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02 December 2012 @ 07:10 am
YaaD Work: Class 10: Ethics and Etiquette  
This is one of the reflection papers I wrote as part of my Year and a Day (YaaD) of study with Fieldhaven Coven.

The question is drawn from the Greenhaven Tradition; the YaaD course is not published on the Greenhaven Tradition website, but is made available on a person-to-person basis. Material that is not so closely held is available at http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/


Class 10, Paper 1 (after reading, before class discussion): Apply the CASHI or ABCDEF tool to Fieldhaven Coven and to another group of your choice. Be prepared to discuss your results.

Assignment submitted July 15, 2012

Writing Assignment: YaaD Class 10 - Ethics and Etiquette

I will start by saying that I selected a completely non-religious group for this assignment because of my first experience with them: I came home and told Dale that I felt as though I'd been "love bombed" by all the people who wanted to hug me and tell me what a wonderful decision I'd made to come to the meeting, and how they hoped I'd come back. My words at the time were, "I feel as though I've attended a meeting of a small cult run by Robert's Rules of Order."

The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (version 2.6)
Factor Fieldhaven Coven IAAP Knoxville Chapter
Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members. Very low. Leaders appear to discuss major issues with general membership. Member rights and responsibilities appear to be fairly well defined. Low. Leadership makes some decisions without consulting membership, but major decisions are made by group vote. Written bylaws define leadership and membership roles.
External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior. Very low. Members are expected to act ethically in all areas of their life, but there is no pressure to make specific choices. Low to moderate. Group as a whole, at both the local and international level, seeks some social influence in the recognition of the profession. Group has a written code of ethics that members are expected and encouraged to follow.
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed. Fairly low. Leaders claim – and can back up! – extensive knowledge and experience, but do not claim infallibility, and emphasize that there is no One True Way. None. Credentials within the organization are by written objective examination. Decisions are made by discussion and vote, and can be changed by further discussion and vote. There is no doctrine as such.
Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/ scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts. Low to moderate. Given that leaders can back up their knowledge, members do seem to respect and trust leaders. There does seem some resentment when people not associated with the group - especially people who have left the group – criticize the group. However, the response to criticism appears to be limited to replying with facts and alternative interpretations, not trying to silence the critic. Very low. Members respect and trust the leaders because they have earned their way into leadership positions. However, members are also willing to disagree with the leaders on points of order. There is minimal internal or external criticism of the group.
Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or “fundamentalism;” hostility towards relativism and situationalism. None. "There is no one true way." Members and especially leaders are expected to be flexible and to respect other paths. Low. No doctrine or scripture, but strong dependence on Robert's Rules of Order as the One Right Way to conduct meetings.
Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones. Low. Current emphasis seems to be on quality of members rather than number, although there is recognition that having a larger core group could make the group stronger. Moderate to high. There is at least one and sometimes two membership drives each year, and members are rewarded for recruiting others.
Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden. None. There are other covens that have hived off from Fieldhaven, but they aren't subsidiary groups and the connections are open. None. There are two related foundations associated with IAAP International that are separate for tax code reasons, but the relationship is public.
Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members. Very low. Members are asked to pay nominal dues to compensate for purchase of supplies. Leaders' current economic lifestyle significantly lower than other members'. Moderate, but open. Members are required to pay annual dues that support the functions of the group. Members are encouraged but not required to support the two Foundations. Leaders appear to have economic lifestyles similar to those of members, although my perception is that leaders at the national level tend to be of slightly higher SES in that they can afford the time away from work required by the position. However, that higher status does not derive from payments or donations by members.
Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups; amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners. None None
Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups. None None
Censorship: Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s). None None
Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers. None None
Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts. Low. My impression is that someone who wants to leave may be asked why, but no force is applied. Moderate. Members know that the chapter can be penalized for losing membership, and there is some use of guilt (both of the form "the chapter needs you" and the form "but this is an investment in your future") but no use of force to keep members from dropping.
Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s). None None
Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories. Very low. I know of one incident where the group felt that there was external negativity being applied; the response was to symbolically cut the ties to the perceived source of negativity and strengthen the group shielding, not to take direction action against the source. None, although there have been some shakeups at the International level that were never clearly explained and that led to a fair amount of speculation and development of conspiracy theories at the chapter levels.
Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s). None. Members and leaders are expected to take responsibility for their choices and actions, and to be willing to explain those choices and actions. None. Members are encouraged to take on responsibilities in order to develop their own skills.
Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain. None None that I've seen, other than the above-mentioned odd shakeups at the International level.
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