Whose Rogue Behaviour?

[It’s weird when you discover you’re ‘supposed’ to be Cambodian monk when you are not. What would you do? This is what I did…]

To the Editor in Chief,

On page 83 of the article “The Travelling Monk” of the February 08 issue of Rogue by T. Bernardo (http://issuu.com/migmari/docs/roguefeb08), there was mention of my name and use of my words published online on 28 June 2005 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/zeph/message/683 as linked from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheDailyEnlightenment/message/489 in the Links section titled “Kids! To Have or Not?”) Please note that –

1. I am neither a monk nor a Cambodian.
2. I was never interviewed for the article.
3. Permission was never given for use of my words.

Please look into this matter of plagiarism and defamation. I await your response before taking any further action. The least that can be done is to print an apology in the next issue, and send that issue to me, along with the problematic issue in question. Please take the above off the net too.

Thank you.
Amituofo, Shen Shi’an
20 May, 2008

[As there was no response to the above, it was resent on May 27, 2008 with the below.]

Is the blatant ignoring of the below not “rogue” behavior? All I’m asking for is a public apology in your mag for open plagiarism and defamation. Is my suggestion not reasonable? Maybe this email monologue should be published online for the world to decide. Whether this will be done depends on your response in the next 3 days.

[Below is the reply on 1 June, 2008]

Hi, my name is Miguel Mari, i’m the design director and one of the owners of Rogue Magazine. I’m truly sorry that a response has not been sent to you yet. Our EIC is out of the country and i’m not sure if he has been receiving his emails regularly, nonetheless, we have assigned our features editor to reply to your email. He has been trying to get in touch with the author of the article to find out what happened in this situation before responding to your complaint. I would like to tell you personally that I find it unfortunate that the facts in the article were not correct and we did not intentionally ignore the complaint, we should have acknowledged receipt of the email and gotten back to you with a plan of action afterwards, again, my apologies for that. We will have a response from our editorial team to you by tomorrow with a course of action. Please feel free to email me personally to this address if you have any other concerns and i will make sure to pass the information along to our editorial department quickly. I hope this doesn’t cause too much of an inconvenience.

Kind Regards,
Miguel Mari
Design Director

[On 15 Dec 2008, I sent ‘I await your action’ to Rogue, but to date, there is none. Hence this post, after which the link will be sent to Rogue. The writer had apologised, but the requested action above is still not taken. I gave enough chances and waited long enough – right? The least I can do is clear my name online since there is misrepresentation online. I can’t think of any other way to let netizens not think I’m a Cambodian monk.]

4 thoughts on “Whose Rogue Behaviour?

  1. hmm, shian i respect you alot. but i think you might have blown this issue out of proportion.

    does it matter if ppl perceive you to be from cambodia? why is it ‘defamation’ worthy? is a monk from cambodia lower in status then local monks?

    perhaps it would have been sufficient to end this issue with a ‘Hope you do not do this again’. I don’t think this justifies:

    “Please look into this matter of plagiarism and defamation. I await your response before taking any further action. The least that can be done is to print an apology in the next issue, and send that issue to me, along with the problematic issue in question. Please take the above off the net too.”

  2. Actually, it’s the other way round :straight:

    I’ve never been to Cambodia and have absolutely no reason to dislike Cambodia. (In fact, it looks charming in the pictures.) And to say i’m a monk is defamation more of the monastic community b’cos i’m nobody in comparison. A monk from anywhere is higher in status than a sloppy layperson (me). i’m not at all worthy to be mistaken as a monk. If it was an assertion of ego, i would have emphasised who i am instead. (Who ‘i’ am is still sloppy, thus not even worth mentioning.) The above merely said who i am not. It’s secondary that surfers think i assumed the identity of a monk. Actually, already too many think I’m a monk (online and offline).

    As you would have noticed, the issue dragged over quite some time – and it is still unresolved. It’s still an open issue, that i thought putting online will help hasten something appropriate to be done. i considered a long time before blogging about it. It’s reasonable to provide the other side of the picture online, since an obvious non-truth is already put online. It’s not a matter of ‘hope you do not do this again’; it’s still a matter of ‘please do something about it.’ i respect the Sangha too much to not do something.

    The request for printing an apology is a simple way to set the record straight. All it takes is a short sentence, but this ought to at least be done to restore integrity of the magazine and the Sangha. (There is no other way a ‘misprint’ for a back issue can be rectified.) There’s no request for an ad in the papers for instance, or for paying for the damages done to the good name of the Sangha. The request for the problematic issue is reasonable as there were words ‘stolen’ out of context without any consultation in the first place. The request for the non-existent issue with the apology is also reasonable because there is no other way to know if an errata was really printed. The request for taking the wrong info offline is also reasonable as what is online is often ‘forever’. Why leave lies floating in cyberspace when you can do something about it? Inaction perpetuates disrespect for truth and the spirit of genuine journalism itself. 🙁

  3. Well…i think the very least the magazine could do is to get their facts right upon knowing their mistake by publishing in the next issue of Rogue with an apology and more importantly, correct their mistakes.
    Isn’t this what the media should do?
    To present the truth and not just come up with distorted views that suits their agenda. Many people are reading this stuff and might very well take Shian’s view as that of a Sangha’s.
    It is very misinterpreted and unfortunate if so.
    I really doubt the integrity of this magazine cause it has dragged this matter for too long.
    Thanks for sharing this on moonpointer.
    At least now, i will read what this magazine presents with a pinch of salt…if i do read it that is.

  4. I agree with GS. I work in a media house. It’s the publisher’s responsibility to get all the facts right. If not, an apology ought to be issued. It’s a common code of practice of a responsible publisher.

    I don’t think it is fair to assume that shian thinks that a monk from cambodia lower in status than local monks. Nowhere in the blog did he suggest monks from anywhere is of lower status.

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