Conspiracy: “The activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal.”
Since the entrance of the internet onto the center stage of human consciousness the term “conspiracy” has mushroomed. What used to be the domain of small groups (left and right wing), and what used to be topics one might find in a newsletter left on a campus table, or leaflet in front of a post office, are now topics that captivate the minds of…well, just about everyone. Just ask a 14 year-old what they think of “the Illuminati.” They will probably at least know about the eye of providence or even something about various fraternal societies. Many people have views that deviate from the standard 9-11 narrative. And who could forget the term “vast right wing conspiracy” term created by Hillary in the 1990s, and now replaced with allegations of…well, you get the point. So are there conspiracies? That depends.
My new book, “Freedom from Conscience – The Price of Power” delves into this. The anti-heroine, a former vigilante serial killer, Melanie Lindberg, is elected to congress. However, soon after her arrival she gets an invitation from a powerful business leader to visit his estate. Soon she discovers that she is in the midst of some of the most powerful people in the world, all members of a secret society, with perks of power, sex, freedom from laws normal people must follow and revolving around engineering a new world order. As long as she is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, she can have it all. More detailed description here:
So is it fantasy? Is it reality? Well, some people have asked if I might be closer to such topics than merely academic. Then again, if I were, wouldn’t that mean I would want to keep it secret?
Of course, if we were to define conspiracy within the context of people joining together and promoting an agenda, without the public knowing or consenting, then this goes on all the time. Edward Bernays, the father of modern PR and advertising, noted decades ago:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
Are you a woman? If so you probably shave your legs, underarms and, well, let’s just concentrate there. Why do you and the vast majority of western women do this? Would you believe it all started with a magazine back in 1915 making the case as clothing styles became more revealing? Of course who came up with the idea to show off more of the body? Yep, fashion designers. So a combination of designers, media, and later, lingerie and finally porn finished off most body hair on women, as well as many men, in recent years. Want more examples? How about what we define as “breakfast foods” or proper table manners? These have their origins, but few people know of them. Even something as personal as reproduction; most western people saw the ideal family as 3 or 4 kids back in the early 1960s. What changed? Well, many will say it was economics but there are far poorer nations with much higher birthrates than we see today in the US and western world in general. What changed is that those in a position of power, with great influence on media, education, etc. re-educated people as to how they should view the ideal. And now that is so institutionalized that all it needs is reinforcement. These are all examples of Bernays observations of how things really work.
So how do those in a position of influence get us to do what they want us to do? Sure it can involve education, but as psychiatrist and marketer Clotaire Rapaille has noted,“Emotions are the keys to learning, the keys to imprinting. The stronger the emotion, the more clearly the experience is learned.” http://bit.ly/2hr23i3 He has also stated, “I don’t care what you are going to tell me I don’t care. Give me the reptilian. Why? Because the reptilian always wins.” http://to.pbs.org/1xDCDyR What Rapaille refers to is that humans may say they make decisions based on rational motives and outcomes, a cost-benefit analysis, but in reality they are governed by instinctive drives and emotions. The people that Bernays refers to as the “invisible government” realize this, so when they undertake a program of changing people’s attitudes, and thus, behaviors, they know the way to do this is to use emotional strategies. And what if the changes desired run counter to sub conscious drives, i.e. the desire to reproduce? Then you need to re-define the goals, shape them, and then allow societal pressure, as people adopt the new ideals, to work (people do tend to want to conform as it is psychologically easier than to rebel). So model the behavior on popular TV shows (small families, marriage in the 30s rather than early 20s, people putting career goals first, etc.) and in one generation people will adopt the new norm. And as some societies that initially sought to reduce birthrates have discovered, now that the rates are far lower than they ever expected them to go, getting people to suddenly want to have more children is going to be a very difficult undertaking.
Once a target behavior is reached, once it is institutionalized, people will force conformity on each other. If you are a woman just try to stop shaving your legs and underarms, and see what happens. You will probably get people question your intent and motives, especially other women, and you will obviously get stares at the beach. And of course people will seek to categorize you, as in if you are a hippie or vegan or whatever. What if you decide you would like to have a family of four or five children? Again, you will be questioned, your behavior becoming a defining point of how people judge you, and they will seek to categorize you, as in if you are merely making a large family out of some sort of conformity to a religious dictate. Or you can try eating pizza for breakfast. You see, no matter what, when you break from the norm, people will question you. People feel comfort in conforming and your non-conformity makes them uncomfortable.
So overall, do conspiracies exist? Actually, yes. They may or may not take on the sorts that one sees in a movie like “Eyes Wide Shut” but undoubtedly those who have a great deal of access to media and other important avenues of social engineering capabilities are able to change how we view life, view each other, and even what we see as “proper” within our own existence. Knowing this, and the techniques involved, at least can give one an easier ability to break from conformity within the society, and not feel anxiety and fear when living outside the norms created by those in power.