[Ed: This piece was forwarded by one of our DRGO correspondents on behalf of the writer, who didn’t respond to our inquiries. But it is an excellent depiction of the crazy-making that “gaslighting” describes. We thought it was worth sharing further, edited for DRGO.]
“Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I crazy?” If you ever have, then you’re not crazy. You’re most likely being “gaslighted”. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse aimed at controlling a person by altering reality to the point where the person will doubt his/her own sanity.
The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1930’s play called Gas Light. The main character in the play literally tries to drive his wife crazy by gradually dimming the gas-powered lights in their home. When she notices the lights dimming, her husband not only denies that the lights are dimming, he convinces her that she is imagining it to the point that she questions her own sanity.
We are living in a society of perpetual gaslighting. The reality that the media reports is often at complete odds with what we are seeing with our own two eyes. And when we question the false reality that is being presented, or we contradict it by our own witness, we are vilified as racist or bigots or just plain crazy. Well, you’re not racist. You’re not crazy. You’re being gaslighted.
New York State has suffered twice as many deaths from Covid-19 than any other state, and New York has accounted for one fifth of all Covid-19 deaths. But we are told that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has handled the pandemic better than any other governor. Yet if we support policies of Governors whose states had only a fraction of the infections and deaths as New York, we’re called anti-science and accused of wanting people to die. So, we ask ourselves, “Am I crazy?” No, we’re being gaslighted.
We see mobs of people looting stores, smashing windows, setting cars on fire and burning down buildings, but we are told that these acts are “mostly peaceful” protests. And when we call this destruction of our cities, riots, we are called racists. So, we ask ourselves, “Am I crazy?” No, we’re being gaslighted.
We see the major problems destroying many inner-cities are crime, murder, gang violence, drug dealing, drive-by shootings, armed robbery, etc. but we are told that crime is not the inner-city problem, but that police are. We are told we defunding the police and reducing law enforcement in crime-riddled cities will make them safer. If we advocate for more policing in cities overrun by crime, we are accused of being white supremacists and racists. So, we ask ourselves, “Am I crazy?” No, we’re being gaslighted.
The United States of America accepts more immigrants than any other country in the world. The vast majority of the immigrants are “people of color”, and they are now enjoying freedom and economic opportunity not available to them in their countries of origin. But . . . we are told that the United States is the most racist and oppressive country on the planet. If we disagree, we are called racist and xenophobic. So, again we ask ourselves, “Am I crazy?” No, we’re being gaslighted.
Capitalist countries are the most prosperous countries in the world with the highest standards of living . We see more poor people move up the economic ladder to the middle class and even to wealth by their efforts and abilities in capitalist economies than in any other economic system in the world. But we are told capitalism is an oppressive system designed to keep people down. So, we ask ourselves, “Am I crazy?” No, we’re being gaslighted.
Communist countries killed over 100 million people in the 20th century. Communists strip their own citizens of basic human rights, dictate every aspect of their lives, treat them like slaves, and drive their economies into the ground. Yet we are told that communism is the fairest, most equitable, most just economic system in the world. So, we ask ourselves, “Am I crazy?” No, we’re being gaslighted.
A current egregious example of gaslighting is the concept of racial “fragility”. You spend your life trying to be a good person, trying to treat people fairly and with respect. You disavow racism and bigotry in all its forms. You judge people solely on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. You don’t discriminate based on race or ethnicity. But you are told you are a racist, not because of something you did or said, but solely because of the color of your skin. You know that charging someone with racism because of their skin color is itself racist. You believe that you are not racist, so you defend yourself and your character, but you are told that defending yourself proves your racism. So, you ask yourself, “Am I crazy?” No, you’re just being gaslighted.
Gaslighting has become one of the most pervasive and destructive tactics in American culture and politics. It is the exact opposite of what our system was meant to be. It deals in lies and psychological coercion, and not truth-seeking via intellectual discourse. If you ever ask yourself if you’re crazy, you most likely are not. Crazy people aren’t sane enough to ask themselves if they’re crazy. So trust yourself, believe what’s in your heart. Trust your eyes over what you are told. Don’t credit people who tell you that you’re crazy–because you’re not. You’re being gaslighted.