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Post 80

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 10:48pmSanction this postReply
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Come on, Casey.

On the attack to gloss over something?

How about this?

RAND'S JOURNAL ENTRIES ARE NOT COMPLETE EVIDENCE FOR VALLIANT'S CASE.

//;-)

I have other news too. There are some serious people doing real research out in the real world who will be coming up with their own biographies of Rand and their own conclusions. Now they will start to make a more complete "Branden-scumbag" case evidence-wise, or they will debunk it.

Or they might possibly, perhaps, maybe, remarkably, and curiously conclude that the Brandens actually lied to Rand, as they themselves claimed and Valliant elaborated on, but that many other conclusions drawn up by Valliant and sympathizers are contradicted by their research. They will do all this point-by-point, painstakingly, with interviews, documents and records, and then... well then...

Does that possibility bother you?

(Still, just to be absolutely sure at this point on such zealous manifestation as you express, though, I am going to do some looking in PAR to check what actually was written. It's been too long since I read it. Back later on this.)

Michael





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Post 81

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:02pmSanction this postReply
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I'll say it again, so you can't miss the point I am making to you.

The journals are "complete" evidence that Branden invented a psychological condition and asked Rand for extensive and ongoing counseling for it, and they are complete evidence that Barbara knew about it and was even helping in that deception, and they are complete evidence that both Brandens left this entirely unmentioned in their books.  

Valliant did not "elaborate" on the extent of the Brandens' confessions -- Rand's journals reveal that they did not confess at all that Branden was concocting a false psychological profile of himself to engage Rand in bogus psychology sessions while Barbara Branden backed him up over a long period of time.
 
The Brandens chopped this completely out of the record.
 
They did not partially admit it, or even begin to mention it. Ever. Period. And this is not a detail. This was a very ELABORATE fraud, involving complex lies about false psychological complaints carried on over a long period of time. They were part of Rand's context when she found out Branden was having an affair -- a vitally important part of her context. She thought Branden was suffering a sexual paralysis and had been laboring to help him for all this time -- her labors in this regard are recorded in her journals. This was what the Brandens' completely left out of their books.

Now the next time you claim the Brandens "came clean" or already confessed this to any extent whatsoever, I will know that you're not interested in the truth even in the face of the absolute evidence Rand's journal entries represent.






Post 82

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 8:54pmSanction this postReply
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Aspergers. 30 years ago it was hypoglycemia this and hypoglycemia that. 30 years from now it'll probably be hypoglycemia again.

--Brant




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Post 83

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 1:23amSanction this postReply
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In post 7, Casey Fahey wrote:
What PARC does prove is that Rand was innocent, and the Brandens were guilty (Rand's journals prove that the extent of her innocence and their guilt was far worse than the Brandens ever "confessed"), and PARC also proves that the Brandens have no reliable proof for their claims, and that the Brandens' claims are self-contradictory, self-serving and omit vital information (much revealed in the journals) to such an extent that they are worthless as a basis for any conclusions about Rand's character.
I'll be the judge of that. Or, I should say, my wife and I will be the judges of that. Setting Rand's innocence or guilt aside, the issue of whether or not the Brandens "came clean" in their 80s books is important enough to warrant an analysis of Valliant's 10 claims of "oversights" in conjunction with a careful re-reading of Rand's journal entries and the relevant portions of the Brandens' books. My wife and I have begun this task, and we already have dismissed 5 of the 10 claims, and will delve into the evidence regarding the other 5 as time permits.

In our minds, regarding the dismissed claims, the issue is not: did the Brandens repeatedly and outrageously lie to Rand during the 60s (of course they did, especially Nathaniel)? But: did the Brandens lie to us in their books in the 80s? Did they deliberately mis-state or understate or omit crucial points?

In several cases, it is clear to us that Nathaniel and perhaps also Barbara made psychological judgments about Rand (e.g., jealousy, insecurity about her age, the likelihood of her totally breaking with Nathaniel if he rejected her) that, judging by her journal entries, were inaccurate, but on which they based their fear-driven actions of deceit. And it is also apparent that they still held these judgments in their books in the 80s. If so, and it is reasonable to suppose this is true, then what they said in their books about these judgments (as against Rand's true attitudes and feelings) was not a case of further dishonesty on their parts. It is another matter whether now, reading the Rand journal entries, Nathaniel or Barbara would revise their opinions -- or instead maintain them, on the belief that Rand was either not reporting or not experiencing or not reflecting on her true feelings at the particular moments she made the journal entries. They may well be chagrined at the disparity between Rand's apparent psychology in the journal entries and their own (inaccurate?) understanding of it from the 50s and 60s. But even if they are not, what is relevant to Valliant's claims on at least 2 or 3 of the "oversights" is whether the Brandens believed differently about Rand's psychology than her journal entries supposedly attest. And I see no reason to suppose or suspect that they are lying about that. There would have been no motive for them to lie to Rand in the 60s, if they did not honestly think/fear, based on their understanding of her psychology, that she was going to pull the rug out from under them once the truth about Nathaniel's affair with Patrecia came out. (The lies were morally indefensible, but that is not the issue. The issue is that the motive, the basis for the lies provides no rationale for the Brandens to have lied about it in their books in the 80s.

I have no comment at this time about the remaining "oversights." I may (or may not) share my conclusions on SOLO, when my research and analysis is finished, but I think the important thing is for everyone who cares about this matter to carefully look for themselves, which means digging through the Valliant book and the Brandens' books, rather than ruminating about second- and third-hand opining on this website.
...You suffer from the sickening Brandenian brain-rot that seems to assume that everyone is a shade of gray, everyone commits evil, there is no "perfection" and it is somehow unrealistic that Rand could have been morally above reproach. Such a view leads to the foul notion that everyone is rotten sometimes, and the notion that Rand was not is somehow tantamount to making some kind of mystical claim that is impossible for humans to attain on Earth. The Brandens would love everyone to believe that. And as long as you do, I'm sure they'll behave like perfect saints to you and Roger and anyone else who believes that, too.

To all of those who have audited this ongoing debate, please read PARC. You will understand, only then, why Linz and others who were formerly friendly to the Brandens are now ANGRY at them. There's no magical whiffle dust in the pages that wafts out and possesses people's brains. There are just facts and the words of the Brandens and the words of Rand. All of these protestations of needing evidence are just a cover for people who don't want to read the book and want desperately to continue believing in the Brandens. Anyone who would rather cash in their rational faculty and evade the evidence than renounce their faith and loyalty in the Brandens should never open the cover.To all of those who have audited this ongoing debate, please read PARC. You will understand, only then, why Linz and others who were formerly friendly to the Brandens are now ANGRY at them. There's no magical whiffle dust in the pages that wafts out and possesses people's brains. There are just facts and the words of the Brandens and the words of Rand. All of these protestations of needing evidence are just a cover for people who don't want to read the book and want desperately to continue believing in the Brandens. Anyone who would rather cash in their rational faculty and evade the evidence than renounce their faith and loyalty in the Brandens should never open the cover.
Well, distasteful as the process is, I am now on my second reading of Valliant's book, and I have no "desperate" desire to "continue believing in the Brandens," just a wish to put this all in accurate perspective. I find that it is quite difficult, given the basic approach Valliant took in laying out all the material, to get to the truth. (Just a minor point, but I, for one, am irritated and suspicious over all the brackets he uses in referring to various people. In particular, I would love to know the real material that Valliant replaced with [Patrecia]. Wouldn't it be revealing (in relation to the claim of Rand's jealousy) if at least one of them contained some derogatory remark such as, "that two-bit whore." :-) But, as so often happens with ARI-approved publishing of Rand's private writings, we get a "processed" version, rather than the raw data. <sigh>)

As for my feelings toward the Brandens, they are mixed. In one respect, I am at peace with them, for I long ago heard and accepted their amends for dishonesty in the 60s, and I have forgiven them for all of that. Now, however, I am in some amount of agitation over this re-reading project, trying to discern whether there is any merit in Valliant's claims that either of the Brandens were dishonest in their 80s books. I'd much rather be re-reading Atlas Shrugged or The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. I am grateful for all that Rand and the Brandens have given us, and I am very admiring of and excited by Nathaniel's and Barbara's continued achievements and plans for more. I am sad about all the anguish and pain they and Rand went through, and I am angry at how they all treated each other and all that was lost because of their lapses in realism and honesty. Their story is a painful lesson to all of us, but one from which we should move on. Thirty-seven years is long enough.

REB




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Post 84

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 6:55amSanction this postReply
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 Roger Bisell:  I am grateful for all that Rand and the Brandens have given us, and I am very admiring of and excited by Nathaniel's and Barbara's continued achievements and plans for more.

 I second that Roger. I  would like to add
That Linz and Solo are also giving us a lot .
And I thank them, especially Linz for that.
A person who loves Mario Lanza and his music must per force be good inside.
I think Linz is! 
Happy thanksgiving to all you out there, Ciro loves you!

ps.
Daymmmmm, Derek, the cd you sent me makes me do this!

(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 11/24, 6:58am)




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Post 85

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 8:05amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Bissell,

Oddly, Mr. Campbell finds evidence of Rand's jealousy simply falling at his feet when reading this material. Not satisfied, it seems, you need to rely on the arbitrary possibility that the real evidence for this was suppressed.

The lies the Brandens told Rand in 1960s feared only a rational response from her -- the one they got. Their claim to having had to pander to Rand's "psychology" by all these lies is among the worst of their deceptions. Their current ones.

To some extent, you can see the Brandens' miserable deceptions of Rand in the 1960s but you still cannot see why they might feel the need to color their presentations of all of those lies when recounting such miserable behavior to us at a later date. On the other hand, my dishonesty about it can be treated almost like an axiom.

Now, what were we discussing -- methodological dishonesty?

But I look forward to you review.



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Post 86

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 8:06amSanction this postReply
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Michael,
You say "They will do all this point-by-point, painstakingly, with interviews, documents and records.."

I'm not attacking you, but I'm curious. How do you know anything at all about these individuals or their works-in-progress? Have you been in communication with Anne Heller or anyone else writing a Rand biography? If you have some real information, and are at liberty to discuss it, please provide some details.




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Post 87

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 8:36amSanction this postReply
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Jeff,

Pure second-hand information. I am not in contact with Ms. Heller or any other biographer.

Setting aside my own knowledge or lack thereof, seeing how biographers do more and more research over time with all historical figures, what makes anyone think that they will do differently in the case of Ayn Rand?

The fact that a marginal, limited-to-a-small-target-public one-sided book was written about her journal entries and against the existing bios and memoirs?

Happily, the world is going to keep doing what it always has done. Believe it or not, there are serious people who get things done who are not Objectivists. They do things like research. They move human progress along.

Some millions of them even buy Brandens' books and Rand's books too - and enjoy both of them.

(Linz remarked that PARC was going to make just as strong an impact as PAR. Well, I'm still waiting to see it hit the NYT best-seller list. On the blog of the ARI woman who doesn't like me, Ms. Hsieh, for instance, she listed her Amazon hit statistics for the year. Up to now, in 2005, she directed a grand total of 180 people to the book's entry on Amazon and a whopping 7 out of those 180 bought the book because of her endorsement.)

The following remark is not against you, so please do not take it as such. The more involvement I have with this little isolated world of Objectivism, with so many people engaged in self-imposed blindness to how the world works, preferring rationalizations and twisted logic instead, the more I am grateful that I missed being in the middle of it for over 3 decades.

I was able to live and judge the world and human capabilities for myself without peer pressure and just plain boneheadedness disguised as reason.

Michael


Edit - Special thanks to Ashley Frazier for catching a mistake here in Post 107.   //;-)

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 11/24, 4:49pm)

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 11/24, 4:52pm)




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Post 88

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 9:08amSanction this postReply
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Michael said:

"(Linz remarked that PARC was going to make just as strong an impact as PAR. Well, I'm still waiting to see it hit the NYT best-seller list. On the blog of the ARI woman's who doesn't like me, Ms. Hsieh, for instance, she listed her Amazon hit statistics for the year. Up to now, in 2005, she directed a grand total of 180 people to the book's entry on Amazon and a whopping 7 out of those 180 bought the book because of her endorsement.)

"The following remark is not against you, so please do not take it as such. The more involvement I have with this little isolated world of Objectivism, with so many people engaged in self-imposed blindness to how the world works, preferring rationalizations and twisted logic instead, the more I am grateful that I missed being in the middle of it for over 3 decades."

ME: What a disgusting display of social metaphysics. Peter Keating himself could have written it: "You know, Howard, my buildings are so much more popular than yours." Or Ellsworth Toohey: "The masses will ignore your work, Mr. Roark." And then, Michael, you actually have the GALL to finish with this line:

"I was able to live and judge the world and human capabilities for myself without peer pressure and just plain boneheadedness disguised as reason."

ME: WOW. You just tried to use the "peer pressure" of the NYT bestseller list to minimize the importance of PARC and you finish with that line? I cannot comprehend what kind of conceptual fission goes on inside that head of yours.

Mr. Bissell,

While we wait for your argument, which may or may not come, let me explain to you the only things that needed to be spelled out in brackets from Rand's text. Rand used abbreviations for people's names. "Patrecia" was added in brackets where she just wrote "P" in longhand. She also abbreviated "psycho-epistemology" with the letters "PE". There is no evidence being suppressed -- the evidence is simply made more clear by spelling out the abbreviations.





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Post 89

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 10:05amSanction this postReply
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Casey,

Before I get to your impassioned outpourings, I would like to correct something that I wrote before. I stated that the Brandens did not give the correct time period of the deception.

I was wrong. Sorry. I checked PAR and it is there. (I haven't checked Judgment Day, but I have no doubt that it is there.) Apologies to both Brandens. Several other things are in PAR also. I quote (starting on p. 331 in PAR):

Ayn was not yet sixty when all the doors of the world began opening for her.
(...)

It was in 1964, her spirits and enthusiasm for life rising, that Ayn turned once more to her personal life and to Nathaniel.
(...)

She was ready to resume her sexual affair with Nathaniel.
She did not know that it was much too late. A year earlier, Nathaniel had met a young woman, an NBI student, and had fallen in love with her.
(...)

We [Lawrence, the husband of Patrecia, and Barbara] did not know that Nathaniel and Patrecia were already involved in a sexual affair.
(...)

Nathaniel did not tell Ayn of his affair.
(...)

It was then that Ayn told him she was ready to resume their affair. He had known it was coming, he had tried to be prepared, he was not prepared. He leaped to the first semi-honest response he could find. His marriage was shattered, he said; he was upset and had no emotional capacity left for anything else.
[my emphasis]
(...)

A river of anguish and betrayal and deceit was moving to swamp everyone involved in a situation that should never have begun.
(...)

Nathaniel tried to allay Ayn's uneasiness by assurances of his love, assurances that he needed and wanted her, and that she was the most important person in his life - and he struggled to believe that it was so.
(...)

It was the "triangle," he explained - the triangle consisting of Ayn, Frank, and himself  that seemed to him an insuperable emotional barrier.
(...)

Ayn plunged into a period of working to help Nathaniel with this new conflict. She wrote lengthy papers on her analysis of his psychology, on the meaning and solution of what appeared to be tormenting him, they discussed her papers and her theories for long futile hours.
(...)

The romance whose meaning to her had been the enjoyment of life on earth, was deteriorating into endless psychological sessions, endless excruciatingly difficult labor for her...
(...)

It was toward the end of that year [1966] that Nathaniel first told me, truthfully, what was happening between Ayn and himself - and, untruthfully, that he was only now about to begin a sexual affair with Patrecia.
(...)

By May [1968], Ayn was listening again as Nathaniel spoke of another difficulty besetting him - again real, again beside the point.
Now let me see if I can get your protestations correct.

1. Nathaniel Branden lied to Ayn Rand about his affair for over 4 years and Barbara helped him for a couple after she found out.
2. Nathaniel used a ruse of psychological disorder and therapy sessions to help bolster his lie.
3. The ruse was not mentioned in PAR or his books.

Now you want me to say that all this is wrong. OK. It is all wrong to do that. Now what?

Here is the point I find "curious" and "remarkable."

If one lie is reprehensible, what makes another on top of it change the nature of that? All it does is reinforce the wrong.

To be clear, Nathaniel lied and Barbara was an accomplice. CONDEMNATION. To find out that another lie existed as a ruse and this was not highlighted in their later books (sorry, dude, but I see strong hints of it in the quote above, so "completely left out" doesn't wash) should be natural. Where one lie goes, another usually follows.

So what do you want? Really really really CONDEMNATION?

OK. It is really really really wrong to use a ruse to cover a lie. Like I said, now what?

But I will go you even one further. The quotes I gave above already show Nathaniel using ruses to cover his lie (marital problems, etc.). Your moral outrage is that he used a lie for his ruse.

Well... uhm... OK. How does this sound to you? It is really really really really really really wrong to use a lie for a ruse to cover a lie.

So now what?

There is one thing you constantly ignore. These deceptions did not just cause suffering to Ayn. They caused suffering to both Brandens as well.

I mentioned before - and I will only briefly mention it here - that all this happened within context. That affair started when the Brandens had been married only 18 months and they were star-struck. Rand had been telling this young man what a genius he was and how he was going to change the world. I remember myself when I was in my twenties and know that I would not have been indifferent to praise like that from a woman I worshipped.

They continued to be star-struck as they built NBI. The history is well-known. Then BOOM, Nathaniel can't stop himself from falling in love with another woman - a young one who wasn't set on molding him into a hero.

That shook up everything he had ever learned from Rand - which he was preaching to the world. Barbara witnessed his anguish up close.

Valliant and you can make light of these kinds of facts, rationalize them, pretend that they did not exist, or (my favorite), take out-of-context quotes from years later to try to invalidate them, but that will not make them go away. And it will not make people like me blind myself to them.

Michael





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Post 90

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 10:10amSanction this postReply
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Casey,

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL...

This one deserves a separate post. You equate Valliant with Roark?

No, bro. Ayn Rand should be equated with Roark. Her books sell in the millions, too, even today. Roark's buildings finally became successful.

Valliant's book never will become a best-seller.

Oh my God! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL... (the pain, the pain...)

Michael




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Post 91

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 10:19amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

The ruse was that Branden was sexually paralyzed, and all of the elaborately conceived details of his psycho-sexual paralysis. The Brandens don't only not reveal the nature of those psychological sessions, they also conceal the nature of Rand's suggestions, that age might be a problem, that he should have a rejuvenating affair with an exciting younger woman, etc. The important nature of what was going on right there, right in those sessions -- the Branden deception and the Rand response -- is revealed for the first time in PARC. And Barbara reveals that Branden, in the quotes you cited, was lying to Barbara  -- he had in fact already been having an affair with Patrecia for years. Lying about his sex life to his wife and to Ayn Rand is Branden's M.O. But we hear nothing about the fact that he lied to Rand in either of the Brandens' books. The idea that this prolonged deception (his psychological straw man) could be a precipitating factor in Rand's reaction to the revelation of his affair cannot be arrived at by reading the Brandens' books because they omit that prolonged deception completely from the record. Rand is left appearing to act in a way that seems irrational with this vital evidence missing. The Brandens claims about Rand seem more plausible with this vital evidence missing. The omission of this evidence, considering how important it is to fully and fairly understand Rand's reaction, can not have been accidental.

(Edited by Casey Fahy on 11/24, 10:25am)




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Post 92

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 10:41amSanction this postReply
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No, I equate you with Peter Keating and Ellsworth Toohey.

Pay attention.

(How did you get the Roark equation, anyway? I'm referring to the M.O. of social metaphysicians who use popularity as a barometer of validity, whether they do so with Roark or James Valliant or anyone else.)




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Post 93

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 12:05pmSanction this postReply
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Did the report about AR saying NB ought to love her (romantically) get discredited? That statement is so anti-individualistic that when I first read it I couldn't believe Rand uttered it but I am told she did. Oh, well, I wasn't there, so who do you trust in this mess?



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Post 94

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 12:34pmSanction this postReply
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Oh, and Anne Heller did, in fact, extensively interview James Valliant for her biography of Rand. On this Thanksgiving Day, we can be thankful for that.



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Post 95

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 12:39pmSanction this postReply
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Dr. Machan,

I do not trust the Branden reports on such things, either.

On this point, Rand's notes are most illuminating.

Rand came to believe that it was Branden's "image of himself as an Objectivist hero," as she puts it, that would be threatened if HE ever realized that Rand was not right for him, as she already had. She writes that it was Branden who, as she puts it, "tried to 'force himself' to feel actual love for [her]," a notion she found repulsive. Rand was distressed when she realized that his was "the premise of using love as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself--i.e., as 'proof' of one's own value or self-esteem, rather than its expression." She comes to believe that his love for her was an "act" -- at first, even to himself -- that it was a necessary part of that self-image as "an Objectivist hero."

This is just some of the relevant material on this question to be found in Rand's notes.



(Edited by James S. Valliant
on 11/24, 12:47pm)




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Post 96

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 11:11amSanction this postReply
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After rereading PAR one can conclude, without certainty, that Ayn Rand may have been as much motivated to protect Frank and the Brandens as herself and her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged in regard to secrecy of an affair. If so, she was much more innocent about the affair at its start than implied by PAR and JD. It's understandable how the Brandens would not see that innocence. The affair, of course, was simply wrongheaded regardless and an injustice especially to Frank O'Connor. James Valliant's attempt in PARC to explain away what must have been great suffering on Frank's part is one of the weakest parts of his attack on the Brandens.

I have concluded that it is not what the Brandens did or didn't do in the 60s that is important and that JD is completely irrelevant to demonstrating PARC's thesis.  That is, if Barbara Branden's biography doesn't stand up on its own feet there is no need to examine JD save out of desire to stomp on Nathaniel Branden. Valliant wins. If it does stand up it doesn't matter what one can say about JD because it was published after PAR and no more than confirms anything significant therein.

James Valliant has done great work in finding things to criticize in PAR. Because of this PARC has become legitimate material, even if not beyond significant criticism, in evaluating PAR and JD and what happened in  the life of Ayn Rand in the 50s on.

It is extremely upsetting to me that James Valliant seems more motivated to attack and destroy the Brandens than to give us a better and truer understanding of who Ayn Rand was, but ultimately his motivation doesn't matter to me. Parc is basically negative and destructive, but sometimes there is value in that. Adversarial legal is like that. In any case, only the Brandens can destroy the Brandens out of this context.

Barbara Branden did her best to write the story about Ayn Rand's life and to understand this great genius. Instead of acknowledging the legitimacy of her efforts and thanking her one gets the bile of PARC ("psychology of a rapist"). A simple monograph criticizing PAR would have been sufficient and might have provided Barbara with good incentive to revise her biography of Ayn Rand, especially if material heretofore denied her and scholars generally were made available.

PARC is just an aspect of the ARI/TOC battleground. Barbara Branden has argued for decades on the need for inclusion and ARI for exclusion. I have decided to include myself out.

By this I mean there is no true independence and individualism in a movement. Just factionalism and acrimony. There is nothing that Barbara Branden can do about it from a TOC or any other collective perspective. Speaking as an individual I am much more inclined to the ARI viewpoint, but sans all aspects of a movement or an authority figure like Peikoff making stupid statements about bombing people.

I have therefore decided not to write a review of PARC, because I do not care to review, for the public, PAR. But thanks to Barbara Branden we will one way or another find our way to understanding, knowing and appreciating Ayn Rand. It can't be be done without her.

--Brant


(Edited by Brant Gaede on 11/24, 1:38pm)




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Post 97

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 1:02pmSanction this postReply
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Casey,

Three points:

1. You just wrote:
The Brandens don't only not reveal the nature of those psychological sessions, they also conceal the nature of Rand's suggestions, that age might be a problem, that he should have a rejuvenating affair with an exciting younger woman, etc.
(My emphasis.)

Here is a quote from PAR (p 336):
Sometimes, Ayn asked him: Is it the age difference?
(She also mentioned that he denied it to Rand. There's another lie for ya'.) 

You see, Casey, when you have an agenda, you are prone to make incorrect statements like what you just did. Does a slip like that go into an "error of knowledge" escape clause for moral perfection? Well, I presume that you did read PAR.

Frankly, it sounds to me like you really want to believe things like that and, if left unchecked, you would rewrite PAR completely, taking out everything good in it. Either that, or you, yourself, are also capable of outright lying. (Now there's a thought for ya'...)

2. You wrote:

But we hear nothing about the fact that he lied to Rand in either of the Brandens' books.
LOLOLOLOLOLOL... Sorry. That is just too funny. Both Branden books state specifically that he lied to her, and that Barbara did too. This perfectly illustrates my comment above (No. 1) about agendas leading to false statements.

3. I am glad you called the "prolonged deception" a "precipitating factor" in Rand's reaction, but I still take issue on a small point. To be clear, you are not claiming that it was the ONLY factor (leaving room for other things like jealousy, hurt at being rejected, being mad a herself for not seeing, and things like that which go on in the mind of a romantically rejected person), and I applaud that part of your objectivity. I would not imply that it was the only "precipitating factor," though. Maybe I am reading your implications incorrectly. There sure was a lot of stuff that was precipitating back then. For some reason you don't like to mention the Rand part of it too much.

One last comment - I don't mind you equating me with Keating or any other such nonsensical crap. I acknowledge that you do not perceive reality correctly - that you are blind (because you keep your eyes shut - not from excess light or visual incapacity - metaphorically speaking), and thus you are incapable of making a correct evaluation from facts. (Then again, there's that idea that you might be capable of deceit creeping into my thoughts again...)

I remember Rand mentioning somewhere how a stunted mentality gets really angry - really really really angry - when he encounters a mind that thinks for itself and says, "You are wrong." I need to dig that passage up. I think is was in Comprachicos, but I am not sure.

For the record, here is my comment about your evaluation of the worth of the Brandens (after admitting their deception of Rand).

"You, Casey Fahy, are dead wrong."

The magnificent achievements of both Brandens are one proof. The world's response to their achievements is more proof.

On the other hand, Valliant's achievement is flawed by lack of objectivity. That's not just my opinion either. Many fine first-class minds are complaining about precisely that aspect. Robert's essay on jealousy. Chris Sciabara's review and refutations in some recent posts here on Solo. Roger Bissell's comments so far. Others. More and more is coming and nothing will be able to stop it.

The world's response to Valliant's book has not been so generous, either. What numbers that are available are not very flattering. My prediction is that Valliant's book will become a minor footnote in history (really tiny, to be exact) - and only then, in the Objectivist world and nowhere else. Time will tell, but I would put heavy money on that one.

Fortunately for truth, the world is full of people who can evaluate correctly and think for themselves. You do not control them. Nor will you ever.

Michael

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 11/24, 1:04pm)




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Post 98

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 1:36pmSanction this postReply
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Michael takes this line:

"But we hear nothing about the fact that he lied to Rand in either of the Brandens' books."

Out of this context:

"The ruse was that Branden was sexually paralyzed, and all of the elaborately conceived details of his psycho-sexual paralysis. The Brandens don't only not reveal the nature of those psychological sessions, they also conceal the nature of Rand's suggestions, that age might be a problem, that he should have a rejuvenating affair with an exciting younger woman, etc. The important nature of what was going on right there, right in those sessions -- the Branden deception and the Rand response -- is revealed for the first time in PARC. And Barbara reveals that Branden, in the quotes you cited, was lying to Barbara  -- he had in fact already been having an affair with Patrecia for years. Lying about his sex life to his wife and to Ayn Rand is Branden's M.O. But we hear nothing about the fact that he lied to Rand in either of the Brandens' books. The idea that this prolonged deception (his psychological straw man) could be a precipitating factor in Rand's reaction to the revelation of his affair cannot be arrived at by reading the Brandens' books because they omit that prolonged deception completely from the record. Rand is left appearing to act in a way that seems irrational with this vital evidence missing. The Brandens claims about Rand seem more plausible with this vital evidence missing. The omission of this evidence, considering how important it is to fully and fairly understand Rand's reaction, can not have been accidental."

You will note that in almost every sentence referring to the Branden lies that are the subject and first sentence of this paragraph I qualify that the lie being discussed is the psychological straw man Branden concocted in the therapy sessions. To the point of being redundant. (The repetition of the context-setting phrases are italicized.) I KNEW MSK would snatch that one unqualified sentence out of the middle of the paragraph, no matter how obviously it was qualified by the context of the entire paragraph surrounding it, and dance around like Gollum clutching the Ring as though I had claimed, seriously, that I was referring to the multitude of other lies the Brandens mention in their books. This is not a serious way to discuss anything, Michael. You drop context like a hot potato. It is NOT HONEST.

As for the age issue, and Rand "sometimes" suggesting it, it is dismissed as though it was an unserious remark by Rand, even though her notes from the psychological sessions demonstrate that it was an issue Rand took seriously and suggested sincerely. That she brought this up during psychological discussions about Branden's fraudulent claim of general sexual paralysis is the context that is omitted from both of the Brandens' books, allowing her suggestion to be more easily and airily brushed aside as some kind of half-hearted passing notion. The Brandens, as I said: "don't only not reveal the nature of those psychological sessions, they also conceal the nature of Rand's suggestions, that age might be a problem, that he should have a rejuvenating affair with an exciting younger woman, etc. The important nature of what was going on right there, right in those sessions -- the Branden deception and the Rand response -- is revealed for the first time in PARC." 

Rand's comments were made within a context that the Brandens do not share, because if they did it would be A) apparent that her suggestion was more serious and considerate than some disassociated and plaintive gesture and B) it would reveal the lies that Branden was telling her about his "sex problem." Without this vital context, the blithe reference to Rand mentioning this becomes another weary acknowledgement of what seems to be Rand's self-delusion. So, Michael, you're not the only one fond of dropping context when it suits you.

(Edited by Casey Fahy on 11/24, 1:37pm)




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Post 99

Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 1:43pmSanction this postReply
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Happy turkey day, everybody. 

--Brant




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