The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is
the love of ourselves.
-- William Hazlitt
Man is a toad-eating animal. The admiration of power in others
is as common to man as the love of it in himself: the one makes
him a tyrant, the other a slave.
-- William Hazlitt
I am still not well and also sad, and also not inclined to write about
various topics, but today I shall write a few lines on
that I removed myself from on May 25, because of its evidently sick,
prejudiced and biased style of moderating (*), and
because I don't want to see my writings and name abused for furthering or
helping something I have come to see as flawed, biased, and abusive of
people that should not be nor have been abused, and especially not in the
manners in which this happened.
Anyway... now there are advertisements on Phoenix Rising since a few
days. I haven't seen them yet, because
I surf with Firefox with the
AdBlock Plus and other AddOns, that sofar have saved me from having to
view these ads .
I'll say a little about ads on a patients' forum later, but
here start with quoting two items from Phoenix Rising, to show how rapidly and how far
things have deteriorated there.
First, a post from a member who is not happy with advertisements that
Cort Johnson, The Owner Of The Site Indicated Enthusiastically here, aka
Tootsie since his effective rebranding as A Commercial Operator, has now
added ads to His Site, also without discussing this, as he did before
impose things and people on the members of the forum (whose contributions
in fact ARE the forum) without any discussion whatsoever, merely
because it suits him or his biases or financial prospects - or so he
believes, at least:
It is appalling that on a patient advice and information forum there is a
link to commercial treatment plans, we all know how effective they are.
If you really need to make more money, Cort, then advertise products that
are not related to treatment, or set up a shop as a route to Amazon and
Ebay and many many other places.
Your ad banner, big or small, signals the death knell for Phoenix Rising
as a trustable site.
This - by a member since December last year, with over 350 posts - does
not seem to me unreasonable at all, simply because adding ads positions
Phoenix Rising as a commercial project of or for its owner, while
refusing to discuss such things on a patients forum that is in
fact written by patients is simply to abuse these patients trust.
Cort Johnson feels otherwise, for here is his nicely moderated and kindly
modulated reply to the above:
If you feel that strongly about it then you're welcome to go elsewhere.
As I've noted this is just one step in an experiment but if it moves you
that strongly I suggest you go elsewhere.
In other words, that are clearer, briefer, and more honest and therefore
impolitely translated into the very best Ciceronian Latin for this
FUCK OFF! SHUT UP! CLEAR OUT! PISS OFF!
For one thing: Having introduced advertisements on a patients' side is
"an experiment" as little as is having performed a botched medical
operation on an ill person is "an experiment". For another thing: It
grossly abuses the trust of those members who have written for PR-F
believing and trusting it is a patients' site, and now find it has
turned into a career instrument for - and I simply quote his signature -
Creator of Phoenix
Rising: An ME/CFS Website ,
XMRV Buzz page, 'Bringing
the Heat': An ME/CFS Blog and the Forums
I do not bill myself in such a way, and indeed tend to not bill myself at
all, other than to defend my human integrity, dignity, and right to speak
as I see fit, but Cort Johnson does.
Also, I do not envy his future, since I am myself no mean satirist, and
he has it coming, though he hasn't had it yet, as he also he does not yet
realize the deep wisdom in
"Hell hath no fury like a woman spurned"
for Cort has spurned quite a few women, who also happen to be much better
writers and better minds than he is, and has done so knowingly and from
malicious aforethought, as the legal and moral phrase is, but perhaps
unwittingly, for Cort is neither into women, it seems, nor into wit,
certainly, since he doesn't deeply care about the one class,
and he clearly doesn't really have the upper equipment required for the other,
although he wishfully believes he does.
But I'll save that for later, when I can speak more freely, and here
consider briefly just one materially relevant question: Should a
patients' site have advertisements?
The brief good answers are "No, not at all" or "it depends, but
preferably not". I'll explain, again briefly.
First the "not at all" variant, which seems best to me in case of
patients with ME:
These patients tend to have such bad experiences with commercial
health-products and health-cures not to burden them with this kind of
ugly and gross deception on a forum written by them about their
own disease, especially if that forum started as a patients'
forum, and if its owner pretends it still is, even while inviting ads and
denying fair discussion of others rights and ideas if he doesn't like
these rights and ideas himself.
Second, the "preferably not" variant:
If one has set up a commercial project - ProHealth comes to mind -
and then adds a forum for patients to it, it is a bit different, for one
did not invite patients to set up what has turned out to be or at least
look much like a commercial project, but one was honest about its main
purpose - making money, in itself no bad motive, since we all need to eat
and pay the rent - from the start, and it is the same if one has a blog
on some commercial firm's site that pays for its blogging space by adding
ads, for again that is and can be understood from the beginning.
But Cort's way is abuse of trust - which is not wise at
all if the ones whose trust one abuses are far more capable than one
is oneself, if perhaps these intellectually and linguistically gifted
people may happen not to be capable of doing the heavy grunt work for setting up a site
This is why I don't envy Cort's personal future, if only because I
wouldn't want to be the butt of one with my satirical capacities (or
indeed of some others), and
especially not with my specific personal reason for being very
angry indeed (that Cort knows quite well, but has treated like the
proverbial ostrich since May 5).
But as the saying in Dutch is, a bit improved: Revenge is a meal that is
served in cold fury, also to the deceiving Tootsies of this world,
however noble their intentions once were, before corrupted by power and
P.S. Do I look forward to that, I hear you asking? Well... the guy
has it coming, as far as I am concerned. And I didn't leave my opening
Hazlitt quotes standing there since yesterday for no reason at all, while
I am also not a hypocrite about my being a bad, bad, very bad man when it
comes to prosaically savaging people I have come to despise.
In any case: If you do not want to be moderated by sadists or
idiots, you should not write on Phoenix Rising, especially if you have
ME. It's unfortunate, as many of its members posting there are fine
persons whose trust and efforts are being abused, but that's what it
comes down to.
Is there perhaps some happier news, for patients with ME, you may
be asking also.
Well... there is a rumour out and about that some sensible people - mostly highly
intelligent "women spurned", it seems - have set up yet another forum,
for patients with ME, by persons with ME.
Now if that forum could attract many of the writers of good posters on
PR-F while at the same time moderating fairly and keeping off trolls,
perhaps the good days for patients with ME, at least as regards forums
and meeting sensible people with ME and writing good posts without being
moderated by persons without wit, without decency, without style, but with bias, with issues, and with personal malice, may soon return, if not
I make no promises, but there seems to be an interesting goose in the
process of being nicely cooked, and nicely prepared for public delectation. and
it may very well turn out to be a graceful swan eventually, that is
indeed arising bravely from the ashes of PR.
So the people who relied and rely on PR-F should not feel overly
discouraged: There may be relief soon.