Why do people believe in conspiracies? One rather subtle reason is the prevalence, in society, of language hypnosis. We are all open to self-delusion, but if a large number of people in a society suffer a delusion, then it turns from psychology to sociology, with society itself holding a large dose of delusional tendencies.
The most subtle form of this delusional ability concerns words. A word can be much more than its letters and literary meaning. Consider, for instance, Auschwitz. In reality, a tiny village, but with the establishment of a death camp there, the word has become the embodiment of evil, and fills the mind with meaning above the word itself.
This reaction to a word is a form of social language hypnosis. Its power has been known throughout history, evidenced by the importance of word magic in the occult, and even the Jewish Cabala tells us that the alphabet is an element used in creation.
In this way, an element of society can be stereotyped in a word, with sinister meaning piled upon it. Typical is the use of the ‘Jew.’ In reality the word describes a race. But place language hypnosis upon the word, and enculturation can turn it into an incorrect statement of malevolence, fuelling a whole alternative history of false cabals ruling the world.
Language hypnosis is one of the primary tools of the conspiracy theorist. Through the manipulation of words, and placing simple doubt upon something, reinforced by those words, a delusional need to believe in the false meaning is assured; and another ‘conspiracy’ takes on a life of its own.
(c) Anthony North, Jan 2007