Maybe this won’t take up so much space since I’ve already covered the background.
The Cult of Oester is not the whole problem; Western Civilization also has the male counterpart that I call the Cult of Odin. As with Oester, the Odinite mess is not a matter of pure scholarship, but of recognizing how the influence works to promote evil. In effect, Odin is arrogant, cruel and capricious. It’s not just physical brutality, but a major component of Odin’s power is in psychological abuse. A primary manifestation is jerking people around by sending mixed messages, particularly with those who are, for whatever reason, the most dependent on you. In other words, it’s the ultimate cruelty in abusing those closest to you.
It is fashionable among the Red Pill, Men’s Movement, Pick-up Artists, etc., to promote a measured amount of this toying with women’s feelings as a normal manly trait. That’s Odin; it’s not Jesus. Granted, we have a lot of filthy blather from the Oesterites about Jesus defined as a Westernized “nice guy” who comes off like the ideal promoted by a feminist mythology. But He is neither the metrosexual nor the brutal Odinite. This image of Odin is the major hindrance to a genuine biblical image of God. People confuse Odin with Jehovah. Virtually the entire legacy of Western Christian theology and doctrine is deeply stained with the Germanic tribal mythology. Never mind the words of religious teaching; that’s just rhetoric. The underlying and pervasive image of God’s character is eclipsed by the image of Odin that is so deeply woven into the the subconscious expectations of Western society. Without a significant amount of work, Westerners cannot see God as He revealed Himself.
So we end up seeing that capricious arrogance and jerking people around in just about every institution of Western society. It’s not simply lauded as a good thing in real leadership; it’s considered a dire necessity. You won’t always find it consciously expressed, but it’s fundamental in the definitions of what’s normal. I can tell you that it’s very prominent in the military. Military leadership training has a strong element of verbal lore that is seldom written up in the literature, but it teaches men to be assholes. It also shows up in the corrections industry, where keeping prisoners compliant specifically requires keeping them confused with mixed messages and sudden inexplicable shifts in what the guards demand.
This kind of crap is also as old as the most ancient idolatry. You’ll find the roots of it in the worst mythology of Baal, for example. But the Bible specifically condemns this; it’s a condemnation to which Western Christians are largely blind. The godly shepherd is always forthright and answers questions honestly about future plans. He strives to be consistent and freely explains his reasoning, in part because he needs the wisdom of his advisers to detect inconsistencies. This is our striving as men to be like God, and it’s part of how we treat our wives first and foremost, as well as our general relations with the world. This is wholly consistent with the wisdom of keeping your mouth shut until the right moment to share. People have to be ready to hear, and we are obliged to discern it. But even when they carp and complain, we are still steady and non-reactive to their whining. We can’t allow ourselves to forget what it’s like to be dependent and what a torment it is.
You want to see the prison guards who never have to fight with the prisoners? That’s the guy who is consistent and honest with them, instead of spiteful and abusive. It’s the guard who refuses to participate in the head games of his associates; it’s the guard who remembers that prisoners are still humans. Same with the military leadership. The cult of tactical information security has become an institutionalized excuse for cruelty, and “need to know” is reduced to a head game. The calculus of what people need to be told when engaged in organized activity should not dehumanize. When you set out to elevate the people you work with, to empower them to choose the right thing, you have to be ready for them to choose the wrong. Real leadership isn’t taking the cheapest path to avoid resistance by misleading folks (notice the play between lead and mislead there).
Real leadership is handing them the nails to crucify you because you know how to trust God. It comes from investing enough energy and time in cultivating everyone’s better nature. That’s because it is “nature” — it’s part of Creation. It’s part of the fundamental reality as God designed it. Even the worst sinners will recognize the utility of cooperating with a shepherd. The best shepherd is prepared for the times when they don’t see it. Real men find that handling others in moral truth is its own reward.