One of the most powerful tools the Kremlin has in its secret arsenal of Special War is provocation, what they call provokatsiya. While Moscow cannot claim to have invented this technique, which has existed as long as there have been secret services, there’s no doubt that Russians have perfected the art and taken it to a whole new level of sophistication and deviousness. At times, it can become a strategy all on its own (not always, mind you, with edifying results).
Provokatsiya simply means taking control of your enemies in secret and encouraging them to do things that discredit them and help you. You plant your own agents provocateurs and flip legitimate activists, turning them to your side. When you’re dealing with extremists to start with, getting them to do crazy, self-defeating things isn’t often difficult. In some cases, you simply create extremists and terrorists where they don’t exist…
Children raised by narcissists learn to shut-up and agree
We learn to normalize chaos.
Gaslight refers to an insidious form of domestic violence.
The US Department of Justice defines Domestic Violence as follows:
Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. US Department of Justice
The department of justice defines two critical elements of the
pattern related to gaslighting:
Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include – but are not limited to – causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
The strategic goal of gaslighting is to make people doubt their
perceptions and question their sanity.
The targets doubt their thoughts and opinions and depend on
the abuser for a sense of reality.
Gaslighting typically happens gradually in a relationship; in fact, the abusive partner’s actions may seem harmless at first. Over time, however, these abusive patterns continue and victims become confused, anxious, isolated, and depressed, and they can lose all sense of what is actually happening. Then they start relying on the abusive partner more and more to define reality, which creates a difficult situation to escape.
Gaslighting is a mind game played by the most malignant kind of abuser.
This kind of abuser has no use for love or morality.
This kind of abuser must obliterate his target’s capacity for both.
This kind of abuser wants your mind.
How does gas lighting affect a person’s mind?
Gaslighting is psychological and emotional in its effect.
According to the Department of Justice, ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. Even though there is no established definition for emotional abuse, emotional abuse can possess a definition beyond verbal and psychological abuse. Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a person emotionally.”
As an abuse survivor I was instinctively aware that something was wrong with the way the press and Donald Trump treated Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle.
From stalking Clinton during the debates to character assassination and threats of violence, Trump’s campaign for President stank of psychological abuse.
An abusive man and his political party psychologically raped a woman in front of the Nation and no one saw it.
The fundamental purpose of dezinformatsiya, or Russian disinformation, experts said, is to undermine the official version of events — even the very idea that there is a true version of events — and foster a kind of policy paralysis.
One way Putin’s achieves this goal is to deploy an army of internet trolls whose function is to overwhelm and derail legitimate public debate.
A June article by Max Seddon of BuzzFeed reported the Kremlin was spending millions of dollars to pay English-speaking Russians to promote President Vladimir Putin and his policies in U.S. media like Fox News broadcasting and The Huffington Post and Politico news sites. Trolls are reportedly expected to manage multiple fake accounts and post on news articles 50 times a day, often with sentiments as simplistic as “Putin makes Obama look stupid and weak!”
In order to promote its narrative, the Kremlin has adopted a two-fisted strategy, unleashing its troll armies even as it tightens Internet restrictions at home. On August 1, Russia enacted controversial new legislation aimed at muzzling social media, the last bastion of the country’s embattled opposition and a free flow of information about the war in Ukraine.
Anton Nosik, a popular Russian blogger and programmer who is sometimes referred to as the “father of the Russian Internet,” says the Kremlin is falling back on a time-honored strategy in its propaganda war on Ukraine. But this time, he says, the stakes are higher than ever before. (BuzzFeed reports that at least one trolling company—Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg—is expected to spend more than $10 million in 2014 alone.)
These trolls are out in force in the United States and they aggressively attack anyone who challenges the Kremlin line.
The following comment is an example of skilled online gaslighting:
Let’s break it down:
My correspondent appreciates my opinion and tells me what part of it is true. He asks for specific instances of the violations I referenced as if he has no access to Google. He then goes on to repeat the Kremlin line that all governments are cruel and corrupt and illustrates it with the logical fallacy that an alleged crime by Obama obviates my right to be outraged by the possible theft of the 2016 election.
He closes by saying my fears are an artistic exaggeration (i.e. crazy) and invites me to share more of my fears.
Distort, devalue and demean.
The comment is a gaslight from the opening sentence to the closing line.
Imagine thousands of paid media trolls and automated trollbots at work 24 hours a day fabricating a false reality.
A collection of leaked documents, published by Moy Rayon, suggests that work at the “troll den” is strictly regulated by a set of guidelines. Any blog post written by an agency employee, according to the leaked files, must contain “no fewer than 700 characters” during day shifts and “no fewer than 1,000 characters” on night shifts. Use of graphics and keywords in the post’s body and headline is also mandatory. In addition to general guidelines, bloggers are also provided with “technical tasks” – keywords and talking points on specific issues, such as Ukraine, Russia’s internal opposition and relations with the West. On an average working day, the workers are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day.
Putin’s gaslighting has the same strategic goal as a guy who psychologically tortures his wife.
He wants us helpless:
In most civilized nations psychological abuse is a considered a crime.