Category Archives: Psychology

How to Beat a Manipulator, by Caitlin Johnstone

Caitlin Johnstone distills some practical advice. From Johnstone at consortiumnews.com:

In our political and personal lives many of us have been conned. Here’s how to recognize how politicians and people manipulate us and how to stop them, according to Caitlin Johnstone.

Humans are hackable. Ask any conman. Our desire to think we have control over our lives often hides this from ourselves, but most of us are highly suggestible and hypnotizable. If you think you’re not, you’re in more danger of being hacked than someone who has humbled themselves enough to see how this works in them.

There’s no need to be ashamed of being conned. Realizing that you’ve been, or are being, conned will naturally bring up feelings of embarrassment, but it’s never your fault that someone’s taken you for a ride. Get clear: conning someone is the crime; being conned is being a victim of that crime. That’s how the law sees it in fraud cases. Manipulators would love you to think that it’s your fault for allowing yourself to be manipulated, but that’s just another manipulation isn’t it?

Manipulators use one of our most astounding, useful, and beautiful human characteristics when they con us—empathy. Our innately trusting nature is the reason why we’ve been able to collaborate on large scales to create and innovate in extraordinary ways unseen anywhere else in the animal kingdom. Because we learn by modeling, and we are shaped by the group we inhabit and our urge to create harmony will make life viscerally uncomfortable until we are back in alignment with our tribe. We are the peacemakers; we seek alignment, which is how we are paced by manipulators into aligning with their sick agendas. How gross is it then that our ability to empathize and relate to each other is one manipulators use to control us?

Because of the reach of mass media, every single one of us is in an abusive relationship with plutocratic manipulators. Many of us are in personal relationships with manipulators too. Conveniently, the strategies for dealing with sociopathic manipulators are the exact same, from plutocrats to your live-in partner.

To continue reading: How to Beat a Manipulator

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He Said That? 8/5/18

From Dave Barry (born 1947), American author and columnist, Dave Barry Turns Fifty (1998):

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.

The Very Unhinged John Brennan, by Richard Galustian

John Brennan, former head of the CIA, is a nut job. From Richard Galustian at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Winston Churchill said all there is to say about political summits with his quote: “Jaw jaw is better than war war.”

That is the thing to bear in mind when examining the rights and wrongs of the The Trump-Putin summit: Two leaders of two of the world’s most powerful nations, in Trump’s words “competitors” sorting out differences eyeball to eyeball.

Both men share Churchill’s approach, with Putin saying: “As nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility” for international security.

Putin said Russia (as a devout Christian country) considered it necessary for the two countries to work together on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation – and to avoid weapons being placed in space.

“Even during the tensions of the Cold War, the US and the Soviets were able to maintain a strong dialogue (with now Russia),” said Trump. “But our relations (with now Russia) have never been worse than they are now. However that changed as of about four hours ago.”

He added: “nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to engage” which would “appease partisan critics, the media” and the opposition.”

Donald Trump correctly reiterated the significance and importance of holding a meeting with Putin, despite the widespread criticism from within his own country and most notably from the mainstream media who are very now clearly controlled entirely by what has popularly become known as the “Deep State.”

And what was the response in America to the summit?

The most vitriolic insult came from the odious former CIA Director, John Brennan.

The not so funny irony is that Brennan literally voted for the then Soviet Union dominated US Communist Party to take power in the United States of America. Incredible, almost beyond belief. If you look at Brennan’s extremely insulting tweet repeated below, the full irony of his being a communist in the Soviet era should hit home.

So what are the facts? Well John Brennan was accepted into the CIA in 1980 even though he admitted voting Communist in 1976. This is something inexplicable and astounding for any thinking person to understand of itself.

To continue reading: The Very Unhinged John Brennan

Who Stole Our Culture? by William S. Lind

Everything you ever wanted to know about cultural Marxism. From William S. Lind at lewrockwell.com:

Sometime during the last half-century, someone stole our culture. Just 50 years ago, in the 1950s, America was a great place. It was safe. It was decent. Children got good educations in the public schools. Even blue-collar fathers brought home middle-class incomes, so moms could stay home with the kids. Television shows reflected sound, traditional values.

Where did it all go? How did that America become the sleazy, decadent place we live in today – so different that those who grew up prior to the ’60s feel like it’s a foreign country? Did it just “happen”?

It didn’t just “happen.” In fact, a deliberate agenda was followed to steal our culture and leave a new and very different one in its place. The story of how and why is one of the most important parts of our nation’s history – and it is a story almost no one knows. The people behind it wanted it that way.

What happened, in short, is that America’s traditional culture, which had grown up over generations from our Western, Judeo-Christian roots, was swept aside by an ideology. We know that ideology best as “political correctness” or “multi-culturalism.” It really is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms in an effort that goes back not to the 1960s, but to World War I. Incredible as it may seem, just as the old economic Marxism of the Soviet Union has faded away, a new cultural Marxism has become the ruling ideology of America’s elites. The No. 1 goal of that cultural Marxism, since its creation, has been the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion.

To understand anything, we have to know its history. To understand who stole our culture, we need to take a look at the history of “political correctness.”

Early Marxist theory

Before World War I, Marxist theory said that if Europe ever erupted in war, the working classes in every European country would rise in revolt, overthrow their governments and create a new Communist Europe. But when war broke out in the summer of 1914, that didn’t happen. Instead, the workers in every European country lined up by the millions to fight their country’s enemies. Finally, in 1917, a Communist revolution did occur, in Russia. But attempts to spread that revolution to other countries failed because the workers did not support it.

To continue reading: Who Stole Our Culture?

Psychoanalysing NATO: Gaslighting, by Patrick Armstrong

How NATO tries to “control the narrative.” From Patrick Armstrong at strategic-culture.org:

NOTE: Because “NATO” these days is little more than a box of spare parts out of which Washington assembles “coalitions of the willing”, it’s easier for me to write “NATO” than “Washington plus/minus these or those minions”.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has called on Russia to explain “exactly what has gone on” after two people were exposed to the Novichok nerve agent in Wiltshire. (BBC)

The Russian state could put this wrong right. They could tell us what happened. What they did. And fill in some of the significant gaps that we are trying to pursue. We have said they can come and tell us what happened. I’m waiting for the phone call from the Russian state. The offer is there. They are the ones who could fill in all the clues to keep people safe. (UK security minister Ben Wallace)

Leaving aside their egregious flouting of the elemental principle of English justice, note that they’re uttering this logical idiocy: Russia must have done it because it hasn’t proved it didn’t. Note also, in Javid’s speech, the amusing suggestion that Russia keeps changing its story; but to fit into the official British story “novichok” must be an instantly lethal slow acting poison which dissipates quickly but lasts for months.

This is an attempt to manipulate our perception of reality. In a previous essay I discussed NATO’s projection of its own actions onto Russia. In this piece I want to discuss another psychological manipulation – gaslighting.

The expression comes from the movie Gaslight in which the villain manipulates her reality to convince his wife that she is insane. Doubt the official Skripal story and it is you – you “Russian troll” – who is imagining things. Only Russian trolls would question Litvinenko’s deathbed accusation written in perfect English handed to us by a Berezovskiy flunky; or the shootdown of MH17; or the invasion of Ukraine; or the cyber attack on Estonia. Only a Russian troll would observe that the fabulously expensive NATO intelligence agencies apparently get their information from Bellingcat. Argumentum ad trollem is everywhere: count the troll accusations here or admire the clever anticipatory use of the technique there.

This is classic gaslighting – I’m telling the truth, you’re the crazy one.

We may illustrate the eleven signs of “gaslighting” given in Psychiatry Today by Stephanie A. Sarkis with recent events.

To continue reading: Psychoanalysing NATO: Gaslighting

Pessimism, Fatalism, Realism, Optimism, Hope, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Doug “Uncola” Lynn takes a journey from fatalistic pessimism to the wisdom and cautious optimism of an author (who nevertheless killed himself) he’s never read. From Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

When I first had the idea to write this piece, it was going to justify my own overwhelming sense of foreboding regarding future events that, to me, seem as inevitable as gravity drawing water down a drain. I wanted to defend my perspectives against those who still have hope. First, I would parse the meanings of pessimism, fatalism, and realism, and then use persuasive language to show how I was merely being honestly realistic because math.

I was going to entitle the essay “Embracing Realism with an Attitude of Pessimism and a Foreboding Sense of Fatalism” and demonstrate how I was not a pessimist or a fatalist per se, but rather a realist.  I would then use that construct to demolish any remaining hope still aflame within the hearts of the readers; as a favor to them.

In fact, I even conducted an informal poll to sample the perspectives of awakened and like-minded online travelers.  Like the flicker of lanterns in a dark wood, the glint of moonlight from metal on a mountain trail, or a midnight campfire tossing sparks into heaven – I was surprised to see that hope still shined for 6 out of 10 red-pilled wanderers traveling through the entropic cosmos, beyond the great digital divide.

I actually speculated the Skeptics would outnumber the Believers, but that was not the result.

Therefore, this essay will be different than what I had originally envisioned.  It will, instead, be a tribute to a brilliant Pulitzer-nominated novelist who hung himself in 2008.

Definition of pessimism

1 : an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions, and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome

2 a : the doctrine that reality is essentially evil

b : the doctrine that evil overbalances happiness in life

Whereas Merriam-Webster’s first definition of pessimism regarding “an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects” would seem indicative of attitude, or personal perspective, the secondary definitions appear to actually flirt with fatalism:

Definition of fatalism

: a doctrine that events are fixed in advance so that human beings are powerless to change them; also : a belief in or attitude determined by this doctrine

Consequently, if I were to be completely honest in my consideration of future events, I would say my fatalistic mindset was a result of realism:

Definition of realism

1 : concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary

2 a : a doctrine that universals exist outside the mind; specifically : the conception that an abstract term names an independent and unitary reality

b : a theory that objects of sense perception or cognition exist independently of the mind — compare nominalism

3 : the theory or practice of fidelity in art and literature to nature or to real life and to accurate representation without idealization

To continue reading: Pessimism, Fatalism, Realism, Optimism, Hope

The Market Gods Are Laughing, by Bill Bonner

Whom the market gods would destroy, they first puff up with all sorts of hubris and idiocy. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

President Trump escalated the trade war yesterday, making a kamikaze attack on a vast armada of Chinese imports – $200 billion in total – headed for California.

The Chinese say they will retaliate.

Phony Wars

Last month, we opined that the trade war wouldn’t go any better than Vietnam… or Iraq… or any of the feds’ other phony wars – against drugs, poverty, or terrorists.

It will be expensive, futile… and perhaps disastrous.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t be popular. Wars give the spectators something to live for – us versus them… good guys against bad guys… winners versus losers.

Their hat size swells as their champion wallops the Chinese. Their girth shrinks as he challenges and taunts the Canadians. Their manhood grows when the enemy gives in and admits defeat.

But while this puerile entertainment is taking place in the arena, the real action is going on in the expensive skyboxes, where the elite collude against the fans.

Wars shift resources from the boring and productive win-win deals in the private sector to the magnificently absurd win-lose deals of the feds and their cronies. The only real winner is the Deep State.

Weatherman David

We saw our colleague, former U.S. budget chief under President Reagan, David Stockman, on TV yesterday. The interview was painful to watch.

He was bravely trying to explain the trade deficit and why it was caused by monetary policy, not by trade ramparts that were too low.

But the young, know-it-all newscasters were such numbskulls – so lacking in any experience, theory, or historical perspective – he might as well have been instructing a walrus on how to chew gum. The lesson was in vain.

The three TV experts saw no problem with the trade deficit… and no danger approaching from Trump’s war on it.

If there were any clouds on the horizon, they didn’t see them; if there was any thunder, they didn’t hear it; whether lightning was striking the light posts near them or not, they had no idea. They wouldn’t even look out the window.

Instead, they seemed eager to get Weatherman David out of the studio so they could go back to their bubble chatter.

They were so confident… so vain… and so dismissive of all risk…

…we thought we heard a bell ringing.

To continue reading: The Market Gods Are Laughing