Psychological Warfare and Media
May 18, 2011 2 Comments
The study of conspiracy leads directly to the study of covert operations and intelligence agencies. As one reads about the plots and intrigues of secret societies, one is quickly led to the topic of intelligence due to the fact that both have one central aspect in common—knowledge of secrets. Combined with this is the ability to hide that knowledge and rule men accordingly, and if you don’t think the modern world is run by the military industrial intelligence complex, you know nothing of the world. The result of this knowledge and secrecy is a modicum of power.
The use of this type of power is thus utilized by governments in the form of psychological warfare. In older manuals around the time of World War II, the assumption is that psychological warfare is the use and application of “propaganda against an enemy, together with such other operational measures of military, economic, or political nature as may be required to supplement propaganda.”1 In our day, these principles, borrowed from psychology, are combined with scientific precision and notions from Edward Bernays’ theories of mass advertising, as well as mass media studies and social engineering, and has resulted in a world wherein we are daily adrift in a sea of psychological warfare. The privatization of intelligence is thus connected with the private, corporate control of entities like the mainstream media and film, as well as a heavy dose of privatized influence and control of government from behind the scenes. By this I mean that Lockheed-Martin, for example, can have a much greater influence over governmental policy and regulations than a senator. This is the reality of the present situation, regardless of anyone’s feelings on the matter.
However, simply explained, psychological warfare can be viewed as the art of persuasion of one’s enemies. It would thus appeal to those skilled in philosophy, debate, rhetoric and law. Since these are often the sectors from which intelligence workers are drawn, it then makes sense that the state and/or private interests would employ such individuals in those given areas, as well as others, for whatever intentions are deemed necessary. Given that our world is primarily image-driven, it is natural to find this influence permeating the mass media complex, which would include advertising, news, print, radio, television, plays, film, graphic novels, and so on. The old military psychological warfare tactics have thus been combined with the advertising and media propaganda studies to create a massive complex that, in my estimation, is well intertwined.
Granted, even during World War II and prior to that, the news media and film were used for the purpose of propaganda, such as well known examples showing Allied victories and Axis oppression, etc. Now, however, these tactics have been turned inward upon the populace as the global super class utilizes these techniques as control mechanisms upon the masses with a vast cornucopia of eye candy, replete with political fiction and theater to dazzle the viewer into docility within the videodrome. The modern alienated man’s life is lived, more than ever, as a surrogate, pixelated digital one. This centralization of human attention, from several forms of media, into one—the internet, has been a genius stroke of DARPA and the Pentagon.
Positing the idea that there is a close interconnection between the world of publishing, news and film still sounds strange and ridiculous to the average man. However, as with most things in this genre of study, it is hidden in plain sight. As I have delved deeper into the world of intelligence studies and geopolitics, these facts become quickly apparent. And, no matter how counter intuitive this sounds, this is precisely why the average man is scorned by those in the upper eschelons. The fact that several of my companions and associates have laughed at some of these claims and attempted interpretations of films I’ve given only serves to reinforce the point, given the fact that all of this open sourced and hidden in plain sight. In fact, the principle of hiding something in plain sight is itself a psychological warfare tactic. It involves influencing a given population in a subtle, subconscious way, rather than an overtly. In psychological warfare, this is covert or white propaganda.2 It is issued from “an acknowledged source, usually a government or an agency of a government.” Our era has become more sophisticated in such procedures, masking such “operations” and influences within the infotainment complex.
When you go to see the film “Hanna,” for example, you are not simply seeing a storyline that deals with a young genius on the run from a hostile agency. You are also seeing a message that functions on other levels to influence you in a certain way. While the author may at times mask his intention, and directors and studios also have alternate messages and propaganda they wish to broadcast, you are being sent a multi-leveled strata of data that your conscious mind only partly processes, depending on the perceiver’s level of intelligence, experience and reasoning capabilities.
This is where hermeneutics (the science of interpretation), semiotics (the theory of signs) and a literary interpretation and criticism all coincide. However, as is often the case, accurately “solving” such puzzles tends to require much more. Perhaps “Hanna” is also including a message regarding transhumanism. If you are unaware of transhumanism, you would not catch this layer or level of the film. If you have not read on the interaction of intelligence agents and their utilization in modern films, you would not know that Melissa Boyle Mahle, long time central intelligence agent and author of the 2005 Denial and Deception, was the film’s consultant, as well as for “SALT.” Take the example of Gerry Molen, an award winning producer who lectures on the spy cruise circuit, and who worked on “Jurrasic Park.” This is just a sampling, and many, many more examples could be given.
The viewer can expect yet another layer of meaning and significance when one combines these facts with the disciplines of interpreting symbols and literary criticism. If you also happen to know some philosophy, theology, history and esoterica, these layers will also come into play, inasmuch as you are communicating with persons who are scripting a film that are also studied in these areas. You are speaking, then, a common language that transcends normal language usage. If you are someone who does not know theology, for example, you would not be able to accurately interpret a literary or film or conversational reference to the cosmological argument of Aquinas. Obviously it does not follow that the “cosmological argument” is a meaningless hodgepodge of nonsense, it’s rather that you are not able to speak the language. And, what quickly becomes apparent to those who learn to speak this language is that there are other, higher, synthesized levels of “language” being spoken by such integration processes.
What becomes apparent as one grows in understanding and is able to combine these various disciplines is a higher level ability to integrate and place the data and engage in pattern recognition. One’s ability to do this is also affected by one’s own overall worldview. The more erroneous, absurd or detached from reality the individual’s worldview is, the less likely they will be able to sensibly interpret the consecutive sequences of scenes and events into a coherent narrative. What occurs in such an event is the synthesizing of these scenes into an overal structure that has multiple layers of meaning. This is hermeneutics and semiotics. A collage of symbols of various levels of meaning and significance are thus presented to the viewer, yet even an unaware viewer who is unable to “read” the narrative is still affected subconsciously by the deeper levels of meaning his conscious mind might not readily process. Studies in subliminal advertising shows this to be the case.
Viewing a film, then, is often an instance of engaging in an interpretation of psychological warfare. The “warfare” may not be with the intention of causing you to want to go to battle against some far off army, but inasmuch as all psychological warfare is propaganda, so all conveying of meaning in any form is an instance of propaganda, from a certain point of view. If you want to sell a product at your paint store, so you engage in an advertising propaganda and psychological warfare campaign with neighboring paint stores to convince the public that you have the rockin’ awesomest paint ever: hence the intersection with advertising.
The male attempt to seduce a female is another great example of the same principles of psychological warfare. The alpha male senses his abilities and is able to exploit his skills to portray a certain kind of look and air. He must be fluent in the lingo and slang, what is trendy, pleasing to the eye and ear, and so on. He combines these features into a package to create an image which is pleasing to the prospective female he has in his sights. He knows as much about her as he can, speaks her language, and games her. He knows that if he is too easily reached or attainable, comes off as needy and dependent, he is less attractive. This is a basic fact of female psychology (and human psychology in general insofar as all men want what is out of their reach, often for that reason alone).
Psychological warfare is a science that is all around us in modernity, and operates in similar ways as other sciences and arts, but there is another interesting fact about our world that distinguishes it from other eras, and that is the dominance of fiction. Fiction bombards us daily. Fiction is more appealing to humans than reality or history because of its ability to appeal to men’s deepest desires and fantasies. Men cannot have all the sex and adventures they would like, so the fictional videodrome functions as the most powerful opiate ever known to man, in terms of the addicted masses. The relevance of this for psychological warfare is that it views everything from a “weaponizable” perspective. The question here is not one of ethics, apart from the ethics of what some person or prospective “influencee” might have, nor the existential feelings elicited by these facts, but simply the use of these things as tools. How can film be used as a tool for control? How can a fictional novel be used? How can a news story spin an event so as to cater the story to a desired and useful end? These are the proper questions in this domain.
As with anything in life, there are often multiple motives. A film may not have the purpose of “brainwashing” its viewers or MKULTRA programming, but much more likely, might have the goal of subtly promoting a positive view of gay rights or abortion. It might have the goal of influencing the young to experiment with alternative and new age religious movements as part of a larger program of social engineering. It might present a certain view of a certain race. These are the kinds of trends and currents one wants to look for as one “reads” mass media. Indeed, the presuppositions I come from view the entire world as a book to be read. All is semiotics, because all is presented through as signs. Roland Barthes was correct about that much. However, while speaking of philosophers, it should be noted that Sartre and the deconstructionists were wrong: existence is not prior to essence. The reader does not make all meaning, meaning is prior to you, and is something to be decoded, if you will.
It becomes clearer, then, what I do at this blog. Films and media are presented from a certain milieu, and the challenge becomes decoding it. Of course, this is not limited to film, but includes texts of any kind. It is not a pseudo-science of creating any kind of narrative one arbitrarily wants in this instance, but the narrative that is intended by those who made the film or wrote the book. There is of course the possibility of error, and like anything subject or language, learning it is a process. Error is inevitable for any human, as humans are fallible. However, peripheral interpretive errors do not mean the overall explanatory exegesis is incorrect. It all depends on the case at hand, and these things should be kept in mind.
What is unique is that in our age is the goal is to combine all these mediums in order to purposefully blur the line of fact and fiction. Narratives are created and spun, like Ovid spins the narrative of the Metamorphoses and like Arachne spins the tapestry in the story. A narrative was created for the bin Laden “raid” and so-called assassination. Who do you think writes those narratives? Local struggling reporters? Badass Seal Team Six members? The narrative is spun by those who use the mass media and its interpretation of history itself as the pen and paper. The point is that from this psychological warfare perspective, it is all theater. It is all film.