Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Anonymous or Pseudonymous blog posting and commenting - the examples of Good religious founders versus Secret Combinations

I understand that there are many people who cannot publish blog posts and comments under their own names - for example, this may be forbidden by their terms of employment (this was traditionally the case in the British civil service).

However, this lack of personal identification does have consequences; and does place extra limitations on what can legitimately be said, advocated or urged online - especially in a context where the writer is (usually implicitly) taking a 'leadership' role.

In sum, the sub-text of much online publishing is no so much 'this is my opinion' but 'this ought to be your opinion, and you should do X about it'.

Beyond this, a fair bit of online discourse is trying to build a 'movement' - but a movement in which the identity of the leaders is unknown. 

I am struck that the example I know of good leadership from Christians in the past, by Christians who have built something good; is that their identities were not in doubt; indeed they displayed great courage in being known.

By contrast, it is characteristic of those evil persons and organizations that the Book of Mormon calls Secret Combinations - that they are, well, secret!  The organizations and their personnel are secret because it makes them more effective at their evil; secrecy enables them better to engage in work of infiltration, subversion, and destruction (and to evade responsibility for these actions).

So it is the wicked organizations that have secret identities - by and large.

And perhaps one triumph of an evil government is when good people and good organizations are channelled or compelled or intimidated into taking-on the mantle of secrecy -- because perhaps when good people do enter into Secret Combinations, the chances are that what starts-out as good will not for long remain good.

The temptations deriving from secrecy may prove too strong for them to resist.