Sunday, October 28, 2007

Teetering on the Brink!

The Editors
Signs of The Times
Sat, 27 Oct 2007 15:02 EDT

Stop the Pathocrats from signing away our rights and our lives!

On a recent trip abroad a friend was talking to a street vendor. "Where are you from?", asked the vendor. "America", our friend replied. The vendor grimaced in a way that suggested at once pity and distaste. "I'm not responsible for Bush!" our friend protested. The vendor summed up his feelings in one word, "Fascists". Our friend could hardly disagree, "Fascist pigs!" he exclaimed.

While many foreigners can see the current unmasking of an overtly fascist form of government in the USA, too many home-grown Americans cannot. Over six years of incessant "terror threat" propagandizing from the US government and the mainstream media has hystericized the American mind to the point that the ordinary citizen is no longer able to think clearly and differentiate lies from truth and fascism from democracy.

To explain exactly what we mean here, take some time to study the following terms and definitions, which are coined by Andrew M. Lobaczewski, author of Political Ponerology - The Scientific Study of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes :

Ponerogenesis: This is the formation and development of evil. Several factors contribute to ponerogenesis, the first being the atrophy of normal people's ability to recognize pathological individuals (i.e. they accept pathological behavior as normal). This is one symptom of the hysterization of society. This and other human weaknesses create an opening whereby pathological individuals (psychopathic and characteropathic) infect a group of predominately normal people through the process of "ponerization".

Ponerization: This is the infection of a group with pathological individuals, resulting in a ponerogenic union (that is, a group that contributes to the formation and development of evil). Primary ponerization (which gives rise to primary ponerogenic unions) creates groups that are obviously deviant, like mobs and gangs, and they are generally rejected by the society of normal people. Secondary ponerization (which gives rise to secondary ponerogenic unions) is the method by which pathological individuals infiltrate and subvert the ideology of a group of normal people. Like a Trojan Horse, they operate 'under the radar' of the group's normal members. Ponerization successfully takes place during periods in which society is hystericized.

Hystericization: This is the process whereby a society becomes more egoistic/hedonistic (self-serving and selfish), egotistic (self-important), egocentric (narcissistic), mendacious (having contempt for truth), histrionic (overly dramatic and emotional), moralistic (judgmental), open to schizoidal writings (naive interpretations of human actions), and thinking becomes increasingly conversive (illogical). This process can be, and is, manipulated by ponerogenic elements through the means of mass trauma and constant psychological terror. As hysteria is contagious, society thus becomes increasingly arrogant, immoral, rigid. The use of paramoralisms spreads similarly. The highest point of the hystericization of society conditions and hides the genesis of "pathocracy."

Pathocracy: This is the result of hystericization and ponerization, and once achieved, can last for millenia. Its essential characteristic is essential psychopathy. In such systems, 100% of essential psychopaths assume leadership positions, keeping the majority of people in constant fear. After some years of pathocratic leadership, normal people, while suffering from some pathological material and the deadening effects of psychopathic personalities, manage to create a network of normal people in which to function as human beings. Normal society is thus de-hystericized and achieves a great interpersonal solidarity and knowledge of one's own and other's humanity.

In our world today, the formation and development of evil is most readily seen in the increasing rate in which Western democracies are utilising tactics usually reserved for totalitarian regimes, i.e. regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior and asserts its authority through the use of force and/or coercion. What hundreds of respectable current affairs commentators have for the past 6 years been calling "creeping fascism in Western democracies" is today being revealed as overt totalitarianism, with the USA at the front of the herd.

A clear example can be seen in a recent bill that was passed by the US House of Representatives during the week of October 23, 2007. The bill, "H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007," which is to become attached as a new subsection of the Homeland Security Act, is clearly a measure designed to give free rein to the psychopaths who control all aspects of our lives, including our governments.

Because the bill uses the term "Prevention Act" most people will assume that the bill will protect them from terrorism. Nothing could be further from the Truth.

By all appearances the bill is designed to label those who speak out against the government's proven lies, deceit and ever increasing fascist tendencies and allows the government and law enforcement agencies to strongly and rapidly stifle any and all dissent. Said otherwise, the bill - should it become law - removes your right to disagree with anything the government says or does and places you at extreme risk of becoming arrested and possibly "disappeared", or to use the Bush government's euphemism, "rendered".

Lets take a brief look at some of the wording, beginning with the definitions:


For purposes of this subtitle:

(1) COMMISSION- The term 'Commission' means the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism established under section 899C.

(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term 'violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term 'homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term 'ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.

First we need to clearly point out that we do not condone violence in any form or fashion. That said, the government obviously does condone violence otherwise they wouldn't be killing and torturing people in Iraq and Guantanamo. Our point is that nowhere has the government openly and clearly defined what it means by the term "violence."

Given the Bush government's track record of repeatedly redefining the exact meaning of the word "torture", we can safely assume that they'll define "terrorism" and "violence" in whatever way best suits their fascist psychopathic goals.

Lets take a look at the so-called "Findings" section of the bill:


The Congress finds the following:

(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.

(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.

(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.

(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.

(6) Preventing the potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily accomplished solely through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and can benefit from the incorporation of State and local efforts.

(7) Individuals prone to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.

(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents.

(9) Certain governments, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.

Do you see the implications here? If the government can define "violence" any way they want then nearly anyone can become labeled a "domestic terrorist."

The bill requires the formation of a "Commission" within 60 days of the passage of the bill into law, with the purposes of the Commission to "Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States, including United States connections to non-United States persons and networks, violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in prison, individual or 'lone wolf' violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and other faces of the phenomena of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence that the Commission considers important."

Furthermore, according to the text of the bill, "the Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section."

So if the "Commission" is prepared to hire outside contractors to figure out exactly who is and who isn't a "domestic terrorist" - which could be anyone who in whatever way threatens the pathocracy - that's only a small step away from hiring contractors to round up and imprison all dissenters or "disgruntled citizens" as former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge called them over 4 years ago. And if people took to the streets in protest by the millions in cities all over the country, do you think even for one second that they'd hesitate in contracting "crowd control" from companies such as Blackwater?

Sure, the bill contains wording that would supposedly "not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents" but we've already seen how the government is more than willing to suspend Habeas Corpus, and precisely what constitutes a "lawful" citizen is changing by the day. As far as the government is concerned you have no rights other than those to which they decide you are entitled.

For those of you who still think your vote matters, it's not the votes that matter, but who counts them. For those that think your representatives in government are going to protect you, think again. Some 410 representatives voted on the bill with 404 voting for, 6 voting against, and 22 of your representatives didn't even bother to show up!

It's up to each of us to stand up for Freedom and the Truth. No one is going to do it for us.

Most of you reading this found the Signs of the Times web site and continue to read it because you were looking for the Truth. You probably felt somehow adrift in, and out of sync with this world and its values - values which for the most part are based on lies and illusions. When you found Signs of The Times you probably recognised in it something you had not found anywhere else out there in the world. Maybe you recognised a long forgotten "taste" - the taste of the Truth.

Maybe it wasn't something any of you could put our fingers on, but there it was, subtle and beyond words adequate to describe it, but you knew it. This recognition was facilitated by the existence of a small, pure and hidden part of yourselves that was still able to recognise the Truth when you stumbled over it. Despite this, the lion's share of your being is far from pure, far from hidden, and is of a rather different nature.

All of us, to one extent or another, are the walking wounded, abused by a world and the people that inhabit it where human beings are valued only insofar as they can be exploited for personal gain. Henry David Thoreau concluded that "most [people] lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them". We at Signs of the Times don't think he was correct in ascribing this state to "most" people. Most people are in no way deeply troubled by life. Although he was not aware of it, Thoreau was, we think, speaking for himself and a relatively small number of other human beings - people who long for the Truth.

It was and is our lives of "quiet desperation" - the result of something within us that recognises the potential for another way of life, another reality - that leads each of us to resonate with the material and associated commentary presented here at Signs of the Times.

The Truth is - and you may not yet be aware of this - that there is no one to "save your ass", we either do it alone or we give ourselves a fighting chance and join forces to oppose, in whatever way we can, this creeping fascism that threatens to consume us all. The Truth is that if YOU don't help to do it, not only are you giving up any chance of a world free from oppression for yourself but also for your children, and your children's children.

Now, of course we've all heard the "opt out clause", the one that says: "I have nothing to contribute" and "what difference can I make anyway?" But stop and think for a moment. What kind of a "democracy" do you live in where you and your fellow citizens have been so cowed, so robbed of any sense of power or influence over your own lives that you are happy to accept such a deal from your government? Clearly, you do not live in a democracy at all, and it is just such an apathetic attitude that has led you to this point. The truth is, you, your friends, your neighbors, ALL of us got ourselves into this situation and it is in us, ALL of us together that the way out lies.

Having said that, we understand that we are all to some extent the "walking wounded". We have all been beaten down, our minds numbed and 'jellified' by the incessant propaganda and fear-mongering that are the hallmarks of a society controlled by those psychopaths who control our governments and big business, men and women who see us as "useless eaters", cattle to be 'spooked' and herded, first one way then another, in their push towards the creation of planet-wide fascism. The problem here however is in the perception of what the term 'walking wounded' actually means and what exactly any one of us can do to resist the agenda of the Pathocrats.

Allow us for a moment to go into 'metaphorical mode' and use the analogy of warriors on a battle field of old:

On the battle field, there are two types of warriors: The first is one who, having been injured, arrives at the 'field hospital' to have their wounds tended. The moment they are again able to rejoin the 'battle' they are out of their bed as fast as possible helping to defend the front line.

The second type is one who, having been injured, arrives at the field hospital to have their wounds tended, and then, finding the field hospital and the wound-tending much more pleasant than the front line, proceeds to find all manner of excuses to not rejoin the battle. "My sword arm is healed, but I have an owee on my knee!"

The first type of warrior understands the True nature of the battle and the dire need for defenders on the front line. They realise that if the defensive lines are not held, if the enemy - the psychopaths eager to turn the entire world into one gigantic fascist state - are not held at bay, then they personally lose all.

The first type of warrior understands that it is not a matter of being a mere warrior who takes orders from others and has no actual responsibility for the successful outcome of the battle. The first type of warrior understands that this is a battle for their own life and the lives of those they love, it is a battle for a better now and for a better future, it is a battle for which they, along with each of their comrades, are solely responsible.

The second type of warrior understands none of this and believes that if they can just hang out and maneuver in such a way as to be on the winning side, then all of their personal problems will be solved. Such a person is unable to understand the broader concepts and ideals for which the first type of warrior fights. They know that this is a fight for Truth, but they dismiss their own ability to contribute to that fight because they consider their part in the battle to be 'insignificant'. They think: "What's one more person? What can I do". In the actual battle field of which we speak here - the battle for Truth over lies - such a person procrastinates and calms themselves with: "what difference will one more comment and link on a blog make, what difference will one more effort to spread the word about the reality of the psychopaths in our midst make? I can't make any difference, so what's the point in even trying?"

The second type of 'warrior' fails to understand the nature of the battle with which they are faced - the battle for Truth. They fail to understand or have no faith in a True group dynamic and the effect it can have. They fail to understand the reality of non-linear dynamics - that, for example, a butterfly flapping its wings in China can start a hurricane on the other side the planet, and likewise one person making an extra effort to spread the Truth about the dire state of the world can have a tremendous and unforeseen impact on the overall outcome of the situation if it is done in the spirit of a group effort - a disparate group of people who all seek and serve the Truth. In that case their "small effort" is automatically added to the efforts of all other members of the Truth seeking group and all such efforts combine to become immeasurably more than the sum of the parts!

In short, a radically different understanding of Why each of us who make that extra effort can Totally change and vastly increase its effect.

©Warner Brothers
A True group effort can effect the world through non-linear dynamics. One person making an extra effort to spread the Truth about the dire state of the world is added to the group effort as a whole, and that can have a tremendous and unforeseen impact on the overall outcome of the situation.

Folks, we here at Signs of The Times are on the front line, we need people who can stand with us on the front line and assume responsibility for all, just as we do. Each of us will receive only in the measure that we give. Give unconditionally of your efforts and energy to the cause - the cause of Truth - which that small hidden part of yourself that drew you to search in the beginning and you will receive unconditionally, but not from us, because you are giving nothing to us. Instead, we are all giving to the Truth, to the creative side of the universe and in doing so we are giving to ourselves, to that part of us that yearns for true Being, true Freedom, true Liberty.

To do otherwise is to opt to continue in our "quiet lives of desperation" and go, as Thoreau said, to the grave with the song of Truth within us unsung.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are you one of the Wannabe's??

Henry See
Signs of the Times
Sun, 21 Oct 2007 11:15 EDT

We have seen in the first two articles in this series on insiders and outsiders that the insiders are a small minority, around 5 percent of the population, while the outsiders are the vast majority. So how is it that this small clique can maintain their power?

They have a support base. Let's call them the insider wannabes.

The insider wannabes are comprised of people who look to others for their values. They need to be told what to do, what to think, what to believe in, what type of clothes to wear, what food to eat and TV to watch. They don't develop their ideas themselves, they absorb them from their environment: their family, their friends and co-workers, from media proclaimed experts whose 'talking heads' appear nightly on the mainstream media. The insider wannabes repeat the sound bites they hear on the radio or from the TV. In short, they need an authority to tell them what is ok and what is not. The existence of this group is why so-called "talking points", that is, the list of pat phrases sent down the media hierarchy on what topics need to be addressed and how they should be framed, are so effective. When many people hear the same phrase or idea repeated over and over, they eventually come to accept it and eventually to parrot it as their own opinion. Whether the talking point is true or not doesn't matter. You have no doubt had the experience of hearing colleagues or friends repeating almost word for word arguments picked up from talk radio jockeys or the resident "experts" on Fox News. Jon Stewart makes fun of this quite regularly on his show when he edits all these pundits together repeating the same phrase over and over again.

Today in the United States, the insider wannabes support the Bush administration, support Israel's genocide of the Palestinians, support the dismemberment of Iraq, support the official story on 911, and many of them believe that Jesus will be returning in their lifetime, in spite of all of the suffering and horror, or, in the case of the return of Jesus, the fairy tale absurdity of the idea. Facts don't matter; authority does.

The funny thing is, a similar group of insider wannabes also existed in the former Communist states where the insiders were members of the Communist Party, and a good many of them have now found a comfortable home in the post-communist, capitalist world. For the insider wannabe, ideology isn't important. The insider wannabe is a personality type. If the insiders are communists, the insider wannabes are communists. If the insiders are capitalists, then the insider wannabes are capitalists. The shape or color of the authority the wannabes seek doesn't matter so much as the fact the authority is "the authority", is in power and gives the orders. Insider wannabes need orders. They don't like to think for themselves.

Bob Altemeyer, who spent his career studying what he calls the Authoritarian personality type, noted that:

...the most cock-sure belligerents in the populations on each side of the Cold War, the ones who hated and blamed each other the most, were in fact the same people, psychologically. If they had grown up on the other side of the Iron Curtain, they probably would have believed the leaders they presently despised, and despised the leaders they now trusted. They'd have been certain the side they presently thought was in the right was in the wrong, and instead embraced the beliefs they currently held in contempt. [The Authoritarians, emphasis ours.]

So it is important to understand that the issue of insiders and their supporters is not tied to political beliefs. We are dealing with a personality type, the psychological make-up of individuals that make them open to certain influences. According to Altemeyer, the personality type shares the following three traits:

  • Hierarchical Submission
  • Conventionalism, and
  • Aggression.
He discusses each in his book and suggests that they form approximately 20% of the population.(1)

Andrew Lobaczewski, in his book Political Ponerology, A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes, proposes a complex structure of different pathological types whose different pathologies fit together to form a system of governance he calls the pathocracy, based upon studies carried out in secret under the communist governments in Eastern Europe. He notes that the insiders in Poland during the Communist period made up about 6% of the population, while double that figure, 12%, formed the support class. About this second group, he writes:

This second group consists of individuals who are, on the average, weaker, more sickly, and less vital. The frequency of known mental diseases in this group is at twice the rate of the national average. We can thus assume that the genesis of their submissive attitude toward the regime, their greater susceptibility to pathological effects, and their skittish opportunism includes various relatively impalpable anomalies. We observe not only physiological anomalies, but also the kinds described above at the lowest intensity, with the exception of essential psychopathy.

It is not yet possible to map Altmeyer's authoritarians directly to the group Lobaczewski called the "new bourgeoisie", however I think it would be interesting to pursue the research and see what overlapping might be found. It is possible that the group Altemeyer has defined as "Double Highs" or "Social Dominators", that is, individuals who score high on the Authoritarian scale and the Social Dominator scale would include individuals that would fall into Lobaczewski's 6% deviant category. Altemeyer himself writes:

There even seems to be a whiff of the sociopath about the social dominator. Somebody do the studies and see if any of these hunches is right. [The Authoritarians, p. 180]
In reading and comparing the descriptions of the types outlined by the two authors, there are certainly significant similarities.(2) Both models present us with a picture of a small deviant group with influence over a larger, highly influenceable support base. Both models suggest that the loyalty of the support base to their leaders is based upon qualities that are not permanent and have nothing to do with ideology or fundamental beliefs in one system or another. It is a question of opportunism, not principles. Shift the people in power and the support base could also shift.

This analysis suggests as a conclusion that the problem is the small deviant group in power. As long as they remain in power, the support base will be firm. Moreover, the real problem is not only individuals but rather the particular forms of deviancy among the insiders -- deviancy in the sense of how their thinking and emotions deviate from healthy forms, that is, from an objective perception and understanding of reality. The trouble is, these forms of deviant thinking occur everywhere, not only in the halls of power. That has been the problem historically: one group of deviants gets replaced by another and so the situation of the majority never changes.

This revolving door of pathological power happens because the pathological infection spreads throughout society and affects all of us to one degree or another, even in opposition groups. Deviance is not always clear-cut. There is a continuum spanning a wide range of variations from the pole of deviant thought to the other pole of healthy thought. If we think of each pole as a center of gravity exercising a pull over the individuals between them, you might imagine that the power of each would be about equal. However, what happens when the principal sources of information, the media, the institutions that form and educate children, our schools and universities, are themselves heavily influenced by the pathological minority? The pathological influence then vastly outweighs that of those who function normally. Add to that the influence of fundamentalist strains of the monotheistic religions and the pull coming from the deviant pole is clearly much stronger than the pull towards empathy and conscience.

The struggle against this deviancy comes down to a struggle against deviant behaviors. We do not need a clinical diagnosis of an individual in order to learn to avoid being manipulated by him or her. It doesn't matter whether or not someone is a born deviant or simply acting out because of being brought up in and immersed in a sick society; deviant behavior is deviant behavior whether it is acted out by someone who is pathological or is only under the influence.

The insider wannabes pretty well ensure that they will be manipulated by placing so much faith in authorities. Rather than thinking through problems themselves, they look to others for ready-made solutions, or worse, ready-made sound bites that replace solutions. If those in power change but are replaced by individuals contaminated with the same pathological modes of thought, the insider wannabes will once again fall under the sway of a deviant group.

Our job is to spot the manipulative behaviors and learn how to avoid the manipulations, as well as root out such manipulative behavior in ourselves. That is the only way to begin reinforcing the pole of conscience so that its influence can spread and a healthy alternative can become a reality.

(1) Altemeyer's research influenced John Dean when Dean wrote his book Conservatives Without Conscience.

(2) The question is how much time remains for us to continue and further this research? It feels to me as if things are speeding up, as if the vehicle of society is careening towards the wall of reality at an ever-increasing speed. We do not have much time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Martha Stout's Latest in the Huffington Post

Dr. Martha Stout
Huffington Post
Fri, 05 Oct 2007 15:02 EDT

Extreme fear is a first-rate weapon, neuropsychologically speaking. Unlike ordinary experiences, which are organized in the cerebral cortex, traumatic experiences stay "stuck" in the limbic system, an emotional, evolutionarily older area of the brain. As our lives go along, these chaotic memories can be triggered in us by reminders of the traumatic event, even in new situations that are far less dangerous. Triggering this neurological "switch" causes us to react fearfully--as if the trauma were happening all over again-- and temporarily derails our ability to think and act rationally in the present.

When the president of the United States behaves in ways that redouble the population's fears, his behavior is a psychological issue. When the White House uses advertising specialists to instill in our minds terrifying visual images of mushroom clouds above American cities, American psychologists should be concerned, to say the least. When our chief executive dwells yet again on "death and destruction" in a speech he makes as we observe the sixth anniversary of our national trauma--and tells us that if we hinder his war policy, our enemies will "come here to kill us"--it's time for professionals who know about the effects of psychological trauma to speak up. As such a professional, I invite any person of reasonably sound mental health to engage in this brief and illuminating fantasy:

Imagine for a moment that somehow the American presidency falls to you, instead of to George Bush, and that, for reasons known only to you and your conscience, you accept the position. Not long after you move into the Oval Office, the United States is hit by a disastrous terrorist attack. Counterterrorism measures that should have been attended to long ago must now be designed at emergency speed--protective systems for the skies, the ports, the nation's nuclear facilities, its food supplies--but you can see that, just now, your stricken countrymen are scarcely able to think at all. Their physical and psychological landscapes have been disfigured by inscrutable "others" from a distant part of the world, and they are deeply traumatized and subclinically paranoid. The resonance of their fear is almost palpable. In this uniquely vulnerable state of mind, three hundred million people turn to you en masse, and, prepared to trust your answer implicitly--to cling to it, even--they ask you the following question: What should we do now?

I believe that, as you looked out on millions of your countrymen lost in fear and grief, you would experience an overwhelming desire to help them. You would earnestly want to bring them some comfort and peace, so they could protect themselves, heal, and rebuild. And--exiting this little fantasy exercise and returning to the reality of the last six years--perhaps, like me, you've been repeatedly saddened to witness that not everyone in such a rare and influential position experiences a desire to assist his own nation in recovery and real self-protection.

That some of our leaders didn't display this sort of heartfelt reaction has been understandably difficult for Americans to acknowledge out loud. As playwright and McCarthy victim Arthur Miller wrote, "Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable." But, if we curb our wish to forget a painful truth, we can recall that the rise of insanely self-interested fear politicians is a phenomenon as ancient as the existence of hierarchical society itself. The heartless cultivation of fear has been used politically at least since the first century BC, when the Sicarii and the Zealots committed public assassinations to terrorize the Romans in ancient Palestine. We saw it in Joseph McCarthy's reign of paranoia over the US in the 1950s, and we're seeing it again now.

Extreme fear is a first-rate weapon, neuropsychologically speaking. Unlike ordinary experiences, which are organized in the cerebral cortex, traumatic experiences stay "stuck" in the limbic system, an emotional, evolutionarily older area of the brain. As our lives go along, these chaotic memories can be triggered in us by reminders of the traumatic event, even in new situations that are far less dangerous. Triggering this neurological "switch" causes us to react fearfully--as if the trauma were happening all over again-- and temporarily derails our ability to think and act rationally in the present.

A disaster-made glitch in the brain makes us unusually vulnerable to influence, and herein lies a convenience for ambitious authoritarians. In The Paranoia Switch, I coin the expression limbic war to refer to the activities of a fear monger who increases his political power by repeatedly triggering traumatic memories in the brains of individuals who have lived through a group calamity. A politician doesn't have to know anything about the neuropsychology of trauma to conduct such a limbic war. It's like sex, in the sense that you don't need to understand biology to participate.

Is our president a scaremonger? Is George Bush waging a limbic war against us? Is he truly cold enough to be using the fear generated on September 11, 2001, as a kind of renewable resource to maintain his political power and further his own agenda? To help answer this question, I'd like to post a summary of the list I provide in The Paranoia Switch--ten behaviors observable historically in leaders who have used fear to keep people in line:

1) Unsurprisingly, leaders who use fear as their primary political strategy speak repeatedly of dangerous people and frightening situations. They address other topics too, and may even use humor. But somewhere within virtually every communication, there will be several references to danger, and to just how frightened people must not forget to be.

2) Fear politicians frequently offer descriptions of catastrophic events that might happen in the future, and of other such events that would have happened had the plans not been thwarted.

3) Such leaders are prone to accuse those who disagree with them of being disloyal to the group and/or naive.

4) Fear brokers tend to look, act, and speak like the people found in their constituencies, sometimes almost in caricature. The fear broker's self-presentation tends to be that of an adequately educated person, but not a worldly or intellectual one. If from a region where the people speak with an accent, such a leader is likely to nurture this characteristic in himself.

5) Fear mongers often behave like archetypal parents. A fear-mongering leader may imply that, though the people are his brave charges, they cannot be expected to be so courageous and strong as he, and therefore, they must always rely on him. He demands to be trusted, and promises that he will never abandon them or give up on his goals.

6) Leaders who practice fear politics tend to admonish people over "moral" issues, and use shame to exert control. As a typical example, a sexuality-related topic (an issue around marriage, childbearing choices, homosexuality, etc.) will be introduced into a popular discussion that had nothing to do with sexuality, and then notes of shame or sin will be blended into the altered debate. These actions on the part of the leader may temporarily distract people from their original concerns.

7) In a seeming contradiction, fear brokers praise the group for being moral and heroic. A scare-mongering leader tends to speak of how much more God-fearing, principled, selfless, and admirable the people of his nation are than all the other peoples of the world.

8) Fear-mongering leaders project personal infallibility. When asked the direct question, "Do you feel you made a mistake?" the answer is always no, regardless of how conspicuous the mistake.

9) Such leaders tend to be secretive, and to be certain that other people, too, are keeping dangerous secrets. Scare-tactic politicians are often obsessed with gathering information about their countrymen, though much of this information may be objectively meaningless.

10) Whatever their tongue, fear leaders use language that pulls for primitive emotions: words and concepts (in the group's language) such as vengeance, cowardice, and good versus evil. In addition, fear politicians are associated with a skewed pronoun usage, specifically the frequent use of the third person plural--they--as in declarations of what they are doing to us. In contrast, moral leaders tend to employ the first person plural--we--as in references to what we (the people) can do to help ourselves.

This, in abridged form, is the book's list of ten behavioral characteristics of political fear mongers. Where George Bush is concerned, doing the math is not hard. (I don't know what you came up with, but I counted ten out of ten.) It is my hope, as a trauma psychologist and as a citizen, that we will choose a very different kind of leader in 2008, one who will not engage in an emotional war against us, and who is wise enough not to imagine that our worst fears are his best friends.

Comment: Dr. Stout has touched on some very important ponerological concepts: the 'special psychological knowledge' of pathological individuals, the hysterization of society and its manipulation (see Transmarginal Inhibition), the similarity between pathocracies both present and past, the use of paramoralisms.

Unfortunately, she seems to still be under the illusion that the American people have the ability to choose a better leader in 2008. If we take her comparison to the fear-mongers of old a step further, we can see that such leaders are not above election fraud--they will do anything in their power to keep power, and that includes providing the illusion of choice and freedom.

Taking the comparison even further, we can see that such a political system would have no qualms about murdering its own citizens for similar purposes. Dr. Stout also seems to be under the illusion that foreign "terrorists" committed the attacks of 9/11. A quick read of Dr. David Ray Griffin's books on the subject (especially his latest, Debunking 9/11 Debunking) and SOTT's own 9/11: The Ultimate Truth, would demonstrate the absurdity of such a position.

That being said, Dr. Stout's books are an invaluable source of relevant information. Check out her latest, The Paranoia Switch, as well as her previous books: The Myth of Sanity and The Sociopath Next Door.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More on the "Most Ethical Army in the World"

Don't say you didn't know. Without news services like SOTT and Haartz we never would. They shine the light on the darkness most want to avoid.

Blue Ibis
Warning: descriptions of graphic violence against women and children follow.

Israel shaken by psychopathic troops' tales of brutality against Palestinian civilians

Conal Urquhart
The Guardian
Sun, 21 Oct 2007 07:26 EDT

The soldiers described dozens of incidents of extreme violence. One recalled an incident when a Palestinian was shot for no reason and left on the street. 'We were in a weapons carrier when this guy, around 25, passed by in the street and, just like that, for no reason - he didn't throw a stone, did nothing - bang, a bullet in the stomach, he shot him in the stomach and the guy is dying on the pavement and we keep going, apathetic. No one gave him a second look,' he said.

One soldier recalled: 'After two months in Rafah, a [new] commanding officer arrived... So we do a first patrol with him. It's 6am, Rafah is under curfew, there isn't so much as a dog in the streets. Only a little boy of four playing in the sand. He is building a castle in his yard. He [the officer] suddenly starts running and we all run with him. He was from the combat engineers.

'He grabbed the boy. I am a degenerate if I am not telling you the truth. He broke his hand here at the wrist, broke his leg here. And started to stomp on his stomach, three times, and left. We are all there, jaws dropping, looking at him in shock...

'The next day I go out with him on another patrol, and the soldiers are already starting to do the same thing."

A study by an Israeli psychologist into the violent behaviour of the country's soldiers is provoking bitter controversy and has awakened urgent questions about the way the army conducts itself in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Nufar Yishai-Karin, a clinical psychologist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, interviewed 21 Israeli soldiers and heard confessions of frequent brutal assaults against Palestinians, aggravated by poor training and discipline. In her recently published report, co-authored by Professor Yoel Elizur, Yishai-Karin details a series of violent incidents, including the beating of a four-year-old boy by an officer.

The report, although dealing with the experience of soldiers in the 1990s, has triggered an impassioned debate in Israel, where it was published in an abbreviated form in the newspaper Haaretz last month. According to Yishai Karin: 'At one point or another of their service, the majority of the interviewees enjoyed violence. They enjoyed the violence because it broke the routine and they liked the destruction and the chaos. They also enjoyed the feeling of power in the violence and the sense of danger.'

In the words of one soldier:'The truth? When there is chaos, I like it. That's when I enjoy it. It's like a drug. If I don't go into Rafah, and if there isn't some kind of riot once in some weeks, I go nuts.'

Another explained: 'The most important thing is that it removes the burden of the law from you. You feel that you are the law. You are the law. You are the one who decides... As though from the moment you leave the place that is called Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] and go through the Erez checkpoint into the Gaza Strip, you are the law. You are God.'

The soldiers described dozens of incidents of extreme violence. One recalled an incident when a Palestinian was shot for no reason and left on the street. 'We were in a weapons carrier when this guy, around 25, passed by in the street and, just like that, for no reason - he didn't throw a stone, did nothing - bang, a bullet in the stomach, he shot him in the stomach and the guy is dying on the pavement and we keep going, apathetic. No one gave him a second look,' he said.

The soldiers developed a mentality in which they would use physical violence to deter Palestinians from abusing them. One described beating women. 'With women I have no problem. With women, one threw a clog at me and I kicked her here [pointing to the crotch], I broke everything there. She can't have children. Next time she won't throw clogs at me. When one of them [a woman] spat at me, I gave her the rifle butt in the face. She doesn't have what to spit with any more.'

Yishai-Karin found that the soldiers were exposed to violence against Palestinians from as early as their first weeks of basic training. On one occasion, the soldiers were escorting some arrested Palestinians. The arrested men were made to sit on the floor of the bus. They had been taken from their beds and were barely clothed, even though the temperature was below zero. The new recruits trampled on the Palestinians and then proceeded to beat them for the whole of the journey. They opened the bus windows and poured water on the arrested men.

The disclosure of the report in the Israeli media has occasioned a remarkable response. In letters responding to the recollections, writers have focused on both the present and past experience of Israeli soldiers to ask troubling questions that have probed the legitimacy of the actions of the Israeli Defence Forces.

The study and the reactions to it have marked a sharp change in the way Israelis regard their period of military service - particularly in the occupied territories - which has been reflected in the increasing levels of conscientious objection and draft-dodging.

The debate has contrasted sharply with an Israeli army where new recruits are taught that they are joining 'the most ethical army in the world' - a refrain that is echoed throughout Israeli society. In its doctrine, published on its website, the Israeli army emphasises human dignity. 'The Israeli army and its soldiers are obligated to protect human dignity. Every human being is of value regardless of his or her origin, religion, nationality, gender, status or position.'

However, the Israeli army, like other armies, has found it difficult to maintain these values beyond the classroom. The first intifada, which began in 1987, before the wave of suicide bombings, was markedly different to the violence of the second intifada, and its main events were popular demonstrations with stone-throwing.

Yishai-Karin, in an interview with Haaretz, described how her research came out of her own experience as a soldier at an army base in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. She interviewed 18 ordinary soldiers and three officers whom she had served with in Gaza. The soldiers described how the violence was encouraged by some commanders. One soldier recalled: 'After two months in Rafah, a [new] commanding officer arrived... So we do a first patrol with him. It's 6am, Rafah is under curfew, there isn't so much as a dog in the streets. Only a little boy of four playing in the sand. He is building a castle in his yard. He [the officer] suddenly starts running and we all run with him. He was from the combat engineers.

'He grabbed the boy. I am a degenerate if I am not telling you the truth. He broke his hand here at the wrist, broke his leg here. And started to stomp on his stomach, three times, and left. We are all there, jaws dropping, looking at him in shock...

'The next day I go out with him on another patrol, and the soldiers are already starting to do the same thing."

Yishai-Karin concluded that the main reason for the soldiers' violence was a lack of training. She found that the soldiers did not know what was expected of them and therefore were free to develop their own way of behaviour. The longer a unit was left in the field, the more violent it became. The Israeli soldiers, she concluded, had a level of violence which is universal across all nations and cultures. If they are allowed to operate in difficult circumstances, such as in Gaza and the West Bank, without training and proper supervision, the violence is bound to come out.

Comment: Spare us these patronizing apologetics. One doesn't break the wrists and legs of 4 year-olds or kick a woman in the crotch for "lack of training". The soldiers and the leaders who sent them into these positions are psychopathic monsters.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli army said that, if a soldier deviates from the army's norms, they could be investigated by the military police or face criminal investigation.

Comment: Where they will be duly exonerated.

She said: 'It should be noted that since the events described in Nufar Yishai-Karin's research the number of ethical violations by IDF soldiers involving the Palestinian population has consistently dropped. This trend has continued in the last few years.'

Comment: It should be noted that the examples given above are but a drop in the ocean of humiliation, abuse and murder that the Palestinian people have been subjected to before, during and since the illegal foundation of the corrupt state of Israel and the Zionist regime that occupies Palestinian land.

The addition of "Palestinian suicide bombings" in the second Intifada is used to excuse such inhuman behavior by Israeli troops and their commanding officers. The truth of the matter however is that "Palestinian suicide bombings" are very probably Israeli false flag operations, designed to provide justification to Israel for its continued murder of Palestinian civilians and the theft of what is left of their land.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Len Hart - Clear-eyed in a Red State

Be sure to check out Len Hart's The Existentialist Cowboy blog. There are a few thinking people left in Texas after all. Link is on the left.

As an interesting aside, here is this little snippet from Cassiopedia re: Red vs Blue States:

"The choice of colors in this divide is counter-intuitive to many international observers, as throughout the world, especially in Europe and Canada, red is commonly the designated colour for parties representing labor and/or leftist interests[2][3], which in the United States would be more closely correlated with the Democratic Party. Similarly, blue is used in these countries to depict conservative parties which in the case of the United States would be a colour more suitable for the Republicans."

The US has got to do everything differently, don't they?

Blue Ibis

Len Hart
Existentialist Cowboy
Mon, 15 Oct 2007 21:43 EDT

In the wake of 911, you could count critics of George W. Bush on one hand. Three courageous exceptions to the climate of fear are notable: Gore Vidal (The Enemy Within), Rep. Cynthia McKinney and, somewhat later, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer who proclaimed August 15, 2005 that the 9/11 committee investigation was either a cover up or a cover story.


Shaffer charged that his unit had warned the FBI about "terrorist cells" but was ignored.

"There is only one politically serious explanation of this now-indisputable fact: powerful forces within the US military/intelligence complex wanted a terrorist incident on US soil in order to create the needed shift in public opinion required to embark on a long-planned campaign of military intervention in Central Asia and the Middle East. Whether or not they knew the scale of the impending attacks and what the precise targets would be, they acted in such a way as to block the arrest of known terrorist operatives and allow them to carry out their plot."
--Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, Army intelligence officer

In August of 2005, the New York Times, at last, revealed that military intelligence had identified four of the alleged hijackers. They were said to have been Al Qaeda operatives "...working in the US a year before the 9/11 attacks." This should have set off alarm bells but didn't. After all, the CIA created al Qaeda. I would like to know: when did al Qaeda cease being anything other than the "dirty tricks" arm of the CIA? I also want to know why the Military's Special Operations Command prevented an intelligence unit from passing on that information to the FBI.

The best answer is that the new Bush administration, partner to the oil industry, wanted to build a pipeline through Afghanistan and needed a little war to "enhance" the negotiations. Just months before 911, US State Department officials had offered the Taliban a deal: " ...a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs"! Gore Vidal takes up the narrative, making the only case that makes sense.

On 9 September 2001, Bush was presented with a draft of a national security presidential directive outlining a global campaign of military, diplomatic and intelligence action targeting al-Qaeda, buttressed by the threat of war. According to NBC News: 'President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaeda ... but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks ... The directive, as described to NBC News, was essentially the same war plan as the one put into action after 11 September. The administration most likely was able to respond so quickly ... because it simply had to pull the plans "off the shelf".'

Finally, BBC News, 18 September 2001: 'Niak Naik, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. It was Naik's view that Washington would not drop its war for Afghanistan even if bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taliban.'

Was Afghanistan then turned to rubble in order to avenge the 3,000 Americans slaughtered by Osama? Hardly. The administration is convinced that Americans are so simple-minded that they can deal with no scenario more complex than the venerable lone, crazed killer (this time with zombie helpers) who does evil just for the fun of it 'cause he hates us, 'cause we're rich'n free 'n he's not. Osama was chosen on aesthetic grounds to be the most frightening logo for our long contemplated invasion and conquest of Afghanistan, planning for which had been 'contingency' some years before 9/11 and, again, from 20 December, 2000, when Clinton's out-going team devised a plan to strike at al-Qaeda in retaliation for the assault on the warship Cole. Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, personally briefed his successor on the plan but Rice, still very much in her role as director of Chevron-Texaco, with special duties regarding Pakistan and Uzbekistan, now denies any such briefing. A year and a half later (12 August, 2002), fearless Time magazine reported this odd memory lapse.

...Osama, if it was he and not a nation, simply provided the necessary shock to put in train a war of conquest. But conquest of what? What is there in dismal dry sandy Afghanistan worth conquering? Zbigniew Brzezinski tells us exactly what in a 1997 Council on Foreign Relations study called The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives.

But it was not only sand and strategy. It was oil. As Vidal points SOTTout, the "American Empire" has been at war since 1950. The historical precedents are legion. The Roman Empire, stretched to the limits of current technology, was hooked on conquest and booty as the US is hooked on oil. By the time the Praetorian Guard auctioned off the empire to Didius Julianus, Roman currency had already collapsed. [See: A Dream of Freedom ] Today --the US dollar has already embarked upon a steady decline to the detriment of working folk who are now increasingly dependent upon increasingly expensive imports. Bush is content to let the dollar slide, in effect, correcting the balance of trade deficit upon the backs of American workers.

Analogies to Rome are instructive. It's easier to be objective about evil empires of the past than about evil empires in which we live here and now. Writing history while living it is a tough, dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. Maureen Farrell has done an exceptional job of "fixing", summarizing what will one day be a multi-volume chronicle of how a slow witted albeit sadistic simpleton left the "intellectuals" of the loyal opposition non-plused and flatfooted. The rest of us are merely screwed! The final volume cannot be written now. It will prove to be the chronicle of one of the most heinous and criminal regimes in world history --that of George W. Bush and a gang of arrogant Neocons.

Following are excerpts [published in Buzzflash] from Top 10 'Conspiracy Theories' about George W. Bush, Part 1; Part II

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, a friend sent me an obscure book featuring predictions by a blind Native American shaman. It was a thoughtful, but annoying, gesture. For all I knew, this "seer" could merely be a James Frey-sized figment of the author's imagination and these so-called prophecies could be nothing more than a patchwork of hunches. A prediction that the Red Sox would win the World Series would have been impressive. But wars? Economic downturns? Environmental disasters? Yawn.

This was the age of forged Nostradamus quotes and apocalyptic visions, however, and, with debunking in mind, I plodded ahead. Some predictions, which were reportedly made in 1982, were decidedly silly. Others, however, don't exactly ring foolish. Among the more noteworthy:

Propaganda and terrorism will increase.
Religious zealots will use the courts to try to force their views upon the general public.
The Supreme Court will make unfortunate decisions that don't benefit the people.
Several undeclared wars will be waged simultaneously
There will be high-level secrecy and clandestine agreements between nations..
America will eventually become a police state.
The draft will be reinstated.
Americans will learn of government duplicity and cover-ups.

Whether or not this list is the result of guesswork, fabrications or something else, nearly a quarter of a century later, such musings have gone from the fringe to the forefront. Police state predictions? Check. Rumors of wars? Check. Clandestine agreements between nations? Check. Discoveries of government duplicity and cover-ups? Triple check.

The American right wing in cahoots with the big corporations have bent America over and screwed her silly. This pack of liars and crooks partnered with Ronald Reagan to outsource the very soul of this country. They waged war on all working Americans and small business. They conspired to create a corporate, fascist state. They conspired to destroy the labor movement. They divided the nation into haves and have-nots.

They stole the American air waves and gave it to the likes of Clear Channel, FOX, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. With help from the right wing media, they divided the nation along religious lines, rewarding fundamentalism with your tax dollars.

They built up an empire and called it a "war on terrorism" but, in fact, they made terrorism worse [See: Of Schadenfreude, Götterdämmerung and Bush's gestalt of failure, war crimes, and treason!]. In fact, the "war on terrorism" is a bloody fraud, terrorism is worse and former friends and allies now despise us.

They outsourced your job! They devalued the dollar. They created an America propped up by a world which cannot afford not to prop up the US economy. They have proven that they care nothing about global warming, and, in fact, deny science, reason and free inquiry. They destroyed, perhaps forever, the integrity of the electoral process.

Maureen Farrell counts down from ten to one a list of Bush's outrages all of which are consistent with the fact that George W. Bush seized the White House at the end of a fraudulent election in order to do all of the things that he has done in fact. Primarily, he replaced the US Constitution with rule by decree. He has suspended habeas corpus, due process of law and the protections of the Bill of Rights. He has ended the right of privacy along with the Fourth Amendment right to be safe and secure in our own homes. Our private records are no longer ours --but the state's. We are surveilled outside our homes and our phone conversations are now public property. If we are but deemed a "terrorist", we can be imprisoned indefinitely and anonymously. You don't get a phone call. You don't get a lawyer. You don't get a presumption of innocence. Everything you saw on Perry Mason is by the boards.

Some theories, however, have Tina Turner-strength legs. For your consideration:

10. A Second Terror Attack Will Allow the Bush Administration to Complete the "Coup" that Began on Sept. 11, 2001 "September 11, 2001, played into neoconservative hands exactly as the 1933 Reichstag fire played into Hitler's hands. Fear, hysteria, and national emergency are proven tools of political power grabs. Now that the federal court are beginning to show some resistance to Bush's claims of power, will another terrorist attack allow the Bush administration to complete its coup?"

-- Former Reagan administration official and Wall Street Journal and National Review assistant editor Paul Craig Roberts, Jan. 2, 2006

"The 9-11 attacks provided the rationale for what amounts to a Bush family coup against the Constitution."

-- James Ridgeway, The Village Voice, Dec. 30, 2005

Six years ago, anyone suggesting that the Bush administration would use terror to achieve pre-packaged goals would have been laughed out of Dodge. The signs were there, however, going all the way back to Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld's stints in the Ford administration through their participation in Reagan-era Doomsday drills.

Initially, there were vague murmurings over foreign airways. "There is a hidden agenda at the very highest levels of our government," a mysterious American told the BBC in Nov. 2001, regarding allegations that the FBI was told to "back off" the bin Ladens. "Unnamed sources" eventually morphed into real people, however, and by the time Pentagon insider Karen Kwiatkowski came forward with revelations about what she called "a coup, a hijacking of the Pentagon," and respected journalist Seymour Hersh proclaimed that "cultists" had "taken the government over," this theory gained traction.

Despite attempts to discredit true believers as "full-mooners," revelations continued. And now that a former Bush administration official is saying that a "cabal" led by Rumsfeld and Cheney "hijacked US foreign policy" and a former Reagan administration official is saying that America is now an "incipient dictatorship," the ideology of Loon Land is capital T Truth to some very smart people.

Gen. Tommy Franks, you might recall, famously predicted that another terror attack will militarize our society and obliterate the Constitution, former White House counsel John Dean has warned of "constitutional dictatorship" and Paul Craig Roberts has openly wondered if another terror attack will lead to a total usurpation of constitutional government and "allow the Bush administration to complete its coup."

Roberts, who served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, also believes that a "Jacobin coup" took place after Sept. 11 and that a "police state" is fast approaching. Joining the host of others raising concerns about questionable elections and a Supreme Court poised to give the executive branch unprecedented power, he sees "America's descent into dictatorship" as the "result of historical developments and of old political battles." But, he also contends that President Bush "is unlikely to be aware that the Constitution is experiencing its final rending on his watch."

Others are not so certain.

--Maureen Farrell, Part II

There is sufficient probable cause to arrest and charge George W. Bush for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the peace. I would suspect that there is now enough evidence, in the public record alone, to indict and convict George W. Bush of numerous counts to include violations of both the Geneva convention and US criminal codes. [See also: International Humanitarian Law - Treaties & Documents] In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the United States Supreme Court ruled that George W. Bush exceeded his authority. Neither the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), nor the so-called inherent powers give Bush a legal authority to set up military tribunals at Guantanamo.

Hamden v Rumsfeld addressed the question of whether the United States Congress may pass legislation preventing the Supreme Court from hearing the case of an accused combatant before his military commission takes place, whether the special military commissions that had been set up violated federal law (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice and treaty obligations), and whether courts can enforce the articles of the 1949 Geneva Convention.

"My friends, the government just didn't have prior knowledge of the September 11th al Qaeda attacks. They actually funded, trained, protected, coddled, and shepherded al Qaeda into this country. Trained many of the terrorists at Pensacola Naval Air Station, U.S.A., threatened F.B.I. and defense intelligence officers who tried to stop al Qaeda, threatened them with arrest. Bush signed now public document W199I two months before September 11, threatening them with arrest if they tried to stop al Qaeda."
--Alex Jones

If Bush's war on terrorism had been, in any way authentic, the FBI would not have been ordered to back off its investigations. The Saudi Royals would not have been given the royal and secret escort out of the country. Rather --they would have been investigated for their ties to Bin Laden. Likewise, WAMY --known to have funded "terrorist" cells --would have been investigated. Then, why are we surprised that Bushco has utterly failed to score a single "victory" in his war on terrorism?

We should not be at all surprised because the war on terrorism is a fraud, a hoax perpetrated by the most criminal regime since Adolf Hitler. The "War on Terrorism" is but a cover for Bush's dark agenda --world conquest and domination. The Reichstag Fire simplified things for Adolf Hitler, who, like Bush, aspired to dictatorship. The Reichstag Fire turned out to have been one of the most convenient coincidences in history. Without it, Hitler most certainly could not have consolidated his power, having already lost three votes in the Reichstag.

"Code named Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war."

--James Bamford, Body Of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001, p.82.

Culprits are expected to benefit from their crimes --at least in the short term. But the attacks of 911 have been disastrous for Muslim communities everywhere. Every good prosecutor will ask "who benefits" from a crime. In this case, only The Project for the New American Century, Bush's "supportive" oil industry, and a hand full of cronies and thugs have benefited.

For too long, Bush thugs, brownshirts and bullies have tainted the atmosphere in the US, just as Hitler had done in Germany. For too long, Americans, often called the freest people in the world, feared to speak an honest opinion. They did not fear to be wrong. They feared the consequences of being right.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Cult of the Plausible Lie

One of the best SOTT Focus articles published to date. If you've ever wondered how thing things you know are "off" or wrong, still "legally" happen, here's how things can be put over on a society. Add this to the knowledge of psychopathy and you may have a fighting chance in this world.

Blue Ibis

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Signs Of The Times
Fri, 09 Jun 2006 12:00 EDT

©Signs of the Times
"Never ascribe to malice those things which may be explained by stupidity." That is an important phrase, and a necessary one; it keeps people from being paranoid. However, it has a corollary most people don't know: "One MAY ascribe to malice those things which stupidity cannot explain." Robert Canup

As the mail continues to come in on the COINTELPRO issue, a number of questions have been raised - mainly about how to tell the difference between Truth and Lies - and I thought I would take some time this morning to try to cover a few aspects of this issue.

I've covered many aspects of this issue here and there on our websites, but since google manages to ensure that we are suppressed on search results, many people have not yet discovered these collections of observation, evidence, and supporting material. (Regarding google, we have been collecting data and making experiments for over a year now and will soon publish some of the results, but don't expect to them to be trumpeted by google!)

The primary problem that I see humanity struggling with today is precisely delineated by psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski: it is an almost total lack of adequate psychological knowledge on the part of the masses of humanity - the population of ordinary, normal people.

Ever since ancient times, philosophers and religious thinkers representing various attitudes in different cultures have been searching for the truth as regards moral values, attempting to find criteria for what is right, what constitutes good advice. They described the virtues of human character and suggested these be acquired. They created a heritage ... which contains centuries of experience and reflections. In spite of the obvious differences among attitudes, the similarity or complementarity of the conclusions reached by famous ancients are striking, even though they worked in widely divergent times and places. After all, whatever is valuable is conditioned and caused by the laws of nature acting upon the personalities of both individual human beings and collective societies.

It is equally thought-provoking, however, to see how relatively little has been said about the opposite side of the coin; the nature, causes, and genesis of evil. These matters are usually cloaked behind the above generalized conclusions with a certain amount of secrecy. Such a state of affairs can be partially ascribed to the social conditions and historical circumstances under which these thinkers worked. Their modus operandi may have been dictated at least in part by personal fate, inherited traditions, or even prudishness. After all, justice and virtue are the opposites of force and perversity, the same applies to truthfulness vs. lies, similarly like health is the opposite of an illness.

The character and genesis of evil thus remained hidden in discreet shadows, leaving it to playwrights to deal with the subject in their highly expressive language, but that did not reach the primeval source of the phenomena. A certain cognitive space thus remains uninvestigated, a thicket of moral questions which resists understanding and philosophical generalizations. [...]

From time immemorial, man has dreamed of a life in which his efforts to accumulate benefits can be punctuated by rest during which time he enjoys those benefits. He learned how to domesticate animals in order to accumulate more benefits, and when that no longer met his needs, he learned to enslave other human beings simply because he was more powerful and could do it.

Dreams of a happy life of "more accumulated benefits" to be enjoyed, and more leisure time in which to enjoy them, thus gave rise to force over others, a force which depraves the mind of its user. That is why man's dreams of happiness have not come true throughout history: the hedonistic view of "happiness" contains the seeds of misery. Hedonism, the pursuit of the accumulation of benefits for the sole purpose of self-enjoyment, feeds the eternal cycle where good times lead to bad times.

During good times, people lose sight of the need for thinking, introspection, knowledge of others, and an understanding of life. When things are "good," people ask themselves whether it is worth it to ponder human nature and flaws in the personality (one's own, or that of another). In good times, entire generations can grow up with no understanding of the creative meaning of suffering since they have never experienced it themselves. When all the joys of life are there for the taking, mental effort to understand science and the laws of nature - to acquire knowledge that may not be directly related to accumulating stuff - seems like pointless labor. Being "healthy minded," and positive - a good sport with never a discouraging word - is seen as a good thing, and anyone who predicts dire consequences as the result of such insouciance is labeled a wet-blanket or a killjoy.

Perception of the truth about reality, especially a real understanding of human nature in all it's ranges and permutations, ceases to be a virtue to be acquired. Thoughtful doubters are "meddlers" who can't leave well enough alone. "Don't fix it if it ain't broke." This attitude leads to an impoverishment of psychological knowledge including the capacity to differentiate the properties of human nature and personality, and the ability to mold healthy minds creatively.

The cult of power thus supplants the mental and moral values so essential for maintaining peace by peaceful means. A nation's enrichment or involution as regards its psychological world-view could be considered an indicator of whether its future be good or bad.

During good times, the search for the meaning of life, the truth of our reality, becomes uncomfortable because it reveals inconvenient factors. Unconscious elimination of data which are, or appear to be, inexpedient, begins to be habitual, a custom accepted by entire societies. The result is that any thought processes based on such truncated information cannot bring correct conclusions. This then leads to substitution of convenient lies to the self to replace uncomfortable truths thereby approaching the boundaries of phenomena which should be viewed as psychopathological. [...]

When bad times arrive and people are overwhelmed by an excess of evil, they must gather all their physical and mental strength to fight for existence and protect human reason. The search for some way out of difficulties and dangers rekindles long-buried powers or discretion. Such people have the initial tendency to rely on force in order to counteract the threat; they may, for instance, become "trigger happy" or dependent upon armies. Slowly and laboriously, however, they discover the advantages conferred by mental effort; improved understanding of psychological situations in particular, better differentiation of human characters and personalities, and finally, comprehension of one's adversaries. During such times, virtues which former generations relegated to literary motifs regain their real and useful substance and become prized for their value. A wise person capable of furnishing sound advice is highly respected.

It seems that there have been many such "bad times" in the course of human history, and it was during such times that the great systems of ethics were developed. Unfortunately, during "good times," nobody wants to hear about it. They want to "enjoy" things, to have pleasure and pleasant experiences, and so any literature that relates to such times is lost, forgotten, suppressed, or otherwise ignored. This leads to further debasing of the intellectual currency and opens the gap for bad times to come once again. [Andrew Lobaczewski, Ph.D. Political Ponerology: The Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes]

The facts are that "good times" for one group of people have been historically rooted in some injustice to other groups of people. In such a society, where all the hidden truths lurk below the surface like an iceberg, disaster is just around the corner.

It is clear that America has experienced a long period of "good times" for most of its existence, (no matter how many people they had to oppress or kill to do so), but particularly so during the 50 years preceding September 11, 2001. During that 50 years, several generations of children were born, and the ones that were born at the beginning of that time, who have never known "bad times," are now at an age where they want to "enjoy" the benefits they have accumulated. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that is going to happen; 9/11 has changed everything so profoundly that it looks like there will be no enjoyment by anyone for a very, very long time.

How could this happen?

The answer is that a few generation's worth of "good times" results in the above described societal deficits regarding psychological skills and moral criticism. Long periods of preoccupation with the self and "accumulating benefits" for the self, diminish the ability to accurately read the environment and other people. But the situation is more serious than just a generalized weakness of a society that could be "toughened up" with a little "hard times".

Lobaczewski writes: The psychological features of each such crisis are unique to the culture and the time, but one common denominator that exists at the beginning of all such "bad times" is an exacerbation of society's hysterical condition. The emotionalism dominating in individual, collective, and political life, combined with the subconscious selection and substitution of data in reasoning, lead to individual and national egotism. The mania for taking offense at the drop of a hat provokes constant retaliation, taking advantage of hyperirritability and hypocriticality on the part of others. It is this feature, this hystericization of society, that enables pathological plotters, snake charmers, and other primitive deviants to act as essential factors in the processes of the origination of evil on a macro-social scale. [Andrew Lobaczewski, Ph.D. Political Ponerology: The Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes]

We can conjecture that if one psychologist knows the above, a few others must know it as well. And maybe some of them work for the government that has taken such advantage of 911? If we think about it, it becomes quite logical that, if they know these things then they may very wll have been complicit in 911 for the very purpose of "exacerbating society's hysterical condition." As Lobaczewski notes, it is the hysterization of society that enables pathological plotters to basically take over.

Who, exactly, are the "pathological plotters," and what can motivate such individuals during times that are generally understood by others as "good" to do things that will bring on "bad times." If times are "good," why does anyone want to plot and generate evil? Especially since it is obvious to anyone with two neurons firing that such activity will (and has historically) lead to the destruction of the plotters themselves?

Well, certainly, the current US administration has come up with an answer: "They hate us because of our freedoms." This is a prime example of "selection and substitution of data in reasoning" which is willingly and gladly accepted as an explanation by the public because of their deficits of psychological skills and moral criticism. The truth is somewhat different.

Unfortunately, after so long a time of being subjected to lies and disinformation, the likelihood of society being able to overcome the social and cultural programming is difficult, but not impossible. And that is where things like COINTELPRO come into play: psyops agents are masters of triggering emotional programs that put people back to sleep. As a student on the subject, Robert Canup, has said, 99% of all of the problems confronting mankind can be traced to a single cause: the problem of the plausible lie. And the plausible lie is what COINTELPRO is all about.

Plausible lies are monstrous things propagated by evil people for the express purpose of deceiving good people into doing the will of those who do not have their best interests at heart. It's that simple. The most powerful of these lies are so plausible that nobody even dreams about questioning their validity. Allow me to quote Richard Dolan on this point:

Some will dismiss this as one of the many conspiracy theories dotting America's landscape. The very label serves as an automatic dismissal, as though no one ever acts in secret. Let us bring some perspective and common sense to this issue.

The United States comprises large organizations - corporations, bureaucracies, "interest groups," and the like - which are conspiratorial by nature. That is, they are hierarchical, their important decisions are made in secret by a few key decision-makers, and they are not above lying about their activities. Such is the nature of organizational behavior. "Conspiracy," in this key sense, is a way of life around the globe.

Within the world's military and intelligence apparatuses, this tendency is magnified to the greatest extreme. [...]

Anyone who has lived in a repressive society knows that official manipulation of the truth occurs daily. But societies have their many and their few. In all times and all places, it is the few who rule, and the few who exert dominant influence over what we may call official culture. - All elites take care to manipulate public information to maintain existing structures of power. It's an old game.

America is nominally a republic and free society, but in reality an empire and oligarchy, vaguely aware of its own oppression, within and without. I have used the term "national security state" to describe its structures of power. It is a convenient way to express the military and intelligence communities, as well as the worlds that feed upon them, such as defense contractors and other underground, nebulous entities. Its fundamental traits are secrecy, wealth, independence, power, and duplicity.

Nearly everything of significance undertaken by America's military and intelligence community in the past half-century has occured in secrecy. The undertaking to build an atomic weapon, better known as the Manhattan Project, remains the great model for all subsequent activities. For more than two years, not a single member of Congress even knew about it although its final cost exceeded two billion dollars.

During and after the Second World War, other important projects, such as the development of biological weapons, the importation of Nazi scientists, terminal mind-control experiments, nationwide interception of mail and cable transmissions of an unwitting populace, infiltration of the media and universities, secret coups, secret wars, and assassinations all took place far removed not only from the American public, but from most members of Congress and a few presidents. Indeed, several of the most powerful intelligence agencies were themselves established in secrecy, unknown by the public or Congress for many years.

Since the 1940s, the US Defense and Intelligence establishment has had more money at its disposal than most nations. In addition to official dollars, much of the money is undocumented. From its beginning, the CIA was engaged in a variety of off-the-record "business" activities that generated large sums of cash. The connections of the CIA with global organized crime (and thus de facto with the international narcotics trade) has been well established and documented for many years. - Much of the original money to run the American intelligence community came from very wealthy and established American families, who have long maintained an interest in funding national security operations important to their interests.

In theory, civilian oversight exists over the US national security establishment. The president is the military commander-in-chief. Congress has official oversight over the CIA. The FBI must answer to the Justice Department. In practice, little of this applies. One reason has to do with secrecy. [...]

A chilling example of such independence occurred during the 1950s, when President Eisenhower effectively lost control of the US nuclear arsenal. The situation deteriorated so much that during his final two years in office, Eisenhower asked repeatedly for an audience with the head of Strategic Air Command to learn what America's nuclear retaliatory plan was. What he finally learned in 1960, his final year in office, horrified him: half of the Northern Hemisphere would be obliterated.

If a revered military hero such as Eisenhower could not control America's nuclear arsenal, nor get a straight answer from the Pentagon, how on earth could Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, or Nixon regarding comparable matters?

Secrecy, wealth and independence add up to power. Through the years, the national security state has gained access to the world's most sophisticated technology, sealed off millions of acres of land from public access or scrutiny, acquired unlimited snooping ability with US borders and beyond, conducted overt or clandestine actions against other nations, and prosecuted wars without serious media scrutiny. Domestically, it maintains influence over elected officials and communities hoping for some of the billions of defense dollars.

Deception is the key element of warfare, and when winning is all that matters, the conventional morality held by ordinary people becomes an impediment. When taken together, the examples of official duplicity form a nearly single totality. They include such choice morsels as the phony war crisis of 1948, the fabricated missile gap claimed by the air force during the 1950s, the carefully managed events leading to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution...

The secrecy stems from a pervasive and fundamental element of life in our world, that those who are at the top of the heap will always take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the status quo.

[S]keptics often ask, "Do you really think the government could hide something like this for so long?" The question itself reflects ignorance of the reality that secrecy is a way of life in the National Security State. Actually though, the answer is yes, and no.

Yes, in that cover-ups are standard operating procedure, frequently unknown to the public for decades, becoming public knowledge by a mere roll of the dice. But also no, in that ... information has leaked out from the very beginning. It is impossible to shut the lid completely. The key lies in neutralizing and discrediting unwelcomed information, sometimes through official denial, other times through proxies in the media.

[E]vidence [of the true nature of the nature of National Security State and how it really operates] derived from a grass roots level is unlikely to survive its inevitable conflict with official culture, [created by COINTELPRO]. [Richard Dolan, UFOs and the National Security State]

Now, even though I know I am little more than a David against the Goliath of the well-funded arms of the National Security State, such as the many diverse and often contradictory sources of information and disinformation, including the mainstream media, many alternative media sources, so-called "Truth seeking groups" of all kinds, so-called New Age and Alternative writers and Impresarios of all shapes and sizes, (most of whom are COINTELPRO bogus organizations), I will continue to point out what can be observed if your eyes are open and your neurons are firing, and what can be asserted with some certainty based on collections of evidence, both material and circumstantial. Having said that, let me ask this: If there is such a thing as a plausible lie, is it not also possible that there might be such a thing as an implausible truth?

Using Canup's example: Suppose that tomorrow when you walk out of your house, an alien spacecraft lands in front of you. Aliens get out and assault you, leaving physical traces. Next, imagine that this is not a hallucination, it is not dream; it really happens. You are now in possession of an implausible truth. What chance is there of you being able to convince anyone else of what happened to you? You know it is the truth, but no one will believe you. And the root of the problem is the fact that truth generally has a feeling of reality to it. However, that feeling of reality which makes truth generally plausible is NOT the same thing as the truth itself. Others who have not experienced aliens landing and assaulting them do not have the same feeling of reality about what you are telling them. If everyone else had experienced a similar event, with the attendant feeling of reality, the truth of that event would be accepted immediately.

In short, people believe what is "familiar," or what is part of a careful, long term program of familiarization of lies that become plausible simply because they are familiar.

When science first discovered that solid matter was mostly empty space, many people reacted to this truth - this unfamiliar fact of our reality - with outrage. Debates over the "solidity" of matter and "kicking rocks" raged for years. It took a very long time, and a lot of work to gradually make others aware of this truth in order to make this "implausible" fact part of our awareness.

Learning about evil in our society, how it operates on the macro-social scale, is considered by many to be "unpleasant." They don't want to go there. It is too disturbing and even frightening. More than that, talking about these things as I am here is not familiar. To talk about evil as though it were a REAL concept is something we have been programmed to NOT do! As psychologist George Simon says:

...[W]e've been pre-programmed to believe that people only exhibit problem behaviors when they're "troubled" inside or anxious about something. We've also been taught that people aggress only when they're attacked in some way. So, even when our gut tells us that somebody is attacking us and for no good reason, we don't readily accept the notion. We usually start to wonder what's bothering the person so badly "underneath it all" that's making them act in such a disturbing way. We may even wonder what we may have said or done that "threatened" them. We almost never think that they might be fighting simply to get something, have their way, or gain the upper hand. So, instead of seeing them as merely fighting, we view them as primarily hurting in some way. [...] The legacy of Sigmund Freud's work has a lot to do with this. Freud's theories (and the theories of others who built upon his work) heavily influenced the psychology of personality for a long time. Elements of the classical theories of personality found their way into many disciplines other than psychology as well as into many of our social institutions and enterprises. [...]

The malignant impact of overgeneralizing Freud's observations about a small group of overly inhibited individuals into a broad set of assumptions about the causes of psychological ill-health in everyone cannot be overstated.[...]

We need a completely different theoretical framework if we are to truly understand, deal with, and treat the kinds of people who fight too much as opposed to those who cower or "run" too much. [George K. Simon, Jr., "In Sheep's Clothing"]

We clearly need to study this problem of macro-social evil in our world in a systematic and scientific way. And we need to get over the idea that thinking only good thoughts, thinking about happy and "nice" things is the way to good psychological health.

If physicians behaved like ethicists and failed to study diseases because they were only interested in studying questions of health, there would be no such thing as modern medicine. [...] Physicians were correct in their emphasis on studying disease above all in order to discover the causes and biological properties of illnesses, and then to understand the pathodynamics of their courses. A comprehension of the nature of a disease, and the course it runs, after all, enables the proper curative means to be elaborated and employed.[...]

The question thus arises: could some analogous modus operandi not be used to study the causes and genesis of other kinds of evil scourging human individuals, families, societies? Experience has taught the author that evil is similar to disease in nature, although possibly more complex and elusive to our understanding. [...]

Considerable moral, intellectual, and practical advantages can be gleaned from an understanding of the genesis of Evil thanks to the objectivity required to study it dispassionately. The human heritage of ethics is not destroyed by taking such an approach: it is actually strengthened because the scientific method can be utilized to confirm the basic values of moral teachings.

Understanding the nature of macro-social pathology helps us to find a healthy attitude and thus protects our minds from being controlled or poisoned by the diseased contents and influence of their propaganda.

We can only conquer this huge, contagious social cancer if we comprehend its essence and its etiological causes.

Such an understanding of the nature of the phenomena leads to the logical conclusion that the measures for healing and reordering the world today should be completely different from the ones heretofore used for solving international conflicts. It is also true that, merely having the knowledge and awareness of the phenomena of the genesis of macro-social Evil can begin healing individual humans and help their minds regain harmony. [Andrew Lobaczewski, Ph.D. Political Ponerology: The Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes]

Now, let me recommend new readers to take a look at my post on "How to Spot a COINTELPRO Agent." Keep in mind that the booklet I am quoting from there was compiled by activists from earlier days that had direct experiences where they were able to see only afterward how they had been duped and sidelined. My grandmother always said: "A smart man learns from his mistakes; a genius learns from the mistakes of others." In the case of COINTELPRO, some of those activists were smart, but not geniuses. Most of them got "taken out", and some of them literally had their lives completely destroyed because they were sincere and stubborn. The material in that booklet is priceless today because those who compiled it paid a high price to learn those things. Let's try to be geniuses here.

As Robert Canup writes, we face a particular, even monstrous, problem in our world: that most of what we know or think we know is based on plausible lies. A person who is sincere and speaks the truth really has almost no chance against a plausible liar. Yes, I know that goes against everything we have been taught from childhood in the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave," but it is all too sadly true. We have been taught that "the Truth will always win" and that "anybody who believes a lie about you wasn't your friend to begin with", and a whole host of other platitudes that actually would work in a different world: a world run by people who tell the truth!

But since our world is run by people who lie for a living, you might expect that they have set things up so that liars will always win. And that is, oh so sadly, the case.

"Our culture agrees on the signs of lying. Ask anyone how to tell if someone is lying and they will tell you that they can tell by "lack of eye contact, nervous shifting, or picking at one's clothes." Psychologist Anna Salter writes with dry humor: "This perception is so widespread I have had the fantasy that, immediately upon birth, nurses must take newborns and whisper in their ears, "Eye contact. It's a sign of truthfulness." [Anna C. Salter, Ph.D.]

The problem is, if there is a psychopath - or those with related characteropathies - who doesn't know hot to keep good eye contact when lying, they haven't been born. Eye contact is "universally known" to be a sign of truth-telling. The problem is liars will fake anything that it is possible to fake, so in reality, eye contact is absolutely NOT a sign of truth telling. Anna Salter writes:

The man in front of me is a Southern good-ole-boy, the kind of man I grew up with and like. If anything, I have a weakness for the kind of Southern male who can "Sam Ervin" you, the Southern lawyer who wears red suspenders in court along with twenty-five-year-old cowboy boots and who turns his accent up a notch when he sees the northern expert witness coming. A "northern city slicker" on the witness stand will elicit the same kind of focused interest that a deer will in hunting season. You can have some very long days in court with men who wear red suspenders and start by telling you how smart you are and how simple and dumb they are.

I survey the man in front of me. I am not in court; I am in prison, and he is not an attorney but a sex offender, and he has bright eyes along with that slow, sweet drawl. He is a big man, slightly balding, and he has - I have to admit there is such a thing - an innocent face. ...

My Southern good-ole-boy certainly knows eye contact is considered a sign of truthfulness. He describes his manner in getting away with close to 100 rapes of adults and children.

The manner that I use when I was trying to convince somebody - even though I knew I was lying - I'd look them in the eye, but I wouldn't stare at them. Staring makes people uncomfortable and that tends to turn them away, so I wouldn't stare at them. But look at them in a manner that, you know, "look at this innocent face. How can you believe that I would do something like that?" It helps if you have a good command of the vocabulary where you can explain yourself in a way that is easily understood. Dress nice. Use fluent hand gestures that are not attacking in any way.

It's a whole combination of things. It's not any one thing that you can do. It's a whole combination of things that your body gestures and things that say "Look, I'm telling you the truth, and I don't know what these people are trying to pull. I don't know what they're trying to prove, but I haven't done any of this. I don't know why they're doing this. You can check my records. I've got a good record. I've never been in any trouble like this. And I don't know what's going on. I'm confused."...

As if reading my thoughts, he breaks off: "You don't get this, Anna, do you?" he says. "You think that when I'm asked, "Did I do it?" that's when I lie. But I've been lying every day for the last twenty-five years."

The practiced liar: a category of liar that even experts find it difficult to detect.

Problem is, even when dealing with people who are not practiced liars, such as college students who have volunteered for a research study of lying, most observers are not as good as they think in detecting deception. The research shows consistently that most people - even most professional groups such as police and psychologists - have no better than a chance ability to detect deception. Flipping a coin would serve as well.

"If you want to deny something, make sure you've got an element of truth in it. It sounds like its true, and there are elements of it that are very true that can be checked out, and try to balance it so that it has more truth than lie, so that when it is checked out, even if the lie part does come out, there's more truth there than lie."

This man was good enough that once he got away with stomping out of court in a huff. He was accused by his sister of raping her and molesting her daughter on the same day. He played it as a preposterous charge. His sister, he told the court, had once accused his uncle of abuse. She was well known in the family for making up crazy charges like this. He said he wasn't going to put up with such nonsense and walked out. No one stopped him, and no one ever called him back. The charge just disappeared somehow. He now admits that both charges were true.

It is likeability and charm that he wields as weapons.

The double life is a powerful tactic. There is the pattern of socially responsible behavior in public that causes people to drop their guard, and to turn a deaf ear to disclosures. The ability to charm, to be likeable, to radiate sincerity and truthfulness, is crucial to the successful liar - and they practice assiduously.

"Niceness is a decision," writes Gavin De Becker in "The Gift of Fear. It is a strategy of social interaction; it is not a character trait.

Despite the decades of research that have demonstrated that people cannot reliably tell whose lying and who isn't, most people believe they can. There is something so fundamentally threatening about the notion that we cannot really know whether or not to trust someone that it is very difficult to get anyone - clinicians, citizens, even police - to take such results seriously.

I stare at the child's statement in front of me. It is a report by a social worker of a four-year-old's account of sexual abuse by her father... [excerpts of actual report not included; read the book]

I consider the report carefully. It is filled with detail. The words are a child's words, the description exact. It is clear this child knows what oral sex is. It shows no signs of coaching. But why was this report sent to me with all the personal names and identifying information removed?

This report, I learn, surfaced in the middle of a custody fight. Dad was a wealthy businessman, successful, well respected, and well liked. Mom was an inpatient in a drug unit. My heart sinks. It does not matter how realistic this report is, how many signs of credibility, how few signs of coaching: In our system of justice, lawyers are for sale. Dad's money is going to buy some very good lawyers indeed. It isn't clear that Mom has either the money or the will to oppose him. And the child: she'll be lucky to be represented at all.

I've thought many times that if I were accused of a crime, I'd rather have the better lawyer than be innocent.

But it seems that the court responds appropriately and appoints two independent psychologists to make a recommendation. Two independent chances to get it right. Two people who are not beholden to either side and who can ask for any test, even a polygraph, as part of their decision-making. Two people whose job it is to know something about deception and to sort out the true from the false.

But both psychologists opt instead for what is termed and "interactional assessment." They simply watch the father interact with his daughter, looking for signs of bonding or, conversely, fear. They believe if he abused her, she will be afraid of him; if she loves him, he is innocent. [Anna C. Salter, Ph.D., Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders]

There is no research or theory to support this approach. Sex offenders are notorious for bonding with a child and using that relationship to manipulate the child into having sex with them. In addition, a child might be afraid for very different reasons; the man may have struck her mother, but never laid a hand on her, sexually or otherwise. What justification is there for believing that one can tell from the interaction between child and alleged perpetrator whether the abuse has occurred or no?

Anna Salter stood up at a conference to challenge the "interactional assessment" approach and was silenced.

In this child's case, the alleged perpetrator is her father. Surely she loves him, even if he did what she has disclosed. He has not used violence. She does not know that there is anything wrong with what he is doing. She is four years old.

One of the evaluators notes: "Observations of father and daughter indicate a very happy, spontaneous and positive relationship."

I sigh. As if that had anything to do with anything. The fact that she loves him doesn't mean that he's innocent or guilty. Then I find something in the case file that makes me sit up straight. Of concern are the admissions by Mr. Jones that earlier in his life he had engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with three children... These were the children of the woman he was living with at the time.

I stare at the note. This psychologist knew he'd done it before - in identical circumstances. It is a damning admission and surely means the psychologist should take this latest disclosure seriously. But he does not. Mr. Jones, it seems, is too charming, too rich, too respected. Despite knowing he is an admitted child-molester, both psychologists recommend that full custody go to Dad.

And there the story ends - in most cases.

But, in this case, the father's attorney, so convinced that his client was innocent, sent him to a polygrapher. I know he thought he was innocent because he sent him to a very good polygrapher, not the one to whom an attorney would knowingly send a guilty client. This polygrapher is an unusually good interrogator and has a 98 % confession rate. He tells his clients:

Now the problem with the polygraph is that it can't tell the difference between a big lie and a little lie and I would hate, I would truly hate for you to mess up your polygraph with something little that don't amount to a hill of beans. So if there is anything, anything at all that you want to tell me before the polygraph, now's the time so we can get it out of the way.

Under these instructions, the polygrapher found that Mr. Jones had quite a few things to say:

[I'm not including most of the confessions of this man, just selected and highly edited excerpts.]

They shower together and fondle one another. Sometimes he masturbates while they are in the shower and he encourages the child to "assist," saying that this is 'educational" for her. They sleep nude together and "sometimes things happen." This man bought a vibrator for his four-year-old daughter. And so on.

All of these confessions were made BEFORE the polygraph. What is astonishing is that he fails the polygraph because he was withholding information on oral sex with his daughter.

I find a handwritten note from the polygrapher in the file. He faxed the report to the attorney for the father. It was a private polygraph, after all, requested by the father's attorney and not one required by either of the independent evaluators (though they COULD have asked for it.] Within five minutes of faxing the report, the phone rang, "I've worked with you for twenty years, "the attorney said to him. "I hope I don't have to remind you what privileged communication means."

What privileged communication means is that this report fell under attorney-client privilege and therefore was suppressed. What is means is that the father's attorney was under no requirement whatsoever to release the report to the court, and, by law, the polygrapher could not. "

What it means is that the only reports the court saw in this case were by the two psychologists who thought they could tell whether the father way lying by interviewing him and that they could tell if the child was abused by seeing if she loved her father. What it means is that, in 1996, full custody of this child went to her father where it has remained ever since.

The polygrapher, anguished by the outcome, sent the case to me after removing the real names, with the hope that I can use it for "educational purposes."

Mr. Jones was a well-respected member of the community with a crazy wife. And he was so sincere. Clearly, the child loved him dearly. Such a man is hardly likely to be a child molester, now is he? [Anna C. Salter]

Another similar case has a report about the father:

Since the father denied the allegations, it is difficult to determine the identity of the perpetrator. In support of the father's truthfulness... he was very forthright during the interview and testing procedures. For example, he acknowledged having difficulty in his sexual relations at time, and he openly admitted that he had a possible drinking problem...

Because he admitted some problems, the psychologist concluded that he would not lie about other, more serious problems! Because he admitted problems that were legal, she concluded he would not lie about activity that was illegal! That is just rationalization; the truth is that the psychologist just simply believed the lies.

One clinical evaluator noted in a report about a sexual predator that he "stayed back to close one of the doors, a very solicitous gesture that, as it turned out, is consistent with his general pattern of behavior." The report went on to describe him as "kind, thoughtful, and considerate, a person who seemed to take pleasure in helping and caring."

Instead of concluding that the man was good at creating a front, the psychologist concluded that the man was not a brutal, violent, serial rapist. Fortunately, there was considerable evidence that he was, and he was convicted. In this case, the court got it right even if the psychologist was out to lunch.

In another case, a very well known psychologist evaluated a three month old infant with bite marks all over him. Only two people had the opportunity to inflict the bite marks in the specific time frame, and they were the parents. Suspicion centered on the father. The psychologist who was asked to evaluate him reported how tenderly he wiped the infant's nose in the evaluation, how carefully he held the baby. Based on the man's behavior in the interview, she exonerated him and recommended custody remain with the parents. Two years later, he killed the infant. [From Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders by Anna C. Salter]

This is an issue that will never die. It seems impossible to convince people that private behavior cannot be predicted from public behavior. Kind, nonviolent individuals behave well in public, but so do predators, rapists, murderers, pedophiles and COINTELPRO agents who help to shape the culture in which we live. No, they weren't always called COINTELPRO, but the principle is the same. It has been used since time immemorial. The earliest written records we have are of "clappers" in the audiences of theaters in ancient Greece. What do you think the term "Greek Chorus" means? We have exactly that in the present day in the form of the mainstream media. Did you think that, with the power of the internet to reach millions of people that the "powers that be" would have ignored the necessity of installing a "Greek Chorus" on the net? "The chorus offered background and summary information to help the audience follow the performance, commented on main themes, and showed how an ideal audience might react to the drama as it was presented. They also represent the general populace of any particular story." Discussion boards are ideal formats for "Greek Choruses" as they can be vectored to "show how the ideal audience ought to react," and to "represent the general populace." In this way, the illusion can be created of a consensus when, in fact, such a consensus may not exist.

Polls are another example of Greek Choruses or Clappers.

Consider our legal system. Here you first have to ask yourself just what kind of people were in charge of the creation and shaping of our "social norms." Now sure, everybody will agree with the sayings that "you can't trust a politician," or "power corrupts" and so on, but have you ever really stopped to think about that and what it must really mean?

Most people have heard of Ted Bundy; the serial killer who was executed in Florida several years ago. Not many people are aware of the fact that Bundy was studying to become a prosecutor, and that eventually he hoped to become a judge. Those that do know that fact see it as some strangely ironic twist - an inexplicable quirk in Bundy's bizarre makeup. It never seems to occur to most people that the perfect place for a psychopathic serial killer to hide in society is as a prosecutor or a judge; but I assure you that it occurs to the Psychopaths of the world. I would estimate that about 10% of the prosecutors and judges in the United States are in fact, S.A.Ps. The ONLY difference between them and Ted Bundy is that they were able to control outward signs of their Psychopathy until they achieved their goal of being in a position of authority. [...]

John had one overriding dream; to become a judge. Here was the greatest reward possible for a psychopath: to put on the royal robes of the judiciary - to become a demigod - to have others plead to Him and beg His indulgence, to have everyone rise in awe and respect when He entered the room, for His word to literally be law, to be able to create an almost endless amount of human misery, just because He could, to punish summarily anyone who, quite correctly, displayed contempt for Him, to have the power of life and death over people, to be granted the only royal title available in the United States: "Your Honor".

How brilliant of his predecessors to slip that one past the watchful eyes of the founding fathers - who sought to establish an egalitarian society free of the mental disease of royalty. There are, he reflected, no "Your Majesties" or "Your Excellencies" in this country, but we quietly fooled everyone into accepting "Your Honors".

'John House slept soundly. In his dreams he and his kind had finally succeeded in reshaping the world into the image they wanted: the dark ages had returned. Once more the plague swept unchallenged over the country side. John could hear the voice crying out in the mud street in front of his hovel: "Bring out your dead!"

John was in his glory. This was life the way it was supposed to be. He was the new Torquemada: randomly selecting anyone who was unscarred by smallpox for a session on the rack; since anyone who had escaped disfigurement had obviously signed a pact with the devil. Here at last was an era where John and his kind could feel good by comparison: with so much misery around him John knew he was better off than those he could see dying in squalor and ignorance. John reveled in the suffering of all about him. He did what he could to make that suffering worse; no agony was so great that John House could not add to it.'

It is difficult to believe that huge parts of society have been built with the guidance of the mentally ill; but they have been. The average person is heavily invested in doing things the way Psychopaths want them done, and is unaware that the things that the S.A.Ps have them doing are psychopathic. [Robert Canup, The Socially Adept Psychopath]

Richard Dolan has pointed out that those at the top will ALWAYS take whatever measures necessary to stay at the top, and when knowledge is power, that means that they will make sure that they are in control of what people know or think they know. The sad fact is that as a society gets larger and more competitive, individuals become more anonymous and more Machiavellian. Social stratification and segregation leads to feelings of inferiority, pessimism and depression among the have-nots, and this promotes the use of "cheating strategies" in life which then makes the environment more adaptive for psychopathy in general. Such individuals may begin their lives in the lower socio-economic levels, but they often rise to the top. Psychopathic behavior seems to be on the rise because of the very nature of American capitalistic society. The great hustlers, charmers, and self-promoters in the sales fields are perfect examples of where the psychopath can thrive. The entertainment industry, the sports industry, the corporate world in a Capitalistic system, are all areas where psychopaths naturally rise to the top. Psychopaths seek power over others, it's that simple, and they gravitate to any field where there is power: medicine, law, industry, politics. It has always been that way; this is nothing new. Indeed, they comprise a very small segment of the population with an extremely large influence. It is due to this influence and the plausible lie that they can magnetize normal, decent people to follow them. They can make social conditions bad so that people feel oppressed and abused, and then they can easily blame it on someone else and agitate the people to go after and kill others based on such lies. Machiavelli discussed this sort of system plainly and openly and it has been the system of power since Cain killed Abel.

So, consider the idea that the ideas behind our social and cultural systems - including the legal system - were created by people whose agenda was to control society so that they could stay on top. And think about all the many ways they might go about doing that.

These are the same people who set up the legal system so that people would "get what they deserved".

Now, just think about that for a moment.

Imagine that you are a person at the top of the heap who knows that if you really set up a system where people got what they really deserved, you, yourself, would be instantly replaced - out the door in an instant! And so, if you are not just intent on staying on top and holding power, but cunning also, you will do everything in your power to insure that you and your kind are in charge of setting up that system, and that you remain in charge of it. You would make certain that evil was blended into the social and cultural concepts so seamlessly that nobody would ever notice.

And that is, quite literally, what happened. The individuals "at the top of the heap," who had gotten there by being the most vile and rapacious, then set about figuring out ways to deceive the masses all the while keeping their favor and adulation. They knew they had to make laws to keep order, and they knew they had to make those laws seem fair and reasonable to the masses of people or they would lose control. Losing control was the thing to be feared as anyone who has read The Prince by Machiavelli realizes.

And so, Machiavellian manipulators at the top of the heap were deeply involved in the formation of our cultural and social norms, including our legal system.

In the earliest days of this "legal system" there was a form of "justice" called "trial by ordeal". An example of trial by ordeal was holding a red hot iron to a defendant's tongue. The plausible lie used to justify this behavior was: if the defendant was telling a lie they would have a dry mouth and would be burned by the iron - while a truthful person would have a moist mouth and would be protected.

The fact is a NORMAL person who is telling the truth would most definitely have a dry mouth from fear, while a psychopath, who is incapable of feeling fear, would be the one with the moist mouth!!!

Now, just think about that for a few minutes.

(You might want to read my article on Ponerology and other articles on psychopathy, which quote extensively from several clinical psychologists on the subject of psychopathy just to get a real handle on the issue we are facing.)

Now, our current legal system is descended from "trial by ordeal" - and really isn't much different though it is much cleverer and simply not as obviously evil as that one was. You have already read a few examples above of just how the system works. As Anna Salter said, if she was accused of a crime, she would rather have a good lawyer than be innocent. That is a truly sad statement on our reality. Here's a simple way to understand our legal system, adapted from the writings of Robert Canup:

Suppose that you are on a team that is engaged in a game and you discover that:

The other team gets to make up the rules. The referee plays for the other team. One of the rules is that you are not allowed to score - the other team is at no risk Only you can be scored against.

That is precisely how our social, cultural, and legal systems operate.

The conditions of our world are designed to create the maximum chance that evil will prevail and the good people will be punished by being good and telling the truth.

Punishing normal, decent, good people involves more than just creating a social system that acts against them. The system is designed to insure that these good people are subjected to as much pain as possible for the simple fact of being good and honest. An obvious example of punishing the innocent may be found in the way the victim in a rape case is treated; their reputations are dragged through the dirt - all in the name of justice of course. Note the case quoted above, of the fellow who raped his sister and her daughter and walked out of court after accusing her of being a mental case.

The system that controls our thinking is set up like the legal system. People are taught to assume that, in any conflict, one side is lying one way, and the other is lying the other way, and people can just form opinions about which side is telling the truth. They are taught that the truth will lie somewhere between two extremes.

That is a wonderfully plausible lie.

Canup suggests that, to see the evil behind that plausible lie, we must make a different assumption: let us assume that in such cases, one side is innocent, honest, and tells the truth. It is obvious that lying does an innocent defendant no good; what lie can he tell? If he is innocent, the only lie he can tell is to falsely confess "I did it."

On the other hand, lying is nothing but good for the liar. He can declare that "I didn't do it" and accuse another of doing it; all the while the innocent person is saying "I didn't do it" and is telling the truth.

The truth - when twisted by good liars, can always make an innocent person look bad - especially if he is honest and admits that he has faults. If someone is telling the simple truth, and the other side is lying through their teeth, the basic assumption that the truth lies between the testimony of the two sides always shifts the advantage to the lying side and away from the side telling the truth. Under most circumstances, this shift put together with the fact that the truth is going to also be twisted in such a way as to bring detriment to the innocent person, results in the advantage always resting in the hands of liars.

Canup points out that, even the simple act of giving testimony under oath is useless. If a person is a liar, swearing an oath means nothing to that person. However, swearing an oath acts strongly on a serious, truthful witness. Again, the advantage is placed on the side of the liars.

Proof is a familiar concept to those used to conventional logical thinking. However what passes for proof in cultural, social, and even legal terms often bears only a superficial resemblance to what would be considered proof by those who really use their minds to think.

For example: in formal mathematics, proof rules are established - postulates are set out and a structure is built based on the postulates and the theorem. Mathematical proof is pretty much inarguable: once a proof is accepted as true it is added to the pool of known truths.

In legal proof there is a set of rules and a theory which the prosecution presents, and attempts to prove the theory by clever argumentation rather than facts. Truth is not the objective. Getting other people to believe the theory IS the objective. However, the prosecution's theory is whatever the prosecutor believes that he can get away with based on what is known about the case, or what he can PREVENT from being known. What legal 'proof' does is serve as a structure for convincing a group of people of the guilt of a person, about whom they know nothing.

There is another significant difference: Mathematical proofs are judged by experts in the particular case who are free to study any and all information about the case. Legal 'proof' is judged by people who are guaranteed to be ignorant of the case, who are only allowed to study the information presented during the formal trial, and who are not even allowed to consult the texts for what the rules say.

Our culture is so permeated with this "legal argument" system that it extends into our daily experience: the one who is the slickest at using the structure for convincing a group of people of something, is the one who is believed. Very few people take the time to obtain hard facts by carefully studying any and all information about a situation.

What we see something here that is set up to deceive people by presenting a familiar structure which, upon examination, is a sham. And again, the advantages fall to the hands of the liars.

As Canup points out, in a courtroom, juries are prohibited by law from knowing anyone involved in the trial. If the defendant is a good person who is being set up and framed, people who know him well and who have had much opportunity to interact with him over a long period of time and observe him would have much more trouble accepting lies told about him. If the jurors knew the prosecutor and knew him to be a bullying liar, they might have trouble believing the lies he was telling. If the jurors knew the defendant, and know him to be a trouble making villain they might be more likely to convict him.

By the same standards, if a person who is guilty is accused of a crime that he DID commit, as we have seen above, it is all too easy to get off. Corrupt lawyers, ignorant "experts," and blind judges let guilty people literally get away with murder all the time.

But, none of the conditions conducive to finding the TRUTH prevail in a courtroom even if we have been brainwashed to think that we have the "best legal system in the world." It is not much different than "Trial by Ordeal," only the hot poker has been replaced by a system that works as effectively to the advantage of liars.

Here then we see the worst feature of the law: it is designed to make the world safe for evil people. In effect the law serves to take the horns away from the bulls, while leaving the lions their teeth and claws. Massive, overwhelming, advantage is placed in the hands of liars. Indeed, without the legal system insuring their safety, the world would be a much more difficult place for evil people.

Everyone knows somewhere deep inside, that there is something not right about our world. In fact, at the present moment, it could hardly be worse. But most people spend their lives avoiding that fact at all cost. The brutal truth is that the our social, cultural, and legal systems are all about making people helpless then hammering them without mercy - all the while involving everyone in the illusion that right prevails.

This is an issue that will never die. It seems impossible to convince people that private behavior cannot be predicted from public behavior. Kind, nonviolent individuals behave well in public, but so do predators, rapists, murderers, pedophiles, and COINTELPRO agents who operate largely to shape and vector "social norms," or "official culture."