TURN OFF YOUR
by L. Wolfe
The Making of Sports
A Secular Religion
We're back again for another dialogue. I'm sure by now most of you know the way this works -- since watching television lowers your capacity to reason, we keep the set off while we have our discussion. So, if it's not already off, as I hope it is, go over and turn it off.
In this section, we are going to discuss the way you are brainwashed by spectator sports and the way television has facilitated that brainwashing. I have a sense that what we are going to say might anger some of you, but bear with me and see the argument through to the end.
We might as well get right to the point -- those of you who call yourselves 'fans' of one or more teams of any sport, be it baseball, football, basketball, hockey or of players in more individualized games such as tennis or golf, are "addicted to a mind-crippling infantilism that reduces your power of creative reason". And it is that power and 'only' that power of morally informed, creative reason that makes Man different from the animal.
Let's make some preliminary observations to support our thesis.
As we have stated time and again in this series, Man is created in the living image of God and has been given by his Creator the Divine Spark of reason. It is that quality, that Divine Spark, in each of us that makes us truly human. Anything that reduces our capacity to reason makes us less human, more like an animal.
Organized sports in this country, and especially professional and college level sporting events, are "mass brainwashing experiences", precisely along the lines outlined by Gustav LeBon and Sigmund Freud in earlier parts of our report. They cause the individual personality to regress to a more infantile, more irrational state; while watching a sporting event, a person becomes part of a mass of similarly addicted infants who fixate on events taking place within the defined boundaries of a "playing field", in a 'game' whose rules are arbitrarily defined.
Each sporting competition is a thinly disguised celebration of what your brainwashers have called "instinctual human aggressiveness", the same kind of aggressiveness that people like Freud say 'proves' that you are an 'animal' driven toward destruction. These aggressive, destructive drives, says Freud, are "part of Man's animal nature". Sooner or later, Man must succumb to the power of such drives, Freud and neo-Freudians claim. The purpose of society, according to Freud, is to regulate and control through various forms of coercion, the outbursts of this innate bestiality against which the human mind is ultimately powerless.
Christian civilization is premised on a contrary view of humanity. Man, created in the image of His Creator, seeks to perfect His existence through use of creative reason in search of Truth; that is the only acceptable definition of perfection as a human process. Society is organized to provide Man the means by which to accomplish this task, nurturing those powers of creative reason and affording the opportunity for Man to act on that reason in an effective manner.
To the extent that one needs a fit body to serve the power of reason, exercise and sports can play a 'limited' role in Man's search for Truth. But muscular activity can 'never' be a substitute for nurturing one's creative powers. Morally informed reason rules the body.
Modern sports, especially when organized as a mass spectator event, serve a contrary purpose. Besides acting as 'ritualized' celebrations of aggressiveness, sports create an 'illusion' of perfection, acted out within the measured boundaries of the "playing field" and according to the arbitrary rules of a 'game'; perfection becomes something that is 'counted', a thing which is measured, that has been severed from Man's relation to Truth and to His Creator.
Mass organized spectator sports, as presented and marketed through television, thus work to undermine the most basic concepts of Christian civilization. With their endless piles of statistics, with their arbitrary rules, with their mass spectacle, with their celebration of power of muscles and instinct over the human mind, and with their worship of heroic deeds in the absence of reasoned activity, they create a form of "pagan ritual", that has become a "substitute religion" for most Americans. So that's our thesis restated -- sports is "a mind-destroying pagan religion".
I warned you that it might be hard for some people to swallow, since I know how addicted many of you are to 'your' sports. After all, if you are an American, and especially an American male, you have been raised in a "sports-dominated" culture. We're going to take a look at that. We'll first examine the penetration of spectator sports into our culture, before re-examining the psychological underpinnings of the mass brainwashing operation.
The 'Sporting' War
As we have said before, the most effective brainwashing of Americans is the kind that they don't realize is happening, the so-called soft brainwashing.
I want you to think back to an image we referred to earlier. In February 1991, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf gave an internationally televised briefing on the strategy and tactics of the ground war component of Operation Desert Storm. At the time, the press compared the general to a "successful Superbowl coach" giving a description of the "game plan" that had earned him victory.
Schwarzkopf had conceived the war "as if it were a football game" and had redefined a classic military flanking maneuver in "football terms" as a Hail Mary play. He had first explained what he was doing in those "football terms" to his staff; he reiterated that explanation to the American people. He was speaking a 'language' -- the language of sports -- that "he knew" most Americans would understand.
In fact, most of the war was presented to the American public as "if it were a spectator sporting event", complete with statistical analysis that measured every aspect of the fighting -- the numbers of dead, the numbers of bombs dropped, the numbers of bullets used -- This was the 'scorecard', as the Pentagon and other briefing officers called it, and as the press, and especially the television news, reported it.
In the end, the American people followed General
Schwarzkopf as he tallied up the 'score' -- according to the numbers, our side
had "clearly won", just as the football team
that scores more points wins its game. And just
like with a televised football game, the
Left off the 'scorecards' were the horrific casualties to innocent Iraqi women and children and the devastation to that nation's vital 'civilian' infrastructure. Such pictures have, for the most part even today, been kept from the American people in order to preserve the image of the "clean war" fought within the bounds of "good sportsmanship".
How well did this presentation work? Think about your own responses to the war and to the Schwarzkopf briefing. Didn't you find yourself 'rooting' for the "home team", the Americans and their allies? And didn't you feel elated when you were told and shown the results with maps and charts, in much the same way that you might feel if your favorite team won a championship like the Superbowl?
Around the country, in the same bars where the television sets feature Monday Night Football or the Basketball Game of the Week, there were reported to be raucous celebrations after the "victory" in the Gulf War, similar to what occurs when the home team wins such televised games. "I feel like we've won the Superbowl", one middle-age bargoer told a reporter that night. "No, better, like we've won two Superbowls."
Remember our Hal Becker, the brainwasher from
the Futures Group who disdainfully calls all of you "homo the
saps." Back in 1981, he commented on the Vietnam War
When a survey was taken after the war asking Americans to name a figure from history to which they compared General Schwarzkopf, few people named military leaders like General Dwight Eisenhower or General Douglas MacArthur. Instead, "many people" named the late Green Bay Packer football coach, Vince Lombardi, the winner of the first two Superbowls in 1967-68. Lombardi is, among other things, famous for a quote that General Schwarzkopf admires: "Winning isn't everything. It is the only thing."
The "sports psyche" that Becker refers to is imbedded deep within American culture. It is why people understood what General Schwarzkopf was talking about with his "Hail Mary Play" and it is why "he himself understood what he was doing in that way". It is reflected in that Lombardi quote about winning. It should more appropriately be called the "jock persona", a mythical mass "universalized addiction" to all these sports. Most 'fans' will watch all the sports named, with the possible exception of hockey, which still lacks franchises and therefore fans in many parts of the country. This universalizing process is the result of a proliferation of teams fueled by television revenues and a television-created mass audience.
Sports and TV
At the dawn of the television age in 1950, there was only one truly national sport, baseball, which had a 152 game season, running from April to October, when the World Series is played, for 20 teams divided into two leagues. The National Football League had a schedule running from September to December, with a single championship game. The National Basketball Association had many fewer teams than it does today, playing a shorter season culminating in a championship series, while the six-team National Hockey League, with teams only in New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto playing from October to March in a 50-game season, culminating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Now, 40 years after the mass proliferation of television and 15 years after the start of the mass penetration of pay cable networks, football and basketball have joined baseball as truly national sports, with hockey expanding its regional base.
There are now 28 baseball teams playing a 162-game season, extending from April to October, with a spring training from February through April that features some televised games; the season culminates in playoffs which, in turn, end in the World Series. The NFL now has 28 teams in two conferences playing a 16-game schedule running from September through the end of December when playoffs are held which end in the single-most viewed sporting event, the Superbowl in late January. The NBA has 27 teams playing an 82-game schedule, which runs from October to the beginning of April, with playoffs that can run until May. The NHL now has 24 teams in an 82-game season running from October to mid-April, with playoffs that can run until early June.
There is now a total, year-round brainwashing immersion of huge numbers of Americans in televised spectator sports -- As the sports' leagues expand, as the seasons enlarge, the addicted are becoming "more addicted" and the television set is the major source for their 'fix'.
Before television, the four mass spectator sports under discussion had a total yearly attendance of 30 million (1950 figures, approximate). Now, their total in-person attendance is more than triple that figure.
However, well over "1 billion" people
watch such events on television. The television audience for the Superbowl 'alone' is more than 100 million in the
We are not talking here about so many billion viewers who each watch a single, different sporting event. We are talking about the "habituated viewing" of several hundreds of events by a segment of the population that numbers in the several "tens of millions", and the viewing of a hundred or so events by another population segment double or triple that figure.
The Psychology of a Fanatic
As we learned in the previous sections of this report, the soft brainwashing process that alters or creates social values relies on 'habituated' viewing habits. And this brings us to the first point of our thesis, which many of you sports addicts may have challenged when we first offered it. Your repeated habituated viewing of sports, especially televised sports, has altered the way you think. In fact, the more you watch sports, the less capable you are of morally informed reasoning. You are losing your mind to your 'fanaticism', to your addiction to sports.
Sports are a totally unimportant and meaningless activity for human existence. Whether one team or another wins a particular game, whether it be a minor league baseball game or the Superbowl, it is totally and absolutely 'meaningless for the present and future existence of human civilization on this planet.
The problem is that most of you don't really believe this. Oh, you can accept it in the 'abstract', all right. You know that whether the Redskins or the Cowboys win won't make a bit of difference as to whether the depression is ended. But sports are a part of your "private mental life", they are like a "personal possession" that has little objective real value, but to you has a great deal of subjective, emotional value. And you really don't like someone telling you what to do about these "personal parts" of your life. You sort of resent it, don't you?
But now take a good look at yourself.
It's Sunday afternoon. You sit in front of the television set, your hands sweating, as your favorite football team is locked in a tight game with their bitter rival. The clock is ticking down. One more good play, and they'll be in range of the winning field goal. The pass is completed. You thrust your fist in the air, as the home stadium crowd roars its approval through the television set's speakers.
Your hands are wet with sweat; the crowd is cheering. They line up for the field goal. You can't sit still; you rise from the chair. Now, you can't even watch and you look away from the screen. The kick is up. "It's...it's goooood," says the announcer and you jump up and down, as the fans in the stands are shown celebrating. They've won, you think, and you 'feel' great.
If the kick had missed its mark, and 'your' team had lost, you would have 'felt' bad and dejected, and so would all its other fans, both in the stadium and watching on their television sets.
For the three or so hours of that game, the world outside the television set "did not exist". People were dying in Bosnia. Others were starving in Africa. Within a few miles of the stadium, youths were destroying themselves with drugs. The economy continued to go to hell. But for those three hours and especially those last few moments, that world, "the world that matters", did not exist.
'Emotionally' this game and all other games, to one degree or another, do 'mean' something to you. This is the "infantile emotionalism" that we are talking about. It does not involve your "reasoning capacity" at all; it bypasses it completely, putting you into a state of emotionalized fantasy, disfiguring your creative "reasoning power" in much the same way as an intense sexual fantasy.
If someone should try to deny you your 'fix', to turn off your 7-30 hours of sports on television a week or reduce your viewing hours, you'd scream bloody murder and maybe even physically assault whoever tried to enforce such an unwanted change in your addictive behavior. That is how 'addicted' you are to your "emotional fix" on sports. And this is one of the ways in which you are 'brainwashed' by television.
The Making of Sports
A Secular Religion
The same theoretical outlook that was behind the mass brainwashing of Nazi Germany is found in the mass crowd phenomenon of spectator sports. Sigmund Freud's principal point in "Mass Psychology and the Study of the I" was that masses of people can be organized around appeals to the emotions. Mass rallies, for example, appeal not to reason, but to the emotions, in order for the appeals to be successful. The most powerful such appeals are to the 'unconscious', which has the power to dominate and throw aside reason.
"The mass has never thirsted for truth", he writes. "They demand illusions and cannot do without them. They constantly give what is unreal precedence over what is real; they are almost as strongly influenced by what is untrue as what is true. They have an evident tendency not to distinguish between the two."
Freud further states that under this condition, with Man's reason dominated by 'emotionalism' and unable and 'unwilling' to look for Truth, the individual in a mass or crowd loses his moral conscience, or what Freud calls his "ego ideal". This is not necessarily a bad thing for the individual, [the evil Freud claims], since the moral conscience which he later named the 'Over I' or 'superego', causes Man to "unnaturally" repress His basic animal instincts; this, Freud claims, produces neuroses.
In a crowd organized around people's emotions, the individual will exhibit a tendency to "let himself go", to free himself of all moral and social inhibitions:
"Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian -- that is, a creature acting by instinct... Nothing about it [how a person behaves under such crowd condition] is premeditated..."
"It [a crowd] cannot tolerate any delay between its desires and the fulfillment of what it desires", writes Freud, stating that this is why the individual is so willing to let himself become a part of a powerful mass experience which can gratify those emotional desires.
Such crowds, observes Freud, have regressed to "the mental life of children". They operate, not according to reason, but according to irrational, emotional desires. In this mindless, emotional state, individuals are easily manipulated by leaders who can shift the values of the masses to coincide with the crowd's infantile fantasies.
We'll take a look at a typical sports crowd.
You're watching a professional hockey game. Sitting next to you are an accountant and a school teacher, each in declining middle age. Below you is a teenage couple; over to the side is a banker, and just behind you are a couple of lawyers, with their young sons.
It's a close game. "Knock that bum down", screams the lawyer, "Don't let him skate like that."
"Kill him", screams the lawyer's young son. "Put the body on him."
A fight breaks out on the ice between two players. The crowd rises, cheering wildly as the home team player lands punch after punch, bloodying his opponent. The lawyers cheer the loudest. The announcement of penalties is greeted with more cheers for the home team combatant, as the referees escort the players to the penalty boxes.
Finally, the action begins again. A home team player breaks in for a clear shot on the goal. The little black puck shoots into the net behind the opposing goalie. A goal. Lights flash all around and pandemonium breaks out in the crowd. The banker gets so excited that he spills his beer all over the teenage couple. Everyone is laughing. Everyone is happy, as they celebrate the home team's goal.
Was there any difference in the behavior in that crowd of the adults and the children? Not really. What has been described is a common example of the "mass infantilism" that we have referred to.
Now think for a moment about the televised football game we described earlier. The person described was not 'in' a crowd per se, but was watching a televised game in his living room. "Yet he displayed the same kind of emotional responses as if he were present at the stadium". This demonstrates the power of televised sports to induce behavior in what the brainwashers call an "extended crowd".
In the television era, there are two audiences for every sporting event -- one that is present at the event and one that is viewing the event, usually, as it happens, on the television screen. The first audience is limited by the size of the stadium, and even the largest stadiums are limited to well under 100,000 people. The television audience, especially for a major sporting event like a football game, numbers in the millions.
The spectator in the stadium, as well as the viewer in the living room, are linked by the common perception of the events on the "playing field". They are aware of each other's existence -- The fanatic at home hears the crowd noise on the television set and sees shots of the packed stands. The fan in the stands knows of the massive television viewership "through his own and his fellow fans' habituated viewing habits". "If I were home, I'd be watching", he thinks. If he is at the game, he hopes to attract the attention of the television camera crews, so that he might be seen by the fans at home.
The television brainwashers like Fred Emery of Tavistock have noted this phenomena. Someone watching his favorite show is only 'vaguely' aware that others are watching as well, giving rise to a sense of isolation. The viewer of a sporting event is 'keenly' aware of the existence of others, the brainwashers say, and therefore participates in a common "mass experience of enormous perceived importance". The perception of importance is self-validating -- If one million people are doing the same thing, at the same time, it 'must' be important.
Each sporting event, therefore, takes on a "psychoiogical significance" to the viewer. It becomes a common, emotional bond between him or herself and "one million or more" other people. Some recent psychological surveys of Americans between the ages 15 and 50 found that when they were asked to list significant events that occurred within their lifetimes, an extremely large number listed "sporting events", and many listed several such events.
Similarly, among American males especially, this 'co-participation' in spectator sports, creates a sense of 'identity' with fellow 'fanatics'. A Mets fan walking down the street seeing another person wearing a baseball cap with a Mets logo develops a sense of 'comradeship' with this unknown other. He gives him a wave, and maybe a raised fist, signifying solidarity with "the cause". The same person will routinely avert his eyes from the gaze of a homeless person and even another person dressed the same as he. Thus, the "mass spectator experience" extends beyond the time-frame of any single game or even season, to become a part of the personality, a process of childlike 'identification' with objects and feeling states.
The point to be made here is that viewing spectator sports in a habituated way, over an extended period of time, does alter a person's personality, because it causes him to respond to situations from an emotionally determined set of reference points. As we said, it makes you stupid and more animal-like.
This is not something that can be turned on or off like a television set. Just as we have explained previously that the "hidden messages" of the television stay with you even when the set is off, "playing back" even years later, so does this pattern of "emotional, non-thinking response", caused by habituated viewing of sports, stay with you.
Now, think back to what we had said about the Gulf War and the briefing by General Norman Schwarzkopf on how the plan of attack against Iraq secured military victory. Try to remember "your response" to this briefing, that so openly and consciously was made to resemble a football coach's victory press conference. Didn't it call up the same kind of emotional response that you had when 'your' team won an important game? Didn't you want to raise your fist in the air and say: "We really knocked the crap out of the Iraqis, didn't we. We really took it to them." "This is your sports mentality playing back, on cue."
The people who organized that press conference 'knew' that you had been programmed to respond that way. By using the 'language' of sports to describe the war, they were triggering a 'playback' of infantile emotions associated with spectator sports, thereby limiting your critical reasoning capacities.
A month earlier, the 1991 Superbowl between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills had featured a halftime spectacular, staged by Hollywood producers, with the "nothing-should-be-spared" cooperation of the U.S. Department of Defense, "celebrating the dedication" of the game to the war effort, then in its savage aerial bombardment phase. With 80,000 people in the stands wearing yellow ribbons for the troops standing and cheering, waves of military planes flew over the Orange Bowl. More than "150 million" people in this country watched the halftime extravaganza end with rock singer Whitney Houston screeching her way through the National Anthem. "Her rendition, complete with fireworks, was turned into a rock video and was soon the number one song in sales in the United States."
As several commentators noted, the Superbowl had been turned into "the largest war rally in the history of the world". It was the 'spirit' of that Superbowl "war rally", that "coach" Schwarzkopf evoked, quite consciously, with his briefing.
Be Like Mike
Let's shift focus slightly. You and your son are watching a close basketball game, in its final seconds. The clock ticks down, as Michael Jordan, the superstar of the Chicago Bulls, takes the ball at mid-court.
"It's all down to one play", says the television announcer. "It's all up to Michael. They're clearing out the lane for him."
Then the announcer is silent, as the clock ticks off the time in tenths of a second. It's under ten seconds now. Jordan starts his move toward the basket. Suddenly, near the foul line, he feints to his left, then twists around to his right, launching himself into the air. Somehow, he is propelled through a maze of arms, to the rim and he slams the ball through. The clock reads no time left.
"He's done it", screams the announcer. "Or should I say, he's done it again!
Did you ever think about what goes on in your son's mind as he watches the game? On the one hand, he is 'fixated' on the screen, taking in the action as it happens. But something else is going on as well -- He is fantasizing that he could "Be Like Mike", as the ad for the sports drink says in its jingle, that he could be famous and spectacular like Jordan or another athlete. He will try to act out this fantasy, perhaps by trying to practice and copy some "move" or mannerism of the superstar athlete, or under certain circumstances by buying some product the athlete endorses. In such ways are sports 'heroes' copied by the young.
But what about you? How do you watch the same events? You're in middle age or slightly younger. Superstardom has passed you by. In your heart of hearts, you know that you can't really "Be Like Mike", in that 35 to 45 year old body of yours. But the "dream" dies hard -- You still can connect with fantasies and times of your youth, through the sports viewing experience. "You could have been like Mike, if only things were different", you fantasize.
You have been "transported" to an infantile state, through associations and identifications with experiences of youth. This is made possible by the now-universal mass culture of sports, and especially television sports; you remember some game that you may have seen or even played in, some experience akin to what is taking place on the screen in front of you. It is this power to make associations with an infantile, fantasized past, that is a key to much of the power that spectator sports has over you. "It is a way to shut off the reality of the current world, by calling forth a fantasy world in which your infantile self participates".
Often, the habituated viewing of spectator sports will have the effect of creating a "false past" for the individual, in which he or she has so strongly imagined some fantasy from his childhood, that he now believes it to be true. Many males who never made it close to a football field will tell their friends that they actually played for their schools.
The habituated viewing of spectator sports calls forth the most infantile part of a person, and that infantilism often leads to a distortion of one's true self and past, further crippling creative reason.
None of this started with television; it has been going on far longer than that. But, as we have said before, the mass proliferation of sports through television has universalized this 'neurosis' throughout much of the adult male population.
Brainwashing by Numbers
We have also noted that fanatics have their unique way to communicate with each other. The 'language' of sports, meaning the terms used to describe various actions, rules, etc. of the major sports, have become a part of popular language. It is for this reason that the Schwarzkopf briefing could be understood by those watching it.
A major portion of the "sports language" is 'numbers' -- the endless amount of statistical information used to quantify and therefore analyze the events taking place on the "playing field". These numbers are totally useless for the conduct of human affairs on a day-to-day basis. They tell people nothing about the real world or things that might truly matter in their daily lives. Yet, it is a simple fact, that more people can tell you what the records of the starting pitchers are in today's Yankee-Orioles baseball game, than where the dollar closed in Tokyo.
My father once tried to impress on me the frivolity of sports "numbers". He told me that when he was a young clerk in a shipping firm he was riding the elevator with a friend. He and his friend were rattling off a comparison between the batting averages of the then Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants starting teams, arguing furiously over the merits of the players.
Later that day, my father was called to the office of the president of the company to bring some price quotes on brass valves. There was one missing.
"What's the price on this?" the president asked him.
"I don't know," my father replied. "I'll have to go look it up."
"I was on the elevator with you a little while ago", said the president, quite angrily. "Id have gotten an answer immediately if I asked you Willie Mays' batting average. That you know by heart, but what I pay you to know you have to look up!"
But aside from creating useless and meaningless clutter in the minds of millions of sports fans, the statistical explosion around sports has had another, more important mind-destroying effect. It has tended to cause people to try to judge everything by numbers, by 'counting' and, in so doing, it has made them more prone to brainwashing through "public opinion polls" of the type we have discussed in previous sections of this report. The pollsters themselves have noted this. They say that Americans have been conditioned by sports statistics to accept the statistical results of polls as "inherently true".
It is easy to see why from a typical sports argument. "Listen", says one fellow. "I say that Conseco isn't half the player that Cal Ripken is."
"Oh yeah?", says the other guy, "Well just look at his numbers. He has more career home runs, more runs batted in..."
"Right, but Ripken has a higher lifetime batting average and he has played in 1,730 consecutive games", the first fellow answers. And so on.
These "debates" take place 'millions' of times every day. In each, statistics are used as "accurate measurements". They are accepted as 'facts', to be used in argument.
Poll results are presented in the same way. As a result of your brainwashing by sports and sports statistics, you never bother to question whether such results are fraudulent. "Hey, just show me the numbers", says the sports fan. "If it's a statistic, then it's a fact."
Such "statistical reasoning", with everything placed into neatly counted categories, with "facts" represented as columns of counted objects, is coherent with an 'Aristotelian' representation of the universe. It leads to a linear interpretation, to a fixed reality.
"Truth", as we have been discussing Truth in this series, can "never be defined from such arrays of statistically presented facts". Truth is located in the 'process' of creative reason that determines the hypothesis governing the means by which hypotheses 'change'. The "Socratic method", as practiced by Plato and the great Christian thinkers, like St. Augustine, seeks Truth in "what cannot be counted", and in the rejection of a fixed, counted universe. It is "a quality of mind", the same quality of creative reason that allows Man to participate in God's creation, and that distinguishes Him from the animal, that alone determines Truth.
Habituated sports viewing leads to a fixation on 'numbers' and the statistical representation of Truth. This fixation 'neurotically' reduces the ability of the mind to reason in the "Socratic" manner necessary to discover Truth.
The Gambling Disease
The fixation of the sports fanatic on numbers also leads to another addiction -- Gambling. Sports gambling, both legal and illegal, through an organized-crime controlled network of betting parlors, is a "multi-hundred billion dollar annual business". Like sports itself, it is controlled and encouraged through the oligarchy's Dope, Inc., the international drug cartel which uses the betting process to launder dope monies.
The sports fanatic turned serious bettor, begins to associate 'only' with the numerical content of the games, reduced to the so-called 'odds'. According to studies, they care little about actual teams and tend only to have a "favorite" team if it wins money for them. To do so, to "win" money for the bettor, the team "need not win" its games, only "beat the point spread", to lose by fewer points than the odds had predicted.
In the end, the sports gambler gets his 'fix' from the thrill of putting himself at the "mercy of the gods of Fate". He may pretend that there is science to what he does, that there is a "system" by which one carefully places his or her bets to beat the "odds". But any gambler knows that what drives him to continue to bet is the sensation that when one has won, that he has somehow defeated the gods of Fate.
Figures show that the number of people afflicted with the "sports gambling neurosis", a variant of the overall sports neurosis, is growing. While some government officials profess concern about this, the fact is that it is the government itself which is increasingly directly sponsoring the growth of sports gambling. Several states, such as Washington, have now legalized betting point spreads on football and other games; it is justified as a means to generate revenue, with the argument being that if the state didn't tap the gambling cash flow, the monies would simply be bet elsewhere.
Some preliminary studies have revealed, however, that well-advertised, state-sponsored sports betting 'encourages' gambling among people "who would not have thought to bet otherwise".
Learning to 'Root'
This leads us back to a discussion of 'who' is responsible for the growth of the mind-destroying sports addiction in the United States, and the role that television has played in that process.
As we have shown, before the advent of television, there was only one truly national sport, baseball, and its brainwashing effect on the population was limited. Not surprisingly, it was found in that pre-television period that sports fanaticism within a given population was dependent on the ability to attend games, be they at a "major league" or "minor league" level. The highest-penetration mass media of the time, radio, provided a means to maintain fan interest when it was impossible to attend games, but the effectiveness of that medium in promoting fanaticism depended upon the 'possibility' of attendance at games.
This brings us to an important observation about how the brainwashing process works. The process by which someone becomes an obsessive sports fanatic is culturally learned. You are taught by American culture how to 'root', how to respond to the 'cues' that bring forth the "emotional, infantile" responses from the individual.
A few decades back, I was in attendance at a Mets game at the old Polo Grounds in New York. By baseball standards, it was an "exciting" game, with the cheering crowd very much "into" the events on the field.
I couldn't help notice one fellow in our section of the stands who seemed quite "out of it". He sat in silence as fans all around him rose to cheer a home run by the home team. At first, I thought he was rooting for the other team. Then, I saw him sit in the same stony silence when they, too, hit a home run. I decided to ask him if something were wrong.
"I'm from England, you see", he said. "I thought if I read some books about your baseball, I could follow what was happening. But I just can't get what you chaps are all so thrilled about."
Such examples tend to disprove LeBon's contention that crowd behavior is based on what he called 'contagion', or simple "copy cat" type responses to what fellow crowd members were doing. Freud's observation that a crowd must be 'cued' to respond to events, or directed by a 'leader' is more to the point. The baseball crowd is "culturally led", conditioned by a mass sports culture to make the "proper" infantile emotional responses to the events on the playing field.
The Englishman, whom I learned was quite a sports fanatic within his own culture -- cricket and soccer were his obsessions -- was completely "lost", looking for 'cues' in baseball.
The 'intensity' of a person's connection to the sports experience -- "how deeply you are addicted" -- has some relationship to a 'visual' experience, not just reading about them or listening to radio broadcasts. Stated another way, spectator sports must be watched to "hook" you. The more you watch, the more intensely you become hooked, the more infantile your potential responses, and the more impaired your creative reasoning powers, for the reasons previously discussed.
Television provides the perfect vehicle for the mass promotion of spectator sports brainwashing. It fixates the mind on the images on the "playing field", totally immersing the brainwash victim in the sports experience. As studies done by media analysts have shown, television recreates the excitement of being at the event, while it is happening, establishing an identity between all those who are watching and all those present in the stands, in a way that even the most skilled radio sports announcers could only approximate.
Think for a moment about how you learned to root for a sports team. Isn't it true that your first memory of spectator sports is watching a game with your father or brother? You learned that it was alright to respond emotionally to what you saw at the stadium or on the screen. You followed the 'infantile' behavior of your elders in rooting for your team. Isn't it also true that among your first discussions about seemingly adult events, centered on the exploits of one of those teams that your brothers, sisters, or parents were interested in?
This pattern of behavior is true even for areas where in-person attendance is not possible, or only possible in a very limited way. It is true because of the widespread availability of spectator sports on 'television'.
Who Controls Your Pusher?
As we have shown elsewhere, everything that you see and have seen on television is a result of decisions by a small elite. This elite controls the major television networks, the cable channels and the major production studios. This elite is, in turn, controlled, both directly and indirectly, by oligarchical banking and financial interests centered in New York, London and similar financial centers.
These are the people who deploy the brainwashers at such places as the Tavistock Institute and the networks of the Frankfurt School. They were patrons and promoters of such people as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and were ultimately responsible for putting Hitler into power. As we have shown, they have promoted 'television' as their principal means of mass-brainwashing control.
It is this "oligarchical elite" who have sanctioned the massive proliferation and promotion of spectator sports on television in order to brainwash you, in much the same way that their factional ancestors used the "Roman spectacles", with their gladiator and other sports competitions, to control the masses. With the approval of this elite, billions of dollars in television money was channeled into the promotion and expansion of the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL), as well as major league baseball.
Starting in the late 1940s and continuing through much of the 1950s, sports programming on television represented the single largest block of any programming type, enabling sports to achieve a saturation of the population as had never occurred before in history.
The sports teams themselves, until the most recent period, were owned by powerful families, many of whom had connections to either the "oligarchical elite" itself or to organized crime networks, sanctioned and controlled by this oligarchy and the organized crime-linked Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL). The Mara family -- which owns football's New York Giants -- and the Yawkey family -- which owns baseball's Boston Red Sox -- are examples of this. Sports teams were often passed on as possessions from one generation to the next in these families, much as the oligarchs transfer their other possessions.
In the beginning, much of the money came from brewery-linked interests who were, in turn, connected to criminal organizations during the Prohibition period, such as the Rupert interests that formerly owned the New York Yankees. Some of these "beer" connections remain today, for example, between the Busch family and baseball's St. Louis Cardinals.
In the more recent period, there has been a growing interlock with interests associated with Dope, Inc. and its propaganda and defense arm, the networks of the ADL. Often these interests are included within financial groupings that own teams; for example, George Bush's family involvement in the Texas Rangers baseball team. Occasionally, they appear undisguised, as in the form of organized-crime-connected George Steinbrenner, the once and future owner of the Yankees.
Overlap With Media Elites
There is now also a direct overlap between media and sports elites. One example is television mogul Ted Turner, the owner of Cable News Network and the Atlanta Braves. Another example is Time/Warner's ownership of Madison Square Garden, along with the New York Rangers hockey team, the New York Knicks basketball team, and the MSG sports cable network.
At the behest of the oligarchs who control our political establishment, professional sports has been given important exemptions from anti-trust provisions, enabling the major sports teams collectively to operate "as if they were a trust", in the worst robber-baron tradition of that term. Sports team management rigs ticket prices, establishes television contracts, sets salary and compensation rates, etc.
This has created a pool of "billions of dollars" for the massive promotion of the nation's sports addiction. As is usually the case with mass addictions, the 'addicts' -- the sports fanatics themselves -- fund both the profit and the expansion of their own addiction. At this point, sales within the U.S. economy alone related to consumer "sports purchases" -- tickets, equipment, cable services, and literature, but excluding the costs of the salaries of players, television contracts -- are estimated in the "several hundreds of billions of dollars" annually.
Getting Your Daily Fix
If sports are a mind-destroying addiction, then television is your "main pusher". It is the principal means by which the majority of the nation's sports addicts get their "daily fix".
on any given day, no matter what the season, there will be approximately 30 million 'different' sets tuned to sporting events, according to an industry study. Obviously, on certain days, with "special" games like the World Series or basketball playoffs, those numbers will double, triple, or even quadruple. For an event like the Superbowl, the figure might go higher still.
While early television sports programming helped expand interest in mass spectator sports, it also helped 'hook' our population on habituated television viewing. In the early 1950s, when Americans first bought television sets in large numbers, more than half the purchasers listed "sports programming" as their main reason for the purchase. That was not surprising -- More than 30 percent of all people buying newspapers say that they do so for the sports pages, and well more than half say that they read the sports pages first and longer than any other section of the paper.
The sports seasons are to be compared to a "serialized story", whose conclusion is unknown, lasting over a period of several months. Thus, each sports contest has a 'past', a history that involves the teams in the event and their records and deeds prior to the game. It has a 'present', in the events of the game itself. And, it has an "anticipated future", the implication being that even though the result of a particular contest might be final, the outcome of the season, as a whole, remains in doubt.
When the season concludes, there is always next season: "Wait 'til next year" is the refrain of the fans of losing teams. A variant of that for a person who roots for 'many' teams in the same area, is "Wait 'til the next season", when he hopes that a team in another sport will do better than the one that has just "failed" him.
In this way, the viewer is 'programmed' to move from game to game, from season to season, without leaving his couch. Sports contests, especially major sports contests, are thus the perfect "soap opera television serial", and as such, encourage habituated viewing. It should not surprise anyone that the brainwashers who profiled response to television knew this from their earliest studies.
None of this would work if television couldn't bring the mass-brainwashing experience to the subject in an effective way. The television camera limits the field of view. It can create isolation from the common crowd experience described by Freud and others in his "mass psychology".
Early television, while capturing the excitement of seeing a sports event as it was happening, often underplayed the sense that millions were watching as the viewer was watching. In part, this was because of the limits of the new technology -- The single camera tended to fixate on the prime point of action in each game and the crowd miking was poor. In part, it was because early announcers tended to chatter too much. Having come from a radio experience, they described the events on the field, thus duplicating what the camera could see.
Much of this has since been corrected, from the brainwashers' standpoint. New camera technology has made available an explosion of 'viewpoints' of each game, with the development of slow-motion instant replay and multiple camera angles. The first games featured a single camera; now there might be as many as 10-15 at a single football game, for example. Crowd miking and modern sound mixing bring the action closer to realism and directly into your living room. And more importantly, the improvement in the quality and size of the images on your screen draws the mind deeper into the audiovisual event.
There are still some problems with announcers and commentators who, from the brainwashers' standpoint, don't know when to allow the images and sounds from the "playing fields" to speak for themselves. The balance is still being "fine tuned", so to speak. If the mix still offends the true sports fanatic, there is always the mute button on the remote control.
Roone Arledge, the former head of ABC-TV Sports, and the man who developed the format for "Monday Night Football", talks about sports programming needing to capture the full sense of the "spectacle." The idea, he says, is "not to bring the game to the viewer, but to bring the viewer to the game". There are variations on that theme, but the concept is the same -- You must "grab the mind of the fan" and then hold it within the fantasy world being projected on the screen. If successful, your efforts will succeed because the "infantile emotional connection" to the event will be made by the viewer -- He will get his 'fix'.
By the way, Arledge no longer heads ABC Sports -- He now heads ABC News!
And Now to the Videotape
Before we move on to the last section of our report, we should make some observations on the role of television news in promoting your sports addiction.
The sports slot is usually the longest single slot in the local evening news program. It features highlights of the local teams' games, as well as highlights from other games of sports in season. According to profiling information, the local sportscast is most often given as a reason for watching a particular station's local news programming. Such surveys found that viewers cared most strongly about how their sports news was reported.
In addition, while, as we have reported elsewhere, viewers had trouble remembering details of news stories reported, studies have also shown that most sports fans "will remember the major sports story of a given night". They will also remember the scores of their team's games.
In large part, this is because much of the language of sports is 'numbers', and the 'scores' are the major content of sports news programming. Sports addicts are like idiot savants; they have a surprising memory for otherwise useless numbers. The more television gives them such numbers, the more they will clutter their minds with them, and the less they will be able to exercise their power of reason.
Instead, they will use them to communicate the next day with their fellow brainwashed victims:
"Hey, did you see McGuire's 40th homer on the news last night? 475 feet over the left field wall. Some shot, huh?"
"I know how to make everyone go crazy, completely nuts", the brainwasher Hal Becker said a while back. "Just have a phony highlight tape of a big football game. It's easy to do. Then run the wrong score. People will go crazy. They won't be able to figure out what happened. They need the television sports news to 'confirm' the results of what they saw with their own eyes in the afternoon. If they don't match, they'll go into a loop."
Now we are ready to look at our national sports addiction -- an addiction 'pushed' through habituated television viewing -- from another vantage point.
Let's set the scene, again. It is the last game of the World Series. The last inning, the last chance for the home team, "your team", and they trail by one lone run.
Two men out. Men on second and third. A two-strike count on the batter. Another strike and it's all over. A hit will win the game. The camera brings you a shot of the pitcher, as he gets ready for the pitch. Another camera shoots the batter, as he cocks the bat, waiting. The score, a reminder of the proximity to an outcome, flashes on the screen.
The palms of your hands are wet with tension. You think to yourself, "Come on, you can do it. Just a hit. That's all we need."
The pitcher winds, and as he does, "you cross your fingers and say a little prayer". The ball is delivered, and "you pray a little stronger, a little harder" in that instant before it arrives at its destination.
Now let's freeze that for a moment.
Who, or better yet, "what" were you praying to? To God, the Divine Creator of all the universe? Not really. A religious person would hardly think that God should waste his time on such trivial matters. A less than religious person would not think to ask for Divine intercession.
No, at that moment, in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and two strikes, you were probably asking for help from "the gods", those mystical forces who control the 'Fates', which we are told by those who study such matters, play such an important role in sporting contests.
The sports fanatic believes in such things as the 'Fates' and the control of events by mystical forces outside the laws of the Universe. Sports and sporting events, in the minds of these fanatics, exist, to use a sports term, "out of bounds" of normal religion, and most decidedly 'outside' Christianity.
The religion of sports is a "mystical cult", based on the infantile emotions. It posits a universe outside that which is governed by the laws of the Universe that can be known by the powers of creative reason. It is a cult which has its "rituals and celebrations of that which can never be known". It teaches Man that He is ultimately helpless against "the Fates", the mystical gods of "irrational emotions".
Judeo-Christian civilization has taught us that Man is made in the image of his Creator, and that what distinguishes Him from the animal is His power of creative reason. By that power, Man can discover the laws of the universe and participate in the Creation.
Most importantly, all men are created equal -- not in the corporeal sense that their bodies are equal, but equal in the "potential of their creative capacities" at birth. It is the responsibility of society to assure that each individual is given the maximum opportunity to fulfill that creative potential, and thereby to contribute to Mankind's search for perfection of its knowledge.
The "pagan cult" of sports preaches the opposite -- Man is a two-legged animal, whose reason must ultimately fail Him before mystical gods of fate, and who is driven by a brutish, animal-like aggressiveness. Such "men" are decidedly unequal, with some men created more equal than others, as evidenced by the god-like athletes of the various playing fields.
While such views most clearly undermine Christian thinking, they are promoted by many sports ideologues as the celebration of the highest good of human culture -- an organized, ritualized competition, in which men submit to arbitrary rules. This, we are told, represents the essence of human beauty and ethical conduct. American sports, we are told, as represented by the major spectator sports, are the best of American culture, and contain ail the basic truths that America needs to impart from one generation to the next.
Such a sports ideologue is Michael Novak, a failed seminarian, who has become a "theologian" within conservative American Catholic circles. Novak fashioned himself into an apologist for the degenerate American conservative culture of the Reagan-Bush years. Novak sees Anglo-American capitalism as the highest form of Christian culture, and views sports as a necessary component of that culture.
Given who Novak is, we shall argue that his thinking represents the outlook of that pagan, oligarchical elite responsible for your sports addiction. When he speaks of an 'ethics' of sport, he is speaking of an Arisototelian ethics, a mere set of arbitrary rules and codes. In his many writings, Novak alludes several times to his affinity for the work of Aristotle. Novak's repeated attacks on the concept of the 'infinite' as being inferior to what he calls the "ritual limits" of sports are a denial of the possibility of the existence of universal truth.
Novak's views on these matters and his "image of Man as an animal" are identical to those of the evil brainwasher Sigmund Freud. Much of Novak's theology of sports is derived from Freudian notions of repression and sex drives.
Novak's moral outlook is the same as that of the Spartan state, which also idealized and promoted sports and competition. His "mystical gnosticism" is akin to the outlook of the "Nazi state", put into power by the same oligarchy that sponsors and promotes American sports, through its brainwashing tool, television.
Novak's 1975 book "The Joy of Sports", from which we will quote extensively, therefore provides us with some insight into how your brainwashers and their controllers view the effect of sports on your mind and society.
A Secular Religion
In this book, Novak lays out the thesis that American sports, especially since its mass penetration into the population with the advent of television, have become a "civil or secular religion", holding sway over the masses:
"In the study of civil religions, our thinkers have too much neglected sports.... Sports are a universal language binding our diverse nation, especially its men, together. Not all our citizens have the gift of faith. Even so, The religion is an ample one, and it allows great freedom for diverse interpretations and mutual dissents. Our sports are liturgies -- but do not have dogmatic creeds. There is no long bill of doctrines to recite. We bring the hungers of our spirits, and many of them, not all, are filled -- filled with a beauty, excellence and grace few other institutions now afford. Our sports need to be reformed -- "Ecclesia semper reformanda". Let not too much be claimed for them. But what they do so superbly needs our thanks, our watchfulness, our intellect, and our acerbic love."
"The institutions of state generate a civil religion", writes Novak. "So do the institutions of sport. The ancient Olympic games used to be both festivals in honor of the gods and festivals in honor of the state -- and that has been the classical position of sports ever since. The ceremonies of sports overlap those of state on one side and those of the churches on the other... Going to a stadium is half like going to a political rally, half like going to a church..."
But Novak is not saying that sports are mere 'symbols' for religions. They satisfy "religious needs" of the masses of the population, needs which he claims the churches are unable to satisfy or at times even grasp:
"I am saying that sports flow outward into action from a deep natural impulse that is radically religious -- an impulse of freedom, respect for ritual limits, a zest for symbolic meaning, and a longing for perfection. The athlete may of course be pagan, but sports are, as it were, natural religions..."
"They do serve a religious function -- they feed a deep human hunger, place humans in touch with certain dimly perceived features of human life within the cosmos, and provide an experience of at least a pagan sense of godliness."
"Among the godward signs in contemporary life, sports may be the single most powerful manifestation... Sports drive one in some dark and generic sense 'godward'..."
"Sports are religious in the sense that they are organized institutions, disciplines and liturgies; and also in that sense, they teach religious qualities of heart and soul. In particular, they recreate the symbols of the cosmic struggle, in which human survival and moral courage are not assured. To this extent, they are not mere games, diversions or pastimes... To lose symbolizes death, and it certainly feels like dying, but it is not death... If you give your heart to the ritual, its effects on your inner life can be far reaching."
Novak sees sporting contests as teaching Man of the existence of death through the concept of 'losing'. In assigning such importance to death, Novak is mirroring Freud, who argues in several locations that life is the struggle between two opposing instincts --- Eros, or the sexual drive for perpetuation of the species, and Thanatos, or death, a drive toward Man's own destruction. The death instinct, claims Freud, is diverted from the individual toward the external world, and manifests itself as human "aggressiveness and destructiveness" --- two qualities of the "human animal" which Novak says sports "joyfully" celebrate!
The New Priesthood
Arguing against a concept of sports as 'mere' entertainment, Novak says that the relationship between the individual fanatic and the athlete is psychologically the same as that between a priest and his disciples. But the priesthood being described is a "gnostic and pagan" priesthood, not that of Christianity. The priests are elevated into a god status:
"Athletes are not merely entertainers. Their role is far more than that. People identify with them in a much more priestly way. Athletes exemplify something of a deep meaning --- frightening meaning, even..."
"Once an athlete accepts a uniform, he is, in effect, donning priestly vestments. It is the function of the priests to offer sacrifices. As at the Christian Mass, in athletics the priest is also the victim -- he who offers and he who is offered is one and the same. Often the sacrifice is literal -- smashed knees, torn muscles, injury-abbreviated careers. He is no longer living his own life only. Others are living in him, by him, with him. They hate him, they love him, they berate him, they glory in him. He has given up his personal persona and assumed a liturgical persona. That is, he is now a representative of others. His actions are vicariously theirs. His sufferings and his triumphs, his cowardice and his courage, his good fortune and his ill fortune become theirs. If the Fates favor him, they also favor 'them'. His deeds become messages from the beyond, revelations of the favor of the gods..."
"Being an active player is like living in the select circle of the gods, of the chosen ones who act out liturgically the anxieties of the human race and are sacrificed as ritual victims. The contests of sports...are the eucharists."
Novak is describing 'cult' practices, and he knows it:
"A religion, first of all, is organized and structured. Culture is built on cult..."
Americans, Novak writes, have little connection
to the Renaissance traditions of European civilization and the values it places
on Man and the power of creative reason. Turning our Revolution on its
head and ignoring the Declaration of Independence, he claims that
"The streets of
Having broken with that Renaissance tradition of Man created in the living image of God, Novak says that sports present the true image of Man -- an aggressive beast, the most powerful and pernicious of animals.
"The human animal is a warlike animal", he writes. "Conflict is as near to truth about human relations, even the most intimate, as any other feature. Sports dramatize conflict. They help us visualize it, imagine it, experience it..."
"Play [as in sports] is part of the human beast, our natural expressiveness. It flows from inner and perennial energies, and needs no justification..."
Football, for example, teaches reality in a way that no church or Renaissance thought can, Novak claims. It shows us that "human life, in Hegel's phrase, is a butcher's bench. Think what happened to the Son of God, the Prince of Peace; what happened in the Holocaust; what has happened in recent wars, revolutions, floods and famines..."
"What is human?" asks Novak. "What has human experience been in history? A fully humanized world, gentle, sweet and equitable has never yet been seen on this earth... One of 'football's' greatest satisfactions, indeed, is that it violates the illusion of the enlightened educated person that violence has been or will be exorcized from human life..."
Thus, Novak is telling us that sports teaches us that Man cannot perfect His existence beyond that which is most animal in him, that the best that can be done is to celebrate his animal nature as his "Aristotelian true self":
"There is no use despising part of our natures. We are of earth, earthly; descended, so they say, from other hominids; linked by neurons and cells and organisms to the teeming chemical and biological life of this luxuriant planet. We are not pure minds, nor rational animals, nor separate individuals.... We are part of the earth. And sports makes visible to the human mind the great struggle of being and non-being that constitutes every living thing..."
Here, Novak displays a Freudian disdain for the Judeo-Christian concept of "imago viva Dei". Freud states in "Civilization and Its Discontents", that Christians, in particular, behave like "little children" who refuse to face a harsh "reality", when "there is talk of the inborn human inclination to 'badness', to aggressiveness and destructiveness, and so to cruelty as well. God has made them in the image of His own perfection; nobody wants to be reminded how hard it is to reconcile the undeniable existence of evil -- despite protestation of Christian doctrine -- with His all-powerfulness or His all-goodness."
All Men Are Unequal
Since it teaches us that Man is nothing more than an aggressive animal, Novak claims that sports also 'must' teach us to discard as meaningless the concept of all men being created equal; it teaches the precise opposite, he claims.
The athlete, especially the professional, is clearly not the equal of the average man -- He is a superman, a godlike figure, with qualities that the average man can only dream about:
"Life is not equal- God is no egalitarian. Prowess varies with every individual."
Aristotle, says Novak, teaches us to perceive value and beauty from this inequality. On this basic and fundamental principle of "human inequality", says the pagan Novak, all sports and all life are premised.
Men are not equal, according to Novak, nor are they capable of loving humanity. Sports teaches, he says, that aggressiveness and the drive for dominance are the most basic of animal-like human instincts. In life as in sports, love, especially Christian love or 'agape', hardly matters. Certainly such a universal concept does not provide us with motivation to live a certain kind of life, Novak claims.
"But we are not infinite... The human imagination, heart, memory and intelligence are finite. The nature of the human psyche is to proceed from what is close to us outward; we cannot without self-deception begin by embracing everything. To claim to love humanity is to carry a very large and thin pane of glass toward a collision with someone you can't abide."
Here we find Novak in total agreement with
Freud. In his "Civilization and Its Discontents", Freud argues
that the concept of universal love, on which Christianity is premised, causes a
neurotic distortion of Eros, the libidinal instinct of
"A love that does not discriminate seems to me to forfeit a part of its own value, by doing injustice to its object; and secondly, not all men are worthy of love..."
it is wrong "to love thy neighbor as thyself", says Freud, unless there is some purpose as defined by Eros, for this. "For my love is valued by all my own people as a sign of my preferring them, and it is an injustice to them if I put a stranger on a par with them. But if I am to love him (with this universal love), merely because he, too, is an inhabitant of this earth, like an insect, an earth worm or a grass-snake, then I fear that only a small modicum of my love will fall his share -- not by any possibility, as much, as by judgment of my reason, I am entitled to retain for myself. What is the point of a precept "love thy neighbor" enunciated with so much solemnity if its fulfillment cannot be recommended as reasonable?"
But it is the Christian command to "love thine enemies" which Freud finds even more abhorrent to his brand of anti-humanism. He recognizes that both commands emanate from the same principle -- that Man is more than an animal and and that He is governed by universal laws more powerful than His instincts. For those, like Novak, who attack this principle, Freud finds "the element of truth behind all of this, which people are so ready to disavow, is that men are not gentle creatures that want to be loved, and who at most can defend themselves when they are attacked. They are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness... Who in the face of all his experience of life and history, will have the courage to assert this assertion? As a rule, this cruel aggressiveness waits for some provocation or puts itself at the service of some other purpose, whose goal might have been reached by milder methods. In circumstances that are favorable to it, when the mental counter forces which ordinarily inhibit it are out of action, it also manifests itself spontaneously and reveals Man as a savage beast to whom consideration towards his own kind is something alien...
As we have seen, this is precisely the view of Novak, who sees sports as putting Man into contact with his true, bestial nature. For Novak -- and for his oligarchical masters (the same people who promoted Freud and put Hitler into power), in sports one finds 'negation' of the principles of Western Christian civilization and the 'affirmation' of a pagan, gnostic religion based on Freudian concepts of the innate destructiveness of the "human animal". To be a sports fanatic is to worship Novak's pagan gods of Fate and to 'celebrate' what is 'inhuman'.
A Pagan Rite
The word 'fan' is derived from "fanum", which is Latin for a local temple. To be a fan is, for Novak, to participate in a pagan rite of passage and sacrifice. He sees the process of 'rooting' as putting Man in touch with Himself and His species, in a way that no religion can offer:
"A human goal more accurate than enlightenment is 'enhumanment'. Sports like baseball, basketball and football are already practiced as expressed liturgies of such a goal. One religion's sins are another's glories. Some 'enlightened' persons feel slightly guilty about their love for sports. It seems less rational, less universal, than their ideals; they feel a twinge of weakness. The 'enhumaned' believe that man is a rooted beast, with feet planted on one patch of soil, and that it is perfectly expressive of his nature to 'root'. To be a fan is totally in keeping with being a man. To have particular loyalties is not to be deficient in universality, but to be faithful to the laws of human finitude."
Much of this is restatement of Freud's analysis of mass phenomena. Freud also claims 'rootedness' is a natural expression of Man's basic aggressiveness. He likens it to ethnocentricity and xenophobia, which he claims reflect an instinctual identification with one's "own kind". For Freud and Novak, universal Man, the man of the Renaissance, is a neurotic. Man is more appropriately organized into animal-like formations, which act in their own, narrowly defined interests, rather than for the "good of Mankind." The emotions of rooting coincide with the desire to be loved in a mass. The psychosis produced, which Freud calls "the narcissism of minor differences", becomes at once an approved outlet for Man's basic aggressiveness, which one must be careful to regulate so as not to allow excesses in either the individual or the mass. While he is making a more general point, the applicability of such brainwashing formula to sports 'rooting' is obvious.
Novak also "warns" that sports rooting can be carried to excess, which he cautions against:
"Of course, there are fanatic fans, fans who eat and sleep and drink (above all, drink) their sports. Their lives become defined by sports. So some politicians are devoured by politics, pedants by pedantry, pedarasts by pedarasty, drunks by drink, compulsive worshipers by worship, nymphomaniacs by phalluses and so forth. All good things have their perversions, good swollen into Good, idols into God. Every religion has its excess. Sports, as well."
(One wonders whether Novak thinks pederasty "good" if not overdone.)
Undermining the Church
Novak sees the "pagan, secular religion" of sports as enhancing the other established churches, providing something that they do not. But a "pagan religion", whose teaching and practice is opposed to Christian doctrine, as he describes sports, can "only undermine Christianity".
To be sure, sports and religion in
The relationship between religion and mass spectator sports is that of a victim and a disease. It is a failing of the church -- all churches -- that they have not seen how sports has become a powerful counter pole to Christianity, one whose dogma is irreconcilable with Christian teaching.
Through mass spectator sports, our population is being brainwashed that Man is an animal, that universal truth and love are meaningless concepts. A large section of our population is reduced to a state of infantile emotional obsession with the sports fantasy world, such that it is incapable of comprehending profound ideas. Our churches do nothing to fight this. As Novak says, churches have the "good sense" to have their Sunday sermons over in time to allow people to get to their television sets for the afternoon football games.
Some of you may argue with what we have just presented. I warned you that you would find some reason to disagree. "I don't buy this stuff about an addiction and sports being a pagan religion", I can hear some of you saying. "I just watch it to be entertained."
You may 'think' that is the case. As we have said repeatedly during this series, the best brainwashing victims are those who most loudly claim that they cannot be brainwashed.
Think back to that example of the ninth inning of the last World Series game. The last at bat, two outs -- one strike and it's all over; a hit wins the game for 'your' team. The pitcher winds and releases the ball towards the plate. The batter cocks the bat. Your hands are wet with tension. You offer a silent prayer, thinking to yourself -- "Please, just let him get a single. Please, that's all we need. That's not too much to ask".
To whom did you offer that prayer, if not to Novak's "gods of Fate"?
"Ya gotta believe", was the rallying cry of pitcher Tug McGraw as the 1973 New York Mets came from way back to win the National League pennant, only to lose in the seventh game of the World Series. "Believe what?", he was asked. "Just believe", he replied. "Believe in destiny, in Fate. Just believe, without question, without thinking -- Without any reason. To 'will' victory. That's the power, man. That's the force. That's our magic..."
Our boys were well prepared, "Coach" Schwarzkopf told us in the famous briefing on the Gulf War. They had the best "gameplan", and they executed it perfectly, he said, as we beamed our approval, as we sat glued to our television sets.
Was it a just war? Did we fight for a morally defined principle? And what about all those innocent women and children that were slaughtered in this "best of all game plans?"
"Who the hell cares," says the man watching the television set, his beer cans piled at his feet. "We won, didn't we? That's all that counts. You know what they say about winning..."
Our brainwashed people, their eyes buried in their television sets, know little that cannot be reduced to the rules of the "playing field". As the statesman and political prisoner Lyndon H. LaRouche has warned, a people so debased is in danger of losing the moral fitness to survive.
The next time that you find yourself watching a sporting event on television, and you get that sense of being totally caught up in the 'game', remember what you have read here. When your hands start to sweat, when you find yourself starting to pray to Novak's god of Fate, try to "pull yourself out of it". Go over and turn off that set. Believe me, you'll feel much better in the long run going cold turkey on sports.
And if you live with a sports addict, show him this article. Don't give in to his or her addiction. When you recognize the symptoms, go over and turn that set off. Be prepared to duck a flying beer can or two. But at some point, an 'adult' must put his or her foot down.
The Cult of Physical Fitness
If sports, and especially spectator sports, have been turned into a pagan religion, then a large number of our fellow citizens are members of a 'sub-cult', the "cult of physical fitness".
Let's be precise about what we are talking about. The human body requires a certain amount of 'exercise' in order to remain healthy. To the extent that one is not hampered by illness, a 'moderate' amount of daily exercise, in consultation with one's physician, is both useful and necessary to keep the body healthy and to deal with the stress of daily life. Such exercise is as necessary for the young as it is for the old, but again, the operative principal is the goal of maintaining a healthy and vigorous body. By so doing, a person maintains his body in a state of readiness to act as directed by morally informed reason. In that sense, to be physically fit, is never an end in itself -- it is subordinated to reason, and the program for fitness is so designed by reason.
A person who acts to keep his body as fit as is "reasonably possible", who, if his or her daily life does not contain sufficient exercise, designs a 'reasonable' exercise program, is clearly acting in his or her best interest.
From this type of 'reasonable' physical fitness goal, we must distinguish the current "obsessive neurosis" of many Americans with physical fitness. In these neurotic cases, physical fitness becomes an end in itself, severed from reason. One becomes 'obsessed' with one's own body and the perception of that body as a manifestation of one's 'identity'.
While there are examples from history of physical fitness being used in cult practices on a mass scale, such as in the Spartan state or, more recently, in the Nazi state, the current fitness craze dates back no more than 15 to 20 years. It is intrinsically linked to the degenerate moral outlook of the so-called "Me-generation" of the 1970s, with its obsessive, infantile fixation on the gratification of sexual desires.
The emergence of the "Me-generation" is the result of the brainwashing -- the first "rinse cycle", if you will -- of the "baby boom generation" by television, as we have described elsewhere in this series. The concepts of morally defined right and wrong, the bedrock of western Christian civilization, were given a modern "neo-Freudian" twist through television programming and popular culture. It told us that we must have no 'guilt' or 'remorse' for our actions, even if they violated Christian morality. This "moral imbecility" lit the fuse on an explosion of hedonism.
The erotic component of that hedonistic explosion, pushed, in part, through the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s counterculture and its infusion in the popular culture, led to a fixation on the body as an expression of one's fundamental identity. Mass or popular culture had always ascribed a disproportionate value to how one looked, but now Americans were told that "image is everything". The drive for an improved personal appearance, and enhanced carnal gratifications, pushed the Me-generation into their jogging shoes, onto their bicycles, and into fitness and health clubs in record numbers in the 1970s and early 1980s.
The key recruiter to the cult was television. From the 1970s through the 1980s, the fitness message was inserted into television programming. Stars of shows, including the daytime soap operas, were shown at fitness clubs, or jogging, or in some other form of exercise. There was a heavy sexual content to the message -- Those exercising were usually dressed in revealing exercise outfits, and clubs and other places were shown as a place to flirt and attract members of the opposite sex.
The association between sex and exercise was made early on in the creation of the craze with the promotion of the now-famous and enormously profitable Jane Fonda "workout" videos. Fonda is credited with recruiting more males to the fitness cult than any other person; marketing studies show that her videos, as well as the other exercise videos which, like hers, feature women in tight-fitting and revealing exercise clothes in various provocative positions, sell in huge numbers to middle-aged men. As one reviewer commented, such videos represent "socially acceptable pornography".
But more was being "sold" than cheap voyeurism. The fitness cult has helped with the promotion of the 'disease' of environmentalism within the American population.
From the beginning of the 1970s, television and other media associated "fitness" with the concept of Man, as a part of Nature, being in harmony with the laws of the kingdom of 'Nature' -- all members of the fitness cult were "initiated" into regimens of "healthy diets" and spiritual concepts relating to "natural ways of living". Perusal of any of the many fitness magazines reveals articles with this message.
The not-so-hidden message of such magazines and related television programming and advertising was that Man did not have dominion over nature, but that he was merely "nature's steward". Nature, or so we were told, dominated Man, and if its laws were not obeyed, even in the realm of the body, Man would pay the price with His "health" and "wellness".
Before some of you jump down my throat, let's again clarify that we are not talking about medically proven facts about healthy eating habits or moderate exercise programs, conducted under supervision of doctors; we are dealing with "obsessive behavior", and are here talking about an "ideological outlook" that became a justification for that obsessive behavior. So stay in your seats, will you, and read on.
According to this 'spiritual' message, exercise brought Man into closer communion with his 'animal' nature; this was even said to have a "therapeutic" effect on Man's consciousness, giving Him a sense of inner peace. In the counterculture of the late 1960s, this same nonsense was contained in the preachings of "holistic medicine", "transcendental meditation", "EST" and other cults. The operative concept was a "high without the drugs" or a "natural high". This was being played back in a slightly altered context, winning some old and many new recruits.
By identifying Man as part of Nature and by focusing Him on His least-human aspect, His corporeal body, the proponents of the fitness cult created people with sympathy for environmentalism. Television programmers inserted characters into shows who are both fitness nuts and radical environmentalists.
At first, the ads and the television shows imprinted these images subtly, through the infusion of shots of people on bicycles or jogging within other actions or with people eating "healthy" cereals, etc.
Now, the message is more literal. Ads openly pitch to this fitness-environmental market: "I exercise to take care of my body. I eat the right food. And I want to make my town environmentally safe for my children", says a young mother in an ad for a laundry detergent in a crushable, recyclable container. That string of predicates seems totally "natural" to you, doesn't it? That's how well brainwashing works.
It works so well that most people don't even remember that they used to associate Jane Fonda, prior to her workout videos, with the word "kook" or "nut" for her various leftist or environmental stands in the 1960s and 1970s. She's still a nut, but a recent survey found that most people now associate her name with "exercise" or "fitness".
Pain and Agony
As we said earlier, a properly defined exercise regimen can help an individual maintain his health. More often than not, for a member of the physical fitness cult, an exercise program driven by 'infantile' obsession with one's body and appearance can be destructive to one's health; it can even threaten one's life.
Doctors involved with sports or fitness related medical practice have noted a large number of debilitating and even crippling injuries directly attributable to obsessive exercising. They note that in the last few years, the numbers of such injuries are rising.
In many cases, typical of obsessive neuroses, the individual 'cannot' stop exercising, even when injured, even when he is told to by doctors. The person is driven by the obsession, which overpowers his reason. The similarity to a "programmed" brainwash victim has been noted by some clinical observers. In the worst cases, those obsessed with their exercise are unaware of their destructive behavior, and even when it is pointed out, cannot halt it themselves.
But lest someone say that these are only extreme cases, the majority of those involved with the fitness cult suscribe to the oft-repeated credo: "No Pain, No Gain". While this 'masochism' has been soundly denounced by medical authorities, it has been reinforced by popular culture, including television programming. According to one doctor, "Nothing we say seems to matter. People believe what they see and hear on television. They believe that people should exercise beyond the point of physical breakdown and pain."
Pain is often the subject of boasts and discussion among members of the cult. Even agonizing injury becomes a cathartic experience, to be greeted with both sympathy and awe by the cult members.
In part, this fixation on pain reflects the mass brainwashing of the population around the Freudian concept of the "pleasure principle" -- that pleasure is inexorably linked to unpleasure, and that a pleasurable experience is merely the absence of unpleasure or, in this case, pain. By this twisted logic, one derives pleasure from the end of a painful experience; hence, the pain 'leads' to one's pleasure.
This outlook has its political and economic correlative in the demand for economic austerity and suffering. The same kind of Freudian logic is summarized in the famous call for sacrifice of Lazard Freres's ersatz Hjalmar Schacht, Felix Rohatyn; the choice, he told New Yorkers during the New York City bankruptcy crisis of the mid-1970s, was between "Pain and Agony".
But the problem is even worse than that. The cult of physical fitness, or more precisely one of its sub-cults, is going to kill or physically destroy millions of our young people.
Over the last half of the 1980s, there has arisen a vast teenage subculture driven by an obsession with the size of muscles and "pumped up" with bodybuilding drugs. Experts who have profiled and studied this trend estimate, on the conservative side, that there are "at least" 5 to 10 million young people involved with this obsession. Of that figure, somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million adolescents are involved with the use of black market, or illegal, steroids.
The numbers are even more startling since recent widespread publicity campaigns have identified steroid and other bodybuilding drug use as potentially harmful and even fatal. Studies have shown that the majority of users do not dispute the medical claims. They are using the drugs anyway, and even welcome the perhaps fatal outcome. The credo of this "death cult" is "die young, die strong", according to a recent article in "U.S. News & World Report".
In part, this usage is attributable to images in recent popular culture of "pumped up" heroes, such as Rambo or Terminator, as well as football players and others, with their enormous paychecks. But these images alone, and their mass-brainwashing effect, cannot explain the existence of this cult. The deeper psychological impetus for this phenomenon lies in the "infantile nature" of adult society as a whole, with its own obsession with "physical fitness" and carnal desires. It is not the drugs that drive the obsession, but the other way around. The obsessive behavior of the youth mirrors adult society, with its own 'infantile' desires for gratification of the flesh, at the expense of creative reason, and as a sub-feature of this, a fixation on sports and the human body.
In our youth, that fixation leads to a destructive 'narcissism', with a focus on the size of the body muscles. It starts with an insecurity about one's body; it is followed by an attempt to correct this insecurity through regimens of weightlifting and diet. But when that fails, and the insecurity continues, the drugs become an alternative.
In the case of young athletes, the hyper-competitiveness of high school and other organized sports creates the insecurity that drives this cycle. The driven athlete turns to drugs as a performance enhancer or to "bulk up" to meet the challenge of intense competition. It must be stressed, however, that the majority of steroid users are white, middle-class males who "have never been" serious about an athletic career, and more than one-third have never even been on a high school team.
It had been hoped that publicizing the dangers of the drug use would deal with the problem. It appears instead to be having an opposite effect. The athletes who have used steroids have merely become "anti-heroes", who are revered by the hard-core of this "death cult".
The growth of this subculture has been promoted vigorously by the mass media, especially television. One of the most popular shows among young adolescents is "American Gladiators". It features competitions among "pumped up" men and women in tests of endurance and strength in a futuristic setting.
Adolescents are the largest number of 7 million regular readers of so-called muscle magazines, as well as wrestling magazines, which are promoted through television advertising. This same age group helps make huge box office successes of movies featuring "pumped up" heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Again, it is wrong to look at those figures and conclude that such programming is 'only' directed at kids. The Me-generation, now middle-aged adults, also watch "American Gladiators" and go to see the Terminator movies or rent them for home viewing. There is no possibility of breaking this sub-cult in our youth, without adults breaking from the much larger, but equally mentally destructive, physical fitness cult.
Think about that as you leer at your next exercise video or watch with great interest those commercials for various health foods. Try to imagine what the 'next' generation is going to be like -- or, if there is going to be a next generation, at all.
That's all for now. When we return, we'll talk to you about Satan's own television network, MTV, and what it and similar fare are doing to our children.