Todd Eaton, Event Nazi:
He Should be Eaton Alive!
One episode on the 1990s sitcom, "Seinfeld," was about the "Soup Nazi." (See YouTube clips.) This "person" owned a restaurant in Manhattan that specialized in his soups. He was rightly called the Soup Nazi because of his dictatorial, arbitrary, self-serving, and nasty behavior. He unilaterally decided who he would allow to buy soup and who to throw out, without soup (after they had stood in line!), because they asked a question or didn't order quickly enough for him. He also unilaterally decided who would get bread with their soup and who would not.
A "person" named Todd Eaton operates a NYC list for protest events in precisely the same discriminatory, dictatorial, arbitrary, self-serving, and nasty manner. Thus, he is rightly called the Event Nazi. Read the "Warning," below, written by Anne, and see if you don't agree.
Down with the Event Nazi!
WARNING TO USERS AND READERS
OF TODD EATON'S PROTEST LIST:
EATON ADDS UNTRUE STATEMENTS
TO THE EVENTS LISTINGS!
Last month, I sent Todd Eaton (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com) an event announcement for the NY Protest List (firstname.lastname@example.org). I had previously sent him many event announcements from several different organizations, and he published them as written. This time, however, he altered my announcement without my permission and sent out his altered version. It made it appear that the event was sponsored by an organization that was not a sponsor, and whose name appeared nowhere in the announcement I sent.
Subsequently, Eaton sent out a "correction." But his "correction" made matters worse. In it, he made a new false allegation, linking the sponsoring organization to a third organization, one whose politics are actually antithetical to those of the sponsor. This false association could well damage both the sponsor and the organization that Eaton had first wrongly identified as a sponsor.
Over three weeks ago, I complained to Eaton about his these misrepresentations. I asked him to print a retraction of his allegations. I also asked him to refrain from altering or commenting untruthfully upon events listings of the groups whose events I help to publicize. He has answered me only "go away" and "stop writing me."
He also "unsubscribed" me from the list.
Then he set about attacking me personally, in a series of e-mails addressed to the organization that he first falsely claimed was a sponsor of the event. He wrote to a person in that organization, suggesting that if they would shut me up, he would continue to print its events, although he would not print announcements by the organization who sponsored the event I had sent in. When the organization he wrote to attempted to settle the problem, he insulted that organization, accusing it of attempting to extort money from him, and then cut it off from being allowed to list announcements as well.
(FOR A DETAILED CHRONOLOGY OF THE EVENTS THAT TRANSPIRED, AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION, SEE BELOW.)
I demand that Eaton retract his false statements. I demand that he assure those whose events he announces that he will seek permission before altering their announcements, and that he will refrain from adding false commentary. I demand that he permit me to subscribe to the Protest list, and that he publish the announcements I send to him, as he did previously.
For further information, and/or to assist in the struggle for justice in this matter, please contact me.
April 28, 2006
CHRONOLOGY AND DOCUMENTATION
(1) On March 18, 2006, Anne sent an announcement to Eaton’s list about a series of News and Letters meetings; the subject line of her e-mail was “Listing for March 26 + events.” Eaton printed it March 19 with his substitution for the subject line, “new space Mar 26 + events.” This made it appear as if the event was sponsored by The New SPACE, which is a wholly distinct organization. Here is the announcement as he sent it out:
From: Todd Eaton <email@example.com>
Subject: new space Mar 26 + events Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 00:41:44 -0500
From: "Anne J" <annenewyork @ h otmail.com>
Subject: Listing for Mar 26 + events
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 12:16:35 -0500
DEVELOPING A PHILOSOPHICALLY GROUNDED ALTERNATIVE TO CAPITALISM
A series of 6 discussions on the central perspective of News and Letters Committees developing a philosophically grounded alternative to existing society in today’s ongoing struggles against racism, sexism, imperialist war, and capitalism.
“[Today’s realities] show that simply saying ‘no’ does not represent a forward step in the movement for liberation. Much, much more is demanded. The key is not whether one opposes specific aspects of today’s reality but whether one develops a concept of the transcendence of capitalism. If the radical movement refrains from the arduous theoretic and practical labor needed to meet that challenge, it will repeat the errors of the past instead of posing a viable alternative.”
Marxist-Humanist Perspectives Thesis for 2005-2006
Alternate Sundays at 7:00 p.m. beginning March 26. Free.
Location: 39 West 14th Street, Rm. 205 (Identity House ring buzzer 205 and come to 2nd floor), Manhattan (north side of 14th St., between 5th and 6th Aves.; take any train to 14th St. or Union Square).
Sponsored by New York News and Letters Committee
Readings available on request. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 663-3631 to obtain literature and further information. Check our website for selected class readings, including Perspectives: www.newsandletters.org
(2) On April 4, 2006, Eaton sent out a message, under the subject line “News and Letters calendar (correction).” Preceding the above News and Letters class series announcement, he inserted the following. Note that he alleges, incorrectly, that the News and Letters classes take place at the International Action Center.
“[Weeks ago, I managed to inaccurately describe this calendar below, from the Marxist Humanists of New York News and Letters Committee, as being a calendar from the unaffiliated New SPACE (The New School for Pluralistic Anti-Capitalist Education) project. Although Anne has also posted New SPACE calendars here before, this calendar's events are at a different venue, International Action Center. Oops, sorry. Anyway who knows what I was thinking. I need a co-editor now and I need to stop doing this nonsense by, say, Jan. 1, 2007. -t. ] “
(3) On April 4, 2006, Anne wrote the following private letter to Eaton in response to the message that he sent out earlier that day. She asked for a public retraction of his false statement that linked News and Letters to the International Action Center. She also asked him to refrain from improperly altering events listings sent to him.
Dear Todd Eaton,
You have made a huge error in an editorial note that you added to your calendar listing of the announcement for News and Letters' series on "Developing a Philosophically Grouded Alternative to Capitalism." You've prefaced our announcement with the following:
[Weeks ago, I managed to inaccurately describe this calendar below, from the Marxist Humanists of New York News and Letters Committee, as being a calendar from the unaffiliated New SPACE (The New School for Pluralistic Anti-Capitalist Education) project. Although Anne has also posted New SPACE calendars here before, this calendar's events are at a different venue, International Action Center. Oops, sorry. Anyway who knows what I was thinking. I need a co-editor now and I need to stop doing this nonsense by, say, Jan. 1, 2007. -t. ]
The huge error consists of associating News and Letters, a Marxist-Humanist organization, with IAC, a group associated with a completely different and in fact antithetical Left organization. We happen to meet in the the same building as IAC's offce, because we rent meeting space once a week in a gay and lesbian counselling organization that is located in that building.
There is and could never be any relation between News and Letters and IAC.
Perhaps you thought you were making a joke, but that is not at all clear. Instead, you have made a libel which could easily cause people to reject even considering attending our discussions.
PLEASE MAKE AN IMMEDIATE PUBLIC RETRACTION OF YOUR STATEMENT ASSOCIATING NEWS AND LETTERS WITH IAC.
Secondly, when I saw that you had put the New SPACE name on the News and Letters listing a few weeks ago, I thought you must have accidentally conflated two different listings that I had sent you. I couldn't believe you were deliberately altering people's submissions to your list, without even disclosing that you did so. Even though I have been in many political fights, I have rarely seen anything so improper. Unless you discontinue this practice at once, I will take action against your list.
Further, there was no need for you to make any part of the recent comment that you did. What does it matter that I send in listings for both News and Letters and the New SPACE? I am active with both--and other organizations too--and have never hidden that fact from anyone. Do you mean to imply that one group is a front for the other? because that is not the case, and you certainly have no cause to make such an insinuation (even if an events list were a proper place to make insinuations, which I don't believe it is).
For that matter, why do your listings show who sent in any announcements at all? The announcements themselves always contain contact information, and that is the relevant name and e-mail address, not that of the person who sent you the listing. The person who sent it may not want to be contacted about the event--this is true in my case. The sender could have nothing more to do with the meeting than helping to publicize it because he/she believes in the free exchange of ideas. So if you do it because you think you are serving the reader by "outing" the sender, I find this to be inappropriate and, frankly, downright McCarthyite. I urge you to stop including who the announcement came from.
The list would also be greatly improved by your refraining from commenting on the listings at all, and by your listing most of them by their title rather than sponsor (another way of burying certain ones).
Please let me know what you will do regarding my complaints.
(4) Later on the same day, April 4, 2006, Eaton replied to Anne as follows.
(5) Later on April 4, 2006, Anne replied to Eaton:
(6) Anne soon received a notice that she was “unsubscribed” from the list.
(7) On April 5, 2006, Eaton wrote to Anne:
let me rephrase. of course i'll post something, probably tonight, about the suite # error. but it's important for me that we discontinue contact. i'd ask you to respect that.
please do not write to me.
(8) On April 6, 2006, Anne wrote to Eaton:
(1) I don't understand your reference to a "suite # error." There was no error; the suite number in the announcement is correct.
(2) You have not answered anything in my letter. I again request AN IMMEDIATE PUBLIC RETRACTION OF YOUR STATEMENT ASSOCIATING NEWS AND LETTERS WITH IAC. I also request a public representation that you will publish anouncements I send to the list without changing the content or adding comments. Otherwise, it is impossible to submit anything to the list.
(3) I received a notice that I am unsubscribed from the list; I would like to be restored.
Please respect the right of the organizations whose events I publicize not to have their announcements changed or to have them commented upon inaccurately.
(9) Eaton replied at once:
i would like to discontinue this correspondence.
(10) On April 6, 2006, Eaton wrote the following message to Seth of The New SPACE. Notice the thinly veiled threat that Eaton makes.
Subject: Fwd: Re: Urgent: serious errors
Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 01:41:41 -0400
this can still be de-escalated and that is probably in your group's
interests. I have no problem with new SPACE but cannot continue
working with this lying, obsessive attorney. please get her and N &
L to stop writing to me. thanks for your help.
(11) Anne re-subscribed to the Protest List, using the automated re-subscription feature. She later requested that her messages be sent in a single, daily digest.
(12) On April 14, Eaton once again expelled Anne from the list. He also sent her the following note, apparently in response to her request to her request for a single daily digest:
“Is this some sort of a hobby? Just stop sending me mail. This is at least my fourth request and it seems a reasonable one.”
(13) On April 14, Seth of The New SPACE requested a meeting with Eaton:
The New SPACE would like to propose a meeting with you to resolve
this matter. Anne has indicated a willingness to attend as a
representative of News & Letters Committees.
We would like to meet this week or next week. Let me know if this is
(14) Eaton responded to Seth’s request for a meeting, in the following 4 e-mail messages (a-d), which followed one another in quick succession:
(a) “there is no matter to resolve. your volunteer clerical worker simply wants to discontinue the correspondence.
“if your attorneys had advised that you had any legal options whatsoever, you wouldn't be approaching me now.
“i ask you simply fix it. make your cop back off. there are occasionally limits to social power.”
(b) “if this is some due dilligence step in preparation for some bizarre maneuver, it's likely ill-advised on their part. escalatory steps sometimes backfire badly.”
“just fix it. if anyone needs help, i happen to know that they can afford it.”
(c) “And frankly Seth I'm really personally disappointed to find you enabling this gratuitous recreational aggression against the help. Calling a meeting is not "offering to help". It's not
de-escalating. It's rather attempting to add legitimacy to a suit that you know perfectly well from publically available records to be frivolous and meritless on its face.
“What you are doing, Seth, is called intimidation, and not even for any serious goal. You can't want money and expect this is an effective way to get it. Is this a publicity stunt? It's not likely
to work out well.
“E-mail doesn't mean manure to a tree. Your charges not only are baseless but are so obviously so as to be intentionally deceptive from the start.
“I look forward to forwarding newSPACE calendars if you want me to. Otherwise don't talk to me.”
(d) “in fact on second thought. just go away. you people give me the creeps.”
(15) SINCE THEN, EATON HAS NOT PUBLISHED EVEN A SINGLE NEW SPACE EVENT ON THE LIST, MUCH LESS PRINTED THE RETRACTIONS AND MADE THE AMENDS REQUESTED OF HIM.
(16) On April 16, 2006, Andrew of The New SPACE wrote to Eaton in yet another attempt to resolve the matter amicably.
Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:02 AM
Subject: Re: Urgent: serious errors
Dear Todd Eaton,
I want to assure you that no one has been intending to or wanting to sue you, or to get money from you.
And no one is interested in harassing you. We want to resolve this matter amicably.
The New SPACE will be satisfied with the following. News and Letters Committees will also be satisfied with the following. You send out a correction of your statement that some News and Letters Committees' events were held at the IAC, publish the events of both organizations without alteration or commentary, and put Anne back on the Protest list.
We remaining willing to discuss this with you face-to-face at the meeting Seth proposed to you, in order to try to resolve this matter.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
(17) On April 20, after Eaton’s failure to respond to any requests, Andrew resent the above letter, together with the following note.
We are urgently trying to resolve this matter! Please respond immediately!
(18) THERE HAS **STILL** BEEN NO ANSWER FROM TODD EATON!!