|I'm glad that I could add to the intellectual history and philosophical biography of Ayn Rand. I was the one who asked the questions that caused Ms. Branden to get caught in a lie, again.|
Excerpt of Valliant's reply to Dr. Sciabarra's review, concerning the typewriter issue:
22)"While Sciabarra acknowledges that, from the first he realized that the Brandens' memoirs were written from a "particular point of view," I would ask him if he had appreciated the extent of the distortion that he now appears to concede exists in those books until he had read this one?"
[One of the good things about Dr. Sciabarra is he admits to bias in favor of the Brandens while agreeing that they distort the facts]
23)"In the book, of course, the "name issue" is dispensed with early and explicitly judged in the text to be something "minor.""
24)"No matter, for it seems that even here, the impact of the new evidence has not been grasped. Ayn Rand--in fact and actually--did not adopt her name from a Remington-Rand typewriter. It is simply impossible for her to have done so, since she was using the name "Rand" before there was any such machine in existence. For Rand to have ever said so would make Rand out to be a liar about this relatively insignificant matter. But, to those who wonder why~ the Brandens ~would lie about such things, the question must be posed: why would~ Rand ~have privately lied to the Brandens while publicly telling the press something else, both before and after she met the Brandens?"
25)"How curious it is that Fern Brown was unable to jog Ms. Branden's memory of Rand telling her this, as Ms. Branden is now claiming at the SOLO website, (Ms. Branden, it seems, was mistaken when she had thought that she had learned this through Ms. Brown for the first time, as she had suggested in her book), while Mr. Branden's later claim to have heard this from Rand herself was somehow able to remind her that she, too, was privy to this statement by Rand--that is, only after it had been challenged."
26)"Some have asked why the Brandens would dissemble over such a trivial matter, not realizing that such "insider knowledge" is precisely the sort of thing that gives them the aura of credibility--"we got the inside dope"--and not appreciating the context in which the Brandens relate this matter. For example, Ms. Branden say, absent evidence and incorrectly, that Rand's Russian family never knew he American name and that this was even a reason why Rand lost contact with them in the late 1930's. You see, the new name, not revealed to anyone, is another example of Rand's "obsession with secrecy" and alienation from her family-- as I suggest in the book--as well as and example of her self mythologizing."
[The name issue is trivial? It is used to build credibility, a web of lies, and psychologizing. The name+"family never knew" lies allows them to build an alienation and secrecy psychology of Rand, which let them off the hook for what they did to AR.]
27)"As I note in the the book this minor matter serves only to set a pattern."
28)"What I also find more than curious in this charge of "distraction with trivia" is that it is the~ Brandens ~who have exaggerated and distorted the relative importance of such matters as Rand's name, or her margin notes in books, or her "good luck" charm, or her alleged fear of flying, etc., etc. As I repeatedly demonstrate in the book, it is the Brandens who use trivia to construct their vast theories about Rand's personality, a personality that in the end serves to exonerate and justify their own otherwise unjustifiable actions in regard to Rand."
29)"Once more, it is my book, in fact, that had first raised this issue, and in regard to the Brandens themselves, another fact completely ignored. Criticism of my book, at so many turns, has exhibited this eerie sense of projection."
This pattern does explain why Barbara Branden reacts to things the way she does. One time she might be like the queen on Monty Python: "we are not amused" if someone uses words she "does not approve of." Or she might fly off the handle based on her own thoughts on the subject, irrespective of anything else. Like in her book, she set up her reality, then how everyone is suppose to act and react. She thinks this lets "her off the hook" for her reactions toward others. It's always the other guys fault.
For instances: Rand never told her family about her name. Why? Because she was alienated from her family. Why? Because she was obsessive and secretive. Which allows Barbara to act like its all Ayn Rands fault for everything. All four parties may have entered into a relationship by mutual consent and Nate and Barbara acknowledge that they lied over a long period time, but IT ALL AYN RAND FAULT for everything, don't blame me.
To be fair to Dr. Sciabarra, he did basically inform the readers upfront, that the review would be biased in favor of the Brandens.
Dr. Sciabarra does seem to think that an endless stream of detail, important and not, but all presented equally important and all presented now, now, now--until the crow is not only taxed, but explodes, is a good thing. But not as good as hyperlinking everything. The title might have been "Reason, Passion, History, Empiricism, and Hyperlinks."