Sunday, October 7, 2007

Z Mag: Delivery Techniques of Patriotized History

From: Z Magazine Online, October 2007 Volume 20 Number 10

By Dave Brichoux

Rather than telling the truth about U.S. actions in other people’s countries, mainstream media present us with a false picture, a patriotized history. In this imaginary world, U.S. actions have the same five characteristics regardless of place or time. They are:

  • self-sacrificing (not for selfish U.S. interests)
  • benevolent (intended to help the people of the target country)
  • self-defensive (never aggressive)
  • freedom-pushing (trying to force others to be democracies)
  • legal (possessed of legitimate authority)

We can call these five the core myths of patriotized history. Events and facts from real history that show U.S. behavior as opposite to these five myths get removed or redefined as their own opposites, so that the message, the meaning conveyed by the texts, always conforms to them.

One reason patriotized history is so powerful is that it is rarely delivered directly. A lie is most vulnerable when it is held up for examination as an explicit claim. This encourages listeners to consider whether they agree or not, whether they know enough to agree or disagree, and even to do some research and find out the facts. By contrast, if the lie is slipped into the conversation as if it were something we all already know to be true and agree upon as a matter of course, it is likely to go unchallenged. It is even more convincing if it is the implied, but unspoken message. Strongest of all is if it is implied in the negative, by its absence.

Message Stated As A Claim

Consider the following text: “This is no different than if a police officer in this country is shot at…. You would take into custody the person doing the shooting,” said Maj. Ralph Mills, a spokesperson for the U.S. Central Command (Craig Gordon, “U.S. Admits Raid Went Awry,” Newsday, February 7, 2002).

The message here is that the U.S. military in Afghanistan is the legitimate authority, like a police force at home in its own country; the patriotic change here is an authority shift. But by stating it directly as a claim, Mills foolishly encourages us to evaluate it and to think about whether we would agree that Afghan troops occupying our country and shooting us if we resisted should be seen as legitimate an authority as our own police (whose bosses we can unelect), or whether we would consider them criminals. Because it encourages us to question the authority shift by presenting it directly as a claim, this is the weakest sort of delivery technique there is; a mainstream media editor would be unlikely to make this sort of mistake. (Note that the message is weaker because it is presented by a member of the U.S. government and as part of a justification for U.S. behavior. It would have been far stronger presented in a critique by someone who wasn’t part of the U.S. government.)

Message Stated As If We
Already Knew It

Other techniques present the message to us as if it were something we already knew to be true: “The great supporters of human rights during the Cold War now quite readily either roll them back in their own countries or encourage others to do so and turn a blind eye” said Irene Khan, Amnesty International’s secretary general. (Jane Wardell, “Int’l Rights Group Slams U.S.; Amnesty International: U.S. War On Terror Has Heightened Insecurity,” CBS News, May 28 2003).

The article says Khan is talking about the U.S. and Britain, so the patriotic message here is that during the Cold War, the U.S. was a supporter of human rights. This is a standard U.S. act removal. It is stated directly, but not as a claim. Instead, it is treated as if it were something we already knew to be true. This makes it stronger and less likely to be examined than if it were presented as a claim.

In unpatriotized history, of course, the U.S. was a great enemy of human rights during the Cold War; it overthrew democratic regimes with relatively good human rights records, replaced them with the world’s most horrible dictatorships, supported dictators who tortured huge numbers of people all over the world for decades, and did a lot of torturing itself. It used sexual torture, especially administering electric shocks to the genitals, common practice for U.S. soldiers interrogating the people of South Vietnam. It also used slivers under the fingernails, pushing people out of helicopters to their deaths, imprisonment in tiny cages or barbed wire coffins so small that the prisoners couldn’t move without puncturing themselves, and many other techniques. These are documented by the U.S. troops who did them. U.S. support for its client torturers is also documented by Amnesty International. But there is no way a reader of this text could ever get this impression, given the way the message is expressed. The message is also much stronger because it is presented in a criticism of U.S. foreign policy.

The title of the article above uses the same technique when it refers to the “U.S. War On Terror.” Put this way, the text makes it appear as if we all understood already that the U.S. opposes terror as a method, something that is manifestly false.

Consider the following discussion question presented by PBS: “Join the discussion: Are U.S. efforts to bring democracy to Iraq ill-conceived? Or is it a mission vital to America’s national interests? What should the U.S. mission in Iraq be?” (PBS, “Frontline,” February 12, 2004).

The message of this text is that the U.S. is trying to bring democracy to Iraq, an obvious falsehood and a reversal of the definition of democracy. Democracy (in unpatriotized definitions) says that the citizens rule and have the power to remove, in elections, those who wield the power of life and death over them. The U.S. is killing the citizens of Iraq, the very people that democracy says are to be the rulers. It is also controlling Iraqi skies, spying on the citizens with remote-controlled drones, targeting those who resist U.S. domination, and trying to establish mechanisms of future U.S. domination of Iraq, including U.S. client status for “Iraqi” military and police whose job will be to target “insurgents” (i.e. Iraqis) rather than to defend Iraq from foreign powers, such as the U.S. No one is talking about allowing Iraqis to vote and run in elections for the U.S. government, despite the fact that democracy says these U.S. actions give them that right—and this is just counting the evidence that is openly available in the very sources that claim this is democratization.

Despite all of the obvious evidence to the contrary, the text establishes the idea that the U.S. is trying to bring democracy to Iraq as the basis for discussion, as the fundamental “truth” that all sides are expected to agree upon before they start arguing (about other things). Noam Chomsky’s observation comes to mind: “Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns” (Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions, South End Press, 1989).

Message Directly Implied, But Unstated

An even stronger delivery technique is when the message is not stated at all, but is directly implied by the text: “The Israelis consider the area a Jerusalem suburb and Palestinians consider it occupied territory” (Mike Hanna and Andrea Koppel, “Palestinians, Israelis trade attacks; tanks sent to West Bank,” CNN, July 19, 2001).

The authority shift here is unstated, but directly implied: if it is a Jerusalem suburb, then it isn’t occupied territory. The text implies that even the Palestinians think this. In other words, Jerusalem belongs to Israel and not to the Palestinians. This sort of delivery places the lie in the same “already understood to be true” category as the Amnesty and PBS quotes above do, but it goes them one better by making the lie itself unstated, although it is implied.

There are many similar examples. Often the message is not implied according to the rules of formal logic, which say that just because A implies B, it does not follow that not-A implies not-B. But in English, the implication is often there. Consider the following authority shifts:

  • “Hundreds of other Iraqis have been seized since the war, often, according to critics, on flimsy suspicion, and held for long periods without charge, usually without their families knowing for weeks where they are” (Jonathan Steele, “Red Cross ultimatum to U.S. on Saddam,” the Guardian, June 14, 2004).
  • “The United States is investigating whether the estimated 18 people killed during the Special Forces raid included friendly forces…. Karzai told the Washington Post this week he believes the United States did kill some innocents in the raid” (Craig Gordon, “U.S. Admits Raid Went Awry,” Newsday, February 7, 2002).
  • “Although there is no official death toll of civilians in the war in Afghanistan and its aftermath, the human-rights group Global Exchange surveyed 11 provinces last year and determined that at least 800 innocent people had been killed” (Kim Barker, “Errant U.S. bomb kills 11 in family,” Chicago Tribune, April 10, 2003).

The message of all the above quotes is the same. If these citizens really were fighting the U.S. conquests of their countries, that would be a crime, and the U.S. would be committing no crime by capturing or killing them. The minute U.S. troops enter another country, the non- friendly citizens become non-innocent and the U.S. automatically has the authority to capture or kill them and the U.S. crime becomes the standard of legality. The power of this sort of message is also increased because it is often delivered in criticism of the U.S.

The four examples above all establish a practice as normal by saying that the U.S. (Israel, in one case) might have gone beyond it. (Has Israel taken something that was not part of Jerusalem? Has the U.S. captured or killed people who were not resisting the U.S. domination of their country?) By talking about going beyond it, the text makes the practice, which is actually a violation of standard norms, appear as the standard of ordinariness. Israel’s possession of Jerusalem, the U.S. killing or capturing of citizens who resist it in Afghanistan and Iraq now becomes the background norm because the text highlights the question of whether the U.S. (or Israel) might have violated it.

Omission Techniques

The strongest delivery techniques of all are those that rely upon complete omission. In these techniques, the message is delivered not by direct statement and not even by direct implication, but by the absence of the myth-violating events in presentations.

It is possible to omit an event in a way that not only keeps the reader’s attention off of it as a possibility, but also manages to imply that it could never have happened. This is done by discussing a topic in a way that points directly at the spot where the event would have to have been shown if it had happened and then not mentioning it. Consider the introduction to a Newsweek story on the question of U.S. torture since 2001: “Interrogators have pondered the uses of torture for centuries. During the Spanish Inquisition 500 years ago, priests obtained the desired results by placing infidels on the rack but had less success with sleep deprivation, which, after three or four days, seemed only to induce hallucinations. Torture still works to extract the truth in the movies and on TV shows like the popular ‘24,’ but not in real life, say the experts. A prisoner who has his fingernails pulled out or his genitals shocked will say (and make up) anything to make the pain stop.

“Real-world choices are less black and white. Less violent but still coercive techniques can sometimes be effective. These ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques, like placing a smelly hood over a prisoner and making him stand or squat naked for hours in a cold and dark room, are called ‘torture lite.’ In modern times, these tactics have been used by British intelligence to unravel the command structure of the IRA and by the Israelis to stop Palestinian suicide bombers.

“Since 9/11, torture lite has been used by the Americans in the war on terror” (Thomas, Evan and Michael Hirsh, “The Debate Over Torture,” Newsweek, November 21, 2005).

The message here is that the U.S. didn’t practice or support the sort of torture “heavy” (not “lite”) that it did in places like South Vietnam and that it supported all over the world. The text points right at the spot where such information should have been mentioned if it were true, by mentioning the exact torture methods favored by the U.S. and by doing so in the context of an article about U.S. torture. But then it doesn’t mention the fact that the U.S. did this, thus implying that it didn’t. The information is so directly relevant at this point that the only way it could be unmentioned is if it never happened. But it did happen. I call this technique “denial by omission” and consider it quite powerful because it manages to thoroughly deny the truth without focusing the reader’s attention on the denial, thus avoiding the questioning and fact-checking that denials ordinarily invite.

Another example of this technique was provided by TV Guide during the 2003 conquest of Iraq. In an article on how to “help you help your kids understand” the war, TV Guide offered the advice of Dr. Stuart Goldman, who suggested that children be told “something along these lines” when they ask, “Why are we at war?” “When a country or the rulers of the country break big rules and hurt a lot of people and won’t stop, even though other people try to get them to stop, sometimes a country will send their soldiers in to force those bad people to follow the rules. Nobody wants to do it, but sometimes it’s needed to make the world safe for everybody” (Mark Lasswell, “Kids & the Television War,” TV Guide, April 12-18, 2003).

By speaking about “break[ing] big rules,” and “hurt[ing] a lot of people,” this text points right at the place where mention would (in un- patriotized speech) have been made of the fact that the U.S. was now and had been breaking the big rules. It had used the UN inspections in Iraq as cover for illegal activities (gathering information to use in overthrowing the government rather than disarmament), supported a coup attempt (foiled by the Iraqi government), repeatedly misled the inspectors, supported al Wifaq blowing things up in Iraq, attacked Iraq repeatedly without even the permission of the absurdly subservient UNSC, and openly declared that the sanctions would not be lifted (regardless of Iraqi compliance) without regime change in Iraq—and of course the current invasion was itself very illegal. As far as hurting a lot of people goes, most relevant are the sanctions themselves, maintained due to U.S. pressure, and the hundreds of thousands of deaths they caused. Yet the text doesn’t mention these facts, thus implying that they could not be true, since the context points right at them.

Consider the following excerpt from an article about Guatemala: “President Bush is scheduled to visit next week, and American diplomats say the lack of public security here is near the top of his agenda…. The squads of rogue officers, human rights experts and others say, are in a sense an outgrowth of Guatemala’s long internal conflict. Some former military officers who came of age during the bloody counterinsurgency operations of the 1980’s are members of the new rogue squads, according to human rights experts and opposition politicians…[engaged in] the old practices of assassination and terrorism….

“Erwin Sperisen, the national police chief…said, he has not been able to purge the 19,000-member force of officers who came from the two main police forces that controlled the country during the civil war and were schooled in torture and assassination.

“‘One has to break with this kind of schooling,’ he said” (James C. McKinley, Jr., “In Guatemala, Officers’ Killings Echo Dirty War,” New York Times, March 5, 2007).

No reader of this article would get the impression that it was the U.S. that overthrew democracy there and set up the dictatorships and supported the terrorist death squad governments because it wanted them to kill the people they were killing. Given the fact that the text does mention the U.S. and its alleged desire for “security,” and also, given that the article speaks quite pointedly about the current situation being a result of the past history, this text constitutes a denial by omission. It isn’t really possible for a reader to believe that the U.S. could be responsible for all this and yet not be mentioned in this context.

Omission also works when the text doesn’t point so directly at the place where the omitted fact would belong: “Despite a turbulent political history, Indonesians finished voting in their first direct election for president early Monday afternoon with no reports of election violence” (“Briefly: Indonesia; Voters Oust President,” Lawrence Journal-World, September 21, 2004).

This text never mentions the U.S. role in helping to shut down democracy in Indonesia 48 years earlier, in supporting the killers and feeding them names during the massacre of 500,000 Indonesians 7 years later, or in supporting the resulting Suharto dictatorship for 3 decades. It doesn’t quite force the implication that these events could never have happened, however, so we can’t really call it denial by omission. The effect is still the nonexistence of the facts in the reader’s mind, however. Readers exposed to such texts would never learn that these things happened. I call this simple omission. It is very common and has powerful results; most of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War is hidden this way, by simply not talking or writing about it.

One reason the system of patriotic lies about history has managed to take hold so strongly is because its falsehoods are presented in indirect ways, rather than as explicit claims to be evaluated. Why they are presented in these ways is an open question. Sometimes it seems fairly deliberate. Consider the many denials-by-omission about U.S. support for Saddam Hussein prior to 1990. This support is well known by the media, so we might assume its omission from many stories is deliberate. But other lies may at times be presented as truths because this is how those who tell them experience them, due to the unquestioned and unquestionable nature of the five core myths. This seems likely to be the case with redefinitions of concepts like democracy.

As Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky point out, the “system of presuppositions and principles that constitute an elite consensus [is] a system so powerful as to be internalized largely without awareness” (Manufacturing Consent).

Uultimately, understanding why the media mislead us is not as important as understanding how they do so and how reality differs from what they tell us.

Dave Brichoux is co-creator (with his brother, Jon) of a website for the analysis of U.S. foreign policy propaganda, He works as a part-time lecturer in political science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

[ Link ]

The free enterprise propaganda drive

The Role of ‘Economic Education’ in Achieving Capitalist Hegemony

Free enterprise has become the prevailing idea of our times, an idea without serious rival although not without critics. During the 20th Century business coalitions conducted two major propaganda campaigns to promote free enterprise using the media, and every other communications venue available including school education. - Sharon Beder

By Sharon Beder

"The use of school education to teach children to appreciate the free enterprise system was carefully thought out and a conscious strategy to win people over at an early and impressionable age."

Free enterprise has become the prevailing idea of our times, an idea without serious rival although not without critics. During the 20th Century business coalitions conducted two major propaganda campaigns to promote free enterprise using the media, and every other communications venue available including school education.

The first campaign occurred after the Second World War when American business interests felt threatened by government intervention and controls on the one hand, and union activity on the other. They responded with a massive 'economic education' program, aimed at the public, school students and employees, which taught the fundamentals of free enterprise economics. Business values, such as the rewards of hard work and enterprise and the benefits of capitalism were equated with patriotism and American values.

A similar media and school-based campaign was undertaken when capitalism came under attack during the late 1960s and early 1970s when a proliferation of public interest groups challenged the authority of business and sought government controls over business activities. This time the campaign spread to Australia and other nations.

Antonio Gramsci used the term ‘hegemony’ to describe the phenomenon by which the majority of people accept the values and political axioms that ensure their own subordination to the ruling elite. Elites reinforce this hegemony through social conditioning, aided by leading social institutions, as well as by rejecting and marginalising those who propose radical change. They promote the virtues of the existing system and denigrate alternatives as unworkable, disastrous, undesirable.

Nowhere has more effort been put into creating a capitalist free market hegemony than in the US, where advocates of free markets have sought to identify every major institution with free enterprise. The free market “remains the sacred cow of American politics and has become identified with America’s claim to be a model for a universal civilization.” [1] However this hegemony is not stable and requires constant reinforcement. The proliferation of corporate propaganda during the 20th Century shows that ideology has played a vital role in supporting and legitimising capitalism.

The capitalist system has undergone several periods during which its legitimacy has been questioned. Business people have responded each time with propaganda and public relations efforts to regain their legitimacy. This paper focuses on two of those periods: following the Second World War when government controls, economic planning, and the public provision of welfare protection had been shown to be effective; and during the late 1960s and early 1970s when the counter-culture movement brought with it a proliferation of public interest groups, including environmental and consumer groups, that challenged the authority of business and sought government controls over business activities.

Countering Government Regulation and the Unions
In the immediate post war period, key business organisations in the US were concerned about government intervention and controls on the one hand, and union activity on the other. Proposals for further government intervention included price controls, a rising minimum wage, expanded unemployment insurance and tax reforms. Unions were active and in some cases demanding not just improved pay and conditions, income security and full employment through government spending, but also a say in corporate decisions in areas such as pricing and investment.

Polls generally confirmed business fears that the public did not believe in the free enterprise system as wholeheartedly as business would wish. Although most people were in favour of private ownership and thought well of large corporations, a majority also thought that most businessmen did not have the good of the nation in mind when they made their decisions and therefore government oversight was necessary. Many believed that businesses made huge profits and, business leaders felt, few understood the relationship between profits and investment.

Business sought to deal with these threats by selling free enterprise on the basis that “if you control public opinion you have the government in your hand and labor behind the eight ball.” [2] Public relations consultants, eager for business, promoted the need for their services. Large amounts of money were spent on lobbying, institutional advertising, philanthropy, research sponsorship and other public relations activities. But the core of their efforts was ‘economic education’, that is, the selling of free enterprise.

In her history of this period, Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, explains how business groups countered the perceived trend towards socialism:

The business community... set out to build an agreement around an alternative agenda. In doing so, it sought not only to recast the political economy of post-war America but also to reshape the ideas, images, and attitudes through which Americans understood their world. Employers wanted support for the belief that economic decisions should be made in corporate boardrooms, not in legislative chambers. [3]

Corporations, and the PR people hired by them, identified business interests with national interest and “the traditional American free-enterprise system with social harmony, freedom, democracy, the family, the church, and patriotism” whilst they identified “all government regulation of the affairs of business, and all liberals who supported such ‘interference’, with communism and subversion.” [4]

Henry Link, head of the polling company Psychological Corporation, argued at the time that what was needed to restore the legitimacy of business and prevent the interference of government was “a transfer in emphasis from free enterprise to the freedom of all individuals under free enterprise; from capitalism to the much broader concept: Americanism.” [5]

What followed was “the most intensive ‘sales’ campaign in the history of the industry” according to Daniel Bell, then editor of Fortune magazine. What was being sold was free market dogma, and the full weight of business resources were poured into it: “The apparatus itself is prodigious: 1,600 business periodicals, 577 commercial and financial digests, 2,500 advertising agencies, 500 public relations counsellors, 4,000 corporate public relations departments and more than 6,500 ‘house organs’ with a combined circulation of more than 70 million.” [6]

The Ad Council Campaign
In 1947 the Ad Council launched a nationwide public ‘education’ campaign to sell the free enterprise system to the American people. It received “unprecedented amounts of money” from business toward the $100 million economic education campaign “to ‘sell’ the American economic system” to the public, including large donations from General Foods, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Johnson and Johnson, Procter and Gamble, Goodrich, and Republic Steel. [7]

In this campaign the free market was described as “the most democratic institution ever devised by man—whereby all the people decide every day what goods and services are to be produced and in what quantities, making their decisions by establishing the prices they are willing to pay”. Competition was depicted as constantly forcing “the seller to keep improving the goods and services he offers”. [8]

Ironically the individualist message of competition and self interest was sold through a campaign that sought to promote industrial harmony and the idea that we should all cooperate and work together to protect the system and achieve the prosperity it promised. The campaign argued that increased production could be achieved through mechanisation, better efficiency and the cooperation of workers and management.

In the first two years of the Ad Council campaign, 600 pages of ads were published at no cost, newspapers printed 13 million of lines of advertising for free, 8,000 billboards were erected, and radio messages were broadcast into “almost every home in America”. The advertisements offered a free pamphlet “The Miracle of America” and 1.5 million copies of this were distributed by 1950. Many more had been reprinted in magazines and company publications. [9] By the end of 1949, the Advertising Council’s campaign had blanketed the country with over 500 advertisements in national magazines, newspaper supplements and business publications, 8,000 newspaper advertisements, 6,000 outdoor posters and messages carried by almost all the network radio programs resulting in more than 2 billion “listener impressions”. [10]

The campaign was based on the assumption that if Americans were taught to think correctly about the free enterprise system then they would approve of business activities and not call for government regulation of them. Organisations such as the Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) did studies to prove that Americans were ignorant of economics and the fundamentals of the American economic system and needed economic ‘education’. However these studies were essentially surveys of how strongly business values were held in the community as can been in the sample of questions below. The ‘correct’ answers are shown in red: [11]

On the whole, workers make more money today than they did thirty years ago.

( ) But they are worse off because prices have gone up
( ) They are a little better off, but not much
( ) They are about 25% better off
( ) They are about 75% better off

Money invested in new machinery and equipment has increased output. The workers have got some of the increase but the larger share has gone to the owners.

( ) I agree
( ) I disagree

The wealth of this country is becoming more and more concentrated in the hands of the wealthiest 10% of the families.

( ) True
( ) False

Consumers don’t have much influence on prices. Companies set the price and the customer has to pay it.

( ) I agree
( ) I disagree

Clearly such questions merely tested the degree to which high school students’ opinions coincided with those of business people and conservative ideologues. Many students erroneously thought that owners got too much profit and gained most from new machinery. Worst of all, from a business point of view, over half of the students agreed with the Marxist statement: “The fairest economic system is one that ‘takes from each according to his ability’ and gives to each ‘according to his needs’.” This was even though most teachers disagreed with the statement. The failure of students “to see through this Marxist doctrine” was taken to be evidence of “how little high school seniors comprehend the fundamentals of our system.” [12]

It was economic ignorance, ORC claimed, that led to an anti-business bias. Thus, corrective education and propaganda was necessary and was aimed at schools, universities, company employees and also the public in general. The ORC also argued that corrective education and propaganda was necessary to undermine the faith of the community in government and regulation:

The stress our high schools place on American history and government leads teenagers to believe that a government directed economy, since it operates for the benefit of all, will best assure social and economic justice...

Young people’s support for enlarging the role of government in our lives is not likely to change without economics instruction. [13]

The ORC argued that “ignorance and lack of understanding of how the business system works go hand in hand with a willingness to vote for measures that undermine the system.” Clearly it was best to correct such ignorance at school. School children, it found, were more likely to view regulation of business and government control of prices favourably but this could be corrected with simple ‘education’. [14]

School Economics Education
Businesses became very active in promoting free enterprise values in schools. The use of school education to teach children to appreciate the free enterprise system was carefully thought out and a conscious strategy to win people over at an early and impressionable age.

A number of individual corporations developed educational materials to this end. For example, Coca-Cola prepared and distributed eight units of curriculum material on “Our America” to some 30 million primary school children. International Harvester and the American Petroleum Institute sponsored educational materials on the development of the US economy produced by an advertising agency and distributed them for free. General Mills decided that even primary school students were not too young to be taught free market economics and it sponsored materials such as silk-screen panels telling the story of marketing bread; film strips; and a comic book on “Freedom of Choice”. [15]

Other companies pumping materials into schools—texts, filmstrips, teaching kits, movies—included U.S. Steel, General Electric, General Motors, American Cyanamid, Standard Oil as well as many others. In fact one in five corporations did so. In 1954 corporations were supplying about $50 million worth of free materials to schools compared with an annual expenditure on regular textbooks in schools of $100 million. [16]

Individual corporations were not the only ones providing free market ‘educational’ materials for schools. There were also: [17]

1. Business, industry and trade associations of industry who sought to show the role of industry and its products in the economic system. Examples included the American Bankers Association, the American Iron & Steel Institute, the US Chamber of Commerce, the New York Stock Exchange, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the American Petroleum Institute and the Automobile Manufacturers, all of which supplied materials to elementary and/or secondary schools.

2. Organisations advancing a particular economic philosophy such as The American Economic Foundation, Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System, Freedoms Foundation and the National Education Program.

3. Organisations seeking to sell educational materials for a profit such as the Industrial Relations Center.

4. Organisations set up for the purpose of changing people’s understanding of economics such as the Joint Council on Economic Education and the Industrial Information Institute.

5. Think tanks and service organisations which concentrate on secondary schools and colleges such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Information on American and the National Foundation for Consumer Credit.

These organisations produced teaching aids and also teaching units consisting of printed materials, films, record sets, text books, activity books, teachers’ guides, wall charts, and tests. They also provided speakers, tours, awards programs and career conferences and programs for secondary school students and symposia, seminars, workshops and panel discussions for college students.

A 1951 study found that 89% of teachers surveyed used industry-sponsored materials in their classes. Another, a few years later, found that 77% of all films shown in schools surveyed were donated sponsored films. [18] The ORC found that same year that three quarters of social studies teachers reported receiving teaching aids from private corporations on the way business systems operate. Some described the material as “one-sided, biased, smacks of propaganda, never admits any faults in the system.” However, most teachers tended to have high regard for the capitalist, free enterprise system and social studies teachers were particularly open to receiving and using the corporate material. [19]

By the end of the 1950s the business point of view had become the accepted truth in many schools and students were, in the words of economics professor Daniel Fusfeld, “captives of the ideology of the right, ... indoctrinated” with the idea that an economy which was “free, competitive and individualistic” had to be maintained. [20]

Employee Economics Education
Whilst many corporations attempted to influence school education, many more directed ‘educational’ efforts at their employees, who were captive audiences. Ninety five percent of large companies surveyed in 1947 approved of the idea of employee education and in the following years many large corporations including Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Westinghouse, US Steel and DuPont developed educational programs for workers or supervisors. Nine million employees were put through ‘evangelical’ anti-union, anti-government courses of ‘economic education’ within a three year period. [21]

As with the general public it was assumed that undesirable worker attitudes towards business were related to their poor grasp of economic ‘principles’, in particular the following six economic principles:

1. Government control over production destroys free enterprise;

2. A man’s real job security depends on how good his company is in meeting competition;

3. Highest pay should go to those who produce most;

4. The consumer, rather than the company, sets the price;

5. Labor saving machinery makes jobs;

6. Stockholder and employee interests are allied. [22]

It was concluded from surveys that those who were ignorant of these economic principles were more likely to be dissatisfied at work and more likely to embrace “collectivist” proposals. They were also more likely to favour price controls, limits on profits, limits on salaries, government ownership and stronger unions than those who were ‘well-informed’. Company-based economics courses were therefore run to better inform workers and foremen so that they would have better attitudes towards business as well as more interest in company problems and working to solve them, “increased productivity, improved worker morale, and better citizenship”. The subjects most frequently covered in employee economic education courses were justifications for profits; the ideology of competition and how it ensures “the consumer is boss”; and the ‘proper’ and therefore limited role of government. [23]

A 1954 American Management Association (AMA) report found that employee education was carried out in almost all American industrial companies. It noted that some companies used the terms “propaganda” and “economic education” interchangeably and many were open about their wanting “to influence our people to think ‘right’” and wanting “to change their thinking”. Others were more circumspect, saying only that they wanted to present the pertinent “facts” so that employees could draw their own conclusions. [24]

An example of these employee education programmes was that offered by DuPont entitled “How Our Business System Operates” (HOBSO). It involved three 90 minute discussion sessions with groups of 20 employees on company time. The course taught ideology rather than economics or company operations and emphasised the achievements of free enterprise and the threat of socialism. It stressed the importance of profits and competition and economic freedom and attacked government controls. NAM adopted HOBSO and distributed it to other companies. It trained company personnel to use it and be discussion leaders. By the middle of the 1950s more than 500 firms had participated in training sessions on HOBSO and its successor HOBSO II. [25]

It was estimated that economic education programs and Ad Council advertising “reached, to a greater or lesser extent, about 70 per cent of the American population”. [26] This ‘economic education’ campaign largely succeeded in turning most Americans into free-market believers, suspicious that government interventions eroded individual freedom and invited socialism into their midst. By 1955 studies found that the community was much more supportive of industry. A majority of those surveyed agreed that the interest of employers and workers were the same and the vast majority of Americans said they approved of large corporations. They were now more concerned about Big Labour and Big Government than Big Business.

The earlier post-war business campaigns in the US were scaled down after President Eisenhower, a friend of business, was elected in 1952. However, this was not the last of the campaigns to assert business values and in the 1970s corporations again renewed their campaign to promote business values and policy goals.

Responding to the Counter-Culture Movement
During the 1970s, when confidence in free enterprise declined again, corporations became politically active, getting together to support a conservative anti-regulatory agenda and financing a vast public relations effort aimed at regaining public trust in corporate responsibility and freedom from government regulation. The Ad Council launched another major campaign to promote free enterprise in 1976. It was supported by so many major corporations that the Council boasted the list of supporters read like a “who’s who in American business”. It was also supported by the US Department of Commerce. [27]

The lengthy campaign in favour of free enterprise has been described as “the most elaborate and costly public-relations project in American history.” [28] The multimillion dollar campaign included media advertisements, dedicated newsletters, films, teaching materials and training kits, booklets, point of sale displays, messages on envelopes, and flyers included with bank statements, utility bills and insurance premium notices. The media contributed $40 million worth of free time and space to the campaign in the first two years. [29]

The unstated premise of the campaign, as before, was that if people were educated to view the free enterprise system as business people saw it they would appreciate and defend it rather than criticise it. In the lead up to the campaign, Compton Advertising undertook surveys of public attitudes to the economic system. The table below shows some of the questions that were asked with the ‘correct’ answers written in red.

Although the Compton survey found most people were in agreement with business values indicating that the earlier employee and school campaigns had been successful, the Ad Council believed that these positive attitudes needed to be more widespread and harnessed to ensure that people understood that protection of the economic system meant leaving it unregulated and unchanged.

The campaign juxtaposed personal, political and economic freedom, arguing that constraints on economic freedom were tantamount to reducing personal and political freedom and that those who sought to “intervene excessively in the play of market forces,” however well intentioned they might be, posed a major threat to those freedoms. Criticism of the economic system amounted to subversion of the political system. [30]

The campaign sought to get maximum distribution of a booklet on The American Economic System And Your Part in It. The booklet was in colour and illustrated with Peanuts cartoons. It described the economic system in simple, idealised terms. It promoted the idea that everyone not only had a stake in the economic system but also had a say in it. It argued that everyone helps to make decisions in the system—governments, producers and especially consumers: “the key role that really makes everything work is played by you, in your role as consumer.” Ordinary people also play a role as producers—“Workers are producers”—and as investors—“if you have a savings account, own life insurance, or are in a pension fund, you are helping to generate funds for investment purposes.” [31]

The booklet emphasised the importance of hard work and increasing productivity “if we are to maintain competitiveness in selling goods and services both at home and abroad”. It reinforced the need for consumers to spend their money buying goods to ensure the security of their jobs: “Remember when we buy less than our economy is producing, eventually production goes down and unemployment increases.” Naturally, it also defended the role of advertising: “Those who supply the best goods and services at the best prices generally will be the most successful. And it is through advertising that producers inform buyers about their goods and services....” [32]

The booklet was careful to downplay the amount of profits made by corporations. It did this by using averages of all businesses and arguing that the profits made by corporations were small compared to the aggregate income of all individuals. It emphasised that the economic system was responsible for the high standard of living in the US and that personal freedom was intimately connected with economic freedom.

The Ad Council distributed millions of copies of these booklets to schools, workplaces and communities – some 13 million by 1979. [33] According to the Council, advertisements for the booklets were sent to every media outlet and every magazine in the country. It was advertised free:

• on over 400 television stations;
• on over 1000 radio stations;
• in over 3000 daily and weekly newspapers;
• in over 400 business and consumer magazines;
• on thousands of counter cards in libraries, banks and stores;
• on over 110,000 transit cards in subways and other transport venues (over $25 million of measurable free time and space). [34]

The booklet was reproduced in full in over 100 newspapers and magazines. Over 1,800 companies, 1,300 schools and 500 organisations ordered bulk copies for employees, students and members. [35]

A second stage of the project, launched in 1977, involved a huge advertising campaign centred on the idea of an Economics Quotient (EQ) — an obvious reference to IQ. Advertisements asked “How high is your EQ?” or “Do your kids have a higher EQ than you?” and included quiz questions and answers so people could test themselves. The idea was to make people feel ignorant so that they would write away for the booklet, whilst at the same time making an ideological point. The “basic economic questions” in the advertisements included:

True or False:

In 1975, the investment in equipment and facilities averaged almost $41,000 for each production worker in American industry.
[Answer: true]

True or False:

If you have a savings account, own stock, bonds or life insurance, or are in a pension fund, you are an investor in the U.S. economy.
[Answer: true]

The Ad Council produced two more booklets that year, one on employment and one on inflation and these were also subject to mass distribution. Also a picture book version of the original booklet was prepared for “low-level readers” and children. [36]

The Council’s ‘economic education’ campaign was supplemented by the efforts of many individual corporations, trade associations and chambers of commerce. Some companies again offered their own employees economic ‘education’. Teacher education was also targeted by individual corporations because of the influence of teachers on millions of children.

Corporate sponsored classroom materials were also produced for the purpose of selling the free enterprise system to school children. Four million packages of Industry and the American Economy (an 11 booklet package), were distributed to students and teachers all over the nation. Corporate money also financed a television show on economics featuring a leading neoliberal economist, Milton Friedman, and another “In Search of the Real America” featuring a fellow from the conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute. [37]

Various oil companies got involved. Phillips Petroleum Company supported the production of a series of five films entitled “American enterprise” with an accompanying teachers guide. It cost $800,000 and reached over 8 million students. Amoco Oil Company also produced a 26 minute film and teachers guide to explain how the free enterprise system works. The Exxon Company got together with Walt Disney Educational Media Company to produce a 22 minute film for high school students about two children that go into business. [38]

The US Chamber of Commerce produced films, teaching materials and booklets on the economic system and a package entitled “Economics for Young Americans” that included film strips, audio cassettes, lesson plans and texts on productivity, profits and the environment. Local chambers of commerce also participated in the campaign. The National Education Program produced “full color animated cartoons”; flannel board presentations; a monthly newsletter; a weekly column for newspapers and trade publications; audio-taped and printed speeches; a Do-It-Yourself Materials Kit for organising a one-day forum; and a number of films on topics such as “A Look at Capitalism” and “The Spirit of Enterprise”. [39]

In the late 1970s US business was spending a billion dollars each year on propaganda of various sorts “aimed at persuading the American public that their interests were the same as business’s interests.” The result of all this expenditure showed in the polls when the percentage of people who thought that there was too much regulation soared to 60% in 1980 (up from 22% in 1975). [40]

By 1978 US business had “clearly regained the political initiative” and defeated many of the regulatory measures hard won by public interest activists. By 1986 27 states required some form of economics education in primary and/or secondary schools on the assumption that “popular misconceptions lead to bad policies”. [41]

Economic education spread from the US to other English speaking countries during the 1970s and 1980s. In Australia, after the election of the Labour government in 1972, the Australian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) reacted with a nationwide ‘economic education campaign’ to promote free enterprise.

ACC’s Economic Education programme was the “centre piece of our activities in public opinion forming about the role of business in the community, especially amongst the young” and, like the US campaigns, was in response to concern “at the widespread lack of understanding of economic facts of life by the general public”. ACC ran a series of essay competitions for students; surveyed and evaluated existing economics and commerce courses in Australian schools; and recommended changes to the Departments of Education in each state to ensure that students would learn the ‘correct’ view of how private enterprise works. [42]

ACC produced some 15 videos and films “for instructional use in schools” in cooperation with the Productivity Promotion Council of Australia, the Institute of Public Affairs (a conservative think tank), the Sydney Stock Exchange and “two of Australia’s major companies”. Its first series of videos, entitled “Business in the Community”, was on the contribution of companies and specific industries to the wellbeing of Australian society with an emphasis on the role of adequate profit in maintaining employment and economic growth. The ACC wanted to “counter the view that the only concern of business is profits”. [43]

The Departments of Education in each state agreed to use ACC materials and to include them in Department Resource Centres. The ACC also claimed “good relations with Teachers’ Associations throughout Australia”. It encouraged and facilitated city-based chambers of commerce to undertake their own educational programs. The ACC also produced a “Guide to Employee Economic Information Programmes” for employers to undertake economic education with their employees and distributed it to some 450 companies. [44]

Enterprise Australia (EA) was set up in 1976, as an offshoot of the Australian Free Enterprise Association (AFEA), which was established in response to perceived threats to free enterprise. AFEA’s initial funding came from CIG, Esso, Kodak, Ford Motors, and IBM. Keavney, CEO of EA, saw two main threats to free enterprise in Australia. One was the encroachment of government into “areas best left to the productive private sector” and the other “the widespread public misconceptions” about business such as the size of profits and who benefits from them. [45]

EA sought to show that private enterprise contributed to “Australia’s way of life” and standard of living and to “emphasise the dangers to our society of unnecessary regulations”. This was the message it spread to educational institutions, the media, small business and employees. EA’s schools and colleges programmes were “developed within schools systems in official association with Departments of Education” in each state. These included: [46]

• a core text book The World of Business in Australia (an adaptation of a Canadian text) with teachers guide, student’s workbook and audio-visual material;

• topic books for primary schools;

• a 22 module audio-visual course on economic concepts for secondary schools (“produced in cooperation with NSW Department of Education”);

• work experience programmes for teachers and for students; conferences for secondary school students; workshops for teachers;

• a magazine for teachers;

• a clearinghouse of industry-provided ‘educational’ materials for schools;

• and a programme in which business executives spent one or two weeks in schools.

EA also produced fifteen videos and films with titles such as “Profits, Advertising and The Market Economy”. [47]

Various teachers unions attacked EA materials as propaganda. Nevertheless the educational authorities seemed to welcome this material into schools, and EA was careful to get the endorsement of selected teachers, public servants, academics and politicians of both major parties. [48] After the Labour government was elected in 1983 Enterprise Australia continued to have government support, and Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s public endorsement.

Other organizations that actively sponsored economic education in Australia included the Australian Bankers Association, the Australian Mining Industry Council, the Australian Industries Development Association (later merged with the Business Roundtable to form the Business Council of Australia), the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and conservative think tanks such as the Centre for Economic Development in Australia (CEDA). They ran conferences and made presentations to teachers, business people and school students. [49]

By 1979 the proportion of people who thought the government should cut taxes rather than spend more on social services had increased to 59 percent compared to 26 percent in 1967. Similarly the percentage of people who thought unions had too much power had increased from 47 to 78. [50] Such a reversal of opinion was unusual and could be accredited to the onslaught of business propaganda.

The campaigns of the 1940s and 1970s prepared the populace for the neoliberal onslaught that was to follow. Economic education has now become mainstream. It is no longer an obvious expression of the campaign to sell free enterprise but rather is disguised as a means to give children and young adults the necessary economic knowledge to live successful lives and understand the world around them. Who could fault such a noble motive?

Nonetheless the groups that are pushing for economic education to be mandatory in schools have an ideological agenda and the economic standards they are promoting have an ideological bias. As J.K. Galbraith points out:

mainstream economics has for some centuries given grace and acceptability to convenient belief—to what the socially and economically favoured most wish or need to have believed. This economics, to repeat, is wholly reputable; it permeates and even dominates professional discussion and writing, the textbooks and classroom instruction. [51]

To serve this function Galbraith notes that it must have three aspects. Firstly it needs to provide a rationale for minimising government intervention. Secondly it needs to justify “untrammelled, uninhibited pursuit and possession of wealth” in terms of the common good. Thirdly it needs to explain poverty and unemployment in terms of the individual faults of those who find themselves in that situation. [52] Economic education sought to provide all three.

Clearly ‘economic education’, in schools, workplaces and in broader public fora, plays a crucial role in achieving capitalist hegemony.
This article draws on a forthcoming book, Sharon Beder, Free Market Missionaries: The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values (London: Earthscan, 2006).

Sharon Beder is a visiting professor in the School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. Dr Beder has written 9 books, around 150 articles, book chapters and conference papers, as well as educational monographs, consultancy reports and teaching resources. Her research has focussed on how power relationships are maintained and challenged, particularly by corporations and professions.


1. John Gray, False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism (London: Granta Books, 2002), 3.

2. Robert Lynd quoted in Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf, 'Beneath Consensus: Business, Labor, and the Post-War Order' (Doctor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, 1990), 39.

3. Fones-Wolf, ‘Beneath Concensus’, 422.

4. Alex Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, ed., Andrew Lohrey (Sydney: UNSW Press, 1995), 27.

5. Quoted in Stuart Ewen, PR! A Social History of Spin (New York: Basic Books, 1996), 360.

6. Quoted in Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 30.

7. Robert Griffith, 'The Selling of America: The Advertising Council and American Politics, 1942-1960', Business History Review, Autumn 1983, 401.

8. Advertising Council quoted in C. C. Carr, 'Translating the American Economic System', PR Journal 5, No. 6 (1949), 4.

9. Griffith, 'The Selling of America', 402.

10. M. A. Mandell, 'A History of the Advertising Council' (Doctor of Commercial Science, School of Business, Indiana University), 248.

11. Questions labelled factual in Opinion Research Corporation, 'Why Too Many College Students Are Economic Illiterates' (Opinion Research Corporation, 1960), 7.

12. Opinion Research Corporation, 'The High School Market for Economic Education' (Princeton, New Jersey: Public Opinion Research Corporation, 1951), 6-8, 11, 44.

13. Opinion Research Corporation, 'Why Too Many College Students Are Economic Illiterates', 2-3.

14. Opinion Research Corporation, 'Why Too Many College Students Are Economic Illiterates'.

15. Fred Norris, 'Basic Economics Courses for Industry' (Los Angeles: adapted from Master's Thesis in Economics, 1954), 125, 132.

16. Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 204.

17. Lucille G. Ford, 'A Survey of Organizations Active in Economic Education' (Doctor of Philosophy, Western Reserve University, 1967), 40-46.

18. Ford, ‘A Survey of Organizations’, 67.

19. Opinion Research Corporation, 'The High School Market for Economic Education', 15.

20. Quoted in Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise, 211.

21. Opinion Research Corporation, 'The Company's Role in Selling Free Enterprise' (Princeton, New Jersey: Opinion Research Corporation, 1947); B. L. Cooke, 'Economic Education in Industry' (PhD, University of Minneapolis, 1954), 105.

22. Morris S. Viteles, Motivation and Morale in Industry (New York: W.W.Norton & Co, 1953), 423.

23. Douglas Williams and Stanley Peterfreund, The Education of Employees: A Status Report, Management Education for Itself and Its Employees (New York: American Management Association, 1954), 41-42.

24. Williams and Peterfreund, The Education of Employees, 31.

25. Fones-Wolf, 'Beneath Consensus', 142-4.

26. Brendan M. Jones, 'Community Drives in 150 New Plants', New York Times, 5 June 1948, 3-1.

27. Ad Council, 'Corporate Effort: Economic Education', Economic Communicator, May 1976, 1.

28. S. Alexander Rippa, Education in a Free Society: An American History (New York: Longman, 1984), 306.

29. Barton A. Cummings, 'The Advertising Council's Campaign on Economic Education' (April 1979).

30. Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 119, 125.

31. Ad Council, The American Economic System. And Your Part in It (New York: Advertising Council and the US. Department of Commerce, 1976), 3-5.

32. Ad Council, The American Economic System, 10-11.

33. Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 87-88, 105, 112, 114; Cummings, 'The Advertising Council's Campaign on Economic Education'.

34. Ad Council, 'A Status Report on the Advertising Council's Public Service Campaign on the American Economic System' (New York: Advertising Council, undated); Ad Council, 'Highlights of Results and Progress' (New York: Advertising Council, 1977).

35. Ad Council, 'Highlights of Results and Progress'.

36. Cummings, 'The Advertising Council's Campaign on Economic Education'.

37. Rippa, Education in a Free Society, 308; Ann Crittenden, 'The Economic Wind's Blowing toward the Right - for Now', The New York Times, 16 July 1978, 3.1.

38. Ad Council, 'Corporate Materials to Build Economic Understanding', Economic Communicator, July 1976, 3; Crittenden, 'The Economic Wind's Blowing toward the Right', 3.1.

39. Ad Council, 'Chambers of Commerce Get Involved', Economic Communicator, September/October 1976, 7; National Education Program, 'The Origin and Purpose of the National Education Program', (Searcy, Arkansas: National Education Program, undated).

40. Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 89; Michael Parenti, Inventing Reality: The Politics of the Mass Media (New York: St Martin's Press, 1986), 74.

41. David Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes: The Political Power of Business in America (New York: Basic Books, 1989), 193; James Tobin, 'Economic Literacy Isn't a Marginal Investment', The Wall Street Journal, 9 July 1986.

42. Australian Chamber of Commerce, '72nd Annual Report 1975-76' (Canberra: Australian Chamber of Commerce, 1976), 7; Australian Chamber of Commerce, 'Economic Education Campaign Phase 3' (The Australian Chamber of Commerce, 1978); Australian Chamber of Commerce, 'Economic Education Campaign Phase 2: Three Year Action Programme 1976-1978' (The Australian Chamber of Commerce, 1976), III.

43. Australian Chamber of Commerce, '72nd Annual Report 1975-76', 16; Australian Chamber of Commerce, 'Economic Education Campaign', I-II.

44. Australian Chamber of Commerce, 'Economic Education Campaign', I-II; Australian Chamber of Commerce, '74th Annual Report 1977-78', (Canberra: Australian Chamber of Commerce, 1978), 19.

45. Alex Carey, 'The Ideological Management Industry', in E. L. Wheelwright and K. D. Buckley, eds., Communications and the Media (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1987); Jack Keavney, 'Enterprise Australia: A Case Study in Mobilisation', in Michael Ivens, ed., International Papers on the Revival of Freedom and Enterprise (London: AIMS, 1978), 66.

46. Enterprise Australia, 'Action 1982' (Enterprise Australia, 1982).

47. Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 112-113.

48. Enterprise Australia, 'The Facts of the Enterprise Australia Schools and Colleges Programme' (Enterprise Australia, 1982).

49. Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 113, 116-117.

50. Don Aitkin, 'A Sea-Change on Tax Cuts', The National Times, 10-16 February 1980; Don Aitkin, 'Why Labor Should Cut Union Ties', The National Times, 17-23 February 1980, 32.

51. John Kenneth Galbraith, The Culture of Contentment (London: Penguin, 1992), 95.

52. Galbraith, The Culture of Contentment, 96-97.

[ source link ]

Propaganda, PR and PsyOps

 Lakewood Public Library
Wild Ideas Lecture Series -- The Battle for Your Mind
Propaganda, PR and PsyOps
presented by Kenneth Warren and John Guscott
October 15, 2000

Propositions in Play

"No enlightened person wishes to be duped by his desires, his fantasies, his glands." Gordon W. Allport

"All coercive techniques involve, on one level or another, frightening, or threatening, or intimidating a person, so that they move into survival mode." Douglas Rushkoff

"If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it." Edward L. Bernays

"Everytime you watch someone else doing something(or even starting to do something), the corresponding mirror neuron might fire in your brain..." Arleen Raymond

"I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology....Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated." Bertrand Russell

"What we observe in the population today are the three destructive symptoms of persons whose minds are controlled by alien forces: 1. Amnesia, i.e. loss of memory. 2. Abulia, i.e. loss of will. 3. Apathy, i.e. loss of interest in events vital to one's own health and survival." Michael A. Hoffman II

"It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words and words can be molded until they clothe ideas in disguise." - Joseph Goebbels

"We shall assume that what each man does is based not on direct and certain knowledge, but on pictures made by himself or given to him...But what is propaganda, if not the effort to alter the picture to which men respond, to substitute one social pattern for another?" - Walter Lippmann

"The notion of rational man, capable of thinking and living according to reason, of controlling his passions and living according to scientific patterns, of choosing freely between good and evil--all this seems opposed to the secret influences, the mobilizations of myths, the swift appeals to the irrational, so characteristic of propaganda." - Jacques Ellul

"There are no facts." - Michel Foucault

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad." - Aldous Huxley


Context and Definitions

"If you think about how you think, you will find your mind is made of memories, facts, and that sort of thing; you picked these up through continual reinforcement... Using a computer metaphor, your mind is hardware (the grey matter, providing you with senses, nerve endings, neurons) and software (combined from that odd core of your being that is doing the reflecting, and the material it is reflecting upon, kind of like a computer program and its data). That isn't the whole story, of course; there is an unidentified extra component, the 'wetware,' that gives you free will, volition, self-awareness. We know next to nothing about how this piece works; it appears to be an odd combination of chaotic and stochastic processes, transcending both. About the only thing we know for certain about the human mind is that we haven't even begun to utilize it to its full potential." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"

Propaganda - "systematic manipulation of public opinion, generally by the use of symbols such as flags, monuments, oratory, and publications. Modern propaganda is distinguished from other forms of communication in that it is consciously and deliberately used to influence group attitudes; all other functions are secondary. Thus, almost any attempt to sway public opinion, including lobbying, commercial advertising, and missionary work, can be broadly construed as propaganda." Columbia Encyclopedia

Propaganda - "The deliberate attempt to influence mass attitudes on controversial subjects by the use of symbols rather than force. 2. A systematic effort to persuade a body of people to support or adopt a particular product, opinion, attitude, or course of action. Propaganda and Persuasion Techniques A Guide to Identifying Manipulative Information by Virginia Stewart, M.Ed.

"Words are the new weapons, satellites the new artillery. . . . Caesar had his officers; Napoleon had his armies. I have my divisions: TV, news, magazines." -- Archvillain Elliot Carver to James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies

"As generally understood, propaganda is opinion expressed for the purpose of influencing actions of individuals or groups... Propaganda thus differs fundamentally from scientific analysis. The propagandist tries to "put something across," good or bad. The scientist does not try to put anything across; he devotes his life to the discovery of new facts and principles. The propagandist seldom wants careful scrutiny and criticism; his object is to bring about a specific action. The scientist, on the other hand, is always prepared for and wants the most careful scrutiny and criticism of his facts and ideas. Science flourishes on criticism. Dangerous propaganda crumbles before it." Alfred McLung Lee & Elizabeth Bryant Lee, from: The Fine Art of Propaganda

"Propaganda seeks to induce action, adherence, and as little thought as possible. According to propaganda, it is useless, even harmful for man to think .... Action must come directly from the depths of the unconscious ..... This is the basic condition of the political organization of the modern world, and propaganda is the instrument to attain this effect. An example that shows the radical devaluation of thought is the transformation of words in propaganda; there, language, the instrument of the mind, becomes "pure sound," a symbol directly evoking feelings and reflexes. This is one of the most serious disociations that propaganda causes. Propaganda sometimes deliberately separates from man's real world the verbal world that it creates; it tends to destroy man's conscience" Jacques Ellul, from Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

"It is the emergence of mass media which makes possible the use of propaganda techniques on a societal scale. The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment. Mass media provides the essential link between the individual and the demands of the technological society." Jacques Ellul, from Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

"... every day we are bombarded with one persuasive communication after another. These appeals persuade not through the give-and-take of argument and debate, but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human emotions. For better or worse, ours is an age of propaganda." Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson, Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion

"Our contemporaries only see the presentations which are given them by the press, the radio, propaganda, and publicity. . . . In his eyes, a fact becomes true when he has read an account of it in the paper, and he measures its importance by the size of the headlines!" Jacques Ellul, from: The Presence of the Kingdom

"Propagandists love short-cuts -- particularly those which short-circuit rational thought. They encourage this by agitating emotions, by exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending the rules of logic." Aaron Delwiche, from: "Why Think About Propaganda?

Categories of propaganda techniques are: "1. Characteristics of the content self-evident -No additional information is required to recognize the characteristics of this type of propaganda. "Name calling" and the use of slogans are techniques of this nature. 2. Additional information required to be recognized - Additional information is required by the target or analyst for the use of this technique to be recognized. "Lying" is an example of this technique. The audience or analyst must have additional information in order to know whether a lie is being told. 3. Evident only after extended output - "Change of pace" is an example of this technique. Neither the audience nor the analyst can know that a change of pace has taken place until various amounts of propaganda have been brought into focus. 4. Nature of the arguments used - An argument is a reason, or a series of reasons, offered as to why the audience should behave, believe, or think in a certain manner. An argument is expressed or implied. 5. Inferred intent of the originator - This technique refers to the effect the propagandist wishes to achieve on the target audience. "Divisive" and "unifying" propaganda fall within this technique. It might also be classified on the basis of the effect it has on an audience." Dorje Carl, from "Propaganda Techniques"

"The five propaganda techniques generally used in advertisements: a. Bandwagon: persuading people to do something by letting them know others are doing it; b. Testimonial: using the words of a famous person to persuade you; c. Transfer: using the names or pictures of famous people, but not direct quotations; d. Repetition: the product name is repeated at least four times; e. Emotional words: words that will make you feel strongly about someone or something." Lorraine Tanaka

"Command propaganda" seeks an immediate, specific response: NOW. Most commercial advertising does this. In much political advertising,* persuaders also use this same 5-part pattern of "the pitch": Attention-getting starts with simple "name recognition"; Desire-Stimulating refers to the issues discussed (if any), the social (not individual) benefits promised; Urgency and Response focus on a simple act, "Vote for Me. Now." Thus, election campaign rhetoric is a form of command propaganda. "Command Propaganda and Conditioning"

"Conditioning propaganda" seeks a future response: LATER. Conditioning propaganda is designed to mold public opinions, basic assumptions, attitudes, beliefs, myths, and world views, on a long-term basis, as the necessary prelude, climate, or atmosphere for eventually getting a response, later. Observers disagree on terms here: Jacques Ellul, the French scholar, in the classic study, Propaganda, called this "sub-propaganda"; the Nazi leader, Goebbels, called it "basic propaganda"; the Soviet leader, Lenin, called it "political education." Recently, the terms "consciousness raising" and "awareness building" have been used by various cause groups (anti-abortionists, feminists, environmentalists, civil rights) in the United States. And, everyone argues over the distinctions and borderlines between "conditioning propaganda" and "indoctrination" and "education." However, some political and social command propaganda uses a related 4-part pattern (the "pep talk") which not only calls for immediate action, but also calls for "committed, collective action": to join a group, to fight for a cause." "Command Propaganda and Conditioning"

Agencies and Applications

Since WWII the U.S. government's national security campaigns have overlapped with the commercial ambitions of major advertisers and media companies and with the aspirations of an enterprising stratum of university administrators and professors. Military intelligence and propaganda agencies such a the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency helped bankroll substantially all of the post – WWII generation's research into techniques of persuasion, opinion measurement interrogation, political and military mobilization, propagation of ideology and related questions. The persuasion studies, in particular, provided much of he scientific underpinning for modern advertising and motivational techniques." Christopher Simpson, from: The Science of Coercion

"What is the propaganda model and how does it work? The crucial structural factors derive from the fact that the dominant media are firmly imbedded in the market system. They are profit-seeking businesses, owned by very wealthy people (or other companies); they are funded largely by advertisers who are also profit-seeking entities, and who want their ads to appear in a supportive selling environment. The media are also dependent on government and major business firms as information sources, and both efficiency and political considerations, and frequently overlapping interests, cause a certain degree of solidarity to prevail among the government, major media, and other corporate businesses. Government and large non-media business firms are also best positioned (and sufficiently wealthy) to be able to pressure the media with threats of withdrawal of advertising or TV licenses, libel suits, and other direct and indirect modes of attack." Edward S. Herman, from: "The propaganda model revisited" Monthly Review, July, 1996

"Nazism, the myth of Germanic racial superiority, is an interesting look at a common historical occurrence. Hitler provided the skeleton, but Goebbels and the Propaganda Ministry put flesh on the bones. Use of constant reinforcement, triggering an amazing number of cultural responses such as 'noble sacrifice' and 'total commitment,' use of the 'elite chosen by God' metaphor, indoctrination of the young, all were a masterful implementation by a natural talent. The meme, however, had the roots of its destruction built in, with non-tolerance, the inability to conceive of losing, and the perpetration of unspeakable acts as side effects that combined to kill off those infected. Nazism also gives an example in recent history of a successful meme actually managing to become an operational paradigm for continuing generations." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"

"Jacques Ellul, author of "Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes" (1965) defines psychological warfare like this -- "the propagandist is dealing with an adversary whose morale he seeks to destroy by psychological means so that the opponent begins to doubt the validity of his beliefs and actions." "The incestuous relationship of the Monopoly Media Cartel and psychological warfare has a long history. Veterans of World War II, for example, the US Army's Psychological Warfare Division, became the Cold War's media giants. OSS agent William S. Paley became a CBS executive. C.D. Jackson worked at Time/Life. W. Phillips Davison became a Rand Corporation think-tanker. William Casey was an executive at Capital Cities, which merged with ABC and subsequently devoured by Disney. Casey himself, of course, became Director of the CIA. In other words, when former intelligence operatives get a new job in the media, does their psychological warfare ever stop? Mind control by mass media manipulation is just another variation of the Hegelian Dialectic, the concept that "conflict creates history." The theory is simple -- if you control the conflict, you control the outcome. In other words, an existing force (the thesis) generates an opposing force (the antithesis) and the conflict between the two creates the final effect (the synthesis). " Uri Dowbenko, from "The General's Daughter: Psyops & the Military Career Criminal"

"The alchemical processing of humans is performed with the props of time and space: what happens ritually in a series of significant places can "bend" reality. That's what "wicker" means in its most subterranean signification. Wicca (witchcraft) is just a description of the end-result of the function of bending reality. How is reality bent? By the placing of ritual props in ceremonial places. These places exist both in the mind and in physical space." Michael A. Hoffman II, from: "Profiling the FBI's Unabom Charade"

Messages and Targets

"The average American is exposed to at least three thousand ads every day and will spend three years of his or her life watching television commercials." Jean Kilbourne, from: Deadly Persuasion

Dell Computer and Web PC - (ca. January, 2000) Different people speak in turn. One says, "I was born to be bombarded by information." Another says, "I was born to turn my mind over to the web." --Nobody was born to be bombarded by information, or to turn their mind over to anything or anyone. A truly disgusting and Big Brotherish ad." Mark Seely, from "Propaganda Watch It's in the commercials Second Edition"

"Few Americans, however, know of a hidden government effort to shoehorn anti-drug messages into the most pervasive and powerful billboard of all -- network television programming." Daniel Forbes, from "Prime-time propaganda How the White House secretly hooked network TV on its anti-drug message"

"OnStar - (ca. January and February, 2000) A married couple talks about an incident where they were driving through the desert, got a flat tire, and the ground was crawling with rattlesnakes. They pushed the "OnStar" button on the car's console, and "within seconds the OnStar advisor pinpointed our location and sent a tow truck... called the paramedics..." The announcer says, "The one touch connection to people who can help." A caption on the screen reads, "Wherever you go, here we are." --You bet they are. What they didn't tell you was that they knew your location even before you pressed that button.This ad is rumored to be the first step in the establishment's plan to put a tracking device in every car." Mark Seely, from "Propaganda Watch It's in the commercials Second Edition"

"In the summer of 1959, just before McCloy took his family for an extended trip to Europe, C.D. Jackson wrote to remind McCloy that later that summer a World Youth Festival was scheduled to take place in Vienna. Jackson asked McCloy to contribute an article, perhaps on the "benign and constructive aspects" of the U.S. occupation of Germany. The piece would appear in a daily newspaper to be published in Vienna in conjunction with the festival. McCloy agreed, and the article was published (in five languages) in a newspaper distributed by a twenty-five-year-old Smith graduate named Gloria Steinen... McCloy's connection to Steinem went beyond contributing an article to the propaganda operation of which she was an editor in Vienna. Late in 1958, he and Jackson had discussed how the United States should respond to the expected Soviet propaganda blitz in Vienna. Previous gatherings of this kind had always been held in Moscow, East Berlin, or other cities in Eastern Europe. These events were major propaganda circuses, and the CIA was determined, in the words of Cord Meyer, a career CIA officer, 'to compete more effectively with this obviously successful Communist apparatus." Kai Bird, from The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), pp. 483-84, 727 as quoted by Daniel Brandt in "Gloria Steinem and the CIA"

"Lynne Cheney describes an incident at Vassar College where several male students were charged and then found innocent of date rape. Afterward, assistant dean Catherine Comins declared of the men: "They have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’ ‘Do I have the potential to do to her what they say I did?’" Two University of Pennsylvania instructors explicitly justify such strategies in the Journal of Social History. "We are all engaged in writing a kind of propaganda," they insist. "Rather than believe in the absolute truth of what we are writing, we must believe in the moral or political position we are taking with it." Karl Zinsmeister, from "Propaganda in America?"

"Disinformation rules in The Siege. Here are the most obvious propaganda factoids. 1. Demonizing the Militia. Continuing the mainstream-media propaganda, Denzel Washington asks his fellow feds in the FBI office, "You think it's militia?" "Not their style," they answer, as if most militas were capable of "terrorism" without the active participation by undercover CIA, FBI, or BATF agent provocateurs. 2. Demonizing the Internet. "Everybody on the Internet knows explosives," says Washington, spreading the lie about how the Internet is a tool of subversion and therefore must be controlled. Department of Justice has lobbied long and hard for anti-internet, anti-cryptography legislation. 3. Demonizing Cash. "Where does a guy like you come up with ten thousand dollars?" the FBI man berates the Arab suspect, implying that cash anywhere is immediately suspect. According to US State Propaganda, only "terrorists" or "money launderers" use cash. This reinforces the suspicion in moviegoers' minds that only "criminals" would have any concerns about privacy." Uri Dowbenko, from: "The Siege: PsyOps Movie Prepares U.S. for Martial Law"


Industry History and Profile

"The PR industry employs 200,000 people in the US. The PR industry in the UK employs more than 48,000 people, most of them in London. While in Australia there are 2,400 full-time members of the Public Relations Institute." "The Rise of Corporate Propaganda", new internationalist issue 314 - July 1999"

"...what makes advertising and PR work is that people see their own personal needs or interests being stoked, and ... unless you acknowledge the appeal of this stuff — its eroticism — and the self-interest of the receiver of the message, it's like presenting a machine without anything driving it; there's no sense of what propels the apparatus." Stuart Ewen

"An estimated $1.4 trillion is spent every year marketing goods and services worldwide." Kim Cassino, American Demographics, November 1997.

"The first wave of PR strategy... is... rational reportage...laying out facts to persuade people the corporate position was in their best interest. It wasn’t particularly successful. Meanwhile, another intellectual tradition began to raise its head in the late nineteenth century. It has as its founder a French sociologist named Gustav Le Bon who wrote in 1895 a book called The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Le Bon was an anguished French middle-class academic who saw the growth of democratic politics and the old systems of hierarchy and deference breaking down. Particularly after the Paris Commune of 1871 he felt that the mob at any moment could seize society and destroy all he held sacred. Le Bon starts to examine the social psychology of the crowd. For him the crowd is not driven by rational argument, but by its spinal cord. It responds solely to emotional appeals and is incapable of thought or reason. Somebody interested in leading the crowd needs to appeal not to logic but to unconscious motivation. For Le Bon, the most effective way to do this is through the use of images. In a period of great social turmoil Le Bon’s ideas began to have a tremendous impact. The Crowd was available in 19 languages a year after publication. In the US it influenced everyone from Teddy Roosevelt to the founders of the modern PR movement. By the First World War rational journalistic PR gave way to a propaganda designed to pluck people’s heartstrings." Stuart Ewen

"By World War I, middle-class fears of the rising tide of immigrants and the social turbulence borne on their wake were overtaking the progressive agenda; the Enlightenment faith in a reasoning "public," susceptible to arguments founded on fact, was giving way to a vision of the masses as an irrational, unmanageable "crowd." Informed by social science, public relations emerged as a tool for controlling cultural chaos and maintaining the status quo." Mark Dery, from "Hidden Persuaders"

"PR was originally a tool for damage control or crisis management. If a company committed a wrongdoing or had some other disaster on its hands, it would employ PR defensively to save face. Managing image perception (or "manufacturing consent," to use the words of PR pioneer/pollster Walter Lippmann) soon became a much more active process. Now crisis management is but a small subset of the ever-expanding field of public relations." Carrie McLaren

"Press releases were invented by public-relations expert Ivy Lee in the early years of the twentieth century in an effort to control media coverage of railway accidents for his client, Pennsylvania Railway. He decided that if the press was going to report the accidents it would be better to make sure they reported them from the company point of view. The strategy was so successful that by the late 1940s almost half the news was based on press releases from public-relations departments and firms." Sharon Beder, from "The Best Coverage Money Can Buy"

"The daily tonnage output of propaganda and publicity... has become an important force in American life. Nearly half of the contents of the best newspapers is derived from publicity releases; nearly all the contents of lesser papers... is directly or indirectly the product of PR departments." Fortune magazine 1949 as cited by Sharon Beder in Global Spin

"Edward L. Bernays...became one of the most influential pioneers of American public relations...In the twenties, Bernays fathered the link between corporate sales campaigns and popular social causes, when-while working for the American Tobacco Company-he persuaded women's rights marchers in New York City to hold up Lucky Strike cigarettes as symbolic "Torches of Freedom." In October of 1929, Bernays also originated the now familiar "global media event," when he dreamed up "Light's Golden Jubilee," a worldwide celebratory spectacle commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the electric light bulb, sponsored-behind-the-scenes-by the General Electric Corporation." Stuart Ewen, "Visiting Edward Bernays" from PR!: A Social History of Spin

"The Torches of Freedom campaign was a classic instance of using sexual liberation as a form of control. It proposed addiction as a form of freedom. In this, it was an early version of the Virginia Slims, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” campaign, which made repeated reference to the suffragette movement as a way of associating cigarettes with freedom...All the gullible consumer saw was women wanting to be free, whereas in reality the women who marched in the parade smoking their Luckies were being manipulated by the Tobacco Industry into a sort of bondage that was both literal, in terms of physical addiction, and moral in the sense that it was motivated by a subliminal understanding of sexual liberation." E. Michael Jones, Ph.D., from: "The Torches of Freedom Campaign: Behaviorism, Advertising, and the Rise of the American Empire"

"Bernays regarded Uncle Sigmund as a mentor, and used Freud's insights into the human psyche and motivation to design his PR campaigns, while also trading on his famous uncle's name to inflate his own stature. There is, however, a striking paradox in the relationship between the two. Uncle Sigmund's "talking cure" was designed to unearth his patients' unconscious drives and hidden motives, in the belief that bringing them into conscious discourse would help people lead healthier lives. Bernays, by contrast, used psychological techniques to mask the motives of his clients, as part of a deliberate strategy aimed at keeping the public unconscious of the forces that were working to mold their minds." John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton on The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of PR

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society...Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." Edward Bernays, from: Propaganda

Applications and Effects

"By initiating the story, PR people are better able to shape the angle it gets told from and determine which people get interviewed. The ultimate pre-packaged news is the video news release. This is sent to TV stations and often aired with little change or indication to the audience that what they are watching is not independent reporting. Most broadcasters, whether in Europe or the US, make use of these releases in putting together the news. Sharon Beder, from "The Best Coverage Money Can Buy"

"...public relations, broadly defined, includes advertising. The difference being that, while advertising appears as an explicit commercial message, good PR is invisible. If PR is done right, you can't tell it's PR, it just looks like good business." Carrie McLaren

"The vast increase in corporate and government PR worldwide means that those with power are falling over themselves to let us in on the good things they are doing for us... It’s an enterprise whose collective purpose is to ‘administer’ democracy, eliminating risks for clients. The key ‘project’ is not to reform reality, but to manage our perceptions of it." Richard Swift, from "Mindgames It’s just a short step from political propaganda to corporate public relations"

"The powerful techniques of coercion -- from Carnegie's classic How to Win Friends and Influence People to Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to the diabolical CIA Interrogation Manual -- have poisoned our lives. All personal interactions, from our daily workday encounters to our most intimate relationships, have been tagged, even perverted, by the meta-language of "sales." Uri Dowbenko, from "Media, Manipulation and the Cult of Consumerism An Interview with Douglas Rushkoff"

."The logic is clear -- propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state and that's wise and good because again the common interests elude the bewildered herd, they cant figure them out. The public relations industry not only took this ideology on very explicitly but also acted on it, that's a huge industry, spending hundreds now probably on the order of a billion dollars a year on it or something and its commitment all along was to controlling the public mind. "Chomsky on Propaganda"

"Using the latest communications technologies and polling techniques, as well as an array of high-level political connections, PR flacks routinely "manage" issues for government and corporate clients and "package" them for public consumption. The result is a "democracy" in which citizens are turned into passive receptacles of "disinfotainment" and "advertorials" and in which critics of the status quo are defined as ignorant meddlers and/or dangerous outsiders." Carmelo Ruiz, from Burson-Marsteller: PR For the New World Order"

"Founded in 1923, Hill & Knowlton (H&K) are an international public relations company...H&K... fabricated the story that `Iraqi soldiers had removed 312 babies from their incubators and left them to die on the cold hospital floor of Kuwait City'... The story was first reported to the London Daily Telegraph (September 5th, 1990) by exiled Kuwaiti housing minister and member of CFK Yahya al-Sumait. Because of the high emotional content of the story, it was repeated globally by much of the media, none of whom adequately checked the source... `the senior account people on the Kuwaiti account included Craig Fuller, Bush's former chief of staff when Bush was Vice President'. Using this connection, H&K set up a hearing with the Congressional Human Rights caucus on October 10th 1990 where they produced `Nayirah', a 15-year Kuwaiti who gave the following statement: 'I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where 15 babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die.'..According to MacArthur (1993), H&K 'made a brilliant little video news release out of it, which they beamed all over the world. It was on NBC Nightly News and millions and millions of people saw this'. This story was then presented to the United Nations Security Council during an audio-visual presentation on the 27th November 1990. In addition to `Nayirah', seven other witnesses were produced, five of whom 'coached by Hill & Knowlton - had used false names without saying they were doing so' ...Nayirah was, in fact, 'the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States' (1), and had been coached by Lauri Fitz-Pegado to deliver the testimony which (according to Strauber & Rampton) 'even the Kuwaitis' own investigators later confirmed was false'. Not only had she never seen the atrocity she had alleged to, but had never been to the hospital, much less worked there." Darl Turner, from "Hill & Knowlton: Exporting Propaganda Engineering Warfare through Public Relations"

"Advertising at its best is making people feel that without their product, you're a loser," explained Nancy Shalek, president of the Shalek Agency." Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"

More than anything, they want your children's minds. "Kids marketing in general is becoming more sophisticated," says Julie Halpin, CEO of Gepetto Group, which specializes in marketing to kids. It is a competition for what she calls "share of mind." Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"

‘‘Persuasion, by its definition, is subtle. The best PR ends up looking like news. You never know when a PR agency is being effective; you’ll just find your views slowly shifting." A PR executive

"You have pollsters and demographers going around asking people questions, usually more about what they feel than what they think. From that fairly fragmentary data they put together an agglomeration called ‘public opinion’." Stuart Ewen

"It was in the post-War period that the PR industry, the advertising industry, the press agent industry, what the psychologist Robert Shalldini calls ‘the compliance industries’, really took off. These things grew exponentially in the 1920s in the US and provide the world with a model – and the world of course includes Germany. Goebbels himself was a reader of the work of Edward Bernays. Bernays was Freud’s nephew on both sides of his family. Here is a guy for whom the idea of the unconscious was his mother’s milk. What makes Bernays important is that he is the first PR guy to apply social psychology strategically and use theories of the unconscious in propaganda technique. Bernays is no mere theorist. He put his ideas to work for a number of corporations as well as for government." Stuart Ewen

":... to make the transition from effective policy interlocutor to effective public communicator, it is essential to shift from issues-based communications to stories-based communications. There are no issues-oriented media with any broad appeal, and the selling of complex issues coverage is a difficult task in any event because it contains little or no news value. Good stories, on the other hand, go around the world in minutes. That's the way adversaries play. That's the way industry must play." Leaked Document on Europabio PR Strategy"

"The 1930s and then the 1960s were periods in which the challenge to the business system became widespread. If you want to see the flowering of corporate public relations strategies look at the decade following those periods. After World War Two a kind of gung-ho corporate public-relations strategy tries to present the private business system as the quintessence of the American Way – a kind of commercialistic rendition of democracy. This became almost a national ideology used to roll back policies and ideas that came out of the 1930s New Deal – for example, the very idea that government might compete with business by providing public housing. In the 1960s people began to wonder if democracy was being violated by a destabilized business system. In the 1970s and 1980s, with the triumph of Reagan and Thatcherism, there comes to fruition a set of national public relations strategies catalyzed by the political issues of the Sixties." Stuart Ewen

Perhaps the biggest – and certainly the most expensive – PR effort on a Southern issue was the campaign undertaken by the Wexler Group for the ratificaction of the Northern American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico in 1993. Wexler worked for a coalition of Fortune 500 companies to reassure a worried US public about job losses and environmental deterioration. NAFTA’s broken promises were so under-reported that Project Censored named them ‘one of the top-ten censored stories of the year’, just one year after Wexler’s successful sales job.Richard Swift, from "Mindgames It’s just a short step from political propaganda to corporate public relations"

Subliminals and Technology

"High-tech mass persuasion has achieved levels of sophistication far beyond what most individuals imagine. Most still desperately cling to the delusion that they think for themselves, determine their own destinies, exercise both individual and collective free will (the great myth that underlies democratic ideology); that advertising works in the interest of the consumer; and perhaps the greatest self-deception of all -- that they can easily discriminate between fantasy and reality." Wilson Bryan Key

"With the onset of the machine technology known by the interesting sobriquet, "Virtual Reality," the immersion of mankind into the counterfeit, computer-generated cryptosphere, intensifies, and the march of induced hallucination, digital money, junk from Wal-Mart and miracles by priests in lab coats, accelerates, commensurate with the spiritual and mental deaths of animated corpses of the walking dead in America." Michael A. Hoffman II, from: Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare

"Subliminal visuals surround us as well. They're airbrushed into print ads and billboards, they flicker past during commercials at a hardly noticeable, barely legal rate. To heighten the hypnotic effects of moving video, producers need only place one blank, black frame for every 32 frames of film. Every hour that you spend watching tv, your right-brained, endorphin-numbed, glassy-ass trance state is deepened. So don't be too hard on yourself for accidentally "staying tuned" all the way through 7th Heaven—you were literally held against your will." Sven Golly, from "Learn the Deadly Secrets of Mind Control"

"Wayne Chilicki, a General Mills executive, agrees: "When it comes to targeting kid consumers, we at General Mills follow the Proctor & Gamble model of ‘cradle to grave,'" he says. "We believe in getting them early and having them for life."" Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"

"Advertising targeted at elementary school children," Professor McNeal says, "on programs just for them works very effectively in the sense of implanting brand names in their minds and creating desires for the products." Gary Ruskin, from: "Why They Whine: How Corporations Prey on Our Children"

""I was working with one firm that was doing focus groups with cult members about how they got pulled into their cult and what the cult did... They interviewed some people from Scientology. Some of them were still in. And [they interviewed] those who were in cult-like organizations like Amway or Hells Angels...They were looking for ways to apply the techniques of cult indoctrination to 'cult brands.' They're called 'cult brands.' In other words -- how to take a brand and have an off-the-shelf set of rules that they can apply. If a client comes in and says 'We want our brand to be a cult brand,' they say, 'Well, this is how to do it.'" Douglas Rushkoff

"Advertising is everywhere, and people everywhere are united by it. Perhaps for the first time, young people of all ethnic and geographic origins share images and experiences, thanks in large measure to mass media and mass advertising. Advertising offers youth entertainment, diversion, a way to manage their mood states, and information on how to satisfy personal needs. Its first-class graphics, music, and humour give advertising the potential to teach children language, cognitive, social, and artistic skills... What youngsters get are ideas for satisfying their needs for identity, belonging, and independence. They use information in commercials, and the commercials themselves, to help them achieve their personal goals. " Jeffrey Goldstein, Ph.D., Department of Mass Communications, University of Utrecht, from: "Children and advertising - the research"

"Recent tests by researcher Herbert Krugman showed that, while viewers were watching TV, right-brain activity outnumbered left-brain activity by a ratio of two to one. Put more simply, the viewers were in an altered state, in trance, more often than not. They were getting their Beta-endorphin "Fix." To measure attention spans, psycho - physiologist Thomas Mulholland of the Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, attached young viewers to an EEG machine that was wired to shut the TV set off whenever the children's brains produced a majority of alpha waves. Although the children were told to concentrate, only a few could keep the set on for more than 30 seconds! Most viewers are already hypnotized. To deepen the trance is easy. One simple way is to place a blank, black frame every 32 frames in the film that is being projected. This creates a 45 beat ñ per - minute pulsation perceived only by the subconscious mind, the ideal pace to generate deep hypnosis. The commercials or suggestions presented following this alpha-inducing broadcast are much more likely to be accepted by the viewer. The high percentage of the viewing audience that has somnambulistic-depth ability could very well accept the suggestions as commands, as long as those commands did not ask the viewer to do something contrary to his morals, religion, or self-preservation." "Battle for Your Mind: Subliminal Programming"

"McDonald’s spends $1.8 billion a year on various PR." Joel Kovel, Z magazine, September 1997.

"The biotech industry has chosen a slam dunk strategy to gain public acceptance for its products: Slip unlabeled genetically engineered food into the food supply and hope too many people don't notice or object. Deal with those who do notice and object with an army of "experts" that stand ready to refute any criticisms or critics of the technology....If plans run awry for some reason, mount a full public relations offensive..." Karen Charman, from: "Force Feeding Genetically Engineered Foods"

Europe's most powerful biotechnology industry has contracted the government and public affairs PR agency, Burson Marsteller, to manage the crisis that the biotech market is facing as a result of the widespread resistance to genetic engineering and its products in this part of the world. "Leaked Document on Europabio PR Strategy"

"Subliminal perception occurs whenever stimuli presented below the threshold or limen for awareness are found to influence thoughts, feelings, or actions. The term subliminal perception was originally used to describe situations in which weak stimuli were perceived without awareness. In recent years, the term has been applied more generally to describe any situation in which unnoticed stimuli are perceived." Philip M. Merikle, from "Subliminal Perception"

"Mental illness, the Twentieth Century Plague, may be related to subliminal stimuli. What is vaguely called schizophrenia, for example, could be involved with an individual's perception of subliminal stimuli." Wilson Bryan Key, from: Subliminal Seduction

"According to research by the Roper Organization in 1992, fifty-seven percent of American consumers still believe that subliminal advertising is practiced on a regular basis, and only one in twelve think it "almost never" happens. To protect themselves from the techniques they believe are being used against them, the advertising audience has adopted a stance of cynical suspician." Douglas Rushkoff, from Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say

"Kilbourne, Painton and Ridley created a test of subliminals using an original Chivas Regal ad with a subliminal nude and an additional picture retouched to take out the nude. They reported their results in Psychology Today. The picture with the subliminal nude was preferred over the picture without the subliminal nude (Natale, 1988; Kilbourne et. al., 1984). They point out that part of the problem with Key's reports is his ambiguous use of the word subliminal. Key makes no distinction between innuendo, metaphor, embeds and subliminals. The phenomenon that Key is most concerned with are actually visual embeds, also known as hidden pictures." B. Diane Miller Blackwood, from: Sex and the Single Sociologist: An Essay on Subliminal Advertising"

"In March of 1994, someone discovered that Jessica Rabbit had no underwear for a very short time during the animated movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Globe & Mail, March 17, 1994). In this example, there were at least three offending frames-unnoticeable unless the tape is advanced frame by frame. Were they deliberately planted there for some nefarious reason, or were the artists just saving some ink or playing a practical joke? It's hard to know, but the physical presence of an uncovered Jessica tells us nothing about the perceptual or psychological consequences of her undressed state. It is probable that under normal viewing conditions the contents of the frames are completely and thoroughly masked by the subsequent material. In the absence of the appropriate tests, however, one cannot simply assert that stimuli are (or are not) subliminal. In none of these examples is it possible to know definitively if the signal or image was subliminal, nor if it was deliberately planted." Timothy E. Moore, from: "Scientific Consensus and Expert Testimony: Lessons from the Judas Priest Trial"

"Certain studies seem to show that subliminal visual or aural conditioning in movie theaters can increase sales of refreshments. However, the results are not significant enough to be regarded as evidence of a real effect. Additionally, experiments have shown that any changes in behavior occur only immediately after the subliminal message is given and they disappear just as quickly. It is only a temporary modification of the subject's reactions, and not a durable conditioning." Jean-Marie Abgrall, from Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults

"In fact, the man who claims to have developed subliminal persuasion, James Vicary, admitted to Advertising Age in 1984 that he had fabricated his evidence that the technique worked in order to drum up business for his failing research company." Douglas Rushkoff, from Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say

"Gore staffers alerted at least one news organization and were contacting others about an RNC ad in which the word "RATS" appears briefly on screen in an ad that criticizes Gore's prescription drug plan. A Bush spokesman brushed aside suggestions of subliminal advertising as "bizarre, ridiculous and absurd." The RNC had no immediate comment." Candy Crowley, from "Gore campaign smells 'rats' in RNC ad"

"...on a slow news day in a laggardly news week, the Gore campaign called Berke with its "scoop." It said a clever viewer in Seattle had noticed the "r" word in a Republican ad, insinuating that the rodentine reference constituted dirty, lowdown, filthy politics at its worst. Berke snapped at the bait. He wrote a piece, which the Times splashed across its front page. It alleged deep and troubling ugliness in the heart of the Republican camp -- all because of four letters only a highly vigilant viewer would notice. The story fingered Alex Castellanos, a GOP ad man, and fulsomely quoted some of Castellanos' most ardent enemies. It gave him a sentence or two for rebuttal. The original item carried no mention of Fox News, meaning Berke had no idea he had been fooled into touting a stale story about an ad scheduled to go off the air the day his piece appeared. Gore operatives thus transformed the Times into a purveyor of all the news that's fit to reprint." Tony Snow, from "Rodentine Reference"

"Kathleen Hall Jamieson, dean of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and author of several books on political ads, told that the technique used in the GOP spot is known in psychological literature as “priming” — a word or image is flashed at the viewer to predispose him to view a subject negatively." Tom Curry, ‘Rats’ joins famous ad gallery"

"As the presidential campaign gives every sign that it can't wait to be upstaged by the Olympics, we are suddenly thrust back into the 1950s with the hyped-up fear that subliminal advertising is tampering with our brains. A Republican commercial deriding Al Gore's prescription-drug plan flashes the word "RATS" on the screen for one-thirtieth of a second, right after the phrase "Bureaucrats Decide." Detected by Fox News two weeks ago, then given front-page treatment by The New York Times Tuesday, this ad flap suggests a 3-D movie about a mad social scientist. The whole thing makes about as much sense as the widespread 1950s belief that crouching under a schoolroom desk would protect children against a Russian atomic attack. The only coherent explanation was belatedly provided by Alex Castellanos, who made the 30-second spot for the Republican National Committee (RNC). He claimed that the rodent language was coincidental and that the oversize letters were designed to create visual interest. "People get bored watching TV," Castellanos told the Associated Press. "You're trying to get them interested and involved." Walter Shapiro, from "Fear of subliminal advertising is irrational"

"A research project by Jacob Jacoby, a Purdue University psychologist, found that of 2,700 people tested, 90 percent misunderstood even such simple viewing fare as commercials and "Barnaby Jones." Only minutes after watching, the typical viewer missed 23 to 36 percent of the questions about what he or she had seen. Of course they did, they were going in and out of trance! If you go into a deep trance, you must be instructed to remember, otherwise you automatically forget." "Battle for Your Mind: Subliminal Programming"



"PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (DOD) Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign government, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also perception management.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (NATO) Planned psychological activities in peace and war directed to enemy, friendly, and neutral audiences in order to influence attitudes and behavior affecting the achievement of political and military objectives. They include strategic psychological activities, consolidation psychological operations and battlefield psychological activities.

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: (IADB) These operations include psychological warfare and, in addition, encompass those political, military, economic, and ideological actions planned and conducted to create in neutral or friendly foreign groups the emotions, attitudes, or behavior to support the achievement of national objectives." Propaganda And Psychological Warfare Studies: Glossary Department of Defense Military and Associated Terms"

The PSYOPS "process"... is divided into six parts: intelligence gathering, target audience analysis, product development, media selection, media production, and dissemination." Benjamin Richardson, from: "The Use of the Psyops Against High School Terrorism"

Brains and Targets

"Once you have a brain harnessed to imitation, you can transmit behavior non-genetically, thus giving rise to "culture" or "memes." Richard van Ort, on "Mirror Neurons"

"Santa Claus is a meme that parents deliberately infect their children with; the purpose for it is quite unfathomable, and seems to run along two paths--it didn't seem to hurt the parent when they had it, and it helps to explain the odd behavior that people go through once a year. The Claus meme in a child helps the way cowpox helped with smallpox; part of growing up is the 'trauma' of learning, once old enough, that Santa is a myth, and that people, including one's own parents, have systematically lied to you. This may seem a callous way to view it, but from the viewpoint of building cognitive mechanisms, this is one of the earliest we gain that fosters the ability of disbelief." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"

"...the astonishing truth is that any given mirror neuron will also fire when the monkey in question observes another monkey (or experimenter performing the same action), e.g., tasting a peanut!" Arleen Raymond, on "Mirror Neurons 2"

"In the study of mind control and psychological warfare, it is not enough to simply review the latest technology of coercion, the most recent gadgetry and techno-junk littering the hardware and supply depots of governments and cults. Far more dangerous PSYOPS "use specially constructed communications to manipulate the actions of target groups without the use of physical force. PSYOPS, in one form or another has been used against the enemies of the United States for hundreds of years. Most people think of PSYOPS as something directed at the nation's foreign enemies. Today, however, there are new, domestic threats to United States' security that may also pose legitimate targets for such operations. The sudden surge in high school terrorism in the last five years has created a conundrum for the nation. The youths that commit such violence are American citizens. They are teens that, on the surface, differ very little from the millions of other high school students in the United States. The federal government cannot simply order anti-terrorist units like Delta Force to hunt them down. The public would find such tactics too drastic. These are, after all , just kids. Thus, the need for less severe countermeasures makes PSYOPS very attractive. These techniques are well grounded in research and have been copied by others like advertisers and marketers. If properly implemented, the legitimate use of PSYOPS to reduce future high school terrorism would be both appropriate and effective." Benjamin Richardson, from: "The Use of the Psyops Against High School Terrorism"

"Naval Reserve United States Atlantic Command Psychological Operations Unit is a special purpose radio/television production unit whose dedicated mission is to train audiovisual personnel for mobilization and to produce audiovisual products in response to CINCUSACOM Special Operation Requirements." Mission Statement

"In 1950 the CIA's budget for "psychological warfare was $34 million; over the next two years that figure quadrupled." Laura Brahm, from "The Culture Vultures," In These Times, May 15, 2000

Applications, High Technology, Memes and the Religious Impulse

"Religious strivings...often originate in the desires of the body, in the pursuit of meanings beyond the range of our intellectual capacity, and in the longing that values be conserved. Do we not then merely "rationalize" our yearnings with manufactured beliefs that are egomorphic, fashoioned to satisfy private desire or inner compulsion? Does not the very prominance of the fear motive indicate that we have invented a God to protect us against anxiety? And if life or society demands many renunciations from us, are we not prone to invent an after-life that will compensate us for present deprivation? Gordon W. Allport, from The Individual and His Religion

"Back in the 1950s, during the rebellion in the Philippines, U.S. Air Force General Edward Lansdale, then head of CIA PsyOps in the islands, used the legend of Philippine vampires to chase the Huk rebels from their various areas of operation. The asuag, or Philippine vampire, struck terror in the hearts of the superstitious population, a fact exploited by the CIA. When a Huk patrol would pass by, the last member of the patrol was silently captured, and then killed. Two holes were punctured in the Huk's neck, and he was hung upside down to drain the blood from his body. The corpse would then be left where it would be found by his comrades - a victim of the vampire." W. Adam Mandelbaum, from: The Psychic Battlefield

"In occult crimes the objective is not linear, that is to say, is not solely bound to the achievement of the immediate effects of the attack on the victim, but may in fact be a part of a larger, symbolic ritual magnified by the power of the electronic media, for the purpose of the alchemical processing of the subconscious Group Mind of the masses. If we are observing a ritual working, we should be looking for relevant synchronicities (coincidences that have meaning) in the days following 'Unabom's' explosive attacks, which would form a pattern, on the hypothesis that his bombing is the Introit to a kind of public, subliminal Black Mass that plays for days. Consciously we don't apprehend the connection, but our subconscious may and it is the subconscious that is being addressed in occult ritual, in a process CIA behavioral scientist Dr. Ewan Cameron termed, "psychic driving." Like other Group Mind imprinting, such as the Son of Sam series, the 'Unabomber' has a high media profile as a communicator, as someone having a message for the masses." Michael A. Hoffman II, from: "Profiling the FBI's Unabom Charade"

"PSYOP has a vital role to play in the effective use of military force. This is especially so as the world becomes increasingly urban and interconnected through the internet and satellite television, media which decrease the likelihood that US forces can use force against an adversary indiscriminately. PSYOP's role is also magnified as the US military finds itself more involved in protracted struggles at the lower end of the spectrum of conflict. As a US Army study once noted, "Low-intensity conflict is basically a struggle for people's minds . . . . And in such a battle, psychological operations are more important than fire power." Steven Collins, from: "Army PSYOP in Bosnia: Capabilities and Constraints"

"Historically in Haiti, any change of power was a very bloody deal. This was accomplished with minimal bloodshed," Crawmer said. "...I personally feel that because of [the psyop soldiers'] ability to influence the media environment in Haiti, the effect was to soothe the Haitians and get their cooperation." Katherine McIntire Peters, from Haitian Mission Is Smoothed By Psyops Getting Out The Word"

"Military personnel from the Fourth Psychological Operations Group based at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, have until recently been working in CNN's hq in Atlanta. CNN is up in arms about our report in the last issue of CounterPunch concerning the findings of the Dutch journalist, Abe de Vries about the presence of US Army personnel at CNN, owned by Time-Warner. We cited an article by de Vries which appeared on February 21 in the reputable Dutch daily newspaper Trouw, originally translated into English and placed on the web by Emperor's Clothes. De Vries reported that a handful of military personnel from the Third Psychological Operations Battalion, part of the airmobile Fourth Psychological Operations Group based at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, had worked in CNN's hq in Atlanta." Alexander Cockburn, from "CNN AND PSYOPS"

"Think of this new domain as 'applied sociology' or 'cultural engineering.' Neither name is sufficient description to a field that encompasses information theory, general semantics, semiotics, cybernetics, neurolinguistics, statistical theory, advertising/propaganda, conditioning, epistemology, epidemiology, game theory, cognitive psychology, sociology, and evolutionary biology. If your eyes have glazed over, or you have already decided that you shouldn't be reading such 'trash' as this, then resign yourself to being one of the sheep. Careful study of Nazism (and Goebbels), Marxism, or Scientology (and Hubbard) give clear indications that the concepts work; from there, it is simply a matter of analysis of the phenomenon to build a new form of engineering, which in deference to its roots, can be referred to as memetic engineering." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"

"A meeting sponsored by Defense & Foreign Affairs and the International Strategic Studies Association was held in Washington DC in 1983. High-level officials from many countries met for this conference. They discussed psychological strategies related to government and policymaking. A summary of the agenda reads: "The group will be discussing the essence of future policymaking, for it must be increasingly clear to all that the most effec- tive tool of government and strategy is the mind... If it's any consolation to the weapons-oriented among defense policymakers, the new technologies of communications -- satellites, television, radio, and mind-control beams -- are 'systems' which are more tangible than the more philosophically based psychological strategies and operations." Judy Wall, from "Aerial Mind-Control: The Threat to Civil Liberties"

"Those are things ranging from using low-frequency [electromagnetic] waves in battlefield situations to intimidate your enemy to using smells. There's a lot of scents now that chemo-reception scientists have figured out make people upset and make people intimidated...And those are real, and more than enough to talk about. I've seen them being [used in field test situations] or read research reports about them being used. I've interviewed people in the military who have used them. I've read the public relations materials -- bill collection agencies that use pheromones in the ink in collection letters." Douglas Rushkoff

"The March 23, 1991 newsbrief, "High-Tech Psychological Warfare Arrives in the Middle East", describes a US Psychological Operations (PsyOps) tactic directed against Iraqi troops in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. The manoeuvre consisted of a system in which subliminal mind-altering technology was carried on standard radiofrequency broadcasts. The March 26, 1991 newsbrief states that among the standard military planning groups in the centre of US war planning operations at Riyadh was "an unbelievable and highly classified PsyOps program utilising 'silent sound' techniques" Judy Wall, "PSY-OPS WEAPONRY USED IN THE PERSIAN GULF WAR"

"The Pentagon had listed the holographic projections openly as part of its "non-lethal" weapons program. But since 1994, the program has disappeared from view, evidently now a "black" effort, says DEFENSE WEEK. In conclusion, the DEFENSE WEEK article states that the Army's JFK Special Warfare Center and School in late 1991 disclosed that it was looking to develop a PSYOPS Hologram System with a capability "to project persuasive messages and three-dimensional pictures of cloud, smoke, rain droplets, buildings......(even religious "images" or "figures")........The use of holograms as a persuasive message will have worldwide application". (end quoting). (This looks like it will be a concentrated unit of soldiers armed with the very latest high-tech weapons systems)" Norio Hayakawa, from "Pentagon, Psyops and Holographic Technology"

"The objective and scope of the 1993 Los Alamos conference included exploring a nonlethal approach to apply force against not only wartime enemies (the Soviet Union had already fallen) but against "terrorists" and "international drug traffickers" as well. The introduction noted that the purpose of the conference was to bring together "industry, government, and academia to explore the potential of nonlethal defense and identify requirements so that the defense community can work together in leveraging the nonlethal concept. "Industry [law enforcement], particularly, will benefit from a more precise understanding of requirements and operational constraints regarding nonlethal defense technologies," noted the conference's sponsors, The American Defense Preparedness Association. Additionally, nonlethal defense was described as "an emerging technological option being developed conceptually with a sea of technical opportunity. Based upon the technical presentations listed in the brochure, it didn't appear to me that such technology as acoustical, highpower microwave, laser, ELF/RF weapons and "psychotronic" systems were particulary NEW in the field of military or intelligence applications. Obviously, what was occurring at this conference was the presentation of these formidable weapons to law enforcement for domestic (U.S.) applications." Carol Marshall, from "The Last Circle"

"The NSA uses this technology to resocialize (brainwash) the US civilian voting population into "Giving their lives to Christ" (giving up their personal will and civil rights to the NSA). Each subject is required to maintain a "Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ" (following the precepts of the Bible and doing what is ordered by the NSA). The technology is also used to monitor and optimize NSA employee performance and loyalty...Coincidence is used to create the perception in the subject that supernatural events are beginning in the subject's life. A combination of posthypnotic commands and pre-information awarded to the subject prior to an upcoming experience that the NSA intelligence system has discovered gives the subject a feeling that "God" or some other supernatural being is taken interest in their life...The following is one typical technique used by the NSA. NSA Intelligence gathers information regarding the topic of the sermon in the subject's church. This information is gathered through electronic surveillance equipment installed in the church. The NSA then implants a posthypnotic command that triggers the subject’s mind into concern and contemplation about the sermon’s topic prior to going to church. When the subject hears the sermon, the sermon seems to be speaking directly to the subject that adds to God's mysterious and unexplainable ability to address the innermost concerns of the subject, especially when the subject has not shared those concerns with any other human being. .. " NSA mind control and psyops

"The scary thing is, the technology exists to do it. You only have to look at the U.S. Patents Office Website to see that it's true. "There are patents for microwave devices that can beam sound directly into someone's head." Mind Control, Conspiracies and Lobster

"Dr. Igor Smirnov, of the Institute of Psycho-correction in Moscow, says in regard to this technology: "It is easily conceviable that some Russian 'Satan', or let's say Iranian [or any other 'Satan'], as long as he owns the appropriate means and finances, can inject himself [intrude] into every con- ceivable computer network, into every conceivable radio or television broad- cast, with relative technological ease, even without disconnecting cables. You can intercept the [radio] waves in the aether and then [subliminally] modulate every conceivable suggestion into it. If this transpires over a long enough time period, it accumulates in the heads of people. And even- tually they can be artificially manipulated with other additional measure- ments, to do that which this perpetrator wants [them to do]. This is why [such technology] is rightfully feared." From a German documentary, "Geheimes Russland: Moskau - Die Zombies dr roten Zaren" ("Secret Russia: Moscow - The Zombies of the Red Czars") aired on German TV network ZDF on December 22, 1998. Script translation by Jan Weisemann. The full text is to be published in Resonance, No. 35. Judy Wall, from "Aerial Mind-Control: The Threat to Civil Liberties"

"Last night on the Art Bell show, Ed Dames announced that PsiTech had remote-viewed the "third prophesy of Fatima." He identified it as equivalent to the opening of the sixth seal, as described in the book of Revelations in the Judeo-Christian Bible and said it would happen next month, in November. His description made a vague reference to war and other calamities. Noting the history of "Major Head Games" history as an intelligence agent, one wonders what psyop strategy is being implemented here. Is the government planning a major war next month (Wag The Dog?) and is this announcement being used to precondition the gullible to accept a mystical explanation or is it some other psyop strategy, such as raising the panic level among the gullible so they will be more likely to accept martial law?" Wes Thomas

"An ex-CIA agent interviewed by researcher Jim Keith claims to have knowledge of biological warfare testing and "special medical and Psy-ops (psychological operations) facilities at Fort Riley," where Timothy McVeigh was stationed. (Recall that McVeigh took a Psy-ops course at Ft. Riley) This agent stated that experimentation is conducted "in collaboration with the whole range of intelligence agencies, FBI, CIA, NSA, the works." The agent also told Keith that he had witnessed special psychological operations performed on the crew of the Pueblo naval vessel at Fort Riley, and at Fort Benning, Georgia (where did his basic training), prior to the ship's capture under mysterious circumstances by the North Koreans." David Hoffman, from: The Oklahoma City Bombing and the Politics of Terror

"Criteria for Determining Psychological Warfare in Documents 1. Is there low risk of attracting foreign intelligence organizations to the targeted topic? What is the extent of the risk involved with such a deception? Is it worth the tradeoffs? 2. Has there been a long multi-year history of credible relationship between the target of deception and the authors of the deception? 3. Is the reaction of the target predicable; will they swallow the bait and move in the desired direction for some length of time? 4. Is there a specific purpose, goal, objective or intent of the deception; can it be clearly stated? 5. Does the phrase, sentence or document establish believability in the eye of the target of deception? 6. Is there any direct evidence that the documents were ever launched at the target? 7. Are there a credible number of unique language words to draw suspicion about authorship? 8. Do the historically competent experts, in Psychological Warfare agree with the answers to these questions?" Ryan Wood, from "Psychological Warfare & The Majestic Documents: No Signs of Deception."

"The whole arsenal of frequencies will be unloaded on the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico as part of Stage 1 of the First Protocol, (to include) Woodpecker, Buzzsaw, Videodrome, Subliminals*, Sonic Pulses. Holograms, Visions, Voices and strange Psychokinetic phenomena. Beware of TV's, computers, movies, radios and phones! Also books, magazines, newspapers, printed advertisements and posters will also contain the encrypted hidden subliminal holograms. * In addition to the obvious programming of commercial, consumerism and marketing reason behind all the subliminals and electronically compressed information in movies, commercial television, Hollywood videos, radio and telephones - and now encrypted in printed matter, affect the brains neural networks and functions through select frequencies and their harmonics to diminish the Will, Individuality and Creativity of the Individual. Furthermore, the protocols intended to give, in essence, the commands of "Obey the Law", "Do Not Question Authority Government is Your God", "Do As You Are Told" and "God is talking to you". -Also, erratic thoughts of Anger, Fear, Depression, and wanton Sexuality are also included. This causes utter confusion in individuals who don't know where these strange thoughts are coming from -Now you do." CIA & Vatican, Holographic Projection Technology - The "Holy See"

"It is child's play to transmit an ELF modulated signal to be broadcast by the entire mobile phone network - if need be. By this means, all mobile phone users can be behaviourally modified, at the cost of developing cancer from low level microwave exposure from the phones they constantly use, stressing the neural network by constant calcium ion efflux and interference with bioelectric fields." Margaret Thatcher Masers, Microwaves, Mindcontrol & Abductions

"Within the last two decades a potential has emerged which was improbable, but which is now marginally feasible. This potential is the technical capability to influence directly the major portion of the approximately six billion brains of the human species, without mediation through classical sensory modalities, by generating neural information within a physical medium within which all members of the species are immersed. The historical emergence of such possibilities, which have ranged from gunpowder to atomic fission, have resulted in major changes in the social evolution that occurred inordinately quickly after the implementation. Reduction of the risk of the inappropriate application of these technologies requires the continued and open discussion of their realistic feasibility and implications within the scientific and public domain." Dr. Michael Persinger, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Laurentian University, from "On the Possibility of Directly Accessing Every Human Brain by Electromagnetic Induction of Fundamental Algorithms"

The best way to protect oneself... is the Delphic oracle's comment to 'know thyself.' Understanding the rudiments of what is going on allows for considerable self programming and self control; a sophisticated person in fact will have a number of paradigms and shift them at will. It is interesting to note that prophylactic measures against this sort of thing have considerable history; for example, Speculative Freemasonry, in an attempt to counteract the rise of superstition and the power of the Church, used various rituals and initiations (kept secret to increase the 'shock value' to the participant) to invoke and evoke a state of mind and being through 'gnosis,' direct experience. The influence, historically, of such groups is still debated, yet the influence of the practitioners still remains; we view them as the most significant free thinkers, artists, and scientists of their age. Clearly, the ability to continually integrate the signals one receives and choose one's own actions and reactions is a beneficial capability." Michael Wilson, from: "Memetic Engineering PsyOps and Viruses for the Wetware"

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