back to Nudist Camp Owner Arrested: Part III

February 25 199

Dear Michael,
I am sorry that you have lost respect for me. Obviously nothing I can argue will change that: Your observations and your judgment will be your ultimate arbiters.
     You did tear up and return (thank you for using your own stamp) your membership Renewal form, which prompts me to remind you that SlGs are conducted only by paid-up members of The Naturist Society.
     I am sure in any event you do not want to appear to be gaining benefits of TNS and access to TNS members without meeting membership responsibilities.
     Consequently and with regret, NAVEL will disappear from the 10.4 SIG Network if you do not renew membership.
     Your latest NAVEL newsletter is eloquent and informative once again, and I'm sure is of benefit to inquiring TNS members. I learn from it.
     Sincerely, Lee Baxandall
                c: Network Changes 

March 3, 1991

Dear Mr. Baxandall:
I have received your letter of February 25 in which you announced your intent to censor NAVEL's listing in future issues of Nude & Natural. I see this as a blatant, politically-motivated attempt to quash those with whom you disagree. This is no surprise, since NAVEL has consistently pointed out that you would probably eventually resort to this.

Your stated reason is that SIGs are conducted only by paid-up members of The Naturist Society. To substantiate this excuse would be to endorse a double-standard and to ignore common sense. Consider that:

  • My dues expired almost a year ago, but you listed NAVEL anyway. You only brought up dues when you wanted an excuse to try to kill NAVEL.
  • As director of the Austin Naturists, I only once paid TNS dues.
  • The former director of the Austin Naturists never paid TNS dues.
  • A great many of the Contacts that you list have not paid TNS dues, and never have.
  • A great many of the Clubs (camps) that you list have not paid dues, and never have.
  • Surely a great many of the Groups you list have not paid dues--again, I know this happens because the Austin Naturists was one of them.
  • I doubt that SIGs are conducted "only by paid-up members". In fact, I know that's not the case since I haven't been a paid-up member for almost a year.
  • If Nude & Natural is supposed to be a vehicle for promoting naturism and providing resources, then it takes a step backward by thoughtlessly eliminating a popular, appreciated, and useful journal such as NAVEL. You yourself said in your letter that "Your NAVEL newsletter is eloquent and informative once again, and I'm sure is of benefit to inquiring TNS members. I learn from it."
  • TNS has never paid a subscription fee to NAVEL.
  • Every issue of NAVEL has contained contact information for The Naturist Society.
  • The "rule" you are claiming is not a law. It is entirely up to your discretion. If you choose to drop NAVEL, you are doing it not because you have to, but because you want to.

If you censor NAVEL, I will run it as the cover story in the next issue, and distribute it as far and widely as I can. I'm not mentioning this as a "threat" of some kind; I'm telling you so that you have the benefit of knowing that it will happen beforehand.
      I am disappointed that instead of your pursuing intelligent discourse and action, you have chosen to resort to childish censoring. To save yourself embarrassment and to do the right thing, I urge you to reconsider.
      Meat is murder, Michael A. Fabrizio, NAVEL editor

Copy: The ICONoclast 

March 7, 1991

You certainly know how to choose the inflammatory and inappropriate word - "Censorship" now! I didn't propose to censor you (your letter of March 3)--whatever that means inasmuch as you publish your own views and have received gratis outreach and publicity from TNS. I merely asked you to pay your dues - what a revolutionary idea!
      To avoid paying your dues you refer to a degree of charitable laxity that TNS has extended to a small number of impoverished naturists, very notably in Texas, who have contributed to naturist goals.
      To avoid paying your dues you greatly exaggerate the amount of charitable carrying of such individuals. Certainly there was nothing devious in our doing so.
      To avoid paying your dues you moreover confuse the sending of one p.r.-use copy of CWS or N to listed network addresses with giving out complimentary memberships --that we have not done, although some individuals have mistaken the p.r. copy of the magazine as a "reason" for not supporting the organization.
      In any event Michael, your ostentatiously torn-up dues reminder, returned to us, certainly makes us question your understanding of responsibility to an organizational framework.
      The threat tacked on at the end of your letter - which you promptly label no threat - reinforces a picture of you as a person who wants a free ride and moreover license to be as ______ as you wish (you fill in the adjective).
      In sum, your list of how others allegedly get free rides is largely exaggerated and at bottom strangely negligent of responsibilities. "Censorship" is a bizarre charge in the situation. If you really desire to publicly holler at TNS for not giving you a free ride, I'm sure you will. It doesn't seem like the best use of your undeniable talents.            Naturally, Lee Baxandall 

Craft Interjects: Baxandall lied when he said the SIGS were only made up of dues paying members to TNS. He sticks anybody and everybody on the list that he wants to include. I've seen him create a SIG when there wasn't even a group, but just one figure head who wasn't even a member of his organization. A lot of the SIGS are just for show and they don't do anything. Unlike Michael who is an incredible and committed activist. 
Conclusion by Michael Fabrizio written to Nikki Craft January 22, 1995.

I'm not upset that I had to "go through all that" with Baxandall and naturism. I'm glad it opened my eyes. I was actually very lucky; before the Acorn case, there I was trying to weigh what your newsletters were telling me against what Lee was telling me, and being very confused. The Acorn case gave me the opportunity to get involved and to learn for myself that Lee was just blowing smoke. Without that experience, I would have had to take your word for it. That's probably a (small) part of why so many don't embrace your work; they don't have the benefit of having been directly involved to see for themselves. They have to decide solely on the basis of what they read. And if their experience in reading about it is negative, then they may react negatively. (Maybe this points to *some* basis in people complaining about your style or methods. They've never bothered me, but then again, you know me :)
      But even without the pedophile issue and the closed-mindedness of the leadership, some things in the movement were just too silly for me. For example, why all this emphasis on photographs? In what other hobby or activist group is photography so important (besides photography itself)? You certainly don't see tons of people snapping pictures at science fiction conventions (where everyone is in costume!) or at chess tournaments, etc. For that matter, how many shutterbugs do you see at a non-nudist beach, snapping pictures of everybody? There's also the prominence of photographs in the journals vs. the publications of other groups. Also, the concentration of photographs in the nudist/naturists publications of young women is, to me, not as offensive as it is just plain stupid and embarrassing. I mean, who are they trying to fool? You don't even have to object to pornography to object to hypocrisy. 
            Michael Fabrizio

Michael and Nikki remain friends

Donaghe 1
Donaghe 2
Donaghe 3
Donaghe 4