THE ALIVE PROGRAMS
The Alive program was originally developed by Hamish Sinclair in the 1980s, to work with perpetrators of domestic violence as he still does at Glide Memorial Church. Alive addresses violence at all levels of intensity and ways of manifesting; physical, emotional, mental, verbal, and sexual.
The basic first stage program agreements are; I violate myself and my partners, and I am willing to stop violating myself and my partners. For most of us, our patterns of violence aren’t “criminal” and won’t land us in jail. It is harm nonetheless and hurts us and others.
The Alive program is a structured tool, a methodology, to get a handle on what is inside each of us: to notice ourselves and then shift out of old patterns, habits, tendencies and come back to our authentic selves. This is the self that was there before the learned patterns. It’s a way to get out of our “stories” and connect with ourselves and with others.
The Alive programs specifically focus on our cultural beliefs about inferiority and superiority. The goal is to learn to “equalize”, each person values the other. If I am in a belief that says either I am better or I am less-than; I am not believing we are equal. Consent is a function of being equal.
“Stories” start with our internal belief systems, learned as children, and not chosen, not consensual, not conscious. If my reaction is a “hitman” (trigger), my “work” is to do my best to stop and think and breathe and look at what happened inside of me. And when I “own” myself, then I can also easily notice the pieces that are not mine.
When someone gets triggered and they have a “hitman” the Alive analysis considers four possible parts or roles: Perpetrator, Victim, Stepford and Rebel.
The Perpetrator is the Enforcer and Superior-Role.
The Victim is the one who is done to, powerless, no agency, the Inferior-Role.
The Stepford strives to keep the peace, placates, appeases, stuffs it, tries to create safety by avoiding conflict, the Perfectly-Cooperative-Role.
The Rebel fights back and reacts with significant force, anger, and rejection of anything that triggers old fears. The Fuck-You-Role
The Alive program teaches us how to live as our own authentic selves, which works like an immunization against defensiveness and violence. To make these big changes in ourselves is a lot of very hard work. We were all trained in this Superior/Inferior Belief System. This system of Superiority is at the root of the patriarchy, the colonizer model, class and race oppression.
In the sex positive community we have agreements to relate consensually. How can we do that when we are raised in a culture that teaches violence? It takes willingness, tools, practice, vulnerability and commitment to learn a different way to be in the world.
If you are interested in doing this work for yourself, the programs currently available are:
humanalive: In San Francisco, dedicated to men and women in leather and BDSM lifestyles, tops or bottoms, transgressors or survivors, who want to do this work.
on-line alive: Sunday 8-11AM PST online via zoom
Contact Hamish Sinclair firstname.lastname@example.org
topsalive: Online via zoom every Sunday afternoon from 4-6PM PST
Contact Ms. WillowKat email@example.com