From what I remember, the cease and desist order was indeed listed as the reason for deciding to change the name. I don’t know for certain what exactly was posted outside of Tycom Systems BeShare server, as that was where I lurked and where pretty much all the active devs in the community communicated as well. I also remember that Haiku was the leading name in all the polls that I saw. This was generally well known before WalterCon 1, where the official unveiling of the new name occurred. I can’t speak for your exact experience in the community at the time. I do remember that any and all news in the community was for the most part discussed in the BeShare chats before anywhere else. This was my reasoning for getting my news there.
Yes there were 100s of suggested names. Most of which didn’t exactly portray the image that the project wanted to known for. Yes, it was Michael Phipps who announced the name at WalterCon. No, there wasn’t a secret coup that chose the name as you suggest. Haiku was by far the most popular name in any discussion or poll that I witnessed before the announcement. It just wasn’t made official until WalterCon. This was due to securing a NPC with the name, domain names, trademark process, etc. Nothing official was announced until this process was completed to deter name squatters from hijacking the new name before it was secured. Even so, this didn’t prevent haiku.org from being squatted on.
It seems to me that perhaps you may have suggested a name that wasn’t chosen and have bad feelings due to this. If this is the case, I’m not sure what to tell you.