What would help the Temple Be A Better Place? Suggestions please...

  • Senan
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11 Jul 2017 01:40 #290227 by Senan
As a moderator, I constantly remind myself that we discuss issues here, not people. I agree that personal beefs should stay within the realm of PMs between individuals. I also believe that privacy should be respected until there is need for public action.

As for accountability, I would suggest that we as members and Knights announce publicly that we have issued a complaint to Council and why, without pointing to specific Councillors. We're all pretty smart here, and as a group we should be able to tell the difference between a personal grudge and an actual concern. Council, in turn, should publicly acknowledge that a complaint was made and tell us if and how it is being addressed, even if it is being ignored.

For those that don't know, anyone can ask a Councillor, Security Officer, the Council Secretary, or Clergy member to make a formal complaint about anyone else. These are taken seriously, recorded, and passed to the appropriate people to address. Perhaps as officers, we just need to do a better job of letting the wider Temple know that complaints are investigated and share when they are resolved and how. We do, however, have to balance this with privacy concerns and simple respect for the feelings of others. We are supposed to be empathetic, after all.

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11 Jul 2017 02:19 #290229 by steamboat28
One of the problems, Brenna, is that so much goes on out of our sight that we don't really have a way of giving the examples you seek. For example, I was reading a journal entry recently where someone was denied knighthood without giving them pointers on how to fix whatever problems existed. The idea that "we'll know it when we see it" is bunk when it comes to knighthood, in my opinion, and there should at the very least be a rubric of examples to better prepare the wildly disparate teaching methods for their students.

We're in a position where we know things are happening, but we aren't sure exactly what because that transparency we've asked for doesn't exist. Hence the asking.
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11 Jul 2017 02:22 - 11 Jul 2017 02:24 #290230 by Brenna
That's actually really helpful thank you, because that's a concrete example. ;)

That's something that we can actually look at and discuss and figure out better ways to give more specific feedback and suggestions if a knighthood is not yet an option.


I would however say that someone's knighthood trial and process is out of public view because it's a personal and private matter. And I doubt anyone would want to see their apprenticeship etc discussed somewhere for public consumption.



Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet

Part of the seduction of most religions is the idea that if you just say the right things and believe really hard, your salvation will be at hand.

With Jediism. No one is coming to save you. You have to get off your ass and do it yourself - Me
Last edit: 11 Jul 2017 02:24 by Brenna.
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11 Jul 2017 02:26 #290231 by steamboat28
My point was that I accidentally happened across that example. It was a happenstance click on the forum to a thread i've never visited before that let me know I wasn't alone in thinking that was nonsense. Without the luck of that random click, I'd have thought I was the only person that thought that way because people here don't complain effectively often enough, and this whole "progressive mystery" might work for secret societies, but it's a little crap for preparing us for what we're facing.

The last time we asked for transparency, we were all but mocked about how boring the posts would be, but I maintain that there are things going on behind the scenes that I'd argue we should know more about and don't, and don't even know to ask about them because we don't know they're happening.
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11 Jul 2017 02:35 - 11 Jul 2017 02:37 #290233 by Adder
If a problem is seen to exist, just ask I guess.

Council tries not to go on about the requirements for Apprenticeship too much, so that the Apprentice don't focus on the prize more then the journey. It's meant for the Teaching Masters mostly so they can exert some structure into their efforts by having that minimum set of requirements. I think all that used to be in the FAQ.

The base requirements exist besides the prerequisites are I think currently a certain number of points within an Apprenticeship (100) and maximum scores per lesson (ideally 5, but can be higher depending on size/difficulty if broken up), and the minimum timeframe (6 months). So an Apprenticeship should be at least 6 months and have about 15-25 marked lessons. But that is just the minimum, and ideally an Apprenticeship would be much more then the academic application and ticking boxes of minimum requirements. Having said that, they are 'required' and not meeting any of them is likely to be a 'keep going' type of response. But you are right, if all mandatory requirements are met then there is a discretionary element given to the Council in casting their vote to grant or deny Knighthood. I guess that bit is between individual Councillors, the Apprentice and the Teaching Master. It's hard enough getting a full picture when there are only two sides to a story, but triadic relationship add another dimension sometimes!! As mentioned on that example it might come down to things which are personal with any one of those three category of participant.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 11 Jul 2017 02:37 by Adder.
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11 Jul 2017 02:37 - 11 Jul 2017 02:37 #290234 by Brenna
I understood your point, but if the person had come to us and asked for more specific feedback we'd have given it. And not within the public eye either.


You might recall that the council (before my time) DID take the call for transparency seriously and began doing regular reports, which no one read so they stopped.

We keep having these discussions over and over and get no where closer to resolving it. No one can tell us exactly what it is they want made publicly accessible.



Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet

Part of the seduction of most religions is the idea that if you just say the right things and believe really hard, your salvation will be at hand.

With Jediism. No one is coming to save you. You have to get off your ass and do it yourself - Me
Last edit: 11 Jul 2017 02:37 by Brenna.

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  • Dano Ori
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11 Jul 2017 05:40 #290251 by Dano Ori
Brenna,

Thank you for engaging in this conversation. I think that goes a long way to addressing one of the concerns; that Council members are not seen to participate as much as it seems many expect them to.

In relation to the reports, I don't know the laws in Texas, but I know that here in Australia an incorporated entity (which I believe TotJO is) is required to have a constitution, a minimum number of meetings of the board (council) and a minimum of one general meeting annually. These meetings are required to be minuted and the minutes must be submitted to government by the secretary. If there are similar requirements in Texas, wouldn't it be a relatively simple matter of posting the minutes (in a separate sub-forum if desired) as both a record of the temple doings and to sate the curiosity of those of us who like reading bland things like reports (guilty over here). Additionally, if there is a complaint that a concern hasn't been addressed it would be a simple matter of referring to the minutes to show that the concern was at least discussed. I'd be okay if access was restricted to Initiates and above to keep the internal workings of the temple from any that don't have a demonstrated commitment to the temple. Others could approach a Knight to confirm if something specific is or is not in the reports.


In relation to other points made:
I personally don't see a need to make IP journals visible only to Apprentices/Knights. There is already the facility to make private things private with the 'confidential' tag and anything else is really an interpretation and reflection of the course material. Whatever else it may be, this is an internet forum, thus it's purpose is the sharing of information. I'd like to think the people that gravitate here have enough discernment to work out what should be made public and what should not (and we have a team to assist minors who may not). The primary concern seems to have been a fear of plagiarism, but it has been stated that is not a particularly troublesome issue warranting the additional work of changing the forums.

I would counter the 'IP completion to become a member' with a concern that for members like myself who are already trying to balance time for study with full-time work and the demands of a family (in my case with a child with special needs) that this could do more to turn away legitimate seekers of wisdom rather than just 'fanboys' stopping by.
Since one of the suggestions is a revamp of the IP, might I suggest a 'Jediism 101' incorporating the current Lesson 0 with a brief introduction to what it is we're about and some expectation management regarding ranks and study commitments - written by one of our teachers at the temple. There is already a one week waiting period (iirc) before applications for membership will be considered, so a preliminary lesson involving perhaps 2 -5 hours of study and a few short responses as part of the application process should weed out most of those that are serious from the rest.

With regard to the removal of officers who are not active in their role, firstly it seems from this discussion that expectation management again plays a large role here in that some of the offices are left to run however the current officer sees fit with little direction or guidance or that the general membership doesn't have an appreciation of what the offices entail. I'm really not qualified to say at Novice level, it's just an impression I gleaned from this thread. The assignment of a deputy to each office may assist in that the workload can be shared (across timezones if needed) to reduce burnout and in the event an office is vacated for any reason the deputy can step in as a steward until a new permanent appointment can be made - with the added benefit of knowing the role to ease transitions.

Alright, even I recognise that fatigue is making me ramble at this point.

More superficially, bring back the brown theme from the former site - I feel it added a touch of elegance and sophistication to the site whereas the white scheme says to me "I was built in a hurry and no one got around to finishing me yet". (Sorry Ren or anyone else behind the scenes, I know you do a great job and you have other priorities as well.)

I'd also like to see more development of the site beyond the forums or the basic information pages of the doctrine. Think visual. Instead of a wall of text covering everything from the tenets to the code, the creed, the 16 teachings, the 21 maxims one after the other, separate them into individual articles with visually inspiring art or photography and link them into an album or something. There is a veritable cornucopia of knowledge and wisdom here, but it could be easily missed by a visitor because (to me at least) the display hurts my eyes. At the risk of drawing ire by comparing, Jedi Living do this very well.

One last point about the IP, since there has been mention of a lack of guidance and support through it, has any consideration been given to establishing 'study groups' to bring together novices with perhaps an Apprentice (good practice for teaching) for a guided discussion on a lesson? Attendees would still need to watch/read the course material ahead of time and submit their own individual response, but in between would come together either in a private chat room here on the site or for a group Skype to discuss the content and clarify any confusing points. It may help to foster some of the same sense of camaraderie that forms between Apprentices of the same teaching master and to push novices to attend to their studies (somewhere I read a suggestion there should be time limits on the IP because a lot can change if you take years to finish it or have a long hiatus in the middle). The logistics of how often this could be done would be largely dependent on interest in a study group and the availability of an Apprentice or above to lead it.

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11 Jul 2017 06:34 - 11 Jul 2017 06:37 #290255 by Edan

Brenna wrote: You might recall that the council (before my time) DID take the call for transparency seriously and began doing regular reports, which no one read so they stopped.

We keep having these discussions over and over and get no where closer to resolving it. No one can tell us exactly what it is they want made publicly accessible.


Adder made 6 reports, and the thread has 1194 views; that's roughly 200 views per post. Who decided nobody was reading them?

The thing about transparency is it shouldn't exist just when people are watching, but at all times. Then, when someone does have an issue, the history can be seen, that was the whole point.

What I do remember is that once posts were made, members saying that they didn't tell us much.. which they don't. They're vague descriptions.

Perhaps some of Council should actually be in the open, properly in the open, in order to be held accountable.

In normal charities, as someone has pointed out, minutes are a matter of public record. The charities I deal with are required to post them online. Where are the minutes of our board's meetings?

We are practising Jedi, not perfect Jedi - Master Jestor
Last edit: 11 Jul 2017 06:37 by Edan.
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11 Jul 2017 06:49 - 11 Jul 2017 06:57 #290256 by Adder
Yea I preferred to err on the side of confidentiality and invite specific enquiry if folk wanted to know details - to assess the demand, as I didn't want to spend too time doing it for no reason.... a measure. And indeed as it turned out I didn't receive much enquiry, and effectively zilch from the loudest proponents of 'more information' - which sort of made the whole thing seem a bit moot. And no one complained when I stopped from memory hehe!!! I could pick it up, or someone else could but full transparency might not be practical, but we've had a few different Councillors and Security Officers lately so if someone didn't trust current Council and Officers then there is always the ex-folk who would have an opinion. Otherwise, yea, asking is easy, but there is an Oath of confidentiality to consider.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
Last edit: 11 Jul 2017 06:57 by Adder.
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  • tzb
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11 Jul 2017 08:54 #290257 by tzb
The Council Report was interesting and I certainly read it every time it came out. But, as it was, it wasn't all that useful, because any meaningful information was (necessarily) confidential.

But more than that, it charted the "day to day", as Wes called it (I think?) - individual member issues and promotions, etc etc, and in that wasn't all that valuable. We already know that kind of stuff is going on. It's great that it is. But what we keep hearing from Councillors is that there's more going on than this "day to day", which is what people are clamouring for. Evolution, progression, improvements, taking our Temple to the next level. We love this Temple and want it to keep moving forward. What I feel and interpret others as requesting, is some insight into those aspects, beyond "It's happening, trust us, give us time" which is what we usually hear in these kinds of discussions. The impression I get is that the day to day takes up so much time and activity, that stuff isn't actually moving ahead. And that's where calls for more active people in leadership comes in - we have enough "seats" to get a lot of things done, but not enough activity to make that happen.

If things on (or like those on) the long list of suggestions we've created here are progressing in some form, let's have a discussion about it, or failing that an announcement they're being debated and considered. I recognise not everything benefits from Temple-wide debates which drag on and go in circles, but the Council could say "We're now considering this topic. Please contact us with your thoughts" and make their decision based on consultation with the community. Another option is to find those most interested in the issues discussed and form working groups with Councillors, to produce the best we can come up with collaboratively and put THAT to a Council vote. Any of those are way more transparent than every time we ask for something, a Councillor popping up and saying "We're already doing it. Promise. Give us time." and then... nothing.

A few concrete suggestions.

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