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Psyops Are Not New, Just More Dangerous


Since the international insanity began three years ago in the Spring of 2020, several compelling theories have emerged regarding those who have used this time to suppress freedoms and control the population.

For example, Debbie Lerman has effectively argued that lockdowns in the US were not about health, but about counter-terrorism. The state response is to control the population, and not let go of those controls once they are in place.

Aaron Kheriaty has effectively argued that we have entered a new realm of the Security State, all our actions monitored, tracked, and controlled.

Most disturbing of all, Jeffrey Tucker has effectively argued that scientific consensus has overwritten individual choice, giving us a vaccine which we all would be required to take, and which naturally leads to eugenics.

In reading these kinds of well-positioned articles, and the reactions to them on social media, it’s easy to get the impression that we have entered a truly Brave New World, one which did not formerly exist, and is an entirely new phenomenon.

The simple fact is that they are not new ideas. Man desires power over man. But even the parts of the recent attacks on humanity that may seem new are not entirely new. As outlined in the articles above, one such idea is that the government and companies have been performing psyops against us, to control our emotions and dictate our actions. 

But how do you convince the population that this mode of existence is desirable? You have to change the way they think. Is that new?

In his brilliant documentary, The Century of the Self, Adam Curtis describes how companies and governments used the psychological ideas of Sigmund Freud to manipulate people’s emotions for their own purposes and ends throughout the 1900s. 

Edward Bernays, the nephew of Freud, was chiefly responsible for bringing these ideas of mass manipulation to large corporations and the US government. In one example explored in Curtis’ documentary, the taboo against women smoking in public was preventing the large tobacco companies from selling to half of their potential market. 

Bernays hired a group of debutantes to appear in the Easter Sunday parade of 1929 in New York, under the guise that they represented the women’s suffrage movement. During the parade all the women smoked cigarettes, referencing the phrase “Torches of Freedom.” Cigarette sales to women began to take off.

What’s key here is that Bernays did not just get the women in the parade, he also alerted the press that it was happening. The press happily took photos and repeated “Torches of Freedom” in articles written for papers around the country. So the press unwittingly (or complicitly) aided Bernays in his campaign to encourage more women to smoke. Sound familiar?

Even as doctors became increasingly aware that cigarettes not only did not promote freedom, but could easily kill you, the song and dance continued. Cigarette campaigns used the medical establishment to give consumers the idea that cigarettes are safe. Again, sound familiar?

Bernays’ work with the US government included what now would be called a color revolution in Guatemala. Guatemala had a dictator who worked well with the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita), procuring bananas for sale in the US. The problem was that the workers were essentially slaves, and they revolted, electing a new leader, Dr. Juan Jose Arévalo, who installed a constitution modeling the US. 

He was followed by Jacobo Arbenz, who took the lands away from the banana company. They didn’t like that and went crying to Uncle Sam. Bernays came to the rescue, and staged anti-American pro-Communist rallies, including of course, a healthy dose of violence. No matter that Arbenz did not call himself a Communist or had any ties to Moscow. It didn’t take long for the American people to be frightened of a new Communist threat to the south, and get behind the idea that this new leader was a threat and must go. 

Bernays even came up with a new phrase for how he had manipulated the minds of Americans; he called it the Engineering of Consent. And this wasn’t the first time Bernays added a phrase to the lexicon. When he started with big business in the 1920s he thought the word propaganda was so negative, so he came up with a new one: public relations.

Bernays also worked for American politicians, such as Calvin Coolidge, to get them elected. And his work influenced the Nazis. From his 1965 autobiography:

They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.

But how did Bernays feel about the people that he so willingly and profitably manipulated? In The Century of the Self, his daughter is interviewed. 

She called his techniques “enlightened despotism.” She continues, “People who worked for him were stupid. And children were stupid. If people did things in a way that he wouldn’t have done them, they were stupid. It was a word he used over and over and over. Dope and stupid.” 

Antisocial purposes, indeed.

There are many many examples of using these psyop tactics since Edward Bernays. Here’s another one. Remember 9/11 and the Iraq war? There were no WMDs, and we got a brand new government department to go after terrorists: Homeland Security. I admit, I believed it and was completely on board. 

Since then, DHS has turned its spying eye on US citizens. Great trick getting a whole new department to go after people whose opinions you don’t like. 

But I feel so much safer now that I have to get to the airport 2 hours early and remove my shoes. 

What was it that Eddie would say about me? Oh yeah, I’m stupid.

Bernays perceived himself not only as the controller of opinions of the unwashed masses, but as a beneficial force in society, encouraging people to explore their desires and simultaneously bolster the economy and promote the American way. 

What he really did was undermine the basic fabric of society and wreck the implicit trust between purveyor and consumer. 

What is that economic bond of trust? I am providing something that you need. You are willing to compensate me for my effort. 

Psychological manipulation does not enter the equation. In so doing, he removed dignity from human interaction, reducing people to their animal instincts. 

This was exactly what Freud warned against in his research of the mind. These forces exist for all of us, and they must be understood so they never get out of hand. Unfortunately his nephew saw this new understanding as a means of personal profit and societal control. 

What has happened in the last few years is straight out of the Bernays playbook, but is far more sinister. 

The scope is larger: this time the psychological mess included the entire world. 

The attempt to control our physical beings has been far worse: global organizations want to tell us what we have to put in our bodies to even participate in society. 

The fear generated has been more localized: be afraid of your neighbors, they might get you sick. Rat out the dissenters.

Let’s make a list of what such actors have perpetrated in the last few years:

  • Separating society into essential and non-essential.
  • Ostracizing and labeling those who dissented from the dominant narrative.
  • Utilizing fear to establish a constant surveillance paradigm, where all movements and actions are traced.
  • Identifying non-vaxxers as “the others” in order to establish a new platform of biological control .
  • Censoring free speech by pressuring the media to shut down clear and honest voices.
  • Undermining communities that bind people to each other: closing churches, prohibiting social gatherings, shuttering businesses.

Who are the actors? It’s not entirely clear, but some elements of conspiracy are undeniable.

Take this seriously. 

As the terrifying totalitarian regimes used it against their people to foment murderous rage, the same could be in store for us. It’s going to take people who understand they are being manipulated, who understand they are being used, who understand they want their independence and freedom, to engender a peaceful and meaningful life for all.

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  • Alan Lash

    Alan Lash is a software developer from Northern California, with a Masters Degree in Physics and a PhD in Mathematics.

    View all posts

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