People in the media and advertising are adept at manipulating words for their persuasive effect. Politicians use words to mesmerize their audiences with expertly executed intonation, inflection and delivery. People from diverse racial, ethnic, religious, economic, social and educational backgrounds hang on every word. Overcome by emotion, some even weep as these word manipulators speak.
The late Margaret Thaler Singer, famous for her work on brainwashing and thought reform, explains that keeping people unaware of the process enables someone to affect other people’s thinking, emotions and decision-making to his advantage. Entertainers, hypnotherapists, politicians, cultists, anyone desiring to control or manipulate people’s actions, beliefs, thoughts or opinions are adept at this process. When used to teach behavior modification or pain control, word manipulation is therapeutic; using it to exploit or to harm people is dangerous and frightening. Words have the power to topple empires, condemn the innocent, cover up crimes and incite violent acts.
Mail Order Ministers
It is not unreasonable to expect men and women in service to God to speak the truth. After all, they chose that path because of an all-consuming faith and passionate love for God. As morality takes a back seat to hedonistic pleasures and the quest for wealth seeks faster and easier paths, the religious life, which gives access to large captive audiences, is a tempting target for the unscrupulous. Escalating numbers of unethical people and mail order ministers are masquerading as men and women of god. These profiteers in the pulpit master word manipulation and use it to convince the faithful to empty their wallets to support their ministries.
Some people prefer to be independent of a God who makes them see how selfishness, greed and lust eventually lead to suffering and loss. They mock Christianity and battle to have the name of God and religious symbolism legally declared unfit for public display. Using the courts to limit religious freedom, those who fear God can freely pursue their pleasures without opposition or guilt. However, neither words nor mandate can abolish God. While those who turn against God eventually turn to dust, God is eternal.
The courts recently granted to a small minority the legal right to “redefine” natural law that has existed since man first occupied and populated this planet. No court on earth, or anywhere in the universe, can alter natural law by edict. Yet a small group of people believe their positions and their words have the power to make this happen. Long after the earth disappears from the solar system, like it or not, natural law remains eternally unchanged.
Singer, Margaret Thaler & Lifton, Robert Jay, (2003) Cults in Our Midst (pg 52). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass