April 10, 2001
To: John Yates. President, Council of Massage Therapy Educators (Arizona)
From: Albert Schatz. Editor, Massage Law Newsletter
Thank you for your e-mail of April 2, 2001, which is your reply to my e-mail of the same date, on page 1 of this newsletter.
It was a joke
You mistakenly assume that I was "misinformed" about the Coalition changing its name to the Arizona Coalition of Massage Schools to Promote State Regulation (on page 1) My comment about that name change was a joke.. I was therefore neither informed nor misinformed about that fictitious name change.
I am astonished that you took my joke seriously. I am even more astonished (a) that you wrote me at length to correct what you mistakenly assume to be misinformation, (b) that you are now waiting to see how I "deal" with what you call "this issue;" and (c) that you will make a decision about my integrity based on how I "deal" with "this issue."
Humor is an integral part of my culture. I grew up in a family where humor was important. During the "hard times" of the Great Depression, humor enabled us to laugh and enjoy life without having to spend money for entertainment. I used humor with students when I was a professor. I was a comedian when I spoke at some professional meetings. I write for and publish the Massage Humor newsletter (to which I refer on page 1 in this issue of the Massage Law Newsletter).
Your e-mail includes the statement, "I must say that most people I have spoken to do not credit you with much integrity."
I am shocked to learn that my integrity has become an issue in evaluating the validity of what I have published. Those who disagree with me question my integrity because they are unable to provide well-documented evidence that I am wrong in what I have published. It is customary for professionals who disagree to support their respective positions with factual information and opinions within a framework of mutual respect. Personal attacks that question my integrity do not disprove my position that is based on well-documented evidence.
Your e-mail also includes this statement, "I am reserving judgement" [about my integrity] "until I see how you deal with this issue."
I cannot "deal" with "this issue" because you have not told me precisely what "this issue" is. Since, "this issue" is singular, I assume you have one issue in mind. If you tell me what "this issue" is, I will "deal" with it.
If "this issue" involves people who, you say, "do not credit" me "with much integrity," that is their problem, not mine. Please tell them that I would appreciate it if they would (a) let me know, in writing, why they do not "credit" me "with much integrity," and (b) give me permission to publish their reasons (with their names) in the Massage Law Newsletter. I want our readers to have this information.
If "this issue" involves how you will evaluate my credibility, that is also your problem, not mine. However, because you have written me about "this issue, I will "deal" with it if you give me the information which I need to do so.
Since you are concerned about my integrity, I hope you will understand why I am concerned about your integrity.
However, "I am reserving judgement" about your integrity "until I see how you "deal" with the questions which I ask you in this e-mail.
I hope you have the integrity to provide me with the information I am requesting . I need this information to "deal" with "this issue." After you evaluate my response to the information you provide, you will be in a good position to evaluate my integrity yourself, independently of what others may think.
Your four hopes
Your e-mail expresses your four hopes:
1. You hope I am "willing to become informed."
2. You hope I will "consider the facts."
3. You hope I will not "spread misinformation."
4. You hope I will not "manipulate opinions."
What are you talking about?
1. Why do you assume I am unwilling "to become informed"? I have (in publications about the Coalition and the Arizona Chapter of AMTA) asked Susan Pomfret and Judy Boyer many questions, to which they have not replied. I am now asking you questions. Will you reply? And I offer to publish information, that they and you provide, in the Massage Law Newsletter.
What more evidence of my willingness to be informed, do you want?
2. Specifically what "facts" do you want me to consider? What evidence do you have that they are indeed facts, and not your opinions? And how do you know that I have not considered those facts?
3. What evidence do you have that I "spread misinformation"? What misinformation have I spread?
4. What evidence do you have that I "manipulate opinions"? I provide well-documented information and ask important questions about state regulation and other controversial issues. I have absolutely no control over what opinions people have about the evidence I present and the questions I ask. Therefore, how can I possibly "manipulate opinions"?
Please inform me
In your e-mail, you say, "I hope you are willing to become informed.... " I assure you I am both willing and eager to be informed, but I need your help to become informed.
Therefore, please provide me with the information requested in my above-mentioned questions (a) about "this issue," (b) about my "being willing to be informed," and (c) about the "facts," "misinformation," and "opinions" to which you refer.
If you do not provide me with the information I request, (a) I do not know what you are talking about; and (b) I therefore cannot "deal with" what you call "this issue."
For the record
I appreciate your having given me permission to publish your April 2, 2001, e-mail, in accordance with your instructions. As you see, It is in this Massage Law Newsletter.
I am requesting that you also give me permission to publish your reply to this memo in the Massage Law Newsletter. I want our readers to have this additional information.