Andrea ferch Taliesin wrote:..... Since then they have continued to harass and personally insult members of the group. How do we deal with this?
Having survived (barely) exactly these circumstances I offer moral support and (hopefully) a little advice.First, I am assuming that the aggression you and your group is feeling from this person on the outside is directed over some medium of exchange (internet board, commonly visited coffee-house, or similar community gathering).
Second, I am assuming that whatever they are doing and however they are doing it, the group (or affected individuals) are having some difficulty standing up to the harassment.
Third, I am assuming that you have little legal recourse (either through the law or through any recognized system of community Elders).
My biggest advice is to gather the group together and try to get a sense of their reaction to this person and their harassment. With a group backing, you can do a lot to stop this individual from harming the group. The danger here is that some of the group may side with this individual. If this is the case, then you have a problem.
My suggestion is to hold a gathering, with the sole intent being the open discussion of this individual and their affect upon the group as a whole. Do not say "Me" or "They" but always use "Us" and "Our Group".
If a true group agrees completely then you are in the clear and it is all over but the crying on the individuals part. The group can actively ignore him and begin to change meetings places and times so the individual is truly cut off and unaware of the groups further progression.
I tried to hold my group together in a very similar cirumstance and succeeded for over 18 months. In the end however, I did not realize that this individual had begun emailing all of the group individually and making them promise not to tell me about it. After over a year of this he turned 3 people out of our group of 15 against the group. Those three caused the destruction of our group from within, catching us at a time when we were voting in new leadership. They sabotaged our group by putting this individuals name on the ballot. The group burst into a war of words and when the flames died down there were only four of us left. Those four remain and the group remains, but it will never be the same again.
If I had it all to do over again, I would have held a group meeting and left it up to them. Any people that agreed with the individual would have also been asked to leave.
I made the mistake of thinking that the individual would eventually grow up and act his age. I was wrong and this petty individual has continued to cause noting but Chaos wherever he strides.
In the end the Balance has interceded and this individual has had nearly everything they value crumble to dust. Most of their group interaction results in the group they belong to (or they lead) falling into a massive flame war. They don't seem to understand that this is a path of spirituality and that nobody really had to "be in charge" of anything.They are unfortunately caught up in a "Whose Staff is Bigger?" paradigm..../|\ Mark