For those who have been around the Feldenkrais community for many years, the passage below is old news? Or not so much? When Bonnie Humiston, two-time Guild President and one of Moshe’s original american students, graciously gave me her time in a podcast last year, I had not read the passage below. Otherwise, I would have asked her about it.
Though I do not have the original letter, the quotation below is from a lawsuit filing, so I have no reason to doubt is veracity. Would love to post the original letter if anyone would like to send it to me.
June 4, 1985
“I’m sure that in the fall last year, I was very much taken with the notion of owning a service mark, and all the power and implications that went with that, and I was responding positively to Fred Goldberg’s [attorney] position that we were the owners of the FI mark and we should do all we could to keep it. However, several weeks ago, I began being haunted by the question, “Are we really the owner of the marks?” My stomach churned…. these are Moshe’s marks, how can we call them ours… . By what authority do we call ourselves owners – maybe we need another legal opinion; what legal grounds do we have to call ourselves owners. Frankly I was scared.”
I have a great deal of respect for Bonnie in writing a letter like that and raising the issue. In my view, it takes a great deal of courage to do so. What Bonnie’s original letter means in the larger issues of guild history and legality of the service marks, I do not know. To a certain extent, I do not care. But I do think that in a practice and community in which awareness is so important, we cannot afford to wall our selves of from any facts or information that might help us reflect on our own history, development and sense of self.
By the way: I heard that there was an early Guild meeting in which the idea of voluntarily giving up the service marks was discussed. Does anyone have any information on that? Are there any minutes or written records of the meeting? I though that there was a FeldyForum or Feldigest post mentioning it, but I cannot find it.