December 12, 2008

Insanity-- the New Norm

Twice in the last two days I heard commentators on the radio refer to 'conspiracy theories on 9-11' as prima facie illustrations of how 'kooky ideas' can thrive on the Internet. The two speakers, on different programs, sounded quite rational, and didn't seem to be associated with any interests that should color their views. What united them was their firm assurance that those who question the official stories of 9-11 are quite obviously mentally unstable, case closed. How did they know that? Because-- it's obvious; surely our government wouldn't lie to us. That platitude seems to be their only source of their cock-sureness. Oh, I'm sure, if challenged, they would have haughtily replied that the famous article in Popular Science magazine debunked all the claims of the skeptics, and that is the end of the matter, period.

This kind of entrenched position on the saga of 'September 11, 2001' is the epitome of how inverted the world's thinking has become. Whatever the majority-- those convinced of the facts of that day based on the government's explanation-- know about the events, they know them from the glowing box that sits in their homes and talks to them with pictures. These defenders of orthodoxy have, wittingly or otherwise, placed their entire trust in the hands of a cadre of individuals who have been discovered, by the very media that repeat their explanations, to have lied in order to trigger the Iraq war. This 'reality discrepancy' does not seem to bother them; at least, not enough to shake their confidence that all has been said regarding 9-11.

There are numerous examples of such 'cognitive dissonance' that have occurred in the sphere of politics over the last several decades. The very accumulation of these instances should have set off loud alarm bells among the population long ago. But no; apart from a few persistent voices, the majority prefers to perform the mental gymnastics required to invert common sense, turn black into snowy white, and make base slag into shiniest gold. Note that this is an active exercise, not merely ignoring the annoying skeptics, but painting them as the crazies, the ones who have things all wrong!

One of the most blatant events indicative of behind the scenes machinations working in tandem with media manipulation was the assassination of JFK, way back in 1963. There's no point rehashing the numerous inconsistencies in the explanation provided by the authorities, or in the conduct of the investigation into such a momentous crime. Suffice to say that the whole episode was a disgrace in American history, and is even acknowledged as such by the majority. Yet not enough people could be found to question the official fabrications to mount any semblance of a prosecution of the masterminds behind it. Nor, sadly, even to prevent the same fate from taking the life of the next Kennedy knight, a few years later. Stunning. Those murders must have shaken a lot of high-placed people into treading very carefully from then on, in terms of what they stated publicly, and who they criticized. But for the masses, it seemed to have the desired effect-- a shock to the psychic system that gave the perpetrators the nerve to step up the pace of their subtle yet transparent putsch.

Those examples of covert operations in the late 20th century showed the clandestine cabal that the theories and lessons from pre-WW-2 Europe could be applied effectively to mold public opinion in almost any direction they desired. As described by Naomi Klein in her book 'Shock Doctrine,' the idea can be applied at either the individual or the mass level. That is to subject the person or group to a physical shock of some sort, and while they are in a state of distress, desired messages can be transmitted to their subconscious with little cognizant, that is to say, rational, resistance. The technique is used against 'detainees' who are to be interrogated, and has also been used with 'shocking' success against the global population. That so many people could see and hear the 'spinning' of events surrounding 9-11, and give it unqualified credence, staggers the rational mind. One day, it will be seen to be the most audacious act of deception ever to be foisted upon mankind by fellow members of the race. Many true believers in the 'official 9-11' are persons who scoff at the best magicians' tricks as being obvious illusions; yet they swallow the government tale with one big gulp. How does this lack of skepticism, this gullibility, come to exist in a society that regards itself as so enlightened?

It starts from the earliest age, in this modern, self-absorbed society. The mind-conditioning begins with the absorption of societal norms and unstated sacred cows from babyhood, through our parents, relatives, and caretakers. With the use of TV as the ultimate electronic baby-sitter, the process of acculturation is greatly accelerated. By the time a child attends kindergarten, they already have a fairly complete world-view, one that reflects all the assumptions and presumptions of the community in which they were born. By the time the child graduates from elementary school, the mental landscape is pretty well set in stone, for most individuals. The invention of television proved to be probably the single most powerful tool of indoctrination that ever appeared in the world. The 'box' began insinuating itself into the living rooms and hearts of our populations shortly after WW-2, which means that its birth and development parallel that of the Baby-boom generation. Hence, we are seeing at least the third generation being raised in front of the glowing-god, the all-knowing box that tells us everything about the world. Early in its career, the clever minds behind the scenes understood the power of TV to mold minds, and they put a lot of money into using that power to condition the mass audience.

Oh, you insist, that's not true; you are fully aware at all times of what is being presented to you and the effect it is having on your subconscious. Really? Then you don't understand what you're up against. The whole mode of media conditioning is that it is done so insidiously that the vast majority of viewers simply have no awareness of what is occurring within their human software. Only a few psychologists have delved into the study of media's effects on the psyche. One of the pioneers was Marshall McLuhan, and he documented in seminal books the incredible effects of television as a dominant influence in human culture. Naturally, the powers that be do not want to broadcast information that reveals the sinister possibilities of television. Therefore, the studies that indict 'electronic media' in its role in, for example, increasing violence, or disintegration of the family, are downplayed, opposed, and ignored. It is not my intention here to expose TV's role as the predominant manipulator of public perception. Yet, we have to become awake to the electronic monster in our midst, the stranger in our homes that pretends to befriend us in order to colonize our minds.

An astounding characteristic of the mind-conditioning is that its perpetrators find it amusing or expedient to inform us, its subjects, albeit often in disguised form, of all of its dirty secrets! It's a game with them. They release movies and TV programs that illustrate in fictional guise exactly the subterfuges that they are using in their quest to gain full control of the world. It sounds unbelievable; yet let your electronically-drugged mind take you back to movies such as the 'Matrix' series, or the X-Files episode that telegraphed the 9-11 plot; or the docu-drama, 'JFK,' or 'Syriana,' or 'The Candidate,' and so on. These pieces of entertainment set out the basic, broad sketches of exactly the agenda behind the scenes of events that have changed the course of our civilization. The sheeple who flock to these movies sit thru them mesmerized, then leave the theatres happy that it was just fiction, and nothing to take seriously. Then the shadowy forces implement their schemes using many of the themes in these fictional pieces... and the shocked onlookers cannot allow the confabulated explanations to be filed under fiction, so they accept them as explained by the authority figures who offer them the only straw of reassurance their reeling senses can grasp. To seal the deal, the conspiracy stridently denounces the few voices of sanity who point out the Emperor's nakedness, by labeling them as the kooks and cranks. It's brilliant in its malevolence.

Yet all these machinations would not succeed in duping the vast majority of the population without the full cooperation of a complicit mass media. It's baffling again, to see how our high schools and universities offer courses in media awareness (or whatever buzz-phrase they use) despite which our populace seems to have little clue about the extent of their reality molding. Again, 9-11 provided a text-book illustration of ultra-effective propaganda in creating reality. Note, it is not necessary to have 100% of the media behind the conspiracy; what is essential is to have the top handful of conglomerates co-opted-- the three-letter networks that have a stranglehold on the American psyche. And that co-opting is almost trivially easy when these mega-corporations have absorbed most of the independent stations, and are ruled by boards and executives who can be installed by the monied oligarchy. Thru the magic of 'free enterprise,' you can count, today, all the major TV networks on the fingers of one hand. Similarly, there are only a few, major newspapers in the USA that are taken seriously as authoritative, and they too are dominated by corporate interests closely allied with Washington. Altho there may be individual reporters who still retain some integrity and objectivity, it is to little avail. The editors are installed and directed by the publishers to take a certain stance on specific stories, and that becomes reality, no matter what reason may protest.

If you can manage to exercise your objectivity long enough, you start to see exactly how the system works. In the first hours following a big story (take the Mumbai 'terrorist attacks' as an example) you get all kinds of information, some of it verifiable, and some of it speculative. Reporters on the scene get interviews with all types of witnesses, and present all sorts of 'factoids.' Then, as time passes, some of the most interesting 'leads' just disappear, never to be seen again; while other threads start to get repeated and take on growing significance. You begin to see where the 'reality-generators' want the story to go ('... links to Al-Queda'), and how they are selecting the evidence to force it in the desired direction (... 'reported to be trained in Pakistan'). If you were actually taking note of the more troubling, initial reports, and three days later tried to find those stories, you would be surprised at how difficult it would be. In fact, before the Internet, you simply would not have retrieved those stories; but today, it is generally possible for the persistent skeptic to find them, thanks to various 'alternative' websites that archive vast amounts of information before it gets flushed down the memory hole.

When pressed, the authorities admit that management of information does, indeed, take place. But, they always cast it in the light of necessity and benevolent filtering for the sake of poor, overwhelmed viewers who can't be trusted to think for themselves. And, regrettably, it appears that those allegations have a lot of truth. As McLuhan discovered, the medium of television is able to bypass the conscious 'filters' of the mind and implant suggestions in the subconscious of the viewer. We know this is done with commercial messages, especially when we find ourselves humming their jingles before we realize what's happening. It is also done with comedies, dramas, and even news shows, although the effects can take a long time to manifest. But the powers behind the scenes are very patient, willing to invest the time to inculcate their values into a generation of passive viewers. 'How do I know?,' you might demand. The secret is this: once you awake from the electronic 'soma-drug,' and become aware that we are living in an artificial 'reality matrix,' it is very difficult to fall back to sleep (unless you allow it). I have been around since the dawn of TV, and can still recall the early, rather clumsy, 'live' shows, on small-screen, black and white, cathode-ray tube screens. With hindsight, I can recall in broad strokes, the growing sophistication of programming, as producers gained familiarity with the medium. Certain 'genre shows' demonstrated what the public liked, and the parallel growth of viewer surveys led to the science of viewing measurement. Viewing audience became the prime concern as it was linked to advertising revenue... and from that point on, it was a race to the lowest common denominators in programming.

At the same time, the lessons were well absorbed by those who govern from the shadows: that the hypnotic TV screen provided, perhaps, the ultimate means of creating reality via news management. Taking advantage of Americans' growing deference to 'acknowledged experts' to guide them thru every dilemma, the news programs made it mandatory to trot out the experts to pontificate on every story that could be used to fabricate consensus reality. The news-type programs reflect the political biases that bifurcate US society, and so the right-wing stations look for conservative commentators for guidance, while the left-wing channels seek out liberal 'talking heads' for their wisdom. You might think, therefore, how can TPTB create covert consensus when there is this on-going tension between 'left' and 'right' in US society? That is one classic ruse that the conspirators use, with devastating effect, to advance their agenda. Some refer to the technique as the 'Hegelian dialectic,' but it is very simple: all crises are framed by 'them' as a clash between A and B. (e.g. left vs. right; communism vs. democracy; science vs. ignorance; dictatorship vs. freedom; etc.). Eventually, the outcome occurs: either 'their' preferred choice triumphs, or when the conflict reaches a deadlock, they pull out their solution... which is always one that puts more power in their hands and removes more rights from the 'common people.'

There is a deep psychological need in every human for security, for stability, for a predictable world where things work according to reliable rules. Societies will tolerate all kinds of discomforts as long as they perceive that the result is more security. They will accept all kinds of elaborate measures and inconveniences provided the end seems to bolster their security. And, worst of all, societies will allow or make themselves believe all manner of artful deception (read 'lies') as long as the prevaricators play the game properly, and supply 'plausible but unlikely' justifications for doing so. And these three ploys were all invoked and epitomized in the events of 9-11, which explains why that day has become so iconic in our minds, whether you believe the official story or not.

The formal story of 9-11 is riddled with gaping inconsistencies, and nonsensical leaps of faith, yet it has become absorbed as normal by a majority of Americans. Leveraging off that day's events, the US government introduced legislation that retracted many domestic civil rights, arrested and held foreigners without charges, and violated the borders of several remote countries. A war was ignited that has cost a sizable toll in soldiers' deaths, injuries, and national treasure, besides hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths and dislocations. But for a space of some two years, the Bush regime received the virtually unqualified enthusiasm of the US media, and consequently, little criticism from any quarter. In the eyes of the world, the US public appeared to 'take leave of their senses' to use a wonderful, old English phrase. For reasons hidden from the public scrutiny, the media took a sudden turn against their former hero, G.W. Bush, during his second term, and now took delight in playing the critic role they utterly abandoned in his first term. Why did this happen? (And more importantly, did you even take note of it?)

Surely this about-face proves the case for an 'independent media?' No! If you believe that, then you still don't get how the system works. The secret cabal know how to play society's moods like a fisherman lands a big catch, now pulling strongly, now letting the fish 'run' on the line... but still well hooked. Many thinking individuals were starting to put the puzzle together, and question the propagandizing of the media; and besides, a lot of people, even Republicans, were getting turned off by Bush's damaging of the American 'brand image' all around the globe. His two-term tenure was a done deal, so why not let the dogs loose for a time, let people relax back in the fiction that the media are objective. The criticism did little to undo the damage that had been done, and the cabal are always planning moves years ahead, in any case. (Brace yourselves for Obama!)

So, for the sake of clinging to stability and normalcy, the bulk of society will 'sell their soul' metaphorically, trading truth for comforting illusion. After all, the government supplied explanations that the media assures us are amply plausible; and besides, we're not terrorists, so why should we worry if some restrictions are placed on our freedom? It's a page from the Nazi playbook of the 1930s. But not to worry, for the conspirators; they have long since dulled history teaching in the schools, and most Americans have only a comic book impression of the last century. Hence, the majority murmurs the official story lines of 9-11, still hoping for the capture of the evil Arab head of 'Al Queda,' the terrorist organization that was unknown prior to that famous day. They still believe that three monolithic towers could be utterly ground into dust by two airliners striking them, when no skyscraper had ever before been destroyed by fire or aircraft. And on it goes; a litany of transparent lies, artfully woven together and promoted by the co-opted media who pounce mercilessly on any voice that would question the official line. There is no need for objective study of evidence, they insist; it has been duly done by the authorities, and that's the end of it. Forget those troublers who raise their stupid objections; they are obviously crazy, insane.

In the wacky world of the 21st century, madmen are in charge, reason is perverted and inverted, insanity is the new norm... and the situation appears unlikely to be reversed any time soon.

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