This site was begun when an article (version 1) detailing the Ben Lomond Tragedy disappeared from the Orthodox Wiki (while it was being read!). Not being able to find a cache or copy of the original article, but considering it to be reasonable and balanced, while lacking key information, an account was begun to track the placement and disappearance/deletion of material from that source. The date of the disappearance was noted on the wiki. That statement was edited, perhaps twice, but the article itself did not reappear.

For lack of any content at all, a paragraph account (version 2) of the Tragedy was placed in the OW. It was admittedly not nearly as balanced, and the focus was more on the experiences of the majority involved than on the official establishment. It was hoped that more would be added, and this would be incorporated into a larger article that present multiple historiographical views, and could be supplemented with source citations.

The article was reformatted, and a number of disclaimers, etc. added, with an appeal to add more balancing material. That version of the article (version 3) was deleted entirely. A new article (version 4 – current) was put up, which emphasized episcopal priviledge (“in keeping with standard practise”) and essentially represented the point of view of the power structure (e.g. “The parish responded badly to this directive”). This article was then locked in place, so that no further edits would be allowed, but must be discussed in the discussion area. The article, (as of 1/28/2008) does not cite sources for each of its claims, but cited only one source for the article in toto, though it retained a link to this site.

A rather unpleasant e-mail exchange ensued, and we were threatened with being banned from the Orthodox Wiki for having two accounts, which apparently violates the rules (the username/password were simply lost for one of those accounts, so a new one was created – no attempt at subterfuge or chaos). The link to this site was then removed from the wiki, and another citation (again reflecting essentially the party line of the power structure) was added in its place (the Archpastoral Directive).

We were also told that material contributed freely by the original associate to the wiki (versions 2/3), and then deleted and even publicly rejected by said wiki, could no longer be considered to belong to its author! That’d be a 2-second court battle. If you hand Time Magazine an article and they say, “get this out of here, we’re going to write one of our own”, do they own your submission? Nope. So we were going to tell them to jump in a lake, but decided ultimately to go one better. We’ll work on a nicer article, which flies under anyone’s totalitarian rules, and get that out to you soon.

So, let it be known that, since the OW does not think it sufficient to include a link back to the original (now completely different and not the removed) article, with citation, etc. (even tho that’s what their site says is needed), and they don’t think the rejected article is owned by the author, we’re going to dump all but fair use citations, and call it good. Sometimes you can play their game, and actually use it for better things than they intended. Good enough.

Stay tuned. We’ll post things very slowly, and over time. We’re in no hurry. The main thing is, the party line is just that. Ben Lomond is an archetype, a case study, in so much that is wrong with ecclesiastical politics in the modern age. Rest assured, it’s not going away. And if it does; it’ll be back about 5minutes later in three other spots, from countries that just don’t care.

Advertisements