One of the biggest frustrations I have about this forum and the anonymous nature of the Internet is that it also takes something very difficult to fundamentally measure fairly rather than objectively or equally, which is the esoteric path.
I will actually be referencing a few groups here including our favorite WMP friends and am trying to speak as respectfully as possible with the full disclosure that I am making zero attacks on anyone mentioned here.
To put it simply, none of us for the most part know each other's complexities as human beings, even divorced of our practices and our participation here. What we especially don't know about is the veracity or legitimacy of someone's practice, which can vary with topics outright decrying Mantak Chia and Michael Winn as frauds and weak or unhealthy practices versus people who are very happy with the results. What is more important is the sincerity of each practitioner, and even then, it's hard to verify, because besides generational, national cultural, political, and linguistic barriers such as many who don't speak English as their first language here, we also have the further limiting factor that is people's ability to communicate in writing their depth of understanding, let alone the difficulties even I as a writer and professional struggle with in conveying my points.
By the logical positivist school of thinking, we are all failures in our ability to communicate effectively. By my own humanity, that failure is what makes us closer to one another.
The administration here describes this as a café-like atmosphere where decorum and etiquette are determined by them, but when you mix spiritual and esoteric practices, it becomes more of a pub in that regard since these practices affect our perceptions and relationship with the veils of the myriad of realities we pass through, but more apparently, it stirs egos, both our own and others. And while in an actual physical establishment where people will gravitate towards others who share similar interests and can ignore the others who clash with them, the problem with the nature of an Internet forum is that these conversations, unless edited, hidden, or deleted, stay here forever and people are judged by those posts, which are also impacted by the above complexities I've mentioned with language, age, culture, and such. I'm not ashamed of my posts, but I am also not proud of a few of them over the years, and I went from being an idealistic and curious individual in 2015 to someone more settled into my path, suffice to say I am more of a journeyman and an adept in 2019 rather than a recently-elevated senior apprentice then. And as a human being, I of course have my moments and struggles.
What I have found helpful was talking to people in private and even offline, especially when I gave free or voluntary donation-based Akashic readings here and got to know many individuals on video conference or phone calls, and even meeting up in person with some. It helps to hear the tone, to know someone as a person, an individual, and a human, and find out how they sound and look and their little tics and quirks are far different from their ability to express themselves in writing, and likewise, people don't see us, they assemble us through the filter of their own projections as we do to them.
In short: we have both hands and feet tied to the chair, our mouths gagged, eyes blindfolded, ears plugged, and are judged by our ability to understand Shakespeare, Sartre, and Solzhenitsyn in Sanskrit and communicate it in a translation into Esperanto while using only morse code to others, and the consequences of this stay with us for a long time because they only know what we've said and do not how we look or feel, nor do they know anything about us.
The metrics by which people measure their own practice and others is not a constant in this forum. Flowing Hands is someone that could be a fraud or a holy man and nobody knows without knowing him or being part of the same school. By the metrics of my own lineages, I give him my respect because I can sense it in him and in GSMaster, while those same metrics are the ones that make me grateful for Flowing Hands informing us of new developments from Tin Yat Dao and advising caution. By those same metrics I personally have, I may not agree with the deviations from traditional transmission of the WMP group, but I can empathize with them even if I can't agree with them since their metric is not mine and my metric is not theirs, and still be friendly with them so long as we understand that we aren't converting each other the same way a Jew and a Buddhist talking about their different views doesn't have to be about burning synagogues and temples but about understanding why they believe what they believe and don't necessarily agree with your views. (Briefly, I offer apologies to any of you members of that group reading this because I only say WMP since that's the common recognized title for you as they separate you from actual and current students of JC's lineage).
As a result of the lack of consistent metrics to measure and verify practices or recognize authority in others and their practices, we can't really help but be agnostic about everything, even if the actual masters people revere were to post in this forum. It already happens as I know even Sifu Terry Dunn of the Flying Phoenix thread is so busy that I've been asked to help manage that thread as his student.
The problem with the above as a representative of Terry Dunn is that when an incident occurs that his own students understand what is wrong (trolling our thread, insulting Sifu Terry, and defending a scammer), those on the outside and not in the know have indeed construed their own version of events and I have endured their insults, including the most amusing one when someone said "My flow is better than yours". It's an opinion and not the most endearing thing to hear (to say the least), but it's also an uninformed opinion because it has more to do with that individual looking through the lens of their practice, their values, and their ignorance of the internal situation in our own corner of the café (which will not be available to see as most of the offending posts have been edited out), as well as the emphasis on the overall forum's view of fairness, which again is not consistent even amongst mods as it is to their own discretion with again their own human fallibilities.
This thread has gone from being a public service announcement to stern warning on civility and now the questioning of legitimacy and authority or qualifications of individuals like Flowing Hands and another exhausting chapter of the battle between the mods and the individuals over what is proper, and unfortunately, even if I agree with Flowing Hands, we're in their territory and it's a lost cause since their priority is to give everyone an equal opportunity to speak and have themselves protected within reason.
It is one thing to be non-judging, but the problem here is people are also being non-discerning in an effort to appear non-judging.
A political example here (and again, apologies to those who fall into the partisan divide, particularly Americans): in the vein of John Locke, I don't agree with someone's opinion, but I will fight for their right to speak it, so when someone in Berkeley says something in the vein of white nationalism and calling dark-skinned individuals like me part of the problem of the eroding identity of America, I consider why he says that even if I am biting my tongue already and know that he may not view me fairly because of his bias, but I win because I have heard and considered him and done my own investigation through both dialogue with him and research about his views. I lose if I am the Progressive idiot who punches him in the face because even if his views are alarmingly bigoted, I feed the bigotry by resorting to violence. (Disclaimer: I am a Progressive-leaning political Moderate, but find both parties disappointing).
So in order to protect people's speaking privilege here, mods step in before they see someone potentially being punched in the face or what they see as a perceived threat of a punch, and I leave it to your imagination to figure out how that translates to online communication. Whether you are actually going to proceed to punch them in the face and if that is actually your intent are two entirely different things, again subject to debate and what they see.
I apologize to everyone for this long-winded post and hope my view has offered some insights. I am uninterested in participating any further on this thread because Flowing Hands has already made his point, the mods have made theirs, the new direction of this thread is a repeat of something else I have already experienced, and I have spoken my piece on this as an individual member.
In the words of Rodney King: "Can we just get along?"