. The lie on your part is to make the ad itself seem invidious or deceptive--when in fact the article is honest and useful. I do think you are consciously making a sinister mountain out of an innocent molehill. --AP]
  • Since AR's ad was written "Aesthetic Realism truly described on University's award-winning website," that certainly seems to me that the AR people are trying to trade on the University's good name. Do you deny that I truly believe this? If I do believe it, then how am I lying?
[You know—as I know—that the ethical and intellectual standards of the persons you are calling “AR people” are of the highest order. Enough of us have graduated from universities (including with advanced degrees) to make your statement that we want to “trade” on a university’s good name look awfully silly. Universities get their good names from the intellectual luster of their graduates, their faculty, and the publications associated with them—whether these are official “university publications” or not. If you didn’t know this before, you know it now. --AP]

These are not rhetorical questions, I truly expect specific, direct answers. Dr. Perey, you and your friends play fast and loose with words like "lie", "liar", "dishonesty", etc. If you're going to smear me like that then you need to make an effort to back up your accusations. It's time for you to put up or shut up.

[Anyone can see, I hope, that my answers have substance and there was no malicious intent in calling Mr. Bluejay a liar. Too impulsive, perhaps, and I apologize for that. But I think the provocation was rather extreme. In the future I will be more restrained. Please believe that I do not lightly criticize anyone’s attitude to truth. --AP]

Incidentally, the university in question was Minnesota State University, not the University of Michigan. I edited my earlier post and Dr. Perey's to reflect that. Michaelbluejay 15:48, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Please see my replies above—next to each question asked by Michael Bluejay. –Arnold Perey

From the web page of Michael Bluejay

I thought vistors to this Talk page should see just a little of the actual text Michael Bluejay wrote on his web page before going into the matter below. It shows such a remarkable facility for innuendo that it is worth knowing. His own summary (see below) is much too modest and doesn't do justice to his talent. So allow me: [Signed --Samivel 19:54, 26 October 2005 (UTC)]

[From Web page of Michael Bluejay]

AR's sneaky advertising tactics
October 24, 2005. The AR people advertise their websites in Google, as do I with this site. These are the ads that appear on the right side of the window when you do a search for "aesthetic realism". Nothing scandalous about that. Except AR advertises endorsements where none exists....It's sadly typical that the AR people try to attach themselves to the good names of others.

Other than being untrue, it's pretty, good, eh? --Samivel 19:54, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

What I said is *completely* true. Anyone can go to Google to see how AR supporters' deception (until Google takes the ads down, of course). Michaelbluejay 05:04, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Perey/Bluejay disagreement

Anything that does not directly concern this article should not be on this page. Please discuss websites, etc, somewhere else. -Willmcw 21:04, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

marriage reply

I don't see any real answers to the questions I raise. Can you clarify? Where are they? Further, TS was not me, he was RIGHT in his general approach, and my taking another username was aboveboard and in keeping with Wikipedia practice. Any other questions? - (unsigned)

You asked about a sentence, stating [1] we shouldn't use words redolent of behaviorism in describing AR, but should limit ourselves to AR's vocabulary. (I disagreed); and [2] that Kranz didn't marry his AR bride quickly (I noted that one exception doesn't mean much, but that there was no need for the word quickly, that I had no objection to rewording, and asked you how you thought we might best convey the fact that there was a remarkable tendency for ex-gay AR students to marry other AR students.) I have no questions about you or TS, just as I have no question that "aboveboard" and "confessing once you've been called on it" are two different things. I'd remind you that sock-puppetry (using a second identity to interact with yourself) is discouraged here, and would suggest that you limit yourself to one identity per article/talk page combination. Also, it's considered a bit unseemly to use sock-puppets to create/edit/vote to keep articles about yourself, especially when linking back to them from your own website, and especially when the use of another identiy obscures the fact that a person is writing about himself. You've used at least three identities in that process so far, not counting IPs. - Outerlimits 02:54, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
You haven't replied to my questions either, Aperey. You danced all around them, as usual. I replied, but you either haven't seen it or you've chosen to ignore it. See the previous page, under "OK, that's better." Marinero 04:37, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


Merinero be specific or just cool off. When you don't get the answers that you are looking for--the answers that agree with you--it makes you angry and insulting. But you don't give a single detail of how I didn't answer your questions. Besides, I'm not obligated to get in a circular treadmill with you. So consider this one closed. --Samivel 19:33, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Very well, Aperey. My questions are there, on the previous page, as are your non-answers. I invite everyone to read them and decide for themselves. They'll also be able to determine who is more angry and insulting. I'm not at all surprised that you would like to consider the matter closed. But don't expect me to go away and let you have your way with the article. Is that clear? Marinero 13:55, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Outerlimits. Don't distort what I wrote. (1)Aesthetic Realism is not behaviorism and goes for understanding how one sees the world not manipulating one's social arrangements, etc.. Is that clear? (2) As for my so-called sockpuppetry and the matter of voting--I kept strictly out of all voting concerning myself and refrained from all public comments on the subject. Be specific as to your accusations or don't make them. Unfortunately, as soon as you are specific there's the awful chance of being refuted. Is that clear? (3) I am adhering strictly to Wikipedia standards as I understand them. I have stuck to the one identity per article/talk page combination. Where there has been any difference I have made it clear and everyone concerned knows it. Is that clear? (5)Flinging around insults based on your own fictitious view of things--without trying to find out the facts first--is malicious lying. As I told Bluejay, this is in keeping with the strict legal definition used as the criterion for personal libel. Is that clear? (6) One thing I particularly despise about The Three Faces of Fraud (you, Bluejay, and Merinero) is the way you all twist the facts and/or leap to the worst possible conclusions and peddle them as if they were the truth. This is called malice in any dictionary. Is that clear? ----Samivel 19:33, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
What's clear is that you have just written quite a lot of words, many of them insults, and none of which touch directly on the writing of the Aesthetic Realism article. Should the time come for discussion of your identities, I'm prepared to do so. Most obviously: You've worked on Arnold Perey as both User:Aperey and User:Samivel, you edited a mediation page as both of those (pretending they were different entities), and you've edited Aesthetic Realism under those two plus User:Ethiopianrunner. I wasn't trying to make an issue of your past sock-puppetry, but rather asking you to please stop it. Your repeated use of "Is that clear?" is hostile and offensive. I'm neither your child nor your pupil. I'd also remind you that making legal threats is inappropriate on Wikipedia. You should stop. In answer to the one point above which relates to an ongoing discussion relating to the article: no one has said that AR is behaviorism. That does not mean that AR does not use a system of rewards and punishments as a teaching technique. - Outerlimits 21:41, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that Samivel was trying to be abusive when changing usernames, or was engaging in sock puppetry. As someone who picked a username rather too-close to my real name, I can sympathize with a desire to have a less personal editing-identity. I can't/won't defend Samivel's other actions, but I think that we should not make a case of sock puppetry in this matter. (Frankly, some editors would be hard-pressed to disguise their editing style). Sorry to sound like a broken record, but let's please focus on the article rather than on each other. That goes for everybody. There is little cause to refer to any editor by name on this page. Thanks, -Willmcw 07:02, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Of course people have to be referred to by name, that's why we have names. I disagree with your opinion about Samivel - in my mind, switching identities while simulateously initiating mediation as a "new player" is more than a bit disingenuous. I would characterize it as deceptive rather than "abusive". I can certainly understand his desire to dissociate his real name from his writings here. One of the worst bits of Wikipedia advice is "use your real name!. As I mentioned, I raised the issue to caution against its use in the future, not to remonstrate against its prior use, but now you've brought it up again! I would think the legal threats would be of more concern! I don't think mentioning Samivel's recent history quite rises to the level of calling other editors "The Three Faces of Fraud" and tacitly threatening a libel suit, and I have to say that I feel that addressing your remarks to "everybody" as if we were all acting identically when we are not is rather unfair. - Outerlimits 07:37, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
"Everybody" is not equally responsible for the contents of the article (past and present) and of this talk page. Those parts of "everybody" who have been more responsible for focusing on editors rather than content are strongly encouraged to leave personal references aside and focus only on the article. Those parts of "everybody" who have avoided talking about other editors are gratefully acknowledged. All parts of "eveyrbody" should strive to settle the article's points of contention through consensus edits that maintain a neutral point of view.
As a relative outsider, I must say that this article has shaped up nicely over the past half year. Everybody can take credit for that. The points of disagreement, though significant, have narrowed. NPOV requires that all views are reflected. Let's find a way to reflect the good, bad, and indifferent and move on. Everybody has spent too much time on this article already. -Willmcw 09:30, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, if "everybody" could agree that all views must be reflected, then "everybody" could move on. :) - Outerlimits 09:35, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Mediation-o-rama

Looks like we have a new mediator, User:Andrevan. Everyone who wants to give their side of the story to our new mediator, please do so. Michaelbluejay 02:13, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

How did this happen?--Samivel 21:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
This is not he place to discuss it, but briefly the previous mediator resigned due to his need to spend more time on non-Wikipedia matters. -Willmcw 21:27, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. Very understandable.--Samivel 23:04, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposing some revisions as a beginning point for dialogue

I hope that you, Outerlimits and others, will revise the section on homosexuality in keeping with NPOV. I think it should be much shorter and the editorializations and inaccuracies should be removed.

Here are five of my critical comments on the content of that section. I hope you will respond with revisions of these sentences--revisions which are truly neutral in point of view:

1. Take this POV phrase: “His therapy was based on the notion…” -- "Therapy" is the wrong word. There is a difference between therapy (which is pointedly psychological) and philosophy, which concerns one’s attitude to reality as a whole. Further, to characterize a philosophy as a “notion” is inaccurate and demeaning. It’s like saying Newton’s theory of gravitation is based on the “notion” that the force of gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between bodies. (The law of inverse squares is hardly a “notion.”)

2. The following sentence is also untrue and should simply be deleted: “Such choices, once made, were enforced by community pressure to extinguish homosexual behavior, and by quickly marrying those who had so chosen....etc." This sentence is put in the passive voice, concealing an absence of facts, and consists of unsupported assertions. One must conclude that this is Outerlimits’ “original research” so to speak and that is not allowed in Wikipedia. There is no source for these unsupported accusations, which as a first hand observer, I know to be fiction.

3. Also, as to the following series of sentences, no source is given to support them: “A number of persons....say they did not, in fact, change. Furthermore, a number of persons who said they had changed later decided they had not changed, after all. As of this writing, it is impossible to know how many of the "changed" actually have exclusively heterosexual ideations and sex lives.” This is more "original research" by the writer and no source for it is ever given. Further, it is definitely POV. This is why: There are numerous individuals who changed from homosexuality and whose published accounts of this change are scientifically important (they aren’t “anecdotal” as Outerlimits says). Is it scientific for Outerlimits to imply that the persons who said they DID change were not truthful, while the persons who say they did NOT are the truthful ones? No it is not scientific: it is bias.

4. The following clause is more editorializing: “…and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation has become a willing suppressor of the "great truth" it once protested against the media for similarly suppressing.” – To paraphrase George Meredith in Urania: “ ‘tis eloquent, but ‘tis not NPOV.”

5. The following statement is also editorializing: “The Foundation will not enter into dialog about its position, instead falling back repeatedly on the following public statement of its position…” This writing is geared to slant the opinion of the reader, to “spin” the facts, and not to inform in a neutral tone of a situation taking place at this moment. Has the public statement of the Foundation even appeared online more than once? Moreover, if the verbal attacks in these pages are a sample of the dialog to be expected, I don’t think anyone would find it particularly appealing. And of course the last sentence of the Foundation’s public statement—a rather important sentence--was omitted (unless it was just an oversight).--Samivel 17:19, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposing some revisions as a beginning point for dialogue

I hope that you, Outerlimits and others, will revise the section on homosexuality in keeping with NPOV. I think it should be much shorter and the editorializations and inaccuracies should be removed.

Here are five of my critical comments on the content of that section. I hope you will respond with revisions of these sentences--revisions which are truly neutral in point of view:

1. Take this POV phrase: “His therapy was based on the notion…” -- "Therapy" is the wrong word. There is a difference between therapy (which is pointedly psychological) and philosophy, which concerns one’s attitude to reality as a whole. Further, to characterize a philosophy as a “notion” is inaccurate and demeaning. It’s like saying Newton’s theory of gravitation is based on the “notion” that the force of gravity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between bodies. (The law of inverse squares is hardly a “notion.”)

2. The following sentence is also untrue and should simply be deleted: “Such choices, once made, were enforced by community pressure to extinguish homosexual behavior, and by quickly marrying those who had so chosen....etc." This sentence is put in the passive voice, concealing an absence of facts, and consists of unsupported assertions. One must conclude that this is Outerlimits’ “original research” so to speak and that is not allowed in Wikipedia. There is no source for these unsupported accusations, which as a first hand observer, I know to be fiction.

3. Also, as to the following series of sentences, no source is given to support them: “A number of persons....say they did not, in fact, change. Furthermore, a number of persons who said they had changed later decided they had not changed, after all. As of this writing, it is impossible to know how many of the "changed" actually have exclusively heterosexual ideations and sex lives.” This is more "original research" by the writer and no source for it is ever given. Further, it is definitely POV. This is why: There are numerous individuals who changed from homosexuality and whose published accounts of this change are scientifically important (they aren’t “anecdotal” as Outerlimits says). Is it scientific for Outerlimits to imply that the persons who said they DID change were not truthful, while the persons who say they did NOT are the truthful ones? No it is not scientific: it is bias.

4. The following clause is more editorializing: “…and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation has become a willing suppressor of the "great truth" it once protested against the media for similarly suppressing.” – To paraphrase George Meredith in Urania: “ ‘tis eloquent, but ‘tis not NPOV.”

5. The following statement is also editorializing: “The Foundation will not enter into dialog about its position, instead falling back repeatedly on the following public statement of its position…” This writing is geared to slant the opinion of the reader, to “spin” the facts, and not to inform in a neutral tone of a situation taking place at this moment. Has the public statement of the Foundation even appeared online more than once? Moreover, if the verbal attacks in these pages are a sample of the dialog to be expected, I don’t think anyone would find it particularly appealing. And of course the last sentence of the Foundation’s public statement—a rather important sentence--was omitted (unless it was just an oversight).--Samivel 17:19, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Some responses:


1. let us use "method" for "therapy" and "belief" for "notion"

2. As you haven't replied to the pending question of how best to address the fact that ex-gay AR students tended to marry other AR students, I'll find my own way on this.

3. Also, as to the following series of sentences, no source is given to support them: “A number of persons....say they did not, in fact, change. Furthermore, a number of persons who said they had changed later decided they had not changed, after all. As of this writing, it is impossible to know how many of the "changed" actually have exclusively heterosexual ideations and sex lives.” This is more "original research" by the writer and no source for it is ever given. Further, it is definitely POV. This is why: There are numerous individuals who changed from homosexuality and whose published accounts of this change are scientifically important (they aren’t “anecdotal” as Outerlimits says). Is it scientific for Outerlimits to imply that the persons who said they DID change were not truthful, while the persons who say they did NOT are the truthful ones? No it is not scientific: it is bias.

You've fundamentally misrepresented what I've said, but no matter. The first part I leave for those who wrote it; they clearly are able to cite instances. As for "self-reports", however, they are the very definition of anecdotes, and it is exactly correct that in the absence of a scientific study, a non-random collection of anecdotes has no scientific import. It is indeed "impossible to know how many of the "changed" actually have exclusively heterosexual ideations and sex lives." It's impossible to know how many are alive, and impossible to know where they live, as well.

4. The following clause is more editorializing: “…and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation has become a willing suppressor of the "great truth" it once protested against the media for similarly suppressing.” – To paraphrase George Meredith in Urania: “ ‘tis eloquent, but ‘tis not NPOV.”

Ah, yes, the vexed problem of wanting to have something said without saying it. Sadly, AR must speak if it wishes to control what is said. Alas, it is impossible to both say and not say something, but we can be kinder to AR about its wish to do so.

5. The following statement is also editorializing: “The Foundation will not enter into dialog about its position, instead falling back repeatedly on the following public statement of its position…” This writing is geared to slant the opinion of the reader, to “spin” the facts, and not to inform in a neutral tone of a situation taking place at this moment. Has the public statement of the Foundation even appeared online more than once? Moreover, if the verbal attacks in these pages are a sample of the dialog to be expected, I don’t think anyone would find it particularly appealing. And of course the last sentence of the Foundation’s public statement—a rather important sentence--was omitted (unless it was just an oversight).--Samivel 17:19, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

The public statement appears more than once on the Internet, and it appears here. The final sentence (something about the great support of AR for gay rights, I believe) however, is irrelevant to the discussion of whether AR makes gays into heterosexuals.


This is a revision I would propose, shorter and pruned of what I see as extraneous information. Hopefully it is phrased in a strictly NPOV manner. I know there is information you may want to add. So here it is, it is as truthful as I can make it, and I welcome your input:

Aesthetic Realism sees sex as a philosophic situation, that is, an aspect of how one sees the world. As early as 1948 writer Sheldon Kranz stated that seeing the world and women differently enabled him to change from homosexuality. In 1957 he married actress Anne Fielding. In the 1950s and 60s other men also studied what Kranz did, and together with him, three were interviewed on the David Susskind Show (1971) to tell their stories. They soon wrote The H Persuasion containing autobiographical studies of change. That year Aesthetic Realism consultations began, taught by a faculty of twelve. Three concerned themselves primarily with men who wished to understand and change their homosexuality (see Timeline, 1971). In 1979 ads about this change were printed in four major newspapers, including the New York Times Magazine and the Washington Post, signed by 50 men and women.
The idea that gay men and women could become heterosexual ran counter to a growing consensus that considered homosexuality not amenable to change. Aesthetic Realism agrees that homosexuality is not "sinful" or "pathological." It also points to a theory of multiple causality, which states that anything needing several causes to exist will no longer exist if one single cause changes. Eli Siegel asked if that single cause is a person’s attitude to the world. And from this arose perhaps his most controversial statements on this matter—that (1) "all homosexuality arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently" and (2) "this changes into contempt for women." Men have stated that this explanation made it possible for them to have bodily responses to the opposite sex. In time, a number of persons who said they had changed, later said they hadn’t; while others who said they changed continued their heterosexual lives.
This point of view toward homosexuality engendered adverse feeling and the Aesthetic Realism Foundation decided in 1990 to discontinue teaching it. Their statement reads, in part: “As is well known, there is now intense anger in America on the subject of homosexuality and how it is seen. Since this subject is by no means central to Aesthetic Realism, and since the Aesthetic Realism Foundation has not wanted to be involved in that atmosphere of anger, in 1990 the Foundation discontinued its public presentation of the fact that through Aesthetic Realism people have changed from homosexuality, and consultations to change from homosexuality are not being given. That is because we do not want this matter, which is certainly not fundamental to Aesthetic Realism, to be used to obscure what Aesthetic Realism truly is: education of the largest, most cultural kind. Aesthetic Realism is for full, equal civil rights for everyone." [1]--Samivel 21:34, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

You may read my edited version in the article. It addresses your concerns, but does not significantly reduce detail, which I consider important. - Outerlimits 13:41, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

I would object to the article if it does not contain some form of the following sentences: "A number of persons who studied Aesthetic Realism in order to change from homosexuality say they did not, in fact, change. Furthermore, a number of persons who said they had changed later decided they had not changed, after all. As of this writing, it is impossible to know how many of the 'changed' actually have exclusively heterosexual ideations and sex lives." In other words, I believe it's important to point out that there were some men for whom the teachings on homosexuality had no effect whatsoever. This is a truer picture than to imply that they all changed, then later some decided they hadn't. I also believe that honesty demands mention of the fact that some of the AR consultants who contributed to AR's books on the change from homosexuality were among those who later decided they had not changed. NPOV doesn't mean stating just one set of facts, while omitting inconvenient ones. There is no need to imply anything at all about the truthfulness of those who say they changed vesus those who say they did not. However, neither is it acceptable to go on at length about one group, while relegating the other group to a brief mention in one sentence (and then minimizing the impact of the statement in the very same sentence). That is simply a more cunning and devious attempt to crown one side with truthfulness, while casting aspersions on the other. Finally, while we can quibble over whether the word "notion" is an acceptable synonym for "philosophy," I will not agree to any attempt to present AR as proven fact, "scientific" or otherwise. Marinero 18:52, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

While I share Outerlimits and Marinero's concerns I do have to say that Samivel's latest effort is leaps and bounds above what we've seen earlier. It's true that a couple of salient points are not included but it's still remarkable that what was offered no longer reads like AR propaganda. I consider this to be real progress. Michaelbluejay 23:33, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

I think the current (newly edited version) which I placed in the article should meet the needs of all concerned. Do Marinero, Michaelbluejay, or Samivel have any comments about the new version? - Outerlimits 00:21, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

I think your version is fine, Outerlimits. Marinero 18:32, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I think it is better, definitely, but I still think it is way too long. I think there is some extraneous and repetitive matter which are not needed to make any point at all. And I don't think I deleted any "inconvenient" information deliberately. Please indicate what really ought to be there which I took out.
I still see a POV slant here and there, and some omissions of crucial information. Please look again.
I'll comment in detail soon. I'll say again, I'm doing my best to write what I see as true. Naturally all the ends are not going to be tied up in a neat way that pleases everybody.
Whether Eli Siegel characterized his attitude as tolerant or not is beside the point; it's for the reader to judge from an accurate account of the point of view. I do not think the account is, yet, accurate. What is wrong with my suggested sentences?
Take this writing: 'The members of Aesthetic Realism's "Consultation with Three" agreed that "homosexuals will probably find quite a lot that is offensive"- -- In my view, whether homosexuals would find something offensive or not is beside the point--it is not wrong to say something one knows will offend; nor is it right NOT to say something because one knows it will offend. Galileo offended the Pope. Darwin knew some people would find his view offensive and he found himself unable to bring it forth for 20 years (from roughly 1839-1859)--but because he believed it needed to be said, he said it. I see that point as really not relevant at all. Am I wrong?
Also take this, which is a much later interpretation and does not apply (reasons given on request): "gay men in the 1970s, having internalized society's hatred for them, welcomed the promised possibility of change even if it meant criticising ways they saw the world." Not the whole story.
One omission in the Outerlimits version, as far as I can see, is remedied in a sentence I wrote in my proposed verson: suppose, by adding people who never changed, we had this: "A number of persons did not change to heterosexuality through this study; some who said they had changed, later said they hadn’t and returned to gay life; while still others who said they changed continue to lead heterosexual lives today." -- The sentences by Outerlimits on this point leave out too much.
I would appreciate your comments. More later from me. --Samivel 22:28, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Comments interspersed:

I think there is some extraneous and repetitive matter which are not needed to make any point at all.

Obviously we have a difference of opinion of how much space needs to be devoted to this issue. You would prefer it not be mentioned at all; I would prefer a rather lengthier treatise than we now have. I agree that extraneous information is being included, but what you consider extraneous I consider essential, and what I consider extraneous you consider essential. So the only solution is to include it all. I don't think we need be worried about providing too much information.

I'll comment in detail soon. I'll say again, I'm doing my best to write what I see as true. Naturally all the ends are not going to be tied up in a neat way that pleases everybody.

Well, it's nice that you're trying to be truthful. It's not so nice that you imply that others are less honest than you. Unfortunately, your version makes it seem like AR didn't teach what it taught, or wasn't responsible for the ads. The publicity happened passively, according to your version. You depict Eli Siegel "asking" a question, when what he did was propound an answer to that question. Your version seeks to distance AR from its marketing decisions: AR periodically puts forward a number of things to which AR is the "answer". One of the first of these was homosexuality. Others include racism, poverty, capitalism, youth violence, anorexia, bulemia, stuttering, attention deficit disorders, and terrorism. Somehow, despite AR's faith that it would eliminate these things, they all still exist. To many, this suggests that AR is not a terribly efficacious cure for these things. But that matters not: AR just moves on to the next one. By suggesting that these things are "questions" to which AR is the "answer", AR propounds the idea that these are things that ought to be eliminated. For some things, like illiteracy, this is unproblematic. For other things, like homosexuality, it is highly problematic. The postulating of homosexuality as a "question" inevitably resonates with prior formulations of the "Jewish" question. AR has to take responsibility for these decisions: foisting responsibility off on AR students, as though they were a renegade band run amok rather than carrying out the wishes of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, really won't do.

Whether Eli Siegel characterized his attitude as tolerant or not is beside the point; it's for the reader to judge from an accurate account of the point of view. I do not think the account is, yet, accurate. What is wrong with my suggested sentences?

They minimize the offensiveness of the teachings, which is a historical fact (in that they provoked offense!)

Take this writing: 'The members of Aesthetic Realism's "Consultation with Three" agreed that "homosexuals will probably find quite a lot that is offensive"- -- In my view, whether homosexuals would find something offensive or not is beside the point--it is not wrong to say something one knows will offend; nor is it right NOT to say something because one knows it will offend. Galileo offended the Pope. Darwin knew some people would find his view offensive and he found himself unable to bring it forth for 20 years (from roughly 1839-1859)--but because he believed it needed to be said, he said it. I see that point as really not relevant at all. Am I wrong?

Yes, you are wrong. AR's teaching that all homosexuality arises from contempt is not the equivalent of heliocentrism or the positing of natural selection as a mechanism of evolution. The offensiveness of the teachings generated the response of hostility to the teachings, which led to their withdrawal from public view. AR's position on homosexuality is simply a justification for Eli Siegel's prejudices. It is as explanatory as my claim that all admiration for Chardin's painting of strawberries is caused by contempt for Chardin's painting of apricots. Or my belief that Siegel, by belittling homosexuals was seeking to add to himself through the lessening of something else, was making a conscious decision to appeal to popular prejudice in order to promote his organization and philosophy, and overgeneralizing about a subject on which he had little knowledge.

Also take this, which is a much later interpretation and does not apply (reasons given on request): "gay men in the 1970s, having internalized society's hatred for them, welcomed the promised possibility of change even if it meant criticising ways they saw the world." Not the whole story.

Objecting without supplying a reason isn't terribly helpful.

One omission in the Outerlimits version, as far as I can see, is remedied in a sentence I wrote in my proposed verson: suppose, by adding people who never changed, we had this: "A number of persons did not change to heterosexuality through this study; some who said they had changed, later said they hadn’t and returned to gay life; while still others who said they changed continue to lead heterosexual lives today." -- The sentences by Outerlimits on this point leave out too much.

"Gay life"? "heterosexual lives"? How '60s can we get? Terminology aside, we have no data on which we can say anything about any of AR's graduates' actual sexual ideation: we can only say what they tell us, and no one is telling us. So "It is impossible to know how many of the 'changed' actually have exclusively heterosexual ideations and sex lives" is more accurate.
There are other problems and inaccuracies that make Samivel's version unsuitable. Some of these: it begins by discussing "sex" not homosexuality. It mischaracterizes Kranz's published statements (he said that the study of AR caused him to "change from homosexuality". He didn't state that it "enabled" that change.) The H Persuasion does not contain "studies of change", it contains transcripts of sessions (either interview or AR "consultations") and personal testaments regarding change. It omits titles and names. AR did not market itself as an instrument of "understanding" homosexuality, it marketed itself as an instrument of change from homosexuality. The use of passive voice ("ads...were placed") is an interesting way of suggesting that AR's students were doing something other than activity approved of and planned by AR. They weren't. AR isn't "agreeing" with anyone, and it is not clear that AR views that which arises from contempt as nonpathological. The version introduces a new, undocumented "theory of multiple causality". (Where did AR publish a statement that "homosexuality needs several causes"? What AR says is "All homosexuality arises from contempt for the world. This changes into contempt for women.") It gives one point of view "Men have stated that this explanation made it possible for them to have bodily responses to the opposite sex" without giving others ("Other men have stated this explanation seems ridiculous. Other men has said this explanation had no effect whatsover on them. Other men have said that this explanation is in conflict with their understanding of their own homosexuality. Other men have said that this explanation betrays a woeful lack of familiarity with homosexuality on Eli Siegel's part. Other men have said this explanation made them laugh out loud. Other men have said this explanation reflects Eli Siegel's prejudice against homosexuals.") It alludes to "heterosexual lives" - a dubious term - when the question is not external but internal reality. And it states that the ARF discontinued teaching this point of view toward homosexuality when what happened was a decision not to teach it PUBLICLY. It still, quite clearly, is part of AR's teachings.
I'd like to add that I doubt that ARF realizes how patronizing the final sentence of their boilerplate statement on homosexuality sounds. It's condescending to think that being for "equal rights" for "everyone" without specifying which rights or doing anything about it is going to make homosexuals (or "everybody") more accepting of AR's position. It's a bit like saying "some of my best friends are black" when you're accused of being racist. It's self-serving nonsense. But as you consider it "essential", I see no reason it can't stay. (Has AR ever stated "Aesthetic Realism is for full, equal civil rights for gay men and women"? That might be pertinent, but the present last sentence is not. A paraphrase "AR still holds Eli Siegel's beliefs about the origins of all homosexuality to be true, but has stopped presenting their belief publicly because it angers people. AR does not consider this belief to be fundamental to their philosophy " would be more pertinent, more true, and less offensive.) - Outerlimits 01:48, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Most likely further dialog should wait until there is mediation. As you know, the Aesthetic Realism Foundation is not in a position to express its point of view. It has stopped teaching it. It also has not presented any of the evidence since the decision in 1990 to stop doing so. The fact is, your statements on the subject first were countered by TS, who stopped studying Aesthetic Realism years ago (and whose identity I do not know). Then, the quantity of misstatements you have produced forced me into responding, but in a limited way. And I am writing because I'm an individual, a citizen, a person with a point of view. Perhaps you would like me to withdraw from the field. If so, please say so directly. I don't mind withdrawing. What I do mind is your not allowing the views of anyone but yourself (even if these were expressed in print more than a decade ago they are still valid) to be part of the Wikipedia record.
Your selection of facts to prove your points leaves out too much. There is an Aesthetic Realism point of view toward art, music, photography. Lately Eli Siegel was quoted in a commencement address by the president of a university, and it was on the subject of education. There are aesthetic questions in all of these subjects, and they are related to questions in sex, economics, and the way people of different backgrounds see each other. You isolate homosexuality too much. Aesthetic Realism has never criticized any human activity which has a person like himself more, including any form of sex. You leave this out. If a person likes himself for being homosexual, Eli Siegel stated very clearly in more than one source, the issue is closed. So why should you express so much anger at the point of view? Persons studying Aesthetic Realism in the 1940s through 1970, did not find the answer to be affirmative. This is part of the record. Did they have a right to feel as they did? Of course! If so, then what is all the anger about? There are more than one point of view. Hurrah!--Samivel 17:50, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
If you don't want to discuss the article (and it seems you don't, and haven't), that's your choice. But to respond to your personal comments: You've accused me of not allowing the views of anyone but myself to be part of the Wikipedia record. That's a false accusation. You are annoyed that the section on homosexuality focuses on homosexuality. This seems peculiar. You also seem very selective in choosing whose feelings you choose to value. With regards to the facts: though you state AR has never condemned any form of sex, the record reveals that Eli Siegel said, "all homosexuality arises from contempt of the world." That seems fairly condemnatory. - Outerlimits 23:35, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Samivel, if you're not going to discuss the article, you ought not make changes in it. - Outerlimits 18:47, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Again, Samivel, if you're not going to discuss the article, don't make disputed changes in it. - Outerlimits 21:42, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

What do you want me to discuss?

Instead of levelling spurious charges, please indicate clearly what you want to discuss. Do you want me to take up every single one of your accusations one by one? Even when I answer them, you continue to make them. TO me, this is not discussion.

We are in mediation so I don't see the point of your putting snippy little alterations here and there in the text, and superficializing a rather subtle matter in order to put it in a false and hurtful light.

What, Outerlimits is contempt? How common is it? Do you or any persons you know undervalue anything, and so have contempt for it? How much does this matter?

You have made it clear that you would rather condemn than understand, and in my view this is dishonest.

I hope all will forgive me because I began editing moments ago in Wikipedia without using the automatic login. But since my IP is known to all the editors here, I trust no harm was done.--samivel 20:12, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Hmm. What do I want you to discuss? You could discuss changes you want to make, rather than accuse people of "spurious charges" or snippiness or contempt or condemnation or ignorance or dishonesty. We are not here to discuss "accusations", but to write an article that adheres to the NPOV policy. P.S. You are in mediation. That's probably what needs your attention right now. - Outerlimits 06:26, 19 November 2005 (UTC)


That is you, Outerlimits are not in mediation? I still don't know what exempts you from discussing any changes you have inserted. Nor do you have a right to object to anyone else trying to correct the POV insertions you have made while consulting no one. There is something true which needs to be seen as it really is and not as a few folk spin it.--samivel 16:09, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Mediation and discussion are different things. I'm happy to discuss any changes I make. Unfortunately, I think your mediation will fail until you accept that your version of the truth is not something that everyone agrees with, and that other people's viewpoints will have to be permitted to be heard. Even if you label their their truth is "spin", it belongs in the article. As to your most recent edit: I understand you don't want people to hear about AR's history regarding homosexuality, but it is going to be heard. It's an important part of AR's history, and can't be simply dismissed as you 'd like to. The specific details are necessary; the specific details are true, and you should stop removing them. - Outerlimits 19:18, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Let us be exact. How do you know I "don't want people to hear about the history of Aesthetic Realism as to homosexuality"? The truth is, many people changed from homosexuality to heterosexuality, and they are heterosexual today. Further, they are proud of the means by which they changed. This may not be liked by some people, but neither they nor I can help that. If you wish to further the anger in America about this subject and "tar and feather" people who don't deserve it, you have taken to yourself the freedom to do so. So then: what specific details have I removed? Once again, if you can't be specific please do not make these accusations.

I am proposing the following revision for the opening of this article. It incorporates your views as well as mine. Simply deleting and restoring is rather ridiculous. This is a copy of what I put in a few moments ago. What I wrote is true, to the best of my knowledge. The wording is not perfect, but it's the best I can do at the moment. Please revise it etc. in keeping with what you see as true. I hope you are willing to discuss this. Once again, Aesthetic Realism is philosophy of the widest kind. It is about literature, art, and the aesthetic structure of the self. The things emphasized should follow with what the philosophy itself really is, and not have a narrow

Aesthetic Realism is the philosophy founded by the American poet Eli Siegel in 1941. It teaches that every person’s deepest desire is to like the world honestly, while there is also a contrary desire to have contempt for the world and people. Students of Aesthetic Realism, and others, including noted figures in American culture (see Timeline of Aesthetic Realism), describe this philosophy as encouraging both kindness and creativity.
Aesthetic Realism describes both poverty and racism as arising from the way people have been contemptuously lessened for their skin tone or used for their labor without being respected. The philosophy is taught by consultants at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City. Authorities in their fields have praised the Aesthetic Realism explanations of poetry, literature, music, art & art history, and the human self--explanations taught by the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation today--as meeting the highest academic standards of scholarship and critical analysis.
During the 1970s and 80s, 50 Aesthetic Realism students placed 4 advertisements in 1979, while 2 books were published (one in 1971 and the other in 1986) in which individuals stated that they had changed from homosexuality to heterosexuality through this study. Some call Aesthetic Realism a cult and use a list of negative characteristics given on "anti-cult" web sites. Numerous scholarly and legal organizations have stated that this generic list of characteristics is unscientific and unsupported by facts, including the ACLU and APA. Supporters of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation point out that these are "as deep-dyed falsehoods as we have seen anywhere," and that new thought has been resented often in the history of culture. -(unsigned, but by Samivel)

Yes, I'm willing to discuss once again why I think the changes you keep making are inappropriate. Your version may be the best you can do, but it seems to contain many statements that are yours rather than those of the person they are attributed to. Let the people speak for themselves, please.

Aesthetic Realism chooses to discuss matters in an airy, allusive fashion, and to frame its answers in the form of questions. Encyclopedias, however, must discuss matters in specific terms, and in declarative, concrete sentences.

Some specific points:

Students of Aesthetic Realism, and others, including noted figures in American culture (see Timeline of Aesthetic Realism), describe this philosophy as encouraging both kindness and creativity. "

To which noted figures in American culture does this refer? You include a reference to the Timeline, but there is no one on that timeline that could be appropriately so described. In any case, there's no need for this statement, or this link in the opening paragraphs.


Aesthetic Realism describes both poverty and racism as arising from the way people have been contemptuously lessened for their skin tone or used for their labor without being respected. The philosophy is taught by consultants at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City. Authorities in their fields have praised the Aesthetic Realism explanations of poetry, literature, music, art & art history, and the human self--explanations taught by the faculty of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation today--as meeting the highest academic standards of scholarship and critical analysis.

Why are you discussing poverty and racism in the introduction to Aesthetic Realism? And why have you have separated out how Aesthetic Realism describes homosexuality? All these things are equivalent. If poverty and racism are pertinent, so is homosexuality and the other "problems" AR is supposed to solve.

"The highest academic standards of scholarship and critical analysis" is self-promoting fluff, and not particularly accurate. It's also unreferenced. I suspect that what you and I have different understandings of what the highest academic standards are.
During the 1970s and 80s, fifty Aesthetic Realism students placed four advertisements in major American newspapers in 1979, and Aesthetic Realism published two books (one in 1971 and the other in 1986) in which individuals stated that they had changed from homosexuality to heterosexuality through this study.

Here once more, you are trying to evade Aesthetic Realism's responsibility for this publicity blitz. Aesthetic Realism published the books, the books didn't happen passively. Please stop trying to rewrite this passively. The books were published as part of a campaign to gain media attention and attract students. And this belongs back in the first paragraph, as it doesn't related to AR as a cult.

Your changes in the homosexuality section are also problematic.

  • How does the fact that Anne Fielding won awards assist understanding of Aesthetic Realism's position on homosexuality?
  • Why do you stick "his ethics" in front of her own words. We're quoting her, not you. She knew what she wanted to write, and that's what she wrote. You imply "ethics" is the same as "loving Eli Siegel and Aesthetic Realism". That's an interesting assertion, but it wasn't hers. She wrote (p. 44 of The H Persuasion) "Sheldon and I have been married for fourteen years. What I love most in my husband is his love for Eli Siegel and Aesthetic Realism." No mention of ethics.
  • You wrote "They [the consultation of three] wrote "The explanation was kind....it was more than that". Where can I find that? I've looked at the Black transcript and don't find it there, though I do find other things they said that I've added. (p. 11).
  • sexuality is correct.
  • you keep trying to sneak in assertions. The personal narratives are not "documents of what they had learned", they're therapy sessions, verbatim.
  • you keep putting your words in Siegel's mouth. That's not appropriate. You have Siegel saying "homosexuality was not pathological". Can you find that statement in his works?
  • We don't write that men "experienced" something when what's verifiable is that they "said" they experienced it.
  • You've been asked more than once to back up your assertion that "other organizations took up, in a distorted way, the Aesthetic Realism way of seeing this subject in order to sustain objectives of their own." but haven't yet told us what organizations these might be. You once said they were right-wing religious organizations: which were they?
  • You assert "many individuals have never reneged". We have no way of verifying it.
  • You keep trying to make ARs public position seem not public, yet pointing to it means it's public.

And of course, I think you should stop using this article to drive web-traffic to your website. One link per site will suffice, in the references section, instead of embedded throughout the article.

You will also need to work on the bit where you claim that the ACLU and APA say there are no cults, and why this pertains to Aesthetic Realism. - Outerlimits 00:01, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

OK I've been following the discussion, but I just can't bring myself to sit here and write for hours every day, which is what this requires. I can no longer keep quiet, however. Aperey/Samivel's latest version of the intro is just another love poem to Eli Siegel and AR (God, I'm so sick of that phrase!) and he once again relegates dissenting opinions to tiny microblurbs, which he dismisses in the very next breath. Frankly, I don't think this article will ever be finished. I must say that I don't agree with everything Outerlimits has written (I think the bit about homosexual men "having internalized society's hatred of them" is speculation, and equally as unprovable as Aperey's assertion that men have changed); however, on the whole, I'd say Outer's BS detectors are in fine shape, indeed. Marinero 06:56, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, Marinero, for continuing to participate in this interminable process, and speaking up. I think you'll find that I'd removed that particular phrase in a revision that preceded your comment here! - Outerlimits 01:51, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Victim of the press

I gutted the "Victim of the press" section because it did not tell us anything about the campaign. -Willmcw 00:38, 22 November 2005 (UTC)