BERNAYS AND PROPAGANDA
By Larry Romanoff
Introduction — If America dissolves…
Chapter One — Bernays and Propaganda
Chapter Two — The Marketing of War
Chapter Three — Democracy Control
Chapter Four — The Transition to Education and Commerce
Chapter Five — Propaganda Continues Unabated
Epilogue — Captain America — The Man with Two Brains
American politicians and their allies in the military, in Hollywood, in publishing, in business and banking, deliberately created and then exploited the nationalistic loyalty of a gullible and uninformed public to shape perceptions and values on a massive scale. Americans have been programmed with religion-based politics for generations, being taught to see the world as black and white, good and bad, to believe that only American virtues and values were good for mankind and would always triumph. Their fabricated historical myths taught them that they, their leaders, and their nation were moral, righteous and upright, selfless benefactors to the world, battling evil wherever it was found. Everything was distorted, based not only on misinformation but on outright deceit. America’s image of itself, and its image of the world’s nations and peoples, were tragically and shallowly twisted to create the narrative of American moral superiority.
Most American holidays other than obviously religious ones like Christmas are infused with political and religious overtones, many of them reinforcing the historical myths of the founding or development of their nation. Their false historical memories are aroused, as are their patriotic emotions and spiritual convictions, making a kind of adhesive that creates a false sense of social identity. The entire concept of American nationality is based on this perverted political religion, creating an extremely ideological national identity that is reinforced almost daily to prevent its collapse.
But it’s all they have. To be an American is not to be bound by a common race or language, nor by history, nor by culture or tradition. In all these, Americans are empty, devoid of culture and civilisation, lacking common traditions, beliefs or history. Americans have only their substandard political religion to bind them together, and there is nothing else for them, no community or belonging beyond being a member of this “team”, their political ideology being the only adhesive. Their entire American existence is founded on this false ideological narrative, the entire regime predicated on these moralistic political-religious myths and fables. If we expose and destroy the myths, forcing Americans to face the bare truths of their nation, the entire narrative collapses, and if the narrative collapses, the regime cannot stand.
Someone appropriately wrote that American patriotism may be best understood as the biggest case of mass hysteria in history. But again, it’s all they have. There is nothing else. This is all that anchors the individual lives. Their entire society, their identity, the very core of the American psyche, are all predicated on this hysterical orgy of an all-inclusive political religion. Because they have nothing else of substance as a people or a nation, this modern McCarthyism is all that prevents the collapse of the American identity. As someone pointed out, if France dissolves, the French people are still French. If America dissolves, Americans are nothing.
From all these and much more, America is an extremely ideological country with American nationalism forming a powerful fabricated jingoism resting on the twin pillars of a dysfunctional and misrepresented multi-party political system and a brutal and self-serving capitalism, all wrapped in a shroud of a dangerously primitive and sacrilegious Christianity.
Nor can Americans understand or fathom concepts of civilisation in other societies. To them, a nation’s references to culture or civilisation are just cheap excuses to avoid the inevitable, which is to become American clones, adopting American so-called values and institutions. Americans know nothing about other nations or cultures, other than their presumed vast inferiority. Few Americans have the ability or inclination to learn another language, and even fewer know anything of the history or culture of other civilisations millennia older than their own. They understand consumerism and pride themselves on their rights, using belligerence and social Darwinism (the American Dream) as a substitute for civilisation, culture and humanity.
Americans have from birth been so overwhelmed with propaganda, so steeped in their natural superiority and God-given exceptionalism that they simply cannot abide any people being different from them, and their primitive and violent Christianity dictates they either convert or kill anyone who is different. These deeply-embedded attitudes affect the entire spectrum of the human experience, exhibited in the mindless jingoism where every American attitude or belief, no matter how vacuous, is automatically converted to a universal value and human right. An American acquaintance once stated that her pet’s right to dog food was a ‘human right’ and therefore included in the definition of democracy.
Not only do Americans universalise most everything but, because of the infusion of Christianity into their political beliefs, they moralise everything, which translates into “Your way is not only different, but it’s wrong” – as in morally wrong. And this attitude, which permits them to take the high moral ground on every debatable issue, obtains from their Right-Wing Christian heritage – the belief that everything they do is “right” because God is on their side. They therefore take an unassailable (in their mind) position that whatever they do, however brutal, repulsive, inhumane or dishonest, is justified by their inherent moral righteousness stemming from God’s approval. Given the Americans’ natural belligerence, these attitudes manifest themselves in an alarming eagerness to use violence to impose their values, institutions, and their will, on all other nations.
This is partly why Americans meddle so much, and the reason for their pathological focus on other forms of government. That’s why a newspaper editorial recently pronounced about Syria, “Even if it were illegal for us to interfere, it would still be right”. So, we should overthrow a legitimate government simply because it doesn’t hold our American values – God’s values, and we can ignore man’s laws because we answer to a higher authority. The death and misery inflicted are irrelevant in this context. The American people see meddling in the affairs of other nations because “it’s the right thing to do”, and it’s the right thing because it is the will of God.
American people are nothing if not naive, gullible and simple-minded, at least in their nation’s foreign affairs. Their government always lies, and they always believe the lies. The hundreds of foreign interventions, wars, coups, invasions, have always been presented as missions to rescue less fortunate people, and Americans always cheer, apparently oblivious to the carnage and misery they inflict. US President McKinley said he was going to war in Cuba to stop “oppression at our very doors”, and they cheered. President Taft said he was overthrowing the government of Nicaragua to promote “real patriotism”, and they cheered. George Bush destroyed and enslaved Iraq to “find WMDs”, and they cheered. Obama destroyed Libya to “liberate” it, and they cheered.
An identical public response obtains with America’s state-sponsored killings and assassinations. In days past, these were darkly secret covert operations but today they are carried out openly and converted into PR events. American law has been rewritten to permit the US President to order the killing of individuals in any country without providing any evidence whatsoever to anyone, and do so without charge or trial. Just as with torture, the propaganda machine has re-defined ‘democracy, freedom and human rights’ to include these killings as part of the American political-Christian religion, certified by US Attorney-General Eric Holder flatly stating that these government killings “are not a departure from our American laws and values.”
This propaganda is effective. The same gullible simple-mindedness from generations of intense programming has created widespread public support for these murders. Bush had Saddam Hussein executed in a public hanging, and Americans cheered in the streets. Moammar Khadaffi was captured, sodomised with a huge knife, then shot in the head, and they cheered in the streets. Obama faked the killing of Osama bin Laden, and they cheered in the streets. Americans fabricate their history by creating popular myths and making even a criminal assassination a celebratory occasion for being on the winning team. Only in America will hundreds of thousands of people party in the streets on the news that their leader has just killed someone in another country that he didn’t like.
In this as in virtually all other aspects of foreign affairs, it is necessary to never forget that democracy is a coin with only one side. You will recall the situation in Iraq where the US deliberately set up Saddam Hussein on the matter of invading Kuwait, and then betrayed him. Following the “liberation” of Kuwait the US propagated allegations that Saddam had put out a hit contract on George Bush for the double-cross. No evidence was presented but if the accusation were true it would hardly be a surprise. In response, the US bombed the bejeesus out of Iraq because, according to US President Clinton, the bombing “was essential to … affirm the expectation of civilized behavior among nations.” – the bombing of innocent civilians apparently conforming to the definition of “civilised behavior”. I can kill you, but you can’t kill me. I love democracy.
Let’s return to Libya for a moment. We saw the outline of the real reasons the US government destroyed that nation and had its leader killed – it was for commercial, military, political and financial advantage but, in the shallow depths of the gullible American mind, their government overthrew a brutal dictator and liberated its people on humanitarian grounds. Listen to Hillary Clinton: “I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Libya. The United States was proud to stand for you in your fight for freedom and we will continue to stand with you as you continue this journey. This is Libya’s moment. This is Libya’s victory and the future belongs to you.” President Obama, the great American Christian and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was equally charming, declaring Kaddafi’s death “a momentous day” and breathlessly telling the American sheep that because of Libya’s utter destruction “countless lives have been saved.” Lies of this magnitude should be punishable by hanging.
And herein lies part of the tragedy of America, and the reason the country will eventually have to implode: the enormous disconnect between the propagandised ideology of the people and the brutal reality of the thin layer of elites that run their government and military, their corporations, banks and mass media. There is no other nation whose population has such a large gap between myth and reality, between what the people believe their government has done and what it has actually done. When the people one day put the pieces together, the US will have another revolution; I don’t believe anything can prevent it. It was not for nothing that George Bush Sr. said, “If the people knew what we were doing, they would hang us in the streets”. Perhaps one day soon, they will.
(2) I have lost the source of this quote.
Many years ago, the Jewish-American political commentator Walter Lippmann realised that political ideology could be completely fabricated, using the media to control both presentation and conceptualisation, not only to create deeply-ingrained false beliefs in a population, but also to entirely erase undesirable political ideas from the public mind. This was the beginning of not only the American hysteria for freedom, democracy and patriotism, but of all manufactured political opinion, a process that has been operative ever since. Lippmann created these theories of mass persuasion of the public, using totally fabricated “facts” deeply insinuated into the minds of a gullible public, but there is much more to this story. An Austrian Jew named Edward Louis Bernays, who was the nephew of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was one of Lippmann’s most precocious students and it was he who put Lippmann’s theories into practice. Bernays is widely known in America as the father of Public Relations, but he would be much more accurately described as the father of American war marketing as well as the father of mass manipulation of the public mind.
“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind” it will be possible “to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it”. He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the ‘engineering of consent’, and to accomplish it he merged theories of crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud. Bernays regarded society as irrational and dangerous, with a “herd instinct”, and that if the multi-party electoral system (which was fabricated by a group of European elites as a population control mechanism) were to survive and continue to serve those elites, massive manipulation of the public mind was necessary. These elites, “invisible people”, would have, through their influence on government and their control of the media, a monopoly on the power to shape thoughts, values, and responses of the citizenry. His conviction was that this group should flood the public with misinformation and emotionally-loaded propaganda to “engineer” the acquiescence of the masses and thereby rule over them. According to him, this manufactured consent of the masses, creating conformity of opinion molded by the tool of false propaganda, would be vital for the survival of democracy. (1) (1a) (2)
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” He stated that in America, people are governed, their minds molded, their tastes formed, their ideas suggested, largely by men they have never heard of. He claimed, “This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner. In almost every act of our daily lives we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” (3)
In his main work titled ‘Propaganda’, (4) (4a) which he wrote in 1928, Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy in which individuals were inherently dangerous (to the rapacity of the elites) but could be harnessed and channeled by these same elites for their economic benefit. He wrote further that “No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any … wise idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by … those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders. Fortunately, the … politician is able, by the instrument of propaganda, to mold and form the will of the people.” He clearly believed that virtually total control of a population was possible, and perhaps easy to accomplish: “So vast are the numbers of minds which can be regimented, and so tenacious are they when regimented, that (they produce) an irresistible pressure before which legislators, editors, and teachers are helpless.”
And it wasn’t only the public masses that were ‘inherently dangerous’, but a nation’s leaders fit this description as well, therefore also requiring manipulation and control. Bernays realised that if you can influence the leaders of a nation, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you can control the government and the country, and that is precisely where he set his sights. Bernays again: “In some departments of our daily life, in which we imagine ourselves free agents, we are ruled by dictators exercising great power. There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes. Nor, what is still more important, the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by authorities.” He went on to tell us that “The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses.” And in this case, the “few” are the wealthy elites, their even wealthier bankers, and their brethren who control the media, publishing and entertainment industries.
US President Wilson was desperate to fulfill his obligations to his handlers by putting the US into the First World War as they wished, but was having little success with public opinion at home; few Americans wanted to enter the European war. In 1917 Wilson founded what was called The Committee on Public Information, of which Bernays became a star member. It was Bernays’ vast propaganda schemes and his influence in promoting the patently false idea that US entry to the war was primarily aimed at “bringing democracy to all of Europe”, that proved so successful in altering public opinion about the war. Thanks to Edward Bernays, American war marketing was born and would never die.
Until the First World War, these theories of creating an entirely false public opinion based on misinformation, then manipulating this for population control, were still only theories, but the astounding success of propaganda by Bernays and his group during the war laid bare the possibilities of perpetually controlling the public mind on all matters. The “shrewd” designers of Bernays’ “invisible government” developed a standard technique for what was essentially propaganda and mind control, or at least opinion control, and infiltrated it throughout the US government, its departments and agencies, and its leaders and politicians. Coincident with this, they practiced infecting the leaders of every identifiable group – fraternal, religious, commercial, patriotic, social – and encouraging these men to likewise infect their supporters.
Bernays was apparently stunned by the outstanding success of his democracy slogan and hate campaign in swaying public opinion in favor of war, and so immediately began to apply his model to peacetime enterprises. “In applying his uncle’s Freudian theories to deal with public conceptions, Bernays realised that provoking a fear of communism and then manipulating the public’s emotions toward it, could be a sure recipe for success in the widespread engineering of popular opinion and control of the population. This theory was so powerful that it became a weapon of its own during the cold war.” The term ‘propaganda’ had acquired a poor reputation so Bernays created and promoted the term ‘Public Relations’, but of course his processes were no such thing. Bernays’ PR ethic involved psychological manipulation and control of the public mind through cleverly-devised – and thoroughly false – propaganda.
Bernays carries the blame for more than American entry into the two world wars, having been instrumental in paving the way for the US cannibalisation and military colonisation of much of the world, and for the US installing and supporting the dozens of brutal military dictatorships around the world. His first international project was helping to engineer the US overthrow of the popular elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. At the time, the Rockefellers’ United Fruit Company and various US elites and international financiers owned most of Guatemala including 70% of all the arable land, the communications facilities, the only railroad and shipping port, and controlled most exports. When Arbenz commenced expropriations and land redistribution, Bernays developed a massive propaganda campaign that colored Arbenz as communist, a terrorist, an enemy to democracy, a blot on humanity, and much more, to the extent that American public opinion supported an outrageous travesty and one of the most brutal violations of human rights in US history. Bernays’ template has been used about 70 times with US invasions of that many nations, which is one source of the vast disconnect between what the American people believe their government has done and what it has actually done. As a side note, Guatemala appealed to the United Nations to stop the Americans’ massive interference in their country, a plea that was sympathetically received by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold who proved troublesome for the US. He would do so again a few years later, and would be assassinated by the CIA for his trouble.
I discussed earlier the black and white mentality that pervades America. Much of this is supported by the witch-hunting versions of Christianity that Americans have embraced, but much of the blame must be laid on Bernays’ propaganda methods. Bernays himself asserted that propaganda could produce rapid and strong emotional responses in the public, but that the range of these responses was limited because the emotional loading inherent in his propaganda would create a kind of binary mentality, eventually forcing the population into a programmed black and white world – which is precisely what we see in the US today. This isn’t difficult to understand. In a discussion of a landscaping option for our garden, we could have a range of dispassionate responses from antipathy to adoration, but when Bernays flooded the public with fabricated tales of Germans killing babies, the range of potential responses was not dispassionate but rather entirely emotional and would be limited to either abhorrence or perhaps a blocking of the information. In a sense, our emotional switch will be forced into either an ‘on’ or ‘off’ position, with no other reasonable choices. We see this in debates on subjects like global warming, where positions do not correspond to educational or employment circumstances, nor to experience, but tend to be strongly emotional responses along ideological and political lines with precisely the kind of binary mentality Bernays predicted.
It is interesting to note that the manipulators eventually became the manipulated. Wilson, in his eagerness to manipulate public opinion in favor of war, failed to realise he was himself being manipulated by his handlers, by these same elite propagandists whose war ambitions he was fulfilling, as well as other schemes they had already planted in his mind. The puppeteer became the puppet, and the practice became permanent. The elite few, as Bernays called them, realised early on the potential for control of governments, and in every subsequent US administration the president and his White House staff, the politicians, the leaders of the military and intelligence agencies, all fell prey to this same disease of shrewd manipulation. Roosevelt’s “intense desire for war” (5) (6) (7) in 1939 was the result of this same infection process and, once infected, he of course approved of the infection of the entire American population. George Bush with Iraq and Obama with Libya and Syria are not different. Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
Bernays was very correct in stating that a society’s ability to participate in a democracy was dependent on how well-informed the society was, but Americans fail to appreciate that it is ignorance and not knowledge or education that protects the existence of multi-party political systems. That is why American leaders, controlled by the same “invisible government” and with a fully-compliant elite-owned media, have intentionally misrepresented their current policies and actions to the public, while their “elite few” specialised in massive historical revisionism, especially American history in the world and the effects of that history on other nations. By keeping Americans ignorant and uninformed, their minds filled with foolish and false myths, and forever distracted by irrelevancies, American leaders and their puppet-masters have used Bernays’ theories to control public opinion and beliefs with lies, religion, patriotism and emotional propaganda. It was very much an “engineered ignorance” created by a continuing program of misinformation, manipulation and deception, a shrewdly-planned subversion of the American public.
The almost overwhelming political-religious ideological fog permeating America today is due to generations of institutionalized deception and propaganda, and is the direct cause of much of the renowned ignorance of the American people. Their capitalist ideology as well, is rooted in economic misconceptions and false propaganda, with the result that almost no Americans today have any understanding of the real (and largely criminal) reasons for their nation’s economic success. The astonishing extent of the binary polarisation of politics and government is another example, yet few Americans have any understanding of their condition. As one author noted, “The wealthy in America have created an inherently imbalanced system that is exploitable by the wealthy and they are working through the use of propaganda and misinformation to convince Americans that the system is just, or, if anything, unfairly biased toward the poor.” And again, “The economic system that America has developed is dependent on the exploitation of foreign countries and the acquisition of foreign resources, which is why (the US) pursues a strategy of global preeminence.” He went on to state that the foreign policy of the American Right-Wing has been developed through extensive propaganda and exaggeration of foreign threats in order to maintain the conditions for public support and to justify the suppression of dissent.
I have written before that no Right-Wing government could survive in the full light of day with all truths exposed, because most of these truths are bitterly anti-social and designed only to create a flow of a nation’s wealth to the relatively few members of the elites and financiers. In order to function at all, a Right-Wing government like that in the US must be increasingly secretive and rely ever more heavily on Bernays and on his propaganda in order to produce in the population both his engineered consent and engineered ignorance, without which a democracy could not survive. This is so true that after World War II, the US military heavily restricted media control in occupied Germany and Japan because it recognized that the media could easily educate citizens to the dangers of the American presence both at home and in Europe. This veil of secrecy has been carried to an extent that the American and international elites have created what one writer called a massive framework of lies that functions as an arena within which the desired propaganda ideas are presented to the American people as information, but where the reality is very different from that in which American leadership functions. The same writer stated so perfectly, “Within this framework of lies the world appears to be a simplistic place of good and evil. The feeling of Americans that we are the most successful people on earth, and that America is the most successful country, is used to support the idea that America’s policies are inherently altruistic because our culture tells us that success is the measure of goodness. What is actually the case, though, is that America is successful precisely because American policy is not altruistic.”
The next essay in this series will outline in detail the beginnings – and the devastating results – of Bernays’ initial efforts.
In the revelation of propaganda as a tool of public mind control and its use for war marketing, it is worthwhile to examine the historical background of Bernays’ war effort. At the time, the European Zionist Jews had made an agreement with England to bring the US into the war against Germany, on the side of England, a favor for which England would grant the Jews the occupation of Palestine for a new homeland. Palestine did not ‘belong’ to England, it was not England’s to give, and England had no legal or moral right to make such an agreement, but it was made nonetheless. The Jews had created in US President Wilson an intense desire to enter the war, but the American population had no interest in the European war and public sentiment was entirely against participating.
To facilitate the desired result, Wilson created a body named the Committee on Public Information (CPI), to propagandise the war by the mass brainwashing of America. The group was led by a muckraking publicist/advertising man named George Creel, and the CPI was known as “The Creel Commission”, but it appears Creel was only a ‘front’, with little contribution to the events that actually occurred. The CPI was staffed with a heavy slate of psychologists and carefully-selected men from the media, academia, advertising, and the movie and music industries. Two of the most important members were Walter Lippmann, whom Wilson described as “the most brilliant man of his age”, and Edward Bernays, who was the group’s top mind-control expert, both Jews and both aware of the stakes in this game. Bernays planned to combine his uncle Freud’s psychiatric insights with mass psychology, blended with modern advertising techniques, and apply them to the task of mass mind control. Movies were already powerful new tools for misinformation and opinion control, as was radio, and TV would soon be added to this list.
“Wilson’s agreement to create the CPI was actually a turning point in world history, the first truly scientific attempt to form, manipulate and control the perceptions and beliefs of an entire population.” (1) (2) (3)
With Wilson’s authority, these men were given almost unlimited scope to work their magic, and in order to ensure the success of their program and guarantee the eventual possession of Palestine, these men and their committee carried out “a program of psychological warfare against the American people on a scale unprecedented in human history and with a degree of success that most propagandists could only dream about”.
In his 1922 book Public Opinion, Lippmann wrote, “The only feeling that anyone can have about an event he does not experience is the feeling aroused by his mental image of that event … For it is clear enough that under certain conditions men respond as powerfully to fictions as they do to realities.” And it was this psychological manipulation that these men employed to turn an entire nation of peaceful Americans into rabid war-mongers. (4) (5)
Note to readers: Some part of the immediately-following paragraphs is not mine. They are partially verbatim and partially paraphrasing, of some content I discovered many years ago and, even with diligent effort, I am today unable to locate the original source.
Having received permission and broad authority from the US President to “lead the public mind into war” and, with success threatened by widespread anti-war sentiment, these men determined to engineer what Lippmann called “the manufacture of consent”. The committee first identified all the different ways that information flowed to the population, examined the characteristics of each, and filled every channel with specially-crafted pro-war material. Their effort was unparalleled in its scale and sophistication, since the CPI had the power not only to manufacture false news and distribute it nationally through all channels, but to officially censor news and withhold information from the public. “They produced and distributed many thousands of ‘official’ press releases, virtually functioning as the information arm of the US government and were in fact the major provider of war news to the nation.”
These men wasted no time in organising a vast propaganda network and began flooding the US with anti-German propaganda consisting of hate literature, hate movies, songs, media articles and much more.
Lippmann and Bernays divided their Committee into nineteen ‘divisions’, each responsible for a different type of propaganda, and each utilising the expertise of vast numbers of psychologists, advertising experts, media personnel and movie moguls. (6) (7) The intention was to flood every means of communication with the goal of inciting hatred of everything German and to promote American entry into the war as the only option for patriotic Americans. They filled every part of US print media with anti-German hate propaganda. In the News Division alone, in an average week, more than 20,000 newspaper columns carried entirely false propaganda articles produced by the CPI, promoting hatred of Germany and Germans, describing atrocities that had never occurred and painting the Germans as vicious and inhuman monsters. Lippmann and Bernays not only instituted (compulsory) “voluntary guidelines” for the inclusion of their monstrous tales in all media, but they rigidly enforced a censorship in the American mass media to suppress any contradictory content.
Bernays cleverly realised that much of the public is disinclined to read long articles, and so formed a special division to produce brief rants and sound bytes meant to arouse the loathsome emotions of those with short attention spans. They created a Syndicated Features Division employing popular novelists to produce essays containing the official propaganda, which reached 10 to 15 million people each month. Another division was responsible for the cartoon sections of newspapers and other media, with the stated intention to “mobilize and direct the scattered cartoon power of the country for constructive war work”. They employed thousands of cartoonists who “achieved new heights in hate-mongering”, picturing the Germans as primitive and evil animals who stole, killed or raped everything they encountered.
They created a similar Division for Cinema that resulted in the Hollywood production of dozens of outrageous and virulently anti-German movies, hate films containing completely fictional tales of atrocities and bestialities committed by the Germans. Bernays was the source of movie scenes where “dirty” Germans (and later the dirtier Japanese) machine-gunned brave American pilots while parachuting to the ground. (8) None of these tales were ever true; these and all others were total fabrications. Then, as now, the motion picture industry in the US was entirely controlled by Jews who were eager to assist. One Jewish editorial stated that “every individual at work in this industry wants to do his share . . . through slides, film leaders and trailers, posters and newspaper publicity they will spread that propaganda so necessary to the immediate mobilization of the country’s great resources”.
In addition to movies produced by the film studios, the CPI created its own Film Division which produced 60 or 70 “official” films that were viewed by many tens of millions of people each week. They created an Advertising Division to influence commercial advertisers to insert anti-German war propaganda into newspaper and magazine advertising, with almost every major US publication carrying a large quota of these ads. Then, as today, much of the media was Jewish-owned or controlled, and these men received much free space.
They created a ‘Division of Work with the Foreign Born’ (9) to reach all immigrants in the country in their own languages, and used members of these communities to propagandise their own people, especially targeting all military-age foreigners who might become war conscripts. The CPI hired bi-lingual speakers to target every specific immigrant group in the US, and even had a Sioux ‘Four-Minute Man’ delivering speeches in seven native languages. They specially targeted all Jews in America, providing Yiddish speakers in thousands of theaters and workplaces. There also was a Foreign Section with sixteen divisions, which established offices in over thirty countries, to propagandise the populations of other nations.
Lippmann and Bernays wrote:
“It is a matter of pride to the Committee on Public Information, as it should be to America, that the directors of English, French, and Italian propaganda were a unit in agreeing that our literature was remarkable above all others for its brilliant and concentrated effectiveness”.
Bernays’ Speaking Division organised a group known as the “Four-Minute Men’, 75,000 volunteers who gave speeches provoking hatred and fear of Germany and Germans, and urging war. They used farmers to appeal to farmers and businessmen to businessmen, with short, rousing speeches filled with imagery. These were so emotionally-loaded they often had dreadful consequences, in thousands of instances mobs gathering afterward and vandalising German homes and businesses in their city. (10) In total, their speakers gave nearly 8 million speeches to more than 300 million Americans, all provoking hatred of Germany and Germans, and urging war. (11) (12) (13) (14) (15)
A continuing atrocity is that even today misinformation sources like Britannica and the Smithsonian, and many American history websites, carry articles claiming “the CPI’s representatives, known as four-minute men, traveled throughout the U.S. urging Americans to buy war bonds and conserve food.” (16)
The Committee particularly targeted women, establishing a major Women’s Division, from fear that women “might constitute a subversive element in the nation, detrimental to wartime unity and the smooth functioning of [mandatory military conscription]”. They created a womens’ Four-Minute Man division to speak at womens groups and matinees to counteract the resistance to sending their sons and husbands to war. They inserted themselves into many women’s magazines where they controlled the cover and much of the internal content, encouraging women to send their sons to war, claiming he would return as “a man” instead of a corpse. The Ladies Home Journal, once the most inoffensive of publications, had many covers with dirty anti-German posters and most every issue with patriotic articles written by Bernays’ staff extolling the sacrifices of war.
One of Bernays’ mind-control divisions was responsible for popular music, the CPI hiring thousands of songwriters to create songs with anti-German lyrics, these playing constantly on the nation’s radio stations. Another division was responsible for public library content, tasked with the removal of any books favoring Germany, including the works of famous German authors and philosophers. Everything favorably German was censored, removed from public accessibility, or destroyed.
Perhaps the division most indicative of the moral bankruptcy of these men was their work with public school children. They heavily utilised psychologists in programs to spread hatred of Germany throughout America’s public school system where small children were taught the full gamut of Bernays’ hateful propaganda, then used as travelling salesmen to visit other schools and spread the hatred to their classmates, delivering totally fabricated tales of German atrocities to other small children. Uncounted thousands of children were organized as Four Minute Men speakers, with more than 200,000 schools participating. Bernays’ psychologists did their work well: American children became not only hate-filled but terrified of Germans. After these inflamed propaganda sessions, many American children demonstrated their “patriotism” by groups attacking German-Americans and stoning them, sometimes being congratulated by local newspapers for “doing their duty”. The ‘patriotic’ Boy Scouts of America contributed to the effort by regularly burning bundles of German newspapers that were on sale, and Germans were regularly insulted and spat upon by other citizens.
Bernays’ group published many thousands of children’s books and comics containing the most vile and hateful propaganda lies. Libraries sponsored anti-German childrens’ ‘story hours’ that used hate propaganda supplied by Bernays. Sunday school children were given coloring books depicting and encouraging violence against Germans.
Bernays’ Public literature attacked everything German in America, including schools and churches. In many schools the German language was forbidden to be taught to “pure Americans”, and administrators were urged to fire “all disloyal teachers”, meaning any Germans. The names of countless towns and cities were changed to eliminate their German origin: Berlin, Iowa became Lincoln, Iowa. German foods and food names were purged from restaurants; sauerkraut became ‘liberty cabbage’ and German Shepherds became ‘Alsatians’.
All American orchestras were ordered to eliminate from their performances any music by classic German composers like Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. In some states, the use of the German language was prohibited in public and on the telephone. German professors were fired from their universities, German-language or German-owned local newspapers were denied advertising revenue, constantly harassed, and often forced out of business.
Bernays instituted a program of questioning the patriotism and loyalty of all Germans in America, including those who had lived there for generations. He created a plan that enlisted volunteers to gather information on Germans, forming a semi-official organisation named the American Protective League that eventually had more than 200,000 members deputised as FBI agents to “police” community loyalty. This group and others “investigated” every German, and soon every person with anti-war views, as prima facie evidence of treason.
Germans were forced to gather in public meetings and denounce Germany and its leaders. They were forced to purchase war bonds and publicly declare their allegiance to the US flag. As Bernays’ rhetoric reached dangerous levels, the anti-German hysteria and violence increased proportionately. Many Germans were forcibly removed from their homes, often torn from their beds during the night, taken out into the street and stripped naked, beaten and whipped, then forced to kneel and kiss the American flag. Many were tarred and feathered, then forced to leave their cities or towns. Some were lynched from trees. Priests and pastors were dragged out of their churches and beaten for giving sermons in German. (17) (18) (19) (20)
The anti-German hysteria had people seeing spies everywhere, with House and Bernays greatly inflaming this trend by preparing Wilson’s infamous “Flag Day” speech (21) (22) where he claimed “The military masters of Germany have filled our unsuspecting communities with vicious spies and conspirators and have sought to corrupt the opinion of our people”. Newspaper editors were screaming that all Germans were spies who were poisoning American water supplies or infecting medical shipments to hospitals, and that most “ought to be taken out at sunrise and shot for treason”. The Saturday Evening Post, one of America’s most popular and influential magazines, announced that it was time to rid America of Germans, “the scum of the melting pot”. Congressmen recommended hanging or otherwise executing all Germans in America, State Governors urging the use of firing squads to eliminate “the disloyal element” from the entire state. The US Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels stated that Americans would “put the fear of God into the hearts” of these people.
According to Bernays, the key was to dehumanise and demonise the German people by filling American minds with fabricated tales of horror. The compliant media, largely Jewish-owned, obediently carried fake stories of poisoned candy being dropped from airplanes, German soldiers skewering babies like shish kebabs, the raping of nuns, and so much more. Eventually, the stories were accepted as true and the public’s natural resistance to war was overcome. From his uncle Freud, Bernays learned that a particularly effective strategy for demonising Germans was the use of atrocity stories. According to Harold Lasswell:
“So great are the psychological resistances to war in modern nations that every war must appear to be a war of defense against a menacing, murderous aggressor. There must be no ambiguity about who the public is to hate. A handy rule for arousing hate is, if at first they do not enrage, use an atrocity. It has been employed with unvarying success in every conflict known to man.” (23)
The CPI used every weapon available to spread their message to, as Creel would later say, “turn the American people into one white-hot mass (of hatred) . . .” Their psychological travesty so indoctrinated the public that daily life in America became infused with hatred and with Americans automatically conditioned to disgust and hatred for all things German.
They succeeded, and not only in the US. Teams of the same Jewish ‘specialists’ were following the same script in most other nations, all instilling massive hatred for Germans who, in every nation were vehemently portrayed as evil incarnate, simply from the fact of their German origin. In countries all around the world, the media spread the same message of hatred against Germany and the Germans.
In Brazil, anti-German demonstrations and riots consumed the country, with German businesses being destroyed and Germans being assaulted and killed. The Brazilian press carried Bernays’ intensely anti-German atrocity propaganda, stimulating demonstrations that were very ugly anti-German affairs. In some cities, hundreds of businesses, schools and homes were burned. In Porto Alegre, almost the entire German district was burned to the ground. In others, almost all German assets were seized. (24)
In almost every nation, the German-language press and use of the German language completely disappeared during the war from fear of reprisal, as did all German schools and most businesses. None re-opened. In Canada and Australia, many names of towns or streets were changed to eliminate their German origin. In Britain, France, and Canada also, thousands of people were falsely interned and their apartments and shops most often looted. They didn’t miss any opportunity; in one case, they found a photo of a German soldier with a child on his knee and published it with the caption, “One wouldn’t believe I have just killed the mother.” The Jews’ atrocity war propaganda in Canada was almost as bad as in the US, with even the military vandalising German businesses, and all Germans not imprisoned having to register with the government. (25)
The UK was as bad as the US. Persons bearing a German name were driven to despair, driven out of their positions and their businesses ruined. The Guardian archives document that anti-German riots in England were remarkable for their destruction and violence. “Some Germans were pursued into their homes by the mob and pitched through the windows into the street, others were ducked in troughs, and others had their clothing stripped off their backs.” (26) The anti-German hysteria became so severe that King George V had to change his German name of ‘Saxe-Coburg’ to ‘Windsor’, and relinquish all his German titles. (27)
Most Americans are aware that during the (again Bernays-induced) national hysteria during the Second World War the US government forced more than 100,000 US-born Japanese into concentration camps, but history has deleted the fact that many more Germans were interned in concentration camps in the US prior to and during the First War. German Mennonites who refused the draft as conscientious objectors were given prison sentences for as long as 30 years, and many died from abuse and torture in US prisons. Not only were Germans imprisoned, but all their assets were confiscated, this during both world wars, and not only personal assets but entire corporations owned by Germans were simply seized and sold. The government amassed more than half a billion dollars in seizures, nearly equivalent to the entire national budget at the time. Bayer in America was auctioned off on its own doorstep, to a friend of the Administration. (28) In fact, the US military entered every country with a German corporate presence and claimed ownership of all German assets. This portion is of such consequence I have dealt with it in detail in a separate article. (29)
While Bernays was “making the world safe for democracy”, that safety was not meant for Americans. Under the coaching of Col. E. M. House who was Wilson’s Jewish handler, Wilson passed oppressive legislation including the Espionage Act and Sedition Act that were prepared by Bernays, were entirely fascist in content and which made illegal anything that might hinder American entry into the war. Freedom of speech and assembly, and press freedom virtually disappeared from America during this time, it eventually becoming illegal to say or write anything critical of the US government, its officials and even its “symbols”.
Any expression of objection to American entrance into the war would result in a fine of $10,000 (ten xyears’ average wages at the time) or 20 years in prison, with much of the policing power given to what were in effect private vigilante groups like the infamous American Protective League that operated virtually without oversight. The suppression of public opinion and of dissent, and the control exercised on anti-war communication was universal. The Espionage Act stated “Every letter, writing, circular, postal card, picture, print, engraving, photograph, newspaper, pamphlet, book, or other publication, matter or thing of any kind containing any matter which is intended to obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States is hereby declared to be non-mailable.” Nothing was permitted that might prevent the successful recruitment of American soldiers for a war that only the Jews wanted.
Because of Bernays, atrocity propaganda, the deliberate spreading of fabricated evils and inhuman war crimes became the foundation of the Committee’s efforts. With all of this and much more, Bernays and Lippmann turned America into a hotbed of hatred for the entire German population, accomplishing the goal of the Zionist Jews to use the US military as a tool, their own private army in the European war to fulfill their ambition for Palestine, and thus these two men changed the course of history.
Of course, the causes and aims of the propaganda were far more evil than anything the supposed ‘enemy’ had contemplated, but the goal was to not only invent an enemy but to make that enemy “appear savage, barbaric, and inhumane”, and thus worthy of destruction. This process has been followed many dozens of times in recent history, the latest being the US-Israeli destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria. Usually, the compliant media repeat and embellish the stories without attempt at confirmation and, in virtually every instance, later attempts to confirm the atrocity tales prove fruitless with researchers able to uncover no evidence whatever of the events. Think of Iraq’s gassing of hundreds of thousands and burial in mass graves and the tales of Libyan Viagra; these and many others proved groundless fabrications – typical atrocity propaganda. Prior to the Iraq invasion, stories appeared of Saddam using wood shredders to eliminate political opponents and dissidents but, as always, researchers later determined there was no evidence whatever to support those horrendous allegations. Thanks to Bernays, there were World War One tales of Germans cutting off the breasts of every woman they encountered, of eating babies, of rendering the bodies of massacred Jews for fat and glycerine to make weapons, tales of a tub-full of eyeballs collected by the Nazis. After the war, Bernays openly admitted that he used fabricated atrocities to provoke hatred against Germany. It appears the media will cooperate in propagating the most fantastic lies, and the people will believe almost everything they read.
Bernays and his group produced thousands of posters containing lurid descriptions of these fake atrocities (30), to say nothing of the newspaper articles, cartoons and so much more, but the historical record of this years-long tapestry of lies and hate has been quite well buried. It is possible to find copies on the internet of many wartime posters, but this collection has been well sanitised with virtually all of the genuinely evil and dirty productions apparently lost to history. The narrative today in the history books casually dismisses all this as “an innovative use of graphic arts to stir patriotism”, but it was hatred rather than patriotism that was being stirred, and both America and the Jews will one day need to openly face this entire reprehensible chapter of history.
The official story is that after World War One, propaganda developed such a poor reputation that the US Congress terminated the Committee in disgust, “ending these activities amidst great controversy”, and refused to bother with funding to preserve and archive its vast collection of hate literature and propaganda, but the truth is that the White House, Congress and the Committee conspired to eliminate or destroy much of the evidence of their crimes. There exists a section of Records of the Committee on Public Information in US Government archives (31), but little of use remains, the more dangerous elements all sanitised. And in fact, far from developing a bad reputation, Bernays and his propaganda methods became widely popular with governments and large corporations for both consumerism and the control of public perception during peacetime.
This wouldn’t be the last time Lippmann and Bernays would use these techniques against Germany. This massive attack was repeated little more than ten years later to destroy Germany and push it into yet another war the Germans didn’t want. In the 1930s, the same Jewish European bankers with largely the same agenda wanted the US to join another war they planned to initiate against Germany. In 1933 they embarked on an extensive worldwide commercial war intended to destroy Germany financially, with newspaper headlines screaming “Judea Declares War on Germany”. They had already induced in Roosevelt “an intense desire for war”, but were having the same problem again with the unwilling American public. And they employed precisely the same solutions, this time demonising Hitler.
In all of this, Lippmann and Bernays were not working independently or without guidance. Prior to their massive ‘war effort’ in the US, they had operated a successful pilot test case in the UK, using British newspapers owned by their controllers, primarily Rothschild, to determine the efficacy of their methods. You may want to think about this next sentence and apply it to recent world events. “They (Bernays and his group) practiced revealing fabricated stories of atrocities, false accusations of terror and brutality against any nation or people they wanted the public mind to view as “the enemy”, then tested and evaluated public reactions to their manipulations of this false propaganda.”
Compare those words with George W. Bush’s demonisation of Iraq, the sordid tales of mass slaughters, the nuclear weapons ready to launch within 15 minutes, the responsibility for 9-11, the babies tossed out of incubators, all the fake propaganda against Saddam and Iraq to get the public mind onside for an unjustified war launched only for political and commercial objectives. Compare them to the demonisation of Khaddafi in Libya, his supplying of Viagra to his troops so they could rape more women, the long list of fabrications and lies to get the public onside for yet another war launched for more political and commercial objectives. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and dozens of other demonisations followed this same template, usually culminating in wars and invasions. It was Bernays who created “war marketing”, the theory and the template for the manipulation of public opinion, the plan and pattern for the propaganda and lies that the US government would use repeatedly for the next century to successfully deceive the American public about its motivations and actions in more than 100 military adventures, and to blind everyone to the tragic results of America’s brutal foreign policy. This is the man Americans celebrate today as “the father of Public Relations”.
The plan to mass-engineer public opinion began in a propaganda factory at Wellington House in London in the early 1900s, with Lords Northcliffe and Rothmere, Arnold Toynbee, and of course our two war-marketing geniuses Lippmann and Bernays. It was from this source that the scheme was hatched to force the Rothschild’s privately-owned Federal Reserve banks onto the US Congress, and that trained and coached Lippmann and Bernays on the methods of molding American public opinion to push the US into the First World War for the promotion of Zionism. Bernays’ book ‘Propaganda’ offers a clear vision of his training, not only for war marketing but for the pathology of American consumption, automobiles, the hysteria of patriotism and much more.
Funding reportedly came from the UK Royal Family, the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, and eventually included the formation of trans-Atlantic relationships. At various periods, memberships in the Tavistock Institute, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Rothschild’s Round Table, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Club of Rome, the Stanford Research Institute, the Trilateral Commission and NATO, were interchangeable. They also created the ideology for the large American Foundations like Rockefeller and Carnegie that today play a silent but major role in population management.
Wellington House eventually morphed into the Tavistock Institute, which was created at Oxford University in London by the founders of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Round Table (Rothschild again), and was essentially a kind of mass brainwashing facility beginning as a psychological warfare bureau. It was the Tavistock Institute’s studies in psychological programming that were used to create and then exploit a grand mass hysteria during the cold war, evoking fearful delusions of a nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union that even led to millions of Americans building bomb shelters in their back yards. In Tye’s biography of Bernays (32), he wrote that
“It is impossible to fundamentally grasp the social, political, economic and cultural developments of the past 100 years without some understanding of Bernays and his professional heirs.”
Many dirty things emerged from this rat’s nest of Satan-worshippers, one being Britain’s Psychological Warfare Bureau which hatched a plan to destroy Germany not by attacking the military but by virtual genocide of the population. It seems that international bankers owned munitions plants and other valuable military targets on both sides of the war fence, and wanted their property maintained in working order in spite of the war. The solution was saturation bombing of the civilian population to collapse the morale of the German people. These ‘scientific sociologists’ determined that the destruction of 65% of German housing, usually including its occupants, would be sufficient to achieve such a collapse. This was the origin of the fame of the British aviation hero “Bomber” Harris, who carried out these night raids – always at night – that culminated in the fire-bombing of Dresden. The explanation of night raids is usually given as safety for the bomber crews, but its purpose was mostly to engender more terror among the civilian population. Working class housing areas were targeted because they had a higher density and firestorms were more likely.” This would disrupt the German workforce and Germany’s ability to produce war materials in its defense. Harris’ widespread deliberate massacres of German civilians – and those by the Americans as well – were desperately kept secret from the public and still appear nowhere in history books in useful detail or with any sincere attempt to accurately estimate civilian casualties. As I pointed out elsewhere, this was the plan that US General Curtis Lemay was following, the same low-level night raids attempting to exterminate the populations of Japan and Korea.
Everything we have seen, read, or heard in the past 70 years that demonised other nations, usually leading to military intervention or “color revolutions”, stems from this template by Lippmann and Bernays originally to support the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine and to promote the agenda of Zionism. This template has been in constant use by the US government since the World War I, ‘engineering consent and ignorance’ in the American and Western populations to mask nearly a century of atrocities, demonising innocent countries and peoples in preparation for 60 or 70 politically-inspired ‘wars of liberation’ fought exclusively for the financial and political benefit of a handful of European bankers, using the US military as a private army for this purpose, resulting in the deaths and miseries of hundreds of millions of innocent civilians.
It does not appear widely-known, but the intense anti-German propaganda surrounding World War I (and also World War II) had an aim additional to the seizure of Palestine, and this was the destruction of the culture and the very soul of Germany. Churchill was clear on this matter, stating “This war is for the soul of the German people.” It was largely successful. There is no question that Bernays’ propaganda had a devastating effect on Germans and their cultural heritage. (33) Germany today is a cowed nation, still humiliated and still paying billions in reparations for crimes it never committed, in large part because the propaganda has never ceased. Even today, movies and TV programs depict Germans as cold robots lacking humanity, and we were recently treated to a widely-publicised revelation that Hitler had been cursed with a “twisted micro-penis”. Few peoples today are ashamed to admit their national heritage, but no Germans boast of being German. Where in America do we find German beer halls and restaurants, German churches or newspapers? In 2004, The Guardian published a review of a book titled “The loneliness of being German”. (34) This is not an accident.
In one CPI publication, Professor Vernon Kellogg asked “Will it be any wonder if, after the war, the people of the world, when they recognize any human being as a German, will shrink aside so that they may not touch him as he passes, or stoop for stones to drive him from their path?” (35) No wonder at all.
In this context, you may care to read my recent article titled “The Anger Campaign against China”, (36) and think of the physical and other attacks ethnic Chinese are experiencing today in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and other Western nations. Consider the accusations of ‘genocide’ in China’s Xinjiang, China’s ‘cover-up’ and full blame for COVID-19, all the (undocumented) tales of spying, of IP theft, of prison camps, of forced abortions, of being ‘Communists’, and much more. Only the atrocity details have changed; all else is the same. Bernays’ template is being followed to the letter, in preparation for World War III.
(8) Cinema as an imperialist weapon: Hollywood and World War I; https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/08/holl-a05.html
From their experiences in the formulation, manipulation and control of public perception and opinion with the CPI, both Lippman and Bernays later wrote of their open contempt for a “malleable and hopelessly ill-informed public” in America. (1) Lippmann had already written that the people in a democracy were simply “a bewildered herd” of “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders” (2) who should be maintained only as “interested spectators”, to be controlled by the elite “secret government”. They concluded that in a multi-party electoral system (a democracy), public opinion had to be “created by an organized intelligence” and “engineered by an invisible government”, with the people relegated to the status of uninformed observers, a situation that has existed without interruption in the US for the past 95 years. Bernays believed that only a few possessed the necessary insight into the Big Picture to be entrusted with this sacred task, and considered himself as one member of this select few.
“Throughout his career, Bernays was utterly cynical in his manipulation of the masses. In complete disregard of the personal importance of their sincerely held values, aspirations, emotions, and beliefs, he saw them as having no significance beyond their use as tools in the furtherance of whatever were the commercial and political ends of his hirers.”
In his book ‘Propaganda’, (3) (3a)(4) Bernays wrote, “It was, of course, the astounding success of propaganda during the war that opened the eyes of the intelligent few in all departments of life to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind. It was only natural, after the war ended, that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was not possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace. The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
Bernays’ original project was to ensure US entry into the European war, but later he primarily concerned himself with the entrenchment of the twin systems of electoral democracy and unrestricted capitalism the elites had created for their benefit, and with their defense in the face of increased unrest, resistance, and ideological opposition. Discovering that the bewildered herd was not so compliant as he wished, Bernays claimed a necessity to apply “the discipline of science”, i.e., the psychology of propaganda, to the workings of democracy, where his social engineers “would provide the modern state with a foundation upon which a new stability might be realized”. This was what Lippmann termed the necessity of “intelligence and information control” in a democracy, stating that propaganda “has a legitimate and desirable part to play in our democratic system”. Both men pictured modern American society as being dominated by “a relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses”. To Bernays, this was the “logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized”, failing to note that it was his European handlers who organised it this way in the first place.
Lippman and Bernays were not independent in their perverted view of propaganda as a “necessity” of democracy, any more than they were in war marketing, drawing their theories and instruction from their Zionist masters in London. The multi-party electoral system was not designed and implemented because it was the most advanced form of government but rather because it alone offered the greatest opportunities to corrupt politicians through control of money and to manipulate public opinion through control of the press. In his book The Engineering of Consent, (5) (5a) Bernays baldly stated that “The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process”. In other words, the essence of a democracy is that a few “invisible people” manipulate the bewildered herd into believing they are in control of a transparent system of government, by choosing one of two pre-selected candidates who are already bought and paid for by the same invisible people.
Even before the war, the ‘secret government’, i.e., the European handlers of Lippman and Bernays, had fully recognised the possibilities for large-scale population control and had developed far-reaching ambitions of their own in terms of “Democracy Control”, and using the US government once again as a tool. Their interest was not limited to merely the American population, but quickly included much of the Western world. With Lippman and Bernays as their agents, these invisible people had the US government applying Bernays’ principles in nations all over the world, adding the CIA Project Mockingbird (6) (7) (8) (9) (10), the VOA (11) (12), Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia, Radio Liberty, and much more to their tools of manipulation of the perceptions and beliefs of peoples of dozens of nations. The US State Department, by now totally onside, claimed that “propaganda abroad is indispensable” for what it termed “public information management”. It also recognised the need for absolute secrecy, stating that “if the American people ever get the idea that the high-powered propaganda machine was working on them, the result would be disaster”. But the high-powered machine was indeed working on them, and continued to an extent that might have impressed even Bernays.
The history of propaganda and its use in manipulating and controlling public opinion in the US, and in Western democracies generally, is a long story involving many apparently disparate and unrelated events. A major crisis point for elite control of American democracy was the Vietnam War, the one period in history when the American people were treated to accurate media coverage of what their government was actually doing in another country. Due to the horrific revelations of American torture and brutality, public protests were so widespread that the US was on the verge of anarchy and became almost ungovernable. Americans were tearing up their military draft notices and fleeing to Canada to escape military service. Streets and university campuses were overwhelmed with protests and riots, at least until Nixon ordered the students shot in the back. (13) (14) (15) That was in 1970, but in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg stole “The Pentagon Papers” from the RAND corporation where he worked, and leaked them to the media, and that was the beginning of the end. After the political fallout and Nixon’s resignation, Bernays’ secret government went into overdrive and the American political landscape changed forever.
A major part of this ‘democratic overdrive’ was the almost immediate creation in July of 1973 by David Rockefeller, Rothschild, and some “private citizens”, of a US-based think tank called ‘the Trilateral Commission’. (16) At the time, Rockefeller was Chairman of Rothschild’s Council on Foreign Relations as well as Chairman of the Rothschild-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank. Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was Obama’s Foreign Policy Advisor, was a ‘co-founder’. The necessity for the formation of this group was officially attributed to the Middle-East oil crisis, but they focused on a much more important crisis – that of democracy, which was exhibiting clear signs of going where no man should go. At the time, with a modicum of free press remaining, the Washington Post published an article titled “Beware of the Trilateral commission” (17). They would not do so again. Any criticism of the Commission is today officially listed by the US government as a ‘conspiracy theory’. (18)
I could find no record of any report by the Trilateral Commission on the Mid-East oil crisis, and it appears their first major report, published by New York University in 1975 only two years after their formation, was titled, “The Crisis of Democracy” (19) (20), a lead writer of which was a Harvard professor named Samuel Huntington.
In the paper, Huntington stated that “The 1960’s witnessed an upsurge of democratic fervor in America”, with an alarming increase of citizens participating in marches, protests and demonstrations, all evidence of “a reassertion of equality as a goal in social, economic and political life”, equality being something no democracy can afford. He claimed, “The essence of the democratic surge of the 1960’s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private. In one form or another, it manifested itself in the family, the university, business, public and private associations, politics, the governmental bureaucracy, and the military services.”
Huntington, who had been a propaganda consultant to the US government during its war on Vietnam, further lamented that the common people no longer considered the elites and bankers to be superior and felt little obligation or duty to obey. We needn’t do much reading between the lines to see that Huntington’s real complaint was that the wealthy elites, those of the secret government, were coming under increasing public attack due to revelations of grand abuses of their wealth and power. They were no longer admired and respected, nor even particularly feared, but instead were increasingly despised. The people also abandoned trust in their government due to the realisation of the extensive infiltration of the White House and Congress by Bernays’ “shrewd operators”, leading to, in Huntington’s words, “a decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency”.
Huntington concluded that the US was suffering from “an excess of democracy”, writing that “the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires apathy and noninvolvement”, stating this was crucial because it was precisely these qualities of the public that “enabled democracy to function effectively”. True to his racist roots, he identified “the blacks” as one such group that was becoming “too democratic” and posing a danger to the political system. He ended his report by stating that “the vulnerability of democracy, essentially the ‘crisis of democracy'”, stemmed from a society that was becoming educated and was participating, and that the nation needed “a more balanced existence” with what he called “desirable limits to the extension of political democracy”. In other words, the real crisis in democracy was that the people were beginning to believe in the “government by the people, for the people” part, and not only actually becoming involved but beginning to despise and disobey those who had been running the country solely for their own financial and political advantage. And of course, the solution was to engineer a social situation with less education and democracy and more authority from the secret government of the elites.
Democracy, according to Huntington, consisted of the appearance but not the substance, a construct whereby the shrewd elites selected candidates for whom the people could pretend to vote, but who would be controlled by, and obey their masters. Having thus participated in ‘democracy’, the people would be expected to return to their normal state of apathy and noninvolvement.
Noam Chomsky also noted in an article that in the student activism of the 1960s and early 1970s, the nation apparently risked becoming too well educated, creating the Trilateral Commission’s ‘crisis of democracy’. In other words, the ignorance necessary for the maintenance of a multi-party government system was at risk of being eroded by students who were actually learning things that Bernays’ secret government didn’t want them to learn. “The Commission in a report decried the focus on what it called “special-interest groups” like women, workers and students, trying to gain rights within the political arena that were clearly “against the national interest” [of the top 1%]”. The Commission stated it was especially concerned with schools and universities that were not doing their job of “properly indoctrinating the young” and that “we have to have more moderation in democracy”. From there, the path forward was clear: young people in America would now be “properly indoctrinated” by both the public school system and the universities, so as to become “more moderate”, more ignorant, and above all to avoid demanding things like social equality and workers’ rights that were so clearly against the ‘national interest’ of the elites and their ‘secret government’.
Before Huntington and the student activism of the 1960s, we had another renowned expert on propaganda, politics and fascism, in the person of another American Jew, Harold Lasswell, who has been admiringly described as “a leading American political scientist and communications theorist, specializing in the analysis of propaganda”, with claims Lasswell was “ranked among the half dozen creative innovators in the social sciences in the twentieth century”. His biographer, Almond, stated firmly that “few would question that [Lasswell] was the most original and productive political scientist of his time”. (21) High praise indeed, reminiscent of that ladled onto Lippman and Bernays – and for the same reasons.
Even earlier, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the University of Chicago held a series of secret seminars on “communication”, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, that included some of the most prominent researchers in the fields of ‘communications and sociology’, one of whom was Lasswell. Like Lippman and Bernays before him, and Huntington et al after him, Lasswell was of the opinion that democracy could not sustain itself without a credentialed elite shaping, molding and controlling public opinion through propaganda. He stated that if the elites lacked the necessary force to compel obedience from the masses, then ‘social managers’ must turn to “a whole new technique of control, largely through propaganda”, because of the “ignorance and superstition of the masses”. He claimed that society should not succumb to “democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests”, because they were not. Further, “the best judges are the elites, who must, therefore, be ensured of the means to impose their will, for the common good”. The Rockefeller and other Foundations and think-tanks have been slowly executing this advice now for almost 100 years.
Among the many results of the work of Lippman and Bernays was the subsumption, of initially the Executive Branch and eventually the Legislative Branch as well, of the US government, into a global plan of the European and American bankers and their US corporate and political interests. We speak openly today of the White House and US Congress being overwhelmingly controlled by the Jewish lobby and their multinational corporations, but this forest was planted 100 years ago. By the early 1900s we already had an American government firmly under the powerful influence of, and effectively controlled by, what Bernays termed the “secret government”, and which was controlled in virtually the same manner as the bewildered public herd. During his presidential election campaign in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt said, “Behind the visible government there is an invisible government upon the throne that owes the people no loyalty and recognizes no responsibility”, (22) and claimed it was necessary to destroy this invisible government and undo the corrupt union of business and politics. Roosevelt again:
“It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people’s property, other people’s money, other people’s labor and other people’s lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness. These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power.”
Arthur Miller wrote:
“Those who formally rule, take their signals and commands not from the electorate as a body, but from a small group of men. It exists even though its existence is denied, and this is one of the secrets of the American social order, but one that is not to be discussed.” And, as Baudelaire told us, “The devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist”. The truth of this is everywhere to be seen, but few want to look.
Returning to Bernays and his propaganda to save democracy, and the versions promulgated by his heirs, there were two intermixed currents in that river. The most important was for the (largely foreign) bankers and industrialists to regain full control of the US government, especially the economic sectors, the first step being to repair the loosened control of the political parties themselves and the politicians inhabiting them. There is an interesting Chinese document that accurately addresses the deep Jewish influence on the US government at the time, stating: “The Democratic Party belongs to the Morgan family, and the Republican Party belongs to the Rockefeller family. Rockefeller and Morgan, however, belonged to Rothschild.” (23) Then, new and extensive efforts were required to regain social and political control of the population. What they needed was a vaccine, not to protect the American people, but to infect them with an incurable disease pleasantly named ‘democratisation’, but which would be more readily recognisable as zombification. They succeeded.
Democracy had always been hyped in the West as the most perfect form of government, but under the influence of an enormous propaganda campaign it soon morphed into the pinnacle of enlightened human evolution, certainly in the minds of Americans, but in the West generally. Since a multi-party electoral system formed the underpinnings of external (foreign) control of the US government, it was imperative to inject this fiction directly into the American psyche. They did so, to the extent that “democracy”, with its thousands of meanings, is today equivalent to a bible passage – a message from God that by its nature cannot be questioned. Bernays and his people were the source of the deep, abiding – and patently false – conviction in every American heart that democracy is a “universal value”. One of the most foolish and persistent myths these people created was the fairytale that as every people evolved toward perfection and enlightenment, their DNA would mutate and they would develop a God-given, perhaps genetic, craving for a multi-party political system. This conviction is entirely nonsense, without a shred of historical or other evidence to support it, a foolish myth created to further delude the bewildered herd.
But there was much more necessary in terms of social control. By the time Regan replaced Carter in 1980, all the wheels were in motion to permanently disenfranchise American citizens from everything but their by now beloved “democracy”. Regan’s assault on the American public was entirely frontal, with Volcker of the FED plunging the US into one of the most brutal recessions in history, driving down wages and home ownership, destroying a lifetime’s accumulation of personal assets, dramatically increasing unemployment, eliminating labor unions almost entirely, and making the entire nation politically submissive from fear. Interestingly, the more that their precious democracy was impoverishing and emasculating them, the more strongly the American public clung to it, no longer retaining any desire for equality but merely hoping for survival. The eight years of Regan’s presidency were some of the most brutal in US history, but with the power of the propaganda and the willing compliance of the mass media, the American people had no understanding of what was happening to them. The lessons of the 1970s and the Vietnam War were learned well, and Bernays’ “invisible people” reclaimed the US as a colony, both the government and the people, the reclamation cleverly “engineered by an invisible government”.
The full Machiavellian nature of this propaganda, its true intent and results, will not be immediately apparent to readers from this brief essay. The next essay in this short series, a description of the further transition of Bernays’ propaganda methods to education and commerce, will fill in many of the gaps and permit readers to connect more dots and obtain a clearer picture of the entire landscape.
(12) The VOA surrounded China from all neighboring countries, and including a massive presence in Hong Kong, broadcasting American seditionist propaganda into China (according to Bernays’ template) 24 hours a day for generations. It failed, and was finally shut down in 2019. Also, when the Taiwanese scientist identified the 5 original haplotypes of the COVID-19 virus and proved they had originated in the US, it was the VOA that harrassed the man so badly online that he closed all his social media accounts and went dark. Democracy being a coin with only one side, the US greatly resented China Radio International broadcasting “Beijing-friendly programs on over 30 US outlets, many in major American cities.” http://chinaplus.cri.cn/opinion/opedblog/23/20181006/192270.html
(23) The Age of Innovation 2013 Issue 6 95-97 pp. 3 of 1003, The database of scientific and technological journals of Chinese science and technology; http://www.cqvip.com/QK/70988X/201306/46341293.html
The success of Lippman and Bernays did not go unnoticed in many segments of American society. Universities in particular realised the potential of these new propaganda techniques to form, manipulate and control social perceptions and behavior. Schools and Universities in the US had never been viewed as an educational system but more as tools of a public disciplinary system, a method both of social control and a means to inculcate attitudes and beliefs most useful to the industrialists and bankers. This began before the time of Lippman and Bernays, with the great “Robber Barons”, the criminally rich families like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Mellon, Astor, DuPont, Guggenheim, Morgan, Vanderbilt. Andrew Carnegie first promoted the notion that the nation’s very rich should found universities in order to remake education to serve their needs. Many American industrialists joined this crusade, resulting in Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Chicago and many more. Their efforts were widely publicised as a kind of benevolent charity to the nation, but their purpose was not to educate but to indoctrinate, using the educational system to create citizens obedient to their capitalist ideology and maintain their financial power.
They meant these institutions to preach the standard religious mythologies of patriotism and democracy, but also the values of child labor, slave wages, anathema toward labor unions and opposition to minimum wages, as a scheme to maintain their income disparity, basically to inculcate public attitudes that would serve to prevent any transference of wealth to the masses. These industrial and financial elites played a heavy role in the transformation of America’s educational system, first from their financial control and second from their power to design and control the ideologies that would emerge in the curricula, setting the stage for the methods of American education today, in particular the US business schools. Perhaps the most important consideration about American education that is so poorly-appreciated is that the American elite did not want (and still do not want) to improve the nation’s education level because both the multi-party political system and the US brand of capitalism require ignorance for survival, both relying heavily for their success on a thoughtless, uninformed, and uneducated population. (1)
Of course in all nations, the educational system is one of the primary institutions of social control, but with the aid of Lippman and Bernays the US went far beyond civilised norms. For both primary and secondary school, the intent was to establish social control by first producing a strong sense of national identity and cohesion, which led to, among other things, the mass hysteria of US patriotism so much in evidence today. It isn’t widely recognised that the ever-present and pervasive pathological American brand of patriotism is an extremely powerful mechanism of social control, to the extent that few Americans would be prepared to have themselves classified as ‘unpatriotic’. But to be patriotic in the American mold means one must firmly align one’s interests with the ruling elite. In America, you cannot be patriotic while condemning free-market capitalism or the frequent wars for its benefit, and it is distinctly unpatriotic to express a wish for a government-paid healthcare system or to protest against the banks that caused much of the population to lose their homes in 2008. As reporter George Seldes pointed out, (2) (3) this patriotism, the American way of taking pride in one’s country, forces the masses to ally themselves with the ruling powers, and this produces a kind of perpetual control. He said this deceptive propaganda has existed for so long that few are aware of how it came about or even that it exists. He ended his comment with the observation that if the media informed the people of this insidious control, it would lose its power. But the media, themselves aligned with the ruling powers, refuse to address it.
The purpose of the universities, in the view of these industrialists and bankers, was to develop by indoctrination a kind of management elite capable of controlling society in a way most useful to the top 1%. By the end of the First World War, the world was in the throes of a massive industrialisation as well as urbanisation, creating social stresses from problems of inequality and civil rights, with social unrest already a growing problem. To deal with this, American universities developed (under the tutelage of Lippman and Bernays) what they called the “social sciences” like sociology and psychology with the objective of producing a cadre of “social engineers and technicians” to address these issues and control American society. The ‘secret government’ believed that psychology, with the techniques so skillfully applied by Bernays, could “be instrumental for attaining democratic social order and control”. The theory was that individuals in society were not “well adjusted” and that propaganda could be used to appropriately “adjust” them. From this point, with the educational system as a major instrument, the US transitioned into a society of social engineering and control, using Bernays’ methods directly upon primary, high school and university students to form and manipulate public perceptions and beliefs in a manner most useful to the secret government and the multi-nationals they controlled. Neither the good of the nation nor the welfare of its citizens were listed as priorities. Of course, education itself became diseased and corrupted by these measures.
Socialism was perhaps the greatest enemy to the entrenched ability of the bankers and industrialists to loot the nation, with items like minimum wages, free education or medical care severely restraining the greed of the elites, and thus socialism quickly became public enemy no. 1 in the American educational system. For generations, Bernays and his heirs filled the minds and hearts of American children with a fear of socialism, equating it to godless nations ruled by brutal dictators where citizens had no freedom. The propaganda was extremely powerful and the brainwashing began very early in life – as it still does today. Consider this example from a current American elementary school book: The question posed is “Which of the following goes with socialism?”, with the student offered three possible answer choices:
- A Political system in which a dictator rules, and there are no freedoms.
- An Economic system in which the government owns the big businesses.
- An Economic system in which businesses are privately owned.
Of course, the correct answer is “none of the above”, but in American schools the first two evil choices are the only correct answers, small children learning very early on that private-enterprise capitalism is the only way to fly, socialism not only to be avoided but to even explore that system is equated to seeking information on Satan worship. The doors to these little American minds are firmly slammed shut very early in life, never to be opened again, an integral part of their political-religious indoctrination. The false tenets of American capitalism are given vast prime-time exposure, again closing the little minds forever to any understanding of what they are for or why they are for it. (4)
Yale University, working with huge grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, created a propaganda institute to perform practical research on issues “directly concerned with the problems of man’s individual and group conduct” and “to correlate knowledge and coordinate technique in related fields”. The stated purpose was to better “understand human life”, but the intent was to utilise that understanding for the control of the population. There was a Princeton University Radio Project to discover the most effective way to use broadcasting for population indoctrination and control, the techniques being adopted by the VOA, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Free Asia. The internet and Princeton archives appear to have been scrubbed clean of information on this.
And indeed Princeton was so heavily involved in propaganda, subterfuge and spy-craft, that it provided the bulk of the staff for the OSS and CIA during their formative years. (5) As with most everything else regarding the US, the American universities were even much worse than imagined, being deeply into the CIA’s murderous MK-ULTRA program of mind control that stretched for decades (6), as part of the Bernays-inspired search for population control mechanisms. In testimony to the US Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy stated that more than thirty US universities and institutions were involved in what he termed an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on citizens at all social levels, all without their knowledge or consent. (7)
The elite 1% founded not only universities but the Foundations that exist to this day, and for the same purposes of social control. Institutions like the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie Foundations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, were primarily created “to perpetuate predatory wealth through the control of information and the sources of information”, and quickly assumed missions of direct influence and control of the mindsets of many of the world’s leaders, or at least influential individuals. The Rockefeller Foundation has been pre-eminent in an astonishing array of social control initiatives that included population control in the real sense through sterilisation and war. And both the Rockefeller and Carnegie institutes funded and promoted the practice of eugenics, Carnegie recommending a national chain of gas chambers to eliminate the socially (and ideologically) unfit. (8) All of this twisted ideology stemmed from the same source.
The Rockefeller Foundation in one advertised instance held a major conference with “representatives of some of the largest financial interests” in the US, i.e. the Jewish European bankers who controlled the US FED, to promote a propaganda program to “educate the citizenry in pro-capitalistic ideology and thus relieve unrest”. In other words, employ the Freud/Bernays propaganda methods to teach the working class to stay poor for the benefit of the corporate elites and the bankers. This group believed it needed a “publicity bureau” that could “correct popular misinformation” by providing “a constant stream of correct information” delivered to the lower and middle classes on their proper place in society. They then set about creating a powerful research organisation to study “social problems” and “the causes of social and economic evils”, portraying themselves as disinterested scientists searching for the public good while actually focused on propaganda, public indoctrination and secret social control.
All the so-called Foundations and Think Tanks established during the past century shared the purpose of steering society and social thought into desirable channels, and executing massive schemes of social engineering, eventually corrupting the educational system and co-opting all emerging social movements for the benefit of Bernays’ ‘secret government. American society, primarily through the educational system and the use of the new social sciences was being almost totally re-created to serve its ultimate masters.
A memo from the Rockefeller historical archives revealed a concern that their purposes might become public knowledge and be “misinterpreted” since public opinion would naturally be violently opposed to such secret programming. Senators and Congressmen rightly feared these Foundations were dangerous to their society and form of government, and recommended their abolition, but the elected portions of the government have never had the power to control the secret government. The US Congress stated that these foundations, with their wealth and influence, were “a grave menace to the welfare of society” and would be used not only to affect and control the government but to change its form. And try to change its form they would.
This is one reason most university business schools are funded by (and named after) their monied benefactors: money guides and even determines the curriculum. Many American universities today are merely servants of major industrial firms, virtually their entire research capabilities harnessed in pursuit of either commercial patents or discoveries of military value, the education of students becoming increasingly remote and inferior. In the end, the practices of Bernays’ propaganda and the private funding of education to serve private hidden interests became one and the same, the propaganda machine absorbing education itself, for the purpose of ‘adjusting’ the population to eliminate ‘misinformation’ and replace it with the ‘constant stream of correct information’ while firmly repressing all contradictory thought.
Interestingly, debt bondage is one of the main forms of social control and for this reason has always been heavily promoted in the US, its financial benefit to the private bankers being an added plus. New university graduates who are $200,000 in debt, homeowners with a huge mortgage, wage slaves with high credit card balances, are unlikely to risk their careers and livelihood by openly challenging the system. When an entire nation is heavily in debt, the people cannot afford to revolt. Meekness and silence are prerequisites for survival, especially in the almost total absence of labor unions. Thus, the American propaganda machine discouraged savings and encouraged consumption on credit. This was so true that as early as the 1920s as much as 90% of all major items like homes, cars, furniture and appliances purchased in the US, were bought on credit. (9)
Turning to Commerce
Lippman and Bernays also turned their attention to the manipulation and control of public attitudes toward advertising and commerce, which is why and how the vast propaganda machine transformed American culture into a materialistic consumer society. The consumption orientation was created solely to transfer wealth to the top 1% who owned most of the means of production and who would primarily benefit, mostly the same people constituting Bernays’ “invisible government”. The ease and potential of public manipulation fired the imagination of those who controlled the banks and multinational corporations, their minds opened to the vast potential to increase sales by turning Americans into appropriately conditioned consumers. They realised that if they could condition emotional responses into the subconscious of the American population without the awareness of the people, they could firmly control the purchasing attitudes and habits of an entire nation. And of course this was precisely the result, with the US economy today dependent for 75% of its life on consumer spending, Americans proclaiming this bizarre condition as a universal value and the will of God.
Following his political successes, Bernays set up shop on Madison Avenue and by the early 1920s was already doing for American products and branding what he had done for war marketing, that is to say, using propaganda to manipulate and control public perception and behavior, in this case to create not only mindless consumers but to fabricate and permanently instill in the American mind the myth of brands. Bernays quickly attracted more corporate clients than he could handle, with most large firms tripping over themselves to take advantage of the power of propaganda and mind control to loot the nation’s bank accounts.
Advertising and Agencies
In 1957 Vance Packard published a best-selling book titled “The Hidden Persuaders”, that revealed in detail how advertisers were using psychologists and psychiatrists following Bernays’ manipulative methods to tap into our unconscious desires in order to “persuade” us to buy the products they were selling. (10) (11) The entire advertising industry succumbed to this siren call and today is a rat’s nest of (often) reprehensible manipulation of the public. Ad agencies would hold “focus groups” where they would surreptitiously record housewives and others discussing their inmost feelings, thoughts, desires on many matters, then use that information to subvert those and manipulate people into buying whatever they wanted to sell.
One instance that crossed my path was exposure to the story boards of a foreign advertising agency in Shanghai tasked with helping an American bank market credit cards to young Chinese. I was appalled at what I saw. The manipulation was to me not only disgusting but obscene. Someone had spent real money to ferret out the hidden desires, fears and aspirations of young Chinese, and turned that knowledge to looting their bank accounts. The conclusions were that these young people, university graduates, were now in an era of rising affluence and desired to be recognised as more than citizens of a third-world country, in a sense to be seen as worthy equals to young people of other nations. They had purchasing power, generally good taste, and wanted to be appreciated as valuable consumers. The recommendations were startling. “Tell him he’s a king. Use the tag line “The world is waiting for you”, and “With our credit card, you can have it all now”. Make him feel he is important and recognised, that he is valued because he is Chinese.” And, since this young person likely came from a one-child family where his wishes were important, “Do everything possible to push the “me, me, me, more, more, more” attitude.”
I encountered this by accident, and had an email exchange with a young Chinese on this topic. I cannot locate my original email but, from memory, this is what I wrote to him:
“A credit card is not magic, and it is not free. It is borrowed money that you will have to repay at a high rate of interest. No matter what they tell you, you cannot have it all, not now, and not without working and saving for it. Moreover, you are not a king. You are a nobody. You are just another dumb kid with a credit card, one of 300 million others like you. I am sorry to tell you the world is not waiting for you. The world doesn’t even know you exist and, if it did know, it wouldn’t care. That is the truth. I suggest you accept it and act accordingly.”
The American Auto Industry
The conduct of these propagandists, beginning with Lippmann and Bernays marketing war for Rothschild and their other masters in London, was clearly criminally insane. There is no way to place a positive spin on people who provoke a world war for their private benefit, but it is more difficult to grasp that their conduct in the commercial realm was (and still is) no less criminally insane. One example is the American auto industry and the American love affair with the automobile.
This is a long and interesting story which I have covered in detail here (12). Briefly, in the 1920s the world was turning to electric automobiles en masse and the advent of inexpensive electric public transport was sounding the death knell for gasoline-powered cars. General Motors and the major oil companies were facing a multiple crisis, and embarked on one of the greatest criminal frauds in history, killing off the electric car and mass transit in the US. But they didn’t stop there. Life in many of the world’s major cities is convenient and enjoyable without a car, partially due to excellent mass transit and partially to urban areas designed for human living rather than automobiles. But not in the US. GM and its friends infiltrated the civic planning faculties of major US universities and propagandised the construction of suburbs – which exist only in North America, physically segregating living, working and shopping spaces to make auto ownership mandatory. They also bribed and extorted the US government to abandon rail transport and invest solely in highways, again to make private auto ownership mandatory. The long term negative effects of this ruthless corporate conspiracy are literally beyond calculation. Then the public propaganda kicked in:
“America’s Love Affair with the Automobile” is presented as an expression of independent and freedom-loving America, where inexpensive mass transportation failed to evolve due to Americans’ individuality and desire for freedom, but that is a propaganda myth, a lie of enormous proportion. Today’s US car culture was the result of a massive conspiracy, like the consumer society, imposed on an unsuspecting nation through deceit and propaganda. After execution of the massive fraud, the American people were for generations complimented on their individualism, adventuresome spirit and their love of freedom and independence, and for the choices they believed they made but that had been made for them by others. Here as in no other market is it so true that Bernays’ capitalists were selling “not so much products as emotion itself, psychologically linking the act of purchasing an automobile to falsely-manufactured feelings of confidence, freedom, happiness, empowerment and independence, tying the very self-identity of Americans to the purchase of an automobile.” (13)
Nestlé and the Baby Milk Companies
Mothers’ breast milk is universally acknowledged as far superior to artificial powdered milk for babies, being naturally sterile and containing all the necessary nutrition while, and very importantly, supplying the baby with multiple antibodies that provide immunity against many childhood illnesses and diseases. Almost all mothers are able to breastfeed their babies, who then become ill much less often than babies fed with artificial milk powder. Bottle-feeding with artificial milk has been long proven to present increasing dangers where mothers have poor or no access to necessary sterile facilities.
UNICEF and many other health groups have stated that about 1.5 million babies die each year from simple ailments like diarrhea, common in babies drinking artificial powdered milk, but that almost never occur with breast-fed babies. The WHO and a number of other international organisations claim that “Over 4,000 babies die every day in poor countries because they’re not breastfed. That’s not conjecture, it’s fact.” Since the end of World War II, approximately 50 million infants have died from this one cause, but Nestlé, Danone, Wyeth, Mead Johnson and Abbott are hugely profitable.
In one of the most criminal and anti-human campaigns ever produced by Bernays and his heirs, a few industrialists conspired to create a reprehensible propaganda offensive to convince the world’s mothers, most especially those in undeveloped countries, to avoid breast-feeding their babies. It was a direct and deliberate attack on one of the most basic of human functions while ignoring the enormous human cost in infant fatalities and illnesses for which they are in most cases directly (or at least indirectly) responsible.
They utilised the services of thousands of physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists, and marketing personnel, to learn how to penetrate the psyche of a new mother to discourage her from breastfeeding her own child. I can recall seeing in several poor countries billboards for baby milk that contained photos of ‘yellow-haired goddesses’, the essential sentiment being communicated was: “Beautiful white women don’t breastfeed their babies. It’s only you backward, uneducated and ignorant brown peasants who do that.” And this from a radio advertisement by US-based Borden milk in the 1950s that played this little song: “The child is going to die because the mother’s breast has given out. Mama o Mama the child cries. If you want your child to get well, give it KLIM milk.” (14) The executives and staff of baby milk companies like Nestlé are even more morally deformed than are those of Big Pharma (who are often owned and controlled by the same people), and have proven they will do whatever is necessary, use any tactics that produce sales, totally heedless to law, ethics or morality.
Bernays’ first corporate client was Proctor and Gamble (P&G), a client that wholeheartedly subscribed to his methods, their relationship lasting more than 30 years, with P&G adopting a marketing model driven by propaganda built on psychological manipulation. (15) Chinese mothers preferred washable cloth diapers, strongly resisting P&G’s marketing efforts for plastic Pampers, so P&G spent millions on psychologists and psychiatrists in attempts to identify the hidden fears and weaknesses in Chinese mothers so as to prey on those. And they found what they needed: the mothers’ concern for their baby’s health and his longer-term development and success in life. P&G then created a scenario based on claims that increased sleep would not only improve a baby’s health but would result in “improved cognitive development and academic achievement”, thereby presumably guaranteeing wealth and a successful career. They produced “studies” with “scientific results” that appeared palpably fraudulent, claiming that Chinese babies wearing Pampers fell asleep 30% faster than babies wearing cloth diapers, and further that their sleep while wearing Pampers would experience “50% Less Disruption”. (16) In an internal P&G staff promotional video, one Pampers brand manager boasted about his psychological fraud, saying, “We really had to change the mindset and educate [Chinese mothers] that using a diaper is not about convenience for you – it’s about your baby’s development. I’m talking about taking a product and literally changing consumer behavior to create a market for it.” Through this reprehensibly false propaganda, P&G were “educating” mothers to believe that wearing disposable diapers would dramatically enhance their child’s mental development. And boasting about their cleverness in doing so. (17)
The Barbie doll is a similar story, a product never intended for children. Barbie was a sex toy named Lili, created in Switzerland in the 1950s and popular primarily with perverted single men in Europe. A Jewish-American woman named Ruth Handler who, with her husband, owned the then-small company named Mattel toys, was on holiday in Germany and apparently fell in love with this doll, brought it to the US and began marketing it as a “more mature” companion for little girls “exploring womanhood”. Mothers were either disturbed or horrified, especially since Barbie’s “mature” body was “borderline pornographic” and seen as a serious danger “potentially damaging to young girls’ psyches”. That view is still held very strongly by millions of mothers all over the world who have banned this doll from their homes. But Handler, adopting Bernays’ propaganda methods, employed psychiatrists to learn how to change the values of American mothers in order to market this doll. The advice was to instruct mothers to consider Barbie as “a tool for teaching their daughters about the importance of appearance and femininity.” Just what every 3 year-old girl needed to help her grow up into a wholesome young woman – a plastic doll with big breasts and a sports car. I have always hated that doll.
It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Starbucks offers some of the worst coffee on the planet, which is natural since it was designed to suit American tastes. But you may be surprised to learn that Starbucks is no longer selling coffee; they are now selling “experiences”. The marketers and advertisers, aided and abetted by the propagandists and their Freudian background, have concluded that there is an even better way to loot bank accounts than offering fake goods on credit. In their view, shops once sold commodities (coffee beans), then became ‘service firms’ (coffee shops) where the commodity was standardised and the distinguishing consumer attraction was the quality of service. Inherent in that shift was the degrading of the commodity – which was expensive – and replacing it with ‘service’ which cost nothing but an artificial smile. They have now moved to a new level where we sacrifice both the commodity and the service, and replace both with “an experience”.
Now, the offspring of Lippman and Bernays are spending huge money on psychologists and psychiatrists to fathom precisely what it is about going to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart that can create a “positive emotional response”. Yes, I know. I almost choked writing that sentence, but these people are serious. They want to identify the underlying stimuli and then fabricate the circumstances in an attempt to provoke that response. If successful, the fake commodity and fake service can disappear to be replaced by a fake emotional experience that you will treasure and one day excitedly relate to your grandchildren. It is all a false reality created with contrived experiences that are not real, but Americans are already on international speaking tours proselytising the new marketing approach. And it’s all fake, in the same way that most of America is fake. Americans promoting this new view seem unable to recognise that any part of their new bible contrasts with reality, and react with offense when Europeans tell them “You Americans are all about image instead of reality. Everything about you is fake and superficial. You people are living in a cliché.”
It is true that sitting in a coffee shop in Vienna or at a sidewalk cafe in Rome can be a treasured experience, generated by dozens or perhaps even hundreds of charming small details that combine to create a genuine appreciation of one of life’s little pleasures. But these wonderful small experiences cannot be fabricated and still generate a pleasure of life, except perhaps for Americans who appear to have lost entirely the ability to distinguish the sizzle from the steak and to whom the only genuine reality is superficial. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting one’s customers to have a good experience, but the American attitude toward creating these is not genuine or sincere; it is cheap, fake, and artificial, a psycho-induced emotional response to a fake reality. Instead of trying to understand how to give customers a real, genuine, pleasant experience as they would receive in Vienna or Rome, the Americans are spending millions trying to understand how to fabricate in their customers the artificial “feelings” of an experience without actually giving them anything. One needs to wonder what the hell Americans think about, what goes on in those minds. And, if anybody needs an “experience” so badly they have to go to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart to find it, what they really need is a life.
I could go on, but these cases illustrate the point I want to make. There was a time when manufacturers focused on making products that people wanted to buy but, with the success of Bernays’ twisted and manipulative “propaganda”, they now employ psychologists and psychiatrists to probe the human psyche and find a way to permanently alter (and corrupt) the human mind to buy whatever these people want to sell. There is much more to this, including the concept of branding, that I will cover in a later essay.
Let’s review. By the early 1900s, Lippman and Bernays had learned from experience the methods of creating an extensive, false, and emotionally-provocative imagery and to use this fabricated mythology to control the perceptions and manipulate the opinions and behavior of the population of an entire nation. It had first been done for political purposes during wartime, to create immense racial hatred and push a nation into war, but was clearly just as applicable to political and commercial ambitions. At the same time, the wealthy elite of the nation created the higher echelons of an American educational system that would use essentially the same principles to entrench themselves in perpetuity by maintaining the bewildered herd as a kind of feudal colony of impoverished consumers. Those controlling the banks and large corporations were not content to stop with the educational system when they realised the broader possibilities of influencing the population through a nationwide scale of propaganda disguised as advertising, which led in turn to the creation and rapid development of the American advertising industry based almost entirely on the principles Lippman and Bernays identified. We then had the media, beginning with print and radio but rapidly including the movies and then television, being the vehicles through which this grand plan of population control would be executed.
In summation, we have a grand conspiracy by a relative handful of people to manipulate and control the perceptions and beliefs of an entire nation of people, entirely for perverted purposes. Perhaps the word ‘conspiracy’ is inaccurate, since these categories of players were in some sense acting independently or at least in different spheres such as advertising and media control or education and politics, but the net result is not different from what would have occurred had there been a tightly-organised conspiracy. Certainly, each knew what the other was doing, and would have been fully aware of the effects of their combined efforts. If we connect these dots, we have the European Jewish bankers and their many huge corporations, and the wealthy US elites exercising enormous control over the US government and effectively taking full charge of American education, of banking and the economy, of industrial production and, most important of all, of the mental and emotional content of the American people.
In every case, there was no concern for the good of the people or of a nation, no value placed on human lives, the human experience, or the human environment. It was only about the money to be derived from social control. Lippman and Bernays are gone, but their mainstay of immoral, manipulative and deceptive practices is as virulent as ever. As Shakespeare told us in Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”.
(13) This quote is not original, but I have lost the source.
In most nations, when a particular criminal conduct reaches epidemic proportion, the government finally acts decisively to eradicate it. Not in America; they solve the problem by legalising it. They did this with influence-peddling (lobbying) and drugs, the same now occurring with domestic propaganda which has been against the law for a very long time to protect citizens from psychological manipulation and control by their own government. The law has always been ignored, but Congress is now dispensing with the pretense in repealing two major laws, the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act (1) (2) (3) (4) and the 1987 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, so as to permit the authorities to disperse false and misleading propaganda and campaigns of misinformation against its own people. Of course, the government has always done this surreptitiously, sometimes to an overwhelming extent as in the case of war marketing, but it has always been illegal. After this, it won’t be. One Pentagon official claimed this new provision will have “No checks and balances. No one will know if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false”. In an article in USA Today, it was quoted that the US military (Pentagon) already spends about $4 billion per year on propaganda to sway public opinion, much of that directed domestically. (5) (6) (7)
We now have the sock puppets, (8) (9) the fake social media personas on the Internet, used by the US military and intelligence agencies to affect and lead public opinion in many countries, usually with the intent of inciting civil unrest and revolution. It has been obvious for some time that these tactics have been used domestically as well, the new legislation simply legalising the process. Many US government agencies have obtained this software that permits them to flood the social media with fake people making fake posts in support of government positions and discrediting those who hold contrary views or are critical of the government. The software is extremely detailed, providing extensive backgrounds for these fictitious people, permitting a single human to assume the identities of as many as 1,000 fake people, and make them appear to actually be in a certain physical place or even attending an actual event. They control the IP address, making it impossible to detect that a single person in one location is orchestrating all that activity. The program manual states, “There is a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas”. The contract requires “virtual private servers” located in and outside the US, to give false locational information, and also requires what it calls “traffic mixing”, blending the persona controllers’ internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that offers “excellent cover and powerful deniability”.
This “Persona management software” is now being used to manipulate public opinion on key issues, with unlimited numbers of virtual people regularly flooding US social media with pro-government propaganda in attempts to manage public perception and kill political activism. This is called “counter-messaging” and the Pentagon has made no secret of its activities in promulgating “black propaganda” – which means knowingly spreading lies to mislead and misinform the public for the purpose of stifling political dissent. In its increasing fear of political activism, the US government has labeled the Internet as a “breeding ground for domestic terrorists”, and appears to include in this category anyone who questions the government’s version of events. This is all part of a massive program to intimidate, manipulate, and crush all public dissent, and to control not only domestic discussion but also to actively manipulate worldwide opinion. Their activity is becoming common in China where, on the occurrence of an event containing useful propaganda fuel, we often see a flood of commentary on Weibo supporting the American position, these ostensibly being posted by native Chinese but almost inevitably originating in Fort Langley, Virginia.
The government has used these in smear campaigns (10) (11) (12) against reporters and other high-profile individuals who criticise US government policy, to the extent of creating fake Facebook and Twitter accounts in their names, containing fake posts meant to be personally damaging, and have even created fake websites and Wikipedia pages purporting to belong to an individual, all for the purpose of discrediting “dissidents”. When a Taiwanese scientist aired his research identifying the 5 haplotypes of COVID-19 and proving America had to be the original source since these types existed only in the USA, the VOA harassed the man so badly online that he closed all his social media accounts and went dark.
The US government performs surveillance and infiltration in attempts to control the public dialogue in many nations, creating Twitter-like social media platforms in other countries, ostensibly local but all monitored and controlled by US agencies. Most are the work of USAID. The Americans innocently proclaim the purpose as “encouraging open political discussion” (in every nation but the US), but it’s a ‘discussion’ they mean to control entirely and skew to satisfy their agenda of inciting unrest and revolution. One such platform in Cuba was widely ridiculed when knowledge of it became public in early 2014, and was killed. (13) (14) (15) Even the Associated Press reported that it “was set up to encourage political dissent”, but White House officials claimed they wanted only “to provide Cubans with a platform to share ideas and exchange information”, claiming it was used to “share cricket scores” and by farmers to “share market prices”. Maybe, but it was used primarily for political destabilisation. The State Department and USAID actively pushed for these platforms after their successes in causing the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and Iran. The State Department also provided several million dollars to a team of American hackers to develop a system known as a mesh network to enable US-sponsored dissidents in Cuba to communicate more freely and securely, with USAID committing yet another several million to the same cause. This is precisely what the US has been doing in Hong Kong for many years now.
The real owners and controllers of Google are reading from the same script. Google is not actively propagandising, but functions as an information gateway with all searches heavily censored and prioritised so that we see only what the secret government wants us to see and receive only the information they want or permit us to have. (16) Facebook and Twitter are not better. (17) Wikipedia is different, being one of the most criminally-dishonest active propagandists in the world. (18) There is surprisingly little in Wikipedia that is not either censored or outright false. If you want to know the number of protons in a Cesium atom, you will find the correct answer, but in any area related to history, politics, wars, government, the Jews, Israel, Arabs, ‘Axis of evil’ members, crimes of governments and corporations, the truths of the European bankers and their ravaging of the world, Wikipedia is 95% sanitised misinformation. And this propaganda is intense; Wiki has tens of thousands of ‘volunteers’ constantly scouring all the page entries to find items requiring editing or deleting. Many people have reported correcting an obviously false entry only to discover moments later that their corrections had been deleted and the page locked. Perhaps the biggest laugh is Wiki’s claim that “Content Requires Verifiable Data”. Maybe, but only from you.
The final pillar of this social engineering is the Jewish-owned and/or controlled media and entertainment industries which have long since abandoned the dissemination of truth and information and wholeheartedly adopted the primary task of propagandising the public mind. Today, the topics are different than the war marketing of Bernays, but – and this is very important to understand – the intensity remains the same. Just as Bernays once flooded every possible media channel with war-mongering hatred, today those same channels are directed to nations other than Germany (China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Libya Cuba, Syria, Venezuela), to the instillation of fear (the war on terrorism) which is easily manipulated to achieve astonishing measures of social control, and to detail-less information to maintain public ignorance and confusion on all important issues. Paul Craig Roberts wrote that “The American media does not serve the truth. It serves the government and the interest groups that empower the government. The function of the “mainstream media” is to sell products and to brainwash the audience for the government and interest groups.” (19) That is precisely correct.
The book publishers are also onside in this vast propaganda campaign. The content of educational texts especially is heavily controlled by the disparate elements of the propaganda machine, with countless topics and theories proscribed. Howard Zinn was a notable exception in having some of his “radical” (i.e. accurate) history books published, but today, only shortly after his death, all his books are being removed from school libraries and destroyed. During the past two or three generations it has become increasingly difficult, and now almost impossible, to publish books on topics that would pose a threat to the activities of the secret government, and more than a few individuals have been killed for trying. The concentration of media and publishing power is not an accident, but part of a plan to eliminate information contradictory to the best interests of Bernays’ invisible people. Today, many publishers and authors will testify that Amazon actively suppresses many books while pretending to sell them.
Neal Gabler, author of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews invented Hollywood, (20) (21) wrote “What is amazing is the extent to which they succeeded in promulgating this fiction throughout the world. By making a ‘shadow’ America, one which idealized every old glorifying bromide about the country, the Hollywood Jews created a powerful cluster of images and ideas so powerful that, in a sense, they colonized the American imagination. Ultimately, American values came to be defined largely by the movies the Jews made.”
The US movie industry is the worst of all media for fictionalising history and reality and replacing them with fabricated mythology. A recent example is Steven Spielberg’s unforgivably distorted portrayal of Lincoln and slavery and the American civil war. It was the Rothschild’s Barings Bank that financed the slave trade, and a great many if not most of the slave traders were Jewish. Furthermore, we have adequate documentation that it was European Jewish bankers who stimulated the slavery-related rift in American society to instigate the civil war. In this context, Spielberg’s movie is an especially offensive false and mythical portrayal of the true facts. As one columnist noted, Spielberg’s movie “had too many negroes and too few Jews”. The upshot is that tens of millions of gullible Americans will take with them to their graves a totally and absolutely false understanding of a critical period in their nation’s history.
That is the real issue, and that brings us back to Bernays who wrote:
“The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world to-day. It is a great distributor for ideas and opinions. The motion picture can standardize the ideas and habits of a nation.” It also begins very early to indoctrinate little minds.
“The American Jews have always used their films as an active propaganda channel to transmit not only their own political agenda but the fiction of US culture, values and way of thinking to people in other nations, these films containing an outpouring of individualism or struggles in pursuit of freedom or the realisation of the American Dream. They have always portrayed an idealised society intended to evoke in others a kind of yearning for America and the things it appears to be. All is cleverly arranged, with meticulous attention paid to the smallest details of setting, with the American flag so often prominent and Americans always portrayed as leaders of the world. All of this is a large and persistent attempt at a kind of cultural colonisation of the world, the Jews excelling at the presentation of a superficial layer of intense audio and visual effects that are “so image rich and content poor that they manipulate our emotions and short-circuit our reason”.”
The great objection to all this is that the presentation is totally false, the US being nothing like the mythical movie presentations, and the values promulgated and unconsciously accepted are not actually held by Americans, and certainly not by the nation’s leaders. Like everything similar emanating from the US, American movies are stimulating, high-quality lies, which is why many nations restrict American content.
All of the above, radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the advertising industry, Hollywood movies and TV programs, book publishing and book selling, Wikipedia, and the social media, are controlled by Jews. Their control over information is almost complete, giving them the power to directly influence people’s thoughts and behavior and to alter the course of events. All of these follow the same inescapable propaganda script. (22) (23) (24) They are not apologetic about this control; Philip Weiss wrote an article in Mondoweiss titled, “Do Jews Dominate in American Media? And So What If We Do?”. (25) I can think of several objections.
Control over the mass media and of the movie industry have always been central to the dissemination of propaganda in the US, with the media presenting the narrative to be adopted and the movies glorifying the propaganda myths disguised as entertainment. The US is the one nation most thoroughly saturated by the media, Americans being bombarded daily with thousands of images on what is essentially political ideology, guiding popular opinion in a predefined direction. The media themselves and many branches of the government spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the art of public propaganda directed at the bewildered herd, this mass media bombardment daily shaping the American view of reality. American author Gore Vidal wrote:
“You cannot get through the density of the propaganda with which the American people, through the dreaded media, have been filled and the horrible public educational system we have for the average person. It’s just grotesque. The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity, much less dissent.” (26)
All of the so-called values that Americans hold so dear and appear so determined to inflict on all other nations, have their origin in the propaganda disseminated by Bernays’ invisible government through this tightly-held media cartel. Dr. Nancy Snow, an assistant professor of political science, wrote “Propaganda is most effective when it is least noticeable. What the American people don’t know is that American propaganda is hidden, and its characteristics, integrated into communications and entertainment, convince people that they are not being manipulated. Propaganda is not supposed to be part of an ‘open society’. Much of our media now are so image rich and content poor that they just serve to capture the eye, manipulate our emotions, and short-circuit our reason. The propaganda and advertising industries therefore function increasingly like adult obedience industries. They instruct their audiences in how to feel and what to think, and increasing numbers of people follow and accept the cues without question.”
Snow described one of her previous jobs as being a “propagandist” for the US Information Agency. She said, “In the US, we don’t think of ourselves as a country that propagandises, even though to the rest of the world we are seen as really the most propagandistic nation”. According to her, the US has more PR professionals than news reporters, and the global reach of what Bernays called Public Relations is just a euphemism for propaganda that involves the entire US media. One example of this was the appointment of an advertising professional as Undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs. In an article in the LA Times, Naomi Klein wrote that “[Charlotte Beers] had no previous State Department experience, but she had held the top job at both the J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather ad agencies, and she’s built brands for everything from dog food to power drills, and that her task now was to work her magic on the greatest branding challenge of all – to sell the United States and its war on terrorism to an increasingly hostile world”. (27) (28) (29) Secretary of State Colin Powell actively defended this: “There is nothing wrong with getting somebody who knows how to sell something. We are selling a product. We need someone who can re-brand American foreign policy, re-brand diplomacy.” (30)
I wrote elsewhere of the fake stories the US military produced for its invasions of Iraq and Libya, with fabricated video of locals apparently cheering the American invaders as liberating heroes. You may have wondered why ‘protestors for freedom’ in many foreign nations (Iraq, Libya, Jugoslavia, Iran, Ukraine) inexplicably seem to create all their protest signs in English; they are all fake, meant for an American audience. Here is some background for you, from a speech given at the US Air Force Academy by John Rendon, a PR consultant employed by the US military. Rendon said, “I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician. I am a politician, an information warrior and a perception manager”, at which point he reminded his audience that when US troops entered Kuwait City during the first Persian Gulf war, they received a wildly enthusiastic greeting from hundreds of Kuwaitis waving US flags. He then asked, “Did you ever stop to wonder how the people of Kuwait City were able to get American flags? Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs then”. (31) (32) It is interesting that Americans boast so openly about their perverted manipulation of the world’s peoples. This was Pompeo boasting, “We lied, we cheated, we stole.” And the American people cheered.
American propaganda foolishness knows no bounds. Some years ago, prior to President Bush’s helicopter landing in a public downtown park on his visit to Italy, I watched dozens of Secret Service agents with cans of paint, spray-painting all the grass a lovely shade of green so Bush would look prettier on TV. When a US President or State Secretary speaks to an empty hall at the United Nations, the media obligingly cut and paste an audience from another speaker’s talk to make Americans proud that their leader was enthusiastically applauded by a full house.
Today, every part of America is all about marketing the brand, selling the sizzle instead of the steak. The operating philosophy is termed “perception management”, the attempt to substitute a utopian fictionalised version of events for reality. Great efforts are made to determine which actions or attitudes or sentiments to portray to the American public and the world, which items of information should be denied to the public, and which “indicators” are necessary to convey to audiences to influence their emotions and dull their objective reasoning. This perception management combines some facts, some unrelated truths, a great deal of deception, all wrapped in layers of what is termed “psychological operations”, and used to sell patriotism, wars, capitalism, fear and fascism. This is the legacy of Lippman and Bernays: an entire nation has degraded to the point where product substance is irrelevant and brand perception is everything.
The picture in Americans minds of their own country consists of a vast array of misinformation, falsehoods and myths, covering every facet of the human experience and which they fervently, and even belligerently, believe to be true. The reason I have dwelt on the topic of propaganda to the extent I have done, is to demonstrate the equal truth that the picture foreigners hold in their minds of the US also consists of the same vast array of lies, misinformation, falsehoods and myths, their understanding of the US equally as flawed as that of the Americans themselves. Almost everything we read, see and learn about the US is mythical propaganda far removed from reality. We are buying the sizzle without the steak, paying for the brand without understanding or even receiving the product.
Bernays’ secret government has been taking control of the ideological foundations of all of America, the propaganda onslaught including the political, corporate, banking, foreign policy, military, media, and academic sectors of the nation, attempting to force all into a single cohesive mental state. It isn’t simply information or misinformation. By controlling the sources and so deciding what you can and cannot see or learn, they plan to decide how you feel and what you think, and ultimately who has or does not have a voice. This is what led CIA Director William Casey to state, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” (33)
The world finally appears to be awakening to the fictional foolishness that is America today. The Pew Research Center has done several recent studies which document a growing distrust of everything American in most countries (34), including China and Western Europe. At the same time, it notes that American citizens are receiving an increasingly narrow view of important world issues, exacerbating their already fabled ignorance. Pew also note that while the American people receive limited information reduced to child-like sound bytes lacking breadth, depth and context, this deliberately fabricated ignorance also increases the ease of propagandists to make false claims that appear real and are difficult to question.
One recent example was the political coup in the Ukraine, the second time the US has overthrown an elected government in that nation. The Americans first instigated a mini-revolution and installed Julia Tymoshenko as their puppet president, this queen’s reign terminated prematurely when she was imprisoned for massive fraud, embezzlement and murder. The Americans then invested – by their own admission – more than $5 billion to destabilise the country with an impressive amount of violence in a second attempt to take control. This disintegrated when most of Eastern Ukraine, especially the Crimea, objected to the US effort and voted to separate from the Ukraine and rejoin Russia. For background, the Crimea had always been part of Russia but was only recently ‘given’ to the Ukraine as a peace measure; its citizens are virtually all ethnic Russians and wanted to return home.
However, the US media carried only the news and video of riots, omitting the fact that they were all US-inspired and financed and that the CIA had a huge contingent resident in Kiev that was masterminding the events from the US Embassy. They specifically omitted video of the “democratic protestors” returning to the US Embassy compound afterward to collect their pay. The riots were attributed to Russia’s “meddling” and presented as cries for freedom by the Ukrainian people, and the secession vote by the Crimean residents which was entirely self-initiated, was described in the US media as a “Russian invasion” of the Crimea. It is in this context that the US climbs on its hypocritical moral white horse and pretends to “warn” Russia about “interfering in Ukraine’s elections”, filling American hearts with pride in their nation’s fight for truth and freedom. With this heavily-propagandised false picture flooding the US media, most Americans believe they clearly understand the situation in the Ukraine and that Russia is indeed “the evil empire”. In fact, they understand nothing clearly and what little they know is wrong, but when a nation’s government so thoroughly controls the media and the narrative, and is a pathological liar, what hope is there for the people?
This ‘perception management’ marketing of the US brand is not limited to US soil; even more time and money are spent on managing perceptions in other nations, one of these being China. The US spends more than $300 million in China each year on marketing their productless brand. It isn’t only obvious outlets like the Voice of America; the Americans make Herculean efforts to plant pro-American messages in newspapers, magazines, social media Weibo and WeChat, in the topic outline of speeches, placing visiting professors in schools and universities in China, and in thousands of other sources that reach the public. This is entirely a psychological warfare operation and is described by the Americans in these terms. The aim of this huge effort is simply to employ all manner of lies and misinformation to make China’s government look bad in the eyes of its people (and the world).
As one example, the U.S. Consul-General in Guangzhou, Jim Levy, filled the internet with outright false or badly-twisted information about sudden racial discrimination against blacks in China. For background, all visas expired during the COVID-19 epidemic, requiring foreign nationals to return home and wait for approval of new visas. Many Africans, in China to purchase low-cost goods to ship home, and reluctant to lose their income source, failed to comply, essentially hiding underground. As health officers were making the rounds to test foreigners and obtain health codes, there were many stories of Africans jumping out of windows (hopefully first-floor windows) to escape the medical authorities and avoid the necessary quarantines. Finally, the police had to instruct apartments and hotels to not provide accommodation to anyone lacking a valid visa, but the US Consulate filled Chinese social media and foreign airwaves with stories titled, “African nations, US decry racism against blacks in China”. (35) (36) My opinion of Levy is not high, especially since he was using his American diplomatic post to further the political aims of his Jewish masters. In a similar manner, Alan Dershowitz, another American Jew, this one from Harvard, not long ago gave a speech to AIPAC, the Godzilla of Jewish influence in the US, where he asked all Jews to create as much pressure as possible on China’s imaginary human rights violations in Tibet, to take the world’s attention off the Jewish atrocities in Palestine. International politics supported by propaganda, i.e. “perception management”, is a dirty business.
Hong Kong today is saturated with CIA and other US-based media control, their long-term propaganda campaign being the entire source of the Western-oriented political agitation and the persistently negative views of China that originate there. George Soros, another American Jew, finances the seditious “China Media Project” at Hong Kong University, creating a massive anti-China campaign and responsible for much of the violence there. The violence and chaos in Tibet and Xinjiang all have the same source. Philip Agee, a former CIA agent (37), wrote that the US has been conducting this illegal interference in Tibet since prior to the 1950s and 1960s, claiming that his duties in the CIA involved attempting to penetrate and manipulate the institutions of power, infiltrating and manipulating political parties, trade unions, youth and student movements, intellectual, professional and cultural societies, religious groups, women’s groups and especially the media. He details how he paid journalists to publish American propaganda as if it were the journalists’ own information, and how the CIA spent huge sums of money intervening in foreign elections to promote and elect an American puppet candidate. The NYT had very little nice to say about Agee in their obituary. (38)
Jonathan Power told us of one highly-placed British diplomat who stated, “One reads about the world’s desire for American leadership only in the United States. Everywhere else one reads about American arrogance and unilateralism”. (39) (40) Power wrote further that “America Is Sadly In The Grip Of ‘Exhausted Ideas'”. (41) And as Naomi Klein noted, nations don’t generally object to America’s so-called ‘values’, but to the fact that the US never adheres to them. Critics see only US unilateralism, defiance of all international laws, great wealth disparity, and increasing unjustified crackdowns and violations of civil rights. She wrote that America’s problem “was not with the brand but with the product”, and that the great and increasing international anger – and it is anger – arises “not only from the facts but also from a clear perception of false advertising”. In other words, American hypocrisy, the Utopia Syndrome I wrote of earlier. However, Americans seem oblivious to these realities and are redoubling their efforts to propagandise not only all Americans but the world.
(27) Naomi Klein | The Spectacular Failure of Brand USA; https://naomiklein.org/spectacular-failure-brand-usa/
An earlier essay titled, “If America Dissolves . . .” formed an introduction to the series on Bernays and Propaganda. This essay functions as the epilogue.
I will briefly repeat here several observations I made earlier, in order to develop a point that requires some elaboration.
In the essay titled The Utopia Syndrome, I mentioned Elizabeth Anderson’s theory of what I call ‘The Propaganda Mask’, which states that when political ideals or the ‘official story’ diverge too widely from reality, the ideals or the official narrative themselves become a kind of mask that prevents us from perceiving the gap. When the tenets of the propaganda are too far removed from factual truth, the victims lose their ability to separate fact from fiction and become unable to recognise the discrepancy between their ideals and their actions, or between their convictions and the truth. In the same essay I outlined that Americans are guilty of what I call ‘the Utopia Syndrome’, comparing themselves not with the real world of their actions but with some utopian standard of ideals that exists only in their own imaginations, a world of fancy and illusion divorced from reality. Next, I noted the black and white mentality that pervades America, the result of their Christianity and the work of Bernays, whose methods of manipulation of the public mind created a kind of binary mentality. Bernays claimed the excessive emotional loading in his propaganda could produce only a limited range of powerful emotional responses in his victims, forcing one’s emotional switch into a binary ‘on or off’ mode, with no other choices.
Within this binary framework, it is interesting that Americans are of two minds with respect to their treasured democracy. On the one hand, they preach glassy-eyed and fervently that their multi-party political system is the pinnacle of human evolutionary development, a universal value gifted to them by their god and representing the yearnings of all mankind, while on the other hand vehemently condemning that same democracy as hopelessly corrupt and its politicians less trustworthy than snakes and used-car salesmen. Thus, Americans seem to have two brains which are apparently unconnected and unable to communicate with each other. We have one brain stridently preaching the utopian fiction of a beautiful mansion on a hill, while the other dismisses with contempt the reality of a cracked foundation and leaking roof, sagging floors and faulty wiring, and all the rest. Yet the brain’s owner is seemingly unaware of these two successive and starkly contradictory realities.
These behavior patterns are not difficult to understand if we assume that Americans really do have two unconnected brains, not physically but mentally. Like all schizophrenics, most Americans exhibit what researchers call a ‘splitting of mental functions’, a mental disorder characterised by a failure to recognize what is real, the most common symptom being false beliefs. This derived schizophrenia appears to share the stage with a variation of what is called a ‘multiple personality disorder’, “a mental defect characterised by two distinct but dissociated personality states that alternately control a person’s behavior, accompanied by memory impairment not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.” This combination summarises to a people (a) holding totally false beliefs, unable to distinguish fiction from reality, (b) displaying two distinct but dissociated and opposite mental states, and (c) exhibiting little if any memory overlap between these two states. Odd as all this may seem, this describes Americans too perfectly to be an irrelevant coincidence. I should note here that both these mental disorders are diagnosed more frequently in the US than in any other nation.
Americans have been overwhelmed with utopian propaganda from infancy, an insidious New Testament heavily loaded with religion and emotion, indoctrinating them with a belief in their own moral superiority endowed upon them by their god, resulting in the Propaganda Mask where they can no longer recognise the vast discrepancy between their ideals and their actions (or the actions of their government). Their evangelical brand of Christianity endows them with the conviction that they are “good” and that all their actions, however evil, are also “good”. It then follows that they compare themselves not to the real world of their actions but only to their programmed utopian ideals. It is logical that Americans appear blind to this stark discrepancy due to the memory impairment when shifting personality states, the explanation lying with Bernays and the ‘on and off’ switch that controls the two brains. The issue is simply that both brains (or personality states) cannot be “ON” at the same time.
The condition and its states are easy to observe. In moments of unthreatening discourse, most any American brain can switch to its reality state and recognise democracy and capitalism for what they are, with all the open sores and unbalanced boils readily apparent and heartily condemned. In these unguarded moments, many Americans will release a tide of criticism and moral condemnation of their capitalist system, with at least intuitive if not factual understanding of the criminal character of their corporations and banks, and the fundamentally unjust nature of their legal and judicial systems, as well as the failings of their vaunted multi-party democratic system. They know full well their Wall Street bankers are predatory vampires, that their courts are neither of law nor justice,that their democracy is corrupted beyond redemption, and that most of their politicians and corporate executives belong in prison. They are mostly quite aware of the devastating injustices of their capitalist system, and surprisingly aware of the futility of their great ‘democracy’. It can be startling to see their clarity of vision and harsh judgments of these failings.
But on occasions when these fundamentals are threatened, or when exposed to an emotionally-nourishing propaganda stimulus containing an opportunity to ‘feel good to be an American’, the reality brain switches off, the utopian brain switches on, and we are subjected to a sometimes frighteningly religious flood of nationalistic nonsense. I wrote earlier that much of what we attribute to American hypocrisy may in reality be due to a peculiarly American kind of mass insanity, which would appear to be precisely the case.
No other nation in the world has been exposed to political-religious brainwashing propaganda on such a massive scale. Patriotism in America is neither natural nor spontaneous; it has been planned, programmed and instilled in all Americans from birth, at least all white Americans. It is often so foolish as to be comical and open to ridicule, but simultaneously rather frightening. Consider this example:
The media topic is that fewer Americans are buying live Christmas trees in favor of artificial ones that are less bother and are re-usable. The live tree industry feels a long-term threat to its survival. No politics here, no religion. But then this is America and things are different here. The problem, according to the US media, is not the change in consumer tastes but rather is China, specifically “China’s cheap, fake Christmas trees”. China is “threatening our authentic American trees” and, even more importantly, China is also threatening “the patriotic Americans” who supply the authentic American trees. The media article therefore advised these threatened Americans to evidence their patriotism by going out into the forest to find “a God-grown tree”. When you read this, do you laugh or cry?
This tragic combination of serious mental imbalance and distressing emotional immaturity creates an existential problem for these hysterical pre-pubescent Americans. On the one hand, they desperately must feel good to be an American because it is their only source of emotional sustenance. But on the other hand, the fact of being American contains nothing in itself to make anybody feel good about anything. Even worse, it isn’t sufficient for them to merely feel good about themselves; it is crucially necessary to feel they are better than others, which is why they need an external comparison to illuminate their superiority. In spite of their imaginary exceptionalism and professed overwhelming moral superiority, there is also an inner recognition that these claims are false, evidenced by their constant attempts to prove a superiority which, if real, should be so obvious as to require no proof.
But Americans have nothing valuable of their own, not in themselves, nor in their national identity, history or culture, so they compensate by denigrating those who do have. This is why they so vigorously blind themselves to their own faults, crimes and atrocities, and focus only on the sins of others – even if they have to create imaginary ones. This is in part why hypocrisy has become a defining adjective of Americans: they cannot permit their national identity to collapse from a revelation of their current faults and historical crimes. When overlaid with their malignant Christianity, this combines to produce their imaginary and marvelously-warped self-image of moral superiority. The end result is a nation with little intrinsic self-worth and few genuine human values, unable to see itself as it really is: empty, superficial, vacuous, ignorant, mean-spirited, hysterical, envious, aggressive, self-obsessed, and hypocritical.
This is what Lippman and Bernays (and their European masters) did to the American people – reprogrammed an entire nation in equally as brutal a fashion as did the US with the Philippines, and the UK with Hong Kong, in this case creating an entire society of deluded, hysterical, and profoundly sick killer-consumers with a totally fictional history. It is probably fair to say that these men had good and fertile material to work with, a composition of the worst features of Christianity, native ignorance, and insatiable greed, but still we need to give credit where credit is due. Americans have always been racist and violent, but it was Lippman and Bernays who turned them into serial killers celebrating their Afghan “bug splats” (1) in the national media. And it was in this fertile and evil soil that American Presidents, Secretaries of State and Defense Secretaries so lushly sprouted into the longest string of sociopathic genocidal killers in history. Democracy never had a chance.
(1) For those who don’t know, a ‘bug splat’ is both the sound and the result of a large insect like a grasshopper impacting the windshield of a car at high speed. Americans were renowned for shooting children in Afghanistan (usually in the head) with high-powered weapons, and referring to the resulting explosion as a ‘bug splat’.
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 30 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’.
His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/
He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org