Saturday, September 14, 2013

Repeaters for the Devil's Radio

"Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see." old proverb

Malicious gossips wouldn't manage much harm if many others weren't complicit by being:

1) So Gullible (accepting accusations without evidence.)

In many places and times, a lot of innocent people have been killed because bad gossip swayed neighbors into believing someone was a witch/wizard with an 'evil eye' that's causing all the problems or 'must be the one who did it' when the only 'evidence' was a preponderance of wagging tongues . This is actually why trials were instituted in every civilized society (and mob 'justice' outlawed.) If there is no evidence that can bring the accused to trial, then the most common reason will be because the accused is actually innocent, no matter what 'everybody' has been persuaded to believe

The 'logic' doesn't have to be any better than this...

It says sad things about the state of our society that people have gone back to believing rumors as a primary source of news. Given the propaganda issues with some mainstream sources, and the way local news sometimes just seems to get ignored by the official newscasters, I understand why word of mouth is proliferating. Just make sure your local 'news' actually has credible eyewitnesses and evidence. For those who believe in God, I STRONGLY recommend praying for discernment as to what is the real truth - especially before you act on a rumor in any way! It could be a FrameUp

2) So Judgmental - so ready to internalize a bad word and turn on others, especially friends, family, neighbors...

Any accusation making the rounds effectively acts as a social demotion in most groups. It doesn't need to be all that credible for former friends to shun you. The real message (if your enemy has spread Malicious Slander far enough and didn't get enough flack back for it) is that the herd/flock is turning on you, which means your enemy has more social support and it's safest to dump you.* Since this is a kind of treachery, people feel best about themselves if they 'officially' believe the Demonising Lies. (Cognitive Dissonance) This is why even when you can prove it's a lie, you may have a hard time getting a fair hearing to Clear Your Name. If they accept the truth, then they have to choose between openly turning on you because it's socially expedient or championing your now unpopular position, becoming controversial, and risk being tarred with the same BS brush used on you. The most common compromise position is for a 'weak friend' to continue friendly communications, but only if you agree to keep their support a secret. Eventually most of these either make up their mind to truly remain a friend or stop talking to you, lest the others find out...

In this situation, the best you can be is a Hero With Bad Publicity

* [If you are ever fully ostracized, this enemy's next goal will likely work toward using the group's Moral Myopia to create a Torches and Pitchforks scenario (the virtual version often uses hackers.)]

3) So Ready to Become Repeaters for the Devil's Radio -

Those who are willing to 'back up' a lying jerk are the worst. In some cases they initially back such stories as just juicy gossip, figuring others are solely responsible for discerning whether there is anything to it. They usually tell themselves that since they didn't start it, they are just passing on what's going to go around anyway, but every repetition makes it seem more real to other listeners. This is what pushes incredible assertions past 'the tipping point' into a contagious social agreement - this is what makes even ridiculous hoaxes seem so believable. Not surprising that socially adept bad-mouthing persons/cliques push rumors enough times, in enough places (or just often enough from the same person), their rubbish tend to be accepted as truth. There's no Snopes to prove or disprove their accusations about private people.

The repeaters may even reason that you must deserve it, since Ole Crocodile Tears is a 'nice person.' Well, NO, O.C.T. is NOT a nice person if he/she is trying to get you to say ugly things you don't personally know are true. I don't care if Ole Crocodile Tears says they are 'warning' you about them. That's just a clever ruse to make their little drama sound less selfish/evil and make you feel like they care about you while messing with your head. SEE: Wounded Gazelle Gambit. All you Really Know is that O.C.T is upset with them/thinks they are bad/dislikes them. The result is always that they want you to do their dirty work. *rolls eyes*

God regards the repeaters as slanderers too

Being an easy tool of a slanderer doesn't say good things about you.

Be careful about who you let bend your ear.

Remember: "A clean conscience makes a soft pillow."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gatekeeper Society

Some communities figure that having a 'gatekeeper' mentality will ensure that only the best will be within their group. They believe this will maximize the enjoyment of those encouraged to remain, and foster community growth of the best kind. It may be well meant but it just doesn't seem to work! Such societies regularly fail everywhere: be they online, planned developments, elitist communes...whatever!

Using an elitist principle seems to bring out the worst in human nature, and proves stifling even to 'valued members' - since all they do must pass muster with (be seen as valuable by) the ruling elite. The tendency for the rank and file is to become hierarchical and competitive, which is never a welcoming environment for newcomers. Older members tend to flaunt their seniority anyway, add in a filter that declares regular human attributes unacceptable and you create a recipe for a dwindling group, a number of whom will be acting out in unpleasant ways.

I've seen the noble intention of inviting the noble/creative/intelligent into a protective environment derail into judging members as ugly internal politicking heated up. Skilled manipulators will tend to defame as 'unworthy' -members who don't support their goals of control and/or could prove to be competition. You would think that a person's personality, ethics, or skills would be evident, but people are easily swayed (primed) to agree, especially when they are trying to get along too hard. I think the problem is that so many 'good' attributes are subjective, and may even be defined by political/racist/ageist/religious leanings or even what appeals to someone's mouthy power clique as opposed to being based upon a mutually agreed upon set of parameters.

In time, even the 'gatekeepers' may be derided to suit someone else's bid for power. Any snarkiness or inner ring games already available will be used. The battle for power can be an ugly one, even in an alleged meritocracy. Only when courteous behavior is the rule do you have a reasonable basis for banning such games. If any excuse exists to permit rude behavior, it will be used. In fact, the excuses may be planned well in advance of the attack.

This is why I say the judgy opposite approach can create many bad feelings, fracture community spirit, and limit creativity, because people may fear to show anything they aren't sure will be appreciated.

Having a welcoming spirit, gentle ways, and a loving - enforced- code of conduct works far better. Trolls can be evicted fairly and everyone else learns to play together nicely. Then a sharing atmosphere encourages not only the obviously smart, extroverted, creative types, but also the hidden talents shyly scribbling in the corners. Besides, even the most creative types appreciate a well-mannered audience. IMO Kindly, courteous freedom is the only path that works.

[Another post that FB is not allowing through, so I am repeating it here. Photo from]

Monday, September 02, 2013

Response to "Listening to Young Atheists, Lessons for a Stronger Christianity"

Another post not going through FB - at least not yet. My family checked and only I can see it 2 hours later, even when I set it to public.

later: Okay... so *I* can see the embedded FB post when I am signed in to my blog but when my family checked it, they only saw the title... Oddly, I don't have to be signed into my FB account, just my blog to see it. [I can also see the original FB post on my own timeline.]

Enough about the technical hiccups ~

Here's what I said about this article


It's an interesting article. I could see where a lot of these kids were coming from.

When I had serious questions, I found answers in Bible study, some books, and in prayer, but rarely did I get much help or support from people I met in mainstream church services. People often don't even really visit with one another in those buildings, and relationships are often shallow - for years, unless you look up each other on your own time. Serious questions are often considered awkward (at best.) Seriously, I value real Fellowship, but it's not always so easy to find. I knew it once, and I found Jesus to be real, so I don't judge Christianity by the failing churches I've seen.

[I wish more churches really did 'fellowship' when they got together, talking in practical terms how they interpret scripture and honor Christ, encouraging each other and praising God, rather than the 'floor show and go' that usually dominates the proceedings.]

I also don't judge those who weren't as blessed as I have been in that regard, and figure agnosticism, atheism, paganism or other beliefs systems must be the answer. I just hope they find Jesus too. The Blessed Hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a LOT better than any alternative! My life wouldn't have been worth living without God's active support. I want the nice people I've met to share this advantage that's made all the difference for me.

I do agree that it's important to be real, and down-to-Earth about how believing Jesus changes your life. The search for authenticity in Christianity was what birthed the 'Jesus Movement' that I knew growing up. I don't agree that you have to proselytize continually to be real. If you are seriously applying Christ's teachings to your life, it becomes obvious enough. Believers should be willing to discuss why they believe and how it affects their life choices, and brave enough to face possible flack for not bending farther (to get along), but insisting on talking about Our Faith with those who are not expressing an interest in listening tends to backfire. Living the Gospel is (in my opinion) often more important and effective than constantly preaching it. I expect the Holy Spirit to give me the words when He wants me to speak on Kingdom matters. Isn't that part of what was promised to us?