A new forum

Several of you have requested a better discussion forum than what WordPress offers. As this blog is hovering around 500 comments per week, I need to distribute some of the work load. This is eating my social life. The time is ripe for a new forum.

It will be a moderated discussion forum. Moderation done by OTs and posts are pruned for references to upper level confidential material. The aim is to foster courteous discussions about Scientology, the Church of Scientology and related subjects. Everyone should feel safe in participating. The moderators protects participants – both from argumentum ad hominem and by keeping all personal information strictly confidential. Anonymous posting is welcome. In other words, the rules would be pretty much like on this blog.

I am thinking a simple setup with four categories:

  • An information category covering purpose and rules for the forum.
  • Two main discussion categories:
    1. Scientology philosophy
    2. Church of Scientology
  • A meta category for discussion about the forum itself

The forum is set up and ready for some testing. But first, I wanted to hear any suggestions you may have.

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  1. thatsnotmyname
    2009-11-01 at 18:08

    Good idea!

  2. Another Surfer
    2009-11-01 at 18:52

    Geir,

    I have been amazed at your ability to run your business, have a family, run your other blogs, write music, compose art AND post here as frequently as you do as well as replying to so many comments left by others. Indeed, I’ve wondered if your “days” consist of 30 hours (versus the 24 the rest of us are stuck with). 🙂

    I say go ahead and open the new forum the way you’ve outlined it. If you need to make adjustments later, you can.

    Thanks for all you do.

    • 2009-11-01 at 19:06

      You are welcome. You see, even the 30 hour days are starting to wear thin these days 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    2009-11-01 at 18:54

    The term “Scientology philosophy” was popularized by the “Church of Scientology,” and – as used by the “Church” – is kind of vague.

    By “Scientology philosophy” do you a mean the recorded spoken and written words – or teachings – of L. Ron Hubbard?

    What, specifically, constitutes the “Scientology philosophy”?

    • 2009-11-01 at 19:07

      The subtext so far is “Discussions related to the Scientology philosophy, it’s technology, ethics and admin and related subjects such as Dianetics and off-shots. ” It’s deliberately left a bit vague.

  4. Overdriver
    2009-11-01 at 19:31

    Good initiative! Thank you.

  5. 2009-11-01 at 19:47

    I kinda feel sorry for OSA. There are some great people in OSA Int (like Gloria, Veronique, Kurt [at CMO Int now I heard] and Lisa Goodman [unless it’s true that she blew]. The blogs and forums popping up while they have trouble retaining staff must strain them very thin.

    • StarsAwait
      2009-11-02 at 09:02

      Regarding great OSA people, they better make sure Toni Chrambanis and Bev Mcphee don’t see what we’re really doing here because they’d leave and join us, they’re great people. The enemy line given to people in the SO not in-the-know is that Marty is with anonymous. I’ve verified this twice.

      – Boyd Hutchins

      • Heather
        2009-11-02 at 18:50

        Boyd, be sure to tell them then about the threads on whyweprotest.net where many Anons have torn Marty to shreds and some have discussed trying to “take him down”. I would provide links except that they likely would expose the reader to upper level materials.

  6. 2009-11-01 at 20:03

    Can the Tech be questioned?

    Can LRH’s true biography be discussed?

    Besides confidential materials, are there any subjects which are forbidden to be discussed?

    • 2009-11-01 at 20:16

      Yes, tech would be discussed, questioned and perhaps expanded upon – but in a civilized and courteous manner.

      LRH’s life, yes – but none of the usual bashing left, right an center. Facts is king.

      Besides upper level material, there should be no holy cows. But, again, the form must be civilized.

      I do not want the forum to degenerate as I fell others have. It must be safe and interesting for scientologists still in to participate and discuss what they feel is right on the forum.

      • 2009-11-01 at 20:46

        It appears that Socrates will not be asked to drink Hemlock on your new forum.

        I very much respect that and look forward to participating, if you will have me.

  7. emldubu
    2009-11-01 at 21:31

    Yes, I’ll be interested in this as you’ve outlined it. Sounds terrific and thank you!

  8. ExKane
    2009-11-01 at 21:44

    My only question is, will you continue to make blog-type posts somewhere, and if so where will they be? It seems to me that your blog posts have kept this site in good order, and without them the new forum may degenerate, as you say.

    • 2009-11-01 at 22:20

      1. I will keep posting. Some on this blog. Topics for discussion I will post on the forum.
      2. I will make sure the forum doesn’t degenerate – by letting sane people moderate.

      • 2009-11-01 at 22:24

        Questions:

        1. What is the definition of “degenerate” with regard to a discussion forum?

        2. What is the definition of “sane” with regard to the moderator of a discussion forum?

        • 2009-11-01 at 23:00

          For this new forum:
          1. That the rules and purpose are not enforced
          2. That they enforce the rules and purpose

          • 2009-11-03 at 14:32

            Thank you, Yoda.

            I hope that every participant will be free to disagree with anything they wish.

            And I hope that the moderators do not enforce “sanity” by reducing the above freedom.

            Here’s why: Scientology is a system of thought. Any system is finite, meaning, there are ideas that exist outside the finite system of Scientology.

            A person who has adopted a finite system of thought tends to defend against invaders and enforce rules that keep his finite system of thought intact. Sometimes, his sense of self-identity and morality depends on it.

            Will that be “sanity” on this board?

            • 2009-11-03 at 14:56

              Yes, indeed it will. I fully agree with these ideas, Obi Wan.

              We shall expand our finite knowledge base by forever keeping our eyes on infinity.

              • 2009-11-03 at 15:18

                “We shall expand our finite knowledge base by forever keeping our eyes on infinity.”

                My thoughts, exactly!

  9. Barney Rubble
    2009-11-01 at 22:20

    Leisa Goodman, did not blow. But she standardly did her routing out routing form, this year.

    • 2009-11-01 at 23:01

      Thanks for the data. I like Lisa. How is she doing (send me an e-mail if you like)?

      • RJ
        2009-11-01 at 23:50

        Geir once again.

        You da man!!!!!

        Love your idea of a separate forum.

        As a comment to what Barney wrote. Yeah it seems that OSA’s brain trust is shrinking further.

        No surprise here.

        Someone should do an ad similar to the Drug Free America ad, like:

        This is your brain

        This is your brain on Miscavige!

      • Barney Rubble
        2009-11-02 at 06:05

        Sure,

        Give me your email address please. I’d give you mine, but I’m under watch, sorry.

        • 2009-11-02 at 07:14

          It’s g_@_ise_ne.com (remove the underscores)

  10. Cinnamon
    2009-11-01 at 23:27

    I personally would like to see, within the Scientology philosophy category, a section devoted to “deprogrammation”. I mean where people talk about sections of the tech that they believe are wrong, or are possibly not clear enough, or not applied as they should be.

    I am not talking about a hate section, but am just asking for peoples’ educated thoughts.

    The reason I personally would want it to be its own section is that, I specifically look for, and need ways to straighten out my mind about Scientology. That is part of why I read online about Scientology. Even after a year of reading on the internet, I suspect I could still benefit at least a little. I think other people out there might need this too.

    • 2009-11-02 at 06:52

      Discussions on the tech would be appropriate – but “deprogrammation” is to me a wrong title, though.

      • Cinnamon
        2009-11-02 at 18:02

        Sorry about that. That’s not even an English word.

  11. merris
    2009-11-02 at 01:59

    I would very much like to discuss the tech in a sane environment.:))
    I’d prefer to not see confidential material, (I know of the story) Much of my tech education came from books and ESMB and courses I find on E-Bay. Will it be easy to use like this blog? I am a beginner as far as computer skills go.
    Scientology has worked miracles in my life and I think this forum will help many others…..Thankyou for taking the time to share with all of us! 🙂

    • 2009-11-02 at 06:57

      I will give it a test run soon – then you can see if it is easy or not 🙂

  12. a certain uncertainty
    2009-11-02 at 03:56

    good idea. but i would sugest this forum would have a space to talk about other beliefs besides scientology, like compared religions.

  13. AnonLover
    2009-11-02 at 05:43

    this suggestion might not be a good fit for what your aimin to do, but I’m going to ask it anyway…. it would be a great resource if you would also have an area for questions from non-scientologists. a place where the more studious researchfag anons like myself could ask serious questions in the process of trying to understanding the tech or confirm authenticity of leaked materials.

    Assuming of course that we post our inquiries with proper respect for confidential stuff. eg: “I have a question about xyz materials in this context. could somebody interested in helping me understanding this subject please send me a private message”

  14. sherrymk
    2009-11-02 at 06:12

    Barney Rubble :
    Leisa Goodman, did not blow. But she standardly did her routing out routing form, this year.

    Fantastic news..Leisa was a good friend of mine. We did a mission together in the mid 90’s. She’s quite an artist too. Do you know where she went? Please email me thru Geir if so. If she needs help or someplace to go or anything, I’m willing to help.

  15. 2009-11-02 at 12:24

    isene :
    Discussions on the tech would be appropriate – but “deprogrammation” is to me a wrong title, though.

    I agree, I think Indoctrination would be a better category.

    Definition: Indoctrination: teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically

    Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoctrination

  16. Barney Rubble
    2009-11-02 at 15:09

    sherrymk,

    I just emailed Geir the info. She is doing well.

  17. Heather
    2009-11-02 at 18:53

    I’m a moderator on some other forums. Moderators can see peoples ip addresses. How would you handle that?

    • 2009-11-02 at 19:15

      You currently trust me. And I am honored for that. Then you will have to trust me with the moderators I appoint. They will all be OT 5 or above and safely outside the church. So far I have three moderators in addition to me. I want 5 before I push the “Go”-button.

      • Heather
        2009-11-02 at 20:15

        Thanks. That’s good enough for me.

      • Mark A. Baker
        2009-11-03 at 19:36

        Nothing personal Geir, but I’ve seen a lot of “OT 5 or above” and “safely outside the church” who can’t be trusted to communicate with either honesty or good manners. Many of the worst offenders on freezone & independent boards with regard to firefights and perpetual “make wrongs” of others are “OTs” who are safely outside the church.

        SO-types seem especially prone to being disruptive influences in this regard. They appear to have suffered too much damage as a result of perpetually enforcing “command intention” I suspect.

        Try to pick people with nice manners who were NEVER in the SO. Kiwi’s & Scandinavians seem to be likely ethnic choices, there. Give North America a miss. Too many of us tend to verbal extremism as our innate “right of free speech” and frankly manners in the u.s. are not what they once were. 🙂

        • 2009-11-03 at 19:41

          Wow. That’s quotable 🙂

          I will try to elect people with outstanding manners – but as I have met few of the candidates in person, I will leave the option open to replace any of them.

        • 2009-11-04 at 01:15

          Scandavians? And Kiwis?

          Have you not heard of The Vikings?

          And The Māori?

          My God….I suggest that Mark A Baker NOT be a moderator! (:>)

  18. Otto
    2009-11-03 at 01:01

    I made a decision (sometime ago): I’ll read confidential material and find the truth despite my phisical integrity but I’ll not accept processing or permit processing based on those materials if I have not achieved to the level.

    I would like that a preference flag protected by login could be set to enabling those links, I’m aware that you are protecting good standing church Scientologists. I just don’t want to miss all those interesting links! A redirecting page could explain the surfer that you are leaving the safe forum.

    Despite the above I believe discussing direct confidential materials should not be allowed in the forum.

    But as you are the forum creator I’m willing to trust and accept the creator rules 😉

    • 2009-11-03 at 13:51

      If you want confidential material, go to google.com.

      I agree with isene: the forum should be a safe space for online Scientologists to freely think, write, discuss, originate and counter the ideas surrounding Scientology. That can all be done without getting into OT Level material.

      There are plenty of other websites and message boards who do that.

      • Otto
        2009-11-04 at 07:52

        Alanzo, I agree with you. Just that I have seen many posts that contain external links in this blog flagged as confidential (probably because one word) that could prove others points or be simply useful.

        Reading confidential material is own decision and the suggestion was that the forum could be configurable with safe defaults and only for external links. No confidential material would be allowed on-site.

        Just a suggestion though.

  19. Mark A. Baker
    2009-11-03 at 19:24

    All in all I think it is a good idea. I would prefer to see you choose OTs who are able to be “agendaless” in their moderating. You’ve done an outstanding job so far in being fair-minded with those with whom you don’t necessarily agree.

    Unfortunately, the independent community has quite a few “hot heads” and “polarized viewpoints” running about in it. It would be a pity to see your proposed board meet a lesser standard of discussion & mutual respect due to “enforced viewpoints” of moderators.

    • 2009-11-03 at 19:37

      I am aware of this and it is a point to carefully watch. I would elect moderators who would agree to my own moderation on this blog as this blog is the birthplace of that forum. It should maintain the spirit herein. I would not hesitate to swap moderators if this spirit of exploration and openness is not maintained.

  20. 2009-11-04 at 05:17

    I think it would be nice for there to be a subforum for people who are interested in learning more about the tech and processing in a free, non-DM-money-sucking environment. This is probably something that would have to be carefully moderated to attempt to keep moles out, but there are some of us who could be verified but have no C/S or auditors to keep us on the right tech. Not necessarily becoming a selling post for ex-OT’s who need money, but a place for people wanting to build comm lines and improve conditions. Just a thought.

    • 2009-11-04 at 10:46

      Good thought. I could add a forum like “Service given & wanted” or something?

      • 2009-11-05 at 07:13

        Maybe people could just tell what levels they’re trained to, what services they might provide (man, what I’d give for just a nerve assist right now!) and if they are interested in providing auditing directly or online (like those guys are doing in Russia via Skype – sounds like a boon for those of us who live hours from even the official orgs, even if the e-meters are expensive.)

        Maybe try to leave stuff like pricing out of it so it wouldn’t become a marketplace, but let indie scientologists with training assist pc’s in improving conditions and increasing positive comm lines. Kind of like Marty’s introduction of indie Scis all over the place who are willing to reach out. Maybe in the end coauditing could be more of the currency for working on levels.

        • 2009-11-05 at 10:42

          Yes – I was thinking of putting up two new categories: 1) Service delivered and 2) Service wanted.

          But I don’t want a category mish-mash like I’ve seen elsewhere. Want to keep it simple, so those two new ones would be enough for now.

  21. 2009-11-21 at 10:02

    Could not find a suitable section so I written here, how to become a moderator for your forum, that need for this?

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