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By John Loeffler

July 30, 2002

Oh no!  The government says your town is the critical habitat of the brown-backed slimy slug.  The EPA forbids the townspeople to do anything – even belch - without first obtaining permits from the government.  Half of the town will have to move so Slimy has more room to slither in pristine habitat lest he perish from the earth.

Public outrage follows.  The EPA schedules a “visioning meeting” with local “stakeholders” so they can express their “concerns” and build a “consensus”  on how to deal with Slimy.

The night of the meeting, citizens arrive at the town hall in expectation filling the EPA’s ear with unpleasantries, after which they hope the EPA will lamely retreat and find some other place for Slimy to slither. The meeting is chaired by a “facilitator” supplied by the government, who seems friendly enough and seems to care about the town.  He encourages everyone to express how they “feel” so they can achieve a “community consensus” about Slimy.  But everyone is only allowed three minutes to speak and no direct issues seem to come into question.  Debate is not tolerated because that would be “intolerant” of others and there are no “right or wrong” answers.

At one point the meeting breaks up into small groups so everyone can better express their feelings.  These are chaired by sub-facilitators. 
By the end of the meeting everyone has blown off steam and the facilitator pronounces that they have a marvelous consensus, which will form the basis of the EPA’s new policy for their town.    Everyone goes home.  Some are happy since their concerns will now be included in public policy.  True, a couple of people got angry at the meeting but they did seem a bit “extreme” and really did look stupid.   Besides they were quickly silenced because they didn’t share the “common good.”  

But surprise, surprise!  In very short order, the so-called “stakeholders” discover nothing has changed.  They still have to get permits to belch and half the town still has to move but now the townspeople are told this is their plan!  This town has been consensed!


Today we hear about “achieving consensus” in all issues of public life; in government, the workplace, schools and even churches.  To the western ear, consensus has the sound of representative government in action, a group of people debating their issues and coming to some form of workable solution.  But it operates on a totally different agenda.

The consensus process (sometimes called the “Delphi Technique”) is a psychological method used to steer the participants to a pre-determined outcome, while eliminating opposition by causing the majority of people to view dissenters as angry, out-of-touch extremists not concerned with the public good or holding the public’s values.  The community must believe it has arrived at these positions themselves without realizing they have been manipulated into them.

Today’s consensus is the very same “collective” process used in the Soviet Union to make political decisions at all levels.  The word “soviet” means collective.  Modern consensus was the brainchild of transformational Marxists from the Frankfurt School, who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s and set up shop at leading colleges in the United States from whence they proceeded to spread their version of Marxism, called “transformational Marxism,” although they weren’t able to call it that publicly at the time.  It was repackaged under non-threatening names.

Whereas Leninist Marxism believed communism could only be spread by violence and revolution, transformational Marxism believed it could be more effectively spread by gradually changing a society’s attitudes, values and beliefs and ultimately its public institutions.  To do this, the public would have to be unaware that a major change was underway.


For consensus to work, one must be conned into taking leave of one’s senses;  thus con-sensus.  A more technical definition would be a diverse group of people, dialoging to a consensus over a social issue in a facilitated setting to a predetermine outcome.  The phrase “predetermined outcome” is the key item.  What will be decided at a meeting is decided by government long before the meeting ever starts.  The only purpose of the meeting is to con the citizenry by making them think it was their idea.

When citizens arrive at a meeting driven by consensus, the facilitator does not simply chair the meeting.  He has been well trained in psychological manipulation and plays on the audience’s feelings (a dialectical process) rather than on their critical thought (a didactic process).  Consensus-building does not actually involve convincing anyone to alter his or her views.  It causes them to accept new views without realizing they are in conflict with their old ones by use of a technique known as semantic deception; using words which have double meanings, making it possible for people in conflict with each other to appear to agree even though they disagree.

Citizens are encouraged to express their concerns.  This isn’t because the facilitator cares about them but rather provides a method of polling the crowd to determine where everyone stands so “resistors” can be readily identified and the facilitator knows what he has to do to manipulate everyone to the pre-determined outcome.  In large meetings, auxiliary facilitators – spies – are situated in the crowd, unknown to the citizenry.  These people identify resistors and report back to the facilitator at various points.  They can also be used to counter dissenters should the meeting get out of hand by posing as citizens who oppose the dissenters.  

Once key resistors are identified, the facilitator’s job is to make sacrificial lambs of them.  He must make the crowd believe they are angry extremists, who don’t care about the issue in question and that they do not share the common interest or good.  Making examples of dissenters is designed to elicit silence from all others present, who don’t want to appear extreme in front of their friends.  This technique plays on the psychological principle that most people fear what their peers think of them.  A well-trained facilitator is capable of forcing a dissenter’s friends to be very angry with him for being such a “jerk” as they themselves fall prey to the deceptive manipulation the facilitator is employing.
A lone dissenter can expect to be barraged by a series of slogans, aggressive responses and counter-allegations, to the effect that the dissenter is engaged in “type-casting” or “fingerpointing.” 

It is only when dissenters themselves become trained and come in groups to such meetings that the tables can be turned on the facilitators.   One thing a facilitator must avoid doing is being forced into a position of defining his double-speak terms.  Otherwise the deception becomes immediately apparent to everyone and the crowd will have lots of things to object to. Exposing his duplicity short-circuits the process.

In rare cases, a brave and intelligent dissenter succeeds in getting the upper hand, forcing the facilitator into the position of defining what he means and what his agenda is.  The facilitator is now in an embarrassing position.   He is prepared for this.   One technique is to immediately break the meeting into group sessions to avoid answering the hardball questions.  Another is to have the spies become “outraged” or “offended” by the dissenters’ position as if they were fellow citizens.  This outrage appears to come from the public and puts the dissenters’ objections at odds with the apparent public position. 

The facilitator can also engage in long-winded answers that lead nowhere and which numb everyone’s minds so they forget what the issue in question is and don’t care if it gets answered.  If things get a bit rough, the facilitator – while continuing to smile and play the good guy -- barrages dissenters with a torrent of ad hominem invective for having the audacity to challenge the common good.  The facilitator always tries to make his position look like the “reasonable” or “moderate” one commonly accepted by the public.

If the dissenter successfully withstands the onslaught, the facilitator’s last trick is to shut the meeting down.  Nevertheless, the public will frequently read in the local paper the next day that a consensus was reached at the meeting.  Strange, were they at the same meeting?
Remember:  any system, which uses consensus is a dog and pony show designed to brainwash the participants into going along with the pre-determined outcome, thinking they arrived at it themselves.

It is 70 years since Wilhelm Wundt and others of the Frankfurt School began spreading transformational Marxism in America.  Today the consensus process is the backbone of decision-making in government, big business and even church growth programs, which seek to eject church members who don’t go along with the new “vision” for church growth. It was a Marxist revolution that happened without a shot being fired.

Consensus is killing representative government in the West because it systematically eliminates input from the electorate and allows government to proceed with its agendas unabated and unaccountably. More and more decisions that were supposed to be made by legislatures or county and city boards are being made by facilitator “change agents,” who are unelected and unaccountable, using this facilitated consensus process. 

A growing number of concerned Americans has begun to realize that something is radically wrong; that the representative process we used to enjoy is being subverted by something but they don’t know quite what.  Consensus can be dealt with at any level but Americans must understand the process.  Anyone involved in a consensus-driven event not understanding the deceptive principles on which it functions, will be taken in by it and the process will roll forward unabated as thousands of Americans wonder why their government officials aren’t responsive to them and why actions they strongly oppose continue to be implemented unabated.   

Remember, consensus means you have been conned into taking leave of your senses.  We must understand we’re being had.  Breaking consensus relies on forcing a facilitator and his supporters to expose their actual agendas by defining what their words mean.  They will avoid doing that at all cost but trained dissenters can force the issue and make the crowd realize it has been the victim of a deliberately-planned hoax.

(Important reading:  "The Cloning of the American Mind" by Beverly Eakman, available through Walter Publishing 1-800-955-0116.  Also important is Dean Gotcher’s, MA,  taped conference series on the Diaprax consensus process available from (303) 548-3204.)

© 2002 John Loeffler - All Rights Reserved

 John Loeffler is host of the nationally syndicated news program Steel on Steel, which is produced by his wife Carol Loeffler.  Both are career broadcasters, who met working for a major television network.  Steel on Steel can be heard anytime at on the internet.  Tape subscriptions are available from (800) 829-5646 or (208)765-8337.

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