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 Jack Plumstead (Father of Rev. Wayne Plumstead)

In reading the ridiculous and flabbergasting statements made by Adam Mali, Michael Bluejay and their “anonymous” cronies, the only thing I found myself saying again and again was: “But that’s not true!” and “That’s not true!” and “That’s not true either!” But the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was their absurd statement that the only reason the parents of those who study Aesthetic Realism tolerate it and act as if they are grateful to it is so as to maintain contact with their children.

Well, my son, Rev. Wayne Plumstead, has studied Aesthetic Realism for 34 years and I am grateful every day of my life to Eli Siegel and Aesthetic Realism for the wonderful effect they have had on him. My gratitude for this is unending, and it isn’t because I fear losing contact with my son if I don’t have it. It is simply an honest and natural response for a great good that has happened to our lives.

Wayne and I had a distant relationship prior to his study of Aesthetic Realism which, at times, could even turn heated. We are very different people with different interests—and the differences grated on us both. Still, I always loved my son and the fact that he was so unhappy with his life made me miserable too. All of that has changed forever because of Aesthetic Realism. In fact, I was the one who first heard about Aesthetic Realism and its good effect on people’s lives and encouraged Wayne to study it. I am so glad he did.

Wayne has a useful life now as a United Methodist pastor and Aesthetic Realism consultant, and he is deeply and rightfully respected by those who know him. And he and I have shared a close friendship over these years that would never have been possible were it not for Mr. Siegel and Aesthetic Realism.  

I only met Eli Siegel once, but I will never forget the occasion. It was on February 16, 1974, when he invited me to attend one of the classes he taught. Mr. Siegel knew that Wayne and I did not get along very well and he wanted to encourage us to think about each other more deeply and with good will. He said he thought that if Wayne and I were present together in a class and heard each other being asked questions, we would see each other with more feeling and understanding. And boy, did we!

One of the questions Eli Siegel asked me was: “What made you angry with your son? He’s not your type? From what I can see you’re more rugged and he’s more delicate. Does he have any right to be angry with you? Were you angry with your father?”

I told Mr. Siegel that my father died when I was very young and he asked me if I was angry that he died. I had never thought about that before, but I realized it was true. He asked me if I had anything against my mother and I told him I thought she was too strict. Then he asked: “Do you think anyone in this world has understood you yet?” I was very moved by the question. “Not thoroughly” was my answer.

“Did your son see you as rather discontented?” Mr. Siegel asked me. (The answer is “Yes.”) “Did he see you trying to see things as well as you can? (The answer is “No.”)  Were you unjust to him?” “Yes,” I had to admit regretfully, “I was.”

I saw tears in my son’s eyes as this discussion went on. I felt as if he was seeing me for the first time. And then it was my turn to feel the same thing as Mr. Siegel asked Wayne questions such as “Did you try to have your mother care more for you than her husband?” (This was something I had felt for years, and it hurt me very much.) It was very emotional for me when I heard Wayne express his regret for this. And I was also moved when Mr. Siegel said to my son: “Don’t have a resentment you’re not proud of. If you and your father are proud of how you see each other, you will both be happier.”

There isn’t a parent in the world who wouldn’t feel fortunate to have met such comprehension and good will. Feeling these emotions is not the least bit weird. As a matter of fact, it would be weird not to feel them.

I am now in my 83rd year and I arise grateful every day for the good life God has given me, which very much includes my relationship with my son Wayne. I know Aesthetic Realism is responsible for this.

I was excited to travel to Baltimore, Maryland on August 16, 2002 for the celebration of “Eli Siegel Day” in that city, proclaimed by the mayor and governor. As I saw the beautiful memorial dedicated by the city in tribute to Eli Siegel being unveiled, and spoke with many other parents who had come from miles away and even other countries to attend this event (the man sitting next to me lived in Puerto Rico and has a son who studies Aesthetic Realism), I realized how representative my feelings of gratitude were.

I also want to say how proud I am of Wayne that he has all these years stood by Aesthetic Realism and tried to have it seen fairly so that other people can know about it and benefit from it. In this, he has been a true man of God. And now, when Aesthetic Realism is under attack by mean-spirited and deeply ignorant people who are trying to present him as some kind of a “cultist” (something that anybody who really knows Wayne would tell you immediately is sheer lunacy), and using the Internet to try and tarnish his good name far and wide, I admire his courage and integrity more than ever.

Call me one grateful parent—not from any ulterior motive or strategy, but rather from a keen sense of what is deserved and what I am only too happy to give.

red line for wayne plumstead statement

  • 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.

    >> Continue

    "On the Pleasures and Advantages of Anonymity: An Ode"—
    >> Continue

    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

    Home: Friends of Aesthetic Realism   |  site map  |  < Previous  |  Next >

    © 2004-8 Friends of Aesthetic Realism—Countering the Lies. All rights reserved