I recently took down my S.W. Erdnase blog (for the time being), so this blog may have to tolerate occasional posts on the S.W. Erdnase situation! I didn’t really want to say anything about this, but it has kinda been bugging me, and nobody has said anything about it on the Erdnase thread of the Genii forum.
On the Erdnase thread, Richard Hatch tactfully asked for clarification of certain statements that had been made by Scott Lane. Hatch said, in part (link):
If MFA [Milton Franklin Andrews] had nothing to do with the [Erdnase] book, then they [certain specified things] don’t seem to help and would fall in the category of unrelated coincidences. Ditto any association with the author of the Wizard of Oz.
That may not make a lot of sense to those not following the Erdnase thread, but you probably get the drift.
Lane replied on the thread as follows (link), as to the second sentence quoted above:
It seems like you [i.e., Hatch] have drawn a conclusion, within your question, prior to me having a chance to respond to your question and present my rationale. That is the definition of research bias. I do believe that even the smallest “smidgen” of research bias can derail any research project.
I find this to be insulting to Hatch, and more than a little condescending. (Notice, too, there is no statement of any “rationale.”)
And what was the “conclusion” that was spposedly drawn? I have no idea, unless it was the obvious one that there is no immediately evident role that L. Frank Baum played in connection with The Expert at the Card Table. But I don’t consider that a conclusion as such. It is more in the nature of a fundamental fact that has yet to be refuted.
Hatch is one of the top two or three people in the world in terms of knowledge and understanding of the whole Erdnase-authorship case, and many would say he is THE top person, period.
I myself never have had, and never will have, anything near Hatch’s knowledge of the Erdnase-authorship facts, or his understanding and command of the whole area.
Hatch has shown a greater amount of genuine fair-minded interest in even some of the weaker “Erdnase cases” than I ever have, and to the best of my knowledge there is no one in the field who is less apt than Hatch to draw unsupported conclusions about any candidate or about any argument for or against any candidate.
What I don’t “get” is why “I” have to be the one to go on record with this!
Woe is me for caving in and posting on this — but for some reason no one else has. I feel a little sorry for myself, because I have been trying to distance myself formally from everything having to do with Erdnase!
I have plenty of problems with Lane’s facts and arguments (which are voluminous and in more-or-less constant flux), but it would take me far more time to develop my claims than I care to spend at this time. After all, one of the main reasons I have dumped my Erdnase blog (for the time being) is that it has been siphoning off too much of my time.
It might not be a bad idea for Lane to develop and refine his case for his candidate, and maybe do a little condensing and synthesizing, rather than repeatedly inviting questions and then criticizing someone who has asked for clarification in just about as kind and roundabout a way as can be imagined.
As may be obvious, Hatch is a friend of mine.
I will say this: I almost never publicly take anyone to task on anything relating to Erdnase. I figure life is too short to bicker with others on a topic that is supposed to be a fun hobby. I have tried to keep my remarks above temperate and tame. The only other time I have censured anyone in an Erdnase context (as far as I can recall) was when someone took potshots at another friend of mine (Hurt McDermott), who had passed away and was unable to speak on his own behalf.
I probably will not leave this post up permanently, by the way—so sooner or later it may just disappear.
January 19, 2018