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The strength of any group or organisation lies, almost completely, within its membership. Its leaders/ facilitators are integral to the achievement of aims and goals but when it comes to the “footwork” the whole point in having a group is to be able to rely on the wide range of experiences and perceptions to bring unique, innovative and intelligent approaches and solutions to bear.
So, how do we assess whether a person is right for the team?
One solution may be found in the following “Membership assessment” tool that is based, loosely, on Bonewits’ Cult Evaluation Framework.
For each potential member of the group or team:
Rated on the scale: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, Lowest to Highest (where 1 is Extremely poor and 10 is extremely good)
The thing to bear in mind here is that the “Highest” possible score is just as bad as the “Lowest” so it becomes necessary to define a middle range that becomes the ideal. It’s very like the standard pre-employment 125 question sheets they make you do, the psych-evaluation tests that we’ve all seen at some time which are meant to ensure that someone doesn’t get saddled with “extreme” personality difficulties, and let’s face it, the modern living Vampyre culture is replete with those.
With that in mind… a score of 1, in answer to any of the following questions is to be considered the furthest from an “ideal” answer as is a score of 10. Ideally we should be aiming to give a score of between 4 and 7 which would yield an ideal total, if we treat 5 as being optimum, of 80
Alternatively, if it’s more comfortable, the higher the score can mean the better the individual is at achieving the ideal according to the question, in which case the best possible score could be 160 and we would have to set the ‘minimum acceptable’ score that we would consider as being optimum for our purposes… we might say we will only pass those with scores of 90 or above, 120 or above or whatever we might see the best outcome as being.
- Personal Control: Amount of self-control exercised by individual in everyday interpersonal interactions. (Do they tend to flip out, get rude, offensive etc. frequently, with or without perceived justification?)
2. External Control: Amount of external social influence desired or obtained; how much emphasis is placed on directing the affairs/ interactions/ business of others. (Are they friends and advisors or interferers?)
3. Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed vs. credible demonstration of; Number, and degree, of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed. ( Can they back-up/ support/ prove their claims?)
4. Amount/ level of hostility towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts/questioning. Is there a strong ‘defensive’ element present in responses? (Do they get bent out of shape if someone questions their pet theory or opinion?)
5. Personal Dogma: Rigidity of self-reality, inflexible attitude, or non-acceptance of opposing ideas and concepts. (Are they stubborn, one-eyed, inflexible individuals?)
6. Recruiting: Emphasis on bringing people round to their way of thinking/ demands that their p.o.v. be recognised as “the one”. (Do they need to be revered/ worshipped/ lauded all the time? Are they narcissistic in nature?)
7. Front Groups: Total number of groups the person is affiliated with/ a member of. (If they are in 1,495 other groups are they going to be effective, in any way shape or form, in yours?)
8. Perceived ‘wealth’/’currency’: Amount of ‘friends’, or group affiliations, in real-life and/or social media situations. (Are they ‘trophy’ group/friend hunters? Do they friend someone then ‘farm’ that new friend’s ‘friend list’?)
9. Influence Rate: Manipulation of ‘friends’/contacts/ members of groups in their circle. (Do they play the two ends against the middle and set back to watch the fun? Do they manipulate people around them to realise some perceived personal goal?)
10. Favouritism: Advancement or preferential treatment of fundamental ideas based on certain “personal” connections within the wider social circle. (Are they ‘lap dogs’ for their master/s?)
11. Censorship: Amount of control exerted/ expected over the interactions/ activities/ communications between opinions in group/ personal interactions. (Do they hold themselves forth as some kind of ‘be-all-end-all’ adjudicator?)
12. Isolation: Amount, or presence, of effort to keep others from communicating with non-‘friends’/ group colleagues etc. (Do they keep ‘friends’ / group members away from folks that might know a little too much about them?)
13. Control methods: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing, controlling or influencing and whether those efforts are overt, or covert. (Do they act openly and above board or sneak around being all ‘I spy’ mister/miss/mrs CIA?)
14. Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories and or “dramatic” situations within real-life circles/ social media circles. (Are they ‘Drama Queens/ Kings, always seeking out new and exciting frontiers of trouble to get into to make their life appear exciting?)
15. Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on people around them not being able to be responsible for personal decisions; the amount of ‘telling’ people what to do in any given situation esp. where such input is not requested. (Do they tend to reserve their quiet and confident counsel for PM situations or do the slip the brain into neutral and just let the mouth go for it?)
16. Hypocrisy: Amount, and frequency, of actions which would normally be seen as being either immoral or unethical, when done for the purpose of ‘political’, ‘psychological’, ‘social’, ‘economic’, or other – strictly personal – gain. (Are they a hypocrit?)
There is, naturally, no way of accounting for the personal or perceived bias that may be inherent in the person asking the questions, no manner of curtailing what might be issues of judgement-calls but perhaps this theoretical framework may well help, at some point, to keep the “Dram Llama” in the pen.
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