Next up: Loading the Language.
It's a given that you will come across new ideas and terminology when you explore a new subject area. In self help and spirituality, you will certainly encounter new terms and definitions.
We need shared language to exchange ideas and communicate with each other.
But when does language enter into the domain of brainwashing and indoctrination? That line can be imperceptible if you don't know where it is.
Loading the Language
Loading the language as it relates to mind-control cults and brainwashing can be defined as:
When everyday words are given new meanings, group members are given a new vocabulary, and members learn cliches that are easy-to-memorize and readily expressed.
"A cultic group often uses its own complex vocabulary. Words carry with them entire packages of implications, emotions, metaphors, and even past experiences. Cults invent new words and phrases that carry with them much more complicated understandings, or they manipulate existing words to change their meanings subtly or dramatically."
This may be sounding familiar already if you follow Abraham-Hicks or similar Law of Attraction teachings.
Abraham-Hicks is FULL of complex vocabulary and invented phrases that must be learned in order to sync up with the ideology.
- Manifestation, contrast, source, inner being
- In the vortex, out of the vortex
- High flying disc
- Leading edge of thought
- Vibrational alignment, vibrational journey, action journey
- Observing what-is
- Pinching yourself off
- Filling in your own grid
- Upstream, downstream, path of least resistance, emotional guidance scale
- Line up with it, pivot, tell a new story
- Get in the vortex and then...
Everyday words like "appreciation," "resistance," "momentum," and even "selfishness" are also imbued with more complex meanings.
What Does Loaded Language Do?
So what's the big deal?
Back in my Law of Attraction days/daze, I certainly wouldn't have seen a problem with all the language. In fact, followers feel they have access to specialized knowledge through their terminology.
They feel they have the code-book that defines and elucidates the true nature of reality.
However, loaded language does not elucidate reality; it confines, restricts, and obscures it.
Loaded language serves several purposes:
1. Relabels or redefines meanings
2. Shuts down critical thinking ability
3. Further isolates the group, making it difficult to communicate with outsiders
Concepts can be relabeled with emotionally charged words which carry preconceived notions. These can be used to make something seem automatically positive and impossible to argue against, or inherently negative -- impossible to argue for.
When Words Take Over
Kelly Martin addresses Abraham-Hicks terminology in her video, Are You Addicted to the Teachings?
She says, "I noticed that my own vocabulary was an Abraham-Hicks vocabulary. I was no longer speaking from Kelly Martin, I was speaking from Abraham-Hicks. And it was quite horrifying to me."
I noticed the same thing. Other Abers speak the language. Check out the Abe Forum and that's all you'll get. I spoke the language too.
In fact, it became a struggle to express myself without the language. It became difficult and unsatisfying to hold a conversation with the uninitiated.
Not only did I speak fluent Abraham-Hicks, I conceived of my whole world from an Abraham-Hicks perspective. Words actually shape how we think and how we see the world.
At a certain point, followers lose original thought outside of the Law of Attraction world.
The Language of Non-Thought
Loaded language can also include "thought-terminating cliches," language designed to stop dissent or justify fallacious logic.
The following passage says it all:
Thought terminating cliches
Everything is compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorised and easily expressed.
There are “good” terms which represents the groups ideology and “evil” terms to represent everything outside which is to be rejected... To those outside the group this language is tedious - the language of non-thought.
This effectively isolates members from outside world. The only people who understand you are other members. Other members can tell if you are really one of them by how you talk.
This narrowness of the language is constricting. The individual is linguistically deprived because language is central to the human experience and his capacities for thinking and feeling are immensely restricted.
If you watch Abraham interactions with audience members in the "hot-seat," or read through the Abe Forum, you will notice many non-answers to questions rather than truly thoughtful discussion or critical thinking.
All highways of thought must lead back to the rules already defined by the ideology.
When an Aber comes across situations that contradict the teachings, they receive explanations that are really just thought-terminating cliches.
Group members can pull these cliches out of their back pocket to remind themselves and each other of the supposed correct answers. For example, check out these answers that group members parrot back to each other to explain away common problems:
"How is it that this out-of-the-vortex, non-Aber has better results when I'm the one that understands and works with the laws of the universe?"
- Abraham-Hicks Approved Answer: "You can't know what anyone else is vibrating."
"I've been at this so long, but I still get mixed results."
- Abraham-Hicks Approved Answer: "You haven't shifted your vibration. You have to do the work."
"Why am I still receiving unwanted manifestations even though I've been feeling so good about this subject?"
- Abraham-Hicks Approved Answer: "You only thought you were aligned. Your manifestations show you what your point of attraction really was."
With a single thought-terminating cliche, the questioner is reminded that they don't need to think any new thoughts, for their ideology has already determined which interpretations of reality should be accepted or rejected.
Redefining the World Through Language
There is certainly a sense of security in familiar buzzwords and mottos. There is a comfort in having all the answers simplified into a compilation of oft-repeated words and phrases.
Initially, faith in such a clearly defined system boosts a person's self-confidence and reduces their worry and anxiety. Followers also feel profound and enlightened when they "get it," when they attain understanding of the vocab and the supposed wisdom it represents.
But the language of Abraham-Hicks is not a neutral or objective collection of terms and definitions. It is a redefinition of reality, a filter coloring how the follower understands the entire world around them.
Thus the language of Law of Attraction becomes all-consuming, replacing individual thought and expression.
Loading the language is a way to exert control over how group members speak AND how they think. This is a marker of a mind-control cult.
What Do You Think?
Does Abraham-Hicks fit the criteria for "loading the language?" Do you think it is a cult? Why or why not?
Have you noticed "the language of non-thought" used anywhere else?