Gaslighting, False Witness, Deception, Guile
Bearing false witness, deception and gaslighting is used by cult members to conceal their sins, boost their perceived reputation, rally members around them and divide loyal followers against those who are not going along with the party line.
Gaslighting can be used to make victims think that they are crazy. When the victims doubt their own sanity, they may depend on others to do their thinking for them and make choices based on the approval of the cult leaders.
Gaslighting is used to cover up unrighteousness and cause cult members to question those who ask "too many questions". A cult leader can use gaslighting to undermine the credibility of someone so that others won't even consider what they say. It can even be used to provoke members of a following to start gossiping, lying, slandering or libeling somoeone who won't "just fit in".
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. - Wikipedia
Psychological abuse = sin
In other words....gaslighting is a sin in which lies are written or told to deceive others and cast doubt. It can be the concealment of sin or deceiving others in order to undermine the true witness of others in hopes of avoiding judgment and thwarting justice.
The term "gaslighting" comes from a movie about a man who tried deceiving his wife. He was wanting to steal something. In the movie, the deception involved gas lights which would flicker in lower house levels when the man was turning on and off the gaslights upstairs, hence the name "gaslighting".
Why do people gaslight others? Probably the most important aspect around gaslighting is the evil motive of the deceiver. Can you have a good motive for wanting to deceive others into thinking their mind isn't working? Typically a crime or immoral act is trying to be concealed, and therefore they believe that others need to be deceived by (perhaps) any means possible. They don't want others to know of their criminal acts. They themselves are under the delusion that they can hide this from God.
The difference between gaslighting and deception of others is that gaslighting is focused on making one person think they are crazy. You can find snake-oil salesmen that try to deceive many people or a few suckers. You can have false preachers that deceive many people in a crowd. But gaslighting is focused on one person, and getting others to disbelieve that person also. It may involve character assasination. It may take on the guise of appearing to seek the other person's good.
All that takes to stop gaslighting is one person: friend, relative or passerby who loves anybody enough to ask questions and probe further when they see something suspicious going on.
There are always signs of foul play when a person is gaslighting someone. Watching for those signs, asking questions and loving others is a sure way to help.
Important Aspects Surrounding Gaslighting
Gaslighting is immoral. Gaslighting is wrong. How do we know this? Simple, it breaks the law of God.
Gaslighting breaks the 9th commandment (among others) "Thou shalt not bear false witness". False religion is a form of gaslighting because they collect money from the masses to make a few individuals wealthy and use a "form of worship" as a cover for their evil deeds.
It also breaks the two commandments on which the 9th commandment is based:
1) Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Clearly doing something evil and deceiving others to avoid being caught is not an act of loving God with our all.
2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Even children know: "How would you like it if someone did that to you?" If we don't want to be convinced we are crazy when we're not, the we should not do it to others.
There you have it. Gaslighting is immoral, is condemned by God, and God cannot be gaslighted.
Gaslighting involves doing something evil and lying to someone else or deceiving them in order to make them think that they are crazy. The perpetrator wants to avoid being caught. They want people to doubt or disbelieve things that they have seen and/or heard. Their goal is to conceal the evil they are doing.
Deception involves trust and credibility. Trust involves telling the truth. Trust involves having a good reputation. Don't be surprised if people who are gaslighting others put on a good show and try to impress others. They may have a good reputation (for a while) on which the person is banking on. However, when they are found out, they may lose their reputation and trust.
The person trying to deceive the victim should know that deceptions can be temporary. And deceptions don't foster love or respect. What is it worth? What is your reputation worth? Do you mind having a tarnished name, a bad reputation? What will you do when you are found out?
Marks of Gaslighters and Deceivers
People who are successful at deceiving others need to appear very believable. Also, they need to use subtle techniques to avoid being caught. Don't be surprised if they are very good at it. They may do great things for others. Perhaps too great. Too many things.
They need to keep things verbal. It would be your word against theirs. They also make things difficult to prove by making you unbelievable (your word against theirs) or making it too much work for you to prove them wrong so that you give up. If you don't love the truth and love justice, then you will give up. This merely reinforces to the abuser that their method "works" and they continue to use it on others.
Who is Deceived? And for How Long?
There is always at least one person deceived with their attempts to gaslight others. First, the person trying to deceive another person is already deceived. They believe:
The person that is the victim will not always be deceived. They may be temporarily confused, but that doesn't mean they will always be confused.
The victim may say they are confused, but not really believe they are confused. They may not believe the person who is deceiving them. As a result, they will not respect the person doing the deception.
A Real Life Example
I grew up in a cult called the "2x2s". They want women to have long hair and wear it in a bun on the top of their head. Now there is no scripture explicitly requiring this. And even if there was, there are other more important matters that should be taught first. But the preachers claim when asked about this, that "they don't have rules." But yet somehow.....unless you have long hair and wear it in a bun (if you are a woman)...you won't gain their approval. And if you go to one of their services, do a count of how many women have their hair in a bun. So here's my example, using made up name of Suzy:
Suzy says, "I'm leaving the meetings (the 2x2 cult) because I'm tired of wearing my hair in a bun." The workers say to her, "What do you mean? (feigning ignorance), we never preached that you had to wear your hair in a bun?"
Suzy thinks to herself, "Hmmm, I cannot remember a single time where they preached this, but I know I learned it somehow. Every time I go to meetings I am sure I am expected to have my hair in a bun. I would feel guilty if I don't."
So Suzy listens in their meetings for months and never hears the preachers preach about it.
Suzy stresses over it. Was she wrong? Is it really true? She feels like she is going crazy. Surely these preachers would never lie to her. Did she make this up herself? She thinks about it over and over again. Aren't these the only true preachers of God? That's what they tell me. Who am I to doubt them? But why do I feel pressure to wear my hair in a bun?
Suzy thinks about it for days. She cannot sleep. It bothers her. Suzy believes she must be in error because AFTER ALL, THEY ARE the only true servants of God. They even told her so. But she has niggling doubts. She gathers her last emotional reserves and makes an appointment to talk with them again.
She talks to the workers again. The preachers tell her something is wrong with her. And they deny this teaching about women wearing hair in buns. But it doesn't stop there. When they go to others peoples' homes, they make comments like, "Poor Suzy is really struggling. She seems to have some mental issues right now. Please pray for her."
Suzy hears from other people. She can see it in their faces at meetings. She has been found out. People trust the preachers and believe Suzy is now "mental". She must be on medication, they reason.
Suzy cannot stand the pressure. She is losing friends. Surely the preachers and her friends cannot be wrong! She goes crazy and has a nervous breakdown.
You may laugh. And I wouldn't blame you. But this story isn't far-fetched. There are people in the 2x2 cult who have gone crazy as their esteem of their mental faculties is based on the perceptions of others. And when all their friends are in the same cult, it can be overwhelming especially to kids. And there are kids and teens and adults in the 2x2 cult who have committed suicide. Ok, now you are not laughing.
Children are especially easy to gaslight. I know of a woman who claims she was raped by a preacher and the preacher confidently told her that no one would believe her if she reported it.!
This is serious stuff. Lives are at stake. Souls can be lost!
Back to Suzy. What went wrong?
How to Keep from Being Gaslighted/Deceived
There are several things to help from being gaslighted or tricked into thinking you are going mental
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
We can be deceived. Whole nations can be deceived. Peer pressure can be enormous. Read about Hitler.
It took me one full year to get out of this 2x2 cult. It was enormously stressful. I was raised in it, had almost all friends in it and was heavily involved. I thought the group was the only way to heaven! Here are some things I've learned about dealing with gaslighting:
Things you can do. Tools that can help.
The Big Step
Disclaimer. I am not offering legal advice to any specific situation. These are just my opinions. I am not a doctor, lawyer or professional counselor.
Many people after leaving the cult, and ceasing to visit with members of the cult feel an immense relief.
Pro 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
There are many effects of deception. All people who share these symptoms have one or more common deceiver who is wreaking this havoc.
The Bible clearly teaches how to stop deceivers in the church. Since most people don't believe in the Bible nor in Jesus Christ, they simply don't follow what Jesus taught. I used Matthew 18 to escape from the cult myself. It's very effective because it brings the discussion before witnesses and gets the issue public instead of secreting issues away. I've never seen this process followed to completion in the cult.
Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Let me list them out again.
Many people talk about "for where two or three are gathered..." in context of fellowship. But this verse is located right in the context of handling offenses in the church. So take heart friend! Christ Jesus is right there with you. This is really important to God.
These are five verses. These five powerful verses by our Creator on what to do about offenses that totally and completely counteracts gaslighting or deception or other trespasses. But most people don't believe in Bible or trust Jesus Christ and end up the victim of deception/ gaslighting and end up going mental, crazy or distressed and some even commit suicide.
Those who love the truth will escape deception. Those who love and make lies will become deceived and deceive others.
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Recruitment - Home|
Why people become 2x2s
Poor Me Conspiracy
People Susceptible to Cults
Signs of Followers
Marks of Cult
Insinuation or Revelation
Teaching through behavior
Marks of Cult Meetings
Love of lie
Waking Up Late
Deception of Unrighteousness
Persistence of thought
Twice the Child
|To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. - Jesus Christ speaking to Saul, see Act 26:18, see Salvation through Jesus Christ.|