Futuristguy’s Field Guides — Essentials Tutorial #3

Introducing Tutorial Essentials #3:

There are many forms of abuse, harassment, and violence in our world. These incidents and ongoing patterns take place in multiple kinds of settings, with perpetrators using many kinds of techniques to exercise power over other people.

With so many tactics under consideration, how do we come up with a system that is manageable? How do we categorize them in meaningful ways – yet so the methods and models are not oversimplified such that they can no longer help interpret the largest and most complex situations that arise?

My tutorial for Essentials #3 is the non-technical version that shares some of the process I used, and the building blocks for the analysis models I’ll share in tutorials for Essentials #4 through #7. (And after that, perhaps I’ll post a more technical version of the process I used to create the scaled-down edition in Essentials #3.)

Tentative Tutorials in Series 1:

  • Essentials #1 Three core individual freedoms, drawn from global sources.
  • Essentials #2 The road to institutionalization via reversing of our freedoms.
  • Essentials #3 Categorizing many specific manipulation techniques into a “Taxonomy of Toxic Tactics.”
  • Essentials #4 Increasingly restrictive individual conditioning.
  • Essentials #5 Increasingly restrictive institutional control.
  • Essentials #6 What this looks like in a “totalist psychology” social control by ideological conformity, including four variations on total control organizations/societies.
  • Essentials #7 A series of increasingly large organizational forms that lead from an organizational “Pyramid of Abuse” to a “Totalist Machine.”

UPDATE June 04, 2018. I have changed my plans and instead of the 10-slide series, see this post on my Futuristguy’s Field Guides blog: Field Guide “Essentials” — A Series of Three-Frame Tutorials. This “Essentials” post has a series of three-frame tutorials, or “Threetorials,” as I have sometimes called them. In the 10 Threetorials posted, the first slide usually gives a definition of the concept framework, or a summary quote about it. The second slide usually gives some kind of visual image, chart, or graphic, plus a few details. (Note my Fotolia licensing information at the bottom of such slides.) The third slide expands on some of the most important points in the first two slides. Material from the longer/10-slide versions will be incorporated in the Field Guides.

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Essentials Slide 21

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Futuristguy’s Field Guides — Essentials Tutorials #1 and #2

In 2007, I started a phase of research writing that required me to process deeply my multiple experiences of spiritual abuse. Half a dozen situations with malgnant people and toxic organizations had eaten up nearly 20 years of my then 35 years in churches and ministries.

As I detailed what I’d experienced and began analyzing them, I started seeing that some of these situations did not fit what seemed to be the usual pattern. In fact, some had more in common with global societies and intense subjects I had been studying, some of them since the 1980s. The footprint of some abusive systems I’d experienced was more control by compliance to rules and regulations (like the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc). Some exerted control by chaos where nothing was predictable (like the Chinese Cultural Revolution). Some had especially charismatic leaders who could convince you of just about anything (like Jim Jones with The Peoples Temple). And some functioned off of competition among leaders and/or members (like how Hitler treated the top leaders in his regime).

I started seeing other patterns, and also pathways that led from small-scale situations and organizations all the way to large-scale “industrial complexes” and totalitarian societies. So it wasn’t just all about individual bullies. Some had more elements of institutions. Still others had elements of ideology (like Apartheid, and racism in America). All of this, combined with my work and volunteer experiences with non-profits regularly since the early 1970s, forged in me a systems perspective on forms of abuse and societal oppression.

Now that the first Field Guide in my “Do Good Plus Do No Harm” training series is due to be released this summer, I thought I would introduce the material by boiling down key points into an “Essentials” series of tutorials. To keep it as short as possible, I worked in PowerPoint instead of in Word and limited myself to about 10 slides per tutorial. I found this process forced me to focus on what is most important.

See what you think of this experiment — I’d appreciate your feedback! There are 20 slides total in Essentials #1 and #2, plus a Review/Preview slide at the end. I’ve numbered the slides for easier reference, in case you have comments on particular topics or certain slides.

And for those who prefer “long form” reads, I give links to some articles most relevant to Essentials #1 and #2 at the bottom of this post.

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Tentative Tutorials in Series 1:

  • Essentials #1 Three core individual freedoms, drawn from global sources.
  • Essentials #2 The road to institutionalization via reversing of our freedoms.
  • Essentials #3 Categorizing many specific manipulation techniques into a “Taxonomy of Toxic Tactics.”
  • Essentials #4 Increasingly restrictive individual conditioning.
  • Essentials #5 Increasingly restrictive institutional control.
  • Essentials #6 What this looks like in a “totalist psychology” social control by ideological conformity, including four variations on total control organizations/societies.
  • Essentials #7 A series of increasingly large organizational forms that lead from an organizational “Pyramid of Abuse” to a “Totalist Machine.”

UPDATE June 04, 2018. I have changed my plans and instead of the 10-slide series, see this post on my Futuristguy’s Field Guides blog: Field Guide “Essentials” — A Series of Three-Frame Tutorials. This “Essentials” post has a series of three-frame tutorials, or “Threetorials,” as I have sometimes called them. In the 10 Threetorials posted, the first slide usually gives a definition of the concept framework, or a summary quote about it. The second slide usually gives some kind of visual image, chart, or graphic, plus a few details. (Note my Fotolia licensing information at the bottom of such slides.) The third slide expands on some of the most important points in the first two slides. Material from the longer/10-slide versions will be incorporated in the Field Guides.

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Essentials Slide 01

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Domestic Violence, Ministry, and Controversy in Conservative Christianity: Some Historical Context and Perspective

This article also appears on Spiritual Sounding Board as a guest post.

Although I am known for my more recent research writings on spiritual abuse from a systemic perspective, I have also written and edited on other forms of abuse and violence since the 1980s.

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Contemporary Conservative Christianity

and Questions About Abuse

Contention over abuse and violence in Christian communities has heightened in the era of #metoo and #churchtoo. However, controversies over theology, advocacy, and actions have been with us for a very long time. Recently, comments on abuse made by Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, resurfaced and ignited a social media firestorm. Continue reading

A “Systems Approach” and Some Historical Background on Dealing with Abuse and Violence

To deal with “systemic abuse,” we must understand systems, victimization, and what makes individuals and institutions vulnerable.

By Brad Sargent with input from Julie Anne Smith.

Cross-posted as a guest post at Spiritual Sounding Board.

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How will our church serve those who’ve suffered the harm of childhood sexual abuse, and seek to prevent it from happening to others? On this difficult but foundational issue of human dignity and care, will we choose conscience and compassion – or corrosion and complacency? The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide and the range of other resources from GRACE equip us with clear definitions, well-organized knowledge, and practical skills to follow a right and righteous path on these global problems of violence and abuse.

In the previous post, I gave a brief preview of key features for The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide from a systems perspective, and listed other resources from GRACE and New Growth Press. In this post, I will add my thoughts on the big picture of systemic abuse, why we’ve needed a set of resources to deal with it, and share some personal and historical perspectives on how the Policy Guide and other books produced by GRACE represent answers to some longstanding prayers. Continue reading

Book Review: The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide, by Boz Tchividjian and Shira Berkovits

Key component in a system of resources on child sexual abuse for policy makers, survivors, educators, and advocates.

By Brad Sargent with input from Julie Anne Smith.

Cross-posted as a guest post at Spiritual Sounding Board.

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Spiritual Sounding Board was invited to participate in the Litfuse “blog tour” for the recently released Child Safeguarding Policy Guide. They asked us to post a one-paragraph summary of our overall response to this resource book, so that could be used as an excerpt on other sites. Here is what I wrote:

How will our church serve those who’ve suffered the harm of childhood sexual abuse, and seek to prevent it from happening to others? On this difficult but foundational issue of human dignity and care, will we choose conscience and compassion – or corrosion and complacency? The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide and the range of other resources from GRACE equip us with clear definitions, well-organized knowledge, and practical skills to follow a right and righteous path on these global problems of violence and abuse.

Available reviews of the Policy Guide share about its concepts and content from a variety of angles. Already posted on Amazon are great summaries, detailed insights from church leaders, poignant personal accounts from survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Litfuse Publicity Group has review excerpts and links to full posts, and New Growth Press, which published this book, has additional endorsements.

In this post, I will give a brief preview of key features from a systems perspective, and list other resources from GRACE and New Growth Press. In a follow-up post, I will add my thoughts on the big picture of systemic abuse, why we’ve needed a set of resources to deal with it, and share some personal perspectives on how the Policy Guide and other books produced by GRACE represent answers to some longstanding prayers. Continue reading

Field Guide #1 Manuscript Finished! Launching into Publishing Steps Soon …

Done, done,

done, done,

D – O – N – E,

DONE!

There are many more steps to get from here to a printed copy. But, after all this time, it’s more than amazing to be able to stand still for a moment, recognize God’s faithfulness in bringing me this far along, and just give Him thanks! Amen? Amen! Continue reading

Training Series: Next-to-Last Draft of Field Guide #1 is Done!

Yesterday I completed the last workbook segment that goes into Field Guide #1 of 4 on systemic abuse, recovery, advocacy, activism, and setting up organizations geared to intervene in/prevent abuse of power. Some beta-readers have been giving me valuable feedback, and there is more clean-up work to do until this next-to-final draft is ready for next steps.

I’ll be giving my brain a break while I catch up on other projects that need completion. But, milestone moments are also a good time to back away from details for a bit, take a look at the big picture again, and give thanks for the process. So, here’s an overview of the providential production of this Do Good Plus Do No Harm curriculum series. Continue reading