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drained it of blood, and put the corpse back on the trail. When the Huks returned to look for the missing man and found their bloodless comrade, every member of the patrol believed that the asuang had got him and that one of them would be next if they remained on that hill. When daylight came, the whole Huk squadron moved out of the vicinity. Another day passed before the local people were convinced that they were really gone. Then Magsaysay moved the troops who were guarding the town into a BCT.
Another combat psywar operation used the "eye of God" technique, which I had heard about when it was used at the siege of Caen, and from its use by spotter aircraft-loudspeaker tank teams in World War II in Europe. The idea was to get exact information about the enemy and then broadcast it through loudspeakers in combat situations, making individual enemy soldiers feel that they couldn't hide from an all-seeing eye and had to follow the directions of the broadcasts. In the siege of Caen, a German officer would be told by name that he was the next to die because he refused to surrender, and moments later an artillery shell would hit his house or headquarters. In the air-tank technique, the loudspeaker tank would call out to German soldiers hidden in defensive positions but visible from the air, claiming to see individual soldiers, describing what they were doing at the moment, announcing that they didn't have a chance, and telling them to come out and surrender. Both examples made effective use of fresh combat intelligence about the enemy.
The only equipment that the Philippine Army had for making broadcasts to Huk guerrillas under combat conditions was a handful of U.S. Navy loud-hailers (bull horns), designed for use by beach masters in amphibious landings, which I had scrounged in Washington and brought with me. I had planned for them to be used by infantry, but it was found that they could be used from the light liaison aircraft assigned to BCTS, when flying at low altitudes. ... I had distributed this equipment to each of the first BCTs formed. One day, a Philippine officer made use of the bull horn, the light aircraft, and the "eye of God” technique in an unusual way, thanks to his BCT's collection of detailed information about the enemy.
On this day a Huk squadron was being pursued by an infantry company from a BCT, which had not been able to make contact with the elusive guerrillas. The officer went up in the aircraft to see if he could spot the Huks from the air. He saw them, and he saw also that his troops were helplessly, behind in their pursuit. Frustrated, he looked around in the aircraft for something to throw at the Huks below him—and found a bull horn stowed behind the seat. Inspiration came. Through the bull horn he shouted down at the Huks below, telling them that they were doomed because he and his troops knew all about them and soon would catch them. He cudgeled his brains for what the BCT's intelligence officer had told him about this Huk squadron, and he remembered some of the names on its roster. He called down to the Huks by name, pretending to recognize individuals. As the aircraft made a final circle, the bull horn sent his amplified voice down with these parting words: “Thank you, our friend in your squadron, for all the information.” Then he flew away chuckling over his final broadcast. The BCT found out later that the mention of a mysterious "friend” in their ranks had aroused the Huk's darkest suspicions of one another. Three of them were singled out and executed on the spot. The words had inflicted as many casualties on the enemy as troops could have done in a running fight.
The name of this technique, “the eye of God," reminded me of the ancient Egyptian practice of painting watchful guardian eyes over the tombs of the pharaohs. The painting was stylized to give the eye a baleful glare to scare away grave robbers. Recalling its appearance, I made some sketches until I recaptured the essence of its forbidding look, and I handed over the final drawing to the Philippine Army with suggestions for its use. It was mainly useful in towns where some of the inhabitants were known to be helping the Huks secretly. The army would warn these people that they were under suspicion. At night, when the town was asleep, a psywar team would creep into town and paint an eye on a wall facing the house of each suspect. The mysterious presence of these malevolent eyes the next morning had a sharply sobering effect.
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INTRA-GROUP COMMUNICATION AND INDUCED CHANGE*
BY ARTHUR H. NIEHOFF
The establishment of efficient information flow between the communicator and the target audience can assist the communicatior in two ways: it can be used as a communication feedback mechanism for warding off rumormongering; it can be used as potentially routine
gossip for spreading ideas. The one absolutely essential technique [in helping to produce adoption of new ideas or practices in developing areas) is the establishment of effective communication, for it is the means by which knowledge of the new idea or practice is transferred. ... We believe there are, basically, three types of relevant communication: input, the movement of information from the change agent to the potential adopters; feedback, the response from the potential adopters back to the change agent; and gossip, or intra-group communication, among the potential adopters regarding the innovation. . .
Although a change agent may establish channels of communication to transfer his ideas to potential adopters (input), as well as channels for feedback, the interaction process does not stop at this point. When any significant event occurs in a local community, the members of that community invariably begin a process of communication about it among
*Excerpts from “Intra-Group Communication and Induced Change,” Professional Paper 25–67, Human Resources Research Office, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., June 1967, AD 654124, pp. 1-9.
themselves. We wish to show that such informal conversation, or gossip, is a powerful force in the process of decision-making in small groups, and thus is significant to induced change projects.
(One) project in which intra-group (or informal] communication was instrumental in helping achieve the goals set by the change agent was an effort to promote modern household practices in Southern Uganda through the establishment of women's clubs." The change agent's first step was to hold a meeting of interested people, including men, in a local house, school, or community hall. She would give a talk on the proposal and answer all questions, after which the women could decide whether they wanted a club. If a club was established, regular teaching sessions,
a particularly in sewing, were begun. The women had to pay the equivalent of ten cents per week for membership and buy their own cloth. There were perceived practical benefits, both in the clothing the women were able to make for themselves, and in small rewards, such as needles and thread. An additional motivation was the status obtained by being a member and having a club in the community. The local chiefs came to feel "behind the times" if they did not have such a club in their district. This came about primarily as a result of the gossip of the women about their activities, substantiated by showing off their new dresses. Consequently, within a four-year period 40 such clubs were organized with 30–50 members each.
Except for a few projects in which information was given to students with the hope that they would transmit it to their parents, we found only one in which the change agents consciously depended on gossip as a means of spreading an innovation. This was a pilot project in family planning in Taiwan, and, not surprisingly, the change agents were communication specialists. The change agents used a wide variety of communication techniques at first, but depended on female gossip to carry the knowledge beyond the families contacted directly. An evaluation study later revealed that about 20 % of the women who accepted contraceptives had never been directly contacted by the change agents but had learned about the innovation through gossip.
Most of the projects during which harmful rumors were reported succeeded despite the malicious gossip. However, most of these rumors occurred in the initial stages of the projects' implementation and their effects were neutralized by improved communication. Probably in most instances where rumors were instrumental in halting projects, the change agents never learned of their existence.
Almost all the rumors were a result of communication insufficient for the local people to learn the projects' goals clearly, added to their basic skepticism toward powerful outsiders. It is hypothesized that rumors will rarely occur if there is efficient communication input and feedback. If local people feel confident enough in their relationships with outsiders to express their opinions of proposed changes, they need not depend exclusively on generation of explanations with one another. Unfortunately, such feedback channels frequently do not exist, and when they do not, rumors can be expected to occur. These will probably tend to be malicious or harmful to the projects' goals in proportion to the perceived threat of the outside influences.
Some harmful rumors that we have found in published case histories sound far-fetched, but they give an indication of what local people think when they are first approached with a novel idea, only partly communicated, that they perceive as potentially dangerous. An illustration of this occurred in an early hookworm treatment campaign in Ceylon. Information was initially collected (about) the incidence of the disease, which made the villagers uneasy, as they were afraid it was being collected for tax or military draft purposes. When treatment, which was free, was offered, it was in the form of capsules. The rumor was generated and spread that the capsules contained little bombs which would explode after being swallowed. In spite of this, due principally to the establishment of better communication and the utilization of local leaders to sanction the idea, treatment was later accepted by many. Probably what is most significant in regard to this rumor type is that peasant villagers are usually very suspicious of information collectors unless relatively durable contacts are established.
Another series of harmful rumors emerged in a community development project in Cali, Colombia, again where there was inefficient communication of the project's goals and a perceived threat to the local way of life. The potential participants were squatters in urban slums who lacked confidence in municipal authorities, since their community had been neglected for years. Because they had no legal title to their land, they were afraid that the suggestions to build a bridge, road, and drainage canals were preparations to convert their neighborhood into a residential zone for the wealthy. In particular, their fears grew when the change agency began conducting a survey of the local environment. However, these fears were allayed by persistent efforts to inform the local people that the real goal was improvement for the squatters themselves and by adroit utilization of local leaders to sanction the project. Ultimately the physical improvements were carried out on a self-help basis through locally organized committees.
Potential loss of land is undoubtedly one of the most vital fears of the poor people in non-industrial countries, whether these are slum squatters, village peasants, or tribal people. Another project where this type of fear occurred was a community development effort in Nigeria.Although the goal was to build roads, schools, bridges, markets, and other communal structures, some land was usually involved. A number of villagers dropped out in the first stages because of a rumor that the whole project was merely a pretext to take away people's land. Another rumor based on fear of losing land occurred in a land rehabilitation project in Jordan, where the Bedouins thought the construction of dikes and growing of grass was to settle refugees from Palestine.
* * *
In all the cases except the land rehabilitation project in Jordan, the goals were in the main achieved, and in all instances the way this was done was by improving communication with the potential adopters and/or by working through local leaders. We wish to reemphasize the significant fact that in these cases the rumors were known, and that similar or more damaging ones usually occurred in projects which failed but were not learned about because communication was not effectively established.
In summary, it is our belief that gossip, or intra-group communication, has two facets of significance to the change process. Positive gossip, favorable to project goals, is an index of the establishment of efficient information flow, both of communication input and feedback, as well as a perception by villagers that the project goals would be beneficial to them. Moreover, such gossip can be deliberately used by change agents as a method of information dissemination.
Negative gossip, or rumormongering, is a product of lack of information flow between the change agent and the potential adopters and/or no perceived advantages from the project goals by the local people.
NOTES 1. P. Hastie, “Women's Clubs in Uganda, "Community Development Bulletin (London) (December 1950), pp. 4–6. 2. Bernard Berelson and Ronald Freedman, “A Study in Fertility Control,” Scientific American, 210, No. 5 (May 1964), pp. 29–37. 3. Jane Philips, “The Hookworm Campaign in Ceylon," in Hands Across Frontiers, Howard M. Teaf, Jr. (ed.) (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1955), pp. 267_302. 4. Centro Interamericana de Vivienda y Planeamiento (0.A.S.). Siloe: The Process of Community Development Applied to an Urban Renewal Project (English condensation), Bogota, 1958. 5. E.R. Chadwick, “Fundamental Education in Udi Division,” Fundamental Education, UNESCO, Paris (October 1949), pp. 627–644. 6. Stanley Andrews, Technical Assistance Case Reports, International Cooperation Administration, Washington. 1960, pp. 19–22.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, CHAPTER VIII