Debate Tuesday - The Orator and his Audience

Who is to blame when bad things happen?

...Oratory exists above the ordinary; it is prepared with passion, infused with creativity, and masterfully crafted to offer a sublime experience. Read more on Oratory...

So we had some friends over during the weekend and this discussion cropped up.  One guy regaled us with anecdotes of competitions at a Toastmaster's conference and how those with good oratory skills - which according to all indices boils down to arousing emotion in your audience - won. The discussion led to other orators past and present, including Martin Luther King, Obama, and some of the pastors in Nigeria. It is no secret that the latter, most especially, Adeboye, Oyedepo, Oyakhilome, TB Joshua and Adefarasin, control millions of people in the country, maybe even up to half of the Christian population.  I was not happy about how these pastors misuse their power for personal gain, are unaware of their clout or simply ignore how they can use it for social gains for the whole country.Anyway, that is a topic for another day.

Today, I want us to talk about another part of the discussion. It is obvious that by it's very use, oratory or simply the gift of the gab, can be used for bad too. So when things go bad, who is to blame? The good speaker or the people who bought what he was selling? Some examples;

Hitler used his so-called sweet tongue to get most of the Germans to support him during World War 2 and the persecution of the Jews.

Rev. King, a self-styled Nigerian pastor used his charisma to do terrible things to his church members, including murder, rape and fraud, etc.

Jim Jones, an American preacher some decades ago, convinced all his members to move to a different country and while in the jungle, he led them to commit mass suicide.

Ade Demi, a fictitious person, convinced 5 women he was in love with them simultaneously. Not only did he leave 3 of them with babies and/or pregnancies, he also swindled all of them of their life savings. He is yet to be found by the British police.

What say ye? The orator or his audience?

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