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In this process, one or more people known as "Change Agents" or "Facilitators" appear to be acting as organizers, "allowing" each person in the group to express their concerns about some program or policy under consideration. While this process is going on, people are urged to make lists or form into task forces. The Facilitator carefully notes which members of the group are leaders, which are "loud mouths" and which may be easily swayed to different viewpoints.
At a certain point, the previously friendly Change Agent begins to act as "devil’s advocate," becoming an agitator. The process involves playing one part of the group against another, the "divide and conquer" technique. Anyone who is not clearly in accord with the Facilitator’s agenda is made to appear ridiculous, inarticulate, ignorant or dogmatic. The idea is to make these members of the group angry thus escalating tensions. The end object being to shut opposition voices out of the group.
The "targets" of such manipulation rarely, if ever, realize how they are being manipulated. If they do suspect, they generally have no idea how to defeat the process.
This method is being used at all levels of government to force meetings toward PRESET conclusions. There are three steps to defeating this process. They are simple to learn, if not always easy to put into practice since the Facilitators are well trained in agitation techniques.
The first rule is: Always be charming, pleasant and courteous. SMILE! Speak in a normal voice to avoid seeming to be belligerent or aggressive.
Rule No. 2 is to STAY FOCUSED! Write your question or statement down in advance to help you stay on track. These Change Agents are trained to twist the conversation around to make the questioner appear foolish or belligerent or aggressive. The idea being to put the questioner on the defensive. Be careful! As mentioned in Rule 1, always be charming, pleasant and courteous (if it kills you to do so!) Often an attempt will be made to change the subject, digress or distort your intent. Always bring them back to the question you asked! If they distort your question into what amounts to an accusation of them, simply state clearly and precisely: "That is NOT what I stated. What I asked was..."(here repeat your original question.) Do not be distracted or angered by their efforts to make you look bad.
Rule No. 3: BE PERSISTENT! When the Facilitator realizes that putting you on the defensive is not going to work, quite often he, or she, will go into some long drawn out discussion of some unrelated or only vaguely related subject. Such a discussion may drag on for a number of minutes. The intent being to have the crowd become bored and forget what the original question was. Let them run on, then very calmly, quietly but with determination drag them back to the subject by saying: "But you didn’t answer my question! My question was..."(again repeat your question.)
Never, NEVER allow yourself to become angry. Anger directed toward the Change Agent makes him or her the victim. Their object is to become liked by the crowd, to be seen as a friend by a majority of those present to convince that majority the ideas of the Facilitator are correct and acceptable.
A specialized use of this [delphi] technique was developed for teachers, the "Alinsky Method" (ibid, p.123). The setting or group is, however, immaterial; the point is that people in groups tend to share a certain knowledge base and display certain identifiable characteristics (known as group dynamics). This allows for a special application of a basic technique.
The change agent or facilitator goes through the motions of acting as an organizer, getting each person in the target group to elicit expression of their concerns about a program, project, or policy in question. The facilitator listens attentively, forms "task forces," "urges everyone to make lists," and so on. While s/he is doing this, the facilitator learns something about each member of the target group. S/He identifies the "leaders," the "loud mouths," as well as those who frequently turn sides during the argument — the "weak or noncommittal".
Suddenly, the amiable facilitator becomes "devil's advocate." S/He dons his professional agitator hat. Using the "divide and conquer" technique, s/he manipulates one group opinion against the other. This is accomplished by manipulating those who are out of step to appear "ridiculous, unknowledgeable, inarticulate, or dogmatic." S/He wants certain members of the group to become angry, thereby forcing tensions to accelerate. The facilitator is well trained in psychological manipulation. S/He is able to predict the reactions of each group member. Individuals in opposition to the policy or program will be shut out of the group.
The method works. It is very effective with parents, teachers, school children, and any community group. The "targets" rarely, if ever, know that they are being manipulated. Or, if they suspect this is happening, do not know how to end the process. The Delphi Technique — What Is It?
......As with any unelected bureaucracy, USDA decided all on its own that NAIS, Premises ID was a done deal. Oh! The arrogance of these little agency dictators in waiting
To make sure (they thought) they could limit the commenting, limit the statements and prevent most of the audience from participating at all the USDA employs the Delphi Technique. This is the technique of dividing and conquering. Simply put, every one who attended the [sic] Harrisburg meeting was handed a folder with a colored dot on it. When the break-out sessions started……anyone attending was more than likely separated from those they came with and sent to a room with a corresponding color coding.
The break-out sessions are nothing more than the Delphi Technique revisited and a means to divide the attendees and diffuse the conversation. Who ever might be in opposition to the conclusions, policies, or programs the facilitator is advancing is quickly singled out and actively shunned.
The biggest goal of the facilitator is for him/her to be perceived as part of the group. Once this is done, the facilitator asks for ideas and opinions, leading the group carefully to the pre-determined conclusions and leaving them believing it was all their idea. Only it didn't work this time. The farmers and ranchers, the cattlemen and horse people stood their ground. The only people shunned and shut out of the meetings were the facilitators.
It would seem we are not all quite as stupid as the USDA wants to believe we are..... USDA employing Delphi Technique: Prepare to be Delphi'd!
Consistent with recent polling, there continues to be a huge perception gap between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Political Class voters believe the United States is generally heading in the right direction, while 79% of Mainstream voters think the country has gotten off on the wrong track. www.rasmussenreports.com...