Reader: [...] I attended the Alternative Research Community (Arc) Convention at Bath over the weekend, and I'd like to make a brief report. It was simultaneously good to be talking to people who were looking for answers, but at the same time, for me, it was also depressing. It seems the level of discernment out there is just... low, to the point of non-existent. There are many who seem to be basically nice people, including the organisers, genuinely looking for a path to knowledge and trying to navigate all the information that floods the alternative scene, but it was really hard work dealing with the simply huge problem of both disinfo and naivete. It is like they live in a whole different imaginary universe. The road to hell is paved with good intentions indeed.
People just assume that because they are on the 'alternative' side, they have the Truth and it won't be taken from them. This is a pity because quite a few of them do seem sincere, but they are like sheep under the guidance of wolves. Listening to so much crap from some of the speakers - while others were just too superficial and speculative - and seeing how much is uncritically accepted by the audience made me want to go have a shower by the end.
It's also very depressing that in conversations with other people there, they say they've been reading Dan Winter or Drunvalo Melchizedek, and talk about Project Camelot as commonplace, but haven't heard of Laura's work or SOTT. I'm glad PC has announced it will have an interview with Laura soon.From the Psychopath Checklist-Revised (PLC-R) by Robert Hare Ph.D:
[...] Perhaps the most shocking single event for me was part of a discussion I overheard in a cafe between one of the speakers, a man called Ralph Ellis, and a small group of people. They were talking about Palestine and Ellis was basically arguing the Zionist point of view, he was extremely smooth and charismatic and used stone-cold unemotional argument, very forcefully and self-assuredly done.
Factor 1: Personality "Aggressive narcissism"The book Snakes In Suits (Robert Hare Ph.D. & Paul Babiak Ph.D.) goes into great detail about how these characters can operate by sheer force of personality. This kind of dangerous suave charm can be characterized by a quote from C. S. Lewis:
Glibness/superficial charm Grandiose sense of self-worth Pathological lying Conning/manipulative Lack of remorse or guilt Shallow affect Callous/lack of empathy Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
"The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint ... but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices."Before you wonder if we are justified to bring up the subject of psychopathy in this case, read the following.
Reader: I had never heard in a personal conversation such an inhuman view of things. He was arguing that the land belongs to the Jews because the Bible says so; that during the Six Day War the Arabs forced the Jews to grab most of the land; that the poor Israelis are being constantly manipulated by evil Christian and Arab conspiracies; that the Jews in Israel are under siege, so they have no option but to build a wall and send in the tanks to kill a few of them every now and then, which is perfectly ok; that the fact that there have been more Palestinian casualties only shows that the Israelis are better fighters, etc.This would seem to fit right in with the inhuman mentality that we see exhibited every day by the occupying forces in Palestine:
One of the other guys in the coversation kept bouncing everything back quite proficiently, but Ellis was so insistent that it got to the point where this other guy basically laughed down his whole argument as utterly ridiculous, called him a joker, then simply refused to listen to it any more. Which was excellent. [...]
IDF soldier: "The best thing is that you're not obliged to follow any laws or rules. You feel like you are the law. You are the law. You decide. It's as if the moment you leave Israel and pass through the Erez Checkpoint into the Gaza Strip, you are the law. You are God."So, what could cause a person to act in this way?
"When we see people doing such things, either on the news or in our own lives, who are they? On the rare occasion, they are formally insane, or under the pressure of some radical emotion. Sometimes they are members of a group that is desperately deprived, or they are substance abusers, or the follower of a malevolent leader. But most often they are none of these. Rather, most often, they are people who have no conscience. They are sociopaths."Back to our reader:
"...It feels more democratic and less condemnatory (and somehow less alarming) to believe that everyone is a little shady than to accept a few human beings live in a permanent nighttime. To admit that some people literally have no conscience is not technically saying that some human beings are evil, but it is disturbingly close. And good people want very much not to believe in the personification of evil."
Martha Stout: The Sociopath Next Door
Reader: I later discovered this guy Ellis was not only a speaker but seemed to be quite involved with what was going on that day, moderating the time of speakers and chairing the panel, etc. So I wondered how many other potential 'random conversations' that I didn't hear might have shown similar things in other people??As an author, Ralph Ellis is described as follows:
His argument seemed to be founded on cherry-picked Bible quotes and a lot of rather random speculation moving dates back and forth and identifying different historical personalities with each other. Like another of the speakers, Alan Wilson, told him on the panel later, "that is all conjecture upon conjecture and you can build whatever you want that way". (Not that Wilson didn't provide his share of conjectures, to be fair, but at least he seemed to be better informed on Ancient History). That comment was addressed at Ellis's assertion that the stone of Excalibur was a magnetic meteorite in which swords became stuck - except for Jesus/Arthur's because he was smart enough to use a sword made of a different material, so he could withdraw it. I was pretty dismayed when in conversations with other attendants many seemed to have been positively impressed by Ellis. I can only conclude that this was because he had good presentation skills and a neat Powerpoint presentation. [...]
Ralph Ellis is an airline captain with a distinctly lateral, open-minded view on history and religion. He has written five books so far, which purport to explain every last facet of man's history. Under this new concept, the pyramids of Egypt become the central cathedral complex of the early Israelites, who were, in fact, the Hyksos Shepherd Kings of Lower Egypt.We find a similar description in the Arc Convention website:
Ralph Ellis was trained in mineral surveying and computer science, but after several years in the industry he decided to retrain as a pilot. Ralph's distinctly lateral, open-minded view on history and religion has allowed his research to proceed unhindered by historical preconceptions and doctrinal dogma. His books include; King Jesus, Eden in Egypt, K2: Quest of the Gods, Cleopatra to Christ: Scota, Egyptian Queen of the Scots, Solomon: Falcon of Sheba, and Thoth, Architect of the Universe.It seems, however, that Ralph Ellis's interest in Ancient "History" is just a hobby. The above resumes fail to mention that he is also the president of the Congregation B'nai Israel, which describes itself as "A home for your total Jewish experience on the Southside of Atlanta" - not such a "distinctly lateral, open-minded view on religion", after all. But as our reader's report reveals, this man is not simply a devoted average Jew, but rather an unashamed supporter of the imperialist goals of Israel, i.e. a Zionist.
The simultaneous triumphs of Bolshevism in Moscow and Zionism in London in the same week of 1917 were only in appearance distinct events, the identity of their original source has been shown in an earlier chapter, and the hidden men who promoted Zionism through the Western governments also supported the world-revolution. The two forces fulfilled correlative tenets of the ancient Law: "Pull down and destroy ... rule over all nations"; the one destroyed in the East and the other secretly ruled in the West.Could this be the reason why Ellis is presenting a version of a secular and warrior Jesus quite contrary to what is commonly accepted in societies with a high percentage of Christians?
1917 gave proof of Disreili's dictum about the revolution in its 1848 phase, when he said that Jews headed "every one" of the secret societies and aimed to destroy Christianity. The controlling group that emerged in 1917 was preponderantly Jewish that it may be called Jewish. The nature of the instigating force then became a matter of historical fact, not of further polemical debate. It was further identified by its authorship deliberately given to the murder of the monarch. All these bore the traits of a Talmudic vengeance.
[...] In respect of the leadership it was that for a long period before 1917 (as to later and the present situation, subsequent chapters will look at the evidence). It was not a conspiracy of all Jews, but neither were the French revolution, Fascism and National Socialism conspiracies of all Frenchmen, Italians or Germans. The organizing force and the leadership were drawn from the Talmudic-controlled Jewish areas of Russia, and in that sense Communism was demonstrably Eastern Jewish.
As to the purposes revealed when the revolution struck in 1917, these showed that it was not episodic or spontaneous but the third "eruption" of the organisation first revealed through Weishaupt. The two main features reappeared: the attack on all legitemate government of any kind whatsoever and on religion. Since 1917 the world-revolution has had to cast aside the earlier pretence of being directed only against "kings" or the political power of priests.
Douglas Reed - The Controversy of Zion
Of course, there is also the Hasbara Handbook that lays out in detail the techniques that advocates of Israel are recommended to learn in order to propagate their message. These include, but are not limited to:
Point ScoringOur reader continues:
Point scoring is a method of communication that prioritises making certain points favourable to the speaker, and attacking opponents of the speaker by trying to undermine their positions. Point scoring communication ought to give the appearance of rational debate, whilst avoiding genuine discussion. The aim of the Israel activist point scorer is to try to make as many comments that are positive about Israel as possible, whilst attacking Palestinian positions, and attempting to cultivate a dignified appearance.
Point scoring only works because most audience members fail to analyse what they hear. Rather they register only a key few points, and form a vague impression of whose 'argument' was stronger.
Seven Basic Propaganda Devices
Propaganda is used by those who want to communicate in ways that engage the emotions, and downplay rationality, in an attempt to promote a certain message. To effectively present Israel to the public, and to counter anti-Israel messages, it is necessary to understand propaganda devices.
[The Handbook then goes on to discuss the techniques of: Name Calling, Glittering Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Fear, Bandwagon]
Reader: Among the speakers there was the guest of honour - another bloke whom I found really hard to tolerate - Michael Tsarion, who by the way was more than happy to shower Ellis with compliments at the least provocation. [...]It sounds as though Ellis' ponerized views have been successfully integrated into the 'alternative' milieu, corrupting it from the inside. We do not get any indication from our reader's report that Ellis' promotion of Judaism - which would reveal his double standards on religion and history - was ever openly mentioned in the event. Yet he has managed to earn a reputation as a respected alternative thinker. Andrew Lobaczewski writes on the process of ponerization:
Any human group affected by the process described herein is characterized by its increasing regression from natural common sense and the ability to perceive psychological reality. Someone considering this in terms of traditional categories might consider it an instance of "turning into half-wits" or the development of intellectual deficiencies and moral failings. A ponerological analysis of this process, however, indicates that pressure is being applied to the more normal part of the association by pathological factors present in certain individuals who have been allowed to participate in the group because the lack of good psychological knowledge has not mandated their exclusion.So, we see the extreme necessity for discernment, and good psychological knowledge, when delving into the 'jungle' of alternative debate.
Lobaczewski - Political Ponerology, p. 119
Thus whenever we observe some group member being treated with no critical distance, although he betrays one of the psychological anomalies familiar to us, and his opinions being treated as at least equal to those of normal people, although they are based on characteristically different view of human matters, we must derive the conclusion that this human group is affected by a ponerogenic process and if measures are not taken the process shall continue to its logical conclusion.Simply put, the acceptance of even one pathological individual 'into the alternative fold' starts the process of 'infection'. This results in a corrupted (ponerized) world view combined with an atrophy of critical thinking abilities amongst the group, such that the process snowballs.
We shall treat this in accordance with the above described first criterion of ponerology, which retains its validity regardless of the qualitative and quantitative features of such a union: the atrophy of natural critical facilities with respect to pathological individuals becomes an opening to their activities, and, at the same time, a criterion for recognizing the association in concern as ponerogenic.
Such a state of affairs simultaneously consists as a liminal (watershed) situation, whereupon further damage to people's healthy common sense and critical moral faculties becomes even easier. Once a group has inhaled a sufficient dose of pathological material to give birth to the conviction that these not-quite-normal people are unique geniuses, it starts subjecting its more normal members to pressure characterized by corresponding paralogical and paramoral elements.
Once this process takes hold, it is very difficult to stop, much less reverse:
We know from Erich Fromm's theory of cultural patterning that even the most ludicrous and blatantly erroneous ideas can become accepted as unquestionably true. Not only that, this phenomenon causes those who are not deviant to experience themselves as such if they do not accept the deviant proposition of the majority. Thus there is continual social pressure on individual members of the group to adopt the socially patterned beliefs regardless of their validity. Obviously, this helps to explain the dominance of religion, as well as the many secular forms of madness that have swayed entire societies of people.It is an irony that alternative thinkers who believe they have broken free from religious dogma regard the theories of some of their heroes with uncritical fanatism.
John F. Schumacker - The Corruption of Reality, p. 236
In The Protocols of Zion - probably better described as 'The Protocols of the Pathocrats', as they equally apply to all elite pathological groups in the world - 'Protocol 12: Control of The Press' goes into more details regarding the manipulation of societal belief patterns via controlled opposition and manufactured social proof (mirroring the techniques described in the 'Hasbara Handbook', previously). And 'Protocol 17: Advocacy' talks about how to fight the existing church, in the way that Douglas Reed alluded to. This document was obviously written with the benefit of in-depth knowledge of the workings of the human mind:
"There is nothing more dangerous than personal initiative." - Protocols of ZionOur reader continues:
Reader: [...] Even Tsarion's clothes and mannerisms seemed to be meant to transmit that he is cool, rebellious and in charge (leather biker jacket, baseball cap, unshaved 'rough' look, chains, etc). (Similarly, Ellis is always wearing a leather hat, probably to get an Indiana Jones air or something.) From what I forced myself to hear from Tsarion, he sounds like David Icke (although he says he has many differences with Icke), in the sense that he talks about the Illuminati conspiracy, fascism and so on, and will then proceed to declare that there is no problem because in the end it is all an illusion, you can focus on your own 'spirituality' (whatever that meant for any of those present, as it was never properly defined by anyone, other than in airy-fairy terms), and no evil will be able to touch you.An online biography of Tsarion reads:
Those two I think were the worst - because I felt they were probably wolves in sheep's clothing. [...]
Described as a teacher's teacher, Michael Tsarion is a Divination Scholar and Sidereal Mythologist. An expert on Stellar Astrology, he is the creator of the Archetypal Stellar Taroscopic© Astrological system of Hermetic Divination, and founder of the online Taroscopic Mystery School. Michael is a descendant of a long line of philosophers, free-thinkers, ascetics and visionaries. His Himalayan born mother was a well-loved, internationally recognized clairvoyant, whose affiliates included Barbara Marx Hubbard, Sir George Trevelyan, Jerry Jampolsky, Elizabeth Kubla-Ross, Shirley MacLean, Edgar Mitchell and a host of other celebrities and academes. She attended J. Krishnamurti's premier college in India and was later honored as the very first clairvoyant to be a regular on Irish Television. The CEO of Britain's Independent Broadcasting described her readings as "devastatingly accurate."Tsarion has had interesting influences. In a now defunct webpage Tsarion dedicates his work, among others, to:
Michael is also the grandson of Tara Singh, the renowned philosopher, author and teacher of the theosophic tome A Course in Miracles. He was the intimate friend of J. Krishnamurti (the World Teacher), Swiss architect Le Corbusier, Keith Critchlow, Alan Chadwick, Eleanor Roosevelt and President Nehru. He was entrusted, by the latter, with India's 5-year plan of restoration after British withdrawal. Tara Singh was also played a key role in the Rev. Paul Solomon's Fellowship of Inner Light, one of the first true American mystery schools. He now heads the Foundation for Life Action in Los Angeles.
Intuitive since birth, he was introduced to the Tarot at age 11 through Rev. Paul Solomon's premier mystery school - the Fellowship of Inner Light Movement and learning of its profound effect on the human intuition and its value as an empowerment tool, committed his life to bringing Tarot into the lives of others.
He has been affiliated with the Paul Solomon Foundation of Virginia and Rosicrucian Order, the Naqsbaandi Sufi Order, has taught indigo children at the New Age Academy in Berkeley and is frequent guest of Seeing Beyond and KEST, the Bay Area's leading metaphysical radio programs. He has appeared on The Quest with Peter Weisbach, on Seattle's Conspiracy Corner, on Dr. Stan Monteith's Radio Liberty, on Radio Alchemy, KKUP and The Hilly Rose Show, and made five hour-long programs with Bay Area's KMVT. He has been a guest speaker at the Boeing Parapsychological Society and at the UFO/Paranormal conferences of California and Washington where his presentations and lectures on Atlantis and pre-diluvian history, have been passionately acclaimed by veterans in the field, such as Jordan Maxwell, Lloyd Pye, Dr. Roger Leir, Peter Davenport, Robert Perala, and Glenn Kimball, etc,. His book, Atlantis, Alien Visitation and Genetic Manipulation seeks to correct the plethora of disinformation regarding Atlantis and the pre-diluvian epochs and addresses the exact reasons why human beings are finding themselves, existentially and socially, in the present precarious situation. Along with Jordan Maxwell, Michael has been a contributor of information to researcher and author David Icke. [...]
Jiddu Krishnamurti, Maharaj Charan Singh, Rev. Paul Solomon, Rune Moller, David Singer, Peter Balin...Magic, divination, myths and rituals seem to rank pretty high on Tsarion's list of interests. This is what Gurdjieff had to say about those attracted to such pseudo-esoterism:
To Jordan Maxwell (master scholar of Astro-Theology & Stellar Symbolism),
To Edward Aleister Crowley & MacGregor Mathers, Lady Coleman Smith, Lady Freida Harris....
To Gerald Massey, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky, Mustafa Gadalla, James Morgan Pryse, Bryan Wilson Key & Bonnie Gaunt....
"The idea of initiation, which reaches us through pseudo-esoteric systems, is also transmitted to us in a completely wrong form.For an interesting discussion on Tsarion, check out this forum thread, where he is quoted as saying:
"The legends concerning the outward rites of initiation have been created out of the scraps of information we possess in regard to the ancient Mysteries. [...]
"Transitions from one level of being to another were marked by ceremonies of presentation of a special kind, that is, initiation.
"But a change of being cannot be brought about by any rites.
"Rites can only mark an accomplished transition.
"And it is only in pseudo-esoteric systems in which there is nothing else except these rites, that they begin to attribute to the rites an independent meaning.
"It is supposed that a rite, in being transformed into a sacrament, transmits or communicates certain forces to the initiate. This again relates to the psychology of an imitation way.
"There is not, nor can there be, any outward initiation. In reality only self-initiation, self-presentation exist. Systems and schools can indicate methods and ways, but no system or school whatever can do for a man the work that he must do himself.
"Inner growth, a change of being, depend entirely upon the work which a man must do on himself." [Gurdjieff quoted by Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous]
...My main mission is to reveal that we do not need any external authority. We are to understand that we are here on earth to be our own priests or priestesses. We become initiated into these roles through the right use of the High Arts of Divination. That is what they were expressly created for. They alone are the prerequisite to reaching this esteemed goal. They are the means for engendering in each of us the necessary mental, emotional, and moral hygiene necessary to effect actual, lasting, positive change in our own lives and subsequently in the world at large. As we know, there are many people calling themselves "teachers" who involve themselves in these arcane subjects. Nearly all of these individuals come from other disciplines, from the fields of academic psychology, mythology, philosophy or even business and science, etc. They are often severely handicapped by the bad habits they have learned from trying to matriculate in these fields. I come directly from the philosophical and metaphysical traditions. It is in my bloodline from many generations past. We would do well, therefore, to remember that though many can teach ancient subjects, few can teach them in the ancient way. And there is a difference - Michael TsarionWhether he is a conscious "wolf" as our reader suspects or just the blind leading the blind, it is clear that he has an overinflated ego. He would have us believe that there is no external authority - except for him, of course, because he has skipped academia and inherited the wisdom through his "bloodline".
Reader: [...] The other speakers seem to be sincere but misguided to different degrees and easily carried away by their own ideas, I don't know. Among the latter, there was Andrew Johnson, who insists that everything on 9-11 was done with energy weapons, including the planes on the towers (which were not real planes) and hurricane Erin which approached NYC that morning but then steered away. He has also got a crush on chemtrails, provides lots of speculation about them but zero evidence. Or rather, his evidence seems to be based mostly on photographs and videos, which indeed prove that there's a lot of planes flying around, and that some trails remain longer in the sky than others, but for the life of me I don't see what else it shows. I am ready to concede that there may be something anomalous about them, but it is anyone's guess what that is. Yet I had to step out of his talk after he presented a video of a few hours compressed into a couple of minutes showing four or five planes flying around and some time later a thunderstorm - an "interesting" indication in Johnson's view that chemtrails might be designed to affect the weather. Thank God he didn't actually call that "proof".A video of Andrew Johnson's presentation on chemtrails can be found here. Judge for yourselves.
Reader: I must confess that given what I saw I soon started to skip a few lectures and preferred to do some site-seeing around Bath on my own. One I did see was by Leo Rutherford, quite a likeable guy, who to his credit made some solid arguments against the (non)values of monotheistic religions, quoting some of the most heartless fragments of the Bible and mocking them in a funny way. However, even this I found to be somewhat shallow; there was no discussion of the historical origins of the Bible, the layers of text within it, or the agendas of the different authors. He concluded by presenting his view of spirituality, which wasn't bad but again felt superficial - perhaps because of time constraints. I didn't hear anything relating to the struggle with the self or self-lies or the great difficulties of growing spiritually, but rather a few 'light' statements about reconnecting with the Feminine and Earth (if I understood correctly). Browsing through his books - which he had on sale - I got the impression he has idealised the practices of the "shamans" without a lot of critical thought, although I would need to read them before offering a more informed opinion.A small auto-bio of Leo Rutherford:
A few words about my journey. I worked in industry for twenty years, and for the last twelve years of that was a Managing Director of a manufacturing company which made tin cans and drums. By the age of forty I was suffering from acute stress and depression and 'normal' life did not make sense to me any more. I took my life apart and set out to find an alternative path, a path with more heart. I went through all kinds of therapy, learned to dance, sing and play in a way I hadn't since childhood, and I gained my MA in Holistic Psychology at Antioch University in San Francisco, where I lived for five years. Quite unexpectedly I came across the beautiful ancient wisdom of the indigenous shamans. I was introduced to this path by Joan Halifax in 1980 and since then have continued to learn from a wide variety of teachers. As I have got older, so I have become younger! It is my great joy to pass on to others through these workshops, some of the experience and knowledge that has helped me to transform my life. A process that goes on and on........Some of his views on shamanism can be found in this article and on this website. For an in-depth understanding of shamanism, we recommend reading this forum thread.
Reader: There was also a question and answer panel, which Ralph Ellis chaired (surprise!), and which discussed questions from the audience. All I can say about the main line of force of that is that it was so beyond anything that I could usefully add ANY context to with appropriate questions, that - to use a phrase I've read in your forum once or twice - it was "not even wrong". And it seemed to be backed up with some pretty solid support from the captive audience, who would cheerfully applaud every time Tsarion or some other panelist would declare that the Illuminati are scared to death of 'people like us'. It is interesting that when discussing the subject of the Illuminati, Ellis asked the other panelists if perhaps they were not all that bad, given that "we enjoy better lives than in past ages". None of them seemed to catch onto the fallacy of the statement, but thankfully another chap in the panel, Daniel Tatman, later corrected him by pointing out the obvious: that the only reason 'we' - westerners - have a relatively better standard of life is that billions of people around the globe are exploited.Indeed, this illustrates very well the workings of COINTELPRO, and the process of ponerization:
All in all, a pretty disheartening and lonely experience, but a useful reminder of just what seekers of truth are pitted against in the jungle out there.
Observation of the ponerization process of various human unions throughout history easily leads to the conclusion that the initial step is a moral warping of the group's ideational contents. In analysing the contamination of a group's ideology, we note first of all an infiltration of foreign, simplistic, and doctrinaire contents, thereby depriving it of any healthy support for, and trust in, the necessity of understanding of human nature. This opens the way for invasion by pathological factors and the ponerogenic role of their carriers.This can be seen, for example, in the New Age movement, where the seed was sown of the idea that a useful thing to do is to simply shut out reality by 'thinking happy thoughts' and 'sending love to the world', without the hard work on oneself necessary in order to come to an objective view of reality, and acknowledging it for what it is. In essence, this meant an attempt to 'dictate to reality' according to one's own personal wishes. This panders to the human inclination to take the 'path of least resistance' - the idea that there is some kind of shortcut is all too attractive for many.
Lobaczewski - Political Ponerology, p. 118
In the modern alternative scene, similarly counterproductive seeds have been sown. One such, is the notion that once one breaks through the mainstream reality, and enters the 'alternative zone', then that is all that is required, that everyone is to be trusted, and that one immediately has the 'whole story'. As has been shown by the workings of groups such as the CIA and FBI, that is very much not the case.
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein details numerous examples during the 20th century of secret agencies planting covert 'fake' groups into different social settings in order to sow the seeds of unrest, or disinformation, and to further a destructive agenda. Such were the cases of the CIA activities against Salvador Allende in Chile and Indonesia's President Sukarno.
official line that the FBI's COINTELPRO was discontinued as an official program back in the 70's, there are many telltale signs that similar techniques are widely in use today. Cass Sunstein, Obama's administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, openly advocates such tactics, as a defense against 'conspiracy theorists'. In a paper published in January 2008 he says:
Many millions of people hold conspiracy theories; they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event. A recent example is the belief, widespread in some parts of the world, that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law. The first challenge is to understand the mechanisms by which conspiracy theories prosper; the second challenge is to understand how such theories might be undermined.He then goes on to spell it out in black and white:
the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups. Various policy dilemmas, such as the question whether it is better for government to rebut conspiracy theories or to ignore them, are explored in this light.By 'extremist groups', he is referring to anyone who might suspect that the government does not have our best interests at heart. He then goes on to dissect how 'conspiracy theories' start and are propagated, and analyses how best to deliberately manipulate these dynamics by planting misleading information and sowing seeds of discord and distraction, and how to do this in the most devious way possible in order to remain 'plausibly deniable'.
As SOTT continues to point out, navigating this environment cannot be done alone. There is a trap out there for everyone. Only with a good working knowledge of ponerology, of one's own psychological 'machine', and, most of all, with a sincere and objective network, can one navigate these dangerous waters:
Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff: "You do not realise your own situation. You are in a prison. All you can wish for, if you are a sensible man, is to escape. But how to escape? It is necessary to tunnel under a wall. One man can do nothing. But let us suppose there are ten or twenty men - if they work in turn and if one covers another they can complete the tunnel and escape.We would like to finish off with a reminder to us all:
Furthermore, no one can escape from prison without the help of those who have escaped before. Only they can say in what way escape is possible or can send tools, files or whatever may be necessary."
Albert Einstein: "The important thing is not to stop questioning."