HomeQ&AQ&A: MSM Lies, Consciousness, Evolution, Australia, Assange, And Me

Q&A: MSM Lies, Consciousness, Evolution, Australia, Assange, And Me

It’s time for another Q&A article! I think I’m going to make these a regular feature that I put out every so often, so if you have any questions for me email me at admin@caitlinjohnstone.com and I’ll get to them the next time I write another of these. Let’s jump right in.

“I’d love to have more examples of how the corporate media has lied to us. Iraqi WMD is the best example, then there’s Iraqi soldiers pulling Kuwaiti babies from incubators, and of course Russiagate. What else can we point toward to explain to people what’s happening?”

There are tons of examples, but their lies about Syria have been especially appalling. Whenever anyone disputes my claim that the mass media is waging a giant deception campaign I like to share this fake, scripted CNN interview in which a seven year-old Syrian girl sounds out scripted words explaining her analysis of an alleged chemical attack. I’ve never encountered anyone who could provide an intelligible argument for this; when I share it in a debate it always makes the other party’s head spin. The girl is indisputable reciting from a script, and what’s far more disturbing is that that means CNN’s Alisyn Camerota necessarily had the other half of that script. They intentionally staged an interview designed to incriminate a government long targeted for regime change using propaganda spouting from the sweet, innocent face of a child, and they falsely presented it as a real interview.

Lately I’ve been focused on the outright lies the mass media have been circulating about Julian Assange, including the Guardian‘s now-fully disproven and always self-evidently false report that Paul Manafort met repeatedly with Assange during the election campaign. Some other examples include the bullshit they’ve been peddling on Venezuela, the Washington Post publishing sixteen smear pieces in sixteen hours against Bernie Sanders at the hottest point in the Democratic primary, the demented, hysterical smears against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, MSNBC doing 455 Stormy Daniels segments last year but zero on Yemen, the media blackout on the Yellow Vests protests in France, their unquestioning repetition of all US war propaganda narratives including the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the “taking viagra for rape” narrative in Libya, and their aggressive refusal to so much as question any of the jaw-dropping plot holes in the official 9/11 narrative if you feel like making things interesting.

Any of these would have been instantly corrected if the mass media were interested in doing actual journalism and helping to create an informed citizenry, but they’re not. They’re interested in pro-establishment narrative management and ratings. In that order.

But if you really think about it, the best evidence that the mass media is lying to us not just in those more extreme examples but constantly, every day, is that if we were living in a free society where people were electing leaders and lawmakers based on truth and facts, our world wouldn’t look this crazy. If the primary means that most people use to inform themselves about their society, their nation and their world were accurate, they wouldn’t keep signing off on a system that is controlled by the very rich which perpetuates a state of ecocide, endless war, and growing economic injustice. They continue to consent to this system because every day, those who control the dominant narratives of our time reassure them that this system is working fine.

We see this reassurance manifest in all sorts of ways that stand out a lot less than their more overt offenses, like the way they continually lend legitimacy to an electoral system that always gives rise to a choice between two candidates who are both interested in maintaining the oligarchic status quo and acting like that’s perfectly normal. We see it in the way we’re assured day after day that capitalism is totally working out fine for everyone, not just in the news media but in sitcoms, pop songs and Hollywood movies. We see it in the way western military violence rips apart human bodies all over the earth every single day, but it’s barely ever treated as newsworthy, and when it is reported it’s treated like it’s a good thing. We see it in the fact that the system is broken and the world is on fire, yet we’re told that the most important news on any given day is what some stupid celebrity is doing with their genitals.

These little omissions, half-truths and normalizations end up being far more destructive than the more overt media manipulations that people like to cite, because they happen constantly, so common that it’s hard to even perceive them. But because the media class is owned by the same plutocratic class which owns the political class, it’s possible to keep this systematic disinformation programming in place, simply by deciding what sorts of personalities get hired for the job.

“Which Democratic candidate is the most ridiculous?”

Beto. Why are people still pretending that that arm-flailing, desk-standing platitude fountain is a thing? Biden is the worst candidate, but Beto is by far the most ridiculous. Not just because he’s a cartoonish self-parody of a mindless political automaton, but because there are people who buy into it.

“You seem to be tireless and extremely committed to your craft. Do you have time to enjoy and take in life with friends and family? What does an average day look like for Caitlin?”

I always get fans telling me they’re concerned that I don’t take more time off, but I mean, think about it: I write about the things that stir me most deeply for a living, and I work with my best friend and soulmate doing it. I’m not exactly breaking my back here. What would I do with more days off? I’d probably just spend my time talking with Tim about what to write about when we get back to work. I really deeply enjoy what I do. But yes, I also take plenty of time with my kids and extended family and I do make time for liesure and recreation.

“I really enjoy reading your articles and wonder how you are able to consistently produce such great pieces. I have dabbled with writing and blogging, but with a full-time job, an 8-year-old daughter, and a long, soul-draining commute, I find that it is very difficult to just sit down and write something… How do you continue to be so productive and creative? “

I received a bunch of questions like this for this Q&A.

Being able to do this job full-time is a huge luxury that I’m extremely grateful for. If I didn’t have a bunch of people who were willing to support me in dedicating my time and mental energy to this singular task, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. If you don’t have that luxury, you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to have the kind of output as someone who does. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up a creative output; here are some tips I wrote for Elephant Journal a few years ago for mothers who are struggling to make art in the midst of a busy schedule. I wrote that back when I was still rediscovering my creativity and struggling to find time to make art; it formed the foundation of what my thing is today.

With regard to staying productive and creative, I’m really dedicated to inner work, so I don’t often get bogged down by the inertia of heavy emotions or the cognitive cul de sacs of patterned thinking.  I tell people that revolution is largely an inside job because that’s been my experience: if you want to be able to help the world and have lots of energy to do so, you’ve got to find ways of healing your own inner bullshit. I list a few practices that have worked for me here.

Also, like I mentioned above and as I often remind my readers, people should remember that there are two of me. Folks who want to do what I do tell me they struggle to be anywhere near as prolific as I am, but I’ve got an extremely intense symbiotic relationship with my husband that’s a lot greater than the sum of our parts, and that’s where my output comes from. I don’t have to spend as much time on research or coming up with fresh perspectives, because he’s always working with me and helping me, and we’re constantly giving each other new ideas that translate easily into articles. I’m not a superwoman, I’m a fusion.

“Do you have more than just Tim helping out, and if not, why not? I’m sure a lot of us would be glad to help you in any way we can. I think accumulation of data would be a powerful way your community could help out.”

Tim’s my only help on the articles except where noted, but the Debunking All Assange Smears article was a very successful implementation of crowd-sourced information to address a very broad topic, and I should probably employ that strategy and similar strategies more often. I did it once before with The Big Fat Compendium of Russiagate Debunkery two years ago, but then Aaron Maté started writing and kind of made the whole thing obsolete, so I forgot about it.

In any case though, the fact that I’m entirely crowd-funded means I’ve always got hundreds of people helping me every single day. Could not do this without them.

“Caitlin, In the hardest, most realistic terms you can imagine, how can we, the enlightened few, even begin to wake and shake the people into positive action? We need to be united en masse against the bastards, yet in real terms there’s nothing at all happening.”

Nothing’s happening because most people don’t want it to. They don’t want it to because they’re being propagandized day in and day out into believing that the status quo is normal and acceptable. As long as those propaganda narratives remain imbued with the power of belief, the propagandized will remain complacent. That complacency will end only when the propaganda narratives are disrupted. They can only be disrupted by a falling away of the belief in them.

The hardest, most realistic shot the enlightened few have at causing belief in propaganda narratives to fall away is to further weaken people’s already waning trust in the narrative control firms which promote them. This means using our unprecedented capacity to network and share information, our ability to be artistic, funny and right on the crest of the zeitgeist (which the propagandists universally lack), and our ability to remain decentralized to circulate information which counters the disinformation, thereby opening one set of eyelids at a time to the fact that we’re being lied to.

We can accomplish this more effectively when it’s accompanied by activism which the guardians of the status quo aggressively reject: defending Assange, BDS, antiwar, pushing for anti-establishment candidates, etc. The activism itself won’t necessarily accomplish its goals, but if it’s done well it can force the manipulators to push back hard and overextend themselves, so that we can highlight what they’re doing and show everyone the demonic face behind the friendly mask of liberal democracy. If we just sit back without engaging in activism they never have to play defense, and it’s much easier for them to disguise the true nature of their manipulations.

Another way we can awaken the world, which I insist is realistic but few are ever interested, is to awaken ourselves. We’re all interconnected in so very many more ways than most of us realize, and your own inner work is the one part of the world that you have the most control over. No matter how enlightened we consider ourselves, there’s always more work to be done on that front; there are always aspects of ourselves that could be made more conscious and healthy. Remaining fully engaged in the outward fight while continually finding ways to bring more truthfulness to your own inner workings is the best interface you’ve got for the awakening of the world, because when you’re active in the world your own degree of awakening can’t help but seed awakening in it. The internet makes us more interconnected than ever, so it’s possible to shine your own awakened consciousness into far more corners of humanity than ever before.

“People who tune out politics think everything we say is bat shit crazy. How do you double around and get them to question the mainstream narrative? And what’s the best place to start?”

Well you remember what got you questioning it, right? We’ve all had one big thing that got us going “Holy shit, maybe this is all a lie!” For some it was 9/11, for others it was the Iraq invasion, for others it was Syria, for others it was the DNC manipulations in 2016. It always starts with one loose thread in the narrative matrix, which we start tugging at and eventually unravel the whole big picture.

You don’t need to show people the entire web of lies, you only need to show them one loose thread, and if you can spark their curiosity enough they’ll take over from there. The 2020 election will present many opportunities, as will the cognitive dissonance of Democrats supporting Trump’s most depraved agendas. Just watch for opportunities, for plot holes in the official narrative, for glitches in the matrix, and when you spot one make a ton of noise about it and draw as much attention to it as you can. Any little part of it which gets people going “What the hell is that?” can open the whole thing up for them. That’s why I like that CNN Bana Alabed video I posted earlier; it’s just such a glaring glitch in the matrix and tends to stop people in their tracks, even if the big picture I’m describing sounds bat shit crazy to them in that moment.

But it’s like the Parable of the Sower; we’re just tossing seeds everywhere in the hope that some of them will take root and sprout. Sometimes you’ll land on fertile soil, sometimes you’ll land on someone who’ll put their fingers in their ears. The openings only exist where they exist, and there’s no point bashing your head against a closed door or fretting if one seed lands on the rocks.

“How aware are Australians of the plight of Julian Assange, and what percentage care?”

I don’t have any facts or figures, but this recent WSWS article titled “Growing popular support for Julian Assange in Australia” is encouraging. My own interactions with my countrymen have convinced me that, unsurprisingly, the only thing preventing them from decrying the empire’s abuse of one of our sons is the near-absence of critical reporting on the subject from our news media. If you guys think American MSM is bad you should check out Australia’s; it’s like CNN’s cold table scraps.

The other day I cornered candidate Jeremy Hearn who was out on the hustings passing out flyers for the election we’re having next month and asked him for his position on Assange. He seemed genuinely surprised to be asked the question and had to pause and think for a second, but then he replied that Assange is one of our own and we should help him get out of there. I think that’s how the majority of mainstream Australians are; it’s a subject that’s kept from their attention, but when they think about it it’s obvious that helping him is the right thing to do.

If Australians simply pushed for a government that would bring Assange home and protect him from the tentacles of the United States, I think that one movement alone would help push us towards health and sovereignty more than anything else we could do. But few of us realize that that’s the path we need right now, and it’s why we’re such docile and unquestioning servants of empire.

“Do you ever write about Australia? You seem pretty much obsessed with the United States.”

I focus on America because it’s the head of the beast. It’s the source and summit of most of the empire’s malignancy, and because it’s where most of the military firepower and money is concentrated, its uniquely important role in imperial dynamics mean its citizenry are the most aggressively propagandized people in the world. This means that if I want to address the problems in our world I’ll have the most opportunities to land a blow that really matters by focusing on the US. I could write about Australia, but hardly anyone would care, it wouldn’t get any shares, and even if it did it wouldn’t matter because Australia just follows America’s lead. When I do write about Australia I do so mainly as pertains to our abusive relationship with the United States.

“In your previous Q&A you radiate an idealism that we will one day awaken to truth and when that happens the power of evil will be neutralized. Do you see evil as a constant in human nature, problematic for eternity, perhaps even a cosmological given, like yin and yang? Or can it be cleansed from our universe?”

No I don’t see it as a constant or a given at all. My own experiences with the human condition have assured me that it’s possible for us to overcome our unwholesome conditioning patterns and begin moving harmoniously with life, and I believe that’s actually our natural state of being.

I think we’re just in an awkward transition phase as a species. We evolved these massive brains extremely fast, we’ve only just gotten to a stage where we’re not all fighting for survival all the time, and now we’re just beginning to address the question of how we can use our capacity for abstract thought in a world where we’re not constantly running from saber-toothed tigers and trying not to starve to death. We’re in that clumsy stage between (A) using our brains to figure out how to survive long enough to reproduce in an environment full of sharp teeth and nonstop violence, to (B) using our brains to figure out how to collaborate with each other and with our environment for the wellbeing of all.

Just this year they found a fossilized skeleton in Peru that’s 42.6 million years old and an evolutionary ancestor of the modern whale. Whales are descended from land mammals, so the discovery of a “missing link” amphibious ancestor with hoofed feet was a big deal. But check out how awkward this fucker looked compared to the whales of today:

Artists' conception of what the newly-discovered extinct species may have looked like.

In 2017 they discovered another more recent fossil of a whale ancestor, also in Peru, from 36 million years ago. You can see that they’re getting the hang of it, but they still looked ridiculous with tiny little legs dangling off the backs of their bodies like a reverse tyrannosaurus:

Whale Illo

Imagine how awkward it must have been to be a creature in an evolutionary transition phase, before developing the sophisticated blowhole breathing, sonar and baleen feeding systems we see in the majestic sea creatures of today, having to chase after fish using the clumsy equipment that still largely resembles the tools your ancestors had adapted for land hunting, all while holding your breath and trying not to drown.

That’s kind of how I see us right now. The transition is happening much more rapidly just like everything else is, but in essence we’ve entered the sea and we’re struggling to evolve a blowhole and shed our cumbersome rear legs, and it’s just awkward for everyone.

With regard to “evil”, I use that word a lot because it generally gets the job done for the purposes of communicating basic ideas about the toxicity of the status quo, but really all I mean by it is that it’s a deviation from the path toward the creation of the type of world that healthy people want to see. Mass military slaughter, exploitation and oppression, are all deviant from the kind of harmonious world we’re trying to create. They’re not per se “evil” in the way that term is generally understood in Judeo-Christian religions; they’re just movements back into an undesirable direction. They’re movements back onto land when we’re trying to master baleen feeding and sonar hunting.

“Do you think that a collective consciousness raising of humanity is best pursued through a political realm?”

Absolutely, at least in part. Collective consciousness can’t be raised if we’re keeping unconscious the fact that so many of our fellow humans are suffering, starving, struggling, being oppressed, and being murdered in wars. To interface with this reality in the real world is to be engaged in politics to some extent, and any attempt to end suffering in our world on a large scale is necessarily political in some way. If you want to engage in elevating collective consciousness, there’s got to be a political aspect to that engagement.

That said, some of the politically active people I run into in this gig are some of the most deeply unconscious individuals I’ve ever encountered. Many people use political activism as a way to act out their inner pain, treating those who stand against them ideologically as an emotional stand-in for their parents and whoever else they harbor deep-seated unresolved aggression towards, and just generally wanking their inner demons on everyone in a completely unhelpful way. So, again, inner work is necessary. Don’t bother trying to elevate collective consciousness if you’re not elevating your own first and foremost.

“Do you meditate?”

That hasn’t been my path, but I highly recommend it. It’s obviously a great tool for bringing consciousness to inner processes.

“Do you train martial arts?”

No but Tim did for years; when you see a reference to combat sports techniques in my writing it’s usually an idea that came from him. I’m a big UFC fan though.

“Would you say that the Unity4J movement is representative of the article that you wrote a couple of years back that famously got slammed by those on the ‘left’ end of the political spectrum?”

Yes, and I have said so. My only goal with that article was to get people out of their echo chambers where they’re kept isolated and impotent so as to open up new possibilities. Unity4 has been the largest, most sustained and most successful effort in advancing public support for Julian Assange because it doesn’t neuter itself with sectarianism or isolate itself in a dopey ideological echo chamber.

An annoying number of leftists think it’s more important to only have anything to do with the eleven people in the world who agree with you perfectly than it is to actually shove your healthy ideas into mainstream consciousness by whatever means are necessary; the world may die as a result, but at least you get to feel pure and good about yourself while it does. The reason you see Assange smeared as a right-winger today is because he used to be a darling of the left, so it kills his old fan base. Divide-and-conquer works. It’s unhealthy to play into it.

“Is reality real, or is it just a whole lot of little electrical circuits in my brain?”

There’s no way to know anything about objective, absolute reality apart from the fact that appearances are appearing to a subject, i.e. you. This could all easily be some kind of hallucination, virtual reality simulation, or some other kind of illusory phenomenon whose nature we can’t even imagine. The only thing you can be sure of is that you (meaning the subject experiencing whatever this all is) exist. You don’t get to have any certainty at all that you’re a body/brain organism with a particular name and a particular history, or that you’re anything else in particular, but you can be certain of your own existence, in and of itself.

This certainty of your own beingness is the only sane place to take your stand when trying to come to a healthy relationship with “reality” (whatever that may be), because it’s the only certainty you’ll ever get to have about anything. You are the unknowable, ineffable subject to which all thoughts, memories, feelings and sense impressions apparently arise; everything else is a beautiful mystery. Developing a lasting and crystal clear awareness of this fact cuts away a lot of the mental bullshit we otherwise get sucked into on a day to day basis when we believe all the babbling stories that are told by the thoughts in our heads.

And that’s it for now! Thanks for your questions everyone; we’ll do another of these soon.

____________________________________

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Latest comments

  • Those intermediate ancient whale fossils reminds me of ooparts (out of place artifacts)….that, in many cases appear to show that the human endeavor and what we are discussing here has been going on for, yes, millions of years. Perhaps we just cycle in and out. A verse streamed into my mind one morning long ago:
    Once again
    The Dream is dying
    As always far too fast
    What comes and goes can never last
    The People struggle
    Only to rise
    From the previous rubble
    And their leaders’ lies.

    • Very good.

      I’ve become convinced that there was technologically advanced human civilization here long before we have realized. Their technology apparently missed some of the things figured out in this cycle, but we are missing some that they got. The megaliths around the world that — according to our current mainstream archeologists’ conclusions — were built by primitive people primarily through the use of manual labor, seems ludicrous to me. I’m led toward believing that levitation was conquered, maybe acoustical.

  • Starting at this articles beginning, I like to look at medias exactly repeated phrases which suggest a propaganda agenda and a lie. Being optimistic I think that perhaps the talking heads on these MSM news shows think in the back of their heads that the only way to alert the public that what they are saying is bullshit is to just repeat verbatim the line given them. But that may be wishful thinking.

    My personal favorite example of a MSM propaganda/lie was one used to advance the Iraq War, “they hate us for our freedom”. A runner up was “babies thrown from incubators”.

    Do your own Google search of phrases entered within quotation marks and tell us what you find for your “best of MSM propaganda” hit list. Below are a few of mine with the number of links found noted alongside.

    “venezuela in crisis” 174 million hits
    “they hate us for our freedoms” 162 million hits
    “babies thrown from incubators” 18 million hits
    “bernie bros” 12 million hits
    “opioid crisis” 11.5 million hits
    “weapons of mass destruction” 10.5 million hits
    “too big to fail” 5.8 million hits

    • I personally was fooled by “too big to fail”. When this first got broadcast everywhere I thought it meant the media was going to push for breaking up the big banks, LOL! After all capitalism/free enterprise means one must have competition, and loser corporation need to fail. But no, it ended up being all about bailing them out at the public’s expense 🙁

  • It may be wishful thinking on my part but I believe that someday the United States government will hit a wall, or drop into an abyss, that can not be dealt with!! This country of mine is broke as well as corrupt; a lie can not be maintained forever!! Something massively big is going to bring it all down; suddenly, and the aftermath is going to be very ugly!!

    • I have my problems with Chris Hedges, but this is the point of America: The Farewell Tour. Two things he left out are our incredibly physically and mentally unhealthy population, due, I believe, to extremely poor nutrition, abysmal “health” care, and living in an insane society. We are a dying empire.

  • “Well you remember what got you questioning it, right? We’ve all had one big thing that got us going “Holy shit, maybe this is all a lie!” “

    Yes, I do…after the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR pancaked, I thought “brilliant, here comes the peace dividend and now we can be the country we always were told we wanted to be: helpful, peaceful, environmentally conscious.” Damn was I naive.

    It may be interesting to hear from others about their moment. What was yours everybody?

    On the whole violent action vs. passive resistance: I would probably put more weight on the latter. Violence is more likely to instigate change more quickly but the latter is more permanent, even though more difficult for many reasons.

    Violence is force and Newton tells us there will be an equal and opposite reaction. There will always be aggrieved people when change is forced, and also there’s always collateral damage which poisons any supposed victory. This is why I tell people that I hate war most of all because nobody ever wins,not even the winners. People remember, and there’s always a future full of blowback.

    Passive resistance is difficult because it’s slower and harder to sustain. It’s often something that crosses generations. Inter generational projects are something we did better in the past than today (think cathedrals or Stonehenge). I think it’s something we need to recover, for the planet as well as ourselves.

    • Laughingsong – in reply to your question about wake-up moments, mine came late – after half a lifetime of believing with each new outrage (eg assassinations, invasions, false flags, famines etc.) that at last there would be a turning point, that people would no longer tolerate such outrages against their fellow human beings. I think the realisation that no outrage by ‘the people’ would stop the carnage was the failure of the mass global demonstrations against the Iraq war to halt the pre-ordained agenda.

  • I find your answer about Australia disingenuous. if you focused more on local politics you might have a chance of making a small change.

    If your marriage was on the rocks would you write about Elizabeth Taylor? I doubt it. As another Aussie said, think globally act locally

    Didn’t know you were a neo darwinist to go with your climate alarmism. O well.

    And you didn’t address the censorship arond merely speaking up about vaccine safety in Australia!! 10 years in jail is met with total silence from Johnstone. Sad

    I guess there is no skyrocketing of immune disorders in Aussieland

  • About Australia: any country that vaunts its innocence and its” luckiness” without recognising past wrongs is a sham. When you see flags on cars or rising high on suburban lawns ,its an aggressive statement of rarified difference and should be execrated not celebrated….there are those who hold a virtue to say “Virtue is necessary” but fundamentally the believe only the police are necessary.’-Nietzsche. Also Sprach Zarathustra

    • Anti Australian these days is for instance to touch crimes of British Colonial history, declaring the commonwealth as a tool of COL, suggesting to prosecute John Howard as a war criminal, murderer and WMD liar, change Anzac day to British Cannon fodder day of Aussies all for the Queen and country, call for independence from UK or just to mention Brendon O Connel in public and suggest his innocence.
      So I guess to speak truth is now officially Anti Australian.
      Caitlyn will walk a very thorny road if one mistake against Aussie Commonwealth regulated and censored Media occurs. In regards to politics the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence and USA as yet is a much safer bet to criticize.

  • For a book that puts a lot of the MSM smear-and-jeer campaigns together in one easy read, I recommend
    ‘Propaganda Blitz How the Corporate Media Distort Reality’ (2018) by David Edwards and David Cromwell of Media Lens. The headlines and op eds and lies over the years are documented, all put together to expose the disgrace the MSM have become. For anyone still reading the Guardian or watching the BBC, this is as eye-opening as the Bana Alabed ‘interview’ crash. For Australians, it’s in the public library system. Here’s part of the blurb for the book:

    Propaganda Blitz shows that the corporate media does not just ‘spin’ the news – it fundamentally distorts everything it touches, hiding the real issues from public view, and often completely reversing the truth. This book uncovers a storm of top-down campaigns behind war reporting from Iraq, Syria and Palestine, as well as the destruction of the credibility of figures on the left, including Jeremy Corbyn, Russell Brand and Hugo Chavez.

    • “You provide the prose poems, I’ll provide the war” — Charles Foster Kane, in Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane”, released 1941.

  • When documenting the lies that corporate media has told, the only question is how far back to you want to go. For example, when I came into this surrealistic theater, the lies were about the Gulf of Tonkin justifying a massive war and the deaths of millions including 50,000 Americans. The common corporate reporting about the assassinations of President John Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Sen Bobby Kennedy are all lies. What you’ve been told in school or by the corporate media in all three horrible cases are complete lies. The key point is that this is not new. The same ‘establishment’ that told those lies in the 1960’s suffered a small setback with the end of the Vietnam War and Watergate, but it quickly came back bigger, meaner and more deceitful than before. The only thing that has changed is that the few truthtellers that were in corporate media have been purged, so the corporate media has gone from mostly lies to 100% pure lies.

  • Caitlin, you are such a joy. It is amazing to me how much I think you get right and how carefully you avoid the topics that are based so much more on emotion than facts.
    I can’t resist giving a contrary opinion on this: “… if we were living in a free society where people were electing leaders and lawmakers based on truth and facts, our world wouldn’t look this crazy.”
    Even if we base our votes on truth and facts, it will always be the case that the people who most desire the power and celebrity of authority will be the ones we should be most reluctant to hand it to. We as a people won’t ever be able to sort well enough to separate the clever deceivers from those of goodwill.

    • Which only means we need a society where such people can be quickly removed from office once they drop their mask.

      • Ever considered adding a “None of the Above” choice to the ballot, in every race, so that we can reject all candidates for office. At least then we could stop being forced to choose between the “lesser of two evils”…

    • Just a crazy thought, I know, but perhaps we should choose one term “leaders” by lottery?

  • Great list of empire psyops. I agree with the whole list, and on most of them without having started reading your stuff til recently. For that reason I am amazed that you exist. You’re my Aussie homey.
    Having a good bullshit detector, I find that there is still one unmentionable third rail that cannot be broached with “the left, progressive” types. That would be Climate Change. Isn’t it suspicious that so many of the same centrist sheep herders responsible for forever wars, total surveillance, creating the false narrative you so eloquently destroy are also on board with the idea that man is a nasty beast which is killing the planet?
    I will refrain from trying to change your mind on the subject. It is a very complex and fraught topic and I admit I’m no scientist. I just know that when I check out the news every day that I am blasted with article after article about this existential threat, from the same MSM that lies to me about everything else. Just sayin’.

    • You are right to be suspicious. Climate change is real but is being spun to focus minds on green new deal type solutions instead of wholesale change of the growth oriented capitalist society. See wrongkindofgreen.org to get the full picture of why climate change is being focused on.

  • Good answers. But you did not answer if you were a nonviolent pacifist, or believe sometimes violent action or revolution is necessary to counter monstrous evil. Too hot a question to answer? Is verbal persuasion and debunking the matrix enough to overthrow the violent oppression that we are being subjected to? This question whether stated consciously or not hangs over the whole resistance to Empire struggle. It is played out in the streets of Venezuela and Paris and all over the world every day. Surely you have some thoughts about it?

    • If that’s your solution, go for it. Everyone has a different role to play. Cait is wonderfully good at her chosen role.

      • Actually it is not my solution. But it needs to be considered in any realistic planning. If you don’t look at the questions around violence, you will probably be blindsided, maybe even by people you thought were on your side. Being unwilling to look at the question of violent options, is just like any evasive move – likely to seed problems down the line. I for one like to know people’s intentions relative to violence before teaming up with them. Ever go to a supposedly peaceful demonstration, and find yourself in a mob?

        • And Caitlin is good at what she is doing. She is my teacher. But I always challenge my best teachers with hard questions. And I hope they will rise to the occasion in answering them.

    • The problem with violent action to instigate rebellion/revolution is that it has to be an altruistic act by numerous sacrificial lambs to get the ball rolling. The same is true even with surreptitious targeting of enemy leadership. Early actors must see themselves as giving their lives — not just risking, but giving — for some greater good. It’s really similar to Prisoners’ dilemma.
      One philosophical problem is that — similar to some of out “betters” who convince themselves they are breaking laws for OUR benefit — initiators of violence must justify crossing some moral and ethical lines by a unilateral judgment that the greater good is served.

      • It’s not an easy decision is it? Those deciding to join the French Resistance against the Nazi occupiers were faced with these moral problems. This was one of the roots of existentialist philosophy. “To venture is to risk defeat, but not to venture is to lose one’s s.’ (Kierkegaard)

        • (typo) should read….to lose one’s soul.

    • If force is taken as the answer, then enough force must be developed to defeat the combined national police forces and the standing armies of the US, NATO and other allies. In this age of mass surveillance, it seems impossible to gather such a force without being detected. Thus, the establishment will come down hard on anyone who tries long before they’ve gathered the necessary power. In this age of mass propaganda, anyone trying violent resistance will be painted as the enemy of the mass of the people. Mass murder only turns people off. Very few support mass murder. Thus, any opposition movement dedicated to violent force will quickly be painted as a danger to ordinary people and crushed.
      ——————
      In this age of mass surveillance, when everything online and everything on a phone is intercepted and recorded and used against anyone as required by the state, the only possible course is to stand for things that you and others can believe in. A non-violent movement for change is the only way to go. Anything else is doomed. If you stand for a non-violent movement for change, for freedom, for a true government of the people, by the people and for the people, for simply avoiding extinction, then at least a person can stand proud when in court and the spies are playing back ones words. And the spies will be afraid that such a trial will only spur others to join such a cause.

      • No, you don’t have to “defeat” them in military terms… The Vietnamese did not “defeat” the U.S. in military terms but in practical political terms. Also consider the “resurgence” of the Taliban in Afghanistan, among others…
        .
        And while I do not advocate violence, protecting oneself from another’s violence is not an immoral act — it’s self-defense. Every being has an innate right to defend itself — we call it a survival instinct.
        .
        Point is, if a political system fails to meet the wants and needs of a majority its governed population, to the point that population rebels violently, only a relatively small proportion of that population need engage in violent action. The remainder constitutes a support network supplying food, shelter and supplies to those fighting. This is the nature of asymmetric warfare — the very weak vs. the very strong.
        .
        The weak must choose time and place of battle, an ambush is preferred as surprise is a crucial element in success when taking on larger, better equipped forces. The will be few, if any, decisive battles, only a long slow war of attrition.
        .
        On the other hand, government forces must not over-react to these hit and run tactics, taking their frustrations (and it is tremendously frustrating) on those merely suspected of being “sympathizers”, as doing so strengthens the resolve of those fighting as well as “radicalizing” those “sitting on the fence” so to speak.
        .
        In other words, it is a long, slow, bloody and brutal affair, and while there is no guarantee of success, it can succeed and has in the past.
        .
        At this point I am reminded of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s words in the “Gulag Archipelago”:
        .
        “What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, polkers, or whatever else was at hand?”
        .
        One point to note, many Americans are (well) armed with more than “axes, hammers, polkers, or whatever else was at hand…”
        .
        All that said, my preference is that in any confrontation between citizens and their government, violence is minimized. Which is why I am writing here at the moment, exploring means to politically de-legitimize a sitting government at the polls by tendering blank ballots.
        .
        By explicitly refusing to vote for candidates in an election and thereby calling the sitting government’s legitimacy into question, the idea is that the police, security services and military now have an objective reason not to obey if ordered to attack the citizenry…

        • Good thoughts Spanky. At least you are not afraid to examine the issue of violence as a response to oppression. I would point out that your justification of violence employed in self defense opens up the whole can of worms – when is oppression enough to make violent opposition OK? And of course the US claims that all of it’s aggressions are really defense against the “threats” of others. What makes a “just war” – and is there even such a thing, or is all war evil whatever moral excuses are put forward to justify it?

          • The only “just war”, IMO, is defending your home and family from invasion or attack. Again, self-defense.
            .
            By that criteria, the attacks and invasions mounted by the U.S.A. overseas are immoral. America is not defending itself, rather it is attacking other nations and using propaganda to justify and rationalize those attacks as something other than what they clearly are — aggressive war for economic and financial gain.
            .
            Internally, one of the basic problems created by Washington’s propaganda is that anyone calling these aggressive wars by their proper name exposes themselves to a charge of not “supporting the troops”. That conflation, that supporting the troops is synomous with supporting U.S. policies which use wars of aggression to advance the elite’s (Wall Street) agenda and empire is one of the most pernicious lies of all. And that lie is aggressively marketed because it is a linch-pin in their narrative…
            .
            In reality, the only way to actually support the troops is to remove them from harm’s way by ending these aggressive wars overseas and bringing them home. But doing so not only challenges the elite’s designs for empire and world domination, but also the profitability of their corporations which make up the military industrial complex (and rake in about one trillion taxpayer dollars per annum). If you’re looking for evil, this is it… just don’t expect the devil to show up with horns, but rather in the well-fed faces of generals, admirals, spooks and “defense” corporation CEOs.
            .
            Thus, evil is not only banal, but well-disguised and looks a lot like “success” to many Americans, especially those betting in the stock market to make their fortunes.
            .
            “…[Y]our justification of violence employed in self defense opens up the whole can of worms – when is oppression enough to make violent opposition OK?” — Mike K
            .
            Are government agents at your door with guns? They are prepared to use violence directly and personally against you — what do you intend to do? Submit or fight? Will you take your neighbor’s side when they come for him? This goes back to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s observation… Will you willingly walk into the gulag or gas chamber? Or fight for your freedom and life?
            .
            The point is, your government has already made the decision to use violence against you — your response simply determines how you go out, either on your feet with a fighting chance or on your knees at their mercy.
            .
            But these are simply obvious choices — in reality, there is no simple irreduceable answer to your question. Some of us were bullied as children — at what point did you simply say: “No more!”

            • I like the way you think, Spanky, but I think refusing to show up at the polling place sends a stronger message. Besides, it has the advantage of letting you entirely avoid a corrupt mechanism designed to sustain the status quo.

  • Will you join Greta Thunberg & Extinction Rebellion
    in doing whatever it takes–??
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Fo69sPq_Og

    • Reminds me of Bana Alabed.

      • I also can’t stand the way we are being asked to “follow” her, but I don’t think it is her intent to be a climate guru.

        She is nothing like Bana who read from a script and was clearly a fake.

        Here in Australia school kids marched for the environment with hardly a word of “following” Greta in any media.
        Regardless of your scepticism she is not lying as was the case with Bana.
        Climate Change maybe a polarising political catchy, but behind the politics, our planet is in real trouble from chemical poisoning at every possible level. We don’t even need science to tell us this: its obvious every where.

        • No, she is simply responding to her conditioning…
          .
          Please note, this comment has zero to do with climate change, and everything to do with behavioral conditioning, the nature of belief and the public school system.
          .
          So she believes her teachers, and accepts what she has been taught as true but, altho she may not be “lying”, she is also clearly not her own “agent”… She repeats what she has been taught because she is rewarded for it.
          .
          Teach her something else to believe, reward her for it, and she will repeat it as well. Follow her? We train hunting dogs using similar methods.
          .
          That said, we agree — because of chemical poisoning we are in real trouble. But, altho we and our fellow travelers in time and space (other species) may be in jeopardy, the planet will continue on with or without us…

          • Those are some well stated points Spanky. Thanks for being willing to discuss this important issue of war and peace – it is really what all of this blog and this world are about at this critical time. To not be willing to discuss it is to bury one’s head in the sand, and hope others solve it before you come out.

            I agree with your contention that there is a point when most people (who are not fundamentalist pacifists) will take up arms and fight. The question for each of us is, has that point now been reached? The bullies who represent the Empire are daring those in Iran and Venezuela and North Korea and elsewhere to fight. What will, the people there do? What will Americans do to stop their own insane government? What further atrocities are we waiting for to trigger our active resistance?

            • My response to Spanky should have been appended to his comment prior to the one immediately above it, not the one about Greta.

    • I agree with Greta. We need a powerful movement to get our understanding of climate needs acted on.

  • With the landslide victory of Volodymyr Zelensky, who won 73 percent of the vote, the comedian will become the president of Ukraine. Understanding how this occurred becomes easy when people review US government documents published by Wikileaks about the outgoing president, and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s role in helping bring further corruption to a nation thoroughly sick of both corruption and US hegemony.

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ukraines-powerful-rebuke-to-american-hegemony/?fbclid=IwAR2RyPauf_evJOwreXBNG-03epK4FNQDqbDX4VBYXTCVQga_vgTGTWyWU1U

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