In this new century, the most notorious form of authoritarianism is the terrorist group, but the dynamics of authoritarian behavior are also found in gangs, pedophile rings, among human traffickers and even in some of our most beloved institutions.

The horrifying child abuse scandals that have recently rocked the UK and the US show how authority and unethical influence have often been used to maintain criminal and immoral activities within organizations directed by both the church and state.

This is possible because the same dynamics apply to all human behavior, and, until we are familiar with the dynamics of authoritarian behavior, we will continue to fall prey to them.

(Authoritarian behavior has been described as: “A group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, and employing unethical, manipulative or coercive techniques of persuasion and control designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders, to the possible or actual detriment of members, their families or the community.”)

 

This post is an excerpt from Jon’s new book, Opening Minds – A Primer on Undue Influence, scheduled for release in the fall of 2019