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AW: "My way or else..."

Jul 09, 1998 06:48 AM
by Mittelberger Martina

	To the Topic   1) "My way or else..."	by "K. Paul Johnson"

I followed the discussion with a lot of interest. I agree with Paul. But
I don not understand why he is feeling guilty, when he does not give
money to Alan. I have been several times in India. There one can see,
that it is impossible to help everyone, who needs help. One has to
decide, which poor gets support and help and which not. It is a
selective action and it is not nice to do. But thats the fact. So I do
not feel guilty, when I do not support Alan. 
It is the same effect, when an earthquake is shown on TV. Then a lot of
people give money, but they do not feel guilty when a lot of children
starve every day in Africa. Now Alan is on the list, and some feel
guilty, because they do not help. But do they also feel guilty in all
the other cases ?


Martina Mittelberger

> ----------
> Von:[]
> Antwort an:
> Gesendet: 	Donnerstag, 9. Juli 1998 14:36
> An: 	Multiple recipients of list
> Betreff: 	THEOS-L digest 1581
>   1) "My way or else..."
> 	by "K. Paul Johnson" <>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 10:46:29 -0400 (EDT)
> From: "K. Paul Johnson" <>
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: "My way or else..."
> Message-ID: <>
> you're an evil, uncharitable, heartless hypocrite."
> Yesterday I unsubscribed from theos-talk due to my feelings about
> the recent discussions there.  Since my last post there was
> forwarded here without my foreknowledge, I will add a few words
> about what I see happening there-- and now here.
> It's fine for Alan to come up with a plan that he thinks the most
> workable, reasonable one to solve his problem.  Fine for other
> people to perceive that plan in the same way, and support it.
> Fine for others to question the plan and say why they don't
> support it.  Fine for others to express ambivalence or explain
> why they are unable to support it.  Nothing in any of that is
> objectionable.
> What is IMO absolutely intolerable is that those who support the
> plan present it as the universal duty of everyone on the list to
> do so, and demonize anyone who resists this claim.  (If one is
> "too poor" to contribute one is off the hook, but if one has
> money that could be sent, and chooses not to do so for whatever
> reason, one becomes the epitome of hypocrisy, lack of compassion,
> untheosophical behavior, unbrotherliness, you name it.)
> Whenever any appeal is made to one's conscience, there are a
> number of factors that come into play:
> 1. Is this a good cause, e.g. will my help do any good?  Here,
> for example, it is easy to place contributing to disaster relief
> to a recognized agency above contributing to someone who says "I
> need this money to buy a gun."  (I'm not making that up, it
> happened to me.)
> 2. Am I able to contribute the money, time or energy asked of me?
> 3. Do I feel personally responsible for this, i.e. does this
> situation have a particular claim on me?  
> 4. Can I trust the person or agency soliciting assistance to do
> with it what they say they will?
> Now, in response to the raising of $130,000 for Alan and Bob to
> purchase a house, in order to prevent Bob from doing violence to
> himself or others which would occur should he be obliged to move,
> I start out with a definite no to #1.  I don't believe that the
> stated plan will achieve the stated objective in any way that
> seems secure.  Moreover, I don't think the requisite amount can
> be raised in the requisite time.  Alan's time and energy would be
> better spent by seeking ways to adjust Bob to the prospect of
> moving, and to finding alternative lodging.  If the move should
> be financially burdensome, I'd contribute to that.  As for
> ability to contribute-- not very much but something.  Now for the
> criterion that can be easily attacked as "selfish" but which in
> fact everyone applies.  Family comes first, real life friends
> come second, community needs come third in terms of my
> responsiveness to claims for help.  Why?  I owe all these groups
> something by virtue of what I have received from them.  When it
> comes to claims by virtue of being a fellow-Theosophist, or
> having been acquainted on some e-lists for several years, those
> just don't fall into the same category.  Similarly, if *I* needed
> help I'd go first to family, then to friends and then to the
> community.  With #4, I don't trust that the funds collected will
> actually go to the purchase of the house, not because Alan won't
> try his best to make that happen, but because it just doesn't
> seem a likely outcome.
> I have been profoundly alienated by some of the things supporters
> of the house purchase plan have said to those who express
> reservations.  To equate someone who wishes to avoid the kind of
> discussions that are now going on about this
> particular scheme to solve this particular problem with the
> Germans who turned a blind eye to the Holocaust is symptomatic of
> what Jung called "inflation."  Perceiving this cause to be good,
> Thoa perceives opposition or indifference to it as evil, and
> then elevates herself and those who share her perspective as "THE
> GOOD GUYS" and those who do not become "THE EVIL ONES."  Not in
> so many words but implicitly.  Similarly, Alan equates being a
> sincere Theosophist with sending him money for this cause, and
> regards anyone who can but won't as a hypocrite and bad
> Theosophist.  Doss identifies supporting this particular plan
> with "help" and any questioning or criticism of it as "getting in
> the way."  I would reply that some of us don't see the house
> buying scheme as helpful, and think that orienting Alan to other
> approaches *is* helpful and the best way to a positive solution.
> That's quite evidently true of Eldon's long and carefully thought
> out post.
> Finally, Thoa perceives my reaction to this situation as
> symptomatic of an effort to avoid guilt feelings.  In fact, it
> has inspired very deep guilt feelings, but not about Alan.
> And in typical Scorpio fashion, I'm not avoiding them but rather
> brooding for days.  This has made me think about family, friends,
> community,
> coworkers, all the people to whom I clearly owe support in the
> form of time, energy and money.  And given the limitations on all
> those commodities for almost everyone, most of us can probably
> share that kind of guilt feeling that we just don't do enough
> for others.  It's having that underlying sense of responsibility
> and guilt evoked, and then manipulated toward support of a
> particular scheme to solve a particular problem-- a scheme that
> meets none of the criteria I outline above-- that really disgusts
> and angers me about the tactics of Alan's "supporters."
> I do hope and pray for a positive outcome for Alan and Bob.

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