The Gaslighting Government

by | Dec 6, 2021

The Gaslighting Government

by | Dec 6, 2021

gaslight (1944 poster)

The film Gaslight (1944), directed by George Cukor and starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, relays the story of a con artist, Sergis Bauer, who under the assumed name of Gregory Anton seduces and marries a young woman, Paula Alquist. The smitten bride has no idea that her charming husband murdered her aunt, Alice Alquist, who left behind a home in London where a cache of priceless jewels is stashed somewhere in the attic. The newlyweds move into the home, which Paula has inherited, and the husband proceeds to dig through the contents of the attic in an impassioned effort to locate the jewels. In order to accomplish this aim, he must keep his wife inside the house while he goes out at night, ostensibly to work in his studio. Instead, he reenters the attic of the house from an alley entrance.

While rummaging around upstairs, directly above his wife’s head, Bauer makes noises, and his use of a lamp causes the gaslight downstairs to flicker, naturally raising questions in his wife’s mind. He quells her concerns about what is going on by persuading her to believe that her perceptions are mere figments of her imagination and indeed evidence that she is going mad. To bolster this claim, he takes down paintings and hides them, after which he insists that she was the one to have moved them, despite having no memory of having done so. The criminal comes very close to having his wife committed to an insane asylum, at which point he would be free to search the entire house without raising any suspicions whatsoever, because she will be out of the picture. Just in the nick of time, the scheme is thwarted by the arrival on the scene of a hero (played by Joseph Cotten) to save the day.

The term gaslighting has come to refer thus to the phenomenon by which people are systematically persuaded to question their own perceptions of reality. It is a tactic deployed by sociopaths and psychological abusers who persuade docile people to accept whatever they say, no matter how preposterous, and no matter how much it conflicts with the deliverances of their very own senses. Such psychological manipulators are greatly aided in this endeavor through their persuasion of other people to agree with their version of what is going on.

Governments which exert influence over the mainstream media are quite adept at this sort of manipulation, as is well-illustrated by the build up to every war. Those who oppose bombing campaigns are portrayed as cowards and traitors, if not miscreants, by war profiteers, who remarkably persuade much of the populace of the necessity of military intervention, despite the fact that it will kill innocent civilians who have nothing whatsoever to do with the behavior of the leaders said to necessitate recourse to war. Gross injustices are in this way portrayed as not only permissible and just, but also obligatory.

The gaslighting tactic was equally well illustrated by the U.S. government’s response to the revelation that illegal mass surveillance had been undertaken against the entire population. Rather than expressing compunction for the crimes committed, those responsible instead insisted that no one was really looking at any of the data anyway. This line was further bolstered by cries throughout the media that “Innocent people have nothing to hide!” The scandal was shortly thereafter forgotten by much of the populace whose right to privacy had been violated by their very own government.

Similarly, when Wikileaks published the Collateral Murder video depicting civilians, including Reuters journalists, executed point blank from an Apache helicopter by the U.S. military, people all over the world were naturally appalled. The powers that be responded to the public uproar by vowing to investigate. But they ultimately concluded that no crime had been committed, for the soldiers had acted in accordance with their rules of engagement. In other words, if you thought that you were witnessing with your very own eyes the unthinkable murder of civilians on film, you were wrong, according to the gaslighting government. Likewise, when the U.S. government defined dead suspects as dead terrorists, by labeling them Enemy Killed in Action (EKIA), even when located outside areas of active hostilities, they effectively decreed that they could use lethal drones to kill anyone anywhere for any reason. Having been told by the gaslighting government that everything done in their name was intended to keep them safe, the populace generally acquiesced to this usurpation even of citizens’ rights to a fair trial before being summarily executed at the caprice of bureaucrats.

Predictably enough, given the precedents already set by the U.S. government, when ten civilians were killed by a Reaper drone in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 29, 2021, the Pentagon concluded their investigation of the case by claiming that they had committed no crimes in destroying those people, seven of whom were children. But that was only because they had not violated the laws of war rewritten by none other than themselves and, again, according to which anyone can be killed at any time for any reason, provided only that the government has determined that this should be done.

These examples underscore the fact that political power once captured is rarely ceded and progressively expands in the absence of resistance, a principle equally well illustrated by the handling of the COVID-19 crisis by governments the world over. Entire populations have been kept in a continuous state of uncertainty, never knowing what they will be forbidden from doing next. Vaccine passports, following the trajectory of circular stickers on floors, have swept through the First World, having been taken up in Israel, Canada, and throughout Europe, in addition to cities such as New York and Los Angeles, with millions of citizens now denied the right to socialize, use public transportation, go shopping, work, drive, or lead any semblance of a normal life without first presenting their health credentials. In Australia, healthy people in the Northern Territory who have been in contact with persons who tested positive for COVID-19 are being sent to quarantine camps.

Fear and uncertainty are powerful tools by which to gain, retain and augment government control because everything that officials do is claimed to benefit their constituents. Whether it is the war on terror or the current health crisis, all bureaucrats everywhere sincerely profess to be doing no more and no less than trying to protect their compatriots’ lives. That’s the standard refrain, rehearsed each time a new policy or intervention is imposed, or a civil liberty stripped away. There is no need to assess the consequences of well-intended initiatives, because the docile populace charitably permits government officials to plod along with their failed policies, no matter what they do—even when they kill citizens themselves. That was how the fiasco in Afghanistan dragged on for two decades, and that is why even when the Fool’s Errand was at last recognized for what it was by people in the position to effect change, a number of pundits and politicians protested in response, insisting that pulling out was a mistake.

As in the case of the many liberty-restricting measures adopted throughout the Global War on Terror, the attempt by governments to force their citizenry to subject to serial injections of novel substances into their bodies is said by supporters to be intended only to protect them. All across the globe, arbitrary punishments are being exacted against those who refuse to comply, this despite the ongoing protests by thousands of people for months on end in countries such as France and Australia, where the protesters obviously have not dropped dead from their failure to comply with public health measures, whether masking, vaccination or social distancing.

The government of Austria recently announced that all of its unvaccinated population would be locked down. Shortly thereafter, the lockdown was extended to cover vaccinated persons as well. It seems likely that this was a part of the gaslighting government’s general strategy to demonize the unvaccinated as the cause of the loss of the freedom of the vaccinated, under the assumption that the latter would increase pressure on the former to comply. Ratcheting up their campaign to vaccinate every citizen, the Austrian government has further announced a hefty 7,200 Euro fine to be extracted from those who persist in resisting.

The polarization of people into two antithetical groups, the vaccinated and the so-called antivaxxers, has been very effective in shutting down nearly all debate into serious questions regarding the efficacy of COVID-19 public health policies. When case numbers surge, this is immediately blamed upon the unvaccinated, as is the appearance of each new variant, even though a number of virologists maintain that the decision to vaccinate the entire population during a pandemic (rather than waiting some time) itself led to the creation of new variants, as the virus fought to survive in vaccinated hosts by wriggling its way around the spike protein antibodies created in response to the mRNA injections.

Because fully half of the population persists in a state of manifest terror at the prospect of death by virus, the major challenge today for free people has become to defend our shrinking liberties from governments which have clearly been captured by pro-Big Pharma forces. It is stunning that so many people have been persuaded to believe that they should do whatever Pfizer wants them to, despite the company’s well-documented history of malfeasance and fraud. Only the climate of fear and uncertainty continuously cultivated by media outlets (sponsored by Pfizer!) and government spokespersons can explain this group behavior phenomenon, which exhibits many characteristics of religious cults. It goes without saying that cult leaders are exemplary gaslighters, for their followers occupy a world of the cult leader’s creation. New Normal, anyone?

Cults are created and flourish in a climate of fear and/or uncertainty. A self-proclaimed special leader with unique access to The Truth arrives on the scene to magnanimously offer himself to a group of people as the solution to the dire situation. In the United States, gaslighter par excellence Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the go-to guru, despite having repeatedly issued contradictory guidance on everything from masks to lockdowns to travel bans to natural immunity to virus origin and the wisdom of mandatory vaccination. When confronted with his contradictions, Fauci has claimed that he lied for the good of the people. In fact, none of this behavior is surprising, because the way in which cult leaders maintain control of their groups is by continually rehydrating the very sense of uncertainty and fear which led people to join in the first place.

One of the most graphic uses of gaslighting by public health officials has been their utter refusal to acknowledge the reality of natural immunity through previous infection. There is no other case of a disease known to humankind and for which a vaccine exists, where previously infected and fully recovered people are exhorted to undergo vaccination. That’s because vaccines are specifically designed to provoke a response from the immune system. Vaccines incite the production of antibodies and T-cells which protect a person from the invasion of a virus. If the immune system did not protect infected people, then they would all be dead. Instead, 99% of people who contract COVID-19 survive, clearly demonstrating the efficacy of natural immunity. Most significantly, if the human immune system could not hold its own against a virus, then no vaccine designed to jolt the human immune system into fighting that same virus could possibly be effective. It is a case of gaslighting extraordinaire to claim that the immune system will only work if one is vaccinated with an elixir whose efficacy depends on the ability of the immune system to work.

A second, and equally remarkable, case of gaslighting occurred in the initial marketing campaign for the mRNA products, when representatives of the product companies exuberantly claimed that the vaccines offered up to 95% efficacy against severe illness and death, which was a protection already enjoyed naturally by the vast majority of the population pre-vaccine, because they were never vulnerable to serious illness from the virus in the first place. Having been persuaded to believe in the manifestly preposterous conjunction that natural immunity is worthless, and mRNA “vaccines” reliant for their efficacy on natural immunity are necessary, much of the populace stands ready to accept nearly any other contradiction which comes their way, even when it entails the surrender of their civil liberties.

Leaders continue to spout out absurdities such as: “We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers,” and the gaslighting government has been relentless in its quest to persuade skeptical citizens that their perceptions of what is going on are all wrong. Parents who worry that their children are being harmed by mask requirements which reduce oxygen flow to their brains, and prevent them from learning appropriate behavior through reacting to facial cues, have been told by the gaslighting government (Jen Psaki, Biden’s press secretary) that masks are just like “hair ribbons.” Those who wonder whether financial interests (such as stock holdings and patent ownership) might possibly influence bureaucrats’ policy recommendations are shutdown as “conspiracy theorists”. Obviously there is no merit to the idea that nonvaccine therapies were proscribed for the simple reason that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the experimental vaccines required that there be no alternative therapies available. That’s just another conspiracy theory, according to the gaslighting government.

The list of ideas which fly in the face of commonsense but are fully embraced by true believers is amazing to behold. Clearly it makes perfect sense to require healthy people to undergo experimental medical interventions with unknown longterm side effects. There is nothing wrong with requiring healthy people to submit to medical treatments as a condition on their current and future employment, even though the treatment in question does not prevent transmission of or infection by the disease whose symptoms it is designed to moderate. It is perfectly logical to prevent people from traveling from one country to another where the rate of infection is even worse than the country of origin. The government is better situated to determine which medications a patient should ingest than is the patient’s own doctor. There is nothing at all alarming about the government sending out the vaccine police to ensure compliance with what public health officials believe should be the treatment of healthy people, despite knowing nothing about their medical history or circumstances. It is perfectly fine to mandate that healthy people undergo experimental injections while protecting the manufacturers from legal repercussions in the event of adverse effects up to and including death. Cloth masks have no prophylactic benefit against viruses whose size is smaller than the pores of the cloth, but people should be required to wear them anyway. Health passports do not prevent infection and transmission, because the “vaccines” which they document do not prevent infection and transmission, but people should nonetheless be required to have them in order to be able to participate in society. It is entirely normal for democratically elected leaders to upbraid their constituents and threaten them menacingly, proclaiming, “Our patience is wearing thin!” when they decline to take drugs for which they have no need.

The list goes on and on, and so long as the (for the most part) scientifically illiterate populace continues to bleat “Listen to The Science!” under the assumption that Fauci, a mere man, is the apotheosis of the enormous edifice of all scientific knowledge, then they will continue to accept new and arbitrary policies. The idea that lockdown, quarantine, masking and vaccination requirements will continue on until COVID-19 disappears from the face of the earth has been successfully insinuated into the minds of the Branch Covidians, even though “the virus” will continue to mutate, just as coronaviruses have always done.

Once lured into a gaslighter’s web, it becomes progressively more difficult for people to be debriefed as time goes on. They have invested, made sacrifices, and embraced a narrative which becomes more and more compelling, even in the face of conflicting evidence. Human nature is such that no one wants to admit that they were fooled. Accordingly, instead of blaming at least some of the millions of deaths of Americans throughout the pandemic on the poor policies with which they themselves complied, the followers of Fauci & Co. remain steadfast in their belief that the death toll would have been much worse had they not agreed to do whatever their local health authorities told them to.

For years, the companies in the mRNA therapy business were waiting to test their products on human beings and, with the sudden appearance of COVID-19, their opportunity at last arrived. Advocates of universal vaccination are by now so intransigent in their beliefs that they are not bothered in the least by evidence that males in the age cohort 12-17 years are at greater risk from myocarditis post-vaccination than from the virus itself while unvaccinated. The strident call to inoculate small children with next to no vulnerability to COVID-19 is equally perplexing. Before 2020, few people would have rallied to inject perfectly healthy children with experimental elixirs designed to protect other people from a virus to which the children themselves were not vulnerable. It is shocking that anyone would offer their children up as guinea pigs in what is manifestly an experimental trial for a product of which they have no need.

Impervious to statistical data which belies the story which they have been persuaded to believe, such as the relatively good outcomes in places such as Florida and Sweden, and the poor outcomes in California and New York, in addition to the “inexplicable” success story of largely unvaccinated Africa, where vaccine hesitancy is rife and many nonvaccine remedies have been widely used, the true believers continue to insist that Fauci’s decrees must be heeded. This despite the fact that the virus death toll of 2021 was greater than that of 2020, even after widespread uptake of the “vaccine” so vigorously promoted as the solution to the crisis.

Nonetheless, according to the gaslighting government, this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” reinforcing in the minds of half the population that every single COVID-19 death is caused directly by the evil “antivaxxers” who decline the treatment. In fact, it has become increasingly clear that the virus is untameable and endemic, as data from highly vaccinated Israel and Gibralter strongly suggests. Ignorant of or impervious to this data, the “good” vaccinated are being told by their gaslighting governments that if they do not present themselves for booster shots at regular intervals (Britain recently shortened the period of eligibility from six to three months), then they, too, will number among the irresponsible unvaccinated killers.

In the face of crisis, leaders are inclined to follow the simple precept: Do something. Do anything, the false assumption being that inaction is always worse than action. Having once implemented new policies, leaders are protected by the inaccessibility of counterfactual outcomes, and they always insist that things would have been much worse, had they not done what they did. Educated people, however, are now well aware that the government’s Global War on Terror itself led to a groundswell of support for the originally quite small group of extremists known as Al Qaeda, and the creation of factional franchises which spread throughout the Middle East and Africa. Similarly, we know that many of the excess deaths over the course of the past two years were caused not by the COVID-19 virus but by the political policies imposed in response to it.

In some parts of the world the average age of persons killed by COVID-19 has been greater than the actuary tables would have predicted, had the virus never emerged. In contrast, the rise in suicides and drug overdoses among young people, most of whom were not even vulnerable to COVID-19, is most plausibly explained by the draconian political policies preventing them from living what should have been their carefree lives. Not unrelated to the destruction of thousands of small businesses caused directly by government lockdowns, homelessness has increased dramatically, as any inhabitant of a major U.S. city can attest, with the sobering existence of vast tent encampments filling the sidewalks in front of shuttered stores for blocks on end.

Meanwhile, as was predicted by critics back in 2020, strict lockdown and medical triage policies have had as a further tragic effect that people terrified of contracting what they were propagandized to believe was the Black Death were prevented, not only by their own fear, but also by policies postponing routine screenings, from seeking even necessary medical interventions such as chemotherapy and surgery. In the U.K. alone, an estimated 50,000 early cancer diagnoses were missed. Yet government leaders and their appointees have doubled down on their failed policies, despite all of the evidence that they have been blinded by a monomaniacal obsession with one cause of death to the exclusion of any other of the many problems in society. Disturbingly, some medical facilities now refuse to treat the unvaccinated, even for serious illnesses which may culminate in their deaths.

Dozens of peer-reviewed scientific papers have confirmed the rational grounds for skepticism harbored by “noncompliant” citizens, but the gaslighting government plunders ahead undeterred. For they know that their devotees, having lived since 2020 in a state of profound uncertainty, terrified by what was made to seem the looming specter of their imminent death, will agree to anything, up to and including the usurpation of their bodily autonomy.

If you, Skeptical Citizen, reject The New Normal, then there is evidently something wrong with you. The very last thing which anyone should care about is whether the government itself caused the pandemic by funding the gain-of-function research used to create the COVID-19 virus.

About Laurie Calhoun

Laurie Calhoun is the Senior Fellow for The Libertarian Institute. She is the author of Questioning the COVID Company Line: Critical Thinking in Hysterical Times,We Kill Because We Can: From Soldiering to Assassination in the Drone Age, War and Delusion: A Critical Examination, Theodicy: A Metaphilosophical Investigation, You Can Leave, Laminated Souls, and Philosophy Unmasked: A Skeptic's Critique. In 2015, she began traveling around the world while writing. In 2020, she returned to the United States, where she remained until 2023 as a result of the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by governments nearly everywhere.

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