’till at last the child’s mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child’s mind. And not the child’s mind only. The adult’s mind too all his life long. The mind that judges and desires and decides made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions!“
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
The opinions and behaviors of people and societies are easily swayed. Every decade, every year, every week, those who control mass media change the climates of human thought. New pop stars, fashions, and fads are paraded center stage and then exit stage left followed by floods of expendable cash, leaving the path of sordid garbage known as “popular culture” in its wake.
Now the power to rule the world and wag the cultural dog is at your fingertips. What follows are simple instructions, a manual, a playbook of sorts, some simple behavioral tools to influence and take advantage of the nervous systems of all your peers.
The 23 Tools:
1. The key to truly effective brainwashing is to work at people’s most fundamental awareness. Shape them at the neurological level so they develop the faculties to take your input and call it “thinking for myself.” Enable them to stop thinking.
2. Limit any and all faculties for self-awareness and self-sensing. Destroy instinct and intuition. Actively and endlessly encourage external awareness. Make people dependent on your external input for as many decisions as possible.
3. Speed up messages so that the pace and rhythm of information is disorienting and visually biased.
4. Condition people to being bombarded with hundreds of thousands of signals a day. Teach them to attend to this stream of information and to call it Reality. Never let them ask what “reality” is.
5. Framing is everything. Decide what you want people to believe and make sure that any choices you give them are within a framework which assures you of your result. This is called the Illusion of Choice. “Do you want to sweep the floor before or after dinner?” Repeat this formula for economic systems, politicians, news stories, competing product brands and entertainment.
6. Appeal to the lowest common denominator. Make sure that all shows model conflict resolution of people with an emotional and intellectual maturity no greater than that of a six year old. Make it funny so no one notices.
7. Keep people passive. Encourage the Couch Potato Alpha Wave Escape Plan as the healing elixir for all that ails.
8. Don’t make people think. Their days are hard enough as is. Bypass the need for opinion making by giving people ready-made opinions. Do it as though you don’t have a conscience – they are probably too stupid to make their own decisions anyway.
9. Ensure that there are no ongoing storylines with meaning or purpose beyond immediate sensory stimulation. Avoid universal themes as much as possible. Make absolutely certain there is no cultural, societal or global story or mythology present that conflicts with the myths of comfort and consumption.
10. Never encourage responsibility, or so much as suggest that humans could be involved in co-creating their future and the realities in which they reside.
11. Encourage group-sanctioned individuality only. By making ‘individuality” the new conformity you are generating a powerful illusion of free choice.
12. Sensationalize the superficial.
13. Keep information bytes infinitesimally small. Promote Attention Deficit Disorder. Several decades of television have already set this in motion.
14. Repetition is key. Repeat important messages as often as possible.
15. Repetition is key.
16. Repetition is key.
17. Bypass rationality by any means possible. People don’t need logic to accept information. Belief is emotional. Always remember: WAR=PEACE.
18. Remember –- two half-truths make up a whole truth.
19. Demonize self-knowledge technology of all kinds. Throw around words like “cult” and “brainwashing.” Marginalize anyone involved in such pursuits.
20. Keep old models of consciousness alive and well. If you can get away with referring to people’s states as being phlegmatic or sanguine instead of programmable and intentional, do it.
21. Keep people’s attention on what really matters. Emphasize what’s wrong as much as possible.
22. Always give the impression that Everything Is Under Control – but just barely so – hammer into the populace the idea that their greatest fear could strike at any moment.
23. Teach people that they are their thoughts and emotions. Reinforce this by teaching them to feel bad about their ideas, and to feel bad about feeling bad. Remember: Identify, identify, identify –- this will widen the empty void inside of them that only shopping can cure.
By sticking to these simple premises you should be able to produce entire societies capable of ending world hunger, but too selfish to care. You will be able to bring about massive consumer mindsets and buying habits so powerful that logic and reason become superfluous in making the sale. You will be the new face of media. Good luck!