It’s so simple. And everybody knows it.
Mass mind control focuses on two elements: image and feeling.
By linking the two primary elements, it is possible to short-circuit thought and “cut to the chase,” when it comes to enlisting the allegiance of huge populations.
Two seemingly unrelated events spurred my interest in mass mind control.
On the evening of April 12, 1945, I listened to a radio report on the death of Franklin D Roosevelt. I was seven years old.
I became upset. I didn’t know why. I was angry at my own reaction.
Forty years later, I pulled into a gas station near my apartment in West Los Angeles. I got out of my car and took the cap off my gas tank. I looked to my right and saw Tony Curtis sitting in his car. I was shocked.
A few days later, I began making notes under the heading of “image-emotion cues.” At the time, I had just started working as a reporter, writing articles for LA Weekly. I knew next to nothing about mind control, MKULTRA, Soviet psychiatric gulags, Chinese re-education programs, or US psychological warfare operations.
But because I had been painting for 25 years, I knew something about the power of images.
I remembered my first exhibition of paintings in LA, at my friend Hadidjah Lamas’ house. We had hung my work in her large living room and dining room. Hadidjah had enlisted the services of a friend who had videotaped me painting in my studio, and at the exhibition she set up a television set out on her patio and continuously played the videocassette.
People came through her front door, almost automatically walked through the house to the patio, as if guided by an unseen hand, and watched the video; then they came back inside and looked at the paintings.
They would stop at a painting and say: “That picture was in the video!” “ You see that one? It was in his studio!”
My first note on “image-emotion cues” was, “Investing an image with importance. Projecting emotion into an image.”
Projecting emotion into a newspaper image of the president, FDR. Projecting emotion into the screen image of Tony Curtis. Projecting emotion into a video of a painter working in his studio.
When people encounter an image, when they invest it with importance, they project feeling into the image—and this all happens in a private sphere, a private space.
If this didn’t happen, there would be no way to control populations through images. It wouldn’t work. It all starts with a person setting up his own personal feedback loop that travels from him to an image and back again.
Coming out of World War 2, US psychological warfare operatives knew they could turn their skills to political purposes. They had just succeeded in making Americans believe that all Japanese and German people were horribly evil. They had been able to manipulate imagery successfully in that area. Why couldn’t they shape America’s view of a whole planet that lay beyond personal experience?
They could and they did. But the power to do that emanated from the fact that every person invests images with feeling. That’s where it really starts.
I had seen the 1957 film, Sweet Smell of Success, a number of times. I admired it. Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis gave tremendous performances. When, decades later, I saw Curtis sitting in his car at that gas station, I was “working from” the emotion I had invested in his onscreen image. It produced a sense of shock and paralysis for a few seconds.
Other people might have rushed up to Curtis and asked for his autograph. With me, it was shock, cognitive dissonance. Ditto for the death of FDR. I was working off newspaper pictures I’d seen of him, and the feeling I’d invested in those presidential images. Other people, when FDR died, went out into the street and hugged their neighbors and wept openly. For me, it was upset and shock and anger.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with investing emotion in images. It can be exhilarating. It can be uplifting. As a painter, I know this in spades. Putting emotion into images can, in fact, vault you into a different perception of reality.
But on the downside, it can also take you into lockstep with what media operatives want you to experience, second-hand.
We focus to such a degree on how we are being manipulated that we don’t stop to consider how we are participating in the operation. And our own role is clear and stark: we invest images with feeling.
So how does one individual’s projection of feeling into an image become a uniform projection of the same feeling into one image, by millions of people? How does what one person invests privately become mass mind control?
Through external instruction or cues.
Why does this work? Why do millions of people fall into line?
Because they don’t realize they started the whole ball rolling themselves. All they know is: images are connected to feelings.
If they knew they were the real power in the whole operation, if they knew they were investing feelings into images all day long, if they could actually slow down enough to see how they do this….then they would be far less prone to taking instruction about what feelings they “ought to” invest in second-hand images.
Hypnotherapist Jack True unceremoniously put it to me this way: “If a dog could analyze how he got from eating meat to drooling at the sound of a bell that came at feeding time, he could stop drooling.”
I would add: If Chris Matthews could analyze how his own voluntary investment of feeling in the image of Barack Obama sends a tingle up his leg, he could stop tingling.
We’re now seeing images of people rioting all over the Middle East. We’re seeing burning flags and crowds outside embassies. We’re supposed to invest our own anger into those images. Outrage.
We see an image of miles of flat farmland and wheat waving in the breeze. We’re supposed to invest that image with feelings of happiness and pride.
Nowhere are we told we can back up a step and realize that we are the ones who begin the whole process, by projecting feelings into images. Any images.
Imagine a thought-experiment. You’re watching your computer screen. It holds an image of a tall blue vase. With purpose, you project the feeling of joy into the vase. Then you project the feeling of disgust. Then, fear. Then, worry. Then, pleasure…on purpose.
The objective is to gain some measure of consciousness about an unconscious process.
When I was 19, I was sent to an trained expert in New York to take a Rorschach (ink-blot) Test. I was displaying signs of what would now be called Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
The expert said he wanted me to tell him everything I saw in each ink-blot. I took him at his word.
An hour later, I was still working on the first blot. I was describing everything from bats and owls and chickens to space ships and buckets of hidden treasure in caves.
Well, I was cheating a little. I wasn’t really describing what I saw. I was imagining. I was taking off from what was on the page and improvising. This was outside the bounds of the Test.
The expert was seething. He was sweating, because he had many other blots to show me, and it was late in the afternoon, and he was looking at spending the entire evening with me. Finally, he held up his hand and put an end to the Test.
I wasn’t playing his game. Among other sins, I wasn’t investing feelings in the images. Therefore, my choices of “what to see” in the blots expanded greatly.
When I go to a museum, I like to watch people stand in front of abstract paintings. Many of them are stumped. They’re trying to figure out what feelings they “are supposed to” project into the painting. They’re looking for “instruction,” and there isn’t any. They’re asking for mind control, and they’re not getting it.
Fanaticism of any kind begins with individuals projecting feelings into images. This is harnessed by leaders, who then choose the images and direct which feelings are permitted. The tempting prospect for the follower is: participation in a drama that goes beyond what he would ordinarily experience in life. This is bolstered by the idea that what he is doing is moral.
In this election season, people on the left are urged to project messianic feelings into images of Barack Obama. People on the right are cued to invest feelings of pride, hope, and “tradition” into images of Mitt Romney. On both sides, it is principally images that are presented. The real candidates aren’t actually experienced.
Since Vietnam, shooting wars have been more difficult to sustain among soldiers. “In the old days,” feelings of hatred could be projected into images of enemies that included civilians, so overtly killing everybody on foreign soil was easier to accept. Now, soldiers are taught “enemy combatant” and “civilian” are two different images that require the injection of two different feelings.
Here at home, police and military are taught, more and more, to invest feelings of suspicion into images of American civilians. This is a acceleration of mass mind control for law enforcement.
The astonishing number of civilians who participate in government and corporate surveillance of the public, through technological means, learn to invest “dead empty feelings” into images of citizens, as if these targets are nothing more than ciphers, units.
The recent bizarre instances of police detaining and questioning parents who allow their children to play unsupervised reveal another accelerating trend. These confrontations start with neighbors snitching on the parents. The neighbors have learned to invest feelings of panic, suspicion, and anger in images of “free children.”
In all these cases, there is no real experience. It’s all second-hand. It’s all feeling-projected-into-image.
In the medical arena, countless advertisements and news stories are geared to convince people to invest feelings of trust in images of doctors. The suggestion, “Ask your doctor if X is right for you,” is framed as the solution to a little problem. The problem is set this way: Drug X is wonderful; drug X has serious adverse effects; what to do? Solution: ask your doctor; trust him; he knows.
As the class of victims in society has grown by leaps and bounds, including any group that can organize and promote itself as needing help or justice—going miles beyond the people who really do need assistance—citizens have been trained to invest feelings of sympathy and concern for all images of victims everywhere, real or imagined. This, too, is mass mind control.
Pick an image; invest feelings in it. Facts don’t matter. Evidence doesn’t matter.
We shouldn’t leave out a peculiar twist on the feeling-image op. The very people who are portrayed, image-wise, as objects for us to invest feelings into, take their cues from this game as well: doctors act like the doctors on television; gangsters acts like gangsters on television; FBI agents and cops act like law-enforcement officers on television. They’re roped in, just like everyone else.
You’ve heard people say, So-and-so has become a caricature of himself. Well, that’s what it means. The person has projected massive feelings of approval into an image of himself—often an image shown on television.
As a society, we can go on this way until we become a horrific cartoon of ourselves (some people believe we’re already there), or we can step back and discover how we invest emotion into images, and then use that process to pour feeling into visions of our own choosing and invent better futures.
Since the dawn of time, leaders have portrayed themselves as gods. They’ve assembled teams to promote that image, so their followers could project powerful emotion into the image and thereby cement the leaders’ control and power.
The game isn’t new. Understanding the roots of it within each individual could, however, break the trance of mass mind control.
During the first West Nile “outbreak” of 1999, I spoke with a student who had just dropped out of medical school. He told me he’d been looking at electron-microscope photos of the West Nile Virus, and he suddenly realized he was “supposed to” invest feelings of fear in those images.
Somehow, he broke free from the image-feeling link. He was rather stunned at the experience. His entire conditioning as a medical student evaporated.
Parents all over the world are having the same experience vis-a-vis vaccines. They realize they’re supposed to invest fear in images of germs and disease, and they’re also supposed to invest feelings of hope and confidence in images of needles and vaccines. They see the game. They’re supposed to ignore evidence that vaccines are dangerous and ineffective. They’re supposed to remain victims of mass mind control.
But they’ve awakened.
We’ve all been taught that what we feel is always and everywhere out of our control. These feelings are simply part of us, and we have to act on them. The alternative would be to sit on them and repress them and turn into androids, robots.
This is simply not true. There are an infinite number of feelings, and as strange as it may sound, we can literally invent them.
This, it is said, is inhuman. It’s a bad idea. It’s wrong. It would lead us to “deserting the human community.”
Nonsense. That’s part of the propaganda of mind control. If the controllers can convince us that we’re working from a limited map of emotions and we have to stay within that territory, they can manipulate that limited set of feelings and trap us.
The power of art is that it shows us there are so many more emotions than we had previously imagined. We can be much freer than we supposed.
The synthetic world of mind control and the handful of feelings that are linked to images is what keeps us in thrall.
The natural world—the world of what we can be—is so much wider and more thrilling and revealing.