Report on the 1997 World Conference

The 1997 World Conference of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities was held in Aptos, California, USA, November 28 to December 1, 1997. This seventh World Conference was attended by Co-Counseling leaders from thirty-five countries: Argentina, Austria, Australia, Basque Country, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, El Salvador, England, France, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, The Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Trinidad, Uganda, the United States, Wales, and Zimbabwe.

The Conference proceedings were translated into Spanish, French, and Japanese. There were 106 women, thirty-seven men, seventy-two Regional Reference Persons (RRPs), and thirty-five International Liberation Reference Persons (ILRPs). The rest were individuals who are taking key responsibility for RC leadership in their countries.

The main purposes of the Conference were to adopt goals and policies for the next period, to give leaders a boost toward putting those goals and policies into effect in their Communities, to review and revise the Guidelines of the RC Communities, and to review the work of international leaders.

In preparation for the World Conference, ten "Pre-World-Conference" Conferences were held at which developing counseling techniques were demonstrated and considerable discussion took place on the proposed goals for the next four years. (These goals were published in the July 1997 Present Time.) Written reports from the goal discussion groups at these Pre-World-Conference Conferences were compiled for use at the World Conference. (These summaries of the Pre-World-Conference Conference discussions can be found at the RC Web site at www.rc.org)

A few weeks before the Conference, all RRPs, ILRPs, and others planning to attend were sent proposed changes to the Guidelines and some new proposed goals for review and comment.

All comments and proposals received about these goals and Guidelines changes were reviewed one week before the Conference. Revisions were made, based on those comments, and the revised version of the goals and Guidelines changes were distributed to Conference participants by e-mail (when possible) and at the Conference itself.

At the World Conference, people had a chance, in small group meetings, to review the proposals that were rejected, ask questions, reassert any proposal, and make new proposals. This process resulted in suggestions for yet further changes to the Guidelines. Finally, during two meetings of the whole Conference, all the proposed changes were read out loud, questions asked and answered, new suggestions made, and, finally, the changes approved or rejected by consensus of the group. The final changes as adopted follow this report.

A few of the changes to the Guidelines are summarized here:

 

  • That we strongly oppose the use of psychiatric drugs.

 

 

  • That Outreach Funds be used to help new populations learn RC and to train leadership.

 

 

  • That Regional Reference Persons be given the discretion whether or not to ban individuals from Community events if they persist in violation of the "no socializing" policy.

 

 

  • That teachers be required to examine and discharge on patterns of greed and the irrational use of money.

 

 

  • That fundraising or direct solicitations of money from individual Co-Counselors be prohibited.

 

Everyone at the World Conference participated in small discussion groups on the implementation of the goal of "going public," and a working group was established to bring back the recommendations of these discussion groups to the World Conference as a whole. The working group met three times in twenty-four hours, and their report follows.

Participants also chose one of the other eight goals they wished to discuss, and each of these discussion groups reported back to the whole Conference.

Almost all of the World Conference participants had been to at least one of the Pre-World-Conference Conferences, and they brought to the World Conference a strong sense that the proposed goals should be adopted by the Community and that the goal of "going public" was of special importance.

On Monday morning, Harvey and Tim in turn resigned their positions and undertook self-estimation of their functioning in the jobs of International Reference Person and Alternate International Reference Person (according to the procedure found in the Guidelines). Both of them candidly laid out their strengths and difficulties in the respective jobs they hold, and each indicated that he would like to remain in his position. Many participants gave feedback, and Harvey and Tim were unanimously reappointed to their jobs.

There was class time for theory and demonstrations. We fitted in at least one session and/or support group meeting each day. It was emphasized that our key role at this historic time is leading society to intelligent rather than patterned functioning on every level.

Liberation caucuses met in the early mornings, and topic tables were held at every meal. Harvey and Tim met over meals with participants from Asia, Africa, South America, and India, and with translators from many countries. There were excellent demonstrations on the long and short understatements, on cleaning up and strengthening our relationships, and on taking pride in our heritages. Tim talked about meeting and handling the inevitable attacks that will accompany our increasing visibility and continuing growth in size and influence.

The participants spoke of many highlights: the strong sense of how much we had grown; the evidence of our diversity and unity; the inclusiveness of the process for adopting the Guidelines and goals; our caring of and commitment to each other, individually and as a movement; the intelligence, strength, and caring of our leadership; and the thinking and discharging about the decision to "go public" with RC.

On the final morning of the World Conference everyone participated in discussion groups to plan a draft program for a future society. What follows are suggestions for these groups.

 

  • State the big picture of our goals to replace patterned living with intelligent functioning on every level. Take much greater initiative.

 

 

  • Remember to state your dreams (they are intact and possible to fulfill).

 

 

  • Assume you have the full and intelligent backing of at least 150 people with the same goals.

 

 

  • Remember and re-state how much you care.

 

 

  • Realize that this is the key time in history to save our species.

 

 

  • Ask yourself, "What is the current situation? What are the possibilities for the future?"

 

 

  • Ask, "What is the long-range goal (overall and on every issue)?"

 

 

  • State all the things you could do to reach that goal.

 

 

  • State the steps you could take toward the goal, saying, "I decide to," before each step.

 

 

  • Develop a program for action with an end-date for each step.

 

 

  • Choose an issue and get a group to all think together on the steps to carry through on it.

 

 

  • Identify people to gather around you to implement your plan.

 

 

  • Regard yourself as the key person.

 

 

  • Discharge on your significance, being at the front of a large movement, taking initiative.

 

 

  • List all the things you wish someone else would do toward reaching the goal.

 

Diane Shisk
Seattle, Washington, USA
(Present Time No. 110, January 1998)


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