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What are attacks?

Nov 18, 1997 02:27 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

In response to Eldon's question, I don't see that the Arcana
guidelines would be any good in keeping Theosophists from
attacking people or religions.  Why not?  Whoever does it
always denies that attacking is what is going on.  Often that
denial is combined with a further attack on the already
attacked-- for "taking things personally."  

As for attacking belief systems: some people, fundamentalist
Theosophists certainly included, take any criticism or
questioning of their beliefs as personal attacks.  For example,
someone recently posted on theos-talk the claim that someone's
asserting there were "demonstrable errors" in HPB's writings
was "fighting words."

If a moderator starts to make judgments on what is attacks
and what isn't, it would be very hard to keep his/her own personal
beliefs from influencing that judgment.  People by nature are
much less tolerant of free speech of those who differ with them
than of those who agree with them.  They tend to turn a blind
eye to the nastiness of those "on our side" while exaggerating
that of "heretics."

I am also concerned that you, Eldon,  seem to have developed a
heightened sensitivity to "attacks" and "backstabbing"
of those not present, right after I finally, after two years
of withholding the information, explained in a pretty dispassionate
post the history behind John Algeo's negative reviews of The
Masters Revealed.  Why did I post that?  In response to a
lengthy and extremely personal attack on me, by a friend and
supporter of his,  that made wild
unsubstantiated accusations about the subject.

If your desire to establish rules is to some extent in order to
protect Theosophical Authorities from criticism, then to that
extent I think it is misconceived.  They have been protecting
themselves from it all too well for all too long, and the
movement has suffered as a result.

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