First off, I am not an ‘influencer’ this site attracts an average of 50 views a day primarily my product reviews (which aside from a handful years ago, have been unsolicited and not paid for), travel posts and recipes . Paid influencers are a reality, and the fact that they exist must factor into our critical thinking around events taking place in the world.
Since the start of 2020, I have seen things in the periphery of my mind’s eye, and been dimly aware of the psychology at play. I do not presume to know or understand who is orchestrating this or to what end. The psychological war being waged against ordinary people world wide is chilling and frighting but it is also fascinating.
Long ago I studied Communication through The University of South Africa (UNISA), this helped me to identify some aspects of our current situation. You can skip my observations and simply do a search for “Brainwashing methods”. Brainwashing is studied and used in areas such as advertising, politics, cults and even abusive relationships.
The definition of brainwashing according to the Psychology Research and Reference website is : Brainwashing is a term that was adopted by the press to describe the indoctrination of U.S. prisoners of war (POWs) during the Korean War. Social scientists now recognize brainwashing as a form of severe indoctrination marked by physical and psychological stress, intense social pressure, and a variety of persuasion techniques. This form of intense indoctrination usually promotes some particular form of political or religious doctrine, often entailing costly sacrifices by adherents.
Brainwashing of adherents to a cause is achieved through a number of steps some of which are described below.
The aim of isolation is to separate subjects from friends and family, this is so that the victim gets most thoughts and ideas from the manipulator. The manipulator does not want a 3rd party to come in and question their narrative. In the lockdown context the first step was isolating people. In many cases, even when ‘freed’ people have continued to choose to self-isolate out of fear.
ATTACKS ON SELF ESTEEM
Once a person is isolated, methods such as fear, criticism and sleep deprivation achieve the end of breaking the victim down. People with low self esteem will doubt themselves and are more likely to accept being mistreated or abused. Their thinking can then be more easily remodeled to align with the desires of the manipulator.
Despite some people manifesting evil, most humans want to do right. Pushing ideas, such as that your unwashed hands can kill Granny, establishes guilt. Early in 2020 most citizens were told to wear face masks to protect others. In wearing masks, we absolve ourselves of guilt. This practice paved the way for people to be convinced that they must now take a vaccine in order to protect others, despite it not being hidden by any health authority that those injected with vaccines can still be infected with the SARS COV2 virus, and they can still pass the illness on. Cognitive dissonance is seldom addressed.
Facing the danger of physical harm will ignite our basic need for self preservation. In the face of an illness which carries a very real potential to harm, we are more likely to play into the hands of manipulators. Living in perpetual danger and fear of this, compromises the ability to think and reason.
In the current situation jargon or thought terminating cliches are being used through words such as “anti vaxer, anti science or conspiracy theorist”. Generalisations like this cause the victim to be less self assured. Jargon kills intelligent debate, through name calling and bullying it stops conversation. The broad sweep of critical words favours the manipulator, whereas dealing in specifics can introduce facts and ideas which could threaten the narrative and power of the manipulator. If you take a specific theory, debate and examine it’s pros and cons with evidence an entirely different exchange emerges.
Repetition entrenches some mental pathways. Constant bombardment with simplified words or phrases can lower resistance and lead to us incorporating them into the fabric of our belief system, thoughts or ideas. Remember Animal Farm’s “Four legs good two legs bad.” Think of this technique next time you listen to the radio, particularly news and current events shows and count how many times you hear words associated with the pandemic even during a short period of listening. Now think about how this is repeated on every website you access and every shop or business that you visit.
MONOPOLISATION OF PERCEPTION
The advent of the internet appeared to be a defining moment in communication, where we would have unfettered access to the broadest range of information. It was unanticipated that certain platforms would gain monopoly to the extent which we have seen happen, with this monopoly has come the opportunity for Big Tech to dictate and control what we do and do not see. An amusing example is the news channel Rebel News, most of their income was derived from YouTube, they were demonetized by YouTube and ironically they were suspended for a video “If Big Tech can cancel Donald Trump, they can cancel you”. So called “fact checkers” have come to control the central narrative so that if information becomes available which is not in line with that of manipulators, the “fact checkers” can undermine this information. I have noticed that some items which have been fact checked cannot disprove the fact, instead they turn to subtly twist the angle using word play. For example in May 2021 Fauci was asked how many of his staff were vaccinated at the time, his reply was “Probably a little bit more than half, probably around 60%”. The video of him answering this question can be seen below. The response of fact checkers on Reuters was “Contrary to claims by social media users, two top U.S. officials involved in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in the country did not say that 40% to 50% of CDC and FDA employees are refusing to get immunized.” In this example the fact checkers focus on the inserted word “refuse” subtle but so clever. Also note the different way in which the percentages are portrayed, in the original content and in the “fact check”.
OCCASIONAL INDULGENCES AND LENIENCY
When the victim is broken down and feeling hopeless the manipulator may make a small offering, this gives hope and draws the imagination to a place where things may become better. The implied message is “if you do what we want, you will be alright”. We have seen this method manifest when some small easing of lockdown regulations happens, the joy at small respite, leads us to almost forget that we are still imprisoned in the broader sense.
Highly credible doctors and scientists who dare to stick their heads over the parapet, are finding themselves being smeared, discredited, and in some cases being stripped of their jobs and ability to earn an income. Very seldom are they challenged regarding facts or truths which they communicate.
Enforcing a dress code creates conformity and removes individuality. During the Covid pandemic, the practice of wearing masks has had many effects. The visual prompt serves to constantly remind us of the threat of physical danger. It has stripped us of an aspect of our humanity. It could be interpreted as a reminder that some of our thoughts need to be gagged.
CAPTURE BONDING (STOCKHOLM SYNDROME)
The definition according to dictionary.com is “an emotional attachment to a captor formed by a hostage as a result of continuous stress, dependence, and a need to cooperate for survival.” In many ways through lockdowns we have become ‘captured’ and ‘imprisoned’. I see many instances particularly on social media where ordinary citizens are pushing the agenda of the manipulators, from tattooing a symbol of their compliance or sharing selfies depicting obedience to more dangerous behaviour such as wanting to identify and punish those who resist the manipulators.
Many of the new rules in our lives, are almost fun. Pre pandemic most lives had almost become a bit boring in their predictability. The pandemic provided endless options to play by new rules. I went full Mr Monk washing my groceries. Changing clothes after shopping. Sanitizing to a point of insanity and more. By having to work within the framework of innumerable government lockdown rules, we have become complicit and part of the game.
There are no doubt many more points that can be scrutinized, but as an introduction to the topic I feel I have covered the most important aspects. While researching for this article I found a page on Darkmoon written in 2017, which I encourage you to read in full . The two points quoted below clearly show just how textbook our current situation is.
“3. To promote the lie and discredit the truth, the truth must henceforth be labeled a “conspiracy theory” and its promoters dismissed as brain-damaged kooks.
4. The next step is to criminalize the truth by labeling it “hate speech”, suggesting that any expression of this truth will lead to public disorder and death. Truth telling now becomes “terrorism”.”
I have also been wondering for some time if certain conspiracy theories and possibly even well known “conspiracy theorists” have been planted by the manipulators in the current situation – perhaps the way-out things like the 5G theories – and on Darkmoon for the first time I found reference to this being a real technique in brainwashing: “5. The systematic fabrication of false conspiracy theories by paid agents, in order to create maximum obfuscation and bring the truth into disrepute by associating it with a plethora of discredited ideas and far-fetched, ludicrous lies. “
I would really encourage people to do further research on the subject and in particular also look closely at the psychology behind the Nazi movement.
I would welcome any additional thoughts or comments on what I have written. You can share in the discussion by commenting below