On Milgramming and Gaslighting

While we’re on the topic of Milgramming, we need to mention gaslighting. Both are tools corrupt authoritarians use to manipulate us. They are two tools in the same toolbox, but not the same.

Here’s the difference:

Milgramming is the abuse of authority to change good people into bad people. Gaslighting is the abuse of authority to make smart people think they are crazy.

Gaslight 1944In 1944, Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar for her portrayal of newlywed Paula Anton who becomes convinced by Gregory (Charles Boyer), her new husband, she’s going crazy. Gregory plans to have Paula institutionalized and help himself to Paula’s fortune. The movie brought the term “gaslighting” into the English lexicon as a psychological term for destabilizing a victim until they doubt their very sanity. You can read more about gaslighting here:


Today it has become fashionable for the academic left to level the term “gaslighting” against right-of-center politicians they distrust, in particular, the current Republican Trump Administration and the previous Republican Bush Administration. Neither of these administrations were 100% honest, prima-facie evidence some gaslighting occurred.

The majority of Americans are neither crazy nor uneducated. We are simply being silenced by those who do not care to hear from us.

But it is disingenuous for academics to accuse others of gaslighting when they make their living pontificating on who is educated and who is not. To academics who came of age during “The Great Awokening”, those who received educations reading the works of racist DWEMs (Dead White European Males.) are considered neither “woke” nor educated. The majority of Americans are therefore being double-gaslighted – shunned by the academic left for lacking the credentials to participate in public discourse, while concurrently shunned by the right for being too insolent to join the one percent who earn a seven-figure income.

Sadly, today the common man in the iconic Norman Rockwell Freedom of Speech painting is neither woke enough nor rich enough to be offered a fair hearing. In 2019, he would be


ushered from the room or sent to Facebook jail for having an opinion.

Bryant Welch states in his book State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind:

” To say gaslighting was started by the Bushes, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Fox News or any other extant group is not simply wrong, it also misses an important point. Gaslighting comes directly from blending modern communications, marketing, and advertising techniques with long-standing methods of propaganda. They were simply waiting to be discovered by those with sufficient ambition and psychological makeup to use them.

Unfortunately, the principles of gaslighting have been both discovered and implemented by authoritarians on both sides of the political divide. The majority of Americans are neither crazy nor uneducated. We are simply being silenced by those who do not care to hear from us.

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