Update: January, 11th, 2014. I can see how the FGNA BOD and individual board members might want to make changes that could help practitioners and become better at marketing the Method. But when push comes to shove the Guild is currently dependent on trainers and training institutes for new members. When ideas are proposed that limit the power of the trainers or that are "too radical" for them to consider, the trainers come out in mass with their knives pulled and they scream bloody murder. They threaten to leave the Guild. They threaten to sue the Guild and each other. They attack and they belittle anyone - anyone - who does not agree with them. They effectively hold veto power through throwing temper tantrums and they have been doing so for 30 years. The FGNA BOD, past, future, and present has not figured out a way to deal with the Feldenkrais trainers and their histrionics. Neither have Feldenkrais practitioners. My suggestion is simple: Let the trainers get their own guild and get them the hell out of our hair. If Paul Rubin, David Zemach-Bersin, Denis Leri, and Jerry Karzen et al want to set Guild policy and chose the Director, then they should be paying for it. Let them. For now, leave the Guild and get rid of its funding until it changes. Do not pay money to an organization that does not represent you.
By the way, here is a blog post from 2010, noting Denis Leri's desire to have a trainer's guild: Feldenkrais Trainer Guild.
There is a new Director of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America. I have seen practitioners on Facebook say that they are excited and see things moving in a new positive direction. That is a wonderful sentiment. The new director reportedly has experience in both non-profit work and in marketing. Does that matter?
The new FGNA director was chosen behind closed doors by one of the architects of the last FGNA coup, Paul Rubin. Paul Rubin, like the current members of the FGNA board, is a Feldenkrais Trainer representative. Neither he nor the FGNA has a record of independent decision making nor acting on behalf of Feldenkrais practitioners. They represent the status quo. The board members who did nothing to support or defend the last director are still on the board. This board has likely chosen a Director who is comfortable with the status quo. And if they made a mistake, if this man is a leader and revolutionary? Who will support him? Certainly not the FGNA BOD nor the trainers. How could they?
Meanwhile, the Feldenkrais practitioners who pay for the Guild and attend to its many functions say nothing and do nothing. They have no direct representation on the Feldenkrais Board. There is no democratic nor representative system that gives them a seat at the table. And no one seems to notice nor care. You may not know exactly what to do to change this mess and to create change at the Guild. I cannot say that I do either. But have the courage to be honest about what is happening.
This question may be a little off-topic, Baltimore Feldenkrais Group, where are you?
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