Consider the paradoxical control that some people have over others in families, and formal and informal groups.
I posit the winnowing principle:
First, the abusive person (sociopathic, etc.) forms or achieves power in a group. Those in the group who do not tolerate the attempts at abuse and manipulation (recognizing them as such) will leave the group.
Three kinds of people are left:
1) Those who are like the abusive leader and are joining power;
2) Those who do not yet realize what kind of situation they are in: soon they too will leave.
3) Those who for whatever reason come under the power of the abuser(s).
So if anyone wants to know how the Jim Jones's of the world operate, I believe that this is a good basic behavioral model.
And furthermore . . .
There is a subset of Group 2: people who know something bad is going on in leadership but who think that they must "Stay and fight it", which usually means getting labelled as "Troublemakers" by the leaders who are covering up. This kind of thing happens again and again in corrupt organizations, so don't think that a one-man or a one-woman campaign against the pastor, president, or other authority figure will go well for you. If you must go through with it be prepared for a lot of grief unless you really know what you are doing.
Believe me, I have seen this happen in Christian Churches; people that I know were sent threatening letters, they were slandered in "secret meetings", etc., etc., etc.
I wonder how people who do become whilstleblowers, or in some other way stand up to corruption, deal with the "grief", as you mentioned.
It seems that it would take a strong person to deal with the negative effects. It would help, perhaps, to have the support of one's family, and an inner strength from a connection to "the man upstairs."
I don't know, just a few thoughts here.
Right! Thank you, you are so right. It usually comes down to abandoning the campaign or finding support within the church by those who are like-minded and feel like there is "something funny going on". Unfortunately, this is an invitation to party spirit and divisiveness in the church; just as destructive, sometimes.
Another subset in Groups 2 & 3:
People who simply cope with the villainy in leadership because participation in the group (church in this example) fulfills needs. These people are sometimes labelled "Fence Sitters" by those rallying support against the leaders, and so the battle begins!
It is better to ask someone to follow their conscience, perhaps. :-P :-P :-P
Yeah. And when a group of "Rebels" learns to speak and act in faith with a relatively strong voice? What happens?
What happens when people are inspired to act in wisdom and in so doing must contravene the traditions of contemporary society?
I know some who can answer that:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
And the list goes on . . .
Incidentally, the church situation that I used as an example actually happened. The offending parties were finally caught in a lie by one of the board members, confronted, and expelled. Simple justice.