'Reality distortion field' Gülen Movement's mentality - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

'Reality distortion field' Gülen Movement's mentality

The inner conflict and offence we experienced upon a woman wearing the headscarf being injured in a brawl following the assignment of a trustee to Zaman newspaper might not be easily understood by many. While our years trying to lift the ban on headscarves have passed, we are deeply affected to see a women wearing a headscarf injured on her head. For this reason it is hard and complicated to battle the Gülen Movement. The movement is trying to take advantage of our fragility in this respect.

I can argue that if the movement had attempted a coup during the rule of a Republican People's Party (CHP) government, the CHP government's response would have been very harsh, pitiless and rapid that everything would have finished in a year. However, the situation now is a little different.

The movement is preventing you from applying the law by using a woman wearing a headscarf holding a book you recognize as holy, an image that reflects the struggles of your youth. And then when you try to tackle the problem you come across the saddening picture.

Efforts to warp reality

Unfortunately, the movement's militant disciples know these psychological tactics very well, and thus drag the people at the base of the movement toward believing this warped reality. We are facing a very sophisticated and complicated situation.

I read something that can clarify this situation in the life story of the legendary founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. In his biography on Jobs, Walter Isaacson says that his friends describe Steve Jobs's most effective yet complicated characteristic as the “Reality Distortion Field.”

He explains this characteristic: “ The Reality Distortion Field is a mix of a charismatic rhetoric style, challenging will and the eagerness to distort every reality according to the target. The reality could be changed everywhere Jobs was. If he couldn't persuade with an argument, he would move on to another argument... He could convince people to believe in his vision. Because he could embrace the vision and internalize it.”

Displacing truths, shifting grounds

I see that the movement has “displaced the truth” and “shifted the grounds” since the very beginning. I am afraid that they are masterful in disguising realities in order to prevent the actual issues from being discussed.

It is a fact that the girl wearing a headscarf suffered a bleeding injury to her head. Closing down a newspaper is against the freedom of press, this is a fact too. However, the real fact of issue is that a newspaper was used as a center to manage a coup attempt against the government. Using a girl wearing a headscarf holding the Quran to prevent the police from enforcing the law is evil intention. No one is disputing this reality. This is how the movement uses the “displacing the truth” tactic.

You then find yourself discussing another reality instead of discussing the real issue: A newspaper attempting to stage a coup. This is called “shifting the grounds.”

The movement is using all its power to con people into believing that it is attacked because it discusses issue like corruption, bribery and infraction of rules. It is not even arguing that they did not attempt a coup or try and take hold of government institutions. Therefore, while answering their accusations, you slip into a field in which you cannot discuss the real issue, the reality.

Making yourself believe a lie

Nearly all members of the movement are made to believe that they are a movement in which innocent educational and aid activities take place. I believe Fethullah Gülen believed this in the beginning. Let me explain this with another example.

There is a scene in George Orwell's book “Nineteen Eighty-Four” which affects me. Big Brother, who controls society gets hold of Winston Smith (his opposition) and tortures him so he acknowledges his thesis. Winston can no longer bear it, so he accepts that Big Brother is “right.”

However, Big Brother says, “Accepting isn't enough, you have to believe in this.” After terrifying wishes and persuasion tactics Winston Smith writes, “Independence is slavery, two times two is five, God is power.” Winston writes this and he believes it and never doubts it rightness. The unshakable belief in Big Brother is formed in this way. Belief is a stronger castle than knowledge and wisdom.

Before Jobs persuades his friends into believing a lie he comes up with, he believes in it unshakably himself. His unbelievable belief and will makes those around him believe, too.

His colleague Andy Hertzfeld says: “We tried to change Jobs's 'reality distortion field' habit, yet we were unsuccessful. We gave up in the end, accepted him as a 'natural power' and believed in him.”


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