by Mack White
Sixty-four years ago this month, six million
Americans became unwitting subjects in an experiment in psychological
It was the night before Halloween, 1938.
At 8 p.m. CST, the Mercury Radio on
the Air began broadcasting Orson Welles' radio adaptation of H. G. Wells'
War of the Worlds. As is now well known, the story was presented as if it
were breaking news, with bulletins so realistic that an estimated one
million people believed the world was actually under attack by Martians.
that number, thousands succumbed to outright panic, not waiting to hear
Welles' explanation at the end of the program that it had all been a
Halloween prank, but fleeing into the night to escape the alien invaders.
Later, psychologist Hadley Cantril conducted a study of the effects of the
broadcast and published his findings in a book,
The Invasion from Mars: A
Study in the Psychology of Panic. This study explored the power of broadcast
media, particularly as it relates to the suggestibility of human beings
under the influence of fear.
Cantril was affiliated with Princeton
University's Radio Research Project, which was funded in 1937 by the
Also affiliated with the Project was
Foreign Relations (CFR) member and Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)
executive Frank Stanton, whose network had broadcast the program.
would later go on to head the news division of CBS, and in time would become
president of the network, as well as chairman of the board of the RAND
Corporation, the influential think tank which has done groundbreaking
research on, among other things, mass brainwashing.
Two years later, with Rockefeller Foundation money, Cantril established the
Office of Public Opinion Research (OPOR), also at Princeton.
studies conducted by the OPOR was an analysis of the effectiveness of
"psycho-political operations" (propaganda, in plain English) of the
of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence
Then, during World War II, Cantril - and
money - assisted CFR member and CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow in setting up
the Princeton Listening Center, the purpose of which was to study Nazi radio
propaganda with the object of applying Nazi techniques to OSS propaganda.
Out of this project came a new government agency, the Foreign Broadcast
Intelligence Service (FBIS). The FBIS eventually became the United States
Information Agency (USIA), which is the propaganda arm of the National
Thus, by the end of the 1940s, the basic research had been done and the
propaganda apparatus of the national security state had been set up - just in
time for the Dawn of Television ...
Experiments conducted by researcher Herbert Krugman reveal that, when a
person watches television, brain activity switches from the left to the
right hemisphere. The left hemisphere is the seat of logical thought.
information is broken down into its component parts and critically analyzed.
The right brain, however, treats incoming data uncritically, processing
information in wholes, leading to emotional, rather than logical, responses.
The shift from left to right brain activity also causes the release of
endorphins, the body's own natural opiates - thus, it is possible to become
physically addicted to watching television, a hypothesis borne out by
numerous studies which have shown that very few people are able to kick the
This numbing of the brain's cognitive function is compounded by another
shift which occurs in the brain when we watch television. Activity in the
higher brain regions (such as the neo-cortex) is diminished, while activity
in the lower brain regions (such as the limbic system) increases. The
latter, commonly referred to as
the reptile brain, is associated with more
primitive mental functions, such as the "fight or flight" response.
reptile brain is unable to distinguish between reality and the simulated
reality of television. To the reptile brain, if it looks real, it is real.
Thus, though we know on a conscious level it is "only a film," on a
conscious level we do not - the heart beats faster, for instance, while we
watch a suspenseful scene.
Similarly, we know the commercial is trying to
manipulate us, but on an unconscious level the commercial nonetheless
succeeds in, say, making us feel inadequate until we buy whatever thing is
being advertised - and the effect is all the more powerful because it is
unconscious, operating on the deepest level of human response. The reptile
brain makes it possible for us to survive as biological beings, but it also
leaves us vulnerable to the manipulations of television programmers.
It is not just commercials that manipulate us. On television news as well,
image and sound are as carefully selected and edited to influence human
thought and behavior as in any commercial.
The news anchors and reporters
themselves are chosen for their physical attractiveness - a factor which, as
numerous psychological studies have shown, contributes to our perception of
a person's trustworthiness.
Under these conditions, then, the viewer easily
forgets - if, indeed, the viewer ever knew in the first place - that the
worldview presented on the evening news is a contrivance of the network
owners - owners such as General Electric (NBC) and Westinghouse (CBS), both
major defense contractors.
By molding our perception of the world, they mold
our opinions. This distortion of reality is determined as much by what is
left out of the evening news as what is included - as a glance at
Project Censored's yearly list of top 25 censored news stories will reveal. If it's
not on television, it never happened. Out of sight, out of mind.
Under the guise of journalistic objectivity, news programs subtly play on
our emotions - chiefly fear.
Network news divisions, for instance, frequently
congratulate themselves on the great service they provide humanity by
bringing such spectacles as the
September 11 terror attacks into our living
rooms. We have heard this falsehood so often, we have come to accept it as
However, the motivation for live coverage of traumatic
news events is not altruistic, but rather to be found in the central focus
of Cantril's War of the Worlds research - the manipulation of the public
There is another way in which we are manipulated by television news. Human
beings are prone to model the behaviors they see around them, and avoid
those which might invite ridicule or censure, and in the hypnotic state
induced by television, this effect is particularly pronounced. For instance,
a lift of the eyebrow from Peter Jennings tells us precisely what he is
thinking - and by extension what we should think.
In this way, opinions not
sanctioned by the corporate media can be made to seem disreputable, while
sanctioned opinions are made to seem the very essence of civilized thought.
And should your thinking stray into unsanctioned territory despite the
trusted anchor's example, a poll can be produced which shows that most
persons do not think that way - and you don't want to be different do you?
Thus, the mental wanderer is brought back into the fold.
This process is also at work in programs ostensibly produced for
entertainment. The "logic" works like this: Archie Bunker is an idiot,
Archie Bunker is against gun control, therefore idiots are against gun
control. Never mind the complexities of the issue.
Never mind the fact that
the true purpose of the Second Amendment is not to protect the rights of
deer hunters, but to protect the citizenry against a tyrannical government
(an argument you will never hear voiced on any television program).
see, monkey do - or, in this case, monkey not do...
Notice, too, the way in which television programs depict conspiracy
researchers or anti-New World Order activists. On situation comedies, they
are buffoons. On dramatic programs, they are dangerous fanatics. This
imprints on the mind of the viewer the attitude that questioning the
official line or holding "anti-government" opinions is crazy, therefore not
to be emulated.
Another way in which entertainment programs mold opinion can be found in the
occasional television movie, which "sensitively" deals with some "social"
issue. A bad behavior is spotlighted - "hate" crimes, for instance
- in such a
way that it appears to be a far more rampant problem than it may actually
be, so terrible in fact that the "only" cure for it is more laws and
Never mind that laws may already exist to cover
these crimes - the law against murder, for instance. Once we have seen the
well-publicized murder of the young gay man Matthew Shepherd dramatized in
not one, but two, television movies in all its heartrending horror, nothing
will do but we pass a law making the very thought behind the crime illegal.
People will also model behaviors from popular entertainment which are not
only dangerous to their health and could land them in jail, but also
contribute to social chaos. While this may seem to be simply a matter of the
producers giving the audience what it wants, or the artist holding a mirror
up to society, it is in fact intended to influence behavior.
Consider the way many films glorify drug abuse.
When a popular star playing
a sympathetic character in a mainstream R-rated film uses hard drugs with no
apparent health or legal consequences (John Travolta's use of heroin in Pulp
Fiction, for instance - an R-rated film produced for theatrical release,
which now has found a permanent home on television, via cable and video
players), a certain percentage of people - particularly the impressionable
young - will perceive hard drug use as the epitome of anti-Establishment cool
and will model that behavior, contributing to an increase in drug abuse.
As has been well documented by Gary Webb in his award-winning series for the
San Jose Mercury News, former Los Angeles narcotics detective Michael Ruppert,
and many other researchers and whistleblowers - the CIA is the main purveyor
of hard drugs in this country.
The CIA also has its hand in the
Wackenhut Corporation, the largest owner of
private prisons, has on its board of directors many former CIA employees,
and is very likely a CIA front.
Thus, films which glorify drug abuse may be
seen as recruitment ads for the slave labor-based private prison system.
Also, the social chaos and inflated crime rate which result from the
contrived drug problem contributes to the demand from a frightened society
for more prisons, more laws, and the further erosion of civil liberties.
This effect is further heightened by television news segments and
documentaries which focus on drug abuse and other crimes, thus giving the
public the misperception that crime is even higher than it really is.
There is another socially debilitating process at work in what passes for
entertainment on television these days. Over the years, there has been a
steady increase in adult subject matter on programs presented during family
For instance, it is common for today's prime-time situation
comedies to make jokes about such matters as masturbation (Seinfeld once
devoted an entire episode to the topic), or for daytime talk shows such as
Jerry Springer's to showcase such topics as bestiality.
Even worse are the
"reality" programs currently in vogue.
Each new offering in this genre seems
to hit a new low. MTV, for instance, recently subjected a couple to a Candid
Camera-style prank in which, after winning a trip to Las Vegas, they entered
their hotel room to find an actor made up as a mutilated corpse in the
bathtub. Naturally, they were traumatized by the experience and sued the
Or, consider a new show on British television in which contestants
compete to see who can infect each other with the most diseases - venereal
It would appear, at the very least, that these programs serve as a shill
operation to strengthen the argument for censorship. There may also be an
even darker motive. These programs contribute to the general coarsening of
society we see all around us - the decline in manners and common human
decency and the acceptance of cruelty for its own sake as a legitimate form
Ultimately, this has the effect of debasing human beings
into savages, brutes - the better to herd them into global slavery.
For the first decade or so after the Dawn of Television, there were only a
handful of channels in each market - one for each of the three major networks
and maybe one or two independents. Later, with the advent of cable and more
channels, the population pie began to be sliced into finer pieces - or "niche
This development has often been described as representing a
growing diversity of choices, but in reality it is a fine-tuning of the
process of mass manipulation, a honing-in on particular segments of the
population, not only to sell them specifically-targeted consumer products
but to influence their thinking in ways advantageous to
One of these "target audiences" is that portion of the population which,
after years of blatant government cover-up in areas such as
UFOs and the
assassination of John F. Kennedy, maintains a cynicism toward the official
line, despite the best efforts of television programmers to depict
conspiracy research in a negative light.
How to reach this vast,
disenfranchised target audience and co-opt their thinking? One way is to put
documentaries before them which mix of fact with disinformation, thereby
Another is to take the X Files approach.
The heroes of X Files are investigators in a fictitious paranormal
department of the FBI whose adventures sometimes take them into
parapolitical territory. On the surface this sounds good. However, whatever
good X Files might accomplish by touching on such matters as
MK-ULTRA or the JFK assassination is cancelled out
by associating them with bug-eyed aliens
Also, on X Files, the truth is always depicted as "out there"
somewhere - in the stars, or some other dimension, never in brainwashing
centers such as the
RAND Corporation or its London counterpart, the
This has the effect of obscuring the truth, making it
seem impossibly out-of-reach, and associating reasonable lines of political
inquiry with the fantastic and other-wordly.
Not that there is no connection between the parapolitical and the
paranormal. There is undoubtedly a cover-up at work with regard to UFOs, but
if we accept uncritically the notion that UFOs are anything other than
terrestrial in origin, we are falling headfirst into a carefully-set trap.
To its credit, X Files has dealt with the idea that extraterrestrials might
be a clever hoax by the government, but never decisively.
plots of the show somehow manage to leave the viewer wondering if perhaps
the hoax idea is itself a hoax put out there to cover up the existence of
extraterrestrials. This is hardly helpful to a true understanding of UFOs
and associated phenomena, such as alien abductions and cattle mutilations.
Extraterrestrials have been a staple of popular entertainment since The War
of the Worlds (both the novel and its radio adaptation). They have been
depicted as invaders and benefactors, but rarely have they been
unequivocally depicted as a hoax. There was an episode of Outer Limits which
depicted a group of scientists staging a mock alien invasion to frighten the
world's population into uniting as one - but, again, such examples are rare.
Even in UFO documentaries on the Discovery Channel, the possibility of a
terrestrial origin for the phenomenon is conspicuous by its lack of mention.
Jacques Vallee, the real-life model for the French scientist
in Stephen Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, attempted to
interest Spielberg in a terrestrial explanation for the phenomenon.
interview on conspire.com, Vallee said,
"I argued with him that the subject
was even more interesting if it wasn't extraterrestrials. If it was real,
physical, but not ET. So he said, 'You're probably right, but that's not
what the public is expecting - this is Hollywood and I want to give people
something that's close to what they expect.'"
How convenient that what Spielberg says the people expect
is also what the
Pentagon wants them to believe.
Messengers of Deception, Vallee tracks the history of a wartime British
Intelligence unit devoted to psychological operations. Code-named
(interestingly) the "Martians," it specialized in manufacturing and
distributing false intelligence to confuse the enemy.
Among its activities
were the creation of phantom armies with inflatable tanks, simulations of
the sounds of military ships maneuvering in the fog, and forged letters to
lovers from phantom soldiers attached to phantom regiments.
Vallee suggests that deception operations of this kind may have extended
beyond World War II, and that much of the "evidence" for "flying saucers" is
no more real than the inflatable tanks of World War II.
close association of many UFO sightings with advanced military hardware
(test sites like the New Mexico proving grounds, missile silos of the
northern plains, naval construction sites like the major nuclear facility at
Pascagoula and the bizarre love affairs... between contactee groups, occult
sects, and extremist political factions, are utterly clear signals that we
must exercise extreme caution."
Many people find it fantastic that the government would perpetrate such a
hoax, while at the same time having no difficulty entertaining the notion
that extraterrestrials are regularly traveling light years to this planet to
kidnap people out of their beds and subject them to anal probes.
The military routinely puts out disinformation to obscure its activities,
and this has certainly been the case with UFOs.
Paul Bennewitz, the
UFO enthusiast who began studying strange lights that would appear nightly
over the Manzano Test Range outside Albuquerque.
When the Air Force learned
about his study, ufologist William Moore (by his own admission) was
recruited to feed him forged military documents describing a threat from
The effect was to confuse Bennewitz - even making him
paranoid enough to be hospitalized - and discredit his research. Evidently,
those strange lights belonged to the Air Force, which does not like
outsiders inquiring into its affairs.
What the Air Force did to Bennewitz, it also does on a mass scale - and
popular entertainment has been complicit in this process. Whether or not the
filmmakers themselves are consciously aware of this agenda does not matter.
The notion that extraterrestrials might visit this planet is so much a part
of popular culture and modern mythology that it hardly needs assistance from
the military to propagate itself.
It has the effect not only of obscuring what is really going on at research
facilities such as
Area 51, but of tainting UFO research in general as
"kooky" - and does the job so thoroughly that one need only say "UFO" in the
same breath with "JFK" to discredit research in that area as well. It also
may, in the end, serve the same purpose as depicted in that Outer Limits
episode - to unite the world's population against a perceived common threat,
thus offering the pretext for one-world government.
The following quotes demonstrate that the idea has at least occurred to
"In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much
unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal
threat to make us realize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly
our differences would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside
President Ronald Reagan
speaking in 1987 to the United Nations
"The nations of the world will have to unite, for the next war will be an
interplanetary war. The nations of the earth must someday make a common
front against attack by people from other planets."
General Douglas MacArthur, 1955
Some one remarked that the best way to unite all the nations on this globe
would be an attack from some other planet. In the face of such an alien
enemy, people would respond with a sense of their unity of interest and
John Dewey, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University
speaking at a conference sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, 1917
And where was this "alien threat" motif given birth?
Again, we find the
answer in popular entertainment, and again the earliest source is The War of
the Worlds - both Wells' and Welles' versions.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that H. G. Wells was a founding member of
Round Table, the think tank that gave birth to the Royal Institute for
International Affairs (RIIA) and its American cousin, the
CFR. Perhaps Wells
intentionally introduced the motif as
a meme which might prove useful later
in establishing the "world social democracy" he described in his 1939 book
The New World Order.
Perhaps, too, another purpose of the Orson Welles
broadcast was to test of the public's willingness to believe in
At any rate, it proved a popular motif, and paved the way for countless
movies and television programs to come, and has often proven a handy device
for promoting the
New World Order, whether the extraterrestrials are
invaders or - in films like The Day the Earth Stood Still - benefactors who
have come to Earth to warn us to mend our ways and unite as one, or be blown
We see the globalist agenda at work in Star Trek and its spin-offs as well.
Over the years, many a television viewer's mind has been imprinted with the
idea that centralized government is the solution for our problems. Never
mind the complexities of the issue - never mind the fact that, in the real
world, centralization of power leads to tyranny. The
hypnotized by the flickering television screen, has seen Captain Kirk and
his culturally diverse crew demonstrate time and again that the United
Federation of Planets is a good thing. Therefore, it must be so.
It remains to be seen whether the Masters of Deception will, like those
scientists in "The Outer Limits", stage an invasion from space with
anti-gravity machines and holograms, but, if they do, it will surely be
broadcast on television, so that anyone out of range of that light show in
the sky, will be able to see it, and all with eyes to see will believe.
will be War of the Worlds on a grand scale.
"The Outer Limits"
Jack Kerouac once noted, while walking down a residential street at night,
glancing into living rooms lit by the gray glare of television sets, that we
have become a world of people "thinking the same thoughts at the same time."
Every day, millions upon millions of human beings sit down at the same time
to watch the same football game, the same mini-series, the same newscast.
And where might all this shared experience and uniformity of thought be
A recent report co-sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the
Commerce Department calls for a broad-based research program to find ways to
use nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive
sciences, to achieve telepathy, machine-to-human communication, amplified
sensory experience, enhanced intellectual capacity, and mass participation
in a "hive mind."
Quoting the report:
"With knowledge no longer encapsulated
in individuals, the distinction between individuals and the entirety of
humanity would blur. Think Vulcan mind-meld. We would perhaps become more of
a hive mind - an enormous, single, intelligent entity."
There is no doubt that we have been brought closer to the "hive mind" by the
For, what is the shared experience of television but a type of
"Vulcan mind-meld"? (Note the terminology borrowed from Star Trek, no doubt
to make the concept more familiar and palatable. If Spock does it, it must
This government report would have us believe that the hive mind will be for
our good - a wonderful leap in evolution. It is nothing of the kind. For one
thing, if the government is behind it, you may rest assured it is not for
For another, common sense should tell us that blurring the line
"between individuals and the entirety of humanity" means mass conformity,
the death of human individuality. Make no mistake about it - if humanity is
to become a hive, there will be at the center of that hive a Queen Bee, whom
all the lesser "insects" will serve.
This is not evolution - this is devolution. Worse, it is the ultimate slavery - the slavery of the mind.
And it is a horror first unleashed in 1938 when one million people responded
as one - as a hive - to Orson Welles' Halloween prank.
In a sense, those people who fled the Martians that night were right to be
afraid. They were indeed under attack. But they were wrong about who was
It was something far worse than Martians.
Had they only
known the true nature of the danger facing them, perhaps they would have
gone to the nearest radio station with torches in hand like the villagers in
those old Frankenstein movies and burned it to the ground, or at least
commandeered the new technology and turned it towards another use - the
liberation of humanity, instead of its enslavement.
U.S. Government Report
Human Beings to be Merged with Technology to
Create a "Hive Mind"
July 23 2002
A draft government report says we will alter human evolution within
20 years by combining what we know of nanotechnology, biotechnology,
IT and cognitive sciences.
The 405-page report sponsored by the
US National Science Foundation and Commerce Department, Converging
Technologies for Improving Human Performance, calls for a
broad-based research program to improve human performance leading to
telepathy, machine-to-human communication, amplified personal
sensory devices and enhanced intellectual capacity.
People may download their consciousnesses into computers or other
bodies even on the other side of the solar system, or participate in
a giant "hive mind", a network of intelligences connected
through ultra-fast communications networks.
"With knowledge no longer
encapsulated in individuals, the distinction between individuals
and the entirety of humanity would blur," the report says.
"Think Vulcan mind-meld. We would perhaps become more of a hive
mind - an enormous, single, intelligent entity."
Armies may one day be fielded by
machines that think for themselves while devices will respond to
soldiers' commands before their thoughts are fully formed, it says.
The report says the abilities are
within our grasp but will require an intense public-relations effort
to "prepare key organizations and societal activities for the
changes made possible by converging technologies", and to counter
concern over "ethical, legal and moral" issues.
Education should be overhauled down to
the primary-school level to bridge curriculum gaps between disparate
Professional societies should be open to practitioners from other
fields, it says.
"The success of this
convergent-technologies priority area is crucial to the future
of humanity," the report says.
Converging Technologies For Improving
Human Performance - Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information
Technology And Cognitive Science