Proposition : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

This forum has, to say the least, sunk to new lows of late. The number of garbage posts allowed to remain up is staggering. The moderator, Frank Someone, has chosen (for reasons known only to him) to ignore his function and destroy any opposition to his absentee techniques. Several good, even integral, people have left. Those who remain are forced to deal with what we have at present.

I propose a moritorium on posting here for the remainder of Lent. Allow this forum to be overrun with fundies & bigots, and let it fall quickly (mercifully) at the hands of its moderator. I plan to use the time not only to do some extra prayer, but also to seek out new forums more in line with supporting an open exchange between sincere people who wish to remain free of the type of drivel that ends up here on an almost daily basis. This has ceased to be a forum. It is now more like a wall in a men's room, and many of the posts like so much graffiti. I wouldn't allow this type of garbage into my house under any pretext, much less that of a Catholic forum. If, by some miracle, the policies change, I would be thrilled to see you all again after Easter.

Have a blessed Lent, and please pray for me, as I will be praying for all of you.

-- jake (, March 10, 2003



I think the Moderator made a trip to Chicago this weekend.

I will rember you and your family in my prayers. Thanks for the prayers bro.

God bless you, and that good wife of yours.

-- David (, March 10, 2003.

Hold on there Jake (if you really are Jake - one doesn’t know for sure these days)! David has a point. The moderator obviously is not available or he would have dealt with all of this already. It really isn't fair to criticize him for what's been going on this week if he has other things to do. What with losing our "Deputy Moderator" (Chris) recently there doesn't seem to be any backup right now.

Of late, I really don't envy the moderator for doing such an unthankful job. He has performed admirably in my mind, given the horrendous conditions and limitations he has been working under.

-- Ed Lauzon (, March 10, 2003.

Hi Jake, I share your frustration the forum is a mess. However I think the moderator generally does a very good job, for what is a difficult and thankless task. I doubt many of us are in position to give any more time than the Moderator or do a better job.

What is needed is not a new moderator but more moderators. There is nothing to stop the forum having 3 or 4 moderators if need be, (at least temporarily until things settle down) preferably who live in different parts of the US to control the imbeciles out there.

Sadly there are many desperate teenage boys and even sadder lonely middle aged men whose life revolves around the internet for their sexual kicks and life satisfaction. Notice how the poor guy targets the ladies of the forum in a desperate and pathetic attempt to live out a life fantasy as a female. The bloke is in bad way, indeed he is one very sick chap. Even someone of so few redeeming features as this gentleman will tire and move on and leave us in peace.

Hope Regina your family have a Blessed Lent and Easter Jake.


-- Kiwi (, March 10, 2003.

Amen Kiwi, my thoughts exactly !

To the moderator : Sorry for wrongly accusing you before, someone was hijacking your name. I hope this forum will continue to minister to the needs of hungry seeking ones for the Lord.

-- Oliver Fischer (, March 10, 2003.


Friends, about a year ago, when we were being plagued by "Dennis Molson," Joan (Elmo) Storey, and one or two others who were banned (but who posted so frequently that "Moderator" could not keep up), I wrote to "Moderator" at least three times to make what I considered a reasonable suggestion --
that he should choose two or more people to appoint as "deputies" that would have only one responsibility and privilege -- namely, to delete posts from (a) banned people and from (b) new arrivals who posted obscenities. I offered to be one of those "deputies," but did not insist on being one. "Moderator" did not appoint any such deputies. He did not even reply to my suggestions to explain why. Now a high price for this choice is being paid by everyone.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 11, 2003.

(I meant to add, but forgot, that the situation does not have to stay this way. It is never too late for "Moderator" to invite people to be his deputies. JFG)

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 11, 2003.

Friends, despite the huge problems, the forum is not dead yet. I was amazed just now to find that today, March 11 (with more than two hours left in Eastern Time Zone), people have started, or posted replies on, 55 different threads. That may be a record, or nearly so. [Since I have not looked at most of the 55 yet, I don't know how many posts are legitimate, rather than obscene, but I hope for the best ...]

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 11, 2003.

I am wondering if it is at all possible for the moderator to track the ip's of these people and send letters to the respective isp's.

-- Oliver Fischer (, March 12, 2003.

Hi All.

Don't put any blame on the moderator. He is not the one posting all of the garbage.

-- rod (, March 12, 2003.

No one is blaming the Moderator.

But, the Ladies in this forum should NOT have to read about there pivate parts being plasterd all over this forum going on a week now!

If the Moderator has somewhere to go fine, if the Moderator has another life, fine. But what is wrong with making a fine Christian Catholic like John a deputy to just delete curse word posts, or posts where someone is using another persons address. We had the same problem last year during Lent when the Moderator went away for a while.

Just another opinion and no more. But we do need a deputy and John has posted almost .06percent of all posts in forum, so he does spend time in here.


-- David (, March 12, 2003.

Oooopps. Sorry Mr. Richards. That close to .06 was wrong. It should say close to 6 percent of all posts posted for John.

-- David (, March 12, 2003.

Qui custodit ipsos custodes?

if you get my point.

-- Censorial Sceptic (, March 12, 2003.

I have been following this forum in excess of four years now and I think I can count on one hand, the number of times we have thanked the Moderator for his efforts. His job has been a thankless one and now that he is alone, it seems he can’t even leave for a few days without everyone going berserk and blaming him for the shenanigans that are going on in his absence. As proud Christians can we not show him some patience and understanding? Can we not rally round him and give him the support he needs to do the job? After all he does have a life away from this forum and aren’t his efforts here totally voluntary?

I have never liked the rules that are employed by this forum and while I have disagreed with some decisions our Moderator has made in the past, I have to respect his right to make those decisions the best way he sees fit to maintain order and admire his dedication in carrying out his duties. I believe our Moderator has been as fair as he could have been, given the circumstances. I know his decisions were always based solely for the good of the forum. It’s very hard to portray the epitome of fairness and goodwill when you’ve been drawn into a situation to arbitrate and/or get in under control. Someone invariably will not like the decision you make. At times he’s even been criticized from both sides of an issue. It’s sometimes very hard to keep your cool in the middle of it all when participants show you no respect and it seems your efforts go unappreciated. It can get very discouraging.

Should the forum make some changes? Probably! Any organization needs change to improve from time to time. However, a major reason this forum has lasted as long as it has is because of the effort and dedication to the task at hand our Moderator has given over the years. Moderator, thanks for a job well-done and not very well appreciated.

-- Ed Lauzon (, March 12, 2003.

the Moderator is without doubt a fair man doing a hard job; and as soon as you let the extremists (such as JF Gecik) onto a panel that is allowed to delete posts, then you are back in Chairman Mao Land.

-- Censorial Sceptic (, March 12, 2003.

I say let's ditch this place and just all hang out at Phatmass from now on.

-- Christine L. :-) (, March 12, 2003.

I agree that there should be a change or two made. The Moderator has done a good job day in and day out(except the past few months) IMHO.

I don't read anyone blaming him for this. But, a helper or two is always good when you are going away for an extended period of time. But, you have to rember whoever would get the keys would have a "little power" in forum. It would be nice to go back and see who is who sometimes, I must admit. :-)

And we should also pray that the Moderator and his family are well, because we are only guesing that the Moderator is out of town.

Holy innocents pray for us.

God bless the Moderator.

-- David (, March 13, 2003.

Hello, Olly

You asked, " If it were possible for the Moderator to track IP numbers and send letters.."

Olly, Do you think the Moderator is realy going to track IP numbers and than write a letter, and than pay for the postage and mail it?

We can't even get posts deleted at the present time.

May God bless Anna for taking such verbal abuse and not letting this sick soul stop her from coming to this forum. I think this forum grows stronger with times like this and courage like Anna's.

God bless your new bride Olly.

-- Davidf (, March 13, 2003.

Not snail mail bro, email. It was just a suggestion of a way that some of the slime could be wiped away.

I fully agree with the need to have more admin for support tho.

-- Oliver Fischer (, March 13, 2003.

Hello, Ed L.

As you know, I respect you very much, but you are simply wrong in making this statement (and it is a matter of fact, not opinion):
"I believe our Moderator has been as fair as he could have been, given the circumstances."

David S has described things realistically, in these words:
"The Moderator has done a good job day in and day out (except the past few months)."
Ed L, if you don't agree with that, it can only be that you are not aware of what took place here in January. But, in this thread, we are not talking about fairness. We are talking about keeping the forum clean, presentable, and inviting.

Ed L, you did not address the important fact that I mentioned -- the "error of omission" committed by "Moderator," in not providing for the necessary deletions while he is away. I told you that I pleaded with him to appoint at least two deputies one year ago, without any response. Neither he nor his alternate at that time (who is now gone) could keep up with the abusive posts around the clock, resulting in trash being left up for 8 to 12 hours. Now the situation is even worse. Now it would help if you would add a "postscript" to your laudatory message about "Moderator," to let him know that you agree that "deputies" are needed badly. As I said, it is never to late for him to make up for his past error of omission.

Ed L., you also wrote: "Should the forum make some changes? Probably! Any organization needs change to improve from time to time."

I certainly agree with you. However, at this forum, it is impossible to make changes. While "Moderator" was once open to comments and appeared malleable, that is no longer the case. The situation is now dictatorial. No opportunity to propose or to vote for change is ever offered. Change, extremely rare in itself, is only imposed (as in January).

Ed L, you continued: "... a major reason this forum has lasted as long as it has is because of the effort and dedication to the task at hand our Moderator has given over the years."

As I have stated a few times, in other threads, "Moderator" has done several good things. However, Ed L, you may not be aware of the fact that the forum existed (in far better shape than now) without the current "Moderator" throughout 1998, 1999, and 2000. Today's "Moderator" started in January of 2001, and did a decent job for two years.

A couple of days ago, I stated my "guarded" pleasure at seeing that 55 threads had received responses on March 11. After going through those threads, though, I was very unhappy to find that more than half of those 55 threads had been trashed by our sick visitors and did not contain legitimate new posts.

Oliver, you wrote: "I am wondering if it is at all possible for the moderator to track the ip's of these people and send letters to the respective isp's."
The IP addresses attached to individual posts are known to "Moderator," but they are of little or no value, I think. Some reasons why:
(1) Some ISPs would not care.
(2) Some ISPs would care, but would think that they have no right to silence their customers.
(3) We know, from painful experience here, that identification by IP address is not infallible. An innocent person was once falsely accused of something, based on IP address.
(4) If the looneys are teenagers, they may be posting from a library or school computer, making them untraceable anyway.

Rod, you wrote: "Don't put any blame on the moderator. He is not the one posting all of the garbage."
No one is blaming "Moderator" for the garbage. I have only voiced reasonable displeasure that he has not taken precautions to keep it from being left up.
Rod, suppose you were "Moderator" and you chose not appoint "clean-up deputies." Suppose, then, that you had to go out of town for a week. What would you do? You would make sure that you got on the Internet at least once daily (from a library, or wherever) to perform the necessary clean-up yourself. But here, "Moderator" neither appointed deputies nor is performing a remote clean-up. In my opinion, this is inexcusable.

"Censorial Skeptic" writes:
"... the Moderator is without doubt a fair man doing a hard job; and as soon as you let the extremists (such as JF Gecik) onto a panel that is allowed to delete posts, then you are back in Chairman Mao Land."

It doesn't take much to realize that "Skeptic" has posted messages that he/she knows were worthy of deletion. So here we see the voice of fear speaking. It is also the voice of ignorance, because this person did not carefully read what I wrote:

"I wrote to 'Moderator' at least three times to make what I considered a reasonable suggestion -- that he should choose two or more people to appoint as 'deputies' that would have only one responsibility and privilege -- namely, to delete posts from (a) banned people and from (b) new arrivals who posted obscenities."
Notice that the deputies could only delete messages from banned people or messages from new people that contain obscenities. [I would add blantant racism to obscenities as justification for deletion.] Thus, "Skeptic" was wrong to fear that deputies would act like Maoists. Now "Skeptic" should apologize for the error (and for inaccurately labeling me an "extremist"), but I won't hold my breath waiting for that apology.

Christine L, you wrote: "I say let's ditch this place and just all hang out at Phatmass from now on."
I am with you in spirit, and I may eventually choose to post regularly elsewhere. However, I doubt that it could be at Phatmass, because the response time is horrendous, and the pages are so complex that they sometimes cause my Netscape session to crash. When I try to move from page to page, I sometimes have to wait one or two minutes just to get my screen loaded. (I don't know if that is because the Phatmass server is far too weak and slow or because there are hundreds of separate entities on each page -- i.e., all the unnecessary graphic images.) By contrast, I get almost immediate response here at Greenspun.

God bless you all.

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 14, 2003.

PS: I forgot to mention one other thing in reply to "Censorial Skeptic". [I just noticed that his/her name itself is a misnomer, because no one is proposing "censorship" here.] As I mentioned earlier, Skeptic wrote: "... as soon as you let the extremists (such as JF Gecik) onto a panel that is allowed to delete posts, then you are back in Chairman Mao Land." I am amazed that "Skeptic" would think that I would now be on such a "panel." The "Moderator" would not consider inviting me to be a deputy. He deleted all my posts (about 20 messages) of January 7, 10, and 13 -- even though they should not have been deleted. And yet, "Skeptic" would criticize ME for potential censorship and Maoism. Hilarious!

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 14, 2003.

JFG, your proposition might be "hilarious" but it is illogical -- it does not follow that, just because you have been heavily censored, that you would never begin censoring. you also have a strange idea what the word "misnomer" means - and sceptic is not spelt skeptic.

so ask yourself this. is this message now one that should be removed from the board and why? would you like it removed? would you be able to resist removing it?

there is no doubt whatsoever, btw, that if you were given power to remove posts, all that filty nonsense that has appeared would be deleted -- and the site would be a far better place for it. this is not being questioned.

the point i am trying to make is, so, what then? what about all the other messages with which you disagree? perhaps you could be a racism/porn/etc cop -- like the 'A' Team: appointed to sort out the grossly offensive stuff, but with powers suspended as soon as all the obvious filth has been removed.

i can point you to threads where there are potentially rascist comments being made by a forum regular -- who will of course swear blind that he is not rascist. i'm not sure, myself, i feel very uneasy about some of the language and i do feel that it amounts to anti-Muslim rascism; but i think that there is sufficient doubt to leave the posts as are.

anyway, if the really offensive stuff was removed pretty quickly, i am reasonably sure these people would go away.

-- Censorial Sceptic (, March 14, 2003.

The issue here is not who is to blame for what has happened. The issue is the survival of this forum. The issue here should be how can we preserve the life of this forum and move it forward to better serve the needs of Catholics and to those who are interested in obtaining information regarding the Catholic faith.

Until we put all the bickering and bitterness behind us, progress will be a slow and painstakingly arduous task at best, if at all. I feel this forum needs a mission statement that will help discern what is to be tolerated in the future by its contributors and what will not. I believe there have been some rules in existence now to assist the moderator in the performance of his duties. Perhaps these should be revisited in light of all that has gone on lately. It has been pointed out several times now that more deputy moderators are needed. This to me, is another good suggestion that ought to be explored. Maybe a council (comprised of contributors) needs to be set up here in the next few weeks and months to review existing rules and/or establish new ones for the conduct of the forum to ensure its continuation.

-- Ed Lauzon (, March 14, 2003.

yes. other sites have rules. in fact they have different sections - some for Orthodox Catholic, some for jew/Catholic, some for protestant/Cath. that way, for example, if you are OK with "getting it on" with, say, a fundie you can in the fundie/Catholic part; but if you want polite pro-Catholic discourse with outer Catholics, you also do that.

of course these sites are altogether much slower than this one, and if some sick puppy wants to post porn/racism/.... then he will do this anyway.

in the further interests of a resolution, i would swallow all my concerns aboiut censorship and completely endorse everything that JFG has stated. Objective 1 must be to get rid of the sickos.

-- Censorial Sceptic (, March 14, 2003.

I stopped by to see if things had gotten back to normal, but apparently not.

The problem for me is not so much the bickering or in-fighting, but the profane, obscene and horrifyingly racist spam that has flooded the topics list.

Why hasn't the moderator removed this garbage?

IS there a moderator anymore?

-- Christine L. ;-) (, March 14, 2003.

Hi, Ed

"..Ther issue here is not who is the blame for what happened..."

Ed, we can't blame the Moderator because we haven't had one for quite some time now!

The issue is quite simple. We need a Moderator. I would like to see Anna get a little help. She just had a baby and she has to read about her private parts on the internet for a week now?

I think its a power thing(IMHO) with not having a few people to help Moderate. If the Moderator isn't available to delete this garbage, than somebody else should be. This forum shouldn't have to revolve around waiting for him to pop back in.


-- David (, March 14, 2003.


Hello, folks. Again you have given me some interesting things to which to respond!

First, to "Censorial Sceptic" ...

1. Thanks for your closing comment ("in the further interests of a resolution, i would swallow all my concerns aboiut censorship and completely endorse everything that JFG has stated.")

2. I want to assure you that you have judged me too harshly. I am not in favor of widespread deletion of posts or banning of people. You said to me: "so ask yourself this. is this message now one that should be removed from the board and why? would you like it removed? would you be able to resist removing it?"
Sceptic, I hope that it will pleasantly surprise you to read that, not only would I not want your message removed, I would not even be tempted to remove it if I were the moderator (or a deputy). You haven't broken any rule, so it would not even occur to me to delete your message. I believe in playing fair!

3. Sorry that I misspelled part of your alias by accident. I have never seen the word "sceptic" before. My dictionary shows "skeptic" to be the common form of the word, while "sceptic" is a "variant" not normally used in my country.

Now to Christine L ...

David S mentioned (above) that he thinks that the moderator is out of town this week. [I think I recall seeing a message on some thread or another in which a certain person (not posting as "Moderator") said he was headed for Chicago recently.]

Finally to Ed L ...

My friend, I haven't succeeded in communicating to you the dire situation in which we find ourselves here, as of early January. You just now wrote: "I feel this forum needs a mission statement that will help discern what is to be tolerated in the future by its contributors and what will not. I believe there have been some rules in existence now to assist the moderator in the performance of his duties. Perhaps these should be revisited in light of all that has gone on lately."

In order for there to be a "mission statement" and rules that are acceptable to every decent Catholic here, Ed L, there would have to be a new Moderator -- or at least a whole new "government" (democracy, replacing dictatorship) instituted here. [I am not bickering, but just being objective -- realistically descriptive -- for your benefit.]

The current moderator wrote all the rules in January, 2001 (or received some of them from the alternate) ... then he changed or added one or two rules early in 2002 ... and finally he imposed a new [and, in my opinion, draconian] rule at the beginning of 2003.
The moderator (and his departed alternate) are the only people who have the password(s) necessary to clean up the filth now posted on this forum. The moderatorm controls everything here (now, with an iron fist not evident prior to 2003) -- from the content of the rules (which were imposed without a vote by Catholic "regulars") ... to the banning or suspension of individuals (with no appeal and no "jury") ... to the deletion of messages (again with no appeal and no "jury"). His rule of early January resulted in his deletion of all of a person's posts of a given day [even 5 or 10 long, helpful posts] if just one of those posts contained words that the moderator, in his subjective judgment, found to be impolite, overly critical, or insulting to a person being addressed. In my opinion, there ought not to be any forum on the whole Internet that operates under these conditions.

I hope, Ed L, that I have now conveyed the seriousness of the situation to you. I agree with your proposal (for a mission statement and revised rules [to be proposed and approved by all Catholics here]), but the problem is that we have no power whatsoever to implement such a proposal -- neither individually, nor in pairs, nor in large groups. You correctly sense that the Moderator should be directed by the majority of Catholic "regulars" here, but instead he directs everyone else, because he has 100% of the power. He cannot be ejected. The owners (Messrs. Greenspun) refuse to depose him. The moderator alone has the passwords. Do you see what I mean, and do you now understand why I left here for more than a month?

Thanks to all, and God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 14, 2003.


I sympathize with everything that you’ve said. I know it’s very frustrating at times for all of us, but as a private forum our options are limited. All I can suggest is that we all hang in there, continue to ask for explanations when we disagree and offer suggestions about how this forum can operate more to the satisfaction of all who come here.


I chose to reply to your comments on this and other threads addressed to me here, as I feel this threads deals with the present problem we are experiencing.

In regards to your bringing up some of the old threads to show that somehow I've suggested in the past that we need a new moderator, my concerns in the past have always been about how this “private” forum is run - the rules that conduct its operation and the conduct of moderators. They have not really concerned the moderators themselves. I have always said I would like to see a more democratic style of management in the way business is conducted here, but in the final analysis, it’s the owner’s prerogative to run it anyway he chooses. If in our opinion the forum is not being run to our satisfaction, we have options of course available to us: we can stay and be quiet, we can stay and voice our concerns, we can leave silently or we can leave and go out with both guns blazing. Whatever we decide, our actions may or may not affect how the forum is conducted in the future. That will be the owner’s decision to make.

I have let everyone know in the past where I stand about the manner in which this forum is run. While I began the other thread originally to deal primarily with a decision Chris made to edit another thread the best way he saw fit but in a way that I took exception to, my complaint lay more with the style and rules under which this forum operates, rather than with wanting a particular individual replaced because I didn’t agree with a decision. My dissatisfaction was never really in the moderators themselves, it was more to do with the principles under which they and this forum operate. As a private forum, unfortunately, it doesn’t always have to operate in the open and account to whoever demands an explanation. As a private forum the decisions made don’t always have to seem fair to all the participants. Do I feel that some moderators here have made mistakes in the past? Of course I do, they are human. So what! My opinion in a private forum such as this one only matters to a point.

David I do not wish to revisit the specific complaint I had in the “stigmata” thread. Chris and I hashed that out many months ago and the problems I had with the forum then are not the same problems I perceive the forum to have today. At the time, I feel I was given fair opportunity to voice my concerns, as I feel has always been the case in this forum, and that, in and of itself, is something to be said for a forum that is privately run. Although it seemed like I got nowhere at the time with my complaint, my comments no doubt planted many seeds for future decisions by moderators. I am still not ready to crucify the existing moderator for all the disgraceful posts that have been allowed to stand recently, as we have not yet heard his side of the story. Moreover, as a privately managed forum, I don’t believe the moderator owes me an explanation, if he doesn’t want to give me one. He is responsible to the owner alone. This is not a public forum that finds itself responsible to all its participants. In light of the above, if we care about the life of this forum it is incumbent upon us to try and make our concerns known the best way we can and hope that improvements will me made. In this regard, in my opinion, the old expression still rings true - you can still attract more flies with honey that you can with vinegar. In the end, we are only guests here and if we do not like the way we are being treated, then we have other alternatives available to us.

-- Ed Lauzon (, March 15, 2003.


Hello, Ed. Thanks for the friendly words you spoke to me.
In reading your comments to David S, I did see some things that seemed logical and persuasive at first. But then I realized that part of what you stated is based on faulty premises. You appear to be overlooking these facts:

(1) The current moderator is not the forum's owner.
(2) The alternate moderator (now departed) is not the forum's owner.
(3) Neither of the aforementioned was the founder of the forum.
(4) Neither of the aforementioned was appointed by the forum's owner (the Greenspuns).
(5) The aforementioned just "lucked into" their positions, the one appointing the other.
(6) The moderator exists to serve Catholics, not to dictate to us.
(7) Moderatorship should be a position gained either by (a) appointment by the owner or (b) vote of forum regulars.
(8) If not appointed, the moderator should be subject to recall by the forum regulars.
(9) If not appointed, the moderator should be subject to election/re-election.
(10) Any moderator -- so much the more a Catholic one -- should assiduously avoid acting in a tyrannical way. P. Greenspun admitted, via e-mail, that his forums' moderators tend to become tyrants on power trips, since they are not paid and begin to feel that they have a right to do whatever they please, in compensation for their services. No moderator, much less a Catholic one, can act like that and face God with a clear conscience.
(11) The moderator should be required to identify himself/herself. This is done at other Internet forums. Using only the alias, "Moderator," can add to a tyrannical moderator's delusions of grandeur. Use of a real name helps everyone, moderator or not, to keep in mind his/her humble humanity.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 15, 2003.

When it comes to a moderator, I have a couple questions.

First, no one will disagree that the potty talk needs to be deleted. Where the real question comes in for me is on matters of doctrine and suchlike stuff.

For instance, John, if you were the moderator, would you delete my posts containing references to no salvation outside the Church? That's not a gauntlet I'm throwing down... it is an honest question. I liked Chris alright to be sure, but I do have a feeling he would have been inclined to delete posts he disagreed with and thought were outside the realm of his understanding of Catholicism, say for instance about issues with the Novus Ordo rite and the like. Hey Chris, if you are reading this, that isn't a slight against you but just my impression of what might have happened.

You see, any particular Catholic may take issue with what other Catholics, such as myself, might be inclined to say, and may use the moderatorship to enforce what they believe to be the true teaching of the Church on this or that item, and delete certain posts. They would probably claim that in the interest of keeping the forum "Catholic" that this ought to be done.

Now of course what I might say in such an instance is that I don't think what they say is true doctrine is really true doctrine... and then I wouldn't be so inclined to shut up, either. What about those situations?

I've complained in the past about lack of charity in the forum, and then changed my mind and thought it best to try to rip people's positions to shreds and then on back to trying to be nice. I'm all over the place on that issue. I suggested once that people ought to be deleted for posts that lack charity; now I'm thinking that's a waste of time to police, that I was stupid for thinking as much, and that I would also rather have to opportunity myself to give someone a run for their money from time to time.

Are we going to police charity? Imho, that is what that whole last fiasco was about in January, just a bunch of pride nonsense. I'm not pointing a boney finger here, I'm a wipe myself sometimes, but I do think the truth of the matter is that's what it was all about. About who knew more about this or that issue than the other person.

This is just my opinion, but someone needs to make up their mind here quickly so we can get rid of the potty talk. As far as moderation beyond the potty talk, I don't know what to say except that if it turns into someone aping the ordinary and supreme magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church without being properly incardinated, it will be a waste of time to spend any time at all here.

-- Emerald (, March 15, 2003.

Has anyone considered that perhaps something has happened to the Moderator? Perhaps he is sick, or has been in an accident... I haven't been here that long, but I did email him once or twice, and he was very prompt about responding. In this recent problem area, his silence has been deafening.

Maybe we could all say some prayers for him? He may be going through something far worse than what we endured here with the spammer.

Thank you for the kind words, Dave, in consideration of the humiliation tactics the spammer used against me.

It was during those times that I remembered the words of a dear and holy lady from my parish, "If you haven't come face to face with devil, you're probably travelling in the same direction he is!"

If God is Love, then satan must be hate. With the hatred being spewn at me by the spammer, I figured I must be doing something pleasing to God here, so satan was getting in my face about it.

Besides, I post St. Louis DeMontfort's Consecration to Jesus through Mary prayers here daily, and I was not about to abandon this work for Our Mother and Queen.

To date, no hateful nor impure word has invaded her thread!

-- Anna <>< (, March 15, 2003.

Hi, Ed

I can appreciate you having an opinion, and you are certainly entitled to it. I will only comment real quick.

"I don't believe the Moderator owes me an explanation."

He doesn't owe me one either, but if he isn't going to do the job, than give up the keys. We didn't ask him to be the Moderator if he doesn't want to. There are a few people ready to step right in. It wasn't like this happened all at once Ed. It was a bad move to leave this forum UN-moderated. He doesn't own this forum to make that decesion in my opinion.

" In this regard, in my opinion, the old expression still rings true- you can attract more flies with honey than with Vinegar."

Not all the time Ed. It seems like Anna puts sugar and love in her posts. It appears that she has to taste some nasty vinegar. I hate to read what this Lady has to grow through because the Moderator isn't doing his job. I would rather take the abuse than have to read what is being written about her.

"..and if we do not,like the way we are treated, than we have other alternatives to us.."

Yes Ed we do. I am aware that Jake(that started this thread and took your advice before you gave it), and Eugene, and Christine L and Mateo(apparently) and Marylu, and John G (for weeks). But I think enough is enough. I sure Anna is aware of her "other alternatives" to, but I don't like the abuse she has had to read for over a week now, and I don't want someone like her to take your"other alternatives" like you suggested.

I can appreciate what you said about my asking if someone else mentioned having a "stigmata". That draws attention and posts. I am sure you read the Father Sudac(sp.) thread has been going for years and has hundreds of posts.

God bless you

-- David (, March 15, 2003.


-- Anna <>< (, March 16, 2003.

Hello, folks.

Emerald, you asked me a good question: "John, if you were the moderator, would you delete my posts containing references to no salvation outside the Church?"

I won't answer in terms of "if I were moderator," because I know that such a thing will never happen. Instead, I will speak about how the forum and its moderator ought to function, in my opinion.

If someone were to begin to question Catholics about "no salvation outside the Church" or to try to make a case for a heterodox viewpoint, then the moderator definitely should not impose an immediate ban on the person nor delete his initial messages. It shouldn't even occur to a moderator to do those things.
"Extra Ecclesiam ..." is a legitimate subject for discussion -- even for a long and careful debate. A moderator should be patient to let the subject be thoroughly hashed out -- in my opinion, for a month. At that point, if the moderator judged that the person was rejecting Catholic doctrine (as understood from the Catechism), he should feel obliged to protect the forum (and to help people use their time more wisely) by putting an end to the debate.

The moderator should then invite the person to raise a new topic or ask a new question. Only if the person were to refuse to move on should the moderator ask him to leave the forum (but he should not delete any of his past messages).

You asked about instances in which someone may not "think what [moderator] says is true doctrine really is true doctrine." I believe that I just covered that by saying that this should be handled as objectively as possible, by recourse to the Catechism -- just as, I believe, our pope would, if he were the moderator. If someone believes that the Catechism contains errors, that is very sad, because I would have to classify such a person as less than a practicing Catholic.

Now, if the moderator (using the Catechism's teachings), were to ask a person to "cease and desist" after a month on a controversial topic ... the person could question the moderator's understanding of the Catechism and should have a chance to try to persuade the moderator to change his mind via private e-mail. If that attempt were to fail, the person should be allowed to make a motion to have the moderator deposed by a majority of the forum "regulars." [The meaning of "regulars" and a list thereof would have to be created when a moderator takes office and would have to be amended thereafter, so that legitimate votes could be taken. The moderator would have to stand for yearly re-election.]

You asked "Are we going to police charity? Imho, that is what that whole last fiasco was about in January, just a bunch of pride nonsense."

I believe that any "policing" done by a moderator should be based, to the extent humanly possible, on objective, detailed, published rules that would be approved by a majority of "regulars." Prohibited language and prohibited tactics should be spelled out in advance. Penalties should be spelled out in advance. New prohibitions or penalties could be added as the need may arise. A penalty could be the deletion of an objectionable word, sentence, or entire post -- but never all of a person's posts for a given day (unless that person was previously banned). In "borderline" cases of allegedly insulting language, the person addressed should be asked if he/she felt insulted. (I say this because there were cases in January in which posts were deleted for "insulting" language, but the person to whom the words were directed stated that he had not felt insulted!)

If someone were to violate an objective rule, the moderator would usually impose the penalty. New visitors to the forum should receive a warning before being penalized seriously, because they may be completely unaware of the rules. To approve the imposition of the most serious penalties (suspension/banning), the moderator could request a vote of the "regulars."

Anna, you asked about what may have befallen the moderator. You may be right. He may have become ill or had an accident. But it is much more likely that he is away on an extended trip. It wouldn't be the first time he has gone away, but the other trips were not as noticeable, because he had an alternate filling in (the man who appointed him). Also, if I have correctly judged the moderator's true identity, I believe that he announced about a week ago (under his other alias) that he was going out of town.

Dear Anna, I join my voice to that of David S in deep sadness over the way that you (and Paul too) have been attacked in the most vile language I have ever seen used in public. Your Christlike patience and calm reactions are lessons to us all.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 16, 2003.

The cause of all the obscenity and idiocy here is the policy that requires a person to TYPE IN the supposed email address from which he sends the message. I never heard of such a thing. I have participated in a number of forums and listserves, on topics both related and unrelated to this site, and when you post a message there, the email address from which you sent the message simply appears under the message, just as it does when you send an email. email addresses that consistently violate the policies of the site are simply blocked. Why can't that be done here? Or, an even more secure method used by some sites is to have each participant register with a screen name and password. You can't enter the site without taking a few seconds to enter your screen name and password. Then you can use the site freely. The email addresses of the participants do not appear on their messages, but are accessible to the moderator. Therefore if a given screen name causes trouble, that email address can be blocked.

-- Paul (, March 16, 2003.

Hello, Paul. Many of us here are aware of the much more restrictive software in use at other Internet forums -- "features" that are used to prevent the kind of sick behaviors we have seen here. Those kinds of things are not available to us here, if we want to have a forum at which unregistered "lurkers" can read about the Catholic faith.

This forum was started in January of 1998, and it is just one of scores of forums that reside on the server (minicomputer) owned by the Greenspun family (whom I believe to be a Jewish family living in the Boston area). As I said, this forum was started in 1998, and it could be that the software that drives it was first installed long before that. In other words, it is very primitive (though not the most primitive on the Internet), and it lacks the "whistles and bells" that we can find in almost all other Catholic forums.

There are only two choices here -- the current kind of public forum and a completely private forum (at which no one could see anything without registering first). Many people, especially non-Catholic lurkers, would not want to register -- and ditto for some more private Catholic people. They wouldn't want their e-mail addresses known/displayed and possibly misused (fear of spam, unsolicited invitations/proselytization, viruses, etc.).

This current public forum cannot be modified in ways that would please us, because the owners are not willing to change it. The head owner has written e-mail in which he said that he is waiting for the server to die permanently. He wants to get involved in other things. He suggests that we go to another forum or start a new one.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, March 17, 2003.

How dare you proposition me jake! I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR JOHN, I love you john x x x x x x x x x x x x x x xx x x x x x x xx x x x x xx

-- Naomi Ripper (, March 19, 2003.

I frequent a forum in Brazil which software is halfway between those two extremes.

People can read it without registering, but cannot post. If they do want to post, they have to register, but they may opt for their personal info (including email) not being shown to others (only the moderator see it).

It’s the most “bells and whistle’s” forum I have ever seen, and I think the software is open source (though I am not sure).

If someone is willing to put together a new forum, I would recommend this software (provided it is really free, that is).

God Bless.

-- Atila (, March 20, 2003.

The Catholic forum (Thanks Jake H.) uses freeware from Snitz Forums.

The forum is really well done.

God bless,


-- (, March 20, 2003.

But you know what? The drudge-like simplicity of this forum is really attractive, and it has a good flow rate if you know what I mean. It has good liquidity.

-- Emerald (, March 20, 2003.


I miss reading your posts in forum. I have been rembering you and your family in my prayes. Hope everything is going well with Regina's health.

May God bless you both with another healthy, beautiful child.

-- David (, March 20, 2003.

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