5. Ipce decides on Ipce: Internal matters
a. Proposals and thoughts, by Howard
a. Proposals and thoughts, by Howard
Note added by Howard Kline
1. Strategies for effecting change.
* Legal action.
* Media action.
* Child "sex offenders."
As terrible as this is, it also represents an opportunity for us to make our case in a whole new way. These criminal cases are the natural result of a society that holds sexuality to be unnatural and unhealthy. How can we use these cases to show the world the craziness of its position on sex?
So I wonder if people would like to start talking about papers that we could work on for presentation at the 2007 WAS conference and at other even more mainstream psychology and psychiatry conferences.
Remember that removal of homosexuality from the DSM was accomplished by activism within the APA.
Is there something we can do to help instigate or support that kind of activism
2. Potential papers to present.
[ < http://www.ipce.info/library_2/files/prescott_en.htm >] for support of the idea. Other references people might want to recommend would be welcome.
Another possible topic is a little more whimsical, but with a very serious side to it. It might be called, I have a Penis - Thank You!. The idea here is to acknowledge in a serious paper something that people are just not allowed to talk about -- and to acknowledge the reasons we don't talk about it and the reasons it would be better if we did.
3. Controlling the agenda, meaning the agenda out there, not at our
Questions such as:
In terms of the agenda for our meeting, it would be interesting to spend some time talking about what can be done to get these issues on the agendas of the rest of society. Of course, all of the ideas listed under Strategies for effecting change above have that intent, so maybe this is part of that discussion, I'm not sure.
5. Talking and doing.
Are there people who were at the 2004 meeting who are not returning to Ipce meetings because they found Ipce inhospitable to calls for action? That would seem to be a sad loss because those people should have a lot to bring to the discussion. If we're going to have the "discussion of action" mentioned above, could we make a concerted effort to specifically invite those people back with a promise of that discussion?
b. Should Ipce publish books or a magazine?
On the IMO Forum, a discussion took place on whether Ipce should start publishing books. On the pro side were writers who want to publish and don't have the money, time and expertise to do that. On the con side were the members who point to Ipce's Mission as a forum, not as an action group. Action is up to the members themselves, and their organizations, on their own. Publishing books was seen as a kind of action. Yes, gathering documents and publishing a website is also a kind of action, but that is the only action mentioned in the Mission Statement.
On the con side was also an argument that, if Ipce would do this, the first book published should not be a report from a prisoner and all his problems. People do not want to read and buy such a book. They do not want that information. It was also argued that publishing books will cost much more money than we have and that thus the membership dues would have to be raised significantly. The same is true of the manpower and time available.
It might be better for those members who want to publish books to form themselves into a team, help each other, and cooperate with organizations that already are able to publish, such as the Foundation Amikejos that publishes the magazine KOINOS.
c. Should Ipce appoint delegates to approach selected people or organizations?
An example is a leader of a Christian organization, being a powerful force in Washington and having an open mind. There are more such people and it might be good for Ipce to carry on its discussions not just internally, but also externally. Actually, Ipce has at one time appointed a speaker, a non-member, to answer questions in a radio program.
However, again it was said that Ipce is not an action group but a forum - a forum with a diversity of opinions, not with one formal opinion. The members and the meeting have no control of the opinions expressed by a representative. And we know that such a discussion can be difficult because of the hard walls a representative might meet and the manipulation that is well-known in the media.
It might be better to approach people with an open mind as a member inspired by Ipce, not as a representative of Ipce.
d. Report of the Secretary, June 2005 – June 2006
Ipce now has 75 members in 19 countries all over the world. Members who cannot be reached are removed from the list, while others arrive as new members. 61 members have provided an e-mail address for communication, 11 have not, 3 receive the Newsletter5 via a friend. The latter receive the paper Newsletter. 28 members and one guest are also enrolled in the Internet forum, IMO, Ipce Meets Online.
The secretary has the authority to make decisions during the year between meetings, such as to accept new members. The procedure is to exchange a series of e-mails with the secretary and with a member in the same country, or at least speaking the same native language, as the candidate member. At the moment there are nine candidate members.
During the past year, started by discussions on the IMO Forum, a new team of four members has been formed: the Membership Committee. It has its own subforum, only visible to its members, for discussion of new candidate members. The purpose of the committee is to recruit more new members, whereas previously new candidate members approached Ipce to ask about membership.
This opened a discussion on the criteria for (new) members. The committee asks the Meeting to discuss this item, to decide on the criteria and to appoint the committee members for the next year. .
Another team is the Emergency & Conflict Team, consisting of four members, appointed by the former Meeting. There have been no emergency cases. There was only one case of conflict that not could be resolved. One of the members opposed the mention of the French organization, Ange Bleu, on the Ipce website. By doing so, he conflicted with a fellow Ipce member who participates in Ange Bleu and thus supports it and with other members who accept or even appreciate the organization. The opposing member resigned his membership because of this and other reasons and was not willing to find another solution.
The conflict mentioned
at the former meeting, the defaming case,
The Team asks the Meeting to appoint its members again for the next year.
Another task of the secretary is to make newsletters, usually one after the meeting, one before the meeting, and one in-between, usually made in the winter. I have made a newsletter after the last meeting and one just before this meeting in 2006, but regrettably none in-between. In that period, I have had lots of computer problems. One after another (second-hand) computer crashed, after which I had to reinstall a lot of hardware and software with data. Ultimately, I have bought a new one, with the latest versions of hardware and software, which works well. I have asked Ipce to pay a small part of the immense costs of the computer repairs and acquisition.
I am able and willing to continue my task as the secretary.
e. Report of the Webmaster, June 2005 – June 2006
Ipce has its main website on a paid account at demon.nl, with its own domain names. On the Demon server are the original Ipce website with Library 1, the Statements and Documentation lists, the later-made Library 3, the Newsletters, and two host sites, "Books Reborn" and "Host." We also have an account with a subdomain on Wannadoo.nl with Library 2, in which the longest files are placed. By all this, about ¾ of the room available is used. We might in the near future need more room. In that case, an update of the Demon account will be sufficient – but will have to be paid for.
Some members have advised that we move to a cheaper provider. I disagree because a lot of URLs would have to be changed and many articles would not easily be found by our visitors. Demon is a good provider: there have never been problems, whilst other providers, such as xs4all.nl, have removed websites with sensible content.
Ipce also has its internal IMO Forum, hosted by BlueboxServer.net, an inexpensive provider operated by one of our members. The IMO Forum also includes the IMO Archive in which the best background articles or even books are placed. This archive is not publicly accessible because of the authors’ rights. The IMO Forum has daily messages, discussions, news items, background articles, articles about arts (no pictures or images), and subforums only accessible for the two teams and those who attend meetings. IMO is protected by a double set of usernames and passwords.
We have had several technical problems with the IMO Forum, which was now and than not accessible at all. The source of the problems was overload at BlueboxServer. Ultimately, the owner bought a new server, but installing a server is very difficult and time consuming. We also had to change the system with which I manage the membership, enter new members, give them user names and passwords, and so on. It took some time before we found and installed a system in which I can enter new member data on my Windows computer and have the data accepted and managed on BlueboxServer's Linux server. But now it works.
The Ipce website has had 170,000 page views since 2002, which is more than 100 per day. Recently traffic has even reached about 200 hits per day.
Because of the technical problems mentioned in the secretarial report and lack of time because of my activity in other organizations, among which the regional JON group is quite time consuming, I only scarcely have been able to update the site. A pile of files is waiting. As the problems of JON are mostly resolved now, I will find time in the coming months to update the website.
By the way, one of our members pays for the domain registration and so is the owner of the domain. He also has made a complete mirror of the whole website. The owner of the BlueboxServer has a mirror of the IMO Forum.
I am able and willing to continue my task as Ipce’s webmaster for the coming year.
What is Ipce? It is a forum - not too active and dynamic. One of the members wants to invite more new members and to install a Membership Committee to do that. He has submitted a long list of candidates. But other members moderate his enthusiasm. Most of the persons named are already active and have their own organizations. They must know us, maybe appreciate us, but have not asked for membership. If we invite them, they will say they are already active in their own way and have no more time.
The model 'all heroes in one group' does not work. They don't want this, and if you keep trying it, the group will disperse or explode. The model 'Ipce as an umbrella organization' has been tried in the past, but did not work and has been rejected. In 1998, in Athens, the Meeting has decided to change Ipce from 'an organization of delegates from organizations' to 'a forum of persons,' thus from an umbrella to a forum - a forum of some persons who want this, not of all or even many active people. And eighty members is already many. Too large a group cannot work. It would make for discussions that are too long, longer than people want; it would take up too much of people's time. It is important to be reachable and to make contacts possible. That is enough. People will choose their own ways of action.
The members also moderate one another by saying that we do not need over-enthusiastic or over-active people who start a lot of action in the name of Ipce. A Membership Committee, okay, but keep it small and be very careful and thoughtful; moderate each other. And report to us next year during the meeting.
Does Ipce have a board, officers and a constitution? No. Does Ipce need a board, officers and a constitution? No. We do not need documents, we need people to discuss and to work. We have a mission statement and a simple model: The annual meeting decides. We have a secretary, a webmaster and a treasurer, a domain owner, and two small teams (Emergency & Conflict Team and now Membership Team). They do the work and are permitted to make decisions in the year between meetings. They report and the meeting decides. That's enough.
Nevertheless, there is a problem. Our secretary, webmaster, treasurer and chair of the meeting are all only one person, Frans. His work is greatly appreciated, but such a model is sensitive to problems such as illness and computer troubles, not to speak of old age and an illness leading to death. Remember Frits Bernard's sudden passing away.
Thus, Frans has to divide his work into separate tasks, to form a team and educate members to fulfill these tasks or at least take them over if needed. For example, now he is the chair of the meeting and the maker of the minutes. He is good in making very exact minutes, so let another member be the chair of the next meeting. Tasks such as the financial and the membership's administration can easily be shared. For the function of the webmaster, at least one other member must share the FTP-addresses, user names and passwords, as well as the hardware, software and know-how. Frans does agree with these ideas and will start to form a team of volunteers to share the data and the work.