I am a member of a few that are amongst other things, a safe space to vent about things members have seen in other groups. Someone will ask a really silly question* or will ask a sensible question but get really silly comments and answers. Let me provide one simple example. Yes this really happened.
Q: What does it mean if you can smell sulfur?
There a couple of answers that were sensible - check gas lines, check any eggs in the house, where are your matches kept could they have gotten wet, do you live near where there may be geothermal activity?
The majority weren't sensible - OMG it's a demon, you need to smudge with sage. Carry a rose quartz with you at all times. Do the LBRP to banish the demon.
My response was that it means there's a source of sulfur nearby.
The original poster claimed that they were outdoors walking the dog when they noticed it, but also claimed that every possible physical source had been checked and discounted but at the same time, they didn't know that sulfur is a component in many fertilisers.
It went on and on, seemingly the wanted response was demons. Why? No idea - well actually I have a few ideas but I would be guessing. Anything that suggested a common sense approach was rejected and then complained about as "negative".
* I used to say when I was training people in the workplace that the only silly question is the one you didn't ask. But having spent time in fb groups where people are expecting everything to be spoonfed to them and can't even be bothered running a search on google for the simplest things, I have come to the conclusion that there really is such a thing as a silly question.
There comes a point in discussions like this where I give up. There is clearly no point in continuing the discussion, nothing sensible is going to be heard because it's not feeding the drama or validating a self-important delusion. This is when I do go into another group and vent. I will snark about the people creating the drama and I will snark about those feeding it. I will also snark about those who complain that anything that doesn't validate what they want to believe is attacking and negative. Including asking questions for clarification - I've been told I'm trolling on several occasions when I was simply trying to understand where they were coming from.
I vent and snark in this group because no one's feelings are hurt, no more drama is created and the other members get it and can sympathise.
Sometimes there is a meme that is completely vacuous or filled with assumptions that many of us find offensive. These sometimes get shared into the vent groups as a bit of comic relief.
Sometimes there are screenshots that are members asking "Was I out of line?"
Sometimes someone has something like the picture below come up on their news feed and cannot believe that it actually got shared.
On the odd occasion, there is a screenshot from another group shared because just giving the general gist of a conversation is open to interpretation and abuse. A screenshot allows everyone to have the whole story. Never is anyone targetted and often names are changed. I've shared screenshots where I've changed the names, many others have names blanked out altogether. Occasionally, names and groups are left in, but these are the exception.
|Typical Screenshot example - For the record, most of the responses were "Yeah - me!"|
To be fair, there are a few members who can be somewhat like terriers on certain subjects. Plagiarism, sharing free copies of e-books that are still under copyright, and a few well-known Big Name Pagans who have behaved in intolerable ways (doxxing an entire group because they wouldn't support his attempt to buy credibility for his partner) are the kinds of things to get them going. They'll keep going until the group either does the right and legal thing or boots them. And in the case of plagiarism etc, they'll already have notified the authors and artists.
Apparently the "bad behaviour" of a few members makes the entire group a bad thing.
The owners of a couple of large groups on facebook have decided that such a group is bullying and harrassing their members. I must say the distinct lack of any logic or common sense in such a stance staggers me. These are supposed to be Elders in the wider Pagan Community but I have to wonder who makes sure they put their shoes on the correct feet in the mornings and then ties their shoelaces.
To be bullying and/or harrassing people would require those people to be facing it directly. There really is no difference between what goes on in this group and conversations held everywhere at coffee meets and festivals. You know the ones where someone says "You are not going to believe what I heard today..." No one is intimidating the person being talked about even if they take the time to figure out who it is. The people mentioned or whose words are screenshotted don't know about it at all until some little shit-stirrer passes it back to them.
On the topic of some little shit-stirrer - I've heard a number of people tell me categorically that in this group we make fun of beginners (Nope - they get a free pass. No one is born knowing it all. We differentiate between beginners and fluffy bunnies), that we pick on people with mental health issues (Nope - that's generally pretty obvious and they usually get a free pass too, unless their mental health issues are something like extreme narcissism) or those for whom English is a second language (again Nope - again we sympathise and will make the effort to understand what is meant) and on one memorable occasion, I've been told we were making fun of someone with cancer (No idea - been in that group since it started and I have never seen anything like that and would stomp on it fairly quickly - unless it was a case like one I have seen, where someone was a complete arse often and publicly and he also happened to have cancer. The cancer wasn't raised as an issue or anything to poke fun at).
Two things become clear from this - people are lying and making it up to create this drama. I have seen several (who were booted from this group quite quickly) talk up what goes on in there. They claim to have seen this and that, sometimes they even claim to have screenshot proof that they won't share because that would be "sinking to their level". I'm afraid that in order to be credible, you need to back it up. If you make a claim, the burden of proof is upon you. If you say you have proof but won't share it, then your proof is nothing more than hearsay and as such is completely worthless.
Secondly, people are paranoid and/or know they've said some stupid stuff but thought they could pass it off as wisdom. If you don't believe you've said anything stupid, or you make sure you don't, then you'd have no reason to worry that such a group might be laughing at you.
I've also been told that we target specific people and we're always on about one person in particular and the large group he owns. He has made demands to be allowed admission or to have the group made open so anyone and everyone can see what happens in there. He banned all members of this group from his groups and made everyone guilty by association. He goes around multiple other groups stirring shit and trying to garner sympathy for his view. Usually with lies and drama and accusations of harrassment.
Because he bans anyone from his group who is also a member of the vent group he's targetting, there is no option for the members of his group to see for themselves for fear of getting banned. They have to take his word for it or risk being seen as one of the bad guys. I believe that's called bullying when that type of restrictive behaviour is demonstrated in the workplace.
The truth is, with the exception of sharing his announcement that anyone who shares screenshots from his group with the vent group will be banned, his name and his group hadn't even been mentioned in months. No one cared what he was doing, no one cared what was happening in his group, they weren't even the faintest blip on the radar. He and his group can't accept or believe this however. He started a campaign in his group where he called upon all of his members to report the group for harrassment. When facebook rejected their reports - quite quickly I might add - he's now saying that facebook suggested he start a petition to have the group removed. Which he has now done. I call bullshit on facebook suggesting he start a petition - if it violated the terms and conditions it would have been removed, since it doesn't, it won't.
Somehow though, he's managing to sell it to folks that he's the victim of bullying and harrassment, instead of clearly the instigator of such behaviour.
Sad and tragic really. This is what Paganism is coming to.
Apparently we have new terms. I think it's important to share this, because it highlights the problem. This was posted by the chap who has started the petition.
Now, I have shared this because I think it highlights the depths of stupid we are dealing with. Or to be honest, I believe this fellow has a few mental health issues.
Firstly, he thinks it's reasonable to be able to monitor what goes on in a group that isn't his and has nothing at all to do with him. Will he next be expecting to monitor everything each individual member does on facebook? Or outside of facebook?
Secondly, we're a facebook group made up of people. We have no leaders, we're all individually responsible for our own actions. Why does he think that any one of us would be able to control the actions and behaviour of others. He seems to think he can control his group and whatever they want to do and that is scary.
I'm disturbed that this is being treated as right or reasonable by anyone, let alone by the special snowflake who posted it. I'm disturbed that people who believe they are 'Pagan freethinkers' have been sucked in by this.