by Anthony Forwood
Copyright 2013 © All Rights Reserved
You are free to copy and distribute this document, provided that it is kept intact and no changes or omissions made.
January 28, 2013
(Updated December 11, 2013)
“If you know the enemy and know yourself,
you need not fear a thousand battles.
If you know yourself and not the enemy,
for every victory, you will suffer a defeat.
But if you know neither yourself nor the enemy,
then you are a fool and will meet defeat in every battle.”
Before you believe anything you might ever read, hear, or see in the media (including TV, radio, movies, books, magazines, newspapers, and the internet), or from anyone else (family, friends, acquaintances, employers, strangers, etc.), you need to read this very important information. You, and the public as a whole, are constant targets of extremely well-planned and executed psychological operations (psyops), and there are any number of these media-facilitated programs taking place at any given time. They are so numerous and varied that you and those around you are bound to fall prey them sooner or later. They can target an entire population, an identified group within a larger population, or even a single individual. Being aware of what psyops programs are, how they’re executed, and how to detect and avoid them is crucial to maintaining an accurate perception of reality in today’s world, so as not to become misled about your situation as a targeted individual and drawn deeper into the clutches of those who seek to take advantage of you.
Even though this might sound like an extreme statement, the powers-that-be are intent on enacting total mind-control on the entire global population. Electronic harassment and the various hardware technologies used in these attacks play a significant part of this, but these are not the only means to this end, although these technologies serve to force the target along a certain intended path of thought or action. Just as significant as these ‘hard force’ methods, but far less recognized, are the ‘soft force’ psychological methods of manipulation and control. Few researchers of the targeting situation give much attention to these aspects, but they’re at least as important as any other – and probably more so. I believe that by understanding the psychological methods that are used in targeting, many of the other methods will be far less capable of working effectively, and in many cases can even be defeated completely. But this first requires learning about the psychological aspects of psyops, and then personally applying certain counter-measures to avoid them. Fortunately, these counter-measures require nothing more than a knowledge of these methods and the ability to spot them in action, which becomes easier with practice to the point that these defenses become habit. The intent of this document is to help you gain the knowledge you need to allow you to start protecting yourself against these psychological ‘soft force’ attacks.
There are many aspects to psyops and the methods used, and this document focuses primarily on those that take place online, since this is where most targeted individuals go to seek help and gain knowledge about their situation, and those who are targeting them know this and obviously don’t want them to succeed, so they are constantly employing various psyop programs to defeat such attempts. This document can’t possibly cover every known psyop method that might be employed or explain any of them in any great detail, and the material provided is strictly based on my own personal understandings as a target looking in on these psyop programs from the outside. I’ve researched various related topics for background information (with some references provided), and although there’s much more that could be said, I’m certain that what I present will benefit all other targeted individuals if they take this information and learn to apply it constantly in their own situations.
What is Perception Management?
First, let me introduce some of the terminology associated with psyop programs and outline their meaning so that you’ll understand what they are, where they originate, and how serious the people are who plan and execute these programs.
‘Perception Management’ is a term that originates with the US military. The US Department of Defense (DOD) gives this formal definition:
“Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.”
Although the above definition refers strictly to foreign audiences and describes perception management only in a military capacity, this is a misnomer, since it has long been recognized that domestic audiences are just as susceptible to being targeted by their own governments and other organizations for a wide variety of reasons. We can see this most clearly in advertising, news, and entertainment, which are ideal platforms for implementing perception management.
A ‘Psychological Operations Specialist’ is an information and media specialist who is specifically trained (usually by the military) to assess the information needs of a target audience and then develop and deliver the right message at the right time and place to create an intended result. These specialists are primarily responsible for the analysis, development, and distribution of information that will be used for its psychological effect. They will have a team of people working under them, and will sometimes be working in coordination with other Psyop Specialists running their own teams.
In psyop programs, as opposed to more traditional military warfare, ‘soft force’ methods of covert influence are used rather than ‘hard force’ methods of direct overt attacks. Therefore, psyop programs target a person, group, or population on a psychological level, rather than on a physical level. This means that Psyop Specialists resort to various methods to manipulate a target’s perceptions in such a way that the target’s opinions and beliefs change as a result. If the attackers can alter a target’s perception of supposed facts and information, they can shape or influence the beliefs and motivations that result from those perceptions, and through that, they can control the target.
In military situations, Psyop Specialists engage in programs that are intended to affect the perceptions of a target audience, such as to demoralize an enemy by causing dissension and unrest among its ranks, while at the same time convincing the enemy population to support the side attacking them. Psyop Specialists are also responsible for providing continuous analysis of the attitudes and behavior of enemy forces to tactical commanders in the field, so that they can develop, produce, and employ propaganda in a successful manner. These tactics have proven so effective with foreign audiences that they are being employed more and more frequently on home ground, to manage the perceptions of their own citizens. We see this most dramatically in staged events like the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine massacre, the 9/11 tragedy, etc., which were all high-profile psyop programs that were enacted to influence an exaggerated perception of escalating terrorism in our world and particularly at home. The ultimate goal of these orchestrated events has been to influence the targeted population to give ever more power to those within their own government who secretly enact these operations, while thinking that doing so will protect them against the perceived enemy.
These teams can include a variety of people with a variety of specialized skills. According to the Journal of Information Warfare:
“Put simply, most of these personnel do not have all the skills and depth of knowledge required to undertake sophisticated Perception Management operations. What they need is a range of skills covering such disciplines as marketing, advertising, journalism, theatrical production and broadcasting. It is not enough to take service personnel or civil servants and send these individuals on Government-run courses. One only has to look at the experts on Madison Avenue, in the news media and in Hollywood to see what is actually required. An undergraduate education in a related topic, followed by a long apprenticeship in the industry, is usually the minimum that is needed to be successful in these disciplines.”
From this quote, you should be able to fathom the range of skills that a psyop team can have at its disposal and the degree of sophistication that can go into a psyop program. Perception Management is not just ordinary military personnel trained in traditional warfare tactics. Those involved in planning and executing these programs might be better classed as psychologists, cognitive and behavioral scientists, marketing experts, public relations experts, special effects technicians, copywriters, etc. Many specialized skills derived from the corporate world are highly suited for psyop programs, and a Psyop Specialist knows how to employ the techniques used in these fields to manage the perceptions of their target audience.
As a targeted individual, you need to always consider yourself an adversary to Psyop Specialists engaging in psyop programs involving a wide variety of sophisticated information warfare techniques to influence your perceptions in order to control you and further weaken your ability to defend yourself or fight back. You need to recognize that your perceptions of your situation as a target are always being carefully managed through ‘soft force’ methods in order to keep you off balance by presenting you with information that is inaccurate enough to effectively limit or misdirect your perception of reality, while at the same time limiting your access to accurate information as much as possible. I will discuss how this is achieved within the following sections, but first, let me expand on what information warfare consists of.
Information warfare is an aspect of all psyop programs and relates closely to perception management. In this regard, information warfare can be defined as “a class of techniques, including collection, transport, protection, denial, disturbance, and degradation of information, by which one maintains an advantage over one’s adversaries.” This definition of information warfare can be applied in any competitive situation, public or private, civilian or military.
The first step in any psyop program involves data collection and analysis. This includes collecting information on the intended target – whether a person, group, community, or entire population – and assessing such things as their knowledge, opinions, beliefs, motivations, habits, routines, emotional and intellectual strengths and weaknesses, information sources, interests, capabilities, dependencies, uncertainties, etc. The more information about a target that can be gathered, the higher the situational awareness of the attacker, which will give them greater ability to create the most effective plan of attack on the individual or group. Conversely, the less accurate the information a targeted individual or group has, the easier it will be to thwart their attempts to defend or protect themselves against an attack. Therefore, the control of information is a very important aspect of any psyop program.
In today’s digital world, data collection by a Psyop Specialist is extremely easy and can be very sophisticated, since almost every means of communication and information storage is potentially accessible and exploitable, and the powers-that-be who initiate these psyop programs have the means to easily do so without detection. Everything you might say or do, online or off, can be monitored and analyzed in order to provide whatever information might be desired. After enough data has been collected, a person or group’s actions can be predicted with a very high degree of precision. With the ease of computer automation, data collection and analysis can be conducted in real-time, and prescribed responses can be decided and initiated instantaneously or precisely timed for the greatest effect.
This leads to the second step in information warfare, which involves information protection through denial and disturbance. One of the main aspects of information warfare is the need to minimize the amount of useful or accurate information to which a target has access. As a targeted individual, your attackers will therefore want to minimize the amount of useful and accurate information you have access to that might enable you to understand the true nature of your attacks so you can defend yourself or fight back. This might involve limiting your sources through ‘denial of service’, by which you are denied access to certain sources (particularly online) through apparent communication breakdowns, but more commonly (in order not to raise suspicions) it is just as easily affected through ‘information overload’, where you are provided access to an overwhelming amount of information, where much of what seems useful is actually false or misleading, while the majority of it is useless in that it is irrelevant and/or overly repetitive. A large amount of information that is made available to a targeted individual or group can thus keep them from learning anything useful or relevant to their needs by bombarding them with excessive amounts of useless and distracting information, wasting their time and keeping them from acquiring what they need to know in a timely fashion.
The third step in information warfare is information manipulation through degradation. The ultimate goal in information warfare and perception management is to degrade the opponent’s perception of reality by way of inaccurate information, so manipulating perceptions through the continual denial or distortion of accurate information is employed rigorously. Again, this can be achieved largely through computer-automated systems that alter or filter information content before it reaches a target, but, as stated, it is also achieved through the heavy dissemination of inaccurate information where it will most likely be picked up by the targeted person or group it is intended for. The growing degradation of accurate perceptions leads to the incapacitation of the target to properly understand their situation so that they become less and less capable of defending or protecting themselves against their attackers. Over time and with the continued manipulation of information that the target receives, and by continually monitoring their responses to what they have so far acquired, this degradation can be increased until the target is completely incapacitated and their perceptions are totally misaligned with the reality of their situation. They become intellectually isolated more and more and incapable of properly dealing with their situation or making sound judgments. This forces them to seek out sources that might better provide the information they need, and in the online community, this will lead them into groups with common needs and interests. However, these groups are also susceptible to being targeted, and might even be set up for the purpose of drawing these targeted individuals in and identifying them, thereby gaining further control over them. I’ll discuss online groups in more detail in the sections ahead.
Although some forms of perception management might be achieved through a single well-placed piece of information such as a heavily disseminated report from a highly trusted source, there is actually a far greater likelihood of achieving it through the cumulative effect of many iterations of that information coming from many apparently separate (and far less reliable) sources over a long period of time. This is commonly seen within the targeted community where many people will make the same or similar claims, thus seemingly giving weight to the believability of the information. The old adages of ‘strength in numbers’ and ‘say it long enough and loud enough and eventually it will be believed’ both apply here. In this case, the reliability of the sources of the information is not nearly as important as when it derives from a single source, which must be already perceived as highly reliable in order for the information to be accepted as true. When the information comes from multiple sources and repeated over a long period of time, no matter the reliability of the sources, the effect is just as good, and often better. It just takes more time to have its cumulative psychological effect.
Whatever the information might be that is intended for a target audience, it must have maximum appeal in order to be accepted by them. Therefore, it must be entertaining to their interests in order to capture their attention long enough to deliver the underlying message. This does not preclude the employment of the entertainment industry to inject messages into the storylines, dialogues, and imagery of movies and TV shows. Again, the cumulative effect is often more successful than a single one-time effort, so that conditioning an audience to perceive reality in a certain way through the use of entertainment media is likely to be a part of any large-scale psyop program.
Further to all this, the Journal of Information Warfare states:
“Whereas IO [Information Operations] operators in the past could focus on relatively limited and well specified targets, they now need to understand many different potential audiences in terms of channels that will reach them and messages that will persuade them. …[T]here may be a need to develop media outlets that are attractive in their right and can compete with local media in quasi-commercial terms; that is by providing content that is attractive, credible and interesting to target audiences.”
This means that every potential media outlet will be taken advantage of, specifically new and developing outlets that are internet-based. Youtube videos and podcasts are two such outlets that are being used to great effect to capture target audiences and disseminate carefully crafted information that is designed to manage audience perceptions. They thrive by promoting certain front-line ‘spokespeople’ who act as leaders and information sources in the online community. I’ll discuss these leadership roles in a later section.
It’s human nature to fall into the routine of always going to the same places for information and entertainment, and of following the same interests over a long period of time. Worse, it’s human nature to fall into the habit of avoiding what we aren’t familiar with. This means that we tend to be drawn to the same sources and the same subject material to the exclusion of all others. It is very common in the targeted community to keep searching through the same type of material on the same subjects in the hopes of coming across any new nuggets of information among the repetition. Targeted individuals need to be aware of doing this, and to vary their sources and take a wider interest in information that might be only partially related to their current interests or focus. A broader understanding of related material will allow you to compare your current beliefs against other possibilities to gauge their accuracy and allow you to make necessary adjustments.
One more thing that needs to be understood is that whatever version of the truth we hear first will have a strong effect on what we believe, even after we hear other more accurate versions later on. For instance, if you hear about something for the first time, what you hear will tend to be already accepted when you hear later versions, and the first version will influence how you interpret those later versions. This is taken advantage of in psyop programs whenever possible by introducing a credible sounding false version as soon as possible and before more accurate versions can be disseminated. If the first version can be introduced through a source that is already highly trusted by the target audience, it will be all the easier to affect their perceptions in spite of later, more accurate versions. Even where a target might have a negative reaction toward any given first version, that predictable reaction will likely be calculated into the attacker’s plans, leading the target to believe the opposite.
As a targeted individual, you need to always bear these facts in mind when considering any piece of information related to your targeting.
Manipulation Through Words and Images
“PSYOPS targeting in today’s age can be precise – mass PSYOPS need no longer be the primary means to conduct information dissemination. The Internet, email, personal computers, paging systems, cellular telephones, CD-ROMs, allows the modern PSYOPS practitioner to target specific segments of the population – even individuals. Today’s marketing firms still use mass mailings but with the message modified to correspond to the changing incomes, ethnicity, family situations, etc., of specific population segments. Many today seek information through hundreds of television channels, radio stations, the Internet, or printed media. Specific PSYOPS targeting, exploiting the diffusion of information dissemination can be more effective than older methods and lessen potential ‘information collateral damage.’” – Journal of Information Warfare
Words and images are the fundamental weapons used in information warfare and perception management. They can be crafted in a variety of media formats using a variety of styles and a variety of techniques to influence the perceptions of a target audience in a variety of ways. As part of a psyop program, words and images are used to alter or reinforce particular opinions, attitudes, or beliefs in a target audience. A Psyop Specialist knows that a message that is stated often enough and loud enough and soon enough will have its greatest effect on an audience, and so part of their job is to get that message before their target audience in as many ways as possible and as often as possible for the greatest possible effect.
Since the purpose of psyop programs is to induce or reinforce thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors favorable to the originator’s objectives, whatever can help to achieve this end will likely be employed in a ‘soft force’ psychological attack of words and images. Perception management starts with key facts and ideas that provide the foundation for an alternate version of reality, and applies a number of psychological techniques to change perceptions and sway an audience into believing that version of reality. Words and images are crafted to encapsulate ideas, and there are a wide variety of techniques that can be used to present these in order to influence an individual or group to think in certain terms and to believe certain things while disregarding others. We’ll be looking at some of those techniques throughout this document.
New words or phrases are created to symbolize specific ideas, attitudes, opinions, etc. They simplify our ability to talk about things by encapsulating the information they represent. As they become more familiar with repeated use, they tend to influence our thoughts and perceptions by the way we interpret and apply them, and this is routinely taken advantage of in psyop programs. Through their repetitive use in specific contexts, they can be used to mold and influence the thoughts and beliefs of a target audience. Over time, they can become part of a larger lexicon used within that group.
Certain words and phrases can be introduced in specific contexts so as to give them specific meanings – usually with the effect of limiting or distorting their original and more accurate definition. Some examples of these crafted words and phrases that we regularly encounter in today’s world are ‘terrorist’, ‘mentally ill’, ‘politically correct’, ‘national security’, ‘conspiracy theory’, ‘UFO’, etc. Each of them conjures up in our minds a specific image or idea that has an effect on formulating our opinions about whatever material they’re inserted into and associated with. The effect of their use is very often completely unconscious, so we don’t usually recognize how they mold our thoughts and limit our ability to communicate ideas. These specially created words and phrases distort the meaning of any information an audience receives once that audience has been conditioned to think in terms of them. Psyop Specialists know all this and will use this knowledge to their advantage in managing the perceptions of their target audience.
For example, when most people hear the term ‘UFO’, they automatically think of it in terms of extraterrestrial craft, and rarely consider the proper, more general meaning of ‘unidentified flying object’, which could refer to any airborne object whatsoever – from a plane to a bird to a helium balloon – as long as it’s airborne and what it specifically is remains unidentifiable to those seeing it. This misinterpretation of the term (through both innocent and purposeful misuse) has been hugely taken advantage of by the military and their media assets for a long time, in order to build up a false understanding in the public mindset so that its use automatically leads to the assumption that extraterrestrial craft are being referred to when such is not necessarily the case.
This applies as much to any of the examples given above. At the same time that they’re first introduced to an audience, these words and phrases are usually presented in a specific context in order to further add to the perceived meaning for the intended effect. In the case of the term ‘conspiracy theory’, this has been largely applied to influence the public to ridicule anything that suggests government conspiracy. The term ‘terrorist’ has been used to create the image of bomb- or gun-wielding mercenaries or ‘lone nuts’ who target people violently, indiscriminately, and without warning. The use of the term ‘mentally ill’ has effectively led the public to think only in the context of people who are out of touch with reality and incapable of thinking for themselves. The term ‘politically correct’ has been applied in order to limit what can and can’t be said or discussed in formal public dialogues, and the term ‘national security’ has come to be nothing more than an excuse for excessive government secrecy. But these are only a few of the endless number of words and phrases that are constantly being created and introduced into the public mindset to narrow and alter thoughts and perceptions. This serves to control our thinking and communications within a limited predefined context that avoids the consideration of other possibilities.
Images are another tool for manipulating perceptions. As with words and phrases, images can be used to great effect in psyop programs. An image can be made to convey a specific meaning when it’s repeatedly presented in a specific context until such a point that it takes on that context. When it reaches this point, it has become a symbol (just as words and phrases are), and has far more specific meaning than it would otherwise. For instance, the image of the Twin Towers in New York, with (or even without) heavy smoke pluming out of them, conveys a much stronger and more specific message than it would if the 9/11 tragedy had never happened. With the added image of Osama bin Laden associated with it, the meaning is extended and certain deeper contexts are conveyed. In the same way, an image of a hovering flying saucer in all its physical detail (whether real or faked) conveys a much stronger sense of realness than a tiny spot of light in a dark sky, which in turn is better than just the description of such a scene. Images can be far more powerful than words and bring a greater sense of realism to an issue when presented in the right context at the right time. Today’s computer software allows digital mages to be easily created or altered so that it’s virtually impossible to differentiate between what’s real and what’s fake. In order to counter the effects of words and images, you need to become more consciously aware of how they can influence our thoughts and perceptions by paying attention to how you react to the things that you hear and see. The more you understand the techniques used and how you’ve been reacting to them, the better you can defend yourself against them in the future.*
As with all psyop programs, the resulting effect of words and images is what’s important, and the manner used to introduce them is of secondary concern. There are many ways to use words and images to manage perceptions, not limited to what is described above. Some of these are far more sophisticated and involve more carefully crafted presentations that manipulate the target audience’s thinking processes so as to insert information directly into the subconscious at the right moment, while the logical processes are temporarily suspended and right-brained thinking is dominant (this isn’t referring to subliminal inserts, although they have a very similar effect). Many of these more sophisticated methods are far more commonly used in visual presentations, rather than in written material, but in many cases they can be incorporated into either.
There are two particular things you need to always be cautious of in the presentation of any information, in any media format whatsoever. These are its emotional content and its suggestive content. I’ll elaborate on these further, but let me first provide a few actual examples that I’ve selected randomly but which should be familiar to many targeted individuals:
“People are suffering and dying! They are being attacked by invisible forces and they have no way to protect themselves! This is a slow-kill attack against innocent people! It’s cruel and inhuman! Little children are suffering! The authorities will do nothing about it, and if you complain to them they’ll just label you as psychotic! There is nothing you can do and no way out!”
“Please help me. For years I have been stalked and tortured by agents who have always and inexplicably remained out of reach. They have been attacking me from behind the walls or ceilings of the apartments or hotel rooms that I have had over the years, by directing some form of energy pulse at me, as well as seemingly causing my bed to subtly vibrate. They mainly bolster their attack when I’m trying to sleep, but they’re here, 24/7.”
First, let’s consider emotional content. Simply put, this is anything that causes an emotional response in someone reading or viewing particular material. It’s used to elicit certain specific emotional reactions that will lead a person to have certain perceptions or draw certain conclusions with little or no logical justification. Material such as in the above two examples (particularly the first one) will elicit certain mental images and emotions in its readers that will have a psychological effect on their reactions, molding their perceptions of the situation – the more so if they can already relate to what’s being stated. Although the statements might be the complete truth or they might be a pack of lies, the reader really has no way to be sure either way, and worse, the excessive emotional content does nothing more than exacerbate a targeted individual’s own emotional state by amplifying their sense of reality about their targeting. There is absolutely no useful information contained within the first example. Its purpose is purely to influence through the emotions with its excessive alarmist content. This tactic works because it causes the person who receives the information to react through the emotions, rather than the intellect.**
Now let’s consider suggestive content. This refers to information that is not provided by the source and must be assumed by the reader. Suggestive content refers to what isn’t being said. It’s where the meaning is implied, where the reader or audience must fill in the gaps, draw inferences, make associations to derive meaning, etc. It’s where facts must be extrapolated, generalizations must be made, or where something is likely be taken as fact or meaning a specific thing when it may not. In both of the above examples, there’s a lot of suggestive content that most readers won’t even realize because we’re already conditioned to one degree or another to fill in what’s missing by making automatic assumptions. The first example leaves the reader to fill in a great deal in order to be able to understand and relate to the message, while the second example gives more detail, but still leaves out a great deal of information that must be assumed by the reader.
I’ll focus on the second example here because its suggestive content is less obvious. First and foremost, as targeted individuals who can relate to the experience described, we’re left to assume that the writer is being totally honest in describing his attacks. Second, we’re left to assume that he has somehow verified the method of his attacks, i.e. energy pulses. Third, we’re left to assume that he somehow knows that his attackers are at the location he claims, and that they are, for whatever reason, out of his reach. The message is filled with suggestive content, which is left to the reader to make assumptions and trust is accurate.
Further to all of this, the tendency to believe a complete stranger is always much higher if what they state closely matches to what we already believe. This makes it easy for us to become grounded in certain beliefs by being constantly presented with many claims by different people suggesting similar things to what we’re already familiar with or what we already believe. Always keep this in mind when you’re visiting online forums where you’ll come in contact with a large number of posts from strangers who make claims that you can already relate to. A Psyop Specialist and his team can generate a large number of posts in these forums to make a targeted individual feel that they are among like-minded people who believe similarly, and this can be used to slowly lead the targeted individual further off track as they come to accept these posts as confirmation of their own perceptions.
Although the two examples above might still be somewhat limited in their emotional content or suggestive content, they provide good examples of the sort of influential information that’s used to manage the perceptions of a targeted audience. Remember what was explained earlier, that Psyop Specialists have access to everything you might do or see in your daily digital activities, including the amount of exposure you might have to material similar to the examples above and how you react to it, and this can all be automated through computerized monitoring and analysis systems.
With the repetitive introduction of material containing a similar message to a target over time, the information in the message becomes grounded into their beliefs and perceptions. With the continual refinement of informational material supplied to a target based on their specific individual habits, routines, beliefs, interests, attitudes, and developing body of knowledge, and with the elimination or reduction of any contrary information by controlling their sources and what those sources disseminate, their perceptions can be managed and they can be led further and further away from the reality of their situation until they’re in a position where they’re completely defenseless against their attackers and fully under their control. I’ll delve deeper into this aspect of psyop programs in the sections ahead.
There are many tricks that are used to present a false perception of reality, and another one that you need to be especially careful about is the use of personal experiences to legitimize perceptions. Very often in the online targeted community, people will present an interpretation of their personal experiences based on their own personal beliefs and perceptions. They will use their experiences as reason to justify their beliefs, and worse, will expect others to see their experiences in a similar way. Any suggestion that their perceptions are off will be taken as an insult. As innocently naïve as they may be, they do damage to the perceptions of anyone else who has similar experiences or beliefs, and who might justify this as further evidence that their own perceptions and beliefs are valid. The problem with all this is that these are subjective interpretations that lack any objective analysis (at least where none has been provided), and depends on the infallibility of the experiencer’s judgments. No amount of agreement about how they are interpreted will make that interpretation any truer, although many people think that volume (number of people believing something) equals weight (believability) when it really doesn’t at all. Psyop Specialists will take advantage of these sorts of personal experience stories by seeking ways to encourage targeted individuals to read and/or post them. This not only has an effect on the perceptions of others, but it serves to give Psyop Specialists a great deal of information about the individual’s beliefs and perceptions, which can be further taken advantage of.
Another thing to watch for is information that’s almost entirely supported by established fact (such as the known laws of physics), but then goes a step further and introduces material that’s beyond anyone’s ability to verify, or doesn’t actually match the facts when we look more closely. This false piece of information will be presented in such a way that it can be easily assumed to be fact, and so it will likely be overlooked. This is most common when the source of the information is highly trusted and has been relied on heavily for information in the past, and where that information is believed to have always been good. When such a trusted source is found to be passing false or questionable information, it signifies that past information from that source has probably been tainted also, and you should reconsider everything that you have received from that source in the past.
Some other things to watch for:
Alarmist content/excessive intensity
Using extremes, ignoring grey areas
Using rhetoric or opinion as filler material
Drawing unwarranted conclusions
Using false analogies
Remember that psyop programs will involve the management of perceptions through the employment of a skillfully crafted presentation of words and images using a variety of styles and methods to convey a consistent theme that will lead to an intended result. These words and images will be consistently repeated again and again over time so that the target audience will begin to think in terms of a certain version of reality and accept that version as true. This will often take place over an extended period of time while continually manipulating the target audience’s beliefs and perceptions to put them more in line with a version of reality that’s completely out of sorts with the truth. The task of establishing a supportive foundation for an alternate version of reality is another important aspect of perception management, and will be discussed in the next section.
* Note: The advertising industry has developed many techniques over the years to influence consumers, and these techniques have come to be applied and adapted to all forms of media for all sorts of influential purposes. By studying how advertisers, the news media, and the entertainment industry influence our perceptions, you can learn a great deal that will assist you in deflecting these ‘soft force’ attacks. But most importantly, be aware of their use in any information that is directed specifically at the targeted community.
** The human brain evolved in three stages, with instinctive mechanisms being the earliest and which deal strictly with survival responses (i.e. fight or flight), followed by the emotional mechanisms that deal with a wider variety of situations but are still highly automated responses, followed by the intellectual mechanisms, which evolved in order to provide better responses to complex situations that entail a broader number of conditional considerations. The brain is wired in such a way that the intellect can override an emotional response and allow a person to better deal with a situation through calculated thought and planning. This means that when you respond to something based on emotion, you are not always responding in the best way possible.
Early on in most psyop programs is the careful preparation and placement of key pieces of information that will be used as the foundation for establishing certain beliefs within a particular target audience. These key pieces of information are used as props to give legitimacy to what will be introduced later on. They are often planted in advance, sometimes as part of a prior psyop program that doesn’t appear to be directly related to a later one. This is best understood through some real-life examples.
Soon after the start of the war in Afghanistan, the Al Jazeera TV network was set up, presumably as a local effort by the Afghanis to keep their people informed in the face of the war. The US military and intelligence arms allowed it to continue to exist while publicly voicing concerns in the US media that it was a propaganda outlet of the Al Quaida network and it needed to be taken out. This had the effect of managing the perceptions here at home that it wasn’t under covert control by the US because they were begging to take it out. After this false perception among the targeted US audience had been achieved, Al Jazeera TV happened to present a videotape of Osama bin Laden confessing to the 9/11 attack, which was presumably intended for the Afghani people, and more specifically, for Al Quaida, in order to incite them. The response by the US government to the video was to pretend that it wanted to suppress it, using the excuse that it might contain hidden messages to terrorist ‘sleeper agents’. This led to it being immediately broadcast by western news outlets, conveniently using the (false) pretext that the democratic media only seeks to present the truth, no matter what. So the video ended up being released to the US public and accepted as a piece of information that had all the credibility needed for the effect it was intended to have on its target audience – the American people – to lead them to believe inarguably that the 9/11 tragedy could only have been orchestrated by Osama bin Laden and no one else. Case closed. After all, who can argue the audio/visual presentation of Osama bin Laden himself admitting to the act? Only later, after this planted material had already achieved its intended purpose, did the questions of possible media manipulation finally begin to be heard. These questions weren’t on most people’s minds at the time that they saw the tape. They weren’t thinking in terms of look-alike actors or audio dubbing or digital morphing technologies. But these things are fast becoming the ordinary tools of the trade in modern-day psyop programs, and they use them primarily to create key pieces of information that will be used as props in the management of perceptions during a psyop program.
The 9/11 tragedy that led to the war in Afghanistan was itself a psyop program, and key pieces of planted information can be found throughout the evidence that supports the ‘official’ story regarding this tragedy. One of these was the ‘discovery’ among the building rubble of a passport belonging to one of the alleged hijackers/terrorists who supposedly flew one of the planes into the towers. This came at a moment when questions were being asked about the quick conclusions that were being drawn about the identities of the presumed attackers. It was an information plant that served to provide evidence that the ‘official’ story was accurate and those who were presenting it were to be trusted, thus helping to nullify the consideration of any alternate possibilities.
The UFO/ET phenomenon is another case study of how planted information is used to build a foundation for false perceptions, and although detailing it in terms of a psyop program would take far too much space within this document, it should be fairly clear to most readers how various key pieces of information related to it – innumerable reports of sightings in the media, alien abduction reports involving apparent cloning, hybridization, and implants, reports of cattle mutilations and crop circles, the MJ-12 documents, and a great deal of other supposed evidence in the form of declassified government documents, photographs or videos of UFOs, and other artifacts – have cumulatively led to the greater belief in an extraterrestrial presence and the existence of alien technologies that surpass our known physics. Many aspects of this UFO/ET phenomenon that were developed through various psyop programs have since been incorporated into various more recent psyop programs centered on certain subsets of the larger ‘alternative’ community that has emerged over the years. For instance, the belief that many people are being implanted with electronic microchips has its roots in the alien abduction phenomenon, which developed out of the UFO phenomenon. As well, the belief that people are being cloned, that many of our government leaders are shape-shifting reptilians, that back-engineered alien technologies can explain the otherwise unexplainable aspects of many target’s experiences, etc., have all served to allow psyop programs to develop as offshoots of earlier programs based on the same general foundation of ‘proof’. A psyop program will take advantage of the most popular errant beliefs and misconceptions that have already been established among a target audience, as well as through the use of skillfully crafted and well placed pieces of information that will help to give these beliefs the appearance of legitimacy.
Other examples of key information plants exist that are more relevant to many targeted individuals. I’ve rooted out a number of these in the course of my research, and it’s certain to me that there are many others to be discovered as well. One of these that I’ve identified, which many targeted individuals rely on to support certain beliefs about the technologies used in their targeting, is the 1976 Robert G. Malech patent (and others similar to it), which describes a method of remotely reading and altering a person’s brainwaves. The technology described in this patent has been referred to time and again as ‘proof’ that satellites are being used to read people’s brainwaves, when in fact this patent is only describing a conceptual idea and was never a tested invention. The truth is hidden in the details, and most people will tend not to look very deeply into the details of something, especially when those details seem too complex for them to understand. I’ve researched the details of the Malech patent and the technology described in it and have explained in other documents (see the reference section) that the patent only describes a conceptual invention and that the technology will not actually work as described. But the patent is a key piece of information that was very possibly planted in the patent records so that it could be used in various psyop programs to manage the perceptions of targeted audiences by making it appear that such technologies exist.
Another likely information plant, which relies on the Malech patent to support it, is the 1992 lawsuit testimony of John St. Clair Akwei, which has also helped to manage the perceptions of many targets into believing that certain technologies exist and can do as is often claimed, and this has served to lead people in the wrong direction and into deeper traps. In the case of Akwei, because he had allegedly worked for the NSA, and because he claimed that the NSA was targeting him with similar technologies to those described in the Malech patent, and because he went so far as to take his case to court, many targets automatically assume that the technology he describes and everything else he claims in his testimony must be legitimate. But the details show that his case was indeed frivolous, as the judge presiding over it had declared. Akwei’s written testimony, which is available online, is filled with little more than emotional and suggestive content and offers no supporting facts or evidence that would give him some legitimacy. It’s far more likely that Akwei was playing a part in a psyop program, and the intention of the lawsuit was for no better reason than to put certain information into government records in order to give seeming legitimacy to that information that would help to mold certain false beliefs and give them a stronger foundation of legitimacy.
All media formats are routinely used to circulate carefully crafted and purposely planted information that can act as props in innumerable psyop programs that each serve to instill false perceptions in a targeted audience. Over time, and with the layering of further supportive information and props, these perceptions become ever more believable. A skilled Psyop Specialist can apply a myriad of tricks and techniques to nurture the development of various distinct belief systems that suit particular predilections within a target audience, and the use of planted information is the primary method of building the foundation to support that belief system. They have developed a number of ongoing belief systems, and these belief systems diverge from each other and separate a larger target audience into various subgroups based on individual beliefs, interests, preferences, etc., all of which can be determined by various sophisticated profiling systems that a Psyop Specialist has within his arsenal of ‘soft force’ weapons. This is also where a Psyop Specialist will take advantage of his knowledge of group dynamics. Let’s consider profiling systems first, and then we’ll look at group dynamics.
Data Collection and Profiling
“In the business world, the subjective is determined using focus groups, surveys, sales- force feedback, competitive analysis and even industrial and market psychologists and profilers. The same tools can work just as well in the IO [Information Operations] environment. […] Developing audience analysis and profiles is both an art and a science. It is also absolutely critical. Information Warriors, like marketing professionals, are looking for anything about the group psyche of each different audience that will help them to get inside their heads. […] Each of these audiences is important. Each is radically different. Yet you must understand each; you must understand that the message that appeals to one group may well be a turn-off to the other; and you must get that message inside their heads in a way that will get them to follow through with your desired response. […] The goal of audience analysis is to create a profile of people so that you can determine what messages will be needed. In short, you have to find their ‘hot button’, their passion, or – to be cynical – their price. Once you have developed profiles of each of your audiences and determined these ‘hot buttons’, it’s time to get inside their heads. You do this with messaging.” – Journal of Information Warfare
The above quote reveals a lot about what’s involved in information warfare in our modern age. It’s important for Psyop Specialists to understand as much as possible about their targets, both individually and as a group. For this reason, it’s important to understand the power that automated data collection and profiling systems give to a Psyop Specialist, since this is a key aspect of all psyop programs. Computer technology and digital communications provide the ability to monitor both individuals and groups and analyze the information gathered in order to determine how best to manipulate their perceptions for whatever purpose desired.
Profiling starts by collecting a large body of data on the targeted individual or group. This will include their opinions, beliefs, level of knowledge, what motivates them, their habits and routines, their emotional and intellectual strengths and weaknesses, the information sources they rely on, their interests, likes and dislikes, capabilities, dependencies, fears, expectations, uncertainties, etc. This information is analyzed using sophisticated software algorithms that help a Psyop Specialist to determine the best methods of attack in managing the perceptions of a targeted individual or group to lead them in a desired direction to achieve a certain end. The means to accomplish this can include all of the techniques described in this document, and these techniques rely on the ability to understand the target, particularly on a psychological level. The sophisticated data collection and analysis systems available to a Psyop Specialist are able to reveal far more about a target than the target will even know about themselves.
At the heart of the data collection process are systems like the NSA’s ECHELON surveillance system, which monitors all global communications in real time and stores selected information based on certain given parameters such as key words and phrases, specific sources or destinations of communications, etc. This information can then be analyzed more closely using more complex software algorithms that look for specific patterns.
Further analysis of this information using various other computerized systems will be performed, and a constantly updated file of useful data can be compiled on any group or individual. These computerized logic systems can filter out whatever information might be desired, and very accurate profiles can be compiled on every targeted individual, allowing them to be classified into various groups based on specific characteristics.
Another very powerful weapon in a Psyop Specialist’s arsenal is the Psychological Assessment System (PAS), which was developed over many years by the CIA’s behavioral psychologist Dr. John Gittinger. PAS is based on IQ test scores, and allows a wide variety of personality traits and predictable behaviors to be accurately defined. The PAS was designed specifically for determining how to compromise a person and take advantage of them. It has been used very extensively over the years, from assessing the aptitudes of university students, to selecting and managing corporate employees, to selecting police officers, military personnel, and intelligence operatives for recruitment and assignment to specific positions or tasks, to identifying and handling individuals for specific mind-control programs. An extensive database of test scores has been compiled over the years so that the system is able to chart all aspects of human behavior and individuals can be profiled and categorized into groups based on matching their known personality characteristics to the accumulated test scores. The information derived from these comparisons define categories that include such things as what a person’s greatest fears are, what motivates them, if they’re good role-players, if they’re easy to hypnotize, if they’ll be loyal or if they might pose a threat, if they have sexual or criminal deviancies or if they are morally rigid, if they can be influenced to act a certain way and how it can be influenced, etc. Almost anything can be determined about an individual’s personality with this system, to an amazing degree of predictability. The prime objectives for using this system are control, exploitation, or neutralization, making it an ideal tool for use in psyop programs. The database of accumulated test scores in the CIA’s possession has become large enough and refined enough over the years that individuals who haven’t taken any formal tests can still be accurately assessed by analyzing their behavior under various circumstances and looking for specific patterns that correspond to those determined by the PAS tests.
With sophisticated computerized systems like those described here, data collection, analysis, and profiling become easy and a great deal of insight can be acquired on any individual or group. Virtually any type of data can be collected and predictable behaviors can be determined and vulnerabilities can be exploited. These systems are very useful for determining audiences to target by categorizing people by their profiles.
The Targeted Community and Group Dynamics
“All the goal-setting, audience analysis and strategic message development is worthless unless you undertake an aggressive dissemination campaign. This means you have to get your message out, get it to the right audiences, and to do it with ‘reach’ and frequency.” – Journal of Information Warfare
In order for a Psyop Specialist to effectively manage the perceptions of a target audience, they often will first need to identify their audience using data collection and profiling systems. Once a large target-base has been identified that shares certain desired profile characteristics between its members, more refined selection processes can be employed in order to narrow down the primary target-base to a core group that will be the most exploitable. A large target-base can contain numerous distinct subgroups that will share some profile characteristics but diverge on others, so that different psychological profiles might be used to classify people into different groups that can be targeted and exploited in different ways for different purposes.
Being able to isolate a targeted group is crucial to a psyop program, and this makes the internet particularly useful for their purposes. People with similar beliefs and interests tend to gravitate into distinct groups, and all groups follow certain known dynamics that can be exploited by a Psyop Specialist. In the online community, where groups form very easily around any common interest, this poses serious dangers for people who are already targeted, since their targeting will likely follow them online.
As targeted individuals become aware of their situation and begin to seek to better understand it, they’ll soon discover the larger community of targeted individuals that exists online. At the same time, they’ll begin to discover an overwhelming amount of information related to targeting that proliferates among this community. Naturally, they’ll want to know how to make sense of their targeting (what to believe) and how to deal with it (what to do) and they’ll seek out people and places where they can get advice and support. Online support groups for targeted individuals abound, and targeted individuals seeking information and support are therefore naturally drawn to them. These groups give the participants a social identity and a sense of empowerment through a sense of ‘strength in numbers’. This is something that targeted individuals need due to the isolation that has already been imposed on them. This coming together into a group based on common interests is the first stage of group dynamics, and leads to situations that a Psyop Specialist can take advantage of.
One thing that is common about online groups is that their members tend to rely on the same or similar sources for information that relates to their common interest, and these sources tend to become focused on by the group to the exclusion of most others. This can be taken advantage of by a Psyop Specialist if they can manipulate the source in order to control the information that is disseminated. How this can occur will be described in more detail further on.
Once a group forms around a common interest, the next stage of group dynamics sets in. When a number of people come together around a common interest or cause, one of two things can eventually happen: either the group will agree on most or all of the major issues related to their cause, or there will be significant dissent that forces the group to split or disintegrate. But if the group is cohesive and the participants agree on most issues and hold the same beliefs, they’ll begin to stifle any opposing views because these opposing views threaten the harmony of the group. This is known as ‘groupthink’, and when it sets in it poses certain dangers that a Psyop Specialist can exploit. The most common danger of groupthink is that it can easily lead to impulsive decisions by members of the group and a failure to identify and/or properly consider all sides of an argument before drawing conclusions. In the case of targeted individuals, this often equates to impulsively going along with what the majority of the group believes about their targeting experiences – what technology is being used on them, what it is capable of, who the perpetrators are, what information sources are reliable, etc. – while neglecting alternative possibilities.
At this point, group polarization is setting in, which refers to a group’s tendency to lead itself into extreme positions. A group will get so focused and energized about their activities (what they believe, what they’re doing about their situation, the people they’re involved with, etc.) that it creates an internal fuel that pushes the group forward faster than it would normally and usually in ways that will result in unreasoned thinking or action. In terms of a psyop program, this makes online groups ideal places for leading targeted individuals into extreme positions regarding their beliefs, serving to coalesce them into an even tighter group. Groupthink causes the group to shut out any alternative ideas or opinions, making it ever harder to bring any of the participants back around to a more realistic perception of their situation and experiences. In extreme cases, and with the right direction, such polarization can easily lead the group into forming into a full-blown cult. I’ll talk about this in a later section.
Group cohesion relies on another principle of group dynamics. Once a group of people forms around a common belief or interest, there’s an opportunity for leadership roles to be established that provide the motivating force needed to carry the group forward to some perceived end. Without some form of leadership, any group will degenerate as fewer and fewer participants are motivated to take part in its activities. This need for group leadership increases as the group gets larger, since group dynamics naturally tend towards less participation by each individual as the group’s size increases and activity becomes spread out between more participants. Individual contributions lessen as group size increases. Therefore, as the group grows, some form of leadership becomes more and more necessary to hold the group together and keep it focused on its common interest.
This is when a Psyop Specialist will introduce someone who can take the leadership role in the group, or otherwise co-opt whoever already serves as its leader. In the online targeted community, these leaders usually take the form of high-profile spokespeople who often claim to have professional qualifications and/or special knowledge related to the interests of the group. The people in these sort of leadership roles also manage to get heavy publicity and develop large followings rather quickly. They produce a continual stream of material for dissemination among their followers, often in the form of lectures, interviews, and articles, and they’re the predominant source for most of the information that their followers receive and use to form their beliefs. Unfortunately for their followers, but ideally for a Psyop Specialist, these high-profile leaders remain almost completely out of reach of their audience and it’s therefore hard to ever question them directly about the information they present. They rely on their credentials, popularity, and ability to continually spew out a never-ending flow of material that keeps their target audience captivated. More than anything else, people are drawn to these sort of leaders simply because everyone else seems to be, and because they seem to be very knowledgeable and up-to-date on subjects of interest. At the very least, they serve to entertain the interests of their audience, and many people are subconsciously attracted to them for this reason as much as any, which a Psyop Specialist knows.
These high-profile leadership roles are best suited for disseminating information that will influence the beliefs of their audience, but due to group dynamics, the large followings they tend to generate eventually cause distinct subgroups to develop, which can disrupt the cohesion of the larger group if things aren’t managed properly. The most obvious thing for a Psyop Specialist to do is to filter members into separate groups based on their divergent beliefs and opinions, with new leaders developed or introduced for the new groups. Thus, we see many different high-profile spokespeople arising online, and new ones arriving on the scene as old ones fade out of the picture as the climate changes and new psyops are implemented.
Studies of group dynamics reveal that group leaders will usually only be accepted if they first conform to the group’s standards (their rules and belief system), thus gaining the full trust of the group. Only then will they have earned the group’s confidence enough that they can begin to introduce new ideas that will lead the group in a desired direction without much thought or questioning. Consider this in terms of the purposeful introduction of false information that’s intended to further lead the group away from reaching any solutions. Perception management will be very effective at this point, and virtually any information that a trusted leader might introduce will be accepted with very little further consideration.
Currently, there are innumerable groups that exist online that cater to the targeted community. They are all at various levels of existence with each having its favored leaders and its own level of cohesion that reflects the uniformity of the participant’s beliefs. Many other groups are very loose and participants regularly come and go and there’s little uniformity of belief among the participants beyond a certain level, although there will still be many commonalities between their beliefs that reflect a certain level of cohesion. Loose groups don’t have any real leadership roles, so the activities within these groups are usually minimal and unorganized and they have no momentum to achieve anything beyond being a place to share information and give mutual support. From a Psyop Specialist’s perspective, these loose groups will be used primarily for monitoring targets and collecting data on them. This data collection can include testing responses to various ‘soft force’ methods of attack.
The degree to which a group is successful depends largely on the number of members who hold certain common beliefs between them, but the more specific the beliefs become defined within the group, the likelier they will begin to diverge. Think of this in terms of the high-profile personalities that exist in the targeted community in the form of spokespeople and the large audiences they attract through the information they disseminate. Although they don’t generally promote a very specific belief system, they serve to gather an audience with a broad set of beliefs that contain many similarities, and this audience acts as a target-base that can be exploited further. If you follow one of these online personalities (i.e. Alex Jones, Dr. John Hall, Jesse Beltran, etc.) and gobble up every word they say, and you buy into it because it comes across as very professional and because so many others are giving them attention and seem to believe them, then you’re falling into the group dynamics that leads to the potential for further exploitation. This is why these high-profile personalities are out there, getting lots of special publicity that a person can’t ordinarily get, always busy disseminating information that keeps their audience captive and supports the beliefs most common to the entire group. These front-line spokespeople are used in psyop programs to identify a more refined target audience that’s more likely to be influenced by certain types of information and believe certain falsehoods, and these people are sought out from within this larger audience and targeted more selectively to lead them deeper into the trap, drawing them into groups more aligned in their beliefs where they can be worked on more thoroughly while isolating them from other information sources. So although high-profile online personalities might act in the leadership role to create a large target-base that serves to control and neutralize its members by keeping them captive with a continuous flow of slightly tainted information, a Psyop Specialist can scour this audience for people with the right traits that will allow them to be exploited. Obviously, not everybody will be exploitable to the same degree, but anyone who can be exploited will be exploited as much as possible, with the intent to recruit as many targets as possible into more cult-like groups that exist online and operate as part of one or another psyop program.
Although high-profile leaders develop large audiences, those audiences break down into smaller subgroups with their own distinct differences. These smaller subgroups will often continue to follow the same high-profile leader as before, but with smaller groups the dynamics change and the group becomes easier to manage and manipulate. New leaders can surface who are more intimately involved with the group than a high-profile leader can be. Where larger groups naturally tend towards breakdown and division as they get bigger, these smaller groups can lead far more easily to groupthink and polarization. With certain types of leaders, this can develop into a much worse situation.
Follow The Leader
Leaders such as I’ve described above – or anyone else, for that matter – don’t have to be knowingly involved in a psyop program, and they’re just as likely to be used unwittingly for this purpose. But nevertheless, human weaknesses are exploitable, so these people, if they are involved, will probably have some knowledge that what they are doing is a deception. The desire for money, sex, popularity, or power can be used to coerce them into taking part in psyop activities. Some people are far more corrupt and willing to be used in these schemes, and anyone with the right qualities can be molded into leaders of smaller groups where they have tight control over its members.
These smaller online groups with their own leaders are often less visible, but they’re there and they can become quite dangerous. These groups can develop when there’s very strong cohesion among the participants, and where beliefs are very uniform among them and groupthink is well established. The group will usually rally around a single leader who maintains strict control over the group and keeps participants focused on group activities. There may be an inner core of members who work with the leader to help manage the group. Outsiders aren’t easily accepted, and will usually have to go through a probationary period to prove themselves first, either by informally showing that they understand and follow the group’s belief system and rules, or through a more formal initiation process that might require them to make certain commitments to the group. These sort of online groups can easily tend towards cultism, and as such, they might be part of a psyop program.
Generally speaking, a cult can be defined as a group that exploits its members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with the leadership’s demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, and through the inculcation of a target’s deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders. A cult will exhibit excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing and will employ manipulative techniques of persuasion and control on its members that are designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.
According to Robert J. Lifton, a leading authority on cults, certain types of people are more susceptible to being drawn into these groups, most notably those who have a negative self-image, tendencies towards guilt, inclinations toward all-or-nothing emotional alignments, and people who have had early problems in life with trust, chaos, dominating parents, guilt, and/or identity crisis. People who have just suffered a crisis such as a divorce or death are also highly susceptible to getting caught up with one of these groups. People with religious leanings and who are seeking answers or spiritual guidance are also susceptible to joining these groups. During late adolescence and early adulthood there is a general tendency towards emotional polarization that makes a person particularly susceptible to them as well. This list is by no means all-inclusive, and there are other characteristics that make a person vulnerable to cult groups as well.
The most susceptible people of all, however, are those who are already aware that they are targeted individuals. After having been stripped of a normal life and without any resources to turn to for help, feeling completely isolated from the rest of the world and desperately needing answers to understand what’s going on, they’re in a very vulnerable position and this makes them ideal candidates for recruitment into a cult group. Targeted individuals also happen to be very easy to find online, since there are many places there where they congregate. Given that a Psyop Specialist can use various profiling and data collection systems to assess a person’s psychological profile, identifying those who are most likely to be drawn into a cult is relatively easy, and the methods used to get people involved in them are highly systematized, making much of the task no harder than following a script. Psyop Specialists seek to recruit targeted individuals and turn them into perpetrators, and they use cults and cult tactics to convert their targets.
A Psyop Specialist, or anyone else who has a grasp of the techniques or is being instructed in them, can use these skills to create a cult-like group of people who can be tightly controlled and compelled to submit to its leader. Psyop Specialists can take advantage of group dynamics and cult techniques to create isolated ‘mercenary’ groups who are under constant control and acting under false perceptions. These groups can serve a number of useful functions in a psyop program, acting as low-level operatives in any number of psychological operations that might be going on within a larger psyop program. For instance, members of these types of groups might be assigned to flood online forums with messages that raise fears in targeted individuals, or that promote certain extreme beliefs related to their targeting. They will also be used to recruit targeted individuals, drawing them into these groups in order to convert them to perpetrators. It isn’t beyond reason to think that those trained in cult techniques will use them for personal gain as well, and there are such people out there who have learned these skills and have successfully applied them against unwitting others for their personal benefit.
According to Robert Jay Lifton, cults can be identified by three general characteristics:
1. A charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose their power;
2. The use of coercive persuasion or thought reform;
3. Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.
Additionally, a cult group will exhibit some or all of these characteristics:
Authoritarianism — Control of the group stems from an absolute leader or a small circle of core members. Often the cult’s leadership is glorified. The leader may be recognized as divine, or even as God.
Milieu Control – The leader will seek to control member’s sources of information and social interaction. Members are encouraged to restrict communication and relationships with outsiders, and to study the group’s internal literature.
‘Sacred Science’ – A cult will teach that its chosen philosophy, beliefs, or experiential panacea forms the only possible truth and path to salvation, enlightenment, higher purpose, etc.
Loaded Language – Cults will have a special in-house lexicon, often creating or redefining words and using glib thought-terminating slogans and catchphrases that are used to condition and control group thought. The words and phrases will symbolize complex ideas that have already been established that relate to the group’s doctrine, and will effectively serve to avoid a deeper consideration of these ideas. They also serve to bond group members who understand the language and can sound impressive when talking in front of others who don’t. Outsiders who don’t know the lexicon are far less able to criticize the logic that the group uses as a foundation for its beliefs.
Chosen Ones – Members of a cult are often encouraged to believe they are special or superior, and in many cases will be encouraged to think that they were meant to join the group and that the group is itself special and on a higher mission.
Secret Doctrines – A cult might claim to possess certain esoteric teachings that must not ever be revealed to the outside world. Only core members of the group will have access to these teachings.
Mystical Manipulation – Cults often ascribe certain types of events to supernatural influences. A new member will often be influenced to believe that they’ve had a supernatural experience (induced by the use of one of a number of scientifically explainable techniques), and the group will use this as proof that higher forces are at work. In other cases, the group leader might be the only member deemed to have supernatural abilities, thus establishing his right to lead the group.
Limited Critical Thinking – Persons who question or challenge what the group offers are ridiculed, denied access, or exiled.
Demand for Purity – Cults have unreachably high standards for the behavior of their members. Higher levels of initiation might be offered to members to motivate them and lead them deeper into cult activities based on their commitment to the group and its doctrine. The polarization of the group around their beliefs will cause a natural motivation towards extreme actions, and the high standards set out for the group to follow will channel this motivation back into the group and anchor members to it further. The more they invest themselves into the group, the less willing they’ll be to give up what they have already invested so much in, should doubt about the group and its beliefs ever enter their minds. The inability to meet the group’s expectations leads to feelings of guilt, which can be taken advantage of by the group leader to control the member further.
Confession – Even minor transgressions must be confessed immediately and thoroughly, usually before the entire group. Regular confession sessions will usually take place, with each member being expected to reveal their faults and sins and receive punishment by the group. Although these sessions might appear to serve as an outlet for members to unburden themselves and share thoughts and feelings, it is actually used as a means to control them through what they disclose. It also acts to bond them more tightly with the group by sharing things they normally wouldn’t with others.
Fire-and-Brimstone – Leaving the cult, or failing at one’s endeavor to complete the requirements to achieve its panacea, will result in consequences greater than if they had never joined the cult in the first place. Threats will be made if there is any sign that a member is thinking of leaving the group.
Shunning — Members are restricted from having any contact with members who have left the group. This keeps them from any influences that might draw them away as well.
You will notice that many of these characteristics reflect what was described earlier in this document, and although not all of these listed characteristics will necessarily be present in a cult group, in extreme cases they are. Beware of any groups that reflect any of these characteristics.
Cult groups are recognizable because they have corralled their participants into a tightly controlled situation that dictates what to believe and how to act. Within these groups, new members will experience certain group dynamics that aren’t usually seen in other groups. In cult-like groups, new participants tend to be treated as outsiders, and until they show that they’re willing to conform to the group by showing that they accept the same beliefs and are willing to follow the rules, they’ll either remain on the fringes of the group, or, more likely, be closed out completely. Usually there will be an initial period where the new participant is first treated very well, but then things soon change and they begin to receive a lot of criticism, ridicule, humiliation, and other psychological abuse from the group. This is a test to see how much the newcomer is willing to withstand, and what sort of fight they put up. This tactic is used to determine how badly the person wants to belong to the group and how quickly they’ll conform to the group’s standards. Anyone who puts up a defense and doesn’t submit will be cast out, since they pose a threat to the group’s cohesion. Any targeted individual who comes across any group that sounds similar to what is described here should distance themselves from it as quickly as possible. It’s either a full-blown cult, or on the verge of becoming one.
Cult leaders feed off of their followers, whether for money, power, or whatever else, and they’re always on the hunt for new recruits to keep their flock large enough to feed their needs. They look for people who show signs of psychological weakness, such as people who’ve suffered a recent crisis, people who are seeking spiritual guidance, people who already hold non-mainstream beliefs similar to their own, people who feel outcast from society, lonely people looking for friends and companionship, etc. Targeted individuals are already in a prime position for recruitment into a cult group. They have been suffering a crisis, they feel outcast and have a strong need for friendship and support due to the isolation that their targeting has already caused, they seek a means to understand their targeting, and due to the nature of their attacks, they very often entertain non-mainstream beliefs about what is going on. The targeted community is filled with potential recruits for these groups.
Cult groups are a part of the trade of a Psyop Specialist, and the online community is an ideal place to create these groups and use them as part of a psyop program to create teams that perform certain functions. The internet offers all the necessary functional aspects for applying the principle methods of perception management to control, neutralize, or exploit a targeted individual or group. Targeted individuals coming online in search of support and information are very susceptible to these psyop programs, since they’re already being targeted and will likely be in a state of psychological weakness that cults typically look for in potential recruits. So, if you’re a targeted individual and you go online, chances are very high that you’ll be continually targeted by people who seek to entrap you in a cult-like setting and lead you off course so as to exploit you. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll be converted into a perpetrator and used in various ways to assist in psyop programs and targeting operations.
Online cults are on-going psyop programs. They will display all of the effects of group dynamics that have been outlined in this and the previous section. They will also employ some or all of the methods of perception management that have been described throughout this document. They don’t have to be as tightly-knit and closed off to outsiders as cults are normally described in the media, and the leaders may not approach the role of charismatic or psychopathic figurehead that is popularly portrayed either, but the signs of cultism will be there nonetheless.
There are a number of important things to look for when you come across anyone at all who has a high-profile presence online. I’ll cover each briefly.
Proof of credentials
The very first qualifier that a leader will often use to establish themselves in that position will be their purported credentials. These need to be established early on in order to win over followers, but once they have been presented and accepted, they are given little more attention and will quickly be set aside as information more relevant to the group’s purpose is offered.
Any person who promotes themselves as a former or current government employee, doctor, scientist, lawyer, or any other sort of professional, and who uses that professional position to give themselves credibility, should be willing and able to provide some sort of proof. To extend this further, anyone who makes any sort of claim whatsoever should be willing and able to provide whatever information is needed to validate it. Taking someone at their word, no matter how legitimate they might make themselves seem, is very risky. Do not make the assumption that because others believe the person that it’s okay for you to do so as well. The majority of people are easy to fool because they don’t know how to think critically, so be the more intelligent person and demand proof of credentials, or go elsewhere for information. This will save you a great deal of trouble in the long run.
Thoroughness in fact-finding
Before you begin to even consider accepting what someone claims, take a close look at how far they go in checking their facts and detailing the finer points. Do they just present information and expect you to accept it, or do they provide a deeper consideration of the details that would support or refute their claims? Be careful if they refer to the work of others, since that work might be at fault, and these same rules must be applied there. Do your own fact-checking on the information whenever possible, and don’t ever assume completely that any particular piece of information is accurate.
Openness to questions and ability to answer them
Anyone who makes claims or puts out information should be willing to answer questions about it from those they disseminate it to. If a person is unreachable or avoids answering legitimate questions, their information shouldn’t be relied on.
Degree of emotional/suggestive content in their material
If a person is including a noticeable amount of emotional or suggestive content in their material (as defined earlier), they’re not playing fair and are relying on psychological tactics to persuade their audience. When presenting accurate information, there is never any need for these sorts of tactics, since the information should be able to speak for itself. Trying to be overly persuasive or leaving it up to the audience to fill in the missing pieces only reveals the weakness of the information being presented.
Degree of publicity
Behind virtually every high-profile persona there is a team working in the background taking care of the production and publicity aspects of their media campaign. No one person has the time and energy needed to create and maintain a large audience within a short period of time, as we see with many high-profile online personalities these days. There is always going to be some fairly skilled help involved, working in the background.
Digging up the Roots of Deception
History provides a lesson, for those who look. So let’s take a quick look at the roots of all of this, when these psyop programs first started being employed on the home front by the US government as they were embarking on their research into mind-control as part of MKULTRA. This is when the biggest psyop program in history – the UFO/ET deception – was first initiated. It never would have grown such strong roots without the careful cultivation of a UFO community and its first leadership roles, and by controlling the sources of information on the subject and giving these leaders the publicity needed to disseminate that information to their target audience, using all of the techniques of perception management outlined in this document.
Most or all of the key pieces of information that served to build the foundation to support the belief in the UFO/ET phenomenon can be seen (if you look at the finer details) to have derived from sources that were either directly connected to intelligence arms of the US government, or were under their influence in some way. From the late 1940s up until the advent of the internet in the late 1980s, the only sources of information on the subject of UFOs were magazine and book writers, and lesser-recognized conference lecturers (usually people describing their personal knowledge or experiences). The subject was kept completely outside of mainstream media as a serious topic of consideration and was only valued as entertainment. A ‘denial of service’ situation existed, and an interested public had few sources of information to go to. The earliest writers and lecturers on the subject of UFOs offered no better qualifications to know the truth about this subject than anyone else, and it was only that they had something to offer at all that they attracted an audience. This audience’s dynamics were the same as with any group, which had the potential to be taken advantage of. These early writers and lecturers acted in the role of group leaders, but as innocent as they may have been in their endeavors, they had human weaknesses that a Psyop Specialist would know how to exploit. These people were targeted and used in various psyop programs that helped to create an alternate perception of reality as a cover for other programs and operations that were centered on the development of post-WWII secret technologies.
After first gaining control over these people (through publishing contracts, etc.) and gaining their confidence, they were then supplied with disinformation to disseminate to the rest of the UFO community. A great deal of this audience’s attention was given to what these people presented based on two important factors: a lack of anywhere else to go for information, and the sheer extraordinariness of what they presented. And what they presented became the foundation for an alternate belief system that would grow and evolve over time. These early writers and lecturers filled leadership roles by keeping the UFO community alive, and they were its only sources of information in the beginning. But it turns out that people with military or intelligence ties were always involved with these people in one way or another, whether they were presenting themselves as whistleblowers with inside information, or playing more covert roles by posing as doctors, scientists, or researchers with levels of knowledge and expertise that gave their opinions some validity. Many witnesses to alleged UFO/ET events were also heavily exploited and led into leadership roles, giving lectures and writing books while receiving special publicity from behind the scenes, their stories of their personal experiences helping to give legitimacy to the alternate reality that was developing. Their stories also helped to build on the detail of this alternate reality and keep the audience captivated. But always in the background pulling the strings were the Psyop Specialists, managing the perceptions of their target audience that they had nurtured into existence, planting information along the way, and using every psychological technique they had in their arsenal to apply ‘soft force’ methods of persuasion to convince this audience of that alternate reality. Among this audience were many targets of other secret government programs that stemmed from MKULTRA who thought they had had UFO/ET experiences, and the perception of reality that they were being led to believe worked as a cover for these secret government mind-control programs.
The UFO/ET phenomenon has since developed in various ways, and the issue of mind-control has always been in the background, an explanation that many purported ‘alien’ abductees reject out of hand as the real cause of their experiences. These mind-control experimentees/abductees are generally caught up in a false belief system that covers the deeper truth, and many of them have been converted into ‘true believers’ who continue to promote the cover story through books and lectures. They are a generation of targeted individuals who were used to build a false reality that has continued to exist and evolve even further. The experiences of many targeted individuals in recent years show telling similarities to many of these abductee cases (particularly the more recent ones), and they often show the same refusal that abductees have shown towards any other explanations for their experiences than those they have attached themselves to. This is a grave concern, because this rejection of logical analysis is a sign that cult techniques have been used on them.
This is something that all targeted individuals need to beware of.
A Few Last Words
This document has provided a great deal of information that will be very useful to targeted individuals as they forage through the online community in search of answers while avoiding the traps that are constantly being set up as part of various psyop programs. Perception management is a key aspect of any psyop program, and as targeted individuals we are already in the sights of Psyop Specialists whose jobs are to lead us into complete control by those they work for.
As targeted individuals, coming to an understanding about our situation and the methods used against us is a never-ending journey that’s full of deceptions and distractions, and there are no quick and easy ways to travel this road to safety. Each avenue we might take leads to new roads that need to be traversed carefully, and it requires a great deal of caution when exploring the territory and those other people we seem to be journeying it with. There is really no one that we can trust completely, and even those people we should be able to trust the most – our closest friends and family – have revealed to most of us that this is so. Even other targeted individuals often prove to be perpetrators in disguise. The only person you really have left to trust is yourself. Therefore, it’s very important that you know how to do that and not be fooled by your own mistakes in judgment, and that’s what this document is intended to help you with. Perceptions are not always as they seem, and piercing the veil of illusion takes skill. But you can learn those skills, and when you do, things become far easier and far safer.
Stay strong, always be alert and aware, and question everything.
* * *
‘Perception Management’ – Dept. of Defense
‘Information Warfare: What and How’ – Megan Burns (1999)
‘Journal of Information Warfare’ (Vol I, Issue III, 2002)
‘Weapons of Mass Perception: The Power and Problems of Propaganda and Psyops’ – Author unknown
‘The Search for the Manchurian Candidate’ (chapter 10) – John Marks
‘Arguments and Persuasion Techniques in Writing’ – Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata
‘10 Rules That Govern Groups’ – John M. Grohol, PsyD
‘Characteristics Of Totalistic Movements (Destructive Cults)’ – Paul Morantz
‘Elements of Harmful Cult Activity: An Exit Counselor’s Working Model’ – Joseph Szimhart
See Also (by the author)