They met in the shadows as they always do, in the hidden chambers of forgotten caves. They whispered the secret words of greeting appropriate to their clandestine concave, secret words carefully guarded from public exposure. And, having acknowledged one another in the manner prescribed by the honorable elders, they pulled back the hoods of their heavy, woolen cloaks. But even uncovered, their faces were still obscured by the shadows of the underground Star Chamber. Secret tribunals and shadow governments can always be found under the same stones. Then they said, “Come! let us device a plot against him, and come! let us strike at him with our tongue, wound him with our words. We will use slander and libel against him, and then we shall no longer have to endure with him; we will not have to listen to all his wasted words.
“We will utilize public humiliation and oft repeated, malicious lies; we will isolate him from resources and from his comrades. Let us threaten him with termination for even minor faults. Let us set impossible goals so that we may mock his inevitable failure. If he should approach something like success, we will sabotage his work. And if he should (though we trust he will not) find victory in some small thing, we will be there to claim the credit and the reward for ourselves.”
This is how you destroy a prophet; this is how you break his spirit.
Dig a pit for him to fall into. Let it be a slime filled pit from which he cannot escape, with mud and mire for his feet. Ready a stone to roll down and crush him. Destruction will fall upon him. Fleeing the terror on every side, he will fall into the pit; even if he could climb up, he would be caught in our hidden snares. We’ve spread our nets to capture him. Like an ox to the slaughter, like a deer in the noose, or a bright little bird darting into the snare, he is waiting (without knowing) the arrow that will pierce his heart.
This is how you break a prophet; this is how you destroy his spirit.
(Jeremiah 18: 18)