One of the biggest myths within organized religion is that the clergy speaks for God, or, at least has some better line of communication to the Divine than the average person.

This, is, of course, complete and total nonsense. But it doesn’t keep whole societies from existing under the heel of a repressive theocracy, or even from the citizens of more liberated cultures from turning over their earnings and shutting off their critical thinking skills when asked to assess their own religion.

And all this injustice and submission based on a simple act of triangulation- that is, the  practice of telling one person that they have the authority to speak for this other person, and that other person said….

It’s more commonly recognized in cases of narcissistic abuse, where a parent will play their offspring off each other to dramatic effect, or in a case of parental alienation, where one parent will be wildly misrepresented to the child, sometimes to the point of demonization, by the alienating parent using triangulation.

It’s particularly easy to triangulate online – apparently, in certain circles, all you need to do to ruin a reputation is claim horrific things have been said in private messages. No evidence need be shown: loyal social media followers, taking their favorite blogger at their word, all too willingly join in the cries of “guilty!”, never for a second questioning whether what they have been told has any truth.

Whether it’s a set of beliefs that you’ve been told were handed down on a couple of stone tablets from the hand of God Himself, or a story about a political candidate’s crimes, or even a rumor a Facebook friend wants you to believe about someone else, isn’t it time we stopped believing the triangulators?

Perhaps instead, you might consider asking the source for yourself.

What do you think about this article? Do you agree? Do you have a story about triangulation you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!