The Age of Confusion: Mass Manipulation & Propaganda - Part One
Ancient Origins is dedicated to breaking through the miasma of encrusted misconceptions that stand between any researcher and the truth concerning our real origins. Books such as 'Forbidden Archeology' and many others have recently emerged to clear the clutter of assumptions made by tenured establishment scholars with certain agendas.
The idea of manipulating public opinion, beliefs, and habitual consumption is very old. Using the fear of death, religions have been duping us for centuries. The Jesuits were experts. We should not be surprised that more recent and intrusive ways have been found to influence and herd the masses.
Controlling our minds with Propaganda
In 1928, Edward L. Bernays (nephew of Sigmund Freud), wrote a small book entitled, 'PROPAGANDA' (free download here), in which he delineates how to organize mass chaos, how propaganda can be used by an elite few to start wars and influence business, politics, literally every aspect of our lives. The book is available online free as a PDF. The final chapter is entitled: The Mechanics of Propaganda. Here is an example:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government, which is the true ruling power of our country.
...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.
Chapter I: ORGANIZING CHAOS
And from an introduction to the published edition:
That propaganda easily seduces even those whom it most horrifies is a paradox that Bernays grasped completely; and it is one that we must try at last to understand, if we want to change the world that Edward Bernays, among others, made for us.
- Mark Crispin Miller, NYC 2004; Ig Publishing edition.
An important book on propaganda was published in 1997: Taking the Risk out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty by Alex Carey, 1997; University of Illinois Press
While this might not seem exactly metaphysical, my usual area of study, I believe it is very important for us all to understand the mechanics of propaganda and manipulation. Alex Carey’s book is key to learning how Americans have been lied to and manipulated — and thus fits into the predictions from the ancient Sanskrit text the Linga Purana concerning our current Age of Confusion, the Kali Yuga :
*People will prefer to choose false ideas.
*Base [low minded] men who have gained a certain amount of learning (without having the virtues necessary for its use) will be esteemed as sages.
*Thieves will become kings, and kings will be the thieves.
*Rulers will confiscate property and use it badly. They will cease to protect the people.
'Taking the Risk out of Democracy, Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty' by Alex Carey, sheds some light on the demons in the closet of the United States of America.
As Mr. Carey informs us, "The common man…has never been so confused, mystified and baffled; his most intimate conceptions of himself, of his needs, and indeed the very nature of human nature, have been subject to skilled manipulation and construction in the interests of corporate efficiency and profit."
This book tells us that we the American people have been subjected to a 75-year long multi-billion dollar intentional assault on our freedom to think and to choose.
... propaganda techniques have been developed and deployed (in the United States)... to control and deflect the purposes of the domestic electorate in a democratic country in the interests of the privileged segments of that society.
What is propaganda?
Propaganda is the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbols... Collective attitudes are amenable to many modes of alteration… intimidation... economic coercion... drill. But their arrangement and rearrangement occurs principally under the impetus of significant symbols; and the technique of using significant symbols for this purpose is propaganda.
(Laswell, Bradson, and Janowitz 1953:776-80)
These significant symbols are the catch phrases by which we human beings can be aroused to anger, to go to war, or merely to consume. Phrases like the American Way, the Free Enterprise System, the American Dream, and the global economy are meant to empower our faith — as opposed to creeping socialism, the red menace, and a national threat.
Significant symbols are "symbols with real power over emotional reactions, ideally symbols of the Sacred and the Satanic."
People are polarized by these symbols. They see life in terms of good and bad, black and white, and thus are more easily manipulated. The 'enemy' out there may indeed seem evil. But in the solitude of our own hearts, we know that we are all a mix of both. None of us is so clearly saint or sinner. Instead of emotionally polarizing we could have a dialogue, a discussion; and yet, it seems we can be manipulated by propaganda into thinking almost anything.
Alex Carey suggests that we Americans might be the most brain washed country on the planet! One professor in Carey's book, Professor Harwood Childs, states, "Americans are the most propagandized people of any nation."
I know you are thinking, "Hey! Only the bad guys use propaganda. Only our enemies use propaganda." And you are right, they do. But as we are now learning, the 'bad' guys are sometimes right in our own back yard and we don't even see them.
Who are these 'geniuses' that believe they have the right to manipulate our thinking?
In the early days of World War I, we the America people - like any intelligent group of human beings - didn't want to go to war. So we had to be convinced, or coerced, and this was done very effectively by a campaign launched by President Woodrow Wilson, Walter Lippman (an eminent journalist), and Edward Bernays (who just happened to be the nephew of Sigmund Freud). I can always remember the Bernays name because it sounds like that really fattening butter sauce.
Lippman and Bernays were brilliant at brainwashing.
Bernays is famous for saying, "If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it." [from 'Toxic Sludge is Good for You!' Common Courage Press]. Bernays called this 'engineering consent.'
I don't know about you, but I sure like to spend my weekends thinking about controlling the group mind. What are these weirdos thinking? The reason none of us have known that these things are going on is because none of us is capable of thinking like this! We have better ways to occupy our time.
The World War I propaganda campaign of Mr. Lippman and Mr. Bernays "produced within six months so intense an anti-German hysteria as to permanently impress American business (and Adolph Hitler, among others) with the potential of large scale propaganda to control public opinion."
Bernays found a very practical use for his Uncle Sigmund's science of psychology. "When the war ended, Bernays later wrote, business realized that the general public could now be harnessed to their cause as it had been harnessed to the war, to the national cause." (Alex Carey).
This has been going on in the USA since before most of us were born, and propaganda has been used since the beginning of written history. Before metaphysics, I studied art and art history and I have concluded that much of what we consider to be art is in fact propaganda, wonderful beauty designed to intimidate and instruct. Think about those big statues of gods, rulers and tyrants.
Propaganda has become a profession
Today we have far more efficient means of distributing propaganda than ever before. The television, the Internet, and the media in general have made it easy for the masters of ‘spin’ and the public relations firms with their armies of lawyers, lobbyists, and paid-for-scientists to tell us what to think so that we will all be good little consumers. The true religion of the West is consumerism, and we are working night and day to spread that religion to our brothers and sisters around the world.
Every man, woman and child on the planet now has a right to shop at a Mall and eat burgers & fries, whether they want to or not. Was that in the Bill of Rights? Oh, yes, of course "the pursuit of happiness" is — having more things! Or as one journalist noted, "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping?"
Contempt for us...
In 1927, Harold Lasswell wrote "Propaganda Techniques in World War I" and suggested that, "familiarity with the behavior of the ruling public (meaning those who had so easily succumbed to the propaganda) has bred contempt... as a consequence, despondent democrats turned elitist, no longer trusting intelligent public opinion, and therefore should themselves determine how to make up the public mind, how to bamboozle and seduce in the name of the public good..."
As Alex Carey points out, "propaganda has become a profession. The modern world is busy developing a corps of men & women who do nothing but study the ways and means of changing minds or binding minds to their convictions."