To be picked as an exec, and to STAY an exec, you had to give your seniors what they wanted. The ones who survived as execs were the ones who could make themselves operate with complete ruthlessness towards staff and public, if that's what it took to get the results which made their seniors happy. Keep in mind, also, that being ruthless whip-wielders was something that was demanded all the way up to LRH's level. LRH openly expressed contempt, in HCOPLs, towards execs who were "worker oriented". To be accused of being "worker oriented"(being more concerned with the welfare of your juniors than with getting the stat) was a kiss of death to a manager in Scn. Many thus would feel they had to go out of their way to demonstrate they were not "worker oriented".
A toxic environment produces toxic behavior. Removal from the environment can revert the behavior.
As an extreme example, I've known several wonderful guys, great to hang out with, warm and sensitive. They also have each killed multiple people without hesitation. They were in the military at the time, so it was all fine. You do what you have to do to survive.
I agree. There's no way Debbie could have stayed on as CO FSO as long as she did without being...pretty much what the OP said.
Whether that behavior went totally against her nature or not...I really don't know. I met her once when she was still a NOTs auditor and she seemed nice to me. But I didn't know her very well.
There are several women who were high up execs in the SO who are now out that kind of fit this description. They were total ruthless bitches when they were in. Were responsible for the same kinds of things as Debbie Cook - and more.
Now that they're out, they're on Facebook and post pictures of themselves frolicking with their grandchildren on the beach or painting pictures in Sweden with puppy images as their avatar.
Whether they look back on what they did with regret or they have it totally rationalized as doing what they needed to do and it wasn't really their fault...I don't know.
I'm past the point of feeling like I need to judge them.
Everyone has to live with themselves.
I have my own demons to deal with. Let them deal with theirs.