A New Requirement for RC Teachers

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the Women and Men Leaders’ Workshop, led by Diane Balser and Tim Jackins, in Washington, D.C., USA, October 2017

We had our World Conference not so long ago. One thing we always do at World Conferences is modify the Guidelines for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities. We do this for several reasons: to correct past mistakes, to clarify our intentions, to demonstrate our progress, and to respond to changing conditions in society.

The Guidelines are guidelines. They are not laws. They are to guide our thought and functioning, to help us think in places where we have difficulty thinking, to not leave any of us alone in difficult corners.


The piece of the Guidelines we get to talk about today is a new requirement for RC teachers.

We ask much more of people who teach RC than we ask of people coming into RC. Teaching is our most important leadership position. It’s in RC classes that the first important piece of work gets done—that the idea gets into people’s heads that they can change their own minds, and if they can change their minds, they might be able to have power in the world; they might matter.

As teachers we are not just teaching RC ideas. We are also trying to show the effect of the ideas. We get to demonstrate what it’s like to have had RC resource for ourselves. We get to be different from anything the students in our fundamentals class see anywhere else. We get to be ourselves and to demonstrate the ability to free oneself from distresses.

We have sections in the Guidelines about what we want teachers to be like. Again, they are not “law.” They describe what we are trying for. They do require an active effort—they require that teachers not just agree to the ideas but also try in the direction of them, that they use our tools against their difficulties.

There are teachers who have had trouble with many of the things we list as requirements. However, if they have engaged in the work to end their difficulties, and have done enough work that the difficulties don’t dominate their behavior, they’ve been able to keep teaching.

There is a section in the Guidelines called “Moving against Distress.” It starts out, “When approving teachers, Reference Persons will take into account the applicants’ competence, responsibility, relationships with others, and capacity to handle their surroundings and their own well-being. The goal is to have each teacher be free of any patterns that interfere with being an excellent model. Classist, racist, anti-Jewish, sexist, ageist, and other oppressive patterns, including greed, are part of our cultures. Teachers are to challenge and discharge on all oppressive patterns they encounter in RC activities and in their own lives.”


Four years ago we added a requirement about the use of pornography. There were lots of struggles. This year we added a requirement about prostitution* —and again, lots of struggles. Why? As society collapses, it is hell-bent on corrupting [determined to corrupt] anyone or anything that threatens it, and one of the main ways it corrupts human relationships, and destroys people for the sake of profit, is by using sex and sexism.

This form of corruption is infiltrating our societies. All the people who come into our Communities, and those of us here, have been corrupted by it. And our powerlessness, our difficulty in facing what feels unbearable, often leaves us as passive witnesses to it. It’s important that our Community not go along with the corruption. It’s important that somebody in the society says no. It’s a tough fight, but it’s an unavoidable fight. It could be delayed, but there is no benefit in delaying it.

We have chosen to undertake a hard struggle, and it is now a requirement of RC teachers. Most of us don’t want to look at or think about how we got damaged in this area, but we do want to be free of it—and I think we might be tough enough to face it. Welcome to open struggle.

We all struggle with the corruption because of what’s happened to us. It has destroyed millions of people. And the way to begin stopping it is to take an honorable position. We have to decide—and we did decide at the World Conference—that we will do this.


We can actually live well in hard circumstances. We can enjoy being alive even when damaging things are happening in the world—especially if we’re involved in ending them. The struggle to end them should be joyous.

It is objectively difficult, there will be losses, but we will be ending something horrible. We should be happy about that. You might try to be happy. Don’t wait for happiness to happen to you. Going against distress material always involves a choice in your mind.

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 191, April 2018)

 * From pages 14 and 15 of the 2017 Guidelines for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities:

Teachers are expected . . .

b. to not defend the use of pornography, prostitution, or other sex industries.

c. to have counseled enough on the sexual distresses that society has installed on them (as on all of us) to not engage in sexual contact for money or other forms of compensation or otherwise collude with the exploitation of anyone who is compelled or driven to offer such contact by violence, threat, force, economic conditions, or oppression . . . .

Last modified: 2018-07-29 12:16:36+00