Does an ‘Open Forum’ Mean an ‘Open Microphone’?: The Controversy at Sunstone West This April, a controversy erupted surrounding the program for the 2001 Sunstone West Symposium. The event involved the paper proposal, ‘The Hidden Nazi Mentality in the Proclamation on the Family,” by Cindy LeFevre, which was first accepted but then removed from the program. The entire affair has been very upsetting to all parties, but it nevertheless raises important issues that should be addressed as Sunstone moves into the future. In this session, panel members will trace the history of the controversy, but, more importantly, they will try to clarify questions about what it means to say that Sunstone is striving to be an “open forum.” Does this mean that Sunstone should have an “open mike” where anyone can say anything? If so, what are the possible consequences to the organization as the sponsor of such a gathering? If not, what standards in terms of scholarship, topic, and tone are, or should be applied, when considering proposals for symposiums? How should these decisions be made and by whom? When does the exercise of “discretion” turn into an act of “censorship”?
J. Frederick (Toby) Pingree, Robert A. Rees, Mary Ellen Roberston, Cindy le Fevre