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Fwd: Paradigm Conflicts, Repost from EckankarTruth

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  • mishmisha9
    One more cross-post regarding Leaf s criticisms of this site, ESA, from EckankarTruth. Posted for the archives here for anyone interested in these discussions
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 7, 2007
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      One more cross-post regarding Leaf's criticisms of this site,
      ESA, from EckankarTruth. Posted for the archives here for
      anyone interested in these discussions or for any future
      references which might be of value or importance:

      --- In eckankartruth@yahoogroups.com, "tomleafeater"
      <tianyue@...> wrote:

      I've been thinking about the conflicts occurring in the last few
      days in the ex-eckankar groups of ESA and ET. I've been asking
      myself just what is at the root of the conflicts. I see many factors
      coming together. Some I won't go into, since it would only stir the
      pot even more.

      But one factor seems to me to be the conflicting paradigms. To
      quote Webster:

      Paradigm: Broadly, a philosophical or theoretical framework of
      any kind.

      We all have our paradigms. We believe in them, live by them,
      sometimes without even realizing we even have them.

      Since I left eckankar, which was officially about ten years ago,
      and unofficially about sixteen years ago (which is a lot of time to
      reflect about eckankar), I've been examining the paradigms I've
      accumulated from having been an eckist. I joined when I was
      sixteen, which is an age in which kids are very suggestible and
      impressionable. Patti Simson, Paul Twitchell, Millie Moore,
      Helen Baird, Jerry Mulvin, Ron Lavaneri, and many others were
      around in my area in those days, and I hung on every word they
      said. They were my mentors. I went to the lectures, attended the
      meetings, listened, and assimilated everything.

      Paradigms are created by what we accept as part of our
      personal ideologies. When people leave eckankar, they do so for
      different reasons. We're not nearly so alike as it may seem to the
      casual observer.

      Most who leave agree that the plagiarism, lies, concocted
      histories and non-existent masters are a major factor in their
      disenchantment.

      For some, this is where it stops. They may still continue to
      accept the paradigms they learned in eckankar. They will usually
      relate to the often expressed adage, `don't throw the baby out
      with the bathwater.' They retain most of the philosophy, the
      spiritual principles, the jargon, even some of the clichés'.

      Others who leave might go a little further in their review of
      eckankar. Since there was so much gullibility that led to
      accepting eckankar, they might wonder what else they may have
      accepted that isn't true or real. So they examine the eckankar
      theology and ideology, the sayings, the cultural attitudes, the
      memes. I remember Lurk, a well known `detractor' at A.R.E.
      (another volatile internet discussion group) questioning the
      existence of karma, reincarnation, and other well accepted
      concepts found in eckankar. Some even became atheists, even
      if for only a period of time, as they tried to sort out fact from fiction,
      and the reasonable from the unreasonable.

      So there are a spectrum of beliefs found in the ex-eckankar
      community. Some are barely different from the eckists in their
      core beliefs, accepting the view that eckankar was borrowed
      from other completely worthy belief systems. I must admit that I
      would describe some of the moderators at ESA, if not all of the
      three, to be in that group.

      Many of the phrases, jargon, and well known words are still often
      used in many of the posts. That is, of course, a common
      approach to those who leave eckankar. I don't mind that so long
      as these aren't used to invalidate others' differing paradigms.

      At the other end of the spectrum would be people who disavow
      just about everything eckankar teaches. Most of these were very
      vocal on A.R.E. for awhile, and most have gone on with their
      lives, sickened and bored from all of the debating that went on
      there several years ago.

      And there are the rest, who fall somewhere in various degrees
      between these two ends of the spectrum. I am somewhere
      between, and am still undergoing a process of change.

      Its difficult and even impossible to make too many
      generalizations about the ex-eckist community, since each
      individual will find his or her own place in the post-eckankar
      world.

      And the ideologies do include political ideologies. Many think
      eckankar is apolitical or above indulging in the world political
      scene. This is nonsense. Eckankar leaders have often made
      comments about their political and economic views. This has
      especially been true of Harold Klemp, who has taken eckankar
      far to the right.

      Klemp would naturally have attracted more people from this
      sector of society than his predecessors.

      In my own case, I've enjoyed the process of reflecting upon
      everything I ever assimilated from eckankar, and turning it over in
      my mind (yes, I do believe in using the intellect) and in my heart
      or consciousness (not going to use the over-used word, `soul,'
      although that word would suffice --it just has too many
      associated meanings connected to my past in eckankar for my
      taste, at the moment). I don't accept all that eckankar has to
      teach in terms of its borrowed philosophy.

      Eckankar was founded upon the false premise that Paul
      Twitchell was the real deal, the authentic, virtual `god-man' in a
      long line of god-like masters. In my mind, the false premises
      don't stop there. Much of PT's and HK's teachings and the
      philosophy (yes, that's the right word) are not consistent with my
      views. Its taken time for me to sort it all out, a process that will
      never really end, but I don't tend to use any eckankar terms,
      words, jargon, clichés' or platitudes. Once one term is
      employed, too many years of usage has created strings that
      connect that one word to all the others, making it too loaded with
      erroneous definitions or associations. So, in most cases, I
      prefer to start anew and find new ways to phrase things.

      So, we all come armed to the teeth with our paradigms. In the
      ex-eckankar community, there is no great consensus on any of
      these ideologies. We're a very diverse group. That diversity has
      not always been apparent, since people who post tend to want to
      get along, and they tend to avoid conflicts if possible, so they will
      go along to some extent with the prevailing status quo. In other
      words, whatever seems to be the predominant, prevailing
      paradigm among those who seem to be the majority is what
      people will flow along with. That is human nature. People want to
      be accepted, and they want to get along.

      So who has the most influence in any online discussion?
      Whose paradigms prevail? First would be the moderators,
      depending on the level of participation and control that is exerted.
      One moderator alone will exert considerable influence, and this
      is required to some degree to keep any semblance of harmony
      and functionality in a group.

      At ESA, there are, according to my personal observations, three
      moderators. Most of the posts are from those three. Even on the
      other two ex-eckankar groups, the three have in the past been
      very vocal. Couple this with the great deal of behind the scenes
      communication between them, they tend to present a unified
      consensus in their online approach. If people don't know of the
      private consensus building that occurs, they might be under the
      illusion that three individuals happen to coincidentally share the
      same or similar views. There is more to the unity than meets the
      eye.

      I've enjoyed many of their posts over the months. I also must
      admit that I've been uncomfortable at times with the dominating
      influence, since they have set the tone in all three groups to a
      large degree. I don't always agree or feel comfortable with that
      tone. And as a result, I've been uncomfortable posting here at
      times.

      After these events, I understand better why I felt the way I did, and
      what underlying dynamics were at work behind the scenes.
      Sometimes conflicts bring out the truth, and so there is
      something good that can come out of it all.

      About Zoey: It has been revealed to me from various quarters
      that the three ESA moderators seem to think Zoey is an Eckist. I
      personally don't see the evidence in terms of what would matter,
      which would be in her public posts. I like her posts, and I frankly
      could care less if it would turn out that she was an eckist. She
      hasn't offended me with anything nearly as "ecky" as have some
      of the vocal eckankar critics. What an irony.

      I also wonder if the ESA moderators suspected others without
      warrant. The treatment of Marla might be understood from this
      perspective.

      In the past, I've not been very enthusiastic about there being too
      many ex-eckankar groups, since it tends to thin down
      participation in any one group. But now, I see the need for
      several groups, in order to accommodate the various degrees of
      disassociation from eckankar, and the varying paradigms and
      ideologies.

      I would start a new group, but frankly, I don't want to spend the
      time needed to keep it going, to keep interest up, and to
      moderate incoming posts. If I were to start a new group, zoey's
      brand of posts that I have publicly seen would be welcome. In
      fact, most posts would be welcome, even those that would vastly
      differ from my own. But I would set a different, tolerant, much
      more diverse tone. Now, there is no way for anyone to completely
      avoid the creation of a certain ambiance as a moderator of a
      group. I have enjoyed Sharon's very open and tolerant style. And
      she has a way of bringing humor to these conlicts that is
      wonderfully disarming. But Sharon isn't the only influence here
      these days, as anyone can see from recent events.

      I'm sure if I were a moderator there would be people who would
      abhor my style. I know there are some here who would love to
      put a proverbial cork in my mouth. Some will like what I have to
      say, some won't and some will yawn indifferently. My partner
      Lisa manages all three on any given day....(heh, heh)

      Perhaps, in the long run, I am "listening to a different drummer,"
      and I don't really fit in here enough for the other participants. At
      the moment, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with the surprising
      battle being waged from the bullypulpit. I can't answer slander
      when there is a threat of censureship from the ESA moderators.

      II think I'm outgrowing all this. Its been so many years since I've
      left eckankar, that maybe the changes that have unfolded in my
      perspective may no longer jive with some of you. For what are
      now obvious reasons, I sometimes can't stand posting here,
      even though I sometimes feel compelled to weigh in, after my
      many years of membership in eckankar.

      More later, maybe....but I am soon to go my own way, me thinks.
      I'll probably always drop in from time to time.

      My thanks to all those who have made supportive comments
      about my posts. You all know who you are, and I've truly, truly
      appreciated every kind word of feedback I've received over the
      years. The criticisms too, have sometimes helped. I've not
      always returned replies to you all, but don't think I didn't take
      notice of good things said.

      And people who want to continue cutting me to pieces, just give it
      a rest, eh? I'm trying to back slowly toward the door to make a
      dignified exit, in the next few days. Save your diagnostics and
      epithets for someone who really makes a good target. People
      jumping into rivers or disrobing at airports might be a good
      suggestion.

      Leaf

      --- End forwarded message ---

      #####################
      I am attaching this threaded post to the original
      one posted by Leaf on ET along with my inserted
      comment above it right here.

      Mish's inserted comments:
      In ET message #6734--Leaf replies to Mish's response
      to his Paradigm Conflicts. Contained in Leaf's reply is
      his comments about conducting his "little personal
      experiment" which shows that for sometime Leaf has
      been bothered by the lack of activity on the ET BB. It
      seems that he decided that it must be because a small
      group of posters from ESA who he believes have
      "dominated" and set a "tone" that he himself does not like
      and therefore, he has concluded that this must be the
      reason for ET going silent for long periods of time. This
      seems to be his conclusion, so beyond all these discussions
      being "just about Marla" that Leaf has claimed, one can see
      that there is more--and it really is more about Leaf and his
      opinions and judgments which are based on his questionable
      "little personal experiment." His comments about having
      conducted his little experiement shows me his real
      motivation for jumping in as he did with his critical
      analysis of ESA and some of its members.

      Also, I don't really see where or how Leaf arrived at these
      numbers he posted which he feels shows some sort of
      "sin" for posting too much? I looked back once again at
      my own posts. When one searches for an author's posts
      by keying in the poster's name on these yahoo groups BBs
      what comes up is the list of the poster's posts along with
      any other posts by other people that have responded or
      who have mentioned that poster's name in other posts.
      So that would include cross-posting as well by other people.
      In other words, the count of messages that are pulled up
      under any one posters name is not the accurate count of
      posts by that person but also includes other people's posts
      as well. I am wondering if this is how Leaf achived this total?
      In my own count which only went back to Jan. 2007, I did by
      clicking on each month and individually tallying the posts. It
      took a little bit of time, and my count might have been slightly
      off due to innocent error, but it is fairly accurate. I didn't begin
      posting on ET until sometime in 2005, I forget the month.

      Some ESA members have been faulted for dominating the BBs.
      And setting a tone that some people might not like. This is the
      actual wrong it seems for these posters, myself included. I plan
      to not post on ET any further, or at least for a time. My main
      activities in posting have been on this site, so I will remain here
      for the most part.

      Leaf's count of posts on ET by the three "bad"people which I
      believe is not accurate:
      "Total Posts by MISH/PROMETHEUS/LIZ: 453"

      Before believing this number, I'd advise interested people to
      do their own count. In fact, that is what people need to do in
      general--before basing one's own opinion on someone else's
      opinion, check the actual facts. This is how one can control one's
      own logic and critical thinking--by doing his/her own work!
      Obviously, this is true for everyone, but of course, our focus
      has been on the deceits and lies that eckankar is based on.
      Interesting how we can see that it pertains to every situation of
      personal concern, so it reaches beyond the eckankar discussions.
      I would truly hope that people will continue to check the actual
      facts for themselves--especially when facts are based on
      false assumptions and faulty reasoning. ~ Mish : )

      #####################

      Anyway, here's Message #6734 from ET:

      Re: Paradigm Conflicts

      [This post is a correction and completion of the post I just sent,
      which I sent by accident before I'd finished the post. There are only
      a few corrections.]

      Okay, I see a number of posts about all the nonsense today, and I'll
      try answer them in the order posted, time permitting. I haven't
      answered each and every critical post thrown in my direction, because
      some are just restatements of the same thing, and so I HAVE let the
      water roll off my back to a large degree. As it is, I have a lot of
      practice doing that, having been slandered on a daily basis over at
      A.R.E. when I was posting there.

      So this is nothing new. In fact, the debate feels exactly like A.R.E.
      to me.

      Anyway, your post makes some statements that deserve some comment,
      especially about comparing actual numbers of posts that are alluded
      to. I can't believe we're doing this here...this sort of numbers
      comparison occurred over at A.R.E. all the time. My checking with
      Yahoo shows far more posts on ET by the three of you than my own
      posts.

      Anyway, see below for the numbers I found.

      Also, to remind everyone reading these posts:

      This entire debate is not about me, but about the horrible way the
      ESA moderators treated an innocent, unsuspecting person who made a
      very normal, acceptable, relevant post. Her name is Marla. The
      attempts to make all this about me won't work, so far as I'm
      concerned. I think people posting here are actually forgetting
      already what sparked this entire firestorm.

      Frankly, regardless of what is said I will never support anyone being
      treated the way you folks treated Marla. If it happens again, you may
      find me right back here again bringing it up all over again.

      Read my point by point answers below.

      MISH WROTE:
      >
      > Leaf,
      >
      > If you truly want to leave in dignity, then I suggest that
      > you stop cutting people to pieces! I would ignore this
      > post of yours but for this particular part of your message
      > which I feel needs to be defended:
      >
      > You wrote:
      > "At ESA, there are, according to my personal observations, three
      > moderators. Most of the posts are from those three. Even on the
      > other two ex-eckankar groups, the three have in the past been
      > very vocal. Couple this with the great deal of behind the scenes>
      communication between them, they tend to present a unified
      > consensus in their online approach. If people don't know of the
      > private consensus building that occurs, they might be under the
      > illusion that three individuals happen to coincidentally share the
      > same or similar views. There is more to the unity than meets the
      > eye.
      >
      > I've enjoyed many of their posts over the months. I also must
      > admit that I've been uncomfortable at times with the dominating
      > influence, since they have set the tone in all three groups to a
      > large degree. I don't always agree or feel comfortable with that
      > tone. And as a result, I've been uncomfortable posting here at
      > times."
      >
      > First of all, if you are counting me as a moderator on ESA, you
      > are wrong. I am not.
      >


      LEAF REPLIES:

      As to my statement that Mish is a moderator at ESA, along with Liz
      and Prometheus: Mish may not be "officially" listed as moderator, but
      it is abundantly clear Mish holds a very close involvement and
      connection to the moderators of the group. So I stand by my
      statement. The three work closely together at ESA.


      MISH WROTE:

      > Secondly, I decided to check the messages on ET to see if indeed
      > if any or all of us that you are accusing have dominated this BB.
      (I
      > didn't check the other ex-eckankar site, because I'm not bringing
      > it into the discussion even though you reference it, but I can say
      > for myself I do not frequently post there.)
      >
      > From January until now, here's the message numbers for those
      > you are accusing of dominating the ET board and setting the tone,
      > plus your totals:
      >
      > Prometheus: 18 posts
      > Liz: 36
      > Mish: 35
      > Leaf: 109
      >
      > I'm sorry but if you want to point a finger at anyone dominating
      > the BBs, especially this site ET, well, Leaf, you need to point it>
      at yourself. Total the number of messages by the 3 ESA members
      > you are "cutting to pieces" and you will see that it doesn't exceed
      > your number of posts on this BB. Am I going to accuse you of
      > setting a tone, am I going to accuse you of dominating the BB?
      > No! But I am not going to allow you to get away with this cheap
      > shot of yours. Put your guns away--haven't you noticed you're
      > firing blanks?



      LEAF REPLIES:

      Now, this is interesting. I checked the numbers (I can't believe
      we're actually comparing numbers on an ex-eckankar group), and here's
      what I discovered:

      Total Posts by MISH/PROMETHEUS/LIZ: 453

      Total Posts by TOMLEAFEATER: 193

      Furthermore, the majority of my posts (112 posts) were made during
      December 22, 2006 and April 10, 2007. What you aren't aware of is
      that during those months I was actually trying out a little personal
      experiment. I'd noticed ET was not very active at the time. I hadn't
      been posting much, and I began to wonder what would happen to levels
      of participation if someone put some energy into ET with a few posts.
      So I decided to try this experiment. I started posting, and kept it
      up, and I noticed other people began to post more in response. ET
      started to come alive. I just wanted to confirm to myself that this
      would happen. It did. After April 10, I stopped posting as much.
      Things pretty much went back to lower participation by everyone.
      Before that, my posting levels were fairly average.

      Thus, I stand by my comments that the three of you have a good
      percentage of influence on ET. Just look at the last day or two.


      MISH WROTE:

      > Thirdly, how would you know if there is a "great deal of
      > communication" going on among the participants on ESA?
      > Speculation does not win your argument--it unjustly
      > accuses others you seem bent on harming.


      LEAF REPLIES:

      I know there is communication behind the scenes by a series of
      observations and also by statements made by various people in private
      emails. How often do you and Prometheus have communication? How often
      does Promethues communicate with his "offical" co-moderator, Liz?
      You all had well-developed, identical ideas about Zoey, for example,
      that you all shared. How did that consensus come about? It wasn't in
      normal posting, that is obvious. Even Sharon, in a private email,
      revealed that she was aware of the ESA moderator's private concerns
      about Zoey and the unsubstantiated allegations she's an eckist. So
      there is back-channel communication occurring. Denying the obvious
      just makes it look as if you've something to hide.


      MISH WROTE:
      >
      > If you truly care about the ex-eckankar/anti-eckankar groups at
      all,
      > you would not be tearing down any of the sites. I really don't
      > understand your objective here, other than to create disunity which
      > to me would be an eckie thing to do.
      >


      LEAF REPLIES:

      If I really cared, I wouldn't be tearing down sites? What sophistry.
      Have you already forgotten what this is all about?
      Read this carefully:

      This firestorm is about the way the ESA moderators treated an
      innocent, unsuspecting person who made a very normal, acceptable,
      relevant post. Remember Marla? Frankly, I will never support anyone
      being treated the way you folks treated Marla. If it happens again,
      you may find me right back here again bringing it up all over again.


      MISH WROTE:
      > Finally, I am not aware of there being conflicts between the ESA
      > and ET sites--not as a group! I wouldn't have posted here now,
      > but to set the record straight regarding your false allegations
      > and exaggerations of ESA and some of its members in this last
      > post of yours.


      LEAF REPLIES:

      The conflicts have touched both sites, as is obvious.

      MISH WROTE:
      >
      > I do expect that you will respond with more "cutting to pieces,"
      > but that's okay. I don't plan to respond so you are free to do as
      > you please with your continuation of destructive criticisms of
      > ESA on this BB. It must make you feel good, huh?

      LEAF REPLIES:

      Well, since you can't manipulate the posts here, you will have to
      contend with my answer. How's it feel to not have control?

      Leafeater (former brother of the leaf who ate the leaf and left)
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