Prospects For RC

Initial Report to the 1993 World Conference

As we meet at this 1993 World Conference, there are certain general topics that I propose we concentrate on. They are all interconnected, of course, by the reality of the Re-evaluation Counseling "movement," but they can usefully be looked at and discussed individually. These general topics are:

  • The GROWTH of RC.
  • The UNITY of RC.
  • The STATE OF THE PRESENT SOCIETIES.
  • The RECLAIMING OF OUR POWER and the ATTAINMENT OF WIDER INFLUENCE.
  • The "NATURALIZING OF RC."
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS.
  • The USE OF LITERATURE.

GROWTH

During the last four years, RC has expanded considerably in the geographical territories where it had previously established beginnings. There is new, significant activity at several locations in the former Soviet territories, especially around St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Ufa, Moscow, and the Baltic countries. There are new initiatives in the African population of South Africa, and in several other African countries which were not yet involved at the time of the last World Conference. A small but firm beginning has continued in the People's Republic of China. The number of people involved in India has multiplied several times. Good beginnings are underway in several Latin American countries, in Central America, and in some Caribbean states. Geographical expansion has taken place in Australia, Spain, and Euskadi. Southeastern Europe has seen the establishment of Communities in Romania and Croatia, with some activity in Turkey and Iran.

Many existing Communities have expanded dramatically, with Regions dividing a number of times, and one Area often becoming two, three or four Areas.

The constituencies of parents, young people, young adults, elders, disabled people, African heritage, Latino/a heritage, college and university faculty, artists, Asian heritage, and raised poor and working-class people have all expanded greatly.

We are now reaching people who speak Arabic, Croatian, Finnish, Indonesian, Kiswahili, and Turkish.

We hope to establish an average growth rate for the number of RCers and for the number of Areas of doubling each two years. We hope to make persistent GROWTH a characteristic of all Community organizations.

We propose to require the teaching of at least one series of Fundamentals classes every year for an RC teacher to retain certification.

We propose to encourage Reference People to be bold in encouraging new teachers to try teaching, to not be timid in issuing one-time credentials to people who seem rationally committed to RC.


UNITY

Our Communities have remained remarkably united across the many geographical, language, and cultural barriers. In spite of our rapid growth, we have retained one world-wide leadership, one world-wide set of policies, and one growing theory, that is the same everywhere. Though many attacks have been launched at the Communities and at their leadership by reactionary forces from the oppressive society, these attacks have been largely rendered ineffective.

Conflicts engendered by "nationalism" have had no very serious effects within our existing Communities, even though they have been launched at RCers from outside forces. We have much more work to do in this regard since "national" and "patriotic" patterns are currently a principle tool of the oppressive societies in their efforts to foment conflicts and wars.

We have done well in handling and defeating a great variety of "attacks" on RC, on its theory, and on its leaders. We understand the patterns and mechanisms that give rise to these attacks much better than we did. However, we have much more to do in preparing our entire membership to be "attack proof."

A process for screening the people that we take into our classes and support groups needs to be spelled out and followed. A secondary screening for Co-Counselors who wish to claim the privilege of Community "membership" needs to be universally applied to safeguard our unity. At the same time, we need to be on guard that we do not use such screening unawarely to result in any prejudiced exclusion of any of the great varieties of people that belong in our Communities.

Present Time and the other journals play a key role in maintaining the unity of outlook which is so precious to RC and which makes it so effective. More thoughtful use of our literature and its wider distribution can defeat the divisiveness which the various agencies of the oppression continually attempt to foment on the population.


THE STATE OF SOCIETY

We have done well in raising the consciousness of our members and friends about the basically oppressive characteristics of the societies in which we live. Most RCers at present are aware that existing societies are largely patterned in their operation and oppressive in their effects upon us. Such consciousness-raising needs to be continued consistently.

Every particular oppression needs to be revealed to the liberation movements that are organized against it as based on and connected to the overall classist oppression on which present societies operate.

Insistent reminders that this society will inevitably collapse and is well on its way to such collapse need to be reinforced with encouragement to all RCers to take power, to take initiative, to take leadership in the replacing of this doomed structure with a rational set of world relationships.


THE RECLAIMING OF POWER AND THE ATTAINMENT OF INFLUENCE

The reclaiming of power is at the heart of our re-emergence and needs continual exploration and demonstration in all of our counseling. This does not mean simply sitting back and criticizing the present state of affairs and proclaiming the desirability of a someday-to-be-attained just society. It means reaching for influence in existing organizations. It means getting actually involved in the process of furnishing effective leadership and encouragement to the people around us. The great majority of the populations among whom we live are being forced by the worsening of their lives into facing the need to struggle for themselves. Such struggles can be successful if the people involved are helped to reach effective policies.


THE "NATURALIZING" OF RC

The "naturalizing" of RC has been well-advanced in the last four years. We have delegates at this Conference who have been outstanding in this field. There is still much confusion among Co-Counselors generally, however, that "naturalizing" RC means "diluting" it, concealing the actual source of the ideas and policies, or treating RC as if it were something to be ashamed of or too dangerous to associate with. These patterned attitudes are nonsense and need to be exposed and eliminated.

We also need to learn how to better relate our wide world constituencies to our Community memberships. We need to create and master the transitions which will allow access to the full RC theory and practice to the wide worlders and entrance into the Community for the most advanced people of the wide world. The RC Communities have operated during their first twenty-four years under a general agreement to avoid widespread publicity, to reach people individually, to treat participation in RC as a privilege rather than something to be "sold" to new people. Such publicity as we have participated in has often been forced upon us by attacks by government agencies, right-wing societies, or opportunistic reporters seeking a sensational topic to write about.

Our experience and our contacts have grown so substantially that the future may permit us to take more initiative. There is a widespread eagerness among the general populations for some reasonable thinking about the problems created by the oppression and the collapse of the society. Factual proposals or commentaries for and about the present crises in employment, in family life, in education, and in international relations are likely to find a thoughtful audience in this next period.

Probably the widespread distribution and sale of our books, pamphlets, journals and tapes will be a central channel for allowing the ideas of RC to circulate widely.

It is also time that we consider the choosing of responsible, experienced leaders of RC to appear at local, regional, or nation-wide forums, or even before the United Nations, as authorized spokespersons of the R.C. Community, offering a reasoned commentary and sensible proposals for the solution of the problems being considered.

The basic rule in the present Guidelines of no publicity on an Area level not first reviewed and approved by the Area Reference Person, and a similar constraint on any larger field of activity that requires the International Reference Person's approval, should stay in force, but there are many, many leaders now capable of being delegated by the International Reference Person to speak out on controversial issues.


THOUGHTFUL, EFFICIENT USE OF OUR LITERATURE

The preparation of our literature has been excellent from the beginning. Books, pamphlets, journals, brochures, lists of commitments, audio and video cassettes have all been prepared thoughtfully and with careful consultation with informed people. The quality of the thinking expressed in them and the breadth of the concerns they deal with has steadily improved and continues to improve.

Great care and devotion has been lavished on the technical excellence of our literature as well, and this has won widespread respect not only from readers in general but also from knowledgeable people in the editing and publishing professions. Almost every item that we have ever published is a permanent addition to the wealth of useful thinking that humanity has accumulated.

The distribution of our literature, however, is as yet only minimally successful. To the extent that we have distributed our literature well, it has played a major role in building our remarkable unity and the widespread respect afforded us by people who know of our existence. Yet only a small portion of RCers have as yet subscribed to Present Time (even!), though any person who reads our literature is always moved by the result. The determined, intensive circulation of our literature crucially needs attention, improvement and concentration.

There is a core group of RCers already in existence who are as enthusiastic, dedicated, and determined to improve literature circulation as are those of us who produce the literature. This core group simply needs to have its numbers multiplied ten times.

It is true that the patterns of "not reading" have been inculcated into almost the entire population by the misfunctioning of the schools in the last generation. It is almost certain that we will have to deal with this deliberately in our counseling of each other to make full use of the possibilities of heightened literacy.

Some leads already have been explored although not widely taken up and used. For example, almost every student in a Fundamentals counseling class who reads, prepares, and gives a report on an article from Present Time, becomes enthusiastic about the entire magazine and a loyal reader. When the leaders of an International Workshop distribute subscription blanks for Present Time at the beginning of a workshop and ask for them back with the subscription payment, the result is large numbers of new subscriptions. The new subscribers give every evidence of being pleased at having been so organized.

This World Conference can make a decisive difference to the circulation of our literature.

Harvey Jackins


Last modified: 2015-07-21 09:23:35-07