Stuff n Things, Or how to get excommunicated and not even know why, lol!

16 Sep 2018 23:56 #326326 by Yabuturtle
Was this bullying through pm or through the forums?

If it's through pm, it's kind of tricky isn't? Anyone can say "he bullied me" without actually being bullied.

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17 Sep 2018 00:10 - 17 Sep 2018 00:36 #326327 by Avalon
Now that there's been a public listing of actual accusations, I'd like to address a few of them, namely those directly relating to myself and Arisaig, as Zenchi's apprentices:

You threatened to take yourself, your training and apprentices away unless the council committed unusual punishment against a member. (demotion or excommunication of Kyrin), and acted on those threats when the council refused to bend to your will.

At the time that I became Zenchi's apprentice, some very personal and private things about myself had been revealed to Zenchi. At that exact time, Kyrin had shown a propensity towards engaging hostily towards Arisaig and Zenchi (something that only got worse as the months went on). At this same point in time, Kyrin was not actively engaged in an apprenticeship, had renounced her previous apprenticeship, and yet retained access to the apprentice forums. Because of this, and because Kyrin had demonstrated previously a knack towards picking after perceived personal weaknesses (which her access to the apprentice forums would have given her knowledge of), Zenchi gave Arisaig and I both the option to send to him privately lessons which involved intimate details of ourselves, so that we could remain comfortable engaging in those lessons.

In those instances, we had the option to email Zenchi the content of the lesson, while posting in our apprentice journals that we had done so, and Zenchi would take care of getting the lessons acknowledged. (I would like to point out that this same arrangement existed between myself and my previous training master, Damion Storm, who had told me that in such cases, he'd post the lessons to the knights forum so the other knights could see, and that Damion had said he'd done the same with his other apprentices. I assumed Zenchi had planned to do the same.)

When this situation first came up, I did speak with a council member about it who told me that the council was actively trying to find a way for apprentices to engage in similarly personal lessons, while maintaining a level of privacy about them. At no point in time did that council member give me the impression that the arrangement we had come up with was wrong. And, as our apprentice journals both show clearly, we continued to post other, less personal lessons in our apprentice journals.

We were never "taken away" as a result of any action, or lack thereof, taken by the council as it relates to Kyrin. It was an option. We were never forced to do so, something he repeated quite frequently.

-You encouraged your apprentices to bully members of totjo.

This is categorically false. We have never been encouraged to bully anyone.

We have been encouraged to stand our ground when we're being mistreated.
We have been encouraged to stand up for others when they're being mistreated.
We have been encouraged to stand up for one another, as a family should.

We have never been encouraged to bully anyone. Further, it's the complete opposite from the truth: when either Arisaig or I did go too far (gotten too aggressive unnecessarily, which happened from time to time, we would both admit it, and have, and have apologized as such), Zenchi was the first to tell us to knock it off, sometimes to the point of telling us to log off TOTJO completely for the day.

And if we had been encouraged to bully, you can guarantee I wouldn't be typing any of this right now. In fact, I would have been the first to report him and would have dissolved that relationship ages ago. I could go on about this, but it's not necessary.

The level of falsity to this statement is astonishing.

The simple fact of the matter is that both these instances revolve around one other individual, who was recently reinstated to the site, and whom Ari and I have both stayed well away from and planned on doing so in the future. These points are, at least in my opinion, invalid as they pertain to this matter, as they would not have impacted any of our dealings with TOTJO further. They were, simply put, settled and in the past, and shouldn't have any weight in this decision.

As for the last matter of the apprentices, having observed that particular interaction as a third party, and having gotten my fair share of earfuls of rants from both parties, I can tell you that this "policing of political opinions" was, for the most part, a glorified misunderstanding allowed to explode into nothing worth continue to get hung up over.

Funnily enough, though, in the weeks that followed that incident, members of the council, Zenchi, and Arisaig all sat down for some soul searching and mediation. As Ari himself has already said, when you have a close relationship like that of TM and Apprentice, there's bound to be some disagreements and misunderstandings. Which is why Arisaig wasn't allowed to dissolve the apprenticeship all willy nilly, why mediation took place, and why, over a month later, they continue to have a working teacher-student relationship to this day.

And that actually brings me to another point. "You should know that the quality of your teachings and influence over Arisaig has been a cause for concern and I do not know that you can see him knighted... " If this were truly the case, then why did those same council members spend their time trying to mediate their relationship? The amount of dissonance between this statement and the actions taken just weeks ago is deafening.

I am disappointed that, if these instances are in fact truly being used against him, no one in the council bothered to approach myself (I can't speak for Arisaig) to ascertain our understanding of the events. No one asked us if we felt we were being pressured to take our training off site. No one asked us if we thought we were being encouraged to bully. No one even approached me to say "you're border-lining on bullying behavior right now, you need to stop." Why? These two points impact us as much as they do him.

Nor has any member of the council come to us privately to discuss how we might feel about our TM being taken away from us in such a manner, let alone to warn us that this was something being considered, until the decision's already been made. Zenchi isn't the only one being impacted by this decision, and I'm not entirely certain that that's been given the proper weight it deserves.

Now, as to him upholding the doctrine, I would put forward that TOTJO has always maintained that the doctrine is a personal matter, that it is up to personal interpretation, and that there is no one right way to uphold the doctrine. I could go through the forums and find this said thousands of times, I'm sure. Therefore, it is unethical to use that as a reason for excommunication; it's simply impossible to violate something which is personal and which we are told repeatedly is a personal matter, to be determined on a personal level. If this is something you truly wish to utilize, then TOTJO needs to come together and create a defined, set in stone doctrine that can't be declared up to personal interpretation.

As for the remaining accusations, I have to wonder:
We've seen other individuals come through these halls do more and worse, and yet they continue to have accounts, ranks, and posting privileges. In fact, one such individual was recently readmitted to membership status. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a person banned, temporarily mind you, for some of the same behavior that you're accusing Zenchi of, only to be readmitted a few months later and turn around and do it again, get banned again, and come back again a few months down the road. But never permanently banned. Ever.

Actually, I know of very few people to have ever been banned permanently for such things, or anything for that matter (I am, of course, ignoring the obvious spam accounts).

This same time last year, we had one such individual try to regrace our halls. Someone who did far more harm than I've ever seen Zenchi do, and I don't claim to have seen everything he's done.

But you know what we did in that case? We put the matter to a public discussion of the apprentices and above, and a vote of the knights and above. Someone who did true, long-term psychological harm. To a vote.

Yet, here we are, facing someone who has actually contributed positively to TOTJO being permanently banned for far less, with far less public input (that is to say, none at all).

The council set a precedent last year in regards to this sort of thing. The least that can be done is to uphold that precedent, especially when it involves knights who have students.

As a final point, Zenchi's barely been posting on site for the last four...five months. He's been content to have his involvement be our apprenticeships. If this was something you were truly considering, it should have been months ago when he was actively involved in drama on site, and not months later when he's been quiet and content to stay as such.

So I'm sorry, but this whole thing stinks of powerplaying, grandstanding, and temper tantrums to me. That no legitimate reason could be found, so someone chose to dig into the depths of TOTJO history (see my side note below) to find the tiniest excuse, someone (or someones) with a bias against Zenchi and the weight to throw around and have done what they want, knowing they would get what they want.

I'm not saying that of the entire council, because I know that some on the council have spoken vehemently against this, and to those of you who have, thank you. I continue to hope that those members with a level head come to the realization that this action has little basis in true justice.

My quick side note:

-You have claimed to be a sith and to be on a mission to infiltrate totjo.
-You have destroyed a totjo member's website after gaining his trust.
-You had narrowly avoided excommunication in the past by having your account deleted first.

I am aware of the events these directly refer to. I'm also aware that others have attributed them another member of TOTJO. Someone who also left TOTJO for a time before later returning. Someone who is not Zenchi. Regardless, these events occurred well before I joined TOTJO in 2013, and the events of over five years ago should have no place in weighing the decision of a person's standing today.

I know this whole thing probably reads as an apprentice dutifully defending her training master. Truth is, Zen and I don't always have the smoothest relationship and he'd tell you, we've had our fair share of rocky patches. I could easily be using this to say "adios" or "I want someone easier", but I'm not. Were it anyone else in his shoes, I would have defended them too. Because this is wrong. It's against everything TOTJO is. Or at least everything I thought TOTJO is... Sometimes I have to wonder.

But I meant what I said above. I truly hope that those with cooler heads prevail in this matter and in a year, we're all looking back and laughing about "that one time"... Regardless, the council will do what it will do. I've had my say in the matter, and I'll leave it at this. Any further input from me should be requested via PM. Thank you.

Not all those who wander are lost
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Last edit: 17 Sep 2018 00:36 by Avalon.
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17 Sep 2018 00:26 #326328 by ren

If it's through pm, it's kind of tricky isn't? Anyone can say "he bullied me" without actually being bullied.

That's essentially what the last person to get excommunicated did. As you can imagine we don't take it lightly either.

Nice accusation but where is the evidence? I don't bully. I spent my growing up years being bullied, and hate bullies as a result and the injustices caused by them. Would be hypocritical of me to become one while training to be a Jedi, and instrument of peace.

Has it occurred to you that one man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist? that's essentially what has been zenchi's mistake over the years. picking the wrong fights with the wrong people. It seems to have rubbed on you. 'Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies'. They'll rot you from the inside without you ever noticing.

I retract my earlier statement, I have found multiple reports of you and ava causing problems in the shoutbox. (to the point we got asked to keep you away from it?) It's late and I'm not going to pull the records now, especially when you guys aren't in trouble at this time.

Please let's go back to the matter at hand and wish zenchi well, and see to it that all unfinished business is sorted in an orderly manner.

I think i'll ignore the 'I did what I did of my own free will' comments for now, and keep assuming you were... 'unintentionally misled'.

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.

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17 Sep 2018 00:30 #326329 by Zenchi

Yabuturtle wrote: Was this bullying through pm or through the forums?

If it's through pm, it's kind of tricky isn't? Anyone can say "he bullied me" without actually being bullied.

It wasn't bullying, it was holding her accountable since the current mods weren't doing their jobs, for months on end and as a result members left, Apprentices and Knights alike walked out as a result. Suppose I should have walked out as well, but I didn't. I'm pretty proud of my Apprentices for taking a stand, most just gave in, gave up and left quietly. That the Jedi thing to do? Well, you got me there lol!

I'm not one to turn the other cheek, I fight for what I believe in, and I've taught my Apprentices to do likewise...

My Word is my Honor, and my Honor is my Life ~ Sturm Brightblade
Passion, yet Serenity
Knighted Apprentice Arisaig
TM- RyuJin

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17 Sep 2018 00:58 #326330 by ren

And that actually brings me to another point. "You should know that the quality of your teachings and influence over Arisaig has been a cause for concern and I do not know that you can see him knighted... " If this were truly the case, then why did those same council members spend their time trying to mediate their relationship? The amount of dissonance between this statement and the actions taken just weeks ago is deafening.

I fully supported the mediation process.
because I'm the person who wrote that regulation, i voted for it, and I haven't changed my mind about it. Don't go think zenchi is being treated less fairly than others. His position as your and Ari's TM is being respected, even now. When we first received complaints about what zenchi was teaching, I asked that evidence be submitted by a student, or that the matter be closed. There is no point in making assumptions based on hearsay about what was being taught offsite. I am not asking for your offsite records to burn you, ari or zenchi. It's about making sure your work is recognised and passed on to whomever it may concern in the future.

What you are experiencing at the moment is bias. From my perspective, what him, ari or you do is no different from what any other member does. I have no favourites, no master, no apprentices, no protégés. I am sad to hear Zenchi did not pass on information regarding concerns about your behaviour and encouraged you to 'stand up' for all the wrong reasons, or that you at least understood his teachings this way. As you can see on the forum right now, One person you are complaining about made the mistake of comparing you, ari and zenchi to nazis on totjo through a URL in their signature. It was no more tolerated than zenchi's vitriol and this person lost membership immediately through an executive action, not even a council vote.

I think it is fair to say we have lost all tolerance for that sort of garbage. The fact is there was a time when we could have intelligent conversations here and clashes were intellectual in nature... Interventions were unnecessary. Nowadays all the council seems to be doing is running around to tend to complaints, mediate, 'work with', etc. We've had enough. There is no appetite for doing this laundry in public, we want it gone to the tip.

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.
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17 Sep 2018 04:58 #326340 by Rex
Look, I haven't the foggiest idea about half the circumstances in this, but as a procedural point, when do certain membership issues go before the council, when are they announced to the general public (i.e. in a forum open to everyone vs. just in council or knights' forums).
Is there a standard or process for knights to be demoted, users given a ban, or members being excommunicated?
Is there also maybe a councilor who isn't as blunt as Ren that might like to announce such sort of things? Ideally council-approved statements would be labelled as such so bystanders can tell the difference.
Finally, if the council has a problem with someone, can they just keep a list of threads/PMs/content that breaks ToS so relevant material can be directly quoted?

I don't want to be included in someone else's business, but I'm a wee bit tired of passive aggressive dirty laundry airing and would like some sort of transparent framework for problems to be solved

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TM: Carlos Martinez
ὁ δὲ ἀμυχηδόν νεξέταστος βίος γίγνομαι βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
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17 Sep 2018 05:22 #326341 by Carlos.Martinez3
Truth of the matter is Zenchi was brought before the council and a majority ruled
That all of the behavior from 2012 till now adds up to means of excommunication. It wasn’t over night and it wasn’t taken lightly. There is a long list as well as debate about this very action. It isn’t out of anger or personal vendetta. Please understand as much as we feel it is needed or not, there Is an appeal prosess avalible. What can be made can be unmade as easly as a majority vote. Zenchi chose to
Start this thread. I totally understand questions and worry’s.

This isn’t a make a plea or a time
for defence , if he uses this time allotted
to him to do other than find solutions for his students and take care of logistical things like - Lessons being transferred for them and lesson plans being made, that’s his choice. There are many things that can use our attention as a Temple. May the Force be with us as we all continue to seek and find it. Any real Questions on subject can go directly to the Council and or any member of the council and it can be
Relayed and answers as appropriate.
Thank you all

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17 Sep 2018 06:38 - 17 Sep 2018 06:40 #326342 by Gisteron

ren wrote:

Can any screenshots be uploaded to the thread or is there a direct link?

No, although some of the instances documented happened on the public forum, you can use the search function. Others were via PM and chat and shared with he council on the basis of privacy. Some are direct accounts by councillors themselves, and I am not at liberty to share them.

So what exactly is preventing yourself, or another officer, or an independent party, to petition the persons involved for permission to post something akin to evidence? I'm asking, because, if I recall correctly, this is not the first time this kind of thing happened and this kind of response came upon this kind of request.

This is not a popularity contest, the decision was made, and only the council can revert it.

Well, if it's not a public concern, then delete the thread and any trace of it, keep deleting re-starts of it, and pretend none of this ever happened. The discussion is kind of part of the deal if you want any transparency, and it won't hasten an end of the discussion to remind the concerned that the regular members have no power over the issue. I for one would welcome it if transparency came with accountability, too, but one can't have it all. And so here we are, stuck with the precious privilege of being permitted to question things, yet at the same time also listening to how the answers sought are secret, and that everyone's hands are both at once tied and also too powerful to be moved by mere mortal members... and, of course, with no vote to change anything about the system, to add my pet peeve here, as I'm at it.

Last edit: 17 Sep 2018 06:40 by Gisteron.
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17 Sep 2018 13:14 #326350 by Alethea Thompson
I wouldn't delete it, it's a good test of whether or not a Jedi can be objective enough to see that the only two people who were explaining their side of the story, until Carlos came in, were Ren and Zenchi.

That's part of being a Jedi, isn't it? Not jumping to conclusions until you have more information available? Knowing exactly who is or isn't can work to the advantage of their training masters too- it gives them something they can teach and build within a student.

I'm here just to see how things unfold. How will everyone (from leadership, to onlooker, to the "suspect" - I'm a former cop, it's not as derogatory a term as some of you might feel when I say it XD) handle this story?
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17 Sep 2018 15:36 - 17 Sep 2018 15:46 #326353 by Reliah
So you’re banning people now for things unbecoming of a Jedi? Banning... not just withholding knighthood or anything like that?

That’s so interesting....

And the fact that Ren - a member who refuses to take the oath (so isn’t technically a Totjo Jedi at all) and isn’t even a member of the council but because he has something huge hanging over Totjo’s head, has access to things other members do not - sent this message. That’s also interesting.

When a “member of the council” was reading private messages and using that information in public forums, nothing was done.

When almost-Knights were causing extreme emotional stress to others with council member knowledge, their Knightings still happened.

There have been far, far worse things happen here than any of the things Zenchi is being accused of with no repercussions what so ever. So.... why now? Why Zenchi? And why his apprentice?
Don’t bother actually responding to those questions - I already know what the answers are.

Citizens of Totjo, I will echo the words Zenchi is being accused of - do not invest too emotionally in Totjo. There is a lot you do not know and never will know because of things being swept under the rug, ignored, deleted, locked...

I’ll also remind you that Totjo is not the end all be all for Jedi, Knighthood, and standards. A knighting here would be meaningless elsewhere - and elsewhere, here. True Knighthood is a very personal thing that no one can give you or take away. There are many, many other sites out there and there is far more to bring a Jedi than online activity.

There are so many good Jedi here - people who I admire and respect. From guest to councillor. The ones who stay and fight and are stronger than I’ve ever been...

Regardless of what anyone has told you, not everyone who wants to and claims to be a Jedi actually is...

This is ridiculous. For so many reasons...

You keep using the year 2012 for the things Zenchi is being accused of. It goes back that far. Documentation of things, yes?
Yet he was knighted last year and the council has to agree on knighting.
So anything that happened before his knighting shouldn’t even be relevant as cause against him.

Last edit: 17 Sep 2018 15:46 by Reliah. Reason: Spelling and autocorrect errors
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