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Re: regarding publishing subscriber lists

Dec 29, 1999 10:53 AM
by JRC

> The idea that it was important for anyone to read a full list
> of subscribers/lurkers, regardless of their desire to publish
> their names/id's or not, was first raised when the ACT list
> was being started. JRC commented on theos-l that he had looked
> at a list of theos-l subscribers and found a few were concealed,
> and wondered if there was something sinister going on. He
> asserted that it was important than no one be able to subscribe
> to the list unless everyone could know who they were. John
> Mead became convinced and changed the list setup so that
> there was no privacy for subscribers anymore. From that point
> onward, if you wanted to subscribe to theos-l, anyone could
> get your full email id.

1. It most certainly wasn't only me desiring openess.

2. It makes no difference anyway - anyone can get a hotmail account ...
or a dozen hotmail accounts ... under any name ... in about 30 seconds.

> At that time, John helped JRC create the ACT-l list, with
> he, John Mead, and JRC as co-listowners. I've always
> thought that it was inconsistent that the ACT-l list has
> *concealed* its list of subscribers, so only JRC and John
> Mead know who's on the list, while it was JRC's initial
> assertion that keeping list subscribers unconcealed was
> the right thing to do.

Several whompin' big errors here Eldon m'boy. First, John Mead didn't
help *me* create ACT-L, John Mead was an ACT member, and created the
list himself. He went on *vacation*, and needed someone to administer
the list while he was gone - and I volunteered to do so simply because I
work on the internet and was going to be on it consistantly over that
holiday season. As soon as he got back he again managed the list. While
I believe I was still there as secondary administrator, I certainly
didn't want the bother (as you know, managing a list can get to be a
real pain in the butt sometimes), nor did I ever look at who was on it.

Second, this is by no means inconsistant. ACT-L was delibrately
attempting to pursue administrative and political changes in the TS ...
a TS with a Board that most definately kept, and keeps, their own
political strategy and manuvering secret from the membership. Part of
the points we were making, and one group of people for whom we were
advocates, had to do with the treatment of the Headquarters staff. A
number of them most definately supported ACT, a number of them were on
the list. And to the person, they all expressed *fear* of reprisals from
John Algeo if it became known they were sympathetic, or associated in
any way. This was not an idle fear ... we know that John Algeo and
several Board members were posditively livid about ACT. Several other
very prominant Theosophists also wrote us privately, let us know they
had sympathy, that they'd like to hear what was going on, but again, for
political reasons were nervous about having this be known publically. To
make everyone feel safe, the show-members function was turned completely

Don't accuse ACT of inconsistancy for not letting its opponents -
clearly willing as they were to use any tactics to make sure it got
nowhere - to easily look at the people that were following the
dicussions. They *WERE* free to participate in them, and to subscribe to
the list.

> If you feel, MKR, that all lists
> should make their subscription lists publicly available,
> you might suggest, for consistency sake, that ACT-l open
> up its list, and then post the list of its subscribers
> on theos

Tell you what Eldon, *I'll* suggest that strongly if, "for consistency's
sake", you also suggest to Headquarters that the allegedly public forums
they control ... the national publications funded in part by
*everyone's* membership dues, be similarly opened.

This is a curious tactic that more than one person has tried ...
accusing *ACT* of not being completely "open", while leaving unstated
the fact that Headquarters *tightly* controls virtually every aspect
communications within the TS ... and apparently gives some people cause
to be concerned about what might happen to them if Headquarters *did*
gain access to a list of the people that were following the
discourse. -JRC

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