Mensa Letters: Correspondence With Bryce Lewis

In reference to the Birdman's Mayday 2001 letter

Note to reader: Each writer's letter is in normal type; Birdman's responses are in italics.

[Letters are separated by a dotted line: ------. Letters are unedited.]

 

Personally, I think you are paranoid, and have delusions of grandeur. Why publish an article if you know it will be received negatively? Also, who in their own e-mail writes a summary autobiography? I would assert to you that life is too short to perseverate over petty issues like negative comments in a moderately-circulated magazine. People just don't care that much.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

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My comments are interleaved with your text, set off by asterisks ****** ----- Original Message ----- From: ViperBL To: john@thebirdman.org Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 5:29 PM Subject: mensa speech

Personally, I think you are paranoid, and have delusions of grandeur. Why publish an article if you know it will be received negatively?

**** If I have delusions of grandeur, why would I publish something that would get me a lot of negativity, hence counteracting my illusion? As for paranoia, that's just name-calling. Try answering my arguments. (But you won't because you can't.)

Also, who in their own e-mail writes a summary autobiography?

**** I am writing people I don't know, so it makes sense to let them know who I am, particularly if they are likely to take a position of disrespect.

I would assert to you that life is too short to perseverate over petty issues like negative comments in a moderately-circulated magazine.

**** I suppose what I should have done, then, is to buy TV time? (I make my voice heard where I can.)

People just don't care that much. **** Right. That's why there are hundreds of 'hate' sites, dealing with issues similar to the ones I am raising.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

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I found your responses interesting; here is what I contend:

<<If I have delusions of grandeur, why would I publish something that would get me a lot of negativity, hence counteracting my illusion?>> This assumes negative publicity "counteracts" grandeur, which, of course, it does not. Fame and infamy are nearly synonymous in that they imply the person "being known by people." In the similar way, I'm sure you have heard a child "annoys" an adult, or grade school children "pick on/bother" each other to get attention. Your attempts at notoriety don't counteract your illusion, they contribute to it.

<<As for paranoia, that's just name-calling. >> Not really. You prove it by that statement, where in most responses to people you often defer to accusing them of name-calling when they may or may not have a point. Their point is unclear to you, which poses a mental threat. To retaliate defensively, you make the accusation (characteristic of paranoia.)

<<Try answering my arguments. (But you won't because you can't.)>> Can't I.

<<That's why there are hundreds of 'hate' sites, dealing with issues similar to the ones I am raising.>> There are thousands of people diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia every year in America, too. I refer to mentally sane people.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

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My responses are set off by asterisks.***** ----- Original Message ----- From: ViperBLTo: john@thebirdman.org Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 11:40 PM Subject: response

I found your responses interesting; here is what I contend:

<<If I have delusions of grandeur, why would I publish something that would get me a lot of negativity, hence counteracting my illusion?>> This assumes negative publicity "counteracts" grandeur, which, of course, it does not. Fame and infamy are nearly synonymous in that they imply the person "being known by people." In the similar way, I'm sure you have heard a child "annoys" an adult, or grade school children "pick on/bother" each other to get attention. Your attempts at notoriety don't counteract your illusion, they contribute to it. **** If you had been subjected to the kind of hate to which I have been subjected, you would not say that. Most people are so hurt by even tiny tweaks to their ego that they simply cannot take the heat. I know -- I have done a bit of ego-tweaking in responding to hate mail, and almost invariably people will wither at the first body-blow. It takes a very strong, very self-confident person to stand up under the stuff I have had to stand up to. Indeed, it is easy to demonstrate this is true: It is for this very reason (sensitivity to criticism) that most people will simply not speak out in any way that is not PC. If they did, they could get lots of attention -- LOTS -- but they simply couldn't take the response. In a sense it is true I thrive on it, but it is only because of a hell of a lot of ego-brusings that has given me a callous on the brain sufficient to endure it.

<<As for paranoia, that's just name-calling. >> Not really. You prove it by that statement, where in most responses to people you often defer to accusing them of name-calling when they may or may not have a point.

***** I must have answered 40 letters today with substantive points. I never pass one by. It is a matter of pride that I respond to every charge in every letter. And I never engage in name-calling, only substantive observations. And most people quit after just one round with me - they get battered (and fried).

Their point is unclear to you, which poses a mental threat.

**** I will be publishing EVERY LETTER OF HATE-MAIL OR DISAGREEMENT on my website. If I were threatened, I wouldn't. Yours will appear along with the rest.

To retaliate defensively, you make the accusation (characteristic of paranoia.)

I make accusations only as objectively justified. Paranoia constitutes unreasonable belief that people are persecuting you; but -- in my case, as far as the Mensa thing is concerned, at least -- there is not a thing unreasonable about it -- tons of hate mail, a 1 1/2 page denunciation in the Bulletin, plus a whole raft of earlier attacks which I published in Censorship, Political Correctness, and Liberal-Jewish Strongarm Tactics in High-IQ/Low-Morals Mensa. Nothing the least unreasonble about believing the facts, wouldn't you say?

<<Try answering my arguments. (But you won't because you can't.)>> Can't I. **** None too well.

<<That's why there are hundreds of 'hate' sites, dealing with issues similar to the ones I am raising.>>

There are thousands of people diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia every year in America, too. I refer to mentally sane people.

**** People with paranoid schizophrenia are not the ones putting up websites. People who have written 40 books and made it into Who's Who are not paranoid schizophrenics. All in spite of your self-delusional attempt to believe the contrary.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

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John,

Feel free to post this conversation anywhere you like. I read your response, and I would assert the following:

<<It takes a very strong, very self-confident person to stand up under the stuff I have had to stand up to. . .In a sense it is true I thrive on it, but it is only because of a hell of a lot of ego-bruisings>>

So you do, in essence, agree with me if you supposedly thrive on it. Whether your ego was bruised or not beforehand speaks little of your personality structure now. Also, I disagree with your implication that people would withdraw from an argument because their ego had been bruised. Perhaps they, conversely, would perpetuate the argument, if only to convince their opponent to see things their way (and perhaps get a retraction from their opponent, thereby mending their bruised ego.)

<<I must have answered 40 letters today with substantive points. . .And I never engage in name-calling>>

Oh? What about the term "self delusional," as in <<All in spite of your self-delusional attempt to believe the contrary.>>?

<<I make accusations only as objectively justified. Paranoia constitutes unreasonable belief that people are persecuting you>>

But is your belief reasonable? Allow me to list something else you have e-mailed:

<<But be warned -- my enemies don't want you to read this stuff, and they will move quickly to try to get my page taken down and my Internet account canceled (that's their Standard Operating Procedure). If either effort is successful, of course, it will only serve to prove me right: That the behavior of organized Jewry poses an important danger to the rest of us, and that these folks regard what I have to say as sufficiently important and revealing to try to keep people from seeing it or contacting me.>>

This sounds like something out of Orwell's 1984. Whereas people may be responding negatively to your statements (as would be expected from the nature of your statements,) there is no formed conspiracy out to get you, as you suggest.

<<People with paranoid schizophrenia are not the ones putting up websites. People who have written 40 books and made it into Who's Who are not paranoid schizophrenics.>>

Oh? The Internet is a collage of all kinds of different viewpoints, of which the most troubled people are also a part. For example, the people of Heaven's Gate had a website, as does the Trenchcoat Mafia, as does Charles Manson. Paranoid schizophrenia is definitely not a disease limiting people from putting up websites. As for writing books, I'm sure paranoid schizophrenics are capable of doing that as well. Though their work may have an odd quality, anyone can vanity publish a book or start their own publishing company to do so, and I know several people who have done just that. As for Who's Who, there are so many of those lists, they have lost their prestige to quantity and certainly do not rule out the possibility of listing someone with a mental illness. Thus I assert that it is you who are self-delusional, and if you do have valuable time, perhaps you should consider spending it in a manner not proverbially "flipping people off," as that sort of thing can be accomplished by any angry putz with a middle finger.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

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My responses are interleaved with your text and set off by asterisks ****** ----- Original Message ----- From: ViperBL To: john@thebirdman.org Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 7:04 PM Subject: Re: response

John,

Feel free to post this conversation anywhere you like. I read your response, and I would assert the following:

<<It takes a very strong, very self-confident person to stand up under the stuff I have had to stand up to. . .In a sense it is true I thrive on it, but it is only because of a hell of a lot of ego-bruisings>>

So you do, in essence, agree with me if you supposedly thrive on it.

***** A little analysis: I have had my ego bruised a lot, but because I have, I have developed a callus, so to speak. So now it doesn't hurt when I get nasty letters, as I have gotten from many liberal Mensans. But the very fact that it doesn't hurt means that I can use these nasty letters to push my enemies' emotional hotbuttons. That's why I thrive on it - I can punish them when they try to punish me, but they can't hurt me. If that is 'agreeing with you', fine; but I doubt that it is.

Whether your ego was bruised or not beforehand speaks little of your personality structure now. Also, I disagree with your implication that people would withdraw from an argument because their ego had been bruised.

******* You can disagree all you want, but the fact is that people don't like pain, and when they feel it, they withdraw.

Perhaps they, conversely, would perpetuate the argument, if only to convince their opponent to see things their way (and perhaps get a retraction from their opponent, thereby mending their bruised ego.)

<<I must have answered 40 letters today with substantive points. . .And I never engage in name-calling>>

Oh? What about the term "self delusional," as in <<All in spite of your self-delusional attempt to believe the contrary.>>?

****** You, like most people, fail to recognize the difference between negative descriptions (like self-delusional) and name-calling (like dickhead).

<<I make accusations only as objectively justified. Paranoia constitutes unreasonable belief that people are persecuting you>>

But is your belief reasonable? Allow me to list something else you have e-mailed:

<<But be warned -- my enemies don't want you to read this stuff, and they will move quickly to try to get my page taken down and my Internet account canceled (that's their Standard Operating Procedure). If either effort is successful, of course, it will only serve to prove me right: That the behavior of organized Jewry poses an important danger to the rest of us, and that these folks regard what I have to say as sufficiently important and revealing to try to keep people from seeing it or contacting me.>>

This sounds like something out of Orwell's 1984. Whereas people may be responding negatively to your statements (as would be expected from the nature of your statements,) there is no formed conspiracy out to get you, as you suggest.

****** The fact that something sounds like it is out of 1984 is hardly a reason to call it false. (Orwell based his book on what was then going on in the USSR). The quoted statement is based in large measure on my prior conflicts in Mensa which are documented in my book, Censorship, Coverup and Liberal-Jewish Strongarm Tactics in High-IQ/Low-Morals Mensa. You can call it 'conspiracy' or you can call it 'working together', but shit by any other name smells just as bad.

<<People with paranoid schizophrenia are not the ones putting up websites. People who have written 40 books and made it into Who's Who are not paranoid schizophrenics.>>

Oh? The Internet is a collage of all kinds of different viewpoints, of which the most troubled people are also a part. For example, the people of Heaven's Gate had a website, as does the Trenchcoat Mafia, as does Charles Manson. Paranoid schizophrenia is definitely not a disease limiting people from putting up websites. As for writing books, I'm sure paranoid schizophrenics are capable of doing that as well. Though their work may have an odd quality, anyone can vanity publish a book or start their own publishing company to do so, and I know several people who have done just that. As for Who's Who, there are so many of those lists, they have lost their prestige to quantity and certainly do not rule out the possibility of listing someone with a mental illness.

***** I grant your point that the mentally unbalanced can and do put up websites. As to writing books, I have subjected my work to the toughest possible scrutiny by submitting to recognized experts, and their testimony is recorded on my website. As for Who's Who, I am referring to the Marquis Who's Who, which is the gold standard, and not to their many imitators. As to your reference to vanity publishing, this is not what I do. A vanity publication is put out so somebody can tell his friends and put it on his coffee table. A self-publisher may be a vanity publisher, or he may be a businessman. And he may be like me, whose work could not (at least initially) find a publisher because of its controversial nature. And he may be like me and many other famous self-publishers, who began as unknowns but who had confidence in their work sufficient to self-publish and promote.

Thus I assert that it is you who are self-delusional, and if you do have valuable time, perhaps you should consider spending it in a manner not proverbially "flipping people off," as that sort of thing can be accomplished by any angry putz with a middle finger. ***** Nothing you said supports your assertion that I am self delusional. Furthermore, as I have just pointed out, most of what you have said is either false or otherwise defective. These facts, however, make a case that it is YOU who is self-delusional. As to 'flipping people off', this is precisely what I do NOT do: Rather, in your case as in every other, I carefully respond to each point in a rational way, and without polemics, insults or anything of the like. I will admit, however, that my coldly rational approach succeeds in 'flipping off' a lot of irrational people. Such as you, apparently. Is that good enuf for you, Viper?

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

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John,

If you would prefer I say "yes, I agree with you" and then stop responding, tell me so. I merely analyze your argument and respond logically. From your last e-mail, I submit the following:

<<. . .the fact is that people don't like pain, and when they feel it, they withdraw.>>

Not so. When someone is slapped in the face, they recede, but then retaliate. A negative comment may be negatively received, but they still may strive for revenge or resolution. They would not withdraw in that case; they would do the opposite. I submit you do that-- that is, look for someone to slap you in the face and then feel a satisfaction of retaliation.

<<You, like most people, fail to recognize the difference between negative descriptions (like self-delusional) and name-calling (like dickhead).>>

You obviously also fail to recognize the difference besides the fact that "dickhead" sounds childish. The difference is that one term can be logically defended, where the other cannot. You cannot logically defend that I am "self-delusional," be it name-calling or not. Technically, though, you said I was "name-calling" when I called you paranoid, a term along the same lines as "self-delusional." Apparently you fail to recognize your terms as name-calling, but refer to everyone else's thereas.

<<You can call it 'conspiracy' or you can call it 'working together', but shit by any other name smells just as bad.>> I have no doubt there is liberal influence in the media; I assert that Jewish persons (as a collective) have nothing to do with it. So, yes, perhaps a kind of conspiracy exists, if you want to call it that, but I said that "there is no formed conspiracy out to get you," which is true. They're not out to get you, they're just doing what they think should be done. I made this statement in reference to the vehemence you put toward this issue, which is unnecessary.

Perhaps your work did not sell because of its controversial nature, but often controversial works sell volumes more than non-controversial works. Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto are examples of these. Perhaps you're merely an unknown, but if your fame in "Who's Who" is as you say, perhaps it is the quality of the work that is lacking.

If any of these points are invalid, do let me know. As it stands, your self-delusion lies within your exaggeration of yourself, as though the world somehow centers around you. This can be illustrated by your paranoia, retaliation toward commentary, and supposed prestige.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

P.S. In the statement "These facts, however, make a case that it is YOU who is self-delusional," I think you meant "make a case that it is you who are self-delusional."

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My replies are set off by asterisks ***** ----- Original Message ----- From: ViperBL To: john@thebirdman.org Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 9:51 PM Subject: Re: response

John,

If you would prefer I say "yes, I agree with you" and then stop responding, tell me so. I merely analyze your argument and respond logically. From your last e-mail, I submit the following:

<<. . .the fact is that people don't like pain, and when they feel it, they withdraw.>>

Not so. When someone is slapped in the face, they recede, but then retaliate. A negative comment may be negatively received, but they still may strive for revenge or resolution. They would not withdraw in that case; they would do the opposite. I submit you do that-- that is, look for someone to slap you in the face and then feel a satisfaction of retaliation.

***** Sometimes people withdraw, sometimes they retaliate. My point is that when people keep geting their ass kicked, they have a tendency to withdraw. And that is usually what happens when they fight with me. If I am wrong, I apologize and quit fighting; if I am right, I fight until the other guy is so bashed up that he prefers to withdraw.

<<You, like most people, fail to recognize the difference between negative descriptions (like self-delusional) and name-calling (like dickhead).>>

You obviously also fail to recognize the difference besides the fact that "dickhead" sounds childish.

***** I cannot discern your point. What don't I recognize?

The difference is that one term can be logically defended, where the other cannot. You cannot logically defend that I am "self-delusional,"

****** I already did in my comments on your last letter.

be it name-calling or not. Technically, though, you said I was "name-calling" when I called you paranoid, a term along the same lines as "self-delusional." Apparently you fail to recognize your terms as name-calling, but refer to everyone else's thereas. ***** Whether a term is name-calling or not may depend on context: If it is part of a reasoned argument it wouldn't be name calling. Since I don't have the context, I don't know whether i was at fault, but my guess is that your claim was unsupported, hence was indeed name-calling.

<<You can call it 'conspiracy' or you can call it 'working together', but shit by any other name smells just as bad.>> I have no doubt there is liberal influence in the media; I assert that Jewish persons (as a collective) have nothing to do with it.

****** The context here, which you ignore, is my assertion that IN MY CASE re Mensa there was a conspiracy or working-together. I referred to nothing else. On my website, however, I take some effort to describe the ill effect of Jews working together to undermine Western civ. Not all Jews, of course; in fact, only a small number. But far too often Jews.

So, yes, perhaps a kind of conspiracy exists, if you want to call it that, but I said that "there is no formed conspiracy out to get you," which is true.

****** What, then, do you call the coordinated efforts of all the Mensa people, giving me a 1 1/2 page drubbing? Certainly a working-together. It wasn't just the letters editor, but the Bulletin editor, communications director, AMC president, and who-knows-who.

They're not out to get you, they're just doing what they think should be done.

****** But obviously, from their behavior, they thought that getting me was 'what should be done'.

I made this statement in reference to the vehemence you put toward this issue, which is unnecessary.

****** Unnecessary for your purposes, perhaps, but not for mine.

Perhaps your work did not sell because of its controversial nature, but often controversial works sell volumes more than non-controversial works. Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto are examples of these. Perhaps you're merely an unknown, but if your fame in "Who's Who" is as you say, perhaps it is the quality of the work that is lacking.

****** Here we go again. I already pointed out what you choose to ignore: my reviews. The positive reviews of distinguished men and women in the appropriate field is perhaps the best indication of quality.

If any of these points are invalid, do let me know. As it stands, your self-delusion lies within your exaggeration of yourself, as though the world somehow centers around you.

****** A delusion is seeing something falsely or erroneously. Every person sees the world with himself at the center; Each person is the most important person in his life. There is nothing delusional in this. If there is something I am exaggerating about myself -- something which goes beyond the fact that each person is the center of his own life -- then you have ever-so-cleverly omitted mentioning it, which spares you the necessity of defending your assertion, and the embarrassment of being shown to be in error.

This can be illustrated by your paranoia, retaliation toward commentary, and supposed prestige. ****** Paranoia? I react negatively to people working together against me and behaving unethically, and you call it paranoia. That's name-calling on your part. Retaliation? I simply give tit for tat -- to do less is to invite more. Supposed prestige? Whatever I have claimed as prestige is objective: Who's Who, reviews, etc. All of which is to say that what you have said against me amounts to nothing. But THAT, on the other hand, says quite a bit about YOU -- all of it negative.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

P.S. In the statement "These facts, however, make a case that it is YOU who is self-delusional," I think you meant "make a case that it is you who are self-delusional."

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John,

You seem to make form your argument structure on something called "circular logic," where you make arguments based on the conditional assumption that other arguments you have made were true. First off, perhaps this is why people refuse to continue arguing with you: because you shoot a lot of points at them as though they were true and support each other. Following this statement, I will go through your argument, and explain why none of it has any merit.

<<And that is usually what happens when they fight with me. [They withdraw from the drubbing.]>> Here is your original assumption: that people usually are so exasperated by your "drubbings" that they quit because they realize they are wrong. Of course, this is not necessarily the case, and in fact likely isn't, from what I've examined of human nature (and described previously.) This draws upon the assumption that your points are all valid.

<<I already did in my comments on your last letter.>> But your comments on my letter were not pertaining to any self-delusion of mine. Conversely, your self-delusion is evidenced by comments you make in letters, such as: <<but my guess is that your claim was unsupported>>. You make this "guess" because you believe yourself to be right and therefore those who differ, you believe to be wrong. This is erroneous, because you based this off of an assumption which is unsubstantiated. In actuality, my aforementioned "claim" was of your paranoia, which can be shown to be substantiated, as for example you say:

<<What, then, do you call the coordinated efforts of all the Mensa people, giving me a 1 1/2 page drubbing?>> I call it a response to what they regard as "filth," or blatantly and unjust offensive (offensive here meaning o. of defensive) statements. It's not as if these people woke up and thought "let's go attack John Bryant today," they would do the same for any nameless person. The fact that you make it out to be a personal attack is evidence of paranoia. Every comment you make about this "attack" is based on the presumption that it is personal, e.g. <<obviously, from their behavior, they thought that getting me was 'what should be done'.>> No, they thought 'speaking out against offensive material' was what 'should be done'. You as a person have nothing to do with it.

<<Here we go again. I already pointed out what you choose to ignore: my reviews. The positive reviews of distinguished men and women in the appropriate field is perhaps the best indication of quality.>> Okay, let's discuss your reviews. Ideally, we discuss non-biased reviews. Assuming such, we must also assume that these persons are in fact 'distinguished.' Assuming such, we must also assume that their distinction bears relevance to the proper analysis and critique of your work. Assuming such, we must also assume that the 'quality' of your work is defined by their analysis and approval of your work (and not popularity, textual significance through literary criticism, withstanding the 'test of time,' etc.) Being forced to make such non-concrete assumptions, you can hardly support quality by the reviews of your "distinguished men and women."

<<If there is something I am exaggerating about myself -- something which goes beyond the fact that each person is the center of his own life -->> Perhaps that you believe everyone is out to get you and that you quote yourself several times on your own website. Note: I have only heard feedback from one other person after reading the material on your website, and they said "sounds like this guy has delusions of grandeur." This may be feeble in supporting that you actually do, but is a good indicator of how your material is being received, because I thought the same exact thing. Perhaps the Mensa Bulletin could take a poll?

<<[This spares you] the embarrassment of being shown to be in error.>> Show me to be in error if I am! I am not embarrassed: to err is human. But I still assert that you cannot.

<<Paranoia? I react negatively to people working together against me and behaving unethically, and you call it paranoia. That's name-calling on your part. Retaliation? I simply give tit for tat -- to do less is to invite more. Supposed prestige? Whatever I have claimed as prestige is objective: Who's Who, reviews, etc. All of which is to say that what you have said against me amounts to nothing. But THAT, on the other hand, says quite a bit about YOU -- all of it negative.>>

See above commentary.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

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My comments are marked by asterisks ******* ----- Original Message ----- From: ViperBLTo: john@thebirdman.org Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2001 11:47 PM Subject: Re: response

John,

You seem to make form your argument structure on something called "circular logic," where you make arguments based on the conditional assumption that other arguments you have made were true.

***** There is nothing 'circular' about basing arguments on previously-established points.

First off, perhaps this is why people refuse to continue arguing with you: because you shoot a lot of points at them as though they were true and support each other.

***** Why people stop arguing with me can only be inferred; but when I 'shoot a lot of points at them' which they do not answer, it is reasonable to infer in most cases that they CANNOT answer. Most will not respond to even one letter; very few to more than two.

Following this statement, I will go through your argument, and explain why none of it has any merit.

<<And that is usually what happens when they fight with me. [They withdraw from the drubbing.]>> Here is your original assumption: that people usually are so exasperated by your "drubbings" that they quit because they realize they are wrong.

***** Whether anyone 'realizes they are wrong' is doubtful. What they (probably) realize is that they cannot generate good arguments. In a rational person that would lead them to at least suspect that they are wrong, but in most of the people I deal with, I get little feeling of their rationality. Epithets are not a good sign of logical thinking.

Of course, this is not necessarily the case, and in fact likely isn't, from what I've examined of human nature (and described previously.) This draws upon the assumption that your points are all valid.

<<I already did in my comments on your last letter.>> But your comments on my letter were not pertaining to any self-delusion of mine.

***** I don't have the text here, and am not going to search for it. If you want to argue, quote the text. But I clearly did skewer you for self-delusion.

Conversely, your self-delusion is evidenced by comments you make in letters, such as: <<but my guess is that your claim was unsupported>>.

***** When one says "My guess is ... " he admits uncertainty. To admit uncertainty is not a characteristic of 'self-delusion'.

You make this "guess" because you believe yourself to be right and therefore those who differ, you believe to be wrong. This is erroneous, because you based this off of an assumption which is unsubstantiated. In actuality, my aforementioned "claim" was of your paranoia, which can be shown to be substantiated, as for example you say:

***** I am not going to spend my time going back to what you wrote and what I said. It is very easy to say anything you want about a text when it is not present. Whenever I make an argument, the text is present and the reader can check it. Not so with you. Hence I will not attempt to answer what I feel confident is much fanciful pontification.

<<What, then, do you call the coordinated efforts of all the Mensa people, giving me a 1 1/2 page drubbing?>> I call it a response to what they regard as "filth," or blatantly and unjust offensive (offensive here meaning o. of defensive) statements.

***** My point, which you oh-so-cleverly managed to miss, is that one is not mistaken to think that people are after him when they are after him. By 'after him', of course, I am recognizing that their motivation is to adhere to PC, ie, they did not have a desire prior to my original essay to be 'after me'. I think this is the distincton you are missing.

It's not as if these people woke up and thought "let's go attack John Bryant today," they would do the same for any nameless person. The fact that you make it out to be a personal attack is evidence of paranoia.

***** There is no doubt that the attack was personal, as opposed to an attack on my arguments. If you can't see that, you must be blinder than I thought.

Every comment you make about this "attack" is based on the presumption that it is personal, e.g. <<obviously, from their behavior, they thought that getting me was 'what should be done'.>> No, they thought 'speaking out against offensive material' was what 'should be done'. You as a person have nothing to do with it.

***** You miss the point: Sure, they were speaking out against offensive material, but -- as with most liberals -- they don't deal with the arguments, but instead make ad hominem attacks. Have you got it yet, or does it have to be explained a few dozen more times?

<<Here we go again. I already pointed out what you choose to ignore: my reviews. The positive reviews of distinguished men and women in the appropriate field is perhaps the best indication of quality.>>

Okay, let's discuss your reviews. Ideally, we discuss non-biased reviews. Assuming such, we must also assume that these persons are in fact 'distinguished.' Assuming such, we must also assume that their distinction bears relevance to the proper analysis and critique of your work. Assuming such, we must also assume that the 'quality' of your work is defined by their analysis and approval of your work (and not popularity, textual significance through literary criticism, withstanding the 'test of time,' etc.) Being forced to make such non-concrete assumptions, you can hardly support quality by the reviews of your "distinguished men and women."

***** Your logic here, if any, escapes me. Nothing you say, as far as I can see, supports your conclusion that I cannot support my contention of the quality of my work by positive reviews by distinguished people. On the contrary, your contention is prima facie invalid, for how else can quality possibly be judged except by a convergence of opinion among people generally recognized as qualified? True, it's not perfect, but it's the best thing we have. It is, in a word, 'peer review', recognized by science as the 'gold standard' of truth.

I wlll comment however that bias, so called, is not 'bad', but rather is the particular slant given by one's life experiences. It is fact-based and fact-supported by these life experiences. We all have different experiences, hence different 'biases'. But it is often the case that people have similar experiences, hence their biases agree. The biases of men of generally-recognized merit are thus 'biases' which in some sense are recognized as good

<<If there is something I am exaggerating about myself -- something which goes beyond the fact that each person is the center of his own life -->> Perhaps that you believe everyone is out to get you and that you quote yourself several times on your own website.

****** I never said 'everyone is out to get me'. I said only what is a fact: That a collection of people, working together, were out to get me in certain circumstances, primarily last year's Bulletin. How can you make such obviously absurd statements?

Note: I have only heard feedback from one other person after reading the material on your website, and they said "sounds like this guy has delusions of grandeur." This may be feeble in supporting that you actually do, but is a good indicator of how your material is being received, because I thought the same exact thing. Perhaps the Mensa Bulletin could take a poll?

***** There are lots of liberals in Mensa, and since you are liberal, you are more likely to have heard from one. But while I have had many negative responses, there are also a great many who have neither responded negatively, nor asked to be removed from my mailing list. This suggests, at the very least, a certain receptivity, even among notoriously PC Mensans. As to a poll, I would be happy for one, but it won't happen, because the liberal honchos want this matter hushed up and given as little attention as possible. They already demonstrated that amply.

<<[This spares you] the embarrassment of being shown to be in error.>> Show me to be in error if I am! I am not embarrassed: to err is human. But I still assert that you cannot.

****** Every comment I have made, in my humble opinion at least, demonstrates your error. Short of some response from you which disabuses me of the notion, I will maintain that I have correctly identified your errors.

<<Paranoia? I react negatively to people working together against me and behaving unethically, and you call it paranoia. That's name-calling on your part. Retaliation? I simply give tit for tat -- to do less is to invite more. Supposed prestige? Whatever I have claimed as prestige is objective: Who's Who, reviews, etc. All of which is to say that what you have said against me amounts to nothing. But THAT, on the other hand, says quite a bit about YOU -- all of it negative.>>

See above commentary. ***** You do the same.

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

--------

The last letter you sent was quite disappointing. Frankly, I expected more from you than unsupported arguments. Likewise, I am not going to search for previous text to explain my points when I have done so already. Your arguments consisted entirely of "I am not going to search for text" and statements that are obviously untrue, such as "It is, in a word, 'peer review', recognized by science as the 'gold standard' of truth." I know of no such recognition. Besides, some of your 'peers' in Mensa regard your articles as 'filth.'

Two things did stand out, that I had to respond to:

<<[Liberals] don't deal with the arguments, but instead make ad hominem attacks>> It seems, though, that an "ad hominem," even "ad populo" attack is what you make against a race of people, as well as specific individuals. The second thing is that I find it hilarious that you think I am a liberal. You are obviously much more off-center than I had ever realized. I am not liberal by any stretch of the imagination. Read some of my letters in the Bulletin; I think you would agree.

Well, it seems as though we have come to a brick wall in this discussion. I have no desire to continue to make points over and over where you "fail to see my logic." However, I will point out that if you read the letters you send, you may notice that you have the undying tendency to perseverate over technicalities. In your last letter, I would agree with most of what you said (or, at least, have no reason to refute it,) but agreeing with your points would not invalidate my argument. I would concur, people may stop arguing with you because they see themselves revealed in error, but they may not be in error, but rather stranded in a sea of contradictory facts without hope of returning to their original argument. If your intention is to irk people in this manner, I would think you would succeed quite often!

I found this conversation stimulating, at least. Perhaps we may "converse" over the Bulletin concerning some unknown issue in the future. Until then,

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

-------

 

My responses, as usual, are set off with asterisks.****** ----- Original Message ----- From: ViperBL To: john@thebirdman.org Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 6:57 AM Subject: Re: response

The last letter you sent was quite disappointing. Frankly, I expected more from you than unsupported arguments.

****** This is quite amusing. It suggests that, in our previous correspondence I have been using SUPPORTED arguments -- a contention which I never expected to pass from your pen. Well, every cloud has a silver lining. But again, this is just another example of YOUR unsupported argument style. (That's because your contention is not supported.)

Likewise, I am not going to search for previous text to explain my points when I have done so already.

***** When responding to my points, you NEVER have to search for previous text, because I ALWAYS put the text with the argument, except in the case where you refer to something significant which YOU omitted.

Your arguments consisted entirely of "I am not going to search for text" and statements that are obviously untrue, such as "It is, in a word, 'peer review', recognized by science as the 'gold standard' of truth."

****** Only one case did I say I would not search for text, and that was because, as I recall, you omitted the text which you were commenting on. As to 'statements that are obviously ... truth', What I said was that I submitted my books to the highest test, that of the opinion of experts, which is like peer review, which is the 'gold standard' for determination of scientific correctness or quality. There is nothing 'obviously untrue' about this.

I know of no such recognition.

***** The decision to publish papers in the most prestigious scientific journals is made by peer review. If you 'know of no such recognition', it merely shows how out of touch you are with the real world.

Besides, some of your 'peers' in Mensa regard your articles as 'filth.'

****** Oooh! That hurts!

Two things did stand out, that I had to respond to:

<<[Liberals] don't deal with the arguments, but instead make ad hominem attacks>> It seems, though, that an "ad hominem," even "ad populo" attack is what you make against a race of people, as well as specific individuals.

***** I challenge you to name one ad hominem attack on an individual which I have made. As for my 'attack on Jews', if you want to call it that, when the SUBJECT OF THE DISCUSSION is the character and behavior of an individual or group, then it is PROPER to attack same, ie, it would not constitute an ad hominem attack. That is, an ad hominem attack is an attack on the ARGUER rather than the OBJECT DISCUSSED. By attacking Jews (if you want to call it that) I am not attacking the ARGUER, who might be anyone, Jew or non-Jew. Rather I am simply discussing the subject at hand. The fact that you do not recognize this shows, in my humble opinion, a serious deficiency of reasoning power on your part (that's a fact, not an insult).

The second thing is that I find it hilarious that you think I am a liberal. You are obviously much more off-center than I had ever realized. I am not liberal by any stretch of the imagination. Read some of my letters in the Bulletin; I think you would agree.

***** Maybe you aren't a liberal. So I am wrong. So what? It changes nothing substantive which I have said.

Well, it seems as though we have come to a brick wall in this discussion. I have no desire to continue to make points over and over where you "fail to see my logic." However, I will point out that if you read the letters you send, you may notice that you have the undying tendency to perseverate over technicalities. In your last letter, I would agree with most of what you said (or, at least, have no reason to refute it,) but agreeing with your points would not invalidate my argument. I would concur, people may stop arguing with you because they see themselves revealed in error, but they may not be in error, but rather stranded in a sea of contradictory facts without hope of returning to their original argument. If your intention is to irk people in this manner, I would think you would succeed quite often!

I found this conversation stimulating, at least. Perhaps we may "converse" over the Bulletin concerning some unknown issue in the future. Until then,

Regards,

Bryce Lewis

***** I am happy to know that you have taken at least one thing positive from our exchange. As to the future, I have about as much chance of getting published in the Bulletin as Hell has of freezing over. And I expect you know why. But in any event, so long.

 

 

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