Just recently, someone called me a ‘denier’. I suddenly found myself thinking about the things we call people – the words that we use and how we use them. It struck me that these are words of power. Words like ‘sexist’, ‘racist’, denier’ and so on. They carry a weight and a magical intent that has been placed their by the intent of the many times those words have been used. The are in a way a sort of egregore ( an occult concept representing a “thoughtform” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people.) in a word.
Let me return to the word ‘denier’ as in climate change denier. When someone uses this expression against you it has the desired effect of belittling, but perhaps more importantly, it effectively destroys the expertise of the person being called a denier. You become just another ‘foolish’ person who denies the ‘truth’ of climate change. It stops any further useful conversation with its negativity and simplicity. It carries the weight of popular opinion against the person it is being used against. It has become a magical word with magical results for the negative.
The same with many of these words. Once you call someone a racist – they are one in effect with all the utter negativity that invokes. You have summoned the weight of the word in common usage and essentially sent off a negative magical arrow that encumbers the person termed such. Now there are racists and there are sexists – don’t get me wrong. What I am trying to say is that these words have become part of the lexicon of avoiding debate and of shifting someone from a probably reasonable position into one of defensive argument. You can use these words to do immense damage to someone who is not a racist or a sexist or whatever word is used.
I throw this thought out there…. maybe I’m wrong but I feel in today’s world, this is about creating a negative brand or an attempt to destroy a personal brand or reputation. One of the first things I learned as a marketing executive was how to destroy or at least eat away at the competitor’s credibility by using certain negative phrases or words. However, when these words are used over and over, they take on an occult power that can have – and is meant to have – damaging impacts.
When someone in a discussion on climate change calls you a denier, they shift the whole conversation through the weight of that word. It doesn’t matter what expertise you may have, whether in fact you are expressing a doubt about an aspect of climate change – nope. It robs you of credibility, robs you of your expertise and reputation and it puts you down.