A sociopath heard from

(Note: David Mills has written to me about this entry, and I have replied. The exchange is below.)

David Mills, a.k.a. Undercover Black Man, the twisted individual who secretly got me blackballed from FrontPage Magazine and then initiated a friendly correspondence with me, has sent me a contribution. He will be receiving a money order from me for the same amount.

Update: Thanks to a tip from a reader, I refunded the payment directly to Mills via PayPal. I didn’t know PayPal had that capability.

- end of initial entry -

From: David Mills
Subject: I request a correction…


I wish you would stop telling your readers that I “initiated a friendly correspondence” with you. That’s dishonest, and you know it is.

When I threw in your face my knowledge of the fact that your grandmother had killed your grandfather, that was by no means “friendly.” That was an aggressive act… a thumb in your eye socket, because you had belittled my intellect publicly.

The correspondence turned friendly only when you asked me how I’d acquired knowledge of your father’s true first name.

Fine by me. All I’d wanted in the first place was to correspond with you.

I expect you’re too embarrassed about your family history to correct the record as simply as I have here. But in service to the truth, you should.

David Mills

Here is the reply I’ve sent to David Mills:

No, I didn’t know it was dishonest. And also your notion that my motive for misstating the facts is my embarrassment over my family history is another fantasy of yours. The whole family, and many other people, have known about the story since my late sister Karen Levy discovered it the early 1970s, and my cousin the novelist Paul Auster wrote about it at length (and in sensationalistic fashion) in his first prose book The Invention of Solitude around 1980. So it’s been public knowledge for almost 30 years that my grandmother shot and killed my grandfather in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1919 during an argument about an affair he was having with another woman, and that after a dramatic trial the jury let her off out of sympathy for her and the fact that she had five children. I also noticed at Google at some point about a year ago that you had written about the events in Kenosha at your website. I read what you wrote. It was another low-grade David Mills “gotcha.” Your idea was that because my grandmother killed my grandfather I am hypocritical for talking about violent nonwhite immigrants and illegal aliens who kill and rape Americans. This is the standard liberal reasoning by which any connection between the speaker and the subject he is criticizing disqualifies him from talking about that subject. For example, many people of immigrant background, particularly Jews, feel that because their grandparents came here as immigrants, they have no right to criticize immigration. Which would mean that once a country admits large numbers of immigrants, it forever loses the moral right not to have immigration. And indeed that same argument is used to try to silence all critical discussion of immigration. We’re a “nation of immigrants,” therefore we just have to say yes to immigration, period. This totalitarian logic is aimed at silencing one side of an argument. In any case, my grandmother killed her husband in a domestic fight. She was not a danger to society at large. However, suppose I did have an ancestor who was an immigrant killer and rapist of Americans. Would that disqualify me from saying that we should not let in immigrant killers and rapists? By your relativist, personalist logic it would. But of course this is no different from saying that if a person’s ancestors were immigrants, he is disqualified from saying that we should not let in more immigrants. We are forever morally bound by our ancestors’ immigration experience and must mentally remain immigrants ourselves, instead of being concerned, as any American ought to be, about the well-being of America.

And, by the way, when I receive daily Google e-mail alerts to references to myself on the Web, your website address has for some months been excluded from that search. I’m not interested in what you say about me at your site.

To return to the beginning of this discussion: I said that you initiated a friendly correspondence with me, because that was my memory. You say that’s untrue. So I just went back and checked our correspondence starting on June 3, 2006. I don’t have it all (I have my e-mails to you, but not yours to me, since my Inbox storage from a six month period in 2006 seems to be missing). It started when you sent me some information you had found about my grandmother and other family members, plus the fact that Paul Auster and I are cousins (as though this were some secret that’s been covered up and you were uncovering it). Whether the first thing you sent me was about the killing of my grandfather or something else I’m not sure, but the killing was a topic of discussion near the beginning of our correspondence, and then we moved on to a variety of other Auster family records that you had found.

Let’s say that your initial impulse in finding this information and sending it to me was to do a “gotcha,” to show me you were smart, and to get back at me for my earlier dismissal of your intelligence (see note about this below). At the same time, how did you expect such a correspondence to evolve? By writing to me with such interesting family information that you had unearthed, including such things as my grandfather’s draft card during World War I and the passenger manifest for my parents’ honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean, you were obviously initiating a personal correspondence, and indeed, it did soon became friendly. So you wrote to me with highly interesting information about my parents and grandparents (not that the information was new or a secret, what was remarkable was that such information was available on the Web), and I grant that your initial impulse was to stick a thumb in my eye, as you said. But at the same time, you admit (both here and, I believe, in our May 2006 correspondence) that you really just wanted to correspond with me.

You write:

The correspondence turned friendly only when you asked me how I’d acquired knowledge of your father’s true first name.

Fine by me. All I’d wanted in the first place was to correspond with you.

Thus the “gotcha” was not simply a hostile act. The gotcha was a way to win my interest and my respect . And it did.

To repeat, though your initial impulse in writing to me had an element of hostility, the larger motive of your writing to me, AND the virtually inevitable result of your writing to me, was to have a friendly or at least mutually respectful intellectual correspondence with me. And in that purpose you succeeded. The correspondence continued off and on for several months, on a variety of topics, including even evolution. I posted at VFR on July 14, 2006 your question on my views of evolution and my reply. From early June to mid September, I sent you 34 e-mails, and you sent about the same number to me.

But here’s the problem for you. You initiated and carried on this months-long friendly correspondence with me, one month after sending my writings to Horowitz and getting me blackballed at FrontPage Magazine and depriving me of my only mainstream publishing outlet.

That’s why I have called you a villain and a sociopath. I have not called you those things for getting me expelled from FP. If you thought my writings were objectionable and wanted to bring them to the attention of Horowitz, that was your business. It was the act of a political enemy seeking to harm me, and the act of someone who wanted to get back at me personally for having insulted him, and was certainly nasty either way; but I wouldn’t call it villainous. My writings are public and you have the right to share them with whomever you want. You also presented a lot of my quotations to Horowitz out of context, but that’s almost to be expected in such cases and I put that in the nasty, not villainous category. The reason I called you a villain was that one month after harming me in such a serious way (which I didn’t know had happened), you initiated a personal and inevitably friendly correspondence with me which went on intermittantly over a period of several months. And the whole time, you were secretly rejoicing in the power you had over me, that you had harmed me and I didn’t know it, and you had suckered me into having a respectful correspondence with you. And obviously that same motive of exerting power over me is what drove you to send me a PayPal contribution today. To send a person money, after deliberately harming that person as you harmed me, is the act of a villain, perhaps a minor villain but still a villain. You also sent me a contribution in June of 2006, one month after you had gotten me expelled from FrontPage, but at that time of course I was unaware of your chicanery, and by the time I found out about it, in May of 2007, the money was long gone. This time, knowing the money had come from an enemy, I immediately returned it.

Maybe for the record and for its interest I will post our e-mail correspondence from 2006, including our discussions of my family history that you had found. However, now that I think about it, the purely personal family information, such as census information listing my grandmother and her children, while interesting to me, may be too personal to be appropriate for publication at VFR. The event in Kenosha in 1919 is also family information which I normally would regard as inappropriate for public discussion, but I’ve decided to air the matter now so that it will be done with and I won’t be hearing further ridiculous accusations from you that I’m “too embarrassed” about my family’s history to acknowledge what happened, and I won’t be getting further implied threats from you that you’re going to expose my big secret. It doesn’t occur to you, perhaps because you’re a leftist, and leftists believe the personal is the political, that family and personal matters do not belong in a publication about cultural and political issues. Since we found about it, it was never a big deal for me or my family. It had happened a long, long time in the past, in another world. I personally barely knew my grandmother, who died in the 1950s. My father and his siblings had kept it a secret, including from their spouses. My sister uncovered the truth in the early 1970s, as a result of getting into a conversation during a plane trip with someone from Kenosha who recognized the name Auster from the trial. Then on a subsequent cross country car trip with her family my sister stopped by in Kenosha and looked up the microfilm newspaper stories on the trial in the local library. The stories were long, very detailed, and dramatic. Newspaper writing then was very different from today. The event was then over a half century in the past. My father was not shocked or particularly upset when my sister brought this information forward. He talked simply and straightforwardly to us about what had happened.

And I think that’s all that needs to be said about this subject.


Note: As for my dismissive comment about your commitment to rational discussion which set off your course of vengeance against me, let me remind you again of the circumstances in which I said that. It was in our initial exchange “Do I have a double standard on Jews and blacks?”, in April 2006, which is also listed in the entry, “Responding to criticisms of VFR and myself.” You wrote to me accusing me of having a double standard on blacks and Jews. I took the criticism seriously and replied at length, explaining why I take the positions on blacks and Jews that I take. You then completely ignored what I had said to you and simply repeated the accusation, as though I had said nothing. After we went back and forth a couple of times and your total obtuseness and your intention to keep accusing me of bigotry and of dishonest motives no matter what I said had become apparent, I lost patience with you and wrote:

Just like the anti-Semites whom he spends his time confronting at the AR website, UBM is able to speak in something that sounds like the language of reason, which enables him to get his foot in the door of a conversation. But then you realize you’re dealing with someone who, while he can go through the motions of rational thought, is actually incapable of it. UBM might potentially be capable of it, given enough instruction and practice, but I’m sure not going to spend my time trying to teach him.

This was my statement that drove you, first, to undermine me with David Horowitz, and then to do research into my family’s history with the intention of shocking me with your discovery of my family’s past and proving to me that you’re smart. Further, five days after our correspondence began in June 2006, I apologized to you both privately and publicly about what I had said. That apology is also linked in our initial discussion about blacks and Jews.

Obviously, if I had known about what you had done to me, and about the underlying racial resentment which I think really drives you, and which I think does close you off from the possibility of engaging in rational discussion on racial issues, I would not have made that apology.

* * *

John Hagan writes:

Thanks for elucidating this whole Mills thing. It’s more sordid and despicable than I had originally thought. Mills is at best unhinged, and at worse he’s a stalker. My skin is crawling after reading what he has done to you, and then for this worthless reprobate to send you money all these years later bespeaks of one twisted individual.

October 8, 2009

Hannon writes:

I was amazed reading this entry. It seemed to me different in character, in tone, than anything of yours I have read at VFR before. Very compelling. And in that last little paragraph you really pounded in the stake, though I suspect that was not your intent.

LA replies:

Thank you very much.

It’s different from other things, I guess, because I was dealing directly with this character on a personal issue and I had to set a lot of things straight.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 12, 2009 01:27 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):