aa light drizzle was all that remained as I stood in the porch with our two new kittens tucked neatly in my arms. As usual Ms. Goofy was at my side glancing left and right accounting for possible predators. Everything looked and smelled clean after a heavy downpour. The scattered leaves however, caused a small mess in our driveway. I’ll attend to that later, I thought to myself. I made a round of our home. Aside from a few breaches here and there,  our mansion was holding up quite well. But that tree, definitely needs some trimming, its branches running across the street. While in deep thought on the choice of hired help, I entered the living room from the kitchen. My wife was at the computer. She usually keeps herself occupied on Facebook, Farmville to be exact. At her age, mood swings are regular with the kids no longer with us and having their own lives to live. I try my best to keep her in a happy mood. I know and sense she longs for the good old days when kids were kids and she had to follow them around all day long, doing their laundry, bring them to bed,  watch over them when they had fevers. Those things. So, if I didn’t do anything, the house would be overwhelmed by its deafening silence!  What do I do? Everything to keep her happy. I walk around suddenly in my undies and ask her if I resemble Captain America. That would cause a small riot. At times I would share a green joke with her. And sometimes I try to sneak in while she’s taking a bath and she yells “Umalis ka jan!” One thing I dread seeing is my wife just sitting there in complete silence because I know for sure some tears will follow.

And that is what exactly happened when I came into the living room. She was in front of the computer but not looking at it. Her head was down and I could hear her sniffling. I slowly approached and put my arms around her. “Miss the kids?” “No.. it’s not about that.” Then she continued, “I read that the church is deep in debt, how about our Templo? Why did they do that?” An almost 70 year old woman who had lived her whole life in the church asking you that question literally breaks you in half. Your adrenalin pumps up and you again wish to experience the look of an imbecile with a concrete nail driven into his head. I understand President Duterte perfectly. It’s all about retribution. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

INCFROMTHEEDGE in his article The Present Truth summed it up very clearly on the idiotic justification posted in Access the Truth –  https://incfromtheedge.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/the-present-truth/

I’d like to add a personal comment on this loans issue which was previously posted in my Facebook Account –

“Let’s finish this argument [once and for all] whether there was nothing morally wrong of the Church obtaining multi-billion loans. We all agree that EVERY monetary offering inside the Church is done for the glory of God. Nothing more nothing less. So what’s the DOCTRINAL benchmark in making monetary contributions to GOD? Pasya ng puso, hindi mabigat sa loob, o dahil sa kailangan .. Tanong, mabigat ba o hindi ang pagbabayad ng multi-billion loans?”

That being said, lets review the trend of our Church and compare it to other churches and see where it is going. In an article “Warning Signs of Power Corruption in Organizations” by Chris Banescu, he reflected :

” ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it. – Lord Acton’

A young Lord Acton[Lord Acton is described as “the magistrate of history,” and one of the great personalities of the nineteenth century and is universally considered to be one of the most learned Englishmen of his time. He made the history of liberty his life’s work; indeed, he considered political liberty the essential condition and guardian of religious liberty.” http://www.acton.org/research/lord-acton]

Lord Acton’s dictum, made in 1887, clearly warns us that the practice of wielding power and influence can corrode the character of leaders. History is replete with examples of individuals who wielded unchecked power and eroded not only their own integrity, but also the ethical and moral foundations of the organizations they led and brought them to catastrophe and ruin. This danger is true of all organizations including businesses, religious institutions, and governments.

Here is the risk inherent in leadership: The greater the leader’s power, wealth, authority, and influence, the more likely the leader could succumb to ethical lapses and moral failings. The risk increases if the organization has a culture that lacks financial or managerial transparency and accountability, has insufficient checks and balances on executive power, and discourages criticism from subordinates or members. When a leader with a poorly developed ethical or moral sense ends up leading an organization with a culture that discourages ethical self-examination, a slow but perfect storm starts to form that demands compromise from all levels of leadership and eventually leads to catastrophic consequences.

There are various warning signs that can indicate whether a company, religious organization, or government institution is headed by leaders who are susceptible or have already surrendered to the corrupting influence of unchecked power. Obvious situations to watch out for include:

You can’t handle the truth! Management defends the lack of accountability and transparency in financial issues and other administration processes and refuses independent audits or the establishment of proper checks and balances. Requests to increase organizational transparency are met with claims that openness and full disclosure would undermine or even destroy the organization. The leaders responsible frequently resort to secrecy, delays, denials, stonewalling, and refusal to acknowledge or answer questions, anything to stall the release of information and implementation of any meaningful and independent oversight over their power and control.

Ignore the message but shoot the messenger. Leaders actively work to silence, marginalize, ostracize, or fire employees who raise red flags, ask pertinent questions, challenge unethical or inconsistent management practices, or insist on more transparency and accountability in the organization.

Dehumanize your opponents. Superiors and their cronies often launch into personal attacks, besmirch the character of critics, and demonize anyone who stands up to unlawful authority, dubious conduct, or abuses observed. The status, position, background, and/or motivation of the questioners become the attacker’s sole focus, while the reality of the situation and the truth of the inquiries are dismissed. Enablers call into question not only the legitimacy of the person, but also their humanity.

How dare you! The leader’s status, position, education, past accomplishments, wealth, “good” intentions, generosity, personal likeability, fund raising ability, or superior intellect are used as arguments to challenge any subordinate’s right to ask questions, request justifications, or seek explanations from senior leadership.

All pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others. Leaders encourage and apply arbitrary, subjective, and inconsistent enforcement of organizational policies (if any actually exist) that benefit only those that show unquestioning loyalty and full obedience to superiors. These compliant members are praised, rewarded, and promoted, regardless of their lack of skills and capabilities, and the little value they bring to the actual long-term health and prosperity of the organization.

The buck never got here! The truth and reality of institutional situations are continually adjusted to suit the “official” version of events. Management incompetence, organizational losses and problems, and leadership fiascos are frequently re-defined to shift the blame away from those actually responsible. Often fate, mysterious forces, unnamed parties, unfortunate circumstances, bad luck, outside consultants, or recently fired employees are blamed for the actual problems.

The emperor has no clothes. Character flaws and unethical actions of top leaders gradually become qualities and failures become successes. Failure to admit mistakes, acknowledge personal fault, apologize for missteps, listen to criticism, and take corrective action are portrayed as evidence of the leader’s strength and determination.

Evil is good, and good is evil. Employees that show courage, ethics, and integrity and fearlessly speak out are called troublemakers and boat-rockers. For refusing to compromise their principles and challenging their superiors they are portrayed as insubordinate and dangerous. Those that maintain their silence, support the status quo, and show unquestioning loyalty and obedience to the leader’s power structure are continually praised and show cased as model citizens.

Seeing these flaws in leaders, whether they are company executives, religious figures, politicians, and others can be very disturbing for people who presume that at least minimal standards of ethical decision making are in force. This is especially true in organizations for which ethical and moral decisions are central to their mission such as religious bodies, health care institutions, almost any organization that has influence over peoples lives.

Encountering these signs in your institution can be even more unsettling. Moreover, being persecuted by these abusive leaders for daring to speak the truth and standing for ethics often leads to a sense of alienation, estrangement, and abandonment that seldom lifts until the corruption is revealed for all to see.

(Chris Banescu is an attorney, entrepreneur, and university professor. His business, ethics, and management articles and podcasts can be found on http://www.ChrisBanescu.com. He is a regular contributor to OrthodoxyToday.org, manages the conservative site http://www.OrthodoxNet.com, writes articles, and has given talks and conducted seminars on a variety of business and management topics. He has also written book reviews for Townhall.com and articles for Acton.org.)”

Reference:  http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles-2009/Banescu-Warning-Signs-Of-Power-Corruption-In-Organizations.php

Dear friends, does this article ring a bell? It was written in 2009. Appears more like a prophecy than a post.

So, my dear EVM and your Knights of the Crooked Table, I dare you to ask yourselves, Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall ...”