Of course, brainwashing goes further than the confines of the British Isles, but that title sounds best like that, so I’m going to roll with it.
I was tending to a client’s computers today and every now and then, when I didn’t need to use the TV screen that one of the computers was connected to, she would switch it over to actual television and kindly bombard me with news stuff.
And bombarded I was, for she was somewhat hard of hearing so the volume was pretty high.
I’m not used to watching television these days (even at low volume); I have a weekly episode of something on Netfix that I watch with my sister, beyond that I check out things on Youtube. I’m also out of practice with listening to the radio too, since not tuning in for about a year now. Years ago when I lived ‘at home’ I was for a time in the habit of watching some “morning TV” which included a dose of current news headlines. Eventually I realised this was perhaps not good for my well-being, since most of the news is inevitably bad/negative, so I went without, and felt all the better for it.
The effect, I consider, is not all that dissimilar to regularly consuming sugar, smoking cigarettes, or drinking alcohol or coffee; you get used to the amount you do consume (until obvious adverse health effects take hold). Now consider that you become addicted to any of these things and finally recover from your addiction. To then return to them, perhaps at any level, or certainly at the level at the height of your addiction, you think “wow, this is how my life was back then.” There are things I’ve cut back on in life, even seemingly benign things that might be considered healthy, like porridge, bread, and mashed potato, and I can hardly believe how much of these I used to down in one sitting.
From an outside perspective I see what I perceive to be the reality of the situation. I see how people become blind to their plight; normal for them is alien to me. I occasionally observe smokers going through their routines, from buying their wares, rolling up (if that’s their preferred form), going outside or standing in a doorway (freezing their socks off in this weather), smoking the thing, and then stubbing it out at the end. All this for what? And just to repeat the act an hour or so later. I can’t help but think “wtf are you doing?” since I’m not used to being around smokers these days (I spent the first thirty years of my life around them though). I see overweight food addicts consuming something they shouldn’t, but as if they really need to it, like they’re somehow going to starve without it, when evidently there’s, well, fat-chance of that. I don’t mean to sound derogatory; I actually feel a lot of pity for the plight.
With the case of TV, I came to realise that what constitutes “the news” was of little relevance to me. In a similar fashion I have re-framed other things in my life as not being of benefit to me, so as to help me distance myself from them. Some things are easier to give up and avoid than others, and their is generally a deep root course for the abuse. I gained some further perspective on this idea when I read a book title The Loneliness Cure a couple of years ago. The answer is perhaps in the title but it of course is more than this; it is often a lack of community or connectedness (which is a main reason why I take issue with the restrictions of our time).
Sugar and alcohol are prime examples of relevant addictions here because we build up a tolerance to them and over time we can increase our intake without realising the effect that’s having on us. I think there is a similar effect with the influence of news. To suddenly go in cold-turkey and consume stuff on the levels that other people have become accustomed to, and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to feel pretty unwell, and pretty quickly.
Even while I was with my client I was finding the sounding off of the news to be too much.
Virtually every sentence being spouted in the House of Commons in whatever segment was being portrayed my brain was picking holes in. To my ears it was 95% nonsense from people that had decided to blunder a nation down a nonsensical path (and these points are being made around the world). “Everyone needs a vaccine…[as in, the whole planet, and repeatedly]” umm, no we don’t… “We can make any rules we want and, no, we’ll not be open to the idea of reviewing them later… stick to them or be fined £1,000.” … “All of this is to save lives…” There was no question of the spiralling decline in health and well-being of everyone else, I saw that coming straight away with the first Lockdown.
I left there exhausted.
I went out of my bike shortly after (having driven to this client), and it took me a while to recuperate and get my head back to a sense of normality (well, that is a normal state for me). I can only attribute my experience to a “mild” case of PTSD.
What bothers me is 1) how so many people are subjecting themselves to this stuff for hours, each and every day. 2) how this stuff gets into your head. It’s brainwashing.
Brainwashing (also known as mind control, menticide, coercive persuasion, thought control, thought reform, and re-education) is the concept that the human mind can be altered or controlled by certain psychological techniques. – Wikipedia
Even with stuff I choose to watch on Youtube I see how I end up in an echo chamber of similar views and mindsets, some of them positive or humorous, or both, but others negative and depressing, even if I agree with the points being made.
Some months ago I found myself absorbing content by American comedian JP Sears. He creates videos poking holes in official narratives, but does so from a sarcastic position, as if he’s agreeing. This is perhaps how he’s still on the platform and not found himself silenced.
Today I found him on a “Free Range American” podcast, talking with other guys that utilised his approach of questioning mockery.
Every now and then I’ll feel uncomfortable about this tactic because it’s essentially at the expense of the many people who agree with the official narrative, and therefore is divisive rather than compassionate and helpful. Again, an echo chamber occurs, where, as is mentioned in the podcast itself, people shut others down who don’t say what they want to hear (53:25).
Even among the humour there were some sensible points made. At around 15:00 in the video JP provides a little introduction to himself, and says how he values….
heath and people taking control of their lives, with how they treat themselves nutritionally, their lifestyle, as well as their mind and emotions. Taking self-responsibility…
This is one key thing through “all of this” that I’ve been all-for: self-responsibility. There is too much in this which leads to people not realising their own potential or relying on a system or health organisation to keep them alive. It’s obviously easier to just put on a mask and wait for a vaccine rather than really knuckle down and improve your diet, lifestyle and fitness (although some people manage both aspects). Why is it “we” think that the vast majority of people can’t cope with coming into contact with a coronavirus? Coronaviruses have been studied for decades, around 100 years in fact [Wikipedia]. The solution, in response to “the present one” seems to be the nonsensical idea of “keeping people safe” rather than developing the health and well-being of a nation. This is where conspiracy theories come in because it just doesn’t make sense to me and many others.
Why is someone allowed to don a mask and walk into a shop and buy a packet of cigarettes, while someone without a mask who was going in there to buy fruit and veg is confronted? [True story]
Regarding the watching TV, and in particular the news JP says (31:23-32:38):
Reclaim the sovereignty of your mind, and go without your TV; at least not watching the news.
Further into my delve into Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy I reached chapters to day on the very topic of speech and how it can be employed to manipulate:
It being showed that there is a great power in the affections of the soul… that there is no less virtue in words, and the names of things, but greatest of all in speeches, and motions… and are called rational, not from reason… but we are called rational from that reason which is according to the voice understood in words, and speech, which is called declarative reason,) …
[A]n uttered word hath a certain act in the voice, and properties of locution, and is brought forth with the breath of a man, with opening of his mouth, and with the speech of his tongue, in which nature hath coupled the corporeal voice, and speech to the mind, and understanding, making that a declarer, and interpreter of the conception of our intellect to the hearers. And of this we now speak. Words therefore are the fittest medium betwixt the speaker and the hearer, carrying with them not only the conception of the mind, but also the virtue of the speaker with a certain efficacy unto the hearers…
I’ve noticed, even from the people I find myself watching on Youtube, how I tend to watch people who I can consider to be “charismatic”; they carry a certain charm and a conviction and certainty (a rationale) in what they say. They believe their world is a certain way and therefore yours is that way too. It is suggested that we question the motives of “rational-[sounding]” speakers:
There is also a certain virtue in the minds of men, of changing, attracting, hindering, and binding to that which they desire, and all things obey them, when they are carried into a great excess of any passion or virtue, so as to exceed those things which they bind. For the superior binds that which is inferior, and converts it to itself, and the inferior is by the same reason converted to the superior, or is otherwise affected, and wrought upon.
In conclusion, I think we’re all brainwashed by the media, and that media exists not only within the confines of what is delivered to us as the “news” but extends through all media, whether it be what we read, watch or hear online, but also through our art-forms of music, TV shows and movies. I think of how the TV shows of my childhood shaped the world for me, and governed how I behaved for years to come in the various similar settings I’d witnessed on screens, from family life, through school, and in relationships.