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Fear Is Contagious and Used to Control You

By Dr. Mercola | Waking Times

Governments are using fear to control and manipulate their citizens. That has now been admitted by members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior (SPI-B), a subcommittee that advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in the U.K. And they should know, because they advocated for it, and now say it was a regrettable mistake. As reported by The Telegraph, May 14, 2021:1

“Scientists on a committee that encouraged the use of fear to control people’s behavior during the COVID pandemic have admitted its work was ‘unethical’ and ‘totalitarian.’ Members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior (SPI-B) expressed regret about the tactics in a new book about the role of psychology in the Government’s COVID-19 response.

SPI-B warned in March last year that ministers needed to increase ‘the perceived level of personal threat’ from COVID-19 because ‘a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.’

Gavin Morgan, a psychologist on the team, said: ‘Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism. It’s not an ethical stance for any modern government. By nature I am an optimistic person, but all this has given me a more pessimistic view of people.’”

Psychological Warfare Is Real

The Telegraph quotes several of the SPI-B members, all of whom are also quoted in the newly released book, “A State of Fear: How the UK Government Weaponised Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic,” written by Laura Dodsworth:2

“One SPI-B scientist told Ms Dodsworth: ‘In March [2020] the Government was very worried about compliance and they thought people wouldn’t want to be locked down. There were discussions about fear being needed to encourage compliance, and decisions were made about how to ramp up the fear. The way we have used fear is dystopian.

The use of fear has definitely been ethically questionable. It’s been like a weird experiment. Ultimately, it backfired because people became too scared’ …

One warned that ‘people use the pandemic to grab power and drive through things that wouldn’t happen otherwise … We have to be very careful about the authoritarianism that is creeping in’ …

Another member of SPI-B said they were ‘stunned by the weaponization of behavioral psychology’ during the pandemic, and that ‘psychologists didn’t seem to notice when it stopped being altruistic and became manipulative. They have too much power and it intoxicates them.’

Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the COVID Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said: ‘If it is true that the state took the decision to terrify the public to get compliance with rules, that raises extremely serious questions about the type of society we want to become. If we’re being really honest, do I fear that government policy today is playing into the roots of totalitarianism? Yes, of course it is.’”

The Manufacture of Fear

For nearly a year and a half, governments around the world, with few exceptions, have fed their citizens a steady diet of frightening news. For months on end, you couldn’t turn on the television without facing a ticker-tape detailing the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

Even when it became clear that people weren’t really dying in excessive numbers, the mainstream media fed us continuous updates on the growing number of “cases,” without ever putting such figures into context or explaining that the vast majority were false positives.

Information that would have balanced out the bad news — such as recovery rates and just how many so-called “cases” actually weren’t, because they never had a single symptom — were censored and suppressed.

They also refused to put any of the data into context, such as reviewing whether the death toll actually differed significantly from previous years. Instead, each new case was treated as an emergency and a sign of catastrophic doom.

Don’t Be Confused — Contradiction Is a Warfare Tactic

Aside from the barrage of bad-news-only data — which, by the way, was heavily manipulated in a variety of ways — fear and anxiety are also generated by keeping you confused. According to Dodsworth, giving out contradictory recommendations and vague instructions is being done intentionally, to keep you psychologically vulnerable.

“When you create a state of confusion, people become ever more reliant on the messaging. Instead of feeling confident about making decisions, they end up waiting for instructions from the Government,” she said in a May 20, 2021, interview on the Planet Normal podcast.3

An example provided by Dodsworth is the pandemic measures implemented over Christmas 2020:

“Family Christmases were on, then off, then back on, then off again. You have got someone tightening the screw, then loosening the screw, then tightening it again. It’s like a torture scenario.”

But that’s not all. As explained by psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin, by layering confusion and uncertainty on top of fear, you can bring an individual to a state in which they can no longer think rationally. Once driven into an illogical state, they are easily manipulated. I have no doubt driving people into a state where logic and reason no longer registers is the whole point behind much of the conflicting information we’re given.

The Fear Factory

In her book, Dodsworth details a number of branches of the British government that are using psychological warfare methods in their interaction with the public. In addition to the SPI-B, there’s the:4

Behavioral Insights team, the so-called “nudge unit,” a semi-independent government body that applies “behavioral insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver positive results for people and communities.”5 This team also advises foreign nations.

Home Office’s Research, Information, and Communications Unit (RICU), which is part of the U.K.’s Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, advises front groups disguised as public “grassroots” organizations on how to “covertly engineer the thoughts of people.”

Rapid Response Unit, launched in 2018, operates across the British Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister’s office (colloquially known as “Number 10” as in the physical address, 10 Downing Street in London) to “counter misinformation and disinformation.” They also work with the National Security Communications Team during crises to ensure “official information” gets maximum visibility.6

Counter Disinformation Cell, which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. Both monitor social media and combat “fake news” about science in general and COVID-19 in particular, with “fake news” being anything that contradicts the World Health Organization’s guidance.7

Government Communications Headquarters (QCHQ), an intelligence and security organization that provides information to the U.K. government and the armed forces. According to Dodsworth, QCHQ personnel, and even members of the 77th Brigade, have been enlisted as so-called sockpuppets and trolls to combat anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown messaging on social media.

According to Dodsworth, there are many others. In her book, she claims at least 10 different government departments in the U.K. are working with “behavioral insights teams” to manipulate the public.

We’re Just Seeing It Now

Importantly, the government’s reliance on behavioral psychology didn’t just happen as a result of the pandemic. These tactics have been used for years, for myriad PR purposes, and while the pandemic may be winding down, Dodsworth warns that more and more behavioral scientists are being hired:8

“It’s growing and growing. Right now, I feel we are in a maelstrom of nudge,” she says. “In the past, there have been calls to consult the public on the use of behavioral psychology, and those calls have come from the behavioral scientists themselves. And yet it hasn’t happened. We haven’t yet been consulted on the use of subconscious techniques which effectively strip away our choices …

I fervently hope this book [‘The State of Fear’] is actually going to inspire a much-needed conversation about the use of fear, not just in the epidemic, but the way we use behavioral psychology overall.

It’s not just a genie that has been let out the bottle. It’s like we’ve unleashed a Hydra and you can keep chopping its head off, but they keep employing more of these behavioral scientists throughout different government departments. It’s very much how the Government now does business. It’s the business of fear …

I think ultimately people don’t want to be manipulated. People don’t enjoy being hoodwinked and they don’t want to live in a state of fear. We maybe need to be a bit bolder about standing up more quickly when something is not right.”

Fear Is Contagious

Fear has long been the tool of tyrants. It’s profoundly effective, in part because it spreads from person to person, just like a virus. The contagion of fear is the topic of the Nova “Gross Science” video above, originally aired in mid-February 2017. Among animals, emotional distress responses are telegraphed through pheromones emitted through various bodily secretions such as sweat and saliva.

As explained in the video, when encountering what is perceived as a serious threat, animals with strong social structures, such as bees and ants, will release alarm pheromone. The scent attracts other members of the hive or colony to collectively address the threat.

Humans appear to have a very similar capability. When scared or stressed, humans produce chemosignals, and while you may not consciously recognize the smell of fear or stress, it can have a subconscious impact, making you feel afraid or stressed too.

Humans also tend to mimic the feelings of those around us, and this is yet another way through which emotion can spread like wildfire through a community or an entire nation — for better or worse. Behavioral psychologists refer to this as “emotional contagion,” and it works both positive and negative emotions.

For example, if you’re greeted by a smile when meeting someone, you’re likely to smile back, mimicking their facial expression and behavior. If someone looks at you with an angry scowl, you’re likely to suddenly feel angry too, even if you weren’t before and have no subjective reason to — other than that someone looked at you the “wrong” way.

However, while both positive and negative emotions are contagious, certain emotions spread faster and easier than others. Research cited in the Nova report found that “high arousal” emotions such as awe (high-arousal positive emotion) and anger or anxiety (high-arousal negative emotion) are more “viral” than low-arousal emotions such as happiness or sadness.

The Nova report also points out that researchers have been mining Twitter and other social media data to better understand how emotions are spread, and the types of messages that spread the fastest. However, they ignored the primary culprits, Google and Facebook both of which steal your private data and use it to manipulate your behavior.

At the time, in 2017, they said this information was being harvested and used to develop ways to avoid public messaging that might incite mass panic. But the COVID-19 pandemic suggests the complete opposite. Clearly, behavioral experts have been busy developing ways to generate maximum fear, anxiety, and panic.

How to Inoculate Yourself Against Negative Contagion

At the end of the report, Nova cites research detailing three effective ways to “immunize” yourself against negative emotional contagions.

  1. Distract yourself from the source of the negative contagion — In the case of pandemic fearporn, that might entail not reading or listening to mainstream media news that for the past year have proven themselves incapable of levelheadedness.
  2. Project your own positive emotions back at the source of the negative contagion — If talking to someone who is fearful, they might end up “catching” your optimism rather than the other way around.
  3. Speak up — If someone is unwittingly spreading “negative vibes,” telling them so might help them realize what they’re doing. (This won’t work if the source is knowingly and purposely spreading fear or anxiety though.)

Pandemic of Panic

In a recent Tweet,9 Ivor Cummins, a biochemical engineer who researches the root causes of chronic disease, shared a short video detailing the root cause of the panic pandemic. Why has the whole world seemingly gone mad from fear?

As explained by Cummins, the outsized level of public fear is the result of a catastrophic feedback loop system where political and mainstream media drivers are pushing fear onto the public, and public fears are then feeding the media (fear sells) and pushing politicians to take action, which generates more fear messages. And so, round and round it goes.

However, at a certain point, this engine of fear starts losing steam. To keep the pandemic pandemonium going, academics bearing doomsday predictions were brought in to scare politicians and provide more fearporn fodder for the media.

Aiding the academic drivers are unelected, undemocratic organizations such as the World Health Organization, the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Big Pharma (just to name a few), all of which support these academic doomsday prophets from behind the scenes or openly promote them.

All of the organizations Cummins mentions are part of a technocratic, unelected elite that are making decisions for the entire world. If we were to somehow shut down this secondary engine that feeds into the first, the global insanity would probably start to abate.

The question is, can that be done? Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has likened our current predicament to “an apocalyptical battle,”10 as we’re facing formidable undemocratic forces with seemingly unlimited financial resources, political influence, and the ability to control the global landscape of communications.

We’re facing a globalist agenda that ultimately seeks to gain total control by stripping away human rights and the rights of countries, and they’re using “biosecurity” as justification for it all.

Exposing the Grand Plan

As explained by journalist James Corbett in his October 16, 2020, Corbett Report,11 the Great Reset is a new “social contract” that ties every person to it through an electronic ID linked to your bank account and health records and a social credit ID that will end up dictating every facet of your life.

It’s about getting rid of capitalism and free enterprise and replacing them with “sustainable development” and “stakeholder capitalism” — terms that belie their nefarious, anti-humanity intents. As noted in the book, “Technocracy: The Hard Road to World Order”:12

“… Sustainable Development is Technocracy … The Sustainable Development movement has taken careful steps to conceal its true identity, strategy and purpose, but once the veil is lifted, you will never see it any other way. Once its strategy is unmasked, everything else will start to make sense.”

In her blog post “The Great Reset for Dummies,” journalist Tessa Lena summarizes the purpose behind the call for a global “reset”:13

“The mathematical reason for the Great Reset is that thanks to technology, the planet has gotten small, and the infinite expansion economic model is bust — but obviously, the super wealthy want to continue staying super wealthy, and so they need a miracle, another bubble, plus a surgically precise system for managing what they perceive as ‘their limited resources.’

Thus, they desperately want a bubble providing new growth out of thin air — literally — while simultaneously they seek to tighten the peasants’ belts, an effort that starts with ‘behavioral modification,’ a.k.a. resetting the western peasants’ sense of entitlement to high life standards and liberties … The practical aim of the Great Reset is to fundamentally restructure the world’s economy and geopolitical relations based on two assumptions:

One, that every element of nature and every life form is a part of the global inventory (managed by the allegedly benevolent state, which, in turn, is owned by several suddenly benevolent wealthy people, via technology).

And two, that all inventory needs to be strictly accounted for: be registered in a central database, be readable by a scanner and easily ID’ed, and be managed by AI, using the latest ‘science.’

The goal is to count and then efficiently manage and control all resources, including people, on an unprecedented scale, with unprecedented digital … precision — all while the masters keep indulging, enjoying vast patches of conserved nature, free of unnecessary sovereign peasants and their unpredictability.”

These new global “assets” can also be turned into brand-new financial instruments that can then be traded. For example, Zero-Budget Natural Farming is now being introduced in India. This is a brand-new concept of farming in which farmers must trade the carbon rate in their soil on the global market if they want to make a living. They’ll get no money at all for the crops they actually grow.

The Pandemic Has Been a Psychological Operation

There’s not a single area of life that is left out of this Great Reset plan. The planned reform will affect everything from government, energy, and finance to food, medicine, real estate, policing, and even how we interact with our fellow human beings in general.

It goes without saying that to radically transform every last part of society has its challenges. No person in their right mind would agree to it if aware of the details of the whole plan. So, to roll this out, they had to use psychological manipulation, and fear is the most effective tool for inducing compliance there is.

The following graphic illustrates the central role of fearmongering for the successful rollout of the Great Reset.

Social Engineering Is Central to Technocratic Rule

Technocracy is inherently a technological society run through social engineering. Fear is but one manipulation tool. The focus on “science” is another. Anytime someone dissents, they’re simply accused of being “anti-science,” and any science that conflicts with the status quo is declared “debunked science.”

The only science that matters is whatever the technocrats deem to be true, no matter how much evidence there is against it. We’ve seen this first-hand during this pandemic, as Big Tech has censored and banned anything going against the opinions of the WHO, which is just another cog in the technocratic machine.

If we allow this censorship to continue, the end result will be nothing short of devastating. So, we simply must keep pushing for transparency, truth, medical freedom, personal liberty, and the right to privacy.

Recognizing that the fear we feel has been carefully manufactured can help free us from its grip, and once we — en masse — no longer believe the lies being put before us, the engine driving the fear and panic will eventually run out of steam.




The Age of Fear: A Graduation Message for Terrifying Times

By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute 

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”—Hermann Goering, Nazi leader

With all that is crashing down upon us, from government-manipulated crises to the blowback arising from a society that has repeatedly prized technological expedience and mass-marketed values over self-ownership and individual sovereignty, those coming of age today are facing some of the greatest threats to freedom in the world has ever witnessed.

It’s downright frightening.

Young people will find themselves overtaxed, burdened with excessive college debt, and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state. They will be threatened, intimidated, and beaten by militarized police. They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice.

As such, they will find themselves forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands that “we the people” be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences.

It’s a dismal prospect, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, we failed to guard against such a future.

Worse, we who should have known better neglected to maintain our freedoms or provide our young people with the tools necessary to resist oppression and survive, let alone succeed, in the impersonal jungle that is modern America.

We brought them into homes fractured by divorce, distracted by mindless entertainment, and obsessed with the pursuit of materialism. We institutionalized them in daycares and afterschool programs, substituting time with teachers and childcare workers for parental involvement. We turned them into test-takers instead of thinkers and automatons instead of activists.

We allowed them to languish in schools that not only look like prisons but function like prisons, as well—where conformity is the rule and freedom is the exception. We made them easy prey for our corporate overlords while instilling in them the values of a celebrity-obsessed, technology-driven culture devoid of any true spirituality. And we taught them to believe that the pursuit of their own personal happiness trumped all other virtues, including any empathy whatsoever for their fellow human beings.

We have allowed them to be manipulated by a corporate culture that simply wants money and control. However, as Aldous Huxley warned: “The victim of mind-manipulation does not know he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.”

No, we haven’t done this generation any favors.

Based on the current political climate, things could very well get much worse before they ever take a turn for the better. Here are a few pieces of advice that will hopefully help those coming of age today survive the perils of the journey that awaits:

Be a thinking individual. For all of its claims to champion the individual, American culture advocates a stark conformity which, as John F. Kennedy warned, is “the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.” Worry less about fitting in with the rest of the world and instead, as Henry David Thoreau urged, become “a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.”

Learn your rights. We’re losing our freedoms for one simple reason: most of us don’t know anything about our freedoms. At a minimum, anyone who has graduated from high school, let alone college, should know the Bill of Rights backward and forwards. However, the average young person, let alone a citizen, has very little knowledge of their rights for the simple reason that the educational system no longer teaches them and spends little time on the rights of the people. So grab a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and study them at home. And when the time comes, stand up for your rights before it’s too late.

Speak truth to power. Don’t be naive about those in positions of authority. As James Madison, who wrote our Bill of Rights, observed, “All men having power ought to be distrusted.” We must learn the lessons of history. People in power, more often than not, abuse that power. To maintain our freedoms, this will mean challenging government officials whenever they exceed the bounds of their office.

Resist all things that numb you. Don’t measure your worth by what you own or earn. Likewise, don’t become mindless consumers unaware of the world around you. Resist all things that numb you, put you to sleep, or help you “cope” with so-called “reality.” Those who establish the rules and laws that govern society’s actions desire compliant subjects. However, as George Orwell warned, “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they rebelled, they cannot become conscious.” It is these conscious individuals who change the world for the better.

Don’t let technology turn you into zombies. Technology anesthetizes us to the all-too-real tragedies that surround us. Techno-gadgets are merely distractions from what’s really going on in America and around the world. As a result, we’ve begun mimicking the inhuman technology that surrounds us and we have lost our humanness. We’ve become sleepwalkers. If you’re going to make a difference in the world, you’re going to have to pull the earbuds out, turn off the cell phones and spend much less time viewing screens. Then, maybe you’ll see the world for what it really is.

Help others. We all have a calling in life. And I believe it boils down to one thing: You are here on this planet to help other people. In fact, none of us can exist very long without help from others. If we’re going to see any positive change for freedom, then we must change our view of what it means to be human and regain a sense of what it means to love and help one another. That will mean gaining the courage to stand up for the oppressed.

Give voice to moral outrage. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” There is no shortage of issues on which to take a stand. For instance, on any given night, over half a million people in the U.S. are homeless, and half of them are elderly. There are 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line, and 16 million children living in households without adequate access to food. Congress creates, on average, more than 50 new criminal laws each year. With more than 2 million Americans in prison and close to 7 million adults in correctional care, the United States has the largest prison population in the world. At least 2.7 million children in the United States have at least one parent in prison. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. It costs the American taxpayer $52.6 billion every year to be spied on by the government intelligence agencies tasked with surveillance, data collection, counterintelligence, and covert activities. All the while, since 9/11, the U.S. has spent more than $1.6 trillion to wage wars abroad and police the rest of the world. This is an egregious affront to anyone who believes in freedom.

Cultivate spirituality, reject materialism and put people first. When the things that matter most have been subordinated to materialism, we have lost our moral compass. We must change our values to reflect something more meaningful than technology, materialism, and politics. Standing at the pulpit of the Riverside Church in New York City in April 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. urged his listeners:

[W]e as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motive and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

Pitch in and do your part to make the world a better place. Don’t rely on someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Don’t wait around for someone else to fix what ails you, your community, or your nation. As Gandhi urged: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Say no to war. Addressing the graduates at Binghampton Central High School in 1968, at a time when the country was waging war “on different fields, on different levels, and with different weapons,” Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling declared:

Too many wars are fought almost as if by rote. Too many wars are fought out of sloganry, out of battle hymns, out of aged, musty appeals to patriotism that went out with knighthood and moats. Love your country because it is eminently worthy of your affection. Respect it because it deserves your respect. Be loyal to it because it cannot survive without your loyalty. But do not accept the shedding of blood as a natural function or a prescribed way of history—even if history points this up by its repetition. That men die for causes does not necessarily sanctify that cause. And that men are maimed and torn to pieces every fifteen and twenty years does not immortalize or deify the act of war… find another means that does not come with the killing of your fellow-man.

Finally, prepare yourselves for what lies ahead. The demons of our age—some of whom disguise themselves as politicians—delight in fomenting violence, sowing distrust and prejudice, and persuading the public to support tyranny disguised as patriotism and/or keeping us “safe.” Overcoming the evils of our age will require more than intellect and activism. It will require decency, morality, goodness, truth, and toughness. As Serling concluded in his remarks to the graduating class of 1968:

Toughness is the singular quality most required of you… we have left you a world far more botched than the one that was left to us… Part of your challenge is to seek out truth, to come up with a point of view not dictated to you by anyone, be he a congressman, even a minister… Are you tough enough to take the divisiveness of this land of ours, the fact that everything is polarized, black and white, this or that, absolutely right or absolutely wrong. This is one of the challenges. Be prepared to seek out the middle ground … that wondrous and very difficult-to-find Valhalla where man can look to both sides and see the errant truths that exist on both sides. If you must swing left or you must swing right—respect the other side. Honor the motives that come from the other side. Argue, debate, rebut—but don’t close those wondrous minds of yours to opposition. In their eyes, you’re the opposition. And ultimately … ultimately—you end divisiveness by compromise. And so long as men walk and breathe—there must be compromise…

Are you tough enough to face one of the uglier stains upon the fabric of our democracy—prejudice? It’s the basic root of most evil. It’s a part of the sickness of man. And it’s a part of man’s admission, his constant sick admission, that to exist he must find a scapegoat. To explain away his own deficiencies—he must try to find someone who he believes more deficient… Make your judgment of your fellow-man on what he says and what he believes and the way he acts. Be tough enough, please, to live with prejudice and give battle to it. It warps, it poisons, it distorts and it is self-destructive. It has fallout worse than a bomb … and worst of all it cheapens and demeans anyone who permits himself the luxury of hating.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the only way we’ll ever achieve change in this country is for the American people to finally say “enough is enough” and fight for the things that truly matter.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your political ideology is. If you have something to say, speak up. Get active, and if need be, pick up a picket sign and get in the streets. And when civil liberties are violated, don’t remain silent about it.

Wake up, stand up, and make your activism count for something more than politics in a world turned upside down.

ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is the founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His books Battlefield America: The War on the American People and A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State are available at www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.