Desperate times lead to desperate actions in the Bailey camp:
Bailey’s spokespersons assert that the complainants against Mr. Bailey are (i) sexual paraphilics and (ii) transsexual terrorists, and then (iii) make false accusations of racism in an attempt at censoring the Bailey investigation website.
Investigative report filed April 18, 2004 [updated 11-21-04; 10-14-05]
By Lynn Conway
Lynn Conway’s website at the University of Michigan includes an investigative-journalistic section containing evidence accumulated by many investigators of research misconduct by J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern University (NU). For additional information about the Bailey case, see also the Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrenc (BBL) clearinghouse of information regarding the case. This report includes background information and evidence regarding the trans-defamation activities of two of Mr. Bailey’s more ardent supporters and spokespersons (J. Derbyshire and W. Arune).
Following the trail: How Bailey's spokespersons and supporters openly defamed his critics:
On November 12, 2003, Northwestern University announced the opening of an initial formal investigation into research misconduct against Mr. Bailey. Only four days later, on November 16th, Bailey supporter John Derbyshire made a blistering attack in the National Review Online on Mr. Bailey’s transsexual critics. This national media attack contained evidence of Derbyshire’s close ties to Mr. Bailey – first by coming when it did (we suspect that Mr. Bailey contacted Derbyshire out of desperation), and then in the form of its repetition in detail of the classic technique Mr. Bailey has often used to attack his critics (in which he tries to discredit them as being mentally ill, delusional, sexual paraphilics). Furthermore, Mr. Derbyshire had earlier (on June 23, 2003) written a glowing review of Bailey’s book in the National Review. By publishing his follow-on attack on November 16th, he emerged as a key advocate and spokesperson for Mr. Bailey.
In December 2003, Mr. Bailey orchestrated the publication of a feature article in the Chicago Reader, in which he attempted to respond to his critics and defend his theory of transsexualism, not by discussing the science but by attacking his critics as being sexual paraphilics and pathological liers. Highly featured in that article was a person named *W. Arune, the leader of the tiny “autogynephilia support group” which Mr. Bailey exploited as a means for promulgating his theory of transsexualism as being a sexual paraphilia. Arune had been in very frequent contact with Mr. Bailey by e-mail, was a self-proclaimed "autogynephile" (and later a self-admitted sexual paraphilic), and by now had emerged as a spokesperson and mouthpiece for him. Being under investigation, Mr. Bailey dared not directly say the things that Arune said for him in the Chicago Reader article, including accusing (by name) some of complainants against Mr. Bailey of being autogynephiles (i.e., sexual paraphilics), and grossly misrepresenting their personal case histories.
The attacks on complainants become more vicious when Northwestern begins its investigation into Bailey's activities
In March 2004, the investigating committee at Northwestern which had been announced in Nov. 2003 finally began their initial formal inquiry into the alleged misconduct, and began interviewing Mr. Bailey and several of the complainants against him. For some reason, Mr. Bailey soon began projecting signs of desperation, and these signals were picked up and acted upon by the tiny handful of remaining Bailey supporters, including his two principle spokespersons, J. Derbyshire and W. Arune.
The desperation amongst these supporters became especially evident following the filing of a complaint at Northwestern on April 6, 2004 by Andrea James, Lynn Conway and Deirdre McCloskey, regarding Mr. Bailey having (i) practiced clinical psychology without a license and then (ii) publishing confidential clinical case history information without permissions.
For example, only two days later on April 8, 2004, Bailey spokesperson Derbyshire asserted in national media (the National Review On-line) that Mr. Bailey was being subjected to “Transsexualist Terror”. In his article, Mr. Derbyshire further continued his and Bailey’s attack on his critics, accusing them of all being “autogynephilic” and saying “that they are really just very eccentric men.”
We suspect that Mr. Bailey had again contacted Mr. Derbyshire (out of further increased desperation) to commiserate about the filing of the latest complaint, which was a very thorough and revealing one. However, Mr. Derbyshire’s subsequent media attack had little apparent effect, other than further coloring his own already strangely homophobic image, and by association further staining Mr. Bailey’s now tarnished image too.
Then, later that month, we learned that on April 6, 2004 (two days before Mr. Derbyshire’s article), on the evening of the very day that clinical complaint was filed, Mr. Bailey’s principal spokesperson W. Arune sent an e-mail to Native American e-lists accusing Lynn Conway of “defaming Native Americans” in her website (see below). That e-mail was later openly published in “News from Indian Country” on May 17, 2004 (see below).
By making these false accusations of “racism” and “ethnic slurs” against Lynn Conway, Mr. Bailey’s spokesperson attempted to instigate outrage against Lynn amongst Native Americans, hoping that this would lead to her defamation and stigmatization as a “racist” at UM (which is a liberal university that takes human rights issues very seriously). This was apparently a crude attempt to coerce the University of Michigan into censoring the Bailey Investigation section of Lynn's webpages.
In the e-mail to Native American e-lists, this Bailey spokesperson targeted a particular webpage in the Bailey Investigation section: It was a page based on interviews with Anjelica Kieltyka that contained damning evidence of misconduct on Bailey’s part. That webpage was submitted to Northwestern University by Ms. Kieltyka back on October 7, 2003, as part of a complaint about Mr. Bailey's showing of a videotape of her in a public lecture at UCLA without her permission. Perhaps the BBL camp hoped that this especially-damning webpage would get quickly “pulled” from the internet as a result of their efforts.
The defamations fail to have the intended intimidation effect:
However, apparently unbeknownst to Mr. Bailey or his supporters, the senior leadership at UM are quite familiar with Lynn’s website as an important source of information on transgenderism and transsexualism. Lynn served on the Provost’s TBLG Task Force at UM, and the Task Force exploited Lynn’s website during their work on preparing the recent TBLG Task Force Report:
Furthermore, UM leaders are well-aware of the kind of “dirty-tricks” used to attack human-rights websites such as Lynn’s, which are often the target of religious zealots and right-wing hate-mongers. In this particular case, the dirty-trick became the comic-relief laugh of the week, not only at UM but amongst various trans women who learned about it.
Most Native Americans also saw through the Bailey spokesperson’s attempt to cause Lynn Conway’s website to be censored. Only a couple of Native Americans felt strongly enough to e-mail Lynn about it (see below), and even they complained not about Lynn’s reporting, but about Anjelica Kieltyka’s original Native American analogy and of Bailey’s harmful treatment of Anjelica in turn. Thus this effort by the Bailey camp to silence Lynn’s site quickly fizzled out.
This dirty trick by Mr. Bailey’s spokesperson Arune was a despicable one. In addition to further staining the Bailey camp’s reputation, it may have incidentally hurt the feelings of any Native Americans who were temporarily taken-in by it. Emotional desperation in the Bailey camp is hardly an excuse for pulling such sleazy stunts to squelch evidence of Mr. Bailey’s wrongdoings.
Reflections on the past - and emergence of a new way to respond to intimidation:
Reflecting on how Bailey's supporters defamed his critics, a clear pattern emerges: Those supporters defamed any Bailey critics by publicly calling them sexual paraphilics or "transsexual men", or by referring to their "masturbation habits", or by misusing gender pronouns, or by otherwise saying things that might shame and intimidate them into presumably retreating back into the woodwork. In the past, such methods had always worked when used by psychiatrists, psychologists and sexologists against any isolated trans critics who dared to step forward and complain about their pseudo-scientific teachings .
Exactly on cue as the Bailey investigation unfolded, Bailey's supporters spoke for him in this way, making defamatory attacks on his critics and on those who had filed complaints at Northwestern (such as Andrea James, Lynn Conway, Joan Roughgarden, Deirdre McCloskey, Anjelica Kieltyka, etc.).
However, what Bailey's spokespersons failed to recognize was that most of the transsexual women they were now attacking were secure in their identities, their spirits were at peace inside, and they were clear in why they were correct in criticizing Mr. Bailey's pronouncements. Unlike trans women in the past, they did not "crack" under the pressure of public defamation by sex-scientists and their spokespersons. Nor did they "go away" in shame and embarrassment at mere words being hurled at them. Instead they persisted in their criticisms and began using a powerful new form of response against intimidation: They immediately documented Mr. Bailey supporters' defamations and posted evidence of intimidations on the internet (i.e., as seen below and in the links above), thereby exposing their defamers for who and what they are.
For more about Mr. Bailey's principal public spokesperson Willow Arune, see:
1. "Who is Arune?", in "J. Michael Bailey defends his anti-transsexual "science" in the free "alternative" newspaper The Chicago Reader, December 12, 2003," posted in LynnConway.com.
2. "Willow Arune" and "Willow Arune: Words and Actions" by Andrea James, October 14, 2005. These pages provide extensive documentation of Arune's background and activities, including references to sources of information about Arune.
(i) Bailey spokesperson’s defamatory message to Native American e-mail lists:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Willow Arune" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 6:30 PM
Subject: [NISHNAWBE] Defamation of Native Religion by U. of Michigan
I am amazed that a professor at the university of Michigan would defame
Her name is Lynn Conway. Her web page (and the
material I refer to here)
is at :
Please note it is sponsored by the University of Michigan!
Below is one paragraph dealing with sex toys and comparing them to the
religious relics and regalia of Native Americans:
"Thus Anjelica brought a female mask, fake breasts, a wig and a rubber
vagina to the interview. She showed these items on camera, and explained
how the items in her experience went beyond sex, and had the power to confer
identity, i.e., that they were "transformative" to a pretransition
person - much as masks, feathers and powerful animal-spirit fetish items related to
eagles and bears were to Native Americans (whose use of identity
transformative fetish items Anjelica had deeply studied)."
I find this deeply offensive as I am sure do you! To compare those who
patronize sex shops for their toys to Native American religions is deeply
I have written to the University of Michigan to protest this flagrant
disregard for the religious symbols of your peoples. The image of your
shaman with fake breasts, a woman's mask, and a false vagina is evil and
(ii) A subsequent defamatory article Bailey's spokesperson submitted to “News From Indian Country”:
(iii) The two e-mails from Native Americans who reacted to Bailey's spokesperson's message:
From: "Larry F. Friend" <email@example.com>
To: Lynn Conway
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 12:53 AM
Subject: Wrongful use!
I have read your web page
anchor260409. The writing and viewing of these matters without permission
seems to me a very flagrant abuse of ethical trust at the least. There are
many other issues here though.
Th phrase "...a female mask, fake breasts, a wig and a rubber vagina..."
does offend even a non-religious person such as myself. If this can be used
as an analogy to the Native American religious practices... I can imagine no
circumstances where this could happen. I find this offensive and not
anything less than the continued abuse of the First Peoples of this land.
Yes I am of Indian blood. No I am not an expert. I do find disgust in Prof.
J. Michael Bailey's use of these materials but if I were addressing a jury I
would question other things as well. This analogy to Native American's is
rooted in "whose use of identity transformative fetish items Anjelica had
deeply studied". I would question how many Indian Spiritual people were
contacted or how many books were read that were written by White experts, by
someone that is so chronically depressed as to only work "a brief 1-1/2 year
period in her life." The symptoms of Dysthymia (chronic depression) seem to
indicate an interference with work abilities but the inability to work at
all seems to be symptoms of a far greater type of depression. I know when I
have down days I find it hard to research and cannot imagine how someone
that is depressed could manage to study deeply.
I could go on but I believe you get the jest...
I believe the analogy used was wrong, unfair, unjust, etc. Just as sure as
those who have gone through a change do not appreciate treatment that makes
them feel as though they have to live in a closet, be stereotyped or read
distortions of themselves; neither do Native Americans. We have had closets
called reservations, our ways have been hidden, taken, buried from us.
Indian schools for many decades destroyed cultural ways, family upbringing,
nurturing and mentoring. We and our ancestors have been forced to live in a
shell that is not us. A people who could empathize with you have been wronged.
The saddest thing is the person that writes to you with firm belief on this
matter is white in the Indian world and Indian in the White world. If none
of this has changed your mind about the analogy perhaps just that I believe
so strongly that it was wrong.
Larry Friend (Black Buffalo)
To: Lynn Conway
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 5:44 PM
Dear Ms. Conway,
As a Native American Woman, I have never had a problem with anyone's chose of sexual orientation and, while being true, that many Native American cultures acknowledged the twin spirits of certain individuals, this was not common place and certainly was NOT honored and respected as a whole. The survival of our culture and tribes depended on procreation, which as you are hopefully aware, requires sexual intercourse between a MAN and a WOMAN. Our children were our future hopes and dreams, had we not had them, the white man would not have had to slaughter, abuse, starve, torture, torment and steal our lives as we would no longer have existed.
This Anjelica and her/his/its perspective of our acceptance of the twin spirits is way off base. It is dishonorable, disrespectful and absurd to associated sex toys shaped like bears and eagles and other such NONSENSE with our culture!
Ms. Conway, might I enlighten you to a general piece of knowledge from the indian standpoint.....
A twinkie has a shelf life of 99 years which explains why we are stuck with hundreds of thousands of wannabe indians such as this individual.
Our people are sick and tired of everyoine watching Dances With Wolves and decided their Great Grandmother was a Cherokee Princess and they are indian, we are sick and tired of our traditions be stepped on and our culture manipulated. Individuals like this one (Anjelica) are the reason there is still so much prejudice in this country between indians and "whites" not to mention the shear stupidity that most whites still carry in their mind and heart.
Your article disgusts me, the topic disgusts me and this person needs to be handled in the "old ways"! Since she has studied so much of our history and culture then she/he/it should know the various punishments for disrespect and dishonor...tell it to choose one and do us all a favor!
May the Creator look upon you and find forgiveness for the atrocity.
This page is part of Lynn Conway's "Investigative report into the publication of J. Michael Bailey's book on transsexualism by the National Academies"