This past Saturday, January 28, 2023, another chapter in my own personal blacklisting saga took place. On that day the Arizona Regional Association (ARA), a division of the National Speleological Society, the country’s national organization for cavers, held its annual winter technical meeting at Kartchner Caverns in Arizona.
It is this same organization had blacklisted me and two other individuals in November 2021 because they did not like our opinions about COVID. Its leadership therefore assumed that it also the right to eject us from the public event on Saturday. It was our intention to show them they were wrong.
The goal of the winter technical, which has been occurring annually for about a half century, is to allow southwest cavers to present papers highlighting their research and projects during the past year. While intended mostly for Arizona cavers, it has not been unusual for others from other parts of the country to present, especially if their work has some connection with Arizona. Consider it a very informal kind of scientific conference.
Thus, this event has always been open to the public, and in fact has always been designed as a form of outreach.
The Wuhan panic had unfortunately caused the winter technical to be canceled in 2021 and 2022. Thus, the January 2023 event was to be the first in-person winter technical since 2020.
It was also going to be the first in-person winter technical since this organization had blacklisted myself and two others. …
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