Culture The Era of Gaslighting; Or how reality itself is in danger of being canceled

MelancholicMechanicus

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I would like to ask you to imagine the following scenario taking place in the last few days:

You mention, or someone else mentions the George Floyd protests and when you or the other person start to talk about it the subject of Antifa comes up. As it is mentioned someone will say "Antifa isn't a thing, it's a right wing straw-man". You recoil slightly, and explain that Antifa is and has been a thing for decades. "No they are not you are falling for Russian Propaganda/Fox News lies/4chan hoaxes" you then show footage from Portland and the claim is pivoted: Antifa is fighting Trump's fascism and if you disagree you are running apologia for it or a Trump supporter.

As you try and explain that no, the federal government sending federal troops to protect a federal courthouse is not fascism, they double down and claim these are a secret police abducting people off the streets and scaring off protesters so they can enforce Trump's New Order. You point out these officers have badges and identification, that they release the "protesters" after reading their Miranda Rights and explaining their situation and they are fully in the realm of the law doing so. But it's too late as they are now talking about how you should be standing up to these thugs who are causing violence.

Again you recoil, and explain that the Antifa rioters (which a few moments ago the other person claimed didn't exist before they moved to defend them) started the violence and the officers are simply protecting the courthouse. He fires back that most of the violence (which was claimed to not be happening 2 sentences ago) is actually caused by police provocateurs so the cops can have a excuse to beat them. You ask for evidence of this extraordinary claim and they answer it has happened before. You concede that yes, cops have been known to do that before but that is not proof that is happening right now but they move on to argue why you are defending fascism when Antifa is fighting fascism. You know, the guys that apparently are not real and a right wing straw-man?

You finally lose your patience and ask what the hell is wrong with them. You are then told to calm down, you are being overly emotional because your beliefs are being challenged and you should try and stop being so bigoted and close minded about equality and the problems in the USA. You again show them the pictures and videos of the protests and the absurd demands to abolish the police coming from crowds of black clad white middle class college students and are told that is obviously manipulated and a tiny minority. No one wants to get rid of the police, they just want police reform! You point out how "abolish" and "defund" are not synonyms of reform and again show a article talking about how BLM is asking these things. You are told it's propaganda because the article says BLM has a terrorist on it's founder team, and they reply with a
snopes debunking link showing that claim is false. You point out Snopes is biased and the debunking is garbage and call them dishonest. They claim this is further proof that YOU are wrong and not seeing things right, as everyone knows Snopes is unbiased and good fact checkers. You can't do it anymore and leave, the other person hangs their head and sighs, why can't these dumb conservatives just see the truth?

Did any of that sound painfully familiar? Remind you of something? It should. I have seen it happen more and more both on the internet and on some real life debates when speaking with pinkos. Completely opposite opinions and statements spoken almost back to back with no acknowledgement of the paradox, denial of observable physical reality despite plenty of evidence, refusal to accept any new evidence that goes against their point of view unless it somehow fits on the narrative on which case no matter how absurd the evidence it will be neatly slid into place in the Escher-esque picture of events.

Gaslighting.

Named after a play from 1938 that perfectly demonstrated the phenomenon, to quote wikipedia "[it] is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes including low self-esteem. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and misinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's beliefs. Instances can range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents occurred, to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim."

There have been plenty of accusations of Gaslighting on politics over the years, but most of the time it is exaggeration. Simply being hypocritical or lying isn't exactly enough, there needs to be a pattern to it of repeating and insisting. This time however we have reached a critical mass where it can be considered the case. The lying and denial is too constant, too coordinated and too delusional. It has reached a point where it really is gaslighting. And the worse part is you can't really fight it. This is not a simple matter of arguing opinions, you are disagreeing on a fundamental level that simply cannot be reconciled with reality no matter the argument. The support they have to make this gaslighting efficient means that anyone with some decent contacts and information will fall for this. Trying to combat the disinformation and propaganda? Good luck, masses of loyal believers in places like Google, Wikipedia and the Mainstream and not so mainstream media constantly run support operations for them. Washing the historical record to support their version of events, taking down dissent as "hate speech" "fake news" "untrustworthy sources" and other monikers worthy of the Minitrue for the constant maintenance of the narrative.

Even when you know what to look for, these tireless workers of the maintenance of the narrative will make sure you have a bad time finding the truth. Try and search Wikipedia for information and overview and you will find curated articles with carefully arranged words and sources that only back one narrative. Try and change and it will be moved back to how it was. Insist and you will find the page will be placed under protection and hounded by these keepers of the True knowledge from your vandalism. A great example of this is comparing the wiki pages for Obama and Trump. One talks in detail about the scandals of one, the other doesn't even mention the word scandal. No point for guessing which is which. For a time the wiki page for the infamous Zoe Quinn had as much protection as the pages on Israel and Palestine. The article on Gamergate is blatantly one sided and so on. Google will not show results when searching for some topics, and has been caught multiple times manipulating searches to bury things. Twitter has also been suspected and recently caught being able to block tags from trending and allowing admins and mods to interfere with peoples account with a wide range of powers. This is just a quick overview. One could go on for hours and hours about dozens and dozens of further examples.

In the past when evangelical nutjobs kept forcing puritanical values and ideas on people they did plenty of bad things but most of it was based on openly religious faith and societal values, not a blatant denial of reality and rewriting of the rule book as you spoke. They had their values and opinions based in their thoughts and feelings and made it clear this is what they thought was right based on God and religion and morality and family and such. But with the new wave of communists it's different: They think their faith is scientifically proven as real. They aren't arguing ideas and opinions to convince you to their ways, they know they are right and are simply informing you, and if you disagree you are just obviously wrong and one of those evangelical nutjobs or a racist or a fascist, similar to how the more hardcore evangelicals would think their enemies were being swayed by the Devil but in a much larger scale.

We must not falter. We must not allow them to chip away at our minds and the foundations of our minds. There can be no capitulation, no apologies and no turning back. We need to make a stand now or we will find ourselves in worse and worse places until there is nothing left. Remember: It's never enough. Apologize for a edgy joke? They start policing you and asking for more political correctness. Capitulate and change some designs to have "less male gaze"? Not enough, they want more realistic bodies now. More LGBTQIA+++ characters. More diversity. Agree to control hate speech? Suddenly the definition of hate encompasses more and more things and you need to keep controlling it or you are no better than before.

My point with this thread will be to both catalog some examples of this gaslighting by asking you, the readers, to submit your own experiences and links and to ask the main question: How do we fight this? How do we stop ourselves from losing track of the truth in a world where it constantly doesn't matter what your lying eyes see only what the people on the internet and around you consider real. How do you keep yourself sane when they insist there are five lights shining when you can see there are only four? I guess that is the big question here. We hold these truths to be self evident, but they don't.
 

LordsFire

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How do we stop ourselves from losing track of the truth in a world where it constantly doesn't matter what your lying eyes see only what the people on the internet and around you consider real.
In order to keep from losing track of the truth, you have to know what it is in the first place. I see a lot of 'this isn't the truth' in your post, but not much 'this is the truth.'
 

Lanmandragon

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I think our only choice is to win the next election and then break up the big tech companies.

Its a shit situation all around, but we don't really have a choice but win.
That's a start but the real killer is college's especially Harvard and co. These have effectively become brainwashing facilities. The Ivy's produce the majority of our power brokers. This is obviously a serious issue when they are effectively marxist temples.
 

CarlManvers2019

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That's a start but the real killer is college's especially Harvard and co. These have effectively become brainwashing facilities. The Ivy's produce the majority of our power brokers. This is obviously a serious issue when they are effectively marxist temples.
Even worse, people think fiction is an accurate representation of reality at times or think they know stuff regarding history and modern day socioeconomic situations

Certain things like “intellectual racism” sound smart/deep/intellectual and cynical enough that people believe it’s real

Hell, that cynicism about society and people almost all being short sighted comically evil gun-toting bigots, is probably how they refuse to admit/see that your society’s better than what Hollywood & Academia says
 

MelancholicMechanicus

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In order to keep from losing track of the truth, you have to know what it is in the first place. I see a lot of 'this isn't the truth' in your post, but not much 'this is the truth.'
Ok, decent point. But my post was more of a overview of the phenomenon.

Even worse, people think fiction is an accurate representation of reality at times or think they know stuff regarding history and modern day socioeconomic situations

Certain things like “intellectual racism” sound smart/deep/intellectual and cynical enough that people believe it’s real

Hell, that cynicism about society and people almost all being short sighted comically evil gun-toting bigots, is probably how they refuse to admit/see that your society’s better than what Hollywood & Academia says
The infantilization of discourse in a way. The infamous Harry Potter comparisons and references as substitute for real political thought, a forced absolutism where allies are all pure and good and all opponents are 100% evil and irredeemable.
 

CarlManvers2019

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The infantilization of discourse in a way. The infamous Harry Potter comparisons and references as substitute for real political thought, a forced absolutism where allies are all pure and good and all opponents are 100% evil and irredeemable.
And for more “mature” works, let’s just say Alan Moore should be glad to NOT have lived under an actual Fascist dictatorship and if the Tories were that bad he’d long be dead

So would George Lucas, the Empire was the USA “at war” during the Cold War. So I guess the Soviet Union and guys like Pol Pot weren’t a problem
AT ALL.
 

Lanmandragon

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And for more “mature” works, let’s just say Alan Moore should be glad to NOT have lived under an actual Fascist dictatorship and if the Tories were that bad he’d long be dead

So would George Lucas, the Empire was the USA “at war” during the Cold War. So I guess the Soviet Union and guys like Pol Pot weren’t a problem
AT ALL.
The Empire is pretty clearly the Nazis. Were in the world did you hear it's the US? Even most Commies agree they're the Nazis.
 

Rocinante

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The Empire is pretty clearly the Nazis. Were in the world did you hear it's the US? Even most Commies agree they're the Nazis.
Seriously. The empire were CLEARLY Nazis.

The brownshirts were part of The Sturmabteilung, which translates to "storm detachment." The brownshirts were literally called sturmtruppen. Storm Troopers.

The Nazis had storm troopers. It's no question who the empire was supposed to represent.
 

CarlManvers2019

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The Empire is pretty clearly the Nazis. Were in the world did you hear it's the US? Even most Commies agree they're the Nazis.
Forgot whom, but I heard that George Lucas said that it was “the USA at war” during Vietnam and during the Cold War, the USA and anyone against the Communists was a Nazi

And the prequels were about George Bush’s rise to power
 

Lanmandragon

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Forgot whom, but I heard that George Lucas said that it was “the USA at war” during Vietnam and during the Cold War, the USA and anyone against the Communists was a Nazi

And the prequels were about George Bush’s rise to power
I'm 32 and watched wars my entire life he isn't say that unless it was getting recent. Besides even if he did he's lying to virtue singnal. As pointed out above they even had Stormtroopers. They are pretty clearly Nazi Germany IN SPACEEEEE. Anyway Breshmov told us this would happen we didn't listen. So now we've got a life or death fight hell he even talked about the double think.
 

CarlManvers2019

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I'm 32 and watched wars my entire life he isn't say that unless it was getting recent. Besides even if he did he's lying to virtue singnal. As pointed out above they even had Stormtroopers. They are pretty clearly Nazi Germany IN SPACEEEEE. Anyway Breshmov told us this would happen we didn't listen. So now we've got a life or death fight hell he even talked about the double think.
Maybe for George Lucas, the Empire was simultaneously Post-Cold War USA and Nazi Germany IN SPACEEEEE at the same
time

That said, you got that right, they can show recorded public evidence to people and they won’t process it
 

Lord Invictus

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One way to fight it is refuse their presuppositions.

And put the question back to them

“Why are you so hostile to black equality”

“Why do you want to kill whites, a cause BLM supports”.

This puts them on the defensive, and they are forced usually here to either scream at you or call you racist. Usually both. (Don’t cede to them the presupposition the riots are actually about equality but don’t outright say this-your still ceding the notion if you do).

“The protests were peaceful”

“Then why was the courthouse bombed”

“Right wing provocateurs”

“Are you not going to take credit for what your movement does?”

Never let them make the argument about you.

Force them to argue what they believe, and ask questions. Politely, firmly, and without deranged raving.

Their aim here is to browbeat and overwhelm you, either until you start doubting what you know to be true, or until you disengage, ceding the ground to them.

Gaslighting renders the target confused, demoralized, and suggestible. One technique is to constantly remind yourself “they are lying”, “they are lying”, again and again.

I do agree we are being subjected to an extraordinary propaganda operation in which gaslighting plays a large part.

Remember always, gaslighting is an implicit admission they can not convince you what their telling you lines up with what your own eyes see. So they must make you disbelieve your own eyes.
 
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Rocinante

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One way to fight it is refuse their presuppositions.

And put the question back to them

“Why are you so hostile to black equality”

“Why do you want to kill whites, a cause BLM supports”.

This puts them on the defensive, and they are forced usually here to either scream at you or call you racist. Usually both. (Don’t cede to them the presupposition the riots are actually about equality but don’t outright say this-your still ceding the notion if you do).

“The protests were peaceful”

“Then why was the courthouse bombed”

“Right wing provocateurs”

“Are you not going to take credit for what your movement does?”

Never let them make the argument about you.

Force them to argue what they believe, and ask questions. Politely, firmly, and without deranged raving.

Their aim here is to browbeat and overwhelm you, either until you start doubting what you know to be true, or until you disengage, ceding the ground to them.

Gaslighting renders the target confused, demoralized, and suggestible. One technique is to constantly remind yourself “they are lying”, “they are lying”, again and again.

I do agree we are being subjected to an extraordinary propaganda operation in which gaslighting plays a large part.

Remember always, gaslighting is an implicit admission they can not convince you what their telling you lines up with what your own eyes see. So they must make you disbelieve your own eyes.
It's shocking, on how many people it actually works.

I've been following these riots for 60 days. Not biased media either. I've looked up live streams and watched them happen live. In my mind it's an absolute irrefutable fact. I watched them happen. Yet there are so many out there who buy this "peaceful" or "Trump's fault" nonsense hook, line and sinker. I've been watching it happen. With my own two eyes. for 60 days. It's real, and it predates Trump sending in federal law enforcement. Yet these people are literally living in a different reality because the propaganda works so well. They will tell you with a straight face and no doubts, that these are peaceful protests.

The media is so blatant and brazen with their lies lately. People eat it right up anyways. Every night they all just repeat the same outright LIES. It's fucking mind blowing. It takes two seconds on the internet to expose that they're telling lies. Yet they keep lying, and people keep believing it.

"Why do you need to negotiate a ceasefire with a peaceful protest?"
 

CarlManvers2019

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It's shocking, on how many people it actually works.

I've been following these riots for 60 days. Not biased media either. I've looked up live streams and watched them happen live. In my mind it's an absolute irrefutable fact. I watched them happen. Yet there are so many out there who buy this "peaceful" or "Trump's fault" nonsense hook, line and sinker. I've been watching it happen. With my own two eyes. for 60 days. It's real, and it predates Trump sending in federal law enforcement. Yet these people are literally living in a different reality because the propaganda works so well. They will tell you with a straight face and no doubts, that these are peaceful protests.

The media is so blatant and brazen with their lies lately. People eat it right up anyways. Every night they all just repeat the same outright LIES. It's fucking mind blowing. It takes two seconds on the internet to expose that they're telling lies. Yet they keep lying, and people keep believing it.

"Why do you need to negotiate a ceasefire with a peaceful protest?"
And this is just DURING the riots

Imagine the number of persistent fools AFTER the riots
 

LordsFire

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One way to fight it is refuse their presuppositions.

Remember always, gaslighting is an implicit admission they can not convince you what their telling you lines up with what your own eyes see. So they must make you disbelieve your own eyes.
Seeing you advocate a measured, potentially effective response to circumstances is nice.

In actual IRL discussions, I've forced a fair number of leftists to at least back off, if not outright question their assumptions by using tactics like this.
 

CarlManvers2019

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Seeing you advocate a measured, potentially effective response to circumstances is nice.

In actual IRL discussions, I've forced a fair number of leftists to at least back off, if not outright question their assumptions by using tactics like this.
I’m guessing it’s harder when dealing with the more outright dangerous ones

Or the ones who have “NPD” or are simply put, in it to feel like “heroes” from some young adult book series who are standing up to the “authority” and such and genuinely get a kick off hurting and destroying and looting

I once read a book regarding negotiations, there are some things that the people on the other side want that they don’t say outright or even know they want

It was from The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman, guy’s most probably a Far Lefty but he’s got poonts about how simply arguing with reason and logic won’t get you anywhere if the person you’re talking to is dumb, hyper emotional, fanatical, insane and so on

And you have to “understand” them and even “agree” with them at some points
 
Further reading

MelancholicMechanicus

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Found this article that does a good jov explaining some of the reasons the SJWs and their allies behave like they do debate wise, a pretty good read

 

Lord Invictus

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Found this article that does a good jov explaining some of the reasons the SJWs and their allies behave like they do debate wise, a pretty good read

So Critical Theory is the true opposite of liberalism?

Hmmm...

That presents an interesting problem, you could merely ignore them but they won't go away(sadly), but you can't reason with them or even discredit them because they refuse to allow themselves to be subject to scrutiny.

Its literal civilizational cancer.
 

MelancholicMechanicus

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So Critical Theory is the true opposite of liberalism?

Hmmm...

That presents an interesting problem, you could merely ignore them but they won't go away(sadly), but you can't reason with them or even discredit them because they refuse to allow themselves to be subject to scrutiny.

Its literal civilizational cancer.
It is indeed a paradoxical problem. I think it's better to think of this as a virus not a cancer, because the main solution is to inoculate people against the bullshit by teaching them to think for themselves and not get swayed by groupthink and these commie tactics.
 
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