by Matthew Kristin Kiel
January 14, 2005
Words are means by which Human Beings communicate and we call it a language.In order to communicate, you have to have an understanding of the words you use and that is where the problem arises.
The meanings of most of the words we use were learned in context with other words, and we assume from this that we know the meaning of the word. When you do this, and your understanding of a word is the same as its real meaning, no problem arises, However, when what you assume the meaning of a word is does NOT agree with the true meaning of the word, then misunderstanding is the result.
It is most rewarding to understand the words; by understanding, the true meaning of the word is meant. The best sources for obtaining this information are dictionaries, encyclopedias and dictionaries in OTHER languages.” [Karl von Eckartshausen, Principles of Higher Knowledge, 1788]
For the purposes of this article, permit me to define the agents of Entropy as a global cabal most appropriately named the “Corporatocracy” by the erstwhile Reverend Al Sharpton. That term will serve well to describe the global powers who are behind the Bush junta and much, much more.
Of those people who still have the critical faculties to identify and question the tactics of the agents of Entropy, there are very few who are willing to take on that dangerous and arduous task of countering these tactics. It is past time for all of us who are already active in the struggle, who Seek to find and follow the ways of Truth, to start paying close attention to the ways in which the Deceivers are stealing and have stolen words from us.
A close examination of the matter demonstrates a twisting and perverting of word meanings in the public consciousness. This is accomplished by altering, over time, the very definitions of key words in our minds and in the dictionaries we turn to when we seek to clarify and resolve terms that seem ambiguous or “off” when we hear them used by pundits, or when we read them in the corporate media.
Anyone familiar with George Orwell’s 1984 is already aware of the idea that controlling a people’s definition of words, controlling the meanings that those words evoke in the minds of the general public, is integral to achieving actual thought control of the populace.
The definitions of numerous key concepts have changed and are changing ever more rapidly in the present day. This process seems to have begun with the additions of tertiary, or lesser, and slang definitions, shifting in the direction of the concepts the Deceiver wants to achieve. Although a gradual alteration in the spellings, pronunciations and meanings of words does occur naturally, in the process known as linguistic drift, it does not normally happen in so brief a span as a few decades. The speed with which this is occurring strongly suggests deliberate controls are being imposed on words.
In the past 20 years, too many words dealing with too many politically, sociologically and spiritually loaded concepts have been remade to convey quite different ideas from the original, in rapid process that is accelerating as the Corporatocracy’s hold on the world’s broadcast media, printing and publishing output increases. Tertiary definitions have become secondary, even primary, and some of the original, primary definitions have vanished. For some words, only the “revised” definitions remain. An excellent example of this is the word “stereotype”. If you can access an American dictionary even 50 years old, read the original definition. Then, look it up in the newest one you can get. The change is total, nearly opposite, or completely unrelated. I suspect that this is an intentional deviation. The original definition has now been moved to last place, if it has not disappeared entirely. That depends on the quality of the particular dictionary. (The old primary definition, by the way, had to do with producing typeface tiles for a printing press.)
Let’s take another example, the word “cult.” Anyone with sufficient literacy to use a dictionary and understand what it says certainly would not accuse those who suggest the application of the scientific method to the examination of ideas and beliefs of being a “cult.” Such would be a grossly incorrect use of the word’s original meaning. And it is here that we encounter the clue that gives the game of the Deceivers away.
You see, the definition of the word “cult” is not precisely the same now as it was 30 years ago or even 10 years ago. The process of redefinition is apparently underway with the word “cult”. The definition that we know well is rapidly fading on the page, and the word is taking on a newer meaning that has POLITICAL implications of “A group with a shared central belief that is far enough removed from the mainstream religious, moral or behavioral norms, within a society, as to set it apart therefrom.” This easily leads to the idea that anyone or anything “different” must be wrong. Certainly Giordano Bruno, Galileo, and Copernicus had a “shared central belief” that was far removed from the “mainstream religious, moral and even behavioral norms” of the society of their time. And, in spite of the fact that Bruno was burned at the stake, he was right.
It could even be said that Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples had a “shared central belief” that was far removed from the “mainstream religious, moral and even behavioral norms” of the society of their time. Look what the story tells us happened to Jesus.
In the present day, the Bush Administration has assumed the role of the Catholic Church during the crusades and the Inquisition, not to mention that of the Jewish Pharisees who accused Jesus of Nazareth of being a revolutionary. Thus, any group that adheres to a strong central tenet that ALL statements claiming to be “true” or, especially, “the Truth” should be examined and verified by scientific investigation can be labeled a “cult” by the political Powers That Be.
Any group that refuses to blindly follow and accept Bush and his Agenda based on “faith”, in a society that has been programmed to believe that “faith” is more valid than demonstrable, factual proof, can be labeled a “cult” by the political Powers That Be.
Any group that dares to disagree that subjective “faith” is a valid criteria for charting the course of an entire society toward global destruction, set themselves so far apart from the mainstream, irrational, dominant “faith based” society that the changing definitions of words allows them to be labeled a “cult” by the political Powers That Be.
The new definitions include scant mention of organizational structures, “divine” or deified figures, worshipping a figurehead in a cult of personality, rigid behavioral codes enforced upon members, and all the rest that are part and parcel of the very mainstream religious, moral and behavioral norms imposed upon society by the very political Powers That Be.
The definition of the word “cult” has been shifted to a meaning that is terrifyingly lax and malleable, allowing anyone or any group that dares to openly DISAGREE with the political Powers That be to be labeled a “cult.” Any group of dissenters can be branded as a “cult.”
What better means of making dissent easily dismissible by a non-thinking majority than to label them, one and all, in the new “group-think”, as “cults”?
I have every reason to believe that this alternate definition, having not been any part of the denotation of “cult” even 30 years ago, is going to soon be listed in dictionaries as the primary definition. At the same time, the real, religiously and politically defined definitions will be reduced in emphasis. In fact, this very shift in the definition, even now, permits the actual cults and cultists, such as the Bushites, The Republicans, the neoconservatives, and the Christian Coalition, and the numerous fanatical Christianist “evangelicals”, fundamentalists and other factions, to label all those groups who refuse, as a matter of policy, to conform to their pogroms and programs as “cults.”
We actually stand, at that moment in time, when his process of altering the very meaning of the word is not yet complete, and can therefore observe the manipulation in real time. We can also resist this stealing of our words if we so choose.
We must be wary of the dictionaries we use when we look up the “correct” definition and usage of a word. Chances are, if you are using a dictionary that was compiled by American academicians and printed by an American publishing house, you are consulting a volume that has been “verified” and assembled by the very Corporatocracy that is behind the stealing of the old, established definitions. If it seems to you that there are a number of words in use today that have taken on either extra, new, or especially nearly opposite meanings from the ones you first learned for those words when you were young, perhaps it is not just your own forgetfulness, or that you misunderstood the definition(s) when you first learned the word, you aren’t losing your mind. There is an antidote!
Using definitions drawn from three separate dictionaries, each compiled and published some ten years earlier than the next, I will take you on a study of this process of stealing the very words that make up the foundation of our ability to communicate with one another. The nature, direction and degree of the shifts these few words have taken in just thirty short years says more about how important the War of Words really is, than I could write in a thousand pages.
First up in our examples, let us turn to a word that is being heard from every media news and opinion broadcast; a word found in countless print articles; a word that now has an entire section of political books under its own heading at Barnes and Noble: Conservative. Is the process afoot to change it in the minds of the average person? Here are the three definitions, and I am awaiting the release of the newest dictionary compilations, which should be out this year, to see how the alteration has progressed over the last ten years. I suspect it will prove very interesting.
Well, maybe it’s not all that bad? We only went from “existing conditions and institutions” to “traditional views and values.” But that is certainly a leap, though very subtle. In the earliest definition, no moral attribution was given to the “existing conditions and institutions” that were being conserved. In the last definition, a definite moral connotation has been implied by using the term “traditional views and values.” In the first, non-weighted definitioin, a “conservative” could as well have been a “stick in the mud” who resists change for no reason at all except stubborness and close-mindedness. In the last definitioin, the conservative is most definitely the “good guy” and change is BAD.
Let’s take a look at another word that has become as commonplace as conservative in recent times. How about this one, the word now used to justify robbing citizens of all legal, civil and constitutional rights, to grab anyone, at any time, anywhere on the face of the Earth, and whisk him or her away to be subjected to torture and confined indefinitely, without charges, in places even less hospitable than the worst of U.S. domestic prisons. Let’s see what just 20 short years have done for: Terrorist
Even less listing of any real information, with no listing for the word terrorist, other than the word as an addendum to terrorism, and what little is entered for that term is frightening in its conceptual impoverishment. terrorism n. Systematic use of violence, terror and intimidation to achieve an end. — terrorist n. — terroristicadj.
Oh, not good. The definitions shrink and lose specificity quickly, don’t they? For our last word, but surely not the least, let’s see exactly what we do find for our friend cult. What is it about that word that is allowing it to be thrown around as an accusation against so many people who have no involvement with any group that has the slightest signs of being or becoming a cult. What shall we encounter?
At the present time, the dictionary used by a growing number of people is the internet search engine. What do we find there among the top definitions that are currently being promoted, and which will undoubtedly make it into a new edition of the dictionaries in America?
Considering the example of Bruno and Jesus, I suspect that I do not need to provide anyone reading this article with any commentary on just what directions these changes have taken, and what those changes portend.
Tragically, as I have delved into these three dictionaries, each barely 10 years newer than the previous volume, the difference striking me most forcefully as I moved forward in time, as it were, through these reflections of the compilers’ and publishers’ expectations for, and studied assessments of, the overall literacy and education of the intended users of these works, college students, that each dictionary is less complex. Each contains simpler and more simplistic definitions, uses fewer and less advanced words, losing clarity and precision with each decade.
I’ve long observed that there has been a seemingly intentional “dumbing down of America” in the past 30 years, but this journey through the pages of three dusty old dictionaries has left me staggered by the magnitude of the crime. For that is how such a wholesale diminishment of the cognitive functions of an entire nation of people must be described: a crime. If this is not a certain and appalling crime against humanity, what is? Even the reference works the astute student turns to for increased information, greater knowledge, are being systematically, intentionally bled of substantive content and twisted to pursue ends that are not to the student’s, or any other human being’s advantage.
Another crucial and scary fact is that many Americans no longer have any access whatsoever to a dictionary not compiled and published in America!
It used to be that every public library system had, at least in its main, county branch, an Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, at the very least an abridged Oxford. Those days are gone. The Oxford, that most formal dictionary for the international definitions of English words, the good, old, ultimate-authority-on-any-word Oxford Dictionary, has largely vanished from our public libraries, replaced by the Complete Webster’s Dictionary of American English, as mandated during the early to mid 1980s under the auspices of Ronald Reagan.
It is quietly and completely gone, except for in a few out of the way places and in larger, more urbane cities, where some savvy librarians refused to let go of their Oxfords, insisted on having both and had the ability through either personal funds or public support to afford them.
But, for these last 20+ years, any American public librarian who wants to obtain an unabridged, reference dictionary for the library’s needs can either install the one that the government WILL pay for, the American one, or else pay for the real, international and more accurate one, the Oxford, out of his or her own or the library patrons’ pockets. Sadly, most librarians don’t have the least clue of what is happening to the words we use. Even I, dependent as I am upon my local public library for reference books, would have no access to the English and Canadian dictionaries I have used to verify that these definitions are not being altered in other English speaking countries, just in the U.S.A., were it not for my battered old Macintosh computer and the international, online resources it affords me.
It is time for us to become aware of words and, at the same time, teach ourselves to be extremely precise with the words we use in all of our communications, in our writing, our speech and, most importantly, in our internal dialogues. The words we use to describe our experiences, emotions and thoughts, the words we depend upon to define the meanings of all reality, to plumb its depths and approach its heights alike, are possibly the most powerful weapons for Light that we possess. This is why words are also one of the Deceivers’ greatest tools for promoting Entropy, stifling inquiry, leading Seekers astray, Controlling the false reality of the unaware and largely unconcerned masses, and for creating and spreading the endless webs of Lies, Lies and more Lies.
With words, the Deceiver’s minions disguise evil as good. Tyranny, torture, aggression and murder for profit get renamed as “Operation Enduring Freedom”, the “War on Terror”, “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, the “War on Drugs”, “democratizing the Middle East”, and “defense”.
Racism, sexism and homophobia become “family values”, “moral values” and “Christian values”.
The anti-women and pro-eugenics movement is kept alive and growing in a “right to life” and “pro-life” assault on reproductive rights and women’s health care, wherein the only real alternative to abortion, adoption, is available to only 100% white women who are pregnant with 100% white fetuses.
The assault upon civil and constitutional rights is now “keeping America safe”, “Homeland Security”, the “USA Patriot Act”, “fighting a liberal media bias”, “conservative policies”, “supporting the troops” and so much else.
The Bush Administration and his Straussian Neocons have propagandized so many catch phrases, all on the same theme: “We are doing good things. They have pretty names, and we use nice words to describe them.” Because the horrors they are really engaged in are called by good names, couched innocuously, obfuscatingly, in courageous, admirable, lofty or noble words, the words alone deceive many people into mistaking those labels for the factual content and demonstrable results of the enterprises that they represent.
In the opposite direction, they redefine good as evil. Dissent becomes “radical”, “extremist”, “anti-American”, “unpatriotic” or even “supporting terrorist activities”; lawful public protest is renamed “criminal misconduct”; all who refuse to be swayed by religious rhetoric are “godless atheists”; those who oppose the sanctioned religio-political cults, as established by the, Corporatocracy controlling U.S. and world finances and governments, are thus labeled as “cults”; easily undermined and dismissed in the minds of most people.
What is being done with “cult” is the same as in the case of “conspiracy theorist/theory.” In my research into conspiracy theories in the U.S. dating back to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, our first “lone gunman” victim, I have found that in each and every case it was the evidence, garnered by sound, logical, painstaking investigation into the events and people surrounding the crimes, that supported and gave rise to the theory that there had been a conspiracy to commit the foul deed. It seems that, when the Corporatocracy cannot refute the hard evidence, it resorts to destroying the very idea that any theory of a conspiracy, no matter how many facts, how large a body of solid evidence there may be to constitute proof positive that there had indeed been conspiracies, no conspiracy theory can be valid. They instead program people to believe that all theories pointing to the existence of a conspiracy in any such event are “bogus”.
Note that the word “bogus” is used in the newest of the dictionaries to define the beliefs of those groups that are “cults”: But who decides which beliefs, what positions are “bogus”???
By discrediting the very term “conspiracy theory” the Deceivers program the general public to go on ignoring the facts, the various and sizable bodies of evidence that prove those theories to be valid hypotheses. Likewise, by altering the definitions of the term “cult” they seek to project the facts of their own character upon those who are the greatest opponents of real cult behavior.
I don’t call them the Deceiver’s minions for no reason.
We can, and we must, better arm ourselves by taking on the battle of words. Perhaps, at the very least, we can begin by promoting, in our online forums, the correct, old, established definitions of those words that are being twisted out of context and used as weapons against us.
That simple step could have far reaching and profound effects to change things for the better. Those who care about ideas, about Truth, need to be aware so that we can halt the Corporatocracy’s theft of words.
Make no mistake, Words ARE Power. We can either use them with care and defend their correct usage, or else lose them to the Deceiver’s Dark purposes. There is really little choice. There are already far too many words, nearly all of them the very Words of Power that we should be most able to use to express and uphold the Truth, that have been stolen from us centuries ago.
Never forget, there is a reason why many of the creation myths begin with a statement similar to that of “In the beginning, there was the Word and the Word was God.”
That IS the Power of Words.