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Creating the Conditions
to Cause a Big Change

Tim Jackins
June 18


The Support Group:
A Useful Organizational Form

When you’re with two or more people, arrange a support group—whether it’s a social occasion, five minutes at the bus stop, a carpool, your coffee break, whatever.

An RCer, N—, wrote about doing this in a shipyard lunchroom. He started having people take turns. Within a month, over half the lunchroom was standing in a big circle around his corner.

At one point N— did a little counseling. There was a boilermaker who was riding1 his women friends. N— asked him, “Do you remember how it was when you were an apprentice?” Answer: “Oh boy,2 yes. Did they ever give me shit! On me all the time.” N—: “It really was rough, wasn’t it? Do you realize you are doing that to S—?” Boilermaker: “Oh my G—! I am! I’m gonna3 have to straighten out4!”

Whenever you are with two or more people, it’s a support group situation. What is the essence of the support group organizational form? Each person has a turn being listened to without interruption. That’s all it takes.5 In every social occasion people are yearning for a support group. They get disgusted with the endless competition for attention—the failure to take turns—so they settle for booze6 or sex and go home unhappy. But a support group is what on every social occasion people long for. Whenever you are with two or more people, see that7 everyone gets a turn.

Harvey Jackins
From the July 1986 Peace and
Disarmament Activists’ Workshop

1 “Riding” means persistently harassing.
2 “Oh boy” is an interjection that expresses a strong feeling.
3 "Gonna" means going to.
4 "Straighten out" means behave better.
5 "Takes" means requires.
6 "Booze" means alcoholic beverages.
7 "See that" means make sure that.


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00