I don't mind helping in some way either....I can offer my social work skills, my personal experience of dealing with serious mental illness due to abusive childhood. However, totally and utterly pants at understanding and empathising very pushy religious types.
Message from Designer Stubble to the former JWR members
Herewith my final farewell
I would like to use this opportunity to thank you all – both on JWD and JWR for eight great years and the many virtual friendships being here resulted in. Thank you Simon for letting me be a member on JWD all these years – you are doing a good work and have many great people now joining your forum from JWR.
Don’t pin me down on every word, but I am going to try to explain what lead to the demise and fall of JWR. As admin/mods we have the constant dealing with SPAM, Trolling, Creationist/Preaching, deciding on how far you let things go and when to reign in, having to ban persons, criticism on being too strict or too tolerant, name calling (Elders, GB), banned persons coming back over and over again with new sock-puppet accounts and more. It all comes with the turf, but at times it gets to you...
Recently we had weeks of sock-puppet reappearance, name calling, innuendos and under the belt criticism on how we were handling matters – and I think that is kind of were the breaking point was reached and the decision to close JWR. Those who did these things know it themselves well and I beg you to behave well on JWD.
The way in which it was shut down, I certainly in hindsight do not agree with, and am still hoping that Rifter will be able and willing to bring it online for a given period (e.g. one week) to allow everyone to download his/her personal posts and desired threads. From what I gather the reason for this manner of closure was as we felt that people were becoming too unnecessarily dependent on the forum and that one collective had been replaced by another. By sudden closure we were hoping that some would decide to let the past go and move on – and perhaps some will. I can tell you that even though I knew a few days in advance, I declined to download my research and material – close to 10K posts – as this would still somehow keep me attached – while I want a clean start. Viewing from my personal standpoint, perhaps I too soon agreed with the manner of closure. My sincere apology here for. I still am thankful to Rifter for the many years he lead JWR – and let me state for the record, that although he accepted some donations in the beginning, the last years with his own personally circumstances allowing, he no longer accepted donations and footed the costs of running JWR himself.
To Quote Elizabeth Smart: “Be happy...live your life...move forward and do all of the things that you want to do. Because by feeling sorry for yourself and holding onto the past and reliving it over and over and over again, that’s only allowing them to steal more of your life away from you and they don’t deserve that. They don’t deserve another single second more of your life. So you be happy and you move forward”
Closing with this quote to encourage you to move on whenever you feel you are ready for it and not to stay too long in a victim role. You are no longer victims of this cult, but the lucky ones to have made it out. Do your reading and research, decide what goals you have in your life and aim to achieve these.
Take care and be well – signing off, DS
Thank you DS,
It was a special place from my perspective and helped me no end and thousands of others over the years I am certain.
May you and your family live long and prosper.
By sudden closure we were hoping that some would decide to let the past go and move on – and perhaps some will.
That is not for you or anyone else to decide or inflict...running JWR is appreciated but it comes with responsibility...a responsibility to act sensibly, decently and...responsibily...
Closing it down because there were people abusing forum rules...well guess what...that is what happens on forums...but to turn it off and say to folks "move on"...I'm a bit flabbergasted at that.
Goodbye DS...goodbye JWR...but the end of JWR is very bitter and very strange...
DS, Palimpsest, Rifter, et al:
Your personal journey may have been ending, but others on the site were just beginning.
You wanted to move on, that's fine. But you could have at least tried to ask others to take your places.
Shame on each of you for not trying to pass it on to people who would be willing to keep it going.
Shame on each of you for thinking that because your recovery was over, no one else mattered.
Shame on each one of you who decided to close jwr. Your years of selflessness and caring about others made you seem like you knew better than to do this.
Good stuff DS. I did have suspicion of some sock puppetry going on, but could never be certain.
My only beef was about not being able to obtain contact details for a few members - since mostly resolved thanks to here and facebook; there are a few members with whom I have common interests other than the jws. It would have been nice to be able to download a few of the more humorous images too, but I can live with that.
At least my dodgy poetry has survived the cull as I do keep copies of things like that :)
I won't be participating nearly as much on exJW stuff - I spend too much time on the internet generally too. I use it more for work stuff and self-education these days.
Best wishes to you.
As admin/mods we have the constant dealing with SPAM, Trolling, Creationist/Preaching, deciding on how far you let things go and when to reign in, having to ban persons, criticism on being too strict or too tolerant, name calling (Elders, GB), banned persons coming back over and over again with new sock-puppet accounts and more. It all comes with the turf, but at times it gets to you...
Recently we had weeks of sock-puppet reappearance, name calling, innuendos and under the belt criticism on how we were handling matters ...
We have had the same thing recently at levels way beyond normal. I wonder if it's the same single obsessive nut or if it's a more organized campaign by more than one person - they put a lot of effort into registering accounts and creating persona's and posts. I should probably have reached out to other sites like JWR to compare notes but wasn't aware you guys were being hit with the same issues (apologies - it's hard enough keeping up with what happens on one site!)
Although it's not too hard to deal with on it's own, it does become a nuisance after a while which is obviously the intention and coupled with other issues I can totally see why it could end up being too much (and why it helps if people can be more patient and forgiving with other issues - we have to deal with other things too and it all adds up). I view it now as valuable software-hardening ... it helps test and improve the tools to run the site.
For the disagreements about admin decisions, I think you have to just stick to your guns and not second guess yourself. I've found that over time - some people will endlessly demand explanations and rules but never be happy with whatever explanation you give them. They have a different agenda and if you let them they will consume all your time and energy.
The regular forum members don't always realize the work that goes on behind the scenes and people would maybe more forgiving of the sudden shutdown if they did. We are not the 'facebooks' of this world with a team of people paid 9-5 to run the sites and services - it's all volunteer work by people who have lives to live.
For me personally, individuals leaving was no big deal. If you're done, you're done. Bye and good luck. Besides, when you're bitter, it starts to come through even if you stick around and no one wants to deal with that anyway. I say this to people in person that I feel are starting to act salty toward me. If you don't like me, please do us both a favor and stop being around me. Even if you don't say anything about how you feel, it's going to come through in passive aggressive ways and I don't have time for it. The minute that negative feeling develops it's the start of the end. That's the perfect time to leave or pass the baton. Shutting down the whole site in that manner just kind of feels like it was done to be spiteful even if they haven't admitted it to themselves yet. Negative feelings have a tendency to fester and build like that until the day the person does something so hurtful that they don't even recognize themselves in the action.
From what I gather the reason for this manner of closure was as we felt that people were becoming too unnecessarily dependent on the forum and that one collective had been replaced by another. By sudden closure we were hoping that some would decide to let the past go and move on
But I do want to say this for those who had stuck around for years and were viewed as overly dependent on the site: Often they were the people that were always there, ready and first to respond when someone new did post. They were the ones always in chat ready to give advice or support when some was needed immediately. Thank you. A few did target others but it's the internet. Don't get me wrong I hated being attacked publicly, particularly if it was ignored because I got a warning for posting a link to a weight loss site when I first signed up and I'm still very confused about that. I deal with bullying, fake accounts, and outright creeps everywhere else as I have a strong social media presence. However, the precedent elsewhere is that everyone is on their own unless it's severe so I rock with it. Sometimes that just means blocking someone. So maybe if a precedent isn't set for it, no one will have those types of expectations. Even our curses were censored hahaha...I questioned my life so much the day I typed "shit" and looked back at my post and it said "****" LOL I'm not complaining...just offering an observation that I think would help going forward.
I do think the high level of moderation was well intentioned and often beneficial. I also respect that it took a lot of work. But it also ended up setting expectations that were more than the admins/mods could continue to meet long term. If anyone takes on creating a new site like JWR and doesn't want to get fed up and overwhelmed trying to control adults, I would recommend setting a different precedent and creating a block feature that truly blocks. lol less work for you.....(not that anyone asked for my advice) But this is why every popular site has one because weirdos pervade society and no one running a site wants to have to babysit them individually. Who has time or energy for that? Of course if it's a serious, threatening offense, they would still need to be removed.
The concept of having to move on from an online community seems outdated also, because online communities have and will continue to replace in person communities. That may sound bizarre to some buttttt it's 2016. I used to alternate checking JWR, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook during the day at work LOL....I didn't realize how much I did it automatically until the past week. I would click on my JWR bookmark just out of habit. (Now I do it and I'm reminded there's nothing there ) Okay what's my point? I swear I had a point....Okay, yes,here it is.... I don't think we should necessarily look down on those who get attached to an online community. If Twitter shut down right now without warning, can you imagine the outrage? Some of you may have no idea.....but trust me, shit would be crazy. It would be the JWR reaction times millions. And Twitter isn't even designed for recovery. Just imagine a central building where people come together to meet a few times a day sometimes for serious business and other times just to chat. People get comfortable. They start to hang pictures and certificates up. They bring in a plant and water it everyday. They leave a diary and a change of clothes behind...Some people are there more than others but at least they are always there to welcome new people. Then one day they walk there and see the whole building has burned down. Damn, that would suck. Now imagine the owner of the building burned it down on purpose. That's what this is like. We have to get over this concept that relying on virtual places makes a person weak. We give just as much of ourselves and become just as attached as we would if it were a physical location or group meet. It's just the era of technology.
I'm also personally grateful that every long term ex JW has NOT moved on, because that experience benefits so many. Look at someone like Cedars for instance. I used to watch his videos everyday because that's what I needed at the time when learning how to criticize the organization. I'm glad people like him stick around. If my family stopped speaking to me tomorrow, my website and youtube channel would go up at RECORD SPEEDS. And I know it would benefit so many people, especially those around my age. I'm not in a position to do it myself right now so I appreciate those that stick with the activism and don't feel like they have to disappear into ex ex JW land. I also respect those who move on. But let's not put either type of individual down. We need both.
I can tell you that even though I knew a few days in advance, I declined to download my research and material – close to 10K posts – as this would still somehow keep me attached – while I want a clean start.
One last point, sometimes when you feel like you have to remove every reminder of something from your past from your present life, it's more of an indicator that you actually are not completely over whatever it is that affected you. I know I'm over an ex when I can look at a picture, see him in person, read an old journal entry or talk about how I grew from the situation, and not feel anything. When I had to go on a crusade of deleting and trashing everything that reminded me of one of my exes, guess what... I wasn't over it.
There's nothing shameful about acknowledging or keeping parts of things that made us who we are today. None of us will ever know what it's like to never have been one of Jehovah's Witnesses, even if we call ourselves ex ex ex ex ex ex ex ex ex ex JWs, and that's okay.
Love everyone's posts. I really can't add anything of value, except to have my say I guess. The attitude of "this is for your own good" really sucks! (There, I said it!) Isn't that what we hear about disfellowshipping and shunning? Doesn't work for me. I would like to move on, really, so need to discipline myself to stop reading certain threads that fuel my anger. Just that it feels good to have somewhere to have my say.
Re: the moving on vs not moving on. I don't think it's really a problem either way. People stay while the site works for them and if they stay around to help others that is great and very beneficial - pay it forward.
When it does typically become a problem is when someone feels they have moved on and don't need the forum to be what it originally was for them (and still needs to be for others) but they have friends there and they then want to transform it into something to suit their new wants instead. That then often puts them at odds with people trying to maintain the site how they think it should be. People don't like to be told "no" to anything and voila, chaos and bad feelings ensue.