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Trollspotting: How to keep your coven from being destroyed

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  • Trollspotting: How to keep your coven from being destroyed

    Ran across this link while I was perusing the adult articles on WitchVox and instantly thought of this forum on MW. I read through the entire article and although I'm currently just a Solitary, I feel it has tremendous value not only for groups but also for anyone who may attend them occasionally. Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V would take too long, so instead I've included a few excerpts from some of the chapters so you can get an overview of the information available through the links.

    TROLLSPOTTING How to Keep Your Coven From Being Destroyed
    by Eran: copyright © 2004-2005 by David C. Petterson

    If you've been active in a Pagan community for any length of time, you've seen it happen:
    • A Coven will suddenly be torn by strife and backbiting, They Coven can split apart, and may dissolve completely.
    • A larger umbrella organization will disintegrate into warring factions, and some of the elder members will resign in disgust – or amid odd rumors.
    • Strange stories will begin to be passed around the general community, odd and not-quite-unbelievable accusations about a locally-known (and probably respected) Coven leader or a bookshop owner.
    • Even on computer bulletin boards, Internet newsgroups, or email lists, interesting and productive conversations are interrupted by flaming and name-calling.

    Perhaps these sorts of things have even happened to you. Unexpectedly, you might have found yourself in the midst of a storm of rumor and accusation. Some of it seems to be due to simple misunderstanding and miscommunications. People you've trusted and loved seem to be misinterpreting everything you say and do. But try as you might, you can never seem to get those misunderstandings cleared up. And, somehow, your attempts to resolve the conflicts or to quell the rumors just get you in deeper, and lead to more layers of pain and in-fighting.
    Similar things can happen in the growing and evolving environment of cyberspace. An interesting conversation will be disrupted by someone who seems intent on misquoting or misconstruing whatever anyone says. The person constantly quibbles over misspellings and irrelevant details, or takes offense at everything, and seems to feel everything is an intentional attack and personal insult. A few others might defend that picked-on underdog – for a while, anyway, seemingly blind to the fact that it was the "underdog" who caused the argument in the first place.
    And meanwhile, all work and discussion comes to a screeching halt:
    • The Coven torn by strife stops doing the study and worship which its members had intended to do.
    • The umbrella organization sets aside its normal goals and schedules in order to deal with a destructive crisis – and perhaps never really regains its momentum or focus.
    • Respected leaders in a Pagan community become disheartened, feeling battered, disillusioned, and deeply wounded. They drop out of sight and might never be heard from again.
    • A potentially valuable and meaningful online conversation degenerates into squabbling and name-calling, and what might have been gained is lost forever.

    Some Things It's Not
    The kinds of destructive conflicts we're talking about are not simple, everyday things. We're not talking about normal disagreements and misunderstandings. Whenever there is more than one person around, disagreements and misunderstandings are possible. Competent Coven leaders and mature adults can find their way through most of these.

    ~ We're not talking about simple healthy criticism. Coven leaders – and everyone else! – can benefit from having an error or undesirable personality quirk gently pointed out. Mature and responsible people do the pointing-out in mature and responsible ways – and react in mature and responsible ways.
    ~ We're not talking about healthy conflict. Yes indeed, some forms of conflict can be very healthy. Some problems can't be resolved in any other way. For many years, marriage counselors and group therapy leaders have been teaching how to "fight fair," and have been talking about the opportunities there for growth and the possibilities to deepen understanding in relationships.
    ~ We're not even talking about simple "negativity". If Nature teaches one thing, it is that the World is made up of both light and dark, creation and destruction, positive and negative. As Pagans, it's our responsibility to acknowledge and accept both positive and negative, within ourselves and within others, as well as within the World as a whole. Negativity is a part of life. Accept it. (And be suspicious of people who don't.)
    ~ And we are most certainly not talking about Magickal warfare or psychic attack-and-defense. Some groups and individuals enjoy that sort of thing. It provides a Dungeons-and- Dragons-type thrill, and people who like that are welcome to it. The rest of us can (and do) safely ignore the whole idea of Magickal warfare, and can easily avoid becoming entangled in games of that sort.

    Here are some common characteristics of trolls. Use this list as a guide and as warning signs. But be a little bit cautious. Even healthy people will display some of these traits some of the time. If someone displays a couple of these traits every now and then, it could just be a fairly reasonable person on a bad hair day. Use some common sense.
    Conversely, there are very few trolls who will display all of these traits, or even a majority of them. What you’re looking for is a pattern. If there seems to be a consistent set of repeated or common attributes from this list, troll-warning bells should be going off all over the village.
    One or two bad days, every now and then, does not a troll make. Nor does the absence of several troll-traits necessarily mean the person is really just a hamster (or even a wise and productive Covener!) What you’re looking for in a person is a pattern. If someone reveals several of these traits, and shows them consistently – or if the person shows only three or four, but shows them to excess – then you’re dealing with a troll.
    • Echoes and Re-runs. Has this person frequently been involved in arguments and destructive conflicts? Are problems frequent, and always someone else’s fault?
    • Blindness. Does the person seem to have an inability or unwillingness to consider other viewpoints? Does he or she have to win every argument?
    • Elder Hater. If the person has been in a previous Coven or other group, does he or she have nothing but negative things to say about the leader(s) of that group? Does the person exhibit a dislike of Pagan Leaders in general?
    • Coven Hopper. Does this person have a history of moving from Coven to Coven, usually (or always) leaving on bad terms?
    • Living One’s Religion. Does this person exhibit unethical or dishonest and destructive behavior in other areas of his or her life? A destructive person won’t stop being destructive in Circle. (And trolls object to having you look at other areas of their lives.)
    • Unnamed “Others”. Are “others” always to blame for this person’s problems? Do “others” always agree with this person’s concern? Does the person carry tales told to him or her by “others”? Is this person always vague about just exactly who these “others” are?
    • Instant Soulmates. Does this person seem to take an instant liking to you, and say things like, “I knew I was meant to be here from the first moment we met,” or “I feel as if we’re the closest possible friends, even though we’ve known each other only a few days (or hours)”? Instant, karmic connections can happen (and, in Paganism often do); but coupled with other warning signs, this could indicate an attempt at manipulation.
    • Amazingly Likable. Trolls often have the ability to be liked almost immediately. They can be very ingratiating, and seem incredibly open and friendly. It isn’t necessary to be suspicious of someone who gives a very positive first impression. Some wonderful people also have a great deal of personal charisma. But if this trait is present with several other troll-warnings, it can be a dangerous combination.
    • Gushing Praise. Does the person seem to be trying to butter you up, to identify your insecurities (everybody has some) and to play on them to give you strokes and lull you into acceptance?
    • Inappropriate Gifts. Does the person seem to want to bribe affection out of you? Small and thoughtful tokens of appreciation and acknowledgment are certainly welcome and appropriate and reasonable. But does the person give gifts out of proportion to your level of intimacy and acquaintance?
    • Gotcha. Does the person seem to find joy in pointing out other people’s errors or slips, mistakes and goofs, faults and bad habits? Does the person seem to imply these mean he or she is smarter or better suited to be a leader than is the one who goofed? Does the person sometimes ask questions he or she already knows the answers to, just to see if you know?
    • Liar. Is the person often caught in outright lies? Are there excuses and slick explanations always at the ready? Excuses can get pretty imaginative. One notorious liar repeatedly claimed to have misunderstood the conversations in question, and invented the condition of “aural dyslexia” to “explain” those very frequent false statements.
    • Aggression. Does the person use various forms of intimidation, or passive-aggressive techniques, to get what he or she wants?
    • Note-takers and Journal Keepers. This is a rough one, because Pagans often keep magical workbooks and notebooks. But does the person sometimes use highly subjective personal accounts to back up a claim? Are these accounts filled with extreme adjectives and intimations of others’ imagined states of mind? Does the person seem unable to realize that their journal is subjective testimony, and not an objective and accurate, proven account?
    • Name Droppers / Initiation Collectors. Does the person expect you to be impressed by the people he or she has met, or the number of groups or Traditions he or she has worked with? Are there frequent references to his or her marvelous and unmatchable experiences, skills, and knowledge? (Real sages can let their light shine without constant boasting.)
    • Excessive Sarcasm. A ready wit is a good thing. A consistently sarcastic and caustic wit, which constantly belittles others, is not. Does the person seem unable to comprehend the painful and destructive effects of his or her own statements?
    • Excessive Rule hating. Many Pagans are very independent people. However, if someone is going to work within an established group, they need to be willing to follow whatever guidelines that group has, however loose or restrictive those guidelines might be. Trolls hate such restrictions. Healthy people who dislike a given group’s rules are willing to admit that this group may not be right for them, and to look elsewhere without animosity. Trolls will be angry at you for running a group which does not suit them.
    • Pests. Is the person constantly calling with questions, suggestions, personal problems? Does he or she expect you to be willing to drop everything to deal with any and all concerns? Is he or she offended and angry if you can’t?
    • Great Causes. A social conscience is a Good Thing. And many Pagans are very active politically. But great social causes can also be a mask for selfish demands, or a desire for personal power. Does the person heap scorn on those who don’t have an equal zeal for the same causes? Does the person use these causes as excuses to start fights – even when it’s time to settle down to other work?
    • Sore Losers / Bad Winners. In arguments or disagreements – or in games and leisure activities – does the person react well to resolutions? What kind of impression does the person give about past conflicts? Is there excessive gloating when the person wins, or harping and whining he or she loses? Are personal disagreements often depicted in terms of winning and losing, rather than as attempts to resolve differences? Does a loss provoke retaliation?
    • Excessive Privacy or Secrecy. Information management is one of the most powerful tools of a troll. Be wary of anyone who tells you too many things “in confidence,” or who warns you away from talking to people he or she knew formerly, or people involved in his or her tales. Note that this does not apply to legitimate Oaths taken in a religious context. Many paths require Oaths of secrecy, and respect for the privacy of others. However:
    • Oathbreakers / Braggarts. Is the person only too happy to tell you all the secrets of some other group or tradition? He or she will treat your privacy with just as much contempt. Is the person inordinately proud of knowing Secrets which other people are not privy to?
    • Inconsistency. “When you complain about something, it’s malicious gossip; when I do, it’s just sharing feelings, or warning someone about something.” “When I call you nasty names, it’s just an accurate description; when you talk about me behind my back, it’s slander.” Trolls are unable or unwilling to apply the same standards to themselves as they do to other people. They will violently criticize others for actions they engage in themselves.
    • Change Your Focus. If a new person joins your group, does he or she insist on having a better way to do things? Does the person always want to bend the rules of your group, or do away with them? Remember: Paganism is big, and you have no responsibility to provide for the needs of everyone who comes to you. If your group isn’t to the liking of a potential or new member, there’s nothing in the least wrong with insisting that person seek fulfillment elsewhere.
    • Sexual misconduct. This is also a touchy issue, for the sexual ethics of Pagans are different from those of Western society as a whole. Again, individual Pagans are encouraged to create their own sense of ethics, so criticizing someone else’s sexual conduct may be considered politically incorrect. Nevertheless, some sexual conduct is a legitimate cause for concern, and can indicate a self-centeredness crossing the line into ill health – for instance, if it seems excessive, or it belittles others, or displays a lack of concern for the personhood of others; or sexual conduct with minors, or forcing one’s sexual attentions on others, or an unconcern with issues of disease, pregnancy, or others’ needs or reactions.
    • Inappropriate application of Pagan principles, such as Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, or the Rede, subjective realities and creating your own realities, “going with my feelings,” following one’s own sense of ethics, 12-step “recovery,” and so on. More will be said about this later; but does the person use Pagan ideals as excuses and covers for unethical behavior?

    This last point is a particularly important one. Trolls love to use vital Pagan principles inappropriately to cover their own destructive actions. This technique is often quite effective, because it can make their actions sound reasonable, even to their victims. This makes it harder to justify ejecting a troll from your group, even when the troll is blatantly tearing everything apart. These problems are particularly troublesome in larger umbrella organizations, where you have to use formal procedures to kick out a troll. A troll can manipulate Pagan principles to get a few people actually defending the troll’s actions, and to cause dissension and outright warfare within the group of people trying to figure out what to do.

    It’s unlikely that any particular troll attack will exhibit all of these features. But the presence of any should provoke caution; and a pattern of these behaviors is a sure sign. It is vital to recognize a troll attack for what it is, and to refuse to allow it to gain control over you. It is equally vital to educate the people in your Coven on the nature of troll attacks, so they won’t be taken in. And in the Pagan community as a whole, the more people who understand these issues, the less trouble trolls can cause.
    • Troll attacks are disruptive, irrational, unreasonable. The troll expects his or her concerns to take precedence over everything else. In contrast, people who are delivering legitimate criticism are willing to do so at appropriate times and places, without disrupting the normal business and worship of a group.
    • Trolls go out of their way to attack. They create situations in which someone will engage in a behavior they want to criticize. Trolls will initiate trouble.
    • Trolls make insatiable demands. If this or that isn’t to their liking, you can try changing it; but next week, there will still be something wrong with it, something about which the troll can continue to complain.
    • Trolls will often criticize both for doing a thing and (in the next, parallel situation) for not doing it, thus setting up no-win demands and situations in which you can be criticized no matter which course you take.
    • Troll attacks are often based on after-the-fact demands. Troll: "You didn’t do this when you had the chance to!" You: "But I had no idea you’d want that." Troll: "Doesn’t matter. You should have known. I hinted often enough…"
    • Trolls remember situations differently from everyone else, and frequently claim to be unable to recall the most central points of an incident – that is, the points which show their concerns to have no real substance, or to be misdirected. They remember imagined petty slights much better than they remember rational explanations or honest attempts by others to resolve a situation.
    • Trolls are dishonest. Their attacks are dishonest. Historical re-writes are often involved. They’ll often change their version of a tale depending on who they’re talking to and what aspect they think they can best use to their advantage today.
    • Trolls will insist upon their version of reality, to the exclusion of any possible corrections. Trolls will present a warped or downright false description of an incident. No matter how many times you patiently correct their false impressions or false statements, they’ll repeat their version to whoever listens.
    • Troll attacks often center around allegations of another person’s supposed petty motive, rather than around actual actions: "I know So-and-so was out to get me." "He did thus-and-such just because he’s mean, and he doesn’t like me." "She just said what she did because she was angry that I’m a better poet." What was actually said and done is almost irrelevant; the troll wants others to get indignant over someone’s imagined motives, because allegations of someone’s state of mind are impossible to disprove.
    • Trolls will accuse others of doing exactly the sorts of things they do themselves. For example, a troll will complain to you about a third party – then bitterly lament that you are talking about the troll behind his or her back. To prove you’re not unethical, you’ll be tempted to promise to "stop spreading rumors" about the troll. This is a particularly insidious strategy. It’s an attempt to prevent you from sharing information concerning this troll with other people. It’s usually engaged in by very experienced trolls who are trying to command how much others know about them.
    • Trolls will often make accusations which really make no sense, or will accuse someone of reacting completely out of proportion to a supposed cause. "The HPS of the last Coven I was in kicked me out – and even tried to kill my cat! – simply because of an argument we were having over a book she says I borrowed." The attempt here is to make some other person look petty and vindictive and completely unreasonable. Almost always, such statements are intended to mask and distract you from petty and mean actions on the part of the troll.
    • In problem-solving sessions, trolls can’t stay on topic. Invited to discuss Problem "X" (particularly if "X" has to do with the troll’s behavior), the conversation will immediately be directed to some other Problem "Y" – usually, trollish criticism of the Coven Leaders. Trolls want to deflect criticism away from themselves and onto someone else, and will eagerly change the subject to accomplish this.
    • Troll attacks often involve minimal or fabricated concerns. The most mundane and unimportant events – even if they did actually happen – are made to look like actionable offenses. The way you said "Hello" can be presented as if it were evidence of malicious hatred on your part. After all, you said "Hi" in a much nicer tone of voice to someone else.
    • Troll attacks are often based on events which are actually reasonable, if you stop to think about it. For example, Ed the Troll complained that HPS Zelda chose Tom Terrific to be HP at the Beltane Circle. You are supposed to be indignant and angry because Ed was passed over. But wait – isn’t it a Coven Leader’s right to make a decision like that? That’s part of a Coven Leader’s job. Regardless of who is chosen, someone else is going to be passed over.
    • A specific aspect of the previous point: Trolls will object to the legitimate exercise of authority, if it’ll make a Leader look authoritarian and unreasonable. Coven Leaders are often called upon to use their judgement in such matters as initiations or elevations, who runs the next Circle, at what time or on what day a group meets, and so on. A troll can make these necessary decisions look like something dark and sinister, playing on the distrust of authority which most Pagans seem to possess as a matter of course.
    • Trolls will undermine the Coven leaders, often by encouraging the Coven members to engage in activities which are incompatible with the immediate work of the Coven, but which are more "fun" or more immediately rewarding. For instance, if you go on a Coven outing to meditate in a forest, a troll might invite a few of the junior members to join together for a swim, leaving you to either be abandoned or to seem unreasonably hard-nosed. If you’re trying to have a serious discussion, a troll might keep telling jokes. All this is designed to make the troll seem like a more suitable Leader than the HP or HPS, more in tune with the needs and wants of the Coveners. Such actions are direct attacks on the Coven Leaders themselves.

    More trollish techniques:
    • Trolls avoid healthy confrontation. Their complaints and criticisms usually come back to you second-, third-, or fourth-hand. Trolls will complain about someone, and avoid discussing their problems with that person. Why? They really have no desire to settle the issues, but only to use complaints as wedges and weapons. If you ask a troll about a criticism you’ve heard, you’ll get half-hearted explanations, denials, or claims of an inability to remember.
    • Trolls avoid personal inconvenience, risk, sacrifice, or commitment – except for the sake of their attacks. Ask everyone in the Coven to bring something for a potluck feast, and a troll might complain about being forced to contribute from his or her meager income. Ask the whole Coven to read a particular book in order to have a discussion on some special topic, and a troll will complain about unreasonable demands being made on his or her private time.
    • Trolls exhibit selfish concerns – or, at the least, concerns which are very self-centered. Every issue revolves around how it affects them. As in the examples above, the fact that all members of the Coven were asked to perform the same tasks is irrelevant. What matters is the inconvenience to the troll.
    • A troll attack can revolve around accusations of you (as Coven Leader) wanting to control everyone in the Coven. Such an attack can make a troll appear to be something other than self-serving; he or she is looking out for everyone. But the particular items the troll complains about are ones he or she personally doesn’t like, or doesn’t want to do. Only a very sophisticated troll would say something like, "I actually agreed with the decision. The problem is that HP Fred refused to accept input on it." Much more often, the line is, "This decision was inconvenient for me, and was aimed especially at hurting me – and no one even asked what I thought of it."
    • Similarly, trolls can use apparent devotion to a Cause to mask their self-centeredness. You can be violently criticized for not pursuing their Cause, at the time and in the way they want. But note; it is their concern which they want to be the overriding concern of the group. They want to be the center of whatever the group’s focus is. It’s alright, somehow, for the goals of the troll to be forced upon everyone else, even though the concerns of the Coven Leaders – or of everyone else – can be brushed aside.

    Do note the hypocrisy of the last few items. The troll is basically claiming, "Fred is an overcontroling and authoritarian High Priest because he won’t do things my way." Really now, who is trying to control the focus of the group? Who is being manipulative and self-centered? Do keep in mind: in most traditions, the Coven Leaders are empowered to make decisions.
    The ability to accept criticism and helpful advice is one of the most important skills which a Coven Leader must have. Coven Leaders who aren’t willing to take long, hard, fearless looks at themselves do not deserve respect. Healthy criticism should be handled in healthy ways, and should be taken seriously.
    But attacks are another matter. Trolls will attack whether there’s anything legitimate to complain about or not. They’ll invent something to complain about. They’ll create uncomfortable no-win situations. They’ll even complain about the things you do right.
    Complaints such as those described above are not healthy criticisms. They do not deserve to be taken seriously or to be handled in the way you would handle a suggestion from a trusted and caring friend. They do not warrant any sort of self-examination or self-doubt.
    Last edited by Phoenix Blue; October 19th, 2010, 05:01 PM. Reason: Excerpt too long to meet Fair Use criteria.
    ~ Cheers! ~

    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy & good with ketchup.



    Stop your ceaseless, senseless babble! If you will not dig deeper than your shallow perceptions, then I shall put this shovel to better use and open your mind the hard way. *waves shovel threateningly*

    The worm in the apple is just extra protein: shut up and eat it.

    sigpic

  • #2
    Eran's a power-tripping little twerp who seems to classify all kinds of dissent and legitimate disagreement with "trolling".

    I mean, you can still follow his guide, if you want. But I guarantee trying such tactics on anyone with a spine or independent frame of mind will result in tears.
    "Polidori once asked Byron what, besides scribble verses, he could do better than Polidori himself. Byron icily replied: 'Three things. First, I can hit with a pistol the keyhole of that door. Secondly, I can swim across that river to yonder point. And thirdly, I can give you a damned good thrashing.'"

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    • #3
      Holy cow.

      So, I've been trolling wrong all this time?
      Being Immortal is so time consuming.
      http://shadowsoul.wordpress.com/

      http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The...life+of+nobody

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004D4ZWTI

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, is it really OK to reproduce an entire article here? :?
        “The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.” --Friedrich Nietzsche

        Comment


        • #5
          This article is very interesting and perceptive. It has many good tips, and describes styles and patterns of behaviour that are indicative of troublemakers, ensuring that they can be dealt with swiftly, and with the minimum of drama. IF YOU ARE A PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER!
          As far as Trolls go, the writer seems to be totally in the dark.

          This bilge is going to be less than useless if anyone relies on it to spot online Trolling within a community. Which only suggests to me that the writer is actually a Troll themselves, trying to instill a false sense of security into naive and vulnerable Billy Goats Gruff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nigel View Post
            Wow, is it really OK to reproduce an entire article here? :?
            It certainly appears that way.


            "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." Benjamin Franklin

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KarmaKanik View Post
              This article is very interesting and perceptive. It has many good tips, and describes styles and patterns of behaviour that are indicative of troublemakers, ensuring that they can be dealt with swiftly, and with the minimum of drama. IF YOU ARE A PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER!
              As far as Trolls go, the writer seems to be totally in the dark.

              This bilge is going to be less than useless if anyone relies on it to spot online Trolling within a community. Which only suggests to me that the writer is actually a Troll themselves, trying to instill a false sense of security into naive and vulnerable Billy Goats Gruff.
              Well, as an actual Primary School Teacher, I must disagree with that characterization.

              This guide isn't even useful on that level.
              "Polidori once asked Byron what, besides scribble verses, he could do better than Polidori himself. Byron icily replied: 'Three things. First, I can hit with a pistol the keyhole of that door. Secondly, I can swim across that river to yonder point. And thirdly, I can give you a damned good thrashing.'"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Siochain View Post
                It certainly appears that way.
                I wonder how Witchvox & the author feel about that.
                “The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.” --Friedrich Nietzsche

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not sure that is the whole article, actually. I've read Eran's guide before, and I'm sure it was longer than that.
                  "Polidori once asked Byron what, besides scribble verses, he could do better than Polidori himself. Byron icily replied: 'Three things. First, I can hit with a pistol the keyhole of that door. Secondly, I can swim across that river to yonder point. And thirdly, I can give you a damned good thrashing.'"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nigel View Post
                    Wow, is it really OK to reproduce an entire article here? :?
                    I've included a few excerpts from some of the chapters so you can get an overview of the information available through the links.

                    TROLLSPOTTING How to Keep Your Coven From Being Destroyed
                    by Eran: copyright © 2004-2005 by David C. Petterson
                    It's not the entire article and she's credited the source.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nigel View Post
                      Wow, is it really OK to reproduce an entire article here? :?
                      No. But if you have a question about whether something's okay, please report it.

                      Originally posted by Sacredsin
                      It's not the entire article and she's credited the source.
                      You don't have to copy an entire article to violate someone's copyright, and crediting the source is not a valid defense against copyright infringement.

                      admin

                      Admin Mode

                      Evinmeer, I made some edits to trim some of the copyrighted material, but what's left is still a bit much. Can you make a few more edits to cut material from the original post? Thanks!




                      Faith is easy -- until the moment you actually need it.

                      "Since when are facts subjective?" - Athena_Nadine

                      "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
                      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
                      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
                      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
                      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
                      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
                      The best lack all convictions, while the worst
                      Are full of passionate intensity."

                      – W.B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Couple of notes that might be helpful (I'm catching up around here, and missed much of the original conversation.)

                        There's an older thread in this forum also discussing this material (note that the links in that thread are all outdated: the active one is below)

                        The thread is at: http://mysticwicks.com/showthread.php?t=117636
                        Eran's full essays are now at: http://bichaunt.org/Trolls/index.html

                        The full essays do a better job of addressing some of the criticisms raised in this thread - and expanding on the specifics of issues. (i.e. not just "we're not getting along", but recognising specific patterns where being reasonable may not actually be enough of a solution to let a small coven-type group get back to doing the work together that they want to do.)

                        In terms of KarmaKanik's comments about it not being useful online - it was never meant for that, so it seems a little unfair to blame it for not working in that setting. (Though, personally, I've found pieces of it very useful online, too, but usually in online settings that have a tighter goal or structure than a general-discussion forum)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jenett View Post
                          The full essays do a better job of addressing some of the criticisms raised in this thread - and expanding on the specifics of issues. (i.e. not just "we're not getting along", but recognising specific patterns where being reasonable may not actually be enough of a solution to let a small coven-type group get back to doing the work together that they want to do.)

                          In terms of KarmaKanik's comments about it not being useful online - it was never meant for that, so it seems a little unfair to blame it for not working in that setting. (Though, personally, I've found pieces of it very useful online, too, but usually in online settings that have a tighter goal or structure than a general-discussion forum)
                          I dislike the term "troll" in this context. To me, a troll personality is aware of what they are doing (like an internet/chat troll). In my experience, many people that fit the author's description have no conscious idea of what they are doing, or how it is affecting the group. Not like that makes it any easier to do what needs doing for the good of the group.

                          I haven't read the entire block of essays, but the pieces that I have read definitely could have applied to several people who have tried to join the group of which I am a part. I have been there- I have had to break the bad news to people that they are not a good fit for us. It's never pretty.

                          Yes, some of it seems very melodramatic, and doesn't tie in with what I've experienced, but there is some worth for a coven leader in these essays.
                          Ivy Artemisia
                          Twilight Spiral Coven [Site | Facebook]
                          Hearth and Hedgerow [Site | Etsy Shop]

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                          • #14
                            An intelligent troll isn't outed until they are ready to be. This nonsense may help catch weak or inexperienced trolls, but not the good ones, trust me.
                            Being Immortal is so time consuming.
                            http://shadowsoul.wordpress.com/

                            http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The...life+of+nobody

                            http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004D4ZWTI

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Charley Brown View Post
                              An intelligent troll isn't outed until they are ready to be. This nonsense may help catch weak or inexperienced trolls, but not the good ones, trust me.
                              please, tell us all about trolls...you seem to be extremely familiar with them. Maybe you know one, maybe he is a good reverend...I mean friend, maybe it is closer than that...much closer.
                              There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. H.L. Mencken

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