Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Note on Beck v. Cowan

Matthew Dallman tipped us off to the lawsuit filed by Don Beck against Chris Cowan earlier this week. Here is the info Cowan posted at the Spiral Dynamics Gateway:
Information update posted by Chris Cowan, 3/13/06:

Acting on behalf of his company, The Spiral Dynamics Group, Inc., Don Beck has filed a lawsuit against Chris Cowan. The suit, listing The Spiral Dynamics Group, Inc., as Plaintiff is Cause No. 2005-30034-211 in the 211th Judicial District of Texas.

.pdf copy of the Plaintiff's lawsuit
.pdf copy of Defendant's initial answer

Additional filings and consequential actions will be posted here in the interest of disclosure of the facts.
I think this is regrettable, but the feud between these two has been ongoing for quite some time. Back in October, I posted my limited take on the situation, trying to outline the major points of difference and essentially wishing that they could put their differences behind them so that those of us who want to learn the system wouldn't have to do two different certification programs.

I felt that my post actually came down in favor of Cowan's version of Spiral Dynamics, while also noting that he has expressed most of the animosity between the heirs of Graves's work. I did try to justify Wilber's admittedly simplified version of the Spiral, which may have been what earned me the following comments (both posted on the same night, 12/7/05, within a few minutes of each other):
Anonymous said...
Your post is full of half truths and statements that pretend to know what is going on when you don't. You've missed the theory, correct terminology, and core issues from the academic side; you've also missed the interpersonal conflict, political dimensions, and postions of both parties. Do your homework before opining and editorializing about something you know little about.

Anonymous said...
BTW Beck has a "Prime Directive" whereas Graves (the source) had a "prime good" - a Beck distortion of the original meaning of the phrase. Why don't you check this link out? FYI the way to piss off Cowan is to distort, misrepresent, falsify, and spread disinformation - some experts have more expertise than others.
I suspected Cowan or one of his associates/students left these comments. The original post was put up before I attended Beck's certification in Boulder last October. I blogged repeatedly about that certfication experience while I was there. These comments were left a month later.

I have read the suit filed by Beck. In essence, he is accusing Cowan of interferring with SDi business relationships and customers, including but not limited to claiming that Beck has no right to use the Spiral Dynamics name and information, and that only Cowan has that right. [The pdf Cowan posted does not allow text to be copied.]

The comments left on my blog seem to approach the level of interference Beck is suing over, though I think they fall short. I hope I am wrong in my suspicions, but I felt it relevant to the situation as it now exists to post them here and explain the context.

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