Ditch Testing


Gabriel Doyle


The Problem:

The practice of testing has been behind many personal and organisational disasters in Subud. Even the founder himself suggested it was at best ten percent effective. Testing is used more as an oracle than as a guide to growth – which is perhaps what was originally intended.


The Solution:

All organisational decisions to be made through discussion and voting like ordinary people. Personal decisions should be based on experience, insight, advice of friends, reading, research, spinning a bottle, etc. in other words, like ordinary people.


The Details:

Existing guidelines as to which subjects should be tested and which should not are so vague that abuses are inevitable.To the outside world the practice evokes images of magic, divination and shamanism and makes us look archaic and ridiculous.The practice is likely to offend both religious and non-religious people who may be interested in doing the latihan. To the religious it probably goes against the practices of their particular faith, and to the secular it probably appears irrational.The whole process of testing discourages normal rational debate, and reinforces the prevalent prejudice in Subud against rational thought.The abandonment of rational thought in favour of divine ‘receiving’ is probably the most significant cause of our failed projects. Testing is, I believe, at the root of the problem, not at the periphery. A series of discussions should be organised at group level, in the regions, on line, at Congress, and after a suitable period of discussion and reflection, a proposal should be made and either rejected or accepted by majority vote to abandon testing as official Subud policy. People of course would be free to test in private if they so desired, but testing would not be used when making organisational decisions and would be dropped as an officially endorsed Subud practice.