"Visioning, Community, and Sustainable Development"
An Exclusive By Charlene Sanders
Published 08. 21. 02 at 18:08 Sierra Time

For months now we've heard about "Focus Garland County" and it's aims to help Arkansas develop "healthy, sustainable communities for the New Economy" according to their website: www.v2010.org.

The public was invited to come to the convention center (the same stayed home in droves) and was invited to participate in what was promoted as public input, when in reality it was a facilitated meeting where participants met together to dialogue to "consensus."

Consensus, for those of you not familiar with the term is a psychological method of manipulation used to move a group of people from many different opinions to a predetermined outcome. This involves using a principle developed by a German philosopher, Hegel (further developed by others). In order for 'consensus' to be achieved, the environment (the participants) must be strictly controlled. And controlled it was. Did you go to the meeting?

What is the Delphi Technique?

In Educating for the New World Order by B. Eakman, the reader finds reference upon reference for the need to preserve the illusion that there is "…lay, or community, participation (in the decision-making process), while lay citizens were, in fact, being squeezed out."  

The change agent or facilitator goes through the motions of acting as an organizer, getting each person in the target group to elicit expression of their concerns about a program, project, or policy in question.  The facilitator listens attentively, forms "task forces," "urges everyone to make lists," and so on.

In our case, the question posed was, "What is your 'vision' for your community?"

Consensus is Hegelian principle. Hegel maintained that the mind was the source of all reality and by using what he called the 'rational dialectic' an entity passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite" through a three-part process:

  1. Thesis (your position)
  2. Anti-thesis (any different or opposing position)
  3. Synthesis (which reconciles the two previous positions and then becomes the basis of a new thesis.

In order to achieve what Hegel believed was "Oneness of Mind" this must be a continual process.

Upon Hegel's death in 1831, his followers split into two camps. Karl Marx was in the camp that did not entirely believe as Hegel originally did. His philosophical belief was that the physical and material life determined consciousness of thought, while still holding to the "oneness of mind."

Marx believed this would be achieved in the classless society in which the workers, as a collective held in the government, own all means of production and ownership of the land (communism).

He believed religion was a form of self-alienation in which man attributed all goodness and wisdom capable to a remote God instead of recognizing goodness and wisdom as essentially human capacities — coming from within.  Marx's entire theory regarding social, political, and economic systems centered on eradicating "self-alienation."  He believed this eradication would progress naturally, not consciously, via the Hegelian Dialectic.  

This progression is known as dialectical materialism.

But this is not a natural process. That's why there must be a facilitator to bring the group to consensus. The outcome cannot be left to chance. The environment must be controlled.

It's not that the issue or issues are complex or difficult to deal with. YOU are complex and the meeting is set up to change you.

Hence when we have in appointed groups such as "Voicing Your Vision," and the "Blue Ribbon Commission on Education in Arkansas" and myriad other groups using this process, you will find a:

  1. Diverse group (the public)
  2. Dialoguing to 'consensus' (breaking up into small groups)
  3. Over a social issue (education, 'vision' etc.)
  4. In a facilitated meeting (Darlene Garrett, David Bartlett)
  5. To a predetermined outcome. (Consensus is reached)

The completed consensus circle is called (are you ready?) a soviet. It is the same term used in the same process in the former Soviet Union. This type of meeting is being used in nearly every place of business in America today. Everywhere this is found (in schools, in churches, in government, in universities etc.) you will have a soviet, that is, moving people from making decisions based on fact in which they are an active participant in the decision-making process, to relationship building in which they become mere puppets of a predetermined outcome.

The question still remains: What is the predetermined outcome? That is the question I pose to Darlene Garrett and "Voicing Your Vision."

One should ask her why, when she was approached by a local Webmaster offering to host a website dedicated to the program, when she learned what information the website would reveal to the people of Garland County, she declined. The Webmaster shared with her what the website could do:

  1. People could write in their opinions open to the public
  2. There would be on-line polling to validate the voters feelings
  3. There was a Bulletin Board Forum where citizens could list what they wanted in the open.

For every feature he came up with, she cringed more. The final moment came when he offered to integrate the "Focus" database into the website so everyone could see for themselves what people actually said they wanted at the Focus meetings. He said, "I thought she would faint."

So here's a challenging question, for you Darlene: What is the "predetermined" outcome of the "Focus on Garland County" meetings and "Vision Fair?" And if this is a 'grassroots' movement, as you repeatedly contend, then why are so many cities and counties across the nation doing exactly the same thing?

Charlene Sanders
Hot Springs, Arkansas

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]


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