Friday, February 15th, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty features a CIA operative treating a detainee to a sumptuous dinner for sharing information that has saved American lives:

The thing is, the detainee doesn’t remember telling his captors anything. But weak in mind and body, after several sleepless days and nights of torture, he accepts what Maya says as the truth.

We call that gaslighting:

The term itself was popularized by the 1944 film Gaslight, an adaptation of the 1939 play Angel Street. In the film, starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, “Gregory,” played by Boyer, maintains that a gaslight his wife “Paula” (Bergman) sees growing dim then brightening is in fact steady. This small deception is followed by countless others. Paula initially protests her husband’s accusations about her “forgetfulness,” but in time she questions her every action and memory. In reality, her husband Gregory is plotting to have her committed to an asylum so that he can take her inheritance.



  1. Ben says:

    Creepy, indeed.

    Like promising things to get elected, then bailing. Every time….

    Over time this kind of behavior becomes the new normal.

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