Tag Archives: Opinion

GREAT QUESTION: Is There A Way To Prevent Psychopaths From Getting Into Positions Of Power?

Op-Ed by Brandon Smith

Despite a growing resurgence of interest in the science and psychology of narcissistic sociopaths and psychopaths it seems as though society today has lost track of how these people can sabotage the core fabric of a civilization or nation. It is very easy to hyper-focus on collectivist ideologies as the source of our problems and forget that these ideologies do not function in a vacuum; they cannot wreak havoc by themselves, they need psychopathic people directing them to do real damage.

There is something about collectivism that lends itself to projection and hypocrisy (collectivism is organization by FORCE instead of being voluntary). I suppose when your political ideology becomes your religion it’s easy to turn into a zealot. And while zealots find power in their single-mindedness and their cultism they also tend to lack any self-awareness. They literally go insane with devotion to their cause to the point that they lose track of whether or not their cause is fair and just. Their behavior becomes increasingly erratic and disjointed and every person they run into that does not share their views is immediately seen as a heretical enemy that needs to be exposed or destroyed.

To outsiders looking in, zealots are an endless source of comedy. You can’t help but laugh because their ticks and cricks and outbursts are nonsensical and absurd (just check out “Libs Of Tik Tok” for a mountain of examples). As long as they don’t have any real power these people act as a reminder of what happens when human beings abandon reason for madness. They can be frightening but they serve the purposes of entertainment as well as keeping the rest of us grounded. When they do gain power, however, that’s when things stop being funny.

Civilizations throughout history have consistently dealt with the problem of zealots, but the greater threat is the existence of narcissists and psychopaths sneaking into positions of authority and encouraging zealotry among the masses. Generally, psychopaths are seen as an anomaly which is quickly identified and shunned in order to prevent them from climbing too high up the ladder of social influence. The problem is they are not as rare as one might hope and many of them have the ability to hide among the herd.

Around 1% of any given population is made up of psychopaths while another 1% are sociopaths. Around 5% of people are identified as having narcissistic traits. Narcissists are self-absorbed and view themselves as superior to everyone else – They believe they are entitled to adoration and authority. Sociopaths have an inability to feel empathy for others and this makes them impractical as leaders. Psychopaths also exhibit a lack of empathy but also have a propensity for emotional or physical violence. They take joy in the suffering of others and perpetrate a large number of violent crimes.

Even though psychopaths are 1% of the population, they make up 15% to 25% of those incarcerated in prisons. The drag they exert on society cannot be overstated.

There is definitely some overlap among the various types, but in general close to 10% of human beings exhibit dangerous and mostly inherent psychological malfunctions that are often not treatable. Think about that for a moment – 10 out of every 100 people are ticking time bombs waiting to make life miserable for the rest of us.

To be sure, some of them are still able to function in society. Sociopaths in particular can become valuable in fields where less empathy is required in order to accomplish certain tasks. They are particularly well suited as surgeons, EMTs, soldiers, firefighters, and any other job where seeing people in pain is not going to stop them from accomplishing their task. They don’t necessarily take joy in seeing others harmed, but they aren’t emotionally fazed by it either. As long as they are never allowed into positions of influence over large groups of people they can serve some good for the public.

History shows us that vetting and preventing psychologically broken individuals from slipping into institutions that offer power is not so easy. In fact, many monarchies and empires were built on systems that allowed psychopaths and narcissists to flourish because they relied on genetic succession. If a monarch had a son who was predisposed to psychopathy it did not matter, that crazed prince would one day become a king and there was little that could be done about it. There was no vetting process. Also, many such traits are passed on genetically, which means a power structure built on heredity could become progressively more destructive as psychopaths in royalty intermarry. This would help explain why psychopathic behavior is over-represented among monarchs of the past.

The creation of democracy and democratic republics was in part designed to help weed out aberrant individuals by using open elections and the voting process. In other words, let the people scrutinize candidates and remove the crazies from circles of power. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work too well if ALL the candidates are psychopaths and the public has no real choice. By extension, psychopaths have also found ways to circumvent the political process and control it without directly participating in it.

The corporate world and financial institutions allow psychopaths to influence politics from behind the curtain, buying off candidates and their loyalty or vetting candidates and ONLY allowing those with similar sociopathic, narcissistic and psychopathic habits through the selection process and into the political arena.

In tribal societies and in smaller low-tech societies the ability to identify and root out psychologically broken individuals and prevent them from becoming leaders was easier. In the midst of vast empires and technocracy it is much simpler for psychopaths to hide among normal people and blend in. I usually compare invasive psychopaths to mythological stories of vampires for this reason. I really can’t think of a better analogy. They insinuate themselves into a population, take up positions of influence which protect them from suspicion and then systematically bleed the town dry. This is what they do. It is in their nature and they cannot be fixed, they can only be removed as a parasite is removed from host.

These people are the top threats to any given civilization. They are moderators of chaos and they actively conspire to supplant free society. They are what I would call primary organized psychopaths and they do indeed work together for mutual gain, much like a pack of wolves. They represent the 1% of the 1% (i.e. the globalists).

Psychopaths at the top of the pyramid have been organized for a long time, but what about the millions of other people out there with such traits? What happens when they are given a way to congregate?

Modern society and Big Tech social media have created even worse circumstances because now the greater psychopathic community is no longer isolated. The 1% that used to be mostly relegated to quiet corners and the fringes of humanity are now able to organize into aggressive mobs of hundreds of thousands, leading millions of lesser sociopaths and narcissists. This is creating a subculture of what I would call communal insanity – As the old saying goes, the patients are taking over the asylum.

We see this specifically with the political left and the open promotion of narcissism as an acceptable way of life.  This is not to say that psychopaths don’t try to infiltrate conservative circles as well, only that leftists are much more welcoming to their kind. These are people who once felt powerless because they were shunned and now they want revenge.

The thing is, they were originally shunned from influence for a very good reason; they are not psychologically equipped to handle any measure of power. Now they are being handed institutional control and they are being whipped into a frothing frenzy. They see themselves as the underdogs and the “revolutionaries”, but really they are just emotionally stunted and handicapped and they were put in permanent time-out to protect the rest of humanity.

But how is this danger dealt with, not just in the short term but the longer term?

Our culture has to be fundamentally changed with psychopathy and other aberrant traits in mind. We can no longer ignore the effect these people have on humanity as a whole. The first step would require separation from movements and institutions that promote psychopathic and narcissistic behaviors. In other words, we need to return to a model of isolation for the psychopathically inclined instead of treating them as if they are some kind of victim status group that needs special attention and “nurturing.”

As noted, in many cases these characteristics are inherent (inborn) and cannot be treated. There is no fixing the problem because it is not so much an illness as it is a completely different psychological structure. They might as well be a different species, and a predatory one at that. There is no mutual coexistence with them. They see us as food.

Candidates for positions of authority would have to be screened for psychopathy, narcissism and sociopathy. If they have too many of the warning signs then they should not be allowed to pursue those jobs. This is the only answer beyond fundamentally changing the way our election system functions, which I’m not necessarily opposed to either. A random lottery system for government jobs along with strict term limits (not just for normal political positions but also in bureaucratic positions) would at least be better than what we have now. I would rather risk the possibility of less qualified people being randomly chosen for government than have a system that attracts a concentrated culture of malicious parasites.

What better way to discourage psychopaths than to take away any long-term benefits of working in government? What better way to disrupt the influence of corporate elitists than to take away their ability to finance or choose the candidates that end up in office? And even if they were able to buy off some officials, with term limits they would have to start over and over again with the latest crop of new officials.

Some will of course point out that changing the system tomorrow will require getting rid of the psychopaths that run it today. I agree, it’s a dilemma. Sadly, once psychopaths become organized and entrenched history tells us they will not be moved without the force of violence. They don’t care about protests, they are not moved by reason or logic, they don’t care about the suffering of the masses and they will always see themselves as the rightful rulers of us “lesser” peasants.

They derive supremacy from the mobs of the stunted that they lead and exploit; the nearly 10% of the population that when organized becomes an army of raging mad hatters hungry for scraps from the table of power. We can and should continue to separate from the collectivist mob and the zealots, but all psychopaths view separation as defiance and will try to interfere. Eventually there’s going to be a fight, and maybe that’s for the best.

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Black Portland Cop Details Experience with BLM Protesters: ‘Same Tactics that were Used against My People’

Hannah Bleau
July 18th, 2020

Jackson said that he has watched as clueless demonstrators have dominated the protests — demonstrators who “have no idea what racism is all about.”

Jackson said in partial audio shared by the Portland Police Department:

I got to see folks that really do want change like the rest of us, that have been impacted by racism. And then I got to see those people get faded out by people who have no idea what racism is all about, that don’t even know that the tactics they’re using are the same tactics that were used against my people.

“And they don‘t even know the history. They don’t know what they’re saying. As someone who graduated from PSU with a history degree, it’s actually frightening,” he continued, adding:

I’m cool with people who feel like they want to help a movement, but then when you go to a gentrified community, and one of the first pictures I saw of one of the businesses that was looted was a black-owned business, they’re not even from here, they don’t even know what they’re doing.

He called it “divisive,” stressing that it is “hurting the community.”

Jackson detailed how he has been treated by white Black Lives Matter protesters, some of whom have told him to quit his job and mocked his physical appearance.

“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest, and you have more minorities on the police side than you have in a violent crowd, and you have white people screaming at black officers, ‘You have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen,’” he recalled.

“Once again, you have a privileged white person telling a person of color what to do with their life and you don’t even know what I’ve dealt with. These white officers you’re screaming at, you don’t know them. You don’t know anything about them,” he continued:

I’ve been called on calls the n-word I can’t even count the times since I’ve been a police officer and have white officers jump in to defend me, and me telling them to ignore it, and them being absolutely shocked. And they get to see it, so when you’re standing on the line and they’re getting called those names and they’re getting accused of being racist — when you’ve seen those officers helping people of color – getting blood on them, trying to save someone’s life who’s been shot, gang violence, domestic violence – and you see them and they’re truly trying to help save someone’s life, and then they’re turned around and called a racist by people who’ve never seen anything like that. I have had great conversations. I met two young brothers literally after I’d take explosive, been hit with a full beer can, taken a rock in my chest, a frozen water bottle had hit me, I met two young brothers cleaning up the street. They had garbage bags, and they were just running and cleaning up. A few of us from my team went over, and, I had to shake their hands, I was so moved by that, so impressed. They said, ‘We’re from here, this is our city. I don’t understand why people are coming here and destroying it.’

Jackson’s full remarks below:

Black Portland cop details experience with BLM protesters: ‘Same tactics that were used against my people’

Saturday, July 18, 2020 by: News Editors
Tags: anarchyanti-policeBlack Lives MatterBLMcivil warcopscrimeleft cultlieslootingPolicepoliticsprotestsriotsviolencewoke mob
1,840VIEWS

Image: Black Portland cop details experience with BLM protesters: ‘Same tactics that were used against my people’

(Natural News) Jakhary Jackson, a black Portland police officer, detailed his experience in responding to the violent protests that have rocked the city over the last several weeks, explaining that many of the protesters “don’t know what they’re saying” and are actively using “the same tactics that were used against my people.”

(Article by Hannah Bleau republished from Breitbart.com)

Jackson said that he has watched as clueless demonstrators have dominated the protests — demonstrators who “have no idea what racism is all about.”

Jackson said in partial audio shared by the Portland Police Department:

I got to see folks that really do want change like the rest of us, that have been impacted by racism. And then I got to see those people get faded out by people who have no idea what racism is all about, that don’t even know that the tactics they’re using are the same tactics that were used against my people.

“And they don‘t even know the history. They don’t know what they’re saying. As someone who graduated from PSU with a history degree, it’s actually frightening,” he continued, adding:

I’m cool with people who feel like they want to help a movement, but then when you go to a gentrified community, and one of the first pictures I saw of one of the businesses that was looted was a black-owned business, they’re not even from here, they don’t even know what they’re doing.

He called it “divisive,” stressing that it is “hurting the community.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=healthranger&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1283498679265968128&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.naturalnews.com%2F2020-07-18-black-portland-cop-experience-with-blm-protesters.html&siteScreenName=healthranger&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=500px

Jackson detailed how he has been treated by white Black Lives Matter protesters, some of whom have told him to quit his job and mocked his physical appearance.

“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest, and you have more minorities on the police side than you have in a violent crowd, and you have white people screaming at black officers, ‘You have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen,’” he recalled.

“Once again, you have a privileged white person telling a person of color what to do with their life and you don’t even know what I’ve dealt with. These white officers you’re screaming at, you don’t know them. You don’t know anything about them,” he continued:

I’ve been called on calls the n-word I can’t even count the times since I’ve been a police officer and have white officers jump in to defend me, and me telling them to ignore it, and them being absolutely shocked. And they get to see it, so when you’re standing on the line and they’re getting called those names and they’re getting accused of being racist — when you’ve seen those officers helping people of color – getting blood on them, trying to save someone’s life who’s been shot, gang violence, domestic violence – and you see them and they’re truly trying to help save someone’s life, and then they’re turned around and called a racist by people who’ve never seen anything like that. I have had great conversations. I met two young brothers literally after I’d take explosive, been hit with a full beer can, taken a rock in my chest, a frozen water bottle had hit me, I met two young brothers cleaning up the street. They had garbage bags, and they were just running and cleaning up. A few of us from my team went over, and, I had to shake their hands, I was so moved by that, so impressed. They said, ‘We’re from here, this is our city. I don’t understand why people are coming here and destroying it.’

Jackson’s full remarks below:

His remarks follow weeks of violent protests rocking the city of Portland, dominated by vandalism, looting, and acts of aggression against police officers.

Protesters have vandalized federal buildings, attempted to light police precincts on fire, and targeted officers specifically, launching commercial-grade fireworks at them, in one instance.

President Trump this week teased a forthcoming announcement in response to the ongoing violence in these cities run by “liberal, left-wing Democrats.”

“They’re like war zones. And if the city isn’t to straighten out, if local politicians — or, in this case — I don’t say this for political reasons — they’re all Democrats. They’re liberal, left-wing Democrats,” the president said.

“And it’s almost like they think this is going to be this way forever. Where in Chicago 68 people were shot and 18 died last week. We’re not going to put up with that,” he continued. “We’re not going to put up with that.”

The news coincides with reports of federal law enforcement officers responding to the violence in Portland, detaining protesters in unmarked police vehicles.

Opinion: No, Mr. Durham. We Need Your Report Before Election Day

Roger L. Simon
July 9th, 2020

Commentary

Fox’s Brooke Singeman, who has been perspicacious in her coverage of the probe of the Russia probe, has a disturbing “exclusive” Thursday with the headline: “Durham, under pressure to wrap up investigation, could ‘punt’ to after Election Day: source

Wouldn’t we love to know who her “source” or “sources” were? But never mind for the moment. The story begins:

“U.S. Attorney John Durham is under pressure to wrap up his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe by the end of the summer, but if he doesn’t, he could wait to reveal his findings or initiate prosecutions until after the 2020 presidential election, Fox News has learned

Two sources familiar with Durham’s investigation told Fox News this week that Durham is working expeditiously to try to finish the probe by the end of summer, but that several lines of investigation are not yet complete.

‘He believes it’s critical to do them,’ one source said. ‘He is feeling more pressure to get this done and wrapped up.’

The source also told Fox News that Durham “does not want this to be viewed political,” and the closer it gets to November, Durham could “punt it to after the election.”

Durham does not want his report “to be viewed political”? He must be dreaming. Nothing could be more political. It’s inextricably so, no matter what he says or does or when he does it.

To wit, what Mr. Durham is said to be investigating is whether one or more of our most important law enforcement and intelligence agencies (DOJ, FBI, CIA, State Department and so forth) were highjacked and used illegally to prevent Donald Trump from being elected president and/or for undercutting his presidency and administration after he was.

What in the Sam Hill could be more political than that?

Yes, it would be a crime as well, but a crime for the most obvious and extreme political ends.

And if Durham does “punt” until after the 2020 election, it could become more political still, pushing our society to the edge of civil war and beyond.

Imagine this: Joe Biden wins the election and come January 2021, just before his inauguration, the Durham report comes out. Several major players in the aforementioned government agencies, household names at this point, are indicted.

These indictments go all the way to the top but not quite, leaving Obama and Biden unscathed, at least technically. (I am taking William Barr at his word that the former president and vice president are not being investigated, although it will more than likely be clear that they are not, shall we say, in the clear.)

How does Mr. Durham, or any reasonable person, expect the losers in the election, the tens of millions of Trump supporters, to react then?

With massive justifiable outrage is my guess.

They will do any number of things from refusing to pay taxes to acts of sabotage to taking to the streets in a more militarily organized fashion than anything we are seeing today.

And, for that matter, how could a Joe Biden possibly govern with criminal indictments of his and Obama’s previous administration all around him? Whatever moral authority he had would be gone.

In all, the country would start to disintegrate. You name the way.

No, John Durham had better think twice about “punting” his report until after the election.

Of course, that’s assuming Ms. Singeman’s “sources” are reliable. We have seen many instances where journalists’ sources have not been. The anonymous source is the rotten underbelly of journalism, frequently used for nefarious ends and often is the cause of rewards like a Pulitzer that seem ludicrous months or even weeks later.

I’m hoping this is the case here, but I wonder.

Whatever is true, Mr. Durham, please finish quickly, before the election. You owe it to the American public.

Red Team vs. Blue Team: Toxic Tribalism We Must Transcend

David Helfrich, JD
June 24, 2020

  • The Facts: Public discourse is dominated by a dual-based system of categorization and rigid identity. The end-goal of interaction is not to broaden perspective and work together – but to argue and “win” a debate. It is time to transcend this paradigm.
  • Reflect On: How can we institute a more open-minded framework whereby public discourse can be influenced by a multi-directional approach to sharing information and viewpoints? The need for a new narrative is upon us – we are all a part of it.

We’ve all experienced it.  You log on to Facebook and scroll through your timeline – and there it is: a fiery argument where insults are flying freely on a subject that charges you.  Though you may aim to steer clear of the sludge and toxicity of social media comment sections – perhaps you decided to lunge into a particular topic that you care deeply about.

Almost inevitably – an argument takes place where emotions reach a crescendo and the “debate” devolves into sophomoric insults where both sides are trying to tear each other’s character down instead of engaging in discourse on the merits of respective viewpoints.

Often, we find ourselves scrambling to score points by reflexively reacting to current events based on agenda and cultural identifiers, (nationality, orientation, race, creed, religion etc..) arguing over semantics, using trigger terms, stereotypes, and gross generalizations to stir the pot of frantic frenzy.  There is a primordial root to this way of interacting with each other.  From the very beginning of our history on this planet, we were thrust into a world where “the others” were viewed as an imminent danger that must be defeated, lest we be invaded and taken over.  In modern times, this tribal notion of “the others” often manifests as an idea, viewpoint, or perspective outside of our own, and it is often perceived as a threat that must be beaten down.

This has come to typify our state of discourse – whether it’s in corporate media, in Congress, on social media, or elsewhere – it has become abundantly clear that we are feeding into endless argumentation that features polarized “sides” of an argument – and there are often only two viewpoints presented as acceptable to latch onto. We anger quickly, posit ourselves in a reflexive defensive posture, and prepare to debate with one another in a way that perpetuates conflict instead of fostering education and cooperation.

The quest to be “right” or to “win” the argument takes precedence over actually listening with an open mind to an alternative viewpoint, robbing us of the opportunity to learn something new, expand our perspective, and integrate new data into our thought process to assist in evolving our consciousness.  Scientists call this motivative reasoning: a phenomenon where our unconscious motivations (beliefs/desires/fears) shape the way we interpret information.  Some ideas resonate with what we identify with – and we want them to win.  Other ideas sound like the “other” side – and we want to denigrate, defeat and banish those ideas out of the discourse.  When we apply this to our world we see how the polarizing power of partisanship and deeply held belief-systems influences our perceptions of the world around us.

“Motivated reasoning theory suggests that reasoning processes (information selection and evaluation, memory encoding, attitude formation, judgment, and decision-making) are influenced by motivations or goals. Motivations are desired end-states that individuals want to achieve. The number of these goals that have been theorized is numerous, but political scientists have focused principally on two broad categories of motivations: accuracy motivations (the desire to be “right” or “correct”) and directional or defensive motivations (the desire to protect or bolster a predetermined attitude or identity).” ~Thomas J. Leeper

Even when we think we’re being objective/fair-minded – we still can wind up unconsciously arguing for something with mechanical repetition – even when the empirical evidence shows that there is no sound basis for our argument.  We’ve become more adept at crafting and presenting an argument than conducting an actual investigation and critical thinking into the truth of the matter at hand.

But shouldn’t our motivation to find truth be more prominent than our motivation to be “right” or to cherry-pick arguments and articles that reinforce our own views? How can we cut through our prejudices/biases and motivation – and look at data and information as objectively as possible?

Making A Change
Perhaps it begins with shedding overly rigid identities and boxes that have been created for us in order to herd us into predictable boxes.  How often do you find yourself parroting a viewpoint or argument that you feel is aligned with your primary identity?  Perhaps you identify primarily as a Democrat.  If so – should your entire viewpoint be defined by this identifier to where you only agree with policies and/or ideas presented by those on your team (Team Democrat)?  If you identify as a woman – is that all you are?  If you consider yourself a Christian – must your perspective only be aligned with a narrow prescription of popularized Christian “values”?  If you consider yourself part of the “conscious community” – must everything be understood and reasoned through that filter?

This isn’t to say that identity isn’t important.  Expressing a sense of who we are is paramount – but that expression is unnecessarily limited when we aren’t open-minded and don’t allow for a full-spectrum experience. Identity politics is always an ever-evolving realm, and many of us attach more value to certain identifiers than others, be it race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.. It’s respectful to be supportive of an individual’s universal right to self-identify (or even their right not to identify at all), but it is also helpful to exercise a level of suspicion about the ability of rigid identifiers and social constructs (like race and gender) to accurately portray the multi-dimensional beings that we are.

“There’s a dangerous corrosive side to identity politics, ie: making one’s gender/skin color/religion/sect/sexuality one’s *defining* trait. Between groups this can divide people rather than unite them, promoting rather than reducing group stereotypes, and therefore increasing discrimination.

Within groups this can lend itself to reinforcing a hegemony for those individual members who refuse to conform to what being a member of that group is *meant* to mean, as defined by that community’s internal power structures. This is like the old trope “You can’t be a true Muslim/black man, and be gay”.  ~Maajid Nawaz

Breaking down these constructs and constrictive identifiers will usher in a new framework for discourse.  Currently, major media and news outlets rarely put forth effort in facilitating an open-range discourse, and are capitalizing (and in many instances feeding) the toxic tribalism where only two-view points are presented without any real effort to find intersectionality or genuine exchange. We see the phenomena of “both sides of the same coin” playing itself out again and again as it pertains to a polarized duality of public opinion.   Thus, the vast percentage of the populace are unconsciously bombarded with polarized view-points that unseat their own ability to find the neutral and to explore new thought-forms outside of the limits of dual categorization.

“An unknown ‘something’ has taken possession of a smaller or greater portion of the psyche and asserts its hateful and harmful existence undeterred by all our insight, reason, and energy, thereby proclaiming the power of the unconscious over the conscious mind, the sovereign power of possession.”  ~Carl Jung

It would be prudent for all of us to examine whether our own psyches and intellects have been unseated by an unknown, unconscious force. We are now tasked to get back in the driver’s seat of our own consciousness, turn off cruise-control, and navigate our own vehicles.  Just as the fleshly body must be cleansed of parasites and toxins such that they don’t become hosts for worms that weaken the body’s vitality, the mind must go through its own filtration process to clear out intrusions and predictive programming that wane our original core vibrational thought patterns.  Otherwise, we are often just passive receivers of whatever the TV is downloading into our minds.

The Need for Innovative Narrative
So who are the new story-tellers who can create a more progressive narrative of universality?  A narrative where we seek to understand each other by coalescing in multi-sensory empathy and cosmic commonality?  A narrative which rejects that humanity is a simple, basic species that can easily be divided into boxes of artificially devised social constructs.  A narrative which recognizes that we are coming out of an age of spiritual amnesia – and many of our societal problems are related to our universal yearning for meaning, truth, and a desire to be connected, balanced, and whole in our relationship with each other and our selves. The need for a new narrative is upon us – and we each bring a unique gift that is required to comprise the tapestry of our immediate position in this time/space.

Opinion: How Pseudo Events Are Used by Media to Manufacture Controversy

Originally published @ The Epoch Times
by Joshua Philipp, April 24th, 2019C

The public was lied to for close to two years by legacy news outlets and public figures with claims there was “evidence” that the Trump administration colluded with Russia. Contrary to their claims, the Mueller report showed there was no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. The report showed that all those rumors of evidence, all those anonymous sources, all of it was lies.

What’s important to remember is that for these outlets and public figures, facts don’t matter. What matters is how they can twist the facts to keep the public misled and distracted in order to keep their false narratives alive.

During an April 23 White House press briefing, a CNBC reporter asked whether or not Trump is “going to accept Russian help in the 2020 election?”

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley responded, saying “I don’t understand the question … he’s already denounced multiple times Russian involvement.” He noted the Mueller report shows Russian attempts to interfere were known since 2014, and “Barack Obama did nothing … We now know why. He thought Hillary Clinton would, in fact, win the election.”

Maintaining False Narratives

Questions such as whether or not Trump would “accept Russian help” in the upcoming elections build on the false narrative these legacy outlets have been pushing. They perpetuate false narratives by keeping them alive in the public consciousness.

Yet, by posing a question in a way that assumes something took place, it forced the press secretary to provide comments these outlets could use for new headlines.

Hillary Clinton pulled a similar move the same day, and stated on April 23 her opinion on Trump in the Mueller report that “any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted.”

Keep in mind, that’s the same Hillary Clinton who was let off on the investigations into her use of a private email server to handle classified information. The DOJ under Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch had set an unusually high threshold for prosecuting Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she would not be charged.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is being accused by ranking member Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) of misleading the public on the Mueller report by falsely claiming that the special counsel intended for Congress to decide whether Trump obstructed justice.

An open letter to Nadler points to the specific questions in the Mueller report, and notes: “The passages are not, in fact, an invitation for Congress to pick up where the Report left off. As you are certainly aware, the legislative branch writes the laws and the executive branch enforces them.”

After providing additional evidence and quotes from Nadler, it states, “Your deliberate misrepresentations to the American public threaten the fundamental separation-of-power doctrine, are dangerous, and need to stop.”

Altering Meaning

The idea is not to alter the information being released, but instead to alter the context of the information. By altering the context, it changes the conclusions people come to after seeing or reading the information being released.

It’s classic psychological warfare at play, meant to alter the way people interpret information.

The legacy news outlets, driven to maintain the warped perceptions formed by these narratives, will latch onto any incident they can find. The more controversy they can stir up, the more chaotic of a picture they can create—regardless of facts—the more agitated the public becomes, and the less likely they’ll reflect on the information rationally.

We saw this recently when Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) downplayed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks saying that “some people did something.” Trump posted a video on Twitter that showed Omar making her comments alongside footage of the 9/11 attacks. The legacy media reacted by defending Omar and by criticizing Trump of “racism” and “hate.”

Regardless of facts, incidents like these are meant to serve a purpose. The narrative is meant to control public perception and lead it to partisan conclusions, and this can’t work without double standards and half truths.

With this type of reporting, the idea is to give the public an inaccurate picture of events for the sake of “perception management.”

Crisis and Response

Another focus of these tactics is to create a crisis on the ground and in the public consciousness that public leaders can respond to with legislation.

When Michael Wolff wrote his book “Fire and Fury” that attempted to frame the Trump administration as being chaotic, he admitted in his prologue that some sources lied to him, some sources contradicted others, and he used these to settle on “a version of events I believe to be true.”

As Law & Crime noted, Wolff was “accused of including fiction in what’s presented as a non-fiction book, and he admits that not all of his sources were trustworthy, but he doesn’t specify what’s fact true and what’s false.”

Even though it was a piece of fiction, framed as nonfiction, it was used by legacy news outlets and by politicians to frame a new talking point that Trump was “mentally unfit” for office. This led to headlines such as one from The Atlantic on Jan. 12, 2018, “The Psychiatrist Telling Congress Trump Could Be Involuntarily Committed: A Yale professor says she’s telling lawmakers that the president may actually be ‘dangerous.’”

Democrat leaders used this crisis to introduce the “Stable Genius Act” to make Trump take a psychological evaluation. This served the purpose of perpetuating the illusion of chaos and instability; yet quickly backfired when Trump did take a mental evaluation that concluded he was both mentally stable and intelligent—reinforcing his “stable genius” line.

Facing the ongoing flurry of false narratives and chaos operations, overall, Trump has shown an uncanny skill in taking these narratives and turning them to his advantage.

And at the end of the day, Trump has shown a strong ability both to endure and deflect these tactics, expose lies as they occur, not fold or retreat when attacked, point out the double standards, and not hesitate to laugh at the ridiculousness of the claims.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or the Underground News Wire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter and a senior editor at The Epoch Times. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics gives him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.