There are two types of mind ownership. One is from the inside; the other is from the outside. This post is about the latter, using outside influences to manipulating a person into doing something or thinking in a certain way.
For the mind owner, the controller, the end goal is power. Power to access your resources. Power to access pleasure. Power to ensure health. Power to vanquish enemies. Power to gather more power in order to stay in power.
Of the two ways to control a person (mind & body) the decision to use either or both in combination depends upon many factors, something I’ll follow up on at another time. One asymmetry between body and mind, conferring a major advantage to owning the mind, is that the free mind can liberate the body, but the free body cannot liberate the mind.
A second commonality among different forms of slavery is the psychological manipulation they all involve. The widely held conception of a slave is someone in chains who would escape if given half a chance or who simply does not know better… this view is naive. In my experience, slaves often know that their enslavement is illegal. Force, violence and psychological coercion have convinced them to accept it. When slaves begin to accept their role and identify with their master, constant physical bondage becomes unnecessary. They come to perceive their situation not as a deliberate action taken to harm them in particular but as part of the normal, if regrettable, scheme of things. (Scientific American. April, 2002. Kevin Bale)
Take the story of the bonded plowman Baldev for example. He freed his body, but allowed fears to overtake him, and as a result, his mind remained enslaved. Thereafter, he subjected himself to enslavement of his body voluntarily:
Calling together some of the women, the social worker proposed a radical plan. If groups of 10 women agreed to set aside a single rupee a week from the tiny sums the moneylenders gave them to buy rice, he would provide seed money and keep the funds safe. Meera and nine others formed the first group. The rupees slowly mounted up. After three months, the group had enough to pay off the loan against which Meera was bonded. She began earning money for her work, which greatly increased the amount she could contribute to the group. In another two months, another woman was freed; the following month, a third came out of bondage.
At that point, the other members, seeing that freedom was possible, simply renounced their debts and declared themselves free. The moneylenders quickly moved against them, threatening them and driving them from the quarries. But the women were able to find jobs in other quarries. New groups followed their example. The social worker has taken me to the village twice, and on my second visit, all its inhabitants were free and all their children in school.
Less than 100 kilometers away, the land turns flat and fertile. Debt bondage is common there, too. When I met Baldev in 1997, he was plowing. His master called him “my halvaha,” meaning “my bonded plowman.” Two years later I met Baldev again and learned that because of a windfall from a relative, he had freed himself from debt. But he had not freed himself from bondage. He told me:
“After my wife received this money, we paid off our debt and were free to do whatever we wanted. But I was worried all the time–what if one of the children got sick? What if our crop failed? What if the government wanted some money? Since we no longer belonged to the landlord, we didn’t get food every day as before. Finally, I went to the landlord and asked him to take me back. I didn’t have to borrow any money, but he agreed to let me be his halvaha again. Now I don’t worry so much; I know what to do.”
Lacking any preparation for freedom, Baldev reenrolled in slavery. Without financial or emotional support, his accidental emancipation didn’t last. Although he may not bequeath any debt to his children, his family is visibly worse off than unbonded villagers in the same region. (Scientific American. April, 2002. Kevin Bales)
A potent form and lynchpin technique to owning the mind is through propaganda. Controlling the “news” and information consumed by a mind slave is paramount. Planting the fear, the idea to Baldev to believe he’d be no better off elsewhere was key for the mind owner, yet how did he get that information to Baldev?
Brandon Smith’s article, “Disinformation: How It Works” provides a well organized catalogue of these techniques, including, e.g.:
Lie Big, Retract Quietly: Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out.
Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact: Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith.
Calculated Omission: Otherwise known as “cherry picking” data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire disinfo news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn’t exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.
Distraction, And The Manufacture Of Relevance: Sometimes the truth wells up into the public awareness regardless of what the media does to bury it. When this occurs their only recourse is to attempt to change the public’s focus and thereby distract them from the truth they were so close to grasping. The media accomplishes this by “over-reporting” on a subject that has nothing to do with the more important issues at hand. Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story, and by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won’t shut-up about it, it must be important!
“The Mirror then tries to sanitize the story to the UK government’s liking, claiming… get this… They “learned” from someone, somewhere that those addresses were sold in an transaction that is not recorded to some unknown entities in Saudi Arabia and that the reason it still implicates the UK is because the records of this hypothetical transaction hadn’t yet been updated to reflect it… The Mirror Online did no further investigation and was unable to supply a source or citation.”
“NY Times Reported That San Bernardino Attacker “Talked Openly On Social Media” About Violent Jihad, Citing Anonymous Sources.”
“…a front-page New York Times piece that used unnamed sources to claim that one of the San Bernardino attackers ‘talked openly on social media’ about violent jihad. These claims made their way into the December 15 CNN Republican debate, where candidates claimed that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was prohibited from reviewing the social media of potential visa applicants out of concern for “political correctness.” But the FBI and DHS explained that they are not prohibited from reviewing social media, and FBI Director James Comey found no evidence that the San Bernardino terrorists made any public “pro-Jihad” posts on social media.“”
Smith’s article “Disinformation: How It Works” is also worth the read because it provides illuminating principles to remember in creating a terrain of mind control, including,
8) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
This goes hand in hand with Rule No. 1. Perception is reality. Allow your opposition to expend all of its energy in expectation of an insurmountable scenario. The dire possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.
9) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
The objective of this pressure is to force the opposition to react and make the mistakes that are necessary for the ultimate success of the campaign.
10) If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
As grassroots activism tools, Alinsky tactics have historically been used (for example, by labor movements or covert operations specialists) to force the opposition to react with violence against activists, which leads to popular sympathy for the activists’ cause. Today, false (or co-opted) grassroots movements and revolutions use this technique in debate as well as in planned street actions and rebellions (look at Syria for a recent example).
“But the proles [the working class], if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? And yet-!”
George Orwell from the novel 1984.