Wiki has this to say about the Rand Corporation's 'groupthink' exercise:
"The Delphi method is a systematic interactive forecasting method for obtaining forecasts from a panel of independent experts. The carefully selected experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds. After each round, a facilitator provides an anonymous summary of the experts’ forecasts from the previous round as well as the reasons they provided for their judgments. Thus, participants are encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light of the replies of other members of the group. It is believed that during this process the range of the answers will decrease and the group will converge towards the "correct" answer... The panel director controls the interactions among the participants by processing the information and filtering out irrelevant content."
A less benevolent interpretation: http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/1998/nov98/focus.html"In group settings, the Delphi Technique is an unethical method of achieving consensus on controversial topics. It requires well-trained professionals, known as "facilitators" or "change agents," who deliberately escalate tension among group members, pitting one faction against another to make a preordained viewpoint appear "sensible," while making opposing views appear ridiculous."
Could the UN be classified as just a big Delphi training institution for world leaders to achieve that pre-ordained consensus? I don't know enough about the UN's parliamentary process, or indeed if it qualifies as a parliament, to say whether it uses Delphi techniques to the letter or some variant.
In any case, this website provides good advice for short-circuiting Delphi in a public forum, in case any of you are planning on asking Hillary any more questions in the near future. http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/acf002.htmThe Delphi Technique — How to Disrupt It
Ground rules for disrupting the consensus process (Delphi Technique) — when facilitators want to steer a group in a specific direction.
1) Always Be Charming. Smile, be pleasant, be courteous, moderate your voice so as not to come across as belligerent or aggressive.
2) Stay Focused. If at all possible, write your question down to help you stay focused. Facilitators, when asked questions they don't want to answer, often digress from the issue raised and try to work the conversation around to where they can make the individual asking the question look foolish, feel foolish, appear belligerent or aggressive. The goal is to put the one asking the question on the defensive. Do not fall for this tactic. Always be charming, thus deflecting any insinuation, innuendo, etc, that may be thrown at you in their attempt to put you on the defensive, but bring them back to the question you asked. If they rephrase your question into an accusatory statement (a favorite tactic) simply state, "that is not what I stated, what I asked was… (repeat your question)." Stay focused on your question.
3) Be Persistent. If putting you on the defensive doesn't work, facilitators often resort to long drawn out dissertations on some off-the-wall and usually unrelated, or vaguely related, subject that drags on for several minutes – during which time the crowd or group usually loses focus on the question asked (which is the intent). Let them finish with their dissertation/expose, then nicely, with focus and persistence, state, "but you didn't answer my question. My question was… (repeat your question)."
They go on to say that our smiling Delphic leaders will have people working the crowd, so don't all obviously congregate in one place (or wear pink T-Shirts) or you won't be called on to ask a question.
As a psy-op, it's pretty much the same technique that the media uses, only with indirect participation. Divide and conquer, with frippery and questionnaires and polling to smokescreen the real action, which is in the hands of a skilled manipulator. It's so cynical you could almost call it 'reptilian'. Almost. I prefer to call it worm-tongued.
Rand Institute, Tavistock, Kurt Lewin, they all deal in this kind of stuff. Social psychology.
Of course, if that fails, there's always psychiatry to fall back on:
The Shock Doctrinehttp://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/short-film
Don't watch if you're faint of heart. But we should make note of the fact that Naomi Klein has become a 9/11 truther with the release of this film. Directed by the guy that did 'Children of Men'. As you'd expect, she tries to slam the free market but the rest of the info is gold-standard.