One of the most curious things we must all have noticed nowadays is that people will not accept a statement if it is made upon authority, but they will accept the same statement if it is made without any authority at all. If you say: "But you know it says in the Bible that palm-trees spread leprosy" (I hasten to add that it doesn't), most modern people will not only doubt it but dismiss it as some old Semitic superstition. But if you say, "Don't you know that palm-trees spread leprosy?" you will meet your most cultivated friends ostentatiously avoiding palm-trees for months afterwards.
If you say, "The Pope tells us that walking on our heels will promote virtue," your hearers will only regard it as another extravagance of a dying asceticism. But if you say, without any authority at all, "Virtue, you know, can be promoted by walking on the heels," you will detect numbers of your fashionable acquaintances making the attempt: those of them, I mean, who are in pursuit of virtue [...] This is owing to the great tyranny of our time, which is the tyranny of suggestion. There never was an age so critical about authority. But there never was an age so entirely uncritical about anything without authority.
-Hearst's International, volume 24 (1913)