[Ansteorra] [Southern] CLOSED MEETINGS

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Mon Jan 14 09:49:51 PST 2008

Cuan mac Niall wrote:

> As was previously posted, other than personnel matters and pending
> litigation, there is NOTHING that should be closed to the membership,
> sensitive or otherwise.

It's not enough to simply state an opinion.  You need to provide some sort 
of evidence or analysis.

There is a *lot* that is and should be closed to the membership.  I attend 
Pelican meetings, Laurel meetings, White Scarf meetings, Centurion meetings 
and Oak meetings -- all closed to the membership.  I hold private 
discussions with various officers and rulers about personal issues and 
rumors that have started -- these are also closed.  Specifically, any 
meeting about a false rumor that is flying *must* be closed, or it merely 
makes the problem worse.

> It may prove "inconvenient" or "troublesome" for the officers involved to
> have some matters brought up in public but that is the nature of the 
> beast.

It is far more troublesome to the people who have made mistakes that the 
officers are trying to fix, or the people who have been falsely accused, 
whom the officers are trying to help.  These meetings aren't closed for the 
convenience of the officers.  Every officer knows that the way toward more 
convenience is to stop being an officer.

> If there is not transparency in our decision making process then we have 
> problems.

Flat statements with no precision don't serve us well.  In fact, there are 
decision-making processes that are made worse by being private, and there 
are -making processes that are made worse by being public.  Which category 
a given decision falls into is a judgment call which nobody can always make 
correctly.  Certainly I don't have enough experience yet, but I've only 
been active for 30 years so far, and only aboutr 28 on the kingdom level.

And the simple fact is that the decision about whether something should be 
kept private is one that must itself be made privately.  We must hope that 
the people making that call have the correct judgment to make it correctly. 
And we must recognize that, being human, they will sometimes be wrong --  
just as we will sometimes be wrong.

I've been in financial meetings going over bad checks.  I recognized a 
couple of names, got to the people privately, and arranged for the payment 
to be made with no embarrassment.  This was private, and needed to be.

I've known people who broke something at an event, and asked if they could 
privately pay to fix it, without the embarrassment of publicity.

I've been present at meetings when accusations concerning minors had been 
spread.  It was *essential* that we keep it quiet until we could get the 
facts.  And people outside the meeting *couldn't* be allowed to know why it 
was a closed meeting.  They couldn't even know that there was a good 

But the one thing I'm sure of, based on my experience, is that officers 
*never* band together secretly for the purpose of going out of their way to 
hurt anyone.  That's too much work for no personal benefit.  (As a general 
rule, when one accuses somebody of commiting a dishonest act, there needs 
to be some valid reason to believe that the dishonest act was in some way 
to their advantage.  People can be led astray by their selfish desires, or 
they can accidentally hurt people by laziness and inattention, but nobody 
accepts the work load of an officer for reasons that are neither noble nor 

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin 

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list