|"The Father of Spin"|
This series spans from Etiology of Social Dementia (9/18/09) through Etiology of Social Dementia - 8 (12/7/12).
The use of "etiology" in the title simply indicates that the series looks for indications of the source or origin of dementia.
In today's post let's look at a clinical, exact example so as to chronicle a robust look at the dynamics involved:
In the fall of 2007, pharmacies across the country had begun dispensing a new formulation of Eltroxin—the only thyroid hormone replacement drug approved and paid for by the government and used by tens of thousands of New Zealanders since 1973.(Worried Sick, The Scientist, emphasis added). Ok, the drug remained the same ("bioequivalent") so there should be no problems with any increased side effects, however:
... the active ingredient in the drug, thyroxine, was exactly the same. Laboratory testing proved that the new formulation was bioequivalent to the old one. The only change was that the drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline, had moved its manufacturing process from Canada to Germany, and in the process altered the drug’s inert qualities, including the tablets’ size, color, and markings.
Something strange was happening in New Zealand ... Within months, reports of side effects began trickling in to the government’s health-care monitoring agency. These included known side effects of the drug, such as lethargy, joint pain, and depression, as well as symptoms not normally associated with the drug or disease, including eye pain, itching, and nausea. Then, the following summer, the floodgates opened: in the 18 months following the release of the new tablets, the rate of Eltroxin adverse event reporting rose nearly 2,000-fold.(ibid). Ok, no scientific reason for any side effects any different from before, so why the nearly "2,000 fold" increase in "side effects" then?
That is where the subject matter of this Dredd Blog series comes in:
In June, it turned out, newspapers and TV stations around the country had begun to directly attribute the reported adverse effects to the changes in the drug. Following widespread coverage of the issue, more and more patients reported adverse events to the government. And the areas of the country with the most intense media coverage had the highest rates of reported ill effects, suggesting that perhaps a little social persuasion was at play.(ibid, emphasis added). It isn't kosher to say "propaganda" or "deceiving the public", so, note the phrase "social persuasion", used at the end of that quote (by those who just can't resist propaganda, a.k.a Blind Willie McTell News).
This Dredd Blog series has asserted that "something" which has been going strong for a century is the surprise reason people get psychologically sick --which "something" is that they are lied to, fed half-truths, and glaring untruths in quantities that do cognitive damage.
Earlier in this series Dredd Blog pointed out:
Some observers see this dementia originating in the early 20th century when government or those behind government perceived a need to control the people, but realized that they could not do it by physical means.(Etiology of Social Dementia). Those "some observers" have said this about propaganda:
Thus they took to propaganda in an effort to control the minds rather than use physical control.
Eventually this led to a mega-industry of businesses whose function was to deceive the people into believing something other than the truth of events occurring around them.
One of the most important comments on deceit, I think, was made by Adam Smith. He pointed out that a major goal of business is to deceive and oppress the public.(The Deceit Business). This Dredd Blog series has discovered the father of that business, a man who seemed to have a "what could go wrong" ideology about propaganda:
And one of the striking features of the modern period is the institutionalization of that process, so that we now have huge industries deceiving the public — and they're very conscious about it, the public relations industry. Interestingly, this developed in the freest countries—in Britain and the US — roughly around time of WWI, when it was recognized that enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force. So modes of deception and manipulation had to be developed in order to keep them under control" ...
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.(A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA - 4, quoting Edward L. Bernays). I am sure those who have not heard about Edward L. Bernays are thinking "what a kook", he could never go anywhere with that kind of ideology.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.
They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
It is impossible to fundamentally grasp the social, political, economic and cultural developments of the past 100 years without some understanding of Bernays and his professional heirs in the public relations industry.(The Father of Spin, a book review, PR Watch Magazine, Vol. 6 No. 2, p. 11, 1999; the book: The Father of Spin, by Larry Tye). Bernays was an American government official who inspired even the infamous NAZI propagandists (Exceptional American Propaganda Inspired NAZI Goebbels), and who is called "The Father of Spin" and of Public Relations (ibid).
He wrote the book "Propaganda", which is still used today, concerning how to deceive and/or condition the public into believing just about anything:
A group of US marketing researchers claim that brand owners can make their customers believe they had a better experience of a product or service than they really did by bombarding them with positive messages after the event. Advocates of the technique, known as "memory morphing", claim it can be used to improve customers' perceptions of products and encourage them to repeat their purchases and recommend brands to friends.(The Matriarch of the Matrix - 3). In politics, including political ideology, this is called "re-branding" or "changing the brand" of a politician or political party, so that the particular politician or party can be properly marketed --like a commodity.
"When asked, many consumers insist that they rely primarily on their own first-hand experience with products – not advertising – in making purchasing decisions. Yet, clearly, advertising can strongly alter what consumers remember about their past, and thus influence their behaviours," he writes in his book, How Customers Think. He says that memories are malleable, changing every time they come to mind, and that brands can use this to their advantage. "What consumers recall about prior product or shopping experiences will differ from their actual experiences if marketers refer to those past experiences in positive ways," he continues.
In closing, remember that those who are trained in media dynamics today learn from the "more evolved" versions of Bernays' textbooks.
Thus, the people of New Zealand (mentioned at the beginning of this post, who got sick after they were in effect told they should be having increased side effects from taking the same drug they had always been taking) did their Pavlovian learned-behavior, and dutifully got sick.
They did so because they, like the majority of "consumers", are psychologically impaired to the point that they do not have effective control of all of their minds --thus this Dredd Blog series to help expose the dynamics about dementia imposed on the public by
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.