For as long as there has been human language, humans have been using it to manipulate one another. The fact that it is possible to skillfully weave a collection of symbolic mouth noises together in such a way as to extract favors, concessions, votes and consent from other humans has made manipulation so common that it now pervades our society from top to bottom, from personal relationships between two people to international relationships between government agencies and the public.

This has made it very difficult to figure out what’s going on, both in our lives and in the world. Here are thirty-two suggestions for navigating this complex manipulation-laden landscape, whether it be for navigating the manipulations you may encounter in your small-scale personal interactions, or the large-scale manipulations which impact the entire world:

1 – Understand the fact that humans are storytelling animals, and that whoever controls the stories controls the humans. Mental narrative dominates human consciousness; thought is essentially one continuous, churning monologue about the self and what it reckons is going on in its world, and that monologue is composed entirely of mental stories. These stories can and will be manipulated, on an individual scale by people we encounter and on a mass scale by skillful propagandists. We base our actions on our mental assessments of what’s going on in the world, and those mental assessments can be manipulated by narrative control.

2 – Be humble and open enough to know that you can be fooled. Your cognitive wiring is susceptible to the same hacks as everyone else, and manipulators of all sorts are always looking to exploit those vulnerabilities. It’s not shameful to be deceived, it’s shameful to deceive people. Don’t let shame and cognitive dissonance keep you compartmentalized away from considering the possibility that you’ve been duped in some way.

3 – Watch people’s behavior and ignore the stories they tell about their behavior. This applies to people in your life, to politicians, and to governments. Narratives can be easily manipulated and distorted in many different ways, while behavior itself, when examined with as much objectivity as possible, cannot be. Pay attention to behavior in this way and eventually you’ll start noticing a large gap between what some people’s actions say and what their words say. Those people are the manipulators. Distrust them.

4 – Be suspicious of people who keep telling you what they are and how they are, because they’re trying to manipulate your narrative about them. Be doubly suspicious of people who keep telling you what you are and how you are, because they’re trying to manipulate your narrative about you.

5 – Learn to see how trust and sympathy are used by manipulators to trick people into subscribing to their narratives about what’s going on. Every manipulator uses trust and/or sympathy as a primer for their manipulations, because if you don’t have trust or sympathy for them, you’re not going to mentally subscribe to their stories. This is true of mass media outlets, it’s true of State Department press releases which implore you to have sympathy for the people of Nation X, and it’s true of family members and coworkers. Once you’ve spotted a manipulator, your task is to kill off all of your sympathy for them and your trust in them, no matter how hard they start playing the victim to suck you back in.

6 – Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to articulate themselves clearly. Word salading is a tactic notoriously used by abusive narcissists, because it keeps the victim confused and unable to figure out what’s going on. If they can’t get a clear handle on what the manipulative abuser is saying, they can’t form their own solid position in relation to it, and the abuser knows this. Insist on lucid communication, and if it’s refused to you, remove trust and sympathy. Apply this to people in your life, to government officials, and to 8chan propaganda constructs.

7 – Familiarize yourself with cognitive biases, the glitches in human cognition which cause us to perceive things in a way that is not rational. Pay special attention to confirmation bias, the backfire effect, and the illusory truth effect. Humans have an annoying tendency to seek out cognitive ease in their information-gathering and avoid cognitive dissonance, rather than seeking out what’s true regardless of whether it brings us cognitive ease or dissonance. This means we tend to choose what we believe based on whether believing it is psychologically comfortable, rather than whether it’s solidly backed by facts and evidence. This is a weakness in our cognitive wiring, and manipulators can and do exploit it constantly. And, again, be humble enough to know that this means you.

8 – Trust your own understanding above anyone else’s. It might not be perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than letting your understanding be controlled by narrative managers and dopey partisan groupthink, or by literally anyone else in a narrative landscape that is saturated with propaganda and manipulation. You won’t get everything right, but betting on your own understanding is the very safest bet on the table. It can be intimidating to stand alone and sort out the true from the false by yourself on an instance-by-instance basis, but the alternative is giving someone else authority over your understanding of the world. Abdicating your responsibility to come to a clear understanding of what’s going on in your world is a shameful, cowardly thing to do. Be brave enough to insist that you are right until such time as you yourself come to your own understanding that you were wrong.

9 – Understand that propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society. Everyone’s constantly talking about what’s wrong with the world, but hardly any of those discussions are centered around the fact that the public been manipulated into supporting the creation and continuation of those problems by mass media propaganda. The fact that powerful people are constantly manipulating the way we think, act and vote should be at the forefront of everyone’s awareness, not relegated to occasional discussions in fringe circles.

10 – Respect the fact that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for over a century. Think of all the military advancements that have been made in the last century to get an idea of how sophisticated this science must now be. They are far, far ahead of us in terms of research and understanding of the methods of manipulating the human psyche toward ends which benefit the powerful. If you ever doubt that the narrative managers could be advanced and cunning enough to pull off a given manipulation, you can lay that particular doubt to rest. Don’t underestimate them.

11 – Understand that western mass media propaganda rarely consists of full, outright lies. At most, such outlets will credulously publish the things that are told to them by government agencies which lie all the time. More often, the deception comes in the form of distortions, half-truths, and omissions. Pay more attention to discrepancies in things that are covered versus things that aren’t, and to what they’re not saying.

12 – Put effort into developing a good news-sense, a sense for what’s newsworthy and what’s not. This takes time and practice, but it lets you see which newsworthy stories are going unreported by the mass media and which non-stories are being overblown to shape an establishment-friendly narrative. When you’ve got that nailed down, you’ll notice “Why are they acting like this is a news story?” and “Why is nobody reporting this??” stories all the time.

13 – Be patient and compassionate with yourself when it comes to developing your narrative navigating skills. Like literally any skill set, you’ll suck at it for a while. If you learn you’ve been wrong about something, just take in the new information, adjust appropriately, and keep plugging away. Don’t expect to have mastered this thing before you’ve had time to master it. Like anything else, if you put in the hours you’ll get good at it.

14 – Find reliable news reporters who have a good sense for navigating the narrative matrix, and keep track of them to orient yourself and stay on top of what’s going on. Use individual reporters, not outlets; no outlet is 100 percent solid, but some reporters are pretty close on some specific subjects. Click this hyperlink for an article on one way to do build a customized and reliable news stream. Click this hyperlink for a list of all my favorite news reporters on Twitter right now.

15 – Don’t let paranoia be your primary or only tool for navigating the narrative matrix. Some people’s only means of understanding the world is to become intensely suspicious of everything and everyone, which is about as useful as a compass which tells you that every direction is north. Spend time in conspiracy and media criticism circles and you’ll run into many such people. Rejecting everything as false leaves you with nothing as true. Find positive tools for learning what’s true.

16 – Hold your worldview loosely enough that you can change it at any time in the light of new information, but not so loosely that it can be slapped out of your head by someone telling you what to think in a confident, authoritative tone. As Carl Sagan once said, “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

17 – Speaking of confident, authoritative tones, be suspicious of confident, authoritative tones. It’s amazing how much traction people can get with a narrative just by posturing as though they know that what they’re saying is true, whether they’re an MSNBC pundit or a popular conspiracy Youtuber. So many people are just plain faking it, because it works. You run into this all the time in debates on online political forums; people come at you with a supremely confident posture, but if you push them to present their knowledge on the subject and the strength of their arguments, there’s not actually anything there. They’re just accustomed to people assuming they know what they’re talking about and leaving their claims unchallenged, and it completely throws them off when someone doesn’t buy their feigned confidence schtick.

18 – Be aware that sociopaths exist. There are people who, to varying degrees, do not care what happens to others, and these are the types of people who will use manipulation to get their way whenever it serves them. If you don’t care about truth or other people beyond the extent to which you can use them, then there’s no disincentive to manipulating.

19 – Be aware of projection, and be aware of the fact that it cuts both ways: unhealthy people tend to project their wickedness onto others, while healthy people tend to project their goodness. Don’t let your goodness trick you into thinking there aren’t monsters who will deceive and manipulate you, and don’t let sociopaths project their own sinister motives onto you by telling you how rotten you are. This mixes a lot of good people up, especially in their personal lives. Not everyone is good, and not everyone is truthful. See this clearly.

20 – Be suspicious of those who excessively advocate civility, rules and politeness. Manipulators thrive on rules and civility, because they know how to manipulate them. Someone who’s willing to color outside the lines and get angry at someone noxious even when they’re acting within the rules makes a manipulator very uncomfortable. Often times those telling you to calm down and behave yourself when you are rightfully upset are manipulators who have a vested interest in getting you to adhere to the rules set they’ve learned to operate within.

21 – Meditation, mindfulness, self-inquiry and other practices are powerful tools which can help you understand your own inner processes, which in turn helps you understand how manipulators can manipulate you, and how they manipulate others. Just be sure that you are using them for this purpose, not for escapism as most “spiritual” types do. You’re trying to become fully aware of what makes you tick mentally, emotionally and energetically; you’re not trying to become some vapid spiritual bliss bunny. The goal isn’t to feel better, the goal is to get better at feeling. Better at consciously experiencing your own inner world.

22 – Be relentlessly honest with yourself about your own inner narratives and the various ways you engage in manipulation. You can’t navigate your way through the narrative control matrix if you aren’t clear on your own role in it. Look inside and consciously take an inventory.

23 – Understand that truth doesn’t generally move in a way that is pleasing to the ego, i.e. in a way Hollywood scripts are written to appeal to. Any narrative that points to a Hollywood ending where the bad guy gets karate kicked into lava and the hero gets the girl is manufactured. Russiagate and QAnon are both perfect examples of an egoically pleasing narrative with the promise of a Hollywood ending, either by Trump and his cohorts being dragged off in chains or by the “white hats” overcoming the Deep State and throwing all the Democrats and Never-Trumpers in prison for pedophilia. Ain’t gonna happen, folks.

24 – Try to view the world with fresh eyes rather than with your tired old grown-up eyes which have taught you to see all this as normal. Hold an image in your mind of what a perfectly healthy and harmonious world would look like; the sharp contrast between this image and the world we have now allows you see through the campaign of the propagandists to normalize things like war, poverty, ecocide, and impotent electoral systems which keep seeing the same government behavior regardless of who people vote for. None of this is normal.

25 – Know that the truth has no political party, and neither do the social engineers. All political parties are used to manipulate the masses in various ways, and nuggets of truth can and do emerge from any of them. Thinking along partisan lines is guaranteed to give you a distorted view. Ignore the imaginary lines between the parties. You may be certain that your rulers do.

26 – Remain always aware of this simple dynamic: the people who become billionaires are generally the ones who are sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead. This class has been able to buy up near-total narrative control via media ownership/influence, corporate lobbying, think tank funding, and campaign finance, and are thus able to manipulate the public into consenting to agendas which benefit nobody but plutocrats and their lackeys. This explains pretty much every major problem that we are facing right now.

27 – Understand that nations are pure narrative constructs; they only exist to the extent that people agree to pretend that they do. The narrative managers know this, and they exploit the fact that most of us don’t. Take Julian Assange, perfect example: he was pried out of the embassy and imprisoned by an extremely obvious collaboration between the US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador, and Australia, yet they each pretended that they were acting as separate, sovereign nations completely independently of one another. Sweden pretended it was deeply concerned about rape allegations, the UK pretended it was deeply concerned about a bail violation, Ecuador pretended it was deeply concerned about skateboarding and embassy cat hygiene, the US pretended it was deeply concerned about the particulars of the way Assange helped Chelsea Manning cover her tracks, Australia pretended it was too deeply concerned about honoring the sovereign affairs of these other countries to intervene on behalf of its citizen, and it all converged in a way that just so happened to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts. You see this same dynamic constantly, whether it’s with military interventions, trade deals, or narrative-shaping campaigns against non-aligned governments.

28 – Understand that war is the glue which holds the US-centralized empire together. Without the carrot of military/economic alliance and the stick of military/economic violence, the US-centralized empire would cease to exist. This is why war propaganda is constant and sometimes so forced that glaring plot holes become exposed; it’s so important that they need to force it through, even if they can’t get the narrative matrix around it constructed just right. If they ceased manufacturing consent for the empire’s relentless warmongering, people would lose all trust in government and media institutions, and those institutions would lose the ability to propagandize the public effectively. Without the ability to propagandize the public effectively, our rulers cannot rule.

29 – Remember that when it comes to foreign policy, the neocons are always wrong. They’ve been so remarkably consistent in this for so long that whenever there’s a question about any narrative involving hostilities between the US-centralized power alliance and any other nation, you can just look at what Bill Kristol, Max Boot and John Bolton are saying about it and believe the exact opposite. They’re actually a very helpful navigation tool in this way.

30 – Notice how the manipulators like to split the population in two and then get them arguing over how they should serve the establishment. Arguing over whether it’s better to vote Democrat or Republican, arguing over whether it’s better to increase hostilities with Iran and Venezuela or with Syria and Russia, over whether you should support the US president or the FBI, arguing over how internet censorship should happen and whom should be censored rather than if censorship should happen in the first place. The longer they can keep us arguing over the best way to lick the imperial boot, the longer they keep us from talking about whether we want to lick it at all.

31 – Watch out for appeals to emotion. It’s much easier to manipulate someone by appealing to their feely bits rather than their capacity for rational analysis, which is why any time they want to manufacture support for military interventionism you see pictures of dead children on news screens everywhere rather than a logical argument for the advantages of using military violence based on a thorough presentation of facts and evidence. You see the same strategy used in the guilt trips they lay on third-party voters; it’s all emotional hyperbole that crumbles under any fact-based analysis, but they use it because it works. They go after your heart strings to circumvent your head.

32 – Pay attention to how much propaganda goes into maintaining the propaganda machine itself. This is done this because propaganda is just that central to the maintenance of dominant power structures. Much effort is spent building trust in establishment narrative management outlets while sowing distrust in sources of dissent. You’ll see entire propaganda campaigns built around accomplishing solely this.

33 – Make a practice of asking “Who benefits from this narrative I’m being sold?” and “Who benefits from this belief I have?” Who benefits from your hating China or the Latest Official Bad Guy? Who benefits from the belief that the status quo is acceptable? Keep asking this about the narratives coming to you, and about the beliefs you already hold in your head.

34 – Learn the art of perceiving life without the perceptual filter of narrative. Mentally “mute” the narrative soundtrack and watch where all the resources are going, where the weapons are moving to and coming from, who’s being killed and imprisoned etc, to get a clear picture of what’s going on in the world.

35 – Whenever the mass media begin declaring that some dastardly deed has been committed which requires immediate military action, your default assumption should be that they’re lying, because they’ve got an extensively documented history of doing so. After lying so consistently about such things so many times, the burden of proof is always on the western power structures who are making the claim, and that burden requires mountains of independently verifiable evidence to be met.

36 – Dismiss all Latest Official Bad Guy narratives. The only ones who benefit from you hating a foreign government are the powerful people who are targeting that government and seeking to manufacture support for future actions against it. Don’t be a pro bono CIA propagandist.

37 – Be acutely aware that the only reason the status quo is accepted as “normal”, and its defenders regarded as “moderate”, is because vast fortunes are poured into making it seem that way. If we could see the status quo of this world with fresh eyes, we’d scream in horror.


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31 responses to “37 Tips For Navigating A Society That Is Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation”

  1. Thank you for this article. I consider myself hard headed, but I took your advise and got humble. I have been working on a project with pet microchips and have an information website up. I have a picture of a chip and a grain of rice that are used to gaslight you with the statement they are about the same size when they are not. Well the rescues in my area have been told that pet microchips are smaller than a grain of rice. I have been telling people the pictures I have seen it looks 2-3 times bigger. So I have been tuning up my site and printed out the picture to measure the dimensions and calculate the relative volumes. I calculated it to be 3.5X. Then when I looked at the picture again, I could see it.

  2. #18 — Not only do sociopaths exist, but they have a lock on our highest positions of leadership. Due to their particular mix of unethical traits, sociopaths rise to the top and dominate in positions of power and control. They are masters at appearing normal while clandestinely conspiring with evil intent. They will lie, cheat, and steal while projecting a charming and even morally upright image. Controlling the narrative is a fundamental byproduct of their toxic psychology. They routinely employ deception and manipulation in their relentless pursuit of greater power and control over others.

    Sociopaths are the root cause of human evil. As long as they run amok unidentified and unmanaged in our society, evil will continue to rule.

    1. “Sociopaths are the root cause of human evil.”
      It’s tempting to agree, but I can’t. Child abuse is the root cause of most empathy maladjustment, and therefore most sociopathy. Sociopathy is merely a symptom of our failure to protect kids. Saying it’s the root cause of _anything_ is our failure to see the big picture.

  3. Hmmm

    Caitlin you offer up a very compelling guide in an era where solid ground is almost impossible to find. Bearing in mind of course that those attempting to exploit the power of rhetoric are well versed and operate with finely tuned and thought out guides of their own. Guides which are in no small part devoted to finding ways around the likes of yours.

  4. An excellent list that I urge everyone to keep handy! Another practice that I find helpful is looking at the history, funding and management of organizations that release reports purporting to inform us.

    Take, for example, this newly released, authoritative-looking Freedom House report on press freedom . Per its website, (under About Us), Freedom House reveals a goal to “frame the policy debate in the United States and abroad on the progress and decline of freedom.” If they are framing policy debate, we definitely should know something about that organization! They further state, “We advocate for U.S. leadership and collaboration with like-minded governments to vigorously oppose dictators and oppression. We amplify the voices of those struggling for freedom in repressive societies and counter authoritarian efforts to weaken international scrutiny of their regimes.” That sure sounds like an argument for foreign interventions and regime change.

    Searching the internet, we learn that most of its funding comes from the US government, and that neocon promoters of the Iraq War have had roles in the organization. We find that several nations complained to the UN about Freedom House, with Cuba calling it “a machinery of subversion, closer to an intelligence service than an NGO.”

    Now, when we read the press freedom report—ranking the US and its allies are highest and countries our government harasses at the bottom—we are probably a bit skeptical of the report’s findings…especially in view of its release just after the US government indicated a journalist under the Espionage Act.

    1. Correction–last paragraph should read: Now, when we read the press freedom report—ranking the US and its allies highest and countries our government harasses at the bottom—we are probably a bit skeptical of the report’s findings…especially in view of its release just after the US government indicted a journalist under the Espionage Act.

  5. SomeoneInAsia Avatar

    On my part, I use basic arithmetic as one of my conceptual tools in deciding on the credibility of what I read or hear about. There’s no way to argue with arithmetic: one plus one always equals two. And one major example of how arithmetic helps is in showing that infinite growth is simply out of the question in a finite world. The late Prof Albert Bartlett has shown this repeatedly in his lectures. Hence if you come across anyone who believes otherwise (i.e. that infinite growth is possible in a finite world) or believes in something which implies this belief, then you know that there can be no more credibility in what he says or thinks on the matter.

    This incidentally brings me to Carl Sagan, who has been repeatedly cited as the supreme rationalist by so many. My impression is that he himself failed to live up to his own principles, believing as he did that all life emerged from the random combinations of hydrogen atoms over a few billion years. The mathematical probabilities against even just a single protein molecule being assembled from its constituent amino acids by pure chance are so gargantuan, let alone all of life, that it’s truly incredible how this ‘scientific’ narrative could ever have been accepted by so many. Certainly scientists haven’t been able to create life from mere hydrogen in their labs so far. So much for Sagan’s quip that ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’.

  6. Awesome commentary.
    Cathartic read:

    Read breif essay to end, please (a line worthy of our Caitlin).

  7. Robert D Colgan Avatar
    Robert D Colgan

    Wonderful quick navigational aid !!
    Why isn’t this sort of thing the basis for scholastic education??
    (Besides the obvious that it subverts indoctrination)
    It should be.
    Thank you for writing it.

  8. Hi Caitlin, Yes, a great article, thanks. I happened to read your added article on spirituality, and while of course meditation is good for mental health, and while bliss ninnies might abound, I would not want to pathologize spirituality as a basic orientation to spiritual awakening. And that value of “waking up” is not at all counter to the value of “growing up,” as evidenced by many mature spiritual practitioners with an “integral” view. Thanks, Ed

  9. Walter Teague Avatar
    Walter Teague

    Good beginning on how to start thinking your way out of the propaganda conditioned swamp. There are additional layers of inherited conditioning from where and when we are born and raised. In addition thinking is influence not just my emotions in general come up but by a number of cognitive conditions influence by the instinctual structure of the mind.

    One small typo in the following sentence:
    “This is done this because propaganda is just that central to the maintenance of dominant power structures.” Perhaps remove the second “this.”

  10. Thanks Caitlin. Beautifully done. Your list shows us how not easy it is for someone brainwashed by their culture to wake up. Major problem. We are too few to make the changes we need in our world. Changing minds is the whole ballgame. You get that Caitlin, which is why I hang out at your site.

  11. Re Point 1 – Life is Narrative

    I think maybe this is too grandiose.

    We understand things by wrote and by categorizing. We label things to catgorize them. Once they are labeled we are not inclined to re-evaluate.

    We understand things by observing the response of others – we go with the heard. A person who does not conform is strange and is taken lightly or avoided or ostrasized or attacked.

    Note the tendency of others to label, prejudge, seek consensus.

    Question your own assumptions. Learn to differentiate assumptions from knowns.

    The more I learn the more that I realize that I dont know – or words to that effect.

    Vary your path, dont get in a rut.

    People who try to persuade you are either leaders or con artists.

    Avoid want.

    The people with the money have all of the power.

    You have been programmed to believe the way you do.

    The U.S. is not what we thought:
    Only nation to have dropped an atomic bomb on innocent civilian population. Twice.

    They want you to feel complicit, powerless, overwhelmed, confused, hate, dependant…

    1. Interesting that you developed a narrative about why “Life Is Narrative” is too grandiose a concept.

  12. Great post *CJ* – very helpful.

  13. Ms Johnstone has the ability to tickle my funny bone as well as the ability to shock me with sense.
    The term ” bliss bunny ” got me smiling from ear to ear. The sentence ” The longer they can keep us arguing over the best way to lick the imperial boot, the longer they keep us from talking about whether we want to lick it at all. ” hit me like a hammer. What kind of a mind thinks like this? The mind of a Buddha. This piece is really magnificent Ms Johnstone. Thank You.

  14. Kathy Custren Avatar
    Kathy Custren

    Thank you for such a full list of what we might encounter ~ It really does help ~ Blessings!

  15. Somewhat related to point 7 on cognitive bias are priming and framing. Priming is pretty spooky in the results it can achieve. A person can be on guard for it and be affected anyways.

    Framing has more to do with manipulating the way people synthesize information by controlling the parameters, but it goes deeper than that.

    Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow is a good read on cognitive bias and some of the surprising ways we can be manipulated. Rational Choice in an Uncertain World by Robin Dawes is an oldie but goodie.

    Thank you so much for all of your very insightful writing!

  16. Caitlin Johnson is a Boadicea, a Joan of Arc at the front line attacking those anti-life, anti-human apparatchiks which (not ‘who’) rule and oppress us.
    She has good, old fashioned Aussie fighting spirit. All strength to her arm that holds that sword!

    I would extend #16 ‘Hold your worldview loosely …’) and #24 ‘Try to view the world with fresh eyes …’ Perhaps add #33 – have a cheeky sense of humour.

    One must have a strong ‘worldview’, certainly an open mind, but also the fighter must know the reality of what we (aka, US) are fighting ( aka, THEM). Yes, it is ‘us versus them’. No prisoners!

    What/who is ‘THEM’?
    THEM is The Hostile Elites (Google it), but it is not just 1%, it is a large Movement, hence THEM, the many who have ‘journeyed to Moloch’ and take heart us, for their fate is sealed.

    Who/what are US?
    US are the many, the unhappy souls, the un-united simpletons, and without inspiration and knowledge we are useless singularities.

    Traditionally, cartoons depicted THE as an octopus head, a Moloch thing that sits atop the globe. Its 8 tentacles (in our times perhaps: finance, MIC corporations, imperial armies, NGOs, think (stink?) tanks, corrupt rump parliaments, MSM, fanatical ideas) drape down strangling the earth and its people. The Moloch octopus has one large eye, but the whereabouts of the brain is debatable.

    Where can we find US?
    These unhappy souls congregate in the USA – the united state of anomie, they are divided, demoralized, propagandized, and confused.
    Where is THE usa? The usa is located near the anus of the octopus Moloch head, from which spews toxic waste poison (PC, ersatz food, fake dollars, diet coke, post-modernism, war, conflict, hatred, etc).

    How can us win?
    Don’t just slash at tentacles, the job is done when the brain of the Moloch octopus is severed, when its anus is blocked (and Moloch blows up).
    It’s a big job, ageless, but you/us have no moral choice –fight or lose!
    Unity is strength.
    Knowledge is power.
    Politics is mainly sweat,
    Vengeance will be sweet.

  17. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    It is narrative pushed to make the ruling elite look good.

    It reminds me that I read in a magazine some 30 years ago that in Québec, it was in the poorest socio-economic class at that time that you had the less children and the more loneliness.

    It happens that now the government in Québec is “supposedly” concerned by the increase of loneliness among the senior people and want to do something about it.

    If they have had let some of these people married and have children 30 years ago, maybe it will not have been such a problem now.

    Hopefully, Our Lord is coming back soon. I have seen enough…

  18. Luis A. Melendez Albizu Avatar
    Luis A. Melendez Albizu

    An excellent piece, very well thought out. It should be read in schools.

  19. Keep Score!
    The news sources that are valuable to you are the ones that give you information you need and that turns out to be generally correct. The news sources that you should ignore are the ones who are usually wrong.
    So, keep track of this. Write it down when someone tells you information that is timely and helps you predict and understand what is happening and what will happen next. Also notice which ones aren’t really very accurate. In other words, if CNN lied to you about Iraq’s WMDs and helped to start a war even though people like UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter was telling you it was all dangerous nonsense, notice who was right and who was wrong when later the facts are actually known.
    Over time, the goal is to recognize and listen to the sources that are useful to you, and to ignore the ones who are always wrong or who aren’t really useful to you. Keeping Score can help to recognize this, but please keep in mind that human beings can’t be perfect so cut people some slack if they seem to be well-meaning and trying hard.

    1. This is an excellent recommendation, Danika. I’m starting to keep two lists: a compendium of journalists who are dependable and reliable and a second list of hacks and propagandists. That second list just seems to keep getting longer and longer. Caitlin’s been on the first list for a long time.

      Such a superb article– the part in rule 27 describing how all the deep concern of the acting nations still adds up to a journalist being jailed for exposing the truth was particularly eloquent.

  20. Caitlin, a suggestion. I suspect many people like your posts, as I do, and would like to pass them along to others. Chuck Baldwin’s website offers a PDF version of the articles he writes, and because of that, his articles are 1) the content and layout is controlled by the author, and 2) the documents are easy to upload on other websites. Here’s a comparison between the author doing the layout and me doing the layout:

    Just a thought. I’m trying to be helpful.

    As a side note, politically we may not be aligned, but I do quite enjoy the questions you ask and the points you make. Thanks for doing all that.

    1. Note. There are Print to PDF tools that can be installed on computers. Then, when you go to press Print, printing to a PDF instead of a physical printer becomes an option. That’s one easy way to create PDF files. Also, I did a very quickie search on WordPress and PDF and found at least one Plugin for wordpress websites that provides a PDF version of a post. I’d imagine that other CMS’s like Drupal have similar plugins available.

      1. Thanks. My process usually is to select from the web page the material I want to make into a final PDF doc, drop the material into an MS/Word file, and then print the new doc as a PDF doc via my own system. That way I have the source material in MS/Word format, and in Adobe PDF format. Both are saved in my local system archive.

        The reason why I follow this procedure is because not all websites are the same, and the source text is found in different formats, usually with different text fonts and image placements. This process allows me to ‘normalize’ the resultant PDF doc according to my own standards. Hopefully, my version is quite readable text.

        BTW, I have often found while doing this process that I have to scan the document for search tags, and for text anomalies. I have actually had to adjust (i.e. correct) certain documents I’ve uploaded. As a result, I will invariably send a copy back to the original author and tell him what I have done.

        As an FYI, I use Adobe Acrobat to read and write PDF docs locally. I also assure that the text layer is exposed and available to readers who want to do text searches on the final doc.

      2. Good suggestion – I’ve been using Evernote (they should pay me for saying this) as a ‘free’ user for a long time. I do have to manually copy/paste material into a new note, however, Evernote can handle the formats, the images, the links, and other items with ease (there are some exceptions).

    2. richard le sarcophage Avatar
      richard le sarcophage

      There is no ‘collusion’ between the US political elite and Israel. There is a relationship of total subservience between the Israel paymasters, often ‘dual’ loyalty sayanim, and their political slaves in US politics. The hysterical, barking, groveling adoration that attends Bibi’s forays into the Congress proves that point pretty definitively.

  21. as a guiding light, philosophy beats psychology every time, no competition.

    a reasoned (= philosophically grounded) “guess” is infinitely closer to “the truth” than “facts” out of the context and without a perspective.

    but there are more than one way to skin a cat.

    1. SomeoneInAsia Avatar

      Well, when it comes to the real world, I think the reverse is true: psychology beats philosophy every time (well, much of the time anyway). Many if not most people are guided by their feelings, not by their rational faculty. That’s why propaganda can work so well, and that’s why people like Caitlin Johnstone (bless her) need to write articles like this to give us a badly needed wake-up call.

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