Trotter and LeBon … Trotter and LeBon … Trotter and Le ….

This may seem off-topic given our current focus on Las Vegas, but I think plays right in.

Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud and “father of modern advertising” wrote a book in 1928 called “Propaganda,” an easy read and accessible for anyone with basic reading skills. But the content of that book surely was not meant for the everyman, so I have to suspect that the reading habits of the American public then were like now, only a few engaged. He was talking over the crowd to the people in the balcony who could rattle their jewelry in appreciation.

He hits us right in the opening pages with words as follows:

‘The systematic study of mass psychology revealed to students the potentialities of invisible manipulation of motives which actuate man in the group. Trotter and Le Bon, who approached the subject in a scientific manner, and Graham Wallas, Walter Lippmann, and others who continued with searching study of the group mind, established that the group has mental characteristics distinct from those of the individual, and is motivated by impulses and emotions which cannot be explained on the basis of what we know of individual psychology. So the question naturally arose: If we understood the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it?” [My emphasis]

These words have resonated with me over the years, so I long ago looked up Gustov Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter.

Wilfred Trotter (1872-1939): An English surgeon who veered off into crowd psychology, and authored Instinct of the Herd in Peace and War. Given no ancestry in Wikipedia, he also yields no hits on Geni.com. The name Trotter is prominent in The Peerage, with 209 entries. Nonetheless, this guy appears juiced.

Use of the word “herd” is a tell. Trotter found our essential grouping trait to be gregariousness. Because we need constant contact with others in the herd, we operate on a subconscious communication system, almost as if we are in a complex web of signals. The herd moves as one. “Groupthink” is a studied phenomenon, but not with the idea of understanding it so much as using it to the leaders’ advantage.

Gustav Le Bon* (1841-1931): A French jack-of-all-trades, he was of Breton ancestry, and authored the book The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. That entity, the crowd, was seen on display in Las Vegas. It has no mind, and yet operates as a single organism. It moves in unison, and without forethought acts to preserve itself against all threats, real and imagined. The crowd can be controlled. This comment, from “Pau” below another post gives us an idea of how it was done:

“Supposedly all these people were running toward the airport a mile away. According to Fox News, some 300+ of them ran there for safety. The airport was closed due to security reasons. Or was it closed so that these people could secretly be loaded back onto the planes that flew them in to participate in this hoax”

It appears they brought in a few hundred agents to manage the crowd, who then quietly exited on military aircraft.

Though “Le Bon” draws no hits in The Peerage, this line from Wikipedia set us on the right course: “Le Bon was a direct descendant of Jean-Odet Carnot, whose grandfather, Jean Carnot, had a brother, Denys, from whom the fifth president of the French Third Republic, Marie François Sadi Carnot, was directly descended.[7]The guy appears juiced.

I have not read either book. I invite any reader who has done so to chime in. If you want to do it in book review format, I’d be glad to publish it as a guest post.

My larger point here is that even in 1928 our leaders were studying us with an eye on herd management. Writes Bernays, “…is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it?” Bernays knew Lippman, whose famous assertion that the manufacture of consent was a necessary element in constructing a cohesive society. That is also the title of a book by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman.

In trying to come up with a reason for such charades as Las Vegas and all of the other fake events of our era, I am reminded of an interview I listened to on late night radio more than twenty years ago. I have forgotten who, but it was an Intelligence agent and he spoke with detachment. He said that the United States was an unusual country because we are so cohesive. There is no (serious) talk of breakaway states. We can be taken to war and made to use our immense power anywhere needed. We easily fall in line behind our leaders when needed, usually preceded by a fake event. Other countries have had shifting borders and internal diversity, different languages and discontented minorities who want to break out. (Think of the Basques in Spain or the artificial division of two identical countries, Nepal and Tibet.) None of that here.

That is the point of Las Vegas. Standing alone it makes no sense to fake-kill and maim all those people, but seen as a larger strategy, it keeps us unified against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is the Strategy of Tension, or a focus on a common enemy, that keeps the herd in the paddock.


*Way off topic, but I did not find “Le Bon” in the peerage. However, in looking for it I stumbled on “LeBlanc”, and immediately thought of the only modestly talented but hugely successful actor, Matt. This reminded me of a series I enjoy called Longmire, on Netflix, and one of its actors who plays the role of Branch Connally, named Bailey Chase. He was written out of the series early even as he was one of the more compelling characters, making me think he got better offers. That name, “Bailey Chase,”  pops up at Geni going way back into the colonial period, and makes me think of Chase Manhattan and Chevy Chase, the only modestly talented but hugely successful actor/comedian.

 

 

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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40 Responses to Trotter and LeBon … Trotter and LeBon … Trotter and Le ….

  1. I read Propaganda regularly. It was/probably still is a must read for all writers of direct response marketing. One of the worst promoters of it is the sociopath/ Guru Dan Kennedy.

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  2. Natwurst says:

    Perhaps a tad off topic, but with regards to the herd, I think perhaps the 5% might be more like 8-10% these days. I don’t have the link queued up, but a quick search should yield the video of some in the herd yelling, “those are fake fucking gunshots!” or something along those lines, with a handful of people getting up from the ground and standing up looking around. For there to be people in that crowd able to recognize that it was bullshit AS IT WAS HAPPENING, I think this indicates that that 5% is at least growing to some extent. Will it ever reach a critical mass? Probably not, but as sloppy as they’re getting these days, I think it might be a possibility.

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    • Natwurst, if you could, will you link us to the video footage when you have it? That is very important information.

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      • Josh says:

        Mark, he might talking about this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYrmQdoLhKw

        Or this one, which at about 3:36 shows film from someone in the bleachers. Listen to the discussion the man is having with the woman. She wants to leave; he doesn’t believe the event is real and doesn’t see any reason to go. Or at least that’s my interpretation:

        Great post, by the way. I kind of remember stumbling on Le Bon in connection to one of the genealogies I was tracing, either for the Dreyfus paper or the DuPonts for the Butler paper. Or maybe not and I’m just mis-remembering.

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      • Natwurst says:

        I don’t know if it’s been removed or what. Just spent a good while looking for it and it’s either buried by all the newer stuff that’s been posted on youtube. But I have noticed that with this particular psyop that the old keywords don’t work as they used to with prior psyops. They’ve come out with videos that say “don’t fall for these hoaxes about vegas shooting” to lead anyone searching for this kind of thing to that kind of bullshit. “fake” yields “fake news regarding vegas”, etc…..I will continue to look, hopefully I can find it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natwurst says:

          Josh, I think the segment I’m remembering is contained within that video you posted, but the audio is better in the one I’m thinking of. But here again, I want to remind everyone if they missed it the first time: LISTEN to the “gunfire”. Automatic weapons DO NOT vary in frequency in their repetition of rounds. When you release the trigger, they stop firing. This “gunfire” sounds like it winds down/putters out, as if the “shooter” is operating an old-timey hand cranked machine gun…and also sounds like it’s coming from multiple located speakers that alternate…kinda like when you’re listening to “What Is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Natwurst says:

            Mark, I apologize as I still am unable to locate that video. I came across it almost a week ago, and didn’t think to bookmark it as I was expecting more relevant videos to surface that would contain that bit. Perhaps there still are some…but we’re talking about a zillion videos now, most of them “how dare you question” videos that have hijacked search terms.

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          • No problem, Nat, as I think the one that Josh gave us, despite lower audio quality, gets the point across. I am glad you brought it to our attention.

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        • Josh says:

          Here is a higher quality version of the one embedded in the compilation video:

          And another “they’re not real gunshots” video I found:

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          • Natwurst says:

            Thanks, Josh.

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          • Might want to download these videos before they disappear.

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          • Josh says:

            Already did. I am now downloading every video I can remember being particularly good. Videos have been taken down from You Tube like never before. Hell, the video of the guy walking through those bodies in Las Vegas was taken down from LiveLeak for violating terms of service. Have you seen some of the shit on LiveLeak? It makes that video look like Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

            Something is afoot. I sense a crackdown coming. What’s most insidious about it is that it doesn’t appear to be the government that’s doing it. It’s these private companies that are now in control of the public sphere and public discourse and aren’t beholden (even in principle) to the 1st amendment.

            I just wish I had done this before Peekay Truth had his channel closed on YouTube. I had my doubts about that guy, but he almost always had the best debunking videos, and he had a pretty good sense of humor about it, too.

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  3. Rendar says:

    Great post, Mark. A few days ago I came across this article discussing the “Common Knowledge Game.” It fits in rather well with what you’re discussing:

    http://www.epsilontheory.com/sheep-logic/

    “Common knowledge is information, public or private, that everyone believes is shared by everyone else. It’s the crowd of tribesmen looking around and seeing that the entire crowd heard the Missionary that unlocks the private information in their heads and turns it into common knowledge.

    The important thing is not that everyone hears the Missionary’s words. The important thing is that everyone believes that everyone else heard the Missionary’s words, because that’s how you update your estimation of everyone else’s estimations. The power source of the Common Knowledge Game is the crowd seeing the crowd, and the dynamic structure of the Common Knowledge Game is the dynamic structure of the flock…

    Understanding the Common Knowledge Game has been the secret of successful shepherds since time immemorial, in business, politics, religion… any aspect of our lives as social animals. The only difference today is that technological innovation provides a media toolkit for modern shepherds that the shepherds of the Old Stories could only dream of.

    This is why sitcom laugh tracks exist. This is why performances, whether it’s an NFL game or Dancing with the Stars, are filmed in front of a live audience. This is why the Chinese government still bans any internet pictures of the Tiananmen Square protests, with their massive crowds, more than 20 years after they occurred. This is what John Maynard Keynes called the Newspaper Beauty Contest, which he believed (and demonstrated) was the secret to successful investing through the 1930s. This is how Dick Clark built a massive fortune with American Bandstand. He didn’t tell Middle America what music to like; he got a crowd of attractive young people to announce what music they liked (“it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it, I give it a 94, Dick!”), and Middle America took its cues from that. Not only is that all you need to motivate sheep, it’s far more effective than any efforts at direct influence.

    This is why executions used to be held in public and why inaugurations still are. This is why Donald Trump cared so much about the size of his inauguration crowd. This is why he’s always talking about the viewership and ratings of his televised appearances. Trump gets it. He understands what makes the Common Knowledge Game work. It’s not what the crowd believes. It’s what the crowd believes that the crowd believes. The power of a crowd seeing a crowd is one of the most awesome forces in human society. It topples governments. It launches Crusades. It builds cathedrals. And it darn sure moves markets…”

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  4. tyronemccloskey says:

    Trotter looks Fabian through and through. HG Welles knew of him and Trotter probably gave lectures under Fabian Society aegis. Any published social scientist in Britain at the time would need the Society’s endorsement. I’m looking into Le Bon. Good post and supplement for putting LV in context.
    Here’s another read that could be of use: https://vantagepointtrading.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Charles_Mackay-Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds.pdf

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  5. The Palmer says:

    Your last comments remind me of a line I heard spoken by a Soviet spy character to Steve Austin in an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man: “it’s an American shortcoming to believe your own propaganda.”

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    • That is funny … are they talking about insiders or us on the outside? I remember that interview so clearly not because of content, but detachment … the guy described the US in such stark terms, and I had never heard anyone talk like that before. The US was always the shining city on the hill, and he made it out to be a gray desert. It gave me a funny feeling, a bit like the one when you realize that a long-accepted truth is a lie.

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      • The Palmer says:

        Good question, I’m not sure. The two men meet unexpectedly on the golf course at a resort in an unnamed South American country. The comment is made in response to a jibe by Colonel Austin (who, strangely, was a civilian in the pilot episode) that went something like “I didn’t think you Russians earned enough money to take trips like this.” What interested me is how true it is that Americans have been led to believe that Russia is filled with poor, bumbling Yahoos who struggle to hold together an aged and crumbling, barely industrialized infrastructure with little more than shoestrings and chewing gum. This view not-so-subtly implies that Russia could easily be beaten in a fair fight but, like a baited bear, might lash out with irrational fury and devastating violence if provoked.

        The short version: FEAR EVIL RUSSIA (and The Bomb)!

        I’ve been enjoying your site since I discovered it a while back – good work, thank you.

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  6. B. Müller says:

    I have something off topic too:
    http://www.bild.de/politik/ausland/bild-international/david-chavern-interview-53485266.bild.html
    this David Chaven fella is the former bazillionaire Michail Chodorkowsky
    https://www.profil.at/ausland/michail-chodorkowsky-ich-putin-8080196
    just compare the ears, the eyes or the forehead wrinkles. They even let him his old glasses.

    As for Edward Bernays, his book maybe small and thin, but its contents are not an easy read.

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  7. Paddy Burns says:

    After seeing the names Le Bon and Odet, I immediately thought of Duran Duran’s bigheaded singer Simon and the film Odette about Odette CHURCHILL (nee Sansom – Samson?) who was captured by the Germans in 1943, condemned to death and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp to be executed. However, against ALL odds she survived the war and testified against the prison guards at the Hamburg Ravensbrück trials unlike Violette Szabo who went the same camp.

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  8. Mick says:

    Pleasing to see Fakespeare being given the treatment by Miles Mathis.

    I would like to see Miles Mathis tackle Stephen King as well. Another intel fraud like J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin, I suspect.

    Anything or anyone that is heavily promoted is especially suspect, be it diNOsaurs or Fakespeare.

    I don’t fully endorse Miles Mathis but all this fakery needs to be exposed.

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  9. John in Texas says:

    Excellent as usual

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  10. Mick says:

    “Big Think” to me is a pure propaganda portal:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Think

    I’ve no patience left for people who can’t discern that this kind of thing is “off”.

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    • Yes. I came across Big Think just this week. There was a question (on an earlier post?) about who came after McLuhan. I was googling around and I came across Douglas Rushkoff. I remember enjoying stuff he wrote about Palm Pilots, maybe 20 years ago, and so was thinking about buying one of his books. I looked for some videos on Youtube, and they gave me Big Think. Again, a bit more googling and I saved myself some money.

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  11. Brian says:

    This is off-topic I know, but why is Harvey Weinstein getting the “Bill Cosby” treatment now?

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    • I just assumed Weinstein is gay and this is a cover operation.

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      • Josh says:

        Hah! That was exactly my first thought, too.

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      • Brian says:

        @Mark: A cover operation for what? To knock the fake Las Vegas shooting off the front page? Or is it some kind of “punishment” – as for Bill Cosby, which MM suggests?

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        • Cannot know, of course, but sometimes the media runs stories for “Lookie here, not there” purposes. Maybe the bloom was off the rose of Las Vegas, too many people examining it too closely. It had its intended insulting power to the public psyche, and it was time to move on?

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        • Gaia says:

          I think it is a cover for something much worse. I mean, should anyone be shocked that women need to perform sexual acts to be able to “climb” in their “careers”? That is common business anywhere, not only in Hollywood. Anyone who has worked in a company somewhere has seen that incredibly stupid woman reaching a higher position without any merits.

          I suspect (((Schweinstein))) is involved in pedophilia, as many of those power-hungry psychos are. It has little to do with a sexual preference (this whole gay or nay thing is an irrelevant diversion imho), much more with power; having power over the most private parts of the most vulnerable; children, is the summum of power for those freaks.

          Similarly the circumcision of little boys; pure evil to destroy an innocent child’s body at such a young age, causing trauma and submission in those kids.

          It’s no secret that most of Hollywood is jewish and that jews are at the fore-front of staging and acting. Of course that doesn’t mean that every jew is a psycho or every psycho a jew, as many non-powerful jews are just as much victim of the Hidden Hand as we goyim are, but there certainly is a correlation between jews and psychopathy. Interbreeding for centuries (see Miles), a higher average intelligence (making psychos so dangerous), the circumcision (power by traumatizing), sticking together as a group (in all kinds of secret societies), the horrible “teachings” of Talmud and Kabbalah (where non-jews are displayed as animals or lower), lack of a homeland for ages and thus the “need” to infiltrate, scam and intrigue, to gain power elsewhere, all lead to a higher chance of psychopathy among them.

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          • Carri says:

            Gaia, you read my thoughts, exactly. It’s to cover pedophilia…or worse. Nobody would really care if Weinstein were gay, nor feel too sorry for any actresses who were expected to spend time on the all-too-familiar “casting couch”, since it’s been common knowledge for many years that if someone wants to be a star they have to pay the price.

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          • fm says:

            I suspect (((Schweinstein))) is involved in pedophilia, as many of those power-hungry psychos are.

            Maybe, but I’m pretty sure this is not the reason to execute him in public. And I think pedophilia as sexual aberration is largely a scare, and overblown. Why ?

            … causing trauma and submission in those kids.

            Circumsision happens a bit too early for a “proper” trauma. But rape and sexual abuse will do much better, see the Monarch project.
            IMHO, brainwashing and programming is behind most Pedophilia cases. Legalizing it would surely help to legalizing Monarch-style child indoctrination as well.
            Last weeks, I saw a advertisement poster for the local elections – a candidate for the Green Party brazenly posing with trinket, showing a symbol from the FBI’s Pedophilia list. They tell their clientel what they stand for …
            Not that I believe elections do matter at all, but there was a reason to install the Greens.

            Like

    • Haley says:

      I think they also like to run these “rape psy-ops,” for lack of a better term, every now and then to gin up division and resentment amongst the sexes. Same thing with the new college campus rape hysteria. They want women to know that we can all be victims of rape at any time, as there is pretty much a rapist around every corner, and every male is a potential rapist. “It happened to Gwenyth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie! See? It can happen to anyone!” And don’t you dare ask any questions or you’re “victim shaming.” That, and yes, Weinstein is probably gay.

      Like

      • tyronemccloskey says:

        Is covering up gayness in Hollywood still a thing? Why? Actors who have come out are still getting cast as straight guys. The guy in the show White Collar has a husband and kids in real life and plays a ladies man on the show.
        That said, if Weinstein is gay, I would bet green money Tarantino is, too. Maybe that’s who they are protecting. And agreed, LV is off the front page.
        (And the Napa fires are very real. It’s like a light nuclear winter in Frisco right now. Just thought I’d cop to something in the MSM as being real, for the record)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Grace says:

          I am here in SF and never seen anything like it. It’s like a nuclear bomb hit Santa Rosa. I wrote a comment elsewhere at POM about this…where not only have my family members been evacuated, but many of us not only smell smoke and ash, but a big rat. As if fires are not by accident. So yes, very real, too real. Unfortunately.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Has anyone read or heard anything about “Mark Lacy” of Tuscon, Arizona? He was a widely quoted Las Vegas witness. When I first saw his name I thought he was “Lt. Col.” Mark Lacy, but now it only says he retired from the military 11 years ago. I did a FB search for him, and I thought I had him, and then clicked on another name and in the process his page went away. So doing the search again, I lost him. No Mark Lacy (USAF) in Tuscon turns up.

    Here is his money quote:

    “When you see parts of individual’s heads off and lifeless individuals that look like they’re sleeping but there’s no pulse and you don’t know what’s happened,” he said, his voice trailing off.

    “It’s just something you’re trained for, but you don’t necessarily think at a concert you’re going to have to do that.”

    Use of second person is odd, almost a deflection, as if he is an honest man who needs his pension but cannot bring himself to say “I saw.”

    Like

  13. J. Kidding says:

    In honor of Friday the thirteen and Subliminal Advertising I submit the following off the wall interpretation of the following Las Vegas Harvest Festival image. 
    
    Whether one believes the image is fake or not, the image has been seen by the viewer and any subliminal intend has been assimilated if one is not aware of it. Basic Advertising 101. 
    

    The proposed point of the image is to subliminally instill fear.

    The posed image is well done as far as composition goes but it has a DARK side.
    Interpreting the symmetrical central group of people like a print of Francisco Goya’s Witches, the two-people climbing the fence are on a rotisserie with the far-right man turning the spit stepping on a decapitated women’s head. Between him and Butt Crack guy there is a vulture sitting on coiled branch continuing into a women’s arm.
    (Try to think outside the box for a moment and don’t assume what is is what it appears to be. It could be respectfully say that is one “Piece of Mindful” mantra.)

    Kneeling Big Gluteus Maximus guy is joined at his extra wide right thigh with Butt Crack guy while Black Hat man to the left side has the presence of mind no to spill his drink.  All the time people are tending bar in the top background.  
    

    The pivot point of the composition is the women below the rectangle with a vertical stripe. Either she has a cheek jowl or something is coming out of her mouth. To the right of her is a man behind the mesh fence who looks like a priest in a confessional booth.

    The image is to be visually read like a scroll.
    Starting at the left side of the fence the Kneeling Man’s head points to the running women who falls, her head leading into Black Hat Man flanking the Symmetrical Group ending in Butt Crack Guy (pun intended), the scroll finishing with the guy turning the spit with the women’s head on the ground as a period.

    So, the image could be  a banquet scene in accordance with the Harvest paddock theme. The message is a warning to what could happen if you buck the status quo and scratch the thin veneer of  civilization as we know it? Keeping the sheeple in line.
    

    Is this accurate? No, just an opinion. It’s only a mental exercise to see something in a new light.

    Like

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