Below is the train of unanswered e-mails petitioning the AA webmaster, and finally the group.  All that has been removed from them are the e-mail addresses to keep them private and out of the grip of the spam bots.  For continuity, the best order to read them in is the second one first, then from the bottom one up, and finally the top one.

From: Dave Hunter [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2007 6:01 AM
To: Howard Replogle
Cc: <snip>
Subject: Update: SKP Freethinkers BOF and Website Future

 

I have received several replies to the e-mail below.  Unfortunately, since I divided my somewhat dated membership roster into three separate distribution lists, because spam filters often balk at lists longer than 25, those replying to "all" were only received by less than a third of the BOF, and few of the newer members.  The place to have the discussion of the issues I have raised is on the forum, and the reason I am using e-mail is that I am not allowed even to see the forum, much less post there.

Some replies decried censorship, expressed dismay, and welcomed a broad spectrum of views.  Others stated or implied that there was nothing wrong with this BOF that my absence from it wouldn't cure, and focused on what they disliked about my writing and debating styles.  Interestingly, not one defended the notion that our primary focus should be anti-Christian activism.

Many expressed a wish that Howard and I resolve our differences, and all but two expressed a personal desire that the BOF survive, for the ability to connect with other likeminded SKPs.  I concur, which is why I originally agreed to abide by the onerous censorship parameters that were only to be applied to me.  Several members no longer actively participate because of earlier heavy-handed censorship episodes, and I could have joined them in just reading the mail and commenting between ourselves in private exchanges or other forums.

Many seem to regard this as a contest between Howard and me, and think they are being asked to take sides in a personal battle.  This is not so.  If you think this is just a personality clash between Howard and me, then explain what Larry did to deserve his banishment, even before mine, and Howard refuses to discuss it with him either.  There is no way to resolve any differences with Howard.  He thinks he has already won his battle; he has heretofore unquestioned control over access to our clubhouse, has taken away our keys, and refuses to discuss the matter any further.  Even though he has wifi capability and you can bet he has received these e-mails, I am told he posted a notice on the forum the next day after I sent the group message below, saying that he has satellite problems and will be offline for a week or more.

Look, folks, please understand what this is all about.  It is not a Left vs. Right thing at all.  While it is true that most of Howard's social circle are Leftists who dislike my politically incorrect posture, and that is a constraint on him, he and I think very much alike and he is more libertarian than not.  Where we disagree most, is in defining what a "freethinker" is, and identifying the greater threat to the future of America.  He defines freethinking as a venerable political movement to thwart the rise of Christian fundamentalist power in American politics.  This is his "cause," and his vision of the mission our BOF should be engaged in.  I prefer the many dictionary definitions of freethinking, which suggest that we question all dogma, not just religious versions; and I see Marxism and Islamism as greater threats to our future than Christianity.

As for the BOF, it is a simple fact that there are plenty of atheists who are not America-hating Leftists, and some of us are SKPs.  We are as attracted to the notion of meeting and socializing with other RVers, who are not spouting pieties all the time and expect us to conform to their Christian worldview, as the Leftists are.  However, that doesn't mean we are interested in signing up for a "cause" to confront Christians, abolish public prayer rituals at SKP functions, and generally make a nuisance of ourselves publicly.  I have been a vocal advocate for a more inclusive and less confrontational BOF, and this has never set well with the original founding group of activists who enjoyed their initial victory over public prayer at the SKP Ranch.

If you follow the links on Howard's website to other freethinker forums, and read the comments on other atheist articles and blogs he cites, you may find the occasional libertarian fighting the good fight for total rationality; but for the most part, you will find ubiquitous anti-Christian, anti-American, anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-etc. rhetoric exactly like Sally's contributions on ours.  From Howard's and other founding member's perspective, this is what the freethinking movement is all about, and they welcomed Sally joining our discussions with glee.  She is a real freethinker.

When I started challenging her Marxist propaganda and slogans, and Larry and John freely backed me up with facts, I had no idea how irritated that was making Howard and his friends.  When I pushed the issue as to which dogma was the greater threat to America, and the answer was obviously not the "righteous cause" they were engaged in, he simply lost it and made a rash and foolish move to banish us.  It was a serious misstep, and he needs to swallow his pride, back down, and reinstate our membership in this BOF.  If he does not, and you all allow him to get away with it out of disdain for me, or appreciation and loyalty for his efforts, he will win the battle and lose the war.

One of the first responses I received to the e-mail below suggested that there needed to be a serious group discussion on the issues I had raised, and asked for more time than the 24 hours I had given before contacting SKP HQ.  I agreed on the condition that such a discussion would be carried out openly on the forum.  I am quite prepared to wait for Howard's reemergence from his bunker; but the last report I got, no such discussions were taking place.  Perhaps one of those who have expressed a strong desire to keep the BOF alive and well might step up to the plate and start the discussion.  It might even be best that neither Howard nor I are able to join those discussions for the next week.

I have not contacted SKP HQ, but I have done a little research.  You might find this document useful to your discussions:

http://www.escapees.com/edocs/BoFStarterKit.pdf

I was surprised to learn that they would have given us free web space, a website template, our own URL, and a group password.  There was simply no need for Howard to invest in registering a URL in his own name, or hire a hosting service, or learn how to build a website from scratch, or give each individual member a separate password; except his unreasonable desire for absolute control over the group's focus, activities, and discussions.  Think about that.  All that time and effort I put into helping him get his website working for us was unnecessary.

That now irritates me more than being capriciously banished.  I had stopped participating on the Yahoo Group List, along with several other members during the silly "Hate" censorship brouhaha, and hadn't communicated with him in weeks.  I was enjoying discussions on my own website forum when unexpectedly he contacted me asking for help with his.  Foolishly, in retrospect, I allowed my own to languish while I helped him; and now I find out it wasn't even necessary.

Be advised, that you already have me effectively out of your hair.  I am over Howard.  Even if I am reinstated and the BOF survives this crisis, I do not foresee participating much in the forum on Howard's private website.  If that is to be our only clubhouse, I want to be able to hang out there to read the mail, or see who is where, and any gatherings that might be planned.  I might occasionally offer a link to something on another website, including my own, but I will eschew debate or the lengthy posts that so many find troubling.

Mostly, I will be watching for the emergence of rational thinkers that I might entice to join me in thoughtful mind play elsewhere, where such would not bother the more sensitive folks in the BOF.  For instance, I have been sent a copy of John Haworth's 7/24 rebuttal to Sally in the curiously labeled "War in Iran" thread.  It distresses me that I do not have a way to contact him to warn him of what is coming if he persists in so masterfully refuting her arguments with facts, or that I may lose the opportunity of engaging such a mind and one day meeting him.  Someone might be doing all of us a kindness by asking him to contact me.

If you think about it, I might be useful to have around helping keep such unwelcome discussions happening elsewhere, rather than polluting the atmosphere of those who prefer to "travel in progressive circles," and are unaccustomed to such heresies to conventional Leftist wisdom.  If you really want to save this BOF, someone is going to have to talk some sense into Howard soon.  I seriously doubt that Angie Carr would be amused to read all of these e-mails, and I know at least two other members who would probably forward them to her, even if I didn't.  They are unhappy enough with Howard that they might just do it anyway.  If this BOF is disbanded, I will get the blame, of course, but I think a fair reading of the matter would conclude that Howard brought this on himself, and I am trying my best to be reasonable in very trying circumstances.

BTW: If any kind soul thinks I may be being treated unfairly, you might consider taking it upon yourself to countermand Howard's capricious decision, by loaning me a copy of your keys to the clubhouse until mine are returned.  That way I can read the mail, and I promise not to try to post anything until I have been officially reinstated.  Ironically, I remember an argument Howard had with Marilyn over whether we should be allowed the anonymity of using screen names on the forum.  She felt people would feel a little freer to participate in the give and take, but Howard insisted that our real names be visible.  In retrospect, I wish she had won that argument.  Like other SKP BOFs, one group password would do.  We are freethinking adults and do not need to be so carefully monitored with a censor's sword ever over our heads. -Dave

 

 

-----
Why should I care what others "think?"
Too many can't and don’t.
And more who could and clearly should;
"Believe" or "feel" and won’t.
www.thoughtsaloud.com

 

From: Dave Hunter [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 11:05 AM
To: 'Howard Replogle'
Cc: <snip>
Subject: SKP Freethinkers BOF and Website Future

 

Fellow members of the SKPFreethinkers BOF,

 

You will see that Howard really didn’t want you aware of this, and I tried hard to avoid bothering you with it, but I have been given no choice.  He refuses to reply to my e-mails.  We have a serious problem in our BOF, and if it is to survive, we need to give some serious thought to its structure, the qualifications for membership, and who, if anyone, should be invested with the power to arbitrarily decide someone is no longer welcome to be a member.

 

I have put a lot of time and effort into this BOF, not all of it destructive by any means, much more than most of you, and had come to view it as my virtual home.  It is distressing therefore, to return and find someone has capriciously changed the lock on the door, for an apparent reason I find unjust, and I am no longer welcome inside or even allowed to say goodbye to my friends.  Now I find that the same thing happened to Larry a few days earlier, just as capriciously and with even less justification.  Will John be next? (I would appreciate someone forwarding this to him, I do not have his address) Regardless what you think of me or Larry or our contrarian political views, the question needs to be asked: is this our BOF or is it Howard’s?  Does he get to make all the rules, and enforce them with ironfisted dictatorial powers for life, or should there be some other method of organizing ourselves.

 

Howard is to be commended for starting and shepherding SKPFreethinkers through its growing pains, but at this point we have to decide whether it is his private fiefdom, or our social club.  It is advertised as a place for unchurched SKP’s to find fellowship with other non-believers.  As a SKP in good standing, and an outspoken atheist, that certainly includes me.  The advertising on the front page of the website makes it clear that we come in all shapes and sizes regarding our level of skepticism regarding a deity, our political affiliations, and our worldviews.  It also states that political topics are part of our forum discussions.  A fair-minded individual would not conclude that only Leftist views could be freely expressed, or that the moderators would play favorites.  Howard has often explained to me off group that he considers my more traditionalistic remarks unnecessarily provocative since I should know that most of the members are Leftists.  Yet he seems oblivious to the fact that anti-American remarks are just as provocative to the patriots among us.  If suggesting that someone “wake up” and notice that their minds are being manipulated by Marxist dogma and propaganda is considered “ad hominem,” then we have no right to call ourselves freethinkers.

 

Many have concluded that I am anti-social and only motivated to be disruptive to the BOF.  This is untrue.  I got off on the wrong foot because I did not receive the welcome letter that explained the nature of our early membership, and have gone out of my way to make amends ever since discovering that.  Because of Howard’s personal social constraints, much of what I have done has been behind the scenes.  I have never communicated by private e-mail with anyone as much as I have Howard.  We agreed that the club needed a website with a forum, where lengthy posts on politically incorrect subjects that offended some, could be made without them landing in the in-box of the more sensitive folks among us.

 

I offered to build such a website and host it on a server at my own expense, but Howard explained that he was under social pressure from close friends in the group who did not like me, and that precluded him from accepting my offer.  He needed to do it himself, so I have spent ten or twenty times the time and effort it would have taken me to do it myself, helping him learn how to do it.  I built my www.thoughtsaloud.com website and had it up and running with a forum and a blog in about a week just to show him how easy it was.  It took several more months, and some really frustrating effort trying to get some basic concepts through to him, to get his going.

 

A recurring theme in the untold hours of discussion we have had regarding this BOF was how to get more members to participate.  From the beginning, I have been an advocate for broadening the narrow focus of the church vs. state activism of the “Freethinker Movement” that he modeled the group after.  To me, freethinking meant forming all our opinions on the basis of independent inquiry rather than conventional wisdom from so-called authorities, not just our religious ones.  When he was sharing the hate mail he was getting from Christian SKPs, I tried mightily to convince him to moderate the unnecessary anti-Christian rhetoric, including the dreaded A-word, in our advertising.  I suggested we posture ourselves as just rational thinkers who are free to consider alternatives to all dogma, in fellowship with like-minded skeptics.  It seemed to me that running around attacking other SKPs for their rituals wasn’t going to win many converts to rationality, or friends among SKPs.  With a growing reputation as “those atheists,” how many of us really want to put a SKPFreethinker sticker on our rigs?  On this point he will not budge, and it still irritates him every time I bring it up.

 

I recommended that we try to focus more on the social opportunities our BOF provides.  Give members something to be “for” or look forward to, instead of just being “against” Christians.  I thought we should be organizing rallies and encouraging members to get together.  To her credit, Marilyn has implemented some of these ideas on the forum, but it was decided that we were too small a group to try for an annual rally somewhere.  Perhaps, but not everyone focuses their lives around reading atheist books and watching atheist lectures.  Once one concludes that one is an atheist, what more needs to be learned?  Unless you acquire an anti-theist zeal and make it your cause, the subject can get boring.

 

Personally, obviously, my interest is in thinking itself, writing, debating ideas, and to some extent geopolitics.  I wish we could chat over a campfire, but we are scattered too far and wide for that, so the forum has to do.  I have put a lot of time into getting up to speed on this anti-Christian “movement.”  I bought the books, listened to hours of lectures and debates, read countless essays on the web, and have discussed it at length with Howard.  It is all rather interesting, but in the grand scheme of things, I have concluded that there are more pressing issues facing us than whether Christians pray in public places.  It should be my right to say so, regardless of what Howard prefers the focus of our BOF to be.  If another member is permitted to be derisive of my patriotism, curse the American flag, and wish for our brave troops to “rot” in Iraq, then I should have a right to be derisive of her Leftist propaganda.  If someone makes an irrational or inaccurate statement I should have a right to call them on it, whether it hurts their feelings or not.

 

The latest stats Howard posted showed that only 2/3 of us even self-identify as atheists.  The paltry level of participation proves that folks aren’t clamoring to join us because they want to become activists in the church vs. state battles.  Why do they join, what do they expect to find, and are we providing it?  Howard sometimes blames me for members being afraid to participate in the discussions.  I will acknowledge that those unsure of their facts and armed only with bumper sticker slogans might be intimidated, but I also wonder how many join only to find the anti-Christian activism and snide America bashing not to their taste and just move on.  As I said recently, a lot of fine minds have left us in disgust because only Leftist ideas seem to be welcome.  After what happened to Larry, and now me, I am wondering how many other voices that have suddenly gone silent without so much as a goodbye can be now explained.

 

Please read the following e-mails from the bottom one up.  Ask yourself it our offenses justified our banishment.  Then, if you care about the future of this BOF, try to twist Howard’s arm into reinstating our membership.  I don’t know about Larry, but I am pretty fed up with the whole affair and probably won’t participate anywhere near as much in the future anyway, but there is a principle involved.  I really don’t want to, but if we are not reinstated with full uncensored posting privileges within the next 24 hours, and a forum topic opened where we can openly discuss our plans for reorganizing this BOF and its mission a little more democratically, I will file a formal complaint with the SKP HQ.  Larry’s prediction is probably right, but it doesn’t matter one way or the other to me anymore.  I have nothing to left to lose, and Howard deserves the grief for playing favorites, indulging his paranoid control issues, and unjustly evicting me from my virtual home. -Dave

 

-----
Why should I care what others "think?"
Too many can't and don’t.
And more who could and clearly should;
"Believe" or "feel" and won’t.
www.thoughtsaloud.com

From: Larrycandrew04 [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:05 AM
To: Dave Hunter
Subject: Re: follow-up

 

Good morning Dave....

 

Yes, I was summarily executed without trial.  No charges were provided and I did not have an opportunity to face my accuser and present a defense. 

 

It seems in my senior years I have developed a penchant for taking on people that try to show some level of superiority or even authority.  I had selected a humorous response but also intended to make a point as to how people define or determine what is an ad hominem response in a debate setting.  I did not explain that part to him because, again, I thought he would get it. 

 

I also did not realize the dictatorial nature of the power over the BoF that he has and exercises freely.  I am not used to that and resent that it is a part of the Escapees experience.  If Escapees continues to support him after your appeal attempts, I will have to reconsider my membership.

 

Please feel free to use any of the emails I send regarding this matter.

 

Larry

 

 

 

In a message dated 07/25/07 02:36:46 Pacific Daylight Time, <snip> writes:

Hi Larry,

 

Thanks for the reply.  This changes things considerably.  He has not replied to me either, so that seems to be his new MO.  He made no mention to the group that you were no longer with us, so I am starting to wonder if this explains why some of the other voices would suddenly disappear.

 

I’ll admit that I didn’t get your humor either, and took it as an angry remark.  I was probably out of the country or off the grid during that period of SNL, and actually have seen it only a few times in the past twenty years or so.

 

But that is beside the point.  You contacted him with an explanation and apology and he ignored it.  Had it been one of his America bashing sycophants, the same would not have occurred.

 

To be clear, are you saying that you had no private warning whatever that you were on “thin ice,” and he just summarily pulled the plug at that remark without any communication whatever? I had noticed that you were not afraid to call BS on some of his remarks and that he had become testy with you, but I had no clue that his pique had reached this level.

 

I have gotten to know Howard pretty well through private e-mail exchanges over the past six months.  It isn’t just him.  He lives at the Ranch, and when he started the BOF, he recruited a core group of very Leftist folks from there.  They mounted a crusade to stop public prayer at Ranch functions and became pretty tight in the process.  His wife is good friends with a few other angry women, and they never liked my anti-Marxist views and politically incorrect remarks from the beginning.  In earlier conflicts he admitted that he was under social pressure to shut me up.

 

The whole point of getting the website was so such discussions could be had without them falling in the inbox of these bitching women.  As far as I am concerned neither of us went over any line as far as the rules for the forum go.  They just didn’t like the turn it was taking, and Sally was their point person, as the experienced activist, to challenge us.  Unfortunately all she had was slogans to work with, and wasn’t up to the task.

 

Not to worry about your initial reaction to me.  I don’t hold grudges; I could see you were coming around and frequently appreciated the backup.  You may recall I warned you that with your views, your turn in the barrel was coming. J  Next time I am in Oregon, I’ll make a point of looking you up.  I am even easier to get along with in person.  I just enjoy writing and debating, and not being a politician I don’t have to suffer fools or care whether people like me.  It is more important that I make them think when they would prefer not to.

 

Thanks for the backup offer.  Do I have your permission to include our exchange in the other e-mail when I forward it to the membership and SKP HQ?  It adds a powerful dimension to the situation.  He can say I have been disruptive all along and have been warned many times, etc.  But you were shut out purely for your political views as far as I can tell.  Neither the membership nor SKP would appreciate that. -Dave

 

-----
Why should I care what others "think?"
Too many can't and don’t.
And more who could and clearly should;
"Believe" or "feel" and won’t.
www.thoughtsaloud.com

 

From: Larrycandrew04 [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 12:19 PM
To: dave@<snip>
Subject: follow-up

 

Dave....I had decided on the 22nd that I did not care enough about the issue to follow-up.  But, since you are considering it, I would be on your team if you think it would help.  In retrospect, I think I should not have assumed that Howard would get the humor in my response so others also may not.  In any case, I am available if you need back-up.  My SKP# is 93694.

 

Larry

 

 

From: Larrycandrew04 [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:36 AM
To: Dave Hunter
Subject: Re: FW: New Rules

 

Hi, Dave....we have been excommunicated.  I think it is likely that I got the boot before you.  I noticed the day after I posted the "Howard, you ignorant ___!" that I could not log on so I assumed that he did not get my attempt at humor and pulled my plug.  I guess he may not remember the Saturday Night Live opening of their classic debates between Jane Pauley and Dan Akroyd when Dan would say "Jane, you ignorant slut!"

 

I emailed him the following day to let him know that it was intended to be a humurous response to his admonition to us that he posted, I think very unfairly.  I got no response at all so I decided to move on.  I did wonder how he could so unilateraly control a site sponsored under the auspices of SKP but decided not to follow-up with them.  I am glad you are. 

 

As an example of the issue....suppose I was on a forum involving the ATV BoF and I took a serious shot at something someone said on that forum.  Does the moderator of that group have the right to unilaterally excommunicate me from the club?  I even wonder how that person has the right to unilaterally remove me from posting, to tell the truth.  While I can see that Howard has ownership and control of the website, I wonder how that ownership and control transfers to SKP member participation.

 

I suspect that, if you get aggressive enough, that SKP will just drop it as an official BoF which, I also suspect, would cause it do die a slow death.

 

Good luck.  By the Way....now that I have gotten to know you better through our posts, I am sorry that I came on so strongly when I first showed up on the forum.  It seems that I am not alone in liking you better the more I communicate with you.  Probably natural since we seem to have similar views.

 

Larry

 

 

 

In a message dated 07/24/07 10:19:03 Pacific Daylight Time, dave@<snip> writes:

Larry,

 

Fortunately, I remembered your last name and was able to look up your e-mail address on the SKP website, since I have been banished from the SKPFreethinkers website.

 

I caught your last angry post to Howard before it was deleted.  I was surprised at it and assumed there had been something going on off group between you.  I did wonder whether you had deleted it or he had, but I still didn’t realize how really irritated he apparently was becoming at both of us for our anti–Leftist remarks and challenging his favorite anti-Christian activist.  I don’t know if you noticed that he made Sally the moderator of the Science and Rational Thinking forums shortly after her rant against patriots.

 

Please read the communications below from the bottom up, and then I would like to ask you a favor.  If you are not completely banished too and still have access to the members’ section, could I trouble you to send me a copy of the BOF membership roster?  I ask for a couple of reasons.  I have an old copy of it, but some of the newer members I would like to stay in touch with are not on it.  Also, if he does not respond soon I may as well go out in a blaze of glory that will give Howard a well-deserved headache, by sending a copy of this to the whole group.  A lot of people dislike me, but the last two times he tried to censor us he got a lot of negative reaction to it.  He lost several active members and not all of them libertarians or conservatives.  That is why he was so insistent that I not reveal what he has done here.  It would appear that he is in need of another lesson.

 

I am curious if he has said anything about my banishment to the group, and if so what.  I am also naturally curious what if anything might have transpired between you and Howard, if you are willing to share it.

 

Thanks. -Dave

 

-----
Why should I care what others "think?"
Too many can't and don’t.
And more who could and clearly should;
"Believe" or "feel" and won’t.
www.thoughtsaloud.com

 

From: Dave Hunter [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:18 AM
To: 'Webmaster SKP Freethinkers'
Subject: FW: New Rules

 

Howard,

 

Since I have received no reply, just in case you didn’t receive it, I sent the following message to your regular e-mail address at 12:48 PM yesterday after I noticed that you had disabled my ability to login to the members’ only section of the website:

 

Did I misunderstand this: “Say what you will to me off group.”

 

What did I do now to deserve having my login privileges to even read the forum revoked?

 

I deserve at least an explanation. -Dave

 

At this point, I am more confused and amused than irritated, but it wouldn’t do to make me angry.  I acknowledge that you personally own the skpfreethinkers website, although it is also true that you probably wouldn’t even have one yet, if ever, had I not bucked you up a couple times when you were ready to give up in frustration, and put untold hours into helping you put it together and teaching you how to manage it.  As your private property, you certainly can exercise absolute dictatorial censorship control over its content, and make whatever rules you wish regarding the discourse between members of our BOF on your private forum there.  You have the ability to disable a member’s ability to post on any or all of the forums there, so there is no need to disable a member’s right to even read what other’s are saying.

 

I am unclear about the SKP position on running a BOF social club as a private fiefdom, but if necessary I suppose I could find out.  It appears to me that as an atheist and avid rational thinker, I meet the qualifications for membership in this one.  Whatever you and your close friends may think of my traditional cultural and political views, propensity for making politically incorrect remarks, or even my disagreement with the political activist anti-Christian focus of the majority, I have as much right as any SKP to avail myself of the social networking opportunities this BOF provides.

 

As I said below, this comes as a total surprise to me.  I thought I was following the rules and behaving myself rather well.  I have made no provocative posts to the social networking forums.  Those who object to controversial political discourse do not have to read the political forums.  No one is required to read anything I write, and several have expressed appreciation for my thought provoking point of view.  I am unclear what put the bee in your bonnet yesterday, as it has been several days since I have even responded to Sally, and was engaged in a rather pleasant discussion with Mary over your “Dangerous Ideas” post that was not at all contentious or political.  I agreed to comply with your new onerous rules for my participation; yet even though you said I could say what I wanted to you off group, when I expressed my protest and dismay, for some inexplicable reason you deleted my login privileges completely.

 

Now, I will be unable to know of any opportunities to meet up with other members, and I do not have access to the e-mail addresses of some of the newer friends I have made in the BOF, to even be able to continue our conversations offline.  This is an unwarranted and grossly unfair punishment for simply disagreeing with your heavy hand of censorship, and threats to banish me if I so much as mention that I had been censured and censored.  I ask you to cool off, reconsider, and send me my new login name and password.  There is a limit to my patience. -Dave

-----
Why should I care what others "think?"
Too many can't and don’t.
And more who could and clearly should;
"Believe" or "feel" and won’t.
www.thoughtsaloud.com

 

From: Dave Hunter [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 11:46 AM
To: 'Webmaster SKP Freethinkers'
Subject: RE: New Rules

 

Wow! Over a good-natured allusion to Stranger in a Strange Land?  Methinks somebody doesn’t like me flirting with Mary, and it probably isn’t you.

 

A friend would have at least let me know in advance that I was irritating him, much less that I was approaching a hairsbreadth away from banishment.  I wondered what happened between you and Larry, but I didn’t ask.

 

I have ignored most of Sally’s stuff, before and since, but if you can’t understand how incredibly incendiary her tirade at American patriots and our troops was, you lean a lot further to the Left than I had imagined.  After I said what had to be said about it, I endeavored to lighten it up with her to show I had no personal animosity, but she couldn’t let it go, so I just stopped responding, as I had with Neil.

 

Once before I had just enticed a few non-Leftist voices to speak up and join the discussions, only to be blindsided with such a dire totally unexpected warning out of the blue.  I would like to think this is not a pattern, but it will undoubtedly have the same effect, and anti-Leftist participation will substantially subside.

 

I will comply, of course, to the best of my ability; but the parameters are pretty stringent… and grossly unfair.  And you know it, or you wouldn’t be so threatening over the fear that I might try to appeal to the group.  Fair folks don’t like dictatorial censorship, and any claim that you are just trying to protect the overall BOF from destruction would be a little thin this time. -Dave

 

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Why should I care what others "think?"
Too many can't and don’t.
And more who could and clearly should;
"Believe" or "feel" and won’t.
www.thoughtsaloud.com

 

From: Webmaster SKP Freethinkers [mailto:<snip>]
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 8:46 AM
To: dave@<snip>
Subject: New Rules

 

New Rules

 

Dave,

 

You are now on your final notice.  This is your last, last chance to cease your ad hominem, and derogatory remarks to, or about, participants in our forum and the SKP Freethinkers BOF as a whole.  Your offenses are cumulative.  So you are now subject to a more stringent set of standards than the rest of our members.  One more remark about the quality of the opinions “hereabouts,” or your negative opinion of one or more of our members will be your last post.  So much as a hint of derision will not go unnoticed.  Any mention or reference to this warning, including an apology, will be your last post. 

 

Your presence to date is a net detriment to the group, which wouldn’t be a cause in itself for your dismissal.  But when combined with your intimidation of others to participate, it is a cause.  Silence would be preferable to your vitriol.  I’ve cut you considerable slack because I’ve considered you a friend; which may or may not have been the right thing to do.  But you have exhausted your bank of leeway and are now in the red.

 

Say what you will to me off group.  But I promise you, these are now your rules on the forum and they are permanent.  If you are unable or unwilling to participate in our forum under these restrictions that’s fine, but a “farewell” post to the group from you will be deleted.

 

Good luck,

Howard Replogle

SKP Freethinkers BOF