How Bigotry & Wild Horses Can Both Get Someone Hurt

I grew up around horses. My family raised them, cared for them, rode them, bred them, trained them, bought and sold them. Back then it was even still legal to go out and catch wild horses and bring them home.

There’s a vast body of knowledge and techniques surrounding horses that is now nearly extinct—to the point where even most modern-day horse owners have only a general, working knowledge of the subject. Though I wouldn’t call myself a true expert, compared to the vast majority of people, I am.

Wild horse

So I cringe every time I see some Hollywood movie about a little girl taming a wild horse. In real life, if you handled a wild horse the way it’s written into a movie script, you could expect to be killed or injured in less than a minute. It’s the exact opposite of the correct way to go about it. Those movies are scripted by people who know nothing of the subject in order to make a great, emotional story, and emotional stories are what make money. A few little girls getting hurt is not their problem.

The formula is carefully designed to get you to think and feel a certain way. It has nothing to do with wisdom, knowledge, facts or understanding.

This is just one of millions of examples of the inverse ratio of emotion to facts. When accurate facts are in short supply, emotion fills the void. And that’s the formula. It’s also the formula for selling anything from dish soap to creating widespread discrimination and bigotry. 

We’ll call it the “vacuum effect.” Here is how it’s done:

  • Step 1. Create a vacuum by using a name or word for which there is little or no general knowledge attached.
  • Step 2. Select or invent only the information you want to fill the vacuum.
  • Step 3. Emotion.

Examples:

  • Step 1. (Vacuum) “Duzital” detergent.
  • Step 2. (Information) The only cleaner you will ever need.
  • Step 3. (Emotion) Relief.

Now maybe “Duzital” is the only cleaner you will ever need. Maybe it’s not. You’ll never know until you use “Duzital” and find out for yourself—until you have all the facts and supply your own emotion.

The most extreme example is Hitler. He took a generation of perfectly innocent children who knew nothing of race or religion.

  • Step 1. Create a vacuum called “Jew.”
  • Step 2. Fill the vacuum with descriptions like “evil,” “subhuman,” “out to take over the world,” etc.
  • Step 3: (Emotion) Hate and anger.

After that was done, all he had to do was give those same kids guns, cannons and bombs. The rest is a matter of tragic history. 

In the recent election, you had the proponents of one half of the country maligning the other half with outrageous characteristics, never realizing that they were the very people each “half” lived, worked and got along with every day. It was really quite absurd.

The information vacuum is the easiest thing in the world to fill with an emotional picture since there is nothing there to start with. Replacing the false contents of what flows into the vacuum is another matter. It’s like cleaning out the junk drawer in your kitchen. It takes time and takes experience.

So the next time you hear or see some tabloid media piece or gossip about Scientology, inviting you to feel hate and making it “OK” to discriminate, just remember the formula. The formula is carefully designed to get you to think and feel a certain way. It has nothing to do with wisdom, knowledge, facts or understanding. There are no immediate consequences for the person who designed it.

And it might just get someone injured or killed.

Author

Take Action

COMBAT HATE SPEECH
& DISINFORMATION

If you have encountered hate speech and disinformation online, in the media, or in any public venue, take action by reporting it here.

PROMOTE
FREEDOM OF RELIGION

Urge adoption of the Charter on Journalistic Ethics in Relation to Respect for Religion or Belief. Make your voice heard.

ABOLISH DISCRIMINATION
OF ANY KIND

The first step in fighting intolerance and discrimination is raising awareness. Report discrimination of any kind to STAND here

Sign Up for Updates