No, he is referring to the two parts of the lens -- the part in front of the shutter (front element), and the part behind the shutter (rear element).
I've been there myself, have learned the hard way to check that my gear is working properly before blaming it. So far it very consistently worked as it should. I, however, haven't always been up to standard.
Mark, Check the fresnel/GG. If they are correctly installed and you focused corectly then you can assume it is not the camera at fault for hte focus issues. The exposure issue is likely a result of you trying to use a broken shutter. With a good shutter and lens you shouldn't be having problems.
From our perspective, though, you need to be more descriptive about your problems and your methods. There are a number of "operator errors" that Dan is implying, like:
failure to load film in the holder correctly
failure to focus accrately
changing focus when inserting film holder
not using a steady tripod and cable release
As Dan correctly said earlier... don't be too quick to blame the equipment. You may need to delve deeper into knowledge of how to photograph using LF equipment instead.
There's always the homepage - http://www.largeformatphotography.info/
One man's Mede is another man's Persian.