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Guidelines For The Use Of Electronic Mailing Lists For Members Of The Re-Evaluation Counseling Communities

This document supplements and interprets the "Guidelines for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities" in the practice of using the electronic mailing lists as a means of communication between Community members.

Adherence to these Guidelines is a prerequisite for access to the electronic mailing lists.

If variation or divergence from these Guidelines seems to become necessary in a particular practical situation, permission for such temporary divergence must be obtained from the International Reference Person.


Guidelines Specific To The Use Of The Electronic Mailing Lists:

(L.1.) Access To The Electronic Mailing Lists

That access to RC electronic mailing lists be granted only to people who are Community Members in good standing. For this purpose, Community Members in good standing are those Co-Counselors who participate regularly in RC classes and workshops, who make tangible contributions to the RC community, and who are in good contact with RC leadership.

Membership in a list other than the RC List requires that the applicant be leading in the list subject area. Applications for membership on the electronic mailing lists should be endorsed by an official Reference Person (Area, Regional, International Liberation, or International Reference Persons). If the electronic mailing list has been set up for a constituency for which there is an associated International Liberation Reference Person, then that same person must approve the membership.

That these endorsements or recommendations shall be made to the International Reference Person whose validation of the recommendation is necessary to receive access to electronic mailing lists. However, access to local mailing lists require just the recommendation of the Area Reference Person for the applicant.

Reason

The best role for subscribers to the electronic mailing lists is that of thoughtful discussion and speculation among people who understand the fundamental role of RCers and the agreements between them. We're trying to find and share the nature of reality and keep it distinct from the pseudo-reality that fills the oppressive society.

Verification of recommendations by the International Reference Person is necessary because of the confusion that still persists at all levels of the organization.

International Liberation Reference Persons generally have good contacts with the members of their constituencies and are expected to take responsibility for the healthy functioning of the electronic mailing list supporting their constituencies.

(L.2.) Access To The Electronic Mailing Lists

That membership in the electronic mailing lists for Regional and Liberation Reference Persons be mandatory.

That subscriptions to mailing lists other than those for Regional and Liberation Reference Persons not be done without a prior request from or the approval of the subscriber.

Reason

A high level of communication is expected between the International, Regional, and Liberation Reference Persons to support the healthy functioning of a growing international community of RCers. Using the electronic mailing lists significantly increases the effectiveness of and reduces the cost associated with such communication.

Apart from the above mentioned exceptions, unsolicited subscription to electronic mailing lists, however urgent these may feel to the list keeper, can only be considered an imposition and is not respectful of the unsuspecting potential list member.

(L.3.) Mailing List Copyright

That people who wish to reprint material from the electronic mailing lists ask and secure permission from the original authors in each case before doing so. This applies also to editors of RC publications.

Postings to a list are meant to encourage thinking and can be communicated to individuals not on the list with the following provisions:

  1. Permission of the original author is obtained.
  2. If the message identifies individuals, permission must be gained from those individuals or the possibility of identification must be removed.
  3. The posting must be presented as an individual's thinking, not as Re-evaluation Counseling.

Reason

This guideline puts the electronic mailing lists in compliance with existing copyright laws.

This guideline also attempts to protect the privacy of people identified in posted messages.

(L.4.) Maintenance Of The Electronic Mailing Lists

That the electronic mailing lists be maintained by volunteers (mailing list administrators) who are approved by the Regional Reference Person for the Internet. That persons maintaining Area mailing lists also be approved by the Area Reference Person for the Area.

That persons taking such responsibilities not be paid for their role, but consider such work to be a contribution towards the growth and development of the Community.

That administrators of electronic mailing lists maintained by the International Communities may be reimbursed from the Community Service Fund of Re-evaluation Counseling Community Resources Inc. for incidental costs incurred in the performance of their duties when their request is recommended by the Regional Reference Person for the Internet and approved by the International Reference Person.

That administrators of local mailing lists likewise may be reimbursed from the Area maintenance fund for similar expenses if their request is approved by the Area Rreference Person.

Reason

While many maintenance tasks can be done automatically, an electronic mailing list still requires routine clerical tasks to be performed for smooth running. Such tasks include handling certain error messages, solving and dealing with problems with bounced or misdirected mail, and requests for technical information from list members.

The present financial conditions of our Communities make it unrealistic to suggest payment for the work done by mailing list administrators. However, expenses incurred in carrying out these responsibilities may be paid by the Community when possible and reasonable.

(L.5.) Keeping One's Distresses Out Of Communications

The purpose of the lists is for sharing information and encouraging thinking and action. This takes thoughtful effort. An important part of that effort is to keep one's distresses out of the communication as much as possible.

Reason

The more expression of distress that is included, the more difficult it is for people to find the thinking contained in the communication.

There is a very important distinction between sharing one's thinking and acting out one's frustration, discouragement, or other distresses on the list. It is important that people continually try to make this distinction. The lists are not to be used as attempted substitutes for sessions.

(L.6.) Use Of Quotations

That quotations be limited to passages from RC literature or, if necessary for context, short passages from messages sent previously to the same list. That quotations from other messages be kept as short as possible to establish context.

That list members are encouraged to post only their own elegant thinking on topics relevant to the subject of the list.

That no list member posts messages for someone else, whether that someone else is a list member or not.

Reason

The lists are for the communication of the elegant thinking of the list members. If a broader audience for a list message is deemed useful, that should be handled by the International Reference person.

The list members assume a certain level of privacy when posting a message to the list. Messages from other lists should therefore not be quoted on a given list.

Some list members may have trouble posting messages to a list. In such cases they should contact the Regional Reference Person for the Internet to get the problem resolved or to get the message posted.

(L.7.) Use Of Quotations From Non-RC Literature

That quotations from non-RC literature be short (no more than 250 words). That such messages be relevant to the application of RC theory and practice and to the topic of the list.

That references to a quotation's source (for example a URL) should be included in all cases where non-RC literature is quoted.

Reason

The lists are for the promotion of your thinking, in your words, as reached through thoughtful examination and held up to discharge. Use only a short quotation to clarify or serve as a reference for your thinking. You can refer people to the quotation's source if you feel strongly about their reading it. The forwarding of non-RC articles or large portions of such articles is a violation of copy rights of the original author, due to the large membership and publication-like nature of the RC electronic mailing lists. Small quotes are acceptable, although a written permission from the author to post the quote is preferred.

Giving full information about the source of quotes is the standard courtesy shown the original author.

The lists should not be used as a medium to spread chain letters, such as petitions, virus alerts, pyramid schemes, etc. These messages are almost always hoaxes and cause a great amount of wasted time, resources and worries. A large number of these messages are also purposely designed to be restimulating to the person receiving them. Please check with the Regional Reference Person for the Internet if you have any doubts about a particular message or if you need more information about this kind of messages.

(L.8.) Establishing Local Electronic Mailing Lists

That in organized geographical Areas, electronic mailing lists can be set up to supplement Area newsletters for the communication of local and international RC events and other information of interest to the Area Community Members.

That electronic mailing lists not be maintained at the Regional level at this time.

Reason

Communications beyond the geographical Area are currently adequately served by the mailing lists maintained by the International Community.

Area level electronic mailing lists provide a convenient means for rapid communication of between Area Community Members.

(L.9.) Moderating Local Electronic Mailing Lists

That all messages sent to local electronic mailing lists first be approved by the Area Reference Person.

That the Internet Reference Person be subscribed to all local electronic mailing lists.

Reason

The contents of messages sent to local electronic mailing lists are sent to a potentially large fraction of people in the Area. The Area Reference Person must approve all such communications, regardless of the medium in which they are sent.

The Internet Reference Person can provide guidance and mediation when necessary, and can also archive messages for future RC historians.

(L.10.) Communication to New List Members

That all new list members be given a copy each of these guidelines, the rules of etiquette for list submissions, and a welcome message from the reference person sponsoring the list (IRP for lists maintained by the International Community, ARP for local lists).

Reason

To ensure the quality of communications on each list, it is necessary that each list member has read and agreed to follow these guidelines.


Interpretations Of Existing Guidelines From The "Guidelines For The Re-Evaluation Counseling Communities":

(A.3.) The One-Point Program Of The Re-Evaluation Counseling Communities

That the only program of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities which is binding on all members be: Through Re-evaluation Counseling to seek recovery of one's occluded intelligence and to assist others to do the same.

That all other activities undertaken by the Community be in support of this program and that no agreement beyond consistency with this program be required of members of the Community.

Interpretation:

All use of the electronic mailing lists by the Community must be in support of the One-Point Program. This implies that such lists differ considerably from the usual Internet mailing lists and newsgroups, which allow, and indeed often encourage, messages which are rooted in distress.

The main purposes of the RC electronic mailing lists are to exchange original and clear thinking about: 1) the work we are doing in RC, 2) our application of RC theory and practice to the work we are doing in the wide-world, and 3) current situations in the world.

To unawarely take on the role of Client before any audience which has not agreed to taking on the role of Counselor, in this case the electronic mailing list members, is very much discouraged.

The following are examples of the kind of messages which are in support of the One-Point Program.

  1. Announcements and reports about events sponsored by the RC Community (workshops, for example)
  2. Discussions which have the purpose of uncovering the reality behind any issue facing humanity. (In discussions, only the issues should be addressed, not the specific individual who raises the issues.)
  3. Think-and-Listens on any topic relevant to the subscribers to the electronic mailing list. The rules of Think-and-Listens apply, interpreted as follows:
    • You may post your own message on the same topic as someone else's.
    • It is NOT appropriate to quote back someone else's Think-and-Listen message. This is different from other listservers and newsgroups on the Internet. Please write from your own thinking and from your own experiences. Avoid analyzing or criticizing someone else's post.
    • Due to the possibility of having many topics being discussed simultaneously, some of which are not handled as Think-and-Listens, contributions to Think-and-Listen discussions should be identified clearly as such by the poster.
  4. Requests for counseling contacts by members planning to move or travel (but in replying to these please reply to the individual, not to the whole list).
  5. Requests for information.
  6. Responses to requests for information.
  7. Direct quotations (including a copyright statement) from RC documents or literature for clarification of RC theory or in response to questions.

The RC Community maintains a number of electronic lists for particular interests and/or constituencies. Messages to such lists should be limited to the particular set of topics for which the list was set up.

(A.4.) Process Of Achieving Correct Positions

That, starting with Re-evaluation Counseling theory, all Co-Counselors are encouraged to illuminate, examine, and arrive at correct, intelligent positions on all issues facing humanity, including the most controversial ones. That this process be helped by special conferences, workshops, and publication of statements. None of the positions so emerging will be binding on members of our Community even if everyone is in complete agreement.

Interpretation

There is generally no restriction on the set of topics that can be discussed on the RC electronic mailing lists. However, some lists have been set up for particular interests or constituencies. Messages to such lists should be limited to the topics for which they were set up.

The nature of electronic mailing lists allows several topics to be discussed simultaneously. (These different topics are sometimes referred to as "threads.") The RC email lists certainly support multiple threads to be discussed simultaneously.

There is no restriction on when and how long any topic can be discussed.


Other Particularly Relevant Guidelines:

(A.4.) The Membership Of The Community
(E.1. & 2.) Proposal: Reaching Decisions - Theory
(Note IV) Proposal: Reaching Decisions - Methods
(K.1.) Proposal: Requirement On Publication And Duplication
(M.1., 2., & 3.) Proposal: Relationships (The No-Socializing Principle)


Certain Policies Of The International Re-Evaluation Counseling Communities Which Members Of The Electronic Mailing Lists Should Be Aware Of

Adherence to the Guidelines is a prerequisite for the participation in the electronic mailing lists.

If variation or divergence from these Guidelines seems to become necessary in a particular practical situation, permission for such temporary divergence must be obtained from the International Reference Person.

(O.1.) Handling Attacks

Attacks on Co-Counselors or on the RC Community will not be tolerated. All Co-Counselors are expected to quickly interrupt both attacks and gossip. In preparation, Co-Counselors need to counsel on whatever obstructs their ability to do so.

People who participate in an attack must first stop the attack and apologize for having participated in it. Only after they have done this should counseling resource be offered to them.

Reason

Attacks are not attempts at correcting mistakes. They are dramatizations of distress and are not acceptable behaviors within the RC Community. An attack is not an effective way to resolve disagreements or difficulties. When the upset is with an individual, it is effective to counsel and discharge on feelings about the situation in a way that doesn't spread the upset. After discharging, one can strive to arrive at one's best thinking and then speak directly to the individual involved in order to resolve the situation. When the upset is with the RC Community, it is effective to counsel and discharge on feelings about the situation in a way that doesn't spread the upset. Then one can arrive at one's best thinking and speak directly to one's Reference Person.

Attacks are dramatizations of distress patterns. An underlying motivation may be to attract attention and ask for counseling help with the distress. However, attacks are never an effective way to handle difficulties and are not acceptable behavior.

Attacks are harmful to the RC Community and to the Co-Counselor targeted by the attack. They restimulate and confuse people. They disrupt the functioning of the RC Community and the targeted Co-Counselor. Any attack should be quickly interrupted so as to end the disruption of the RC Community. Any underlying issues cannot be addressed in an atmosphere of attack. Once the attack has stopped, the process described below (Guideline O.2.) can be used to address any situation.

Co-Counselors are required to be accountable for their actions and to take responsibility for any confusion their actions may have caused. This helps everyone involved to resolve the situation. Accountability includes acknowledging that a mistake has been made and apologizing for having participated in the attack.


An attack may be either an organized attempt to disrupt the functioning of the Community or a smearing of an individual. It is an attack to try to get others to support one's upset with a Co-Counselor or the Community. It is not an attack to think that an error has been made, to be upset with someone, or to question someone about his or her thinking. It is a mistake to criticize a Co-Counselor and try to force him or her to be one's counselor about issues or upsets, but that is not what is meant by an attack.

Gossip is casual or unconstrained reports or conversation about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as true.

(O.2.) Handling of Disagreement, Criticism, and Upset

We understand that critical feelings, upsets, and many of our disagreements are the restimulation of past distresses rather than actual disagreements about current issues. We know that criticism of an individual is not useful and is different from disagreement with the individual's idea. Restimulations can pull us to unawarely and mistakenly dramatize our distress recordings at other Co-Counselors or at RC leaders.

The following procedure is useful for correcting mistakes, interrupting patterns, and discouraging gossip and attacks.

If a Co-Counselor has an issue needing to be addressed with another Co-Counselor or with an RC leader, it is effective to do the following:

  1. counsel and discharge on the situation,
  2. see the real situation as clearly as possible,
  3. think of possible ways to resolve the situation, and, if a real issue remains,
  4. communicate directly with the individual involved to resolve the situation.

It is not effective to express the disagreement, criticism, or upset to others, inside or outside of RC. It is not effective to rehearse upsets in the guise of discharging as a client in one's sessions. If the direct communication does not resolve the issue satisfactorily, or if communicating directly to the person is too difficult, the Co-Counselor may enlist the assistance of an experienced Co-Counselor, an RC teacher, or the appropriate Reference Person. If the issue still does not resolve, it may be taken to the next level of Reference Person.

If the issue is not resolved and the individual becomes disruptive to the RC Community, then that individual will be denied access to the resources of the Community.

Reason

Most disagreements do not need to be addressed in this fashion. We do not need to agree on everything, and most of our disagreements do not need to be resolved immediately. They will resolve with continued discharge and new information. Usually no immediate decisions need to be made. (See Guideline E.2. Reaching Decision.)

Direct communication can be useful. It gives the target of the disagreement, criticism, or upset an opportunity:

  1. to learn directly of the situation,
  2. to consider the content of the issue and any connected upsets,
  3. to use discharge and communication to resolve the situation, and
  4. to enlist outside resource when necessary.

Co-Counselors' good work should not be disrupted by criticism and attacks.

Non-RCers can get confused about RC when we share with them our upsets about RC. It can make it more difficult to communicate with them about RC at a later time.

Policy On Protection Of Community Members

(See "Side by Side," Issue #2, page 3, copyright by Rational Island Publishers.)

In all publications or writing forms sponsored or produced by Re-evaluation Counseling, any writers identifying themselves as Lesbian or Gay must do so with pseudonyms rather than their given names.

Interpretation

Any RC publication or Internet discussion group is covered by this policy.

Since the mail servers accept messages only from known subscribers, writers wishing to use a pseudonym for this or any other reason must do so by sending their message to an address specified by the Internet Regional Reference Person, who will then save the messages, eliminate any mail headers that indicate the original source, and forward the text of the messages to the mailing list.

(The Internet Regional Reference Person may refuse forwarding individual messages if such messages are contrary to the purpose of the list).

CONTACTS:

The Internet Regional Reference Person is: Allan Hansen at hansen@rc.org.
The International Reference Person is: Tim Jackins at ircc@rc.org.


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00