[tmtalk] Dear List

jrandrews at earthlink.com jrandrews at earthlink.com
Tue Aug 22 17:36:57 PDT 2006



Dear List:

This is a response from the Board of Directors of Starbridge, responding to allegations that are unfounded, untrue and malicious in their intent to defame Starbridge and Ron Besser, while an ex-member of the Board tries one more time to gain control of the Archives for his own personal publishing prerogatives. It is by no means a complete listing of the false statements that we have seen over the past few days on TML, but hopefully it will give you insight into the other side of the unbalanced story.

Persons who are watching from the sidelines with the discussions between Gerdean and Rob Davis are witnessing one of the most distorted versions of the truth that has ever happened on these lists. What is occurring is destructive to the goodwill within the teaching mission and mean spirited enough to drive people into factions.

First:

Rob Davis is reciting facts about Starbridge and the events that led to his leaving from a very one-sided view.

Rob Davis had the audacity to go to the company that hosts tmarchives and demand access to the inner workings of tmarchives without discussing it first with the Board, and certainly without their blessing. His intent was to change the password so that only he had the ability to enter the site to manage it. After he had tried this hostile takeover and was unsuccessful, he then sought to convince the Board that this should be done for the "good of Starbridge." By majority vote, the Board voted against this procedure, seeing through the smoke screen, for the purpose of gaining complete control over the archive. The archives have never been in jeopardy under Ron Besser's management.

Ron found out what Rob was attempting when he was called by the president of the hosting company, asking by what authority the visitor from North Carolina was making these requests? He reminded Ron that the contract between his firm and Tmarchives was operative and that Ron was the person stated in the contract that was empowered to work with them on the new design and programming.

Ron's answer to the hosting company was that not one of us individually had the authority, unless granted specifically by the Board, to unilaterally change operational procedures.

Second:

We did not choose to embarrass Rob Davis by publishing the resolution drawn up by the board to dismiss him from office. Since he broached the subject in public, it is sufficient to know that had he not resigned, he would have been stripped of all positions in Starbridge for his underhanded attempt to wrest complete personal control of the Archive.

As the then Vice-Chair of Starbridge, Ron did not instigate the removal of Rob Davis. That was an action begun entirely by the other Board members when confronted with what was considered to be insubordination and actions un-becoming an officer of a Trust Corporation. But Ron did concur with the rest of the Board when it was presented to him, that there would be no unity of protection of the archives so long as Rob Davis remained on the Board.

Third:

Rob Davis is likely angry. He is likely in a get-even mood. He certainly is interested in doing as much mischief as possible in order to scramble communications between Starbridge and those who trust the archive. And in our view, he is looking to manipulate what he considers weaknesses in the relationship and tensions that already exist between certain elements found in the teaching mission and the managers of the archive. When evaluating the allegations that he has made, we implore you to consider his motives.

He also did not correctly state the reason Daniel Raphael is no longer on the Board. Daniel's resignation was with reluctance and for purely personal reasons, and it certainly was not "out of concern for the integrity of his work as transmitter," as stated by Rob. Roxanne received a cc of the email sent to Rob with the explanation of his reason for resigning.
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Fourth:

Additionally, Rob Davis has fed the fires on TML that are peculiar to the issue of transcript ownership.

As the list well knows, there has been a long-standing disagreement between Gerdean (and others), and Ron (and others,) concerning how the first version of the archive came about. The original intent of Ron Besser was performing a needed service, not of "stealing" or "beating others to the punch," by being first to create an archive, as has been charged. In his mind, he was not taking "your" intellectual property, but disseminating the teacher's property as they wished. He did not take credit for the material, as each transcript remained attributed to the group and individuals that aided the lesson into a readable format that could be shared. I doubt that you will find Ron's name, or anyone else's name from Starbridge, posted on the archive site, unless it was in a transcript that they personally transmitted for the teachers.

The Board of Directors at Starbridge is interested in finding a solution to the friction, but the over-riding emphasis of the Board is to maintain a repository for our beloved celestial teacher's lessons that is freely accessible to all our siblings on this planet, and for many generations to come, without the ownership of any one individual.

Fifth:

There is a grave danger that this disagreement over the archives will disrupt the work of many for multiple reasons. The archive is not the problem, but it is an icon that represents a target for lightning bolts because it gathers so much around it that is yet controversial. Neither Starbridge nor its Board is responsible for other's beliefs or their decision to use Starbridge as a whipping post for un-resolved personal conflicts and philosophies they wish to externalize into verbally abusing the legitimate act of publishing the transcripts on line.

We believe that all contributors and readers of the transcripts are in agreement that an archive is needed and helpful to them personally. It may not be designed in exactly the same way others might have designed it, but in a group the size of TML, there can never be a total consensus. The angriness that accompanied the first publication of the archive and rears its head frequently to rejuvenate old wounds is not serving anyone's needs at this time. It serves only to drive a wedge in the community of believers.

Perhaps the only way to find peace would be for those who feel that they can do a better job than Ron Besser, would be for them to put together an archive of their own, (and without using Ron's site to glean material, but by using transcripts as they were presented on tmtranscripts just as he did.) See how long it would take you to reach a state of completeness as of the present time. I think you will find an appreciation for all the many thousands and thousands of hours Ron has spent in service to the mission and to all of us individually. This is his labor of love to Michael's Correcting Time. Who can honestly begrudge him his service project, without ulterior motives of their own?

Sixth:

Ownership of the transcripts is not in contention insofar as Starbridge is concerned. The transcripts belong to the teachers, the originators of the lessons, and as such are compiled for reference by all in accordance with the wishes of the teachers.

Rob Davis would have you believe that the material on the archive belongs to some ideal commune made up of members, past and present, of those who passed these lessons on to the public. No such commune exists, and never did exist, that may claim ownership of the transcripts in common, but the Board of Directors of Starbridge recognize a legitimate interest in the material by those who participated in their initial dissemination. Rob Davis and Gerdean Bowen are mixing up "intellectual works" with "transmitted works," and they are not the same (in the opinion of many,) as the material on the archive did not originate in the transmitter's mind. That material originated in the teacher's mind. Starbridge recognizes the difference and proceeds accordingly to provide its service.

Also, Ron voluntarily chose to put the archives under a non-profit trust, so the complaints of "Ron owning the archive" are no longer valid. Is it not time to say simply that we "agree to disagree," and go on with our individual service projects, without railing about things that happened five years ago?

Seventh:

One's "legitimate interest" in the archive does not grant anyone the right to insinuate themselves into the workings of Starbridge or assert control over that which is already professionally managed.

Starbridge is not threatened by those who wish to disseminate teacher lessons in different formats or secondary works. In fact, it helps those who wish to do so. That, however, does not mean that we will sit by and let someone destroy the integrity of the work of years to compose the largest archive in the world of these teaching mission lessons. Only a few on this list would want to destroy the integrity of this work with the vast majority of teaching mission individuals and groups satisfied that the work of the archive is the best method yet devised to reach many thousands of otherwise unreachable individuals around the world with the words of the teachers.

It is with appreciation that we have received your support over the years, and I hope that we may, speaking for Starbridge and the archive it holds in trust, continue to receive the work and goodwill of all of you who remain silent during these trying days of vague allegations and the malicious reporting designed to undermine your confidence. It gives us no pleasure to be forced to defend what have been, up to now, private transactions within a fledgling organization designed to see to your needs as well as ours in the work of the teaching mission.

Sincerely,
Starbridge Board of Directors:
Ron Besser
Willis Davis
Frederico Abbott Galvao
Roxanne Andrews
Allene Vick




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