Scholarly e-mail groups on alchemyThese ceased in 1999.
During 1995 and 1996 I organised an e-mail forum dedicated to alchemy. At its peak it had over 400 subscribers. There were many interesting and absorbing discussions on this forum but there were a number of disruptive elements who increasingly made serious discussion of alchemy very difficult. Despite a number of attempts to gain control of this forum, I decided to abandon this and in its place set up some small working scholarly groups communicating through e-mail. These groups now have 350 subscribers and are tightly moderated in order to provide the subscribers with the freedom to undertake serious discussion, without any fear of being flamed and agressively attacked.
Your e-mail address will be stripped off your posting to the group so that it will not be possible for others on the group (or people viewing the archived messages) to gain access to your e-mail address. The e-mail addresses of subscribers to this list will not be published or used for any other purpose.
I decided to arrange things so that there are a number of such topics with distinct subject areas. This will help also to defuse certain fruitless arguments which regularly arise between those who wish others to see alchemy as an inner spiritual activity and those who want to see it exclusively as laboratory practice. We now avoid such arguments through setting up separate topics within the group for these subjects.
Subscribers who are not already known to me as bona fide serious students of alchemy, may be asked for references and for some indication of their serious intentions. Anyone abusing these groups will be immediately unsubscribed and not be allowed to participate in future. Subscribers will have to use their own proper names when contributing to these groups. Although these might seem rather heavy rules and regulations, they exist only in order to provide the participants with a secure environment in which to openly discuss various facets of alchemy. People whose first language is not English need not be inhibited from participating, as their minor grammatical and spelling errors will be edited by the moderator.
Postings to the scholarly groups which in the opinion of the moderator are not of a high enough scholarly standard will not be posted out by the moderator. No one with a scholarly soul and an academic attitude will have any problems in posting messages to the group. Subscribers must accept the moderator's view on what is relevant to be discussed on these scholarly groups. Postings must deal with alchemy and as there are quite a few messages each day it is not possible to diverge too far from the subject of alchemy. People with their own agendas often join e-mail discussion groups with the intention of promoting their own ideas and concerns. Although I can understand such peoples motivations, this group is for the scholarly discussion of alchemical matters and I will defend it against any attempts to use the group for purposes other than the discussion of alchemy. There are many other e-mail discussion groups on which Tarot, Astrology, Kabbalah, magic, and esoteric ideas in general can be discussed. These scholarly groups focus on alchemy !