Tactic #14: Fearmongering, hystericizing
Futurescapes21C (c) All rights reserved, 2019
Posted May 31, 2019 rev. June 11, 2019, rev. July 10-19.
“Instead of having rational debates we’re told the sky is falling and the world will end soon unless we change ….” (Maxime Bernier) (1)
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.” (Frank Herbert) (2)
Feeling stressed and anxious? Not sleeping well at night? You’re not alone. The naive among us might think that the angst pervading the West is just the nature of our times – “the way things are.” That’s being far too generous. The gnawing anxiety felt by many Westerners is largely the result of the machinations of devious large and small “P” political actors and influences. Like it or not, we are caught in the midst of an information war, and fear mongering and hysterics are our adversaries' weapons of choice.
Coming to terms with this rather harsh reality may give rise to some cognitive dissonance. On the other hand, this understanding ultimately frees you of its grip. And, knowing the “who,” “why” and “how” behind this perverse strategy will enable you to become more effective in combatting its effects in the current conflict.
My working definition of fear mongering is a strategy or tactic aimed at arousing anxiety within individuals or a population in order to overwhelm and control and used in other instances to secure public support for increased military/security spending.
“Catastrophizing,” “hystericizing,” “creating a shit-storm,” “going nuclear,” and “kicking over the table” are tactics often used with a similar intent.
Growing up on a livestock enterprise, I learned a lot about how to rouse a languishing herd of cattle and get it moving quickly in the desired direction. Basically, you carried a big stick and waved it menacingly in the air while loudly shouting “Heeee yaa” or something equally motivating. Sometimes you added enticement like a bunch of hay or some grain in order to lure cattle into a corral or stall. Less refined cattlemen frequently injected profanities.
The unflattering nature of my analogy aside, global oligarchs, political leaders and their partisans are doing a lot of stick waving, shouting and threatening regarding supposed looming dangers, lately. You can even hear some of our herders swearing at us -- just like those uncouth cattlemen. Do you ever wonder what is motivating our herders? William Binney served as the National Security Agency (NSA) Technical Director for intelligence for several years. Mr. Binney discloses one of our herders’ motivations.
“And of course they are all doing it on the basis of fear-mongering of terrorism. They try to get everybody afraid so they will do whatever they want, that's the kind of leverage that they are trying to use not just against the public, but also against Congress. It's just all based on fear-mongering.
The whole point is to get more money and build a bigger empire, which they have done. Over here, we've spent, for all the 16 agencies, close to a trillion dollars since 9/11. That's really been a money-making proposition for them, this fear-mongering. Now they are doing it with cyber security. It's how you control your population, how you manipulate them, and how you let them pay for things you want done. (3)
In military circles, a formal campaign designed to create stress and anxiety in a population is called a strategy of tension. It's defined as:
“…a method of social control involving a series of covert attacks upon a population. Intended to promote stress and fear amongst them. The purpose is, by inducing a mistrust of one another and of the world at large to increase child-like dependence upon perceived authority figures (such as national governments).” (4)
Fear and politics have long gone hand in hand. American journalist and writer, H.L Mencken concisely described the essential importance of the fear factor in what he called “practical politics.”
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” (5)
The hobgoblins du jour, covert attacks on a domestic population and/or its infrastructure that are attributed to “bad guys,” are called false flags. Historically, governments have found false flags an effective means of cultivating fear and dependency in the citizenry. (6) There’s evil genius in engineering fear. As Herbert Frank put it in the opening quote,“ Fear is the mind killer.” Over time, it can completely incapacitate us.
This reality puts the intense bombardment of citizens of the West with attacks and various boogey men, particularly since 9/11, in a new light. It’s not random. At least one analyst has observed that the annual number of mass shootings in recent years, for example, exceeds any statistical norm. In short, there’s method to the madness suggesting that behind it all is the invisible hand of madmen.
A complicit mainstream media (MSM) plays a central role in marketing the threat du jour. If it’s a foreign military threat, they also market the need for US-NATO military “interventions.” Thus, they have sold us an endless succession of military campaigns. (7) (8) (9). During the Syria conflict, the media inflated Putin and Assad to super-sized villain status. And now, they have seized on the notion of an Iran threat. A headline from a Moon of Alabama article matter-of-factly sums up the media’s role as one of “conditioning” the public mind to accept war. (10)
You may have noticed that public wailing and gnashing of teeth ramped up dramatically following Donald Trump’s election. Democrats have focused much of their political energy on demonizing Trump. Hysterical ranting about Trump (NAZI, White Supremacist, Racist, Misogynist, Xenophobe) MAGA threats have raged continuously since he became president.
A recent study shed some light on what may be a Guinness Book record level of political hysterics. Using a comparative assessment of Internet searches by Latin Americans, Republicans and Democrats, researchers determined that “for many Democrats expressing mental distress after the election was a form of partisan cheerleading.”
“This suggests that some Democrats reported mental health declines after Trump’s election are a form of reverse cheerleading, where partisans reported evaluations that are more negative than their true beliefs to reflect badly on a president of the opposing party.” (11)
Entertainment industry personalities like Amy Poehler illustrate precisely the kind of Democrat “expressive reporting,” described in the study.
“It’s really hard to not have a full-on panic attack every day. It’s why people are self-medicating,”(12)
Poehler’s comment to The Hollywood Reporter can now be understood for what it is: dutiful partisan cheerleading or what many of us would describe as a form of virtue-signaling. Clearly, the comment says more about Poehler and the Democrat resistance than it does about anyone else. Queen Gertrude of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, captured my response succinctly: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." (13).
Similarly, millennial activists, Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) and their Antifa allies have contributed more than their fair share to the social angst. The basic SJW strategy is launching a mob attack branding an opposing point of view and its proponent(s) “offensive,” “dangerous” and a "threat” to someone or something. This is followed by an organized campaign to silence and often sabotage the careers of those who oppose. Such attacks are being launched against a number of professors on US and Canadian campuses who are guilty of saying things SJW students don’t like to hear. (14) (15) (16 )
The real issue isn’t university professors with particular points of view. Rather, it appears to be the lack of adequate coping skills on the part of millennial students. Ewan Morrison reports, “In 2014, a survey of 100,000 college students at 53 U.S. campuses by the American College Health Association found that 84% of U.S. students feel unable to cope, while more than half experience overwhelming anxiety.” Morrison concludes that SJWs are asking for help. (17).
Even more troubling, as blogger-consultant, Pierre Lescaudron explains, millennial SJWs (mostly women), are also being played or "hystericized" by psychopathic leaders. And the self-righteous fury of their muppets is wreaking havoc on our society.
"In addition to academia, psychopaths have infiltrated other key sectors of our society (media, justice, politics), and have slowly infused them with their twisted vision of the world.
This is what we are witnessing today: psychopaths in power hystericising hordes of narcissistic individuals to engage in a destructive rampage in the name of social justice. The millenial generation just need the authorities to determine the next fashionable scapegoat onto which they can express their narcissistic rage." (18)
The hysterical and often delusional activism of social justice warriors has its rewards. For some, it may be amassing virtue points and winning the attention and applause of followers. For students, there may be the incentive of earning course credits for their community activism. On other occasions, mindless, hysterical protest is bought and paid for. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings were a media circus by most descriptions. It’s important to note however, that the noisy, chaotic scenes portrayed on our screens didn’t necessarily reflect genuine citizen interest or concerns. One eyewitness, a Texas physician, describes what he saw:
“One thing was there were people who had come along... who had a bag of money, and people would hand them a piece of paper, and then they would give them money. So we know money was exchanged for some of the people to be here, just to protest.
There was no depth to… their understanding; they were just here to be a disruption, protesters. They were actually told, we heard them say this, 'when you go in, we want you to yell, to scream, and even possibly to get arrested.' So that was some of the processes we saw happening...” (20). Commentator, Adam Schindler followed up and interviewed one of the protest organizers who rejected his use of the term "payment,” saying that the money was to pay the fines. Schindler wondered how she was able to enforce this vital distinction, adding that organizers nonetheless confirmed that their group was giving cash to protestors. (21) The Rent-a-mob, it seems, has become a standard feature of the culture war.
Victim group hoaxers are also contributing to the general impression that hate and violence are chaotically spiraling upward. Quillette editor, Andy Ngo investigated what appeared to be hate crime hysteria in the Trump Era. Ngo contends that after Trump’s election the SPLC “really stoked panic.” As of February 18, 2019, he had compiled a list of 27 examples of seemingly similar hoaxes. (22)
Professor Wilfred Riley, author of Hate Crime Hoax: How the left is selling a race war goes farther and contends that, “In modern America, the demand for bigots exceeds the supply.” (23) Revelations by the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center regarding the organization’s hate-for-profit business model tend to confirm Riley’s assessment. (24)
Hate crime stories that are false or misleading tend to dominate the headlines. Journalists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning suggest the reason is “possibly because fake cases are better designed to push the buttons of drama and partisanship.” (25) If that’s the case, it’s not hard to understand how political partisans on the left can reach the wrong conclusion about the incidence of actual hate crimes. Journalist and author Chris Hedges bluntly states “the mass media is poisoning us with hate.” (26)
Advocacy groups routinely amp up the drama rather than cultivate caution and healthy skepticism. The latest hate hoax appears to have been staged by Jewish restaurateurs in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After repeatedly reporting anti-Semitic attacks on their premises, the family has now been charged with mischief for trashing their own restaurant premises. (27) Note how the language of a Jewish advocacy group, flush with superlatives, can fan public fears. In the wake of the initial report of the attack, Adam Levy, Communications Director of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, stated:
“It’s the most brazen act of anti-Semitism that we’ve seen in our community, and perhaps ever. We hope this is not a sign of things to come.” (28) (Calm down, Adam. Did it ever cross your mind it could be bullshit?)
If hate hoaxers teach us anything, they teach discerning analysts to:
Here are some more examples of every day alarmism. Again, the effect, intended or not, is one of creating public buzz and triggering an emotional reaction. This in turn ensures that honest analysis, dialogue and genuine problem solving are averted.
Abortion, Alabama abortion legislation
“Unplanned is a movie that could get someone killed” (29)
Note: Unplanned is a pro-life film that tells the story of Abby Johnson who resigns her job as director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan Texas and becomes an anti-abortion activist. (30)
‘I think we raped women last night' (Alabama State Senator in response to Alabama’s abortion ban) (31)
“Why antivaxxers aren’t just killing their own kids – they’re putting others in danger too” (32)
“It’s time to panic: The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. And fear may be the only thing that saves us” (accompanied by solid red graphic) (33)
"Marine experts in Norway believe they have stumbled upon a white whale that was trained by the Russian navy as part of a programme to use underwater mammals as a special ops force," (34)
Note: Inside the harness were the words: “Equipment of St. Petersburg”. (So much for the high grade and presumed secret military project)
Canadian politics - White supremacists and neo-Nazis
“Canada is facing a growing threat from right-wing white supremacists and neo Nazis: minister” (35)
To return to my earthy livestock analogy, we are being herded. Political actors waving big sticks are shouting loudly and announcing impending doom. (Unless we obediently align with their point of view or do what they tell us to do.) It’s nasty information warfare -- propaganda.
Our society has jettisoned a good deal of the wisdom from my parent’s and grandparent’s day, an era when civility and a more respectful and frankly, more intelligent political discourse prevailed. One social admonition of the era was one never shouts fire in a crowded theatre. Presumably, even if the theatre were on fire, shouting would cause stampeding and risk even more deaths.
Figuratively speaking however, a variety of self-interested political players ranging from national leaders and the military security complex to your SJWs, hate hoaxers and civil rights advocacy groups are doing just that. And they are using the powerful megaphones of mass media and social media to amplify it. It is traumatizing people, eroding social cohesion, coroding trust and poisoning political discourse.
It’s time to call out the powers-that-be subjecting citizens to their strategy of tension and hold them to account for their crimes against humanity. It’s time to put the hate-for-profit fabricators out of business. It’s time to expose a complicit and toxic mass media. It's time to penalize the hoaxers and scam artists in accordance with the seriousness of their crimes. And it's time to counter the win-at-any-cost culture war combatants engaging in fear mongering and hysterics.
Finally, it’s time to face our fears and act like adults -- enough of the fear frenzy. Let’s banish some boogeymen. Specifically:
Confronting the propaganda, the hysterics, the liars and the fear mongers will take diligence and courage. Casualties can be expected, but again only the truth can set us free. We will also need to cultivate humour throughout our struggle for truth; preferably our capacity for satire. I say this for two reasons. The first is humour deflates fear and fabrication. The second is we could all use the uplift of a good laugh. This satirical headline from Signs of the Times, manages to achieve both: “Man rushed to hospital after hearing slightly different viewpoint.” (37)
That's eloquence of a different kind!
1. extract from a Maxime Bernier tweet, April 24, 2019.
2. Frank Herbert, Quotable Quotes. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2-i-must-not-fear-fear-is-the-mind-killer-fear-is
3. Ex NSA analyst describes the depth of NSA surveillance as “Stasi steroids,” SOTT, Nov 14, 2014.
4. Strategy of Tension, Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_tension
5. H.L. Menchen quotes. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/34764-the-whole-aim-of-practical-politics-is-to-keep-the
6. 53 admitted false flags, Global Research, March 5, 2018.
7. The Terrorists-R-US”: Mainstream Media Propaganda fuels and fans the flames of war, Global Research, December 10, 2017.
8. Yes, the press helps start wars, The American Conservative, August 10, 2018.
9. Seven reasons why America’s corporate media is pro war, Global Research, December 2, 2016. https://www.globalresearch.ca/seven-reasons-why-americas-corporate-media-is-pro-war/5559969
10. Media amplify Iran war propaganda -- play up intelligence lies, Blacklisted News, May 19, 2019.
11. President Trump Stress Disorder: Partisanship, Ethnicity, and Expressive Reporting of Mental Distress After the 2016 Election, Sage Journals, March 27, 2019.
12. Amy Poehler on Trump presidency: ‘It’s really hard to not have a full on panic attack every day,’ The Washington Times, April 25, 2019. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/apr/25/amy-poehler-on-trump-presidency-its-really-hard-to/
13. The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_lady_doth_protest_too_much,_methinks
14. Student’s protest visiting professor, Brett Kavanaugh as threat to mental health, The College Fix, April 8, 2019.
15. Snowflakes at Philadelphia University: Camille Paglia can’t say that, SOTT, May 6, 2019.
16. A professor spoke the truth, he still pays the price, National Review, March 12, 2019. https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/03/professor-samuel-abrams-spoke-the-truth-he-still-pays-the-price/
17. Rising tide of personality disorders: ‘Rising tide of personality disorders among Millennials,’ PJ Media, March 6, 2017.
18. Post-nihilism: a template for where we are headed, SOTT, July 3, 2017, https://www.sott.net/article/355448-Post-nihilism-a-template-for-where-we-are-heading#
19. Three Texas doctors: We saw protestors paid in cash to disrupt Brett Kavanaugh hearing on line to enter, Real Clear Politics, September 4, 2018.
20. Story behind the Kavanaugh “paid protestors,” Adam Schindler, September 6, 2018.
21. Damning List of Hate Crime Hoaxes Proves Jussie Smollett Happens Way More Than Libs Want to Admit, The Pluralist, February 18, 2019. https://pluralist.com/hate-crimes-jussie-smolllett-andy-ngo-twitter/
22. Professor Wilfred Riley says civil rights groups rely on hate hoaxes, 1210 WPH Radio, March 11, 2019.
23. The reckoning of Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center, New Yorker, March 21, 2019. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-reckoning-of-morris-dees-and-the-southern-poverty-law-center
24. Hate crime hoaxes are more common than you’d think, (Quellette, February 22, 2019). https://quillette.com/2019/02/22/hate-crime-hoaxes-are-more-common-than-you-think/
25. The mass media is poisoning us hate, Truthdig, May 27, 2019.
26. Police charge River Heights café owners, say hate crime was staged, Winnipeg Free Press, March 24, 2019.
27. ‘Most brazen act of Anti-Semitism we’ve seen’: Winnipeg Jewish community reeling after attack at BerMax caffe, CBC, April 19, 2019.
28 Unplanned is a movie that could get someone killed, The Cut, April 12, 2019. https://www.thecut.com/2019/04/unplanned-is-a-movie-that-could-get-someone-killed.html
29. Unplanned, the antiabortion movies that’s getting mainstream attention
30. ‘I think we raped women last night,’ says Alabama Democrat as abortion bill passes, Independent, May 16, 2019.
31. Why antivaxxers aren’t just killing their own kids, National Post, February 27, 2019.
32. Time to Panic, New York Times, February 16, 2019.
33. Whale with harness could be Russian weapon, say Norwegian experts, The Guardian, April 29, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/29/whale-with-harness-could-be-russian-weapon-say-norwegian-experts
34. Canada is facing a growing threat from right-wing white supremacists and neo Nazis: minister, Global News, January 16, 2019. https://globalnews.ca/news/4851998/canada-threat-right-wing-white-supremacists/
35. Americans are becoming less racist and less homophobic, according to new research, Pacific Standard, January 7, 2019.
36. Man rushed to hospital after hearing slightly differing viewpoint, SOTT, April 11, 2019. https://www.sott.net/article/411159-Man-rushed-to-hospital-after-hearing-slightly-differing-viewpoint
For the better part of the last four decades, I have been encouraging people and organizations to anticipate the shape of their futures and plan accordingly. It can be daunting, but it can also be immensely practical. It can be as practical as using a set of binoculars to scope out a distant slope when hiking or winterizing your car before winter’s onslaught. Organizations that develop foresight capabilities are, among other things, creating a kind of organizational radar. This enables them to integrate discernible elements of tomorrow into today’s strategies and decisions.