From Self Help to Societal Harm

  • Safe Space – Once a term for an environment that allowed its members to express themselves honestly and openly without fear of judgment (think: group therapy), it now refers to an environment that allows only thoughts and actions that the dominant group pre-approves (no matter how that group is delineated). Again, a seemingly similar but, in fact, a radically different concept.
  • Doing the Work – In self-help groups, it means a constant personal process of self-evaluation and being careful about addictive or other problematic behaviors. As The Elect uses it, it means permanently and eternally attempting to atone for the Original Sin of whiteness, maleness, straightness, or any perceived trait that The Elect defines as inappropriately advantageous and/or putatively powerful.
  • Speaking Your Truth – In many therapeutic settings, a useful first step to understand oneself is to speak from a very personal perspective about how one perceives the world. From knowing this, a person is better able to move forward. Speaking one’s truth is specifically not immutable and should not be taken, in the long run, as final and actual truth. In The Elect version, however, personal truth is just as valid and is to be given the same cloak of universality as actual, real-world truth and therefore cannot be questioned. This has the effect of moving society’s goalposts from “speaking truth to power” to “speaking your own truth to gain power.”
  • Crosstalk – Depending on a particular group’s norms, crosstalk can range from asking someone to clarify a statement, to asking if that person knows the reason for his actions, to directly challenging another person’s version of events. This last is usually at least frowned upon if not banned from the environment. The Elect has lifted this premise entirely and foisted it onto society as a whole because it is convenient to use it to silence dissent, disagreement, or mere questions. Doing any one of these things is deemed counter-productive and, according to The Elect, reflects the dissenters’ tacit admission of continuing fault, or at least their purposeful denial of the problem (as they define it).
  • Inclusivity – Self-help and therapy groups are inclusive for all people wishing to get help with whatever problem they may be facing. However, such inclusivity can lead groups to become insular and unwilling to look at those with similar issues who have chosen not to join the group as others. One can become wary of those outside the group. The Elect takes this occasional negative off-shoot of selective inclusivity and extends it to its absurd but, in a way, logical conclusion: Anyone whom they think should join the group but has refused is, by definition, less of a person.
  • Ridding of Toxic Elements – Hearkening back somewhat to the discussion of triggers, in a therapeutic setting this means, not just to avoid potential recovery pitfalls, but also actively to seek out and eliminate certain things from one’s life. The Elect, however, defines toxic elements as anyone, anything, or any idea with which The Elect disagrees or that could possibly change its collective way of thinking. (If you think about the many, many articles advising people on how they should handle discussing any even vaguely political issue with their old, out-of-touch, angry, less than progressive parents at a holiday meal – and if they should even attend - you get the drift).
  • Lived-In Experience – As with “your truth,” the idea is that everyone’s statement of their own lived-in experience cannot be questioned. Not only is it “your truth,” it actually has the merit of being supported by “your experiences,” or at least how you perceived them. The Elect has morphed the “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” aphorism into a way to silence any criticism while simultaneously denying the very existence of the human empathy that makes it possible for discrete individuals to come together to form a society.

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