10 Steps to Quell Dissent and Maintain the Truth
…and maintain the Truth.
Power, fear, influence. And how to use them…
2. Fear is a prime tool in the use of power, and authority figures must be fearless in its use to keep inferiors in their place. Better to be feared than loved.
3. But let not fear alone be the sole tool to crush dissent. ‘Duchess’ potential troublemakers by offering them minor promotions and some of the trappings of your power.
4. Force subordinates to come to you as the authority figure. Do not meet them on their territory but on grounds of your choosing.
5. Control the means of communication, employing skilled spin-doctors where needed, and distancing yourself from any that appear to waver from the line of truth you have established.
6. Let secrecy be a watchword in all things. Total ignorance rarely breeds controversy or conflict, and the fewer who know the facts the easier it is to manage the issue.
7. Demand obedience from those who have vowed obedience to you, and issue your instructions to them in writing to avoid any future misunderstanding.
8. Always appeal to a higher authority, God or the Pope, as justification for your demands as if they come not from you but from incontrovertible Authority. Under no circumstances should the words ‘Second Vatican Council’ ever be spoken in public.
9. Make a display of your power on all occasions, using ceremony, clothing, body language, and even the size of your ‘phylacteries’ to impress.
10. Finally remember the importance of hastening slowly for best results. The frog will jump from the water if it is at first too hot, but will gladly allow itself to be boiled to death if the temperature is raised gradually.
Brian Monro was a Marist brother until 1959. After leaving the order he continued as a teacher, becoming a deputy principal with the SA Education Department until his formal retirement in 1992. He is married, with two children and two grandchildren.