Thought Reform and the psychology of Totalism page 429.
Regarding the criteria of Loaded Language, Lifton writes:
...."The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought terminating clich. The most far reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start an finish of any ideological analysis"..
Lifton calls it ..."the language of non thought".
To demonstrate what he means, Lifton uses the example of categorizing thought and ideas. A variety of human concerns, such as the expression of individual opinion, the exploring of alternate ideas, and the considering of both sides of the argument are labelled bourgeois mentality by Chinese Communists. Of course, every good Chinese Communist has already been programmed, thru endless repetition of slogans, that to have a bourgeois mentality is a very bad thing. In Jehovahs Witness terms a consideration that something is Satanic thinking or a humanistic idea produces a similar emotional response.
So the tendancy of the loaded language is to shut down alternate considerations. Alternate ideas. Alternate feelings. Alternate wants. Alternate interests, by programming negative / positive reflex responses into the masses.
This is achieved very simply, in language terms, by highly polarizing the categorization of everything. By constant repetition of simplified slogans and polarized concepts. And by continuous bombardment with orthodox propaganda.
Next, Lifton says:
.... "These clichs become ultimate terms. Either GOD terms, representative of ultimate good, or DEVIL terms, representative of ultimate evil.Totalist language then, is centred then on all encompassing jargon. Highly categorical, relentlessly judging"....
Now as Lifton says, very many organizations or movements have a degree of loaded language in that they have specialist jargon. Comnputer jargon would be a good example, and your level of understanding of the jargon would categorize you on the scale of competency from computer illiterate to computer expert.
The Watchtower itself has a heirachy categorization that every witness is familiar with. Everyone knows what it means to be on the governing body, or in the remnant. Or to be a publisher or ministerial servant. But such categorizations are nothing unusual.
In the Totalism, this extreme categorization of things, and especially the polarization of things into simplified Black / White terms comes to include EVERYTHING. Relationships. Feelings. Employment. Education. Etc. No sphere of human interest or concern is left uncontrolled. That is why it is a totalism I guess, because it covers every sphere of life, it has every answer to every possible question, and every word it utters is a divine truth.
.." For an individual person the effect of the language of ideological totalism can be summed up in one word- constriction, his capacities for thinking and feeling are immensely narrowed."....
But does the Watchtower organization practise this Loading of Language? Do they polarize concepts into extreme black and white terms? Well , I think we all know they do, but I will demonstrate anyway. It seems a curious fact, as Erica Heftmann pointed out when talking about the Moonie cult, that cults have a tendancy to disparage popular culture. Being in opposition to those things held as symbolizing success, education, wealth, and status. This is a thing that is not generally pointed out much, so I thought I might demonstrate the JW loaded language regarding such things as Education, science, and social success..
Watchtower. August 1, 1971. Article: Making known Gods Prophetic truths.
.."TRUTH ABOUT MATERIALISM
13 For nearly a century Jehovah's witnesses have warned those seeking to obey God as ruler not to put their trust in material wealth but to be content with life's necessities, for that is what the Bible says. (Matt. 6:11, 33, 34) Repeatedly they pointed out the Bible's teaching that financial wealth was not truly satisfying or secure, and that it would go out of existence with this system of things. Yet, all during that time the world's economic experts were promoting one scheme after another promising financial security".....
Surely every good Witness knows what the term materialism means, and knows how to respond emotionally to it. Materialism = Satan in the parlance of the simplified language. The term The World equals the same thing. this system of things, another negative. Notice the term promoting one scheme after another. Now, in and of itself this phrase might be ambivalent. However, In the context, this is a negative as well. So, if the word Scheme were used repetitively by the propaganda machine in a negative context, pretty soon the brainwashed masses would reflexively respond just at the sight of the word scheme and would equate it with Satan or nastiness/ undesirable traits.
Heres another one, same article:
.."THE TRUTH ABOUT SCIENCE
16 During this century science has been hailed as a savior. It was claimed that it would provide the technology to subdue the earth and provide plenty and comfort for all. However, Jehovah's witnesses warned that, despite good intentions and some benefits , science was a false hope because it could not solve mankind's problems. Has this been so? Professor Commager states: "At the end of a generation of unparalleled advance in science and technology, mankind found hunger more widespread, violence more ruthless, and life more insecure than at any time in the century. Nor was this disappointment confined to the backward peoples of the globe: Even in America, which boasted almost limitless resources and the most advanced technology, poverty was familiar in millions of households, white as well as black; cities decayed, the countryside despoiled, air and streams polluted; lawlessness, official and private, was contagious; and war and the threat of war filled the minds of men with hatred and fear.".....
One could almost believe that this passage seeks to lay the blame for these things at the feet of science. The Watchtower used this heavily loaded, doom laden language a lot in the 1970s. Probably because they deemed the times to be most urgent, and the necessity to protect the brothers from their own sinful tendancies an imperative, as the times were so short. I do wish to mention just one other thing in connection with the above passage. Regarding the line despite good intentions and some benefits . This is what I call a give. The Watchtower concedes a small point to the external milieu. some benefits. By saying this, they can tell themselves that their presentation of facts is unbiased. Hey! We didnt say science is ALL bad!. But the give is then followed by an extensive and very black take. Science equates with ruthless.pollution.poverty.decayed.despoiled. Etc.
Here is one final passage in conclusion, it is pertaining, mainly, to youth and education, and is from one of the great Watchtower articles of all times if you are interested in studying black propaganda:
Watchtower. September 15, 1971. Article. Set apart from the World:
......"16 Impressionable youths are often the target of greedy materialists. Parents, fortify your children. See that they avoid the bad influences at school-dances, parties, dating. This glamorous, sensual age is reaping its bumper harvest of youth immorality, horrible sex diseases, thievery, dope addiction and rebellion against society. With wise foresight, Jehovah commanded Israel: "You must not follow after the crowd for evil ends." (Ex. 23:2) This applies also to our young people today. The mob, with its degraded thinking, will only lead them away from Jehovah's fine principles. When a mob gets on the loose, it is often the novice or the curious bystander that gets hurt. For mental, moral and physical well-being, it is wise to keep well away from "the crowd."
17 All worldly careers are soon to come to an end. So, why should today's youth get interested in 'higher education' for a future that will never eventuate? The colleges are falling into chaos, anyway."....
I love the term higher education presented in parenthesis. Every brainwashed dub knows that such perenthesis about a term equals a slur term. The black / evil prospect of "worldly education" is offset by the white prospect of TRUE education:
....." The essentials of education for a useful life can be obtained by studying well at high school, and beyond that there is also the 'highest education' that Jehovah provides through his organization, preparing for a satisfying career of full-time service that goes on forever".....
Highest education....Jehovah.....organization.....satisfying career....door knocking....forever and ever
MMMMMM. "Double plus good" Brothers and Sisters.
Edited by - refiners fire on 2 January 2003 20:58:15