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The MLPA Initiative's 'Delphi Technique'
by David Gurney
Wednesday Feb 22nd, 2012 10:25 PM
The corporate Kearns and West facilitators of the MLPA Initiative carried out their pre-planned objective of making sure the privately-funded "Initiative" did nothing to prohibit oil and gas drilling, pollution, industrial development or any threats to the ocean environment - besides fishing and food gathering - in the so-called "marine protected areas," all the while serving the interests of the commercial aquariums and grant funded scientific community who funded the MLPA Initiative.
delphi-temple.jpg
delphi-temple.jpg

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The MLPA Initiative's 'Delphi Technique'

by David Gurney

During my coverage of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative as an independent journalist, I remember asking a member of the "Regional Stakeholders Group" early on what his take was on the policy process he was engaged in.

I'll never forget his reply. He said, "I think this is a very sophisticated experiment in social engineering"

I was surprised at his answer that crystallized the essence of my own, and many others', impressions that what as taking place, that something was somehow "not right."

What's referred to as the modern form of the Delphi Technique varies widely from what was developed by the Rand Corporation in the 1960s for developing peer reviewed scientific scenarios for war related research. Modern facilitators have adapted the technique to develop what appears to be public support and "public process" for preconceived Hegelian strategies at achieving preconceived goals.

In other words, you go to a Delphi Technique oriented meeting, and you are subjected to a lengthy, drawn out series of meetings that do nothing except achieve the end result desired by the people putting on the meetings in the first place.

The MLPA Initiative to create "marine protected areas" on the California coast took the Delphi Technique to unprecedented levels. Early on during the North Coast "process," when a member of the public expressed an idea or concept that was unpleasant or uncomfortable for the 'Initiative" staff to answer, that person was approached privately from the side or behind by a staff member. The staff member would whisper in the audience member's ear, offering to personally resolve the problem the person was having with the issue at hand.

I personally witnessed the use of this culling technique several times in the course of the MLPA's run on the North Coast. It was done to avoid legitimate questions and diffuse any opposition.

I wrote a letter to the Department of Fish and Game, and filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission, and the obviously pre-planned strategy of privately approaching members of the public in the audience by MLPAI staff was discontinued.

The Delphi Technique as applied to public meetings has been around for awhile. This link to "The Informed Citizens of Reading Massachusetts" provides a coherant analysis of the technique from the 1990's: http://www.iror.org/delphied.asp

The corporate Kearns and West facilitators of the MLPAI carried out their pre-planned objective of making sure the privately-funded "Initiative" did nothing to prohibit oil and gas drilling, pollution, industrial development or any threats to the ocean environment - besides fishing and food gathering - in the so-called "marine protected areas," all the while serving the interests of the commercial aquariums and grant funded scientific community who funded the MLPA Initiative.

See The Delphi Technique: Let’s Stop Being Manipulated! (http://www.vlrc.org/articles/110.html).

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Beeline
Thursday Feb 23rd, 2012 6:32 PM
The government under Reagan and Watt began using the intimidation technique you describe on government employees in the 1980's to keep the truth hidden. Government managers were sent to a facility in Arizona and were grilled on how to implement this management "style". In those days the government was supposed to take on the corporate persona by giving the appearance of doing the right thing but in reality employees were always supposed defer to corporate desires. Unfortunately this type of intimidation worked and spread like the swine flu through other groups as you have witnessed. I guess people on the outside never really caught on. It is very much anti free speech but corporations are not little democracies. They are just the opposite. The more power they have the less democracy we have.

If folks don't vote independent this year we will probably be forced to wear little swastikas on our foreheads because the corporate motto is "WE SAY SO".