You may be lucky enough to have never come across the term “gaslighting” either in your personal life or in any professional capacity.
Either way, the knowledge of this practice is how many people might lose their faith in humanity – because, it's nasty business.
According to Psychology Today, gaslighting is “a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality.”
It's also a manipulative tactic employed by evil protagonists in select Hitchcock movies – but it gets a whole more real and dark when you consider that it's something that dissidents, or perceived dissenters, would routinely experience in the countries behind the Iron Curtain, in the First Cold War.
Now – when we are no doubt living in the Second Cold War – it remains to be seen if, and how, some of the roles and practices from the first one might have been reversed.
With that in mind – what would you say if I told you there was an app that could hire you as an engineer for eight years, and then when you – thinking you were a free citizen in a free country, expressing your free opinion – fire you – to then, actively work on making you seem mentally unstable?
In fact – you don't have to imagine such an “app.” Imagine an entire super-powerful global tech giant, with a dozen “apps” dominating pretty much every market – like Search and Gmail – in other words, imagine Google.
Zachary Vorhies was a Google engineer and an insider who in the past anonymously leaked internal documents to Project Veritas.
Now, Vorhies decided to go on the record – “as an act of atonement – to make his conscience clear.”
By all accounts – Google's attempt to intimidate him all the way to questioning his mental well-being has been counter-productive. Instead of backing down, Vorhies decided to go public – and to put in place “a dead man's switch” – in case the giant came after him.
And while he doesn't appear to be particularly susceptible to Google's apparent gaslighting – he calls the behemoth “not an objective source of information” – but instead “a highly biased political machine, that is bent on never letting somebody like Donald Trump come to power again.”
The whistleblower also decided to release a trove of documents revealing Google's “progressive” agenda apparently aimed at compromising the US election system, the report said.
A day after Vorhies let Google know he had a “dead man's switch” in place – the police were called on to him, to do “a Google wellness check.”
“From what I've understood from attorneys,” Vorhies says, “they've tried to establish that I've got some sort of mental problem, in order to make their case easier.”
“And this is a large way in which they intimidate their employees that go rogue on the company,” he continued.
Vorhies went on to explain his situation and circumstances – and the concern about his personal safety:
“Because the documents hadn't been released yet, the value of taking me off the chessboard was really high. And the expense of taking me down when I wasn't well known, was really low. If nobody knows who somebody is, then if they take them off it's a conspiracy theory, where the real reason was some nefarious cause.”
And the best way Vorhies saw to “get Google off his back” was to go public.