Western politicians and scientists seem to be under the spell of Scientism – the subjective bias of applying science to confirm personal beliefs and cultural policies. This article is a compilation of case studies providing substantial evidence demonstrating that scientists are only seeking evidence that confirm their pre-existing biases instead of describing reality as it actually exists.
CASE STUDY 1: Refusing to Accept Substantial Contrary Evidence
Dear greenies, imagine being so intellectually cooked you’re angry to find out the world isn’t actually going to end Instead of welcoming a report finding no statistical evidence for a global climate emergency, doomsayers are instead screaming bloody murder about a perceived media conspiracy.
Authored by Gemma Tognini Gemma Tognini SkyNews.com.au Contributor and Corporate Affairs Specialist
In case you missed it, there was some terrific news that broke over the weekend.
Really good, in fact.
Results of an international study, delivered by leading scientists from the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics in conjunction with the prestigious University of Milan, found no statistical, data-linked evidence of any kind that the earth (and we earthlings) are in the grips of a climate emergency.
None. Let me repeat that. Nothing to see here, move along.
The Australian’s Graham Lloyd says a new paper has found that it is “not possible” to detect a climate emergency. “They don’t say there isn’t an increase in temperature, they don’t say that it will never be the case,” he said. “But as things stand, it is not possible to see that footprint there.”
The study provided a long-term analysis of a range of extreme weather events such as heat, drought, floods, hurricanes and fires and found no clear positive trends.
This is good news – great news even!
You’d think this would be something to celebrate. You’d think this would be news sharing.
What I saw instead, was a bizarre reaction from many (most, on my observation at least) were of the political left and or Greens, whose response was rage.
Rage that an esteemed scientist would dare to find the earth is in fact in very good health and we are not hurtling towards oblivion.
No wonder these folk get called climate doomsayers. No wonder it looks and sounds like a cult.
Instead of talking about how fabulous that there isn’t any statistical or other evidence of a climate crisis, they scream about media conspiracies.
Imagine being so intellectually cooked that you’re angry the world isn’t going to end.
To me, the findings of this study come as no surprise.
For half a century, there have been predictions of a looming climate-related disaster.
For half a century, they have failed to materialise (another thing to celebrate, but that’s just me).
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the best.
In 1970, the Boston Globe ran predictions of a global ice age that would consume us all by the year 2000.
In 2008, Good Morning America ran stories predicting most of New York City would be under water by 2015 due to rising sea levels.
And don’t forget 2000, when the UK’s Independent ran on a story that claimed British children would never see snow again within a few short years.
And of course, the various predictions of Prof. Tim Flannery, including but not limited to telling us back in 2007 that “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems”.
If you reacted to the results of this Italian study with anything other than happiness then may I kindly suggest seeking professional help.
Importantly, the study’s authors aren’t saying we can just sit back and enjoy our existing energy sources without further revision.
But what they are saying is that it needs to be done in context.
Imagine that, a sensible response that won’t plunge the country further into an energy crisis.
The EU didn’t just miraculously decide that gas and nuclear are renewables for fun.
Have a look at what’s going on in Britain, Italy, Germany and other parts of the EU.
Those in the Senate who are high fiving themselves over the Albanese government’s legislated climate targets, the Teal Brigade and yes, the Greens.
Best heed the bell that’s been tolled here.
They may be basking in the afterglow right now but it doesn’t take much to go from hero to villain – especially when Australian families will be looking for someone to blame.
CASE STUDY 2: Denigrating Opponents of the Status Quo
A psychological study analysing 390 climate change sceptics denigrates them for confused thinking and diagnoses them with “denialism”. Contrary to expectations, the study revealed that sceptics were more likely to have higher analytical skills than the general public. Instead of further research into why this was so, it was generally conceded that sceptics were unaware of climate modelling projections.
CASE STUDY 3: Unnecessary Sacrifice and Societal Change
Green Ideology, supported by biased, narrow minded Scientism, will seek to transform society no matter the personal or financial cost.
UK may ‘go back to pre-industrial revolution’ times as energy crisis worsens
Brexit movement leader Nigel Farage says former UK prime minister Boris Johnson was the “high priest of net zero” during his time – even as the former leader lashed out at energy policy.
“What nuclear power gives you is baseload but for us to build a major new nuclear facility in Suffolk on the east coast of England – which is what Boris was doing on that day – it’ll be at least 12 years before that’s in production,” he told Sky News host Chris Kenny.
“By that time, we may well have economically have gone back to pre the Industrial Revolution because we won’t have any hot water, we won’t have any computers.”
Europe’s energy crisis has ‘just been getting worse’
Sky News host Chris Kenny says Europe’s energy crisis has been worsening as the world mourns Queen Elizabeth II.
“Crippling power bills are forcing manufacturers to close their doors for a couple of days each week, standing down staff,” he said.
Mr Kenny said parts of Germany have banned hot showers at gyms and swimming pools as well as portable air conditioners and heaters and Paris has resorted to turning off the Eiffel Tower’s lights early.
“And in Britain, millions of businesses will have their power bills capped for six months, to help them stay afloat,” he said.
“Boris Johnson, in one of his final speeches as PM, hit the nail on the head, identifying nuclear as the solution, while calling out weak poltictions for dropping the ball.”
CASE STUDY 4: Inconsistencies in Confirmed Public Information
Statistics are easily confirmed and denied to suit the political necessities of a particular time period. For instance, carbon dioxide forms 0.04% of the atmosphere. 97% is produced naturally while 3% was produced by humans. Of this 3% produced, a small nation such as Australia contributes only 1.3% out of all of the CO2 produced by humans, which is negligible. Facts are ethereal and modelling changes to suit cultural and political bias. Sea levels have not changed over the previous 70 years, as has been confirmed by historic records and photographs.
The reaction of the persecuted church in Iran to Biden’s anti-conservative speech on the 1st September is cause for alarm. Persecuted Christians easily recognise the precursor to tyrannical oppression against godly, law abiding citizens. The US Democrats are doubling down against their opponents in an act of desperation, as a result of disastrous policy failure and a growing awareness by US citizens that all is not well, not realising that demonising the opposition leads to an increased risk of hypocrisy, injustice and inhumanity. Ideology, whether it is Islamic or atheistic, can be fundamentally dangerous to the lives of faithful Christians.
John 15:19–20 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they keep my word, they will also keep yours.
By Josh Boak, Zeke Miller, posted September 2, 2022 in National News.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — President Joe Biden charged in a prime-time address that the “extreme ideology” of Donald Trump and his adherents “threatens the very foundation of our republic,” as he summoned Americans of all stripes to help counter what he sketched as dark forces within the Republican Party trying to subvert democracy.
In his speech Thursday night (Sept. 1) at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, Biden unleashed the trappings of the presidency in an indictment of Trump and what he said has become the dominant strain of the opposition party. His broadside came barely two months before Americans head to the polls in bitterly contested midterm elections that Biden calls a crossroads for the nation.
“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” he said before an audience of hundreds, raising his voice over pro-Trump protesters outside the building where the nation’s founding was debated. He said he wasn’t condemning the 74 million people who voted for Trump in 2020 but added, “There’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans,” using the acronym for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
The explicit effort by Biden to marginalize Trump and his followers marks a sharp recent turn for the president, who preached his desire to bring about national unity in his inaugural address.
“President Biden’s speech to the nation last night was more inflammatory than healing,” said Daniel Darling, director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in an email to Baptist Press. “For a President who campaigned on unity and healing the country, he continues to govern in a way that is deeply polarizing. It was a campaign speech disguised as an official word from the commander-in-chief.”
Delivering a preemptive rebuttal from Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Biden was born, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said it is the Democratic president, not Republicans, trying to divide Americans.
“In the past two years, Joe Biden has launched an assault on the soul of America, on its people, on its laws, on its most sacred values,” McCarthy said. “He has launched an assault on our democracy. His policies have severely wounded America’s soul, diminished America’s spirit and betrayed America’s trust.”
Asked on Friday if he considered all Trump supporters a threat to the country, Biden said, “I don’t consider any Trump supporter a threat to the country.”
He added: “I do think anyone who calls for the use of violence, fails to condemn violence when it’s used, refuses to acknowledge when an election has been won, insists on changing the way in which the rules to count votes, that is a threat to democracy.”
He said that when people voted for Trump, “they weren’t voting for attacking the Capitol. They weren’t voting for overruling the election. They were voting for a philosophy he put forward.” Last week, he compared the “MAGA philosophy” to “semi-fascism.”
“Equality and democracy are under assault” in the U.S., Biden charged in the speech, casting Trump and his backers in the GOP as a menace to the nation’s system of government, its standing abroad and its citizens’ way of life.
Trump and his supporters “promote authoritarian leaders and they fan the flames of political violence,” he said. They “are determined to take this country backwards.”
“Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love,” he said.
Red lights illuminated the brick of Independence Hall, as the Marine Band played “Hail to the Chief” and a pair of Marine sentries stood at parade rest in the backdrop. Still, the major broadcast television networks did not carry the address live.
“His use of the symbols of the American military, his attempt to portray half the country as irredeemable fascists, and the bizarre red backdrop did not convey a leader wishing to heal but divide,” Darling said. “It was especially appalling to see the pro-life movement–of which the President used to be a member–portrayed as enemies of democracy.
“What America needs in this moment is a president willing to help heal our deep divides, to resist the election-year urge to consider his ideological adversaries as enemies of the state, and to ratchet down the rhetoric coming from the White House. We are at a dangerous moment, where the incentives on all sides are toward demonization, where partisans seem increasingly eager to engage in political violence. Preserving democracy requires cool heads and warm hearts, not cheap campaign rhetoric.
“For Christians, this is a moment of opportunity, to both display courage in advocating for transcendent truths and civility in seeing even those who disagree with us as image-bearers of the Almighty. And should pray for leaders willing to do the same.”
Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufman said in a statement that Biden was using the tactics of an authoritarian regime, “trying to turn his political opponents into an enemy of the state.”
Last week, Financial Times Associate Editor Edward Luce tweeted that Republicans are the most “dangerous” political force in the world, bar none. “I’ve covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world,” he said, and “I have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close.” Former CIA Director Michael Hayden chimed in immediately and said, “I agree.”
This past Tuesday, Democrat adviser Kurt Bardella called all Republicans a “domestic terrorist cell.” MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross agreed and said there should be no distinction between Republicans and “right-wing extremists.” At the same time, Peter Wehner, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, likened the Republican Party to a “dagger pointed at the throat of American democracy.” All this while the FBI Director Christopher Wray added that any American flying the Gadsden — “Don’t Tread On Me” — flag is suspect of violent extremism.
Does anyone except me hear the ghost of George Orwell laughing right now?
Does it concern you that a group of Democrats holding power is now defining all Republicans as being “right-wing extremists” and a “threat to American democracy?”
And by the way, what is a right-wing extremist? Is it someone who advocates for pro-life legislation? Is it someone who believes in traditional standards of sexual morality? Are you a right-winger if you believe in lower taxes? Are you an extremist if you dare to call for open debate on environmental policy? Are you a threat to American democracy if you think enforcing America’s borders will actually be good for America? Are you one of those “nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible” people “holding a dagger to America’s throat” if you believe in school choice and the self-evident reality of parental rights?
Isn’t it a bit convenient that Big Brother has decided that all Americans with a “Republican” bumper sticker on their car versus those who obediently parrot the beltway propaganda of George Soros are a security risk?
And what about these smart folks on the left? Is their thoughtless embrace of critical race theory a security risk? How about their endless printing of monopoly money and the consequent degrading of U.S. currency? Does this enhance or impede American democracy? Does their embrace of the neo-Marxism of Black Lives Matter endanger our freedom? Does their infatuation with sexual nihilism make America’s women and children feel more or less secure? And how about “climate change” and “green” economics? Does their religious zeal for the disproven pantheism of former Vice President Al Gore enhance our national security or hurt it? Finally, let’s consider their post-modern aversion to any robust debate concerning everything above; is their intellectual foreclosure not nihilistic and extreme?
Oh, a final question: How about their ad hominem attacks of calling 50% of the American people derogatory names? Isn’t such ignorance of the elementary principles of Socratic logic a bit dangerous? Do you feel more secure knowing that some bureaucrat or politician at the highest levels of political power can unabashedly pigeonhole any person holding a conservative worldview as a compromise to national security? Do you feel safe knowing that this tactical use of rhetorical sleight of hand is actually accompanied by a straight face — or perhaps a sly grin?
This betrayal of classical liberalism is simply incredible. And I mean this in the technical sense of the word. These worn-out political attacks lack any credibility. Our nation’s political class and their obedient media lapdogs make no sense. They disregard any elementary understanding of freshman-level logic. Their rhetoric is foolish. And when caught on the horns of their duplicitous dilemma, their only reaction is to shoot the messenger and ignore the message. “All Republicans are right-wingers,” they shout. “Anyone who disagrees with us is a security risk, a deplorable, and thoughtless rube!” This narcissistic nonsense lacks any credibility. It is simply in-credible!
A free society that remains silent while George Orwell‘s “1984” unfolds before its very eyes will not remain free. Our nation’s elites are hell-bent on completely restructuring the socio-political context of our country, and in their zeal, they are labeling anyone who challenges them a “dangerous, contemptible, terrorist.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once warned that “silence in the face of evil is evil is evil itself.” Half of the American people have just been told we are a “domestic terrorist cell.” Silence in the face of this oligarchical power grab is complicity in our demise as well as our country’s. “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. God will not hold us guiltless.”
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper) is a columnist for The Washington Times, former university president and radio host.
Faith, morality and Christianity continue to be attacked by the woke left. All that is good and wholesome is now condemned, whilst evil and wickedness are now being praised as the new virtues the world needs to embrace. Fox News discusses this further corruption and attack upon our brothers and sisters in Christ within society. Further analysis and a Catholic perspective is provided by Dr Taylor Marshall. Be aware of the apostasy and increased persecution of the universal church in a short matter of time.
The new political correctness hasn’t the power to overwhelm our existing order. BY PETER FRANKLIN
Do you remember political correctness? For members of Generation X, born between 1965 and 1980, the PC boom of the Eighties and Nineties was part of growing up. Like today’s wokeness, it was all about policing language. For instance, instead of saying “disabled” we were meant to say “differently abled” or “physically challenged”.
The jargon didn’t stick. Indeed, it was widely mocked, with wags competing to contrive faux-PC terms like “circumferentially challenged” (meaning “fat”) and “metabolically different” (meaning “dead”).
Of course, during any reform of manners there are always those who take things too far — putting skirts around piano legs and the like. Fortunately, society as a whole is more sensible; we curb the excesses and move on to a kinder, gentler stage in our development.
This model of permanent-progress-with-temporary-excess is how some conservatives seek to contextualise the current moment. For instance, David Brooks of the New York Times argues that while the “thing we call wokeness” produces “fringe absurdities” it also has “at its core… an honest and good-faith effort to grapple with the legacies of racism.”
Furthermore, he has faith in the “American establishment’s ability to co-opt and water down every radical progressive ideology.” The rise of the woke corporation is not therefore a sign that wokeness is taking over, but rather proof that the process by which capitalism defangs the Left is once more in operation. We weren’t turned into hippies by Coca-Cola teaching the world to sing 50 years ago and we won’t be turned into wokelings by the posturing of corporate PR departments today.
Tyler Cowen makes a similar argument, referring to another song from 1971 — John Lennon’s Imagine. This was an immediate and enduring hit — the biggest of Lennon’s solo career. But despite us imagining the idea of “no possessions” for the last five decades, capitalism continues to sell them in ever greater quantity.
Thus Brooks and Cowen seem to have history on their side.
But there is a counter-argument, made by Rod Dreher who is a friend of Brooks, but horrified by his complacency. For a start, says Dreher, there is no good side to wokeness — it is a “naked attempt to exercise tribal politics, and to do so by (brilliantly) deploying moral language and victim status to disguise what it is being done.”
If that’s true, then wokery isn’t the latest in a long line of vehicles for social justice, but quite the opposite. It has hijacked the struggle against oppression to perpetrate a divisive and destructive ideology of its own. Thus nothing good can come from its growing influence. As Dreher puts it: “the core of our disagreement is over the effects of having a leadership class radicalized by wokeness. David thinks it’s not all bad, but it will fade in time. I think it is entirely bad, and that even if it fades — I’ve got my doubts — the damage it does in the process is going to be immense.”
A yet more disturbing scenario is presented by Ed West. He too doubts that wokeness will fade away. Indeed, he compares the current moment to one of the most important turning points in world history: “In The Final Pagan Generation Edward Watts recalled how the cohort growing up in the mid-4th century watched, helplessly, as their culture was overwhelmed by the tidal wave of Christianity. Bit by bit, decree by decree, their religious supremacy and then freedom was hacked away.”
In this analogy, wokeness is the new Christianity — a belief system that moved from the fringes into the mainstream and ultimately all the way up into the highest echelons of the establishment. As in the 4th Century, it is already too late to do anything about it. The reactionary spasms of the 21st century, like the Trump presidency, are as futile as the reign of the last pagan emperor of Rome — Julian the Apostate — who tried but failed to reassert the old order. Neither he nor Trump ever stood a chance.
How robust is this analogy? Let’s begin with the observation that by Julian’s time, traditional Roman religion bore little resemblance to its old self. All sorts of new belief systems has spread across the Empire. However, most of these were assimilated — often fused with traditional Roman gods.
One could say the same about the West today. Modernity has opened the way for all sorts of new influences on culture and politics at the expense of tradition. And yet, as Brooks and Cowen describe, the established order has nevertheless endured — by taming and co-opting the challenger ideologies.
Christianity, though, was the challenger ideology that would not and could not be assimilated. Just how far Christianity assimilated Rome is matter of debate, but the concept of “Christendom” grew from Rome’s ruins — defining Europe, the West and ultimately the modern world.
The question therefore is whether wokeness today is remotely comparable to the role Christianity played as Rome crumbled. Note that I’m not talking about how much wokeness owes as an ideology to the worldview that Christianity built — I’ll leave that debate to the likes of Tom Holland. Rather, I’m asking whether wokeness has the capacity to offer a unifying vision of such compelling power as to overwhelm and supersede the existing order.
And here the answer is clear: it does not.
First, wokeness is too geographically limited in scope. The impact that it’s made so far depends on conditions that apply specifically to the United States of America — especially in regard to that country’s history of slavery, segregation and ongoing racial discrimination. The global reach of social media helps to explain why the Black Lives Matter movement made waves far beyond America; but it does not change the very different context of race relations in other countries.
Even a country with as revolutionary a history as France has made it abundantly clear that American-style wokeness will not be taking root in French soil. Whether that’s expressed by the ruling establishment centred upon President Macron or a youth vote that’s shockingly skewed towards the far-Right, we English-speakers need to remember that we are not the world.
Second, unlike the Christianity which spread among ordinary people before converting the establishment, wokeness comes from the elites and continues to wield its greatest influence there. It is not a popular movement; it is remarkably unpopular, in fact.
Perhaps, like Protestantism during the Reformation, it doesn’t have to be. Given the control that the elites have over political, economic and cultural institutions, it may be that rest of the population just follows along behind: Cuius regio, eius religio (‘whose realm, their religion’) as they used to say in the 16th century.
Except that these days, voters aren’t so keen on being treated like a bunch of peasants. In the wake of Brexit, the Labour Party tried to pull that trick in their heartlands and it didn’t end well for them.
Third, wokeness doesn’t even begin to match Christianity’s intellectual depth. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo? It’s not exactly Saint Augustine’s City of God, is it?
No doubt that’s an unfair comparison, but if you put the intellectual heavyweights of the contemporary Left up against the best people from the other major schools of political thought — liberalism, conservatism, even classical Marxism — there’s no doubt as to who’d win the wooden spoon.
The jargon and buzzwords of wokery are easily grasped, a rhetorical framework that just about anyone can assemble and deploy on Twitter. But with so little substance behind each component, they quickly become worn out. Already, terms like “safe space” and “trigger warning” are beginning to sound very last decade. The biggest threat to wokeness isn’t whiteness or the patriarchy, but fashion.
Fourth, wokeness is viral in the proper sense of the word — i.e. it doesn’t do much except reproduce itself (and even then parasitically, by subverting pre-existing institutions). The demands of the movement centre upon changes to language, symbols and patterns of thought. Beyond that, real world policies such as “defund the police” are so wildly impractical as to have rhetorical relevance only.
Clearly, wokeness appeals to people with legitimate complaints against the status quo — especially younger people. But in focusing on extremely generalised theories of injustice rather than specific, fixable failures in the system, the contemporary Left is singularly useless as an agent of practical change.
Finally, the ruling establishment doesn’t have to keep stitching up the younger generation. There is no need for a radical new ideology to fix problems like student debt, unpaid internships, the housing crisis and all the other ways in which Millennials and Post-Millennials have been let down by their elders.
Indeed, the more that the elites adopt woke ideology to distract attention from these failures, the sooner that the young will realise they’ve been had — and the sooner they’ll move on to the next protest movement.
The video below demonstrates how highly paid consultants are infiltrating governments around the world to endorse a radical woke world view of gender. The more radical the change, the more highly awarded the advisor. It seems that something sinister is whispering to the governments of the world.
2 Corinthians 11:3
3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
The Democrat Party of the USA is underpinned by the Common Features of Fascism, expounded upon by Umberto Eco (The 14 Principles of Fascism).
1. The cult of tradition. Leaders in the Democrat make the claim for authentication from recent historic civil rights laws and leaders. For example, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Wade vs Roe abortion laws.
2. The rejection of modernism. Science is easily ignored and irrationalism is embraced. This is evident when physical reality and biological science is overturned in favour of personal, emotional truths. For example, claiming that there are more than 52 genders instead of only two – male and female.
3. The cult of action for action’s sake. Reaction and perpetual revolution is the sign of a neo-Marxist solution. Thinking is seen as a form of emasculation and when confronted by their their thoughtless deeds, Democrats are unable to refute their critics.
4. Disagreement is treason. As is evident with the banality of cancel culture and the demonization of conservatives.
5. Fear of difference. Any political, religious or ideological difference will not be tolerated.
6. Appeal to social frustration. According to intersectional theory, the greater the perception of oppression of a group, the greater their inherent power for social change.
7. The obsession with a plot. Such obsession includes Trump’s Russian collusion (proven to be a hoax) and the January 6 insurrection plot (with no evidence).
8. The enemy is both strong and weak. Ultra MAGA and conservatives are seen as an existential threat to the nation and yet often down graded as feeble minded and a minority.
9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. Any person who denies the neo-Marxist woke agenda is open game for attack. Recently a 61 year old grandmother was arrested for attending the rally on January 6. Bakers have been persistently persecuted for refusing to a make a cake for a gay wedding on religious grounds.
10. Contempt for the weak. The elite use the popularity of the poor and yet despise the poor at the same time. They find it hard to accept that most people do not have the wealth to embrace climate ideology and purchase expensive electric cars or install solar panels.
11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. One is now a brave hero by standing up for gender, race and woke ideologies. Nothing needs to be accomplished, one just needs to show one’s support.
12. Selective populism. Social media influencers and celebrities represent a select minority and yet are envisioned to be the voice of the people.
13. Newspeak. Vocabulary is impoverished and limited in “order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.” The sterilisation of language to make it politically correct and the use of woke pronouns is a sign of newspeak.
All thirteen signs are evident within the Democrat party, implying that they are fascists as well as socialists. One principle that is not shown is machismo – that is because they adore everything sexually perverse and abhor traditional gender roles. They display an inherent hatred of women, though, whenever they place women’s rights as less important than that of an intersectionally oppressed group.
One of the hallmarks of democratic society is a healthy, free-flowing media ecosystem.
In times past, that media ecosystem would include various mass media outlets, from newspapers to cable TV networks. Today, the internet and social media platforms have greatly expanded the scope and reach of communication within society.
Of course, journalism plays a key role within that ecosystem. High quality journalism and the unprecedented transparency of social media keeps power structures in check—and sometimes, these forces can drive genuine societal change. Reporters bring us news from the front lines of conflict, and uncover hard truths through investigative journalism.
That said, as Visual Capitalist’s Nick Routley and Carmen Ang detail below, these positive impacts are sometimes overshadowed by harmful practices and negative externalities occurring in the media ecosystem.
The graphic below is an attempt to catalog problems within the media ecosystem as a basis for discussion. Many of the problems are easy to understand once they’re identified. However, in some cases, there is an interplay between these issues that is worth digging into. Below are a few of those instances.
Explicit Bias vs. Implicit Bias Broadly speaking, bias in media breaks down into two types: explicit and implicit.
Publishers with explicit biases will overtly dictate the types of stories that are covered in their publications and control the framing of those stories. They usually have a political or ideological leaning, and these outlets will use narrative fallacies or false balance in an effort to push their own agenda.
Unintentional filtering or skewing of information is referred to as implicit bias, and this can manifest in a few different ways. For example, a publication may turn a blind eye to a topic or issue because it would paint an advertiser in a bad light. These are called no fly zones, and given the financial struggles of the news industry, these no fly zones are becoming increasingly treacherous territory.
Misinformation vs. Disinformation Both of these terms imply that information being shared is not factually sound. The key difference is that misinformation is unintentional, and disinformation is deliberately created to deceive people.
Fake news stories, and concepts like deepfakes, fall into the latter category. We broke down the entire spectrum of fake news and how to spot it, in a previous infographic.
Simplify, Simplify Mass media and social feeds are the ultimate Darwinistic scenario for ideas.
Through social media, stories are shared widely by many participants, and the most compelling framing usually wins out. More often than not, it’s the pithy, provocative posts that spread the furthest. This process strips context away from an idea, potentially warping its meaning.
Video clips shared on social platforms are a prime example of context stripping in action. An (often shocking) event occurs, and it generates a massive amount of discussion despite the complete lack of context.
This unintentionally encourages viewers to stereotype the persons in the video and bring our own preconceived ideas to the table to help fill in the gaps.
Members of the media are also looking for punchy story angles to capture attention and prove the point they’re making in an article. This can lead to cherrypicking facts and ideas. Cherrypicking is especially problematic because the facts are often correct, so they make sense at face value, however, they lack important context.
Simplified models of the world make for compelling narratives, like good-vs-evil, but situations are often far more complex than what meets the eye.
The News Media Squeeze It’s no secret that journalism is facing lean times. Newsrooms are operating with much smaller teams and budgets, and one result is ‘churnalism’. This term refers to the practice of publishing articles directly from wire services and public relations releases.
Churnalism not only replaces more rigorous forms of reporting—but also acts as an avenue for advertising and propaganda that is harder to distinguish from the news.
The increased sense of urgency to drive revenue is causing other problems as well. High-quality content is increasingly being hidden behind paywalls.
The end result is a two-tiered system, with subscribers receiving thoughtful, high-quality news, and everyone else accessing shallow or sensationalized content. That everyone else isn’t just people with lower incomes, it also largely includes younger people. The average age of today’s paid news subscriber is 50 years old, raising questions about the future of the subscription business model.
For outlets that rely on advertising, desperate times have called for desperate measures. User experience has taken a backseat to ad impressions, with ad clutter (e.g. auto-play videos, pop-ups, and prompts) interrupting content at every turn. Meanwhile, in the background, third-party trackers are still watching your every digital move, despite all the privacy opt-in prompts.
How Can We Fix the Problems with Media? With great influence comes great responsibility. There is no easy fix to the issues that plague news and social media. But the first step is identifying these issues, and talking about them.
The more media literate we collectively become, the better equipped we will be to reform these broken systems, and push for accuracy and transparency in the communication channels that bind society together.
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“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
– Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
We are living in a world where the degree of disinformation and outright lying has reached such a state of affairs that, possibly for the first time ever, we see the majority of the western world starting to question their own and surrounding level of sanity. The increasing frenzied distrust in everything “authoritative” mixed with the desperate incredulity that “everybody couldn’t possibly be in on it!” is slowly rocking many back and forth into a tighter and tighter straight jacket. “Question everything” has become the new motto, but are we capable of answering those questions?
Presently the answer is a resounding no.
The social behaviourist sick joke of having made everyone obsessed with toilet paper of all things during the start of what was believed to be a time of crisis, is an example of how much control they have over that red button labelled “commence initiation of level 4 mass panic”.
And can the people be blamed? After all, if we are being lied to, how can we possibly rally together and point the finger at the root of this tyranny, aren’t we at the point where it is everywhere?
As Goebbels infamously stated,
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State [under fascism].”
And here we find ourselves today, at the brink of fascism. However, we have to first agree to forfeit our civil rights as a collective before fascism can completely dominate. That is, the big lie can only succeed if the majority fails to call it out, for if the majority were to recognise it for what it is, it would truly hold no power.
The Battle for Your Mind “Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.”
– William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”
It had been commonly thought in the past, and not without basis, that tyranny could only exist on the condition that the people were kept illiterate and ignorant of their oppression. To recognise that one was “oppressed” meant they must first have an idea of what was “freedom”, and if one were allowed the “privilege” to learn how to read, this discovery was inevitable.
If education of the masses could turn the majority of a population literate, it was thought that the higher ideas, the sort of “dangerous ideas” that Mustapha Mond for instance expresses in “The Brave New World”, would quickly organise the masses and revolution against their “controllers” would be inevitable. In other words, knowledge is freedom, and you cannot enslave those who learn how to “think”.
However, it hasn’t exactly played out that way has it?
The greater majority of us are free to read whatever we wish to, in terms of the once “forbidden books”, such as those listed by The Index Librorum Prohibitorum. We can read any of the writings that were banned in “The Brave New World”, notably the works of Shakespeare which were named as absolutely dangerous forms of “knowledge”.
We are now very much free to “educate” ourselves on the very “ideas” that were recognised by tyrants of the past as the “antidote” to a life of slavery. And yet, today, the majority choose not to…
It is recognised, albeit superficially, that who controls the past, controls the present and thereby the future. George Orwell’s book “1984”, hammers this as the essential feature that allows the Big Brother apparatus to maintain absolute control over fear, perception and loyalty to the Party cause, and yet despite its popularity, there still remains a lack of interest in actually informing oneself about the past.
What does it matter anyway, if the past is controlled and rewritten to suit the present? As the Big Brother interrogator O’Brien states to Winston, “We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not? [And thus, are free to rewrite it as we choose…]”
Of course, we are not in the same situation as Winston…we are much better off. We can study and learn about the “past” if we so desire, unfortunately, it is a choice that many take for granted.
In fact, many are probably not fully aware that presently there is a battle waging for who will “control the past” in a manner that is closely resembling a form of “memory wipe”.
William Sargant was a British psychiatrist and, one could say, effectively the Father of “mind control” in the West, with connections to British Intelligence and the Tavistock Institute, which would influence the CIA and American military via the program MK Ultra. Sargant was also an advisor for Ewen Cameron’s LSD “blank slate” work at McGill University, funded by the CIA.
Sargant accounts for his reason in studying and using forms of “mind control” on his patients, which were primarily British soldiers that were sent back from the battlefield during WWII with various forms of “psychosis”, as the only way to rehabilitate extreme forms of PTSD.
The other reason, was because the Soviets had apparently become “experts” in the field, and out of a need for national security, the British would thus in turn have to become experts as well…as a matter of self-defence of course.
The work of Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, had succeeded in producing some disturbingly interesting insights into four primary forms of nervous systems in dogs, that were combinations of inhibitory and excitatory temperaments; “strong excitatory”, “balanced”, “passive” and “calm imperturbable”. Pavlov found that depending on the category of nervous system temperament the dog had, this in turn would dictate the form of “conditioning” that would work best to “reprogram behaviour”. The relevance to “human conditioning” was not lost on anyone.
It was feared in the West, that such techniques would not only be used against their soldiers to invoke free-flowing uninhibited confessions to the enemy but that these soldiers could be sent back to their home countries, as zombified assassins and spies that could be set off with a simple code word. At least, these were the thriller stories and movies that were pumped into the population. How horrific indeed! That the enemy could apparently enter what was thought the only sacred ground to be our own…our very “minds”!
However, for those who were actually leading the field in mind control research, such as William Sargant, it was understood that this was not exactly how mind control worked.
For one thing, the issue of “free will” was getting in the way.
No matter the length or degree of electro-shock, insulin “therapy”, tranquilizer cocktails, induced comas, sleep deprivation, starvation etc induced, it was discovered that if the subject had a “strong conviction” and “strong belief” in something, this could not be simply erased, it could not be written over with any arbitrary thing. Rather, the subject would have to have the illusion that their “conditioning” was in fact a “choice”. This was an extremely challenging task, and long term conversions (months to years) were rare.
However, Sargant saw an opening. It was understood that one could not create a new individual from scratch, however, with the right conditioning that was meant to lead to a physical breakdown using abnormal stress (effectively a reboot of the nervous system), one could increase the “suggestibility” markedly in their subjects.
Sargant wrote in his “Battle of the Mind”: “Pavlov’s clinical descriptions of the ‘experimental neuroses’ which he could induce in dogs proved, in fact, to have a close correspondence with those war-neuroses which we were investigating at the time.”
In addition, Sargant found that a falsely implanted memory could help induce abnormal stress leading to emotional exhaustion and physical breakdown to invoke “suggestibility”. That is, one didn’t even need to have a “real stress” but an “imagined stress” would work just as effectively.
Sargant goes on to state in his book:
“It is not surprising that the ordinary person, in general, is much more easily indoctrinated than the abnormal…A person is considered ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ by the community simply because he accepts most of its social standards and behavioural patterns; which means, in fact, that he is susceptible to suggestion and has been persuaded to go with the majority on most ordinary or extraordinary occasions.”
Sargant then goes over the phenomenon of the London Blitz, which was an eight month period of heavy bombing of London during WWII. During this period, in order to cope and stay “sane”, people rapidly became accustomed to the idea that their neighbours could be and were buried alive in bombed houses around them. The thought was “If I can’t do anything about it what use is it that I trouble myself over it?” The best “coping” was thus found to be those who accepted the new “environment” and just focused on “surviving”, and did not try to resist it.
Sargant remarks that it is this “adaptability” to a changing environment which is part of the “survival” instinct and is very strong in the “healthy” and “normal” individual who can learn to cope and thus continues to be “functional” despite an ever changing environment.
It was thus our deeply programmed “survival instinct” that was found to be the key to the suggestibility of our minds. That the best “survivors” made for the best “brain-washing” in a sense.
Sargant quotes Hecker’s work, who was studying the dancing mania phenomenon that occurred during the Black Death, where Hecker observed that heightened suggestibility had the capability to cause a person to “embrace with equal force, reason and folly, good and evil, diminish the praise of virtue as well as the criminality of vice.”
And that such a state of mind was likened to the first efforts of the infant mind “this instinct of imitation when it exists in its highest degree, is also united a loss of all power over the will, which occurs as soon as the impression on the senses has become firmly established, producing a condition like that of small animals when they are fascinated by the look of a serpent.”
I wonder if Sargant imagined himself the serpent…
Sargant does finally admit:
“This does not mean that all persons can be genuinely indoctrinated by such means. Some will give only temporary submission to the demands made on them, and fight again when strength of body and mind returns. Others are saved by the supervention of madness. Or the will to resist may give way, but not the intellect itself.”
But he comforts himself as a response to this stubborn resistance that “As mentioned in a previous context, the stake, the gallows, the firing squad, the prison, or the madhouse, are usually available for the failures.”
How to Resist the Deconstruction of Your Mind “He whom the gods wish to destroy, they first of all drive mad.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “The Masque of Pandora”
For those who have not seen the 1944 psychological thriller “Gaslight” directed by George Cukor, I would highly recommend you do so since there is an invaluable lesson contained within, that is especially applicable to what I suspect many of us are experiencing nowadays.
The story starts with a 14 year old Paula (played by Ingrid Bergman) who is being taken to Italy after her Aunt Alice Alquist, a famous opera singer and caretaker of Paula, is found murdered in her home in London. Paula is the one who found the body, and horror stricken is never her old self again. Her Aunt was the only family Paula had left in her life. The decision is made to send her away from London to Italy to continue her studies to become a world-renowned opera singer like her Aunt Alice.
Years go by, Paula lives a very sheltered life and a heavy somberness is always present within her, she can never seem to feel any kind of happiness. During her singing studies she meets a mysterious man (her piano accompanist during her lessons) and falls deeply in love with him. However, she knows hardly anything about the man named Gregory.
Paula agrees to marry Gregory after a two week romance and is quickly convinced to move back into her Aunt’s house in London that was left abandoned all these years. As soon as she enters the house, the haunting of the night of the murder revisits her and she is consumed with panic and fear. Gregory tries to calm her and talks about the house needing just a little bit of air and sun, and then Paula comes across a letter written to her Aunt from a Sergis Bauer which confirms that he was in contact with Alice just a few days before her murder. At this finding, Gregory becomes bizarrely agitated and grabs the letter from Paula. He quickly tries to justify his anger blaming the letter for upsetting her. Gregory then decides to lock all of her Aunt’s belongings in the attic, to apparently spare Paula any further anguish.
It is at this point that Gregory starts to change his behaviour dramatically. Always under the pretext for “Paula’s sake”, everything that is considered “upsetting” to Paula must be removed from her presence. And thus quickly the house is turned into a form of prison. Paula is told it is for her best not to leave the house unaccompanied, not to have visitors and that self-isolation is the best remedy for her “anxieties” which are getting worst. Paula is never strictly forbidden at the beginning but rather is told that she should obey these restrictions for her own good.
Before a walk, he gives as a gift a beautiful heirloom brooch that belonged to his mother. Because the pin needs replacing, he instructs Paula to keep it in her handbag, and then says rather out of context, “Don’t forget where you put it now Paula, I don’t want you losing it.” Paula remarks thinking the warning absurd, “Of course I won’t forget!” When they return from their walk, Gregory asks for the brooch, Paula searches in her handbag but it is not there.
It continues on like this, with Gregory giving warnings and reminders, seemingly to help Paula with her “forgetfulness” and “anxieties”. Paula starts to question her own judgement and sanity as these events become more and more frequent. She has no one else to talk to but Gregory, who is the only witness to these apparent mishaps. It gets to a point where completely nonsensical behaviour is being attributed to Paula by Gregory. A painting is found missing on the wall one night. Gregory talks to Paula like she is a 5 year child and asks her to put it back. Paula insists she does not know who took it down. After her persistent passionate insistence that it was not her, she walks up the stairs almost like she were in a dream state and pulls the painting from behind a statue. Gregory asks why she lied, but Paula insists that she only thought to look there because that is where it was found the last two times this occurred.
For weeks now, Paula thinks she has been seeing things, the gas lights of the house dimming for no reason, she also hears footsteps above her bedroom. No one else seems to take notice. Paula is also told by Gregory that he found out that her mother, who passed away when she was very young, had actually gone insane and died in an asylum.
Despite Paula being reduced to a condition of an ongoing stupor, she decides one night to make a stand and regain control over her life. Paula is invited, by one of her Aunt Alice’s close friends Lady Dalroy, to attend a high society evening with musical performances. Recall that Paula’s life gravitated around music before her encounter with Gregory. Music was her life. Paula gets magnificently dressed up for the evening and on her way out tells Gregory that she is going to this event. Gregory tries to convince her that she is not well enough to attend such a social gathering, when Paula calmly insists that she is going and that this woman was a dear friend of her Aunt, Gregory answers that he refuses to accompany her (in those days that was a big deal). Paula accepts this and walks with a solid dignity, undeterred towards the horse carriage. In a very telling scene, Gregory is left momentarily by himself and panic stricken, his eyes bulging he snaps his cigar case shut and runs after Paula. He laughingly calls to her, “Paula, you did not think I was serious? I had no idea that this party meant so much to you. Wait, I will get ready.” As he is getting ready in front of the mirror, a devilish smirk appears.
Paula and Gregory show up to Lady Dalroy’s house late, the pianist is in the middle of the 1st movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #8 in C minor. They quickly are escorted to two empty seats. Paula is immediately immersed in the piece, and Gregory can see his control is slipping. After only a few minutes, he goes to look at his pocket watch but it is not in his pocket. He whispers into Paula’s ear, “My watch is missing”. Immediately, Paula looks like she is going to be sick. Gregory takes her handbag and Paula looks in horror as he pulls out his pocket watch, insinuating that Paula had put it there. She immediately starts losing control and has a very public emotional breakdown. Gregory takes her away, as he remarks to Lady Dalroy that this is why he didn’t want Paula coming in the first place.
When they arrive home, Paula has by now completely succumbed to the thought that she is indeed completely insane. Gregory says that it would be best if they go away somewhere for an indefinite period of time. We later find out that Gregory is intending on committing her to an asylum. Paula agrees to leave London with Gregory and leaves her fate entirely in his hands.
In the case of Paula it is clear. She has been suspecting that Gregory has something to do with her “situation” but he has very artfully created an environment where Paula herself doubts whether this is a matter of unfathomable villainy or whether she is indeed going mad.
It is rather because she is not mad that she doubts herself, because there is seemingly no reason for why Gregory would put so much time and energy into making it look like she were mad, or at least so it first appears. But what if the purpose to her believing in her madness was simply a matter of who is in control?
Paula almost succeeds in gaining the upper-hand in this power-struggle, the evening she decided to go out on her own no matter what Gregory insisted was in her best interest. If she would have held her ground at Lady Dalroy’s house and simply replied, “I have no idea why your stupid watch ended up in my handbag and I could care less. Now stop interrupting this performance, you are making a scene!” Gregory’s spell would have been broken as simple as that. If he were to complain to others about the situation, they would also respond, “Who cares man, why are you so obsessed about your damn watch?”
We find ourselves today in a very similar situation to Paula. And the voice of Gregory is represented by the narrative of false news and the apocalyptic social behaviourist programming in our forms of entertainment. The things most people voluntarily subject themselves to on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Socially conditioning them, like a pack of salivating Pavlovian dogs, to think it is just a matter of time before the world ends and with a ring of their master’s bell…be at each other’s throats.
Paula ends up being saved in the end by a man named Joseph Cotten (a detective), who took notice and quickly discerned that something was amiss. In the end Gregory is arrested. It is revealed that Gregory is in fact Sergis Bauer. That he killed Alice Alquist and that he has returned to the scene of the crime after all these years in search for the famous jewels of the opera singer. The jewels were in fact rather worthless from the standpoint that they were too famous to be sold, however, Gregory never intended on selling these jewels but rather had become obsessed with the desire to merely possess them.
That is, it is Gregory who has been entirely mad all this time.
A Gregory is absolutely dangerous. He would have been the end of Paula if nothing had intervened. However, the power that Gregory held was conditional to the degree that Paula allowed it to control her. Paula’s extreme deconstruction was thus entirely dependent on her choice to let the voice of Gregory in. That is, a Gregory is only dangerous if we allow ourselves to sleep walk into the nightmare he has constructed for us.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
– Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”
Cynthia Chung is the President of the Rising Tide Foundation and a writer at Strategic Culture Foundation, consider supporting her work by making a donation and subscribing to her substack page. This article was originally published on The Saker.