Birdman's Correspondence With the Mensa Ombudsman

 

 

To: Eldon Romney, Mensa ombudsman (ombudsman@us.mensa.org)

From: John Bryant Date: September 19, 2000

Dear Mr Romney:

I have been wronged by Mensa in a very obvious and open way in a case which you probably already know something about. I have posted all the relevant documents on my website, at www.thebirdman.org. To find them, click 'Jewish Question' on the main page, then scroll down to 'Mensa Flap' and read all the links, particularly 'the letter they HAD to suppress', which is a good statement of my case.

From the way Mensa officials have behaved toward me, in both this case and another earlier one, I consider myself to have virtually no hope of ever getting any justice via Mensa, but I am trying anyway.

I have waited to contact you, the new ombudsman, because my earlier contact with Alan Neuner left me with the impression that he was totally unfair.

Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2000 11:16 PM Subject: Re: help

How exactly do you feel you have you been wronged, and what remedy do you ask of me?

Eldon Romney, Ombudsman

 

Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2000 3:16 AM Subject: Re: help

Mr Romney:

I told you in my letter below what documents to read to find out in what way I have been wronged. I thought you were a Mensan and would be able to read these documents without further assistance. But since you want me to hold your hand, read the following:

http://www.revilo-oliver.com/Writers/Bryant/mensa.html

If, after reading this document, you can't figure out what wrong has been done me, then there is no point in my trying to convince you otherwise. On the other hand, if you read this document and find that I have been wronged, contact me again, and I will send you a list of urls for further reading.

Will that do? -jb

 

Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2000 10:03 AM Subject: Re: help

Mr. Bryant,

As "Mensa's iconoclast," I would think you'd be happy with how things have turned out, or that at least you'd have expected that outcome. It appears to me you've gotten exactly what you've asked for.

I visited the URL listed in your complaint immediately after receipt and read the information. I did not see a remedy proposed there. It is your job to tell me what remedy you desire.

And no, I don't need you to hold my hand, I need you to tell me exactly what it is you expect me to do about the situation.

The condescending tone of your letter does nothing to promote my aiding you in your proclaimed case. The vitriolic nature of your website comments (relative to everyone who opposes your point of view) leads me to believe that I too will be castigated by you, because I most likely will not do what you desire; perhaps you will see me "totally unfair" like you did the former Ombudsman. So be it.

Unless you can describe a remedy to your complaint, I will consider the matter closed.

Eldon Romney, Ombudsman

 

Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2000 2:07 PM Subject: Re: help

Mr Romney:

Let me begin by admitting that your response irritated me because it seemed to suggest a characteristic in you that Mensans above all others are not supposed to have. But let us now try for a new start. I will begin by briefly setting out a few facts which you ought to know from reading the section of my website to which you were directed. Then I will tell you what I would consider a fair solution.

Here are the facts: I was viciously attacked for my views on the Jewish Question in the March Bulletin. This was no ordinary attack; rather it was specially orchestrated by the AMC, it was given a special section of the Bulletin, it was advanced from ordinary publication schedules, it was highly personal and libelous rather than a discussion of the issues, there was no balance of letters (all were negative), a special restriction was instituted in the same issue on length of letters which was obviously intended to keep me from responding in any effective way, and -- when the latter restriction was found inadequate (ie, when I wrote a letter adhering to the restriction -- a 150 word limit -- pointing to an URL that gave my full response) -- the head honcho of AMC (Beatty) refused flat-out to let me respond, even tho my letter had previously been accepted by letters editor Betty Curry.

My solution: Force AMC to allow publication of my letter, and put this letter in a place of special prominence (eg, the first letter of the issue, or with a box drawn around it, and with a title for the letter approved by me so as to avoid the possibility that the AMC will mislead readers about its content -- eg, Bryant on the Jewish Question) along with an explanation that it was the ombudsman's judgment to publish the letter.

One further remark: As to your assertion that

The vitriolic nature of your website comments (relative to everyone who opposes your point of view) ...

I do not suffer gladly either fools, ignorants, or those who behave unethically. I believe my attacks are appropriate for the matters objected to. If you think fools, ignorants or the immoral deserve less, then 'so be it'. You will note, however, that I PROMINENTLY volunteer to link any response by those whom I attack (2 places), which is a pretty strong constraint on my saying anything which is wrong or misleading. Certainly, from a moral point of view, I am WAY ahead of Mensa.

--John Bryant

 

To: Eldon Romney, Mensa ombudsman (ombudsman@us.mensa.org)

From: John Bryant Date: October 6, 2000

Re: Mensa flap over the Jewish Question

Dear Mr Romney:

In response to your email received today in which you said you may be rendering your decision this weekend on my case, I hope you will consider the following points before making that decision. I am sorry to be writing so lengthily at so late a date, but these points have only jelled in my mind in the last few hours since your message.

(1) While my original essay in the 2% solution -- the essay which began the controversy -- was limited to discussing the issues, all the letters published about this essay were directed at me personally in a sort of mass verbal character assassination, with no effort to address the issues I raised. This is reflected in the fact that nothing said in any of the letters attempted to question any statement I made (which of course they couldn't do because everything I said was true). However, in my opinion such behavior (making ad hominem arguments) is morally improper, and thus a moral debt has been incurred by the AMC who allowed it to take place. For this reason, I should be given space to respond as I have requested.

(2) It seems clear that the strategy of those who colluded to allow the verbal assassination attempt on me in the March Bulletin was to keep me from making any substantive response to the attack by placing a limit of 150 words on all subsequent published letters to the editor. This is demonstrated by the following facts:

(a) The limitation was placed in the very same issue that the attack occurred, thereby conveniently allowing six letter-writers to attack me under the old standard, while restricting me under a new one.

(b) Since the AMC honchos who formulated this strategy realized that they would look bad if they didn't allow me some response, the 150-word limitation was undoubtedly fixed upon as a way to give me a pro forma opportunity to respond while making that response virtually ineffective.

(c) The Letters Editor, Betty Curry, offered me a 150 word response when I sent her a much longer letter responding to the attack; but when the AMC honchos realized that I had outsmarted them by using the promised 150-word letter to point to a website where the longer letter was posted, they withdrew the offer to publish the 150-word letter.

Conclusion: Because of their own rules and their own original offer to publish a 150-word letter, plus the virtual certainty of collusion in arranging my verbal assassination while attempting to keep me from responding effectively, the AMC should be forced to keep to that offer.

(3) By in effect suppressing discussion of the Jewish Question, Mensa violates its own basic reason for being (and probably also its rules), namely, to bring together people with good minds so they can use those minds in producing enlightened discussion of the issues of the day.

(4) While I do not think it would resolve the problem in a fully fair way to me, I will be willing to pay for my letter to be published at standard advertising rates -- either at classified or display ad rates, whichever is cheaper, provided (a) my 150 word letter is actually published in the letters section, (b) it is published on the first page of the section, (c) it is printed to look like a letter, (d) it has a heading with the phrase 'Jewish Question' in it, (e) if printed at display ad rates, it is given a box around it, (f) I get to approve the typeset copy before it goes to press, in order to avoid any 'accidental' errors, changes or the like; (g) a second, third, fourth, etc letter would be run if, in spite of my efforts, there is a substantive typographical or other error in the letter, particularly relating to the all-important URL where the longer letter I am attempting to draw attention to is posted. For your information, classified ad rates are $1.25 per word, which would cost me a little under $200 for a 150-word letter. (If I have to pay for the letter to be printed, I might make it less than 150 words if I am paying by the word). I make this offer not because I think it will be accepted, but rather because I am convinced that the AMC honchos are desperate to keep my response from the membership, and that their refusal of this offer will be a measure of their desperation.

(5) The AMC honchos have probably argued to you that you must decide against me because it would 'split Mensa', or 'cause a mass resignation of Jews and liberals' of which there are many in Mensa, or make Mensa attractive to 'bigots', or otherwise 'hurt Mensa'. However, I do not think you should give any weight to this argument for two reasons: (a) It is extremely unlikely that Mensa's membership will be much affected by your decision; (b) even if Mensa is reduced substantially in size because of a decision favorable to me, that is not a good reason to not do the right thing; (c) the real motive behind the 'it will hurt Mensa' argument is an ego trip on the part of the AMC honchos -- they want to preside over and 'leave a legacy' of an expanded Mensa, rather than one which has declined; (d) while it is possible that Mensa would lose some members due to a decision in my favor, the likelihood is that it will become much larger in  the long term because of the greater freedom that people will have to discuss politically incorrect subjects, and the very strong attraction which such open discussion will provide to people who come to Mensa, but who now find it boring with the present enforced ambience of political correctness. (This latter point is supported in effect by the two letters from the Bulletin which I put on my website supporting more open discussion.)

(6) You stated in your first letter to me that 'It seems that you got exactly what you wanted' in the events which have transpired in this controversy, or words to that effect. That, however, is simply not so. What I wanted was a full and open (and continuing) discussion of the Jewish Question in the pages of the Bulletin, but what I got is what one usually gets in the present day -- suppression of speech. Of course I was glad to see the Jewish Question get some attention, but that hardly constitutes 'getting what I want', so I would suggest that using such a rationale for dismissing my complaint -- if that is what you are contemplating doing -- will not redound to your credit.

(7) For the record, please state the following: (a) whether or not you have read all the documents in the Mensa Flap section on my website, which are obviously relevant to this case; (b) whether you believe the Jewish Question -- as represented by the documents you have looked at on my website, and irrespective of whether or not you agree with their conclusions -- represents a valid subject of inquiry and discussion in Mensa; (c) whether you believe the reasoning given in (2) above is valid, ie, that I would have had my letter published if only I had not outsmarted the AMC honchos by using the letter to point to a full response which was posted on the Internet. Please note that -- while your decision on my case does not require you to make the requested statements, I believe that a failure to do so will reflect poorly on yourself.

(8) As a yardstick for comparing the morality of my own behavior with those of the AMC honchos, please note that on my website (in 2 places) I offer to link responses to any material on the site, including (of course) criticism. In contrast, the AMC honchos have done everything in their power to shut me up -- and this is not the first time. My behavior in offering to link criticism is motivated by my confidence that I am speaking the truth, and by my dedication to speaking the truth if I am found to be wrong. And what is the motivation of the AMC honchos? It began as an attempt to protect themselves from having to be involved in controversy and risking getting called 'antisemitic', 'racist' and the other usual smear terms, and it now extends to covering their ass for behaving immorally in suppressing legitimate speech and in keeping me from exposing their behavior. So I leave you with this question to ponder: Who is behaving morally, and who is not?

Thank you for your attention. -jb

 

Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2000 19:02:22 -0600

Mr. Bryant,

Your latest e-mail (Friday, October 6, 2000 4:14 PM) is rife with accusations and assumptions, some of which appear to me to be based solely on suspicion. You espouse those accusations and assumptions as if THEY are facts, which in at least some cases they are not. I believe you are so embroiled in those suspicions and "your opinion" that you will not accept or appreciate any response from me unless I conform to your every desire.

However, attempting to be fair-minded, I WILL respond to you with my opinion, to the best of my abilities. I assure you, however, that by attempting to respond to you, I fully understand that you will probably dissect every word of my response and perhaps point out, to me and/or others, each linguistic gaff or imprecision. I hold your ability to "put words on paper" in high esteem; I am no real match for your greater abilities, and am frequently humbled by the trust put in me by the AMC. I may regret this endeavor in the future. Regardless, my response:

First, I do not believe Mensa has wronged you. You are obviously disappointed by the outcome, but there is no guarantee, in Mensa or elsewhere, that any publication will treat your pet subject exactly as you might desire. I would think that the fact that you got ANY publicity for your ideas (especially recognizing how controversial those ideas are) would be looked on as a positive action from your standpoint.

Secondly, I do not believe Mensa has not violated any rule, policy or guideline relative to you. It is my opinion that the 150-word limitation referred to was not specifically enacted to hurt you, and there was, and is, no conspiracy or attempt to discredit you in any way. The "Jewish Question" caused a flood of letters, which were fairly characterized in the Letters to the Editor section. Again, the fact that you are disappointed is not proof that anything improper occurred. Editorial policy is clearly stated in each Bulletin, (the October issue has them on page 5) and supporting documentation is in the Actions Still In Effect (ASIEs), Appendix 12, page 172-176.

The current policies were developed before your submission and were developed for practical reasons--one of which is to allow publication of as many letters as possible in an issue while balancing how much space is used for what in a limited number of pages. The policy may not have been administered "to the letter" each month, it is quite reasonable to expect it WOULD be administered "to the letter" after a controversial issue caused so many letters to be received.

Third: Your argument of "moral debt" is groundless, in my opinion. Your initial submission created a tremendous stir, but after all the attention, the issue quickly lost journalistic merit. Resurrecting the topic would have done little for the Bulletin, but perhaps much for you. Again, that may be a disappointment to you, but has little bearing on Mensa or the Bulletin. Neither owes you or any other member a "full and open discussion" on any topic. If the topic is so dear to you, you have every right to start a Special Interest Group on that topic and discuss it to whatever extent you desire. The Bulletin is not a personal forum. It is ruled by what the editorial staff feels is journalistically appropriate; by the time your 150-word response was received, the issue had been deemed no longer appropriate.

Fourth: You ask in your latest e-mail that I respond to three issues "for the record":

a- I did read the ENTIRE content of your website. b- The subject of your website, like any other issue, is a valid subject of inquiry and discussion in Mensa, but NOT necessarily in the Bulletin. The Bulletin is being capably managed by an editorial staff which decides which issues should be discussed therein. c- I do not believe there is any evidence to support the notion that you "outsmarted" anyone in Mensa, let alone the AMC. The decision to stop the discussion of your topic was not improper, although some of the editors may have handled things differently in retrospect. The line of authority for decisions pertinent to the Mensa Bulletin is, in descending order, the AMC acting as a body, the Chairman, the Communications Officer, the Managing Editor, then Associate Editors. There is no evidence that anybody in that list violated any rule, procedure or guideline or even acted improperly in how they handled your case.

Lastly, a personal note: I recommend you make it a practice to phrase your written material more respectfully and less judgementally. I think referring to the AMC as "AMC honchos" is irritatingly condescending. Any contempt you have for the AMC is, by extention, contempt for me, as I am an appointee of that body. You also presume as "fact" that the AMC members had argued to me that I must decide against you....for the betterment of Mensa.... For your information, NOBODY on the AMC said ANYTHING to me about you or your pet subject until I started asking for their input after your initial complaint to me. Most of the AMC was relatively uninvolved in the entire process. None has seen this message, and I am certainly not their "puppet." With your extensive unfounded accusations, one could almost come to the conclusion that you are being obsessively self-centered.

I greatly admire most of the AMC, and do not at all appreciate denegrating comments about them, particularly when based on unfounded suspicion. Although they are not near perfect, I believe they are worthy of your respect simply due to the service they provide Mensa.

That is the basis of my decision, and I feel confident you will berate me for it. There are many other smaller issues I could go into, but that would not alter the outcome or be productive, in my opinion. If you feel my decision reflects poorly on me, or does not redound to my credit, then so be it. I think it is unfortunate you feel it so important to push your version of "fact" so forcefully into the limelight.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Eldon Romney, Ombudsman

 

To: Eldon Romney, Mensa Ombudsman

From: John Bryant Date:

October 9, 2000

Mr Romney:

Please excuse me for writing to you again, but I have some things that I believe you will find to be of some importance, and which will become apparent in the course of my letter.

I have received your rejection of my claim of being wronged by certain people acting in an official capacity for Mensa -- people I described in my complaint as 'AMC honchos', a phrase which for some reason unclear to me you do not seem to like, but which I intended as purely descriptive and thus not pejorative. I know it would probably be hopeless to ask you to reconsider your decision, but I am going to anyway. First, let me outline the facts of the situation in the briefest possible way:

* I wrote a short essay on a subject which even you say is appropriate for discussion by Mensans, and which was published in the Mensa Bulletin. While it said nothing false and made no personal attacks, the response of the AMC honchos was to devote an unprecedented special section of the next Bulletin to purely personal attacks upon me, ie, attacks which did not question the veracity of what I said, but were simply attempts to demean me in the most hateful and virulent terms.

* In the same issue, the acceptable length of future letters to the editor was reduced to 150 words.

* I was offered the opportunity to publish a 150-word response to the one- and-one-half-page special-section ad hominem attack on me by Letters Editor Betty Curry -- an offer completely incommensurate with the amount of space devoted to attacking me. But when I submitted a 150-word letter, the promised offer was suddenly rescinded -- not by the Letters Editor, but by the chairman of the AMC himself -- apparently because my response was too effective (by pointing to an Internet address which gave my full response).

Given the facts above, I wish to note that the action of the AMC honchos was immoral (or if your prefer, unethical) in at least EIGHT DIFFERENT WAYS (I keep count below with numbers in square brackets):

* The AMC honchos broke their promise to publish my letter (it is immoral to break your promise [1]);

* they arranged a special personal attack on me whose apparent purpose was to humiliate me and keep me from speaking out on a matter of vital public concern (censorship of the discussion of public issues is immoral [2]; ad  hominem attacks against someone are immoral, particularly when motivated purely by differences of opinion on issues of public concern [3]);

* they changed the rules governing the discussion in midstream -- specifically, they changed the rules about letter length, almost certainly to insure that, while my attackers were allowed plenty of space to attack me, I would not have as much space as even one of my attackers to make a response to all of them (changing the rules in the middle of the game is immoral, at least when it gives you an advantage over your opponent [4]);

* even under the old rules of letter length the AMC honchos knew I could not adequately respond to a 1 1/2 page series of attacks, but that apparently was just fine and dandy with them, since they were the ones who were responsible for creating the special section attacking me (it is immoral to not give one's opponent the same advantages as you have [5]);

* they would not even allow a response under the new rules once they realized I had outsmarted them by using the 150 word letter to point to a post on the Internet which gave my full response (it is particularly immoral to cause an opponent to have a disadvantage, and then to further penalize him when he does well in spite of the disadvantage [6]);

* they are so desperate to keep my response from being read by the membership that they (presumably) will not even allow me to buy ad space, as I proposed to you as an alternative solution (it is immoral to allow some people but not others to purchase your products [7]);

* they have no compunctions about violating the basic purpose of Mensa, which is to bring intelligent people together so they may use that intelligence to discuss issues of importance (it is immoral for the leaders of a group to violate the basic ideals of the group [8]).

In the above discussion I have tried to lay it out for you as clearly as possible -- the AMC honchos have behaved immorally in at least EIGHT DIFFERENT WAYS. This is so blatant and so obvious that it is difficult for me to see how you can overlook it -- unless, that is, you are participating in the immorality yourself by protecting your AMC friends who appointed you to your lofty position. This is why I hope you will reconsider your position.

And there is another reason you should reconsider it. As you probably know from reading the documents on my website, if I cannot obtain a satisfactory resolution of this matter from you, then there is a decent chance that I will sue Mensa, including its officers, of which you are one. As I pointed out in my discussion, this is purely a matter of whether a lawyer will take my case on a contingency-fee basis. So if you think there is no chance of that, then you don't have to worry. But I would urge you to realize that what I am asking for is EXTREMELY MODEST -- just a 150-word letter which I am even willing to pay for. It seems to me, simply from the standpoint of your personal risk, that affording me my very modest request will be much more palatable to you than the risk of a lawsuit in which you may be personally liable for who knows how much. So I urge you to reconsider your position -- if not for the sake of upholding morality, then at least for your own selfish interests.

Thank you for your attention. -jb

PS: Your last letter to me is repoduced below, with my comments interspersed with your text and marked with asterisks.

 

Mr. Bryant,

Your latest e-mail (Friday, October 6, 2000 4:14 PM) is rife with accusations and assumptions, some of which appear to me to be based solely on suspicion. You espouse those accusations and assumptions as if THEY are facts, which in at least some cases they are not.

*** You make accusations, but give no examples. Personally, I don't think you can give any.

I believe you are so embroiled in those suspicions and "your opinion" that you will not accept or appreciate any response from me unless I conform to your every desire.

However, attempting to be fair-minded, I WILL respond to you with my opinion, to the best of my abilities. I assure you, however, that by attempting to respond to you, I fully understand that you will probably dissect every word of my response and perhaps point out, to me and/or others, each linguistic gaff or imprecision.

*** I rarely criticize others' language -- I concentrate on their ideas.

I hold your ability to "put words on paper" in high esteem; I am no real match for your greater abilities, and am frequently humbled by the trust put in me by the AMC.

*** Thank you for your compliment. It is genuinely appreciated.

I may regret this endeavor in the future. Regardless, my response:

First, I do not believe Mensa has wronged you. You are obviously disappointed by the outcome, but there is no guarantee, in Mensa or elsewhere, that any publication will treat your pet subject exactly as you might desire.

*** That's not the issue at all. The issue is fairness in how I was treated, and the immoral behavior of the AMC honchos, which I have described in great detail, both above and in several other places.

I would think that the fact that you got ANY publicity for your ideas (especially recognizing how controversial those ideas are) would be looked on as a positive action from your standpoint.

*** I DO look at it positively. But it was not the AMC honchos who made the decision to give the Jewish Question publicity -- it was the editor of the 2% Solution.

Secondly, I do not believe Mensa has not violated any rule, policy or guideline relative to you.

*** Maybe you are right -- maybe Mensa has no policy which forbids its officers from behaving immorally. Maybe changing the rules in midstream doesn't violate Mensa policy. Maybe AMC officers' acts which are contrary to Mensa's basic idea doesn't violate Mensa policy, rules or guidelines. But if so, do these things really strengthen your case?

It is my opinion that the 150-word limitation referred to was not specifically enacted to hurt you, and there was, and is, no conspiracy or attempt to discredit you in any way.

*** Contrary to popular belief, the strongest evidence for a theory is not that of direct testimony, but rather circumstantial evidence. The rule change right at the time of the attack on me, combined with the offer to publish a 150 word letter which was later withdrawn, plus other behaviors, is very strong circumstantial evidence that the rule change was directed against me.

The "Jewish Question" caused a flood of letters, which were fairly characterized in the Letters to the Editor section.

*** How do you know it was fair? What was the ratio of favorable to unfavorable letters? Don't you find it unusual that not a single letter favorable to me was published?

Again, the fact that you are disappointed is not proof that anything improper occurred. Editorial policy is clearly stated in each Bulletin, (the October issue has them on page 5) and supporting documentation is in the Actions Still In Effect (ASIEs), Appendix 12, page 172-176.

*** Does editorial policy allow 1 1/2 pages of ad hominem attacks with no provision for response from the person attacked?

The current policies were developed before your submission and were developed for practical reasons--one of which is to allow publication of as many letters as possible in an issue while balancing how much space is used for what in a limited number of pages. The policy may not have been administered "to the letter" each month, it is quite reasonable to expect it WOULD be administered "to the letter" after a controversial issue caused so many letters to be received.

*** My 150 word letter was solicited; THEN it was REJECTED; but there was no 'policy' behind the rejection: AMC chairman Beatty just said 'you had your say, they had theirs' -- which, of course, is not true (they attacked me personally, but I had no chance to respond).

Third: Your argument of "moral debt" is groundless, in my opinion.

*** Do you think that EIGHT instances of immoral behavior produces no moral debt?

Your initial submission created a tremendous stir, but after all the attention, the issue quickly lost journalistic merit.

*** I responded within ONE WEEK. It had not lost journalistic merit by that time, and as I recall, letters related to the topic came in in the TWO SUBSEQUENT ISSUES, even tho no actual discussion of the JQ was allowed.

Resurrecting the topic would have done little for the Bulletin, but perhaps much for you. Again, that may be a disappointment to you, but has little bearing on Mensa or the Bulletin.

*** I'm not sure of your meaning -- maybe you mean resurrecting it NOW. I can assure you it has been a hot topic for a long while on the Net -- hundreds of thousands of documents are accessed on Holocaust revisionist sites alone every year, and this is only the most visible aspect of the interest in the Jewish Question. There are 8000 people now in jail in Germany for daring to talk about this topic. Resurrecting? Hardly.

Neither owes you or any other member a "full and open discussion" on any topic. If the topic is so dear to you, you have every right to start a Special Interest Group on that topic and discuss it to whatever extent you desire.

*** Mensa, as I understand it, would not permit the starting of a Politically Incorrect SIG, and this was what brought about the founding of The Excavator. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out my chances of being allowed to found a SIG.

The Bulletin is not a personal forum. It is ruled by what the editorial staff feels is journalistically appropriate; by the time your 150-word response was received, the issue had been deemed no longer appropriate.

*** As noted above, my 150 word response was received approximately ONE WEEK after I received the Bulletin issue containing the attack. Are you saying that I have to have my response in before the issue is published?

Fourth: You ask in your latest e-mail that I respond to three issues "for the record":

a- I did read the ENTIRE content of your website. b- The subject of your website, like any other issue, is a valid subject of inquiry and discussion in Mensa, but NOT necessarily in the Bulletin. The Bulletin is being capably managed by an editorial staff which decides which issues should be discussed therein. c- I do not believe there is any evidence to support the notion that you "outsmarted" anyone in Mensa, let alone the AMC.

*** Again, circumstantial evidence is the most telling. Within one day after I had submitted a solicited 150 word letter, it was rejected by the AMC chairman. Tell me -- what evidence would convince you? An affadavit from God?

The decision to stop the discussion of your topic was not improper, although some of the editors may have handled things differently in retrospect. The line of authority for decisions pertinent to the Mensa Bulletin is, in descending order, the AMC acting as a body, the Chairman, the Communications Officer, the Managing Editor, then Associate Editors. There is no evidence that anybody in that list violated any rule, procedure or guideline or even acted improperly in how they handled your case.

*** Again, is eight different instances of immoral behavior not acting improperly?

Lastly, a personal note: I recommend you make it a practice to phrase your written material more respectfully and less judgementally. I think referring to the AMC as "AMC honchos" is irritatingly condescending.

*** Already discussed.

Any contempt you have for the AMC is, by extention, contempt for me, as I am an appointee of that body.

*** Sounds like you are attempting to find some reason for justifying a dislike of me. As my use of the term 'AMC honchos' was simply a way of saying that some, but not all, members of the AMC were involved in wronging me, that of necessity excludes you. So if you are trying to use my phrase -- even if considered contemptuous -- as a slur on you, then you are clearly reasoning improperly.

You also presume as "fact" that the AMC members had argued to me that I must decide against you....for the betterment of Mensa....

*** Absolutely false. Here is the actual statement from my letter: "(5) The AMC honchos have probably argued to you that you must decide against me because it would 'split Mensa', or 'cause a mass resignation of Jews and liberals' of which there are many in Mensa, or make Mensa attractive to 'bigots', or otherwise 'hurt Mensa'." Did you get that, Mr Romney? PROBABLY. Maybe you had better try to get your facts straight before accusing me of anything, don't you think?

For your information, NOBODY on the AMC said ANYTHING to me about you or your pet subject until I started asking for their input after your initial complaint to me. Most of the AMC was relatively uninvolved in the entire process. None has seen this message, and I am certainly not their "puppet."

*** I never said you were, but let's face it -- they are your friends, while you don't know me from Adam; so it only stands to reason that you will be inclined to protect your friends.

With your extensive unfounded accusations, one could almost come to the conclusion that you are being obsessively self-centered.

*** I challenge you to name even ONE 'unfounded accusation'. However, if self-centeredness is the worst crime you can think of to accuse me of, that's a hell of a lot better than the immoral behavior of your AMC friends.

I greatly admire most of the AMC, and do not at all appreciate denegrating comments about them, particularly when based on unfounded suspicion.

*** Unfounded suspicion? Again, name one thing I have said that is unfounded. Just one.

Although they are not near perfect, I believe they are worthy of your respect simply due to the service they provide Mensa.

*** People who behave immorally are not those for whom I have a great deal of respect, tho admittedly, morality is not necessarily the be-all and end- all. I can respect the Unibomber for his mathematical abilities.

That is the basis of my decision, and I feel confident you will berate me for it. There are many other smaller issues I could go into, but that would not alter the outcome or be productive, in my opinion. If you feel my decision reflects poorly on me, or does not redound to my credit, then so be it. I think it is unfortunate you feel it so important to push your version of "fact" so forcefully into the limelight.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

 

From Eldon Romney, 19 Oct

In your October 13 e-mail message, you said, "In case you are reconsidering your decision in my case, you may find it helpful to let me know when you will make a final decision."

I am ready to render that decision now.

Eldon Romney, Ombudsman

 

From John Bryant, 19 Oct

Is this some sort of psychological test to see how I will react to your saying you are ready to render your decision without rendering it?

 

From Eldon Romney, 19 Oct

Mr. Bryant:

I'm sorry to have confused you; I simply thought that for some reason you may have wanted some advance indication that I was going to render my decision.

Re-read your message to me dated October 13, and I think you can see how I thought you may have been asking for an indication that I was going to make that decision prior to my actually sending it to you. I thought your message was unclear, and erred on the side of caution. I'm sorry if it appeared like some sort of a "test."

Regardless, nothing has changed. My decision remains that you have not been "wronged" by any action performed by members of American Mensa or the Bulletin.

Incidentally, although the Chairman tried to intervene, his action/opinion was not the cause for the decision not to run your response. The decision was made by the editorial staff, based on what they thought was best for the Bulletin.

I hope this explanation helps.

Eldon Romney, Ombudsman

 

From John Bryant, 19 Oct

Mr Romney:

My reply is interspersed with your text, and marked with asterisks:

> Mr. Bryant: > > I'm sorry to have confused you; I simply thought that for some reason you > may have wanted some advance indication that I was going to render my > decision.

*** You mean a one-hour advance? Gee, Mr Romney, did you think I was going to put the country on nuclear alert?

> Re-read your message to me dated October 13, and I think you can see how I > thought you may have been asking for an indication that I was going to make > that decision prior to my actually sending it to you. I thought your > message was unclear, and erred on the side of caution. I'm sorry if it > appeared like some sort of a "test." >

*** Does that mean I passed?

> Regardless, nothing has changed. My decision remains that you have not been > "wronged" by any action performed by members of American Mensa or the > Bulletin.

*** No surprise there.

> Incidentally, although the Chairman tried to intervene,

*** A most revealing admission.

>his action/opinion > was not the cause for the decision not to run your response. The decision > was made by the editorial staff, based on what they thought was best for the > Bulletin.

*** Gee again, Mr Romney, you don't make a very convincing liar. If it was a decision of 'the editorial staff', then why was I contacted by Big Bob Beatty Hisself? I'll tell you why, Mr Romney -- not with certainty, of course, only with 99.99999999% probability, in my always-humble opinion -- it's because HE was the one to make the decision. And why are you lying (with 99.9999999% probability, of course)? Simple: You are trying to do some fancy footwork to make it seem that he and your other friends at the AMC were not involved, hence not vulnerable to a lawsuit. But somehow I don't think you succeeded, and I would guess that your 99% lie makes you as involved as anyone else, nescafe? To which I might add that it is a pretty crummy act to try to leave Letters Editor Betty Curry twisting slowly, slowly in the wind while Big Bob & Co head for the hills. 'O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!'

> I hope this explanation helps. >

*** It does. It helps to dig you and your other comrades deeper into your own mud-filled hole. Enjoy!

> Eldon Romney, Ombudsman

 

* * Back to the Home Page of John "Birdman" Bryant, the World's Most Controversial Author * *