Thought-terminating clichés and slogans
Cults have lots of slogans and thought-stopping clichés, and cults have their own language with plenty of redefined words. This is one of Dr. Robert J. Lifton’s eight criteria for a “thought reform“, or “brainwashing” program.
Slogans are handy because they can condense whole pages of dogma into snappy one-liners which are easy to remember and easy to repeat.
Slogans are effective tools for stopping thought. When a simplistic slogan is the answer, there just isn’t much more to be said on the subject.
A few examples of slogans Benzo Buddies uses to stop their members from thinking:
- “I’m in a wave”
- “I have benzo belly”
- “Welcome to Benzo Buddies”
- “The Ashton Manual says…”
- “This is my longest window”
- “I have benzo brain”
- “You’ll find a lot of information and support here”
- “Dr. Ashton is an expert in the field”
- “Our families don’t understand us”
- “This is the best forum in the world”
- “I’m protracted”
- “Ashton says”
- “The Ashton Manual is an authoritative source”
- “Doctors are idiots”
- “Microtapers work”
- “Save us Bliss”
- “I haven’t had a window in months”
- “MSG makes me twitch”
- “Create a signature”
- “Colin knows best”
The above kinds of slogans are also known as “thought-stopping clichés.”
Dr. Robert J. Lifton, the author of the classic study of Chinese Communist brainwashing, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‘Brainwashing’ in China, said that thought-terminating clichés constrict, rather than expand, human understanding. When the cult controls language, it also controls what people can think, because words are the tools we use for thought. And such jargon has the advantage (to the cult) that non-members simply cannot comprehend what cult members are really talking about. This further isolates the cult members, and makes them feel that nobody but another cult member really understands.
Slogans can also codify ideas which don’t work well in other formats: For example, Hitler’s “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!” sound bite (translation: “One people, one empire, one leader!”) wouldn’t have the same zing if it were a long essay, especially because it is actually an irrational emotional appeal to the people to abandon democracy and embrace a fascist dictatorship. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that the average voter could not handle any idea that took more than two sentences to express, and for best results, the idea should be expressed in six words or less. Hence all of his short slogans.
All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction.
The more modest its intellectual ballast, the more exclusively it takes into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will be.
It is a mistake to make propaganda many-sided, like scientific instruction, for instance.
The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.
Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, pages 180-181.
What are so called WInDOWS? « on: February 20, 2014, 07:29:52 pm »
I will be 4months off klonopin in the next couple days and have been wondering about these windows. I have moments where I am totally just spent and cant do much of anything. Then there are days where i am just okay but have very intrusive thoughts that just plague every moment of my day. I also find it hard and very frustrating to enjoy ANYTHING. Anyways I was just wondering if these symptoms stay around till I you “turn the corner”. Any one suffering through benzo withdrawal my heart goes out to you and I do relate with a lot of what is being said on here. Hope this doesn’t last much longer.
Re: What are so called WInDOWS? « Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 07:59:50 pm »
A “window” is a moment of clarity. It can be a few seconds, a few minutes, hours, or even days. It really depends on the individual and how their recovery is going. On the opposite end of the spectrum are “waves,” which are periods of intense unpleasantness, in which one feels almost as if they are back in acute w/d. Again, the intensity and symptoms accompanying a “wave” are similar to a “window,” in that the length can be hours, days or weeks and the intensity varies from person to person. It’s not uncommon for some people to “cycle” through “windows” and “waves” in the same day (It is quite common when you’re bipolar. – editor) Both are signs that healing is occurring. Even the worst wave is to be appreciated in a way, as it’s a sign that there is some healing activity taking place. I spent 6-7 weeks on an “emotional plateau,” where everything was emotionally flat, with no real waves or windows. I think my body and brain used that period to rest up and recuperate. I’m back in a wave now and I know at some point it will fade and a window will follow. It seems as if after each cycle of waves and windows my “baseline” recovery level increases ever so much. At some point I think windows and waves will simply cease and I’ll not notice it for a while until one day it hits me that “all this crap is finally over and I’m healed.” I looking forward to that day! At six months, it’s probably at least another six months or more away… (I used benzos for 15+ years, so your recovery may be faster if you used for a shorter period of time. I think long-term, regular users seem to take longer to fully recover. We DO recover, it just takes longer…)
Re: What are so called WInDOWS? « Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 08:09:09 pm »
Quote from: [Buddie] on February 20, 2014, 07:59:50 pm A “window” is a moment of clarity. It can be a few seconds, a few minutes, hours, or even days. It really depends on the individual and how their recovery is going. On the opposite end of the spectrum are “waves,” which are periods of intense unpleasantness, in which one feels almost as if they are back in acute w/d. Again, the intensity and symptoms accompanying a “wave” are similar to a “window,” in that the length can be hours, days or weeks and the intensity varies from person to person. It’s not uncommon for some people to “cycle” through “windows” and “waves” in the same day. Both are signs that healing is occurring. Even the worst wave is to be appreciated in a way, as it’s a sign that there is some healing activity taking place. I spent 6-7 weeks on an “emotional plateau,” where everything was emotionally flat, with no real waves or windows. I think my body and brain used that period to rest up and recuperate. I’m back in a wave now and I know at some point it will fade and a window will follow. It seems as if after each cycle of waves and windows my “baseline” recovery level increases ever so much. At some point I think windows and waves will simply cease and I’ll not notice it for a while until one day it hits me that “all this crap is finally over and I’m healed.” I looking forward to that day! At six months, it’s probably at least another six months or more away… (I used benzos for 15+ years, so your recovery may be faster if you used for a shorter period of time. I think long-term, regular users seem to take longer to fully recover. We DO recover, it just takes longer…)
I guess I am yet to really see any windows just waves and feel like I have been flat through most of this process. thanks for the information you have shared with me. I really hope i doesn’t take me a whole year to get some what back to a normal feeling. Congrats on six months its a rough ride for sure hopefully your symptoms have gone down some in the last 6months. Just looking forward to when my healing will begin and not try to get caught up in how far away it is.
Re: What are so called WInDOWS? « Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 08:13:38 pm »
Your “signature block” doesn’t say how long you were on benzos, just how much you c/t’d from. Some more details about your length of use would be helpful… Hang in there. Four months was a turning point for me. I found I began to lose momentum, emotionally, because the first 4 months or so I was so heavily invested in getting through this. That’s kind of when my “emotional plateau” began. I think at some point your body and brain just need a break and they’ll decide when to take it easy. Your experience, of course, may be totally different. Everyone that sticks this out seems to heal, they just take different journeys and different lengths of time to get to the same destination: “healed.”
Re: What are so called WInDOWS? « Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 08:20:19 pm »
I took benzos for about 2years and 1year of that was every day. Most people would say I was a benzo abuser but I had no idea the real harm that was to come from taking these. urgh what a nightmare. I feel like everyday is a battle just to make it to the next day only to wake up in a shear panic.
Re: What are so called WInDOWS? « Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 08:47:50 pm »
[...], Yes, it is a nightmare…don’t beat yourself up about what’s behind you but look forward instead. Every day is a step closer to being well again. And you will be well again. It’s better to accept the process and the process is simply this: your central nervous system is temporarily extremely sensitive and it takes awhile to repair itself. [...]
Re: What are so called WInDOWS? « Reply #6 on: February 21, 2014, 12:29:40 am »
Hey if you knew that the withdrawal was this bad you would not have taken them at all doesn’t matter if you abused them or not. It is what it is, like Ray Lewis says in the new xbox commercial don’t trip on what’s behind you
I was experiencing some difficuties while trying to get pregnant and was prescribed my first benzodiazepine. Opting for a more natural approach, I started using bio-identical natural progesterone. I had a completely paradoxical reaction: severe agitation and anxiety, which I was told was not possible. I now know that it is.. I was sent to see a “fertility psychiatrist” and because I had previously been on an antidepressant for a nerve (not nervous) problem, they insisted that the anxiety was not due to the progesterone but due to my stopping celexa the previous year (even though I completed a successful taper). They again prescribed celexa, but I did not respond the same way as I did the first time and I developed even worse anxiety. Because of this reaction, I was given a very liberal prescription, with many repeats, for lorazepam.
After months of feeling like I was going insane from severe agitation, I tapered off both drugs and stopped the progesterone. I felt great! I was however, smoking marijuana daily and had been for a few years. When I decided a few months later to try and conceive again, I thought it best to stop smoking marijuana. Within days I started to experience crippling stomach pains and anxiety. After consulting with many doctors and them not knowing why I was in such pain (I now know it was ‘benzo belly’) I was advised to reinstate the lorazepam to stop the stomach pain. In hindsight I realize that I was just having normal symptoms of post withdrawal from lorazepam that had been masked by my use of marijuana. Reinstating lorazepam is the only regret I have ever had in my life.
Eight months later, and after a multitude of tests, hospital stays, trips to the ER, a 40 pound weight loss, thousands of dollars spent on professional medical and holistic care, severe anxiety and depression, and a severe phobia of eating and malnutrition, I was finally checked into a mental health facility as it was concluded that ALL my problems were psychological. There, I was finally diagnosed with Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome due to severe weight loss, an anxiety disorder, depression and borderline psychotic. I was kept for the next 90 days and given 30 Electric Shock treatments when all other medications to treat my “condition” failed.
Again, in hindsight, I was not clinically depressed, nor did I have an anxiety disorder or psychosis. I was severely malnourished and in agony and over-drugged and thus depressed and stressed. I was also having what I now know to be inter-dose withdrawal effects from the lorazepam. How do I know this? Because once I was switched to a longer acting benzodiazepine (clonazepam) the anxiety stopped. And once I got down to a very low dose of clonazepam, my depression lifted.
I began my 20-month dry cut taper, 6 months after leaving the hospital. I had to taper from Olanzipine, Clonazepam, Zopiclone and Panataloc. I had an excellent therapist, learned CBT, had the support of a wonderful benzo-wise doctor and a loving husband. And even though I lost so much during the past three years, I have also gained so very much. I left no rock unturned. I learned valuable coping skills and was pushed to extremes, but I rose to the occasion and found that I was a lot more capable and stronger than I ever thought. I decided to take the opportunity to learn every lesson I could from this adventure and I am definitely leaving this experience without the baggage I entered with! As horrible as this has all been, in a strange way, because of benzo’s I now have the life I always dreamed of.
Benzo belly!!! « on: January 23, 2014, 10:11:18 am »
This is just a sound off really – I think i’ve been doing pretty well and it’s not often I say that! I’ve reduced my night dose of diazepam from 20mg to 7.5mg since July and still on .5 clonazepam in the morning (i’ll tackle that once i’m off the night dose of valium).
Now things have been TOUGH !! I had a miscarriage in July – couldn’t of had the baby anyway cos of the high doses of benzo’s so the poor wee thing probably saved itself. Things have been tough – my poor mum has been in hospital 4 times this year with respiratory problems and they have found a tumour in her lung. It hasn’t spread and so they think they can operate but the NHS being the way it is it’s not untill early Feb. Me and my boyfriend have had so much go on between us and outside us we decided to split but stay friends. My best friend is slowly destroying himself through drink and drugs and I had to say to him the other night I can’t collude with it any longer and he got really angry with me, well we got angry with each other and are not on good terms.
Re my withdrawal – (and the stress from above) I feel exhausted, I am managing to work and keep things afloat there, I see friends but I cancel plans a lot, i’m finding it hard to eat a balanced diet because I have no appetite, I have tummy ache throughout the day and resulting bowel problems (this started when I started my reduction)…er…occasional anxiety but i’m so used to this now I don’t know if i’ve got it or not anymore. I’ve just been through a period of having no interest in anything. My big motivation??? to be strong for my mum – she has been my rock throughout my life and I am gonna work to support her all I can. She’s so precious to me. It feels like my world is getting smaller as I have no energy once I’ve done my working day to do things I enjoy. I am managing to read Pema Chodron books which I LOVE and really relate to. I enjoy TV and have been keeping up going to yoga once a week but that fell buy the wayside a bit through December with my mum getting diagnosed.
If all i’ve got to do is withdraw from benzo’s compared to what my mum is going through it puts things in perspective. My mum finds my addiction difficult – doesn’t understand ‘how did you let it get like this’ kinda attitude. I try to explain the nature of benzo’s and how you grow tolerant etc asks me ‘you on those pills again?’ and I can proudly say Mum i’m cutting down bit by bit. I don’t want to scare her and talk about sudden withdrawal but just say look i’m a nurse and have good advice so I know how to do it as safely as possible.
Big shout to my mum – she keeps me strong as do my friends…don’t know what i’d do without them.
It’s a tough time all round but i’m hanging in there.
What I want to work on is my diet – to eat more healthily. I brought some acidophilis today to see if that will settle my stomach a bit.
I’m working through to 2nd Jan then have a few days to put some plans in place for a healthier diet.
Managed an egg sandwich today – half for lunch then half for dinner – but that was forcing myself cos i’m not hungry and i’m not loosing weight either.
Gonna go docs and get a blood test – been called up for my ‘over 40′ health check up!!!!
Gonna sign off now – thanks for giving me the space to air my thoughts, feelings and experiences BB!!!
Glyn Stephen Gillard
Got sick from working out too hard. Coughing, nausea, and my body got stressed and my belly bloated to two or three times its size and I got benzo belly.
instant fat from working out what the hell ma