Recently, Ye Olde Blogge reviewed the points made in the video, Mass Psychosis: How an Entire Population Becomes Mentally Ill, and pointed out two things: (1) the ways that the symptoms of mass psychosis are matching up with MAGA Nation, (2) the ways that Ye Olde Blogge covered the same things but using different names, and (3) what we could do to stop or slow down our descent into mass psychosis. (Okay, that was three and not two, so I thought of one more, jeez. There’s no pleasing some people. That’s what Jesus said.) One of the points they made that was omitted from the original discussion was waves of terror. Here, I’ll post the video again starting at that point:
Let’s start by reviewing just a bit about how a person with authoritarian designs starts to work a population to create the conditions where they’ll give up freedoms and rights in exchange for the delusions that totalitarian is peddling.
Joost Meerloo suggests in his monumental book, Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, that the totalitarian simply has to reorganize and manipulate the collective feelings of the population. Hunh. Is that all? Criminy, I do that every night in lieu of prayers. They do this through a process Meerloo called, menticide. Menticide is a type of brainwashing in which the totalitarian replaces the typical normal beliefs and behaviors of a population with their own self-serving ideas through an systematic organized assault on the population’s psyche.
Waves of Terror
The totalitarian must promote fear among the general population. It doesn’t matter whether this fear is real or imagined or fabricated. Chronic negative feelings of stress, fear, anxiety, and anger loosen the rational controls — such that they are — over the mind. Experiencing such negative emotions over the long term literally damages the brain’s ability to think by exposing it to cortisone and other damaging hormones.
Once the population has been softened up through the use of constant negative emotional arousal, the totalitarian can rachet the whole nasty mess up another notch by using waves of terror. Each period of intense fear is followed by a brief period of calm, which is then followed by another period of intense but worser fear ratcheting up the fear factor over time like slowly increasing the heat on a frog in a pot of water.
By interleaving each moment of intense fear with calm increases, the effects of the terror on the population are greater than if they had been experienced sequentially without the period of calm between, simultaneously, or with varying degrees of calm between. There is an intensifying effect akin to not being able to catch your breath or get sufficient rest between bouts of intense effort.
By allowing the population a brief respite but not allowing sufficient time to process the experience, the psyche is battered down and a sense of hopelessness and inevitability is instilled. A desperation overtakes the population and people find themselves willing to do things they never thought they would. They are willing to commit crimes and atrocities that previously were unimaginable but now seem perfectly justified.
Propaganda, Disinformation, and Fake News
Accompanying this building wave of fear is propaganda, disinformation, or fake news. The use of contradictory information through the spread of gossip, fake news, and outright lies produces confusion and uncertainty in psychologically weakened population. People are just unable to make sense of the world.
In this state of confusion and desperation, the nonsensical propaganda and seductive lies have greater appeal than logic and reason. Thinking is hard, and even harder when the brain is held hostage by irrational fear, so illogic is used to restore a state of mental calm by making the crises and their solutions more understandable.
They can no longer cope. The ideas that the totalitarian wants the population to adopt are now broadcast to people who are no longer willing to engage critically with them and thus the delusion of totalitarianism is born. The delusion is that by ceding control, rights, and legal protections to the authoritarian, order, calm, and rationality can be restored. We can return to the halcyon days of yore when the country was great and good and all was right in the world.
Climate Change and #COVID19
The totalitarian must manufacture the fear, especially when using the waves of terror technique, but what if our environment took care of that for us. Isn’t the succeeding waves of intensifying natural disasters serving as the waves of terror with brief respites of calm in between as the seasons change and the natural disasters shift their focus in the country? Hasn’t each wave of the #COVID19 pandemic served to frighten the population with each new outbreak?
In a sense, the very planet is gaslighting us. We are desperate for a way out, but the way out is difficult. We have to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, but we love our carbon emissions. They make our lives convenient and lovely. And the future is so far away! Why can’t someone else give up their carbon emissions while we still continue to use ours for just a little bit longer?
We are ripe for an authoritarian figure to come along and shout, I alone can fix it at us, snap his fingers, and we’ll all forgive him for shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue. If it wasn’t Trump, and thank god it wasn’t that fat dumb orange narcissistic bastard, it will be someone else unless we can continue to focus our collective minds on the issues at hand: saving the vote, controlling the pandemic, and taming climate change.
We have to keep answering back with reality since the totalitarian and their gaslit brainwashed population has lost touch with reality. We have to get out and vote and pressure our governments to protect our votes.
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Categories: Cognitive Psychology