Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Libel, Mad Scientists and Nazis: A love story?

Blog commenter "Dawn" claims the email that has been circulating is nothing more than a "libelous letter" and calls for its removal. We will keep this letter posted because its mere existence is newsworthy. Read the letter after the break.

She Writes:

The absent minded, failed professor knows not of what he writes.

Roughly in order
1.) Zero of Michael Williams "criticisms" have been correct.
2.) Numerous UO Admin folks have been listening to the views of Pacifica people.
3.) UO supported David Irving speaking on campus in 2008.
4.) NO PF programs are "pre-screened".
5.) Jimmy Marr has NEVER "provided care" to Orval Etter.
6.) NO one has "persuaded Orval to accommodate their views."
7.) I (Dawn) have not EVER "provided care" to Orval Etter.
8.) Billy has not spoken to Orval about any of his delusions or speculations.["There has proven to be no way to persuade Etter of some other course of action."]
9.) I have not provided care to Orval--EVER, let alone "for extended periods of time."
10.) If I have a "private goal" for PF, it is to reveal the many years of LIES and distortions, put forth by the CALC group and their ignorant footsoldiers. Orval shares this "goal", I can be sure.
11.) My "love life" has not EVER "interfered with my judgments about Pacifica."
12.) I have not EVER encouraged Orval to make decisions. None. NEVER.
13.) There are no "incongruities" in my explanation of the infamous salute.
14.)I made no "promises" public or private, that have been broken.
15.) I am not making a play for anyone's "affection."
16.) The "controversy" in Pacifica is related to who would hold the Forum Floor on Feb 12.
Billy knee-jerked and was fearful (beyond comprehension~ his 'letter' here attests to that), of Jimmy Marr proceeding with his scheduled date, but Mr Rojas could not bring himself to SAY SO. His is a deep seated phobia related to manyfears, which is manifesting itself in a series of backasswards ways. Hence his delusional letter.
17.) Orval is not a Quaker--OR "A PAWN".
18.) I have NEVER MET "A Nazi". (~Nor have I slept with one.) : )

Billy Rojas wrote an email to the Pacifica Forum mailing list that reads like a mad scientist's monologue. (We recommend reading it like Igor. Seriously try it.)

[newly added] An anonymous contributor sums up the rest of the email by saying, "The guy is telling about how Dawn what's-her-name was sleeping with Jimmy Marr, who's married, and because she acts as a caregiver for Orval Etter, she's causing Pacifica Forum to turn Nazi! This is the only interesting thing anyone has ever said about Pacifica Forum!"

"Time for Changes at Pacifica Forum
By : Billy Rojas

Pacifica Forum is a free speech laboratory. It is a place where experiments in
free speech happen almost every week on the University of Oregon campus.
To be candid about it, these experiments sometimes are unsuccessful, and
sometimes are not thought through the way they should be, but regardless
most it not all Pacifica presentations are experimental.

Click to read more to ... read the entire letter. For the general gist + commentary read these:

"I will not compromise anything that matters because one crackpot has weaseled his way backinto the Forum by taking advantage of Orval Etter."
Not comproming eh? Yeah, well you didn't have that problem while compromising the safety and well-being of students.

[newly added] "What has happened in 2010 has been the outbreak of a personal drama
into the lives of Pacifica members. No-one that I know cares one way or
the other what Dawn does as far as love life goes."

"Time for Changes at Pacifica Forum
By : Billy Rojas

Pacifica Forum is a free speech laboratory. It is a place where experiments in
free speech happen almost every week on the University of Oregon campus.
To be candid about it, these experiments sometimes are unsuccessful, and
sometimes are not thought through the way they should be, but regardless
most it not all Pacifica presentations are experimental.
Pacifica's critics do not begin to understand any such thing. Under the
circumstances they cannot understand the obvious because of the ceaseless
efforts of Michael Williams of the Anti-Hate Task Force to discredit the Forum
and brand it as a "hate group" which supposedly has anti-Semitic character.
Neither the Student Senate nor the administration of the university have, at any time,
been willing to listen to the views of people in Pacifica when reaching decisions
about the group. Despite repeated attempts to have leaders in the group talk
with people of standing at the school , these requests have all been rejected
without comment. What can anyone expect when virtually all information
about Pacifica comes from just one source, a strong critic with an axe to grind ?
Are some of Mr Williams criticisms correct ? About some presenters at some times
he has a case to make. For one, I certainly agree with him about Jimmy Marr and
the National Socialist Movement cause he seeks to promote. To say the least
this version of neo-Nazism is reprehensible and unjustifiable. As are most other
forms of the same thing. But when Mr Williams tries to generalize from the example
of Jimmy Marr to the rest of Pacifica, or when students who take most of their
"information" about the forum from Williams do the same, that is when protestors
on campus are far off base. As they have been for the past month or more.
The conduct of protestors, while many have been civil and genuinely seek to learn,
has far too often been irrational, stuck in idee fixe mode, and has been impervious
to rational argument. It has also been uncivil, raucous, and repeatedly disruptive.
It has epitomized just about everything that David Horowitz has said is typical
of Left-wing protests on many college campuses around the United States in the
past decade . We are witnessing the birth of a de facto neo-Communist
movement in America. And who can be happy with that ?

The question is this :
Can we find some way to learn all the valuable lessons
which can be learned from the example of Pacifica Forum --including the reaction
to it in early 2010-- and find some way to institutionalize it for the good of the
entire university community in the future ? The question is meant as much for
Pacifica as it is for the school and the wider Eugene-Springfield community.
Dawn Coslow, who has made it her mission in life to be Pacifica's archivist and
most vocal defender, who also acts as liaison with the university, made the worthwhile
suggestion that the best possible tribute to the group's founder would be to create
an Orval Etter Free Speech Laboratory as part of the university in some official way.
Some equivalent of Pacifica would then continue to hold free speech meetings
to discuss important topics often neglected in typical university courses.
Moreover, on Jefferson Public Radio, in comments in local newspapers, and
in person at various events, people have brought up some equivalent of the
same suggestion. Expand Pacifica, make it more rigorously open to worthy
but neglected ideas and points of view, and make it a permanent part of
intellectual life at the University of Oregon. It would be a unique treasure.
No other school, certainly not in Oregon , and possibly not in America,
has anything like a free speech forum with its own "alternative curriculum"
not under control of school administrators or academic departments.
But exactly how can this be done ?
As things are, Pacifica exists because of a clause in university rules that
permits emeritus faculty to hold meetings on campus Yet Etter as everyone
knows, won't be with us forever. He is 94, almost heroically brings himself
to meetings, including times when hundreds of protestors demonstrate, but
this cannot continue indefinitely.
Before there is serious talk about a future for Pacifica people need to be aware
of its other limitations, however, and NOT assume that the version of reality
given them by Michael Williams is more than partly true. Especially since
it can be patently wrong.
Pacifica people have been less than 100% objective in seeing their own problems
but , for sure, most understand the basics.
The worst problem is the fact that there is no formal decision making process.
How anything is decided from one month to the next is always different
and features a shifting cast of characters for any number of private reasons.
There are no votes on any issues, decisions sort of evolve until a rough
consensus arises. While this has usually worked out to most people's
satisfaction, this has not always been true, and it is not true at the present time.
There has been extreme discord in the group in February 2010.
As well, since the group exists at the sufferance of Professor Etter, in effect
he governs it as a benevolent monarch. Generally he defers to the informal
leadership within Pacifica, but now and then he steps in and makes
unilateral changes. Appeal may be made on a personal level only
and it may do no good whatsoever. This is hardly an optimal way
to run a university organization.
One suggestion has been to re-constitute Pacifica under control of
a steering committee of maybe 5 people. The concept is that this body
should by charter consist of 2 people with generally liberal views,
2 with conservative views, and one who clearly is independent,
What is scheduled, who is invited to speak, etc, would be the
prerogative of this committee. They could also designate someone
in the larger forum group to act as spokesperson as needed.
What would be necessary is new sponsorship by U of O faculty
of emeritus faculty.
This means actual liberals and conservatives. If it was up to Mr Williams,
at least as I understand his views, the two "liberals" would actually be
Communists, the "conservatives" would be Democratic Party hacks,
and the "independent" would be an Anarchist progressive. His notion of
objectivity , as best I can tell, is strictly Leftist in character and
takes the position that anything outside of this worldview is
evil and wrong by definition. This opinion seems to be shared
by other members of the AHTF, such as Rev Dan Bryant.
But the suggestion is for actual liberals and actual conservatives
and an honest-to-God Indy.
The charter should guarantee that the committee is charged with the
responsibility of presenting generally controversial topics that are neglected
in the curriculum. This includes "unpopular" topics presented by sometimes
unpopular speakers. It also means opportunity, when appropriate, for debates.
A legitimate free speech point can be made even when a speaker espouses
a viewpoint others legitimately regard as heinous, such as Nazi ideas,
Communist ideas, and so forth. But, although there might be good reason
on rare occasions, for a repeat presentation by someone associated with
a so-called "hate group," for example to hear out or debate a Muslim extremist,
it should be clearly understood that there will be no repeat presentations
by such people before at least a full year has elapsed, if then.
Free speech must not be interpreted as willingness to commit suicide.
Some groups are worth directly hearing, once or maybe twice, but
by their nature that ought to be the maximum. Why ? Because this
refers to groups or their spokesmen who are anti-free speech and
anti-democratic and who would, if possible, shut down groups
like Pacifica. The FORUM should not act to empower
those who are the natural enemies of the group.
A free speech forum should NEVER become a platform for any
"hate group" or its representatives.
Does this include Holocaust deniers ? Yes -but with the understanding
that some people who have this reputation are no such thing. For example,
David Irving spoke to Pacifica in 2008. By that time, while his estimates
of WWII Jewish deaths were in the low millions, not the canonical 6 million,
he nonetheless agreed that the losses were horrendous. He did not deny
the Holocaust happened, he simply believes that the death total is not
as high as other scholars think it is.
Besides, should a group in Eugene at the University of Oregon take a
less principled view than C-Span TV ? After all, C-Span wanted to
do a show featuring Irving and another featuring his courtroom adversary
Deborah Lipstadt. Regrettably arrangements did not work out with Lipstadt
but the Irving part of things had been agreed upon and was set to go.
Why, if Irving is good enough for C-Span, isn't he good enough
for the U of O ?
It should also be understood that any continued free speech forum at
the University of Oregon has an anti-war tradition behind it. Etter was a
member of the Quaker-inspired Fellowship Of Reconciliation before he
created Pacifica, and this ought to be general policy. Yes, people can take
principled stands in favor of what they consider to be "just wars," and
no-one denies the value of self defense, but the ethos behind Pacifica
has always been opposition to most wars.
This stands in stark contrast to pro-war views ( and no reluctance to use
violence in many other circumstances ) of Communists, most Nazis,
Muslim jihadists, and other groups.
Some kind of quality standards are also necessary for a successful free speech
group to thrive. For one thing, nothing said here is intended to justify what
may be called "juvenilia." Pacifica has never had the least interest in shocking
people for the sake of youthful hormones, or liberal use of 4 letter words,
or anything of this nature. Nor does Pacifica have serious interest ( or any interest )
in exotica such as UFO abduction theories or health claims for fad diets.
We are talking about the kinds of subject matter you would expect to see
in a course catalogue, even though the themes have been neglected or may
be regarded by some people as "too hot to handle."
In the latter category are some issues that people like Michael Williams regard as
settled for all time. Well, they aren't settled and the only people who think they are,
are Leftist ideologues. For example :
* The nature of homosexuality and whether it is a psychopathology and whether
the APA is a legitimate judge of anything to do with homosexuality given
the inordinate role of homosexuals in the organization.
* The nature of Islam, touted as a "religion of peace" despite jihad teachings in
the Qur'an, despite calls to kill unbelievers, despite allowance for husbands to
beat their wives, despite the death penalty for such things as being an Atheist
or for converting to another faith out of Islam.
Free speech also means freedom to be critical of other people's speech.
This means anyone at all, not only those groups ( like Evangelical Christians )
who the Left "approves" for criticism. It means groups that the Left sees as
allied with the Left -just as it applies to counterparts on the Right.
Free speech does not equate with singing kumbaya among other like-minded Leftists
and no-one else really matters anyway.
As a practical matter, all topics to be considered for presentation to a Pacifica audience
have been pre-screened . Not just a title, but at least a short summary of contents.
Everyone understands the importance of this practice. Which is why this procedure
needs to formalized.
A partial exception was made for Jimmy Marr's presentation in December 2009.
But no-one knew much of what he intended to say or do. Essentially he caught
everyone by surprise. Now a new and just about total exception is being made
for his scheduled presentation for February 12. He has given Pacifica a title :
Can Myths Harm Indigenous Peoples?
No-one thinks that Marr's proposed presentation will be a study in serious anthropology.
But so far this enigmatic title is all he has been willing to supply. Since he has invited
some number of NSM ( National Socialist Movement ) people to his "talk" it seems
reasonable enough to think that the myths he wishes to explore concern Zionism,
and the harm he has in mind are bad ideas which make their way into the minds
of Aryans because of Jewish supposed control of the media.
Could be that this supposition is incorrect, but Marr is an admitted anti-Semite
( not just "admitted," he has said, he is "proud to be anti-Semitic ) , he is an
overt racist who uses the "N" word with no qualms, and has repeatedly said
that he admires NSM people and their views. That is, since the NSM is
neo-Nazi by definition, even if Marr is not a formal member, and
even if other neo-Nazis look on the NSM unfavorably, there is no real
question about Marr's political loyalties.
His leading in "sieg heil" salutes on December 11, 2009, should have
demonstrated exactly that. Which he also gave on January 5 and 12.
Alas Pacifica has become something of a soap opera in 2010 and the
reasons for this sad development need to be discussed so that any future
for any free speech organization on campus would realize the major pitfalls
of some current Pacifica ways of doing things.
Where the Forum has gotten is a situation where someone who provides vital
care-giving to Orval Etter, who is wheelchair bound and has related problems,
has used his access to the professor to persuade him to accommodate views
which have, all along, been antithetical to what he most values and believes.
From what I can tell, Marr has done this by means of the benefits of ingratiation.
At any rate, ahead of Pacifica now is the possibility of a neo-Nazi who favors war
giving a presentation at an anti-war forum. Ahead of Pacifica, which is avowedly
non-racist , is a presentation by an overt racist. Ahead of Pacifica, which is based
directly on the value of free speech, is a presentation by someone who is inspired
by an ideology that regards free speech as no better than a means to try and
convince others of the "truth" of National Socialism, and as a necessary evil that
should be destroyed at the earliest opportunity.
There is also Marr's overt anti-Semitism. All along just about everyone in the group,
no matter how stridently anti-Zionist, has strongly denied being anti-Semitic. This includes
Professor Etter in past published documents. But now the Forum is giving access to
a professed anti-Semite. who uses such expressions as "Jewcunts" in his tirades
against anyone whom he disagrees, regardless of gender. That, and a variety
of other profanities, abusively dishing out insults as he sees fit Which is a mild
way of describing Marr's verbal excesses.
Etter has given Marr carte blanche he has given no-one else, and has, in the process,
tacitly approved a propaganda fest which promises to promote values which,
all his life, Etter has strongly objected to.
Perhaps things might not have gotten this far but because of Dawn Coslow there
has proven to be no way to persuade Etter of some other course of action.
Dawn has also provided care-giving to Orval , some of it over extended
periods of time. All of Pacifica people regarded her efforts of this kind as
selfless and valuable and something that speaks volumes on her behalf.
Yet, she too, because of this, even if she was unable to continue and
hence the return of Marr to the Forum, has been able to use her access
to advance private goals of her own.
What has happened in 2010 has been the outbreak of a personal drama
into the lives of Pacifica members. No-one that I know cares one way or
the other what Dawn does as far as love life goes. That is 100% her business
At least it is unless it interferes with her judgements about Pacifica and
with decisions she may encourage Orval to make.
It had been an understanding of some kind between Dawn and Marr's wife
that Dawn would not be present at Pacifica events if Jimmy Marr was on the scene.
At least as I have been able to piece together the situation, the reason was a previous
relationship between Dawn and Jimmy which ( 1 ) contributed to Dawn's divorce
from her husband of many years, and ( 2 ) which almost ended Marr's marriage
and which fell short of that outcome only because his wife insisted that there
would be no further contact . This held true until January 5, 2010 when Dawn
attended a meeting which became the first of a series of large scale protests.
Marr had made several more sieg heil salutes. Dawn , alone of anyone in the
room, defended the Nazi salutations --by attempting to explain them away,
a moment captured in a photograph subsequently published on an Anarchist
website. That as the first of many other defenses of Marr's views and actions,
by Dawn Coslow, all of which the rest of the group was supposed to accept
as somehow valid despite the incongruities in some cases, or the downright denials
of fact in others.
Dawn made a public promise on January 8 that she would never again be present
with Jimmy Marr at the same venue. The very next Pacifica event that promise was broken.
And the event after that, and after that as well.
Clearly, at least adding up various public observations , plus a good number
or e-mails in which Dawn talks about Jimmy Marr as if he was always right
and everyone else wrong, it seems that she is making a new play for Marr's
affections. Since Marr remains married, since this directly effects the status
of everyone else and possibly everyone's reputations, including my own,
it has become impossible for me to remain silent any longer.
In the meantime, a controversy within Pacifica had arisen because of objection
by several people concerning Marr's desire to give another presentation. Objections
were made on several grounds.
After walking out on the debate for January 12 why should he be trusted any time soon ?
Or ever again ?
Just about no-one wanted anything to do with a situation where Pacifica hosts
another neo-Nazi program. Everyone has a reputation to be concerned about,
and another Marr event could easily give the Forum's critics the cause celebre
they desire to make a loud and clear case about the group as promoting fascism.
No-one who is rational wants the onus of neo-Nazi National Socialism
to rub off on them.
Marr has invited some number of neo-Nazis from out-or-town to be present
at his presentation.In the same hall will be Anarchists. The potential for some kind of
confrontation between two non-Pacifica groups would be high and there might be
violence. Pacifica people were unanimous ( possibly except for Marr ) in wanting
to avoid any such thing.
Orval knew that Barry Sommer, the one ethnically Jewish member of the group
and someone who had done much in the time he had been part of Pacifica to defend
it by speaking and in print, was scheduled to give a presentation of his own immediately
following mine of January 19. Barry then switched with Valdas Anaelauskas, though,
and would , instead be the presenter 2 weeks hence. Both Barry and Valdas
had been on the schedule for a minimum of about one month.
At that point, because of a scheduling conflict at Pacifica's new venue at Agate Hall.
January 26 was unavailable and the two dates in question became February 5 and 12.
Marr , because his request came later, would have been eligible for February 19,
but insisted on the 12th regardlessly. Orval , despite his approval for Barry's talk,
not exactly possible to deny since the announcement was spoken over a loudspeaker
by myself, Etter sitting next to me, everything on tape and broadcast on CTV,
nonetheless broke his word and gave Marr the February 12 date.
None of these objections had any effect. Orval was determined to do what Marr had
demanded. That is, demanded of everyone else. What he said to Etter is anyone's guess,
for all anyone else knows ( but suspect ), a combination of half truths and psychological
manipulations. In any case such is the situation as this is written.
Which is why now I personally dissociate myself from Jimmy Marr and am willing to
take my chances regarding negative fallout from people in Pacifica for what is said
in this paper. Contrary to previous statements I have made, I will tentatively remain
part of the group. But the provisional nature of my remaining needs to be emphasized.
I am doing this at the strong urging of some good friends -and primarily for their sakes.
My natural inclination is to outright quit Pacifica because of all of the irregularities
and duplicity surrounding what may be called the "Jimmy and Dawn show."
To repeat the point, I really do not care one way or the other about their relationship.
Or even IF there is any relationship besides what I take to be Dawn's play to win
Marr's love ( again ). But this has become obvious to all, it is the elephant in
the room no-one dares to talk about, and I will no longer go along with
such pretense.
Ever since becoming part of Pacifica in August of 2008, every chance I had,
I have defended the Forum openly, to the best of my ability, in writing and
in print.But since the return of Jimmy Marr it has not been the same Pacifica.
The 13 researched presentations I spent a good deal of time on, while they
certainly served my own purposes, also were intended to benefit everyone
in the group. The way it looks to me now is that Mr Marr will not be satisfied
unless he hopelessly compromises Pacifica and sees it tarred and feathered
as a haven for neo-Nazis.
There is no way on Earth for me to accept that kind of outcome and
not do my utmost to discredit Jimmy Marr and seek the end of his
relationship with Pacifica Forum. As long as I remain associated with
the group this will be my objective. This will be true even if others
object, and if there are too many objections there would be
no reason to stay.
If that is to be the result I can easily live with it. I will not compromise
anything that matters because one crackpot has weaseled his way back
into the Forum by taking advantage of Orval Etter."


Anonymous said...

One more rather important item you missed, and which Dawn hasn't denied, is that Jimmy Marr is inviting more Nazis from out of town to attend on Friday the 12th. And, according to Billy Rojas, even Pacifica Forum members are worried about the potential for violence.

This is something you should probably warn potential protesters about.

Anonymous said...

And I do apologize to Dawn and everyone else involved. I commented on Billy Rojas email without knowing there were questions about his claims.

Anonymous said...


However, for Michael Williams & his HATE FORCE, I reprint your quote (it just may SAVE YOUR LIFE):

18.) I have NEVER MET "A Nazi". (~Nor have I slept with one.) : )

She's innocent, Michael. Don't waterboard her. Please!

Anonymous said...

It now looks like Rojas is backing down on his claims about Dawn and Jimmy Marr. He doesn't repeat his claims in the article in The Emerald on his leaving Pacifica Forum.

Rojas didn't offer any basis for his claims to begin with---just that he was "able to piece together the situation".