Before you read this: this issue has been resolved almost completely in the last 12 hours. See update below.
Somebody stole my work. I was wondering if I should write about it. In a way it is kind of flattering when people like what you write so much that they want to publish it on their own website. Most of the time I don’t care. But in this case there is a particularly distasteful and hypocritical aspect to it. I want that to be known, seen and changed for the sake of integrity.
My second most popular post is called “The Black Wolf And The White Wolf”. It is my version of an old Cherokee tale I heard many years ago. Funnily enough there was no black and white wolf in the original story, as far as I could find. I must have given the wolves opposing colors subconsciously. But what was more interesting to me was that I realized there was a ‘next chapter’ to the story, a chapter that wasn’t told in the original story. The moral of the story is that we have two wolves, a good and a bad one, fighting in our hearts and the wolf that we feed wins. My additional insight was that feeding the good wolf has a much bigger impact on the wolves around us than the bad wolf.
I just found out that the White Wolf Dojo in Sydney uses my story on their website. Head teacher and founder Rachael Crompton must have liked it. She took the whole post, changed the name into ‘A Tale Of Two Wolves‘, made some minor changes to make it look hers and gave it an extra whiff of pseudo honorability and appreciation of the interconnectedness of all beings by dedicating the post to ‘the honor of the indigenous American Indian’ because, she says, ‘their story is our story, for we are all one. The American Indians lived a life of honour to Mother Earth, without which none of us can exist’. Rachael continues by acknowledging the mysterious ways of the universe by dramatically saying ‘I have no idea how this story reached me. But indeed it did. And I remain thankful’.
During the 100 Day Warrior, [insert sarcastic tone of voice] a concept most likely magically appearing at White Wolf Dojo in Sydney soon, I try to transmit the importance of awakening the warrior within and transcending the coward or our ego. As cowards we steal, hide, lie and pretend all the time. Nothing new but difficult to admit. So what is so special about this example? Well, in this case it is somebody who poses as a warrior who does the stealing. Somebody who has trained in Japan and is supposed to be the holder of a warrior lineage sat down, copy pasted an article from the internet, edited the text in such a way it looked like she wrote it herself and then made it look like she was honoring the tradition where she falsely suggested she was borrowing from.
A sensei who steals, lies and takes credit for other peoples work just to be able to pose as more noble and honorable, now that is pretty disgraceful and sad. I have more respect for a boxing gym with a somewhat criminal flavor where street fighters are educated in MMA and later make the newspapers as debt collectors and hired muscle than a dojo where the sensei poses as somebody who transmits noble values but lies and steals. I rather have an honest beating than a dishonest and hypocritical spiritual teacher. At the former I can learn how to become a fighter but at the second I will never learn what it means to be a warrior.
Rachael, as a warrior you have a grave obligation to apologize, correct your mistake and restore the honor of your lineage and your teacher. Please do.
UPDATE: Rachael took offline the post she copied from my website, wrote her own version and added an apology within 12 hours. This was yesterday’s post with stolen content. And here is the new and revised post. All before-mentioned quotes are no longer online. She implies that I wanted to be mentioned personally on her website. That is not my point. It is not about my name, it about the act of erasing the name of the author and replacing it with your own. My point is that a warrior must honor the tradition she represents because other people trust her and she is a role model of dignity. There is a lot of grey on the internet as it is. Don’t say ‘that you don’t know how this story reached me’ while you just copy/pasted it. Anyway, good luck with the dojo, Rachael. Keep feeding your inner white wolf. That black one is a tricky bitch.
This is episode 55 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here or sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coachingsmart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.
Bill Larrabee says
It sounds as if your own black wolf needs a little taming. She was using the knowledge contained in the tale to teach good the value of balance and self-control to her students. THAT, my friend, is the point of the story. Sharing knowledge that improves others’ lives is life-giving and selfless. Insisting on recognition is about ego.
Were I seeking a teacher at this moment, and the two of you taught the same discipline, I would surely select her as the teacher. I read her website, and the story she posted. She seems more concerned with teaching her students selfless information about how to think, rather than what to think. In your post here, anyway, you seem to be far more concerned with inflating yourself in the guise of a thinly disguised, angry ‘white wolf.’ I have seen this self same story copied and pasted into so many memes, forwards and onto countless sites around the web that it is likely Rachael likely DIDN’T have any idea where it came from when she got it. Perhaps one of her students or friends saw it and copied the text into an email of Facebook post to her because they thought the sentiment fit her work. You don’t know; but you assume, and rather than assume the good in a person you chose to assume negativity. This is not the hallmark of a truly enlightened person; and neither is holding on to it, and publicly griping about it. These would be ‘black wolf’ characteristics; not white.
I have read your website as well, and it seems you are on a journey looking to attain enlightenment and self-awareness. That is good and commendable. I suggest you keep looking; while you may have come a long way, it sounds as if you still have a ways to go. Keep feeding that white wolf; the black one can be a real bastard.