Ground Zero, Recent Shows
1/10/20: ONE NATION UNDER MANIPULATION

MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

In many instances, those of us who aren’t professional scientists have to take a lot of the scientific breakthroughs we hear about on trust. A lot of us don’t take the time to study or make any educated guesses about scientific matters and so when someone tells you that if we don’t curb the what contributes to Climate disruption we will die soon, we don’t bother to question if they are an expert on matters of climate.

It doesn’t matter if the person is a junior senator or a little girl – if they are given a spotlight and a hot microphone so of course, they must have some expertise on the matter or so many people think.

 Some people don’t stop to question credentials or expertise on such matters because they are too busy to care. So they trust that what is being said is correct because it somehow reaffirms what they already have thought.

Equally, those of us who are not clergymen have to take a lot of religion on faith. Unfortunately, due to varying opinions of both, many people make all sorts of leaps based on bias. 

No god is the same god and the same god is somebody’s devil, somebody’s devil is somebody’s alien and somebody’s rapture can be disguised as an alien deception.

There are all kinds of thoughts and ideas we cling to and sometimes we never really ask ourselves why we believe what we believe.

There are three things that guide our discernment processes and they are belief, faith, and bias; everything else is just noise or due to a lack of knowledge is discounted as a fallacy.

Ignorance steers us into all sorts of myths and tall tales to feed into our bias.

It is an all or nothing argument for some people.

For example, when I brought up meme magic the other night, there were many people that were irritated at the concept and that they opined that the  President would never do something like meme magic or use highly intensified programming on the internet.

Trump did what is called, “statecraft” – a maneuver that uses things like neuro-linguistic programming to move the crowd think into a desired direction.

Those proficient in neuro-linguistic programming use the magic words, basically triggering phrases that bridge with the people to generate a desired result.

The perfect example of this statecraft “magic” was when President Trump Tweeted “all is well” after Iran lobbed rockets at our bases.

It was enough to calm the American people and have them sleep well.

But all was not well.

Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner with two Russian-made surface-to-air missiles killing over 170 people.  There was also a report that two rockets were reportedly fired inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone near the US embassy.

It was like a Jedi mind trick and it worked for some people but not all.

The House on Thursday approved a War Powers resolution that  Democrats said would limit President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran but Republicans claimed was “meaningless” and would undermine his authority as commander in chief.

As Democrats looked to reassert the constitutional power given Congress to authorize war, the non-binding measure passed along mostly party lines, 224-194, with eight Democrats splitting from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi although three Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with the majority.

Again, this proved my argument that this is how a civil war begins… and it doesn’t matter what happens there will always be an adversarial coup to undermine the actions of the President.

This will not stand – not for long.  Not if our republic is to survive.

We live in the year 2020 and in the culture at large, we may be on the brink of a major shift in perspective, with enormous implications for how most of us think about the future and the well being of ourselves, friends and family.

Moving into the 2020’s will most certainly be a time where belief systems will be challenged and there will be revelations that will reveal why we think the way we do and while a lot of destructive thoughts and behaviors have to change or we will find ourselves on the brink of extinction, albeit only because we have been told that we are. 

After many years of being told that we are doomed, we start acting like we are until we find an abrupt and swift end to our existence.

You can call it the end of the world if you like but you won’t be around to call it anything.

That will be up to the historians – those who inexplicably survive the inevitable holocaust.  Okay, so this is getting pretty dark but the darkness seems to be a good killer of light and light is becoming more difficult to find.

It is kind of like that old story by Nietzsche of the madman in the market place that ran through the streets without fuel for his lantern screaming “God is dead” believing that mankind had lost its way.

Beliefs are a transcendent human trait. Homo sapiens represent the only animal species endowed by evolution with a large prefrontal cortex that enables each of its members to harbor a belief system. 

That is why I have often joked that we did not evolve from apes – we are just another species of ape that was given the misfortune of understanding our mortality and believing that we can beat it by worshipping a god.

It is part of or social psychology – it has been around for thousands of years.

Social psychology is defined as “the scientific study of how we think about, influence, and relate to one another.” We are social beings. Most of us communicate with others every day, spending large portions of our waking hours in some form of communication. One lesson from social psychology is the influence others have on us. Research shows we do not have as much control over our thoughts and behavior as we think. We take cues from our environment, especially other people, on how to act.

Consider the concept of group polarization. This means that likeminded people reinforce one another’s viewpoints. Group polarization strengthens of the opinions of each person in the group.  Clearly, others affect our behavior. One reason for this is that we live in a complex world. We use the decisions of others as a mental shortcut, to navigate our lives.

Most people when making decisions usually think that what is popular is good – what works for someone else must work for you and when you are told that certain groups of people act a certain way and in order to belong you must do what others in the group do, then we find ourselves identifying with that particular group’s ideology.

Following the crowd allows us to function in a complicated environment. Most of us do not have time to increase our knowledge of all merchandise and research every advertised item to measure its usefulness. Instead, we rely on signals like popularity. If everyone else is buying something, the reasoning goes, there is a good chance the item is worth our attention.

People are controlled and manipulated more times than they realize and with new technology and social platforms, the mechanisms for control become more sophisticated and soon you start accepting things you once thought were abhorrent.

It used to be that crowd think and collective actions were limited to just small groups in the community – now these groups can now be worldwide movements in a matter of days because of viral memes and hashtags.

This has also contributed to the era of virtue signaling, social warriors, the woke culture, the cancel culture, and other groups that turn victimhood into valuable currency.

In 2020, there is a concern that the United States is suffering from something called chaos syndrome.

Chaos syndrome is a chronic decline in the political system’s capacity for self-organization. It begins with the weakening of the institutions and brokers—political parties, career politicians, and congressional leaders and committees that have historically held politicians accountable to one another and prevented everyone in the system from pursuing naked self-interest all the time.

As these intermediaries’ influence fades, politicians, activists, and voters all become more individualistic and unaccountable. The system atomizes. Chaos becomes the new normal; both in campaigns and in the government itself.

No one wants to hear that their government is falling apart on its own — they want the blame to be placed on a convenient scapegoat.

So we get hate campaigns against the President – group think crusades that want to lock up Hillary  Clinton and Barack Obama and of course, the emboldened followers of QAnon.

Our intricate, informal system of political intermediation, which took many decades to build, did not commit suicide or die of old age; we reformed it and marked it for death.

For decades, well-meaning political reformers have attacked intermediaries as corrupt, undemocratic, unnecessary, or usually all of the above. Americans have been busy demonizing and disempowering political officials, because of identity politics.

The Constitution was the immune system of the government – when you spend decades abusing and attacking your own immune system, eventually, you will get sick.

Consider, then, the etiology of a political disease: the immune system that defended the body politic for two centuries; the gradual dismantling of that immune system; the emergence of pathogens capable of exploiting the new vulnerability; the symptoms of the disorder; and, finally, its prognosis and treatment.

Like many disorders, chaos syndrome is self-reinforcing. It causes governmental dysfunction, which fuels public anger, which incites political disruption, which causes yet more governmental dysfunction.

Reversing the spiral will require understanding it.

As I reported days ago on the Alex Jones Show, the framers of the Constitution warned of a conspiracy to foment the cause of hyper-partisanship and that a republic falls to despotism when it reaches a point of hyper-partisan manipulation. 

The founding fathers warned that if a consistent partisan majority ever united to take control of the government, it would use its power to oppress the minority.

The hyper-partisan attitude in this country is beginning to look like partisan psychosis.

It is always sensible to avoid discussing religious or political issues because inevitably someone will be offended. 

 The current political zeitgeist of the country is becoming downright grotesque and spiteful. Although fierce political rivalry is widely accepted as a tradition to achieve the national goals promulgated by each party, what we are witnessing today is a veritable blood sport fueled by “hyper-partisanship,” where drawing blood, not promoting the public good, has become an undisguised intent.

The intensity of hyper-partisanship has engulfed the collective national psyche and is bordering on the “religification” of politics. What used to be reasonable political views have been transformed into irrefutable articles of faith that do not lend themselves to rational debate or productive compromise. 

Rational discourse is dying in this country –and the majority of both right and left have given up their objectivity and have replaced wit with radical fanaticism.

Thoughtful debate of issues that promote the public good is becoming scarce. Instead of effectively defending the validity of their arguments, extremists focus on spewing accusations and ad hominem insults.

In case you did not know the sickening catch 22 of insults is that in the public eye they are not challengeable.  If they are challenged with more ad hominem and insults – nothing gets accomplished.

There is a tendency for extremists to overvalue their ideas and political views.

Psychiatrists call this being delusional. But no one wants to point out the obvious when it is important that they should –intervention has been known to break up friendships and families.

We are seeing this happen every day and we also see the viciousness that is being exchanged on social networks.

As we move into the second decade of the 21st century there are many people who remain neutral and objective and are struggling to intervene and be heard,

However, they are being drowned in the loud chaos syndrome; being abused by social groups and terrorized by anti-fascist groups that use fascism as a way to intimidate others into complying with their extremist views.

The terrifying thing is that these groups are seen as important enforcers of the new morality.

A lot of people have wondered and have asked me how we have ended up in times where it seems as though many people are caught up in some political psychosis.

I am sure there are many reasons that can be determined by a psychoanalyst.  We can also use Cliodynamics where we treat history and past social behaviors as a sciences we can look back and see how civilizations reacted to major changes in politics are economy – or we can evaluate just how effective modern coercion has become as algorithms and social networks have levied a lot of influence on our social growth and belief systems.

The framing war also can play a role in shaping us socially. Now we are learning just how insidious it has become.

There is a conspiracy to hack your mind and there are many companies that are willing to take it, put it in a blender and puree it and sell it to you like a smoothie.  This may explain the delusional behaviors and hyper-partisan bigotry.

On New Year’s Day 2020, Twitter account @HindsightFiles began posting documents from data firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) which expose the extensive infrastructure used to manipulate voters on a global scale.

Kaiser told the Guardian:

“I’m very fearful about what is going to happen in the U.S. election later this year, and I think one of the few ways of protecting ourselves is to get as much information out there as possible.”

The latest CA whistleblower has said the dumps will contain previously unreleased emails, project plans, case studies, and negotiations. The HindsightFiles twitter account has posted data on the relationship between Cambridge Analytica and John Bolton, former National Security Adviser to the Trump administration. In 2013, the John Bolton Super PAC paid Cambridge Analytica $650,000 for voter data analysis and digital video ad targeting.

The documents provide more details on that relationship, including using psychographics to play on voter’s hopes and fears. Psychographics is a methodology that focuses on the consumer’s psychological attributes. Research firms attempt to develop a psychographic profile on various segments of the population by studying personality, opinions, interests, attitudes, values, and behaviors.

 More than 100,000 documents are said to be released in the coming months, revealing Cambridge Analytica’s activity in a shocking 68 countries, including elections in Malaysia, Kenya, and Brazil. The Guardian reported that the documents come from Brittany Kaiser, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica who turned whistleblower and star of the documentary The Great Hack.

Cambridge Analytica first made headlines following the 2016 Presidential election after it was revealed the company had gained access to 87 million Facebook profiles. Whistleblower Christopher Wylie exposed how he helped set up CA and obtain the data of millions of Americans. This is when the public began to understand the scope of Cambridge Analytica’s operations.

The political consulting firm, worked on behalf of Ted Cruz’s campaign to help him win the 2016 Republican nomination. Cambridge Analytica was also involved in campaigns to promote Brexit, as well as promoting the 2016 Trump Presidential campaign. Donald Trump would eventually hire Steven Bannon as the chief strategist for his White House. Bannon previously served as CA’s vice president and was the executive chairman of Breitbart News.

 Cambridge Analytica itself is a web of shadowy companies invested in behavioral research and influencing mass behavior. Cambridge was born out of the Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), founded by Nigel Oakes and Alexander Nix. SCL claimed to have expertise in Psychological Operations and worked as part of military and political operations around the world.

The Great Hack documentary details how Strategic Communications Laboratories started out as a military contractor called SCL Defense before shifting to using their data to influence elections. 

So this poses the question –who is really meddling in our elections?  We have been told it was Russia—we have been told that it was Trump and Putin and that Trump is a traitor and all of the other histrionic babble.

Although Cambridge Analytica has officially shut down, company executives set up a new company in 2017 called Emerdata Limited. It was also reported that former SCL executives joined Emerdata.

Both the history of the company and its executives are a clear example of the growing trend of politicians seeking to use data gathered by social media companies to better understand and manipulate the minds of potential voters. 

Data mining through social media is more useful for identifying current and future trends than it is for manipulating large groups of people to vote a certain way.

All you need is few memes to go viral – one’s that play on fear and bias and you can change the way an entire group thinks.

I call it magic but magic is primarily distraction, smoke, and mirrors and illusion to convince you of something.

By exploiting individual web data, the elites might also be able to sway a certain smaller percentage of a vote one way or the other.  Even just 5%-10% of a vote could determine the outcome of an election. 

This would mean that elections are meaningless.  Changes to government are never achieved through voting.  It’s time for people to finally accept this fact and start implementing other measures.

This also means that being convinced to be a radical left or right sycophant is actually creating a form of psychosis in the public at large.

The zeitgeist generated by extreme partisanship is intellectually stunting and emotionally numbing. Psychiatrists may wonder what consequences the intense anger and hatred and scarcity of compromise between the opposing parties will have for the country’s citizens.

We have a major challenge as Americans to try and curb this disturbing and exhaustive trend.

Just as it is disturbing for children to watch their parents undermine each other by arguing ferociously and hurling insults, so it is for a populace that is shocked at how frenzied and intolerant their leaders and their extremist followers have become, failing to work together for the common good and adversely impacting the mental health of the zeitgeist.

It looks as if no one can repair the dysfunctional political fragmentation at the national level, however, exposing the manipulators may be key in calming people down and helping them reach logical and objective conclusions about political statecraft.