Freethought and Rationalism Discussion Board

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The Freethought and Rationalism Discussion Board is a privately owned website historically known for hosting discussions on alternative sexuality, not excluding the adult-minor themes now covered on sites such as Newgon.com and Anontalk.com. The website was recently taken over by an administrative hierarchy who, despite the newly-chosen name for the board, are hostile towards any discussion of sexuality, particularly its "alternative" forms.

Beginnings

In 1990, the original alt.atheism usenet newsgroup was created, followed by alt.atheism.moderated. As with other newsgroups, discussion was fuelled by the Eternal September. Then in 1995, the Internet Infidels (Secular Web) was founded to expand on the static resources available at alt.atheism, shortly followed in 1996 by its very own BBS, known as the Internet Infidels Discussion Board (IIDB), right up until 2008, when it was discontinued as a Secular Web resource under "crisis" conditions.

As IIDB

As IIDB, the discussion board hosted a number of topics on alternative sexuality. We have listed some post-2005 examples at Links (Fora). Within a year or so, this inspired a spin-off debate: should the Secular Web be seen to encourage or tolerate discussion of topics that would be regarded beyond acceptable in wider society. It should be noted that the founding principles of secularism and their promotion were and still are the Secular Web's highest priorities. Discussion of what were regarded as fringe sexual topics continued unabated for a number of months, as it was originally deemed to be in line with Secular Web's position on free thought and discussion.

Crisis and takeover

Late in 2007, a combination of controversial, high-profile user bans and a general tightening of rules lead to a mass exodus from IIDB and resulted in the enrichment of further spin-off forums. The Secular Web secretly agreed to offload its large on-line community, waiting a year until their fund-raiser monies were spent. During this time the two future owners, including Jo Apanui, a New Zealanders child-protection officer contributed further to the transformation of what was in its heyday, a free-flowing discussion board into the top-down, sometimes farcical politically-correct bureaucracy it is today.

Sexuality discussions

Against the backdrop of this general bureaucratisation:

At first, discussion of adult-minor sexuality on the to-be-offloaded IIDB was hushed up after the passing of a guideline on "advocacy", whereby fringe opinions are silenced due to the presumed motivations of their proponents. A number of users were banned because of this, although the ban on discussion was far from comprehensive at the time. General discussion of sexuality was also relegated to a slime-dungeon forum per directive.

During her pre-ownership interval, Apanui and Veronique Grant, a health aide from Florida, and self-important IIDB moderator approached a pedophile IIDB member, offering to "cure" him of his "illness". Eventually, after growing tired of attempting to discredit such opponents, the ever-opportunistic Apanui passed the following "addendum" into the Moral Foundations sub-forum rules:

Moral Foundations & Principles, like all forums of IIDB, is not a platform for users to promote what would otherwise likely be classified or deemed as inappropriate and/or counterproductive to II's mission. This includes, but is not limited to infantophilia, hebephilia and pedophilia. Any threads or posts which administrators or moderators decide do not fit II's mission may be removed.

Despite this, and the following completion of Apanui's takeover, established members of the community can still be seen quietly protesting the official line on these discussions whenever they are brought up. However, as a place for new members to discuss alternative sexuality topics, the current forum is of very little use.

Takeover

Under the ownership of Apanui, IIDB became the Freethought and Rationalism Discussion Board at freeratio.org. Despite its independence from the Secular Web, FRDB continues to enforce strict rules against the discussion of explicitly sexuality-related topics.

See also

  • Debate Guide - and its derivatives (this site) were directly inspired by discussions on IIDB.

External links