To All Open Minds Forum Members & Friends::
From its very beginnings as a safe haven for people escaping the flames of the Serpo discussion at ATS, the Open Minds Forum was set up as a place for all to have an open discussion and dialogue, wherein people could come and discuss ideas and experiences that they would otherwise have been reluctant to express anywhere else.
Being a safe haven required that we establish one very important rule for all posters here - and that is to show dignity and respect toward all of the members regardless of their theories or beliefs. All of the other rules in our Terms of Service come from that one very important concept of respect.
Periodically we have been subjected to the slings and arrows of our detractors as they have organized and launched several attempts to derail and disrupt the discussions. They appear as regular members but soon enough they show their true colors and devolve into an abyss of personal attacks, intolerance and generally boorish behavior.
They are usually easy to spot as they are the first to cry out that they have been subjected to either insult or unfair moderation when the reality is that they created the situation and they are merely feigning injury.
One of these situations reared its ugly head here in the last few days. A group of self-professed researchers tried to do their very best to disrupt the forum and its activities. They resorted to every debunking trick in the book and in the end disappeared in a cloud of self-pity amid false claims of injustice.
What was decried by these few as "censorship and favoritism" was actually the staff ensuring that the rules of Respect and Dignity be applied to all during this sometimes fierce debate. Oddly enough, those with the emotional investment in this argument came from the group that could be best described as the "pro-hoax" faction, a group who had come to a pre-determined conclusion that was supported by very few facts.
It was a pseudo-intellectual masterpiece of investigatory work. Most of what was reported as facts were no more than bits and pieces of information (mostly unsubstantiated) that had reasonable alternative explanations.
In fact, several "inconvenient" facts have been left out of the "reports" as they did not fit that pre-determined conclusion. Research requires openness to the data and methodology used. It requires its participants to be open to all of the information received and only in the end, using all of the data, to arrive at a conclusion. The research should stand up to the scrutiny of others looking at the same data and methods in order to replicate the findings. Ask any of the many research scientists we have on the forum - it's called the "Scientific Method".
OM will continue to provide a place for people to come and discuss their experiences, theories, postulations and thoughts. We will continue to provide a place for whistle blowers, witnesses, experiencers and researchers. We will continue our policy of not taking sides on any discussion or controversy. All of this will be provided in an atmosphere where they can feel safe and operate under the conditions of respect and dignity for all who choose to belong to the Open Minds Forum. The rudeness and malevolent agenda of a few people will not be allowed to undermine these ideals.
Best to all,
The OMF Admin Team