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April 21, 2019


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Quote Brian :
"Being active on Facebook, I've often wondered what a difference it would make if everyone had to leave comments under their real name.

Likely it would improve communication, because anonymity tends to lead people to say things that they wouldn't say to someone face to face. "

I've always commented anonymously here.

I have to say, Brian, your view, as expressed here, while certainly kind of valid as far as it goes, doesn't really go far enough. Not by a long shot. Not as I see it.

Here's why :

Sure, like you say, anonymity can encourage both trolling and flaming. On the other hand, that rule isn't set in stone. Surely the comments right here in your blog bear testimony to the fact that many anonymous comments are consistently civil and balanced -- I like to think that my comments are an example of such, unless that is I'm directly reciprocating in kind after repeated unprovoked attacks from a couple of specific unbalanced posters -- while many comments from those who do post in their own names are frequently no more than unspeakably uncivil and downright uncouth exercises in trolling and flaming.

If the idea is to keep away flaming and trolling posts, then I agree with that sentiment. But the way to do that is to directly address and tackle flaming and trolling -- not via a proxy, not by imagining that tackling anonymity will end up indirectly tackling trolling and flaming. The evidence simply does not bear this out.

Tackle flaming and trolling directly, if that is what you want to do. I've myself requested you to do that, in my comments, more than once.

Surely it is simplistic, naive, to imagine that the things someone who signs themselves "Joe" or a "Juan" or a "Javed" says are any more true than the things that someone who signs themselves "Just Saying" says? Who is to say, even, that "Javed" is really "Javed" at all? Or that anything they say is at all true? Certainly there is no evidence that the former group's comments are any more hones or true than the latter group's. Is there? Isn't it far better to be honestly anonymous than disingenuously and apparently upfront about one's personal details?

Why do people post anonymously? Different reasons operate in specific cases, these range from a simple reticence to speak publically of things too close to one's heart, to the desire to avoid unnecessary embarrassment or controversy. There is a reason why online discussions are sometimes easier/better than discussions IRL. One reason, of course, is accessibility. But another is anonymity. Would you prefer that those who don't care to advertise their views to the world not participate at all?

Finally, this view that you express here, that's kind of like a "Why don't they eat cakes instead" sentiment. You realize this, don't you?

Not everyone is in a position to buy bread or cake. Those with easy access to bread and cake often don't even realize this.

I'm not going to go autobiographical -- at least not in a public comment, although I wouldn't mind doing that in private with those I trust, including you -- and I'm not saying this last applies to me, but still, I'd say this last point of mine is so overridingly important that it easily subsumes any merit your original argument might have.

There are many parts of the world where speaking out unpopular views on religion can get people in trouble. Serious trouble. Their social standing, their jobs, there very lives might be endangered. And no, that isn't being melodramatic. That's how it literally is in a great many parts of the world.

Are you saying that these people shouldn't participate, shouldn't express their views, shouldn't take their thoughts forward and resolve them by discussing with others?

All of this said, this is your blog. Your house, your rules.

So if you say, "No comments here should use the letter 'e', but make do with the remaining twenty five letters of the alphabet " -- or, even if you say, more gently, that "I'd prefer that no comments here use the letter 'e' ", well, while I'd disagree with that rule, but nevertheless I'd agree unreservedly that you have full right to express, and even enforce, that rule in your own blog.

Thus with this "preference" of yours.

I'll request you to think over what I've said, and please respond, in some detail. My commenting here is far less frequent now than earlier -- simply because I've learnt such a great deal from your blog, that there isn't too much new ground (for me) to cover now -- but, knowing this clearly expressed preference of yours, I'm going to feel very uncomfortable walking into your house (your blog I mean) and commenting anonymously here. Ever. Unless, that is, you acknowledge and find yourself able to agree with what I've said here in this comment,

I'm not going to go autobiographical -- at least not in a public comment.

I have just posted a comment on another thread. It is truly from my heart and not my usual well thought out nonsense.
Mike from England
Hence my post/comments name

Hi Appreciate Reader,

I can appreciate very much what you’ve just written. Although I’m very outspoken and Sonya is in fact my real name, I’ve never included my last name or even the state I live in for a very good reason. Now, anyone who has attended the sessions I have and have witnessed first hand my encounters with Gurinder might have a better idea of who I am. They might even know exactly who I am but those particular people for the most part don’t read this blog other than Gurinder and his associates. The things posted on Brian’s blog are brought to Gurinder’s attention when his “staff” only a few people specifically feel he should be made aware of it. Sometimes (but not often) they wish to post a comment in his defense as Brian’s blog attracts many viewers and is ranked quite high in Google search for RSSB.

I was amazed at how few people at Dera were even aware of the Bloomberg report.

I respect your right and everyone’s right to post anonymously and although it might seem I’m almost carelessly outspoken at times, the truth is I do it with a great deal of calculation for my own privacy. Like, I don’t share something that’s very personal unless the key people involved are already well aware of what happened. Case in point—my interaction with Gurinder. I don’t share something that I wouldn’t want someone close to me to ever find out about. If they stumble upon it somehow that’s fine. I won’t throw these thoughts and comments in the face of those who I care about that still follow RSSB. However, if they find it here then that’s OK. They already know I am not in agreement with Gurinder and RSSB teachings and this is a place where I can actually “talk it out”.

It’s difficult to speak with a therapist about these sort of events because they can’t fully appreciate the RSSB culture.

I know your comment was pointed at Brian but just wanted to say, I hear you...

While we’re on this topic, I just wanted to point out a few things... at least the way I see them. I put information in four main categories:

1. Information you’ll share with anyone - for example all the stuff on my Facebook page that I’ve set to “world”/public and anything I say in a public group setting.

2. Information that theoretically anyone can access if they go looking for it. This this category is very different for a few reasons. One, it’s information that you are not ashamed of but you do not want to slap people in the face with it. If someone goes out of their way to find it, that says something about them and their desire to learn something more.

3. Information you share just with another person and trust they will handle it very carefully (i.e., the emails I send directly to Brian or texts I send to my family and close friends).

4. Information that is just between you and your creator. Those are secret. Those are things you wouldn’t even write down. At least I wouldn’t. You’ll never find something like that in any of my journals.

Well put
My post looked ok to me, but maybe could have a bit more spaghetti to make it flavoursome.
I agree with AP that I will not post personal. My choice, with no criticism or judgement to others that do or have done.
And, like you, I use my real first name; adding my location to make a posting pseudonym. Sue D’Nym.
I reckon 777 does NOT post under his REAL name 😮
Hope that covers it. I’m half watching snooker.

It seems to me that people are looking for comfort, help and also to find true love. I see this world as chaos and confusion and because of being interested in the four Yugas, I remind myself that this is Kali Yuga. The worst Age to be born in. We all have our beliefs and this is one of mine which helps because I have no expectations of living a perfect life in these times and I know its going to get worse until the end of this Yuga. What happens then is the Golden Age will appear and souls will incarnate into a better world. This is just a story and probably a myth but it helps me to keep my balance in this lifetime.

As an agnostic and living a very quiet life and constantly watching my thoughts and reactions it seems to me that life is just a dream. Are we stuck in karma or can we change ourselves to see that life is a challenge and even maybe a game and we can play it well instead of giving away to despair. Be kind to yourself and others. I agree with Brian that how we live our ordinary life is very important. My true name is Jen (in this lifetime) :)

It’s like being a journalist. You know what information you can safely publish, what information is just between you and some colleagues, information where you protect your sources and information your smart enough to not even touch.

That said, I think the main topic of this blog post was about enjoying the little things in life and how extraordinary the ordinary really is if we take time to appreciate it.. So, I took my dog to the dog park for the first time this spring to meet up with his old friends. In celebration of Earth Day, we just enjoyed the beautiful weather, the wind and the trees.

These are the moments that make up a happy life. Things like Spence taking his son to Comic Con and his appreciation, his seeing the beauty in peoples’ creative expressions of themselves.

@ Sonya,

Some people are extroverts and others are introverts and accordingly will find appreciation in different things that make them happy. Extroverts are out there doing stuff and introverts are quietly listening and watching life with all its mysteries.

"Some people are extroverts and others are introverts and accordingly will find appreciation in different things that make them happy. Extroverts are out there doing stuff and introverts are quietly listening and watching life with all its mysteries."

True that... my dad is an extreme extrovert. That's the only self-reflective statement he has ever made about himself. He absolutely cannot be alone and he has to get to know every single person that enters his orbit whether it's the mail man, trash man, concierge, hotel owner. It doesn't matter - to him all people are connections.

I am 50/50. I can't live without people in my life but at the same time need at least 50% of my time to myself. That's why I don't have children.

"Are we stuck in karma or can we change ourselves to see that life is a challenge and even maybe a game and we can play it well instead of giving away to despair. Be kind to yourself and others. I agree with Brian that how we live our ordinary life is very important."

God, I hope we aren't stuck in karma. Acutally, I do believe we have choices and can empower ourselves. That's one of the teachings of RSSB that I just can't swallow. And "being kind to yourself' is not always easy but the reminders are very nice.

"My true name is Jen (in this lifetime) :)"

Jen is a very nice name. Growing up all of my friends were named Jennifer, Michelle, Rachel... those kinds of names. I was the only one with a more foreign name and I hated it. But have grown to like it.

I like Jen. :)

Another sunny day on the Blog
(Dungeness I think)

Since I started commenting here, I feel that I’ve joined a gang.
In all good fun and banter:
Brian, obvs, is the Leader. The Cleon of the Warriors, the Kelly of Kelly’s Heroes, the Dirty of the Dirty Dozen. I mean the Lee Marvin 😀
I’m the Brit with the Cockney accent, the hilarious one liners. Reliable in a pinch.

Over to yous (I hope)

Hi Sonya,

Yes I do like my name, Jennifer, Jenny or Jen!

Maybe I have three personality types. One is serious, the other is a bit flighty, and then there is Zen Jen... heh

The thing with blogs is we don't actually know the people we are talking to. I only trust the Churchless site because I have been reading and commenting here for years now. Brian does not realise how his comments and also from the others have changed my opinions, especially about RSSB.

Mike England sounds like good fun. So best to keep it light. Especially in life. Just finished a coffee so I'm a different person at the moment. Scary huh! Sorry if I cannot control myself to stick to your four categories. I like to be open and honest and a free thinker. I cannot pretend. I trust Brian to put me in my place if I go too extreme.

Sonya and Jen
I had high hopes you would both join the gang. You could be the brains; planning and logistics.
The four of us would sneak into the Dera and steal their dogma, wrap it in an old sack and sling it in the River Beas. On the way out through the maze of tunnels that run under the Dera, we could burn the books. If we get caught, we’d look down sheepishly at our shuffling feet and say He (the Baba) told us to do it.

LOL @ Mike England. You should say that Baba's Karma ran over his dogma.

Sweet 😂

Hi Mike,

I like the way you think! LOL 😂 I guess that could be my seva...

I don’t believe the teachings of Sant Mat—not in karma or past lives or judgement. I think there are natural laws of cause and effect that keep things in check in this world. And perhaps there are past lives, but if there are it’s only further proof that we allow our minds to torture us. It’s like we’re looping. Lucifer from the TV series, ‘Lucifer’, put it best, that people only go to hell because of their self imposed guilt. The devil isn’t punishing them, they are. They can’t forgive themselves so they just keep looping the same miserable experience over and over again. It’s like when you’re in a bad relationship and then keep finding yourself in the same situation in your next relationship. Deep down you’re not allowing yourself to change or progress.

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