How to be an innocent witch

Instinctively, you’d think that the longer propaganda goes on, the more cynical and worldly-wise the population would become. Maybe that’s true in the long term, but it ain’t so in the present psychological onslaught that we have experienced particularly in the last two years.

This can be seen from the number of cloth masks still to be seen about against every proper study – including an entirely new set of masking and distancing restrictions posted outside our local vet, presumably to compete with the equally atavistic set the GP’s surgery has imposed. It can also be seen in the mass of evidence, including much from the Pfizer trials, showing that the COVID vaccines are useless, dangerous, and steeped in fraud, which fails to impact the public mind at all as they scramble for their fourth dose.

But it can be observed in spades in the Ukraine war propaganda, and especially in the entirely uncritical response to supposed Russian war crimes. The Russians are (if Zelensky and the press are to be believed) making war crimes the mainstay of their military effort even though it weakens their miltary aims, because it is the West that controls the world media and which has every reason to capitalize on any ethical lapses on Putin’s part, to the point of starting World War III. Now that Washington intelligence has admitted that stories about Putin being mad or isolated from his staff were US disinformation (designed, of course, to prevent us succumbing to Russian disinformation!), we can be sure that Putin is not doing war crimes as a coded message for saying, “Bring on the Nukes!”. But he clearly has some reason, because there’s a new crime every day.

We were told by Western leaders that taking over the nuclear power stations would lead to a dirty bomb, that taking over the non-existent biosecurity labs would certainly result in a chemical or bio weapons false flag, and that all denials were typical of Russian disinformation. With the pitch thus queered for their dastardly plot, the Russians inexplicably decided to massacre civilians in their strategic withdrawal from Bucha anyway, just for the hell of it.

The anomalies that it seemed to be Russian supporters in white arm bands they targeted (what scum to abuse their own allies and spare their enemies), that the mayor had been too busy to notice any bodies in the main streets until after the Russians had been gone for several days and Ukrainian security people had moved in to clear Russian saboteurs and fifth columnists, that the bodies had clearly not died where they lay, that movies from another site seven miles away show Azov people proudly murdering prisoners of war in the same manner (and in the same manner shown in videos from elsewhere), that the Russians attempted twice to get the UN Security Council to investigate the killings and were twice turned down by the British chair (for which we must sadly bear our national guilt)… all this simply confirmed to nearly everyone here that the Russians are certainly guilty, and that the always in-demand and never-in-war-cabinet media-celebrity Zelensky and his government are paragons of the democratic rule of law.

Despite the worldwide condemnation, though, Russia went on to launch a rocket attack on a railway station, going to the trouble of using not only the type of missile used only by Ukraine, but (as an Italian journalist discovered) one from a batch deployed by the Ukrainians in Donbas. Furthermore, they took the enormous risk of launching it from the south-west, where the Ukrainian forces were. And all this in order to start World War III, presumably, there being no tactical motive since their aim has been to clear the cities of civilians for less costly military action.

On the other hand, not only are there numerous reports of Azov Brigade idealists regarding refugees as culpable deserters from the nationalist fight to the death, but Zalinsky has armed his civilians (cancelling their civilian status under the Geneva Convention) and told the world that Ukrainians would fight to the last man. This message has been repeated stirringly by Western politicians whose relatives are not being killed, and swallowed by millions of people waving blue and yellow flags, without anyone apparently stopping to wonder whether the population were asked if they wanted to sacrifice their lives for nothing. Interviews from Mariupol today suggest they were not.

Today Azov Nazis holed up in a Mariupol factory, feeling abandoned by the broken promises of rescue by their government, and desperate for any escape, have reported on mobile phones that four people have slight breathing difficulties from a Russian chemical drone attack (that would be Novichok Lite, presumably, since it failed to kill the lot outright). Zelensky, knowing the West is so gullible that he can take the piss with any story whatsoever and get it believed, passed it on as a clear war-crime, and lo and behold it was the lead story in the Mail online this morning.

Oddly enough, this World-War-triggering atrocity seems to have disappeared altogether from the Mail now, to be replaced by the far more important matter of Honest Boris being fined over Partygate and lying to Parliament about it, the very scandal Ukraine was supposed to bury. Who would have guessed that Putin has infiltrated Scotland Yard too?

My point is that the propaganda is now in so many cases so totally absurd that the whole shebang ought to be disbelieved by everyone. Perhaps the reason it is not can be traced to the thory of Mass Formation, about which Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein had an excellent discussion recently

Heather has a review copy of the new book by the theory’s originator Mattias Desmet, The Psychology of Totalitarianism, which is due out in June. Desmet identifies three groups in Mass Formation: the first are those who are hypnotised by, and propagate, an ideological narrative designed as a simple solution to some societal anxiety. The second, rather larger, group is indifferent, but they go along with the narrative to avoid conflict. The third, which Desmet puts at 10-30%, refuse to be hypnotised and actively oppose the message. Unfortunately this last group, by resisting the easing of social tension offered by the lie, become thereby the focus of anger and hatred – a phenomenon with which all my readers, I think, will be all too familiar.

Interestingly, Weinstein asks in the video if Desmet cites Rene Girad (he does not), whose theological work on Christ as the scapegoat was pointed out to me by a reader here a year ago. Kudos to Bret as an unbeliever familiar with Girard. Weinstein’s own variant of the theory,formulated before he knew of Desmet, has a fourth, top, group of those who knowingly promulgate the “witchhunt” (and his dissident group, he says, are those regarded as witches!),

But Desmet only has three groups because, he says, the ideologues are actually taken in by their own ideology, even if they knowingly tell lies to spread it since it is for the greater good (a “noble psyop” as Weinstein puts it. This might be a very good explanation for the behaviour of our entire elite class, who behind the power games and the financial corruption so often appear actually to believe their own twisted statistics, or the claim that they are spreading democracy when they are really spreading poverty, totalitarianism and war.

It may be something like this that can explain how Justin Trudeau was triggered into abolishing Canadian civil liberties when he saw one (probably planted) swastika in the truckers’ convoy in Ottawa, but has had no problem for years with given military training in the Ukraine to Nazi Azov fighters who have been committing atrocities against their own people since 2014.

True though this assessment might be, though, it doesn’t seem to prevent the madness of the crowds. Many of those who saw through COVID propaganda are blithely unaware of any propaganda element to what they are being told by the very same people about the war. It could be a hangover from years of using Russia as a whipping boy for every Western political adventure, but alternatively we can perhaps explain it by the fact that such propaganda steadily erodes the critical faculty – it literally drives people stupid. Even the people generating it.

Desmet places hope only in the 10-30% who continue to resist the hypnotism. He says that it is essential they use whatever means they have at their disposal (a blog, for example?) to maintain a counter-narrative based on truth-telling. This inevitably breaks the hypnotic power of the lie, and causes people to begin questioning, albeit only one at a time. Truth must, eventually, prevail over false ideology.

It is just an unfortunate fact that along with that salvific role comes that of being the target of the witchhunt.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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8 Responses to How to be an innocent witch

  1. Michal says:

    As Goethe said: “ The greater the light, the darker the shadow ”. The more the sanctions against Russia are excessive, the more the cases where we have done nothing highlight our racism and our servility. Why has no Western politician reacted to the strikes against the civilian populations of Donbass for eight years?

  2. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Why has no Western politician reacted to the strikes against the civilian populations of Donbass for eight years?

    It increasingly looks as though the West has been behind the strikes. A French journalist working for Le Figaro and embedded with International Volunteers was surprised to find that the Americans are running the Ukrainian military effort, and I gather British SAS troops have been involved there too. If NATO can’t officially expand eastwards, it appears to expand eastwards clandestinely. It doesn’t feel very good to be on the side of the baddies.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Jacques Baud’s article is essential reading, by the way, people.

      • Michal says:

        I’m glad you liked the article. 265 / 5 000
        Výsledky překladu
        A friend was not so enthusiastic about him, he wrote me: He (Jacques Baud) is either ignorant or a liar, because he claims that Russia was not part of the conflict on Donbas – although the Russians and separatists themselves confessed and videotaped the Russian army T-72B3 tanks near Ilovaysk and Debaltsev.

        By the way, I am from the Czech Republic and I also suffer greatly from our policy of war harassment and censorship of any criticism of the official narrative.

        • Michal says:

          I apologize for the extra characters, I consult my English with the google translator and I have something left … 🙂

          • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

            No apology necessary. I guess some anti-Russian feeling is understandable for historic reasons in the Czech republic, but over here it’s entirely manufactured by propaganda, and xenophobic.

            No single source can get everything right: also useful for analysis in English are Alexander Mercouris, Alex Christoferou (also comprising “The Duran,”), Scott Ritter, Gonzales Lyra (on the ground in Kharkov) and Patrick Lancaster (on the ground in Mariupol).

  3. Gordon says:

    However much we know our own media and government manipulate the narrative, we’re agreed the Ukrainians didn’t want this war right?

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Which Ukrainians?

      Those in Donbas didn’t want to be shelled for the last 7 years anyway. The Ukrainian army gathering in force on the Donbas (not the Russian) border in unprecedented numbers in February/March were, presumably, keen for further warfare against the eastern states, not keen to face the Russian army. The Zelensky government nominally in charge of those forces preferred to refuse to negotiate or implement the Minsk accords, but whether that was because they preferred war or because they were pressured by the NATO commanders to play hardball is not certain. No doubt the ethnic Ukrainians in the west supported action against the east if it kept their lives comfortable – but for the most part they’ve had their way as most of the real action has been in the east, with the west kept under Russian pressure primarily to prevent more forces appearing in Donbas.

      But in proxy wars like Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and so on (countries which also had no desire for war), it is not what the local population wants that matters. With our politicians urging distant Ukrainians to fight to the last man, training the Azov battalions, and supplying strategic arms for years; with Zelensky arming civilians indiscriminately and so making them legitimate targets; and with the Azov guys and foreign fighters putting their snipers in Mariupol apartment blocks whilst refusing to let the residents leave; and with all opposition parties declared illegal and “dove” negotiators shot, Ukrainian public opinion has been something of another western romantic fantasy, it seems to me.

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