Skilluminati Research

Newt Gingrich on Using Language for Social Control

Posted May 02, 2009 19 comments


NOTE: this is all verbatim from GOP documents

As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that "language matters." In the video "We Are a Majority," Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates, we have heard a plaintive plea: "I wish I could speak like Newt."

That takes years of practice. But we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.

This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that, like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used....

...third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda. (Applause.)

--source link


Contrasting Words

Often we search hard for words to help us define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.

decay... failure (fail)... collapse(ing)... deeper... crisis... urgent(cy)... destructive... destroy... sick... pathetic... lie... liberal... they/them... unionized bureaucracy... "compassion" is not enough... betray... consequences... limit(s)... shallow... traitors... sensationalists...

endanger... coercion... hypocrisy... radical... threaten... devour... waste... corruption... incompetent... permissive attitudes... destructive... impose... self-serving... greed... ideological... insecure... anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs... pessimistic... excuses... intolerant...

stagnation... welfare... corrupt... selfish... insensitive... status quo... mandate(s)... taxes... spend(ing)... shame... disgrace... punish (poor...)... bizarre... cynicism... cheat... steal... abuse of power... machine... bosses... obsolete... criminal rights... red tape... patronage

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."

"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it."

-- Edward Bernays

Optimistic Positive Governing Words

Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!

share... change... opportunity... legacy... challenge... control... truth... moral... courage... reform... prosperity... crusade... movement... children... family... debate... compete... active(ly)... we/us/our... candid(ly)... humane... pristine... provide...

liberty... commitment... principle(d)... unique... duty... precious... premise... care(ing)... tough... listen... learn... help... lead... vision... success... empower(ment)... citizen... activist... mobilize... conflict... light... dream... freedom...

peace... rights... pioneer... proud/pride... building... preserve... pro-(issue): flag, children, environment... reform... workfare... eliminate good-time in prison... strength... choice/choose... fair... protect... confident... incentive... hard work... initiative... common sense... passionate

Editor's note: this could easily be re-titled "A Guide to Sarah Palin's Entire Working Vocabulary." It's worth sitting down with Wordle and a couple of her speech transcripts. For example...


Filed in: Political Science

Next entry: Dreaming 5GW: Invisible War

Previous Entry: Edward R. Murrow on Television, Entertainment and our Doomed Culture


  • 1. Thirtyseven on Oct 28, 2008 at 4:59 AM permalink

    Perhaps this was too dry?  Regardless, the language mechanisms and niche marketing behind social control is becoming a central thread and it’s something we’ll be exploring a lot in the future here on Skilluminati Research.  If anyone can recommend other/better “lexical analysis” and visualization tools...please do. 

    Thanks in advance.

  • 2. The Noble Lie on Oct 28, 2008 at 6:25 PM permalink

    Giving your community something to vote for! These people are so dedicated and selfless.

    I remember when these memos leaked, and what a big deal it was for, oh, about two or three days. Since then, without knowing the proper name for it (modalities), I have been fascinated by the notion of “positively and negatively charged words.”

    I’ve also been curious about the process of “charging” words, where a once-neutral term picks up great positive or negative connotations. In my life I’ve seen “liberal” go from a neutral word to a dirty one, and Newt Gingrich probably has a great deal to do with that. I think Gingrich is one of the most underestimated behind-the-scenes politicians out there, and I’ve read he’s a big Alvin Toffler fan too, who covers a lot of this ground in his books.

    I’ve become a Wordly junkie in the last few days; glad to see I’m not alone in that. There’s a great site out there of presidental speeches through history as tag clouds, and it’s interesting to watch the time dimension play out, and certain terms grow and shrink as the hype of the day changes.. It also seems the rate at which the changes happen get faster and faster as time goes on.

    So, have you pointed any of these lexical analysis tools at your own blog yet? smile

  • 3. The Noble Lie on Oct 28, 2008 at 6:29 PM permalink

    Another interesting point (sorry for the multiple posts) ---

    Notice how the words concerning the external threats seem to also get bigger and more prominent as time goes on. The word COMMUNIST almost jumped out and ate me.

  • 4. anon on Oct 30, 2008 at 6:48 AM permalink

    This sort of thing has bothered me most of my life, about two decades now. anyone who watched the broadcast news would have caught a big wiff of this language control, not just coming from politicians ex."fox news”. the ability to control how people think and understand issues simply by forcing them into language patterns you dictate is remarkable, brings up the question of why it is not employed more by the non-christian right. I theorize it fueled their fascist takeover a long time ago, perhaps more than anything else. glad someone else noticed the language manipulation. control the language, control the issue, thus: “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control”

  • 5. anon on Oct 30, 2008 at 9:34 AM permalink

    slipped my mind before, but came back. could any of this perhaps have any connection to tantra mantras? the “power elites” obsession with the occult being well documented, and most occultism being largely based-on or misunderstood eastern enlightenment principles, anyone ever notice any language control devices as seedforms for deities or leftbrain/rightbrain misinterpretations of language? two very different questions i know…

  • 6. Justin Boland on Oct 31, 2008 at 7:09 AM permalink

    I think that Mantra and Advertising are working on similar principles, yes.

    I also think they’re aimed at similar functions/regions of the brain.  The unconscious is a powerful place.

    Thanks to all for the (very) thoughtful comments.  The Noble Lie: I have indeed been using the lexical tools on my own work.  It’s helped with SEO and also clarity.  I’ve used the tools on my rhymes, too, which was very humbling and amusing/depressing.  I rap about marijuana just a tad too much.

  • 7. Anonymous on Nov 02, 2008 at 6:41 PM permalink

    There’s no such thing as too much marijuana referencing.  It’s good having creative people acknowledge it’s value, because otherwise you get the current situation where people who don’t get stoned are in charge of what gets done. 

    The only thing that will work against Newt Gingrich and that entire game of “there isn’t enough so I better get mine” is people using the same techniques of manipulation to imprint psychedelic awareness.  You need a trojan horse.  A way to get people to look at one microcosm of this, and be able to generalize without requiring them to think too much or change too much of their worldview at one time.  My yoga teacher doesn’t expect me to do a stretch right in one try, we shouldn’t expect primates to grok this stuff by explaining it to them, any more then we should expect cats to understand english.

    As an example with some Wall-E spoilage, Wall-E snuck a very psychedelic message into the collective unconscious.  One way to interpret wall-e is to google videos of Gempo Roshi’s big mind technique, watch Altered States, study the phenomena of multi-stable perception, and get really stoned on whatever OTC meds get you into that fractal consciousness.  Then, imagine that the vine in the boot, the first time you see it go into Wall-E, is symbolic of one person, (the director) taking ayahuasca, and everything in the film is various aspects of one person’s mind.  Earth-ship represents the mind body divide, Eve is the Holy Guardian Angel, and the captain is the Soul-In-Charge, or the meta-programming circiut, and the director.  The film exhibits multi-stable perception between this interpretation, and the sci-fi story as a hero-journey myth.  Further, the film is a strange loop, since the ending in the interpretation where the director is getting inspiration for the film from a holy gaurdian angel experience ends with the director being inspired to start making the film as a hero journey tale (symbolically, his making the film was represented at the end of the film by images of the soul in charge working with persona and anima to spread the ecological wisdom).  The film even has an meta-article on 4d movie technology on the buy n large website saying the new movie has an unconventional mobius strip structure.  “I saw the person next to me in the theater as a 4-d spacetime worm, stretching from life to death.  I’m not sure that’s kid friendly.” Of course, Zero critics understood half of what they were seeing, and anyone offering the obviously correct deeper interpretation is seen as crazy.

    Wall-e snuck the most relevant parts of the psychedelic message into a kids film experience, brilliant as a Fellini movie, and used all that screen time to use Barneys own kinds of techniques to program everyone with the psychedelic awareness that breaks language’s spell on society.  Wall-E being a hit with kids was the best news for good magicians in a long long time, maybe since acid.  It felt like the point in Harry Potter where the good guys started winning again, but good drugs may have been inducing an unrealistic optimism in my mildly hallucinating neocortex, which may still be insisting on some filters that blind me to more depressing aspects of the human condition as a survival mechanism against spiraling into a deep depression caused by understanding how the world works.

    If there were a way to get a large number of people from all walks of life to understand the interaction between language and social control, it would be by targeting a specific example of it that can reach a lot of people, and letting them realize gradually how deep the rabbit hole goes.  You have to fight them with the same magic they use, like Wall-E does.  I think it’s possible to short circuit their power and free peoples minds by using their techniques to sell awareness of their techniques.  If you could get a microcosm like a kids movie, or something that would reach everyone, you could manipulate people into grokking Bernays using Bernays own techniques.  Skilluminati is great, but how do you get from there to hundreds of millions of anxious, tense, hostile, arrogant, unloved, angry and sexually repressed primates digesting it in ways that don’t demand more of them then they can handle?  Wall-E while they are kids is a start.  If this ball keeps rolling, the good guys might win at some point!

  • 8. Les Veilleurs on Nov 09, 2010 at 5:03 AM permalink

    Excellent find. This is the kind of structural proof I really appreciated. I have done (corp.) marketing work in a team/office setting before, very high pay gig, and we basically had a same approach. Our top guys, who my team never sees or meets, they workout the style guide with the client and the positioning. That’s the blueprint they passed off to high-paid shlubs like myself.  We only execute lists. We would very literally have boards of words in groups, exactly like this. We would even back test our work with software text analysis and this is years before the SEO kiddies caught onto those tools. Now that’s called “keyword density” but all the other subtleties and lexical/semantic theory behind it is gone, sad to say, sad to see.

    Which came first, a political consultant chicken or a marketing methodology egg? I bet there’s no easy answer.

    I would definitely appreciate more material like this, no offense intended to you as a writer I simply prefer novel original sources! Hello and thank you from Antibes!

  • 9. Canyon Jumper on Nov 12, 2010 at 2:19 AM permalink

    Gingrich is STILL GOING TODAY. I would imagine that is why you’ve spotlighted this list. The fact is, Contract With America was not a defeat for Gingrich, he has been expanding and centralizing his power ever since. Very ambitious man.  Did you know he was a protege of Toffler...alongside a young Al Gore?

  • 10. Galapagos 23 on Nov 14, 2010 at 2:36 AM permalink

    Newt Gingrich got featured in a Fast Company article about Neuro-Marketing in Politics --- kinda shitty article but I figured you’d want to know about this.

    They showed a video of Newt’s, called “The Spirit of Washington” that’s apparently been tested + optimized with “neuromarketing techniques” whatever that is…


  • 11. Das Kapital on Nov 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM permalink

    I would like to see you do a research article on Michael J. Bayer who I think you will find very interesting. Political dirty tricks operative and corporate intelligence entrepreneur, sits on dozens of boards, tied to Dyncorp, he was a “Research Director” for the RNC. There is very little information available online about him, though. You seem to have a knack for synthesizing from offline and untagged sources, so I wanted to put that name in front of you.

    Keep up the good work here.

  • 12. Anon E. Mouse on Nov 24, 2010 at 6:20 AM permalink

    When I worked wire services for the AP, they had a short style guide outlining acceptable adjectives.

    I thought it was very restrictive until I got a job at USA, where the style guide fit onto a single 11x17” sheet of laminated paper. Now THAT is thought control.

    Anyways, this post brought back bitter memories, just thought I would share. Take heart, I write novels now and I am a happier person.

    Someone, alas, is still working with those stylistic straitjackets today, though. A lot of someones.

  • 13. Ms. Daisy Knight Woods on Nov 29, 2010 at 4:46 PM permalink

    Don’t you folks have anything better to do than analyzing some memo Newt Gingrich fired off back in the 90’s?

    Seriously. Check yourself.

  • 14. Thirtyseven on Dec 22, 2010 at 2:28 PM permalink

    Inside the Mind of Gingrich’s Gurus—Time Magazine, January 23 1995,8816,982259,00.html

  • 15. Geoff McDowell on Sep 10, 2011 at 9:54 AM permalink

    Very explicit blueprint, good to have. Solid advice for a Public Relations style guide in any industry really. 

  • 16. Clausewitz on Sep 14, 2011 at 7:28 AM permalink

    Organization is key. Like you said on Twitter, Larouche understood one thing: organization design. His primary strength has always been the discipline and devotion of his followers. You may dispute the factual accuracy of EIR reports, especially in latter years, but there is no denying that his organization really does better these young men. It trains them, it teaches them, it equips them for success. Like the US Army, it does so because of the system itself, not because of the JSOC, not because of Larouche himself.

    Newt Gingrich also understood organization design and a great many other valuable concepts besides. Aside from basic marching orders like this, however, his hard work was mostly ignored. For the past two decades, the RNC has been little different from the DNC. Self-destructive cycles of rebirth rhetoric, and constant ‘reinventions’ and drives for ‘new blood’ abound. While I do appreciate your willingness to paint the RNC as an Empire, I can tell you as a frequent witness it has been anything but. Which is not to say this memo is less than a legitimate catch. This document is important. Gingrich’s role in the Republican Party, less so. The only 40 year plan the RNC has going is courtesy of Doug Coe.

  • 17. Thirtyseven on Mar 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM permalink

    An excellent and related resource: Rhetological Fallacies

    I reckon I need a poster of this.

  • 18. Eric Patton on Aug 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM permalink

    What’s the shelf-life of usefulness for info about the GOP?

  • 19. Eric Patton on Aug 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM permalink

    Is social control changing?

    If so, how? What is the mechanism? What are the demographics?

    What does the next 5 years of social control look like?

Leave a comment.



Remember my personal information

Your comment:*

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Skilluminati Innovation Patterns