Friends of Aesthetic Realism
       Countering the Lies
“It’s a lie, and not a well told one at that.
  It grins out like a copper dollar.”

                  —Abraham Lincoln

Statement by Haroldo Mauro Jr., Jazz Pianist and Composer, Full-time Professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I recently read a few articles on the Internet referring to the philosophy Aesthetic Realism, founded by Eli Siegel, and its students as a “self-help group,” “mind-control cult,” “destructive mind-controlling group,” and with other misleading terms. I studied Eli Siegel’s philosophy for three consecutive years in classes and consultations at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, while living in New York City, and I say from my experience: those descriptions are not true. What I’ve seen and learned enabled me to dedicate myself more earnestly and respectfully to my profession and to appreciate the world and people more than ever before.

As to the lie about “recruiting” and “shunning,” Prof. Mauro says: Michael Bluejay writes in his article: “they actively recruit new members” and “they shun former members.” First of all, it is impossible that there exist former Aesthetic Realism “members” because there has never been one, to begin with. The Aesthetic Realism Foundation provides education for whoever wants to study. There are no members, but only students and teachers. As I said, I did take courses at the Foundation, from 1986 to 1989. I was not “recruited.” When I learned the principles of this philosophy in music classes taught by composer Edward Green at the Manhattan School of Music, and saw them applied to music, I decided I wanted to study Aesthetic Realism, and I did.

I stopped having Aesthetic Realism classes and private consultations in 1989—and I never was “shunned.” I moved to Brazil in 1991. A couple of years ago I went to the Aesthetic Realism Foundation during a visit to New York City, and on meeting some people I knew, I was greeted very warmly.

As to the lie about “walking distance” and being “check[ed] on,” Prof. Mauro says: In another article, Adam Mali writes that “The members of the group live within walking distance of the headquarters,” and that “during work hours,...[they] ’check up’ on each other.” Again, from my own experience I can definitely say these statements are not true. I was never “check[ed] up” on by any student or teacher on the faculty of Aesthetic Realism—during work hours or any other time! I now live thousands of miles away from the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, but have had consultations over the phone and occasionally in person if I happen to be in New York.

As to the lie about higher education, Prof. Mauro writes: Mali also says he was discouraged from earning a college degree. I was a graduate student in music when I met Aesthetic Realism, and I got my Master of music degree while studying Aesthetic Realism in classes and consultations; I am now enrolled in a doctoral program in Brazil, and during all these phases of my life, including the current, I have only heard words of encouragement from friends I have who teach or take courses at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.

As to the lie about “adoration” and “worship,” Prof. Mauro says: In a third article an anonymous writer criticizes people studying Aesthetic Realism for expressing their gratitude and respect for and their desire to be completely fair to its founder, Eli Siegel; he describes these as statements of “worship and adoration of Eli Siegel” on one hand and of “the relative insignificance of the author” on the other. It happens that Aesthetic Realism has been useful, very useful to people. It has been useful to me. It has enabled me to be a better musician, teacher and person as nothing else ever did. Other persons have stated that Aesthetic Realism has enabled them to have better lives. Eli Siegel deserves the just credit for this. I don’t see what is wrong with expressing gratitude to the person who made this possible. Not wanting to express it would be unfair.

  • Read statements by many individual men and women
  • Reviews from the NY Times Book Review, Saturday Review, Library Journal, Harlem Times, Popular Photography, and more
  • The poetry by Eli Siegel, so greatly respected by William Carlos Williams and many others
  • Read lectures by Eli Siegel on subjects as diverse as literature, love, & economics
  • What is learned in classes taught by Ellen Reiss

  • A Little Anthology of Comments (Some Funny We Hope) on Further Misrepresentations.

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    A Dramatic and Cautionary Tale about an Unknown and Very Unimportant Person

    There once was a young man of ancient Greece named Milos. And Milos knew Socrates. He did not like Socrates because the great man asked far too many questions.... >> Continue
    Statements by Friends of Aesthetic Realism

    Barbara Allen
    Frances Amello
    Jerry Amello
    Christopher Balchin
    Mara Bennici
    David Berger
    Alice Bernstein
    Rachel J. Bernstein
    Barbara Buehler
    Gina Buffone
    Beverly Sue Burk
    Maureen Butler
    Jeffrey Carduner
    Margot Carpenter
    Lori & Robert Colavito
    Albert Corvino
    Nicholas Corvino
    Henry D'Amico
    Matthew D’Amico
    Ernest DeFilippis
    Vincent DiPietro
    Carol Driscoll
    Donita Ellison
    Anne Fielding
    Lorraine Galkowski, RN
    Pamela Goren
    Edward Green
    Avi Gvili
    Ames Huntting
    Mark Lale
    Dale Laurin
    Rose Levy
    Timothy Lynch
    Lorraine Mahoney, RN
    Derek Mali
    Glenn Mariano
    Haroldo Mauro Jr.
    Joseph Meglino
    Pauline Meglino
    Allan Michael
    Marvin Mondlin
    Robert Murphy
    Michael J. Nadeau
    Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman
    Ruth Oron
    Arnold Perey, PhD
    Lauren Phillips
    Jack Plumstead
    Maria Plumstead
    Rosemary Plumstead
    Rev. Wayne Plumstead
    Marcia Rackow
    Zvia Ratz
    Ann Richards
    Anthony C. Romeo
    Leila Rosen
    Rhonda Rosenthal
    Sally Ross
    Claudia Senatore
    Sheldon Silverman
    Jeffrey Sosinsky, MD
    Barbara Spetly McClung
    Joseph Spetly
    Faith K. Stern
    John Stern
    Arlene Sulkis
    Devorah Tarrow
    Jaime R. Torres, DPM
    Dennis L. Tucker
    Francine Weber
    Steve Weiner
    Miriam Weiss
    Carrie Wilson

    Also see the Aesthetic Realism Online Library  the Aesthetic Realism Foundation  Terrain Gallery  What scholars, writers, artists & teachers are saying  the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company  & Links

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