In the 1996
national political conventions, ABC television unveiled what it called the
latest ``breakthrough'' in polling--the ``Insta-poll.''
A small ``focus group'' of selected individuals, supposedly a statistically
valid demographic representation of the American population, sat in a room
watching live telecasts of the Dole and Clinton acceptance speeches. In their
hands, they held a rheostat-like device with which they registered their
pleasure or displeasure with statements made by the candidate as he was
speaking. These responses were fed into a computer,
which then converted the aggregate responses into graphic representations,
fluctuating on the screen as opinions instantly changed. The ABC commentators
proclaimed that this ``new'' technology enabled them to break down the speech,
to analyze what parts of it ``played in
Graphic representations aside, the
technology was hardly new. Some 60 years ago, a similar device had been developed as part of a Rockefeller
Foundation-funded project, using the
The crowning achievement of the Radio Research Project was the Stanton-Lazersfeld Program Analyzer, the so-called ``Little Annie''--a rheostat-like device with which test audiences could register the intensity of their likes and dislikes of radio programs, or commercials, on a moment-to-moment basis; the brainwashers were able to determine what particular characters or situations produced the desired, momentary feeling states in the target audience. 
In The Beginning...
All public opinion polling has its origins in ``sociometrics,'' or statistical sociology, as developed in the early part of this century by Frankfurt School-linked operatives, including Max Weber.  It is based, as with ABC's Insta-Poll, or the Radio Research Project's ``Little Annie,'' on the measurement of momentary feeling states, or opinions, on given subjects. This provides a detailed profile of the prejudices and assumptions of a targetted population; as such, polls can be useful for mass brainwashing campaigns to shift opinions to those desired by those who run them. The mass media, as they developed through this century, from print, to radio, to television, became the principal vehicles for the promotion of such shifts.
Creative thinking defies measurement in quantifiable terms. It is impossible to come up with a statistical correlation, based on polling, that could determine whether one creative idea is better or more valid than another, whether it can be accepted by society as useful, important, or true. As those involved with the Radio Research Project, and such American pollsters as George Gallup and Lou Harris, or Elmo Roper, ``proved,'' opinions can be easily counted; other-directed Americans, always concerned about what their neighbors think, as determinant of what they should think about given subjects, were shown to be readily susceptible to manipulation by poll results, accepting the poll numbers as true, and being guided in their own actions by the perceived ``majority opinion.''
Polling of the type that most Americans
are familiar with began in the 1930s, becoming featured material on radio and
in newspapers. At that time, most polls were conducted by national polling
agencies, such as Gallup, Roper, or Harris, with specialized contracting
handled through Cantril's operation at Princeton and,
later, Allport's at Harvard. By the late 1940s and
early 1950s, the key
There has always been a more covert, secret side to these polling operations. The results of the Radio Research Project had demonstrated the effectiveness of public opinion polling for profiling populations, to determine their subjective weaknesses, for purposes of manipulation. This was put to work during World War II, as Tavistock-linked brainwashers conducted extensive polling of the enemy, and allied populations, operating from the Army's Psychological Warfare Directorate and the Committee on National Morale, to determine the effectiveness of brainwashing propaganda.  The findings became the basis of detailed country and regional population profiles that were used by the British oligarchy and its American lackeys to shape post-World War II policy. 
Immediately after World War II, the most extensive profiling of the American population to date took place under the auspices of a project run jointly through the Tavistock-Frankfurt School networks, ostensibly to study ``prejudice'' in the United States. The study, whose most notorious volume was titled The Authoritarian Personality, was used to promote the still widely-held belief that fascism derives from certain ``personality types,'' and its quack measurements and description of this personality type have since been used to target any enemy of British policy interests.  The database assembled from the tens of thousands of interviews, provided a compilation of manipulable proclivities and fears of Americans, that was used in the following decades. 
Another major polling-profiling operation
was undertaken by Tavistock
networks in the 1960s, under a NASA grant, ostensibly to examine the impact of
the space program on the population. The findings of the semi-secret Rapoport Report, of which only one volume was published,
found that the space program had produced a ``dangerous'' outbreak of cultural
optimism and belief in the capability of creative scientific thinking to solve
problems; this was dangerous to the British policy of post-industrialism, then
beginning to be implemented. 
The reports, which found their way into the highest policy circles of the
To build public support for this shutdown of the space program, starting in that same period, an effort was launched through public opinion polling, by agencies such as Gallup and Harris, and promoted in the media, including television, to ``show'' that Americans were opposed to the continued expenditures for manned space flight; the fraudulent results of these polls helped shape the 1970-72 election campaigns, in which such a scale-back was debated. 
Today, public opinion polling is a multibillion-dollar industry, involving tens of thousands of operatives, and hundreds of thousands of polls annually. Aside from the daily appearance of poll results in the print and electronic media, corporate and other business leaders use polls to guide their decisions on everything from when to best announce layoffs, to what color next year's cars should be.  Political figures, from the President on down, unfortunately rely on polls and pollsters to determine what they should say and how they should act; in the most recent election campaign, approximately 15% of the vast sums of money spent went to pollsters and their analysts. 
``Polls prove that people are stupid,'' said Hal Becker, who headed the Connecticut-based Futures Group, an outfit which specialized in sophisticated polling of the U.S. and other national populations.
``If you want an American to believe something, then all you have to do is get a poll taken that says it is so (and believe me, that is an easy thing to do, if you know how), and then get it publicized. You can tell somebody the Moon is made of green cheese--if the poll numbers say it is so, then the jerk reading them or watching them on the boob tube will believe it. Guaranteed.''
Becker made those comments in 1981. They are just as true today. However, no matter how many people believe that something is true, this doesn't make it true, but only the prevailing opinion. Ted Turner, the media magnate now conjoined with Time-Warner, believes that the future of U.S. politics lies in the instant polling of Americans, which he calls the ultimate form of participatory democracy; new forms of interactive cable and the Internet, he says, will make all this possible.  He is not alone in such professed beliefs; a 1991 Tavistock-initiated study on, among other things, new forms of world government, reached a similar conclusion.  Our Founding Fathers, in their infinite wisdom, designed a Republican government, based on seeking the truth, and resisting the whims of ill-informed or manipulated ``mass democracy.'' We have already come too far down the path plowed by the pollsters, and their backers such as Turner--a path which leads straight to fascism.