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Delphi Technique Pamphlet

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					"change agents," who deliberately escalate         group in order to become an accepted                "Those running the meeting compiled the
tension among group members, pitting one           member of the group and of the process. The         results." Oh-h!
faction against another to make a preordained      desired idea is then placed on the table and
viewpoint appear "sensible," while making          individual opinions are sought during               The next question is: "How do you know that
opposing views appear ridiculous.                  discussion. Soon, associates from the divided       what you wrote on your sheet of paper was
                                                   group begin to adopt the idea as if it were their   incorporated into the final outcome?"
Those in power need to preserve the illusion       own, and they pressure the entire group to
that there is "community participation in          accept their proposition.                           That is the crux of the situation. If 50 people
decision-making processes, while in fact lay                                                           write down their ideas individually, to be
citizens are being squeezed out."                  Let's review the process that occurs in             compiled later into a final outcome, no one
                                                   these meetings. First, a facilitator is hired.      knows what anyone else has written. That the
The facilitators or change agents encourage        While his job is supposedly neutral and non-        final outcome of such a meeting reflects
each person in a group to express concerns         judgmental, the opposite is actually true. The      anyone's input at all is highly questionable, and
about the programs, projects, or policies in       facilitator is there to direct the meeting to a     the same holds true when the facilitator
question. They listen attentively, elicit input    preset conclusion.                                  records the group's comments on paper. But
from group members, form "task forces," urge                                                           participants in these types of meetings usually
participants to make lists, and in going through   The facilitator begins by working the crowd to      don't question the process.
these motions, learn about each member of a        establish a good-guy-bad-guy scenario.
group. They are trained to identify the            Anyone disagreeing with the facilitator must be     Why hold such meetings at all if the
"leaders," the "loud mouths," the "weak or non-    made to appear as the bad guy, with the             outcomes are already established? The
committal members," and those who are apt to       facilitator appearing as the good guy. To           answer is because it is imperative for the
change sides frequently during an argument.        accomplish this, the facilitator seeks out those    acceptance of the School-to-Work agenda, or
                                                   who disagree and makes them look foolish,           the environmental agenda, or whatever the
Suddenly, the amiable facilitators become          inept, or aggressive, which sends a clear           agenda, that ordinary people assume
professional agitators and "devil's advocates."    message to the rest of the audience that, if        ownership of the preset outcomes. If people
Using the "divide and conquer" principle, they     they don't want the same treatment, they must       believe an idea is theirs, they'll support it. If
manipulate one opinion against another,            keep quiet. When the opposition has been            they believe an idea is being forced on them,
making those who are out of step appear            identified and alienated, the facilitator becomes   they'll resist.
"ridiculous, unknowledgeable, inarticulate, or     the good guy - a friend - and the agenda and
dogmatic." They attempt to anger certain           direction of the meeting are established without    The Delphi Technique is being used very
participants, thereby accelerating tensions.       the audience ever realizing what has                effectively to change our government from
The facilitators are well trained in               happened.                                           a representative form in which elected
psychological manipulation. They are able                                                              individuals represent the people, to a
to predict the reactions of each member in a       Next, the attendees are broken up into smaller      "participatory democracy" in which citizens
group. Individuals in opposition to the desired    groups of seven or eight people. Each group         selected at large are facilitated into
policy or program will be shut out.                has its own facilitator. The group facilitators     ownership of preset outcomes. These
                                                   steer participants to discuss preset issues,        citizens believe that their input is important to
The Delphi Technique works. It is very             employing the same tactics as the lead              the result, whereas the reality is that the
effective with parents, teachers, school           facilitator.                                        outcome was already established by people
children, and community groups. The "targets"                                                          not apparent to the participants.
rarely, if ever, realize that they are being       Participants are encouraged to put their ideas
manipulated. If they do suspect what is            and disagreements on paper, with the results        How to Diffuse the Delphi Technique Three
happening, they do not know how to end the         to be compiled later. Who does the compiling?       steps can diffuse the Delphi Technique as
process. The facilitator seeks to polarize the     If you ask participants, you typically hear:
facilitators attempt to steer a meeting in a        voiced aloud where they can be open to public
specific direction.                                 discussion and debate. It's called crowd
                                                                                                         Learning to Counter the
                                                    control.                                               Delphi Technique is
1. Always be charming, courteous, and
pleasant. Smile. Moderate your voice so as not      At a meeting, have two or three people who          ESSENTIAL to Preserving
to come across as belligerent or aggressive.        know the Delphi Technique dispersed through              our FREEDOM
                                                    the crowd so that, when the facilitator
2. Stay focused. If possible, jot down your         digresses from a question, they can stand up          Using the Delphi Technique to Achieve
thoughts or questions. When facilitators are        and politely say: "But you didn't answer that
                                                                                                           Consensus is leading us away from
asked questions they don't want to answer,          lady/gentleman's question." Even if the                 Representative Government to an
they often digress from the issue that was          facilitator suspects certain group members are          ILLUSION of Citizen Participation
raised and try instead to put the questioner on     working together, he will not want to alienate
the defensive. Do not fall for this tactic.         the crowd by making accusations.
                                                                                                             How the Delphi Technique Works
Courteously bring the facilitator back to your      Occasionally, it takes only one incident of this
original question. If he rephrases it so that it    type for the crowd to figure out what's going
becomes an accusatory statement (a popular          on.                                                        Consistent use of this technique to
tactic), simply say, "That is not what I asked.                                                                control public participation in our
What I asked was . . ." and repeat your             Establish a plan of action before a meeting.               political system is causing alarm
question.                                           Everyone on your team should know his part.                among people who cherish the form
                                                    Later, analyze what went right, what went                  of government established by our
3. Be persistent. If putting you on the defensive   wrong and why, and what needs to happen the                Founding Fathers.
doesn't work, facilitators often resort to long     next time. Never strategize during a meeting.
monologues that drag on for several minutes.                                                            The Delphi Technique and consensus building
During that time, the group usually forgets the     A popular tactic of facilitators, if a session is   are both founded in the same principle - the
question that was asked, which is the intent.       meeting with resistance, is to call a recess.       Hegelian dialectic of thesis, antithesis, and
Let the facilitator finish. Then with polite        During the recess, the facilitator and his          synthesis, with synthesis becoming the new
persistence state: "But you didn't answer my        spotters (people who observe the crowd during       thesis. The goal is a continual evolution to
question. My question was . . ." and repeat         the course of a meeting) watch the crowd to         "oneness of mind" (consensus means solidarity
your question.                                      see who congregates where, especially those         of belief) -the collective mind, the wholistic
                                                    who have offered resistance. If the resistors       society, the wholistic earth, etc. In thesis and
Never become angry under any                        congregate in one place, a spotter will gravitate   antithesis, opinions or views are presented on
circumstances. Anger directed at the facilitator    to that group and join in the conversation,         a subject to establish views and opposing
will immediately make the facilitator the victim.   reporting what was said to the facilitator. When    views. In synthesis, opposites are brought
This defeats the purpose. The goal of               the meeting resumes, the facilitator will steer     together to form the new thesis. All participants
facilitators is to make the majority of the group   clear of the resistors. Do not congregate.          in the process are then to accept ownership of
members like them, and to alienate anyone           Instead gravitate to where the facilitators or      the new thesis and support it, changing their
who might pose a threat to the realization of       spotters are. Stay away from your team              views to align with the new thesis. Through a
their agenda. People with firm, fixed beliefs,      members.                                            continual process of evolution, "oneness of
who are not afraid to stand up for what they                                                            mind" will supposedly occur.
believe in, are obvious threats. If a participant   Full text can be found on this page:
becomes a victim, the facilitator loses face and    http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/1998/nov98/       In group settings, the Delphi Technique is an
favor with the crowd. This is why crowds are        focus.html                                          unethical method of achieving consensus on
broken up into groups of seven or eight, and                                                            controversial topics. It requires well-trained
why objections are written on paper rather than                                                         professionals, known as "facilitators" or

				
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