It's always the way. Unless you write about a subject when you think of it, you can go from leading the pack to also-ran in less than a week. Ever since Malone went on Rogan, the term 'mass formation' has been so popular in Google searches that they've had to effectively shadow ban it, for fear that the plebs will realize how they're being sandbagged.
One of the most confounding aspects of the Covid phenomenon has been the difficulty in getting people to acknowledge any facts other than the ones made up by the authorities. In the US, this has meant believing the government and its state organs; the same apparatus that a majority of Americans hold responsible for its part in a conspiracy that killed an American president as long ago as 1963.
In the UK, it has resulted in the voters trusting the government narrative, too; the same government (literally the same political party) that they distrusted so comprehensively in 2016 that they ignored a propaganda campaign waged against them using their own money and voted to leave the EU. This time around, they've absorbed the fear porn and cowered in their homes, leaving only to queue up to get an injection like so many lemmings.
So what changed? How did people become so docile and trusting? You may be thinking that I am getting ahead of myself a little, as I haven't actually demonstrated that this is, in fact, what has happened. All in good time. I don't intend to rehearse (or reheat) the evidence here; there is plenty of time for that shortly. But, just for the sake of it, if a government did want to brainwash its citizens, how would it go about it? Is there a template? Has it been previously achieved?
It may not surprise you to learn that there is indeed a tried and tested method that has been used to good effect; it's well chronicled and even has a name (or two). It's known as menticide, or mass formation and it involves the death of the mind, the abandonment of critical thinking, the erasure of the individual; the collective comes to be the only ideological currency. Crucially, it doesn't work on a majority usually but, when practiced by the state, the roughly 30% who are afflicted are more than enough to hold sway – particularly as there are approximately another 40% just going along with things and only 25-30% who will oppose.
The Asch Conformity Experiments (1) were conducted in the 1950s and were primarily about whether pressure from within a group could persuade people to conform, even when they knew that the group was wrong. Genuine participants were placed in test groups and asked not very difficult questions . However, some of the other participants were, in fact, facilitators within those same groups who frequently provided wrong responses. The genuine participants conformed to the obviously incorrect answer around a third of the time. Their conformity effect was much less marked when the group numbered a maximum of three and, conversely, increased when more people were present, although there was little change when the group size reached four or five.
One conclusion drawn was that having social support available was an important tool in combating conformity; perhaps not an earth-shattering revelation. The genuine participants later admitted that, while they knew the rest of the group was wrong, they had agreed with them in order to obviate any risk of ridicule. Some even believed that, despite the evidence of their own eyes, the other group members must be better informed if they all thought the same thing.
Interestingly, conformity increased when the task became more difficult, as people turned to others for advice on how to respond. Further, when people viewed the other members of the group as more powerful and influential (not just more knowledgeable, which would be the only valid reason, really), they tended to fall in line. In confirmation of the importance of the public nature of these group discussions, the research showed that conformity decreased when the participants were permitted to respond privately. It also decreased when they had the support of at least one other member of the group. A united front to share the burden.
The Milgram Experiments,(2) an infamous experiment conducted in the early 1960s at Yale University, which were prompted by the recent arrest of Adolf Eichmann, intended to throw some light on the question of how much culpability the German people shared for 'just following orders'. Milgram used a confederate to play the role of learner, unbeknownst to the participant who was designated the teacher. Questions were asked of the learner and when the answer was incorrect (which it was frequently and deliberately), the teacher was instructed to deliver an electric shock to the learner, who was in another room. There were 30 settings, from 15 volts to 450. The learner could be heard to scream in the initial stages and then go silent as the shocks got stronger. Naturally, the electric shocks were faked.
The results were, literally, shocking. Those who balked at some point in proceedings were encouraged to continue via the use of four increasingly insistent verbal prompts, provided by Milgram himself. All the learners went as far as 300 volts and 65% went all the way up to 450. This is somewhat discouraging. While it may help to show that the German people were not somehow uniquely predisposed to blind obedience, it doesn’t reflect very well on the rest of us. It was concluded that while obedience to authority was ingrained, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being upon instruction, it was more likely to be observed if the authority was recognized either morally or legally.
Both sets of experiments have relevance to our current situation. Asch showed that a combination of perceived social pressure and isolation can sway a majority of people to go along with ideas that they don't agree with and Milgram showed that, as long as an authority figure was believed to be in possession of what was perceived as a valid basis for giving orders, people would obey them, even in extremis. And neither experiment was concerned with particularly weighty scenarios. A sense of proportion did not seem to feature meaningfully, yet outcomes could still be extreme.
Menticide, as the process of inducing mass formation has become known, is also an effective tool in creating the conditions for totalitarianism. The techniques used in the manipulation of group and societal phenomena hark back to the lessons learned in these early studies and introduces new factors that the experiments neglected to investigate. There are four conditions which lay the groundwork for a totalitarian state and before the seed can be sown, the soil needs to be prepared.
Free floating discontent/anxiety.
Free floating aggression/frustration.
Can we agree that the 'pandemic' - or rather the actions taken by government in response (allegedly) – has done a pretty good job of evoking all four of those conditions? Lock-downs, anxiety and frustration, combined with being at a loose end for prolonged periods? We were being conditioned from the outset. Think about it. Why on earth would we believe that we needed to save the NHS (in the UK) or the hospital system (in the US)? Is it so poorly run that it is incapable of coping with medical emergencies like a brief, allegedly two week, epidemic? All right, don't answer that. Instead, why would we think that a cold, which is effectively what a coronavirus is, would pose a catastrophic problem at the beginning of spring? They are winter afflictions. And, separately, how was it that we allowed government to tell us what was 'essential' and 'inessential'?
Isn't it true that we were already halfway there, even when we were free? The polarizing obsession with mobile 'phones, the self measuring of worth via online 'likes' at the expense of personal interactions?
“A person who has been consumed by the consumer value system, whose identity is dissolved in an amalgam of the accoutrements of mass civilisation and who has no roots in the order of being, no sense of responsibility for anything other than his own personal survival, is a demoralized person.”(3)
In both senses of the word; stripped of his share of the glue that holds society together and less than fulfilled. Both are conditions encouraged and depended upon by a totalitarian system. Forced isolation has undoubtedly exacerbated anxiety, so much so that we hear stories of people who have been so paralyzed by fear that they have barely left home for months. They now work remotely, shop online, have their groceries delivered and become more and more dialed into social media 'news' and, in turn, increasingly susceptible to manipulation.
The inducement of mass psychosis requires that there by a hyper-focus on one particular issue. It's when a number of associated delusions organize themselves into an irrational belief system and it's rooted in fear; so, a psychotic person craves some form of safety, ergo safe spaces, micro-aggressions and hugely sensitive definitions of 'hate speech'.
“Mass delusion can be induced. It is simply a question of organizing and manipulating collective feelings in the proper way. If one can isolate the mass, allow no free thinking, no free exchange, no outside corrective and can hypnotise the group daily with noises, with press and radio and television, with fear and pseudo-enthusiasms, any delusion can be instilled.”(4)
People become so fully invested in these belief systems that, perversely, they can become a comfort. They may even acknowledge that they have no desire to change, that they find some meaning in this new life that they lacked when they were their former self.
Research has shown that 25% of younger people don't even have a close friend and those communities that they might have belonged to – gym, work, pub etc – have been either fractured and/or curtailed. Even generations of the same family have become strangers. Controlling an environment and the flow of information is a vital part of the process; it's then possible to achieve incremental change, with the minimum of awareness. A closed system is the easiest way to do this; think Truman Show. Without external markers and reference points, it is far easier to lose perspective, to become ripe for manipulation. Removing easy access to support (which might also provide a degree of objectivity) is a must. Manipulating a system of rewards and punishments, that inhibits behavior that previously defined an individual, is another technique that is specifically designed to break a person down.
It is easier to do this if their situation appears hopeless, if there is no light at end of the tunnel. Then, of course, a sub-optimal alternative will be gratefully grasped:
“The desire to break down, to give in, becomes almost insurmountable when a man feels that this horrible, marginal existence is something permanent, that he has to adjust to this dulling, degrading life forever.”(5)
And I'm sorry ladies, but I'm going to say it anyway. A lot of this is down to you (and men, but in a different way which we'll come to shortly). The obsession with cleanliness, with safety and the fear and anxiety in women largely drives this attempt to control everything around them. In 1991, only 4% of women were prescribed anti-depressants. By 2021, their ranks had swelled to 10%:
“Social norms used to contain intrusive overreach into the decision making of others when it did not infringe upon one's own basic rights. But no more. In the name of safety, any order is justified and not subject to questioning.”(6)
Controlling women are almost certainly reacting to a vacuum created by a surge in beta males, men who are unassertive in anxious or fearful situations. Average testosterone in the male of the species is declining at a rate of 1% a year. Is it going too far to suggest that a man who lacks courage knows that he does, which leads to a similar lack of self respect? How often have we seen headlines where women are asking “Where did all the men go?” And how often has it been women castigating those others in public for allegedly endangering the well-being of others?
This is not a fantasy; between 2009-15, women initiated 69% of all divorces in the US. Among college educated women, that number jumped to 90%.(7) Those sorts of numbers are almost certainly replicated elsewhere. Who's in the driving seat? Who isn't having their expectations met, for whatever reason? There is plenty of blame to share around, but what is difficult to challenge if one is paying heed to the psychological literature, is that this type of power imbalance is not healthy and lends itself to an overemphasis on safety first, second and last. And who has stepped in to replace men? Government, that's who. Government can take care of us all.
Ironically, the 'pandemic' has reassured a number of women that heir paranoid fears about the dangerous nature of the world were, in fact, true. They may very well be privately thankful and unwilling to let go. The Karens have become the
“psychotic enforcers of the arbitrary rules imposed on populations by the unelected bureaucrats and unaccountable politicians.”(8)
Harsh? Maybe. True, at least in part? Yes. Fear closes off reason and while feelings are obviously meant to be felt, they make a poor basis for rational decision making.
If you think that governments aren't consciously doing this, think again. To add insult to injury, they are using our tax dollars to do it. The chosen vehicles are called Nudge Units and every Western country has several of them. The term Nudge Units is shorthand, a generic designation for teams of people whose job it is to change our behavior. This is accomplished by not only defining the desired end state, but in actively pursuing the policies that will achieve it. There is, of course, a difference between a government using its powers of persuasion in an attempt to do whatever it considers to be 'the right thing' and a government lying to us to accomplish aims that couldn't be justified if they told us the truth. Clearly, it would be nice if the state had done due diligence and what they wanted us to do was actually the right thing, but that would likely become clear in due course. Persuasion, as defined here, would have to include the marshaling of indisputable facts.
But these units are not constrained by truth, if that's not what's going to get it done. Their job is to achieve the desired outcome by manipulating the population, using methods that go well beyond what most people would find acceptable. Technically, they are utilizing behavioral science, a field of study that has achieved increasing prominence in the past decade. Understanding how people may react to a crisis and then tailoring your response would seem to be sensible and that's where these units may have started. However, it doesn't take much imagination to spot that there might also be opportunities to use people's fears to get them to accept measures that aren't necessary, as well.
“Nudge Theory is about denying certain choices or making other choices harder. It is used to avoid having arguments and instead to manipulate people without them realizing.”(9)
Good conduct, such as showing an understanding and acceptance of group behaviors, is rewarded ('vaccine' passports and being allowed to shop for items deemed ‘non-essential’ by the regime), whereas questioning, doubt and criticism lead to the purgatorial disapproval, redress and rejection. It's a closed system of logic in an authoritarian structure and permits no feedback. The only modification will be leadership driven and top down. Any of this sounding familiar?
“In some people, the strategy of reward and flattery is a stimulus to learning, while pain evokes all their resistance and rebellion; in others, retribution and punishment for failure can be the means of training them into the desired pattern.”(10)
It's not as if any of it makes sense, either. In fact, it's better if it doesn't. The hallmark of totalitarianism is mass conformity to an official psychotic narrative which is delusional and contradictable by any number of actual, real life facts. It is a world of appearances and to live within it is to live a lie. Logical argument can never hope to overcome a position that has been reached in the absence of logic. Narratives are invariably paranoid and outside forces (anti-vaxxers, domestic terrorists) are intent on its destruction. The only way to defeat them is to adhere to the collective.
It may be thought that inconsistencies and arrant nonsense weaken the narrative, but the opposite is true. Any attempt to reconcile the ideology with anything approaching common sense requires too much effort. For instance, how to explain the need for 'vaccine' passports when the 'vaccinated' are at least as likely to catch and transmit Covid as the 'unvaccinated'? Indeed, they are able to do this repeatedly, whereas those jab free are a once only deal. There is too much dissonance for a critical thinker, but adherence is still required of the minion. The only way to stay with the narrative is to abandon critical thinking entirely.
Facts don't matter. All that matters to the true believers is fealty to the ideology. These people are not simply misunderstanding the truth; if it were that simple, we'd not be where we are. It's about faith, not logic. Facts are secondary and, whilst presenting them as I try to do is important to those with intact critical faculties and to the undecided (or unenthusiastic), it's not going to have any effect on the ultras. In support of that point, it's interesting to note that many of the truths that give the lie to the narrative come to light because of disclosure from government agencies. But the ideologues place little store in them and, while they are assiduous in manipulating public discourse, they are not that bothered about hiding the detail.
Imagine if, instead of wearing a mask, a person had to wear a sign that said “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient.” That would be too evocative. Instead, compliance is subtle, incremental, unacknowledged and easy to ignore, which allows the person to camouflage the true extent of the power over him. And each individual act of compromise, while not noticeable in isolation, is part of a wider panorama that is the the insidious backdrop to everyday life. Eventually, adaption to conditions of life also helps to create, or at the very least sustain, these conditions and victims also become instruments. Compliance becomes complicity.
“The system serves people only to the extent necessary to ensure that the people will serve it.”(11)
The narrative also has a nasty habit of rapidly changing direction, as it is currently, abandoning positions that had been vehemently defended previously. Sometimes, the ideology will even go so far as to now support the opposite contention (see Fauci and Walensky's current volte-face), the one that was roundly condemned and 'debunked' just recently. The cult leaders, for want of a better term, are actually concerned with control by confusion, not consistency. True believers still manage to somehow accommodate these seemingly terminal contradictions by just refusing to contemplate them. It's the only way to stay within the group and it renders them impervious to persuasion.
And, in the end, a long way down the line, the system atrophies; mired in group-think and starved of the oxygen of open discussion and correctives, it will wither and die. No-one outside the power structure is truly committed to it, there is no public accountability, no votes on it; it's hermetically sealed and becomes increasingly divorced from reality, more and more ritualized.
“Where thinking is isolated...whenever ideas are compartmentalized...the process of continual alert confrontation of facts is hampered. The system freezes over, becomes rigid and dies of delusion.”(12)
We are seeing the beginnings of that now, even though we are merely transitioning at present, not yet fully imprisoned by totalitarianism. A system such as this will automatically select people devoid of strong individual will, as ciphers are required, not original thinkers. The ideology is set – there is no virtue in tinkering with it.
You may have started the Covid saga with a measure of trust in our elders and betters, those who rule over us by dint of their superior attributes. I did not, partly due to knowledge acquired whilst inside the machine (in a former life) and partly down to an interest in the history of successive scares and the official response to them. I was not burdened with an expectation of competence; instead, I was expecting obfuscation and overreach, as this has been par for the course for the past forty years or so.
AIDS, lead in petrol, asbestos, listeria, BSE, speeding, passive smoking, salmonella ... and that is, by no means, an exhaustive list. I would wager that you will surprised – and possibly affronted – by the inclusion of some of those 'crises' in any such parade but, without exception, none of the above turned out the way we were told they would, even if we were never informed of the revised outcome; and we definitely weren't. And I know that, in this modern day, it is difficult to tell fact from fiction, faithful scribe from bad actor, so you may want to check.
In the meantime, and in summary, all of the aforementioned scares followed the same trajectory. Firstly, the source of the supposed threat must be something that everyone can be exposed to. Next, it must be novel (interesting word in this context). Whilst the scientific basis for the threat must be believable, there must also be room for speculation, a degree of uncertainty, a gap into which scaremongering can be inserted. And then, the reaction to the threat must be disproportionate. It will surprise you not to learn that the final stage, whereby we establish that the science was wrong from the beginning and that we have overreacted as a result, will be the least publicized (read actively suppressed) part of the scare, or that the temporary measures inflicted on us by our pathologically caring authorities have a habit of sticking around permanently.
We have been comprehensively softened up. We are habituated to scares. And it wasn't just the many and varied ones that I have listed. The curse of the repeating 'pandemic' also featured prominently, along with long term hyperventilating over global warming. This is the fourth outbreak of widespread disease in the past twenty years. First the original SARS (2002), the Swine Flu (2009), MERS (2012) and now Covid. We have been repeatedly told that these diseases have crossed over from nature and then spread within the human population. There's usually an animal suspect and the self flagellating explanation that it is man's fault, for intruding into nature. What can we expect?
What is not often explained is the huge unlikeliness of this scenario. There are perhaps as many as 1.6 million animal viruses – only 219 of them are known to infect humans, a rate of around 0.01%. So, before we start, we are breathing rarified air.(13)
“...zoonosis requires that human-compatible viral variants pre-exist in the animal reservoir, arising before these viruses have ever even experienced the selective constraints of the human body. For the vast majority of animal viruses in nature, there are just too many protein–protein interactions to master by chance in a random encounter with humans.”(14)
It's complicated, but the gist of it is that it's a two stage process. The virus has to be 'off the shelf', already able to infect human cells and then, once it has gained a foothold, to mutate sufficiently so as to become as transmissable as possible. We might add that, whilst scientists give the impression that the host animal has been discovered in each of these cases (whether it be a bat – usually – or a camel), this is not true. Neither has Ebola's original host been tracked down. For this process to have occurred four times in less than twenty years is nothing short of miraculous or, more accurately, almost certainly false.
And yet here we are, primed for the next one. We might not have to wait long either, as haemorrhagic fever is sweeping its way across China as I type these words.(15) I strongly suspect that this is bunkum. China again? A country able to control the spread of information to the outside world in a way only North Korea can rival? What better place to source our fifth 'pandemic' of the century, following on from Covid with immaculate timing; just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, just when governments were going to start to come under pressure to justify their continuing emergency powers, along comes the next round of fear porn. And a disease that mimics some of the initial primary symptoms of Covid and also 'vaccine' injuries. Who'd have though it? Well, the elites would have and the susceptible among us will swallow it whole.
We live in a time of slogans. Politicians, news anchors, scientists, doctors, talking heads. There is no requirement to produce any kind of evidence, no attempt to buttress a statement with facts. In that sense, the regime and those who give it cover and sustenance are truly post-truth:
“The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly selective, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. They become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.” (16)
We hear it all the time, either on the ether or in print; the vaccines are safe and effective, Trump is telling a Big Lie, it's a pandemic of the 'unvaccinated'. Just arid verbiage. Truth is irrelevant. The only purpose of these statements and others like them is to prop up the narrative. To keep people living within the lie; to give the zealots something to cling to. It doesn't have to be real or credible. In fact, it almost always isn't because you don't perpetuate a lie with the truth. It just has to be something that can be a 'talking point', that can be parroted, so it helps if it comes from some functionary or acolyte with a veneer of expertise; a doctor or a scientist would be ideal. But, to the system, the truth of it is irrelevant, because it's just another snapshot in the world of appearances. Style over anything of substance.
And that's the fundamental problem with the narrative; it isn't the truth, thus it will always be vulnerable. A narrative is necessarily founded in something pre-conceived, in politic terms usually an ideology. It must be, else how can it be written ahead of time? It cannot be founded in the truth of events, as these unfold in real time. A narrative is the tool of the authoritarian. It has no factual basis and events must be bent and shoe-horned into place. It's possible for some of the system to believe that the narrative is necessary because of some overarching societal good that only the enlightened (them) can identify; the Noble Lie theorem. Others may be motivated by power or by the fear of losing it and the retribution that may follow if they do. The narrative is necessarily sterile, false and non reflexive. It cannot learn as it has already been decided. It's job is to impose, instead.
The two eternally competing factions are in open warfare. I believe that human nature dictates that there will always be those who, not content with the status quo and thinking that they and they alone know best, will attempt to impose their will on others by whatever means necessary. That is the way they are wired. It's not simply a battle between those who advocate for more government versus those who wish to be left alone as much as is possible and yet still belong to a society. It's not about politics; it's about character. Menticide is clearly not a legitimate political strategy. It's not anchored in democratic norms. It causes untold mental anguish, it is evil and coercive. It's employed either because the elites know that they can't make a winning case in a genuine election and/or because they are too corrupt and arrogant to believe that they should have to:
“Quite a different governmental policy rests on the belief that government should leave the mind and spirit of man absolutely free. Such a...policy encourages varied intellectual outlooks in the belief that the best views will prevail.”(17)
Unfortunately, it seems that enough people are susceptible to mass formation to validate the deployment of said strategy if one's only purpose is to win at all costs. We are a long way down the track and classic modes of attack are clearly being deployed. Enough people are in closed off panic mode, behaving as cult members do, to sustain the push towards totalitarianism. We are not yet there, though. We are not yet in a position where we are facing years of societal torpor (which is what usually follows a takeover such as this), waiting for the narrative to implode and for enough people to grow tired of the living lie to escape the trap. There is advantage in understanding their next moves and encouragement in acquiring knowledge of how others have triumphed over tyrants in the past. It's knowing what to do to win that's the key. I turn to those matters next.
(3) Václav Havel, The Power Of The Powerless, pg 46.
(4) Joost Meerloo, The Rape Of The Mind, pg 246.
(5) Ditto, pg 83.
(6) Mark McDonald, United States of Fear, How America Fell Victim To A Mass Delusional Psychosis, pg 28.
(8) Mark McDonald, United States of Fear, How America Fell Victim To A Mass Delusional Psychosis, pg 72.
(9) Claire Fox, Director, Institute of Ideas. Dodsworth, Laura. A State of Fear: How the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic, pg 62. Pinter & Martin. Kindle Edition.
(10) Joost Meerloo, The Rape Of The Mind, pg 40.
(11) Václav Havel, The Power Of The Powerless, pg 26.
(12) Joost Meerloo, The Rape Of The Mind, pg 244.
(13) Anthony SJ, Epstein JH, Murray KA, Navarrete-Macias I, Zambrana-Torrelio CM, Solovyov A, et al. A strategy to estimate unknown viral diversity in mammals. MBio. 2013;4: e00598–13. Pmid:24003179
(14) Warren CJ, Sawyer SL (2019) How host genetics dictates successful viral zoonosis. PLoS Biol 17(4): e3000217. https://doi.org/10.1371/ journal.pbio.3000217
(16) Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: : A Study of “Brainwashing” in China, 1961
(17) Supreme Court Judge Hugo Black on the Feinberg Laws