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 Arlene Sulkis, Senior Hair Designer and Sheldon Silverman, Official Court Reporter, U.S. District Court

Aesthetic Realism has been horribly twisted and misrepresented by a few disgruntled individuals. The purpose of this writing is to counter the lies and set the record straight.

As to the lie that all "members of the group" live within walking distance of the "headquarters" of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation, we happen to live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and we usually arrive by car, as it would take a very long time to walk. Some of our colleagues and friends live in New Jersey , Westchester and Long Island. They don't walk either. As a matter of fact, our respective mother/mother-in-law, who lives in Florida, arranges her trips to New York so that she is able to attend the Aesthetic Realism and Marriage class when she visits. She actually has to fly to New York .

As to the lie that relationships with family and friends are not strengthened or encouraged—Aesthetic Realism has definitely encouraged and strengthened our relationships with family and friends.

I, Arlene Sulkis, earlier in my study of Aesthetic Realism, didn't see my mother deeply. I never thought of her as a young girl, woman, wife or daughter. Of course, I knew she had to do with other people, but I never really gave serious thought to her being in relation to anyone but me. I took her for granted, as most children do.

In one consultation, my consultants asked me: "Do you think that many volumes could have been written about your mother's life and you might be mentioned only in the last few?" I was surprised. I started to see that my mother had a full, rich life, a life I am now fortunate and grateful to know. While neither one of us is perfect, I love her more than ever and there is a deep respect and trust between us.

I, Sheldon Silverman, as far as friendships go, have been encouraged to be more interested in all our friends, including my childhood and long-standing friends of 45 years, who, by the way, do not study Aesthetic Realism. One couple lives in California, the other in Florida. These are some of our vacation destinations as my wife and I both love to travel. So much for the lie regarding vacations being prohibited and that there is very little time spent on leisure activities.

The truth is, we enjoy taking vacations every year. We travel extensively throughout the United States, and the Caribbean, as we are both certified divers. One year in particular, we met friends in Hawaii .

We value our leisure time. We love the beach and we go whenever the weather permits. We go to the movies, the theater, museums, take drives to the country and we go out to dinner with friends. By the way, their studying Aesthetic Realism is not a prerequisite.

As for the absurdity of this statement, "You're not encouraged to strengthen your relationship with friends and family outside of AR, you're supposed to consider them potential AR recruits," we enjoy being with family and friends whether they study Aesthetic Realism or not. We spend our time having fun, talking and trying to have a good effect on one another. Recruiting is not on our agenda.

Regarding the absurd lie that there is no sense of privacy, and everybody knows intimate details they shouldn't, that one must report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors, and contact with former members is a definite crime. First of all, Aesthetic Realism is not a club; it has no members. No one has ever been arrested and gone to jail for being in contact with a former student of Aesthetic Realism. No one has ever pried at either one of us for intimate details nor ever told us that we had to report thoughts and feelings and activities to superiors. One of the things we love about Aesthetic Realism is that there are no superiors and nobody "checks up" on anyone. Aesthetic Realism is not the K.G.B.

We resent the insinuations by those who once valued Aesthetic Realism and whose lives were vastly improved. They have accused Aesthetic Realism consultants of giving students the impression that they were supposed to devote their lives to the founder, Eli Siegel, as if he were a divine being. My wife's former consultant, who is now attacking Aesthetic Realism (and whom I will not dignify by naming) was the one who tried to make herself divine through twisting Aesthetic Realism to suit her ego. Despite this, we saw the great value in Aesthetic Realism as philosophic and educational thought and continued to attend programs, seminars and the various classes at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.

I, Arlene Sulkis, continued to have consultations after this consultant left, and what went with her was the twisted version of Aesthetic Realism that she tried to pawn off as the real thing. Thankfully, Chairman of Education Ellen Reiss would not permit anyone to muddy clear water, and she is highly respected because she put a stop to this bad effect.

Both of us proudly study Aesthetic Realism and our lives are richer and happier because of it. Our love for each other grows deeper every year and our marriage is stronger because of what we are learning.                                                                  

  • 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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