Psychological Control: States of Mental Disempowerment
Part II: Deconstructing the Power of the Global Elite
In Part I of “Deconstructing the Power of the Global Elite,” I discussed a threefold model of power: Brute Force, the Power to Hurt and Psychological Control. In Part II, I will address several forms of psychological control designed to induce states of mind that are inherently disempowering, that eliminate or severely diminish our will to take corrective action in the face of grievous harm.
As stated in a famous quote from Henry David Thoreau, the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation, marked by a state of resignation which is confirmed desperation. This phenomenon, which is so antithetical to the joyful natural instincts of newborns, has not come about by accident, but rather through the careful crafting of a cold-blooded global oligarchy. An oligarchy whose insidiousness calls to mind an ancient story in which a perfect murder is committed by Brak the ice man, who kills a woman with an icicle dagger: both he and his weapon melt away in the next day’s sun, leaving nothing behind as a basis for prosecuting the crime.
For in addition to brute force and the power to hurt, the global elite uses another form of power that is as stealth like and chilling as Brak’s perfect crime: sophisticated techniques for psychological control stemming in large part from the ability to mold the perceptions and behavior of the populace through mental and emotional manipulation of the very reality it experiences. As observed by Aldous Huxley in 1962 in explaining his novel Brave New World, these are methods of control that are “probably a good deal more efficient” than control “exercised wholly by terrorism and violent attacks upon the mind-body of individuals.”1
Although it would take volumes to do justice to deconstructing the crimes against the human spirit perpetrated by the globalists, I will here attempt to expose several of their common themes: normalizing the abnormal, learned helplessness, and the disorientation of the betwixt and between syndrome. In my view, if we explore the ways these states of mind disempower us, they will be stripped of their disabling mystique and reveal the very ways they can be neutralized. This truth is stated well by Jungian Analyst and wise woman Clarissa Pinkola Estés in discussing the core agenda of terrorists, that of casting a net of mental poison over their victims by trying to deprive them of hope – by trying to limit their living life as a completely free person focused on goodness, love, peace, and happiness:
“How strongly that poisonous net holds when one is unaware of what it is made of, and how easily it falls apart when one consciously begins to contradict its malicious urgings.”2
Normalizing the Abnormal
Dr. Estés observes that the disorder of normalizing the abnormal is rampant across cultures. When there are formidable punishments for breaking silence, for pointing out wrongs, for demanding change, we cut away our rightful rage and become used to not being able to intervene in shocking events. Despair, fatigue and resignation follow.3
Normalization of the abnormal has been achieved in large part through the power elite’s control of the news media and entertainment. This dominance has permitted not only deciding the “information” the public is allowed to receive, but also the molding of public opinion and behavior. One example is sponsorship of the TV show 24, carefully designed to desensitize the viewers to the use of torture. Another is the use of TV commercials showing stars cheerfully endorsing invasive personal identification technology, as part of a carefully designed program for grooming us to accept Big Brother surveillance and control, including the eventual implantation of microchips under our skin.
The power elite goes to any lengths to keep the public misled, distracted, fearful, and ultimately imprisoned in a matrix of disinformation, rampant consumerism and the lowest common denominators of human nature, including raw violence and mindless sexuality. As Huxley observed in 1962, the controlling oligarchy has long been at work developing scientific methods of control to “induce people to love their servitude” – to make them “enjoy a state of affairs which by any decent standard they ought not to enjoy.”4 This dystopic scenario was echoed by Bertrand Russell, who predicted that as a result of the gradual and ruthless use of technological advances, “a revolt of the plebs would be as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton.”5
I would contend that the disorder of normalizing the abnormal consists in large measure of reshaping our very construct of human nature in terms of its basest parameters, especially in the areas of acquisitiveness, violence, and sexuality. Massive effort has gone into studying and modifying human behavior to serve the global elite’s greed for money and power. The modern consumer is not reflective of genuine human nature, but rather a phenomenon created in great part by the psychoanalytic studies, experiments and recommendations of the brilliant capitalist asset Edward Bernays. The widespread aberration of a dumbed down populace, unaware and largely uncaring regarding its destiny, has taken years of careful elitist effort to orchestrate. And the disgusting extremes of human sexual behaviors that are fast approaching the excesses of the infamous last days of the Roman Empire are similarly a product of diligently researched scientific techniques of psychological and social control.
It is terrifying but essential to come into awareness that it is in great part the knowledge of human nature gained through the application of torture techniques by intelligence agencies that has infused the broader mind control strategies of the ruling class. More generally, its control techniques have evolved in large measure from “black” psychological operations (psyops) that are carefully compartmentalized and hidden from our bone fide representatives in all three branches of government. Many of the current mind control techniques have been derived from barbaric projects secretly conducted by governments, private laboratories and universities. In his 2000 book titled The Mind Controllers, Dr. Armen Victorian used the Freedom of Information Act to document experiments by the CIA and other agencies exploring new forms of “non-lethal” weapons which exploited hospital patients, pregnant women, school children, prisoners and military veterans without their consent. Other extremely dangerous experiments, including nuclear radiation experiments, have been conducted on an unsuspecting public at large, and even on our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.6
The phenomenon of normalizing the abnormal was given experimental validation in the 1970s through controlled studies with groups of dogs. The experiments revealed a great deal about the innate flight or fight reactions to danger and indicated that self-protective instincts can be overriden by inducing “learned helplessness.” In one experiment the bottoms of cages were wired to produce a shock on one side only, resulting in the expected avoidance behaviors; then the entire floors of the cages were wired to give random shocks, resulting in confusion, then panic, and then just lying down in resignation, taking the shocks as they came and no longer trying to avoid or outsmart them. Next the cage doors were opened, but the dogs did not move to escape as expected, leading to the hypothesis that they had adapted to or “normalized” their pain and were consequently exhibiting symptoms similar to chronic clinical depression.7
Learned helplessness manifests in everyday situations or environments in which people perceive, rightly or wrongly, that they have no control over what happens to them, e.g., war, famine, or detention (those who refused to care or fend for themselves in the Nazi concentration camps were called Muselmänner). When the instincts for self-determination are injured, as observed by Dr. Estés, humans will ‘normalize’ assault after assault, acts of injustice and destruction toward themselves, their offspring, their loved ones, their land, and even their moral and spiritual values.8
The electroshock of the dogs in the learned helplessness experiments has, as Naomi Klein documents, been copied on a societal level by the financial oligarchy. The capitalist elite shocks a nation with an event like 9/11, and in the ensuing stage of confusion and panic rushes in with salvation in the form of protective father figures who provide a narrative that offers a perspective on the shocking events that allows the profoundly disoriented victims to make sense of the trauma.9 Hence the extraordinary power of the mind control matrix known as the War on Terror.
But what is learned can be unlearned; what has been forgotten can be relearned. Especially in the case of our inherent instincts of preservation, we can engage in forensic analysis with a view to restoring the natural skills that give us power:
“[The] normalizing of the shocking and abusive is refused by repairing injured instinct….To re-learn the deep…instincts, it is vital to see how they were decommissioned to begin with….[We compose] a map of the woods in which we live, and where the predators live, and what their modus operandi is….[Then] if our wild nature has been injured by something, we refuse to lie down to die. We refuse to normalize this harm. We call up our instincts and do what we have to do.”10
Klein demonstrates a similar optimism: “Once the mechanics of the shock doctrine are deeply and collectively understood, whole communities become harder to take by surprise, more difficult to confuse-shock resistant.”11
The Betwixt and Between Syndrome
The relentless march toward tyranny in the United States and other nations with a heritage of freedom, underscored by the blatant criminality of the recent bailout package implemented against the political will and interest of the populace, seems to portend a terrifying future for humanity. It leaves us in a no man’s land between the familiarity of our previous reality and the uncharted dangers lying ahead.
This loss of bearings should be seen as a form of psychological control by the globalists over the populace for two reasons. First, it is a situation they have engineered, and engineered in such a way as to serve their self-interest. Second, our fear of a destiny they have designed for us keeps us from exercising our full potential of actively opposing its unfolding. At a time of the implementation of what can only be perceived as their endgame, we find ourselves floundering and cut off from our inner fire.
Humans have an instinctive fear of the unknown, which is exacerbated if trends indicate an unknown that is negative rather than positive. In the present case the unknown seems to be characterized by the probability of enormous global destabilization, with massive suffering in store for the populace. Although the world as we have known it is far from acceptable, the horizon appears quite possibly unbearable–hence the phrase “looking into the abyss” used recently by a number of analysts.
This makes the betwixt and between predicament more difficult to navigate than it would be in less extreme situations, such as adolescence as a normal and predictable transition from childhood to maturity. Another exacerbation is the endless onslaught of crises that the oligarchy orchestrates in order to keep us in a state of continual disorientation, seemingly unable to process one trauma before the next one hits.
But as in the case of normalizing the abnormal and learned helplessness, the solution lies in keen understanding of the problem. Once we dissect the betwixt and between predicament, a predicament that all of us have experienced and navigated in our personal lives but may well not have recognized and named as such, our fear will lose its hold and we can reclaim our power.
The betwixt and between predicament occurs whenever we are forced to revise our previous sense of self and reality, and are required to remain in a zone of unfamiliarity, disorientation and loss of control until a new set of truths emerges and is integrated. All of us have faced this predicament again and again in our lives, e.g., during the teen years, after a major loss, and in our daily lives when our personal growth process entails the death of old aspects of the self and the birth of new ones. Even transitions that one welcomes gladly, such as marriage, a better job, or moving, are in fact highly stressful because of their magnitude.
Anthropological insights on initiations and rites of passage have much to teach us regarding the betwixt and between phenomenon. Rites of transition are marked by distinct (although often overlapping) stages:
“Separation: a detachment or departure from a previous state, whose familiarity provided a sense of security;
Marginality / Ambiguity: entering the margin between the former and the new state of being, not quite here but not quite there, having lost the security of familiar boundaries and facing disorientation; * Consummation: a culmination in which one integrates a new state of being and sense of self.” 12
In a classic essay on the betwixt and between predicament, Victor Turner observes that the transition from separation to ambiguity is marked by temporary invisibility: one cannot be classified either in the old or the new way and is therefore structurally invisible.13 This goes a long way in explaining the fear that marks major transitions and initiations.
The good news is that, as with the process of grieving, there is a well-charted process by which we can move from the frightening state of ambiguity and achieve a new equilibrium: a new equilibrium that is in fact healthier and more resilient because it is based on full awareness of the truth of things. It is less painful to accept the need for change than to stay in denial. Indeed, as the renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell stresses, there is great dignity in answering the call to heroism, a call that is now sounding to all of humanity.
The good news goes further: Turner and others in fact see potential gifts in the betwixt and between ambiguity that is so emotionally difficult. The inability to classify oneself, while one is in the stage of uncertainty and not-knowing, is also freedom to explore new ways of constructing reality and identity. The stage of ambiguity can become one of enormous creativity and fertility as we move to a new reality that we ourselves construct. It is vital to keep this awareness as we face and oppose the unfolding of the financial elite’s endgame of cementing its global control through the current economic crises and so-called solutions it has itself engineered. As an advancing power nears its goal of full spectrum dominance, its crimes break the surface for all to witness, as evidenced by the audacity of the corporatocracy in forcing the passage of the bailout package and in its brazenly self-serving implementation.
Our Republic was not always ignorant and apathetic in the face of such criminality. In reaction to an offer in 1905 of a $100,000 donation by John D. Rockefeller for the missionary work of the U.S. Congregationalist Church, its most eminent leader asked, “Is this clean money? Can any man, can any institution, knowing its origins, touch it without being defiled?” The Reverend Washington Gladdington, echoing the prevalent outlook of the era, berated the accumulation of wealth on every side “by methods as heartless, as cynically iniquitous as any that were employed by the Roman plunderers or robber barons of the Dark Ages. In the cool brutality with which properties are wrecked, securities destroyed, and people by the hundreds robbed of their little, all to build up the fortunes of the multi-millionaires, we have an appalling revelation of the kind of monster a human being may become.”14
No longer can the oligarchs use the insidiousness of the iceman Brak to further their agenda. And longer do we need to allow them to disempower us through technocratic techniques of psychological control. The efficacy of these techniques has stemmed in great measure from our internalization of oppression, a process we can work to reverse once we understand it.
The technocrats would have us believe we are helpless to join battle. We are not. I support this optimistic claim with a comment on Part I of my deconstruction of the power of the global elite, which serves as a powerful ending to end Part ll:
“I for one have been subjected to much of this torture as being part of a marginalized class of society. The criminal global elites like to practice their abuse experiments on the less fortunate that cannot defend themselves and offer any resistance, but as the author so rightly observed, the human spirit is indominitable and will not go quietly into the night. Excellent job in exposing these psychological crimes for what they are. When people start realizing they were once human beings and hate what the behavioural criminals are doing, we can stop this learned helplessness and say with Patrick Henry, ‘Give me Liberty or give me death.’ “15
Judith H. Young, Ph.D., has a B.A. and an M.A. in Philosophy and a doctorate in Political Science (Brandeis University, 1973). In the 1960s she was a published think tank researcher with a Top Secret security clearance in the areas of arms control, strategic studies and international aerospace activities. In 1973-74 she taught International Politics at Mount Holyoke University in Massachusetts. In the 1990s Judy became a practitioner and teacher in several venerable healing arts, including animal-assisted therapy and traditional Reiki. She founded a nonprofit animal and nature center dedicated to promoting the healthy development of children and youth, which she directed from 1994-2004, and she published widely in the field of equine-assisted activities and ecotherapy. After the shocking events of 9/11/2001, Judy returned to her earlier vocation as a writer and educator in the field of International Politics, while also maintaining a professional practice in complementary and alternative healing.
2. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, “An Open letter: Healing from Terrorism Sickness,” September 15, 2001, p.3. www.mavenproductions.com/estes
3. Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Ballantine Books, New York, 1992, p. 244.
5. Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1953, pp. 49-50
6. Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, passim.; Dr. Armen Victorian, The Mind Controllers, Lewis International, Inc., Miami, 2000; Colin A. Ross, The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists, Manitou Communications,
Inc., Richardson, TX, 2006.
This phenomenon brings to mind another form of disempowerment that afflicts freedom fighters and others who see all too clearly the abnormal and grotesque nature of the oligarchy’s evil: the evil is so horrific to those with an open eye that they recoil utterly. There is a powerful Latin phrase for phenomena (such as incest) that are so far outside the archetypal realm of acceptability that they fall under a special category: “contra naturum.” The power elite’s audacity is indeed opposed to the very laws of nature. Rather than allowing our disbelief and horror to disable us, including our horror over dehumanization efforts that attempt to degrade the majesty of the human species, we must find the outrage needed to confront and eradicate it as an evil that is so aberrational as to be itself sub-human.
7. Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 244.
8. Ibid., p. 246.
9. Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, p. 458; Keith Olbermann interview with Naomi Klein: “Iraq Is the Classic Example of The Shock Doctrine” [VIDEO] December 2, 2007 http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/69481/www.alternet.org 10. Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 252-53.
11. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, p. 459.
12. Victor Turner, in Stanislov Grof, ed., Spiritual Emergency, Jeremy P. Tarcher, New York, 1989.
14. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty, Holt, Reinhart and Winston, New York, 1976, p. 3.
15. See Keepers of the Trust community on the author’s website: http://freefalltofascism.homestead.com/testimonials.html