Help me find a word for mind fucker
August 30, 2014 8:06 PM   Subscribe

Is there a proper English word to describe a person/culture/society which isn't only deceitful, but also sets up conditions to make others feel that they are breeching/ committing an offence against that which was lied about?

What I'm thinking about is along the lines of some religions giving girls the idea that sex is bad, while putting them in situations where they are regularly harassed or are even raped. Hypocrite seems close, but not strong enough. If there isn't a word in English, is there a better fitting one in another language? Thanks!
posted by rabbitfufu to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Brainwashing? Gas lighting? Indoctrination?
posted by slateyness at 8:13 PM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:18 PM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Perhaps doublethink?
posted by papayaninja at 8:19 PM on August 30, 2014

Also came in to suggest gas lighting.
posted by Chutzler at 8:19 PM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Potemkin village?
posted by brujita at 8:24 PM on August 30, 2014

Double-bind, in your example coupled with a double standard where men condone viewing abstinence-taught women as sex objects while the women are not allowed to think of themselves as such.
posted by rhizome at 8:35 PM on August 30, 2014 [8 favorites]

I think what you're talking about is defined as mind control and/or coercive persuasion, but I don't know of any word that describes one who performs that particular facet of indoctrination. This article may give you some further terminology to research.

I guess what I mean is that it's difficult to find a word for the person/culture/society, because most of the vocabulary out there is for defining the process or phenomena, rather than the noun.

A sociopath or psychopath falls under the umbrella, but only describes one characteristic...
posted by Specklet at 8:38 PM on August 30, 2014

psychopath. Duped. Con artist
posted by tanktop at 10:38 AM on August 31, 2014

posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:13 AM on August 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Two-faced? Disingenuous?
posted by Middlemarch at 1:06 PM on August 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Special case of Catch-22 or double bind.
posted by adamrice at 8:31 PM on August 31, 2014

'Double bind' seems to me the closest that people have proffered. But not really specific enough.

Instead of giving a term, I'm going to paraphrase the phenomenon, 'cause I think it's interesting.

A group sets up a norm or value (x = to be avoided, to be strived for, or whatever) but establishes its environment or collective behavior in ways which actively counter the norm and make it more difficult to achieve than it might seem it ought to be.

Whether this norm is in fact a valid one -- universally or for some people -- is a question distinct from whether the group which is promoting it verbally and in education also acts to undermine or combat it in practice.

'Mixed messages' is a term I've heard for this, actually. The contradiction would be between the verbally formulated message on the one hand and the behavior on the other. But it's not *quite* lying, again, because the norm might actually be a good one, even if the people who are espousing it work against it. Truth and goodness are often recognized by people who are far from being able to embody them. (And it also might be said that there is more virtue in achieving something society is actively not supporting than something it is, just 'cause it means one must have more prowess to have.)

I think the importance laid upon individualism in North American culture may be another case, along side the one you mention.
posted by bertran at 1:23 AM on September 1, 2014

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