The Incantational Bewitchment of Propaganda

“We’ll know our disinformation is complete when everything the America public believe is false.”   – William Casey, CIA Director, February 1981

All propaganda succeeds because it satisfies needs that it has first created.  If you follow the daily rat-a-tat mainstream news reports and react to them, you will be caught in a labyrinth that has been set to entrap you.  You will keep finding that your mind will be like a bed that is already made up and your daylight hours filled with nightmares.  What you assume are your real needs will be met, but you will swiftly tumble into the free-floating anxiety that the media has created to keep you on edge and confused.  They will provide you with objects – Covid-19, the U.S. “withdrawal” from Afghanistan, the Russian and Chinese “threats,” the need to crack down on domestic dissidents, 9/11, etc. (an endless panoply of lies) – that you can attach your anxiety to, but they will be no help. They are not meant to; their purpose is to befuddle; to make you more anxious by wondering if currently there is any contrast between the real world and the apparent one. The corporate mainstream media serve phantasmagoria on a 24/7 basis, all shifting like quicksand.  For anyone with a modicum of common sense, this should be obvious.  But then again, as Thoreau put it:

The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring.

Perhaps some health expert will soon recommend that 24 hours of sleep a day is optimal, but maybe I am dreaming or being redundant.

For many decades, the corporate mainstream media and the CIA have been synonymous.  They were married down in hell and now daily do the devil’s work up above.  Now that news is conveyed primarily through digital media via the internet, their power to induce electronic trances has increased exponentially.  Linguistic and visual mind control is their raison d’être.  Fear is their favorite tactic.  And since the fear and anxiety of death is the archetypal source of all anxiety, death becomes a core element in their fear-mongering.

In a recent powerful article, Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett, a brave and free war correspondent who has reported from inside Syria and Gaza, has shown how the ongoing Covid-19 “fear porn” spewed out by the media has dramatically increased people’s anxiety levels and thrown so many into a perpetual state of near panic.  This, of course, is not an accident.

Fear immobilizes people and drives them into a cataleptic state where clear thinking is impossible.  They become hypnotized in a “private” space that is actually social, an instantaneous identification with the media news reports that are addressed to millions but feel personal and greatly exacerbate the great loneliness that lies at the core of high-tech society.

As I have said before, the new digital order is the world of teleconferencing and the online life, existence shorn of physical space and time and people. A world where shaking hands is a dissident act. A haunted world of masked specters, distorted words and images that can appear and disappear in a nanosecond. A magic show. A place where, in the words of Charles Manson, you can “get the fear,” where fear is king. A locus where, as you stare at the screens, you are no longer there since you are spellbound.

In a high-tech society, loneliness is far more prevalent than in the past.  The technology has imprisoned people behind their screens and now the controlling forces are intent on closing this mechanistic circle if they can.  They call it The Great Reset.

They have spent decades using technology to invade and pare down people’s inner private space where freedom to think and decide resides.

They have repeated ad nauseam the materialistic mantra that freedom is an illusion and that we are amazing machines determined by our genes and social forces.

They have reiterated that the spiritual and transcendent realms are illusions.

And they have pushed their transhuman agenda to assert more and more power and control.

This is the essence of the corona crisis and the push to vaccinate everyone.

Drip by drip, year by year, they have cultivated the necessary preconditions and predispositions for this technological fascism with its nihilistic underpinnings to succeed.

When the inner dimension of existence is lost, there is no way to critique the outer world, its politics, and social structure.  Dissent becomes a useless passion when people instantly identify with the social. Human nature doesn’t change but social structures and technology do and they can be used to try to destroy people’s humanity.  Herbert Marcuse put it clearly long before the latest digital technology:

This immediate, automatic identification (which may have been characteristic of primitive forms of association) reappears in high industrial civilization; its new ‘immediacy,’ however, is the product of a sophisticated, scientific management and organization. In this process, the “inner” dimension of the mind in which opposition to the status quo can take root is whittled down. The loss of this dimension, in which the power of negative thinking – the critical power of Reason – is at home, is the ideological counterpart to the very material process in which advanced industrial society silences and reconciles the opposition.

Once upon a time, people sat together and talked.  They even touched and shared their thoughts and feelings. They conspired in a most natural way apart from the prying eyes and ears of the electronic spies.  Now so many sit and check their cell phones.  They “connect,” thinking they are with it while not knowing they have been lured into another dimension where frenetic passivity reigns and trance states are the rule.

“Propaganda is the true remedy for loneliness,” said Jacques Ellul in his masterpiece, Propaganda.  He was being simultaneously accurate and facetious.  For propaganda provides a doorway to pseudo-community, a place to lose oneself in the group, to satisfy the need to believe and obey in mass technological society where emotional emptiness and lack of meaning are widespread and the need to fill up the empty self is dutifully met by propaganda, which is a drug by any other name, indeed the primary drug.  The empty-self craves ful-fillment, anything to consume to fill the void that a consumer culture dangles everywhere.  Think alike, buy alike, dress alike – and you will be one big happy community.  It is all abstract of course, even as its rational character is irrational, but that doesn’t matter a whit since the fear of “not going along” and appearing dissident plagues people.

Now we have endless digital propaganda that is the “remedy” for loneliness.  Ah, all the lonely people, keeping their masks in a jar by the side of the door together with Eleanor Rigby.  They think they know what their masks are for but don’t know why they are lonely or that they have been played with. Masks upon masks are donned to ward off the fear that is pumped out through the electronic airwaves.  It is doubtful that many ever heard of William Casey or can imagine the breadth and depth of the propaganda that he and his current protégés in the intelligence agencies and corporate media dispense daily.

“When everything the American people believes is false.”  Casey must be smiling in hell.

A grim submissiveness has settled over the lives of millions of hypnotized people in so many countries.  Grim, grim, grim, as Charles Dickens wrote of his 1842 visit to the puritanical Shaker religious sect in western Massachusetts.  He said:

I so abhor, and from my soul detest, that bad spirit, no matter by what class or sect it may be entertained, which would strip life of its healthful, graces, rob youth of its innocent pleasures, pluck from maturity and age their pleasant ornaments, and make existence but a narrow path to the grave….

And yet, the fundamental things still do apply, as time goes by.  Love, glory, loneliness, beauty, fear, faith, and courage.  Lovers and true artists, fighters both, resist this machine tyranny and its endless lies because they smell a rat intent on destroying their passionate love of the daring adventure that is life.  They feel life is an agon, an arena for struggle, “a fight for love and glory,” a case of do-and-die. They have bull-shit detectors and see through the elites’ propaganda that is used to literally kill millions around the world and to kill the spirit of rebellion in so many others.  And they know that it is in the inner sanctuary of every individual soul where resistance to evil is born and fear is defeated. They know too that the art and love must be shared and this is how social solidarity movements are created.

Listen.  The fight is on.  “This Has Gotta Stop.”




12 thoughts on “The Incantational Bewitchment of Propaganda”

  1. It’s untrue that “All propaganda succeeds because it satisfies needs that it has first created.” THAT is propaganda in itself. It’s the product of someone who’s in denial of reality. Facing reality is always tough though.

    Most people have a strong raving internal existing need for fantasies, myths, and fairy tales (no propaganda needed, nor is the “creation of needs” required either) — propaganda simply looks after and feeds or oversupplies that endless internal need (read “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room” by Rolf Hefti at ).

  2. Sometimes it helps me to state what may be obvious to others, if you’ll allow it.

    Lately Hegelian Dialectic, or managed conflict, has come up in my reading, where the process has been used to guide the herd into planned outcomes. Where thesis and antithesis are thrown together to create a synthesis. Seems to fit with the Davos crowd’s clever together ideas.

    Certainly millions of us, though a small percentage of the population, find ourselves working to separate conspiracy fact from conspiracy theory. This made necessary by the completely inadequate explanations we are given. We are then forced to work things out as best we can to find explanations that actually make sense. At least some sense.

    Thanks again Ed for your regular insights.

  3. Absolutely brilliant Ed. There’s a difference between being Woke and Awake. Your authenticity shines through in every article you post. Meditations on what it means to be a real human. We’re up against dystopian anti-humans intent on turning all life into a living hell. Praying that enough people wake-up to what’s really going on. Thanks again for your ongoing courage, love, and wisdom.

  4. “I so abhor, and from my soul detest, that bad spirit, no matter by what class or sect it may be entertained, which would strip life of its healthful, graces, rob youth of its innocent pleasures, pluck from maturity and age their pleasant ornaments, and make existence but a narrow path to the grave….”

    As someone recently remarked (possibly Ed?), there are not any Shakers anymore. Whatever impression they may have made on others, their philosophy was not sustainable (a word I hesitate to use, as it has been turned on its head by the UN) on earth, since they rejected the natural operations of procreation in their search for the narrow way into heaven.

    They had many admirable qualities, perhaps, but were ultimately devoid or deprived of the love of life, a great impediment to those in search of eternal life. Religion is a form of propaganda, which is not always a bad thing, but easily misused by those who lose sight of the goal, which would be a connection to the Creator, the source of all life.

    We are now immersed in a new religion, for the teaching of which we need not go to the church on Sunday. Its teachings come to us when we switch on our electronic communications devices. In this religion, there is no Creator.

    Ironically, this religion, which depends on the invisible magic of the electromagnetic for its dissemination, denies the possibility of miracles and the evidence of things not seen. If the human eye cannot see it and the inventions of man cannot detect it, it does not exist. Oh, that is, unless it is a theory the experts have come up with to explain what they see. Then it is as real as rain.

    It is the religion of what is called science, but it is a science frozen in time to meet the needs of temporal powers. It is a parody of science, a charade performed for those who have been convinced that they need not understand science, but only listen to those recognized by society as understanding it.

    And we have all been conditioned to accept the idea that we should let others do our thinking for us, and that if we do think for ourselves, we need to fit our conclusions into the box of acceptable thought. To do otherwise is to separate ourselves from the safety of the congregation, to venture into the outer darkness.

    It is much safer and much more convenient to accept that designated experts know more than we could ever hope to know.

    This reminds me of a time probably, to my chagrin, less than a decade ago, when I was encouraged by a friend to watch some videos about the events of September, 2001.
    I previously had some doubts about what had happened, and was aware of some other peculiarities in the government’s behavior as contrasted to the stories publicly told about it. But even so, there was a thrill of both fear and excitement in even venturing to view the display of such information in private. Big Brother is always watching, you know.

    For me, the thrill of excitement won over the thrill of fear, and I watched many videos and read a number of articles on the subject, becoming immersed in it for some time. There were so many possibilities which might explain different aspects of what happened.

    But what caused the fear, which for many wins out over excitement, was the scale of the lie which lay beneath the rubble of the official fairy tale we were told.

    It was accepted that politicians lie, but didn’t we have a free press to expose the lies? How could such a huge lie be propagated by every single media outlet? How could the obvious, once pointed out, discrepancies and impossibilities in the story be overlooked by every reporter?

    How could we have been so fooled into thinking we lived in a world where our country was a beacon of truth and freedom, when it had obviously caused or allowed such a thing to happen? Was everything we thought we knew, everything we had been taught, a lie?

    Fear is the essence of propaganda, at least for that branch which exists to preserve power in the hands that hold it. The images of the towers falling were shown over and over, symbolizing the danger to all Americans. “You are not exempt from destruction. It can come here to your shores, to the largest, most fortified and well-guarded institutions you have.”

    As an apt meme shared by Kevin Ryan on social media currently states, if you don’t understand that a lie that was told then, it will be very hard to see the lie being told now, or the agenda behind it.

    But it does appear that even some of those who do have some understanding of the older event do not make the connection here. It seems completely different. Sure, government and big business are to blame for many of our problems, but science is a world apart, where truth is pursued for its own sake. And medical science is surely above the motives for profit and power.

    But it turns out that scientists and medical professionals are humans, often with families to support, just as dependent on jobs and income as the rest of us. Very few are independently wealthy, or enough so to buck the limits imposed institutionally from above.

    Because the limits are not limited to one university or one medical school or research institution. The same limits are somehow imposed universally, it seems. You can get grants if you are going to support this idea. If you oppose this idea, you will get none. It is a career-defining decision.

    The very ubiquitous nature of the imposed limits make them seem more likely to reflect reality. How can all these experts be wrong? How can I be all alone in thinking this way? What will my friends and colleagues think of me if I share these ideas?

    After all, it is so easy to turn on the TV or the cell phone and be comforted by the groupthink available and strongly recommended, soon perhaps to be mandated. Yes, there is fear there, but we are all in it together, all the experts and all of us. It seems safer that way. Safe and efficient, they say, and who are we to say otherwise?

    Most will go that way. A few will continue to search for that narrow way, the one which does not deny life, but affirms every jot and tittle. It sometimes seems like we are alone, but no, God is with us.

    We can tell, if by nothing else, by the fact that the enemies of God and of the truth are against us.

    1. “You can get grants if you are going to support this idea. If you oppose this idea, you will get none. It is a career-defining decision.” Fair enough. However, let’s not forget that we have FREE WILL TO CHOOSE. At the end of the day we have only ourselves staring back in the mirror. We all have to live with our choices each and every minute of each and every day. The only thing we don’t have a choice in is DEATH. We will all die someday. We can not escape THAT choice.

      BUT I don’t want others making my choices for me – crazy though they might seem to others. At the end of the day I want to look at that person in the mirror and see a soul, a heart, a spirit, integrity and honesty.

      1. Thanks, M. Let us be grateful for those brave souls in the medical profession who have stood up for their patients, the public, and the truth, who have spoken out against the madness and corruption of the medical establishment. I’m not sure how the rest of the pack live with themselves. But there is a price to be paid for freedom.

        Many are already paying it, with loss of careers and income and social standing. That is not something most of us have had to consider, but it is coming to us all – even perhaps a choice between a life of slavery and death.

        That is perhaps why a mechanistic, godless cosmology is promoted. If one life is all and everything is the result of random accidents, people are likely to cling to whatever life they can maintain, regardless of how degrading. Those who see a higher purpose to life may be able to make the hard choice to sacrifice this life for the truth and for the sake of humanity.

  5. Thanks Ed. You are a truly gifted writer.
    I studied Media Ecology under a protege of Neil Postman in college. You have condensed in this fine essay what I spent some years studying. Thank you.

  6. Ellul’s “Propaganda,” Debord’s “Society of Spectacle,” Boorstin’s “pseudo-events” – so many have tried to warn us of the highly organized elaborate system of completely fabricated “official lies” that are continuously spun to entrap we “moderns” in a web of illusion as profound and disconnected from “reality” as any European peasant in the Middle Ages.

    Instead of authorities promoting the belief that “heretics” and “witches” are threatening the safety of the virtuous true believers – today’s authorities proclaim that we the unvaccinated are the new heretics posing a danger to all the pious covid true believers. Divide and conquer is always the underlying means to controlling large numbers of people. In the process leaving them mystified, fearful and confused, but most importantly – obedient.

    “The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly.” – Robert Anton Wilson

    Another wonderful piece Ed. Thank you.

  7. I was fortunate to catch this near the end of my workday. I have been reading a bit about the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, and of course this dovetails nicely with that discussion. Of course, one of the more hard to swallow contentions of Dr. John Coleman is what he said about the Beatles and other iconic rock artists being controlled, and all their (the Beatles) songs written by Theodore Adorno.

    I have wrestled with this idea, and I would need more evidence to accept it entirely. It seems more likely that certain things were inserted into their music by Adorno or others (via George Martin?).

    But my time is up right now. Great piece, though. I’ll need to re-read it.

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