By: Vic Bishop
Our reality is carefully constructed by powerful corporate, political and special interest sources in order to covertly sway public opinion. Blatant lies are often televised regarding terrorism, food, war, health, etc. They are fashioned to sway public opinion and condition viewers to accept what have become destructive societal norms.
The practice of manipulating and controlling public opinion with distorted media messages has become so common that there is a whole industry formed around this. The entire role of this brainwashing industry is to figure out how to spin information to journalists, similar to the lobbying of government. It is never really clear just how much truth the journalists receive because the news industry has become complacent. The messages that it presents are shaped by corporate powers who often spend millions on advertising with the six conglomerates that own 90% of the media: General Electric (GE), News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS. Yet, these corporations function under many different brands, such as Fox, ABC, CNN, Comcast, Wall Street Journal, etc, giving people the perception of choice.
“As Tavistock’s researchers showed, it was important that the victims of mass brainwashing not be aware that their environment was being controlled; there should thus be a vast number of sources for information, whose messages could be varied slightly, so as to mask the sense of external control.” ~ Specialist of mass brainwashing, L. Wolfe
New Brainwashing Tactics Called Astroturf
With alternative media on the rise, the propaganda machine continues to expand. Below is a video of Sharyl Attkisson, investigative reporter with CBS, during which she explains how “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, are used to spin information not only to influence journalists but to sway public opinion.
“Astroturf is a perversion of grassroots. Astroturf is when political, corporate or other special interests disguise themselves and publish blogs, start facebook and twitter accounts, publish ads, letters to the editor, or simply post comments online, to try to fool you into thinking an independent or grassroots movement is speaking.” ~ Sharyl Attkisson, Investigative Reporter
How do you separate fact from fiction? Sharyl Attkisson finishes her talk with some insights on how to identify signs of propaganda and astroturf.
Here is a summary of astroturf tactics. Once you’re aware of them, you will notice just how popular they have truly become:
- Creating of Wikipedia pages, monitored by corporations.
- Creating a social media presence, including Facebook and Twitter accounts, run by paid professionals.
- Secretly funding non-profit organizations to create third-party support and web presence.
- Search engine optimizing web pages such as blogs and third-party sites that support a specific agenda.
- Financing industry research that is deceitfully presented as independent opinion.
- Funding experts working on unrelated projects, while in reality creating paid consultants.
These methods are used to give people the impression that there is widespread support for an agenda, when, in reality, one may not exist. Astroturf tactics are also used to discredit or criticize those that disagree with certain agendas, using stereotypical names such as conspiracy theorist or quack. When in fact when someone dares to reveal the truth or questions the ‘official’ story, it should spark a deeper curiosity and encourage further scrutiny of the information.
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About the AuthorVic Bishop is a staff writer for Waking Times.