The email conversation with GeoMaine
Listed Chronologically from Beginning to End
I emailed GeoMaine because in the Thread "Goal and Priorities" on the MGA website I offered to draft a letter promoting geocaching and landowners relations/PR. Visit that thread were he accepted my offer and told me to submit my ideas to Gob-ler and Hoamdezinah. That post concerned me as those were the only 2 that apparently were going to review my document thus prompting the email conversation.
The initial e-mail that roused the sleeping dragon (GeoMaine)
On 7/22/06, Carmen, Steve & Emma <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I know, I know, I'm' a pain in the ass. If you don't believe me now you will in the future…LOL. I hope I'm being constructive and not viewed as a "monkey wrench in the machine."
comprises the Steering Committee? Is there already self appointed people
or is there going to be a formal process. You told me to put my ideas
forward to Gob-ler, Hoamdezinah and that concerned me a little. I know
that we, the MGA have to have a starting place but what are the terms, term
limits etc etc.. This
is a concern of mine and I'll be honest, a concern to a lot of the
"naysayer's." It's not that Dick, John and yourself
are incapable or not good choices it just that it raises some eyebrows, seems
to bypass the democratic process. Deep down, I know the 3 of you want
nothing more than what is good for Maine Geocaching. If I didn't believe
that I would not have joined. I hope you realize and if you don't let me
try to articulate; I really want to see the MGA to succeed and be the
"Voice of Maine." GeocachingMaine.org
will organize and I'll be there too, but my ultimate contention is to
get us rallied under one common goal and that is to promote Geocaching in
I will draft a letter for review and critic but instead of just Gob-ler and Hoamdezinah, I was hoping that I could post it in the "members only" thread and see what all my peers think. After they review and tear it to shreds and then finally come to a consensus that the whole group can agree with, then the steering committee may or may chose not to endorse it.
I'm getting ahead of myself, if I get the first several questions answered then I'm sure the other questions will fall into place.
Emma, Sadie, Carmen & Steve
The Dragon (GeoMaine) shows his true colors
From: GeoMaine [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:28 PM
Subject: Re: Steering Committee
I realize that you played a very active role on the geocachingmaine website in terms of being one of their more active members. You have to understand that there is a due process to everything and technically, we are only a week old. To say that we're all ironed out would be a gross overstatement.
If you truly wish to become a big part of the MGA, please try to start by taking an active role in it as a content contributing member, not as someone that is seemingly only interested in the management process of the MGA and becoming part of that instead. We will be culling our steering committee from those that are beneficial to the MGA and contributing to the MGA on a regular basis, and by that I do not mean a ton of forum posts. : )
I offered you the opportunity to develop some land management literature, as you asked if you could do. Can we start there?
confronting him (GeoMaine) with what he presented
Whoa!! I guess I’m slightly confused here. “Management” and “content contributing“, fancy words with lots of subterfuge. So you’re saying I’m on probation??? I hope this isn’t what you’re saying. If you’re trying to outline how I can participate then I see a major conflict coming up. I didn’t join your club, I thought I joined an organization to promote geocaching. If I’m going to be told when and how I am “suppose” to contribute then I guess I joined the wrong group and instead of working toward cohesion between the two groups I will work with the group that best understands that we need to promote geocaching and not self serving interest. That’s not a threat or promise, it is simply why I joined and what I hoped to achieve when I suggested to GeocachingMaine.Org that they should organize. I can be more than a pain in the ass, I can be an outright a$$ hole.
I asked a simple question and got basically the run around. Who is evaluating my performance? Am I on probation because I am an active participant in the GeocachingMaine.Org forums. Do you think telling me of my probationary status is going to intimidate me into compliance? It seems to me that you’re under the impression that I have a personal hidden agenda. Believe me when I say you need me more than I need the MGA. I’m not bragging but let’s face it the MGA is under lots of scrutiny.
I’ll be honest, if I can’t be part of what
shapes this “one week old” organization and can only do what amount to “content
contributing” subject to evaluation then I guess I’ll be moving along. I can
and will “contribute content” to an organization that is serious about promoting
and bettering geocaching for ALL
I don’t think I’ll be Thanking You for the
cc.. John (Hoamdezinah). Dick (Gob-Ler)
P.S. Feel free to remove me from your membership if I don’t fit into the mold that you placed out for me.
GeoMaine has BrDads Thread on the MGA forums deleted(click on the link)
I email Gob-ler and Hoamdezinah feeling that GeoMaine is hurting the MGA's reputation
GeoMaine is a one man wrecking ball!! Your going to need damage control and I’m not offering just stating a fact!!
Gob-ler Responds but only addresses BrDad's Post,
Later I find that Hoamdezinah is out of town. John(Hoamdezinah) calls the following day. I also recieve an "after the fact" email pasted below
(I've been personally asked to remove Gob-ler response, while the email is still here I have made it someone difficult to read)
I really don't know all the details. I did read the questions sent down and honestly did find them a bit slanted toward stirring things up rather than finding answers.
As for the MGA I am almost to the point of not being involved. I think for me I will just be a cacher out there doing my thing. I have tried to be a part of the Geocaching Maine site and what I still see tells me that I will never be accepted there no matter what. My involvement at the MGA level has been minimal due to work commitments. But that said, I am really not sure how involved I want to be with any Geocaching group.
Maybe I will change my handle and become the phantom cacher or maybe rouge cacher would be better.
The MGA is young and not perfect. I think with time and involvement by people who are looking only to accomplish what is good that the MGA will be a good organization. Presently there are three on the steering committee. Stephan, John and me. There are plans as we get a few members to expand that to seven people with the membership providing the additional members and them deciding who they will be. When we accomplish that there will be no room for anyone to say that the founders are wholly responsible for things. That will take a bit of time, but we are committed to that happening.
Cache placement guidelines are not set in stone. Honestly I would anticipate that the page about guidelines will be a blank one. I am not comfortable with telling others how they should do their hiding or finding. You will probably be hearing more about that shortly.
Separatist - I have done everything in my power to keep this from being an issue. Some of the non-MGA things (Puppies and past history) shows that this has been an issue, but I do not want that for the new organization.
Elitist - That has taken on a life of its own. I do not believe we are dealing with anyone from that perspective. We do hear it being brought up by some folks from the other site, but that I think is just a backlash. My early feelings about that have changed somewhat. Early on I felt it very difficult to try and get into the Geocaching Maine Group.
My response was that the group there somehow felt they were better than some others. It is difficult to be a part of the GMGroup. Every day it seems someone brings up the past. We are at fault for what we did and yet no one stands and says that the Geocaching Maine Group (some folks) are at fault as well. You know yourself that there are folks out there that do not have their facts straight and yet they are allowed to continue to drag good people through the mud rather than realizing that there is blame enough to go around on both sides of the issue.
As for damage control I am not the one to do it. I have had my hands full behind the scenes already. There is a right way and also a wrong way to ask questions and gather information. From my perspective there was a definite antagonistic slant to the questions and the post.
I cannot speak for Stephan, I have not discussed it with him.
I do think it would be good for some folks from Geocaching Maine and the MGA to get together and try to find some common ground and maybe try to clear the air from all of this other stuff. If you think that is possible let me know. I am willing to try and get the other two from here at the table.
The After the Fact email from Hoamdezinah
Hi Steve, Listen, I'm in the dark here, I've been away for the weekend, and just got back. If something has happened I'll find out about it. Of course you can have your money back if you want it, in fact it hasn't even been deposited yet even. I have to have a talk with both Dick and Stephan. As the founders, of course any of us should be able to speak for the MGA, but if there is an issue or problem, it should be brought up to the others. Each of us has the authority to delete posts on our site that we consider to be a violation of GC.com's guidelines, or our own. If he deleted one of your posts, I don't know anything about it, but I will find out !!
Like I said, I don't know what went on, but I do know that tensions right now are very high, which we thought they might be after we got up and running. We have been dumped on pretty hard by some of the central area cachers the last couple weeks (I know not you) and it has caused some real hard feelings, because Rick allows it to continue.
My Response to Gob-Ler
Yeah,,I think I'll join you and become the Phantom Cacher II. GeoMaine has made me want to recant my membership. Presently, I want nothing to do with the MGA. Nothing personal between you and me or John and me but Stephen can have "his" organization to himself. I know he has issue with BrDad and others but I'm basing my decision on the fact that he essentially told me that I'm on probation with the MGA. According to him I have to prove myself....well, if I have to prove myself to him he's deluded. I've proved myself as a geocacher and I've proven my commitment to the MGA by joining but its still not enough according to him. And that "not enough" has made me realize that Stephen is using the MGA to push his own agenda and not the sport of geocaching...That is unfortunate as I really had the idealistic impression that the MGA was about geocaching and the MGA would be a tool to promote it. Oh well,,,at least I can say I tried.
The MGA is a great idea, lose the self glorifying GeoMaine and it would really have a chance to survive. He's caustic and offensive and is blatantly pursuing an agenda that he has set.
I may formally ask to be removed from the membership roster if he and I can work beyond this and I got a feeling we are at an impasse.
Sorry and on the same token thanks for all your efforts to do something that truly could have been great.
GeoMaine Plays the lame duck
I don't get it. You very specifically left a post interested in coming up with some literature for land management companies. I then told you to do it and then I got the response below?
I made no mention of a probation. NONE. Where the heck did that come from?
If you had the idea that your $15.00 got you a vote, you are correct, it certainly does. If you think that it automatically got you a seat at the table, I'm sorry, you have to EARN that. The three of us have invested hundreds of dollars and literally several hundred hours into trying to develop the MGA. Can you say the same thing? It has nothing at all to do with being a democratic process and EVERYTHING to do with the democratic process. We're not picking our buddies to join us, we're picking the people that are passionate about the MGA and passionate about developing it. We want people that are care about geocaching and about developing good relationships within the MGA... and outside of it. If you think that telling us "I can be more than a pain in the ass, I can be an outright a$$ hole" is going to get anyone to seriously listen to your valid thoughts and concerns about the MGA, you might want to re-think that a little?
Your intentions may be 100% good but your execution is poorly planned. I suspect that wherever you decide to call your 'geocaching' home you might want to re-think about simply forcing yourself into it. I cannot imagine that it will ever be well received? Member opinions are highly valued up until the point of when they reveal their true colors.
Had you come in and said "Here's my $15 bucks! Now. What can I do to help?" Would have spoken VOLUMES about you. Instead, you have questioned us on nearly every aspect of what we are trying to do and delivered to us this e-mail.
Sadly, I am left remembering my conversation that I had with John about how you were showing a complete turn around and how I pleased I was with you. Was I wrong in doing that? Now I am also left remembering some of your posts that you left on the geocachingmaine website and have no choice but to question your true intentions.
Please. PROVE me wrong. Prove that you are passionate about the MGA, about the goals of the MGA and of the due process that it takes to get us there.
Once again I confront GeoMaine on what he has presented
Sorry!!!!! I’m not passionate about the MGA, I‘m passionate about Geocaching. It seems the MGA is GeoMaine, Hoamdezinah and Gob-ler, nothing personal but I don’t really feel passionate about any of you. I don’t need to prove myself to you, Gob-ler or Hoamdezinah. It should be the other way around. You claim to represent Maine Geocachers which by your own admission is inaccurate. You represent the MGA and the “$100s of dollars you put into it.” No I will not accept, ”Here’s my 15 bucks how can I help you.” Instead I should have heard, “thank you for your 15 bucks how can we help you.” You say I get a vote with my dues, but what I don’t get is a voice. What am I voting on? What you, John and Dick put in front of me? That’s not an organization to promote Geocaching that’s an organization to promote MGA and its founding fathers.
“I made no mention of a probation. NONE. Where the heck did that come from?”
Ever hear of S.C.A.N. Look it up on the internet then evaluate what you wrote me. I asked a question and was basically told that if I don’t “toe the line” I don’t get to be on the Steering Committee. I didn’t even ask to be on it, just how it was organized. I have to contribute content, then if you folks feel I contributed to the “MGA” I then could worry about the steering committee. Sounds like probation to me. You don’t like what I say or write then I don’t get to be part of the “due process”. You can call it whatever you want and play the little semantic games your so fond of but when broken down into its components it comes out as probation.
My joke about my self-degrading remark of me being an a**hole was obviously over your head and I’ll recant and apologize. I never thought nor expected it to get me “taken more seriously” and if it came across poorly then I again apologize.
You keep throwing “due process” around like some kind of attorney. Let me ask you using your own words,” WHAT IS THE DUE PROCESS?” I understand the term, do you? And how is it applied to the MGA? This is the same question I asked earlier with different words, the question that has lead to this heated exchange.
You know what, I’m wasting lots of words here. We obviously see an Association and what it should be, completely differently. You may “remember” my post but I’ve never forgotten your caustic and allegory post. I was hoping that you had become passionate about how the MGA could promote geocaching but it’s obvious you see the MGA as a way of promoting yourself. It’s not my intentions that you are questioning, you’re questioning if you could conform me and use me to promote the MGA. Sorry again, I was truly in this to promote geocaching. You ask me to rally around your “goals”, I tried to get people to post their goals and prioritize them on the site and none were posted except for mine. I see now that you have none and that your only concern was how you could get people to promote the MGA and therefore, you.
Feel free to cancel my membership, steal the money if you wish or feel free to return or not cash the check. I don’t think you’re going to accomplish your goals with me as a member and I know I won’t be able to pursue mine with you grading my performance to the MGA.
Oh, I did state that I would draft a letter to the landowners if you would like, if you remember though I wanted it to be applied to the “due process” that never seems to get answered when asked what it is. I’m sure I’ll be able to promote geocaching the way I see fit but unfortunately it won’t be under the MGA banner!!
If your intent was to destroy a good thing, kudos to you, you’re doing a great job and in only one week!!!
Sorry it isn’t going to work out between us.
Apparently GeoMaine has given up on trying to insult me or couldn't come up with an answer to my questions so he stops emailing and "removes" me and "bans" me from the MGA site. Bear in mind, GeoMaine has not told me this or emailed. I found out through other channels that I was banned. Apparently "due process" is not part of that process either.
Not knowing I was banned I emailed him this last
Seems that I can’t log in to the MGA, is there technical difficulties or did YOU honor my request and terminate my membership? You must be proud of yourself that you wield so much authority. That is how most Associations are run; you don’t like someone else’s opinion delete it and the persons name.( We call this Satire, just so you know.) Did you run it by the “steering Committee?”
I don’t care that you like me or don’t like my ideas but it does concern me that I never got an answer regarding my “Dues.” Very professional, mature and typical of what the MGA or I should say, you, have offered so far. Do YOU plan on returning it or was that a no-refund policy that you implemented 3 minutes after I asked to be taken off the roster using the “due process” that you have locked away in your own mind? I know, we lackeys have no right to question YOU, after all you spent $100 of dollars and hours to get the site up. (That last was Satire too.) Looks good too, I meant it when I said it the first time and I mean it now. Hope it works well for you and I am sorry that instead of getting answers to legitimate questions that all I got was a bunch of crap. I don’t see how that will help Geocaching but maybe it will; your agenda, you run with it.
I am sincerely sorry that we came to an impasse so soon. Unfortunately, I don’t like to be condescended to and I don’t like being kept in the dark regarding an Association that I joined and sincerely hoped would be more concerned with Geocaching than with itself. Lots of rhetoric was thrown out about how the members were going to form the policies and steering committee and such but in truth you have always known that the only way to get on the steering committee was to conform to the ideas and ideals that you put forth and nothing else.
Not knowing if Gob-ler and Hoamdezinah were condoning GeoMaine's Actions I email both of them
Hi Dick ( John),
Because of GeoMaine and not the MGA I have asked to be removed from the MGA roster. This is the final email I plan on sending him. To date he has never answered one question so I’m not sure if he’ll answer this one.
Sorry it turned out this way, I truly thought the MGA was a good start. I can forward the email conversation from GeoMaine and myself if you wish just so you know who is representing the MGA.
Sorry Again and Best of luck!!!!!!
John (Hoamdezinah) calls and assures me he will "talk" with Gob-ler and GeoMaine. Gob-ler never responded. My check that I issued for dues to the MGA was returned promptly as promised by Hoamdezinahs.
Beware Of GeoMaine and his "Janus" presentation. He say one thing but he truly means another. The MGA will and should fail as long as this person is at the helm. He takes his authority seriously and those of us who don't are "banned" from the site. My Name may not be on the roster but my message is out there for all to hear!!!