For decades, there have been people who have tried to explain that our society is being consciously manipulated by powerful groups of self-interested people who work behind the scenes to form and direct public opinion for the purpose of controlling global events. Unfortunately, whenever they try to expose these people, their intentions and their methods, there are those who oppose them, who try to squash their voices. Those who understand that they are telling the truth are usually among the most vocal and most vehement in their opposition, often labeling these people as “conspiracy theorists” and, when public ridicule doesn’t silence them, they will move into character assassination and, on rare occasion, actual assassination. These people are doing little more than applying Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to silence those who seek to expose them. But these people are joined in their efforts to silence the whistleblowers by their ‘dupes:’ people who think it is fun to pile on and, thereby, strengthen the public ridicule associated with trying to expose these powerful manipulators. The one that always tickles me most is the taunting of the whistleblower by asking him or her to explain why, if what they say is true, no one has exposed it until now? The whistleblower they are attacking refutes this criticism by the very assertions they are trying to silence, yet these self-appointed intellectuals never seem to see the absurdity in their own objections (but then, reason doesn’t matter to these people – only power and the exercise thereof).
Well, I have been the target of such attacks, but it doesn’t bother me because I know the truth is on my side: there really are small groups of powerful people who work behind the scenes to control society. What’s more, these people have been open about who they are, what they want to do to the world, why, and how they intend to do it. You just need to know where to find the things they have written, or the video they have made. Of course, it also helps to know the language they use, as well because, as self-appointed intellectuals, they tend to consider their alternate use of language as clever. They believe it allows them to speak openly to each other while fooling the ‘stupid’ masses who are listening to the same words, yet hearing something entirely different from what they mean. The phrase “Hope and Change” and “Fundamentally Transforming America” may come to mind, but so should “New World Order” and “Compassionate Conservative.” Now, so that I may prove my claim rather than just posit an unsupported assertion, allow me to introduce you to someone you may not know. So, without further a dieu, allow me to introduce the father of modern advertising, public relations and propaganda,
(November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995) is regarded by many as the “father of public relations,” although some people believe that title should be shared with other early PR practitioner, such as Ivy Lee.
Born in Vienna, Bernays was both a blood nephew and a nephew-in-law to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, and Bernays’s public relations efforts helped popularize Freud’s theories in the United States. Bernays also pioneered the PR industry’s use of psychology and other social sciences to design its public persuasion campaigns. “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.” (Propaganda, 2005 ed., p. 71.) He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the “engineering of consent.”
One of Bernays’ favorite techniques for manipulating public opinion was the indirect use of “third party authorities” to plead for his clients’ causes. “If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway,” he said. In order to promote sales of bacon, for example, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that people eat hearty breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a hearty breakfast.
Bernays drew upon his uncle Freud’s psychoanalytic ideas for the benefit of commerce in order to promote, by indirection, commodities as diverse as cigarettes, soap and books.
Edward Bernays worked closely with Woodrow Wilson, inventing what came to be called propaganda. It must also be understood that Bernays saw nothing wrong with the government using propaganda against the people. In fact, he thought it was a natural extension of any democracy. But, more importantly, Bernays openly admitted that there are powerful people working behind the scenes to control society and global events, and he should know – he was one of them:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. … We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. … In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.
Unfortunately, while Bernays may have been amoral – at best – there were those who were decidedly immoral, and they were quick to seize on the work Bernays started. Allow me to now introduce one of Bernays’ greatest and most successful students. But first, let’s take a closer look at what Bernays said about propaganda in his book by the same name:
Definition of PROPAGANDA
2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
3: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect
Unless otherwise noted, page numbers refer to the 2004 Ig Publishing edition, ISBN 0970312598 (The text begins on p. 35, after an introduction by Mark Crispin Miller.)
- The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
- p. 37
- In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons […] who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
- p. 37–38
- In theory, everybody buys the best and cheapest commodities offered to him on the market. In practice, if every one went around pricing, and chemically testing before purchasing, the dozens of soaps or fabrics or brands of bread which are for sale, economic life would become hopelessly jammed.
- p. 39
- Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.
- p. 48
- A single factory, potentially capable of supplying a whole continent with its particular product, cannot afford to wait until the public asks for its product; it must maintain constant touch, through advertising and propaganda, with the vast public in order to assure itself the continuous demand which alone will make its costly plant profitable.
- Page 63 (1928 edition?)
- If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.
- Page 71 (1928 edition?)
So, now, with this in mind, I present you with Bernays’ greatest pupil, the man who said his government learned propaganda from Bernays and Woodrow Wilson:
So, the next time someone laughs at the idea that such people exist, you should understand you are dealing either with one of those very people, or one of the masses that has been duped by them (I would strongly suggest you do a little reading about Bernays, I think you will find he is a pivotal character in understanding modern media, polling and advertising).
Now, to be fair to Bernays, he did write this in his autobiography entitled Biography of an Idea:
Bernays recalls a dinner at his home in 1933 where
Karl von Weigand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Weigand his propaganda library, the best Weigand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Weigand, was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. … Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.
So, if you take nothing else away from this post, I hope you will take away and understanding that these groups of powerful people who work behind the scenes are very real. This way, the next time you hear someone labeling someone a conspiracy theorist simply for stating this as true, you will at least be better equipped to evaluate the claim being made to determine whether it really is beyond belief, or whether you are dealing with one of the people being exposed or their many dupes who defend them from public scrutiny.
This is a very pertinent piece that was posted while I was writing this:
Before you even open the book, its sly self-referential gamesmanship leaps off the cover: the very title itself is a wink-wink-nudge-nudge ironic-but-not-really reference to Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, the kind of hidden-meaning secret message that progressives like to call a “dog whistle,” although they insist that only conservatives resort to such underhanded gambits.
But Lakoff is not just any intellectual celebrity: he is deemed one of the most important contemporary philosophers of progressive thought. You know how whenever Democrats lose an election, they invariably blame their “poor messaging” and never ever the content of their policies? Lakoff came up with that. Liberals find it very reassuring: We don’t need to rethink our ideas — we just need to express ourselves more clearly.
As a linguist, Lakoff focuses on the notions of “cognitive frames” and “conceptual metaphors,” which refer to the overarching filters through which each person perceives the world … The Little Blue Book is Lakoff’s attempt to transform his high-minded theories into nuts-and-bolts instructions for how all Democrats — from the White House to the drum circle and everything in between — should speak to conservatives, undecideds and the media. [All emphasis added]