Lesser Expectations

Derren Brown – “How to Convert an Atheist”.

Start at 30:45, “Experiment 5,” and end watching at 36:00. That’s all you’ll need for this post. This segment has nothing obvious to do with religion, merely pattern-matching and how belief affects it.

This phenomenon is a portion of what contributes to the “organized stalking” phenomena. While this is not to say that there never was the “intervention” of covert operations in a target’s life–Brown himself used actors to set up the suggestion in the clip–you can see that it doesn’t take much to have an effect. In Brown’s example, he suggests that people will help the woman, and that is what she winds up seeing even though he hasn’t done a thing beyond the first meeting.

Reverse the intent to the negative, and add the possibility of having been drugged or simply harassed to the point that a natural imbalance of dopamine and/or seratonin is the result, and it becomes obvious that those who carry these forms of harassment out know what they are doing and understand what it is that they are trying to achieve: To turn a person’s own mind against herself or himself. It becomes a form of extra-legal punishment employed against a target that hasn’t actually broken any laws and when the government or other powerful entity behind it neither wants public acknowledgment of their involvement nor for anyone other than the target to believe there is anything involved beyond bad luck and mental illness. Witnesses, journalists, and whistleblowers can sometimes find themselves in this situation.

Again, see the Summary of Main problems from the Church/Tower hearings on FBI’s COINTELPRO and the very first item on CIA’s wish list for MKULTRA. In the former case you’ll see the destruction of personal and work relationships without the knowledge of the parties as to the true root cause, and the appearance of mental illness on the part of the target in the latter.

I’ll have more to say about the show as a whole in a future post and what it means to me, having been through a bit of that myself albeit via different means. What is amazing is that Brown repeats some old hypnosis experiments {there were several, conversions in both directions IIRC} without actually inducing a hypnotic state. In the meantime, you might want to duckduckgo Dr. Tali Sharot and Optimism Bias.

Mind Games

Here’s a very simple example of what being manipulated looks like and how it affects us unconsciously even when it’s a little obvious it has been done. Starting at the 16:22 mark of this episode of Brain Games, you’ll see how two teams wound up acting very differently and what the results were. Then you’ll see how they were prepped psychologically to make this the case.

Brain Games – Season 3 – Episode 14 – “Risk”

That is just about as simple as you can make it and still maintain the idea that his can be done on larger scales. Are there realworld examples? Yes, there are:

Barney Frank Confronts Woman At Townhall Comparing Obama to Hitler

This was one of those things that make Keith Olbermann, who had his show on MSNBC at the time, suggest that these folks may have been bribed by the Koch brothers to disrupt the meetings. No such connection was ever found.

A possible reason for that: Because you don’t have to actually pay people. You just have to scare the shit out of them. Behind many mass email chains lies a political operative or a group of them. We see this most often during an election, when flyers arrive in the mail discussing things like banning the bible, or whathaveyou. Now, we have these practices year-round in order to alter and influence policy, legislation, and court rulings. They are written to exploit existing fears and expand to beliefs that serve a larger political purpose, sometimes to create the appearance of false consensus or at least one based on disinformation.

This is what the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency have been up to, including testing it on Facebook and other social media. The project we know about is called MINERVA and it reportedly grew out of the 2008 financial crisis. Researchers initially denied the project had Defense funding, but that was later proven to be a lie. As proponents of mass surveillance like to point out, if the government and its private partners have nothing to hide, why hide what it is funding? What it is doing?

Banks nearly destroyed the financial system, so of course the Pentagon wants to know how to manipulate people and make them crazy, angry, depressed, fearful, desperate, and–one cannot help but wonder–violent. The only real explanation for that two-part chain of events involves feces, a hill, and gravity.

But I hope it is easy to see how easy it is to do, and how effective it can be even on a small scale. Being bombarded with images, such as we will be all day on 9/11 this year, has a major effect on our perception of the world. And it doesn’t always lead to a clearer understanding of it, often just the opposite.

Monstrous Tsunami

This was originally going to be the end of a longer post about manipulation but it occurred to me that it deserves a shorter treatment all its own. It requires acceptance of a few givens similar to a thought  experiment in order to follow.

Assume that it is true that removing emotional bias from decision-making leads to greater success as society has defined it. Remove guilt and empathy and the question moves from “Should I do this?” to “Can I get away with this?” Further iterations lead to increasing the likelihood of getting away with “it” while simultaneously avoiding detection and attention beyond what you can manage via damage control or other misdirection, distraction, deceit.

Now, step out of your shoes and into theirs for a moment. Think like a social dominator.

In order to achieve this overall goal–whether it refers to politicians increasing their power by further limiting that of others, Wall Street’s inherently flawed model requiring this year to be better than the last rather than simply otherwise “successful,” or corporations providing less and less valuable services and goods while spending less and less on generating them–you as social dominator must provide an alternate explanation for any anomalies that these practices create as side-effect. In other words, you look at the psychological evolution of the masses you wish to manipulate for your benefit and decide that fear and superstition are the best ways to go for many, and throw in pseudoscience for the mainstream “thinkers.” You allow people to drift naturally toward whichever rationalizations best suit them as they are, and they naturally do so.

The problem, however, comes along when, later on, the former group of dupes–whom you have well-seeded with fear and instilled with a sense of good versus evil, right and wrong–discover your game.

Now, you have created a habit in the emotional portion of the population that will eventually bite you in the ass. You’ve let loose an emotionally-based cult that, though it doesn’t realize it yet, holds you as its natural enemy.

You’ve given the peasants torches and pitchforks, but only temporarily directed them to the wrong castle. At some point, they are going to see the truth, but the result will be just as vicious, emotional, and bloody as those you set them upon via manipulation to begin with.

I have two thoughts regarding this inevitability: First, many psychopaths and sociopaths are what many people would call subjectively “good people,” and not because they are intentionally faking it. Mental illness or personality disorder does not always equal bad person, in fact it is usually a minority that fall into that category. Some of these folks aren’t even aware that this is what they are, though I expect they sometimes wonder why so many of the rest of us get so upset over things. They will be the first casualties, though, because the resulting over-reaction won’t limit itself to individuals but rather follow along “type.”

The second thought is, it’s a good thing for them that they’re also good liars and capable of faking sincerity, these social dominators. They’re going to need that skill once the movements they created spiral out of control.

It’s Not That Difficult

A brief thought experiment.

Imagine a person, or a group of them, without empathy. They only want one thing.

They just want one person to push a button. They don’t care why he or she pushes it, merely that it happens. Why it is done is beside the point, irrelevant.

Is there any way they could achieve that? Yes. Several routes.


Holmes’ Notebook

Claudia Koerner, “Here’s What James Holmes Wrote In His Notebook Before The Aurora Theater Shooting: Holmes sent the notebook to his former psychiatrist before going on a shooting rampage that left 12 people dead. Attorneys have debated what its contents show about Holmes’ sanity,” Buzzfeed, 27 May 2015:


Amid the thoughts and planning is a simple question: Why?

Holmes wrote the word 247 times over eight pages.


And someone actually counted them all.

Here’s an alternate answer to that question: The Fed needs to be audited but hasn’t been, just like Libor.

A very logical question to ask, one that someone else at FICO may have wondered about but decided it might not be worth asking post-postal. What are the odds that the UK national bank gets involved in fraud, but not its counterpart in the US? Hell, we probably did it first.

Chelsea Manning Brainwashing Motive?

In reference to this from early 2012. Standard Soviet brainwashing techniques applied to Chelsea Manning while at the prison at Quantico.

Adam Klasfeld, “Manning Prosecutor Breaks Silence on WikiLeaks Case,” Courthouse News, 19 June 2015:


    “The ultimate sentence was better than what they were offering,” attorney David Coombs said in an interview.
     While the lawyers dispute the government’s willingness to return to the table, Coombs believed any deal would have required his client’s testimony against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

So the opening plea deal offer was worse than 35 years and included agreeing to suggest that there was some kind of spying conspiracy that included Wikileaks. A softening up of personality leading to less resistance to the idea might explain the treatment. Seriously, read the link at top and see how well those reports and that document line up.

Erection 2016

I’m already sick of it, aren’t you? Here’s what’s going to happen because we never learn.

Right now, on the Right, we have Trump. Trump is America’s id. His popularity is due to three things primarily.

First, he’s got name recognition. He’s a billionaire, so he can capture some of those actual Wall Streety non-religious don’t-tax-me-bro types and those idiots living in trailer park who think raising taxes on the rich means them. Yeah, sure, your Cheez-Whiz supply is in jeopardy. *

Second, he is “plain spoken.” By this I mean he talks like a 4th grader {no, seriously, linguists have analyzed his words} and therefore can capture a larger portion of the IQ bell curve, specifically the portion on the left downward slope.

Third, he completely defies political correctness, which even I at times find annoying when it is taken to the extreme. This appeals to the Libertarians, who would also like to see someone not from Washington, DC in the White House. He has taken W’s “let’s have a beer together” appeal and turned it on its head. He could actually insult his supporters and they would love him for “being honest.”

None of that matters. He also makes Jeb look reasonable to those who don’t like the way Trump behaves, and has forced the Republicans to deal with de-coded language on things like race, which will help Hillary. Both of these candidates think that they can leverage the Trump phenomenon to their benefit.

On the so-called Left, we have Bernie Sanders. Bernie is an Independent in the Senate, but caucuses with the Democrats and is running on their ticket.

Here we see the pat on the head for the Left, who has no real representation to speak of and really never has in this country with the exception of people like Kucinich. You will note that Kucinich is no longer in office.

Truly, apart from the New Deal which, Orwellian revisions of the Business Plot aside, was not the result of liberalism and progressivism, but rather how the end rounds of Monopoly always seem to wreck the game for everyone. The Great Depression was the result of, for example, people making things they could no longer afford. The Reagan tax cuts have not been repealed, so let’s stop pretending there is anything even approaching liberal at work in a government that is fully aware that those cuts have turned the United States into a fascist-plutarchy hybrid with a 10% chance of theocracy thrown in because that’s what happens when you have instability.

It just doesn’t exist. The Democrats are, if you look at what they do instead of listening to what they say because those things are rarely kin, the far Right. They are anti-labor, which is to say that they are pro-poverty. They privatize just like Republicans. They murder brown people with  flying, exploding robots just like Republicans do. They protect the criminal elite just like Republicans do. They spy on and commit covert ops against protestors and civil rights champions just like Republicans do. They rob teacher, cop, fireman, and other public worker pension funds and then cry financial shortcomings just like Republicans do.

But we are being allowed to have our conversation. We are being allowed to have a fantasy, indulge in a delusion that will never come to pass.

It won’t because the fix is in. The Deep State sees the end of the Middle Class as a feature, not a bug. Having half the population paid peanuts to watch, harass, imprison, shoot, or otherwise engage and occupy the other half seems a great way to keep them out of their hair. Where some of us saw problems with the 2001 National Intelligence Estimate stating that the growing wealth gap would be the biggest threat to national security in the 21st Century, the elite saw opportunity. They could end the Republic. No more pandering to the masses just to get their puppets in, they could take more direct, more overt control.

But we’re getting our show. We’re getting to chat about trying something we’ve never really ever tried. Because why question it when it’s working for the powerful few?

Once these two acts of the national money passion play have ended, we’re back to what really shitty media outlets will call “serious” politics and then it’ll be between Hillary and Jeb:

Lee Fang, “Corrected: Major Figures in Democratic and Republican Money Groups Go Into Business Together,” Intercept, 20 August 2015:


Hillary will win because the Republican Party is so far off the rails. In an urge to please their corporate and oligarch overlords, they overdo it, lurching ever further to the Right in order to differentiate themselves from the Democrats.

Fear of nullification of Roe v Wade will force the moderates and Left to vote for her. Alliances with Uganda, for example, and other loudmouth, unhinged anti-LGBT talk will do the same. Seeing a repeat of W’s catastrophic terms in a potential third Bush administration will drive people to the only other choice that they are given.

You’re welcome. You could ignore the whole thing now for the duration, if it weren’t going to constantly be in your face.

* See what I mean? Insult politics is contagious. And sadly fun.