“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Interesting Article - Manipulators

In light of the recent general assembly melt down by the proistameno of Prophet Elias only, we might gain some understanding from the points below. The full article can be found at www.sheerbalance.com/mind-body.

1. Buttering You Up: To get their way, manipulators will often make you feel good so that they can then ask you to do something that they want. The person may first compliment you or tell you what a wonderful job you did on something. Making you feel good will, in their mind, make it difficult for you to say no…after all, you wouldn’t want to disappoint them or give them reason to think you didn’t deserve the compliment in the first place. What you can do: Return the compliments and the niceties before saying no. Jim Kastanis' recent letter highlights such platitudes.

2. Guilt: This doesn’t only pertain to Catholics and Jewish Mothers; guilt trips have been a successful manipulation tactic for centuries. The saddest part of this strategy is that the victims of this tactic succumb to the manipulators’ demands because they feel they HAVE to, not because they WANT to. In personal relationships, this sets up a co-dependency that is extremely unhealthy. What you can do: Ask the individual if they want you to do something because you have to or because you want to. If they say they want you to want to do it, tell them that you don’t and that they are trying to force you into something you don’t feel comfortable with. The recent melt down in addition to other "sermons" berating the lack of financial support (among other things) rings a bell.

3. Broken Record: Probably the most obvious of formats is the broken record tactic. If a person asks you enough or pushes their agenda enough…constantly repeating the question or request over and over again…in slightly different ways, the victim will inevitably give in and give them what they want. Oye! What you can do: Ask the individual what they don’t understand about the word “no.” Tell them that asking you over and over again isn’t going to change anything and that they are inappropriately over-stepping boundaries. Confidentiality the proistameno of Prophet Elias only requires in all aspects of the function of our community, a theme he continually repeats, or laying blame everywhere except at his own feet bears this out.

4. Selective Memory: This one gets me the most. You swear you have a conversation about a plan and everyone is on the same page, and then one day, the manipulator pretends to remember the conversation completely differently, if at all. What you can do: Record your conversations…seriously! Okay, maybe not. At least have a witness that you can count on to back you up if the person pulls this shenanigan. Call them out on the fact that they conveniently change the game to fit their needs. The selective memory examples are plentiful with the proistameno of Prophet Elias only. His memory is clear regarding the UPR section used to disqualify parishioners from being candidates for the parish council but he doesn't wish to recall the UPR section requiring an audit committee for 7 years.

5. Bullying: If a person doesn’t get their way, they make you out to look or feel like the bad guy…like you are the wrong one. What you can do: Be firm and tell them that their bullying tactics are inappropriate and unacceptable. How often have we been reminded who works for who in this community? His disparaging remarks about this blog and his ability to blame all that is wrong in our community on everything except his actions should make us scratch our heads in bewilderment.

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