Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

You just can't make this stuff up!

If you want to find crazy people, the place to look is "spiritual" groups.

The best sort of spiritual groups to observe just how wacky people can get are of course the Internet lists and forums.

As it happens, I have moderated a spiritually focused email list for the last nine years, and boy, let me tell you, it has been an interesting ride.

Early on I came to the conclusion that such groups were going to be of limited use, for the most part social clubs more than anything else.

There have been several times over the years that I have seriously considered closing the list down, because frankly, it's pretty much a dead end. But there are some people on it that I like and whose conversations I enjoy, so I have kept the list going, though mostly with minimal participation on my part.

Every now and again though, I have to prune the list. The method of doing this is simple, stir the waters, see what kind of craziness floats to the top, and remove it.

I always find this both interesting and instructive.

Over the years I have discovered many thing I would not have known otherwise.

For instance, a large number of trolls originating from the UK are cyber-cross dressers. For some reason there is a disproportionate number of Englishmen who pretend to be women in forums and eLists. I have never been able to find a reason for this statical abnormality, but it is there.

There is one type of person I keep an eye out for, the one kind of personality that will inevitably cause problems and disruption.

This person will always show a particular set of traits. They will be rigid and dogmatic, unable to accept even mild criticism, prone to outbursts of rage if someone does not see their position as "right".

AE Van Vogt, the writer and student of Korzybski, described this personality type, which he dubbed the "Right" Male or "The Violent Man" in a book by the same name.

Van Vogt observed that this was almost entirely a male phenomena, but that was back in the early sixties and I suspect that women have been catching up.

This kind of person is drawn to religion because of their dogmatic nature, and so I have had to deal with any number of this sort of person in the list I moderate, and it is always instructive to deal with them.

They are pretty easy to spot. They do not talk to other people, but rather at them, more making pronouncements rather than conversation. They speak in absolutes and deny that any differing opinion can have any validity. They tend to use "appeal to authority" as a form of argument.

They also are very quick to anger and have no sense of their own logical fallacies. Emotionally, they come across as poorly developed, often showing at best preadolescent responses to other people, especially when not getting their way. Their baseline emotional tone tends to be in the tantrum spectrum.

This time around I found and removed several people who's dogma meters were redlining.

When dealing with a "Right Male" one of the things that happens is a lot of projection. The most common is to try to attribute their desire to be in control to me, often insisting that I want to be a spiritual teacher, the position that they crave more than any other.

One of the ways I spot these people when they pass through the list I run is that they will seek out the perceived "authority figure" and try to play a game of "no, I'm right" to demonstrate to the list members that they are the ones who really have the "knowledge".

One of these people in particular was interesting. In the usual private email diatribe after my removing them I felt like I was trying to talk with a six year old. That sort of emotional dissonance is always telling.

This one person has taken this to an absurd level, not being able to deal with the fact that I didn't accept his evident "rightness", and has become something of a cyber stalker.

He has obviously become so completely at the effect of my not buying into his "Authority" that he has become obsessed with me.

His latest tribute to this obsession is to build a blog to prove to everyone that I am a "Fake Guru". He sent me a taunting letter with the URL this evening.

When I could manage to stop laughing (several minutes) I tried to think of a response that would be appropriate to the situation.

The obvious thing, in my mind, is to make sure that everyone sees his blog. That's what he wants, so I figure I should do what I can to help him out.

So go Check it out and see what he has to say, send your friends there as well, It's the least I can do to help someone who has so much emotional investment in this.

=========================

An Adendum

Someone pointed out that the conversation as posted on the Cyber Stalker's page is incomplete, it doesn't show how the conversation started.

Since he "thoughtlessly" neglected this part It seemed important to give people the correct context.

The discussion was on the "Infallibility" of the Quran. It is one that crops up on a fairly regular basis.

My stance has always been that while the Quran is infallible, no one who reads it is so.

The Stalker's post is in red, my reply, which set him off so badly is in green (I do so love color coding)

As salam..Qur'an is the word of God. Mushaf is the (physical) book
which contains Qur'an. I dont know other madhabs but for Khanafis
mushaf (in Arabic) is sacred too, such that it should not be read
without ablution. A translation of Qur'an is not Mushaf.

The first time Qur'an was compiled in a Mushaf was during Abubakr's
caliphate on insistence of Omar. When many of the qurra (people who
memorize Qur'an by heart) were killed in the wars, Omar feared the
verses will be lost.

The compilation was done in this way:

1) Only those texts written in presence of Prophet (saw) was accepted.
(two witnesses were required a a proof)
2)The written pieces were proofread by qurraa

After this process, a Mushaf that contained Qur'an from cover to cover
was compiled. This single manuscript was kept by Abu Bakr, and then
Omar and then Omar's daughter Hafsa.

This manuscript was not delivered to other parts of Islamic state until
Uthman's caliphate. Until then people continued to read Qur'an from
partial scripts they reproduced themselves. Minor variations in reading
prompted Huzayfa al Yaman to consult to Uthman for a standardised
reading. Uthman asked the Mushaf kept by Hafsa and produced several
copies.

He sent these copies as the only valid text from cover to cover and
officially ordered to destroy all other manuscripts, which were
actually fragments.

If there's no way to use it again, the decent way of destroying a paper
on which Qur'anic text written is burning it or burying it. Most
Qur'anic manuscripts were destroyed by burning, but apparently some by
burying.

We have such buried partial manuscripts revealed. One is the San'a
script found in Yemen. The Atlantic journal tried to make great deal
out of it. But I will quote the core of the article. I cant see
anythign big.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/199901/koran (limited)
http://www.derafsh-kaviyani.com/english/quran1.html (full)

"Puin, who had been sent by the German government to organize and
oversee the restoration project, recognized the antiquity of some of
the parchment fragments, and his preliminary inspection also revealed
unconventional verse orderings, minor textual variations, and rare
styles of orthography and artistic embellishment. Enticing, too, were
the sheets of the scripture written in the rare and early Hijazi Arabic
script: pieces of the earliest Korans known to exist, they were also
palimpsests -- versions very clearly written over even earlier, washed-
off versions. What the Yemeni Korans seemed to suggest, Puin began to
feel, was an evolving text rather than simply the Word of God as
revealed in its entirety to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century
A.D."
To which I reply,

Now here is the question.

Does a bigot read the same Quran as a saint?

I, personally, think that the Quran is the word of God (TM). I also think that no
human reads the Quran except through the filters of his Nafs (ego).

There are as many Quran as there are people who read it. Which one should we
think is the True One?
This was his reply (and the point where I decided to prod him a bit to see exactly what was underneath.

As salam Mushtaq..By the same token, there are as many Musthtaq here
as there are people in this list? Which one is true Mushtaq? Or does
it really matter? Everyone lives according to his understanding and
God judges everyone's deeds & intentions. I think that is what
matters.

Each understanding has diverse repercussions on the society and on
the world?? Of course, but there is God's continuous creation and
intervention, which keeps it going. For ex., political will of Uthman
which David seems to criticize is the very reason Qur'an is saved.
Early Christians lacked such a political unity until it was too late,
and thats God's plan too. I mean whatever our understanding,
motivations and ambitions are, there is the Divine Plan working..We
are responsible for our own deeds and intentions.

So now you have a better context to why I am such an incredibly bad person in his eyes.

I have also been informed that he is censoring comments on his blog. Hypocrisy knows no bounds I guess (ROTFLMAO)

22 comments:

Dan Gambiera said...

Strangely enough, he deleted my comment on his blog.

Janet Lee said...

That reminds me, I never did ask to see your papers...lol. Sorry you had to spend some of your breaths on that.

Yusuf said...

Heh heh, it goes from you commenting on the state of the board, to him ranting about God's creative system and the salvation of the Quran.
He would make a great script writer for Days of Our Lives.... then again, I'm pretty sure thats of the utmost haram....

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

"Van Vogt observed that this was almost entirely a male phenomena, but that was back in the early sixties and I suspect that women have been catching up."

I've run into a few such women-- mostly on all-female lists. Interestingly, they tended not to display those behavior traits (or at least strongly reduced them) on mixed-gender lists.

Dr Su said...

Does it matter who is right anyway?yes it does only if you are in power..and of course you are in power...on your blog and on your list ;-).

Mushtaq Ali said...

If all you can see is who has the power "power" or who is "right" then you have completely missed the point.

But that is not uncommon in cases such as this.

But you are correct I think, that "who is right" has no real meaning at all.

"Power", like "right" and "Mushtaq" is just another illusion. It is only the people who think the don't have it and deeply wish they did that do the sort of things we see with my friend the stalker.

Jason Williams said...

Hi there Mushtaq. I find this interesting,"Emotionally, they come across as poorly developed, often showing at best preadolescent responses to other people," I always thought these were just keyboard bashing teenagers...but recently, moderating our own forum and having our own blog has shown me that age is not necessarily a cure for stupidity. Thanks for all the wonderful posts.

Kind regards

Jason

Steve Perry said...

There are subjects about which you can't expect reasoned debate: Gun control, politics, abortion, religion, the best beer, and Silat Sera(k).

I know you know this, Mushtaq. So is this the lesson you are offering by holding this character up to the light?

Or is there a more nefarious purpose afoot ... ?

Bobbe Edmonds said...

Second that "Best Beer" debate, but some people just aren't civilized anyway.

Bill Bednarick said...

"There are subjects about which you can't expect reasoned debate: Gun control, politics, abortion, religion, the best beer, and Silat Sera(k)."

I thought most of those topics reside under the heading of religion anyway.;-)

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, Bobbe, especially those putting-on-airs guys who think flacking Euro-trash beer makes'em look edumacated.

Same kinda guys would prefer French bread flown in from France after three weeks sitting in a Paris shop window instead of fresh bread picked up still-warm at the corner bakery.

Poor, deluded souls ...

Ah, well. All one can do is try ...

Mushtaq Ali said...

It is rather sad Steve, I have counseled with him at lengh to no avail. I have even explained that because of a hops shortage in the dark ages that Trappist monks started using their old socks as flavoring.

But Kids These Days! They never listen. (and their music, it's just noise)

Youth is truly wasted on the young.

And everybody knows that the best French Bread actually comes from San Francisco ;-)

Dr Su said...

Since I think if I left a comment on the Sukru blog it will be censored I am leaving one here.
The problem I see with Sukru blog content is that it has far too many adjectives for Mushtaq.I think even one adjective is one too many , since if we focused on the discussion ( argument ) one need not focus on the person and use adjectives to describe the person in terms that satisfy one emotionally.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

Mushtaq, it's damned distressing to see how quickly you will sell me up the river. Especially after you saw my Scotch collection!!

*SIGH* Here's what I get for trying to bring a bit of culture to a bunch of insane rednecks. Tell 'ya what, next time I come out to Portland, howzabout I just bring a six pack 'o Pabst Blue Ribbon? Or is that still too "high brow" for you?

"putting on airs"

...I swear...

Janet Lee said...

If I may weigh in the beer issue, I can only say that monks make the best beer. I figured that just like with food, if you pray over it while making, it turns out better.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

Janet, you are clearly the product of an advanced civilization. Pay no attention to the unwashed Philistines on the sidewalk.

Janet Lee said...

Why thank you. Make that advanced "beer snob". Only problem about the Philistine is he can crush me with a stick at will. So if PBR is his choice (there's no smiley code for wrinkling up your nose, is there?)...

Mushtaq Ali said...

Steve Perry asks
I know you know this, Mushtaq. So is this the lesson you are offering by holding this character up to the light?

Or is there a more nefarious purpose afoot ... ?


Of course there is a more nefarious purpose :-)

First, in my opinion, the bast way to deal with this sort of slander is to shine a big bright light on it, then let people make up their own minds.

Second, it is good publicity :-)

Third, reasonable people will read the guy's rantings and be warned if they ever run across him.

Fourth, I have to admit I enjoy poking fun at people who take themselves so seriously.

Fifth, I get a kick out of his elevating me to the status of a "spiritual teacher".

Mushtaq Ali said...

Bobbe,

It's true that you have superb taste when it comes to single malt, I suspect that your addiction to "old sock" beer is some sort of mental aberration.

There are treatments though, take two obsidian stouts and see me in the morning.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

I've seen you in the mornings. Bleeeaaagh.

kevin said...

it certainly is entertaining.

Unsane said...

I have a little troll on my site. I'm really not sure why these people take the time. He must have written 50 messages on my blog to date. Once I got bored with them, (after the first five), I put my blog on moderation status. I never read his messages, as they are always obvious they are from him, due to the names he chooses for himself. I wait until several have accumulated on moderation status, and delete them all. I have mentioned that I do this. Yet,still this troll persists with me, wasting his time.