HomeArticleHow The Establishment Propaganda Machine Gaslights Us Into Submission

How The Establishment Propaganda Machine Gaslights Us Into Submission

The dynamics of the establishment Syria narrative are hilarious if you take a step back and think about them. I mean, the western empire is now openly admitting to having funded actual, literal terrorist groups in that country, and yet they’re still cranking out propaganda pieces about what is happening there and sincerely expecting us to believe them. It’s adorable, really; like a little kid covered in chocolate telling his mom he doesn’t know what happened to all the cake frosting.

Or least it would be adorable if it weren’t directly facilitating the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people.

I recently had a pleasant and professional exchange with the Atlantic Council’s neoconservative propagandist Eliot Higgins, in which he referred to independent investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley as “bonkers” and myself as “crazy”, and I called him a despicable bloodsucking ghoul. I am not especially fond of Mr. Higgins.

You see this theme repeated again and again and again in Higgins’ work; the US-centralized power establishment which facilitated terrorist factions in Syria is the infallible heroic Good Guy on the scene, and anyone who doesn’t agree is a mentally deranged lunatic.

This is also the model for the greater imperialist propaganda construct, not just with regard to Syria but with Russia, North Korea, Iran, and any other insolent government which refuses to bow to American supremacist agendas. It works like this: first, the oligarch-owned establishment media, which itself is chock full of Council on Foreign Relations members, uses other warmongering think tanks and its own massive funding to force deep state psyops like Russiagate and “Saddam has WMDs” into becoming the mainstream narrative. Second, they use the mainstream, widely-accepted status of this manufactured narrative to paint anyone who questions it as a mentally defective tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist.

It’s a perfect scheme. The mass media has given a few elites the ability to effectively turn a false story that they themselves invented into an established fact so broadly accepted that anyone who doubts it can be painted in the exact same light as someone who doubts the roundness of the Earth. The illusion of unanimous agreement is so complete that blatant establishment psyops are placed on the same level as settled scientific fact, even though it’s made of little else but highly paid pundits making authoritative assertions in confident tones of voice day after day.

Yes, it is a perfect scheme. But there also happens to be a name for it.

In a lucid essay titled “Gaslighting: State Mind Control and Abusive Narcissism”, Vanessa Beeley writes the following:

The psychological term “Gaslighting” comes from a 1944 Hollywood classic movie called Gaslight.  Gaslighting describes the abuse employed by a narcissist to instil in their victim’s mind, an extreme anxiety and confusion to the extent where they no longer have faith in their own powers of logic, reason and judgement. These gaslighting techniques were adopted by central intelligence agencies in the US and Europe as part of their psychological warfare methods, used primarily during torture or interrogation.

Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship is likely to be familiar with this textbook abuse tactic to some extent, because it is such a useful tool for crippling the better judgment and alarm bells we all have which are meant to help us avoid situations that are harmful to us. If someone with confidence in their own clear judgement feels certain that their significant other is cheating, for example, there is likely to be a confrontation and some clothes out on the front lawn. If your significant other can convince you that you are paranoid or crazy, however, you will doubt what you are seeing and accept the stories you’re being told by someone who appears to be a lot more grounded in reality than you are.

Any degree of abuse can be justified in this way. The documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? tells an anecdote of jazz legend Nina Simone once having been tied up, raped, beaten and held at gunpoint by her husband, who left and then returned telling her she’d imagined the entire thing. And it worked.

We see the same thing today with the establishment Syria narrative and the Russiagate psyop, which are both riddled with plot holes and depend on the irrational position that the same establishment which manufactured support for the Iraq invasion using lies is now beneficent and trustworthy. But if you point out the many reasons to be skeptical of these narratives, you belong in the crazy box.

The good news is that there is an easy remedy for this tactic. We need only to be thoroughly confident in our own judgment.

History has testified unequivocally that extreme skepticism is the only rational response to have toward establishment narratives, especially when those narratives are beating the drums of war. The US war machine has an extensive history of using lies, false flags and propaganda to manufacture support for its bloodthirsty agendas, and the adage that truth is the first casualty of war holds up flawlessly in cases of both hot war and cold war. It is simply self-evident that there is no good reason to take these people at their word, and every reason not to.

Your own educated best guess about what is going on in the world is infinitely superior to placing unquestioning faith in an establishment which has a vested interest in lying to you and a demonstrable history of doing so. Trust yourself and have full confidence that your conclusions, however imperfect, are always superior to those of known liars and manipulators.

Never, ever let anyone bully and cajole you for being skeptical of mainstream narratives instead of believing the say-so of malignant deceivers. Trust yourself. You are not being crazy, you are behaving logically. Don’t let them gaslight you.


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Latest comments

  • When you consider organized religion as a form of “gaslighting” it becomes apparent it has been going on for thousands of years.
    Questioning church doctrine, any church, results in your being labeled a blasphemer, non believer, or sinner. Improper questions to clergy can result in the same. Absolute piety and reverence to holy men is demanded to remaining a good Christian, or Muslim, or especially religions like Christian Scientists, Mormons, and Jehova Witness.
    The need to make you question your ability to reason, your instinct, and just plain old gut feelings and put your entire trust in the teachings of the church is, in my mind, the original form of gaslighting.

  • Congrats on another excellent article.
    For years, most Democrats were too dense to realize the Republican credo that said, ‘tell a lie often enough and, eventually, many will come to believe it. many common citizens bought in lock, stock and barrel. Once the two major parties joined in the duopoly, with the major difference being in talking points, not action, the Citizens United and McCullough Supreme Court decisions paved the way for the oligarchs to make the lies bigger and bolder.
    Every day I hear more and more nonsensical lies. All I want to do is climb up high and scream to the masses ‘Wake the**** up.” But then I realize that the masses are sleep walking and have no desire to wake up.
    This is the battle that you fight on a daily basis. Thank you.

  • Caitlin, you’ve written about how Americans are so afflicted by mainstream propaganda that they’re like victims of a mind control cult.

    Do you think the situation is any different at all in Australia? Is there a significant public consciousness that the oligarchic media is gaslighting Australia into supporting the US agenda? Or is it just as big a problem there?

    • Jerry,
      Likely, it is no different in Australia, or elsewhere. America just presented an easy proving ground on which oligarchs could test their ideas, because mass consumption created the illusion of something significant to lose. While I have no doubt that actual terrorists exist and present some degree of danger throughout the world, the oligarchs (aka psychopathic elites) present a far greater danger , since their money ands media control can create any fictional scenario they want anywhere in the world.

  • Perfect analogy. Just watched “Gaslight” recently.

    It becomes increasingly difficult to read the mainstream news, despite the necessity of keeping up with mainstream lies. At least you know what the oligarchy is feeling defensive about.

    The old saw, “You can always tell when a politician is about to lie. He opens his mouth.” leaps immediately to mind.

  • Great article, I like your truth to power fire, it confirms my own.

    Here is a sample.

    “The fairy tale is ‘Representative Democracy’ — the harsh reality is ‘Crumbunism’ that manifests in ‘Pretendunism’.

    Meritocracy or Deceptocracy? Learn the difference…

    The United States government, supposedly a democratic representative republic, is many times described as a meritocracy — a system in which the smartest and most talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement; on the basis of the quality of their ideas and products being good, important, or useful: on the basis of their having merit or value or worth.

    That’s the fairy tale. That’s the cover story. In reality American government has been hijacked by self anointed elite corporate jackals and now stands as a Deceptocracy. America has become Scamerica — a pseudo republic characterized by dog eat dog deception. The operative political system in this new reality is called “Crumbunism” and it is implemented through menticide management (brainwashing).

    Crumbunism’s media, the loudest, most strident and persuasive voice on the planet…

    Crumbunism is a psychologically coercive hierarchal system that depends on massive corporate owned state media used to brainwash and control citizens to gain and maintain its illegally and immorally usurped power. The hierarchy is a simple three tier pyramid system which consists of:

    • The very few self anointed uber wealthy elite in the top tier who make policy.

    • A slightly larger well paid administrative tier (they get more crumbs than the rest of us). This well paid administrative tier consists of the “Green Wall of $ilence” managing overseers and the “Blue Wall of Silence” law enforcement gang which insures that policy is implemented. Both groups, despite their efforts to pose and present to the public as separate entities, synergistically act as one to impose the policy created at the top.

    • The third tier at the bottom, the largest tier, consists of the rest of us. All of the workers, the real producers of essential societally beneficial substance.

    In the crumbunist system the worker producer citizens in the largest bottom tier are incessantly bombarded by the administrative and law enforcement class with state media baloneyspeak lies that claim they are free, exceptional, have great opportunity, live in a land of capitalism and free markets, and at any moment can become a billionaire. Key baseline elements of the propaganda (based in the Noble Lie, its OK to lie to the untermenschen) are; promoting the self anointed elite corporate owned and controlled status quo; promoting adoration of piggish wealth; promoting patriotic love of militarism; promoting and creating fear and hate mongering divisiveness and mindless deflective bread and circus corporate entertainment.

    Crumbunism operates under a now formula program of instilling complicity: 1. Brainwash 2. Encourage participation 3. Meter out the crumbs…
    More here…


    Keep on hammering!

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