The poem's title "soul stealers"
expresses the idea that that your soul can be stolen. Once you
allow someone to cajole you with logical fallacies that you cannot
quite comprehend, but still know down deep that you may be right
- even though their words convince you otherwise. If at this point
of feeling you bend and voluntarily acquiesce to their manipulation
then you are going against your own inner feeling of self respect
and thus have given them your soul.
Soul Stealers is a composite of my experience
as a volunteer on boards of directors. Volunteer boards are rarely
based upon democratic management styles which encourage free expression
of opinions unchallenged by the use of put downs intended to support
a personal bias at the expence of well thought out ideas. It is
normal for these boards to be ruled by an autocratic chairman
To sustain this type of management style
requires other volunteer participants to assume a subservient
position and defer all creative thinking to the official leader
and those who's view the leader considers acceptable. This then
becomes the typical benevolent autocracy with the leader sowing
favor on a few.
The group continues to bumble on as long
as they do not require interaction with the outside world in the
form of new members from radically different cultural experiences.
As the group ages new members become a
problem. But the benevolent autocracy prevents rapid integration
of new members into the power group.
As a result of this rigidity many volunteer
organizations teeter on the edge of a slow painful death for many
years. Yet they continue holding fast to their symbiotic relationships
between dominant and subordinate personallity types.
This poem expresses the relationship between
a power group composed of your usual benevolent autocrats; passive
aggressives and door matt types. They attempt to cajole through
management by intimidation techniques any new member bringing
in new ideas. New members who show independence must learn their
In the end they fail to absorb new rebellious
independent thinkers and must look again to find someone more
willing to conform.
The poem ends by painting a portrait of kind sensitive people
successfully masking their ugly souls from themselves and others.