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self-interest group

A self-interest group or astroturf organization is one that pretends to be an interest group but in fact only advocates measures to specifically enrich or empower itself and/or its funders.

One can usually detect such groups by attending their meetings and offering to do essential tasks. Small interest groups always have open posts and uncommitted tasks and must remain open to outsiders if only to stay afloat. If large, they will have mature and robust processes to keep focused on the group's own goals, and will thus be likewise unconcerned with incomers' agendas. While self-interest groups by contrast will find ways to derail, marginalize and discourage an outsider not familiar with the group's real purpose.

Another way to detect such groups is that they literally sell insider status to anyone who comes up with cash, and value contributions to the groups' avowed goals politically or organizationally at approximately zero.

The open politics in force rules are designed to exclude self-interest groups from undue political influence.