Everyone enjoys a good story. Whether it is a novel, music, or TV shows and movies, consuming fiction is a true American pastime. Tales of intrigue, episodes filled with dramatic moments, and comedic incidents abound in the realm of adult make-believe. What is almost never mentioned is how such a powerful form of media has been regularly used to push the acceptance of ideas that would normally be rejected by the population; one particularly insidious methodology used by propagandists is known as Predictive Programming.
Have you ever noticed how small talk will commonly come around to different forms of entertainment? Specific tastes in reality shows is pretty common where normal folk chat about the fanciful goings-on of other people who themselves pretend to be genuine when they are, in fact, still acting out their roles upon the stage. The distinction of what is real and what is fake is so unbelievably blurred that the mainline public (or at least significant portions of it) have a real tough time telling the difference. Notice, for instance, just how much Hollywood “celebrities” are revered for the gods they seem to be. They are utterly worshipped (especially by their fans), as if an entire career doing nothing but pretending all day is worthy of being considered a hero(ine) of some sort.
In the Soviet Union, as well as throughout other periods of history, there was the notion of “culture creation,” or even the “culture creation industry.” This was the idea that different forms of media (such as books, adverts, magazines, music, fashion, and so on) can be used, either in a mutually exclusive manner, or (preferably) synergistically, to push a specific worldview. For instance, science fiction, whose setting is in the future, prepares the mind ahead of time by incorporating technology (that is soon to be used in real life) into the plot. This produces an appearance of natural “progress,” as well as a feeling of inevitability, when such technologies are eventually manifested in reality. Culture creation is, essentially, Establishment propaganda.
As I mentioned in my most recent documentary Jamming Culture – Creating Guerrilla Media, “Predictive programming is a subtle form of psychological conditioning provided by the media to acquaint the public with planned societal changes that are to be implemented by our leaders. If and when these changes are put through, the public will already be familiar with them and will accept them as natural progressions, thus lessening any possible resistance to it.” What this means is that human beings are being experimented upon with very sophisticated mind manipulation techniques that aim to sublimate cognitive processes to whatever the Establishment propagandists want the public to accept. Obviously, the implications of this are staggering, for it suggests that at the very least, some of what we think of as our own thoughts are not ours to begin with in the first place; the further implications for individual autonomy and even the use of free will are also brought into serious question.
The father of public relations, Edward Bernays, wrote in chapter 1 of his magnum opus Propaganda, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society….[w]e are governed, our mind molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of….[w]e are dominated by the relatively small number of persons[,] who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses…[i]t is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.” [emphasis mine] So, the man whose very profession involved advertising for the fluoridation of public water supplies as well as promulgating the notion that women should smoke cigarettes because they are “torches of liberty,” truly understood the dynamics of what was going on here.
Herbert Krugman, who in 1969 researched the physiological effects of television viewing, found “through repeated trials…that within 30 seconds, the brain waves switched from predominately beta waves, indicating alert and conscious attention, to predominately alpha waves, indicating an unfocused, receptive lack of attention: the state of aimless fantasy and daydreaming below the threshold of consciousness.” Interestingly, when the subject began reading again, the beta waves returned. Krugman also discovered that, “the brain’s left hemisphere, which processes information logically and analytically, turns out while the person is watching TV.” So what is happening is that the television set is literally putting people into a dream state.
In addition to Krugman’s findings, you can also see how fiction, especially high drama, is most effective through television and movies. So-called “entertainment” bills itself as something relatively harmless, which in effect lowers your guard. Once that happens, you begin to identify with a major character and sympathize with their actions, even if they conflict with your own morality. Generally speaking, the males identify with the lead male protagonist and vice versa; ever wonder why it’s such a common trend in stories that there are the two lead male and female characters? It is usually because they are the role models for how you should act in a given number of situations, regardless of whether you approve of it or not. You are not aware that you are being downloaded through emotive sequences that deliberately manipulate your psyche, instead of being presented with logical ones that lay out facts and arguments.
One technique that is used commonly in Predictive Programming are passing comments by the characters. They could be discussing a homicide case, what to order for their dinner date, or what their next move should be. One of them will give a passing comment about an otherwise unrelated yet emotionally charged topic (such as climate change, gay marriage, partisan politics, and so on). Sometimes one of the other characters will serve as a foil (a contrast to the original comments), but even when that happens, it’s usually something that in real life is a non-issue; thus, through fiction, a topic of no significance suddenly takes on new importance (and the corollary to this is that truly important matters are utterly ignored).
Just as getting the audience emotionally riled up over trivial matters is essential, pacification towards things that actually affect their own lives is crucial as well. People who personally identify with their chosen corporate sports teams do so with a sense of tribal allegiance. Of course this is false, for they are not participating in their destiny with others, but are merely spectators, observing action from the fringes of the field of play. It is not uncommon to see dedicated sports fans being disenfranchised with other spheres of their own lives, where they have no control and are utterly helpless and trapped. Time is a key aspect of control; the time that is spent on indoctrination is time not spent on thinking, and eventually, on liberation.
In order to get around the effects of predictive programming, there are some options available to you. One is to simply to never watch television or movies ever again. Another is to minimize the amount of what you do watch (one recommendation is nothing longer than 1 hour or 1 single movie per day). Of what you do watch, be much more selective about the programming; attempt to select content that presents logical sequences, since the potential for manipulation is much reduced. I would recommend a combination of tutorials and documentaries, but just be wary that some of the latter can use even more sophisticated programming techniques.
Alan Watt suggested that we can all learn how to study television by never getting (emotionally) involved in the storyline, and critically analyzing all the politically correct inserted words, slogans, and phrases in the dialogue. Taking notes is essential, given that you can prove not only to yourself, but to others as well, about all the tiny yet important programming that has been slipped into the plot. Ask someone their thoughts about a given topic, and if they give you standard television answers, then just forget it (you just can’t save a television addict given that the programming has gone too deep); but if you see a spark of their own opinion, then you might have a chance to work with them.