My Interview with Sandy Rios about Mass Delusion

I sat down recently with radio host Sandy Rios to talk about propaganda, political correctness, and the mass delusion that seems to be enveloping our society.  Click here for the podcast from American Family Radio.  Sandy had several questions for me about my Federalist article “How to Escape the Age of Mass Delusion.

We talked about how political correctness creates a spiral of silence that ends up separating people as never before.  PC not only squashes civil discourse, but creates a strange and rigid polarization in society that spawns destructive caricatures of others.  As someone who used to identify on the Left, I understand well what a mindset that stereotypes others can do to people’s ability to connect. The point of this kind of propaganda is to centralize power by first dividing people, quite often by demonizing those who don’t subscribe to the narrative.  It breaks up personal relationships.  And this allows those wielding power to control who says what to whom, and to dictate who relates to whom. People who obey the narrative are allowed to partake of society, while those who don’t subscribe to the narrative end up as “nonpersons.”  This taps into my theme that personal relationships are the ultimate source of human power.  Ground zero for functioning relationships is the family unit.  That’s exactly why the family is the prime target for destruction by today’s forces of political correctness.

PC corrupts the language, and when the language is corrupted, thought processes become corrupted as well, and people are more easily manipulated into mindless conformity.  And when the masses can be mobilized to support the agendas of power elites, things never end well for human dignity.  History has taught us this lesson time and again.

We have no choice but to resist.  Ultimately, this is an asymmetric war that has to be fought persistently, one-on-one, and face-to-face by putting a human face on what we believe. By engaging with those we know in daily life, we can re-create the ripple effect of true community that political correctness is designed to destroy.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Breaking the Mass Delusion Machine

Solitary confinement cell

At some point the social separation enforced by political correctness begins to feel a bit like solitary confinement when it comes to expressing our thoughts. That should give us a hint about why we are susceptible to mass delusion.  We are social animals and feeling isolated from others has unhealthy effects on our minds.  It causes dysfunction in how we relate to others.  Separation demoralizes and harms individuals and communities alike.  But when we feel happily connected, our morale is boosted.

Ten Key Ways to Break the Mass Delusion Machine” is the headline of my piece in The Federalist yesterday.  It was a follow up to my lengthier article, “How to Escape the Age of Mass Delusion,” an essay that Rush Limbaugh discussed at length during his June 15 show.  I hope you’ll take a look because it’s a sort of “how to” essay.

My article expands on these ten 10 key points to consider in how to break through that machine:

1.      Drop political correctness and propaganda compliance.

2.     Realize that personal relationships are the target of PC.

3.     Human Separation is the end result of PC.

4.     Fear fuels the PC machine.

5.     PC is oiled by mass ignorance.

6.     Coerced silence kills democracy.

7.     Resistance is the only antidote.

8.     A single person has immense power.

9.     “Suprising validators” are like superpowers in resistance.

10.   Let’s get out and engage.

We’re living in an era of extreme social and political polarization.  People are more loath than ever to engage with others who might have opposing views.  People who hold views that are not politically correct are self-censoring in record numbers.  This means we are separated from one another as never before in terms of exchanging our sincere thoughts and opinions on how we see the world.  This is a really dysfunctional way for a society to operate. Political correctness fuels this separation by manipulating the primal human fear of being isolated and rejected from others.   Ironic, isn’t it?  We try to avoid isolation by silencing ourselves, which only causes us to paint ourselves further into a corner of solitary confinement.

Our Gordian Knot, Part V

Ben Carson took to the streets of Harlem recently just to talk to people in his own quiet and unassuming way.

He spoke about the tragedy of lost youth and broken homes and how important it is to take a close look at the causes of problems in order to find solutions. Government dependency is not a solution, but a palliative measure that perpetuates the problems.  We should all be able to see by now that broken families are the main source of this misery. Real freedom and happiness only comes about through the sense of connection people get from strong personal relationships. And those kinds of relationships depend upon the institution of family that passes on a sense of stability and purpose to children.  Without strong families, there can be no strong communities, and people end up at sea, alienated and separated, which makes them ripe for manipulation by social experimenters.

Many shunned Carson as an “Uncle Tom,” which is exactly what we’re told to do by the dictators of political correctness.  Such propagandists never really explain the causes of poverty, preferring to claim it exists only as a result of racism, which is a very convenient way of breeding resentment, and, ironically, more poverty.  For them, family breakdown has nothing to do with anything.  (In fact, President Lyndon Johnson famously noted that his policies would “have them n—-rs voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”)

However, Dr. Carson was able to connect with those who were able to listen. When we speak one-on-one and face-to-face with others, we bypass the noise of media technology.    It was this flesh-and-blood connection that caused others in Harlem to tell Carson “We love you.”  One said: “I’m a lifelong Democrat. I love you.” In fact, a lot of folks in this polarized society will always assume the “other side” is the enemy, until someone they identify with puts a human face on the Truth they’ve always known in their hearts.

Most of the battle is just about showing up.  Dr. Carson showed up with goodwill and outreach that has the power to slice through the tangle of misperceptions and resentment people develop when they are polarized and isolated from other identity groups of human beings.

I’m glad Dr. Carson continues to offer prescriptions, including yesterday’s op-ed in USA Today.

Years ago, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Jack Kemp reached out and made some inroads with the philosophy that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  But his policies went by the wayside except for a few other enterprising folks like Bob Woodson who heads the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.

Ultimately, it’s up to each one of us as individuals to resurrect such efforts and to cut through the cultural mess we are in.   This is a battle that is going to have to be fought one on one, in our personal lives — through conversations in the “hidden sphere.”

Our Gordian Knot, Part IV

A panel at the FDR memorial in Washington, D. C.

In summary, the Gordian Knot of totalitarianism contains at least three essential ingredients:  family breakdown, censorship, and ignorance.

Family breakdown leads to community breakdown, and that leads to a sense of alienation and dependency.  That, in turn, results in the sort of unrest we’ve recently seen in places like Ferguson and Baltimore.

Censorship is inherent in political correctness, but it’s coming down the pike full force if Congress enacts the Orwellian-named “Equality Act.”  The purpose of censorship of that sort is to inhibit communication among individuals and therefore obstruct autonomous personal relationships.  It sows distrust and fear and helps build a surveillance state.

Ignorance is cultivated first through the erosion of family bonds and community bonds because this separation destabilizes a person’s sense of self and makes it difficult to connect the dots about reality in the world around us.  It gets worse as the forces of this destabilization promote more ignorance by throwing knowledge of the historical record down the memory hole.  At that stage of ignorance, fewer and fewer have a clue as to how propaganda works or how we are being manipulated.

At the end of the day, in such a regime only a small clique of rulers dictate who may say what to whom and who may relate to whom.  As described in the panel illustrated at the FDR Memorial pictured here, these are folks who “seek to establish a system of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers.”

Unfortunately, that’s the goal of the agendas that are built into this Gordian Knot:  control of all personal relationships.  Those who are working to build this dystopia might call it a “new order.”  They might call it a “transformation.”  They can call it whatever they like.  But it is definitely not new and definitely not an order.  It’s just an ancient  divide-and-conquer scheme based on the sin of human pride and power mongering.  “Order” turns out to be something like the inner workings of a clock in which people are simply cogs in a machine and there is no way out.

It’s same old, same old.  And history has shown that it never ends well.  We can only slice through it from the bottom up.  Through individuals who share their knowledge of the truth, speaking in trust and developing real friendship with others.  This creates just the sort of ripple effect that family breakdown and censorship and ignorance are meant to prevent.  It creates the ripple effect that can free us.  Self-cocooning with like-minded folks is a trap.  There is no media or pop culture or academia to help out with this.  Those forces are currently all tied up in the Gordian Knot. It’s now an asymmetric war in which we must all invest in the ripple effect of one-on-one communication.

Our Gordian Knot

“Alexander Cuts the Gordian Knot” by Jean-Simone Berthelemy, 18th c.

A complex problem is sometimes referred to as a Gordian Knot. You may know the Greek legend or myth in which an oracle prophesied that anyone who could undo the complex and intricate knot tied by King Gordius of Phrygia would rule all of Asia.   Many tried and failed.  But when Alexander the Great was confronted with it, he didn’t bother with convention.  Legend has it that he stepped back and just sliced right through the knot with his sword. We sometimes call this kind of solution “thinking outside the box.”

I ponder this story as I consider how crazy and complicated our modern problems have become.

In my teen years at school we used to refer to the news as “current events.”  Homework sometimes included looking at a newspaper or a network news program.  Then there’d be a report to the class.

Fast forward to today and things are moving so fast and furious in unpredictable directions that “current events” seems an antiquated term.  We have layers upon layers of crises that have congealed into a problem so humongous that it confronts us like a complex Gordian knot of cosmic proportions. How can the damage ever be undone? The past month alone contains enough angst and lunacy to last generations. We’ve seen the expose of Planned Parenthood’s racket in trafficking organs from aborted children, with graphic videos that give us a fresh perspective on the horrors and sorrows of abortion.  Then we have the transgender hype being fed to us 24/7 by Hollywood and the media, with a ramped up campaign to push gender confusion hard onto school children.

And now that the Supreme Court has legally abolished marriage as a male-female institution, we are about to see the biggest piece of censorship legislation ever. It pretends to be an anti-discrimination bill and goes by the name “Equality Act.”  The idea is to mete out punishment to anyone who doesn’t get with the agenda to re-program en masse our language and our thoughts.  In particular, it aims to re-design everyone’s thoughts about personal relationships. That’s because ultimately all personal relationships emanate from organic marriage.  How so? you may ask. Because that’s the union that produces citizens who build communities in which other personal relationships are spawned.  Destabilize marriage and you’ve destabilized the basis for functioning families.  Without functioning, autonomous families, we can’t have functioning and self-reliant communities.  In the end, the State wins big.

But the landscape is becoming littered with more and more rabbit holes being dug on a daily basis by our government: data-mining, the replacement of personal medical care with medicine-by-bureaucracy, debilitating multi-trillion dollar debt, the cultivation of ignorance in the schools through enforced conformity by programs such as Common Core, the non-stop attacks on religion.

On the international scene, it’s just as much a Twilight Zone.  We have the Obama Administration’s weird Iran deal that puts the world closer to war. At the same time, the White House turns a blind eye to the mass killings of Christians in the Middle East.  The cult of ISIS marches on to replace the Rule of Law with Sharia Law. In the meantime, the Administration is intent on force-feeding the gay agenda on a global scale, including to under developed countries like Kenya where he lectured the leadership last month. The list goes on and on and on.

That, in a nutshell, is our Gordian Knot.  To be continued . . .

Fetish Celebration and Baby Organ Harvesting Go Hand in Hand: Both Represent Social Decay

The media and Hollywood do little but feed and cultivate attitudes of self-absorption.  Academics also foster self-absorption in their college students who now can’t read literary classics because the content is too “triggering” for their tender emotions.  We should ask: How on earth can people have real relationships or establish any kind of true community if everyone is so obsessed with their own delicate sensibilities?  The answer is: we can’t.

Healthy personal relationships need a foundation of common reality and common language through which people can communicate.  Most of all, they need a common belief that there is inherent worth and dignity in all human beings, not just themselves.

So as more folks sink deeper into believing life is all about them, they are more liable to end up like Bruce Jenner: obsessed by the urge to project an imagined persona everywhere and eager to suck up whatever oxygen might be in any given room. Or like abortionists who must callous their souls  in order to  live day  to day.

As the Arthur Ashe award in honor of Jenner’s gender transition proved the other night, we seem close to hitting rock bottom.  Turning one’s fetish into a cause celebre might be a nervy thing to do, but it doesn’t resemble the virtue we’ve traditionally called “courage.” All the less so because of the heaping helpings of adulation, support, doting, protection, fawning, and heavy shielding the media and special handlers have been giving Jenner for doing so.

In fact, nary a word has been spoken about Bruce Jenner’s fault in a February car crash that killed a woman and left several others injured.  (Though one of the drivers involved has publicly pointed out that Jenner’s lack of personal responsibility made him ill suited for the award.)

Against this scenario of craven self-worship and self-obsession, it shouldn’t surprise us that a top abortionist and director at Planned Parenthood would brag about harvesting organs from unborn children.  Deborah Nucatola told undercover associates of the Center for Medical Progress how she personally goes about this with babies up to 24 weeks gestation.  She was videotaped saying:

“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

It’s a ghoulish business that shocks people of conscience.  But we live less and less in a society that respects and understands the value of conscience.  Instead, Planned Parenthood reflects the attitude of Dr. Josef Mengele who conducted experiments on prisoners in Nazi Germany.  And, of course, of its founder Margaret Sanger who was a full blown eugenics enthusiast whose counsel the Nazis sought in the 1930’s.

How did our culture get to this place?  I think, in part, by accepting the antiquated notion of “modernity” or “progress” as though it is something enlightened.  Using abortion as a means of sexual “liberation” only serves to numb us, to separate ourselves from the humanity of others.  There’s no room for true human connection in such putrefied places devoid of human worth.

 

The Supreme Court’s Diktat on Marriage

Wedding in Delhi

I was on vacation all last week.  Thankfully, I was able to avoid the internet most of the time.  I heard about the Supreme Court’s edict on marriage in passing, during a layover at JFK Airport yesterday.

Also yesterday, the Federalist published my article “Fifteen Reasons Why Marriage Equality is about Neither Marriage Nor Equality.”  It’s my little compendium of overlooked realities and my expectations for what the future holds.  In short, we can expect the State to meddle a lot more heavily in all of our personal relationships as a result of this ruling.

No doubt the Court’s action is a major watershed moment in the transformation of American law. But for those of us who have been pondering the same sex marriage trend line for about 20 years, this whimsical ruling comes as no surprise.

That’s not only because of the abuses of power by the Judicial branch (especially the corrupt nature of Justice Kennedy and similar infections in Justice Roberts) but mostly because there’s been too much brokenness in society — all around us — to sustain laws that protect family stability. Consider how Roe v. Wade dictated to all of us that the State must regard all unborn children as completely non-human.  This knowledge alone doubtless has damaged the psyches of many children growing up post-Roe.  Consider also how no-fault divorce allows children’s homes to be busted up at whim, forcing them to do the shuttling, forcing them to put up or shut up.  And consider how the epidemic of fatherlessness has broken the lives of youth.  With artificial reproductive technologies and same sex marriage, the law can now impose by design both fatherlessness and motherlessness on children.  In the end, it looks and feels not only like a war waged against the intact, organic family, but also against all personal relationships.  After all, the family is the default starting point for building true community.

All of these developments have created a heightened sense of separation anxiety and profound loneliness in society.  K12 and college education have piled on, saturating us with political correctness and the cultivation of ignorance, which further prevents anyone from building relationships that might help them learn how to navigate through all of this confusion.  This has softened the ground for the social engineering that’s been taking place under the convenient mask of “marriage equality.”  We really need first to look with fresh eyes at all of the dismantling and machinations that lay behind us before we can meet the challenges ahead.  The task is daunting, but it all comes with the territory of our human condition.  (I hope to write more on this in the future.)

Let’s also not forget that central planners have always targeted the organic family.  Utopians regard family bonds of loyalty as a thorn in their side and an obstacle to building a centralized state.  Totalitarians always demand state loyalty above any other kind. This may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true.  History is filled with examples.

So, at the end of my “15 Reasons” piece linked above, I end with the reasonable question:  “What will the authorities decide to do to dissenters?”   We should persist in asking them this question directly, as much as possible.

Mind Rape and Mass Delusion

Yesterday I had an article in the Federalist in which I explore some of the “hows” and the “whys” of the current cultural mess we are in.  It’s titled “How to Escape the Age of Mass Delusion.”   In it I quote at length from Joost Meerloo’s book “The Rape of the Mind,” which I discussed in a previous post, and which I would love to see widely read today.

No doubt you’ve noticed that we are deeply into a phase of “transformation” in which we are being told to step off of the solid ground of reality and take ourselves for a little walk through a large pool of quicksand.  The Bruce-Jenner-as-a-woman stunt is the latest signpost in our journey into the Twilight Zone. And not because Jenner says he wishes to be called “Caitlyn” or because he tells us he is a woman.  We generally all agree that he can say whatever he wishes however he wishes and dress as he wishes. The fact is that this has far less to do Bruce Jenner than it has to do with all the rest of us.  What’s going on here is a very hard sell of Anti-Reality by a few power elites who seem to control the media, Hollywood, and what passes for universities these days.

The problem is that Americans let their guard down and weren’t paying enough attention while the groundwork was being laid for this insanity. And once we are persuaded en masse — through threat of social punishment — to buy into the notion that Jenner is a woman, we have agreed as a society to descend into that rabbit hole.  This is a perfect trial balloon that shows how easily we can be manipulated to go along with just about anything. Not good. Such stunts amount to attempts at mind rape.  And we must resist.   In the article I note that love and laughter are the best antidotes to delusion.  Resistance involves outreach.  It means cultivating strong and healthy relationships and speaking truth in love.

I hope you get a chance to read my essay and share it.  Here’s an excerpt:

The whole image of such mass delusion in America is surrealistic, especially to comfortably insulated Americans who believe our first freedoms could never really be thrown away in the face of such a full-frontal, PC-induced attack. Most cannot grasp that such mobs are mentally detached from reality. And participants in the mob action cannot comprehend that they are actually cutting off their own freedom of expression, as well as everybody else’s.

Why would anyone want to build such a culture of coercion? In a word, power. “Equality” is not the reason for what is happening with such mobs. It is the pretext for what they are doing. Like all such deceptions, its sole purpose is as a vehicle to transfer power from individuals to an increasingly centralized state. The fuel, as usual, is the emotional blackmail of people of goodwill, the uses of mass mobilization to exploit that goodwill, then, finally, to render all such goodwill meaningless.

War on Free Speech is about to Get a Lot Worse

A deserted “Speakers’ Corner”

Today I write in the Federalist about the next phase of the LGBT agenda: “LGBT Activists Arm for Further War on Free Speech.”  Assuming the Supreme Court signs on to the notion of “marriage equality” in June, we can expect an all-out war against free expression that will come to us in the guise of anti-discrimination law.

There’s nothing new about the urge to accumulate and centralize power.  It’s an ancient urge with its source in the sin of pride and it requires the old divide-and-conquer routine that involves restricting communication between people.  People have been dealing with it – and accommodating it – for millennia.  So it shouldn’t surprise us that those pushing hardest for the right to gag Americans are well-heeled hedge fund managers such as billionaire Paul Singer.  Such things are always about more power for the powerful.  In this case, LGBT rights serves as sheep’s clothing.  The new PAC intended to get us herded together is called the American Unity Fund.  And its intended campaign goes by the Orwellian name “Freedom for All Americans.”

The laws they propose would neutralize any voice of opposition to the LGBT agenda, which means the cultivation of groupthink, particularly within conservative and evangelical circles.  The net effect of the forced marginalization of dissent will be much more aggressive policing of speech in the workplace, schools, businesses, and public squares across America. But it’s much bigger than the notion of gay rights.  In the end, we get coercive thought reform and collectivism across the board in America.   Much of this has already taken place in Canada, which legalized same sex marriage ten years ago.

I also commend to you two other related articles in today’s Federalist.  Luma Simms writes brilliantly about the meaning of religious freedom and whether or not it can exist in a nation that has lost its moral moorings:  “Can We Have Religious Liberty in Modern America?”  And Robert Tracinski offers a warning to Ireland which is about to have a plebiscite on same sex marriage:  “Ireland: Look to America’s Cautionary Tale on Gay Marriage.”

 

Tyrants Basically Hate Friendship

Ancient City of Aleppo before Civil War

Tyrants and bullies always meddle in happy and healthy relationships in order to destroy them.  Power mongers have always abhored happiness and goodwill.  You’ll find this on every level — from totalitarian dictators right on down to the petty mean girls in a middle school cafeteria.  Relationships are the primary source of power.   And wherever true friendship flourishes, human beings are not so easily exploited by outside influences. This is exactly why totalitarian programs and regimes have always had a keen interest in the extermination of one-on-one friendship – or any personal relationships they cannot regulate and control.

I thought about this the other day when I listened to Melkite Archbishop Jeanbart of Aleppo talk about the devastation of Aleppo and the dire situation for Christians there and throughout Syria. Christians of Aleppo have been leaving in droves since ISIS started fighting government forces there in 2012.  (Just to give you a taste of what’s going on, read the travel advisory from wikitravel. In part it states: “If in Syria, the best advice is to GET OUT.”)  The brutality and bloodshed have been merciless.  And Aleppo — once a magnificent city — is now thoroughly scarred by the fighting. The accompanying photos give a small idea of the contrast before and after.

ISIS attacked the compound of the Armenian Church of 40 Martyrs in Aleppo.

The archbishop spoke about relations between the Christians and Muslims of Aleppo before the Civil War.  Life was good, relations were friendly and people lived in peace.  Then, ISIS injected into the culture a certain “mentality” as it practiced its senseless murder and destruction.   It is a mentality of separation, division, hatred, and violence that has destroyed the co-existence of different religious groups.

ISIS is in the business of sowing ill will and poisoning any chance of trust among peoples because no one in their right mind would ever choose to live voluntarily under such a regime.  Its power can only come about through brute force.  Christians in Aleppo — and all civilians — report feeling safest when in government-controlled areas, not ISIS controlled areas.  So even though President Assad is considered a brutal tyrant among many in the West, many who are personally living through the hell in today’s Syria, including Christians, tend to feel that Assad is at least the best of a sorry lot.

In any case, what we are seeing now in Syria and throughout the Middle East is the recurrence of conditions that promote genocide.  And it’s probably fair to say the recurrence of genocide itself. As we ponder this, we should remember that the conditions that promote genocide always involve propaganda that sows ill will and the demonization of a people.  We see it in the rise of anti-Semitism. And we see it as the Western press promotes a strong anti-Christian bias which also fuels these conditions.  And when the mass media goes along with such things, you get a death spiral.  Worse, leaders in the West who say little and do less about it all fan the flames through their indifference.  This toleration and lack of condemnation of the violence sends a clear signal to the perpetrators that they can get away with as much murder and mayhem as they like.

Indeed, ISIS is doing to Christians just as the Ottomans did to Armenians as they embarked on that genocide that murdered 1.5 million a hundred years ago.  I wrote about this in my April 24 Weekly Standard article “Genocide begins with Groupthink.”  So it fascinated me to hear the Archbishop opine that what we are seeing now with the rise of ISIS looks very much like a re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire.

It’s especially sad to reflect on the fact that there has been very little social progress over the past 50 years.  Actually, it’s been an era of great social regression.   Our best hope is for people of goodwill to remember the link between freedom and friendship, and to persist in planting the seeds of both.