He had strongly held positions and became a lightning rod for others with different views. He called those messages "flames". They were almost always a faceless email, seldom a phone call, occasionally a letter. Or, he heard about it in a round-about manner, that "so-and-so said such-and-such at whatever event".
For some reason, I analyzed their content and studied the people and their actions. It became apparent that the flame messages were based on: (1) a poor choice of words; (2) a reader mind apparently closed to a topic; (3) readers emotions triggered by word phrases; (4) A feeling of being "threatened" by message or bulletin content.
Over time, by editing his materials, we reduced the "flame messages" due to the poor choice of words to a bare trickle. Stan didn't have time to review and really think out their probable impact; he'd just jot off a bulletin or message. By having someone edit the bulletins, and later write them, that eliminated most flames due to word choice.
Today, the bulletins may be edited up to 4 or 5 times, but it doesn't always work. It can truly be amazing how a person can "read" what isn't in the material, but seems there because of some inner image/idea/relationship that the words triggered. (Something that exists only in the mind of the perceiver.)
As to the other reasons (above) it was clear that comprehension ended after some emotion had been triggered by a word association by a word or phrase earlier in the message; or a reader could not "allow anything to attack" an inherent conceptualization. To put it differently: the person felt threatened because a strongly held opinion, idea or concept was periled by the words he had just read. (Notice the "he"; it was never from a "she"!)
It is very difficult to make words via digital means have the same effect as words spoken face-to-face where body language can help grasp meanings. The twinkle in the eye of a person who says words face to face is totally missed in messages such as this; that twinkle that communicates 'this is in jest' or 'this is a twist on words', etc. Some people read quickly, and comprehension can suffer, which can trigger some inner anger smoldering in the background from a DIFFERENT subject, happening or event.
People-to-people understanding can be far more difficult than we want it to be. It is a two-way process. Before we blast each other for something "said", we can be far more effective by a "query" instead of a "blast". A query opens doors that a blast closes. Try this: "Joe, please explain what you meant by xxxx."
Those that can do that will find that life is more rewarding.