29 July, 2012

"Get some help."

That phrase can be taken a number of ways. Quite often, it's thrown out as an insult. Other times, not so much.

A poster to the official Second Life Forum recently revealed that he has been fighting his same-sex attraction in order to better conform to his Christian beliefs. I won't bore anyone with statistics on the failure rate of reparative and other such "therapies" in "curing" people of homosexuality. Suffice to say that the numbers are not good, and such "therapies" would appear to do more harm than anything else.

Even if the poster is not undergoing one of these "therapies" or connected to one of the various "ex-gay" ministries and is instead going it on his own, I can see the potential for great heartbreak ahead.

It was in this spirit that I posted the following:

Well, that certainly explains a lot of things.*
You've been brainwashed to believe that your same-sex attraction is a sin, so you try to suppress it. Been there, done that. It ain't pretty.

You talk about "hurting" yourself. Trying to deny who I was led me to hurt myself. Safe to say I'm lucky to be alive.

You may not see it now, but you're kidding yourself, b-------.

Get some help.
* There had been a previous thread from this poster dealing with religion, sin (with the "sin" of homosexuality standing out) and hell.

I felt alarm, and genuine concern. I shared some of my own sometimes difficult path (without going into the nitty gritty) and advised the poster to seek help.

No offense was meant, and in subsequent posts it did not appear that any was taken. In fact, the OP thanked me for the links that I had provided with the above, and asked me to be his friend.

So it came as a surprise that I received the following message:

Dear Griffin Ceawlin,

Thank you for participating in our community! However, your posts in "Freedom of religion in SL?" on 7/26/12 and 7/27/12 were found to be in violation of Second Life Community guidelines. Please review the posting guidelines (http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Discussion_guidelines) Additional violations could result in a ban from the site. Here is a copy of your posts:

"Well, that certainly explains a lot of things. [...]"

Thank you,
Jennifer Criss

I clicked to go to my Forum profile to see which of my other posts had been deemed objectionable, as only one was copied back to me in my warning, and saw that the whole thread had been pulled (temporarily; it had been restored sometime prior to about Sunday 9am SLT).

I clicked to go to another Forum page and instead got this:

Sure enough, I received confirmation in my Inbox:

Dear Griffin Ceawlin,

Thank you for participating in the Second Life community. However, your account has reached the maximum violations allowed and is now banned for one week. Any account created to avoid this ban will also be banned. Copy of last violations:

"Well, that certainly explains a lot of things. [...]"

Thank you,
The Second Life Moderation Team

OK. This was, I believe, my fourth warning, so a ban was actually overdue. The rule is, or was, three strikes earns a one-week ban (except when it isn't; there's been at least one case where a permaban, which was later overturned, was given with no warnings at all).

But I should not have received a warning for this. No warning, no ban.

So what was the warning for? My advice to the poster to seek help? My opinion that he's been brainwashed by decades of allegedly Biblically-sanctioned intolerance?

The poster himself referred to people being brainwashed, and went so far as to denigrate a faith not his own.

What about my rights as a non-believer? In that other thread that I referred to, the poster said that very few would escape hell. I know that this is part of Christian dogma and that according to some, homosexuals will be the first into the fire, but is this really what LL wants to present to the world? They might as well invite Fred Phelps to be a guest blogger.


  1. I agree, all very baffling and arbitrary. I'm straight (not that there's anything wrong with that) and thought your posts were insightful and helpful.

  2. As the person in question, sorry I didn't get your message immediately.

    To say that I am brainwashed is offensive. Now I am not that offended but I can easily see how others might take that as highly offensive. Is it offensive enough to be banned for? That's a good question. I would not have banned you but I can understand why someone else thought it was a ban-able offense.

    I don't want to get into an argument but you do have a tendency to read into what I write things I never said. I'm open to a dialogue with you because you are mostly rational and most of what you say makes sense. You just need to tone down your own emotions because they are causing you to overreact.

    As I said in that post, I used to hurt myself because of a sado-masochistic aspect in my sexuality. The truth is, if I was simply homosexual, I probably would have tried to accept my homosexuality. But I was not able to have an orgasm unless I imagined someone being hurt and on several occasions I injured myself as part of my sexuality, not as part of repressing my sexuality. And I was not generalizing to the homosexual population. I was telling my personal experiences.

    Your posts are insightful and helpful. Just refrain from saying that I'm brainwashed.

  3. @Jeff:

    I see. So, you don't have a problem with homosexuality per se but instead have a problem with your own sexual proclivities. And fighting your same-sex attraction, your "itch," is going to help you there... how, exactly?

    Because the one really has nothing to do with the other. Yes, there's a sizable S/M subculture within the gay community. There's also one in the straight community. There are also plenty of gay people that go through their entire lives without even thinking of experimenting with kinks such as your own.

    You really do need to find yourself a good counselor, one that is sensitive to your particular issues and who isn't connected to any ministry.