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Hunting down the cause of ME/CFS & other challenging disorders - Lipkin in London
In a talk to patients in London on 3rd September, Dr. W. Ian Lipkin described the extraordinary lengths he and his team are prepared to go to in order to track down the source of an illness, with examples ranging from autism to the strange case of Kawasaki disease.
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Faith Healing Discussion

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Carrigon, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I'm sorry Jody, that you've been put through the ringer with this as well.

    And I do think a WARNING and DISCLAIMER is a good idea for loaded topics like this.
    People KILL each other over religious views every day.
     
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Mistakes were made. They will be rectified.

    There was a consensus among four mods on that action. Martlet, by the way, did not instigate it. Three others had already discussed this plan and thought it was the right thing to do.

    Cameron had started a thread about thefreeprisoner calling her into a suspicous light. It was insulting and rude. And pointless. It was the type of thread that normally would have been deleted right away because it broke one of our rules which is that we don't allow attacks on our members.

    It should have been done in a different order. In defence of my four mods they had all been feeling the pressure of the ongoing onslaught of posts about Rachel's thread. Some were motivated by a desire to protect thefreeprisoner (also one of my mods) from any more bashing. All have been supremely overworked in the past few days.

    We have in my opinion have been too tolerant of argumentative and hostile posts and that has a real wearing effect on the mods trying to do their job.

    That's neither here nor there, nor up for discussion.

    Yeah, things went pear shaped. But there was a great deal more to this than what you depict.
     
  3. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I get what you mean, dreambirdie.

    Religion is a volatile subject that is for sure.

    But I don't think we need a disclaimer, surely people know how volatile this subject its? And if they venture into it ... anything can happen?
     
    Gloria H likes this.
  4. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune Senior Member

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    Jody's #83 post!!!

    Thank you Jody!

    Deep, deep breath in everyone, hold, gently exhale.

    Now, thank all the volunteers on this site, we would be lost without them.

    June
     
    Gloria H likes this.
  5. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    No, actually I think most people FORGET JUST HOW LOADED a topic religion can be. Unless they live in the Middle East, (just one example), where they are BLATANTLY reminded of it on a regular bloody basis. (No metaphor there!)

    I think we live under the naive illusion that we live in a religiously "tolerant" Western society, when that is FAR FAR FAR from the truth. Religion is not "rational," and unfortunately neither are most people, once they get their tongue trapped into discussion about it.

    I vote for the DISCLAIMER.
     
  6. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    LOL

    Okay. Point taken.:rolleyes:

    This week has shown me that.:Retro smile:
     
  7. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Well thanks June.

    I wasn't expecting a post like yours. I appreciate it.:Retro smile:
     
  8. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

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    Wow...it's difficult to understand how a simple statement from one of our members informing us about her healing ended up like this. I just don't understand why a simple "I am glad you are feeling better" was so difficult for some, no matter what your personal views are on religion.

    Kim, hang in there, we need you! Deep breath everyone....lets move on and support each other no matter what our personal views are.
     
  9. sarahg

    sarahg Admin Assistant

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    I have stayed out of this and I have stayed away from this, following the very simple rule that if you are certain you will not like something, you should not waste your time reading it. But for some reason now I read it anyway, and what has happened here has made me sick. I am crushed. I thought that all of this would blow over, like so many other little spats have before.

    Like all those little spats about the way moderation is handled, a lot of this blowup could have been prevented by the implementation of another simple idea. There are quite a few moderators on this site now. A lot of anger and strife directed at the moderators or their decisions could be avoided, they and others could be saved a lot of pain. It stands to reason that if you are actively involved in any topic, or feel strongly about that topic, and you happen to be a moderator, in a lot of cases it would be easy enough to ask another moderator who is not involved to step in. I can think of at least 3 or 4 fights that never would have gotten so blown out of proportion if we could do things this way. And people wouldn't feel like they are being called out by someone who disagrees with them.

    I know it sucks to have to get in the middle of things. I wouldn't want to do it and I don't envy those who have to, but it seems simple enough to just ask someone else to take a look at whatever is in question if you are too emotionally invested in it one way or another. I think also this is a great time to step forward and announce yourself if you feel you can be a fairminded and discreet settler of discord. Having more moderators would reduce the burden on everyone involved.

    My hands are shaking as I type this, it is all really very upsetting for me. I think of all that Kim does here, so much of it behind the scenes technical things and I wonder who will do them now. I don't know who I am supposed to ask when I have questions about what I am doing. (for those of you who don't know my only administrative function is to merge and move threads and to organize things, so please do not think that I am speaking as someone with any authority)

    We need to examine what caused this to happen, how we can prevent problems like this in the future, and maybe if we are lucky what needs to happen for Kim to come back.

    I have had a lot of reservations about how moderation has gone in this and other circumstances, and I am just going to keep that to myself for now. But I agree with Jody that in some ways the moderation in these circumstances could have been more heavy handed, as it seems like only 2 people have been "punished" who were both on one side of an issue here, while there was at least one person on the other side who repeatedly personally insulted people, and been repeatedly warned to stop, but has not been banned for any length of time. I'm sorry to have elaborated that much even, I'd really just rather stay out of the drama.

    I have had to walk away from this and retype it several times and I still don't know if I should post it or delete it. But this has really left a bad taste in my mouth and I don't think I can say nothing. All we can do at this point is figure out how to fix the system that we have so things like this do not happen again. To my knowledge, we have already lost 2 very good administrators to issues like these and we need to figure out how to keep from losing more. For instance, I feel terribly that Jody is hurt and I almost didn't speak up just so this will end. But I feel like if we don't address the issues behind it, this type of thing will just keep happening. So many sites like this crash and burn after a period of time and this site is too good to let that happen.
     
  10. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    sarahg,

    Have no fear, your post is well thought out and appreciated.:Retro smile:

    We do have quite a few mods now so in theory what you suggest could work fine. And we can try to make it work more often. Where we sometimes run into trouble is that not all mods are available at all times. Sometimes there's only one on -- sometimes none, which gives tempests time to build a head of steam as well.

    At least some of those times you mentioned, there was no one else available to take the call. And that happens more often than you might expect. We have mods in different time zones too which in some ways works better but in other ways, cuts down the numbers available at any given time.

    Thanks for the call for more mod volunteers.:D Though, to tell you the truth, if I were someone who would consider being a mod (No thanks!:eek:) I would hesitate to volunteer to do it here on these forums. This week is not the first time I've seen our mods attacked rather than approached with respect on these boards.

    Having said that, though ... we are always looking for more mods. We do not have enough of them, and because they are all ill as well, there's alot of downtime. I have one down and one plummetting at the moment. Volunteers would be welcome.

    The unevenness of who gets away with crap and who doesn't, is really in my and Cort's ballpark. We need to set out clearer guidelines for our mods. We are way too lax in some ways and that sets our mods up for alot of pressure in dealing with nonsense from time to time. Wears them down. So we will figure out what we need to change and take steps.

    I wholeheartedly agree that we need to figure out what keeps messing us up. We can't just wait for this one to pass because if we do that, ... there will be another one. We've had something like 4 major blowups that have eaten people's peace of mind and undermined their health. All in 5 months.

    I know I'm not prepared to keep going through this. Don't know when we'll run out of fodder for moderating, as people get used up and burned out. But it could happen. Oh yeah. And then it would just be a period of time before these forums didn't exist anymore. Or not in a form that people would want to come to.

    I'm not being theatrical here. I'm just saying. This is how these things happen.

    Sarah. I hope you are glad you wrote. This is exactly the kind of post that is helpful here. And done with such respect for all parties. Like a fresh spring rain. Thanks.:Retro smile:
     
    Gloria H likes this.
  11. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    I am sorry dreambirdie but this is just not on ;

    There is a constant undercurrent of anti-Christian sentiment on this board and I object to it, that is, the expression of it in such insulting terms that we have witnessed from various members. It is not religion that is causing the problem it is one specific one - Christianity

    No -one is going on the Buddhist threads and saying such things - can you imagine the uproar ;

    Buddhism is not "rational," and unfortunately neither are most people, once they get their tongue trapped into discussion about it.

    I thought that the board was against any persecution but this seems to exclude Christianity.

    I understand the caution there has been about the Faith Healing which has been described but this has been used to attack Christianity and actually it is not Christian. What has happened with Rachel is a different matter and has nothing to do with this snake oil.

    One of the mods has seen this persecution herself, and tries to take a stand, which is difficult for her as others on the team do not seem to be bothered about what is going on and the insulting things members are getting way with. She has tried to be discreet and not get involved and has shown restraint on this matter which has been hard for her due to her own beliefs.

    And now the argument has shifted to how the mods should deal with disputes and be stricter with them.

    None of it would have happened if the rules were enforced about personal and religious attacks.

    I am sorry Kim got burned.

    This is not about religion and two sides unable to control themselves with such a subject it is about persecution towards Christians and a refusal to stop it because of the religion or lack of it from mods
     
  12. Lily

    Lily *Believe*

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    It's good for me to try to understand how you feel, Jody. I haven't seen all the mod bashing you have. I see people criticizing Trish's style of moderating. I don't call that bashing. And it's a given that some people are better at some things than others. I haven't been a mod, but I have had the opportunity to do and try many jobs. I always appreciate constructive criticism. I don't see a way here for people to really feel comfortable providing constructive feedback.

    I'm a pretty easy going person. It's hard to ruffle my feathers, but I have felt the need to speak up in someone's defense several times when Martlet is moderating. I've been a manager and a director for many many years and dealt with conflict and moderated various situations. Sure it's not the same as on a forum like this, but that experience isn't needed to see when someone could improve their moderating skills. It's also tough because Robin is a tough act to follow when it comes to moderating. The contrast between the two is stark.

    A moderator needs to check their ego at the door and also toughen his/her skin. And as you've said many times it is a thankless job. So that's a given and one knows that going in.

    You have my deepest admiration Jody. I simply do not see this community as rude, or insensitive or in any way as you have described here. Quite the opposite. Of course I can't see it from your perspective, only mine. I just dont see what you see. I hope you can take a step back and rest, because this is obviously as wearing on you as it is for many of us.

    Kim's post did nothing to change my admiration and opinion of you, Cort or any of the admin/mod team. Do I think Martlet shouldn't be a moderator? No, however I do think she could reflect a little, and try to look at what's been said as constructive criticism. She could improve. I believe she is doing her best and doesn't have a mean spirited bone in her body. If I'm not mistaken she mentioned that she's moderated a religious site before. Some of what she does may fly there, but is simply inappropriate here; this is a very diverse community.

    The issue with thefreeprisoner was very difficult for many of us. It's difficult for some people to see the situation as separate from the person, however most posters were able to do that. We tried to spare Rachel's feelings. Even the person who asked some hard questions, for the most part asked reasonable questions. Something to think about. All of the questions were reasonable, with the exception of questioning her character. It was a difficult situation because CFS is what it is. And because we are trying to establish this forum with an internet presence that will show up on Google. In fact, Rachel was supposed to assist us in developing strategy for making the most of our potential as a presence and ways to use the internet to our advantage.

    It would be wonderful if that happens, however as someone who is healthy now, and hasn't experienced 10, 20 or 30 years of this, I wouldn't blame her if she moved on to other challenges. I believe it was Martlet who said you don't need to be ill for 30 years to have insight, and I believe it was Koan who said it would be a mistake not to have respect for insight those of us afflicted with this disease have gained over so many years. If we ignore either, we do so at our own peril.

    This week has been a difficult experience, but growth and good has to come from it, unless we throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are many lessons in this experience. No one wants to have an unmoderated forum. But to not listen to what people are saying about how moderating could be improved is a mistake. And that is what it is. It is not bashing. Could it have been done more constructively? Absolutely. We need an avenue to do that.

    Well I have more to say, but I've quite run out of steam. And I think this is quite enough for now.

    I'm sorry Jody, and I hope you can feel better soon.

    With deepest admiration,
    Lily
     
  13. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    :hug:Kim, you were the best admin/moderator, I really appreciate your kind spirit towards everyone. You have been fair to everyone and firm when need be. You are very generous with your time, especially with the recent organizing of funds for our friend Koan's computer. We as members probably don't know what's been happening behind the curtains, but Kim has to take care of herself. Kim I'd be honored if you decided to go back to your position, but it's always an honor to read your posts and to talk to you to chat. :hug:
     
  14. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Lily,

    Nice post.:Retro smile:

    Thanks for writing it.

    We do need to hear constructive criticism. Your post is a good example of this. The types of posts I'm referring to were of a whole other ilk. I heard the word "gestapo" for instance referring to one of my mods. There were many other examples of this type of thing. But you'll get my point from this one I expect.

    If you take another look, you'll see that I didn't say the community was rude. I was referring to a small number of members who have been eating up a good deal of my mods' week this week. Many situations were no-win, in my opinion. No, I was careful in my post to say that there were some here. Most of this community are a dream to associate with. But the minority I'm referring to are the ones making most of the thankless work for the mods.

    I understand your points about concerns that somehow Rachel's thread would make some people doubt the validity of CFs as an illness. I don't agree with you but I think that's okay.

    My concern is, if we are going to be preoccupied with what others are viewing on our forums, ... I think for those watching, the brawling that was going on (in my opinion) over Rachel's story is going to paint us as a community in a worse light than that someone feels they were healed. Again to clarify, I am not talking about all or even most of our members' postings. I am talking about a small number.

    I wouldn't be put off of a forum because someone thought they were healed whether I believed it might be true or not. In a forums this size, there is so much to choose from. I'd go to the sections that appealed to me. But I would be put off by seeing members (again -- a few) venting hostility towards each other. That is the forums I would not join.

    That is my concern. Threads will come and go. Granted they live on forever on google.:rolleyes: But they have a short life usually on the forums.

    But the feeling that a place is not safe ... that doesn't disappear with a used up thread.

    You mentioned you don't see a way here for people to feel comfortable offering constructive criticism. What do you think it would take?

    I'm glad you understand that what I see is not the same as for the regular members. I don't see some things in the same way because I am one of the ones trying to keep this place ticking and so I'll see complications and difficulties that aren't going to be clear to someone not on the team.

    And ... these are my mods.:Retro smile: I know from their discussions, and their anguishing, and their exhaustion at times what they are experiencing, in a way that other members can't know. And I am protective of them.

    But I am in no way in favour of some type of Us against Them approach either. That is a sure way to disaster for a forums.

    A better meeting of the minds. A better understanding of where each other is coming from. That is what will keep this place the special place it has been.

    I have had to be away from here quite a bit the last month or so. I will try to be around more and am open to any constructive criticism anyone wants to offer.
     
  15. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Frickly,

    I agree with your observation about all that's happened since Rachel posted her news.

    It has been astonishing to me.
     
    Gloria H likes this.
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Brenda,

    This type of post is not helpful in this discussion.

    This type of post has helped to create the situation we are trying to calm down.

    I'd like you to stop posting in this manner. This site has no intention of persecuting any group, Christian or otherwise.

    If you post like this again your post will be moderated.
     
  17. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I've haven't been able to participate here much -- my health has been very poor and I've had to gradually cut back. (Which is why we have so many mods -- in case one or more of us needs some time off.) So, I haven't really been involved with anything lately.

    I've been trying to follow along with the feedback about the moderating in general and what's going on here. It is a tricky job and inevitably you're going to upset someone. Our job is to balance the need of order in the community while allow individuals to express themselves as freely as possible. The issue of religion is particularly difficult because it's so integral to a person's identity, and questioning a person's religious experience can seem like a personal attack to a person of faith. The person raising the issue may simply be wanting to talk about aspects of it, like we do with any other topic, not intending any harm.

    Martlet has been condemned a lot for having a conflict of interest in the "miracle" thread. I've worked with Martlet for a while and can assure everyone that she's not a mean person, or a villain, or hateful of Atheists. She's trying to help. I can't speak for her but if people have issues about my style of moderating, I would hope they would contact me personally or raise the issue in a thread in "nuts and bolts" so we could have a discussion. Contrary to what's been asserted, we are not the gestapo and not adverse to feedback.

    Jody has raised some issues about how the mod/admin team have handled the whole thing and is working (dilgently) to have a conversation about it, about how things should be done in the future. Speaking personally, everyone on the team has their hearts in the right place -- they all want to forum to be a good place. I hope everyone can work through it.
     
  18. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    I am sorry that some find my moderating style heavy-handed. It is kind of weird sitting here and seeing myself being discussed but I've let it run on for a long time without saying a word and now I think it's my turn.

    Moderation is almost always done by consensus and because Robin has such a gentle touch, she has often been the first to step in. I think if people look back, they will see that I don't actually do a lot of moderating because if another moderator can handle it, I am basically lazy enough to sit back and let them, so I tend to step in when a gentle touch has failed, unless there is no-one else here and things are rapidly going south. If you look back through Rachel's thread, you will see that no-one was moderated for opinion and I only stepped in when two members on opposing sides of the discussion were close to fisticuffs, getting very personal with each other. At that point, no-one else who was available seemed willing to do it, and I was trying to head off any suspensions by breaking up a fight.

    As for suspensions or banning, none of us moderators has the power to do that. Every suspension or banning has to be carried out by admin and all communication with that person is agreed beforehand. We moderators, when acting in that capacity, are the public face of admin but I will hasten to add that neither Cort nor Jody have generally been the ones to pull the plug on a member.

    Okay, I've said my piece and I've taken on board what people have said here. I have used the "red ink" in order to try and differentiate between my personal opinion and my actions as a moderator. I took the lead of another moderator who was long-since worn down by the task, but will drop it if people don't want to see it. I have no problem with that but I have to say that my online time is precious and I do have a home to run and other things to do and, given that we have generally spent a while talking behind the scenes about each need for moderation by the time anything appears in public, I cannot spend time on lengthy explanations. As Jody says, we have one moderator down and another is rapidly going downhill. I suspect we might lose a third one because of the aggro coming from forum members. This forum has a habit of exhausting its moderators ... especially the gentlest ones ... and we lose them faster than any other forum I know.
     
  19. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Thanks for your posts, Robin and Martlet.:Retro smile:
     
  20. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Thanks Jody... and Robin.

    I'm beginning to get a feel for what a headache running a forum can be.:headache::headache::headache:

    I don't envy those who take it on, and now I appreciate them (that's YOU) even more. SO THANK YOU!

    With that said, I'm going back to bed. :In bed:

    LOVING KISSES to all those who work so hard to connect us all.
     
    rosie26 and Gloria H like this.

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