Re: Transition Town Movement
Date: August 06, 2012 06:31AM
The country town I'm living in, had a Transition hub start up here last year. I ended up going and doing a permaculture course, partly in anticipation of being involved with them. I'm not currently active in the group, but I'm still on the mailing list.
I will say up front, that I do not consider Transition, in and of itself, to be cultic on a broad or overall institutional level. However, with that said, there are a number of concerns which I've had with the movement, which I will address here. Said concerns are compounded by the fact that I don't feel that it would be productive to even attempt to bring them up with the local group's leader.
My first issue, is with Transition's usual organisational practice. Generally speaking, what they will do, is go into a given town or suburb, and once they've formed a hub, they will then try and assimilate/subsume every organisation in their area, which are devoted to permaculture, land care, or related topics. The major problem with this approach, is that it basically makes Transition a dream for authoritarian psychopaths, as it allows said psychopaths the opportunity to centralise a large number of previously heterogenous organisations, under their sole authority. You might have been in an independent organisation, before Transition came to your town, but once Transition is there, if your group are assimilated by them, and you don't see eye to eye with the psychopath who has self-appointed themselves to run the group, they will simply kick you out, and then you will be entirely isolated.
The woman who runs the local hub in my town, is a case in point. Her background is in marketing with a telecommunications company. In other words, she is a trained, professional liar, and I have seen her use those skills in relation to the hub, particularly when it comes to telling people that the hub is more decentralised, and less authoritarian than it really is.
My second issue, is with Transition's affiliation with the Peak Oil movement. I do not consider Peak Oil to be a rationally legitimate ideology, however this will take some explaining.
I do not doubt the validity of the claim that oil is eventually going to start to run out. Of course it is; that is not my issue. My issue is two fold; that a} Peak Oilers generally believe that once the oil runs out, most of humanity will die, and that b} no other form of electrical generation exists or can be discovers, so that once the coal and oil starts to run out, we'll either die, or all have to go and live in caves.
As one of the leaders of the Peak Oil movement, I don't know if there is a thread on this forum devoted to Michael Ruppert, but if there isn't, there should be. The man is a hysterical fearmonger of the worst possible sort.
My third issue, as briefly touched on above, is that it needs to be understood, that the Transition movement is fundamentally eschatological in nature. That is its' entire underlying premise; the belief that most of us are going to die, and so we need to take steps to assist what few we can, to learn to survive. History has given us some unpleasant examples of what can happen to groups with that sort of mentality; Jonestown and Waco are the two immediate examples that spring to mind.
Rob Hopkins is weird. Not fundamentally ill-intentioned, I don't believe, but weird nonetheless. Then again, I've watched some YouTube videos containing footage of his Steinerian weirdness in action; and given that I have a certain amount of background in occultism, I more or less immediately recognised what the point behind said weirdness was. I wonder if Rob himself actually recognises it, to the same degree. The Unleashing is a magickal ritual, whether it is consciously intended as one or not.