Loomio
Sun 3 Mar 2019 9:48PM

Conflict Within this Group

BW Bob W Public Seen by 151

This thread is for addressing conflict within this Pre-Virtual Home group, in general, or in particular. There is a particular conflict that has recently been brought to the group's attention. (The initial messages on this thread were originally on another thread. This forked thread has been created to support people in being able to choose which discussions they would like to be a part of, since the issue of conflict was not part of the intention of the original thread.)

D

Dieudonné Sun 3 Mar 2019 5:49PM

So answer my question. How much honesty are you willing to take before you delete me?

I don't believe deleting you (your messages ? your account ?) would be very helpful.

I don't have much practice facilitating a restorative process through a forum. I prefer interactions IRL (In Real Life). But I trust that if you are willing to put energy into setting up a restorative system robust enough to take care of all the honesty you're willing to live, you'll get something useful.

Did you read this page ? :
* https://nvc.miraheze.org/wiki/PreVH_Restorative_System

Have you experienced useful restorative practices in your life? Do they have some or nothing in common with what's in this page?

D

Dieudonné Sun 3 Mar 2019 3:48PM

Bonjour James,

I'm curious about what observations you are referring to. Since Bob and Dominic are both at the root of the NFP, and Dominic is so much involved in Dialog System Design, it's hard for me to imagine Bob is as far from it, as you let it imagine.

I first met Dominic in 2004, when he was in Lausanne, Switzerland with Marshall, and I contributed to his recent events in Europe :
* CerclesRestauratifs.org

Warmly :pray:

JG

James Green Sun 3 Mar 2019 3:23PM

What is the tolerance threshold for speaking honestly here? I am absolutely furious and disgusted. But the NVC "community" does not know how to deal with conflict at all. And I don't want to stick my neck out if it means I'll be digitally exterminated from this platform. On the other hand, the whole reason Bob that you and others have the problems you are having with the new future process is because you don't know how to deal with systemic conflict.

How are people supposed to walk towards conflict together if they live under the constant threat of being digitally erased?

And how are you supposed to solve your problems if you are not even free to talk about them honestly?

No app is going to solve that problem. That's a person problem. Not a technology problem. It's a value problem of people not having any interest in what angry voices are saying. If you don't make room for the angry voices you are cutting yourself off from reality.

Digitally erasing people!

JG

James Green Sun 3 Mar 2019 5:03PM

Dieudonne,

I would like a clear answer to my question; "What is the tolerance threshold for speaking honestly here?"

Here's an observation; I have been urgently reaching out to Bob for the past year and he has been completely unwilling to talk to me. I have reached out to him about 20 times. He wants the CNVC board to engage in dialogue and continually complains about their unwillingness to engage in dialogue. And yet I see him doing the same exact thing with me. He has completely shut me out. It is total hypocricy.

JG

James Green Sun 3 Mar 2019 5:27PM

Intensity? I have not even begun to share a fraction of the intensity I am holding. The deep hatred that is the result of being exiled.

I can tell you in great detail how useless this "network" is for creating places that foster honest dialogue. I can name names. And I can tell you how the people who claim to support restorative dialogue act to undermine it at every step of the way. But what is the point of doing that if you can just delete me?

So answer my question. How much honesty are you willing to take before you delete me?

D

Dieudonné Sun 3 Mar 2019 5:16PM

When reading the intensity of what you seam to be going through, I hope there will be restorative place to help us hear the precious needs not heard so far. I don't know much about the history of the dialogue between you both. However, I remain confident our network is more than many others, concious that we will all have benefits in taking care of conflicts within our community.

When I suggested creating this Loomio group, I had this idea in mind, and when we decided to open it, Bob was one of the first one to say yes. So now the next steps seems that we need to design our restorative system together. Welcome on board !

Some elements here :
* https://nvc.miraheze.org/wiki/PreVH_Restorative_System

JG

James Green Sun 3 Mar 2019 9:12PM

For the past year, Ray Taylor has been removing me from as many groups as possible, telling people that I'm dangerous and encouraging people not to have any contact with me. He is supported in that project by Jeannine Suurmound, who is a member of the "restorative" weave of the New Futures Process. Jeannine, in collaboration with 3 other certified trainers Ceri Buck, Jean McElhaney, and Jo McHale organized a public event personally against me where my "crimes" could be aired, but I was not permitted to attend. No one seemed to mind. I contacted countless certified trainers to get support with this attack against me, to no avail. Ceri offers courses on "restorative practices" which advocate for the silencing of people like me, calling it an appropriate use of force. These people are extremely dangerous and hostile to open dialogue. They attempt to disappear people that disagree with them.

JG

James Green Sun 3 Mar 2019 9:28PM

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF BOB. FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS. AND NOW I COME TO HIM DESPERATELY PLEADING FOR SOME HELP AND HE CUTS ME OUT LIKE GARBAGE! I CAN ONLY GUESS HE DOES THAT TO EVERYONE ELSE IN HIS LIFE. NO WONDER HE DOESN'T GET SUFFICIENT SUPPORT FOR HIS PROJECTS. HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO CONTINUE SUPPORTING HIM WHEN I AM BEING SCREWED OVER BY HIS COLLEAGUES AND HE WON'T EVEN HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH ME ABOUT IT!

BW

Bob W Sun 3 Mar 2019 9:59PM

I have called James to try to set up a conversation.

BW

Bob W Sun 3 Mar 2019 10:04PM

Ouch. James, your last message was pretty painful for me to read. And, I get that it reflects intense pain in you. I hope we are able to talk.

JG

James Green Sun 3 Mar 2019 10:08PM

OH! NOW YOU ARE CALLING ME! NOW THAT I STUCK MY NECK OUT! IT ONLY TOOK YOU A WHOLE DAMN YEAR! SO NO! I AM NOT WILLING TO LET YOU SWEEP THIS CONVERSATION UNDER THE RUG WITH A PRIVATE CALL! WE'LL HAVE IT HERE IN PUBLIC SO EVERYONE CAN KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.

JG

James Green Sun 3 Mar 2019 10:18PM

You speak about gathering together a group of people with enough moral authority. If you do not have the ability to manage your life sufficiently to make room for conversations with people who are in a crisis, as I have been for the entire year and have been repeatedly telling you, then what moral authority do you have to request that the board engage with you? You are asking them to do something that you yourself are unable to do.

KT

Karen Thompson-Anderson Sun 3 Mar 2019 11:40PM

Hi James... would you like some deep respectful acknowledgement of the extreme anger you're feeling, from someone safe?

Would you like acknowledgement of the almost unbearable pain you are experiencing...is it something about integrity and transparency... maybe is it something like 'alarmed aloneness' to have been excluded and seen "less than friendly behaviours" where you had invested your trust and faith?
Does that make you feel sick?

I'm happy for you to express towards me if you feel willing to respond? I was the partner of a man using heroin so you can express as much anger as you want I've seen the best of it and am no longer afraid to the point I run away.

Recently I did some learning with Sarah Peyton and am appreciative of her deep awareness of neuroscience... that how our brains work when we've been deeply triggered makes it nearly impossible to have any NVC or restorative stuff happen because first the brain needs soothing and acceptance for the fight, freeze alarm it's in... please forgive me if this lands as "education"...I'm just touched by your longing to be seen and included and acknowledged. I see you :-)

When I feel similar to how you are feeling at the moment I sometimes rage in disconnect behaviours without care for myself (bad eating and binging Netflix), I smoke pot too sometimes, although more rarely these days... finally when I've scared myself enough with my own violence I ask for help to soothe my scared brain because no amount of rationalising will calm me (my right brain's offline)...only being seen until I've touched the tears (till my capacities for reflection and compassion come back).

I'm so sad James that you've felt the deepest of pain in your relating with NVC community because I value so much that there is a safe haven in the world where people have "unparalleled" skills to communicate. I want that...I'm still not seeing it the way I'd really really like either...and I think it's up to us in the mirror... you know what I mean? What I do see is humanness, longing for something wonderful.

Like you, I grieve for an inner and outer world that still has much trauma yet to be held, much personal learning yet to be experienced. I believe that those of us with the deepest awareness (through personal suffering) will be the facilitators of the new economy when we have grown emotionally resilient enough... seen our own and other's trauma with compassion enough...and found willingness to be with pain and still collaborate for the wellbeing of the planet. Thank you for being willing to be here and be seen. We got this.

In friendship,
Karen

JG

James Green Tue 12 Mar 2019 6:12PM

Hi Karen,

Yes, I would like some deep respectful acknowledgment of my extreme anger. I imagine that would feel a lot better than what I am getting currently; endless scapegoating, exile, accusation, defensiveness, apathy, blame, righteous indignation and rationalization.

What I think I'd appreciate most from you Karen is if you were able to connect to and share your own experiences of being scapegoated and holding extreme anger within this group or the wider NVC network. I do hear some of that in your post. But it's very general. How about in being here, with this project and with these people?

BW

Bob W Mon 4 Mar 2019 12:40AM

For transparency, James and I did speak on the phone today, for perhaps an hour and three quarters.

KT

Karen Thompson-Anderson Mon 4 Mar 2019 12:47AM

Feeling curious and hopeful for some life affirming movement of energy :-)
Thanks for the update.

BW

Bob W Mon 4 Mar 2019 3:40AM

For those who may not know what James is referring to in relation to me, I'd like to offer a bit of context, from my perspective.

James and I have known each other for a decade or so. From time to time, we have had supportive conversations and empathy sessions, which I have enjoyed and appreciated. It seemed to me like a warm connection. (And, it again seemed warm to me when we spoke today.)

Some time ago (was it 15 or so months ago?) a chain of painful conflicts emerged and apparently escalated, involving @jamesgreen and a number of other people involved in various NVC-related online communities. I was not a participant in any of these discussions, or in the conflict.

I received requests, both from people upset with James, and from James himself, for support in relation to the conflict. Those requests came at a time when I was in a state of overwhelm. So, for reasons of self-care, I declined all requests to support those involved in the conflict.

Soon after that, some more direct conflict arose involving me and James. There was a misunderstanding about a video meeting: I announced the meeting as a public meeting, but the person I was meeting with had not understood it to be a public meeting. When James showed up to observe what had been announced as a public , there was an awkward sorting out process, which James understandably didn't enjoy, given his recent traumatizing experiences of exclusion from a variety of online forums. There followed several months in which James wanted to talk to me about that meeting, and when I in principle wanted to talk to him, but was feeling too overwhelmed by other events to give such a conversation priority. I did explain to James my understanding of what had happened, and my state of limited personal resources. I had the impression that James, although not delighted with this, was accepting of it and that the matter was more or less settled, if not in an ideal way.

Maybe James was wanting to talk to me about the conflict and crisis he continued to be involved in. In retrospect, I wasn't fully clear about that, and if so, I didn't see how the conflict he was involved in had a connection to me in particular.

I was in a state of overwhelm which escalated for much of last year, due to both events with the CNVC Board, and a number of major personal crises. I let James know about that, and that I was focusing on addressing self-care around what I was dealing with, when we interacted from time to time.

I am appreciating now that James was going through a nightmarish experience in which it seemed like few people were willing to talk to him, not those he was in conflict with, and not those who were neutral but seemed to him to be part of the NVC community and to be people he had previously been in connection with. It makes sense to me that my response seemed like part of a larger painful systemic pattern he was experiencing.

James has experienced the NVC community as not good at dealing with conflict, which is something that has a parallel in my own recent experience.

I'd love for James to be having a different experience.

And, at the same time, I see as somewhat inaccurate James' implication that there has been a parallel between the situation between him and me, and my situation with the Board. Some differences I see include:

  1. I have wanted to connect with the Board about something where the Board has had a central role in what has happened, and are primary conflictants; the conflict revolves around things the Board specifically has done, and which are quite difficult to address without their specific engagement. The conflict relates to CNVC, which the Board specifically holds itself as being responsible for. James has wanted to talk to me about a conflict where I am not a conflictant, but only one of many hundreds of members of the (arguable) community within which the conflict is occurring.

  2. The conflict the Board is involved in relates to things the Board agreed to (in writing) and then did not honor. There was essentially a contractual relationship between the Board and me and others. I am not aware of any agreement I've made that connects me to the the conflict James is wrestling with, or which created any relationship between me and James that would have called for anything other than free choice about whether or not I felt in a position to offer support.

  3. Board members have not responded in any way whatsoever to my attempts to connect with them in relation to the conflict we are a part of. There has been at least a minimal level of exchange between me and James, about whether or not we would talk, and what my reasons were for being inclined to focus attention elsewhere. I didn't experience the door to communication as totally closed, though I acknowledge that James may have had a different impression.

The main thing I see as a difference is that the Board has a defined role that makes them clearly a part of the conflict they are being asked to engage with. I did not understand this to be the case in the conflict James was wanting me (and many other trainers) to engage about.

And, I don't want this to be about rationalizing disconnection.

In any event, James and I have now connected. I hope that we're in agreement that the door between us is now at least somewhat open.

I do regret that it has taken so long for this to happen.

With sadness,
Bob

JG

James Green Tue 12 Mar 2019 7:31PM

Hi Bob,

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me on the phone as well as the time to write down some of your perspective of why your relationship and disconnection with me is different from your relationship and disconnection with the board. I think it can be the seed to improved relations in both cases.