Society expects its leaders to keep their agendas transparent and in line with the agenda of the groups and people that they represent, however, this is rarely the case. Those in power often have agendas of their own that aren’t in line with the public’s limited expectations of them, and for this reason they may choose to keep these agendas hidden. Of all the patterns this one may be the most pervasive and potentially destructive.
How it Works
Hidden agendas work by keeping certain information secret and misrepresenting the true motives behind an action. It can sometimes use the ability to distort history to be in line with whatever agenda is being propagated. It is very important to shut down any vocal opposition or questions about the possible reality of the hidden agenda, if such an opposition arises. It often relies on the societal apathy of the people who may be affected by this hidden agenda and their ability to be distracted by other things that may demand their attention.
If the hidden agenda gets out, it can disenfranchise citizens and fuels their disrespect and distrust for those in charge. Once trust is broken, the people may begin to look for more evidence of lies and distrust can snowball. Hidden agendas cannot represent the people’s best interest if they have no say (as they've been kept in the dark) and overtime can lead to civil disobedience and social unrest.
An example could be the motives of the 2002 US/Iraq war It was said that this war was a war on terror as officials in the US government implicated Saddam Hussein being involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11th, or 2001. These implications were questioned by skeptics and have been denounced by various groups and multiple official investigations into them, including the US select senate committee on Intelligence. Top officials from both sides of the aisle later came out and indicated that the war was for the protection of oil assets, not the spread of democracy and freedom.
- Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, "Bush Overstated Iraq Evidence, Senators Report," New York Times (6 June 2008).
- http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/top-republican-leaders-say-iraq-war-was-really-for-oil.html , retrieved Feb 2nd, 2014