Nan:2015-01-03-mvi-soc.org.freemasonry

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From: pschleck@novia.net (Paul W. Schleck)
Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups,news.groups.proposals,soc.org.freemasonry
Subject: Moderator Vacancy Investigation:  soc.org.freemasonry
Followup-To: news.groups.proposals
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2015 13:39:17 EST
Message-ID: <m8939d$s7t$1@reader1.panix.com>

		 MODERATOR VACANCY INVESTIGATION (MVI)
		  moderated group soc.org.freemasonry

This is a formal Moderator Vacancy Investigation (MVI), begun because
moderated newsgroup soc.org.freemasonry is not functioning, and may
have been abandoned by its moderator(s).

This investigation will attempt to verify the reasons for non-function,
and may result in the removal of the group or the selection and
installation of a new moderator.  In practice, the Big-8 Management
Board considers the third alternative -- changing the status of the
group from moderated to unmoderated -- as likely to cause more harm than
good.

NEWSGROUPS LINE:
soc.org.freemasonry	Discussion group for the Fraternity "Freemasonry". (Moderated)

RATIONALE:
Probe posts to this group result in bounces:

    <soc-org-freemasonry@moderators.isc.org>: host
    moderators.individual.net[130.133.4.7] said: 550-Callout verification
    failed: 550-550 5.1.1 <sof@mail.cybermango.org>: Recipient address
    rejected: 550 User unknown in local recipient table (in reply to RCPT TO
    command)

The last article approved by the moderators, with Message ID
<004f195b-0f15-4c81-818a-99cb524d7d6a@googlegroups.com>, appeared in
December of 2012, over two years ago.

One of the last articles posted to the newsgroup, in March of 2012, was
from moderator Alan Schwartz, with Message ID
<lsSdnZX80NVkNPvSnZ2dnUVZ_gKdnZ2d@supernews.com>, announcing that the
members of the moderation team were planning to quit moderating the
newsgroup.  Volunteers were solicited to take over the moderation of the
newsgroup.  The possibility of a Moderator Vacancy Investigation was
also mentioned.

DISTRIBUTION:
news.announce.newgroups
news.groups.proposals
soc.org.freemasonry

CHARTER:

The purpose of this newsgroup is to provide a world wide Usenet forum
for the discussion of Freemasonry, the oldest fraternity in the world
with a membership of over five million world-wide which derive their
charters from Grand Lodges on their continent.

The newsgroup is not a vehicle for official pronouncements for any
Masonic body, but a means to facilitate the interaction and promote
the brotherhood of members of Masonic bodies.

The newsgroup is meant to supplement, not replace, any already
existing Internet or Usenet or newsgroup system devoted to members of
Freemasonry.

The purpose of the panel of arbitrators is to supervise the panel of
moderators and facilitate any concerns the readers may have with the
moderation.

The purpose of the panel of moderators is to supervise and manage the
Usenet newsgroup for Freemasonry, in order to provide a reasonable
and responsible forum for discussion about and news for freemasonry.

The following are the editorial policies:

General Usenet "netiquette" guidelines as posted in
news.announce.newusers and news.answers shall apply to this news
group.  In particular, participants are asked to show courtesy and
respect for other participants, and to avoid the use of offensive
language, excessive quoting, or long (defined as "over four lines")
signature blocks.  Participants are encouraged to use descriptive
subjects.  Examples are "New York Metro area:I seek sponsorship into a
lodge," rather than "Help me join;"  "Royal Arch Questions on
Traditional Bible Passages," rather than "Royal Arch questions;"
"Should felons be allowed to join," rather than "a question on Masonic
qualifications."

The following posts are strictly prohibited in this newsgroup:

  + Posts consisting of copyrighted materials, except portions used
    under fair quote provisions of copyright law
  + Excessively long posts (over 25kB.)
  + Messages cross posted to other newsgroups.
  + Material unrelated to Speculative Masonry (off topic).
  + Make money fast or other chain or fraudulent schemes or
    anything else defined as an illegal communication by majority of
    the governments where Usenet carries this news group.
  + Work at home or other off-topic scams.
  + Commercial advertisements, infomercials, or announcements with
    the exception of one-line pointers to off-newsgroup cyberspace of
    interest to Freemasons.
  + Binaries or other encoded/encrypted material.
  + Posts in a language the moderators cannot read. For the most
    part posts should be limited to English, however posts containing
    a language other than English with English translation are the
    exception to this rule.
  + Forged posts (anonymous posts allowed.)
  + Personal insults or written attacks on specific Masons or
    Masons in general.
  + Personal insults or written attacks upon anyone and/or any
    organization.

Responsible criticisms are welcome.  E.g., "all you masons are a bunch
of lying, devil-worshipping fools." is not allowed.  "According to
book (title, author, publication year) your ritual is identical to the
ritual of organized satanist's (particularly :x,y,z).  Since I find
this book to be credible I believe your fraternity to be
misrepresenting itself,"  is allowed.

The following posts are allowed, but not encouraged.

  + "Classified" style ads with descriptive subject.
    Examples are "WTB:Masonic memorabilia related to the freeing of
    debt of the NYGL building in Manhattan," or "FS:second-hand books
    on masonry," or "WTB:tobacco pipe with Masonic design."

 +  Moderators will use their discretion concerning posts that may
    contain Masonic secrets. Posts purporting to reveal Masonic
    secrets will be rejected outright, regardless of whether or not
    the fact of revelation of secrets be explicit or implied.

                   ARBITRATION/MODERATION POLICIES

Arbitration Structure/Procedures:

  1) There will be a panel of three arbitrators to provide checks
     against the moderators.
  2) Arbitrators may not serve as moderators.
  3) In the event between a dispute of moderators, or in the event of
     moderators being accused of censorship by participants, a single
     arbitrator will collect all sides of the event and present it to
     the other two arbitrators.  A simple majority vote will decide
     the issue. If an arbitrator's panel vote comes out against a
     moderator's actions, the arbitrators panel will remedy a
     participant's complaint by requiring the posting of the original
     article, however, this will not be construed as restricting the
     arbitrator's panel from pursuing other remedies as it sees fit.
  4) Quorum shall be the entirety of the panel of arbitrators.
     Physical presence will not be required to vote, electronic
     delivery of vote is acceptable for all purposes.
  5) An arbitrator may be impeached and removed by moderators.
     In order to do this the moderators will need to establish a
     2/3 quorum and a 2/3 majority vote.
  6) To qualify to be an arbitrator, a person must be a Mason in good
     standing with his lodge which is defined as a lodge of Free and
     Accepted Masons or a lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
     which is chartered under the provisions of a grand body of masons
     considered to have regular jurisdiction in the volunteer's
     geographical location.

Moderation Structure/Procedures:

  1) There will always be a minimum of two moderators in case illness
     or absence of one moderator.
  2) Prior to becoming a moderator, the moderator agrees to abide by
     the rulings of the arbitrators' panel.
  3) To qualify to be a moderator, a person must be a Mason in good
     standing with his lodge which is defined as a lodge of Free and
     Accepted Masons or a lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
     which is chartered under the provisions of a grand body of masons
     considered to have regular jurisdiction in the volunteer's
     geographical location.
  4) The arbitrators' panel reserves the right to verify this with the
     lodge secretary of the volunteer by means of telephone, snail
     mail, fax, or computerized message.
  5) Moderators may not serve as Arbitrators.
  6) Moderators may ban a participant if a participant attempts to
     violate editorial policy three or more times. In order to do this
     the moderators  need to establish a simple majority quorum with a
     simple majority vote.
  7) A moderator may be impeached and removed by the arbitrators. The
     arbitrators need to show cause, establish a unanimous quorum with
     a simple majority vote to do this.  In events of legal charge a
     single arbitrator may suspend a moderator for a period not
     exceeding one month in order to facilitate a investigation.

Amendments:

Any part of this charter may be amended or the charter may be added to
by a 2/3 quorum with a 2/3 majority vote of all officers which is
defined as the arbitrators and moderators.

END CHARTER.

HISTORY OF THE GROUP:  

         moderated group soc.org.freemasonry passes 171:56

There were 171 YES votes and 56 NO votes, for a total of 227 valid
votes.  There were 5 abstains and 5 invalid ballots.

For group passage, YES votes must be at least 2/3 of all valid (YES
and NO) votes.  There also must be at least 100 more YES votes than NO
votes.

Voting ended at 23:59:59 UTC, 20 Jun 1997.

This vote was conducted by a neutral third party.

The group was created shortly afterwards, and continued activity until
December of 2012, after which no further approved articles appeared.

PROPONENT:  Paul W. Schleck <pschleck@novia.net>

PROCEDURE:

Those who wish to comment on this moderator vacancy investigation should 
subscribe to news.groups.proposals and participate in the relevant 
threads in that newsgroup.  To this end, the followup header of this MVI 
has been set to news.groups.proposals.

For more information on the MVI process, please see
http://www.big-8.org/articles/m/o/d/Moderator_Vacancy_Investigations.html

CHANGE HISTORY:

 3 January 2015:  Moderator Vacancy Investigation