"Us" and "Them"

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Emma

Con te partirò
Administrator
This should have been posted sooner but I needed some time (overnight) to gather my thoughts and calm down and try to post a rational thread rather than an over reaction.

What started out yesterday as a request for a bit of leeway and some manners towards newly exited Scientologists, turned into a shit fight. The bad thing about that is that it's ugly and unpleasant, but the good thing about it was that it brought out into the open an issue that was festering on ESMB and needed to be exposed so that something can be done about it. There is no passion and upset when things aren't important, so obviously this is an important issue.

I blame myself for a lot of what's been allowed to creep in. I got lazy & complacent as I lost interest in the fight against Scientology. I allowed shit to get through that I'd never have allowed in the early days. And once you lower the standards even a little bit, it gets harder to enforce it the next time. Personal relationships blur the edges too. I like so many folks here and its really much harder to warn or infract a friend that what it is a stranger.

I want to clear up some apparent issues that were raised over the last 48 hours.

Stats:

I don't care about stats. I don't care if ESMB has 20 or 200 or 2000 active members. I don't care about posting stats. I'd rather see 50 quality posts a day rather than 500 rubbish posts. If I was making money from this site with advertising it might be an issue, but it's not. I also don't "collect" people or groups like it's a Facebook game.

Respect:
There seems to be a link in some people's minds between respect and freedom of speech i.e "If i have to be respectful towards others I can't say what I want to say". I do not agree and was surprised to see this sentiment expressed more than once yesterday.

I came to a cross roads yesterday. At one point I'd made a decision to just leave and take all my toys with me. I decided that if certain people want to live in shit then I should just let them. I decided to allow the board to go to rack & ruin because that's where it is ultimately headed unless some action is taken. The new Admin seems to be on vacation and I felt quite powerless to do anything as any authority I had seemed to have vanished overnight considering the backlash I was receiving from some long term posters. This left me feeling sick & sad and so I knew it was not a good choice.

Leaving the board to generate into ARS would not only a terrible ending to what has been created but I realised that it's only a small amount of people who are contributing to this and the others don't deserve it. Also on a more selfish note, I don't want to be the owner and registrant of a board that resembles anything like ARS. Also this would not be helpful to my upcoming court case.

Then I realised I had another choice.

The second choice was to take control back and run the board the way I want it run, the way I've always wanted it run and not play the "try to please everyone game". So that is what I'm doing.

From now on the rules (that have always existed by the way) will be enforced.

They are as follows:
Forum Rules

1. Treat others with respect.
You are to respect every other user on the board despite any personal, religious and political differences. The following will not be tolerated:

* Personal insults
* Ad hominems
* Threats or promotion of violence

2. One user account per person.
The use of 2 or more posting accounts is prohibited. Using a proxy account (or sock puppet) to cause trouble will not be tolerated. If you can't say what you need to say with your user account then it probably shouldn't be said in the first place.

If it is found that you have registered a sock puppet account (by matching IP addresses) the second (and any subsequent accounts) will be deleted without notice and the primary user ID will incur an infraction.

3. No posting of complete copyrighted documents (fair use snippets are accepted)
We don't really want to be bothered by Scientology lawyers and lawsuits because of posted copyrighted material. There are plenty of sites that already host those documents and they can be linked to. Posting "Fair Use" snippets is ok if you want to refer to something to make a point, just don't go posting the entire "History of Man".

4. No private PMs or emails are to be posted without prior permission from the other party.
This is a violation of privacy and won't be tolerated.

5. No posting of other member's personal information.
In this group of ex Scientologists we are bound to run into people who we knew in our former "lives" as Scientologists. Given the extreme violations of privacy already rampant in the church it is quite likely that you may know of some personally embarrassing information about another poster.

For example: you may have known poster "John" in the church and know that he had gotten into trouble for gambling or theft or promiscuity etc. To bring up these personally embarrassing things (whether true or not) as some sort of one-upmanship or as a form of retaliation in an argument is really bad form and will not be tolerated on this message board.

6. Link to long pieces of text where possible.
Instead of copying and pasting long pieces of text, snip the bit you want and link to the rest. Experience shows that the longer your post is the less likely it will be read anyway. Of course if your post (your own words) is quite long because you are telling your personal story, that is different. Personal stories will be always be read no matter how long they are because people are interested.

Media articles may need to be copied in full as the original article often disappears into the archives of the website after a week or two and some get deleted altogether.

7. Respect the moderators.
Moderation is a thankless task. You can't please all the people all the time but the moderators will do their best to be fair to everyone.

If you disagree with a decision a moderator has made please don't make a huge scene on the board. PM or email the moderator in question and put your case forward. Usually disputes can be resolved amicably by doing this. If you are still unhappy with the outcome, email or PM the board administrator who will have the final say.

8. Don't feed the trolls.

By its nature, this board is likely to attract its share of trouble makers. Trolls thrive on attention so the best thing you can do is to ignore them and report any offending post to a moderator who will deal with the situation. Getting into flame wars with a troll is exactly what they want you to do, so don't give them the satisfaction.

In the short term these rules will be strictly enforced because the idea of self moderation has, it seems, slipped away from us. I'm sure this *ability* will be regained quickly and there will be less & less need for moderation. I need everyone's help in this, not just the moderators. If you see an offensive post please use the "Report a post" function that is available from every post on the board. If you are unsure how to do this then please read this thread:

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?p=628

This also applies to excessive nudity. I'm not a prude but seriously do we have to post tits on every thread? It's gotten a bit old IMO.

Now to the point of the thread title - Them & Us.

I believe this is the mentality that has crept into ESMB that has caused the problem. We were all Scientologists (for the most). We all worshiped Hubbard & the Tech in varying degrees and for varying times, so at some point "we" were "them". I think we've forgotten that. We have been out for a while and an attitude of "We know the truth and these dumb asses haven't even begun to scratch the surface" has crept in at times.

This is not the attitude I want ESMB as a board to have. Despite strong opposition I still DO want this to be a soft landing for exes who are willing to look at everything. ESMB will never be right for some who will never look at anything critical and that's ok with me. That's their right. But for for some we are the only place they can go to discuss the real issues of Scientology and get honest answers in a safe environment. At the moment, if it was me in that spot, I wouldn't come here. I wouldn't go to WWP. I wouldn't go to OCMB. I'd be stuck with Pro boards and blogs that while comfortable, would not answer all my questions.

To post on ESMB you need to follow the rules. If you can't or don't want to then please don't post. If you do post and break the rules and continue to do so you will be banned. If you can't accept the purpose of the board and want to fight me on it then you will be banned. I just don't have the time or inclination to fight over this.

I know this will mean that some people will no longer want to post here. ESMB was never supposed to be a board that will fit everyone. It was supposed to be what has been already articulated over & over. If you aren't sure about who & what the board is for please read these threads:

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=3752
http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=264

If this means you feel ESMB is no longer for you then I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I hope you've had some laughs and made some friends and have learned something. I thank you for your contribution & wish you well.

Honestly I'd rather lose 50% of the board today than to host an environment that hurts people. At least the remaining 50% will be here because they want to be.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
I'm glad you mentioned the boobs, I am one who didn't want to say anything about really being over it for fear of the comebacks. Silly I know, but I have also let slide posts that I consider rude and disrespectful without reporting them for quite some time now. I'll change course on that again, I guess coming from a background of KRs it is hard for us sometimes to actually report things we disagree with - but this is a whole different playing field from scientology.

I feel sad that you didn't really get a break. I hope from now on there will be little need for too much emotional involvement of the icky kind.

:thumbsup:
 

Mike Laws

Patron Meritorious
Emma,

You will be happy to know your moderators gave me my first warning/infraction for my spitting the dummy at Zinj.

I promise to play nice too.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
Thank you, Emma. I see things like you do. I hope this changes things for the better.

The only surprise is that some people here are using sock puppets. I had no idea.

TG1
 

Emma

Con te partirò
Administrator
Emma,

You will be happy to know your moderators gave me my first warning/infraction for my spitting the dummy at Zinj.

I promise to play nice too.

Yeah I know! I admit I felt a bit proud when I saw that had occured. :D
 

programmer_guy

True Ex-Scientologist
Yeah, I'll admit that it would be better that way.

I'll even go so far as to say that this would be best behaviour no matter where one goes on the internet, or in real life.
(And, ideally, this philosophy of behavior should include OCMB posts... and anywhere else.)

This is part of being a better person, I guess.
 

Infinite

Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller
Emma's board. Emma's rules. All good.

It is the internet as a whole that provides freedom of speech and licence to do as you wish. A message board, on the other hand, is not a democracy, it does not guarantee freedom of speech, it is not licence to behave as you wish, and nor is it a place where safety and comfort is provided by default. Rather, a message board is the opposite. It is a dictatorship run at the whim of the administrator and mods. The inhabitants of ESMB are fortunate only in that the current dictatorship is a benevolent one.
 

AlphOhm

Traveler of time/space
Welcome back, Emma--sorry that the retirement is postponed.

I'll try to continue playing nice.
 

Hatshepsut

Crusader
Thank you, Emma. I see things like you do. I hope this changes things for the better.

The only surprise is that some people here are using sock puppets. I had no idea.

TG1

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I have been lucky. Although I've had my head still partially up my butt about Scn in many posts the posters here have been kind. The worst I get is ignored......
 
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paradox

ab intra silentio vera
<snip>

Then I realised I had another choice.

The second choice was to take control back and run the board the way I want it run, the way I've always wanted it run and not play the "try to please everyone game". So that is what I'm doing.

<snip>

Really good to have you back. :hug:
 
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