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Self Justification and the Consensus Process:
Justified in the 'moment' of the "feeling" of "oneness."

by

Dean Gotcher

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."  Proverbs 16:25

"A unanimous majority of three [consensus] is more powerful [in a persons perception] than a majority of eight with one dissenting."  (Dennis Coon, Introduction to Psychology) "Group members must be able to synthesize individual 'felt' needs with common group 'felt' needs ['discover' and build unity upon what they all have in common, i.e. love of pleasure (the world) and hate of restraint (authority)]."  "Group members must be able to discriminate between social "felt" needs ['discovered' through the dialoguing of opinions to a consensus] and non-social or anti-social "felt needs [the Father's commands, rules, facts, and truth preached and taught, to be obeyed as is]." (Warren Bennis, The Planning of Change"To question the value or activities of the group, would be to thrust himself into a state of dissonance." ["The lack of harmony between what one does and what one believes."  "The pressure to change either one's behavior or ones belief." Ernest R. Hilgard, Introduction to Psychology)] Long cherished but self-defeating beliefs and attitudes [the traditional right-wrong way of thinking and acting, i.e. faith in his parent's and/or God's authority, i.e. rules, commands, facts, and truth] may waver and decompose in the face of a dissenting majority [the "feeling" of the 'moment']." (Irvin D. Yalom, Theory and Practice and Group Psychotherapy)

"The words ‘seem to' are significant; it is the perception which functions in guiding behavior."  (Carl Rogers, on becoming a person: A Therapist View of Psychotherapy)  "The basic task is to change the individual's social perception, thereby changing the individual's social action." "Social action [the world] no less than physical action [the flesh] is steered by perception," (Kenneth Benne, Human Relations in Curriculum Change)

Perception, i.e. consensus, negates faith.  The dialectic plan is to use the consensus process to negate the child's faith in his parents, thereby negating man's faith in God. "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."  (Romans 8:5-8) "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6  "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:17  "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:5  "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4  "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" Philippians 3:9

"The description of the goal should represent group consensus, not majority vote."  "All members must feel commitment to the same goal or there will be continuous friction."  "The ideal of the group is consensus in action."  "The expectation which the group is building as to successful group discussion is toward consensus as the only adequate basis for common action."  "Agreement throughout the institutional social system is reached only through consensus—getting techniques in open discussion."  (Kenneth Benne, Human Relations in Curriculum Change; what Phil Ring calls "a 'cookbook' on humans")

"Bypassing the traditional channels of top-down decision making, our objective centers upon .... transform public opinion into an effective instrument of global politics." "Individual values must be measured by their contribution to common interests and ultimately to world interests.... transforming public consensus into one favorable to the emergence of a stable and humanistic world order." "Consensus is both a personal and a political step. It is a precondition of all future steps..."  (Ervin Laszlo, A Strategy for the Future: The Systems Approach to World Order)

In the group not only must the individual strive for autonomy but the leader must be willing to allow him to do so. … an individual's behavior cannot be fully understood without an appreciation of his environmental press.  …one member's behavior is not understandable out of context of the entire group. …there is no more important issue than the interrelationship of the group members.  … few individuals, as Asch has shown, can maintain their objectivity in the face of apparent group unanimity; and the individual rejects critical feelings toward the group at this time to avoid a state of cognitive dissonance.  To question the value or activities of the group, would be to thrust himself into a state of dissonance.  Long cherished but self-defeating beliefs and attitudes may waver and decompose in the face of a dissenting majority. One of the most difficult patients for me to work with in groups is the individual who employs fundamentalist religious views in the service of denial. The ‘third force' in psychology … which emphasized a holistic, humanistic concept of the person, provided impetus and form to the encounter group …  The patient reenacts early family scripts in the group and, if therapy is successful, is able to experiment with new behavior, to break free from the locked family role he once occupied. … the patient changes the past by reconstituting it. The therapist assists the patient to clarify the nature of the imagined danger and then … to detoxify, to disconfirm the reality of this danger. By shifting the group's attention from ‘then-and-there' to ‘here-and-now' material, he performs a service to the group … focusing the group upon itself.  Members must develop a feeling of mutual trust and respect and must come to value the group as an important means of meeting their personal needs. Once a member realizes that others accept him and are trying to understand him, then he finds it less necessary to hold rigidly to his own beliefs; and he may be willing to explore previously denied aspects of himself.  Patients should be encouraged to take risks in the group; such behavior change results in positive feedback and reinforcement and encourages further risk-taking.  Members learn about the impact of their behavior on the feelings of other members. …a patient might, with further change, outgrow … his spouse … unless concomitant changes occur in the spouse."  (Irvin Yalom,  Theory and Practice and Group Psychotherapy)

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2015