To gangrouten is to pressure others to live your beliefs, as way of shoring up your own doubts.

In the story Toxic People, Gathering, Elmore has a vision of himself that is pure and strong, but he isn’t secure in it.

He has to keep control of his brain and emotions to ensure the continuity of belief. And, most importantly, he has to exhibit himself and his self-discipline to others, so that they can admire, envy and confirm him.

But Elmore goes a step further: the pressures people into living his beliefs.

As a motivational speaker he belittles those who are not like him, and cajoles others into accepting his vision. The one, back at the beginning, he is not totally sure of.  He even crushes his son into this mould.  The more the shadows at the edge of his mind whisper words of doubt, the harder he goes at proving his beliefs by forcing them on others. This is I believe the most damaging sin of humankind: imposing views to suppress our own self doubt.

This is the moral corruption at the heart of every dictatorship and quite a few families. It is at the heart of the disease we call political correctness.

The word I have coined for this, those obsessives of conflicted emotions the Germans not having got to it, is ganggrout (the verb is to ganggrouten), which comes from the gibberish “ganger” and “ruten”.

A curious, common enough consequence of gannrout is that children too young to be able to work out what is happening but too strong to just give in develop a distrust of authority. A resistance. If someone tells them something they will do the opposite just because. This can grow to contempt for authority and then open conflict. At that point, the child having become an adult, they also somehow come to be to blame for the defence against abuse they developed as a child.

Ganggrout is a particularly heinous evil because it typically results in the victim being blamed for the damage inflicted on them.

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