Scarlet Jewels: Virtual Abuse
The NewsLog of Julie Solheim-Roe
 Virtual Abuse23 comments
picture 2003-07-01 15:31, by Julie Solheim-Roe

Fascinating article about how verbal abuse can be subtle, invade our lives, alter our intentions and create social and political change. Uses George Bush's speeches to show how that works.

Written by Renana Brooks, PhD, clinical psychologist practicing in Washington,DC. She heads the Sommet Institute for the Study of Power and Persuasion and is completing a book on the virtue myth and the conservative culture of domination.
"Bush uses several dominating linguistic techniques to induce surrender to his will. The first is empty language. This term refers to broad statements that are so abstract and mean so little that they are virtually impossible to oppose. Empty language is the emotional equivalent of empty calories. Just as we seldom question the content of potato chips while enjoying their pleasurable taste, recipients of empty language are usually distracted from examining the content of what they are hearing. Domina-tors use empty language to conceal faulty generalizations; to ridicule viable alternatives; to attribute negative motivations to others, thus making them appear contemptible; and to rename and "reframe" opposing viewpoints."

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2 Jul 2003 @ 10:36 by craiglang : NLP
When you listen to sales or political speeches such as Bush's, you can find some excellent examples of hypnotic/NLP language patterns. Phrases such as these are intended to slip past the mind's critical barrier, and embed into the subconscious. NLP "magic phrases" and include such gems as "don't think about X" - which immediately causes one to think of X; and "imagine what it would be like if...", which immediately brings up the image in the imagination.

There are a host of these little phrases. Hypnotherapists use all the time for healing suggestion work. As a simple example: "Imagine what it would be like for your discomfort to become less and less, now"...

A wonderful example of NLP techniques is the Yes-set. It is a series of statements that sound like one would naturally agree with (though theyt may have also subtler connotations), followed by the statement that they also want you to agree with.

For example, think of the following argument:
- The USA has been an independent nation for over 200 years.
- Each citizen belongs to that important group made up of citizens of this great nation.
- Our bill of rights defines the important freedoms of a US citizen.
- The USA has the highest standard of living on Earth,
- and your life today is a direct result of the history of the USA.
- There are others in the world who oppose the USA and its citizens.
- So we need to increase homeland security to protect the values of the USA.

Each statement sounds undeniable to the average person in the USA - appealing to one's belief system. The combined "yes"es then create a pattern of agreement in the subconscious which will apply to the final statement as well. There does not need to be any logical link between the yes-phrases, and the concluding argument. The content is subconscious - not logical.

So I invite you to imagine yourself listenning to Bush's next speech, finding each new NLP phrase. And you don't even need to think about this news log comment every time, especially everytime you find an NLP phrase. Because you already know that from now on, you will find more and more of them. And I'll bet that you can aready see yourself being aware of each one... :-)  

2 Jul 2003 @ 11:33 by waalstraat : Don't think I appreciated this Article
For "appreciate" is not accurate, I really appreciated it. So right now you can relax an fully enjoy this comment. For you are so entranc-
ing in what you have chosen to write about...So I wish I can talk to your unconscious now and say Julie, I really enjoy being with you here now or later...warm feelings, and blessings Aum Pa (bernard)  

2 Jul 2003 @ 14:09 by sharie : Great info
Thanks Julie, and thanks Greg for the additional info. I hope we all wake up to what's going on.

Great photo of the puppet strings Julie - nice touch.  

7 Jul 2003 @ 01:06 by mx @ : add on:intentional polarizations
great referent, Julie, thanks :-)
would like to add on the observation that the writer's of his speeches are masters of firing up polarizations. The most obvious ones being 'us/them' and 'we, the innocent Vs. the devil himself'. This reaches far beyond the manipulation that is mentioned in the referred article. I wouldn't call the techniques mentioned 'NLP' but rather 'Roman Rhetorique'. NLP just summarizes and built upon the patterns discovered thousands of years ago..
PS: Julie, why did you put this into the 'feminism' category? Are you sure the writers of his speeches are only men?  

7 Jul 2003 @ 08:45 by Julie @ : Personal is Political
Hey Maxoboy... remember, feminism is not 'anti-men'. It is about looking at the Whole Herstory... so I group Feminism with Cultural Dialogues for personal political reasons. I see patriarchy as a problem of polarization, and that patriarchy is something that needs to be 'detoxed' from humanity as a whole. One way to view patriarchy is simply the Split Mind, that breaks up the organic holism inherent in Life. The Cosmic Pulse, MaxMan.... Hey, glad you're 'back'!  

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