[1979] Social Influence Mind Control (ONR)

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An essay from the Office of Naval Research gives us the key to escaping a Tyrannical Mind-Control System. It looks like it was written as a warning to engage vigilant critical thinking skills so that you don’t become susceptible to mind control and propaganda, but it seems like the “powers that be” used every single tactic described in this research as a baseline playbook for killing societal critical thinking to ensure people DO get manipulated in this very way. There are loads of tips for resisting mind-influence in this great old document, and this is the best explanation I’ve seen so far of how some of us could see through it.

“Control is actually most effective when someone is subtly led to believe that he or she has “freely” chosen to act. Once we make the commitment, we generate our own justifications, even when we are truly “uninformed” of the important details. Our choice of actions is only as reasonable as the information we have available to us, and reliable information can be methodically hidden or withheld.” (page 6)

In 1979, The US Office of Naval Research produced an essay on Resisting Social Influence with keywords “Social Influence, Mind Control, Mind Manipulation, Brain Washing, Coercive Control, Propaganda, Conversion, Attitude Change, Cults, Social Power, Rule Control, Roles”.

When information is systematically hidden, withheld or distorted it is impossible to make unbiased decisions. Under these circumstances, people may be subtly led to believe they are “freely” choosing to act, and that it it most affects our behaviour the most, since we come to believe in those attitudes and our own justifications.” (01)

Unclassified for the Office of Naval Research—Organizational Effectiveness Research Programs.

Resisting social influence becomes important when such influences can be appropriately thought of as “mind control.” When information is systematically hidden, withheld, or distorted, it is impossible to make unbiased decisions. Under these circumstances, people may be subtly led to believe they are “freely” choosing to act. The thesis of this essay is that “mind control” exists not in exotic gimmicks, but rather in the most mundane aspects of experience. Because it does, it is possible to reduce our susceptibility to unwanted coercive control by increasing our vigilance and learning to utilize certain basic strategies of analysis. (abstract)

Keywords: “Social Influence, Mind Control, Mind Manipulation, Brain Washing, Coercive Control, Propaganda, Conversion, Attitude Change, Cults, Social Power, Rule Control, Roles”

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is an organization within the United States Department of the Navy responsible for the science and technology programs of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Established by Congress in 1946, its mission is to plan, foster, and encourage scientific research to maintain future naval power and preserve national security. It carries this out through funding and collaboration with schools, universities, government laboratories, non-profit organizations, and for-profit organizations, and overseeing the Naval Research Laboratory, the corporate research laboratory for the Navy and Marine Corps. (02)

I started adding this resource to my Mass-Mind-Control post, but as I was reading it, I started taking copious amounts of notes, and it deserves its own page; it’s such a good read.

We are always being controlled

“Making decisions about both public and personal issues has become considerably more complex in recent years, readily allowing those “in power” in our social worlds to define reality for the rest of us. By controlling the information to which we are exposed, they conveniently restrict the range of alternatives from which we seem to “freely” choose.” (page 7)

“What this points out, of course, is that we are always being controlled. Politicians influence our votes; teachers influence our thinking; religious leaders influence our morality. Advertisers emphasize our ability to make “rational” decisions between products they have apparently compared and then urge us to buy the one of their choosing, whether we need it, want it, or can afford it. Our tastes in food, dress, art, music, friends, and so on are all acquired through subtle processes of social influence. The quality of our interactions with other human beings fundamentally determines our experience.” (page 7)

Exotic CIA Mind-Control Technology doesn’t compare to Social Influence Mind Control

“Formidable quests to gain control over the human mind have often employed exotic technology. Exquisite torture devices, electroshock therapy, mind-altering drugs, hypnosis, and sensory deprivation have all been used to get targeted persons to do the bidding of various agents and agencies of control., Indeed, these methods carry enough wallop to distort and sometimes destroy the, mind’s normal functioning. But they are not adequate for the task of reliably directing behaviour through specific scenarios as designated by “would-be manipulators.” (page 7-8)

“Relying on technology was the mistake. Effective mind control exists in the most mundane aspects of human existence: the inner pressures to be bonded to other people, the power of group norms to influence behaviour, and the force of social rewards (such as smiles, praise, a gentle touch). We influence one, another, intentionally or unintentionally, using the most basic principles of social psychology, motivation, and social learning. It is people in convincing social situations and not gadgets or gimmicks that control the minds of other people. The more worried we are about being seen as ignorant, uncultured, untalented, or boring, and the more ambiguous the events that are to be evaluated, the more likely we are to take on the beliefs of those around us to avoid being rejected by them.” (page 8)

Rewarded for going along with the group

“Etiquette and protocol are powerful inhibitors of unconventional action. When people around us behave alike and as they are expected to, it becomes difficult for us to evaluate their actions critically or deviate from what is expected of us in the situation. Our perception of such behavioural possibilities is neatly limited by the types of social programming we all receive as children. The “good child” learns his place in all social settings, stays put in her seat, is polite, speaks only 41, when spoken to, is cooperative, does not make trouble, and never makes a scene. As children, we are rewarded for going along with the group and not insisting on getting our way. It is the wiser course of action, we are taught, to go with (or around) power, not to challenge it.” (page 8-9)

Unquestioned protocol

“As a nation, we saw in the Watergate cover-up how the “best and the brightest” caved in to the pressures that required “team players” to win this one for the President. Unquestioned protocol persuaded them to betray their public offices.” (page 9)

Prestige, Credibility, “Experts”, and Powerful Leaders

“Those who occupy social roles that carry prestige and credibility in our eyes can, work wonders with us. The most potent influences are eased around to us by our buddies, or reputable “experts” rather than by those who we think of as “enemies.” (page 9)

“Unlike our response to “overtly” persuasive communicators who may beseech us to buy the latest gourmet cookware, to jog daily, to elect particular politicians or give to certain charities, situations with “normal appearances”, don’t seem to require skepticism, resistance, or even our conscious attention. We often move through them “on automatic” and are thus prone to being influenced without our slightest knowledge.” (page 10)

“Perhaps we don’t want to be wholly critical and alert at all times, but, mindlessness is often promoted as a way of encouraging passive acceptance at, the expense of vigilance and individual discretion. The hook is that when we are faced with complex problems, we often yearn for simple answers and rules of thumb for how best to proceed. Immersing ourselves in the teachings of a powerful leader, in the say-so of the dominant partner in a relationship, or in the total, ideology of any highly cohesive group can be comforting. But when we lose our desire, to formulate unique, creative ideas in any situation, we begin to lose our sense, of self there. Thorough, unquestioned saturation can hinder our ability to evaluate our actions critically when it is in our best interests to do so.” (page 11)

How to recognize persuasion tactics

“At the prevention stage, it is important to recognize the operation of effective, persuasion tactics, and then be able to deal with them effectively enough to know what we are getting into. Our most important decision at this stage is to avoid taking that first step if we so choose. Once in the secondary stage—after a commitment to an ongoing involvement has already been made and we’re in over our heads—being, capable of recognizing control tactics at the system level is the key to getting out. If getting out is unfeasible or undesirable, we may simply want to be able to maintain our integrity and sense of self within the system. On the other hand, we may want to challenge its structure directly from within or with extensive systems of mind control from without.” (page 12)

Developing a critical eye is central

“To assert the freedom to choose options that are not apparent in any situation, we must be simultaneously committed to our social worlds and sufficiently disengaged from them to maintain a Critical analysis. For this reason, developing a critical eye is central to counteracting compelling social pressures; whether they occur one-on-one or within a social system. To acquire the kind of, sensitive skepticism and critical eye needed to detect undesirable influences when, they arise, we must learn to be vigilant for discontinuities between the ideals people espouse and their concrete actions. Separating the preacher from the practice,, the promise from the outcome, and the perceived intention from the consequence is at the crux of resistance because it is too easy to mistake the label for the thing labelled, to deal in symbols and concepts instead of people and their behaviour.” (page 13)

“Because effective manipulators provide as coherent a situation as possible in which to gain our compliance, detecting discrepant or ulterior motives is difficult. Although becoming obsessively critical or suspicious would be dysfunctional, carefully evaluating the credibility of a message source and the quality of an appeal makes sense. Most persuaders recognize the importance of standard operating procedures, form, and style in undermining our ability to apprehend “unexpected” events or influences. According to sociologist Irving Goffman, they conceal their intent, amid “normal appearances.” (page 14)

We are more likely to be caught off guard when the situations we are in appear normal. Say we’re just “having fun” with friends, or being “entertained,” “educated,” or simply engaged in a common social interaction. We usually feel no need to attend to the details of what is going on, of who is influencing whom, or of what is impacting our behaviour. But many undesirable, social pressures prey upon our adherence to simple, unquestioned protocol in such situations. (page 14)

[…] Nor is being courteous and open with service personnel at the expense of requesting proper identification. Being able to disobey simple situational rules when we feel we should is important […]. It requires assertiveness and, leastwise, a critical evaluation of the situation. (page 15)

  • Actively monitor social interactions. Establish a critical distance periodically, to examine situations from other perspectives. Search for situational pressures, in your physical and social surroundings, for the small details as well as the, big picture. Practice thinking ahead, anticipating what will come next, checking, for discrepancies and noting how you feel about them.
  • Be willing to disobey simple situational rules when you feel you should, to, sound false alarms occasionally or to cause a scene. Never do anything you, don’t believe Just to appear normal or to get someone off your back.
  • Be able to recognize the conditions under which you are most vulnerable to, accepting persuasive appeals (the conditions we will describe in the next, section). Should a potent persuasion tactic be present in a situation, postpone, making a decision on the matter, if possible, or be able to say “no.”
  • At the very least, try to get more information so that you can carefully, consider the consequences of saying “no” to something that could turn out, essentially “good” (Could you return in a week or a year and say “yes”?) or, of saying “yes” to something that could turn our essentially “bad” (Could you, lose your money, pride or life?). Obtain and utilize all available information, and search for new, reliable sources.

The best persuaders seem credible and relatable

“The best persuaders always appear to be “just like us.” They understand our problems, empathize with our predicaments; in fact, they were there once themselves. They speak our language, share our needs, and know the inside jokes. When someone appears to share our concerns, he or she becomes an ally, someone we can trust and give the benefit of the doubt. The tactic is powerful because attitude change, like all socialization, is most effective when it goes unnoticed. The discussion gradually moves into areas where our disagreement would otherwise be obvious. Credibility leads us gently over each successive hurdle as we change our attitudes through small, continuous approximations. In the end, we perceive that we have brought it about on our own.” (page 16)

Powerful people express confidence, regardless of their “real” credibility

“As trivial as it may seem, a major persuasive device is the expression of confidence in the beliefs espoused and courses of action recommended. Research shows that powerful people express confidence and self-assuredness across all channels of communication—through body language, through words, and paralinguistically. Regardless of someone’s “real” credibility, what we end up responding to is how competent, confident, and stable he or she “appears” to be. Someone who looks us straight in the eye, stands very close, and speaks forcefully is not intimidated but intimidating and perfectly in control of the encounter. In reaction, those who are persuaded express doubt; they do so as much by what, they say as by what they don’t say. Minor hesitations like “uh,” “ah,” “er,” or a pause can be capitalized upon and manipulated because they convey momentary lapses of thought, momentary vulnerabilities. The way we carry ourselves is also revealing.” (page 16)

Sales Personnel Training Manuals, “Authority”, and the Art of Manipulation & Intimidation

“In fact, training manuals for sales personnel are filled with tactics for skilfully manipulating the choices people come to make in bargaining situations to obtain the desired results. Millions of Americans are subjected to stress and intimidation in the presence of those whom society has termed “expert.” Mechanics, for example, often make thousands of dollars each year for labour and supplies they don’t deliver. Last year, over two million Americans underwent surgical operations that they did not need (at a cost of over four billion dollars). Because it is difficult to feel efficacious around people who ostensibly have more knowledge than we do, we are often inhibited from asking the appropriate questions and from thinking critically and carefully about decisions that may affect our lives.” (page 17)

  • Practice “seeing through” programmed responses to authority. Pay attention, to the social roles you and others occupy in a setting and the subtle, indicators of those roles that you may be responding to (business suit, repairman’s uniform, etc.)
  • Be aware of who is controlling whom in social situations, to what end, and at what cost.
  • To the extent that it seems possible, refuse to accept the initial premise, from someone that he or she is more powerful, more competent, more in, control than you are. Perhaps accepting this premise is what makes it so.
  • State your arguments with conviction if the other person does so.
  • Learn to retain a sense of self-worth in the face of intimidating circumstances by creating an “appearance of competence” equal to that which an, effective persuader conveys through his or her voice and actions. Carry, with you a powerful, concrete image, replete with tactile sensations, sights and sounds, that reminds you of your own competence. Remember a time when some person or group of people thought you were the best thing, […] anything that makes you feel exhilarated and alive, that you will not reveal to others but will retain as an inner care that cannot be violated. Apparent competence can reduce feelings of helplessness in stressful situations. […] If you can get your questions asked, your bargaining, done, experiences had, you will have more control over your actions and the choices that others make on your behalf.

Mind Control = Coming to Accept a New Reality

“Mind control typically involves coming to accept a new reality. The errors of our old ways of looking at the world are exposed as such, and a new reality is embedded in their place. By confusing us with elaborate but inadequate justifications for recommended actions, persuaders can catch us off guard. False analogies, semantic distortions and convenient rhetorical labels can facilitate this process if we do not stop to question them and think about them creatively. We are often dissuaded from probing beyond surface illusions of meaningfulness by letting symbols, substitute for reality and abstract maps for concrete territories. […] Inconsistent or ambiguous descriptions with confusing terminology can lead us to accept invalid conclusions that we would otherwise resist. Current research on metacomprehension by Stanford University’s Ellen Markman reveals that this is precisely what many children do. They are able to understand the simpler components—parts of a complex message—so they overestimate their comprehension of it as a whole and accept it as adequate. We believe this can also be true of adults.” (page 18)

Becoming Immune to Manipulation

  • Never accept vague generalities and inadequate explanations in response to, your pleas, questions or challenges.
  • Learn to recognize when a message is actually confused or ambiguous (and, perhaps intentionally so) so that you can avoid attributing your confusion, to your “inherent” inability to think about the matter clearly. Especially if someone suggests that “you’re just too stupid to understand” […] Interrogate yourself about the meaning, of a communication to see if the conclusions follow from the arguments, and, if the expectations you form while listening are confirmed or disconfirmed.
  • Paraphrase other people’s thoughts both aloud and to yourself to see if you are understanding clearly.
  • Practice generating creative arguments and counterarguments as you listen to persuasive messages to avoid slipping into “automatic” processing.
  • Tentatively assess the meaning of an ambiguous situation or communication once, you have some reliable information but don’t forget that the assessment is tentative. Label it as such and wait for further clarification.
  • Always seek outside information and criticisms before joining a group or, making a commitment to invest time, energy or money in some endeavour.
  • Train yourself and your children to notice the “tricks” in deceptive in on packaging, such as those utilized in television commercials. Stanford University’s Don Roberts has found that knowledge of make-believe constructions, of audio-visual distortion techniques, the use of celebrities, experts, overgeneralizations, and so on, can build the kind of skepticism in children which is the front-line, of all resistance efforts. Cult deprogrammer Ted Patrick echoes a similar, sentiment in advocating how best to insulate ourselves from mind control:, “Knowledge is our only protection.”

Become Immune to Control with Self-Awareness

“Susceptibility to control becomes greater as “compulsive” self-awareness increases. When we are induced to focus attention on ourselves by being made to feel awkward, deviant, or silly, we begin to worry about what others think of us, and can thus be led to resolve any opinion disparities in their favour.” (page 19)

  • Be sensitive to (and avoid) situations and people that put you on the spot, make you feel different, awkward or inadequate.
  • Try to focus attention on what you are doing rather than on thoughts about yourself. Keep an especially firm handle on generating negative internal, dialogues about yourself, and never accept a chronically negative view from someone else.
  • Maintain some non-social interests that you can satisfy while you are alone–like painting, carpentry, working on cars, reading or writing. If you can, develop a concrete sense of self-worth, a sense of who you are, what you, are interested in and where your competencies lie, quite apart from the, values, interests and judgments of others, you may feel better about yourself in their presence, as well as in their absence.
  • Be willing to look foolish and then, go on to accept being “different”, as being “special” rather than inferior.

Fear, Trust, and the Manipulator

“Clever persuaders are adept at detecting what we want from a situation, what our fears and anxieties are, and what areas of supposed mutual interest will best gain our attention. Once someone has our trust, he or she can change our attitudes by inducing an emotional conflict that requires immediate resolution. By making us feel fearful or anxious, the manipulator is in a position to ease our discomfort by providing reasonable explanations and soothing solutions. Much advertising is based on, this principle. So are many social interactions.” (page 20)

  • […] Many cults, and mind control systems utilize public confessions, self-exposure “games”, and the like to catalogue the weaknesses of their followers, for later, exploitation.
  • Avoid making decisions when under stress, particularly in the presence of, the person who has triggered the emotional reaction. Tell them you’ll decide tomorrow.
  • […] Relax.

On Guilt and Feeling Indebted

  • Be aware of the guilt and anxiety reactions you typically experience so, that you can circumvent their illicit use by skillful manipulators. Learning, to confront your frustrations and fears is the most potent way to prevent, their being exploited unbeknownst to you. Start by thinking about the least, provoking aspects of problematic situations while in a state of total relaxation and work up to more difficult ones.
  • Don’t let people make you feel indebted to them by accepting a definition, of a situation that suggests sacrifices are being made on your behalf., Although reciprocal exploitation and need fulfilment are part of every social contract, when you feel Justified in doing so, be prepared to acknowledge the sacrifices of others with a sincere thanks, instead of the expected repayment in kind.

Manipulating freedom of choice by excluding the full set of options/alternatives

“[…] Once aware that their prey is bagged, the slickest operators then emphasize the victim’s freedom of choice—after tactfully constraining the alternatives. The newly persuaded person chooses “freely,” while the context the influencer provides bolsters his or her decision. Properly executed, persuasion never appears to be “designed” to induce change but rather ends in a natural resolution of mutually generated concerns. New attitudes and behaviours that are accompanied by the feeling that they have been chosen without extrinsic justification are enduring and resistant to change.” (page 23)

“Skillful persuaders may also deny us our freedom in order to control our behaviour with the help of the reactance principle. Studies by psychologist, Jack Brehm suggest that when we perceive severe limitations on our behavioural freedom, we sometimes move to reassert it by advocating the opposite position–perhaps, just what the opposition wanted.” (page 23)

  • Be wary of people who overemphasize how free you are to choose among the options they have prescribed. […] the question, “How many, bombs should we drop? Two? Three? Ten?” is not the same as “Should we drop, any bombs?”

Mass Mind-Control = Socialization

“When social persuasion moves into the big time, one-on-one confidence games are not economical. The behaviour of large numbers of people must be managed efficiently. For this reason, persuaders develop systems of control that rely on the basic rules and roles of socialization and that impart a sense of belonging. When interaction among people is restricted to interchange between their social roles, however, it becomes easier for ethical, moral, and human, concerns to take a back seat. Because we may be ostracized from organizations that mean something to us, perhaps fired from our jobs for not complying with the requests of our superiors, sometimes refusing to perform actions we perceive to be unethical can be difficult. […] Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann’s account of his actions during World War II is not unrelated: “I was just doing my job in following orders.” Nor is the problem faced by subjects in Milgram’s obedience experiments unrelated. How ever generalizable the subjects’ behaviour in these experiments may be, normal people apparently inflicted painful, potentially lethal doses of electric shock on a stranger at the insistence of a credible “scientist” in a learning experiment.” (page 24)

Don’t forget you’re an individual – a distinctive individual

“Tightly structured situations are dangerous when we lose sight of who we are and forget that we have feelings and histories other than those programmed by the immediate setting and the roles we are led to play in it. In order to avoid slipping into acts that violate our integrity, we must be “present” in our societal and institutional roles as distinctive individuals. Knowing when to escape from an oppressive or dangerous situation, or alternatively, when to organize and rebel with others, requires that we learn to question the rules others lay down for us and that we are alert to role-based constraints on our actions. Extending our field of vision to include frames of reference other than those prescribed facilitates our making thoughtful decisions in situations, that don’t encourage independent thinking.” (page 25)

  • Test for the presence of stated and unstated rules that unnecessarily, restrict freedom of speech, action and association. By subtly violating some of the rules and roles and then observing the consequences, you may, discover how much latitude is allowed for idiosyncrasy in the system for eccentric or creative self-expression.
  • Resist the lure of uniforms and other disguises that make you look like one of the bunch.
  • Develop a sense of humor about yourself to minimize utter saturation in, your role in the system, to retain a creative view of your situation, and, to gain some experience dealing with your apparent weaknesses without undue anxiety.
  • Listen to criticisms of your most cherished beliefs and institutions. Know them, but don’t accept them uncritically. Allow yourself to confront the issues so you can carefully gauge their merit, and perhaps see events, not only as the systems you are in expect you to see them, but “as they are.”
  • Retain your sense of individual integrity in the system by calling others by name and referring to yourself by name. If people are typically referred to by title, try adding their first or last name to the conventional address, abbreviating it casually, or somehow reformulating the typical approach so, that it draws upon them as human beings instead of as objects that merely, serve instrumental ends.
  • Make an effort to discover the person behind the role, to respond to, someone’s uniqueness, rather than to a stereotyped role impression.
  • Disclose personal observations about your surroundings and about experiences you’ve had elsewhere to those you feel might share your views. Elicit, feelings and ideas from them so that together you can disengage the “scripts” that specify the basic, unquestioned rules of the setting.
  • Remember that ignoring social roles is not easy and is sometimes met with censure. The more rigidly structured our social role enactments, the less, ambiguity we must face in the social world. But accepting a certain amount, of ambiguity is the crux of spontaneity and flexibility. Treated like a machine it is much too easy to become one.
  • Take note of one caution: masterful persuaders always want us to reveal our true selves, our true needs and desires, to feel at home with them. You may not want to reveal more than others reveal to you, or you may at least want to take the process slowly.

Group Think

“When a group of people becomes more preoccupied with seeking and maintaining unanimity of thought than with carefully weighing the pros and cons of alternative, actions, raising moral issues, and critically appraising decisions, unanimous, resolutions are often reached prematurely. And as part of the package, members may be led to support these decisions, for better or for worse. When tightly knit groups are insulated from outside sources of information and expertise and their leaders endorse prospective policies before members have a chance to air their views, decision-making processes deteriorate.” (page 26-27)

“Actually, being invited to contribute to a discussion in any group makes, us more likely to go along with ultimate group decisions, even when they violate our prior postures. Participant learning is one of the most powerful means of gaining knowledge and changing attitudes. But it is the impression that we are part of a decision-making process that binds us to its product, and impressions are readily managed.” (Page 27)

In Isolation, the persuader can separate the good “us” from the evil, ignorant “them”

“When we are separated from those we care about and from our sense of self-continuity, we begin to feel amorphous and uprooted, making us more vulnerable to the hands of makers-over. Isolating feelings from intellectual concerns serves a similar function. Persuaders bring us to their place of power, separate the good or aware “us” from the evil, ignorant “them,” and then proceed to limit our access to ideas that they find heretical, traitorous, or not in their best interests. This can be true of interpersonal relationships. Membership in social institutions, groups, or organizations can be similarly affected.” (page 27)

“When we are isolated from outside information it is impossible to make unbiased decisions. Police interrogators question suspects at the station, not at their homes. Synanon rehabilitates alcoholics and drug addicts (and keeps its other members in line) by removing them from their usual haunts and restricting their liberty. […] When we come to believe so thoroughly in our favourite concepts, that we begin to hate those who don’t share our views, to develop rehearsed, programmatic responses to discrediting arguments, and to acknowledge only ideas, stated within our terminology, it may be time to start making our belief systems a little more permeable. Nothing is as ample as the labels “good” and “evil” suggest; moreover, they foster utter vulnerability to the system that is termed “good.” (page 27-28)

  • Try to establish whether you can actually have an impact upon decision-making processes in a relationship or group, or whether you are simply part of the clean-up crew for decisions that have already been made. Watch for premature closure or initial consensus while discussing an issue. What, arbitrary constraints are placed on the alternatives to be considered? Do, rigid procedural devices limit discussion and suppress unusual suggestions?
  • Refuse to accept the “we”-“they” dichotomy that cuts you off from outsiders, and suggests you should think of them in terms of dehumanizing labels like, animals, sinners, queers, red necks, women’s libbers, the teaming masses, and so on.
  • Suspect appeals that encourage you to detach your feelings from the rest of, your being; assert the harmony of mind-body, intellect and emotion, past, and present.
  • Try to encourage independent thinking among group members.
  • Solidify channels of feedback, between members, between members and leaders and from outside evaluators, to the group.
  • Remember that the minority may at times have the only accurate view of the issues. Any worthwhile group should tolerate dissent or be abandoned.
  • Allow yourself to question commitments if they are no longer appropriate for you. Consistency in the face of contrary evidence is usually not a virtue but a sign of rigidity, delusion or prejudice. Make an effort to, admit past errors and to acknowledge old beliefs and commitments that proved limiting for you.
  • Continually seek outside information, reality checks and critical appraisals of what you are doing.
  • Maintain outside interests and sources of social support and reject the appeal that devotion to the cause requires severing ties to outsiders. Battered wives, religious converts, undercover agents, mafia informants, and inmates of prisons and mental hospitals all suffer from impoverished, connections to outside systems,
  • Family and friends should leave the path back home open. Your unconditional accessibility to those who have strayed, no matter what they’ve done or said, may be their only hope. Disowning children, friends or relatives when you disapprove of their decision is much less effective in the long run than a gentle hand and some warm words. “Love-bombing” is the favourite tactic of most cults because it works best among the love-deprived–those we have not given love.

“Perceived threat”: Political, Cults, Concentration Camps, & “The System”

“The tighter a system is, the more likely it is that minor challenges will be met with retaliation. In prisons, mental hospitals, religious or political cults, military establishments, concentration camps, and so on, people have virtually total control over the existence of others, and minor deviations or threats to that power are intolerable. Actually, “perceived threat” is what all political relationships are about. When our existence is threatened and we think we have a chance to survive, we’ll fight for it. If we then come to threaten the very structure of a coercive system, it is likely to retaliate by pursuing the tactic “divide and conquer,” or perhaps “promote.” By giving us status and responsibility, the system ensures that we no longer run at cross-purposes. Ours are co-opted for its sake so that as dissidents we will not revolt. But when maintaining the status quo is not palatable, the main question is whether changing the system is feasible. […] Some systems have time on their side; they can wait out the opposition and have their officers paid for doing so. Those who support the status quo are employed, whereas those who oppose it work as outsiders, on the side, and struggle to make ends meet. In any case, it is often more practical to challenge systems from without, especially by forming other systems.” (page 29-30)

Escape Plan from a Tyrannical Mind Control System

  • Don’t let your silence pass for agreement with the system. While talking to others, subtly imply your discontent in areas where you think they might agree. Avoid incriminating yourself completely in the face of their utter resolve by intuiting their responses as you speak and overstepping only those rules that are of least non-concern to the system.
  • Once you establish a group of allies and decide that you cannot escape the system or that you are committed to changing it, band together in opposition, so that yours will be a position to be acknowledged rather than a disposition to be “treated.” A consistent minority, firm in its conviction can often undo a majority.
  • Begin by assessing the power base of those who hold the reigns. Seek means of doing without or of finding substitutes for the resources powerholders threaten to withhold from you. Do you really need the attention, respect, security, approval, money or whatever these particular people have to offer? Then, by determining what contributions you make to the system that are important to its functioning, you and your allies can collect a significant repository of such resources to withhold from it when bargaining time arrives.
  • Appeal to the same human needs that the powerholders in the system manipulate in others. If they are to reconsider their position, they must be led to do so on their own terms, or effective coercion must prove that their terms are no longer tenable. Learn to negotiate with powerholders using your, resources. Collective resistance by a group that states its problems, concisely, specifies clear and concrete goals, resources and strategies infinitely more likely to be successful than are disorganized revolts and, spit-and-run tactics.
  • Exit those situations in which disobedience is likely to be futile and punishable, if you can. Escape plans must be carefully thought through in, concrete terms, not wished about vaguely. Try not to go alone. Remember, that the revolutionaries of the world have been the ones to free us from tyrannical systems of control.
  • Public exposes are essential if the veil of secrecy that conceals mind control practices in all of their varied forms is to be lifted. […] It takes a firm sense of social, commitment to escape a system of mind control, and to then persist in challenging it from without. Although buyers do well to beware: “Every exit is an entry somewhere else.”

“As conscious citizens, we must demand of ourselves ever greater diligence in seeking out and utilizing all sources of information and then ensuring that this information is made available to others.” (page 31)

“It is because we can exercise our ability to critically evaluate ideas, institutions, and our own behaviour that we can perceive options beyond those provided by convenient dogma and ostensibly inescapable circumstance. In this way, we are “free” to make meaningful choices and not be controlled.” (page 31)

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Penny (PennyButler.com)
Penny (PennyButler.com)

Truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper, ever trying to 'figure it out'. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, & random points of interests.