I was raised to believe in a man named “Jesus” who lived in my mind and monitored my thoughts and behaviors. Most importantly, he loved me. I was special to him.
Such thought control devices are common. When implanted in the mind of young children, they often last a lifetime. My mother, deeply lost in Alzheimer’s, still bowed her head in deep devotion as my brother invoked the name before slipping her a wafer.
DM Murdock, author of The Christ Conspiracy and a bunch of other stuff, relieved me of much of the mystery. I had long been set free from Jesus before reading her, but she explained the origin of the symbols of Christianity – sun worship.
As with so much of mythology, the explanation is hidden in plain sight. Even so, transcending generations and language development, to this day most Americans believe in and worship the “Son.” Cue the Twilight Zone theme!
Murdock now suffers from a very aggressive cancer. She’ll soon be gone, but her body of work will long outlive her. Because this is the United States, aggressive health care to treat her aggressive cancer is unaffordable, and her friends and supporters are crowd-sourcing to finance her treatment. Good luck with that, and thanks Acharya S for living a good and useful life.
Solomon Asch was a social psychologist who dreamed up an experiment in thought control, usually done in a classroom. Students, most in on the trick, are shown a set of lines and asked which one is longest. When those not in on the game identify the obvious choice, the group responds negatively, and later still, by group consensus, a shorter line is “voted” to be the longest.
The question is whether the subjects rebel, go along, or really get their minds right. Judging from my experience with 9/11 and other mass illusion phenomena, I am guessing that most students truly believe their perceptions are wrong and the crowd is right. We are but children, after all, and I was 38 years old before I disabused myself of that Jesus guy.
Which brings me to the last “thought” I had this morning as reading Brian Anse Patrick’s book The Ten Commandments of Propaganda.
People react to the word “propaganda” just as they do to “shit” or “thought control.” The word causes a blockage of cognitive thought processes. Propagandists know this, and so have changed their names to “public relations” and “information” agents. That’s too bad, because the field is rich with explanatory power about all that goes on around us, just as Murdock’s revelations so easily exposed the Jesus scam.
I won’t go into detail on Patrick’s work, as people who saw the fright words in the above paragraph have already quit reading. He invoked Jacques Ellul, and offers a much more refined reading of the man than I could muster.
Ellul reminded us that propaganda gives meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence. It is not something done to us as much as something we deeply need. It validates us, makes us morally and intellectually superior to our peers and to people in other lands. It is our raison d’être.
I have come recently to understand that voting is a scam – that is, public opinion is herd management and nothing more. Actually counting votes would be an absurd practice. We have thousands of people who think they are part of the process every election day. With patriotic music in the background, public officials pretend that voting matters and that votes are actually counted.
Voting gives us meaning. It is the government telling each of us, individually, in a cubicle with a curtain drawn, that we matter, that our opinion counts.
Anyway, thank you D.M. Murdock, Solomon Asch, Brian Patrick Anse, Jacques Ellul, my mother and most of all, Jesus, for helping me through this crazy fucking life. It just keeps getting more interesting.