We Are Being Gaslit (3)

nadler-schiff-gaslight

The next two gaslighting techniques from Psychology Today are:

3. Escalate When Challenged. When called on their lies, the gaslighter escalates the dispute by doubling and tripling down on their attacks, refuting substantive evidence with denial, blame, and more false claims (misdirection), sowing doubt and confusion.  …

4. Wear Out the Victim. By staying on the offensive, the gaslighter eventually wears down their victim, who becomes discouraged, resigned, pessimistic, fearful, debilitated, and self-doubting. The victim begins to question her or his own perception, identity, and reality.

With the pathetic collapse of the “Russia Collusion” lie our tormentors moved on to demonstrate gaslighting techniques three and four.  There were no apologies from Democrat politicians for lying continually for three years about convicting but secret “evidence.”  Nor did any mainstream media organization ask forgiveness for their purposeful role in ginning up and sustaining this big lie.  No, like the sharks that they are they simply kept swimming forward looking for the next opportunity to feed on the (decreasing) credulity of the American public.

They found their bloody carcass in a supposed “complaint” by some little apparatchik who heard second hand about a Presidential conversation with the President of Ukraine.  I have previously discussed what happened next in the series of posts titled “The Impeachment: Tragedy to Farce in Record Time.”

What interests me here is the perfect correspondence between gaslighting techniques three and four and what our Progressive elites actually did.  They “escalate[d] the dispute by doubling and tripling down,” attempting to “wear down their victim” (that is, we non-Progressives) by causing us to question our own “perception, identity, and reality.”

When the Impeachment folly collapsed into the same pile of rubbish as had the Collusion  lie, the Progressive elite, once again, continued swimming forward without the slightest acknowledgement of the destruction that they had caused.  In particular, while the Impeachment Coup was winding down, with our nation’s attention transfixed on this idiocy, the COVID-19 virus was rising in China and spreading around the world.  So, a Presidential administration, Congress, the press and the public’s attention was diverted from a real and present public health threat to a pathetic partisan farce.

The Progressive elite will never admit fault in any of this.  No, they will go on tripling and quadrupling down on vile, evil lies in hope that this time the American public will break down, whimpering for leadership from these wicked morons.  Who knows, they may succeed…for awhile at least.

great-white-shark

Ideological hatred makes you stupid…and viciously dangerous.

A Disturbing Event at Wheaton College

The Rev. Timothy Blackmon

The Rev. Timothy Blackmon

Yesterday I was shocked and saddened to read this story in the Daily Herald newspaper.

Wheaton College President Philip Ryken said in an email to students and faculty Friday that chaplain Timothy Blackmon has been fired for “inappropriate comments and actions of a racial and sexual nature” toward staff members.   …

Ryken wrote in his email that the college hired “external professionals” to investigate allegations against Blackmon.

“The investigation revealed conduct inconsistent with Wheaton’s policies and commitments. Following this investigation and adjudication, as well as a trustee review process, Tim Blackmon is no longer employed at Wheaton College,” the email read. “Because of the unique role of the Chaplain as one of Wheaton’s primary spiritual leaders, we believe it is important to share this information with the campus community. In deference to the confidentiality of multiple parties in a personnel process, though, we do not plan to provide additional information beyond this message and encourage our community to respect the privacy of the individuals involved.”

The Rev. Blackmon has been a guest preacher at my local church on numerous occasions, so there is a personal connection here that magnifies the impact of this particular incident.  Obviously I don’t know any of the details behind this event.  However, I do know what Wheaton College has chosen to communicate publicly, and find it disturbing.

Yes, I can conceive of circumstances in which the level of privacy chosen by Wheaton College may be appropriate.  However, there is no avoiding the consequence that, by shielding the details from public disclosure, the college has left the Rev. Blackmon’s reputation to the imaginations of anyone who happens to hear about this incident.  This seems grossly unfair to me.

I see three likely reasons why this level of privacy is demanded by Wheaton College, those being:

  1. The verbal conduct in question is indeed so damaging and painful that any further public disclosure would be destructive to all involved;
  2. The verbal conduct in question would be highly controversial, with some strongly supporting the decision and others strongly opposing;
  3. The college is ashamed of its conduct, knowing that were the details made public the institution would suffer grave damage to its reputation.

At the very least Wheaton College should be more specific regarding the reasons for this level of privacy.

Were this event to have occurred a decade or more ago I would have been predisposed to take the College at its word.  However, given the “cancel culture” experience of the past few years it has become difficult to give any institution the benefit of the doubt in these matters.

We are all well aware that a statement as obviously true as “all lives matter” or that “sex is real” can be cause for firing in today’s environment.  Thus, the college’s statement that “inappropriate comments and actions of a racial and sexual nature” covers a scope that may or may not be defensible.  For example, were these statements gross, vicious sexual and/or racial attacks then the vast majority of people would agree with the firing.

Perhaps the Rev. Blackmon is free to eventually comment publicly on this event.  Perhaps the college has induced him to sign a non-disclosure agreement that will forever prevent him from public comment.  Perhaps someone who knows the details will someday make them public.  Perhaps we will never know what happened.

My current predisposition is towards the assumption of craven cowardice and bad faith by our major institutions.  So, while I will withhold judgement, I will also fear for the worst by Wheaton College in this shocking event.

Fourth of July, 2020

July-4-2020

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

The Senate Oath of Office

We the people must cease expecting that our leaders will follow this oath of their own volition.  Most of them are either actively and purposefully working against it or are pretending to support it while, at best, doing nothing.  The leaders of whom I speak go all the way from our local institutions to the highest positions of State and Federal power.  These people are hollow men and women who look only to their elite peers for guidance and approval.  They work to please institutions of big business, media and education.  It’s time that we the people openly, loudly and persistently demand that they begin again to support this oath or they will be thrown out of office.  They will not fight for us and for our Republic unless we the people demand that they do.

Stand up American citizens and shout your demands!  Drown out the pathetic nobodies

hong-kong-us-flag

Hong Kong freedom protesters wave the American flag.

whose only skill is moral preening and destruction.  These miseducated narcissists can’t build anything of value or permanence.  We the people have built families, businesses, communities, churches and a Republic that shines like a star.  They pursue a black hole that has consumed 100 million lives and destroyed the hope of billions.  Only the wicked and/or moronic could seek to try Socialism yet again.

Their desired future is one of death, serfdom and the pursuit of raw power.  Ours is one of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Stand up today for the United States of America!

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

flag-fireworks

We Are Being Gaslit (2)

MSNBC-Gaslight

The first two gaslighting techniques from Psychology Today are:

1.  Lie and Exaggerate. The gaslighter creates a negative narrative about the gaslightee (“There’s something wrong and inadequate about you”), based on generalized false presumptions and accusations, rather than objective, independently verifiable facts, thereby putting the gaslightee on the defensive.  …

2. Repetition. Like psychological warfare, the falsehoods are repeated constantly in order to stay on the offensive, control the conversation, and dominate the relationship.

The scope and depth of repetitive lies that the American public has been exposed to in the last four years strains comprehension to the breaking point.  As only one example of so many, the Mainstream Media in intimate collaboration with the Obama Deep State and the Congressional Democrats lied to us about “Russian Collusion” for years.

Given the results of the Mueller Report we know as certainly as anything can be that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign.  Therefore, all the claims by ex-Obama officials and by Congressional Democrats were intentional lies.  While it’s certain that the Mainstream Media was to a large extent in on the lies, they at least have some plausible deniability.  However, one wonders if the “we’re morons” defense will hold up well over the long run for their business prospects.

In spite of all this many Americans (and likely a majority of Democrats) still believe that there is something to the “Russian collusion” hoax.  In fact, so powerful was this “big lie” that apparently many Congressional Republicans gave it credence for years.

Given this the term “fake news” seems utterly insufficient.  Yes, it is an effective political slogan.  But it fails to convey the true nature of what has been occurring.  This is not just “made up” news stories.  No, this is a true totalitarian level “big lie” whose purpose was to destroy a legitimately elected President.  That is, this was a coup attempt that has failed in the near term but that is ongoing by other means.

The purpose of this and so many other lies has been to convince voters that our sitting President is illegitimate and thus should be replaced outside the election process.  For anyone who voted for President Trump the goal was to destroy their confidence in their own judgement.  For people on the fence (initially like me) the goal was to push them over into motivated opposition (like the Never Trumpers).  And for people who voted against President Trump the goal was to drive them into a frenzy of fear and loathing that could be leveraged as needed to create social and physical chaos.

Of course, these lies will also have an impact on the 2020 election.  They will tend to motivate Democrat voting and suppress votes from people who generally support President Trump’s policies but who wonder about his fidelity to our nation.

It remains to be seen if a majority of voters can be assembled to give the Democrats victory by this means.  It’s certain that for many Americans (perhaps a plurality) the credibility of our political and media institutions has been destroyed.  It will therefore be exceedingly difficult for the next President to govern effectively unless they somehow win by a landslide.

We Are Being Gaslit (1)

MSNBC-Gaslight

“I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly.”

Introduction

One might have thought that almost 700 posts in I would have been able to cover the full scope of Progressive wickedness.  I have not, and so must discuss another important dimension.  That being, through use of their near monopoly on media (“entertainment” and “news”), they have sought to make non-Progressives question their own sanity and drive the Progressive rank-and-file into ever deeper insanity.  The means of this psychological assault is a technique called gaslighting.

The current Wikipedia definition sufficiently describes this strategy to dominate a person or group.

Gaslighting 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.

But this high level definition is insufficient with regard to understanding the practical dynamics by which Gaslighting is pursued.  Another article (Psychology Today) provides this necessary detail.

1.  Lie and Exaggerate. The gaslighter creates a negative narrative about the gaslightee (“There’s something wrong and inadequate about you”), based on generalized false presumptions and accusations, rather than objective, independently verifiable facts, thereby putting the gaslightee on the defensive.  …

2. Repetition. Like psychological warfare, the falsehoods are repeated constantly in order to stay on the offensive, control the conversation, and dominate the relationship.

3. Escalate When Challenged. When called on their lies, the gaslighter escalates the dispute by doubling and tripling down on their attacks, refuting substantive evidence with denial, blame, and more false claims (misdirection), sowing doubt and confusion.  …

4. Wear Out the Victim. By staying on the offensive, the gaslighter eventually wears down their victim, who becomes discouraged, resigned, pessimistic, fearful, debilitated, and self-doubting. The victim begins to question her or his own perception, identity, and reality.

5. Form Codependent Relationships. The Oxford Dictionary defines codependency as “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner.” In a gaslighting relationship, the gaslighter elicits constant insecurity and anxiety in the gaslightee, thereby pulling the gaslightee by the strings. …

6. Give False Hope. As a manipulative tactic, the gaslighter will occasionally treat the victim with mildness, moderation, and even superficial kindness or remorse, to give the gaslightee false hope. …

7. Dominate and Control. At its extreme, the ultimate objective of a pathological gaslighter is to control, dominate, and take advantage of another individual, or a group, or even an entire society. By maintaining and intensifying an incessant stream of lies and coercions, the gaslighter keeps the gaslightees in a constant state of insecurity, doubt, and fear. The gaslighter can then exploit their victims at will, for the augmentation of their power and personal gain.

For some readers the connections between these gaslighting tactics and the behavior of our Mainstream Media (MSM) are immediately obvious.  For others this connection has not yet become apparent.  Regardless, there is value in drawing out how the MSM and Progressive politicians have subjected us to this wicked assault.

The Kumbaya Christians (2)

Baal-and-Minneapolis

Worshiping our new god of fire.

Responding to the New Religion of Wokeness

There is a new religion being born out there in the arson, looting, murder, human cancelation, kneeling and virtue signaling.  Although currently unnamed, I will use “Wokeness” for the time being.  Numerous compelling articles have recently appeared to examine this development, one of which is by Kyle Smith.  The key definitional passage is:

Anti-racism is the most critical element of a broader new Woke Orthodoxy whose other elements include environmental apocalypticism, feminism, and a severing of sexual identity from genetic indicators. Settling on a term for the new religion will take some time. Wesley Yang’s suggestion (seconded by Ross Douthat) of “the Successor Ideology” is clunky, anodyne, and a bit euphemistic given the righteous, roiling fervor and unnerving credulousness that define the cult.

However, years ago Joseph Bottum saw this all coming down the pike in his 2014 essay titled “The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas.”  Mr. Bottum ties the new religion to Christianity, but with eviscerating deviations from this source.

Our social and political life is awash in unconsciously held Christian ideas broken from the theology that gave them meaning, and it’s hungry for the identification of sinners—the better to prove the virtue of the accusers and, perhaps especially, to demonstrate the sociopolitical power of the accusers. … Twitter and Facebook may or may not be able to make someone famous, but they can certainly make someone infamous in the blink of an eye. And because sinners’ apologies never receive the same publicity as their sins, the Internet both casts its targets from the temple and leaves them out there, lost among the profanities.  …

Mr. Bottum then delves into the apocalyptic idea inherent in “Wokeness” that is utterly disconnected from the purposes of a just, loving God.

But then, it’s always the fate of humanity that is at stake when the prophet calls us to repentance, and an apocalypse always provides to its diviners and their listeners a sharp and wonderful clarity. In this … believers in the Christian apocalypse, albeit without much Christianity. Armageddon comes to us these days as an idea, a powerful moral intuition, that has finally broken free from its old theological constraints to wander, isolated and alone. It is the last, the greatest, simplification of all the messiness of life. And who, at some level, doesn’t want that?

Building on these insights, Mr. Bottum has recently extended his analysis to address our current political/spiritual state in an interview with Providence Journal.  His views are summarized in that venue as follows.

Bottum theorizes that Mainline Protestantism’s collapse left a spiritual vacuum in American culture that loosed myriad social demons. Post-Protestantism wants to wage war on social sins, but not personal sins. It identifies redemption with having politically correct opinions. And it finds sanctification in denouncing others who lack its spiritual and political insights.

Of course, the post-Protestant theory of salvation is not satisfying, which leads to despair and deconstruction. From its perspective, absent Providence and eschatology, there is no destination, which potentially leads to destruction and nihilism. Bottum warns that a society without a shared culture cannot measure progress or purpose and no longer believes in itself, causing it to see its history as a long list of crimes.

priests-kneel-to-BLM

Pathetic submission by “Christian” leaders to a Christ-hating group.  Perhaps when the “Woke” Bible translation is released Psalm 96:6 will read: “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before BLM our idol.”

So, how do the Kumbaya Christians respond to this new religion?  Well, while it’s priests swarm our streets looting, burning, pulling down statues, canceling human lives and murdering at will, they tut-tut at any even mild criticism.  No, their primary purpose is to convince their followers that the latest pronouncements of Christ-hating, Marxist proto-totalitarians is precisely what Christ would support were He here to speak.  They tell us that it is our Christian duty to kneel

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 8.51.02 PM

Shaun King is a prominent Black Lives Matter leader.  He thus is influential in setting the ideology to which “Christian” leaders have chosen to kneel down in pathetic submission.

before this new Baal and beg forgiveness for our existence.  Then we can return to our homes sure in the knowledge that we have earned our place in the new salvation of identity-based self hatred and identity-based sainthood.

And what of Jesus Christ?  He apparently will take a last bow and fondly wave goodbye as we achieve ever higher levels of narcissism, violence and pride, rising with this new Baal to the moral heights of Wokeness.

Kumbaya indeed!

 

 

Thoughts on Our Republic’s Travail (1)

Statue-Museum-of-Natural-History

The Theodore Roosevelt statue is slated to be removed from the Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Mark Steyn was a guest on the Tucker Carlson Show last night.  One topic of discussion was what should replace the statues that are being vandalized and pulled down throughout the nation.  Mark proposed that they keep the back end of the horse for the Theodore Roosevelt statue as a fitting commentary on the passiveness or even encouragement that so many “conservative” politicians and organizations have shown for the violent riots.

That Mark’s genius suggestion inspired this Mark’s meager attempt to visualize the result.

Conservative-Horses-Ass

It appears that the main thing that most of our “conservative” politicians and organizations are seeking to conserve is their gravy train jobs and social status.  To that small minority of conservatives (and liberals and libertarians and independents) who have joined the fight to protect and preserve our Republic, take heart and know that millions of Americans appreciate your courage.

The Death of Beauty (9)

quote-gentle-jesus-meek-and-mild-look-upon-a-little-child-pity-my-simplicity-suffer-me-to-charles-wesley-110-22-04

Yes, indeed…and so much more.

Celebrating Past Beauty (7)

Arthur John Gossip’s Interpreter’s Bible Exposition on John 2:13-17 (2)

If you seek to draw your readers into a new discovery about the nature of Jesus Christ, one that many of them would prefer to avoid, how to begin?

But there are other aspects of him no less deniable; and it is fatal to ignore them, or to pretend that they are not there.

The chosen path is to directly identify the issue, face it and then state its moral import.

“And he looked around at them with anger.” (Mark 3:5), so we read. Those who knew him best remembered that his eyes could be as a flame of fire, and spoke with bated breath of something awesome in him which they tried to describe in the strange phrase “the wrath of the Lamb.” There was nothing gentle in that fierce message that he sent to Herod, “Go and tell that fox.” (Luke 13:32). Nor was there any trace of mildness in him at that tremendous moment when he turned upon his best friend, who had meant only kindness, with the terrific rebuke, “Get behind me Satan!” (Matt. 16:23).

This accounting of the instances where our Lord and Savior demonstrated anger and condemnation is meant to startle the comfortable Christian into a state of recognition that things may not be as simple as they had previously seemed.

If it is true, as it is true, that nothing does he underline more heavily than the duty of forgiveness–and this not once but over and over, declaring bluntly that salvation offered in the gospel is not unconditional, but that, as he says, if you forgive men not their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you (Matt. 16:15)–nonetheless, he himself did not always forgive. The Pharisees did not find him gentle or meek or mild when he pursued them, ruthlessly and remorselessly, with those blistering denunciations as scorching as anything in literature. “You whitewashed tombs” (Matt. 23:27); “you serpents” (Matt. 23:33); “You make him [your proselyte] twice as much a child of hell as yourselves” (Matt. 23:15). Rather than make peace with such men acting so, he chose to go to his death. And when the traders would not cease from polluting the temple of God with their unseemliness and noise and chaffering, there came a time when he said that if they would not go then he would drive them out. And he rose up and did it.

Here the Rev. Gossip addresses the core of the Christian pacifist creed.  For though forgiveness is an unalterable foundation of Christianity, it is demonstrated by Christ’s own words and deeds that forgiveness is not an excuse to accommodate evil.

Desperate attempts have been made by some who feel uncomfortable over it to tone down and edge out this incident. … And this was a wild scene, with cowering figures clutching desperately at their tables, as these were flung here and there; or running after their spilled coins, as these rolled hither and thither; or shrinking at the lash that had no mercy till the holy place was cleansed. For though it is possible to read this account as if only the cattle were actually struck, that seems very unlikely; and in the reports as given in the other Gospels, quite impossible. If this incident had been recorded of anyone else in history, it would universally have been accepted as the scene of violence it was. And those who try to explain it away do so because they feel unhappily that it will not fit into their preconceived idea of what Christ should do or be; that here somehow he acted for once out of character, and fell inexplicably below himself, forgot his own law of life, lost his head and his temper. All of which is painful and regrettable. And the best thing to do is to say as little about it as one can, and look the other way, and rub this unfortunate episode out of our minds, and think of him only at the great moments when he was his real self.

This is the crux of the issue.  Too many of we Christians want to “control the narrative” on the character and purpose of Jesus Christ.  We want all the benefits of comfort and forgiveness without any of the responsibilities or complexities.  Jesus Christ must be who we wish Him to be rather than who the Bible actually says that He is.   The good Reverend places his arm around our trembling shoulders and gently walks with us towards the precipice of our failure.

But that is foolishness. Surely our understanding of what Christlikeness is must be gathered, not from such incidents that we choose to select and to regard as typically Christlike, but from the whole of his life and character and conduct. For not only now and then, but always and in every situation, Christ did the perfect thing to do. He was as Christlike here in the temple as when dying for us on the Cross. Here to he was revealing God as truly as on Calvary. For, declares Paul with assurance, in God there is kindness–and severity (Rom. 11:22). And the one is as divine and glorious as the other.

Now that we have been shown the error of our ways, the process of recovery can begin.  And that recovery can only be effective if we begin to understand that God’s Word is not something from which we can pick and choose.  Rather, it is something before which we must bow and offer up our preconceptions and corrupted desires.

For what if he were not: were only flabbily good-natured, ready to make no fuss about our sins and to pretend that they do not matter greatly, and so push us through! “Ah, God,” cried Luther, “punish us we pray Thee … but be not silent … toward us.” A fearsome prayer! For what if he hears and answers it? But what if he does not, and lets us sin on undisturbed! For nothing do we owe Christ more than for the magnificence of his hopes for us, and his refusal to compromise with us, and the severity that pulls us up with sharpness.

The presented alternative is a world in which Christ has become a false idol to whom we sacrifice our children, fellows and selves to obtain license to sin.

And as for ourselves, if Christ is always to be followed, it is clear that while our usual rule of conduct is a frank, free, patient forgiveness, there are times when we must not forgive; when, as Hugh Mackintosh says bluntly, “Lack of indignation at wickedness is a sign, not of a poor nature only, but of positive unlikeness to Jesus Christ.” We must not so misread Christ that he becomes an ugly idol, blinding our understanding, and hiding the true God from us. The wrath of God is never thought of in scripture as opposed to his holiness. It is a necessary part of it. Christ would have lost my soul if he had not refused to compromise with me.

When Christ in His fullness is apprehended the soil is made ready to nurture a mature Christian conscience.

I look at this beautiful passage as a bookend to that of Jonathan Edwards’ sermon on Christ’s gentleness of heart towards us poor lost sinners.  Edwards stresses Christ’s gentleness while acknowledging His wrath.  Gossip stresses Christ’s wrath while acknowledging His gentleness.  Between these two beautiful meditations on our Lord and Savior we begin to discern His full glory!