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Fred Robinson, theory and me : a methodological meandering with an Australian hippie guru and his former 'alignee'

Author: Stephen Carthew; University of South Australia. School of Communication, Information and New Media.
Publisher: [2005]
Dissertation: BArts(Hons) University of South Australia 2005
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Summary:
In the early 1970s I was a film maker living in Sydney, fascinated by organic gardening and the possibilities of a spiritual New Age. I had already been a dope smoking hippie traveller in India and, somewhat reformed, I wanted to do something meaningful for the world, which I felt had lost its way. I met an octogenarian who changed the course of my life. At twenty three I became Fred Robinson?s alignee and  Read more...
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Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Stephen Carthew; University of South Australia. School of Communication, Information and New Media.
OCLC Number: 224770113
Notes: Cover title.
Description: 2 volumes : illustrations (1 color) ; 30 cm
Contents: v. 1. Thesis --
v. 2. Appendices.
Responsibility: Stephen Carthew.

Abstract:

In the early 1970s I was a film maker living in Sydney, fascinated by organic gardening and the possibilities of a spiritual New Age. I had already been a dope smoking hippie traveller in India and, somewhat reformed, I wanted to do something meaningful for the world, which I felt had lost its way. I met an octogenarian who changed the course of my life. At twenty three I became Fred Robinson?s alignee and publicist. Fred had been a hippie of his generation; and had advice to share about how to make the New Age a practical reality. I soon believed everyone should hear him. I hired the Sydney Town Hall and organised a road show through Melbourne, Adelaide and back to his home in Armadale an outer suburb of Perth. I became the?preacher? of the organisation that arose as a result of Fred?s recruiting?The Universal Brotherhood. In 1988 having realised that we had, despite our best intentions, become a?cult?; and having personally relinquished an idea of the leadership for which I had been groomed, I left the community with my wife and two children. At the age of forty I began again?in the world? and became a financial advisor for most of the 1990s. But it was not for me. In 2000 I began a course in Professional and Creative Writing at the University of South Australia. The present dissertation is a starting point for my writing and further research, which will use the extensive archive I am still collecting to further unpack my key research question:?How did Fred persuade us?? In this thesis I have used my own intangible memoir-texts as data for exploring how Fred employed rhetoric and explicating the Aristotelian model of ethos, pathos and logos as I saw these applying to my experience of being persuaded by Fred. I then apply other textual and cultural determinants, particularly those outlined by Fairclough (1992) as they shaped Fred, as addressor/persuade and?us? as his addressees/persuadees. By employing an eclectic use of theory I have explored a multi-perspectived methodological pathway for a future?discourse analysis??recognising that this easily spoken term is somewhat problematic. I have included some creative intertexts which were written as responses to my reflective process; while also reflexing on my attempts to meld both the personal and the theoretical in one paper, which often slips into the?space between? genres. I propose that just as,?the political is personal?, so the theoretical is also personal. It certainly has been in my case, as I am both a participant and a researcher/writer. This project analyses the rhetorically persuasive nature of my cultic experience with Fred, while metaphorically suggesting that a hybrid text such as I have produced is not dissimilar to an alternative life-style community within society?for it exists in the?space between?

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