Friday, 26 December 2008

Survey - David Barrett replies to comments

David Barrett offers these responses to comments on his survey.

Thanks for all your comments (Libro66 - I love the three hypostases!) I realised very early on that I couldn't cover all the different groups of people (I identified seven distinct groups). PhD theses have to be very tightly focussed, and if I also looked at, for example, those who had accepted the changes and stayed in WCG, and those who had not accepted the changes but tried to stay in WCG, and those who had accepted the changes but decided to join a mainstream Evangelical Church with no connection to the "Worldwide Family", and those who said "A plague on all your houses" and dropped out of Christianity completely -- although these are all equally worthy of study, including them in my study would make it too broad and unwieldy; I'd be looking in too many directions in not enough depth.

I do mention all of them, and will certainly make use of any comments you're kind enough to send me if you're in one of those four groups, but my main focus is on those who held on to the old-Worldwide beliefs, in one version or another, and what they did and where they went and why. I'm looking mainly at conflicts of authority within a sociological theoretical framework -- largely the conflicts between the authority of the Church leadership and the teachings of the Church's founder, and the continuing conflicts and schisms within the offshoot Churches.
Thank you again to all who have completed the questionnaire -- or whichever parts of it are relevant to you. And yes, please do make use of the spaces to add your comments, both for specific questions and at the end.

The Survey link is The password is the name of the city where HWA began his radio ministry on KORE, followed by the year.


Purple Hymnal said...

I would be very interested in knowing what the "seven distinct groups" are that Barrett identified.

I definitely fall under the "'a plague on all your houses' and dropped out of Christianity completely" category, so I guess my answers can't be used.

Please pass my thanks along to David Barrett, I did find the survey to be quite thought-provoking and cathartic anyway.

Leonardo said...

I agree with Purple Hymnal in that I also found the survey thought-provoking and cathartic as well.

It's so vitally important to our long-range psychological health to adequately process and work through unpleasant experiences we have in life - rather than just impulsively or lazily retreat into a self-righteous, embittered, cowardly or overly-cynical state of mind and curse all things religious – most frequently typified by the “A curse on all your houses” mentality so common to fundamentalist religions.

I've talked to MANY current as well as ex-COG members, and one thing I find quite prevalent among them ALL is the practice of evasion, that of not dealing with unpleasant issues, especially those things pertaining to their more negative COG experiences.

But this only becomes habit and eventually destroys our capacity to deal with reality if indulged in too often. Yet it seems to be the default reaction of most COGer's.

Anyway, I appreciated Barrett's survey.

Byker Bob said...

I must comment that I enjoyed David's cousin Syd's creative genius while he fronted the group "Pink Floyd".


Shine On You Crazy Diamond said...

Byker Bob, is that true that David and Syd were cousins?

They've sure gone down different paths in life.

Pink Floyd - now there's a band for the ages!

Byker Bob said...

I have no knowledge of any familial relationships there. The last name is the same, so I coudn't resist making a wisecrack.

Hope David didn't mind. I considered it a favorable comparison.


Libro 66 said...

I certainly know the problem of trying to deal with a thesis that threatens to grow unmanageably large, and the compromises inherent in cutting it down to a more workable size. The final defense, as always, will be especially challenging -- how in the world is David going to summarize WCG theology and history in a nutshell for those on his committee who are unfamiliar with the movement? It's needed for context, yet he'll only be able to afford a few minutes if he's going to have time to describe his analysis in any detail.

In any case, best wishes to David as he sifts through the data we provided. I'd be interested in seeing his results whenever they become available, though of course that may be a few years off.


(Any chance we might get to see the slides from his final defense? -- or do Ph.D. students use PowerPoint in Her Majesty's realm?)