The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience

 Subject:      Re: Traffic on alt.religion.bahai versus soc.religion.bahai
From:         Ron House <>
Date:         1997/10/30
Message-ID:   <>
Newsgroups:   alt.religion.bahai,news.groups
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Sharon Bouchard wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Oct 1997 16:47:45 +1000, Ron House <>
> wrote:
> Why do we need a 2nd forum about the faith?  Is something wrong with
> the one we already have?
Definitely. See my other post.
>  Is there a real need for an unmoderated
> forum?
A moderated forum is good for people who want to avoid lots
of irrelevancy, noise, spam, etc. There's a place for it,
but ONLY if it is accompanied by an unmoderated forum
where I can, if I wish, read ANYTHING anyone wants to
say to me. I for one have little interest in sanitised
discussions. If I post an opinion I want to hear ALL
the objections (and I thank you for your vehement
objections to my slip-ups in earlier posts here.) As
Abdul-Baha says, only by the clash of differing
opinions is the spark of truth revealed. I don't want
to think that someone had something useful to say to me,
except that some well-meaning moderator sent it back
because the poster called me an idiot or something.
I'd much rather hear the opinion.
> But I do not think it's unreasonable to expect someone who has a
> complaint about "censorship" to at least attempt to show some evidence
> of some sort to back it up.
A covenant breaker can't post to SRB, ARB is not universal,
ARM sends the message to millions who are not interested,
and that's that. This is why it's censorship. Now it might
be censorship you happen to agree with, but that's another
> Some people who claim censorship have a valid complaint.
> Unfortunately, my experience is that most who complain about it do not
> have (imo) a valid complaint.
As I understand it, your experience concerns mailing lists?
That is quite another matter; a mailing list is run from
YOUR server using YOUR resources, and if you only want
dwarfs with pink nose to post, that's your business. But
the big 8 are carried gratis by government, university, and
company facilities the world over, and are a public
> Whether the complaints about s.r.b. are valid or not, I'm not very
> able to guess, because I haven't seen much that's too concrete to
> support the complaints, nor have I been actively posting to s.r.b.
> under the current moderators long enough to have any ideas about this
> from my own experience.  What little I have seen, well, doesn't look
> like censorship to me, but just moderating people for being off topic
> and the like. That's not censorship.
Yes it is if you remember the difference between mailing lists
and the big 8, UNLESS you h=give the rejected posters an
alternative REASONABLE channel.
> >> Those non-Baha'is who fall into a newsgroup where there's nothing
> >> going on but a couple of peoples'  complaints about moderation of
> >> s.r.b., trolls from s.c.i., and the inevitable "anti cult tracts" that
> >> will show up in time, might well mistake the content of such a group
> >> for being representative of what the Baha'i Faith teaches.
Which is just too bad. The internet wasn't set up as a free
system for teaching the faith. It was set up to propagate
information, and that includes the information you like
(SRB) and information that you may or may not like (or at
least it should).
> If someone wanted to create a sig called talk.sharon.bouchard, I might
> vote against that too.  So what?  You can still say what you like
> about me elsewhere, and I wouldn't lift an ESC key to stop you from
> doing so.
This is an important point. NO!!! I would NOT vote against
talk.sharon.bouchard; I would abstain. Your group would fail
through lack of 100 voters wanting to discuss the subject,
but NOT through my disapproval.
> >> The other question I have about the creation of t.r.b. is whether that
> >> would siphon off the participation in the existing s.r.b., and by
> >> doing so, harm the existing group.  We all have only so much time on
> >> our hands.  To split things off may dilute our efforts more than its
> >> worth.
> >
> >>Who cares what happens to your censored group? I'll post there
> Since I'm a user of that group *I* care.
Fine. But you shouldn't try to force me to use it so the
traffic is high enough for you to have a good time.
> If I think creating a new group would harm participation in an
> existing group that I participate on, why should I help anyone do it?
You need not do so; that's why people abstain. The question is
simple: assuming there are no technical problems with TRB, are
there 100 people in the world who want to use it? If so, they
should be allowed to. Stopping them by force (i.e. using your
numbers to outvote them) smacks of confrontation and everything
the Baha'i Faith is NOT supposed to stand for, IMHO.
> If you have a problem with this concept, that is, er, well, your
> problem.  Sorry, I can't think of what else to say to explain it any
> clearer.
I have a problem with defending something you like by preventing
me having something I like.
> The only thing that seems to have stopped you thus far is the fact
> that you seem not to have explored the existing talk.* hierarchy very
> carefully, in which case, afaic, you stopped yourself.  I had nothing
> to do with that, nor did anyone else.
As I said elsewhere, when I write a post, I want to know that
lots of the people who might be interested would read it.
Enquirers after the Baha'i faith will subscribe to
SRB certainly, and TR.misc maybe - I'd guess a 5 or 10% maybe.
You prevent me talking to the other 90-odd %. If TRB existed
these people would likely read it. Remember, just being
able to put a message in a repository is not communicating
unless there is some reasonable chance the message will
be read by INTERESTED recipients.
> So thus far I conclude, from the evidence I have to hand, if there's
> an "organization" anywhere they sure are freakin' *DISorganized* about
> it, because I've posted prominently here since the RFD was issued, but
> no one's said squat to me about "joining" any "effort" to do anything.
Sorry, that last remark was censored by the moderator for
bad language.     :-)
Ron House
An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because
people refuse to see it.         -- James Michener, "Space"