virus: Divide and Conquer

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 18:58:39 -0700

Reed wrote:
>>That's what I thought. Will you be kind enough, David, to point out to each
>>person who attempts to divide members of this Church (into
>>teachers/students, male/female, mature/immature,
>>indoctrinated/not-indoctrinated, etc.) as part of their argument, that it is
>>not the way this Church operates?
>>To be more clear: if one of the members claimed that s/he may be pointing
>>out inconsistencies in others without being consistent her/himself,
>>*because* s/he is a teacher and not a student here -- that would be not in
>>accordance with the Church's rules.
>Richard didn't make that statement. He said only a person who insists that
>consistency is important ought to be held to standards of consistency.
>A person who insists that standards of consistency aren't important
>shouldn't be expected to care if you point out inconsistencies.
>His comments about being here to help the group grow were not
>directly related. You are making a misrepresentation of something
>which Eva has already explained...if it wasn't obvious initially.
>Is that ethical?

An intensional misrepresentation of what is being said I find highly unethical.

In my above concern I was talking about one of the most effective
manipulation techniques: dividing people. This meme could be observed on
this list several times: dividing by gender, by the amount of soap they use,
etc. Specifically I stressed how unproductive and vicious it is to use it as
part of the argument, as the "*because* part". I did not mention any names.
My purpose was clearly to establish some rules, and not to re-discuss
Brett's or Richard's previous remarks. I used the weird "s/he" pronoun to
stress my intension.

Your bringing specific people's names here was indeed a misrepresentation of
what I intended to say. Was it intensional?

You are describing what was said by whom instead of quoting them. I find
this another way of misrepresentation.

I have a question for you, Reed, and please answer it *without* referring to
any particular person even if it sounds familiar. Let's imagine it was said
by a Christian priest. Is this priest claiming different privileges than
the rest of the congregation on the basis that he is a priest?:

"I thought you were proposing that if I wasn't consistent then there would
be no value in my pointing out inconsistencies in others. This I disagree
with. I'm here to assist in the growth and learning of the memebers of the

I also don't exactly understand your above statement (and I think it's a
very important meme):

>A person who insists that standards of consistency aren't important
>shouldn't be expected to care if you point out inconsistencies.

What are you saying about this "person who insists that standards of
consistency aren't important":
(1) is s/he not responsible for what s/he is saying?
(2) is s/he warning others to ignore her/im?
(3) should be expected to be treated differently (how?) than the consistent
(4) ???

Very interesting discussion. As I said before, this list is in a stage of
forming rules. The MS Flippers are interested in "informal" rules: what
"we" should do, not what "I" should do; "don't expect me to follow any rules
-- I am against rules", but, "look, what *you* do is wrong".

Are we ready to accept some rules? I don't think so. Not for a long
time... Clearly defined rules are against MS Flippers.

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159