Cambridge Analytica, JTRIG and other internet manipulation campaigns:
Ok here is post number four. I am very aware that these are pretty long but the subject is complicated and needs to be backed up with evidence. Also I have a touch of the theatrics about me and therefore, like in a film or play, the main revelations and things that tie it all together are near the end (sorry).This is also true of my Richplanet shows – if you only watched part one you missed all the good stuff (sorry again).
Also this is kind of the point. It is through oversimplification of messages that people are able to manipulate one another – people want easy answers not complex ones. The majority of hate rhetoric relies on people not bothering to read the books that are being slagged off or to examine counter arguments to the positions offered. It is by utilising this laziness that falsehoods are allowed to take hold.
Please read the first three parts for the context of what I am blathering on about.
Cambridge Analytica, JTRIG and other internet manipulation campaigns:
What was it about Cambridge Analytica that caught my attention and why have I been banging on about it for so long? The reason is that when I first became aware of the tactics of Cambridge Analytica they were identical to GCHQ programs such as JTRIG and US Pentagon operations that flood social media with sock puppet accounts and manipulate the emotions of the users. Then I found out about those connected to Cambridge Analytica and SCL and their connections to the elites in the UK and USA and British Intelligence and I began to suspect that something far more nefarious was taking place.
I think that this quote from Albert Einstein sums up the problem of discerning what Information is correct in the realm of the internet.
“The main problem with the internet is that the wealth of available information batters and flatters people into a position of gullible acceptance. We tend to gravitate to articles and quotes that support our suppositions with confirmation bias, ignoring evidence that disproves or questions our beliefs and we rarely fact check.”
– Albert Einstein (1998 Interview with Readers Wives Magazine)
This state of affairs is exacerbated by the media itself, the anonymity it provides and the ways in which people interact with each other via the World Wide Web.
Some of you may have heard of Philip Zimbardo, he was the social psychologist who set up the infamous Stanford Prison experiment. In this he designated two groups of people as either guards or prisoners, in an attempt to see how easily people fall into authoritarian rule structures. Very soon the guards began relishing their power and began to abuse the subjects who were selected to take on the role of prisoners. The guards so enjoyed the opportunity to live out the authoritarian role that they eventually began torturing prisoners that would not sway to their commands. The role given to them in the experiment justified their behaviour and also allowed for the responsibility of their actions to be ascribed to a cause and not an individual act. The experiment was shut down when the guards began to physically brutalise the prisoners to fulfil their predetermined roles.
When questioned about their actions the guards felt that they were doing what was expected of them and taking their responsibilities seriously. One of the main mechanisms that facilitated them using bodily harm on the non compliant was the anonymity afforded to them by wearing mirrored sunglasses
Zimbardo performed a separate experiment involving a car that was left unlocked at the side of the road, windows down and bonnet up. He placed two identical cars in positions that he could monitor, one in the bustling inner-city Bronx, New York and one in the rural Palo alto In California.
Unsurprisingly the car in the Bronx was stripped of anything of any value in a miniscule amount of time but the car in the smaller community remained untouched. Zimbardo put this down to the anonymity provided by the larger city, people were less likely to be caught and judged and even less likely to be recognised if they were doing something wrong. This, Zimbardo, thought gave people enough opportunity to give in to temptation and act outside of expected societal norms.
Zimbardo returned to the car in California to try a different tactic, he broke one of the windows on the car. Soon after this act of vandalism, the car in the rural setting was stripped in a manner similar to the car in the Bronx. Zimbardo reasoned that the broken window had sparked the change in behaviour. People had seen the previous damage and, seeing as they didn’t start it, joined in.
“The theory assumes that the landscape "communicates" to people. A broken window transmits to criminals the message that a community displays a lack of informal social control and so is unable or unwilling to defend itself against a criminal invasion. It is not so much the actual broken window that is important, but the message the broken window sends to people.”
It allows societal norms to be manipulated or transgressed.
Given a role that removes individual responsibility and the anonymity provided by other circumstances, this emboldens people, allowing them to throw off the shackles of normal social interaction and taste the power of authority and the “ends justify the means” thrill of an important task. Put simply this perfectly provides the circumstances that allow people to act like complete and total wankers. This is the scenario we see on the internet, anonymity, a cause and someone has not only broken the window but in all likelihood urinated through it onto the already slashed seats.
Social Media Dependency
Social media dependency is a growing concern. Social media leads to a reduction in social skills, actual real social interaction and personal development. Teens are losing the ability to talk face to face (although I am pretty sure all I did as a teen was grunt incoherently anyway) and social media promotes narcissism, loneliness and a tendency to lie about your day and circumstances. The fear of missing out and comparing your lives to others causes what is becoming known as “smiling depression” Teens are getting depressed if they don’t get the reassurance from others “liking” their pictures or comments. Studies show that teens feel prettier, more interesting and more popular when online. This is very worrying. Self worth is being dictated by social media.
It’s no longer how are you feeling in your self – it’s now how are you seeming to feel in your selfie?
Recognition and reaction on Facebook gives a brain chemistry response like gambling and becomes addictive. Social information is important to become a successful person and you are basically trading in that commodity. Getting likes gives you a dopamine response similar to winning at gambling. Posting a statement is therefore like placing a bet – to see what response you get – will you win or strike out and get hate?
This could lead to altering your social media output and personality because you have an audience of peers that rate you and you want to stay on their good side so you may start to cater your output to attract more likes. Sooner or later you will realise that your Facebook profile is more popular than you. With your Facebook profile you are lying by omission. You adopt a persona online – bolstered by the false “highlights” version of you presented on social media. You begin to take on an expected role similar to the guards in the Stanford prison experiment.
The problem is that people lie on Facebook to make themselves look better, this in turn making other people feel inadequate – also telling the poster that their imagined life is better than reality (Christ it’s a vicious circle). This causes a feedback loop of increasing narcissism, depression and the need to be validated by others who consist of an unseen, ill defined throng.
Isolation and Overstimulation
One particularly troubling aspect of social media is the fact that it reduces social interaction and increases isolation and mental overstimulation. By strange coincidence this is the principle technique recommended in the CIA’s torture manual the Kubark document. Simply put it shows that isolating a person (putting them in solitary confinement) and mentally over stimulating them (with lights on 24/7 or white noise) you can break their personality and providing they don’t fall into psychosis make them extremely malleable.
This is doubly interesting if you consider that the main financiers of the inception of social media James Breyer and Peter Thiel received money and support from In Q Tel the CIA’s multimedia branch. Why in the merry hell the CIA has a venture capitalist arm is anybody’s guess. Sean Parker who helped set up Facebook and Spotify and was immortalised by Justin Timberlake in the film the Social Network “used” to work for the CIA as a hacker. This I am sure is simply a coincidence.
I was worried about mobile phones and in ear devices, how do you know who the nutter on the bus is? The anonymity of the internet makes it infinitely harder to make that distinction. People are in love with their phones (Scans show they actually exhibit the same brain chemical response when hearing the ringtone that we would normally expect from seeing a lover) – people exhibit drug seeking behaviour with their phones - any excuse to use it. Smartphones actually cause more stress for the user and yet, like laptops are billed as a time saving device.
Social media should be used like a motability scooter – only if there is no other option. It reminds me of the Tony Hancock quote from the radio ham episode – “It’s a marvellous creation this. I’ve got friends all over the world....none in this country but all over the world.”
You massive cult
People have a cult like adherence to theories. They seem to find a theory and pick a side so to speak – making statements not asking questions. Then they argue their side, rigidly sticking to a position, dismissing anything that does not fall in line with their beliefs. They want to win the argument rather than examine the differing opinions objectively. People with other opinions are shills and any evidence that goes against their narrative is rejected as false. This gives people membership of a group but they also have an audience – to which they may feel that they have to prove their worth/loyalty. Also you have the separation all of which encourages insults and high emotion rather than reasoned debate. It is very difficult to raise doubts when trapped within a group that has strong feelings or ideologies.
On social media this encourages collectivisation and arguing to protect a position rather than a reasoned examination of the facts. People collect facts like ammunition and regurgitate them at their perceived enemies to win the argument not come to an understanding. Often facts are not checked thoroughly, particularly if they support your point of view. With the problem of an audience and a group to please (you don’t want to stand out and risk rejection) you may be inclined towards confirmation bias.
Why do people join cults anyway?
People join cults to understand the world and their place in it and to be surrounded by like minded people who provide psychological support – is this what is being done by people to bolster their egos in the false constructed world of social media?
Disagreeing with people, even if reasonable and presented with evidence, reinforces the attitude that they are in fact correct. Just because others agree with you does not make you right it just means that we have, up to now, grossly underestimated the numbers of stupid people in the world. If a million idiots agree that does not make it true it just means that there are at least a million idiots knocking about and spouting ill informed opinions. You get this self congratulatory feedback loop of senseless praise, an echo chamber of feeble minded backslapping- again defining themselves by defining anyone who disagrees as a shill. You are reassured by the rest of the group which is actually an indication of massive insecurity. The unit of authority is often not how rigorous the evidence is but how many like minded people “like” the same information. The problem is exacerbated by social media as it reduces the boundaries of the world. In social media land you can cater who you interact with and therefore a far smaller number of people agreeing with you could conceivably fool you into thinking that what you are discussing is not mind numbingly dim. The smaller you make your world the easier it is to control and therefore the less scary it becomes.
People never admit to being wrong - partly due to the audience effect - instead they do incredible mental gymnastics to justify and reinforce their original position – usually “this new evidence is obviously fake and trying to discredit my position which proves I am right.”
Perhaps this was not an accident
Sean Parker, played by Justin Timberlake in the Social Network film, the hacker who was recruited to the CIA in his teens stated of his involvement with creating Facebook:
“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,”…”God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Parker says the social networking site exploits human psychological vulnerabilities through a validation feedback loop that gets people to constantly post to get even more likes and comments.
“It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said. “The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”
Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook stated at a recent public discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
”The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” Palihapitiya said. “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
“So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other. And I don’t have a good solution. My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years.“
Concerning the issue of social media as a whole, Palihapitiya stated that he doesn’t use it anymore since he “innately didn’t want to get programmed.” And as for his kids, “they’re not allowed to use this shit.”
“Bad actors can now manipulate large swaths of people to do anything you want. It’s a bad, bad state of affairs. And we compound the problem. We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection, because we get rewarded in these short term signals: Hearts, likes, thumbs up. And we conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth, and instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that’s short term and that leaves you even more, and admit it, vacant and empty before you did it. Because it forces you into this vicious cycle about what’s the next thing I need to do, because I need it back. And think about that compounded by two billion people.”
He finishes this up by warning the audience not to think they’re too smart to fall for the implications of social media, and stated that those who are best-and-brightest are the most likely to fall for it, “because you are fucking check-boxing your whole Goddamn life.”
JTRIG is a GCHQ internet manipulation program that was exposed by Edward Snowden and is supposedly only used abroad, however within the released documents it talks about use against enemies of the state, the definition of which could include domestic anti government sentiment.
“Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
JTRIG “has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, ‘amplif[y]’ sanctioned messages on YouTube,” and plant false Facebook wall posts for “entire countries.” According to a study of the group by the U.K.’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), “the language of JTRIG’s operations is characterized by terms such as ‘discredit,’ promote ‘distrust,’ ‘dissuade,’ ‘deceive,’ ‘disrupt,’ ‘delay,’ ‘deny,’ ‘denigrate/degrade,’ and ‘deter.’”
To give a laymans explanation the Joint Threat Research Intelligence group feeds false information into the field of the internet, creates fake gurus, astro turf campaigns (fake grass roots activism), sock puppet accounts and government paid trolls who influence chat rooms via ridicule or other tactics.
JTRIG was admittedly used in Argentina to promote “Self determination” for the people of the Falkland Isles by promoting pro British sentiment via propaganda campaigns and subtle influencing methods.
Is it a coincidence that in the UK lots of people all of a sudden believe that radical Islam is actually a major threat, seeming to forget about ideas of 911, 7/7, Al Qaeda etc being at the very least allowed to happen by the intelligence agencies and just going for the government propaganda because of how the message is being delivered and who is promoting it? We know from the previous blog posts that the promotion of this falsehood by people like Tommy Robinson is government sanctioned. I have said before but it is worth restating, everything that Robinson et al promote just so happens to fall directly in line with government foreign policy and the required demonization of a minority to stoke war abroad and cause distraction at home.
Examples of known JTRIG disruption programs include:
- UNDERPASS – changes the outcome of online polls
- BADGER – Mass email swamping of servers DDOS program
- WARPATH- Mass delivery of text messages to jam up a device or simply tospread info to as many numbers as possible
- SILVERLORD – Disruption of videos
- MINATURE HERO - Disrupts skype calls
- SPRING BISHOP- Finds private photographs on social media, presumably for data mining and or blackmail purposes
- ANGRY PIRATE- Can disable an online social media/email account and make it inoperable
- GATEWAY- Increases traffic to a specific website
- GESTATOR- Promotes a certain message/trope/story/ theory
- CHANGELING – Sends emails from your account and can plant documents on your hard drive – this can be used to frame anyone as a distributor of child porn for example.
Similar programs exist via US intelligence:
In 2008 the Pentagon ran a project called Sentient World Simulation to see how groups of people would react to propaganda fed to them via the medium of social media.
Studies done in 2011 found numerous examples across social media where Sock puppet accounts were promoting pro US Propaganda. Former Director of the Cia David Petreus admitted to this and also admitted that Operation Earnest Voice created fake grassroots groups in an effort to Astroturf the internet with pro US interest groups.
In 2012 the Department of Homeland Security paid the defence contractor General Dynamics to monitor anti government sentiment on social media.
In 2014 studies by data analysis groups showed that the most common posters on Reddit just so happened to originate from a place called Eglin Airforce base. Eglin is a major hub for Pentagon domestic manipulation programs. Eglin AFB funded a series of research papers examining how to establish a majority views on social media platforms, how to manipulate and influence conversation and opinion and how to manipulate information.
It was shown at certain times that the majority of posters or posts originated from this military establishment despite outward appearances.
In 2014 it was shown that twitterfeeds and social media posts were analysed as part of a DOD funded project designed to manipulate the emotions of the social media users.
A similar project called SMISC Social Media in Strategic Communications looked specifically at how to influence the behaviour of social media users.
This is called stochastic terrorism, influencing another person to act in a way that ultimately benefits you. Like riling someone up about a fake subject until they boil over and react. This could be used to distract from a real situation or merely create a fantasy for people to chase their tail with forever.
In 2014 it was shown that the Pentagon has a counter reset button program that can kill any viral story and counter programs that
Project Minaret is an NSA program to intercept emails and texts and pass them on to Drug enforcement agencies, the CIA and the FBI – this is totally warrantless and illegal.
As I said earlier people are taking sides and becoming reactionary. Everyone is claiming to be oppressed and that those who are supposedly oppressed actually have it pretty good. Could this be that internet propaganda and psy-ops are directing and changing behaviour?
All of this sounded mighty familiar, various governments have been accessing your social media data and trying out several different experiments on members of the public to change mood, alter opinions and manipulate behaviour.
Palantir, data harvesting and predicting crime
Palantir is, to put it simply, a CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut owned by Peter Theil of facebook and Paypal fame. Named in uber geeky fashion after the all seeing crystal ball from the universe of J. R.R Tolkien, Palantir makes it their, very lucrative, business to know everything about you. Frighteningly they have been using their technology to create predictive crime/terror prevention programs based on the huge swathes of data they control. In 2012 they experimented with pre-crime programs in New Orleaens.
From The Verge Magazine:
“According to Ronal Serpas, the department’s chief at the time, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim. As part of the discovery process in Lewis’ trial, the government turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents detailing evidence gathered against him from confidential informants, ballistics, and other sources — but they made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir, according to a source familiar with the 39ers trial.
The program began in 2012 as a partnership between New Orleans Police and Palantir Technologies, a data-mining firm founded with seed money from the CIA’s venture capital firm. According to interviews and documents obtained by The Verge, the initiative was essentially a predictive policing program, similar to the “heat list” in Chicago that purports to predict which people are likely drivers or victims of violence.
The partnership has been extended three times, with the third extension scheduled to expire on February 21st, 2018. The city of New Orleans and Palantir have not responded to questions about the program’s current status.”
From Bloomberg Magazine:
“Founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel and some fellow PayPal alumni, Palantir cut its teeth working for the Pentagon and the CIA in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company’s engineers and products don’t do any spying themselves; they’re more like a spy’s brain, collecting and analyzing information that’s fed in from the hands, eyes, nose, and ears. The software combs through disparate data sources—financial documents, airline reservations, cellphone records, social media postings—and searches for connections that human analysts might miss. It then presents the linkages in colourful, easy-to-interpret graphics that look like spider webs. U.S. spies and Special Forces loved it immediately; they deployed Palantir to synthesize and sort the blizzard of battlefield intelligence. It helped planners avoid roadside bombs, track insurgents for assassination, even hunt down Osama bin Laden. The military success led to federal contracts on the civilian side. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses Palantir to detect Medicare fraud. The FBI uses it in criminal probes. The Department of Homeland Security deploys it to screen air travellers and keep tabs on immigrants.”
As reported in Forbes magazine:
“Palantir lives the realities of its customers: the NSA, the FBI and the CIA--an early investor through its In-Q-Tel venture fund--along with an alphabet soup of other U.S. counterterrorism and military agencies. In the last five years Palantir has become the go-to company for mining massive data sets for intelligence and law enforcement applications, with a slick software interface and coders who parachute into clients' headquarters to customize its programs. Palantir turns messy swamps of information into intuitively visualized maps, histograms and link charts. Give its so-called "forward-deployed engineers" a few days to crawl, tag and integrate every scrap of a customer's data, and Palantir can elucidate problems as disparate as terrorism, disaster response and human trafficking.
Palantir's advisors include Condoleezza Rice and former CIA director George Tenet, who says in an interview that "I wish we had a tool of its power" before 9/11. General David Petraeus, the most recent former CIA chief, describes Palantir to FORBES as "a better mousetrap when a better mousetrap was needed" and calls Karp "sheer brilliant."
Among those using Palantir to connect the dots are the Marines, who have deployed its tools in Afghanistan for forensic analysis of roadside bombs and predicting insurgent attacks. The software helped locate Mexican drug cartel members who murdered an American customs agent and tracked down hackers who installed spyware on the computer of the Dalai Lama. In the book The Finish, detailing the killing of Osama bin Laden, author Mark Bowden writes that Palantir's software "actually deserves the popular designation Killer App."
It is admitted that Cambridge Analytica/ SCL worked with Palantir in Trinidad but suggestions that they worked on the Brexit campaign or the Trump campaign have been denied. Out of interest In Trinidad they were looking at the possibility of predicting crime before it happened. Initially however, talks of interaction between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica, were actually admitted to by ex employees Chris Wylie ad Brittany Keiser. Wylie, said Alexander Nix, the former boss of Cambridge Analytica had "several meetings" with Palantir. "Senior Palantir employees" then worked on the Facebook profile data that was acquired by Cambridge Analytica, Wylie claimed.
"That was not an official contract between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica, but there were Palantir staff that would come into the office and work on that data," Wylie told lawmakers. He added that Palantir staff "helped build the models we were working on."Wylie did not elaborate on the "models" being worked on but it relates to Cambridge Analytica's algorithms used to target people in political votes.
A spokesperson for Palantir told CNBC the company has never had a relationship with Cambridge Analytica and has never worked on any Cambridge Analytica data. Cambridge Analytica was not immediately available for comment. Palantir later released a revised statement that said, “We were approached by individuals from Cambridge Analytica on multiple occasions, but we declined to move forward. As a matter of company policy, we do not and have never worked on or been involved with elections or political campaigns anywhere in the world.” I would humbly suggest that this is a complete load of old tosh. This revised statement appeared even less likely when emails between the two companies discussing methods of extracting data from people were exposed:
“I had [a] left field idea,” the developer wrote in a May 2014 email. “What about replicating the work of the Cambridge prof as a mobile app that connects to Facebook? For example compare your personality to your friends app or some other spin to entice people to take a test.”
A second email dated July 2014 appears to show the same developer asking another academic if he could “share some Facebook credentials with me (user/pass) – I need to test our version of the app?”
It has been admitted by Cambridge Analytica that quizzes and apps like these were used as part of the data harvesting required for the Brexit and Trump campaigns.
Trapwire is like the technology in the film A Scanner Darkly. Its a data logging system connected to CCTV that can bring up all the pertinent details about a subject at the touch of a button. A video surveillance/database system. It analyses behaviour patterns for suspicious activity. It is another aspect of the encroaching surveillance grid.
"TrapWire Suspicious Activity Reports are fed directly/automatically into the [National Suspicious Activity Report] Initiative… as well as the FBI's eGuardian system if/when there's confirmed nexus to terrorism or major crimes" wrote a TrapWire executive in one of the leaked emails. Even if these suspicious reports just amount to recording the appearance and activities of a person or vehicle in public, this effectively means the FBI, and Department of Homeland Security have an eye on you, by proxy, whenever you're in the vicinity of a high value target. This kind of private-government partnership should always raise eyebrows.
One of the systems already in place in many American cities is Trapwire. It is very similar to the Chinese facial recognition tech that is used to issue traffic fines.
As reported in the Independent:
“Traffic police in China are to begin using facial-recognition technology to identify jaywalkers and automatically issue them fines by text.
Authorities in Shenzhen already publicly name and shame people who flout the southern city’s strict road rules, using CCTV cameras equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) that can recognise offenders.
Their faces are then displayed on large screens at crossings and on a government website.”
For some reason Facbook has recently begun to promote facial recognition software. In April 2018 it was announced that Facebook must face a class action lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology, a California judge has ruled.The lawsuit alleges that Facebook gathered biometric information without users' explicit consent.It involves the "tag suggestions" technology, which spots users' friends in uploaded photos. The lawsuit says this breaches state law.
By sheer coincidence Iphones have begun to collect facial recognition data – for personal security reasons obviously.
Imagine if all that collected data, along with the facial recognition tech was plugged into cctv and used to monitor people – well that would mean we are living in some type of horrible dystopia where our emotions are manipulated without our knowledge and we are trapped in a near total control grid wouldn’t it? Yes, yes it would.
What does all this mean?
You are tracked via your location and movements as long as you have your phone on, microphones listen to you whilst you scroll on facebook or other websites so they can pinpoint advertising at you, they monitor your phone calls, texts, emails, private messages and have a complete picture of your social media presence, likes, dislikes, preferences, reading habits, spending habits, music tastes, film favourites, entertainment loves and hates and much much much more and all of this is used against you to manipulate you in ways that benefit the elites without your knowledge. Government agencies are collecting thousands and thousands and thousands of data points about you and you and you and every single one of us and they are using sophisticated psychological warfare methodology to manipulate and control your actions and convince you that these decisions are organic and decided without outside influence, simply a reasoned appraisal of the facts. This is mass mind control on a scale that we really haven’t seen before on an emergent technology that has swiftly become the primary method of communication and interaction for a huge swathe of the population. This is real, it’s a fact that can be proven and the sources can be checked.
SCL admit to installing Ukraine government:
In 2004 the Ukrainian election was hotly contested. The winner, Viktor Yanukovych, was favoured by the incumbent President Kuchma for his pro Russian stance. The other candidate was Viktor Yushchenko, who was favoured by the west for his pro EU position. The election was widely believed to be corrupt and rigged in the favour of Yanukovych.
As a response to this a campaign of protest and civil resistance began across the country. This included sit- ins, general strikes and incidents of civil disobedience. This was named the Orange Revolution and eventually it led to a further election in which Yushenko won (although during this time he was nearly assassinated by poisoning – Russia appeared to be the culprit).
The movement, which seemed organic, was driven by the youth and a desire to move away from the perceived corruption of past generations of rulers in the country. This was stoked by targeting the youth with concepts of aggressive nationalism and the chance to “take their country back”. To a degree far right groups were used to stoke this sense of nationalism and encourage others to join them. The country had an overwhelming sense of disenfranchisement, they had been promised a bright economic future and a less oppressive system but at this point none of this had become apparent. With these conditions it was not difficult to make people want to protest and better their situation.
Why is this relevant?
Why is this relevant? Well one interesting point was that the Orange Revolution was thought to be the first internet driven mass protest. These emerging platforms were used to spread stories about the corruption of the government and to rile up and mobilise the youth against the current seat of power.
One particular event was a recording of the previous President Kuchma (who was vocally supported by Vladimir Putin at the time) seemingly ordering the kidnap of a journalist that was critical of his regime. At the time Putin suggested that the Orange Revolution was the work of the CIA, he complained of the involvement of American Ukrainian groups and far right groups in their role spreading nationalist sentiment and anti – Russian stories.
He wasn’t quite right however.
Wouldn’t it be weird if SCL – the parent company to Cambridge Analytica were somehow involved with this internet based campaign to install a favourable leader during a country’s election? Well thanks to the power of the wayback machine we can have a look at the now defunct SCL website and we find this:
“Faced with mounting opposition and increasingly vocal internal dissent following the dissolution of Parliament, in 2004 the Orange coalition turned to SCL Elections for help. As part of a multi-national consultation team, and with the aid of modern research and efficient campaign intervention techniques, SCL succeeded in maintaining the cohesion of the coalition to ensure a hard fought victory.”
They bloody well admitted it.
This is obviously very similar to the tactics that would later be used in the Trump campaign and during the EU referendum by Cambridge Analytica and near identical to the tactics used by the Israeli offshoot of Cambridge Analytica, Black Cube, who helped to get far right authoritarian lunatic Viktor Orban into power in Hungary.
Recently it emerged that Trump aide Rick gates approached another Israeli data mining firm named Psy-Group, with the hope of manipulating online data to smear opponents. Hmmmm I wonder where the enterprising chap got that idea?
“Rick Gates, a Trump campaign official, requested proposals from an Israeli company to create fake online profiles and gather intelligence against Republican opponents and Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to The New York Times.
Psy-Group, a company staffed primarily by former Israeli intelligence officers, proposed using fake online profiles to attack Senator Ted Cruz, a main opponent of Trump's during the Republican primary, and influence 5,000 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Another proposal offered opposition research about Hillary Clinton and people close to her. A third proposal describes a long-term plan to use social media to expose divides in rival campaigns”
Why was this so successful?
The main tactic that was employed was fear but more specifically it played on good old fashioned fascist rhetoric (not to say that all those who repeat these views are fascist but the mechanism used to spread these talking points is).
I recently came across a review of Jason Stanley’s new book, How Fascism Works the Politics of Us and Them, and the revelations were strikingly familiar.
When asked “What is the story that Fascist are spinning? Stanley answers:
“In the past, fascist politics would focus on the dominant cultural group. The goal is to make them feel like victims, to make them feel like they’ve lost something and that the thing they’ve lost has been taken from them by a specific enemy, usually some minority out-group or some opposing nation.
This is why fascism flourishes in moments of great anxiety, because you can connect that anxiety with fake loss. The story is typically that a once-great society has been destroyed by liberalism or feminism or cultural Marxism or whatever, and you make the dominant group feel angry and resentful about the loss of their status and power. Almost every manifestation of fascism mirrors this general narrative.”
All of these trope will be familiar to any reader of Breitbart, white genocide, hordes of invading Muslims, the destruction of traditional Western, Christian values etc.
White genocide, by the way, is the only genocide that doesn’t actually include any genocide – if you want an example of white privilege I doubt you could find a better example.
Incidentally I have a solution for people worried about the destruction of the white race – Its simple really, continue to be white, marry a white person, have white kids, teach them to hate the things you hate then grow old and die and it’s not really your concern anymore. Problem solved.
Stanley is then asked about the dissemination of fake news. “Why is the destruction of truth, as a shared ideal, so critical to the fascist project?” He answers:
“It’s important because truth is the heart of liberal democracy. The two ideals of liberal democracy are liberty and equality. If your belief system is shot through with lies, you’re not free. Nobody thinks of the citizens of North Korea as free, because their actions are controlled by lies.
Truth is required to act freely. Freedom requires knowledge, and in order to act freely in the world, you need to know what the world is and know what you’re doing. You only know what you’re doing if you have access to the truth. So freedom requires truth, and so to smash freedom you must smash truth... Part of what fascist politics does is get people to disassociate from reality. You get them to sign on to this fantasy version of reality, usually a nationalist narrative about the decline of the country and the need for a strong leader to return it to greatness, and from then on their anchor isn’t the world around them — it’s the leader.”
The mythic past is the most important element:
“The thing is, people willingly adopt the mythical past. Fascists are always telling a story about a glorious past that’s been lost, and they tap into this nostalgia. So when you fight back against fascism, you’ve got one hand tied behind your back, because the truth is messy and complex and the mythical story is always clear and compelling and entertaining. It’s hard to undercut that with facts.”
He continues with other tactics associated with Fascist rhetoric:
“Publicizing false charges of corruption while engaging in corrupt practices is typical of fascist politics, and anti-corruption campaigns are frequently at the heart of fascist political movements,” Stanley writes, helpfully, without once mentioning “Drain the swamp”.
Spreading the messages
A recent study showed that these specific messages do not require a huge amount of people to spread, but rather a coordinated effort of repeating the same tropes and lies, reinforcing them through repetition. As we discussed in the previous blogs the recent alt right darlings all seem to be sponsored by the Shillman foundation, MEF, Wilkes brothers, Devos family, Mercer family, Koch brothers and Regnery families. By inviting one another on to each other’s shows the rhetoric can spread – just like in a JTRIG program. All of their live chats, all of their Google hang outs – although they appear separate are part of one big marketing campaign by the elites.
A recent study by the Knight Foundation investigated the promotion of the fake news stories that dominated the EU referendum and Trump election and found that
“Sixty-five percent of fake and conspiracy news links during the election period went to just the 10 largest sites, a statistic unchanged six months later.”
The report does not name the sites but intimates that Breitbart and Infowars are in that list.
They also pointed out the seeming hive mind collectivism that allowed these stories to flourish;
“Our maps show that accounts that spread fake news are extremely densely connected. In both the election-eve and postelection maps, our methods identify an ultra-dense core of heavily followed accounts that repeatedly link to fake or conspiracy news sites. Sites in the core are typically not the highest-volume tweeters of fake news. However, the popularity of these accounts, and heavy co-followership among top accounts, means that fake news stories that reach the core (or start there) are likely to spread widely. The pre-election fake news network is one of the densest Graphika has ever analyzed, necessitating unusual map drawing procedures”
It’s almost as if this whole thing was coordinated – perhaps by some intelligence agencies or something. It may have well been organic but I will go out and buy a hat to eat if it was.
As a final aside some of you may be familiar with Blair White. She is a trans lady that adopts an alt right persona online and spreads right wing talking points. She is somewhat accepted by the alt right community even though she is trans as she provides justification to hate trans people – see if a trans person is relaying those views they can’t be bigoted. She acts like Candace Owens or Milo Yannopopolous in this regard (incidentally Yannopopolous, before gamergate wrote for the Catholic Herald about how we should regulate the internet from mean people and Owens ran a SJW type youtube channel). Some might see this as paradoxical – and it is. If you had a background in psychology you might postulate that they are self loathing type, terrified that everyone hates them who then purposefully cause problems so you hate them on their terms (therefore they win) and cosy up to their main detractors out of fear – also there is the massive need for attention and validation.
Any who, she basically outed members of the alt right as fakes. She stated that one person (widely believed to be Stephen Crowder) admitted to her that he was only espousing his views for cold hard cash and didn’t believe them and that Milo Yannopopulous had told her that he hired protestors to oppose him at public appearances as part of a marketing campaign to make him seem edgy and victimised. Recently Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens and Ann Coulter all dropped out of live debates at Politicon when they realised their opponent knew what they were talking about. Hmmmmmm, if I were a cynical mind I would suggest that they were only in this for the money provided by their billionaire sponsors.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.