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  • thunderhoofdesigns
    There are many challenges facing the Pagan community today. I hope this will be a safe and supportive forum for us to discuss sensitive issue without rancor.
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 21, 2006
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      There are many challenges facing the Pagan community today. I hope
      this will be a safe and supportive forum for us to discuss sensitive
      issue without rancor.

      Welcome to Ethical Witches,
      Stephanie
    • Flamboyan
      Thank you so much Stephanie for creating a group to discuss the worst part of being in a part of the Pagan Community or any group.... Flamboyan
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 22, 2006
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        Thank you so much Stephanie for creating a group to discuss the worst part of being in a
        part of the Pagan Community or any group....

        Flamboyan


        --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns" <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
        >
        > There are many challenges facing the Pagan community today. I hope
        > this will be a safe and supportive forum for us to discuss sensitive
        > issue without rancor.
        >
        > Welcome to Ethical Witches,
        > Stephanie
        >
      • thunderhoofdesigns
        Flamboyan, Aw shucks, I ve been thinking about doing this for a long time. I kept putting it off because I m so busy with CUUPS work, but considering what
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 22, 2006
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          Flamboyan,

          Aw shucks, I've been thinking about doing this for a long time. I
          kept putting it off because I'm so busy with CUUPS work, but
          considering what I've seen on some of the other e-lists, I decided it
          was time.

          I remember how pained and disappointed I was the first time I saw
          unethical behavior in the Pagan community, somehow I thought we were
          better than that. Eventually I realized that there are "problem
          children" within any faith. The Christians shun people like David
          Koresh or Jim Jones (to cite some pretty extreme examples) and don't
          feel these people reflect their values, although they are ostensibly
          Christian. I don't say this to rag on the Christians, just to give
          the first example that comes to my mind.

          Pagans are *very* tolerant and accepting people, and I think for the
          most part that is one of our strength. At the same time, we
          sometimes turn away and don't speak up when someone steps out of
          line. Where do we draw that line? At what point does the behavior
          of one person disrupt the spiritual quest for the group? What should
          we do about that?

          These are some of the questions tumbling around in my mind. See, I
          didn't even wait till this evening to get started...

          Namaste,
          Stephanie


          P.S. CUUPS is the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, for
          those of you who don't know. I coordinate the Yew Grove Chapter
          (http://www.thunderhoofdesigns.com/yew_cuups.html) in Austin, TX, but
          if you would like to find a group in your area, check out:
          http://www.cuups.org and click on "Chapters".

          --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "Flamboyan"
          <druidherbalist@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thank you so much Stephanie for creating a group to discuss the
          worst part of being in a
          > part of the Pagan Community or any group....
          >
          > Flamboyan
          >
          >
          > --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
          <thunderhoof@> wrote:
          > >
          > > There are many challenges facing the Pagan community today. I
          hope
          > > this will be a safe and supportive forum for us to discuss
          sensitive
          > > issue without rancor.
          > >
          > > Welcome to Ethical Witches,
          > > Stephanie
          > >
          >
        • KathyAnn
          Yes, in my own circle I have seen some very questionable actions that could harm others allowed without comment from the group and such has greatly troubled me
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 22, 2006
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            Yes, in my own circle I have seen some very questionable actions that could harm others allowed without comment from the group and such has greatly troubled me leading me to isolate myself as my form of disapproval.  I recognize that does nothing to prevent the harm or solve the problem but I feel helpless to intervene because I feel doing so would be out of place and/or judgmental of me (or viewed that way).  

             


            (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

          • thunderhoofdesigns
            I can t say I haven t done this, because I certainly have. Maybe it s due to my approaching cronehood, but I ve become progressively less willing to remain
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 22, 2006
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              I can't say I haven't done this, because I certainly have. Maybe
              it's due to my approaching cronehood, but I've become progressively
              less willing to remain silent.

              I think our silence gives tacit approval to unacceptable behavior.
              More and more I feel that the committment of the *other* people in
              the group who are ther to progress in their spiritual quest is
              paramount. I've also become more willing to "take the heat". If
              someone thinks I'm judgemental, so be it.

              I do think it's important to talk to the person privately, if you
              can. If you confront them in front of the group, they generally
              turn hostile. Of course; they may do this anyway, you sort of have
              to steel yourself for that. Sometimes it helps to start the
              conversation by expressing concern for them, for example:

              "Wow, you were really angry before. Are you going to be alright?"
              -let them talk about how they feel- and then say, "You know, I was
              very uncomfortable with your anger. I think you scared some of
              these folks, did you realize that? It certainly upset me."

              There are occaisions where it's a no-win thing, the person continues
              the behavior, and the group perceives you as judgemental. At that
              point you have to consider whether continuing your spiritual seeking
              in an environment that tolerates that sort of behavior is the place
              for you.

              I have found; interestingly, that very often when I speak up,
              several people will come up to me later and thank me for doing it.
              I feel pretty good about that.

              The bottom line is that you should give some consideration to what
              you are comfortable with and what you aren't. I do think it's
              important to let the group leader or the group itself know why you
              are leaving. If they realize that a particular person is disruptive
              to the point of driving folks away, they may rethink their approach
              to handling such situations.

              Just my 2 cents,
              Stephanie




              --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "KathyAnn" <KTM@...> wrote:
              >
              > Yes, in my own circle I have seen some very questionable actions
              that
              > could harm others allowed without comment from the group and such
              has
              > greatly troubled me leading me to isolate myself as my form of
              > disapproval. I recognize that does nothing to prevent the harm or
              solve
              > the problem but I feel helpless to intervene because I feel doing
              so
              > would be out of place and/or judgmental of me (or viewed that
              way).
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
              thunderhoofdesigns
              > Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2006 2:12 PM
              > To: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [Ethical_Witches] Re: Welcome! (There's always a bad
              apple)
              >
              > Flamboyan,
              >
              > Aw shucks, I've been thinking about doing this for a long time. I
              > kept putting it off because I'm so busy with CUUPS work, but
              > considering what I've seen on some of the other e-lists, I decided
              it
              > was time.
              >
              > I remember how pained and disappointed I was the first time I saw
              > unethical behavior in the Pagan community, somehow I thought we
              were
              > better than that. Eventually I realized that there are "problem
              > children" within any faith. The Christians shun people like David
              > Koresh or Jim Jones (to cite some pretty extreme examples) and
              don't
              > feel these people reflect their values, although they are
              ostensibly
              > Christian. I don't say this to rag on the Christians, just to give
              > the first example that comes to my mind.
              >
              > Pagans are *very* tolerant and accepting people, and I think for
              the
              > most part that is one of our strength. At the same time, we
              > sometimes turn away and don't speak up when someone steps out of
              > line. Where do we draw that line? At what point does the behavior
              > of one person disrupt the spiritual quest for the group? What
              should
              > we do about that?
              >
              > These are some of the questions tumbling around in my mind. See, I
              > didn't even wait till this evening to get started...
              >
              > Namaste,
              > Stephanie
              >
              > P.S. CUUPS is the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, for
              > those of you who don't know. I coordinate the Yew Grove Chapter
              > (http://www.thunderh
              <http://www.thunderhoofdesigns.com/yew_cuups.html>
              > oofdesigns.com/yew_cuups.html) in Austin, TX, but
              > if you would like to find a group in your area, check out:
              > http://www.cuups <http://www.cuups.org> org and click
              on "Chapters".
              >
              > --- In Ethical_Witches@ <mailto:Ethical_Witches%40yahoogroups.com>
              > yahoogroups.com, "Flamboyan"
              > <druidherbalist@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Thank you so much Stephanie for creating a group to discuss the
              > worst part of being in a
              > > part of the Pagan Community or any group....
              > >
              > > Flamboyan
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In Ethical_Witches@ <mailto:Ethical_Witches%
              40yahoogroups.com>
              > yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
              > <thunderhoof@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > There are many challenges facing the Pagan community today. I
              > hope
              > > > this will be a safe and supportive forum for us to discuss
              > sensitive
              > > > issue without rancor.
              > > >
              > > > Welcome to Ethical Witches,
              > > > Stephanie
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Jacob Williamson
              ... progressively ... behavior. ... Not to trivialize with a comparison (I think you wanted a link to this article anyway), these same problems manifest in
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 22, 2006
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                --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
                <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
                >
                > I can't say I haven't done this, because I certainly have. Maybe
                > it's due to my approaching cronehood, but I've become
                progressively
                > less willing to remain silent.
                >
                > I think our silence gives tacit approval to unacceptable
                behavior.
                > More and more I feel that the committment of the *other* people in
                > the group who are ther to progress in their spiritual quest is
                > paramount. I've also become more willing to "take the heat". If
                > someone thinks I'm judgemental, so be it.
                > > I think our silence gives tacit approval to unacceptable
                > behavior.
                > > More and more I feel that the committment of the *other* people
                > in
                > > the group who are ther to progress in their spiritual quest is
                > > paramount. I've also become more willing to "take the heat".
                > If
                > > someone thinks I'm judgemental, so be it.

                Not to trivialize with a comparison (I think you wanted a link to
                this article anyway), these same problems manifest in Geek culture
                (Geeks and pagans are very much the same breeding pool, IMO).
                Perverse behavior patterns are an unfortunate side effect of a
                culture that stresses individuality and acceptance over most, if not
                all, else.

                Please review <a
                href="http://sean.chittenden.org/humor/www.plausiblydeniable.com/opin
                ion/gsf.html">The Five Geek Social Fallacies</a>. If that link
                attempt didn't work, I've posted it at the bottom of this message.
                Maybe, I'm unlucky with these things.


                http://sean.chittenden.org/humor/www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gs
                f.html


                Best,
                Jacob
              • thunderhoof@austin.rr.com
                Oh, this article is priceless!!! I have posted it in full below for those who couldn t sort out the link. Scroll to the bottom... Stephanie ... From: Jacob
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 22, 2006
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                  Oh, this article is priceless!!! I have posted it in full below for
                  those who couldn't sort out the link. Scroll to the bottom...

                  Stephanie

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Jacob Williamson <jvw@...>
                  Date: Sunday, October 22, 2006 10:14 pm
                  Subject: [Ethical_Witches] Re: There's always a bad apple...
                  To: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com

                  > --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "Jacob"
                  > <jvw@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Not to trivialize with a comparison (I think you wanted a link to
                  > this article anyway), these same problems manifest in Geek culture
                  > (Geeks and pagans are very much the same breeding pool, IMO).
                  > Perverse behavior patterns are an unfortunate side effect of a
                  > culture that stresses individuality and acceptance over most, if
                  > not
                  > all, else.
                  >
                  > Please review
                  >
                  href="http://sean.chittenden.org/humor/www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinio
                  n/gsf.html">The Five Geek Social Fallacies. If that link
                  > attempt didn't work, I've posted it at the bottom of this message.
                  > Maybe, I'm unlucky with these things.
                  >
                  >
                  > http://sean.chittenden.org/humor/www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gs
                  > f.html
                  >
                  >
                  > Best,
                  > Jacob
                  >
                  ________________________________________________________

                  From:
                  http://sean.chittenden.org/humor/www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.
                  html

                  Five Geek Social Fallacies

                  Within the constellation of allied hobbies and subcultures
                  collectively known as geekdom, one finds many social groups bent under
                  a crushing burden of dysfunction, social drama, and general
                  interpersonal wack-ness. It is my opinion that many of these never-
                  ending crises are sparked off by an assortment of pernicious social
                  fallacies -- ideas about human interaction which spur their holders to
                  do terrible and stupid things to themselves and to each other.

                  Social fallacies are particularly insidious because they tend to be
                  exaggerated versions of notions that are themselves entirely
                  reasonable and unobjectionable. It's difficult to debunk the
                  pathological fallacy without seeming to argue against its reasonable
                  form; therefore, once it establishes itself, a social fallacy is
                  extremely difficult to dislodge. It's my hope that drawing attention
                  to some of them may be a step in the right direction.

                  I want to note that I'm not trying to say that every geek subscribes
                  to every one of the fallacies I outline here; every individual
                  subscribes to a different set of ideas, and adheres to any given idea
                  with a different amount of zeal.

                  In any event, here are five geek social fallacies I've identified.
                  There are likely more.


                  Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
                  GSF1 is one of the most common fallacies, and one of the most deeply
                  held. Many geeks have had horrible, humiliating, and formative
                  experiences with ostracism, and the notion of being on the other side
                  of the transaction is repugnant to them.

                  In its non-pathological form, GSF1 is benign, and even commendable: it
                  is long past time we all grew up and stopped with the junior high
                  popularity games. However, in its pathological form, GSF1 prevents its
                  carrier from participating in -- or tolerating -- the exclusion of
                  anyone from anything, be it a party, a comic book store, or a web
                  forum, and no matter how obnoxious, offensive, or aromatic the
                  prospective excludee may be.

                  As a result, nearly every geek social group of significant size has at
                  least one member that 80% of the members hate, and the remaining 20%
                  merely tolerate. If GSF1 exists in sufficient concentration -- and it
                  usually does -- it is impossible to expel a person who actively
                  detracts from every social event. GSF1 protocol permits you not to
                  invite someone you don't like to a given event, but if someone spills
                  the beans and our hypothetical Cat Piss Man invites himself, there is
                  no recourse. You must put up with him, or you will be an Evil
                  Ostracizer and might as well go out for the football team.

                  This phenomenon has a number of unpleasant consequences. For one
                  thing, it actively hinders the wider acceptance of geek-related
                  activities: I don't know that RPGs and comics would be more popular if
                  there were fewer trolls who smell of cheese hassling the new blood,
                  but I'm sure it couldn't hurt. For another, when nothing smacking of
                  social selectiveness can be discussed in public, people inevitably
                  begin to organize activities in secret. These conspiracies often lead
                  to more problems down the line, and the end result is as juvenile as
                  anything a seventh-grader ever dreamed of.


                  Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am
                  The origins of GSF2 are closely allied to the origins of GSF1. After
                  being victimized by social exclusion, many geeks experience
                  their "tribe" as a non-judgmental haven where they can take refuge
                  from the cruel world outside.

                  This seems straightforward and reasonable. It's important for people
                  to have a space where they feel safe and accepted. Ideally, everyone's
                  social group would be a safe haven. When people who rely too heavily
                  upon that refuge feel insecure in that haven, however, a commendable
                  ideal mutates into its pathological form, GSF2.

                  Carriers of GSF2 believe that since a friend accepts them as they are,
                  anyone who criticizes them is not their friend. Thus, they can't take
                  criticism from friends -- criticism is experienced as a treacherous
                  betrayal of the friendship, no matter how inappropriate the criticized
                  behavior may be.

                  Conversely, most carriers will never criticize a friend under any
                  circumstances; the duty to be supportive trumps any impulse to point
                  out unacceptable behavior.

                  GSF2 has extensive consequences within a group. Its presence in
                  substantial quantity within a social group vastly increases the
                  group's conflict-averseness. People spend hours debating how to deal
                  with conflicts, because they know (or sometimes merely fear) that the
                  other person involved is a GSF2 carrier, and any attempt to confront
                  them directly will only make things worse. As a result, people let
                  grudges brew much longer than is healthy, and they spend absurd
                  amounts of time deconstructing their interpersonal dramas in search of
                  a back way out of a dilemma.

                  Ironically, GSF2 carriers often take criticism from coworkers,
                  supervisors, and mentors quite well; those individuals aren't friends,
                  and aren't expected to accept the carrier unconditionally.


                  Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All
                  Valuing friendships is a fine and worthy thing. When taken to an
                  unhealthy extreme, however, GSF3 can manifest itself.

                  Like GSF2, GSF3 is a "friendship test" fallacy: in this case, the
                  carrier believes that any failure by a friend to put the interests of
                  the friendship above all else means that they aren't really a friend
                  at all. It should be obvious that there are a million ways that this
                  can be a problem for the carrier's friends, but the most common one is
                  a situation where friends' interests conflict -- if, for example, one
                  friend asks you to keep a secret from another friend. If both friends
                  are GSF3 carriers, you're screwed -- the first one will feel betrayed
                  if you reveal the secret, and the other will feel betrayed if you
                  don't. Your only hope is to keep the second friend from finding out,
                  which is difficult if the secret in question was a party that a lot of
                  people went to.

                  GSF3 can be costly for the carrier as well. They often sacrifice work,
                  family, and romantic obligations at the altar of friendship. In the
                  end, the carrier has a great circle of friends, but not a lot else to
                  show for their life. This is one reason why so many geek circles
                  include people whose sole redeeming quality is loyalty: it's hard not
                  to honor someone who goes to such lengths to be there for a friend,
                  however destructive they may be in other respects.

                  Individual carriers sometimes have exceptions to GSF3, which allow
                  friends to place a certain protected class of people or things above
                  friendship in a pinch: "significant others" is a common protected
                  class, as is "work".


                  Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive
                  Every carrier of GSF4 has, at some point, said:

                  "Wouldn't it be great to get all my groups of friends into one place
                  for one big happy party?!"

                  If you groaned at that last paragraph, you may be a recovering GSF4
                  carrier.

                  GSF4 is the belief that any two of your friends ought to be friends
                  with each other, and if they're not, something is Very Wrong.

                  The milder form of GSF4 merely prevents the carrier from perceiving
                  evidence to contradict it; a carrier will refuse to comprehend that
                  two of their friends (or two groups of friends) don't much care for
                  each other, and will continue to try to bring them together at social
                  events. They may even maintain that a full-scale vendetta is just a
                  misunderstanding between friends that could easily be resolved if the
                  principals would just sit down to talk it out.

                  A more serious form of GSF4 becomes another "friendship test" fallacy:
                  if you have a friend A, and a friend B, but A & B are not friends,
                  then one of them must not really be your friend at all. It is
                  surprisingly common for a carrier, when faced with two friends who
                  don't get along, to simply drop one of them.

                  On the other side of the equation, a carrier who doesn't like a friend
                  of a friend will often get very passive-aggressive and covertly
                  hostile to the friend of a friend, while vigorously maintaining that
                  we're one big happy family and everyone is friends.

                  GSF4 can also lead carriers to make inappropriate requests of people
                  they barely know -- asking a friend's roommate's ex if they can crash
                  on their couch, asking a college acquaintance from eight years ago for
                  a letter of recommendation at their workplace, and so on. If something
                  is appropriate to ask of a friend, it's appropriate to ask of a friend
                  of a friend.

                  Arguably, Friendster was designed by a GSF4 carrier.


                  Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together
                  GSF5, put simply, maintains that every friend in a circle should be
                  included in every activity to the full extent possible. This is subtly
                  different from GSF1; GSF1 requires that no one, friend or not, be
                  excluded, while GSF5 requires that every friend be invited. This means
                  that to a GSF5 carrier, not being invited to something is
                  intrinsically a snub, and will be responded to as such.

                  This is perhaps the least destructive of the five, being at worst
                  inconvenient. In a small circle, this is incestuous but basically
                  harmless. In larger groups, it can make certain social events very
                  difficult: parties which are way too large for their spaces and
                  restaurant expeditions that include twenty people and no reservation
                  are far from unusual.

                  When everyone in a group is a GSF5 carrier, this isn't really a
                  problem. If, however, there are members who aren't carriers, they may
                  want occasionally to have smaller outings, and these can be hard to
                  arrange without causing hurt feelings and social drama. It's hard to
                  explain to a GSF5 carrier that just because you only wanted to have
                  dinner with five other people tonight, it doesn't mean that your
                  friendship is in terrible danger.

                  For some reason, many GSF5 carriers are willing to make an exception
                  for gender-segregated events. I don't know why.


                  Interactions
                  Each fallacy has its own set of unfortunate consequences, but
                  frequently they become worse in interaction. GSF4 often develops into
                  its more extreme form when paired with GSF5; if everyone does
                  everything together, it's much harder to maintain two friends who
                  don't get along. One will usually fall by the wayside.

                  Similarly, GSF1 and GSF5 can combine regrettably: when a failure to
                  invite someone is equivalent to excluding them, you can't even get
                  away with not inviting Captain Halitosis along on the road trip. GSF3
                  can combine disastrously with the other "friendship test" fallacies;
                  carriers may insist that their friends join them in snubbing someone
                  who fails the test, which occasionally leads to a chain reaction which
                  causes the carrier to eventually reject all of their friends. This is
                  not healthy; fortunately, severe versions of GSF3 are rare.


                  Consequences
                  Dealing with the effects of social fallacies is an essential part of
                  managing one's social life among geeks, and this is much easier when
                  one is aware of them and can identify which of your friends carry
                  which fallacies. In the absence of this kind of awareness, three
                  situations tend to arise when people come into contact with fallacies
                  they don't hold themselves.

                  Most common is simple conflict and hurt feelings. It's hard for people
                  to talk through these conflicts because they usually stem from fairly
                  primal value clashes; a GSF3 carrier may not even be able to
                  articulate why it was such a big deal that their non-carrier friend
                  blew off their movie night.

                  Alternately, people often take on fallacies that are dominant in their
                  social circle. If you join a group of GSF5 carriers, doing everything
                  together is going to become a habit; if you spend enough time around
                  GSF1 carriers, putting up with trolls is going to seem normal.

                  Less commonly, people form a sort of counter-fallacy which I
                  call "Your Feelings, Your Problem". YFYP carriers deal with other
                  people's fallacies by ignoring them entirely, in the process acquiring
                  a reputation for being charmingly tactless. Carriers tend to receive a
                  sort of exemption from the usual standards: "that's just Dana", and so
                  on. YFYP has its own problems, but if you would rather be an asshole
                  than angstful, it may be the way to go. It's also remarkably easy to
                  pull off in a GSF1-rich environment.


                  What Can I Do?
                  As I've said, I think that the best way to deal with social fallacies
                  is to be aware of them, in yourself and in others. In yourself, you
                  can try to deal with them; in others, understanding their behavior
                  usually makes it less aggravating.

                  Social fallacies don't make someone a bad person; on the contrary,
                  they usually spring from the purest motives. But I believe they are
                  worth deconstructing; in the long run, social fallacies cost a lot of
                  stress and drama, to no real benefit. You can be tolerant without
                  being indiscriminate, and you can be loyal to friends without being
                  compulsive about it.


                  Hey, Are You Talking About Me?
                  If I know you, yeah, probably I am. It doesn't mean I don't love you;
                  most of us carry a few fallacies. Myself, I struggle with GSF 1 and 2,
                  and I used to have a bad case of 4 until a series of disastrous
                  parties dispelled it.
                  I haven't used any examples that refer to specific situations, if it
                  has you worried. Any resemblances to geeks living or dead are
                  coincidental.


                  © 2003 Michael Suileabhain-Wilson
                • KathyAnn
                  This is a profoundly needed discussion and I am very glad to see it. In reference to gsf1: well said, and I would add the spouse dilemma, which is where one
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 24, 2006
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                    This is a profoundly needed discussion and I am very glad to see it.  

                     

                    In reference to gsf1: well said, and I would add the spouse dilemma, which is where one spouse is a pleasant person you want to see and the other a friction causing being.

                     

                    Gsf2: ideally, we could all help each other grow in a loving, constructive way, and all recognize that we all have room to grow.  In reality, our fear of rejection often leads to defensiveness.  Something we can work on by issuing reassurances with the corrections.

                     


                    From: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of thunderhoof@...
                    Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2006 10:32 PM
                    To: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [Ethical_Witches] Wonderful article!!! (was: There's always a bad apple)

                     

                    Oh, this article is priceless!!! I have posted it in full below for
                    those who couldn't sort out the link. Scroll to the bottom...

                    Stephanie

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Jacob Williamson <jvw@...>
                    Date: Sunday, October 22, 2006 10:14 pm
                    Subject: [Ethical_Witches] Re: There's always a bad apple...
                    To: Ethical_Witches@ yahoogroups. com

                    > --- In Ethical_Witches@ yahoogroups. com, "Jacob"
                    > <jvw@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Not to trivialize with a comparison (I think you wanted a link to
                    > this article anyway), these same problems manifest in Geek culture
                    > (Geeks and pagans are very much the same breeding pool, IMO).
                    > Perverse behavior patterns are an unfortunate side effect of a
                    > culture that stresses individuality and acceptance over most, if
                    > not
                    > all, else.
                    >
                    > Please review
                    >
                    href="http://sean. chittenden. org/humor/ www.plausiblyden iable.com/ opinio
                    n/gsf.html"> The Five Geek Social Fallacies. If that link
                    > attempt didn't work, I've posted it at the bottom of this message.
                    > Maybe, I'm unlucky with these things.
                    >
                    >
                    > http://sean. chittenden. org/humor/ www.plausiblyden iable.com/ opinion/gs
                    > f.html
                    >
                    >
                    > Best,
                    > Jacob
                    >
                    ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ ________

                    From:
                    http://sean. chittenden. org/humor/ www.plausiblyden iable.com/ opinion/gsf.
                    html

                    Five Geek Social Fallacies

                    Within the constellation of allied hobbies and subcultures
                    collectively known as geekdom, one finds many social groups bent under
                    a crushing burden of dysfunction, social drama, and general
                    interpersonal wack-ness. It is my opinion that many of these never-
                    ending crises are sparked off by an assortment of pernicious social
                    fallacies -- ideas about human interaction which spur their holders to
                    do terrible and stupid things to themselves and to each other.

                    Social fallacies are particularly insidious because they tend to be
                    exaggerated versions of notions that are themselves entirely
                    reasonable and unobjectionable. It's difficult to debunk the
                    pathological fallacy without seeming to argue against its reasonable
                    form; therefore, once it establishes itself, a social fallacy is
                    extremely difficult to dislodge. It's my hope that drawing attention
                    to some of them may be a step in the right direction.

                    I want to note that I'm not trying to say that every geek subscribes
                    to every one of the fallacies I outline here; every individual
                    subscribes to a different set of ideas, and adheres to any given idea
                    with a different amount of zeal.

                    In any event, here are five geek social fallacies I've identified.
                    There are likely more.

                    Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
                    GSF1 is one of the most common fallacies, and one of the most deeply
                    held. Many geeks have had horrible, humiliating, and formative
                    experiences with ostracism, and the notion of being on the other side
                    of the transaction is repugnant to them.

                    In its non-pathological form, GSF1 is benign, and even commendable: it
                    is long past time we all grew up and stopped with the junior high
                    popularity games. However, in its pathological form, GSF1 prevents its
                    carrier from participating in -- or tolerating -- the exclusion of
                    anyone from anything, be it a party, a comic book store, or a web
                    forum, and no matter how obnoxious, offensive, or aromatic the
                    prospective excludee may be.

                    As a result, nearly every geek social group of significant size has at
                    least one member that 80% of the members hate, and the remaining 20%
                    merely tolerate. If GSF1 exists in sufficient concentration -- and it
                    usually does -- it is impossible to expel a person who actively
                    detracts from every social event. GSF1 protocol permits you not to
                    invite someone you don't like to a given event, but if someone spills
                    the beans and our hypothetical Cat Piss Man invites himself, there is
                    no recourse. You must put up with him, or you will be an Evil
                    Ostracizer and might as well go out for the football team.

                    This phenomenon has a number of unpleasant consequences. For one
                    thing, it actively hinders the wider acceptance of geek-related
                    activities: I don't know that RPGs and comics would be more popular if
                    there were fewer trolls who smell of cheese hassling the new blood,
                    but I'm sure it couldn't hurt. For another, when nothing smacking of
                    social selectiveness can be discussed in public, people inevitably
                    begin to organize activities in secret. These conspiracies often lead
                    to more problems down the line, and the end result is as juvenile as
                    anything a seventh-grader ever dreamed of.

                    Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am
                    The origins of GSF2 are closely allied to the origins of GSF1. After
                    being victimized by social exclusion, many geeks experience
                    their "tribe" as a non-judgmental haven where they can take refuge
                    from the cruel world outside.

                    This seems straightforward and reasonable. It's important for people
                    to have a space where they feel safe and accepted. Ideally, everyone's
                    social group would be a safe haven. When people who rely too heavily
                    upon that refuge feel insecure in that haven, however, a commendable
                    ideal mutates into its pathological form, GSF2.

                    Carriers of GSF2 believe that since a friend accepts them as they are,
                    anyone who criticizes them is not their friend. Thus, they can't take
                    criticism from friends -- criticism is experienced as a treacherous
                    betrayal of the friendship, no matter how inappropriate the criticized
                    behavior may be.

                    Conversely, most carriers will never criticize a friend under any
                    circumstances; the duty to be supportive trumps any impulse to point
                    out unacceptable behavior.

                    GSF2 has extensive consequences within a group. Its presence in
                    substantial quantity within a social group vastly increases the
                    group's conflict-averseness . People spend hours debating how to deal
                    with conflicts, because they know (or sometimes merely fear) that the
                    other person involved is a GSF2 carrier, and any attempt to confront
                    them directly will only make things worse. As a result, people let
                    grudges brew much longer than is healthy, and they spend absurd
                    amounts of time deconstructing their interpersonal dramas in search of
                    a back way out of a dilemma.

                    Ironically, GSF2 carriers often take criticism from coworkers,
                    supervisors, and mentors quite well; those individuals aren't friends,
                    and aren't expected to accept the carrier unconditionally.

                    Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All
                    Valuing friendships is a fine and worthy thing. When taken to an
                    unhealthy extreme, however, GSF3 can manifest itself.

                    Like GSF2, GSF3 is a "friendship test" fallacy: in this case, the
                    carrier believes that any failure by a friend to put the interests of
                    the friendship above all else means that they aren't really a friend
                    at all. It should be obvious that there are a million ways that this
                    can be a problem for the carrier's friends, but the most common one is
                    a situation where friends' interests conflict -- if, for example, one
                    friend asks you to keep a secret from another friend. If both friends
                    are GSF3 carriers, you're screwed -- the first one will feel betrayed
                    if you reveal the secret, and the other will feel betrayed if you
                    don't. Your only hope is to keep the second friend from finding out,
                    which is difficult if the secret in question was a party that a lot of
                    people went to.

                    GSF3 can be costly for the carrier as well. They often sacrifice work,
                    family, and romantic obligations at the altar of friendship. In the
                    end, the carrier has a great circle of friends, but not a lot else to
                    show for their life. This is one reason why so many geek circles
                    include people whose sole redeeming quality is loyalty: it's hard not
                    to honor someone who goes to such lengths to be there for a friend,
                    however destructive they may be in other respects.

                    Individual carriers sometimes have exceptions to GSF3, which allow
                    friends to place a certain protected class of people or things above
                    friendship in a pinch: "significant others" is a common protected
                    class, as is "work".

                    Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive
                    Every carrier of GSF4 has, at some point, said:

                    "Wouldn't it be great to get all my groups of friends into one place
                    for one big happy party?!"

                    If you groaned at that last paragraph, you may be a recovering GSF4
                    carrier.

                    GSF4 is the belief that any two of your friends ought to be friends
                    with each other, and if they're not, something is Very Wrong.

                    The milder form of GSF4 merely prevents the carrier from perceiving
                    evidence to contradict it; a carrier will refuse to comprehend that
                    two of their friends (or two groups of friends) don't much care for
                    each other, and will continue to try to bring them together at social
                    events. They may even maintain that a full-scale vendetta is just a
                    misunderstanding between friends that could easily be resolved if the
                    principals would just sit down to talk it out.

                    A more serious form of GSF4 becomes another "friendship test" fallacy:
                    if you have a friend A, and a friend B, but A & B are not friends,
                    then one of them must not really be your friend at all. It is
                    surprisingly common for a carrier, when faced with two friends who
                    don't get along, to simply drop one of them.

                    On the other side of the equation, a carrier who doesn't like a friend
                    of a friend will often get very passive-aggressive and covertly
                    hostile to the friend of a friend, while vigorously maintaining that
                    we're one big happy family and everyone is friends.

                    GSF4 can also lead carriers to make inappropriate requests of people
                    they barely know -- asking a friend's roommate's ex if they can crash
                    on their couch, asking a college acquaintance from eight years ago for
                    a letter of recommendation at their workplace, and so on. If something
                    is appropriate to ask of a friend, it's appropriate to ask of a friend
                    of a friend.

                    Arguably, Friendster was designed by a GSF4 carrier.

                    Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together
                    GSF5, put simply, maintains that every friend in a circle should be
                    included in every activity to the full extent possible. This is subtly
                    different from GSF1; GSF1 requires that no one, friend or not, be
                    excluded, while GSF5 requires that every friend be invited. This means
                    that to a GSF5 carrier, not being invited to something is
                    intrinsically a snub, and will be responded to as such.

                    This is perhaps the least destructive of the five, being at worst
                    inconvenient. In a small circle, this is incestuous but basically
                    harmless. In larger groups, it can make certain social events very
                    difficult: parties which are way too large for their spaces and
                    restaurant expeditions that include twenty people and no reservation
                    are far from unusual.

                    When everyone in a group is a GSF5 carrier, this isn't really a
                    problem. If, however, there are members who aren't carriers, they may
                    want occasionally to have smaller outings, and these can be hard to
                    arrange without causing hurt feelings and social drama. It's hard to
                    explain to a GSF5 carrier that just because you only wanted to have
                    dinner with five other people tonight, it doesn't mean that your
                    friendship is in terrible danger.

                    For some reason, many GSF5 carriers are willing to make an exception
                    for gender-segregated events. I don't know why.

                    Interactions
                    Each fallacy has its own set of unfortunate consequences, but
                    frequently they become worse in interaction. GSF4 often develops into
                    its more extreme form when paired with GSF5; if everyone does
                    everything together, it's much harder to maintain two friends who
                    don't get along. One will usually fall by the wayside.

                    Similarly, GSF1 and GSF5 can combine regrettably: when a failure to
                    invite someone is equivalent to excluding them, you can't even get
                    away with not inviting Captain Halitosis along on the road trip. GSF3
                    can combine disastrously with the other "friendship test" fallacies;
                    carriers may insist that their friends join them in snubbing someone
                    who fails the test, which occasionally leads to a chain reaction which
                    causes the carrier to eventually reject all of their friends. This is
                    not healthy; fortunately, severe versions of GSF3 are rare.

                    Consequences
                    Dealing with the effects of social fallacies is an essential part of
                    managing one's social life among geeks, and this is much easier when
                    one is aware of them and can identify which of your friends carry
                    which fallacies. In the absence of this kind of awareness, three
                    situations tend to arise when people come into contact with fallacies
                    they don't hold themselves.

                    Most common is simple conflict and hurt feelings. It's hard for people
                    to talk through these conflicts because they usually stem from fairly
                    primal value clashes; a GSF3 carrier may not even be able to
                    articulate why it was such a big deal that their non-carrier friend
                    blew off their movie night.

                    Alternately, people often take on fallacies that are dominant in their
                    social circle. If you join a group of GSF5 carriers, doing everything
                    together is going to become a habit; if you spend enough time around
                    GSF1 carriers, putting up with trolls is going to seem normal.

                    Less commonly, people form a sort of counter-fallacy which I
                    call "Your Feelings, Your Problem". YFYP carriers deal with other
                    people's fallacies by ignoring them entirely, in the process acquiring
                    a reputation for being charmingly tactless. Carriers tend to receive a
                    sort of exemption from the usual standards: "that's just Dana", and so
                    on. YFYP has its own problems, but if you would rather be an asshole
                    than angstful, it may be the way to go. It's also remarkably easy to
                    pull off in a GSF1-rich environment.

                    What Can I Do?
                    As I've said, I think that the best way to deal with social fallacies
                    is to be aware of them, in yourself and in others. In yourself, you
                    can try to deal with them; in others, understanding their behavior
                    usually makes it less aggravating.

                    Social fallacies don't make someone a bad person; on the contrary,
                    they usually spring from the purest motives. But I believe they are
                    worth deconstructing; in the long run, social fallacies cost a lot of
                    stress and drama, to no real benefit. You can be tolerant without
                    being indiscriminate, and you can be loyal to friends without being
                    compulsive about it.

                    Hey, Are You Talking About Me?
                    If I know you, yeah, probably I am. It doesn't mean I don't love you;
                    most of us carry a few fallacies. Myself, I struggle with GSF 1 and 2,
                    and I used to have a bad case of 4 until a series of disastrous
                    parties dispelled it.
                    I haven't used any examples that refer to specific situations, if it
                    has you worried. Any resemblances to geeks living or dead are
                    coincidental.

                    © 2003 Michael Suileabhain- Wilson

                  • KathyAnn
                    I started out life as the less than silent type, but learned the hard way that most people don’t want helpful input to improve their growth, and I had to
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 24, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment

                      I started out life as the less than silent type, but learned the hard way that most people don’t want helpful input to improve their growth, and I had to learn that you can’t teach people who don’t want to be taught.  Perhaps you are better at it than meJ

                      KathyAnn

                       


                      From: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jacob Williamson
                      Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2006 9:47 PM
                      To: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [Ethical_Witches] Re: There's always a bad apple...

                       

                      --- In Ethical_Witches@ yahoogroups. com, "thunderhoofdesigns "
                      <thunderhoof@ ...> wrote:

                      >
                      > I can't say I haven't done this, because I certainly have. Maybe
                      > it's due to my approaching cronehood, but I've become
                      progressively
                      > less willing to remain silent.
                      >
                      > I think our silence gives tacit approval to unacceptable
                      behavior.
                      > More and more I feel that the committment of the *other* people in
                      > the group who are ther to progress in their spiritual quest is
                      > paramount. I've also become more willing to "take the heat". If
                      > someone thinks I'm judgemental, so be it.
                      > > I think our silence gives tacit approval to unacceptable
                      > behavior.
                      > > More and more I feel that the committment of the *other* people
                      > in
                      > > the group who are ther to progress in their spiritual quest is
                      > > paramount. I've also become more willing to "take the
                      heat".
                      > If
                      > > someone thinks I'm judgemental, so be it.

                      Not to trivialize with a comparison (I think you wanted a link to
                      this article anyway), these same problems manifest in Geek culture
                      (Geeks and pagans are very much the same breeding pool, IMO).
                      Perverse behavior patterns are an unfortunate side effect of a
                      culture that stresses individuality and acceptance over most, if not
                      all, else.

                      Please review <a
                      href="http://sean. chittenden. org/humor/ www.plausiblyden iable.com/ opin
                      ion/gsf.html" >The Five Geek Social Fallacies</a> . If that link
                      attempt didn't work, I've posted it at the bottom of this message.
                      Maybe, I'm unlucky with these things.

                      http://sean. chittenden. org/humor/ www.plausiblyden iable.com/ opinion/gs
                      f.html


                      Best,
                      Jacob

                    • thunderhoofdesigns
                      Welcome back, Viola. I m glad you re here... Hugs, Stephanie
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 30, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Welcome back, Viola. I'm glad you're here...

                        Hugs,
                        Stephanie
                      • caamora2001
                        Stephanie Thankyou for letting me back in. Love and Light Viola
                        Message 11 of 11 , Oct 30, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Stephanie Thankyou for letting me back in.
                          Love and Light
                          Viola





                          --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
                          <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Welcome back, Viola. I'm glad you're here...
                          >
                          > Hugs,
                          > Stephanie
                          >
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