Recovery Board  : RfM
Recovery from Mormonism (RfM) discussion forum. 
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Posted by: Eric K ( )
Date: June 30, 2016 06:35PM

Board Founder/Owner/Admin: Eric K – erickett@wingnet.net (Please note: We are all volunteers and no one is paid. Since we have real lives outside the site, please allow 24 - 48 hours for a response to an email.)

Ownership: This site (Exmormon.org) is a privately owned Bulletin Board.

All information, posts, links, stories, etc. found on this site are the express copyright of the site’s owner and may not be used in any manner without the owner’s express permission. Anyone posting anything on this site expressly grants the site’s owner to use said post, with accompanying information, in any manner that the owner desires.

The owner reserves the right to delete or edit any post for any reason, even if said post appears to conform to the specified guidelines below.

The owner of this site makes no warranties or representations of any kind and expressly states that he/she is not responsible for any postings or representations made on this site even if they violate the posted guidelines and are not deleted by the owner.

February 2017 – Updates:

1. General Questions? Previously posters were directed to contact Admin by email to ask general questions about the board or moderator decisions on their posts. We will now accept questions on the board and Admin will respond on the board so all posters can see answers and reasons for guidelines and decisions.

For queries and matters you wish to keep private please continue to contact Eric K by email at the address above noting a response may not be immediate.

2. Political Discussion: The rule has been strictly no politics on the board (because in our experience it leads to arguments and bad feelings as well as a lot of extra work for Admin to moderate). As an experiment,we will now allow some political content, as it relates to Mormonism/religion (see more information below).

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Purpose: This site's purpose is to let people who are, or were, in Mormonism know that they are not alone in their feelings and experiences or in their quests to regain their lives after years in this religion. We have bulletin boards, gatherings and individuals to help with a transition to a post-Mormon life. We advocate no specific religious preference or religious activities after Mormonism. Our active participants are diverse and from differing cultural backgrounds throughout the world.

This is not a debate board for Mormons to defend the faith. Mormons have many other venues to debate and proclaim their religion. Please allow us our little corner of cyberspace. This board is for those who were once believers and for their friends, families and interested individuals to learn of the cultural aspects of Mormonism.

Disallowed Posts: The following will not be permitted without the EXPRESS PERMISSION of the site owner: requests for email addresses, requests for individuals to email the poster; advertising of any kind (commercial or otherwise); interview requests; fund-raising; surveys; petitions; links to other web sites; etc.

This list is not meant to be exclusive. Even if the owner grants permission, he may revoke said permission at any time and without notice. Please contact administrators of exmormon.org before making such requests (erickett@wingnet.net).

Copyright: Due to copyright considerations please post links to articles and do NOT copy the articles themselves. A few sentences from an article are OK, as long as you credit the source, but wholesale copying is not proper even if the source is acknowledged.
Unfortunately, posts that contain all (or almost all) of an article will be deleted.

Swearing/Language: Our forum is a public place. If you wouldn't say it in the grocery store, don't say it here. Kindly warn in the subject line if there is strong language or content in the post that might offend (use warning such as “Adult Content” or “Swearing”). Please do not use vulgar language in the subject line or as a board name. It must be kept in the body of your post. (The reason is so RfM can be a welcoming place for first-time readers who may not be comfortable with strong language or topics, such as questioning Mormons, one of the primary groups that Eric K’s board exists for. We ask that even with subject line warnings your language and message content maintain our “PG-13” goal).

Subject Line: Our software limits the length of the subject line.
Please try to change the subject line when you respond to a post so the entire thread isn’t full of the same subject line. This highlights the focus of your response and makes the thread more interesting.

Positive Interactions: Consider alternate views as valid, valued and recognized. Please respect the views of others. Disagree, don't attack.

Avoid “diagnosing” others (i.e. proposing a psych diagnosis, statements like “did you forget to take your pill?”).

Do not question the story or sincerity of another poster. Leave it to Admin. (You can make a report if you think something is up. Don’t do it on the board).

Deletions: Posts subject to deletion include: Attacks on other posters, squabbling between posters, those clearly against board rules, those with profanity in the subject line, and complaints about Admin (address these in email to Eric).

NO advertising.

When in doubt, DON'T.

No Preaching: Please - no preaching!! This is not a forum to convert others to another faith. The focus here is on recovery. Preachiness will be deleted.

Posters are permitted to state their own beliefs and discuss their religious activities and experiences. Stick to “I” and not “you” statements. No “you should x, y, z”. No obvious general preaching. No debating the “truth” of specific religious dogma.

Inclusive Community: Attacks on individuals for sexual orientation are instantly removed.

We strive to be an inclusive community – because the Mormon Church is not. We desire that all readers and posters have a positive experience here. This takes cooperation from every participant, with each other and with Admin. Respect and thanks for this board are reflected in our adherence to the guidelines, for the good of all.

Site Volume: The Recovery from Mormonism bulletin board is a high traffic site. We get a thousand posts a day and almost a million hits per week, all without advertising or asking for money (other than annual request for limited funds for site expenses). Substantial resources are required to run the site and we are lucky to be hosted at a sympathetic ISP and to have the services of dedicated volunteers as techs and mods.

Most people here do not realize the sheer number of hours our volunteers put in every day to keep things running smoothly. Without their help, a board of this size would be impossible to maintain and use.

CENSORSHIP, TROLLS, RUMORS and RELIGIOUS WARS

Deletions:

Sometimes the moderators of the board are accused of censorship, or of having a bias toward one viewpoint or another. We try very, very hard to keep this bulletin board open to all (on topic) viewpoints. Because of the volume of traffic we get, we ask that our
posters stay on the topic of Mormonism and recovery therefrom. Our moderators remove posts that are off topic, contain personal attacks or preaching, are patently offensive or otherwise stray from the guidelines. Replies to removed posts are also removed to avoid confusing gaps in the conversation. Working around the filters will get your post pulled and chronic abusers will be asked to leave.

Replies to trolls will be deleted (whether you intended to answer them or were unaware they were not honest posters). Sometimes when your post “disappears”, it is not something you did wrong but a case of it being a reply to a post that was removed for any of the above reasons or because the post you are responding to was placed by a troll.
If you have a problem, contact Admin.

Wondering why your post got removed? Please don't ask why on the board itself. Such conversations tend to take on a life of their own and waste precious resources. Instead, send e-mail to Eric.

Do you think the moderators are picking on you by removing your posts? They aren't. Even I, Concrete Zipper, the almighty system administrator, have had posts removed by the moderators, so don't feel singled out. Ask yourself if you were really following the guidelines, if your post was polite and if it was on topic.
Note that we have a number of moderators scattered across a long band of time zones, so moderation attempts may be inconsistent or seem unfair. We apologize for this. We try very hard to be fair, but it's a difficult job. Many moderation choices are unavoidably subjective. Mod choices are routinely reviewed by Admin and may be reversed, but this is rare. Our mods have long experience and excellent judgement and they only delete posts when they are out of line with stated board policy or are (often inadvertently) in a string of posts involving a troll or an argument or any post above theirs on the thread that gets deleted (and replies to such posts also are removed, as above). Sometimes entire threads are removed, for various reasons, as above, which obviously removes all replies.

Our moderators are objective and do not play favorites. Some of them have even deleted themselves! Their decisions are based 100% on board guidelines and realities on the board (such as if fighting breaks out, which is not permitted in order to keep the atmosphere positive).

"How do I avoid having my posts removed?"

Easy!

1. Stay on topic
2. Be polite
3. Use a consistent screen name. We do allow anonymity, but that doesn't mean you should post as "anon" all the time. That's actually one of the signs of a troll. Just pick an original name and use it whenever you post. If you are posting some personal information that you'd rather not have linked with your screen name, feel free to post as "anon for now" for that particular posting. Posts from names we're not familiar with are more likely
to get the axe.
4. Register your screen name and log in under that name whenever you post. This keeps abusers from faking posts with your name on them.
5. No personal attacks. Discuss and debate, but do not insult or attack.
6. If you have strong feelings about something, don't preach. Your best bet is to share personal experiences.
7. Keep it PG-13ish.
8. Keep it in English. If you need help to translate, mail admin.

Here are some examples of posts that will likely get removed:

1. Personal attacks
2. Politics (terrorism, party politics, foreign policy etc) ***See update above*** (these restrictions still apply though)
3. Preaching
4. Attempts to deliberately stir up trouble
5. Faking a conversation by answering your own posts under different names (puppeteering)
6. Complaints about censorship (ironic, ain't it)
7. Complaints about Admin (email Eric)
8. Advertising and solicitations for money
9. Legal issues not cleared in ADVANCE through Admin
10. Copyrighted material
11. Posts about a topic that the moderators have said to drop
12. Anything that collects personal information
13. Requests for signatures on petitions or links to petitions, interview requests not cleared IN ADVANCE with Admin. Requests for people to contact you off board
14. Anything illegal (includes illegal drugs)

The above list is not exhaustive.

Deliberate attacks on the board itself or repeatedly ignoring rules or instructions from the moderators is likely to result in all of your posts being removed. Our moderators' time is too valuable to waste on people who deliberately cause trouble. Don't do it.

Trolls:

The word "troll" is not a reference to a deformed creature under a bridge, but to trolling for fish. The canonical definition of the internet sense of "troll" can be found here:

http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/troll.html

Trolls post comments, not to add information to a discussion, but to stir up trouble. We have a lot of trouble with trolls on the Recovery Board. Some are TBMs who feel righteous when they battle apostates. Others are bored or lonely. Some are mentally ill. Some just think it's fun to mess with other people.

Don't respond to trolls. Don't play with trolls.

Don't debate trolls. It's a waste of your time and the board's resources. The troll's postings and your replies will all be deleted anyway.

How do you know if someone is sincere or just trolling for responses? Because we allow anonymity, it can sometimes be hard to tell. If the poster seems sincere, treat them as sincere.

If the posts get removed, they were probably trolling. Remember that the mods have more information than you do and so are better at judging who is and is not a troll. What may not be obvious to you can be glaring to us.

Rumors

Because the administrators do so much in the background, certain happenings can seem mysterious to the board denizens. We apologize for not being able to explain everything that goes on. Often we don't have the time to do so. Sometimes a general explanation to the board will just encourage a troublemaker.

If you have a question about something that seems strange to you, do not post it to the board. Send e-mail to Eric.

Religious Wars

One topic has repeatedly caused disputes on the Recovery Board since its founding: religion versus atheism. That topic goes to the heart of why most people are here, so it is not something that we can ban or ignore.

One of the things about exmormon.org that gives us credibility is that we are secular. We are not affiliated with any religion and we do not advocate any religion. The site is neutral on the topic. Our posters take many different paths away from Mormonism and we would like this to be a forum where they can all have a voice. That said, we do not allow preaching. Personal experiences and thoughtful discussion are welcome, but we do not want the site to get bogged down with people quoting dogma at each other.

Mormonism is a form of Christianity and religion so, for some people, recovery from Mormonism will also include leaving Christianity or religion altogether. This does not mean that Christians or the discussion of Christianity are discouraged here. Far from it! This site is Christian-friendly. It is not, however, Christian-safe. Do not assume that everyone here will share your beliefs; other posters can and will disagree with and challenge what you say. If you decide that you need a site that is Christian-safe as well, we can recommend some places.

Remember, be polite and thoughtful in your postings. Don't preach. Tell how you feel about something personally and tell what you yourself have experienced. Don't make assumptions about the beliefs of those who read your post. People will disagree with you. If that hurts, all we can suggest is that you grow a thicker skin or find somewhere else to post.

*****

Personal Information and Crisis Situations

We encourage you not to post personal information/problems that are potentially TMI, especially involving lawsuits, custody cases, people in danger or if feeling suicidal – these should be handled by professionals/911/crisis line, etc. The reasons are to (1) protect the poster from giving away their personal information, perhaps inadvertently and (2) encourage the poster to call the proper resources for assistance, especially in a crisis. You are not discouraged from posting but are advised to protect your information and situation from being publicized to your disadvantage (i.e. during a lawsuit).

If you are feeling suicidal please call the nearest Crisis Line. If you need immediate help from professionals please call 911 (or equivalent outside North America) or the most relevant community service in your area.

*****
If you have difficulty posting or have questions for Admin please email erickett@gmail.com. We try to respond in 24 hours.
If you want to contact another poster you can do it through Admin (each poster to contact Admin and give permission to share email addresses) and not on the board if you want to keep your email address private. (Reminder: It is not encouraged, and is frequently deleted, to one-sidedly ask another poster to email you. This is for the protection of board participants).

*****
Updated Board Guidelines

We have had a longstanding policy not to allow politics on RfM. Mormonism intersects with politics, but discussion of political issues is often divisive, not conducive to the purpose of this board and all the guidelines discussed above.
Eric has recently decided to allow limited discussion of politics. He states: “We will allow some leeway in political posts insofar as they pertain to religion. If this gets out of hand, we will stop again. This is tough and we can never please everyone. Please no bashing for political views - we do not allow preaching, religious or political. These are strange times. As a group we seem to help one another with topics that are bit off from Mormonism. Let's give it a try.”

He added: “Let's keep it to religion oriented politics. Otherwise this is not going to work. We can go to thousands of sites for political debate. This will get us off track.”

Partisan politics are strongly discouraged and subject to deletion (being on one side and against another) and discussing world leaders, elections and general political issues will likely be deleted. For the US, discussion of the recent election or the new administration, especially major political figures by name, will be deleted.

If your post pertains to ideas and questions and comments in general, with wide-ranging application, AND you directly relate them to Mormonism or religion it will likely fit within the new (experimental) guidelines about allowing limited discussion of politics, as it relates to Mormonism.

How to distinguish between an acceptable post and one that will be deleted:

Romney's run raised the Mormon "White Horse Prophecy" which this far in the past would likely be OK to discuss as long as it does not stray into partisan political remarks. Relating it to JS would be considered to be on topic (Mormon history, so directly related to discussion of Mormonism).

Discussion of a current event (i.e. the recent attack in Quebec City, Canada) is likely OK but only in the context of expressing best wishes, not commenting on perpetrators or reasons or blame extrapolated to entire groups of people.

Posters have recently suggested or brought up topics such as Charlie Hebdo, IS and other major political events and discussions. These are very likely to be deleted asap. Too divisive and off topic for RfM. Comparisons of belief systems such as Christianity and Islam are cautiously allowed but discussion of Mid East political policy and acts of extremism are not. Too divisive and off topic for RfM. Too much contention between posters and too much extra work for moderators.

The best way to observe board rules (thereby being courteous to Eric, fellow posters and mods) and not get deleted is to avoid making partisan political statements AND to relate your comments to Mormonism/religion.

If posters can't help but bring divisive politics into their remarks Eric will likely have no choice but to scale back this experiment with a loosening of the No Politics rule or stop it immediately. Otherwise, it's just too much work for the mods and creates a negative atmosphere on the board.

Thanks for your efforts to observe these guidelines. We will update as needed.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2017 08:42AM by Eric K.

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