“Do you want to manufacture Time? Jump on the elite bandwagon and earn your stripes as an elite propagandist. Past, present, and future are yours to shape, infinitely elastic and malleable.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
In my latest collection, Power Outside The Matrix, I’ve included a long section titled,“Analyzing Information in the Age of Disinformation.”
I invite you to read about Power Outside The Matrix at NoMoreFakeNews.com.
Oxford Dictionary defines a trial balloon as “a tentative measure taken or statement made to see how a new policy will be received.”
That’s a bland description. The measures taken aren’t always tentative. In fact, some may be quite aggressive: criminal prosecutions of the innocent; drone strikes; pronouncements of fake epidemics; bills curbing freedom; wars.
In other words, all intelligence ops and important government/corporate actions always include the trial-balloon aspect.
A war going on overseas? Analysts at home are put to work assessing public reaction, levels of public resistance, and so on.
Depending on their verdict, new propaganda strategies are launched to gain public support.
These strategies constitute moving targets for independent minds who are trying to figure out what’s going on.
The last Iraq war was variously promoted as: a necessary and relevant reaction to 9/11; an invasion to disable Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction; an effort to topple an evil dictator and liberate the Iraqi people; a continuance of the mission to spread democracy around the world; a geo-political action to prevent destabilization of the Middle East; and even George W Bush’s revenge for an earlier dastardly effort to assassinate his father.
Reveal the fraudulent basis of any one of these claims, and a new one would pop up.
Understand that each piece of propaganda for war against Iraq was a calculated decision, and was based on an assessment of US public reaction to prior pieces of propaganda.
Each item of propaganda was a trial balloon. Float balloon A, gauge the reaction. Based on the nature of reaction, float balloon B, gauge the reaction. And so on.
The war against Iraq itself was also treated as a trial balloon at every stage of the operation. How is the public responding on day one of the invasion, day four, day 27, day 46…
It isn’t always one series of consecutive propaganda items—these bits can overlap. But you get the idea.
In intelligence groups, analysts are always there collating public and press reactions, and their conclusions are used to come up with new PR approaches. It’s a feedback loop.
The entire era of the 1960s was eventually treated as a trial balloon and examined by many analysts at think tanks and intelligence agencies and even advertising agencies.
“What lessons can we learn that will enable us to exercise more control over the population?’
At a very important level, one lesson was: promote the idea that humans are groups, not individuals.
Judging by the enormous protests against the war in Vietnam, analysts could see there was a rising sentiment for collective action and collective thought.
How could this growing trend be channeled to produce a reduction of freedom?
One important point that was discovered: when the compulsory military draft ended, serenity (apathy) was immediately restored on college campuses. No more demonstrations. No more protests. Students suddenly focused on how they could “find a niche in the job market.”
So, lesson learned, and going forward: initiate a threat, encourage collective action, reduce the threat, bring about passivity. Introduce a new threat (real or imaginary), stimulate collective action, reduce that threat, create more apathy. On and on. Stimulus-response.
The end result? A generalized chronic apathy, plus an attitude that the individual is going extinct, and only the collective matters.
That’s a powerful dose of toxic medicine for a population.
Backing away from the entire era of the 1960s and viewing it as a trial balloon—a strategy that worked.
(Of course, during the 60s, various ops were launched with the intention to distract and dumb down the young population; among them, the flood of drugs, the Laurel Canyon hatchery of music stars, etc.)
Recently, we saw the Disneyland-measles op. Based on an absurdly small number of purported cases, a great amount of sentiment was stimulated.
First and foremost (without which the whole campaign would have fizzled), we had the Disney component.
“Happiest place on Earth…plus dire disease in children…horror story…the good turns sinister…where can we take our children for fun these days and remain safe from harm…save us…”
That was stage one.
Following from the initial imagery that transformed happiness into fear (the basis of any good horror movie), we were treated, in succession, to:
The kids who got sick weren’t vaccinated. Protect our children. They all need to be vaccinated. Without vaccination, sudden destruction spreads. Some parents are delinquent. What’s wrong with these parents? They’re anti-vaccine. They’re crazy. They’re against science. They’re uneducated morons. They’re criminals. They should be thrown in jail. Their kids should be taken away from them. We have to pass new laws making vaccination mandatory in all cases, in all places. What? You mean vaccines aren’t already mandatory? How can that be? Listen to doctors. They know the truth. The anti-vaccine crazies are pretending they’re doctors…
Moving targets. Knock one down, another pops up. One propaganda item (trial balloon) after another is launched. Public reaction is positive? Good. Float the next balloon. The public support is growing? Good. Press harder.
“Wow, this is going better than we expected. Fantastic. Let’s get a whole bunch of states to pass laws knocking out all exemptions to vaccination. Let’s double down.”
Again, this isn’t a perfectly executed machine-series of propaganda items…but it is a conscious op, and there are analysts who are gauging public reaction, blow by blow, and greenlighting new levels of pressure on the public.
Notice: the group phenomenon is at work here as well. Herd immunity must be obtained. Protect all the children through vaccination. Mothers must join the battle. The whole population is at risk. Collective propaganda. Collectivist thinking.
What any individual may decide about vaccination, based on belief, based on actual investigation… this must be discredited. The individual doesn’t count. He’s an outlier. He’s out of the loop.
Even in acknowledging that resistance to vaccination exists, government authorities and media anchors always frame the situation in terms of “a small but significant group” that opposes vaccines.
It’s never the individual. Why? Because that cuts too close to the bone. It tends to awaken the realization that freedom of choice and reason ultimately belong to the individual, not the monolithic State.
Don’t touch that hot wire. Leave it alone.
How about GMOs and Monsanto? US media propagandists occasionally admit there are groups and consumers who oppose GMOs in food, but how often do you see a featured lengthy story highlighting a single independent researcher’s conclusions criticizing Monsanto?
Again, keep the spotlight off the individual. He’s too real. Too impactful. He tends to remind people they are, in fact, individuals. Bad for business.
A drug company has committed egregious fraud by convincing doctors to prescribe a drug for off-label uses? On the network nightly news, where is the in-depth interview with a former company detail man whose job it was to visit doctors, in their offices, and persuade them to breach their Hippocratic Oath? Where is the interview with a doctor who took the bait?
Better to leave individuals out of it. Focus on groups: the company; the doctors; the patients. Less real. More abstract.
During the first stages of the “AIDS crisis,” just after HIV was announced as the single cause, a few astute researchers began taking apart the HIV hypothesis.
HIV attacks the T-cells of the immune system? There is no evidence of high levels of HIV in those cells.
Next trial balloon (moving target): HIV actually does the most damage to the macrophages, another type of immune-system cell. No real evidence of that, either.
Wait (another trial balloon): HIV causes the immune system to attack the body in a whole cascade of deadly auto-immune reactions. No proof of that.
Wait: HIV is hiding very deep in the body, that’s why it’s hard to find much of it. But we can measure the amount of it (“viral load”) by doing the vaunted DNA test called PCR. Nonsense; the PCR doesn’t measure quantity.
One trial balloon after another; each one shot down.
But the overall effect? Many critics of the HIV hypothesis became tired, threw up their hands, exited the playing field, and sank into disgruntled apathy. Mission accomplished.
These various ops are really intelligence-agency type schemes, whether they come from the specific agencies themselves, other government bureaus, think tanks, PR firms.
For them, Reality itself is propaganda, outfitted along a time line with constant trial balloons, subsequent feedback, new and improved balloons, more feedback…a loop moving from present to future.
In other words, we are talking about the elite manufacture of the content of Time.
Propaganda isn’t merely a bag full of lies. It’s the continuing invention of a parallel universe. A parallel continuum.
And in that continuum, trial balloons and moving targets are prime instruments.
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Contributed by Jon Rappoport of No More Fake News.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.