JD Nobody has long been intrigued by the history over the last 200 years or so of the Cherokee Nation. That history has something in common with the vendetta against Oberlin’s Gibson’s Bakery even though the connection is not immediately apparent.
The Cherokee Death March (Trail of Tears)
President Andrew Jackson was ahead of his time because he had similar values to those of the “leadership” of Oberlin College today. Jackson’s infamous, presidentially ordered Cherokee Death March to Oklahoma was far more brutal physically than the bigoted bullying of Gibson’s Bakery has been. Rending the social fabric of communities is the common thread between the Cherokee Death March and the bigoted vendetta against Gibson’s Bakery. As nearly as one can tell, the biggest crime of the Cherokee Nation in Tennessee and North Carolina was becoming successful.
JD feels as qualified to don the mantle of a counterfeit Cherokee as is counterfeit Cherokee Princess Elizabeth Warren. JD, Princess Liz (aka Pocahontas), and all Cherokees are cousins due to being descended from the same apes. The real Pocahontas — who was not a Cherokee, Cousin Liz, and I are counterfeit because we have no discernible connection to the Cherokee Nation.
JD has an additional credential for being a counterfeit warrior. His primary computer has an option to replace its Latin alphabet keyboard with a Cherokee alphabet keyboard. The problem with that is JD does not know the Cherokee alphabet or the language it represents. This ignorance is not altogether bad, though, since it further establishes his counterfeit Cherokee credentials. There is nothing dishonest in being a counterfeit Cherokee warrior because it does not misrepresent the situation.
Having excellent counterfeit credentials is essential to spotting other counterfeit people because it takes one to know one. Oberlin College’s “leadership” contains a few of those people once one sees through them.
The dishonesty in marching the Cherokees to Oklahoma remind one of the leadership dishonesty at Oberlin College. That leadership has tried unsuccessfully to drive the Gibsons from their parking lot, which the College covets. Oberlin has been less brutal than Andrew Jackson, but the common thread of dishonesty remains in both situations.
Traditionally, the BOT and administration at most colleges contain people having some scholarly credentials. In recent years at Oberlin, this has been truer than ever before. Unfortunately, credentials that are not backed by integrity are functionally counterfeit even though the credentials themselves are sterling. Such credentials can be as worthless as the hot air that these pseudo-scholars emit.
Manipulating an organization’s mission
All organizations produce some combination of tangible or intangible products. The distinction between the two affects the degree and type of dishonest manipulation that can occur.
Every organization of any size is likely to have some people whose manipulative skills exceed their productive skills. These people usually cut an impressive image and snow many people in the organization. Here are a few conditions that provide fertile ground for the counterfeit:
Producing tangible widgets
A widget factory is at one end of the spectrum and offers little opportunity for misrepresenting the success of a day’s work. The number of widgets produced cannot be easily double-talked up or down, and the widgets either work, or they don’t.
Producing intangible education
An educational institution is at the other end of the spectrum because there is ample opportunity for manipulators to claim dubious successes and accuse co-workers of failure. The number of students who graduate is countable, but there is an almost infinite set of opportunities for questioning the education’s quality.
Measuring quality is often subjective and can be anywhere between excellent and terrible. It is a manipulator’s paradise in which a glib bull slinger can build up his work and ideas and tear down the people around him. This world is all about slickly obfuscating facts or demeaning inconvenient facts.
Loyalties: outsiders vs. insiders
An insider for our purposes is a person whose loyalties lie with the organization more than they lie elsewhere or with a personal agenda. This distinction is different from how long a person has been part of the organization. In the case of a business, an insider would be someone who owns enough stock in the company that the value of the stock is a more significant concern than is the person’s salary.
The nonprofit organization insider believes in the organization first and sees the job as a source of money second. There is a conflict of interest when an insider reports to an outsider who does not have the same loyalties. The boss wants a commitment to his little empire, so there is always the risk that an improperly committed insider-subordinate will become a whistleblower when the boss pulls a fast one. This dynamic provides a strong incentive for the outsider boss to hire only outsiders and drive insiders and their loyalties out of his domain.
Over time, the empire-building of outsiders works its way into ever greater sinecures of influence. Eventually, the organization becomes dysfunctional to the detriment of its primary mission. The emperors will build self-serving “companies within the company” or “universities within the university,” which serve the emperor’s interests first and the organization’s interests second.
Imagine a hospital with doctors and janitors who are co-equals that have to spend time placating empire builders. This dysfunctional hospital would have a medical care environment similar to the education environment at Oberlin College today.
Spotting the counterfeit people
Outsiders often portray themselves as “experts from afar,” which makes them more exotic than others around them. The truth is usually that these people were probably not viewed as experts in the place they came from, but were likely regarded as just the jerk next door with dandelions in his lawn.
Beaurocracies are bureaucracies regardless of the organizational mission in which they live. Eventually, the conniving outsiders will reduce insiders to impotence.
Now let’s take a look at the more common obfuscations that allow outsiders to achieve nearly-total organizational hegemony and build empires within empires.
The over credentialed obfuscator
An over credentialed obfuscator is usually an insecure person who is in over his head and will flaunt his credentials — sometimes with great subtlety. Look for prominently displayed diplomas, awards, or achievement certificates. A certain level of obfuscation and double talk will divert attention from the person’s shortcomings.
The motormouth obfuscator
Motormouth obfuscation is where Oberlin’s most enthusiastic PR spokespersons truly shine. The hallmark of a true motormouth is more than speaking faster than an auctioneer — it is a good strategy for a trial lawyer arguing a hopeless case. This strategy uses a large number of rapidly delivered words that say virtually nothing. The purpose of this delivery style is to unbalance an opponent by quickly switching from vacuous thought to vacuous thought faster than the listener can evaluate the flow of verbiage. With sufficient delivery speed, most listeners will not ask too many questions.
The polysyllabic obfuscator
A polysyllabic obfuscator snows his listener with big words that are not in common usage. Using obscure words is often effective because the listener doesn’t want to show his ignorance by asking what any of the terms mean. Polysyllabic obfuscation is particularly useful in combination with motor mouthing.
The screaming kid obfuscator
Screaming kid obfuscation is a particular case of obfuscating. It is either a kid trying to speak the truth while portrayed as too small to know better, or is a con artist who expects people will give him what he wants just to shut him up.
Carefully staged temper tantrums are a variant of the screaming kid that can be quite effective in organizational settings. Successful intimidation is part of well thought out empire-building strategies.
Counterfeit people in action
The members of the BOT all have impressive credentials, so let’s look at some possible explanations for how they dropped the ball so badly with Gibson’s Bakery:
- The BOT was not given critical facts
- The BOT was fed total lies about the situation
- The BOT was not told the whole truth about the situation
- The BOT did not believe what they were told
- The BOT was fully in control of a hidden agenda
These explanations can occur individually or in any combination. A good obfuscator/counterfeiter can juggle all these explanations with the smoothest artistry imaginable.
Counterfeit warriors at Oberlin College
The email below sent to Oberlin College president Marvin Krislov shows how tone-deaf the counterfeit warriors in the college leadership were in the TDS panic after the Gibson robbery:
Dan Brent letter re alumni gifts. This letter was evidence in the Gibson v Oberlin trial.
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The purpose of this blog is to tell the other side of the Gibson’s Bakery, OSCA, the Kosher-Halal Co-op, and UAW stories to Oberlin Alumni lest they believe the College’s heavily redacted and whitewashed version of events. Please tell your fellow Obies how our college has damaged its reputation, the worth of our degrees, the Gibsons, the college’s union workers, K-H, and the OSCA Co-op tradition. No pandemic, sleazy PR, or conflating of libel and slander with free speech can divert attention from the BOT’s negligence in these matters. Speak up and insist that the BOT arrest its compulsive, neo-Puritan righteousness, which has already eradicated either THOUSANDS of $36,000 scholarships or 225 Steinway concert grand pianos — just to wreck a tiny bakery, a cooperating union, K-H, and the OSCA Student Co-op!