As discussed in my post about Blake Dyer's foray into blogging, there is an unpublished interview with Cameron Clark, which addresses her break with Guru Ethics. She was approached by a teal follower who calls himself taofighter. She agreed to respond to his questions, provided they both had publishing rights to the interview.
I have selected excerpts which address the claims Debra appears to have made to Blake, the reasons for the dispute and how that led to legal action. I am not publishing the entirety of the interview. It was never previously edited or published. It is repetitive and and bit confusing. It spanned over a month of emails back and forth. Cameron copied and pasted those emails into a document to which she has given me access. I apologize for any typographical errors which may have occurred in the cutting and pasting process, transitioning from one format to another. I have slightly edited some of these to improve readability. I have not addressed spelling or grammatical errors. I don't believe English is taofighter's first language. A pdf of the raw document is available upon request.
November 17, 2015
TAOFIGHTER: Hi Cameron,
I wanted to inform you that I am working on an infovideo about you.
I expect this to have quite some impact, as it will provide people with a new way to look at things. A lot of people will probably see it. Although I am afraid my perspective of your actions against Teal Swan will not be very favourable for you I still want to do it fair.
You don't need to be afraid that I will look in your private letters and I will back up what I say. This is about arguments. I will work with what you have published and how you have worked. So no unfair tactics but there is a lot to say.
If you want you can share your point of view and I will take it into consideration and feature it as I strongly believe that people really should make up their minds for themselves after looking at different perspectives. I also might not see everything in the right light. If you don't answer to my email, you will have to live with the result.
. . .
November 17th 2015
I would be happy to answer your questions via an interview, if you agree that I may record and publish it as well.
. . .
November 20, 2015
thank you for your openness and for the offer! I like your idea about an interview very much. I am not in favor of an oral one though. I would like to be able to quote from Teal and from what you said so we can get into a deeper discussion. If you say something I can look into it and then answer. Same goes for you. This way we can really look into some arguments.
An oral interview or skype interview would be perfect if Teal could also be interviewed. Then both of you could share your opinion and people could make up their minds. But so far I have heard nothing from Teal or Blake.
Of course both of us can record and publish the interview.
. . .
November 29, 2015
TAOFIGHTER: ... I suggest we go on with what happened between the magazine "Ethics and The Modern Guru" and you. You worked for them for the title story on Teal Swan. I have been in contact with the magazine and know their point of view and I also have your discussion with Gabriel Kundalini and the response from Teal and Blake. Both articles were not published in the magazine. If it's ok for you to continue with the guruethics.com story I would describe the perspective of guruethics and then you can answer.
CAMERON: I am very limited in what I can say regarding Guru Ethics, as this has now become a legal matter. I should tell you that the conversations with Gabriel Kundalini and with Blake were and are illegal to disseminate. Neither Blake, nor Gabriel Kundalini, nor, ultimately, myself, gave permission for those to be published or shared. To do so, at this point, constitutes a copyright violation, as well as an ethical one. I can tell you that I chose not to publish the Gabriel Kundalini conversations in the magazine, out of respect for Gabriel’s express wishes not to make them public, and ultimately out of respect for the law. It was the unresolvable conflict over this point that caused me to terminate my relationship with the magazine.
TAOFIGHTER: If you would rather continue with another point, please tell.
CAMERON: To back things up just a bit, I also want to take some time to address a few points from the first email you sent on November 17, 2015:
TAOFIGHTER: You don't need to be afraid that I will look in your private letters...
CAMERON: Would you mind elaborating on which private letters you are referring to?
TAOFIGHTER: 1. What is your motivation to build your life around the mission to destoy the person Teal Swan? Is it malevolent intention or is it for a good cause? If this question reflects a wrong pespective, please correct it.
CAMERON: It is in no way my “life’s mission” to destroy Teal Swan or anybody else. My intention, and I’ve stated this repeatedly, has been to tell my own story and let people make up their own minds from an informed place.
TAOFIGHTER: 2. What is your perspective of your problems you had with guruethics.com? I have recorded every bit of the argument you had with the magazine and talked to Debra van Neste. It seems Teal Swan is not the only one who gets stabbed in the back by you when you encounter a problem with someone.
CAMERON: What argument have you recorded, or even had access to? I’ve had no public argument with Guru Ethics. My only public commentary has regarded their poorly executed, ungrammatical, and in some cases false, presentation of the interview with “Doc.” I attempted to correct that record on my blog found here: http://thetruthaboutcameron.blogspot.com/2015/10/corrections-to-ethics-and-modern-guru.html.
TAOFIGHTER: 3. Why didn't you tell despite of brilliant knowledge of Teals material that the facts that are supposed to suggest or "prove" that Teal lies with every word she says have in fact mostly been cleared on Teals way from the half naked model to the spiritual teacher she is today? Why did you work highly suggestive and manipulative when you investigated and presented your work?
CAMERON: I fail to see how Teal has mostly “cleared up” the inconsistencies in her backstory. Her stories of overcoming her alleged traumatic past are largely what she bases her credentials for being a “spiritual leader” on, and her stories often fail to match up with the facts of reality. The point of even mentioning Teal’s Playboy claims and skiing results was to demonstrate Teal’s interpersonal patterns, and her record of truthfulness. It is relevant to point out even seemingly minor examples where Teal appears to have lied or exaggerated to “Doc” in her letter to him. Especially since she is accusing him of heinous crimes, and we have no proof to back up any of her accusations aside from Teal’s words. It’s only fair that Teal’s words her integrity, and her truthfulness should be evaluated and scrutinized. It appears Teal told “Doc” things in her letter that were less than truthful in an effort to manipulate/impress him. If Teal has been known to tell stories and exaggerate to impress/manipulate someone in her past, what makes you so sure she isn’t still telling stories and exaggerating to manipulate/impress people now?
Finally, I don’t think I was either highly suggestive, or manipulative in my investigation or presentation. I simply shared my own experience, concerns, and observations after having lived with Teal and having been part of her intentional community.
TAOFIGHTER: After the video is released I am not going to take any further steps to hunt you down like you try with Teal. I do not believe that it is my job to control what people think. I like when people have a right to think for themselves. But I feel the need to speak out what I found when I researched the topic. And this will be made public.
CAMERON: I have never hunted Teal down, nor do I have any intention of ever doing so.
I agree it is not anyone’s job to control what people think. My whole goal in speaking out is to encourage people to think for themselves, question authority, and not follow or worship any living guru or spiritual teacher, including Teal Swan. I have stated before that I view Teal as a microcosm of a much larger issue. Even if Teal were to quit her “career” as a “spiritual teacher” tomorrow, the problems of the world would not be solved. There will always be a steady supply of gurus ready to take Teal’s place, as long as there are people willing to follow them. The issue I see is that humans are conditioned to follow authority without question from the time we are born. I have felt a strong need to raise awareness on this issue, and I have used my own personal experience with Teal to do so.
I think that addresses most of the questions you have sent me so far. If there is anything I’ve missed, please feel free to remind me. I look forward to addressing your follow up questions from this point forward.
December 18, 2015
Hi Cameron. I am sorry for the long delay. I was very busy in the last two weeks.
Today I want to introduce the first topic. Please give us your perspective of what happened. I will also answer your last statements and send it to you this weekend.
What happened behind the scenes of Ethics and The Modern Guru
after releasing the second issue:
Teal Swan: Spiritual Catalyst or Ticking Time Bomb?
A magazine that concerns itself with exposing dangerous cults comes to the conclusion that Teal Twan is not the head of dangerous cult.
TAOFIGHTER: The editors step back, stop selling the magazine and publish a second and third edition of the magazine, focusing on Satyananda as the new title story.
In an editorial note the journalists say that they "found out this contributor (Cameron Clark) was not who she claimed to be". Cameron is full of "blind rage" and "motivated by personal hatred rather than objective revelation."
CAMERON: This statement is libelous, and portrays me in a false light. The magazine provides no evidence for this—because, in fact, no such evidence exists. I parted ways with the magazine nearly two months before they published the first edition of their magazine, featuring Teal. It’s important to note that the magazine didn’t have any problems with me, my motivations, or lack of “objective revelation,” at the time they published that first edition. Moreover, the libelous commentary that was added only later appears to have a been motivated by malice, with no basis in factual events. It was concocted and added to the second edition of their magazine, as retaliation for me posting my own articles on my blog, shortly after the release of the first version of the magazine.
My motivation is not, and has never been, personal hatred towards Teal. I have never been in, or demonstrated anything close to, a “blind rage.” The magazine solicited my help in the first place not because of my “objective revelation” about Teal, but because of my own personal experiences with her. For all the magazine’s criticism of me, for sharing my experience, they’re continuing to sell and profit from my work in their magazine. Moreover, to speak so falsely about my motivations and actions is libelous. It’s illegal.
As I’ve stated before, I am motivated to speak out of concern. I am concerned about Doc’s safety, I am concerned about the the state of our world, and I’m concerned about the way humans have been programmed to blindly follow authority. I am motivated by my desire to one day live in a world with fewer followers, and more rational, independent thinkers. I think Teal’s audience is only one small example of the ways people around the world are being manipulated, fed false hope, and led astray by “leaders,” every day. I am very concerned about the deleterious effects gurus and celebrity idol worship have on people’s minds. It seems that most people believe they need to follow someone stronger, wiser, or richer, in order to “succeed.” It seems that many followers think that they need to hear what gurus like Teal have to say, in order to understand how to live their lives to the fullest, in some way. It is in this way that I see people actually giving away their power to others, under the guise of becoming more empowered.
I’m motivated to speak out, because I don’t believe we are born to follow others, who position themselves as authorities, like Teal. It seems to me that humans may have just been conditioned for so long to follow authority, that we have forgotten how to think for ourselves, along the way. I do include myself in that category. I do realize this is a very widespread issue, which in no way begins or ends with Teal. I don’t claim to have answers to the world’s problems. I am not so naive that I think that the issues or the problems of our world can be solved with an interview of Teal’s alleged abuser. I just really think that questioning authority is important, and the place I’ve chosen to start dismantling the deceptions from, seems about as good a place to start as any.
Changes made in the second / third edition:
- New title story: The new title story is on Satyananda. Teal Swan‘s title cover is replaced by a cover of Satyananda. The story around Teal Swan is now found at the back of the magazine.
- Clarification: Teal is neither malevolent nor dangerous: In the first magazine it was suggested that Teal is malevolent and dangerous. It was also suggested that one has to be afraid that Teal will cause the next Jonestown suicide massacre (the biggest mass suicide in the history of mankind with over 900 people dying). Now they clarify: They still think Teals teachings are wrong. But the teachings are neither malevolent nor dangerous. "(...) we feel the teachings of Teal Swan are ultimately benign and do not present anything dangerous on a large scale."
- Cameron Clark leaves the magazine: "One of our past contributors has been harassing us and we have found out this contributor was not who she claimed to be; as such, all her words have been removed. Past people we have met and are opposed to Ms. Swan seem to be motivated by personal hatred rather than objective revelation, and we wish to have nothing to do with such petty vindictiveness."
CAMERON: This statement is pure libel. I have never harassed Deb, Steven, or anyone involved with the publication. I broke off all communication with them nearly two months before the magazine was published. I have not been petty or vindictive. In fact, I’ve been quite the opposite. I tried to resolve things professionally and amicably, when I left the magazine. I have plenty of proof, via emails from Debra and Steven, that they have actually been harassing, hostile, and threatening towards me. All of their threatening, hostile, and libelous communications regarding me have now been forwarded to my attorney.
- Minor Changes: The remark that Teal Swan surrounds herself with her Teal Army was deleted. The journalists found there was no Teal Army. They have been attacked by Satyananda’s followers. They even received death threats from them. In contrast to this neither Teal herself nor her followers appeared unfriendly towards them. Also the parts about the playboy and the telemark skiing were deleted. The recent bios of Teal do not show boasting nor do they still contain the remarks that have been made in Teals half-naked modeling time of 2004. Despite brilliant knowledge of Teals material this was not mentioned. It looked like there has been no development to fit the suggestion that Teal Swan lies with every word she says.
- Statement: The magazine will no longer write articles about Teal Swan. "(...) we are not interested in further writings on Ms. Swan, nor do we seek to harass her."
- All advertisments under Teals videos claiming Teal has been exposed as a liar and her backstory is "all lies" have been removed.
- On the homepage guruethics.com the lawyers letter, the graphic about Teal etc. have been removed. The old advert video has been replaced by a new one. All suggestive elements in it have been removed.
CAMERON: For what it’s worth, I thought most of those headlines and promotional advertisements were tacky, and in poor taste. It wasn't my idea to make sensational headline promotions, like the ones that claimed that Teal’s story has been proven to be "all lies." I think it's just best to present critical information and let the reader decide what’s true and what isn’t. Removing those dramatic, sensationalistic headlines, is all for the better, as far as I am concerned.
Ethics and The Modern Guru‘s perspective
(Quotes are from a private email exchange with Debra Van Neste. I have permission to quote.)
The journalists of the magazine have a cult background of some sort and have suffered from it. They sympathized with Cameron and with her story of Teal Swan being the head of a dangerous cult organization.
"Cameron in the beginning was a very stable girl." (Debra Van Neste)
They trusted Cameron and regarded her as a friend. According to Debra van Neste she suddenly changed when the journalists wanted to include an article featuring the perspective of Gabriel Kundalini as well as Blake’s response which came in after the deadline but still could have been included in the magazine.
CAMERON: What Debra doesn’t address at all here is the reason I refused to publish the Gabriel Kundalini article. She had pressured me from the beginning to publish this private email exchange I’d had with Gabriel some months before. And, I would have loved to have published those conversations, if Gabriel had agreed to it. When we got closer to the magazine deadline, I asked Gabriel if he would be comfortable with me publishing the conversation. He said that he was not. He explicitly told me that I did not have his permission to print his words. Therefore, to have published that conversation would have violated his copyright and right to privacy.
Blake’s response to the magazine was a similar situation. Blake had sent us some partial answers to a list of prepared questions, and he avoided many of the questions entirely. We had been trying to get a statement from him for weeks, which he still had not provided. I would have loved to publish the partial answers Blake sent, and still wish his answers could be published.
The problem, though, was that at the last minute (right before the magazine’s deadline), Blake had made it impossible to do so. Unfortunately, he said we could publish his emailed answers only if he got to see and approve the final proof, before it was published. It seemed bizarre and uncooperative, as we had already promised to publish his words verbatim. After he was contacted, to try to clarify this and reach an understanding, he stopped responding to the magazine altogether. As with the Gabriel Kundalini exchange, publishing Blake’s answers without his permission would have violated both his privacy and his copyright. In other words, it’s illegal.
TAOFIGHTER: "She started to unwind (...) we were going to re-print an interview/discourse that actually put Teal in a very fair light." (Debra Van Neste)
CAMERON: I have no idea what “unwind” means. I cut ties with the magazine, because of their hostility, and continued attempts to force me to publish the Gabriel Kundalini emails, against his will. I refused profits, and restated my claim over my own work. My issues with those pieces had nothing to do with how they presented Teal, but, as I said before, with legal and ethical issues regarding copyright and privacy.
TAOFIGHTER: According to Debra van Neste Cameron was suddenly full of a "blind rage" . She wanted to bring Teal down at all costs. She also wanted to make the magazine Anti-Teal exclusive. She had no interest in neutral articles on Teal.
TAOFIGHTER: "All the writers were (...) shocked, she started to act very irrational and I did not recognise what happened to her. The whole Teal thing triggered something, a very deep rage, very deep issues, especially when we contacted Blake, she acted really unstable. She quit the magazine in a huff, and I offered to still give her a split of the profits, she did refuse. It turns out it was because she had plans to sabotage us and re-print the whole article on Doc." (Debra Van Neste)
CAMERON: This is absolutely false. The only “writers” I had any interaction with were Debra and her friend Janaki. I never once acted “really unstable,” nor do I have any “very deep rage.” I
have a record of our entire Facebook conversation, including my departure from the magazine, to prove it. I have been on the receiving end of volumes of abusive profanity, threats, and baseless accusations from Debra and her husband, Steven, all of which has been forwarded to my attorney. To respond to them would have been pointless, so I stopped all communication from my end.
I have never been interested in making money from Teal-related material, and didn’t agree with it being a for-profit venture, when I first got involved with the magazine. In fact, the first issue of the magazine was free, and I assumed I would be contributing to an ethical organization, doing a public service. I made it very clear from the beginning that I was not interested in making money for sharing my story. Debra insisted on charging for this issue, but I refused all offers to be paid any share of the profits.
Debra promised early on that every writer for the magazine would retain their copyright, so that they could republish their work elsewhere. She also promised to put a copyright notice, to this effect, at the beginning of that magazine — a promise she still hasn’t followed through on. I would not have participated under any other terms. Even so, I would have been willing to hold off on publishing the article on my own blog, for a suitable period of time, if their publication of it hadn’t been riddled with hundreds, if not thousands, of grammatical and factual errors, which the magazine introduced into my work, as you can see at http://thetruthaboutcameron.blogspot.com/2015/10/corrections-to-ethics-and-modern-guru.html They did not print the whole interview in their magazine, which you can see at http://thetruthaboutcameron.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-complete-interview-of-teal-swans.html
According to Debra, me posting my own interview with Doc for free on my own blog, constituted plans to “sabotage” the magazine. What strikes me as strange about Debra’s claim that my reprinting of my work constitutes sabotage, is that the article they made their cover story in the revised edition of the magazine – the Satyananda piece – was previously published for free at https://www.facebook.com/Suchablunder/posts/753642948056679 and https://www.facebook.com/internationalyogaallianceforethics/posts/613467042133174 Similarly, the Sharon Stern story was previously published for free at http://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/Memorial/Sharon-Stern-Story-Complete/ And Janaki’s story on Byron Katie, which is supposedly going to be printed in the next issue of the magazine, was already published for free at http://mortentolboll.weebly.com/uploads/6/3/9/3/6393206/janaki.pdf In other words, my article was just one of many that have been published elsewhere on the Internet.
TAOFIGHTER: She concludes:
"This whole conflict is between her and Teal in which Cameron is making her life mission to destroy Teal." (Debra Van Neste)
CAMERON: Not only is Debra’s statement dramatic, but once again, it’s libel, with malicious intent. It is in no way my life’s mission to destroy Teal, the magazine, or anybody else.
TAOFIGHTER: After the argument with the other journalists about the article with Gabriel Kundalini Cameron left the magazine and published the interview with Doc and the letters on her blog for free. When the van Nestes stopped selling the Teal Swan edition and started selling the Satyananda edition, Cameron suddenly brought the magazine down from Amazon.com with copyright infringement claims. She claimed she possessed full copyright on Docs interview. Cameron was regarded as a friend until the conflict arose. Now she is harassing them and tries to destroy the magazine.
CAMERON: On the contrary, they threatened to come after me for copyright violation, when I initially posted the Doc interview on my blog. I retained an attorney. It turns out that they are actually violating my copyright, by continuing to alter and republish various versions of my interview in their magazine, without my permission, and without acknowledging my copyright, as per our prior agreement. I have not harassed them or tried to “destroy the magazine.”
All I’ve done since publishing my blog has been to follow legal advice, so as to protect my legal rights and reputation, while simultaneously allowing Doc’s interview to be made widely and accurately available to the public.
. . .
TAOFIGHTER: You talk about "ethical" reasons and you say "out of respect for the law" you terminated the relationship with the magazine. The magazine says the real reason was because you didn’t want to have anything published that would have presented Teal Swan in a fair light. Gabriel told me he had no idea his communication with you was to be published and he didn’t want it to be published mainly because he had no idea how it would be used. Guru Ethics say he could just have asked. They would have shown him the complete result. After all Gabriel came out very strong in the interview in my opinion and the article would have given the reader a second perspective which is crucial for people to make an informed decision. But there has never been even an attempt to ask him if he wants to see how the discussion would be used. The magazine says you were obsessed with your goal to destroy Teal and you only wanted material published in the magazine that damaged Teal Swan and was onesided negative. In the end the magazine was so purely negative and suggestive it backfired because it looked like slander.
CAMERON: I would have loved to have published the conversations with Gabriel, and I did seek Gabriel’s permission. I thought it was a very balanced discussion, and it would have been beneficial to allow people to see both sides. Perhaps Gabriel is misremembering, but I wrote and asked him if he was willing to have our conversation published on September 2, as you can see in a screenshot of our Facebook conversation here:
And he sent me his response in a Microsoft Word document on September 3, as you can see, here:
Here is a link to the letter I sent him, so you can read it yourself, and come to your own conclusions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17pwZWwDpKYfLqjUT16i4MXpiegBgRD76mElaWcvxQqI/edit?usp=sharing
. . .
TAOFIGHTER: Guru Ethics tell a very different story. They worked with you for several months and got you to know.
CAMERON: Who is they? I corresponded with Debra, her friend Janaki, and my co-author. I think it’s important to note that I never met them in person. I interacted with them only via Facebook messages, and a few Skype/phone calls. In the few short months I was in contact with the magazine, I didn’t have much time to discuss things that didn’t pertain to the work I was doing with them (i.e., the Teal investigation). I was contributing to the magazine, on top of juggling my life, full-time job, and family matters. Given that they had such a limited sampling of my time and life, they really didn’t get to know me at all. It would be like you trying to say you got to know me based on the emails we’ve exchanged these past months.
TAOFIGHTER: They say you are obsessed with your life’s mission to destroy Teal Swan.
CAMERON: Once again, this statement is maliciously false. The magazine is in no position to speak with authority about my emotions, or my life’s mission. As I’ve stated above, they really don’t know enough about me to make these sorts of statements.
TAOFIGHTER: They were shocked by your stories about Teal Swan in the beginning. This caused them to wanting to bring Teal down.
CAMERON: So they’re admitting that they wanted to bring Teal down. I don’t see what that has to do with me. The magazine already started investigating Teal, before I ever met them. They had paired up with Jessica Schab’s and Diego Fontanive’s “End of Fear Project” (aka, EOF) months before I ever got involved with the magazine. Debra said that the magazine’s interest in Teal developed because Teal’s name kept being brought up to them, from different people, before I came along. She also said she really wanted to investigate Teal, once she realized that Teal had amassed a large audience. In fact, the only reason Jessica Schab introduced me to the magazine, in the first place, was because the magazine was already interested in exposing Teal. Doesn’t admitting that they decided to publish the Teal article based on shock value, prove that they were never interested in “objective revelation” in the first place?
TAOFIGHTER: Now that they got to know you and learned more about Teal Swan, Debra van Neste says:
"I don't define Teal as a cult--she is just a new age teacher."
CAMERON: It’s interesting that the magazine appears to be trying to position itself as an authority on the subject of cult research. You might ask them sometime what credentials they have that qualify them to make that determination.
Doesn’t it strike you as a little odd that an anti-cult publication would make this determination AFTER having published and marketed the magazine, and AFTER I published the corrected article on my blog? The timing doesn’t seem a little suspicious to you? Are they saying they did no fact-checking prior to publication? Are they saying that their determination of the facts is based on emotions and whether or not they can view the cult victims writing for them as their "friends" or not? Did they really do no independent fact-checking prior to publication? Does that sound like a responsible editorial policy to you?
TAOFIGHTER: This ist the reason why they decided to step back and publish a second and a third edition of the magazine featuring Satyananda as title story instead of Teal Swan. If a magazine decides to take such a huge step it normally does mean something.
CAMERON: As I understood it, the magazine made Teal the title story in the first edition, because it was the only original investigative work being featured in the entire issue. As I already proved through the links I provided above, nearly all of the stories featured in the magazine were previously published for free on the internet. The material the magazine is charging money for, consists mainly of recycled material, and Steven’s commentaries, not original “investigative journalism” on cults, as previously advertised.
Meanwhile, they are still selling my work in their magazine. If they really believed in Teal's innocence, as you seem to be suggesting, why didn’t they pull all of the Teal articles from the magazine? Instead, they merely changed the cover to artwork that also violates copyright, added a libelous commentary about me to deflect criticism, and changed a few words, here and there. Steven’s original commentary about Teal is still in the magazine, and the magazine still states that it has always stood behind Doc’s innocence.
TAOFIGHTER: This is what thousands of people who meet Teal see. Guru Ethics are no longer saying she will cause the next Jonestown. This also met my own perception of things when I analyzed your work and your image of Teal that you propagate and how you propagate it.
CAMERON: I was not aware that Guru Ethics ever said that Teal will cause the next Jonestown. I’ve never definitively stated that she will either. I’ve stated that I have good cause to be concerned about that potential, which is why I’ve spoken up preventatively.
. . .
TAOFIGHTER: You had an argument with Guru Ethics behind closed doors about the article with Gabriel Kundalini. It could not be solved peacefully but caused you to terminate the relationship and to leave the magazine. After the magazine was released you suddenly posted the heart of the magazine - the interview with Doc and the letters from Teal – on your blog for free and caused them financial damage.Creating the magazine cost a lot of money and you knew they would charge for it. You didn’t have to pay.
CAMERON: They’re not charging money for this simply to cover their costs. You quoted Debra above saying that she offered me a share in the profits. It’s a for-profit venture, but that was never my intention. I did not know that they would charge money, when I started working with the magazine. In fact, the first issue of the magazine was offered for free. For this reason, I assumed that the issue I was writing for would be offered for free, as well. It was nearly a month after I initially started helping them, that Debra explained that they had decided to charge money for the magazine, starting with this issue. I am not begrudging the magazine for trying to make money on their own work. I just personally don’t think it’s right that the magazine begrudges me for posting my own work (written as it was intended) for free on my blog. After all, Teal isn’t charging the public money to hear the stories she tells about Doc, so I don’t think it’s fair to charge people money to hear Doc’s side of the story either.
Plus, I question your statement, “Creating the magazine cost a lot of money.” Publishing an e-book requires no costs whatsoever. Even publishing a soft copy through Amazon and Lulu—which are the self-publishers they used—doesn’t cost a dime. I don’t recall Debra mentioning that she spent a penny on the magazine, other than money that a benefactor gave her for marketing.
TAOFIGHTER: You were regarded as a friend, you were ok working for them. Now you say you never intended to take money for it. Is it reason for treating people like this? How does this fit together?
CAMERON: When Debra first told me that they were going to be charging money for the magazine, I was wary. I refused proceeds from day one, right up until the last. I did not agree to be paid. I explained to Debra that I was contributing only because I believed in the benefits of raising cult awareness. I felt it was important to point out the potential dangers of getting involved with cults, based on my own experience. I am not interested in or comfortable with the idea of making money off of Teal-related material, but I had no problem with the magazine wanting to make money from their own work. Debra was aware of that from the start.
Furthermore, the reason I shared the blog so quickly after their magazine was published was to set the record straight. Their editing introduced hundreds, if not thousands, of errors (including, in many cases, misquoting people), without my knowledge or permission (they never showed me the magazine proof). My reputation was damaged, when they introduced and printed all their editing errors to my work, making me look like a sloppy, unethical writer, who doesn’t know proper grammar, and changes people’s quotes arbitrarily. I had every right to protect my reputation, especially given that Debra explicitly agreed that contributors to the magazine would retain the copyright to their work, for the purpose of republishing it wherever they pleased. If they would have simply implemented the corrections to my work that I posted on my blog, I would have gladly taken my blog post down. Instead, they dug their heels in, printed a libelous commentary about me, and refused to correct a single word. Finally, if they had given me a chance to approve or reject their edits, before going to press (as editors normally do), this could have been worked out privately, rather than on my public blog.
TAOFIGHTER: It does not look like the other journalists had an idea you would publish the interview and the letter right after they released the magazine.
CAMERON: What other “journalists”? Who else have you spoken to? Last I heard, everyone I’d worked with over there had broken with the magazine, except for Debra’s friend Janaki.
TAOFIGHTER: Shortly after you got the whole magazine down from Amazon.com and from other platforms with copyright infringement claims.
This is what I mean by "Teal is not the only one that got stabbed in the back by you" (if this version is true). It is very interesting to find out what happened here.
CAMERON: I left the magazine nearly two months before they released their issue. We didn’t part as friends, but I had no hard feelings. I had no plans to “sabotage” or “stab them in the back,” upon leaving. The magazine’s issues with me began when I decided to correct the mistakes the magazine introduced to my work, on my blog. Rather than choosing to correct their mistakes like adults, the magazine chose to send threats. They continued to sell various misappropriated derivations of my work, without permission, in their magazine.They also started libeling me, and they set out to discredit me as a person, in a very malicious way. Personally, I am happy to move on from the magazine.
I was naive to think that we both started out with the similar goal of raising cult awareness. While my experience with the magazine has been very trying, it has also been a powerful lesson in how even a worthy cause, with the best of intentions, can go sour, when money becomes a key motivation.
I honestly look forward to putting the magazine issue to rest. I have no interest in continuing to publicly debate the libelous, incendiary claims the magazine has fabricated about me. Any further libelous statements the magazine makes about me to you, or anyone else, online or in print, will only be used as further proof of damages in my libel claim against them. That said, discussing my experience with the magazine publicly any further is not a productive use of anyone’s time. They have refused to correct their mistakes, de-escalate their anger, and resolve the situation amicably, so I’m deferring to my attorney on how to best make that happen.