THE STORY THAT UNITES US… Part Two: Propaganda

The magnificent Oregon Coast

Propaganda is a force that should garner tremendous respect for it is one of the tools by which the 1/10 of 1% control the rest of us. It comes from our news and social media, music, and movies. It is inflamed by the news and reinforced by our own reactions.

While many are aware it exists, it remains an elusive power. We tend to believe that anyone who believes differently than we do has been propagandized even as we respond automatically to its triggers.

Because it takes a lot of money to influence the public, the mere presence of propaganda indicates The Invisible Powers at work.

“Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas formed, largely by men we have never heard of… in almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics, or business, in our social conduct of ethical thinking. We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental process and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.

Edward Bernays

Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, took the ideas of his famous uncle and applied them to marketing cigarettes in the early 1920s. He developed several identifiable elements, to which I have added and refined over my years of observation.  

  • FRAMEWORK: Is used to define the issue for the public eye. This is why it is never, We the People keeping Big Ag accountable for GMOs, it is Labeling vs No Labeling. Or never, We the People keeping Big Pharma accountable for vaccines, it is Vaxxers vs. Anti-vaxxers.
  • SIMPLISTIC PRO-CON: By framing an issue in simplistic pro/con options it ensures the communication goes to the amygdala part of the brain. We love to be ‘right’ over ‘wrong’ so we accept this framework. But we need to understand we have another operating system, one that is accessed through curiosity and critical thinking.
  • CREDIBILITY: Knowing people tend to submit to authority, credible sources or spokespeople are important. While propaganda strongly emphasizes the credibility of their sources, it should be noted that an alternate credibility has also emerged for those who have the courage to stand up and speak the truth in opposition to propaganda’s narrative.
  • SCIENCE: Institutions and foundations are quoted that are back-door-financed by the very industries desiring the propaganda. The science may be complete, but the protocols are either avoided or distorted. This gives the necessary scientific results and therefore power over the narrative.
  • REPETITION: Repetition and constant flow of news reinforces the desired message and creates the physical neurons in the brain for acceptance.
  • WORDS FOR POSITIVE IMAGE: In Bernay’s advertisements for Lucky Strikes it was ‘Lucky in Love’ in today’s words for vaccines it is ‘Safe and Effective’.
  • ATTACK: Any opposition to the desired image is immediately, publicly and ruthlessly attacked. “It is important that any effort to influence or effect the American public that is not in the public interest be killed by the light of pitiless publicity and analysis” Edward Bernays
  • TRIGGER WORDS: Triggers tie an emotion to a word, so when we hear the word, we jump from our logical mind to our negative emotions and we are unable to process whatever comes next. We all have triggers planted in our minds. “Conspiracy theorist” “Socialist” “Anti-Vaxxer” “Hateful” “Racist”  
  • INFORMATION: In today’s world, it is imperative to make sure the propagandized information is at the top of the google search, with censorship or ‘conspiracy theory’ on any contradictory viewpoint.
  • FAKE NEWS, DEEP FAKE: With the advent of technology, the ability to digitally create or alter news and send it out to thousands of people exists. Which either sweeps us in, trains us to be highly discerning, or gets us really confused.
  • CENSORSHIP: A recent addition to the formula, censorship uses the elements of credibility. You may think to yourself “If it needs to be censored, I don’t need to read this” or you may think “Oh! Censorship! I wonder what they are trying to hide”
  • SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMMING: Words are flashed through screens; images are hidden within images just beyond the comprehension of the conscious mind. The subconscious mind however, picks it up and adopts the programming.
  • PERSONAL PROPAGANDA: BELIEF: So many times, we have a belief, whether or not it is grounded in fact or experience, and we automatically discard whatever comes along that opposes that belief. These are our own personally created triggers, that dictate what we will hear and what we won’t hear. Do we ever try to dis-prove our own beliefs?
  • PERSONAL PROPAGANDA: ECHO CHAMBER: We surround ourselves with people who think the same way, which does not challenge our thought process, but reinforces our sense of belonging and the power of being on ‘the team’.

Bernays created the formula and set it in motion. Over the years it has developed and expanded into a formidable force with a destructive power of its own.

“Before they take back America, they need to know who to take it back from”

Edward Bernays



Is your mind free to flow in curiosity or does it wander chaotically from one emotional trigger to the next? How many restrictions in the form of triggers, do you allow in your mind? Do you find they enhance or hinder the quality of your thinking?

We are the only ones who can identify our personal triggers and begin to dismantle them. The good news is that there is no one keeping us from claiming the freedom of our own mind. To do this, simply pay attention. When one is triggered, stop the trigger and intend to take charge of your own programming.

Maybe its as easy as “Whoa! You have no power over me. I choose to be curious and open-minded.”

Or maybe you like the vision of your mind as a big library. The restricted rooms are your triggers and the big burly guards in front of them are your emotions. There is a lot of power in walking up and asking the guard to leave and walk straight into the room you dared-not-go before.

Experiment, and find what works for you. Its your mind, get creative!


George Lakoff’s book, The Political Mind, is a great read on linguistic theories about political behavior as a result of the physiology of our mind. He describes our brains as needing both neurons and metaphors to process and understand concepts.

The neurons we have are those that are reinforced by our parents, society and experiences. If something new comes along, we naturally fight against it because we do not have the physical neurons or the proper metaphor to capture the thought, process it and ground it in understanding. (As a side note, it seems logical that what Bernays calls framework, Lakoff calls a metaphor)

This is fascinating because some of the difficulty we have with the opposite party is that we ‘just don’t understand them’, which indicates a simple lack of the appropriate neurons in our OWN brain. It seems obvious that the best brain holds a wide variety of neurons representing many pathways of thought. The best way to build new neurons is to expose yourself to new ideas, concepts, and ways of thinking.

Finally, one of the best ways to expose yourself to new ideas, concepts and ways of thinking are to meet with someone you disagree with and ask questions. Sit and listen without judgment. (You can do this!) You may learn something and build your own ‘neuron library’ at the same time.

***Just to be clear, the purpose of this exercise is not to go and reaffirm your belief that you are ‘right’ about your initial judgment. The purpose of this exercise is to intentionally find something that you did not know before to further your own understanding and build your own neuron library.

Next… Part Three: MK Ultra

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