By Dan -
Denial (the technique):
The abusive manipulation of the subject wherein both agreement to and denial of an accusation confirm the accusation. This methodological technique of breaking down the subject’s resistance to control and manipulation was borrowed by Freud from Nietzsche’s claim to understand the mind’s of those long dead for the purposes of undermining their professed beliefs. In psychoanalysis, any statement by the patient is interpreted to confirm the analyst’s preconceived diagnosis, invariably based on the Freud’s (evil and preposterous) insistence that all neuroses, that is, behavioral problems, derive, ipso facto, from suppressed childhood sexual lust for the opposite parent. The idea is, “I hear what you’re saying, but know what you’re unconscious thoughts are.” In other words, the subject is “in denial.” There could be no greater abuse of the notion of self-hood than convincing the gullible that their own thoughts are lies, for no other purpose than to suit the preconceived notions of the therapist or sponsor in proselytizing the fanatical, quasi-religious cult of AA.
In AA, this technique is used to the extent it qualifies as mental abuse. Rational examination and questioning of AAs dogmas and practices are prima facie evidence to adepts that the subject is “in denial.” To the down-and-out newcomer, this certainty on the part of his sponsor, confirmed by endless testimonials of the group that they, too, were once “in denial,” eventually breaks down the subject’s resistance and rational thought processes.
At a meeting I attended Saturday, a troubled young man who’d “relapsed” the week before, who I’d say is in his early 30s, “shared” that his sponsor told him, “There’s only one thing you have to do; that’s do everything I tell you to do.” Not surprisingly, this met with knowing nods and approving looks from the entire group. The idea is, once a person is convinced he’s “in denial,” that his “best thinking” got him into the mess he’s in, he’s been reduced to a compliant subject for indoctrination.
His sponsor also told him he should check into rehab, where, of course, he will be subjected to mind-control techniques confirmed by the disorienting “denial” technique for weeks on end. This technique is so powerful that, even if the subject drives straight for the liquor store after release–a quite reasonable reaction to mental abuse–, he will nonetheless have been brainwashed to the extent that, whenever he attempts to think rationally about drinking, that very process will automatically trigger self-denial of his own thoughts and will. This process of instilling cognitive dissonance with respect to one’s very mind and will is evil on an unprecedented scale in my view, and is an essential component of AA indoctrination under the stern and watchful eye of the subject’s sponsor.
I haven’t given this nearly the thought it deserves, but hope I have opened up a topic for further exploration so we as a group may formulate a better definition of the technique and save as many as we can from the evil abuse of “denial”, the core of AAs mind-control bag of tricks.
How about a contest for a slogan exposing the mind-control technique of “you’re in denial?” Here’s one:
“Being in denial is what normal people call thinking for yourself.”