It's like when, in those years before the Reformation, a few brave seekers of truth printed and distributed Bibles in the vernacular, so that the people might read and judge for themselves rather than mutely accept the possibly jaundiced interpretations of their supposed betters - betters who stood to gain much from retaining the status quo.
The very name WikiLeaks reflects their brutal straightforwardness. They're completely upfront that the operation is about leaks and plenty of them.
It's a classic case of doing what it says on the tin.
In short, it's getting harder and harder for people, especially those in public life, to be unkind, deceitful, irresponsible or greedy.
People used to behave well because they thought God was watching. Now the secular world has come up with its own hidden observers.
The enigmatic elite, behind their smoke and mirrors, never pay homage to an intrusive truth. They rail at it and seek angry retribution. Let's face it, international diplomacy is just a type of lying. It's ridiculous that extremely important relationships between countries are conducted like a schoolyard romance - the fear of being oneself, the worry they'll dump you on the basis of a trifling misunderstanding and the terrible anxiety about what your friends think. If diplomats and statesmen refuse to embrace honesty, it's time that it was roughly imposed upon them.
It's true that the dispersal of significant information is a dangerous business, but isn't it time that, like those 16th-century reformers, we stopped letting a secretive elite decide what's good for us? WikiLeaks is scary. That which brings liberation can also bring bloodshed but, at the moment, I trust their motives slightly more than I trust those of any government.
WikiLeaks's aim is to illuminate, with a secondary recreational desire to embarrass. The aims of the world's governments are considerably less apparent - but not for much longer.
The truth has been released from captivity and is running wild and free. Our fear of its sharp teeth competes with our desire to look it straight in the eye.