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Broadcasting from deep in the heart of the American Empire, join your host Elan Martin, and fellow editors, as they discuss everything from current events and the latest machinations and manipulations of the global elite to history, science, and religion, and how it all fits together.

Propaganda has reached new hieghts in the information age. After decades of psychological study and experiementation, our media has honed their disinformation skills by exploiting the weaknesses of the human mind. We're faced with an information war that shapes public opinion and world events. Those lacking an understanding of our vulnerabilities are open to manipulation and deception, leading the world further into chaos. Join us today as we discuss the rampent propaganda in the media and how we might win the battle for our minds by recognizing our cognitive bias.

The Truth Perspective is brought to you by the SOTT Radio Network and, your one-stop source for independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events.

Live every Saturday from 2-4pm EST / 11am-1pm PST / 8-10pm CET.

Running Time: 02:12:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Elan: Today is Saturday October 10th 2015 and welcome back to The Truth Perspective everyone. I'm your host Elan Martin and with me in the studio today is: Shane LaChance,

Shane: Hi everybody.

Elan: Meg McDonald.

Meg: Hello.

Elan: And Karyn Nicholson.

Karyn: Howdy.

Elan: The theme of today's show is: Propaganda and Cognitive Bias - The Battle for your Mind. As we follow the recent actions of Russia in Syria, among other stories making the news, we notice a fierce information war being fought across the media spectrum in the west. In recent weeks western media shills have been using all the propagandistic tools in their book to get us to think that Russia is wrong for the position it has taken and seems to be sparing no technique or method to bolster its own agendas. But how are they doing this? Basically whether they have conscious awareness of what they're doing or not, the western media has been employing every cognitive bias that they know we have or might have, to shift the narrative of world events to their vision of what we're seeing. They are not above outright lies or manipulations but some of their manipulations are much subtler than others. They are also well delivered, include difficult to verify data and are so well produced and packaged in some cases that the immensities of the lies being perpetrated are flabbergasting, once you know they're lies.

So basically we have this idea of cognitive bias. It refers to a 'systematic pattern and deviation from norm in rationality and judgement' - says Wikipedia - 'whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own subjective social reality from their perception of the input. An individuals construction of social reality not the objective input may dictate their behaviour in the social world. Thus cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perpetual distortion, inaccurate judgement, illogical interpretation or what is broadly called irrationality.' Very applicable to what we're seeing, I think. 'Some cognitive biases are presumably adaptive. Cognitive biases may lead to more effective actions in a given context. Furthermore cognitive biases enable faster decisions when timeliness is more valuable than accuracy, as illustrated in Heuristics. Other cognitive biases are a a by-product of human processing limitations, resulting from a lack of appropriate mental mechanisms bound to rationality or simply from a limited capacity for information processing.'

And there's kind of a list of some of the most basic or predominant cognitive biases that are known to us. Researchers have identified bias arising from processes that are sometimes difficult to distinguish and they include: information processing short cuts, heuristics. So we've talked a little bit here on the Truth Perspective in past shows about System 1 and System 2 illustrated in the book Thinking Fast and Slow and we'll get into that a little bit today. There's also mental noise; the brains limited information processing capacity, emotional and moral motivations; social influence and a few others that we'll be discussing in the context some news stories that we've been seeing.

Shane: I think this whole cognitive bias thing is really fascinating. Because it really provides a sharp-shooter where we can understand how people in positions of power, pathological types even in more social atmospheres, even at the family level, how these people can influence us. Because it seems these things are innate in us and we're basically just being taken advantage of by engaging in the System 1, this is automatic type thinking.

And like you were saying Elan, there's lots of stuff in the news these days with Russia going into Syria. Initially, right when Russia went in the first day, I think we were talking about it last week, the first response was: "Russia's killing civilians." and then they came out and said "Russia's killing our guys - the forces that we've supported." and then I think after that there was media silence for at least three days. There was nothing on Yahoo News, Associated Press, Reuters, any of the mainstream sources, people weren't talking about what was actually going on, they might have a had a news story here and there about Donald Trump or some politician saying something, but they weren't covering what was happening.

And I kind of wonder if they had to retreat a little bit to just figure out what message they were going to put out there, which was really just more of the same. And that's the thing with these guys, they have no creativity so they're just going to be rehashing the same techniques that they've been using.

Elan: I think what we saw was a deep state of shock and disbelief. "The balls on this guy! Who the hell is he to mess with our agenda in Syria?" And so for those few days, I think, they were just getting their bearings, but I think we can all be very happy to see that they're back in their groove, they're tracking, they're coming up with all kinds of new and wonderful and incredible lies, in every direction. Some of it, as we said at the top of the show, is really subtle and sophisticated. Some of it is just incredibly out of nowhere! I don't know how else to describe it.

Shane: Blatant and stupid.

Meg: One of the things I think was going on during the blight of information was this commitment to consistency. Because part of propaganda and part of any kind of party line message is to say the same thing, over and over again, and have all these examples of why this particular fallacy or idea is true, and people will keep believing it as long as the message is consistent. But if you've got a really big change of events that overturn the idea, how do you keep the consistency of your message and keep your audience. So I think that was understandable that they were stumped at the starting line there.

Elan: Well you've just described Goebbels' 'big lie'; you repeat something enough times and it becomes part of the thinking. Hitler as much as said "The bigger the lie the more effective it is." because people can imagine small lies, everyone has had some experience making some lies, but the big, preposterous, incredibly, injurious lies, normal people don't just have any experience of perpetrating.

Shane: Yeah it would basically breakdown the entire structure that they've built in the belief in the system, the big lie is something that challenges that; people don't want to tear apart their whole world. That's basically this psychopathic reality that we're living in. Everybody's very comfortable. And to start to deconstruct that, it's a process. And it's a painful process. That people don't really want to endure.

Elan: When we talking a little bit before the show about how this works, System 1 and System 2. Just to recap that idea: System 1 is the automatic, fast thinking, default thinking, emotional place that our mind goes to come up with answers for things and to take actions based on those answers. System 2 requires some meta-cognition; it requires reflection upon the facts and critical thinking. And you mentioned the psychopathic reality Shane, System 1 is the psychopathic reality.

Shane: I think that it taps into the psychopathic reality. Because it seems that, no matter if there were psychopaths or not, we'd probably still have this system 1 but it's been so used. And the stress of living in a psychopathic reality, people just want to retreat and not have to think. So what happens then is others do the thinking for them and the world goes crap.

Meg: It's also because we live in a really complex and fast moving world. We want stereotypes; we want the rule of thumb; we want to get by without thinking; we want to be told what it is we're supposed to be thinking; it's all kind of presented semi-logically and connected in messages over and over again which is why most people will just go to that default.

Shane: When it's being supplied and you don't have to actually think about things.

Meg: We're co-efficient.

Elan: One of the elements of this is mental noise. There is so little out there to help people distinguish their mental noise from information and ideas and thought processes that they might learn to use to grow; mental noise seems to be the rule of thumb. Which is why, on any given day when you go to, let's say, Yahoo News site, the first story might be Kim Kardashian's new see-through dress and then a few articles later Putin's imperialistic designs on Syria, so you're three or four steps removed from having an objective piece of information about the incredible things that are happening right now in our world.

Shane: It's kind of us against the world. It really splits people into different camps. And maybe there is something in most biases, a seed of truth that could probably be utilised and developed and grown. Similar to Dabroswki's multi-levelness; if you can take the seed of something and make it grow, by questioning and putting it through this critical thought process, and emotional process, then that can help those things develop. And with this us against the world thing, maybe there is something that relates to our tribal aspects of society where we can grow and develop within a community. However that's really been distorted, we can see it in sports teams; people have their team that they root for; democrats or republicans; everything is defined by who they're rooting for and their 'team'. It's in America as has whole and we see how much damage this thinking does because it really blocks reality, really. In Nazi Germany, people were so consumed by their patriotism that they couldn't see past the lie, what was coming in, it's just all this fervour.

Elan: Well you know Shane, I think we can reduce the sense of community in the United States to just a few words, do you want to hear them?

Shane: Sure.

Elan: USA! USA! USA!

Shane: Flag. Flag. Flag. Flag.

Elan: That is the default sense of community, or rather what the real sense of community has been replaced with, which is what I think you were getting at.

Shane: Yeah. And that's the irony to. Because when we have this patriotic fervour, like I was saying. but we really there's no community, that's been completely broken down. It's a mixed bag but I think getting back to what those seeds are in these biases and learning to distinguish how they're corrupted and just utilised on this very base level can help a lot. And this is kind of the basis of the show, it's trying to pinpoint or discuss how the media an dour politicians are taking advantage of those things.

Shane: Well, you know, I kind of consider myself lucky. In college I took a philosophy class with a guy named Andrew Capaldi. And it's a testament to how impressed I was with his class that I remember his name. He had a book called The Art of Deception. And in the book, all it was was logical fallacies and how they worked and he gave lots of little examples of them. Unfortunately I don't have the book with me, I don't have it anymore. But it was one of those seed books that planted the idea - maybe I was already aware of it on some level - but just the idea that peoples arguments can be filled with lies and fallacies, but there are a certain number of people who will just accept them. And one of the things we'll do today is go over a lot of these lies, the forms they take, and not accept them. Especially given a lot of the context in which they're presented.

Meg: You're talking like, having an expert in an article and just because they have a title or some qualification, it adds more weight to their statement, they seem to be a credible source and it triggers in people an obedience to authority - that's more of less an automatic response - so we take the information at face value and we add that into the mix of how we define and determine things.

Shane: Yeah that authority issue is a big one. And I think it speaks to just how authoritarian American and western society has become, as a whole. Looking at this CNN issue, I'm sure people know on Wednesday Russia had fired around 26 or 30 missiles into Syria, from the Caspian sea, so it travelled over Iran and Iraq into Syria. So the next day or the next morning, CNN came out with these reports saying that 4 of the Russian missiles crash landed somewhere in Iran - it was a total joke. They used the fallacy of appeal to authority. Even that was pretty pathetic because it was just two unnamed sources. People are supposed to just accept that these 'two unnamed sources' say that 'somewhere in Iran these missiles crashed' - they don't where; they don't know the times; they don't know what damage they caused; they don't know what was hit; despite the United States having this incredible, incredible satellite imagery and surveillance. None of that data is available. Well, why? Because we know it's a bunch of horse-hockey.

Elan: But what does that enable the US/western propaganda media-organ to do? They put the story out, they even have people in the interviews saying "we don't know shit about it", but some people are saying it happened and it just puts the idea out there that 'Russia missed its target'. That's the takeaway message. There'll never be a retraction; there'll never be more information provided to qualify the story, it's just 'Russia missed it's target'.

Meg: They already demonised Russia so it just reinforces that idea, and Iran. Iran's evil, who cares if they get accidentally bombed. They have to close the loop on it.

Elan: Right. And Russia "ain't all that; look they're missing their target".

Shane: Their technology is outdated; they don't know what they're doing. Meanwhile the United States hasn't been effective in over a year since they've been in Syria but nevermind that, we're not going to talk about that. It's interesting how, when a story is put out like this, there might be some acknowledgement that it hasn't been confirmed, there's no official sources that state this. But then you have a whole slew of other agencies from the mainstream media who pick up the story and just put the headline: Russia misses its mark and hits Iran. Without the full information that this is just from two unnamed sources and that it's not confirmed. So they just run with this headline and it gets spread from there and somehow it'll come back to the state department who will say at one of it's press conferences that, "You know Russia, they didn't hit all their targets in Syria; it was downed in Iran.", so now there's official confirmation.

Meg: This is their proof.

Shane: Yeah exactly.

Elan: One of the biases that was mentioned was the brains limited information processing capacity. So it's enough for someone just to read the headline, as you mentioned Shane, and that's it! That's the end of the story. You see the idea that Russia is weak has been introduced. And that's all that seems to be necessary. So that's one way in which misinformation and perception gets created.

Shane: We were actually talking about this the other day; how people just go based on headlines, nobodies actually reading the articles anymore. You see a headline on Facebook and "Oh, that confirms my previous bias so I'll just go with that and run with it."

Elan: You had a great quote from one of the defence ministers of Russia, in your article, I think, that was a response to the story of the four bombs hitting Iran.

Shane: I think you're talking about the quote from the Russian defence ministry? Yeah than was pretty spot on: 'The spokesman for Russia's Defence Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov,
"No matter how unpleasant and unexpected for our colleagues in the Pentagon and Langley was yesterday's high-precision strike on Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, the fact remains that all missiles launched from our ships have found their targets."
(SOTT Exclusive: Catapulting the propaganda - CNN sez 'Russian cruise missiles hit Iran!'

Shane: He's really pointing out that these 'two unnamed officials' talking to CNN is basically a psy-op from the Pentagon in Langley. There are actually several other quotes too; coming out of Iran, and their media, basically coming from all ends. Just saying that this is basically just part of the information war that the west is waging against Russia. It's really exemplary in demonstrating how, when the United States is in this reactive position, it's going to be making these stupid mistakes, saying these stupid and just further exposing itself more and more.

Elan: That kind of reminds me an article just posted this morning to And the gist of some of it was there's an incredible amount of social pressure that they're not even aware of consciously. And the way it works is that you have this one idea, for instance Russia aggression, Russian imperialism, and it's so strong that to challenge it with real information, independent and critical thinking, is to literally feel like you're going against the whole stream of thought. And no one wants to be the outsider; no one wants to feel as though they're going against the stream, it's difficult. Especially when you're surrounded by a lot of other people who are falling into the same trap. So there is that as well, this unconscious pressure to confirm to what those in authority are saying and putting out there.

Shane: It kind of ties into this availability heuristic; the media has such dominance over the information that is put out to people that it's able to be the driving force between what people do and don't know. And they can put these messages out over and over again and over again, it doesn't matter how true or false they are, it's just that they're saying this message over and over again, like we were saying with the big lie. And one of the really ridiculous things that the media keeps bringing up is all these associations between the Soviet Union and Russia. I don't know how many times this week i've seen comparisons to the soviet invasion in Afghanistan; how they got bombed out and they weren't able to do anything or make any successful movement. It's pretty hilarious considering when you look at what Russia is doing in Syria and how quickly they're accomplishing their goals. Putin is not a soviet era leader; he's the new Russia. And he's doing incredibly amazing things, and he's not able to do this just spur of the moment type things. He's been planning and working and doing these things ever since he was in a position of power.

Right when he was appointed prime minister, he fully engaged in the Chechen war. And the same tactics he was using then, he's using now. There' s a really rich history and informative history here and Americans have no idea what it is. That's the other part too. It's easy to fall into these cognitive biases and this faulty thinking, when there isn't any accurate knowledge of history, you're not using your brain, you don't have the information to work with so it's basically really easy to manipulate and shape people.

Elan: You know there was a piece in the New York Times that came out shortly before Putin's speech at the UN. And this is when the world was just getting used to the idea that it was building up it's base at Latakia in Syria. And not really putting out all this information. Anyway, you had some people coming out and knowing something was up, obviously, and that Russia was going to take some action in that area. And this one article, it just floored me. The writer I think he was from the Brookings Institute - one of these think tanks - and it said so right at the bottom of the article.

Talking about Russia, he basically said, let them bleed. And getting back to what you were saying about Afghanistan, Shane, and how that was an awful protracted 10 year conflict between the Soviets and the US propped up Afghani's, his point was, "Yeah Russia? you're going into Syria now? You want a repeat of Afghani's? Go ahead. Just bleed." It was just another dimension to this sour grapes. (snivelling voice) "You want to do that? OK, go ahead. You're just going to fail anyway. Just like in Afghanistan. You'll see. And everybody, you can think about it that way; you can just assume that Russia is still the Soviet Union and it still wants to dominate areas and they'll just mess up like they did before.

Shane: Something that we see over and over again too is that these talking heads are projecting how the United States thinks, onto Russia. That Russia wants to reassert itself on the global scene. I saw this article by Derek Chollet; it's from Defense One which is pretty blatant propaganda. And his whole schtick is that Russia will fail in Syria. The title Don't Chase Putin Out of Syria — Let Him Fail On His Own. He starts off by saying, "Putin is no chess master. He overstretched and misstepped in Syria, and U.S. would be wiser to wait him out than chase him out." This is hilarious because overstretching and misstepping is exactly what the United States has been doing. And we see this time and time again, how the pathological nature is basically being projected out onto Russia to demonise it. And if people would just look at what the United States has done in the past two years, the last year, in the past month! It appalling. Just look at what we're doing. Take off the blinders. It's really absurd to see this stuff, and that people eat it up. That's what really gets you going because a lot of people still do eat this stuff up.

Meg: Why would they even say that about Russia if it hadn't already been exemplified by the United States or the western cadre, because why would you even think of it? Why would you even think to say that?

Shane: Maybe they've been reading analysis online of what the alternative news was saying and they're thinking, "That was a good statement, let's use that."

Elan: Well these are talking points that get embedded in people's minds without even realising it. I was talking to someone, a guy and his wife, about something I'd read, about the war on terror or something, and at some point she just blurted out, "You read that on the internet? You can't believe anything you read on the internet!" And it was so automatic, it was so programmed, that it effectively almost shut down the conversation, the husband was a lot more open to listening. It's just this idea that gets regurgitated with no reflection or thought.

Shane: There are so many different biases that are involved in these various dynamics, and a lot of them are associated with each other. And that one reminded me of confirmation bias. Which is, you tend to think, as in You're Not So Smart by David McRaney, he has these lists of all these different biases and he starts off with the misconception and then states what the truth is. So the misconception of confirmation bias is that: Your opinions are the result of years of rational objective analysis. The truth is: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information that confirmed what you believed while ignoring information that challenged your preconceived notions. So with the example that you gave Elan, we can easily dismiss information for whatever reason, 'because it was on the internet' we can't trust that. So if it's on CNN we can trust that? No. And that ties in with the authority bias, thinking that since an authority says this we can trust them.

Meg: A prime example is a political campaign, we have candidates in an election and we believe our choices and we discount the opponent.

Shane: We have a caller on the line.

Jonathan: Hello.

Shane: Hello, what's your name and where're you calling from?

Jonathan: This is Jonathan.

All: (Hello's)

Shane: Hey Jonathan. How are you doing today?

Jonathan: I'm doing very well and I'm enjoying your topic today. I would just go back and say, from my perspective, I don't find terms like subjective or objective very useful. I'm not saying they are without value, I just don't find them very useful in my particular conceptualisation of the world and my game plan; etching out the broad contours of where I would like to move. I also really believe that deep down almost everybody knows - deep down they suspect that, for example, the United States has been supporting ISL. Now you will have people who won't bring that thought to the forefront of their conversation in their ego-identification because of fear. If you were to come out and say something that so incredibly and forcefully contradicted the official narrative, you could lose your job, you would be on the outs with your friends and social circle. But I believe that deep down people really kind of suspect, deep down, that something of a semblance of what you could call truth. And I know that sounds outlandish but I believe that is actually is the case.

Shane: I don't think it's outlandish. When you look at how the NSA has released all this information; how it's come out that they're spying on everybody; Abu Ghraib photos came out; I don't think it was just accidental. I think those things can be used to show American's, "Don't stand up and question us because this is the kind of stuff that we can do to you."

Jonathan: Yeah. I also had these like little epiphanies that aren't really something grand and profound but just for myself and my subjectivity like for example, I was thinking one day about the drones, and I was like "Wow", it just hit, every time they send up a drone to get the 'bad guy' they actually know that they're very likely, more often than not, to kill innocent civilians. And it's like wow, and you know what everybody else can look Prima Facie situation and they could come to the exact same conclusions and that functions as a way of communicating that "We're above the law.", "We're going to do this and I dare you to call what we do terrorism. Because if you do, you're going to stand out, your going to likely lose your job." and people are going to look at you in the context of their fear. But they're totally also on the same page that you are, they're just not going to take the next step and call what we're doing with respect to the drones, a form of state terrorism.

So I think, for example the other thing that y'all mentioned, which I thought was very interesting is the that, from the Caspian sea, Russia launched 28 or 29 missiles and it went across the territory of Iran. And then four of them crashed according to unnamed government authorities, right? So I went on these comments, I was just looking at the comments, and there were a couple of people on this particular website, I forget which website it was, and they're like "Yeah you got unnamed sources? You guys going to really believe that?" but then 90% of the comments were like, "Yeeeah, hahaha, look at these Russians. They're not as adept with this technology as they like to project." So they were just totally buying into the government line that it was a fact that four of these missiles failed and hit somewhere in Iran. So as far as that issue goes, I think that that information or that disinformation was really intended to corral, it would have a propaganda effect for the domestic constituency, the citizens of the United States and their followers or believers internationally.

They're very scared of what Russia is doing right now because, for example, what I gather, is that people say "Oh Obama and the United States are playing checkers" and bla bla bla "while Russia is playing chess." I actually think it's much more profound that that. If you could imagine a game of chess that is actually multi-dimensional where at the end there's no 'victor', there's no distinct winner. Because this is conceived and deployed, this game - if you will - on a level of internationalism and multi-polarity. As far as what Putin and the Russians and the Chinese envision, I believe, their conceptualisation is not a winner; it's a multi-polarity. There's going to be stronger powers and weaker powers but it's a mutual cooperation, moving into the future to solve problems, to keep from killing ourselves, becoming eco-cidal, we can deal with these issues. But the United States is still in the mind set that their has to be one winner, we are the winner, and they're going to do all kinds of crazy stuff to make that a reality, moving forward.

I'm going to let ya'll go but I wanted to say one thing about the logical fallacies. I had a sea-change in my psyche when I had a course in my university about critical thinking. And what was so profound for me is that I had to take a little bit of a step back in looking at my own consciousness and realising how I and everybody else through the vehicle of commercials are constantly bombarded with logical fallacies to manipulate our perceptions. And when I had that realisation, and then also studying ideology and how it operates in films, all that, I had this kind of crisis of subjectivity, it was like: Is anything that I believe really authentic? Or is it just a result of me buying into political ideologies like liberalism or progressivism. So I had a crisis in subjectivity and it angered me so much that I realised the only way that I could be free was to develop my own unique philosophy. And also I wanted to help other people recognise the function of propaganda through honing our capacity to critically think and debate. I wanted to do that as my career in academia. But I came to the conclusion that they're not really going to let me teach this. And I didn't push a left-wing agenda or a right-wing, if you lean left or right, let's just think critically, let's have the capacity and hone skills to be able to argue our points but also the recognise the shortcomings of our own arguments.

When we do that then we can be receptive to someone's on the rights arguments and taking those into respectful consideration and that's how we can move forward as a society and begin to solve the problems that are in front of us. But I also recognised that man, there's other details that have gone into this, but man, they're not going to let you teach this. They're not going to let you teach this.

Shane: It's unfortunate because that process of really and truly questioning your own thinking is not something that is taught, at all, whether in schools or the family. It's not something that people know how to do. And when we do try to encounter that process it can be really difficult. When we're more fixated on some a sacred cow, something that we really, fervently believe in - it's a really difficult process to break those things down. And it's easy to say, "People don't think" but they're basing that on the fact they disagree with them. But we should also be challenging everything that we think. It's not a process that comes naturally.

Jonathan: Or like saying this about people, "They're the sheeple." right. So I consider myself among the intelligentsia , those other people, they're sheeple. Well, maybe they're scared, maybe they acknowledge every point you say about the United States being behind ISL or using ISL as a tool. And maybe they totally agree with that as the most logical, cogent argument. But they're in fear because if they express that, they could lose their job. So I think that we, the people who really want to see a better world where we can deal with the problems coming to the fore, look at things in ways that escape the left-right paradigm. For example I've heard some very cogent arguments for monarchy, and it's not a reductive monarchy of old. But anyway, the other thing I wanted to present to you, there's a very good article written by Joaquin Flores from the Centre for Syncretic Studies, on the website, I think it was published in maybe late August. He starts to outline how can we move forward and go beyond this Marxist/fascist/liberal paradigms. Which his piece states that liberalism is the reigning and victorious ideology that holds sway today. And he's trying to think about way that we can move forward into the future and actually develop something that challenges and supplants the predominant liberal ideology, that corporate liberalism that holds sway today. And I think that's a worthwhile read.

The other thing I would like to say is that there's a gentlemen who goes by the name of Rupert Sheldrake, he's a biologist -

Shane: We're familiar with him. We like his work a lot.

Jonathan: Oh you guys might have interviewed him I'm not sure.

Shane: We'd love to have him on.

Elan: We have brought up a lot of his information, in various places - but go ahead Jonathan.

Jonathan: I'll just conclude by reviewing - he did a TED talk that was banned called the 10 Delusions of Science or something like that. Man it was just an excellent presentation. And he's not anti-science. But he's reminding us to recognise the limitations of science. So he's a great kindred-spirit to me, as well as Joaquin Flores. And y'all as well, every week I enjoy listening to your show. Because you get 2 hours here to discuss something in depth; you guys are open-minded and you're respectful and it's just really enjoyable listening to y'all going in-depth on these subjects. It's really valuable. I appreciate y'all letting me speak.

Shane: Well, thanks a lot Jonathan.

Elan: Thank you for calling Jonathan we really appreciate that.

Meg: I think one of the things that Jonathan brought up was, the sticking point on ideologies. It might be a really good idea to throw them all out. Start all over. Every time we get a piece of information we should be adding that to our moveable baseline. It's when we get entrenched in an idea, confirmation bias, and we get that reaffirmed to ourselves, we get in trouble. And the other thing he brought up was the silent doubters of the information that's offered today and their fear of ramifications for this kind of thinking. How do you get the silent doubters to become the majority so that there's enough clout, enough power, enough mass, to not be crushed.

Elan: Well one of the points I think Jonathan was correct in making is the fear. And earlier we were talking about this social force behind all of these ideas you're supposed to think. It would really require, on the part of each individual silent doubter, to reach out and network with other people of like mind, and allow themselves to get a focus on the process of honing in on their questions and their authentic thoughts about what it is that they're hearing. There's this idea of social proof; if they are surrounded by or communicating with a number of other people who think as they do, the process of accepting their own thinking, their intuition, becomes a lot easier. But just something about ideology that I wanted to address. I think, it's not so much the ideologies as it is the identification with them; "I am a liberal.", "I am a capitalist.", "I am a communist.". So if you look behind neoliberalism for instance, and you see that all of its policies are designed to empower the super-rich, the 1%, then you might as well call it fascism. Because all the laws that the lobbyists and the revolving-door politicians, who work in the government one year and then work for a corporation another year, they're basically, without the swastika on their arm or Mussolini's designations, they're fascists.

They might be useful, even in a limited way, if people don't say "I am a democrat." , "I am a republican.", how do you feel about the issues these parties are proponents of, in particular. Because what happens is you say you're a democrat or a republican and then you pigeon-hole yourself and paint yourself into a corner and feel compelled to vote for one or the other schmuck, because they're democrat or because they're republican. And it narrows, it narrows, it's kind of a myopic way of political thinking.

Meg: It feeds into the confirmation bias. It already supports what they believe so it's like a vicious cycle.

Well congress' total approval rating - those staunch people who approve of congress is about 8%. And I think it would just be really great if the government held an election and nobody showed up. If you can't get behind someone who's telling the truth and who has a view of the world that is balance, with good information and that has thought behind it instead of it being a persuasive argument that tries to keep and corral those folks they already think they have, I mean, what's the point?

Shane: What's really cool now is, we do have a world leader on the stage who is speaking the truth and backing it up with action; people can really rally behind that if they can get past their preconceived notions. But I wanted to get back to this ideology thing because I think it's really fascinating. The western world is really centred around ideology, and this ideological thinking, these movements. Earlier on there might have been something going on during the French revolution, when people were taking power from the monarchs. There was this shift in thinking that said that people had some responsibility and that they hold the real power for humanity. And there is something to that. However it was pretty quickly distorted; Napoleon came in and really instituted a lot of these fascist ways. But all these ideologies came out of that age; Adam Smith and just the whole concept of this liberal, free-market. And just the whole western way developed out of that whole time period, it developed and developed. And the United States came to and took those ideas, those ideologies, that way of shaping the public, making people believe that they have power when they're just really being shaped. Now if people really did wake up, and acknowledged that we are giving our power away to these rulers. We've been doing it.

Now that there is this realisation that we can have that capacity, there is a responsibility for everybody to see the mechanisms of control and to speak out against it, that's really where our power is. But as long as we're stuck in these ideologies. Where is the ideology that's just human. What does it mean to be a human being? What does it mean to act in service of other people? What are our greatest qualities that we can seek to achieve? That is what's missing from many of these ideologies. They might skim the surface and touch on some noble characteristics, but it's always distorted. And that's thing with ponerisation; it's these psychopaths who take these ideologies and twist them to corrupt humanity.

Karyn: So we need to create: The Human Party.

Elan: That sounds like a good party.

Meg: Sign me up.

Karyn: OK, I'll start a list.

Elan: Well, when you were talking about the 8% approval rating in congress, Karyn. I was thinking about all these buffoons who are running these debates right now for the republican party and they're all trying to out do each other with what they would do if they were president and they were facing this situation in Syria. And of course you have people who are in congress for the most part, going along with these lines as well; Ted Cruz and some of these others. And if it didn't knock me off the chair when I was reading this, you hear about Donald Trump coming out and saying, "Nooo! We should have left Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi and we should be leaving Assad in power. These guys kept their countries together." And when you hear it coming out of the mouth of a buffoon like Trump, this self-serving blow-hard -

Meg: With bad hair.

Elan: - with really bad hair, and god knows what else. It's like, it's this guy. This Schmendrick.

Meg: Is that a term?

Elan: It is. It's Yiddish for schmuck. Which is also Yiddish.

Meg: I knew it was something good.

Elan: Schmo, jerk; pick your favourite declamation. Anyway, he's coming out and saying this, it's sort of like if you have even the most basic understanding - while these countries weren't perfect. Saddam, you can make a fair argument for the idea that he did have a kind of Mafia-hold of control over Iraq (audio).

Meg: You can't say the same about Libya though. Libya was a fabulous country.

Elan: Exactly. Even more so. But what Saddam Hussein was able to do was keep all of these sectarian interests basically at peace with one another! They weren't doing badly. Did the guy have evil propensities? Yes he did. But nothing compares to the destruction and evil that was foisted upon Iraq, in the name of saving Iraq and the world from Saddam Hussein.

Meg: Well you have to eliminate all the examples that you don't want in the world. And bring everything up or down to your level.

Shane: That's the thing with psychopaths. They go after those who have the most creative capacity, who are doing the most human things in the world, like we were just saying with Gaddafi. What happened in Libya was such a great, massive atrocity; I'm sure readers of and many of our listeners know the truth about Gaddafi, and all the things he was doing for his country. Even the leadership, the tribal structure, they were able to accomplish such beautiful things, and I think that more than anything else was the reason Libya had to be destroyed. We see it on the world stage and we see it on a personal level as well. Sandra Brown, she wrote about that in her book -

Meg: Women Who Love Psychopaths. That psychopaths go after specific types of women; who are altruistic, intelligent, they have certain gifts that apparently - if we consider psychopaths predators - that's what they feed on. You read stories about these high-level executive women, high-powered lawyers, doctors, and they're essentially taken down, one of them had to go to a mental hospital. So if you think about society as a whole, and if you think about the effect it has on these women, there's a lot of similarities with everyone going crazy on the planet. There's an interesting point that she makes in the book about the psychopaths ability to hypnotise. A mesmerising effect on these women. Same thing with our politicians. People are blindly following Obama with this hope-nosis, not questioning that he's bombing babies in Pakistan and everywhere else. And that's the same effect, I think, that an individual psychopath has on a person as opposed to on the global stage.

Shane: Sandra Brown writes about how psychopaths will bond with people, they do use trauma as one means of bonding; there's this trauma bond, and you can see that over and over in the United States. The depiction has been made that the United States and the American people are in this really dysfunctional relationship and there are all these parallels. Aside from the trauma bonds, they do know how to mimic the bonds that happen even in normal relationships, how to give attention, how to speak to them, tell them their vulnerabilities and so on. Most men we're usually flawed and don't know how to do those things. So the psychopaths are the ones out there doing these things and causing all this damage in the process. So it's men's responsibility to, to suck things up and be more of a human being, to learn how to treat people with respect. Find those higher qualities and use them. Because right now, psychopaths are imitating them and they're pretty much dominating in the United States.

Meg: And Putin is the prime example of not doing that. He really considers his people, he considers diplomacy, he considers all those things and he's the complete opposite of what we see in the states.

Shane: There's a cool story that came out from Russia's meeting with France. Hollande was saying, "We want you guys to talk with the Free Syrian Army." And Putin pretty much, he kind of placated them and said, "We don't really know there's leadership in the Free Syrian Army." - because they don't really exist - "But we are open to communication. We need to have political settlement in Syria. That's how things need to be resolved." Because he's a very forward thinking person. It's not just bombs and missiles. But there are oppositional forces in Syria, not just the ones who have been imported. Who may want to be part of the political future in Syria. And he needs those people to basically sit down at the table, and they might be being reprimanded right now but he's used this strategy in Chechnya.

He sat down with the valid Chechen opposition and said "Look, we need to sort these things out." and it was amazing to see just how strong Chechyna became afterwards. They have such a strong relationship and really close ties to the Russian Federation now. And Putin is taking that same strategy and applying it to the situation in Syria. So all these US propagandists, they can say things as they've been saying, continuing to spout nonsense, but Putin's actions are bringing results. And that's what the world will see, for people who have eyes to see. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing it all play out.

Elan: This reminds me of a bias Putin had for quite a number of years. And that was - believe it or not - he had a pro-American bias. When he came into office, he didn't come in, I don't think, fully understanding the dynamics that were at work, with the fifth columns and NGOs and even terrorism. He had to, over a number of years and hard fought lessons, he came to realise, on a very visceral level, what it was he was dealing with. In the early 2000's, he made an appeal to the Bush administration, he had already established a kind of rapport with then president W. And it even went as far with W saying, "I looked into his eyes and saw his soul. This is a good man." Much was made of this rapport that Putin had with George Bush. And at some point he had reached out to Bush in an effort to work on the problem of terrorism. Because even though he had worked on the Chechen terrorism and civil strife, it had been addressed, but it was an ongoing issue. And he received a response from the US state department that said - it was few weeks later and it wasn't from Bush - something to the effect of "Well... go fly a kite."

So it was signs like these, over years, over many instances of Putin calling the American their partners, and reaching out; calling Obama on the phone to discuss things and creating the Minsk accords, that Putin had to learn that these Americans are not what he hoped they would be. So finally, after 13 of 14 or 15 years, he already started to speak out about some of this in 2007, there was a kind of a shift in his thinking that allowed him to say, "OK. My god. These guys are just going to do their thing, and no matter how much goodwill we offer here, in the spirit of cooperation and just being decent, there is nothing we can do to help alleviate the situation, and make things better for the world and our country. They're just going to keep attacking us. And we know this because of all the people they keep sending to our Russia to create dissent. And all these colour revolutions." You know, Ukraine must have been one of the nails in the coffin. So I think it'[s important to take note that what we're seeing with Putin today, is coming after many years of hard lessons. And coming to the realisation that there really is no one to talk to in the US! And for everyone else who doesn't have an inkling of what that experience is, it's just Putin doing this or that, being a strong man and trying to project power into Syria, reconstituting the USSR and Russian Empire, there's no understanding of exactly how much pain and work Putin had to come to, to be where he is today and to act so decisively in this situation.

Shane: It's funny, because even today he still leaves the door open, "We'd love to have some kind of discussion with the United States; we try; we have tried, we've been trying." It's reached a point where Russia needs to do something about it. Part of that may be strategy, where they do show rationality, being a basic decent person ad trying to resolve things. And he puts that message out there, and hopefully people will see the type of man he is. I don't know if people are just bogged down in the latest from CNN and such that they won't look at the message. But over time, with Russia moving forward, if people have these opportunities to see what is really going on.

Meg: Well the United States, it has to have an enemy. They have to have an enemy to feel powerful. So the United States should really have a look in a mirror because it's its own worst enemy, that's what it's up against. It's just wrong.

Elan: You know what's funny is, who would have thought that the US today would be supporting AlQaeda. I mean hello, aren't these the same ideologically connected people who blew up the World Trade Center?

Meg: Allegedly.

Elan: Allegedly. So Russia has taken on the new bogeyman role. Karyn, you had a very interesting article from a local paper, that speaks to the authoritarian mindset that the mainstream press as we know it in the west takes on.

Meg: What's interesting about this is, I'm sure whoever wrote this has no clue. It's under the opinion column. And it's called The Power Of The Press Is In Your Hands.
"Did you know that this is national newspaper week? We're fairly sure you didn't and it's safe that you don't especially care either. After all, this week is devoted to something. For national newspaper week however we hope that you will take a few minutes to think about the impact newspapers have on your life. And what life would be without information and the perspective they provide. The newspaper is your only source of local news especially in a small town. You aren't going to get your news by watching TV stations. Collecting and reporting news that shapes your daily lives, that's the business we're in." - the 'business' - "The phrase 'the power of the press' sounds pretty ominous but that power is working for you, the community. Your elected officials and other public servants work for you. And it's one of our jobs to see that they are sound stewards of your tax dollars and the authority you have given them. They say knowledge is power and that's what you community newspaper delivers. That knowledge may be about dreadful crimes or road projects that will effect your commute, or the latest heroics of the high school football team or a neighbour whose story is more fascinating than you can ever imagine."

"No one else is able to tell those stories and bring them to your doorstep. The demise of the newspaper is widely reported in today's culture. We're all digitally drive these days and many people rely on their computers or their phones to keep up to date with what's going on in their home town. The power of the press feels diluted these days because it's spread across many channels. But here's the thing, the demand and the hunger for information has never been greater. The paper and ink product you hold in your hands now is still the most powerful tool for informing the public, sharing important information and every now and then, changing the community or the world. And there's so much more trash to sift through today, anyone with a computer and internet connection can push 'news' out there to the whole world all day long. We firmly believe that the professional dedicated journalists and the product they deliver are more essential today than ever before."

"Despite the proliferation of news content today, keep in mind that behind every piece of legitimate news is a journalist who checked and doubled checked the facts developed an understanding of the issues and wrote it with you, the reader, in mind. A free and objective press remains the cornerstone of any free society and it's never been needed more. But the true power lies with you, the reader. We in the press are obligated and honoured to wield this on your behalf."
Can you imagine?

Shane: Well, one of our chatters just put up the quote that: "Wrong information is worse than no information." And that's so spot-on with regards to our topic today. There's so many biases that they just drive us with the wrong information.

We have a caller on the line. Caller are you there?

Joe: Yeap.

Shane: Hi. What's your name and where're you calling from?

Joe: My names Joe.

Shane: Hi Joe, how you doing?

Joe: OK. I happen to agree that the press, investigative journalists, people who have that kinda of scope behind the lines to really dig up what's really true, and then expose and reveal it to the public, is an extraordinarily important job. My question to you guys is: What do you expect the public to do with it?

Meg: The information?

Joe: Yeah.

Elan: Well, we don't have any expectations at this point, I think. But the hope is that the good and true information gets assimilated. And that people bring it to the attention of their legislators, in the form of phone calls, and this does happen from time to time. And that they take action in strategic and safe ways, that make it known that there are legislators that are going to be called on their BS. And that there are certain matters that are important to them. By the same token, there's a word that we use here on the Truth Perspective a number of times: Ponerization. And that is, the process by which politicians are influenced, negatively, evilly, by the psychopathic and pathological thinking of other people in positions of power. And so there's a recognition.

Joe: I'd like to interrupt for a second because you've said something that I want to respond to. You're hoping that the people at large, if they find something that's wrong, they will email/snail-mail/contact their politicians in order for them to do or correct what they believe is wrong. Do you honestly believe - and I don't know how deep your cynicism is about the American government, because my cynicism runs deep - do you honestly believe that if any normal politician in congress, gets even ten thousand emails from his constituents but gets one visit from a lobbyist, who do you think he's going to listen to?

Elan: Well the second part of my answer before you interjected Joe, was that knowledge for knowledge's sake is crucially important. I think I would agree with you. I think that there's a limited amount of influence that even individuals writing to their legislators will have. By the same token there is great value in seeing the unseen and knowing what is true in the midst of being lied to so heavily. And when people are in a position, at some point or another, to act based on what they know, just like we're seeing with Putin seizing the day, and finding his time to act based on what he knows; after years and years of making efforts and acquiring knowledge and looking at the situation.

Joe: Look, I know where you're going, people should act. But if people are going to act in ineffective ways, what difference does it make? If you really believe, do you really believe, and it seems to me like you're condoning the kind of activity of people contacting their legislators, to me it's kind of like asking the jailer for the jail key. And I just don't see any normal politician responding unless he can get a sound-bite out of it.

Elan: Let me just stress and reiterate the second part of my answer. Which is that knowledge for knowledge's sake is very important. And you may be absolutely right, that kind of head-on participation in the political process might be completely moot at this point, it probably is. And so people have to prepare themselves mentally, based on the types of things they're seeing and they know is happening, to take care of themselves in a way that other authoritarian types depend on the government. So people becoming interdependent with people who see the situation for what it is; forming communities, forming networks of self-supporting, self-sufficient, knowledgeable networks of people who can respond to the deficiencies and to the threats and outright aggression that they may be subjected to further down the line.

Joe: OK. And how do you see this manifesting? The type of networking and strategy that you're referring to.

Meg: The problem is that as soon as we accept what they say and the framing on their terms, it gives them a powerful advantage. The minute we stop observing with a critical eye and critical thinking, we've already been persuaded. So if we don't make our voices and our thinking known, then we've already lost the game, there is no advantage, there is nothing that would possibly change.

Joe: Well I agree with you. The only thing I'm asking is, what type of strategies would actually be effective?

Shane: Effective at changing the power structure within the United States?

Joe: Or effecting the kind of change in which congress would do more than just lie to us; they'll actually pass laws that are beneficial to us and repeal laws that are deleterious to us.

Shane: I don't know if there is anything at this point.

Joe: That's the honest answer. Now here's what I was doing with all that questioning. I've thought of a 'solution', but the solution isn't a solution unless there's a strategy involved. So I don't have a solution, what I have is a goal. To me, congress is the answer. Nothing happens in the United States unless it is done by congress - I guess further up the line you could say that they're run by the lobbyists, who are run by other people. But the thing is, congress has the power to make the laws. The laws - and I'm looking at your description page right now and there's an infographic about how America isn't really the exceptional country that we used to be, and that's because of congress. My 'solution' is that, if people - and that's a big if - could just realise that without putting forth anymore effort than they're already doing to try to change congress, they could change it. And here's how.

Instead of trying trying to select somebody who's a good democrat or a good republican; you go to the poles en masse and you just put in anybody who's in the independent party, any independent, except somebody who's served today, like Bernie Sanders. Any independent, if he's a dog-catcher, you put them in. Because they're not career politicians. Now, if you could sweep out 435 Dems and Republicans and put in 435 bumbling and yet good hearted and good minded people, that would be a thousand percent better than the skuzz-balls we have today. But again, I don't have much faith in the American intelligence. Because if you take a look at the polls and the American citizen says, "We don't like congress. We don't like Obama." What do they keep doing every two years, they vote out the Democrat and vote in the Republican, vote out the Republican, vote in the Democrat; they keep falling for the same, "We need change. We need change."

Elan: Joe, you appreciate honesty, certainly. So here's some honesty as I see it. The trajectory of the US at this time, it's really bad and probably worse than even a lot of informed people probably think, I think. I wouldn't be surprised at this point, in creating a distraction for the pro-active response that Russia has made in Syria. If we should see even more distracting, horrible, synthetic terror, that is designed to corral and limit people's freedom of action here. So much so that it may just be a matter of months before congress is rendered even more moot than it is today. In which case, and we've discussed the potential for the economy to create such a dire situation here in the US, where just the day to day living, finding food, resources, are difficult things. So to be pragmatic about it, I think being aware of the situation as a whole and preparing oneself in any and every way possible, and those who are open to the truth of the situation is probably one of the most pro-active things we can do as individuals.

Shane: Just to add to that, the direction that we're headed; personally, the only way I think things are going to change on the American continent is when the United States does collapse; it's going to happen at some point. Perhaps sooner, perhaps later; probably sooner. When we enter these situations of chaos, I think that that does open the door either for further evil or for something new. So if there's a large enough body of people who can see the truth and they can act as leaders, to bring in a different way of living. Which I think Putin is exemplifying on the world stage. I think if there are enough people who can really organise, in the same way these psycho's in Washington are organising, maybe then we can present and create something different.

Meg: Well I don't think that structure, the US government structure is so hierarchical, it wouldn't (inaudible 1.32.32) people have got to be ready for something really new, something that's more equality based as opposed to this hierarchy we live in; where one person or corporation have all this power. It's not worth saving in my mind.

Joe: There's nothing wrong with having corporations, I happen to be a firm believer in capitalism, what we have today is crony capitalism. Where we have crooked corporate leaders lying in bed with crooked politicians. The thing is is that, the American people are not thinkers, we're not. All we have to do is go to the polls and vote in a person, one person, you don't have to try to decide who is going to be the best 1 out of 35 candidates, just any particular person, and if people did that - but to highlight what I'm saying about the stupidity about the American people, how can the American people say they despise congress with an approval rating of 6% or 16% depending upon which poll you read but they keep polling in the same bastards. We have 60% of Americans who were polled the other day and they said they didn't trust congress. But - and would it make any sense to you if you took a poll of your community and a thousand members of your community said, "I'm done with 'this particular organisation' because of what they've done to us." But then when it comes to the time to change the membership, they keep voting in the wives and husbands of the people in the organisation.

Shane: Right. People generally don't see the forest for the trees and there is no bigger picture. I think the other aspect is, there is such a strong belief in the American system itself and that just propels it forward.

Joe: Yeah you're right.

Meg: Cognitive biases at work.

Joe: We've all been brainwashed -

Shane: We have.

Joe: We've all been brainwashed to accept this particular system. And I can't really say that it's that bad on its face because if you're the citizen of any country you're going to be taught to love your country and there's nothing wrong with that. But when they keep harping upon 'terror terror terror' and 'democrats vs republicans' and people do not, as the woman caller was saying, have a discriminating or discerning mindset. They just take a look at the polls and say "Look, Trump is leading. I guess I'll vote for him. Oh my god! Trump has just dropped to third place, I guess I won't vote for him." Do you know, Jimmy Kimmel went out into the street and he said to people, "Do you like Trump?", "No", "So who do you like, Hillary?", "Ahh ok.", "So you like Hillary's plan of gun control, of sealing up the borders?", "Yeah I do."

Well after about five minutes of interviewing them, he told them, this is all Trump's plans it has nothing to do with Hillary, "Well then, I support Trump." These people do not know how to think, they just follow the crowd. And I've tried to organise but I wasn't successful. So that's why I called in, to see if you guys had any real good plans that could be feasible.

Elan: Well Joe. Have you been in touch with any people who feel and think the same ways you do?

Joe: Oh, that's a good question. You know who feels and thinks the same way you and I do? A lot. A lot of people. It's amazing to me that somehow I get into conversations with people I don't know, strangers, and we're talking about one particular thing because of the venue, the environment we're in, like I'm buying something., And then we're talking about conspiracy theories. I came across a Korean vendor a few months ago, he is from Korea, he's not Korean-American, and he was talking to me after we first started talking about veterans - I don't know how we got onto that conversation, about the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Federal Reserve, and a lot of people are aware of what's going on but I think they feel helpless. So the combine their helplessness with the fact that, as you have brought up, belief in the system, because no one really wants to believe that the United States has a history of decimating its own people. OK? Even though they can see it right in front of them; enslavement of the blacks, genocide of the Indians, forced sterilisation of women, irradiation of vets and non-vets, and you can go down the line.

And people can download this information from congressional committees and congressional transcripts, and declassified CIA documents, to show the history of congress and of what they've done, to us. But nobody wants to believe it and I can't blame them. You know. It's like congress is Santa Claus, you're supposed to believe in it and they're supposed to help you.

Meg: Joe.

Joe: Yeah.

Meg: You just described another one of the cognitive biases we were going to bring up today and that's one that's called learned helplessness. And if you feel like you can't control your destiny like most people in America can't. You kind of give up and accept things as they are. So an individual has learned to be helpless, they've learned to depend on the government make the decision for them and think for them. It's just another cognitive bias that we have to overcome. So we can change something. Even if it's just our immediate environment, our homes, our local communities, to create the kind of environment we want to be in. As opposed to what our leaned helplessness tells us to create. If that makes sense.

Joe: Will you be quoting that Doctor who's written a thesis about it?

Meg: We have a book here. It's called: You Are Not So Smart by David Mcraney. And it lists all the cognitive biases we have as human beings, whether we learn them or some might be innate. It explains why people think the way they think and why it's so easy for them to be led around. We have to start thinking for ourself even if our first attempts at thinking for ourselves turn out to be wrong. We have to start trying to use those critical faculties that Shane was talking about.

Karyn: The other thing Joe, I think is that we have to start factoring in critical mass. When things get to a critical mass, things change. And the United States population, if they are as astute, covertly, as you might think they are, and we hope they are, critical mass should be happening at any time and this will put a whole lot of different aspects into play.

Elan: I have a question for you Joe. How did you find the radio show today?

Joe: Well I was surfing around, saw the show...

Meg: That's cool, welcome!

Joe: Well thanks.

Elan: I was just wondering if you've ever read We're part of a radio network that includes other shows which come from a particular website called Signs of the Times, There's quite a lot of information there that puts things further into, how we see them, that you sound like you agree with, that I invite you to check out when you get a chance.

Meg: Made up of a bunch of people who think the way you do.

Joe: I'm going to do it right now since I'm in front of my PC.

Shane: Well, we have another caller on the line Joe. So I just wanted to say thank you for all your thoughts and for calling in.

Elan: Thanks for your comments.

Joe: Sure.

Elan: And please feel free to call back.

Joe: Alright, nice talking to you guys. Take care. Bye-bye.

Shane: Thanks Joe. Hello caller?

Jonathan: Hey, how you doing?Yeah this is Jonathan again and I just wanted to interject something very quickly. I very much enjoyed listening to Joe. And actually I believe that Joe's view, probably for a man in his demographic, is actually more prevalent than not. The one thing I would take exception to is, they seem like dumb people for electing the same group of criminals, whether republican or democrat every cycle. But, just from my perspective, they feel helplessness, they don't really follow news assiduously, they concentrate on developing their relationships, intra-familial, extra-familial and that what's they value, it brings tangible value to their lives. They don't deeply research and question things but the majority of people are good people, really they just work their asses off; they're worried about bills, they're worried about retirement and then when they have time off, they will watch a television show that makes them laugh or they'll go to the lake with their friends, or they'll go have a few beers at their friends house and maybe watch a comedian. And that is perfectly understandable given the forces of power that exist and reproduce from day to day.

I just wanted to say that I very much respect Joe. But I wanted to tell you something that I have done, as a solution to get out of this situation. As I've told you I'm a whistleblower, it destroyed my company but at the same time I started another endeavour which I'm developing right now, it's called Chinopo Farms. And what it is, it's something like Craigslist. Where we help people develop their own food within their communities, and sell or trade their food within their communities. And the premise of it is, we have basic rules about not using chemical or synthetic fertilisers or fungicides or pesticides, we just have basic rules, we're not interested in making people becoming certified organic. The idea is it's all open-source where people can learn how to grow onions, lettuce, pumpkins, sweet potato, whatever; we help them do it, we monitor the methodologies that these particular people engage. And it's all open. Now somebody develops and they trade through our network and they develop a better methodology, it all has to be - to trade in our network, every methodological advancement that you engage and you innovate, it all has to be open-source, where other people can engage this as well.

And if you work a hundred hours a week developing, you will be able to enjoy the lions share of the value of your labour. So we are just the facilitator. The idea is this: that we can learn to become more independent, and communities dependent and interactive, outside of the grand corporate schema that we are under the control of today. And then, it's not about republican/democrat but it's recognising that we can do better, we have the capacity to do better. We can become more intelligent by engaging this and it is the only way I have thought of that we can actually pick up the pieces if we do collapse. It's like sowing seeds. I'm going to be developing the idea on paper in a preliminary form and then, for example, in any given community, like the one where I live at, you find a source for organic compost. And then you help people obtain these seeds for as cheap as possible. You're not trying to sell them something; you're not trying to promote something for somebody to become a millionaire. But the organisation that facilitates it like Craigslist - but no personal prostitution ads, none of that. There's no overt politics of republican/democrat - none of that.

It's just helping people help themselves and do better and live better, more naturally.

Shane: I think you're definitely onto something there with the direction. It's certainly something that we can agree with. That building smaller based communities is what's really going to be needed in the future and it's what America largely lacks. So I think you're onto something there Jonathan. We only have a few minutes left of our show...

Jonathan: I would just say this: When you help people just live better, the politics will follow; a more healthy politics would follow. And if something like this actually caught on, it would improve people's physical and mental fitness. And it could be bigger than Walmart, without any dog billionaire. Because we have a very sophisticated BS meter in this country as far as being propagandised as consumers and configured as consumers. And I just think that the time is right that we just do the next logical step for self-help and community help, and this is what I've come up with. And when I'm finished with this document, the preliminaries of it, I'll email it to y'all and y'all can look at it. It's not about me becoming - it's impossible for me to become a millionaire through engaging this, the way I've set this up. But I'm 51 and I need to have something as a legacy that I can find meaning and to move forward. Anyway, that's enough from me and i just wanted to say hello to Joe and I really enjoyed listening in to his perspective. And god bless y'all, take care, bye-bye.

Shane: Thanks Jonathan. So, I think one other topic we wanted to cover to. What is the result of a lot the cognitive biases that we're just living in, and also how to tie it into what we've been seeing playout on the world state with Russia and Putin. There's been a lot of really violent and appalling things posted on - we see them all the time but it seems as though there's been an increase in both the scale and the depth of the violence. Just really deplorable things. There seems to be an increase in beheadings. And I'm not talking about Saudi Arabia or ISIS but people - well, not normal people - but everyday people. There's a story on about an Indian man who beheaded his maid after she filed a complaint of abuse.

Meg: Carried her head down the street.

Shane: This isn't just in other countries. I want to make the point that this is a societal view. Another story that stuck out for me is this past week there was a woman who was raped by a policeman. She was travelling with another man who went through a DUI checkpoint and was arrested and taken away. So she was stranded and the police officer offered her a ride and basically raped her at gunpoint. And the trial just happened. And the defence presented a picture of her bending over a car, in highschool. This was a primary piece of evidence. Making the argument that she'd had these fantasies.

Meg: She was asking for it.

Shane: That was the message: that she was asking for it. And the jury, not the judge - we see corrupt judges all the time but this is a jury - they cleared the officer of all charges; there were a whole host of others too. And you see this young woman, there was another video of her, just wailing after the verdict was read; it's horrific. We're seeing so many of these that it's not just the psychopathic leaders who are behaving in such bizarre, appalling ways. It seems that with the forces that are being played out on the planet, people are making choices and those choices are leading them to be aligned with some truly nasty forces. And so they behave in these kinds of ways. There might be there are some other things to it too.

Elan: Well, that reminds me of a similar story of a guy who's in his early thirties, in California just this past week. He got into an argument with his mother, I guess she pointed a gun at him, and in anger he took a hatchet off of a wall in the house that they were living in or that she lived in, and he proceeded to disembowel her. He took her heart out and then put it back in. And after that was done, he went out with some friends, had some beers and booked a flight somewhere else, leaving his mother just the way he left her. When he was questioned about it, this young man who had killed his mother, he said that he had masturbated after the act and that he actually felt good about it. Erm. So, yeah. You're seeing right now, we're seeing right now, just these unfathomable actions and behaviours occurring. And there was another story about a boy who killed his mother as well. One question we might ask is all of this aggression that we're seeing on part of the government all these military incursions into other countries, all of the abuse people are suffering at the hands of police officers, all of the shootings and now these just horrific, brutal killings.

Is this all part of some process? Or some larger, macro-effect of change that's occurring? That we're seeing. And if so, what could be the cause of it? There have always been psychopaths. They seem to be part of the make-up of any population. But there is a virulence, a spreading of what we're seeing now that seems to be occurring on many different levels. By the same token I do think there are number of people who are waking up. And who feel compelled to share their thoughts and their observations here, they write blogs, the do whatever social activism that their lives will allow. In the other direction you have a number of folks who are being constructive, who are aligning themselves with another principle or force for good, in opposition or in a different direction to all this madness we're seeing. We just need to keep our eyes peeled. And become aware of folk and how they're effecting things and what the possible forces may be that are acting on them.

Shane: There does appear to be the polarising of people. I've noticed the same thing.

Meg: The violence seems to have escalated in the number and severity of the violence; it's not just punching out a complete stranger at an ATM anymore. It seems to be escalating.

Karyn: There seems to be more horrific things on the news. Every time 'ISIS' beheads someone, it's, for certain elements of society, this is an acceptable thing to do. A man walking down the street with his maids head in a bag? He was just carrying it? There seem to be some liberties that are being taken that otherwise would stop them.

Shane: We've talked about the Information Field before on the show. The general idea, to try to paraphrase is that there are different fields of knowledge and it's not necessarily all good or all bad. There's these fields that exist and basically as human beings we can tap into those things. So when you have something like ISIS that's unleashed on the world, we're now at the point where US officials, Hillary Clinton and whoever else, they're basically supporting terrorism and genocide. I wouldn't say it's 100% overt, but it's really not that hidden. If you have any idea of what's going on in the world and what the United States has done in supporting terror, all these arguments that these politicians are making about Russia - they're outraged that Russia is targeting their terrorists. And those who are accepting that ideology, that way of thinking, are tapping into a really nasty Information Field. So what kind of things does that open society up to? And I think that's kind of what we're seeing play out.

Meg: I think that that's a great theory Shane.

Elan: Meg, you had a little bit that you wanted to share about the just-world idea.

Meg: Oh yeah. This one seems to encompass a lot of different things but the just-world fallacy is essentially that people who are having a rough go at life or losing in life and having bad things happen to them, somehow have done something to deserve it. Which underlies I think, the news story you brought up where they were blaming this women for having this picture, of herself on the hood of a car, that looked like the same as when she got raped. Everything that I've read about it the guy in the book, he doesn't say whether it's something we learned or something innate. But it just seems to underlie a lot of the cognitive biases. There's just enough good guys to keep the bad guys at bay; good guys win most of the time, it's reinforced by the media. Our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, which is the foundation of our country, is based upon equality and a just-world, and the bad guys are going to get their just-desserts and the good guys are going to get theirs, and that's just not true.

And I think that underlies a lot of peoples - I know it did mine - belief systems and belief structures. I've had family members and friends who believe that things just ebb and flow, the good guys and the bad guys that's just the way things are. They'll never see the bigger picture that evil is prospering for years and years and years and it never gets its just-desserts. Underlying that is some narrative or belief system that it's a just-world and if something bad happens to you it's probably your fault somehow, so you'll never get the help you need.

Elan: And there are no true victims -

Meg: Only volunteers.

Shane: In this rape case, basically those who are really entrenched in this just-world fallacy, bias, would see the woman as wanting to defame the policeman and win money over a civil case, so she lied and she lost and the noble policeman won.

Meg: Right. And she had this fantasy about the hood of a car - I mean, a jury had to have told themselves that this bad thing that happened to her was her responsibility on some level.

Shane: They might've even thought that a bad thing didn't happen to her.

Meg: Right. (inaudible 2.02.55) and it was a bad (inaudible) it's ridiculous.

Elan: When you think about this mindset in the context of the refugees and the crisis that's occurring in Europe right now, I think what it has allowed people to do, until the situation has become so in your face and you finally see pictures of this poor boy on the shores, dead, having drowned in an effort to escape the situation. But what it does is, you make all of these associations, "Well, they're just Syrians, they're all terrorists anyway." or, "They're all Islamic and so they're just paying for what their leaders are doing." You can just imagine all of the rationalisations and this underlying idea of appealing to the worst instincts in people. And really allowing them to abrogate any sense of responsibility or compassion for what others are going through.

Meg: I was reading about that too, the migrant issue. As a country Germany will not acknowledge their involvement in the wars. They caused the problem these people are running from and now they're building fences - well I guess Hungary is - to keep them out. That's just another way of blaming them. It's like these people are at fault for living in a country that they happen to want to blow up. And now they're building fences and demonising them and they're living in horrid conditions, if that's not blaming the victim I don't know what it is, even if they don't say so. You know, it's really covert.

Karyn: There's a propaganda tactic it's called dehumanisation. It's one that kind of tricks the brain, it lumps a group together in such a way that it takes away any of that individuality of separate persons, like children and women and men, it's just a mass identity. And this is kind of where the Israeli's have a group identity for the Palestinians, they don't see them as women and children, or non-soldiers; they're all lumped in together. So this is a mindset that tricks you into accepting or dealing with an issue without it being individuated to actual people.

Elan: It's as if these people, as individuals, don't suffer.

Karyn: They remain faceless.

Meg: They're humanless.

Elan: They've become a 'thing'; an evil political ideology and not individuals who have emotions and challenges that are being made horrible at the hands of psychopathic people in positions of power.

Meg: And when you think about it, it isn't the people who are dehumanised it's actually the focus of the pathologicals who are more dehumanised in that respect because that's how they think about things, they aren't coming from the heart, they aren't coming from the human perspective, they're coming from some colder, darker, deeper place.

Shane: Yeah those who really dehumanise don't have that humanity in them. And we see Hollywood, if you look at movies, how many times is the 'crazy Arab' the bad guy, and we've been doing this for decades. It's like this abstract thing where, could you imagine another country invaded the United States and a million people were slaughtered.

Meg: And then two thousand of them had to go to another country as refugees and they put us in concentration camps. How would we feel about that as Americans?

Shane: Can people wrap their heads around that? That these people are human beings no different than them? It's such a foreign emotion - not even concept - that some people don't even allow themselves to reach. It's so horrific.

Meg: I think people are so beaten down, we've got the Health and Wellness show; we've got the show with Joe and Niall's show (, I mean people are just beaten down; they're unhealthy, their brains don't work, their minds don't work. I could almost say who can blame them? They're just zombies in this country. But I think they're just beaten down. Not that it's any excuse.

Elan: I think people are beaten down and zombified and one of the steps that people can take in getting out of that is, when you're suffering - and we all have our challenges that we need to figure out, and work with and work on - to think about other people who may be going through what you are, only ten times worse. Because they have no food, no place to live, they're separated from their families, their lands; you can really apply this to any situation, it doesn't have to be that extreme. But if you've ever gone through anything that's been particularly difficult emotionally or psychologically, take a moment to think and put yourself in the shoes of people who are experiencing something like that, only ten times worse. And I think that we can grow as individuals when we do that. We become greater than our individual problems because we realise that we're not alone.

And on that note, unless we have anything else to add today. I think we're going to bring this show to a conclusion. And I want to thank our callers, Jonathan, Joe and Jonathan. Also, I want to thank our chatters for chiming in and keeping the chatroom buzzing. Thanks listeners for listening in. And don't forget tomorrow, Behind the Headlines 2pm EST and next Friday, 10am, the Truth and Wellness show -

Shane: Health and Wellness show.

Karyn: That's a good name for it actually.

Elan: The Health and Wellness show. Anyway, thanks for listening, we hope you have a good week. Take care. And have a good one.

Shane: Thanks for listening guys.

Meg: Thanks guys.

Karyn: Bye y'all.