Becoming complicit when it's not on your agenda - it sneaks up - then it's too late - has been the outcome of many naïve and non-perceptive people over centuries and in a sense, why politics at any level can become so very deceptive.
Such scenarios occur in every organisation whether it be a political party vying for elected office, inter political party rivalry, business, corporations, sports, service clubs, the church and missions, scouts and guides, in fact wherever you have people meeting and decisions need to be made.
This happens in two arenas in particular, that of leadership challenges in whatever the organisation might be, and in areas of policy that leaders seek to have endorsed by those around them in the first place, and then by those in the broader organisation in the second. A common term for this today is 'spin'.
'Spin' is an attempt to turn the facts into a certain light regardless of the real or true circumstances in order that the leadership's line on the matter is upheld and becomes seen in the public place as positive and endorsing.
'Spin' has been labelled a form of propaganda. Spin is achieved through providing an interpretation of an event or campaign to persuade public opinion in favour or against a certain organisation or public figure. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, "spin" often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and or highly manipulative tactics.
Many examples in everyday life
There are many well documented examples of manoeuvres of this kind to illicit the dumping of someone within an organisation. To achieve this inevitably involves casting the facts within a certain light, and in so doing, when that collective community (political party, work place, social organisation) in effect have become complicit in such disingenuous endeavours - without realising what the original agenda was. Then they find it is all too late to do anything about it.
In the Australian politic a political party's platform is considered the basis upon which one or the other are elected. To counter this, a lobby group is established to alert there are 'other' points. Of course there are groups that operate outside the political parties such as environment lobby, the timber lobby, the mineral lobby, the anti-gambling lobby and the like.
This is all well and good in a democracy but in a dictatorship it becomes very dangerous to speak politically. In 1942 the Nazi's cleverly ensured the civilian government authorities became complicit in the Holocaust. German historian Peter Longerich explains the famous 20 January 1942 Wannsee Conference that lasted 90 minutes:
"The main purposes of the conference were, firstly, to establish the overall control of the deportation programme by the RSHA (SS authority) over a number of important Reich authorities and thereby, secondly, to make the top representatives of the ministerial bureaucracy into accomplices and accessories to, and co-responsible for, the plan he was pursuing. To reiterate: the plan was to exile all Jews in the present and future areas under German rule to Eastern Europe, where they were to be exposed to extraordinarily harsh living conditions and fatally exhausted or murdered. Heydrich had pursued this deportation plan since the beginning of 1941."
Once the bureaucracy became complicit the German nation became equally responsible for the Nazi policy of the Holocaust. Anyone who spoke against the policy became liable for arrest and in many cases death. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the classic example of someone who paid with his life by objecting.
April (ANAZC) and November (Remembrance Day) we as Australians are reminded of those who willingly gave their lives for political freedom. Christians are reminded that they have a responsibility to become salt in their communities and participate all levels of society in the politic. Herein lies the importance of engaging in the political process whether it be the sports club or the local church, you have a right to express your views on areas with which you have issues of concern.
In Australia, it involves making your voice heard as to matters of national security, social cohesion, ribald political correctness, agendas to the far left or far right, what is happening in our schools ... the list is endless. Sharia Law is a ready example when one issue gets approved (such as girl's sports change rooms for schools), then another (such as supermarkets predominately having Halal food), then another, then another .... the incrementation is horrendous.
This is correspondence of Halal accreditation that came across my desk: "To acquire Halal certification, payment is required to the endorsing body (Islamic based) and involves a number of site inspections of both our growers and processors in order to ensure that our practices comply with the conditions of Halal certification. It is important to note that this does not reflect the quality of the food being processed or sold – it only means that the products are approved as being prepared in accordance with the traditions of the Muslim faith.
"We are aware of an increasing number of large companies in Australia who have obtained accreditation to use the Halal logo. We don't believe they have done this because of any religious commitment but rather for purely commercial reasons. Perhaps these large organisations can afford to do this. We have a choice however, we would prefer to avoid unnecessarily increasing the cost of our products in order to pay for Halal accreditation or financing charities similarly associated.
"We point out that we have never been asked to put a Christian symbol on our food requiring that we send money to a Christian organisation for the right to do so."
This is a classic example of becoming complicit as the Halal situation then places pressure on authorities to adopt or permit Sharia Law in marriage, family and property matters and for some on the left of politics under the delusion that they are being progressively liberal.
Incrementation is very dangerous in this area of 'becoming complicit' without realising it - when not on your agenda. For me, I ask, how many more warnings do we in Australia need? Now we learn that Australia's grand mufti has threatened any Australian who speaks out against Islam, and who attended the Prime Minister's celebrated dinner function.
Certainly it means, each person must be eternally vigilant.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html