Freedom's History, Policy & Staff

Welcome to Freedom, a support group dedicated to educated cold turkey nicotine dependency recovery. Prior to applying to join, it is critical that you read: (1) The Law of Addiction (2) Our Mission Statement (3) Relapse Policy and (4) Rules.
Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

February 8th, 2005, 7:25 am #76

What can I say? Apart from exactly the same as Sandy 5 months ago, so I hope she doesn't mind me copying her words:

Wow!
I hadn't seen this before! This is awesome!
This is a MUST READ!
Check it out if you haven't yet, and make sure to hit First to see the initial posts following John's.
Thank you, Freedom Team!!


Gitte
74 days and a bit
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:01 am

April 28th, 2005, 8:39 am #77

Seems timely to bring this post up for those who haven't seen it and to remind those who have. Steve 11 months, 14 days.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

April 28th, 2005, 10:49 am #78

John (Gold x5) Retires
from Freedom's Management Team

Steve, we'd always intended to update this thread as although it shows how we got our start, and Joel's arrival, it does little to document the ongoing early evolution of this most amazing forum. There were a few rather challenging steps along the way, some that many of us would really rather forget.

As part of the forum's history, I'm going to paste part of a message I shared in Joseph's brain parade yesterday, the announcement that I'm no longer serving as a manager here at Freedom. Out of respect for our mission in maintaining the group's focus I'd ask that there be no new threads, as Freedom doesn't do birthdays nor retired manager days. I'd hate to think that we lost a smoker searching for serious help simply because she clicked upon a thread that had absolutely nothing to do with quitting. Thanks for respecting this request. John (Gold x5)


I guess this is as good a place as any to announce my retirement as an active manager here at Freedom. As some of our older members may have noticed I've become rather active in youth smoking prevention this past year. Yes, I've fallen in love with the thought of helping even one child or teen avoid going through what each of us endured - the stuff of Joseph's insightful post.

I look forward to spending more time attempting to build WhyQuit into a higher caliber resource, addressing both prevention and cessation. Oh, I'll still be an active poster here at Freedom but I'll no longer have management responsibilities or be trading so many daily e-mails with new arrivals. It should free up a couple of hours each day, hours needed to begin putting a small dent in my growing WhyQuit "to-do" list. For example, today The Smoker's Memorial finally got off the ground, with a dedication to Kim. As some of you may know, it had been on the list for more than a year.

I've had a wonderful time watching this place evolve into the amazingly focused tool it has become and leave its management in highly skilled hands. I look forward to watching it evolve even further as Joel has some solid policy ideas about where he'd like to take things (see A message to our prospective members Message 94 )

Millions of words in Freedom's 265,000 archived member posts but just one guiding principle determining the outcome for all, a principle that will always be our common bond ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew! John (Gold x5)
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

January 17th, 2006, 7:33 pm #79

See, what happens when you can't come to our cyber home for a couple of weeks or so?

In my attempt to catch up with all of you awesome Quitters (and one never-smoker, of course, too!), I found the following posts and thought it might be a good idea to add them here.

Okay, no longer early history but history nonetheless.

"Getting Prepared for A New Year of Freedom."
Help Wanted - 4 new assistant managers
Thank You from Kristen
Thank You Freedom from Rick

Thank you managers, old and new! PARADE from all the Freedomites

This, of course, also gives me the chance to "join" the parade just a little bit late and say "thank managers, old and new, too.

So, here goes (once again in alphabetical order):
Thank you,
Joanne, Joel, John, Kristen, Linda, and Rick!!!!!


Gitte
417 days and a bit
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 17th, 2006, 8:05 pm #80


Joel, Joanne and Linda

Thank you for six years of volunteer service to Freedom!

Thanks Gitte. Today Joel starts another live two-week six-session clinic during which he'll spend roughly 13 hours standing before a new group of dreamers, and countless hours on the phone between sessions and after the program trying to help each of them realize that dream.


As most of you know, on December 2, 2005 Ask Joel was born (http://www.msnusers.com/AskJoel) and on December 29, 2005 Joel, Linda and Joanne joined me in retirement from active management as we introduced two new manangers Rick and Kristen.


But the heart, soul and message of this site will always reflect the work and giving of Joel Spitzer of Chicago, whose life's work has now touched hundreds of thousands of lives. It was January 20, 2000 when Joel arrived here freely offering insights. It is a day I'll never forget! Thank you Joel.


Kristen and Rick, we thank you for the countless hours you've devoted in trying to ensure that high quality lessons and support continue. Below is the first GIF Joel shared here at Freedom. It's part of our history. Still just one rule ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff!
John (Gold x6)

Last edited by John (Gold) on June 23rd, 2009, 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

April 27th, 2006, 5:55 pm #81

Found another string this morning : The Smoker's Vow


Apart from this addition, another chance to say:
This is a MUST READ!
Check it out if you haven't yet, and make sure to hit First to see the initial posts following John's.
Thank you, Freedom Team,
now including Sal!!



Gitte
517 days and a bit
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:17 am

April 28th, 2006, 12:00 am #82

Hey Gitte,

Thank you so much for reviving this post. I found it both fascinating and informative. I had never read this one before and learned alot about the origins of how the philosophy of Freedom evolved. I think this is imortant information to know for newbies especially that are just starting to learn and fortifies the flawless credibility of our moderators managers and teachers.

Not to mention there is also a good summary of the truth about NRT's which is invaluable information for people about to embark on their journey to freedom.

Craig - Free from nicotine for One Year, Three Months, Twenty Three Days, 12 Hours and 24 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 16 Days and 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 4795 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,711.82.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

April 29th, 2007, 9:12 pm #83

I just saw where a member celebrating his first year anniversary thanked me for starting this site. For clarification sake, I did not start this site, John and Joanne did. This string discusses how Freedom came into being and how over time has evolved into the site that it is now.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

August 26th, 2007, 9:14 pm #84

Freedom Staff Changes
This rather old thread is pretty beat up and I see I've done a pretty lousy job of collecting all prior staff change announcements and sharing them here. Let me see if we can't bring this thread a bit more current.
Kristen, Rick and Sallie Join Staff
Kristen & Rick accepted management offers on December 24 and 26, 2005 respectively, and Sallie joined them on January 21, 2006. Although we did not achieve the expressed goal of spreading management out in time zones around the globe (in that all three were from here the U.S.) with Linda, Joanne and Joel joining me in retirement, more important than planet location was selecting a team with the extra time needed to keep the forum on even keel. I sure those of you who've followed this forum's history would agree, Kristen, Rick and Sallie have served this forum well.
Backed by Rick, Kristen took the lead in handling new member admissions and Sallie was a natural out on the boards. Together they allowed Freedom to smoothly transition from a seasoned staff of long-term givers, that collectively had nearly 20 years of board management experience, to where we are today. Although each agreed to serve 6 month terms, they each served two terms longer than asked, and this forum is deeply indebted to each of them for their selfless service.
Rick's Retires and Robin Joins Staff
It has always been a dream here at Freedom to have staff members in time zones around the globe, so as to nearly always have eyes out on the board, with someone awake and available to reply to incoming manager emails or hand other pressing concerns. On July 14, 2007, after serving a year longer than asked, Rick joined the four of us in retirement. Thank you, Rick, again, for giving so much of yourself to others!
Robin had just turned Gold, was on the other side of the globe in India and it was hard to ignore his support of new arrivals and, like so many others here, his skill in sharing appropriate thread lessons. On August 19, 2007, Robin accepted our offer to join Freedom's staff and we welcome him to the team! Welcome Robin!
An International Staff
Although taking our time, our goal is to add one additional manager in a time zone outside the Americas and that should occur within the next couple of months. It'll allow staff a bit more mental comfort in taking time off or going on vacation/holiday. As you know, all these folks are 100% volunteers. In fact, no one associated with Freedom has ever received any compensation of any kind for their time, energy and dedication. We thank each of you for being patient with us through the years! We're human, we make mistakes but we strive to improve.
But together, with a couple of hundred natural board managers, those of you who are this site's giving glue, that reach out to new arrivals as time permits, together we're making a massive difference.
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long Freedom!
John (Gold x8)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 12th, 2007, 5:49 am #85

Suzie (KatsRule8) Joins Freedom's Staff
It's with great pleasure that we announce that Suzie (Katsrule8) has become Freedom's newest manager. As most of you know, she's been a dedicated giver here at Freedom since her arrival, turned Gold two months ago, and becomes Freedom's first manager from Australia. With Robin in India, Suzie's addition truly gives Freedom's staff an International flavor. It also provides increased assurance that new arrivals will find nearly around the clock assistance. Thank you Suzie!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

June 18th, 2008, 1:02 am #86

Kristen Retires from Management
Today Kristen Dittman of
Binghamton, N.Y announced her retirment as one of Freedom's managers, after having served since December 2005. During her term Kristen processed countless Freedom membership applications where she served as the forum's initial contact for new arrivals.
Somehow thanks just doesn't seem enough, Kristen, but thank you for giving so much of yourself to so many. Like all former managers, your selfless giving is now part of the history of why this all volunteer forum endures.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

June 18th, 2008, 2:27 am #87

Let me add my "thanks" Kristen. Without the sefless, dedicated support of you and the other managers of these sites I'd never have become a member and more importantly I'd still be smoking myself into an early grave. I appreciate everything you did and can't thank you enough. NTAP Rules!

YQB,
Pat (free now five months, two weeks, two days, 12 hours, 26 minutes and 24 seconds. 5055 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,010.86. Life saved: 2 weeks, 3 days, 13 hours, 15 minutes)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

August 27th, 2008, 7:43 pm #88

Denny (dennyb2) Joins Freedom's Staff
It's with great pleasure that Freedom announces that Denny (dennyb2) has become Freedom's newest manager. Denny resides in Schenectady, NY, USA and has enjoyed nearly 2.5 years of freedom, during which he has remained and continued offering new arrivals quality support. Welcome to our all volunteer staff Denny! As with all of Freedom's dedicated long-term givers, our sincere thanks for the continuing gift you so freely give!

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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:01 am

August 28th, 2008, 10:54 am #89

Yeah, Denny!
Thanks !
Tina - Free and Healing for Four Years, Six Months, One Day and 49 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 68 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 19728 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $8,977.46.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

August 29th, 2008, 8:22 pm #90

Congratulations and thank you Denny for your great enthusiasm and continual encouragement. You will be a fabulous manager!! Great choice.

Vicki, 2 years, 27 days of freedom!!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

August 30th, 2008, 5:10 am #91

Congratulations DennyB2. You have been very supportive. Also- Nice to know my support is so local. (I am in Albany NY)
Enjoy your management position.

Green on Aug.26th.
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Joined: March 31st, 2006, 8:00 am

August 30th, 2008, 6:08 am #92

First, please allow me to Thank John, Sal, Robin and Suzie for inviting me to join the management team. It is an honor to have the chance to help others Free themselves of active addiction to this awful drug Nicotine.
I have myself benefitted from all the work that has been done here by the founders and managers that have worked so hard before me. This community is singularly dedicated to the abrupt cessation of the use of the drug Nicotine and the benefits derived from doing so is told over and over on these Feedom boards.
Please read the stories so selflessly shared by Nicotine addicts from around the world and you will soon realize there are people here who understand what you are experiencing regardless of where you are in your quit. You do the work of staying Free of Nicotine and we will support you every step of the way.
I also want all of you to know that I will do my best to fulfill my responsibilities in my new role here Freedom.
I truely appreciate your congratulations and encouragement.
This thread should be read from start to finish by everyone participating here. It is a history lesson and should give everyone who reads it a better appreciation of how a few brave souls ventured out into cyberspace and created a place that has saved countless people their lives.
Please do not use this thread to congratulate me subsequent to this post but again I encourage all of you to read through all of it.
For those of you that are new here get used to hearing:
Attitude is everything, keep it positive, move forward and live life to its fullest. NTAP!
YQB - Denny B - 888 days FREE
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

October 28th, 2008, 7:32 am #93

Getting Around
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Joined: December 6th, 2008, 4:58 pm

June 23rd, 2009, 4:58 pm #94

This thread has remained hidden in our MSN archives and neglected long enough. Time to revive it, restore at least some of the missing images and bring it current. But where to start. This first post was posted at our old MSN website on 10/24/08 and provides a bit of history:

Freedom will be moving to a new home!

You may have already read news that MSN is closing down MSN Groups in February 2009. If so, please don't panic. Everything will be fine. We are now in the process of investigating our options. We will do all we can to make the move as easy as possible. As you may know, New Years is our busiest time of the year. Our goal is to have Freedom's move complete by then.


Our primary concern right now is finding a way to migrate Freedom's more than 359,000 archived member posts to a new home. While MSN is providing the ability to move (migrate) MSN Group threads and posts to a new host website that it has chosen, we are hoping to locate a message board hosting platform that offers features and functions closer to those provided here at MSN Groups.
We would love to hear from you if you have the knowledge and skills necessary to migrate message threads between differently formatted message board platforms. Also, drop us a line if you know of a message board hosting platform or site that you think fits nicely with Freedom's needs. We'll see it gets considered.


We'll keep you posted on developments. Our deep and sincere thanks to MSN for giving us a free home since September 1999. Thank you! Still just one rule ... no nicotine today!


Freedom's Management Team
[url=mailto:managers@whyquit.com]managers@whyquit.com[/url]


This message is located on the
Getting Around message board

The Move
Well, as MSN's closing date neared we settled on a new host, Yuku, and began building "Freedom from Nicotine." At Yuku we could control advertising to a major degree (by buying it off) but lost our "All Topics" board which allowed members to follow all activity on all 22 message boards by looking at a single board. Migration of 346,941 old MSN posts to Yuku appeared to be an impossible task and it was. But Yuku was the best migration offered by any host. Sadly a number of our old MSN boards had grown so large that some were simply too big, old and tangled to capture. This Yuku support message board thread documents our frustrations and stuggle to move threads here to our new home before MSN pulled the plug.

Prior to MSN's Feburary 2009 shutdown we worked hard replacing as many images in migrated threads as time permitted. Once MSN pulled the plug all old MSN based images disappeared and links within migrated threads no longer functioned. Frankly, we will spend the next year or so repairing as many threads as time permits. In most cases we have no way of knowing what image went with what post, so we simply delete old HTML image box codes but in some cases we do!

Our thinking with the new site was to broaden focus to Freedom from all forms of nicotine delivery, not just smoking or tobacco. With scores of new nicotine products hitting the streets, if we follow the nicotine we'll continue hitting the problem head-on.

We thank each of you for your patience and cooperation this past half year. We know the site isn't yet as user friendly as our old home but continue working to make it so. All suggestions are truly appreciated. If you are an old still nicotine-free member from MSN who has not yet joined us here we'd love to have you!!! Oh, at the top of our main page is a link entitled This link allows you to view all new messages posted during the past 24 hours . It's a search work-around that does a fair job at imitating our old "All Topics" message board as it shows all recent posts to all boards.

Whether here or there, there was always only one rule ... no nicotine today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x10)
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Joined: December 6th, 2008, 4:58 pm

June 23rd, 2009, 5:34 pm #95



Staff Announcements

We thank both Robin Sathaye, Freedom's first manager from India (Manager 2007-2009), and Dennis Blasch from the U.S. (Manager 2008-2009) for their service to Freedom, and today welcome Joseph Savastano, also from the U.S., as the forum's newest manager. Joseph joins Sallie and Suzie in helping mold this Yuku clay into an even more effective recovery tool. We also thank Marty for volunteering to update Freedom's color clubs and to all who helped salvage MSN images and parades during the move. Also Freedom's co-founder, Joanne, has been busy putting together a WhyQuit facebook. Without these dedicated givers our forum would not have the recovery impact potential it now clearly has the ability to command. Together we can and are making a difference! As Roger reminds us, "yes we can!"

Still just one rule ... none!

John (Gold x10)

Last edited by FreedomNicotine on June 23rd, 2009, 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: December 6th, 2008, 4:58 pm

June 24th, 2009, 1:57 am #96

Welcome, Joseph Savastano, to the FREEDOM STAFF!
I am so glad I took the lengthy time to read all this post. I am so impressed in the way whyquit became and how it has grown. I am also very impressed with the backgrounds of the people who have given their time to thousands of people like me, A Nicotine Addict. This place is priceless and that is an understatement. Today I am a quitter! I have quit smoking that drug called nicotine and all the other chemicals it carries with it. We do deserve to be the way we came into the world and even though I have had some tough days, I would not go back to smoking that drug. I am proud to say
I am a recovering nicotine addict.
Thanks to all who give and have given their time to help me stay clean!
I am actually feeling some growing up pains and it is such a great reminder that nicotine is no longer in my system! woo hoo!!
I have saved 6 days of my life back!



Ann - Free and Healing for One Month, Twelve Days, 12 Hours and 50 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 6 Days and 1 Hour, by avoiding the use of 1741 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $505.92.

Last Edited By: dixieanny 06/23/09 05:48. Edited 2 times.
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Joined: December 6th, 2008, 4:58 pm

October 12th, 2009, 2:17 am #97



Staff Announcement


We're pleased to announce that today, October 11, 2009,
JoeJ from the U.S. joined Freedom's Staff as a Manager.
A long-term giver here at Freedom, JoeJ broke free on 1/10/05

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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

November 8th, 2010, 4:26 pm #98

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Joel's Status Change from Director to Advisor[/font]
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