In the case of obedience, we take our marching orders from people who are above us in the hierarchy, such as a teacher or parent. Many groups, such as cults, acquire their influence from a potent combination of both conformity and obedience. For example, I am writing this blog because my teacher told me I need to in order to get a good grade. Obedience can produce troubling consequences when people stop asking questions about why they're behaving as others want them to. During the Vietnam War, U.S. Lieutenant William Calley commanded a platoon of a division named Charlie Company that had encountered heavy arms fire for weeks. They entered a village of My Lai expecting to find a hideout for North Vietnamese soldiers. The platoon didn't find any enemy soldiers but were still instructed to shoot villagers. At the end they brutally murdered 500 innocent women and children. When asked, Calley said he was simply taking orders from his superiors and said he had no responsibility for the massacre. In turn, the soldiers in Calley's platoon claimed they were merely taking orders from Calley. Calley was convicted in 1971 of murder and sentenced to life in military prison, but President Nixon commuted his sentence. It amazes me what humans will do just to obey their superiors. Looks like people will go out of their way to kill innocent people just to please the people above them.
Video of Nixon & My Lai----> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHk4TGWx0ZM