Thursday, July 02, 2009

Rick Ross redux.

Because the private messages and attempted comments continue to flow in, I'm going to take one last stab at putting this Ross imbroglio behind us.

Am I telling this from my perspective? Yes, obviously so. It's the only perspective I've got, and I'm sorta stuck with it.

Here we have a case where I got drawn into a situation and I accepted the challenge, i.e. to explain a few things about my blog and clarify a few possible misconceptions that I deemed subtle yet important, as they went to the heart of my credibility and professional integrity. Even if the comments on the Ross board weren't always skeptical of me, per se, I didn't like the implication that SHAMblog was being manipulated or used as a tool by people of evil intent. I don't see how that's the case at all. Then I got my hand slapped in what I felt was an unfair way, so I begged off in a private message to the Ross moderator; it was never published.
Incidentally, if you look at the hand-slap (the comment to me that inspired my departure), there was no reason for him to be that curt or provocative even then: "Forget your stupid blog, Salerno. Stick strictly to the topic or we'll kick your ass outta here." No, he didn't use those words, but I defy any reasonable person to read what he actually did write and tell me that wasn't his point. For crying out loud, it was my second full day on the forum; I'd said nothing inflammatory or weird, and was simply trying to expand people's understanding of the way I run my blog and why I like to keep it open to a diversity of thought. It was relevant to the thread, because I was explaining why certain people who do not seem to be very well-liked on that forum, and whose names had come up just a few comments prior, are nonetheless welcome on SHAMblog. And already he's talking about banning me!? Confronted with that mentality, I walked. (I do have a right to withdraw from a forum, don't I?) That should've been the end of it.

But no. The forum moderator decided that he couldn't let it go at that. He had to have his little say. If we're going to talk about being provocative, look at it this way: The moderator could've sent me an email informing me that I was banned, and he could've included as many denunciations as he cared to. I would've answered him in my special snarky way, maybe we would've gone back and forth a time or two, one of us would've invited the other to a dark alley, and that would've been that; all of it off-stage. Worst-case, if he felt he had to put something on the board itself, it could've been a simple advisory explaining that "iwrotesham is no longer a member of this forum." This guy, though, had to get in his zinger, his parting shot. Not only that, but it was a parting shot that attributed ulterior motives to me and impugned my very reasons for coming to the Ross board, almost as if to lend credence to the skepticism that caused me to seek out the board in the first place!

And I'm the heavy here, in certain people's minds?

Sorry, folks. Life isn't that neat.

Besides, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Ross moderator an anonymous entity? I don't know the answer to that. I'm just assuming. I could be wrong. But if I'm right, then between the two of us, who's the only one who's publicly known in this teapot tempest? Point being, even if I posted all sorts of nasty things about the moderator's mother, can you really have an ad hominem attack where there's no...hominem? I'm just askin'.


Yekaterina said...

I read through the whole thread and was enjoying it immensely until I got to the moderator's post. His reaction was a bit over the top, to say the least. A "please stay on topic" would have more than sufficed.

If I was sucker punched like that on a public forum I certainly would have overreacted too.

Steve Salerno said...

Clearly you're just saying that b/c you're trying to curry favor with me. :)

You know, if the Ross people perceived how truly rare is the occasion when I get total agreement from someone on this blog, they might rethink things.

Anonymous said...

holy crap, Steve.
you may need to take a chill-pill and read slower and more carefully.

its clear that the moderator of that forum is Rick Ross. if you don't even know that, how can you be expected to have looked carefully the questions being asked?

and reading the text of that thread again, the questions were not even about you, but about a couple of professional self-help salespeople who make tons of posts on your blog.

those guys are no different than micro Tony Robbins, just less successful, and they are not above criticism, and should not be protected from criticism on this blog or anywhere else.
what if they are ripping people off with all their products?

so for whatever reason, perhaps due to anger, you lost your ability to think rationally and look at what was really being said.

the moderator may have jumped down your throat inappropriately, as that forum is flooded with every weird cult on the face of the earth, who want to destroy it, so its a moderated forum, and people make mistakes.

but the views of the moderator, aren't the views of everyone, of course.

and obviously you have not read the Byron Katie thread in total.
many people are getting hurt, people are getting scammed.
there are horrendous things going on at those seminars, its there in the first hand reports in another thread.

Byron Katie and "The Work" Participant Reports,67778

don't make this all about you.
the real problem is the incredible abuses going on at these seminars, which are far worse than anything Tony Robbins has done, for example.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 5:13 (and the more than half-dozen others who sent emails through, whether intended as public comments or not): OK, clearly a closer look at BK is something I can't put off much longer. It has built to critical mass.

But how can you say "don't make this about [me]" when the Ross board made it (at least partly) about me and my relationship with my contributors, and then I ended up getting banned for being (allegedly) self-serving, to boot? I mean, come on! If what you're saying is, "The overall topic of Byron Katie is a lot bigger than Steve Salerno's problems with the management of the Ross board," I agree with you. OK? But you could say that about anything! ("The overall problem of nuclear deterrence is more important than breast cancer..." etc.) I tried to handle my limited involvement in this topic in my own limited way, and it didn't turn out well, and I blogged about it. As I blog about many things. In the past week or so we've dealt with North Korea, pedophiles, credit scores, single parenthood, and the recent spate of celebrity deaths. Please don't make it seem as if the whole damn blog has suddenly been given over to my poor-me whining!

MT said...

Well it seems to me that your blog HAS been "given over to poor-me whining"! Though it also seems you are beginning to cool down somewhat.

I do agree with the Anonymous commenter who said, "the moderator may have jumped down your throat inappropriately, as that forum is flooded with every weird cult on the face of the earth, who want to destroy it, so its a moderated forum, and people make mistakes."

Really now, a number of "Rick Rossers" have praised you and your blog and book in that Byron Katie thread and elsewhere. They now have cause to view you differently, and not in a good way. (Duh.) I'm not just talking out of my ass here ala Ace Ventura Pet Detective. I've been quite interested and involved in the Rick Ross forum Byron Katie topics (there are other threads re her besides the one you appeared in) for a while now and perceive that you have alienated at least some of the people who used to admire you and your work. Like, if you only knew about the yackfest going on behind the scenes!

All that said, I do appreciate your follow-up posts. Hopefully this situation will settle down on all sides over time.

Please know that I still think you have overreacted and unfortunately in a rather public way. And yet the more I contemplate your POV, the more I can understand if not fully agree with your reaction(s).

I certainly would love it if I could regain the regard I formerly held for you. That just might happen.

For the record, I haven't yet had one comment to your posts rejected. I do appreciate that.

Alrighty then, thanks for hearing me out.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you overreacted as some have alleged, but reading the thread I think you had every right to tee off on the guy. You certainly had every reason to make an appearance after some of what was said involving you, and I agree with you that you certainly should have been allowed some leeway to make your points. That line about where they told you to "stick to the issue" was really rude and uncalled for. (Was there something else going on behind the scenes that provoked that? It seems to come out of the blue.) If it had been me I would have thought "who do you think you're talking to"? That seems to be how you felt. Even if you did take your response a bit far and were a little too broad in implying that the whole forum is corrupt, which I think you were, it's understandable in context.

I also agree with that other anon that in fighting among ourselves is unfortunate, we should keep our eye on the ball.

Steve Salerno said...

MT: If you came here often, I think you'd find that I try to be fair-minded. I dare say I think you'd find me a lot more fair-minded--and tolerant of both dissent and provocation--than most bloggers and, ahem, forum moderators.

Anon 8:30: To address your question, no, there was nothing going on behind the scenes at that point; the behind-the-scenes stuff came later. The back-and-forth had taken place right in the open, on the forum itself, and last time I checked it was still all there. And you're right, I was shocked at the tone of the rebuke. It struck me as so curt and, as you put it, uncalled-for.

MT said...

Fair-minded? Prior to now that WAS my experience of you. But that's gone out the window, for the moment anyway.

I would say if you are feeling sucker punched, then maybe ease up on the sucker punching yourself. You've been doing just that in response to Mr. Ross. I still notice digs from you in your comments. I find it exceedingly unappealing and know I'm not alone in that.

I really had thought so much better of you before sir.