Listen to a reading of this article:
We live in a far less free society than most of us think.
It looks like we’re free. We don’t get thrown in prison for criticizing our government officials. We can vote for whoever we want. We can log onto the internet and look up information on any subject we’re interested in. If we want to buy a product we have many brands we are free to choose from.
But we’re not free. Our political systems are set up to herd people into a two-party system that is controlled on both sides by plutocrats. The news media that people rely on to form ideas about what’s going on and how they should vote are controlled by the plutocratic class and heavily influenced by secretive government agencies. Internet algorithms are aggressively manipulated to show people information which favors the status quo. Even our entertainment is rife with Pentagon and CIA influence.
How free is that? How free is your speech if there are myriad institutional safeguards in place to prevent speech from ever effecting political change?
It doesn’t matter what you’re allowed to say if it doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to call the oligarchic puppet put in office by the last fake election a dickhead. It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to Google any information you want only to find whatever information Google wants you to find.
What is the functional difference between a regime which directly censors the internet to prevent dissent and a regime which works with Silicon Valley plutocrats to control information via algorithms and has a system in place which prevents dissent from having any meaningful impact?
There is none.
Canada’s military “relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war”, “shaping” & “exploiting” info “to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages” https://t.co/qr9nRlT0lH
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) October 1, 2021
We live in a profoundly unfree society that is disguised as a free society. Western liberal democracy is just totalitarianism dressed in drag.
And it’s only getting worse. Propaganda is a still-developing science.
Last month Ottawa Citizen reported that the Canadian military used the Covid outbreak as an excuse to test actual military psyop techniques on its own civilian population under the pretense of assuring compliance with pandemic restrictions.
- “Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes.”
- “The plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, also known as CJOC, relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war. The campaign called for ‘shaping’ and ‘exploiting’ information. CJOC claimed the information operations scheme was needed to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic.”
- “A separate initiative, not linked to the CJOC plan, but overseen by Canadian Forces intelligence officers, culled information from public social media accounts in Ontario. Data was also compiled on peaceful Black Lives Matter gatherings and BLM leaders.”
- “’This is really a learning opportunity for all of us and a chance to start getting information operations into our (CAF-DND) routine,’ the rear admiral stated.”
- “Yet another review centred on the Canadian Forces public affairs branch and its activities. Last year, the branch launched a controversial plan that would have allowed military public affairs officers to use propaganda to change attitudes and behaviours of Canadians as well as to collect and analyze information from public social media accounts.”
- “The plan would have seen staff move from traditional government methods of communicating with the public to a more aggressive strategy of using information warfare and influence tactics on Canadians.”
So they’re not just employing mass-scale psychological operations on the public, they’re testing them and learning from them.
And we can probably assume that anything which may have been learned was also shared with the government agencies of other NATO members.
Western governments in the NATO military alliance are developing tactics of “cognitive warfare,” using the supposed threats of China & Russia to justify waging a “battle for your brain” in the “human domain,” to “make everyone a weapon”
— The Grayzone (@TheGrayzoneNews) October 9, 2021
In a new article titled “Behind NATO’s ‘cognitive warfare’: Western militaries are waging a ‘battle for your brain’“, The Grayzone’s Ben Norton reports on how recent NATO-sponsored discussions have explicitly advocated the need to advance the science of cognitive warfare for offensive as well as defensive purposes.
- “NATO is spinning out an entirely new kind of combat it has branded as cognitive warfare. Described as the ‘weaponization of brain sciences,’ the new method involves ‘hacking the individual’ by exploiting ‘the vulnerabilities of the human brain’ in order to implement more sophisticated ‘social engineering.’
- “While the NATO-backed study insisted that much of its research on cognitive warfare is designed for defensive purposes, it also conceded that the military alliance is developing offensive tactics, stating, ‘The human is very often the main vulnerability and it should be acknowledged in order to protect NATO’s human capital but also to be able to benefit from our adversaries’s vulnerabilities.’”
- “In a chilling disclosure, the report stated explicitly that ‘the objective of Cognitive Warfare is to harm societies and not only the military.’”
- “The study described this phenomenon as ‘the militarization of brain science.’ But it appears clear that NATO’s development of cognitive warfare will lead to a militarization of all aspects of human society and psychology, from the most intimate of social relationships to the mind itself.”
- “In other words, this document shows that figures in the NATO military cartel increasingly see their own domestic population as a threat, fearing civilians to be potential Chinese or Russian sleeper cells, dastardly ‘fifth columns’ that challenge the stability of ‘Western liberal democracies.’”
- “Naturally, the NATO researcher claimed foreign ‘adversaries’ are the supposed aggressors employing cognitive warfare. But at the same time, he made it clear that the Western military alliance is developing its own tactics.”
In a 2017 essay titled “The War on Sensemaking“, writer Jordan Greenhall made an observation that I have thought about ever since: that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for more than a century now, and has necessarily advanced scientifically just as much as other fields in the military have.
“In 1917, a young Edward Bernays was asked to help the American war effort by applying his uncle Sigmund Freud’s theories of the unconscious to a new German technique called ‘propaganda’,” Greenhall writes. “The technology of war moves quickly. In the span of one and a half centuries, the last war leapt from long rifles to repeating rifles to gatling guns all the way to Little Boy. The warfighters of the current war haven’t dawdled. The wars of culture, meaning and purpose have seen innovation on an ‘exponential technology curve.’ The artisanal efforts of Bernays and Goebbels have been left far in the past by modern methods.”
Think about how many technological advancements there have been in the military over the last century. Our rulers have been refining their methods of manipulating our sensemaking abilities to their advantage throughout that entire time, and only a small minority of us have even begun to realize that that manipulation is even happening. We’re just learning to play checkers while they’re mastering 3-D chess.
I don’t have any solutions to this problem other than to spread consciousness of the fact that it is happening. Propaganda only works if you don’t understand (A) that it is happening to you and (B) how it is occurring, and a basic awareness of the fact that there’s a globe-spanning campaign to manipulate human thought to the advantage of the powerful is the first step toward having that understanding. Having the humility to understand that you yourself can be manipulated and deceived is the second step.
My hope is that humanity will transcend its psychological susceptibility to manipulation and move into a healthy relationship with mental narrative as our adapt-or-die precipice draws nearer. But time will only tell.
My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.
Featured image via Pixabay.
Rock the Titanic / October 12, 2021
It appears Common Core, chemtrails, GMOs (eaten and now injected into our bodies), etc. are not working. RELEASE THE NEUROWEAPONS!
Despite so many efforts to dumb us down, chemicalize us, gene-edit us, consciousness remains resilient. Hmm…. could it be that humanity is governed and protected by a higher frequency immune to physical bombardments?
If anything, this should forever dispel the myth that TPTB are in position due to superior intelligence if they have to go to such lengths to try to control the world’s brain and consciousness functionality.
Dragon Lord / October 13, 2021
Good points I’ve for some time thought TPTB are not all that smart, or they would have much better lies ready for action. They seem to be in a state of lets only answer if we need to, which means they don’t actually have the next lie organised, and when you ask more than one question, you get usually the same answer twice. But maybe using different words, or you’ll find the answer in our public statements bulletin, when it of course is not there. But it gives them time to think up a new answer. trouble is the next answer does not make any sense or have any science attached either.
Joshua / October 11, 2021
I am honored to break my recent silence to say that this is a very good article.
It is excellent, in fact, and I thank you for it.
VF / October 11, 2021
“It doesn’t matter what you’re allowed to say if it doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to call the oligarchic puppet put in office by the last fake election a dickhead. It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to Google any information you want only to find whatever information Google wants you to find.”
That’s a key point in this piece. We can say anything we like about how totalitarian this society already is, to anyone who cares to listen, since nothing we say makes the slightest difference. They don’t care what we know about their manipulation of narratives or anything else. What we know doesn’t have the merest effect on their agenda, as Ben Norton reveals it and they even openly admit to how evil they are. We’re powerless before their brutish authoritarian dictatorship, because they’ve closed off every pathway where any mechanism we might devise can in some way empower us. So long as we have no power, they’re indifferent to what we know about them.
BeliTsari / October 13, 2021
Thank you for your astute, pertinent & succinct post! Metasearch just SEOing us to diametrically opposed, totally contradictory, malware packed Carney barker websites; selling our trauma, rage, terror and loneliness (debt!) Always reminds me of Julie Christie in Fahrenheit 451, or Grampa Simpson yelling aimlessly. NYC rallies’ efficacy is inversely proportional to the number of pussy hats, Audi SUVs or retired yuppies gnoshing at Nice Matin. You can take white flight suburbanite boomers out capitalist consumerist conditioned response… hang ON, it’s time for BRUNCH!
Harry Nydick / October 11, 2021
“Even our entertainment is rife with Pentagon and CIA influence.”
This has become so blatantly obvious. Aside from a couple of ‘reality’ shows and a number of annoying sitcoms on which I wouldn’t spend 5 seconds, virtually all of CBS’ prime-time US. program is related to war, crime-solving, police and related, such as that show ‘Bull,’ which is just what it’s title suggests. The funny thing is that CBS actually owns half of the CW network and much of the programming there is far more imaginative and entertaining than that broadcast of CBS’ own over-the-air network, even those dealing with similar topics as the main network. I still enjoy Survivor (for the psychological interplay) and The Amazing Race (for it’s international ‘visits – if and when it returns). Otherwise, there’s nothing else on CBS that I have the least interest in watching.
That;s not to say that the other networks are much better; they just hide it better and program what makes money for them and their right-wing causes. After all, in the battle between wealth and conservative causes, almost all media ownership opt for the money first and foremost.
As for the extreme in entertaining program, I am drawn to the episode that was the bitter end of my watching the now defunct show, Madame Secretary. It was the episode in which, the script had the female president, played by Tea Leone, discussing the horrendously dangerous, proposed trade pact, the TPP, as though it were already law.
AS for government pronouncements and behavior – regarding anything I see that I have not already personally fact checked – I remain totally skeptical until I am able to do as much research as is necessary for me to uncover the truth.
We in the U.S. may not be in the totalitarian society that Caity asserts, but we are not far from it, for we have been on a slow slide in that direction for several decades. The freedoms provided by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are no longer absolute. They are treated, by those with the real power, much like Halloween treats that we can’t wait to open, but that prove to be nearly worthless when unwrapped.
Like George Carlin said to the american public, some years ago, “You have no rights. You have temporary privileges.”
J. Rockhill / October 14, 2021
Perry Mason was on CBS TV long ago and it was good for us. It may all have been formulaic, but it taught us (or tried to do so) that the cops were ALWAYS wrong and the DA had no qualms about convicting an innocent person to send them to their death, so we should remain skeptical of pronouncements by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors until we see all the evidence and try out differing narratives. Lesson learned here, but many of our generation have forgotten that lesson. Unfortunately, many of my peers turned into their parents.
You cite the ubiquity of war, crime-solving, police and related programs on CBS prime time. I haven’t watched the current crop, but back when I consumed some of that garbage, in the modern milieu, the cops were always right. On the C.S.I. franchise in particular, I recall that even if the cops are initially mistaken, they have the right suspect for the wrong reason. In war, the main characters are always the good guys, I take it?
BeliTsari / October 15, 2021
My (CA, Hippy) partner’s gone from “Mare of Eastown” to “American Rust” interspersed with 874 different “tough, substance abusing, midlife crisis, generally female detective: mostly Nord Noir (HELP me!) Both US cops are in PA. Jeff, in Cancer Valley, Frackistan, my hometown (where they shot Justified, since Kentucky wasn’t SCARY redneck, enough!) I’m simply LOVING, this astute hardboiled doper ex-Pittsburgh detective has NO idea what Fentanyl looks like? More jagoffs die of opioids than Philly, Baltimore & NYC combined. In a town that murdered it’s football team with a Coke Mill and looked like Mordor in the good old days, the stereotypes are blatant as the colorization. Popo are tough, supernaturally perceptive, world-weary & fucked-up but honest and fastideous and self-sacrificing and RIGHT! He’s yet to up and shoot any black kid 38 times with a Glock 18, so what’s the problem if poor folks are all being red-lined out of their bulldozed neighborhoods, amidst the well-pads, crackers and OathKeeper, III% and Boogaloo Boi nazi cops?
J. Rockhill / October 17, 2021
I’m kinda of glad that I have no idea of what you are writing about, except that I did see a couple of episodes of Justified because my spouse insisted it was so well done.
BeliTsari / October 17, 2021
Authoritarian 0.01% fascist propaganda: BAD?
BeliTsari / October 11, 2021
We’d used Cognitive Dissonance© an awful LOT, back when it was my fellow rustbelt rednecks all fetching up .223 ZMax JHP, Slurpees & Fentanyl in MossyOak Snuggies? I’d driven to MS, LA, AL, MS, TL, TX & KY directly from ZOG Central and it was LOTS less scary wearing my Angela Davis For President t-shirt in B’Ham than Manhattan’s UWS when Hillary lost (I believe Michael Moore & I were the onliest two goyim, who’d spent Monday, adjusting our equities’ portfolios (Trump didn’t know SHIT about Fracking, PHEVs, PhARMA or GE Monoculture!) This last few years was kinda a cross between Shawn Of The Dead, I Am Legend, Being There, and that HORRIBLE Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake (where Donald Sutherland it howing and pointing at US?) I’m wondering if CAPTCHA still thinks I’m a ROBOT?
Paul Citro / October 11, 2021
When our government and military use every dirty trick possible and commit every atrocity imaginable one has to ask; What cause are they fighting for? What good do they hold dear when they have allowed themselves to become monsters without conscience?
pasha / October 11, 2021
Newton E. Finn / October 11, 2021
Yes. As Jesus reportedly told us, there are only two gods, and we will, whether we like it or not, wind up serving one or the other. Such, he indicated, is how we’re made, and has not history born him out?
Dennis Field / October 11, 2021
Just 2 conspiratorial speculations/observations don’t have anywhere else to put:
1) That ‘what the color is the dress’ meme (from 10 years ago now?) is troubling because it either showed that people can view the same exact thing differently or that you could serve two different images to people and as long as there was an ostensible reason for the difference, people would except inconsistent narratives. If one was doing psyop research what wouldn’t it look a bit like that viral moment?
2) Given social media’s role in the Arab Spring, which I admittedly know nothing beyond the surface about it, one would expect social media to drive a lot more revolutions. It hasn’t. Its a Fermi Paradox like phenomenon that warrants thought as to why there hasn’t been more, with theories that are just as ominous as Fermi’s one.
Thats all. Not sure that goes anywhere but wanted to share.
Ishkabibble / October 11, 2021
If you — a US voter — do not want More Of The Same that has happened after every election in the past, do not vote for another R or D, ever!, no matter what an R or D promises!
Christoph / October 11, 2021
In nature, control over resources is among the most important issues for beings. Mostly it is for food and procreation options (even for plants) but looking at our pets it is also something like the attention we give them, that may be worth fighting for.
The important thing is: It is NOT the resource itself but the control over who gets it, that resembles power.
Under british rule the Hongkong horse racng club was the most powerful entity in the city, although they were not allowed to amass money, but they got to decide where said money went and it was this power, that actually governed Hongkong.
I think, that maybe we might be able to spread the idea, that it is more important to control the resources (money, food, information,…) than possessing those resources, since it is built in our genetic code to understand this mechnism. Control needs to be socialised (not democratised that is an important difference). I imagine going from there we might achieve some change.
Johnny / October 11, 2021
Jiddu Krishnamurti called it ‘conditioning’
‘When you struggle against disturbance, or defend yourself against outer or inner threat, you know you are conditioned’
We are conditioned from birth by our parents, teachers, religion, the media, our friends, lovers and even our children.
Thoughtlessness, self observation or non judgemental awareness offer freedom.
‘Without freedom from conditioning, humanity will always remain a prisoner and life will remain a battlefield’
Anna / October 11, 2021
The Left continue to reap what they’ve sown:
John Knox / October 13, 2021
How is that the left’s fault? That’s like blaming slaves for slavery!
jerry fischer / October 11, 2021
https://youtu.be/-rkKeUQimAY the swimming pool q’s from World War Two Point Five.
The Rising Sun
Took my boy away
I still remember
His blonde hair tossed
The President’s letter
. . .
Build me a tower
And name it after him
Build me a tower
And sing a battle hymn
. . .
Light my lantern
Climb the stairs
Wave my hammer
Taunt the stars
That took my boy away
The Swimming Pool Q’s were a pioneering new wave band and very popular in Atlanta GA in the 1980s.
jerry fischer / October 11, 2021
Please decipher what to make of this + 9 Comments Can you verify / debunk? i am confused…
Dr. Peter McCullough’s Stunning Talk and More
In one corner of the ring, we have courage. In the opposite corner of the ring, mainstream journalism.
This story is yet another collection of striking and moving things. Also ironic things. And as it usually goes, in my head I am writing a couple of long-form essays but the news shows up, and here we go.
First off, here is a phenomenal talk by Dr. Peter McCullough.
Most of us probably know who Dr. McCullough is—but if anyone wants more detail, here is his CV, included in his Affidavit—and the Affidavit is for Aaron Kheriaty’s lawsuit.
The talk is about an hour long and worth every minute.
What I see is a conscientious human being who has achieved great mainstream prominence in the field medicine, who loves his patients, who has been working tirelessly treating COVID patients—and who somewhere along the way was faced with the crazy realization that things were no longer “normal” from any standpoint: be it public health, individual health, doctor / patient relationship, or the actions of the regulatory agencies.
Thus, in his talk, Dr. McCullough concludes: “We are in a free fall of a lawless state.”
The illustration below is from Dr. McCullough’s presentation. It addresses the production of spike proteins.
What Dr. McCullough refers to is the following: In the advertised scenario for the product, the product was supposed to tell the cells close to the injection site to produce the spikes, with the “production line” limited to the injection site—and so the body would make antibodies, and hooray. However, it has since been discovered (or perhaps revealed) that the “production line” was not limited to the injection site at all, that the “factory” could run amok forcing the cells all over to body to grow spikes—which, in turn, were discovered (or perhaps revealed) to be dangerously toxic in their own right—and that it was impossible to predict or control the location or the amount of spikes grown. As a result, different people’s bodies reacted to the product differently, producing a wide range of responses and an overall large amount of short-term adverse events (with long-term effects still unknown).
So that’s the context for the technical slide below.
And here is the quote that goes with the slide: “By itself it’s a deadly protein. It’s a deadly protein It’s the first time in human medicine where we are injecting the vaccines and asking the human body to make a potentially lethal protein.
Another phenomenal work. It is an essay by Charles Eisenstein called, “The Rehearsal is Over.” It is breathtakingly good and extremely appropriate for the moment.
Wills Flowers / October 11, 2021
Sounds like we could have a great opportunity to learn their cognitive warfare techniques and then use it on them.
However, Max’s article gives no real details; the quoted material kind of smells like a bunch of private contractors making sales pitches to their military sugar daddies.
Oh, and how did Canada do in Afghanistan with their fancy new cognitive war techniques? Any big wins?
Douglas Wayne / October 11, 2021
Yes, the war for hearts and minds in Afghanistan was a spectacular defeat for the neocons and CIA. Cognitive warfare tech has not been so successful in other arenas either: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, etcetera and so on. Reality tends to rudely intrude on cult charlatans’ conjured illusions.
Unfortunately, they’ve been more successful with the US flock to date, but even that may be be fragmenting too. The Afghanistan debacle is part of that, so is the shaky biowar.
Victor G. / October 13, 2021
Actually, the War on Terror with Afghanistan as the centerpiece was a spectacular victory … KA-CHING!
Hearts and minds my ass …
Bruce Gallie / October 11, 2021
and who controls the propagandists – Vanguard, Blackrock and State Street. And who owns them? The top international banks connected by an unmentionable bunch set on running the world
BeliTsari / October 11, 2021
I’m curious to see just how we’ll attempt to inform ourselves, now? We’d known we’d been infected, 18 months back (five dear friends were all infected, working SICK over 70, in mills & scared!) We’d remembered use of Quercetin, D3, C, NPRT nitric oxide precursors and zinc on other coronavirus and tried to do usable research? Google SEOs you to Amazon. WHO, CCD, Cuomo, Trump, de Blaaio and complicit media were simply lying their asses off, “just go on about your lives, as NORMAL, uppity essentials! We control the vertical!
Paul Rackemann / October 11, 2021
Caitlin, I haven’t read this thoroughly yet, but I think that if you understand that, you are on the right side of perhaps the most important divide.
chz / October 11, 2021
“Here are Bernays’ actual words:
“The need for invisible government has been increasingly demonstrated, the technical means have been invented and developed by which public opinion may be regimented.”
The next important contention was that the critical pollution of language necessary to make this work was already in use:
“We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. We are dominated by a relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public.”
Finally, Bernays attempts to provide a “moral” justification for proceeding as he suggests:
“The conscious manipulation of organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. “
VF / October 11, 2021
In other words he was saying that a truly “democratic society” actually requires a small elite manipulating every cognitive process of the public’s brain and mind. Democracy for Bernays literally meant full spectrum cognitive totalitarianism. And it’s almost been fully achieved. 1984 on steroids or bust.
BeliTsari / October 11, 2021
Democracy: whomever has the best, most brazen & LOUDEST sales pitch, sells the most delided, indentured marks to EZ Credit/ Paycheck Loan predators? Ford vs Chevy, both selling 1922 technology under shiny new sheet-metal (after bulldozing “urban” business districts and pulling up streetcar tracks). We’ve been the product for so long, to petit bourgeois white-flight suburbanites, of “both” parties, everything else is Communism