WFMU has an amazing post on their blog about Stanley Milgram's Obedience experiment in which subjects were tested to see how they responded to an authority figure asking them to torture another human being. There's even a documentary! Though I think they unfairly slag Peter Gabriel, it's a must read.
I find myself often thinking of this little experiment when confronted by authority figures in my own life. I talk a pretty good game when I'm just chatting with friends or talking to my lady, but in the midst of the confrontation, I tend to be less strong. I've been pretty well conditioned, I have. I would have to say that the point of most initiation is to come face to face with one's conditioning, and by so doing, learn to overcome it. I hope I shall arrive soon.