Normalizing the Abnormal
Dr. Estés observes that the disorder of normalizing the abnormal is rampant across cultures. When there are formidable punishments for breaking silence, for pointing out wrongs, for demanding change, we cut away our rightful rage and become used to not being able to intervene in shocking events. Despair, fatigue and resignation follow.3
Normalization of the abnormal has been achieved in large part through the power elite's control of the news media and entertainment. This dominance has permitted not only deciding the "information" the public is allowed to receive, but also the molding of public opinion and behavior. One example is sponsorship of the TV show 24, carefully designed to desensitize the viewers to the use of torture. Another is the use of TV commercials showing stars cheerfully endorsing invasive personal identification technology, as part of a carefully designed program for grooming us to accept Big Brother surveillance and control, including the eventual implantation of microchips under our skin.
The power elite goes to any lengths to keep the public misled, distracted, fearful, and ultimately imprisoned in a matrix of disinformation, rampant consumerism and the lowest common denominators of human nature, including raw violence and mindless sexuality. As Huxley observed in 1962, the controlling oligarchy has long been at work developing scientific methods of control to "induce people to love their servitude" - to make them "enjoy a state of affairs which by any decent standard they ought not to enjoy."4 This dystopic scenario was echoed by Bertrand Russell, who predicted that as a result of the gradual and ruthless use of technological advances, "a revolt of the plebs would be as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton."5
I would contend that the disorder of normalizing the abnormal consists in large measure of reshaping our very construct of human nature in terms of its basest parameters, especially in the areas of acquisitiveness, violence, and sexuality. Massive effort has gone into studying and modifying human behavior to serve the global elite's greed for money and power. The modern consumer is not reflective of genuine human nature, but rather a phenomenon created in great part by the psychoanalytic studies, experiments and recommendations of the brilliant capitalist asset Edward Bernays. The widespread aberration of a dumbed down populace, unaware and largely uncaring regarding its destiny, has taken years of careful elitist effort to orchestrate. And the disgusting extremes of human sexual behaviors that are fast approaching the excesses of the infamous last days of the Roman Empire are similarly a product of diligently researched scientific techniques of psychological and social control.
It is terrifying but essential to come into awareness that it is in great part the knowledge of human nature gained through the application of torture techniques by intelligence agencies that has infused the broader mind control strategies of the ruling class. More generally, its control techniques have evolved in large measure from "black" psychological operations (psyops) that are carefully compartmentalized and hidden from our bone fide representatives in all three branches of government. Many of the current mind control techniques have been derived from barbaric projects secretly conducted by governments, private laboratories and universities. In his 2000 book titled The Mind Controllers, Dr. Armen Victorian used the Freedom of Information Act to document experiments by the CIA and other agencies exploring new forms of "non-lethal" weapons which exploited hospital patients, pregnant women, school children, prisoners and military veterans without their consent. Other extremely dangerous experiments, including nuclear radiation experiments, have been conducted on an unsuspecting public at large, and even on our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.6
The phenomenon of normalizing the abnormal was given experimental validation in the 1970s through controlled studies with groups of dogs. The experiments revealed a great deal about the innate flight or fight reactions to danger and indicated that self-protective instincts can be overriden by inducing "learned helplessness." In one experiment the bottoms of cages were wired to produce a shock on one side only, resulting in the expected avoidance behaviors; then the entire floors of the cages were wired to give random shocks, resulting in confusion, then panic, and then just lying down in resignation, taking the shocks as they came and no longer trying to avoid or outsmart them. Next the cage doors were opened, but the dogs did not move to escape as expected, leading to the hypothesis that they had adapted to or "normalized" their pain and were consequently exhibiting symptoms similar to chronic clinical depression.7
Learned helplessness manifests in everyday situations or environments in which people perceive, rightly or wrongly, that they have no control over what happens to them, e.g., war, famine, or detention (those who refused to care or fend for themselves in the Nazi concentration camps were called Muselmänner). When the instincts for self-determination are injured, as observed by Dr. Estés, humans will 'normalize' assault after assault, acts of injustice and destruction toward themselves, their offspring, their loved ones, their land, and even their moral and spiritual values.8
The electroshock of the dogs in the learned helplessness experiments has, as Naomi Klein documents, been copied on a societal level by the financial oligarchy. The capitalist elite shocks a nation with an event like 9/11, and in the ensuing stage of confusion and panic rushes in with salvation in the form of protective father figures who provide a narrative that offers a perspective on the shocking events that allows the profoundly disoriented victims to make sense of the trauma.9 Hence the extraordinary power of the mind control matrix known as the War on Terror.
But what is learned can be unlearned; what has been forgotten can be relearned. Especially in the case of our inherent instincts of preservation, we can engage in forensic analysis with a view to restoring the natural skills that give us power:
"[The] normalizing of the shocking and abusive is refused by repairing injured instinct....To re-learn the deep...instincts, it is vital to see how they were decommissioned to begin with....[We compose] a map of the woods in which we live, and where the predators live, and what their modus operandi is....[Then] if our wild nature has been injured by something, we refuse to lie down to die. We refuse to normalize this harm. We call up our instincts and do what we have to do."10
Klein demonstrates a similar optimism: "Once the mechanics of the shock doctrine are deeply and collectively understood, whole communities become harder to take by surprise, more difficult to confuse-shock resistant."11
The Betwixt and Between Syndrome
The relentless march toward tyranny in the United States and other nations with a heritage of freedom, underscored by the blatant criminality of the recent bailout package implemented against the political will and interest of the populace, seems to portend a terrifying future for humanity. It leaves us in a no man's land between the familiarity of our previous reality and the uncharted dangers lying ahead.
This loss of bearings should be seen as a form of psychological control by the globalists over the populace for two reasons. First, it is a situation they have engineered, and engineered in such a way as to serve their self-interest. Second, our fear of a destiny they have designed for us keeps us from exercising our full potential of actively opposing its unfolding. At a time of the implementation of what can only be perceived as their endgame, we find ourselves floundering and cut off from our inner fire.
Humans have an instinctive fear of the unknown, which is exacerbated if trends indicate an unknown that is negative rather than positive. In the present case the unknown seems to be characterized by the probability of enormous global destabilization, with massive suffering in store for the populace. Although the world as we have known it is far from acceptable, the horizon appears quite possibly unbearable--hence the phrase "looking into the abyss" used recently by a number of analysts.
This makes the betwixt and between predicament more difficult to navigate than it would be in less extreme situations, such as adolescence as a normal and predictable transition from childhood to maturity. Another exacerbation is the endless onslaught of crises that the oligarchy orchestrates in order to keep us in a state of continual disorientation, seemingly unable to process one trauma before the next one hits.
But as in the case of normalizing the abnormal and learned helplessness, the solution lies in keen understanding of the problem. Once we dissect the betwixt and between predicament, a predicament that all of us have experienced and navigated in our personal lives but may well not have recognized and named as such, our fear will lose its hold and we can reclaim our power.
The betwixt and between predicament occurs whenever we are forced to revise our previous sense of self and reality, and are required to remain in a zone of unfamiliarity, disorientation and loss of control until a new set of truths emerges and is integrated. All of us have faced this predicament again and again in our lives, e.g., during the teen years, after a major loss, and in our daily lives when our personal growth process entails the death of old aspects of the self and the birth of new ones. Even transitions that one welcomes gladly, such as marriage, a better job, or moving, are in fact highly stressful because of their magnitude.
Anthropological insights on initiations and rites of passage have much to teach us regarding the betwixt and between phenomenon. Rites of transition are marked by distinct (although often overlapping) stages:
"Separation: a detachment or departure from a previous state, whose familiarity provided a sense of security;
Marginality / Ambiguity: entering the margin between the former and the new state of being, not quite here but not quite there, having lost the security of familiar boundaries and facing disorientation; * Consummation: a culmination in which one integrates a new state of being and sense of self." 12
In a classic essay on the betwixt and between predicament, Victor Turner observes that the transition from separation to ambiguity is marked by temporary invisibility: one cannot be classified either in the old or the new way and is therefore structurally invisible.13 This goes a long way in explaining the fear that marks major transitions and initiations.
The good news is that, as with the process of grieving, there is a well-charted process by which we can move from the frightening state of ambiguity and achieve a new equilibrium: a new equilibrium that is in fact healthier and more resilient because it is based on full awareness of the truth of things. It is less painful to accept the need for change than to stay in denial. Indeed, as the renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell stresses, there is great dignity in answering the call to heroism, a call that is now sounding to all of humanity.
The good news goes further: Turner and others in fact see potential gifts in the betwixt and between ambiguity that is so emotionally difficult. The inability to classify oneself, while one is in the stage of uncertainty and not-knowing, is also freedom to explore new ways of constructing reality and identity. The stage of ambiguity can become one of enormous creativity and fertility as we move to a new reality that we ourselves construct. It is vital to keep this awareness as we face and oppose the unfolding of the financial elite's endgame of cementing its global control through the current economic crises and so-called solutions it has itself engineered. As an advancing power nears its goal of full spectrum dominance, its crimes break the surface for all to witness, as evidenced by the audacity of the corporatocracy in forcing the passage of the bailout package and in its brazenly self-serving implementation.
Our Republic was not always ignorant and apathetic in the face of such criminality. In reaction to an offer in 1905 of a $100,000 donation by John D. Rockefeller for the missionary work of the U.S. Congregationalist Church, its most eminent leader asked, "Is this clean money? Can any man, can any institution, knowing its origins, touch it without being defiled?" The Reverend Washington Gladdington, echoing the prevalent outlook of the era, berated the accumulation of wealth on every side "by methods as heartless, as cynically iniquitous as any that were employed by the Roman plunderers or robber barons of the Dark Ages. In the cool brutality with which properties are wrecked, securities destroyed, and people by the hundreds robbed of their little, all to build up the fortunes of the multi-millionaires, we have an appalling revelation of the kind of monster a human being may become."14
No longer can the oligarchs use the insidiousness of the iceman Brak to further their agenda. And longer do we need to allow them to disempower us through technocratic techniques of psychological control. The efficacy of these techniques has stemmed in great measure from our internalization of oppression, a process we can work to reverse once we understand it.
TWILIGHT OF THE PSYCHOPATHS by keven barrett
When Gandhi was asked his opinion of Western civilization he said it would be a good idea. But that oft-cited quote, is misleading, assuming as it does that civilization is an unmitigated blessing.
Civilized people, we are told, live peacefully and cooperatively with their fellows, sharing the necessary labour in order to obtain the leisure to develop arts and sciences. And while that would be a good idea, it is not a good description of what has been going on in the so-called advanced cultures during the past 8,000 years.
Civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been based on slavery and "warfare." Incidentally, the latter term is a euphemism for mass murder.
The prevailing recipe for civilization is simple:
1) Use lies and brainwashing to create an army of controlled, systematic mass murderers;
2) Use that army to enslave large numbers of people (i.e. seize control of their labour power and its fruits);
3) Use that slave labour power to improve the brainwashing process (by using the economic surplus to employ scribes, priests, and Page Ranking men). Then go back to step one and repeat the process.
Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, injure, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse. The inventor of civilization -- the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers -- was almost certainly a genetic psychopath. Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies -- especially military hierarchies.
Military institutions are tailor-made for psychopathic killers. The five percent or so of human males who feel no remorse about killing their fellow human beings make the best soldiers. And the 95 percent who are extremely reluctant to kill make terrible soldiers -- unless they are brainwashed with highly sophisticated modern techniques that turn them (temporarily it is hoped) into functional psychopaths.
In his book, "On Killing" (1996), Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has re-written military history to highlight what other histories hide: The fact that military science is less about strategy and technology than about overcoming the instinctive human reluctance to kill members of our own species. The true "Revolution in Military Affairs" was not Donald Rumsfeld’s move to high-tech in 2001, but Brigadier Gen. S.L.A. Marshall’s discovery in the 1940s that only 15-20 percent of World War II soldiers along the line of fire would use their weapons: "Those (80-85 percent) who did not fire did not run or hide (in many cases they were willing to risk great danger to rescue comrades, get ammunition, or run messages), but they simply would not fire their weapons at the enemy, even when faced with repeated waves of banzai charges" (Grossman, p. 4).
Marshall’s discovery and subsequent research proved that in all previous wars, a tiny minority of soldiers -- the five percent who are natural-born psychopaths and perhaps a few temporarily-insane imitators -- did almost all the killing. Normal men just went through the motions and, if at all possible, refused to take the life of an enemy soldier, even if that meant giving up their own. The implication: Wars are ritualized mass murders by psychopaths of non-psychopaths (This cannot be good for humanity’s genetic endowment!).
Marshall’s work, brought a Copernican revolution to military science. In the past, everyone believed that the soldier willing to kill for his country was the (heroic) norm, while one who refused to fight was a (cowardly) aberration. The truth, as it turned out, was that the normative soldier hailed from the psychopathic five percent. The sane majority, would rather die than fight.
The implication, too frightening for even the likes of Marshall and Grossman to fully digest, was that the norms for soldiers’ behaviour in battle had been set by psychopaths. That meant that psychopaths were in control of the military as an institution. Worse, it meant that psychopaths were in control of society’s perception of military affairs. Evidently, psychopaths exercised an enormous amount of power in seemingly sane, normal society.
How could that be? In "Political Ponerology," Andrzej Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector tests) psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get what they want. In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopat
So-called conspiracy theorists, some of whom deserve the pejorative connotation of that much-abused term, often imagine that secret societies of Jews, Jesuits, bankers, communists, Bilderbergers, Muslim extremists, papists, and so on, are secretly controlling history, doing dastardly deeds, and/or threatening to take over the world. As a leading "conspiracy theorist" according to Wikipedia, I feel eminently qualified to offer an alternative conspiracy theory which, like the alternative conspiracy theory of 9/11, is both simpler and more accurate than the prevailing wisdom: The only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us.
Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power. And as that power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the overworld -- the criminal syndicate or overlapping set of syndicates that lurks above ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it. In 9/11 and the 9/11 wars, we are seeing the final desperate power-grab or "endgame" (Alex Jones) of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners and president-killers; money-laundering international bankers and their hit-men, economic and otherwise; corrupt military contractors and gung-ho generals; corporate predators and their political enablers; brainwashers and mind-rapists euphemistically known as psy-ops experts and PR specialists. In short, the whole sick crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called civilization. And they are running scared. It was
their terror of losing control that they projected onto the rest of us by blowing up the Twin Towers and inciting temporary psychopathic terror-rage in the American public.
Why does the psychopathocracy fear it is losing control? Because it is threatened by the spread of knowledge. The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out. As George H. W. Bush said to journalist Sarah McClendon in December, 1992, "If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
Given that Bush is reported to have participated in parties where child prostitutes were sodomized and otherwise abused, among his many other crimes, his statement to McClendon should be taken seriously.
Psychopaths go through life knowing that they are completely different from other people. They quickly learn to hide their lack of empathy, while carefully studying others’ emotions so as to mimic normalcy while cold-bloodedly manipulating the normals.
UNMASKING THE PSYCHOPATHS
Today, thanks to new information technologies, we are on the brink of unmasking the psychopaths and building a civilization of, by and for the normal human being -- a civilization without war, a civilization based on truth, a civilization in which the saintly few rather than the diabolical few would gravitate to positions of power. We already have the knowledge necessary to diagnose psychopathic personalities and keep them out of power. We have the knowledge necessary to dismantle the institutions in which psychopaths especially flourish -- militaries, intelligence agencies, large corporations and secret societies. We simply need to disseminate this knowledge -- and develop the will to use it -- as widely as possible.
Above all, we need to inform the public about how psychopaths co-opt and corrupt normal human beings. One way they do this, is by manipulating shame and denial -- emotions foreign to psychopaths but common and easily-induced among normals.
Consider how gangs and secret societies (psychopaths’ guilds in disguise) recruit new members. Some criminal gangs and satanist covens demand that candidates for admission commit a murder to "earn their stripes."
Skull and Bones, the Yale-based secret society that supplies the CIA with drug-runners, mind-rapists, child abusers and professional killers, requires neophytes to lie naked in a coffin and masturbate in front of older members while reciting the candidate’s entire sexual history. By forcing the neophyte to engage in ritualized behaviour that would be horrendously shameful in normal society, the psychopaths’ guild destroys the candidate’s normal personality, assuming he had one in the first place, and turns the individual into a co-opted, corrupt, degraded shadow of his former self -- a manufactured psychopath or psychopath’s apprentice.
This manipulation of shame has the added benefit of making psychopathic organizations effectively invisible to normal society. Despite easily available media reports, American voters in 2004 simply refused to see that the two major-party presidential candidates had lain naked in a coffin masturbating in front of older Bonesmen in order to gain admission to Skull and Bones and thus become members of the criminal overworld.
Likewise, many Americans have long refused to see that hawkish elements of the overworld, operating through the CIA, had obviously been the murderers of JFK, MLK, RFK, JFK Jr., Malcolm X, ChÈ, AllendÈ, Wellstone, Lumumba, Aguilera, Diem, and countless other relatively non-psychopathic leaders. They refuse to see the continuing murders of millions of people around the world in what amounts to an American holocaust. They refuse to see the evidence that the psychopaths’ guilds running America’s most powerful institutions use the most horrific forms of sexualized abuse imaginable to induce multiple-personality-disorder in child victims, then use the resulting mind-control slaves as disposable drug-runners, prostitutes, Manchurian candidates and even diplomatic envoys. And of course they refuse to see that 9/11 was a transparently obvious inside job, and that their own psychopath-dominated military-intelligence apparatus is behind almost every major terrori
st outrage of recent decades.
All of this psychopathic behaviour at the top of the social hierarchy is simply too shameful for ordinary people to see, so they avert their gaze, just as wives of husbands who are sexually abusing their children sometimes refuse to see what is happening in plain view. If deep, deep denial were a river in Egypt, American citizens’ willful blindness would be more like the Marianas Trench.
DAWN OF A NEW DAY
But thanks to the power of the Internet, people everywhere are waking up. The only obvious non-psychopath among Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul, also happens to be the only candidate in either party with significant grassroots support.
If "love" is embedded in the Revolution Ron Paul heralds, that is because Dr. Paul -- a kindly, soft-spoken physician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies -- implicitly recognizes that government is the invention and tool of psychopaths, and therefore must be strictly limited in scope and subjected to a rigorous system of checks and balances, lest the psychopath’s tools, fear and hatred, replace love as the glue that binds society together.
The decline in militarism since World War II in advanced countries, the spread of literacy and communications technology, and the people’s growing demands for a better life, together represent a gathering force that terrifies the psychopathocracy, (those alternately competing-then-cooperating gangs of psychopaths who have ruled through lies, fear and intimidation since the dawn of so-called civilization).
Since nuclear weapons have made war obsolete, the pathocracy is terrified that its favourite social control mechanism -- ritualized mass slaughter -- is increasingly unavailable. And if war was the great human tragedy, the pathocrats’ pathetic attempt at a war-substitute -- the transparently phoney "war on terror" -- is repeating it as sheerest farce.
Truly, we are witnessing the twilight of the psychopaths. Whether in their death throes they succeed in pulling down the curtain of eternal night on all of us, or whether we resist them and survive to see the dawn of a civilization worthy of the name, is the great decision in which all of us others, however humbly, are now participating.