Talk:Aesthetic Realism/Archive 4

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Previous discussions:

A sentence that could be more exact.

The following sentences,

Beginning as early as 1957 some students of Aesthetic Realism, including Sheldon Kranz, found that studying the philosophy changed their desires from homosexual to heterosexual. Through the 1960s more students found the same thing.

Would be more correct this way:

As early as 1948 Sheldon Kranz found that studying Aesthetic Realism changed how he saw women, and one result was that his desires changed from homosexual to heterosexual. In the 1950s and 60s other students experienced a similar change.

Shall I change them in the article? --Aperey 20:19, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

No, as it was his claim to have "changed from homosexuality" that is his claim to fame, not his "change" of "how he saw women". I've changed the parts that assert as fact that the "change" occurred. What needs to be said in such instances is an attributed claim: X said that Y occurred. - Outerlimits 20:31, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Note. Kranz, whose life had previously been spent as a gay person, was heterosexual by 1948. Many other men and women followed. A so-called "claim to fame" is not the determinant of the value of a person's life and work. Dante Gabriel Rossetti was "famous" as a painter and unknown as a poet during his lifetime; but it is generally agreed today that he was great as a poet while not so important as a painter (the pre-Raphaelite painters have all been questioned, by the way, although I like them). I wouldn't say he "claimed" to be a poet, or "claimed" to be a painter. Anyone who knew him, or his work, knew he was both. In the same way anyone who knew Sheldon Kranz really well, including his wife of many years, Anne Fielding, knew he had changed from homosexuality. It would be as idiotic to call it a claim as to say Shakespeare "claimed" to be a playwright. --Aperey 17:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, we know what the claims are. And we know that the only reason we know Kranz's name is his claim that he "changed" from homosexuality. When the world decides that his claim that his point of view on women is as important as that claim, we can emphasize it in the article: until that time, the claim he's known for needs to be emphasized. - Outerlimits 22:01, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Please tell us all where you get these rules? They are very interesting but seem to be just your own. We know Kranz also because he was a true poet. His poetry has touched many intelligent hearts. See the book Personal and Impersonal. --Aperey 22:35, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
What's our source for the info? -Willmcw 20:27, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
p. 23, The H Persuasion, etc. --Aperey 17:57, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Getting back to the subject of racism

As per the 16 July note of Willmcw and as I promised above, I have now added a brief summary of Aesthetic Realism on the subject of racism to the article. I think it summarizes the main idea of Aesthetic Realism on this matter while also pointing out its important place in the thought of Aesthetic Realism. I, of course, invite futher comment and editing. [TS 29 July 2005]

stating claims as claims, not facts

In response to Aperey's latest edits and edit comments, both logged in and logged out:

I've reversed the latest effort to "push" the section on AR's ministry to homosexuals off the bottom of the page. AR's publicity campaign on racism followed its publicity campaign on gays.

The assertion that people actually did change from being homosexuals is a claim made by Aesthetic Realism; we can report that that's what they say, but we will not report it as either true or false.

"Change from homosexuality" is an idiosyncratic term—a euphemistic way of speaking straightforwardly— that is used characteristically by AR and so belongs in quotations. (As previously explained on May 28). In response to Aperey's implied distaste for quotation marks, I have tried to vary the expression.

It is true that only Aesthetic Realism has used this expression, but not because it is idiosyncratic--the reason is because it is only Aesthetic Realism through which people changed from homosexuality. The evidence is abundant and unmistakable, in the form of documented personal narratives (the first narrative was in 1968)--of course the Aesthetic Realism Foundation will not make any of this public. It has stopped doing so since 1990. (See its statement on the subject) I am not in favor of discussing it myself and wouldn't if I didn't feel, as a private citizen, that you were manhandling the matter and really smearing the many people who changed and now are married and with families. But there is enough in the two books that you have posted as references to show that what I'm saying is true.--Aperey 06:09, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
No, there is enough in the two books to show that it has been claimed. - Outerlimits 06:13, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

We don't report that AR "found" that AR transforms gays into straights, because that is an assertion, not a "finding". We report their claim. Similarly, we could report their claim that they stopped teaching on change only because gay organizations wanted homosexuality seen as biological—if they had ever made that claim, though it seems to me AR went to great lengths to avoid making such straightforward and erroneous claims. - Outerlimits 23:58, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

While I don't wish to carry on a long debate with Outerlimits, who seems very threatened by how Aesthetic Realism views homosexuality, many of his statements above are simply not factually nor historically accurate, and this can be clearly shown.
Aesthetic Realism's interest in, and teaching about racism predates its teaching about homosexuality by decades. It's not even a close call! A search of published Aesthetic Realism literature prior to 1971 will show this quite clearly. There was nothing publically published on the subject of homosexuality by Aesthetic Realism before 1971 while the writings on racism, and the lectures of Eli Siegel about it, had been going on continously for thirty years by that time. And, by the way, it was not a "publicity" campaign. It was a serious philosophic treatment of a serious philosophic subject affecting many people, as was Aesthetic Realism's discussion of homosexuality. One can agree or disagree with what was said and there can be thoughtful give and take, but to put either of these subjects into the PR field instead of the scholarship field to which they rightly belong is a complete misunderstanding of what Aesthetic Realism is.
We can say, I think, that people stated they had changed. That is a simple statement of fact and does not either agree or disagree. But to use the word "claim" is to put a value judgment on their statement which, of course, is what Outerlimits wants to do. He wants to make clear his personal POV that any such a thing is an absurdity. The quaint use of quotation marks around the word "change" is meant clearly to convey suspicion and disagreement. This is hardly neutral editing. Methinks he doth protest too much. If he does not agree with the statement, so be it. Many others likely will not either. But still, this article should simply report as a fact that men made such statements without taking sides or casting aspirations.
The phrase "change from homosexuality" is ALWAYS the way this matter has been referred to by Aesthetic Realism. See The H Persuasion. To talk about "transforming homosexuals into heterosexuals" is to completely misrepresent how Aesthetic Realism views this subject. It is not a matter of transformation at all--and such a word has never been used by Aesthetic Realism.
And by the way, Aesthetic Realism does not have a "ministry" to homosexuals. That is a blatant attempt to make Aesthetic Realism like one of those right-wing evangelical outfits which it clearly is not. This slip up also shows Outerlimits' bias. Aesthetic Realism is, in fact, very critical of those groups and, by the way, of how they see and speak about homosexuals. It is sheer contempt and Eli Siegel always said so. Aesthetic Realism is NOT a religion. This "ministry" business alone shows just how little about Aesthetic Realism Outerlimits really knows.
I took a go at the section about homosexuality. It won't accomplish Outerlimits' aims so I doubt he'll like it, but it is straight forward and NPOV.
Meanwhile, I think we need another section on Aesthetic Realism and education. Aesthetic Realism is widely known in the field of education. Just ask anybody planning an education conference these days. I don't feel qualifed to write that section but perhaps somebody else out there will do so. [TS 30 July 2005]
You respond to points of your own devising, rather than any I've made, with fantasies about my motivation. We seem to differ on whether appearances on the David Susskind show and advertisement in the New York Times constitute philosophy or publicity; that's fine too. Your point that "the phrase "change from homosexuality" is ALWAYS the way this matter has been referred to by Aesthetic Realism" is precisely my point, though you state it as though I had said something to the contrary. AR used this phrase nearly exclusively: it's idiosyncratic to AR, which is why it's a quote. Sorry that the word ministry cuts too close to home. I'll have a go at achieving a neutral POV in the "change" section. I'm sure you'll be glad to point out where and when it was that AR "agreed that homosexuality was not pathological (nor a sin, nor a disease and, in fact, was saying this many years before such a view became widely held)". - Outerlimits 04:23, 31 July 2005 (UTC) I do not share your feeling of "lack of improvement". Addiitions of actual quotations by Siegel about homosexuality can hardly be seen as anything but improvement. -Outerlimits 06:03, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, the quotes you use are selective and out of context and will need to be placed better, but that can be eventually fixed. Having participated in the discussions that lead up to the Aesthetic Realism Foundation discontinuing its teaching about homosexuality, I can tell you it had much more to do with right wing groups latching onto Aesthetic Realism and using it to justify their bigoty than it did with the supposed "ill feeling" engendered from gay rights activitists. Aesthetic Realism would not permit itself to misused in that way. So you present this matter inaccurately if you really care to know. There is also a great deal of editorizing going on toward the end of this section which needs to be corrected. Meanwhile...oh, my. There are so many quotes I could use I hardly know where to begin to show that Aesthetic Realism does not see homosexuality as a "disease, a sin or as pathological." While I will study the changes made to the article further in coming days and likely make more suggestions, here is one quote that makes my point. It is Eli Siegel in a lecture of December 31, 1976 which was later (1989) printed in TRO. He said in that reasonable, kind way he always had when discussing this subject:
"Long ago, I was sure that if a person's attitude to the world and self changed, the homosexuality would go along. As people studied Aesthetic Realism, the biggest change was that the self was seen differently, and the world was seen differently. And as the world and self were seen differently, the homosexuality changed...It happens that I have been tolerant of homosexuality ever so many years. I thought it was very interesting. I never exclaimed against its error; I never talked about it as reprehensible. I thought it was a little incomplete--that I must say...I thought if people were too fond of money that they were incomplete. I thought if people were too fond of their relatives they were incomplete; anything that showed some disregard for comprehensiveness I would see as not on the lucky's hard for me to be a bigot...If I were ferocious, if Aesthetic Realism were ferocious, it would be dealt with more kindly...A question which should be asked is, Is love always to be computed by the amount of true good will in it? There's no other computation that I think is just."
That is one quote. I'd be happy to supply others. But if you'd agree to use the above quote in the article I wouldn't object at all. It gets much nearer to how Aesthetic Realism actually sees the subject. [TS 31 July 2005]

After a good night's sleep and some further thought I have now reworked the third paragraph in the homosexuality section to be factually straight-forward and absolutely NPOV. (Just the facts, Madam!) I used a bit of the Eli Siegel quote from above which gives a sense of just how he saw this matter. If we are really interested in neutral narrative, this should do just fine. Obviously, we all have our own opinions and points of view. But I hope we will all agree that this article isn't the place to push them. I am well aware that the editor Outerlimits wants to "red light" and denigrate Aesthetic Realism on the subject of homosexuality just as I am aware that the Foundation would prefer (for the reasons given in the article) that its position on homosexuality, which has not been taught now for fifteen years, not be highlighted at all. But I do think this is a fair and impartial solution. I also moved the brief racism section higher in the article because, after all, that has been a long held as well as a current focus of Aesthetic Realism. And I continue to urge that somebody with the knowledge to do so add a section on education--also high in the article and even before the racism section--because that is the field in which Aesthetic Realism continues to meet the public most visibily and widely to this very day. [TS 1 August 2005]

The writing by TS is more accurate than any we've had previously on this subject. His analysis of the purpose behind Outerlimits' writing is very clear. I think any reasonable person would see that he is right. --Aperey 16:10, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Without verifiable sources all of this is just talk. Please indicate precisely where this information is coming from. Thanks, -Willmcw 04:01, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

TS, the third paragraph would be fine as you've written it if we only wanted to present AR's version of history here. But this article is not AR's; it's Wikipedia's where all points of view have their place. If you systematically purge the article of everything that AR has said that it now finds embarrassing, the reader is left wondering why anyone had any objections to their media blitz.

The third paragraph as rewritten is entirely apologetic. AR's explicit characterization of homosexuality as a way "a person has of not liking himself" has been changed into "one way among many that people have of being incomplete". That's a somewhat sanitized version of what AR and Siegel have actually said: it omits much. The Siegel quotes are essential.

The rewrite would remove the quotation demonstrating that the teachers of AR realized, and stated publicly, that homosexuals would find AR's position offensive. It's pertinent, and it should stay in.

The rewrite would claim as fact ARs position that all those who were offended by AR's position were "gay activists". AR is simply wrong about that: if we want to report their contention, it needs to be attributed to AR rather than being stated as fact.

The rewrite would remove Eli Siegel's statement that "all homosexuality arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently", which manifests as "contempt for women." Clearly this is pertinent to any discussion of AR's view on homosexuality. There's no excuse for removing this.

I'm going to incorporate the rewrite's additions into a new third paragraph, while undoing some of the deletions. Though I find the discussion of "sin" or "disease" and "civil rights" somewhat peripheral, and a bit of special pleading, I've not removed them, as AR evidently considers them important. But the actual quotations that annoyed people so much it inspired the backlash against AR are also important, and they must not be removed.

Out of curiousity, which "religious groups on the right" made use of AR's "change" thesis? - Outerlimits 06:38, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

And Aperey, you speak as though my purpose - to ensure that the story of AR's publicity campaign on "change from homosexuality" is fully told rather than obscured, is somehow wrong, or a hidden agenda. No "analysis" was needed: i've always said that was my goal, and it's a goal that is compatible with -- indeed indispensible to -- writing a Wikipedia article on AR. A goal of seeking to obscure the episode is the one that is inappropriate. I do, however, reject the idea that discussing AR's view of homosexuality is a denigration of AR. I am also bemused by the claim that AR hasn't taught these views publicly for fifteen years, while its teachers are espousing them on the Internet, here and elsewhere. -- Outerlimits 06:38, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

That is how you express your purpose but as I maintain, your purpose is not to inform but to misinform. It is that misinformation--and your unilaterally shoving into the article whatever false notions suit you--that I object to. Discuss homosexuality all you like, as long as what you say is truthful. So far you have a failing grade. And if you portray my comments in defense of the facts as "teaching" some sort of "views" it's only another instance of your disregard for

truth, which, by the way, is no secret to anyone reading these pages. --Aperey 19:46, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

The changes made by Outerlimits to this article are simply unacceptable. And the opinions he presents as fact are certainly not that--nor are they appropriate here. I will re-edit in the near future as I have more time. I agree with Willmcw that comments should be sourced! And we will let the objective reader decide if Outerlimits purpose here is to denigrate Aesthetic Realism (rather than present it fairly). [TS 2 August 2005]

The objective reader is here to form opinions about Aesthetic Realism rather than to try to divine my purpose—or yours. By all means let's discuss exactly what you find "unacceptable". Obviously you can't mean the direct quotations of Aesthetic Realism publications and of Eli Siegel. - Outerlimits 15:01, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

The Aesthetic Realism Foundation says the following in its online statement--made necessary by persons who distort the truth like yourself: "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." See the entire statement at
Note: What I have said on the subject has been forced on me by the lying of four persons whose usernames are: Jonathunder, Outerlimits, CDThieme, Michaelbluejay. I'd prefer to spend my time doing something else. But for now just call me a whistleblower. And don't expect me to go away. --Aperey 19:46, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
A statement that simultaneously proclaims something and claims its author has stopped proclaiming that thing is something perilously close to a lie. It's roughly equivalent to saying, "I am not saying this." See Liar's paradox. On a related note, you probably should try to avoid personal insults and ad hominem argumentation. - Outerlimits 04:18, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
My responses to Outerlimit’s remarks as given above
The third paragraph I wrote does not present “A[esthetic] R[ealism]’s version of history.” It is an objective statement of what actually occurred.
To say, as I did, that Aesthetic Realism views homosexuality, as “one way among many that people have of being incomplete” is “a sanitized version of what A[esthetic] R[ealism] and [Eli] Siegel have actually said: it omits much” is simply untrue. This is, in fact, a direct quote of Eli Siegel, from his lecture of December 31, 1976 (the one in which he presented most fully the way Aesthetic Realism views this subject). It is published in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, issue 838 of April 26, 1989. I have said so in giving the full quotation above.
You state: “The rewrite would remove the quotation demonstrating that teachers of A[esthetic] R[ealism] realized, and stated publicly, that homosexuals would find A[esthetic] R[ealism]’s position offensive.” This also is a mischaracterization of the facts. It was the interviewer (Jonathan Black) who made that point. The answer from the Aesthetic Realism teachers was that they did at first too until they understood what Aesthetic Realism was actually saying. The teachers of Aesthetic Realism were actually disagreeing with Jonathan Black and saying that the position of Aesthetic Realism was not offensive once it was understood.
The above, by the way, is just one of the more blatant examples of how Outerlimits cherry picks quotes in a highly selective and misleading way, in much the same manner as some people quote the Bible selectively to make all kinds of points the Bible isn’t really saying.
Going on…yes, the people offended by the Aesthetic Realism position on homosexuality were the gay activists. That is a fact and not a claim. If Outerlimits thinks otherwise, he should provide quotes from non-gay activist sources in the 1980’s taking offense at how Aesthetic Realism spoke about homosexuality. The key group making a fuss about the view of Aesthetic Realism as to homosexuality in those days was ACT UP (which now no longer exists). The documented opposition to Aesthetic Realism from pro-gay groups in those days all finds its source in ACT UP.
Also, by the way, in writing “A[esthetic] R[ealism] is simply wrong about that” Outerlimits once again shows a disregard for the facts. I am the person who made that statement and I am NOT Aesthetic Realism. I don’t speak for Aesthetic Realism. I have no connection to Aesthetic Realism. I am a person who once studied it in the past and I write for myself alone, trying to say what I know through personal experience and knowledge to be so.
Finally, the supposed “backlash” encountered by Aesthetic Realism is Outerlimit’s view of the matter, as is the fact that this supposed “backlash” is what caused the Aesthetic Realism Foundation to discontinue its teaching about homosexuality. That is reality as Outerlimits prefers it. Would he kindly provide quotes to back up what he is saying? Having been part of this decision, I will say again that it had as much to do with the misuse of Aesthetic Realism by right wing religious organizations as it did any supposed “backlash” from gay activist organizations. I know Outerlimits doesn’t want to see it that way, but facts are stubborn things.
Outlimits also foists off on us this whooper: “a statement that simultaneously proclaims something and claims its author has stopped proclaiming that thing is …perilously close to a lie.” Now, I am essentially the one trying to correct the misstatements about Aesthetic Realism and homosexuality put forth by Outerlimits. Aperey has said very little about the matter really. And again, I am not the Aesthetic Realism Foundation. I am an individual who once studied Aesthetic Realism, no longer does, and has no authority to speak in its behalf. The Foundation itself has remained, from what I can see, absolutely faithful to its stated intent not to resume teaching or discussing this subject.
However, this whooper by Outerlimits is clever. He wants to say whatever lies he can think to manufacture about how Aesthetic Realism sees homosexuality and then, if Aesthetic Realism tries to correct the record, say: “Gottcha! You are discussing a subject you said you wouldn’t discuss!” So he inserts the self-serving phrase “Nevertheless, the discussion continues” into the article. It is laughable. I guess people are just supposed to let him lie and keep silent. And as to "proclamations" (to use Outerlimit's inaccurate descriptive word) -- Aesthetic Realism has stated all along that "it is true men and women have changed from homosexuality" through their study of Aesthetic Realism. That "proclaimation" has never been taken back by Aesthetic Realism, nor will it. There are real lives of real people that attest everyday to its validity, no matter how annoyed Outerlimits is by this or how many mudballs he wants to throw at it. Outerlimits is going to be waiting a long time if he expects the Foundation to say: "Oh, we're sorry. It didn't really happen. We'll stop saying it did." What Aesthetic Realism has said--and I think it is both kind and realistic--is that in the current atmosphere of anger surrounding this topic, it will not teach about this subject.
I will post my suggestions for how to change the article below. [TS 3 August 2005]

Apparently the standard AR fall-back plan is to attack the messenger when they don't like the message. It's not a valid form of argumentation, so I'll ignore the ad hominem parts. Taking TS's points: Yes, your version is AR's version of history. It is not an objective statement. It systematically excludes all that people found offensive about AR's teachings on homosexuality. It is sanitized for AR's protection. It might be suitable for an AR brochure, but it is not appropriate for Wikipedia, which does not exclude viewpoints just because AR disagrees with them.

The fact is that van Griethuysen and Harris both agreed, and stated, that homosexuals would find AR's teachings offensive. Since they have said this, and you want to additionally claim that only "gay activists" found them offensive, the ball's in your court to find some supporting evidence for your assertion. I'd have no objection to sticking an "initially" in there "homosexuals would initially find AR's teachings offensive," though of course it's ludicrous to assume that all homosexuals come to find them inoffensive eventually. Kranz could not conceive of any homosexual having a good, healthy, noncontemptuous relationship with another homosexual; it's hardly an endearing viewpoint.

Your assertion that AR decided to clam up about "change" because right wing churches were using AR's claims against gays is thus far undocumented, though it remains in the article. Is there any contemporary documentation of this purported fact?

As to the foundation's simultaneous espousal of its teachings on "change" while claiming not to teach on "change": the formulation of the statement is the foundation's. It could have simply said "we no longer discuss homosexuality". Instead, it says, in effect, "we no longer discuss homosexuality, about which we believe the following things....". It's self-contradictory, and calculatedly so. If AR wants to keep discussing "change", which they do every time they reiterate that statement, they can't say they're not discussing "change".

As TS points out, "Aesthetic Realism has stated all along that "it is true men and women have changed from homosexuality" through their study of Aesthetic Realism," and it has never stopped saying so. - Outerlimits 19:15, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Recent text

"The emphasis on gay men and women becoming heterosexual ran counter to the growing consensus that considered homosexuality neither pathological, nor amenable to change. While agreeing with the emerging consensus that homosexuality was not pathological, the Aesthetic Realism Foundation asserted that homosexuality was amenable to change. It views homosexuality not as a "sin" or a "disease" but rather as one way among many that people have of being incomplete because, in its view, homosexuality is not comprehensive enough. Eli Siegel taught that homosexuality was a "bad thing", though "not the only bad thing in the world". He taught that "all homosexuality arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently", which manifests as "contempt for women". Aesthetic Realism's teachers acknowledged that "homosexuals will probably find quite a lot that is offensive" in that belief. Indeed, Aesthetic Realism's position runs counter to most gay men's experience, and Aesthetic Realism offended many and engendered a good deal of adverse publicity by espousing its viewpoint. Aesthetic Realism's teachings were also used with increasing frequency by religious groups on the right to advance their anti-gay bias. As a result of both these developments, the Aesthetic Realism Foundation decided in 1990 to discontinue its teaching on the subject of homosexuality, characterizing the atmosphere as one of anger, in which it believed that calm philosophic discussion of homosexuality was not realistic, and that the subject was not central to the study of Aesthetic Realism. The discussion nonetheless continues, as Aesthetic Realism continues to publicly affirm the statements of those who said they had "changed from homosexuality", while preferring to emphasize its less controversial position that it is for full and complete civil rights for everybody, including homosexual persons."

I have put this into the talk page for comment. It's not quite fair, I'd say, in the pejorative slant it has (for ex. the way the last sentence is recast).

This is not an accurate depiction of what Eli Siegel taught:

Eli Siegel taught that homosexuality was a "bad thing", though "not the only bad thing in the world". He taught that "all homosexuality arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently", which manifests as "contempt for women".

What is given here are catch phrases (some of doubtful authenticity) with no explantion.

My objection to such distortions isn't promulgation of a viewpoint but protecting ascertainable facts. (unsigned)

I suggest we revert back to the version that we agreed upon prior to the page being unprotected. This continual arguing over the same text doens't move this article forward. -Willmcw 20:51, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

I'm appalled at the willingness of AR's teachers to willingly misrepresent their history.

  • The H Persuasion: p. 4 (Eli Siegel's bullet points on homosexuality): "1. All homosexuality arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently. 2. This changes into a contempt for women", again quoted verbatim by van Griethuysen on p. 10. (after which Black adds: "I think homosexuals will probably find quite a lot that is offensive in some of those points." and his two co-interviewees Harris and van Griethuysen add "I did. I don't know why they wouldn't" and "I did too."
  • p. 4: (Eli Siegel): "5. Homosexuality, like biting one's nails, depression, excessive gambling, arises out of a disproportionate way of seeing the world. 6. There are other ways a person has of not liking himself, but homosexuality is one." (also repeated verbatim by van Griethuysen on p. 10.)
  • p. 19: (Kranz): "Mr. Siegel said it to me many times: "Get rid of your contempt and you will get rid of one of the chief ingredients in homosexuality."
  • p. 38: (Kranz quoting Siegel): "get rid of your contempt for people, and you'll get rid of one of the chief ingredients in the H problem."
  • p. 48: (van Griethuysen): "Eli Siegel does not approve of homosexuality, but this does not stop him from respecting a person who has the question."
  • p. 87 : (Harris): "Mr. Siegel has shown me that I have contempt for women".
  • p. 92: (Shields): "I read books on homosexuality. Some said that it was a disease; some that it was a way of life. But none of them said, as Aesthetic Realism does, that it was a poor aesthetic job, a way of getting self-importance."
  • p. 118: (Siegel): "H is not the only bad thing in the world"
  • p. 125: (Siegel): "H, drugs, drink, are the revenge for having given ourselves to the outside world. In other words, H is the disgust of a person for not having been "good" to himself through his interest in art."

These are the words of Siegel, and those who taught his lessons in the "Consultation with Three" and elsewhere. The bullet points are those chosen by Siegel: the emphasis on them is not misplaced: it's his! The authenticity of the statements can hardly be doubted: the book was published by Definition Press, the publisher of Aesthetic Realism's texts. - Outerlimits 01:09, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

If one uses fragments out of a full text, the full text ought to be respected. Since people actually changed by learning the concepts described in the H Persuasion, they ought to be presented with the dignity they have.
One can present string theory by saying "Scientists believe the universe consists of strings" and sound like an idiot while being technically correct. A quote isn't necessarily a true representation of a source. Creationists quote Darwin all over the place. A snappy sentence from Picasso, "We all know that art is not truth" shouldn't be taken as a full expression of his ideas about art. (unsigned)

"All homosexuality arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently. This changes into a contempt for women" is how Siegel himself chose to present his theory. It's the way his teachers of Aesthetic Realism chose to present that theory repeatedly to a national audience when the opportunity arose. It's not, as in your example, someone with an imperfect understanding explaining someone else's string theory. These "snappy sentences" were written by Siegel as his own chosen mode of presenting his theory. No one else has selected them: he did. - Outerlimits 18:22, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Did he say anything else after that? If so, why omit it? Maybe it's an explanation of something that we would want to know more about.
I see no reason for putting an explanation of this importance in the most pejorative light possible. If you're going to quote Siegel, do a good job of it. In his day, maybe a snappy sentence was OK. Today we need more explanation because the mind-set has changed so much. I think the concepts are worthy of a much better setting than Outerlimits proposes for them. If they are going to be expressed at all it should be done properly. --Ethiop 23:52, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Can you suggest some specific changes? At least thse are specific quotes. -Willmcw 23:59, August 3, 2005 (UTC)
I see no reason for thinking we could—or should—improve the way in which Siegel expressed himself. I am a little surprised that Aperey suggests it. - Outerlimits 04:54, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

It appears to me that we aren’t really getting anywhere in trying to make this article NPOV regarding Aesthetic Realism and homosexuality. So I would support Willmcw’s suggestion to return to the earlier, commonly agreed upon version while we hash out things here.

Here is my suggestion for how this section could be worded. First, we need a general statement detailing exactly HOW Aesthetic Realism does see homosexuality. I think the best one is from Eli Siegel’s extensive description in his lecture of December 31, 1976 as reprinted in the weekly journal published by the Aesthetic Realism Foundation (TRO #838, April 26, 1989).

Here is my suggestion for the opening paragraph:

Aesthetic Realism’s view of homosexuality is unique in that it does not neatly fit into either of the two prevailing points of view on this subject—one approving of homosexuality without question and the other utterly condemning it. While it supports full civil rights for homosexual persons and does not view homosexuality as either a hideous or immoral thing, Aesthetic Realism does, however, question homosexuality on an aesthetic basis. Its position is that homosexuality is not the full oneness of sameness and difference a person is truly hoping for in sex and that, if a person’s way of seeing the world were to change, and he learned how to like the world on an aesthetic basis, homosexuality too would change.
Eli Siegel summarized his views in a lecture of December 31, 1976. He said:
“Long ago, I was sure that if a person's attitude to the world and self changed, the homosexuality would go along. As people studied Aesthetic Realism, the biggest change was that the self was seen differently, and the world was seen differently. And as the world and self were seen differently, the homosexuality changed...It happens that I have been tolerant of homosexuality ever so many years. I thought it was very interesting. I never exclaimed against its error; I never talked about it as reprehensible. I thought it was a little incomplete--that I must say...I thought if people were too fond of money that they were incomplete. I thought if people were too fond of their relatives they were incomplete; anything that showed some disregard for comprehensiveness I would see as not on the lucky side.” (The Right Of #838, April 26, 1989)
Eli Siegel believed that the only reason a person should ever change from homosexuality was if he himself wanted to do so. He did not think society should have any say in the matter whatsoever, nor should it discrimate against gay persons. He wrote: “The main question is whether a homosexual individual likes himself for being that. If he does, the matter has come to a just and triumphant end. Every person has the right to do that of which he deeply approves.” (The Right Of #528, May 18, 1983)

From here I believe we could now include the first two paragraphs currently under the heading “Aesthetic Realism and homosexuality” which don’t seem to be in dispute.

The concluding paragraph, in which POV now runs rampant, is, of course a delicate problem. How to gain agreement here without the editorializing? My suggestion:

Aesthetic Realism's emphasis on "the change from homosexuality to heterosexuality" ran counter to a growing consensus that considered homosexuality neither pathological, nor amenable to change. While agreeing with this emerging consensus that homosexuality was not pathological, the Aesthetic Realism Foundation strongly disagreeed with it that homosexuality was not amenable to change. Aesthetic Realism’s position was offensive to gay rights organizations and many others who held that the origins of homosexuality were biological rather than environmental. Furthermore, it’s statement that homosexuality “arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently” generated intense—and at times caustic—opposition from militant gay groups such as ACT UP to other organizations dedicated to advancing the cause of gay rights. It’s position that homosexuality could indeed change was also used with increasing frequency by religious groups on the right to support their own anti-gay bias and thus to erode the advancement of full civil rights for homosexual persons.
As a result of both these developments, the Aesthetic Realism Foundation decided in 1990 to discontinue its teaching on the subject of homosexuality, characterizing the atmosphere as one of anger, in which it believed that calm philosophic discussion of homosexuality was not realistic. It also stated that this subject was not central to the study of Aesthetic Realism itself.

[TS 3 August 2005]

Thanks for making these concrete suggestions, and for including some specific references. Three quick comments on your suggestion. One, we should summaraize long quotations if possible. Two, given that AR led the movement to "change" homosexuality, appearing on national TV shows and taking out ads in major newspapers, it would be inappropriate to depict it as merely a passive actor in the cultural changes going on around it. AR's message, to the extent that it was reported, certainly must have had an influence in society. Three, without any references one way or another that whole last paragraph is just unsourced assertions. Can't we find any better specifics? As an outsider, one thing that is interesting is that the group dropped one of its founder's teachings. How was it decided, and by whom? I'd imagine that there was a debate of some kind within AR. Was any of that reported in The Right of AR to be Known at the time? Thanks, -Willmcw 19:30, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
TS responds to Willmcw:
(1) I'm not opposed to summarizing the long quotation. Would you like to take a stab at it or do you suggest that I do so?
(2) I don't think it is a fair statement to say that Aesthetic Realism "led" the movement to "change" homoseuxality. It is true that men and women appeared on national shows to talk about the fact that they had changed through their study of Aesthetic Realism, but the central subject of those interviews was the philosophy itself and how the principles of the philosophy were true in the lives of the individuals being interviewed--and not advocacy for any wider cultural or political movement. I think to say that Aesthetic Realism must have "had an influence in society" one would have to source this, if I'm not mistaken. And I am not aware of any sources that exist to support that assumption. I am not at all sure how much influence Aesthetic Realism had in the wider society. Having studied it during those years I didn't see much if any myself.
(3) I'm not exactly sure it would be right to say "the group dropped one of its founder's teachings." Any organization adopts to changing circumstances over the years in terms of what it might emphasize. And Eli Siegel always said--again and again--that homosexuality was not central to the study of Aesthetic Realism. As I witnessed it, the men and women who had changed wanted what had happened to their lives to be known. Eli Siegel certainly wasn't against this but his main interest was always to have the philosophy itself known. I believe that when the decision was made to discontinue teaching about homosexuality it was pretty generally agreed that the current circumstances in society in 1990 made this necessary because the subject of homosexuality had become so culturally heated (with people choosing sides and demonizing each other) that it would embroil Aesthetic Realism in needless controversy and obscure what the philosphy itself was. Even the men and women who had changed from homosexuality generally agreed with that point of view, though many persons (including myself) thought it was a shame that this particular aspect of Aesthetic Realism would no longer be taught. Having seen the good it did (and continues to do for the men and women who have changed) I regretted the necessity of this decision very much. But time has definitely proved that it was correct. As to the debate about this, as I remember that the suggestion was made in an Aesthetic Realism Class by the class chairman and board of directors, and that there was then extensive discussion with people giving their opinions. Some people were more reluctant to take this course than others. But when a show of hands was asked for, it was overwhelmingly supported. The discussion yielded pretty unanimous consensus. The only publically printed thing about it was the formal statement subsequently issued by the Aesthetic Realism Foundation and which is still the one given when people call the Foundation asking about this subject. Aesthetic Realism has had no part in the on-going debate swirling around homosexualiyy since 1990. [TS 5 August 2005]
AR reiterates its teachings on "change from homosexuality" each time it issues its formal statement, which it has done many times since 1990. - Outerlimits 20:09, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

In light of AR's continuing attack on points of view other than their own, previous versions are inadequate, as Aperey clearly thought when he began editing it; clearly there is no longer any consensus that the former version is acceptable. This is the normal course of affairs on Wikipedia: there are no "frozen" versions here. As to the proposed paragraph:

Aesthetic Realism’s view of homosexuality is unique in that it does not neatly fit into either of the two prevailing points of view on this subject—one approving of homosexuality without question and the other utterly condemning it.

AR's view of homosexuality is not unique: many people neither utterly approve nor utterly condemn it. AR does condemn homosexuality, though not utterly. Siegel did not approve of homosexuality; at best AR sees homosexuality as an esthetic failing, based in contempt, a form of selfishness, and therefore an ethical failure.

A formulation closer to the the truth would be:

Aesthetic Realism views homosexuality as an esthetic failure, based in contempt. It claims homosexuality is a form of selfishness, and therefore an ethical failure. It does not approve of homosexuality, but thinks there are many worse things in the world.
This formulation is definitely not "closer to the truth." It, in fact, obscures the truth. Where is the source stating that Aesthetic Realism views homosexuality as an "esthetic failure?" I do not believe the word "failure" is ever used in any Aesthetic Realism literature I have read in regard to homosexuality. This, again, is Outerlimit's interpretation. Aesthetic Realism also does not "condemn" homosexuality. I think the quotes from Eli Siegel I've provided should lay that trojan horse to rest. It does question homosexuality, as it questions many things, on the basis of aesthetics. Yes, it does say homosexuality is one form of selfishness because it exhibits a preference for what is more similiar to oneself--but it describes a long list of things arising from preference for self, including something so simple as not listening when somebody else is speaking. I guess this all hinges on whether or not one views criticism as condemnation. There is a difference between the two. And again, this matter of "there are many worse things in the world" is taken out of context. I heard Eli Siegel use that phrase to criticize people who DID condemn homosexuality and crusade against it. He said such people were misusing their energy and should save their crusading for worst things such as economic exploitation and domestic violence and lack of educational opportunities. This was the context for that statement.
It supports full civil rights for homosexual persons and does not view homosexuality as either hideous or immoral.

(Though how something that is not ethical is not also immoral is a bit...unclear.)

Aesthetic Realism does, however, question homosexuality on an aesthetic basis. Its position is that homosexuality is not the full oneness of sameness and difference a person is truly hoping for in sex and that, if a person’s way of seeing the world were to change, and he learned how to like the world on an aesthetic basis, homosexuality too would change.
The emphasis on "changing from homosexuality to heterosexuality" ran counter to the growing consensus that considered homosexuality neither pathological, nor amenable to change. While agreeing with this emerging consensus that homosexuality was not pathological, the Aesthetic Realism Foundation held that homosexuality was amenable to change.

no need for convoluted double negation

Thank you for your English lesson. However, if you are going to have the first part of the sentence you need the second part or else you give the impression that Aesthetic Realism does view homosexuality as pathological, which it does not. The sentence makes something clear, double negation or not.
Aesthetic Realism’s position was offensive to gay rights organizations and many others who held that the origins of homosexuality were biological rather than environmental.

It was offensive to others who didn't hold that the origins of homosexuality were biological, as well. This should be:

Aesthetic Realism’s position was offensive to many.
The offense was as I stated. I am very sure about that. Please source what other organizations found Aesthetic Realism's position on homosexuality "offense" with proper citation. Who are these others you call "many?"
Furthermore, its statement that homosexuality “arises from contempt of the world, not liking it sufficiently” generated an intense negative response from a variety of organizations, including gay rights groups such as ACT-UP. Aesthetic Realism's position that homosexuals could indeed change was also used with increasing frequency by religious groups on the right to support their own anti-gay bias and thus to erode the advancement of full civil rights for homosexual persons.

Any documentation of this latter assertion? Any contemporary documentation of the fact that this impacted on AR's decision-making process?

I am aware that there were many efforts by Aesthetic Realism to have itself removed from various listings of such groups and these efforts were, by and large, successful. I am sure the mention below of the Sexuality Freedom Activist Network is a case in point. Here is another rightist group citing Aesthetic Realism without its approval.
As a result of both these developments, the Aesthetic Realism Foundation decided in 1990 to discontinue its teaching on the subject of homosexuality, characterizing the atmosphere as one of anger, in which it believed that calm philosophic discussion of homosexuality was not realistic. It also stated that this subject was not central to the study of Aesthetic Realism itself.


None of Aesthetic Realism's beliefs on "change from homosexuality" have changed, and they are reiterated each time they claim they are no longer teaching them.
It is not a matter of "beliefs." Men and women have definitely said they changed through their study of Aesthetic Realism and the Foundation, in no longer teaching this subject, does not in any way dispute this fact. I am not against making a statement such as this. The snide formulation by Outerlimits is, however, not the way to do so.

We should also find a way to incorporate Willmcw's very pertinent observation that AR was an active participant campaigning for homosexuals to "change" rather than a passive victim of the anger that that campaign engendered.

I've commented on that obseration above. I don't think it is quite accurate.
- Outerlimits 19:55, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

I notice TS has no objection to intermingling comments when they are his comments. I quite agree; it's by far the best presentation. Nonetheless, as we've been asked to, I answer in one place.

TS says that the reason AR's ex-gays manufactured a publicity blitz was to talk about AR. That's true, but it is not the complete truth. AR certainly used the issue of homosexual change to try to publicize and spread their philosophy, and at the time they did it, that philosophy included the idea that homosexuality was incomplete, selfish, unethical, mutable, and arose from contempt for women (and still does, they just downplay it.) So whether AR's exploited homosexuality to talk about homosexuality, or exploited homosexuality to talk about AR, is a distinction without a difference. Phenomenon or epiphenomenon, it is all of one cloth.

TS objects to the term "esthetic failure", though he knows that AR regards homosexuality as an esthetic failure - a form of selfishness. We need not be wed to "esthetic failure". There are many other ways of conveying the fact that AR does not approve of homosexuality. He also, somewhat confusingly, objects to the term "condemn", which was not used in the proposed paragraph.

Aesthetic Realism views homosexuality as an imperfection, a shortcoming, based in contempt. It claims homosexuality is a form of selfishness, and therefore an ethical failure. It does not approve of homosexuality, but thinks there are many worse things in the world.

He objects to my "English lesson" (which consisted of changing a double negative to a more direct phrase), and misunderstands it as suggesting the elimination of part of a sentence. I think in fact he has no objection to the changes actually made.

It is self-evident that "many" were offended by AR's teachings on homosexuality: that's why AR "stopped" teaching them (to the extent they actually have). What is not self-evident is that the offense was confined to people who view homosexuality as biologically determined, or who are members of activist groups.

I note that we still have no documentation of any (contemporary) right-wing religious groups that used AR's teachings in their fight against gay rights, or any documentation that AR considered that in their calculus of whether to continue teaching homosexual change openly.

And finally, yes, AR's theories on "change from homosexuality" are indeed "beliefs". But if you cannot face this fact, by all means let it be:

None of Aesthetic Realism's claims regarding "change from homosexuality" have changed, and they are reiterated each time they assert they are no longer teaching them.
- Outerlimits 20:09, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Regarding TS's numbered points:
1. Go ahed and summarize as you think best.
2. Though other groups later joined the mission to change or cure homosexuality, AR was apparently the most vocal in the 1970s and 1980s. I agree that no one has presented sources to assert their influence on society, but it would also be a mistake to depict them as passive actors without sources showing their lack of influence. What we should so is summarize the media activities of AR, but not draw unsupported conclusions about social forces.
3. Where can we find the 1990 statement? That might be worth citing. Thanks, -Willmcw 20:49, August 5, 2005 (UTC)


Not to distract from the broader discussion above, but I have a question on a specific issue. I was searching to find the connection between ACT UP and AR. ACT UP/New York has an extensive website, but there's no mention of AR there. However during that search I came across this page, Sexuality Freedom Activist Network, which lists AR as one of two organizations that work for "Heterosexual Rights: Freedom FOR heterosexuals". I can't tell how groups are added to that listing, but it indicates a side of AR that I didn't know about. Can anyone comment on this? Thanks, -Willmcw 20:43, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Aesthetic Realism has nothing to do with this organization. I know you won't find anything in Aesthetic Realism literature that states--even remotely--that Aesthetic Realism is "working for heterosexual rights." I don't know how Aesthetic Realism got listed on that particular web site. My suspicion is that this is part of the right wing appropriation of Aesthetic Realism I have been mentioning and recall so vividly from my days as a student of Aesthetic Realism. It really was a problem--and this is an instance of the documentation you are looking for. These groups--not wanting to respect Aesthetic Realism at all--tried to make free use of it nevertheless to advance their often odious agendas. So Aesthetic Realism got lumped into all kinds of company where it didn't belong and definitely didn't want to be. As to ACT UP--they sponsored several demonstrations in front of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation years ago which I certainly was intimidated walking through. They also issued some pretty nasty flyers and radio interviews condemning Aesthetic Realism. But I'm not surprised that Aesthetic Realism is no longer mentioned by them. It has been 15 years since Aesthetic Realism has had anything at all to do with the subject they are most concerned about and I hardly think ACT UP any longer considers Aesthetic Realism a threat. Quite frankly, it isn't. It supports civil rights for gay people just as ACT UP does. Also, the current incarnation of ACT UP is far less militant and more involved in the political process than the group of years ago. Frankly, this is the problem with this whole section. We are trying to reconstruct semi-ancient history here and giving it far more prominence than what Aesthetic Realism now is and the extensive work it has been doing for the past 15 years, especially in the fields of education and racism. Such an emphasis, while very much desired by Outerlimits, does not present a truthful picture of Aesthetic Realism nor of the work of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation circa 2005. There are large numbers of people now studying Aesthetic Realism (I would say the majority) who were not even around 15 years ago and have had nothing at all to do with this history. [TS 5 August 2005]
ACT UP has an extensive archive and an oral history project. Yet they have no mention. So we still need a source for their anti-AR activity. This is an article about AR, and a section of it is devoted to the history of AR. The ARF today has its own separate section. The argument that current students were not around 15 years ago could apply to any institution, but that's not a reason to omit the history. Since the homosexuality change was the only issue that brought AR into national prominence at any point, that issue is obviously going to be dealt with prominently. If folks didn't want it discussed they shouldn't have taken out ads demanding that it be discussed. AR may have a right to be known, but AR does not have a right to suppress information. PS, regarding the "heterosexual rights" AR can request to have their link remoevd if they do not feel that designation represents them correctly. -Willmcw 19:27, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

Since my participation in dialog on this subject has prompted Outerlimits to claim (see above) that the Aesthetic Realism Foundation is now publicizing the change from homosexuality--while of course it's doing no such thing--I will be more cautious before attempting to comment further in the future. Meanwhile the very idea of making this defunct issue more important than the raging fight to oppose racism in the world and in America is preposterous. --Aperey 18:17, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Tomorrow I am leaving for an overseas vacation with my family so I won’t be able to be active here for awhile or keep up very much with what is going on. But here are my parting observations on the most recent postings concerning my suggestions.
1) I regret that I have to keep saying I am NOT Aesthetic Realism nor do I speak for the Aesthetic Realism Foundation. I am one of many former students who haven’t been around Aesthetic Realism for some time now. I am, however, sharing of my own knowledge and experience here because I'm grateful to Aesthetic Realism for what it did for my life years ago and I'd very much like the record that is being told about it on Wikipedia to be the real story and not an inaccurate or misleading version. I have no way of even knowing if the Aesthetic Realism Foundation endorses everything I’m saying here. It probably doesn’t. But it is what I know and experienced firsthand (even though firsthand material isn’t apparently allowed on Wikipedia because it can’t be verified). It does seem to me that Outerlimits, on the other hand, writes from outside Aesthetic Realism and, at the very least, has some misinformed ideas and assumptions about it. I actually think his intention is far more hostile, but that is my POV.
2) I am the one (not A[esthetic] R[ealism]) who thinks all this extensive business about homosexuality obscures rather than illumines what Aesthetic Realism is—although I see from the above entry that Aperey agrees with me about this. And I have certainly never said that anything should be suppressed. What I am saying—and will continue to say and work for—is that greater care be taken so that things are stated accurately and in their proper perspective. To have the most extensive section in the entry on Aesthetic Realism be about homosexuality—and also to include a section on “allegations of cult behavior” made by one individual mainly along with a few other anonymous writers—skews the entry and is simply disproportionate. Somehow, the false impression seems to still exist that Aesthetic Realism swept America with its viewpoint on homosexuality. Where was I when that happened? I must have missed it. So once again, I question the "national prominence" point. Where in the 1970's or 1980's did Aesthetic Realism have national prominence, including about the subject of homosexuality? Where is the documentation? Where are the television news reports, the newspaper and magazine articles, the Aesthetic Realism speakers at conferences on the subject, the "man on the street" knowledge about this? It simply doesn't exist. A few ads over a period of twenty years (I believe three or four) and an equal number of television interviews--only one national--don't constitute anything like national prominence or a “media blitz.”
3) I'm quite sure that once the Aesthetic Realism Foundation finds out about this "heterosexual rights" web site they will request that their link on it be removed. Again, that is not my domain but I'm grateful Willmcw found out about it and I anticipate it will be acted upon once somebody from Aesthetic Realism reads this. Again, I do think this makes my point. During the time I studied Aesthetic Realism it suffered just as much, if not more, from those who wanted to "embrace" it for their own ends as it did from those who attacked it mercilessly because it didn't agree with their points of view. We have been seeing some of the later here.
4) About ACT UP. I shared my personal knowledge and experience as to ACT UP. I witnessed those demonstrations and vividly remember them. However, I am not wedded at all to mentioning ACT UP in this article and, in fact, I think it a good thing that Aesthetic Realism isn't anywhere to be found on their web material. But doesn't this make my point that if Aesthetic Realism had such "national prominence" on this subject it would at least be mentioned on ACT UP's site? Let’s not miss the obvious. (P.S.) I found the listing Willmcw refers to. It is on a Lesbian and Gay web page! And it obviously lists the Foundation under the heading "heterosexual rights" to take a slap at it. Doesn't this also make my point?
5) Here is another quote showing that Aesthetic Realism’s position on gay rights is not something that has been newly emphasized. This is from a letter sent by men who had changed to an organization called Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It was reprinted in TRO #551 (October 26, 1983 issue). In their letter the men spoke about those who have tried to “perpetuate the idea that Aesthetic Realism is somehow against gay rights” and commented: “Nothing could be further from the truth. As men, many of whom were once active in gay rights organizations and who saw defending our gay lifestyles as important, we know how kindly and wisely Aesthetic Realism sees homosexuality. Aesthetic Realism is for gay people having complete freedom, absolutely equal rights.” (TRO #551 October 26, 1983)
6) I agree wholeheartedly with Willmcw that "What we should do is summarize the media activities of A[esthetic] R[ealism], but not draw unsupported conclusions about social forces." The summary of media activities should, however, be complete and representative rather than tilted to only one part of it (see my additional comments on this in point #10). Furthermore, I think every "unsupported conclusion" should be excised from this entry—and there are a lot of them. If we are asking for proper sourcing for one “unsupported conclusion” we need to ask the same for every other “unsupported conclusion.” If Outerlimits wants to give his surmises about the reason Aesthetic Realism stopped teaching about homosexuality, he should source it! Where, exactly, in Aesthetic Realism literature is what he is claiming--that "many were offended?" In fact, many found it rather sensible. See Raymond J. Corsini “Handbook of Innovative Psychotherapies” and also the Psychology Today “Omnibook of Personal Development.” To support his contention, Outerlimits quotes no source and simply says that what he states is "self-evident." It certainly is no such thing. And if his claim is permitted to stay in the article as "fact" then why shouldn't my observations--based on personal experience instead of guess-work? So I therefore think that everything attributing motives to Aesthetic Realism that can't be sourced should be entirely removed from the entry. Wikipedia, after all, is a serious reference tool. I've been using it recently in my professional work and have found it to be reliable on many subjects. It should be reliable on this subject too.
7)This statement by Outerlimits is entirely POV: "It is self-evident that "many" were offended by A[esthetic] R[ealism]'s teachings on homosexuality: that's why A[esthetic] R[ealism] 'stopped' teaching them (to the extent they actually have). What is not self-evident is that the offense was confined to people who view homosexuality as biologically determined, or who are members of activist groups." What I am requesting, with all due respect, is simple and straight-forward. If "many" were offended, name them and give the source. That shouldn't be hard. To whom is Outerlimits referring? The PTA? The Daughters of the American Revolution? Recognized psychological associations? Who are these “many?” Were there letters to the editor in major newspapers from disinterested Americans objecting to how Aesthetic Realism spoke about this subject? Where? To the extent you do find objection it will be from organizations most closely interested in the matter--especially those either advocating for gays who were angry that Aesthetic Realism didn’t see homosexuality as a predetermined reality, or those trying to deny gay rights by using Aesthetic Realism to prove that people aren’t born gay after all and, therefore, shouldn’t be accorded certain “rights” and privileges by society. This is what is really “self-evident.” It is simple common sense. And if the reasons Outerlimits provides are why Aesthetic Realism stopped teaching about homosexuality, let him give his source. How does he know this? And if Aesthetic Realism hasn't really stopped teaching about homosexuality (as Outerlimits seems to imply), where is the source showing that since 1990 there have been consultations or public seminars or publications or advertisements or television interviews from the Aesthetic Realism Foundation on the subject?
8) Here, apparently, is Outerlimit’s proof that Aesthetic Realism still teaches the subject to homosexuality. He writes: "A[esthetic] R[ealism] reiterates its teachings on 'change from homosexuality' each time it issues its formal statement, which it has done many times since 1990." However, the statement issued by the Aesthetic Realism Foundation does no such thing. It does not "teach" about the change from homosexuality any more than the International Olympic Committee is “teaching” about or propagating the game of baseball when it issues a statement saying that baseball has been dropped from its menu of competitive events. This statement simply states that the change has occurred and then gives the reason why consultations on the subject are no longer being given. (See the statement below.) What Outerlimits is really objecting to is that the Aesthetic Realism Foundation continues to affirm the legitimacy of the men and women who have changed. That, however, is a very different thing than "teaching" about homosexuality.
9) The 1990 statement is quoted on the Countering the Lies web site. Why don't we just quote it in the entry and drop all the editorializing? It speaks for itself and is as follows:
“It is a fact that men and women have changed from homosexuality through study of Aesthetic Realism. Meanwhile, 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.”
People are quite capable of reading that statement and drawing their own conclusions.
10) And if we are going to summarize the media activities of Aesthetic Realism let's include all the non-homosexuality related ads too. There were ads about how Aesthetic Realism views economics printed in USA Today, a full page ad in the New York Times titled "An Outline of Aesthetic Realism," and a center spread two page ad in the New York Times with the headline: "The Aesthetic Realism of Eli Siegel is True." And there were other lesser ads as well NOT on the subject of homosexuality. There was also a film by the Emmy award winning filmmaker Ken Kimmelman of Eli Siegel teaching an Aesthetic Realism class. Titled "People Are Trying to Put Opposites Together," it was aired on New York City's PBS television station (channel 13) in the 1960's. And not a word about homosexuality in it. For many years now people attending home games of the New York Yankees have learned about Aesthetic Realism’s position on racism from another film by Ken Kimmelmen (for which he won his Emmy)—“The Heart Knows Better”—which is played on the large center field screen before each game. (This, by the way, to agree with Aperey’s point above, is far more important and crucially of the moment than past history about Aesthetic Realism’s view of homosexuality. I am not saying this shouldn’t be in the article. But I am saying it is wrongly placed and inappropriately emphasized.) There were also many books printed about Aesthetic Realism not on the subject of homosexuality in the 1960’s and 1970’s, including a book of Eli Siegel's maxims: "Damned Welcome" (1972) [ISBN 910492-17-4], “Two Aesthetic Papers” (1971) [ISBN 910492-15-8], “A Rosary of Evil” (1964), “The Opposites Class” (1975) [[[International Standard Book Number|ISBN]] 0-911492-20-8], “The Aesthetic Method in Self-Conflict” (1946, 1974) [[[International Standard Book Number|ISBN]] 0-910492-29-8], “James and the Children” (1968) [Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 67-31121], “The Williams-Siegel Documentary” (1957, 1964, 1970) [ISBN 910492-12-3], “What’s There? An Aesthetic Realism Art Inquiry” (1965), and a children's book titled "The Parent’s Guide to Children and Other Matters." (1971) [[[International Standard Book Number|ISBN]] 0-910492-16-6]. My point is that Aesthetic Realism met the public on many fronts. It was busy with much more than homosexuality and, I would argue, came to be known through a variety of venues. It is better known today and more widely studied than it ever was in the past, and it hasn’t talked about homosexuality for fifteen years! How in the world did this happen?
11)Outerlimits writes: "I notice TS has no objection to intermingling comments when they are his comments." Well, my comments were again interrupted and intermingled, so I simply commented on the "intermingler's interminglings." I will refrain in the future--as indeed I have done here--and hope others do too.
12) Finally, a philosophic reflection. Writing in the New York Times on June 15, 2005, Stacy Schiff spoke about what she called “the interactive truth.” She said that the “longest unprotected border in the world” is no longer the one between the United States and Canada. Rather, it is today “the one between fact and fiction.” She mentions the Los Angeles Times launching a new interactive editorial page where readers can go online and edit any editorial they don’t like to their satisfaction. And she speaks also about Wikipedia, to which “anyone can contribute, and which grows by accretion and consensus.” The danger, she says, is that in such venues people can have their truth any way they like it. Clearly this is what Outerlimits accuses me of wanting—and the whole Aesthetic Realism Foundation. And it is what I think he is after whether willfully (as I believe) or because he really does mistakenly think he “knows” the truth (a possibility, I admit). How then do we go after objective truth when we are not seeking it from objective sources? What weight do we give to what “facts?” Schiff writes about “our odd, bipolar approach to fact,” and says, “Facts have gravitas. But the illusion of facts will suffice. One in three Americans still believes there were W.M.D.’s in Iraq. And that’s the way it is.” Well, take it for what it’s worth, this article as it now stands has only an “illusion of fact.”
So we have a big job here, not made any the easier by the intense feelings around this particular subject (homosexuality) on the one hand, and on the other, the profound respect and gratitude felt by so many people like myself who have studied Aesthetic Realism in the past, or those who are studying it at the moment, and are impelled to make sure it is not being sullied, misunderstood or deliberately lied about. The writing of this article is a pretty good test of just how truthful it is possible for interactive truth to be. I hope we can all rise to the challenge! [TS 6 August 2005]

Aperey wishes to distinguish between "teaching" a dogma and stating it publicly. I see no such distinction. He also implies that gay rights was important to AR before the furor that greeted their "conversion" ad blitz. But AR did not start its dialog with gay men and women by taking ads in national media to fight for "gay rights"; its ads were to advertise AR's ability to turn gays into ex-gays. An issue is not "defunct" because AR says so, or because Aperey says so. History is important.

As for the reason AR decided to downplay their "change" promotion: they themselves said it was because it pissed people off. No surmising is necessary. Enough people that AR decided to clam up for a bit. That's "many". AR didn't say "anger on the part of people who think being gay is biologically determined", nor "anger on the part of militant gay organized zealots". AR didn't say "because right-wing churches are using our espousal of "change" for nefarious purposes." (Not that AR's assessment of AR's reasoning need be taken as gospel truth, but in this case, they didn't even make the claims that are being attributed to them!) Aperey asks where AR's doctrine has been espoused: on their own website; on his website, and everywhere AR's canned statement is repeated. It doesn't have to be a consultation to be teaching.

AR's statement is equivalent to "Hi. We're AR. We decided to speak publicly to you to tell you we no longer say, 'Nininininininini!' publicly. Oh, and by the way: 'Nininininininini!'". "Affirming" the "legitimacy" of the men and women who claimed to have "changed" from homosexuality is not a very different thing than "teaching" about homosexuality: it's a recapitulation of AR's most essential teaching on the subject.

TS wants Wikipedia to quote the 1990 statement as "truth": but it represents only AR's viewpoint rather than the truth. It simply isn't the "last word" on the subject.

TS wants us to mention the many non-gay ads that AR placed: ads which were, in comparison to the "change" ads, pretty much ignored. But the fact is, the general public--to the extent that they know AR at all--knows AR as the "change" people. Perhaps they need better ads on other subjects.

TS's reflections on "truth" lead me to suggest that he read our policy on NPOV. Wikipedia discusses the various viewpoints people have: it doesn't try to decide which is correct. AR's version of AR's history is not dispositive. - Outerlimits 21:50, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Hey everybody, please remember that we are not being paid by the word. Try to make your arguments concise out of consideration for the time of other editors. Regarding the comments of TS,
4 (PS). I contacted the website. They have listings of dozens of categories of groups; they aren't an LGBT organization but rather a weblinks site. According to some criteria of their own they listed the ARF as a "heterosexual rights" group. If that is an incorrect listing then I suggest that someone from ARF contact them to have the listing removed. Have a nice trip. -Willmcw 22:07, August 6, 2005 (UTC)
It is very much an incorrect listing. I'll tell the Foundation about it and send off a letter to the offenders asap. It's worth a try, though based on previous experience I don't expect them to be very cooperative. -- 18:23, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Message from Devorah Tarrow. This is what I sent to sexuality at

To the Freedom Activist Network:
You have mistakenly listed the Aesthetic Realism Foundation under your heading “Heterosexual Rights,” on the page ...
The Aesthetic Realism Foundation is a philosophic school that does not have sexual orientation as a focus in any way.
Meanwhile you should know Aesthetic Realism is for full, equal civil rights for everyone and always has been—including, of course, gay rights. To imply otherwise is mistaken.
Of course we are for the rights of heterosexuals too.
However, listing us in your “Heterosexual Rights” category is inaccurate and misleading.
Please correct this as soon as you can by removing us from the page.
Thank you for attending to this matter.
Devorah Tarrow
For the Aesthetic Realism Foundation
Thanks. -Willmcw 23:28, August 9, 2005 (UTC)

A note about the angry-sounding writing signed by "Outerlimits" above, in which I am talked of in a way I don't much like and don't think accurate: --

I hope everyone realizes that the Aesthetic Realism Foundation has tried to have Aesthetic Realism known in the many fields to which it adds important knowledge, including art. "Outerlimits'" inability to find many people among the general public who know this is the result of two things: (1) the press boycott and (2) a skewed sample. It is ridiculous to hold the Aesthetic Realism Foundation responsible for both of these shortcomings: skewed sample and press boycott. The Foundation, when it was possible (1971-90) made available to the public an important finding--that there is more choice as to sexual preference than has been realized. Sex, in other words, is a philosophic situation. This was welcome information to many, but it is not a primary objective nor has it ever been. As a social scientist I've seen since 1968 that the Aesthetic Realism understanding of the cause of war could, if given a chance, stop unjust wars. Its understanding of how "Psychiatry, Economics, Aesthetics" are related (a chapter in Self and World) could end poverty. And I have seen first hand for 37 years that its understanding of self--the fight in self between contempt and respect--literally stops a particular, virulent form of contempt: RACISM. This knowledge enables people to choose a respectful desire to understand and learn from other individuals, including people of other ethnicities--and have greater, more sincere good will. As a liberal who marched against nuclear arms as early as 1962 and who marched for civil rights soon afterwards, I saw important changes in my own outlook come from my study of Aesthetic Realism beginning in 1968. An unconscious racism--thoughts that were disrespectful--which I couldn't shake off changed to a deeper warmth and respect for people. I began writing about it immediately. More shame to the press that because it came from Aesthetic Realism they wouldn't print a word. The first academic breakthrough in presenting this knowledge was the American Anthropological Association annual meeting of 1971--and then the journal of the University of Delhi's anthropology department 4 or 5 years later. The American press acted as if nothing of note had happened. It wasn't the first time--it was policy. I consider the explanation of racism, knowledge of the cause of war, and ending poverty to be of the utmost importance and would move heaven and earth if I could to make the Aesthetic Realism understanding of these known and studied the world over. Therefore this "atmosphere of anger" about homosexuality--the wordy, venemous yapping I have been reading day after day--I see as thoroughly against the large objectives a really civilized human being ought to have. That continuous sniping is a way of saying: "This knowledge, which would be of such great use if widely known, which can save lives, should be suppressed--let racism go on, let poverty go on, we'll do what we can to stifle an effective voice against them because we don't like what it says about sex." I write this not to "publicize" how Aesthetic Realism sees sex, but to explain from my point of view why it isn't as important as some other things.-- 18:23, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Wordy. Venomous. Yapping. Pot. Kettle. Black. Other than that, there is much to agree with here: [1] AR would prefer to be known for its teachings on racism rather than its teachings on "change" from homosexuality; but [2] it is not. [3] It blames the press, rather than itself, for this fact. Aperey suggests that somehow I am interested in "suppressing" AR's teachings on "change". Nothing could be further from the truth: it is AR that wants to re-write their history, not me. Outerlimits 20:39, 7 August 2005 (UTC)
Comments on the substance of what I have written would be more desirable. --Aperey 17:06, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Recommendation for a new section, early in the article: Aesthetic Realism and Preferences

I suggest that we have this section about an aspect of Aesthetic Realism that is as famous as any: the fact that persons are able to make informed choices about their lives through studying it. And, as a result, things in oneself that had seemed impossible to change actually do change. The documentation is voluminous in many reliable sources, and a number of references are provided here. Note: This is the general category of change about which there is so much interest.

Aesthetic Realism and Preferences

Numerous articles have described the Aesthetic Realism education as enabling persons to make choices that enhance their lives.[1] They state that persons learn how to make ethical decisions, consciously, which result in more self-respect. Men have come to respect women more [2]; women have come to respect men more [3]; children respect parents more [4]; people of diverse ethnicities come to respect those who are different [5]; and individuals who study Aesthetic Realism have also, for example, resolved eating disorders [6]. This is because emotion itself, Aesthetic Realism says, is a “for and against of self shown through the body”—that is, emotion is preference. We can learn to have our preferences more deeply and truly exact through increased knowledge of the world and people. Likes and dislikes may be based on adequate knowledge or insufficient knowledge. A bird likes to fly and knows it can fly: its love of flying is based on the facts. But when a man, Robert, says, “I hate Picasso. My little girl paints better pictures,” he may not be so accurate. Later he may take a course in cubism at a local museum and come to like Picasso very much. He may learn, for example, how the painting Dora Maar Seated shows in two-dimensional geometric forms the deep feeling of a woman looking in a mirror. [7]. Robert’s contempt for modern art has changed to respect based on the facts. More knowledge will always make for a more accurate response to any person or thing: to painting, food, clothing, men, women. So if our contempt for a thing is based on facts—for example, contempt for a superficial painting or for a person who is unjust to a child—then increased knowledge also increases the critical feeling (the feeling of against). Aesthetic Realism states that through study of history, science, humanity—including knowledge of one’s own disposition to have contempt for what is different from oneself—one's one’s ability to be for and against accurately increases. --Aperey 16:48, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Suggest a new section: "Aesthetic Realism and Ending Poverty"

I propose the following new section:

Aesthetic Realism and Ending Poverty

Unlike other approaches to the painful disparity between the people who own most and those who own least, Aesthetic Realism points out that this disparity, which is so devastating to the poor has also caused unseen harm to the rich: “Psychiatry points out…that the aggressive domination or control of other personalities by one personality is bad, even for the personality controlling. It should be asked, therefore, not only by economists, or politicians, but by psychiatrists, whether ownership by one self of the means by which the organic needs of many selves are supplied, is healthful.” [“Psychiatry, Economics, Aesthetics,” chapter 10 of Self and World by Eli Siegel]

When a person as at war with others financially and yet acts and speaks like he or she is beneficent—perhaps a “leader of industry”--there is a conflict in that person which is much more serious than has been recognized. To want to be creative, kind, a student of history or music or film, while one’s biggest conscious drive is acquisitive—to “get mine,” to beat out the competition—makes for a fundamental, inescapable lack of wholeness. “One cannot be creative with one hemisphere of oneself and acquisitive with the other. The hemispheres will collide….” This makes for nervousness, guilt, self-hate. [See p. 281, Self and World].

The resolution of this socially harmful conflict between acquisition and creation, selfishness and altruism, control and yielding, is in aesthetics. All art is labor that makes for self respect. An Aesthetic Realism motto is: “Production for usefulness not for profit.” The desire to make money has to be at one with the desire to see people well, to be productive and useful. A guide is in the working artist who is at once altruistic and selfish. Beethoven, in the Emperor Concerto, has a grand time expressing his own personality and at the same time is universal, is sweepingly fair to the sounds of reality. Writes Siegel: “In every human relation, the final rightness is always aesthetic; because that which stands for the self must be satisfied simultaneously with that which stands for other than self” (p. 314). This is an outline for a healthy economy--fair to every individual and fair to society as a whole. --Aperey 17:01, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Once AR has ended poverty then it would be appropriate to add such a section. However adding long sections on all the topics that you think are interesting is not appropriate. We already have a section on the AR philosophy. -Willmcw 20:22, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

Understanding the Cause of War

I regard these aspects of Aesthetic Realism which I am writing about as of the utmost importance to the progress of civilization. It is knowledge that would enable much injustice and pain to be ended at its source. This is a professional opinion arrived at after years of research and thought. I hope it is respected.

I propose the following:

Aesthetic Realism and Understanding the Cause of War

In 1976 an essay by Eli Siegel “What Caused the Wars” was published in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known. Using texts including Churchill’s The Gathering Storm and Auden’s “In Memory of W.B. Yeats,” evidence was presented for this conclusion: “While the contempt which is in every one of us may make ordinary life more painful than it should be, this contempt is also the main cause of wars.”

For example, Winston Churchill writes in The Gathering Storm, “The war leaders assembled in Paris 1919 had been borne thither upon the strongest and most furious tides that have ever flowed in human history” (p. 4). Siegel asks, What is in a psychological “tide”? It is known that Allied leaders were impelled at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 by a desire to humble old enemies. Is this contempt in action?

How did the revenge on Germany in the Treaty of Versailles lead to Hitler’s retaliation in World War II? Was the idea of Aryan supremacy that drove the Nazi armed forces into Poland, across France, and eastward into the USSR a furious form of the “lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it,” which is contempt? Siegel points out that analysts of history write of war arising from the desire for “dominion” and from human “aggression.” But dominion and aggression are extreme forms of the everyday desire to diminish and control what is outside oneself.

Researches by anthropologist Arnold Perey have confirmed the invariable presence of contempt for the enemy in tribal warfare in each region of the world where it has occurred. [See for example Gwe: Young Man of New Guinea--a novel against racism.(2005)]

The study of contempt in the human self is presented by Aesthetic Realism as the study most needed to bring an end to wars. Israeli essayist Ruth Oron, for example, has written on the need to replace contempt with mutual respect in the Middle East and documented how Aesthetic Realism has brought out respect where contempt had been. [8] --Aperey 22:22, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Please stop adding essays. This is not your blog. Go ahead and write such an article somewhere else. If you want to add racism, poverty, war, etc, then please show newspaper or other independent articles that identify AR as being a significant philosophy in these matters. We are here to summarize verifiable sources in an NPOV manner, not pontificate about the world's ills and how to solve them. -Willmcw 22:53, August 8, 2005 (UTC)
Since this is an article about Aesthetic Realism we have to ask the question, What is Aesthetic Realism and what does it include. As I asked this, I realized that it includes, as primary to its approach to the world (see Self and World) several matters that are not in the article. And these are important matters which historically have been central concerns of Aesthetic Realism. They include: (1) the relation of psychiatry, economics, and aesthetics. (2) An explanation of the cause of war. (3) An approach to understanding the root source of economic injustice and its aesthetic solution. Since that is what Eli Siegel intended Aesthetic Realism to include the article in Wikipedia should include them. In my writing I have summarized verifiable sources and added little of my own except the Picasso example, which was removed. Still, a concrete example would be useful in its place and many are available from case histories Eli Siegel wrote. Since my purpose is to present an accurate account of what Aesthetic Realism is, and that is the purpose of a Wikipedia article, we have a fortunate coincidence. FYI, since the Aesthetic Realism Foundation states that the matter of homosexuality is secondary to Aesthetic Realism, the question remains: What is primary? The article--as it exists now--presents Aesthetic Realism in a way that omits too much of its primary contents. I hope that will be remedied as soon as possible. As I implied, the things I have just written are not blog material but primary content of Aesthetic Realism. And yes, this philosophy is relevant, indeed central, to understanding an unusually wide range of subject matter. If what I wrote in my proposed additions was not acceptably NPOV, that can be corrected. Meanwhile, let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I also hope no one bridles too much at the admittedly large job of representing, fairly, a very important and wide-ranging body of knowledge in the social sciences and arts: that is, Aesthetic Realism. I regret, myself, having been angry at the size of this body of knowledge--and the fact that it is far more accurate and presents diverse fields as far more interrelated than my college and graduate education had done. This after all is part of its great value. Anger at all this I do not recommend. I hope that my own regret about it will inform anyone who reads this not to waste their time that way. --Aperey 14:40, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
The purpose of Wikipedia article is to summarize, in an NPOV manner, informaiton from verifiable sources. Do you have a source that says AR's #1 priority is now poverty or war? Then let's see it and then include it. But Wikipedia is not a soapbox for a student of AR to write essays about what he or she thinks AR is about. Yes, I bridle at the thought of adding large amounts of essay-like material. We can say in a sentence that AR also views war and poverty to be caused by contempt and a lack of appreciation for opposites. It doesn't require 500 words to say that. -Willmcw 19:32, August 9, 2005 (UTC)
To say what you suggest simply would not be understood. What contempt actually is requires quite a bit of explanation. It isn't just a sneer, but an impulsion that is irreducible in human psychology, along with the impulsion to respect. I realize it can be hard to believe that substantive work--indeed revolutionary work, including in one's own field (e.g. psychology)--can arise from a fairly unknown source. But historically it has sometimes been the case. And with Eli Siegel it has happened. Bach was not considered to be anything extraordinary in his time. We now know different. I'm trying to hurry up the timetable a little because we are in need of the theory, results, absolutely brilliant analyses that Siegel, and now Ellen Reiss, and some others are at this very moment providing. I don't want academic snobbery to interfere with benefit to humanity. I hope you are with me in this. --Aperey 20:51, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
I have no problem with including a concise description of AR's definition of "contempt". We have one paragraph on it now, that I believe you wrote:
  • One’s attitude to the world governs how we see things—the way we see a friend, a spouse, a lover, a book, food, people of another skin tone. When we seek self-esteem through contempt—"the addition to self through lessening something else"—we have to be unjust to people and things. Instead of building up our self-approval we dislike ourselves. And we lessen the capacity of our own minds to perceive and feel in the fullest manner. In the extreme, contempt makes for insanity. That is why in everything one does, Aesthetic Realism says, he or she has the ethical obligation to give full value to things and people as the one means of liking oneself. To honor that obligation is the same as accuracy, mental well-being, and joy.
If that isn't sufficient let's add the necessary additional concepts. I am certainly "with you" on giving AR and Siegel their fair assessments. History is littered with geniuses who found appreciation only after their deaths. It is even more full of people who were appreciated in their lives and who were denigrated or forgotten by later generations. It's not our job, as encyclopedia editors, to push in either direction. -Willmcw 21:56, August 9, 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. This sounds like a very fair approach. I'll do my best to follow through. I wrote the section below before I read your response. Indeed I am puzzled about how to say very much in very little space but I'll do better. --Aperey 22:01, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Aesthetic Realism and its highly respected criticism of unjust economics

It seems necessary to prove that Aesthetic Realism is opposed to economic injustice. So I submit these three excerpts from reliable sources written by authorities in three fields: nursing, labor, urban planning. The sources are the Los Angeles Times" Op Ed; Philadelphia Inquirer Op Ed; The American Planning Association's Knowledge Exchange. These illustrate the fact that indeed Aesthetic Realism is known and respected by the public on the subject of economic justice and injustice.

It is unfortunate that so much Talk Page space needs to be taken up in order to "prove" reliability. But it seems to have been necessary.

It is unfortunate that some editors concerned with the article on Aesthetic Realism have so little awareness of anything about it except for its (now inert) understanding of homosexuality. I hope what I have written will broaden their knowledge. In fact, plain human justice was a primary concern of Eli Siegel, and later Aesthetic Realism, since 1923.

Here are the three excerpts:

1. Timothy Lynch, president of Teamsters Local 1205 in Melville, NY, wrote an op ed page editorial for the Los Angeles Times dated Monday, September 4, 2000 titled “When High Profits Drive Trucking, Accidents Happen.” In it he points to the place of contempt in economic injustice, as explained by Siegel: --

The great American educator and philosopher Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism, explained that accidents, maimings, industrial diseases and work-related fatalities have arisen from the very basis of the profit system. He explained that the system is in itself contempt for people. It is based on bosses and stockholders who don’t do the work, who take the profits that other men and women work hard and long to produce...
Siegel explained that contempt—"the addition to self through the lessening of something else"—is the source of all injustice. Contempt is what allows a person to feel superior to people of another race. And contempt is what has an employer send out a truck knowing its clutch could give way or its brakes could fail. In my years as a union organizer, I’ve witnessed many of the horrific results of our contemptuous economy, from broken backs to burned bodies…
...[W]e are seeing more car-truck accidents on U.S. roads. Are our citizens—our families, our friends, ourselves—worth sacrificing on behalf of personal profit? Shouldn’t America have an economy based not on profit, but on ethics?

2. Barbara Buehler, associate city planner with the New York City Department of City Planning wrote “Housing in America: A Basic Human Right,” published in the journal of the American Planning Association, August 1999 - - Her article, which is lengthy, includes the following short paragraphs:

I have learned from Aesthetic Realism, the education founded in 1941 by the American historian, poet, and critic Eli Siegel, that the only reason homelessness is allowed to exist in our rich land is because a person's need for a home is seen as a means of someone else making profit. This is contempt, which Mr. Siegel defined as "the addition to self through the lessening of something else."
Contempt, he said, is the very basis of our brutally unjust economic system, where the labor of men and women and their need for food and housing are used to make as much money as possible for a few owners and stockholders. Beginning in 1970, Mr. Siegel convincingly showed that the profit system has failed and the only way our economy can flourish is if it is based on good will, on respect for the lives and well being of people.
Ellen Reiss, Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism, makes clear how contempt is the cause of homelessness as she writes in the international journal, The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known: "The fundamental question about housing is: Should a person make a profit from the need of another person to have a home, shelter, a place to live? Should our ability to have a home depend on whether we can provide a profit for somebody? Does Marissa, age 5, have the right to look from her bed at night at walls that are decently made, a floor that does not have rats running on it, a home she can feel is hers; does she have the right not to be thrown out onto the street, homeless and scared?..."

3. Richel Clerkin, Registered Nurse, wrote an op ed column in the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Helping firefighters battle Hepatitis C is civic duty” in which the Aesthetic Realism understanding of unethical economics was described as needed by America (Saturday, January 22, 2000). Here is an excerpt:

My heart goes out to the Philadelphia firemen who are being denied medical coverage for Hepatitis C. At least 125 firefighters, or nearly 6 percent of the 2,100 who were tested, have tested positive for Hepatitis C—a rate three times the national average, according to union officials. By refusing to acknowledge this disease as a work-related injury, city officials are making it all but impossible for firefighters to get the life-saving medical treatment they need and deserve.
I've been a registered nurse for 25 years, as well as a union leader and nursing educator….One reason employers withhold life-saving treatment has been understood by economist Eli Siegel, who explained that our economy, in which people are seen solely in terms of profit, is based on contempt, the "disposition in every person to think he will be for himself by making less of the outside world."
It is contempt when city officials weigh the lives of firefighters in terms of dollars and cents. Some officials prefer to talk about budgets and cost restraints, as though it would be more "cost-effective" to let a firefighter die from Hepatitis C than pay for his or her treatment. …. If we wish to ensure that adequate, kind health services are available for all workers, we need only ask this ethical question, one Eli Siegel himself asked: "What does a person deserve by being a person?"

I hope this entry is taken in the collegial spirit in which it was offered. --Aperey 21:51, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Aren't all three writers students of AR? What we need are non-AR sources that talk about it. We have plenty of AR sources. Thanks, -Willmcw 22:02, August 9, 2005 (UTC)
Yes they do study Aesthetic Realism. Meanwhile there are others who don't and these can be gathered. --Aperey 22:10, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Great. Independent sources would be a big help. Thanks, -Willmcw 22:22, August 9, 2005 (UTC)
People who study Aesthetic Realism understand it better, of course, and so are better qualified to speak of it than those who don't. --Aperey 19:23, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Racism in 1923.

Since the anti-prejudice aspect of Aesthetic Realism was moved "down" without discussion, into the wrong chronological order, I have moved it back "up" in keeping with the fact that it is both chronologically early (the 1920s) and of primal importance to one of the biggest social problems today: the ugly and destructive prejudices that still exist in America and the world.

Two of the earliest aspects of Eli Siegel's thought were (1) his new approach to principles of literary criticism that broadened them to include criticism of how the world is run, including economically; and (2) Criticism of the prejudice which was rampant in America then, and still is. The essay "The Scientific Criticism" embodied the first and "The Equality of Man" embodied the second. Mr. Siegel wrote passionately against eugenists at that early date, in "The Equality of Man"--and it was eugenists that the Nazi regime in Germany (late 1930s-40s) used to justify Aryan supremacy and the enslavement or extermination of what they deemed "inferior races." The unwavering opposition of Siegel to an unjust way of seeing people was enormously courageous in the 1920s and later. --Aperey 15:35, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

As a disinterested observer, I have been following this dispute. It happens I have a copy of the Psychology Today Omnibook of Personal Development (IBSN 0-688-03225-7) and it would seem to support the argument made by TS. This book was published in 1977 by William Morrow and Company, New York—supposedly at the height of AR’s national prominence and media blitz on the subject of homosexuality. The author, Matinka Matson, has a lengthy chapter describing Aesthetic Realism in which she lists the many topics on which it teaches and has been personally useful. Homosexuality is never mentioned. It would seem from this impartial source that the Wiki emphasis on homosexuality in regard to Aesthetic Realism during that period is, indeed, disproportionate. Good luck and best wishes with the editing! [Roger S August 10, 2005],

Hello, disinterested observer—observer with absolutely no connection to AR, who thinks lack of mention in a Psychology Today self-help book negates the actual (and well-documented) ads, publications, and interview show appearances on "change from homosexuality". Recent activity here seems centered chiefly on pushing the section on homosexuality further down the page in hopes that people will be so bored by that which precedes it they will nod off and never get to it. Is AR so ashamed of its history that it must play these games? Perhaps it's time we considered ordering in terms of importance (to the world, not to AR). - Outerlimits 21:23, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Outerlimits, please give us the specifics of your documentation. So far you haven't supplied anything like you claim to have. Just as in any important scientific finding, efforts were made to have the change from H known. Unfortunately, there were no newspaper articles for 20 years, only two TV interviews, and 4 or 5 newspaper ads in the media from 1971-90. The truth is, at least 140 men and women had feeling for the opposite sex who didn't have it before. I know some of them now--as married men and women, some with children. Yes, the country was interested in the 70s and 80s--without much help from the press. And now, this study has been discontinued. If anyone doubts the reason why--that there has been 'an atmosphere of anger' on the subject, interfering with objective discussion--I invite them to read your posts.--Aperey 17:57, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
Roger, it'd be helpful if you can let us know in more detail what the book does say about AR. There are a dearth of independent sources on any aspects of AR. APerey, regarding racism, how does the essay mention race? This line - "I wish very much to show the Equality of Man to be true. It is my business to go on showing it to be so." is not necessarily about race - it could as easily be about class or income. Can you provide a quote in which he addresses the topic directly? Is the essay available on line anywhere? Thanks, -Willmcw 22:17, August 10, 2005 (UTC)
Willmcw, to answer your question about "The Equality of Man." Mr. Siegel was concerned all his life about the inequities of race, and this concern is an impelling force in his essay. His poems on Martin Luther King (see articles primarily in the African American press) are one illustration of his lifetime passion for racial equality. [9]Meanwhile the essay "The Equality of Man" is general, and refutes the contempt had for all maligned classes of people. In race, caste, slavery, and serfdom people are called mentally inferior by birth. In this essay he criticizes William McDougall (1871-1938) who wrote, for example, this horrible racist statement: "The negro race wherever found does present certain specific mental peculiarities roughly definable, especially the happy-go-lucky disposition, the unrestrained emotional violence and responsiveness." [10]. Mr. Siegel wrote the following in "The Equality of Man": "Arguments, I believe, for the equality of man, are in man's Love, history, art, and pleasure, and in man's most beautiful actions. All this is to be shown." He was, at the time this was written, looking at African American culture and seeing evidence in it for the equality of all people. And so he was one of the first critics to say that a predominantly African-American art--the art of jazz--is great in the same way as a symphony is--and to show why. A 1925 article in the Baltimore American quotes him lightheartedly on this point (2 February 1925). Later, he lectured on the power and beauty of African sculpture. He regarded some Negro Spirituals as great poetry. For example, "Gittin' Upstairs" -- "Most persons...would not see what Catullus and Horace, Tennyson and Matthew Arnold had--in the lines about gittin' upstairs. I do. I find beat and subtlety, a universal import shown by the physical, concrete situation in the lines about gittin' upstairs. May poetry win." ["The New Simplicity" in Nice Deity by Martha Baird, Definition Press, 1955.) This is how Siegel encouraged respect for greatness of mind when it is found in people of every race and background. His most definitive published statements that I know of, explaining the cause of racism, are in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known. His love of the way people of different races are aesthetically the same and different, and are intermingling more as history goes on, was alluded to by TS in these Talk pages, quoting Siegel in a lecture on H.G. Wells' Outline of History in the 1950s. So yes, this essay deals with racial equality and does so in a very potent way.
Here is one direct quote from Eli Siegel: "It will be found that black and white man have the same goodnesses, the same temptations, and can be criticized in the same way. The skin may be different but the aorta is quite the same." [The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, issue no. 622 -- 6 March 1985]
Here is another from Mr. Siegel: "The reluctance to give meaning to the possible thoughts of others is one of the great victories of contempt and therefore one of the great disasters of man....Contempt, as I said in TRO 165 [What Caused the Wars], is present wherever some people know other people who are different from themselves. Contempt is in the race question, is in the nationality question, is in the sex question, is in the youth and age question, is in the parents and children question. As soon as we see that other human beings are placed differently from ourselves, contempt does what it can to include them. [The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, issue no. 228 -- 10 August, 1977]
This is a quotation by Ellen Reiss: "The big thing people haven't known about racial prejudice is that it does not begin with race. It begins with the world itself, and how one sees the world....When Heather saw a girl whose skin was a color different from hers, she, without knowing it, was seeing someone who vividly embodied the world as different from her, a world she wanted to defeat. Heather seized the opportunity to despise this girl and others with that different skin color...[a] fake, horrible, yet ferociously desired victory of contempt: of feeling she was somebody just because she could look down on what was different." ["Racism Can End" in The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, issue no. 1264 -- 25 June 1997]
--Arnold Perey --Aperey 18:33, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for that scholarship, but you haven't shown that the "Equality of Man" was an anti-racism essay, or that it formed the basis for AR's continuous history of anti-racism. A general statement about the equality of races is not the same as anti-racism. It appears that racism became an issue later in the history of AR, therefore the section should be moved lower. -Willmcw 22:38, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

If we don't get more confirmation I'm going to re-write the section and delete references to "Equality of Man" being about racism. Isn't there a sentnece in it that mentions racism? -Willmcw 19:28, August 12, 2005 (UTC)

Eli Siegel was an anti-racist in 1923 -- some background

Siegel was writing about racism. The word didn't exist in 1923. But it has been unmistakable to Black persons reading "The Equality of Man" that Siegel was passionately against prejudice toward African-Americans. I will quote from the essay later and you will see.

So the first point: We won't find the term racism in this essay. "The term 'racism', according to the Oxford English Dictionary, emerged in the early 1930s as distinct from the 'theories of race' which had existed for at least a hundred years before that." [11]

However, the writers that Mr. Siegel refutes (Galton, et al) were notorious racists and everybody in 1923 knew it, although they didn't use the term. Today they are indeed called racists.

In 1923, as the Oxford English Dictionary point out, the ideas we call today "racism" were called "theories of race." That's what Eli Siegel is referring to when he writes about "the theory...that to some men nature has seen fit to give so much more intelligence than to others, that these first are fit by birth to rule the second." Today it's called "scientific racism." Galton et al are known to have preached it. Hitler took it up from them (and their predecessor de Gobineau). In 1923 Mr. Siegel called scientific racism "the aggressive belief, backed up by present-day science, or biology, that most men are born inferiors." And he hated it with a passion.

Of course the modern reader wouldn't necessarily be expected to know the background that was vivid in the the 1923 reader's mind--the reader for whom Mr. Siegel was writing.

And it would also be wise for me to quote some longer passages of the essay than the fragmentary quotes thus far provided. I realize there is much pressure to see this essay as not at all about race. But those applying the pressure are neither well-intentioned nor well-informed. I hate to say this but that's what I see. It's too bad that the essay is not online.

Further, I do not believe it was necessary to use the term "race" in the essay in order for the essay to be about race--and ideas about caste and class prejudice and serfdom--all of which we would call racist ideas today. However, the geographical references and Mr. Siegel's naming of out-and-out racists shows clearly to anyone who is reading sensitively--including African-Americans of my acquaintance--that racism is under scrutiny and its basis is being logically demolished. As an anthropologist I am aware of what Eli Siegel was certainly aware in 1923: that race is a word much misused and almost impossible to define. His readers of 1923 knew exactly what he meant.

For it is clear that Mr. Siegel was criticizing the racial theory of hereditary intelligence. He names five particular writers--the big names of the day--whose point of view the essay refutes:

[Siegel wrote:] "The world has always been carried on as if men were unequal....the Galtons, Nietzsches, McDougalls, Termans, and Menckens are the present enunciators of the theory...that to some men nature has seen fit to give so much more intelligence than to others, that these first are fit by birth to rule the second....This writing will aim to show that Men Are Equal--in the clear and full meaning of the words." [The Modern Quarterly vol 1, no. 3, December 1923]

People reading "The Equality of Man" in 1923 would know that Galton, Nietzsche, McDougall, Terman, and Mencken (and their followers) promulgated the racial (or hereditary) theory of inferiority (note Galton's chapter titled "The Comparative Worth of Different Races"). Even Siegel's title "The Equality of Man" contrasts dramatically with Galton's most popular title, "Hereditary Genius." To say these men used the term "hereditary" without meaning "racial" is to whitewash them. Let's look at these five men one by one:

1. Galton. The readers of Siegel's article would know that Galton (Sir Francis Galton) was for racial INFERIORITY:

"One of the historical peaks of scientific racism was the establishment of eugenics. Francis Galton, who happened to be cousin to Darwin, is conventionally held responsible for the beginning of this scientific study of breeding and its improvement. In the chapter of his book Hereditary Genius - published in 1869 - entitled "The Comparative Worth of Different Races," Galton uses a sort of grading scale to point out [the place of] each race in the classification system he used....
"The works of these authors [Petty, Darwin, Galton] have been used to justify many atrocities, including slavery, colonization, and racial genocide during the period of the authors' lives to more recent violations of human rights and attempts to keep races 'pure' - i.e. Adolf Hitler's notion of the Final Solution and the master Aryan race." (

2. Terman. The readers of Siegel's article would know Lewis M. Terman, psychology professor at Stanford University, was for racial INFERIORITY.

For example:

"Chorover credited Terman with 'injecting race into the IQ debate.' Terman claimed that mental deficiency is very common in Spanish-Indian and Mexican families...and also among Negros. He also warned that "if we would preserve our state for a class of people worthy to possess it, we must prevent, as far as possible, the propagation of mental degenerates." (Lenny Lapon, URL:
"The beginning of the IQ-testing movement overlapped with the eugenics movement — hugely popular in America and Europe among the "better sort" before Hitler gave it a bad name — which held that intelligence was mostly inherited and that people deficient in it should be discouraged from reproducing." (

3. McDougall. The readers of Siegel's article would know that William McDougall of Harvard University was a racist.

McDougall was given the William James Chair of Psychology at Harvard University. However,

"McDougall was not well-received at Harvard, due to the racist nature of his views on eugenics and his opposition to behaviorism." (Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology. URL:

4. Nietzsche. The readers of Siegel's article would know that Friedrich Nietzsche was was for racial INFERIORITY.

Nietzsche wrote, for example,

1. "The negro represents an earlier phase of human development." [pp. 199-200](
And 2. "...Let us face facts: the people have triumphed -- or the slaves, the mob, the herd, whatever you wish to call them -- and if the Jews brought it about, then no nation ever had a more universal mission on earth. The lords are a thing of the past, and the ethics of the common man is completely triumphant. I don't deny that this triumph might be looked upon as a kind of blood poisoning, since it has resulted in a mingling of the races, but there can be no doubt that the intoxication has succeeded. The 'redemption' of the human race (from the lords, that is) is well under way; everything is rapidly becoming Judaized, or Christianized, or mob-ized -- the word makes no difference...." [p.169-170]
[The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals, translated by Francis Golffing, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956.]

5. Mencken. The readers of Siegel's article would know that H.L. Mencken was for racial INFERIORITY.

"Mencken considered everyone inferior to his 'superior men.' But, he believed Jews and blacks to be most inferior of all." [Commentary: Mencken and the inferior man

Posted by Mac Diva on April 03, 2004 11:49 AM (]

And this is some of what Mac Diva quotes Mencken as writing--and this is what readers of Eli Siegel's refutation, "The Equality of Man," would have had in their minds in 1923:

The negro, no matter how much he is educated, must remain, as a race, in a condition of subservience; that he must remain the inferior of the stronger and more intelligent white man so long as he retains racial differentiation. Therefore, the effort to educate him has awakened in his mind ambitions and aspirations which, in the very nature of things, must go unrealized, and so, while gaining nothing whatever materially, he has lost all his old contentment, peace of mind and happiness.

And Mencken also wrote this:

The fact remains that the Southern whites have to deal with the actual Negroes before them, and not with a theoretical race of African kings. These actual Negroes show actual defects that are very real and very serious. The leaders of the race, engrossed by the almost unbearable injustices that it faces, are apt to forget them.
[Men versus the Man: A Correspondence between Robert Rives La Monte, Socialist, and H.L. Mencken, Individualist [1910] (]

Eli Siegel was against this horrible, ugly way of thinking, writing, talking, feeling, and even legislating from the very beginning. The U.S. eugenists, including these 5, were used by Hitler as models for his goal. It was racism. Siegel hated it.

It would be unfair to say this crucial essay was not about it.

And so I quote some passages:

From Eli Siegel's "The Equality of Man" in The Modern Quarterly, vol 1, no.3, December, 1923. Reprinted in The Modern Quarterly Beginnings of Aesthetic Realism, 1922-1923, edited by Ellen Reiss. Definition Press: New York, 1969, 1977)


The phrase The Equality of Man has been used a very great deal. By some it has been used favorably, but most often merely to show a feeling which it seemed well of them to hold; by others--and these by far the most--to say and show in their manner, that it was indeed a beautiful sentiment, but was obviously false. Yet there has never been an attempt made to see completely the meaning of the phrase Equality of Man, and to find out how true it is. And it is only by seeing a thing completely that we can get the truth in it....
Biologists and Nietzscheans and persons in general, who have come out strong for the inequality of man, have not seen clearly the terms they used, as I shall now go about showing....

[A discussion defining heredity and environment follows.]

....That part of Biology--the principal part--which is called the Study of Heredity--is used to show the inevitable inferiority of most men. The biologists holding this opinion say that since mind is inherited, and since most men today are unintelligent, their offspring, that is the people who will live in this world in later days, will be unintelligent too. A small number, those that come from intelligent stock, will be, as now, the born rulers of the world and those that will keep it alive.

[Note: This "biological superiority" would be what we call today white supremacy, and among the whites, the supremacy of the aristocracy--in the South, as in England, those "to the manor born."]

....Now man is of one species, that is a group of organisms, the males and females of which can reproduce among each other. Yet we find all sorts of big differences between them. We find some looked upon as "natural-born" criminals, while others are thought to be born "leaders of the community," we find some that do not know how to read, while others spend thousands of hours reading, we find some devoting a whole life to what others never heard of, and we find thousands of other differences we find among no other species. Some have said, "But look at the Oak and the Pine, and the Lion and the Rabbit, and the Peacock and the Crow."
[Note: I have read at least one racist tract that compares nature's superior animal, for example, the lion, to nature's inferior animal, the rabbit--and uses this as evidence that one race of humans, the "rabbit" race, ought to be the slave of the naturally superior "lion" race. -- AP]
The answer to this is, that is has been forgot that the Oak and the Pine are not of one species, neither are the Lion and the Rabbit nor the Peacock and the Crow; for they cannot reproduce among each other; the right thing to do is to compare Lions with Lions, Rabbits with Rabbits and so on.
Again, what's the cause of this big difference among men, not to be paralleled in other species?....The cause is this: ....Mind needs nourishment, care, and training all by itself....And the fact is plain enough that millions and millions of people from the beginning of the world, with man living in it, have not got this mind's nourishment, care and training. Their lives were forced to be led so, to get food enough for their stomachs, was all that they could do....And I say it is wrong, to say that any one's mind is inferior, until it has been completely seen that it has been given all the nourishment, care and training that it needs or could get. And we cannot say that one mind is, in the full sense of the word, better than another until both have been given conditions equally fitting to bring out their powers. Now this is a plain fact: Whatever the reason, no attempt has been made to bring out all the powers of mind that are in each man at birth, by giving it conditions that would fit it best. Worded differently, men have not had an equal chance to be as actively powerful as they might be. And if they had been given an equal chance to use all the powers they had a birth, they would be equal.
....Yes, men in the most important sense of the word, are Equal. There are many arguments yet to come, for it isn't well at all to come out plainly and rather boldly for the Equality of Man without having much--much, to be sure--to say for it. It is a pity that the argument has to be given in parts, in a magazine....
Well, if the belief in the Inequality of Man is a mistake....all mistakes in the world keep it company. There have been mistakes before honored considerably by hundreds of thousands of people, and some of them are now thought little of, as the Inequality of Man may be sometime. All falsities are brothers and all truths are. I wish very much to show the Equality of Man to be true. It is my business to go on showing it to be so. I feel its showing to be true so necessary that I have gone somewhat out of the ordinary literary way, to ask those who read this to be intellectually kind to it, so far as it is here given, and as it has yet to be.

Here is some supporting material. --Aperey 19:38, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for providing all of this information. However, it falls short of the mark. Eugenicists of the time, such as Galton, dealt extensiviely with genetic variation within races. Unless Siegal specifically mentions race it is quite likely that he is referring to the differences in intelligence, etc, that were posited between northern and southern Europeans. Is there any place in the essay that Siegal unequivocably refers to races? Also, even an essay on racism, if that is established, in 1923, does not mean that the topic has been an issue of concern for AR during that entire time. What was the date of Siegals's second essay on racism? AR was founded more than 20 years after this one essay was written. -Willmcw 10:10, August 26, 2005 (UTC)

added sentences

In the section on homosexuality, I have added a number of sentences. I have also tried to enable the reader to see more clearly the difference between (1) statements made by individuals or groups, (2) opinions or points of view, and (3) historical facts where they are known. I wasn't able to research all the quotes but was able to indicate that the way they are interpreted can differ. I am doing this as a private citizen interested in truth and not liking to see it altered (i.e. lied about). I am not doing this as a representative of any organization. Some call it my right under the First Amendment. If others find it inconvenient to them, or want to continue to raise some sort of ruckus, they should be aware that it doesn't look good to a neutral observer for you to do this. Arnold Perey -- 17:33, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

How diligent you are for truth, justice, and the American way. Those who disagree with you must be against all those things. Such bad people, to disagree with you! Here are the changes I've made to your version of "truth":
  • (1) refocus first sentence on homosexuality
  • (2) add quotes when quoting, especially when quoting assertions
  • (3) "wish to understand" -> "change from" homosexuality. The wish for those undergoing "consultation" was "change" as the primary impetus; the understanding merely a means to that end.
  • (4) It wasn't "gay advocates" who discerned that the marketing of "change from homosexuality" went against the growing consensus. The American Psychiatric Association [12] and the American Psychological Association [13] are not "gay advocates". Both took action in the 70s to depathologize sexual orientation; both aver that homosexuality is not an illness and is not changeable. [See note below]
  • (5) The qualifying "it has been asserted that" is not needed before a direct quotation unless that quotation is questionable. I've given the reference, down to the page number. I've combined it in this new version with van Griethuysen's quote.
  • (6) clearly AR's position does run counter to most gay men's experience. But if Aperey doubts it, the assertion is easily removed, and we can jump somewhat more abruptly to AR causing offense.
  • (7) Changed AR's statement of use of their dogma by religions to an assertion, as we have seen thus far no evidence for its truth or contemporaneity.
  • (8) removed the word "discussion" which seems to be the only point of contention requiring a qualification. There's no question of the public affirmation of the statements. - Outerlimits 18:50, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Note: The two APA associations (American Psyciatric Assoc. & American Psychological Assoc.) do say diverse sexual orientations are not clinical pathologies, and this is so. But they do not say change is impossible. I read both selections you provided as hyperlinks and (1) the psychiatrists don't say assert change to be impossible and (2) the psychologists only say, as far as I could find, the following: "psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed." This is true because many orientations we have, including the sexual, have an unconscious component and we can't "will" ourselves to like something we don't. Meanwhile, it is a fact that there are orientations which regularly change when one has gained sufficient information via conscious education. For example people who hated Picasso came to like his work very much through an art course and sought out his paintings at museums. And people who had a visceral objection to algebra have changed their orientation toward algebra by studying it with a good teacher and seeing it is beautiful. They became eager to solve algebraic problems. How many other things can we change our unconscious opinion of--or orientation toward--through conscious education? This is a question that still remains to be dealt with fully by psychiatry and psychology. It's a scientific question of great importance to ordinary people everywhere. (unsigned)
There's no question of the consensus of psychiatrists and psychologists regarding therapy to change sexual orientation: most (nearly all who do not offer such "therapy") consider offering it to the public is at best ethically dubious. - Outerlimits 21:05, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
You are right. I read a lot about therapists' inability to affect sexual preferences. Therapy is useless. It also has faulty logic on the subject. But Aesthetic Realism isn't therapy. It can do what therapy can't. I know this because I went to three therapists hoping I might find a way to change a sexual preference that tormented me. They were so inept I never even brought up the subject. I'd read enough psychology to see they had nothing new to say. I did study Aesthetic Realism, after all this, and I did change. This was a long time ago, way before 1990. I changed because I learned that the way I saw the world, and such opposites in the world as hard and soft, the obvious and the secret, masculine and feminine, wasn't really accurate or fair or comprehensive enough. For one thing, I had made a lot of assumptions about what women were like (and I was wrong). I learned how to see better very quickly. What I learned were facts, based in poetry, history, even chemistry and physics, and understanding real people more deeply and looking at them with much kinder eyes. As I was learning this, in my first few months of study, I found that I had many unconscious assumptions about the world and they weren't as true as I thought they were! And to my surprise, this knowledge all by itself, enabled me to be attracted to the opposite sex in a powerful way I never experienced before. This continues to be true today, a long time later. I noticed you don't have much in the way of autobiography on the talk page. That's why I am writing this now. --Digital Scribe 18:54, 21 August 2005 (UTC)