Yesterday’s blog entry contained the text of an e-mail that I sent to J.D. Roth, owner of the Get Rich Slowly blog, on May 21, 2009. Set forth below are the texts of J.D.’s response to that e-mail and then my reply.
You continue to ignore my requests to take down the defamatory remarks. Why is this? I’m asking politely, and it’s a reasonable request. You’ve obviously read the e-mail that I sent you about the problem, yet you choose to not even address it. This is a very real concern for me. It is not a trivial matter.
I don’t want updates or link to future posts. I want the words removed. They are false. They damage my character and my reputation without merit. Please remove them immediately.
I have not ignored you. I have done everything in my power to help you out.
My sense is that you don’t want to “be involved” in the Campaign of Terror matter. I don’t want to “be involved” in it either. All I have ever wanted to do was to post my honest views on investing on the internet. The Goons “involved” me against my will. They involved thousands of others too.
Now they have done the same with you.
You obviously fear what they will do to you if you do your job as a blog owner and alert people to the problem. I am of course sympathetic. But the fact remains that for so long as a ban on honest posting remains in place anyone who writes about investing is affected by it. A ban on honest posting on matters of such importance affect the environment in which you write, J.D. That’s just the reality here. I don’t like it either.
It’s the reality all the same.
You are not writing what you would be writing if you did not fear the Goons. So your work has been affected, whether you like it or not.
You are part of the story because the Goons made you part of the story (they have made everyone who writes about investing part of the story), not because I made you part of the story.
I have an obligation to my readers to tell the story that is taking place (and that is causing them great financial devastation) as clearly and honestly and fully and fairly as possible. That’s my job.
I can assure you that I am happy to do anything in my power (short of posting dishonestly) to help you out. That’s all fine. You are asking me to cross a line that I cannot cross.
Reasonable people are not going to believe that you are concerned about my mental health, J.D. You know that. I know that. That’s the sort of tactic that I have seen a lot of the Goons employ. Look where it has gotten them. In every case, I reached out and tried to help. I extended the hand of kindness and tried to persuade them that this was not the path to walk. Money questions are serious questions. People who take these questions seriously simply do not behave in this way.
Reasonable people are not going to believe that you see no problem in people failing to correct retirement studies for seven years after they learn of the errors in them. Reasonable people are not going to believe that you see genuine merit in the decision at the Money Bloggers Network to take down the two threads that dealt with this issue after numerous community members there showed great interest in the learning experience they were enjoying (this was especially so with the thread dealing with substantive matters rather than abusive posting problems). Reasonable people are not going to believe that you did not see merit in the Guest Blog Entry that I sent you showing people that the stock crash was a good thing for many of us (the negative emotion that was caused by the stock crash is obviously a big contributing factor to the economic crisis and a blog entry that helps to dispel those negative emotions is obviously one of the most important blog entries you could publish this year).
I am always going to give you the same answers. I am always going to remain enthused to work with you in any way possible to help you (and your readers and any experts with whom you have connections) out. However, I am not going to myself post dishonestly to achieve this result. It is obviously not reasonable for you to expect that.
I have agreed to post your words explaining what happened. I will do that. If you have concerns about how people are going to interpret your words and your actions, I of course understand. if you give me anything to work with, I will bend over backwards to help you out. There are obviously limits to what I can do.
The games help no one. Absolutely no one.