All the women and children and some of the men are in Tier 3. Women in Fundamentalism will never leave Tier 3. Ever.
In my research for my latest book, I was always intrigued by how every event centered around some kind of “lovely repast” with women in the background making mounds of fried chicken, basket loads of biscuits, and bunches of pies. The women are always there, but silent and busy.
Psychologists might call Tier 3: Worker Bees the “enablers.” And that fits.
I recently had a long and interesting phone conversation with a woman who grew up in the Billy James Hargis circle in Tulsa in the 60s and 70s. As she was describing her Dad’s involvement, I thought of Tier 3. This man was naive about the sinister nature of Hargis’s politics and actions. He truly believed that Communism was a threat to America. He believed that all good Americans had to fight off the Red Menace, and his earnestness gave Hargis the permission structure for his abuse. That man would never rise in the hierarchy nor did he really want to. He was happy being a worker bee.
And Hargis needed him right where he was to make him look legit.
Perhaps that’s why there are men in Tier 3.