“The Wave” and the Cult Mindset

Human beings — especially Americans these days — don’t seem to understand how susceptible we are to group think.   A cult mindset can be very contagious if it is left unchecked.  Cults grow where people feel a sense of isolation, when they don’t ask hard questions, and when they are weak on discernment.  Below is a short movie called “The Wave.”  It’s based on actual events at a high school during the 1960’s.  It started with a teacher-supervised class experiment in group think, but it took on an ominous life of its own.

If you want to delve into the background, click here to look over the website www.thewavehome.com which was put together by the original participants. Here is an excerpt from the website:

In spring 1967, in Palo Alto, California, history teacher Ron Jones conducted an experiment with his class of 15-year-olds to sample the experience of the attraction and rise of the Nazis in Germany before World War II.  In a matter of days the experiment began to get out of control, as those attracted to the movement became aggressive zealots and the rigid rules invited confusion and chaos.  This story has attracted considerable attention over the years through films, books, plays and musicals, and verges on urban legend.  It serves as a teaching tool, to facilitate discussion of those uncomfortable topics of history, human nature, psychology, group behavior, intolerance and hate.

As an aside, I don’t want anyone to get too put off when they discover that Norman Lear produced this 1981 TV movie.  That’s fascinating, of course, because Lear is about as far left/statist as one can get in Hollywood.  And yet “The Wave” is an important story with urgent lessons for all of us. There seems to be a pattern among those who claimed to fight for independent thought in earlier eras, but who push political correctness so hard today. One can only wonder if the hijacking of stories and images warning against totalitarianism serve only to promote their power agendas of today.

Disney’s New Maleficent Still Works to Separate Men and Women

If you don’t mind spoilers, read my review of the recently released movie Maleficent here in The Federalist, “Maleficent: Once Upon a Screed.”

The movie is supposed to be a reinvention of the 1959 Disney classic Sleeping Beauty — from the witch Maleficent’s point of view. But something essential to the original allegory is completely missing from this hash-up.  That would be the determination of Prince Phillip to unite with Princess Aurora despite the forces of evil — personified by the fearsome witch Maleficent — that tried so hard to separate them.  That struggle is what made the original story so enchanting and captivating.  The new spin portrays Maleficent as a sympathetic and good-hearted fairy gone bad and preaches the tagline:  “Evil is Complicated.” (See the trailer above.)  But, in the end, this “new” propagandized Maleficent  ultimately has the same old agenda: the separation of men and women.  Only this time, you’re not supposed to notice.

 

Reclaim Your Voice, “Singing in the Rain:” Freedom Through Song Part III

Enforcement of political correctness really amounts to the theft of our voices.   PC creates a climate of fear that causes a lot of folks to remain silent, or to parrot back the PC line.  This in turn feeds the illusion of public opinion approval.  The dictators are under the spotlights, center stage, promoting their lies.  They are completely invested in their own power, so they use others — behind the curtain — to comply with their agendas.  In the process they either squash or co-opt the talents and thoughts of others.  Watch this classic clip from the 1952 movie Singing in the Rain to see something of a metaphor for  this sort of PC bullying.

[Read more…]

The Softer Side of Show Trials, brought to you by your Friends at Mozilla

When Hollywood folks think of show trials, they automatically relive the McCarthy hearings of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee back in the 1950s.  When a student of Russian history hears the term, she’s apt to think about Stalin’s Show Trials of the 1930’s.  But let’s not go there, right?  Those were nasty affairs that usually ended with executions after perfunctory trials that declared the defendants “enemies of the people.”

There’s a more “civilized and softer” side to the idea of show trials, which was brought to us this week by Mozilla.  It means that when someone carries a belief in his heart that doesn’t meet the approval of the preachers of political correctness, he’s merely forced to resign from his job.  In this case, the person supported the idea — shocking! — that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  It doesn’t matter that he kept quiet about his beliefs, the thought reformers made a point of “outing” him for his thought crimes. That’s what happened to Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla.  We know he contributed towards Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot measure that defined marriage traditionally.  But we don’t technically know how Eich voted on it because we all still technically have the right to a secret ballot.  Or are you beginning to wonder?

[Read more…]