This, the final Chapter commences with a sociogram based discussion of some of the structures and processes associated with evolving, enabling, and supporting Laceweb networks and the passing on of nurturing ways. A big picture overview is then made including a comparison between Laceweb and new forms of Latin American Social Movements. The Chapter then explores more of Neville’s own writings about his macro-framework for the next 200 years. The Chapter concludes with evolving action and future possibilities for the Laceweb Social Movement.
This section uses qualitative sociogram based research to map and encapsulate the transfer of micro-experiences, understandings and healings within Laceweb networks. This sociogram research draws upon my prolonged deep interviews with Neville along with my action research (some of it jointly with Neville) in Laceweb contexts from 1988 onwards. When I showed Neville that I was using sociograms in my mapping and modeling of Laceweb process in 1993, Neville was delighted and drew my attention to the Fraser House sociogram research into the friendship patterns among staff and patients in Fraser house (Clark and Yeomans 1969).
As stated in other parts of this Thesis, the processes outlined below are pervasively tentative. In much of mainstream Western service based action, predictability and certainty is deemed a requirement (Davis and Meyer 1999; Pascale, Millemann et al. 2000). Laceweb tentativeness re-cognizes the natural self-organizing nature of local action. Everything depends on local healers. Nothing may happen unless local healers want it. This is why tentative language is used in describing linkings and exchange. Even in giving examples it is understood that everything is cast as possibilities. Typically, wellbeing enablers and natural nurturers are present among local Indigenous and small minority communities. Both Laceweb enablers or local Indigenous, small minority and other intercultural people may identify local wellbeing nurturers and local enablers. Locals seeking well-being support tend to use these local nurturers. Typically, these local nurturers are ‘self starters’. The black disk symbol Sociogram 1 is used to depict a local Indigenous, small minority or intercultural wellbeing nurturer.
It is understood that these nurturers are always living among other locals depicted as in sociograms 2
The crosshatched disk symbol (Sociogram 3) is used to depict a non-local Laceweb enabler. Enablers, as their name implies, enable others to help themselves towards wellbeing. Enablers may share micro-experiences of healing ways and peacehealing that other Indigenous, small minority or intercultural nurturers have found to work. Learning is typically by personally experiencing using the healing way on self and others – embodying.
The darker crosshatched disk symbol (Sociogram.4) is used to depict a local Laceweb enabler
Typically, co-learning takes place. That is, as a person shares embodying healing ways with others, the sharer also receives insights and understandings back from these recipients; hence, lines in the sociograms (as in Sociogram 5) represent a two-way flow of healing sharings. Typically what flows between people are rumors – rumors of what works. Typically the ‘author’ of the rumor is not disclosed. It does not matter.
The darker line between two locals in Sociogram 5 represents a two-way flow of healing sharings and that these sharings have been adapted to local healing ways. That is, non-local enablers may share with locals many of the micro-experiences that they have received from other places and cultures. The local may adapt these micro-experiences to the local healing ways. They may then pass these ‘localized’ healings on to other locals.
Sociogram 6 depicts a non-local enabler sharing healing ways with three local natural nurturers. The lighter line depicts transfer between cultures. In this example, let’s assume different micro-experiences are passed on to each of the three local natural nurturers.
Let us say the three locals in Sociogram 6 each receive 3 healing ways from the enabler. They then adapt them to local healing ways. Sociogram 7 depicts these three locals then passing these micro-experiences on to each other.
In this example, each local receives six healing ways via other locals - that is, three from each of the other two locals. They each receive three healing ways directly from the enabler. That is, they are receiving more from locals than from the enabler. Of course, each of these ways was first passed on by the enabler. This process means that locals are receiving twice as much via other locals and these other sharings are adapted to local way. Locals become the primary source for shared ways. The enabler is in the background.
The Sharing of Micro-experiences Among Locals - a Summary
The following Figure 1 lists Cultural Keyline aspects of Laceweb action:
Figure 1 Cultural Keyline Aspects of Laceweb Action
Sociogram 8 depicts one of the three locals linking and sharing with two other local natural nurturers.
Sociograms 9, 10 and 11 depict the progressive building up of a chain of linked people with sharings going back and forth along the chain. This is isomorphic with what Neville was doing in Mackay and Townsville, and in a more sustained form in the Atherton Tablelands Region inland from Cairns as well as in the Darwin Top end. Recall that Neville said that he had learnings from those with whom he passed on healing ways - co-learnings (Yeomans 1990).
In time, more and more skills are generated in the healing network and passed on to others. The role of enabler continues to become more invisible.
In Sociograms 12 and 13 the local who commenced the chain makes links firstly with the second and then the fourth person in the chain. This may have the effect of enriching the speed, flow and feedback of healing ways micro-experience. Note also that in Sociogram 13 a link has also been made between one of the original three locals and the new local not in the chain. The healing network is beginning to expand in mutual support.
Further links have been made in Sociogram 14 so that now, the local that started the chain is directly linked to every member of the chain. The chain is also linked into the original three via the other new member. Notice that the enabler’s links to the three continue with the lighter links signifying that the micro-experiences the enabler is sharing originate outside the local culture. The enabler is in a two-way co-mentoring/co-learning flow and is receiving feedback from the three locals about how the healing ways they are receiving from the enabler are being adapted locally.
In Sociogram 15, the fourth person in the chain has linked with the first and second person in the chain.
These further links may have the potential to:
In Sociogram 16 the natural nurturer who has been evolving the network is depicted as evolving into a local enabler. This enabler role emerges over time. Further linkings have been made. The expanding network has potential for both unifying experience and enrichment through diversity.
Now the ‘web’ like structure of the linkings is emerging. Another term for this is ‘functional matrix’. Recall that the word ‘matrix’ is from the Greek word having the following meanings:
Latest findings in neuro-biology hint that there is a massive information carrying capacity in the cytoskeleton – the very material that makes up cell walls in the human body. Similarly these Laceweb webworks are vibrant experience exchange networks and an extension of the connexity work Neville did at the psychobiological – psychosocial interface in Fraser House.
When Neville got started in Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, the Atherton Tablelands and around Darwin, Neville was the one initiating almost all of the linking. He said that this was a very slow process. In these examples the enabler has only made links with the original three locals. It may be that further links are made between the enabler and others in the network. It is not however necessary. In some contexts the links between locals may increase ahead of the links between locals and non-local enablers.
It will be noted that by Sociogram 16, the outside enabler may have become a relatively invisible figure. This may be the experience in SE Asia and Oceania contexts. The non-local enabler may continue to share micro-experiences with the original locals. By now most of the healing ways may be received from locals.
In the contexts that Neville energized in the Australian Far North most of the natural nurturers had a close connexion to Neville.
Healing micro-experiences may be combined and adapted as appropriate to people, place and context. Over 30 years of experience has demonstrated that these processes may be self-enriching. People may be intuitively innovative. The local ‘seed-bank’ of healing stories is soon replanted and bearing fruit.
To go back in time, while the local network depicted in the preceding series of sociograms has been emerging, the enabler may have been enabling, supporting, mentoring/co-mentoring and linking with one or more other enablers who are in turn linking with other locals not known to the local network mentioned above.
Sociogram 18 depicts such a linking. While this second enabler is also linking with three locals, it may be any small number. Typically, these linkings start out small.
Sociogram 19 to 24 depict the evolving of this second network. The sequence may differ, though many of the characteristics of the first network emerge. Linked chains of people may emerge. Further linking strengthens the number of people available to each other for mutual sharing and support.
Sociogram 25 depicts later links being made between the two local networks and the local enabler in the first network links the two local networks. As these links are extended, the two networks may merge to be one expanded network.
There is always the possibility that local healers may position themselves such that they generate links to other local healers without linking the locals to each other. In this way any local doing this may become the one all the others rely on. Sociogram 26 shows the original network of eight locals and underneath, another eight locals where seven locals only have one link and that link is with the local in the center. A moments reflection may give a feel for the difference between the original network and this later form of linking, what has been described as integrated and dispersed networks (Cutler 1984, p. 253-266).
Sociogram 26 - Integrated network (above) Dispersed network (below)
This second pattern may spread healing ways. This second pattern (the dispersed network with a nodal person in the middle linking rumor lines is prevalent throughout the Laceweb in SE Asia where the safety and integrity of the natural nurturers is under threat. This is discussed later.
Experience has shown that the integrated network with the multiple cross linkings has many advantages such as:
So far we have only depicted the links between enablers (non-local and local) and local healers and nurturers. Typically, these local natural nurturers are regularly being approached by local friends and family for nurturing. Sociogram 27 depicts three other locals (shown as the striated circles) that have links with one of the healers. Typically, each of the healers has a number of locals that seek out their support from time to time. As healers pass on healing ways to locals that enable them to help themselves, often these other locals emerge as healers and start to merge with the wider healing network.
Enablers are also part of an enabling network. Sociogram 28 depicts the original enabler’s links to the Laceweb enabler network.
After a time, the network may start to link more widely into the wider local community and extend through a number of surrounding villages (settlements/towns) with links to more distant places. The healing network starts to enable self-healing among the local communities. More and more people discover that they can change their wellbeing as depicted in Sociogram 29. Nurturers begin to identify other nurturers living in their area with whom they have not yet established links.
After a time, whole villages (settlements/towns) may enter cultural healing action as depicted in Sociogram 30. The triangular symbol represents a dwelling and the three rings of dwellings depict three villages located in reasonable close walking distance from each other. After conversations in Cairns with a Bougainvillian living in Bougainville during the Bougainville Conflict, he said that how I described Laceweb action was very resonant with Bougainville local ways, and that when he went back he would keep and eye open for the natural nurturers. A few months later I received a message through a Bougainville person, Alex Dawia from this person. The message was, ‘The nurturer women networks are alive and well in the hills around Arawa. in Bougainville’.
Note the differing patterns of transfer depicted in Sociogram 30.
At the top right:
· an integrated support network
· an isolated link
· a dispersed chain linking 5 people
At bottom right:
· one nodal person is a source for five separate others in a dispersed network
After a time, locals may evolve as enablers and so further assist in the spreading of cultural healing action
At other times there may be campout festivals, celebrations, and gatherings of enablers, nurturers and other locals from a number of villages (settlements/towns). These may last for days with diverse and spontaneous cultural healing action occurring. An example of this was the Small Island Coastal and Estuarine People Gathering Celebration in 1994 (Roberts and Widders 1994). Note that it called a ‘Gathering Celebration’. Sociogram 31 depicts the network shown in Sociogram 30 after they have gathered together in a healing festival (healfest). Typically such gatherings create opportunities for a sudden large increase in linking. You may note that the people in the lower right who had relied on the central person have now met up with each other and formed into a mutually supporting net and that this net has linked with the enabler to their left and into that little network. The network on the upper left has also made further linkings and one person has made many linkings throughout the other networks. All of this linking may hold forth promise for further enriching.
All of the foregoing depicts the forms of networks Neville was evolving in the Australia Top End. Sometimes an intercultural enabler may set up links with healers who do not want information about themselves, their links, or their Laceweb involvement known to anyone else. This is because healing in some contexts may be a very subversive activity – for example, during the decades that Indonesia had control of East Timor, militia were systematically used to terrorize and traumatize the local population for social control. possibly killing around 150,000 people out of a population of approximately 700,000 (Mares 2001). In this context, healing becomes a subversive activity and hence healers may be at high risk and specifically targeted for elimination.
An enabler may set up links with a number of these ‘anonymous’ healers. Each of these may have ‘trust’ links with between one or as many as four or five people along ‘rumor lines’. Sociogram 32 depicts such a rumor line where each of the link-people has a small group of healers they know in their local area. Each of these sets of other local healers is not known to any of the others in the rumor line.
Sociogram 32 - Rumors network linking very small healing groups at different locations
Considerable portions of the Laceweb throughout the SE Asia Oceania Region take this form. The larger black circles depict the healing people who pass on the healing rumors backwards and forwards to healers in other localities. There are small groups of healers in the different locations. Number 1 is a nodal person with links to other parts of the Laceweb as shown in Sociogram 33. Number 1 knows 2, 3, 4 and 5. Numbers 4, 5 and 6 know each other. Numbers 6, 7 and 8 know each other. Typically, no one knows more than 4 or 5 people in the chain. In the Laceweb there can be very long chains where healers know only between two and five people in the chain. In this respect the network is very similar to neural networks. Also like the brain, information may travel very quickly.
Note that the small groups at different locations may have different forms of linking with each other. It is possible that these little local networks may extend as per the processes outlined earlier in this section. At any point in the chain and from any person in the local small network, rumors can be passed on to natural nurturers in other localities and hence the network spreads.
Sociogram 33 - A dispersed network with a nodal link person in the middle
The healer in the middle in Sociogram 33 is a nodal person and a key energizer in passing rumors from one segment of a network into many other rumor lines linking local small networks. Often a nodal person is able to pass on the healing ways from one cultural rumor line into the rumor line of another culture. Any of the little local networks may have potential to expand in the local area by locating other natural nurturers or by so enriching others in their self-healing that they also become enablers and natural nurturers. The above sociogram is idealized in the linear nature of some of the lines. This was only for ease of drawing. In practice, the links jump between different places in the region and a healing rumor may start in the Southern part of Siberia, pass to the Deccan Plateau in India, jump down to Australia and then pass out in many rumor lines all over SE Asia and Oceania, arriving back in Siberia for the first time a few hundred kilometers from where it started.
While these linkings are between caring enablers and natural nurturers Neville spoke of there been many links ‘falling out’. Misunderstandings can cause people to sever links. Neville would from time to time tell me not to contact certain ones till he lets me know things have been ‘cleared up’. I also was rejected by some and after about seven years re-established good relations. It is not all peace and love. As intimated before, Neville and I both experienced enabling work at times as emotionally exhausting.
Neville indicated ambivalence about the nature of the Laceweb in saying ‘whatever it is’ in his Inma poem included at the start of this research. Inma is another name for Laceweb.
Neville was recognizing that attempting to categorizing the Laceweb is problematic. The Laceweb is not an organization in the familiar sense. Laceweb is a loosely integrated functional matrix of functional matrices (holons in holarchy). As a functional matrix structure, the Laceweb has no central ‘organization’ that any one can ‘belong to’ or ‘re-present’. Recall that the psycho-social structure and processes where entangled in Fraser House just as the process of spiraling water structures the whirlpool. Similarly, the Laceweb is not ‘organized’ into an ‘organization’. Its structure is process energy in action - resonant with the whirlpools structure that only exists as water in process in a vortex. Just as the whirlpool is entangled in the water process so the Laceweb’s tenuous structure is sustained as self-organising human energy in action.
Some indigenous and small minority people can have as much difficulty coming to terms with this aspect of the Laceweb as mainstream Western people. While spurning the idea that any one could represent (re-present) them, Indigenous and small minority people sometimes expect non-local Laceweb enablers to be ‘from’ or be part of some organization and to re-present it. It typically takes a while to recognize and understand the organic nature of the Laceweb. Often it is a few of the women elders who recognize it first and say that Laceweb action is like their old ways. Recall that when I outlined grassroots Laceweb networking to a Bougainvillian with senior management experience in Australian mining companies, he was able to report upon his return to Bougainville that the ‘nurturer women networks are alive and well in the hills around Arawa. in Bougainville’. They were already there, though he had never noticed them before.
On one occasion I had dialogue extending over four days at a ConFest with a Bougainvillian person with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from an American University. He was one of three Bougainvillians who had traveled down to see me and experience ConFest. One was a member of the PNG National Parliament representing Bougainville. The other was Alex Dawia. Alex, the Clinical Psychologist and myself shared conversations about Laceweb and socio-medicine. The three of us co-enabled many hours of workshops. One workshop explored resonances between Laceweb mediation therapy and the Bougainville tradition of having whole village to whole village mediation sessions. Around 80 people attended this workshop. Alex divided workshop attendees into two groups of ‘villagers from two metaphorical villages in conflict and used real-play to enact a traditional Bougainvillian whole-village to whole-village mediation session. It was potent.
At the end of the three days of discussions and workshops I asked the Clinical Psychologist how he saw Laceweb Way resonating in the Bougainville context. He started by saying that it may be introduced as a service delivered by centralized bureaucracies. During all the discussions about ‘self help’ over the three days I had not been aware that he had been constantly converting what I was saying into ‘service delivery’. I said in response that ‘service delivery’ was not the way Laceweb worked (Yeomans, Widders et al. 1993). I told him that my understanding was that Laceweb way is local natural nurturers mutually helping themselves. It was not service through service delivery people as intermediaries. His face showed sudden recognition and he beamed. He said, ‘You REALLY mean that it is really self-organizing; that things just happen because of local energy, and the enablers support. That is truly extra-ordinary!’ All through the three days he had been hearing what I was saying and then attempting to squeeze the ideas into the conventional paradigm of Western service delivery. He then went on and on about how this self-organizing way would be very appropriate in Bougainville. I sense that internal decolonisation is a key aspect of understanding the Bougainville Crisis.
Turner and Killian define a social movement as:
‘A collectivity acting with some continuity to promote or resist change in the society or group of which it is a part. As a collectivity a movement is a group with indefinite or shifting membership and with leadership whose position is determined more by the informal response of adherents than by formal procedures for legitimating authority (Turner and Killian 1972)
Laceweb is a social movement within the terms of that definition. Laceweb has its origins in Australia over forty years ago and is spreading throughout the SE Asia Oceania Australasia Region. Another factor in the forming of the Laceweb is that it has been spreading among healers and natural nurturers within the most marginalized of people in the SE Asia, Oceania, Australasia region - the disadvantaged Indigenous and micro-minority people. Natural nurturers are already present in these grassroots local communities. That they are already there naturally is resonant with the Yeomans using local natural resources on their farms. After I outlined the Laceweb Way during discussions with a person from East Timor in July 2000, and a person from Aceh in Indonesia in 2003, they both confirmed that natural nurturer networks aleady existed in their respective communities back home. Another resonance with Keyline is that the Laceweb is self-organizing in fostering emergent properties. The only non-local people with other backgrounds who have been linked into the movement are healers who are fully resonant with Laceweb ways. I gather there are only a handful of these people. Typically, non-resonant people are not in the least bit interested. This minimizes interference from people who would attempt to subvert the Laceweb way.
A majority of people linked with the Laceweb are consumed with survival from one day to the next. The Laceweb, as ‘local action’, is just local healers going about their everyday life using practical wisdom based on local knowings - nothing special - though Neville passionately believed that this ‘nothing special’ may have the potential to change the World. Every now and then they may have an opportunity to pass on a story or two. Laceweb ‘stuff’ does not take them away from the other parts of their life; it is their life. The Laceweb is simultaneously very fragile and very strong. Following Tikopia, a feature of the Laceweb is ‘passing on a mountain trail’ networking. In this the Laceweb is very resonant with ‘sitting on the train’ informal networking mentioned by Ireland discussed below; that is, natural nuturers are embedded within and between local communities and involve socio-cultural action and interaction in micro-aspects of community life.
In their local communities, other locals may not know nurturers as ‘Laceweb’ people. Even the local Laceweb people may not see themselves as ‘Laceweb’ people. Laceweb is very thin on the ground. In some small remote communities there may be a few ‘Laceweb’ people and paradoxically, the Laceweb as ‘social movement’ is typically not their scene. For them, Neville’s macro foci linking into adapting models from the World Order Model Projects may seem scary and alien (refer later). An international focus may seem alien. Some Aboriginal natural nurturers have shrunk from any conversation about linking with Indigenous healers in SE Asia, especially those who may be on a government’s assassination list. Terry Widders has written that Indigenous people in the Region generally live in 'contested geographies'. There are issues of land rights and conflict over resources, for example mines, dams, forests and fishing. Global Capitalism pressures and seduces cooperation from national governments to the detriment and potential destruction of the local Indigenous/micro-minority people. James Speth, a United Nations Development Program administrator believes, ‘the world has become more economically polarised’ and that ‘if present trends continue, economic disparities between industrial and developing nations will move from inequitable to inhuman (Speth 1996; Widders 1997).’
Photo 1 Tailings from Bougainville’s Panguna Mine fills the valley with toxic sludge.
Acording to Widders these disadvantaged people face issues of communal survivability in the physical, psychosocial and cultural senses. Diverse cultures face issues of their survive-ability as cultural localities/cultural groups (both dispersed and compact) and as territorial groups in relation to cultural localities, regions, environments, and relationship to place. There is also the loss of 'habitat' for hunter gathers and swidden gardeners (the short-term use of relocated small gardens). With all the above, they daily face the economics of survivability as individuals and communities (Widders 1997).
Within the Indigenous/micro-minority communities in the Region there may be energy resisting the forces creating the issues outlined above. However, within the Laceweb social movement it is ‘healing’ that is the central focus and potential for social transformation, not ‘power’ or ‘resistance’. The Laceweb functions at the socio-cultural level. Laceweb action is for healing, for friendly relating, - quality living, psychosocial wellbeing (being well), celebrating and nourishing in all its forms. As well, it is for a culture (as in ‘way of life’) that meets the needs of the locals. This is very ‘Yin’ in focus.
The Laceweb is not ‘against’ anything - there is no ‘Yang’ element. It does not want to ‘preclude’, or ‘resist’, or ‘attack’. This appears to be a big difference between the Laceweb and the new Latin American social movements discussed below. When warrior types within some Indigenous groups discovered that Neville was a psychiatrist/barrister, they invariably sought to have him take up their fight with authorities. Neville always refused. In a conversation with Neville in May 1999 he said, ‘Healing is the ultimate subversive act. There is nothing so subversive as healing to ‘warriors’ within an aggressive type of system, as it threatens their value system’. Laceweb ‘Yin healing’ is all the more subversive for its subtleness. The quiet and unobtrusive Yin healing within the Laceweb Yin ‘equality reality’ is typically not noticed, or if noticed is dismissed as weak, contradictory, and irrational by the ‘warrior’ system. In Fraser House, half were aggressive under-controlled over-active warrior types and they mellowed. Even if Yin healers are not in the least bit interested in politics, their healing may be profoundly subversive and in the medium to long term (perhaps hundreds of years) may have major consequences for political change.
The view that appears prevalent within the Laceweb is that country-based governments, at national, state or local levels, are not relevant to the movement’s actions. Recall that Neville viewed them as already dinosaurs in a 500-year timeframe. No evidence has been found that the Laceweb movement as ‘movement’ has ever accepted government funding.
Yang activists in social movements in the Region fighting the status quo, are also warriors. Healing equally threatens their value system. They also dismiss healing as weak and ineffectual. Yang activists may become interested in the subversive consequences of healing if they do perceive this, but not the healing per se - its just not ‘their thing’. They can change – like the former ‘bank robber’ who, with over 20 years of criminology research behind him since leaving Fraser House, was researching healing ways at Petford when I met him in 1992.
People within the Laceweb typically do not see themselves as in any way political. They are healers and enablers of others’ healing. Those within the Laceweb who do take the macro view of the Laceweb, typically see any wider transformative potential of the Movement as possibly happening in a few hundred years time. Some fully recognize the considerable potential of the Laceweb as a long-term political change agent, and that this potential lies in the possibility of producing change rooted in healing everyday behavior and action. Some are holistically strategic from the micro to the macro. They persist.
Throughout parts of the Region Laceweb linking operates on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. Many of the people involved want to keep a very low profile. Put bluntly, some healers are wanted dead by Governments in the areas they live in. As stated, healing may be the ultimate subversive act. Someone else revealing a Laceweb person’s details to another person without that person’s permission would mean that the link with the betrayer would be severed permanently. This limited knowing of who is involved is not a weakness. It is a strength. It is isomorphic with neural networks where only four adjacent connections are typically activated as things fly along the neural pathways. No one can find out the ‘member list’ in order to undermine the movement. The list does not exist. No one knows more than a few of the others involved.
Many Laceweb people are riddled with dysfunction and traumatized. Fraser House, Fraser House Outreach and Laceweb have demonstrated that the traumatized do have immense potential, and can act well in self and mutual help. Other Laceweb people from extremely remote places may be ‘really together’ people. Their integrity, articulateness, profound caring and wisdom may be far and away from any notions of ‘rudimentary’. For example, a number of a small group of women from a remote Aboriginal community attending the Small Island Coastal and Estuarine People Gathering in 1994 had university degrees and one had completed her Masters in community development. They had ‘Talent’ with a capital ‘T’ in First World terms. They engaged in loving wisdom in action grounded in a 30,000 plus tradition of co-existing well with all life on Earth.
Laceweb nurturing is freely given; healing and wellbeing ways are past on freely. Healing and wellbeing ways are not turned into commodities to be appropriated, bought, packaged and sold. Ways do not arrive as ‘owned by somebody’ or labeled as nouns. They arrive as micro-experiences to be freely shared, experienced, embodied and passed on to others freely. ‘Healing ways’ may arrive as accounts of micro-experiences - little bits of behavior. Rumors may be carried within stories, and stories may be carried within rumors. Typically, the original ‘source’ of a rumor does not arrive with the rumor and is undiscoverable, and that this is the case, is of little account. The rumor may, and typically does, cross ethnic and cultural boundaries. It may arrive with little of other people’s ‘culture’ attached. Any remnants of ‘culture’ that are attached may, and typically are, removed in the local adapting and testing. Rumors may be modified and changed both in their testing and in their passing on. Rumors may have a malleable life of their own and may return to their source unrecognizable and exquisitely relevant and enriched for the same, and or differing needs. Rumors may travel with values attached or embedded. Values may be enriched along the way. Some action values may be loving, caring, nurturing, being humane, being well, playing, dancing, singing, music making, drumming, celebrating, peacehealing, as well as respecting and celebrating diversity (Yeomans 1992; Yeomans 1992). The rumors values networking may be both morphous (having form) and amorphous (without form) in some respects, contexts, times and places. Recall that Neville believed that changing values is a potent way to change culture. For example, in 1994 the rumors values network took tangible and palpable form as cultural locality at the Small Island Coastal and Estuarine People Gathering Celebration in Far North Queensland. During this Gathering, morphous networking through both amorphous and morphous healing storytelling abounded.
The German word ‘schien’ is apropos - as in ‘appearance’ (Pelz 1974, p. 88-89, 115). Some sparkle may attract ‘like people’ who like what they see, hear and feel. Appearance may reveal, as Jesus did with parables and metaphors. Those unlike will not like, and for them, appearances may deceive rather than reveal, so that the rumor, ideas and action may be not noticed, or dismissed as irrelevant or moronic. As the Bible writer Mark wrote (Chapter 4, Verse 9-10):
Jesus spoke of becoming ‘fishers of men’. In today’s terms he was talking about networking with resonant people - on worker’s trains, or on Tikopia’s mountain pathways, or in Fraser House or in dispersed urban and remote area networking.
The Laceweb movement has created public spaces for itself by spreading in rural and remote regions where space for healing possibilities may be readily available. Typically, the Laceweb way is to go out of one’s way not to attract attention to one’s self. That the Laceweb is difficult to perceive is a blessing. Those who are resonant with the Laceweb tend to be able to readily perceive it. Warriors may be looking directly at the Laceweb and not see it.
The Laceweb appears to have a considerable number of participants. However, there is only a small number at any one location and people typically only know a few links between these small groups. Neville said that rumor has it that the Laceweb linking has reached natural nurturers within over half of the Indigenous groups in the SE Asia Oceania Australasia Region and that around half of the World’s Indigenous peoples are in the Region, that is, the Laceweb has spread to having links within a quarter of the Worlds Indigenous peoples.
The Laceweb is informal throughout; it is neither top-down nor bottom up - rather, it’s a flat local and laterally linked functional matrixing or networking. Large segments may have no sense of being in any way in a ‘social movement’ or ‘structure’. To reiterate prior comments on denominalizing, Laceweb is more ‘energy in action’ than ‘thing’; like the slogan says, ‘The best things in life are not things.’ It is ‘networking’ rather than ‘network’.
The Laceweb has both individual and consensual collective decision making among local people at the local level, and/or actions emerge out of individual and shared energy – where what to do emerges as shared understanding and mutual commitment to action rather than formal or even informal decision processes. A person who can read the group mood may say for example, ‘So we all gather at sunrise and erect a footbridge at the narrows tomorrow.’ If when he or she gets there no one else turns up, the mood was misread. If the bridge is already under way that person did read the mood. The person who reads the mood of the community regularly emerges as a special person.
The Laceweb has no leaders, or rather, everyone involved is a leader. Typically, there is no social distance between active people at the local level. People from one locality tend to only know up to four sequential links in the non-local networking with increasing social distance between the more remote links. Beyond that, social distance is total - they just don’t know others in the Laceweb networking at all. No one is a ‘member’ and there is no leadership of the Movement processing. While local people may take the lead in healing action, they are not leaders ‘over’ anyone.
The Laceweb focuses on taking action to heal local needs and consensually validating what works. What works may informally become local ‘policy’, defined as, ‘that which works’. What works may be passed on as ‘rumor’ for others to check. There is little focus on grand theory or macro ‘aims’. The Laceweb follows the continuous prolonged action research model and naturalistic enquiry. Any theory that does emerge comes from action that works. Action is prompted/guided by local wisdom about ‘what is missing in our well-being’ and received rumors about what has worked for others. The Laceweb way is ‘action’ not ‘talk about action’. It is ‘experience’ rather than ‘talking about experience’. Stories tell of action that worked or possibilities for action, not ideas and theories. Receiving rumors as stories may be profoundly healing (Gordon 1978).
The Laceweb is spreading intentionally in rural and remote places - away from mainstream negating energies. From deep within it’s own Zen-like logic, the Laceweb’s weakness is it’s strength. ‘Inefficiency’ is a mainstream ‘quantitative’ concept that has little relevance. ‘Inefficiency’ may be very efficient from a different viewpoint. For example, Fraser House jobs being done by those who could not do them was extremely inefficient in terms of job completion. However, experience is the best teacher and the process was very efficient at transforming patients and that was the central focus. Seeming contradictions typically come from perceiving from the single logical level. The Laceweb is both simple and complex and operates at a number of logical levels (Bateson 1973). From Laceweb’s multiple perspectives, seeming contradictions and paradoxes may disappear.
Rowan Ireland has written a paper titled, ‘Sitting on Trains’. It is placed in the shantytowns on the outskirts of São Paulo in Brazil (Ireland 1998). These were ‘home’ to a social movement that Ireland had been researching in the late eighties. Central to that social movement’s aims were improving their local habitat. Ireland writes of his returning to investigate the social movement ten years later. The first part of his article paints a very gloomy picture. ‘I had lost sight of my social movement. I would find myself recording only happenings of chaos, breakdown and anomic disintegration’. He describes conditions as ‘pathetic’. The destitute were so concerned with sheer survival that there was no energy for any ‘social movement’. In contrast to ongoing academic writing of how social movements operate, Ireland describes his ‘movement’ as, ‘a nightmare story.’
During this revisit to his old research place Ireland had been regularly traveling backwards and forwards by train along the 55 kilometers between the out-lying shantytowns and São Paulo. While so traveling he had been engrossed in his academic reflections as to what could have killed the social movement he had been studying. Then there is this delightful moment on the train where Ireland suddenly looks up and sees his social movement. He is surrounded by it. Instead of it being dead as he thought, it is very much alive and well in this public space of the peasants’ train. Like Big Group at Fraser House that train was cultural locality concentrate. This is resonant with Neville’s use of ‘public place and space’ in Fraser House. Ireland had been blind to what was surrounding him. Now before him he suddenly sees a profusion of zest and community, avid conversations, discussion circles and debates, orators talking on all manner of subjects, the repartee of shoulder-to-shoulder hecklers and the belly laughs of the crowd as audience. There were also poets, musicians, jugglers and other buskers - beggars’ banquets and a thriving paupers’ market extending even to coals-roasted peanuts from the kerosene tin – Neville’s cultural healing action. What Ireland describes has resonance with SE Asia Oceania Australasia Indigenous people’s use of sociomedicine in everyday contexts. Here on the train, alive and well, Ireland finds what he calls ongoing ‘invention’ and ‘structuration’ - change potential bubbling within everyday socio-cultural life. For Ireland it was his social movement, but in a different form. Perhaps this form had existed all along and he like other theorists just hadn’t seen it. Among the human energy on the train all manner of happenings and ideas were being passed on as stories and rumors - fragments of subjective experience were being melded for the possibilities of enriching life.
What had prevented Ireland seeing all of this immediately? New forms of social movements were emerging in Latin America and they were not where theorists were looking. These movements were not taking the familiar form, and hence they had gone un-noticed by social theorists. In introducing these ‘behavior on trains’ insights, Ireland refers to Evers’ writings on new social movements in Latin America (Evers 1985). Evers suggests that the ‘innovative capacity of these new social movements appears less in their political potential than in their ability to create and experiment with different forms of social relations in everyday life’. Ireland writes that ‘the astonishing sociability of Brazilians appears to flourish just when it is assumed dead on the mean streets’. From Evers - ‘By creating spaces for the experience of more collective social relations, of a less market-oriented consciousness, of less alienated expressions of culture and of different basic values and assumptions, these movements represent a constant injection of an alien element within the social body of peripheral capitalism (my italics) (Evers, 1985). This resonates with Neville’s 1971 paper on Mental Health and Social Change where he spoke that in times of social transition, ‘an epidemic of experimental organizations develop. Many die away but those most functionally attuned to future trends survive and grow’ (Yeomans 1971a; Yeomans 1971b). Like the new Latin American movements, the Laceweb’s transformatory potential is at the psycho-socio-cultural level. To paraphrase and adapt Ireland, the Laceweb focuses on healing socio-cultural and socio-psychic patterns of everyday social relations penetrating the microstructure of local communities.
A similarity with the Latin American New Social Movements is that for many, the Laceweb appears ‘weak, implausible, fragmented, disorganized, discontinuous, crippled, and contradictory.’ That it may appear this way to mainstream people is a strength. The movement may be ignored as inconsequential by those who may otherwise seek to harm. Laceweb people tend to immediately sense people who want to come in and ‘rectify’ the supposed weaknesses. There is little scope for intrusion by elements who may seek to transform the Laceweb towards mainstream ways. Typically, any attempt to do this is rejected by Laceweb people. If outsiders do manage to transform bits of the Laceweb, it typically relates to only a very small part of the network, and the other parts of the Laceweb sever working ties with this transformed part. Put simply, that part ceases to be Laceweb.
Like Ireland, Evers also seeks to identify aspects of new social movements in Latin America. He suggests firstly, that “political power’ as a central category of social science is too limiting a conception for the understanding of new social movements.’ Rather, ‘their potential is mainly not one of power, but of renewing socio-cultural and socio-psychic patterns of everyday social relations penetrating the micro-structure of society’. To express it in different words, ‘the transformatory potential within new social movements is not political, but socio-cultural’. All this again resonates with Neville’s frameworks as well as Fraser House and its outreach. It is also resonant with ancient indigenous sociomedicine for social cohesion.
Evers identifies this shift from preoccupation with ‘power’ in the Latin American context. ‘It is my impression that the ‘new’ element within new social movements consists precisely in creating bits of social practice in which power is not central; and that we will not come to understand this potential as long as we look upon it from the viewpoint of power apriori.’ New social movements are evolving relations other than ‘power relations’ and ‘market relations’. The dominant culture has the base of it’s power embedded in modes of perception and orientations, as well as beliefs and values that are generally operating below awareness on the socio-cultural and socio-physical level of everyday life (Kuhn 1962; Kuhn 1996). The new social movements are a significant danger to dominant systems, says Evers, precisely because of their potential to undermine this very base. The new social movements tend to put into question the ‘unconscious automatism of obedience’ within mainstream at the socio-cultural and psycho-socio-physical levels.
While this ‘danger’ to mainstream could be in the long term, it is this potential to produce change, ‘rooted in the everyday practice and in the corresponding basic orientations at the very foundations of dominant society’, which may prove to be the source of the most profound change potential of these new movements. They may turn out to be more political in their consequences than movements in direct political confrontation with the dominant system.
Evers commented that, ‘the question of re-appropriating of society from the State has become thinkable. Neville created a structure and processes so that re-appropriating society from the State was actionable. In Fraser House Neville was reappropriating Society from the State in a State hospital. To quote Evers again, all in Fraser House, rather than having the State internalized, they are ‘generating and experiencing states (experiences) of their own making’. A central theme in all of Neville’s work was re-appropriating society from the State. Rather than having the State ‘run’ their lives, local Laceweb people are start taking back their own lives. Instead of having the never questioned State internalized, they are generating and experiencing states (experiences) of their own making.
Evers’ comment that the ‘new’ within these movements is also archaic very much applies to the Laceweb. It is reported that very old Indigenous people often say that some Laceweb happening is ‘the old way’ (conversation with Yeomans, N., Nov 1992)
During the years 1993 through to 1998 when I started this Thesis my understanding was that the main reason Neville was evolving networks in Far North Queensland and the Darwin Top End in Australia was to keep away from dominant interests that may seek to undermine and subvert the social action he and others were engaged in. I found Neville’s paper, ‘Mental Health and Social Change’ (Yeomans 1971a; Yeomans 1971b) in his archives in October 1998. It is a scribbled half page note and hand sketched diagram written back in 1971. It discusses the nature of epochal transitions. It revealed that Neville had specifically chosen Far North Queensland because of its strategic locality on the Globe as a place to start transitions towards a Global transition. Still I did not take this seriously and immediately turned the page to the next item. I sensed that it was more to do with being ‘away from mainstream’. I did not realize at the time that this was a crucial document specifying Neville’s core framework. In this, ‘Mental Health and Social Change’ file note Neville clearly specifies epochal transitions. It is an example of how my pre-judging mind limited my seeing. Neville wrote:
‘The take off point for the next cultural synthesis, (ed. point D in Diagram 1 below) typically occurs in a marginal culture. Such a culture suffers dedifferentiation of its loyalty and value system to the previous civilization. It develops a relatively anarchical value orientation system. Its social institutions dedifferentiate and power slips away from them. This power moves into lower level, newer, smaller and more radical systems within the society. Uncertainty increases and with it rumor. Also an epidemic of experimental organizations develop. Many die away but those most functionally attuned to future trends survive and grow.’
Diagram 1 The Growth Curve of any System
In saying, ‘Its social institutions dedifferentiate…’ Neville is talking about a shift away from dynamic differentiated adaptive far-from-equilibrium states to non-adaptive sameness. With the words, ‘those most functionally attuned to future trends survive and grow’ Neville was hinting at his aspirations. In the same 1971 document Neville went on to talk about the strategic significance of Far North Queensland as a marginal place to explore Global transitions:
‘Australia exemplifies many of these widespread change phenomena. It is in a geographically and historically unique marginal position. Geographically Asian, it is historically Western. Its history is also of a peripheral lesser status. Initially a convict settlement, it still remains at a great distance from the core of Western Civilization. Culturally it is often considered equivalent to being the peasants of the West. It is considered to have no real culture, a marked inferiority complex, and little clear identity. It can thus be considered equally unimportant to both East and West and having little to contribute.
BUT - it is also the only continent not at war with itself. It is one of the most affluent nations on earth. Situated at the junction of the great civilizations of East and West it can borrow the best of both. Of all nations it has the least to lose and most to gain by creating a new synthesis (Yeomans 1971a; Yeomans 1971b).’
Neville wanted the Far North as a linking place for evolving networks throughout the SE Asia Oceania Australasia Region.
Back in 1993 Neville told me to remind him to get me a paper that he had written back in 1974 called, ‘On Global Reform – International Normative Model Areas’. Neville later told me he could not locate the document. It was not until two months after Neville’s death that I found this paper (Yeomans 1974). This is one of, if not the most significant papers Neville wrote. Once I read it I suddenly knew of the strategic significance of the, ‘Mental Health and Social Change’ paper mentioned above that I had spotted in the archives in October 1998. As stated, at the time I first read this other paper in 1998 it held no special import in terms of specifying the place to commence Global epochal change. I saw it only as identifying a place to minimize interference from mainstream.
In that ‘On Global Reform’ paper Neville wrote about his involvement in the New State Movement and its potential relevance for his ideas. At one level this paper was written for the Australian Humanitarian Law Committee and as a paper submitted on humanitarian law for his law degree (Yeomans 1974). At a far higher level, I suspect that this paper is the Key Laceweb document. It specifies Neville’s Epochal Quest and his big picture long-term framework for achieving epochal change. In this paper, in talking about one model of Global Governance being put forth by people described as ‘normative realists’ (and Neville recognized downsides of their position), he wrote:
‘The global transition model of the normative realists has emphasized a credible transition strategy in the move towards a more peaceful and just world. However it is necessary to make such a strategy both meaningful and feasible to persons and groups, and to underpin that world level analysis with relevant application to individual communities. An attempt will be made to do this in an Australian context by presuming the creation of an Inma in North Queensland.
Recall that Neville structured Fraser House to be a ‘transitional community’. For Neville, that earlier exploring of the nature and behaviors of transitional communities was towards the later evolving of ‘Global transitional models’. Notice Neville’s linking of macro and micro in the above quote – using the principal, ‘Think Globally. Act Locally’:
Notice that Neville uses the expression, ‘presuming the creation of an Inma in North Queensland’. Neville would regularly presume that something already existed and start inviting people to be a part of it. This is resonant with what Milton Erickson would do in therapy – he would have them acquire new competences and then put people in their imagination in a future world where they experience using these competences well, and let them experience that world. Bandler and Grinder called this, ‘future pacing’ (Bandler 1975; Grinder, De Lozier et al. 1977; Bandler, Grinder et al. 1979; Dilts, Grinder et al. 1980; Bandler, Grinder et al. 1982; Bandler 1984; Bandler and Gordon 1985). Neville would so presume Inma that it did ‘exist’, people never knew the extent of it. One person in Byron Bay that I talked to when gathering people of artistry to attend the Small Island Gathering, called this Laceweb ‘future pacing’, ‘using smoke and mirrors’. It is the schein – ‘the appearance that reveals and deceives’ (Pelz 1974). Neville actualized Inma from a potent articulated virtual reality repeated passionately. Neville continued:
‘It is submitted that ….consciousness-raising,….would occur firstly among the most disadvantaged of the area, including the Aborigines. Thus human relations groups on a live-in basis could assist both the growth of solidarity and personal freedom of expression amongst such persons.
In initial experiences along this line the release of fear and resentment against whites has led to a level of understanding and mutual trust both within the aboriginal members and between them and white members (Yeomans 1974).’
In the last paragraph, the ‘initial experiences’ Neville was referring to was the Human Relations Workshops in Armidale and Grafton in 1971-73 (University of New England, Dept. of University Extension et al. 1971). In saying, ‘the growth of solidarity and personal freedom of expression amongst such persons’ Neville was referring to the experience of participants in those workshops. Neville spoke of people regaining their voice and forging inter-community cooperating networking.
Neville further links the Inma framework to a tightly specified place with the following:
‘Turning to the ethics and ideology of Inma people; it is axiomatic that for a life-style and value mutation to occur in an area such territory needs to be in a unique combined global, continental, federated state and local marginality. Globally it needs to be be junctional between East and West (Parkinson 1963) at least geographically and in historical potentiality. At the same time at all levels it needs to be sufficiently distant from the centers of culture and power to be unnoticed, unimportant and autonomous.’
The words ‘unnoticed, unimportant and autonomous’ are apt descriptors of the Laceweb networking. Recall that in 1963 when Neville traveled the World speaking to Indigenous peoples about the best place in the World to begin evolving a normative model area, the constant feedback was that Far North Australia was the most appropriate. Neville told me many times that Far North Queensland and the Darwin Top End was the most strategic place in the World to locate Inma. To reiterate, initially I kept thinking he meant the best place for least interference. While ‘least interference’ was important, he was really meaning the best place to start a Global Transition. Neville told me that action would be best above a line between Rockhampton on the East Coast of Australia, and Broome on the West Coast. In 1997 Terry Widders pointed out that the Asia Oceania Australasia region contains around 75% of the global Indigenous population (approximately 180 of 250 million). In the same vane, it contains 75% of the World's Indigenous peoples (Widders 1997). The Australia Top End was a marginal locality adjacent the marginal edge of SE Asia Oceania.
Further in the ‘On Global Reform’ monograph Neville wrote the following about 'utopography':
‘At the same time 'utopography' provides models, which normative realists can experiment with as transitional strategies. These can be implemented in naturally occurring model areas providing Inmas for evaluation and support by global theorists and researchers. (Yeomans 1974).’
Notice the expression, ‘naturally occurring model areas’ – resonant with Keyline. These places already existed ‘naturally’ and he could support nature.
Laceweb action is always locals taking action to meet local needs. Within the Laceweb, ‘Utopia’ is not an abstract ideal or an impossible dream. Action is continually evolving an every-widening pool of ‘ways that work’. These are passed on and consensually validated by action of other locals. Local utopias are being experientially and inter-subjectively constructed as everyday lived experience. Action carries possibilities in peacehealing towards evolving varied utopias that respect and celebrate their individual and respective diversities. This allows possibilities for a Global epoch based on humane caring for all in the natural and social life world. The Laceweb is in no way promoting a common social utopia (More 1901).
Neville had been reading the writings of Richard Falk of Princeton University in USA and other normative realists who were connected to the World Order Model Project, called ‘WOMP’ for short. Falk quotes Robert Heilbroner's incisive chastisement of utopian thought in commenting upon someone’s utopian writing:
'Like all utopias, it is a joy to contemplate. Alas, like all utopias it contains not a word as to how we are to go from where we are to where we are supposed to be (Falk 1975, p. 347).’
In stark contrast, Neville wrote about Inma being a place to explore various utopias, and where local aspiring utopias can respect and celebrate other aspiring utopias. Neville evolved practical action towards multiple utopias where every aspect may be tested by the locals in respective local contexts. What worked may be repeated by locals in local contexts.
Neville’s monograph then proceeds to outline his 200-year transition process. Neville writes of adapting one of the World Order Models Project’s (WOMP) models toward what he described as a ‘more problem-solving and value priority functionalism’. Neville drew upon Richard Falk’s book, ‘A Study of Future World’s (Falk 1975) and Falk’s Journal article, ‘Law and National Security: The Case for Normative Realism (Falk 1974)’. Neville adapts Falk’s model using Falk’s T1, (‘T’ for ‘transition’) V1 (‘V’ for ‘Values’) frameworks though Neville gives new meanings to the Vn values and specifies the Tn transition phases slightly differently. Neville describes what he saw as a possible 200 year transition process in the following terms (Yeomans 1974). The follow segment places Neville’s early paragraphs in context:
‘This design involves the conceiving of a three-stage transition process (T1-T3) (ed. Where T1 T2 and T3 signify three transition processes):
Tl = Consciousness-raising in national Arenas
T2 = Mobilization in Transnational Arenas
T3 = Transformation in Global Arenas’
‘The new system is based on the performance criteria (V1 - V4) of peacefulness, economic equity, social and political dignity and ecological balance (ed. Where V1, V2, V3, and V4 are values).
Falk’s transition phases were:
T1 = Consciousness raising in Domestic Arena
T2 = Mobilization in Transnational and Regional Arenas
T3 = Transformation in Global Arena, and
T4 = Consciousness Phase 2 Personal Social Arenas
Falk’s values were:
V1 = War Prevention
V2 = Economic and Social Wellbeing
V3 = Human dignity, and
V4 = Ecological Quality
Note that Neville has Consciousness raising in Personal Social Arenas happening first – not last. Neville’s model starts with grassroots consciousness raising.
As hinted at in the prior section comparing Laceweb with Latin American movements, with Laceweb, social action focuses on transforming evolving at the psychosocial and psycho-emotional levels. Neville was setting up processes for ‘economic equity’ and political dignity’ not through economic or political power-focused pressure, rather, through gentle transforming at the psychosocial and psycho-emotional levels. The economic and the political transforming would be preceded by peacefulness and ecological balancing and transforming action in the widest sense. Neville went on to describe proposed political frameworks:
‘The political organs have tripartite representation:
2. Non-government Organizations, and
Notice the bottom up ordering.
‘Surely one would here add a fourth representation of individuals by global voting. The global transition model of the normative realists has emphasized a credible transition strategy in the move towards a more peaceful and just world. However it is necessary to make such a strategy both meaningful and feasible to persons and groups, and to underpin that world level analysis with relevant application to individual communities.’
‘An attempt will be made to do this in an Australian context by presuming the creation of an Inma in North Queensland.’
‘It is submitted that T1 consciousness-raising, [Tl (C - R)] would occur firstly among the most disadvantaged of the area, including the Aborigines. The next step could be focusing their activities on the Inma. This would be accompanied by widespread T1 activities in the Inma, conducted largely by those trained by previous groups. Aborigines from all over Australia and overseas visitors would be involved as has begun. Over a number of years the Indigenous population of the Inma would be increasingly involved, both black and white. Co-existing with later T1 activity is a relatively brief consciousness raising program with the more reformist humanitarian members of the national community, i.e. largely based on self-selected members of the helping and caring professions plus equivalent other volunteers. However their consciousness raising is mainly aimed at realizing the supportive and protective role they can play nationally, in guaranteeing the survival of the Inma beyond their own lifetimes, rather than trying to persuade them actually to join it by migration.’
In the years following 1974 when he wrote this paper Neville followed through with the above social action. Neville implemented his networking firstly in the Queensland Top End and in the early Nineties extended this to the Darwin Top End. I can see that in 1986 when I first met him I slotted into the sentence:
‘Co-existing with later T1 activity is a relatively brief consciousness raising program with the more reformist humanitarian members of the national community, i.e. largely based on self-selected members of the helping and caring professions’.
I was one of those. In writing, ‘rather than trying to persuade them actually to join it by migration’, Neville actively encouraged me not to shift North. He said I was most valuable as a distant resource person. In supporting the Laceweb Homepage and doing this research perhaps I may contribute to, ‘guaranteeing the survival of the Inma beyond their own lifetimes.’
Recall the Inma poem at the commencement of this Thesis. In speaking of the INMA:
believes in an ingathering and a nexus,
of human persons values, feelings, ideas and actions.
believes in the creativity of this
gathering together and this connexion of per-
sons and values,
believes that these values are spiritual,
moral and ethical, as well as humane, beauti-
ful, loving and happy.’
Note the merging and interweaving – first the ingathering, then the nexus, and it’s a nexus of human persons values, feelings, ideas and actions. He refers to the creative potential and the self-organizing connexity, and that the natural nurturers are homo amans – the loving, spiritual, moral, ethical, humane, beautiful, happy lovers of the region. The poem is saturate with Cultural Keyline Way.
Neville continues with the T2 level:
‘T2 has two subunits:
T2 (a) commences with the mobilization of extra-Inma supporters nationally.
T2 (b) moves to the mobilization of transnationals who have completed T1 consciousness raising in their own continents. That mobilization is of two fundamentally distinct types:
T2 (b)(i) mobilization of those who will come to live in, visit, or work in, the Inma.
T2 (b)(ii) mobilization of those who will guarantee cogent normative, moral and economic support combined with national and international political protection for its survival.’
‘By T3, the effects of T1 and T2 have largely transformed the Inma, which is now a matured multipurpose world order model. Its guidance and governance will be non-territorial in the sense that it extends from areal to global. Politically it is territorial, economically it is largely continental; in the humanitarian or integral sense it is continental for Aborigines and partly so in other fields, but it is largely global.’
‘T3 for the Inma is then nearing completion, while its ex-members who have returned to their own continents are moving these regions towards the closure of T1, the peak of T2 and the beginning of a global T3. This is perhaps 50-100 years away. By the time of the peak of global T3 humanitarian consensus provides the integral base for development of a World nation-state of balanced integrality and polity. World phase completion could perhaps be 200 years away (Yeomans 1974).’
As far as I can determine T1 consciousness raising is evolving in the Far North Queensland Inma, with links across Northern Australia and the Darwin Top End. T1 consciousness raising is occurring among marginalized people across the SE Asia Australasia Oceania Region. East Timorese, West Papuans, Bougainvillians and other visitors to Inma have been arriving from countries in the Region (Laceweb-Homepage 1998; Laceweb-Homepage 2001).
To quote the Inma poem:
Small beginnings have been made in T2a and T2b(i). Laceweb is about 30 years into the 200 plus years considered by Neville.
While Neville envisaged a ‘World nation-state’ he was not advocating a ‘World Government’. He always spoke of ‘Global Governance’ with Global Governance of Global issues, like, Global warming, the seas, large river systems, and Global peacekeeping. Regional issues would be covered by Regional governance and local issues by local governance.
Having set out his transition process, Neville proceeded in his monograph to give a glimpse of his macro thinking about longer-term generative action for evolving possibilities towards humane law and caring governance in the Inma.
‘As to the legal system in the Inma (ed. International Normative Model Area), it seems clear that on a multicultural basis, a minoritarian constitution is necessary. By giving specific representation to different racial, ethnic and other groups it has an equalizing effect.
Again the question of a dual constitution must be considered. Principles of humanity and those of utility could be separated. The constitution would build on the steps taken by India, Pakistan and Burma (Smith 1964, p.173). The initial step of creating humanitarian 'directive principles of state policy' as a separate Part of the Indian Constitution are of great significance (Coper 1969, p. 1.).’
In Neville mentioning the separation of the principles, ‘humanity’ and ‘utility’, recall that in Big Group, humane supporters spontaneously sat on his left and utilitarian/administrative supporters sat spontaneously on his right. Neville also wrote about leaders having either of these orientations. Neville’s paper continues:
‘Being 'fundamental to the governance of the country' (The Constitution of India 1949) they embody the objects and aspirations of the state and guide its law-making activity. Constitutional Human Rights are another area of consideration, and like all laws in a multicultural community will require wider conceptualization in social context. Again, choice-of-law criteria require a broad basis of experience in different legal systems (Chin 1971, p. 96.).
In this regard the experience of LawAsia is unique. Formed in 1966, by 1969 it had about 1300 individual lawyer members from about 20 countries in the Asian and Pacific region (Wooten 1969, p. 19).
A consultative committee of this body could be invaluable, in the legal structuring of the Inma. Ultimately LawAsia might assist in the development of a humane multicultural court. The circuit concept of domestic law could be internationalized to provide an international pool of judges. Such persons from cultures or countries represented by ethnic inhabitants in the area could be invited to become visiting members of the court, and active at least on cases involving their own ethnic issues. This would be rather like the use of a national judge of each party concerned, in the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) (Smith 1964, p. 173).’
This was Neville exploring the notions he had embodied in ‘Inma’ as acronym. It would be international, interpersonal and intercultural. It was Normative – focused on the community based exploring and evolving of norms; and it would be a model area for the rest of the World in how diversity and co-existence can be respected and celebrated in ongoing peace and unity. Neville was also exploring ideas towards evolving the SE Asia Oceania Australasia Region legal processes as envisaged in his Global Local Realplay that he created in 1988 referred to above. This Realplay is Appendix 18. This is exemplified by the following quote from the ‘On Global Reform’ paper:
‘Again ex-judges of the I.C.J. (ed., International Court of Justice), known for their particular humane and global values such as is Tanaka J. of Japan (Schubert and Danelski 1969, p. 139) could be employed in Full Court cases. Likewise judges of specialized skill, or suitable academics such as Professor Hahm of Korea (Schubert and Danelski 1969, Chap. 2) could be used as visiting judges if they were so willing. Past members of the International Law Commission could also be approached. Certainly, if one were to pursue the obedience of international humanitarian norms, especially in relations between Inma and the South Queensland, Australia or Papua-New Guinea governments, the use of a multicultural court would be advisable. Thus may a 'domestic' court convert ideals of humanity and of justice into normative realism (Falk 1964).’
Neville knew that Richard Falk was and still is, very active in the World Order Model Project (WOMP) (Falk 1974; Falk 1975; Falk 1991). Neville told me in the late Nineties that various commentators on the World Order Model Project, in discussing various models of global governance in the late Eighties, had observed that the least attractive model for World Governance was a model based on a weak United Nations subservient to one or two super-powers, and all of these subservient to a global capitalism that answers to no-one. That model is the one that has emerged as the current World Order! Neville was to my knowledge not connected to WOMP, though Neville followed their output closely. To reiterate, Neville did not believe in World Government. He was interested in World Governance and all governance bodies would be based on Neville’s four values. In Falk’s book, ‘A Study of Future World’s (Falk 1975) he describes four models of World Government among over 30 World Order Models.
In continuing Neville’s discussion of law and Inma Neville wrote:
‘LawAsia might assist greatly in the development of such a multijural court even to nomination and selection of members. There is yet a further opportunity if the multijural court came into existence. Such an institution could offer a service to all types of disputants, individual, corporate or state in the Asia, Pacific and Australian region. Unlike the International Court of Justice it would not be shackled to inter-state disputes only, and could itself become a valuable model for study and evaluation.’
Neville by this time had been reading extensively in humanitarian law and international law. Recall that he became a barrister in the early Seventies. Neville supported getting humanitarian law added to the law course at the University of NSW. While talking up these ideas widely in North Queensland outlining a 200 year strategy, he well knew what he was energizing and explore could take 300 to 500 years.
It can be noted that in his, ‘On Global Reform – International Normative Model Areas’, Neville had not specified in detail the processes he envisaged taking place in any of the three transition phases. He had given an over-view and then went on to specify possible legal and governance models that may be applicable at some time way in the future. It was not until November 2002 that I realized that a set of documents that Neville and I worked on for nearly a year in 1999 when he was in constant chronic pain, was this piece missing from his, ‘On Global Reform’ monograph. Neville called the documents, ‘the Extegrity documentation’ (Yeomans 1999). These documents set out a comprehensive Laceweb process for the reconstituting of a decimated society such as East Timor or Bougainville. The name ‘Extegrity’ embodies the notion, ‘extensive integrity’. The documents were inspired by a European Commission document relating to social reconstruction following societal collapse through war (Directorate-General 1A External Relations : Europe and the New Independent States - Common Foreign and Security Policy and External Missions and Democatisation 1998). Typical of First World documents, the European Commission document places Government, Law and people as the order of priority. True to Neville’s Way, he turned the European Community document on its head. The Extegrity Document is Appendix 28.
The sequence for action embodied in the Extegrity Document is as follows:
First comes enabling self-help and mutual-help towards psychosocial wellbeing.
Second comes the re-connecting with local lore rather than law. Living their lore raises possibilities for the local-culture-sensible emergence of norms, rules, obligations and local law - during their co-reconstituting of community while sharing in therapeutic Community Healing Action in evolving cultural locality as per Figures 1 and 3 in Chapter Seven.
Third comes local democratic governance by local communities as exemplified by the Fraser House patients’ committee based governance. From this local governance may emerge regional and national governance consistent with Neville’s four-fold representation mentioned above. From this may emerge law.
At each of the three levels - people’s wellbeing, lore and governance – the Extegrity Document sets out social action which reframes the European Community document to being Laceweb Cultural Keyline Way. Neville described the Extegrity Documentation as an isomorphic (of matching form) reversed, reframe of the European Community documents. We even matched the fonts and font sizes. A feature of both the European documentation and the Extegrity documentation is a preference for partnerships in action between previously conflicted people. It was this and the ‘completeness’ of the European Community document that attracted Neville (Directorate-General 1A External Relations : Europe and the New Independent States - Common Foreign and Security Policy and External Missions and Democatisation 1998). The Extegrity Documentation was sent to various Global governance bodies and circulated widely among Indigenous communities in the Region.
The UN process in East Timor implemented the First World model of ‘nation’. It used the First World Model of nation building as per the model in the above European Union Document. It was top down. A national government was elected and a criminal justice system backed by law and police was established. On 4 December 2002 Dili was sacked by students and others angry with the police. Radio reports stated that detained students received the identical sadistic treatment used by the Indonesian militia and military – trauma as a means of social control. The new East Timorese Police had been trained in ‘police methods’ by the UN.
Richard Falk whom Neville followed in evolving his models (Falk 1975), and Saul Mendlovitz have both written articles about World Order Transitions to a more humane epoch (Falk 1991, p. 550 - 564; Mendlovitz 1991, p. 565 - 571).
Similarly to Neville, Falk writes about World Order Transitions commencing with the common folk as the go about their everyday lives.
‘What seems available is a coherent awareness of normative vectors: the aggregate implications of the new tendencies that seek a non-violent, democratized, ecologically prudent, spiritually fulfilling, and joyous destiny for the species and the planet earth.’
‘At the core, then, of the struggles to establish a more peaceful world is the whole question of governance. As indicated earlier, this question relates to all levels of social organization starting with the inner lives of individuals and in their family relations between parent and child and men and women. The models for public oppression get their start in reserved or private space. Similarly, the positive models of popular governance (ample participation, consent, respect for law, fairness) can be initiated in even the most oppressive circumstances if we do it behind closed doors.’
‘By establishing popular governance at home, at work, in church, and social gatherings, among friends, there is a widening zone of autonomy created.
The above has resonance with Neville’s thinking.
In Mendlovitz’ss article, ‘Struggles for a Just World Peace: A Transition Strategy’ he sketches out many processes that may be used to move towards a just World Peace. They tend to be prescriptive and would have the inherent issue of how do you get ‘buy-in’ and ownership by others.
· Establish peace and justice agendas
· Acceptance of a global mode of conduct for multinational corporations
· Initiating an annual process of five percent reductions in defense budgets
In contrast, Neville’s processes always entail that nothing starts unless locals want to do it, and do do it.
To reiterate, water through a whirlpool both goes around the whirlpool, and is the whirlpool. Both the process and structure of whirlpools are naturally self-organizing. In whirlpools, as in many aspects of nature, structure and process are merged. Laceweb structure/process is of the same form. Laceweb has a dynamic structure. This structure is not fixed/static - rather it is constantly morphing, as in forming/reforming. Process constitutes the structure for the process. Put another way, Laceweb linking constitutes the linking network through linking. Like the vortex of the whirlpool or water down the plughole, Laceweb ‘energy as processes’ is the structure. It is highly self-organizing without central or hierarchical organizers.
Jantsch notes in his book, ‘The Self Organizing Universe (Jantsch 1980)’:
"In a nonequilibrium world of self-realizing, self-balancing systems, process and structure become complementary aspects of the same overall order of process, or evolution. As interacting processes define temporary structures - comparable to standing wave patterns in physics - so structures define new processes, which in turn give rise to new temporary structures. Where process carries the momentum of energy unfoldment, structure permits the focusing and acting out of energy.’
‘When it is perturbed, or disrupted in some way, then the parts have a tendency to come back together in new ways, and form new patterns - within the whole - in a more complex, interactive form’
Prigogine and Stengers in their book, ‘Order out of Chaos’ (Prigogine and Stengers 1984) write:
‘The more complex a system is, the more unstable it is because it requires more flux of energy to maintain it. Because of the movement and exchange of energy, when it breaks down, it is likely to reorganize and reestablish itself at a higher or more complex level. When it is perturbed, or disrupted in some way, then the parts have a tendency to come back together in new ways and form new patterns within the whole in a more complex, interactive form. Therefore, the reason that the system achieves coherence is because it is so unstable.’
I have characterized the Laceweb as very weak, tentative and unstable. These very aspects are a source of coherence. In Jantsch's words, as applied to social systems: ‘Process (or function) and structure, deterministic and stochastic features, necessity and chance (or free will), become complementary aspects in the self-organizing dynamics of ‘order through fluctuation’ which may also be graphically depicted as a nonequilibrium system ‘stumbling forward’ and crossing by its own force the ridges separating ‘valleys’ of global stability (Jantsch and Waddington 1976, p. 39).’ Note his use of Ridge and Valley.
Energy flow may engender fluctuations in people’s lives. If small, the Laceweb network absorbs these fluctuations and the structural integrity of the Laceweb is not perturbed. If fluctuations reach a critical size, they may perturb the network. The speed and frequency of novelty may suddenly increase. There may be an increase in the number of novel interactions within the network. Elements of the network may make new connections with new ways of being and acting. The parts of the network may reorganize into a new whole. The network, as system may emerge into a ‘higher’ order. An example was my working with Neville at Yungaburra with the three Down To Earth people in 1994 and the associated Small Island Gathering in 1993/4 as discussed earlier in Chapter Nine.
At the same time, while linking is the glue that constitutes the network and maintains it, the more intricate the linking, the more potential for fluctuations and perturbations there is, and the more unstable it may become. Increased instability may lead to increased coherence and vice versa. This instability provides the space, place, and mood-potential for ongoing transforming. The dissipating of energy creates possibilities for sudden re-orderings. The more complex/coherent the system, the greater the next level of complexity. Each transformation increases the likelihood of another one. Each new mode is even more integrated and connected than the one before, requiring a greater flow of energy for maintenance and is therefore more unstable. Flexibility generates flexibility. Increased order comes from increased perturbation. The greater the instability and mobility, other things being equal, the greater the potential for interactions with others. Our lay understanding mirrors this. Examples: crises may alert us to opportunity, chaos may trigger creative action, necessity is the mother of invention, stress may force new ways. Curious confusion may be a fertile state for insight.
Six Aboriginal Communities in Central Australia as well as a number of Aboriginal and Islander Communities on Cape York in Far North Queensland are evolving psychosocial healing action with Aboriginal’s Geoff and Norma Guest whom Neville supported with co-learning exchanges till Neville’s death A copy of the Cape York Proposals is Appendix 34. Rob Buschken (who Neville was training in the Cairns Inma Therapeutic Community House) and other Laceweb people are involved. This healing action is for addressing petrol sniffing and other addictive behaviors, as well as other dysfunction. It is also for creating therapeutic communities as alternatives to criminal and psychiatric incarceration. Rob Buschken was one of my interviewees. As well as Rob Buschken’s psycho-therapy experience he is now an EEG biofeedback neurotherapy practitioner and the clinical and technical consultant, as well as the only training consultant for Australia, and the Australia-Asia representative of EEG Spectrum, the World’s largest EEG biofeedback organization. Geoff and Norma have had trainings both in Australia and the USA in EEG biofeedback. Geoff gets excellent results with youth demonstrating Tourettes Syndrome, ADHD, addictions, and behavioral dysfunction. Geoff combines NLP (learnt from Neville), Aboriginal sociomedicine, work with wild horses, diet, storytelling, therapeutic hypnosis, bush knowings, cultural healing, and vocational and environmental experience in enabling youth to change (Petford Working Group 1998; Petford Working Group 1998; Petford Working Group 2000; Petford Working Group 2001). During the past 23 years Geoff and Norma have had over 2,500 youth pass through their therapeutic community. For over fifteen years Geoff funded his therapeutic community from working a substantial tin mine. Geoff has been awarded the Order of Australia medal and the Centennial Medal for his services to youth.
Neville interacted in a co-mentoring role with a Torres Strait Islander woman called Mareja Bin Juda. Like the two others mentioned previously, Mareja experienced around 150 hours of observing Neville in one-on-one psycho-therapy and group and family-friend psychotherapy (Yeomans 1990). Like the sharings Neville had with the two women mentioned previously, Neville described his exchanges with Mareja, co-learning. Mareja energized the Akame Functional Matrix. Recall also that ‘Aka’ is Torres Strait Islander word for Grandmother. Akame, as a micro functional matrix energy, enabling self-help and mutual-help among Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal youth at risk of self-harm. Voluntarily with other natural nurturer women, Mareja has been taking groups of youths for day visits and short campouts to the same Black Mountain Road Rainforest site in Kuranda on the Atherton Tablelands we used during the fortnight of Laceweb activities mentioned above. This beautiful rainforest site on the Barron River had been acquired by Neville as part of his dream to have a series of Inma residential therapeutic community places in the Far North East Coast. He acquired another site in tall timber country near the rainforest ridge at Paluma, North of Townsville as part of the same dream. These were possible special Inma places for the SE Asia Oceania Australasia Region.
Neville at times interacted with mainstream. Examples are Fraser House, being Director of Community Mental Health and running the first Community Mental Health Center in Paddington. Neville reached out to business people in the early Seventies. He reached out to politically oriented people in the New State Movement.
In the late Eighties when I was consulting in organizational change I was approached by a Federal Government Department about creating paradigm shift and cultural and climate change in their senior executive members. Neville and I wrote on one page what he described as a ‘global-local realplay’ as a resource for senior executive change. The Realplay is included as Appendix 18. When the Department decided to use American consultants they were not shown the Hypothetical Realplay and it has never been used. However, it does give the feel for Neville’s application of Cultural Keyline principles and his thinking about possible futures and Global and Regional governance.
The Federal Government Department of Local Government people were very interested in Neville’s Rapid Creek Project (Appendix 27) and Brian Howe, the Deputy Prime Minister under Paul Keating asked his Head of Department to have a meeting with me on the Project. They were especially interested in processes supporting government inter-sector and community cooperating. Neville said that grassroots action was a higher priority at the time and suggested that I do not pursue Government involvement.
Similarly, some Laceweb praxis has engaged in cooperative action with State and Local Government. For example, resonant with the Rapid Creek Project in Darwin, Mareja Bin Juda also worked closely with the Queensland State Government and the Cairns City council as well as the local Aboriginal and Islander Community of the suburb of Manoora in Cairns in a large scale whole community urban renewal project. Mareja enabled many in the Manoora Aboriginal and Islander Community to engage in mutual help in doing voluntary safety audits of streets and footpaths, lighting and other potential hazards. Mareja, with community and Project backing created a process whereby each family could decide how they wanted the money allotted in upgrading their public housing property. Some wanted carports. Others opted for covered verandahs for breezeways and outdoor shade. Others wanted palms and other garden shrubs. Prior to this Project, one large housing complex in Manoora was virtually without any greenery and extremely hot in the tropical summer and a place of civil disobedience.
Photo 44. The housing complex after supported community self-help action –
This complex was turned into a beautiful ‘resort’ like atmosphere with many large palms and tropical plants, shade areas and lawns with sprinkler systems. The Project supplied the trees, plants and equipment to dig holes and move earth. The local residents supplied the voluntary labor to plant the greenery. Along with the habitat, the sociocultural tone of the place was turned around completely in 12 months with the crime rates significantly lower.
The local community decided what they wanted to do about a dark park in their area that was unsafe. They decided that the tops of the trees be floodlit at night by hidden soft green lights facing upwards. Now the whole park is like an enchanted forest at night.
Photo 45. The Floodlit Garden
Strife in the park has dropped markedly. In the process, disadvantaged Aboriginal and Islander people found their voice. They gained group and community competencies and strengthened family and friend support networks.
Each of the above examples may be seen as exploring using the Laceweb Cultural Healing Ways to loosen up entrenched ways in the dominant system. This would need to happen down the line as part of a transition to a new World order.
During the month of June in the years 1998-2002 there were a series of small gathering celebrations in the Atherton Tablelands to celebrate the anniversary of the 1994 UN funded Small Island Coastal Estuarine People Gathering Celebration. A pictorial summary of action at the June-July 2001 Laceweb Gathering has been posted on the Internet (Un Inma 2001). In keeping with Neville’s T2 (b)(i) consciousness raising in his 200 Year Model (Yeomans 1974) whereby transnationals who have completed some T1 consciousness raising in their own continents come to live in, visit, or work in, the Inma, the July 2001 Healing Sharing Gathering was attended by survivors of torture and trauma - Bougainvillians and other Papua New Guineans, West Papuans, East Timorese, as well as interculturals from Brazil, Ireland, Finland and Australia. Women and children were the focus. West Papuan and Bougainvillian attendees who were survivors of torture and trauma found body approaches very effective in producing psycho-emotional shifts towards wellbeing. The following photo shows some of the West Papuan and Bougainvillian torture and Trauma survivors enjoying spontaneous dance with a Brazilian Enabler (placed at the rear).
Photo 2 Spontaneous Dance as Change Process
Following the Gatherings, some attendees visited with Aboriginals Geoff Guest and his partner Norma at Petford Aboriginal Training Farm, 170 kilometers inland from Cairns.
Photo 3 Bougainville attendee at the July 2001 ‘Small Island Gathering’ Anniversary Gathering. with Geoff at Salem Farm
One of the visitors from Bougainville had just completed his masters degree in community development. He was returning to Bougainville charged with the responsibility for oversight of community development in Bougainville.
As for Neville’s T2 mobilization in Transnational areas, Terry Widders has written of wellbeing links now existing among Indigenous and Small Minorities in the following places - Australia, Bougainville, China, East Timor, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sarawak, Southern Siberia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam, and West Papua, and on small islands dotted right along the Asian and SE Asian mainland (Widders 1997).
In August 2001, I was invited by the South East Asia and Pacific Regional Office of UNICEF to participate in their Asia and Pacific Regional Experts Meeting on Psychosocial Response in Emergencies. They had spotted the Laceweb Internet site in their search to find trauma support energies in the Region (Laceweb Working Group 1997). They were particularly attracted to the Indigenous self-help networks mentioned on the Laceweb homepage. The meeting in large part had arisen from reports they were receiving that local grassroots people were being upset by the lack of cultural respect shown them, and the imposition of First World ways by First World Psychosocial Emergency Response Aid Organizations following man-made and natural disasters. Following this Expert Group Meeting, a Regional Psychosocial Support Network was established (Devine 2001) and a Web Site set up (SE Asia Regional Psychosocial Response Network 2002). In response to requests to provide further information about Laceweb Way, I along with Dihan Wijewickrama and Andrew Cramb wrote the paper entitled, ‘Interfacing Alternative and Complementary Well-being Ways For Local Wellness’ setting out some of the dysfunctional roll-out of First world Aid and some of the differences between self help and service delivery (Spencer, Wijewickrama et al. 2002). Possible non-compromising ways of linking with the Laceweb was mooted in this paper. A brief dialogue between Dr. Elizabeth De Castro, a member of the SE Asia Regional Psychosocial Response Network and myself about my (and others) ‘Interfacing Alternative and Complementary Well-being Ways For Local Wellness’ paper has been posted on the SE Asia Regional Psychosocial Response Network’s Web Page (Spencer and De Castro 2002).
In June 2002, a UN-Inma Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Cairns by people of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, East Timorese and Bougainvillian backgrounds acknowledging ongoing partnership and mutual support towards Laceweb action in and between their respective communities with further outreach to West Papuans (SE Asia Regional Psychosocial Response Network 2002; SE Asia Regional Psychosocial Response Network 2002). This intercultural action linking Indigenous and oppressed people in the Region is consistent with Neville’s Extegrity aspirations (Yeomans 1999). Also signed in recognizing Laceweb Way was the Unique Healing Treaty and the Young persons Healing Learning Code included as Appendix 29 and 30 (Yeomans 1992; Yeomans 1992).
Paraphrasing Collingwood, ‘Knowing yourself means knowing what you can do; and nobody knows what he can do until he tries’ (Collingwood, 1946). Recall that I asked Neville what Cultural Keyline was when I had already embodied it in action. My body was way ahead of my cortex. When I asked Neville the question about Cultural Keyline, I had not conceptualized it and I could not articulate it to myself, let alone to others. In keeping with the comments about ideas being embodied, healing action integrates identity as well as psycho-socio-physical being.
To further explicate ‘Cultural Keyline’, all of Neville’s diverse actions were inter-connected, inter-related, inter-woven and inter-dependent. A weaving macro theme of Neville’s action was fostering humane transitions towards a humane caring Global epoch. A grounding frame is community based Indigenous sociomedicine for social cohesion, and this in turn inspired Keyline and Cultural Keyline. Central aspects of both of these is thinking and acting like a living system in enabling natural and emergent capacities of self-organizing systems. Neville in a very sustained way explored the potency of community for co-reconstituting itself towards being well. Included in this exploring were Fraser House and other forms of therapeutic community, community markets, self-help and mutual-help networking, festivals, happenings, celebrations, events, and all of the innovated structures and processes he evolved associated with these. Explorings in family therapy and mediating was the precursor for peacehealing between people and cultures in conflict. All of these were preparing for evolving the Laceweb and an Inma - a model area for exploring new norms in the proposed New State in the Queensland Top End – an area of approximately half a million square kilometers, an area around one and a half times the area of France. While the New State Movement has not resulted in a New State, Inma is continuing to evolve in Far North Queensland with links across the Top of Australia and links to the SE Asia Oceania Region. The patient and outpatient governance at Fraser House was the precursor of the Extegrity Documentation – a model for grassroots people centered re-constituting of societies decimated by war (Yeomans 1999). And all of the community-based processes were towards people taking back more of their culture – as in way of life - from government, as expressed in Figures 1 and 3 in Chapter Seven in this research.
Through Indigenous Networking in the SE Asia Oceania Australasia Region, with linkings to Indigenous and other resonant networking and 100’s of consciousness raising inter/intracultural normative model areas throughout the World has been evolving an extensive consciousness raising discourse and sharing of understandings using Indigenous research and action methodologies (Walls 1993; Smith 1999; Tebtebba Foundation 2002) This discourse is about mutual help towards Indigenous Peoples’ surviving Well with their culture and Way in their place, and towards a humane caring epoch for peaceful co-existing for all peoples through respecting diversity, the earth and all life forms. The large part of this discourse is conducted in languages other than English. This humane futures discourse and consciousness raising is already well developed and is addressing every conceivable aspect of the social life World – macro and micro-economics, the Global Commons, Global Warming, connexity, cultural locality, biodiversity, lore, humanitarian law, holistic spiritual emotional and psychosocial wellbeing, politics and Global Governance to name a few. Just as words fail as a medium to express beautiful music that has to be heard, this consciousness raising has to be relationally lived to attain a relational knowing of what is happening. Laceweb has links to this discourse and consciousness raising. Samples of discourse themes are in Figure 2.
Figure 2 A sample of Indigenous Peoples Discourse Themes
This Indigenous discourse and consciousness raising is leading the way on the future of life on Earth at the very time when commentators in the so-called ‘First World’ script is that the so-called ‘Fourth World’ is ‘backward’ and ‘in transition’ from the Stone Age. Indigenous discourse and consciousness raising and associated prolonged action research is being networked among Indigenous and other resonant peoples and has some links to humane spots in Global Governance Agencies including UN Indigenous Working Groups, and groups looking at the Role of the International Court of Justice, and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2002). No other people have generated a UN Forum. Some claim that similar holistic humane caring discourse and consciousness raising is nowhere near as developed in the English speaking World. Laceweb networkings are linked into this wider Indigenous discourse.
David Suzuki and Holly Dressel in their book aptly tilted, ‘Good News for a Change – Hope for a Troubled Planet (Suzuki and Dressel 2002)’ provide copious examples of individuals communities and networks with diverse backgrounds from all parts of the World who are now taking action very resonant with Neville’s Ways on diverse wellbeing matters. These examples embody the coexistence of interconnectedness and interdependency in ecosystems – remove the predators in the grasslands and the grass dies; fishermen killed birds that were eating fish that the fisherman wanted and then these fish also started to die out as the predator birds kept in check other creatures that decimated the fish when the predator bird numbers dropped; government imposed plantings of a mono-crop of super rice plus use of pesticides in Bali kills the fish and edible water plants that the rice farmers rely on and gives the farmers testicular cancer. When the local pests destroy the super rice despite the massive use of pesticides the farms revert to their own sustainable practices. Many of the people that Suzuki and Holly write about are Indigenous people and people influenced by Indigenous Way and/or they are local people using local knowings about how living systems work and are interconnected and interdependent. Brief quotes highlighting aspects of the wellbeing actions discussed by David Suzuki and Holly Dressel are in Appendix 31. These brief quotes are a good summary of what I sense Neville meant by his term, ‘Cultural Keyline’.
In the early days of 2003, word filtered out that the Island of Tikopia had been hit on 29 December 2002 by a massive hurricane with winds reaching potentially as high as 380 kilometers per hour. Initial fears were that virtually everyone would have been killed by flying debris and massive waves. Some days later the World discovered that no one was hurt. The Tikopians had used their cultural locality and local knowings about weather and their island. They all took refuge in deep caves high in the mountains well out of harms way. While virtually all their homes and other infrastructure had been devastated, their socio-cohesions ways and mutual help had held them in strong spirits with a resolve to rebuild their habitat together. Graham Sayers, a person who had spent several years working among Solomon islanders wrote in a letter to the Editor of the Australia Newspaper, that in his view, the Tikopians would not need outside counselors. They could well look after themselves psycho-socially and emotionally (Sayer 2003).
To conclude with Ireland again - how did he suddenly see his social movement on that particular train trip between São Paulo and the shantytowns when on so many other trips he had missed it completely? Ireland refers in the title of his article to, ‘Invention’ and ‘Happening’. Wolff refers to the word ‘invention’ coming from invenire, to ‘come upon’, and suggests ‘catch’ as a synonym for ‘invention’ in his work, ‘Surrender and Catch’ (Wolff 1976). A synonym for ‘surrender’ in one of the senses Wolff uses it is ‘total experience’ in ‘total involvement - being ‘undifferentiatedly and indistinguishably involved in the occasion and in myself, my act, or state, my object or partner’. Wolff refers to Tolstoy’s writing of the character Levin being with his beloved Kitty in Anna Karenina:
‘Then for the first time, he clearly understood...that he was not simply close to her, but that he could not tell where he ended and she began’.
Wolff uses this quote in making the point that ‘in surrender as in love, differentiation between subject, act and object disappear - an example of the suspension of even essential categories among our received notions’. He is talking about realizing connexity. Notice that subject, act and object is resonant with poet, poem writing and poem discussed in the section on Dichter and Denken.
So how was it that Ireland did see his social movement on the train? Perhaps Wolff’s notion of ‘surrender and catch’ is apropos. Both Ireland and his fellow train travelers were all ‘inventing’ as in ‘coming upon’. People exploring new forms of social movement processing could well explore ‘surrender and catch’. This has resonance with the notion ‘liminal’ experience – the experience of being at the threshold - from ‘limen’, the doorstep (Turner 1974.; Turner 1977). Resonant people interested in a move to a more humane caring World may through surrender and catch come upon Laceweb Way.
Typically in society, answers to questions regarding ‘how to ‘fix’ what’s ‘wrong’ with the World’ are readily generated. Any answer tends to be, according to Judge (Judge 1982), in ‘gladiatorial combat with other’s answers’. The Laceweb social action being researched does not aim to fix, or aim to fix what’s wrong. Recall that Neville never worked with the fixed or stuck bits. He worked with the free energy at the fringes. The social action does not aim to generate ‘answers’ or ‘meta-answers’, which Judge suggests, ‘can, and may be dragged back into the gladiatorial combat area’. Rather the social action’s aim is to tentatively generate ways of attending to living systems, experiences, and perspectives as well as enabling action supporting evolving of self-help and mutual-help at another logical level (Bateson 1987) than the level of ‘gladiatorial combat between ideas’. Laceweb ways are something very different to the typical ‘answer combats’. The logical level researched has a humane ‘Web of Life’ framing to use Chief Seattle’s phrase (Capra 1997, p.35). Neville was exploring and enabling self-help and mutual-help of self-organizing, novel, and emergent possibilities. Social action enabled by Neville through others, involved and involves respecting, and celebrating social, ethnic, and cultural diversity, rather than confronting or combating present system ways. This social action is towards creating possibilities for humane transition to a totally different epoch. This epoch may evolve to be one embodying humane caring, respecting, relating between diverse cultures with respectful linking with and enabling of the natural nurturers within diverse cultures. These may support these and other cultures in their evolving of their own distinct forms of humane caring culture. This embraces possibilities for the emergence of multiple utopias respecting each other’s diversity.
To summarize and reiterate I will return to Neville’s epochal quest and Cultural Keyline Way. What do I mean when I say Neville connexitised. I mean that his action-researchings were knowingly, pervasively and simultaneously interwoven, interconnected, interdependent, and inter-related, and these together were connected to the natural pre-existing connexity in contexts. As Neville went about evolving Fraser House, Fraser House Outreach and the Laceweb he consistently and persistently constituted, linked, and stacked contexts that were intra/inter-personal, intra/inter-familial, intra/inter-community, intra/inter-cultural and intra/inter-life-form, as well as been situated intra/inter-locally, intra/inter-regionally, and involved intra/inter-lore, intra/inter-law, and intra/inter-governance.
Not all of these aspects were present in a given context. Neville would link contexts and stack contexts so the naturally occurring connexity was further connexitised. The connexitising energy flow and the emergent potential energy of all this interaction is an integral aspect of the continually entangled and enfolded Web of Life. An intrinsic property of the Web of Life is that it is self-organizing and intra/inter-constituting. Neville, in connexity attending to the web of life, made strategic and deft micro-interventions that energized and amplified latent potential within entangled systems. A central theme of this research has been Neville’s use of connexity as a mode of being and action and connexity being an inherent property of both the social and natural life worlds.
In the open paragraph of this research I intimated that the subject was expansive. I have reported extensively on structures and process evolved by Neville and their linkages and researched the evolving, the nature, and the processes of the Laceweb social movement. To use a Keyline metaphor, I have provided fertile ground for other research. I encourage resonant others to pass this work on to similar people.
Recall that desert web that Neville used as inspiration for the name Laceweb. It still appears at certain times of the year - from minute spiders, blown upon wind on gossamer thread. It has an isomorphic (matching form) resonance with Neville’s dreamings of healing everything. As we have been exploring through this research, Neville’s dreamings were of an entirely new form of social movement with a new, though ancient, social-being together - an informal Laceweb of healers from among the most downtrodden and most disadvantaged marginal people of the world. Like the spider web, the Laceweb would appear out of nowhere. When you discover it, it would already have surrounded you. The Laceweb is the manifestation of a massive local co-operative endeavor. Yes, not carved in stone, rather - soft and pliably fitting the locale and made by locals to suit their needs. It is exquisitely beautiful and lovely. The play of light upon it in the morning sunlight is extra-ordinary. Like the desert web, the Laceweb extends way beyond the horizon. It is suspended in space with links to shifting things - no solid foundations here. It has no center and no part is ‘in charge’, and in that sense, no aspect is higher or lower than any other. It is not what it first seems. It is at the same time riddled with holes, whole and holy. It is merged within the surrounding ecosystem and lays low. In one sense it is delicate - in another it is very robust. Bits may be easily damaged. However, to remove it all would be well nigh impossible. Local action may repair local damage. It is very functional. It is what the locals need. And it does help sustain them. Yes, here before Neville’s eyes was the perfect metaphor for his dreaming.
seems to be a new spirituality going
around - or a philosophy - or is it an ethical
and moral movement, or a feeling?
Anyway, this Inma religion or whatever it
is - what does it believe in?
It believes in the coming-together, the inflow of alternative human energy, from all over the world.
believes in an ingathering and a nexus,
of human persons values, feelings, ideas and actions.
believes in the creativity of this
gathering together and this connexion of persons and values.
believes that these values are spiritual,
moral and ethical, as well as humane, beautiful, loving and happy.
believes that persons may come
and go as they wish, but also
it believes that the values will stay and
fertilize its area, and
it believes the nexus will cover the globe.
believes that Earth loves us and
that we love Earth.
believes that from the love and from
the creativity will come a new model for
the world of human future.
believes that we have started that
future - now.
I guess that if you and I believe these things we are Inma.
somewhere there is an unimportant place caught
between East and West, North and South, Past and Future.
It is so far behind that it can only go forward.
indigenous people are so badly treated they
will risk anything for a better life.
overlords are so distant from the center of their
own culture that they don’t know where to go except to
wealthy, industrial, consumer, under-populated
tropical coasts and islands.
It has cool mountains and tablelands.
closer to Asian and Melanesian peoples
than its own capital city, and it often sees
itself as the end of the earth.
Yet the desires of some of its citizens are:
to build the first free territory guided by global humane laws
to implement the UN covenants on Human Rights
to give migrants, visitors and native born an equal say
to accept ideas, people and music of living from all over
to welcome and respect every interested person
to love Planet Earth, and
to take a next step towards a happier more beautiful more human community.
Maybe one such place is called Northern Queensland, Australia.
But an Aboriginal word meaning 'a coming together' is Inma.
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