THE ANATOMY OF SLAVESPEAK
© Copyright 1997 By Frederick Mann, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The original title of this report was “Gulliver’s Travels and Alice in Wonderland.” Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, was a most advanced freethinker, centuries ahead of his time. He questioned all aspects of religion and politics, particularly in his book A Tale of a Tub. Swift’s best-known classic Gulliver’s Travels is much more than a children’s book; it’s an advanced political analysis. Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, was a mathematician and philosopher — and political analyst. The two ‘Alice-books’ can be regarded in part as political tracts disguised as children’s books. This report is an essential aid to understanding the “Spooner-insight” — see The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner.
“My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice very politely; but she added to herself, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!” [emphasis added]…The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming, “Off with her head! Off with–”
“Nonsense!” said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” – Joseph Stalin”Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson, Introduction to The Tree of Lies (by Christopher S. Hyatt. Ph.D.)
The first thing I want you to realize is that the primary tool or WEAPON terrocrats use to subjugate, control, and dominate their victims is WORDS. By “terrocrat” I mean “coercive political agent” or “terrorist bureaucrat.” A terrocrat is always an individual human being.
Please think about this issue. How often has a terrocrat stuck a gun in your face and said, “Pay your taxes or else?” Compare this to the number of times terrocrats have sent you pieces of paper with words on them, telling you what to do or what not to do — and what penalties you may be subjected to, if you don’t obey?
Now, please stretch your imagination and imagine a world in which nobody takes the words of terrocrats seriously. They say, “We are the government,” and everyone laughs at them and asks, “Government? — what’s that?” And, whatever they reply, they are greeted with more laughter.
Then they say, “Our word is law; and you must obey.” Everyone just laughs at the terrocrats and asks, “Law? — what’s that?” Again, whatever they reply, they are greeted with more laughter.
How much power would terrocrats have in such a world?
I don’t care how much thought you have to put into this, but it’s absolutely vital that you understand that the primary means terrocrats use to subjugate, control, and dominate their victims is words.
Actually, there are three kinds of “things” terrocrats use to control their victims. The first is violence. The second is money. And the third is words. By violence, here, I mean actual physical violence. (Threats of violence are almost always expressed in words.)
How often has a terrocrat used actual violence to control you? Were you physically dragged into school, or were you coerced by words to go to school? Has any terrocrat ever used actual physical violence to make you pay taxes, or were you coerced by words to pay up?
Have you ever been arrested? If so, in what proportion did the cop use actual physical violence compared to words. Did he tell you to put your hands behind your back, or did he force your hands behind your back without saying anything? Notice that even during most arrests, cops use more words than actual physical violence to control their victims.
Have you ever been to court? To what proportion do the terrocrats and lawyers use words in court compared to actual physical violence?
Have you ever been to jail? To what proportion do the terrocrats use words in jail compared to actual physical violence?
How much power would terrocrats have in a world in which everyone says “NO!” to them and laughs at whatever they say? Can you begin to appreciate that the power of terrocrats depends largely on victims accepting terrocrat words and obeying them?
What about money? To what extent do terrocrats use money to subjugate, control, and dominate their victims? Well, they say their “law” (words) is that you must use their money; you’re not allowed to print your own. And doesn’t their money largely consist of pieces of paper with words (and a few pictures) on them? In the absence of words, could terrocrats use money to control people? And don’t their “legal tender laws” consist entirely of words?
In their book Powershift the Tofflers indicate how power has progressively shifted first from those who command violence to those who command money, and second to those who command information. And doesn’t information consist mostly of words?
What I want you to get, to grasp, to understand is that the power of terrocrats depends more on words than on anything else. Of course, their words have to be accepted, believed, and obeyed by the vast majority of victims. But what would happen if a critical mass of enlightened, emancipated former victims were to reject terrocrat words, were to stop believing them, were to attack and ridicule them whenever appropriate, and were to carefully and judiciously stop obeying them?
Some of the ideas in this report may be threatening to your current knowledge. In his classic book Nineteen-Eighty-Four, George Orwell coined terms like “thoughtcrime” and “crimestop.” If your current knowledge is “legal,” then some of the ideas presented here are “thoughtcrimes.” From the terrocrat perspective, attacking and ridiculing their words is no doubt a thoughtcrime.
Your mind may find it difficult to deal with some of these ideas. Orwell wrote:
“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to [an “authority”], and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”
So, please don’t let crimestop stop you!
Benefits of Understanding Slavespeak
Once you understand political Slavespeak (the language used to establish and maintain master-slave relationships), you become very aware of how those who don’t understand Slavespeak can be dominated, subjugated, and controlled by words — essentially enslaved by words. Correspondingly, you become impervious to external control through words. In other words, you enjoy more freedom — you have more options available to you.
If you’re active in promoting freedom, you’ll see that most current freedom-promoting activities, while they may yield short-term benefits, are unlikely to bring about any significant expansion of freedom in the long term. The reason for this is that the most basic way tyrants and terrocrats wield their power is a “control-via-words” mechanism. Most current freedom-promoting activities don’t attack this basic mechanism; in fact, they tend to reinforce and perpetuate it.
Understanding Slavespeak enables you to discard activities you may otherwise waste your precious time on. It enables you to focus on activities most likely to benefit you, while at the same time having the greatest potential for reducing the power of terrocrats, at least insofar as terrocrat actions infringe on your personal life and affairs.
A further benefit of understanding Slavespeak is that you’ll become more aware of how people, generally, are manipulated through words. It will become much more difficult for others to manipulate you.
Understanding and transcending Slavespeak improves your perception of the world and enables you to act or behave more effectively in relation to it. In his article Toward Understanding E-Prime, Robert Anton Wilson wrote:
“It seems likely that the principal software used in the human brain consists of words, metaphors, disguised metaphors, and linguistic structures in general. The Sapir-Whorf-Korzybski Hypothesis, in anthropology, holds that a change in language can alter our perception of the cosmos. A revision of language structure, in particular, can alter the brain as dramatically as a psychedelic. In our metaphor, if we change the software, the computer operates in a new way.”
“If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.” – Frank Herbert, The Dosadi Experiment“The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves.” – Dresden James
“Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
What Nietzsche Said
“There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples.
The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth; “I, the state, am the people.”
It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.
Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law.
I offer you this sign: every people speaks its own language of good and evil: its neighbor does not understand this language. It invented this language for itself in custom and law.
But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says, it lies — and whatever it has, it has stolen.
Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. Even its belly is false.
Confusion of the language of good and evil; I offer you this sign of the state. Truly, this sign indicates the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous!
Just see how it lures them, the many-too-many! How it devours them, and chews them, and re-chews them!
…It would like to range heroes and honorable men about it, this new idol! It likes to sun itself in the sunshine of good consciences — this cold monster!
It will give you everything if you worship it, this new idol: thus it buys for itself the luster of your virtues and the glance of your proud eyes.
It wants to use you to lure the many-too-many. Yes, a cunning device of Hell has here been devised, a horse of death jingling with the trappings of divine honors!
Yes, a death for many has here been devised that glorifies itself as life: truly a heart-felt service to all preachers of death!
I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called — life.”
What Hubbard Said
“ON CONTROL AND LYINGTHE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them. When you find an individual is lying to you, you know that the individual is trying to control you. One way or another this individual is trying to control you. That is the mechanism of control. This individual is lying to you because he is trying to control you — because if they give you enough misinformation they will pull you down the tone scale so that they can control you. Conversely, if you see an impulse on the part of a human being to control you, you know very well that that human being is lying to you. Not “is going to,” but “is” lying to you.
Check these facts, you will find they are always true. That person who is trying to control you is lying to you. He must tell you lies in order to continue control, because the second you start telling anybody close to the truth, you start releasing him and he gets tougher and tougher to control. So, you can’t control somebody without telling them a bunch of lies. You will find that very often Command has this as its greatest weakness. It will try to control instead of leading. The next thing you know, it is lying to the [illegible]. Lie, lie, lie, and it gets worse and worse, and all of a sudden the thing blows up.
Well, religion has done this. Organized religion tries to control, so therefore must be lying. After a while it figures out (even itself) that it is lying, and then it starts down tone scale further and further, and all of a sudden people get down along this spring-like bottom (heresy) and say, “Are we going into apathy and die, or are we going to revolt?” And they revolt, because you can only lie to people so long.
Unfortunately there is always a new cycle of lying.”
– L. Ron Hubbard, Technique 88
What Is Slavespeak?
“It is illusions and words that have influenced the mind of the crowd, and especially words — words which are as powerful as they are chimeral, and whose astonishing sway we shall shortly demonstrate,” wrote Gustave le Bon in his classic The Crowd, a century ago.
In The Second Sin Thomas Szasz wrote, “Man is the animal that speaks. Understanding language is the key to understanding man; and the control of language, to the control of man.” Alfred Korzybski, founder of General Semantics indicated that, “Those who control symbols control humanity.”
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
The language used to subjugate, control, and dominate others I lump together as “Slavespeak.” Slavespeak is similar to the word Newspeak, invented by George Orwell and described in his book Nineteen-Eighty-Four. I use Slavespeak in essentially the same way Orwell used Newspeak, except that Slavespeak covers more words than I think Orwell would have regarded as Newspeak. Slavespeak includes words like: “state,” “government,” “law,” “king,” “constitution,” “queen,” “president,” “prime minister,” “nation,” “country,” “anthem,” etc. Slavespeak, as I use the term, has developed over many centuries. I’ve also expanded what I mean by Slavespeak beyond politics.
I specifically use political Slavespeak in the sense of Orwell’s ‘B vocabulary’:
“The ‘B vocabulary’ consisted of words which had been deliberately constructed for political purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a political implication, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them… the ‘B’ words were a sort of verbal shorthand, often packing whole ranges of ideas into a few syllables… even in the early decades of the Twentieth Century, telescoped words and phrases had been one of the characteristic features of political language; and it had been noticed that the tendency to use abbreviations of this kind was most marked in totalitarian countries and totalitarian organizations… the intention being to make speech, and especially speech on any subject not ideologically neutral, as nearly as possible independent of consciousness… ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word ‘Duckspeak’ meaning ‘to quack like a duck.'” [emphasis added]
Political Slavespeak consists of terrocrat words — words that give terrocrats advantages over their victims; words that — if accepted, believed, and used — put victims at a disadvantage.
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
If a terrocrat can persuade a victim to accept his Slavespeak words, he automatically subjugates his victim. If a victim accepts the Slavespeak words of a terrocrat, he automatically positions himself as a subject in relation to the terrocrat — and the terrocrat gains power over him.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.””The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.” [emphasis added]
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
Slavespeak is not limited to the political domain. It includes all language that may put an individual at a disadvantage in relation to others and to the world in general. Slavespeak probably occurs in most domains of human endeavor:
- Health; etc.
An example of philosophical Slavespeak is the notion of “absolute truth.” Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson of The School of Thought calls it the “Plato Truth Virus.” I strongly recommend that you do his “Brain Freebie” course.
“Nobody likes me,” “Women always betray me,” and “You make me angry” are examples of psychological and emotional Slavespeak.
Al Siebert’s book Peaking Out: How my Mind Broke Free from the Delusions of Psychiatry presents a trenchant description of how psychiatric Slavespeak operates and its consequences. Siebert was awarded a fellowship for post-doctoral psychiatric training at the Menninger Foundation. He dared to question “incontestable psychiatric dogma” and outlined some breakthrough ideas to his “psychiatrist teachers.”
They were not amused. They had him committed to a psychiatric hospital as a mental patient. The book includes a narrative of Siebert’s real-life experiences as an institutionalized mental patient. It also tells how Siebert saw through the delusional belief system which controls the minds of psychiatrists. A key quote:
“Then their white coats, the diplomas, their titles are cues that keep them in a hypnotic-like trance. Their perceptions of others, the special language they use, the labels they give to patients — all are programmed responses, just like with cult members.”
After Siebert left the psychiatric ward and the Menninger Foundation, he had a tremendous peak experience — the kind of peak experience described by psychologist Abraham Maslow. As Siebert was driving south out of Topeka, he suddenly had the feeling that for the first time in his life he was totally free.
“It was glorious! It was a new feeling. Up until then my mind had been controlled by illusions and I hadn’t known it.I started yelling, ‘I’m free! I’m free! My mind is totally free! I can feel it!’
I shouted as loud as I could, ‘My mind is freeeeeeee!” [Siebert’s emphasis]
Freeing your mind from illusions and delusional belief systems can be one of the most liberating things you can experience. It can also be one of the most powerful things you can experience. This report can serve as a starting point for systematically ridding your mind of the major illusions which the vast majority of humans suffer from — particularly in the political domain.
A key phrase in the Siebert quote above is “up until then my mind had been controlled by illusions and I hadn’t known it.” Becoming aware that your mind is controlled by illusions is a major step in freeing yourself from Slavespeak.
Economic Slavespeak consists of language that keeps people trapped in economic failure or poverty. At age 16, I discussed my possible future career with my father. At one point I said, “Well, I could always go into business.” He replied, “You’ll never succeed in business!” — economic Slavespeak. Had I accepted his “economic curse” as valid, it would have condemned me to failure in business.
All religious language which places the individual who accepts it at a disadvantage I regard as religious Slavespeak.
The word “heat” as it was once “understood” by many scientists serves as an example of scientific Slavespeak. In Right Where You Are Sitting Now Robert Anton Wilson wrote:
“The language we use influences the thoughts we think much more than the thoughts we think influence the language we use. We are encased in fossil metaphors; verbal chains guide us through our daily reality-labyrinth.”Physicists, for example, spent nearly three centuries looking for a substance, heat, to correspond to the substantive noun, “heat”; it took a revolution in chemistry and thermodynamics before we realized that heat should not be thought of as a noun (a thing) but a verb (a process) — a relationship between the motions of molecules.”
So scientists wasted nearly three centuries because their thinking was essentially entrapped by the word “heat,” as they interpreted it. More on “heat” later.
An example of Slavespeak in the health domain: “Nature is perfect; you shouldn’t try to improve on nature by taking artificial supplements.”
[Note that we could expand the scope of Slavespeak to include symbols like “diplomas,” “national flags,” “uniforms,” “military ceremonies,” “saluting,” “curtsying,” “religious rites,” etc.]
This report deals mainly with political Slavespeak — which proliferates in most cultures.
Consider two different isolated tribes somewhere in the jungles of South America. Call them Tribe 1 and Tribe 2. Each has its unique language with its own structure. The language of Tribe 1 (Language 1) tends to be very literal. A man who fishes, for example, is called “man-who-fishes.” The same man, while sleeping, is called “man-who-sleeps”; while talking, “man-who-talks”; while running, “man-who-runs”; while eating, “man-who-eats”; while writing, “man-who-writes”; while making a chair, “man-who-makes-chair”; while giving orders, “man-who-gives-orders”; etc. In Language 1, distinctions are made between different kinds of words: “Thing-words,” “Do-words,” “How-words,” “Story-words,” “Funny-words,” “Order-words,” “Panic-words,” “What-words,” “Who-words,” “Why-words,” “When-words,” “Where-words,” etc. High-level abstractions are rare in language 1. To the people of Tribe 1, any word that doesn’t refer to something physically perceivable, is highly suspect. Their test for reality is physical.
The language of Tribe 2 (Language 2) is very different. A man who obtains his wherewithal mostly by fishing, is called “fisherman.” (This system of nomenclature would seem absurd to the people of Tribe 1 — how can you call someone a “fisherman” when he is not fishing, but sleeping?) Language 2 contains many high-level abstractions — like “happiness.” People from Tribe 2 can talk for hours about “happiness.” (To someone from Tribe 1, this would be incomprehensible — they only talk about “woman-who-is-happy” while she is happy, and “woman-who-is-sad” while she is sad. The notion that you could separate “happiness” from a real person being happy, and talk about “happiness” as if it existed by itself, would be completely unthinkable to someone from Tribe 1.)
To the people from Tribe 2, any word being used is automatically assumed to be part of existence, otherwise people wouldn’t use it. (To someone from Tribe 1, the word “existence” would be a meaningless absurdity, because in their mentality only particular objects exist.) In Tribe 2, the test for reality is agreement. If other people agree with a word and the way it seems to be used, then that word is automatically accepted as valid and useful.
One day a strange man arrives at the place where the people of Tribe 1 live. They ask him: “Who you?” He: “I King.” They: “Your name King?” He: “No; my name John.” They: “Why call self King if name John?” He: “I special person, agent of God.” They: “You look different but not special; who God?” He: “God creator of world.” They: “Where God?; How create world?” He: “God everywhere; God all-powerful.” They: “How we see God?” He: “Can’t see God.” They: “You speak crazy.” He: “No; I special; I show you.” Whereupon the stranger performs various tricks like apparently making objects appear and disappear. They: “You clever man-who-tricks.” He: “I special; I King.” They: “You speak funny; you clever John-who-tricks.” He: “I King; my word law.” They: “What law? — special word?” He: “Yes; my word law — you must obey.” They: “Ah! You mean order-word!” He: “Yes; I King; I make law.” They: “No; you speak order-word?” He: “Yes; I special.” They: “What special? — Anybody speak order-word?” He: “You not understand.” They: “No.”
Eventually John-the-stranger gives up trying to convince the people of Tribe 1 that he has a “special status” and that his words are different from the words of anyone else — so he leaves, to search for more gullible and impressionable victims elsewhere…
For many days and nights he trudges through the jungle before discovering the people of Tribe 2. They: “Who you?” He: “I King.” They: “Your name King?” He: “No, my name John.” They: “Why call self King if name John?” He: “I special person, agent of God.” They: “You look different; what God?” He: “God creator of world.” They: “Where God?; How create world?” He “God everywhere; God all-powerful.” They: “Show special?” Whereupon the stranger performs various tricks like apparently making objects appear and disappear. They: “You King, agent of God.” He: “Yes, my word law.” They: “What law?” He: “Law special word of God through me; you must obey.” Whereupon the people of Tribe 2 bow down and kiss the feet of John — they do not habitually test abstractions against reality, so they readily accept John-the-stranger as their “King” and his word as “law.” Thereafter all he has to do to subjugate, control, and dominate them, is open his mouth…
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
The people from Tribe 1 reject the Slavespeak words of John the would-be-terrocrat — making them impossible to subjugate, control, and dominate. To them the terrocrat is merely a clever liar and trickster.
The Tribe 2 people accept John’s word “King” to describe himself. They believe that “King” John has special powers because of the tricks he performs and because of his connection to “God.” By accepting John’s terrocrat words they automatically place him in a superior position and themselves in inferior positions. Just by accepting, believing, and using the terrocrat word “King,” they yield their power to the terrocrat — they subjugate themselves.
It’s worth emphasizing that just by accepting the concepts/words of the would-be tyrant, you place yourself at a huge disadvantage. By doing so, you relinquish your power, enabling the would-be tyrant to become an actual tyrant. Instead of laughing at his silly notions, you’ll probably end up begging him to “change the law” so you can be free. And guess who has the last laugh!
Neocheating and Deep-Cheating
The concept of “neocheating” comes from the subject “Neo-Tech,” developed by Dr. Frank Wallace. My understanding of the mechanisms of cheating, the extent to which most of us are being cheated, and how to deal with this pervasive cheating received a tremendous boost from studying Neo-Tech and applying its principles. This has made it much easier for me to recognize and confront Slavespeak, and to demystify my brain. This demystification involves identifying, questioning, and exposing the words “neocheaters” and “deep-cheaters” use to dupe their hapless victims.
The following extracts are from the Neo-Tech Discovery, Vol. I:
“The traditional cheater is, for example, the crude sneak thief. He is also the small-time bureaucrat or politician on the take. He needs little skill and much gall to extract his living. But he lives in constant danger of being caught in the act and subjected to the consequences.The classical cheater is, for example, the elegant con-artist thief. He is also the respected technocrat who, for example, helps develop weapons for a repressive government. Application of his skills (that took years to polish or develop) lets him exact a “good” living. His dishonesty usually remains unseen and uncalled by those who surround him as he cheats countless people out of their assets and lives.
The neocheater is, for example, the subtle executive thief who climbs to a high-paid corporate position by deceptive machinations rather than by productive efforts. He is also the religious leader who gleans a glorious living by promoting self-sacrifice among the multitudes. And the ultimate neocheater is the politician gracing the highest office. He usurps a sumptuous living, enormous power, and a huge ego trip by converting productive assets of the earners into nonproductive waste for the “public good” through the invisible manipulations of government force (e.g., taxes and regulations). His techniques require neither skill nor effort: he is simply shrewd and subtle enough to keep most people from realizing that he is constantly neocheating them — constantly draining their lives and assets. And most dangerously, he considers his neocheating as necessary for the “good of all.”
Neocheaters are by far the deadliest menace to honest and productive people, everywhere…
The careful observer will recognize that by far the highest percentage of people involved in building false self-esteems to justify their existences are those pursuing careers in politics and religion. Such careers are by nature anti-productive and depend on neocheating the public to extract money, respect and power…
But the supreme value of the neocheating concepts is that those new thinking tools will be the cutting edge for rejecting and eventually eliminating the power of government bureaucrats, political leaders, dishonest businessmen, external authorities, and all other neocheaters.
The concepts of neocheating as revealed by the Neo-Tech Discovery are among the most powerful thinking tools for future prosperity.”
For more information, Contact I & O Publishing, 850 S. Boulder Hwy, Henderson, NV 89015 — phone: (702) 891-0300 — fax: (702) 795-8393 — email: Discovery@neo-tech.com.
However, there is a level of cheating that is deeper than those identified by Neo-Tech. I call it “deep-cheating.” Deep-cheating has two basic elements:
- Inducing people to accept certain concepts or words — like “king,” “law,” “government,” “state,” “nation,” “society,” “country,” etc. (all Slavespeak words) — as valid. This is what John the clever trickster tried to do to the two tribes above in respect of “king” and “law.”
- Inducing people to accept certain persons as “special” or having “special powers.” John the clever trickster tried to do this by claiming that he was an “agent of God,” and by performing tricks like apparently making objects appear and disappear. Terrocrats are “special” because they are “the government” and only they have “special powers” to do certain things like “make laws.”
As we shall see later, the most effective deep-cheaters are lawyers and their ilk in the “legal” profession.
What Étienne de la Boétie Said
Four-and-a-half centuries ago, in Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, Étienne de la Boétie wrote:
“He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do if you yourself did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? …[F]rom all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.” [emphasis added]
There are three basic ways victims provide support to terrocrat-tyrants:
- By voting in political elections;
- By paying “taxes” to terrocrat-tyrants;
- By using the Slavespeak words of terrocrat-tyrants.
The One-Word Lie
In order to grasp the devastating power of Slavespeak words, it’s absolutely vital that you understand that a word in itself can constitute a lie. You don’t need a phrase or sentence to express a lie. One word by itself is enough.
Some one-word lies, like “sunrise” and “sunset” are innocuous. They are lies because the sun doesn’t really “rise” or “set.” Because the earth spins and we spin with it on its surface, it appears as if the sun “rises” and “sets” — if we think of ourselves as stable with the sun moving in relation to us. So the words “sunrise” and “sunset” probably go back to before people realized that the earth revolved. Nevertheless, using the words “sunrise” and “sunset” — even if we realize they’re not strictly correct — doesn’t cause any problems. They are innocuous.
The words “King” and “Queen” — and “Emperor” and “President” (in the political sense as “President” of a “country”) — are likewise lies — one-word lies. Just by accepting the word “Emperor” and thinking and/or talking about someone else as “Emperor,” you automatically put yourself in an inferior position in relation to him — unless, of course, you call yourself “Emperor of Emperors” and others take you seriously!
“My name is Alice, so please your Majesty,” said Alice very politely; but she added to herself, “Why, they’re only a pack of cards, after all. I needn’t be afraid of them!” [emphasis added]…The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming, “Off with her head! Off with–”
“Nonsense!” said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
By accepting and using the term “Emperor,” you tend to relinquish some of your power to the clever trickster who masquerades as “Emperor.” You position the huckster as your superior; and you position yourself as the huckster’s inferior.
The word “Emperor” is a lie. Because, as De la Boétie said, “He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man…” There’s nothing “special about him that warrants calling him “Emperor.” Calling him “Emperor” is a form of idolatry.
Some people go part of the way in exposing the lie by proclaiming, “The Emperor has no clothes!” But to go all the way, you have to ask, “Why do you hallucinate an ordinary naked man as “Emperor” (so-called)?” By “hallucinate” I basically mean “seeing what’s not there.” Where there is an ordinary man, the idolater “sees” something extra or “special” that makes the ordinary man an “Emperor.”
Simply by using the word “Emperor” as if valid, you reinforce, spread, and perpetuate the lie — and you support the tyrant. You relinquish some of your power to him; you subjugate yourself. To withdraw support you have to stop hallucinating him as an “Emperor” and see the physical reality of an ordinary naked man. You have to stop calling him “Emperor”; stop thinking of him as “Emperor.”
“She looked at the Queen, who seemed to have suddenly wrapped herself up in wool. Alice rubbed her eyes, and looked again. She couldn’t make out what had happened at all. Was she in a shop? And was that really — was it really a sheep that was sitting on the other side of the counter?” – Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
(In other words, the person you’ve been hallucinating as a “Queen” is really a sheep! — a major theme of the ‘Alice Books.’)
Robert Anton Wilson wrote as follows in his book Right Where You Are Sitting Now:
“On a night in September 1927 when he contemplated suicide at the age of 32, Buckminster Fuller decided to live the rest of his life as an experiment. He wouldn’t believe anything anybody told him — “golden rule,” “dog-eat-dog,” or any of it — and would try to find out by experience only, what could be physically demonstrated to work.In the year following that decision, Bucky stopped talking entirely, like many mystics in the east. He insists that he had nothing “mystical” in mind. “I was simply trying to free myself of conditioned reflexes,” he said. He had met pioneer semanticist Alfred Korzybski shortly before and was convinced that Korzybski was correct in his claim that language structures caused conditioned associations — mechanical reactions that keep us locked into certain perceptual grids. Fuller tried to break these grids, to find out what a person “of average intelligence” could accomplish if guided only by personal observation and experiment…
The language we use influences the thoughts we think much more than the thoughts we think influence the language we use. We are encased in fossil metaphors; verbal chains guide us through our daily reality-labyrinth.
Physicists, for example, spent nearly three centuries looking for a substance, heat, to correspond to the substantive noun, “heat”; it took a revolution in chemistry and thermodynamics before we realized that heat should not be thought of as a noun (a thing) but a verb (a process) — a relationship between the motions of molecules.
Around the turn of this century — this is all old news, even though most literary “intellectuals” still haven’t heard about it — several mathematicians and philosophers who were well versed in the physical sciences began to realize consciously that there is not necessarily a “thing” (a static and block-like entity) corresponding to every noun in our vocabulary.” [emphasis added]
The word “heat” — in the sense of a substance — is a one-word lie. In reality there is no substance or thing that corresponds to the word “heat.” When we say that something is “hot,” we describe a condition or state. To then assume that there is a thing called “heat,” that exists independently of the hot object, is silly.
Similarly, as we saw earlier in the case of Tribe 1, the idea that there is a thing or substance called “happiness,” that exists independently of a person being happy, is absurd.
“”What’s the use of their having names,” the Gnat said, “if they won’t answer to them?””No use to them,” said Alice; “but it’s useful to the people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?””
– Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
Addition and Hallucination
Now let’s examine the phenomenon of “addition” as described by William James in his lecture “Pragmatism and Humanism”:
“In many familiar objects every one will recognize the human element. We conceive a given reality in this way or in that, to suit our purpose, and the reality passively submits to our conception…We carve out groups of stars in the heavens, and call them constellations, and the stars patiently suffer us to do so, — though if they knew what we were doing, some of them might feel much surprised at the partners we had given them. We name the same constellations diversely, as Charles’s Wain, the Great Bear, or the Dipper…
In all these cases we humanly make an addition to some sensible reality, and that reality tolerates the addition.”
The above comes from the book Pragmatism and four essays from The Meaning of Truth. The entry in the index is worded, “Additions, human, to the given.”
OK. So there are stars out there. They are the given. Looking at them from earth, some of them seem to constitute “groups” and we call such a “group” a “constellation.” However, some of the stars in a supposed “constellation” are much further from earth than others. There’s no basis in reality to regard them as a “group” or “constellation” — as opposed to a flock of birds that actually fly together, or a galaxy of stars that actually move together.
Hallucination essentially means allegedly “seeing” something that isn’t there. In reality there are a number of stars. We “see” a supposed “constellation,” where in reality there’s no “constellation” — only individual stars. We add or hallucinate the falsely-called “constellation.”
This phenomenon of adding to reality — hallucinating what isn’t really there — is an essential aspect of Slavespeak. Thus an ordinary man is hallucinated as an “Emperor” or a “King.” In our mind we add something “special” to an ordinary man, and we “see” him as an “Emperor” or a “King.”
Similarly we add “something” to ordinary words, and as if by magic they become “the law.”
Likewise, ancient scientists perceived hot objects and assumed (“saw” that) there must be a substance called “heat.” This notion of “heat” as a substance is an unwarranted addition to the given (hot object). It’s a kind of hallucination — trying to “see” what isn’t there.
What Robert Anton Wilson Said
In his Introduction to the book The Tree of Lies (by Christopher S. Hyatt. Ph.D.), Robert Anton Wilson wrote:
I remember the first time I entered Alternate Reality and accepted a lie as fact. I was five or six years old at the time and my parents had taken me to see a wonderful movie called The Wizard of Oz. Toward the end of the film there was a scene in which the Wicked Witch of the West, riding her broom, wrote in the sky like one of the mysterious skywriting airplanes that I was accustomed to seeing. The airplanes always wrote the same strange message — I.J. FOXFINE FURS — but the Wicked Witch wrote something far different and absolutely terrifying. She wrote:
I was so frightened that I burst into tears. My parents had a hell of a job quieting me down, and I must have annoyed all the adults in the theater. Today, over 50 years later, I understand better what had happened. Sitting in the dark, staring at the movie screen, I had crossed the line between “reality” and “fantasy” — a line that is not nearly as firm for a child as it is (or seems to be) for an adult. Dorothy’s danger, up there on the screen, was more “real” than my safety, down in the dark audience. This may or may not qualify as an imprinting experience in the Lorenzian sense, but it was traumatic in the Freudian sense. Even today, as I typed the terrible words “Surrender Dorothy,” I felt a reflex shudder pass through me.
Well, a few years later I was able to distinguish movies from “real” reality. I watched the Frankenstein monster wreak havoc on the villagers, King Kong run amok in New York, Lon Chaney Jr. turn into a werewolf, and none of it fooled me. I was amused at the younger kids who screamed during these films, or closed their eyes “in the scary parts.” Still — only my conscious ego, or forebrain, was immune to the hypnosis. I still jumped when the director pulled his shock scene.
Watching adult audiences these days, none of whom believe literally in Indiana Jones or the Temple of Doom, or even in Batman and Joker, I see that, whatever they think they know, parts of their old brain, and of their bodies, still enter hypnosis easily. That’s why they gasp, and cringe, and breathe hard, and have similar physical reactions, when things get rough up there on the silver screen. I can still see these reactions in myself, too, of course.
Only a small part of our brains, or our “selves,” is able to resist the lies of a good artist. Nobody can sit through “Alien,” I would wager, without at least one sound of fear or distress escaping their lips during that “ordeal” …which consists only of looking at pictures projected on a screen…
A movie theater is the best place to learn the true meaning of Plato’s parable of the prisoners in the cave, who accept shadows as reality. Every artist who moves us, from a movie maker to Beethoven or Shakespeare, is a bit of a hypnotist.
In this sense that seemingly stupid and mechanical contraption we call “society” must rank as the greatest artist on the planet. For instance, when I was seven or eight, and feeling superior to the kids who closed their eyes “during the scary parts,” I was entering a deep hypnosis created by another Virtual Reality called language. This hypnosis was a worse nightmare than the Wicked Witch of the West or King Kong or the Wolf-Man or any of their kith and kin, but it made me a “member of society” — and “a member of the Body of Christ” as well.
The hypnosis was performed by the good and pious nuns at the school to which my parents sent me. Every day, school began with a prayer. After lunch, there was another prayer. When lessons were finished for the day, before they let us go, there was another prayer. Five days a week, September to June every year, for eight years, these prayers formed my consciousness into a Catholic mold. They were reinforced by Religious Knowledge class, in which we memorized the catechism, containing all the dogmas of the church. We had to pass examinations on that, just like we did in arithmetic, as if the two subjects were equally valid.
The result of all these prayers and all that memorization was that I came to do well in a Virtual Reality in which a nasty old man living on a cloud a few miles above Earth was watching me all the time and would probably charbroil me or roast me or toast me if he ever caught me doing anything he didn’t like. He was called God. He had a partner, even nastier, called Satan, who presided over the charbroiling and roasting and toasting, in caverns that honeycomb the hollow Earth. Between the two of them, God and Satan, life was far more terrifying than any “horror movie.”
As a result of all the lies the nuns told me, I became a pretty good liar myself. When it came time for high school, I convinced my parents I wanted to be an engineer. That persuaded them to send me to Brooklyn Technical High School, and I didn’t have to listen to the nuns drone on about God and Satan and Hell and all that horror movie stuff anymore. That was my real goal — getting out of the Catholic nexus. I didn’t want to become an engineer at all.
At seventeen I became a Trotskyist. That was hot stuff in New York in the late 1940s. We Trots were more radical than anybody, or we thought we were. Of course, I was lying to myself again. Who the hell knows enough, at seventeen, to make an intelligent or informed choice among competing political ideologies? I had picked Trotskyism because one part of my mind was still Catholic and needed a hierarchy; the Central Committee made a good substitute for the Vatican. It allowed me to feel modern, scientific, “altruistic,” brave, rebellious etc. and it did all my thinking for me.
At eighteen I quit The Party just before they could expel me. I pledged allegiance to the principles of individualism, free thought and agnosticism. From now on, I said, I will not be hypnotized by groups: I will think for myself. Naturally, I then spent over 20 years following various intellectual and political fads, always convinced I had at last escaped group conditioning and finally started “really” thinking for myself. I went from Agnosticism back to dogmatic atheism, and then to Buddhism; I bounced from Existentialism to New Left Activism to New Age Mysticism and back to Agnosticism. The carousel turned around and around but I never found a way to stop it and get off.
All this, mind you, occurred within the network of language — the Virtual Reality created by the strange symbol-making capacity of the upper quarter inch of our front brain. Language created God and Satan and Hell, in my childhood, and it created Liberty and Equality and Justice and Natural Law and other fictions that obsessed me at other stages of my “development.” Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us…. [emphasis added]
(See my Quantum Psychology, New Falcon Publications, 1990, for further examples of how language creates a Virtual Reality experienced as just as real as a bottle of beer and a ham sandwich.)
Is it is possible to use language to undo the hallucinations [emphasis added] created by language? The task seems impossible, but Zen riddles, Sufi jokes, the works of Aleister Crowley, and a few heroic efforts by philosophers such as Nietzsche and Wittgenstein seem able to jolt readers awake — shake them out of the hypnosis of words…”
“Constitution” as a One-Word Lie
To fully understand the nature and extent of this lie, you need to read all of Lysander Spooner’s The Constitution of No Authority. The terrocrats who masquerade as “government” apply their so-called “Constitutions” to everyone as if they are valid contracts entered into by everyone and binding upon everyone. Yet Spooner demonstrated from many different angles why this is not and could not be so. The whole thing is in fact completely absurd.
When I first read Spooner’s pamphlet it was an assault on my whole knowledge structure. It triggered a process of questioning many concepts: “Constitution” (so-called) — what does this word represent in reality? Clearly it represented but an empty fraud. It also meant that words did not necessarily correspond with reality. Similar questions followed about “government,” “state,” “king,” “law,” “country,” etc. These are all fraud-words which serve only to mislead and dupe the gullible. In the Introduction by James J. Martin to Spooner’s No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, I read:
“Since late Neolithic times, men in their political capacity, have lived almost exclusively by myths [more appropriate: “fraudulent fabrications” or “murderous misrepresentations!”] And these political myths have continued to evolve, proliferate, and grow more complex and intricate, even though there has been a steady replacement of one by another over the centuries. A series of entirely theoretical constructs, sometimes mystical, usually deductive and speculative, they seek to explain the status and relationships in the community…It is the assault upon the abstract and verbal underpinnings of this institution which draws blood, so to speak… those who attack the rationale of the game… are its most formidable adversaries.”
This is how Rick Maybury described the creation of the so-called “US Constitution” in his article Profiting from the Constitutional Convention in the Investment Newsletter World Market Perspective, Vol. XVII, No. 11, Nov. 1984 (WMP Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2289, Winter Park, Florida 32790, USA — free sample issue on request):
“On March 10, 1783, at the town of Newburgh, New York, a group of generals met to plan a military coup. The generals offered the leadership to an officer the troops had respected and admired for many years… [F]or several days the officer pondered whether or not he would accept the offer to become military dictator of America… [F]inally, on March 15, 1783, he announced his decision to decline. His name was George Washington……[T]he First Constitutional Convention which commenced on May 14, 1787 had George Washington presiding. This is the convention that created our current constitution. The procedures and results of this convention have long been held to be legal, ethical, constitutional, patriotic and in every other way proper… [I]t was held in secret. It had a hidden agenda. It was surrounded by clandestine meetings in which numerous deals were struck. The delegates intended to draw vast amounts of new power into the hands of the federal government and they violated every restriction their legislatures tried to impose on them. The First Constitutional Convention was actually a military coup. The history books do not describe it this way, but that is what it was…
It may have been the slickest, smoothest, most well-lubricated coup any nation has ever experienced. To this day, most Americans do not understand what was really done to them. They look back on it all and smile wistfully.”
The implications of the falsely-called “US Constitution” being a fraud and a hoax are far-reaching and very difficult to confront by most:
1. In reality there never has been and there isn’t now a “country” or “nation” called the “United States of America.” (The fact that several hundred million people think of themselves as “Americans” constituting “the American nation” is at best a convenient, shared fiction, but doesn’t constitute reality.)
2. There never has been and there isn’t now a “government” of the “USA” — there have only been hucksters who masqueraded as “government” and suckers who believed them.
3. All the falsely-called “Presidents,” “Secretaries,” “Congressmen,” “Judges,” “Ambassadors,” etc. have been liars and impostors. (All these people have been — and are now — “ordinary naked humans” hallucinated by most as being exalted, when in reality they are mere liars and impostors.)
4. Spooner’s reasoning also applies to all the “American States” as well as all other pretended “countries” — all the “political systems” in the world are fraudulent hoaxes, all the “government officials” are liars and impostors — albeit unwitting.
5. In reality there never have been and there aren’t now any so-called “laws” in any of these pretended “countries.” (To regard some of the noises and scribbles that emanate from the mouths and pens of political impostors as “the law” is a stupefying and debilitating hallucination.)
6. In addition to what is now being done to expand freedom in the world, some radically different strategies need to be developed and implemented.
The Ability of Reframing
In Open to Change, Vincent Nolan wrote:
“Reframing means looking at a familiar phenomenon from a new angle. Any situation can be looked at in a wide variety of different frameworks, and each one is capable of throwing a new light on the subject… [T]he ability and willingness to set aside the conventional framework (temporarily) is one of the key skills of invention and discovery… [T]hese pigeon holes into which we classify things and situations, events and people, are themselves arbitrary and artificial: convenient and useful for some purposes — but one, not the only way to view the world. The pigeon holes can be suspended (temporarily) and new ones brought to bear, without cost and with profit.There is another important dimension to reframing. Once we accept that the same thing can be viewed in many different ways, all of them potentially useful, it is no longer necessary to impose our view of things on other people, we can accept theirs as alternative viewpoints, valid for themselves, and potentially enriching our understanding of the situation.”
In A Tale of A Tub Jonathan Swift wrote:
“…[A]t a Grand Committee, some Days ago, this important Discovery was made by a certain curious and refined Observer; That Sea-men have a Custom when they meet a Whale, to fling him out an empty Tub, by way of Amusement, to divert him from laying violent Hands upon the Ship. This Parable was immediately mythologiz’d: The Whale was interpreted to be “Hobbes’s Leviathan,” which tosses and plays with all other Schemes of Religion and Government, whereof a great many are hollow, and dry, and empty, and noisy, and wooden, and given to Rotation.”
The Man Who Helped Open My Eyes
“”The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn…” – Merlyn, The Once and Future King
Some years ago I visited a Luxembourg bank to deposit some paper money and buy gold coins. I had to wait in line. I started talking to the man behind me. After a while he told me he was a libertarian. After we’d concluded our business we met in a nearby café for coffee. I told him that I was also a libertarian.
“Libertarian!” he snorted, “practically all so-called libertarians are still so conditioned and so far from the truth, they don’t know the first thing about liberty.”
I looked at him in surprise. I considered libertarians to be the leading edge of human evolution. There followed a sometimes heated discussion about many aspects and principles of libertarianism. Time and time again this most extreme radical questioned even the words I used, for example: When I asked, “What about the laws of a country?” my new friend responded:
“Haw, haw, haw,” laughing almost hysterically. I thought he would fall off his chair. Several people in the café looked at him in bemusement. “What about the barking of copulating baboons in the zoo?” he said.
I was bewildered: “What’s so funny?”
“My friend,” he said, “like most so-called libertarians, you don’t have the foggiest notion of what exists and what doesn’t. You believe in magical “law” like a spiritualist believes in supernatural “ghosts”… except… except that your belief is possibly even more absurd than that of the spiritualist. You see, I’ve heard of people who claim that they have seen “ghosts”; there are even purported photographs of “ghosts.” But I’ve never heard of anyone who claims that he has seen a so-called “law,” never mind photographed it.”
“Anyway,” I said, “what does all this have to do with liberty?”
“My aspirant-libertarian friend,” he replied, “When you free your mind from the false concepts and misconceptions that fixate your thinking within the mental grooves fashioned by those who seek to enslave you, then you will discover what liberty really is, then you will be able to live free. Most so-called libertarians are like pigs hopelessly floundering in a cesspool of statist concepts. Just as it is almost impossible for a fish to imagine life on land, so it is very difficult, if at all possible, for an aspirant-libertarian locked into statist concepts, to conceive of life outside his self-created cesspool…”
[I apologize for my friend’s outspoken, even insulting, turn of phrase. I believe he simply used such strong words to get his point across to me, which he certainly did. If you’re a libertarian, please don’t be offended, rather look for what you can learn from my friend.]
For a while we were both silent. Then he continued, “In actuality, the whole world is an Anarchy. Individuals are supreme, whether they know it or not. We all have virtually unlimited choice all the time — we may assume notions and beliefs that limit our choice, we may also get ourselves into situations where choice is limited… but those are also choices… objectively, there are no so-called “states,” “governments,” “kings,” “queens,” etc.; there never have been and there never will be — I have asked many people to show me a “government” and to tell me what it looks like. Nobody has been able to do that. Of course, there are hucksters who call themselves “government,” “king,” or “president”… just as there are suckers who believe them — who blindly obey them — or who blindly oppose them.”
“You need to live your life in accordance with actuality: what is, what exists, what occurs. So I live my life out of a context of liberty, a libertarian enclave, an anarcho-libertarian enclave. I carry it with me like an aura. I have abilities: the ability called life, the ability to own property, the ability to produce, the ability to exchange, the ability to communicate. And my abilities do not depend on the agreement of others. I am supreme. I rule no one and no one rules me. I am responsible for every aspect of my life. My self-esteem, my power and my liberty can only be curbed by my own limitations. There are of course those who think otherwise, who would seek to violate my abilities — what you might call “rights.” When making choices, I take that into consideration.”
The Deadly Word “Law”
(This report deals with “law” in the sense of “human law,” not “scientific law.”)
For some reason, it seems that most people find it difficult to question the validity of the concept or word “law.” So we find that Robert Ringer, in his book Restoring the American Dream, in Chapter 8: “Keeping It All in Place,” indicates that the political system is kept in place by the terrocrat (statist) words I include under Slavespeak. Ringer specifically tackles words like “country” and “government,” but never questions or challenges the word “law.”
And in Million Dollar Habits Ringer writes “Man-made laws are a reality…” The reality is that almost everyone hallucinates some terrocrat noises and scribbles as “law” or “man-made law.” Nevertheless, there are many occasions during which we should at least pretend obedience, because there are terrocrats with guns who hallucinate likewise and who behave as if “man-made laws are a reality.”
Maybe there’s a psychological reason for idolizing the concept of “law.” First of all, historically and traditionally it’s been very dangerous to challenge any specific so-called “law.” The impostor masquerading as “King” said, “My word is law.” Anyone who disobeyed the supposed “law” took the risk of having his head chopped off.
To now go even further — and deeper — and challenge the very notion of “law” must be virtually unthinkable to most. Let me repeat what George Orwell wrote:
“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought… Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”
From the terrocrat’s point of view, the ultimate crime must be to challenge the very notion of “law.” The word “law” might be the most hypnotic word in the English language.
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
I speculate that in a sense human consciousness rests on a fundamental set of concepts. If you challenge any of these concepts, it seems as if a person’s entire consciousness is being challenged or threatened; “cognitive dissonance” occurs; and the mind seems to shut off — crimestop sets in.
Some time ago I did an experiment with a French-speaking girlfriend who has studied so-called “law.” I asked her to repeat this sentence, “La notion de la “loi” (soi-disant) est une hal-loi-cination” — “The notion of the “law” (so-called) is an hal-law-cination.” She had great difficulty in just saying the words… I’ve repeated this experiment several times with similar results.
Interestingly, Jonathan Swift had no problem with questioning the “law” concept. He wrote in Gulliver’s Travels:
“There was another point which a little perplexed him… I had said, that some of our crew left their country on account of being ruined by ‘law’… but he was at a loss how it should come to pass, that the ‘law’ which was intended for ‘every’ man’s preservation, should be any man’s ruin. Therefore he desired to be further satisfied what I meant by ‘law,’ and the dispensers thereof… because he thought nature and reason were sufficient guides for a reasonable animal, as we pretended to be, in showing us what we ought to do, and what to avoid… I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, accordingly as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are slaves.” [emphasis added]
Other possible reasons why many people may find it difficult to question their concepts or words might be:
1. Most people have never questioned even one of the words they use habitually.
2. According to the principle of inertia, it’s easier to continue to think the way you’ve always thought. Questioning some of your basic concepts involves a dramatic change of direction — and some vigorous, energetic thought!
3. Questioning something about physical reality is relatively easy, e.g., I claim that the table has four legs. Simple observation settles the issue. No complex thought processes are involved. However, in questioning the validity of a concept or word, we have to use the word, while at the same time invalidating the word. So we use syntax like “the “law” (so-called)” — self-referencing syntax — involving a complex thought process many may find difficult. Furthermore, the word “law” is a high-level abstraction. In the case of “the table” there is a simple one-to-one relationship between the symbol (word) and the object it represents — the referent. Because “law” is in the domain of verbal reality, the issue of the word’s validity cannot be settled by simple observation. While you can see the ink in a so-called “lawbook,” you cannot find a simple relationship between the symbol “law” and its referent(s).
4. If you talk to your peers in the manner I do to challenge the basic political Slavespeak words, they’ll mostly think you’re crazy. What you say will make little or no sense to them — like the previous paragraph! Thus peer pressure tends to act as a powerful crimestop to prevent you from expressing dangerous thoughts like “the falsely-called “law”.”
5. We don’t have a convenient, easy-to-use syntax for questioning words or concepts. I suspect that many people find it difficult to process statements about verbal reality. So much so, that when I make a statement like, “The notion that someone is a “King” is a form of idolatry or hallucination” (a statement about verbal reality), they will compulsively “translate” (distort) it into, “He’s saying that Kings don’t exist” (a statement about physical reality).
6. Maybe certain words — like “law,” “state,” and “government” — have such powerful hypnotic effects on people, that if they try to question and challenge them, their consciousness “turns down a few notches” and they can’t think properly.
OK, so let’s imagine a world in which the concept “law” (in the sense of man-made “law”) is completely absent. Suppose that from an early age children in such a world are taught principles like:
- Actions have consequences.
- Humans have minds they can use to calculate and predict — at least to some extent — the consequences of actions.
- Obedience can be dangerous because it tends to become a substitute for thought (calculation and prediction).
- The more you think for yourself, rather than obey others, the more you learn and the more effective you become.
- Knowledge advances. Today’s wisdom becomes tomorrow’s superstition. Therefore question everything.
How much power could terrocrats have in such a world?
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” said Aleister Crowley. To me this means that people will do whatever they will do, irrespective of what any supposed “law” might dictate. The idea that if terrocrats were to “make a law,” it would solve a problem, is quite silly. People will still do what they will. They may change their behavior because of the supposed “law,” but often they will tend to do so in ways different from terrocrat expectations.
The notion that humans can be “controlled” by “laws” is fundamentally flawed. This is so because humans are volitional entities with minds to think, decide, and initiate independent action.
Of course, humans may relinquish their ability to think, decide, and act volitionally — if they accept terrocrat noises and scribbles as “laws” they must obey, defy — or repeal.
If you regard another’s noises and scribbles as “the law,” then you position that person as your superior master, and you position yourself as his inferior slave. You subjugate yourself. In effect, you commit a form of intellectual and psychological suicide. That’s why the idea or concept of “law” is so deadly.
As Voltaire said, “People who believe absurdities, will commit atrocities.” And Jeremy Bentham wrote, “Out of one foolish word may start a thousand daggers.” (Bentham’s Theory of Fictions by C.K. Ogden.) So, how many crimes are committed and how many people are killed as a result of the general acceptance of the “law” concept? (By “crime” I mean “a willful act that harms another or his property.”)
Above, I claimed that the notion of “law” was a stupefying and debilitating hallucination. It’s stupefying because its form is: “Don’t think; just do it because it’s the law!” For many, “law” is a substitute for thought. “I don’t have to think what to do because the law tells me what to do!”
The notion of “law” is debilitating because of its form: “You can’t do it because it’s against the law!” “You must do it because it’s the law!” Many freedom-lovers believe that they can’t be free because of “all the laws that curtail their freedom.” Many expend a great deal of time and effort “fighting to change the law,” when their efforts could perhaps be better utilized by following other strategies.
Antony Solomon wrote the following poem:
THE ENEMY WITHINWhy do you fear his “parliament,”
This all oppressive “government,”
When darker things lurk deep inside
Your mind; crawling, scuttling, they hide.
Words by far than “police-state law,”
More corrupt than any “legislature,”
Taxing far above the progressive rate;
A self-made ghost does, your soul subjugate.
For the “rulers of men” are nought but dust
They rise, dictate, but fall they must.
Though out of sight, not out of mind, see?
The ‘ghost in the machine’ saying — you’re not free.
Oh deeply wounding psychoplasm,
Why hauntest thou in the mind’s chasm?
Why crippleth thee what gives thee home,
Why soil thy nest like a common gnome?
Out, out damn spook, begone I say!
For I have resolved, myself, this day,
That I stand free in body and soul,
Not hindered by chains nor ghoul.
In The Crowd, Gustave le Bon wrote:
“Civilization is impossible without traditions, and progress impossible without destroying those traditions… no example could better display the power of tradition on the mind of crowds. The most redoubtable idols do not dwell in temples, nor the most despotic tyrants in palaces; both the one and the other could be broken in an instant. But the invisible masters that reign in our innermost selves are safe from every effort at revolt, and only yield to the slow wearing away of centuries…The precise moment at which a great belief is doomed is easily recognizable; it is the moment when its value begins to be called into question. Every general belief being little else than fiction, it can only survive on the condition that it be not subjected to examination…
The only real tyrants that humanity has known have always been the memories of its dead or the illusions it has forged itself.” [emphasis added]
The debilitating “law” concept is an invisible master in the innermost self, a tyrant in the form of a self-forged illusion or hallucination.
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
Lawyers: The Dispensers of “Law”
“The lawyer has learned how to flatter his master in word and indulge him in deed; but his soul is small and unrighteous… From the first he has practiced deception and retaliation, and has become stunted and warped. And so he has passed out of youth into manhood, having no soundness in him…” – Plato, 321 BC!
John Bunyan wrote in The Pilgrim’s Progress, more than three centuries ago:
“Worldly wiseman: why in yonder village (the village is named morality) there dwells a gentleman, whose name is legality, a very judicious man, and a man of a very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as thine is, from their shoulders; yea, to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; ay, and besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, thou mayest go, and be helped presently…Evangelist… thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the ministration of death… he to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name legality, is the son of that bondwoman… which thou hast feared will fall on thy head… how canst thou expect by them to be made free? This legality, therefore, is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man was as yet ever rid of his burden by him; no, nor is ever like to be. Ye cannot be justified by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no man living can be rid of his burden; therefore, Mr. Worldly Wiseman is an alien, and Mr. Legality is a cheat; and for his son Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee.” [emphasis added]
It’s interesting that John Bunyan already recognized so long ago that lawyers essentially make noises. About a century after Bunyan, Jonathan Swift wrote in Gulliver’s Travels about lawyers:
“It is likewise to be observed that this society hath a peculiar cant and jargon of their own, that no other mortal can understand, and wherein all their “laws” are written, which they take special care to multiply; whereby they have wholly confounded the very essence of truth and falsehood, of right and wrong…Here my master, interposing, said it was a pity, that creatures endowed with such prodigious abilities of mind as these lawyers, by the description I gave of them, must certainly be, were not rather encouraged to be instructors of others in wisdom and knowledge. In answer to which, I assured his honor, that in all points out of their own trade they were usually the most ignorant and stupid generation among us, the most despicable in common conversation, avowed enemies to all knowledge and learning, and equally disposed to pervert the general reason of mankind in every other subject of discourse, as in that of their own profession.”
Question: Who are the most effective practitioners of Slavespeak? The terrocrats or the lawyers? What percentage of top terrocrats are also lawyers? Who then are the biggest enemies of freedom?
In Bentham’s Theory of Fictions Jeremy Bentham wrote:
“Behold here one of the artifices of lawyers. They refuse to administer justice to you unless you join with them in their fictions; and then their cry is, see how necessary fiction is to justice! Necessary indeed; but too necessary; but how came it so, and who made it so?As well might the father of a family make it a rule never to let his children have their breakfast till they had uttered, each of them, a certain number of lies, curses, and profane oaths; and then exclaim, “You see, my dear children, how necessary, lying, cursing, and swearing are to human sustenance!”
Many of us regard lawyers as “special” people, with something “extra” — knowledge of “the law” — masters of the terrocrat words of what must be done and what may not be done. (Fortunately, many people also have a poor opinion of lawyers, in fact, lawyers are widely in disrepute!)
Lewis Carroll wrote in The Hunting of the Snark:
“He dreamed that he stood in a shadowy Court,
Where the Snark, with a glass in its eye,
Dressed in gown, bands, and wig, was defending a pig
On the charge of deserting its sty.The Witnesses proved, without error or flaw.
That the sty was deserted when found:
And the Judge kept explaining the state of the law
In a soft under-current of sound.
The indictment had never been clearly expressed,
And it seemed that the Snark had begun,
And had spoken three hours, before anyone guessed
What the pig was supposed to have done.
The Jury had each formed a different view
(Long before the indictment was read),
And they all spoke at once, so that none of them knew
One word that the others had said.
‘You must know–‘ said the Judge:
but the Snark exclaimed, ‘Fudge!…”
Consider the entire “legal system” — the “lawmakers,” the lobbyists, the lawyers, the police, the inspectors and investigators, the prosecutors, the judges, the prisons, the prison guards, the parole officers, etc., etc. It’s a huge “legal” industry. And who benefits most? The lawyers. Who benefits most from the growth of the “legal” industry? The lawyers. Who are the best-paid people in this “legal” industry? The lawyers. Who are the biggest enemies of freedom?
What is the one concept/word that essentially forms the foundation of this entire “legal” industry”? “Law!” — Fudge!
Words as Enemy Weapons
In “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” C.S. Lewis describes how a very prestigious “Devil” lectures newly graduated “Tempters” on how to collect souls:
“Democracy is the word with which you must lead them by the nose. The good work which our philological experts have already done in the corruption of human language makes it unnecessary to warn you that they should never be allowed to give this word a clear and definable meaning. They won’t. It will never occur to them that democracy is properly the name of a political system, even a system of voting, and that this has only the most remote and tenuous connection with what you are trying to sell them…You are to use the word purely as an incantation; if you like, purely for its selling power…
Under the influence of this incantation those who are in any or every way inferior can labor more wholeheartedly and successfully than ever before to pull down everyone else to their own level. But that is not all. Under the same influence, those who come, or could come, nearer to a full humanity, actually draw back from it for fear of being undemocratic…
What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence — moral, cultural, social, or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how “democracy” (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods?…
For “democracy” or the “democratic spirit” (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of subliterates, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and quick to snarl or simper at the first hint of criticism. And that is what Hell wishes every democratic people to be.” [emphasis added]
Notice that in a sense it’s the word “democracy” that does the work, so to speak. The terrocrat just has to utter the word, and all the rest follows. It’s as if the word has a kind of magical power in that the desired consequences result from the terrocrat just uttering the word.
The use of a word can have automatic consequences. Repeat: THE USE OF A WORD CAN HAVE AUTOMATIC CONSEQUENCES. Terrocrat words are weapons.
Furthermore, in general, terrocrats can use their words against you, but you can’t use their words against them. “We are the government; we represent the will of the people; we have a mandate from the people — you’re a radical extremist; you’re a selfish, uncaring libertarian dreamer; you’re a threat to American values.”
He who gives the names has the power. Repeat: HE WHO GIVES THE NAMES HAS THE POWER. “Don’t listen to the terrocrats; they just want to dupe you with their mindless slogans, take away your freedom by violating your rights at every turn, and empty your pocket with their exorbitant, confiscatory taxes.”
“They are not the so-called “government”; they are terrocrat crime-syndicate lawyers who violate your rights, thieves who steal your property with their forfeiture scams, murderers who gas and burn innocent women and children in Waco — and they want to take away all private guns like Hitler did, so they can gas and shoot anyone with impunity!”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.” – Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
The Killer Word “Government”
In Restoring The American Dream Robert Ringer acknowledges the influence of Sy Leon, author of None of The Above. Sy Leon attacked the arrogant and pretentious words and phrases politicians used (what I call Slavespeak): “Mandate of the people,” “majority rule,” “democracy,” “treason” (betraying a politician), “assassination” (killing a politician), “tax” (stealing by a politician), “the draft” (slavery practiced by politicians), “war” (murder organized by politicians on a massive scale), “conspiracy” (talking with others about defending yourself against politicians), “perjury” (lying to a politician), “public good,” “public welfare,” “public duty,” “national interest,” “public service,” “public servant,” “eminent domain” (theft of property by politicians), “legal tender,” “counterfeiter” (a non-politician who prints paper currency), “society,” “domestic policy,” “foreign policy,” “cutthroat competition,” etc. Sy Leon writes about “the verbal legerdemain of politicalese” as “one of the worst frauds ever perpetrated on mankind…”
In The Virtue Of Selfishness Ayn Rand wrote:
“It is not a mere semantic issue nor a matter of arbitrary choice. The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word “selfishness” is not merely wrong: it represents a devastating intellectual “package-deal” [of contradictory elements and emotional associations], which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind.”
The use of one word can have vast and far-reaching consequences. Suppose I brand you as “selfish” in front of a typical audience. This probably triggers emotions in the audience, such as disgust and hatred. It probably also triggers associations, such as: “He only cares about himself”; “He’s greedy”; “He takes unfair advantage of others”; etc. The word “selfishness” constitutes a devastating package-deal.
And I suggest that most Slavespeak words (like “government,” “state,” “constitution,” “law,” “king,” “president,” etc.) are such intellect-devastating, thought-destroying package-deals — that tend to trigger automatic meanings, images, associations, emotions, attitudes, and hypnotic, stupefying inhibitions — beneficial to terrocrats and harmful to their victims.
In None of the Above Sy Leon wrote: “Politics is an intellectual anesthetic. It can dull the mind, put it to sleep, or even kill it permanently. This is not an incidental side effect; it is a calculated result that keeps the politician in business…” The effect is created through the deliberate and careful use of certain words.
“Keeping It All in Place” is Robert Ringer’s title for Chapter 8 of his Restoring The American Dream. Most of the chapter is devoted to the ARSENAL (collection of weapons) — what I call political Slavespeak — of words terrocrats use to maintain their power and keep their victims in subjugation.
Robert Ringer analyses terms such as: “government,” “society,” “country,” “taxation,” “conscription,” “loophole,” “windfall,” “inflation,” “patriotic,” “obligation,” “justice,” “fair,” “decent,” “duty,” “public morals,” “public property,” “public good,” “public interest,” “good of society,” “duty to society,” etc. Each of these terms, to the degree that it’s accepted as valid, adds to the power of terrocrats and reduces the power and freedom of their victims.
Now let’s focus our attention on one word: “government.” In None of the Above Sy Leon also wrote:
“…[I]ntellectually active people do not think in a rut; they consider new ways, new alternatives; many of which may never have been attempted before. But this kind of questioning spells death for politics …[C]onsidering alternatives; the willingness to challenge and explore — this is what freedom and independence are all about.”
Author Kurt Vonnegut coined the word “granfalloon” to describe abstract concepts like “nation,” “state,” “country,” “government,” “society,” “IBM,” etc. He wrote, “To discover the substance of a granfalloon, just prick a hole in a toy balloon.” In his book The Incredible Secret Money Machine, Don Lancaster explains:
“A granfalloon is any large bureaucratic figment of people’s imagination. For instance, there’s really no such thing as the Feds or the General Veeblefeltzer Corporation. There are a bunch of people out there that relate to each other, and there’s some structures, and some paper. In fact, there’s lots and lots of paper. The people sit in the structures and pass paper back and forth to each other and charge you to do so.All these people, structures, and paper are real. But nowhere can you point to the larger concept of “government” or “corporation” and say, “There it is, kiddies!” The monolithic, big “they” is all in your mind.” [emphasis added]
A granfalloon is the lumping together of many diverse elements into an abstract collection, and to then think and speak as if the abstract collection is one single entity capable of performing actions. This phenomenon leads people to say things like “the government runs the country.” I hope you realize by now just how absurd the previous Slavespeak sentence is!
Consider the possibility that because people generally consider this word/concept as valid and a given, they think, communicate, and behave in ways that have resulted in over a hundred million people slaughtered during this, the Twentieth Century. Because of political brainwashing the “citizens” believe they must “fight for their country.” When the terrocrats say, “Go kill the evil enemy,” the “loyal citizens” take up arms and proceed to slaughter each other. Would this happen on such a massive scale in the absence of Slavespeak?
Consider the possibility that in the same way that the entire “legal” industry basically rests on the concept/word “law,” the entire coercive political system basically rests on the concept/word “government.”
To begin to see why this might be so, imagine a world in which there are some would-be-terrocrats and a population of enlightened individuals who either don’t understand the word “government” or they think it’s a silly joke. (For the purpose of this thought-experiment, assume that there’s no equivalent word available to would-be-terrocrats.)
So a would-be-terrocrat says, I represent “your government” and I want you to pay me “your taxes” so I can defend your property and safety. I also want you to join “our army,” so we can go and shoot “your enemies” in the “country” next door. What success would the would-be-terrocrat have?
Realize that once the basic concept/word “government” is accepted, a whole constellation of Slavespeak concepts/words soon follow in its trail. If you accept the “government” concept, you also accept that the terrocrats who call themselves “government” have the power to “make laws,” force children into “schools” for political brainwashing, force people to pay “taxes,” force people into “armies” to kill each other, etc., etc. — what Ayn Rand calls a devastating package deal.
By accepting the basic concept/word “government,” you position the terrocrats who call themselves “government” as superior (more powerful) and you position yourself as inferior (less powerful). If you operate from this perspective, the kind of thing you tend to do to promote liberty is to beg the terrocrats to “change the law” so you can enjoy a little more freedom. You position them in power and you position yourself in weakness. You also operate in a way that, in the long run, reinforces and perpetuates the master-slave relationship between terrocrats and heir victims.
(Note: As a stopgap or makeshift measure, situations do occur where it’s not only appropriate but also vital that freedom-activists stop the terrocrats from “passing a new law,” or force them via public opinion or outcry to “amend or repeal a law.” Though such tactics tend to reinforce the underlying “government makes laws” illusion, their short-term benefits may exceed their long-term liabilities.)
Now consider the possibility that George Orwell’s term “Big Brother” is a synonym for “government.” In Nineteen-Eighty-Four Orwell wrote:
“What most afflicted him with a sense of nightmare was that he had never clearly understood why the huge imposture was undertaken… he… looked at the portrait of ‘Big Brother’ …the hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. It was as if some huge force were pressing down upon you — something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses… not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense… the party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command… the obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended… stones are hard, water is wet…” [emphasis added]”O’Brien left this unanswered. ‘Next question,’ he said.
‘Does Big Brother exist?’
‘Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment
of the Party.’
‘Does he exist in the same way as I exist?’
‘You do not exist,’ said O’Brien… [emphasis added]
‘Will Big Brother ever die?’
‘Of course not. How could he die? Next question.'”
[“Big Brother” is an Immortal Everything and you’re an Insignificant Nothing!]
In reality there are individual human beings, some with guns, generally considered (by both the brainwashed master-terrocrats and the brainwashed subject-victims?) to constitute “government”/”Big Brother.” In reality there are also buildings, lots of pieces of paper, computers, other equipment, vehicles, etc.
Can you make a distinction between what you can actually see, and what is assumption, addition (as described by William James), projection, or hallucination (“seeing” what isn’t really there)?
In Ayn Rand’s Introduction To Objectivist Epistemology she wrote:
“Learning consists of grasping meanings, i.e., of grasping the referents of words, the kinds of existents that words denote in reality.” [emphasis added]
Slavespeak is Kept in Place by Idolatry
George Bernard Shaw wrote that “He who worships a King and he who slays a King are idolaters alike.” Shaw was greatly influenced by Nietzsche, who wrote a book called The Twilight of the Idols. My Webster’s definition of idol includes the following:
- A representation or symbol of an object of worship;
- A false god;
- A pretender or impostor;
- A form of appearance visible but without substance;
- An object of passionate devotion;
- A false conception or fallacy.
In my opinion, both worshipping and hating “government” can be forms of idolatry. In the latter case, it depends on exactly what it is you hate, when you say, “I hate government.” Could it be that the libertarian or patriot who says vaguely, “I hate government,” is as much an idolater as the democrat or republican who says “I love my government,” or “I love my country.”
The Idols of Human Understanding
by Francis Bacon (condensed and edited):
“The idols and false notions which are now in possession of the human understanding, and have taken deep root therein, not only so beset men’s minds that truth can hardly find entrance, but even after entrance obtained, they will again in the very instauration of the sciences meet and trouble us, unless men being forewarned of the danger, fortify themselves as far as may be possible against their assaults.There are four classes of idols which beset men’s minds. To these, for distinction’s sake, I have assigned names:
- Idols of the tribe;
- Idols of the cave;
- Idols of the marketplace;
- Idols of the theater.
The idols of the tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe, race, and culture of men. It is a false assertion that the measure of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well as the sense of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.
The idols of the cave are the idols of the individual man. Everyone has a cave or a den of his own, which refracts and discolors the light of nature; owing to his personal and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed, or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like. So that the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance. Whence it was well observed by Heraclitus that men look for sciences in their own lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.
There are also idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call idols of the marketplace, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate; and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding.
Lastly, there are idols which have immigrated into men’s minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration. These I call idols of the theater; because in my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage-plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion.”
Max Stirner: the Greatest Idol Smasher of All Time
Here is a brief “taste” of Stirner (edited from The Ego and Its Own):
“I no longer humble myself before any supposed “power,” and I recognize that all powers are only my power, which I have to subject at once if they threaten to become a power against or above me; each of them must be only one of my means to carry my point, as a hound is my power against game, but is killed by me if it should attack me personally. All “powers” that attempt to dominate me I then reduce to serving me. The idols exist through me; I need only refrain from creating them anew, then they exist no longer; so-called “higher powers” exist only through my exalting them and abasing myself.Man, your head is haunted; you have idols in your head! You imagine great things, and depict to yourself a whole world of “gods” that has an existence for you, a “spirit-realm” to which you suppose yourself to be called, an “ideal” that beckons to you. You have fixed ideas!
Do not think that I jest or speak figuratively when I regard those persons who cling to the “higher” as veritable fools, fools in a madhouse. The vast majority belongs to this category. What is it, then, that is called a “fixed idea”? An idea to which a man has subjected himself. When you recognize such a fixed idea as folly, you lock its slave up in an asylum. And is the “truth of the faith,” say, which we are not to doubt; the “majesty of the people,” which we are not to strike at; “virtue,” against which the censor is not to let a word pass, so that “morality” may be kept pure – are these not fixed ideas? Is not all the stupid chatter of most of our newspapers the babble of fools who suffer from the fixed ideas of “morality,” “legality,” and so forth? Fools who only seem to go about free because the madhouse in which they walk takes in so broad a space?
Touch the fixed idea of such a fool, and you will at once have to guard your back against the lunatic’s stealthy malice. These lunatics assail by stealth him who touches their fixed idea. They first steal his weapon — free speech — and then they fall upon him with their nails. Every day now lays bare the cowardice and vindictiveness of these maniacs, and the stupid populace hurrahs for their crazy measures. One only has to read today’s journals to get the horrible conviction that one is shut up in a house with fools. But I do not fear their curses, and I say, my brothers are arch-fools.
Whether a poor (or rich) fool of this insane asylum is possessed by the fancy that he is “god the father,” the “emperor of japan,” the “holy spirit,” the “president of the USA,” or whatnot — or whether a poor fool in comfortable circumstances conceives his mission as being a “good christian,” a “faithful protestant,” a “loyal citizen,” or a “virtuous man” — these are all fixed ideas.
Just as the schoolmen philosophized only inside the belief of the church; as “pope” (so-called) Benedict XIV wrote fat books inside the papist superstition, without throwing a single doubt upon these beliefs; as authors fill whole folios on the supposed “state” without calling into question the fixed idea of “the state” itself; as our newspapers are crammed with politics because they are manacled to the fancy that man was created a political zombie – so also “subjects” wallow in “subjection,” “virtuous” people in “virtue,” and “liberals” in “humanity”; without ever putting to these fixed ideas of theirs the searching knife of criticism. Undislodgeable, like a madman’s delusion, those thoughts stand on a firm footing, and he who doubts them — lays hands on the “sacred”! Yes, the fixed idea, that is the truly “sacred”!”
The phenomenon of self-abasement warrants further discussion. When you call someone “King” or “President,” and yourself “their subject,” you exalt him and debase yourself. To think of Bill Clinton as “President of the U.S.A.,” is a result of gullibility, hallucination, and idolatry. The same applies to Washington, Jefferson, and all the others. They were all liars and impostors — idols. Similarly, when you regard someone’s words as “the law.” And what about the falsely-called “constitution” — the paper-idol! (Idolators hallucinate a “constitution” where there’s really nothing more than a piece of paper with ink on it.) When you surrender your power to another — for example, by political voting or paying taxes — you exalt another and debase yourself. Similarly, when you subject yourself to an idol such as “government.” These are all vile acts of self-abasement.
Slavespeak: The Most Fundamental Political Problem
Consider three levels:
- Concepts/words (including Slavespeak words);
- Beliefs (strings of concepts/words);
In order to expand liberty, I think most readers will agree, we need to somehow induce people engaged in anti-liberty behavior to change their behavior.
People tend to behave in accordance with their beliefs. If this is so, then in order to persuade people to change their behavior, we have to somehow induce them to change their beliefs.
But what if their beliefs consist of strings of concepts/words? What if certain beliefs can’t change, unless the words/concepts they consist of are changed?
According to Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
“But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repairs of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself. And if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government…” [emphasis added]
What if the basic “construction of systematic thought,” the basic “rationality,” consists of concepts/words? If so, then in order to induce people to change the most fundamental beliefs that really count, might it not be necessary that we persuade them to change some of their concepts/words?
I’m suggesting that the roots of political problems lie at the level of concepts/words — particularly political Slavespeak.
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
If you accept the concept/word “selfishness” (as held by most people), you also accept the devastating package-deal (including beliefs) that goes with it. You cannot change certain beliefs about “selfishness,” without changing your very concept of “selfishness.” The same applies to the concepts/words “law” and “government.”
See Report #04: How to Find Out Who You Are for an extensive description, examples, and potential cure of what I call Slave-Mentality; contrasted with its opposite — that of the Free Sovereign Individual.
Slave-mentality is at least partially a consequence of Slavespeak.
The Solution to the Slavespeak Problem
For some, before they’re ready to tackle political Slavespeak, they need to overcome their psychological (or other) Slavespeak. A good starting point might be Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson’s “Brain Freebie” course. The section below on General Semantics may be a good starting point for others. Several other reports address various aspects of self-improvement. The Millionaire Reports may also be useful. But the emphasis of this report is on political Slavespeak.
The central insight of this report is that the roots of statism reside within individual human brains. Any lasting solution to the problem of statism needs to include individuals clearing out the roots of statism from their own brains. I contend that political Slavespeak constitutes these roots.
In The Virtue of Selfishness Ayn Rand wrote:
“If some men do not choose to think, but survive by imitating and repeating, like trained animals, the routine sounds and motions they learned from others, never making an effort to understand… they are the men who march into the abyss, trailing after any destroyer who promises them to assume the responsibility they evade: the responsibility of being conscious.”
So, are you going to “not choose to think, but survive by imitating and repeating, like trained animals, the routine sounds — Slavespeak words “government,” “law,” etc. — you learned from terrocrats?
In The Ego & Its Own Max Stirner wrote:
“The decision having once been made not to let oneself be imposed on any longer by the extant and palpable, little scruple was felt about revolting against the existing State or overturning the existing laws; but to sin against the idea of the State, not to submit to the idea of law, who would have dared that?”
Stirner identifies the need to challenge and attack the “idea of the State” and the “idea of law.” As Robert Pirsig essentially indicates, if you destroy “the government” and “the law,” in the long run you achieve nothing, because the more basic idea of “government” and idea of “law” remain intact, and in time will result in new “government” and new “law.”
So what you have to do, is to “unlearn” the basic political Slavespeak concepts/words/ideas that were shoved down your throat by terrocrats and their helpers, witting and unwitting. You need to destroy in your mind the validity of Slavespeak words/concepts — reduce their validity to zero — to the point that you agree with the way Jeremy Bentham described political rhetoric (what I call political Slavespeak) in Bentham’s Theory of Fictions:
“Look to the letter, you find nonsense — look beyond the letter, you find nothing.”
And assist others to do the same.
Consider the possibility that inducing people to accept and use Slavespeak words is the most destructive form of deep-cheating — that has resulted in over a hundred million people being slaughtered during the Twentieth Century. And that by your continued unconsidered use of Slavespeak words, you participate in, reinforce, and perpetuate this most destructive deep-cheating and the resulting slaughter.
[I realize that in order to communicate to people at all, you often have to use Slavespeak words as if valid, otherwise you’ll quickly lose your audience and they’ll just think you’re crazy. You can develop the ability to subtly, strongly, or viciously challenge terrocrat concepts/words, depending on the appropriateness indicated by the level of freedom knowledge and sophistication your audience.]
Once you realize the extent to which, at bottom, the entire political/legal system is a word-game; a relatively fixed word-game; in the words of Jonathan Swift, a word-game, “hollow, and dry, and empty, and noisy, and wooden, and given to Rotation”; a word-game in the words of Jeremy Bentham such that: “Look to the letter, you find nonsense — look beyond the letter, you find nothing” — once you realize the nature of the word-game designed to enslave you, then you can create your own superior word-game to beat the system and, in the words of the libertarian friend I met in Luxembourg, “I live my life out of a context of liberty, a libertarian enclave, an anarcho-libertarian enclave. I carry it with me like an aura.”
To ultimately remove the terrocrats’ power, a critical mass of individuals would have to reclassify as invalid in their brains the statist Slavespeak concepts/words, and stop providing intellectual/conceptual support to the terrocrats “by imitating and repeating, like trained animals, the routine sounds and motions they learned from others” — in the words of Ayn Rand.
Repeat after me (!): They are not a huge omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent “government” (so-called) — they are individual terrocrats, often not the brightest, not the most competent, not the most hard-working. As Harry Browne said in How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, it’s a myth to believe that they can prevent you from being free.
“From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourself if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place your hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but merely that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.” – Etienne de la Boetie, Discourse of Voluntary Servitude
To understand the importance of Slavespeak, we need to operate at the level of observing, analyzing, and evaluating the implications, effects, and consequences of language. How do words influence the perception of reality? How might people unjustifiably constrain their behavior because of the language they use? How might people take incorrect or destructive actions because of the words they take for granted? Like “going to war for God and Country!”
General Semantics (GS), a discipline founded by engineer, mathematician, student of mental illness, and scholar Alfred Korzybski, addresses the same level Slavespeak does: How do our words influence the way we think, communicate, and behave? A basic understanding of GS cannot but help anyone to understand and transcend Slavespeak. The following excerpt from an article by the late George Doris, first published in 1983 in Self and Society: European Journal of Humanistic Psychology, gives an idea of where GS fits into “the scheme of things” [edited into E-Prime]:
“GRAMMAR deals with word-to-word relations. It embodies rules about how to put words together into sentences, and does not concern itself with how sentences relate to each other or how sentences relate to facts.
LOGIC goes further. To a logician, sentences serve as assertions and he concerns himself with relations between assertions (“if ‘A’, then ‘B'”). But for the logician, words need not have any meaning except as defined by other words, and the assertion need not have any relations to the world of fact.
SEMANTICS goes further than logic — to the semanticist, words and assertions have meaning only if they are related operationally to referents in the world of nature. The semanticist defines not only validity (as the logician does) but also ‘truth.’
GENERAL SEMANTICS goes furthest — it deals not only with words, assertions and their referents in nature but also with effects on human behavior. For a ‘general semanticist,’ communication consists not merely of words in proper order, properly inflected (as for the grammarian), or assertions in proper relation to each other (as for the logician), or assertions in proper relation to referents (as for the semanticist), but all these, together with the reactions of the nervous systems of the human beings involved in the communication.”
The following GS principles (with my personal interpretations and extensions) I regard as most germane to the subject of Slavespeak.
Words Don’t Have Meanings; People Have Meanings
Many people suffer from the basic linguistic illusion that “words have meanings.” If a word has a meaning, where do you find it? Can it be found in the sound when you say it? Can you find it in the ink when you write it? Can you find it in the dictionary, or does the dictionary contain only words? What characterizes or distinguishes a meaning and how can you recognize it?
Consider the possibility that:
- Meanings reside in the individual brain;
- Individuals create, maintain and update their meanings;
- Meanings consist of a “neural-patterns-of-instructions-and-associations”;
- A “neural-pattern-of-instructions-and-associations” can be compared to a computer program that essentially tells the user how to use a particular word;
- In order for an individual to use a word in a manner such that he or she can think and communicate effectively, using that word, requires a brain program vastly more complex, than the “brief-user-instructions” in the dictionary;
- Even if you claim that the “brief-user-instructions” constitute the meaning of a word, an individual couldn’t use that word effectively without integrating at least the meanings of all the words used in the “brief-user-instructions”;
- In order to use a word effectively, the “brief-user-instructions” have to be “enriched” a thousand-fold, maybe a million-fold;
- Operating on the basis that you personally create all the meaning in “your universe” greatly increases your control over your mental processes, enabling you to think, communicate, and act much more effectively.
Corresponding to the word “chair” I have in my brain a generalized picture or template of a range of kinds of objects that qualify as chairs. This forms part of my meaning for the word “chair.” I also have links to other patterns and memories I relate to “chair.” All of this complexity constitutes my meaning for the word “chair” — a meaning unique to me and vastly greater and more complex than any “meaning” to be found in a dictionary — yet similar to the meanings others have for the word “chair.” My meaning (brain-program) for using the word “chair” includes a module enabling me to determine, when others use the word “chair,” whether they use it more or less the same way I do. (No such “meaning” can be found in the dictionary.)
We can communicate because (we have to assume that) when I say “chair,” you trigger, engage, or “boot up” in your brain a meaning similar to mine. Through observing responses to communication we discern whether or not we refer the same object when we say “chair.”
Most importantly, we individually create, maintain, and update our personal meanings. Over time, we can improve our ability to use any particular word more effectively. We can learn vastly more about any given word than can be found in the dictionary. For example, I utilized a variant of English called E-Prime to write the portion of this report dealing with GS. E-Prime does not contain the verb “to be” or any of its variants; otherwise E-Prime mirrors standard English. (You’ll find the reasons for writing this way, below.) You’ll also find below, that my meaning for “to be” and its forms varies dramatically from any “meaning” you can find in a regular dictionary.
Now, what if our meanings constitute our most important creations by a long shot? If so, to what extent do we render ourselves oblivious of our most important creations? Can we create anything physical, without first creating it internally in a form that includes meaning?
If we render ourselves relatively oblivious of creating our meanings, how do we affect our awareness of our physical creations and how much control do we have? How much responsibility can we demonstrate?
If we ascribe the creation of our meanings to agencies outside ourselves (“words have meanings”), do we perhaps disown a most important part of ourselves? Do we perform most of our “meaning-processing” more or less unconsciously?
For a more extensive discussion of this principle, see Report #50A: Semantic Rigidity, Flexibility, and Freedom.
The Map Differs from the Territory
The word differs from the thing. In our minds we make all kinds of maps and models of how we think the world works. Our concepts (basic ideas) and words constitute maps or models which represent or reflect (we hope) aspects of the world. Our models and maps can be more or less useful, measured by the results we produce using them.
Our models and maps — including our words — can never do more than approximate the actual world or the actual phenomena they seek to represent. Our maps, models, and words (symbols) constitute incomplete abstractions — condensed, simplified, and approximated. Ultimately, the actual territory defies verbal description. Ultimately, the word cannot describe the thing. The world (territory) has its form or nature. Our description of it (map) includes at best incomplete details. Hense the GS aphorism (converted into E-Prime): “Whatever description you give something differs from the thing itself!” The word differs from the thing it tries to describe, reflect, or represent.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), describes three basic ways in which our models or maps differ from the territory:
- Deletion — at best we use partial maps; they can seldom (if ever) include all the details of the territory.
- Distortion — our maps often include minor or even major inaccuracies; one person “sees” a red car with two people, another “sees” a brown car with three people; one tennis player “sees” the ball as “in,” the opponent “sees” it as “out.”
- Generalization — we often have one generalized map that represents many different parts of the territory. For example, my generalized “cow” map might represent cows in general. If someone asks me what breed of cow I saw, a Jersey, Guernsey, Hereford, etc.?, I reply, “What do I care! All cows look the same to me!”
A fourth way in which our maps may differ from the territory, we’ve already covered briefly: addition or hallucination. We “see” and put into our map what does not exist in the territory. We “see” a “constellation” where only individual stars exist. Our map contains more than what can be found in the territory — addition or hallucination.
When scientists tried to find a substance corresponding to the way they “understood” the word “heat,” they attempted to add to the territory an expected “substance” they could never find. Of course, scientists eventually discovered their error because they require physical evidence which they could never find.
Preponderance of Means over Ends
As far as I know (a GS qualification), Hans Vaihinger first enunciated this principle in his book The Philosophy of As If. He said that our means tend to become more important than our ends. For example, we want to become happy. We figure if we make lots of money we’ll be happy. Money becomes the means to achieve the end of happiness. Many of us then focus on making money (means), to the extent that we lose sight of becoming happy (end). The money becomes more important than the happiness; means preponderate over ends.
In GS a specific aspect of the more general principle above, can be formulated as: The preponderance of the map over the territory; or, regarding the map as more important than the territory. Making the word more important than the thing. Korzybski called this “Intensional Evaluation — “Facts” Last.” If we elevate our words in importance above our experience of the world, we evaluate intensionally. He called this orientation “un-sane” because its linguistic delusions can endanger our success or survival. For example, if we believe that we can achieve good health by saying, “I create that whatever I eat is good for me,” and continue with unhealthy habits, we behave intensionally or in an un-sane manner.
Korzybski claimed that elevating words over facts causes much human misery, because it leads to dysfunctional, un-sane, evaluating and behavior. To achieve more sane behaviors, we must look first to experience. Korzybski called this “Extensional Evaluation — “Facts” First.” The term extensional refers to elevating experience above language. When we observe, sense, and then describe, we evaluate extensionally. Korzybski considered this a sane way to make our evaluations of the world. To look, observe, touch, feel, test, sample, etc.; and then to describe.
Now, if you look back at our two tribes, you’ll find that tribe 1 (the sane ones) practice extensional evaluation, while tribe 2 (the un-sane ones) practice intensional evaluation. It may be worthwhile to reread the two-tribes story to better grasp the extensional/intensional distinction.
The scientists looking for a substance corresponding to the word “heat,” evaluated intensionally. They started with the description “heat,” then looked and searched the territory in vain for the “fact” of “heat.”
We experience the world in at least two basic ways:
- Through our senses;
- Through language.
We experience the world through our senses as directly as we can. We could call it extensional experience — tends toward greater sanity.
When we experience the world through the intermediary of language indirectly, we could call it intensional experience — tends toward less sanity.
“Mankind in all ages have had a strong propensity to conclude that for every name, a distinguishable separate entity corresponding to the name must exist; and every complex idea which the mind has formed for itself by operating upon its conceptions of individual things, had to have an outward objective reality answering to it.” [converted into E-Prime] – J.S. Mill, A System of Logic“The Fascist State has a consciousness of its own, and a will of its own, on this account constitutes an “ethical” state.” [converted into E-Prime] – Mussolini on the Doctrine of Fascism
Hypostatization basically refers to construing a word as a thing, or regarding a purely conceptual idea as a real existent or concrete thing. Hypostatization closely resembles reification — regarding something abstract as a material thing.
In his book The Comforts of Unreason: A Study of the Motives behind Irrational Thought, Rupert Crayshaw-Williams has a chapter on hypostatization, where he analyses hypostatized abstractions like “England,” “Germany,” “country,” and “nation.” He uses the phrases “collective abstraction” and “empty linguistic convenience.”
Mill above describes hypostatization or reification. Mussolini combines reification with personification by treating his hypostatized “fascist state” (empty linguistic convenience) as a person with a conscience and a will. Mussolini’s map contains more than can be found in the reality or territory it seeks to represent — addition, in Mussolini’s case, extreme hallucination — “seeing” what can’t be found.
Hypostatization represents the extreme case of glorifying a map without a territory — a word without a thing or discernible referent — such as the word “government.” To then go further and ascribe to this supposed “government” volition and magical powers (“The purpose of government is to do for people what they cannot do for themselves.” — Abraham Lincoln), reflects personification — even deification.
Hypostatization represents extreme intensional evaluation — an empty description, such that, if you look, observe, touch, feel, test, sample, etc., you fail to find a referent. Vonnegut in effect said, “government represents a granfalloon.” Bentham’s “Look to the letter, you find nonsense — look beyond the letter, you find nothing” applies here. For a philosophical analysis of “government” (or “state”) as an empty linguistic convenience, see the article: Deep Anarchy – An Eliminativist View Of “The State”.
The majority of political Slavespeak words constitute examples of hypostatization and intensional evaluation — words first, “facts” last; or “false-over-facts”; words without corresponding things or referents; granfalloons.
“Heat” again, represents a classic example of hypostatization. Because scientists had the abstract idea of “heat,” they assumed that if they searched long enough, they would eventually find a substance corresponding to their map.
Hypostatization, reification, personification, deification, and intensional evaluation may all have their roots in the more primitive forms of a phenomenon called “participation mystique” by anthropologist Lucien Levy-Bruhl in his book How Natives Think. Participation mystique can have various elements:
- The belief that objects or animals have magical powers.
- The belief that an object (sometimes considered sacred) contains part of oneself, and has magical powers. (Some Australian aborigines had “churingas” (a piece of wood or stone) they rubbed when ill in order to try to heal themselves.)
- The belief that the individual didn’t create the meaning; disowning the meaning and projecting it into something external.
- The unconscious projection of all kinds of powers into the environment.
- The loss of personal identity and rationality when in a crowd (as described by Gustav le Bon in The Crowd).
- The sports fanatic who talks of the team he supports as “we.”
- The “patriot” who refers to his supposed “nation” as “we.”
- The “citizen” who refers to the “army” of his supposed “country” as “we.”
- A lack of psychological, emotional, and intellectual independence.
- Feeling lost without the approval of others.
- Identification of self with objects like cars and houses.
- Identification of self with a career or company.
- The willingness to kill or be killed for unobservable or unprovable “causes” and “reasons.”
- The demand that “society” must provide us with whatever we need.
- The belief that certain words have magical powers.
- Accusing others of causing your emotions.
- Patriotism, “pledges of allegiance,” “anthems,” “national flags,” and the like.
- Religious beliefs, rites, and practices.
- Idolatry of all kinds.
Note the correspondence and overlap between the above elements and the slave-mentality described in Report #04: How to Find Out Who You Are. Note also where (1) deletion; (2) distortion; (3) generalization; and (4) addition and hallucination occur in the above. [M. Esther Harding’s book The ‘I’ and the ‘Not-I’ includes a chapter on participation mystique.]
Korzybsky talks about “semantic reactions” (also “neuro-semantic” or “neuro-linguistic”), where one reacts more or less automatically and unconsciously to one’s “interpretation” of an event or situation, rather than responding in a deliberate, calculated, and rational way to the event or situation itself.
Semantic reaction refers to the whole reaction of an organism: a biological-verbal-emotional reaction which could include changes in adrenaline levels, muscle tension, digestive fluids, thoughts, feelings, as well as verbal utterances.
Semantic reaction could be called “intensional reaction” (reacting to words — or possibly, pre-verbal “interpretation”), as opposed to “extensional response” (responding to the event or situation itself). Semantic reaction tends to follow experiencing the world through the automatic intermediary of language — intensional experience.
Cognitive therapist Aaron T. Beck writes in his book Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders about “automatic thoughts” that usually precede one’s automatic negative responses to events or situations. Unless we deliberately train ourselves to consciously respond to the event or situation itself (extensional response) we may be prone to react at times like puppets to “automatic thoughts” about (“interpretation” of) the event or situation (intensional reaction). For details on how to train yourself to recognize and overcome semantic response, see Report #12: How to Achieve Emotional Control.
In his book The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz makes a distinction between the “reactive-responsive orientation” (closely related to Korzybski’s semantic response) and the “creative orientation” (loosely related to what I’ve called the extensional response) — see Report #10: How To Achieve and Increase Personal Power.
Dr. Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Therapy uses the term “self-suggested nonsense,” to describe Aaron Beck’s undesirable “automatic thoughts” — what we tell ourselves, vocally and sub-vocally, as a reaction to an event or situation. Often, the “self-suggested nonsense” contains a form of the verb “to be” — “I am helpless, therefore…”; “She is about to dump me…”; “He is a Jew, so what can you expect…”; “I am a teacher, so what I am doing must be teaching…”; “He is a stupid black…”; “He is a mean white…”; “All men are the same…” or “All women are the same…”; etc.
Becoming aware of the linguistic pitfalls caused by the use of “to be” can assist us to clear the “self-suggested nonsense” from our minds. Robert Anton Wilson calls it the “is-ness illness”.
The “Is-ness Illness”
According to David Bourland:
- “Everything in the “real world” changes: sometimes so rapidly that we may not notice the changes directly (as in the case of a table which appears solid), sometimes so slowly that we can (as in the case of a river).
- Every person, as well as every “thing,” undergoes such changes.
- One particular verb in English — “to be” — carries with it archaic associations and implications of permanence and static existence that we do not find in the “real world”.”
Is-of-Identity. When I say a terrocrat “is” a terrorist bureaucrat or coercive political agent, I’m using a limiting label. I’m implying that all politicians and political bureaucrats “are” terrocrats. This constitutes the “is-of-identity” — a confusion of levels of abstracting. To simplify, consider the statement, “The man is a terrocrat.” “Man” here represents a second-level abstraction — a verbal map of a pre-verbal map. But “terrocrat” represents a higher-level abstraction, two levels higher. On successive levels we have “man,” then “men in coercive politics,” and then “terrocrat.”
The label limits in that it may result in all “men in coercive politics” receiving paint from the same brush and receiving disapproval accordingly, while wide differences between individuals in coercive politics do occur, and some may even behave like good people, from time to time!
So, should I stop calling the bastards “terrocrats?” I don’t think so! I invoke Nietzsche’s principle of the “useful error” and Humpty Dumpty’s, “The only question: Who achieves mastery — nothing else.” [converted into E-Prime]
Most importantly, notice and alert yourself to what you do and the potential linguistic pitfalls involved. The terrocrats’ have a favorite tactics to smear someone they don’t like as, “Joe Blow is an extremist.” They wield a powerful weapon. Mostly, it works very well for them.
The same technique can also work for us. A key question: Does it produce the desired results?
Is-of-Predication. If you say, “Joe Blow is evil,” you imply that a quality or characteristic called “evil” exists in Joe. Probably, Joe did something you consider “evil.” The “evil” arose in you as an impression you experienced as a result of whatever Joe did. The “is” covers up the fact that the impression arose in you. It would be more accurate to say, “Joe did so-and-so, which I regard as an evil act because…”
The “is-of-predication” tends to encourage us to project our own impressions and evaluations onto others and the world “out there.” Whenever we use a form of the verb “to be” to connect a noun and an adjective, we frequently express a “false-to-fact” relationship. In the above example, Joe is the “fact” and “evil” is the “false.”
The is-of-predication can have disastrous consequences at all levels of human interaction. “You’re stupid!” differs greatly from “From what you just did, I got the impression that could have done something more appropriate!”
Note that the is-of-identity and the is-of-predication can be combined in one statement. Many people assign a pejorative predication to the label “extremist” and would also (hopefully!) do the same with respect to the label “terrocrat.” So, when we say, “Joe is an extremist” or “Joe is a terrocrat,” we combine identification and predication.
Korzybski described GS as a non-Aristotelian system. In addition to other fundamental differences, Aristotelian logic has two values, while “non-A” logic has multiple values. In Aristotelian logic, any proposition has only one of two values: “right” or “wrong” — white or black, without any shades of grey.
Korzybsky’s logic has multiple values — any proposition can have a range of values, expressed in terms of probabilities or degrees of qualities (shades of grey).
Because, in creating our maps, models, and words, we tend to form incomplete abstractions of the world we’re trying to interpret, usually no description, answer, model, action, or person has the simple value, “right” or “wrong.” Many factors — more than we know — usually affect or relate to every event or situation. Some factors incline us to think in one direction, some influence us in other directions. If we look at as many of these factors as we can discern, and examine their relationships, we have a better chance of finding an answer with a high probability of producing the results we seek.
This multi-valued principle applies to many different areas. Korzybsky talks about the “multi-ordinality” of terms. Not everyone assigns just one identical meaning to a particular word. To many words most people assign more than one meaning. Different people may assign different meanings to particular words in the same context, and especially in different contexts. A word or sentence in itself doesn’t say anything definite or finite; it requires an individual to assign meaning to it, and that meaning can vary considerably.
Similarly, we can think in terms of multi-valued causality. It may be naive to think that one specific thing simply causes another. Most events tend to have many causes and many effects. We live in a world of complex and wide-ranging interrelationships we may never fully understand. Albert Camus wrote that if he just lifted his finger, someone somewhere in the world might die as a result.
Additional GS Formulations
Time-binding. Korzybski described the uniquely human ability to record information in the form of written language and pass knowledge on into the future to others as “time-binding.”
Abstracting. “Abstracting” refers to how we obtain and process knowledge, how we create our maps of the territory. I’ve already indicated how the factors, (1) deletion; (2) distortion; (3) generalization; and (4) addition and hallucination, can affect the way we create our maps. We can distinguish between abstracting as directly as possible from our experience — extensional abstracting — and abstracting from “language-absent-experience” — intensional abstracting.
We can identify levels of abstraction: (1) from sensory input to pre-verbal mental map; (2) pre-verbal mental map to verbal map; (3) verbal maps of verbal maps; (4) etc. The higher the level of abstraction, the greater the risk of (1) deletion; (2) distortion; (3) generalization; and (4) addition and hallucination reducing the usefulness of the abstraction.
Many of our personal misunderstandings arise when we act as if we have all the information about anything or anyone, i.e., we act as if we abstract perfectly, which we can’t do. No two events or situations share exactly the same details, but for convenience, we may categorize them as identical or similar. Treating them as if identical — ignoring their differences — can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and even tragedies. Ever heard of a policeman who shot a suspect to death, because he thought the suspect had a gun when he didn’t?
Elementalism — Splitting the Territory. In our maps we often make distinctions or linguistic splits, for example, we may talk about “thoughts” and “feelings” as if they constitute separate things. But the territory may contain only inseperable “thought-feelings.” The split between thought and feeling could reflect no more than a linguistic convenience — another for us to create maps with nothing in the territory that corresponds to the map, i.e. there’s no referent.
Non-Elementalism — Not Splitting the Territory. The principle of non-elemantalism indicates that we can’t necessarily separate thinking from feeling, actions from consequences, etc. It leads to some holistic terms, such as organism-as-a-whole-in-an-environment, thought-feeling, etc.
Testing by Experience. We have a self-reflexive capacity; we can observe the consequences our actions produce and learn from them. This gives us opportunities to improve our abilities to observe, to create more appropriate maps, to think more effectively, and to act more productively. We can test our inferences, evaluations, theories, value systems, etc. about philosophy, politics, psychology, economics, crime and punishment, etc. We can recognize that our verbal constructions necessarily differ from things-events. We can put our verbal inventions to the test of experience. We can ask, “Does the map fit the territory?” “Do our maps work?” “Do they produce the physical results we seek?”
Were he still alive, Korzybski would probably regard my “GS principles” as involving gross and unjustified deletions from, distortions of, generalizations of, and additions to his GS principles! Obviously, in a few pages I can only scratch the surface of GS. For more details on GS, you may want to check out the following two websites and their links to other sites:
Much of what I’ve written about GS I “extracted” from the authors on these sites and their links. I hereby offer a collective acknowledgment to you all for the contribution you’ve made to my limited understanding of GS.
Korzybski’s student D. David Bourland, Jr. has developed a writing style called “E-Prime,” a variant of English that simply eliminates all use of “is” and other forms of the word “to be.”
Psychotherapist Dr. Albert Ellis — referred to in the section on “Semantic Reaction” in connection with Rational Therapy and “self-suggested nonsense” — considered the benefits of E-Prime sufficient to warrant rewriting some of his books in E-Prime, including A New Guide to Rational Living with Robert A. Harper in 1975, and Anger: How to Live With and Without It in 1977.
When you have an important question or problem, you may want to do the exercise of framing it in E-Prime. You may find that when you can’t say “something is something,” you have to think much more specifically about what you mean, and just how your words relate to physical reality or actual experience, rather than just to other words.
To test the above theory, I decided to convert the entire part of this report, dealing with GS, into E-Prime. It did indeed make me think much more deeply. I experienced amazement and considerable satisfaction from the degree to which the section on “people have meanings for words” improved as a result of conversion into E-Prime — a vast, unexpected improvement!
Used in writing, E-Prime tends to tighten style by eliminating the passive voice. Without passive verbs, you need to think clearly about who or what performed the action. Rather than, “It is commonly accepted that…,” you want to know in more detail just who accepts it, the reliability of the assertion that they accept it, and possibly why or on what basis they accept it.
According to Bourland, certain questions — some would say pseudo-questions — that have uselessly preoccupied many people, cannot be asked in E-prime: “Who am I?”; “What is my destiny?”; “What is man?”; “What is woman?”; “Is it art?” Because of their semantic structure, such “questions” seldom lead to useful answers; they more usually result in confusion, disagreement, conflict, and even war.
It may be more appropriate to ask: “What characterizes me uniquely?”; “What can I do to improve my potential success in life?”; “What healthy food should I eat next?”
Forms of “to be” tend to encourage and facilitate the making of certain abbreviated statements that may convey little or no information, though we often behave as if they do. Consider such empty comments as: “It is clear that…”; “Business is business”; “It’s just semantics” — the last often used as an analysis stopper. You might productively respond, “OK. Let’s try to clarify some of those semantic problems.”
My personal view is that much of the time it works reasonably well to use “to be” — as long as we carefully notice what we say and write, and we keep reminding ourselves of the potential for introducing linguistic delusions. And, as indicated above, whenever we have a difficult question, problem, or subject to resolve or formulate, we may benefit greatly by using E-Prime.
Furthermore, I think everyone should at least get some practice in translating “to-be-writing” into E-Prime, and should write some E-Prime from scratch. This exercise will make you more aware of the difference between map and territory, and will increase your ability to use language more consciously and deliberately. It will also improve your ability to communicate in F-Prime — next section.
For more information on E-Prime, I suggest the following:
- Robert Anton Wilson: Toward Understanding E-Prime, and his website
- Extropy Institute FAQ List
- David Bourland: TO BE OR NOT TO BE: E-Prime as a Tool for Critical Thinking
- E.W. Kellogg III: Speaking in E-Prime
Standard English minus “To Be” gives E-Prime.
Standard English minus Slavespeak plus Freespeak gives F-Prime.
By “Freespeak” I mean words like “terrocrat,” specifically designed to reduce the power of terrorist bureaucrats and coercive political agents and increase the power of freedom-loving individuals. “Slavespeak” is also a “Freespeak” word.
I attempted to write this entire report in “F-Prime,” short for “Freedom-Prime” or “Free-Prime.”
F-Prime has three major rules:
1. ELIMINATE SLAVESPEAK FROM YOUR THINKING — If you notice yourself thinking, “Princess Diana,” correct yourself by saying to yourself, “No! Diana Windsor.” If you find yourself thinking, “government,” correct yourself by saying to yourself, “No! Terrocrats.”
2. AVOID SLAVESPEAK IN YOUR SPEAKING AND WRITING WHEN APPROPRIATE — When you say or write “government” (without the quotes), add the quotation marks mentally, or cross your fingers behind your back to remind you of the undesirability of Slavespeak.
3. ASSIST OTHERS TO CURE THEMSELVES FROM SLAVESPEAK.
We may need minimal guidelines developed for speaking and writing F-Prime.
We need more Freespeak words as powerful memes to knock out the old harmful memes of political Slavespeak.
F-Prime has an important second rule: USE STANDARD ENGLISH WHEN TALKING TO A COP WHO HAS JUST PULLED YOU OVER, OR TO ANY AUDIENCE NOT READY TO HEAR F-PRIME.
We may need further methods or techniques to prepare people for F-Prime. Reading the reports mentioned earlier will help.
Examples of F-Prime — English sentences translated into E-Prime and F-Prime
[Adapted from the Extropy Institute FAQ List.]
ENGLISH: Marty is an asshole.
E-PRIME: Marty frequently says things that make me angry.
F-PRIME: Marty frequently says things to which I react by getting angry — I haven’t yet learned to handle his statements rationally. [Placing emotional causation outside yourself constitutes Slavespeak and an aspect of participation mystique.]
ENGLISH: Religious fanatics like David Koresh are dangerous. [Makes the implicit assignment “David Koresh was a religious fanatic.”]
E-PRIME: The government considered David Koresh, whose followers believed he was God, a danger to their authority. [Talks about who holds what beliefs.]
F-PRIME: Certain individual terrocrats considered David Koresh, whose followers believed he was “God” (so-called), a danger to their pretended “authority.” [The term “government,” particularly used as if a volitional entity capable of “considering,” constitutes Slavespeak at its worst, as well as constituting an aspect of participation mystique. “God” and “authority,” as used in the E-Prime translation, constitute Slavespeak.]
ENGLISH: Natalie Merchant’s voice is the most beautiful in the world.
E-PRIME: I like Natalie Merchant’s voice better than anyone else’s.
F-PRIME: I like Natalie Merchant’s voice better than anyone else’s.
ENGLISH: Natalie Merchant is a Commie dupe.
E-PRIME: Natalie Merchant has said that she regards the principle of private property as bad. [An operational statement of an observable fact regarding something somebody has said.]
F-PRIME: Natalie Merchant has said that she regards the principle of private property as bad.
Writing in E-Prime and F-Prime at the same time I call “EF-Prime.”
I attempted to write the portion of this report — from the “General Semantics” heading up to “Examples of F-Prime…” — in EF-Prime.
“Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us.” – Robert Anton Wilson
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