The following Guest Post was submitted by Forum Member Laith:
Drama within any community can be toxic. Whether the afflicted community is “online” or “offline” really doesn’t matter, drama seems to ooze in where ever there’s a gathering of more than two people. A recent outburst in the Demonolatry community comes to mind. It stemmed on an event that happened before I became a part of the community, but it’s sticking in my mind now. The following is likely unnecessary, but this is how I see things at the moment.
Drama’s effects are slow at first. Someone made a comment that you don’t agree with. It’s nothing more than a paper cut. It’s annoying, but you pay it no mind. Before anyone realizes what happened you find that paper cut, something that was no big deal and could have easily been rectified with a bandage and some antiseptic, has started suppurating. It’s now an untreated staph infection.
I can’t fathom why people don’t just pour peroxide on a small cut before it gets so bad. It stings at first, but eventually you can move on like it never happened. The alternative isn’t that easy. You’re looking at hospital bills, medication, possibly surgery, and eventually a scar. Sometimes those scars are so prominent that they won’t just “disappear” after a few years. Sometimes the outcome is a lot worse and someone ends up dying from an infection that would have easily been treated before.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s far easier to apologize and try to mend hurt feelings early on rather than trying to ignore them and just hope things can be better later. People have an innate ability to learn from their experiences and avoid making the same mistakes twice. It goes deeper than emotions and sits at a very primal, psychological level. You can tell a child not to do something because they’ll get hurt, but they won’t know not to do it unless they experience the pain first hand. Once they learn that doing something is unpleasant, they won’t do it again.
On top of that one needs to realize that the phrase we’re told as children when someone makes fun of us, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, is moot in the real world. Emotional pain is more memorable than physical pain for some people. Once someone hurts your feelings, you won’t be as inclined to trust them in the future unless you’re masochistic. Sure people can change and maybe things will improve, but if you didn’t try to make things right early on there’s always that possibility that people will remember the scars they bear clearly. There will be such a lack of trust that you might find yourself with another festering cut.
The best way to prevent hurt feelings and drama is to avoid people altogether. That’s not really an option since people are normally social. I will admit that removing yourself from online drama can be effective but for drama that occurs “in the flesh”, you can’t just close your laptop and be done with it. A more feasible solution would be to think before you speak. Don’t seek out arguments, and especially don’t make the situation worse by turning to expletives or what I call the dreaded “I” word: “ignorant”. Calling someone ignorant when they disagree with you feels like the most abused word when someone’s attempting to insult someone else. I won’t go into that right now; maybe another time.
In the end, just remember that respect can be more easily lost than gained. Keep the Courtesies of the Sorcerer in mind and you should be fine. If it’s hard to do there are a plethora of Demons out there that can be invoked to help find your inner balance. I know I need to work with Marchosias again soon, myself.
I wish everyone a wonderful summer! May your magical workings be successful, and I really hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I’d like to point out here, just in case anyone is unclear, that this situation was not about opposing views or a mild disagreement. When G called *that person* ignorant, it was the proper word. It had nothing to do with disagreeing and everything to do with someone being dead wrong. There’s a lot to this story that many of you don’t know so I can see how it might look like the big mean elders were picking on the poor, innocent Demonolatress who never did anything wrong except disagree with us. That poor, innocent Demonolatress lied, cheated and stole and I can prove it all. I would not say it if it wasn’t true.
Oh! I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to back up the plagiarist, and really should have said as much. It was meant to be a level-headed, expletive free response to two ranting entries she made.
She’s been blogging about how she wanted to “bury the hatchet”, how the Demonolatry community is as “ignorant as [we] ever were”, and asked for respect from the community because it is courteous. I did not have G or anyone else but her in mind when I wrote this.
What I was merely trying to illustrate was that a 21 year old can form sentences better than her. I’m not a professional writer, so I can see where the confusion arose. Perhaps I should stick with drawing? 🙂
Thank you very much for commenting and I am extremely sorry for the confusion. You were not the one I was aiming to offend.
Just out of curiosity, who exactly is this daemonolatress who lied, stole, etc.? And what did she lie about, steal, etc?
The person was J. Thorp and she was actually caught plagiarizing other writers and one of her books was removed from Lulu as a result. The only reason lulu removes books is if a PUBLISHER or AUTHOR who can PROVE their material was stolen, makes a formal complaint. That was the “stealing” part. As for lying, the woman was representing herself as an expert in Demonolatry when, in fact, she publicly proved it otherwise through an online radio interview. The cheating I think Nick is referring to is she was caught, years ago, lying about completing rituals in order to further her grade her in order. She found someone else who had completed the work and was caught copying and pasting their experiences as her own and turning that in to her instructors as her own work. If you would like more specific details you can contact Goetic Nick at [email protected].
I know I’m going to be the bad guy for pointing this out, but in Ms. Thorp’s defense, I do think she learned a valuable lesson and she immediately took down her other book so she could fix any missteps there. And yes – her interview did point out that maybe she’s not the best speaker in the world, but really I don’t think it was a huge deal. I do see Gavin and Nick’s points, I do. But I think maybe we’re making mountains out of mole hills. As for stuff that happened years ago (the cheating bit), she paid for that mistake when she got caught. Not that I’m trying to say what she did was okay or that I’m trying to say she’s innocent, just that we all make mistakes and we can’t continue to dwell on mistakes. We should probably just move forward from it and let it go. Ms. Thorp has stated she has no interest in practicing Daemonolatry anymore and she no longer wants anything to do with this community. So it’s done. Let’s move on, shall we?