In Reply to: Re: support is.. posted by sia nara on June 12, 2008 at 11:57:23:
Everything I want has a flip side to it. That's probably why I haven't been as kind as I should be at times.
1) A welcoming place. I think this site seems to have a policy where the big-brother Coordinator has a hands-off policy and only steps in as a policeman/bouncer/referee whenever there is a problem. I somewhat miss the days when chatty coordinators acted like a host, interacted freely with visitors, put their personal mark and flavor, and kept things flowing, friendly and interesting. While this may work for most, I think some people may actually need it to be hands-off, clinical, business-like or anonymous, so they can shed any feeling of co-dependency we engaged in when enabling each other in the cult. I teeter about on this issue.
2) Free speech that is free of mind games, where opinions can be exchanged without fear, where people can politely agree to disagree if they do. BUT, no spewing of bergisms and family-isms: I need it to be distinctively ex-member and not para-COG-ish to feel at home. Unfortunately that means if someone's views coincide with those held by Family adherents, they will be expected to defend them by default. This can be very unwelcoming, especially for newcomers. I am guilty of being nasty in this regard.
3) Pluralism and the maturity to accept our differences. They say you if your want to spoil a party, just talk about politics or religion. Things being the way they are, the nature of the internet communication, it's hard to avoid conflict and misunderstandings. But intolerance to the point of anger, hatred and ill-will?
4) "Support" to me is well-meaning-ness. As different as we are (and should be), there should still be support in the sense that we understand that there are things to sort out in our lives due to our involvement with The Family, and we, who share a common experience, can try to help each other. That means we need to feel when it comes down to it, no matter how strongly we feel about our different positions on different issues, that we're at least on same page and same "side" in some way. And even if we don't always manage to be very helpful to each other, we need to know that at heart our community means well and we actually want to help. Unfortunately, this means people all too often project their own ideas of what someone else needs, following the golden rule of "do unto others as you want done to yourself" instead of the platinum one: "do unto others as they want/need you to do unto them."
5) Coordinated activism -- if our common goal is to expose The Family, this might be the place to get organized. Unfortunately this can be like co-opting people into yet another cause after they've already lost years of their lives on a misguided cause. Just see the About Us page on this site!
6) Feeding, growing, thought-provoking posts sans clichés and sentimental gooey chain-mail reposts. Things that help us reach higher ground and move forward collectively regarding leaving behind the mindset of the cultee. I've always found posts by people such as Carol, Jo and excog very deep and profound. And the way the Australian sisters say so much with so little makes me smile without fail. Some I relate to a little less, but I would miss them if they stopped coming around, because when it comes down to it, they all mean well.