The debate over what actions actually constitute “terrorism,” I believe, will become one of the defining ideological battles of our era. Terrorism is not a word often used by common people to describe aberrant behaviors or dastardly deeds; however, it is used by governments around the world to label and marginalize political enemies. That is to say, it is the government that normally decides who is a “terrorist” and who is a mere “criminal,” the assertion being that one is clearly far worse than the other.
The terrorist label elicits emotional firestorms and fearful brain-quakes in the minds of the masses. It causes the ignorant and unaware to abandon principles they would normally apply to any other malicious enterprise. They begin to reason that a criminal should be afforded justice, while a terrorist should be afforded only vengeance, even though the act of branding a person a “terrorist” is often completely arbitrary. This vengeance is usually pursued by any means. Thus, the terrorist moniker becomes a rationalization for every vicious and inhuman policy of the establishment, as well as for the citizenry.
Dishonorable and foolish people claim the existence of terrorism essentially gives license for the rest of us to become criminal, willfully trampling on individuals’ rights to privacy, property, free speech, due process, civic participation, etc. Mass criminality against the individual in the name of social safety is the glue that holds together all tyrannical systems, triggering a catastrophic cycle of moral relativism that eventually bleeds a culture dry.
Historically, the expanded use of the terrorist label by governments tends to coincide with the rising tides of despotism. A government that quietly seeks to dominate the people will inevitably begin to treat the people as if they are the enemy. Those citizens who present the greatest philosophical or physical threat to the centralization of power are usually the first to suffer. I do not think it is unfair to say that any system of authority that suddenly claims to see terrorists under every rock and behind every tree is probably about to rain full-on fascism down upon the population.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the legal extension of this process, with a vaporous gray language that allows the government to interpret it in any manner it deems useful, which conveniently allows it to interpret a wide range of “offenses” as acts of war against the state.
The Department of Homeland Security’s “If You See Something Say Something” campaign is the social extension of the process, by which it creates the framework for a paranoid self-censored surveillance culture.
The fusion center network is the enforcement extension designed to surround local and State police with an atmosphere of indoctrination and federalized dogma, teaching common cops to profile according to a template that is so ambiguous that literally any activity could be considered suspicious or terroristic.
All that is left for the establishment is to force the vocabulary of fear into mainstream consciousness. This means constant propaganda. This means furious hype. This means an utterly shameless barrage of false associations, misdirections and fantastical fairyland lies. This means that we have reached a point in the grand totalitarian scheme in which the American populace is about to be bombarded with an endless drone of terrorism brainwashing — not demonizing a foreign enemy, but demonizing the hypothetical extremist next door. In fact, the Boston Marathon bombing seems to have been the signal for an escalation of such rhetoric. The high-speed conditioning has already begun.
In Middlefield, Ohio, James Gilkerson, an unemployed man taking care of his elderly mother, was pulled over during a routine traffic stop only to exit his vehicle firing an AK-47 at police officers. The action was obviously unprovoked; the police responded with deadly force, and rightly so. I would have done the same. Gilkerson’s attack was crazy, yes. Criminal? Yes. But Middlefield Police Chief Arnold Stanko’s remarks to the press bring a whole other dark side to this already tragic event. Stanko stated that: “He got out of the vehicle, intending to kill my officers. We don’t know why he did it… He was a scumbag and a terrorist, and he’s dead.”
Stanko doesn’t know why Gilkerson fired at police, but he is certain that the man was a “terrorist.” What if Gilkerson was depressed or overmedicated or he just snapped that day? Terrorism denotes certain premeditation and planning. This attack was clearly not part of a malicious scheme, yet the label of “terrorist” is being thrown around nonchalantly, almost as if law enforcement has been trained to use such rhetoric whenever it suits them.
In Montevideo, Minn., the FBI recently raided the home of Buford Rogers, who was convicted of felony burglary in 2011. Authorities had received reports that Buford was in possession of a firearm, which is illegal for convicted felons. The raid did indeed produce firearms, as well as items the FBI dubbed “explosive devices.” They did not specify what these “explosive devices” were or if they actually posed a significant threat to anyone. After the bust, headlines read “FBI Thwarts Terror Attack.”
Again, there is absolutely no indication here of a planned attack. There’s no indication that Rogers had any intent to hurt anyone or even any ideological motivations to hurt anyone. Yet the terrorism label is used again to describe a routine criminal arrest.
In Tempe, Ariz., 18-year-old Joshua Prater was arrested after a maid found an “explosive device” in his closet and turned it in to authorities. Prater claims he built the device, consisting of a carbon dioxide cartridge, a fireworks fuse, gunpowder, match heads and fireworks, eight years ago; and he claims he was not aware it was dangerous. Police did not call Prater a terrorist, but they did refer to his device as an “IED,” which, as we all know, is the abbreviation used by U.S. soldiers to describe an “improvised explosive device,” the favorite weapon of insurgents and “terrorists” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such terminology is not coincidental. Make no mistake; this is a calculated effort to introduce the language of the battlefield to the streets of America.
Seattle police are now holding simulation drills of attacks on local schools in which law enforcement officials fight against gun-wielding proxy opponents posing as “angry parents.”
These kinds of drills are a part of a larger DHS program implemented through fusion centers which, in my view, is designed to desensitize law enforcement to violence against common citizens. Said drills have simulated conflicts with constitutionalists, home-schoolers, patriots and so on. Let’s be clear here; the “terrorists” that the police are now being trained to fight against are people like you and me. We are being painted as the future enemy.
Just to solidify this reality, I will also point out the recent exposure of a DHS training program series available on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program website, which includes a media section designed to provide teaching aids to agency heads and law enforcement. The series includes a fabricated news broadcast that covers a hypothetical raid on a “militia headquarters.” The video shows semi-automatic firearms, rifle scopes, night vision, flak jackets — all perfectly legal in the United States today — as illegal “contraband,” while painting gun owners and militias as chemical weapon-wielding terrorists.
What started as an appeal to the average American’s sense of Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks has now evolved into the full-spectrum theater of random domestic terrorism that culminates in what the establishment calls “self-radicalization.”
The concept of self-radicalization is a very interesting propaganda tactic. Rather than limiting the public’s fear only to some outside foreign enemy like Al Qaeda or some domestic activist organization like the liberty movement, the establishment has now composed a narrative in which each and every one of us might one day catch the extremist virus of dissent, defiance or ideological violence and suddenly decide to kill, kill, kill.
The more naïve subsections of our society will accept unConstitutional methods against the “radicalized” out of fear and conditioning, without realizing that the machinations of bureaucracy being used against those they hate could just as easily be used against them in the future.
If the elites achieve the social endgame they desire, legal and political wordplay will become so broad that anyone could be targeted. If you are a citizen who defies the establishment power structure, then you are an extremist. If you are an extremist, then you are a terrorist. If you are a terrorist, then you are an enemy combatant. And, under the NDAA, if you are an enemy combatant, you are no longer a citizen and you no longer deserve Constitutional protection. The circular logic is maddening, not to mention outrageous. But it is also very useful when an abusive government needs a pretext to silence or destroy dissent. Under totalitarianism, all people become terrorists. It starts with the mistreatment of the worst of us, and it ends with the mistreatment of the best of us.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Washington knows no heresy in the Third World but genuine independence. In the case of Salvador Allende independence came clothed in an especially provocative costume – a Marxist constitutionally elected who continued to honor the constitution. This would not do. It shook the very foundation stones upon which the anti-communist tower is built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that “communists” can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population. There could be only one thing worse than a Marxist in power – an elected Marxist in power.
There was no one in the entire universe that those who own and run “United States, Inc.” wanted to see dead more than Hugo Chávez. He was worse than Allende. Worse than Fidel Castro. Worse than any world leader not in the American camp because he spoke out in the most forceful terms about US imperialism and its cruelty. Repeatedly. Constantly. Saying things that heads of state are not supposed to say. At the United Nations, on a shockingly personal level about George W. Bush. All over Latin America, as he organized the region into anti-US-Empire blocs.
Long-term readers of this report know that I’m not much of a knee-reflex conspiracy theorist. But when someone like Chávez dies at the young age of 58 I have to wonder about the circumstances. Unremitting cancer, intractable respiratory infections, massive heart attack, one after the other … It is well known that during the Cold War, the CIA worked diligently to develop substances that could kill without leaving a trace. I would like to see the Venezuelan government pursue every avenue of investigation in having an autopsy performed.
Back in December 2011, Chávez, already under treatment for cancer, wondered out loud: “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” The Venezuelan president was speaking one day after Argentina’s leftist president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, announced she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This was after three other prominent leftist Latin America leaders had been diagnosed with cancer: Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff; Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo; and the former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“Evo take care of yourself. Correa, be careful. We just don’t know,” Chávez said, referring to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, both leading leftists.
Chávez said he had received words of warning from Fidel Castro, himself the target of hundreds of failed and often bizarre CIA assassination plots. “Fidel always told me: ‘Chávez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what.” 1
When Vice President Nicolas Maduro suggested possible American involvement in Chávez’s death, the US State Department called the allegation absurd. 2
Several progressive US organizations have filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA, asking for “any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who has just died.”
I personally believe that Hugo Chávez was murdered by the United States. If his illness and death were NOT induced, the CIA – which has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, many successfully 3 – was not doing its job.
When Fidel Castro became ill several years ago, the American mainstream media was unrelenting in its conjecture about whether the Cuban socialist system could survive his death. The same speculation exists now in regard to Venezuela. The Yankee mind can’t believe that large masses of people can turn away from capitalism when shown a good alternative. It could only be the result of a dictator manipulating the public; all resting on one man whose death would mark finis to the process.
It’s the end of the world … again
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recent convention in Washington produced the usual Doomsday talk concerning Iran’s imminent possession of nuclear weapons and with calls to bomb that country before they nuked Israel and/or the United States. So once again I have to remind everyone that these people – Israeli and American officials – are not really worried about an Iranian attack. Here are some of their many prior statements:
In 2007, in a closed discussion, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that in her opinion “Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel.” She “also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears.” 4
2009: “A senior Israeli official in Washington”, reported the Washington Post (March 5), asserted that “Iran would be unlikely to use its missiles in an attack [against Israel] because of the certainty of retaliation.”
In 2010 the Sunday Times of London (January 10) reported that Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam, war hero, pillar of the Israeli defense establishment, and former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, “believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons.”
January 2012: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” 5
Later that month we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts – the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz – all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”
Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:
Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?
Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now … in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.
In an April 20, 2012 CNN interview Barak repeated this sentiment: “It’s true that probably [Iranian leader] Khamenei has not given orders to start building a [nuclear] weapon.” 6
And on several other occasions, Barak has stated: “Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel.” 7
Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a January 2012 report to Congress: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.” … There are “certain things [the Iranians] have not done” that would be necessary to build a warhead.8
So why, then, do Israeli and American leaders, at most other times, maintain the Doomsday rhetoric? Partly for AIPAC to continue getting large donations. For Israel to get massive amounts of US aid. For Israeli leaders to win elections. To protect Israel’s treasured status as the Middle East’s sole nuclear power.
Listen to Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at America’s most prominent neo-con think tank, American Enterprise Institute:
The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.” … And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem. 9
Osama bin Laden, Bradley Manning, & William Blum
Bradley Manning has the charge of “Aiding the enemy” hanging over his head. This could lead to a sentence of life in prison. As far as can be deduced, the government believes that the documents and videos that Manning gave to Wikileaks, which Wikileaks then widely distributed to international media, aided the enemy because it put US foreign policy in a very bad light.
Manning’s attorneys have asked the prosecution more than once for specific examples of how “the enemy” (whoever that may refer to in a world full of people bitterly angry at the United States because of any of many terrible acts carried out by the US government) has been “aided” by the Wikileaks disclosures. Just how has the enemy made use of the released material to harm the United States? The government has not provided any such examples, probably because what really bothers Washington officials is the embarrassment they have experienced before the world resulting from the documents and videos; which indeed are highly embarrassing even to genuine war criminals; filled with violations of international law, atrocities, multiple lies to everyone, revelations of gross hypocrisy, and much more.
So our splendid officials are considering putting Bradley Manning in prison forever simply because they’re embarrassed. Hard to find much fault with that.
But now the prosecutors have announced that a Navy Seal involved in the killing of Osama bin Laden is going to testify at the court martial that bin Laden possessed articles about the Wikileaks documents that Manning leaked. Well, there must be a hundred million other people in the world who have similar material on their computers. The question remains: What use did the enemy make of that?
The Iraqi government made use of the material, inducing them to refuse immunity to US troops for crimes committed in Iraq, such as the cold-blooded murders revealed by the Wilileaks videos; this in turn led the US to announce that it was ending its military engagement in Iraq. However, Manning was indicted in May 2010, well before the Iraqi decision to end the immunity.
In January, 2006 bin Laden, in an audio tape, declared: “If Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book ‘Rogue State’ [by William Blum], which states in its introduction … ” He then went on to quote the opening of a paragraph I wrote (which appears actually in the Foreword of the British edition only, that was later translated to Arabic), which in full reads:
“If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize – very publicly and very sincerely – to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America’s global interventions – including the awful bombings – have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but – oddly enough – a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings and invasions. There would be more than enough money. Do you know what one year of the US military budget is equal to? One year. It’s equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born.
“That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated.”
Thus, Osama bin Laden was clearly making use of what I wrote, and the whole world heard it. And I was thus clearly “aiding the enemy”. But I was not prosecuted.
The United States would like to prove a direct use and benefit by “the enemy” of the material released by Wikileaks; but so far it appears that only possession might be proven. In my case the use, and presumed propaganda benefit, were demonstrated. The fact that I wrote the material, as opposed to “stealing” it, is irrelevant to the issue of aiding the enemy. I knew, or should have known, that my criticisms of US foreign policy could be used by the foes of those policies. Indeed, that’s why I write what I do. To provide ammunition to anti-war and other activists.
The Department of Justice and socialism
For many years when I’ve been asked to explain just what I mean by “socialism” I’ve usually replied simply: “Putting people before profits”. There are a thousand-and-one details that would have to be considered in a transformation from a capitalist society to a socialist society, but rather than going into all that it’s much simpler to leave it with just that motto, which expresses theessence of my socialist society. In any event, in that glorious future world things will evolve in ways that could not be wholly predicted. The structure could take any one of many forms, but the essence must remain the same if it’s going to be called socialist.
Thus was I both surprised and amused in reading a news article about the current trial in New Orleans which is attempting to determine, amongst other things, the extent of blame of various companies, particularly BP, involved in the 2010 historic accident which took the lives of 11 workers and dumped an estimated 172 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The US Justice Department attorney declared in his opening statement: “The evidence will show that BP put profits before people, profits before safety and profits before the environment.” 10
Well, imagine that. The Justice Department certainly captured the essence of corporate behavior. The attorney chose such words because he knew that the sentiments expressed would appeal to the average American sitting on a jury. The members of the jury would understand that BP had blatantly ignored and violated certain cherished ideals like people, safety and the environment. Prosecuting the corporation would sound fair and just to them.
Yet, when someone like me expresses such sentiments – and I have used the exact same words on occasion – I run the risk of being written off as an “extremist”, a “radical”, and other bad-for-you labels; not long ago it was “commie”.
The irony runs even deeper. If a corporation flagrantly ignores putting profits before everything else, stockholders can sue the executives.
This just in! The real reason the Pope resigned!
He’s losing his mind.
In January, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Pope Benedict XVI to receive his blessing. Afterward, Panetta said the pontiff told him, “Thank you for helping to keep the world safe.” 11
The precious art of assassinating legally
Obama hopeium addicts can soon be expected to call for support of the president’s increasing use of drones for assassination on the ground of their being good for the environment. My White House agent informs me that Obama is going to announce that all American drones will soon be composed 85% of recyclable material and will be solar-powered. And each drone missile will have the following painted on its side: “He was a bad guy. Just take our word for it!”
- The Guardian (London), December 29, 2011 ↩
- Huffington Post, March 7, 2013 ↩
- http://killinghope.org/bblum6/assass.htm ↩
- Haaretz.com (Israel), October 25, 2007; print edition October 26 ↩
- “Face the Nation”, CBS, January 8, 2012 ↩
- Washington Post, August 1, 2012 ↩
- Iran Media Fact Check, “Does Israel Consider Iran an ‘Existential Threat’?” ↩
- The Guardian (London), January 31, 2012 ↩
- Political Correction, “American Enterprise Institute Admits The Problem With Iran Is Not That It Would Use Nukes” ↩
- Associated Press, February 26, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, January 17, 2013 ↩
Upcoming Scientific Publication: “governments can and even should move beyond existent levels of public permission in order to shift norms, allowing public sentiment to later catch up with the regulation.”
In a peer-reviewed paper by the American Institute of Biological Sciences titled “Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges” (available ahead of print), to be published in the march 2013 edition of the Institute’s yearly journal BioScience, a group of well-known scientists calls on government and scientists to start with the planned social engineering of “norms” and “values” in regards to environmental policies. In addition, they propose putting into effect all sorts of environmental fines and regulations in the spirit of Agenda 21 to hasten the social acceptance of increased governmental control. Also, they propose that the scientific community as a whole should align itself with government “through a concerted effort to change personal and social norms”.
The group of scientists involved in the upcoming publication include two Nobel Prize winners, economist Kenneth Arrow and political scientist Elinor Ostrom, as well as behavioral scientists, mathematicians, biologists- not to mention population scientists, the most well-known of whom are Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen C. Daily- whose professional relationship dates back to the Ecoscience days. The authors start out by stating:
“Some have argued that progress on these (global environmental) problems can be made only through a concerted effort to change personal and social norms. They contend that we must, through education and persuasion, ensure that certain behaviors become ingrained as a matter of personal ethics.” Stating that education and persuasion are insufficient to accomplish behavioral changes, they note:
“Substantial numbers of people will have to alter their existing behaviors to address this new class of global environmental problems. Alternative approaches are needed when education and persuasion alone are insufficient. Policy instruments such as penalties, regulations, and incentives may therefore be required to achieve significant behavior modification.”
Proposing that “effective policies are ones that induce both short-term changes in behavior and longer-term changes in social norms”, the collection of prominent scientists assert that “government is uniquely obligated to locate the common good and formulate its policies accordingly.”
The upcoming report however stresses that scientists are given the tools to have a hand in
“government policies intended to alter choices and behaviors” such as “active norm management, changing the conditions influencing behaviors, financial interventions, and regulatory measures.”
Each of these policy instruments potentially influences personal and social norms in different ways and through different mechanisms. Each also carries the danger of backfiring, which is often called a boomerang effect in the literature—eroding compliance and reducing the prevalence of the desired behaviors and the social norms that support those behaviors”.
“Eroding compliance”, it is called. Anticipating that an increase in regulatory interventions by government are sure to create resistance among the target population, the scientists express confidence that their recommendations “can be carried out in a way that abides by the principles of representative democracy, including transparency, fairness, and accountability.”
Despite these on-the-surface soothing words, the authors stress that government (and the scientific community) should ultimately “move beyond” public consent when it comes to top-down regulations imposed on the American people:
“Some have argued that regulations are inherently coercive and cannot or should not exceed implied levels of public permission for such regulations. An alternative viewpoint is that governments can and even should move beyond existent levels of public permission in order to shift norms, allowing public sentiment to later catch up with the regulation”.
By admitting they are willing to “move beyond existent levels of public permission” to push ahead with draconian environmental policies, these prominent scientists (among whom we find two Nobel laureates and one Paul Ehrlich) have proven their willingness to deceive the American population for their “environmental” control model. As Aaron Dykes put it while interviewing Lord Christopher Monckton,, the environmental “cause” is nothing more than “an absolute valued pretext for their absolute control model”.
The engineering of public “norms” serves not so much any environmental cause, but another one, namely that environmental policies, even draconian ones, will finally be perceived by the US population as being consistent with their own personal norms.
The way in which government may go about it shifting norms, the scientists argue, is by on the one hand “managing norms” through “such things as advertising campaigns, information blitzes, or appeals from respected figures”. The other aspect involved is the use of financial incentives and disincentives with the aim of conditioning the public to accept an increasing governmental control over personal behavior. The paper continues by saying that the best way to alter existing behaviors is through persuasive government regulations “such as penalties, regulations, and incentives” in order to “achieve significant behavior modification.”
“Fines can be an effective way to alter behavior, in part because they (like social norm management) signal the seriousness with which society treats the issue.”
By extension, the authors express hope that behaviors and values will “coevolve” alongside increased government control in the form of state regulations and “fines”:
“A carbon tax might prove effective even in the face of near-term opposition. What needs to be assessed is the possibility that behaviors and values would coevolve in such a way that a carbon tax—or other policy instrument that raises prices, such as a cap-and-trade system—ultimately comes to be seen as worthy, which would therefore allow for its long-term effectiveness”
In the context of this idea that shifting norms will “coevolve” alongside increased government regulations, the authors state:
“Each of the government interventions can influence both personal and social norms, although they do so through different mechanisms. Only social norm management directly targets norms. Choice architecture, financial instruments, and regulations can all alter social norms by causing people to first change their behaviors and then shift their beliefs to conform to those behaviors.”
In other words: the scientists propose arousing the concept of cognitive dissonance in the minds of people in order to guide the herd towards “proenvironmental” citizenship.
“When it comes to environmental issues”, the scientists write, “two different types of social norms are at play in these dynamics: social norms of conformity or cooperation and proenvironment social norms. Only the first type need be present to induce proenvironment behaviors (although proenvironment personal norms may emerge from this through, e.g., cognitive dissonance, experience, or associating the positive feeling from social approval for an act with the act itself).”
In the upcoming publication the concepts of peer-pressure and cognitive dissonance are being brought into the equation as effective norm-determining factors:
“norms of conformity and cooperation are far more universal than are proenvironment norms and are therefore far more powerful in inducing proenvironment behaviors that do not conflict with preexisting values or preferences. In other words, proenvironment values are not a necessary prerequisite to proenvironment behaviors.”
While the authors express their hope that government expands control through all kinds of environmental regulations, they argue that scientists (especially life scientists) should align with big government, join forces in an unrelenting campaign to gradually create changes in behavior so environmental policies will be more easily accepted over the course of some time.
“Life scientists could make fundamental contributions to this agenda through targeted research on the emergence of social norms”, the group asserts.
“many of the empirical studies cited in this article originate in law, psychology, economics, behavioral economics, anthropology, political science, and sociology. We know, for example, that the effective management of any commons requires sensitivity to local conditions, sound monitoring, graduated sanctions, and conflict-resolution mechanisms.”
Who better to guide the sheep towards “good environmental citizenship” than those scientists specialized in social engineering:
“Life scientists have a role to play in this by extending their existing theoretical analyses. To be effective, scholars of all stripes will have to extend their capacity to collaborate with decision- and policymakers in order to ensure realism and relevance.”
The scientists would, in such an environmental dictatorship, also have a monitoring capacity:
“Scientists could effectively examine how combinations of different policy interventions and of the relative timing of deployment play out.”
The paper is concluded with three distinct recommendations to both scientists and governmental agencies:
“(1) the greater inclusion of social and behavioral scientists in periodic environmental policy assessments; (2) the establishment of teams of scholars and policymakers that can assess, on policy-relevant timescales, the short- and long-term efficiency of policy interventions; and (3) the alteration of academic norms to allow more progress on these issues.”
This entire publication is a clear and unmistakable sign that a scientific dictatorship is emerging under the pretext of environmentalism. More government control through regulations and fines combined with a proactive scientific community, brainwashing people into accepting this increasing governmental control where they would otherwise reject it. And guess who should be the coordinating body of this scientific dictatorship, according to the report:
“Teams might be supported by permanent entities that maintain communication with policymakers; these will differ among nations but could be attached to the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies in the international context. One potential model is a national commitment of scientific talent in the service of United Nations agencies.”
The United Nations. Of course!
“These teams could also be charged with anticipating crises and evaluating potential policy responses in advance, since detailed evaluation in the midst of a crisis may be problematic; such emergency preparedness would probably focus on the immediate effects of policies on behaviors rather than on changing social norms, because this is likely to be of greatest relevance in a crisis.”
All this talk of putting the UN behind the steering wheel of American government and the American scientific community points to the coming of age of the dreaded scientific dictatorship, against which many observers have warned us.
Source: Jurriaan Maessen | BlacklistedNews.com
The reason why nothing changes to reverse the foreign policy of the imperial empire is that international globalists control the country. The horrors of two world wars, the cold war, Korea and Viet Nam destroyed the essential wisdom practiced at the inception of the nation. The incessant intrusion into the Middle East brings us to the brink of WW III. Now the next frontier is being prepared to include Asia, Africa and the Arctic. As long as the public accepts a foreign policy of an arrogant super power, the path to oblivion for the Republic is ensured.
Essentially, both Democrat and Republican party elites are conjoined at the hip when it comes to protecting the military-industrial-security complex. The global interventionist foreign policy, that only protects the corporatists and banksters, endangers the unwashed citizens that are constantly used as cannon fodder. People should not be surprised, when blowback comes home to roost, as the result from such caustic imperial hegemony.
The departure from our heritage is clear, when viewed from the historic wisdom of our inception as a country. The Case for an America First Foreign Policy by Ralph Raico, sums up well just how far down the rabbit hole the government descended.
“For most of our history, America First was the foreign policy of the United States. The record is laid out by the great historian Charles A. Beard in A Foreign Policy for America, published in 1940. In our dealings overseas, we followed the guidelines laid down by George Washington in his Farewell Address to the American people:
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is — in extending our commercial relations — to have with them as little political connection as possible.
George Washington’s outlook thus involved three main principles. First, we would engage in mutually beneficial, peaceful commerce with the rest of the world, but “forcing nothing,” as Washington made a point of adding. Second, while trading with them, we would avoid entanglements in their political affairs and their quarrels with other nations. Finally, we would always remain strong enough to defend ourselves from attack.”
With the exile of Ron Paul from party politics, who represents an alternative foreign policy to the jingoism of the establishment elites? Consider the positions of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and the Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode.
We can no longer afford to shell out billions in foreign aid
When I visited Occupy Wall Street, I felt the frustration of young people who wanted to work but couldn’t get an interview, much less a job. When I visit business owners and employers, I meet people who want to hire, but can’t.
Meanwhile, the federal government is spending us deeper and deeper into debt while we shell out billions in foreign aid we can no longer afford and trillions more for foreign wars in which our national interest is just not apparent to me.
No foreign aid spending unless it protects U.S. interests
Maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government’s responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years. Given trillion-dollar deficits, America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests. There is nation-building and rebuilding to be done right here at home.
Act in US self-interest, but wary of unintended consequences
Q: What is your criteria for foreign policy?
A: I think we should act in our self-interest. As I understand it, I think Eisenhower was a pretty good role model for that. Morally, you can justify almost anything we do by saying that we’re doing it for the sake of others. I would point to past realities that have unintended consequences. For example, by taking out [the secular regime in] Iraq, we removed a threat to [the religious totalitarian regime] Iran.
Johnson’s foreign policy viewpoints also include:
Maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government’s responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years.
Given trillion-dollar deficits, America simply cannot afford to be engaged in foreign policy programs that are not clearly protecting U.S. interests. There is nation-building and rebuilding to be done right here at home.
Our military should remain the most potent force for good on Earth. To do this, we should resort to military action as the last option and only as provided in the Constitution.
AMERICAN MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN AFGHANISTAN SHOULD END, our troops returned home, and the focus of our foreign policy reoriented toward the protection of U.S. citizens and interests.
With Osama bin Laden now killed and after 10 years of fighting, U.S. forces should leave Afghanistan’s challenges to the Afghan people.
Decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, American troops remain scattered throughout Europe. It is time to reevaluate these deployments.
The U.S. must make better use of strategic alliances which allow greater sharing of the human and financial burdens at less cost of protecting national interests.
AMERICA CAN ACHIEVE OUR FOREIGN POLICY GOALS without sacrificing American values.
No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.
Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts.
Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or military tribunals, and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes.
For background on Virgil Goode and details on his stand of the issues and a YouTube view, Constitution Party Candidate Virgil Goode, presents an alternative to the establishment party line.Virgil Goode on International Relations: I oppose the placement of our Armed Forces under United Nations command. We need to curtail expenditures to the UN, the World Bank, the IMF, and to foreign nations. Our sovereignty, in my opinion, should always be paramount. I also vigorously oppose Agenda 21 and other globalism schemes so harmful to the citizens of the United States.
Voted YES on deterring foreign arms transfers to China.
Voted NO on reforming the UN by restricting US funding.
Voted NO on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released.
Voted YES on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored.
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction.
Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China.
Voted NO on $15.2 billion for foreign operations.
Goode adopted the Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement:
The United States should not be answerable to any governing body outside the United States for its trade policy.
Foreign aid is often more harmful than helpful and should be curtailed.
US military personnel should always be under US command.
Foreign policy directly affects the ability to defend ourselves from attack. Even so, the sacred internationalist cannon that a global garrison presence is required to defend our own soil is harebrained. Fighting foreign wars, police actions or pre-emptive strikes are wholly outside our own self-interests, for “so called” victory, never enhances our own existential security.
Few will vote for Johnson or Goode for a myriad of reasons. Excluding the destructive mainstream brainwashing tenet that only a candidate from the two clone parties deserves your approval, one needs to ask why the American public continually accepts an interventionist foreign policy and turns their back on the wisdom of our first President, George Washington?
What is in the militarist machismo mindset that claims that every overseas adventure is a just war or any foreign intrusion is justified by making the world safe for democracy?
Ron Paul articulated the viable criteria for “forcing nothing”.
Johnson favors making better use of strategic alliances, which is more conventional than Goode’s position, which sees no sharing of command within alliances of US military personnel. Both candidates recognize that foreign aid and/or nation building are dubious violations of Washington’s great rule of conduct - as little political connection as possible.
On October 23, 2012, a Free and Equal Debate will engage third party candidates. While none will be sworn in as the next President, several may well have better ideas than the country will be compelled to experience under from the next version of an approved and selected establishment administration.
The foreign policy of the last hundred years has consistently destroyed the sacrifices and deeds of our founding fathers. The country is a mere shell of the nation that once upon a time, championed individual liberties and human dignity. The quickest way to destroy the Republic was the replacement of a Washingtonian foreign policy with the Wilsonian internationalist disease. Reject any candidate that will not commit to anAmerica First tradition.
A report published on Sunday in Ha’aretz reveals that US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon has presented Washington’s contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once the nuclear negotiations reach an impasse.
However, the report was immediately denied by a top Israeli official who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said, “Nothing in the article is correct. Donilon did not meet the prime minister for dinner, he did not meet him one-on-one, nor did he present operational plans to attack Iran.”
A quick justification for this denial could be that such a contingency plan was not supposed to be publicized and should have remained confidential for as long as necessary.
Still, there is no denial that Washington and Israel are the two sides of a coin and it is manifest that they have in their political wheeling and dealing formed a united front against Iran.
US GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has recently paid a visit to Israel to marshal up support of the Israelis on the one hand and express his unswervingly servile commitment to Israel (including his anti-Iran stance) on the other. Dan Senor, a top foreign policy adviser for the GOP presidential candidate, says that Romney would support “Israel’s decision to launch a military strike against Iran to keep that country from achieving nuclear capabilities, but hopes diplomatic and military measures will dissuade Tehran from pursuing its path toward nuclear acquisition.”
Furthermore, he told reporters ahead of the speech, planned for late Sunday near Jerusalem’s Old City, “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing the capability, the governor would respect that decision.”
With a more somber tone, however, Romney himself has repeatedly said that he has a “zero tolerance” policy toward Iran obtaining the capability to build a nuclear weapon.
In recent past, Washington has frequently threatened Iran with a military strike. The threats, which evidently run counter to all international laws, are generally uttered by a massive number of officials influenced by the powerful Zionist lobby in Washington. A brazen instance of these threats is that Washington may use the 14-ton bunker buster (20ft long, 1ft wide weapon) known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), the world’s largest conventional bomb against Iran nuclear sites. Michael Donley, the US Air Force Secretary, said the bomb would be available if necessary.
“We continue to do testing on the bomb to refine its capabilities, and that is ongoing,” he said “We also have the capability to go with existing configuration today.”
In order to justify their illegal threats and sanctions, the US has apparently embarked on a systematic program of fomenting Iranophobia in the US and the rest of the world. In this pernicious Iranophobic campaign, a number of groups and parties including Tea Party, neocons and AIPAC are actively involved.
By this program, the US is hell bent on distorting the realities of the Islamic Republic as well as brainwashing public opinion in the world into believing that Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons, and that Iran poses a grave danger to the security of the world. In this smear campaign, Washington also makes use of its allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel in the region.
A politically bankrupt politician who does have but little respect in his own country, Romney follows the selfsame Iranophobic campaign, takes an aggressive stand on Iran in Israel where he is falsely emboldened and says Tehran’s leaders are giving the world “no reason to trust them with nuclear material.” He even voiced support for an Israeli decision for military action “to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capability”.
“Make no mistake: The ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way. My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away; and neither will my country.”
These facts aside, the duo have recently started a string of false flag terrorist attacks taking place in different parts of the world. With Washington pointing the finger of blame at Iran, Israel feels more fallaciously entitled to tone up its war rhetoric against the Islamic Republic and make the best of the fabricated ops. In the same line, former UN Ambassador John Bolton has called on the Zionist entity to attack Iran in retaliation for the alleged killing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, saying “the time has come for the Jewish state to quit threatening and take action”.
“This is obviously a very dangerous period for Israel with the civil war in Syria, refugees reported going across the border into Lebanon, and Hezbollah well armed with rockets on Israel’s northern border,” Bolton told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Thursday night. “So I think if there were ever a time to retaliate, and directly against Iran this time, this is it.”
In the final analysis, one can see that the real threat in the world is being posed and imposed by those warmongers in Washington who will turn the situation to the best of their own interests in the region as well as by the Zionist entity who will in the wake of a war against Iran reap the benefits of such aggression if of course they ever outlive such an act of belligerence.
As far back as I can remember, the overarching message of the American social atmosphere has been one of idolization. Oh to one day join the ranks of the “professional class”; that 5% to 10% of our culture which enjoys unparalleled respect and an assumed position of knowledge, so much so that they are rarely even required to qualify themselves to anyone besides their own compatriots. The goal of every person I knew during my formative years with a desire to succeed was to one day hold in their hands an official looking embossed document announcing their ascension to the ranks of the intellectually anointed. I was never so keen on the idea…
The dangers of academic deification are numerous. Those who dominate the educational language of the times determine the moral compass (or lack of compass) of the curriculum. They control who is accepted and who is rejected, not by measure of intelligence or skill, but by their willingness to conform to the establishment ideal. They construct a kind of automaton class, which has been taught not to learn independently, but to parrot propaganda without question. Simultaneously, those of us who do not “make the grade” are relegated to the role of obliged worshippers; accepting the claims of the professional class as gospel regardless of how incorrect they happen to be. To put it simply; the whole thing is disgustingly inbred.
Elitism has always lent itself to morbid forms of educational molestation. This is nothing new, especially within their own limited circles. However, to have such perversions of logic and reason gutting the minds of entire generations across endless stretches of our country without any counterbalance is a far more heinous state of affairs in the long run. Ultimately, this highway can only lead to a deterioration of our future, and the death of reason itself.
Recently, I attended a discussion panel on Constitutionalism at a university in Helena, the capital of Montana, and admittedly, was not expecting much insight. (At the moment of arrival I noticed the buildings had been plastered with Kony 2012 posters. The campus seemed to be completely unaware that the YouTube film is a George Soros funded ‘Wag the Dog’ farce.) Even in a fiercely independent region such as the Northern Rockies, the collectivist hardline reigns supreme on most college campuses. Sadly, very few actual students attended the discussion, and the audience was predominantly made up of local political players, retired legislators, and faculty. Surprisingly, Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers was invited to participate in the discussion, obviously to add at least some semblance of balance or “debate” to an otherwise one-sided affair. The mix was like oil and water.
The overall tone was weighted with legal drudgery. Many of the speakers were focused intently on secondary details and banal explorations into individual Constitutional cases without any regard for the bigger picture. When confronted with questions on the indefinite detainment provisions of the NDAA, government surveillance, or executive ordered assassinations of U.S. citizens, the panelists responded with lukewarm apathy. The solutions we discuss regularly within the Liberty Movement, such as state nullification based on the 10th Amendment, assertions of local political control through Constitutional Sheriffs, and even civil disobedience, were treated with indignant responses and general confusion.
A consistent theme arose from the academics present, trying to run damage control on Rhodes’ points on federal encroachment and ultimate tyranny. Their position? Defiance is unacceptable (or at least, not politically correct…). Americans have NO recourse against a centralized government. Not through their state and local representatives, and not through concerted confrontation. In fact, to even suggest that states act on their own accord without permission is an outlandish idea. In the end, the only outlet for the public is….to vote.
No one seemed to be able to address the fact that both major parties supported the exact same unconstitutional policies, thus making national level elections an act of pure futility. The point was brushed aside…
Sickly shades of socialism hung heavy in the room. One speaker even suggested that the states could not possibly survive financially without centralized aid. He was apparently too ignorant to understand that the federal government itself is bankrupt, incapable of producing true savings, and printing fiat Ad Nauseum just to stay afloat. Every 30 seconds I heard a statement that made me cringe.
Universities are today’s centers of connection. They are one of the last vestiges of American tribalism and community in an age of self isolation and artificial technological cultism. Adults do not meet face to face much anymore to share knowledge, or discuss the troubles of the day. The academic world provides such opportunity, but at a terrible price. To connect with the world, students must comply. To be taken seriously, they must adopt, consciously or unconsciously, the robes of the state. They must abandon the passions of rebellion and become indifferent to the truth. All actions and ideas must be embraced by the group, or cast aside. They must live a life of dependency, breeding a culture of fear, for that which others keep for us, they can easily take away.
How could anyone possibly sustain themselves on a diet of congealing fantasy, and personal inadequacy? The intellectual life bears other fruits as well. Where it lacks in substance, it makes up for in ego, proving that being educated is not necessarily the same as being intelligent. The following is a list of common character traits visible in the average intellectual idiot, a breed that poisons the American well, and is quickly eroding away any chance of Constitutional revival…
1) An Obsession With The Appearance Of Objectivity
I say “appearance” of objectivity because the intellectual idiot does indeed take sides on a regular basis, and the side he takes invariably benefits the establishment. He would never admit to this, though, because he believes it gives him more credibility to at least be thought of as standing outside an issue looking in. It is not uncommon to find Intellectual Idiots being contrary regardless of your view, even if they would normally agree. They often try to approach debate with the façade of detachment, as if they do not care one way or the other. The costume soon wears away, however, when they are faced with an opponent that is not impressed with their educational status. I have seen lawyers, doctors, engineers, and even politicians devolve into sniveling toddlers when they are derailed by an argument beyond their ability to tap-dance around. Their middle of the road persona evaporates, and the real person erupts like an ugly pustule…
2) Clings To Labels And Status
Like anyone else, Intellectual Idiots cradle a philosophy they believe in, or are told to believe in. But unlike most of us, they see themselves above the scrutiny of those who do not pursue a similar academic path (i.e. only a lawyer should be allowed to debate another lawyer). The reality is, anyone is privy to the information a proponent of the professional class knows. With the advent of the internet, it is easier than ever to educate one’s self on multiple subjects without aid if that person has the determination to do so. Reputation is not earned by shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for university approval. A Masters Degree or Ph.D is not a get out of logic free card. In fact, because the Intellectual Idiot often uses his position to avoid true opposition, he tends to become lazy and even more incapable of defending his methodologies when the time comes.
3) Predominantly Collectivist
The curriculum of the average college is partly to blame for this, and because the Intellectual Idiot is so desperate for acceptance and accolades, they can’t help but fall into the trap. Collectivism is marked by a distinct attachment to the state as the source of life. All social and all individual crises thus become a matter of government purview. Individual self reliance is a terrifying notion to them. In fact, many Intellectual Idiots have lived on the dole since they were born, moving from their family’s money, to state money through grants and loans. It is not unheard of for these people to become career students, avoiding work for years, and then moving on to a bureaucratic job when the free money runs out. They cannot fathom why anyone would rebel against the system, because they are a part of a select group which has always benefited from it. How could the federal government be bad when it has paid their way for half of their existence?
4) Disconnection From Reality
The Intellectual Idiot is not necessarily afraid to acknowledge that the system is troubled. For them, the federal government is not infallible, even if their favorite party is in office, but, it IS unapproachable. Academics revel in the disastrous nature of government. They see political and social catastrophe as a sort of mental gameplay. An exercise in theoretical structures. For them, America is not a country built on an enduring set of principles, but a petri dish; an ongoing anthropological experiment that they can watch through a microscope at their leisure. The idea that the disasters they view from the safety of their sub-cultural bubble might one day come to haunt them is a distant one.
5) Abhors Those Who Step Out Of Bounds
Have you ever entertained a view that went against the grain of the mainstream only to be met with accusations of extremism and sneers befitting a leper? You were probably talking to an intellectual idiot. The rules, no matter how distasteful or meaningless, hold special power for these people. They make the system what it is, and when the system is your great provider, you might lean towards defending it, even in the wake of oligarchy and abuse. This penchant for overt structure for the sake of centralization is especially damaging to our Constitutional rights, because alternative solutions are never treated as viable. During the panel discussion in Helena, pro-collectivists consistently tried to redirect the conversation away from the 10th Amendment as a method to counter federal overreach. They did this by bringing up abuses of the states, including slavery and segregation, as if that somehow negated the nightmare of the NDAA.
Ironically, they saw the use of violence by the federal government to push states to recognize civil liberties as perfectly practical. But, the use of force by states to protect the same civil liberties from Washington D.C.? That would be lunacy…
6) Believes Academia To Be Free From Bias
The Intellectual Idiot assimilates every bit of information he is given at the university level without a second look. He simply assumes it is all true, and if something appears mismatched, it is only because he does not yet fully grasp it. Very rarely will he go beyond designated source materials to get a different opinion. This habit is the root of his idiocy. Being that most universities draw from the same exact materials, and peer reviewed papers are usually tested by those with the exact same underlying educational backgrounds, I can’t see how it is possible for much variety of thought to form. Whether intentional or not, severe bias cannot be avoided in this kind of environment without considerable strength of heart.
The shock that these people express when faced with Liberty Movement philosophies is quite real. They have spent the very focus of their future life within the confines of a miniscule spectrum of truth; like seeing technicolor for the first time after a long limited existence in black and white.
It’s hard to say when it all really began, but for decades, Americans have been progressively tuned like pliable radio antenna to the song of the elitist intellectual. Many of us want to be him. Others want to follow him, straight to oblivion if need be, as long as they don’t have to blaze their own trail. This is not to say all professionals are a danger to the Republic. Some are fantastic proponents of freedom. But, without a drastic reversal in current educational trends, I see little hope of Constitutional guardians becoming a mainstay of U.S. campuses in the near term.
With mashed potato minds fresh from the psychological Cuisinart of public schools, the next generation in line to inherit the most fantastically schizophrenic nation in history will be like candy for social engineers; utterly unequipped for the mission. Strangely, the drastic financial slide the elites have also triggered might hold the key to our salvation. The next batch of would be statist citizens may find themselves so poor that higher educational brainwashing will be impossible to afford, giving them precious time to think for themselves, and come to their own conclusions. As they say, in all things, there is a silver lining…
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Don’t understand economics? And the thought of even trying makes your eyes cross?
That’s what they want. Government, which is an artificial, unnecessary construct has made a concerted effort to make economics sound as difficult as possible for decades. The reason? They can use your programmed ignorance as the publicly “educated” to confuse you about how they manipulate the economy for their benefit.
Economics is simple. Nearly the full extent of it can be taught in a near pamphlet, as has been done in Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson“. That is the full extent that any individual needs and should know about economics.
Those four to eight years in college to get a bachelor or PhD in Economics? Pure mental masturbation – at best.
ECONOMICS ON AN ISLAND
Most everything can be broken down to its most basic components in order to simplify things. When faced with a large question always try to break it down. Let’s do that with economics to show how simple it is and why central banking is a central tenet of communism and is an abomination that makes no sense in a free market.
Let’s say that you and four other people live on an island. As far as you can tell there are no other humans on Earth. Each of the people on the island do things which help the collective although they have selfish reasons for doing so (ie. they want something in return).
Perhaps you fish. Another gathers coconuts. And another is good at building and repairing thatch huts and collecting rainwater for drinking. Amongst yourselves you trade. You offer some fish for coconuts, water and a nice maintained hut. The others offer their services in trade for your fish.
In comes the fourth person – a bearded man with no particular skills who thinks he is better than everyone else. He produces nothing but tells you that he has come up with a better system using “money” where you don’t have to wait until the man who gets coconuts wants fish before you can get coconuts. Instead you can trade money… perhaps a piece of paper that the fourth person has inscribed with pictures and denominations on it.
So far it doesn’t sound too bad. But here is where he becomes a “central banker”. First, he pulls out a spear and tells you that you must, under all circumstances use his money and no other money. Then, during times when the fishing is poor or there is a drought he tells you that he can help everyone out by “stimulating” the economy of the island by drawing up more money.
If things got really tough he could double or triple the amount of money on the island. At first, everyone thinks they are richer, so they buy more fish or water or housing than they otherwise could afford. This ends up using up more resources than would otherwise be prudent. Soon the money has circulated and now coconuts just cost twice or three times more than before in currency units. The same for fish… the same for water and housing.
How has this central banking scheme “helped”? It hasn’t. It actually ended up destroying scarce resources as it fooled the participants in the economy for a period of time into thinking they were more wealthy than they really were.
That is all there is to central banking. Of course, what then happens is the entire island gets corrupted and people begin to look to get favors from the central banker to get the newly created money first. And, then, if the printing of money begins to get out of control and the central banker stops printing money in order to salvage the “value” of the money before hyperinflating it into worthlessness, because of the fact he uses violence to enforce its use, all of a sudden there will not be enough money in the system to transact basic transactions and people will not be able to survive. There will be either war (over the resources) or starvation as the denizens of the island find themselves unable to acquire the currency they are forced to use to survive. Either that or the banker will take control of your future productivity in exchange for some easily printed cash today effectively putting you into slavery just to survive.
The only thing missing on the island at this point is someone to start a fascist media conglomerate who, in cahoots with the central bank, put out the following magazine cover showing the one non-productive member of the island as being the hero:
“Ben Bernanke saved the economy, so why does everybody hate him?”
First of all, not enough people know enough about him to hate him. If they did, however, a public sodomization and lynching like Hillary did unto Khadaffi would be in order.
Here is the man who destroys economies. The man who funds and makes all wars possible. The man who puts senior citizens on treadmills and makes them run just to be able to eat cat food. And he does it all with a smug look on his face reminiscent of the last time this kind of nonsense was attempted:
Remember that one? Three of the smuggest looking conmen in the world posed as saviors just months before the collapse of the global economy – which they all brought about. That Slime cover story came out on February 15, 1999 proclaiming that the money changers had saved us all from the global economic meltdown.
How’d that all work out for everyone?
Are they pulling the same tricks again now to try to salvage a few more months of the fantasy economy? Probably.
The beautiful thing, however, is that all those anachronistic media organizations such as mainstream television and newspapers are dying a rapid death. I sat in the office of the President of USA Today, Tom Curley (now CEO of Associated Press), in 2000 and told him that inside of ten years he’d be irrelevant.
I declared victory when in 2008 Gannett (the parent of USA Today) hit $1 after being $60 in 2000… despite the dead cat bounce it has done since.
Today, The Dollar Vigilante and it’s parent company, TDV Media, is one of the fastest growing media organizations on the planet.
Why? Because we spread truth and help awaken the brainwashed. A revolution is going on whether you realize it or not. The internet has exposed the cockroaches. Government, nor central banks, have any right to exist. Only propaganda and subterfuge has enabled them to survive this long.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
If you understand what central banking is really about then you are preparing now for the final stages of the collapse of the western monetary system. This means investments in hard assets such as gold and silver bullion and speculative bets in a final inflationary bubble into precious metals stocks. If you understand central banking and the governments that are subjugated to them then you know by now to get a significant portion of your assets outside of the control of the government that purports to own and control you. You understand that getting a second or a third passport is now as common sense as saving a significant percentage of your income in the past. Or, if you want to stay and fight in the coming years, you understand the importance of becoming self sufficient in terms of food and energy and preparing to protect yourself via armaments.
And if you understand all of this then you have broken out of the brainwashing of your public education and are thinking for yourself. You are now enemy number one of governments in the western world. We’re happy you joined us.
Source: The Dollar Vigilante
It is no secret that the average American diet is in completely in the slumps. Consuming packaged foods, fast food, artificially enhanced products, and especially low quality cheap food is the norm, but is it any wonder that being overweight while also falling victim to a host of illnesses is also the norm. Being raised in this era of poor health makes it difficult to know what is truly healthy and unhealthy. Food has drastically changed since decades ago, and so parents often aren’t aware of the severe decline in food quality. Fast food in particular is one of the primary reasons for the drastic health decline seen today.
Why You Should Avoid Fast Food at All Costs
If you haven’t already, take a couple of hours to watch the documentaries Super Size Me or Fast Food Nation. After watching these films, you can see first hand how fast food causes severe damage to your body – even if you don’t consume it for every meal of every day like in one of the films. Fast food is nothing but a concoction of harmful and health-damaging chemicals which can easily be understood if you were to think for a moment how any restaurant could offer a double cheeseburger for only $1.
Most recently it was uncovered that these $1 cheeseburgers, along with the rest of McDonald’s’ beef and chicken, were actually harnessing ‘pink slime’ scrap meat covered with ammonium hydroxide. Not only does this fake meat provide no nutritional value at all, but it is chemically contaminated from ammonia, the toxic cleaning agent found under the sink. The meat is actually fat trimmings and connective tissue that are separated from the bone – scrap meat that is not fit for human consumption. The ammonia treatment is in response to the danger of contamination from salmonella or E. coli, but the scrap meats themselves are more likely to contain pathogens. Despite the chemical treatment, the meat is still in the line of fire for contamination.
Additionally, McDonald’s McNuggets contain 7 different ingredients making up the ‘meat’, many of which contain sub-ingredients. Instead of using real meat, the ingredient list utilizes sodium phosphate, safflower oil, wheat starch, dextrose, and autolyzed yeast extract – a particularly dangerous substance very similar to the toxic MSG. Along side with these ingredients comes the use of dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicon substance used as an anti-foaming agent and often found in breast implants and silly putty.
Of course the use of these ingredients is not limited only to McDonald’s. In fact, all of the fast food restaurants are guilty of using them. The worst part? They are aware of the destructive nature behind these ingredients, but truly couldn’t care any less. The truth behind such a statement can be exemplified by Taco Bell’s attempt to create a drive-thru diet where individuals would supposed to lose weight by eating fast food. It was only a few years ago when Taco Bell announced the “Drive-Thru Diet”, where they showcased their foods low in fat. But what they don’t tell you is that even if their food has 9 grams of fat, it is still made up of numerous ingredients contributing to the global health decline.
While the reasons for the influx of fast food consumption are many, one primary one is the usage of psychological advertising. Being one of the most powerful tools to reach both the conscious and subconscious, advertising plays a huge role in how society is ran today, and that includes which foods we eat. What’s more, children are much more influenced by what they see and hear, and research proves it. A study conduced late in 2011 showed that 71 percent of children will choose junk food like french fries over apple slices when given coupons for each of them. The number dropped only to 55 percent when parents encouraged children to choose the apple slices. But the desired reach does not stop at direct advertising and influence.
A new children’s educational book has recently been launched by the Council for Biotechnology Information, educating young children on the ‘numerous benefits’ of genetically modified food. Of course genetically modified food has time and time again been shown to cause human and environmental harm, but still the attempt to brainwash young children is carelessly made. The advertising for such food is also heavily tied in with fast food, as virtually all fast food is constructed with genetically modified food and ingredients.
These are but only a few of the countless reasons to never ingest fast food.
Source: Natural Society
The Anti-Empire Report…
When the Vietnam War became history, and the protest signs and the bullhorns were put away, so too was the serious side of most protestors’ alienation and hostility toward the government. They returned, with minimal resistance, to the restless pursuit of success, and the belief that the choice facing the world was either “capitalist democracy” or “communist dictatorship”. The war had been an aberration, was the implicit verdict, a blemish on an otherwise humane American record. The fear felt by the powers-that-be that society’s fabric was unraveling and that the Republic was hanging by a thread turned out to be little more than media hype; it had been great copy.
I mention this to explain why I’ve been reluctant to jump with both feet on the Occupy bandwagon. I first thought that if nothing else the approaching winter would do them in; if not, it would be the demands of their lives — they have to make some money at some point, attend classes somewhere, lovers and friends and family they have to cater to somewhere; lately I’ve been thinking it’s the police that will do them in, writing finis to their marvelous movement adventure — if you hold the system up to a mirror the system can go crazy.
But now I don’t know. Those young people, and the old ones as well, keep surprising me, with their dedication and energy, their camaraderie and courage, their optimism and innovation, their non-violence and their keen awareness of the danger of being co-opted their focusing on the economic institutions more than on the politicians or political parties. There is also their splendid signs and slogans, walking from New York to Washington, and not falling apart following the despicable police destruction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment. They’ve given a million young people other ideas about how to spend the rest of their lives, and commandeered a remarkable amount of media space. The Washington Post on several occasions has devoted full page or near-full page sympathetic coverage. Occupy is being taken increasingly seriously by virtually all media.
Yet, the 1960s and 70s were also a marvelous movement adventure — for me as much as for anyone — but nothing actually changed in US foreign policy as a result of our endless protests, many of which were also innovative. American imperialism has continued to add to its brutal record right up to this very moment. We can’t even claim Vietnam as a victory. Most people believe that the US lost the war. But by destroying Vietnam to its core, by poisoning the earth, the water, the air, and the gene pool for generations, Washington in fact achieved its primary purpose: preventing the rise of what might have been a good development option for Asia, an alternative to the capitalist model.
It has greatly helped Occupy’s growth and survival that they have seldom mentioned foreign policy. That’s much more sensitive ground than corporate abuse. Foreign policy gets into flag-waving, “our brave boys” risking their lives, American exceptionalism, nationalism, patriotism, loyalty, treason, terrorism, “anti-American”, “conspiracy theorist” … all those emotional icons that mainstream America uses to separate a Good American from one who ain’t really one of us.
Foreign policy cannot be ignored permanently of course, if for no other reason than that the nation’s wealth that’s wasted on war could be used to pay for anything Occupy calls for … or anything anyone calls for.
The education which Occupy has caused to be thrust upon the citizenry — about corporate abuse and criminality, political corruption, inequality, poverty, etc., virtually all unprosecuted — would be highly significant if America were a democracy. But as it is, more and more people can learn more and more about these matters, and get more and more angry, but have nowhere to turn to, to effectuate meaningful change. Money must be removed from the political process. Completely. It is my favorite Latin expression: sine qua non — “without which, nothing”.
USrael and Iran
There’s no letup, is there? The preparation of the American mind, the world mind, for the next gala performance of D&D — Death and Destruction. The Bunker Buster bombs are now 30,000 pounds each one, six times as heavy as the previous delightful model..
But the Masters of War still want to be loved; they need for you to believe them when they say they have no choice, that Iran is the latest threat to life as we know it, no time to waste.
The preparation of minds was just as fervent before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. And when it turned out that Iraq did not have any kind of arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) … well, our power elite found other justifications for the invasion, and didn’t look back. Some berated Iraq: “Why didn’t they tell us that? Did they want us to bomb them?”
In actuality, before the US invasion high Iraqi officials had stated clearly on repeated occasions that they had no such weapons. In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.”1
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.”2
Hussein himself told Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.”3
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.4
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world that the WMD were non-existent.
And if there were still any uncertainty remaining, last year Hans Blix, former chief United Nations weapons inspector, who led a doomed hunt for WMD in Iraq, told a British inquiry into the 2003 invasion that those who were “100 percent certain there were weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq turned out to have “less than zero percent knowledge” of where the purported hidden caches might be. He testified that he had warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a February 2003 meeting — as well as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in separate talks — that Hussein might have no weapons of mass destruction.5
Those of who you don’t already have serious doubts about the American mainstream media’s knowledge and understanding of US foreign policy, should consider this: Despite the two revelations on Dan Rather’s CBS programs, and the other revelations noted above, in January 2008 we find CBS reporter Scott Pelley interviewing FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?6
The United States and Israel are preparing to attack Iran because of their alleged development of nuclear weapons, which Iran has denied on many occasions. Of the Iraqis who warned the United States that it was mistaken about the WMD — Saddam Hussein was executed, Tariq Aziz is awaiting execution. Which Iranian officials is USrael going to hang after their country is laid to waste?
Would it have mattered if the Bush administration had fully believed Iraq when it said it had no WMD? Probably not. There is ample evidence that Bush knew this to be the case, or at a minimum should have seriously suspected it; the same applies to Tony Blair. Saddam Hussein did not sufficiently appreciate just how psychopathic his two adversaries were. Bush was determined to vanquish Iraq, for the sake of Israel, for control of oil, and for expanding the empire with new bases, though in the end most of this didn’t work out as the empire expected; for some odd reason, it seems that the Iraqi people resented being bombed, invaded, occupied, demolished, and tortured.
But if Iran is in fact building nuclear weapons, we have to ask: Is there some international law that says that the US, the UK, Russia, China, Israel, France, Pakistan, and India are entitled to nuclear weapons, but Iran is not? If the United States had known that the Japanese had deliverable atomic bombs, would Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been destroyed? Israeli military historian, Martin van Creveld, has written: “The world has witnessed how the United States attacked Iraq for, as it turned out, no reason at all. Had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be crazy.”7
It can not be repeated too often: The secret to understanding US foreign policy is that there is no secret. Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington’s policies fades away. Examine a map: Iran sits directly between two of the United States’ great obsessions — Iraq and Afghanistan … directly between two of the world’s greatest oil regions — the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea areas … it’s part of the encirclement of the two leading potential threats to American world domination — Russia and China … Tehran will never be a client state or obedient poodle to Washington. How could any good, self-respecting Washington imperialist resist such a target? Bombs Away!
American exceptionalism — A survey
The leaders of imperial powers have traditionally told themselves and their citizens that their country was exceptional and that their subjugation of a particular foreign land should be seen as a “civilizing mission”, a “liberation”, “God’s will”, and of course bringing “freedom and democracy” to the benighted and downtrodden. It is difficult to kill large numbers of people without a claim to virtue. I wonder if this sense of exceptionalism has been embedded anywhere more deeply than in the United States, where it is drilled into every cell and ganglion of American consciousness from kindergarten on. If we measure the degree of indoctrination (I’ll resist the temptation to use the word “brainwashing”) of a population as the gap between what the people believe their government has done in the world and what the actual (very sordid) facts are, the American people are clearly the most indoctrinated people on the planet. The role of the American media is of course indispensable to this process — Try naming a single American daily newspaper or TV network that was unequivocally against the US attacks on Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam. Or even against any two of them. How about one? Which of the mainstream media expressed real skepticism of The War on Terror in its early years?
Overloaded with a sense of America’s moral superiority, each year the State Department judges the world, issuing reports evaluating the behavior of all other nations, often accompanied by sanctions of one kind or another. There are different reports rating how each lesser nation has performed in the previous year in the areas of religious freedom, human rights, the war on drugs, trafficking in persons, and counterterrorism, as well as maintaining a list of international “terrorist” groups. The criteria used in these reports are mainly political, wherever applicable; Cuba, for example, is always listed as a supporter of terrorism whereas anti-Castro exile groups in Florida, which have committed literally hundreds of terrorist acts, are not listed as terrorist groups.
- “The causes of the malady are not entirely clear but its recurrence is one of the uniformities of history: power tends to confuse itself with virtue and a great nation is peculiarly susceptible to the idea that its power is a sign of God’s favor, conferring upon it a special responsibility for other nations — to make them richer and happier and wiser, to remake them, that is, in its own shining image.” — Former US Senator William Fulbright, The Arrogance of Power (1966)
- “We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people –– the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world. … God has predestined, mankind expects, great things from our race; and great things we feel in our souls.” — Herman Melville, White-Jacket (1850)
- “God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of America’s Middle Eastern policy and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist.“ — John le Carré, London Times, January 15, 2003
- “Neoconservatism … traded upon the historic American myths of innocence, exceptionalism, triumphalism and Manifest Destiny. It offered a vision of what the United States should do with its unrivaled global power. In its most rhetorically-seductive messianic versions, it conflated the expansion of American power with the dream of universal democracy. In all of this, it proclaimed that the maximal use of American power was good for both America and the world.” — Columbia University Professor Gary Dorrien, The Christian Centurymagazine, January 22, 2007
- “To most of its citizens, America is exceptional, and it’s only natural that it should take exception to certain international standards.” — Michael Ignatieff, Washington Post columnist, Legal Affairs, May-June, 2002
- Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, US Army War College, 1997: “Our country is a force for good without precedent”.Thomas Barnett, US Naval War College: “The US military is a force for global good that … has no equal.” —The Guardian (London), December 27, 2005
- John Bolton, future US ambassador to the United Nations, writing in 2000: Because of its unique status, the United States could not be “legally bound” or constrained in any way by its international treaty obligations. The U.S. needed to “be unashamed, unapologetic, uncompromising American constitutional hegemonists,” so that their “senior decision makers” could be free to use force unilaterally.Condoleezza Rice, future US Secretary of State, writing in 2000, was equally contemptuous of international law. She claimed that in the pursuit of its national security the United States no longer needed to be guided by “notions of international law and norms” or “institutions like the United Nations” because it was “on the right side of history.” — Z Magazine, July/August 2004
- “The president [George W. Bush] said he didn’t want other countries dictating terms or conditions for the war on terrorism. ‘At some point, we may be the only ones left. That’s okay with me. We are America’.” —Washington Post, January 31, 2002
- “Reinhold Niebuhr got it right a half-century ago: What persists — and promises no end of grief — is our conviction that Providence has summoned America to tutor all of humankind on its pilgrimage to perfection.” — Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations, Boston University
- In commenting on Woodrow Wilson’s moral lecturing of his European colleagues at the Versailles peace table following the First World War, Winston Churchill remarked that he found it hard to believe that the European emigrants, who brought to America the virtues of the lands from which they sprang, had left behind all their vices. — The World Crisis, Vol. V, The Aftermath, 1929
- “Behold a republic, gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor to the world’s progress and the accepted arbiter of the world’s disputes.” — William Jennings Bryan, US Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, In His Image (1922)
- Newsweek editor Michael Hirsch: “U.S. allies must accept that some U.S. unilateralism is inevitable, even desirable. This mainly involves accepting the reality of America’s supreme might — and truthfully, appreciating how historically lucky they are to be protected by such a relatively benign power.” — Foreign Affairs, November, 2002
- Colin Powell speaking before the Republican National Convention, August 13, 1996: The United States is “a country that exists by the grace of a divine providence.”
- “The US media always has an underlying acceptance of the mythology of American exceptionalism, that the US, in everything it does, is the last best hope of humanity.” — Rahul Mahajan, author of: The New Crusade: America’s War on Terrorism, and Full Spectrum Dominance
- “The fundamental problem is that the Americans do not respect anybody except themselves,” said Col. Mir Jan, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry. “They say, ‘We are the God of the world,’ and they don’t consult us.” —Washington Post, August 3, 2002
- “If we have to use force, it is because we are America! We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.” — Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 1998
People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
To my dear readers in the United States and around the world — In the spirit of the season, I wish each of you your choice of the following:
- Merry Christmas
- Happy Chanukah
- Joyous Eid
- Festive Kwanza
- Happy New Year
- Gleeful Occupy
- Erotic Pagan Rite
- Internet Virtual Holiday
- Heartwarming Satanic Sacrifice
- Devout Atheist Season’s Greetings
- Possessed Laying-on-of-Hands Ceremony
- Really Neat Reincarnation with Auras and Crystals
And may your name never appear on a Homeland Security “No-fly list”.
May you not vex a marginally literate high school graduate with a badge, a gun, and a can of pepper spray.
May your abuses at the hands of authority be only cruel, degrading and inhuman, nothing that Mr. Obama or Mr. Cheney would call torture.
May you or your country never experience a NATO or US humanitarian intervention, liberation, or involuntary suicide.
May neither your labor movement nor your elections be supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.
May the depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and napalm which fall upon your land be as precisely guided and harmless as the State Department says they are.
May you receive for Christmas a copy of “An arsonist’s guide to the homes of Pentagon officials.”
May you not fall sick in the United States without health insurance, nor desire to go to an American university while being less than wealthy.
May you re-discover what the poor in 18th century France discovered, that rich people’s heads can be mechanically separated from their shoulders if they refuse to listen to reason.
May you be given the choice of euthanasia instead of having to watch Republican primary debates.
- CBS Evening News, August 20, 2002 ↩
- ABC Nightline, December 4, 2002 ↩
- 60 Minutes II, February 26, 2003 ↩
- Washington Post, March 1, 2003 ↩
- Associated Press, July 28, 2010 ↩
- 60 Minutes, January 27, 2008. See also: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR] Action Alert, February 1, 2008 ↩
- New York Times, August 21, 2004↩
I was a 16 year old pot head. I needed help and my parents decided I should be put in a program. When I mentioned this to a friend he said, “Don’t go Marcus, they’ll brainwash you in there!” I knew better though, there was no such thing as brainwashing. It only happened in cartoons, the cat would brainwash the mice, their eyes became turning spiral pinwheels and they held their little arms out in front of them like zombies. This was brainwashing, it was cartoon fiction and I wasn’t scared. I knew what would happen in there, I’d get help. I was going for therapy.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), all ethical therapy consists of proven, safe and effective practices that a client or client guardian has consented to. This is one reason that the practice of coercive persuasion and thought reform is officially non-therapeutic. The methods used have not been proven to be safe or effective, so why are they legal?
Verbal attack, isolation and forced exercise; food, water and sleep deprivations; communication and toilet restrictions; humiliation rituals, emotional abuse and manipulation are all practices currently employed on a daily basis, as “therapy” for troubled teens. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has acknowledged thousands of reported claims of abuse in today’s behavior modification programs, but no one has yet addressed the technology at work in these facilities. This technology is based on several forms of manipulation. These efforts to manipulate behavior through intentionally inducing stress, are inherently abusive, often violent and many teens have died while subjected to this type of “therapy.”
The APA does not officially acknowledge the existence of brainwashing. There are legal questions and implications that would be very difficult to address. There are also many crimes that could potentially be defended with a plea of “I’m innocent, I was brainwashed!” It’s a can of legal worms. But while focusing on brainwashing’s potential effects on the judicial system, the damaging effects of the process itself have been ignored. There is an overwhelming amount of personal testimony about the negative long-term side-effects that brainwashing can inflict. I personally believe there are also long-lasting physiological changes in the brain that occur when adolescents are subjected to thought reform and behavior modification in an institutional setting.
I believe that the underlying reason for the perpetual abuses in the troubled-teen industry is that the “theory of brainwashing” has not yet been officially “proven.” The technology cannot be banned until it is proven to exist. There is a system at work within the systematic abuses. Until the system itself is identified and dismantled, the tell-tale “symptoms” will persist.
Physical and psychological abuse is built into many of these programs by design. According to several different experts on the subject, the exhaustion and pressure that is induced by sleep deprivation, hunger, fatigue and emotional manipulation, “unfreezes” the psychological framework. Through this orchestrated crisis, a new identity is instilled by manipulating the environment and the emotions of the subject to an extreme degree until the “changed” mind of the subject has undergone “re-freezing.” This process requires varied amounts of time according to the individual character of each client, which is why there is no fixed length of time to “complete” this type of treatment.
Much of the power of this process relies on the secretiveness surrounding it. The methods work best if the intention behind them is not revealed to the subject. Understanding the principles and dynamics involved in this behavioral technology, reduces their effectiveness. Could you give an informed consent to treatment if it were described like this?… ” The process then is the abrupt dissolution of the structure of intentionality by an electrochemical discharge in the brain, leaving the brain in a state of malleability for the construction of a new belief structure by which to guide behavior.” (Walter J. Freeman, Chaotic State Transitions in Brains As a Basis For the Formation of Social Groups, 1995) While these underlying principles and dynamics are not revealed to the client or the legal guardian, a consent to treatment is impossible.
The effectiveness of coercive thought reform upon teens has not been proven and the ethical questions have been quietly ignored. The debate within the APA has centered around various legal implications but questions about the potential for harm have been avoided. By ignoring the unproven “theory of brainwashing,” the APA has been ignoring the damage done by the practice of brainwashing.
These practices have never been proven safe and as an unproven treatment, are technically experimental. Also, according to several prominent experts that I’ve spoken with, there has not been any research on the long-term side-effects of this type of treatment upon adolescents. Perhaps the most relevant research is a European study that was recently conducted, which showed that 80% of adult survivors of institutional child abuse in Ireland, still suffer from psychological damage.
Adolescents who have been subjected to “brainwashing” were often witness to a heartbreaking cruelty. These stories combined tell the larger story of an invisible monster, sold to parents and the public as therapeutic growth. “Brainwashing” is not therapy, it’s refined torture. Merely addressing the symptoms of the process has enabled the abuses to continue.
(please write and call the APA if you have any questions or if you would like to share your brainwashing experiences with them.)