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Fri Feb 17, 2017, 03:25 PM

Manchurian Voters, or, The brainwashing of a nation

Last edited Fri Feb 17, 2017, 04:30 PM - Edit history (1)

There is a schism in American society that, at least for now, appears to be unbridgeable. I call the two sides of the chasm "Realists" and "Trumpists".

The genesis of this split goes back to the Powell Memo in 1972. It was what convinced corporations to get into the social engineering business. The FCC changes that happened under Ronald Reagan were one of its outcomes. Those changes enabled RW hate radio to take hold and spread.

The spread of RW talk radio in turn permitted the mass brainwashing of a large number of citizens. It did this through a form of the process called "psychic driving". Driving is a technique originally developed by Dr. D. Ewan Cameron under the auspices of the CIA's MK Ultra project in the 1950s and 60s. Driving involves subjecting people to continuously repeated audio messages to alter their behaviour. The goal is to alter the subjects' interpretation of reality.

So that's what RW talk radio did, over a span of 40 years. It succeeded, and the Trumpists are the result.
Then the Citizens United ruling came along in 2010. It allowed corporate money to flood into politics. The money was used to entrench the corporate version of reality that had been perfected by RW think tanks, radio and Fox television in the political arena. That change has resulted in the modern GOP and ultimately Trump himself.

The end result is a segment of society that has been socially engineered over a long span of time. They have been given a political platform through which to expand their beliefs into the rest of society. The result is the current sociopolitical polarization of the USA.

As far as I can see, the chasm can only be bridged by deprogramming the brainwashed sector of the populace - people I have called the "Manchurian Voters". Unfortunately, the deprogramming would require unwinding the changes brought about by the Powell Memo, the FCC changes and Citizens United.

Then the economy needs to be made more equitable to assuage their bitter sense of "left-behind" grievance.
And finally, once all that is done, the actual deprogramming (if it can be accomplished at all) would probably require another generation and a half - 45 - years to take effect. This time frame is equivalent to the time it took to brainwash them in the first place.

The Trumpists' problem isn't really stupidity or ignorance, despite what it may look like to us. It's brainwashing. They have been reengineered, reshaped and reeducated into a new worldview that is fundamentally incompatible with ours. They see every situation, event and idea through those engineered filters.

Psychic driving

Psychic driving was a psychiatric procedure of the 1950s and 1960s in which patients were subjected to a continuously repeated audio message on a looped tape to alter their behaviour. In psychic driving, patients were often exposed to hundreds of thousands of repetitions of a single statement over the course of their treatment. They were also concurrently administered muscular paralytic drugs such as curare to subdue them for the purposes of exposure to the looped message(s). The procedure was pioneered by Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, and used and funded by the CIA's Project MKUltra program in Canada.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 03:32 PM

1. That is very true

The vast majority are low or no educated lower income people. Yes I know there was a fair share of white middle class men who voted for Trump but the lower income white faction was much bigger.

Nothing but tremendous economic hardship might turn that around for them.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 03:35 PM

2. Heck, look at the shit they read

Yeah, Obama is going to get the House to impeach Trump.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 04:14 PM

3. Here's the brainwashing technique that was used:

The spread of RW talk radio mass brainwashing of a large number of citizens through a process called "psychic driving". Driving is a technique developed by Dr. D. Ewan Cameron under the auspices of the CIA's MK Ultra project in the 1950s and 60s. Driving involves subjecting people to continuously repeated audio messages to alter their behaviour. The goal is to alter the subjects' interpretation of reality. This relentless bombardment through audio, video and print media, sustained over a period of 40 years, is the tool that has re-shaped their minds.

Psychic driving may have fallen into disfavour in the intelligence community, but it has now been used successfully on a nation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychic_driving

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 04:17 PM

4. Strange how people can be brainwashed

I was one of them 20 years ago,a republican and member of a Pentecostal church. I'm proof people can be deprogrammed

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Response to njhoneybadger (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 04:32 PM

6. Yes, individuals can be deprogrammed, but it takes a lot of work

Deprogramming 60+ million people, unwinding an entire erroneous belief system, would be a truly monumental task.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 05:26 PM

9. True

I don't think all 60 million are died in the wool kool-aid drinkers. Maybe 20% could be turned.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 04:30 PM

5. I updated the text to make it more comprehensible. nt

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 05:02 PM

7. This also explains why they vote against their own best interests so oftem.

The programming completely prevents them from seeing things that way.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 05:47 PM

11. The conformation bias a person develops takes over

To the point of a person accepting almost any bizarre story that supports their beliefs,and beyond

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 05:18 PM

8. It only intensified in the 60s and 70s, but it's been happening for a long time.

The concept of the "White Race" (and everything that flows from that wholly artificial concept) is probably the biggest example of psychic driving in history.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 05:31 PM

10. Not addressed in this is a certain percentage of the population is predisposed to Authoritarianism.

 

Also, certain parts of the population have different brain wiring that puts fear more in the forefront.

There probably is a middle ground where people might not be firmly in one or the other brain wiring and mindset that are influenced.

The fact that the Far Right is also seeing more resurgence in Europe, where there are Hate Speech laws points to more than programming.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 06:58 PM

12. Bob Altemeyer estimates up to 25% of Americans are RW authoritarians

Last edited Fri Feb 17, 2017, 07:55 PM - Edit history (1)

Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds. They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result.... And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going away.

These people form the core of the Trumpist Movement, and need the least brainwashing. The less authoritarian you are the more brainwashing is needed to make you join the Movement. The messages used in the driving originate exclusively from the core group. The purpose of the brainwashing is to expand the Movement beyond its core, and make it a political force. The Movement also seems to have a lot in common with cults like Scientology in terms of the degree and kind of social control that is exercised over the members.

The other thing that is required for the whole mechanism to work is a general perception that one's community is being left behind by society. If that perception is real to some extent, it can be amplified to become a rallying cry. Trumpism could not have succeeded without a Rust Belt, offshoring and an overall stagnant or declining economy.

It requires a mix of factors to cause a Movement to coalesce - in this case psychological predisposition, the economic environment, legislative changes, and the communications technology that allows messages to be targeted down to the individual level.

I should also mention that any acculturation is a form of brainwashing. The difference is that in "normal" acculturation people are exposed to quite a broad mix of thoughts and beliefs, resulting in a more diffuse norming effect. In the case of Trumpism, the exposure is restricted as much as possible to a single set of ideas and beliefs, which are repeated so often that they bring the person's thinking into alignment with the core message. So while this effect has been around in some form for as long as there have been cultures, these particular circumstances and available technology have allowed culture itself to be weaponized.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 07:18 PM

13. The world has always had this: It's called organized religion. n/t.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 07:49 PM

14. They have a lot in common. The closest historical examples to Trumpism might be

the Islamic conquests or the Spanish Inquisition in Middle Ages Europe, or Boston in the 1650s.

Those are not encouraging comparisons.

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