Click on the quote below to read the article...

It is ironic that the word "recruiting" has been used (along with similar words like manipulating, brainwashing, and cult) to describe whatever sort of outreach activities we have done over the years.

Cherry and I, for example, were accused of joining the Quakers for the purpose of recruiting members (or in the minds of the more paranoid, to simply make ourselves indispensable, and then to launch a coup, in which we would totally hijack the entire organisation!) When Ross and I set up the Refugee Embassy in Woomera, South Australia, and when Cherry and I wrote "The Worst of Woomera", Craig and company announced to all the world that it was just a scheme to recruit members from amongst the refugees (and perhaps from amongst the refugee advocates too... I'm not sure). Paranoia about religious "recruiters" is such that it was enough to get us ostracised from the entire movement.

Whether donating kidneys, teaching Easy English, talking to the media about freeganism, or doing some kind of a demonstration (e.g. burning money) the name of the game has supposedly always been Recruit, recruit, recruit.

In our own minds, we have always wanted to grow. We want new members. So it was always hard to argue categorically that thoughts of winning a new member have never crossed our minds. But the activities, nevertheless, have always been seen by ourselves as ends in themselves... part of an overall living out of what we believe, whether or not it inspires anyone to join us. Any organisation which exists for the primary purpose of recruiting new members (and a lot do, unfortunately), is going to fail miserably with regard to whatever ideals it claims to uphold.

I would assume that all of the talk about us "recruiting" actually stems from the fears of the people saying it. They have heard what we believe; they hate and fear it; and so our very existence represents a threat, i.e. that someone they know may hear and embrace what we believe. By constantly identifying us as recruiters, they can more easily paint a picture of us to the world as invading aliens who must be stopped at all costs.

All of this is of particular interest to me at this present moment, because of the upcoming release of our new music video DVD ("The JCs... More Than Just a Band") Unlike the books we distribute (which have simply preached a message, usually in story form, whether it be the Liberator comics or "Survivors"), this DVD focuses almost entirely on ourselves, and even gives an invitation at the end for people to come and join us if they like what we are doing.

That's certainly an approach that could be called recruiting. And the most amazing thing is that it could actually work.

You can find, at the end of several articles that we have written, a short invitation for people to contact us if they want to know more; but a full hour (with musical backing and other special effects) of focus on ourselves and what we've been doing over the years, followed by such an invitation, just may work. What an amazing thought! That growing in numbers could have been as simple all along as just ignoring the critics and unashamedly organising a recruitment campaign!

We should know pretty soon if it was as simple as that.

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