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 Post subject: Personal and Institutional Gaslighting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:40 am 
God

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:00 pm
Posts: 1030
Personal gaslighting is manipulating someone in a way to make them question their own perceptions of reality. People who do this are dismissive of the perspectives of others, and try to downplay it so that the person does not believe their own brains and senses.

So let's get real: we are never 100 percent accurate with our own perceptions. So I could be wrong, right? I could be "seeing" things or imagining something that isn't happening is happening. However, short of actual hallucination, you telling me something is not happening is not respecting my perspective. After all, if I cannot trust mine, why should you trust yours and why should I trust yours? Sounds like living in a fog without any direction, right? How do you find guidance with such uncertainty?

Here's my approach: I treat my perspective as mine and as real. I do the same for yours. Except I understand that I have to go by what I know for me and that you must do likewise and go by what you know for you. Neither of us has the right to expect abdication of the other's perceptions and wills to our own. So when I have a perception that I question, I hold it up in a triage of sorts: I examine it and I allow it to be subject to change given verifiable information. I respect another's perspective by realizing that in order to challenge theirs to them, I must provide information they can verify. I will not insult them with "shoulds" for their lives by virtue of my feelings or opinions. On the other hand, when it is just my life and my little niche, I do get to use my feelings and opinions without explanation. I am not obliged to defend those choices to anyone.

So people who use their unverifiable views to try to plow into my life are basically waving a big fat red flag. They are violating boundaries.

The church, as an instritution, engages in boundary violations all the time. People say that this does not hold, since the church is just upholding commitments that people have voluntarily made. Yet, this does not excuse the church. As a system, it holds claims to people's perspectives on God and the entire cosmology of the universe. Abuse is not okay just because a person consented to it.

Furthermore, the idea that a person consented is arguable. If a person truly believes that the church represents God because their mind has not been exposed to alternatives, then they cannot consent. They are merely making a decision based on unverifiable information, but the decision which they believe is best, according to the way their brain has been structured.

This happens generationally, it happens spontaneously, too, especially to vulnerable people, as returned missionaries can tell you. And when the church formula does not work as promised in an individual's life, the church revictimizes over and over, all with ostensibly good intentions, telling the person to adapt and make themselves more loyal. So people who want to do what is right, and who want to align themselves with truth are holding up and perpetuating the church. They think they must be doing good because they are obeying the rules their brains know. That is why it is systemically corrupt.

Institutional gaslighting is when the moving parts of an institution manipulate you in order to make you question your own perception and senses, trying to make you prioritize the declarations of the institution above your own, trying to get you to abdicate your choices based on this unverifiable information. The insidious fact about institutional gaslighting is that it does not require a bad guy. All the people involved might believe they are doing right, they are simply following the rules of the system which promises success, a system to which they themselves might not see any alternative.

Of course they will tell the undeluded that they are deluded, but usually more politely. That's because they are deluded themselves. They are both parts and products of the institution. The institution has survived for generations because the people benefiting from it have created the moving parts that evolve to allow it to stay alive and replenish itself. The institutional boundary violations were gaslighting from the very start, and the violations perpetuate themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Personal and Institutional Gaslighting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:13 pm 
God

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:00 pm
Posts: 1030
This represents an important lesson for me, how institutional abuse can occur without bad actors, per se. It's the system itself that can produce what is in effect, abusive behaviors like gaslighting, coercion, shunning over religious belief....


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