Would you know if you were being manipulated?
Would you know if you were being persuaded and led by propaganda?
Would you know how to install the electrical system in a new home?
Most people believe that since they can read and write that they cannot be manipulated. That belief is is unfortunately dangerously unsound.
An ordinary person would not attempt to install a household electrical system, swap a transmission in a car, or fly a jet plane unless they knew how. It is because almost everyone is able to read and write and those skills are ubiquitous the average person believes they are too intelligent to be manipulated.
In a similar example many men believe they would win a fight with an imagined opponent. If that average person were to engage in physical combat against a skilled MMA fighter or trained martial artist that illusion would be shattered immediately. Their lack of skill would be exposed by the expert. We could use this example for any skilled craft like sports, arts, architecture, business, etc. The lay person does not have the same skill as an expert.
We have all had experiences in our life where we realize we had no idea just how little we knew about a subject. We experience a rude awakening that exposes our ignorance. The great gift of a rude awakening is recognizing the opportunity for transformational growth
There are levels of knowledge and mastery. Influence, psychological manipulation, and mind control techniques have been around for thousands of years, practiced, and perfected.
Have you ever researched, studied and mastered any of the following?
Propaganda, hypnosis, copywriting, sales, persuasion, neuro-linguistic programming, subliminal messaging, advertising, psychological operations, psychological manipulations, body language, etc
If the answer is no, the next question would be, how well do you believe you defend against it? How would you even know if you were being manipulated?
For the same reason it is fairly easy for a skilled martial artist to wipe the floor with someone who is untrained the same goes for someone unaware of psychology tactics. If you are unaware of the technique its effectiveness is lethal. Once you become aware you have the ability to neutralize and level the playing field.
Human beings are constantly under psychological attack from the media, advertisers, food companies, alcohol, radio, celebrities, malls, shopping centres, social media and many others. We are constantly being influenced and persuaded.
When you begin to understand and recognize when psychological techniques are used against you it is possible to nullify their effect and remain a critical thinker. If you are unaware of them you may be giving over your free will to a person, group or agenda. You lose your ability to make sovereign choices and may serve a purpose that is not your own.
Don’t think of a fat pink cat.
Did you think of the cat? Was it pink?
We are all susceptible to influence.
Influence and propaganda are not necessarily bad. It is a useful skill to know whether or not the intentions behind the information have your best interests at heart.
Propaganda as defined by websters dictionary is as follows.
1: capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions
2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
3: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing caus ealso : a public action having such an effect
Here is a list of some common propaganda and hypnotic techniques to be aware of
- Creation of an enemy
- Problem, reaction, solution
- “Peer reviews”
- Statistic manipulation
- Ad hominem
- Agenda Setting
- Appeal to fear
- Television and media
- Cherry picking
- Beautiful people/celebrities
- Cognitive dissonance
- Classical conditioning
- Common man
- False accusations
- Black and white fallacy
- Gish Gallop
- Universal Quantifiers
- Complicated Equals
- 90/10 method
Those are just a few examples of existing psychological techniques. I did not explain them to illustrate the point that there is something behind the curtain. Knowledge is power and so is influence.
By now, I’m sure you’re beginning to realize the importance of learning and understanding persuasion and mastery. (that was a language pattern. I presupposed since you are reading this you’re understanding the importance of persuasion)
Logical fallacies are used in propaganda and are similar in nature. are often heavily utilized in polarization arguments without knowledge of either side.
Their use quickly and effectively destroys any kind of constructive discourse.
A logical fallacy is a misconception resulting from flaw in reasoning, or a trick or illusion in thoughts that often succeeds in obfuscating facts/truth.
Here are a few examples:
- Strawman Argument
- Appeal to Ignorance
- False Dilemma
- Slippery Slope Fallacy
- Circular Argument
- Hasty Generalization
- Red Herring Fallacy
- Causal Fallacy
- Fallacy of Sunk Costs
- Appeal to Authority
- Appeal to Pity
- Bandwagon Fallacy
If an individual’s goal is to get as close as possible to the absolute truth it should be our goal to communicate in the most effective way possible. We should have an intention for having an open discourse and commit to speaking with honesty, humility and respect for the other party. Conscious use of this tactics are an assault and unconscious uses should be corrected when they are identified.
The formula for truth
The formula for truth is a model that allows an individual to get closer to the truth by using the perspective that everything is information.
The human eye perceives less than 1% of the light spectrum. We view the world through our own beliefs, experiences, prejudices and views of the world. Our memory is far from perfect and the mind has natural mechanism for distorting reality to fit the world view we are been conditioned to have or co-created ourselves.
Keeping that in mind it’s nearly impossible to know the absolute truth. There are many types of truth such as objective truth, subjective truth, universal truth, social truths and so on.
The formula for truth suggests that everything we experience is information. If you can imagine the X-axis as being 0° representing one idea like flat earth and the Y-axis at 90° representing the polar opposite view of round earth.
In the middle you would have 45° representing the middle ground. You can then imagine the upper 45° of information representing all the information of the flat earth view and the bottom 45° representing all of the round earths information.
The automatic habit for most people is to protect their world view and oppose the other side. If we can look at points of view as simply information and open ourselves up and attempt to understand the other person’s view we would open ourselves up to 45° of new information.
When you apply this technique over a lifetime you’ll access extraordinary amounts of new information and get closer to the truth. This does not mean you’ll abandon everything you’ve learned, it means you’ll be a much more open, wise, compassionate and understanding person.
This does not mean you need to listen to everyone or people who are being belligerent and aggressive. It is a tool that can be used to help you
- Understand another person better
- Understand another point of view
- Understand the world
- Become a more open and compassionate person
- Help you get closer to the truth
We are living in unprecedented times. Manipulation, psychological warfare and disinformation is everywhere. We are experiencing a world-wide psychological attack. Understanding these tools can give you enormous freedom and may be the difference between maintaining your sovereignty and free will and losing yourself to an agenda or idea.
This article doesn’t even scratch the surface of what is available for understanding truth, manipulation and persuasion. The resources below will help you dive a little deeper.
If you are able to be open to another person’s point of view, seek understanding over being right, and remain kind and compassionate you are communicating and receiving information in a powerful way that few are able to do.
- Century of Self https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ3RzGoQC4s&t=6s
- Dr. Tim O’Shea https://thedoctorwithin.com/blog/2009/10/21/doors-of-perception/
- Logical Fallacies: https://thebestschools.org/magazine/15-logical-fallacies-know/
- Any book on NLP: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062083619?tag=duckduckgo-brave-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1
- David Martin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00P_JQARgho&t=14s
- Propaganda techniques: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_techniques#cite_note-14
- Logical Fallacies: http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/engl1311/fallacies.htm
- Darren Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q2KGGMc1EM