An Open Letter to Steve Winter An Open Letter to Steve Winter by James Jenks, Sysop of The
An Open Letter to Steve Winter
An Open Letter to Steve Winter
by James Jenks, Sysop of The Hermes BBS, 1:232/310
Dear Mr. Winter,
I realize that your search for truth makes you a very busy person.
Obviously you didn't have time to check out the accuracy of the claims
you made in your latest article, "The PRIME HOME_SCHOOLING Echo."
Because I'm sure you'd want to set things right and because I know how
little free time you have, I've prepared the following letter for you
to sign and post. It is a thorough apology for the message you posted
and the -- well, "misrepresentations" is a nicer word than "lies" --
that it contained.
AN APOLOGY FROM STEVE WINTER
(AS PROPOSED BY JAMES JENKS)
1. I apologize for calling Chapel Hill High School teacher David Bruton
a "Sodomite." I have no evidence that Mr. Bruton engages in oral sex
or anal sex with persons of either gender, nor do I have evidence that
Mr. Bruton engages in sex with animals. In other words, to my
knowledge Mr. Bruton does not meet the dictionary definition of a
sodomite. I was using the term "Sodomite" as a derogatory substitute
for "homosexual." This was very inaccurate of me since there are many
more heterosexual sodomites than homosexual ones. It was simply my
attempt to link homosexual love with God's wrathful destruction of an
Biblical city, a connection which is unwarranted.
2. I also apologize to Mr. Bruton for my false statements about his
teaching activities. I said that Mr. Bruton "was giving explicit
sexual materials to his class that included even child/adult sex in
graphic detail" and called it an example of "a Sodomite public school
teacher passing out pornography." As I would know if I read the
newspaper accounts I refered to, no one is accusing Mr. Bruton of
distributing any such materials. At most, Mr. Bruton has been accused
of placing certain books on a list of optional readings without
thoroughly reading these books himself. These books are titled:
(Mr. Winter, please collect the list of books and place them here.)
and the information I posted about their content comes from:
(Mr. Winter, please choose one of the following:)
(a) my personal reading of these books.
(b) unsubstantiated heresay.
3. Since I admit to wrongly accusing Mr. Bruton of both sodomy and
distribution of pornography, and because false accusations of crimes
are damaging to the character of the accused, I wouldn't blame Mr.
Bruton if he sued me to pieces for my libel.
4. Concerning my statement about "scoutmaster child molesters" in which
I asked, "(R)ead the news where they have dismissed 1700 scoutmasters
for child molesting?" -- I apologize to eveyone who read that message
and especially to the anyone connected with the Boy Scouts of America.
I was perpetuating an utterly false rumor that started when the BSA
provided approximately 1800 pieces of evidence to the discovery phase
of a disputed child abuse case in California. These 1800 items
represent the information gathered by the BSA over a 20 year period on
the general topic of alleged improprieties in many different
categories. Not all of the information had to do with sexual
activities, not all of it had to do with the Boy Scouts, and not all
of it was substantiated in any way. In other words, I took the fact
that the BSA had contributed 1800 pieces of material to an
investigation and blew it into a false accusation that 1700
scoutmasters had been dismissed for child molestation. Perhaps the
BSA and Mr. Bruton could team up and make a class action suit against
5. Finally, I'd like to apologize to James Jenks. Because of my shoddy
and false accusations, Mr. Jenks felt compelled to take time out of his
day and make a couple of long distance calls to prove me wrong. I will
be forwarding a check for $27.50 to Mr. Jenks as soon as possible.
This amount covers Mr. Jenks' half hour of labor in researching these
topics and writing this apology (at a rate of $50 per hour) and the
estimated $2.50 which Mr. Jenks spent on the phone calls to the Herald
Sun in Durham, NC, and to the Boy Scouts of America office in Dallas,
TX. If I had any desire to be accurate in my posts, it wouldn't be
necessary for other people to correct my errors.
6. In order to prevent this kind of thing from happening again, I am
going to cut back on the volume of messages I post and will concentrate
on their quality. I will double-check my information before I accuse
anybody of anything. If it proves that this double-checking takes too
much of my time, I will spend less time on writing messages and running
the PRIME network. Given a choice between being accurate and writing
harsh, judgmental messages I would prefer the former.
(Mr. Winter, please sign your name here.)
Yours in Christian love,
Sysop, The Hermes BBS
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank