I just Read an Attack on Elephant.

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Hey there. Wait. a. Minute. 

I just read a full-blown attack on Elephant Journal, its founder Waylon Lewis, and the Elephant Academy

Let me start by saying, I am all for people standing up for what they wholeheartedly believe will make the world a better place.

Many friendships thrive on conversations that just end by agreeing to disagree. The discussion gets passionate, and the voices grow stronger despite the opposition’s questioning. They enjoy the challenge.

Being a former debater who even coached it for a spell, I can attest that arguing is an art form. It is not a fight. We discuss and question both sides of an argument fairly.

Yet, there is a line.

One must be a firsthand witness, an expert, or have reputable sourced information to voice an argument worthy of a retort. No, hearsay or guessing counts.

Without knowledge about a subject, one should not debate it—let alone attack it.

This was an attack.

The author smacked down Waylon Lewis as a scam artist and threw the entire Elephant Journal community under the bus. I dare say he drove it back and forth over both a few times.

While the intent and the passion of the piece may be worthy and applaudable—going after the jugular is a foul.

It is uncalled for to rip apart a subject without having researched, interviewed, or have taken the time to question anyone, not even the source itself.

Read around. Elephant’s story, background on Waylon Lewis, and voices sharing what happens in the Academy and how they have benefited from it are not secrets. Those articles have already been published and shared…over and over again.

I could launch into a long and lovely story regarding my Elephant Academy experiences over the past two years. However, Waylon and another senior Elephant exec, Dave Rogers, commented on the article itself already. Their experience and evidence outweigh mine, so I fold.

Although, I offer a challenge to the author of the attack and to anyone who wants to change the world for the greater good:

Please, do your homework.
Come back to the argument when prepared.
Be ready to join in a balanced discussion and to be sportsmanlike about it.
Ask questions.
Listen and learn from others; and by all means, allow them to listen and learn from you.

There could be a winner and loser in the end, like in a debate.

Otherwise, if it’s a tie, respectfully shake hands and follow the words on Waylon Lewis’ hat from his Instagram account today:

“Make LOVE great again. We’re all in this together. Let’s disagree, agreeably.”

Final note: it is a choice to submit to Elephant or to join the Academy. It was Elephant’s decision to open the discussion and to publish this.

Check it all out for yourself, and decide what is right for you.

Write on.

 

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ~ Isaac Asimov

“We kill all the caterpillars, then complain there are no butterflies.” ~ John Marsden

 

Editor: Kate Fleming

Image: Andrej Lišakov / Unsplash

Editor: Julie Balsiger

5

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

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Shares 3.9
Hearts 10
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 5.0
21 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
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Daniel Vaughn Dec 8, 2018 7:39am

A different point of view is not an attack.

Jenni Lynne Dec 5, 2018 8:59pm

Supporting what we love, is key. Even if we think what we love, is loved by others, that does not mean anyone else is showing the love. Loving from afar, is not really love, it just tells us, it is. Lets all move in closer. Thank you for stepping in and protecting what is loved. I love Elephant as well. Amazing show of support here. More more… <3

Galina Singer Dec 4, 2018 10:54am

This is so good, Kate! I agree with you wholeheartedly. Especially: “it is a choice to submit to Elephant or to join the Academy.” Thank you for writing this!

distorted.thor Dec 3, 2018 6:54pm

I read both articles. Interesting point.

Which facts weren’t true? I’m genuinely curious to know.

Christine Day Dec 1, 2018 12:54pm

Well done! And, good on you for having the courage to throw yourself into the fray even though it was being handled.

Ryan McLaren Dec 1, 2018 9:43am

You say I got may facts wrong, but what was incorrect about my article? Other than 15 vs 25 writers paid a month.

Ryan McLaren Dec 1, 2018 9:41am

Do you not think that EJ should pay all writers? Especially since they charge a subscription fee?

Ryan McLaren Dec 1, 2018 9:32am

I am not missing the subtle digs at myself. But, you are above that.

What about responding to my arguments?

My point is that EJ profits off of unpaid writers, though the metered paywall and other means. EJ should try harder to pay all writers. I am glad you have had a good experience with EJ, but you are sticking up for exploitation.

EJ has said they will work to pay more writers, 1000s, I hop they do so.

Christy Williams Dec 1, 2018 9:19am

Kudos, Kate! I agree with you 100% and would have responded to yesterday’s article if Dave and Waylon hadn’t already done so, as well. I know there are writers who are trying to make a living with their writing and need to create their own boundaries around who they will write for. And I honor and respct their choices.

I, for one, have been honored and thrilled to write for elephant for free because I get to write about things that move me, that are important to me. And I have only not written for them much this year because I have had overwhelming family issues happening in my world and they are not my stories to share (yet).

But without elephant journal and Elephant Academy, I would not have become a writer and editor for The Good Men Project — or writer and managing editor of The Urban Howl. And I certainly would not have just received an offer this week to be a full-time, salaried social media writer and copy editor for a leading national mindful health expert.

I think the author of the other article needs to get his facts straight at the very least. But further, perhaps ask those of us who have benefited from elephant before questioning and attacking the validity of the Academy and the integrity of elephant journal and Waylon.

Because I feel nothing but gratitude for all I’ve learned since going through the Academy in Fall 2016. They have given me a community for life — not to mention my own right livelihood.

And on second thought, I will go share this response on that author’s attack article, too.

    Ryan McLaren Dec 1, 2018 9:34am

    I am glad you had a great experience with the academy! I have nothing against the academy, other than they purport to teach you how to get paid to write, but don’t pay very many writers themselves.

    What facts do I have wrong, exactly?

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Kate Fleming

Kate Fleming is an artsy, toe tappin’, dog snuggling, linguistics lovin’ liberal (but sometimes conservative) mom, a trusted friend, and a servant to the greater good. By sharing personal and professional experiences from chapters in her life, readers get a glimpse of raw lessons from real experiences. Find Kate somewhere outside, read her articles here on elephant journal, or connect with her on Instagram or Facebook.