24. Chatroom Disrupters
Discussion 1
Spiritual Web Chat
18 Mar 2000

Ben< Has anyone been thinking about how to deal with chat-room disrupters this week? I lurked a little, thinking about that subject.

guitarist< Ben: Did you? Were you at the St. Paddy's Day food fight in Stonehenge yesterday? I had fun, until someone declared that she was hurt. Then another chatter (the one who "hurt" her) and I did a virtual "healing." Quite interesting. I've seen enactments of virtual reality that resembled this, except that the eyes were much more involved, as one didn't just have to imagine the reality; it was projected in front of them.

Ben< guitarist: No, I missed the St. Paddy's Day food fight. Sounds like some good was done as soon as one said she was hurt.

guitarist< Ben: I also did some follow-up on my other situation while I was in Stonehenge. I met with the person most involved in the brainstorming session. He reports that the person we brainstormed about has improved since, but the woman who criticized us has continued to be angry and has pursued my co-brainstormer; even when he left the room, she sent her posts to his e-mail address! What do you think of that, if I may ask?

[Ben< guitarist: That is stalking -- harrassment -- malice.]

Yopo< Ben: Hmm ... What brings this up? Has there been more of a problem than usual lately?

Ben< Yopo: It came up at the end of my last seminar. Several suggested it as the topic for my next seminar, and I suggested that we all could be thinking about it until then.

Yopo< Ben: Oops. I missed that last one and forgot to review. My thought has always been that disrupters thrive on the feedback they get. Takes a bit of patience to ignore disruptive comments, but I think maybe that's the best approach.

Lo< Ben: Do you think should we treat them any different than one would do with someone in person disrupting a conversation among a group of friends?

Ben< Lo: Well, chatroom disrupters are both similar and different from someone disrupting a conversation in person. That's part of what I hope to look into.

FRAML< Ben: I haven't put much thought into it. The /ignore feature is now working, and that is an escape. I guess I judge whether or not the person might be open to persuasion. I'm not too often blessed with a quick "put down" retort.

guitarist< Oh, I don't know, FRAML, I think you could do it like you tell your jokes. Slightly different orientation. *s*

Yopo< FRAML: *S*

Hellcat< Ben: Interesting topic, something that's been on my mind for a while. Got any thoughts on the subject?

guitarist< Hello, Hellcat! I think you can help us out here. I think you were present when a certain chatter we will not name entered the room and insulted everyone, and another chatter and I began brainstorming how to deal with this person. Were you there? I think you and yet another chatter were trying to fend him off -- if I'm not mistaken.

Hellcat< guitarist: You'll have to mention the nick if you want me to remember a particular time. I tend to step in for a number of things like that. *S*

guitarist< Hellcat: Look at the PM I just sent you. Perfect application for the private messaging.

Ben< Hellcat: My first thought is: No one can make anyone else reply to a post or a pm. So we don't have to reply to disrupters or play their game. However, there's more to this topic than that.

guitarist< Yes, Ben, true. Though you have to wait 15 minutes for the pm to go away. That can be tiresome for some.

Hellcat< Ben: Quite agree on both counts. Even without the ignore function, people can choose to ignore someone by just not buying into their game and not responding to them. But I think those who disrupt the rooms come in different flavors, and some discrimination needs to be applied to each case. *S*

guitarist< I actually used the ignore function when an upset person began swearing and cursing out another chatter. That kind of thing tends to start a negative chain reaction.

FRAML< guitarist: I guess you are right, I have dealt with some folks by that means. But I also do it like Ben says, by not replying to their posts, especially if they are insulting and directed directly to me.

guitarist< FRAML: I think you are right, too. I haven't had anyone insult me directly yet. I probably would do likewise and just not answer them. I ignored the person because I wasn't interested in his conversation anyhow, and it was getting ugly to look at. Maybe I might have pm'ed him and told him to calm down. What do you think?

Ben< ALL: Two other thoughts: Act rather than react, and consider (care about) the lurkers. I am concerned that disrupters drive away more than a few newcomers. I usually try to speak to the newcomers, saying not everyone in SWC is like that. Comments?

FRAML< Ben: I have done that, but definitely not enough.

Lo< It's sometimes best to just let some remarks fly by without paying much heed. Hurtful remarks actually hurt the sender more (in the long run) -- at least this has been my experience. I realize sometimes some folks somehow do sense how to push one's "sensitive buttons;" however, if we can manage our own reactions, we CAN often elect to not be drawn into their trap, and their arrows simply fly by without leaving any serious wound.

Hellcat< Ben: It happens. I've had a few people bitching at me because they introduced someone to SpiritWeb, and they came into Stonehenge on a bad day and left swearing they would never come back. A lot of them do come back, though, I've noticed. SpiritWeb does offer a lot of what they seek. Some days. *S*

MYALBA< Sometimes we never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that is sad.

Lo< Hellcat: I understand how disappointed they were to have someone they cared about mistreated in that manner. I sense an explanation (such as Ben recommended) can help. I suppose we learn not to be so put off with such people as we gain more experience in life and mature a bit, don't you think?

MYALBA< Maybe we could. I could be more patient and tolerant.

Darkblade< Disruptions have driven away many in the past. Not too much you can do other than express this to the disrupter and all in the room. Then, ignore. Unless it is a continual thing that happens all the time by one person, then there is the last option of requesting a ban. But that is a last resort and only in the most severe cases.

Yopo< Ben: Yeah, I can think back to more than a few times when I've seen some visitor announce they were new to the site, then seen them disappear without a second post after they observed something unpleasant going on. Maybe we need a monitored reception area or something.

FRAML< I remember one day when a regular heckler came in and everyone ignored him, which was a change. He left after about 10 minutes. His not getting a reaction apparently bruised his ego. *G*

Hellcat< FRAML: Yeah, that's a key issue, really. Some people do just want to disrupt the place. But if they get ignored totally, they either leave or chill out a little. *shrug* Like I say, gotta take each one as it comes. I think if you observe a particular person enough times, you get a feel for them and where they are at. *S*

MYALBA< Freedom is important, and maybe should post disclaimers that some that enter SWC do not appreciate it, and are downright rude, and ugly, and to please disregard anyone that is acting out.

Yopo< I suspect some disrupters favor this site because they stand out in the environment. Their behavior makes 'em high profile here, and wins attention. In some other chatrooms they'd be lost in a crowd of folks like themselves.

Darkblade< Yopo: Ain't that the truth.

guitarist< Yopo: I wouldn't know, since I don't hang out elsewhere. But I can understand that they might get more bang for their chatting buck here.

DestinyB< I agree, Yopo. Another thing ... it's easy to use an anonymous handle here ... there are other places that won't allow that.

MYALBA< Overbearing and belligerent people need love and attention, and will do almost anything for it.

Yopo< MYALBA: That may well be true, but I also know from experience that some you cannot enter into a meaningful conversation with. They resist efforts to communicate on a level that might provide them with caring attention.

guitarist< Yopo: like a certain foursome a couple of months ago. I wasn't there, but after hearing some reports, I read the log. Quite a battle!

MYALBA< Yes, over-reacting is not good, it stokes the fire!!! hahaha the fire, get it !???? never mind!!!!!

guitarist< Yes, MYALBA, I get it. hehehe *s*

Sprinkles< Ben: In regard to the persons that disrupt others or are having a bad day, I feel that those who have positive outlooks really need to apply a smile to those who are disrupting -- the reason being, getting up and leaving will only strengthen the negativity, and there will be no room for those who would like the enrichment of SWC. Also, for such behavior there is always an underlining of the true upset that has all possible ways of being worked out. (IMHO)

DestinyB< I've attempted to turn a conversation around to a more positive note, but the other chatter wanted an argument, and I felt like I was alone and failing miserably.

Lo< DestinyB: By trying, you did NOT fail your inner self.

MYALBA< I can relate, DestinyB.

Sprinkles< I would also invite an opening of what the problem is, and have patience with understanding, and then provide some sincere praise of that person (whatever can be easily applied). In other words, show concern for whatever may be the reason for the disrupter's behavior. Ask if there is something they or I can do that may clear and bring back harmony. All offers being of sincere heart-felt offerings. If harmony is unattainable, I at least know I tried my best to be of help, and then I would move on, not out. :) *S*

FRAML< Sprinkles: I've noticed that my reaction depends on how I am feeling. Some days I've come in and seen the disruption/insults/sex-talk, and have left because I'm not in the mood to put up with it. Other times I've taken the person to task and then tried to get folks into different conversation.

Sprinkles< FRAML: You react on how you are feeling; don't you think that is also what the disrupters are doing? Why the mood? Why walk away instead of applying to the fact that, yes, we all have our days? And that is exactly what the problem is, ignoring, not in the mood, etc. But all come because we don't want to deal with it. but the continuing of this put off until another day to apply a positive feedback is like saying put off eating, put off sleeping, put off ... etc, etc. We or they may never have that tomorrow. It is always the now, not the past, not the tomorrows, because we are not in the mood. Be enthusiastic. What are your reasons for chat rooms? To apply and spread the helpfulness and love and care and interest. Why bother to come to the chats? To be heard, and also to share even the bad days, the scolding -- it is all here. We have work to do. *S*

DestinyB< I haven't been coming to SWC for very long. I tried it a couple of years ago and felt a big chill. Chatters were mainly PMing one another and were already chummy. I didn't feel welcome and was having problems finding a chat where people would talk to anyone new. :-( Another friend asked a friend and me to try SWC again (about 6 months ago). People would chat with us while she was in the room, but rarely otherwise. My friend won't return ... she says there are some weirdos in Stonehenge and says she won't go back.

MYALBA< Well, patience and tolerance has been tested in Henge of late, but all in all, its OK, except for the right-wing fundamentalist fanatics!!!!! ha?

junebeam< You guys should come to Mardi Gras down here in New Orleans, and help with the fanatics who come out!!! ~S~

Hellcat< Ben: Might be an idea to break down the disrupters into categories. Don't know how much time you guys spend just watching the people in here, but I've picked up several different types of people. Thing for me is ... a lot of people come to a spiritual site like this because they are in pain, struggling with their lives and meaning, trying to survive in a cruel world -- surely there is place for them here as well? *S*

MYALBA< Well obviously they are disrupting!!!!!!!! like this room currently.

Darkblade< I was just waiting to see if any other topics might come up. :)

MYALBA< Darkblade! hahaha

Ben< Hellcat: Yes, I intend to outline some categories of disrupters, as you said. Perhaps as scenarios. And then ask those who are here what they would do (or have seen done) in such cases.

Hellcat< Ben: Sounds fair 'nuff to me. Just as an offshoot of that though, might also be an idea to look into why we come here as well. That way, maybe those that are prepared to put some time into making this site what we all would like it to be can sort out what meets all those requirements and still have a plan of action for dealing with disruptions en masse as it were. *S*

Ben< Hellcat: Yes. Good points. There can be (and I think, should be) a larger purpose involved in this exercise.

Hellcat< Ben: With you 100% on that. Seems to me that if we don't take action for ourselves, make ourselves responsible for what we have or want here, we can't complain much about what we're subjected to by others. We're either a community in spirit AND action or we're just as lost as anyone else in the world. IMO anyway. *S*

Yopo< We should also maybe keep in mind that some regular disrupters may profit from their time here in a more positive way. They just might begin to understand the possible benefits of courtesy and kindness, by observing how it works between others? (One can only hope ... )

Ben< ALL: TheFire says he doesn't want to have to monitor or police SWC for a couple of reasons. He has too much else to do, and he thinks the people who come here should learn how to deal with disrupters themselves insofar as possible. Comments?

Hellcat< Ben: I'm with TheFire 100% on that. *S*

MYALBA< I think TheFire is correct!

guitarist< Ben: Then we'd have to act like grownups! That s***s! ;-)

Hellcat< guitarist: Maybe it comes down to walking the talk instead of just talking it? *S*

guitarist< Yes, Hellcat, that's what I meant. Thanks. *s*

Yopo< Ben: TheFire certainly shouldn't be run to with our complaints and petty squabbles, and forced to referee. And he DOES have a point. If we can't effectively deal with such folks ourselves, we need to give it some thought and learn to do so. (If someone effectively punches my buttons, I need to be attentive to the buttons I am displaying.)

MYALBA< Yes, ignore them and act like adults!!! uggggggg And if that doesn't work we can have them tracked down and beaten!!! haha? Have the goodfellas shoot their screen out!!? haha

Darkblade< I agree with TheFire. However, in the few years I have been coming to SWC, I have only seen one time where the ban was used, and it was used justly. And even that caused more turmoil than it should have for many. I don't think TheFire should be bothered.

[A rather long pause with no posts.]

CrystalRose< Are we all in pm-land? *S*

guitarist< CrystalRose: I believe if we have specific incidents in mind (as I do), we may be discussing them in pm-land. I can't otherwise account for it.

Ben< ALL: I appreciate your comments. Please continue.

CrystalRose< Ben: What are you doing? Why the comments? *S*

guitarist< CrystalRose: We seem to be starting Ben's seminar ahead of time, about how to deal with disruptive chatters.

MYALBA< wwjd? throw them out if they're changing money?!

CrystalRose< guitarist: Oh, OK. Maybe he should ignore or heal them? Make sense? *S*

Ben< CrystalRose: I'm not leading a seminar tonight. Just a chat about the topic for my next seminar, which will be something like "How to deal with disrupters in SWC."

CrystalRose< Ben: Simply Ignore them ... hahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

MYALBA< Yes, some are Neanderthals! Some are fourth root race sex fiends.

guitarist< CrystalRose: I think we're exploring ways to bring the room back to its positive state, by using our G-d given talents as grown men and women. Which is why I made the joke above, in my last post.

CrystalRose< guitarist :{ I'm just getting tired. So bear with me. I'm just going to listen. And may put words in once in awhile. *S*

Sprinkles< If we didn't have the disrupters, how would you realize the negative? I myself like to change from time to time, and I like the challenge to be open to an attitude problem. I like it when the results have paid off and there are the great rewards, to be of help and caring. I have been to many chats, and it is SWC I love the most. Why? Because there are real people here, with all the abilities and talents and an awesome amount of love that I see in the majority and the attitudes are like a wake-up. This also is life, like it or not. Oh, the challenges the brightness that shines from all.

MYALBA< Takes all kinds! yin yang, + -

Tracey< Sprinkles: I agree, hon. When someone comes in and is being disruptive, I think you can usually tell if they are just doing it to have fun or have real underlying issues ... like "Why are you feeling peaceful and I'm not?" I usually get really into someone who is cussing and acting up, cause I feel it is from pain ... just me though. *S*

FRAML< Sprinkles: I know, but it is all a part of sometimes being too tired to get involved; and, yes, I know where that can lead. Some of the times I've been that way was when I'm in a hole myself, and I come in here and see the insults as just pushing me back into it, or they will cause me to blow up and show a very dark personality toward the disrupter. Thus departing is best for me, and others.

Darkblade< I prefer a little chaos myself. :) That's why I don't and have never used the /ignore. It is a nice option, though.

teresascat< I feel that I have to look within and find more answers inside before I can attempt to heal others. I am perhaps not so advanced.

CrystalRose< teresascat: It doesn't matter how advanced you are, just what you know. And what you are ... Just you are you. hahahaha

Nevren< teresascat. Everyone is a teacher and a student, a healer and patient. Don't think that because you don't have all the answers, you can't help someone. Everyone has their own insights, it is important to share them! *S*

Ben< teresascat: Good point. We all need to investigate and govern our own reactions before we can act responsibly, and especially in cases where someone hooks something in us. So dealing with disrupters can be a laboratory for our own inner-life (spiritual) homework.

FRAML< Ben: I guess that is partly what I'm doing in those times "I feel" like NOT sticking around.

themystic< Evening, everyone ... can feel the light here tonite. Looks like the subject is disrupters. I believe we can give our attention to the positive rather than manifest more negative by confronting, attracting.

Hellcat< themystic: Disagree, dude. Sorry, but I've been hanging out here a few years now. You can focus your energy or thoughts wherever you want, but that won't stop you from meeting a mugger on occasion. *S*

themystic< Hellcat: Know they're here, but don't have to put our attention in their negative vibration. Can also use the violent ray to dispel the negative.

Tracey< themystic: Hon, many of them come in because they need the attention. Does not mean that their negative vibe is something you need to take with you, but a hand held out in the darkness is always a nice gesture. Maybe I see it this way cause I am not always at peace within myself either. *S* blessings to you ...

themystic< Thank you, Tracey. *S*

Hellcat< themystic: Also true ... but that ain't gonna stop them sticking their reality in your face. If you can handle that, that's very cool. A lot of people here can't though. Who looks after them? And why should those trying to help others share their path with other seekers have to put up with that abuse? *S*

Sprinkles< Hellcat: Yes, I agree, for we are the only ones (each individual) who can apply a change that will create a link to a very strong chain. We cannot change others' behavior, just offer the best that we can. If not accepted, that is okay. I like to let it be known that if the need arrives or if the mind changes the offer is still there. *S*

Hellcat< Sprinkles: True 'nuff if y'ask me. But I think some of the behavior of people who come here is over the top in certain cases. *S*

DestinyB< Hellcat: I come here to discuss spiritual topics with others who have had some of the same unusual experiences that I have had. There isn't anyone in my real life who knows anything about these things, and very few on the net. I feel normal {whatever THAT is} here.

themystic< DestinyB: Know what you mean. I come here to connect with others of like mind ... glad you found it as I did.

FRAML< DestinyB: Your comment about not finding folks in your daily life has been mentioned by many; that is how SWC has become a gathering place.

Sprinkles< Dang, maybe I should look into being a spokesperson for SWC. LOL Seriously, I think it is up to each and every individual to apply the positive, and at the very moment it is needed, not to put it off. After awhile you don't realize you have a beautiful habit and it enriches all to receive. *S*

teresascat< What more should we who know the light do besides communicate with one another?

Lo< teresascat: What more should we who know the light do? Perhaps our really caring for one another.

Yopo< Another thing that bothers me about disrupters is knowing that sometimes folks seek this place out for the first time when they are in a particularly vulnerable state. Trying to come to grips with a loss, trying to get a grip because some experience has suddenly de-stabilized their world and reality. Often such folks don't have local support from understanding souls, which is why they are HERE in the first place. I think if we recognize such vulnerability, we are obliged to be a bit protective, particularly when it comes to uncaring comments or harassment.

themystic< Agree with Yopo!!!!

Hellcat< Yopo: Yeah, that bugs the hell outta me, too. But maybe that support thing is something else that needs to be worked out. Seen enough occasions in here when someone has come in with a genuine need and all they've heard is somebody else's version of reality or platitudes that don't really help anybody in crisis. *S*

Yopo< Hellcat: Yeah. We maybe need to remind ourselves periodically to watch for signs of real distress. And a simple greeting acknowledging the presence of a silent and unfamiliar name never hurts.

Sprinkles< I also like to think that there is no one who does not like to have the feeling of being appreciated. All of us have praise-worthy features, and sometimes that is all that is needed, a compliment from the heart with a voice that is sincere.

themystic< You're right, Sprinkles, that's why I love these rooms because of the gentle souls who linger here.

Darkblade< Its not what happens, its how you react to it.

themystic< Darkblade has a good thought -- it's our reaction that keeps the attraction going.

FRAML< And then there are those who don't disrupt until a person of a certain spiritual background enters -- then they begin attacking them, not necessarily for what they are saying, but just because they make the statement, "I am a ____." I just saw this starting over in Stonehenge a couple of minutes ago.

Hellcat< FRAML: You've got a good point there. I've seen enough people bashing Christians in here as well. One of the few things that seems to unite people in the 'Henge. *G*

Darkblade< Hellcat: Yeah, that's a common thing.

DestinyB< I must admit to losing patience at times with those who attempt to sell me their religion. They have no respect for anyone else's beliefs and don't seem to understand a polite, "I've already got a belief system, thanks".

Nevren< The Henge has a little selling going on as we speak.

El< Ben: Would you care to share an experience now?

Ben< El: Last week I lurked for awhile one night, watching a foul-minded person slam everyone in sight with the ugliest vocabulary imaginable. An all-purpose disrupter. No indication of pain on his or her part, just a sadistic delight in hurting other people. What can be done in such cases?

Yopo< Ben: Launch a cruise missile? *g*

El< Oh, Ben, *S* I meant spiritual experiences. *S*

Darkblade< Someone mentioned spiritual experiences? What kind?

El< I did, Darkblade. I asked Ben.

Ben< El: It was a spiritual experience -- not a pleasant one, but perhaps an important one for me to face and deal with inwardly. On the pleasant side, I've been working with several people in whom I see great progress toward spiritual life and growth and ministry.

El< Oh, OK, Ben. *S* I can understand the lesson learned. Thank you.

FRAML< Ben: That is the type of person I've seen and then left. They are unaffected by reason, and only get joy from hurting others.

Hellcat< Ben: You get a choice of actions there. I think in a case like that, a complaint to TheFire is more than justified, although he won't make any instant decisions on it. If that doesn't appeal too much, I can think of a couple of people that would be happy to kick some butt on that front. *G*

themystic< I think to ignore is healthy while still sending them light. After all, a person who is striking out is always looking to be loved. There's never a good enough reason to withdraw love.

Sprinkles< If the disrupter enters and all turn their attention to him/her and right at the beginning provide all the positive care and concern for such outburst in a sincere concern for such an upsetness of the disrupter, the attention would be overpowered by true concern and the disrupter will find the battle of negativity does not stand a chance and surrender to speak of the real reason for upsetness or disperses, knowing that the attention he/her gets is not what he/she was looking for. Sometimes it is like give them the rope to hang themselves and be there to help a positive outlook be born. *S*

themystic< Let's vote on that one, Sprinkles!!!! I like that suggestion. *S*

FRAML< Sprinkles: I'll have to respectfully disagree, because there are some who come in here merely to disrupt and cause trouble; they are not upset about anything. The only thing that will upset them is if they don't get folks upset and thus doesn't become the center of attraction.

Hellcat< FRAML: With you on that one. Though I can think of one person at least that didn't care whether or not he got attention, just kept putting up really explicit posts. *S*

Sprinkles< Well, I would say, "Are you lost? With all your vulgar and cussing in regards to everyone here, you are entitled to your opinion and I will respect that, but I am so sorry you feel that way. Is there a reason you speak so lowly of others, that you have to say such things? Perhaps there is a misunderstanding. If I or any of the others have been misunderstood, or we misunderstood you, perhaps we can work this out so we all can get to know each other." Having patience and being sincere in apply myself is the best that I can do. It usually works. Sometimes the disrupter leaves rather suddenly, though. *giggle*

FRAML< Sprinkles: That was a mouthful. *G* I do remember hearing about one person making the quip, "Yep, you have a hard time kissing the cow's face when you are doing it to her at the other end" and the person who had been doing all the lewd posts suddenly departed.

Yopo< FRAML: All disrupters seem to quiet down when made the object of good-natured humor. Hmm ...

themystic< Yes, humor is an under-used technique. I tend to take life much too seriously at times!!! *S*

guitarist< In my incident last month, I (((put my arms around the two people))) the disrupter was heckling, and said something like, "Oh, what is so-and-so still doing here? He must have better things to do, more fish to fry." And the heckler left soon after.

SilverFox< guitarist: The Solar activity is affecting the Mental and Emotional bodies dramatically. The weak and mentally unbalanced will feel the effect first ... as we have seen recently in the Henge. That is Truth.

themystic< With you, SilverFox, that's why I'm here tonite instead of the Henge.

Sprinkles< Okay, say the disrupter (like the one who couldn't care less if he gets attention or not) is writing such vulgarity. First of all, I would look at it as words or letters; for example: "You bitch." I would still attack it with a positive and say, "Oh, my, this must be code. Hmmm... Beautiful... Intelligent... Charming... and Honor. Well, thank you, I will take it as a compliment." Giggle. My humor would slip in, and more than likely I would get silly. Things like that dissolve if looked at in a different light than what you are suppose to receive it as. Remembering it is in what light you want to receive as well as what light you give out.

aries_girl< As I am new here, I am not sure of the "rules" -- I wonder if I may ask a question off the topic. I am a PhD student investigating the use of drugs in our society. I am interested in pursuing an "alternative" line. Has anyone any thoughts?

themystic< aries_girl: What do you mean, alternative? Do you mean treatment?

aries_girl< themystic: Yes, treatment, but also why more and more people are turning to drugs. I have my own pet theory -- but am interested in getting other opinions (so that I don't waste the next 6 years of research!) *s*

Yopo< aries_girl: You might be interested in checking out the following website: http://www.deoxy.org/deoxy.htm (Opinions therein do not necessarily represent those of the management. *S*)

Drury< Good advice, Yopo -- also anything by Terence McKenna.

aries_girl< Thanks, Yopo -- will check that website out.

themystic< aries_girl: I am an addictions counselor and also a recovering alcohol addict. I don't really think the stats are up that high, but there is much research available. Problem now is, heroin is back and younger kids are using it and over-dosing.

aries_girl< themystic: Thanks for sharing that with me. Here in Australia Heroin is a problem. I know of kids here as young as 12 years old addicted and homeless, but the up and coming problem is Speed.

themystic< aries_girl: Also I think perhaps the kids (especially) cannot handle the contrast -- the polarity they find when they incarnate here and turn to mood-altering substances to deal. They know the Truth but are unsettled by the contrast here with the Truth. I know that influenced my use. I think most people using drugs are intensely spiritual.

aries_girl< What "Truth" are you referring to?

themystic< The Truth that we are all Divine beings, capable and the same as the Godhead. We are in fear of our power to be the Higher selves we can be, or at least we allow fear and doubt to stop us sometimes.

Kemshmi< themystic. *S*

SilverFox< As Gaia becomes more fully immersed in the Photon Band, all living things will react differently, but it will be those on certain medications and many with unburned karma that will suffer the most. We must Love them like ourselves ... that is the LightWorkers destiny and responsibility ... they cannot take a whole lot of Love ... they will morph into a new thingy!

Ben< ALL: Thank you for a good discussion. Now I need to get some rest. (Long day today.) Peace and blessings to each of you. *poof*

FRAML< Ben: Here is a post of mine for you use in the future seminar, if you so choose: If we focus on the aberrations of a religion, then we have an excuse not to seriously consider what it may actually teach and its implications for us. By keeping wrongs of the past, we can safely avoid examining ourselves by what we want to believe, and are possibly afraid to really think about ourselves and what that other religion may teach.

aries_girl< I agree, FRAML.

FRAML< aries_girl: Good night to you. I don't have any comment, other than: our society has been focusing on drugs of all types for the last 30 years, to include prescription ones. And when society says "all drugs are bad" so that cocaine, heroin, cigarettes and alcohol are all co-equal, it destroys the ability to discern the difference between them and their effects. Thus the illogical conclusion: "If it is OK for my folks to drink beer, then it must be OK for me to do crack."

aries_girl< Thanks, FRAML -- and goodnight to you, too.

FRAML< DestinyB: I'm curious, how do you define "sell me their religion?" Is it merely talking about it in general, trying to convince you that you (specifically) should convert, or another?

DestinyB< FRAML: I'm talking about the people who try to beat you over the head with whatever they believe in ... be it Christianity, Wiccan, Earth Religions, or whatever. They assume that whatever you are, you aren't the proper religion (meaning theirs) and they intend to "save" you (from yourself). I'm talking about the lecturers who start preaching at every opportunity. I find that attitude very arrogant!

FRAML< DestinyB: Ah, yes; I can agree with that position. It is one thing to say "Here is what I believe and why" and completely another to say "You are all damned to hell and I'm here to save you."

aries_girl< DestinyB: It has been my observation that a spiritual vacuum in someone's life creates an environment ripe for addictive behavior in an effort to fill the hole.

SilverFox< DestinyB: Couldn't have said it better myself! (that was great!)

aries_girl< For what its worth, I think that people who try to 'convert' you to their religion fall into two categories: those who do it with love in their hearts, in a misguided effort to 'save' you; and those who do it because they think that if they convert you they will win points with their god.

FRAML< aries_girl: And there is a third group, who sow the seeds of their faith by their example, without trying to personally convert others, for they let God reap the harvest. (Take a look at my webpage where I answered this) Good night again.

aries_girl< FRAML: I agree that this group exists -- but they are not the ones that try to 'convert' you.

Sprinkles< As far as religions go, with what their beliefs may or may not be, all require respect to whatever it be. I and I alone am responsible for the path I choose to journey. With open mind and open heart I am eager to know of others, and would show interest if it be there, but let it be known that I feel this way in regard to any religion. If an understanding guides me closer to the light, that is the path I like to walk. If I can't see it or feel it, or smell it for that matter, I do not consume it. That is my reply to any and all who feel they must convert me to their views on religion.

Kemshmi< Sprinkles: Amen to that. Whoever says: "ours is the only way" that IS the wrong way. Do not follow. // themystic: Amen, accept your path for yourself.

guitarist< Sprinkles: You are especially strong in spirit. Others may not be quite as "together" as you are on a consistent basis. In my mind it's like CPR: you may be certified to perform CPR, but if you're having asthma yourself on a night when someone may be in need, you may be too weak to perform it on her or him.

Sprinkles< guitarist: I thank you for the compliment, for you see me in this light of being a strong spirit, but it was at one time weak. I don't think it to be very strong for I know others who just amaze me in their strength of spirit. Why, even if you yourself were too weak to perform CPR, would that stop you from yelling out, "This person needs help! Anyone know CPR?" Of course not. Sometimes the help is just being there. :) *S*

SilverFox< So true ... some people heal by their very presence.

aries_girl< Amen to that, Sprinkles.

guitarist< Sprinkles: I made the point about asthma because I have had it myself, and sometimes to the point where I couldn't *shout* at all, or even talk. Maybe standing there and trying to get help for the person (like saying, "Will somebody please help this person! Thank you!") would be appropriate. I'm just saying that sometimes an intermittent condition may temporarily keep someone from helping, as FRAML was saying.

Sprinkles< guitarist: I understand. I was just saying that whatever it may be, whatever the situation, you be the best that you can and be with whatever you have or have not. The application of giving the full that you have is sometimes all that is to be needed. Knowing your abilities and applying them. If after all has applied and failure seems to appear, it is not so for you have given the best that you can and that is all anyone can do. :)

aries_girl< guitarist: Interesting theory on asthma -- interested in your opinion -- often the product of 'suffocating' parents?

guitarist< aries_girl: You hit the nail on the head in my case ... about mom, who raised me by herself. She and Dad were divorced early in my life, and he had almost no presence.

aries_girl< guitarist: There are some amazing 'bush flower essences' which assist with this ...

DestinyB< guitarist: That was a good comparison, about asthma and CPR. We don't always feel strong and wise.

guitarist< Yes, DestinyB; also, very idealistic people who are disillusioned by the world they find may also be vulnerable to drugs and other dangerous things.

aries_girl< Thanks, DestinyB and themystic. Perhaps it would be worth me looking at the 'fall' of religion in relation to the rise of drug use ...

Hellcat< aries_girl: How about a classification for those who need someone to believe as they do because they doubt what they believe in and there is security in numbers? *S*

Kemshmi< aries_girl: How about: "they" speak so loud and are so "determined" because they want to convince themselves of something that deep inside they KNOW is wrong.

aries_girl< Well, Hellcat and Kemshmi, you both seem to be saying the same thing. Whilst I haven't personally experienced this group, I think you have a valid point.

Hellcat< aries_girl: *LOL* Hang out in SpiritWeb if you want to study people. *LOL* It can be really educational to sit back and watch them. *LOL*

aries_girl< Thanks Hellcat -- will take your advice.

guitarist< I guess the religious ones don't bother me as much as the rest. After all, I'm Jewish, and I'm fair game for just about everyone here. But, I know what I am, and my usual reply is, "Thanks for sharing." Then I shut up.

Kemshmi< guitarist: I was born Jewish ...

guitarist< Kemshmi: I thought so. I've been here and seen your conversations here before, and you explained your nick to someone. Yes, I know, it's from India, but I thought the 'shmi' part might be "my name" in Hebrew, as well as your other explanation.

Kemshmi< guitarist: I am, in truth, a Bible scholar. I know the old testament, the Lord's Book, very well, and I do Love it deeply and strongly, but I am also knowing of the Koran, Avesta, Buddhism, Hinduism, and as such I follow a Universal & Natural religion/Spirituality.

aries_girl< guitarist: Interesting about your comment on being Jewish. I have never met anyone (knowingly) that is Jewish. I guess religion does not figure here with the same importance -- we tend to accept people more on face value.

guitarist< aries_girl: Now you have. *s* We have no choice here but to accept people on their words alone, for the moment, unless the choice is made to go further.

aries_girl< Can I share a story with you? I heard of a dreadful car crash where a woman almost died. She said that she floated out of her body and was aware of all the anger being put out by other motorists stuck in the traffic jam caused by the accident. However there was one car in which a woman was sending healing Reiki to the victims of the crash. This love and healing helped her to return to her body.

DestinyB< aries_girl: What a positive twist to a OBE! Maybe some of us can apply that idea to future situations!

Kemshmi< aries_girl: This is not the first I've heard of an out of body experience during a car crash. In this experience One is energy. I could "see" how that Spirit energy would be attracted to a Healing energy emanating from earth. Yes.

Sprinkles< aries_girl: I had an out of body experience at the age of 6 years old. I was hit by a city bus while I rode down the street on the sidewalk (I lost control of the bike). I remember it like yesterday. When I got hit I loomed above everything. I saw everything. I could hear all and no one heard me. The excitement, the gapped mouths, the tears, the sorrow, the confusion. I think that was when I saw life in a different light, and from a family of 12 (9 girls and 3 older brothers), I was the one who seemed eccentric. LOL (giggle). But the effects from it have all been very positive. I do have visitations with those who have passed on, and have a comforting knowing that passing from physical to spirit is indeed beautiful. *S* Sorry for the lengthy typing. I am missing what the others say and have to catch up, so no more lengthy scripts. :)

aries_girl< Thanks for sharing, Sprinkles. I have never been unfortunate (or fortunate) enough to have an out of body experience, but I believe you. I have had visitations -- but I can not say from who or what ... some good, others not so good.

DestinyB< Sprinkles: How interesting! How old were you when you finally figured out what had happened to you?

Sprinkles< DestinyB: Who said I had it figured out? No, seriously, I knew 6 months after the incident. I kept telling everyone that I saw them there, who was crying, who came to give my Mom comfort, the attendant in the ambulance who came by to see how I was doing. I told them what they were saying, and I was real annoyed that they didn't answer me. I at first didn't realize it was me on the ground, but the exact time I left my body, I remember rising head first and floating above all, literally flying or hovering. Through the years I foretold things to others, but it was mostly those that were in my life. My Mom realized I was special, but she thought that from my birth -- I was born on Christmas Day. Interesting.

24. Chatroom Disrupters
Discussion 2
01 Apr 2000

Ben< ALL: This isn't a seminar tonight, as such. However, I'm still thinking about disrupters and what to do about them. I've been lurking and taking mental notes on that subject. Which leads me to a question: Do you think it is wrong to talk to each other about a chronic disrupter who isn't in the room at the moment?

Dauntless< Ben: Good evening. I've been in Stonehenge. As usual, they're playing "gang up on the Christians" again.

Ben< Dauntless: Greetings! Yeah, tolerance seems to end when there are any Christians present.

Dauntless< Ben: I brought that point up, and the only person who took note of it was KingDavid.

Ben< Dauntless: That figures.

Lo< I rarely check in on Stonehenge. Don't any Christians go there any more? I did not realize non-Christians usually do not chat in Amazon.

Dauntless< Lo: I asked a person who was criticizing the "right-wing fundamentalist Christians" (as she identified KingDavid and me) if I had missed a sign in the front of SWC that said "No Christians Allowed." Her continued attack was the only reply.

Lo< Yes, Dauntless, it is a struggle to learn anything positive from someone of an unfamiliar religious background, it seems.

Dauntless< Ben: It seems that if one is a Christian in Stonehenge, then they are seen as a disrupter. I guess that should be part of your discussion. Does the presence of a Christian disrupt a chat room?

Yopo< Dauntless: Gotta admit, there does seem to be a reactionary element amongst pagan folk. Especially the ones recently self-identified, and the younger people. Some are probably attempting to define themselves by way of contrast. No excuse for rudeness, of course ...

Lo< Well, Ben, why should it be wrong if the discussion is objective and not meant to be harmful? Rudeness is hurtful and should be discouraged, it seems to me.

Yopo< Ben: My own opinion is that it's probably best to speak in generalities, unless the person in question is present. Best to deal with issues rather than personalities.

Lo< I tend to agree, Yopo, except if the discussion is truthful, where do you see the harm in that? Our lives are filled with objective observations of others usually not present, are they not?

orangel< I don't see how you can solve it.

Sprinkles< Ben: That is a good question. When the victims are expressing the issue, I would say yes, not having to mention names, but I just recently did this, and I made statements to the harasser, not in a negative manner but in one with hopes of having to work things out so all can continue to participate. So, in fact I indirectly was speaking to both the harassed and the harasser. I don't know if it was right to do so, but it is what I felt, and it was with help offered.

orangel< You should be able to recognize a disrupter right away. You can ignore them or talk them out. Especially if everyone gangs up.

Ben< I think there is such a thing as a person's reputation, for good or ill.

Sprinkles< Ben: But reputations change often, for better or for worse & vice-versa.

orangel< Post a guideline before entering? I don't know, there's not much of a choice. One can always change their handle, right?

Ben< And I think that generalities tend to cloud the issue when a personality *is* the issue. For example: are all Christians disrupters? Are all pagans anti-Christian?

orangel< I don't think so, Ben, we're talking about a few individuals, not groups. Isn't this all suppose to be about spirituality? This is a spirit web.

Ben< orangel: Yes, this is about spirituality. And especially the effects that various people have on others.

orangel< Ben: Your concern is the sensitivity then of people and how they react to an insensitive?

[Ben< orangl: Yes, and especially how they react or respond to malicious attacks.]

FRAML< Ben: I think that some people have a stereotype that they apply to all, and don't see, or care to see, any differences with it. Yet they complain if a similar stereotype is applied to them.

Wendy< Ben: Tough issue about disrupters. I'm not sure there are any rules that you can use, though ... maybe a matter of intuition in the moment, you think?

[Ben< Wendy: Well, some folks' intuition seems to be better than others' in these situations, so I think we can learn from each other and apply what we learn.]

Kin-nig-ette< A collective form of government is better than one based from a watery tart.

Lo< Kin-nig-ette: The US forefathers were familiar with the problems of a monarchy and of collective mobs as well; it seems to me their choice of a republic was a wise compromise between two extremes, although I'm not sure what you mean by a watery tart.

greyman< Lo: I think he was referring to the "Lady of the Lake" who gave Kink Arthor his sword.

Yopo< Ben: Maybe then one should discuss personality attributes. I don't know ... I am always worried about folks taking sides and becoming divisive when names are named. Seen it happen before. I even recall one (not really so bad a sort otherwise, in my own opinion) who carried the naming of names to an extreme. Had a website listing the good, the bad, and the in-between.

Ben< Yopo: Yes, I've also seen the naming of names taken to extremes. Like the one last week who posted slander of another in most of the chatrooms. But is it wrong to say that a particular person, by name, is behaving as a chronic disrupter? I don't think it is wrong if it is true. People know it, so why is it wrong to say it?

Sprinkles< I believe issues get clouded that way also. I try to focus on all as the "spirit" of a human that I am in contact with here in SWC. This is not putting them in any category, other than a happy spirit, sad, troubled, frustrated, angry, joyful, etc.

Yopo< *LOL* Maybe I am just more comfortable in the hazy land of clouded issues.

Nevren< I think of it as a challenge to my spirit when I see a disrupter or am personally attacked. When I keep my cool and keep pouring love instead of being baited into a bicker session, I feel totally invigorated afterward. *S*

Sprinkles< Nevren: Yes, I know. That is how I recharge my batteries. LOL To see without negative how can you seek out the positive. (That sounds like the energy, Sprinkle. LOL)

orangel< That's right, Nevren, but some people are just learning that and can get hurt.

FRAML< Nevren: Good point. However I've seen some folks come in and get continually attacked for things they've never said, just because they declare themselves to be Christian. One person is very disarming in her way of ignoring them, and that lack of a target seems to make some of them even madder.

Sprinkles< That is why I like to pop in and visit the Henge. It does good to have a challenge. It reminds one of the path that we too had to overcome. And it is a delight when all turns out well. And when it doesn't turn out so well, I will try again, to do the best I can and then go another mile. *S* (Wore out my fuzzy little slippers a few times.)

Nevren< Sprinkles: The Henge is definitely a strong source of turmoil most nights ... lots of opportunities to test your will. *S*

orangel< Maybe the site should post an explanation then, that there are ones who like to stir disruption and it is important that you should be aware.

Ben< orangel: The web-master has posted an outline of the rules, which are not many and are easy to understand. Warning people to expect violations of those rules probably wouldn't help much.

Nevren< I feel that ignoring works for some, but others are only encouraged and try harder to disrupt, as FRAML suggests *S*

orangel< Ben: Naming a person could result in changing their name. It doesn't solve the problem.

Ben< orangel: Good point, about people changing their names. Sometimes when they do that they present a different persona, and sometimes they don't, so in any case we're still looking at behavior -- what someone actually posts.

Yopo< Ben: Point conceded. Though it is possible SOME might speak their own truth about another, and I might see the thing differently. I have sometimes been guilty of forming opinions based on my personal dislikes. Hmm ... Discourtesy is a thing none of us like. It offends me. Differences of opinion, on the other hand, aren't the stuff of disruption. The Pagan/Christian friction we see on occasion never seems to me to grow out of differing opinions. There is generally a personality or emotional issue at the center.

Ben< Yopo: Yes. Well said. Differing opinions can be dealt with in courtesy and mutual respect. We have seen that. So, the issue at the center of disruptive behavior isn't in the subjects discussed; it is in the individuals themselves.

Nevren< It is a shame that people just coming here for help may be subjected to harassment. I'm lucky that my first visit here was pleasant and has kept me coming back.

orangel< Well, most of us will stick together anyway. And most of us know we have to deal with everyone if we choose to. This is real life, too. I'm just saying that there could be something added to help those who are not aware. I'm sure we could come up with something.

Yopo< Maybe SWC should have one room as a designated mosh pit. *LOL*

Nevren< What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. LOL

greyman< Nevren: Partial truth. Tell that to a person who survived a major heart attack.

Nevren< True enough, greyman. *S*

Sprinkles< I think the disrupters for whatever reason is like a cry out for help (in it's own way). If they want attention, give it to them, but not in their way. In the way that would be of help in restoring of harmony amongst all. If the disrupter is in the room, then calm the disrupter down with the encouragement that we or I would like to be of help with the problem. It does focus on the disrupter but leaves the door open for harmony to come in. IMHO

orangel< You're not going to have a site like this and not get a mixture of everything. And we do have to respect others opinions. But we "do not have to accept slander when the intent is to hurt".

Ben< orangel: Yes. "We do not have to accept slander when the intent is to hurt". I see a few disrupters whose attacks may be a disguised cry for help, but I see many more whose obvious intent is to hurt someone.

orangel< Ben: I hope I didn't type it wrong. I don't think we should accept anybody slandering someone with negative intent. That is one thing that is wrong, whether here or at home. We should stick up for each other and step in.

handsoftheph< In Stonehenge we had someone who was a Satanist who caused a lot of disruption. We have also had born-again Christians who caused disruption. It has been interesting, though. Myself, I am a Reiki master.

orangel< Well, everyone, there is a dark side to spirituality, too. It's going to surface here more than anywhere else.

FRAML< Yopo: Yes, on the Pagan/Christian friction. I've often wondered what is really behind some of the "anti-Christians." And there are a very few who I would identify as that rather than "pagan". It is almost as if they are rebelling against something or someone in their life.

Yopo< FRAML: This is so. To be truthful, I understand the impulse a bit. Many Pagan folk (and that is a VERY broad category) have found their path after years of feeling alienated within an authoritarian fundamentalist context. That can be from one's family, or from the community or region one grew up in. Initially one is reactionary when confronted with what APPEARS to be a representative of what one has left behind. And there are some Christian folk who are very unwilling to accept one's fragile new belief with respect. Collisions are inevitable.

orangel< Yopo: Well put. We must remember that here people are coming from all over the world. That is incredible in itself. We do not meet these many people in our own neighborhood. So, yes, we do have to deal with everyone.

handsoftheph< I was listening to an audio tape of Amorah Quan Yin's. She explained that at the time of the early church in England, the druids believed that ascension was into the earth. They helped the early Christian church to prosper at their own expense.

Lo< From my perhaps limited knowledge, the history of the Christian movements includes much that the founder would never have condoned that has been far more divisive and uncaring than what he taught as the way to live while he was living on this earth.

handsoftheph< I have fun with the ones that feel as part of being a good Christian they have to go door to door, yet they refuse to have an open mind to learn from the people they are preaching to.

Sprinkles< I have met a couple who never had anything nice to say about anything. They grumbled and snarled at this and that, but it was their way. They were the most generous giving souls, but with the grumbling. It kept them going and giving. When you would meet them, at first you would think they were the most miserable people you have ever met. They weren't -- it was the surface, but beneath was such a warm and cozy and much need to share the love their way. Another one is the man who had so much money. He didn't look it. He dressed in rags and looked in garbage cans, and once a month carried money to the church down the road to help others. What I am saying is, sometimes it pays to have patience, to get to know why people are like they are, not to pass judgment but be enthusiastic to know more, and some times a new layer is revealed.

Nevren< Excellent point, Sprinkles! *VBS*

Bee50< FRAML: I just do not understand why everyone has to feel like they have to argue about their beliefs. Most all "religions" revolve around love. Just simple, I guess, in my thoughts.

Nevren< I completely agree, Bee50. You would think that, instead of arguing, they would try to better understand each other for mutual advancement. *S*

Yopo< Bee50: *S* That is the sort of simplicity we could all use more of, maybe ...

Lo< Bee50 and Nevren, perhaps it stems from a form of self-righteousness that forgets to respect another person with a differing viewpoint or understanding, as well as a desire to share what to them has been a revelation as to the truth of the matter that had formerly been clouded over by an untruth for some reason or other.

Bee50< I think that when we begin to judge is when the trouble really starts. There are times I think the best thing to do is for everyone to bail out of the room and just leave the disrupter. People cannot perform without an audience.

orangel< Yes, Bee50, I agree wholeheartedly if there is no other choice.

Lo< It seems to me that it is fair to pass judgment of events and people's actions as long as the judges are willing for the same criteria to be used in judging them.

FRAML< Bee50: Yes, not good to argue, but is good to discuss. As I saw earlier in Stonehenge, when the Christian there gave answers to questions and asked why of those questioning him, he got rebukes and argumentative statements rather than answers to his questions about what they believed or why they disagreed with him. One person did bring up Origen in regards to reincarnation, but that was the only comment of substance other than "everyone knows..." (I'm paraphrasing here).

sahadeva< FRAML: Unfortunately the real Christians are far and few between these days. Guys like Ben got the stuff.

FRAML< sahadeva: Good evening. How do you define a "real Christian?"

sahadeva< /topic "See god in your Self & others, god lives within you as you." FRAML, see topic, heaven is not an exclusive club.

FRAML< sahadeva: "Heaven is not an exclusive club" and the topic you posted??? I don't understand how that defines "a real Christian." If I don't think that "God is within me" then I'm not a "real Christian" in your view? (Just trying to understand you.)

sahadeva< FRAML: Sorry, I think you got the wrong idea. *S*

FRAML< sahadeva: I'm trying to get the right idea of how you define that phrase, that is why I asked you.

Ben< /topic "Chatroom Disrupters"

winter< Ben: May I ask? ... What prompted the topic?

Ben< winter: This topic came up at the end of my last seminar, about three weeks ago (before I took time off to do Income Taxes). Several people suggested it as the topic for my next seminar, and I've been thinking about it ever since.

winter< Ben: Interesting topic ... but boundless. It seems to me that it's in the very nature of chatrooms to disrupt. This seems to be the essence of the thing. A sort of electronic vindication of your country's first constitutional amendment ... which, I suppose, makes it rather difficult to attempt to be a seminar leader. *s*

Ben< winter: I have had a fine time as seminar leader -- because most of those who come to my seminars are courteous. They respect each other. They state what they believe without attacking what someone else believes. In this, I have often rejoiced.

winter< Ben: During a time in which I led seminars for a living, I always rejoiced in dissent. LOL

Yopo< winter: What is under discussion is disruption of the free exchange of ideas, and of the congenial setting where such exchanges take place. *S*

winter< Yopo: I have always enjoyed and respected the culture of this place. But I wonder ... is it considered a disruption to have ideas which are not "congenial"?

Yopo< winter: Hmm ... It could be. I would not be tolerant of someone expounding upon the virtues of pedophilia -- as an extreme example -- however polite they might be about it. There are ideas and behaviors that are corrosive to the spirit, and simply have no place here.

FRAML< winter: That is the point for some, any idea that is not in agreement with theirs is "not congenial." Just as some consider that if you don't agree with their beliefs you are "intolerant." Unfortunately that is what I consider the definition of "tolerance" has been perverted into. One sees this nearly everywhere. One of the most publicized examples is regarding homosexuality. Many homosexuals and other people feel that if you consider the act as not moral (by your ethical code) then you are 'intolerant &/or a homophobe.' It doesn't matter whether or not you accept the person as a person, but reject their 'lifestyle.' (Please, I'm using this as an example and am not starting a discussion on this.)

winter< FRAML: In general, I agree. My concern is with the hunger for truth which one often sees here, a voracious appetite for incontrovertible truth, which is so deep and so fundamentally self-indulgent that it makes one vulnerable to uncritical acceptance of ideas. It is easy to be seminar leader in such an environment.

Ben< ALL: Okay, I'm going to bite the bullet and name a name. I assume that you have seen what KingDavid posts. In my opinion, he is a debater but not a disrupter. Comments?

FRAML< Ben: He is a debater. He believes in his faith and states why he believes in it. Several who are consistent in arguing with him often make ad hominem attacks and see him in a stereotype that I haven't noticed.

Nevren< Personally, I think he spends so much time quoting from the Bible that he's blind to any other views. This does not make him a disrupter, however. I have never, in my limited time at SWC, seen him get offensive. He definitely likes to stir the pot, and he knows how to push buttons.

Yopo< Hmm ... KingDavid. My impression is that he is courteous, and has a keen mind. He discusses. But I also have the impression that he discusses from a position of unshakable opinion. His own truth is so firm, I suspect he might be unable to see mine. So. If I were so disposed by my own personality, I might think him disruptive to the free exchange of ideas.

sahadeva< Ben: I have chatted with him, a fundamentalist in the strict sense, perhaps.

orangel< Ben and FRAML: Does this person attack an individual with malice?

Ben< orangel: I have never seen KingDavid show any malice. As Yopo said, he is very opinionated and firm in his beliefs, and that in itself can be irritating, but he isn't malicious.

whoman< It was also the FIRM believers without any open mindness that burned "witches".

Sprinkles< Hmmm, being very opinionated can be frustrating, but to stand firm on what ones belief is, is in their rights. Shoving it or trying to convert one to being another belief or convincing one that this way is better than that way, etc., is not having respect of another's choice of path. Doors should be open and maybe a tour. But once the person has no desire to go further, that too should be respected. Not make one have to stand guard on behalf of their beliefs.

watatres< You make a lot of sense (Sprinkles)

FRAML< orangel: I've never seen him attack anyone. However, from personal experience, some folks see being asked to define their beliefs as an attack.

orangel< He's still not as bad as someone trying to come on with you privately like an obscene phone call.

Yopo< orangel: Oh, I don't mean to imply I think there's ANYTHING bad about him. Never once have I seen him persistently expressing opinions out of context or intrusively. He answers when asked.

orangel< Yopo: I didn't think that. I'll have to visit the next time I see him around. Then it sounds like to me he not a disrupter. Ben?

[Ben< orangel: As I said, I see KingDavid as a debater and not a disrupter.]

Sprinkles< I have not met or seen KingDavid's posts. Being a debater I believe is good; it is food for thought. It can stimulate the mind to work with words. Yes?

FRAML< Sprinkles, et al. May I recommend that tomorrow you go into Stonehenge review and read the posts that will be the GMT equivalent of between 9:30 and 11:30 PM EST tonight. That will give you a flavor of his postings and what others were saying/asking.

junebeam< FRAML: Thank you, I will do that. Then I might feel like I can offer an educated opinion. ~S~

orangel< See, Ben, I don't think we can put down someone as a disrupter unless their intent is to hurt or slander.

Ben< orangel: Yes, I agree. The issue is what to do about those whose intent is to hurt or slander (and slander hurts!). Many have suggested leaving the room or ignoring the attacker. Some have said it is better to stay and try to improve the atmosphere of the room by adding something positive. And there are other options which we haven't yet discussed.

handsoftheph< The balance between our shadow side and our light side is to be embraced for our own growth. Not ignored because it is a natural part of living a life here on earth.

Nevren< I think it would be pretty hard to label someone as a disrupter with so many diverse beliefs. What is a disrupter to one may be a debater in another's eyes. We must not forget the purpose behind the SWC. All are welcome to express their views, however unpopular. *S*

Ben< Nevren: Yes, the purpose of SWC is to provide a place where all are welcome to express their views, however unpopular. A disrupter typically tries to prevent someone from expressing his or her views, by ad hominem attacks, slander, defamation of character, profanity, obscenity, etc. In a word: malice.

Nevren< Ben: In the month that I've been coming here, I have seen only a few occasions where a person was really getting out of hand. Generally the people in the room either tried to throw love at them, or if that didn't work, ignored them. One of these methods usually works and the disrupter settles down or leaves. *S*

orangel< Ben: You said you had other ideas?

Ben< orangel: Yes, there are some other options that we might explore. Probably next Saturday, April 8. And I may use some of this discussion (and maybe the previous two discussions) as reference material.

peaceangel< Hi, room, can I come in here?

Nevren< *smiles and extends hand out for peaceangel*

peaceangel< Thanks, Nevren.

FRAML< peaceangel: Welcome.

peaceangel< Thanks, FRAML.

Yopo< peaceangel: Welcome.

peaceangel< Room, I have decided I am officially leaving SWC for a good month until things die down.

Yopo< peaceangel: Seems better to me to choose your company, rather than leaving altogether. This is part of the problem, you see. If everyone left who was offended, soon the place would belong to the offenders.

Sprinkles< Yopo: I agree with that. Then where will the non-disrupters go ?

orangel< Welcome, peaceangel. And Yopo, I think if someone came in like that we would let them know. We are all pretty much on the same level as far as spirit talk.

peaceangel< But I have a person who is driving me up the wall and emailing me everything I write in here. I don't even feel safe to come on anymore.

Yopo< peaceangel: I did not know that. *sigh* Sorry to hear.

peaceangel< I might not leave but I am going to change my name so this stops.

orangel< People who offend are only offending themselves. They are the ones with the problem, not us. And we are only victims if we allow ourselves to be. Who are they to offend to think they are better than you!

Nevren< Please don't leave (((((peaceangel))))). I'm just getting to know you. *S*

peaceangel< I guess I don't like the fact I have a spy on every move I make.

orangel< ((peaceangel)) That is unfortunate. What bothers me is the e-mail. Here no one really knows who you are unless you tell them. Can you change your e-mail?

Ben< peaceangel: If someone is harassing you by email, you should do a web search for CyberAngels. They are dedicated to stopping that sort of illegal behavior. There is an article about them in the Reader's Digest (April).

Catnip< peaceangel: The person you say is driving you up the wall cannot even post here in SWC, so how do you think the negativity got here if you didn't create it yourself by your constant story-telling on a person who cannot even be here to defend herself from your constant defamation?

peaceangel< Then how in the heck did they email me this garbage? I see whose side you are on. That's not what happened.

Nevren< greetings watatres and catnip. *S*

[Many of peaceangle20's posts are apparently in response to private messages.]

peaceangel< no

peaceangel< OK but I am tired of taking sides. Just lets stop and get along. Stop it. I am going bonkers over this crap. Just stop it. Please catnip stop it.

peaceangel< I'm sorry. It is best if I leave. This is too much. She has people against me now.

Catnip< If you truly want to stop it, why do you flit from room to room, telling your sad story, sopping up all the sympathy you can, and then move on to defame this person at the next stop. You are always the person to bring it up. She cannot even be here to answer your false and malicious charges.

peaceangel< Catnip: That's not true. I am tired of this, and she needs to be the one stopping it. I feel I am the victim here, not just her.

winter< peaceangel ... I have to say ... you got the coolest site going ... *S*

peaceangel< Over one woman I have to leave here. I just want the madness to stop. Then you tell her to quit emailing me.

orangel< Hey, our beliefs go deep, some people are very passionate about then. But we still must keep our minds open to theirs.

peaceangel< I don't want no contest. I just want this to stop. Please stop.

Catnip< You choose to be the victim. Neither here nor in Ascension, where this started, have I ever seen her post a negative word about you. Yet I've watched you spread your poison both here and there for the past week. And frankly I think it says a lot more about you than her that you are the one with all the venom.

peaceangel< Catnip, you were not there when she criticized me for being someone I was not, and keep it up and then keep it up. I want this stopped. I am going to be suicidal if it don't stop!!!

Catnip< When you stop slandering her, I'm sure she will stop asking you to desist. Until then she has every right to contact you to try and stop you. Sadly, it doesn't seem to do any good.

Ben< Catnip: Drop it. peaceangel hasn't defamed anyone tonight in this room. Your comments to her are not welcome.

peaceangel< I am going to be suicidal. I can't take this anymore. Please stop. Please in gods name I want peace, I ask for peace.

Catnip< If you want it to stop, then you are the one to stop it. As I've said before, she's not the one posting all the slanderous remarks, you are.

peaceangel< Maybe because her words are hateful Catnip she needs to apologize to me and mean it. I tried to apologize to her Catnip but she would not except. She called me whinny and annoying.

orangel< Ben: I also noticed a lot on this site that many do not stick to the subject or topic even in the rooms.

watatres< orangel: I will say that you have been paying attention. *S*

peaceangel< Look, she told me that in my email that people in SWC are going to see through my lies. What lies? What lies?

Nevren< Can't we all just get along? *S* (((hugs))) for all!

peaceangel< I will stop. OK, I will, but you tell her to quit calling me a coward and a looser.

Ben< ALL: Catnip followed peaceangel into this room and is attacking her. What will you do?

MonaHawk< Ben ... uh, do?

review< Ben, I will just listen. :-)

orangel< Well, I think we should ALL stick to a discussion. Catnip joined this chat and interrupted a good discussion. Ask Catnip what to do?

Yopo< Ben, I am at a loss. If those involved cannot see the irony, I doubt if I could help 'em to.

MonaHawk< Ben: (grins) On the outside I'll 'allow' and let be. On the inside I'll send energy to be used for the highest good of all. (I love a pop quiz). (((huggins)))

peaceangel< Catnip, please, I just want to get along. Please in gods name I ask in vain. please I scream it on top of my lungs, god forgive me for anything I have done to this woman, but she is upsetting me and pushing me over a cliff.

Catnip< ALL: I've been watching "peace" angel for over a week, stirring people up with slander and defamation against one who cannot be present to defend herself. And sadly, you're all falling into her swamp of martyrdom, victimization and self pity. I guess it just shows how shallow chat really is when someone can get away with that kind of maliciousness.

Nevren< Catnip: Ben's right. peaceangel wasn't saying anything about this person. Your attacks on her are totally unwarranted and uncalled for. *S*

FRAML< Catnip: I see that you've been into it tonight. Peaceangel entered here to say good-bye to us. You are the person doing the attacking of her. These accusations are yours, not hers, for she mentioned no person, and still hasn't.

orangel< Catnip: There are many people in here. Do we not have any consideration for others?

watatres< Ben: This may not be my business, but what catnip says is accurate ... the only time that I have seen the subject in question addressed is when peaceangel brings it up in SWC and in ASC.

FRAML< watatres: The point is that peaceangel has made no comments about anyone in this room, until Catnip showed up and began attacking her. That is a sign of a person being on a vendetta, and is a definition of harassment. I have not seen any of the alleged incidents, and would not have known of them except for Catnip's posts.

Sprinkles< Catnip: You are well on the defense here. If the person who is not allowed in here at this time chooses to harass peaceangel, perhaps this is a time for it to be at rest. Let your friend find her way back if she would truly like to come back. Sending e-mails are not helping her, and your defense does little at this time, because it is not your place that needs defending.

sahadeva< wow

peaceangel< Catnip if she would leave me alone in email and stop telling me SWC is on her side maybe I wouldn't keep it up!!!

FRAML< /topic Practical exercise in disruption & attack.

Catnip< Catnip's leaving you all to lick "peace" angel's wounds. But watch her. She'll be telling you all the same sad story. Just watch. You'll see her true nature in no time at all.

Sprinkles< Catnip: I love stories, perhaps when your friend comes we can all share. It doesn't hurt to listen, only hurts when words sting. That too passes. *S*

peaceangel< I am going to be suicidal if this don't stop!!

orangel< It is ironic.

peaceangel< Maybe because I feel she wont let it die, that's why I keep it up. I am human. I make mistakes. Stop it!!!!

peaceangel< please stop please. I am serious. Please I am sorry I make mistakes. I tried to be nice to her. I tried. Please, please stop, I beg you stop. I am not going to ascension anymore now. stop.

Sprinkles< Catnip: We have seen peaceangel apologize, and for whatever the reason, this does not appear enough for you. You stated you want peaceangel to stop spreading lies. If they are lies your friend need not fear. But is it not your friend that is e-mailing her? If not, do you know who is? If so, this is not helping, and only causing more discord. Perhaps all can work out. Let's work at it so all may come and join all together. I am not taking sides, but enjoy the harmony *S*

Yopo< peaceangel: I think perhaps you should let go of the situation. It seems to me like an action/reaction thing. You break the cycle by just letting it go. Don't worry about proving yourself right or wrong. Just let it go and get on to something else.

Ben< peaceangel: Okay, several people spoke up in your defense, because you had not defamed anyone in this room tonight. Now I suggest that you also let this matter go.

FRAML< Ben: Dittoes.

peaceangel< OK, but I a feel like a bad person now because of all this.

orangel< Mmmm patience is such a virtue. One that is essential to spiritual growth.

Nevren< Right on, orangel ((hugs)) Took me a while to learn that one. Still haven't completely mastered it though. *S*

orangel< Ah, but one must listen to chat.

MonaHawk< The more things change ... the more they stay the same???

Nevren< I agree, peaceangel, it may be hard to just let it go, but you will feel much better, I promise. *S*

peaceangel< OK. I am human. Lets just get along please, and tell this person to stop emailing me, Catnip, and everything will be fine, but it is dropped now and I don't want to hear about it anymore.

Tracey< peaceangel: Darlin if it is causing ya that much pain, just don't go there ... hang around SWC and let it go darlin ... just forget it ... dig?

peaceangel< But I cant. It followed me here. Tracey, I am crying to god to help me but I need hugs and know I am loved and a good person.

orangel< I will say one thing, there is a lot of positive and good people here. We need to concentrate on that. No where else will you find such good at one place to help you.

peaceangel< All I want is it to stop, that's all I ask. I said I was sorry to her thousands of times in room and to the room, but she keeps on me about it. I cant say no more, but I AM SORRY. NOW LETS STOP ALL THIS. THANK YOU.

Ben< ALL: Okay, 2:00 am is my bedtime, and since we have to set our clocks ahead an hour tonight, it is time for me to sleep. Peace and blessings to each of you. G'day. *poof*

orangel< Goodnight, Ben. Good discussion while it lasted. Take Care.

LeLe< peaceangel: You are loved, little one. I have read the posts of those in this room, and most have been loving and understanding. Take this to heart. *S*

peaceangel< OK LeLe, but this woman is making my life miserable sweety. I just want to live and it to be stopped. I am sorry, I am sorry, that's all I can say and drop it.

Tracey< (((((peaceangel))))) (((((HUGS)))) to ya hon. I am just saying that when someone hurts you, the more you let it get to you, the bigger the hurt gets ... so if ya can't talk it out and fix it, best to walk away. That's all darlin. *S*

peaceangel< I feel like a bad person now because of all this. I am not sure what lies I have told, but I want it to end, OK? I MAKE MISTAKES. SO DOES THIS WOMAN. WE ARE ALL HUMAN.

Nevren< ... sending love and healing to peaceangel! You'll be just fine and will have gained wisdom from this. *S*

peaceangel< thanks room, I am sorry for all this. I am still leaving though, so this will stop or at least get a new name and start over fresh.

Tracey< ***peaceangel*** listen darlin ... make ya a deal, you ask this person to pick a time and we can meet here in a private room and talk it out ... so ... just ask her. OK? and we will talk it out ... then you can get on with your life ... how's that?

peaceangel< No, that won't work. I tried to talk it out. I just want her to quit having her friends jump all over me. I didn't even say her name in here, and Catnip started all over me.

watatres< FRAML: I have said what I know from personal observation ... now it is time for another topic ... will it be changed? Seems a hostile topic for a spiritual site. *S*

FRAML< /topic

peaceangel< watatres, you tell her I am sorry, but I am tired of this. I already told her five times I'm so sorry. Can you do that watatres? I just want to get along, please. OK?

watatres< I prefer not to be a message bearer, peaceangel.

peaceangel< watatres ((hugs))) can we be friends, please? I just sent her a email saying I was sorry.

Tracey< peaceangel: I'm pretty good at working things out between people. Just keep it in mind ... can't hurt to try ... ya know? As in, resolve it one way or the other ... offer stands ... OK? *S*

peaceangel< I am thankful for the people who took up for me. I don't lie, but maybe I got things turned around. I get hurt easily, but I am not going to admit to something I did not do.

Ben< *unpoof* peaceangel: Drop it means to stop talking about it. *poof*

peaceangel< Its OK, I am just loosing it, and I need it dropped, and know it is OK. I make mistakes and I am not the only one who did.

Sprinkles< I must say, all-in-all, we (in this room) had a taste of disrupters, and we did very, very well, I think. I'm so proud to be in the same room, Bravo!!! Ah, gosh, I like you guys. (((hugs))))

peaceangel< SORRY GUYS SORRY. Can I just have a hug and know I am OK? at least a hug? and that I am a good person.

LeLe< (((((peaceangel)))) ... just recall your nick ... that's all you need. *G*

Tracey< ((((((((((((((peaceangel)))))))))))))))))) hugs at ya hon, and deal to call dear ... *S* always. *S*

peaceangel< Thanks guys, I am sorry. :(

Nevren< ((((((((((((((peaceangel)))))))))))))))) *VBS*

Centauri< {{{{{{peaceangel}}}}}}

peaceangel< Thanks guys, I am so sorry, please forgive me.

Nevren< Stop apologizing, peaceangel. We love you for who you are. *S*

peaceangel< Thank you guys, thank you so much, I think we all need hugs.

LeLe< You betcha, peaceangel ... we all do. *S*

peaceangel< thanks sweety thanks, I am just scared I will loose all that love me sometimes, again thank you guys, thank you

Sprinkles< peaceangel (((hugs))) to you dear one, and ((((hugs)))) to the harasser too, okay? Okay, sprinkles of Love, Light, and Happiness for all. *Sprinkles goes to storage area and takes out leaf blower (spring is here, time to clean yard, keeps it near by)* Here it comes! Enjoy!!! [Three lines of sprinkles] Whew! Had enough? (giggle) I have another storage area, you know. LOL

24. Chatroom Disrupters
Session 3
Sat 29 Apr 2000

Ben< ALL: Tonight was supposed to be the first session of a new seminar on "Chatroom Disrupters." However, we've already had two discussions of that topic, on 18 March and 1 April, and I downloaded the transcripts. Upon reviewing them, I see they cover a lot of territory, and many people made very good points, so I've decided to go ahead and finish editing those transcripts and post them as the first two sessions.

Ben< ALL: I also downloaded one from Stonehenge on 13 April, thinking it might serve as an illustration of unwarranted attacks and disruption by posting page after page of spam, but upon reviewing it, I've decided to let it go. Trash is trash.

Ben< /topic "Chatroom games people play"

Ben< ALL: For tonight, rather than go back over the territory covered by the first two discussions, I'd like to expand the topic to include some borderline behaviors that may or may not be disruptive. Ready? Here we go.

Ben< QUESTION 1: The stated purpose of SWC is to provide places for discussion of spirituality, but a lot of what happens in SWC isn't discussion. For example, I've seen more than a few complaints that most of it is trivial chat -- just talking, saying hello and good-bye, telling jokes, exchanging weather reports, etc. What do you think about that? Do you like it? If so, why? If not, why not? YOUR TURN

guitarist< At some point, I see people become familiar with one another, and as they do, they get interested in things like where they are physically located, what the weather is like where they are, etc. I don't see this as bothersome, personally.

Ben< guitarist: Well said. Others?

Gibran< I think that saying hello, good-bye, and telling jokes is part of every chat; it doesn't matter what it's about. I've been participating in these chats for a few days now and I've been enjoying them, and learning, and exchanging spiritual points of view, it's been wonderful.

LEGS< Guilty of posting humorous cut and paste ... partly to make people laugh ... change the mood from dark to light ... interrupt a diatribe ... or intersperse a hurtful series of comments with a break from that type of stuff.

KAM< The way that I have always envisioned SWC is that each room is a specific site for those interested in that particular aspect of spirituality, and Stonehenge is for those who are looking for new friends and new understanding of the different modes of the phenomena of auras, out of body experiences, after death ... and then, when they are more familiar with the beginnings, they can go to those other sites and delve more deeply into the subjects.

LEGS< Good ground rule, KAM ... and no one has ever explained it as well as you just did... re: purpose of different rooms.

guitarist< The only thing I see that might be bothersome is that sometimes when a new person comes in, it isn't easy for him or her to join in the conversation, and a trivial chat might be boring.

Sprinkles< Ben: Yes and no. I believe there should be times when just trivial is good. I also feel, if the topics run to the spiritual, I am open for that also. The trivial is almost seen as a base for topics to unfold. It may at times let one become comfortable in the chat room. No, if it tends to go on and on, for boredom will set in and others will look for more stimulating areas in other rooms.

poohbear11< I agree with guitarist, Ben. :) I think what the problem is with people criticizing others and being rude towards each other and not caring about one's feelings. This chat room is for love, not hate. If we could all just get along here, it would be one of the best chats I have ever been to. :) And also people might look at this place as a safe place to come to, like I used to.

FRAML< Ben: Chat is getting to know folks, part of learning about who they are. I think some of those who complain about "idle chat" are just wanting to bug folks, and aren't interested in talking in depth on a topic; at least that has been my experience with a few I've tried to draw out, after their complaints.

Ben< Good, thoughtful comments. Thank you. I like the way y'all bring out various aspects of the question. That's what a seminar is for.

KAM< Being in Stonehenge and greeting new comers, and getting to know them by asking questions (trivia) of where they live, etc, gives us Oldies a basis for suggesting places, sites for them to go to and topics or seminars such as this that they may benefit from attending ... so trivia has it's place also, in my opinion.

Gibran< As long as we express ourselves with respect and love to each other, I think there's no problem. We get into this chatroom, at least I do, to share my feelings and spiritual thoughts with others and for others to do it with me.

poohbear11< Very well said, Gibran. :)

KAM< Of course, we utilize the pm system for those inane conversations unless we want to "lighten" up the atmosphere or get others involved in the room chatting ... so many come and don't know how to get involved ... so we need to welcome them and greet them and make them feel that they have found a safe place to express whatever, and that they won't be attacked for their feelings or fears or beliefs.

Sprinkles< KAM, ditto. *S*

Gibran< I agree with KAM. This is a place where we all want to express ourselves openly and freely without fear; that's another reason why I come here.

Yopo< Personally, I don't mind the off-topic discussions, exchange of news, etc. I LIKE it. Plus, it puts the spiritual discussion into a meaningful context. What's the point of talking theory, if we take away the human context?

KAM< WELL SAID, Yopo ...

lO< I sense that it's OK, being natural in chat type discussions wherever they occur -- just part of getting acquainted with one another -- a social grace, actually. Deeper discussions form the meatier aspects here which usually don't flow easily at first, perhaps.

Ben< Okay. Good. To add my two-cents worth: I think apparently "trivial" chat can be very positive spiritually. It can set the tone, the spiritual atmosphere, of the room. On the other hand, there does need to be more here than that, and I like the way several of you explained it.

Ben< QUESTION 2: There are more than a few people who come into a room and post paragraph after paragraph of previously prepared text (almost always their own doctrines or dogmas or scripture quotations) without much response to anyone else. This isn't discussion. What is it? Do you like it? Why do you think they do it? YOUR TURN

KAM< Personally, a little bit is fine, but some people get completely carried away, and it is doubtful that anyone really reads what they are posting. Discussion should be an interchange of ideas, not a one sided epistle ... again, in my opinion.

FRAML< Ben: Boring. I tune them out. I've also noticed that if you don't agree with (some of) them, they consider you a bigot.

guitarist< I don't think these people are having conversations, which is what chat is all about. I find them boring too, as KAM and FRAML seem to be indicating. It's awful tough to get a word in edgewise when you see paragraph after paragraph of stuff everyone knows. (Yawn.)

Yopo< It can be mildly annoying, and sometimes more than, if the same durn stuff is posted again and again. Major annoyance if it is dropped into the middle of an ongoing discussion that it bears no relationship to. On the other hand, we don't have to READ it. And it probably seems of vital importance to the ones who post it. Pretty low on my list of disruptive behaviors ...

Gibran< They do it because they want to show their beliefs to all of us, obviously. That's perfectly OK as long they don't try to force their point of view on others.

LEGS< Perhaps to make a difference in other's way of thinking? or to get personal attention ... to feel important because they posted more than anyone else?

KAM< It is usually an "attention-getting device" ... and if there is a quote of some kind, it should be utilized to "prove" a point ... and some people do beautiful poems that they share with us ... some may not like that, but again, that's an individual preference.

Gibran< I also agree with KAM.

KAM< Some of the poetry posted really express their spirituality better than they could in general conversation.

Sprinkles< I find it to be interesting at times. Apparently, if the prepared text is being displayed for the reasoning behind it, who is to say? Perhaps it is something one feels a need to express. Or perhaps something they think might be of help. The contents give you a good idea of where it comes from. If I have no interest, I scroll down and continue my conversation. It is a freedom of expression when one posts such things. I am open-minded to see what kind of message is there.

Gibran< What Sprinkles says is true, I agree ... so the issue depends on the situation.

StarrFu< I am glad that you can not paste things here ... that at least they have to spend the energy to type it.

aziz< Sure you can, StarrFu.

Ben< StarrFu: Actually, you can paste things in here from a word-processor or clipboard. That's what I'm doing with these prepared questions.

FRAML< StarrFu: For some reason, you can't paste in here if you are on AOL. From other servers you can. That is how I put in the Concept & Ground Rules from Ben's page tonight. If I had accessed via AOL, I would have had to type it all out.

StarrFu< Awh, Gee, and I thought they at least had to type that stuff! I figured it took more energy to type it than for me to read it!

lO< I suppose that FRAML's post each time fits into this format, but I for one think it helps set up the basis for discussion in a helpful way.

FRAML< IO: Normally I post the Concept & Ground Rules before the chat starts, so new-comers can see them. I don't keep repeatedly posting them for new folks who come in late; I send it to them via private message.

Ben< I agree that posting prepared stuff isn't necessarily disruptive, but it can be irritating. I call it preaching. After watching one guy post 7 consecutive 15-line paragraphs of his religious doctrine, I thought (but refrained from posting) "HOLY SPAM!"

Yopo< Ben: Yep. Persistent barking dog-ma ... *G*

DestinyB< LOL @ Ben's HOLY SPAM!

guitarist< Ben, why didn't you post that "HOLY SPAM!" I think that's a good one! *lol*

poohbear11< Ben: I have noticed this as well, dear heart. Like the other night, this guy posted all numbers -- like 20 lines of it -- and it was very annoying, and I had to reboot because of this.

FRAML< Then there is the occasional person who will spam big hunks of nothing, such as &&&&& &&&&& etc. So that your screen will be filled with a single post.

Yopo< FRAML: Yeah. That IS annoying. Waste of disk space, band width, and our time ...

Gibran< That's really annoying when they do this &&&&&&&&&&&, what FRAML said, I think everyone could agree with that, it has no meaning or purpose at all.

Yopo< *hehehe* The &&&& business, I mean ...

Sprinkles< When the big hunks of nothing are posted, to me it is saying someone is really bored. *LOL*

DestinyB< I feel like those who take up lots of space posting their own particular dogma are rude, disrespectful, and boring. I choose to ignore them and skip over what they post. This doesn't include poetry, stories, or jokes, which are fine if there is interest in the subject matter.

Ben< QUESTION 3: Some people in SWC are role-playing -- they create a character and act as though they were that character. I think play-acting can be fun, and some of the characters are cute, but some role-playing isn't done for the fun of it, and some of it isn't cute. What do you think? Do you like role-playing in general, or do you like some of the characters, or would you rather people presented themselves as they are? Why? YOUR TURN

Gibran< Ben: I agree with you on Question 3. However, I've never been bothered by role playing up until now; I've liked it and it's been very fun. I do agree that what you say could be true depending on which role is played.

poohbear11< Well, Ben, I agree that you should show your true self. :) I am a loving person, and I show this, and a kid at heart, and act like a kid -- like say, I am in my pooh corner coloring a nice picture or just hugging people when they come in -- like say, poohhugs to room.

FRAML< Ben: Some are in here to find out what reaction they are going to get to posting an idea or thought, and carry it out to the extreme to see if folks follow along. Others just want to raise H___.

KAM< I like role-playing in general ... enjoy some of the characters ... don't understand some of them ... and totally dislike a few of them. It doesn't matter what name I come into chat under, people know it is me after about two or three posts. I really don't know how they figure it out, but they do ... and I can recognize people under new "nics" quite easily after they post once or twice.

frodo< I figure there is a time and a place for most things, including role-playing. But I suspect it could get quite pointless, sterile, and a good way of avoiding revealing who you are and putting barriers between you and others. I suspect sometimes we are more able to present a part of ourselves through role-playing because we are afraid of being ourselves.

LEGS< Some of the most pleasant chat evenings have been with various chatters who carry on in the guise of their nics ... like Mr. Toad, who is a college professor I've met, and posts delightful in-character responses to other chatter's questions.

Yopo< I don't mind some role-playing. There are some fun and imaginative personas that visit SWC that lighten the place up a bit. I DON'T like it, though, when someone is simply hiding behind an adopted personality to attack and vent.

Gibran< As far as you play a role with good, loving intentions, and for the good sake of the chat, I think in that case you can play any role you like.

StarrFu< Role players can only hold up their ACT so long. Their choice of words, questions and comments show us who they are. The only thing I don't find revealing is typos. Maybe this is where they learn that, to be of value, you have to be real.

Sprinkles< It doesn't bother me when someone is role-playing. Why? Because one can be anything or anyone they set their mind to. Yes, some are cute and some not so cute. But I perceive these role-playings as expressions of the moods they are in. The not-so-cute, makes me look for the "Why this kind of role?" Then I tend to seek out why, *S*

lO< I suppose it depends on the person's purpose in playing a role, doesn't it?

Ben< I like some role-playing. For example, I think LoveWombat is a cute character. The man who created that character plays it very well, and hardly ever steps out of character.

KAM< How true ... a very special character is LoveWombat ... and always in character, and a very loving one at that!

Yopo< Ben: LoveWombat isn't a real Wombat??? *S*

Ben< Yopo: He said no, he isn't a "real" wombat -- he's a Love wombat.

Sprinkles< I haven't met LoveWombat. :(

guitarist< I say that, if the role represents something about you, it's OK. I often get mistaken for a man here because of my nick; I've stopped correcting people. Since I really do play guitar, sometimes people ask me questions about it. But if I were trying to *be* a man on-line, it wouldn't be acceptable, because then I'd be deceiving others. A lot of people have gotten in trouble this way: teenagers responding to somebody who ends up being an adult who wants to meet them somewhere and kidnap them, etc.

frodo< Hmmmmmmmm ... Roles can be liberating and fun, or they can be defensive and something to hide behind, or both! *S*

guitarist< I was going to ask you, frodo, are you playing the hero of Lord of the Rings? Are you a Tolkien fan?

frodo< guitarist: I'm a long time Tolkien fan! I took my nick from the trilogy because I identity with the character "Frodo." But only very occasionally do I ever try to take on his character, except when some people speak humorously to me as if I were that character -- or, if I feel like having a little fun, like when I refer to my hairy toes. *S*

StarrFu< No matter what role, or how they play it, I see the heart, and no statements or act will hide huge hearts or small ones.

Ben< StarrFu: Hah! You replied to my next question before I posted it. Your ESP must be working well tonight. *S*

Ben< QUESTION 3a: Suppose an atheist was role-playing God. Or a fundamentalist Christian was role-playing the Devil. Could you discern what they really were? Can you see the actor behind the mask?

frodo< Yep! *S*

StarrFu< Yes, if they chat most of the time, yet not all of the time. The External conversations (hi, where from, weather) lead to Internal conversations (believe, question, know) and it takes very little Internal conversation to learn a lot about someone.

Gibran< I don't know, it depends on how well they perform the role.

Yopo< Hmm ... Perhaps I can only detect poor actors ...

FRAML< Ben: I've seen both. I think that the 'atheist' wants to chase folks into disbelief. I've also seen a couple of folks who were role-playing 'fundamentalist Christians' and being offensive to keep stereotypes alive.

DestinyB< I'd prefer for people to be themselves and tell the truth. I'm also tolerant of those who prefer to pretend to be someone else. They must feel very insecure to need to put on a mask even on the Internet, where you can be anonymous. After several conversations with the role players, you can usually figure it out anyway. Very few have a good enough memory to consistently lie and get away with it.

LEGS< Well, a champion nic changer is here tonite ... and I found I could see the same heart behind all of his nics. *s*

KAM< I have a personal objection to anyone coming into chat as "God" ... I won't stay in the room when the character who uses this as his nic comes in or is there. Now, in direct opposition, if someone wants to come in as the devil, it depends on how they acted or what they said as to whether I would leave the room or just tell them I would pray for them.

Yopo< KAM: I've thought that nick just a "bit" presumptuous myself. One reason I've never been the least inclined to look into that "Conversations with God" book, in spite of many recommendations.

kemokae< First of all ... an "atheist" playing God or the Devil ... ah, come on now, there isn't such a thing, I don't think. People are either good or bad ... and the motive of why they are doing such and such is the mask.

Lalobo< What happens to allowing your brother his differences and loving without expectations?

Gibran< Lalobo has a point.

aziz< *S* Lalobo ...

lO< I suppose that it is only natural that these chats via the Internet should be a bit experimental and evolve a bit, don't you? After a while they tend to settle down into sometimes rather useful discussions, I have found.

kemokae< Life has its up and downs ... it's not how you play the game its whether or not you come out a winner, basically ...

Sprinkles< Everyone wears a mask (IMHO). The one at work, the one at home, the father, the mother, the teacher, lawyer, etc. But the true person behind the mask is always seen if you look. In time all is revealed, depending if you wish to continue to look or not. Some don't like to get personal, and this is where the masks are worn, I think. (IMHO) *S*

guitarist< It's really hard for me to take someone with the nic "God" or "Jesus" or "Satan" seriously. I once told someone under the "Satan" nic to go to his room, he shouldn't be allowed to use nics like that! *rotfl*

Sprinkles< lol @ guitarist. *S*

guitarist< But how real do we have to be? Maybe we should all post under our real names! Is this a scary thought?

Gibran< I use my real name.

Yopo< Gibran: Bravo! Though there IS something to be said for adopting a nick here. I mean, it would get confusing with too many using the same common names, right?

StarrFu< I use my real name.

kemokae< Me ... no, I don't ...

DestinyB< I don't use my real name with anyone on the 'net until I know them real well. Even using a handle, I was stalked.

FRAML< I took this nick, after I entered it as a typo, and found two other folks in here with my real name (Santa). So I kept it.

guitarist< LOL @ FRAML!!!!!

DestinyB< One of the cutest nicks I've come across is "Good'n'Plenty"

FRAML< Then there was "HotBuns" -- the person was a baker.

Sprinkles< When it comes to others' nics, if I'm curious, I do not hesitate to ask, "Why this nic?" Or "I find your nic interesting, why did you pick it? or what does it mean?" etc. *S*

Ben< QUESTION 4: A lot of what happens in SWC is basically attention-getting. Some act miffed if they aren't greeted and drawn into the conversation. Some post the most outrageous things they can think of. Some ask for help or pity. How can you discern a genuine need? Or one that is merely attention-getting? YOUR TURN

FRAML< Ben: Agreed. Some want to be the center of attention, and will do what ever they think is necessary to get it, whether it is insulting, pity-party, or whatever.

SLIDER< Ben: If a person uses genuine words that are not extreme, we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

frodo< Ben: Isn't attention-getting coming out of hurt or anger? Anger comes from hurt, too!

Lalobo< frodo: I think all our names ... be it fictitious or real ... serve as our alter egos ... and the Internet allows us to speak from our hearts, as we are not threatened with having our ideals stomped on. Somehow our egos do not suffer as much via anonymity as they would face to face.

KAM< Ben: I think that is where those of us who have a little ESP can discern the difference and not fall for some of the dramatics that try to take place in SWC. However, there are a lot of people who do fall for the "attention-getting" acts.

guitarist< Well said, KAM!

Yopo< The attention-getting behavior doesn't seem to change when you respond to their posts in a genuine fashion. You can't draw them out, as they only want to draw you IN ...

guitarist< Yopo: Perhaps when a person is drawn out in conversation, the motive is revealed. If I express a genuine interest in the person, and s/he responds likewise, then it is genuine. If not, then ... not.

FRAML< Yopo: Agreed. There are several people who frequent Stonehenge whom I consistently ignore. They push their 'game' but won't give a straight answer. And I remember one person who left with an insulting comment when several folks ask her for a honest answer.

Yopo< FRAML: We have all seen extreme examples of manipulative attention-getting behavior, too -- right? I recall a couple of suicide threats I was afraid not to take seriously, even though I had deep doubts. I even recall one suicide threat that was followed by a report of an actual suicide that turned out to be a sham. That person has lost all future credibility here. If they are still present, it is under a different name ...

FRAML< Yopo: Yes, I remember that. I also remember a person here who was for real, and a lot of folks thought it was an act. I knew the person well enough so that what others thought was a game, I knew wasn't. I got some good back up from others, to help those who thought it was all a put on, to "cool it."

DestinyB< The highest percentage of people who take their own lives are the ones who are in love with someone who doesn't love them back.

Bee50< Ben: I think you have to rely on your inner voice when participating in any chatroom, under any circumstance.

LEGS< Ben: Sometimes one wonders if a plea for help is genuine ... but consider this: there is SOMETHING wrong with a person who would come in here and post a plea for help when they didn't need it and were only posting it to upset others ... to wring emotion from people. Either way, they DO need prayer. So I pray for them, that what they truly need will be supplied in their life for their highest good.

[Ben< LEGS: Good point. Thanks.]

frodo< Ben: I think when you listen to someone very long you can "feel" their need.

StarrFu< It is hard to track someone's motive. Asking appropriate questions, and listening to what they DO NOT say, gives me enough information to offer help or a red flag.

guitarist< StarrFu: Very interesting approach, if I understand it correctly.

Lalobo< What I say may resonate with you better by your unknowing of Lalobo, the she-wolf of the Internet, than it would if you had previously had the image of the real me in your mind ... middle aged and overweight ... so the Internet holds so many powers over us mortals ...

guitarist< Lalobo: Me too! Your last two posts were well-said, IMHO.

frodo< Lalobo: Yes, I think you are right. It is safer to come among strangers with a nic, or playing a role. Anonymity is much safer! Also, easier to hide and never come out from where you are hiding, unless we take our heart in hand and share it with someone sometime, I think. I find, though, I want and even need to share myself more intimately with someone who I feel is close enough to my self revelation! *S*

Sprinkles< Getting to know others tells you whether it is genuine or not. I don't mind giving attention to anyone. If I am duped at first, no biggie. But seeing a scenario over and over again reveals a deeper issue, of being an enabler and not being of help allowing one to stand on their own. For some look to have you carry them for the rest of yours and their lives. (I can only carry so much now) *S*

poohbear11< I feel there are people who do need help truly, but others that just want attention ruin it for people who are really needing love and comfort, in my heart's opinion.

KAM< Ben: We are now doing what we have talked about earlier ... more of an interchange muddled in between the serious responses to your questions. And it's working, right?

[Ben< KAM: Yes, I think so. *S*]

kemokae< OK ... you all brought up something that reminds me of something. When I was a supervisor, my mother passed away, and I had many people coming up to me and telling me they were "so sorry" about losing her ... but when my gal I hired that was considered mentally "slow" came up to me, she said "I understand ... I lost my mother as a little girl" and just couldn't stop the tears. It was her sincerity that got to me, because I knew, in a world which wears a mask, she never did ... she was genuine.

KAM< kemokae: That is so true ... MHMR people are loving and sincere ...

kemokae< I still have pictures of me at this funeral with half a smile on my face, because supervisors never showed anything but complete "self-control" at all times ... my, how the times have changed ...

poohbear11< I admit saying I was suicidal because of someone harassing me and making me miserable in here, and I was serious because I was so upset and in tears trying to get that person to leave me alone. Some people are serious as I was, but I would never truly kill my self ... no ... but was very upset at the time.

Yopo< ((( poohbear11 ))) There is a difference between expressing true feelings of the moment, and just trying to get attention when the feeling isn't really there. It is that last sorta thing that I was referring to ...

poohbear11< Understood. *nodding head* That was almost a year ago. I said it had something to do with family challenges. Things are a lot better because I found god in my life. :)

DestinyB< Yopo: I used to frequent a divorce message board, and one night we were able to keep someone talking long enough to locate him and send the police to his house while he was telling all of us "good-bye". He didn't ask for help, and yes, it was REAL! He was better after getting therapy and medication.

KAM< DestinyB ... but you could tell it was real ... *S*

Ben< ALL: Okay! Excellent discussion tonight. Thank you, each and all. (I ran over time a little because I hadn't really decided to post Question 3a. Now I'm glad I did.)

[Ben< Many people thanked me for these seminars and said they enjoy them. I appreciate every one of those comments, but if I kept them posted here, it would feel to me as though I was boasting.]

Ben< /topic Open discussion of "Chatroom games people play"

[The following was scattered through the transcript. I have compiled it.]

DestinyB< I don't mind some trivial chat, but don't care for the attacks, arrogant behavior, or preaching. I prefer an interesting conversation.

poohbear11< I totally agree. Everyone has a right their own own opinion. And the ones who call us names and put down SWC by cussing or saying we are all going you-know-where, that is not good.

LEGS< What I find disruptive is vulgarity ... cursing ... filthy expressions ... name calling ... accusatory arguments ... and saying to someone that their belief is totally stupid.

Gibran< But that doesn't usually happen ... or does it? In the few days I've been here, I haven't heard anyone curse or name call or anything like that.

Sprinkles< It is, in my opinion, very rare. A few do carry on disruptively, but the majority of all I have met are in no way disruptive.

Gibran< We're in a spiritual chat, and no one in a spiritual chat should have any desire to curse, accuse or name-call. I don't understand why someone would get into a spiritual chat and start to curse. That's absurd. If they want to curse, they should go to another chat room, where cursing would be a normal thing to do.

guitarist< LEGS, and others: I wonder whether anyone has noticed whether the people who curse, name-call and accuse are known as male or female. I just finished a college class that has been discussing language, thought and behavior, and the last chapter was on cyberspace. That chapter pointed out that men consider the Internet their turf, and they will use offensive language to intimidate women on-line. Is this as true here as I've perceived it?

LEGS< Both genders occasionally fall into the foul language, and personally one of the worst I ever saw was from a professional prostitute from Nevada who also came in with her web page which opened with porno, tagged to her nick ...

kemokae< I saw something as I came in about using bad language. They said the other day on a survey that the higher the intelligence, the more likely a person is to swear ... sex was no consideration except in mixed groups.

LEGS< I would differ with that opinion, kemokae ... more a lack of intelligence would seem apparent.

kemokae< LEGS: Nope ... it depends on how you go about it, I think. And I think that even god has had his "temper" in his time also. He has "hurt" a good many ... take Sodom and Gomorra for example ... he wasn't exactly "smiling" when he went off with the lighting bolts. Well, mankind can't do that, so we tend to swear to release the "energy" of being mad. He's intelligent if he doesn't take it personally. And in fact I know people that never swear, and they do LOTS more destruction to other people.

lO< kemokae: It has been my observation that often people swear who do not have a broad enough vocabulary to appropriately express themselves, hence resort to such habits to sound more important, etc.

Yopo< IO: Oh, I don't know. I have quite a spectacular vocabulary of inappropriate forms of speech at my disposal, when the occasion arises. *LOL*

lO< Yopo: I do suspect you could find some particularly withering remarks to make should the occasion demand, at that!

kemokae< I generally don't swear unless I am mad. Next move is most likely "violence" or some such ... throwing dishes ... noodles from the soup pan, etc.

KAM< Our father used to say that swearing was the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.

Yopo< KAM: Alas, for some of military background, occasional swearing is a hard habit to break. *s*

StarrFu< I teach a class on words ... when you swear, that is what you get. So now my students bump their toe and yell CASH ... drop things and say Mate. My retreat center hardly ever hears a Sh#t.

KAM< StarrFu: Interesting ... I love words ... they are so "expressive!" VBS

DestinyB< StarrFu: I like your teaching strategy!

kemokae< It would be an interesting thought to tell "God" how you feel about things when you're swearing. And some people you are around will not take a simple "NO" for an answer ... I mean you got to scream NO and hope they "listen" then. I seldom swear to get attention ... and once calmed down, you generally find that I don't swear. Just "releasing the energy".

StarrFu< Just a little comment I would like to make on swearing ... usually when we say God Da#% it, we are in a situation where the energy is blocked already. Why would we want to dam it more? I like to say God UN-damn it to create a flow.

Sprinkles< With swearing I like to say "Dang", which is a positive or negative usage but "diggity dang" means Alright!! S

Yopo< One last thought on the swearing. I must confess I do that at times in the heat of the moment, out there in the 3D world. But there is no excuse for it here. I mean, we TYPE our thoughts, and have a moment to reflect before we hit that Post button, right? Swearing in here is a CONSCIOUS action.

KAM< Yopo: Quite a telling point ... yes, we do it consciously when we swear in SWC.

kemokae< Yopo: I am laughing ... because I type and say EXACTLY what I mean when I am angry. Look at the spelling: if there are misspelled words, it's because I am laying it on the line, more or less, so to say ...

Walt< @$#%&*^%$ ... & I mean it ... Hahahahhaha ...

Yopo< Walt: My, my. Hold on ... I'm gonna go look for a bar of Life Buoy ...

Walt< Yopo: Oh no ... Hate the song "I'm forever blowing bubbles" ... Hides behind large Henge stone ...

KAM< Oh, Yopo ... Walt didn't mean it ... don't wash his mouth out with soap.

Walt< ===o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0========0o0oo0o0o00oo0 ... Gasp ...

KAM< Pretty bubbles, Walt ... *G*

LEGS< {{{{{Walt}}}}}} Testimonial time ... Walt was one of the first to talk to me here, and his postings of humor were good therapy for me. I'll always love him ... *Big Smile*


kemokae< LEGS: That is how I feel about you and many of the "oldies" because I really have no such "talk" going on around me here in this house of mine, nor am I able to voice how I feel about things. // Ben ... are you still there?

Sprinkles< Ben: What will be the topic for next Saturday? Will it be along the same line (disrupters) ?

Ben< ALL: I think we've pretty well covered the topic for this seminar, in the earlier two discussions and this one, so I'll try to get all 3 transcripts edited and posted, and start something different next Saturday. Not sure what, yet.

greyman< Ben: And Now Something Completely Different! Sounds like the opening theme of Monty Python's Flying Circus!

Ben< greyman: Hah! Spirituality according to Monty Python? I shudder to think of it. LOL

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