Gaslighting – Destroying A Victim’s Sense Of Reality


The Psychology of Scams & Manipulation Techniques

Scammer Manipulation Technique: Gaslighting

A Tool Used In Destroying a Victim’s Sense of Reality

Its purpose is to manipulate (someone) by psychological means to get them to question their own sanity or reality

“Gaslighting” or “Gaslight” is a type of manipulation that we will use throughout the article.

Introduction to “Gaslighting”

Gaslighting is the systematic process of trying to erode another person’s reality by constantly telling them that what they are experiencing is not true. And the gradual abandonment of the reality of it; Or because of that person’s suspension of disbelief!

What Does This Mean In The Context Of A Scam?

The scammer will try to isolate the victim by Gaslighting them. Claiming that they are not a scammer, and having the victim avoid contact with family and friends so that the victim cannot be influenced to see reality.

  • Don’t let anyone “Gaslight” you!
  • Don’t suspend disbelief with scammers!

Gaslighting – What Is It?

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a specific individual or members of a specific group, in the hope of making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lies, the scammer attempts to destabilize the target victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs.

Cases can range from denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents have not occurred to staging bizarre events by the abuser with the intent to mislead the victim. The term has been used in the clinical and research literature, as well as in political commentary:

The term was made famous by the 1944 movie “Gaslight” with Ingrid Bergman.

Origin Of The Term

The term originates from the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in the 1938 play “Gas Light”, known as Angel Street in the United States, and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944. In the story, a husband tries to convince his wife and others that she is crazy by manipulating small elements of his environment and insisting that she is wrong, remembering things incorrectly, or being delusional when he points out these changes. The original title comes from the dimming of the gas lights in the house that occurred when the husband was using the gas lights upstairs while searching for the jewelry of a woman that he had murdered. The wife correctly notices the dimming lights and discusses it with her husband, but he insists that she simply imagined a change in the lighting level.

The term “gaslighting” has been used since the 1960s to describe efforts to manipulate someone’s perception of reality or what they know as truth.

It is something the the media and politicians use constantly to lead the public by the nose into voting specific ways. Most notably, it is a cornerstone of communist/marxist/socialist/fundmentalist manipulation techniques adopted by distaorial leaders worldwide.

Use Of or Reinforcement by Scammers

Sociopaths and narcissists frequently use gaslighting tactics. Sociopaths are constantly transgressing social mores, breaking laws, and exploiting others, but they are also often very convincing, sometimes they are charming liars, constantly denying their wrongdoing. Therefore, some who have been victimized by sociopaths may doubt their own perceptions. Some physically abusive spouses may criticize their partners by outright denying that they have been violent or that the abused partner was responsible for their behavior. Gaslighting can occur in parent-child relationships, as one parent, child, or both lie to each other and try to undermine perceptions.

This is also a fundamental technique used by scammers and con artists to prevent their victims from recognizing inconsistencies and errors in their false stories used to manipulate their victims. Each victim can look back on her experience and see those moments of manipulation that they could not see as they occurred.

The ultimate goal of a scammer is to make his victim guess at each of her choices and question her sanity or perception of reality or the truth, making her more dependent on the scammer.

Another tactic that further degrades a victim’s self-esteem is for the scammer to engage in cycles of: ignore, then be attentive, and then ignore the victim again, and again so that the victim lowers her personal level of what constitutes affection and perceives herself as less worthy. of affection.

There are Two Main Characteristics of Gaslighting:

  • The abuser wants total control of the victim’s feelings, thoughts, or actions.
  • The abuser quietly emotionally abuses the victim in a hostile, abusive, or coercive manner

A victim needs to understand the warning signs of Gaslighting to fully begin the healing process.

Signs of Gaslighting Include:

  1. Withholding information from the victim – in the case of scammers, this is the way they spoon-feed the story, every time there is a problem, the scammer provides new information.
  2. Countering the information to fit the perspective of the scammer – this may include tailoring the story to better fit the victim’s familiar comforts and wishes.
  3. Discount information – this discounts any negative issues the victim may raise and emphasize other information that supports the scammer’s objectives.
  4. Verbal abuse, usually in the form of jokes – while this rarely occurs in a romantic scam, we see it in moments of anger on the part of the scammer when there is an expression of concern or mistrust on the part of the victim. It also shows when the victim confronts the scammer with the reality of the scam.
  5. Block and divert the victim’s attention from outside sources – this is where the scammer will try to isolate the victim from family and friends, to prevent them from exposing the scam and the scammer.
  6. Trivialize the victim’s worth (both to the scammer and self-worth) – the scammer has one desire: the victim’s money. When victims express concerns about their own well-being, the scammer emphasizes their need and dependence on the victim, and also the victim’s ability to pay.
  7. Undermining the victim by gradually weakening them and their thought processes – scammers use a number of different stories, but also use sleep deprivation (by communicating at all hours of the day and night) and emotional distress to further capture victims by strategically inventing new crisis after crisis to keep the victim in a state of semi-panic.

The Three Most Common Gaslighting Methods are:

  • Hide: The abuser can hide things from the victim and cover up what she has done. Instead of feeling ashamed, the abuser can convince the victim to doubt his own beliefs about the situation and blame himself.
  • Change: The abuser feels the need to change something about the victim. Whether it’s the way the victim dresses or acts, they want the victim to conform to her fantasy. If the victim does not comply, the abuser can convince the victim that he is, in fact, not good enough.
  • Control: The abuser may want to completely control and have power over the victim. By doing so, the abuser will try to isolate you from other friends and family where only they can influence the thoughts and actions of the victim.

It Cant Happen

A true romance scam cannot happen without two fundamental forces:

  • Gaslighting to control the victim
  • The Amygdala Hijack for the victim to work emotionally against themselves

There are other important manipulation techniques but these two are the essentials that every scammer employs.

Learn more

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