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Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and Neutrality. Also related is Cognitive Dissonance, in which contradictory beliefs cause conflict in one's mind. Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance — thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.

George Orwell created the word doublethink in his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1948); doublethink is part of newspeak. In the novel, its origin within the typical citizen is unclear; while it could be partly a product of Big Brother's formal brainwashing programmes, the novel explicitly shows people learning doublethink and newspeak due to peer pressure and a desire to "fit in", or gain status within the Party — to be seen as a loyal Party Member. In the novel, for someone to even recognize — let alone mention — any contradiction within the context of the Party line was akin to blasphemy, and could subject that someone to disciplinary action and to the instant social disapproval of fellow Party Members.

According to Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, doublethink is:

“ The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them... To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.[1]

Cognitive Dissonance

Through media bombardment they consistently form positive associations to the negative behaviors of the Death Culture in order to increase cognitive dissonance in the way people think, which increases suggestibility and gullibility into programming. People that are highly suggestible are programmed in such ways that directly impact the unconscious formation of Doublethink into socially acceptable belief systems. This is purposed to covertly, yet directly stimulate the unresolved conflicts in the instinctual and unconscious mind's reactions, eliminating critical thinking, common sense, consistency and coherent thoughts. This way people are led to associate the negative belief systems being propagated, with the positive associations being programmed for them. When the actions or results of those associations are actually entirely negative and spiritually destructive to them.[2]

Doublespeak and Gaslighting

Manipulators tend to use Gaslighting techniques and like to take any statement that has been said and turn it around or twist its meaning in order to use it against you. Usually manipulators are good with using Doublespeak to add confusion to the conversation that will be mixed with ambiguous language that when it all adds up, does not make any logical sense. Many times it’s a lot of words, with no meaning or substance. Sometimes a part of it may make sense but the rest of the conversation has no connection to what has been said in the discussion. Doublespeak is a lack of coherence, the person may come off as intelligent using certain words, but they are either confused or attempting to confuse others away from seeing the truth in the matter. You may have listened to this person talk for an hour, and have no idea what the point really was in the conversation, except that it derailed from the original topic. Doublespeak in relationships with close emotional bonds and will effectively destroy the trust and intimacy between people. When we use private or vulnerable issues that are used as a weapon for doublespeak manipulation, it is emotionally damaging. Speaking what you mean honestly and expressing clear, and accurate words, is extremely important. Say what you mean and do what you say.[3]


  1. Doublethink
  2. Consent
  3. Assessing Trustworthiness

See Also


Emotional Manipulation

Lying Techniques