HOA social dynamics and the loss of “freedom of mind”
Continued from Part 1
By: George K. Staropoli, March 18, 2019
The best explanation I’ve found, and reinforced after some 7 years, for this illogical mass conduct by HOA members can be found in my 2012 six-page paper re-titled as, HOA social dynamics and the loss of “freedom of mind.”[i] The following is my Conclusion.
In the Milgram[ii] and Stanford Prison[iii] Experiments researchers explored what evil men can and will do to others 1) under repeated pressure from authority figures to follow the rules, and 2) in an environment where one is expected to act in accordance to the roles of the community. The researchers found that basically good people will indeed do harm, even do severe harm, to others. The conditions and factors present in these experiments exist within the HOA community, and the harm being done to others in these HOAs is well documented in the media and in the courts.
The authoritarian insistence on enforcing complete obedience to the CC&RS, as repeatedly impressed on HOA boards by their attorneys, is well documented. The compliance by the directors and officers with these pressures for enforcement is well documented. The blind obedience, apathy, and passivity to authority by HOA members – the “prisoners” — who sign and agree to provisions blatantly detrimental to their interests, is well documented. The adoption of the roles demanded of them by the system and by the situation — state laws and the court opinions, the adhesion CC&Rs and governing documents, and the lack of effective recourse — is well documented.
The numerous “educational” seminars taught by the attorneys and managers, many of which are sponsored by state and local governments, serve not to fully inform but to indoctrinate the members into roles of obedience and passivity, is well documented. Good people doing bad things or remaining silent in the midst of wrongful acts and actions by the HOA is well documented.
State governments, the legislatures, cannot allow HOAs to continue to run amuck and to freely violate the laws and their contractual obligations without legitimate and necessary constraints holding them accountable for the harm that they do to others. BODs are getting a free ride from their state legislature.
State legislatures and town/city governments must stop supporting the propagandists responsible for creating this unhealthy attitude. They must immediately conduct a valid and independent vetting of the principal party that conducts their educational seminars and conferences that advance their misleading party line. A fully informed citizenry within HOA subdivisions is a necessity for democracy to function and protect individual rights and freedoms.
[ii] Obedience to Authority, Stanley Milgram, Harper Perennial (1720) (1983).
[iii] The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, Philip Zimbardo, Random House (2008). Made into a movie in 2015, The Stanford Prison Experiment.