Turn Off Your Television – BRAINWASHING: How The British Use The Media for Mass Psychological Warfare

The subconcscious is powerful. It is aware of every particle and detail around you. But it doesn’t know the difference between fact or fiction and acts on all information passing through the conscious mind as fact, and responds to it. So what do you think happens when you watch silly, moron, goofy commercials and television programs? They are training your thought processes.

Hey buddy, I’m talking to you. Yes, you, the guy sitting in front of the television. Turn down the sound a bit, so that you can hear what I am saying. Now, try to concentrate on what I am going to say.

I want to talk to you about your favorite pastime. No, it’s not baseball or football, although it does have something to do with your interest in spectator sports. I’m talking about what you were just doing: watching television. Do you have any idea about how much time you spend in front of the television set? According to the latest studies, the average American now spends between five and six hours a day watching television. Let’s put that in perspective: that is more time than you spend doing anything else but sleeping or working, if you are lucky enough to still have a job.

That’s more time than you spend eating, more time than you spend with your wife alone, more time than with the kids. It’s even worse with your children. According to these same studies, young children below school age watch more than

eight hours each day. School age children watch a little under eight hours a day. In 1980, the average 20-year-old had watched the equivalent of 14 months of television in his or her brief lifetime. {That’s 14 months, 24 hours a day.} More recent figures show that the numbers have climbed: the 20-year-old has spent closer to two full years of his or her life in front of the television set. At the same time, the researchers have noted a disturbing phenomena. It seems that we Americans are getting progressively more {stupid}.

They note a decline in reading and comprehension levels in all age groups tested. Americans read less and understand what they read less than they did 10 years ago, less than they have at any time since research began to study such things. As for writing skills, Americans are, in general, unable to write more than a few simple sentences. We are among the least literate people on this planet, and we’re getting worse. It’s the change–the constant trendline downward–that interests these researchers. More than one study has correlated this increasing stupidity of our population to the amount of television they watch.

Interestingly, the studies found that it doesn’t matter what people watch, whether it’s “The Simpsons” or “McNeil/Lehrer,” or “Murphy Brown” or “Nightline’:’ the more television you watch, the {less literate, the more stupid} you are. The growth in television watching had surprised some of the researchers. Back a decade ago, they were predicting that television watching would level off and might actually decline. It had reached an absolute saturation point.

They were right for so-called network television; figures show a steady dropoff of viewership. But that drop is more than made up for by the growth of cable television, with its smorgasbord of channels, one for almost every perversion. Especially in urban and suburban areas, Americans are hard-wired to more than 100 different channels that provide them with all news, like CNN, all movies, all comedy, all sports, all weather, all financial news and a liberal dose of straight pornography.

The researchers had also failed to predict the market penetration of first beta and then VHS video recorders; they made it possible to watch one thing and record another for later viewing. They also offered access to movies not available on networks or even cable channels as well as home videos, recorded on your own little camcorder. The proliferation of home video equipment has involved families in video-related activities which are not even considered in the cumulative totals for time Americans spend watching television. You might not actually realize how much you are watching television. But think for a moment. When you come home, you turn the television on, if it isn’t on already.

You read the paper with it on, half glancing at what is on the screen, catching a bit of the news, or the plot of a show. You eat with it on, maybe in the background, listening for a score or something that happens to a character in a show you follow. When something you are interested in, a show or basketball game, is on, the set becomes the center of attention. So your attention to what is on may vary in intensity, but there is almost no point when you are home, and inside, and have the set completely off. Isn’t that right? The studies did not break down the periods of time people watched television, according to the intensity of their viewing. But the point is still made: you compulsively turn the television on and spend a good portion of your waking hours glued to the tube. And the studies also showed that many people can’t sleep without the television turned on! Brainwashing Now, I’m sure you have heard that watching too much television is bad for your health. They put stories like that on the evening news. Bad for your eyes to stare at the screen, they say. Especially bad if you sit too close. Well, I want to make another point. We’ve already shown that you are addicted to the tube, watching it between six and eight hour a day. But it is an addiction that {brainwashes} you. There are two kinds of brainwashing. The one that’s called {hard} brainwashing is the type you’re most familiar with. You’ve got a pretty good image of it from some of those old Korean war movies.

They take some guy, an American patriot, drag him into a room, torture him, pump him full of drugs, and after a struggle, get him to renounce his country and his beliefs. He usually undergoes a personality change, signified by an ever-present smile and blank stare. This brainwashing is called {hard} because its methods are overt. The controlled environment is obvious to the victim; so is the terror. The victim is overwhelmed by a seemingly omnipotent external force, and a feeling of intense isolation is induced.

The victim’s moral strength is sapped, and slowly he embraces his torturers. It is man’s moral strength that informs and orders his power of reason; without it, the mind becomes little more than a recording machine waiting for imprints. No one is saying that you have been a victim of {hard} brainwashing. But you have been brainwashed, just as effectively as those people in the movies. The blank stare? Did you ever look at what you look like while watching television? If the angle is right, you might catch your own reflection in the screen. Jaw slightly open, lips relaxed into a smile. The blank stare of a television zombie. This is {soft} brainwashing, even more effective because its victims go about their lives unaware of what is being done to them. Television, with its reach into nearly every American home, creates the basis for the mass brainwashing of citizens, like you.

It works on a principle of {tension and release}. Create tension, in a controlled environment, increasing the level of stress. Then provide a series of choices that provide release from the tension. As long as the victim believes that the choices presented are the {only} choices available, even if they are at first glance unacceptable, he will nevertheless, ultimately seek release by choosing one of these unacceptable choices. Under these circumstances, in a brainwashing, controlled environment, such choice-making is not a “rational” experience. It does not involve the use of man’s creative mental powers; instead man is conditioned, like an animal, to respond to the tension, by seeking release. The key to the success of this brainwashing process is the regulation of both the tension and the perceived choices. As long as both are controlled, then the range of outcomes is also controlled.

The victim is induced to walk down one of several pathways acceptable for his controllers. The brainwashers call the tension-filled environment {social turbulence}. The last decades have been full of such {social turbulence}–economic collapse, regional wars, population disasters, ecological and biological catastrophes. {Social turbulence} creates crises in perceptions, causing people to lose their bearings. Adrift and confused, people seek release from the tension, following paths that appear to lead to a simpler, less tension-filled life. There is no time in such a process for rational consideration of complicated problems. Television is the key vehicle for presenting both the tension and the choices. It brings you the images of the tension, and serves up simple answers. Television, in its world of semi-reality, of illusion, of escape from reality, {is itself the single most important release from our tension-wracked existence.} Eight hours a day, every day, through its programming, you are being programmed. If you doubt me, think about one important choice that you have made recently that was not in some way influenced by something that you have seen on television. I bet you can’t think of one. That’s how controlled you are.

Who’s Doing It?

But don’t take my word for it. Ten years ago we spoke to a man from a think tank called the Futures Group in Connecticut. Hal Becker had spent more than 20 years of his life manipulating the minds of the leaders of our society. Listen to what he said: {“I know the secret of making the average American believe anything I want him to. Just let me control television. Americans are wired into their television sets. Over the last 30 years, they have come to look at their television sets and the images on the screen as reality. You put something on television and it becomes reality. If the world outside the television set contradicts the images, people start changing the world to make it more like the images and sounds of their television. Because its influence is so great, so pervasive, it has become part of our lives. You lose your sense of what is being done to you, but your mind is being shaped and moulded.”} “Your mind is being shaped and moulded.” If that doesn’t sound like brainwashing, I don’t know what is. Becker speaks with the elan of a network of brainwashers who have been programming your lives, especially since the advent of television as a “mass medium” in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This network numbers several tens of thousands worldwide.

Occasionally one appears on the nightly news to tell you what {you} are thinking, by reporting the latest “opinion polls.” But for the most part, they work behind the scenes, speaking to themselves and writing papers for their own internal distribution. And though they work for many diverse groups, these brainwashers are united by a common world view and common method. It is the world view of a small elite, whose financial and political power rests in institutions that pass this power on from generation to generation. They view the common folk like yourself as little better than beasts of burden to be controlled and manipulated by a semi-feudal international oligarchy, whose wealth, power and bloodlines entitle them to rule. One of the oligarchy’s institutions for manipulation of populations is located in a suburb of London called Tavistock.

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The Tavistock Institute for Human Relations, which also has a branch in Sussex, England, is the “mother” for much of this extended network, of which Becker is a member. They are the specialists in {both} hard and soft brainwashing. The Tavistock Institute is the psychological warfare arm of the British Royal household. The oligarchs behind Tavistock, and similar outfits in the United States and elsewhere, are determined that you should be a television addict, sucking up a daily dose of brainwashing from the “tube;” that is how they control you. Like his fellow brainwashers, Becker prides himself in knowing the minds of his victims. He calls them “saps.” Man, he told an interviewer, should be called “homo the sap.” “Soft” brainwashing by television works through power of suggestion. Television watching creates a state of drugged-like oblivion to outside reality. The mind, its perceptions dulled by habituated viewing, is ready to accept any new illusion of reality as presented on the tube.

The mind, in its drugged-like stupor of television watching, is prepared to accept that the images that television {suggests} as reality {are} reality. It will then struggle to form fit a contradictory reality into television image, just as Becker claims. Another Tavistock brainwasher, Fred Emery, who studied television for 25 years, confirms this. The television signal itself, he found, puts the viewer in this state of drugged-like oblivion. Emery writes: “Television as a media consists of a constant visual signal of 50 half-frames per second. Our hypotheses regarding this essential nature of the medium itself are:
“1) The constant visual stimulus fixates the viewer and causes the habituation of response. The prefrontal and association areas of the cortex are effectively dominated by the signal, the screen.

“2) The left cortical hemisphere–the center of visual and analytical calculating processes–is effectively reduced in its functioning to tracking changing images on the screen.

“3) Therefore, provided, the viewer keeps looking, he is unlikely to reflect on what he is doing and what he is viewing. That is, he will be aware, but unaware of his awareness…. “In other words, television can be seen partly as the technological analogue of the hypnotist.”

The key to making the brainwashing work is the {repetition of suggestion} over time. With people watching the tube for 6 to 8 hours a day, there is plenty of time for such repeated suggestion. Some Examples Let’s look at an example to make things a bit clearer. Think back about 20 years ago. Think about what you thought about certain issues of the day. Think about those same issues today; notice how you seemed to change {your} mind about them, to become more tolerant of things you opposed vehemently before. It’s your television watching that changed your mind, or to use Becker’s terms, “shaped your perceptions.”

Twenty years ago, most people thought that the lunacy that is now called environmentalism, the idea that animals and plants should be protected on an equal basis with human life, was screwy. It went against the basic concept of Christian civilization that man is a higher species than and distinct from the animals, and that it is man, by virtue of his being made in the image of the living God, whose life is sacred. That was 20 years ago. But now, many people, maybe even you, seem to think otherwise; there are even laws that say so. This contrary, anti-human view of man being no more than equal to animals and plants was inserted into our consciousness by the suggestion of television.

Environmental lunacy was scripted into network television shows, into televised movies, and into the news. It started slowly, but picked up steam. Environmental spokesmen were increasingly seen in the favorable glow of television. Those who opposed this view were shown in an unfavorable way. It was done over time, with repetition. If you weren’t completely won over, you were made tolerant of the views of environmental lunatics whose statements were morally and scientifically unsound. Let’s take a more recent example: the war against Iraq. That was a war made for television. In fact, it was a war {organized} through television. Think back a year: How were Americans prepared for the eventual slaughter of Iraqi women and children? Images on the screen: Saddam Hussein, on one side, Hitler on the other. The images repeated in newscasts, backed up by scenes of alleged atrocities in Kuwait. Then the war itself: the video-game like images of “smart” weapons killing Iraqi targets.

Finally, the American military commander-in-chief Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf, conducting a final press briefing that was consciously orchestrated to resemble the winning Superbowl coach describing his victory. Those were the images that overwhelmed our population. Only now, months later, do we find out that the images had nothing to do with reality. The Iraqi “atrocities” in Kuwait and elsewhere were exaggerated. Our “smart” weapons like the famous Patriot anti-missile system didn’t really work. Oh, and the casualty figures: it seems that we murdered far more women and children than we did soldiers. Hardly a “glorious victory.” But while it might have made a difference if people knew this while the war was being planned or in progress, polls show that Americans no longer find the war or any stories about it “interesting.” Looking at the question more broadly, where did your children get most of their values, if not from what they saw on television? Parents might counteract the influence of the infernal box, but they could not overcome it.

How could they, if they themselves have been brainwashed by the same box and if their children spend more time with it than them? Studies show that most of television programming is geared to a less than 5th grade comprehension level; parents, like you, are themselves being remade in the infantile images of the television screen. All of society becomes more infantile, more easily controllable.

As Emery explains: {“We are proposing that television as a simple constant and repetitive and ambiguous visual stimulus, gradually closes down the central nervous system of man.”} Becker holds a similar view of the effect of television on American’s ability to think:
{“Americans don’t really think–they have opinions and feelings. Television creates the opinion and then validates it.”} Nowhere is this clearer than with politics. Television tells Americans what to think about politicians, restricting choices to those acceptable to the oligarchs whose financial power controls networks and major cable channels. It tells people what has been said and what is “important.” Everything else is filtered out. You are told who can win and who can’t. And few people have the urge to look behind the images in the screen, to seek content and truth in ideas and look for a high quality of leadership. Such an important matter as choosing a president becomes the same as choosing a box of laundry detergent: a set of possibilities, whose limits are determined, by the images on the screen. You are given the appearance of freedom of choice, but that you have neither freedom nor real choice. That is how the brainwashing works. “Are they brainwashed by the tube,” said Becker to the interviewer. “ It is really more than that. I think that people have lost the ability to relate the images of their own lives without television intervening to tell them what it means.

That is what we really mean when we say that we have a wired society.” Turn It Off! That was ten years ago. It has gotten far worse since then. In coming issues, we will show you the brainwashers’ vision of a hell on earth and how television is being used to get us there; we will discuss television programming, revealing how it has helped produce what is called a “paradigm” shift in values, creating an immoral society; we will explain how the news is presented and how its presentation has been used to destroy the English language; we will discuss the mass entertainment media, showing who controls it and how; we will deal with America’s addiction to spectator sports and show how that too has helped make you passive and stupid; and finally, we will show where we are headed, if we can’t break our addiction to the tube.

So, after what I just told you, what do say, buddy? Do you want to stay stupid and let your country go to hell in a basket? Why don’t you just walk over to the set and turn it off. That’s right, completely off. Go on, you can do it. Now isn’t that better? Don’t you feel a little better already? You’ve just taken the first step in deprogramming yourself. It wasn’t that hard, was it? Until we speak again, try to keep it off. Now that will be a bit harder.

From New Federalist V6, #29.

Comment

From Ted Twietmeyer

On May 2 2004, I wrote a very similar article to this one, about brainwashing and the Tavistock Institute. It was the first in my Couch Patriot series (http://www.rense.com/general52/couch.htm).

Their subversion of thought not just in America but around the world is well known. Is it any wonder that satellite dish television is being brought to the most remote corners of the earth, even if a solar panel is required ?

Although it’s easy to focus just on brainwashing of Americans, in reality the entire world is at stake.

Ted Twietmeyer

Source: Rense.com
By: L. Wolfe, Mar 14 2005

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BRAINWASHING:
How The British Use The Media for Mass Psychological Warfare

by L. Wolfe

Printed in The American Almanac, May 5, 1997

“I know the secret of making the average American believe anything I want him to. Just let me control television…. You put something on the television and it becomes reality. If the world outside the TV set contradicts the images, people start trying to change the world to make it like the TV set images….”
–Hal Becker, media “expert” and management consultant, the Futures Group, in an interview in 1981 [1]

In the 15 years since Becker’s comment, Americans have become even more “wired” into a mass media network that now includes computer and video games, as well as the Internet–an all-surrounding network whose power is so pervasive that it is almost taken for granted. As the standup comic said, “We are really a media conscious people. I know a guy who was run over by a car in the street. He didn’t want to go to the hospital. Instead, he dragged himself over to the nearest bar, to check out whether he made it onto the evening news. When it wasn’t on, he said, `What does a guy have to do, get killed, to get on television?’|”

In the highest circles of the British monarchy and its Club of Isles, this great power is not taken for granted. Rather, it is carefully manipulated and directed, as Becker describes from a limited standpoint, to create and mold popular opinion. In a 1991 report published by the Malthusian Club of Rome, entitled “The First Global Revolution,” Sir Alexander King, top adviser on science and education policy to the royal family and Prince Philip, wrote that new advances in communications technology will greatly expand the power of the media, both in the advanced and developing sectors. The media, he proclaimed, is the most powerful weapon and “agent of change” in the fight to establish a “one-worldist,” neo-Malthusian order that will transcend and obliterate the concept of the nation-state.

“It is certainly necessary to engage in a broad debate with the journalists and the top media executives involved to study the conditions for them to be able to define this new role,”

King wrote.

In his project, King’s Club of Rome can count on cooperation from the media cartel, which is a British asset, as documented in our report. It can also call on the capabilities of a mass psychological warfare machine, also run by the British and their assets, which extends into key phases of media production, and includes writers and psychiatrists who help shape the content, and the pollsters who fine-tune and analyze the impact on targetted populations. Beyond this interacting network, there are millions of participants involved in the production, distribution, and transmission of media messages, whose thinking, in turn, has been shaped by the content of the media product, and who are, effectively, self-brainwashed by the culture within which they live.


The Tavistock “Mother”

The historic center of this mass psywar apparatus is based outside London, in the Tavistock Center. [2]Established in the aftermath of World War I under the patronage of the Duke George of Kent (1902-42), the original Tavistock Clinic, led by John Rawlings Rees, developed as the psychological warfare center for the royal family and British intelligence. Rees and a cadre group of Freudian and neo-Freudian psychiatrists, applied wartime experience of psychological collapse, to create theories about how such conditions of breakdown could be induced, absent the terror of war. The result was a theory of mass brainwashing, involving group experience, that could be used to alter the values of individuals, and through that, induce, over time, changes in the axiomatic assumptions that govern society.

In the 1930s, Tavistock’s extended networks developed a symbiotic relationship with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, created by European oligarchical networks, which focussed on the study and criticism of culture from a neo-Freudian standpoint. In the late 1930s, with its operations transferred from Germany to the New York area, the Frankfurt School coordinated the first analysis of the impact of a mass media phenomenon, i.e., radio, on culture–the Princeton-based “Radio Research Project.” [3]

With the outbreak of World War II, Tavistock operatives took effective control of the Psychological Warfare Directorate of the British Army, while its allied network in the United States embedded itself in the American psychological warfare apparatus, including the Committee on National Morale and the Strategic Bombing Survey.

By war’s end, the combined influence of Tavistock (which became the Tavistock Institute in 1947) and of the former Frankfurt School operatives, had created a cadre of “psychological shock troops,” as Rees called them, and “cultural warriors” numbering in the several thousands. Today that network numbers in the several millions around the world, and it is the single most important factor in determining the design and content of mass media product.


The “Pictures in Your Head”

In 1922, Walter Lippmann defined the term “public opinion” as follows:

“The pictures inside the heads of human beings, the pictures of themselves, of others, of their needs and purposes, and relationship, are their public opinions. Those pictures which are acted upon by groups of people, or by individuals acting in the name of groups, are Public Opinion, with capital letters.”

Lippmann, who was the first to translate Sigmund Freud’s works into English, was to become one of the most influential of political commentators. [4] He had spent World War I at the British psychological warfare and propaganda headquarters in Wellington House, outside of London, in a group that included Freud’s nephew, Eduard Bernays. [5] Lippmann’s book Public Opinion, published one year after Freud’s Mass Psychology, which touched on similar themes, was a product of his tutelage by the Rees networks. It is through the media, Lippmann writes, that most people come to develop those “pictures in their heads,” giving the media “an awesome power.”

The Rees networks had spent World War I studying the effects of war psychosis, and its breakdown of individual personality. From their work, an evil thesis emerged: Through the use of terror, man can be reduced to a childlike and submissive state, in which his powers of reason are clouded, and in which his emotional response to various situations and stimuli can become predictable, or in Tavistockian terms, “profilable.” By controlling the levels of anxiety, it is possible to induce a similar state in large groups of people, whose behavior can then be controlled and manipulated by the oligarchical forces for whom Tavistock worked. [6]

Mass media were capable of reaching large numbers of people with programmed or controlled messages, which is key to the creation of “controlled environments” for brainwashing purposes. As Tavistock’s researches showed, it was important that the victims of mass brainwashing not be aware that their environment was being controlled; there should thus be a vast number of sources for information, whose messages could be varied slightly, so as to mask the sense of external control. Where possible, the messages should be offered and reinforced through “entertainments,” which could be consumed, without apparent coercion, and with the victim perceiving himself as making a choice between various options and outlets.

Lippmann observes in his book that people are more than willing to reduce complex problems to simplistic formulas, to form their opinion by what they believe others around them believe; truth hardly enters into such considerations. Appearance of reports in the media confer the aura of reality upon those stories: If they weren’t factual, then why would they be reported? Lippmann says the average person believes. People whose fame is in turn built up by the media, such as movie stars, can become “opinion leaders,” with as much power to sway public opinion as political figures.

Were people to think about this process too much, it might break down; but, he writes,

“the mass of absolutely illiterate, of feeble minded, grossly neurotic, undernourished and frustrated individuals is very considerable, much more considerable, there is reason to think, than we generally suppose. Thus a wide popular appeal is circulated among persons who are mentally children or barbarians, whose lives are a morass of entanglements, people whose vitality is exhausted, shut-in people, and people whose experience has comprehended no factor in the problem under discussion.”

Stating that he saw a progression to ever-less-thought-provoking forms of media, Lippmann marvels at the power of the nascent Hollywood movie industry to shape public opinion. Words, or even a still picture, require an effort for the person to form a “picture in the mind.” But, with a movie,

“the whole process of observing, describing, reporting, and then imagining has been accomplished for you. Without more trouble than is needed to stay awake, the result which your imagination is always aiming at is reeled off on the screen.”

Significantly, as an example of the power of movies, he uses the D.W. Griffith propaganda film for the Ku Klux Klan, “The Birth of a Nation”; no American, he writes, will ever hear the name of the Klan again, “without seeing those white horsemen.”

Popular opinion, Lippmann observes, is ultimately determined by the desires and wishes of an elite “social set.” That set, he states, is a

“powerful, socially superior, successful, rich urban social set [which] is fundamentally international throughout the Western Hemisphere and in many ways, London is its center. It counts among its membership the most influential people in the world, containing as it does the diplomatic sets, high finance, the upper circles of the army and navy, some princes of the church, the great newspaper proprietors, their wives, mothers, and daughters who wield the scepter of invitation. It is at once a great circle of talk and a real social set.”

In a typical elitist fashion, Lippmann concludes that coordination of public opinion is lacking in precision. If the goal of a one-worldist “Great Society” is to be realized, then “public opinion must be organized for the press, not by the press.” It is not sufficient to rely on the whims of a “super social set” to manipulate the “pictures in people’s heads”; that job “can only be managed by a specialized class” which operates through “intelligence bureaus.” [7]


The “Radio Research Project”

As Lippmann was writing, the radio, the first major mass media technology to invade the home, was coming into prominence. Unlike the movies, which were viewed in theaters by large groups of people, the radio provided an individualized experience within the home, and centered on the family. By 1937, out of 32 million American families, some 27.5 million had a radio set–a larger percentage than had cars, telephones, or even electricity.

That same year, the Rockefeller Foundation funded a project to study the effects of radio on the population. [8] Recruited to what became known as the “Radio Research Project,” headquartered at Princeton University, were sections of the Frankfurt School, now transplanted from Germany to America, as well as individuals such as Hadley Cantril and Gordon Allport, who were to become key components of Tavistock’s American operations. Heading the project was the Frankfurt School’s Paul Lazerfeld; his assistant directors were Cantril and Allport, along with Frank Stanton, who was to head the CBS News division, and later become its president, as well as chairman of the board of the RAND Corporation.

The project was presaged by theoretical work done earlier in the studies of war propaganda and psychosis, and the work of Frankfurt School operatives Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. This earlier work had converged on the thesis that mass media could be used to induce regressive mental states, atomizing individuals and producing increased lability. (These induced mental conditions were later dubbed by Tavistock itself as “brainwashed” states, and the process of inducing them called “brainwashing.”)

In 1938, at the time he was head of the music section of the Radio Research Project, Adorno wrote that listeners to radio music programs:

“fluctuate between comprehensive forgetting and sudden dives into recognition. They listen atomistically and dissociate what they hear…. They are not childlike, but they are childish; their primitivism is not that of the undeveloped, but that of the forcibly retarded.”

The Radio Research Project’s findings, published in 1939, backed up Adorno’s thesis of “enforced retardation,” and serve as a brainwashers’ handbook.

In studies on the serialized radio dramas, commonly known as “soap operas” (so named, because many were sponsored by soap manufacturers), Herta Hertzog found that their popularity could not be attributed to any socio-economic characteristics of listeners, but rather to the serialized format itself, which induced habituated listening. The brainwashing power of serialization was recognized by movie and television programmers; to this day, the afternoon “soaps” remain among the most addictive of television fare, with 70% of all American women over 18 watching at least two of these shows each day.

Another Radio Research Project study investigated the effects of the 1938 Orson Welles radio dramatization of H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, about an invasion from Mars. Some 25% of the listeners to the show, which was formatted as if it were a news broadcast, believed that an invasion was under way, creating a national panic–this, despite repeated and clear statements that the show was fictional. Radio Project researchers found that most people didn’t believe that Martians had invaded, but rather that a German invasion was under way. This, the researchers reported, was because the show had followed the “news bulletin” format that had earlier accompanied accounts of the war crisis around the Munich conference. Listeners reacted to the format, not the content of the broadcast.

The project’s researchers had proven that radio had already so conditioned the minds of its listeners, making them so fragmented and unthinking, that repetition of format was the key to popularity. [9]


The “One-Eyed Babysitter”

Television was beginning to make its entrance as the next mass media technology at the time the Radio Research Project’s findings were published in 1939. First experimented with on a large scale in Nazi Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, TV made its splashy public appearance at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, where it attracted large crowds. Adorno and others immediately recognized its potential as a mass-brainwashing tool. In 1944, he wrote,

“Television aims at the synthesis of radio and film … but its consequences are enormous and promise to intensify the impoverishment of aesthetic matter, so drastically that by tomorrow, the thinly veiled identity of all industrial culture products can come triumphantly out in the open, derisively fulfilling the Wagnerian dream of Gesamtkunstwerk–the fusion of all arts in one work.”

As was obvious from even the earliest clinical studies of television (some of which were conducted in the late 1940s and early 1950s by Tavistock operatives), viewers, over a relatively short period of time, entered into a trance-like state of semi-awareness, characterized by a fixed stare. The longer one watched, the more pronounced the stare. In such a condition of twilight-like semi-awareness, they were susceptible to messages both contained in the programs themselves, and through transference, in the advertising. They were being brainwashed. [10]

Television moved from being a neighborhood oddity, to mass penetration of especially urban areas, during approximately 1947-52. As Lyndon LaRouche has observed, this coincided with a critical period in the nation’s psychological life. The dreams of millions of World War II veterans, and their high hopes of building a better world, crashed to earth in the morally corrupt leadership of the Truman administration and ensuing economic depression. These veterans retreated into family life, their jobs, their homes, their living rooms. And, in the center of those living rooms was their new television set, whose banal images provided assurance that the corrupt moral choices they had made were correct.

The earliest programming fell back on the tested models of radio, as described in the Radio Research Project: the situation comedy, or “sitcom,” the game shows, the variety shows, sports, and the “soaps.” Many were in serial form, with interlocking characters, if not stories. All were banal, deliberately designed so.

The children of these unhappy veterans, the so-called baby boomers, became the first generation to be weaned on what LaRouche calls “the one-eyed babysitter.” Television viewing was encouraged by parents, often as a means of controlling the children, who would stare at whatever was on the screen for hours on end. The content of the first children’s programs was banal (but no more so than the television programming in general), and mentally destructive; even more destructive was the replacement of real family interaction by television viewing, as the dinner table was replaced by the “TV dinner” in front of the tube. Not surprisingly, the children fixated obsessively on the items advertised by the media, demanding that they be given such items, lest they not be like their friends. [11]

In the mid-1970s, Eric Trist, who, until his death in 1993, headed Tavistock’s operations in the United States, and Tavistock’s main media “expert,” Fred Emery, reported on their findings of the impact of 20 years of television on American society. In Emery’s 1975 work, Futures We Are In, they reported that the content of programming was no longer as important as the sheer amount of television viewing. Average daily viewing time had risen steadily over the two decades since the introduction of the medium, such that by the mid-1970s, it ranked as a daily activity only behind sleep and work, at almost six hours a day (since then, it has risen still further, to more than seven hours, with the addition of video games, home videos, and so on); among school-age children, the time spent viewing television ranked just behind school attendance. These findings, Tavistock indicated, strongly suggested that television was like an addictive drug. Similarly, Emery reported on neurological studies which, he claimed, showed that repeated television viewing “shuts down the central nervous system of man.”

Whether this claim holds up under scientific scrutiny, Emery and Trist present persuasive argument that general, extensive television viewing lowers the capacity for conceptual thinking about what is being presented on the screen. The studies show that the mere presence of images on television, especially within appropriate news or documentary format, but also within general viewing, tends to “validate” those images, and imbue them with a sense of “reality.”

Trist and Emery find nothing wrong with such developments, which indicate that television is producing a brain-dead generation. Rather, they show how this development fits into a larger global plan for social control, implemented by Tavistock and its allied networks on behalf of its sponsors. Society, they state in A Choice of Futures, a book published in the same time period, has been plunging through progressively lowered states of mental awareness, to a point where even the Orwellian fascist state is not attainable. At this point, thanks to television and other mass media, mankind is in a state of dissociation, whose political outcome will be manifested in a “Clockwork Orange” society, named for the book by the late Anthony Burgess, in which roving youth gangs habitually commit acts of random violence, and then return home to watch the news about what they have done on the “tube.”

The brainwashers point out that this development, for which they say the violence of Northern Ireland is a model, was not induced by the effects of television alone. Society has been put through “social turbulence” in a series of economic and political shocks, which included the war in Vietnam, the oil price shocks, and the assassination of political leaders. The psychological impact of those events, for whose responsibility they neglect to properly ascribe to the Anglo-American establishment, were magnified by their being brought into homes, in gory and terrifying detail, by television news broadcasts. Under the Trist-Emery scenario, one can imagine hearing the tag line for a future late news program: “The end of the world. Details at 11.”


Consolidating the Paradigm

In a 1991 anthology of the work’s of Tavistock which he edited, Trist wrote that all of the international “nodes” or centers of the institute’s brainwashing apparatus were deployed for the central purpose of consolidating the paradigm-shift to a “post-industrial world order.” Their goal, he stated, was to make the shift irreversible. In this work, and in other locations, Trist, like Alexander King, urges a mass “reeducational” campaign to break the last vestiges of national resistance, especially within the United States, to this new, one-world order.

Approximately ten1 years earlier, another of Tavistock’s minions, Bertram Gross, in a paper delivered to a 1981 World Future Society conference attended by Al Gore, provided a glimpse of what this “new world order” might look like. Gross argued that in the period ahead, the world would be offered what Tavistock likes to call a “critical choice”–a set of options, all of which appear to be bad, but, because of applied terror and pressure of events, a choice is nonetheless forced and the “less bad” option taken. Western industrial society will break down into chaos; this chaos can, he said, either lead to a fascism of the authoritarian type that the British helped install in Nazi Germany, or to a more humane and benevolent form of fascism, which Gross called a “friendly fascism.” The choice, Gross proclaimed, is to attempt to go back to the old industrial paradigm, under which there will be Nazi fascism; or, to embrace post-industrialism, where there will be a “friendly fascism.” The latter, he said, is clearly preferable, since it is merely a transition to a new “global information world order,” which will involve more personal choice and freedom, a true open and participatory mass democracy.

For Gross, the choice is clear: In any case, there will be pain and suffering; but only the “friendly fascism” of the global information order, of a society wired together by cable television, satellites, and computer lines, offers hope for a better “future.”

Who shall administer this “friendly fascist” world order? Gross explained that there now truly exists a “Golden International,” a term that he credited to the late Communist International (Comintern) leader Nikolai Bukharin. It is an enlightened international elite, based within the powerful European-centered oligarchy that controls the global multinational communications industry, as well as other critical resources and global finance. This elite must be instructed and informed by the intelligence of the Tavistock networks; they must be shown that the great masses of television-fixated mental zombies can be won easily to this brave new world, through inducements of entertainments and the endless supply of “information.” Once the masses are won over, through “education,” then the resistance within national sectors will collapse.

In 1989, under the initiative of Trist, Tavistock convened a seminar at Case Western Reserve University to discuss the means to bring about a “stateless” international fascism–a new global information world order. In 1991, Tavistock devoted its journal, Human Relations, to the publication of the papers from that conference. In several of the papers, the call went out for the deployment of the mass media on behalf of this project.

In addition, since 1981, there was now a new technology at the disposal of the brainwashers–the Internet. According to Harold Perlmutter, one of the participants at the Case Western seminar, the Internet represented a subversive means to penetrate national borders with “information” about this new world order; it also serves as a glue for a network of non-governmental organizations, all circulating propaganda for the new world order. These NGOs are to be the superstructure upon which the new world order is to be built. Perlmutter, and other conference participants, argued that their movement cannot be beaten, because it doesn’t exist, in a formal sense. It resides in the minds of its conspirators, minds informed by Tavistock’s mass-media brainwashing machine. As television was the information drug during the last half of this millennium, so the Internet, with its glut of mostly useless chatter and “information,” with its subversive, programmed messages, is to be the new “drug” of the next millennium, Tavistock boasts. [12]

“Americans don’t really think–they have opinions, feelings,” said the Futures Group’s Hal Becker in a 1981 interview. “Television creates opinion, then validates it. Are they brainwashed by the tube? It is really more than that. I think that people have lost their ability to relate the images of their own lives without television intervening. This really is what we mean when we say we have a wired society. We are headed for an Orwellian society, but Orwell made a mistake in 1984. Big Brother doesn’t need to watch you, as long as you watch it. And who can say that this is really so bad?”


The Fly in the Ointment

But, even within the elitist circles of Tavistock’s international networks, there is a faint glimmer that something might be seriously awry in their plan. It was expressed by an author quoted by Emery back in 1973, who wondered aloud what might happen when the television-addicted baby-boomer generation fully takes over the reins of leadership. Have we really prepared them to lead? Can they think and solve problems? Emery dismisses the problem, indicating that there is enough time yet to train such leadership cadre.

But the questions linger. In 1981, at the World Future Society event at which Gross delivered his paean to the “friendly fascist” “global information order,” Tony Lentz, an assistant professor of speech at the Pennsylvania State University, observed that he had witnessed destruction of oral and written skills, by the mass media and television; not only could most students not write coherently, but they could not even speak intelligently. This was not merely a function of miseducation, he stated in his paper, “The Medium Is Madness,” but also because they had no desire to think. Arguing that Plato states that our knowledge of the world must be based on knowing the mind of someone who knows something about it, Lentz said that television has left people with the idea that mere images represent knowledge. There is no questioning, no effort to get inside the mind of someone, merely dialogue and image, sound and fury, that certainly signify nothing. [13]

“Allowing ourselves to be influenced by the subtle but powerful illusions presented by television,” wrote Lentz, “leads to a kind of mass madness that can have rather frightening implications for the future of the nation … We will have begun to see things that aren’t there, giving someone else the power to make up our illusions for us. The prospect is frightening, and given our cultural heritage we should know better.”


Notes

  1. [return to text]
    The Futures Group, a private think-tank, was one of the first organizations to specialize in the use of computer interfaces in psychological manipulations of corporate executives and political leaders. In 1981, it pioneered the RAPID program for the U.S. State Department, which used computer-driven graphics to brainwash select developing sector leaders into supporting International Monetary Fund conditionalities and population control programs. It was also involved in extensive profiling of the U.S. population for major multinationals.
  2. [return to text]
    The LaRouche movement undertook groundbreaking work on the Tavistock network in 1973-74, and published the results of its investigations in Campaigner magazine (Winter 1973, Spring 1974 issues). Additional work has been published in EIR, most recently in the May 24, 1996 issue, a Special Reportentitled “The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire.”
  3. [return to text]
    For a comprehensive report on the Frankfurt School and its network, including its role in shaping mass media policy and cultural warfare, see Michael Minnicino, “The New Dark Age: The Frankfurt School and `Political Correctness,’|” Fidelio,Winter 1992.
  4. [return to text]
    Lippmann, who migrated from Fabian Socialist networks to the circles of the Thomas Dewey and the Dulles brothers, became the spokesman for an American imperialist faction that was controlled by the British, and deployed against the anti-imperial policy outlook of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. See Lyndon LaRouche, The Case of Walter Lippmann(New York: Campaigner Publications Inc., 1977).
  5. [return to text]
    Bernays is important in his own right, as the person who created “Madison Ave.” advertising, based on the tricks of Freudian psychological manipulation.
  6. [return to text]
    All Tavistock psychology (as well as Freudian psychology) proceeds from the image of man as a sensate beast. It explicitly rejects, with great malice, the Judeo-Christian view of man as created in the image of God, meaning that man, and man alone, is endowed by his Creator with creativity. Tavistock, which claims that all creativity derives solely from sublimated neurotic or erotic impulses, sees the human mind merely as a slate on which it can draw and redraw its “pictures.”
  7. [return to text]
    This is similar to the notion, put foward by Rees in his book The Shaping of Psychiatry by War,of the creation of a elite group of psychiatrists who will, on behalf of the ruling oligarchy, ensure the “mental health” of the world.
  8. [return to text]
    The Nazis had already extensively used radio propaganda for brainwashing, as an integral element of the fascist state. This was observed and studied by the Tavistock networks.
  9. [return to text]
    It is important to note that there is nothing inherently evil with radio, television, or any form of technology. What makes them dangerous is the control of their use and content by the Club of Isles networks for evil purposes, to create habituated, and even fixated listeners and viewers, whose critical capacities are thus seriously impaired.
  10. [return to text]
    For a more comprehensive discussion of television, its programming, and its brainwashing of the American population, see the 16-part series “Turn Off Your Television,” by this author in the New Federalist, 1990-93. It is available in reprint from EIR.
  11. [return to text]
    One of Tavistock’s specialties is the study of the psychological manipulation of children, and the impact of advertising on young minds. Such advertising is carefully crafted to lure children into desiring the advertised product.
  12. [return to text]
    There has been a massive investment in the infrastructure of the Internet, disproportionate to available near-term, or even intermediate-term return. This leads one to speculate that such investment is in fact a “loss leader,” for the intended psychological impacts of the new technology.
  13. [return to text]
    While such expressions are an echo of Platonic thinking, they are merely that–an echo. For a better understanding of the problem of education, see Lyndon LaRouche, “On the Subject of Metaphor,” Fidelio, Fall 1992.

Source: American Almanac Tripod.com

One thought on “Turn Off Your Television – BRAINWASHING: How The British Use The Media for Mass Psychological Warfare

  1. Pingback: The Basis of Mass Mind Control « Anti Oligarch

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