Rick Moen: The purpose of the echo is to promote UFO religion in its various forms. Occasi

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Rick Moen: The purpose of the echo is to promote UFO religion in its various forms. Occasionally, the unwary will wander in, and be shown the door if their professed beliefs don't measure up to what's expected. The key question for a fringe-science-related forum is this: Are there beliefs that are required irrespective of the participant's conduct? The answer on your forum [UFO - flr] is "no". On I_UFO (as on the CompuServe NEWAGE forum), it's "yes" but they just aren't willing to be honest about it. Clark [one of the participants - flr] will go on at great length about how unnamed skeptics are guilty of various rude (alleged) acts on I_UFO and elsewhere. This has two functions that are immediately obvious: (1) It's a great device to promote group cohesiveness. Every religion needs devil-figures for this purpose. The unnamed skeptic serves this purpose for Clark. (2) It distracts from the more basic fact -- which they don't want anyone to notice -- that skeptics are in fact to be banned REGARDLESS of how they comport themselves; that their _beliefs are unacceptable_ and must not be expressed in any form whatsoever. This is uncomfortable to admit because it is of course _narrow-minded_, not in accord with their self image. There will, in that echo, be allegations of fact (for example) that are held to be sacred. Any post that suggests they aren't true, or dares to contradict them, will be held to be "ridicule" or to show the wrong "attitude," or you will be told that it "does not fit the spirit of the stated intent of this conference" and is "offensive." You can be EXTREMELY pleasant, ignoring all the name-calling that _you_ will be subjected to, but your posts will still receive the above-described reception. Those who persist will be ejected. It's inevitable. The spirit of your posts actually is irrelevant. Your attitude, in truth, doesn't matter. You can eschew giving offence as much as any man alive has ever achieved -- all to no avail: It's the _prohibited beliefs/thoughts/opinions_ that are to be excluded. In short -- as I said -- just a rather inbred religion echo, with required beliefs and prohibited beliefs, founded to promote particular ideologies and exclude particular (disliked) ways of thinking. I don't object to this at all, in itself. I just object to the glaring hypocrisy of calling this echo a haven for open-mindedness, when in fact admission is based flagrantly on ideological tests.


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