Friday, May 16, 2014


"Gaslighting" is a term everyone should know and a movie everyone should see.

From Wikipedia:

"Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity. Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

"The term 'gaslighting' comes from the play Gas Light and its film adaptations. The term is now also used in clinical and research literature."

The article below was written by Sarah A. Hoyt and is from her blog.

"I normally don’t do two posts in a day, and I never do a post just to say 'go and watch this' — well, there’s a first time for every one.

"When people ask why I came out politically though it will (maybe has already) cost me readers I say 'so you know you’re not alone.' And also so that I don’t have to lie to myself, till I think I’m crazy. This might not seem important. But it is. To gaslight an entire society you have to get them to keep silent. You have to convince people that everyone sane believes what you do. Those other people? Oh, those are fringe voices, those are crazy and/or stupid. The good people are all with us.

"(And btw, every time I post against the left orthodoxy some idiot calls me 'stupid' — Eh.)

"I talk so you know you’re not alone.

"And I’ve told you before — before the elections 'You are being gaslighted' — the elections I maintain were part of it. (Yes, I know, some people get very upset, but forget the suppression of the tea-party, forget how hard they fight against voter ID and for unverifiable modes of voting like 'vote by mail,' I was there and I tell you it was impossible for as many people to have early voted and 'forgotten' it as supposedly did so. Impossible. And my precinct was low on that compared to others. Never mind 'there is no vote fraud' you were gaslighted, you’re being gaslighted.)

"Beyond the elections? Our economic numbers. The only way to know what is really going on in our economy is to read foreign newspapers — and discount their bias. The only way to know what is going on in our own country is to read foreign newspapers. Those same newspapers you used to laugh at for being left wing, now sound 'right wing' to us — because they’re outside the gaslighting play we’re trapped in. How is it possible that everyone you know is worse off, that everywhere you look economic activity is grinding to a halt, and yet you’re told we’re in a 'recovery'? You are being gaslighted.

"How is it possible that your new insurance is going to require you to sell off your place, get a cheaper one, that you can’t find your doctor anymore (just FINDING mine, who had to join a group to conform with new regulations was like a game of Where’s Waldo, and frankly, I HATE the new arrangements), that you’re being told your course of treatment is no longer available, etc, but you’re being told everyone 'loves' Obamacare? You are being gaslighted.

"The IRS? Just a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when we have emails from DC? Dear, you are being gaslighted. The bleeding wound in our national honor that is Benghazi? Just a protest? You are being gaslighted. (He left them to die alone, the coward.) The Ukraine? Most citizens want Russian rule? You are being gaslighted. The 'Arab Spring'? You are being gaslighted.

"The cure for what ails us, higher taxes? You are being gaslighted. Global warming, Climate change, Catastrophic weather event our most important crisis? The government can wish 'Green technology' from the ether? The poles are melting? You are being gaslighted.

"Israel is the problem in the middle East while surrounded by enemies? You are being gaslighted.

"The money we’re spending doesn’t matter, because we’re just printing it? And Wall Street is jus’ fine? You are being gaslighted.

"The first amendment is a 'collective right'? You are being gaslighted.

“'War on Women' is going on? Republican lawmakers want to ban contraception? Never happened (never could happen. What kind of supermajority do you think you’d need) but Gosnell and his house of horrors are what we pay to keep abortion 'safe' (is that safe?) You are being gaslighted.

"There’s too many humans in the world? You are being gaslighted.

"And suddenly our most important issue is inequality and all the party organs government supporting press is harping on it in the same words? Could it be because they know you feel pinched and they want you to direct your anger at the people who are better off (there is always someone who is better off, no matter by how little) not at the administration? Could it be that you’re being gaslighted?

"And people don’t gaslight you when what they intend for you is good or nice.

"This is why I speak. This is why all those of you who can must speak, and learn to read between the lines, too. You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone. If it seems to you the future never changes (it’s always ‘glorious’ and we’re always ‘going to come roaring out of this depression, recession, tepid recovery’ but the past keeps changing because it was a protest because of a movie, a terrorist attack and we always said so, what difference does it make anyway? And we’ve never had summer of recovery one and two and three and four, so you should totally believe us now. This time, this time, once the bad weather passes, we’ll have recovery. You are being gaslighted.)

"Go see this, now. You are being gaslighted. These are only the most obvious, verifiable incidents, and even in these, they’re telling you to believe the people in power and not your lying eyes.

"You are being gaslighted."


Questor said...

Not sure about this. I just skimmed her article, no disrespect but your writing I read more carefully. My doubt here is inflation of the term-- 'gaslighting' (GLG) is a good concept but it looks like Hoyt's all over the place and overusing, thus weakening, the term. She's into all manner of political du-jour topics here. Israel? Global warming?

GLG is deception via causing someone to doubt his or her own immediate perception and memory, that's my understanding of it. That's involved somewhat in issues like the ones she lists in a broad way, like misrepresenting history. But it does not refer to general moral perfidy, dishonest arguing, use of fallacies, etc.

GLG is a vicious and specific type of attack and deception, vile and brutal. It looks at a glance like she's slopped it all over everything that could broadly be called deception.

Festus Pineapple VIII said...

She confusing gaslighting and propangada. Real propaganda is a full-court press like what she is describing; it's ALL the gatekeepers of information enforcing the SAME message by more or less deliberate design (example: "diversity is our strength"), creating an alternate "reality" with a mirror interior, in which the victim is trapped; he thinks it's reality. Anything less than that isn't really propaganda, it's just advertising. But she's right to associate the malign nature of gaslighting and that of propaganda. Their purposes are similar.

As to her specific political positions, sheesh. The stuff on Israel and Ukraine shows she swallowed the neocon poison.