In a reading I had with Archangel Michael April 10, one of the matters he discussed with me was the need to practice the use of neutral language as we begin to form our teams and projects. The farther we got in our practice of this, he said, the better able we would be to avoid conflict with each other.
He described an ancient intergalactic language which he called “Perro,” which is a diplomatic language that was invented to prevent hostilities erupting, apparently after the intergalactic war.
Here’s what he said about Perro.
Archangel Michael: Long ago, slightly after the intergalactic war, when peace was being formulated, there was a form of conversation that was developed by the unified forces, the intergalactic council, and this language was called Perro.
And what this language is, and it is something that perhaps we could share with you and that [you] could practice, is using language without any emotional charge at all. It takes time and patience to do this. But what you are doing is conveying purity of information. So when you are in situations that might be volatile, or stressful, or filled with drama, reach an agreement, a rule of engagement, that you will use Perro so that the emotional charge behind the words is dropped.
Steve: Is that the same as what I call neutral language, Lord?
AAM: Yes, you remember using Perro from that time.
S: Oh, OK. Because you have to use [neutral language] in the courtroom.
AAM: Yes, you do. And it is a way for information, even points of view, to be communicated, but without the emotional charge or the devastation. It is in this way that the intergalactics came to be able to communicate with each other without the horrors of war attached. It is a very useful form even to this day.
I can’t discuss Perro itself. Aside from what AAM has said, there are no other sources on the matter.
But I can say a little bit about the use of neutral language. In the hearing room where I sat as a refugee adjudicator, if one did not use neutral language, one’s decisions could be reviewed by the Federal Court fro an apprehension of bias. There are several aspects to neutral and non-neutral language.
Positive or Negative Valence
An unduly positive or negative manner of speaking, in the refugee hearing room, could be the basis for an apprehension of bias and an overturning of the decision. We were encouraged to use language that was purely and barely descriptive, without any leaning this way or that. I can tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of searching to find the word that simply describes without taking one into promotion of opposition to a cause.
But the results are worth it because one can thereby remains centered and balanced while making a fateful or important decision such as whether one can remain in the country of asylum, which is the place where judgement undoubtedly should come from. In the end, it isn’t a concern that one’s decisions should stand that motivated the adjudicator. Because refugee decisions can mean the difference between life and death for the claimant, it was a concern for getting the decision right and a calm and balanced place was the best place to come from if one wanted to get the decision right.
If we observe ourselves when we use strongly positive or negative language, we might see ourselves becoming what AAM called strongly emotionally charged. The use of neutral language does not lead to a strong emotional charge. The strong emotional charge is what draws us out onto the extremes and can, if anything will, unhinge our judgment.
The use of the irrelevant adjective is something that Felix Cohen and other legal scholars focussed attention on a half century or more ago. To say “the Negro senator for New York,” for instance, is to use an irrelevant adjective (except in a very, very few situations). The adjective is true, but it probably has no business being in the sentence.
Many times in journalism, also, the color of a criminal might be cited when the criminal was black but not when they were white. Focusing attention on a person’s religion when religion is irrelevant, or gender, or class is disguised as factual but may also be irrelevant and intended to harm. Using language this way is a rhetorical device which has no place in communication where I think we’re going to.
Avoiding categorical or absolute language serves to reduce the temperature of a discussion and increase its accuracy. Words like “always,” “never,” “all” or “none” “every,” “must,” and “have to” are absolute and often meet with resistance from the listener. In my own personal experience, the majority of instances of absolute language are inaccurate but reflect more a desire to dominate or control by asserting rightness or more clarity than might otherwise be warranted.
And, Finally, the Status of Knowledge
And it may not be a part of “Perro” to state the status of our knowledge, but if we’re looking to reduce conflict or avoid hostilities, it’s one of the wisest practices that I’m aware of. It was a required feature of courtroom speaking to state the status of one’s knowledge. If one represented a matter as something one knew when it was really hearsay or a guess, that too was a reviewable error.
Stating the status of knowledge involves prefacing a statement with how one knew what one communicated or what the extent of one’s knowledge was: “I think,” “I believe,” “I feel,” “I sense,” “I intuit,” “I heard,” etc. The most common fight in our discussion groups, it seems to me, is someone saying to another: “How do YOU know?” What that calls for from us is a statement of the status of our knowledge. I prefer to state that status anyways, without being asked. OK. Almost always.
When and if I hear more about Perro, I’ll share it because it sounds like a useful tool as we create our projects and teams in preparation for Ascension.