The alt.politics.homosexuality Frequently-Asked-Questions List.
Posted biweekly. Last revised August 28, 1993.
Copyright (c) 1993 by Rob Jellinghaus. Freely distributable, but please do me a favor and let me know where you send it.
I decided to write this FAQ list recently when I realized how many many times I have repeated myself here on alt.politics.homosexuality. The discussion here often revolves around a small number of claims about how homosexuality is a negative thing (in any of several ways), which are continually posted and refuted. This FAQ list is an attempt to list some of the most common claims and the usual responses.
Further, the discussion in alt.politics.homosexuality frequently becomes heated, and even sometimes results in actions above and beyond normal posting--such as forging cancel messages and mailbombing. It behooves anyone reading this (or any of the other "anti-gay" groups) to be aware of this threat.
The list of claims I rebut is a very disheartening list. That there are people spreading this type of hatred across the net, in 1993, is really disturbing. Hopefully this FAQ will make it easier to counter the misinformation, without giving excess exposure to the hatred. Please email me your comments on this FAQ, whether positive or negative.
Here's the list of questions and claims that are mentioned in this FAQ list:
Soc.motss, the group for discussion of themes relating to gays and lesbians, was created several years ago. Unfortunately, it was from time to time beset by people loudly claiming that gays were bad, homosexuality was evil, and so forth. Roger Klorese created alt.politics.homosexuality to serve as a place for such topics and the debates surrounding them.
The threads on alt.politics.homosexuality are often started by people joining the newsgroup and making any of several anti-gay claims, often surrounded with insults and abuse towards gays. Many people then respond, sometimes with straightforward flames, sometimes with thoughtful answers. Unfortunately, there are some anti-gay posters that systematically ignore all such responses, and continue to repeat their bogus points. This engenders flamewars that are as repetitive as any on the net.
Substantiative discussion of political issues relating to gays is, unfortunately, rare on this newsgroup; the flame wars tend to drown out most such threads.
Two recently created newsgroups, alt.flame.faggots and alt.flame.fucking.faggots, are two of the worst examples of ways to use USENET. It is depressing that such groups exist. One wonders when the creators of a.f.f will get around to newgrouping alt.flame.niggers, or alt.flame.fucking.jews. Actually, one hopes all such groups will just go away, but USENET unfortunately is plagued by hate speech in some quarters.
Some of the anti-gay posters behave as they do because they simply enjoy making people angry. What they really want is to be replied to by lots of different people. Of course, if they play this game long enough they run out of new things to say. If this FAQ addresses their usual provocations well enough to make other responses mostly unnecessary, and this makes the group more boring for such people, the FAQ will have done very well. Who knows? Perhaps we will even be able to discuss politics again (though it's not likely).
In very rare cases, mailbombing and forging battles have erupted involving posters to alt.politics.homosexuality. I discuss this in more detail at the end of this FAQ.
2. Why even bother arguing with these people?
Because it makes me sick to hear them, and I need to speak the truth in response.
Many of the anti-gay posters who have been online the longest are immune to anything anyone says; engaging them in dialogue is futile. If you doubt this, by all means, try to argue with them. You will see that they ignore any substantiative points you make, and proceed to insult and harass you. If you then decide you simply want to ignore them, there are ways to make that easier (known as "kill files"); I describe how to use them at the end of this post.
I wish this FAQ were not necessary. But I believe that answering most of their bile once and for all is better than bickering with them, which inflates their egos. I do feel that this FAQ makes all too many blanket claims about what "gays" want and don't want; gay people are as (or more) diverse as any other group, however defined, on the planet, and lumping them all together (as in the vague phrase "the gay community") is an error. Hopefully I am making that error in a good cause; hopefully people will also let me know if they disagree.
3. What are some of the most common "anti-gay" claims made on this group, and what is the truth about each claim?
Most of the flame wars on alt.politics.homosexuality revolve around these points and their well-known rebuttals.
Being gay is just an abnormal lifestyle.
The belief that gayness is a simple lifestyle choice has been extensively researched, and the consensus in the psychological community is that sexual orientation--the sex (or sexes) to which one is attracted--is in almost all cases not voluntarily chosen. Furthermore, those who call gayness a "lifestyle" often bring up several reasons why it is a bad "lifestyle". These reasons are as bogus as the initial presumption, and are in themselves no arguments against being gay. In other words, if it were a lifestyle, there would still be nothing wrong with it.
Neither is gayness "abnormal". Gays are in the minority, but then, so are left-handed people. Calling gayness "abnormal" presumes that there is some "normal" standard of human sexuality from which all other sexualities must be compared (and suffer in the comparison). Gayness is clearly every bit as natural as straightness (there have always been and there always will be gay people), and the "abnormal" label is meaningless.
The gay rights movement is a social evil.
The gay rights movement is a full-fledged part of the civil rights movement. Racism (discrimination based on race) and anti-Semitism (discrimination based on religion) are both intolerable in a democratic society. Likewise, heterosexism (descrimination based on sexual orientation) is intolerable, and for exactly the same reasons. People deserve equal treatment under the law, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Gays want special rights.
The gay rights battles that have been so prominently fought this year have involved efforts to secure laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, just as current laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or religion. That is, gays are seeking equal rights, not statutes granting special preferences to gays.
Sometimes it is asserted that gays will next be attempting to get affirmative action protection for themselves. No gay rights group has ever proposed, or is considering proposing, such legislation. The issue is a strawman used to distract from the real issues, which are freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The "anti-gay initiatives" that have been passed in Oregon and Colorado recently seek to remove constitutional rights from gays. Colorado's Amendment 2 tries to outlaw any attempts to pass laws protecting people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. This singles out a particular social group--gay people--and makes it impossible for them even to attempt to pass legislation relating to themselves. This kind of exclusion is without precedent, and is (as Colorado courts are affirming) unconstitutional.
The Christian God says homosexuality is bad, period.
Some passages in the Bible can be interpreted this way. There are many conflicting interpretations, and in any event, the Bible is not the direct word of God but the words of humans. Many of the cultural connotations of the original Hebrew and Greek in the Bible are no longer known. Moreover, there are many other things that the Bible says are bad. Slave-owners quoted Colossians 3:22 to prove that God supported slavery. Many doctors resisted providing anesthesia to women in labor because pain in childbirth was Eve's punishment (Genesis 3:16). And the Bible says that women are forbidden to teach men (I Timothy 2:12), wear gold or pearls (I Timothy 2:9) or dress in clothing that "pertains to a man" (Deuteronomy 22:5). Yet you don't see the fundamentalists complaining about any of these....
If an anti-gay poster quotes only the anti-gay parts of his translations of the Bible, and chooses to ignore other interpretations or other parts of the Bible that he doesn't agree with, it is clear that he is using the Bible to support his anti-gay position, rather than basing that position on the Bible. Moreover, most such posters do not believe that separation of church and state is a good idea--ask them and see.
There are other religions that think poorly of homosexuality. Such religions often also tend towards literal adherence to their selected interpretation of their holy words, a fundamentalist attitude, a strong expressed urge to conver the whole world to their beliefs, and oppression of other groups (such as women) in their society. Such religions, in my opinion, are a major threat to the peaceful existence of humanity on this planet.
Accepting gays will lead to social breakdown, like in ancient Rome.
There is no reason to believe that the fall of Rome was due to gays any more than that it was due to the rise of the Christian emperors. This statement is generally posted with no supporting facts, and hence it need not be considered further.
Letting gays into the military will damage military effectiveness.
Numerous studies have been done of whether homosexuals are in any way less fit for military service than heterosexuals. Some of these studies were commissioned by the Defense Department. All of them agree that being gay in no way affects a person's ability to serve with dignity and distinction, and to observe military codes of conduct. Several countries around the world (Israel and Australia, to name two) have no policy against gays in the military, and their military capability has not suffered in the least.
There are many gays in the military now, many of whom have been multiply decorated for outstanding performance (and then ejected because they announced they were gay). And further, there have been many more incidents of sexual harassment by non-gay soldiers than by gay soldiers (witness the Tailhook scandal). The facts simply do not support the ban on gays in the military.
Anyone who disagrees with me about gays is a bigot.
"Bigotry" is defined as "fanatical devotion to one's own group, religion, or race, and intolerance of those who differ." Most anti-gay posters who attack gays express their dislike of anyone who is gay; they attack a whole group of people simply because of those peoples' sexual orientation. That is bigotry. Often, people disagree, loudly. The anti-gay poster then complains his opponents are bigoted, but in reality they are attacking him because of what he has said here on the net, not because he is (say) white, or straight, or Republican. These people complaining that gays are bigoted against them is like the KKK complaining that blacks are bigoted against them; it is an utter misappropriation of the word.
Gays are pedophiles.
Studies done of the sexual orientations of pedophiles (people who compulsively abuse children sexually) have shown that the vast majority of pedophiles are straight. That is, there are far fewer gay pedophiles than would be expected given the average number of gays in the general population. Associating gayness (the mutual love of two same-sex adults) with pedophilia (the crime of sexual contact with a non-consenting child) is a tactic that clearly betrays the illogic and bigotry of the person making the association. Certainly there is nothing to show that either abusing children or being abused as a child has a direct effect on one's sexual orientation.
If we accept gays, what next?
Frequently people who make the above comparison also use the following "argument": if we accept gayness, why should we not accept sadism/ masochism/bestiality/pedophilia/necrophilia? After all, aren't they also marginalized practices? The obvious implication is that accepting gayness is the first step on some nebulous slippery slope towards believing that these other, even more stigmatized sexualities are acceptable too. This is clearly a strawman argument to distract from the real issues of whether gayness is not morally wrong; it's classic guilt by association.
I have already dealt with why gayness is utterly unrelated to pedophilia. No more is it related to sadism, masochism, bestiality, or necrophilia. Bestiality is morally wrong because animals cannot consent to sex; again, this has nothing to do with gayness. Necrophilia is such a rare condition, and so far removed from any kind of sex between consenting adults, that it also is strictly a red herring in this argument. Sadism and masochism also are unrelated to gayness (certainly many many straight people do S/M too). And in any event, the fundamentalists who rant against sadism and masochism are in almost every case not at all talking about what S/M people actually do. (Rather like they don't talk about what gay people actually do!) It is eminently possible to have a consensual, healthy, adult sexual relationship which involves elements of S/M. Certainly the social stigma against S/M seems to be weakening somewhat as people learn that it's really not that big a deal, and that S/M people are as intelligent, as self-aware, and as respectful of others as anyone else. S/M does NOT equal abuse, and S/M people do NOT want to "corrupt" anyone into doing S/M. But in any event, linking gayness to S/M is simply unjustified.
Gays want to teach kids to be gay.
The "Children of the Rainbow" curriculum, despite what some posters say, contains NO advocacy of homosexuality, and NO sexual content whatsoever. The gay-specific message of the curriculum is simply, "Some kids have gay parents, and some of those families are happy." There is no assertion that homosexuality is better than heterosexuality, no assertion that all gays are happy, and no description of any sexual practice at all. The gay rights movement wants to educate kids that gays exist; nothing more. And moreover, there is no evidence that kids' sexual orientation is shaped by their education in any event; kids CAN'T be taught to be gay.
Gays should not be parents.
Studies done of the children of gay parents show such children to be as or more well-adjusted then children of straight parents. A gay couple that loves each other and the child will certainly make better parents than a straight couple with an unwanted child, of which there are all too many. The most important factor in raising a healthy and happy child is whether the parents give the child ample love and support, not what sex the parents are.
AIDS is a gay disease.
AIDS is a disease, period. It affects gay people and straight people. Worldwide, most people with AIDS are heterosexual. In America, the number of new AIDS cases among gays is dropping, while the number of new cases among straights is rising. The fact that gays were so hard hit by the epidemic says more about the lack of knowledge about the disease in its early days than it says about gays' sexual practices. In fact, safer sex techniques, many of which were developed by the gay community, have gone a long way towards eliminating the risk of AIDS transmission through sex. And gay women--lesbians--are the group with the LOWEST risk of contracting AIDS. Most anti-gay posters ignore all this, of course.
Anyone who still rants "AIDS is a gay disease" is ignoring the facts; and indeed, in America, AIDS was largely ignored for a long time precisely because it was thought of as a gay disease. This prejudice has cost (and will cost) many lives.
Gayness is a genetic defect, since gays can't reproduce.
Sometimes a particularly ignorant anti-gay poster will state something to the effect of, "Gays can't have kids, so they're defective, and they will soon vanish." This is clearly absurd; if it were true, homosexuality would not exist now. Straight people occasionally have gay children; gayness is a stable part of the human gene pool. The fact that gays do not (usually) have genetic children says nothing about whether gayness is a normal part of the human population.
The further premise is that people who do not reproduce are defective. People who argue against gays on this basis clearly don't feel the same way about all the straight people who can't (or don't want to) have children; their argument is therefore flawed. Moreover, gays can (and do) adopt, and lesbians can have children through artificial insemination; gays can be parents.
A further premise is that the purpose of sexuality is reproduction; this is equally far from the truth. Sexuality is an enormously complex part of being human, and sex serves to give people pleasure and to increase their intimacy, in addition to creating babies. Our sex drive lasts long after having children, and is present (very much so!) even if we never have children at all. Sexuality has no single "purpose".
Gays are promiscuous.
Often anti-gay posters will trot out the old saw about how gay men (they seldom mention women) have hundreds of partners and know nothing about monogamy. This is crass stereotyping at its worst. Most gay men participate in monogamous, long-term relationships, like everyone else. Some gay men seek out frequent, non-committed sex. So do some straight people. They're called "swingers". Gayness does not imply promiscuity.
Anal sex is something only gays do.
Anal sex, in all the studies I have seen, has been determined to be practiced regularly by about 15% of the population. ("Anal sex" here means anal contact of any sort for pleasurable purposes.) This 15% proportion is roughly correct for gay people and for straight people, for men and for women. (Yes, only about 15% of gay men practice anal sex regularly.) This means that only a minority of gay people actually include anal sex of any kind as part of their sex life. This also means that there are many more straight people who enjoy anal sex than gay people. Most of the anti-gay-sex rantings spewed into alt.politics.homosexuality therefore clearly have nothing to do with reality.
Anal sex is always unhealthy.
Unprotected anal contact is unhealthy. But safer sex techniques can make anal sex extremely safe, and since the anus contains more nerve endings than any other part of the male body (and only the clitoris has more in the female body), many people enjoy anal sex as an integral part of their healthy sex life. In fact, anal sex, by enabling relaxation and conscious awareness of the anus, very often increases its health. The anal muscle must be able to relax, and only strong muscles can relax easily; weak muscles are often extremely tense. The people at greatest risk for hemorrhoids and "adult diapers" are the people with the greatest degree of anal tension--i.e. NOT people accustomed to anal play; even those who enjoy the more extreme forms of anal play (such as fisting) are only making their anuses stronger through what they do.
In fact, so are masturbation and oral sex.
Some anti-gay posters will attack anyone who claims that any kind of sex other than vaginal intercourse is healthy. It is well established among psychologists and therapists that masturbation is a normal sexual practice. Self-pleasuring leads to a greater knowledge of one's sexual response, a lessened degree of tension, and more comfort with one's sexuality. No one has EVER produced a scientific study showing bad effects from repeated masturbation. Oral sex, likewise, is an age-old practise, and if performed using safer sex techniques (i.e. condoms!), is a perfectly healthy part of the sex lives of billions of people.
The gay rights movement is practicing thought control.
This is absurd on its face. Most anti-gay posters are clearly taking full advantage of their freedom of speech. On a larger scale, anyone who seriously believes that the gay rights movement has some kind of monopoly on social change is clearly deluded, given the recent success of anti-gay-rights legislation in communities nationwide, not to mention the routine torture and imprisonment of gays around the world. Those who compare the gay rights movement to a fascist movement are even more offensive given these facts.
"Homophobia" does not exist.
The word "homophobia" is a recent coinage. It means irrational fear of or revulsion by homosexuals. Some anti-gay posters take issue with the word, for some reason. Often it is attacked on the grounds that the poster is not afraid, therefore claiming the poster is phobic is qwrong. The response is simply that phobias are not simply fear; they are an irrational, extreme response to a particular thing. Certainly many anti-gay posters have irrational, extreme responses to homosexuality. Some posters go on to say that the revulsion they feel towards homosexuals is not irrational, but is justified, and then go on to make one of the other points in this list--none of which are rationally based.
There clearly are people who hate homosexuals and fear the "spread" of homosexuality (a meaningless concept--homosexuality is not learned, and not teachable). These people often go so far as to firebomb and murder homosexuals; hate crimes against gays are on the rise in America. Calling these people "homophobic" accurately describes the deep-seated psychological sickness that causes them to act this way.
Gays can be cured.
First of all, being gay is not in any sense a disease. Some have claimed that it is, but the American Psychiatric Association, in 1974, finally removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There are no negative mental or physical effects from being homosexual, except for the difficulties associated with encountering the prejudice and hatred against gays which are all too common in today's societies. Calling gayness a disease is like calling left-handedness a disease; it is a misuse of the word disease.
Studies done of gays who have been "cured" (usually by fundamentalist preachers) show that the underlying sexual orientation remains unchanged. The person may attempt to live a straight life, but this is no more a "cure" than a straight person attempting to live a gay life.
One example of what people who claim to cure gayness actually do follows (thanks to Quan Young):
"Clark is a pastor whose counseling program, Quest, led to the development of Homosexuals Anonymous, the largest antigay fundamentalist counselling organization in the world. He found the Quest Ministries in Reading, and reportedly administered some 200 people through 'reorientation counselling' from Clark, his wife, and an associate." Then from this organization, came the Homosexuals Anonymous, "... a 14-step program based on Alcoholics Anonymous" ("Homosexuality", Haldeman). Without permission from Clark, a sociologist, Ronald Lawson, interviewed 14 clients. Not only did none of them reported any change in sexual orientation, "... all but two reported Clark had sex with them during 'treatment', in the form of nude massage or mutual masturbation. The two clients excluded ... received only telephone counseling. Even the couselee, however, reported that Clark had masturbated during a telephone counseling session." (Lawson)
Gays have kicked people off the net for being anti-gay.
There have been incidents on alt.politics.homosexuality in which a certain anti-gay poster moved beyond his usual bigotry and insults into the realm of USENET hacking in order to get back at those with whom he was arguing. In the most recent occurrence, the user forged cancel messages for other peoples' posts. These actions, when reported to the user's sysadmin, have resulted in his access through that account being revoked. The user has subsequently reobtained access and proceeded to make a stink about how gays censored HIM. The degree of arrogance and sheer outright lying here is truly astonishing. In reality, no one has attempted to terminate the net access of anti-gay posters based simply on their postings; USENET respects free speech above all else. It is too bad that some anti-gay people choose to violate this by canceling the words of people they disagree with.
Paul Cameron's research has proven these anti-gay statements.
Occasionally, an anti-gay poster will post statements by one "Paul Cameron, M.D." which seem to bear out many of these anti-gay claims. The fact of the matter is that Paul Cameron is about as shoddy as they come in his research; he shapes his conclusions according to his agenda rather than the evidence. The following material was collected by Quan Young, a student at the University of Florida, and forwarded to me by Matt Narramore.
Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983 (LA Times, 2/22/1993). "He was misrepresenting and distorting other peoples' psychological research and using it to sensationalize his point of view on homosexuals. He talks about homosexuals being mass murderers and child molesters and credits other people for those findings. If you read their research, they have in no way made such claims. We have letters from those researchers saying his (work) has distorted their research." Natalie Porter, assistant professor of psychology at University of Nebraska (LA Times, 8/20/1985). Cameron has also done "studies" of gay sexual practices, in which he makes sweeping claims about the entire homosexual population, based on a sample of 41 people who were involved in the study. The man is simply incompetent as a researcher.
In general, if you look at Cameron's "work", it is nothing but a restatement of many of the lies I have already discussed in this FAQ list. The only difference is it's written by someone who claims to have medical credentials, but who is in fact only wrapping the same untruths in a more scientific package.
4. What should I know about forgeries, USENET etiquette, and kill files, given past events on alt.politics.homosexuality?
You should definitely know how USENET basically works, and what a forgery, a cancel message, and a mailbomb are. You may also want to learn about killfiles, which are useful for ignoring posts from particular net.bigots; I describe those at the end of this FAQ.
First, a little background. When you post an article, it gets placed into the news file of your local site. From there it gets propagated to all the sites yours connects to, and from there out into the net. Each article has a header, consisting of several lines that state what computers the article was relayed through to get from the poster to you, who the article was posted by, what newsgroups the article is in, and so forth.
A forgery is a posting in which some of the lines in the header have been altered. A forger can send out an article that claims to be from someone else. This is a widely deplored practice, as USENET is based on being able to tell who you're speaking to.
When you cancel an article of yours, the news system generates a special type of article called a "cancel control message", which gets placed into the newsgroup named control, and propagated like any other news article. When a cancel message is received by a site, the news software at that site deletes the posting that is referenced by the cancel message. Basic news software only lets the user who posted the article issue a cancel for it.
Cancel messages can also be forged for articles you did not post. This is the closest thing to censorship on USENET: deleting other people's words without their consent. One particular anti-gay poster (djk@TASP.NET) recently was doing just this, to twenty different people (myself included) over a period of several weeks.
This was discovered by looking for those cancel messages in the control newsgroup. It was easy to do this; we just subscribed to the control newsgroup (I use "g control" in rn) and looked for any articles containing "djk" in the header. Cancel messages expire like other articles, but I give an example of one of the messages in question below, in case there are none currently on your system.
This could happen to you, too, so knowing how to look for cancel messages someone forged for your articles is a useful skill. To find cancel messages that claim to be from you, just look for your userid in the header of the control articles. I use "/robj/h" to do this in rn. You can also use "grep robj *" in /usr/spool/news/control. All of this is somewhat technical if you know little about UNIX or news, but if you're going to be playing with flamers, it's good to know about how the fire works. (ack! excuse me.)
It turns out there's no good technical way to prevent someone from doing this. USENET is an anarchy; people can pretty much do whatever they want. What you CAN do if someone does this to you is tell your sysadmin, and email "root" at the site from which the cancel came. Social pressure is the most effective tool on USENET; forged cancels are universally acknowledged as a Bad Thing, so if it happens to you, make a big stink about it. Just because USENET is an anarchy doesn't mean there are no standards of etiquette; in fact, etiquette is all that holds the net together.
This particular poster (djk) has also mailbombed people, by (for example) sending them mail containing 3,000 control-Gs, which could cause your terminal to beep for a couple of hours. If this happens to you, let your sysadmin know, and give them all the relevant background (including a copy of this FAQ if you like). This type of harassment is utterly unacceptable.
If this does start happening, don't immediately start attacking people on the net, and especially don't resort to using the same tactics on the miscreants. Contact the relevant sysadmins through email, as well as any other people who have also been attacked. Work together and share information.
It is possible that a forged cancel message could in turn be forged to come from someone who did not in fact forge it. There is no record of this happening, and very little incentive to do it, but it is possible. The person who ultimately is responsible is the sysadmins of the sites that seem to be, or that actually are, producing the forgeries and mailbombs. Talk to them. Things usually work themselves out fairly quickly.
Here is an example of a valid cancel message, one which was not forged:
From robj Sat Aug 7 16:20:03 PDT 1993 Article: 296579 of control Control: cancel <robjCBEwoo.n5B@netcom.com> Newsgroups: alt.homosexual,alt.flame.faggots,alt.flame Path: netcom.com!robj From: email@example.com (Rob Jellinghaus) Subject: cmsg cancel <robjCBEwoo.n5B@netcom.com> Message-ID: <robjCBEwqJ.firstname.lastname@example.org> Sender: email@example.com (Rob Jellinghaus) Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest) References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <2418bs$rep@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU> <robjCBEwoo.n5B@netcom.com> Distribution: netcom Date: Sat, 7 Aug 1993 23:18:18 GMT Lines: 2 <robjCBEwoo.n5B@netcom.com> was cancelled from within rn.
Note that the Path: line says the article came from netcom.com!robj, which is the same as email@example.com. It's clear that the message traveled from the same place designated in the From: and Sender: lines.
Now, here is a forged cancel message:
From netcomsv!decwrl!elroy.jpl.nasa.gov/!usc!cs.utexas.edu/!uwm.edu!vixen.cso.uiuc.edu!uchinews!linac!unixhub!fnnews.fnal.gov/!overload.lbl.gov/!dog.ee.lbl.gov/!newshub.nosc.mil!crash!tasp!djk Wed Aug 4 11:02:38 PDT 1993 Article: 291560 of control Path: netcom.com!netcomsv!decwrl!elroy.jpl.nasa.gov/!usc!cs.utexas.edu/!uwm.edu!vixen.cso.uiuc.edu!uchinews!linac!unixhub!fnnews.fnal.gov/!overload.lbl.gov/!dog.ee.lbl.gov!newshub.nosc.mil/!crash!tasp!djk From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Jellinghaus) Newsgroups: alt.flame,alt.homosexual,alt.flame.faggots Subject: cancel <robjCAzqHM.Lv3@netcom.com> Message-ID: <wHJJ8B13w165w@TASP.NET> Date: Sat, 31 Jul 93 00:18:43 PDT References: <robjCAxruK.C0p@netcom.com> <XcRg8B1w165w@TASP.NET> Control: cancel <robjCAzqHM.Lv3@netcom.com> Reply-To: djk@TASP.NET (Daniel J. Karnes) Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest) Lines: 10 Cancelled with Waffle by <djk@TASP.NET>.
Note that the From: line claims the article is from me, but the Path line says the article is from "crash!tasp!djk", and the article itself even states that the cancel wasn't issued by me. What you are looking at is how censorship is practiced on USENET. Be careful; it could happen to you.
Now, then, about killfiles:
Many of the anti-gay posters are so resistant to actual discussion, and so irritating to read, that you may just wish to ignore them altogether. There are ways to set your newsreader to delete articles by certain individuals; through a "kill file", which specifies articles you do not wish to read, you can eliminate the worst bigots from your life! Different newsreaders have different ways of using killfiles. I use rn, so my example will refer to it.
To add a particular user (I will use djk@TASP.NET as an example) to your killfile in rn, go to alt.politics.homosexuality. When you are reading the group, type ^K (control-K). This will put you into an editor which is editing your killfile for alt.politics.homosexuality. Type the following:
then exit your editor. What that line says is "junk any articles which contain the text `djk@TASP.NET' in the header." Replace djk@TASP.NET with the userid of the person you no longer wish to read, and presto, your blood pressure will be much happier.
This concludes the alt.politics.homosexuality FAQ list. Please send me any and all comments on it. I expect I will revise it gradually over time, making it more balanced and broadened. I appreciate all the good feedback and support I've gotten so far, and I look forwards to reducing the noise and increasing the signal on alt.politics. homosexuality.
Truth is the best revenge!
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