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File 5 - Article 13 Previous Index Next
Author: Peter la Barre
Title: The Questionnaire

The Editor(s) asked us to comment on the three questions they have posed.

The three questions may be inextricably linked. The terminal state of the Society is probably caused by the lack of critical coherence issuing from what is regarded as the "Head Office". It has failed, dismally, to arrest the slide into evangelical and rhetorical fundamentalism which so bedevils small groups who, when they have embodied one or two ideas, think they have solved the problems of the world. The lack of curiosity to investigate, explore and make an informed evaluation of new ideas as they inevitably emerge has resulted in a stagnant defensive approach which leads to the state comparable to the "Emperor Without Any Clothes" the inability to have examined, let alone embrace, any idea that has presented itself in the last half of the century. The only response being to have condemned it out of hand or let it die through apathy and neglect. With this attitude prevailing it is little wonder that PG course fails to deliver people who complete the course, five graduates in ten years out of over fifty who started, two of whom were osteopaths already.

What’s to be done?

If anything! – There is a thought about that if left alone the ISRN will just "wither on the vine". I personally feel that this is an unsatisfactory way. If it is felt by the active/concerned members that the time has come to draw a line under it then it should formally be done and possibly a small committee formed to look after the interests of the remaining few practitioners and ex patients that might require support from time to time.

Alternatively if it is thought possible to salvage something out of the present situation. I believe that the present organisation should be formally dissolved and after a suitable pause an exploratory initiative could be mounted with the purpose of seeing whether there is any appetite to re constitute the ideas on health as formulated by Lindlahr and elaborated on by JCT. If there is enough interest to carry an enquiry forward than it might be possible to form a small group that could attempt to sort the gold from the dross and re-establish the principles and practice in the light of present day information. If there is enough interest to think of undertaking this task I believe to do it properly will be a large commitment in both time, energy and frustration, no task for the faint hearted. It would mean examining and reappraising all the past ideas, concepts and speculation, rejecting some, re-drafting others, re-evaluating the relative importance of some of the holy cows, such as vegetarianism, vaccination, antibiotics and the contributions from many other therapies also rewriting and reformatting much of the literature – that is only the historical aspect of the task. There is also the job of evaluating the current thinking on health and incorporating them into the fabric of our own deliberations. There is also the much wider perspective of global concerns, poverty, pollution, politics, all of which need to be addressed if we are going to present a truly comprehensive solution to the problems of personal health which would lead through into National and International areas. The task is clearly not going to be easy; the World is much more complex and has become much more dangerous than it was when Lindlahr and JCT started out on their respective explorations. It will need a great deal of commitment, reflection and application to restore the dreams of the early players to where they believed their rightful place was.

Quote from Gregory Bateson – about rigour and imagination.

"Rigour and imagination the two great contraries of mental process, either of which by itself is lethal. Rigour alone is paralytic death, but imagination alone is insanity."