TURN OFF YOUR
by L. Wolfe
MTV Is the
There's no need to remind you to turn off your television. From what we have told you so far, you know it is impossible to follow what we are about to say if you have your television on.
But I want to add a new precondition -- I want you to turn off your radio, especially if there is popular music on. In this section, we are going to discuss the relationship of music, in particular popular music, to your brainwashing by television. You are going to need your head clear of all background noise, so that you might concentrate on what we are going to present and reflect on it. So turn off the radio also.
Over the last forty years, 'television' has helped organize popular culture into a "Satanic cult" whose values are the direct counter-position to Judeo-Christian morality.
Man is distinguished from the animal by the fact that He is made in the image of His Creator, the living God, and that each human being has been given by the Creator a divine spark of reason, enabling us to carry out God's will. To the extent that we act toward our fellow men through the wisdom of morally informed reason, we act more like humans, and less like animals.
Society is now organized around a popular culture dominated by Freud's god of Eros and the pursuit of hedonistic pleasure as a goal in itself. Reason and beauty have given way to mass celebrations of ugliness and anarchistic infantilism. We have lost our ability to love other human beings, in the Christian sense of the word, 'agape'.
At the current epicenter of this mass hedonistic
culture is what the political leader Lyndon LaRouche has called the
Starting out 11 years ago, MTV has now become a total expression of youth popular culture, featuring its own news programming, pop culture news, a fashion show, a comedy hour, and its rock music video segments for every perverted taste. It has branched out to a second channel, VH-1, which features music videos designed for the "older folks", the 25-50 year olds, with a special emphasis on "oldies" -- songs from the 1960s and 1970s. Meanwhile, MTV music video spin-offs proliferate on network television.
In less than a decade, MTV has
Thus, "the anti-Christian youth culture as depicted by MTV has become the dominant cultural force of the late twentieth century".
In this section of our report, we are going to try to explain in more detail how that happened in the course of the last three or so generations, before giving a more detailed look at the MTV evil web itself.
Evil Reaches Out
Within minutes, NBC was flooded with more than 500 phone calls expressing outrage at what had happened. The next day, Catholic leaders and others announced a boycott of O'Connor's records, including the new song "War", which had already been made into a music video, without the open attack on the Holy Father.
But, over at MTV, there was no boycott of O'Connor. MTV's "news" discussed the furor and indicated that O'Connor's millions of fans worldwide would hardly bat an eyelash or drop a nose-earring at her behavior. Said one youth interviewed on a local television news program, "It's a free country. She's an artist. She has a right to express herself anyway she sees fit."
So far, O'Connor's record company reports that her sales remain steady. They don't expect them to change.
The power of the one-eyed
As shocking as O'Connor's behavior was on national television, it is mild fare for MTV. For example, a performer of the genre called "dark metal", which routinely features Satanic symbols such as upside-down crosses and skulls in their videos, as well as anti-clerical, anti-Christian lyrics, by Glenn Danzig, has what the "New York Times" describes as "scholarly interest in the problem of evil -- If there is a loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God, why does He allow so much pain and suffering?"
According to "The Times", "Mr. Danzig has said that he perceives church and state as evils that have co-opted the image of righteousness. If church and government are good, Mr. Danzig seems to say in his songs, he is more than willing to be branded as evil."
"Serpents of the Lord crawling to the will of God/ Serpents of your Lord crawling, all evil."
"The Times", the newspaper of record for the Eastern Establishment, elevates this evil to "high art". In its erudite "criticism" of MTV culture, "The Times" terms such songs as Danzig's "thought provoking" and his album assault on religion as "one of the most accomplished and absorbing rock albums of the year".
"The darkness in the music holds up a mirror to the darkness in society -- the empty pieties and alienating double-speak of politicians and self appointed spiritual guardians", wrote "Times" critic Jon Pareles. "The best dark metal bands may be an anathema in some quarters. But there can be no question of their artistic intent."
To attack God as evil, to preach for the destruction of religion and the "false" moral values of Judeo-Christian civilization, is both the implicit and explicit content and intent of MTV brainwashing. That is what is being "blessed" by the Establishment through its mouthpiece "The New York Times" and countless other media outlets that have given their blessing to what is known as "the MTV experience".
This is the network that has entrapped your kids. But before it entrapped them, this web of evil snared 'you'. And that is an important point to remember, because if you, the adult population of America, were not brainwashed, there would be no way to successfully recruit your children to the evil that MTV preaches, no matter how many powerful people support it or what the media says about it.
The Freudian Paradigm Shift
In a previous section of this report, we referred to what your brainwashers call a "paradigm shift" -- the changing of sets of beliefs and values that govern society. We explained that such "paradigm shifts" do not occur overnight, but take place across several generations.
One marker for this change in social paradigms are the values embodied in popular youth culture. One's moral outlook or social conscience (what Freudians call the 'super-ego') is shaped by youthful experience. It is assimilated, learned from one's family members and from the institutions, such as the church and schools, that act as parental surrogates. If you want to shift social values, then it is easier to do so by targeting youth, 'before' those values are reinforced by the society as a whole.
That is precisely what is being done with MTV. The brainwashers of your children have set up a counter-institution, that preaches values contrary to those of the church and society as a whole. But for such an effort to be successful, they must neutralize the positive influence of parents and church and schools, or at least weaken such influences.
For the last 40 years, as we have explained, the principal vehicle for mass brainwashing has been "your television set". Television, through its open promotion of "rock music" and the sick culture that surrounds it, was the major recruiter for the youth counterculture; those who were not active participants or even offered nominal opposition, nonetheless participated 'vicariously' in the mass brainwashing experience by watching television in that period.
Thus your toleration of the rock-drug-sex counterculture, in television programming, has weakened your ability to influence your children. This is what "opened the door" for MTV.
The Power of Music
Since the advent of motion picture technology and sound recording technology, the mass brainwashers have organized popular youth culture around movies and music, especially as disseminated by radio, television and films.
Music, in its classical form, has the power to bring the human soul into a reasoned dialogue with the laws of the universe. Contrary to popular opinion, the great classical music of a Mozart or a Beethoven is not an act of mystical and unknowable genius, but the product of a scientifically discoverable method which can be taught and reproduced. As such, great classical music is a celebration of that which is most human about Man, that which is most connected to the divine spark given Him by the Creator.
Romantic or other forms of banal music appeal to the emotions, and seek to have one's emotions dominate the intellect and reason. Romantic music degrades Man, and reduces Him to a more bestial state.
Freud, who saw Man as an animal, understood the power of music to manipulate men into acting like animals. Implicitly recognizing its connection to brainwashing, he stated that music plays upon "the instrument of the soul", in much the same way that his psychoanalysis did. He and neo-Freudians also saw the special power of 'romantic' music, either in the form of Wagnerian pieces in "high culture" or more banal popular songs, to appeal in a most direct fashion to that which is "most infantile and animal-like" in Man, what they called the 'it' or the 'id'.
Several Freudians even studied the effects of this so-called music on "primitive people", observing that it drove them into a frenzy, unleashing orgies of sex and even blood sacrifice. This, they said, proves the power of musical sounds to unleash Man from his inhibitions, from the control of his moral conscience, 'super-ego'. This "freedom" returns Man to a natural state and, they observed, if properly regulated, can remove Him from the hold of false ideology and prohibitions created by western Judeo-Christian religious teachings.
The evil witch, Margaret Mead, and other so-called social anthropologists, further observed the relation of drugs in primitive culture to music; such natural hallucinogens as peyote "enhanced" wild, uninhibited behavior (Editor's Note: in my former experiences, I find this last statement to be completely erroneous, as "peyote" imparts an enhanced spiritual focus).
It is around these studies and observations that
the rock-drug-sex counterculture was hatched by the networks associated with
We explained previously how images and messages in television shows watched by young people are "played back" in behavior later in life. Several studies have been done which indicate that a song or piece of music associated with one's childhood, when heard later in life, can call forth memories and associations of that earlier period. This is the marketing appeal of what MTV and radio stations call "classic oldies", songs from 15-25 years ago which are targeted at the adult population. Popular music 'encodes' memories in the listener that are recalled by hearing the same piece of music, thereby triggering "an infantile emotional state".
Think for a moment and you'll see what I am saying is true. If you are in your 40s, then you had vivid memories of the 1960s, most of which are associated with the youth culture of the day. When you hear a song by the Beatles from that period, or the Rolling Stones, or the Beach Boys, what happens? You have an emotional 'flashback'. A feeling state is induced that brings you back to that time.
Let's give a more precise example. You are
walking in a store with piped-in rock music. All of a sudden, a song from
the sixties comes across the music speakers: "Sweet Judy Blue Eyes"
But then, without even realizing it, you start looking with a strange look and even stranger feeling at some of the young girls passing by. You are 'fantasizing', in a sort of 'day-dream'. Your mind has been brought back to the "infantile emotional state of 20 years ago"! Just by hearing a certain song.
Be honest now -- Hasn't something like this ever happened to you? The more frequently you hear this "golden oldies" music, the more time you spend fantasizing, the more you tend to live in an infantile feeling state, in a sort of emotional time warp.
During the height of the counterculture, it was estimated that more than 50 million Americans experimented with drugs of all kinds, the majority between the ages 10-25 years old. Much of that drug usage was associated with the performance of, or listening to, rock music.
Not surprisingly, recent studies reveal that the playing of those 1960s-1970s rock songs today can "bring back memories of drug experience" for large numbers of older Americans. In the most extreme cases, usually involving people who heavily used psychedelic drugs such as LSD or mescaline, hearing certain rock songs can cause "drug flashbacks", identical to or mirroring the drug experiences themselves.
On the surface, this may not seem to effect individual daily behavior. However, it establishes an emotional tie between the "baby boomer" generation and their "infantile and irrational" past. It makes the adult population, in general, more tolerant of the MTV generation and its cultural habits.
"Hey, you guys have your music", says the MTV addict to his "golden oldies" parent, not seeing any reason why he or she should not be allowed to have "theirs".
Over the last 40 years, television brainwashing has so weakened the moral stamina of each succeeding adult generation, that each has been incapable of passing on the values of western Judeo-Christian civilization to their children. Instead, social values are transmitted through surrogate authorities, as they appear in the popular culture on television.
The brainwashers who ultimately control the content of television programming have made sure that it 'maintains' several generations in their moral imbecility and infantilism. There has been a recent rash of nostalgia programming, appealing to the infantile baby boomer; such programs feature the popular music of the period.
This programming both establishes and then reinforces the "emotional authority" of MTV, creating the climate for its acceptance by our multi-generational, infantile youth culture. MTV returns the favor by continuing the pattern of television addiction for new generations of youth. And the doors to this church of Satan are always open, non-stop 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Assault on Reason
Imagine yourself sitting alone in a semi-darkened room. In front of you is a television set, with MTV programming turned on.
There are bright colors, flashes of light, dream-like images blending into one another, all accompanied by loud sounds of amplified, electronic rock music. As the images flash, there is a steady, driving, pulse-like beat to the music.
Then suddenly, there is silence. The images stop flashing, and the voice of an announcer comes on. It is just his face on the screen, then it dissolves. A pulsing, loud noise rises in the background, as his voice is overwhelmed by the sound of the next "song". More and even louder noises, more bright colors, flashes of light and images, ultimately dissolving into the gaze of the so-called artist. A pulsing beat accompanies the images, which rapidly change and again dissolve into the gaze of the artist, apparently mouthing the lyrics.
within four minutes or so, this next segment is over, and there is another, brief moment of silence. Then, within a few seconds, the process begins all over again.
This cycle of lights, colors, and noise is repeated in segments of approximately four minutes each; the four-minute segments meld into a longer sequence of multiple segments varying between 16 and 30 minutes. The sequences are broken only for commercial messages, which are almost impossible to distinguish from the musical segments.
As you continue to watch, you find yourself unaware of anything outside the images and sounds emanating from the set. You lose your sense of time, and develop a sensation of being 'inside' what is being projected on the screen. Your mind is completely "turned on" to the sensations coming from the screen. You 'feel' a sense of excitation, eagerly awaiting the next audiovisual assault on your senses.
When the set is finally turned off, "the music and images keep replaying in your mind". For the first few moments after such an experience of a moderate duration is over, you feel confused and disoriented. It is hard to concentrate on anything, and even harder to pay attention to a complicated discussion. You find yourself, 'unconsciously' humming one of the songs you heard; as you do, some of the images are recalled.
This is what watching MTV does to your mind; it is even worse for younger, more impressionable minds, who have been brought up on television. Over time, with habituated MTV viewing, one's attention span will tend to collapse into the "four minute" segment of the music video.
'All' television, if habitually viewed over a long period of time, is cognitively destructive. The visual image tends to shut down the central nervous functions associated with human reason, as the brainwasher Fred Emery remarked twenty years ago. Emery stated that there was a simple way to "detox" from such a state -- Stay away from television for a few days.
But Emery wrote before the era of MTV. The MTV format induces a hypnotic trance-like state in its habituated viewers, and it becomes much more difficult to "turn off"; add to that, the 'playback' effects -- the images and videos -- playing back in one's head, even while the set is off, and you have created one of the most mind-numbing tools for mass brainwashing.
The brainwashers realize the power of MTV. In a book on MTV, titled "Rock Around the Clock" by E. Ann Kaplan, the director of something called the Humanities Institute at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, writes that MTV "hypnotizes more than other 'television' because it consists of a series of short texts that maintain us in an excited state of expectation... We are trapped by the constant hope that the next video will finally satisfy, and lured by the seductive promise of immediate plentitude, so we keep endlessly consuming the short texts. MTV thus carries to an extreme a phenomenon that characterizes most of television..."
Kaplan, using the terminology of the Frankfurt School's philosophers who speak of "a postmodernist outlook", says that MTV viewing produces a "decentering experience" which challenges normative values as they are logically represented by moral social conscience. MTV, she says, has no single point of view, no philosophy, only a negation of reason as its outlook, in favor of expressions of "desires, fantasies and anxieties", which she calls a "postmodern" consciousness.
Kaplan indicates that the willingness to accept heavy doses of sex and violence in music videos is reflective of the power of the medium presenting them. By overwhelming reason with audiovisual sensations, there can be no "reality check", no effort to separate the experience from reality. The habituated viewer of MTV becomes a mental captive, a prisoner of the non-rational, animal-like world being presented in the music videos.
Using a metaphor from Michel Foucault's "Panopticon", Kaplan supports the observation that watching television, and especially MTV, is the equivalent of being an observed prisoner. The brainwashed viewer has only an illusion that he controls his choices, which are in fact fed to him, 24 hours a day, by those who observe his behavior -- the programmers of MTV. They profile viewer responses through polls, and adjust the programming to increase the brainwashing effect. MTV, Kaplan remarks, is built upon "an ever increasing knowledge of psychological manipulation".
The combination of 'sound' and 'video' image by MTV is an effort to abort reasoned thought by appealing directly to the sensory apparatus. The music video represents a mode of "literal non-thinking" that substitutes for thought "perception and sensation". For the entire four minutes of the music video, an artificial reality is created, much like that of a drug-experience.
Freud and the brainwashers that have followed him understood the power of music to reach directly into the emotion. However, music, even the most romantic music, in and of itself is not 'literal'. It requires some cognitive activity to 'relate' the sounds and words to thought-objects. The combination of music with images, however, helps to "short-circuit any thought" by providing a literal representation of the musical message.
The majority of music videos do not lend themselves to rational analysis. That is intentional -- They are operating on the "emotional level". In that state, the dissociative power of television comes into play. Habituated viewing produces a trance-like stare, through which one 'receives' messages and images without question.
Under normal social conditions, a youngster, especially one brought up in a family steeped in the moral values of Judeo-Christian civilization, might recoil at the vulgar and licentious actions of rock stars, both men and women, as they are depicted in the videos. One's first reaction would be to turn one's eyes away or to cover them.
But when this material is presented on MTV, the aberrant behavior is not questioned by its young audience. The viewer, in his or her trance-like state, receives the images and accompanying sound without a sense of shame. There is no time for reflection, no time for thought, as the perceptions overwhelm the senses. "Where there is no reason, there can be no morality".
In the terminology of Freudian mass brainwashing, the viewer of a music video is in an induced state most resembling a 'dream'. He is "helped" or coaxed into this state through the repetitive flashing of colors and images, overwhelming the visual apparatus, while the pulsing, throbbing of the rock beat, has a similar effect on the auditory apparatus.
In this dream-like state, the moral conscience or, in Freudian terms, the 'super-ego', is pushed aside and there is direct access to the most infantile emotions of the "id". Anti-social rage and erotic desires, kept in check by one's moral conscience, can now be brought to the surface.
The connection made between the viewer and music video, in terms of Freudian brainwashing, is that of a "wish fulfillment", an expression of the "desires of the infantile id" to express itself, without the constraint of social conscience.
What is left from this experience, especially if it is repeated many times, is a sense of anxiety and conflict between 'reality' and the 'images' in the music video. This creates a "moral confusion", especially in young viewers whose conscience lacks both development and strength. It produces a 'moodiness' that further increases a tendency to non-rational emotional responses to situations of everyday life.
Does the viewer of a music video 'understand' what he has seen? Not really, because understanding is a function of reason. The emotions cannot 'understand', they can only 'react'. Studies of MTV viewers have found that they can recall only certain grotesque images, and some striking phrases that may accompany them. They cannot recall whole songs, but can remember rhythms and beats. These same studies also show that while they cannot 'explain' the content of a music video, they can describe "strong feelings" that they associate with it.
It has been noted that playing a given song without the video images can cause an habituated viewer to replay those images from the music video, as if on a slide screen in the mind. There is no flow, no continuity, in the images -- It is as if they were mental snapshots, associated with particular sounds which, in turn, are associated with particular feelings.
Brainwashers would say that the "visual images have been imprinted on the memory"; they are 'encoded' by the 'sounds'. When those sounds are played, even in the absence of the images, the images are "played back", reproducing the sense of being enveloped in the music video experience. This is how your children are being programmed.
The more someone watches MTV, the more one will tend to "think" with this emotional imagery. The former student leftist and current social critic, Todd Gitlin, now a professor of sociology at Berkeley, told "Time" magazine, that MTV has "accelerated the process by which people are more likely to think in images than logic".
Those who created MTV were quite conscious of this effect. Robert Pittman, the person who is given most credit for its creation, and who operated MTV until 1986, stated:
"What we have introduced with MTV is a non-narrative form. As opposed to conventional television, where you rely on plot and continuity, we rely on mood and emotion. We make you feel a certain way as opposed to walking away with any particular knowledge."
The TV-reared generations, says Pittman, form their impressions of things from 'images' and 'pictures', and not from words.
Pittman saw MTV as establishing a new form of consciousness, the type of mental dissociation that the brainwasher Fred Emery identifies as the "The Clockwork Orange" paradigm:
"You're dealing with a culture of TV babies... What the kids can't do today is follow things for too long. They get bored and distracted, their minds wander. If information is presented to them in tight fragments that don't necessarily follow each other, kids can comprehend that."
"Image is everything", says the punk tennis superstar Andre Agassi, in a camera commercial made with music video production values. And, concentration, reason and morality are out the window.
They Look So Bad
If there is one thing that truly marks the youth culture of MTV, it is 'ugliness'.
Have you taken a good look at your kids or their friends lately? Maybe you should keep your eyes open when you walk around the malls. The first thing you notice are the weird hairdos, often done at beauty parlors that specialize in what is called "rock and roll hair" or that "MTV look". It looks like their heads have been stuck into an electric outlet and then placed in a vat of brightly colored printers' ink.
And the clothes -- tightly fitting, but sparsely covering garments, with bright colors and rips. They frequently wear the skins of animals, such as snakes, lizards and cows. Occasionally, they wear what appears to be underwear as their outer garments, parading around in leather bras and the like. And they wear so much jewelry and so many chains that one might think that they need to lift weights to be able to carry it all.
This extreme taste has infected even the so-called high fashion houses of Paris and New York. It is common to see such styles in clothing being shown by the glitzy design houses, draped over the highest priced models - Ugliness is the "in thing".
MTV now has its own fashion show, "The House of Style" which, typical of MTV format, has no scheduled time slot and is shown at random with approximately six different shows a year. Its host is supermodel Cindy Crawford, and covers the fashion scene with a non-stop MTV soundtrack, wild color, and fast cuts and wide camera angles. Fitting the MTV version of the "counterculture", the show stays away from the normal fashion glitz of Paris, etc. to feature lower priced "in" clothes, celebrity interviews, and discussions with younger designers.
Those of us old enough to have memories of the 1960s or earlier might see nothing too odd about what is happening. After all, popular performers have always seemed to establish fashion trends. But those who control our brainwashing and the mass brainwashing of our youth through the MTV experience have noted a difference. "The New York Times" style section remarked recently that "MTV videos have made musicians more conscious of their images and have trained audiences to expect a new look on every album". MTV and its "artists" have usurped "the vacuum of authority" in setting style trends for the masses.
This is especially true in the volatile children's clothing market. "Rock video is driving the children's market right now", said J. C. Penney's children's fashion adviser. "Whatever the rock stars are wearing, kids are trying to emulate them."
And that includes very young children. "Preschool children know fashion", said another department store official. "They are exposed to MTV and Madonna even before they can walk and talk."
Citing the power of MTV and its superstars to create style, Elizabeth Saltzman, the fashion editor of "Vogue" told "The Times", "Its not like wearing underwear outside your clothes was the next thing. Madonna made it happen."
When Madonna ended her 1986 tour in New York, Macy's sold out of such garments, all licensed by the "Material Girl", in two days.
And MTV, in the 1980s, "made" Madonna, as it made numerous other people into popular stars through its mass exposure. In a certain sense, MTV functions like all advertising does to attract consumers to a product. Its music videos, seen from that perspective, are self-promotions, created at a cost of anywhere from $35,000 on up by recording companies to sell, in the last decade, first albums (vinyl) and audio cassette tapes and then CDs and video cassettes. According to the format, a popular video, slated for heavy play, will run as many as 4-7 times a day, depending on its slot; less heavily played videos, or ones from newer artists being "broken in", will run four or more times in a week. They are kept in the "rotation" usually for at least a month cycle.
There can be no doubt that as an advertising medium, MTV is one of the most successful in history. At the point of its creation in 1981 by a subsidiary of Warner Communications, Warner Amex Cable (it has since been sold to the huge media conglomerate, Viacom, which in turn has been taken over by the billionaire, Sumner Redstone), all record sales were in doldrums.
MTV, in the words of one record industry executive, "saved our ass". It returned the "single" or the pop hit song to its former role as the major means of marketing other recording products, giving it a prominence that it hadn't had since the days of the old "American Bandstand" (now itself a video rock show).
People who focus on its effect on the multibillion recording industry, are taking a far too narrow view of MTV as an advertising medium. It has "sold American youth on a new level of degenerate culture, while crippling their powers of reason".
Freud's nephew Eduard Bernays was one of the first people to apply his uncle's mass brainwashing principles to advertising. In his early writings, Bernays indicates that the best advertising appeals "above the mind", directly to emotions and instincts. Such appeals bypass rational thought and work on "unconscious desires", especially 'infantile' associations involving sex and power, for example.
Bernays ushered in an age of psychologically sophisticated advertising featuring movie stars and other beautiful people to induce target audiences to 'copy' what they 'perceived' to be emotionally desirable behavior.
MTV carries this mode of brainwashing to new technological levels. Its audience is already in a trance-like, non-critical state, ready to receive copyable images. MTV's effectiveness can be measured by how much your son might resemble the lead singer in Megadeath or how much your daughter looks like Madonna.
Beyond the sales of black leather panties, garter belts or leather bras, or ripped tee-shirts, MTV also sells "patterns of asocial, non-rational behavior", for consumption by our young people.
Writing in the 1950s, Dr. Frederic Wertham, one of the first people to warn of the destructive power of television programming on the minds of young people, described how the young mind accepts 'images' of behavior obtained from sources outside the family and social institutions like the church. Dr. Wertham waged war against the comic book industry and later, television, because they presented young people with violent and other non-rational, emotionally based solutions to problems.
Dr. Wertham explained that it is impossible to statistically correlate any one-to-one relationship between an image in a comic book and the violent act of a teenager, as some people have tried to do. The mind, he said, does not work so simply.
For example, the image of a colorfully presented comic book character beating someone with a lead pipe will stay buried within a person's memory. It is recalled in a stressful situation, such as a street fight, in which the emotions involved with the comic book representation, in this case rage, are also present. Under such circumstances, the young person will 'copy' what is in the comic book, picking up a a lead pipe and beating someone to death.
The courts and others may never see the connection, Dr. Wertham says, but it is the role of adult society to make sure that such images are not transmitted, uncritically, to the impressionable minds of our youth.
With MTV, "the presentation of the images itself is addicting". The most important product being advertised and consumed is the television brainwashing itself. Kaplan, in her previously cited work, says that all television, and MTV in particular, is "seductive precisely because it speaks to a desire that is insatiable", promising fulfillment of that desire in "some far distant and never to be experienced future. TV's strategy is to keep us endlessly consuming in the hopes of fulfilling our desires."
In the case of MTV, its self-promotion feeds on the infantile desire to possess objects. Its former advertising slogan, popularized internationally, is the scream of an infant for its mother or surrogate, "I want my MTV."
Another of its self-promotions shows an image reference to Aztec temples, then it shows the MTV logo toppling those temples. In that way, MTV announces itself as the new heir to the Aztec culture -- a culture based upon bloody human sacrifice that saw no value in human life.
Dr. Wertham, in one of his many cogent clinical observations, based on case studies, noted that habituated comic book reading had prepared a whole generation to accept the non-reasoning, often violent fare of television. He observed that 'all' comic books, with their emphasis on 'imagery', presented in colorful ways that were attractive to young minds, discouraged creative reasoning.
Even more important, Dr. Wertham countered some of the arguments that were made by the comics industry and its defenders that they were getting people who would otherwise not do so, to "read". Comic books created mental barriers to reading, preventing children from developing a mastery of language and the ambiguity contained in great literature and poetry precisely because words were associated with their pictures. The mind, he said, was being turned off and the emotions turned on. Comic book readers, he said, were not reading because they were not thinking -- they were merely passively looking at pictures, with silly dialogue.
He disputed classical Freudians who claimed that a young child's personality was set in stone by Oedipal developments between the ages three and five. Dr. Wertham asserted that the cornerstone of Man's identity is His moral conscience, and that this is shaped by young children's interaction with society. It is something that is learned and, to learn it, one must be able to think. Comic books were thus making America immoral; later he was to say the same about television and its programming.
For the purposes of this report, let's concentrate on one aspect of Dr. Wertham's observations. To get someone to accept MTV programming, there must be a certain 'preconditioning' that takes place. Some of that preconditioning is obvious. MTV is a television event, thus the general acceptance by adult society of television helps prepare a child to accept "the MTV experience". Then, there is the pervasive effect of the counterculture and its music on society; rock and similar music is everywhere, so why shouldn't there be a television channel devoted to it?
But, such a channel could have simply televised shots of groups and singers doing their songs, as if in concert. MTV does do some of that; but the core of MTV programming is the music video, which people like Kaplan and others already writing the history of MTV describe as if it came from nowhere, as something totally new. If that were the case, then it would seem to contradict Dr. Wertham's clinical observations.
Well, it isn't the case. There are mass media precedents for the combining of music with visual imagery to produce the kind of non-reasoning emotional appeal we have previously described. We have already talked about one such precedent -- television advertising.
For more than 40 years now, people have been watching ads which, through the clever use of music and image, have attempted to manipulate subconscious drives and instincts to sell products. Most run less than a minute, but contain numerous images and quite often a catchy jingle.
Starting a little less than 20 years ago, rock music became a staple of television ads. At first, it was only a few products aimed at a younger target market. By the end of the last decade, rock-laden advertisements were the dominant mode of television advertising.
This preconditioning of the MTV audience by television ads was so effective that one of the first things that the new network had to do was to convince people it wasn't simply one big advertisement. To do this, the brainwashers and profilers of public opinion helped push MTV into the "advante guard", to provide bizarre images that were beyond the ken of "normal" television. This meant pushing "new music" or socially outlandish music, such as heavy metal, and performers who outraged, such as Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson.
The image of Madonna, clutching her breasts and crotch, wearing leather bras and panties as outer garments, helped define the image of MTV well apart from the television mainstream, and its tame, by comparison, advertisements.
But it is important to remember that Madonna, herself, was and is not what is being marketed or sold through her MTV and other promotion. "I am selling a point of view", she once told an interviewer. And what is her point of view? In another interview about a previous video, "Express Yourself", in which she appeared chained to a bed, writhing luridly for the camera, she stated, "I have chained myself. There wasn't a man that put that chain on me... I was chained to my desires. I do everything by my own volition. I'm in charge, O.K.?"
The video promoting this 5elf-crippling emotionalism won an award from MTV, that institutional authority of the popular culture.
the New Age
In this section, we are going to take a look at the future your brainwashers have in store for you. What we are about to describe represents the culmination of more than 40 years of mass media efforts to turn our population into a bunch of yahoos. The Freudian brainwashers from the Tavistock Institute and similar places have zeroed in on your moral and intellectual weakness. They have offered you 'entertainment' as an 'escape' from the tension and horrors in modern life, as disseminated from Hollywood and television. You have been urged to follow "popular opinion" as represented by these media, rather than seek the truth, and, in your moral and intellectual weakness, you walk down one of the many similar, controlled paths they offer. The more you watch, the more reality recedes into fantasy, and your capacity for reason is destroyed. In the not-too-distant future, they are going to offer you a deal that they think you can't and won't refuse. You have been 'watching' fantasy projected into your home through your television and in movie theaters. The technology is already available to allow you to 'enter' those fantasies, to become an active participant, or even better yet, to create your own personal fantasy world that will be so real as to fool your senses into believing it is real.
After more than 40 years of coaxing you to turn on your television sets, your brainwashers are now going to, to use terminology appropriately borrowed from the psychedelic drug counterculture, "turn you on" to "virtual reality", a new, legal drug in the guise of technology, more powerful than LSD.
In mid-May, tens of millions of Americans got their first look at virtual reality in a four-day, prime time television miniseries, "Wild Palms", produced by Oliver Stone. Set in a vaguely fascistic society in the first decade of the next millennium, the movie showed characters wearing special sunglasses interacting with very realistic holograms of projected fantasy worlds. The actual state of the art of the technology is much more crude and cumbersome, but the seductive promise of "Wild Palms" is already present.
Putting on the Mask
A man is standing on a platform in a small room. On his head, he wears what appears to be a pair of goggles, completely enclosed and containing a small stereo and liquid crystal display screens. There is something extending from the goggles that roughly resembles a set of stereo earphones. The goggles and the earphones are firmly attached to the head, and from each, numbers of wires extend, passing from the room to an unseen enclosure outside.
On his hands, and extending up his arm, the man wears thin gloves. Visible on the gloves and the arm are what look like sensors. From the gloves, there extend wires which are suspended from the ceiling and then travel, like the other wires from the goggles, to an unseen location.
The room is bare, its walls empty. It is well lit, but the man in the goggles cannot see the light. Inside the goggles, the man sees a three-dimensional world, filled with colored objects. As he moves his head, his orientation in this world-within-the-goggles changes.
Suddenly, what appears to be a dragon lunges towards him. He turns to his side, and as he does, he points a hand in the air. Suddenly, he is flying above the dragon. In his other hand he holds a sword, and pointing the other hand downward, he swoops toward the dragon, plunging the sword into the creature. Through the earphones, he hears the sound of the sword piercing the dragon. The dragon falls to the ground, slain by our gloved hero.
The man moves his foot and, looking down, he sees it placed in conquest on the dragon.
The room is still empty. The man hasn't moved from the small platform. All that has been described has taken place in what is called 'cyberspace', a computer-generated realm that exists "inside a person's brain", a realm where nothing is real, but everything is 'perceived' to be real. Welcome to "virtual reality".
What has been described could have taken place at research labs at Stanford University, the University of North Carolina, MIT's Media Lab, or a number of other locations. There is already a significant network of individuals and laboratories working on what has been labeled "VR".
The technology, even based on the latest and fastest computers and miniaturized video equipment, remains crude. The reality is not yet "real" in terms of graphic representation, and certainly not as real as the holograms of "Wild Palms". Other sensations, including touch and smell, are being worked on. But with some of the largest electronics companies, such as Fujitsu and Sony, backed by the Hollywood entertainment mafia, including the Disney Studios, as well as several governments, willing to front the research and development bill, improvement will come quickly. In less than a decade, they plan to have virtual reality "fantasy worlds" in locations throughout the United States, with some as large as the present Disney World configurations.
At this moment, some crude versions of virtual reality "games" are being test-marketed in a video arcade setting. But, although there has been a barrage of international publicity to herald this new technology, direct public access has been limited, by cost and other factors, to a small insider group, and to those involved in the research itself. That will change in the near future, when a major mass marketing of the first crude VR systems will begin.
Ultimately, perhaps within the next 10 years, it is planned that each home should have its own version of goggles "called head mounted displays or HMDs" and gloves, linked to programs run on ultra-fast personal computers. The first "home" programs will be much like current video game cartridges or computer games. Later, there will be more choices available and, even later still, the choices will be "self-programmable".
What's Going On
VR "is an alternate reality filling the same niche otherwise filled by physical reality", says Jaron Lanier, the dread-locked 34-year-old whose company, VPL Research, Inc., makes the DataGlove used in VR. "It's created when people wear a kind of computerized clothing over their sense organs. If you can generate enough stimuli outside one's sense organs in order to indicate the existence of a particular alternate world, then a person's nervous system will kick into gear and treat the stimulated world as real."
In the dragon-slaying scene described earlier, the wires led to a very fast computer which, through the use of programmed algorithms, generated three-dimensional imagery, projected onto the LCD monitors placed in front of each eye. Sounds were sent into the stereo earphones. Other wires were also connected to sensors which determined the orientation of the person's head and hands, sending that information back to the computer which, in turn, projected the appropriate "interactive" visual images. The DataGloves also contain sensors, which transmit directional prompts, serving as commands in the computer program, which are translated into images on the LCD "eye screens".
VR systems are limited by their ability to produce sharp, lifelike images on the tiny video screens, and by the lag time between the transmission of human interactions with those images and their appearance on the screens, "It's now somewhere between a dream and a cartoon", said one VR programmer recently, describing the current "state of the art".
In the future, higher speed computers will reduce the lag time to be almost seconds or less. There are plans to bypass the cumbersome HMD equipment, replacing the tiny screens in the clumsy goggles with a system that will transmit images "directly onto the retina" -- the equivalent of the "Wild Palms" sunglasses; and there are already experiments taking place with this new technology, called retina imprints.
"The time will come when you will go and look at something and there won't be any way to distinguish between whether it's something that's living, whether it's artificial, or whether it's controlled by another intelligence", says Eric Gullichsen, the co-founder of another VR "shop", Sense8, and the person credited with figuring out how to add the "third" dimension to virtual worlds. "Those kind of distinctions won't mean anything ten or twenty years in the future."
In our discussions with Tavistock brainwashers about audio-visual stimuli and television, they described 'passive' media.
Movies, especially with the addition of sound and color, projected larger-than-life "virtual" images on a screen. This caused the viewer to suspend judgment, and allowed his mind to relate to the artificial reality projected on the screen. The mass brainwashing effect occurred in part because of the shared experience in the theater -- many people sharing the same artificial reality, giving a sense of 'hyper-reality'.
In this state of "suspended judgment", Hollywood creates a non-rational dialogue, one based on the substitution of "emotional response" for reason. This coheres in Freudian terms with the unleashing of the id, or the most infantile mental state, through appeals to the carnal and other instinctual aspects of the personality.
Television brought the power of Hollywood brainwashing techniques into the living room. Still, for all its new technology, from a brainwashing standpoint, television works the same way as the Hollywood film.
Back in the early 1970s, Tavistock's Fred Emery predicted that there would be an increasing tendency to seek fuller immersion in the brainwashing experience. Ultimately, he said, larger and larger screens, with greater and greater resolution, would be made available and be sought by viewers, who would be "pulled toward the screen".
But the interaction was still passive viewing. One could make bigger screens and more real images, such as the new high definition television systems, with surround sound, replicating theater experience, but the viewer would still only be drawn 'closer' to the screen, with the screen representing both a barrier and an apparent limit to the scope of the interface between the human subject and his brainwashing medium.
Virtual reality collapses that physical barrier. It places the "person inside the images on the screen". The screen is now dissolved, and you 'interact' with the artificial world, changing it by your actions.
In much the same way as is done with so-called hard brainwashing, VR systems "shut off contact with the real world completely". There are no 'outside' stimuli to interfere with the brainwashing process, making it easier for the mind to be "fooled" by the computer-generated VR "cues".
Psychological studies of the effects of immersion in VR worlds for extended periods of time, show that despite the lack of precise coherence with real-time experience, and the "cartoonish" imagery of most existing VR programs, the experience is powerfully 'addicting'.
In addition, while "quick" VR experiences appear to produce little or no disorienting effect, with almost instantaneous readjustment to the "real world", longer or repeated use produces 'disassociation' and even 'panic'. VR controllers suggest that there be people available to serve as "'guides" and "reorientators" for this initial period. They hypothesize that, once large numbers of people get used to VR, they will be able to handle it on their own. The same was once said of hallucinogenic drugs.
Nearly 50 years ago, the degenerate writer and social psychologist Aldous Huxley presented a vision of a future world in which experiences, manufactured through the use of a drug called 'soma' and technology, would be able to keep a population satiated and controlled. The "feelies" of "Brave New World" made it possible for each person to create his own fantasy, avoiding the reality of their controlled existence. The power to control such experience, wrote Huxley, is the power to control society.
In the book "Brave New World Revisited", written in the late 1950s, Huxley states that 'soma' was a religion, "a way of justifying God's way to Man." Just like a religion, Huxley wrote, "the drug had the power to console and compensate, it called up the vision of another, better world, it offered hope, strengthened faith and promoted charity." And it did so without dogma or any act of reason on the part of its initiates. This unreasoned, but "higher", consciousness is the brave new world, he said.
In a very real sense, "Brave New World" was a cookbook for Tavistock's brainwashers for the 1960s drug-rock-sex counterculture. The combination of mass-media entertainment, especially television, with the dissemination of psychedelic drugs, such as mescaline and LSD, was used to create a counterculture that elevated "feelie" experiences over reason.
"In LSD-25 (lysergic acid diethyl amide)," Huxley wrote in 1957, "the pharmacologists have recently created another aspect of soma -- a perception improver and vision producer... This extraordinary drug...has the power to transport people into another world. In the majority of cases, the other world to which LSD-25 gives access is heavenly; alternately, it may be purgatorial or even infernal. But positive or negative, the lysergic acid experience is felt by almost everyone who undergoes it to be profoundly significant and enlightening. In any event, the fact that minds can be changed so radically at so little cost to the body is altogether astonishing."
From the mid-1950s through the early 1970s, several millions of doses of LSD and similar hallucinogenic drugs were distributed, mostly for free, throughout the United States, many under the secret CIA MK-Ultra project.
Studies conducted by the Tavistock Institute and allied networks of the college users of psychedelics in the 1960s found a disturbing number of cases of total dysfunctionality. Repeated LSD use produced a tendency toward actual psychosis, the kind that required institutional treatment. The drug, while useful to a brainwashing process for its tendency to produce a disassociated, "decentered" state in its users, also produced often uncontrollable aggressiveness and suicidal behavior patterns.
This was clearly not Huxley's "feelie", whose effects could be controlled and predicted, and whose usage could be generalized to a population much larger than the small percentile of LSD users, even if Huxley, who himself became an "acid head", didn't realize it at the time.
With the advent of virtual reality, the "era of 'feelies' is on the horizon", writes Howard Rheingold in his book "Virtual Reality". Rheingold points out that the "brave new world" in the making will be much closer to that imagined in the 1984 science fiction "cult" book "Neuromancer" by William Gibson.
In Gibson's future, one plugs a computer chip, called a "stim," directly into the brain, producing the images of an interactive, self-chosen fantasy world. It is as simple as popping a CD into a disc player. The "stims", says Gibson, are movies or videos for the senses.
Most often, the stims are preprogrammed, but it is also possible to become a "rider" on someone else's reality, as it happens, through the central nervous system of this brainwashers' dream world -- the Matrix, the global communications and computing infrastructure.
The new realm of consciousness thus created Gibson dubs 'cyberspace' -- "a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators."
The term 'cyberspace' is now the term used to describe the virtual worlds where those experiencing VR "go".
The guru and chief salesman of VR is Dr. Timothy Leary, the same man who was dubbed the "pied piper of LSD" in the 1960s, the man whose phrase "turn on, tune in and drop out" became a slogan of the counterculture.
"I have finally discovered a way to produce mass consensual hallucinations", he proclaimed two years ago, speaking of VR. Leary was a trained neo-Freudian psychologist until he was picked up by Tavistock and one of its top operatives, R. D. Laing, to popularize the LSD experience. Now, Leary goes from meeting to meeting, forum to forum, to preach the wonders of the coming "virtual worlds".
"There are no limits to virtual reality", he says, echoing his raps of the 1960s on LSD. "The donning of computer clothing is as significant as the donning of outer clothing was in the Paleolithic."
In another location, a forum in New York City, he gives a more "revolutionary" rap -- virtual reality is "the ultimate empowerment of the individual", something that we just dreamed about in the 1960s, he says. "Virtual reality means we won't have to lug our bodies around anymore", he cries out. "The only function of the body will be for acts of grace! Barriers of class and geography will fall. Kids in the inner city will be moving their brains anywhere they like. Ninety percent of all travel will be unnecessary..."
The choice of Leary as a salesman for VR is quite deliberate. Tavistock and their Frankfurt School allies are attempting to build off the drug counterculture of the 1960s, and he is one of the most visible, living links to that degenerate past. His connection predictably caused the media to label VR, "electronic LSD", as was done in a front-page article in the "Wall Street Journal".
Article after article hypes VR as the "ultimate trip", a 'legal' drug, with the allure of the illicit LSD and the same promise of "expanded consciousness", but with none of the 'apparent' drawbacks.
The characterization in the media coverage of the "sci-fi" nature of VR, also adds to the mystique. "We are creating the worlds of Buck Rogers and beyond", said a VR exponent at a symposium on the subject. "And they said that it could only be done with drugs! Well, they were wrong."
Meanwhile, Lanier and some others try to stress the "difference" between LSD and VR. "The idea of spacing out on virtual reality is absurd", Lanier stated in an interview. "VR is a medium. It affects the world outside your sense organs and that's all. It has nothing to do with the brain chemistry or your state of being. If one becomes euphoric in virtual reality, it would be because you are reacting to the outside world that way. The first moment of freedom is always ecstatic, but after that, you are on your own. Actually I am unqualified to talk about the subject because I have never taken LSD. I don't take drugs and I don't drink alcohol."
Jaron Lanier, the man who only looks like a Rastafarian drug freak, says that he wants to take VR out on tour, to reach the people. It would be modeled on the psychedelic bus tour of the 1960s, says Lanier, where Ken Kesey and his "Merry Pranksters" handed out huge numbers of doses of LSD for the Mk-Ultra project.
A very large number of those involved with VR research either did, or continue to, take drugs to "expand their consciousness".
"I am at liberty to say that I am an acid head and do not pretend to be otherwise", said John Perry Barlow, a sci-fi author and lyricist for the Greatful Dead heavy metal rock group, who is a close friend of fellow Deadhead, Jaron Lanier. "Most people I know on this scene have taken psychedelic drugs. I just don't think this culture is being particularly honest about it."
Every now and then, one of the VR cultists lets it all hang out. Such was the case at a 1990 "Cyberthon" conference, appropriately held in San Francisco, the former capital of the psychedelic counterculture. Following a presentation by Leary, Terrance McKenna, who was described as "an ethnobiologist who studies natural hallucination", rose to address the gathering of scientists, VR fanatics, and new initiates in the form of what was once called a "stoned rap".
"It's kind of a strange idea, but people have been doing VR for about 125,000 years. They just called it psychedelic drugs." As he was speaking, various images were projected on a blank moving screen, described by one observer as a "shifting snake of chaos changing from pink to lavender to white".
"We need to recapture the conspiratorial ambiance of the dope-dealing past that we keep trying to leave behind", McKenna continued. "Because it is a conspiracy, make no mistake about it..."
The Real Conspiracy
But the conspiracy to which McKenna refers is not a bunch of drug dealers, or even those, like himself, who are peddling the shared "consensual hallucinations" of VR. The people who control both Leary and McKenna, and who will ultimately make the decisions on the mass marketing of this electronic LSD, are those same forces that control the mass media and television. The real conspiracy is that of the oligarchical interests who run the stables of brainwashers at Tavistock and the social engineers and philosophers of the Frankfurt School and all its offshoots throughout the world. It is an open conspiracy, as we have explained, whose object is to destroy Western Judeo-Christian civilization.
The intention of this higher conspiracy is to use the technology of virtual reality to further reduce Man to a nonhuman, irrational and hedonistic beast.
Virtual reality can alter the way an individual relates to the world he lives in. As with a drug experience, VR reduces the capacity and the desire to know right from wrong and truth from falseness. The personality becomes intensely self-centered, with a distorted worldview.
Under such conditions, one's mental state plunges toward the most infantile and most beastlike which, in the Freudian paradigm, is called the id. Within that state reside "pit" figures, horrible dreamlike images relating to bad experiences in childhood and thereafter. Reason disappears, replaced by fixations on objects and things, as is the case with young children.
Tavistock-sponsored studies of LSD experiences revealed that the so-called "blissful" states often spoken about were nothing but dreamlike fantasies of a childlike nature. The "expanded consciousness" is really a "severely reduced consciousness", a reduction of the powers of reason.
Fundamental to Western Judeo-Christian civilization is the idea of Man being created in the living image of God, "imago viva Dei". It is not our outward appearance that makes us like God. Each of us contains within himself the divine spark of creative reason, and it is in respect to that capacity alone that we are made in the image of our Creator, as distinguished from all the other species.
The nurturing of that divine spark is the foremost responsibility of both society and the individual. If we fail to develop our creative capacities to the fullest extent possible, and to apply those capacities to act for the Good, then we commit a sin. LSD or a virtual reality "drug" experience, by impairing or destroying that power of morally informed reason, makes us less human.
The perverse counterculture proudly proclaims this impairment of human potential, this triumph of the id, as the "desired" human state. Listen to the "rap" from Jaron Lanier:
"As babies, each of us had an astonishing
liquid infinity of imagination. That butts up to the stark reality of the
physical world, which resists us. That the baby's imagination cannot be
realized; that we only learn to live with when we decide to call ourselves
adults. With virtual reality, you have a world with many of the qualities
of the physical world, but it doesn't resist us. It releases us from the taboo against
infinite possibilities. That's the reason that virtual reality excites
people so much."
The 'taboo' that we are to be released from is the power of one's morally informed conscience to govern the mind and soul. Virtual reality, as it is to be developed, creates an artificial world in which, we are told, we are free to do whatever we want because it will have no consequence in the "real world". If you want to have sex with your neighbor's wife, well go ahead, and do it in the virtual world; he won't mind because it's only her computer-generated image with which you are fornicating.
The infinite possibilities of carnal and sensual gratification (in virtual sex, complete with a very real orgiastic experience) are to be given to the population, while the 'perception' of consequence is removed. VR is thus the ultimate in 'entertainment'.
From a Freudian or neo-Freudian standpoint, this is the ultimate in the liberation of repressed desires of the ego and id. With the acting out of one's repressed fantasies, one is 'liberated' and 'free', according to the neo-Freudian paradigm, producing a new consciousness that properly redefines good and evil. It is a universe that is, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, "beyond good and evil". Man can do evil without the effect of evil and therefore purge himself regularly of his innate desire to 'be' evil, the neo-Freudians who speak highly of "virtual experience" argue.
But, if one does evil, even if it is only in the imagination, then one is sinning against his Creator. He is degrading and debasing himself, in the name of this 'catharsis', and weakening his power to reason. In the virtual fantasy world there can be no universal truth, only the experience of the moment. And without universal truth, there can be no reason. If truth is killed, then Judeo-Christian civilization is killed with it.
A Witches' Brew
This "new consciousness of virtual experience" is exactly what Leary advocated as the benefit of LSD during the psychedelic revolution. He calls it a "new spiritualism", but it is merely the old witches' brew of Frankfurt School philosophy that spawned the counterculture, leaning heavily on Leary's mentor, R. D. Laing, and the teachings of the pro-Hitler, Freudian renegade Carl Jung.
According to John Barlow, the Grateful Dead lyricist, whose foundation helps fund VR research and experiments, the intent is to reintroduce the kind of thinking associated with the 1960s counterculture in a technological mask. "Drugs are not the issue here", he told an interviewer. "It's the slippery epistemology that psychedelics induce."
The slippery epistemology of the rock-drug-sex counterculture is now, some 30 years past the so-called Summer of Love of 1967, deeply imbedded within our popular culture. "You don't have to take psychedelic drugs to have it", he said, since it dominates our popular culture. This sets the stage for the VR revolution, Barlow proclaimed.
Truth Is Lies...
"When the truth is found to be lies/ And all the joy within you dies/ Don't you want somebody to love?/ Don't you need somebody to love?/ You'd better find somebody to love."
So went the lyrics of one of the popular anthems of the psychedelic "revolution" by the Jefferson Airplane, whose band members were admitted LSD users and disciples of Timothy Leary.
The song, which is now played on "golden oldies" radio and one VH-1 "old folks video", the MTV channel aimed at the baby boomer audience, is "consciously based" on the teachings of Leary's mentor, R. D. Laing, whose book, "The Politics of Experience", was the bible of the LSD-drug counterculture.
A radical Freudian, Laing claimed that truth is determined only by "individual psychological experience". All of what the individual was taught by society, all of its values, good and bad, all of history that had come before, had to be "unlearned". In a view coherent with today's "political correctness" lunacy, Laing argued that any attempt to impose a universal concept of truth must therefore be false. Society, acting through the nuclear family, seeks to impose on its youth such a concept of universal truth. This, Laing says, is an act of aggression against the child, that inhibits the development of the child's experiential and intuitive powers, which Laing misidentifies as its sole source of creativity.
As a child, one truly experiences the world, says the psychotic Laing. We must return ourselves to this infantile state. "The relevance of Freud to our time", writes Laing in "The Politics of Experience", "is largely his insight and, to a very considerable extent, his demonstration that the ordinary person is a shriveled, desiccated fragment of what a person can be".
"As adults, we have forgotten most of our childhood, not only its contents, but its flavor; as men of the world, we hardly know of the existence of the inner world -- we barely remember our dreams, and make little sense of them when we do; as for our bodies, we retain sufficient proprioceptive sensations to coordinate our movements and to ensure minimal requirements for biosocial survival. Our capacity to think...is pitifully limited; our capacity even to see, hear, touch, taste and smell is so shrouded in veils of mystification that an intensive discipline of unlearning is necessary for 'anyone' who can begin to experience the world afresh, with innocence, truth and love."
One must reject the social order, reject the concept of society itself to become whole, to become childlike again, says Laing. This leads to one of his most infamous and absurd conclusions -- that there is no distinction in society between the sane and the insane. The only people who are sane are those who are labeled as insane. To restore the social balance, the individual must be driven into insanity. Only from this psychotic state can one then achieve a new consciousness.
The mode, as he calls it, for achieving this transformation is 'fantasy'. Repeating a theme of several Frankfurt School philosophers, Laing claims that Man must return to his 'primitive' roots in order to seek a higher form of what He calls spirituality. All primitive religions rely on mystery and fantasy -- often induced and enhanced by drug use -- Laing states. It is in this state of fantasy that the "higher consciousness" lies.
Laing's stated goal is to create a society based on fantasies of the id, where each person can be in touch with his "personal fantasy". One must attempt to reach the children first, he says, before they "are made absurd" by their families and religion. Once the children are "turned on", once they can experience truth as orgiastic love, they can become a force to change all of society.
Such are the ravings of a dangerous madman. In a society consciously steeped in the concepts of Judeo-Christian civilization, which places value in the sovereign creative mind and in the concept of charity, this teaching would be denounced. But in the 1960s, Laing's ideas were popularized as part of a movement against civilization and reason itself. Those who listened and debated the ideas were surrounded by psychedelic drug use and the mass culture it spawned.
Drugs and LSD were a key part of the rebellion. They were the "proof" that the "higher consciousness" that Laing, Leary and others of this ilk spoke of could be accessed without formal knowledge. The trip proved that the less you "knew", the more you understood. The hallucination caused by the drug's interaction with brain chemistry presented one a view of "Heaven", and occasionally "Hell", which Leary once claimed showed the futility of trying to "understand" these concepts from the minds of "great thinkers". Life is thus reduced to a series of hedonistic experiences.
The last chapter of "The Politics of Experience" is reportedly a record of an LSD "trip" or several trips, written while Laing was at Tavistock. It ends with another famous quote of the counterculture, one repeated in various forums and media:
"There is really nothing more to say when we come back to that beginning of all beginnings that is nothing at all. Only when you begin to lose that Alpha or Omega do you want to start to talk and to write, and then there is no end to it, words, words, words. At best and most they are in memoriam, evocations, conjurations, incantations, emanations, shimmering, iridescent flares in the sky of darkness, a just still feasible tact, indiscretions, perhaps forgivable..."
"City lights at night, from the air, receding, like these words, atoms, each containing its own world and every other world, Each a fuse to set YOU Off...
"If I could turn you on, if I could drive you out of your wretched mind, if I could tell you I would let you know."
More than 25 years later, our society, and most individuals, live according to a hedonistic calculus not so terribly different from the teachings of Laing and Leary. That is why Leary and those who control him are so confident that they can get you to turn on to their new drug. Their goals have remained consistent.
"Virtual reality", writes Howard Rheingold, the self-appointed scribe of the VR revolution, "if inspired and talented people are seized by the vision and desire to make it so, might become the first wholesome, integrating, non-pathological form of ecstasy capable of liberating safely the long repressed Dionysian energies of our heavily Apollian civilization. One answer to the electronic LSD question is, therefore -- "yes, VR might become the key to opening the doors of perception, if someone has the grace and good sense to design it properly."
VR, he concludes, "represents the possibility that someday, in some way, people will use cyberspace to get out of their minds as well as out of their bodies".
The Jungian Dream
Carl Jung died 30 years ago, just at the onset of the psychedelic counterculture which was to give his ideas a new prominence. Now, as we approach the end of the century, that counterculture has helped shift society into a new Dark Age based in part on a Jungian paradigm.
Thirty years ago, Jung represented a wild variant of radical Freudianism. He was denounced as a mystic, an unscientific fraud, and a supporter of the Nazis, all of which he was. He was, in fact, a raving gnostic, drawing from early gnostic teachings to devise a psychology that placed Man in a universe ruled by equally powerful mystical gods and devils, which exist within Man himself. Man must learn to 'experience' these forces, to accept them, said Jung, and not to put rational principles in the way of that experience.
This gnostic mysticism drove Jung to praise Hitler as the ultimate leader, and made his theories a useful component of the drug counterculture matrix. Jung thought he could "explain" what people saw in their LSD trips, their visions, and provide a 'synthetic' explanation for their mental states. The content of the pit that the drugs summoned forth, the irrational id state, was the "collective unconscious", according to Jung. It was composed of myth-like symbols and images that link Man to his more primitive animal-like self.
Jung, whose own debauched lifestyle was well known, asserted that Man must reject the Church and its false teachings, in favor of a mystical notion of God. Echoing Freud, he wrote that Man creates god and devil in His own image; but, separating His gnosticism from Freud's atheism, Jung wrote that these images of gods and devils are not illusions, but the true self of the collective unconscious.
Jung argued that Man needs His myths and spirituality to maintain His sanity; to call such things simple illusion and to seek to have Man break with them, as Freud had argued, would produce dysfunctional psychosis.
There was more to Man's life than libido, the sexual drive, and more to the shaping of personality than early childhood, Jung stated. There is a drive to "individuation" and toward "self-awareness" that causes Man to desire to become part of something larger than Himself. This, said Jung, could be a social or political movement. The truth of such movements, and their power, depended on whether they appealed more or less directly to the "collective unconscious".
Ripping up the Freudian paradigm and its view that the unconscious is the personal repository of childhood ideas and wishes repressed by society, Jung said that the collective unconscious, the infantile id, was the location of all universal processes. The images of the id, which he called 'archetypes', reveal the essential dualistic fight within the soul between good and evil. The Christian God is false, according to Jung, because it is Good; the true God is as Man is -- both good and evil. Thus, each archetype has its opposite or its dark side.
Man relates unconsciously to society through this struggle between good and evil, Jung wrote. The Judeo-Christian view of the sacred responsibility of the sovereign individual to act for the Good, Jung claimed, is a source of discomfort and psychosis, since it denies that Man and God contain within them evil.
"Why have we not long since discovered the unconscious and raised up its treasure house of images?" Jung asks. "Simply because we had a religious formula for everything psychic -- and one that is far more beautiful and comprehensive than immediate experience... All Man's strivings have therefore been directed towards the consolidation of consciousness... This was the purpose of rite and dogma; they were the dams and the walls to keep back the dangers of the unconscious, the 'perils of the soul'... It is these barriers, erected in primitive times, that later became the foundations of the Church. It is also these barriers which collapse when the symbols become weak with age."
The "collective unconscious" reveals itself in our dreams, Jung claimed. It is accessed only when our guard is down; when the societal barriers that inhibit it are removed, and that occurs most readily in dreams.
Only by replicating the dream state can Man come into contact with His collective unconscious. At that moment, the barriers erected by religious teachings and its moral conscience collapse, Jung claimed. Man must learn not to fear the collapse of these barriers. On the other side lies another world, of shadows and images, of nightmares and fantasy, but only by experiencing it can we "know" the Creator. If religion stands between us and such experience, if society stands between us and the new spirituality, then we must change the Church and its teachings, and change society. "Our concern with the unconscious", Jung wrote, "has become the vital question for us -- a question of spiritual being or non-being."
To the extent that science, with its hyper-rationalism, tries to impose its explanations and ethos on society, it becomes the enemy of civilization, Jungians claim. Only through the recognition of the dimension of the collective unconscious can science serve the interests of Man. Science must rely on the unconscious, on fantasy, on dreams, in order to create ideas of value for Man.
Jung was obsessed with expounding on his differences with Freudian theory, but when all was said and done, they amounted to a matter of degree. Both agreed that Man was at root an animal, and that the view of Judeo-Christian teachings that separated Man from the animal was false and an act of arrogance. Where Freud attacked the Church from the hyper-rationalist, Aristotelian view of the Enlightenment, separating questions of the spirit from science, Jung sought to co-opt the Church's following with a new mystical spirituality, which subordinated science to mysticism. But even that is not 'new', but merely a reworking of gnostic heresy.
The cooption is working, with heavy support from the mass media. Jungian thought can now be found everywhere there is the promotion of the New Age. It is found in beer commercials that talk of the collective unconscious, while popular movies, like the "Star Wars" trilogy, are consciously built on Jungian imagery and ideas. Books on Jungian topics have been climbing on bestseller lists. His ideas are being incorporated into the work of a growing number of Christian clergy; Jungian institutes are training both Catholic and Episcopal priests by the tens of thousands, while Jung's archetypes and discussions of the collective unconscious are being incorporated into sermons and pastoral counseling programs, according to a recent magazine article on the subject of the Jungian "rebirth" in the United States.
"It fits so much better than the Freudian approach, because Freud was an atheist," the Rev. Philip Blake of the Jesuit Retreat House of Los Altos, California told "U.S. News and World Report". "I live my life according to the Gospel message, not according to Carl Jung. But it's a help to me."
Jungian concepts are central to the next stage of societal degeneration involving the mass-marketed personal fantasy machines of "virtual reality". Those heavily involved with the VR revolution live and breathe Carl Jung and his mystical ideas. They see their new technology as the key to opening the door to the Jungian dream world, to creativity as they understand it. It is totally coherent with the LSD-nature of the new technology.
"In the future I see 'virtual reality' as a medium of communication where people improvise worlds instead of words, making up dreams to share", said VR guru Jaron Lanier in a recent magazine interview. "An ideal VR conversation would have the continuity and spontaneity of a jazz jam, but the literal content that's missing. Things being made would be objects -- houses, chemical processes, or whatever the conversation is about. "It would be a reality conversation, an objective form of the Jungian dream, the collective unconscious. You might call it the collective conscious."
It was no mean trick to popularize the ideas of the Nazi mystic Carl Jung. At the height of the 1960s-70s LSD counterculture, his followers numbered only a few, and the majority of the American population was not familiar with him.
But while people did not know the "mumbo-jumbo" of Jung's pagan ravings, they were already getting a heavy dose of the symbolism through the mass entertainment media. Movies and television bombarded the population with Jungian symbolism, creating mythological worlds of "superheroes" and "supervillains", while introducing character representations of archetypes' such as the "Great Mother" or the "Wise Old Man" or the "Maiden" or the "Eternal Youth".
This was no coincidence -- The largest single concentration of Jungians in the United States continues to be in Hollywood itself, where numbers of producers, directors, actors and actresses and screen writers underwent Jungian "dream therapy".
In addition, so-called musicians, lyricists, and others on the rock scene, influenced by the LSD experience, gravitated toward Jungian thought and inserted his symbolism into their songs.
To create the basis for a new paganism, somebody had to take Jung's ideas and repackage them into a coherent ideology, one that could play off the existing mass brainwashing of the population through television and other popular entertainment. The salesman for this was the late Joseph Campbell, who self-consciously positioned himself to "retell the story of Man". Campbell, who looked the part of the Wise Old Man, especially in his later years, offered a lying history of religion as comparative mythology. Regarded as the world's foremost authority on myths, he wove a tale that denied the superiority of western Judeo-Christian thought, bidding Man to seek the wisdom from primitive myths.
Where Jung and even Freud reached a relatively small immediate audience, Campbell, with the support of pagan mass media, reached more than 100 million people worldwide. In the mid-1980s, American public television produced a lecture series that was its most popular show in history. It was turned into an international best-selling book, and has been distributed to schools and campuses and the home through videos as a means to reach additional millions.
Myths, Campbell stated, in his famous PBS interview with a self-proclaimed convert to his thinking, Bill Moyers, "are clues to the spiritual potentialities of human life... I think that what we are seeking is an 'experience' of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance's within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."
A myth, says Campbell, paraphrasing Jung, is "society's dream. The myth is a public dream..." Directly citing Jung, he explains that the content of myths is the archetype, which he calls a "ground idea".
"Jung spoke of archetypes of the unconscious", Campbell tells Moyers, saying that they could be misidentified as "elementary" ideas. "J'Archetypel is the better term because the elementary idea suggests a headword. Archetype of the unconscious means that it comes from below." He says that the difference between Jung's archetypes and Freud's complexes is that Jung, in Campbell's mind, correctly saw that it is not the mind alone that creates them, but that they are manifestations of the organs of the body and its mystical powers. They are "biologically grounded", and as such, Campbell claims, hold a higher meaning than mental abstractions.
Myths, Campbell stated, give expression to these biological "truths". Truth that is biological is more powerful than reason per se, because it speaks to Man's innate animal characteristics. The power of the myth, he says, is to teach us through the "hero", the power to overcome "dark passions, the hero symbolizes our ability to control the irrational savage within us". Echoing both Freud and Darwin, he argues that Man cannot deny His biological heritage as an animal; he decries Christian thought that denies this, and posits Man as something higher. To truly experience life, one must, he says, "admit within ourselves the carnivorous, lecherous fever" that is endemic to human nature. That fact is the truth of all valid myths, Campbell tells Moyers.
Because myths are biologically determined and passed on, there can be no question of judging their 'individual' truth. One need only adopt appropriate symbols for the appropriate time and location in human history, Campbell claims. The evil cult of Isis-Osiris, he states, has a myth that is as valid as the Christ "myth". They are "shared mythologies", Campbell lies, with one flowing back and forth into the other. It is only outdated religious dogma of the Church that prevents one from seeing this, he claims.
Myths, Campbell tells Moyers, serve four functions:
"The first is the mystical function... Myth opens the world to the dimension of mystery, to the realization of mystery that underlies all forms."
"The second is the cosmological dimension", Campbell states, "the dimension with which science is concerned -- showing what shape the universe is, but showing in such a way that the mystery again comes through." In that way, myth undermines belief in the knowability of the universe, and forces science to compromise with more "profound truths" such as the raving lunacy of environmentalism, for which Campbell was a leading advocate.
"The third function is the sociological one -- supporting and validating a certain social order", he says. Judeo-Christian thought is "outdated", he said, speaking to the ideas of two or more millennia ago and not to today. In his mind, since there is no universal truth governing our ideas, one can "fine tune" and even change these ideas, as appropriate. We need a new religious myth, with new symbols, not the "tired" images of the Renaissance, maybe even a pantheism, that will enable us "to get back into accord with our wisdom of nature and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea".
This can be done with new myths and myth technologies, serving the fourth function of mythologies:
"the pedagogical function, of how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances. Myths can teach you that."
George Lucas, the creator of the "Star Wars" trilogy, was a self-proclaimed disciple of Campbell and Jung, who openly acknowledged his debt to Campbell for the content of "Star Wars". In fact, part of the Campbell PBS series was filmed at Lucas's Skywalker Ranch in California.
Campbell praised Lucas's efforts in myth-making, stating that the film series contains the necessary symbols and pedagogy to teach a new consciousness. Lucas, he told Moyers, has put "the newest and most powerful spin" on the story of the hero.
Lucas consciously constructed "Star Wars" as myth, using all the Jungian archetypes, as Campbell pointed out, almost without any "masks" -- the wise old Man, who is the sage of the ages, in both its positive (ObeKnobe) and negative (Darth Vader), the Maiden (Princess Ilyia), the Eternal Youth (Luke Skywalker), etc. This direct access to myth through the archetype accounts for the films' power to "teach", claims Campbell, because it is a story that rings "true", appealing to the infantile, collective unconscious in both the young and old.
"Certainly 'Star Wars' had a valid mythological perspective", he told Moyers. It shows the state as a machine and asks, 'is the machine going to crush humanity or serve humanity?'... It's what Goethe said in "Faust", but which Lucas has dressed up in the modern idiom -- the message that technology is not going to save us. Our computers, our tools are not going to be enough. We have to rely on our intuition..."
The high point of the first movie, he says, comes when Luke understands that true knowledge "lies within", and that he must "turn off his computer and trust his feelings".
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest promoters of virtual reality is George Lucas, who sees VR as the technology that can teach Campbell's ideology to the masses.
For Campbell, the Word of God, the Logos, has become the mystical incantation, "May the Force be with you", in the words of ObeKnobe.
Just as they are steeped in Jungian thought and symbolism, the VR cult looks at what it's doing through Campbell's perverse and seductive mirrors. They cite Campbell's work to "prove" that the essence of all religious experience is the use of illusion or a "virtual reality" to "attract the attention of an initiate to a deeper reality, underlying the appearances of the mundane world -- a reality that differs not in the form or matter or energy of its manifestation, but in the way the initiate is conscious of it", according to Howard Rheingold, in his book entitled "Virtual Reality".
Citing Campbell's ideas as his basis, Rheingold claims that virtual reality combines the two sides of the Delphic cult of Apollo-Dionysus -- the "rational" of the Apollian experience with the power and ecstasy of the Dionysian experience:
"There are moments of Dionysian ecstasy when the delight is to see and feel and hear the form as it shatters and smashes. The sublime expression of power and force that shatters all things and brings forth all things is the two points of view. One ascends the dynamism and the other ascends the formal principle. But for the work of art, you must have both."
Rheingold, again citing Campbell, says that the purpose of the VR illusion is to wrest Man from his rational consciousness so that the unconscious and other Dionysian power can take over. He quotes a Campbell lecture on a Dionysian ritual as describing the "inner truth" of VR:
"There was a metal bowl associated with the initiation that had been mathematically reconstructed. The concavity of the bowl was such that a young man looking in expecting to see his own face would see instead the face of an old man, or the mask of an old man held up by the candidate. The shock of realization, the death and old age within youth, represents the opening of the mind to a logic dimension of his own existence. Not becoming fixed on this particular moment of life, the initiate is wakened to the course of life. Out of that there will be associated restructurings as to the sense of it all. This kind of shock would not be experienced if the young man had been told by a friend who had gone through the mystery. That is why it was regarded as criminal to betray anything of the mysteries. Now, if things like this also were associated with a slight hallucinogenic situation in the mind, you can imagine what kind of illumination would come through."
"I have bought a wonderful machine", Campbell told Moyers, "a computer... It's a miracle what happens on that screen. Have you ever looked inside one of those things?... You can't believe it. It is a whole hierarchy of angels -- all on slats. And all those little tubes -- those are miracles. I have had a revelation from my computer about mythology. You can buy a certain software, and there is a whole set of signals that lead to its aim. If you begin fooling around with signals that belong to another system of software, they just won't work... You must understand that each religion is a kind of software that has its own set of signals and will work."
Can anyone doubt that what is being talked about is the creation of a new pagan, primitive religion whose Homeric mode is the technological equivalent of an LSD experience?
"After our youngest son had seen "Star Wars" for the twelfth or thirteenth time, I said, 'why go so often,'" Moyers, the former White House press secretary and "respected" commentator, recounted to his guru, Campbell. "He said, 'For the same reason you have been reading the old Testament all your life' ".
"He was in the world of myth", Moyers explained.
Getting from Here to There
As the VR people will tell you, the road from here to the virtual world passes through your child's Nintendo game and your own personal computer games.
It is estimated that one in every three households in the United States has a video game unit of some kind, such as Nintendo or Sega Genesis System. In addition, approximately 10 million portable Nintendo "Gameboy" units, which are small enough to be carried anywhere, including to school, have been sold prior to this last Christmas season.
Nearly every shopping mall in the United States and some of the smaller "strip" shopping centers, sport a video arcade with all the latest games, on a much grander scale than is available at home. Almost every bar, pizza parlor or fast food restaurant has one or more such games, as do airports and train stations, and even some school lunchrooms.
If children are watching less television, reported one recent survey, it is only because they are playing 'more' video and computer games, for longer periods of time.
It was the television culture that helped addict our kids to these games. Children who grew up staring for hours at screens and relating to television screen images were easy targets for a mass-marketed game craze that built off these images. But unlike television viewing, the games, even the earliest, crude versions, involved 'interaction' with the screen. That interaction brought the kids and adult players one step closer to entering the virtual worlds of VR equipment manufacturer Jaron Lanier and his cult.
The video game craze started in the early part of the 1980s with the introduction of the Atari and Nintendo systems. It appeared to peak at mid-decade, but has since rebounded strongly with sales now surpassing former record levels. The rebound is in large part attributable to the infusion of greater "realism" into the game programs, and greater levels of complexity. The earliest games had levels of interaction based primarily on a fixed-glance and repeated muscle actions, usually of only the thumb and perhaps other fingers, and, in that way, were not that much different from "pinball" and other arcade experiences.
The new games, at least many of the most successful versions, attempt to force the 'mind' into a fantasy world created by the game programs. The level of involvement is much greater, and the brainwashing effect more complete. Improvements in computer, video and audio technology allowed for the addition of MTV-like sound and Disney-like color intensities. These provide necessary "cues" that link the game experience to other elements of the popular culture, including television and movie characters. The games have moved a long way from "Pac Man" to a point where many now involve interaction with lifelike digitized images of human actors, often from popular television shows or movies.
All game programs, beyond the simple Pac Man or Space Invaders type, which revolve solely around eye-hand skill, involve intense role-playing as a mode of brainwashing. The player becomes a hero, who is given an heroic task to accomplish within a period of time. He competes against symbolic evil characters, controlled by the computer program. It all fits quite nicely into the concept of the Jungian dream, the pagan myths that Joseph Campbell speaks about.
It is easy to see how one, using these games as a basis, can scramble societal role images. For example, what if the images of the evil cult of Isis, the enemy in the outlook of Western Christian belief, were represented in the game as the Good? What if the role your child is to play is as an Isis priestess or priest and the "evil" that he fights is some character representing reason?
Such games exist already and are being played by your children, and perhaps even yourself on the computer. There are games in which openly Satanic figures are represented as the "hero", with the need to summon forth mystical and magic powers from sorcery to defeat even more evil powers.
This trend started in a big way with the intense role-playing of the Dungeons and Dragons game two decades ago by college kids. The game, which was acted out, often over weeks, with roles determined through a rule book, led to a number of deaths. The players, immersed in Satanic fantasies, often became psychotic, and started acting out their "roles" in real life.
That game was translated into the first computer role-playing game in 1974. The game has undergone a technological makeover with realistic graphics, but its Satanic role-playing premise is still the same. There are at least "10 million" players of the game worldwide, with, on any given day in the United States, more than 5 million people entering its "virtual" brainwashing world.
"In spite of the economy, business is strong", says an executive of TSR, the company that markets Dungeons and Dragons. "People would rather do without other things before they give up their hobby."
There are now hundreds of games like Dungeons and Dragons played on the computer.
"Enter a wondrous world of magic and fantasy", reads an ad for the CD-ROM computer game called "Loom". "You'll travel back to the days of the Great Guilds, when the Guild of the Weavers knew the secret of weaving magic from the very fabric of reality itself. But a strange power has swept the Weavers into oblivion. And as the sole surviving Weaver, you have to unravel the mystery of their disappearance and save your guild and the universe from unspeakable catastrophe."
"A fully animated fantasy adventure, Loom is an extraordinary role-playing game that puts the power of magic in your hands."
"You'll make use of musical spells (called drafts) to learn the secret of the Loom and prevent Ultimate Chaos and her army of the undead from conquering the world."
"You don't just play Loom, you live it. Your adventure is brought to life through meticulously detailed 256 color, 3-D graphics and full voice dialogue."
Granted, not all games are quite this explicit, and not all people have access to this technology. But between the PC games and the new and readily available arcade games, 'most' people already have access to games that are like this, if not quite as sophisticated. Regardless, all involve role-playing brainwashing. The point to recognize here is that it is not just the Nintendo and your kids, but all of you computer nerds and fanatics are addicted as well to this. Pornographic computer games, which depict digitized sexual encounters, are the biggest selling computer games, selling even more than games that simulate sporting events or "test pilot" adventures.
It is estimated that more than 40 million American adults are playing computer or video games on a daily basis, often, in the case of the computer games, in their place of work. It's a wonder that people have the time to watch six to eight hours of television anymore!
Studies have shown that repeated video game playing and some computer game operations can produce a form of epilepsy, often accompanied by violent seizures and requiring sedation and psychiatric treatment. Despite this and other evidence of the harm that is done by these games, a section of the psychiatric community has been called on to defend them. Recent popular magazine articles claim that video games help teach kids "valuable" motor control skills and "reasoning". As they progress through levels of difficulty in simple games and start playing more complicated video and computer games, these quacks claim, the players are being "challenged" to react quickly to new situations" and to "take actions with consequence". Parents should not be afraid of the video game playing of their kids, said a recent popular magazine article, but instead, they should join them in their play, making it a "family experience like the best of television viewing".
Aristotle on a Chip
"The challenge for a game designer is the same as it is for a director of a film or the author of a book or a play", says David Feldman, whose company designs computer games and is designing games for the new, advanced Nintendo systems. "You've got to get the audience to suspend its disbelief."
Video games, interactive video, and computer games are all programmable experiences, as is virtual reality. The computer, says author Howard Rheingold, 'cannot' as some people have claimed and continue to claim, replicate human intelligent thought processes. Creating an artificial intelligence, the subject of billions of dollars of research, is not what the people involved with VR or most the designers of computer games are after. They are not seeking to create artificial intelligence -- they want to alter the thinking of human beings, in the same way that LSD alters and 'degrades' their thinking.
Can computers think? asks Brenda Laurel, another VR theorist and author of the book, "Computers as Theater". The proper answer to that question, she says, is "who cares"? If computers can be used to alter consciousness, then why should we care whether they "think" says Laurel, who has worked with a theorist, Marvin Minksy, at MIT.
Laurel makes the observation that the design of sophisticated computer games and virtual worlds is made possible because computers function according to 'Aristotelian' principles of logic. The most complicated algorithm can never even come close to simulating human intelligence, she says, but it can produce a world according to sets of rules.
Computers can "create" like Aristotle does, Laurel writes, by naming what is there and describing what it does. Action and interaction are programmed according to simple principles, linear rules, which do not change. Thus, objects can be placed in a computer world and moved about; they can even be transformed 'within' those worlds. But a computer can never transform those worlds they create into something else.
Laurel correctly understands that the virtual worlds created are mere objects of perceptions; they are not complex thoughts, not something beyond the sensual. Like a true Aristotelian, she states that this is all there is to the world. What else is the gnostic or mystical quality of "spirit" or "soul" which governs the sensual world? Only through an irrational process does one access the spirit, she claims, since it lies "in the depth of the soul", not the mind.
Laurel says that the purpose of creating virtual worlds is to produce the kind of drama explicitly defined by the rules of Aristotle's "Poetics". Laurel argues that the virtual experience, and the advanced video game experience, create a 'mimesis', a combination of vicarious participation and suspension of belief. If the initiate who enters a virtual world can successfully accomplish this, then, Aristotle claims, an emotional and spiritual state of 'catharsis' will be produced that will release deep inner feelings. Harkening back to Freud, Jung and Campbell, Laurel says that this "purification of the senses and the soul" will lead to a transformation of consciousness of the individual.
"It is not enough to imitate life", Laurel writes. "Dramatically constructed worlds are controlled experiments, where the irrelevant is pruned away and the bare bones of human choice and situation are revealed through significant action. The predispositions of such worlds are embodied in the traits and their characters and the array of situations and forces embedded-in their contexts. If we can make such worlds interactive, where a user's choices and actions can flow through the dramatic lens, then we will enable an exercise in the imagination, intellect and spirit that is entirely of a new order."
Creative reason is inherently anti-Aristotelian. The attempt to force reason into an Aristotelian straightjacket, as described by Laurel, is an act of deliberate menticide. What she is describing is a form of brainwashing by computer program -- thereby making a person think like a computer.
Computers cannot represent the transformation of characters of a Schilerian or Shakespearean drama. Laurel's "dramas" are the role-playing of Dungeons and Dragons, where Jungian pit images clash with each other, according to primitive cult rituals. It is a world of gods and goddesses, but without God. She refers repeatedly to the power of Isis rituals, to the plays of Shiva rituals, and to the "heightened" consciousness induced by hallucinogenic drugs. We must learn from the past, she says, to be better able to "program" for the future.
Meanwhile, people are gradually becoming accustomed to the new implements of a VR system. Mattel has already introduced its version of the DataGlove, called the PowerGlove, as part of a new game system. Sony is preparing to introduce the first mass-marketed head-mounted personal video montior, the so-called Visitron. By the time VR systems are ready for the mass market, people will be wearing their HMDs and gloves.
It won't be long before the public will be ready for virtual reality, or as Rheingold calls it, "Aristotle on a chip".
Fujitsu, as part of its research program, is spending several hundred million dollars to produce "educational" VR systems. They are proceeding from the radical information theory concept that all learning takes place through 'experience', as translated into simple interaction between humans and objects. A VR system, programmed to simulate 'any' experience, therefore represents the ultimate teaching tool, in the minds of these followers of such "thinkers" as Norbert Weiner and Jean Piaget, on whose observations of child-learning experiences the new VR programs are being directly modeled.
According to Howard Rheingold, all cultures, both "primitive" and "civilized", learn and create scientific theories by "pottering around with natural objects in various combinations". The goal, he claims, is to create 'bricoleur', using a term of the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, to signify an "intuitive" technician who plays with concepts and objects.
The term has been picked up in the work of Seymour Papert, a brainwasher and theorist of "artificial intelligence" whose Media Lab at MIT has received a $3 million grant from Nintendo to study ways to bring video game technology into the classroom as a "learning device". His efforts are in part responsible for some of the recent publicity about the "positive" effects of kids' addiction to mind-destroying video games.
Papert, who spent five years studying child psychology in Switzerland with Jean Piaget, develops the 'bricoleur' concept into a methodology for educating through computer simulation. He writes in the book, "Mindstorms":
"The process reminds one of tinkering -- learning consists of building up a set of materials and tools that one can handle and manipulate. Perhaps most central of all, it is a process of working with what you've got... I suggest that working with what you've got is a shorthand for a deeper, even unconscious learning processes... Here I am suggesting that in the most fundamental sense, we as learners are all 'bricoleurs'."
"Let's say that you want to teach students about dinosaurs", says Jaron Lanier, conjuring a VR application within this theory. "In virtual reality, you can take them to a place where there are dinosaurs. Because the child has the power to change reality itself, it is sort of super-real to them in a way that the physical world isn't. The child cannot only sit on the ground and watch the dinosaur thump past, to see how big a T-Rex is, but can actually become a T-Rex and move around experiencing the body of a T-Rex, looking down from such a height."
Papert proposes to make a preliterate "child" interface, which will place children into computer simulations that can be applied to all levels of education:
"Stated most simply, my conjecture is that the computer can concretize (and personalize) the formal. Seen in this light, it is not just another powerful educational tool. It is unique in providing us with the means for addressing what Piaget and many others see as the obstacle which is overcome by the passage of the child to adult thinking. I believe that this can allow us to shift the boundary separating the concrete and the formal. Knowledge that was only accessible through formal processes can now be approached concretely. And the real magic comes from the fact that this knowledge includes those elements one needs to be a formal thinker."
The education potential of VR, said Fred Brooks, who is also working on educational VR systems, could furnish a "magical sandbox" and "access to all the objects of this world and other worlds".
Lyndon LaRouche has spent the last 40 years attacking such concepts of education and the information theory that stands behind them. In contrast to the Deweyite experiential learning proposed by the VR cult and people like Papert, LaRouche, in his recent paper, "On the Subject of Metaphor", argues that the key to the educational process is to replicate in the student's mind the thought processes by which great discoveries in the progress of human knowledge have been made. The object of education is not to teach particular facts about objects, nor to cause them to be named in an Aristotelian fashion, nor to cause the recitation of strings of facts or theories, but to come to truly know the great minds and how they worked by reproducing the crucial experiments that led to their fundamental contributions.
The non-deductive solutions to these problems cannot be represented by any explicitly linear medium, such as communication media, LaRouche states. The solutions to the crucial experiments are themselves not the object of education -- It is in the replication of non-deductive, nonlinear "thought processes" of the original thinker in the mind of the student that real education takes place. In that way, LaRouche states, in contradistinction to all who talk of learning facts and theories, the student's mind becomes populated, not with mere images of formerly alive historical figures, as if characters in a story, but 'knows' each as "a living, thinking person" who is alive within the student's own mental processes.
"Our creative mental processes do not address directly sensory objects Per se", LaRouche writes. "Human thought knows only change; we know only a thinkable correspondence between a change in our behavior and a correlated change in the manifest behavior of Nature. It is correspondence of the two Types of change which constitutes the entirety of physical science. That correspondence is what is intelligible for us; we must discover everything else respecting Nature from this approach to the elementary primacy of change, to the universal space-time of nothing but change."
To communicate this, one needs literate language, not the gibberish of deconstructionists, symbolists, or post-symbolists. Without literate language, there can be no thought. Lanier and Laurel speak of a new language of hyper real images, where gestures and looks substitute for words, where words are not allowed nor desired. This is not progress, but a return to primitivism, to a technological form of cave-painting.
It is not all that far from here, where we are, to where these brainwashers want to take us. Think of the latest science fiction or horror movie, and its images. Or, think of the Disney cartoons, with their intense imagery or an MTV music video. These are all examples of nonverbal communication. They are making us more and more bestial, by the day.
"I hate the language of words", says Lanier. It leaves so much out. "It leaves out the experience."
In the Aristotelian universe, there is a past, a present and a future, linked together by a linear timeline. The past is essentially dead, to be studied as a dead object in this universe. The future is a projection, a non-real, or in the terms of our discussion, 'virtual' world, knowable by extrapolation from past and present experience.
What is left out of this and what makes it false is the concept of change, as LaRouche develops, and it is this change that gives meaning to our mortal existence on the planet. By our individual moral action, we participate in the process of universal change. Acting in the present, we alter the relationship of all previous human generations to that present and to the future, thereby altering the past. Thus, each individual is morally responsible, not simply for the present and possibly the future, but for the past.
Virtual reality and "learning" based on it or similar computer technologies reduces everything to an "at-onceness", as Lanier calls it, echoing Marshall McLuhan. In so doing, we kill the past, destroy the future, and render the present morally impotent. Yet that is precisely what those who would misuse this new technology would do, turning something potentially useful into a brainwashing tool on behalf of "information theory".
The Good and the Bad
Those who are prepared to mass market their "personal fantasy generators" have put the oxymoron "virtual reality" into circulation in order to conjure up the appropriate images of a "magical" or "sci-fi" future. Stripping away the psychological baggage and media hype, the core of the computer-video technology involved in VR systems could be of enormous benefit to Mankind.
Some of this benefit has already been realized. For example, using interactive 3-D graphics, a component of any VR system, it is already possible to design complex machinery, electronic circuitry and the like, and to do so more cheaply and more accurately than before.
Add to this 3-D design capability, the possibility of human interaction to manipulate computer-generated images, and you create additional possibilities. In one application, already available, an architect can design a space, and then, through use of an HMD and DataGlove, can walk through that space to see how it actually might look in a three-dimensional projection. He then has the option to redefine the space, on the spot, so to speak, changing it to meet certain specifications. Once that is done, he can take his clients on a walk through "their" space, before anything has been built, making additional modifications.
The application of the technology to medicine has the potential to save millions Of lives. Surgeons can be trained to perform operations on computer-generated images, using DataGloves and HMDs, augmenting their training on human cadavers. Meanwhile, three-dimensional imaging techniques are making possible the diagnosis of illnesses without often-dangerous, and always painful, exploratory surgery. Already, it is possible to use the technology to "see" the other side of tumors, and soon it will be possible for doctors to figure out how best to aim various radiation treatments so as to kill only desired cancer cells.
The technology also adds new capabilities to the field of robotics -- computer controlled machines. Military and other research already has humans wearing HMDs and DataGioves controlling "robot" vehicles and instrumentation tens of miles away, through what is known in VR "lingo" as "telepresence". This will one day enable someone on Earth to assist in the building of space stations in Earth orbit or even on another planet.
All of these things and more are possible as both computer and video technology improves. That advancement appears to be simply a matter of the deployment of sufficient resources.
The problem is that most of the research in what should appropriately be called interactive, three-dimensional computer simulation overlaps with the more obscene elements of "virtual reality", and typically, the latter receives most of the funding. The drive to create "personal fantasy machines" is what increasingly dominates research in the 'entire' field. More importantly, the radical Jungian politics and ethos of the counterculture infuse most, if not all, of this work.
The two key companies in the "fantasy" race, as of the end of 1992, are the Japanese electronics giants Fujitsu and Sony, while the Hollywood interests of Disney and Time-Warner are pushing hard for the creation of a "virtual reality entertainment empire".
There will be two elements to this operation, as the technology improves. We are most likely to see the creation of massive VR "theme parks", along the lines of Disneyworld, simply because the personal and moderately priced fantasy machines appear to be a few years off. Fujitsu, which has a multibillion dollar research project, is working on VR systems, including ones to be used in schools. Sony, as we reported, will market the first personal video system, the Visitron. Both are aiming at the personal fantasy machine. For Sony, which controls Columbia Pictures and Records, it is the logical next step in progressive mass marketing of brainwashing hardware that began with the Walkman, moved on to the Discman, and now, portable video.
As Rheingold states in his book, both elements of this marketing drive -- the software and hardware -- feed off each other, creating a popular interest and fascination with the new product.
The media is also helping to feed public curiosity, with articles in nearly every major newspaper and popular magazine appearing within the last two years, and more on the way. Each article contains enticements for our pornographic popular culture of things not yet quite attainable, but to be available in the not-so-distant future.
For example, there is already widespread discussion of "virtual sex" or, as Rheingold calls it, "teledildonics". Research is under way, we are told, that will make it possible to have orgasmic sex with virtual partners or virtual projections of real partners. "It's the solution to the problems with the libido in a world driven crazy by fear of AIDS", says one of the articles.
For the MTV generation, there is the prospect, in the not so distant future, of direct interaction with the images of music videos and even new kinds of audiovisual sensation. Lanier spins out a psychedelic dream of using VR to create cities by playing music.
The person who invented the DataGlove for Lanier did so with the idea that it could be used to play an "air guitar" -- an electric Fender Stratocaster in the air. Together with Lanier, one of the first VR projects they completed was a Jimi Hendrix simulator!
Meanwhile, some of the bigwigs of the rock business have dived head first into the new media. Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, and Laurie Anderson, to name a few, are deeply involved. There are plans for both live performance using virtual worlds created on large television screens and for videos produced in the same manner. MTV has publicized the new technology.
Jerry Garcia, of Timothy Leary's Grateful Dead, is sold on VR and will promote it to the legions of "deadheads" as more powerful than drugs. Other rock stars will be brought in as the sales pitch intensifies, including Michael Jackson, who has already produced a 3-D video experience that is shown at Disneyworld. Lanier and the others say that within ten to 15 years, VR will be the preferred means of interaction between the rock culture and its disciples.
Back to the Future...
The power that VR holds as a brainwashing tool is its ability to break down the social conscience of the individual. The real mythology, the Big Lie, is that such an experience, even if repeated, will have no effect on the individual in the real world. VR, just like television, turns off the cognitive processes that enable one to apprehend the real world, substituting the infantile world of the Jungian dream. The individual's personality is reshaped by fantasy, to the point that not only can he no longer understand his relationship to the real world, but he no longer cares.
All of this is right now being studied by the brainwashers of Tavistock and related institutions. One such brainwasher, Nathaniel Durlach, who works out of MIT, predicts that VR systems will become the "ideal systems for experimental psychology. Every university that has an experimental psychology department is going to have a virtual world system". He indicates that it will provide the way to monitor human response to 'fantasy', thus enabling fine-tuning of the brainwashing experience in ways never before imagined.
Mass-marketed VR creates a world in which nothing is real, because nothing can be understood as true. By eliminating the concepts of universal truth, there is no truth. And without truth and the search for truth, there can be no civilization.
In the terms of the Tavistock brainwashers, VR is the most powerful means yet to degrade the social field, to rip asunder the fabric of Western Judeo-Christian civilization, plunging Man deeper into a New Dark Age. It is the technological fix that is to allow Man to live with the barbarism of the collapsing and decadent social order. This is where 40 years of television and mass-media brainwashing has brought us.
This concludes our series on television. If it were used properly, as a means to enhance the reasoned dialogue between individuals in their search for the truth, then television would be an enormously useful technology. That its promise was perverted and turned to an evil use by the oligarchy and their entertainment mafia, must not alter our assessment of the technology itself. Our continuing fight must be to express what is human in each of us, by the creation of new technologies, and to use them to act for the Good as our morally informed reason defines the Good. We must take back technologies such as television from the wicked who would use them to destroy civilization. It is to that aim, that this series has been dedicated.
My hope is that regardless of people's opinion of LaRouche, and some of the controversial and unorthodox assertions contained in this series, that people here will nonetheless find it an interesting and thought-provoking criticism of TV and the mass brainwashing of the entertainment culture.