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The Cave Politics, Rumor Monger and Gossip Guild is alive and well. Let's end it!

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by The Chairman, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Recently I was at my fave N Florida gas station, the Cave Country Dive shop. I like it because it's clean, I feel welcome and I get to meet a lot of interesting people. In fact, it's easy to waste a morning visiting with all the cool peeps who hang out there and I find out who's going where and doing what. For the most part it's awesome. But today I met a new guy (name withheld) that alarmed me. Oh, he wasn't wearing horns and a red suit. In fact he was nice enough and was checking out my Sprinter Dive Machine. He was impressed with it to the point he asked me how I found the time to create it.

    Indulge me to admit a horrible secret. I've met a lot of people and lots of people know me, but I can't remember most of their names. I'm not popular as much as I am notorious, so when someone comes up to me I have no idea if they know me, if we've ever met or maybe have even dove together. Even worse, if they do know me, I'm often too embarrassed to ask them their names so I just fake it. It was obvious to me by his question, that this guy simply had no idea who I was or that I essentially played for a living. To answer him, I asked if he had ever heard about ScubaBoard. Wow. The resultant descriptors were like a punch in the face. My beloved ScubaBoard was being described as being a mean place, full of bickering and strife where this guy named Mike Irvine would go around slamming all the non DIR divers. The forcefulness and conviction of his condemnation was intense to the point that I almost didn't reveal who I was. You could have knocked me over with a feather. It was supposed to be such a fine day and I got dumped on instead. Tentatively, I asked if he had ever been on SB. He hadn't. I then asked if he meant George Irvine III and he realized that this was the name indeed. At that point I introduced myself as the owner of SB and also told him that no, GI3 had never ever posted on SB as a promise he made to a good friend and that I found his description of SB to be absurdly wrong. I then asked him where his information came from and he said it was his cave instructor (name also withheld). Wow. His impression and opinion of SB wasn't even his own and yet he obviously believed it. I suggested that he check us out and he said he would, just to see who was right!

    That's OK. I know that SB has its critics and they can be harsh. We have far more fans, but that doesn't seem to faze them. In any event, I try to learn from all my critics. Perception is everything on the Interwebs and SB is not immune to that. But then things got interesting. Elena was finishing her full cave cert with Jill Heirnerth and he commented that he was glad she didn't have one of those dangerous instructors like Capt. Jim Wyatt. I asked why he said that, and he told me that everyone knew how he killed that girl over at Peacock. Wow. It was a day of wows. I asked if he got that information from his instructor and he said that he had. His instructor also told him to watch out for Rob Neto and Edd Sorensen too. I laughed out loud since I had never met anyone who hated BOTH Rob and Edd. Usually they are in one camp or the other, so this was novel.

    To say I was aghast, would be putting it mildly. Go to the thesaurus and look up the synonyms for aghast and I was all of them and more. Inside I was seething, but not at this guy. I was mad at his instructor. As gently as I could, I told him how wrong he was in his opinions of these people who he had never met. I added the caveat that I was personal friends with everyone he mentioned and that I was staying in Jim's house and that Jim was the one who got Elena started down the dark side.
    Now, I can't remember if it was his car that had the sticker on it or if was the other guy who was spouting off about how bad someone else was because his instructor told him so, but I thought it was rather ironic.
    Dive More. Post Less.


    None of the rumors I had heard this morning came off of the interwebs. All of them were a result of an instructor telling some BS to their students. Candidly, none of these rumors would ever survive on the internet and def not on SB. People would be calling BS so quickly their heads would spin. I reflected how often I have heard someone complain about SB or the internet and it became obvious where the real problem lay. I call them the Cave Politics, Rumor Monger and Gossip Guild. Let's call them the CPRMG Guild for short. These are the people running their mouths during surface intervals, trying to one up each other for the most horrendous gossip and slander they can come up with. "Did you hear about so and sos dive in XXX? That idiot's lucky to be alive!" "I heard that so and so broke standards when they took a student to XXX!" You certainly won't find their schlock on any forum. First, they don't want that viciousness traceable back to them and second, they know that someone will call them on their BS. Forums are a great way to get the truth out there and a wonderful way to debunk the CPRGM Guild's lies and distortions. Obviously, it's a horrible way to spread rumors.

    So, how do we deal with this? First, I'm going to be sure to only spread good vibes in Cave Country. Second, when someone starts to tell me crap about someone else, I'm just going to stop them. If they were there, then I might deign to listen, but none of this second hand BS is getting any of my time or attention. Third, I'm going to tell their victims about what they said. That's right, if you talk ill about any caver or instructor, you can be sure I will make sure they hear what you're saying about them. Finally, I'm not going to pass judgment on anyone in absentia. You earn or lose my trust in the cave: not on the picnic benches. I'm not interested in bolstering anyone's ego by tearing down another person's reputation. Not even my own.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  2. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    After last year, and the rumors I heard about me, I've pretty much decided to ignore everything I've heard in cave country.
    FYI, I don't own a .308, never have.
    karstdvr likes this.
  3. karstdvr

    karstdvr Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: South GA
    The pity is the type of stuff you describe has been going on for decades, and doubt if will be stopped, even though your thread title says,"....let's end it". I am not amazed at any of the things that are said. The funniest thing is the people who visit "cave country", sit and soak this stuff up, and then turn around and regurgitate it to others- that is the source of cave politics. I get my fill, and go dive, and listen to the solitude of the cave. Good luck in your quest

    ---------- Post added January 13th, 2016 at 05:26 AM ----------

    That is true genius. That is how you end the "cave politics", "rumor mongering", "gossip guild", "picnic table pontificating"....................
    These things are like a virus, it needs a host, and mechanism of spreading. You take it away, then it stops.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
    ashhuff, shoredivr and kensuf like this.
  4. Bennno

    Bennno Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    Sounds like this instructor is just a huge a-hole, or really dumb or both.
  5. karstdvr

    karstdvr Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: South GA
    Have to remember you have x# instructors competing for 1/2x students. People will stoop to all levels. Kind of like we have 6x candidates for x position of president,so we see attacking, degrading comments in the media. No surprises here.
  6. Bobby

    Bobby Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Charleston, SC
    This is the ugly side of human nature which is found in all aspects of diving. I started as a N.E. diver however more well known as a "cave diver". When I lived in NC and was still teaching another instructor "had heard" how dangerous my teaching style was. There was a lot of back and forth with a mutual friend attempting to settle out the dispute. The other instructor never would meet up for a sit down and I still here garbage rumors from that area. A couple of times a year I still hear interesting stories from that area with newer divers. I haven't taught a class for close to a decade and still I'm a danger to students, LOL.

    I do agree that the boards help knock the rumor mill down when they are moderated objectively and equally. SB is the biggest and still manages to be one of the best in that regard. Not an easy task.
  7. Seya

    Seya DIR Practitioner

    The same thing happens in all hobbies and job fields. All you can do is be yourself.

    Sent from my LG-H812 using Tapatalk
    The Chairman likes this.
  8. Bennno

    Bennno Banned

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Germany
    I get that, but you don't have to lie. But this guy seems to be spreading lies. You can point out what you're good at, you don't have to talk s#+t about people.
    There is nothing wrong with being critical, but people should at least try to be fair and not lie.

    btw: I heard a rumor that superlyte is an amazing diver.
    The Chairman likes this.
  9. Caveeagle

    Caveeagle Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: High Springs, FL
    For a rumor to exist, there has to be a teller, and a listener. Its human nature to want to know whats going on around us. The folks listening to negative rumors are just as guilty as the originator. I know its hard sometimes, but you really have to call out folks sometimes. Or at least try and stop it from contaminating your own mind.

    I try very hard to: a) Stop the person by saying "I just can't take the negativity".. "it puts me in a bad mood, and I would rather not hear it".. and b) Live by some advice from my late Grandfather: "Don't believe anything that you hear.. and only half of what you see".

    What's really tough, is when this kind of stuff comes from a authority figure, like an instructor. Its going to be super hard for a student not take this stuff in from a supposed expert, who you are trusting your life (and money) to. Sometimes I think instructors don't realize how much their words can affect and influence their students. I still have biases re gear that stem way back to my OW/AOW instructor. I know its ridiculous, but I just can't get over being suspicious of "brand A" regulators, because of harsh criticism and satire spewed by him way back in '91.

    Keep it positive. If you have a problem with somebody, that should be handled with them directly, or with a mediator. Otherwise.. keep it to yourself.

    CAPTAIN SINBAD Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Woodbridge VA
    Instructor rivalries are fairly common. In my neck of woods we have all these instructors from different agencies with their own cult-following and they all convinced that the rival cult is dangerous and evil to dive with. I have not seen anyone mention anything negative about scubaboard though except for the general skepticism that surrounds all internet forums, "You don't know who you are getting your advice from" sort of a thing.

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