RK is a pretty informal guy who does not stand on prestige, status or ceremony.
We act and dress informally.
We are not afraid to express our opinions, whether or not others agree with us.
We eschew political correctness, preferring truth to the sugar-coated falsehood, duplicity and lies which seem to have permeated 'modern life's' political correctness.
In rugDUMB these attitudes plus our long time standing as a collector, who gets far more than his share of great early rugs; a researcher who has proven his expertise and penchant to lead; as well as our unabashed willingness to disseminate comment, criticism and rebuke to those in rugDUMB, like a dennis dodds, who actions have abused any and all sense of honesty, fair play and righteousness, have made us a target.
Also because RK does not suffer fools, cheats and dishonesty whether expressed at others or our self (and a number of ruggies have gotten on the other side of us because of their cheating ways) we have made additional enemies who, instead of contrition and admitting their dishonesty when caught or exposed, have absurdly tried to blame us and gone off believing, and telling others, we are the criminal and they are the victim.
This deflection of responsibility is something most petty thieves, con-men, phoneys and charlatans display when caught -- soon afterwards they invariably play the victim.
So, in the end, RK has been falsely accused of all kinds of alleged but unenumerated 'dastardly' acts.
We have had completely absurd fantastical accusations made against us and in general we have assumed, in the eyes of many who donít know us as well as they know their mailman, the position of an ogre in rugDUMB.
Frankly, RK doesn't give a flying fuck about what others think or say about us --from the early 1980's we became accustomed to rugDUMB's big name honchos, like franses, thompson, sailer, pinner, dodds, tabibnia, bernheimer, etc fabricating tall tales about us and our rug collection.
Why did they do so?
Simply put because RK was a threat -- we were living in Europe most of the time and had become friendly with a number of the top collectors, like Kirchheim and others, who were the bread and butter for these big name dealers.
RK has never played rug-dealer games.
We do not enter into pool arrangements at auctions, we do not work with other dealers to bamboozle clients and customers, we do not have two or three tiered pricing for what we sell, nor do we cheat clients and sell inferior art-works for outlandishly high prices.
So all in all RK's independence, refusal to go along with rugDUMB's legendary and well deserved reputation for dishonesty and chicanery, our long-standing presence in this field, our great connections to source early and important weavings and our demonstrated expertise have all combined to make us that target we mentioned.
Many in rugDUMB have spread vicious slander and ridiculous rumor and innuendo about us, and while we often laugh at the stupidity and incredulity of these 'attacks', some of them, like the one we are now publishing below, are just so revolting they are way past impertinence.
The author of the fantasy below is j. barry o'connell whose career in rugDUMB is as checkered, and as stained, as a table cloth in a cheap neighborhood Italian restaurant.
Mr o'connell burst upon the rug scene in the early 1990ís when he was selling airport-art rugs, fakes and new reproductions on eBAY.
At some point mr oconnell started not sending the rugs eBAY buyers had paid for, as well as not paying his consigners.
Needless to say o'connell did not get away with this dishonesty for long, he got busted and fled the scene owing much to many.
He then reappeared as a born again Christian and, as we have heard it, repaid a few of the more egregious debts he had engendered and promised to repay others sometime in the future.
Morphing himself from eBAY crook to rug pundit with a website was o'connell's next move.
RK met o'connell then, sometime in late 1993 or early 1994, when he published on the internet his inexpert opinions about the pieces RK formerly owned and sold in the December, 1990 Tent Band Sale.
At this time, circa 1993/4, RK was new to the internet and when we discovered the stupid and totally moronic comments a rug-idiot and nobody like o'connell published about some of our old Turkmen collection it propelled us to call him and give him both barrels.
After listening to our displeasure o'connell immediately got contrite and profusely apologized.
He told us he would remove what he had written and begged our forgiveness.
Whether or not o'connell was being truthful or not in his apologies is still a question we ask ourself but he did continue to apologize and soon removed what he had written as he said he would.
RK doesn't hold grudges and o'connell's contrition and the eagerness he professed to want to "learn about rugs" truly did not endear him to us but it did allow an initial, and brief, relationship to develop.
When we first called o'connell, and gave him a piece of our mind for his uncalled for and incorrect comments about the twenty early Turkmen weavings we offered in the Tent Band Sale, RK was in San Francisco.
About a month or so later we left for Europe and as was our usual route we flew to NY and spent a week or so there before going across the Atlantic.
While on the east coast we made, and had, an appointment in Washington, DC and since o'connell was at the time living in Maryland we arranged to meet him at his home.
Arriving at his place, we met is wife Jodi and spent a few hours talking about rugs with o'connell.
He also showed us some pieces but they were pedestrian and totally uninteresting.
However, when RK mentioned starting the non-profit Weaving Art Museum and our plans for a website, o'connell started telling us how he was an expert web-guy and would be glad to build a website for us in exchange for our helping him learn about old rugs.
Not knowing o'connell was blowing a whirlwind of bs and it was his brother and not he who had built his website, RK accepted his offer and over the next few months discussed matters with o'connell by telephone.
Eventually RK learned o'connell did not know how to build a website and we did not appreciate his bullshitting us about this but we did not do what we should of at the time and cut him off.
RK went and found a web-master, our first of many, built the initial version of the Weaving Art Museum website, and continued to still talk with o'connell about rugs.
It was clear to RK from the get-go, and still today, o'connell knows next to nothing about historic, antique or even old rugs.
RK has never heard or read a single original thought from oíconell, who is generally nothing but a cut-and-paster of other peopleís work.
The brief relationship with oíconnell ended on our behest when RK told oíconnell we were tired of reading his stupid posturing as a rug-expurt and even more so his beating the drum for others in rugDUMB, like pinner, dodds, franses, thompson,etc, who far more deserved censure than praise for their actions.
It was at this juncture oíconnell became another RK hater and quite honestly RK didnít care then nor do we now.
However, and itís a big however, when someone publishes a disgustingly incorrect and false bunch of defamatory nonsense about RK like oíconnell has done he definitely will not escape our notice.
The following has been on the internet for several years and even though oíconnell had told us in the past he will remove it he hasnít.
So here is perhaps the most outlandish screed of bullshit lies, slander and defamation anyone has ever published about RK.
Recently we wrote oíconnell and told him to get a lawyer because he will need one but unfortunately until we can learn his address we cannot proceed legally.
This is why we offered to pay someone to give it to us and that offer is still on the table Ė 200 dollars to anyone who can provide oíconnellís present address and phone number.
Email RK at rugkazbah dot com
Needless to say RK is pissed as shit at oíconnell and he will soon reap what he has sown.
That's why this morning we decided to post oíconnellís way past impertinent and totally untrue accusations.