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PsyOps on Senators

Speaking of creepazoid tactics beloved of governments: I’m not sure why Rolling Stone is so scandalized that the U.S. Army in Afghanistan used PsyOps to try to manipulate senators and other power-mongers into sending more troops and more taxbux.

I mean, seriously now. It’s illegal. It’s a waste of money. It’s a sneaky attempt to gain more power and influence. It’s business as usual! Where exactly is the news here???

Oh. Maybe the idea that government officials actually have brains to be manipulated? Otherwise, can’t imagine …


  1. Ellendra
    Ellendra February 24, 2011 8:42 pm

    I studied covert hypnosis for a little while out of curiosity a few years ago. Now I avoid listening to politicians speak, because of how often I’ve caught them using the techniques. Seems the psyops could get off the hook just by running for office. They’d fit right in.

  2. Claire
    Claire February 24, 2011 8:51 pm

    Okay, Ellendra — inquiring minds want to know: What are some of those techniques?

    I sure do know that the last three presidents have all had the capacity to put me to sleep just by opening their mouths. But I suspect you mean something more than that. šŸ˜‰

  3. Winston
    Winston February 24, 2011 10:35 pm

    The title brought to mind images of the typical cartoon where you’ve got a crafty general conniving some dopey, bumbling congressman into some funding or something.

    So when I clicked the link and saw that picture, it took me like 10 minutes to stop laughing…

  4. DrillSgtK
    DrillSgtK February 25, 2011 1:26 pm

    I think we should be glad there are men like LTC Holmes in the military who take their oath seriously. To stand up and say “this is wrong” is what anyone in the military should do when they get bad orders.

    I for one would hold that reprimand out as a badge of honor.

  5. Claire
    Claire February 25, 2011 1:32 pm

    I agree, DrillSgtK. Despite my sarcasm in the blog entry, it does sound as if he tried to do the right thing.

    One of the most distressing things about the political climate of these weird days is that whistleblowers, conscientious (or constitutional) objectors, and people who stand up for anything are being punished worse than ever.

    A couple of examples:

  6. Ellendra
    Ellendra February 26, 2011 10:00 pm

    Claire, it’s a little complicated to describe. The most effective form was choosing to phrase things in such a way that the person’s mind fills in the blanks, without you actually spelling it out.

    In one of my college classes there was a state representative who came to speak to the class. The class was on alternative energy systems, so the rep decided to talk about global warming. The others in that class are convinced that he presented a logical argument, complete with facts and cited sources, to prove that global warming is caused by CO2. But he didn’t. He managed to phrase things in such a way that he did present an argument so much as build an argument in the mind of the listener. And, you know how if you’re watching your absolute favorite show/sporting event/movie/whatever, and somebody comes in and starts talking about unimportant things so loudly you can’t hear the show? You know that frustrated sound people make in the back of their throat when that happens? When the rep “quoted” something that I knew to be disproven I tried to politely ask a question to clarify what he’d claimed, and before I could even get one word out the entire class was making that sound. Even the ones who normally were very skeptical, they had this weird look on their faces like they were drinking in every word. It was beautiful, it was artistic. It was DISTURBING!!! And, after talking to the other students afterward and since, I’m quite convinced that for the rest of their lives they will refuse to even consider any science that contradicts man-made global warming, for no reason other than that Rep. Black said so.

    Please, if you find yourself accepting something without doing your own research, BEWARE!!! No matter how accurate it sounds, no matter how bad it makes that politician you hate look, no matter who’s telling you. Be skeptical. That inclination to believe may well be a warning sign.

    (And yes, that includes being skeptical of everything I just wrote.)

  7. Ellendra
    Ellendra February 26, 2011 10:01 pm

    That was supposed to say “He managed to phrase things in such a way that he didN’T present an argument so much as build an argument in the mind of the listener. “

  8. Claire
    Claire February 27, 2011 12:37 pm

    Ellendra — Ah. You know, it sounds as if you’re talking about the way television works. You think you’ve gotten information, but often when you try to recall specifics, you go blank. But you have the distinct impression you’ve learned something — and you’re damn sure of your opinions about whatever it is!

    Example: Remember a couple of months back when Obama made his remark about Michael Vick deserving a second chance? A few days after that I was talking with a friend — no dummy, but somebody more attuned to emotion than to facts and logic. Also somebody who’s very proud of herself for watching two hours of TV news every evening. I happened to say something not-nice about Obama (imagine that!) and she countered: “Yes, but you’ve got to give Obama credit for being kind-hearted. After all, remember what he said about that … um, that athlete, was it a basketball player? … named, well, I can’t remember his name, and he plays for … some team. But he hurt dogs somehow, and that was nice of Obama to say he deserved another chance.”

    And I’m sure it made no impression on her at all when I pointed out that Obama’s actions — his stinginess with pardons, his pursuit of whistleblowers, etc. — show he doesn’t actually believe in giving anybody but millionaire sports stars a break. She saw it on TV. Therefore she knows Obama’s got a kind heart.

    Different circumstances, but really the same phenomenon you’re describing.

  9. Ellendra
    Ellendra February 27, 2011 9:26 pm

    Whoever write 0bama’s speeches is an expert at it. He spews nonsense but people come away thinking he’s some great orator.

    It’s not the television itself, that’s just an electronic device. It’s what’s being broadcast.

  10. Claire
    Claire February 28, 2011 6:36 am

    Ellendra, you’re spot on that Obama’s speeches are masterpieces of saying nothing while giving the impression of saying a lot.

    But TV inherently feeds into that. The brainwave patterns of TV viewers resemble those of hypnosis subjects.

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