Dear friends,

As part of the ZEGG community, we are addressing you because there is a conflict within ZEGG in which we feel transparency is important. At the moment this conflict is being played out in such a way that a statement on the relationship between ZEGG and the Go&Change development community has been published on www.zegg.de without the consent of relevant community members. We object to this.

Contrary to a previous promise, we were deprived of the possibility of a counter-statement at the appropriate place. We therefore choose this option. We publish our counter-statement and other personal voices in addition on this separate web page so that you can inform comprehensively. We stand for transparency and the community's focus on love and deep togetherness.

Please support us by spreading the link through your channels. 
Thank you and greeting from our hearts, Achim Ecker and Ina Meyer-Stoll

 

Why we, the undersigned cooperate with Go&Change.

We - several founding members of ZEGG as well as other people in the ZEGG community - have been working wholeheartedly for decades to ensure that ZEGG keeps aligning itself with its core values and becomes the experimental social model for a new culture for which it was launched. It is precisely for this purpose that we maintain close contact with other groups and teachers who share the same values and can support the ZEGG community. This includes the Go&Change developmental community; we gladly take responsibility for cooperating with them as community members, beyond the educational business.

We would like to contradict the current statement by the ZEGG management, and oppose it with our perception. This statement was published under enormous time pressure. The community process on the relationship with Go&Change had not yet been completed - the relevant management proposal had been rejected by a serious objection from the community. In our perception, the publication of Emil Friis caused this pressure, which was thus yielded to. We regret this. It is our request that in important discussions external pressure does not take precedence over our community culture: of honest communication and decision-making even where it takes time and is uncomfortable.

1. A group from ZEGG has been close friends with the Go&Change developmental community for three years. We share common values, work out ways for culture change. We benefit from Go&Change's responsive and sincere attitude and have been able to reconnect with our own core values through their friendship and commitment. Go&Change supported us for the last three years with people who volunteered to help in many areas, including all the summer camps. We are especially grateful to Felix Krolle for his qualified advice and involvement, including our intensive time 2018, Precamp 2019 and Summer Camp 2021. The jointly held, innovative form of We-Spaces sparked great interest among guests. It attracted and touched many people; it led to controversial discussions about group leadership, leadership structures, etc. In such lively innovations and discussions we see the value of this cooperation, which we would like to maintain. Its this, people seek out ZEGG for .

2. The statement of the management furthers the allegations of abuse and of being a cult against the Go&Change community, which were raised mainly in newspaper articles of the Mainpost. After investigations by the police and the public prosecutor's office, these have not been verified. We ourselves know the community well enough to say: the accusations are not true.
On the subject of abuse of power, hierarchy of consciousness and group pressure: Go&Change is one of the few groups that make these social dynamics transparent and work constructively with them. Especially where this does not happen, these dynamics remain in the shadows and work unconsciously. Our society is based on this, and every community also grows in this direction if it does not actively work on it. ZEGG is no exception in this respect.
We know this dynamic from the history of ZEGG and observe it in other innovative projects as well: When a group goes to the roots of collective trauma and brings awareness there, it triggers fears, defenses, counterforces. Those who do not want to be touched at this spot themselves resort to accusations and suspicions (projection). Even if these are not true, they speak to a collective trauma and have a damaging effect on the reputation.
We experienced this ourselves in the early days. We want to break this dynamic. Go&Change has dealt with the accusations in an exemplary manner, inviting critics and cult representatives and always being willing to talk. They even ask opponents to report them if they know of actual wrongdoing. To our knowledge, no one has ever done so. We would like to expressly apologize to Go&Change for the subtle and not so subtle accusations made by the ZEGG management.

3. The present situation was triggered by an article by Emil Friis, speaker at the Summer Camp 2021, where Felix Krolle was also invited as a speaker. While Felix kept to agreements and was always approachable, Emil broke almost all agreements and avoided contact with us as a summer camp team from the beginning. After feedback from Felix which Emil had requested himself, he demanded that ZEGG cease contact with Go&Change, otherwise he would start a press campaign against ZEGG and Go&Change. As a result of this blackmail, which he described as legitimate pressure, we asked him to end his stay early. When he stayed and his behavior seemed increasingly divisive and aggressive to us, we expelled him. We see no reason to apologize for this; on the contrary, we protest against the pressure he has built up against ZEGG, and continues to build up even now.

4. In our experience, sore points, deep fears and abandoned longings were touched in many people in ZEGG by these conflicts last year. We see this as a potential healing process. We want to live in a community where we also open up to these feelings again and deal with them lovingly together, even if they are uncomfortable, instead of unconsciously acting them out. This is one of the challenges by which a community can prove itself in a contemporarily demanding time.
We perceive that an exhaustion arises in groups that do not really want to feel and work on existing conflicts and feelings. We do not believe that it is the conflict about Go&Change that exhausts us. It is the resistance to being touched again. By what? By our shared dream and anything that counteracts the trend toward social erosion, resignation, and continual decline in community depth, liveliness, and coherence that many communities succumb to.

As a group we are always ready to talk about anything at ZEGG, gladly also in a larger group, with mediators and Emil Friis. The same willingness to talk applies to the Go&Change development community just as well.

We hope for a fruitful discussion and a reflection on the values with which we founded ZEGG 30 years ago and which are still relevant.

Founding members of ZEGG: Ina Meyer-Stoll*, Achim Ecker*, Christa Dregger* (*summer camp team 2021); Hermann Haring;
as well as: Michael Anderau, Detlef Arndt, Bettina Klein, Kati Magyar, Lilian Gscheidel, Janus Hamann.