• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.



Page history last edited by Stella 12 years, 9 months ago

The Joy Of Community


Are organizations beset by "demons" and in need of "exorcism"?

M. Scott Peck says they are - and that community is their salvation


an Interview with M. Scott Peck, by Alan Atkisson


One of the articles in Living Together (IC#29)

Summer 1991, Page 26


Full article on



this below is the introduction:



... according to psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck, for any group to achieve community in the truest sense, it must undertake a journey that involves four stages: "pseudocommunity," where niceness reigns; "chaos," when the emotional skeletons crawl out of the closet; "emptiness," a time of quiet and transition; and finally, true community, marked both by deep honesty and deep caring.


Peck's thinking on this subject is detailed in his 1987 book, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (Simon and Schuster). He is the author of four other books, including the phenomenally popular The Road Less Traveled. His newest work, due for publication by Bantam in 1992 or 1993, will focus on organizational behavior.


Peck - "Scotty" to all who know him - is also the co-founder of the Foundation for Community Encouragement, created to support community-building work, and he and other Foundation staff have since conducted over 275 community building workshops. Here he reflects on that experience and the challenges - and joys - of working together to be in community. For more information on the Foundation, see the box on page 28.


Alan: In the first sentence of The Different Drum you say, "In and through community lies the salvation of the world." You've done five years of community-building work since writing those words. Do they still hold true for you?


Scotty: Very much so. I had very little experience with community building when I finished the book in 1986. But I now have a great deal of experience, having worked with organizations and groups throughout North America and in the United Kingdom through the Foundation for Community Encouragement. I'm more convinced than ever of the truth of those opening sentences.


My second book, People of the Lie, is on the subject of evil. In the second chapter, on group evil, I quoted the Berrigans' saying that perhaps the greatest single problem we have is to figure out how to metaphorically "exorcise" our institutions. Recently, I realized that the Foundation is doing exactly that - by building community within those institutions. Of course, to do an exorcism you have to have a willing patient, and a willing organization doesn't come down the pike every day.


Alan: What are the metaphorical demons that need to be exorcised? And what does "community" mean in this context?


Scotty: The names of the demons range all over the map, from misuse of political power to apathy, from corporate lies to organizational myths that are unrealistic, and so forth.




continue on


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.