I thought I should start giving people more info about the project
I'm just starting, with the working title, "Unlocking the Cage."
The purpose is to create an INTERACTIVE process, which works even
better than a one-on-one discussion, to help people escape the
mythology regarding "government" that we were all taught. This
project was basically just a dream for the last year, until the
Freedoms Phoenix Funding Center came along, and made it into a real
possibility. Here is the main page on the funding center for the
But beyond that general description, I wanted to start giving more
explanation of what this project will entail, and how it will work.
Again, the idea is based on many hundreds of discussions I've had
over the past 18 years with people who still believe in
"government," seeing how they react and respond, seeing the things
which make them defensive and make their ability to reason shut
down, and so on. (I say "they," but I used to be one of them, and I
definitely include my own escape from authoritarianism as a lesson
in what has to happen in order to help people see reality.) So let
me explain a few of the challenges that "Unlocking the Cage" is
designed to overcome, and how it will do so:
Challenge #1: When someone hears an idea that conflicts with his
own, the natural tendency is to get defensive, to intellectually
"hunker down," in an effort to "win" the debate. As long as the new
idea feels like an external, foreign concept, in conflict with
one's own values and beliefs, the person is extremely unlikely to
be at all open to it, or to even think about it.
Solution #1: "Unlocking the Cage" combines several factor to defuse
this common psychological response: 1) since the user isn't dealing
with an actual person, isn't being rushed, and there is no peer
pressure, MOST of the usual stressors that lead to confrontation
aren't there to begin with. 2) The process, from the very
beginning, makes it abundantly clear that the user is the ultimate
judge of what is true, what is right, and what is logical. In
short, from the user's viewpoint there really ISN'T a conflict
viewpoint at all. 3) This is accomplished by doing the entire
process through QUESTIONS, and never assertions. The narrator/host
of the presentation NEVER says "I," and NEVER expresses a personal
opinion. In other words, the ONLY "opinion" involved is that of the
user. 4) The entire theme is NOT "your ideas are bad, you should
adopt these ideas instead." Rather, the entire thing is about
ASKING the person about his thoughts, gently inviting him to
explore his OWN morals and reasoning, with the SOLE PURPOSE being
to see if the USER finds any inconsistencies in his OWN assumptions
and beliefs, with the ONLY goal of that being to help the user be
faithful to HIS OWN values.
Challenge #2: In a live discussion--whether in person, online,
whatever--people don't like pausing to think, for fear of sounding
stupid, or sounding like they don't have an answer.
Solution #2: There is no rush, and no time constraints on the pace
at which the user proceeds through "Unlocking the Cage." At ANY
point he can choose to pause to think about a question, whether for
ten minutes, two hours, or a month. Then, whenever he wants, he can
pick up right where he left off. This point, and the next, actually
make "Unlocking the Cage" MORE effective than a one-on-one in-
Challenge #3: If people are being asked questions, and sense it as
a possible trap, or an attempt to trick him into saying something
stupid, he will be on the defensive, instead of being open and
Solution #3: The process explains at the beginning that at ANY
point, the user can go back and change a previous answer, and pick
up the process from there. And again, since the user is the ONLY
"judge" involved, and the only human being even watching, he
doesn't have to feel embarrassed about changing his mind. He can
even "try" one answer on, see where it goes, without anyone nagging
or judging him, or accusing him of flip-flopping.
Challenge #4: There are up sides and down sides of having one-on-
one discussions, as opposed to group discussions. Peer pressure
tends to make people less honest, as people often follow the crowd.
However, it can also be useful for a person to see how OTHER people
answer a question.
Solution #4: "Unlocking the Cage" manages to get the best of both,
and avoid the worst of both. Since every user is anonymous, he
doesn't have to care about what anyone else might think of his
answer, because no one will ever know. But the plan is to have all
answers added to a database (with NO personal information
identifying any particular user), so every user can, if they want,
see what percentage of OTHER people who have done "Unlocking the
Cage" answered each question which way. So each user gets all the
information, but none of the pressure.
There is a lot more to explain, but that's enough for now.