the rectification of names

Tsze-lu said, “The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?”
The Master replied, “What is necessary is to rectify names.”
“So! indeed!” said Tsze-lu. “You are wide of the mark! Why must there be such rectification?”
The Master said, “How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.”
“If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.”
“When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.”
“Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.”

— Confucius, Analects, Book XIII, Chapter 3, verses 1-7, translated by James Legge

…ὦ ἄριστε Κρίτων, τὸ μὴ καλῶς λέγειν οὐ μόνον εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο πλημμελές, ἀλλὰ καὶ κακόν τι ἐμποιεῖ ταῖς ψυχαῖς.
…for, noble Crito, rest assured that wrong words are not only undesirable in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.

— Plato, Phaedo 115e

anthropology explains the zhus

Min Zhu before his fall from grace

Certain high Azande nobles, are permitted to wed their own daughters, and brother-sister marriages were preferred in the old Hawaiian aristocracy and in the Inca royal family. In none of these instances, however, could the general population contract incestuous unions, for these were a symbol and prerogative of exalted status. Among the Dobuans, intercourse with the mother is not seriously regarded if the father is dead; it is considered a private sin rather than a public offense. The Balinese of Indonesia permit twin brothers and sisters to marry on the ground that they have already been unduly intimate in their mother’s womb. Among the Thonga of Africa an important hunter, preparatory to a great hunt, may have sex relations with his daughter—a heinous act under other circumstances. By their special circumstances or exceptional character these cases serve rather to emphasize than to disprove the universality of intra-family incest taboos.

George Peter Murdock, Social Structure, Macmillan, 1949, pp. 12-13

out of the wilderness

Democrats gained seats in the House and (now, thanks to Biden) a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate because they were seen as more willing and able to work seriously on the problems facing the country. Here again the public was right — the Democrats are making tough policy choices and even playing their role as a check on the administration, especially in economic and financial policy, while the Republicans have become not just an ineffectual out-of-power party, but a parody of an ineffectual out-of-power party, spouting mean-sounding nonsense on major policy issues (“Government spending doesn’t work!” “There is no such thing as global warming!” “Hunger is a good motivator!”), and taking hypocrisy in their personal lives to new levels of self-indulgent weirdness (“It wasn’t just an affair, it was a love story!”). It’s as if they’re trying to get a head start on another 40 years in the wilderness.

David Epstein, Political Economist at Columbia, “Palin Proves Voters Were Right in 2008”,
The Huffington Post, 6 July 2009 11:49 AM

Political science professor David Epstein, 46, was charged Thursday with having a sexual relationship with his daughter, 24.

—Sarah Darville and Leah Greenbaum, “Professor David Epstein charged with incest with his daughter”,
Columbia Spectator, 10 December 2010

parenting, indian style

Let us connect the dots. Min Zhu, Subrah Iyar’s partner in the founding of WebEx, raped his daughter Erin when she was 14 years old. Fourteen years later, Subrah went on court record denying Min’s sexual abuse of Erin and squandering WebEx shareholders’ assets in a futile attempt to cover up his partner’s incestuous rape. Which brings us to the question: How much “better” is Subrah getting to know his daughters?

Marriage among the Kallans is said to depend entirely upon consanguinity. The most proper alliance is one between a man and the daughter of his father’s sister; and, if an individual has such a cousin, he must marry her, whatever disparity there may be between their respective ages. A boy, for example, of fifteen must marry such a cousin, even if she be thirty or forty years old, if her father insists upon his so doing. Failing a cousin of this sort, he must marry his aunt or his niece, or some near relative. If his father’s brother has a daughter, and insists upon his marrying her, he cannot refuse: and this whatever may be the woman’s age.
—Edgar Thurston, Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, Madras: Government Press, 1906, p. 53; also see Sir James George Frazer, Folk-Lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion, Legend and Law, Vol. II, Macmillan and Co., 1919, p. 105, and Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Elementary Structures of Kinship, Beacon Press, 1971, p. 428, a translation of Les structures élémentaires de la parenté, La Haye, Mouton et Co., 1967.

The rhetoric of sex with family members also appears in many later tantras such as the Guhyasamāja and Cakrasamvara Tantras. In its fifth chapter, the Guhyasamāja Tantra states that the adept who has sex with his mother, sister, or daughter can attain great success. In its thirty-third chapter, the Cakrasamvara Tantra describes sexual yogic practices to be undertaken with a consort and promises that if readers undertake these, even with female relatives, they will be liberated.
—Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, editor, Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, ABC-CLIO, 2007, Volume 1, pp. 317-318.

Childhood in much of India begins with the young child being regularly masturbated by the mother, “high caste or low caste, the girl ‘to make her sleep well,’ the boy ‘to make him manly…’” This practice has been said to be widespread by many reliable observers, including Catherine Mayo—whose extensive investigations in India in the 1920s led to the first child marriage laws—a physician, an ethnologist, a religious scholar and a sociologist. As is the case with virtually all non-Western cultures, the child sleeps in the family bed for several years and regularly observes sexual intercourse between the parents. The extent to which Indian parents go beyond this and overtly have sex with the child cannot be determined. Rampal, the sociologist who recently did interviews modeled on the Kinsey studies about contemporary Indian sexual practices, concludes that “there is a lot of incest… It is hidden along with other secrets of families and rarely gets a chance to come out, like seduction at the hands of trusted friends of the family… To arrive at even a passable estimate of incest cases would be to touch the hornet’s nest… no one will ever confess to such a deed, therefore, any attempt to collect statistics may prove to be futile at present.”
    Boys as well as girls are reported as being masturbated and raped by the men in the family, including fathers, older brothers, uncles and cousins. By the time children are four or five, they are usually taken to bed at night by others in the extended household. “A particular uncle may like her to sleep in his room, which is considered a great gesture of closeness.” As one girl describes it: “I hardly ever slept with my parents after I was four. I rotated almost every night between my various uncles and sometimes my grandmother. But it was difficult to have any space in her bed because all the grandsons slept in her bed… So I preferred to sleep in [uncle’s] bed, who was very nice and put his arms around me in winter.” This practice is similar to the customary sharing of their wives by brothers, who have free sexual access to each other’s wives, an ancient practice still approved of in some areas in India.
    So acceptable is sex between close relatives in India that uncle-niece and cross-cousin marriages were preferred among certain Indian groups. As the old Indian proverb has it, “For a girl to be a virgin at ten years old, she must have neither brothers nor cousin nor father.” These sleeping patterns with relatives who live in common residences continue even after marriage, since husbands are often cold to wives, and sex with the husband’s younger brother is covertly encouraged by the family to give the wife someone to be “close” to. Grandfathers often call the little girls “my little wife,” give them candy and “play the role of an old seducer,” teasing them by saying “Don’t you want to marry me?” One observer stuns up traditional Indian sexual stimulation during childhood as follows: “The little Hindu girls are deflowered by the little boys with whom they play, and repeat together the erotic lessons which their parents have unwittingly taught them on account of the general promiscuity of family life throughout India. In all the little girls of less than ten years of age the complete hymen is wanting… Incest is often the rule rather than the exception.
    —Lloyd DeMause, “The Universality of Incest”, The Journal of Psychohistory, Fall 1991, Vol. 19, No. 2, footnotes omitted.

Close-knit family life in India masks an alarming amount of sexual abuse of children and teenage girls by family members, a new report suggests.
    Delhi organisation RAHI said 76% of respondents to its survey had been abused when they were children—40% of those by a family member.
    The report suggests that disbelief, denial and cover-up to preserve the family reputation is often put before the individual child.
    —Daniel Lak, “India’s Hidden Incest”, BBC News, 22 January 1999.

[Subrah Iyar]’s family has grown through the years and the addition of his two daughters is one of the most treasured things in Iyar’s life. With 14-year-old Leena, who has a personality more like him and wants to be a lawyer, and 12-year-old Nikhita, who is more like her mother, yet wants to be a corporate leader just like her father, Iyar isn’t wasting any time getting to know his daughters better now that his workflow has leveled off. His children are only now starting to realize that their father is an important businessman with a great deal of responsibility.
—Diana Rohini LaVigne, “Subrah Iyar’s WebEx-ceptional Success: Capturing the Power of the Internet”,

By way of explanation, Western condoms are too big for Indian men.

selected sound bites from webex watchers

    Tis The Season…..
    Due to intense media scrutiny, the annual Gala Daughter Pork Fest has been moved to a new, undisclosed location and the date has been changed.
    Those of you who have daughters. Think for a moment about raping her. Pretty distrubing? Damn right. Now, do you really want to be affiliated with anyone who’s moral compass is so badly out of adjustment that daughter raping falls within the “O.k. to do” list?
    I don’t give a shit if you’ve made 10 million off the turd.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38303 by gloufam, 12/13/05 08:19 pm

    This Just In:
    The hymen is sad…
    When ruptured by Dad.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38332 by gloufam, 12/19/05 06:21 pm

    WebEx Drops Libel Claim Against Zeleny
    Since December 29, 2001, Michael Zeleny has publicized child rape allegations repeatedly made since 1988 by Erin Zhu against her father Min Zhu, better known as the founder and former President and CTO of WebEx Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:WEBX). On Friday, December 23, 2005, WebEx agreed to drop its libel lawsuit filed against Michael Zeleny for asserting that it squandered its shareholders’ assets on a failed coverup of child rape. This capitulation took place in response to Zeleny’s defense of truth asserted in the wake of two judicial sanctions imposed on WebEx for bad faith pleadings. WebEx’s aborted action against Zeleny has been funded by its shareholders’ assets.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38370 by helicalenzyme, 12/24/05 01:33 pm

    management sucks
    Webex has several years advance on the competion in a growing market with huge potential.
    The problem is that Wall street has no confidence in this awful managemnt team. The founder is a pedophile who raped his own daughter (he still makes managment decisions)
    Subrah can not even manage his waistline how is he going to manage a corporation. No one has any respect for this fat east louisiana loser.
    That is why when any company with real management announces anything in the conferencing arena (does not even need to be web based) the stock tanks. Wall street knows subrah can not keep the others at bay. They have seen him fumble before them and not even know how many working days in the quarter.
    Believe me the mediocrity trickles down to every nook and cranny of this organization.
    They can not even maintain 99% uptime in USA during business hours.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38297 by bbbburn, 12/13/05 01:58 pm

    Re: management sucks
    If you have evidence of Min Zhu still making management decisions at WebEx, please contact me. The ensuing housecleaning will benefit all members of the general public investing in WEBX.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38302 by helicalenzyme, 12/13/05 06:12 pm

    WebEx president plans to leave company
    WebEx Communications Inc. said on Thursday that its president, Bill Heil, plans to leave the company.
    No reason was given for Heil’s decision, but the company said he plans to join its Business Advisory Board and will continue at WebEx in the coming months to assist in the transition of his responsibilities.
    ― Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal – February 23, 2006

    Bill Heil Bails
    I talked to Bill last May. He didn’t want to stick around for the encore.
    the sinking ship
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38821 by helicalenzyme, 02/24/06 05:07 pm

    Re: Bill Heil Bails
    He was fired and if he wants to get extra money besides his severance he sits in this new position and shuts up. IMHO
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38825 by dayslate90, 02/26/06 11:57 am

    Re: Bill Heil Bails
    you’re right on. He was fired.
    This is why I love investing in companies where the founder(s) are still involved and have a significant share. Too many comapnies wait until the mgt weakness shows up in the numbers, and even then sometimes the board drags its feet.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38826 by munger75, 02/26/06 11:57 am

    Re: Bill Heil Bails
    “This is why I love investing in companies where the founder(s) are still involved and have a significant share.”
    one down, two to go
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38837 by helicalenzyme, 02/27/06 09:58 pm pm

    Re: Bill Heil Bails
    That’s just the Chinese culture, they value family more than we do.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38843 by munger75, 02/28/06 01:40 pm

    I’ve Examined The Facts;
    The allegations are built on pure POPPYCOCK.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38827 by gloufam, 02/26/06 04:03 pm

    Re: I’ve Examined The Facts;
    gloufam seems to be questioning my allegation of child rape coverup by WebEx:
    make amends for mayhem
    WebEx Drops Libel Claim Against Zeleny
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38838 by helicalenzyme, 02/27/06 10:09 pm

    Re: I’ve Examined The Facts;
    Not at all my friend. It was meant as clever word play. Based on POPPY COCK — get it?
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38840 by gloufam, 02/28/06 11:53 am

    Re: I’ve Examined The Facts;
    “Not at all my friend. It was meant as clever word play. Based on POPPY COCK — get it?”
    Please bear with my non-native grasp of English.
    Merriam-Webster identifies poppy as “any of numerous annual, biennial, and perennial herbs or rarely subshrubs of Papaver or sometimes of closely related genera…”, or “an extract from the poppy used in medicines”, or “something possessing the narcotic qualities of the poppy.”
    Are you attributing the narcotic qualities of the poppy to Min Zhu’s penis? That would explain a great deal about WebEx management and its musical chairs.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 38845 by helicalenzyme, 03/01/06 12:07 am

cordially, — Michael
7576 Willow Glen Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046 — 323.363.1860 —
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett

selected mementoes of true love responding to hard-earned cash

    A recent Wikipedia controversy concerns claims of Blixa Bargeld, the leader of pop music ensemble Einstürzende Neubauten, having married Erin Zhu for money that she earned under her father and ex-boyfriend Min Zhu, thoroughly degraded in the wake of his recent banishment as an executive and director of WebEx, an Internet conferencing company that he had co-founded. The attached emails shed light on these events.
    At the time these emails were written, Erin Zhu described Michael Zeleny to all and sundry as her best friend, encouraged him to read her amorous correspondence, and sought out his advice in connection with wooing her illustrious beloved. Copies of these emails remain on file as public record. They can be found in the Santa Clara Superior Court case files of Zeleny v. Zhu & WebEx, Zelyony v. Zhu, and Affeld v. Zhu, all settled by the defendants in 2004. Erin Zhu has authenticated them under oath in her depositions taken in these cases.

Erin Zhu and Blixa Bargeld

    Erin’s narratives lend themselves to fascinating sound bites that shed light on the juncture between victimology and starfucking:

I was not born and raised a nice girl — after all I am my father’s daughter, and I inherited so much from him, his murderous rage, his overwhelming ambitions, his sarcastic contempt, his sadistic streak.
I will not be a monster like my father; I am determined and sure of that much.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 25 Nov 99 20:14:42 PST

She then explains the monstrosity:

the summer when I was fourteen, my father suddenly changed his tune when my mother left for an extended visit to China. he took off my clothes, praised my naked form held up to a bathroom mirror, and devoured my body with his lust.
I wanted to die; I tried to kill. I did not succeed in either.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 27 Dec 99 13:40:45 PST

Shortly after presenting her childhood rape claims against Min Zhu Erin accepts her parents’ offer of fraudulent settlement. The next day she informs her beloved:

I have always identified myself with creative, bohemian, fringe elements of society, yet I was driving to a local office of a major investment bank the other day to meet a vice president from their “private wealth management” division.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 21 Mar 00 04:14:11 PST

The next week, Erin signs the settlement papers. The same day she tells Blixa Bargeld how she made her fortune:

What happened? I sold the technology for the main business I was working on to a Hollywood-backed Internet entertainment site that is going public in a couple of months. As with all such deals, since what I actually get is primarily in their stock, the final price is highly variable and still unknown at this time, I won’t have much cash probably until the end of the year, and it’s unlikely that what I built will actually see the light of day since they bought me out to eliminate competition. But even so, even after paying off the legal teams and the investors and the huge amount that goes to taxes, assuming the stock market and economy does not completely crash this year, I will have enough left to never have to work for money again.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 30 Mar 00 20:17:31 PST

And she never did. Erin Zhu married Blixa Bargeld soon after her financial disclosures. As described in the referenced lawsuits, the newlyweds celebrated their nuptials by maxing out the credit card that Isaak Zelyony had loaned to Erin to tide her over while she was waiting for her blood money from Min Zhu. Since then, Einstürzende Neubauten has credited her as their executive producer and webmaster.
    The Mounties always get their man.

Received: from by www0j for [] via web-mailer(M3.3.1.96) on Mon Dec 27 21:40:45 GMT 1999
Date: 27 Dec 99 13:40:45 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: loneliness
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kills the soul, they say.

what can they know of it, I wonder, they who have never lived
in my skin, listened to my thoughts, dreamed in my mind? yet
they are able to write about loneliness with such conviction,
such empathy, that even from the distance of the printed page
I am touched by the spirit of their words, and find my own
loneliness eased by the distant sharing.

such are the powers of the word, the thought rendered concrete,
so that even without its original human context, displaced by
the passage of time, flattened into the rigid form of text,
ghosts of strangers from bygone eras can whisper in my ear and
remind me more acutely of my ties to the rest of humanity than
all the flesh and blood people I live amongst.

once upon a time when I still lived in China, I wanted to be a
writer; the cultural and linguistic uprooting and the demands
of practicality managed to put an end to that soon after.
perhaps I will want to be a writer again. perhaps I will try
to write. I have always been more comfortable in the realm of
pure thoughts and words than anything material; the result of
many years of living in my head and feeling detached from my
body, I suppose.

in my occasional forays into philosophy I’d always been
fascinated by the eternal questions around the mind and truth:
the mind body duality, the question of other minds, the
paradox of the liar, etc. I have never felt a great deal of
necessary connection between my mind and my body; never mind
the question of which body part(s) the essential “I” may or
may not live in, it seems a purely accidental fact that I
even come bundled with this physical shape. yet I suspect
that I would cease to exist if this body died… the other
questions are somewhat easier to resolve: I can escape
solipsism because I have met enough people out there who do
not think in a way that I understand at all; I can deal with
the liar paradox by turning to the meta-theories of mathematics.

I have never been particularly comfortable with my body.
since I was a child my parents told me that I was plain,
that my face deviated in too many ways from the Chinese
standards of beauty. when I reached puberty I was told that
I’d have to rely on my brains to make my way in the world,
since I’d never get anywhere based on my looks. so I wore
my brother’s castoff clothes, sympathized with the ugly
stepsisters, and never dreamed of handsome princes on white

the summer when I was fourteen, my father suddenly changed
his tune when my mother left for an extended visit to China.
he took off my clothes, praised my naked form held up to a
bathroom mirror, and devoured my body with his lust.
I wanted to die; I tried to kill. I did not succeed in either.
instead I learned to disassociate my mind, to build walls in
my head so that I do not feel.

I live with the residuals to this day: a lingering discomfort
with my body; the need to retain control, and an inability to
stop thinking, even in the most intimate situations; a body
that cannot feel pleasure with anybody I did not completely
trust. The latter has been remarkably effective in protecting
my virtue: the few attempts I’d made at casual sex ended as
spectacular failures.

maybe this helps explain why I did not expect to sleep with
you in New York; and why I said that I did not, generally
speaking, trust men. trust makes me vulnerable, a condition
I react badly to because I have been scarred before. until
you touched me, I did not think that I would trust you: my
body is a drawbridge to my soul and I am not in the habit of
granting entry to strangers.

I don’t quite know why an exception was made for you; that’s
one reason why I keep writing, I suppose, and why I want to
know you better.

I don’t know how meaningful it is to you, that you are one of
only a few people in the world that I trust, and none of them
my own family.

I hope you will not give me cause for regret.

perhaps I’ve said too much already?


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Received: from by www0v for [] via web-mailer(M3.3.1.96) on Fri Nov 26 04:14:42 GMT 1999
Date: 25 Nov 99 20:14:42 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: memories
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Crossing the busy streets of Hong Kong the other day, my mother
held on to my hand, a gesture that reversed roles we’d played
so long ago. She trusts me, her estranged and prodigal daughter,
to guide her safely around the reckless vehicles, I think to
myself, and am strangely touched by the thought. I had never
been particularly close to my mother; growing up she had always
openly favored my brother, and had little patience or affection
for me. It was only after I’d left home and became a grown
woman that she started making overtures of friendship. To think
that we had to come half a world away to renew the tenuous ties
of blood between us…

It surprises me still, how much I want her to at least accept me
and approve of what I do, even after all these years when I told
myself that I did not care.

She and I sat in the dark watching the glittering Hong Kong
skyline, and spoke of our disparate rememberances of the past.
Left unspoken between us was the fact that neither of us could
think of any happy memories of my childhood. She told stories
of me as a baby; I told her small pieces of triumph from my
more recent past; the long years that stretched between age three
through sixteen went untouched, bypassed with a shake of the
head and mutterings of “there were historical reasons”…

Eventually she wanted to know if I was going to find myself a
nice boy, preferably Asian of course. I did not have the words
to tell her what I thought: I lived with a nice boy, mama;
when I found myself more lonely in his arms than without I told
him to leave… He was too nice for me, mama; I could not even
tell him what I really thought for fear of damaging him. I was not
born and raised a nice girl — after all I am my father’s daughter,
and I inherited so much from him, his murderous rage, his
overwhelming ambitions, his sarcastic contempt, his sadistic streak. Sure,
talk to my friends and acquaintances and they will tell you, I
am a nice person, considerate of other people’s feelings, loyal to
my friends, generous with my money and assistance, though somewhat
anti-social and a persistent loner. Little do they know the degree
of control I maintain to lock away the undesirable impulses; it is
after all better for me to turn away and seek refuge in my books and
my work than take it out on real live people.

I will not be a monster like my father; I am determined and sure of
that much. I also cannot, I discovered, live with a man who does not
have a basis for understanding why I wake up with violent nightmares
and the constant restraint I exercise to not hurt him. And I do not
want anyone that reminds me of my father, of course… So I keep to
myself a great deal, and give my mother a vague little response about
how I am in no hurry.

You asked me once why I wrote to you; I’ve met very few people in my
life that can understand the contradictions in my head. That I am
aware of, and am drawn to, many dark areas of the human psyche,
but am sufficiently rational and responsible to be a good person.
That I have faith in basic human decency, even though I did not come
to that by way of innocent naivete or blind religious compliance.
And I thought that perhaps there was a slim chance that you might
understand, that communication might be possible despite the vast
ocean of differences between us. That would be worth far more to me
than any sort of physical intimacy. Does this make any sense?

I think I’ve said enough for now.


Received: from by www0u for [] via web-mailer(M3.3.1.96) on Tue Mar 21 12:14:11 GMT 2000
Date: 21 Mar 00 04:14:11 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: me, myself, and I
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Forgive me for returning to the format of a monologue about
my life and state of mind.

It is 3:30 in the morning, I’ve recently awaken after a couple
of hours of sleep with a vague feeling of dread, and know from
experience that I must keep myself awake until this state passes
or else my slumber would be disturbed by fullbown nightmares.
The curse of memory, of the past clinging to life in the hours
when the unconscious rules supreme.

In my late teens I was forced to re-evaluate almost everything
I thought to be self-evident about myself and my life because
of some choices I had made; but I was a poor student then,
my head filled with dreams of Platonic ideals, and many decisions
were easy.

The past several months, I have felt the need to reconsider the
distance between my present reality, my perception of myself,
and the possibilities for the future. The gap between reality
and perception is perhaps the most troublesome. It exhibits
itself in small things, for example in my conscious appreciation
of sleek wide open modern architectural styles of steel,
concrete, glass, and wood, but at home I find myself most
comfortable when I have a cozy area to curl up with a book. Or
the fact that I have always identified myself with creative,
bohemian, fringe elements of society, yet I was driving to a
local office of a major investment bank the other day to meet
a vice president from their “private wealth management” division.
Or for that matter, me thinking that I might like to settle down
into comfortable couplehood, while in fact turning away several
possibly realistic boys and finding myself attracted to someone
completely unsuitable.

So: I will be taking the occasion of my upcoming birthday to
contemplate an alignment between perception and reality — to
figure out not just who I want to be, but who I should be, and
to impose that over all relevant aspects of my life, in both
action and desires. Whether it’s my Asian need for spiritual
exercise, or an unrequited manifestation of dialectical
materialism, I cannot say.

Perhaps it is only the brightness of the full moon high in the
heavens, which for the Chinese has always been a bringer of
melancholy meditations and homesickness.


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Date: 30 Mar 00 20:17:31 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: backwards glance
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Dear Blixa,

Thank you for your note.

I’m back at home. Signed the papers, drank a glass of
champagne, sold out successfully.

What happened? I sold the technology for the main business
I was working on to a Hollywood-backed Internet
entertainment site that is going public in a couple of
months. As with all such deals, since what I actually
get is primarily in their stock, the final price is
highly variable and still unknown at this time, I won’t
have much cash probably until the end of the year, and
it’s unlikely that what I built will actually see the
light of day since they bought me out to eliminate
competition. But even so, even after paying off the
legal teams and the investors and the huge amount that
goes to taxes, assuming the stock market and economy does
not completely crash this year, I will have enough left
to never have to work for money again.

It feels very strange to be sitting here on the last day
of my 25th year waiting for that fact to actually sink in.
It is a problem with the modern economy that I don’t even
have anything more concrete than sheets of paper to make
it feel more real.

I am sorry I have been so touchy and on edge recently;
this entire process has been very wearing on my nerves.

And I miss you.


Get your own FREE, personal Netscape WebMail account today at

one down, two to go

    In the U.S., Min Zhu is just another e-business entrepreneur. But back in his China homeland, he has attained celebrity status as a native son who overcame poverty to achieve wealth. In his 20s, Zhu, along with many other Chinese intellectuals, was forced to work on a farm for seven years, as the government attempted to get the country’s intelligentsia “reeducated” into the appropriate communist mindset.
    As soon as Beijing relaxed its grip on the citizenry, however, he was one of the first Chinese to leave for the U.S. After earning a degree in engineering from Stanford University, Zhu found a partner from India, Subrah Iyar, and started WebEx, now the world’s largest Web-conferencing company, in San Jose, Calif.
    Unlike most Web entrepreneurs, Zhu, 54, and Iyar, 45, didn’t see their Silicon Valley dream rise to the sky only to collapse. In fact, their disciplined management allowed the business to go public in the difficult environment of mid-2000. This year, WebEx became profitable, and that could be just the start.
    ― Subrah Iyar and Min Zhu: Meetings on the Web, Olga Kharif, Business Week, October 1, 2002

    The culture and success of WebEx, which dominates its field, reflects the drive and frugality that has propelled Zhu since he emerged from the years of planting, harvesting and hauling rice from 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the week.
    “He is forever trying to catch up on those seven, eight years that he feels he lost,” said Subrah Iyar, WebEx co-founder and chief executive. […]
    Zhu is mindful of the difficulties his company faces. He is always thinking of the next step ― some say, the next four steps. Zhu envisions WebEx technology transforming how the world communicates through home phones, cell phones ― even TV.
    ― Driven to succeed: WebEx Co-Founder Brings Homeland Work Ethic To The High-Tech World, John Boudreau, Mercury News /, Sunday, May. 30, 2004

    While many Chinese who come to the U.S. eventually get U.S. citizenship, Zhu carries a Chinese passport (one reason that he is eligible for our list of China’s richest). He says he still feels strongly about the land he was raised in, and wants to overcome what he says is longtime discrimination about being Chinese ― a feeling that is a big part of the Chinese psyche today.
    Recalling a trip with American colleagues to Singapore a decade ago, Zhu says he was stopped and asked to wait for an hour at customs while his American colleagues were given a quick OK to pass through. The reason, he believes, was all Chinese were suspected of smuggling.
    “It was very insulting to me, and I had already undergone a lot of humiliation in my homeland too” during the Cultural Revolution, he says.
    Today, when Zhu pulls out his China passport, people respond differently. “This is the way I want to win,” he says. “I want to be proud.”
    ― China’s Richest: Rice Fields Yield Internet Riches, Russell Flannery, Forbes, 11.04.04, 6:30 PM ET

    Yahoo! has removed all postings made under my former business name of ptyx. The management is entitled to run its private space as they see fit. However, every honest man benefits from free exchange of information. This board is only as effective, as it is open to criticism. Accordingly, I am reposting relevant facts documented in court records and sworn testimony.
    Erin Zhu, the daughter of WebEx founder Min Zhu, has complained of having been repeatedly molested by her father at the age of 14, from at least 1991 until at least 2003. Her earliest public complaints can be accessed via Google Usenet search for the terms “Erin Zhu sexual abuse”. They relate that Min deflowered her, and that his doing so fit within his general pattern of abusing his family members. In 1999, Erin complained to the German pop musician Blixa Bargeld, whom she subsequently married, about her father having “devoured [her] with his lust”, and promised that she “will not be a monster like [her] father”. In 2000, Erin presented a complaint for child abuse to her father. This complaint had been prepared in my presence and with my assistance, from a transcript of her interview that I witnessed. It was taken by the law office of David W. Affeld, who in a gesture of friendship agreed to represent Erin for a contingency fee of 2.5% of her recovery. All of these documents have been entered into public record as exhibits in several cases filed against the Zhus and WebEx in the Santa Clara Superior Court. These case files contain sworn declarations by people to whom Erin had volunteered graphic details of her rape. In 2003, Erin testified in deposition that Min molested her when she was 14 years old. The extent of this molestation is subject to discovery in the WebEx libel lawsuit pending against me in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
    Erin’s family settled her claim with numerous payments, made both through her lawyer and in secret. They tried to circumvent the nominal contingency fee that she owed to her lawyer, and to prevent her from repaying her debts to other parties. In dispensing hush money to their daughter, the Zhus used their own funds, as well as WebEx assets. In short, WebEx and the Zhus diverted shareholder assets towards a child rape coverup. This diversion continues in their mendacious libel prosecution.
    Since I made these disclosures, Min Zhu has stepped down as WebEx President. He has announced his impending “retirement” as WebEx CTO. That is not enough. I am posting in response to death threats made against me in the names and on the behalves of Min Zhu and WebEx. The facts suffice to conclude in good faith that Min Zhu is a daughter rapist who uses WebEx shareholders’ assets to cover up his crimes. This conclusion neither involves nor relies upon rhetorical hyperbole that amounts to defamation under law. I reached it through investigation, ruling out negligence that contributes to defamation under law. The daughter rapist violates his highest duty as a man and a father. Child rape by an officer and director of a publicly traded company raises issues far beyond a personal vendetta irrelevant to public concerns under law. Drawing responsible conclusions from matters of public record is Constitutionally protected speech. I will continue to do so until and unless the Zhus and WebEx make amends for threatening my life. I will not tolerate their threats in silence. Information wants to be valuable. Nothing will stop this story from reaching every WebEx client, investor, neighbor, and employee. It will shape their dealings with WebEx. Manage your money accordingly.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 35868 by helicalenzyme, 01/25/05 10:39 pm

    They wanted Hop Sing
    But they got Willie Long.
    A slight and regrettable
    Slip of the Tong.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 35732 by gloufam, 01/14/05 07:59 am

    One more word on the subject….. shenkui.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 35765 by gloufam, 01/17/05 12:55 pm

    2nd Day of WebEx User Conference Cancelled Due to Protester
    The WebEx User Conference and Partner’s Summmit was abruptly canceled today due to an individual, without any affiliation to WebEx, “protesting” against WebEx outside the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco yesterday afternoon. A Russian rifle and ammunition were found in his car, and he was then detained and let go without his weapons. Evidently, the “protester” in question has had a grudge against WebEx, and WebEx thought it best to cancel the remainder of the conference, attended by about 350 WebEx users.
    WebEx pointed out that security was of prime concern to its customers, partners, and employees, and indicated that it would continue the rest of the conference via WebEx within two weeks.
    ―, Breaking News, posted on May 3, 2005

    WebEx User Conference
    Presentation cancelled
    I came back last Wednesday from a week of travel at the WebEx User Conference in San Francisco, what an unusual experience!
    I was scheduled to speak on Tuesday, but woke up to find a note under my door that the conference was cancelled because a protestor with guns was outside the event and was consequently arrested Monday night.
    The first two days of the conference were a success and it’s a shame that an unstable person with a random grudge can ruin an event that affects the livelihood of WebEx’s 1800 employees. (Please note, my presentation will be delivered via WebEx in the coming weeks.)
    Maybe next year they could rent a private island to avoid problems in the future. I am sure the other attendees would be all for it…what do you think?
    ―ConferZone, posted on May 10, 2005 by Stephanie Downs

    WebEx co-founder Min Zhu has retired as chief technology officer and a director. Zhu is relocating to China and will become a WebEx Fellow.
    ― WebEx Press Release, Friday May 13, 2005, 10:39 am ET

    “Min is undeniably the pioneer of real-time collaboration,” added Iyar. “His technical vision, strategic insight and inspired leadership have transformed the way companies around the world conduct business. With our seasoned management team in place, Min is free to retire from day-to-day operations.”
    ― WebEx Press Release, Friday May 13, 2005, 8:53 am ET

    Can you spell EXTRADITION ? The bod no longer has to watch “All In The Family” reruns, or “Chinatown” for that matter.
    The PORK SWORD is not mightier then the pen.
    ― Yahoo! Message Boards: WEBX, Msg 37013 by gloufam, 05/13/05 11:55 am

the nonce prize

    Is Min Zhu, founder and CTO of WebEx, a self-dealing child rapist?
    In the summer of 1988, Min Zhu threatened to kill his fourteen year old daughter Erin Zhu, unless she gave in to his sexual advances. Min continued to rape Erin every night until the school year began. He did not want his sexual needs to interfere with his daughter’s studies. The thoughtful patriarch henceforth confined his child abuse to frequent beatings.
    Erin Zhu has been telling this story since 1988 to friends and strangers, physicians and programmers, lawyers and policemen. Her serial rape accusations against her father are convincing. The evidence that supports them is compelling. Around the end of 1991, Erin publicized her story on the Usenet newsgroup alt.sexual.abuse.recovery. It remains accessible via Google search. A record of her subsequent complaints can be found in Santa Clara Superior Court case number CV809286, filed by Michael Zeleny in December of 2001 against the Zhus and WebEx for breach of contract.
    Erin Zhu formed a business partnership with Michael Zeleny. Their partnership lasted from January of 1995 to January 2000. It performed many jobs commissioned by Min Zhu and his company, WebEx Communications, Inc. In 1999, it entered into an agreement with WebEx. In January of 2000, WebEx reneged on their agreement.
    In January of 2000, Erin Zhu made a claim for childhood sexual abuse against Min Zhu. Shortly thereafter, Min paid his daughter $300,000. According to Erin, Min also promised to give her 500,000 shares of WebEx stock in order to settle her claim. This transfer was meant to be made in secret so as to cheat Erin’s lawyer David Affeld out of his 2.5% contingency fee for representing her rape claim against Min. Affeld had to sue the Zhus for his fees. Last November, they settled his lawsuit.
    In January of 2001, while Erin Zhu was prodding her father to complete his rape payoff, WebEx delivered to her 5,000 shares of its stock. At that time, WebEx owed 5,000 shares of its stock to Zeleny’s company. After Zeleny attempted to communicate with WebEx to recover this asset, he received anonymous death threats in the names of WebEx and Min Zhu. These threats recapitulated the pattern of Min Zhu’s intimidation, as recounted by Erin. The threats ceased as soon as Zeleny sued WebEx and the Zhus.
    On October 25 of 2004, the defendants settled Zeleny’s lawsuit. WebEx is suing Michael Zeleny in connection with his publication of this story, in Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC324927. To date, WebEx has been ordered to pay Zeleny’s attorney’s fees twice in a row for bad faith pleadings. It has been sanctioned for filing its lawsuit in an improper venue. It has also been found to have filed frivolous claims against Zeleny and will be sanctioned in an amount to be determined on June 10 of 2005.
    WebEx management is aware of the sexual abuse allegations against Min Zhu and the evidence supporting them. It continues to employ Min Zhu in its senior management. Min Zhu has refused to respond to questions regarding his daughter’s accusations.
    Child rape is a loathsome crime, all the more so when it violates the bond of trust between parent and child. WebEx shareholders continue to entrust their assets to alleged daughter rapist Min Zhu. In his proper setting, the prison lingo identifies a child molester as a nonce. On May Day of 2005 the WebEx Experience at Westin St. Francis in San Francisco shall receive a new slogan: Don’t work for the nonce.
    — Michael —
    7576 Willow Glen Road, L.A., CA 90046 vox:323.876.8234 fax:323.876.8054 cell:323.363.1860
    All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett

when rapists walk free

    Dear Mr. Kristof,
I have followed your account of commercial and punitive rape in Asia with great interest. My focus in this subject matter is intensely personal. I have brought upon myself a great deal of trouble through my association with a Chinese victim of child rape, whose father, the perpetrator of her abuse, has not only escaped with impunity, but used the assets of the publicly traded company that he founded, to buy her silence about his crime. To declare my interest, the reason for my concern about this distasteful matter is that my life has been threatened in connection with my legal claim to the assets thusly misappropriated. Although my business claims have been settled, the legal peripeties in connection with this threat and my publicity thereof are ongoing, and you may find my adversaries’ account a useful corrective to my partiality.
    From your writings, I surmise that you regard rape, especially committed with impunity, in an expression of malign disempowerment of its victim, as a particularly foreign kind of injustice. Nevertheless, both the record of your employer and my experience suggest that we need not strain ourselves in search of prominent domestic examples.
    I recall a New York Times article by N.R. Kleinfield of July 1, concerning Jessica Hendra, ex-humorist Tony Hendra’s younger daughter from his first marriage. She accuses her father of molesting her when she was seven and again when she was nine or ten. Tony Hendra is currently best known as the author of a best selling book, Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul. In a former life, he was the editor of National Lampoon, where in 1971 he published a recipe for telling when one’s daughter is ready to be cooked and eaten, recommending in part:

An ancient and surprisingly accurate test of readiness is to hold the buttocks one in each hand and squeeze gently. If the daughter says, “Grrrugchllllchllll,” she is not yet quite ready. If she slaps your face, you have missed your opportunity. But if she giggles, she is just right.

Jessica Hendra was five years old at the time of that writing. One hopes that she was not yet quite ready.
    Tony Hendra has described his daughter’s allegations of abuse as “false in every respect.” His denial is curiously hedged. He readily admits in his book that he was a negligent father and husband. Since the book is meant to be confessional in nature, Jessica Hendra in turn questions, why her father had failed to include her allegations. Tony Hendra responds that the book was not a “comprehensive confessional.” He insists that his daughter is “psychologically troubled,” and is operating with “recovered memories.” New York Times’ public editor Daniel Okrent devoted his entire column On July 11, 2004, to the question of whether his paper was correct in publishing accusations that Tony Hendra had failed to reveal one of his sins in the book. He concluded in his capacity of your newspaper’s editor, that the author’s success, and his book’s confessional theme, made the most intimate details of his life a fair subject for public humiliation in its pages. On the other hand, in his capacity of your newspaper’s reader, he expressed his wish that it had not undertaken this punishment.
    I have long agonized over my right to publicize Min Zhu’s sexual abuse of his daughter. WebEx is a successful, publicly traded company, a prominent advertiser in media channels that include your newspaper. Min Zhu has parlayed the success of his company into silencing his daughter’s complaint for childhood sexual abuse with its shareholders’ assets. The declarations that he and his company WebEx have filed in my cases, expressly disclaim their willingness to deny my “increasingly bizarre and utterly false allegations” of child rape, as stated in his daughter’s claims reproduced below. As recently as 2003, Erin Zhu has confirmed under oath that her father molested her. Having experienced threats and menaces uncannily similar to those that she described to me as causing her to yield to her father’s sexual advances, I feel entitled to make the sins of their named beneficiary and ostensible author fair game for my public discourse.

I don’t think it’s childish at all to be afraid of what might seem silly. I never worry about vampires, but corpses in various stages of decay, or people hiding in the dark about to attack me, are almost always on my mind if I were alone near somewhere dark. It seem to have started when I was little, when I’d stare at various spots at night and make up stories about what scary thing it might be, and scare myself shitless even though there’s several other people sleeping in the same room. It might also have to do with the fact that my parents used to physically fight at night when us children were in bed in the same room, and I tried my best to crawl deeper into the sheets and avoid hearing about my mother banging into the furniture. Even now I can’t stand violent/scary movies, and was a serious nervous wreck when watching a movie having to do with a girl alone in a house scared of a man breaking in. Reminded me too much of waiting in the middle of the night for my father to silently come in my room, shaking with fear every night knowing that there’s nothing I can do about it. Thankfully there’s someone I trust sleeping with me now, so I don’t have to be afraid of intruders so much.
Erin Zhu, Dec 24 1991, 6:42 am

[story of rape deleted]
I am 17 too, and went through similar kind of “occurrence” when I was 14, except that it was my father rather than a stranger and it lasted a lot longer.
Erin Zhu, Dec 26 1991, 12:15 am

In my family (very conservative Chinese), the subject of sex was utterly taboo and not ever mentioned until it became obvious that the children have had enough exposure to the culture here to have a pretty good idea of it, and then the only response was to insist that I, as a girl in danger of accidental pregnancy and so on, should never do anything as gross as that.
All this was, of course, after my father oh-so-impolitely deflowered me himself. Amazing how well he was able to deceive himself about his motives and actions. […]
For me, the sexual abuse part was certainly in line with the rest, a part of the power game that my father so expertly plays with the rest of the family. However, the importance of the sexual abuse was that it finally brought home to me that this was not just a matter of me not behaving like a proper little girl and getting punished by my father, but genuine betrayal of all that he portrayed himself to be. It broke through the lie of him being protective and only punishing me “for my own good”, and thus was more painful than the other forms of abuse.
Erin Zhu, 2 Jan 1992, 3:05 pm

Excerpts from public record documents filed in Zeleny v. Zhu & WebEx, Santa Clara Superior Court Case Number CV-809286:

the summer when I was fourteen, my father suddenly changed his tune when my mother left for an extended visit to China. he took off my clothes, praised my naked form held up to a bathroom mirror, and devoured my body with his lust. I wanted to die; I tried to kill. I did not succeed in either.
― Erin Zhu, 27 Dec 99 13:40:45 PST

I was not born and raised a nice girl ― after all I am my father’s daughter, and I inherited so much from him, his murderous rage, his overwhelming ambitions, his sarcastic contempt, his sadistic streak.
I will not be a monster like my father; I am determined and sure of that much.
― Erin Zhu, 25 Nov 99 20:14:42 PST

[WebEx ex-President and CTO Min Zhu] first sexually abused [his daughter Erin] in August 1988. […] Just as [Erin] was about to fall asleep, Min Zhu slipped into bed with [Erin]. Although a brilliant student, [Erin] was naive and innocent about sexual matters. [Erin] had studied biology and was aware of the biological aspects of reproduction, but she was unaware of the “practical” aspects of sexual matters. Min Zhu was wearing shorts and a tank top/t-shirt. [Erin] was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Min Zhu removed [Erin]’s clothes and began to touch her sexually. [Erin] verbally objected to his advances but Min Zhu merely stated that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing. Min Zhu proceeded to remove his clothes and forced [Erin]’s hand to touch him sexually. Min Zhu assured [Erin] that there was nothing wrong with [Erin] touching him in that way and that Min Zhu’s state of erection was normal. Min Zhu proceeded to turn on the lights, stating that he wanted to see [Erin] naked because he had never seen a virgin naked, since her mother was not a virgin when they were married. [Min Zhu] proceeded to place his hand between [Erin]’s legs and pronounced that the moisture in her vagina meant that her body was “being bad” and that she deserved to be punished. [Erin] attempted physically to refuse Min Zhu’s sexual advances. However, she was powerless to fight her father off. Min Zhu was approximately 39 years old, was a grown man in his prime, and was much larger and very much stronger than [Erin]. Min Zhu was approximately 5’11″ tall and weighed approximately 160-170 pounds at that time. [Erin] was a fourteen-year-old girl, was only 5’4″ tall and weighed less 90 lbs. Min Zhu became more aggressive and mounted [Erin]. When [Erin] struggled, Min Zhu began choking and restraining [Erin] with a blanket. He threatened to kill her. [Erin] stopped fighting her father as she was physically overpowered and feared that she would be severely harmed physically. [Erin]’s fear was all the more pronounced in light of Min Zhu’s long history of domestic violence and lack of remorse or conscience. Min Zhu then proceeded to rape [Erin].
―Excerpted from the January 18, 2000 draft complaint by Erin Zhu, filed as an exhibit in Opposition to the Defendants’ Motion to Strike

On January 19, 2000, I traveled to Palo Alto, California, to meet with Min Zhu and Susan Xu to discuss settlement of Erin Zhu’s claims. I met them at the Gordon Biersch restaurant in Palo Alto, California. Min Zhu opened our meeting by describing to me his experiences in China during the Cultural Revolution. He stated that he and his wife had been sent to a remote camp and had had to struggle very hard just to survive. He said that he had been in many fights. He then told me he had come to this country and succeeded in building a billion dollar corporation, but if he lost it, he would not be troubled, because he had already undergone such hardships that any such loss would be nothing in comparison to what he had already suffered. He said he looked forward to a new experience, fighting in the American court system, and it could not do anything to him that could compare to what he had already endured.
―Excerpted from the Declaration of David W. Affeld in Opposition to Motions For Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication By Defendants

    In a market economy, anyone is entitled to trade with a daughter rapist. In a free country, anyone is entitled to admire and extol him for any reason. Even so, as a result of disclosures in the referenced lawsuits, Min Zhu recently stepped down from his position as WebEx President, to be replaced in that position by a hired gun. According to his sworn deposition in my case, he is, moreover, scheduled to “retire” in the near future. Please use this information as you see fit.

cordially, ― Michael ―
7576 Willow Glen Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046 vox: 323.876.8234 fax: 323.876.8054 cell: 323.363.1860
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. ― Samuel Beckett