Friends of Aesthetic Realism
       Countering the Lies
“It’s a lie, and not a well told one at that.
  It grins out like a copper dollar.”

                  —Abraham Lincoln

Statement by Ann Richards, Actress, New York City Teacher of English and Drama

As to the lie about families: I am incensed to see statements on the Internet saying people who teach Aesthetic Realism divide families. I hate it because it's a gross lie and I hate it that people who do not know what Aesthetic Realism is could be influenced by such stuff. Aesthetic Realism brought my family together at a very difficult time, one that millions of families across the country face now and are having a time of it trying to deal with.

For the past four years, until her death in February, I had been, together with my family, caring for our mother who suffered from the forgetfulness and the loss of mental ability associated with Alzheimer's. (She herself never studied Aesthetic Realism.) Throughout these years my Aesthetic Realism education has been a source of great strength: I learned how to be kind to my mother, way beyond her physical needs.

I can only relate the smallest idea of what occurred, but in just this you can see for yourself how untrue these terrible things said by Bluejay and Mali actually are. Although she was finding it more and more difficult to live in her home of over 50 years, she did not want to leave it, nor did she want anyone to come in and help her. Of course I was terrifically worried, but I felt burdened, too. In professional classes in which I asked about how to see my mother more fairly, I literally learned how to have compassion, beginning by seeing that my mother is not just my mother, but a person in her own right, related to the whole world, someone to know without limit, and that, with all the difficulties of the situation, it was my self-expression to do all I could to know her and to know what would make her stronger-to have good will.

In those years, and after, when she was admitted to the hospital, I did try to understand her and I worked with the nurses and her doctor, my husband, and my family to have her better off. And she was happy about this, even as she suffered so much. The two of us held hands over the bed-railing for hours until my arms ached, we talked, we laughed. It means everything to me that my mother was more at ease, despite her great distress. She was grateful to Eli Siegel and Aesthetic Realism for the daughter she had. Those liars insult her dear departed soul and I won't stand for it. "Using a Mother's death to See Meaning in the World," an article published in newspapers around the country, written by myself and Ruth Oron, can be seen at .

As to the lie about being "watched." Though I would like to address all the lies, I will now go after one of the most absurd. It's a story about how people who study Aesthetic Realism watch over each other, "observe" one another or something to that effect. I object to this portrayal of myself and others who study Aesthetic Realism, more intensely and more vehemently than I have the power of words to express. The utter ridiculousness of it-the way it paints me like some creature who just hovers around in some watchful-and-watched state is something that just belongs in some science fiction movie like "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers."

I am a free, independent, citizen of this country. I do as I please. I love French cuisine. I love going out to eat with my friends (some do and some do not study Aesthetic Realism), friends who are doctors, retired people, fellow teachers, secretaries, my supervisor, lawyers, my neighbors, construction managers, etc. I vote in elections. I take yoga classes. I play the flute. My husband and I love bird-watching, music, photography, going to the theater and movies. I like to watch reruns of "Law and Order" on TNT. I like to shop. I am a high school English teacher who loves literature, particularly drama, and the class valedictorian in 2001 nominated me for Who's Who among America 's Teachers. I have always hated being told what to do, to which anyone who knows me will attest.

I do belong to organizations to which I have paid dues: my union, the New York State English Council, the Screen Actors Guild, Actor's Equity, Hawk Mountain (bird) Sanctuary Association and others. I do not "belong" to the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, I study in it. I am studying to teach Aesthetic Realism myself because I think it is a wonderful education. I take classes and attend seminars and other public presentations there because I want to. And, boy, are they GREAT.


  • Read statements by many individual men and women
  • Reviews from the NY Times Book Review, Saturday Review, Library Journal, Harlem Times, Popular Photography, and more
  • The poetry by Eli Siegel, so greatly respected by William Carlos Williams and many others
  • Read lectures by Eli Siegel on subjects as diverse as literature, love, & economics
  • What is learned in classes taught by Ellen Reiss

  • A Little Anthology of Comments (Some Funny We Hope) on Further Misrepresentations.

    >> Continue

    "On the Pleasures and Advantages of Anonymity: An Ode"—
    >> Continue

    A Dramatic and Cautionary Tale about an Unknown and Very Unimportant Person

    There once was a young man of ancient Greece named Milos. And Milos knew Socrates. He did not like Socrates because the great man asked far too many questions.... >> Continue


    Statements by Friends of Aesthetic Realism

    Barbara Allen
    Frances Amello
    Jerry Amello
    Christopher Balchin
    Mara Bennici
    David Berger
    Alice Bernstein
    Rachel J. Bernstein
    Barbara Buehler
    Gina Buffone
    Beverly Sue Burk
    Maureen Butler
    Jeffrey Carduner
    Margot Carpenter
    Lori & Robert Colavito
    Albert Corvino
    Nicholas Corvino
    Henry D'Amico
    Matthew D’Amico
    Ernest DeFilippis
    Vincent DiPietro
    Carol Driscoll
    Donita Ellison
    Anne Fielding
    Lorraine Galkowski, RN
    Pamela Goren
    Edward Green
    Avi Gvili
    Ames Huntting
    Mark Lale
    Dale Laurin
    Rose Levy
    Timothy Lynch
    Lorraine Mahoney, RN
    Derek Mali
    Glenn Mariano
    Haroldo Mauro Jr.
    Joseph Meglino
    Pauline Meglino
    Allan Michael
    Marvin Mondlin
    Robert Murphy
    Michael J. Nadeau
    Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman
    Ruth Oron
    Arnold Perey, PhD
    Lauren Phillips
    Jack Plumstead
    Maria Plumstead
    Rosemary Plumstead
    Rev. Wayne Plumstead
    Marcia Rackow
    Zvia Ratz
    Ann Richards
    Anthony C. Romeo
    Leila Rosen
    Rhonda Rosenthal
    Sally Ross
    Claudia Senatore
    Sheldon Silverman
    Jeffrey Sosinsky, MD
    Barbara Spetly McClung
    Joseph Spetly
    Faith K. Stern
    John Stern
    Arlene Sulkis
    Devorah Tarrow
    Jaime R. Torres, DPM
    Dennis L. Tucker
    Francine Weber
    Steve Weiner
    Miriam Weiss
    Carrie Wilson
    Also see the Aesthetic Realism Online Library  the Aesthetic Realism Foundation  Terrain Gallery  What scholars, writers, artists & teachers are saying  the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company  & Links

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