A Brain Is a Terrible Thing to Wash
Nazi propagandist Joe Goebbels reportedly said, “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” 'Everyone knows that the Russians interfered in the U.S. election.' When it is discussed on TV, it is mentioned without qualification. It is a known and accepted fact. It is on a par with saying the earth is round. However, ask for evidence. There is none. There is a dossier. This dossier was so poorly created that even Vice President Joe Biden believed it was bogus. If you can’t fool Joe Biden you can’t fool anybody. After months of investigation by thousands of researchers eager to make a name for themselves, the result is zero. However, this does not prevent the assertion from being a “truth.”
Goebbels had undoubtedly read a book on propaganda by Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays. The latter contended that: “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. We are governed , our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of."
The power of the media cannot be overestimated. An early example of the media’s power was provided by publisher William Randolph Hearst. Hearst sent the artist Frederic Remington to Cuba in 1897 to cover the insurrection against Spain. Remington cabled Hearst, “Everything quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. Wish to return.” Hearst responded, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” A short time later the U.S. was involved in the Spanish-American War.
Perhaps the most dramatic illustration of the effects of propaganda is American attitudes towards all things sexual. While Bernays contended that minds may be molded by men we have never heard of, in this case, we have the names of the architects of a considerable part of this transformation. Around 1985, social activists Marshall Kirk and Dr. Hunter Madsen began developing a plan to make homosexuality acceptable. They wrote an article titled "The Gay Agenda" outlining their strategy to make homosexuality appear normal. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. In many locations they have made homosexuality fashionable.
When the elite is preparing the public for war, the suffering of children is widely publicized. Following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Nayirah al-Sabah testified before Congress that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of incubators and leaving them to die. It was later revealed that she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States and was unlikely to have been in Kuwait at the time. Her testimony was coached by a public relations firm and “inflamed American public opinion against the Iraqis.”
European attitudes about the flood of migrants reaching their shores have been influenced by photos of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian toddler whose body was washed up on a beach in Turkey. A British paper asserted, "If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?" The tragic death of this child was used to encourage the entry of thousands of migrants who were far from innocent.
In the Syrian conflict, Omran Daqneesh is the child star. His village was allegedly bombed by pro-Assad forces. “Activists and aid workers hoped the story would boost international support to help bring an end to the suffering and fighting in Syria.” Instead of immediately tending to his wounds, Omran was positioned in an ambulance chair for a photo op. “Television news anchors fought back tears as they broadcast the video.” This was a direct appeal to peoples’ emotions. The implied solution to bring about an end to the suffering in Syria is to overthrow the Assad regime. This would be followed by a chaotic situation similar to the situation in Libya.
Economist Stuart Chase suggested, “Theoretically, a society could be completely made over in something like 15 years, the time it takes to inculcate a new culture into a rising crop of youngsters.” He warned, “Prepare now for a surprising universe.” Baby boomers have witnessed four of these 15-year periods. The transition has been extremely gradual and therefore difficult for some to recognize. However, for those paying attention the transition has been truly surprising.
John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing). He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. He has a Masters of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University.