Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

Unintelligible Communication: What Are We to Do?

unintelligible communication

Unintelligible sign language presented at a memorial service ignited controversy and sparked outrage around the world.  Those trained in sign language described the gestures as meaningless, shameful, and an absolute circus.

Absolute gibberish was conveyed alongside meaningful language, and most of us had no idea.

Those of use who are not trained in sign language assumed there was meaning behind the movements.

This sign interpreter is not the only performer in the Cirque du Abusrde.

Lots of Words, Little Coherence

When the New Spiritualists deliver us promises of healing, power, and enlightenment with extra placebo and a side of quantum, we assume there is meaning baked into the delicious language they have prepared.

But that is not the case.  Some have become experts at delivering an entire message without saying a thing.

They are using words, but there is not a coherent message to be found.

Some will quickly destroy the man at the memorial service as a fake and a charlatan.  Others will sympathize with a possible struggle with mental illness.  Although stories break in minutes, our opinions should not be formed so quickly.

However, the scandal is an opportunity to think about communication and meaning in an age where everybody has a platform and your attention is the ultimate prize.

While the jury is out on the ultimate cause and motives behind the breach of Presidential security and the trust of the world, perhaps we can learn something about how to respond when things don’t make sense.

After all, what is the consequence of giving an audience to an unintelligible communicator?

  • confusion
  • heartache
  • danger

What Do We Do?

Don’t do nothing.  Do something.  It might not affect you, but it might affect someone you love.  If your gut tells you something is wrong, don’t stop there.

Make it your mission to find out why it is wrong.

The appropriate response when surrounded by fools, frauds, and false teachers is to:

  1. Call them out.
  2. Learn the language.
  3. Lean on the experts.
  4. Alert others

When someone is speaking gibberish, there is a good chance they are sick.

But their sickness might not be physical or mental–it might be spiritual.

There is a sickness we all share, and there is only one cure.  You can find the prescription HERE.

Related  Briefs

Photo credit: bark / Foter.com / CC BY

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

2 Replies

  1. If I could sign “Well said!” I would. Your thoughts on this matter are right on, in my opinion. One line really struck me: “Although stories break in minutes, our opinions should not be formed so quickly.” I was relieved to know that I hadn’t really formed an opinion on the matter of this man and his situation. It didn’t really affect me, and my opinion of it doesn’t really matter. More than anything, I was a little tickled to think that this man had been in the presence of all of these world leaders, so many renowned for their “security” detail, and he could’ve done anything … anything! And what did he do? Fake sign language. That makes me chuckle a little. (My thoughts obviously aren’t as deep as yours tonight.) 🙂

    1. Jane, this story certainly gained the world’s attention. Fortunately no physical harm was done. I hope the man gets the help he needs. Mental illness can be difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat. Those spreading spiritual illnesses can be even more difficult to detect. No matter who the messenger is, the message should always be tested for coherence and correspondence.