I have long been familiar with the term “gaslighting,” but mostly in the sense of distorting reality, as in the 1944 film (Gaslight) starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. I think it remarkable that the power of art has introduced a concept (gaslighting) that effectively removes the definition from reality and places it in the realm of psychology and human manipulation.
I’ve been subscribed to The Epoch Times, a newspaper sent to me for free (an actual paper newspaper). I liked it, that is, why I don’t imagine the writers are right about everything they tackle, I find within it stories not printed elsewhere. One such article, an opinion piece (‘Gaslighting’ is the Word of the Year for Good Reason’), caught my eye, and gave me a better working definition of gaslighting than I had before.
The term means to be subjected to extended psychological trickery to cause the victim to question his or her own reality. In the film, Boyer plays a handsome stranger who meets the beautiful heiress Bergman on a foreign journey and they fall in love. He convinces her to marry and move back together to London to her family home, whereby he embarks upon a subtle campaign to convince her she is bonkers while he secretly searches the home for legacy jewels he intends to steal.
When he leaves, he makes sure that the gas lights (it is set in 1875) are dim, and when she complains, he tells her that her perceptions are wrong, and that the lighting has not been affected. She slowly begins to question her own reality.
I have seen this concept at work … though I cannot write about it. Just let it be known that getting us to question our own mental health is often the objective of sociopaths, allowing a normal and healthy person to act as a front for a deranged and manipulative person. How to break that spell? How to get a grip? I have little use for the pill-dispensing profession of psychiatry, but there are thousands of therapists out there who by means of talk therapy help people to have better lives. A series of solid sessions can lead to either reconciliation or divorce, and happiness in an un-gaslit environment.
The author of this piece, Jeffrey A. Tucker, claims (rightly) that we were all gaslit by the leaders of the pandemic, the major news media, the government and the health care industry. Knowing as I did on March 11, 2020 (there’s that number, 33) that the pandemic was fake, that there was no virus and that the PCR test was bogus, I would like to presume that I was unaffected by everything. But how could I be? At certain times I was forced to wear a mask (Costco was a major culprit in this regard, clerks even telling me to cover my nose after entry), and at other times I merely did so because my wife and I do not like being the object of scorn in public. We capitulated now and then.
However, through it all, I never doubted my own sanity, never for a second imagined that I was threatened in any way by an imaginary virus, and never had so much as a sniffle in that two-plus year ordeal***. The vaccine was a major gaslighting weapon, and I watched as friends flocked to it, so tired were they of being under constant tension and in a state of fear. I take some (schadenfreude) comfort in knowing that even after these folks were vaxxed, they continued to test “positive” for Covid, the PCR and rapid antibody tests being false indicators of presence of the illusory virus.
However, over time, I learned to STFU, never make waves, and sit silently as utterly vapid comments issued forth from otherwise intelligent people. If they came down with the sniffles, they voluntarily underwent PCR testing (!). I regarding this as insanity and a tribute to the power of effective gaslighting.
The notion that it was the “worst pandemic in a hundred years” is certainly disputable. We still don’t have real clarity on precisely how many people died from COVID, and this confusion is due to vast false positives of PCR testing backed by subsidized and rampant death misclassification. To this day, we don’t know precisely how many people died from COVID or merely with COVID, or even if they truly had symptomatic COVID at all. None of this do we know for sure.
I’ve done my own research (The Illusory Pandemic) regarding how many people died in the “pandemic,” and found by consulting different (non-CDC) sources, that excess deaths in the United States were nonexistent. CDC, howver listed 779,540 excess deaths while Macrotrends, an independent research group working under auspices of the UN, recorded none. Of course, the powers in charge of these matters took the trouble prior to 3/11/20 to change the definition of pandemic, eliminating “excess deaths” as a factor. That was prescient.
Then we can talk about the vaccine, which was never sterilizing the virus simply because it isn’t possible to create such a thing around a fast-mutating coronavirus, a fact that we knew long before the pandemic began. So they called it a vaccine and lied that it would prevent infection and stop transmission even though that was never possible. Once this became obvious, and the whole point of mandatesdisappeared, they demanded we get it anyway at the pain of losing our jobs.
Tucker is a good writer, but the notion of the reality of the virus blew right by him. Nonetheless, I find The Epoch Times good reading for folks who can keep their bearings intact, and a decent source of news not reported elsewhere. Wikipedia rips the newspaper for various sins:
The Epoch Times opposes the Chinese Communist Party, promotes far-right politicians in Europe, and has championed former President Donald Trump in the U.S.; a 2019 report by NBC News showed it to be the second-largest funder of pro-Trump Facebook advertising after the Trump campaign. The Epoch Times frequently promotes other Falun Gong-affiliated groups, such as the performing arts company Shen Yun. The Epoch Media Group’s news sites and YouTube channels have spread misinformation and conspiracy theories, such as QAnon and anti-vaccine misinformation, and false claims of fraud in the 2020 United States presidential election.
I can live with all of that. I have no illusions about Donald Trump, regard “conspiracy theories” as mere disallowed skepticism, and know there was massive fraud in both the 2020 and 2022 elections. I’ve never trucked with QAnon, my own good sense steering me clear. I see the Chinese Communist Party as a source of corruption in that country, but do not excuse the United States from accusations of similar corruption, finding it to be equally repugnant and censorious. Pointing the finger at China still leaves three fingers on that hand pointing right back at us.
So Wiki, you’re not scaring me away from what appears to be, on the whole, a legitimate news source. Nice try, however.
*** We have visited Florida twice during the pandemic, and each time came down with sniffles. As I sit here I have a box of tissues handy. My wife suffers as well. On another trip to Fort Myers some years back, pre-pandemic, I developed a runny nose and cough that scared my aunt, who refused to come near me. Symptoms went away immediately on return to Colorado. I do not know what causes this, and can only speculate that it has to do with toxins, particularly in wandering about in the massive Miami International Airport complex, where sulfur and nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons abound. A quick Duck-Duck search tells me that sunlight has significant effects in turning these compounds into particles, which can lead to illness. This would be a post on its own, but would tend to implicate Denver and Miami International Airports, our usual haunts when we travel lately.
On our recent trip over Thanksgiving, we were a gathering of ten people, and only my wife and I developed symptoms, although another person in the gathering developed gastrointestinal issues on departure. This tends to discredit any notions of viral or bacterial infection. If it was that, it would be contagious, but only three of ten were affected. I find the coincidence of presence in Miami and five incidents of sniffles or other issues telling. There is something in the air.