Monthly Archives: September 2017

Tight Ships Do Sink – New PF Screenshots

Through the kindness of someone who has emailed screenshots of a recent internal debacle at PF, former members who still return to this blog can see the their practices questioned and discussed, and of course justified (quite poorly, I might add).

It appears that a number of long-term members are openly challenging the team’s treatment of them, the response being that they have formed a mutinous clique and there can be no other clique than the one in charge. The sycophancy of some, who accept this authority of PF over their life decisions, is fairly disturbing.

The dispute involved a long term member, admonished for the apparently inexcusable crime of having invited her ex to a conversation… last year. And having maintained a business-related channel for him to contact her, which obviously is related to her livelihood. Arguably, a normal group of friends would not attempt to get this person to overdramatise the presumed danger she has put herself in by simply contacting said ex, let alone chastise her for it. That’s not what emotional support is about. But then again, this is no normal group of friends, but Fahrenheit 451 with a twist of sour lemons.

On the PF mother ship, one is no longer allowed to be human. Being human is a sign of imperfection; a transgression of ideological purity. They cannot see how their attitude of excluding people for normal human interaction with “undesirables” renders them as bigoted as fundamentalist Mormons, who mandate that remaining with a partner/ spouse is an absolute, regardless of other factors. It comes from a need to control what others do, to regulate the details of other people’s lives.

When someone is truly empathetic, they listen. They take your life experience into account and seek to learn from it just as you might learn from them. Throwing the book at people on a constant basis is reserved for preachers and hypocritical moralists; it indicates distance and superficiality, not friendship.

Apologies for the size; when enlarged the text becomes blurred and impossible to read. Saving them makes them readable. I will extract some relevant quotes and comment on them below.

PFnew1  PFnew2    PFnew3 PFnew4   PFnew5 PFnew6   PFnew7 PFnew8

 

“She received an email and came here to get help and reinforcement to not respond, which was the right thing to do. After several days of pages and feedback form other members, it appeared she was going to ignore the hoover. What happened next though is she popped up in here a couple of weeks later with this dramatic, attention-grabbing thread written in ALL CAPS, as if it were breaking news, bragging about 1000% validation for doing everything she was told NOT to do. (…)

But the arrogance and false bravado with which she bragged about it and took offence with certain members and administrators who didn’t “congratulate” her for her supposed “closure” and breaking NC was a big part of the issue. It was only when she received some feedback from seasoned veterans that she didn’t want to hear, that she wanted her thread taken down. But then she started another thread, thanking members for their support in this thread and passive-aggressively complaining about the members who did not express unwavering support. That thread was taken down.” (Smitten Kitten)

Quick recap here, in more realistic terms. The member sought their advice but did not follow it, as, lo and behold, it was, ultimately, her life. Her choice turned out to work better for her than theirs. Instead of being happy that she was in a better place, they were outraged that she dared to break the community rules. Because in the end, it was all about them, not her, though they wouldn’t benefit or suffer whatsoever as a result of her choice. Them or anyone else on this planet. It was such a terrible affront that they never stopped to contemplate that she was, in fact, feeling better about her situation. You’d think they were trying to dissuade this woman from joining ISIS.

If you read through this admin’s entire account of matters, it’s rather bemusing.

“Honestly I am sick of PF becoming a place where the admins are accused of wrongdoing for reacting in an adult way to non-adult situations.” (Peace)

I recall the numerous cases, on this blog alone (not to mention other platforms), of members banned out of the blue, without an explanation, even after requesting one. An adult would at least dignify a supposed friend of a few years with a quick response. Is that so emotionally straining? What about the way they treated Thomas Sheridan, with a hysterical and vicious smear campaign? Is that an adult way to do things?

“While folks may say or do things out of pain, that doesn’t erase the hurtful effects that those words & actions have on their recipients. Yes, we are all human. That doesn’t make it okay to blame a website or friend for one’s internal discomfort.” (Peace)

How about applying not blaming a friend for one’s internal discomfort when thinking of those “hurtful effects” then? Do some people have more of a right to be hurt by others and act on it? How is it so unbearable to be questioned that you have to exclude this person from the communal entourage, cutting them off from everyone else?

“People here declare abuse or judgement or censorship because they aren’t validated 100% for everything they do.” (Peace)

When you react with such effervescence to common actions they take, and declare them potentially unfit for your group of straight-thinkers, excuse people for taking offence. I’d say a mirror is required here. It’s them who don’t validate you through what they choose to do with their lives in the end, and you find that unacceptable. You find them unworthy of speaking to unless they adhere to your exact guidance. Because you couldn’t possibly find valuable insight in someone else’s experience. You’re way above learning about life.

“That’s not how growth works.” (Peace)

Perpetually failing to address concerns or criticism, by blocking people and running away, is not how growth works either. You might as well cover your ears and start humming. Unless of course, you think in your case growth is no longer required, because you’ve already achieved the status of an all-knowing being.

“PF is not an echo chamber to validate and say “yes you’re right” to everyone all the time.” (Peace)

That’s exactly what it is, only in reverse. Admins and mods have an imperious need to be validated by other people living their lives by each letter in their program. If you fail to comply, you are of no use to them anymore.

“If anyone else would like to leave, they are welcome to do so. Please just contact us privately, instead of these dramatic public exits.” (Peace)

Quite a leap from seeing members off, or even their fellow admins and mods, with a rotten tomato fair-well party, accusing them of being disordered. I assume those were not dramatic exists.

“I 1000% agree with what you all have written here and especially in connection with what I have recently been astonished and confused by in witnessing in connection to the arrogance with regard to PF where some members feel that its theirs and theirs alone so, it might be perceived as “anything goes”. The statement of, “US against the admins” reminded me of a line from Lord of the Flies. REALLY????” (Phoenix)

I don’t know about entitlement to speak your mind on a forum of so-called unconditional friends – I’d worry more about the entitlement of someone else’s life being yours to manage, and the idea that not following your directives and contradicting your perspective is offensive. This person realised she didn’t have to do what they dictated. That she could choose for herself and surprisingly, it could have better results.

“On reflection, and simply put, a moment of strait talking and the resultant shock, can save years of unnecessary emotional abuse after taking a step back and properly “digesting” and evaluating. In my view, PF has always been about “the greater good, for the greater number”, never the reverse.” (Phoenix)

Explain to me how this is different than a fundamentalist religious group. Preemptive saving of the congregation. Do not speak to this person even once because he’ll end up convincing you to go back and you will suffer for years. Do not look at that Playboy as you will end up having orgies and getting HIV. These people don’t know where they themselves will be in five years’ time, let alone someone else.

The crux of the matter is their quest is not to help individuals – otherwise they would at least take a moment to be happy for them when their lives improve. Individuals don’t matter; the cult mentality does.

“We thought closing registrations would help calm things down and make it easier to keep the peace without an influx of new trolls, but of course that doesn’t solve the problem of existing trolls who are already here.” (Smitten Kitten)

She is referring to someone who had been there for years, not a “troll”. Regardless of how well you think these people know you, trusting they would never class you as such, surprise.

“Instead, there seems to be some new kind of arrogance that’s developed in some of the membership, where they act like they’re part of an exclusive club now and they act like that gives them the right to complain about us whenever they feel like it.” (Smitten Kitten)

Pure lese-majeste, which is French for an affront to royalty, or authority, by association. Subversion, no less.

Perhaps said members are connecting privately and starting to realise what really goes on. There should be little doubt with regards to what admins think they’re running there. It has nothing to do with friendship or even consideration towards others, let alone helping vulnerable people, and everything to do with control and self-aggrandisement.

 

Heaven – The Selfish Mirage

As a child, I often wondered how would marriage after widow-ship fare with Heaven, if a person was supposed to remain with their spouse in the afterlife. Namely which equally legitimate spouse would be one’s eternal companion.

That, of course, was only one small question regarding this mysterious promised land of peaceful green pastures, where everyone, from infants to the elderly, would dwell until the end of time (or outside of it). Well, everyone minus most people on the planet, since the path to “salvation” is supposed to be so “narrow”, so narrow the troubled souls of the living would have to compete in arduousness in order to squeeze into the fortunate convoy.

Arguably, Hell is a much more grotesque and disturbing concept, yet in its own way, Heaven is as well. Atheism aside, if one is spiritual, the whole idea seems very unfair.

First of all, we should assume that arbitrarily, since God decides who lives or dies, he only allows some people a substantial duration of their existence (growing, maturing, becoming wiser), whilst for others that is cut short without the possibility of fully experiencing life on Earth.

Then, the status of children who die without having been christened comes into question: do they go to Heaven as well, and if not, how is this prospect not morally repugnant enough to make people doubt this religion? Some denominations, such as Orthodoxy, claim no one can enter Heaven without the ceremony in this specific rite. Recently, I’ve come across a fanatic online who didn’t deem such people worthy of a conversation on religion, regardless of their views, which is beyond medieval.

There’s something about clinging on to people who have died that seems a bit selfish, from a spiritual perspective – in terms of imagining they’re simply waiting for one’s presence, stacked on a vaporous shelf somewhere, looking down at the living they left behind.

As someone who believes in reincarnation, I find it more reasonable to think that when souls are freed from their mortal bodies they move on to different experiences and continue to grow through them. Reincarnation has long been studied and at times the search revealed cases where coincidence could only be claimed through the sheer belief that this phenomenon is impossible. The work of Dr Ian Stevenson alone is proof that this subject is anything but fiction or wishful thinking.