http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/com ... ccupy.html
The Delphi Technique is presented as such:
Guy Who Doesn't Like to Read Source Material wrote:Essentially, the Delphi Technique, which was originally developed by RAND in the 1950s as a psychological weapon and infiltration mechanism, is also a proven method by which movements can be co-opted and redirected for ulterior purposes.
This is horseshit, plain and simple. I referred Terry to the wikipedia summary of what the actual RAND Delphi techinque is:
It's a pre-internet version of crowd-sourcing, with an eye towards consensus. I can see why that word gives anyone with divergent opinions the shivers, and there's a lot of ominously Machiavellian social science research conducted under the banner of that seemingly innocuous keyword. However, opinions and biases don't change facts...just perceptions.
I first came across the Delphi Technique many years ago when I was investigating education in America, and it was first presented to me in the exact same terms: RAND think tank perfects a system for co-opting and controlling public meetings and groups. It made compelling sense.
My problem, as usual, was wanting to know more. This is always when narratives fall apart. The dissolve into a constellation of mere data points, often complex and conflicting. (Nobody wants a 1:1 map of reality, though, we just want to tell each other stories, right? I actually don't enjoy being the asshole who's always saying "actually..." and I hardly ever do in IRL anymore.)
The excellently curated site http://conspiracyarchive.com had some articles that gave a more nuanced, less alarmist picture:
http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NewAge ... hnique.htm
First sentence: "The Delphi Technique was originally conceived as a way to obtain the opinion of experts without necessarily bringing them together face to face." A reasonable summary, although it omits the impetus behind the whole project: the need to achieve a workable consensus on controversial issues on the frontiers of science where no easy & established answers existed. RAND was playing on the fringes back then, that's now the specialty of other operations as RAND settles into old & august NatSec welfare instead of continuing to pursue innovation.
As the article correctly goes on to note, it was Christian homeschooling activist and researcher Bev Eakman ("Educating for the New World Order") who began to paint the Delphi technique very differently. I like Eakman quite a bit, and she was one of the early authors who made me appreciate how much I can learn from people I vehemently disagree with. Her research was impressively & obsessively thorough, and her conclusions were often laughably hysterical. This is when I started learning to parse my sources and it was an invaluable lesson.
Just the same, man, did she ever bork up the Delphi Technique. She claimed it was directly related to "The Alinsky Method" -- let's just take second to consider the lunacy of that: a military industrial, eminently conservative think tank collaborating and conspiring with a Jewish socialist community organizer to infiltrate and neutralize community activism. I'm a student of spooks, and even by the standard of strange bedfellows, that one is a bit of stretch.
The real problem, though, was that Bev Eakman introduced "rules" for the Delphi Technique that she'd invented whole and passed off as actual documentation. Her version of Delphi appears exactly nowhere in the RAND monographs. That's pretty problematic to me, since it bears a remarkable resemblance to "lying." I'm sure her intentions were pure, though -- zero sarcasm, she was a true believer with a good heart.
It's important to note that Eakman only used these curious mistakes as a foundation -- they were never re-examined, only built upon. She even wrote a whole book about it, "How to Counter Group Manipulation Tactics" which is quite lucid and useful despite the poisoned fruit of false assumptions and mangled history. This is a hallmark of the Conspiratainment Complex: all past work is raw material for future product, there's very little critical assessment going on.
Long Story, Short
Is #Occupy being infiltrated by bad actors who intend to subvert the process? Absolutely.
Does that have anything to do with the Delphi Technique? Absolutely not.
It's being invoked because it sounds serious and adds a narrative weight to the argument. It's being brandished as a heavy object, just like "free market" psyops hacks like to use "Complexity Theory" or "Network Laws" -- it makes you sound smart, and the material in question is dense enough so that most folks, even those who want to learn more, will be intimidated by the size and scale of the field.
And yet....that fucking wikipedia page, right? You'd think it's not that hard to fact-check Brandon's article, considering that the text on that page directly contradicts his entire description of the process.
To insist that the "Delphi Technique" consists of more than it does is fiction, pure and simple. #Occupy has a lot to be concerned about, it does not need to be jumping at shadows and living in fear of ghosts. I am not sympathetic to the argument that "Delphi Technique has become functional short hand for blah blah blah" because I'm a huge fan of words having actual meanings. I think that's very important to communication, and I don't expect that stance to change anytime soon.
Then again, if you get me in a big enough group....