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Guidelines For the Use of Electronic Mailing Lists for Members of The Re-Evaluation Counseling Communities

This document supplements 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:

(EML.1.) Purpose of the RC Electronic Mailing Lists

All use of the electronic mailing lists by the Community must be in support of the One-Point Program. This implies that RC 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 purpose of the RC electronic mailing lists is to exchange original and clear thinking about:

  1. The work we are doing in RC.
  2. Our application of RC theory and RC practice to our work outside of RC.
  3. Current situations in the world.

(EML.2.) Access To the Electronic Mailing Lists

Applications for memberships of electronic mailing lists (other than locally maintained Area mailing lists) must be entered via the RC list server web site, list.rc.org. This web site is used to set up accounts, enter subscription requests, and control the subscription options for the lists.

Access to RC electronic mailing lists should 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. The moderator of the RC Community Members List will be appointed by the International Reference Person.

Membership in a list other than the RC Community Members 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 Commonality, 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 or Commonality Reference Person, then that same person must approve the membership and oversee subscriptions and postings to the list. Delegation of oversight of a list to another RC leader by an the International Liberation or Commonality Reference Person should only be done with the approval of the International Reference Person.

Access to Regional or Area mailing lists require just the recommendation of the Regional or Area Reference Person, respectively, for the applicant.

List subscribers are required to have a subscription to Present Time, unless their first language is not English, or an exception is approved by the leader in charge of the list. A shared subscription is fine.

List subscribers must agree to follow the guidelines in this document (List Guidelines).

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 our society.

International Liberation Reference Persons, Regional Reference Persons, and Area 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.

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

(EML.3.) Mandatory Electronic Mailing List Subscriptions

Subscriptions to electronic mailing lists other than the following should not be entered without a prior request from or the approval of the subscriber.

  1. Lists for Regional, International Liberation, and Commonality Reference Persons.
  2. List for simultaneous broadcasts to members of multiple lists.

Reason

A high level of communication is expected among the International, Regional, Liberation, and Commonality 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.

Occasionally, communications from the International Reference Person or the Reference Person for the Internet to the members of multiple lists are necessary. Many people are subscribed to multiple lists. To avoid sending the same message many times to those subscribers (one message for each list), combining those subscribers into a single list for such messages is to the benefit of both the senders and recipients.

Apart from the above-mentioned exceptions, unsolicited subscription to electronic mailing lists, however urgent these may feel to the list keeper, is not respectful of the unsuspecting potential list member.

(EML.4.) Communication to New List Members

All new list members should be given access to the List Guidelines and a welcome message from the reference person sponsoring the list.

Reason

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

(EML.5.) Maintaining Electronic Mailing List Subscriptions

Potential and existing list members are asked to establish an account on the list server (list.rc.org). Such an account gives access to the tools that the server provides for subscribing, unsubscribing, changing email addresses, accessing the list archives, and changing subscription settings.

Reason

The server, at the time of this writing, holds several thousand users, and many users are members of many subscriptions. List members must therefore, to the best of their abilities, make every attempt to maintain their own subscriptions before asking others to do it for them.

(EML.6.) Suggested Topics for Messages to the RC Electronic Mailing Lists

The following are examples of the kind of messages which are in support of the One-Point Program, and which fall within the categories listed in section EML.1.:

  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.
  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 list servers 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 (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.
  8. Carefully chosen short quotations from non-RC publications (maximum 250 words) when such quotations can aid our understanding of a topic being discussed.

The RC Community maintains many electronic lists for particular interests and/or constituencies. Messages to such lists should be limited to the topics for which the lists were set up.

(EML.7.) 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. To 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.

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. It is recommended that list members set up a session prior to posting a message to think and discharge about the contents of the message.

(EML.8.) Preserving Confidentiality When Writing About Others - Posting Anonymously

Co-Counselors must protect the confidentiality of other individuals on RC email lists unless the individuals give consent to be identified. This includes not using identifiers (for example, “my child, partner, parent,” and so on, or identifying descriptions of the person).

When an RC author has gotten consent from an individual to reveal their identity, the author should still check with an RC leader before proceeding.

If mentioning other individuals cannot be avoided in a message, and the message contains confidential information that must not be made public, then the message must be posted anonymously (without identifying the sender or the referenced individuals).

See (EML.10.) for information on how to post anonymously.

Reason

List members must be aware that messages sent out via the RC list server can end up on hundreds or even thousands of computers and should not be considered private or safe communications. Publicized confidential information could be used in the future in hurtful ways against the people mentioned.

(EML.9.) Postings by People Who May Be Persecuted Because of Perceived Identification or Group Membership

When posting to an Electronic Mailing List, Co-Counselors whose writing reveals information that could put them in danger must post anonymously.

This applies Co-Counselors who in their writing identify in the following categories and who live in countries whose legal system permits persecution of members of the groups below. As societies collapse, repressive laws are being passed that target additional groups or remove rights previously granted.

  1. Political activists or organizers in volatile (rapidly or unpredictably changing) situations
  2. Immigrants without legal status
  3. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, gender non-conforming, and non-binary (LGBTQ+) people
  4. Others who are targets of political repression or made vulnerable by their legal system.

Additional groups may be added to this Guideline as determined by the IRP in consultation with the relevant ILRP(s), ICRP(s), and/or RRP(s).

See (EML.10.) for information on how to post anonymously.

Reason

List members must be aware that messages sent out via the RC list server can end up on hundreds or even thousands of computers and should not be considered private or safe communications. Publicized confidential information could be used in the future in hurtful ways against the person posting such messages. Keeping postings anonymous minimizes the risk that the RC Community will collude with oppression.

(EML.10.) Posting Anonymously to an Electronic Mailing List

First, the message must be carefully written to ensure that the information in it cannot be used to indirectly identify the author or other individuals referenced by the message.

Please include the desired subject line in the message and indicate if you will allow the message to be publicized (anonymously, of course) in Present Time and/or one of the other journals, and possibly on the RC web site or another RC electronic publication.

The message must then be sent to the Reference Person for the Internet (hansen@rc.org). The message will then be stripped of identifying information and posted from the anonymous RC email account (anonymous@rc.org) using the desired subject line.

Messages sent to that anonymous email account are automatically discarded. In other words, the account is used only for posting anonymous posts to the lists.

Due to the quality of our subscription process, the RC electronic email lists are not moderated in the usual sense that someone will examine each message before it is posted. However, in cases where accidental posting of confidential information about other individuals is likely, a list may be subjected to special moderation with the approval of the International Reference Person. The list will then be moderated by the official moderators for the list in cooperation with the Internet Reference Person. Such moderation is only for the purpose of catching messages that should be anonymous.

(EML.11.) Posting for Someone Else

List members should not ask someone else to post for them or post messages from other people.

An exception to this is for a list moderator or the list administrator to post announcements from, for example, a workshop organizer who is not a list member.

Reason

The procedures for list membership are set up to ensure the quality of the communications on the lists. Someone wishing to post on a list should first apply to subscribe to the list.

Some people may have trouble posting messages to a list. In such cases they should not ask someone else to post the messages but contact the list owner or the Internet Reference Person to get the problem resolved. If not resolved immediately, the issue is likely to persist the next time a posting is attempted.

(EML.12.) Use Of Quotations from RC Sources

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

A message from one list should not be quoted on a different list.

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

Reason

The lists are for the communication of the thinking of the list members (see EML.1.).

The list members assume a certain level of privacy when posting a message to the list. List messages posted on one list should therefore not be quoted on another list. If a broader audience for a list message is deemed useful, that should be handled by a list moderator or the International Reference person.

When a conversation on a list (a 'thread') is active with many contributors, the quoting of previous messages can result in unnecessarily long messages. If you quote from list messages, include just enough to provide background/context for your own message. This makes it easier to read your message and puts less of a burden on the archives.

(EML.13.) Use Of Quotations from Non-RC Literature

Quotations from non-RC literature should be short (no more than 250 words). They should also be relevant to the application of RC theory and practice and to the topic of the list.

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 copyrights 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, conspiracy theories, and so on. These messages are almost always hoaxes and cause a great amount of wasted time, resources, and worries. Many of these messages are designed to be restimulating to the person receiving them. Please check with the Reference Person for the Internet if you have any doubts about a particular message or if you need more information.

(EML.14.) Mailing List Copyright

People who wish to copy material from the electronic mailing lists and distribute this material to people who are not list members must ask and secure permission from the original author(s) 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 from the author(s) has been obtained.
  2. Permission has been obtained from any individuals who can be identified either directly or indirectly from the message.
  3. The posting is presented as an individual’s thinking, not as Re-evaluation Counseling theory.
  4. If a posting is duplicated and then circulated (by print or email) in an RC class, the following statement is written on each page: “This is a posting from an RC discussion list. It has not been edited, checked for theoretical correctness, or approved for publication.”
  5. Quotations from relevant non-RC literature can be no more than 250 words.

Reason

This guideline puts the electronic mailing lists in compliance with existing copyright laws and attempts to protect the privacy of people identified in posted messages.

Unlike RC publications, list postings are unedited. They are not checked for consistency with RC theory and practice. They should not be a substitute for RC literature.

(EML.15.) Establishing Area and Regional Electronic Mailing Lists

In organized Areas, electronic mailing lists can be set up by a local leader to supplement Area newsletters for the communication of local and international RC events and other information of interest to the Area Community Members. These lists should be moderated by the Area Reference Person and/or a trusted delegate.

In organized Regions, with permission by the International Reference Person and the Reference Person for the Internet, electronic mailing lists can be set up on the RC list server to allow for the convenient broadcasting of regional and international events that are of interest to the Regions' Community Members. These lists are not to be used as discussion lists and should allow postings only by the Regional Reference Person and/or a trusted delegate.

Reason

Area level electronic mailing lists provide a convenient means for rapid communication of information between Area Community Members. These mailing lists can be safely and conveniently handled by the Area Reference Person or a trusted delegate.

Communications beyond the geographical Area is generally well served by the discussion mailing lists maintained by the International Community. However, for large Regions, an electronic mailing list on the RC list server can provide effective means of broadcasts of events of interest across the Region.

(EML.16.) Maintenance Of the Electronic Mailing Lists

The electronic mailing lists are to be managed by volunteers (mailing list moderators).

Area mailing list moderators must be approved by the Area Reference Person for the Area. Regional mailing list moderators must be approved by the Regional Reference Person for the Region. The moderators for the remaining lists maintained by the International Communities must be approved by the Reference Person for the Internet and the International Reference Person.

Electronic mailing list moderators are not to be paid for their role but should consider such work to be a contribution towards the growth and development of the Community.

Moderators of local mailing lists may likewise be reimbursed from the Area maintenance fund for incidental costs incurred in the performance of their duties.

Moderators of electronic mailing lists maintained by the International Communities may be reimbursed from the Community Service Fund of Re-evaluation Counseling Community Resources Inc.  when their request is recommended by the Reference Person for the Internet and approved by the International Reference 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, entering and removing subscriptions, and requests for technical information from list members.

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

(EML.17.) Moderating Area and Regional Electronic Mailing Lists

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

Only the Reference Person or a trusted delegate may post messages to Regional electronic mailing lists.

The Internet Reference Person must be subscribed to all local electronic mailing lists on the RC list server.

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.

Regional electronic mailing lists are set up only for broadcasts of announcements, not as discussion lists.

The Internet Reference Person can provide guidance and mediation as well as assist in solving problems as they occur. Lists on the RC list server can be archived for future RC historians.


Last modified: 2023-01-10 05:04:58+00