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Before reading this post, if you haven’t already, please be sure to read the rest of the series on diaprax.

You may also find author and analyst Dean Gotcher’s diaprax diagram of interest.

If you know teachers or public sector workers, chances are they have been through diaprax many times.  This takes place on teacher training days and in various sensitivity training or team-building workshops.

Gotcher explains what’s happening in part 8 of his online book, The Dialectic and Praxis: Diaprax and the End of the Ages.

Telltale signs

I can vouch for this one, as I have seen it in educators I know:

When you confront them with questions that demand facts, they demonstrate much discomfort, and become evasive.  They may even disassociate from you if you persist.  They are in grave danger, and they do not know it and will most likely refuse to recognize it or even admit it.

The ‘danger’ of faith

This is what diaprax practitioners and followers — including clergy and religious — fear from ‘traditionalists’ (emphasis in the original):

When alienation with God is removed in Christ, one receives His Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.  At the time one’s alienation with God is resolved, his alienation with the world begins. One must choose between God or man.  There is no other choice. When human relationship building becomes the center piece of any ministry, that ministry is no longer serving God.

Questions and statements in diaprax

Think of all the workshops or induction training you’ve had.  Do any of the following questions sound familiar?  If so, you’ve participated in diaprax.  Let’s start with the Thesis phase (emphases in the paragraphs mine):

“What do you think about…?” (Cognitive)
“How do you feel about…?” (Affective)

After the facilitator gives a brief “friendly” introduction and engages the members of the group in some “warm” and “casual” dialogue he begins the process of “interrogating” with “drawing out” type questions.  When a facilitator says to you, “Don’t worry about what you might say.  This is just an exercise, so just open up and participate.  No one is here to hurt you, we are all here to help one another.  This exercise is not being recorded.”  Do not believe them.  It is being recorded.  Someone somewhere is keeping notes on you.  Information on your behavior is being recorded by a selected recorder, whether you know it or not.  Your behavior is being kept track of, if not on tape, at least in notes or in someone’s head, to be written down later.  In a separate change agent or group leadership meeting this information will be used to analyze your behavior in the group exercise.  In a diaprax society everyone is always being analyzed, even the facilitator.

Have you noticed how the facilitator is always friendly and engaging?

Using a controlled environment to develop group interest on a social issue, the facilitator must first develop connection with each individual.  He does this by first asking each individual to more clearly define their terms so he can better understand their position.  He uses this phase to activate the desire for respect each individual desires from the facilitator as well a the respect desired from fellow peers regarding their position.  Once this happens one’s position is in jeopardy.

Later in the thesis phase, the facilitator moves the discussion to a different level:

The beginning of the “I have my rights” attitude.  Liberation from those those who establish socially restraining rules, who limit equality of opportunity.  The oppressed-oppressor syndrome is now being developed.

“How do you think you arrived at that view?”
“Why do you think you feel that way?”

This is the sub-phase where the individual realizes the source for his discomfort when he desires to be a part of a new group of people.  That discomfort being the fear of rejection by the new group if he does not adequately justify the restraints and rules placed upon him by parents, laws, God, etc.  The purpose of diaprax is to encourage him to “think for himself” to realize that he has the right to question rules or standards that stand in the way of new social experiences.

The facilitator then moves the group into the Antithesis phase by asking them to consider alternative points of view.

For everyone to feel free enough to participate in the experience of group life and be willing to experience “diversity in unity” learning to “agree to disagree” for the sake of social harmony, they must be willing to set aside any rule that might restrict or restrain dialogue.  The Ten Commandments will definitely be redefined (humanized) or left out because they are intolerant of diaprax—unrighteous human behavior.

A well-managed ‘conflict’ phase follows, centred around questions about possible consequences of an alternative course of action.  Participants must be able to feel comfortable with themselves whilst at the same time ingratiate themselves to the rest of the group — the satisfaction of personal and social needs.

The ‘group dynamics’ begin near the end of the antithesis phase with questions about the best course of action to choose (emphases mine throughout):

… absolutes must be sacrificed for the sake of social harmony.  According to diaprax, the only absolute is change, the only thing relative is truth.  This is where the paradigm shift of the New Age really kicks in because there is no “going back to basics” in this process …

In the Synthesis phase, two things occur, with the end result that participants now become unwitting ‘change agents’.  They will end up unknowingly monitoring behaviours of the traditionalists whom they encounter outside the group after the session has ended:

Each group-think individual now sets out to help bring others into the group-think process.  By drawing others in the diaprax environment they are able to help them become aware of their own personal-social relationship needs …

For everyone to develop a “low intolerance to ambiguity” and adapt to a life lived in the “gray zone,” all for the sake of society, they must learn to accept chaos, change, and coping with stress as a way of life.

The individual change agent, convinced of the necessity for change, now believes it is necessary for everyone to learn to cope with stress in an environment of chaos.  Because the “transition” phase requires group conflict, if individual respect is to be maintained and group cohesion is to be developed, then it will be necessary for everyone to learn to cope with the chaos of change.

I wrote a few times last year that we were meant to be stressed — at work and at home.  At the time, I didn’t know why, but this explains it.  People today don’t want to be unstressed.  Even the most innocuous comments — ‘I’m rushed off my feet’, ‘I don’t have time to think’, ‘I’m ever so busy’ — fit into this.  If you aren’t feeling like that, then, you are ‘other’, out of it, not ‘fitting in’ with the received paradigmEventually, you will become a ‘problem’ to the rest of the group, if not to society.

Other things to watch out for

Gotcher has more observations in Part 9, excerpted below.

On ’empowerment’:

Empowerment is just another diaprax word for dupedWhen people realize they have been “had” by the process they soon discover they cannot warn others because others still believe they control their own lives.  Nobody can fight the system while in it.

There will still be authority and prejudice:

Because the authority figure, who sets the rules and demands obedience and respect, will not permit himself to be used as an outlet for any pent up anger, especially from any one under his authority, the one under submission will most likely project his anger at any “outsider” the authority figure resents, thus not only getting rid of the internal tension caused by submission, but also gaining favor with the authority figure as well.  Socio-psychologists believe this is where all prejudice comes from.

Why benevolent authority is not part of the equation for social theorists:

benevolent authority could produce a healthy community, but, because it still demanded obedience to a higher authority which they could not control, they could not accept it as an option.  This is why OBE, TQM, and STW are not teaching obedience, but respect for one another, as much as is possible.  Those who do not deserve respect, according to socio-psychologists, are those who continue to believe in absolutes and resist change.

God has made possible what man cannot do.  This is why socio-psychologists refuse to recognize benevolent authority.  To do so would force them to recognize their sinful nature and to admit their need for God.  What they do not want to recognize is that He is their Creator as well.

It is essential for us to realise what is happening and understand how diaprax works.  For, it was always so. As one of my readers, Llew, noted recently: ‘It’s the devil in a different disguise.’

Martin Luther observed a similar trend during the Reformation:

It is clear that Paul wants Christ alone to be taught and heard.  Who does not see how the universities read the Bible?  It has been so bothersome to read and respond to this filth. Luther’s Works, V. 32, p. 259

I hope this series has helped you as much as it has me.  Let’s spread the word, even though it might be difficult.

Our future depends on it.

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