Website: Comment & Fairness Policies
Before Commenting —
Comments are of course welcome, but dissenting comments usually follow a special New Age formula. Hence the following request:
Please do not do any of the following:
- Attempt to analyze my motives rather than addressing my criticism
- Judge me for being “judgmental”
- Leave negative comments about me being “negative”
- Criticize me for being critical
- Tell me I am “poor and unhappy” because I don’t use the non-existent Law of Attraction
- Assume that I am ignorant of- or feel threatened by spirituality and then criticize me for that
- Embed private or personal details in supernatural claims, in the hope of evading criticism (via the expectation of politeness)
- Simply repeat all the claims I criticized in the post without addressing my critique of them
- Insist that you are “not a fan” of the spiritual teacher being criticized, as if you always troll around the internet and complain randomly about criticism of people you feel entirely neutral about. (This happens once someone realizes they can’t defend the person they are defending.)
And then, there’s the truly strange habit of instructing me to ignore things I don’t agree with. Fine, how about you go first, and ignore my blog.
Similarly, claiming that someones beliefs might be “true for them” (so I shouldn’t be criticizing it) is just as hypocritical. If you really believed that, you wouldn’t leave a comment in the first place, having already accepted that my views are “true for me”.
Also, before commenting about your “positive experiences” with a particular teacher, please ask yourself if it really in fact addresses my criticism. Unless I have explicitly argued that no one has ever had any positive experiences with a teacher, then your comment is likely to be irrelevant. Feel free to share it if you must, but it would be polite to apologize for going off topic. (Note: having “helped people” does not automatically cancel out your favorite guru’s criminal activities nor the damage they have done.)
…Furthermore, should you decide to leave a comment which fulfills the above criteria anyway, please don’t end it with “Well I’m going out now to enjoy the sun”, or some such. Doing that doesn’t suddenly transform your comment from a negative and nasty piece of hypocritical whining to a nice pleasant positive one.
Obviously, any comment which is discriminatory or insulting on the grounds of gender, sexual preference(s), race, ethnicity or religious/spiritual beliefs, will be either removed or highlighted as an example of idiocy, depending….
And in case anyone is surprised to see “religious/spiritual beliefs” in there, it means that if it’s clear from a comment that the person is in some way religious, then I won’t have them being ridiculed or attacked purely for that. (No, I didn’t think it should be necessary to spell all that out either.)
This is what you can expect (and demand) from me as site owner:
- Any alterations to posts that are made after publishing will be clearly indicated as a footnote in the body of the post. (apart from trivial improvements or typographical corrections).
- Any comment that establishes an error in my writing will be acknowledged in the post! This means that if you can show that I have got my facts wrong about a teacher or teachings, I will publicly admit my error and acknowledge you! (Take that as encouragement to check your facts before commenting.)
- Any editing of comments will be clearly acknowledged and the reasons explained. (Usually this is just adding a paragraph-space or fixing the odd typo for easier reading.)
If you think all that should be freaking obvious, join the club. But unfortunately it’s not just New Age hucksters with a vested interest who doctor the comments and play slippery games with their blog posts; there are even academic and skeptic sites that do it too, incredibly.
If you leave a comment that is longer than the original post, there is a significant chance that it will be edited for relevance. Any questions about it, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to discuss it with you.