Many of us have probably heard of gaslighting. In this article, we will explore what is behind this concept and why it is so destructive, disturbing, and toxic.
Origins and definition
Gaslighting is a term used in psychology and common speech that refers to manipulation whose purpose is to create doubt in a person or a group of people. It includes but is not limited to denial, lying, deflection, and contradiction to make the target question their perception of reality.
The term gaslighting originates from a 1938 stage play and its later film adaptations (1940 and 1944). It has been used colloquially since the 1960s. In the story, the husband tries to convince his wife and other people that she is insane. He is doing so by manipulating certain elements of their environment and by continuously insisting that she doesnt remember things correctly and that shes delusional when she notices the changes he made.
The title comes from the husband dimming the gas lights in the house and then denying that there was a change in illumination when his wife notices a difference.
Why gaslighting is so damaging
Gaslighting makes you doubt your own perception, your feelings, and your memory. It makes you doubt reality itself, and therefore your own sanity. When you doubt your perception of reality and you dont know if you are sane, then you can become insane, to the degree that you are detached from reality.
The levels of sanity and insanity varies in different areas of life and in different situations because all of us have certain blind spots, lapses, or lack in knowledge or perception. However, if you are deliberately and routinely made to doubt your accurate thoughts, feelings, motives, drives, and perceptions, then it damages or even destroys you as a person.
Doubting your sanity is scary (Is it real? Did I make it up? Did it really happen?). This sometimes results in the victim actually becoming detached from reality (in thought and in emotion) or not being able to process certain aspects of reality accurately.
It is more damaging the younger the person is because a childs brain is still developing and they are dependent on their caregiver.
Gaslighting as childhood trauma
If a child is not allowed to have their healthy and authentic thoughts, emotions, goals, preferences, then their mind becomes damaged to the degree of the controlling that is going on. The most common examples of gaslighting in childhood could be the following: You/I didnt mean that when the person clearly did mean it. Or, You shouldnt be sad, It didnt hurt, Youre lying, It didnt happen when it did, You like it when you dont, and so on.
Many children are not allowed to feel certain emotions, like feeling angry at their parents, siblings, other family members, or authority figures. It is also oftentimes not allowed to think and say what the people around you disapprove of or dont want to notice. Here, gaslighting is a form of thought-, emotion-, and behavior-control.
Gaslighting can be experienced at home, at school, in peer groups, online, or in any other social environment where there is a hierarchical and controlling structure that makes a child inferior and subservient.
Then a child grows up and becomes prone to gaslighting as an adult or learns to gaslight others. They may be blind to their painful experiences. They also may severely lack connection with self and reality, and the ability to think rationally.
Gaslighting in adulthood
Sometimes gaslighting is used unintentionally or by a person who is simply confused, lacks specific knowledge, or is not versed in rational thinking. In other words, it can happen unintentionally and without malice.
However, gaslighting is a common manipulation tactic of people with strong narcissistic, sociopathic, psychopathic tendencies. Here, often the perpetrator has some shady motives and doesnt really care that they hurt you.
The most common scenario for gaslighting in adulthood is romantic relationships. As the original play and movies illustrated, there could be a spouse, partner, or other romantic interest that would use gaslighting tactics against you.
Other scenarios are work, business, family, among peers, or even in therapy. Here, sometimes people try to compete with each other, or play other social games like gossip and triangulation, or have personal agendas. A big part of that is telling a compelling story (with clear heroes and villains, or an ideology), which often doesnt match realityand to that degree it becomes gaslighting.
End note: Sometimes the term gaslighting is used as attack. The same can be said about many terms, though. He/she is gaslighting! when actually they are not. Here, the accuserconsciously or unconsciouslydoesnt want to see certain aspects of reality. They want to stay in denial, and so they attack the rational person by calling their observations gaslighting. This in itself could be called gaslighting, and is a form of projection. This article is not about justifying that.
Gaslighting: It's Really A Thing
“Sounds like gaslighting,” I explained to a client this week after hearing a laundry list of her boyfriend’s behaviors.
“What’s that mean?” she asked, “It doesn’t sound like a thing.”
But gaslighting in relationships is a thing. A very real, destructive, insidious thing. And recognizing it isn’t so hard if, 1) you know what to look for, and/or, 2) you’re ready to accept you have some big thinking to do.
Fact is, you know when your partner is beating you down, demeaning you, or making you feel crazy as a wolf howling at the moon. Even if you don’t know it consciously, if you stopped and asked yourself, “Do I feel loved in this relationship? Respected? Valued? Adored?” The answers would be, unequivocally, “No, no, no, and, um, no.”
Gaslighting is a psychological term that refers to one partner’s efforts to undermine the other’s grasp on reality in order to gain control. This is done by systematically making the victim feel like whatever the circumstances, her (or his) version of events is skewed, misconstrued, or imagined.
Here are some examples of gaslighting:
Susie tells her fiancé, Brad, she doesn’t like the way he publicly and loudly criticized her cole slaw recipe at their neighborhood block party.
Brad says: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was just saying it needed a little more salt. And, by the way, no one else heard me. You’re imagining things.
Susie thinks: Maybe I misheard what he said. To be honest, I am a little bit sensitive about my cooking. I should probably work on that.
Bobby tells his wife, Cathy, he was embarrassed when she told their friends he had been a bedwetter as a child.
Cathy says: I would never embarrass you. Are you accusing me of embarrassing you? Because that’s in your head.
Bobby thinks: Cathy’s right. I mean, she’s my wife! She would never intentionally embarrass me, right? Plus, they’re our good friends. Maybe I shouldn’t be embarrassed.
Lucy tells her partner, Maddie, she was hurt when Maddie openly flirted with their waitress.
Maddie says: What are you talking about? I’m only being friendly. Maybe you’re the one who’s flirting and you’re trying to project your guilt onto me.
Lucy thinks: Why do I have to be so jealous and insecure? Maddie is just being nice to a stranger. I should be grateful I have such a loyal girlfriend.
Gaslighting demands the victim replace her reality with her partner’s rendition. When it goes on long enough — and with enough constancy — it achieves its goal. The victim internalizes her partner’s assertions and rejects her own. Her internal radar — one which we are all equipped with to keep our emotional, physical and psychological selves safe from harm — shuts down.
What happens when you can’t trust your gut? What happens when your feelings are no longer reliable? What happens when you continually question your interpretations, memories, and value?
What do those things do to your psyche?
Gaslighting does what any systematic abuse does to any psyche. It makes you forfeit your own truth. Self-doubt takes over because you no longer rely on your reality. You lose touch with who you once were or thought you were — because everything is hazy now. You desperately want the someone closest to you to validate your feelings, beliefs, and experiences. But the validation never comes.
Any of these sound familiar?
“I was only joking with you. I don’t know why you get so upset.”
“You’re the only one who thinks I’m mean. People love me.”
“I don’t know why you think Doug is your friend. That’s not what he tells other people.”
“You only got that promotion at work because your boss felt sorry for you. Everyone knows that.”
“Why don’t you lighten up a little bit? Even the kids don’t want to be around you.”
“I never said anything remotely like that. Maybe you need your hearing checked.”
“I know you think you’re a good person, but you’re not.”
These are the kinds of comments you’re hearing — and worse — if you’re a victim of gaslighting. Because a gaslighting partner not only wants you to doubt yourself, he wants to destroy your truth, your core. So that the only reality you’re left with is his/hers.
This is why gaslighting is really a thing. And it’s a thing that can and will determine how you experience yourself and your life for as long as you choose to stay in a relationship with someone who’d rather control you than love you, who’d rather distort your feelings than honor them, who’d rather tear you down than lift you up.
Does any of that treatment fit into any dream of any relationship you ever thought you’d be in? Guessing not. Good news is you don’t have to buy into anymore of this upside-down reality. Get the help you need to find your way back to you. Because the world needs you. Because your feelings, opinions, experiences and reactions matter. Because your heart matters. Because you do.
Gaslighting: what it isn’t
NOTE: Roughly 500 people access this page a day. Most comments are about diagnosing people. Under no circumstances should you attempt a diagnosis without the DSM-5 or, if that’s too expensive, the DSM Desk Reference. If you can’t see a psychiatrist, at least buy the tool they’d use to determine your diagnosis.
You’ve probably interacted with the kind of person who looks up some kind of psychological disorder and applies the diagnostic criteria to you in an effort to feel like they’ve won something. If they want to say you’re egotistical, but aren’t satisfied with the label “egotistical” and want something much more forceful, they might say you have narcissistic personality disorder. Take the exact same situation, replace “egotistical” with emotional, and they’ll invoke histrionic or borderline personality disorder.
You can continue the same process to infinity, for every disorder, because disorders have broad criteria. For psychologists, broad diagnostic criteria are not an enormous problem. These criteria aren’t vague to trained researchers who know what to look for, but if you don’t know what to look for, they can lead you into a realm of false diagnoses like saying your spouse “has narcissism” because you read the Wikipedia page.
This has rightly earned the term “armchair psychology,” but the armchair aspect doesn’t stop at psychology. Any kind of word that aims to categorize a kind of behavior as abusive, dysfunctional, or simply bad is likely to find its criteria abused by laymen, due to a diagnostic vagueness that exists when diagnostic criteria only list what something is rather than what it is not.
“Gaslighting” is a mental health term that originates from the 1938 play Gas Light and has exploded with popularity on the feminist / social justice / progressive blog sphere. There are several definitions of this term, but in a nutshell it refers to the act of trying to deceive someone into a false reality by discrediting their emotions. Like most mental health terms, it describes something serious also like most mental health terms, it is ubiquitously misused.
The Google trends search for gaslighting shows it experiencing a surge of popularity in the last two years. What is more likely: a term describing a serious mental health threat has become popular on feminist, social justice and progressive blogs due to a growing concern with mental health issues in general — or because a lot of people have found a term to categorize behaviors they don’t like in a cognitively lazy way? I’m going with the latter.
It’s not difficult to find a social justice advocate who has accused someone of “gaslighting” someone else because that person said they are being too sensitive, too dramatic, or unable to take a joke. The added gravity of this accusation is that gaslighting is deemed a form of abuse by some mental health professionals. Domestic abuse in particular, since it is likely to occur in that setting. Like typical armchair psychology, accusing someone of this is a lot like accusing someone of having a personality disorder because you read the symptom-based diagnostic criteria in Psychology Today. Actual gaslighting is pretty serious, but virtually everyone who uses this term cannot distinguish between “domestic abuse” and “telling me I don’t have a sense of humor,” so the dilution of the term here isn’t helping anyone.
A definition that describes “gaslighting” as “trying to discredit your emotions” is not rigorous. What the more rigorous definitions of gaslighting are referring to is specific: attempting to deceive someone that false events actually occurred, and that real events are false. It is ongoing and requires some prior knowledge of at least one participant’s experiences you can’t “gaslight” someone in an anonymous internet argument, and simply telling someone they’re being too sensitive lacks the denial-of-reality aspect. There needs to be a deliberate, dishonest aspect to it — in other words, there needs to be lying. Simply telling someone they can’t take a joke doesn’t qualify as lying, nor gaslighting, nor abuse.
The vast majority of resources you will find online attempt to the abusive nature of gaslighting are not actually describing abuse most of these entries are the worst sort of pop-psychology and pseudoscience, because they will say things like “you’re overreacting” qualifies as this. Something like “you’re being crazy” can be as simple as a refutation in an argument to say that the emotions in a response are disproportional to the thing evoking the response. That is not abuse. That’s not even close to abuse.
I define a “good” definition as a precise one. And by “precise”, I mean you narrow down the possibilities of behavior it is describing so that the definition is very clear about what it means and doesn’t mean.
Wikipedia’s definition of gaslighting is actually useful in this respect. As per the current revision, it reads:
“a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.”
There is a definite marker here: the doubting of memory and perception. In other words, the gaslighting needs to be aimed at denying something factual, not simply the emotional state of the person receiving the criticism.
Contrast the Wikipedia definition with the unspecific definition by Yashar Ali, in an entry that was lamentably treated as a standard:
Gaslighting is a term, often used by mental health professionals (I am not one), to describe manipulative behavior used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy.
The difference here is drastic: in the Wikipedia definition, there needed to be an aspect of reality-denial. In this one, there is no mention of reality denial “thinking [your] reaction [is] far off base” can mean something as simple as “thinking I have an exaggerated emotional response.” Which is to say — this is the kind of definition that makes women on tumblr believe they can say someone is “gaslighting” them when they’re told they’re being dramatic.
The instances of this definition falling short are numerous. There’s this implied one from Clutch Magazine:
Sound familiar? It certainly does to me. I’ve always had a difficult time articulating an offense in the first place, so it’s been fairly easy for others to convince me I’ve misread an offensive situation. I can attest that too many comments like: “I was just playin’! You need to learn how to take a joke” and “Wooow. I was just tryna keep it real with you, but since you can’t take it without getting your feelings hurt, I’ll fall back” will make anyone second guess herself.
and even this one from a proposed mental health dictionary:
Example 1: If an abusive person says hurtful things and makes you cry, and then, instead of apologizing and taking responsibility, starts recommending treatments for what he or she calls “your depression” or “your mood swings,” you are in the presence of a gaslighter. Example 2: If someone insults you or criticizes you, and then pretends it was a joke and asks “Don’t you have a sense of humor?”, that’s gaslighting.
These definitions fall short because they lack the necessary aspect of reality denial and ongoing deception. It is not sufficient to say that because someone is downplaying another’s emotions they are gaslighting you there must be an attempt to establish a fake reality and make the person believe that reality. In other words, to lie on a large scale.
There are some sources on the web (such as this academic’s work) which approach a rigorous definition of gaslighting, similar to the Wikipedia one I linked earlier. Most definitions, unfortunately, are more along the lines of this one in Psychology Today:
“Instead of addressing the issue, he tells you that you are way too sensitive and way too stressed…”
In an argument or conflict, there are absolutely situations where someone’s sensitivity can be at issue. And expecting someone to “address the issue” or otherwise be guilty of abuse is absurd, because “addressing the issue” is something distinctly in the realm of the collegiate the educated. It relies on at least some implicit understanding of informal logic to understand what “the issue” is. Most people don’t know the precise distinctions between premise, conclusion, and proposition most people don’t understand how to attack the main point of an argument, in fact. This is true with or without emotions. Most people focus on motive at expense of the point. This is something typical of the general population, not an abusive relationship.
Don’t get me wrong: it would be great if most people understood logic so well that avoiding the point qualified as abuse, but unfortunately that is not the case. A simple instance of ad hominem circumstantial, more easily understood as “motive fallacy”, is not psychological abuse. Nor is it psychological abuse to tell them that they don’t get a joke, or that they’re crazy, or that they’re being too sensitive.
If you wish to apply gaslighting to a set of behaviors, simply discrediting someone’s emotions doesn’t qualify as gaslighting. The litmus test for gaslighting by all authoritative definitions has been a dishonest and manipulative attempt to deny reality to the person on the receiving end of gaslighting. So, for example, an attempt to make that person believe that actions which most certainly happened haven’t actually happened. You can understand how some people would get the impression that calling someone crazy qualifies as this, because someone could say “you’re crazy, that never happened” — but merely telling someone they are being dramatic does not qualify as abuse, in any way, nor does telling someone they are being too sensitive qualify as abuse on its own.
Let me reiterate: no matter what you define gaslighting as, telling someone they are being dramatic or too sensitive or that they can’t take a joke in no way, shape or form qualifies as abuse on its own. Even repeatedly. There must be an aspect of denial of a factual event integrated with the accusations of oversensitivity.
To clarify what I mean by “denial of a factual event”, I have constructed a set of examples to distinguish between actual gaslighting and not gaslighting at all.
Actual gaslighting: A wife witnesses her husband cheating on her. He starts an ongoing campaign to make her believe this event was false and that her perception of reality is incorrect. “No, you’re crazy.” When she insists that she saw what she saw, he retorts with “why are you being so emotional?”
Not gaslighting: A husband repeatedly tells jokes that offend his wife. “Why are you being so sensitive?”, he asks. “You take offense to things way too easily.” She starts to doubt her own judgment — but not because of any abusive reason.
Actual gaslighting: A boyfriend and girlfriend are having an intense argument when he hits her repeatedly. Several days later, she calls the police, but there is no proof. He insists that she is delusional to the police. When she confronts him about this in private, he insists that she imagined it, and repeatedly calls her crazy for recalling the event. She begins to doubt her own memory.
Not gaslighting: James is dating Rebecca, whose political ideology he opposes. James frequently comments on Rebecca’s articles with dramatic and overblown emotional language. Rebecca insists that he’s being overly emotional, and that he should stop doing that. He says she’s trying to diminish the importance of his point by gaslighting him.
Actual gaslighting: A son witnesses his mom snorting meth in the pantry, when he previously did not know his mom did drugs at all. Since this event is so anomalous, he has a hard time believing it. She insists that he imagined it — she was just dusting the pantry. But since this image was so vivid, he insists he believed it. She starts to discredit his statement, saying that he is delusional, that he is too emotional, and that he doesn’t have a grip on reality. He begins to doubt his own sense of reality and she uses this as a basis for additional lies.
The point: abuse is very specific. “Gaslighting”, as it is applied by far too many internet commenters, is not abuse. There is a form of gaslighting that qualifies as abuse, and the popular blog application of this term is not it. Much like “narcissism”, it has come to be diluted by pop-psychology such that talking about real gaslighting or real narcissism is next to impossible. The bloggers who scream “gaslighting” from the mere utterance of “you’re crazy” are unanimously wrong the pop-psych writers who tell wives to look for cues like “you can’t take a joke” are being erroneously misleading calling an emotional response disproportionate is far from abuse.
These commenters are wrong on a massive scale in their application of the term “gaslighting.” It is certainly possible for ongoing and systematic manipulation by way of breaking down a partner’s sense of reality (actual gaslighting) to be abuse, but not without rendering virtually all applications of the term by internet feminists and political bloggers woefully invalid.
How to Know Whether Someone is Gaslighting You
Gaslighting is so harmful because it promotes anxiety, depression, and with enough frequency in our lives, can sometimes trigger nervous breakdowns. So the question now it: are you being gaslighted? How can you know whether you&rsquore experiencing this subtle form of manipulation in your life? Review the following tell-tale signs:
- Something is &ldquooff&rdquo about your friend, partner, son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, colleagues, boss, or other person in your life &hellip but you can&rsquot quite explain or pinpoint what.
- You frequently second-guess your ability to remember the details of past events leaving you psychologically powerless.
- You feel confused and disorientated.
- You feel threatened and on-edge around this person, but you don&rsquot know why.
- You feel the need to apologize all the time for what you do or who you are.
- You never quite feel &ldquogood enough&rdquo and try to live up to the expectations and demands of others, even if they are unreasonable or harm you in some way.
- You feel like there&rsquos something fundamentally wrong with you, e.g. you&rsquore neurotic or are &ldquolosing it.&rdquo
- You feel like you&rsquore constantly overreacting or are &ldquotoo sensitive.&rdquo
- You feel isolated, hopeless, misunderstood and depressed.
- You find it hard to trust your own judgment, and given a choice, you choose to believe the judgment of the abuser.
- You feel scared and as though &ldquosomething is terribly wrong,&rdquo but you don&rsquot know what or why.
- You find it hard to make decisions because you distrust yourself.
- You feel as though you&rsquore a much weaker version of yourself, and you were much more strong and confident in the past.
- You feel guilty for not feeling happy like you used to.
- You&rsquove become afraid of &ldquospeaking up&rdquo or expressing your emotions, so you stay silent instead.
Why Do People Gaslight Others?
One of the most common reasons people gaslight is to gain power over others. This need for domination may stem from narcissism, antisocial personality, or other issues. Like most cases of abuse, gaslighting is about control.
As gaslighting progresses, the target often second-guesses their own memories and thoughts. Their self-doubt may put them on the defensive, preventing them from criticizing the abuser’s behavior. The target may rely on the abuser to verify their memories. This trust can give the abuser more opportunity to manipulate their target.
Over time, the abuser may convince the target that they cause the abuser’s aggression. The target’s efforts to apologize and repair the relationship often feed the abuser’s ego. Yet the target’s submission rarely offers lasting satisfaction. Someone with narcissistic personality may become “addicted” to gaslighting, needing more control to keep up their self-esteem.
Many gaslighters use the target’s shame and confusion to isolate them. The person may withdraw from loved ones for fear they will side with the abuser. The gaslighter’s goal is often to make the target completely dependent on them alone. If they reach this goal, the abuser may discard the target and seek a new person to “conquer.”
Gaslighting: How Leftist Psychopaths Demonize And Demoralize Their Opposition
We have all heard this time honored cautionary mantra: “All governments lie”. It’s not a theory, it is a fact that history has proven time after time. I would only expand on the rule and say this: All governments, all corporations, all corporate media, all think tanks, and all corporate funded activist groups lie. There is a reason why public trust is at all time lows for the majority of these organizations, and it’s not because they are managed by good and honest people.
If you operate on the assumption that these groups are lying to you most of the time then you will find yourself on the right side of history. That said, there are questions we need to ask ourselves if we ever hope to change the world for the better and remove these liars from power: Why do they lie? Why has this become a rule to live by? And, how are they able to lie and get away with it so often?
Well, it’s not because power corrupts. That cliché might be true to a point, but I think it’s a way for people to dismiss the bigger problem because they are afraid to address the ugly truth. The reality is, power does not necessarily corrupt it’s that the corrupt seek out power.
Governments and other mainstream institutions always lie because psychopathic liars always infiltrate and overrun them. We have very few checks in place to prevent this, and very little is understood about psychopaths in the general public. To understand destructive institutions is to understand the character traits and methods of the psychopaths that control them.
Psychopaths are not very complicated people nor are they all that intelligent, but they often succeed because they are relentless in their pursuits. The common signs of psychopathy include a complete lack of empathy, the obsessive desire for dominance, the use of physical or psychological violence to gain control over others, a narcissistic need to feel superior to everyone else and a habit of playing the victim while victimizing others.
A common assumption about psychopaths is that they are incapable of working in a group or organizing for mutual gain. This is simply nonsense. In reality, numerous studies have shown that psychopaths are adept at finding their own kind in a crowd and even working together as a pack of predators. Some modern examples would be organized crime, cartels, sex traffickers, online scamming groups and religious cults.
Almost all psychopaths are inherent cowards they will rarely pick on anyone their own size unless they have large numbers. The worst case scenario is fully realized organized psychopathy the advent of a totalitarian culture in which psychopathic behavior is rewarded and defended by those in authority or influence, while honesty, morality and liberty are punished.
Over the course of generations, psychopaths have used different groups and ideologies to gain control over the public, but today organized psychopaths have chosen the cult of socialism, social justice, fake environmentalism and leftist ideology as their vehicles. Essentially, we are dealing with a modernized version of communism. And if we examine the habits of current leftist and globalist “movements” we will see a lot of similarities to historic communism, not to mention numerous psychopathic behaviors.
The use of “Gaslighting” as a weapon is a classic mainstay of psychopaths and by extension communist regimes, and it is visible EVERYWHERE in politics and the media right now. It’s perhaps ironic that I am publishing this article on April Fools Day, because gaslighting is very much a kind of trick, a con game. And, in order to control people, it helps to humiliate them and make them doubt their own conceptions of reality.
The basic definition of gaslighting is the manipulation of a person by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. In other words, making a sane person believe they might be insane. This, however, is not an adequate explanation of gaslighting. It’s not only about questions of sanity, it is also about questions of principle and morality.
The communist Soviet Union was notorious for gaslighting the public with propaganda that suggested anyone who defied the will of the state and who demanded freedom was “mentally ill”. The Cheka secret police and the KGB had special hospitals set aside for political dissidents called “Psikhushkas”. People of any prominence who were critical of the status quo were immediately disappeared and sent to these facilities after being accused of mental instability.
In Maoist China, especially during the Cultural Revolution, Mao targeted impressionable and gullible Chinese youth, brainwashing them into believing there was “institutional imperialism” hiding within every facet of Chinese society. The stability of communism in China was under question at the time, and Mao knew a rebellion was possible. So, instead of immediately cracking down with the military, he encouraged Chinese academics and youths to “rebel” and “bring down the secret imperialists”. He redirected social discontent and aimed it at a non-existent ghost so that a rebellion would never rise up against him and the politburo.
Young and dumb Chinese activists thought they were rebelling when they were actually serving the interests of government elites.
Gaslighting in China was pervasive. Any person that held the most remote belief in freedom, free markets, business, private property or anyone that had any objections to the crimes of the communists was forced to undergo a trial, a kangaroo court called a “struggle session”.
During a struggle session, a dissident was sometimes apprehended, or sometimes shamed and compelled to stand before a large crowd of true believers in the communist faith. The crowd would browbeat them with accusations of criminality and immorality, trying to convince them of the evil of their ways. If the dissident bowed and submitted to the collective, begging forgiveness, then they might be allowed to live, but they had to BELIEVE that they had sinned. They had to fully adopt the communist ideology and plead for absolution.
Many victims that underwent such struggle sessions continued to believe they were criminals for the rest of their lives. They believed they were terrible people, even though they had no idea why they were punished in the first place.
Gaslighting is a powerful device for subjugation because it makes good people who love freedom think they are evil people that need to be restrained. It is also a way for a corrupt system to maintain control of the general population because it normalizes psychopathic behavior and suppresses moral conscience by convincing people that morality is “relative” or a “matter of perspective”, and that some abusive and destructive behavior is “necessary” in order to achieve a better world. If you can discombobulate a population into questioning their own morality, or if you can convince them to question their own sanity, then you can prevent them from ever rebelling against you.
These are the tried and true methods of psychopaths. If you ever wonder why abused spouses or family members stay with and even defend their abusers, it is because psychopaths use gaslighting to disarm their victims. If you are crazy or subconsciously treacherous, then maybe you aren’t being abused at all. Maybe, you are being saved from yourself, and maybe society is being protected from you?
And, if you lash out and defend yourself against the abuser, now you are truly a horrible human being. You just attacked your “protector”. You are now a danger to society. You are now a terrorist. The only way to avoid being labeled a terrorist or a madman is to quietly accept the abuse.
I see this control tactic all over the world, and it is becoming rather prevalent here in the US. The capitol building protest is a perfect example. Millions of law abiding Americans have been abused and oppressed by the establishment through lockdowns and censorship, while groups of leftists like BLM and Antifa are allowed to run rampant across the country looting and burning as they go. Conservative Americans reacted with a protest after the election, seeing that such abuses were likely to be aided in the near future by the federal government under Joe Biden. They raided the capitol building, without armaments, to make a point. Then, they peacefully left.
Afterwards, the media bombarded us for months with the narrative that the capitol protest was actually an “insurrection” and an act of domestic terrorism. So, BLM gets to loot and burn their way through dozens of American cities and it’s called peaceful protesting. Conservatives protest at a single building and bust through the doors, and it’s considered an act of war. This is gaslighting.
Under pandemic mandates a vast portion of the US has been shut down and hundreds of thousands of small businesses have been lost. The fear mongering in the media over the coronavirus has been egregious and ridiculous. Hundreds of thousands of people die every year in America from communicable diseases. Now, suddenly, we are supposed to abandon all of our constitutional rights because of covid?
Anyone who has disagreed with these measures has been called a “conspiracy theorist” and a danger to others. The science is on our side, and always has been. Every element of the pandemic has been exaggerated and overblown. Every statistic supports our skepticism of the government’s response, as I outlined in my recent article ‘The Real Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Will Defy Covid Mandates And Vaccines’.
But, when we cite these facts, we are told by the establishment that we are “lunatics” and “idiots”.
Of course, now we know that the death rate of Covid-19 according to scientific studies is a paltry 0.26% outside of nursing homes. We also know that lockdowns were completely useless in controlling the spread of the virus, as states with the harshest mandates ended up with the highest infections rates. And, finally, we know that masks are also useless in controlling the spread of the disease according to scientific studies and common sense observation.
Rather than admitting that lockdowns are pointless, that the masks do nothing and that it is silly to take an experimental mRNA vaccine for a virus that is a non-threat to 99.7% of the population, establishment hacks continue to double down on their propaganda when it comes to covid. The media continues to attack anyone that points out the REAL science as “conspiracy theorists”. This is gaslighting.
And finally, we can’t really have a discussion about gaslighting without mentioning the social justice agenda.
The phrase “white supremacy” is being repeated by corporate journalists and politicians until they are blue in the face. And more specifically, conservatives are being called out as the “biggest terrorist threat” to the US in decades because of our supposed white supremacist tendencies. The latest “spike” in Asian hate crimes is the new excuse for this propaganda campaign.
Set aside the fact that millions of conservatives are black and brown, not white. Set aside the fact that the majority of the hate crimes targeting Asians the past couple years were actually perpetrated by black assailants (as I noted in last week’s article), and one of them is even a known BLM activist. Also set aside the fact that around 50% of all violent crime in the US is caused by black perpetrators according to the FBI. Somehow, all of this anarchy is the fault of white people in general and conservatives in particular.
The race baiting used by leftists the past several years is a prime example of gaslighting – Telling people they are responsible for evils they had nothing to do with and that are completely unrelated to them, then demanding they declare submission and loyalty to an ideology that seeks to enslave them as a means to wash away sins they were never guilty of.
If totalitarian control of the population is to be established in the US and the west, we have to be tricked into thinking our values of freedom, truth and meritocracy are somehow inherently evil. We have to be tricked into thinking we are insane for wanting liberty. To be clear, there only three ways that the brainwashing and gaslighting of free people will stop:
1) We submit and embrace the false narrative as if it is true and give in to psychological slavery.
2) We separate completely from leftist totalitarians and organized psychopaths and go our own way.
3) We remove the psychopaths from the picture and rebuild without their influence.
Until one of these three things happens, like all psychopaths, leftists and globalists will continue trying to wear us down. This is what they do. They have seen it work in the past and they are single minded in their objectives.
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15 Gaslighting Signs to Look For
Being subjected to gaslighting can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns including addiction and thoughts of suicide.
For this reason, it is important to recognize when you're experiencing gaslighting. Ask yourself if any of the following statements ring true:
- You doubt your feelings and reality: You try to convince yourself that the treatment you receive is not that bad or that you are too sensitive.
- You question your judgment and perceptions: You are afraid of speaking up or express your emotions. You have learned that sharing your opinion usually makes you feel worse in the end, so you stay silent instead.
- You feel vulnerable and insecure: You often feel like you “walk on eggshells” around your partner/friend/family member. You also feel on edge and lack self-esteem.
- You feel alone and powerless: You are convinced that everyone around you thinks you are "strange," "crazy," or "unstable," just like the gaslighter says you are. This makes you feel trapped and isolated.
- You wonder if you are what they say you are: The gaslighter's words make you feel like you are wrong, unintelligent, inadequate, or insane. Sometimes you even find yourself repeating these statements to yourself.
- You are disappointed in yourselfand who you have become: For instance, you feel like you are weak and passive, and that you used to be stronger and more assertive.
- You feel confused: The gaslighter's behavior confuses you, almost as if they are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- You worry that you are too sensitive: The person minimizes hurtful behaviors or words by saying “I was just joking" or "you need thicker skin."
- You have a sense of impending doom: You feel like something terrible is about to happen when you are around this person. This may include feeling threatened and on-edge without knowing why.
- You spend a lot of time apologizing: You feel the need to apologize all the time for what you do or who you are.
- You feel inadequate: You feel like you are never “good enough." You try to live up to the expectations and demands of others, even if they are unreasonable.
- You second-guess yourself: You frequently wonder if you accurately remember the details of past events. You may have even stopped trying to share what you remember for fear that it is wrong.
- You assume others are disappointed in you: You apologize all the time for what you do or who you are, assuming people are let down by you or that you have somehow made a mistake.
- You wonder what's wrong with you: You wonder if there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. In other words, you worry that you are not well mentally.
- You struggle to make decisionsbecause you distrust yourself: You would rather allow your partner/friend/family member to make decisions for you, or avoid decision-making altogether.
If you identify with any of these signs of gaslighting, it's important that you seek professional help right away. Left unaddressed, gaslighting can take a significant toll on your self-esteem and overall mental health.
Your doctor can recommend a counselor who is equipped to help you process and deal with what is happening to you.