March 17, 2011, the UK Guardian published a report warning that social media is being manipulated.
Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media – Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
“The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.
A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.”
…each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.
Be aware, on the Internet these days there are many locations in consciousness that may be described as Frequency Prisons. The consciousness of the readers is kept in a certain specific limited range of frequency by the dolling out of a slow low-grade level of constant addictive apprehension. The people behind these websites may have once held the best of intentions; they may not even now know what they are doing and what they are involved in. But nevertheless they have created walls that entrap consciousness in fear — and enlightenment eludes the fearful. We cannot go Home in Fear.
In forums there is a technique to this that may have begun innocently to attract subscribers, but has since become a business. There are ‘regulars’, meaning posters who have built specific identities. And just as actors can take on any role, these regulars reflect an assigned state of mind, a character that perceives the world through a specific spectrum. One may pose as the warning-of-doom do-gooder, another as the chronic hopelessly depressed, or maybe the knows-it-all science-guy, or the new age housewife psychic, or a flamboyant pistol-packing ex-military dude.
All are one-dimensional created characters. None of us are ever so one-dimensional. For the sake of enthralling entertainment, they work in tandem playing the reader, the sucker.
The threads created by these one-dimensional characters inevitably carry the same repetitive frequency of a chronic apprehension, promulgating unease and doubt — but little if any truth. These threads of insidious fear are tolerated, even encouraged by the moderators. There is a comfort zone and misplaced trust for the addicted innocent reader in knowing the state of mind of the ‘regular’ poster, who often has an accompanying symbolic graphic identity.
Last year I posted briefly on a forum, which shall remain un-named. On one thread the ‘regular’ must have been drunk when I confronted him with being a paid fake. He said, “Yep! The boss says to just keep them entertained!” Well, as you may imagine his moderators soon noticed his half-wit revealing error and quickly moved in to cover the blunder. The ‘regular’ expressed a bit of anger towards me and addressed me as if I was a man. I suppose a woman is considered too stupid to figure out their game. I did what I could to expose them, but was met with an avalanche of resistance, some quite nasty.
Anyone who challenges these actors is derided as being immature and paranoid. The fear created by the actors is transferred onto and attributed to the one who dares to expose the fact that the participants are acting, role-playing to make the forum entertaining. Criticism of the challenger comes across as authoritarian or just plain rude arrogance, which is intended to reduce the challenger to a state of self-doubt and bewildered helpless confusion. Treating the challenger like a delusional child who needs reprimanding is yet another technique to keep secret the business of Fear Inc. – and posts are extracted. No one is allowed to expose the mechanics of the intentionally fabricated entertainment.
Mechanics of the Crowd
The challenger exposing the fraudulent nature of the thread must be stopped. So the fear-peddling actors move in, perhaps reading the manual. A rude angry meaningless and unrelated comment attacking the motive of the challenger is tried. Oblique anger serves to fuel the thread. Next the original poster chimes in with a reply that shows genuine concern, suggesting the motives of the thread are beyond all reproach. Another asserts no one is afraid, only the challenger! Allay all fears, so the fear thread can go on and on and on. Attack the challenger and accuse them of being a nuisance in an otherwise sincere thread, then validate innocence of intent with ‘respect’ and a fake smile. Finally have someone post express his or her own personal serious fear as further fuel.
Fear is a Mechanism of Control
Fear keeps you quiet. Fear confuses. Fear invades higher states of consciousness and destroys them. Fear is a mechanism of control. Persistent belligerent and false fear mongering can never spring from an evolved and truly enlightened consciousness.
While there are many posting on forums who do have an evolved consciousness and are attempting to balance the dark energies, their efforts are overwhelmed, swamped by the ‘professionals’ who know that fear sells and keeps the readers addicted. These locations feel suffocating, like dingy cells padded in fabricated lies that hold consciousness in a perpetual state of apprehension. Privately many will complain and after a time most stop posting leaving the frequency prison to the fresh new hopeful clueless and unaware innocents, and the bored cynical paid pros.
Controlling our Minds with Propaganda
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.
In 1928, Edward L. Bernays (nephew of Sigmund Freud), wrote a small book entitled, ‘PROPAGANDA’, 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. For example:
Chapter I: ORGANIZING CHAOS
“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.”
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.
The Age of Confusion
An important book worth looking at on propaganda was published in 1997, entitled, 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.”
There is nothing in our culture that encourages a person to think independently. Tell your family and friends that you are going off to think, and they will think you are crazy.
We in the West have had to access Eastern religions to realize that pursuits like meditation and contemplation are actually fertile uses of our time. We are encouraged to keep busy [deluded!] from the time we can walk until the day we die. Parents now send their babies to pre-schools.
What would happen if the human species were free? What would happen if we were not coerced, herded, and manipulated? What if each of us wanted to and had time to think, to become who were are, to cultivate our uniqueness and commune with our Source, the God that lives with-in each and every one of us? What might we become?
Is That What ‘They’ are Afraid of?
They must be afraid of something to have expended so much energy, money, and time all these years to keep us in such a narrow frame of expression.
These bozos who specialize in controlling and brain-washing us can only despise themselves — more than they so obviously despise and distrust us. Next time you spend a few hours absorbing mindless entertainment-and-advertising (they are never separate) designed to make you go out and consume more, more, more — stop for just a minute and think who you might be.
The corporatist elite continues to get away with the lies and the contempt.
Isn’t it time that we the people grew out of our adolescent denial and faced our own demons? If we confront our responsibility for our freedom, we might not lose it.
V. Susan Ferguson is the author of Inanna Returns, Inanna Hyper-Luminal; her own commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Shiva Sutras; and Colony Earth & the Rig Veda. Her website is Metaphysical Musing.
Excerpts from 12 articles by V. Susan Ferguson