February 01, 2017
Coyote Medicine: Gaslighting The Truth
In a world filled with personal and political agendas, the concept that there is an undeniable, absolute truth, has lost its moorings. Instead, we have hints of the truth, spun in one direction, or the other, all with the intention of swaying an audience. Then we have fake news, meant to deliberately mislead, and finally, we have gaslighting.
Gaslighting is perhaps the most sinister of these deceptions. It is a means of consciously manipulating the truth, in hopes of instilling doubt. Rather than challenging us to question the source of our information, however, as fake news does, it aims at making us question our own perceptions, memory, and sanity. The term comes from a 1938 stage play, and 1944 film, called Gas Light. In the story, a husband dims the gas lights in the attic while secretively searching for something. His wife notices the flickering, and brings it to his attention. He insists her perceptions are faulty, and even suggests she is insane.