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Do Not Recruit Co-Counselors Into Wide-World Organizations Which You Are Leading or Building

Leaders in RC are expected, whenever possible, to extend leadership to, and help work out policy for, wide-world liberation movements which have rational programs moving in the same direction as RC liberation movements. RCers are encouraged, once they have become clear enough and able enough to do so, to play a role in supporting wide-world organizations which embrace people of their own constituency and which have progressive and liberating policies.

Where such organizations do not already exist in the wide world, RCers are encouraged to assume leadership in organizing them and guiding them.

Many years ago we decided to recommend a policy of "balanced leadership," of a leader "having one foot in the RC Communities and one in the wide world and leading effectively in both."

As a result of these policies, thousands of RCers have become effective activists in many progressive organizations.

A growing number of RCers have joined existing liberation organizations dealing with women's liberation, men's liberation, children's liberation, parents' liberation, young people's liberation, young adults' liberation, the elimination of racism, the elimination of classism, and many more.

A certain number of effective RC leaders have launched new organizations for taking the key elements of liberation policies as worked out within RC to the wider public. Learning as they go, some have built fine organizations with substantial memberships which bring progressive policies or "naturalized RC policies" to large numbers of enthusiastic people.

When this organizing and expansion of wide-world organizations by RC leaders first began, I was slow to recognize the possibility of difficulties arising out of the participation of other RCers in organizations formed and led by RC leaders. I was concerned about getting started in these directions and finding out what was possible. I did not recognize that there would be a temptation facing the initiating leader to "borrow" some other RCers to assist him or her, who were seen as "already committed" and "knowledgeable" in the particular field of liberation, and therefore tempting as a "short cut" around the job of educating and training members and leaders for the wide-world organization. I did not recognize that this was a serious violation of the "no socializing" principle which had been found necessary in other relations between RCers. I failed to see that it involved setting up a second relationship with a person when the existing relationship was based on both people being Co-Counselors in their primary relationship, that they "knew each other" because of their existing membership in the Co-Counseling Community.

Some of you RC leaders launched new organizations which succeeded and continue to be successful but "borrowed" other RCers to help you and to share leadership in the wide-world organization. In the beginning, some of you leaders consulted me about "recruiting" other RCers to lead portions of your wide-world organizations in the places where they were residents or where they had a particular interest in the policies. Some of you did not consult me but simply went ahead with such recruiting. When the "need" of the leader for "experienced assistants" was offered as a reason for recruiting RCers, I did not firmly require a correct policy. I was too "eager" to help see that the wide-world organizational efforts were successful. I yearned to see models of correct dual leadership where you were leading both in RC and in wide-world organizations.

I was wrong in this. Such actions should not have taken place. I apologize to the Community for these lapses in judgment.

Some of you have complained to me that people that you have trained to become leaders of RC, and have made considerable investment in their training, have been "recruited" by others of you who are leading wide-world organizations to assist them (without any consultation with you who had found and developed these people). Often, apparently, the jobs in the wide-world organizations seemed "easier" than the jobs you had planned to train them to take in RC. Sometimes, you have said, the more substantial financial incomes that seemed possible in the wide-world organizations were too tempting (in today's shaky economy) for the recruited people to give balanced consideration to the opportunities for their development as RC leaders which you had planned.

For now I do not propose that we be "retroactive" in undoing what has already taken place. I ask that the people who have been involved in these mistakes think carefully about how to correct policy with (hopefully) as little disruption of people's lives and functioning as possible.

It is simply time to re-assert and apply the no-socializing principle of the Guidelines to all the relationships which might occur between RCers in wide-world work.

The relationship of Co-Counselors in or leading wide-world organizations to other Co-Counselors should be governed by the following principles:

  1. Co-Counselors in or leading wide-world organizations should not recruit other Co-Counselors into their organizations. If other Co-Counselors ask to join their wide-world organizations, these other Co-Counselors should instead be urged to start their own wide-world organizations and recruit contacts from the wide world, rather than "huddle" with people who have already been organized.
  2. Co-Counselors should not hire other Co-Counselors to work in their wide-world organizations. They should train people from their wide-world organizations to do the leading. In practice they will need to teach such people RC or bring them to RC classes and other RC activities for the training in RC which they will need to become maximally effective leaders.
  3. Institutions (governments, schools, colleges, hospitals, etc.) often need the intervention of some of the effective wide-world organizations which are being led by Co-Counselors. Co-Counselors in these institutions may invite these organizations into their institution to do particular workshops or training (just as they may invite the RC Community in to teach RC classes) for the members of the institution. However, the Co-Counselor arranging for such an invitation is acting for the institution and should not take charge of the activity of the wide-world organization within the institution.
  4. Co-Counselors who have organized or become leaders in wide-world organizations should keep in mind that training and encouraging training of the members of their wide-world organizations and offering them the perspective of joining the RC Community will be helpful to these members learning to lead well.
  5. If Co-Counselors are leading wide-world organizations, they have a responsibility to their members to make full knowledge of RC available to these people and not limit them to a diluted or incomplete version of it. (Naturalizing RC does not mean diluting it or communicating only fragments of it.) People will need it all as the struggle to end all oppressions and advance humanity progresses.
  6. RCers who lead wide-world organizations need to remember that they can always, in every situation, think as RCers and think of spreading our precious information as widely as possible.

Harvey Jackins

RRP No. 10, 1994
Kind, Friendly Universe, p. 275.

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00