Talking about overcoming evil with good: What kind of good do we need to practice to overcome what is now being called cyber bullying?

CYBER BULLYING. WHAT IS IT? AND WHAT OUGHT WE TO DO ABOUT IT? It is a very serious and evil problem.
Just this AM, there was a detailed report, on the CBC Radio 1, Toronto, on CYBER BULLYING. One of the experts interviewed was the editor of Wired Magazine.

A case now before the courts demonstrates, that cyber bullying can have tragic consequences (suicide of a teenager) especially when it happens to people lacking the maturity to deal with it.

Here is the story of the case:
With the above in mind, I will take you back to the late 1990's, when I first went on the net. Because of a connection I had with the media, I was asked to join a forum which was then called THE WEALTHY BOOMER.

I knew nothing about writing on the Web but I willingly looked forward to the challenge of learning. Without any equivocation whatsoever, at this point, I can say: Warts and all, it has been
a ball. But I had to be willing to go through

--Scott Pecks levels to community creation
Hosted, with no advertising, by a financial writer, who is still with the National Post, it had a very good set up. Using the familiar acronym, WWW, it had three sections:

1. WEALTH--all about money and financial issues
2. WISDOM--all about philosophy,psychology religion
3. WELL BEING--all about physical, mental and spiritual health

At first, everything was nicey nicey--like in all pseudo-communities, including the church. However, in no time, despite the nice code of conduct, in every section the fur began to fly. Bloody chaos, led by two protagonists with the help of third, broke out in every section.

One of the two protagonists was a scientist, and an advocate of green technologies, and a militant atheist; the other was a financial adviser and, though open in some way, was a narrow, militant theist and a Bible thumper.

Both, loved to practice the art of ridicule. They especially ridiculed new ways of thinking politics, economics, philosophy, science and religion. Also, they loved to post in a shocking and in-your-face kind of way, in all sections. To say the least: They were not gentlemen.

What a few of us really found offensive was their frequent use of vile and vitriolic language aimed at posters who dared disagree with their own dogman about wealth, wisdom and well being.

For example, frequently they used words like F&@%*, $#!T & *#@?<, including libelous insults. Ironically, the Bible-believing financial adviser used this on agnostics, atheists, a friend I found who was a teacher of neuro linguistic programming (NLP), and me, but not on his fellow protagonist and atheist in the forum. This use of language caused many gentle souls not to stay too long. Sad.

Of course I was attacked, in the same way, any time I wrote about unitheism, pneumatology, my interest in creating a barter system using complementary community currency (CCC) and the like. Also, for being too inclusive.

TAKE NOTE Interestingly, a supportive and fellow poster--an expert in the nature and function of money--and I collaborated on a series of posts in which we actually predicted: If the powers that be do not reform and regulate the way our central banks--The USA Fed and the Bank of Canada--dole out fiat money, our whole financial system, including the market is in for a rude awakening. It will collapse ... everyone will be affected by it. My partner gave many details. He was ridiculed so much that he left and joined the break-away forum.

The host of WWW, a gentleman, involved in his own church, was too busy with the WEALTH section and his work at the NP to get too much involved with moderating the second W&W. As mentioned above, in my attempt to encourage DIALOGUE and the creation of community, I got a lot of help and support from a radio reporter and a teacher of neuro linguist programming. We learned a lot from each other. Both of used were ridiculed, regularly.

Of course, the diatribe--the negative and insulting cyber bullying continued. Things did calm down a bit when one of the ranters, the scientist and green advocate, died of a stroke.

Eventually, in their search for peace, a group in the WEALTH section left and formed their own Site--no negative, or insulting, rants allowed. They even asked me to participate. I became happily busy elsewhere.

Around that time, the host of WWW, realizing that chaos had destroyed the WWW community, gave notice that he would take the Site off line. We were given time to copy and save anything we wished to save.

In all this keep in mind that, besides the outright ranters, there were, of course, those who wrote post after post of boorish, clumsy, undiplomatic and "opaque" verbiage, often filled with equivocations. They wrote as if they were masters of the Bible, the mind of others, and in direct touch with God.

Such give the impression: "Only we really understand the mind of God, "The Secrets" of the ages. We are here to give the answers, not to dialogue with you and answer your questions."

Even when I responded in general agreement--when, now and then (on the rare occasion), they did make a good comment--they never just said, "Thanks." Using their usual verbiage they responded as if to say: "Well! You have a long way to go, yet, before you rise above the ego, like we have, and are at one with God, like we are."

Like all cyber bullies, such posters wrote to find fault, not to help build authentic community. This and the negative ranting led to the fall of the Wealthy Boomer. Maybe the fall of THE WEALTHY BOOMER was deserved. It certainly presaged, was an omen, a premonition of the current financial crisis in which we now find ourselves. Yes, the WWW--a pseudo community--died, as did our pseudo economy, thank GOD.

One final point: Bullying, of any kind--whether it be in the home, the community, the nation, the world, or the Web, destroys community--the real source of all wealth. It is a destructive evil.

But if we persist, authentic community is there for the building--the only way to find it. And I am happy to report that since WWW I have found more than one. The good news is: We can overcome the evil of community destruction by the good action of community building.

Question: How many SAGG members ARE community builders?

Edited by Revlgking (11/25/08 09:43 PM)
Edit Reason: All my stuff needs editing, eh?