spotting a cult (was: transparency and succession)

Daniel Pocock daniel at
Tue Oct 1 08:53:04 BST 2019

On 01/10/2019 04:20, Christopher Waid wrote:
> On 2019-09-30 05:12 PM, Daniel Pocock wrote:
>> On 30/09/2019 23:03, Christopher Waid wrote:
>>> more in tune with the ideologies expressed and beyond. The FSF has been
>>> co-opted by people on the left to do things it shouldn't be doing. RMS
>>> has always ensured it was a fairly neutral organization specific to
>>> software freedom where all were welcome. The software freedom
>>> conservancy and select other people in the community have been working
>>> to change that. I'm friendly with people on the left, but I'm not
>>> forgiving of there efforts to co-opt the organization for unrelated
>>> social agendas of the left.
>>> It is one thing for Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler to go in that
>>> direction with there own organizations if that is what they want to do,
>>> but it's wrong for those that have attempted to co-opt an organization
>>> founded by another.
>> To call those people "the left" is a big generalization
> No, I don't think it is. I don't see the people on the right or who are
> libertarian doing these things. The people who are doing these things

It is not a binary case, where somebody who is not right is therefore
left.  Not all those on the right are libertarian.

> literally refer to themselves as social justice warriors. They're
> following a script and ignoring any rational logical argumentation. In
> fact they would allow dissent or discussion of any kind.

There are people on both right and left who have the mentality of
following scripts.  There are extreme groups at both ends of the
spectrum who start to look like cults.

When they behave like a cult, it doesn't really matter if they are left
or right and it doesn't matter if they are a social justice warrior.
What matters is that the cult psychology is what really displaces logic
and reason.

You can use checklists like these to measure the level of cult-like
phenomena in your favourite free software community:

Notice they refer to a leader being all-powerful.  The leader is not
always a person, it can also be a cabal.  Debian pretends to be run by
the Debian Project Leader (DPL) but there is a lot of evidence that the
DPL is just a front for a cabal who don't want to be too visible.
Thanks to Sam Hartman for showing[1][2] us that.

The forced[3] confession/apology from another Debian Developer is an
example that Debian has crossed a line and become too much like a cult.
FSFE excluding[4] somebody who didn't obey orders about worshipping
Google is another example.

We are seeing elements of cult-like behaviour in several communities
now, for example, both FSFE and Debian have introduced cruel systems of
shaming and humiliating people.  Somebody who really cares about social
justice would be against those practices.




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