The Company Therapist Message Board (Closed)


Posted by: David
Date: Sunday, 7 June 1998, at 6:40 p.m.

Wow, miss a few days and the board goes nuts! I've looked carefully at what's been going on here and I feel compelled to put my two cents in.

First I'd like to say that the entire thread about fodder was made up of the sort of weak, not-too-mean, funny kind of insults clever teenagers trade when they actually like each other. That part was cute and enjoyable. Now for the heavy stuff.

Chris promptly and clearly answered Ann's question. His personality and writing style are very direct, and often sarcastic and cynical, but he was by no means rude. His caustic remark later about boycotting the site because of it's tenuous links to Judaism was meant to point out the ridiculousness of Ann's attack. He is saying that if you're going to boycott the site, at least do it for a reason that has something to do with the site. He picked Judaism only as an example; there are Jews here, but there are no Scientologists (as far as we know). He did become defensive when Sharon was attacked, and when TCT was attacked. I agree that he could have worded it more kindly, but I think he lets his feelings through. This is his baby, after all, and certainly he feels protective of it and defensive about it.

Sharon's yawn started it all. This remark made it clear that she lends no credence to Ann's concerns, and invalidates Ann's opinion of Scientology. This yawn seems to me a caustic remark, and I chide Sharon if she did not realize that Ann would be insulted. But maybe that was her intent. Nonetheless, Ann's response was unwarranted.

Ann attacked Sharon on a personal level. Although Sharon (inadvertently, I hope) precipitated the dispute, I blame Ann for making it personal and mean-spirited. Chris's response to this was very strong, but justified.

Ann, in the course of the discussion, you brought out several points that I feel I must address. 1) You said that you were offering criticism of the writing as the board was set up for. I don't buy it. Your comment was offered as a direct response to the yawn, and was personal and bitter rather than constructive. 2) You repeatedly claimed that you were being attacked for your question, but the question was answered clearly and directly, without hesitation or obfuscation (see post 429). You persisted in your vilification of Scientology but that's not even the issue. You launched a personal attack; that's where the animosity came from. 3) Late in the festivities you tried to assert that you accused no one of being involved with Scientology, but I can document two cases where you implied just that (443, 446). You also claim not the be anti-Scientology, but as John pointed out, you have much ammunition close to hand. I sense some backpedaling and hypocrisy.

Ann, your query was simply answered. Then you attacked Scientology, a retort was offered, and you went personal. That's were the abuse started. You overreacted and now you can't take the heat. Quit trying to play the victim, Ann; you're more the perpetrator here than anyone else. But let me try to explain why the fire you lit got so hot so fast.

If you offer good-natured criticism, point out faults and maybe even suggest remedies, that's a good thing, and that's what this BBS is designed for. We welcome that, it helps us become better writers. But writing is a very personal thing. If you attack someone's nurtured creation in a mean-spirited fashion, you have to expect some defense. For example, if I say to my friend "your son seems to be having trouble learning to read; have you had his eyes checked?" she might respond "I hadn't thought of that, thanks," or even "it's none of your business, get lost." Both responses are reasonable. But if, during another discussion, she told me that my opinion of Freud was silly, and I responded with "your son sure is stupid, you must be a lousy parent," she might kick me in the balls, and that response would be just as reasonable. I had it coming; my comment was unwarranted and mean. I would owe her an apology. But I would learn my lesson, and my friend, being reasonable, would forgive me and invite me over to hear my opinions again.

As I would like to do for you. You made a mistake, and you paid for it. Let's put an end to this. Let Chris get you some ice for your balls, Sharon will pour another cup of tea, and we can get on with the intelligent discussions of the writing and the irreverent speculation about Balis' personal life.

Finally, thanks to Scott and Teddy for trying to be voices of reason and calm, and trying to re-direct the discussion.



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