The need for moderation is necessary in an addictive culture. When I first joined the e-mail list there was a list that deteriorated into argumentative rants and raves about nothing, which naturally sowed discord in the community. I rarely posted there. However, one of the ways that a culture silences and steers it's members into acceptable and unacceptable behavior is by rewarding with attention and punishing with silence and exclusion a pattern of behavior that is consistent. In the case of the un-moderated "norcal" list the more vulnerable a communication was, much like the larger internet, the more it was ignored. When an audience is in adrenaline addiction to deal with sleep deprivation, pain management and shame management the most popular thing is usually something that is controversial, meaningless, and takes less than five minutes to explore. This recipe creates a relatively risk-free way to stimulate chemicals in the body, much like coffee, that bring a momentary sense of aliveness and allow people to engage with a life that does not allow them to drop down into deep sensitive areas and feel safe/comfortable. Of all of my testing to see what was rewarded on this list, "Who likes Steely Dan?" gained 800% more response than anything else I posted, whether it be a deep hear-share (HAI terminology) or anything else.
However, the moderated list, was very painful as well. I would go through episodes that I found so upsetting I wanted to cry or scream, which in the sociopathic environment of an automatically generated e-mail message that was "not personal," this in turn led me to want to avoid posting altogether, which I did at times.
This is what is so painful about Norcal Announce list:
1) In an effort to be "neutral" the majority of postings are for garage sales, events, "who wants a pair of shoes," etc. etc. I don't go to HAI for this so this was not that valuable.
2) I do go to HAI for a greater depth than is tolerated in wider America. This was strikingly absent for such a large community.
3) The list has a 550 word-count cut-off which was the most controlling and painful aspect of all: I would write something that was deeply meaningful to me, edit it down to the point where anything missing would leave some part of me or the message feeling invisible, and post it. I would get an automatic reply a few days later saying "this does not meet list guidelines." Then I would have to do a word-count, see that it was 200 words over the limit and decide whether I wanted to bother re-writing the whole thing or just accept that the "into-me-you-see" that is so fervently invited in the workshops was equally fervently unwanted on the list.
I see this bias as an attack on sensitives and their style of communication, based on ignorance. HAI, with all of it's diversity training, does not teach that 20% of it's community is in the HSP category. Nor does it teach what this means. It is the equivalent to the difference between a 720p screen and a 4k screen. A 4k screen takes far more pixels to reveal far more details about the same image. This website project you are reading is an example: In the crudest of ways I could say everything I've said on this website with the one sentence: "HAI teaches some good stuff, carries the same toxic blind spots of the surrounding culture and does not possess the skill or character to self-diagnose and heal, putting everyone at risk emotionally to one degree or another." That is what I see. But for you to see the exact code of words, thoughts, feelings and behavior in even 720p it requires this website. Human language cannot adequately transmit the 4k images. That would require telepathy.
The point is that sensitives have a specific healthy role to play in the ecology of humanity. Nature did not make 20% of it's mammals this way to hurt the species, but to help it. Ignorance about the role of sensitives leads to more majority bullying the minority: In this case the chauvinism of impatience with emotion and detail in a majority shuts down the opportunity to be seen in this minority. Since a sensitive, by definition takes more time, details and words to communicate what are more nuanced experiences, and since the disease in our culture is excessive male chauvinism with it's shame of sensitivity and emotion, siding with the "majority" on the list is not as medicinal as making sure that the environment is conducive to every demographic being able to communicate with honor. Watching one garage sale posting after another go through, while deep shares asking for connection around sensitive topics were blocked left me feeling that there was a lack of integrity between HAI's stated values and the way the list was run.
When I challenged the list word count limit the list said "some people complain if the posts are too long." My thought is that we don't silence free speech because not everyone wants to read a certain book. We just don't read it. It takes a second to delete a post if someone does not want to read it. Since I usually write long posts someone who is committed not to see me in any detail can delete all my posts, assuming that they will be long. If there are ten people who have to spend 10 seconds clicking "delete" so that another 10 people would have the chance of reading something in the way that felt most congruent with my state of being, should that not take priority? A list, unlike a public-speaking event, does not require anyone to read - or even be signed up to the list. Surely there are plenty of superficial lists in America such as the youtube comment section where one can read thousands of one-liners "efficiently" to ones heart's content?
Questions: What are the guidelines and practices that lead to the behavior and culture we want to participate in and experience, without leaving anyone out.