Rindos replies

Dave Rindos (arkeo4@uniwa.uwa.edu.au)
Fri, 9 Dec 1994 07:57:05 +0800 (WST)

It is with no small trepidation that I break my self-imposed exile from
this group. I do so largely because third parties are now being named and
involved in various ways. I wish this had not occurred and I would like
to see it stop. However, now that matters *have* gotten to this point, I
will make a few observations ("for the record," as they say :{) ).

First, I really have no personal disupte with Mr Hardwick, nor have I ever
had one. Indeed, I find I agree with him on quite a few issues (heck,
I've maintained "permaculture" gardens in two hemispheres for some 25
years). I have no problems whatsoever with his work, and indeed recommend
his recent publication on bush foods in the 1994 WANTACA yearbook to
those, like me, interested in human/plant interactions. My only dispute,
well known by now to all, was with certain claims he made about me as a
person. In a posting he made charges against me which included
allegations regarding my professional work and behaviour, and even more
upsetting to me, he falsly charged me with illegal sexual activities in my
personal life. I attempted, on the day the posting appeared, to have him
propagate a cancel on the post. I explained that he didn't know what he
was talking about, that he was passing on garbage, that he was hurting me
by saying those things, and that I would be more than happy to explain the
facts to him. He chose not to do any of these actions but continued to
repeat his false statements, apparently believing them to be true, or not
caring enough to find out if they were true or not. And instead of
attempting to work matters out privately, he said hurtful things about me
in private communication to a local professional body. For the next
several months I continued in my attempt to work things out informally,
and would have been more than willing to handle it in that way even to the

However, as anybody who looks to social structures will understand, once
matters become increasingly formal, and there is no matter more formal
than The Law, things inevietably pass out of the individual's hands, at
least to a certain extent. Ritualistic activites, processes and forumlae
evenutally come into effect, and these oftentimes bear little resemblance
to everyday life. Of course, this is why all societies recognise roles
for those who mediate in such matters (Lawyers, Law Men, and the like).
It is always wise to obey The Law once you get into a formal situation,
and in doing so it is prudent to seek the advice of those trained in it.
Once things get formal, they can quickly get very upsetting, confusing,
and difficult (and expensive, as Mr Hardwick has pointed out with great
truth, indeed). And, speaking from experience, let me assure you these
problems do not apply only to the Defendant in any given legal case. So
I, maybe more than even he, wish this would all simply come to an end.

It must be stressed that one reason I was so concerned with the claims
made by Mr Hardwick, was that I believed, by his own words, that he sought
to provide the "real" reasons I was denied tenure by the University of
Western Australia. False claims, no matter the source, or the manner in
which they are delivered, must be countered lest they appear to be true;
or at least this is the lesson I have learned from the denial of my
tenure. It was my belief back in June 1993, and it remains my belief, now
well supported by the evidence I have been able to obtain over the past
several months through State Freedom of Information proceedings, that I
was denied tenure only because a campaign of defamation against me had
succeed. Mr Hardwick apparently is one of those who bought into the false
and damaging rumours being spread about me. I have therefore been forced
(and believe me, nobody in their right mind would chose such a task!) to
clear my good name and reputation, so that I can again return to my proper
profession -- academia. I am a good scholar and my students have held me
a good teacher. I love my work. But, until the various charges laid
against me are proven untrue, doing my work will be an impossible task.
Hence, I have already begun action in the Industrial Courts of Western
Australia, and am beginning civil action against those at UWA who acted in
an improper fashion. This will take time, but eventually things will be
cleared up in the Courts. Of that I have no doubt. For now, I attempt to
survive and view my life as field work on Power and Prestige in Australian
Academica. :{)

I hope everybody can understand that false claims, even undefended and
unproven false claims, if left uncorrected become the truth in many
peoples' eyes. Why this should be so, in fact is rather interesting, and
might make a neat little thread. But, setting aside matters of cause, the
observation remains true, so let me take this opportunity to thank those
of you who have attempted to correct false statments posted on this group.
I do appreciate it, but have not wished to get involved personally for the
simple reasons that I feared were I to do so I would only succeed in
making matters much worse (which fear is now to be put to the test, I
guess). As the months, and possibly even years, go by, the facts
surrounding my loss of position and good name will become clear. But
this is not a matter appropriate to this forum. Nor will I participate
in entering into the details of it here. This is a serious business
which has involved the loss of my job. I am treating it with the
seriousness it deserves. I hope you can understand that.

In closing, let me remind everybody that there is much of anthroplogical
interest which needs to be discussed. However, much is NOT being
discussed because of the serious diversions created by matters which are
best, and least harmfully, handled in the appropriate social fora. Quite
frankly, I am NOT good at dealing with conflict (had Mr Hardwick gone to
Court he would have discovered that I was *truly* letting my lawyers
"represent me," and wasn't in attendance myself). Maybe I'm a wimp, and
maybe this is a fault, and maybe if I had sought to reply at great length
to him at the time, things might have been resolved on the net rather than
going to more formal processes. I don't know, but I think it would have
been an exceedingly distasteful process, and I was not then, nor am I now,
in any mood to see further false claims made about me. Seeing lies
posted, hurtful and untrue lies, is very painful indeed and replying
merely keeps the distasteful business alive. Furthermore, I don't feel I
should have to be forced to explain myself, and my personal life, to the
whole world in this manner. There are PROPER places to hold such
discussions. Besides, at least at this point in time, it is all quite
irrelevant in any case.


Dave Rindos arkeo4@uniwa.uwa.edu.au
20 Herdsmans Parade Wembley WA 6014 AUSTRALIA
Ph:+61 9 387 6281 (GMT+8) FAX:+61 9 386 2760 (USEST+13)
[you may also reach me on rindos@perth.dialix.oz.au]

Rabbits exist, hence we may speak meaningfully to the evolution of
the rabbit. Some people attempt to study the evolution of
human intelligence. We may well have a real problem here.