Pounding the facts; pounding the witness; pounding the table
Here is a way to identify whether someone is a genuine shepherd or a hireling-cum-wolf. Ask yourself, “Is this person pounding the facts? Or are they just pounding the witness or pounding the table?”
This post is a recapitulation and coda to Part 3 of my series about Sheep, Shepherds and Wolves.
The questions in italics at the beginning of this post are derived from advice which is given to young trial lawyers / barristers:
When you have the facts, pound the facts.
If you don’t have the facts, pound the witness.
When you don’t have the facts and you can’t pound the witness, pound the table!
A common scenario in the church: When sheep are led by wolves, the sheep and wolves jointly pound a shepherd who comes forward to try to protect the sheep.
Shepherds pound the facts; the truth, in other words.
Wolves pound the witness. Hirelings pound the witness.
Occasionally, a wolf or a hireling-cum-wolf will have an isolated fact which he will pound on relentlessly, blowing it out of proportion in an attempt to shout down any attempt at context or mitigating facts.
Wolves will pound the table as a last resort. They use outright lies and irrelevancies to raise the level of fear, anger and confusion so that no one can think properly and see what they (the wolves) are doing. Attacks like “SHAME ON YOU! SHAME ON YOU!” or “HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU!” are table thumping and raising the emotions to lower thinking. Hirelings whose pride is pricked will resort to the same tactics as a last resort.
In this post have utilised ideas that James gave us ages ago in one of his comments on this blog. Thank you James.