Wild Ideas Lecture Series -- The
presented by Kenneth Warren
and John Guscott
Propositions in Play
"No enlightened person wishes to be duped by his desires, his fantasies, his glands." Gordon W. Allport
"All coercive techniques involve, on one level or another, frightening, or threatening, or intimidating a person, so that they move into survival mode." Douglas Rushkoff
"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." Edward L. Bernays
"Everytime you watch someone else doing something(or even starting to do something), the corresponding mirror neuron might fire in your brain..." Arleen Raymond
"I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology....Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated." Bertrand Russell
"What we observe in the population today are the three destructive symptoms of persons whose minds are controlled by alien forces: 1. Amnesia, i.e. loss of memory. 2. Abulia, i.e. loss of will. 3. Apathy, i.e. loss of interest in events vital to one's own health and survival." Michael A. Hoffman II
"It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words and words can be molded until they clothe ideas in disguise." - Joseph Goebbels
"We shall assume that what each man does is based not on direct and certain knowledge, but on pictures made by himself or given to him...But what is propaganda, if not the effort to alter the picture to which men respond, to substitute one social pattern for another?" - Walter Lippmann
"The notion of rational man, capable of thinking and living according to reason, of controlling his passions and living according to scientific patterns, of choosing freely between good and evil--all this seems opposed to the secret influences, the mobilizations of myths, the swift appeals to the irrational, so characteristic of propaganda." - Jacques Ellul
"There are no facts." - Michel Foucault
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad." - Aldous Huxley
Context and Definitions
"If you think about how you think, you will find your mind is made of memories, facts, and that sort of thing; you picked these up through continual reinforcement... Using a computer metaphor, your mind is hardware (the grey matter, providing you with senses, nerve endings, neurons) and software (combined from that odd core of your being that is doing the reflecting, and the material it is reflecting upon, kind of like a computer program and its data). That isn't the whole story, of course; there is an unidentified extra component, the 'wetware,' that gives you free will, volition, self-awareness. We know next to nothing about how this piece works; it appears to be an odd combination of chaotic and stochastic processes, transcending both. About the only thing we know for certain about the human mind is that we haven't even begun to utilize it to its full potential." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"
"systematic manipulation of public opinion, generally by the use of
symbols such as flags, monuments, oratory, and publications. Modern propaganda
is distinguished from other forms of communication in that it is consciously
and deliberately used to influence group attitudes; all other functions are
secondary. Thus, almost any attempt to sway public opinion, including lobbying,
commercial advertising, and missionary work, can be broadly construed as propaganda."
Propaganda - "The deliberate attempt to influence mass attitudes on controversial subjects by the use of symbols rather than force. 2. A systematic effort to persuade a body of people to support or adopt a particular product, opinion, attitude, or course of action. Propaganda and Persuasion Techniques A Guide to Identifying Manipulative Information by Virginia Stewart, M.Ed.
"Words are the new weapons, satellites the new artillery. . . . Caesar had his officers; Napoleon had his armies. I have my divisions: TV, news, magazines." -- Archvillain Elliot Carver to James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies
"As generally understood, propaganda is opinion expressed for the purpose of influencing actions of individuals or groups... Propaganda thus differs fundamentally from scientific analysis. The propagandist tries to "put something across," good or bad. The scientist does not try to put anything across; he devotes his life to the discovery of new facts and principles. The propagandist seldom wants careful scrutiny and criticism; his object is to bring about a specific action. The scientist, on the other hand, is always prepared for and wants the most careful scrutiny and criticism of his facts and ideas. Science flourishes on criticism. Dangerous propaganda crumbles before it." Alfred McLung Lee & Elizabeth Bryant Lee, from: The Fine Art of Propaganda
"Propaganda seeks to induce action, adherence, and as little thought as possible. According to propaganda, it is useless, even harmful for man to think .... Action must come directly from the depths of the unconscious ..... This is the basic condition of the political organization of the modern world, and propaganda is the instrument to attain this effect. An example that shows the radical devaluation of thought is the transformation of words in propaganda; there, language, the instrument of the mind, becomes "pure sound," a symbol directly evoking feelings and reflexes. This is one of the most serious disociations that propaganda causes. Propaganda sometimes deliberately separates from man's real world the verbal world that it creates; it tends to destroy man's conscience" Jacques Ellul, from Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
"It is the emergence of mass media which makes possible the use of propaganda techniques on a societal scale. The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment. Mass media provides the essential link between the individual and the demands of the technological society." Jacques Ellul, from Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
"... every day we are bombarded with one persuasive communication after another. These appeals persuade not through the give-and-take of argument and debate, but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human emotions. For better or worse, ours is an age of propaganda." Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson, Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion
"Our contemporaries only see the presentations which are given them by the press, the radio, propaganda, and publicity. . . . In his eyes, a fact becomes true when he has read an account of it in the paper, and he measures its importance by the size of the headlines!" Jacques Ellul, from: The Presence of the Kingdom
"Propagandists love short-cuts -- particularly those which short-circuit rational thought. They encourage this by agitating emotions, by exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending the rules of logic." Aaron Delwiche, from: "Why Think About Propaganda?
Categories of propaganda techniques are: "1. Characteristics of the content self-evident -No additional information is required to recognize the characteristics of this type of propaganda. "Name calling" and the use of slogans are techniques of this nature. 2. Additional information required to be recognized - Additional information is required by the target or analyst for the use of this technique to be recognized. "Lying" is an example of this technique. The audience or analyst must have additional information in order to know whether a lie is being told. 3. Evident only after extended output - "Change of pace" is an example of this technique. Neither the audience nor the analyst can know that a change of pace has taken place until various amounts of propaganda have been brought into focus. 4. Nature of the arguments used - An argument is a reason, or a series of reasons, offered as to why the audience should behave, believe, or think in a certain manner. An argument is expressed or implied. 5. Inferred intent of the originator - This technique refers to the effect the propagandist wishes to achieve on the target audience. "Divisive" and "unifying" propaganda fall within this technique. It might also be classified on the basis of the effect it has on an audience." Dorje Carl, from "Propaganda Techniques"
"The five propaganda
techniques generally used in advertisements: a. Bandwagon: persuading people to
do something by letting them know others are doing it; b. Testimonial: using
the words of a famous person to persuade you; c. Transfer: using the names or
pictures of famous people, but not direct quotations; d. Repetition: the
product name is repeated at least four times; e. Emotional words: words that
will make you feel strongly about someone or something."
"Command propaganda" seeks an immediate, specific response: NOW. Most commercial advertising does this. In much political advertising,* persuaders also use this same 5-part pattern of "the pitch": Attention-getting starts with simple "name recognition"; Desire-Stimulating refers to the issues discussed (if any), the social (not individual) benefits promised; Urgency and Response focus on a simple act, "Vote for Me. Now." Thus, election campaign rhetoric is a form of command propaganda. "Command Propaganda and Conditioning"
propaganda" seeks a future response: LATER. Conditioning propaganda is
designed to mold public opinions, basic assumptions,
attitudes, beliefs, myths, and world views, on a long-term basis, as the
necessary prelude, climate, or atmosphere for eventually getting a response,
later. Observers disagree on terms here: Jacques Ellul,
the French scholar, in the classic study, Propaganda, called this
"sub-propaganda"; the Nazi leader, Goebbels,
called it "basic propaganda"; the Soviet leader, Lenin, called it
"political education." Recently, the terms "consciousness raising"
and "awareness building" have been used by various cause groups
(anti-abortionists, feminists, environmentalists, civil rights) in the
Agencies and Applications
Since WWII the
"What is the propaganda model and how does it work? The crucial structural factors derive from the fact that the dominant media are firmly imbedded in the market system. They are profit-seeking businesses, owned by very wealthy people (or other companies); they are funded largely by advertisers who are also profit-seeking entities, and who want their ads to appear in a supportive selling environment. The media are also dependent on government and major business firms as information sources, and both efficiency and political considerations, and frequently overlapping interests, cause a certain degree of solidarity to prevail among the government, major media, and other corporate businesses. Government and large non-media business firms are also best positioned (and sufficiently wealthy) to be able to pressure the media with threats of withdrawal of advertising or TV licenses, libel suits, and other direct and indirect modes of attack." Edward S. Herman, from: "The propaganda model revisited" Monthly Review, July, 1996
"Nazism, the myth of Germanic racial superiority, is an interesting look at a common historical occurrence. Hitler provided the skeleton, but Goebbels and the Propaganda Ministry put flesh on the bones. Use of constant reinforcement, triggering an amazing number of cultural responses such as 'noble sacrifice' and 'total commitment,' use of the 'elite chosen by God' metaphor, indoctrination of the young, all were a masterful implementation by a natural talent. The meme, however, had the roots of its destruction built in, with non-tolerance, the inability to conceive of losing, and the perpetration of unspeakable acts as side effects that combined to kill off those infected. Nazism also gives an example in recent history of a successful meme actually managing to become an operational paradigm for continuing generations." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"
"Jacques Ellul, author of "Propaganda: The Formation of Men's
Attitudes" (1965) defines psychological warfare like this -- "the
propagandist is dealing with an adversary whose morale he seeks to destroy by
psychological means so that the opponent begins to doubt the validity of his
beliefs and actions." "The incestuous relationship of the Monopoly
Media Cartel and psychological warfare has a long history. Veterans of World
War II, for example, the US Army's Psychological Warfare Division, became the
Cold War's media giants.
"The alchemical processing of humans is performed with the props of time and space: what happens ritually in a series of significant places can "bend" reality. That's what "wicker" means in its most subterranean signification. Wicca (witchcraft) is just a description of the end-result of the function of bending reality. How is reality bent? By the placing of ritual props in ceremonial places. These places exist both in the mind and in physical space." Michael A. Hoffman II, from: "Profiling the FBI's Unabom Charade"
Messages and Targets
"The average American is exposed to at least three thousand ads every day and will spend three years of his or her life watching television commercials." Jean Kilbourne, from: Deadly Persuasion
Dell Computer and Web PC - (ca. January, 2000) Different people speak in turn. One says, "I was born to be bombarded by information." Another says, "I was born to turn my mind over to the web." --Nobody was born to be bombarded by information, or to turn their mind over to anything or anyone. A truly disgusting and Big Brotherish ad." Mark Seely, from "Propaganda Watch It's in the commercials Second Edition"
"Few Americans, however, know of a hidden government effort to shoehorn anti-drug messages into the most pervasive and powerful billboard of all -- network television programming." Daniel Forbes, from "Prime-time propaganda How the White House secretly hooked network TV on its anti-drug message"
"OnStar - (ca. January and February, 2000) A married couple talks about an incident where they were driving through the desert, got a flat tire, and the ground was crawling with rattlesnakes. They pushed the "OnStar" button on the car's console, and "within seconds the OnStar advisor pinpointed our location and sent a tow truck... called the paramedics..." The announcer says, "The one touch connection to people who can help." A caption on the screen reads, "Wherever you go, here we are." --You bet they are. What they didn't tell you was that they knew your location even before you pressed that button.This ad is rumored to be the first step in the establishment's plan to put a tracking device in every car." Mark Seely, from "Propaganda Watch It's in the commercials Second Edition"
"In the summer of
1959, just before McCloy took his family for an
extended trip to
describes an incident at
in The Siege. Here are the most obvious propaganda factoids. 1. Demonizing the
Militia. Continuing the mainstream-media propaganda, Denzel
Washington asks his fellow feds in the FBI office, "You think it's
militia?" "Not their style," they answer, as if most militas were capable of "terrorism" without the
active participation by undercover CIA, FBI, or BATF agent provocateurs. 2.
Demonizing the Internet. "Everybody on the Internet knows
Industry History and Profile
"The PR industry
employs 200,000 people in the
"...what makes advertising and PR work is that people see their own personal needs or interests being stoked, and ... unless you acknowledge the appeal of this stuff — its eroticism — and the self-interest of the receiver of the message, it's like presenting a machine without anything driving it; there's no sense of what propels the apparatus." Stuart Ewen
"An estimated $1.4 trillion is spent every year marketing goods and services worldwide." Kim Cassino, American Demographics, November 1997.
"The first wave of PR
strategy... is... rational reportage...laying out facts to persuade people the
corporate position was in their best interest. It wasn’t particularly
successful. Meanwhile, another intellectual tradition began to raise its head
in the late nineteenth century. It has as its founder a French sociologist
named Gustav Le Bon who wrote in 1895 a book called The Crowd: A Study of the
Popular Mind. Le Bon was an anguished French middle-class academic who saw the
growth of democratic politics and the old systems of hierarchy and deference
breaking down. Particularly after the Paris Commune of 1871 he felt that the
mob at any moment could seize society and destroy all he held sacred. Le Bon
starts to examine the social psychology of the crowd. For him the crowd is not
driven by rational argument, but by its spinal cord. It responds solely to emotional
appeals and is incapable of thought or reason. Somebody interested in leading
the crowd needs to appeal not to logic but to unconscious motivation. For Le
Bon, the most effective way to do this is through the use of images. In a
period of great social turmoil Le Bon’s ideas began to have a tremendous
impact. The Crowd was available in 19 languages a year after publication. In
"By World War I, middle-class fears of the rising tide of immigrants and the social turbulence borne on their wake were overtaking the progressive agenda; the Enlightenment faith in a reasoning "public," susceptible to arguments founded on fact, was giving way to a vision of the masses as an irrational, unmanageable "crowd." Informed by social science, public relations emerged as a tool for controlling cultural chaos and maintaining the status quo." Mark Dery, from "Hidden Persuaders"
"PR was originally a tool for damage control or crisis management. If a company committed a wrongdoing or had some other disaster on its hands, it would employ PR defensively to save face. Managing image perception (or "manufacturing consent," to use the words of PR pioneer/pollster Walter Lippmann) soon became a much more active process. Now crisis management is but a small subset of the ever-expanding field of public relations." Carrie McLaren
"Press releases were invented by public-relations expert Ivy Lee in the early years of the twentieth century in an effort to control media coverage of railway accidents for his client, Pennsylvania Railway. He decided that if the press was going to report the accidents it would be better to make sure they reported them from the company point of view. The strategy was so successful that by the late 1940s almost half the news was based on press releases from public-relations departments and firms." Sharon Beder, from "The Best Coverage Money Can Buy"
"The daily tonnage output of propaganda and publicity... has become an important force in American life. Nearly half of the contents of the best newspapers is derived from publicity releases; nearly all the contents of lesser papers... is directly or indirectly the product of PR departments." Fortune magazine 1949 as cited by Sharon Beder in Global Spin
"Edward L. Bernays...became one of the most influential pioneers of
American public relations...In the twenties, Bernays
fathered the link between corporate sales campaigns and popular social causes,
when-while working for the American Tobacco Company-he persuaded women's rights
"The Torches of Freedom campaign was a classic instance of using sexual liberation as a form of control. It proposed addiction as a form of freedom. In this, it was an early version of the Virginia Slims, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” campaign, which made repeated reference to the suffragette movement as a way of associating cigarettes with freedom...All the gullible consumer saw was women wanting to be free, whereas in reality the women who marched in the parade smoking their Luckies were being manipulated by the Tobacco Industry into a sort of bondage that was both literal, in terms of physical addiction, and moral in the sense that it was motivated by a subliminal understanding of sexual liberation." E. Michael Jones, Ph.D., from: "The Torches of Freedom Campaign: Behaviorism, Advertising, and the Rise of the American Empire"
"Bernays regarded Uncle Sigmund as a mentor, and used Freud's insights into the human psyche and motivation to design his PR campaigns, while also trading on his famous uncle's name to inflate his own stature. There is, however, a striking paradox in the relationship between the two. Uncle Sigmund's "talking cure" was designed to unearth his patients' unconscious drives and hidden motives, in the belief that bringing them into conscious discourse would help people lead healthier lives. Bernays, by contrast, used psychological techniques to mask the motives of his clients, as part of a deliberate strategy aimed at keeping the public unconscious of the forces that were working to mold their minds." John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton on The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of PR
"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. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." Edward Bernays, from: Propaganda
Applications and Effects
"By initiating the
story, PR people are better able to shape the angle it gets told from and
determine which people get interviewed. The ultimate pre-packaged news is the
video news release. This is sent to TV stations and often aired with little
change or indication to the audience that what they are watching is not
independent reporting. Most broadcasters, whether in
"...public relations, broadly defined, includes advertising. The difference being that, while advertising appears as an explicit commercial message, good PR is invisible. If PR is done right, you can't tell it's PR, it just looks like good business." Carrie McLaren
"The vast increase in corporate and government PR worldwide means that those with power are falling over themselves to let us in on the good things they are doing for us... It’s an enterprise whose collective purpose is to ‘administer’ democracy, eliminating risks for clients. The key ‘project’ is not to reform reality, but to manage our perceptions of it." Richard Swift, from "Mindgames It’s just a short step from political propaganda to corporate public relations"
"The powerful techniques of coercion -- from Carnegie's classic How to Win Friends and Influence People to Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to the diabolical CIA Interrogation Manual -- have poisoned our lives. All personal interactions, from our daily workday encounters to our most intimate relationships, have been tagged, even perverted, by the meta-language of "sales." Uri Dowbenko, from "Media, Manipulation and the Cult of Consumerism An Interview with Douglas Rushkoff"
."The logic is clear -- propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state and that's wise and good because again the common interests elude the bewildered herd, they cant figure them out. The public relations industry not only took this ideology on very explicitly but also acted on it, that's a huge industry, spending hundreds of..by now probably on the order of a billion dollars a year on it or something and its commitment all along was to controlling the public mind. "Chomsky on Propaganda"
"Using the latest
communications technologies and polling techniques, as well as an array of
high-level political connections, PR flacks routinely "manage" issues
for government and corporate clients and "package" them for public
consumption. The result is a "democracy" in which citizens are turned
into passive receptacles of "disinfotainment"
and "advertorials" and in which critics of the status quo are defined
as ignorant meddlers and/or dangerous outsiders." Carmelo
Ruiz, from Burson-Marsteller: PR For the
"Founded in 1923, Hill
& Knowlton (H&K) are an international public relations
company...H&K... fabricated the story that `Iraqi soldiers had removed 312
babies from their incubators and left them to die on the cold hospital floor of
Kuwait City'... The story was first reported to the London Daily Telegraph
(September 5th, 1990) by exiled Kuwaiti housing minister and member of CFK Yahya al-Sumait. Because of the
high emotional content of the story, it was repeated globally by much of the
media, none of whom adequately checked the source... `the senior account people
on the Kuwaiti account included Craig Fuller, Bush's former chief of staff when
Bush was Vice President'. Using this connection, H&K set up a hearing with
the Congressional Human Rights caucus on October 10th 1990 where they produced
`Nayirah', a 15-year Kuwaiti who gave the following
statement: 'I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go
into the room where 15 babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of
the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die.'..According to MacArthur
(1993), H&K 'made a brilliant little video news release out of it, which
they beamed all over the world. It was on NBC Nightly News and millions and
millions of people saw this'. This story was then presented to the United
Nations Security Council during an audio-visual presentation on
"Advertising at its best is making people feel that without their product, you're a loser," explained Nancy Shalek, president of the Shalek Agency." Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"
More than anything, they want your children's minds. "Kids marketing in general is becoming more sophisticated," says Julie Halpin, CEO of Gepetto Group, which specializes in marketing to kids. It is a competition for what she calls "share of mind." Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"
‘‘Persuasion, by its definition, is subtle. The best PR ends up looking like news. You never know when a PR agency is being effective; you’ll just find your views slowly shifting." A PR executive
"You have pollsters and demographers going around asking people questions, usually more about what they feel than what they think. From that fairly fragmentary data they put together an agglomeration called ‘public opinion’." Stuart Ewen
"It was in the
post-War period that the PR industry, the advertising industry, the press agent
industry, what the psychologist Robert Shalldini
calls ‘the compliance industries’, really took off. These things grew
exponentially in the 1920s in the
":... to make the transition from effective policy interlocutor to effective public communicator, it is essential to shift from issues-based communications to stories-based communications. There are no issues-oriented media with any broad appeal, and the selling of complex issues coverage is a difficult task in any event because it contains little or no news value. Good stories, on the other hand, go around the world in minutes. That's the way adversaries play. That's the way industry must play." Leaked Document on Europabio PR Strategy"
"The 1930s and then
the 1960s were periods in which the challenge to the business system became
widespread. If you want to see the flowering of corporate public relations
strategies look at the decade following those periods. After World War Two a
kind of gung-ho corporate public-relations strategy tries to present the
private business system as the quintessence of the
Perhaps the biggest – and
certainly the most expensive – PR effort on a Southern issue was the campaign
undertaken by the Wexler Group for the ratificaction
of the Northern American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with
Subliminals and Technology
"High-tech mass persuasion has achieved levels of sophistication far beyond what most individuals imagine. Most still desperately cling to the delusion that they think for themselves, determine their own destinies, exercise both individual and collective free will (the great myth that underlies democratic ideology); that advertising works in the interest of the consumer; and perhaps the greatest self-deception of all -- that they can easily discriminate between fantasy and reality." Wilson Bryan Key
"With the onset of the
machine technology known by the interesting sobriquet, "Virtual
Reality," the immersion of mankind into the counterfeit,
computer-generated cryptosphere, intensifies, and the
march of induced hallucination, digital money, junk from Wal-Mart and miracles
by priests in lab coats, accelerates, commensurate with the spiritual and
mental deaths of animated corpses of the walking dead in
"Subliminal visuals surround us as well. They're airbrushed into print ads and billboards, they flicker past during commercials at a hardly noticeable, barely legal rate. To heighten the hypnotic effects of moving video, producers need only place one blank, black frame for every 32 frames of film. Every hour that you spend watching tv, your right-brained, endorphin-numbed, glassy-ass trance state is deepened. So don't be too hard on yourself for accidentally "staying tuned" all the way through 7th Heaven—you were literally held against your will." Sven Golly, from "Learn the Deadly Secrets of Mind Control"
"Wayne Chilicki, a General Mills executive, agrees: "When it comes to targeting kid consumers, we at General Mills follow the Proctor & Gamble model of ‘cradle to grave,'" he says. "We believe in getting them early and having them for life."" Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"
"Advertising targeted at elementary school children," Professor McNeal says, "on programs just for them works very effectively in the sense of implanting brand names in their minds and creating desires for the products." Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"
""I was working with one firm that was doing focus groups with cult members about how they got pulled into their cult and what the cult did... They interviewed some people from Scientology. Some of them were still in. And [they interviewed] those who were in cult-like organizations like Amway or Hells Angels...They were looking for ways to apply the techniques of cult indoctrination to 'cult brands.' They're called 'cult brands.' In other words -- how to take a brand and have an off-the-shelf set of rules that they can apply. If a client comes in and says 'We want our brand to be a cult brand,' they say, 'Well, this is how to do it.'" Douglas Rushkoff
everywhere, and people everywhere are united by it. Perhaps for the first time,
young people of all ethnic and geographic origins share images and experiences,
thanks in large measure to mass media and mass advertising. Advertising offers
youth entertainment, diversion, a way to manage their mood states, and
information on how to satisfy personal needs. Its first-class graphics, music,
and humour give advertising the potential to teach children language,
cognitive, social, and artistic skills... What youngsters get are ideas for
satisfying their needs for identity, belonging, and independence. They use
information in commercials, and the commercials themselves, to help them
achieve their personal goals. " Jeffrey Goldstein, Ph.D., Department of
"Recent tests by
researcher Herbert Krugman showed that, while viewers
were watching TV, right-brain activity outnumbered left-brain activity by a
ratio of two to one. Put more simply, the viewers were in an altered state, in
trance, more often than not. They were getting their Beta-endorphin
"Fix." To measure attention spans, psycho - physiologist Thomas Mulholland of the
"McDonald’s spends $1.8 billion a year on various PR." Joel Kovel, Z magazine, September 1997.
"The biotech industry has chosen a slam dunk strategy to gain public acceptance for its products: Slip unlabeled genetically engineered food into the food supply and hope too many people don't notice or object. Deal with those who do notice and object with an army of "experts" that stand ready to refute any criticisms or critics of the technology....If plans run awry for some reason, mount a full public relations offensive..." Karen Charman, from: "Force Feeding Genetically Engineered Foods"
Europe's most powerful biotechnology industry has contracted the government and public affairs PR agency, Burson Marsteller, to manage the crisis that the biotech market is facing as a result of the widespread resistance to genetic engineering and its products in this part of the world. "Leaked Document on Europabio PR Strategy"
"Subliminal perception occurs whenever stimuli presented below the threshold or limen for awareness are found to influence thoughts, feelings, or actions. The term subliminal perception was originally used to describe situations in which weak stimuli were perceived without awareness. In recent years, the term has been applied more generally to describe any situation in which unnoticed stimuli are perceived." Philip M. Merikle, from "Subliminal Perception"
"Mental illness, the Twentieth Century Plague, may be related to subliminal stimuli. What is vaguely called schizophrenia, for example, could be involved with an individual's perception of subliminal stimuli." Wilson Bryan Key, from: Subliminal Seduction
"According to research by the Roper Organization in 1992, fifty-seven percent of American consumers still believe that subliminal advertising is practiced on a regular basis, and only one in twelve think it "almost never" happens. To protect themselves from the techniques they believe are being used against them, the advertising audience has adopted a stance of cynical suspician." Douglas Rushkoff, from Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say
"Kilbourne, Painton and Ridley created a test of subliminals using an original Chivas Regal ad with a subliminal nude and an additional picture retouched to take out the nude. They reported their results in Psychology Today. The picture with the subliminal nude was preferred over the picture without the subliminal nude (Natale, 1988; Kilbourne et. al., 1984). They point out that part of the problem with Key's reports is his ambiguous use of the word subliminal. Key makes no distinction between innuendo, metaphor, embeds and subliminals. The phenomenon that Key is most concerned with are actually visual embeds, also known as hidden pictures." B. Diane Miller Blackwood, from: Sex and the Single Sociologist: An Essay on Subliminal Advertising"
"In March of 1994, someone discovered that Jessica Rabbit had no underwear for a very short time during the animated movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Globe & Mail, March 17, 1994). In this example, there were at least three offending frames-unnoticeable unless the tape is advanced frame by frame. Were they deliberately planted there for some nefarious reason, or were the artists just saving some ink or playing a practical joke? It's hard to know, but the physical presence of an uncovered Jessica tells us nothing about the perceptual or psychological consequences of her undressed state. It is probable that under normal viewing conditions the contents of the frames are completely and thoroughly masked by the subsequent material. In the absence of the appropriate tests, however, one cannot simply assert that stimuli are (or are not) subliminal. In none of these examples is it possible to know definitively if the signal or image was subliminal, nor if it was deliberately planted." Timothy E. Moore, from: "Scientific Consensus and Expert Testimony: Lessons from the Judas Priest Trial"
"Certain studies seem to show that subliminal visual or aural conditioning in movie theaters can increase sales of refreshments. However, the results are not significant enough to be regarded as evidence of a real effect. Additionally, experiments have shown that any changes in behavior occur only immediately after the subliminal message is given and they disappear just as quickly. It is only a temporary modification of the subject's reactions, and not a durable conditioning." Jean-Marie Abgrall, from Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults
"In fact, the man who claims to have developed subliminal persuasion, James Vicary, admitted to Advertising Age in 1984 that he had fabricated his evidence that the technique worked in order to drum up business for his failing research company." Douglas Rushkoff, from Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say
"Gore staffers alerted at least one news organization and were contacting others about an RNC ad in which the word "RATS" appears briefly on screen in an ad that criticizes Gore's prescription drug plan. A Bush spokesman brushed aside suggestions of subliminal advertising as "bizarre, ridiculous and absurd." The RNC had no immediate comment." Candy Crowley, from "Gore campaign smells 'rats' in RNC ad"
"...on a slow news day
in a laggardly news week, the Gore campaign called
Berke with its "scoop." It said a clever viewer in
Jamieson, dean of the Annenberg School of Communication at the
"As the presidential campaign gives every sign that it can't wait to be upstaged by the Olympics, we are suddenly thrust back into the 1950s with the hyped-up fear that subliminal advertising is tampering with our brains. A Republican commercial deriding Al Gore's prescription-drug plan flashes the word "RATS" on the screen for one-thirtieth of a second, right after the phrase "Bureaucrats Decide." Detected by Fox News two weeks ago, then given front-page treatment by The New York Times Tuesday, this ad flap suggests a 3-D movie about a mad social scientist. The whole thing makes about as much sense as the widespread 1950s belief that crouching under a schoolroom desk would protect children against a Russian atomic attack. The only coherent explanation was belatedly provided by Alex Castellanos, who made the 30-second spot for the Republican National Committee (RNC). He claimed that the rodent language was coincidental and that the oversize letters were designed to create visual interest. "People get bored watching TV," Castellanos told the Associated Press. "You're trying to get them interested and involved." Walter Shapiro, from "Fear of subliminal advertising is irrational"
"A research project by
Jacob Jacoby, a
"PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (DOD) Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign government, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also perception management.
PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (NATO) Planned psychological activities in peace and war directed to enemy, friendly, and neutral audiences in order to influence attitudes and behavior affecting the achievement of political and military objectives. They include strategic psychological activities, consolidation psychological operations and battlefield psychological activities.
PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (IADB) These operations include psychological warfare and, in addition, encompass those political, military, economic, and ideological actions planned and conducted to create in neutral or friendly foreign groups the emotions, attitudes, or behavior to support the achievement of national objectives." Propaganda And Psychological Warfare Studies: Glossary Department of Defense Military and Associated Terms"
The PSYOPS "process"... is divided into six parts: intelligence gathering, target audience analysis, product development, media selection, media production, and dissemination." Benjamin Richardson, from: "The Use of the Psyops Against High School Terrorism"
Brains and Targets
"Once you have a brain harnessed to imitation, you can transmit behavior non-genetically, thus giving rise to "culture" or "memes." Richard van Ort, on "Mirror Neurons"
"Santa Claus is a meme that parents deliberately infect their children with; the purpose for it is quite unfathomable, and seems to run along two paths--it didn't seem to hurt the parent when they had it, and it helps to explain the odd behavior that people go through once a year. The Claus meme in a child helps the way cowpox helped with smallpox; part of growing up is the 'trauma' of learning, once old enough, that Santa is a myth, and that people, including one's own parents, have systematically lied to you. This may seem a callous way to view it, but from the viewpoint of building cognitive mechanisms, this is one of the earliest we gain that fosters the ability of disbelief." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"
"...the astonishing truth is that any given mirror neuron will also fire when the monkey in question observes another monkey (or experimenter performing the same action), e.g., tasting a peanut!" Arleen Raymond, on "Mirror Neurons 2"
"In the study of mind
control and psychological warfare, it is not enough to simply review the latest
technology of coercion, the most recent gadgetry and techno-junk littering the
hardware and supply depots of governments and cults. Far more dangerous PSYOPS
"use specially constructed communications to manipulate the actions of
target groups without the use of physical force. PSYOPS, in one form or another
has been used against the enemies of the
"Naval Reserve United
States Atlantic Command Psychological Operations Unit is a special purpose
radio/television production unit whose dedicated mission is to train
audiovisual personnel for mobilization and to produce audiovisual products in
response to CINCUSACOM Special Operation Requirements."
"In 1950 the CIA's budget for "psychological warfare was $34 million; over the next two years that figure quadrupled." Laura Brahm, from "The Culture Vultures," In These Times, May 15, 2000
Applications, High Technology, Memes and the Religious Impulse
"Religious strivings...often originate in the desires of the body, in the pursuit of meanings beyond the range of our intellectual capacity, and in the longing that values be conserved. Do we not then merely "rationalize" our yearnings with manufactured beliefs that are egomorphic, fashoioned to satisfy private desire or inner compulsion? Does not the very prominance of the fear motive indicate that we have invented a God to protect us against anxiety? And if life or society demands many renunciations from us, are we not prone to invent an after-life that will compensate us for present deprivation? Gordon W. Allport, from The Individual and His Religion
"Back in the 1950s,
during the rebellion in the
"In occult crimes the objective is not linear, that is to say, is not solely bound to the achievement of the immediate effects of the attack on the victim, but may in fact be a part of a larger, symbolic ritual magnified by the power of the electronic media, for the purpose of the alchemical processing of the subconscious Group Mind of the masses. If we are observing a ritual working, we should be looking for relevant synchronicities (coincidences that have meaning) in the days following 'Unabom's' explosive attacks, which would form a pattern, on the hypothesis that his bombing is the Introit to a kind of public, subliminal Black Mass that plays for days. Consciously we don't apprehend the connection, but our subconscious may and it is the subconscious that is being addressed in occult ritual, in a process CIA behavioral scientist Dr. Ewan Cameron termed, "psychic driving." Like other Group Mind imprinting, such as the Son of Sam series, the 'Unabomber' has a high media profile as a communicator, as someone having a message for the masses." Michael A. Hoffman II, from: "Profiling the FBI's Unabom Charade"
"PSYOP has a vital
role to play in the effective use of military force. This is especially so as
the world becomes increasingly urban and interconnected through the internet
and satellite television, media which decrease the likelihood that
"Military personnel from the Fourth Psychological Operations Group based at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, have until recently been working in CNN's hq in Atlanta. CNN is up in arms about our report in the last issue of CounterPunch concerning the findings of the Dutch journalist, Abe de Vries about the presence of US Army personnel at CNN, owned by Time-Warner. We cited an article by de Vries which appeared on February 21 in the reputable Dutch daily newspaper Trouw, originally translated into English and placed on the web by Emperor's Clothes. De Vries reported that a handful of military personnel from the Third Psychological Operations Battalion, part of the airmobile Fourth Psychological Operations Group based at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, had worked in CNN's hq in Atlanta." Alexander Cockburn, from "CNN AND PSYOPS"
"Think of this new domain as 'applied sociology' or 'cultural engineering.' Neither name is sufficient description to a field that encompasses information theory, general semantics, semiotics, cybernetics, neurolinguistics, statistical theory, advertising/propaganda, conditioning, epistemology, epidemiology, game theory, cognitive psychology, sociology, and evolutionary biology. If your eyes have glazed over, or you have already decided that you shouldn't be reading such 'trash' as this, then resign yourself to being one of the sheep. Careful study of Nazism (and Goebbels), Marxism, or Scientology (and Hubbard) give clear indications that the concepts work; from there, it is simply a matter of analysis of the phenomenon to build a new form of engineering, which in deference to its roots, can be referred to as memetic engineering." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"
"A meeting sponsored
by Defense & Foreign Affairs and the
International Strategic Studies Association was held in
"Those are things ranging from using low-frequency [electromagnetic] waves in battlefield situations to intimidate your enemy to using smells. There's a lot of scents now that chemo-reception scientists have figured out make people upset and make people intimidated...And those are real, and more than enough to talk about. I've seen them being [used in field test situations] or read research reports about them being used. I've interviewed people in the military who have used them. I've read the public relations materials -- bill collection agencies that use pheromones in the ink in collection letters." Douglas Rushkoff
"The Pentagon had listed the holographic projections openly as part of its "non-lethal" weapons program. But since 1994, the program has disappeared from view, evidently now a "black" effort, says DEFENSE WEEK. In conclusion, the DEFENSE WEEK article states that the Army's JFK Special Warfare Center and School in late 1991 disclosed that it was looking to develop a PSYOPS Hologram System with a capability "to project persuasive messages and three-dimensional pictures of cloud, smoke, rain droplets, buildings......(even religious "images" or "figures")........The use of holograms as a persuasive message will have worldwide application". (end quoting). (This looks like it will be a concentrated unit of soldiers armed with the very latest high-tech weapons systems)" Norio Hayakawa, from "Pentagon, Psyops and Holographic Technology"
"The objective and
scope of the 1993
"The NSA uses this
technology to resocialize (brainwash) the
"The scary thing is, the technology exists to do it. You only have to look at the U.S. Patents Office Website to see that it's true. "There are patents for microwave devices that can beam sound directly into someone's head." Mind Control, Conspiracies and Lobster
"Dr. Igor Smirnov, of
the Institute of Psycho-correction in Moscow, says in regard to this
technology: "It is easily conceviable that some
Russian 'Satan', or let's say Iranian [or any other 'Satan'], as long as he
owns the appropriate means and finances, can inject himself [intrude] into
every con- ceivable computer network, into every
conceivable radio or television broad- cast, with relative technological ease,
even without disconnecting cables. You can intercept the [radio] waves in the aether and then [subliminally] modulate every conceivable
suggestion into it. If this transpires over a long enough time period, it
accumulates in the heads of people. And even- tually
they can be artificially manipulated with other additional measure- ments, to do that which this perpetrator wants [them to
do]. This is why [such technology] is rightfully feared." From a German
documentary, "Geheimes Russland:
Moskau - Die Zombies dr roten Zaren" ("Secret
"Last night on the Art
Bell show, Ed Dames announced that PsiTech had
remote-viewed the "third prophesy of
"An ex-CIA agent interviewed
by researcher Jim Keith claims to have knowledge of biological warfare testing
and "special medical and Psy-ops (psychological
operations) facilities at
"Criteria for Determining Psychological Warfare in Documents 1. Is there low risk of attracting foreign intelligence organizations to the targeted topic? What is the extent of the risk involved with such a deception? Is it worth the tradeoffs? 2. Has there been a long multi-year history of credible relationship between the target of deception and the authors of the deception? 3. Is the reaction of the target predicable; will they swallow the bait and move in the desired direction for some length of time? 4. Is there a specific purpose, goal, objective or intent of the deception; can it be clearly stated? 5. Does the phrase, sentence or document establish believability in the eye of the target of deception? 6. Is there any direct evidence that the documents were ever launched at the target? 7. Are there a credible number of unique language words to draw suspicion about authorship? 8. Do the historically competent experts, in Psychological Warfare agree with the answers to these questions?" Ryan Wood, from "Psychological Warfare & The Majestic Documents: No Signs of Deception."
"The whole arsenal of frequencies will be unloaded on the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico as part of Stage 1 of the First Protocol, (to include) Woodpecker, Buzzsaw, Videodrome, Subliminals*, Sonic Pulses. Holograms, Visions, Voices and strange Psychokinetic phenomena. Beware of TV's, computers, movies, radios and phones! Also books, magazines, newspapers, printed advertisements and posters will also contain the encrypted hidden subliminal holograms. * In addition to the obvious programming of commercial, consumerism and marketing reason behind all the subliminals and electronically compressed information in movies, commercial television, Hollywood videos, radio and telephones - and now encrypted in printed matter, affect the brains neural networks and functions through select frequencies and their harmonics to diminish the Will, Individuality and Creativity of the Individual. Furthermore, the protocols intended to give, in essence, the commands of "Obey the Law", "Do Not Question Authority Government is Your God", "Do As You Are Told" and "God is talking to you". -Also, erratic thoughts of Anger, Fear, Depression, and wanton Sexuality are also included. This causes utter confusion in individuals who don't know where these strange thoughts are coming from -Now you do." CIA & Vatican, Holographic Projection Technology - The "Holy See"
"It is child's play to transmit an ELF modulated signal to be broadcast by the entire mobile phone network - if need be. By this means, all mobile phone users can be behaviourally modified, at the cost of developing cancer from low level microwave exposure from the phones they constantly use, stressing the neural network by constant calcium ion efflux and interference with bioelectric fields." Margaret Thatcher Masers, Microwaves, Mindcontrol & Abductions
"Within the last two decades a potential has emerged which was improbable, but which is now marginally feasible. This potential is the technical capability to influence directly the major portion of the approximately six billion brains of the human species, without mediation through classical sensory modalities, by generating neural information within a physical medium within which all members of the species are immersed. The historical emergence of such possibilities, which have ranged from gunpowder to atomic fission, have resulted in major changes in the social evolution that occurred inordinately quickly after the implementation. Reduction of the risk of the inappropriate application of these technologies requires the continued and open discussion of their realistic feasibility and implications within the scientific and public domain." Dr. Michael Persinger, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Laurentian University, from "On the Possibility of Directly Accessing Every Human Brain by Electromagnetic Induction of Fundamental Algorithms"
The best way to protect oneself... is the Delphic oracle's comment to 'know thyself.' Understanding the rudiments of what is going on allows for considerable self programming and self control; a sophisticated person in fact will have a number of paradigms and shift them at will. It is interesting to note that prophylactic measures against this sort of thing have considerable history; for example, Speculative Freemasonry, in an attempt to counteract the rise of superstition and the power of the Church, used various rituals and initiations (kept secret to increase the 'shock value' to the participant) to invoke and evoke a state of mind and being through 'gnosis,' direct experience. The influence, historically, of such groups is still debated, yet the influence of the practitioners still remains; we view them as the most significant free thinkers, artists, and scientists of their age. Clearly, the ability to continually integrate the signals one receives and choose one's own actions and reactions is a beneficial capability." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"