The Druid Order of Tamaris WILL be following these guidelines from now on.... please read carefully - feel free to comment.
A voluntary code for the pagan community.
This is a voluntary protocol for all druid and pagan groups with an internet forum
Stonehenge generates considerable interest from around the world and pagan activity there likewise is in the spotlight. Recently it has become apparent that researchers from the media have been paying visits to the home sites of the pagan groups represented there, and also that they read our forums.
At a time when pagans are starting to have our religion and systems of belief taken more seriously by members of the public and public authorities it is clear to all with an interest in advancing our cause that we will only succeed by co-operating with one another and acting with respect.
With this in mind it has been noted that our forums have become a place whereby those not wishing to see us make progress and working respectfully together, either because they our anti-pagan, or trying to win political battles by discrediting rival pagan groups, or to intimidate and harass individuals with slander and 'bitchcraft', are using our forums as a medium. All freedom comes with responsibility. The freedom to walk the streets comes with the responsibility to not kill people. The freedom of speech comes with a responsibility not to cause hatred or harassment. As it is in life, online we need boundaries that define the limits of acceptable behaviour.
Any posts that appear on the forum to intentionally liable or harass another pagan group or individual, or which express an opinion in terms of hatred will be removed by the moderators immediately.
Any posts which might incite others to express antisocial or illegal behaviour, such as bullying, racism, harassment or interfaith disharmony will be removed by the moderators immediately.Any group or individual finding themselves to be named and slandered on another forum, should request that the thread be removed and the moderator will investigate, giving the benefit of any doubt to the person aggrieved.
All complaints should be dealt with quickly
As a general rule, forum members should be discouraged from posting any e-mail addresses, home addresses, phone numbers or other identifiable personal information about individuals unless they can clearly demonstrate consent.
This is a voluntary protocol for all Druids giving information to the media.
Only to answer questions truthfully to the best of ones knowledge
If a question is asked to a Druid, where the answer is arguable or there is no clear consensus the answer should not be 'Druids believe' it should be either 'My Order believes' or 'I personally believe'. For witches, 'witches believe', 'My coven believes', 'I personally believe'.
When answering questions we will refuse to be drawn into negative comment about other groups or individuals, simply saying 'I do not wish to make any comment about that' or 'Other groups and individuals do things differently and are free to do so', or whatever is appropriate to not damage other groups or individuals.
This is a voluntary code for all druid groups.
Inter group disputes.
In dispute with another group, we will first take up the issue with them directly, either face to face or by telephone.
If the dispute remains, both groups will seek to give courtesy and space to the other, and will not engage in public discord, but will seek neutral parties to mediate.
If mediation fails to resolve the issue, and it is deemed likely to lead to conflict then an approach should be made to the Council of British Druid Orders (.org.uk) to investigate and recommend to both parties a way forwards.
It is not permissible for any group to misrepresent itself by assuming the identity of another, or for its members to do so.
Public safety and legal responsibility
Groups will take care to ensure that public safety, and the safety of their members are a foremost consideration in the planning of their activities. It is further recommended that all groups consider public liability insurance.
Groups will endeavor to keep all of their practices and activities within the boundaries set by secular law, unless such law is explicitly repressing our religious or ethnic rights, even in that situation any protest should be peaceful.
Groups will ensure that all members are aware that any use of violence is unacceptable.
Members will be discouraged from entering any circle or rite if they are intoxicated or under the influence of recreational drugs.
Public rites will be considerate of the sensitivities of others.
Where opportunities are presented to a single group, with regards to major Temples & monuments or if an event there is the initiative of a single group, it is their decision who else to involve and who is to lead.
Where an opportunity comes via a collective circle, for example from the round table, then the members of the collective circle should be informed and given an opportunity to be involved. Noting that where numbers or time is restricted this may not always is possible, but best effort should be made.
At open public access events where many groups are involved, the leading of ceremony should rotate between active orders / groves, but where possible be inclusive and honouring of all the groups participating.
Equally individual groups may wish to do peripheral activities as a single group and this is acceptable within this protocol so long as it doesn't go against or clash with the work and consensus of other groups actively present.