If you already know that you’re being lied to just about every day, and that advertising is aiming to make you feel deficient in all sorts of ways, you may not be surprised. If you prefer not to know, don’t read this book.
I definitely prefer to know, though, and have made it my business to keep up with at least SOME issues, especially in the medical arena. But as I was reading Eldon Taylor’s massive collection of Gotchas, I found a lot I hadn’t known about.
Arsenic in chicken meat? Who knew!
Doctors prescribing placebos to patients? For real?
Mercury in amalgam fillings? Well, I knew that, and I’m refusing to let my dentist add any more of those things. But you keep reading that they’re basically harmless. At least in the “official” literature. And my dentist says so too.
I was less surprised by the examples of mind control in advertising and political writing/speech. After all, I’m a linguist, and we linguists made it our business to analyze that type of thing. And I spent many years teaching my students to do the same.
Still, Taylor takes it all to a whole new level.
Reading page after page of his examples made me feel quite ill.
So how does it fit with his other books?
Those were about self-empowerment, at least the way I saw them. Using self-hypnosis to achieve ones goals, and grow ones self esteem.
Well, this one is definitely about self-empowerment as well. It’s just approaching things from a different angle.
The principle here is clear though: Information is power.
And Taylor offers a massive expose of all the nasty ways we’re being fooled by a slew of powers that be. In most of the cases discussed in this book, the information is so “unpleasant” and/or scary that some of us would rather not know about it.
If you prefer to focus on what YOU can do, you may even want to skip ahead to the last chapter before diving into all the gory details. There you’ll find something more positive and hopeful: Specific action steps that help you take back your power.
Taylor gives the phrase “mindful living” a whole new meaning. It’s at the heart of bringing about change, and making the world a better and more humane place.
And so, after hundreds of pages about various aspects of how we’re being fooled and controlled, and how the various techniques work – and the kinds of experiments that have been conducted to make that mind-control ever more powerful), there it is. A long and detailed chapter on what we can do about it.
And yes, mindfulness is at the heart of it. We need to pay attention. And speak up.
Eldon Taylor’s new book “Gotcha” is a truly eye-opening must-read for anyone who wants to know the truth and take back control of his or her own life. Knowledge is power. And to reclaim it, we will have to face a lot of ugly truths.