why we must question authority, or surely destroy ourselves

Posted on: Thu, 10/11/2007 - 16:34 By: Tom Swiss

This is the weirdest, most disturbing thing I've heard about in a while. It illustrates so well the dangers of the human impulse to submit to authority.

Friday, a jury awarded $6.1 million to Louise Ogborn, who said she was subject to a strip-search in a McDonald's back office after someone posing as a cop called the restaurant and accused her of theft.

Ogborn claimed McDonald's was negligent when they failed to warn her and other employees about this caller, who had already struck other fast-food joints. Yes, this wasn't an isolated case: there were over 70 such incidents.

On the criminal end, in 2006 McDonald's assistant manager Donna Summers was placed on probation for a misdemeanor conviction of unlawful imprisonment; her former fiance, Walter Nix Jr., is serving five years in prison for sexually abusing Ogborn during the 3½-hour search.

David Stewart of Panama City, Florida, was charged with impersonating a police officer and solicitation of sodomy for making the call, but without direct evidence linking him to the call, was acquitted last October..

The interesting - and frightening - thing here is how someone was able to manipulate ordinary people over the phone into doing horrible things, merely by using the "voice of authority".

Stanley Milgram's famous experiment showed how easy it is to get people to obey an authority figure and do things against their own conscience, but at least in those experiments the authority was in the same room.

Question authority, my friends, or else the whole damn human race is liable to jump off a cliff all together at the urging of some bozo who sounds like he must be the boss.