human awareness institute
Date: August 23, 2006 11:47PM
I’ve not been on the discussion for a few days now—getting finished with the last gasp of the software release for my company. As of yesterday, it was finally over—YIPPEE!!!
However, there is a second reason I have not participated in the list for a few days that I would like to share at this time. In response to the last comments from siofra and ponderosa (both of whom identify themselves as HAI interns), I had decided to try forsaking the list to have an open discussion of my issues with siofra, at her encouragement.
This decision, unfortunately, turned out to be a mistake. I am very disappointed in my private exchange with siofra, and I wish I had not bothered.
MY PRIVATE EXCHANGE WITH SIOFRA
In my initial emails to siofra, she seems to be trying to understand my issues with HAI. Then, suddenly, on her second response to me, she claimed I was being untruthful and that she couldn’t’ take my remarks at face value anymore. She also accused me of distortion in my comments on this discussion board. I apologize for taking up space here, but being accused of lying and distortion hurts a lot, and I want to clear the air here.
I would like to address siofra’s accusations in her private message to me, because I believe her misunderstandings stem from coming into the discussion late and not thoroughly reading the previous posts (even though she claimed to do so). I do not wish anyone else on the list to feel that I have misled them, so I want to point out these issues and refer you to my previous posts.
MY RESPONSE TO SIOFRA'S ACCUSATIONS
siofra felt I had not told the truth, because she found out that my boyfriend was ploy before HAI and indeed is married.. In my post on 6-16-2006, I stated that my boyfriend was poly before I met him and that is the case—he is in an open marriage. I knew his wife and she knew me and knew of my relationship with her husband. In my post of 7-8-2006, I stated that my boyfriend had two other partners whom I got along with. A lot of poly people are in legal marriages. This is nothing unusual in the poly community.
siofra also felt I had been untruthful because I criticized the irresponsible polyamory that HAI seems to foster, even though I myself had had poly relationships and had met my former partner at a polyamory conference. Again, if you look at my posting of 7-8-2006 I drew a distinction between the polyamory of HAI and other, more responsible polyamory situations I had seen. I think HAI’s model of polyamory is far for akin to swinging (AND, in the interest of full disclosure, lest siofra accuse me of lying again, let me mention that I have tried swinging before, too).
siofra also said that I had made a “distorted” connection between HAI and Jim Jones on the discussion board. I DID NOT. If you look at my post of 8-10-2006, you will see that I gave a link to an article that appeared in the SF Weekly (a San Francisco-based newspaper owned by the Village Voice). I merely noted that the writer of that article had placed HAI and Jim Jones on the same timeline in its history of the Feel Good Culture of San Francisco.
REITERATING MY ISSUES WITH HAI
My issues all along in this discussion have been as follows:
1. HAI claims that it isn’t about sex, it’s about relationships, when actually it seems to be very much about sex. It wasn’t me who called HAI “It's a swinger's club, or a dating agency for those into 'alternative lifestyles.' That was kath (somebody I don’t even know personally) in her post of 4-4-2006. Also, karenb, in her posting of “Landmark for the genitals.” (again, someone I don’t know) in her posting of 5-30-2006. So, I’m not the only person who thinks these things about HAI..
2. HAI is exerting an addictive influence over some of its followers, and that isn’t healthy. You will never convince me that what I saw going on with my former boyfriend wasn’t addiction. I am not going to rehash it again, unless someone wishes me to do so. I will be glad to give specifics of his behavior that I have not previously posted.
3. HAI team members are essentially practicing psychotherapy without a license and that’s dangerous, both because they don’t know what they’re doing and because they refuse to follow standard practices regarding “dual relationships,” that is, getting involved with an attendees sexually. Over the years, trained psychologists and counselors have developed good rules for keeping everyone safe and the prohibition on dual relationships is one of them. Take the case of my small group leader who approached my boyfriend for sex. Had this woman been aware of—and subject to—the standards of licensed therapists, she would have known that her behavior was inappropriate, and wouldn’t have been telling me that she “couldn’t grok” what I was upset about.
I am very disappointed in my exchange with siofra. I really did try to deal with her sincerely and honestly, and she really slapped me in the face. I have told siofra that I do not wish to have further contact with her. I gave HAI once chance and one chance only through her, as their voluntary representative. Don’t trust these people!