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  • Writer's pictureDale Hanks

Cut the Strings!

The following letter to an advice column is the product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. (wink...wink)

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my partner for 10 years. We spend hours together...we have coffee together in the morning, we see each other several times during the day, and we share time together again at night. He wants to get married, but I keep putting it off because I am starting to doubt my own sanity. My partner tells me I'm imagining things when I call him out on something I absolutely saw him do. He tells me he never said something that I KNOW I heard him say. He tells me I'm twisting his words. He tells me that I'm crazy. Help! What should I do? — Mistrustful in Mississippi

DEAR MISTRUSTFUL: Successful relationships are built on trust and truth. One of the classic forms of abuse in a relationship is gaslighting. It is a common tactic that an abuser uses to gain power and control over their victim. Make no mistake--this IS mental and emotional abuse. Your relationship is in serious trouble. You should get out of it as soon as you possibly can.

Wow! That's some pretty strong advice. It's too bad WE don't listen.


That "Dear Abby" letter was not just relationship counseling for some poor soul in Mississippi. It's advice to every single one of us regarding the abusive relationship we're in with the mainstream media. We are ALL being "gaslighted."

The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1944 movie, Gaslight, starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. In the movie, a husband manipulates his wife to drive her insane--or more accurately, to convince HER that she is insane--so he can commit her to a mental institution and claim her inheritance. He uses several tactics, one of which is dimming the gas lights in their old Victorian house and telling her she's imagining things when she questions why the room is getting darker.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of "gaslighting" is the "psychological manipulation of a person, usually over an extended period of time, that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories. It typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one's emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator."

This is exactly the modus operandi of the mainstream and social media outlets.

To understand just how much we are influenced by media gaslighting and its effect on us, we have to understand just how much we are exposed to it. We are all influenced by what we see and hear; and, when it comes to media exposure, we see and hear hours of it each day-- cable news, network news, online news, newspapers, talk radio, television programs, movies, magazines, and social media posts.

If you turn on CNN (or any cable news outlet) in the morning and leave it on all day, you will quite possibly hear the very same news stories 30 to 40 times. When something is repeated this often, it tends to permeate your thinking.

Remember the Trump/Russia collusion hoax? For years, it was a steady drumbeat of how Trump was a Russian puppet. We were regaled with the lurid details in the fake Steele dossier (e.g., Trump hiring prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed that Barack and Michele Obama slept on in Moscow). Every day, all day, the new outlets breathlessly reported another "bombshell," that "the walls were closing in," and that it was the "beginning of the end for Donald Trump." Watch this video and pay particular attention to the changing dates in the upper right corner.

After all was said and done and the media had the country whipped into a frenzy, the Mueller report found NO evidence of collusion. The infamous Steele dossier was shown to be baseless and a product of the Hillary Clinton campaign. BUT, the media got what they wanted--increased viewership and an audience hanging on their every word. Increased viewership equals big advertising dollars.

Remember that the media is not is MARKETING-based. We've discussed before how all media conglomerates and outlets are effectively owned by two investment institutions, Blackrock and Vanguard. So, it's easy to see how the messaging is directed by the corporate powers-that-be. In fact, it almost seems that an email goes out to the mainstream media outlets every morning with the "word of the day." It's uncanny how they all use the EXACT same words and phrases. Watch this video. (Note that the video is not actual news report footage, but rather a montage of sound bites from dozens of reporters,)

This isn't only happening on major networks. It happens all day long, over and over again, on our local stations. Remember that they are all owned by the very same corporate conglomerates.

And now that we're in the middle of extreme media hyperventilation and fear-generated programming over the omicron variant, let's take a look at a glaring example to prove another point: the media message is slanted to gaslight us with information that benefits them and their sponsors. After watching this 60-second video, do you really think we're getting truthful, unbiased information? Is this why all viewpoints that contradict the "official" narrative are suppressed and censored? Take a look.

When you really view the media we consume with a critical eye, you can easily see that what we are being fed is, at best, abusive manipulation; and, at worst, outright lies.

Ask yourself, this question: How do I feel after I watch the news?

Am I afraid? Probably.

Do I feel better? Probably not.

And that's just how we get dragged in. Humans are addicted to drama. The old news programming mantra, "If it bleeds, it leads," is truer today than ever before. The more sensational, dramatic, scandalous, and fearful it is, the more we watch. Can you imagine what a child feels when every adult around them is afraid?

Between the drama stories the media spins and the fear mongering they dish out, we tune in more to learn more. We're addicted to their "programming."

The ultimate abuse is that their stories cause us to have anxiety, stress, mental illness, and adverse physical health conditions. They then turn around and advertise medicines manufactured by their sponsors that we need to buy to "fix" these problems.

As we enter 2022, just look back over the last year at the gaslighting to which we've been subjected:

  • "Mostly peaceful" protests

  • Manipulated COVID data and "totally safe" vaccines

  • "Extraordinarily successful" withdrawals from Afghanistan

  • Border chaos

We wouldn't stand for being gaslighted day in and day out from our partners in real life, so why do we let the media do it to us? What does it take for us to stop listening to people who structure the "truth" for us when, deep down inside, we know it makes no sense? When will we start questioning the draconian measures being used to censor and suppress any view that goes against the "approved" narrative and our own common sense?

Finally, when will we start listening to that "still small voice inside" that resonates in the core of our being where real truth resides?

Get out of the abusive relationship...NOW!

"Mental abuse is much more painful than physical abuse because you are consumed by your own thoughts." -

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This post clearly explains WHY I do not watch the news!!! I do watch “The Five “, the only news program worth my attention! Well written Dale!!

Dale Hanks
Dale Hanks

Thanks, Jeri!



another excellent post. I have been saying this from the beginning. I knew the 15 day bs was gaslighting but what is scary are those who still believe it.


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