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Small and Local Secret Societies?

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posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:14 AM
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When we talk about Secret Societies, usually the first thing that jumps to mind are large, established groups... the Freemasons, or the Knights of Columbus, or perhaps one of the churches.

But what about smaller societies... a couple guys that meet around a poker table, drinking scotch and smoking cigars, and making conspiratorial arrangements that affect the local town or city?

Around here, I've heard of affiliations of business owners that can 'blackball' a person that crosses one of them, meaning the victim has trouble getting a future job in that industry.

Have any of you encountered smaller conspiratorial secret societies, like that?




posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:32 AM
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I have lived In many small villages and towns in the American Southwest and I can attest to the fact that nepotism is a fact of life. If you are a member of the correct family, jobs and positions, such as the school board or town council are readily available to you. I guess this is a form of conspiracy, to keep power in the hands of a favored group.

I also feel that if you were able to investigate groups of golfers [country club] from the business community, you would see deals cut, and all sorts of conspiracies hatched, both professionally and personality wise.

This kind of activity takes place in every type of social situations where cliques are involved, regardless of social standing, from the trailer parks to the gated communities.

Humans are basiclly still tribal in many ways.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 02:50 AM
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So why don't people cry out about this sort of thing? Why are all the discussions about larger groups?



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 09:36 AM
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In my current hometown there is also a secret society that conspires to rule the city, they're called The Chamber of Commerce.. and they're are damn near ruining the city in an attempt to line their pockets.

but first alittle backstory, I live on a small island in the florida gulf coast (no it isnt one of the keyes), I have the privlige of living here though i would be hardpressed to be able to buy a home here. it is a tourist town and alot of money comes through here, the cost of the avarage home on this island is 500k to 1million and it costs about 250 a night for a hotel room during the tourist season,.. it's the kind of place where you can get rich quick if you know how.. and thats just what the chamber has planned.
they have all but bought off the city counsel and have spent the last 10 years insuring that the city counsel always votes for foolish projects that will cost the tax payers money and puts it into the pockets of the chamber members.. they have affected zoning votes, sewage and city maintenance votes, all of which would have been in the city and the people's best intrest to be voted the other way.. but instead their bought and paid for city counsel voted in the intrests of the chamber.. leaving the city and the people suffering for it.



Now that having been said, my friends and i have often joked about starting a secret society.. but without any purpose for such a thing it usually just passes with a chuckle



posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 01:50 AM
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Originally posted by Becon of Light
they have all but bought off the city counsel and have spent the last 10 years insuring that the city counsel always votes for foolish projects that will cost the tax payers money and puts it into the pockets of the chamber members.


How does money get from the taxpayers to the CoC member's pockets?

If the taxpayers know of this, and are unhappy, why aren't the Council members brought up on charges, or simply voted out of office?



posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 10:11 PM
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if I had that kind of information about some of my towns elected officials, i would not stand idley by. take action and stop the corruption. if you have proof it should be easy to notify the people above the CoC and have something done.

[edit on 9-9-2006 by rotarychris7]



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 01:59 AM
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Originally posted by Hobbes

Originally posted by Becon of Light
they have all but bought off the city counsel and have spent the last 10 years insuring that the city counsel always votes for foolish projects that will cost the tax payers money and puts it into the pockets of the chamber members.


How does money get from the taxpayers to the CoC member's pockets?

If the taxpayers know of this, and are unhappy, why aren't the Council members brought up on charges, or simply voted out of office?


They buy votes to get elected. They "buy" in by "donating" to the City

They also have "arranged" bidding for funding contracts for City maintanance projects.

As for other smalltown conspiracies, they are usually part of a bigger group anyways, but you wouldn't really know about it.


[edit on 11-9-2006 by violet]



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 02:05 AM
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Sorry double post

As for having proof, if you are in a position to know this proof, most likely you are on the recieving end of extra cash flow, so you wouldn;t say anything then !


[edit on 11-9-2006 by violet]



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 04:22 AM
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I'm going to play Devil's Advocate, for a second:


Originally posted by violet
They buy votes to get elected.


Ok, so there are non-participants that know definitively that corruption is going on... why haven't any of them come forward, if things are so bad for everyone?

Surely there must be someone that was 'approached' and said 'no'. Why haven't they come forward and claimed election fraud?

Is it possible that someone is saying "I don't like Bush. I didn't vote for Bush. I can't see how anyone would vote for Bush. Therefore, he must have bought his way in, because obviously no one would naturally vote for him"?



They "buy" in by "donating" to the City


I don't follow you... someone is buying votes through charitable works? Please elaborate...



They also have "arranged" bidding for funding contracts for City maintanance projects.


Don't most municipal contracts work that way? They publically call for bids, and award the contract to the lowest bidder?



As for other smalltown conspiracies, they are usually part of a bigger group anyways, but you wouldn't really know about it.


Is it possible that these 'small-cell big group conspiracies' just don't exist?



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by violet
As for having proof, if you are in a position to know this proof, most likely you are on the recieving end of extra cash flow, so you wouldn;t say anything then !


So, if it's unlikely that anyone on the 'outside' could be aware of the corruption (at least enough so to have some evidence), where do the initial claims come from?

Is it just fantasy?



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 04:35 PM
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The key position for small town corruption will be the elected office of "county comissioner" or it's equivalent in your state. The county commission represents the county precincts (or your local equivalent). They provide govt services outside the city limits.

#1. First you must get elected. That's the tricky part, with incumbency rates near 95%, you'll have to consult the appendix A for ideas in that regard . . .

Once elected you must
a) Join the largest church in town
b) Join the most expensive country club or private supper club, etc.
c) Join any farmer's co-op available.
d) Buy as big a farm as you can in your precinct. Important: make SURE you are also buying the mineral rights.

Now. The comissioner is not paid, and cannot profit from his position. His job is to maintain county roads and other services in his jurisdiction, from the county budget.

Who votes on the county budget? Well, you do; plus the other comissioners. And how much will you get? Will it be based on population, or miles of county road? No, it'll be based on whatever understanding you come to with the other comissioners.

Let's Begin.

#2. A county facility on your farm property.
Your precinct already probably owns some road graders, gravel trucks, etc., to fix roads. And it's a waste of diesel to drive them all back to the county yard at night. So you make a motion, in the commissioner's meeting, to build a storage yard in your precinct. You'll need some fence, concertina wire, gates, etc. And you're willing to donate the land . . . trust me, your motion will pass unanymously.


#3 Find some road-building materials on your property.

gravel, marl, sand, clay caliche, and even mere fill-dirt to mix with the other stuff. All of it is required for road maintainence, especially on dirt roads, which most of rural america has. Now, the main cost for these materials is freight, so you can "save the county money" buy purchasing locally. And, as is your patriotic duty, you are now willing to provide the materials to the county, "near" cost. Plus a slight markup. The other commissioners can tell you what percent to charge. Your motion will probably pass unanimously.


#4. Storage for the county, and fuel sales.

Out at your gravel pit, the city uses its bulldozers to fill its trucks. It would be senseless to drive each vehicle all the way to town to fill up on diesel. So, they need another equipment yard on site, and a fueling tank. You'll need electricity to run the diesel pump and meter, so the county will pay to have electrical lines strung across your property. Even though you'll have to pay for your own farm's electricity, the main cost of rural electricity is having the lines strung. But you've just gotten your farm electrified at county expense, probably around 20-50 thousand bucks or so. And once the poles are erected, they're permanent. So, even if you lose an election (unlikely), you're farm has just been improved by a serious amount of county cash. You can expect this motion to pass unanymously, as long as you vote for the motions the othe commissioners make.

Don't be stingy with the keys to your fuel pump. you want every county employee filling up at your pump. The county is footing the bill, after all. And your pump only reads gallons, not the dollar amount. The price is whatever bill you send in to the county treasurer. It just so happens that every county vehicle must have been filled that third week of july, when prices spiked. Amazing what diesel costs, out in the middle of nowhere. But the taxpayers don't seem to care . . . The other commissioners can quote you the 'reasonable' rate in your area.

Here's where it gets fun.

#5 Low level patronage

Your dump-trucks, graders and mowers will have to be driven by someone. Probably, a lot of small-time farmers, your neighbors, will apply for jobs. They want part-time work, for the winter when they aren't farming. Try to hire workers from large families, with lots of grateful, registered voters. Sure, Hoyt isn't very smart, and can hardly paint a straight lane-stripe down a road; but he's got seven sisters, and 21 nieces and nephews, and all of 'em go to your church. More importantly, they vote in your precinct.

You'll probably have 6 or 7 full-time positions to fill. Choose carefully. The younger brother or son of the owner of the local fuel-supply company is a great choice. So is the near relative of a school board member. That way, you get to name the high-school football coach, and your daughter automatically grows up to be prom queen, despite her unfortunate bone structure . . . oh yeah, you never face a serious campaign rival, either.

#6 High-level patronage.

About a year before the next election, make a motion that your county start an "economic development office." Vote some money to pay a person to write up grant proposals for your county, and to encourage business and tourism for your county.
Now, the comissioners get to decide who will be hired to fill this post. Let's see, will it be the spinster librarian, or the High School English teacher, both of whom have graduate degrees? Hell no, let's give it to the banker's wife; we all want good farm loans next year. Or how about that young fellow at church who's thinking of running against you next year? He'll be so busy on business trips to "development converences" in the big city that folks around here won't even remember who he is. Or maybe the wife of the local newspaper man, the one who's been digging up a lot of local dirt. Maybe he'll be nicer if you're the one voting on his wife's paycheck. Yeah, sure. She's got nice legs, too.

#7 Expand your power base.
Pick some other offices that will keep your name in the public eye, but not in a contentious way. Become a deacon in your church. Serve on the library board. Become active at the Country Club. Maybe start a philanthropic foundation, like a scholarship fund for "needy" college students.

Be sure and channel all the business you can to the vendors who serve your precinct. Try to get the county to buy all it's diesel from your provider, use the engineering firm you hire, etc. Businessmen understand gratitude. And they'll be extremely grateful. And if local, their employees will vote---especially if they get election day off, and the boss's wife happens to be the local election judge and will know whether (and probably for whom) they vote. . . .



And just look at you now. You're an ethical politician; a watch-dog of the people's trust. And if you ever get audited, you can show your books to the world with a straight face. You've never taken a bribe, or stolen anything; every penny of reimbursement is a matter of public record, voted on in the comissioners' court, and noted by the county clerk. Nice job.

.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 04:58 PM
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Wow , Doc - nice work. Didn't think naybody here had the guts or moxy to lay it out like that. The ugly truth is that this is the way it is in towns and cities acroos the country and much of the 'free' world...



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 09:31 PM
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As a local elected official, most of your job is to oversee construction and maintenance project. To give everything a veneer of legitimacy, a bidding system is used.

The legal term to watch out for is "procurement fraud."

Supposedly, a government office, like a county road and bridge department, will list all the work it needs done on a project, and competing contractors are supposed to send in sealed bids. The elected official throws a big party, at which the envelopes are opened, and the winner is announced, almost like an award show on TV. The lowest bid is supposed to win.

The way you corrupt this is by screwing with the bidding process, and handing out projects as you see fit. Because there is sometimes big money involved, competing contractors may try to muscle in on your operation, and various media may try to perform an exposee of the bidding process.

Most taxpayers assume that bid-rigging takes place by peeking in the envelopes, and telling ones buddies what the amounts are beforehand. Such amateurish tricks almost never work; but perhaps you can frame a rival, by making it look like he's helping a rival contractor this way.

Here's how the classic deal is run:

If you have some relatives with a different last name, or people you otherwise trust to keep you out of prison, they can help you, by creating a construction company. For everyone else, use a lawyer. You can always trust a lawyer to lie for you, since if it is ever proved that he was involved in a criminal enterprise, he gets disbarred and his career is over, even if he is never convicted. So he will always lie for you, to keep his career afloat.

Best is to set up two construction companies; one in a different state, as well as one that serves your precinct. If you have friends in the business, you can cut deals with two existing companies, but only if you know them well enough to go into crime with 'em. Here are the scams:

Screw the contract - You publish a request for bids, and different companies turn in valid bids. If your confederate is not the low bid, then you have a "last minute change" in the contract specifications, along with a ridiculous deadline (5 days) to resubmit final bids. While the other contractors are reeling, trying to recalculate all their costs, your confederate turns in a previously prepared bid, that miraculously meets the new guidelines. As the only timely bid, he's the new winner.

Inflate the contract - Say you need 10 miles of road paved. The specs you turn list the road as 12 miles long. Amazingly your confederate's bid is a whopping 17% below the valid offers. He wins the contract, and still makes a profit, because he knew to order less materials than the rivals would need. This is the best method, and can be repeated for years without even other contractors noticing the deal. The varieties are endless. A favorite is to request more culverts per mile than are actually needed. Only "your" contractor knows the true footage of drain pipe to order, and so he can turn in a lower, but profitable, bid.

Poison the contract - This is how you get rid of rival contractors. You take bids on road work, on a stretch of road that you secretly know has special drainage problems. But you don't publish the problems in the offer. The contract is written in terms of finished project, and not in terms of process; meaning that the contractor is responsible for all cost over-runs. Your rival wins, and goes broke having to cover the extra costs out of his pocket. Using the Culvert example, you request too few feet of drainpipe per mile, and the "winner" has to donate the extra footage to your precinct, out of his own pockets.

bid rotation - your two companies divide all the coming work in your precinct between them. Company A turns in the low bid on half the projects, and Company B turns in the low bids on the other half. This elbows out any competition.

Defective Materials - Your company turns in a lower bid than everyone else, and then substitutes a material cheaper than was specified in the contract. This is a classic where I live. The paving contract is for 25 miles of asphalt using #4 gravel. But the contractor builds using #5, a cheaper (larger) grade in his pricing, but puts the same "#4" on his bid as everyone else. He pockets the difference, which can be over a thousand dollars a mile. After people complain about excessive tire wear and road noise, you get the go-head from the county to tear up the road, and lay it right this time. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Ghost Bonds This is where the big money comes from. "Your" contractor turns in a cheaper bid, because his bond is 25% less than his rivals. The difference can be tens of thousands of bucks. When asked, he can point to the fact that he also works in the neighboring state, and he's bonded from there, where it’s a lot cheaper to get construction insurance. If anyone actually checked, they'd find out that his bonding company is a letter drop and a phone answering machine located across the state line. From about 1980 until the mid 1990's, most low-bid road contracts in Texas turned out to have been issued by non-existent Arkansas companies. As long as your contractor is never sued, you simply deposit the money intended to for the bonding company into an offshore account, less a few thousand bucks gratuity to your friend in the neighboring state.

Your biggest problem as an elected official is how to get the all the money (from your friends in the contracting business) into your banks. They can give out scholarships to your college-age children, or to your local charity, run by your wife. Or you can invest in the same company as the owner of the corporation does, but you get extra "dividends" every quarter.

Hillary's system was creative: your broker opens two accounts for you; all your winning investments go into account "A," while your losers go into account "B," which the broker claims was his all along. That's how Hillary cleared $180,000 speculating in cattle futures, her broker took the losing bids, and balanced the books against all the money he owed Governor Clinton in kick-backs. Banks and brokerages are just the thing for that kind of a money.

Local government is the easiest place to defraud, often for decades. As long as you are in a county where one political party is "the" local power, you get re-elected cycle after cycle, and no questions asked. I mean, admit it; when you vote, you choose your political party's candidate for water comissioner, without even knowing what he does. Of course by now you can guess: he writes the contracts and takes bids from various contractors on the public water supply . . .

The reason that local politics is safer is simple: the only real oversight is from media scrutiny. And to be honest, local media are not exactly at the top of their game anymore when it comes to investigative journalism. A journalism degree is in the liberal arts---most of them have no real idea of how to read a spread sheet, let alone how many potential gallons are in an acre-foot of drainage, or what the real redundancy factor needs to be in a french drain on a 4% grade in a wetland that drains under a highway easement. And if a journalist cannot figure it out, odds are a jury of your peers wont, either.

Your only real liability is from people under you, betraying your patronage. So choose your henchmen wisely, and you'll do great. Don't write anything down, and be sure to follow Ronald Reagan's dictum: always reward your friends---always punish your enemies.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 06:56 PM
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2 instances of small-time secret societies in my life.

My recently graduated Bachelor's University (The George Washington University) has a secret society called The Order of the Hippo (GWU's unofficial mascot is the Hippo....don't ask) and was supposedly founded by the current President Stephen Trachtenberg. No one knows all that much about them but many will see the high ranking officials of the university and the big deal's of the student body all leaving one campus building at night every month. Our student Newspaper "The Hatchet" tried to get some more info and noone was talking.

I don't know if this qualifies, but after "Fight Club" came out while I was in highschool, myself and 20 or so other upperclassmen started our own Fight Club (lame I know, but I still have a few scars to prove it) and from what I hear it still is the big secret at my high school and for 6 years male upperclassmen have been trying their best to find their way in. Kind of the corporeal version of The Skull and Bones.



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 10:07 AM
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Did the "Fight Club" do anything besides fight? Did they ever meet for other purposes, or help each other get jobs or anything?

The "Order of the Hippo" definitely sounds interesting. But as far as political influence goes, I bet it'd be pretty rare for a couple of Hippos to meet, years later, and helped each other financially or something.



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 02:47 AM
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Originally posted by Hobbes
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate, for a second:


Originally posted by violet
They buy votes to get elected.


Ok, so there are non-participants that know definitively that corruption is going on... why haven't any of them come forward, if things are so bad for everyone?

Surely there must be someone that was 'approached' and said 'no'. Why haven't they come forward and claimed election fraud?

Is it possible that someone is saying "I don't like Bush. I didn't vote for Bush. I can't see how anyone would vote for Bush. Therefore, he must have bought his way in, because obviously no one would naturally vote for him"?



They "buy" in by "donating" to the City


I don't follow you... someone is buying votes through charitable works? Please elaborate...



They also have "arranged" bidding for funding contracts for City maintanance projects.


Don't most municipal contracts work that way? They publically call for bids, and award the contract to the lowest bidder?



As for other smalltown conspiracies, they are usually part of a bigger group anyways, but you wouldn't really know about it.


Is it possible that these 'small-cell big group conspiracies' just don't exist?


I was mainly answering to the small town or City politics.

Yes people say "no". But you have to understand the way they "ask" isn't in a demanding kind of way. It's more like Bob the builder donated 10 grand to the city, and Joe the Jewleler gave 9 grand, and maybe you could give 15 grand this year, and this will assure you get voted "whatever" of the year, for example. Now they all may get this promise of winning, but when they didn't afterall, they more than likely don't want to look a fool and tell they donated and got scammed ! This is the same concept as to why the elderly are scammed by fly by night home repairmen, the old woman will not tell her son she lost this money, out of embarassment. Scammers know this.

As for the bidding for contracts. Say you have a road that needs repair work done. Company A , and B and C and D submit their bids. Company C had the lowest bid, and gets the contract. But the low bid is still a high bid ! Because the others may have purposely submitted higher bids, with the plan for C to have got it all along. OR the person in charge of reviewing the bids gives you a heads up on the dollar amount. this person may be pocketing some ectra cash on the sly, or simply arranging special favours in the future. Or when the losing companies estimated the cost, they have to take into account the cost of suppllies, and the main supplier will jack up the cost to make those companies HAVE to bid higher. There are so many crooked ways and motives involved. Meanwhile the local taxpayers have paid way over for thei work to be done.

How it plays into the bigger game is the main suppliers are controlled by very large companies, who have smaller firms in small towns under psuedo names. They decide who works where, and what jobs they will 'let go" under the Monopolization Act. They can't take it all !



posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 03:52 AM
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I don't know how roadworks operate in America. I am using Canadian examples.

The supllies for roads, apart from Dump Trucks, graders, rollers amd labourers etc, are mainly Fuel, asphalt and gravel. Oil is used to make the asphalt. The trucking cost isn't as expensive, maybe $45 an hour for a driver to drive your truck, or $65 an hour for a driver with truck.

The Oil companies, are affilaited with the big Aggregate firms, LaFarge is the largest Aggregate and concrete supliers in the world. Lafarge, during the Gulf War had Hilary Clinton and Bush Sr on the Board of Directors. If you are a smaller firm, they will make it so you cannot succeed, by hiking up the cost of Oil and asphalt and gravel. They and their silent partners own or are controlling alot of Gravel Pits. You can't pave a road without gravel unless it is a recap.

They will warn you not to work in their territory. If you press on, not heeding their warning, then they offer to buy you out, if they haven't already bankrupted you. They can arrange for you to be breaking all kinds of ByLaws, thus sabbatauging your work and reputation. They also arrange for you to be audtited. And suddenly you owe over $200, 000 in taxes.

If you had hired most of your family as part of your crew, they will atempt to have them sign contracts that they cannot open a new company.



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Did the "Fight Club" do anything besides fight? Did they ever meet for other purposes, or help each other get jobs or anything?

The "Order of the Hippo" definitely sounds interesting. But as far as political influence goes, I bet it'd be pretty rare for a couple of Hippos to meet, years later, and helped each other financially or something.




Obviously because it was High School their was not much potential benefit, other than acting as the "A-list" of the upper-classmen. So basically no benefit other than a good social scene when you came home on holidays to visit.

The Order of the Hippo on the other hand definitely provides some benefits. George Washington ranked in many surveys as the most "politically active" university in the United States. The whose who of our University undoubtedly watch each others backs, ranging from Colin Powell to Alec Balwdin we have the alumni base. Even in my small case, the University President (supposed founder of The Order) is a Brother of my Masonic Blue Lodge and it seems to me so far has helped my fledgling adult career.



posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 01:02 AM
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Actually stories told to me by legionaires (ex war vets), indicate a lot of similarity with secret societies too. There is a pecking order of rank, grades and memberships. There is regalia and events and even rituals. They seem to invite people with connections and the organization promotes connections within. I've heard lots of stories of skullduggery going on not just within the halls but involving outsiders.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 12:42 PM
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I am sure a lot of us have worked in a company before where it seemed that the only people who get promoted are the cousins/nephew/uncles/best friends of the upper management. Someplace where qualifications and merit bearing on who got a raise, etc. I think its natural to help out your family and buddies but it definately becomes unfair when done in the workplace.



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