Things are crook on facebook

Posted: June 9, 2012 in Trivialities, rants & other ephemera

Well, it’s been a torrid couple of weeks on Facebook, particularly among the historical fiction sorority. I don’t mean to ignore the few men who have had their say, but it has been predominately between women. What it boils down to, for me, is that some people react strongly when challenged. They might claim that there are two-sides to an argument, but their actions don’t in any way support this. They are defensive in the extreme and resort, sooner or later, to the personal. Well, I’ve had enough. And I’m not the only one.

First, in a discussion about the Akashic Record, those of us who dared to question the validity of this kind of thing, who talked about cold readings, who suggested that the little insights ‘discovered’ by the Akashic reader were in fact prompted and supplied by the writers themselves, who did all this politely, dispassionately and intelligently, were accused of making ‘personal attacks’ and being close minded. To cap it all off, the person who began this discussion deleted the thread from facebook, moved it to her blog and made access to it by invitation only.

Next came the attacks on a writer of historical romances, Katharine Ashe. Her books might not be my cup of tea, but they sell well, from the bits I’ve peeked at seem to be written well and, as she’s a history teacher, I’m guessing she pays close attention to the historical background. I don’t read historical romance, but I don’t look down on those who do, or those who write it. This woman’s work was, publicly and often, referred to as ‘trash’, she was accused of ‘churning’ it out, it was assumed that her books are full of anatomically correct, graphic sex. Now I don’t know if they are and, frankly, don’t care. The reason for this deeply uncourteous behaviour? Katharine Ashe has the temerity to have a name very similar to another writer. That writer doesn’t like this, not one little bit! Katharine Ashe has no reason to exist and, because of her and (apparently) Rupert Murdoch’s publicity machine, the work of the other writer of similar name was being ‘suppressed’. Harden up, princess! Try having the 8th most common British surname for a while, try scrolling through page after page of google searches to find yourself. That’s what I have to do, but I don’t bitch about it or take it out, viciously, on someone else. It’s just the way things are.

Then there was the well known internet troll who screeched at me, swore at me, called me a liar, told both me and a friend of mine that we were ‘ugly pigs’, continued to screech and swear despite being asked not to, and destroyed what was a very nice post from a rather nice person. Here’s a little sample of his work: “I almost forgot, you silly women are the most b-o-r-i-n-g group of writers that I have ever seen. No wonder that you don’t sell anything and I haven’t heard of even one of you.” Here’s another: “Then don’t make snottyassed statements aimed at demeaning my ancestry. You know nothing about me and you make yet another smart assed remark. Who in the fuck are you anyway? Just shut your yap and you won’t be bothered. You started this for no fuckin reason so don’t cry about me lady!” Charming!

I almost entirely forgot one bizarre response to our Don’t Defame the Dead! campaign. Someone (one of the people who got quite personal on the Akashic thread, as it happens) suggested that it was but a small step from this to banning and burning books. Yes, that’s what the microscopic fine print on all those cards says… Burn Books Now! You might have missed it… The Don’t Defame the Dead! campaign wasn’t any kind of deliberate decision. Kathryn Warner made a card and I made a card and before we knew it there were Don’t Defame The Dead! posts on at least five blogs. All of them were prompted by some of the nonsense we come across not only in novels but occasionally even in works of non-fiction. The leap from there to suggesting that we were advocating banning or burning books was breathless and spectacular – as leaps to entirely erroneous conclusions often are. We’d just like it if writers were a little more careful, that’s all.

The latest bout of insanity, for which I and several other people were Banished Forever from the facebook presence of another writher, is still echoing across cyberspace. A claim was made about the parentage – specifically the father – of an English king. Those who know about that time questioned this person. “What is your source?” they asked. Now, you’d think that, of all the questions in the world, this one wouldn’t be particularly problematic. I’m more than happy for people to ask me for sources and I’m happy to provide them. If I make an assertion that’s contradicted by the sources, or isn’t in the one I thought it was in, then I accept that I got it wrong. I don’t get defensive and try to shout the challenger down. And I don’t unfriend and block them. But that’s what happened to me and several other people. It’s quite simple really – if a writer isn’t prepared to defend their work, maybe they should stop pretending it’s historically accurate. “I made that up  because it fit my story better” might be a blow to someone’s histcred, but at least it’s honest.

A lot of discussion about history is debate. Debate isn’t someone saying something to the ooohs and aaaaahs of those who hear it. Debate is about backing up what you say, defending your assertions, conceding ground if necessary and learning something. Debate is about having ideas that can be confirmed, supported, altered or discarded as the case may be. For instance, I am currently of the view that the illegitimate daughter often ascribed to George Nevill, Archbishop of York, may in fact be the illegitimate daughter of his uncle, George Nevill Lord Latimer. My reason for this… yes, it’s a guess right now… is that future archbishop George would have been around 14 at the time of her birth. Not impossible, but unlikely. Now if someone shows me a source that clearly shows that future archbishop George was her Dad, I won’t be furious that I’m wrong. No, I’ll be delighted to finally know the truth of it. So, I’m always surprised when people attempt to shut down debate when asked for a source. There is a connection between knowing how to engage in a debate and academic experience. Not that those with none are incapable of it, but those who have studied or taught in a university really ought to know how to. Looking down your nose and saying, “Just believe me, challenger, as my fawning fanpoodles do!” isn’t any part of debate as I know it. And if a writer sets themselves up to be better than others, then they sure as hell had better back that up.

So, politely challenging the nonsense of ‘psychics’ and the con that is the Akashic Record is ‘disrupting the conversation’; having a similar name to another less successful (but more ego driven) writer is grounds for being publicly insulted; stating something that you know to be true (and can back up) gives trolls the right to swear at you and call you names; asking a writer of historical fiction for a source to back up an extraordinary claim is to ‘pillory’ that person; and the way to win an argument is to block everyone who disagrees with you… So many new things to learn about the world of facebook. And writers of historical fiction. And trolls.

An important contribution to this discussion from Hannah Stewart, can be found here.

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Comments
  1. sarahexecuted says:

    This post is brilliant. Absolutely spot on! I was disgusted to be slagged off merely for asking for a source. I am still being gossiped about now and as the thread has been deleted, have no way to prove my words aren’t being twisted.

    Some writers have the audacity to claim reviewers are spiteful? Some of the writers I’ve come across recently are a million and one times worse than any reviewer I’ve ever met.

  2. Sam says:

    you are amazing. Agreed wholehearedy. I am against the psychics and more than against those who refuse to give sources. Keep doing what you are doing x

  3. Superb post, Karen. Very well said. The display of ego being spewed out over Facebook, the nauseating sychophancy of the minions, and the denigration of those engaged in reasoned debate, has been over-whelming. What started out as defamtion of those no longer here to defend themselves mushroomed into Conspiracy Theories, and Paranormal lunacy with no let-up. These last few weeks on FB have left me feeling like I have been spat out of a shipwreck. I need a break from it all, but after that I (alongside all the other sensible ones) will be back fighting fit (of that I am certain). Keep up the good work; you’re needed more than ever.

  4. Deirdre O'Mahony says:

    Wow… I am an enthusiastic amateur, who knows a little, but wants to know more (just as an aside, I do happen to believe in phenomena beyond our understanding, but never associated it with history!).

    I have also been slagged off for asking questions to further my knowledge, & for not knowing enough about certain subjects. However, I hadn’t realised it had reached THIS level of insanity.

    Please continue to highlight this stupidity, if only for the sake if those, like me, who otherwise have no way of knowing there are decent, intelligent people like you out there that we CAN “talk” to!

    Thank you!

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks, Deirdre. Re phenomena beyond our understanding – yes, there’s still a lot we don’t know about all kinds of things, but I tend to look at the world fairly scientifically and I quite like Occam’s Razor. The Akashic Record is a relatively new thing, only a few people have the ‘gift’, it can’t be measured, replicated or observed and those who practice it use techniques startlingly similar to the out and out cold reading fraudsters. I’d love it to be real, but sadly I know it isn’t.

      You should never be slagged off for asking questions! I’m horrified at that. And thank you for your assumption that I’m decent and intelligent 😀 I do try.

  5. I’ve been reading your blog for ages and thought that all of this post sounded oddly familiar to stuff I’ve seen people grumbling about on Twitter and Facebook – I now see that we’ve had mutual blogging friends all along! 🙂

    If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make me NEVER read a writer’s books even if it was the only thing available to read during a six hour train journey when my Kindle has run out of charge it’s the sort of egotistical and embarrassing nonsense going on over at The Writer Whose Name Is Remarkably Similar To That Of The Better Known And Infinitely More Successful Katharine Ashe’s Facebook. 😉

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thank you, Madame G. I haven’t seen anything on twitter. I don’t understand it and have thrown up my hands in defeat. Yes, ego is the key, I think. My first comments to TWWNIRSTTOTBKADMSKA was that her attacks on Katharine Ashe didn’t demonstrate a lot of class, that she was (so to speak) playing the man and not the ball and that she’d lose a lot of sympathy, and potential readers, if she didn’t stop. She didn’t listen, and now I think I might have been right after all.

      • I hadn’t heard of either Katharine Ashe or TWWNIRSTTOTBKADMSKA before this but I think I know which one I’d rather read based on this whole malarkey.

        People often ask if readers are likely to be turned off by a writer’s rather less than stellar online behaviour and I’d have to say that yes, actually they are. I’d DEEPLY resent putting any money into the pocket of someone who causes so much upset and bad feeling.

        I did, however, rather enjoy imagining TWWNIRSTTOTBKADMSKA’s current outrage if she had kept her original name, which appears to have been similar to that of another, even better known writer…

    • sarahexecuted says:

      The same woman is being very nasty to me for DARING to suggest Edward I was the son of the king, not Simon de Montfort. Sheesh. What a crime.

      • anevillfeast says:

        I know, Sarah. Seems people think it’s ok to impugn the reputation of a dead woman. I loved your blog on this, btw.

      • Gabriele says:

        You mean there were queens who actually slept with their husbands and had children with them? What a strange idea. Of course they hated their husbands because their marriages were arranged and they somehow missed the moment where they could have dressed as men an run off before daddy dragged them to the church. 🙂

  6. Libby Hunt says:

    Wow, (jaw dropping) It is one thing to disagree with someone and ask for a source, it is quite another to call someone nasty names. If you can’t say something nice-then keep your mouth shut. Like another poster, I am an enthusiastic amateur, who wants to learn as much as possible about history.

    I have made posted questions but it was in the name of learning more not to insult someone or to cause trouble. I have also learned the importance of stating a source.

  7. Kathryn says:

    I completely and totally LOVE this post, and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that I agree with every word! The antics of a few people on Facebook lately, their spite and childish behaviour, has just utterly, jaw-droppingly beyond belief.

  8. Fiz says:

    There are some very strange and disturbed people in the cyber world. I met some of them on the old AOL message boards, and to call them twisted is putting it kindly!

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks, Fiz. The troll I was referring to is particularly virulent and nasty. I’ve come across him before and can handle him. A lot of other people can’t.

  9. Re “…. in a discussion about the Akashic Record…”
    I trust you will grant me the courtesy of a reply to clarify a few things.

    I posted the thread you mention. I believe in, and am interested in, the Akashic Records. I posted a link on the HNS FB page because I thought a few people would be similarly interested in my updated blog. I (perhaps naively) did not expect anyone who was not interested to reply.
    I do not accept that, as another comment said, the Akashics are hokum. It is my right to believe – as I hastily add – it is your right to disbelieve. I also answered your comments to that effect – and entirely agreed with you that there are disgraceful people out there who claim to be something they are not.
    As I did not wish to offend anyone, and wanted to keep the discussion mature and interesting (as did yourself) I sent a private message to three different people politely requesting that a couple of the comments either be removed, or re-written, as they were inadvertently worded – or at least read – as being a bit personal. I did this purely because I didn’t want the conversation to get out of hand. Which as you said yourself – it subsequently did. Your posts, as it happened, were not particularly “personal”, but I thought you would realise where I was coming from and would be willing to assist in keeping the conversation on an even keel. However, I was mistaken, as you clearly assumed I meant some form of censorship. The other two people very kindly reworded their comments.

    I deleted the thread from the Facebook Page because it had run its course and, as you are well aware, (but failed to mention above) it was politely requested that the subject be closed. Unfortunately people kept posting, which re-opened the thread each time, so I decided the best thing to do was delete it. So this was not quite the sinister intention you imply.

    I did indeed make the decision to remove my Akashic posts from my blog – but again you have misinterpreted my intention.
    I removed them because I realised a lot of people – such as yourself – do not approve of the Akashics and even, to a point, find them offensive. I also realised that perhaps I had made an error in the way I recorded my sessions, with my enthusiasm getting the better of me. The posts are MY wording, not always Alison’s; I realised that I have been careless in not transcribing the posts as accurately as I should have done. This was embarrassing for Alison as it portrayed her in an incorrect light. However, I personally do not want to shed my enthusiasm and pleasure, so I made the decision to keep my sessions private, unless anyone with a genuine interest wanted to view them. I therefore set the blog to “invitation only” In this way I can pass the link to anyone who wishes to view, and can clarify that the notes are my own, for my own interest and enthusiasm. (I do have the very accurate recordings, but have no idea how to share them)

    However, as the FB conversation on the whole – from both sides of the fence – was actually quite interesting (including your views) I decided to move the thread from FB to my blog – and unlike as you claim, it has not been deleted. It is still there. Anyone is welcome to read it and judge for yourself – and providing you offer sensible conversation, from any point of view, you are more than welcome to add your thoughts.
    this is the link:
    http://journeystothepast.blogspot.co.uk/p/facebook-discussion.html

    Thank you
    Helen Hollick

    • anevillfeast says:

      Helen

      Firstly, you will notice that I approved this comment for publication. That, you will have to admit, is more than you’ve done for my comments on your blog. Secondly, you mistake not being taken in by so-called psychics as ‘lack of interest’. I am, in fact, very interested in this topic and didn’t realise that I wasn’t allowed to comment on the thread unless I was prepared to accept every word you said.

      As for the Akashics – I don’t ‘disbelieve’. As I’ve said before, that presupposes that ‘believing’ is the unmarked state. As you urged me on that thread to find out more about the Akashics (which I had already done, having read up extensively on that, people who claim to commune with the dead and the almost cult-like practices of those involved in Neuro Linguistic Programming, as well as numerous articles that debunk each of these), I thought perhaps you would like to do the same – look carefully at the thinking and findings of those who don’t ‘believe’. Out of interest, have you at all?

      Your personal messages to me on facebook, all of which I responded to politely, made it clear to me that you thought I was being rude and personal about your self proclaimed Akashic reading friend, and that I should remove those comments. I told you several times that not only was I not personal about her but that I was very careful not to be. It was clear to me then, as it is now, that keeping the ‘conversation on an even keel’ means saying only positive and admiring things about the Akashics. I was brought up to believe that a discussion has at least two sides; I was further taught at university to look at things in a particular way and to respond to fanciful claims in a particular way. My mistake was not in taking part in that discussion, but in thinking that other people, too, knew how to discuss a contentious issue.

      When we were asked to bring the conversation to a close, I tried my very best to comply. It was one of your staunch supporters who refused to, making the extraordinary claim that twins are somehow paranormal! I reminded her that the call had gone out to end the conversation. It was after that that you removed the thread and carried on the conversation, behind closed doors, on your blog. That is, of course, your right. But it is my right to say how I feel about that!

      I think there’s a key statement in your comment: “I personally do not want to shed my enthusiasm and pleasure, so I made the decision to keep my sessions private”. Does having the Akashics questioned make you doubt them? Do you feel worried that an activity that you are enthusiastic about and get pleasure from will be exposed as the nonsense it is, to the point that you can no longer believe, no longer enjoy? That happens to all of us, from childhood on, our illusions are constantly being shattered. i can understand your need to protect your beliefs, but if they are really that fragile, perhaps you should start looking into it all more carefully.

      You say that all are welcome to join the conversation on your blog, yet neither of the two comments I left were approved – unlike this one. Keeping your blog to ‘invitation only’, you can make sure than only those who are prepared to leave their rationality behind and be utterly awed by the Akashic can join the conversation. Your invitation to join the conversation now is disingenuous – who is it that decides whether comments are ‘sensible’? I approved your comment before I even read it – as a matter of principle. Not everything you have said in it is, in my view, ‘sensible’. But as that’s an extremely subjective judgement, I find it worrying that you’re using it as part of your selection criteria for allowing others to take part in a conversation.

      Just in closing, the ‘personal attacks’ on the facebook thread were all aimed at those of us who dared to question the Akashic. This is part of the overall theme of this post. Too many times on facebook when people can’t actually find a way to argue the point, they turn on the person making that point. I asked for three things, evidence that the Akashic is observable, measurable and replicable. No-one even attempted to do that, not you, not Elizabeth, nor anyone else taking part in that thread. I’m not even sure if you fully understood what I was asking. The very minute the Akashic (or any other similar psychic feat) is shown to be measurable, replicable and observable, I will publicly announce that they are real. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.

  10. Paula says:

    Karen, I read every post on the Akashic debate, but I did not post myself as I was not familiar enough with the subject to post an opinion. I plan to make myself more familiar and research it from both sides. While I do agree that you were dispassionate, intelligent and polite for 99% of the time, there was one moment where I thought you were a bit too personal against Alison King. Now, that may not have been your intent, just my perception and that brings me to the point of my post. Facebook communication is a funny beast. What the writer intends and what the reader interprets can be two entirely different things. My friend wrote an interesting article on Facebook communication and how we can all do it better. I will ask him again to re post it. I need reminding at times as well, as I can fall into the same traps again and again as emotion overtakes my rational side. The only problem is that everyone has to take the same appoach. I have been seeing some nasty, personal attacks lately and I think it is entirely inappropriate as your examples demonstrate.

    • anevillfeast says:

      Paula, thanks for your comment. I have no intention of stirring all this up again, but I made no personal remarks or attacks on Helen’s friend, who believes herself to be a psychic. You might notice, for example, that I haven’t named her in any of this. Both you and Helen have. As to your second point – everyone does have to take the same approach, whether it’s unconditional adoration and fawning (which suits a lot of people and alienates a lot of people) or rational, even passionate, debate that doesn’t end with someone spitting the dummy, removing a thread to a location under their control or blocking anyone who disagrees with them. I’d much prefer the latter.

      • I read that whole thread too, and (also without wanting to stir it all up again) cannot for the life of me see where Karen got too personal towards the Akashic reader, especially as – as Karen pointed out in her comment – she didn’t even name the person.

  11. Jacque says:

    Kathryn, you are a Lady and a Scholar (compare to an Officer and a Gentleman!) Those who are attacking you are only showing the world their incompetence, meanness, ignorance, lack of honor and stupidity. As my sainted grandmother used to say often to me: “Act well your part wherein all the honor lies.” And please find comfort in the words of Albert Einstein: “There are only two things that are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the former.”

  12. Debate is a vital of historical education and one can learn so much from others providing people dont get personal or take things personally. If someone is stating something to be fact and I find it out of the ordinary, then I would like to ask for a source (if I am that interested that is ) mainly because it helps me to gain more knowledge about the subject. If anyone is rude and insulting, then yes, turn them off, but stating that you dont agree or you are still not convinced because … is not a reason to start accusing people of bullying or insulting behaviour. I am always happy to answer questions and if someone proves me wrong then so be it. I’ll be glad to have found lout the truth – as Karen says. Thanks for highlighting this Karen..

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks, Paula. I was just going to leave it and move on, until I heard that there was stuff still going on on twitter. I have no problem with the concept of people saying whatever they like about me, especially in private, but when it continues publicly, I do feel the need to respond. The various stories were starting to look very one-sided.

  13. Gillian Laughton says:

    Unfortunately ths sort of unpleasant debate has been around since the beginning of the internet. People can forget themselves when almost anonymous behind a keyboard.

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks, Gillian. It’s just that it’s all come so fast and totally out of the blue. I’m not alone in this, but I run a fairly well respected facebook group where people question each other (including me) all the time. I have never felt the need to tell any of the group members off for ‘bad behaviour’ – in fact, I don’t even have a Rules for Behaviour Doc – I’ve never booted anyone out and I’ve never told someone ‘either stop opposing me or get out’. And there have been some very interesting and intense discussions. I’ve been challenged on a couple of assertions, shown myself to be right through pointing to sources (when I am right), and bowing to someone else’s knowledge, through sources they’ve shown me (when I’m not). It can be done. The venomous trolls are beyond remedy though.

  14. Rachel says:

    Really not much I can add to what has already been said. Excellent post, Karen. I hope all those who read it will take it on board.

    The FB groups and pages are great – I’ve made some really good and hopefully lifelong friends through the history community, from whom I’ve learned a lot through robust yet polite debate. But for some reason, there are people who immediately think “vendetta” if their statements are questioned, or someone says he or she is not a fan of their work, or whatever. I think maybe a lot of the defensiveness from some of the people whose behaviour has been referred to might stem from insecurity – about their knowledge, about the research methods they use, maybe (if they’re authors) even their skills as a writer etc – and they use attack as the best form of defence. Who knows? A most egregious example was the author who weighed in in defence of TWWNIRSTTOTBKADMSKA, and viciously attacked someone who hadn’t even addressed comments to her, accusing her of personally attacking her – having either deliberately misinterpreted or not properly read the posts – while trumpeting the virtues of courtesy, civility, respect and tolerance. Extraordinary stuff.

    I hope as a result of you and Hannah sharing your experiences that incidents like this will become much less frequent.

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks, Rachel. It does seem that some people have been intimidated into silence by this kind of behaviour. I’d be mortified if I found out that someone who read this blog, or my facebook posts, was afraid of me yelling at them and getting the huff if they asked me a question or suggested I might not be entirely right about something. I mean, there’s still stuff foe me to learn even after 30 odd years of dabbling and two years solid research!

  15. jel cel says:

    I hope you will show me the courtesy of putting up my post. I did not say that twins were paranormal, my wording may have led you to believe that. I said that studies into identical twins had shown that identical twins separated at birth had a tendency to like the same things, dress similarly, even though they were brought up by different families in different parts of the States where the study was done.
    I had responded to your post where you suggested I said twins were paranormal, and I dislike the way that you have used the misunderstood statement. I know that twins are normal, but how do you explain the sensation of pain that one twin that is healthy and in a different place feels when the other twin has an appendix attack. I did suggest that this may seem paranormal – in fact I don’t know that they have been able to explain that connection.
    I have not read the rest of your polite reply to Helen, because as soon as I saw you quoting what I had not said but you read me as saying, without acknowledgement of my reply, I felt obliged to yet once more try to explain what I had been trying to say.
    Our English language is an interesting one, if you do not think that something is real – can you say that you disbelieve it. Do arguments get into semantics.
    Sounds as though you were misunderstood, as I feel misunderstood. Such is life.

    • anevillfeast says:

      As with Helen’s earlier, your post was approved before I even read it, Jel Cel. That’s how courteous I am. I have little (I’m pretty sure) to fear from people who disagree with me. To complain about being blocked, sidelined from a conversation that’s been shifted to far from neutral ground, then prevent anyone from commenting on this post would be highly hypocritical. I may be many things, but a hypocrite I’m not.

      Yes, twin studies have started to explain all sorts of things about twins. These are scientific studies carried out under scientific conditions and the findings are (unlike those for the paranormal) replicable, observable and measurable. Twins are, as you point out, perfectly normal. They (and their experiences) are part of the normal physical world. They can be studied scientifically. I have no idea why one twin feels another’s pain – but then I’m not part of the team studying that. Who knows (yet) what the answer might be? But just the ability to study it points to it being normal, not paranormal. Two of my grandsons are twins and their mother is endlessly fascinated by them.

      I didn’t mention your name in my comment. I haven’t mentioned any names in this post, except for poor beleaguered Katharine Ashe (the romance writer). I did that out of courtesy. If you feel I misquoted you, then I’m happy to apologise. You weren’t referring twins themselves but some of the odder, harder to explain aspects of twinness. But even that’s not paranormal, as I’ve said.

      The more I read about the Akashic Record, the more convinced I am that those at the heart of it (perhaps not the majority of ‘readers’ like Helen’s friend, who are as much conned as anyone) are frauds. Someone is making a bucketload of money out of this con, and I doubt very much it’s people like Helen’s friend! Any profound or divine ‘secret’ that can only be shared on the exchange of large amounts of cash is, to me, deeply suspect. Especially if that secret supposedly leads to things that aren’t measurable, observable or replicable. I’m sorry to go on about that, but it really is the key. I do urge you to do some research into cold readings. Even if you decide that not everyone who uses these techniques is a deliberate fraud, you’ll come across some very interesting stuff!

      I understand very well how semantics works. That’s why I talked about the use of the word ‘disbelieve’ the way I did. Any negative formed from a verb is a marked form, the verb itself being unmarked. So, in this case, ‘belief’ is seen to be the normal state and ‘disbelief’ the deviant one. I don’t ‘disbelieve’ in psychics. I wasn’t born into a state of belief then rejected it. I just never believed in the first place.

      Thank you for your comment. I do appreciate it.

  16. Adrienne Dillard says:

    Yes, the age of civility has pretty much gone out the window with the advent of the internet. You can say just about anything you want to when you don’t have to look the person in the eye. I’ve had several attacks because of things I’ve posted on the history FB site. Particularly a good run when I posted about my position on the parentage of the Carey children. Actually about made me want to delete myself from that group. But I figure that if people want to resort to name calling than obviously they don’t really believe in what they have to say. For the most part, unless I’ve got something vanilla to talk about, I don’t post any more. I have just taken every little thing on there to heart because I am working on my own historical novel and I want to make sure it’s as accurate as possible 🙂

    • anevillfeast says:

      Hi Adrienne. it’s hard not to take things to heart sometimes, especially if someone accuses you of something you know you haven’t done. I’m also very keen to get my books as close to the real history as possible. I’d be doing my subjects a serious disservice if I thought I could mess with their lives.

      • Adrienne Dillard says:

        Yeah, I take a lot of it to heart, especially because I really do research. Most of the time I have a book going on at work and one at home, LOL. One on Edward VI right now and it’s terribly boring, but I muddle through and take notes because my book takes place in that time period. I think that when some people don’t agree with a position we’ve taken they assume that we are just coming up with it out of our arse when really it’s a conclusion we have come to after a lot of research. The hist fic I am writing is from the perspective of Katherine Carey and yes, in it I go with the idea that she is the daughter of Henry VIII, but I chose that route because there is no conclusive evidence either way. I’m sure I will get flack for it, and people will disagree and that’s ok because someone else can draw a different conclusion from the same evidence. Disagree with me fine, but for God’s sake don’t call me dumb, LOL. Because trust me, I’ve read every book I could get on the subject and they were all by reputable historians. Not to mention L&P and everything I could get my hands on. There is just no need for people to be as rude as they are online.

  17. Gabriele says:

    Looks like I missed some trainwrecks because I don’t touch Facebook. Well, at least I got a purged version of the Akashic discussion now.

    I’ve known about Akashic records from Eluzabeth Chadwick’s blog and never had a problem with the way she uses them – merely to fill the gaps and she crosschecks with sources – though I personally don’t believe in that sort of phenomena; to me it’s more likely a joined creative brainstorm.

    Once I posted a scene from my Arminius novel-in-progress on a writing forum where I’m a member and one woman said, “wow, this is so real, did you use an Akashic medium?”
    “No, just tons of research and a lively imagination.”
    “Neverthless, I’m sure you are a medium without knowing it.”

    Lol, I would make a fine medium. My imagination that makes scenes read so real only works for epochs I’m interested in and did tons of research first. No Tudor or WW2 channeling, I’m afraid. 😉

    I have to give the lady credit that she didn’t pursue the discussion after I told her I didn’t believe in paranormal things, but I get a feeling she thinks I neglect an ability there.

    BTW I found your blog from Kathryn’s, in case you wonder.

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks for your comment, Gabriele. According to my notifications, you left another comment, which I approved, but I can’t see it anywhere. I’ll keep looking.

      The thing that bugs me most about the Akashic discussion is that I’m urged to ‘find out more about it’ (however much reading I’ve done) and ‘keep an open mind’, while the devotees repulse out of hand any suggestion that maybe it’s not as magic as they think and perhaps they should look into it all a bit more closely. In this context, having an open mind means believing without question. Not the definition I’d use!

      I know that both Helen Hollick and Elizabeth Chadwick use the Akashic (or whatever is actually going on) for background detail. It’s not (by any stretch of the imagination) their main research method. But that’s what calls it even further into question for me. If the Akashic is a record of everything that was ever done and ever said, why then do people never see things that might clear up the big historical mysteries? I’d love to get 100 Akasic readers all working on ‘Who killed the princes in the Tower?’ at the same time (in 100 separate rooms) for a start – if all of them come up with the same answer (careful to plan for possible collusion!), then they’re a step further to proving it’s all real, aren’t they? And solving a great mystery that gets so many people so very exercised! I suspect there’d be 100 ‘oh, there are disruptions to the flow!’ or something, but that’s just a guess.

      • Gabriele says:

        Karen, my other comment was a humorous reply to Sarah’s remark about someone believing Edward I was the son of Simon de Montfort. Well, at least there wasn’t any necromancy involved like with the whole Isabella / William Wallace thing.

        I haven’t read any of Helen’s books though I knew about them. I’ve read some of Chadwick’s novels and got the impression they were well researched; something that didn’t change after I leraned she used Akashic records as additional method.

        The fact that someone could mistake my lively imagination for Akashic readings shows just how blurred the lines are. I call the Akashic readings for lively imagination, that lady on the writing site saw it the other way round. I can visualize scenes of my novel because I’ve been living with those people and their time for years now; I’ve walked the same ways (as far as we can recontruct them), I’ve seen the remains of Roman forts and German settlements; I’ve fought with a gladius and a spear and ridden a Roman saddle – besides reading every bit I could find about the time and events. Yes, it feels like being there in a way, but it’s all in my mind, not in atoms around me. If it were, I’d damn go and ask Arminius what exactly motivated him – so far, I had to come up with possible reasons for myself. 🙂

        If you live in a country as rich in history as Germany or the UK. It doesn’t need atoms, in my opionion, only some interest in history, to be aware the past once was real. You don’t even have to consciously hunt down information to have seen, say, someone dressed in Medieaval garb with a falcon in an reenacxtment event, or the Gothic naves of a church, the curtain walls of a castle. The images are there, and if you then call the man with the falcon for William Marshal …. well, that’s MY explanation.

  18. Anerje says:

    Just want to say that I often ‘lurk’ here and have enjoyed the posts here, at Kathryn’s Edward II blog and the Thomas Cromwell experience. I don’t do FB, so can’t comment on the furore that the ‘don’t defame the dead’ discussion. All I can say is that I admire the 3 blogs mentioned that dealt with the subject and just wanted to show some support.

  19. anevillfeast says:

    Adrienne, good luck with your book.

    • anevillfeast says:

      Gabriele, I live on the other side of the world, and it’s bloody hard work imagining all the things that other people can just jump in their cars, drive for a while and see! But I get there in the end, I think.

      • Gabriele says:

        You don’t even need to drive. I have a castle in walking distance. 🙂

        What it boils down to in context of the Akashic records is that you don’t have to research William the Conqueror or Marshal in order to have picked up some information about them, seen places they’ve founded, fought at, lived in …. and the brain stores that away somewhere. Media like TV also help spreading the (unfortunately often mis-)information and the moment someone’s going to ‘see’ one of my Roman soldiers in a segmentata armour, I’d be wary about the source.. 😉

    • Adrienne Dillard says:

      Thank you!

  20. anevillfeast says:

    The Akashic is a load of donkey’s balls. There, I’ve said it.

    • Gabriele says:

      Lol, yes. Though I think people like Alison do genuinely believe in those atoms, mistaking the sources of their mental images.

      Others are frauds, plain and simple. Those will most likely play to personal stuff, not historical ‘research’, because there’s more to gain.

      • anevillfeast says:

        I think people like Helen’s friend are being sucked in by it all as much as anyone. The people making the money are those who created, and continue to create, the edifice. My research has been pretty much limited to the internet, but when I see videos where a sweet white haired woman explains just how the Pathway Prayer (as opposed to days of fasting and meditating) connects someone to the Akashic, my spidey senses go into overtime. Just recite a few lines and bingo! you’re in. I really don’t want this to turn into an Akashic bashing session, but it does surprise me how many intelligent people are utterly bamboozled by it. From time to time, I consult my I Ching, but I know damned well that I’m using it as a conduit to my own thoughts, not some divine whatever. And I guess people can do whatever they want with their own money, Still makes me sad to see the charlatans raking it in.

  21. Esther says:

    I’m not a Facebook user … and this thread makes me glad of it. I can’t imagine why anyone who purports to be interested in a subject, such as history, would insult good bloggers who are interested in establishing the truth about the subject (like you)

    • anevillfeast says:

      Thanks, Esther. Most of my time on facebook is fun, interesting and informative. As I work from home, it also stops me from going completely stir crazy! It’s just that all of this happened in such a short space of time. Left me reeling a bit.

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