Why is the Internet
not controlled by the authorities?
Offermann, A Canadian in Mexico
On the surface the
internet seems a powerful communications tool useful for the masses
to receive information without the filters applied by the
authorities to other media sources like TV, Radio, and Newspapers.
Why is this freedom on the internet allowed when all other media
outlets are being rigidly controlled? The same people (elite) who
own the bulk of media outlets also own the infrastructure of
the internet and could easily control it’s content, why don’t they?
Are the elite too dumb
to see the internet’s potential for countering their objectives?
This is not likely
considering their ability to plan and control in other aspects of
Our world is
controlled by a small group of people (elite) who feel entitled to
decide what happens in the world without regard for the desires of
the masses. The democratic process that is supposed to allow the
participation of the masses in the decision making process has been
rendered inoperative through the control of the political process by
(propaganda) is the tool that won the elite their victory over the
masses. PR convinced the masses to accept the current situation one
step at a time. PR also made the masses more and more ineffective
The term “Public
Relations” was coined by Edward L. Bernays (1891-1995) to replace
the more sinister sounding “Propaganda”.
Bernays is on the list
of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Vienna in 1891 Bernays was the double nephew of Sigmund Freud. His
mother was Freud's sister. His father was Freud's wife's brother.
His family background habituated him to the enormous power of ideas,
as well as to the privileges and creature comforts of bourgeois
was also a far-sighted architect of modern propaganda techniques
who, dramatically, from the early 192Os onward, helped to
consolidate a fateful marriage between theories of mass psychology
and schemes of corporate and political persuasion.
the First World War, Bernays served as a foot soldier for the U.S.
Committee on Public Information (CPI) -- the vast American
propaganda apparatus that was mobilized, in 1917, to package,
advertise and sell the war as one that would "Make the World Safe
for Democracy." The CPI would become the mold in which marketing
strategies for future wars, on to the present, would be shaped.
twenties, Bernays fathered the link between corporate sales
campaigns and popular social causes, when while working for the
American Tobacco Company he persuaded women's rights marchers in New
York City to hold up Lucky Strike cigarettes as symbolic "Torches of
Freedom." In October of 1929, Bernays also originated the now
familiar "global media event," when he dreamed up "Light's Golden
Jubilee" a worldwide celebration commemorating the fiftieth
anniversary of the electric light bulb, sponsored behind-the-scenes
-- by the General Electric Corporation.
Bernays was, by birth, an Austrian Jew, public relations folklore
records that Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the
notorious Nazi propaganda minister, looked to Bernays' work, and to
his vivid writings, for inspiration.
influence would continue to hold sway well into the post-World War
II era. To put it simply, Edward Bernays' career -- more than that
of any other individual -- roughed out what have become the
strategies and practices of public relations in the United States.
Public Relations is
not the same as Advertising.
Advertising is paid
promotion that is clearly understood to be non-partisan.
Public Relations poses
as independent newsworthy information.
Bernays defined the profession of "counsel on
public relations" as a "practicing social scientist” whose
"competence is like that of the industrial engineer, the management
engineer, or the investment counselor in their respective fields."
To assist clients, PR counselors used "understanding of the
behavioral sciences and applying them—sociology, social psychology,
anthropology, history, etc." In Propaganda, his most
important book, Bernays argued that the scientific manipulation of
public opinion was necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in
society: "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. ... 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 ... who understand the mental processes and social
patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control
the public mind."
Public Relations to be successful it must be perceived as
information independent from the originator. This gives it
credibility not there if it is perceived as self
reason there is so much promotion of the “free press” is because if
it was widely known that the “free press” was really
advertising the concepts of the elite the masses would be
more suspicious of the content. The media does allow some
miscellaneous uncontrolled content but only to maintain credibility.
Examples from Propaganda Critic
Wartime propaganda (Public Relations)
World War I
drift towards war
Committee on Public Information
atrocities, and lies
propaganda from Afghanistan
Office of Strategic Information
Examples from PR
Confessions of a Spin Doctor
Weapons of Mass Deception
Today Public Relations
is the ruling force in TV, Radio, and Newspapers, any content that
is impartial is only there for protective cover and is usually
harmless. PR has been used ruthlessly in these media to form public
opinion to suit the elite’s purposes.
Is the internet any
different than these media?
The internet has all
the capabilities of the above media plus the added benefit of being
much more cost effective and anonymous than any of them.
Do the PR specialists
have access to the internet?
http://www.prfirms.org/findafirm/Find-A-Firm.asp (select “internet” and click [find])
Do PR specialists act
ethically on the internet?
The Fake Persuaders
are inventing people to rubbish their opponents on the internet
Tuesday May 14,
Persuasion works best when it's invisible. The most
effective marketing worms its way into our consciousness, leaving
intact the perception that we have reached our opinions and made our
choices independently. As old as humankind itself, over the past few
years this approach has been refined, with the help of the internet,
into a technique called "viral marketing". Last month, the viruses
appear to have murdered their host. One of the world's foremost
scientific journals was persuaded to do something it had never done
before, and retract a paper it had published.
While, in the
past, companies have created fake citizens' groups to campaign in
favour of trashing forests or polluting
rivers, now they create fake citizens. Messages purporting to come
from disinterested punters are planted on listservers at critical moments, disseminating
misleading information in the hope of recruiting real people to the
cause. Detective work by the campaigner Jonathan Matthews and the
freelance journalist Andy Rowell shows how a PR firm contracted to
the biotech company Monsanto appears to have played a crucial but
invisible role in shaping scientific discourse. Monsanto knows
better than any other corporation the costs of visibility. Its
clumsy attempts, in 1997, to persuade people that they wanted to eat
GM food all but destroyed the market for its crops. Determined never
to make that mistake again, it has engaged the services of a firm
which knows how to persuade without being seen to persuade. The
Bivings Group specialises in internet lobbying.
article on its website, entitled Viral Marketing: How to Infect the
World, warns that "there are some campaigns where it would be
undesirable or even disastrous to let the audience know that your
organisation is directly involved... it
simply is not an intelligent PR move. In cases such as this, it is
important to first 'listen' to what is being said online... Once you
are plugged into this world, it is possible to make postings to
these outlets that present your position as an uninvolved third
party... Perhaps the greatest advantage of viral marketing is that
your message is placed into a context where it is more likely to be
considered seriously." A senior executive from Monsanto is quoted on
the Bivings site thanking the PR firm for
its "outstanding work".
On November 29 last year, two
researchers at the University of California, Berkeley published a
paper in Nature magazine, which claimed that native maize in Mexico
had been contaminated, across vast distances, by GM pollen. The
paper was a disaster for the biotech companies seeking to persuade
Mexico, Brazil and the European Union to lift their embargos on GM
crops. Even before publication, the researchers knew their work was
hazardous. One of them, Ignacio Chapela,
was approached by the director of a Mexican corporation, who first
offered him a glittering research post if he withheld his paper,
then told him that he knew where to find his children. In the US,
Chapela's opponents have chosen a
different form of assassination.
On the day the paper was
published, messages started to appear on a biotechnology listserver used by more than 3,000 scientists,
called AgBioWorld. The first came from a
correspondent named "Mary Murphy". Chapela
is on the board of directors of the Pesticide Action Network, and
therefore, she claimed, "not exactly what you'd call an unbiased
writer". Her posting was followed by a message from an "Andura Smetacek",
claiming, falsely, that Chapela's paper
had not been peer-reviewed, that he was "first and foremost an
activist" and that the research had been published in collusion with
environmentalists. The next day, another email from "Smetacek" asked "how much money does Chapela take in speaking fees, travel
reimbursements and other donations... for his help in misleading
fear-based marketing campaigns?"
The messages from Murphy
and Smetacek stimulated hundreds of
others, some of which repeated or embellished the accusations they
had made. Senior biotechnologists called for Chapela to be sacked from Berkeley. AgBioWorld launched a petition pointing to the
paper's "fundamental flaws". There do appear to be methodological
problems with the research Chapela and his
colleague David Quist had published, but
this is hardly unprecedented in a scientific journal. All science
is, and should be, subject to challenge and disproof. But in this
case the pressure on Nature was so severe that its editor did
something unparalleled in its 133-year history: last month he
published, alongside two papers challenging Quist and Chapela's, a
retraction in which he wrote that their research should never have
So the campaign against the researchers was
extraordinarily successful; but who precisely started it? Who are
"Mary Murphy" and "Andura Smetacek"? Both claim to be ordinary citizens,
without any corporate links. The Bivings
Group says it has "no knowledge of them". "Mary Murphy" uses a
hotmail account for posting messages to AgBioWorld. But a message satirising the opponents of biotech, sent by
"Mary Murphy" from the same hotmail account to another server two
years ago, contains the identification bw6.bivwood.com. Bivwood.com
is the property of Bivings Woodell, which is part of the Bivings Group.
When I wrote to her to
ask whether she was employed by Bivings
and whether Mary Murphy was her real name, she replied that she had
"no ties to industry". But she refused to answer my questions on the
grounds that "I can see by your articles that you made your mind up
long ago about biotech". The interesting thing about this response
is that my message to her did not mention biotechnology. I told her
only that I was researching an article about internet lobbying.
Smetacek has, on different
occasions, given her address as "London" and "New York". But the
electoral rolls, telephone directories and credit card records in
both London and the entire US reveal no "Andura Smetacek". Her
name appears only on AgBioWorld and a few
other listservers, on which she has posted
scores of messages falsely accusing groups such as Greenpeace of
terrorism. My letters to her have elicited no response. But a clue
to her possible identity is suggested by her constant promotion of
"the Centre For Food and Agricultural Research". The centre appears
not to exist, except as a website, which repeatedly accuses greens
of plotting violence. Cffar.org is registered to someone called
Manuel Theodorov. Manuel Theodorov is the "director of associations" at
Even the website on which the campaign against the paper in
Nature was launched has attracted suspicion. Its moderator, the
biotech enthusiast Professor CS Prakash,
claims to have no connection to the Bivings Group. But when Jonathan Matthews was
searching the site's archives he received the following error
message: "can't connect to MySQL server on
apollo.bivings.com". Apollo.bivings.com is the main server of the
"Sometimes," Bivings boasts, "we win awards. Sometimes only
the client knows the precise role we played." Sometimes, in other
words, real people have no idea that they are being managed by fake
Why is the Internet
not controlled by the authorities?
Because the internet
is a much more effective propaganda tool if the users believe it’s
content is of their own creation rather than Public Relations
created by the elite. If there are no laws regarding truth or ethics
then the elite have free reign to do whatever they desire. As shown
in other media and systems such as voting, vast numbers don’t
guarantee impartiality or freedom. Those that control the medium
control the content. A voice of danger to the elite on the internet
can be shut out by a number of well established PR techniques. The
average user of the internet is only a target for the elite’s PR and
no real threat to them.
I believe there are
genuine alternative information portals on the internet but even
they inadvertently forward the aims of the elite. Much of PR
involves very obscure psychological techniques beyond the scope of
this discussion. I will briefly outline one. The intent of much of
the elite’s PR is to keep the masses ineffective through inaction.
Introducing confusion is a good way to accomplish this. A logical
device called a “double bind” is the perfect tool for this.
The theory of schizophrenia
presented here is based on communications analysis, and specifically
on the Theory of Logical Types. From this theory and from
observations of schizophrenic patients is derived a description, and
the necessary conditions for, a situation called the 'double bind' -
a situation in which no matter what a person does, he 'can't win'.
It is hypothesized that a person caught in the double bind may
develop schizophrenic symptoms.
The lengthy article quoted in
the above paragraph is worth reading to help understand the
manipulation that is happening on a massive scale in all
Another reason the internet is not
regulated is that if people thought the elite controlled the
internet they would be more careful about what they say online. As
it is it’s a perfect place to identify potential protesters. Looking
at the Elite’s track record of respecting the laws regarding privacy
elsewhere are you comfortable they are respecting your privacy
Visiting Edward Bernays by Stuart Ewen
 Edward Bernays
 Media Lens
Article / The Fake Persuaders
 CONSCIOUSNESS Part 3 - East and West
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