The scary thing about my brush with avuncularitis over the weekend is how most of the thirty or so soi-disant dissidents in the room wanted to be children to the Great Guru in parent-mode. That they were so so willing to be ego-fodder (and I learnt that you can be ego-fodder even when you are sat in a circle and get a reasonable amount of mingling going on).
And that, most of all, they were willing to sit and not support someone who was expressing frustration with the proceedings. Whether or not they agreed with that person’s frustrations (and at least some of them did) is not the point. In a workshop all about supporting people at the margins of the mainstream, isn’t it a little ironic that not a single one of the 28 people could say “there’s a process point here. Regardless of whether this is just one person, or half of us, we need to discuss it. And we therefore need the Great Guru to get out of the fricking room for a few minutes, because his presence may be having a chilling effect. So Guru – the door’s that way. We’ll call you back in when we are good and ready.”
I am only able to see two explanations (there may, of course, be others).
a) avuncular retinopathy – blindness brought on by guru-worship. People having found their father, didn’t want the paternalistic bubble popped.
b) vertiginous vertebral vitiation – people knew, but lacked the spine to “speak out”
Frankly, if this is as contestational as the activist scene gets, then the British State really has nothing to worry about.
[UPDATE: Checking over the bit of paper I hurriedly scribbled this thought on during my lunch-break from wage-slavery during the TADJ, I see I haven't put in the most important bit. "I probably would have been cowardly. Stockholm Syndrome."]