Monday, March 5, 2012

Combating the Delphi Technique and Occupy Infiltration

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post
March 3, 2012
When Occupy Wall Street first began, it was a force to be reckoned with. Facing the daunting task of challenging the system and coordinating action, the movement also had to contend with the pathetic corporate-controlled media which did its very best to turn a blind eye to what was happening on Wall Street.
Nevertheless, days turned to weeks before the mainstream media even mentioned the intense level of protests occurring all across the country and, even then, the coverage was sparse. However, they were eventually forced to acknowledge the level of discontent with the direction of the country that was being felt by a wide variety of Americans; most significantly, those who considered themselves liberals (real or otherwise). Finally, these individuals were no longer content to sit back and worship Obama while their own standards of living were being drastically reduced and the fabric of the country tragically coming undone.
As is to be expected, the police responded in their typical manner of brutality and thuggery. Yet the protestors refused to yield. As a result, Wall Street itself began to gradually pay more attention to the “little people” in the street. Soon, even smaller cities all across the country and in almost every state had their own group of anti-Wall Street, anti-authoritarian, Occupy protestors gathering around government buildings or banking institutions.
Yet, in what seems to be a repeat of what happened to the Tea Party movement, it was only a matter of weeks before Occupy Wall Street was being morphed into what amounted to a political action committee representing the Democratic Party, an obvious servant of the Wall Street finance oligarchs that Occupy had once so fervently opposed.
Obviously, not all Occupy groups have been completely co-opted by agents of Wall Street, political parties, or Foundation-funded operatives. To these groups, we must say congratulations and offer legitimate support where we can. Likewise for the Tea Party.
However, for the vast majority of both movements this is not the case. It is for this reason that we must identify some of the methods used when one is co-opting a legitimate movement, as well as some of the principal actors involved in the attempt to co-opt Occupy. This article will briefly focus on at least one of the methods of infiltrating and destroying legitimate Occupy Wall Street groups all across the country, particularly those in larger cities, but still reaching out to all the others.
At this point, it appears that Occupy is not being crippled so much by opposition from without, but by paralysis from within. It is well-known that the Occupy Wall Street movement has never been able to articulate or even agree on any set of tangible, political demands. After all, this is one of the issues that psychotic blowhards such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity were able to seize upon when attempting to categorize the participants as “dirty hippies” and spoiled children. A movement with no demands will increasingly lend itself to the appearance of being a temper tantrum more than true political resistance.
Yet the Occupy movement is not paralyzed due to a lack of willing participants or a lack of will to fight against oligarchy. It is paralyzed because it has been infiltrated by agents of the oligarchs in an effort to cripple the movement from ever getting back off the ground. This, in effect, is the purpose of the General Assemblies.
Obviously, any activist interested in promoting participation, accountability, and democracy would easily be tempted to accept a system that, at first glance, promotes all of these traits. The average protester might assume that, since everyone can participate in some way, the sessions are open, and everyone apparently gets their say, that this method of decision making suits their own purposes perfectly.
The truth, however, is just the opposite. It is the General Assembly which is perhaps the most crippling aspect of Occupy today. It is the General Assembly which keeps Occupy protesters from articulating the tangible political demands which every movement needs. 

It is the General Assembly which mires the movement in endless discussions regarding what committees to form and who should serve on them. It is the General Assembly which keeps Occupy protesters bogged down in long drawn-out discussions of what to have for dinner instead of actually protesting.
Not only is the General Assembly crippling Occupy with inaction, it is in reality creating an oligarchical system of domination within the movement, which itself becomes merely a microcosm of the system they are attempting to oppose.
The General Assembly itself is based upon the theory of group consensus, which is itself a model of decision making adhered to within many international organizations like the United Nations and Codex Alimentarius, which I have researched at length. Consensus-based decision making as a political system is rooted in Communitarianism and psychological warfare. It is oligarchical in nature. Even when approached with the best of intentions, Consensus-based decision making tends toward the direction of oligarchy, particularly when large numbers of people are involved. In terms of real application, with any situation where time might be a factor, Consensus building equals paralysis.
As Webster Tarpley wrote in his article, “Occupy Wall Street: Who Wants To Hijack The Movement?
The consensus method provides immense comfort to the predatory speculators of Wall Street, since it virtually guarantees that no potent and controversial strategy to break the power of finance capital can emerge. Indeed, it guarantees that absolutely nothing will be able to emerge in an emergency after a rapid turn in the overall situation. The US Congress is paralyzed by a minority, but the consensus rules of the general assembly mean that it can be paralyzed by a tiny clique bent on sabotage. In the background, the covert steering committee is busy creating a series of faits accomplis.
The deliberations of the general assembly are one big filibuster. On October 4, much of the session was taken up with an agonized discussion of whether to buy or knit and sew sleeping bags as the nights became colder. Right-wing commentators hostile to the protests had a field day using this grotesque scene to mock the entire movement.
Furthermore, the Consensus method is extremely susceptible to what is called the Delphi Technique. For an excellent summary of the Delphi Technique, please see Albert V. Burns’ article, “The Delphi Technique: Let’s Stop Being Manipulated.”
Essentially, the Delphi Technique, which was originally developed by RAND in the 1950s as a psychological weapon and infiltration mechanism, is also a proven method by which movements can be co-opted and redirected for ulterior purposes.
The Delphi Technique works by infiltrating the protest group with individuals who might appear more experienced or educated in the issues which the organization is trying to address.  In relation to the Occupy Movement, one might be seen as having more credibility and respect if one can rely on his “previous experience” in resistance movements in foreign countries and/or domestic protests. As a result of such expertise, these individuals often rise to the top of the group hierarchy.
Interestingly enough, we have been receiving many reports of exactly this happening from the front lines of Occupy. Many of these “protest experts” are funded by Foundations and NGO’s, two types of institutions that any legitimate protest movement should stay far away from lest it become what it is protesting in the first place.  Such a model can only lead to centralization, as was seen in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for example, when two protest organizers came to town with experience from Egypt's Tahrir Square ... and plans for a single media source to be established in order to "shape the message." (Source and video)
The individuals who are successful at infiltrating the groups will then become the “facilitators” of the General Assembly meetings. It is the facilitator who is almost always in control of guiding the direction of the meetings as well as both the agenda and, as it logically follows, the outcome. 

This is made a much easier task for him if he is accompanied by others who can become facilitators of each separate committee formed by the General Assembly which act as specialized “working groups” for their various delegated responsibilities.
In this structure, consensus is formed not by the free exchange of ideas, debate, and decision, but by constant haranguing and misrepresentation of any views expressed by committee members who might disagree with the preordained outcome dictated and managed in secret by the facilitator.
Much like the general society, individuals who express dissenting views are marginalized, harassed, and demeaned until the entire group is coerced to accept the agenda as it was originally presented by the facilitator.
The fact that the Delphi Technique has been successful up to this point, however, should not necessarily be discouraging. This is because most protesters are simply unaware of what is happening. The trend of infiltration and paralysis which is now dragging Occupy down can be reversed.
As Burns writes in his article, there are four steps one must take in order to combat the domination of one’s group by infiltrators. Because the majority of the group is not likely to wake up to what is happening all at the same time, this will likely be the responsibility of one solitary individual in the beginning. Again, I encourage you to read Burns’ article for a great rundown of the Delphi Technique and how to combat it.
Also, please read this two-page document on Delphi and how to combat it, compiled by Freedom Force International.
According to both of these documents, it is important to stay calm and focused and never allow yourself to become angry. Most of all, it is important to be persistent. Maintain charm, but always force the facilitator to answer the question, which should be aimed at exposing him/her, directly. The facilitator should not be allowed to dodge your question under any circumstances. It is also important to have as many of your own supporters as you can find to go with you as well. Splitting up into different committees and confronting the facilitators will go a long way to bringing the Delphi Technique to light and the infiltration to an end.
In the end, however, the General Assembly which has been rife with Delphi Technique infiltration, must be scrapped. It is the General Assembly approach which is robbing Occupy of the leaders it needs to guide the movement into effective political action and in setting forth tangible political demands.
Something based on the traditional Robert’s Rules of Order would no doubt be preferable to the Soviet-style paralysis and misdirection provided by the General Assembly. These rules are not perfect, but they are an enormous step above the General Assembly and consensus-based decision-making. They have, indeed, provided a structure for activist organizations for many years.
Ultimately, if it is oligarchy that Occupy seeks to resist, then it must first demonstrate that it can do so within its own movement. It is imperative that oligarchical change agents be extracted from Occupy, and that legitimate leaders emerge organically. Once the NGO’s and Foundation operatives are removed from the ranks of the protesters, then OWS can once again capture the attention of the oligarchs, Wall Street, and the nation.

Further research about the history of co-opted movements and the signs to look for:
Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here

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