Bill's gauntlet

R. A. Neimeyer, U of Memphis (neimeyerra@MSUVX1.MEMPHIS.EDU)
Tue, 19 Mar 1996 19:37:04 -0600

In his recent inflammatory posting, Bill Chambers repeats familiar insults,
revisits a decade-old published exchange between the two of us on death
threat research (the only point of substantive professional contact I
recall having had with him in my 25 year involvement in PCP), and
challenges me to something like a professional duel in this forum. He adds
that "everybody already knows how we feel about each other," so presumably
no matter how ugly it gets, people will be prepared and might even enjoy
the cockfight.

I am disinclined to do this for many reasons.

First, our published debate is readily available in print, and can easily
be consulted by anyone who cares to examine our diverging interpretations
of a body of research on death threat that began at the University of
Florida in the early 1970's. I'm sure that either Bill or I will be happy
to share the references, and I would be happy to send a photocopy of the
articles to interested mailbase participants, along with more contemporary
summaries of this literature.

Second, I do not believe that this mailbase is an appropriate forum for
Bill's continuing to air whatever real or imagined grievances he may have
in relation to me or some vaguely defined "bandwagon" of conspirators who
supposedly squelched his promising career. In this vein, I do not agree
with the statement that readers of this response "already know how we feel
about each other;" while he has missed no opportunity to publically air his
contempt and rage toward me, I have (appropriately, I think) witheld from
engaging in any similar diatribe against him. Thus, while readers can form
their own inferences about my response to his harrassment, I am reluctant
to use the mailbase as a cathartic platform to even the score.

Third, I simply have other priorities in my life (in terms of children,
spouse, friends, students, colleagues, and projects) that supplant in
importance the prospect of carrying on some protracted debate with Bill in
this medium (or any other, for that matter). When I felt I had a
contructive point to make in relation to his mailbase postings, I have done
so (whether or not he acknowledges this), and I do not feel compelled to
respond in depth to every lengthy entry he sees fit to post. This list is
an invitational, not an obligatory medium, and I do not think it fair to
infer an intent to ignore, repress, or marginalize an author based upon
nonresponse to him. Bill has been elaborating his position on "the core,"
corresponding regressions, mandalas, etc. in relation to Lois and a number
of others; surely he does not require my involvement in the argument to
continue to do so.

However, I am sufficiently frustrated with all of these weeks of his
sniping at me specifically and the PCP community in general that I am
willing to revisit these conclusions if there is a general sentiment that
my debating Bill here will serve some useful purpose. Anyone who cares to
share an opinion on this matter, publically or privately, is welcome to do

Bob Neimeyer

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-4680
FAX (901) 678-2579