URL Source: http://NA
Published: Feb 1, 2006
Post Date: 2006-02-01 19:18:49 by SKYDRIFTER
Keywords: CONTROL, CENTURY, MIND
NOTE: For those interested in the topic, this is worth downloading and/or sharing.
MIND CONTROL IN THE 21st CENTURY
Compiled by Ralph W. Omholt
“Mind Control” is to be catalogued with space travel, wrist radios and ray-guns; yesterday’s fantasy becoming today’s reality. Certainly, it goes without saying, that “Mind Control” is more accurately addressed as “Behavior Control;” one leads to the other. Accommodating simplicity and common understanding, the term “Mind Control” will be used as a synonym for “Behavior Control.”
The topic of “Mind Control” has been the subject of university laboratories, Madison Avenue marketing firms, intelligence services, warfare planning (psyops), pharmaceutical developments, electronic experimentation, psychiatry and medical advances. In brief, “Mind Control” is as factual as the TV set; alive, functional and ever- evolving.
The topic of “Mind Control” is understandably complex. Few doubt the effect of simple propaganda, as evidenced in various wars. Unfortunately, one of the success elements of “Mind Control” is the disdain of those who resist thinking about the topic. Yet, with such horrors as the Nazi applications during W.W. II, the topic of “Mind Control” is highly pertinent to the general public. Specifically, the general public repeatedly asks how a civilized people could possibly commit such well-documented atrocities.
Current (2006) American politics and warfare confront the “Mind Control” issue, head-on. Ignorance, apathy and denial are a deadly combination. “Mind Control” is a function of a variety of descriptors and applications. Most commonly, the term “Psyops” (Psychological Operations) is used.
However repugnant, the history of the W.W. II Nazis is the most common association of the horrors against the human race. The Nazi horrors were not unique in history, simply the most advertised. As an example of Mind Control,” Israel, depends on that particular advertisement, for U.S. foreign aid. Yet, the “Nazi” issue remains the best example, by virtue of it’s popularly known history.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF AUTHORITY AND PERCEPTION,
In order to understand the mystery of seemingly blind compliance to authority, there is perhaps no better sample of human nature than the 1961 experiments on “Obedience to Authority,” conducted by Dr. Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University. His studies were spawned by the recent trial and execution of Adolph Eichmann. The results were posted in Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View” (1974).
Milgram focused on the propensity for obedience to authority, versus the role of personal conscience. His work was in consequence of the rationalizations and justifications for the Nazi acts of genocide – as offered by the accused at the World War II, Nuremberg War Crime trials. The perpetrators’ defense was typically based on “obedience” – claiming that they were “… just obeying orders” under the authority of their superiors. However weak the claim may have appeared, it was firmly believed, by the accused. In particular, the Nazi perpetrators were well educated and members of the German aristocracy.
The Eichmann trial stirred the question as to how easy it would be for ‘good’ and educated (American) people (college degree) to be conditioned to commit even murder – in exchange for simple “acceptance and approval.” What if Eichmann, and his accomplices were, in fact, “….just following orders.”
More directly, the Milgram study demonstrated the propensity for people to submit to even ‘mild,’ even “presumed” authority – let alone threat or even internal fears. (Not even notable amounts of money were required.) The psychiatrists of the day forecast that 2% of any population would be compliant – the ‘sickos;’ the Milgram Study demonstrated 65%!
The setup of the experiment called for so-called “teachers” (unknowing subjects of the experiment) to be recruited by a newspaper ad offering $4.50 for one hour’s work. The ‘price’ is worth noting. The recruits all had college degrees. It is also worth noting that the setup time was remarkably brief; there was no extensive ‘conditioning’ required. Both of these factors attest to an apparent pre-disposition for submission to “perceived” authority. The experiments would remind most of the TV series, “The Twilight Zone.”
The volunteer ‘teachers’ thought that they were recruited to take part in a psychology experiment investigating memory and learning. The recruits were introduced to a stern looking “experimenter,” dressed in a white lab coat; as well as an ordinary and pleasant co-subject (actor, in fact) who was presumably recruited via the same newspaper ad. The true subject (“teacher”) was assigned to direct the ‘learning’ of the other ‘volunteer; using electric shocks as a learning motivator.
The teacher-recruit was led to believe that he/she had been chosen randomly, to be a scientific ‘teacher.’
Both the actor and the ‘teacher’ were given a ‘sample’ 45-volt electric shock, to set the realism of the ‘stage.’ The “teachers” were told that the experiment was designed to explore the effect of punishment, to prompt correct responses for manufacturing learning behavior.
The ‘teachers’ were advised that the electric shocks were to be of increased by 15 volts, for each mistake that the ‘student’ made during the experiment.
The ‘teachers’ control panel had 30 switches, clearly labeled in 15 volt increments; ranging from 15 volts, up to the maximum of 450 volts. Each switch also had a rating label, incrementing from “slight shock” to “danger: severe shock”. The final two switches were additionally labeled “XXX”. Thus, the subject could not be the least bit ignorant of the potential consequences of his/her deeds.
The experiment environment had the ‘student’ in another room; with the ‘teacher’ made aware of the “actor-student’s” discomfort by poundings on the wall.
The actors (“students”) pretended to be stupid, seemingly requiring (deserving) increasing shocks – feigning pain, misery and unconsciousness. The “teachers” abided by the background ‘authority’ until they were doing the deeds of sadists & murderers – a convincing simulation, of course.
In reality, no further shocks were actually delivered. Again, the ‘teacher’ was unaware that the ‘student’ in the study was actually an actor who would use his talents to fake increasing levels of discomfort; as the ‘teacher’ administered what he/she assumed were increasingly severe electric shocks, for the supposed mistakes made by the “student”.
The ‘experimenter,’ with the white lab coat, was in the same room as the ‘teacher.’ Whenever the ‘teachers’ asked whether the increased shocks should be delivered, he or she was verbally encouraged by the experimenter to continue.
Amazingly, the test subjects didn’t question as to why the ‘experimenter’ needed a surrogate, in the first place.
Using actors as the student-victims, the actual test subjects (“teachers”) were directed to ask questions of a presumed “student,” sitting in a sealed booth, with the “teacher” delivering increasing electrical shocks, if the ‘student’ got the wrong answer. A presumed torturous-fatal electric shock was incrementally delivered, by 65% of the unwitting “teachers,” punishing the student to the very end of the 450-volt scale! No ‘teacher’ stopped before reaching 300 volts!
Worried ‘teachers’ did question the ‘experimenter,’ asking who was responsible for any harmful effects. It is worth noting that the primary concern was personal accountability, versus the welfare of the perceived victim. The ‘experimenter’ assumed full responsibility, with the ‘teachers’ accepting the response as adequate; then continued shocking their ‘student,’ even though some of the ‘teachers’ were obviously extremely uncomfortable with their deeds.
Return to another fact of life – cultures hide the fact that in times of crisis, people have a third choice, beyond ‘fight-or-flight; specifically, “Submission.” (Consider the rape victim!)
In the Milgram study, the test subjects were unwittingly submitting to rather mild coercion of their ‘handlers.’ They assumed that they were factually torturing – even killing – the ‘students,’ preferring the acceptance-approval of their handlers, to their basic personal values and even morality, itself. They questioned, but with mild coercion, they complied with ‘authority.’
From Milgram’s “The Perils of Obedience” (1974), it is learned that Milgram solicited predictions on the outcome, from various ranges of people; including psychiatrists, faculty in the behavioral sciences, graduate students, college sophomores and even middle-class adults. Those polled reliably predicted that virtually all of the chosen subjects (‘teachers’) would refuse to obey the experimenter. The psychiatrists, predicted that most subjects would not go beyond 150 volt level, when the actor-victim made the first explicit demand to go free. The psychiatrists expected only 4 percent of the ‘teachers’ to continue to the simulated 300 volt level, estimating that only a pathological personality (one in a thousand) would administer the highest voltage.
The Milgram Experiment was continued in a number of variable scenarios; such as the ‘student’ indicating discomfort by way of voice feedback (versus pounding on the walls of his ‘chamber’) – starting at the “150 volt” level. At that point, the ‘actor-victim’ requested that the experiment be ended. The ‘teacher’ was consistently told by the experimenter that – “The experiment requires that you continue. Please go on.” or verbiage, to that effect. In that scenario, the percentage of ‘teachers’ who were prepared to administer the maximum of 450 volts, dropped slightly – to only 62.5%. Desperate verbiage, versus pounding on the walls, made little difference.
The environment of the experiment was considered, as well. The surroundings of the experiments seemed to cast an “aura of authority,” as well. When the environment of the experiment was conducted in a nondescript office building – versus within the walls of a prestigious and ornate hall on Yale’s campus – the percentage of ‘teachers’ who were prepared to administer the maximum voltage dropped to 47.5%.
Immediate environment also played a key role, demonstrating the ‘personal’ role of authority “proximity,” In one environment, the “experimenter” was at end of a phone line; versus being present in the same room as the ‘teacher. In this scenario, the percentage of ‘teachers’ who were prepared to administer the 450 volt shock dropped to 20.5%. In another scenario, the ‘teacher’ could independently elect the magnitude of the shock level; in that scenario, the percentage of ‘teachers’ who were prepared to continue to the extreme of the scale dropped to 2.5%.
That scenario, in particular, clearly demonstrated the role of “authority,” as the major influence over the behavior of the subjects, given that the test subjects’ performance otherwise fell into the predicted range of the psychiatrists.
Return to another idea – that the radical majority of any population lives in response to their “Sacred Illusions.” The spouse would NEVER cheat, one’s child could NEVER grossly misbehave. We all have such illusions.
Thus in the Milgram Experiment, the “Sacred Illusion” was that once agreeing to take on the task, the subject was committed/compelled to submit to authority – and not much of it – even to the extreme of presumed sadism/murder.
What is not addressed, to any adequate degree, is the role of “accountability” – factual or ‘assumed.’ By any account of history, the subservience contained the assumption that ‘authority’ served as a firewall, between the deeds of the performer, versus such accountability as criminal prosecution. The seeming ‘chain-of-command,’ obviously pre-supposes a ‘chain-of-accountability.’
In particular, in the Milgram experiments, the presumed “authority” to commit sadism and even murder, was a simple verbal assertion, “I am responsible; you are not.” To the ordinary person, it staggers the imagination that college educated people could be that naïve/compliant. Clearly most are.
Milgram’s experiments tested how much pain an ordinary, well educated, citizen would inflict on another person; upon being ordered to so, by an experimental scientist. In those experiments, “apparent authority” was tested against the strongest moral imperatives forbidding hurting another.
Even with the ‘teachers’ hearing screams of the ‘victims,’ authority won more often than not – 65% of the time, in optimum conditions. The experiments demonstrated the willingness of ordinary and educated adults to comply with the command of “perceived authority.”
Next one must ask what the uneducated person might do, as well as those with a known history of social deviance.
Ironically, the Milgram “obedience to authority” experiments preceded the Viet Nam War, with its bizarre rationalizations, and millions of American soldiers “…just following orders.” Tragically, the American soldiers suffered the fate of lepers, when returning home. More tragically, no lessons were learned by the American public, versus the nefarious minds of the American military and related corporate players.
Milgram had plenty of company. The “Milgram Experiment” has been repeated around the world with similar results.
It must be particularly noted that there is an implied risk-reward factor in such cases. 65% of Milgram’s subjects essentially murdered for $4.50!
The significance of that figure indicates implies that money is GENERALLY a minor concern. However, money can be made to be a factor. As starving graduate student may ‘hurry-up’ if $100 was offered, if the experiment was concluded in ½ hour; with verbal taunting by his ‘experimenter.’ What is the reasonable estimate of an ‘experimenter’ asking, “Do you want to ask questions, or do you want to get paid – and how much? The clock is ticking.”
Thus, it must be observed that if the ‘65% percentile can be rather easily stirred into sadism & murder, what does it take to get 95% of a given population to submit to the acceptance of propaganda – and a mandate for just ‘silence?’
Where do such experiments lead?
THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT
Stanford psychology Professor Philip Zimbardo, said to be a high school classmate of Milgram, took the issue of simple “authority” to the level of “power over others,” in his 1971 “Experimental Prison” study.
The essence of that experiment demonstrated the propensity for ‘normal’ people to succumb to primal deviant behavior. Of particular note is that the director of that experiment, Professor Philip Zimbardo, fell prey, as well. It took his soon-to-be wife, to shock him back to a civilized mindset.
While the ‘experiment’ was intended to be a simple role-playing observation platform; the players – and the researchers – ‘psycho-morphed’ into a deviant mindset, as though passing through a time-warp; into another solar system. Again, the primary mechanism was “Perception Control.”
In the “Stanford Prison Experiment,” the distinction must be made between ‘externally incited’ perception, versus spontaneous self-perception. As with the Milgram experiments, environment played a dominant role.
Zimbardo’s stated reason for conducting the experiment was to examine the ‘power’ of such variables as roles, regulations, group identities, symbols and “…situational validation of behavior,” which would probably repulse and disgust the ordinary individual.
In the background of the “prison” experiment, Zimbardo previously conducted research on what he described as “…de-individuation, vandalism and dehumanization;” in an attempt to illustrate how easily that ordinary people could be incited to engage in anti-social acts. The associated environment of the earlier experiments embraced situations where the participating individual felt anonymous, or wherein they could perceive others to be less than ‘human,’ as ‘enemies’ or even ‘objects.’
In the subsequent/consequent “prison” experiment, 70 young men were “arrested.” Most were college students, paid $15 a day for two weeks.
The brief duration of the experiment is highly significant, relative to the noted transformation of character.
The participants volunteered as subjects for an experiment on prison life; advertised by a local paper. They were put through the expected interviews and a battery of psychological tests. Twenty-four of those ‘arrested,’ deemed to be the most normal, average and healthy, were selected. They were assigned randomly, as either ‘guards’ or ‘prisoners.‘ The “prisoners” were booked at a real jail, blindfolded and driven to the college campus makeshift prison.
Bear in mind, that the players (test subjects) ALL were consciously aware that the mission was role-playing; not reality. Yet, in the fashion of “Lord of the Flies,” they devised their own social value system.
The ‘guards’ were issued uniforms; instructed not to use violence. They were told that their job was to maintain control over the prison.
On the second day of the experiment, the ‘prisoners’ staged a revolt. Once the ‘guards’ had crushed the rebellion, the ‘guards’ spontaneously increased coercive aggression tactics, against the ‘prisoners.’ Their tactics included the humiliation and dehumanization of the ‘prisoners.’ In consequence, the college staff had to frequently admonish the ‘guards’ against such tactics.
In particular, the worst noted instances of abuse took place in the middle of the night, when the guards believed that the college staff was not watching over the experiment. The treatment of the prisoners went to such tactics as forcing the ‘prisoners’ to clean out toilet bowls with their bare hands; acting out degrading scenarios. The ‘guards’ also urged the ‘prisoners’ to become snitches. The loss of control caused the college staff to note the extreme stress reactions, forcing the release of five prisoners, one per day, prematurely.
During the experiment, Zimbardo’s fiancé, Dr. Christina Maslach, began her observation of the experiment, starting the evening of the fifth day. Her role was to conduct subject interviews. In her words, she initially found it “dull and boring.”
During her assignment, she encountered what was described as a pleasant conversation with a “charming, funny, smart” young man awaiting the start his guard work shift. Independently, other researchers had previously advised her that they were watching a particularly sadistic ‘guard,’ nicknamed by both prisoners and the other guards as “John Wayne.” Dr. Maslach later discovered that “John Wayne” was the same young man that she had previously talked with.
The “compartmentalization” was extreme. In his “John Wayne” role, the person radically transformed; even speaking with a Southern accent. Even his body motions were different, as was his interaction with the ‘prisoners.’ She said, “It was like [seeing] Jekyll and Hyde. . . . It really took my breath away.”
It was clear that this ‘guard’ had gone to the adaptive extreme of inventing his own mythology, even in a known ‘make-believe’ world. His dissociative adaptation served as a firewall, between his actions and his conscience; even in a known time-limited environment. That, in turn, empowered his actions. Again, he was consciously aware that he was in a role-playing experiment – only.
Christina described that several prisoners engaged “John Wayne” in a debate; accusing him of enjoying his job. He claimed that he wasn’t really like that; that he was just playing his assigned role. One ‘prisoner’ challenged “John Wayne” on the matter, citing the history that he had tripped him earlier, as he was taking the prisoner down the hall to the bathroom. The ‘prisoner’ addressed the fact that no researchers were around to witness the treatment, indicating that the act came out of “John Wayne’s” true character and disposition. “John Wayne” defended himself, insisting (rationalizing) that that if he let up, his role wouldn’t remain powerful.
Maslach described that she became sick to her stomach, while observing the ‘guards’ marching ‘prisoners,’ with paper bags over their heads, to the bathroom. She reported that her fellow researchers teased her about her reaction. Given the nature of the experiment and the credentials of the researchers, the divergence in ‘professional’ attitude is no small indicator.
After a later emotional encounter with her fiancé, Zimbardo was forced back to reality, becoming aware of the transformation of the researchers, ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners,’ alike. Thus, the experiment was terminated, given Maslach’s illumination of the matter of “professional accountability.”
Maslach married Zimbardo in 1972.
Automatically, one’s mind goes to the Iraq Abu Grhaib scandal; questioning how such events could happen, against such well-known studies as Milgram and Zimbardo; let alone the known Nazi horrors of W.W. II. There is a reasonable presumption that such would be far beneath the dignity of American troops.
However, it should not be lost that the deeds were not only admitted by the Pentagon and White House (with extreme reluctance), but were defended, with an insistence that the U.S. forces had a unique “right” to conduct torture, certainly levels of coercion, which clearly violated the Geneva Conventions. The world ignored the Geneva Conventions’ prohibition on the military use of penitentiaries; the prison use continued.
It should be noted, also, that Abu Grhaib was not the first, nor the exclusive location of such atrocities. Among other matters, the U.S. forces had bombed an Afghan POW facility, during the Johnny Spann / John Walker Lindh debacle, at Mazir I Sharif. Such was a grievous violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Yet, what does the global public believe?
Next, go to the study of W.W. I “shell shock” and the near-zombies which that effect produced – as studied by the Tavistock Institute. Next, visit the LSD and amphetamine studies of the CIA’s “MKULTRA” project. Move onward, to the sciences of Propaganda, Psychological Operations and “Coercive Persuasion” (Jonestown tactics).
One quickly arrives at the ease of manufacturing a “Manchurian Candidate!” Oswald, Ruby, Sirhan, James Earl Ray, McVeigh; there are plenty of examples in the USA, alone. However, these will be more astutely observed as “Manchurian Patsies.”
The suggestion is that a reliable transformation process is available, which begins with the “shock” of hallucinogens; followed by a regimen of amphetamines, hypnosis and reinforcement methods; possibly to the extreme of drug addiction to amphetamines, in particular.
THE ROLE OF “PERCEPTION CONTROL”
“Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control”
“Control” is the operative term. Is information presented with frequent repetition and passion? Or; is information kept totally secret – or prejudicially enshrouded with shame (“A ‘good’ person wouldn’t go there”)?
Is the “controlled” information factual, or has an illusion been created? The American media re-packaged the Muslims in the Balkan region as “Ethnic Albanians,” ignoring the Islamic role and their association with both bin Laden and the CIA. No one of prominence questioned the descriptor. Overnight a previously unheard of organization, “The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe” (OSCE) “recognized” new Balkan countries – instantly admitted into NATO. Thereafter, Yugoslavia’s put-down of an internal rebellion was re-packaged as an attack against a NATO member & the Balkan War was on. The “Serbs” were attempting to return to their traditional Balkan homes, in the fashion of Jews returning to modern Israel. The media re-packaged their attempts as some form of invasion & the war progressed against Yugoslavia.
In the end, the ‘new’ nations borrowed billions from the International Funds & all sins were forgiven. The illusions worked! It was all a matter of “Controlled Perception.” The ‘new’ nations were now ‘controlled’ through the banking system.
America was content to believe (perceive) that they had rescued the deserving and victimized “Ethnic Albanians,” who made a good living smuggling heroin out of Afghanistan. America didn’t figure out the last part. By any rational logic, when the Taliban shut down the associated opium production; 9-11 was “on.”
“Perception” implies “impressionability;” does factually presented information penetrate the psyche of the intended audience? If American War Crimes are broadcast in Swahili; will the message ‘reach’ the exposed American audience? Extremely unlikely – even when translated into English.
Perception is also a function of “registration,” or “depth of consciousness.” Senator Warner reported on “Larry King” that the Afghan high-altitude food drops were practiced for nearly a year, before taking place over Afghanistan. How many spotted the time-line, asking why the drops were practiced for nearly a year PRIOR to 9-11? The presented information didn’t “register.”
“Perception” is also a function of resistance to ‘registration,’ – “denial.” All the clues in the world point to 9-11 being an inside-job; yet, few on the planet will tolerate the information to penetrate their belief system. Just the suspicion alone, results in global “shell shock” being effected.
The sum of trustworthy post 9-11 information points to American War Crimes, in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The thought is too horrible for most to tolerate – “denial” takes the day; “registration” will be minimal. The elements of ‘time,’ ‘distance’ and ‘shielding’ protect against the exposure to horrible facts.
“Perception Control” also relies on the element of “identification.” A tribal leader in Africa commits genocide on a rival tribe – to the tune of millions of deaths. “America” can’t ‘identify’ with the problem; little is said or done. With racial apartheid being reversed in Africa; war, civil war, starvation and the AIDS epidemic deny Caucasian ‘identification;” Africa has been cleared to die, save some profitable enterprises, benefiting American corporations – whether drug companies, diamond & mineral companies or arms dealers.
Conversely, with the coverage of 9-11, and the associated propaganda, America “identified” with the supposed threat of Saddam Hussein – per the media presentations. The factual non-connection of Saddam to 9-11 made little difference; fear ruled. “Perception Control” and “authority” took command of the American psyche. The UN reported that no viable evidence of Saddam’s alleged WMDs could be found. That information came from ‘boots-on-the-ground’ inspectors. The media didn’t report that finding to any appreciable degrtee; the war was on.
In Hermann Goerings famous description:- “All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” It was all in the “perception” and “authority.”
“Perception Control” additionally implies the element of “pertinence” and “regard.” If the media reports a tree falling in a forest; does anyone care? If an expose’ cites the media for NOT reporting that tree falling, does anyone care?
In the fashion of “..the dog that didn’t bark,” when something representing a major concern is methodically unreported, what pertinence and regard goes with that non-reporting carry – if any? Silence can be constructively ‘deafening.’ In the aftermath of 9-11, it was reported that the NSA furnished the FBI with only useless information. With second thought, it is worth asking whether that data, instead, represented the fact that the purported ‘terrorists’ simply didn’t exist, in the first place. Certainly, the last premise is more easily supported, than the ‘official’ version of 9-11.
As of the end of 2005, globally, somewhere around 160 people were killed over three years by the “Bird Flu.” The common cold and ‘regular’ flue kill radically more, with associated pneumonia. Yet, the American media keeps reporting the “Bird Flu” information, as though it was an airborne variant of HIV. To date, the American public is trying to discover the importance of such a minor killer, oblivious to the fact that the American tax coffers are being drained, as though there was a viable “Bird Flu” threat to America. The media won’t track the “research” money, nor report on the low element of “pertinence” to the safety of Americans.
The media does NOT report the associated methodical draining of the U.S. tax coffers by war or other “government” expenses. The Pentagon, alone, hasn’t accounted for trillions of dollars – but the media won’t report information which is ‘pertinent’ to the American worker, or allow for adverse ‘regard’ for that information.
Similarly, the media evades the “pertinence” and “regard” behind the fact that $40 billion American tax dollars haven’t rebuilt a single “Katrina” home in New Orleans. Those who got rich on the “Katrina” money come under the ‘authority’ banner of “Don’t ask; don’t tell.”
“Perception Control” allows “distortion.” The media doesn’t report the incremental shutdown of the Medicaid and Social Security System – ignoring the fact that the affected Americans PRE-PAID their own benefits. The recipients are, instead, treated as parasites. Imagine being labeled a ‘parasite’ for collecting on an automobile insurance policy, following a bad car crash.
“Perception” is a function of specific focus (control). In the current time frame, the NSA domestic spying scandal is the “American uproar” – ignoring the fact that the Pentagon had a comparable domestic spying program – both being illegal as hell. With the media being ‘focused’ on the NSA domestic spying scandal, America is distracted from the most important of the two issues, inadvertently ignoring the Pentagon domestic spying scandal – and the related “Posse Comitatus” law.
Applying “Perception Control,” the media authenticated “authority,” by relaying the ‘opinions’ of White House Lawyers – one of whom was conveniently made head of the Bush Justice Department. The “perception” is that attorney opinions somehow cancel laws and judicial rulings. America overlooks the fact that attorneys render only ‘opinions;’ courts render interpretations.
Psyops tactics aside, lying with passion in your voice doesn’t manufacture truth.
Anything approaching “Gestapo” is as Anti-American as it can get. So, how does one sort out the domestic “spy” business?
1. Attorneys render legal OPINIONS: Courts render legal INTERPRETATIONS. Yet, a team of White House Lawyers is cited as the spying ‘authority’ to bypass the FISA law. Attorneys are constructively enacting laws.
2. The Iraq campaign didn’t involve a “Declaration of War.” The authority was the “Authorization for Use of Military Force.” (AUMF) There is a radical difference between the two. [Note the term “military”]
3. If the AUMF is cited as the “spy” authority, then note the AUMF provision – “….- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.” (15 days, max on warrantless wiretapping.)
4. If the NSA isn’t considered to be ‘military;’ then FISA mandates warrants.
5. If the NSA is considered to be ‘military,’ then the “Possee Comitatus” statute and the associated military guidance additionally prohibit the “search and seizure” MILITARY authority, that Bush claims.
6. Remember that the Pentagon had an independent and illegal domestic spying program. While the military can leagally receive domestic intelligence, as an act of opening its own mail, Title 18 mandates the relay of the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency (FBI). Failure to do so is “Misprision of a Felony,” under Title 18.
7. With the White House keeping the Mexican border as wide-open, as possible, how much factual “terror” can there possibly be?
PERCEPTION OF AUTHORITY
In a broader ‘perception’ horizon, examine Stanley Milgram’s 1960s experiments on authority vs. obedience. The key factor being the associated “perceptions,” relative to that “authority.” Milgram studied the rationalizations and justifications for the Nazi acts of genocide – as offered by the accused at the World War II, Nuremberg War Crime trials. The perpetrators’ defense was typically based on “obedience” – claiming that they were “… just obeying orders” under the authority of their superiors. However weak the claim may have appeared, it was firmly believed, by the accused. Such was their “perception.”
Certainly, the “Stanford Prison Experiment” elaborated on the matter.
Perception is essentially a trinity – the self perception “…how I think of the matter,” the espoused perception, “…how I would like everyone else to view the matter;” and the public perception, “…how the preponderance of the public views the matter.”
The idea essentially goes back to the old adage, “There are three sides to every story, yours, mine and the facts.”
The difference in the three is a matter of ‘filters;’ is the matter clear to all? If not; why not? Does anyone even know what actually happened? If not; why not? How is the “perception” filtered and/or directed?
How many times has an airplane disappeared – with no discoverable clue as to what happened? Was it hijacked? Was it stolen, did the pilot get lost, crash into a high mountain glacier, or at sea?
Is the factual information “controlled?” Ron Brown’s B-737 was reported to have crashed in the “…storm of the decade.” History records that the factual weather wasn’t particularly bad. Yet, what did/does the preponderance of America believe? The “Controlled Perception” ruled the matter.
Most importantly, the FIRST presented perception controlled the matter.
Disregarding intense propaganda, there is no viable evidence that a 757 crashed at the 9-11 Pentagon or in Pennsylvania. What does the preponderance of the entire world believe? Thereafter, it’s a matter of “Plausible Assertion” or “Plausible Denial.”
If one reads the Vince Foster documents, he killed himself with three different weapons, with his ghost later driving his car to the nearby parking lot.
In such cases, one is forced to formulate an estimate of probable history, based on available information, or reasonable assumptions.
“Perception” is obviously sometimes a unique function of “authority.” The Christian Crusaders went off to commit atrocities, under the “Church” message, “God wills it!” Nazi Storm Troopers did the same, being advised, “Gott mit uns!” (“God is with us!”) The role of “authority” was to serve as a perceived reliable barrier against possible accountability and punishment; even unto God.
However, the “perception” and “authority” have to be credible. George Bush Jr. is more selfish. According to him, God told him, personally, to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. He later stated that God acted through him. Given the media “dropping” the matter (Perception Control), no one cares to talk about those claims. Bush’s claims exceeded the assertions of Hitler!
Hitler’s Nazis serve as a classic example of the extremes of human behavior – and how it comes about; how “perception” blended with “authority.”
A typically unmentioned part of nefarious deeds is the matter of “accountability.” When ‘institutionalized’ authority takes a wrong turn, where does the issue of accountability fall, relative to time. Had Hitler won, for example, his leaders and soldiers would have had no accounting. Yet, in the immediate time of a nefarious decision-making, the issue of accountability takes on the aura of context, relative to time.
History often frames “context;” convicted criminals are routinely put to death as ‘historic’ villains – by the “authority” of the State. The Nuremberg trials executed ‘deserving’ criminals. Many cases of raw street revenge are overlooked, given the ‘context’ (perception) of history – versus personally estimated probability of accountability.
It is no secret that the Nazi “obedience” was commonly motivated by fear of execution, prison internment; or at least a transfer to the dreaded Russian Front. Few verified the potential consequence of questioning or refusing, versus “…just following orders.” The extended concern is the fate of the affected individual’s family, for better or worse. One can only ponder what they might do, under similar fear levels. Openly or subtly, “authority” controlled “perception.”
The S.S. executioner had to evaluate the effect of time, as a factor in his accountability. If he was certain that his side would win, he proceeded with minimal interference of human conscience. Or, he may have been uncertain of victory, but he may have been quite certain of his own fate on the Russian front, if he disobeyed – or questioned – an order to kill. Add the fate of his family. “Authority” assured him that he was on the winning side.
The ‘conscience test’ of all time seems to be in the personal estimation of “…what people will say.” (AND – the estimate as to whether or not “they” may never find out; or figure it out?)
Another factor which is rarely addressed, is the matter of “stakes;” personal risk or actual expenditure. In current times, the religious zealots are betting their life and their fate in all of eternity, to perform suicide bombings – even against innocent women and children. The implication is that the bombers perversely view themselves as ‘holy’ martyrs, favored by God; no sacrifice being too great for God.
There also exists a “personal identification gap” between those who monstrously committed the Nazi atrocities, of their own accord, and those who did the same, under extreme duress. The Nazi monsters had their share of conscience-driven suicides.
However unpopular (and little-known) the issue may be, it is also necessary to objectively observe the history of Jews participating in such organizations as the “Jewish Committees,” who selected other Jews for the Nazi death camps; add the “Jewish Police” of the Nazi ghettos. Those participants continued to live amongst their own; their ‘authority’ was remote, however reliable. Certainly, they had to think it terms of their fate; and that of their family.
In modern times, a little-known driver behind the modern corporation is the fact that a high percentage of employees are as positively responsive to a letter of commendation from ‘authority’ in their personnel file, as they would be to a sizeable check.
Taking that idea further, the ‘value’ in such letters is often reduced by ‘authority’ employing impotent descriptors as “acknowledge,” versus “recognize,” “applaud” or “congratulate.”
Obviously, pay levels, benefits and retirements are a huge determining factor. ‘Authority’ determines whether a military General abides by White House insistence, with an associated promotion, or retires two pay grades early.
Thus, it is also necessary to observe the dynamic of authority, versus propensity for subservience.
One of the major lessons of Hitler’s Nazism was that the true ‘force’ behind that monster was the “perception” of the populace – asking, “What does the Fuhrer want?” The key was in controlling the associated “perception.”
Thinking to the electric battery, what happens when a “political battery” (potential energy – with positive and negative terminals) of Nazi methodologies is ‘hooked-up’ to a given populace?
The world should never forget that Hitler nearly won. Currently, the world is compelled to think to the forces behind this re-designed version of Nazism, referred to as the “New World Order.”
“Those who refuse to think outside the proverbial ‘box’ are imprisoned in it; and destined to be buried in it.”
PSYOPS AND 9-11
Except for two aircraft hitting the WTC towers, try to think of an ‘official’ position on 9-11 which has turned up as fact.
1. The FBI’s Robert Mueller cited the fact that no documentation linked al Qaeda to 9-11. Later phony al Qaeda “assertions” didn’t hold up under scrutiny.
2. There is no documented record of the purported 9-11 terrorists making a plane reservation; there is no “record locator,” complete with details.
3. There is no documented record of the purported 9-11 terrorists buying or using a ticket. (IDs required)
4. There is no hard-copy of a printed ticket ‘copy.’
5. There is no record of the purported 9-11 terrorists on any of the passenger manifests, with all legitimate passengers being accounted for.
6. There is no record of the purported 9-11 terrorists in the autopsies.
7. There is not as much as a suggestion that the purported 9-11 terrorists had the needed pilot skills – but rather the contrary.
8. At least seven of the purported 9-11 terrorists are known to be still alive – with no questions being asked.
9. No rational person can believe that the supposed lead hijacker’s passport could survive the WTC strikes, let alone be ‘immediately discovered’ in the 9-11 rubble.
10. The presented ‘security’ pictures of the 9-11 hijackers don’t match the purported terrorists.
11. Despite the origins of the alleged hijackers, there was no in-country (Saudi Arabia & Pakistan) follow-up on the alleged hijackers’ links to terrorists. In some fashion, the alleged hijackers either disappeared, or were alleged to have used the names of seven living persons (with no identity ‘discovery’ follow-up.)
12. Bush’s frantic escape via Barksdale Air Force Base went un-explained, as it emerged that the “”…real, specific and credible” threats turned up as imaginary – and methodical.
13. The convenient ‘bureaucratic fog” – alleged to have allowed 9-11 to happen – went unexplained and un-investigated, as the American segment of the bin Laden family was immediately whisked away on private aircraft – amidst “instant” bureaucratic efficiency. Certainly, the ‘convenient’ failures went unpunished – if not rewarded.
14. For the first time in history, not one, but THREE steel-framed buildings were taken down by fire; magically falling onto their own footprint. The events involved two different architectural design styles, two different causes, but owned/controlled by a single entity. NO QUESTIONS ASKED & NO ASSOCIATED INVESTIGATION!
15. A stopwatch says that THREE buildings at the WTC came down as controlled demolition. Add the video captures of the sequenced controlled-demolition blasts.
16. There is no way to account for the purported WTC ‘collapse’ temperatures alleged by the ‘official’ line.
17. There is no viable evidence of a plane crash at the 9-11 Pentagon or in Pennsylvania – versus salted wreckage pieces. In the case of the Pentagon, they were even the wrong color! NO QUESTIONS ASKED & NO ASSOCIATED INVESTIGATION!
18. Despite the alleged failures of Airport Security, the situation methodically deteriorated to a Gestapo joke, as huge amounts of tax dollars were insanely spent on the TSA.
19. For all the failures, no official has been punished for 9-11. (with trivia such as a general who had an affair being sacked, in the background.)
20. The “official” 9-11 investigation was grossly under-funded, producing approximately 800 pages of documents after the White House censorship and interference.
21. In the end, the 9-11 Commission also failed to identify foreign terrorists as the perpetrators of 9-11. The so-called “investigation” was so much political rhetoric – hardly anything more.
22. That left the Afghan and Iraq invasions as blatant War Crimes. America fell into an identical “denial” mind-set of 1939 Nazi Germany. That was no coincidence of history!
23. There were no WMDs. Prior to the invasion, the ‘boots-on-the-ground’ UN teams reported no significant findings. Saddam has been long deposed. Iraq had no possible connection to 9-11. For all the horrors of the USA-made Saddam, his crimes are dwarfed by the tribal genocide of Africa. How did Saddam become the ‘humanitarian’ priority?
24. Given the above, Bush’s invasions continue as War Crimes!
25. For all the “terror” threat levels posted, the Mexican border has been forced wide open from the White House; a “terrorist’s” dream-come-true. How much “terror threat” can possibly be factual?
Yet, repeatedly, the world is SUCCESSFULLY inundated with the assertions of “terrorism.”
One is left to question, with so many inescapable indicators of 9-11 being a “Reichstag Fire,” why nothing was said, for all intents & purposes? Because the nefarious science of PSYOPS was cleverly and effectively foisted upon America – and the world – by the mass media!
The harsh truth behind the obvious “mission” is hiding in plain sight! It’s to be discovered in such books as Brezinski’s “The Grand Chess Board,” Barnett’s “The Pentagon’s New Map,” and the documentation of the so-called “Project for a New American Century.” (PNAC) In essence, “Amerika Uber Alles!” No denial is possible!
America’s legacy is destined to be found in the mental- emotional wilderness between “Don’t ask; don’t tell” and “We didn’t WANT to know!”
“Perception Control = Emotional Control = Behavior Control.”
Lord Acton probably answered that question in the most simple terms – “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts – absolutely!” The experienced attest that in “power” environments, there is a mysterious and overwhelming aura which seemingly ‘posseses’ the individual.
As with the physical weapons of war, psychological operations have legitimate uses. But, when those means are used on a domestic population, what then? To give a wartime pistol to a policeman, telling him to keep the domestic peace is effective. When that same pistol is then used to coerce, intimidate or threaten the domestic populace, something has to be done. It starts with knowing how that pistol operates.
ABOUT PSYOPS –
It may seem strange to suggest that the study of propaganda has relevance to contemporary domestic politics and issues. When most people think about propaganda, they think of the enormous campaigns waged by Hitler and Stalin in the 1930s – or McCarthy in the 1950s. Since nothing comparable is being disseminated in our society today, many believe that propaganda is no longer a pertinent issue. WRONG!
Propaganda can be as blatant as a ‘peace symbol’ or as subtle as a song or poem. Propaganda’s persuasive techniques are regularly applied by politicians, advertisers, journalists, radio personalities, and others who are interested in influencing human behavior. Propaganda messages can be used to accomplish positive social ends, as in campaigns to reduce drunk driving, but they are also used to win elections and to sell beer. Propaganda isn’t inherently nefarious or suspect. Often, as in typical advertising or political campaigns, propaganda is totally expected!
“Propaganda” is an advantageous presentation of information – factual or otherwise.
“Psyops” takes unfair advantage of human psychology. Therein lays the difference – “INTENT.”
The propagandist is a clever researcher and writer. The disinformationist has the added background of a psychologist – to some extent – as well as being a ‘resourceful’ and ‘surgical’ communications specialist. He operates from a time-constrained mission.
Whether we want to admit it or not, PSYOPS is in our daily life – it is a serious threat. Thus, we are in a comparable position of a banker. He knows that there will always be robbers and swindlers. The gimmick is in being smarter and more resourceful than the robber-swindler. The chief effort is to let the would-be robber-swindler know that the defense mechanisms are too strong; add the risks and probability of getting caught.
PSYOPS is generally about the control of human emotions; the resulting ‘processed emotions’ translating into desired intellectual (logical) decisions and subsequent actions. Think to the statement “Nobody can MAKE you feel a certain way; each person has to DECIDE how they feel about something – decide for themselves.”
Great logic! Now, go to the major sales corporations & ask them why they spend millions per year on advertising!
OR; call an “ethnic” type by their least-favorite name and see what decision is made – over the span of a split second!
The reality is that we all have the ability to inspire or persuade thoughts or emotions in others. The trick is to inspire advantageous decisions. Ask the husband/boyfriend who brought home the flowers to his lady. Were some ‘results’ forthcoming? Of course they were, whether romance – or forgiveness. Emotions = action.
The technical advance of communication tools such as the Internet, accelerate the flow of persuasive messages – dramatically. For the first time ever, citizens around the world are participating in uncensored conversations about their collective future. This seems like a wonderful development; but there is a risk.
“Information overload” is often the result of people being regularly confronted with hundreds of intense messages, each day. Common sense and personal experience dictates that many people respond to the induced pressure by processing messages as quickly as possible and, when possible, by taking mental short-cuts.
That kind of response leaves the modern propagandist or disinformationist with a mandate to devise accommodating short-cuts, so as to be effective in dealing with typical thought or emotional processing. The disinformationist reacts with an effort to effectively control/agitate emotions, exploit insecurities, capitalizing on language ambiguity – inherent or induced – and by bending or re-manufacturing the rules of logic. History demonstrates that the disinformationist can be quite successful. Gaining attention and controlling perception is the disinformationist’s first priority, in the modern mind-control equation –
“Perception Control = Emotional Control = Behavior Control.”
That leaves specialists and even common people with the task of detecting and analyzing the disinformation and/or propaganda, so as to create the needed awareness of the tricks which disinformationists employ. The secondary obligation is to devise ways of readily recognizing and resisting the subsequent short-cuts that the disinformationists promote. In brief, disinformation/propaganda analysis is the best immediate antidote to the nefarious excesses of the Information Age. Just as the military deals with “Information Warfare” as a major munition in their arsenal, the civilian world is comparably involved in the topic – like it or not.
As an example of the seriousness associated with the modern application of domestic propaganda, the Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) published a series of books, including:
§ The Fine Art of Propaganda
§ Propaganda Analysis
§ Group Leader’s Guide to Propaganda Analysis
§ Propaganda: How To Recognize and Deal With It
The IPA centers its illustrations on seven basic propaganda devices: Name-Calling, Sparkling Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, and Band Wagon.
In “The Fine Art of Propaganda,” the IPA makes the point that “It is essential in a democratic society that young people and adults learn how to think, learn how to make up their minds. They must learn how to think independently, and they must learn how to think together. They must come to conclusions, but at the same time they must recognize the right of other men to come to opposite conclusions. So far as individuals are concerned, the art of democracy is the art of thinking and discussing independently – together.”
Another interesting book was written by Richard Brodie, “The Virus of the Mind.” The book carefully describes the creation and conditioning of certain social and political values, logic processes and seeming behavioral mandates in the mind of the American culture. The essence of the book cites the automatic mental and emotional reflexes which have been methodically conditioned into the ‘norms’ of the American society. How many times in American society has the statement “You can’t say that” successfully stopped a conversation? It’s quite common. Imagine that statement being controlling in the proverbial ‘land of the free.’ Certainly the constraining descriptor, “Politically Correct” has been dramatically effective, amidst often mandated “diversity training.”
The book describes the “reflexive” intellectual, emotional and social reactions in terms of “memes.” While the term seems to distract, the content of the book is otherwise quite good.
SALAMI EFFECT –
Imagine the traditional American society being taken away, one slice at a time. Those old enough can testify that America has seen just that. In one secretly planned operation, “Operation Northwoods,” the comparable description is “time-phased changes.” Rather like the alcoholic asking, “Oh, what is one more drink going to hurt?” Take enough pennies away from a dollar, and the dollar is totally gone!
Conversely, the effect can be equally dramatic. Compare the tax rate of the Korean War era to today’s world! Then note the tax-dollar rip-off programs – if you can spot them!
The incremental increase of tax rates leaves America working for the ‘government,’ not themselves. Yet, Americans are worse off, by far, than the early 1950s.
In real estate, the three guiding rules are “Location, location, location!” In the world of PSYOPS, the comparable rules are “Timing, timing, timing!” In the world of PSYOPS, the weakest tool can be effective, given the element of TIMING.
One of the most important applications of ‘timing’ is the dynamic of ‘first-up;’ the proverbial ‘early bird.’ Given the dynamics behind the events of 9-11, they become a classic for all time. 9-11 was an inside-job; get used to that.
With no documentation linking al Qaeda to 9-11, per the FBI’s Robert Mueller, al Qaeda became the instant villain. Osama bin Laden issued a formal denial in an audio tape; but the ‘first-up’ effect was already in place. With that background, an obviously phony video tape was played before America, attempting to implicate bin Laden. We know it worked – that’s PSYOPS. AND, look at what that PSYOPS accomplished!
(Don’t get enthralled by the effect, the 9-11 PSYOPS story is very ugly. It may mean the death of America, as we knew it. If in doubt, read the “Patriot Act.”)
“Timing” can also be a major clue to the astute observer. To be ‘first-up’ may also indicate who the villain actually is. Those who support the ‘first-up’ may be peripheral villains. In the immediate aftermath of 9-11, the ‘official line was, “There were no warnings. When that was illustrated as a lie, the claim was changed to “….specific warnings.” As though any perpetrator is going to advertise his intentions in the Sunday Times! As time went on, more and more ‘warnings’ were illustrated; along with the history of the warnings being silenced with prejudice – from within. Out of the Hollywood version of “Godfather,” comes the same dynamic – “…the first person…” Timing is important for many reasons.
NAME CALLING AND LABELING –
“Bad names” have always played a tremendously powerful role in the entire history of the world; as well as in our own personal development. Names have ruined and killed people; but, they have also stirred men and women to outstanding deeds and accomplishments. Names and labels have ruined the lives of people and have sent many to prison. Names and labels have made men angry enough to enter battle and slaughter their fellow men – or to die for the declared named or labeled cause. Names and labels have been applied to people, groups, associations, churches, tribes, gangs, colleges, political parties, neighborhoods, states, regions of the country, nations, and races. Many tremendous results have been effected – just with a name or label. In American history, the “McCarthyism” ruined lives of truly great people, just with the simple implication of “Communist;” no proof required! Even today, descriptors such as “Commie,” “Pinko” and “Leftist” bring a programmed emotional reaction.
In Current politics, “politically undesirable” has been labeled as “evil” or “terror.” Laws have been passed on these elements, as though one could comparably outlaw the darkness of night. Yet, the strategy worked, the draconian laws were passed!
The name-calling technique of the disinformationist usually links a person, or idea, to a negative symbol, of some type. Beyond pure propaganda, the disinformationist crafts the name-calling into a form which has an emotional effect on the targeted audience. The usual style is to inject ‘distrust,’ into any association with the targeted individual/issue. The disinformationist who uses this technique hopes that the targeted audience will mentally AND emotionally reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative symbol, instead of objectively looking at the available evidence.
Again, the element of “INTENT” is key. To cite some of Bush’s cabinet members as ‘felons,’ warns the listener, however negative the image is.
The most obvious type of name calling involves generally accepted ‘negative’ names. For example, consider the following:
However, the relative position of the name-calling ‘assailant’ or the ‘victim’ is a factor. “Expensive” is bad to a buyer, but wonderful to a seller. A more subtle form of name-calling involves words or phrases that are selected because they possess or create a negative emotional charge.
A responsible Pentagon official may propose specific military budget cuts. Instead of being labeled as “wise” or “fiscally conservative,” the official gets labeled as “stingy.” Either description can refer to the same behavior – with an extreme of different connotation. Other examples of negatively charged words include:
§ politically correct
§ social engineering
The name-calling technique leaves the casual observer with the logical mandate to ask intelligent questions when spotting “name-calling.” Not all “name calling” is inappropriate or counter-productive. If a female politician cites a colleague or opponent as a ‘sweetheart,’ the connotation isn’t particularly inappropriate or negative. To cite Saddam Hussein as a ‘monster’ is dynamic; although a highly negative imagery. However, subjectivity is important in such matters. Referring to a man as a ‘sweetheart’ may ruin the day of a feminist. Referring to Saddam as a ‘monster’ may stir a Muslim supporter to violence. The appropriate questions:
§ Is the name calling appropriate?
§ Would a reasonable person find the name-calling personally tempting?
§ What is the intention behind the name calling?
§ What does the name imply?
§ Does the idea in question have a legitimate connection with the typical association behind the name?
§ Is an idea or thought process which serves a given person’s or group’s best interests being discounted/dismissed through such name calling?
§ Omitting the name calling, what are the merits in the remainder of the message?
SPARKLING GENERALITIES –
Almost any culture claims to believe in, fight for and live by “virtuous words.” These “words” are normally associated with deeply set attitudes and ideas. In the USA, such words include: civilization, civic, morality, justice, equality, Americanism, God, Christianity, good, proper, right, democracy, patriotism, family, motherhood, fatherhood, science, medicine, health, natural and love.
For the purposes of propaganda/disinformation analysis, call these virtue words “Sparkling Generalities” focusing attention upon the dangerous characteristic that they have: They mean different things to different people; thus they can be used in different ways. The trick being in the controlling of context or association of the generalities.
Disinformationists prey upon the selected words, as we typically understand them or relate to them. Through scientifically styled means/methods/techniques, disinformationists prostitute the cherished words and beliefs and attitudes of unsuspecting people.
When Americans hear the word ‘democracy,’ they typically think of their own definite ideas about democracy, the ideas learned at home and school. “Mom, apple pie and the girl next door” come to mind. The typical reflex is to assume that the term is being used in that particular sense. The ‘virtue word’ lowers the ‘caution threshold,’ deferring any suspicion or mistrust; particularly when listening about the things ‘the United States must do to preserve democracy.’
However, when one hears of ‘democracy’ in 2003 Iraq, the proverbial ‘red flags’ pop into view. The term is the same, the ‘association’ is different; very different. The image of a burning Humvee comes to mind, along with the image of dead or wounded GIs.
In essence, the employment of the “Sparkling Generality” is the reversal of “Name Calling.” Name Calling seeks to make us fear and/or reject the cited entity. The intention is for the targeted audience to formulate a judgment to reject and condemn the victim of the name-calling, without bothering to examine the evidence. The Sparkling Generality device, conversely, seeks to make us identify with, approve and accept the generality without examining the evidence.
Exporting American Democracy to Iraq sounds noble to the typical American. However, given the “Patriot Act,” what is actually being exported? In examining the “Sparkling Generality Device,” all that is said regarding Name Calling / Labeling must also be kept in mind.
The observer should ask:
§ What image is the ‘virtue’ word intended to convey?
§ Does the presented idea in question have a legitimate connection with the general/typical meaning of the word?
§ Is this an attempt to prostitute an idea which does not serve the observer’s best interests?
§ Is it being “sold” or “spun” through its being given an association or name that the typical and reasonable observer isn’t likely to buy into?
§ Omitting the “virtue word,” what is contained in the remainder of the ‘message?’
An attitude is an imbedded personal style of dealing with information or events. Think to the common expressions –
“Why should I?” “What’s in it for me?” “I could care less!” “Live and let live.” “No shame in my game!”
In that context, Americans are routinely conditioned to respond to information and events with a conditioned ATTITUDE. In the ‘first up’ style of the 9-11 presentation, America predictably responded in patriotic fashion. With the conditioning of such horrors as the 1993 bombing of the WTC and the Oklahoma City bombing, the mass media presentations stirred a revenge reflex; America seemingly had suffered enough “terrorism.” The ATTITUDE was highly predictable – “I’ve had enough! Nobody is going to get away with this!”
A popular belief system asserts that it is wrong to ‘lay’ your expectations on another, demanding a specific accommodation. However, a clear mind quickly remembers that there is an animal known as the ‘reasonable expectation.’ For example, fidelity in a relationship or marriage. Reasonable expectations are all around us – but they are quickly being deleted from the American culture.
America regularly witnesses the exporting of the USA critical economic infrastructure. America’s sovereignty is being dissolved faster than Americans can detect the unmistakable pattern. Whatever ‘forces’ may be in operation, Americans are facing lower-paying jobs – if any. Political discussions of job ‘numbers’ evade any discussion of job ‘quality.’ The ‘normal’ job benefits are more routinely being subsidized by the employee – if any benefits are even provided.
The sovereignty of America is discounted, versus a strange and methodical imposition of an American “global responsibility,” which routinely excludes the welfare of Americans!
Thus, one of the apparent rules of the ‘system’ is, “…destroy all expectations; reasonable or otherwise.”
One of the deadliest of these efforts was the overturn of the American “Equal Protection” clause in the U.S. Constitution. In the Michigan college reverse discrimination case, the ruling hinged on a “compelling interest” in removing the equal-protection provision as the issue pertains to reverse discrimination in school admissions.
What America didn’t notice was the ‘style’ of the language; and what that language is destined to mean. Specifically, that phrase “compelling interest,” is destined to be applied to the selective enforcement of all American laws. That “selective enforcement” has been a relative norm for quite a while in American society. Now, however, there is essentially a Supreme Court precedent to anchor the debate for the “compelling interest” in enforcing the law only as “Politically Convenient.”
In essence, “social obligation” will be openly transferred to political “obligation,” in the controlled style of “political creep.”
MISLEADING EUPHAMISMS –
When disinformationists use sparkling generalities and name-calling symbols, they are attempting to impress their targeted audience with vivid, emotionally stimulating words. In certain situations, however, the disinformationist attempts to pacify the audience in order to make an unpleasant reality more palatable. This is accomplished by using words that are bland and euphemistic. The brutal is converted into the ‘kinder and gentler.’
For example, America changed the name of the War Department to the Department of Defense. “Queer” became “gay.” During war-time, civilian casualties are referred to as “collateral damage,” and the word “liquidation” is used as a synonym for “murder.” “Suspect” became “person of interest.” The U.S. Constitution was almost destroyed by the “Patriot Act.” From the Vietnam War, “combat fatigue,” or “shell shock” became “post-traumatic stress disorder;” the descriptor being completely disconnected from the reality of war. The “suicide bomber” became the “homicide bomber.” The “Muslims” (connected to Osama bin Laden) of the American/NATO Balkan campaign became “Ethnic Albanians.”
TRANSFER DEVICE –
The psychological mechanism of “Transfer” is used by the disinformationist to boost an authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something he would have us accept. For example, most people respect and revere their church and the nation. If the disinformationist succeeds in getting ‘church’ or ‘nation’ to approve a campaign in behalf of some program, he thereby transfers its authority, sanction, and prestige to that program. Thus, we may unwittingly accept something which otherwise we might reject.
The transfer device typically uses symbols for its best effect. The cross represents the Christian Church. The flag alludes to the nation. Cartoons depicting “Uncle Sam” allude to U.S. nationalism and an implied consensus of public opinion. Those symbols reliably stimulate emotions. (Don’t forget that concept.) The visual contact/association with such symbols will INSTANTLY arouse an entire menu of feelings we have with respect to community, church or nation.
A cartoon showing “Uncle Sam” as approving or disapproving something is powerful. Thus, the ‘Transfer’ device can be readily used both for and against the target causes and ideas. The key for the casual observer is in distinguishing the intent.
“Transfer” can be effected with deeds. When a political activist closes a speech with a public prayer, the attempt is to transfer religious prestige to the ideas being advocated – and the person/entity. As with all propaganda devices, the use of this technique is not limited to one side of the political spectrum. Pacifists can pray for peace, as quickly as a chaplain can pray for victory.
Authority can be “transferred” (or taken away). The disinformationist may attempt to transfer the reputation of “Science” or “Medicine” to a particular project or set of beliefs. A slogan for a popular cold medication serves to encourage the target audiences to “Applaud the miracles of medicine.” Most have seen many TV commercials, with an actor dressed in a white lab coat tell us that “Brand-X is the most powerful pain reliever which can be bought without a prescription.” In both of these examples, the transfer technique is being employed.
In the negative arena, the association of a Washington Post writer being a recipient of a Pulitzer Prize might be attacked by citing the faked story about the drug addicted child.
Transfer techniques can also take a nefarious/evil turn. A major engineering group prepared the Oklahoma City bombing report; using blatantly flawed data – yet, it sold! In history, the propaganda of 1939 Nazi Germany rationalized racist policies by appealing to anthropology, history, sociology and religion.
With a controlled ‘spin,’ even religion and science can be prostituted in almost any issue. The observer should be aware that any idea or program should not be accepted or rejected simply because it has been linked to a symbol such as Justice, Medicine, Science, Democracy, or Christianity. When the observer is confronted with the “transfer device,” it is appropriate to ask the following questions:
§ What is the apparent – or not so apparent – intent/goal of the speaker?
§ What is the intended message which the disinformationist is seeking to ‘transfer’ the authority, sanction, and prestige?
§ Is there any legitimate association between the message of the disinformationist and the revered thing, person or institution?
§ Independent of the “transfer mechanism,” what are the merits of the message, when viewed alone?
DISSOCIATION DEVICE –
Dissociation is the reverse of “Transfer,” usually serving to produce a “Plausible Innocence.” This technique is closely associated with Name Calling/Labeling. Quoting someone who is reasonably assumed to be honest serves to effect the excuse – or a ‘safe’ distance, “Hell, I didn’t know he was lying; why would ANYBODY suspect that?”
Displacing an arena allows the illusion of truth, via a shift in focus. To say that U.S. forces didn’t do something, serves to distance the Pentagon from condemnation. The close association of U.S. forces to those who did the actual act (a guerilla group, for example) operates as a ‘breakout’ device. “Nobody would have suspected that rebel bunch would do such a thing?” The guerilla unit is referred to as a “cutout.” Often the “breakout” [action] effort is cleverly programmed; the Delta Force, for example. No matter what they do, their involvement is always protected under the flag of “National Secrecy.” Their involvement also serves as a peripheral insulation. To hold a secondary group responsible might “compromise” Delta Force – a “national security interest.”
Another tactic is to use disassociation to discredit a group or person, “He/they are not qualified to say…” “He/they have a reputation for being dishonest.” “He/they are liars” “He/they are ridiculous/absurd.”
DEALING OFF THE BOTTOM OF THE DECK –
It is often enough seen that events, information or statements are methodically taken out of context. Often, context is presented with strategic information missing.
Early in the accident investigation of the Egypt Air 990 crash, a set of translators insisted that the copilot began his religious chant with the statement, “I’ve made my decision!” Yet, the ‘official’ account leaves that statement out. In the end, the report ‘diplomatically’ reads that mechanical failure could not be cited as the cause of the crash. The copilot was not cited as having committed suicide-murder. While all indications pointed to a suicide-murder, the FBI insisted that there was no criminal ‘element’ warranting their taking over the investigation. The ‘official’ omission misled the public – to say the least.
Often, information or statements are methodically taken out of context. When citing regulations, for example, supporting information can often be quoted as though the particular statement is totally governing. In the FAA regulations, for example, there is a regulation prohibiting a pilot from leaving the flight deck for arbitrary reasons. Such events as a bathroom break or attending to an emergency are excepted. However, by leaving out the stated exceptions, a captain couldn’t legally leave the cockpit – for any reason. Absurd? It’s happened! The FAA took the supporting language out of context, and successfully processed a violation – committing a felony, in the process!
The alleged assassin of Bobby Kennedy plead guilty – now serving a life sentence. The world bought off on the idea that Sirhan killed Bobby Kennedy. However, the autopsy demonstrated that Sirhan didn’t hit Bobby with a single round! The fatal bullets came from an alternate direction and range. The media recordings identified five more shots than Sirhan’s weapon was capable of firing. Yet, what does the world believe???
PANIC AND CHAOS –
Panic, confusion & chaos are opportunity environments for those who have the capacity to know – or estimate – the limits of the presented ‘threat.’ Survival and security become the first-up priorities, versus ‘facts.’ These scenarios also allow those in power to manufacture a reality, as the populace will normally grant leaders total ‘trust;’ even blind trust, hoping to receive survival and safety in return.
The world has rarely seen such panic and chaos as the events following 9-11. The damage was factual – but the deaths were distorted out of proportion. Despite early and relatively accurate data, the actual number of deaths at the World Trade Center was kept hidden for months. The original figures being kept incredibly high – until after the Afghan invasion was well under way. During the ‘assumed fatalities’ period, several national charities received huge sums of money. Amidst that ‘chaos,’ it took an investigative reporter to reveal that the greater percentage of the charity money was being kept by the charities, versus being distributed to the intended victims.
In the shadows of the 9-11, the pre-written “Patriot Act” was scammed into law. Americans never dreamed that the ‘law’ would usurp the U.S. Constitution. Amazingly, most Americans related 9-11 to Pearl Harbor, without questioning the possibility of a similar internal government facilitation – which was factual. More amazingly, the early ‘official’ claims of “no warnings” were quickly debunked. Even then, most America didn’t ask the obvious questions.
“Assumption” is a major element in the world of PSYOPS. The application of ‘Assumption’ is reliably operated from the “conditioning” of the targeted audience. One assumes that the President would never do anything wrong. It is assumed that the justice system works; after all, didn’t Clinton nearly get impeached? Yet, the post 9-11 events are filled with Bush’s violations of his Federal Oath of Office, “…to uphold and support the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Yet, he quickly signed the infamous “Patriot Act,” which removed America’s entitlement to the key elements in the Bill of Rights. With his knowledge and consent, at least two “suspects” rotted in a military prison, because there was no ‘evidence’ to charge them in a federal court. They were denied legal council, despite court orders. They were interrogated relentlessly, under the guise of ‘national security.’
In the Iraq invasion, the assumption was that the USA would NEVER do something terribly immoral; let alone commit a war crime. Wrong, wrong, wrong! The invasion was a war crime, by itself. After the ‘formal’ combat was finished and Iraq had no army, the Hussein brothers were killed in a combat operation. There was no arrest attempt, they were just killed. Possibly, they deserved to die at the hands of a court; they didn’t deserve to be murdered in a U.S. military attack. WHY? Because of the international agreements which the U.S. is a signatory to; however unpopular the idea ma be.
Yet, ‘Assumption’ worked for the ‘system’ – beautifully!
Too much of America’s history is fraught with false information. Thus, except for natural disasters, one should quickly ask:
§ Is there something which just doesn’t look right?
§ Is there a conflict between what’s seen and heard, versus the ‘official’ account?
§ Is there room for legitimate confusion in the information presented?
§ What might be missing in the presented ‘picture?’
§ What is the intent/goal of the ‘official’ account?
§ Do the observed actions support the ‘official’ account?
§ Could the reverse be more factual?
§ What is the intended message?
§ Who is delivering the ‘official’ account?
§ Is there any ‘salesmanship’ being witnessed, versus honest information?
§ Is there any more information obviously needed?
§ Independent of the ‘official’ account, what are the merits of the event(s), when viewed without the ‘official’ narrative?
§ Are the opposing viewpoints more reliable?
IGNORANCE AND APATHY –
It’s unusual for the U.S. to uniquely conduct a military invasion, versus being part of a U.N. effort. Given the horror of 9-11 (as presented) America was ready to take on the world – single-handedly. In hindsight, we discover many fallacies associated with 9-11, leading to the question, “Was 9-11 an inside-job?”
The issues don’t end with the consideration of a simple possible mistake, made in the proverbial heat of battle. Given the facts – as they were known at the time – there was no legitimate provocation for war. Although it appeared that there was a ‘time’ pressure, few looked past the end of their noses at such documents as the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Accords and the Nuremberg Charter. If they had, it would have been discovered that the Afghan and Iraq invasions constituted war crimes. In the assumption that America was totally above committing a war crime, few Americans ever looked at the pertinent documents – not even the military!
In the ‘convenient’ void of ignorance, Americans didn’t relate to the meaning of the opium fields of Afghanistan being re-planted (following the Taliban destruction of those fields). The replanting of those fields meant cheaper heroin being supplied to European and American drug dealers!
Assuming integrity in the White House, Americans couldn’t grasp the significance of the U.S. interests militarily seizing control of Iraq’s oil production. Few Americans have even heard of Zbigniew Brezenski’s book, “The Grand Chessboard.” The book essentially lays out the American control/takeover of the Middle-East, in the spirit of “America’s Manifest Destiny.” Fewer Americans connect the “Corporate America,” versus the “American Government.” Imagine the U.S. Military doing the dirty work for Unocal, Chevron, et al! They did it!
Few Americans know of Bush’s Presidential Executive Order No. 13303. That Order laid claim to Iraq’s oil production. Iraq could not even decide who could buy their oil! For all intents & purposes, Iraq became an American corporate colony.
Yet Americans believed that ‘democracy’ was the intent of the continued American military presence in Iraq!
While post 9-11 “Homeland Security” seemed to take on a mandatory mission, few Americans caught the political sleight-of-hand which substituted the content of the “Homeland Security Act,” at the last minute. The result was billions of dollars in “pork.” Amidst the ‘reliable ignorance,’ the tax-dollar rip off missions successfully flew. Given the routine and convenient omissions in the American mass media, it’s clearly wise to ask:
§ Is the public up-to-speed with the pertinent issues?
§ Is there a credible outraged claim of ulterior motives? If so, what are the details?
§ Does any one group have a monetary motive for lying?
§ Is there a sense that something is seriously wrong in the presented ‘picture?’
§ What is the stated intent/goal in the ‘official’ account?
§ Could there be a pre-existing secret agenda?
§ What is the intended message?
§ Who is conveying the ‘official’ account?
§ Independent of the ‘official’ account, what are the merits of the event(s), when viewed without the ‘official’ narrative (spin)?
The well-documented history of political events in America display a clear nefarious intent from the nation’s leaders; dating to at least Bill Clinton’s election. During the Clinton terms in office, a host of anti-terror laws were written; tailored to 9-11, including the “Patriot Act.” Likewise, the military “Project for a New American Century” was developed. BUT, not by a military group! Among other matters, the PNAC – as it’s called – cites America’s global military “Constabulary Duties.” Holding North Korea at bay is one thing, but playing “Globo-Cop” is another! Post 9-11 was pre-planned in the shadows of the Clinton years!
Amazingly, America seems to be oblivious to another effort; the implementation of the Gestapo-style “Model Emerengcy Health Powers Acts;” alternately called the “Model State Emergency Powers Acts.” (MSEHPA) The “model” is a generic statute, intended to be enacted by the individual states. As “suggested,” the individual state health personnel could ultimately wind up under the control of the federal government; expected to act as an extended police force. Their ‘emergency powers’ would be Gestapo in nature, including the power to arrest people who refuse to take prescribed “immunizations,” or carting them off to “Quarantine Camps.” The associated civil rights would not be worth talking about.
Doubts? Look to –
For a copy of the proposed law, look to –
By June 30, 2005, the MSEHPA had been introduced in whole, or in part, by 44 states; 37 states had passed laws which include provisions from – or similar to – those in the MSEHPA. In fairness, the compliance varies, as to the extent of the MSEHPA provisions.
Any state which adopts such a ‘conforming’ law gets an immediate five-million dollar “signing bonus.” The federal subsidies increase dramatically, from there.
§ Is this something which was methodically ‘low key,’ or possibly supposed to be nearly secret?
§ Does the presented account seem to come out of thin air?
§ Does the ‘logic’ hold up as being consistent? Did something ‘magically’ change?
§ Is there an important piece of information in-hiding?
§ Did something happen with a fortuitous timing – defying claims of ‘coincidence?’
§ Does the presented account smack of nefarious propaganda?
§ Is there any viable outraged claim of ulterior motives – including profiteering?
§ Is there ANY reasonably compelling suspicion amidst the information presented?
§ Is there a sense that something is seriously wrong in the presented ‘picture?’
§ Does the ‘official’ account meet a reasonable test of ‘integrity?’
§ Could there be a secret agenda?
§ What is the intended message – express or implied?
§ Who is ‘fronting’ the ‘official’ account?
§ Are there any people or groups protesting; and what do they have to say?
§ Independent of the ‘official’ account, what are the independent merits of the associated event(s)?
TESTIMONIAL DEVICE –
Babe Ruth is on the cereal box, promoting a breakfast cereal as part of a balanced breakfast. Britney is presented in a commercial endorsing a specific line of clothes. A church member attests to a ‘miracle.’
Such is the classic use of the “Testimonial Device” which readily comes to the minds of most, when the term ‘testimonial’ is used.
When we hear/read that “The New York Times said,” “John L. Lewis said…,” “Herbert Hoover said…,” “The President said…,” “My doctor said…,” “Our minister said…”
The “Testimonials” may simply emphasize a legitimate, valid and accurate idea – a ‘fair use’ of the device. In other cases, however, the “Testimonial(s)” may represent the sugar-coating of a clever distortion, a blatant lie, a misunderstood notion; or any anti-social suggestion. Such “Testimonials” may have the element of “association creep.” For example, when speaking to priests convicted of pedophilia, the overt expression may be, “…these God-hated priests…” when directly referring to the pedophilia issue. However, there is the risk/intent that the subconscious GENERAL association will uniquely be “…these God-hated priests.” Thus, the discounting of priests, in general, can occur, whether by accident or design.
There is nothing inherently wrong with citing a qualified source; the testimonial technique can be used to construct a fair and well-balanced position or debate. However, it is often used in ways that are unfair and blatantly misleading.
With respect to a “Testimonial, the “Transfer” device can also be used as a “Trojan Horse,” in the case of a prominent personality duped into making a false statement. Or, conversely, such a prominent personality forced to issue a denial or distortion of an otherwise obvious fact.
Another PSYOPS application of a “Testimonial” – as a “Transfer Device” – is essentially a bank-shot. An alternate source is quoted (Testimonial) in such a fashion as to lead someone to believe that they are a uniquely qualified – or unqualified – source. The reader/viewer is misled into believing a given slant. Often, the intent of the quotation (Testimonial) is lost in an unwitting presumption of an honest debate.
For example, the American segment of the bin Laden family was factually evacuated by private aircraft, immediately following 9-11! One person may cite the fact in a debate, while the clever disinformationist “bonds” the discussion to the same ‘revelation’ by America’s ‘favorite,’ Michael Moore. The ‘first-up’ effect tends to seal the fate of such discussions, despite the fact that the debate originator was actually quoting from the Tampa Tribune, but failed to cite the source, in the beginning.
A “Testimonial” can be centered on a seemingly authoritative document. For example, in the 9-11 affair, a Tom Kenney was quoted from a conversation with Dan Rather as implying – at least – that a FEMA rescue team arrived in New York the night before 9-11 – in preparation. In the ensuing debate, an individual polled FEMA – via the “Freedom of Information Act” (FOIA) – using an incorrect name, “Tom Kennedy.” The FOIA response (authoritative Testimonial) came back in the essence of “No information was responsive to your request.” The mis-spelling might have been deliberate. However, the real name was “Kenney,” not Kennedy.” The illusion (Testimonial) was that the assertion that FEMA rescue arrived the night before 9-11 was FALSE. The requested information was NOT forthcoming. The illusion of a straight-forward FOIA response served as a Testimonial, whatever the actual facts may – or may not – be.
In congressional testimony, Rudi Guiliani admitted that FEMA was already set up on Pier 92, under a conveniently timed “Operation Tripod.”
The most common misuse of the testimonial involves citing individuals – such as celebrities – who are not qualified to make judgments about a particular issue or person. In 1992, Barbara Streisand supported Bill Clinton; Arnold Schwarzenegger threw his weight behind George Bush. While both are popular performers, in their own right, there is no viable reason to think that they know what is best for America. The “Testimonial” takes advantage of the psychological device, known as “identification.”
The false testimonial is not bound by any restraints. In the Oklahoma City bombing, the FBI “expert” was caught both unqualified and in a lie, as to the explosive substance in the truck. His fate was a promotion!
Unfair testimonials are usually obvious; most people have seen through the obviously rhetorical trick at some time or another. In the experience of human nature, however, this probably happened when the testimonial was provided by a celebrity whom we did not respect. Conversely, if the testimony is provided by an admired celebrity, we are much less likely to be critical.
When encountering the obvious “Testimonial,” it is appropriate to ask:
§ What is the apparent – or not so apparent – intent/goal of the speaker?
§ ‘Who’ or ‘what’ is actually being quoted in the testimonial?
§ Why should anyone regard this person/organization/publication as containing expert knowledge or trustworthy information on the subject in question?
§ Independent of the “Testimonial,” what does the message/idea amount to?
INJECTED ASSOCIATION –
Honest people are vulnerable to the disinformationist; the honest person thinks in honest terms. Honest people simply don’t expect to be given blatantly dishonest treatment, as a victim or an observer. Thus, there is the risk/probability that an honest statement can be methodically and forcibly associated with a bad source.
To cite the imagery of the burning Pentagon in the early AP picture, citing the lack of evidence of an aircraft impact can result in the claim, “Oh, you’re obviously referring to the picture on the cover of that socialist Frenchman Theirry Meyssan – the conspiracy nut!” The reality may be that the speaker had ONLY seen the AP photo. Still, the ‘first-up’ effect and the injected association will have a dramatic effect on the casual observer.
RHETORIC PASSION AND TONE OF VOICE –
Even in text presentations, ‘passion’ and ‘tone of voice’ can be conveyed – and quite effectively. With that in mind, it’s academic that a passionately told lie creates the illusion of truth. Thereafter, the tactical use of language is important to observe. An honest person rarely needs to resort to the tools used by the disinformationist. However, when passionate rhetoric is used in an obviously styled manner, suspicion – at a minimum – is in order. This is particularly true when associated with unreasonable discounting of an issue, source or personality. Dynamic communication skills are to be admired – but not when they are utilized for a nefarious purpose. Again, the key is in distinguishing the intent of the message.
REPACKAGING AND “SCOPE” –
Long after the fact, the White House abruptly announced that they were dealing with faulty information, when deciding to invade Iraq. The presentation was in the spirit of “See, it wasn’t our fault; the information came from dishonest people, whom we were duped into believing!”
If one’s attention is fixed to that latest position (scope), the position sounds good, until one remembers (expanded scope) that – prior to the Iraq invasion – countries were lined up telling the White House that the information was false. France and Germany – in particular – trashed their diplomatic relationship with the USA, in an effort to prevent a senseless bloodbath.
Just prior to the invasion announcement, the U.N. inspection team was reporting increasing evidence that Saddam had – in fact – destroyed his prescribed weaponry; or at least transported it out of the country. “Selective trust” (limited scope) is no excuse in that picture; too many were attesting to Saddam’s actual compliance and the lack of any viable evidence of WMDs. Yet, the White House statement would have the reader believe that there is only one side to the issue – “See, we were lied to; it’s not our fault. It was an innocent mistake, see?” The attempt was to “Repackage” the truth with the device of “Plausible Assertion.”
When encountering the obvious “Repackaging,” it is necessary to ask:
§ What is the intent of the statement/position? Clarification? Deceit? Excuse making?
§ How does the statement/position compare with other previous information?
§ Is this a radical perception/position change worth inquiring more deeply?
§ Is there a reliable opposing position worth comparing the statement/position to?
§ Does alternate information condemn the “Repackaging?”
ORDINARY FOLKS –
The “Ordinary-Folks” technique, attempts to convince the target audience that the celebrity and their ideas, are “…those of the common people.” The device is used by advertisers and politicians alike.
Obviously, America’s recent presidents have all been millionaires, who have gone to great lengths to present themselves as ordinary citizens. George Bush Jr. was reading to school children on 9-11. Bill Clinton partied with the rest of his peers, but “…didn’t inhale.” George Bush Sr. hated cooked broccoli, and loved to go fishing. Ronald Reagan was often photographed as the outdoorsman, chopping wood. Jimmy Carter presented himself in the fashion of an humble Georgia peanut farmer.
The political candidates reliably deliver the phony promise to “clean out the barn” and set things straight in Washington. The political scene is filled with politicians who ignore any corruption issues, while appearing to challenge the economic and privilege disparity of the mythical “cultural elite,” trying very hard to identify with the needs and desires of “ordinary American people.” The baby-boomers of the fifties no longer find significance in whether the candidate inhaled or not. George Bush Jr. never bothered to answer the drug questions; America didn’t care.
Again, the pertinent questions:
§ What is the intent, relative to the “hidden” person?
§ Disregarding the sales pitch, what are the presented messages/images worth when divorced from the presented personality?
§ Is there a trait or history methodically being left out?
§ What could he or she be trying to cover up with the ordinary-folks approach?
What are the facts, relative to the presentation?
BANDWAGON DEVICE –
The campaigning politician IS a propagandist; the world accepts that. The candidate always needs “numbers;” real or otherwise. The political candidate rents a hall, attracts radio and TV stations, fills a super-stadium, marches thousands of people in a parade. He/she employs prejudicial colors, symbols, music, movements and Hollywood special effects. He/she induces great numbers to write letters, send E-mails, and contribute money or time to his/her cause. He/she appeals to the desire – common to most of us – to identify with and to “follow the crowd.”
In modern politics, the propagandist (and disinformationist) needs to similarly affect the masses. He/she directs the “appeal” to ‘bonded’ groups with the common ties, ties of nationality, religion, race, gender, vocation or social status [unemployed, for example]. In a similar fashion, the disinformationist campaigning for or against a given program, position or perception will appeal to their target audience as Catholics, Protestants, Muslims or Jews…as farmers or as school teachers; as housewives or as miners. Truth is almost the last priority, versus “results.”
Using all other propaganda devices, all the means of positive imagery are used to inspire the respective hopes, fears and hatreds, the desired prejudices, convictions and ideals common to a target group. Thus emotions are employed to push and pull the members of a targeted group onto a prescribed Band Wagon – or to create a fear of “charging” that band wagon with an attack, given the apparent numbers or sheer power behind the particular bandwagon. Following 9-11, there was no hope of winning against ANY position, taken by the Bush administration. 9-11 manufactured the biggest bandwagon, since Pearl Harbor.
The basic message of the Band Wagon appeal is “everyone else is on board; therefore, so should you be.” In the primordial quest for ‘safety in numbers,’ few want to be left behind, thus the technique is quite successful in all arenas. The gimmick is in taking a close look at the particular bandwagon, versus an emotional reflex to immediately climb onto the presented Band Wagon. The disinformationist’s mission is obviously to make the targeted audience think there is such a priority; “Opportunity only knocks once!”
The element of “consensus” often rules the bandwagon effect. In regard to the First Amendment, most reflexively agree that “…you can’t shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” No one bothers to ask, “What if it’s on fire?”
A recent example is in the Afghan and Iraq campaigns. While the “Victory Bandwagon” approach worked, the illustration of the lies, in advance of – and after – the invasions left America in the lurch of “War Crimes.” – NOBODY seemed to notice! The Band Wagon approach was that successful.
“American” War Crimes? What person could possibly think the unthinkable? Who could conscience the thought, let alone explore the possibility that such could EVER possibly be factual? Why, not even Hollywood could so dare!
Fear and uncertainty are powerful forces to nudge or push people onto a pandered bandwagon as a “solution” to their anxieties. During the Vietnam War years, the frequent citation of the “Red Menace” created acceptance and approval of the war, inducing many into enlisting. The war was factually about oil and Texas profiteering; few noticed. The PSYOPS worked.
When the “Bandwagon” approach is noted, it would be prudent to ask the following questions:
§ What is the actual agenda/program?
§ What is the evidence, both for and against the program?
§ Is there a hidden agenda?
§ Regardless of who and how many are supporting the program, is it appropriate or prudent to also support it?
§ Does the “Bandwagon” program serve – or undermine – the individual and collective interests of the typical person?
FEAR DEVICE –
How many times has America heard this speech – “The streets of our country are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might, and the Republic is in danger. Yes – danger from within and without. We need law and order! Without it our nation cannot survive.” More and more people are recognizing the speech from Adolf Hitler, in 1932 – the speech is that commonly used, in some format. Yet, its equivalent also served the “establishment” for ten years of the Viet Nam War. Surprisingly, the ‘establishment’ lost the war!
With rare exception, only a true disinformationist or generic propagandist handily stimulates fear, while immediately citing a recommended “solution.” When the “Fear” device is being used, the disinformationist warns the members of the target audience that disaster will result if they do not follow a particular course of action. The intended “Fear” is accompanied by the convenient ‘solution;’ fear on one end, with ‘hope’ on the other.
By using/prostituting “fear,” the disinformationist plays upon the emotions; especially on the target audience’s deep-seated fears and emotional reflexes. The technique is typically used to redirect attention from the merits of a viable proposal; toward steps that claim to reduce ‘fear’ or ‘threat.’
A joke portrays the common reality: “My buddy George is one smart SOB. He told me, during the 1964 campaign, that if I voted for Goldwater, the USA would be at war in Viet Nam inside of six months. Damn – he was right – I voted for Goldberg; and look what happened!”
As the 1964 election indicated, ‘truth’ is often an enemy of politics. Lyndon Johnson was elected, but the war took off – anyway. The induced-fear technique can be highly effective when wielded by a clever demagogue. However, the technique is typically used in less dramatic ways. Consider the following:
§ A television safety commercial portraying a terrible automobile accident (inducing fear), reminding the viewers to wear their seat-belts (the fear-reducing [hope] solution).
§ An information packet from an insurance company uses pictures of houses destroyed by floods (inducing fear), then inserts ‘convenient’ details about home-owners’ insurance (the fear-reducing [hope] solution).
§ A letter from a pro-gun organization begins by describing disarmed citizens in a lawless America in which only criminals possess guns (inducing fear). The letter goes on to cite the Constitution; asking the readers to oppose a ban on semi-automatic weapons (the fear-reducing solution).
At least since the end of the World War II, psychologists and communication specialists of all types have conducted studies to learn more about the effectiveness of fear/hope inducements – as it pertains to herding the masses [directing a mass action]. Some valid criticisms have been made, but the general conclusions are worth considering as being valid. In general, the studies have concluded:
§ The more genuinely frightened a person is, from any communication, the more likely they are to take viable preventive action.
§ The “Fear” approach will not be successful, unless the threat is believed to be PERSONAL, factual, imminent and pertinent, with the target audience otherwise feeling powerless to change the threatening situation.
§ “Fear” is far more likely to succeed in producing a positive response, if the target audience is given specific and viable recommendations to reduce the threat – if the audience feels empowered by the information. The targeted audience needs a high degree of faith in the recommendations.
In general, there are six elements required for a successful fear appeal:
1. An identified (perception control) and pertinent threat. (emotional control)
2. A specific safety recommendation. (“hope” solution)
3. The targeted audience must be made to feel a sense of OBLIGATION.
4. The targeted audience perception (trust) that the safety recommendation will be effective.
5. The targeted audience’s perception/faith that they are reliably (personally) capable of performing the recommended solution – with assured (faith) results. [As they are believed in.]
6. There must be a tangible reward for the targeted audience having lived up to the actual or imposed OBLIGATION. Personal satisfaction may be enough.
When “fear” tactics do not include all six elements, they have a certain probability of failure. During the intensity of the Cold War, the anti-nuclear movement, successfully aroused a high degree of public fear of a nuclear war. However, lacking specific, viable and “easy” action recommendations, the effort fizzled, as the populace perceived themselves as generally doomed, with no effective or workable solutions. They were frightened, but took little action.
In contrast, however, simple fall-out shelters did become popular, as people were instructed on their construction and believed that shelters would protect them. Installing a simple shelter was something that they could actually do.
During the 1964 campaign, Lyndon Johnson was probably successful in swaying voters with a television commercial, which portrayed a young girl being annihilated in a nuclear attack. The commercial linked (transferred) the threat of nuclear war to Barry Goldwater – Johnson’s opponent. Johnson was presented to the voters as an effective, and viable way of avoiding the nuclear threat.
Pay attention to how that operated!
1. Goldwater was identified (perception control) as the threat. (emotional control)
2. The safety recommendation (“hope” solution) was not to vote for him.
3. The concept of “Americanism” (obligation) was used. 4. The target audience believed (trusted) in that solution.
5. The target audience was given a personal, easy and workable solution – which they believed in.(faith)
6. The election victory left the usual reward of political victory, and at least the illusion (tangible reward) of evading nuclear war.
History records that while the feared nuclear war might have been averted, the Viet Nam War pressed onward. Thus, “clarity of probable results” ends up being the responsibility of the masses, given that they are usually an unwitting ‘means to an end!’ Often, in politics, the decision is simply the lesser of two evils – as perceived. In the case of the Viet Nam War, the scammed “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” hadn’t been identified as to its corruption; praise be to the mass media!
Under the illusion of averting nuclear war, the American voters unwittingly enabled a ten-year war; costing 58,000 American lives, plus casualties, plus cost, plus….. The election “Timing” was everything.
To better illustrate these principles, look to a reversed case. During the summer of 2003, the Liberian crisis left thousands murdered and starving – yet, America barely noticed; WHY?
1. With little news coverage, Liberia was not effectively presented or identified (perception control) as an imminent or pertinent threat to Americans. (emotional control)
2. A specific safety recommendation was not cited. (“hope” solution)
3. The minimally targeted audience was not made to feel a sense of OBLIGATION.
4. The minimally targeted audience perception (trust) didn’t see any safety recommendation that would be effective.
5. The targeted audience did NOT have the perception/faith that they were (personally) responsible for, or capable of performing any particular recommended solution – with assured (faith) results.
6. There was too little tangible reward for the targeted audience – if they lived up to any actual or imposed moral [distant] OBLIGATION. Personal satisfaction was not be enough.
Certainly, in this case, many American churches did get involved, but not to the extent needed to meet the Liberian crisis.
In current politics, “fear” continues as a political device – emotional control. The tactic is simple; agitate public fear of terror, illegal immigration, or crime; proposing that the candidate will successfully reduce the threat. The issue almost gets comical in the sense of “My terror-bandwagon is bigger than your terror-bandwagon.” Such emotionally persuasive “fear” messages should trigger the following questions:
§ Is the intent to prostitute an issue to get panic votes?
§ Are the issues complete and factual, as presented?
§ Is there an unreasonable exaggeration in the ‘fear’ or ‘threat’ issue?
§ How pertinent or even legitimate is the cited ‘fear’ or ‘threat?’
§ Will the proposed solution actually reduce the supposed threat?
§ When viewed dispassionately, what are the independent merits of the proposal?
LOGICAL FALACY –
Logic is utilized to draw a conclusion from one or more premises. A simple statement of fact (as opposed to a ‘conclusion’) should not be considered in the light of being either logical or illogical. The typical response to a ‘fact’ is to simply weigh the statement as true or false.
Most are familiar with the following argument:
§ Premise 1: A cat is an animal.
§ Premise 2: A dog is an animal
Conclusion: A ‘cat’ and a ‘dog’ are one and the same creature.
Thus, good judgment and insight are required to wade through even a simple argument of logic. Imagine a celebrity getting asked the question, ‘Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes; or no!’ Hence the basis for the ‘logic’ of an argument needs to be effectively tested, in order to translate the basic terms; relative to the conclusion. The inherent rule being, ‘Verify the facts, define the terms; and test your assumptions.’
That’s not to say that correct conclusions require a long list of observations. Some are more heavily weighted than others. If one were to insist, ‘Give me ONE good reason to believe that 9-11 was an inside-job!’ The easy answer is, ‘One, there was no legitimate investigation. OR; two ‘ Anyone who got in the way of 9-11 was creamed. AND; three, the official ‘bad-guys’ were protected to the max; the Saudis. TAKE YOUR PICK!’
Inside of three observations, the conclusion is nearly impossible to evade. Add a fourth, for good measure – ‘NONE of the ‘official’ claims bear up under elementary scrutiny. The ‘official’ positions almost exclusively come up as nefarious lies.’
Obviously, a message or conclusion can be illogical without being propaganda or disinformation. What was the intent of the message or conclusion? Is a particular flaw simply the human experience of a logical mistake? The discovery of the intent is important, toward discovering whether or not a true disinformationist is involved. It must be discovered whether or not there is the element of intent, with a deliberate manipulation of information/logic in order to promote a desired result. Particularly with respect to 9-11, it is important to distinguish whether the leaders are being scrutinized, versus the nation.
Assuming that propaganda is the intent, there are certain ‘classic’ methods to be aware of –
UNWARRANTED EXTRAPOLATIONS –
Making major predictions on the basis of ‘limited’ or questionable – facts is a common mistake – or a methodical and deliberate logical fallacy. Often, passionate (emotional) assertions are injected, creating the illusion of factual information. The astute observer intuitively weighs the probability of the presentation as being fact, or fallacy.
With clever rhetoric and tone of voice, an absurd assertion takes on the character of being ‘persuasive.’ To use this tactic effectively, it becomes a matter of pushing one’s case to the extreme limit. As a tactical decision, the effect can serve to force any opposition into a weaker ‘credibility’ position. To make a timely, passionate and persuasive assertion overpowers a responsible position of, ‘We don’t know; the facts haven’t been ascertained.’
In such a scenario, the immediate general assertion is up against the more responsible position. Timing and time, itself, is everything. A passionate ‘first-up’ position has a tremendous amount of psychological power. Any opposition is forced into a defensive light, finding a tough challenge to both establish the truth, while also illuminating any disinformationist position in a ‘false’ light. Once the public ‘invests’ in a liar, they will normally defend the liar, versus taking responsibility for their own gullibility.
An opportunistic assertion normally gains the advantage over a party challenged to disprove something which has not yet been absolutely proven or possibly not yet happened.
The 9-11 assertion was that America had been attacked by external terrorists; more was expected. Against the imagery of the 9-11 events, any opposing view was swimming up a high waterfall. The public ‘need-to-know’ was immediately satisfied by the al Qaeda references.
The assertions came with a style; in the case of 9-11, the ‘enemy’ was theoretically unknown. Yet, ‘magically’ Mohammed Atta’s passport was found on the streets of New York. Say, what anyone wants; but the ‘first-up’ position won.
Three years later, the events of 9-11-2001 continue to power the perceived ‘terror trend,’ despite the TOTAL lack of events since that day. In the style of the Nazi ‘Reichstag Fire,’ accusations are made, arrests are made, associations are made; but no factual attacks are witnessed. Even in the light of factual history, Bush maintains a continuous ‘National State of Emergency; (just in case). In the success of the PSYOPS, no one has protested ‘ after two years!
‘Extrapolation’ is what scientists label such predictions, with the advisory that extrapolation must be used with responsibility and caution. Imagine the driver who passes through a city, observing approximately four gas stations per mile. He exits the city, concluding that there must be plenty of gas all the way across the desert. NOT necessarily so!
Such logical sleights-of-hand are often prostituted as a basis for an effective ‘fear’ campaign. Think back to 9-11; despite an official denial of responsibility, a ‘poor-quality’ videotape portrayed a distant look-alike of Osama bin Laden confessing to the 9-11 strikes. When comparing side-by-side ‘known’ images of ‘Osama,’ the tape easily failed the test of reality. Yet, it was still successful ‘ and never officially questioned.
Consider a more contemporary example:
‘If Congress doesn’t pass additional terrorism legislation, giving the FBI more ‘investigative’ powers, America will slide down a slippery slope which will ultimately result in more ‘terror.’’ (The appeal doesn’t mention the ‘terror’ laws destroying the Constitution, and the creation of a totalitarian police state.)
When a message cites a particular action ‘ or inaction – as leading to either disaster or to utopia, it is prudent to ask the following questions:
§ What is the intent of the message; what’s in the ‘fine print?’
§ Is there enough valid data/information to support the predictions?
§ Does the scope of the conclusions apply to the cited environment?
§ Would a reasonable and objective person arrive at the same conclusion?
§ Are there other reliable/valid forecasts as to how things might turn out?
§ If there is a variety of conclusions which are viable, how does the particular position merit a higher level of probability?
This example was offered by IPA, as occurring somewhere more than ten years ago. However, it serves as a major indicator of the personal application of the better-known propaganda techniques. The Newt Gingrich political action committee (GOPAC) mailed a pamphlet entitled Language, A Key Mechanism of Control to his associated Republicans, earning the ‘Doublespeak Award’ by the National Conference of Teachers of English in 1990.
The booklet contained two lists of selected words. The interested parties were instructed to use one set of “positive, governing words,” (sparkling generalities) when describing about themselves. A second set of negative words (name-calling words) were offered for use against their opponents.
The two lists can be generally described as being associated with the techniques of ‘sparkling generalities’ and ‘name-calling.’ In simple terms, the standard ‘We, against they.’
The Gingrich’s lists suggests a scientifically selected list of powerful terms, such as ‘courage,’ ‘commitment,’ “vision,’ ‘lead,’ ‘learn,’ ‘empower, ‘ and ‘freedom.” Obviously, these terms are common to many groups, including politicians. Forums such a radio and television call-in programs regularly use words such as ‘liberal,’ “ideological,’ ‘lie,’ ‘bureaucracy,’ ‘crisis,’ and ‘endanger’ to discredit certain personalities or ideas.
This is the list of the Gingrich “positive, governing words” –
§ Common sense
§ Eliminate good-time in prison
§ Hard work
§ Pro-(issue) flag, children, environment
This is the list of negative words and phrases, to be directed at opponents. –
§ “Compassion” is not enough.
§ Anti-(issue) flag, family, child, jobs
§ Permissive attitude
§ Unionized bureaucracy
MOTIVE, CHARACTER AND PERSONALITY –
A common PSYOPS tactic is the personal attack. The observer is steered into the mistaken thought that ‘bad’ messengers always deliver ‘bad’ messages. When found, the intent of the attack is important, toward deciphering the central message. Very often the embedded message to the casual observer is ‘PLEASE – don’t look behind that curtain!’
Information normally stands by itself. Some information is documented, some is simply common sense. However, if a suspect source issues the information, the information automatically begs for independent corroboration.
The solution is to look for simple common sense approach. The statement – ‘If one looks to the imagery of the WTC South Tower strike ‘ noting the fireball, then looks to the Pentagon videotape & imagery of the damage, it’s academic that the Pentagon was NOT hit by a plane carrying 10,000 gallons of jet fuel.’ – then one can compare the images & form their own conclusions. However, if the rebuttal is ‘
‘All the witnesses said there was a plane, and there was black smoke typical of a jet fuel blaze, and the fire damage is well chronicled’’
– the hearsay directs the attention of an astute observer to investigate further. In that investigation, the photographic imagery clearly shows the ‘thick black smoke’ coming from an adjacent construction equipment vehicle; not anything to do with burning jet fuel, from within the Pentagon.
In a different example, if an addicted street hooker ‘ with a long criminal record – turns in a license plate number involved in a drive-by shooting, the car & owners must be tracked down forensically ‘ the hooker just saved the police a lot of footwork. If the forensics independently ‘make the crime,’ the character and/or motive of the informant is moot. Imagine the hooker facing a jury, the defense attorney can attack her character all day. Yet, in the end, the jury is faced with judging the remaining forensic evidence, not her motive or past. If she gave a wrong license plate- via a revenge motive, the remaining forensic evidence won’t hold up.
Similarly, ‘good’ messengers don’t always deliver ‘good’ messages. For all the alleged Saudi funding of al Qaeda by Saudi Arabia, the U.S. President refuses to allow the public to know the facts. Nor does that President take any action against the Saudi interests. For all the legal and political power in the USA, the ‘protection’ goes without investigation or punishment.
“PLAUSIBLE ASSERTION / PLAUSIBLE DENIAL “
The world was told that a Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon on 9-11. Yet, the security tape video has a time-date stamp of almost a day and a half later. Nothing which resembles a B-757 is in the tape. While the security videotape fireball is nothing less than impressive, the photographs of the scene make an astute observer’s hair stand on end.
The multiple aircraft pieces, on the Pentagon lawn, were from the front end of the aircraft, yet they show no impact, smoke or fire damage. What should be polished aluminum is painted bluish gray. Early photos show the smoke stained wall of the Pentagon, but a tree next to the building still has green leaves on it. The grass immediately in front of the Pentagon is still green. The pictures show fire trucks being present, early on. But later photographs show all the fire in the world, with no fire trucks, or firemen, until the fire reaches a dramatic peak. SOME of the close-in pictures of the scene leave the question, ‘Why do we have photographers, but no firemen?’ Many of the pictures don’t lend themselves to the possibility of a good telephoto lens, with a ‘lucky’ photographer in the area. While ‘Plausible Assertion’ passionately indicates that a B-757 hit the Pentagon, the remaining forensics simply don’t support the assertions. Flight 93 in Pennsylvania is very similar. In particular, the only ‘fire’ associated with the Flight 93 Crash in Pennsylvania shows an obvious ordnance explosion. It too is missing the ‘fingerprint’ of the black column of smoke. Add the missing “normal” components of the engines, tail section, outer wing sections, etc.
The ‘Perception Control (Plausible Assertion) essentially says, ‘Oh, but if you look at the scene the way we want you to.’
The key aspect of such efforts is contained in the fact that such efforts are oriented around facilitating the psychological mechanism of ‘denial.’ Americans, in particular are spoiled; we don’t like insecurity and we don’t like to think for ourselves. The ‘average’ of our lives is adequate for having trusted so far; why start thinking and questioning, now??
The emotional cowards of society appeal to each other and the ‘causists,’ ‘It’s not THAT badly broken; DON’T fix it!’ From 1963 onward, America hasn’t noticed that their lives are NOT getting better. The degrading of American life is methodically slow; the vast majority of Americans don’t notice ‘ they care still less.
Americans didn’t notice that under Reagan, the federal income tax was diminished, but the federal burden was transferred to the states. A tax was relieved at the federal level, but replaced at the state and local level. The net difference was a tax ‘increase‘ not a decrease. As programmed, America didn’t pay attention!
One small slice at a time, American Democracy and the traditional American way of life is being taken away.
Those who perpetrate deeds such as 9-11 are very keenly aware that the radical majority of Americans hate thinking and reasoning for themselves ‘ they were conditioned not to. America was conditioned to depend on the mass media, television, in particular ‘ for ‘truth.’
American society is not saintly; the greatest corruption on the planet thrives in Washington D.C. ‘ but it’s a ‘clever’ corruption. American history has left too many ‘clues’ as to what can be gotten away with. The fallacy of the John Kennedy murder was clearly illustrated, just by the ‘pristine bullet;’ Oswald was quite obviously a patsy. Yet there were no marches on Washington. As predicted, the ‘first-up’ technique ruled the nation’s perceptions. A few years later, Bobby Kennedy was murdered. It was known soon enough that Bobby was not killed by Sirhan, yet there still were no marches on Washington. The assassination of Martin Luther King was no different. “The system” knows the limits of human nature, particularly in the American society. Two years after the fact, few are protesting the obvious inside-job of 9-11;
The ‘system’ works!
The ‘system’ is keenly aware that ‘shock’ is followed by catatonia ‘ a ‘shutting down’ process; not just a ‘freeze-in-place’ process. The ‘system’ facilitates that process by making it easy, greasing the skids of ‘Perception Control!’
Money rules the world. It’s no secret that private corporations compete for government contracts ‘ with huge associated profits. Yet, the world has increasingly seen private companies replacing government offices and functions. Interestingly, the ‘government’ answers to an increasing number of ‘private’ groups, as though they are an official ‘government’ office. These groups are euphemistically called ‘Non Government Organizations, or ‘NGOs.’ Few indicators are as powerful as the infamous ‘money trail’ Lacking media coverage, few Americans realize the huge sums of tax-dollars being pumped into Texas pockets; in the very same style of the Vietnam War.
In the brief life of the proposed ‘Office of Strategic Information’ (OSI) [‘Ministry of Propaganda,’], the office hired a private consulting firm to do its work. What the Federal Government is prohibited from doing, the individual states and ‘private’ firms can do, right? If the OSI had survived, America would probably have eventually heard, ‘The ‘government’ didn’t lie, the contracting company mis-spoke.’ The ‘consulting firm’ would have operated as a ‘cut-out.’
Legalities aside, ‘private’ firms regularly do an end-run on government functions. In theory, the CIA can’t legally spy on U.S. citizens. No problem; private companies, ‘snitches’ or foreign intelligence services take care of that. The so-called ‘Patriot Act’ mandated intelligence sharing with allied countries.
‘No problem,’ you say? With rare exception, America’s phone bills are ‘processed’ in Israel! Anyone with a smattering of computer education knows what can be done with that data, beyond financial billing. Such manipulations don’t make naiveté affordable. Israel is quite expert at the application of the infamous PROMIS software.
One of the least known of the end-run ‘private’ companies is the ‘Military Professional Resources, Inc’ or, MPRI. This is a company which hires former/retired military professionals to serve as mercenary forces, without a uniform or weapons (supposedly.) It is unusual to NOT see this group in action, wherever U.S. military actions take place. The MPRI is owned by the scandal-ridden L-3 Communications; Linda Daschle being their lobbyist (another long story).
The Iraq war illuminated full-fledged mercenaries on U.S. payrolls being used in Iraq. “Security Contractor” became a euphemism for “unlawful combatant.” Yes, our “unlawful combatants” were pandered as ‘legitimate;’ the Taliban “unlawful combatants” were illegally imprisoned in the ‘Gitmo’ prison camp.
All in plain sight!
Similarly, the ‘support’ company, Dyncorp, shows up. All these groups and companies are not only a surrogate for U.S. interests (legitimate or otherwise), but they are paid extremely well, when the final analysis is in. Normally, ‘layering’ is involved. For example, ‘Brown & Root’ (Now ‘Kellog, Brown & Root’) may have a cost-plus contract ‘ a mere 3% ‘plus-factor.’ However that 12-dollar piece of plywood just got bounced to 50-dollars, when a ‘specific’ contractor did the supplying. The money was raked off from the middle.
Yet, what does America, or anyone, know, or even actively suspect? The presentation, or lack thereof, serves as ‘Perception Control.’ The one thing which is certain, is that the American mind, in particular, is intellectually and emotionally ‘lazy.’ Americans orient their life around freedom from stress, not work. ‘Perception Control’ takes care of the stress. Americans prefer NOT to know; the stress is too much.
To regress –
The OSI was created shortly after Sept. 11 to build public support abroad for the U.S. war on terrorism. Almost immediately, the New York Times reported the Defense Department as paying the ‘Rendon Group,’ (Washington-based international consulting firm), $100,000 per month to help the OSI with a broad campaign that would include “black” propaganda, or disinformation. That left a ‘pop-up’ government office as receiving the benefit of estranged DoD tax money. With more than a TRILLION dollars unaccounted for, as of 2002; what’s a few bucks more??
In defense of the OSI, the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas J. Feith, was quoted as telling reporters that the Pentagon would never lie to the public. However, the journalists remembered that the Hill and Knowlton company produced the phony Kuwaiti ‘incubator’ story, of the 1991 Gulf War fame. Hill and Knowlton is one of the world’s largest public relations firms. The end-run excuse (PSYOPS) was that they produced it for Kuwaiti interests. ‘Technically,’ it wasn’t their fault if the ‘Kuwaiti’ material was used by others, for dishonest purposes. In any event, the previous government association with a ‘private’ willingness to manufacture ‘truth’ for profit was enough. The cop-out usually sounds like, ‘‘…this topic falls into the realm that the company has no wish to confirm, deny or comment on.”
[Feith later became a major figure in the abu Ghraib torture scandal and the Pentagon AIPAC spying scandal.]
In the ‘incubator story,’ the supposed anonymous 15-year-old star witness was, in fact, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family; her father was the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. ‘Nayirah’ described, for Congress, having seen Iraqi soldiers remove 312 babies from their incubators, leaving them to die on the hospital floor. The intended emotional response was apparently effective. The U.S. Senate approved support of the war against Iraq by a narrow, five-vote margin. It’s impossible to know for sure whether or not the U.S. commercially manufactured story about the murdered babies make the critical difference. In the Senate, the ‘war’ margin was five votes!
Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control
‘Privatization,’ at it’s finest. The OSI died; the lies would have to be otherwise told ‘ and they were!
The following list of PSYOPS tactics comes out of the Army’s FM 33-1 ‘Psychological Operations’ manual; Appendix I. Many of the Strategies and Techniques are familiar to anyone who has followed recent political debate ‘ particularly in the various online forums. Each branch of the U.S. military has a comparable document, but the principles are generally the same.
§ Additional info needed
§ Appeal to authority
§ Card stacking
§ Card stacking to increase prestige
§ Celebrity testimonial
§ Change of pace
§ Characteristics of simplification
§ Civilians as plain folks
§ Common bond
§ Conclusion based on favorable facts
§ Dangers of name calling
§ Direct name calling
§ Enemy leader testimonial
§ Ethnic difference
§ Evident over time
§ Exploitable vulnerabilities
§ False testimonial
§ Fear of change
§ Fellow warrior testimonial
§ Hide info
§ Homey words
§ Humanizing leaders
§ Ignorance of threat
§ Inanimate object
§ Incredible truth
§ Indirect name calling
§ Individual powerlessness
§ Insinuation devices
§ Lacks naturalness
§ Leading question
§ Least of evils
§ Lost opportunity
§ Malicious rumor
§ Name calling h07; Native dialect
§ Non-personal testimonial
§ Official sanction
§ Only favorable facts
§ Opposing leader testimonial
§ Other side
§ People vs. Bureaucracy
§ Pinpointing enemy
§ Plain folks
§ Planned spontaneous error
§ Plausible testimonial
§ Political difference
§ Pure motives
§ Ruling elite difference
§ Selective omission
§ Shift of scene
§ Social difference
§ Social disproval
§ Sources of testimonials
§ Special favor
§ Take action
§ Terror photo
§ Think for others
§ Types of name calling
§ Types of plain folk
§ Unequal taxes
§ Virtue words
§ Warriors as plain folks
There is no shortage of material written on the subject of ‘PSYOPS.’ An internet search of ‘psyops techniques,’ information warfare,’ ‘iw,’ ‘cyberwar,’ ‘psyops+civil’ ‘psyops+urban.’
The topic is somewhere between a fascinating and a frightening science. However, the material presented here demonstrates, in brief, how the science of PSYOPS affects every American; directly or indirectly. PSYOPS is a weapon; almost a secret weapon. Its use on Americans, in the fashion of a ‘munition,’ – is nothing less than treasonous.
In the Iraqi campaign, the gang in the ‘Information Warfare’ elements of the military were given an opportunity to prove that their ‘stuff’ worked.
As is the entire Iraq War assured to fail. As the Vietnam War failed. As the Mogadishu campaign failed.
‘Wait just a damned minute!’ you plead, “For all this dynamite ‘science,’ why didn’t the Iraq War go as planned?”
Because the element of Iraqi CULTURE was not factored! Arabs are not possessed of the behavioral dynamics of ‘Western’ beliefs, thoughts, values, attitudes or emotions. To a certain extent, it may be said that punishing an Arab is on par with beating a masochist. However unpopular such a statement may be, results strongly tend to verify its premise.
“Why, then, does PSYOPS obviously work in America?” Because, conversely, the American culture WAS the framework of the PSYOPS. The PSYOPS was written from a known ‘Western Culture’ standard. In particular, American beliefs, logic, values thoughts, attitudes and emotions. The mistake in Iraq (among other failures) was in presuming a universal set of probable decisions, based on an incorrect set of theoretical dynamics in logic and emotions; WRONG!
As any computer programmer will tell you, ‘Garbage-in; garbage-out.’ The most fabulous Mac program won’t work in a PC; that analogy is close to the reality.
In short, the ‘system’ tried to open an Iraqi lock with an American key; the effort was doomed from the beginning.
Over time, it’s assured that the obvious lessons will be learned and the identified mistakes will be corrected.
The Transcendence of Brainwashing
Just when America least needs another round of psycho-babble, out pops the “psycho-technology” of “Coercive Persuasion.” Okay, what is it?
Coercive Persuasion is the methodical – often subtle or even clandestine – application of psychological manipulation. Coercive Persuasion coerces its targeted audience into “perceiving,” “learning” and “adopting” a prescribed set of thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes and/or behaviors.
From movies such as “The Manchurian Candidate,” the 1950’s imagery of “brainwashing” and “thought reform” leave people in the dust of the scientific psychological manipulation of individuals – or entire populations. The term “brainwashing” is most often thought of in terms such as “imprisonment,” “physical abuse,” “gun to the head,” or the hypnosis experiments of the “Manchurian Candidate.”
The “Manchurian Candidates” are real, but usually found exclusively as patsies on the order of Sirhan and McVeigh.
Coercive Persuasion is a factual science. In example, America – as a whole – never seriously questioned the horror which Jack Kennedy’s “pristine bullet” represented – to every last American. Similarly, America somehow didn’t care that the Bobby Kennedy autopsy demonstrated that Sirhan Sirhan didn’t hit Bobby with a single round. No one wanted to be the voice to ask, “Well, who did shoot him – and WHY did they shoot him?” Not even the Kennedy family asked the compelling questions! The horror of 58,000 dead kids from the Vietnam War didn’t bring any meaningful investigation into the phony “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.” The glaring holes in the official accounts of 9-11 have gone almost unnoticed. All that didn’t happen by virtue of the elements of chance or coincidence!
The highly controlled mass media delivered the propaganda; enabling the anticipated preponderance of weak minds to drift with the political winds. That predictability being another of Hitler’s unmentionable legacies. Coercive Persuasion did the rest.
Coercive Persuasion operates by undermining the individual’s defense mechanisms, their perceptions, their values and their attitudes. As the Communist Chinese termed the process – “re-education.” America was subjected to the non-captive version, “Politically Correct.” Coercive Persuasion alters the otherwise expected personal conduct and the person’s ability to reason – without resorting to physical force. In the current time frame, “coercive persuasion” cleverly and covertly overcomes an individual’s decision-making by impacting the individual’s judgment. The victim gradually loses the ability to make independent decisions or to insist on the information necessary to make an informed and intelligent decision. Coercive Persuasion leaves the victim with the attitude “I know what the facts probably are. But what can I do about ‘things’ without getting myself hurt?” When that attitude can be identified; the ‘system’ has worked!
The common concept of “brainwashing” is traditionally associated more with techniques of ‘national’ political indoctrination, as opposed to everyday society, corporate or government agency “culture” or methods of teaching in a public school system. However, today, one cannot help wondering as to what extent “brainwashing” might be found amidst a supposedly benevolent format of their immediate “culture” – including general education. Whether in a government agency, corporate environment or public education system, it is wise for workers, students, teachers and the general public, to be aware of the “modern” psychological processes, generally called “brainwashing.”
In the modern world of psychiatry and psychology, “brainwashing” is more commonly referred to as “coercive persuasion,” “coercive psychological systems,” or “coercive influence.” For all intents and purposes, “Coercive Persuasion” may be regarded as the micro-management of Psychological Operations, or “PSYOPS.”
Coercive psychological techniques are mental, emotional and behavioral “change” methods which employ known psychological dynamics in a coercive way to induce the adoption of a “preferred” ideology or set of thoughts, beliefs, ideas, attitudes, or behaviors. The core methodology is the avoidance of any physical motivation (punishment). [For clarity, physical punishment can also be deprivation of movement or other physical needs.] The coercive strategy is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate the effective mechanisms of coercive influence. For convenience, the term “Coercive Persuasion” will be utilized, given its popularity – where found.
As with most political “systems,” it is important to distinguish the element of “intent.” To mandate school children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing patriotic songs might meet the test of “Coercive Persuasion.” However, the intent is to foster nationalism – hardly something to apologize for. Still, there will be those who will debate the ‘patriot’ issue in the light of denying children the right of free will.
Thus, it is necessary to visit the “Reasonable Person Test,” to judge according to the end-result. To the person who insists on having power over others in a world of cold logic, against the perpetual “human” needs, it may come down to the frustrated assertion, “Well, that’s just the way it is!”
Often, it may be necessary to forcibly establish a ‘sacred’ benchmark. Icy logic may argue for zero age limits when it comes to cigarettes, alcohol, street drugs or sex for children. Thus, it may come back to the human mandate to cite the cut-in-stone ‘benchmark’ of civilized standards, in ‘human’ terms of “That’s beyond the boundaries of a civilized society!” While that might seem academic, nigh unto ‘stupid’ to most, such issues as “NAMBLA” attest to the “reach” of debate and logic, as a self-serving version of “Coercive Persuasion” attempts to hijack the basic values of the American society. Thus, it is necessary to be keenly aware of the probable end effect of such permissive efforts, amidst a naïve and gullible norm of “Live and let live.”
Coercive Persuasion is increasingly found in the corporate culture. The impact results in an Orwellian work force, conditioned to sacrifice personal income, benefits and free will; substituting ‘corporate’ needs, over personal needs. The impact being a cleverly veiled corporate Communism. DON’T forget that concept!
When Coercive Persuasion is found, commonly, one sees the beginning event as something which will reliably produce anxiety and stress; often in scenarios which effect such results continuously, over extended periods of time. The initiating step could be a simple – but serious – challenge for one to clarify his/her intellectual/political position. Often, the challenge will be issued with a caution – perhaps a trained/practiced tone of voice.
The techniques can be applied in isolated/personal arenas, or publicly in a sophisticated “propaganda” methodology, relying on the mass media – or the Internet!
Regardless of the arena, the techniques such as repetitive or extended verbal, audio, visual, or tactile fixation drills are used. In military “Boot Camp,” for example, excessive exact repetition of routine activities (training or work), sleep restriction and/or nutritional restriction is often found. Add the features of physical/mental/emotional punishment and/or ever present threat of punishment.
Social isolation – where possible – is a supporting tactic; including ‘divide and conquer’ methods. Or; in such events as a corporate takeover, it could be “conquer and divide,” as an initiating event.
In the true “cult” realm, contact with family and friends is typically blocked in some fashion, along with persons who have no previous exposure to – or independently do not share – the prescribed attitudes. Dependence on the controlling entity is effected by a variety of means, from simple ‘acceptance-and-approval,’ to professional or financial dependence. In ‘open’ systems such as the corporate environment, verbal cautions may be found as subtle social blockades, such as a comment to the effect of, “It might be better if you didn’t bring your personal/family life to work with you.”
Certainly, the effect of documented “evaluations” have a major impact, as well. Such evaluations typically have a cumulative effect, almost rendering human beings as an expendable component, very similar to a defective chip in a computer.
Even on the Internet, it is possible – in such arenas as discussion forums – to isolate and verbally batter a given personality into leaving the forum, or submitting to the text-version of Coercive Persuasion. In unrestricted Internet discussion forums, dedicated disinformation agents are often discovered. While their identity is only revealed in their messages and style, their mission is two-fold; to batter the free will of other contributors; and to manufacture / inject the ‘preferred’ illusion (disinformation) of ‘consensus’ to the researcher/journalist and the casual reader – or “lurker” as they are termed.
The controlling entity can be expected to do their best to prohibit, discourage or divert any non-conforming information and non-supporting beliefs, attitudes and/or opinions within the ‘in-house’ communication. Typically there are rigid – or implied – ‘rules’ imposed, as to permissible topics to discuss; both within the ‘group’ and with ‘outsiders.’ Whenever possible, ALL communication is highly controlled – in some fashion. Often, an “in-house” jargon is discovered. Typically, the meaning of some of the terms/phrases is obscure, by accident or design. For example, the application of the term “proactive.” Something is active or inactive; what does “proactive” imply? Someone is an active supporter or an opponent. Thus, the use of the term “proactive” often has a ‘twilight zone’ inference, versus a clear statement. These terms or concepts often carry an aura of mystery, which has the mental-emotional effect of creating an illusion that someone is somehow ‘special’ or powerful,’ as they seem to be “…in the know.”
Often the Coercive Persuasion tactic is to pressure the target to re-evaluate the most central values of his or her previous experience in a probing, questioning or outright negative light. Often, methods are discovered which are designed to destabilize and defeat the subject’s basic consciousness, reality awareness, major world viewpoints; as well as their emotional control and mental/emotional defense mechanisms. The targeted subject is mandated or coerced to review and reinterpret his or her life’s history and adopt an entirely new perspective. Christians are familiar with such a process in the concept of “original sin.” The argument is essentially, “We’re all sinners, therefore we owe the redemptive product of our [automatic] shame to God [as the particular local church cares to establish that ‘debt.’]” Fear and its associated subservience are the desired end-result.
The ‘elect’ will receive any carrots, the rest will exclusively suffer the stick – with associated induced guilt.
The effect of such tactics is often effective by coercing or inducing a sense of powerlessness, by subjecting the person to intense and frequent messages, events or actions which serve to undermine the person’s self-confidence and personal judgment.
For example, making a casual statement that one feels that management is not in tune with the workers needs could lead to the statement, “You know, your remark about management, the other day still bothers the hell out of me!” In current corporate America, such a response would send shudders up anyone’s spine; questioning what the end-effect of the distortion of a casual remark might be. One could instantly imagine what the remark would deliver on their next evaluation.
These tactics become more effective if they can coerce or induce a strong aversive emotional reactions in the target, using non-physical trauma or punishment such as intense humiliation, ridicule, character assassination, loss of privilege, professional social isolation, social status change, intense shame, guilt and anxiety. (Caution is advised in discriminating between relatively simple personal ‘power trips,’ versus methodical institutional efforts.)
Often, the tactic of intimidation of the target is witnessed, with the force of group-sanctioned non-religious psychological threats. This would include character/personality judgments.
When the opportunity presents itself, whether by invasive tactics on the part of the perpetrator, or somehow “permitted” by the individual, such tactics are a function of ‘psychological force.’ They can be applied to such an effective degree that the individual’s capacity to make informed or factually free choices becomes inhibited – if not nearly destroyed. When such tactics are effective, the victims are often found to be unable to make their normal, wise or balanced decisions, which they otherwise would most likely – or normally – make. Given enough strategy or ‘force,’ most individuals can be unknowingly manipulated by such coordinated and sequenced processes.
Any form of controlling thoughts, beliefs, attitudes or values – whether it is a minor cult, or a totalitarian regime, involves some form of “persuasion.”
One may care to use the term “brain washing” or “psychological conditioning,” regardless, the indoctrination or initiation technique is most commonly designed to ‘amend’ moral attitudes, versus purely intellectual convictions.
These “persuasion” techniques typically involve:
The methodology goes toward threatening and confusing the individual, wearing them down through surprise or unpredictable treatment. Such treatment or manipulation is assured to produces some level of fear, anxiety and dread; possibly guilt. In any event, the person will be confused as to what to expect, as well as what they are to think and how they are expected to act. Physical and/or mental stress, shock, or desensitization conditioning is often used to break down both intellectual and emotional resistance. If the intent is truly nefarious, the individual’s spiritual value system will be altered or destroyed. In most cases, physical abuse is a last resort – if not absolutely prohibited (given the potential for accountability).
A common Coercive Persuasion tactic is to manufacture a state of anxiety, sometimes referred to as the “3 Ds” – debility, dependence, and dread. The tactic creates a sense of “isolation,” or helplessness. The individual is in some form ‘distanced’ from his/her normal safety mechanisms – including ‘environment.’ A common “captive audience” method is the technique of sensory or stimulation deprivation; either an incremental decrease of the sensory stimulation, or a form of solitary confinement – in the extreme. In a corporate or social environment, the core ‘devices’ are usually the same – in some format – applied over time, in lesser magnitude. For example, in the corporate arena, an unexpected and extended out of town job assignment could be a programmed form of isolation.
As practiced, the Coercive Persuasion program strategy is often to identify the “leaders” of a given group and somehow remove them from the group. That may involve breaking up the ‘group.’ Being a “leader” could be as simple as being a popular or respected personality.
The typical application of Coercive Persuasion is to introduce clandestine “facilitators,” or outright informers, whose assigned job is to create a destabilized atmosphere, leading to a general aura of mistrust or suspicion. Commonly, a “whisper campaign” is found. The goal is to breach any existing expectations or trust; or prevent even reasonable expectations or trust – including any level of intimacy – from developing among the captive audience. Any pre-existing intimacy or trust is often corroded by overt or subtle means.
Another tactic or technique is to subject a selected/targeted individual to a form of sensory or stimulation deprivation. In a corporate or government arena, that could start with something as simple as a caution against making or taking personal phone calls, using the ‘company’ computer for personal E-mails, or internet surfing. The tactic goes on to decrease any ‘favorite’ sensory stimulation, which might be available. That could be a demand for compliance with the prescribed coffee break time limitations. The thrust of such an effort is to destroy any pre-existing morale and “esprit de corps,” essentially turning workers into captives, rendering them vulnerable to threats – and bribes.
The intent is to “reset” the individual’s perspective on the past, versus the present and future. “Perspective Control” can be effected by abruptly or subtly forcing a person to choose between cooperating with a newly prescribed ‘value set,’ or losing their position and associated income, their tenure, seniority or any possibility of position advancement or a type of meritorious pay increase. Often the tactic is to confuse the target, wearing them down by unpredictable treatment, sometimes cycling between a harsh and seemingly unfair and/or arbitrary treatment; at other times courteous and friendly, fair-minded, and even conciliatory treatment. Such manipulation produces confusion as to the ‘norms,’ accompanied by confusion, fear, anxiety, dread, and guilt. The individual is left wondering as to the “correct” thought and social practices. Any penchant toward “paranoia” is often excited.
During any “isolation,” whether physical mental or emotional, from familiar sources of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual support, the tactics often operate by imposing a sense of self-doubt; stripping the individual of their normal & reliable defenses, such as reserve (‘wait and see’ or ‘choice of participation’), upon their identity, dignity or their sense of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual privacy.
Often “confessions” are elicited, so as to establish an emotional ‘lever.’ The harsh reality is that there is only a small percentage of any population, which is largely free of major guilt. Thus a ‘lever’ is typically not difficult to establish. Factual victims of abuse and violence are often perversely manipulated with the question, “What did you do to deserve that?” Such a question is often found in the more damning fashion of “What do YOU think you did to deserve that?” This style of the question cleverly forces ownership upon the individual being ‘levered.’
Conversely, the enthusiastic and otherwise “willing” participants are, in some fashion, rewarded for their acceptance of the prescribed/new beliefs, values or attitudes. In the corporate or government environment, one is often labeled a “team player” – a major indicator, by itself. The reward can be as simple as relief from the associated pressures in whatever environment that the effort is found.
A relatively permanent “conditioning” is often effected by repetitious ‘messages,’ cautions, assertions, accusations, lectures and/or instruction. In America, “Diversity Training,” is a common example, today – voluntary, assigned or forced. The conditioning process will follow a specific ‘value system,’ a rigid line of thinking, reasoning, analyzing and behaving. Often, a prescribed manner of looking at one’s self may be included. Where found, it may routinely be heard, “I once was like….” If the individual goes along with the “party” line, they are made to be ‘safe’ and possibly rewarded. Non-compliance will almost assuredly lead to the individual being punished, in some fashion. Any ‘reward’ may be simply limited to a diminished punishment magnitude.
A further associated tactic is obvious political conditioning. This consists of daily repetitious lecturing and instruction along a particular line of social thinking and behaving. Often, those who are considered “informed,” “motivated,” “bright,” more “advanced” or “evolved” in their thinking, attitudes and behavior become “facilitators,” assigned to indoctrinate others. Often the tactic is to send the facilitators on a mission, convinced that they are “special,” and that their clients are somehow less “informed,” “motivated,” “bright” or less “advanced” or less “evolved.”
THE TECHNIQUES OF COERCIVE PERSUASION
In general, there are eight techniques, which are discovered. These are usually found to overlap, so as to produce the “coercive persuasion.” Not all of the techniques are required for the Coercive Persuasion methodology to be effective. As with physical inertia, early psychological results dictate diminished psychological force. Some of these tactics are more effective in closed-system cults, such as the Jonestown variety.
1. Mental-emotional confusion (shock effect) is used to “soften” the individual (or group) with confusion accompanied by fear. This can be achieved overtly, via the daily news. 9-11 is a classic; a whole country softened up within a few hours.
In a cult environment, the Coercive Persuasion is sometimes achieved with selective presentation of information, hypnosis – of some type – or other suggestion tactics or ‘shock’ techniques such as work load and/or sleep reduction and/or excessive repetition of ‘controlling’ messages. Prolonged staring at a written message, symbol, object or “mental exercise partner” operates as a message fixation technique.
The 9-11 newscasts demonstrated the successful effect of repetitive audio, visual or verbal fixation – on the global population! Al Qaeda – al Qaeda – al Qaeda! [And, it worked!]
The technique of mental-emotional confusion (with associated fear) serves to break or intrude upon the target’s normal priority or concentration. The hidden message is, “Surprise! Your assumptions and beliefs are all wrong! Don’t trust yourself; trust us!” The ‘normal’ priority or concentration is breached in order to diminish the individual’s faith in their personal ability to think through or to verify the information being given. This often achieved through the use of constant audio-video barrage of selected information – or ‘system’ of information. Another approach is to apply time-compressed projects; with failure assured.
2. Application or threat of powerful non-physical punishments. Commonly, one witnesses the manipulation techniques of humiliation, loss of status or privilege, professional or social isolation, abrupt professional or social status changes, the induction of doubt, fear, anxiety, guilt and/or shame. Whether used or threatened – directly or by implication – these techniques can create intense negative emotional reactions.
The events of 9-11 left America in the Reichstag dilemma of “…patriot; yea or nay?”
Often, the tactic of ‘bad-scene; good-scene’ is observed. In such a case, rewards are held out for submissiveness and compliance. In “closed systems,” such as government agencies or corporate environments, the worker is often ‘conditioned,’ so to be as pleased with a letter of commendation as he/she would be with a sizeable check. Often enough, individuals are actually subjected to the harsh application of these tactics, becoming emissaries of the message, “Don’t go there!” In the style of Orwell’s loving “Big Brother” the ‘punishment-reward system’ has a much greater power to affect perception, thought, emotion and behavior than a uniquely threat-only system. The “Winston Smiths” are recycled as converts; even zealots.
This technique is usually discovered with a manipulating ‘leverage’ being maximized through alternating harshness and leniency. In special cases, lavish rewards may be used. In most instances the threat-reward system is limited to acceptance-approval, acknowledgment, admiration and/or other ‘low overhead’ means. The associated tactics are often to be found in calculated feasts or famines, as needed to achieve the ‘conversion.’
3. Social or professional isolation. Various means are employed to limit or stop an individual’s contact with colleagues, peers, family, friends or associates. That isolation serves as a punishment for those who do not share the “approved” thoughts, beliefs, attitudes or ideology. In the ‘reward cycle,’ financial devices, social and professional status and other ‘levers’ are utilized to create a dependence on the “new group.”
Through the manipulation of rewards, professional or social group pressure, and other non-physical punishments, the manipulations effect considerable control over a person’s time, effort, focus, professional or social environment, and the individual’s sources of professional, social and even family support. The manipulations serve to put psychological (mental-emotional) distance between the ‘before-and-after’ behavior, which reflects the thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, values, routines, and personal life organization. The manipulations often result in symbolic and/or actual betrayal of self and others, renunciation of self and/or others, the personal attack or repudiation of past associations, or previous values; casual or sacred.
In the cult environment, an individual who is continually exposed to Coercive Persuasion in training programs, lectures, events or experiences, is manipulated to gradually distance himself from his past – particularly past values. The individual often begins the ‘distancing’ process by not calling or writing family, colleagues, peers and old friends. In an extreme, work, school, family activities or other important previous activities may be abandoned or shifted to a much lower priority; such that the paradigm shift somehow occupies all of their time.
4. Major paradigm shift. This tactic induces a reprogramming of an individual’s values – their controlling belief system; it is the most effective means for coercing “change.” This tactic – in some fashion – produces ‘confessions.’ In turn, the product is guilt and/or shame. The confessions may be open, or strictly within the confines of the individual’s thoughts.
Often, ‘discovery’ methods are utilized, with frequent and intense efforts made to force the targeted individual to negatively reevaluate their most central pre-existing life and experience of “self” and/or prior conduct. The effort is scientifically designed to create self-doubt, thereby destabilizing, degrading, or diminishing the target’s self-image, his/her view of the world, their emotional control, their perceptions, awareness and their interpretation of reality; as well as their mental-emotional defense mechanisms. These psychological assaults are designed to force the targeted individual to reinterpret their ‘previous life’ and to adopt the prescribed “new” value system. Such is a part of the “re-education” system.
Disregarding the actual facts of an individual’s previous history, the targeted individual is incrementally convinced that his/her past experiences, thoughts, beliefs, family life and social or professional life were “bad.” At a minimum, the individual is intended to believe that these life elements were at least considerably worse than they actually were. For those familiar, the process essentially reconstructs or resets “Maslow’s Pyramid;” with the ‘need’ of survival being threatened, whether overtly, by implication or just via fear and/or suspicion.
Once the targeted individual is manipulated into believing that “survival” is now at stake; they are convinced that in order to “survive,” he/she must commit to the specified paradigm shift, swearing fealty or acknowledging dependence upon the manipulating entity, trusting in their “superior knowledge,” or the espoused mission. The element of “self-trust” is eradicated. The target is conditioned to believe that through such a “commitment” (to others) they may – only then – achieve the remainder of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs;” safety, love, family and fulfillment. The elements of “trust” and “sufficiency” is “out-sourced.” They must, in some fashion, convince the ‘handlers’ that they have totally and finally surrendered; and that they “…love Big Brother.”
In the corporate environment, the ‘shift’ might be the simple conviction that times have changed, however subtly or radically. The ‘shift’ is usually accompanied by the conviction that “..there’s no going back.”
In the cult environment, this technique usually mandates detailed self-disclosed personal history. Once a confession is made – even a false confession – the bell can’t be ‘un-rung.’
5. Intense and frequent efforts to undermine self-confidence and judgment; creation of a sense of helplessness and/or powerlessness. Any criticism or complaints will usually result in the controlling entity demonstrating to the targeted individual, that he or she is possessed of a major flaw, as opposed to any flaw within the group or the particular propaganda/ideology being pandered. The targeted individual is passionately induced to believe that the ‘system’ knows what’s best and should always be assumed to be correct; the targeted individual is “guilt-tripped” into believing that they are wrong. The targeted individual is pressured into abandoning previous convictions, in favor of assuming that only the ‘system’ can be the true authority for judgments and decisions. The underlying assumption – often quite false – is that the ‘system’ can be trusted.
6. Manipulation of information and language. Any input which results in a mental-emotional conflict, any upsetting, or non-supporting information is blocked, denied, censored, reinterpreted or its access is prohibited whenever possible; particularly as it relates to group communication and indoctrination. Any controversial issues are typically poisoned via direct deception or the clever blockage of pertinent facts, the mixing of truth and lies. A confidence game strategy also may be utilized to manipulate any adverse information or inhibit the discovery of any presented falsehoods.
There will often be rules concerning permissible topics for discussion with ‘outsiders.’ Typically, communication is strictly controlled. In cult scenarios, a “group language” is often found. Those “into” the group are identified by their speech patterns. Those who remember the “valley-speak” of California [“for sure; for sure”] can readily recognize this trait.
To reinforce the preferred belief system, commonly used words are often substituted or redefined; possibly, new words are created; “proactive” is one such case. The ‘approved language’ is often loaded, creating a value-perspective in the ‘we-against-they’ scenario; often dividing the world into “the good, informed, aware and wonderful US,” versus “the ignorant, bad, evil, and unenlightened THEM.”
There may be limitations on verbiage. For example, a ‘reward’ may be expressed in a meeting as, “I would like to acknowledge Susan for…” That as opposed to, “I would like to applaud / congratulate Susan for…” The difference being scientifically calibrated, so as NOT to create an expectation of more than just a verbal reward, versus furnishing ‘fuel’ for a desired raise/promotion.
Similarly, assumptions (convenient misunderstandings) may be manufactured, via clever verbiage. To say that a person or ‘management’ has a “goal,” is not the same as saying that management has a “commitment.” Yet, a workforce may predictably NOT identify the subtle difference in terms. Under a false assumption, the workforce may self-manufacture a positive attitude toward a specific individual or management. Later, that same assumption, may be choked down the throats of the workforce, as a self-inflicted wound; when the assumed ‘commitment’ isn’t fulfilled. Such “accountings” are typically expressed in a perverse – and controlling – message to the effect of “You’re stupid; nobody ever said that. You didn’t listen. Your assumptions don’t translate into company policy!” In the end, the recipient of such treatment will advise all their associates that “…silence is golden.”
Information is often controlled in such a way as to offer “no choice” selections of intellectual positions, benefits, etc. Any presented alternatives put before the targeted individual to choose from are actually void of any valid options, which would be contrary to the positions, intentions or goals of the ‘system. In the case of 9-11, Bush ran the classic no-choice position of “…for us; or against us.” Such is similar to the Henry Ford choice of car color; “You can choose any color you want; so long as the choice is black.” In the case of 9-11, it was a matter of choosing anything anyone wanted, so long as it closely complied with the ‘system’ line. “War” was the obvious mandate from D.C.; War Crimes and profiteering became the bitter reality.
Such techniques serve to prevent personal initiative, independent thought or analysis, the discovery of deception, or open questioning of authority or rebellion. The ‘system’ strives to maintain a closed system of logic, as well as an uninformed and trusting mind-state in the targeted individual. From the legacy of George Orwell’s “1984,” without the knowledge of, or the permission to express or use certain thoughts, attitudes or words – versus the substituted verbiage – people are effectively denied access to any undesired conflicting thoughts, attitudes, feelings and actions, which those particular words represent. It’s academic that since words represent thoughts and feelings, with those thoughts capable of motivating actions; if words can be controlled – thoughts, feelings and action can be controlled.
7. Application or presence of psychological threat. Any such ‘closed system’ typically presents the conviction that anyone who fails to adopt the approved thought process, attitude, belief, or prescribed behavior are either directly threatened, or they are led to the certainty that severe punishment or dire consequences – of some sort – will eventually meet them. In many cases, methodologies are designed to produce such high stress levels as to induce physical or mental illness, drug dependence (including prescribed psychoactive drugs), economic collapse, professional or social failure and divorce are a few examples of these threats.
These techniques of Coercive Persuasion combine the most effective and traditional psychological and sociological coercive methodologies of influence and deception techniques with the most powerful techniques of ‘behavior modification,’ and other psychological technologies such as hypnosis or Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The resulting synthesis is often found to be wrapped in a slick soft-sell veneer, of the Madison Avenue PR variety.
8. Structure and control. The element of “compartmentalization” is a common trait of institutionalized Coercive Persuasion. While such structure has a certain production-control benefit, the barriers created also effect tremendous influence over the subject population. Such environments are typically identifiable by having some form of “Human Resources” department, with a powerful supervisory hierarchy. For example, the corporate policy may prohibit a departmental – or branch – transfer, without a ‘compartment’ supervisor’s approval/recommendation. The effect of such structure and control is to implant a general sense of powerlessness in the individual. In a time of crisis, the affected individual doesn’t have the ability to reach out to a friend, as the friend will be informed, “That’s not your department.”
END RESULTS –
The psycho-technology is usually found to be sufficiently effective as to ensure the “conversion” and “retention” of a significant percentage of any population exposed to the methodology. Strong character and bright minds are often successful in resisting the “conversion;” Coercive Persuasion is not a “magic bullet,” nor is it yet infallible. However, in time, the technology may become as ‘developed’ as such inventions as the Laser. Already, cell phone technology can pinpoint a powered cell phone (not even being used) down to approximately ten feet in most major cities. Supposedly this technology is an “emergency services” feature. One can only imagine ….
Human nature leaves such important variables as one’s lessons from individual life experiences, cultural norms, and pre-existing psychological disposition. These variables can be expected to react with the personal malleability and the degree of severity of the application; as well as the duration of the methodology application. That is to say that a person with an existing weakness will bend according to the size and form of the mental/emotional hammer used on him/her, and the length of time the beating endures. The individual dynamics of such ‘psycho-assault’ variables will determine the eventual outcome of the Coercive Persuasion. In the negative application, the ultimate effectiveness and degree of ‘injury’ will advertise the value of the individual measure, or the collective success of the applied “Coercive Persuasion” elements.
Can anyone imagine the ‘destructive testing’ of the human mind, in a civilized society? The effort is quite real, as evidenced by such highly protected extremes as the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, (Gitmo) or the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Worse, such well-known “Nazi” War Crimes receive no significant outrage from the American public, nor the supposedly free-press! One may be assured that such silence is a function of “science,” not accident!
STYLE vs. ACTION
The Coercive Persuasion techniques are typically selected and applied in a scientific manner – of some sort. Again, the core effort is to create the maximum emotional effect. The application of the methods is typically intended to deliver maximum stress, stopping short of inducing psychosis – but not always!
In the ideal application, the intended subtle Coercive Persuasion style is intended to compel the targeted individual to submit or “adapt,” via a series of scientifically sequenced steps. The individual steps are typically designed to be so minor that the targeted individual doesn’t perceive any overt threat, or notice any personal changes. The intention is the ultimate product of a “new” person. In theory, Hollywood could capitalize on an old movie theme, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” producing a movie entitled “Invasion of the Mind Snatchers.”
In the ideal application of Coercive Persuasion, the victim is faced with the strategy of a brilliant chess player – always several moves ahead. Regardless of individual decisions, one or more of the techniques are strategically “played,” so as to subtly induce submission. Consciously or subconsciously, the individual encountering the ‘treatment’ experiences severe stresses; as such Coercive Persuasion programs induce cumulative pressure. The targeted individual is often forced into a corner, where they can only reduce the pressures by submitting to the effect, via “acceptance” of the system or “adopting,” the prescribed thoughts, beliefs, values and attitudes. Thereafter, the result is the desired change in the individual’s attitudes, reactions and behaviors.
Efficiency dictates that Coercive Persuasion is typically applied in group settings. With rare exception, the victims of Coercive Persuasion are unaware that their own “friends and allies” are being used to cleverly apply or facilitate the Coercive Persuasion techniques. The obvious strategy is to ensure that the intended victims don’t put up their normal ego defense mechanisms, as they would otherwise do in known adversarial or confrontational situations. In the ideal case, when Coercive Persuasion is used, the targeted subject may never discover the hidden agenda – or that he/she has become a victim of the ‘system.’
During the application of the stresses and rewards, as well as any punishment techniques, the cumulative effect on the person is extensive. The stresses are not intended to produce a rational, stable and self-sustaining reorganization of thoughts, beliefs, values or attitudes. The intention is that of a coerced compliance and/or submission. The next desired result is the ‘personal’ rationalization, in the particular situation, of a cause-and-effect for the coerced conduct. The targeted individual is desired to personally ‘invest’ in the process by personally justifying the ‘change.’ The underlying submission message is, “You don’t have to think; just listen – and obey!” In most instances, the “changeover” is regularly tested to ensure that the ‘program’ has been genuinely effective.
Often the victim is ‘handed’ the elements of guilt or shame to assist the desired rationalization. A method of general reinforcement is required to maintain the prescribed or resulting thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors. Equally important is the maintenance required to sustain the personal rationalization, so as to ensure the long-term continuity of the influence over the person’s behavior.
Once the desired behavior is effected, it is natural that those associates (friends/family) who are independent of the “influence” environment will notice significant changes, and inquire as to what happened. When questioned by close associates or family, the victims of Coercive Persuasion may aggressively insist the changes were a form of ‘personal growth,’ “for their own good.” They will typically insist that the changes, however subtle or radical, were “freely chosen” by themselves. Further inquiry may reveal that the affected victim is oblivious of the specifics, which led to the changes. Given the common application of artificial ‘guilt’ or ‘shame,’ the individual’s denial mechanisms can be expected to accompany any associated confusion. These two particular “beliefs” (“for my own good;” “my choice”) are typically found to be a “standard feature” found within the victim of a Coercive Persuasion program.
A mainstay mechanism of such programs relies on the statistical significance of the person from the proverbial “dysfunctional family.” Most people come from such families. The matter is not statistics (averages), but rather goes to the effective emotional ‘programming’ which, by default, typically accompanies such an individual. Specifically, such individuals are typically far more attentive to the wants/needs of others than themselves. Thus, informing a person that their personal ‘norms’ are harmful to others, will reliably trigger an automatic conformity reaction – in most individuals. Conversely, informing the ‘group’ that a person is being selfish and unreasonably stubborn in their ways (not being a ‘team player’) will trigger a powerful ‘group’ resentment and reaction to that individual.
The associated ‘conversion’ operates so as to maintain the new “values” – and to minimize any legal liability. In the process of the victim’s beliefs being openly expressed, he/she typically is convinced that the choice was totally voluntarily and freely made – to “change.” In the process of the ‘conversion,’ the victim is constantly asked if the decision is theirs. To survive, the victim will always say ‘yes.’ In the long term, the verbalized assumption of responsibility (“I did it!”) serves as reinforcement by virtue of “keeping agreements.” Comparably, such statements leave the ‘controlling entity’ free of legal accountability. In fear of embarrassment, the victim will self-motivate (re-invest), in order to preserve their ‘new’ espoused image, even if serious doubts should develop. Within a “group,” the reinforcement devices are that much easier and effective.
Compared to the stereotyped “brainwashing” [re-education] of the Korean War vintage, Coercive Persuasion is easier to effect, more powerful and more readily applied. However, due to the preferred large group applications, those affected by Coercive Persuasion are radically less monitored – as individuals – with the additional risk of the natural bewilderment resulting in their going beyond their personal limits of maximum stress, with a resulting alcohol or drug dependency resulting, if not a true psychosis.
The harsh reality of Coercive Persuasion is that the coercive force is maximized through cumulative application and synergy. Over an extended period of time, Coercive Persuasion can potentially produce more destructive influence than physical abuse, imprisonment, physical threats or legal threats.
The effects of Coercive Persuasion change both the individual’s internal attitude toward the actions encountered AND the external effect of the effort. Modern Coercive Persuasion methods contain a workable technology for effecting the victim’s willing “cooperation,” “sincerity,” and “compliance” which is so passionate, zealous and convincing, that it expresses itself as voluntary and willing change, versus factually coerced ‘change.’
COERCIVE PERSUASION vs. SIMPLE PERSUASION
By definition, Coercive Persuasion embodies a ‘toxic’ intent and a careful methodology in the application of the techniques. Enticing someone to buy a set of encyclopedias is radically different than persuading them to buy street drugs. The casual or coincidental application of some of the Coercive Persuasion techniques does not constitute an organized or dynamic Coercive Persuasion program. However, the radical gap between Coercive Persuasion, versus the ‘traditional’ brainwashing methods – physical force, imprisonment, or threat of force – leaves Coercive Persuasion, and it’s nearly unperceivable method of application, deceptively looking more like a form of simple persuasion.
In the image of an “X-Y” graph, “simple persuasion” sits at the base, opposite Coercive Persuasion on the vertical; or “Y” axis. Similarly, harmless information in a book presenting all viewpoints would be far to the left side on the horizontal “X” axis, with repeated violent physical coercion on the extreme opposite side.
On one end of the influence continuum (“Y” axis) simple persuasion involves beliefs and behaviors in an atmosphere of free will. In the case of simple persuasion, it is the value or truth (assumed to be honest) in the message that ultimately creates the message’s acceptance; and effects any subsequent decisions or actions.
On the opposite end, Coercive Persuasion is distinguished from simple persuasion by an intense and focused manipulation. Coercive Persuasion involves a scientific and methodical manipulation. Coercive Persuasion alters – or re-programs – thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors by manipulating, undermining, inhibiting and/or obstructing free will. In the application of Coercive Persuasion, the coercive tactics and techniques incrementally force the message’s acceptance. Any objective and inherent value or truth is not essential, except by coincidence or convenience.
Simple persuasion may still be powerful, such as a ‘hellfire and brimstone’ sermon, or a car salesman telling a man how much the ladies like a particular car. Simple persuasion lacks the nefarious intent, sophistication and deceptive methodology of true Coercive Persuasion.
Again, simple persuasion may imitate, or superficially employ, some of the tactics and techniques of Coercive Persuasion. Simple persuasion lacks the duration and broad “assault mission” associated with Coercive Persuasion.
Conversely, Coercive Persuasion is often pandered as simple persuasion; attempting to disguise itself. The deception behind Coercive Persuasion translates to the science being a devastating psychological control technology.
In a courtroom, the victims of Coercive Persuasion lack any signs of physical abuse. In the defensive mode, the victims can be expected to present convincing rationalizations for any radical or abrupt changes in their behavior – or life. They are usually found to have a convincing “sincerity.” In the extremes of success of Coercive Persuasion, the victims have been changed so gradually that they typically aren’t even aware of the described and factual differences in their life. In a courtroom, the challenge is to decide if Coercive Persuasion was actually used unlawfully. The court decisions require careful case-by-case analysis of all the influence techniques used – if they can be identified – and how they were applied. Nefarious intent must be established. It is legally necessary to focus on the medium, as opposed to the message. The legal challenge must also focus on the critical differences, versus any coincidental similarities, as to whether or not Coercive Persuasion was illegally used. Love and concern aside, harm must be established; change alone is not sufficient. For example, sobering up a 30-year alcoholic can’t be considered any form of legal offense.
COERCIVE PERSUASION AND SOCIETY
One can only guess as to how much Coercive Persuasion has affected Americans over the last 20 – 30 years. There should be no doubt that it has been used within group applications, affecting millions of people. One of the more common applications of Coercive Persuasion is witnessed in a perversion of the Rand Corporation’s “Delphi Technique,” which leads to the topic of “Manufactured Consensus.” Coercive Persuasion is now evidenced in its techniques being sneaked into Corporate America, through “management consulting” or “productivity services.” How often does America hear the Coercive Persuasion terminology such as “politically correct,” “team player” or “diversity training?”
The potential for Coercive Persuasion is only limited by the magnitude of nefarious intent and the imagination of its managers. Persuasive Coercion is an unregulated technology, used to “invisibly” exploit the psychological vulnerabilities of the targeted individuals. Unfortunately, it is being naïve to not assume that the ‘magnetic’ power of Persuasive Coercion is too inviting not to be improved further. In the Lord Acton statement, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts – absolutely.”
Tragically, few appreciate the fact that Coercive Persuasion has the power to overcome normal freedom of thought, undercutting any or all of man’s other freedoms. In a time of massive corruption, it’s no longer safe to say that it’s “strange” that national or international laws don’t explicitly make Coercive Persuasion or any methodology of “thought reform” a crime.
Most people assume that their own minds and thought processes are somewhere between sacred and invulnerable. An “Immortality Complex” leads the typical individual to the false conclusion that they can’t be appreciably manipulated. It’s a ‘given’ that people prefer to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, opinions, values and attitudes are totally self-regulated.
Interestingly, when confronted, the same self-assuming individuals will incrementally admit to such personal weaknesses as advertising or high-pressure sales tactics. However, they will still insist in preserving a rather transparent myth, asserting that only ‘other people’ are weak minded and easily conned or influenced. But, they insist, they are “strong minded.”
Often, a ‘designer’ surface logic is employed to bypass critical thought processes. For example, the “American” family value system may be attacked – in a passionate and convincing voice – by citing the “terrible” family value system that “American” children abandon their parents in their older years; while the children of other countries do not. The argument works, until one goes to a ‘deeper’ level and argues, that ‘their’ parents paid for their own Social Security retirement three times over – and have been told for the third time that they still are not old enough to collect a dime. Still, the “surface logic” (“first-up” effect) comes up as a powerful persuasion device, usurping rational thought processes, to easily impose a different logic.
Still, most people entertain at least a fantasy that manipulators might confront, browbeat, and argue ‘other people’ into doing their bidding. In that perspective, they commonly picture the forces of “Big Brother” in Nazi storm trooper boots, holding guns to peoples’ heads; forcing such persons to totally alter their beliefs and their personalities to willingly accept a ‘new’ and ‘safe’ ideology.
Amazingly, George Orwell’s book, “1984” has become a classic for all time. The underlying message being that anyone is vulnerable to manipulation, whether overt and brutal, or subtle and covert. The Hollywood line of “Every man has a price” should not be perceived in terms of dollar amounts, versus the more immediate ‘price’ of a sacred value, such as the immediate survival of self or loved ones.
WHEN MINDS ARE FREE TO REASON, THE CULTURE IS SAFE
Mankind has always had to fight an oppressive political and religious system for all forms of freedom – including freedom of thought. In the USA, laws have been enacted to prohibit “hate crimes.” ‘Hate’ is an emotion; we are no longer even free to feel.
Now the world is witnessing a re-visitation of the Nazi propaganda machinery, as well as the oppressive methodologies of the Gestapo. In a world, which thrives on technology, it is technology – and its managers – which is destined to be the most difficult adversary.
In the Kennedy murders alone, America has factually seen its share of the “Manchurian Candidate;” (“Manchurian Patsy” is more accurate) yet, few notice the obvious lessons of history. Thus, the power of psychological technology must be questioned – and feared! The refinement of psycho-technology threatens the ultimate imprisonment. As with physical incarceration, the psycho-technology denies or restrains one’s free will, the individual’s conscience, and their informed consent. While the concept defies the imagination of most, political Coercive Persuasion amounts to high treason. In the 2001 “Patriot Act,” the language which defines “terrorism” goes to such loose language as “…appear to be intended:” In whose perception??? When does “revenge” get separated from the ‘normal’ concept of “terrorism?” At the time of this writing, abortion protestors and drug dealers are falling within the scope of the “Patriot Act,” as the selective application of law resorts to arbitrary “perception.” In the style of the TV “cop shows,” Coercive Persuasion will produce a ‘plea bargain,’ in the precise methodology of Persuasive Coercion. Imagine being a defendant, and being advised by your own attorney, “You can go to trial and sweat the ‘mandatory sentencing guideline’ of 25-to-life for terrorism, or take a plea-bargain for 5-to-10 for possession with intent to distribute.” Some persuasion methods produce faster results than others.
The most frightening aspect of Coercive Persuasion is that the surgical precision of the art increases in the invisible control psychology; and within the associated technology of the information age.
Thus, in time, one may reasonably be certain that if the psycho-technology is properly researched and applied, the victim won’t be able to detect its application!
In many Internet presentations, there is the strong suggestion of certain ‘personalities’ presenting information/positions in the format of being “disinformationists;” or “PSYOPS [Psychological Operations] Technicians.” The logical question emerges: “How can you be sure – or suspect – that disinformation or PSYOPS are being conducted?”
From one’s own observations and/or research, the patterns of the personalities are reasonably self-evident.
1. The particular ‘personalities’ are attached to only incredibly sensitive issues and or positions.
2. They typically get instantly “personal.”
3. They are detached from “normal” standards of morality, such as the traditional American justice standards – including the Constitutional Bill of Rights.
4. They ONLY support the “government,” regardless of any practical, compelling or moral positions to the contrary.
It gets more complex from there. However, the underlying issue goes to the question of the casual poster, “How would I recognize a disinformationist or PSYOPS Technician? How does it work?”
Another valid question is, “How would you distinguish a ‘good-guy’ from a ‘bad-guy?’”
The simple answer to that question is that the ‘good-guy’ seeks to educate, discuss, debate or illustrate – with obviously noble intent. The ‘good-guy’ is anchored to admirable principles or causes. Condemning the burning of Mt. Carmel or James Beck, versus a serious attempt to arrest them/him; speaks to an attachment to “American Justice.” Approving or cheering the burning of them/him – without any sincere remorse – is self-serving barbarism. The ‘bad-guy’ is uniquely a ‘destroyer.’
The major clue is that one particular ‘control’ rule stands out:
“Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control”
Six Methods for Online Perception Control
1. The ‘targeted’ person is, ideally, not to be allowed to discover what is going on; and how she or he is being manipulated/changed – one step at a time – or by whom. The targeted person is kept on the edge of the question, “What do you want me to say?” The disinformationist or psyops operator will ensure that the ‘acceptance/approval’ steps are easy to take. The rule seems to be to never issue a ‘broad-brush’ challenge for the targeted person to change their thoughts & attitudes.
2. The person’s social environment is often controlled – even online. A special emphasis is commonly discovered to be made in an attempt to control the targeted person’s time. Online participants may be ‘required’ to answer detailed questions, with the questions designed to “frame” a controlled conclusion – unknown to the unwitting participant. There is often found to be a clear persistence in the questions – to the last detail, until the trap is sprung, or the targeted person makes self-defeating mistakes/conclusions. The questions to the ‘target’ are often framed toward a later goal of quoting the person – “Well, you previously said ‘X,’ are you changing your mind?”
3. It is very often discovered that there is a systematic attempt to effect a sense of powerlessness in the targeted person. A ‘wolf pack’ may be discovered; two attacking is more effective than one. However it is also true that the ‘wolf pack’ avoids the appearance that an ‘attack group’ is in operation, versus creating the impression that “All good people think like ___.” The targeted person’s physical, mental and emotional energy is tasked. The targeted person is worn down, via never-ending questions, challenges or innuendos – or a variety of selected psychological techniques. The focus is found to be to trigger the long-term EMOTIONAL elements of “ridicule,” embarrassment,” “guilt” or “shame.” (Implied: “A truly GOOD person wouldn’t think/speak like that.” Personal image/credibility/integrity is the first-up line of attack.)
4. Any system of rewards, punishments and/or experiences [character enhancement or attack] is manipulated in such a way as to inhibit any behavior that reflects the person’s desired social identity. The online manipulation goes to the proposition, “IF you imitate ME/US, I’ll quit saying bad things about you.” In the presumptions of the human experience, ‘seniority’ implies authority or association WITH authority and a capability to effect harm. Any online ‘friendships’ will be attacked.
5. A system of rewards, punishments, and experiences is manipulated, in order to promote the ‘desired’ group’s ideology, norms or belief system and group-approved behaviors. “You can’t say that!” “You REALLY should learn how to think.” The experiences of those who ‘complied’ are touted as models for ‘acceptance and approval.’
6. A closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure is injected or implied, which is oriented around ‘no feedback.’ The closed system refuses to be modified except by perceived leadership approval or executive order.
“I really hope you don’t actually believe that could be TRUE!”
“That question has already been answered.”
“The issue is self-evident; let’s move on.”
The world of “Information Warfare” and “PSYOPS” is complex and detailed. Most articles on the Internet are oriented around military themes. However, their application to the domestic population is a matter of altering a handful of terms & environmental arenas. The U.S. military – including the National Guard and Reserves – are trained at riot control. Delta Force was advising – at a minimum – at WACO and the Seattle WTO conference. It’s simply naive to think that the domestic U.S. population is exempt from such issues as “Information Warfare” and PSYOPS”
Just remember the volumes of headline articles asserting that Saddam had literally “tons” of WMDs. Then note the reality and the post-war exposure of the lies which were successfully sold to the public – and Congress.
The key revelation as to whether PSYOPS is present, versus debate or education, is the obvious element of “intent;” who/what benefits? However, that “intent” is not always evident. For example, the WMD debate draws attention away from the clear War Crimes in the corrupt invasion of both of Afghanistan and Iraq. The “16 words” of the Niger uranium matter drew attention away from the more damnable and undeniable lies of the ENTIRE Bush team. The focus also limited the casual observer’s attention to the single speech.
The harsh reality is that the effect of the lies and the associated personalities had a terrible effect on all of humanity. Unfortunately, the clear suggestion is that the “campaign” is just getting started!
Blind trust aside, the issues surrounding a controversial event must rationally be observed and/or evaluated, with a certain chain of evidence and logic, concluding that the information is both solid and conclusive, or that further information and/or clarification is needed. When one’s mind jumps to
“This just doesn’t make sense,” then it’s time to re-examine or re-think a matter. Often, major “problems” successfully escape appropriate scrutiny. For example, the Bobby Kennedy autopsy attests to Sirhan never having hit Bobby with a single round; yet, America still slept. The major questions being, “Who did shoot him; and where the hell was the media??”
Similarly, the bloody Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, in 1967 went unnoticed, by the media.
Most thought Thierry Meysan’s position that there was no B-757 strike on the 9-11 Pentagon too ludicrous to consider. Blind faith kept most away from the issue. Those who were jogged to the ‘curiosity’ position got a rude awakening. The legendary “conspiracy theorist’” became the “conspiracy examiner.” Still, critical thinking prevailed among too few, often relatively impotent to effect a change. Personal conclusion and/or conviction requires that if one or more links are observed to be undeniably weak, the matter requires more information, and a re-development of the particular picture/position. Hopefully, objectivity prevails.
Where such weaknesses are discovered, an alternate thesis is usually demanded, by logic, alone.
The most solid approach demands that certain “benchmarks” be developed, as reference points. In the WTC, for example, one must note that a stopwatch confirms that the WTC buildings (3) free-fell; they didn’t “collapse,” in any manner of reasonably anticipated mechanical sequence. Hence, a reasonable person should start looking for supporting links to confirm the horror, which that observation inherently demands.
Amongst the 9-11 media video, there are ‘captures’ strongly suggesting sequenced blasts, ahead of the collapsing upper section. The Naudet brothers captured and witnessed lower lobby images, suggesting a major thermal and mechanical event – which couldn’t have migrated from the upper floors, given vertical distance and the three-tier elevator ‘modules.’ The lack of smoke damage in the lobby rejects the notion of a hydrocarbon fire. The overhead glass in the lobby was intact, with the vertical panes all being shattered – suggestive of something on the order of an earthquake – or the building settling. The later documented reports of molten steel in the building basements quickly led to the conclusion of a unique thermal event; totally separate from the aircraft crashes or the related fires – however ‘mysterious.’
More points appear, such as the quick and overseas disposal of the WTC steel and the matter of the insurance money. Any suspicious fire scene is preserved for forensic examination. Yet, the WTC steel was sold to China, almost overnight. Who would be authorized to sell that steel, without any forensic analysis and an impending insurance claim, with the potential for fraud.
If a person rents a store, for example, the terms of the lease will require the lessor to carry fire insurance for the replacement of the store – not as a personal gamble that there might be a fire – and the lessor being able to keep the money, over the rights of the property owner. For all obvious reasons, insurance is never treated as a lottery. Is the investment company which leased the WTC towers compelled to rebuild the WTC towers, or turn over the insurance money to the Port Authority? If not, why not.
Other ‘truth benchmarks’ are readily available. For example, the USA “terror status” is always ‘elevated,’ as a minimum – with the White House forcing the Mexican border wide open to anyone – including ‘terrorists;’ ‘narco-terrorists,’ in particular.
The great ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democracy’ advocate, George Bush Jr., won’t recognize Taiwan as an independent country – as Iraq is crafted in to a ‘designer nation.’
“Narco-terrorism” is on the Bush ‘list.’ Yet, after the Taliban had banned opium production in Afghanistan, the post-invasion opium fields were re-planted with a vengeance! Not to mention the consequent vast quantities of opium serving the global heroin markets. Minor rhetoric aside, Bush did nothing significant to intervene.
Thus in the observation process it is necessary to both establish that one or more links can be broken, leading to the rapid invalidation of the original presentation. However, credibility demands that one must also be careful to note whether or not there are supporting links to the original presentation which cannot be rationally broken. Often, combinations of the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ are left to the matter of “preponderance of evidence,” often ‘mitigated’ by some format of shouting match. The key rule being – “Think for yourself!”
In the OKC bombing, for example, there are a host of major unanswered questions. In the final analysis, the site of the truck-bomb crater reveals a diameter of approximately 18 feet, versus the ‘official’ citation of 28 feet, in the ASCE report. Hence the conclusion that the truck-bomb couldn’t possibly have done the sum of the Murrah Building damage, backed by the radically irregular shape of the damage and the seismic data. Throw in a host of peripheral and truly bizarre and essentially ‘un-investigated’ deaths. Add the blatant corruption, known to be involved in the ‘official’ investigation.
It is also necessary to note whether or not a presentation is clearly made in the scope of unmistakable “plausible assertion” or “plausible denial;” versus easily proven and/or documented fact; add “common sense.” Raw suspicion drives persistence.
In order to be credible, there must also be the element of “fairness.” That may require the position, “I don’t know.” The test being whether or not the ‘unknown’ is critical to a major premise; does the ‘unknown’ serve to defeat or advance that premise?
Returning to the matter of disinformation, the true ‘agent’ – versus a random ‘apologist,’ will be found to be devoted to the interference of any independent evaluations, versus the ‘official’ line. His/her job will be to lead others to falsely believe that any ‘alternate’ premise links are weak or too easily and seriously broken to consider. Such an ‘agent’ will, at a minimum, offer alternate solutions, always leading away from the truth – or the more probable truth. In most cases, various forms of scientific “attack” on any messenger or message will be witnessed. These efforts will be dedicated to impeding both conclusions and convictions.
In the 9-11 matter, for example, the disinformationist is charged with not only discounting alternate ‘conclusions,’ but to also destroy any positions which will leave the ‘conviction’ that something is seriously wrong with the ‘official’ accounts. Such disinformation efforts are scientifically crafted to prey upon scientifically established weaknesses in the typical persons mind. For example, the disinformationist will be charged with inducing intellectual and emotional stress, so that ‘distance’ is created via the rhetoric of the disinformation and also with time. It may be assumed that such efforts are also scientifically ‘measured’ in the disinformation ‘back-rooms.’
In most cases there is a certain “preponderance of evidence,” whether in the form of reliable documentation; or within the reasonable person’s mind, as to greater probability of what is factual. There does remain a certain mandate for acceptance, which says that if the ‘first-up’ presented chain of evidence cannot be broken for a given position, the first-up position will have won.
In cases where the chain of logic or evidence is undeniably broken, via a truly critical link; a repair to that link must be made, a new link must be forged, or an entirely new chain must be assembled, regardless of which ‘side’ the breach occurs.
The shattering of a critical link typically mandates a scalding review/examination of the remaining links, for validity and pertinence.
Where honest intent is behind a failed presentation, the shortest route to the truth is an acceptable admission that the presentation was flawed, and a new position is being assembled.
Many 9-11 activists were taken in by the DoD imagery of the ‘strike’ fireball at the 9-11 Pentagon. The mistaken trust in authority blinded many, who failed to notice that the photos of the day revealed that the presented fireball didn’t burn as much as a blade of grass – add that the time-date stamp on the imagery was a day-and-a-half later, etc.
The activist mandate was to acknowledge the flaws in the video footage and move on to other information, which supported the original claim. Ironically, the citation of the DoD being behind the phony imagery better served the activist position, than did what the imagery otherwise offered. The matter further proved the vulnerability of even bright minds to being taken in. The paradox was that the phony footage ended up as a ‘boost’ to the activist positions, toward exposing the truth.
Again, the propaganda formula –
“Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control”
– the disinformationist can be spotted by their focus on emotionalizing the issue, while often seeking to somehow punish any failure – factual or simply accusatory. The disinformationist will be found using the best of verbal skills to intimidate any undesired presentations, with the goal of discouraging or preventing any further discussion – or observation and analysis.
The broader attempt of a disinformationist is to poison any issue, in the minds of a journalist or casual observer, as opposed to a given activist. This can often be observed in facts mixed with flawed information, if not outright lies. This can be deliberate by a disinformationist, disguised as an activist, or such can sometimes be foisted upon the unsuspecting.
For example, in the Vince Foster death, one reliable journalist was tricked into believing that Foster’s gun was found in the wrong hand. The subsequent credibility damage was incredible.
By implication, many disinformationists work with an Information Warfare team. It must be assumed that there is a team leader pulling the strings of the up-front personality. The disinformationist team suffers, when the truth wins. Thus, there is commonly found an incredible passion in the effort to preclude any undesired rational and complete analysis of any chain of logic and/or evidence. Beyond the prevention effort, the truth further threatens to hang the disinformationist and/or their team.
A common tactic of the ’embedded disinformationist’ is to create busy work, passionately insisting on “extreme investigation.” Alternately, he/she will water-down a forum, with distracting articles and issues. The intent being to divert or exhaust mental and emotional energy.
It’s somewhat rare that facts and truth inherently carry their own weight. Thus, it is the role of the disinformationist to apply deceit, at a minimum, if not outright lies. Within reason, the disinformationist evades outright lies, versus an extreme of deceit. It is a general rule in disinformation and “psyops” (psychological operations) circles that the worst event is to ever get caught in a lie. Hence, the obvious evasion of a lie – versus alternate ‘deception’ tactics – often betrays the identity of a disinformationist.
Neither the 9-11 commission or the FBI will cite foreign terrorists as being the culprits of 9-11. There were no tickets to be discovered, the purported terrorists didn’t appear on any passenger manifests; nor did they appear in the 9-11 autopsies. Still, the methodology in the presentation left America with the unmistaken conviction that foreign terrorists did the work of 9-11.
The trained and skilled disinformationist operates with a fairly standardized bag of tools and tactics. However, it’s also true that the general public is not inclined to look for the presence of a trained disinformationist; given that the mass media is most commonly found spouting comparable positions. However blind and counter-productive, ‘traditional’ trust in the mass media effects incredible influence over the minds of the public.
The general attitude that America is above resorting to Nazi propaganda tactics aids the disinformationist. It is also true that the law prohibits GOVERNMENT agencies from applying propaganda or “psyops” on the American public. However, it was seen in the 1991 Gulf War, that the propaganda had been “outsourced” to a private firm – sufficiently outside the reach of those laws. Another application of the infamous “loophole.”
When ‘undesired’ truth is presented, the disinformationist attempts to distract any discussion in the alternate and undesired chain of logic and evidence, which cannot be easily broken. Instead, the disinformationist – when necessary – resorts to clever deception – sometimes outright lies – to ‘frame’ given links as being far weaker, than they factually are. Often one witnesses the creation of an illusion, which ‘suggests’ a break. When that doesn’t serve the disinformationist, the “personal” treatment is witnessed, wherein the disinformationist – at a minimum – questions the motives or the credentials of the presenter – or source of the information.
Again, in the 9-11 debates, one FEMA worker stated that his rescue team arrived the night before 9-11. That statement became a hot debate, involving a multitude of disinformation attempts. Even if the ‘official’ line was accepted, that the debated rescue team arrived in New York ON 9-11; and promptly went to their hotel, for the night. The issue was ‘quietly’ settled by Rudy Guiliani’s testimony before Congress, that FEMA had a major team assembled in New York, in the format of a ‘scheduled’ exercise. That exercise was called “TRIPOD,” set up on Pier 92. Still, the public, as a whole, didn’t react – the ‘time factor’ had dampened public interest.
While it is academic that discounting a thunderstorm can’t quiet the lightning, the “public” can be swayed in their perceptions, as to what may or may not be true. Emotional survival strategies bend the mind of the public toward ‘easy’ and emotional paths of decision making; the classic “path of least resistance.” Thus, the disinformationist often has a given flaw in human nature working for him/her. Consequently, the mandate for the first-up presentation is an inherent part of any nefarious conspiracy. That, of course, adds a terrific liability to any truly ‘secret’ operations. The Watergate scandal is a classic, in that regard. Nixon’s team lacked a first-up position, if anything went wrong.
Almost any position – moral or otherwise – requires corroboration. Yet, the mental-emotional psychological dynamics of the ‘first-up’ presentation can still often win. For example, Ron Brown’s plane was reported to have gone down in the “storm of the decade.” That position was as false as any in history, yet it still won.
“Perception Control” is always the key. However corrupt, it is common in the American court system that “bought” testimony is allowed in the fashion of criminals being allowed to testify against other criminals. Breath-taking verbal attorney skills aside, this isn’t always successful, where corroborating evidence is seriously lacking.
Where there is a clear motive to lie, logic dictates that factual opposing evidence would render any such testimony as a lie, leaving that testimony as totally and completely invalid. Yet, the events of 9-11, in example, render the additional mandate that the testimony must be sufficiently impressed upon the targeted minds – regardless. That’s where the media enters the picture, attesting to Herman Goering’s statement, that the fear among the public will easily serve to actualize a blatant lie. Specifically, “All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
That, of course falls in line with Goebbel’s statement, “If you tell people the same lie over and over again and it goes unchallenged, that “lie” becomes the people’s “truth.” Key, in this statement is the qualifier, “unchallenged.” Witness the incredible controls over the American media, in particular.
By all appearances, Bush Sr.’s New World Order is alive and thriving – as a ‘virtual government,’ hidden in an incredibly clever ‘fog’ of information. It is an end result, versus a physical headquarters. The “order” is achieved by networked personalities and so-called “Non Government Organizations” (NGO). The ‘goals’ are hiding in plain sight, in such forms as Brezinski’s “The Grand Chess Board,” Barnett’s “The Pentagon’s New Map,” The “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC, the “Hart Rudman Report” and Bush’s “National Security Strategy” (NSS). The ‘mechanisms’ appear to be found in such entities as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the infamous Trilateral Commission and the “Bilderbergers.”
“Globalization” appears to be a euphemism for “Ameri-corp uber alles.”
While such seems totally off-scale for credibility, the documents and history don’t lie! Astute perception is required. Look to just the title, “The Pentagon’s New Map,” then wonder how the Pentagon got charged with achieving global American corporate goals! Independent observation and thought are required. Next, go to the trillions of unaccounted dollars which the Pentagon refuses to account for. There is nothing in the realm of “impossible,” in this picture!
The scientific element of “Negative Perception Control” (ignorance, non-presentation or psychological denial) leave the reality quite well masked.
Doubts? Look these matters up on the Internet; then think and judge, for yourself.
However ‘impossible’ it may seem, the events leading up to and subsequent to 9-11 strongly suggest that the original “Nazi Formula” is being very closely followed, with few changes, versus enhancements. In the background, ignorance is facilitating the effort. For example, few know the Geneva Conventions, thus the War Crime invasions (and they were) of Afghanistan and Iraq aren’t generally perceived as such. As desired, ignorance serves the propaganda ‘perception’ formula, as dynamically as does effective information presentation. As expected, the disinformationist will shout – “Don’t look behind that curtain!” ‘Truth’ and ‘facts’ are additionally treated in terms of “regard.” Presentation is one element, but the final absorption is a matter of personal ‘regard’ for that information, relative to its intake as fact or fiction. Enter the tactic of “characterization.” Is the observers ‘regard’ in the light of “Oh, that’s nothing,” or “OH, my God!”
Public forums such as Internet chat, discussion and news groups; as well as newspaper letters to the editor play an important role. These forums present topics for discussion, with attempts by individuals to ‘sell’ their particular position. Often, the associated exchange, discussion or debate develops a particular idea or position, with the given medium serving as a sounding board; with the intent to improve an idea, solution or position.
In these environments, the disinformationist often appears; intent upon quickly ending any such discussion. The disinformationist often ‘frames’ the presentation – and the presenter – as lacking in serious credibility. Often any associated supporters are comparably ‘framed’ as being comparably less than credible. The typical strategy also attempts to stage the issues and personalities for any future confrontations, by defeating any early successes.
In such exchanges, the disinformationist commonly alludes to “higher standards,” as a means to control the discussion. This is commonly expressed in the format of “I’m trying to…” A witness is often cited as lacking engineering or medical credentials; with the statement that they have no qualified position to offer reliable testimony. Often a matter, source or personality is comparably ‘linked’ to a low standard. For example, a respectable newspaper may be unjustifiably ‘labeled’ as a “communist rag.” A reputable person is labeled as “leftist,” with no regard for any workable definition of “left.” The disinformationist may resort to outright demands, as though they are in some special position to make the demand. “Common sense,” seemingly becomes invalid. There may be a demand for those who present a position or concept to back up everything with a professional level of expertise, such as a doctor, engineer or professor. According to the demands of the disinformationist, anything less is supposed to render any discussion as meaningless. It is typical that in support of such demands, anyone who disagrees is labeled or characterized as being obviously stupid, in no uncertain terms. This is typically seen in the posture of “See how you are?” Such attacks can often be nothing less than brutal, commonly expressed in the style of trying to foist ‘shame,’ ‘ridicule’ or ‘guilt’ upon the undesired presenter. Facts and truth take a distant second place, when such tactics are employed.
While most expect rational discussions, the reader/listener/observer is increasingly left to judge whether or not a discussion is rational, or whether one side or the other is the least bit credible. Therein lays the importance of corroborating independent information, for better or worse. Unfortunately, the same reader is also tasked to determine when a rational discussion is taking place, or whether or not blatant deceit, disinformation, psyops or “Coercive Persuasion” (Jonestown tactics) are present.
The casual participant is also tasked with the decision as to whether or not to confront an apparent disinformationist with direct questions, as to their intent and role. While there are commonly those who simply desire to lead others astray – as well as those who are simply ignorant, foolish or misguided – all such should be challenged to establish truly reliable information.
In responding to an opposing position, it is most effective to start with diplomatic questions, or statements. It may be ultimately necessary to demand that the other party ‘put up or shut up.’ However, that is commonly a two-edged blade; caution is advised.
For the ‘noble’ person, caution is advised, with regard to the use of accusations. These should be used with great prudence; they can back-fire. All responses should evade any emotional traps and discussion/debate sidetracks. When an article or rule is discussed, it is best to keep the matter in good context. Quoting a complete statement or rule rather than loosely citing it, denies many the complete reference. At a minimum, it’s best to offer – and be prepared – to provide a complete copy of a cited statement or rule.
The “25 RULES” offered by another Internet contributor, H. Michael Sweeney, are well worth examining. He credits these rules as having been built from the Thirteen Techniques for Truth Suppression, by David Martin. While not the “complete gospel,” they offer a good beginning, for recognizing and understanding disinformation tactics.
Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation
Note: The first rule and the last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinformationist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.
1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it – especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to- the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
The important aspect of all this information is to know that “disinformationists” exist; and that they operate with an effective scientific method. These are not casual debaters, or simple ‘contrarians.’ They are an intellectual and emotional toxin in the society. They can be defeated, but only when they are generally known, identified as they appear; and with steps taken to counter their nefarious ways.
INTERNET PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS
The term, “cyberspace” represents a dramatic shift in the thought processes of all major endeavors, but particularly when it comes to war. “War” is no longer limited to the physical realm, as its major means of expression.
Once again, the modern psychological ‘victory’ formula is:
“Perception Control = Emotional Control = Mind Control”
In the undying philosophy of the Prussian military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831), “War is diplomacy by other means.” Intended meaning aside, he didn’t say, “…on the battlefield.” In modern global politics, the war for the human heart and mind is a tremendous struggle, whether the effort comes from profit-making machinery of Madison Avenue, or the “black ops” of Langley Virginia.
Von Clausewitz left the legacy of the “trinity model” of war. In that concept, he argued that the dynamics of the government, military and populace would determine the outcome of war, whether the government is offensive or defensive.
However, history leaves the legacy that the government and military can be totally destroyed, with the remaining will of the populace being the underlying determining factor. It is academic that the PSYOPS teams operate on this premise.
Iraq is one such classic case; leaving the legacy that the total destruction of a country’s military and government is a poor idea, as there is no one in remaining authority to tell the populace to quit fighting. In the case of Iraq, again, the Arab culture is sufficiently unique, that the American war effort left the extremely low probability of anyone in a surviving government delivering the “quit” message. The post-war Iraqi “resistance” speaks for itself.
Obviously, the PSYOPS teams have serious work to do. The one lesson which seems to escape military planners is that if the will of the populace can’t be broken, victory is impossible. The lessons of Viet Nam, Beirut, Mogadishu and even Northern Ireland have gone unheeded – and, at what expense? Conversely, we have the example of Iran; the Shah was overthrown by the simple will of the people being re-directed! No doubt, the multitude of PSYOPS groups took notice.
PSYOPS efforts are found in the News Coverage, Public Relations, Propaganda, blatant PSYOPS, or the mother of all tactics, “Coercive Persuasion” – the ‘stuff’ of Jonestown. The process begins with presented information, real, distorted, imagined or manufactured.
In the human experience, with rare exception, the first presentation (first-up) determines the long-term “perceived truth.”
Perhaps, nothing can be more exemplary than the ‘plumped-up’ Osama bin Laden in the conveniently “unclear” videotaped confession to 9-11. With that tape, America went off to commit the War Crime Invasion of Afghanistan.
Enter the translation of a Funeral Article in Egyptian Paper: al-Wafd, dated as of Wednesday, December 26, 2001 – Vol 15 No 4633
News of Bin Laden’s Death
and Funeral 10 days ago
A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa’da organization, stating that binLaden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora 10 days ago. He mentioned that 30 of al-Qa’da fighters attended the burial as well as members of his family and some friends from the Taleban. In the farewell ceremony to his final rest guns were fired in the air. The official stated that it is difficult to pinpoint the burial location of bin Laden because according to the Wahhabi tradition no mark is left by the grave. He stressed that it is unlikely that the American forces would ever uncover any traces of bin Laden.
We must note the distinct ‘missing-person’ character against the 2004 videotape, which lacked any shadows, inferring a sophisticated production, versus bin Laden’s pragmatic preference for caves. The image was sufficiently mechanical as to appear to be a Hollywood special effects production. Even the ‘message’ lacked the expected frequent references to Allah.
Considering such as the phony 9-11 “security camera” video images of the Pentagon ‘strike,’ the bin Laden videotapes fall highly suspect against his clear denials of involvement in the events of 9-11.
With regard to the subsequent US invasions, America didn’t bother to go to the library to look at such documents as the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Conventions or the Nuremberg Precedents. Unfortunately, historians await the American version of – “But, we didn’t know!”
In the events of 9-11; before, during or after, the medium for the psychological devices wasn’t limited to the ‘conventional’ mass media; the Internet played a key role – pro and con.
A major part of the events of 9-11 was the void of critical information which, while abundant, was never presented; but overtly and methodically blocked from local or mass-media dissemination.
A key indicator of such a tactic is found in Clinton’s Arkansas criminal associations, while Governor. While the information was available, it was never prominently presented by the mainstream mass media. Thus, he was TWICE elected as President.
The common availability of the personal computer makes it nearly rare to hear a person swear more by the conventional news media, than the Internet – the political ‘second opinion.’ Thus, a battle for the human heart is being rigorously fought, with the first element of the formula, “Perception Control.”
It is not the least bit surprising that the arena of military Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) is being expanded to the Internet.
The Battlefield of Information
In all regimes, Psychological Operations are an important instrument, used to implement the prescribed national security strategy. Not uncommonly, the “corporate” strategy seems to operate as a profitable parallel shadow to that national security strategy, employing its own version of Psychological Operations, independently.
The elements of government Public Diplomacy, military Public Affairs and Psychological Operations play a key role in the endeavor of “information operations,” ideally reinforcing each other. In theory, they are separate functions, with unique missions.
“Public Diplomacy” is intended to be an interagency effort, theoretically only directed at the influence of foreign audiences. That arena employs the use of over-the-border’ information dissemination, whether radio, TV or the Internet.
The world of government-sponsored “Psychological Operations” uses specific techniques – designed (in theory) to uniquely influence non-U.S. audiences.
In the theory of the government game, “Public Affairs” are not supposed to direct or manipulate the public actions or their opinion. Supposedly, Public Affairs simply inform; theoretically, under the U.S. law, they “must be separate and distinct” from any Psychological Operations.
In the same political theory, Public Affairs (as a unique arena) cannot legally be used for the purpose of military deception; or as disinformation for the digestion of foreign or domestic audiences. Nor are Public Affairs to act in the fashion of “propaganda” or publicity designed to sway or direct public opinion … be included in [Department of Defense] public affairs programs.” That, according to the “Doctrine for Public Affairs in Joint Operations,” otherwise known as “Joint Publication 3-61.”
So goes the theory, anyway.
However idealistic the applicable laws may be; reality has a different account; not always flattering to those who claim a position of integrity and morality. For example, the events of 9-11 contained an incredible level of Psychological Operations and “Coercive Persuasion;” still ongoing. One has only to examine the images of the 9-11 pre-collapse damage to the Pentagon; noting that the damage was impossible to have been done by a B-757.
Specifically, the external columns were broken at their base; and not displaced inward. The lowest possible impact point, according to the ‘official’ account, would have been approximately 18 feet. Add the missing seismic “crash” signature and the lack of thick black smoke of burning jet fuel, coming from the purported impact hole. However passionate and well-intended, the “witness” testimony of an aircraft crash doesn’t find the needed physical corroboration. As a clincher, the famous piece of aircraft skin on the Pentagon lawn was the wrong color; add the wrong damage.
Most importantly, all legitimate investigations into the 9-11 events were blocked from the White House, among other players. Despite the lack of evidence, al Qaeda was sold as the 9-11 culprit.
Mix well-timed Propaganda, PSYOPS and “Coercive Persuasion” with the correct media presentations, and the rest is history. As always, timing is key.
Coupling the most current technology with the global mass media, it is common to see an increasing blend/overlap of information between Public Affairs and Psychological Operations. Hence, Public Affairs is no longer a unique function of delivering specific media products, such as magazines, newspapers and radio/television programming. Its function now involves the task of processing themes and messages; acting as a low-level Psychological Operations front.
The underlying motivation is best described in the statement, “We can’t manipulate the enemy, if you’re out there telling the truth!” Psychological operations now mean that much.
The demand for such an evolution demands that Public Affairs, Psychological Operations, and Public Diplomacy (radio, television, newspapers), in addition to all other pertinent elements of information operations, be integrated – to the greatest extent possible – and that the efforts be carefully synchronized.
In the context of U.S. efficiency and enterprise, they need to be integrated into a single organization. Yes, the turf-wars are bloody.
It is academic that Public Information – domestic and international – must be consistent at all levels, in order to achieve and maintain the needed credibility of each element. It is natural that the content of the messages emanating from Public Affairs, Public Diplomacy and Psychological Operations will normally differ. However, in the interest of maximum “power,” the messages are required to not appreciably contradict one another.
Still, in the world of elementary human affairs, too much consistency generates suspicion; in the fashion of witnesses who all tell an obviously scripted account. In particular, when the mass media is in total alignment with governmental powers, the public suspicion can be expected to come very alive, nigh unto dangerous.
Mind Warfare Has its Limitations
Psychological Operations are theoretically oriented toward directing selected information at only foreign audiences. In that statement is the obvious thought that it’s counter-productive to lie to – or manipulate – your own audience.
That leaves the Psychological Operations personnel in the position of being the ‘voice,’ when it comes to the political messaging of the decision-makers; whether civilian leaders, politicians, or military commanders.
Psychological Operations personnel are charged with the responsibility of gathering, processing and controlling all possible information, so as to steer the targeted civilian and military emotions, reasoning, motives, and intentions; so as to effect a desired behavior. Ideally, that means that it is critical for every theme and objective to both support and reflect the stated national policy. In turn (ideally), that requires that any informational program be integrated and synchronized with all other information programs.
In the world of Psychological Operations, that is a formidable task, just given the inter-agency “friction.”
Physical warfare is incredibly expensive. Thus, it is discovered that there are both spoken and silent mandates to coordinate all possible information programs. Central to such national mandates, are the military Psychological Operations.
It is the un-spoken goal for customary diplomatic and political missions to prevent a potential enemy from leaning toward any form of violence – offensive, or defensive. However, as the history of Pearl Harbor and the Iraq WMD issue demonstrate, that is not always the reality.
Internet and other communications technologies make it nearly impossible for civilian governments to regulate information interchange. Consequently, target audiences experience much greater exposure to PSYOPS efforts.
The global population trends are naturally moving toward urbanization, particularly in the so-called third world countries. In consequence, the traditional application of overwhelming combat force quickly becomes uniquely effective, only on conventional battlefields, versus the urbanized environment, heavily populated by non-combatants. Given recent history, “enemy” forces have noted the obvious moral conflict, effectively forcing any third-world enemy to resort to using “human shields” as a means of survival. While often illuminated as “cowardice” by the aggressor’s media, the humanist perception quickly questions whether such tactics are cowardice, or sheer common sense and wisdom.
In the military mission, the capability to communicate persuasively is paramount to any political and/or military goal. It is obvious that the destructiveness of conventional military weapons and limits of traditional diplomacy leave Psychological Operations highly useful in bridging the gap between military threat of force and diplomacy. There are cases of Psychological Warfare winning a bloodless war.
In the American society, there are found significant legal limitations. In the shadow of the propaganda used by the USSR in the Cold War, a variety of laws govern Public Diplomacy. Inherently, many PSYOP efforts quickly become domestic Public Diplomacy. In consequence of such laws, military Psychological Operations encounter serious limitations.
In legal history, there was a general attitude against government agencies propagandizing the American people. The “Smith-Mundt Act” of 1948 became the foundation for Public Diplomacy. That Act established the U.S. Information Agency (USIA). [That office/function is now the Office of International Information Programs.] In 1972, the “Foreign Relations Act” amended the Smith-Mundt Act, banning the disseminating of any “information about the U.S., its people, and its policies” prepared with the intent of dissemination abroad, from being disseminated within the United States. The 1998 Zorinksy Amendment added more restrictions on Public Diplomacy; prohibiting any funds from being used – “to influence public opinion in the [United States], and no program material . . . shall be distributed within the [United States].” The 1998 Foreign Relations Restructuring Act also merged several government agencies, leaving the USIA under the Department of State.
Political and military goals aside, the “powers” faced the conflict that there was no gain in being honest. The various laws left those in the business of Psychological Operations with a nearly impossible task of reconciling domestic, versus international messaging. In the modern world of communications, it is academic that any information conflicts would be instantly identified, with the obvious counter-productive effect.
In 1999, Presidential Decision Directive 68 was issued, forming the International Public Information Group. The stated intent recognized that international public information activities “are overt and address foreign audiences only.” The Directive noted that any domestic information should be “de-conflicted” and “synchronized” so as NOT to broadcast contradictory messages. The intent of the Directive was to ensure that the various “information” agencies would coordinate their efforts.
International legal barriers also limit the Internet for the application of Psychological Operations. It is not surprising that technology creates major political conflicts. The existing and explicit regulations over particular actions – and general principles of international law – limit PSYOPS, as the advances in Information Technology outpace existing laws. The obvious consequence is the ambiguity in the definition of war, coupled with a void in the desired and/or needed provisions, which explicitly prohibit information attacks.
The IT “generation gap” leaves major areas of contention in the world of Information Warfare. While the “traditional forces of cyberwar are found in the form of organized national militaries, any netwar attacks may not necessarily involve traditional military forces, versus non-state or “guerilla” netwarriors.
A major conflict arises in the definition of “force,” as information attacks may not directly involve lethal attacks or physical destruction. Thus, it is a challenge to define such “attacks” as constituting the equivalence of “force,” under the pertinent provisions in such documents as the United Nations Charter and the Geneva Conventions. Overt information attacks may be considered legal forms of coercion, even in peacetime. In the converse, the distortion of enemy perceptions may be illegal, or otherwise be limited by the laws against perfidy.
Even within the bounds of existing legal limitations, many areas of Psychological Operations are considered to be within the bounds of international law. The current international standard is the restraint provided by the rules of the International Telecommunication Union. However, these rules do not apply to warring belligerents, leaving Information Warfare in the light of “…all is fair…”.
That allows the manipulation of enemy perceptions. The result is the creation of confusion, by such means as covertly altering official messages, broadcasts or intimidating enemy leaders by methodically (electronically) misleading their intelligence or other forms of communications. To do so would not necessarily violate the laws of war, in principle.
Yet, the reasonable person is left to question the morality of using Information Warfare to such an extreme as to leave an enemy force and its citizens or leaders detached from reality. In the modern world, it is not difficult to find cases of propaganda, video morphing, or deceptive broadcasts used to initiate unrestrained civil war, or even genocide. Thus civilization must, sooner or later, test the issue of what should be considered illegal.
Returning to the 9-11 Pentagon, the supposed Department of Defense “security videotape” of the aircraft impact contained an erroneous time-date stamp, the shadows were impossible and the incredible fireball was demonstrated to not have burned or damaged anything. Still the “first-up” impression was burned into the brains of America, with no call for an inquiry.
Another classic case in point was the overthrow of the Shah of Iran. The primary weapon of choice was audio cassettes, distributing the teachings of the Ayatollah Khoumani. However effective, imagine outlawing religious-oriented messages.
Ironically, in the USA, religious messages are successfully being ‘outlawed,’ by selectively re-packaging them as ‘hate.’ In Canada, for another example, it is illegal to cite religious scripture which condemns homosexuality. In short, “It can happen!”
Strategy and Tactics
Even within the existing laws, the Internet serves as an important military medium, enabling the Armed Forces to employ it, offensively, in the realm of unconventional warfare. Certainly, the military has a vested interest in using the Internet in countering any propaganda, disinformation, and controversies or exposures, such as the Depleted Uranium issue, similar to the Agent Orange disaster.
Currently, the major debate against using the Internet for PSYOPS is centered in the tactic of information product denial, particularly in the forced public prevention of Americans from receiving specific Internet products.
The Internet product issue goes to a range of goods and services, such as encryption methods, privacy software (anti-spyware) and certainly specific information and internet communication capability.
A certain amount of Internet military application of PSYOPS is still available, through the use of foreign language messages, posted on a different Web site. That tactic assumes a certain measure of “tolerance.” While the typical American may not understand the particular language employed, there will still be some minority segment of the U.S. population which does get exposed to such “end-runs.”
The potential capability of the Internet as a PSYOPS medium is rather self-evident, by now. Both state and non-state entities have increasingly relied upon the Internet to achieve domestic and international approval and support.
As one example, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was formed and operated with such effect as the Dayton Accords, in the Balkan breakup. Today, one still has to ask, “Who are they, anyway?” It’s not as though they are a “Congress” of the European Union. Regardless of their rather “cosmic” (non-state) being, the OSCE effectively employed the Internet to successfully influence the conventional public information channels and the voter information efforts. In that effort, they have reinforced their seeming legitimacy, as an international organization.
To date, few have examined the descriptor, “Ethnic Albanian.” That being a cryptic political euphemism for “Muslim.” Few Americans, in particular, are informed that the “Ethnic Albanians” had displaced the traditional Serbs from their homelands. When those Serbs attempted to re-assert themselves in their original homeland, the fighting broke out. In the midst of the controversy, the parallels were available between the return of the Serbs, versus the return of the Jews to the former Palestine. Yet, the public presentation was radically different – including the presentations on the Internet.
For example, the OSCE web site touted itself as a central clearing house for the Balkan issues. While holding itself out as an authoritative information source, the site served as a propaganda source. Its “service” extracted a subtle price. The Serbs and Kosovars went beyond the providing of information, engaging in what may legitimately be described as the first online war. Both sides used the various Web sites and E-mail to make their case and take their stands.
With the evolution of information operations/warfare, the various information mechanisms are destined to become more popular among the traditional “policy” agencies. Although debatable, it is suggested that a denial of service is an inferior tactic, to a greater level of information presentation – with an associated quality in that presentation. The trend is for an increasing emphasis on affecting the target audience perceptions, the associated emotions, thoughts and certainly their behavior.
During the Balkan War, the Serb broadcast media outlets were considered to be the main source of Milosevic’s propaganda. In consequence, those facilities were bombed, having been labeled as “Dual-use” targets. However, the U.S. Government elected not to attack the Serb Internet sites.
The official position of the Department of State was, “Full and open access to the Internet can only help the Serbian people know the ugly truth about the atrocities and crimes against humanity being perpetrated in Kosovo by the Milosevic regime.”
It is elementary that raw truth is no match for a passionately and effectively conveyed lie.
The Internet served as an effective NATO propaganda medium, despite the Serb Internet efforts. The assumed difference was in the arena of resources, whether money, expertise or personnel. The allowed survival of the Serb Internet served as a message, in itself. The suggestion being that the USA, in particular, was “above” taking unfair advantage of the Serb position. The Department of State mounted a rigorous online effort to defend the Balkan campaign and the U.S. credibility, in particular.
Beyond the expected norms of the Internet traffic, the Internet forums served as a major intelligence source. Whether the mood of the populace, or the movement of Serb forces, the Internet traffic was a Godsend to the intelligence community. The major requirement being the establishment of which sources could be trusted.
The Internet also allowed direct personal contact with the Serb populace, without any intervention in the form of government censorship, or the influence of peripheral propaganda. The Internet also forced the Serb officials to think twice about terminating the Internet service, themselves, fearing a popular backlash.
The American/NATO interaction within such environments as instant messaging and chat rooms served as a major source of PSYOPS influence over the Serbs. No doubt there was a major effort in the realm of “manufactured consensus.” That being the first true “cyberwar,” the Serbs would have been poorly prepared for the psychological interdiction.
Comparably, the Internet facilitated information being delivered to sympathetic groups in specific areas of concern. With respect to the local “forces” sympathetic to the NATO push, the Internet communication allowed the “friendlies” to conduct proxy military operations, sparing the need for Special Operations Forces to become more deeply involved.
Obviously, journalists delight in being able to gain information access to otherwise prohibited locations. That access, in turn, permits the mainstream media to act as an independent force-multiplier. While traditional journalism might offer an opposing view, few may rationally doubt the controls effected over the entire spectrum of the international mass media.
Although the statement above will meet with heated objection, the effective pandering of the term, “Ethnic Albanian” serves as overwhelming evidence of the magnitude of such controls. The White House conversion of the Palestinian “suicide bombers” to “homicide bombers” was quite similar.
The Internet is also an electronic battlefield, requiring defensive devices, programs and techniques to defend against attacks on individual Web sites and other information sources. This is generally accomplished through blocking and filtering software, which is installed on the various Internet gateways and pathways, reaching as far as individually owned computers.
It is interesting to note that for all the cyber warfare, there is little to block pornography on the internet, that being essentially the province of “Connected Crime.” It is a crime to download, store or re-distribute certain forms of pornography, but it is not a crime to originate such material. The implied message being, that the American citizen has the right to speak, but not the right to listen or remember.
As with all forms of media, the Internet has become an extension of the physical battlefield. Thus, governments and militaries find the Internet to be a critical wartime asset for Psychological Operations. Over time, the number of state and non-state actors is increasing in the use of the Internet as a lever. The key advantage of the Internet is its relatively low cost, especially where third-world countries are concerned.
Hence, there is a certain mandate for the concerned entities to achieve maximum effectiveness through advantageous Internet policies, regulations and laws. Only then can any PSYOPS effort take full advantage of the ever-changing contemporary electronic media.
Currently, international law restricts many aspects of Psychological Operation efforts. In an increasingly insane world, we find the ample legal room for the United States, in particular, being constricted through such devices as the “Patriot Act.” Most are aware of the Muslim online charities and money transfer services which were shut down, following 9-11.
Conversely, the various agencies in the United States are stepping up their effectiveness on the Internet, via more refined Psychological Operations tactics. In particular, the application of “Coercive Persuasion” methodologies are found in greater abundance. Such efforts, and their legal status may not be “provable,” but certain online personalities display an otherwise uncanny – and interesting – ability to sway major debates.
It should be noted that the U.S. interests are not the exclusive perpetrators of Psychological Operations. In particular, the Muslim interests are discovered to be an increasingly formidable force in the PSYOPS field. Certainly, Russia and China have been long-time players in this field. As with all arms races, we may be certain that time will deliver increasingly sophisticated devices.
Still, the military remains as the major player in the field of PSYOPS. In that light, the military finds the mandate to maximize its employment of the Internet. That mandate demands that the application of Internet efforts be an integral effort, as opposed to being a uniquely external device, with the needed Psychological Operations being uncontrolled and non-synchronous.
– END –