Recognizing and Defeating the Gaslight Effect
Audio; Posted on: 2010-04-15 18:38:05 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
by John Young
Welcome to Western Voices, I'm John Young of European Americans United.
Sometimes you can find valuable insight in the most unlikely places. Today we will be discussing a phenomenon described in a book written by a feminist psychotherapist Dr. Robin Stern with a forward by prominent feminist author Naomi Wolf. This book, entitled “The Gaslight Effect” is ostensibly aimed at professional women whose bosses and romantic partners are using a particular technique of psychological manipulation. It takes it's title from a 1944 movie starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer; in which the male lead uses a variety of methods to undermine the heroine's self confidence and self esteem toward the end of convincing her she is crazy. In this way, he can commit her to a mental institution and take ownership of her inheritance.
Taken at a superficial level; the book, as I mentioned, is really aimed at professional women and has a decidedly feminist bent. Certainly, at that level, the message of this book is not something worthy of listeners to Western Voices. But when the ideas in the book are subjected to meta-analysis; an entirely new picture emerges that is of considerable relevance to our Folk and our organization.
The Gaslight Effect; while applied too broadly by the author in my opinion, is nevertheless a very real means of psychological manipulation. In publishing this book; our would-be masters made the same mistake they did with the movie “Eyes Wide Shut” by revealing the inner workings of the techniques that they employ, on a grand scale, against US. So let us explore this idea; and then expand it.
Dr. Stern defines the Gaslight Effect thusly: “The Gaslight Effect results from a relationship between two people: a gaslighter, who needs to be right in order to preserve his own sense of self and his sense of having power in the world; and a gaslightee, who allows the gaslighter to define her sense of reality because she idealizes him and seeks his approval.”(1) But Dr. Stern also quite candidly states: “In that sense, I believe, we are living in a Gaslight Culture. Rather than being encouraged to discover or create our own reality, we are bombarded with a million different powerful demands to ignore our own responses and accept as our own whatever need or view is currently being marketed.” (2)
Furthermore, Dr. Stern has identified the atomized individualism of our current culture as making people more susceptible to the Gaslight Effect because of the lack of grounding that occurs through a network of relationships in more traditional cultures. In addition, the focus on consumerism leaves us far more socially isolated; which again makes us more susceptible to the Gaslight Effect. (3)
We have already explored many of these issues in other Western Voices podcasts; including the research demonstrating that multiculturalism increases social isolation while decreasing community involvement and how a society driven by consumerism and a devolution to one-dimensional homo-economicus is harming our mental health on a grand scale. So Dr. Stern isn't really telling us anything new about our culture. Rather, in describing the Gaslight Effect, she is simply adding one more indictment to the list of ills to which we are subjected.
Dr. Stern goes further in describing the Gaslight Effect as having three distinct stages between which the gaslighter and gaslightee will move: Disbelief, Defense and Depression.
We are going to take this apart, see how it works, apply the ideas to our culture and Cause, and then put it all back together again with practical solutions.
Let's look at the stages of Gaslighting.
Stage 1: Disbelief
You may make a statement of what seems to you to clearly be a self-evident fact. For example, you may state that since you can ascertain percentages of racial admixture through a cheek swab analyzed by DNA Print Genomics, that race is a physical reality rather than a social construct.
In response, a co-worker, fellow student or – especially – an authority figure, will tell you that what you are saying is “racist” and that they don't want to hear anymore “pseudo-science.”
When this first happens, you can't believe what they are saying. They are accusing YOU of adhering to fantasy; when, in fact, it is THEY who are pushing fantasy. It is completely topsy-turvy and you are aghast in disbelief.
The important elements here are that YOUR intellectual or moral validity is being questioned by someone from whom you would otherwise seek approval in such a way that the facts of reality are being contradicted right in front of you.
Stage 2: Defense
Once you recover from your disbelief; you mount a defense. You demonstrate that what you are saying is a fact. You show a genetic test that demonstrates race. You show how a forensic anthropologist can differentiate race just from bones. You show medical studies demonstrating different diseases and different medication responses that break down by race.
But the gaslighter accepts NONE of this. Remember, for the gaslighter's own sense of self to remain intact and for her to maintain her sense of power in the world; she can not admit that you are right or even that you MIGHT be right. This is a POWER thing. So what she will do is turn your defense into your own admission of guilt.
“You must REALLY be a RACIST,” she'll say, “because you have really dug DEEPLY to try to prove this pseudoscience. But the deeper you dig,” she continues, “the more you show your true colors.”
Your very defense is turned against you. After enough of this, you enter …
Stage 3: Depression
Keep in mind, we are social creatures. We don't want our peers or authority figures to think ill of us. We want to be accepted, treated as valued, and liked.
But so long as you maintain a point of view that contradicts the one that the gaslighter believes you should hold; you will be psychopathologized. No amount of defense will work. No amount of facts will be relevant. Nothing you can do except surrender will allow you to be accepted. And even then, that acceptance is only provisional. It exists only so long as you toe the line.
So you surrender. Even though you have known you are right, you start to question yourself. You become rich in insecurities. Your social milieu in which you are grounded becomes something that can be snatched away from you in a heartbeat and you never know what you may say or do that will run afoul of the gaslighter.
Instead of trying to prove the gaslighter wrong, you are actively trying to prove him right in hopes of securing approval. You can see this with people involved in what could be seen as implicitly white activism who ostentatiously take a non-white mate in order to “prove” they aren't racists.
But this sort of thing never works. The accusation is still made!
You could get down on your knees and slash your wrists in homage to the great and powerful multicult; and it STILL would not be enough. The multicult will NEVER be satisfied because its very purpose is the exercise of power in order to have others validate its flawed nature. As this realization dawns, exhaustion sets in. You buy into the gaslighter's view of you so completely that you can no longer access your true self.
Think now of the people you know who are European-Americans, but have explicitly adopted anti-European-American views. According to Dr. Kevin MacDonald; we have a “human kinds” module as part of our psychological makeup that serves to prevent this; as well as a great deal of implicit processing favoring the survival of our folk. But this is all overridden by the Gaslight Effect to the extent that many of those most ready to destroy us, belong to our own group. These people have long-since been enmeshed in Stage Three of the Gaslight Effect. They derive their own sense of value from the esteem in which someone who hates them ostensibly holds them.
In such a wide culture, it is only natural that gaslighters themselves fall into various categories. Dr. Stern defines three types of gaslighters: the glamour gaslighter, the “good guy” gaslighter and the intimidator gaslighter. For our purposes, we'll only be looking at the latter two.
Each of these takes a different approach to inducing you to surrender to their psychological manipulation.
The intimidator is easy to recognize; and for that reason I used the techniques of an intimidator in describing the three stages of the Gaslight Effect. You know when you are involved with an intimidator by the fact he invokes your worst feelings or fears about yourself, carries the explicit threat of exclusion, mocks you openly or under the guise of humor and so forth.
One doesn't have to look at much TV to see these mechanisms in action; with white folks generally, and white heterosexual men particularly – especially husbands – being the subject of open mockery under the guise of humor. But you can also see this in college campuses every day when a student dares to differ from orthodoxy.
The “good guy” gaslighter is harder to spot because his power motivations are far from obvious. He STILL has a need to be right; but also needs to see himself as being “good” by some particular definition. He has a need to do nice things – at least, “nice” as defined by a certain worldview – and you just happen to be the foil he uses to accomplish this.
In dealing with a “good-guy” gaslighter, you almost get a good-cop/bad-cop thing going on. “I know you have a point of view,” he will say, “but it needs to be surrendered for your own good.” The implication is that if you don't; an intimidator gaslighter will come down on you. So within the social context we are describing; the good-guy gaslighter will most likely be someone who is a stage three victim of the Gaslight Effect himself; and is using “good deeds” from the perspective of the multicult perspective to prove his own gaslighter correct. He has surrendered, and is using good deeds to inspire your surrender as well.
Multicult Gaslighting, within our culture, comes from every direction. It comes from television, commercials, movies, bosses, professors, human resource managers and even friends and family. It inspires disbelief, futile defense and ultimately surrender, exhaustion and depression. Probably it is at its worst in college environments.
How can we fight back and reclaim our own sense of self?
The book is aimed mainly at relationships and is primarily focused on the perspective of a woman who is the victim of gaslighting by a romantic partner. Naturally, the author being a therapist, her solution is therapy.
Of course, this won't work in this case because practically the entire psychology profession itself; along with kindred specialties in sociology and cultural anthropology, is devoted to employing the Gaslight Effect among others to force us to knuckle to their will. It should be pretty clear that the last person you can turn to for help is the person who is doing the manipulation.
Nevertheless, Dr. Stern gives some sound advice that is applicable to our purpose; which I will be combining with other ideas; most notably a revised version of the concepts of taqqiyah and asabiyah from Islam.
Dr. Stern notes that no attempt to stop gaslighting will be effective unless the person being gaslighted is willing to walk away from the relationship. In other words, one must be willing to end the gaslighting relationship. In the arena that we are discussing; that means walking away from the wider culture at large.
Some aspects of this are easy. Turn off the idiot box; which I have previously discussed as being harmful. By doing that you not only deny the gaslighters access to your wallet, but also access to your mind. We have published a book, entitled “EAU's Guide to Completing Your College Degree” that shows you how to earn a fully regionally accredited college degree while largely avoiding the Gaslight Effect. And we have published an elementary school curriculum for homeschoolers, so that our kids aren't subjected to the pernicious effects of our controlled government education system too young.
But it simply is not practical to walk away from the job and many other sources of gaslighting in our culture and still be able to live.
So how can this practically be done?
The answer lies in two concepts that exist in English, but are expressed in Islam as taqiyah and asabiyah. I credit Rob Winfield, our Special Project Coordinator for Relocalization of Agriculture, for bringing these ideas to my attention over the course of a number of conversations.
Taqiyah can be translated, loosely, as “dissimulation.” That's just another word for lying. But this is a special form of dissimulation based upon a hierarchy of values. A hierarchy of values states that a lesser wrong is permitted in order to prevent a greater wrong. Thus, it might still be wrong to steal an apple to save a starving child; but allowing the child to die would be an even greater wrong. We explored this idea extensively in the third podcast on ethics.
Taqiyah, for certain sects of Islam, is a concept substantively similar to the idea underlying the Jewish Marranos in Spain following the Alhambra decree. The Alhambra decree, in essence, stated that everyone in Spain had to convert to Catholicism or be expelled. Rather than face expulsion, many Jews instead adopted the forms and veneer of Catholicism while maintaining their own distinct ethnic identity and religious beliefs in private.
So what taqiyah says is that, if you hold a right belief for which you would be persecuted if it were publicly known; it is acceptable to appear, in public, to subscribe to the notions of the gaslighters – all the while maintaining that correct belief in private.
In practice, that is what many ethnically-aware European-Americans do already. But they do it implicitly or automatically. Unfortunately, doing it implicitly is simply a defensive posture that does not separate you from your oppressor. However, when this maneuver is done explicitly, it becomes an offensive posture that give you power.
Think about it a moment. When you walk into the workplace or school and implicitly cower and adopt the trappings of your oppressor; it is a form of surrender that hurts your spirit and is really just a symptom of the third-stage of the Gaslight Effect.
But when you walk in, actively deciding to hide your views from someone you identify as an oppressor explicitly in your mind; this strengthens your spirit. Moreover, it makes you an active enemy in their midst. You may adopt their trappings and mouth their phrases, but in your heart you are just biding your time until they can be brought to heel. You can look around you and realize that with others doing this as well, a secret army is building in the midst of your oppressors without their knowledge. Instead of seeing your silence as a capitulation; you instead see it as what it should be: strategic misdirection and hiding in the enemy's midst. This is a source of power rather than weakness. It is repudiation rather than subjugation.
The other concept, which complements taqiyah, is asabiyah. Asabiyah can be translated as meaning “social cohesion.” In our case, it means social cohesion with our fellow ethnically-conscious European-Americans.
Social cohesion with our fellow ethnically-conscious European-Americans is an important aspect of opting out of the Gaslight Effect. This is because your loyalties are such that authority figures who are NOT members of that group automatically lose the status in your mind such that their approval would have no effect on your self-image. As a result, their gaslighting would have no internal effect on you.
When asabiyah is combined with taqiyah; you become a member of a hidden and powerful socially cohesive network of European-Americans that are no longer internally affected by the multicult. Gaslighting that would have otherwise weakened your resolve and self-image instead serves to strengthen your resolve and confirm the rightness of the Cause.
Of course, this doesn't mean we are going underground. This is merely a prescription for how an individual can empower himself under intense enemy scrutiny. Overall, we will continue to actively engage the system in myriad ways with our goals, as always, being the long-term best interests of our Folk.
And today we have learned a great deal from our enemies that I am sure they are surprised that we learned. Nothing is safe from the analysis of the weaponized intellect of an ethnically-aware European-American.
This is John Young with European Americans United. Thank you for joining me again today.
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