I’ve become quite a bit more active on YouTube recently, creating a series of videos featuring me, little cartoons, and delivering presentations.
Whilst wandering around the favorite videos of some of my newest YouTube friends, I discovered something that reminded me of some of my earliest education in psychology: the “art”, as it were, of brainwashing.
Watch the following video from the creator of a popular MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) program and notice the unusual use of the word “prompting” at time marker [0:29]. I had never heard this term used in this way prior to watching this video:
Having never heard the term "prompting" used this way before as a noun, I was reminded how interesting it is that each unique culture creates its own terminologies in order to isolate and insulate itself from others.
The Power of a New Language
Like an “inside joke” among friends, this “creation of a new language” is a very common tactic within shrewd marketing programs, such as MLMs and cults alike. Each group leverages the same psychological and social principles to create their fervent following.
They’ll take a very common concept and create a new term for it. Then, those who use that term "properly" are considered "insiders" reinforcing the bond between members and creating a barrier for “outsiders”.
Once someone learns this new language, they, too, can communicate with this “secret language” to others on the inside, and they now feel a heightened affinity for the group and its members.
Language Controls Behaviour
In marketing , like brainwashing, if you want to control a person’s behavior, you must first control their thought, and the creation of a new language is one inroad to that thought control. This is why you will see new programs and books constantly being introduced with new words for the exact same things that have been around forever.
Even the big guys, like Microsoft, do this. They come up with a slightly improved version of a technology, and give that thing a whole new name and all of its tinier parts have different names than the same tiny parts of the previous version.
In the marketing world, this brainwashing concept of relabeling things you already know with a new word or using an existing word in a slightly different way is called “branding” and “differentiation”.
From the book “Cults and New Religions Movements” by Lorne L. Dawson , I’ve found some very interesting passages on human thought control that are very applicable to this marketing concept of “new language” development.
The goal of all of this is your conversion or your remolding… You affirm that you accept and understand the ideology by beginning to talk in simple catchphrases of the group… Using the new language fosters your separation from your old conscience and belief system.
Create Your Own Cult
What is it that YOU do, in such a unique way that someone else could see your unique value through creating a new word or using an existing word differently?