Scientific article. Social engineering, manipulation and consent.

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1. Nokomi,

By: Julie Lioré, anthropologist,

"Social engineering is, in the context of information security, a practice of psychological manipulation for the purpose of fraud. .
Social engineering, to which it would be legitimate to add, "and psychological", is a methodology consisting of manipulating crowds through skilful stratagems, derived from discoveries made in two related fields, psychology and psychosociology. These disciplines seek to understand how individuals view, relate to and influence each other. With this knowledge of the psychological mechanisms of the human being and the physiology of the brain, whether in isolation or in groups, this engineering aims to impose new norms and, to achieve its ends, to influence an entire population by circumventing its resistance to the changes to be made.
Among the 'prerequisites', social and psychological engineering knows that every individual has a fundamental need to be connected and to belong to a group, the third essential need in Maslow's pyramid, after the physiological needs for survival and the need for protection in order to feel safe. Being ostracized is unbearable. She also knows that an individual, in a crowd, loses his free will (Gabriel Tarde, father of social psychology), through a kind of "imitative passivity", and that the behaviour of a mass of people differs from that of individuals when they are isolated (Gustave Le Bon [1], anthropologist and psychosociologist). The crowd is, in short, a single and indivisible entity, subject to a "collective soul" and having its own psychic nature, an entity distinct from the sum of the isolated individuals that make it up, a sort of totum acting much better and more strongly in synergy, rather than each in its own corner. For better or for worse.

Tarde and Le Bon greatly influenced Edward Bernays [2], nephew of Freud and great-uncle of the co-founder and first CEO of Netflix, for whom the crowd is not a thinking entity, reacting only to its emotions. With his knowledge of unconscious mental processes, Bernays has a track record of manipulating consent. In 1917, he orchestrated, together with the government of the time, a real metamorphosis: American youth, then peaceful, became, en masse and in one year, warlike, ready for combat. In the 1920s, he was commissioned by the tobacco industry to make cigarettes popular among women in order to increase sales and profits. Until then, smoking was a practice of bad women, so the aim was to change the image of smoking. He is also one of the fathers of American consumerism, in association with Henry Ford. Bernays developed a strategy, based on a mental arsenal, aimed at forging opinion in a given direction and shaping the consent that goes with it. But for this to work, the psycho-social mechanism must remain imperceptible and the hand that manufactures consent invisible. The influence and control of crowds is not new and until recently was covered by an opaque veil from which it was difficult to see through. The cinema, Hollywood then and Netflix now, whose subscriber base has exploded in recent months, carries all sorts of biased messages, as well as various proposals for the future [3]. Television is no exception. And what would the Covid-19 of March 2020 be like without it? Probably nothing for months.
The first strategy of manipulation to be implemented, among the ten stated by Noam Chomsky, American linguist and thinker, is that of distraction. Already in the Roman Empire, the powerful of the time controlled the crowds with games, in the arenas, and bread (a kind of ancient universal income). Closer to home, Zbigniew Brzezinski, an American political scientist who died in 2017, gave birth to the notion of tittytainment, which means to give the people a titty, composed of entertainment, i.e. a mixture of physical (junk food) and psychological (series, The purpose of tittytainment is to put the masses to sleep (at the breast) in order to control their frustrations and potential protests, and to reduce their critical spirit. Tittytainment has obviously been used to prepare for what is happening today.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Then comes the strategy of shock, creating a problem upstream and behind the scenes, to solve it downstream and on stage. Insecurity is a good example, the very thing that has made it possible to establish a state of global security. The shock of the 'pandemic', whose mortality criterion was removed in 2009 by the WHO, was the royal road to the state of health emergency, which has been extended ever since. Destroying the economy is another: after creating the labour shortage, universal income could be welcomed as the ultimate unction. We do not yet know whether these consecutive shocks will allow the hand to impose its new norm. But we can clearly see how this state of stupefaction, which has become chronic, inhibits action.
Shock is a bête noire for all of us, who prefer security, stability and even a certain conservatism. However, the multiplication of cognitive dissonances (among others, confine-deconfine-reconfine, a mask that was initially useless but became indispensable and then compulsory for everyone and everywhere) generates tensions that destructure our habits of functioning, to the point of dislocating groups, creating pro-, anti- or even 'lowered curtains', which have ended up closing shop because the information is so discordant. Naomi Klein, in her book The Strategy of Shock (2007), explains how this proliferation of contradictory information quickly disorients a compass, causing people to lose their free will and their ability to analyse the facts correctly. Social and psychological engineering knows that these contradictions make it possible to be more submissive.
This methodology proceeds in stages, gradually, insidiously. The next is the strategy of gradual degradation. If we had had to accept, at once, confinement, social distancing, curfews, masks, vaccinations, passports, we would have rejected everything. We refer here to Overton's window, according to which public opinion can be gradually modified, so that ideas initially considered unthinkable end up being accepted, or even legislated for, by way of scientific endorsement and the creation of needs (mask, vaccine).

Then comes the strategy of delay. First deal with the pandemic, "whatever it takes", we will deal with the economic issue later. Our brain is made up of neurons, which make connections via synapses. Every 21 days, the synaptic pathways change, removing connections that have become obsolete and adding newer ones. All the health measures have thus established, over the months, connections and disconnections which have been, by dint of repetition, integrated into mental representations.
In order to carry out this reprogramming, it is necessary to address the public as if it were a child. Social engineering has clearly understood that, when trying to deceive an individual, it is enough to adopt an infantilizing tone to address him or her, a strategy widely used by marketing and advertising. Eric Berne [4] understood that in each adult, several personalities coexist: the child, docile and/or rebellious, the parent and the adult, one or the other being assumed according to the circumstances. By multiplying infantilizing messages, the government, as a good paternalistic figure in general and in omnipotence in particular, subjugates its subjects by threatening to cut the link: act as I say (not as I do...) and you will not be punished. Now, faced with authority and since early childhood, conditioned to respect it, most of us tend to regress and, faced with this conditional "love", to obey, to wear a face mask, to remain confined, to be vaccinated. However, depending on one's self-esteem, one will tend to defer to the 'father' to varying degrees, to follow his instructions with or without confidence and to question them or not.
At the same time, it is better to address the emotional rather than the reflective. Emotions are innate, universal and communicative, and above all they are essential to human survival and to the construction of human behaviour. However, most of us have never learned to manage them, but rather to distrust them, to repress them or even to repress them.

This crisis has put all of us, or almost all of us, in an extremely strong emotional turmoil, if not unprecedented: fear of dying, the deepest emotion and the one on which this 'pandemic' has been based, but also fear of getting sick, of contaminating our loved ones, of the lack of a connection, of losing our jobs, of paying a fine, etc. With such intensity, fear has brought back many old wounds from childhood and without having learned to manage this emotion like the others, when they arise and in such an intense way, rational analysis is then short-circuited and the critical sense disabled. Emotions are, moreover, bad advisors. Finally, by using the emotional register, it becomes easy to bring up certain unconscious behaviours and to implant new ones. This is how consent is manufactured, when social engineering plays its cards at the right moment.
"Silent weapons for quiet wars" (Noam Chomsky)
Agnotology refers to the study of the means used to produce, propagate and preserve ignorance and, by extension, the 'cultural production of ignorance'. (Robert N. Proctor, historian of science at Stanford University)
In recent decades, pedagogy has made a point of compartmentalising and hyper-specialising knowledge, to the point of excelling in a specific field, to the point where individuals are no longer able to link things together, to discern or to anticipate, in other words, to have a global and long-term vision. Moreover, despite technology in the form of 'assistants', which are supposed to make our material lives free of constraints, the world is moving faster and faster, no longer allowing us to take the time to anticipate. Short-term visibility, like the distance between us and our screens, and immediacy have won out.
Our brain is made up of three layers. The first is reptilian, whose archaic behaviour focuses all its attention on survival (today for many financial) and territoriality in the broad sense (geographical, hierarchical, ideological, etc.). The second is limbic, responsible for emotions and stress. These first two strata, archaeo and paleo-cortex, constitute the "mammalian" brain, whose characteristics are automatism and emotion. The third, the most recent in the evolution of the human species, is the neocortex, which allows reflection, adaptation and anticipation, in short, to have a global vision of the world around us. However, without having learned to manage its emotions and in a state of chronic shock, the neocortex is put in check, taken hostage, and its capacities are inhibited. Let's take the example of restaurant owners whose business has been closed and who receive financial aid from the state in return for this closure. In the short term, their reptilian brain says: thanks to this aid, I can eat, so I obey this hand that feeds me and respect the measures imposed. What about the longer term, this assistance and the price to be paid? This is a perfect example of short-term thinking and voluntary submission, as if under hypnosis.

So we have all become experts in our own field of expertise, without having been able, or known, or had the time to look elsewhere, and few of us have really delved into the bowels of our emotions to explore their innermost depths, while the governing elite has constantly adjusted its global vision to anticipate and stay far ahead of us, the people.
Society now tends to wallow in mediocrity, more than ever encouraged to do so. Mediocrity here is social, that of social behaviour, and not individual. Complex thinking, in the sense of Edgar Morin and the interweaving of relationships to make sense, is no longer promoted, or even openly denigrated. The hyper-compartmentalisation of disciplines and expertise in general have prevailed over systemics, this interdisciplinary field relating to the study of objects in their complexity. Today, we no longer learn at school and even less, as we have seen, in the major schools and universities, to link things together, but on the contrary to be hyper-specialised in one's own field, and, with a great deal of evaluation and the fear of failure that goes with it, to be 'docile to protocol'. There is no need to connect what is separate, which would make it possible to have an understanding of the world, a state that social engineering strives to maintain, with the help of a part of the information, which has also been won over by mediocrity. Indeed, the level of arguments is, today, at its lowest in the mainstream media, so much the worse for ethics and deontology, while striving not to upset the established order. The confusion is big enough, too, and an explanation that doesn't hold up is always better than no explanation at all. And it works, the hand knows it.
The result is that the majority no longer tries to understand the world they live in, nor does it question what is said and shown, over and over. They have let down their guard and their weapons, out of an unconscious fear of losing their position if the system collapses. Those who have "lowered the curtain" have entered into total passivity, just as others, more and more numerous, enter into resistance. Now convinced that they are not strong enough to change anything, they nonchalantly go along with the movement officially pushed by the government, as a good father, convinced that they are no longer masters or responsible for anything, for their thoughts, their freedom and their destiny.

We will not go back over the de-responsibilisation that is raging and put more than ever all the weight of this crisis on the backs of the citizens. Thus, instead of rebelling, they self-deprecate and feel guilty. Guilt is an emotion made up of fear and sadness, often accompanied by a little shame, and tends to generate a depressive state, one of the effects of which is the inhibition of action. Along with shock, guilt-tripping is an excellent way to nip revolt in the bud. Thus submerged by its emotions, the crowd no longer reacts with reason. The hand knows it too.
The human sciences (sociology, psychology, human biology) no longer hold any secrets for the holders and executors of social engineering, who have a much more advanced and transversal knowledge of human nature than the specialists of each of the disciplines themselves. The hand knows the average person better than he knows himself, and in fact has greater power over him.
Humanity has now reached a decisive stage in its evolution, that of truth, responsibility, freedom and sovereignty, which in no way means endangering that of the other. This crisis is profoundly salutary, in the sense that it could be useful for each of us, by carrying out a deep introspection and by asking ourselves an essential question: what do I want, for myself, for my family, for youth, for humanity? Do I want to sell my freedom for 135€ and remain gagged while waiting to see what happens or if someone else will do something for me? Or make the choice to get out of the prison of one-track thinking (#allclones? No thanks! ), to welcome one's emotions, to clarify them in order to gain freedom, to regain self-confidence and self-esteem, to take a step back by questioning what is said and shown, by replacing single-mindedness with complex thinking, which allows one to cross-reference, confront, and re-interrogate, in order to forge one's own opinion on what is going on and, with full knowledge of the facts, to resist what clearly appears to be false, unjust, absurd, and perverse. Primo Levi, imprisoned in 1944 in a concentration and extermination camp, said: "A Nazi is someone who has lost his principle of resistance" and J.-P. Sartre, that "one has never been so free as during the occupation".
No one said that moving in this direction was easy, like therapy, in this case societal therapy [5]: it is trying, sometimes painful, but intense and the means to open up the field of possibilities. This crisis offers us, for the first time in history, the possibility of choosing, knowing that there is no turning back, whatever the 'like-avantists' say. The paradigm has now reached its point of no return and the great seesaw has begun its movement: to emerge from this crisis as a sovereign or to end up enslaved and alienated? In short, choose between the great awakening or the great reset [6].
We will not go back over the de-responsibilisation that is raging and put more than ever all the weight of this crisis on the backs of the citizens. Thus, instead of rebelling, they self-deprecate and feel guilty. Guilt is an emotion made up of fear and sadness, often accompanied by a little shame, and tends to generate a depressive state, one of the effects of which is the inhibition of action. Along with shock, guilt-tripping is an excellent way to nip revolt in the bud. Thus submerged by its emotions, the crowd no longer reacts with reason. The hand knows it too.
The human sciences (sociology, psychology, human biology) no longer hold any secrets for the holders and executors of social engineering, who have a much more advanced and transversal knowledge of human nature than the specialists of each of the disciplines themselves. The hand knows the average person better than he knows himself, and in fact has greater power over him.
Humanity has now reached a decisive stage in its evolution, that of truth, responsibility, freedom and sovereignty, which in no way means endangering that of the other. This crisis is profoundly salutary, in the sense that it could be useful for each of us, by carrying out a deep introspection and by asking ourselves an essential question: what do I want, for myself, for my family, for youth, for humanity? Do I want to sell my freedom for 135€ and remain gagged while waiting to see what happens or if someone else will do something for me? Or make the choice to get out of the prison of one-track thinking (#allclones? No thanks! ), to welcome one's emotions, to clarify them in order to gain freedom, to regain self-confidence and self-esteem, to take a step back by questioning what is said and shown, by replacing single-mindedness with complex thinking, which allows one to cross-reference, confront, and re-interrogate, in order to forge one's own opinion on what is going on and, with full knowledge of the facts, to resist what clearly appears to be false, unjust, absurd, and perverse. Primo Levi, imprisoned in 1944 in a concentration and extermination camp, said: "A Nazi is someone who has lost his principle of resistance" and J.-P. Sartre, that "one has never been so free as during the occupation".
No one said that moving in this direction was easy, like therapy, in this case societal therapy [5]: it is trying, sometimes painful, but intense and the means to open up the field of possibilities. This crisis offers us, for the first time in history, the possibility of choosing, knowing that there is no turning back, whatever the 'like-avantists' say. The paradigm has now reached its point of no return and the great seesaw has begun its movement: to emerge from this crisis as a sovereign or to end up enslaved and alienated? In short, choose between the great awakening or the great reset [6].
Bernays said that, to work, these strategies had to remain invisible. In recent months, however, they have become more and more observable, and social engineering can no longer work in the shadows or as efficiently as expected. Finally, we will take the example of the most 'symptomatic' measure of this manipulation, that of social distancing. This anti-life measure, which has no scientific or medical basis, seeks, by force, to remove the bond that human beings are made of, and therefore to envisage a society without bonds or mutual aid, and therefore dead. We are mammals and as such a species based on group and contact. Yet this strategy of social distancing already existed in part, but in the shadow of individualism and liberalism. Now it has become quite conspicuous, and by revealing itself, it reveals a system that is collapsing.

References
1] The Psychology of Crowds, 1895
2] Propaganda. How to manipulate opinion in a democracy, 1928
3] Documentary film Out Of Shadows
4] https://analysetransactionnelle.fr/p-Eric_Berne
5] Borrowed from Philippe Bobola, physicist, biologist, anthropologist and psychoanalyst: https://emakrusi.com/gallerie-videos/video-category/comprendre-votre-cerveau/
6] COVID-19: The Great Reset, Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret, September 2020

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