Jason A. Cruse (jcruse@NEMONET.COM)
Sun, 19 Apr 1998 16:59:18 -0500
It would seem to me that if Mr. Dunn is so worried about "free speech" in
scouting, and other fundamental issues then the voice of the list, at this
point, has spoken--no survey (add my voice to the others in this
Can five people really be the voice of the list? Consider that about two
years ago, I did a survey on the list and asked for some statistical
information about the list. I received less than 100 e-mails. And, I
found out later, that those constituted the largest response to a private
poll that had been received to date. Clearly, it would foolish to assume
that "everyone" would respond.
Second, and others here could back this up, "scouts-l" in some professional
circles is a four-letter word. Let us consider the impact of such a debate
and survey. First, if the list "votes" in favor of no gays in scouting,
National will say, "Yeah, so?" and move on. If the list "votes" in the
opposite direction, irreparable damage could be done. The view, I believe,
would not be, "wow, that's really the pulse of scouting." Rather, it would
be "oh my, there's the radical element of scouting--right there on the
internet." Could the result be that more professionals "lurk", trying to
see who in their council is saying such heresy? Perhaps--we've already
seen that happen in areas where paranoia seems to be a local rule.
Who would speak on either side? Someone else did a "survey" or more
correctly a "study" of the list, and found that of the 800+ subscribers,
there's only about 20 - 30 regular contributors, with another 20 - 30 that
occasionally get involved, and an infinite number that have one issue that
concerns them, based on posts. Who of the first twenty to thirty would
write on which side? Do we get to have a meeting to decide? Or would it
simply be mayhem for three or four days, trying to sort this thing out?
This list is supposed to be for the free exchange of ideas, in a moderated
atmosphere. Did it ever occur to anyone that such a debate MAY not get
through the moderator? And what about the traffic? Certainly, even if the
few who normally contribute do so, and a few irregulars get in, for that
period of debate time, just about everyone else with *legitimate" local
concerns and questions about scouting would be shut-out, thus defeating one
of the major purposes of the virtual roundtable.
Yes, a survey to present to the powers that be might on the surface seem to
be an interesting idea. But, it is flawed, and probably would serve no
purpose, either in the interests of scouting, nor in our own interests. In
the end, it would spur arguments, which would end with hurt feelings and
some leaving our midst offended. How does that fall into the great scheme
of living the scout oath and law? It doesn't.
Jason A. Cruse
Cruse Consulting Services, Inc.
FAX (573) 406-0643
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City