Re: An Historic Moment (BSA)(LONG)
Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 21:01:25 -0800
This posting will be pretty wordy, as I am trying for extreme precision of
expression so as to (hopefully) resolve possible crossed communications
engendered by Jeff Elliot's posting in re Mr. Sears and my possible
misunderstanding of said posting. Please feel free to skip it if BSA
internal communications issues are of no interest to you.
At 07:30 AM 12/20/96 -1000, Kevin Doyle wrote:
>>>For the first time, a professional employee of the Boy Scouts of America
>has gone on-line on SCOUTS-L in his official capacity to make a statement
>of official BSA policy.
>Actually, the post was from Jeff Elliot. And Jeff merely posted a
>statement from a Council Executive dissaciating the Council from some
>negative statements about certain BSA operations by someone who has left
>many of with the impression he is a Council employee. Official statements
>have been posted here in the past. Since Mr. Sears was merely quoted, and
>is not a Scouts-L subscriber, why would he owe us an introduction?
>Mr. Sears did not go on-line, Jeff Elliot did. Mr. Sears statement was of
>COUNCIL position regarding personal comments by someone who has left many
>of us with the impression he's a council employee. Jeff, please pass on my
>thanks to Mr. Sears for the clarification and let him know that not all of
>us saw something else in his post.
>kevin doyle firstname.lastname@example.org
It's good to "talk" with you again. I trust you and yours are doing well,
and I wish you and yours the very best of the holiday season.
I may indeed have misunderstood what Jeff Elliott said in his posting.
Jeff Elliott did not cite Mr. Sears words as a quotation. They were posted
as the original words of the BSA Council Scout Executive in question with
Jeff's e-mail account being used as the conduit for conveying those words
to SCOUTS-L. We both know that it is a commonplace occurrence for some of
our Scouters here on SCOUTS-L to use someone else's e-mail account to post
here on SCOUTS-L, even if they have an e-mail address, but are not interested
in joining SCOUTS-L.
We also know that it is customary in e-mail to indicate that one is quoting
someone else by doing as I have done in quoting your words above, or some
variant thereof; and as you have done in properly quoting me in your reply
to my SCOUTS-L reply to Jeff's posting. Indeed, properly identifying one's
quotes is de rigeur (sp?) in an electronic forum, lest people be inadvertantly
misled, as we have learned repeatedly by hard experience over the years.
It is _so_ easy to misinterpret what the other person "said" that we need
all the context and redundancy we can cram into e-mail messages in order
to avoid misunderstanding one another.
Kevin, you and I both know this, and we are both careful to quote properly.
Perhaps Jeff is ignorant of this convention, although that seems improbable
on the face of it, as he appears to be experienced in the use of e-mail.
Or, perhaps he just got careless. We certainly have, from time to time,
In any event, whatever the reason, Jeff did not identify this as a quote
from another source, and thus led me to believe that Mr. Sears either wrote
the words himself whilst using Jeff's e-mail account or authorized Jeff to
post his (Mr. Sears) words in the original as an official statement of Flint
River Council, BSA policy.
Mr. Sears is an official in the BSA professional hierarchy, and one must
presume that he knows whereof he speaks and that his words constitute
official BSA policy in re the matter about which he speaks, absent a
correction or disclaimer from higher up the BSA professional executive
Absent a correction from Jeff, the logical presumption is that these are
indeed Mr. Sears' words in the original, posted per Mr. Sears request and in
his name as an official statement of Flint Ridge Council, BSA policy, whether
Mr. Sears originally uttered them verbally, committed them to paper, or issued
them in this or another electronic forum.
The presumption that Mr. Sears intended to render an official BSA policy
statement in an electronic forum is reinforced by the "JSears4414" addendum
to the posting, which implies that Mr. Sears included his e-mail address
for the use of those who wished to contact him in re that matter. Mr. Sears
may well not have been aware that his proper worldwide e-mail address is:
JSears4414@<Domain.Name> or some variant thereof
Furthermore, from the distinctive form of the e-mail address given, one
may infer with a high probability of being correct that "JSears4414" is an
America On-Line (AOL) e-mail address.
As such, it is possible that Mr. Sears himself posted his words in the
original on AOL or in another electronic forum, rather than here on
SCOUTS-L. If this is indeed the case, my thesis is valid, save only that
one should substitute "AOL" (or whatever electronic forum in which the
posting took place) for "SCOUTS-L" in my previous posting here on SCOUTS-L.
If Jeff indeed intended to post this as a quote from Mr. Sears rendered on
AOL or in some other source, then he _should_ have cited his source properly,
but did not.
Nevertheless, it's easy enough to resolve this. Let's do so.
Jeff, did Mr. Sears use your e-mail account to post the message we read on
SCOUTS-L? If not, did Mr. Sears ask you to post this on SCOUTS-L on his
behalf, or did you quote Mr. Sears without citing when and in what forum
your quotation was first given in the original by Mr. Sears? If the latter,
did Mr. Sears post this in his own name in another electronic forum such as
As a side issue, Jeff, would you _please_ give serious consideration to
properly identifying any quotes you make here in this forum in the future
so as not to confuse people who are easily led astray, such as me?
Kevin, I live in southern California and I have met neither Mr. Henderson
nor Mr. Sears. Thus, I took (and take) no position in re an evident sincere
difference of opinion betwixt them over matters about which I have no wish
to become conversant. I was merely expressing my admiration for the courage
shown by Mr. Sears in posting to this forum in his official capacity within
the BSA, even if by proxy and expressing my hope that others would follow
his courageous example.
Of course, if Mr. Sears did not post in his official capacity to SCOUTS-L
or another electronic forum, even if by proxy, then I withdraw my sincere
admiration, as in that event, he displayed no courage whatsoever, since he
was never "here" on the Internet.
This would be a great pity, because a Council Scout Executive of the BSA
participating in SCOUTS-L could and _would_ be a decided asset in assisting
those of us who are BSA volunteer Scouters to do a better job in helping
the youth we serve.
In my 25 years experience as a Scouter, I have found most of them to be
unstarchy and perceptive, and quite competent at what they do.
Please clarify the matters in question for us, Jeff.
Finally, I would like to extend an invitation for Mr. Sears to join us on
SCOUTS-L, if he is not already a member. I would be in your debt if you
would convey this invitation to him.
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <email@example.com>
Scoutmaster, Troop 852 Wood Badge 416-18
Ventura County Council at Philmont, 1973
Camarillo, California, USA "I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City