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Amazon Refugee Camp?
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Steadfast...
posted
Everyone,

I have a bunch of friends from the Amazon Christianity forum who are looking for a new cyber-home, even if they don't know it yet.

I've been thinking about the various religion forums I have posted on in the past, going aaaalllll the way back to the old Prodigy Classic Religion Concourse I and Religion Concourse II forums in the 1990s. Religion Concourse II was my home board after I got my first computer with a modem, which came with Prodigy already installed. That was shortly after my husband's passing in May 1994.

After *P Classic folded in 1999, I became active on a number of other religion forums, including the one on Prodigy Internet. That became my home board for a number of years, although I posted on other forums as well. On each one, I made some good friends and (inevitably) a few enemies.

The most recent discussion boards where I've been a participant are those associated with the gargantuan online retailer Amazon. I doubt if most of Amazon's millions of customers even realize that Amazon has discussion forums, because they aren't easy to find. I first became aware of them when a new cyber-friend wanted me to join a discussion about his recently published book. He sent me a link to the Amazon Judaism forum, and I've been a participant on and off there ever since. From there it's just a short click to the Christianity forum, where some of the Judaism forum posters go if they want to start or participate in an "interfaith" topic, so I made a bunch of new friends there too.

Inevitably, I also made some brand-new enemies among the Christian evangelical types, especially the "End Times" fanatics and the Christian Zionists. That happens on every religion forum I have ever participated in. It's an open secret that I dislike this type intensely, and I have never bothered being tactful with them. If they start getting aggressive with me--and they inevitably do!--I try to give as good as I get. If they mess with me, I do my best to hit them back harder than they hit me.

Anyone who knew me on *P Classic knows I was even more combative when I was younger. I usually had several white-hot feuds going concurrently on Religion Concourse 2, quite often with the late Donald Boon, last known here on Aantares as Sa-EQ. Also with Zorro (posting under his real name at the time), who had the same bad habit of plagiarism on the religion forums he was notorious for on the political forums. He would post endless cut-and-pastes from "Jews for Jesus" and the like without links or attribution, as if they were his own research and writing.

There are some posters who are notorious for that kind of dishonest behavior on Amazon as well. They apparently believe that lying and plagiarizing in the name of Christ is quite acceptable and even "godly." The dishonesty is only the beginning of their disagreeable qualities. They are hateful and intolerant and usually politically conservative. They habitually threaten anyone who disagrees with them on even the smallest point of theology with hell fire. My Amazon friends refer to this virulent clique as "the posse."

Their opposite number--the people who regularly call them out on their lies and intolerance, is a very diverse group. It includes not only atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers, mystics of every flavor, Jews who challenge them on their pathetically wrong Hebrew translations, but also other Christians. Very often, it feels as though the posse reserves their sharpest knives and their deadliest poison for other self-proclaimed Christians who disagree with them. These are often but not always people of the mainstream Christian denominations.

That pretty much covers my group of Amazon friends. It's a very diverse group, but at the same time a very close-knit and loving group, sometimes known as "Allan's mob" after one of its unofficial ringleaders.


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That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. --P.C. Hodgell
 
Posts: 18669 | Location: So. Calif., USA | Mbr Since: 03-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Steadfast...
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(Continued from previous post)

Okay, that's enough of the background--probably more than enough. I know I have a tendency to get pretty long-winded at times.

Basically, the reason I'm trying to set up an Amazon refugee camp here on Aantares is because of some very unfortunate developments in recent months. It seems that the Amazon posse has gone beyond its usual level of spitefulness, and has been getting some of my favorite people banned from posting on the discussion forums.

I should explain right off the top that the Amazon forums have an "ignore" feature, just as Aantares does and pretty much every other discussion forum I've ever frequented. So if someone's posts habitually get on your nerves, you always have the option of putting them on ignore. I've done that with most of the posse, and even with a few regulars on the Judaism forum. I don't do well with fundies of any religion, including my own.

Of course, the posse regulars also have the option of putting as many unbelievers and heretics as they want on their ignore lists. Most of them say they do, but it's hard to believe them when they habitually respond to the offending posts!

On any discussion forum, banning is or should be reserved for extreme cases--habitual trolls, spammers, crazies and stalkers. The Amazon forums are unmoderated, so the admins can only go by the number of complaints against a particular individual. It's very difficult to get them to check out whether or not those complaints are actually justified. This makes the forums the perfect happy hunting ground for the book burner and witch burner mentality that has plagued religion for as long as there has been such a thing.

It appears from their recent behavior that the posse is trying to get certain people and the ideas they express silenced. Not only do they not want to read certain posts, they don't want anyone else reading them either. It is censorship pure and simple.

As a result, people have been getting banned from the Amazon discussion forums who have posted regularly for 10 years or more with no serious problems until now. People have been getting banned for alleged "spitefulness" who are some of the most tactful and least spiteful people in the world.

As a result, the Amazon religion forums are a lot more boring than they used to be, as a number of people have noticed already.

--Linda


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. --P.C. Hodgell
 
Posts: 18669 | Location: So. Calif., USA | Mbr Since: 03-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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(Continued from previous post)

To summarize the situation as it stands now, and also explain what I'm trying to do about it: Without even realizing they were doing it, the PTB at Amazon have destroyed or at least are seriously threatening a kind of virtual village of enlightened souls (to varying degrees), whose members were and still are mutually accepting and supportive of each other, sometimes in very concrete ways. I can't stand by and let that happen without making an attempt to do something about it.

For example, on the long-running series of threads Allan started called My Mob's pub and coffee shop the regulars don't only discuss theology and evolution and biblical archaeology, although we always do plenty of that! We also try to stay informed about each others' needs, about the welfare of inactive members of our group who haven't posted for a while, and always about the current needs of active members.

For example, when one of our most active members (recently banned) suffered a serious health crisis about a year ago, a number of us stayed on top of the situation from day to day and even hour to hour, calling the nurses' station at the hospital where he was staying and making sure he had what he needed when he needed it. When we knew what he needed anyway--the first room they put him in didn't have very good WiFi reception. We made a point of giving the hospital staff a hard time about that too, until they moved him to a different room. In doing those things we quite possibly saved his life.

Maybe that's one reason for the posse's insane vindictiveness? They are convinced God only hears the prayers of believers, not heretics. I could tell them otherwise, and they have seen it for themselves. More than once, in fact.

So a few days ago I posted a kind of open invitation on the Amazon thread I linked to, inviting not only the banned posters, but also their friends who miss being able to interact freely with them, to join Aantares and start posting here. Since they are refugees or visitors from the Amazon Christianity forum, they would naturally gravitate to the R&S board first. But it won't take them very long to discover the News forum and all the others.

I can help them with the technical stuff, and CJ can help them even more as soon as I alert her to the situation. She doesn't know about this new thread yet, but she will very shortly. And so will Sean and as many longtime Aantares members as I can contact within the next few days.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. --P.C. Hodgell
 
Posts: 18669 | Location: So. Calif., USA | Mbr Since: 03-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for starting this!
 
Posts: 24 | Location: * | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hey, Music!!!

It's wonderful to see a "new" familiar name here! (Yeah, kind of a contradiction in terms, but you know what I mean.) Some others are having technical problems getting through the virtual door, but hopefully that will get straightened out shortly.

--Linda


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. --P.C. Hodgell
 
Posts: 18669 | Location: So. Calif., USA | Mbr Since: 03-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I see from the new members list that others have just been approved too. Astrocat and Mrs. Exp. (Under her real name) have arrived.
 
Posts: 24 | Location: * | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great news!!! Astrocat was one of the people who was having problems signing up earlier. And of course I'm delighted to see mrs exp here-- under any name.

It's very possible that Bryan is having computer problems. He never answered my last email, and hasn't been on Facebook in 17 hours last I checked. He isn't on Facebook much as a general rule, but he and I have been spending a lot of time in Facebook chat lately. In fact, Bryan was the inspiration or instigation for this particular project. He knows it too.

I just hope it's nothing worse than computer problems. If that's all it is, he'll be here as soon as they get straightened out.

--Linda


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. --P.C. Hodgell
 
Posts: 18669 | Location: So. Calif., USA | Mbr Since: 03-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of mary spaulding
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Hi Linda and Music.
So far i am not liking the way this forum works, but maybe I'll catch on. I can't see the post I am responding to when I reply and that is a very real handicap.
But it is good to be able to talk


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j m jones
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Redding California | Mbr Since: 05-02-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello, Mary! Autumn  :autumn:
 
Posts: 24 | Location: * | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Linda,

You may recall we've had some biblical interchanges during the distant past, but I've been pretty inactive on the Amazon forums lately, exactly because of the many factors you've cited. My interests run just about exclusively along the exegetical path, while I shrink from social chitchat, maliciousness, wine & recipes, repeated backslapping, etc., as a waste of my time. If I'm going to expend much effort on a forum/thread, it's because I feel I'm engaged in a serious educational discussion.

I praise you for attempting to reestablish some of the exchange vigor of the earlier Amazon threads, and I guess only time will prove success or failure. You may want to occasionally suggest some interpretative topics just to keep the posts from lapsing into fruitless blather. Good Luck with your endeavor!
 
Posts: 1 | Location: USA | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freshie...
Picture of mary spaulding
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Hi
How are you Music?


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j m jones
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Redding California | Mbr Since: 05-02-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mary spaulding:
Hi Linda and Music.
So far i am not liking the way this forum works, but maybe I'll catch on. I can't see the post I am responding to when I reply and that is a very real handicap.
But it is good to be able to talk

Are you hitting the little quote symbol to lower right of the post you're replying to, or the non-specific reply button at the bottom of the thread?
 
Posts: 9100 | Location: Colorado | Mbr Since: 10-17-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How do you delete one of your own posts on here?
 
Posts: 24 | Location: * | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Bigbird1132
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Thanks for starting this
Now back to my lurking.


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Dave C
 
Posts: 4 | Location: Across the Universe | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Enthusiast...
Picture of That JR Thang
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Hey bubbas and bubbettes! Good to 'see' y'all mobsters here.

@ Linda: Yes Bryan is having some computer difficulties. He is working on getting it straightened out. But if I don't hear from him in a couple of days, I'm gonna send the posse after him, hee hee hee!

@ Miz Mary, so happy you made it! And yeah, the format is a little different, but we'll get used to it. I'm posting this from my iPhone and I expect it will be a better experience from the computer when I get it booted up this evening.

'Til then, I'm gonna be annoying our favorite pot stirrer to see if I can get him to come on in.

See y'all.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fence straddlers get a crotch full of splinters -- Granny
 
Posts: 4871 | Location: Atlanta | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Bigbird1132:
Thanks for starting this
Now back to my lurking.


Peeper!-)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fence straddlers get a crotch full of splinters -- Granny
 
Posts: 4871 | Location: Atlanta | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First of all, I am happy to discuss (I SAID DISCUSS) religion in an adult conversational tone of voice. I am way past "saving your soul" and the yelling and screaming. I am reminded of my grandmother who was a missionary in India in the 1890's. A story she told was that there and then English people typically sent their kids back to England to go to school. This couple was reluctant because "Christ is going to return so soon it seems unnecessary." My grandmother apparently agreed that Christ would certainly return soon, but the kids could still be in school with no harm. So we can go from there for my part.


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Glenn
 
Posts: 3413 | Location: California | Mbr Since: 10-17-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Hey bubbas and bubbettes! Good to 'see' y'all mobsters here.

@ Linda: Yes Bryan is having some computer difficulties. He is working on getting it straightened out. But if I don't hear from him in a couple of days, I'm gonna send the posse after him, hee hee hee!

Hey JR!!! It's great to see you here. I was just briefly in FB chat with Bryan, and he says his computer problems have not recurred. I was chatting with the Aantares admin at the same time, so it was a pretty brief conversation.

I expect him to show up any time now--no need to send the posse after him! How could you threaten to do that to our good buddy anyway?

I just hope they don't show up on their own, since I did post this link on a public forum. In fact, that was one of the things I was chatting with her about. Not too much of a cause for concern, though. She has been moderating or administering discussion forums since 1992, so she knows a troll when she sees one.

And more to the point, I know an Amazon troll when I see one! The posse is not going to get very far here, if they show their virtual mugs at all.

--Linda


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. --P.C. Hodgell
 
Posts: 18669 | Location: So. Calif., USA | Mbr Since: 03-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
First of all, I am happy to discuss (I SAID DISCUSS) religion in an adult conversational tone of voice. I am way past "saving your soul" and the yelling and screaming.

Well, Glenn...if you ever find yourself getting all nostalgic and misty-eyed for the "Infallible Church?" threads on *P Classic, I would like to recommend this topic: Catholic-Protestant Discussion XXXVI

Please note the thread number. Amazon threads max out at 10,000 posts. After that no new posts can be added and you have to start a new discussion.

You won't find Jim Julian or Jan here, or Dennis Durel or Alison, but their clones are ALL here! Along with a few relatively sane people, who as usual are badly outnumbered. You should feel right at home. :evilgrin:

--Linda


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. --P.C. Hodgell
 
Posts: 18669 | Location: So. Calif., USA | Mbr Since: 03-12-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Bigbird1132:
Thanks for starting this
Now back to my lurking.

I'm an experienced lurker both here and on Amazon (under my real name John Gonsowski).
 
Posts: 910 | Location: Tucson, AZ | Mbr Since: 04-23-2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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