Gaslighting — Psychological Manipulation that Breaks Your Will to Resist


Calvin Mulligan, Futurescapes21C 2018, All rights reserved, Original written 9/28/2018, Posted October 1, 2018 rev. October 8, 2018

Overall, the main reason for gaslighting is to create a dynamic where the abuser has complete control over their victim so that they are so weak that they are very easy to manipulate.” — Alex Miles

Those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead, who turn darkness into light and light into darkness, who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter.” (Isaiah, 20: v) 

Apathy in the face of evil
Perhaps you can be excused if you didn’t know that you have been the target of information warfare. And you might not have heard that a legislative amendment in 2013 which allowed the powers that be (PTB) to propagandize US citizens. And borders aren’t impervious to propaganda. But, you’ve been busy, right–  cultivating a career, growing a business, raising a family, serving your community and watching sports on TV and perhaps preoccupied on social media.

The problem is the powers that be, the elite, the high level movers and shakers, the puppet masters, the illuminati, whatever you wish to call them, have been exploiting your inattentiveness. They have successfully inverted the natural  order — reality as we knew it. We’re completely disoriented to the point that we’ve become partners in their pathological schemes, like conducting endless war. Inattention has now become complicity. But hope springs eternal, and there remains a chance that you haven’t become totally inured to the deceptions of Machiavelli’s disciples. 

Do you ever wonder how the the citizens of the American Empire and its trusty ally, Canada, are so easily persuaded, time and time again, to consent to the Empire’s foreign military aggressions? It’s no small matter. In fact, the numbers boggle the mind. One source estimates that the US is directly and indirectly responsible for more than 20 million to 30 million deaths “in 37 victim nations since WWII.” Let that number roll around  in your head for a moment. This astonishing number is attributed to two types of military action. The first is direct action and it accounts for “about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars. The Korean War also includes Chinese deaths while the Vietnam War also includes fatalities in Cambodia and Laos.”

Add to this number the death count from the Empire’s “proxy” wars. (These are wars waged at arms length where the US equips, trains funds otherwise assists non-American forces (mercenaries, para militaries, jihadists) to carry out its dirty work.) These assaults account for “between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.” (1)

Conducting a proxy war
For the American Empire, the proxy war, a model employed for decades in South America and  currently employed in the Middle East and North Africa, has much to recommend it. Importantly, its arms length nature affords the US sufficient distance that the average citizen is unlikely to search out its connection to the conflict. Thus, the US can adopt the position of interested, or even concerned observer looking for ways to address the problematic situation and thus giving new meaning to the word, disingenuous. Second, it avoids the public discomfort and resistance which inevitably develops when the public wearies of seeing young American soldiers coming home in body bags. 

UK journalist, Vanessa Beeley explains the basic steps in the process of conducting a proxy war.  

“The ubiquitous dictator, the oligarch who threatens to destroy all that the US and her allies represent which of course is, freedom, equality & civil liberty all wrapped up in the Democracy shiny paper and tied with the exceptionalist ribbon.Next the false flag to engender fear, terror and to foment sectarian strife. The support of a “legitimate” organic, indigenous “revolution” conveniently emerging in tandem with US ambitions for imposing their model of governance upon a target nation. The arming of “freedom fighters”, the securing of mercenary additions to these manufactured proxy forces.  All this is sold in the name of freedom and democracy….” (2)

The author of the study on US-caused military deaths notes that “Virtually all parts of the world have been the target of U.S. intervention.” That’s apocalyptic. If the situation were attributable to a pandemic — resulting from the spread of an exotic virus, it would be a case of all hands on deck in the search to develop a treatment or means of control. In this case, however, the citizens of the US and the West remain remarkably silent and seemingly unmoved. It’s business as usual and our and silence is interpreted as consent by the predatory military industrial complex. 

We the sheeple?
To what should we attribute this strange ability to detach ourselves from uncomfortable realities unfolding elsewhere in the world, including those orchestrated by our own governments in our name? Political analyst, Paul Craig. Roberts attributes the apparent blindness of fellow Americans to the criminality of their government and its leaders as insouciance or indifference. Others explain our inability to confront the evil aggressions of the military industrial complex as attributable to the constant “bread and circuses” distractions manufactured under the rubric of entertainment. I wonder if we’re not  at the point now where, Kardashian is synonymous with mindless distraction? In fairness, the list is much longer including “the Royals” and innumerable other personalities populating the vast entertainment complex.

Journalist, Caitlin Johnstone believes that Christianity tends to cultivate passivity in the face of earthly evil. Johnstone contends that In the Christian worldview, justice is dispensed in the the next life, giving tyranny a pass in this one. She may have a point regarding Christian passivity. But discernment may also be an issue. When exactly should we be forgiving and turn the other cheek as Christ did? And when should we be unleashing the righteous indignation Christ did when he upset the operations of the temple money changers? Or is it a matter of a lack of street smarts and strategy; knowing how to combat the evils of our day, again considering military industrial complex example.

I could add that often, it seems, we’re excessively deferent, and on other occasions, wary of earthly nastiness. Sometimes, we’re just plain gullible. Conservative Christians readily fall for the latest Netanyahoo/Israeli ruse, whereas their progressive brethern eagerly lap up Neoliberal delusions like mother’s milk. As a Christian, I’d like to believe otherwise, but there’s too much evidence to the contrary for me to challenge the assessment of author, Michael Hoffman regarding the underwhelming resolve of the brethern/sistern to combating enemies.

“In a (sic) general, the supporters of the lies of the Overlords wage spiritual and psychological warfare with far more dedication, commitment and self-sacrifice than the purported allies of God’s truth. The Cryptocracy’s defenders are 24/7 militants resolved to contend with their perceived foes with every ounce of their being. Whereas on the side of Christian conservative renewal, with honorable exceptions, I find mainly armchair warriors and folks so enormously distracted by the choices offered by the Internet’s deluge of words and images, that they are nearly paralyzed by the spectacle.” (3)

In general, “we the people” not only fail to understand the nature of the big game and the rules by which it is played, but we also vastly underestimate our adversaries’ capabilities and our vulnerability to their manipulative schemes. My dad used to describe those afflicted with such debilitating naiveté as “babes in the woods.” Moreover, the opposition isn’t hampered by such concepts as fair play and honesty. Have you ever seen the merchants of death engaged in selling us war on a regular basis commit to fair play and transparency? As the expression went in our parents’ day, “All is fair in love and war.” When it comes to war, the corollary of war- makers is “The end justifies the means.” And for war-makers, winning is everything. 

As useful as these various explanations are in accounting for our collective passivity, there appears to be something more subtle and more malevolent at play. Recognizing it is complicated by the fact that most people find it difficult to acknowledge that they have been deceived. Some sage has wisely said that it’s easier to fool someone than it is to convince that person that the or she is being fooled. But what if, ultimately we are being subjected to a devious form of psychological abuse?

Psychological warfare — gaslighting
Caitlin Johnstone, explains our capitulation to the Empire’s bloody wars in part as the result of propagandizing by corporate mass media.  

“The mass media has given a few elites the ability to effectively turn a false story that they themselves invented into an established fact so broadly accepted that anyone who doubts it can be painted in the exact same light as someone who doubts the roundness of the Earth. The illusion of unanimous agreement is so complete that blatant establishment psyops are placed on the same level as settled scientific fact, even though it’s made of little else but highly paid pundits making authoritative assertions in confident tones of voice day after day.”

Johnstone describes this as a form of psychological abuse called “gaslighting.”(4) She directs readers to an essay by Vanessa Beeley on the origin of the term and its modern day application. Beeley contends that the populace is first “preconditioned” or “tenderized” as she puts it, through a lengthy  campaign of fear mongering. Then, the populace is subjected to  gaslighting. The victim of gas lighting is incapable of rational thought and reason. 

“The majority of Americans accept mass murder under the pretext of the right to protect, because their ability to form rational and reasoned opinions has been engineered out of them.  This is now the definition of US exceptionalism.  It is their ability to manipulate the world into accepting their lawlessness and global hegemony agenda.  In seeking to impose its own image upon our world the US has drifted so far from its founding principles, one wonders how they will ever return to them.  They have employed a recognised form of torture to ensure capitulation to their mission of world domination which entails the mental, physical and spiritual torture of target civilian populations.”

There are three stages in gaslighting. The the first stage hinges on the trust and reliance we have developed in our leaders/abusers. Trust is cultivated through (paternalistic) self promotion and what Beeley calls “ingratiating propaganda.” Once trust has been granted, the abuser subtly begins to undermine it. The result is the victim begins to doubt their own judgement and surrender to the reality of the abuser. By stage two, the victim is suffering from something akin to Stockholm Syndrome and identifying with their captor/abuser. The third stage is “depression.” At that point she says, “The process is complete and the victim has been reduced to a willing accomplice in the abuser’s creation of a very distorted reality.” (5) 

Note: The famous case of newspaper heiress-turned SLA terrorist, Patrician Hearst, is illustrative. (6)

I wonder what stage of gaslighting are the citizens of the US and its vassal states now in? Is it possible that the majority are in Stage Two and Three and at a point where they have become “willing accomplices of a very distorted reality” as Beeley puts it?  Can they be awakened and escape the matrix of lies? Or, are the rewards of serving Big Brother too addictive to overcome? Let’s hope not.

Fighting back
A significance percentage of the population likely retains some awareness of their situation. But what can people do in the face of such powerful oppression? In a 2015 TedTalk, Ms. Ariel Leve describes her gaslighting as a child by her narcissist mother. 

“When I would confront my mother with things that she had said, or things that she had done, she would say I was making it up, that it was a lie. When I confronted her with facts, they were batted away. So it wasn’t just that my reality was canceled, but that my perception of reality was overwritten.” 

Leve opens her presentation with an ominous assessment: “Right now, the world is experiencing what I experienced every day as a child. There is chaos, there is confusion; everything is upside down. Reality is being cancelled and nothing means anything.” 

She has four pieces of advice to those now experiencing gaslighting at a societal level.  
1. Remain defiant
2. Never expect accountability
3. Let go of the wish for things to be different
4. Develop healthy detachment. (7)

What other measures may be important in protecting your health and well-being in our dystopian world? Caitlin Johnstone recommends we exercise “extreme skepticism” regarding any establishment narrative and learn to truth our own judgement. She adds that you should “have full confidence that your conclusions, however imperfect, are always superior to those of known liars and manipulators. Don’t let them gaslight you.”

A family member works in the field of mental health, but somehow, I suspect her colleagues aren’t yet talking about the dangers of gaslighting. The cognitive dissonance associated with that possibility is a powerful natural deterrent. So for many, it would simply be too alarming to contemplate. But it’s time we did, and it’s time people took steps to safeguard their mental and emotional well-being from government and military-inspired psychological assaults. It’s time to resist our collective gaslighting. The creation and operation of this website dedicated to exposing the deceptions of propagandists is my personal act of defiance. What’s yours?

1. The US has killed 20 million people in 37 victim nations since WWII, James A. Lucas, Global, Research, November 27, 2015,

2. Gaslighting: State mind control and abusive narcissism, Venessa Beeley, 21st Century Wire, May 26, 2016,

3. On the censorship of Michael Hoffman’s books by Amazon, Information Clearing House, September 14, 2018

4. How the establishment propaganda machine gaslights us into submission, Caitlin Johnstone, Medium, February 11, 2018

6. The heiress who turned terrorist, Fraser Coast Chronicle, February 26, 2018,

​7. How to resist gas lighting, Ariel Leve, YouTube, May 15, 2017,

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