Thank you very much Retro for creating this thread, and for all of your hard work here. I would like to say again that I also believe Dhamma Wheel can be a great place for discussion, and I've never stopped being a Dhamma Wheel supporter. I've tried to make that clear on my blog. The entire blog enterprise was something that I tried to do with an attitude of friendship, and I acknowledge that it has not turned out as I expected. Although I have tried to preface most of the entries with praise for Dhamma Wheel and expressions of gratitude and good will, the feedback I have received indicates that these sentiments are not regarded as sincere. Please know that they are sincere.
The blog contains criticism. That's a touchy subject. Is it ever proper to offer public criticism? Should we ever speak out when we see things happening that appear to have a potentially harmful effect on others? Maybe not. I'm not sure the blog is the right thing to do, but doing nothing and saying nothing also didn't seem right.
I'm very happy that most people are having a wonderful experience with Dhamma Wheel. I suspect that there are also members whose experience has been less than wonderful. Some of them may already have left. Some of them may feel it's not worth speaking up. Some may be lurkers whose voices will not be heard. If you are interested in my concerns, the blog is there. There's no reason for me to go into detail here, and in any case, doing so would be a violation of TOS.
I did write this sentence: "The bottom line is that my experience at Dhamma Wheel has been by far the most negative experience I’ve ever had on the web." And that is a true statement. I am troubled by some of what I have encountered as a result of my interactions with Dhamma Wheel leadership. There have been serious and potentially damaging consequences for me as a result of creating the blog. Some of these I have discussed in the blog. Some of them I have not yet discussed. Some of the things I have been called, privately and publicly, are inappropriate, in my opinion.
I came to Dhamma Wheel for one purpose: To share Dhamma. I expected it to be an encouraging, collaborative environment. I expected to make Dhamma friends. Yes, I also expected debate and the occasional misunderstanding. I didn't expect to see name-calling, and I didn't expect to be subject to quite so much ridicule. What I have learned is that I should have left my expectations at the door.
The blog is there for its stated purpose, which is to create an open space where things can be aired that might otherwise not be aired. And it is also a place where people may feel free to post legitimate comments that are not allowed on Dhamma Wheel, or that Dhamma Wheel has made invisible for whatever reason. Maybe nobody will ever want to take advantage of such a venue, but it is there if anybody does.
Thank you David N. Snyder for this wonderful gift of Dhamma Wheel, and thank you Retro, Tilt, Ben and the rest for all your hard work moderating. I know it is not easy. I have never intended for my criticism to diminish in any way the valuable contributions that I know you all make.