Weapons Of Mass Deception

One of the most-watched documentaries on Netflix right now is The Social Dilemma, an exposé of how Big Tech is manipulating our thinking and behavior in ways both grand and minute. And most of the time, we’re completely oblivious to it.

These companies prey upon the weaknesses in our cerebral programming; using our anxieties, our hopes, and our brain’s craving for dopamine to shepherd us into performing actions desired by their advertisers – whether it’s consuming certain content, buying certain products, or voting a certain way.

This is a massive social issue that we’re only beginning to become aware of as a society. How much more control do these companies wield over our thoughts and behavior than we currently realize? How much is acceptable? How do we protect ourselves going forward?

Addressing and attempting to “unwire” ourselves from their programming efforts won’t be easy – as any parent who has tried to wean their child off of social media for even a few days (or hours!) already knows.

But as big of an issue as this is, it’s not new, nor is it limited to the Tech sector. Marketers and politicians have been intentionally exploiting our evolutionary wiring for decades, in order to influence us to do their bidding.

The Psychology Of Persuasion

One of the best books explaining the psychology behind this manipulation is Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

It’s a remarkable book. I highly recommend everyone read it in order to understand the vast minefield of psychological traps being set for us on a daily basis.

Cialdini begins the book by revealing how all animal species, humans included, have evolved stereotypical behavioral “shortcuts” to certain stimuli. We’ve done so because life is (increasingly) complex, and these standardized responses convey an evolutionary advantage.

At least they used to.

Cialdini refers to these fixed-action patterns as the click, whirr effect. When they’re triggered, it’s as if a button has been pressed in our brains (click!) that then causes us, robot-like, to perform a standard sequence of behaviors (whirrr!).

Click! Spot a potential predator? Whirr! Increase heart and breathing rates, dialate pupils, tense up muscles, secrete adrenaline, prepare to fight/flee.

That kind of pre-programmed automatic response served our hunter-gatherer ancestors well. Those with a strong click, whirr response to predators survived at a higher rate than those without.

But especially in today’s modern world, far from the African savannas early humans evolved upon, many of these fixed-action patterns don’t convey the same advantages. In fact, they can be exploited against us.

The Turkey And The Polecat

A good non-human example of this is a study conducted by animal behavioralist M.W. Fox in the 1970s.

Mother turkeys have a very strong click, whirr response to polecats. A polecat is a type of weasel, who loves eating turkey chicks. So when a mother turkey sees a polecat, even a stuffed one held by a researcher, she flies into a berserker rage, doing her utmost to claw and peck the intruder to death.

But a mother turkey also has a strong click, whirr response to the “cheep, cheep” sound her chicks make. When she hears it, she goes into nurture mode: feeding, tending, warming and cleaning them.

It is so strong, in fact, that it overpowers her programming against the polecat predator. As mentioned, when a stuffed polecat is placed in sight, she will attack it viscously instantly. BUT, if a recorder is placed inside the stuffed polecat that reproduces the “cheep, cheep” of a chick, the mother turkey will completely change her behavior. Instead of attacking, she will start nurturing the polecat; huddling it alongside her chicks and trying to feed and clean it.

Her natural pre-programmed defense against the polecat has been hacked. And she now acts in its best interest, not her own.

We've Been Hacked!

Sure, you might be thinking, that's a turkey. I'm a heck of a lot smarter than a dumb bird. Nobody can hoodwink me like that.

Sadly, says Cialdini, that’s not the case.

Humans have just as many of these fixed-action patterns (if not more due our social complexity) baked into our cerebral wiring.

In fact, Cialdini thinks we may be even more vulnerable than the turkey because our species lives in arguably the most rapidly moving and complex environment that has ever existed on the planet. We need these “shortcuts” more than ever to persevere through the complexity.

And here’s the danger: just like M.W. Fox discovered he could override the turkey’s decision-making, policymakers and marketers have mastered the science of hijacking ours.

There is a litany of fixed-action responses baked into the human mind. That’s the basis of Cialdini’s book. He details out what they are, along with this warning: Those seeking power and profit will exploit our ignorance of these triggers against us.

Not convinced? Here are just two examples.

Expensive = Good

A widely-held mental shortcut is that "expensive = good". And our daily experience generally reinforces this belief.

A new Tesla costs more than a used AMC Gremlin. A suite at the Ritz-Carlton costs more than a Motel 6 bunkroom. Nicer, higher-quality goods and services typically come at a higher price.

Cialdini cites an unintentional experiment where a jeweler became frustrated trying to move some of her excess turquoise inventory during the height of tourist season. She had tried merchandizing it prominently in the highest-trafficked place in the store and incentivizing her staff to push the product. But nothing was working.

In defeat, as she was heading out for a brief business trip, she left a note to her store manager instructing that the price be dropped by half.

Upon returning a few days later, she was pleasantly shocked to learn that all of the turquoise had been sold.

But even more shocking was the discovery that her instructions had been mistakenly misinterpreted. Instead of cutting the price of the turquoise in half, her store manager had doubled it.

The customers, seeing a notably higher price for the jewelry, simply concluded that it must be more valuable. And therefore more desirable. Enough to influence them to pull out their wallets and buy it.

While unintentional in this example, Cialdini rattles off numerous instances where this “expensive = good” click, whirr response (and endless variations on it) are explicitly used by retailers to dupe us into making purchases we otherwise wouldn’t under normal circumstances.

The Power Of 'Because'

When someone requests a favor of us, we're much more likely to comply if they provide a reason why they're asking.

Interestingly, it’s not the validity of the reason that matters. Only the simple fact that it’s offered does.

We’re pretty much willing to rationalize ANY reason to explain our willingness to comply.

Cialdini refers to a study that illustrates this nicely using a copy machine.

When there’s a line at the machine, someone cutting to the front and asking “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the copier because I’m in a rush?” experiences a 94% success rate. Almost everyone will allow them to cut ahead.

However, when “because I’m in a rush” is dropped from the excuse, the success rate drops to only 60%. Without an offered reason, fewer people are willing to give up their priority in line.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Pretty much ANY reason will suffice, no matter how weak or irrelevant.

When the script is changed to “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the copier because I have to make some copies?”, the success rate jumps back up to 93%.

It turns out that the word “because…” sets off a powerful click, whirr fixed-action response for humans. It’s a mental shortcut that tells us “I should do what this person asks because they have a good reason”.

Wonder why food retailers tell us to buy their product “because it’s fortified with essential vitamins and minerals”? Or why cosmetics giant L’Oreal’s brand slogan is “Because you’re worth it”? Or why politicians tell us embrace a new policy of theirs “because it’s the right thing to do”?

They’re intentionally pressing the click, whirr button of their target audience in attempt to get as many people as they can to act in the way they want them to.

How many times each and every day is your button being pressed by external actors? How many times are they successful in influencing your thoughts or behavior?

And how sure are you of your answer? By definition we’re usually unconscious of these fixed-action patterns, rationalizing our behavior after the fact.

Think Twice When Encouraged To "Act Now"

In today's society -- where corporate cartels control nearly every business sector, where 90% of media outlets are owned by six companies, where powerful special interests fund and control our political parties, where Big Data and social media collect & commercialize our personal information -- we are subject to the highest degree of the most-sophisticated psychological manipulation in the history of any species.

To avoid becoming unwitting victims, it’s essential that we first understand the hacks being used against us so that we can recognize them and take steps de-fuse their power over us.

This won’t be easy.

Today’s manipulation has been honed over decades and leverages the latest science and technology. It’s specifically designed to appeal to our emotions, accentuate our fears and inflame our desires. It’s often wrapped in a false morality intended to make us believe resisting it is unethical.

Take the Great Reset which the world powers (World Economic Forum, IMF, etc) are advocating so forcefully for right now. It recommends a very specific set of actions for countries to start imposing onto their citizens, presented under the noble cause of securing a sustainable future for the planet.

How much of what the Great Reset recommends is actually necessary and in our best interest? And how much serves the selfish interests of those powers promoting it?

We can’t tackle these important questions if we simply allow our click, whirr buttons to force us to robotically comply when pressed.

We need to recognize and resist the mental manipulation. And only then evaluate the situation and decide our course of action.

In Part 2: Avoiding 5 Of The Most Powerful Psychological Manipulations we reveal a host of the most influential psychological hacks – including the powers of the contrast principle, the reciprocity principle, projected authority, commitment & consistency, and social proof – being used against us.

As they say, forewarned is forearmed. By learning the science underlying these manipulations, we learn how to defend against and de-fuse their power over us.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/weapons-of-mass-deception/

First, all of this chronic bombardment by tech and media, is by far the most psychological warfare I have ever seen.
Personally, if I could, and I could have at one time, but missed that opportunity and regret it, would have just unplugged myself from the matrix all together.
Buy yourself a nice plot of land in rural america, that has some natural resources nearby. And forget the phone, and the rest of it. Or go hang with the Amish or something similar.
Though there are states and laws, that are now in effect in some municipalities that actually it is illegal to live off the grid, harvest your own rain water etc… Hard to believe but yeah… It goes to show how far gone we actually are… You need to dig deeper than ever spiritually to make it. It takes a strength greater than ever. I am not sure how the younger generation will do it or manage… Oh yeah the other option is just conformity with the system…

I would have just unplugged myself from the matrix all together…a nice plot of land in rural america
Don’t get this. It’s easy to live “on the grid” yet ditch social media/TV. Done it for decades. Also, having lived both off and on the grid, we find it easier to sidestep the “matrix” on the grid than off just due to the conveniences and options the grid offers:

  1. Ditch TV/radio/social media/smartphone lifestyle; only use “pull” media. Live life, don’t watch it on a screen.
  2. Eat only whole food you cook from scratch.
  3. Move within biking distance of work/play.
  4. If children, homeschool.
  5. Own a small house; house-hack (rent part of it out) if needed to make the payments.
    I am not sure how the younger generation will do it or manage.
    The younger generation seems far more receptive to a non-materialistic, active lifestyle and a media boycott than the older generations (we’re GenX). Hence, our friends tend to slant young. Our theory is the unfair economy leaves younger people more open-minded to countercultural lifestyles. YMMV.

Adam its refreshing to come to Peak Prosperity…open minds and wisdom, which is in short supply everywhere these days. I think Mish is a good example of a mind dragged down into the muck of self-righteous and delete and ban madness…so few can even listen to anything they disagree with…though we have always been shorthanded in the listening department…

I linked to this essay in the beginning of a essay I am working on called Dark Days Ahead…
There is something extraordinarily chilling about what is happening to the human race. The world is falling into the abyss. It has not entirely sunk in yet, but it will soon. A nightmare darker than our worst dreams are already underway. “Get ready for the biggest collapse in the history of mankind,” writes respected economist Egon von Greyerz. “It will be devastating and reach all parts of society, economic, financial, political & social.”
Club Orlov makes it personal for Americans saying at the end of a great read, “The collapse of the USA will make the collapse of the USSR look like a stroll through a leafy park and a boat ride on a placid pond.” It is challenging, to say the least, to accept such a collapse with equanimity and poise. But we must steel ourselves emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for the dark times ahead.
The oligarchy, the press, the digital monster companies are in firm command of the narrative, meaning they have gained control over most minds. They let us know what they want us to know, so count on not knowing what is going on. Their biggest tool, which few plug into, is the mainstream’s ability to remove big subjects from view. Completely! Many things they discard calling contrarian views as conspiracy or fake news. But other things like 5G is never mentioned at all. Neither is cold climate change, grand solar minimums, and mini ice-ages said, so they are entirely off the radar.

All this stuff is available, most within this community, even totally different perspectives.

My perspective:I studied earth science and biology, so even not being a climatologist, I know something about this stuff.  I like the critical mainstream science approach, but think everything should be up for discussion. Only when data are questioned or cherry picked stops the dialogue, same is true for SARS-2.


Cold climate change: interesting wording! Never came across that one.

A lot of insights come from this paper:


-Greenland ice sheets will melt away for a great deal, however , this takes many centuries. After this century sea levels will start rising a lot. We will lose a lot of fertile ground, as they are mostly situated in coastal areas.  Even if salvaged, salination will degrade it. Coastal cities will have to be abandoned.  But real valuable and historic real estate can be protected by dykes and water works.

  • All this cold, fresh melt water will drastically slow down the thermo haline circulation. Hansen predicts a nasty cooling (I hate cold) for the coming centuries in the N Atlantic, while the rest of the world will mostly warm up.

Solar minimum:  There is hardly any understanding yet about long term solar cycles. So this is just speculation considering only 2 recent cycles.  Same about mini ice ages, except for the first point, mega-volcanic activity (unpredictable yet) or nuclear winters, asteroids etc.


Of course there are more viewpoints, although I would recommend disqualifying those of lobbyists, wether from big oil/ coal or the one for carbon credits, biomass and electric cars.

Many of the worries are alarmist: Most city housing and average buildings have a life span less, or much less than a century.  OK, at the end of this century, no rebuilding will take place, as new buildings in low lying areas will become uninsurable.  If the global population will half, no problem will occur, at all!

Even so:  my plans of buying property are: A traditional village farm house at least 100 m (300 ft) above sea level. As a European, I want to move to the Mediterrean.  Apart from Covid, these (more traditional) people all become 100 years old, their kitchen is the best, and their culture is rich, warm and great!

And I say to my 2 US daughters:  If it don’t work out, you can always come to me and take over the farm!  (which won’t happen: as millenials, they are very urban!)


As a whole it will warm up and dry out, but there will be always very good and promising places.  I expect a nasty chill in N Europe from 2100 until the year 2525


I have written well over a 100 essays on the subject…we can only wish for global warming but we are not going to get it…but what we are already getting is shorter growing seasons and you know what that means right?

How many times, in the total history of the world, has an industrial economy been built that covers most of the earth and burns most of the hydrocarbons stored down under? How long did it take to produce those fuels (ancient sunshine) and how long did it take to burn them? Looks like something unique is about to happen. This has happened only once. Or did I miss something?

Our life spans are too short to appreciate the ‘normal’ volatility in climate. Tree rings over the past hundreds and thousands of years show (in my samples) a six fold variation in growth rates, dramatic changes often sustained over a century(s), then shifting. In very large trees with known site origins, climate shifts are the variable. This year the snow is early (again) and low on the mountains, sigh, I had planned for more warmth in my retirement.

I don’t necessarily share her entire perspective, but her willingness to promote green lifestyle changes, like a vegan diet and not flying are a refreshing example of “do as I do,” vs “do as I say.”
Perhaps part of the answer will come from youth, who have had fewer years of relentless programming.

The start of “modern” mind control

“Just, do it!” (win at all costs, screw sportsmanship, the ends always justify the means.) That’s when I decided to get off of their immoral boat.
And it sort of reminds me of this recent quote from Fauci:

"...because each of our countries have that independent spirit,” he said on stage. “I can understand that, but now is the time to do what you’re told.”

Let’s say you want to catch a wild horse and then ride it. First, you need to “break” it. That takes a while and lots of knowhow. The wild horse does what it wants. Once broken, it will do what YOU want. The idea is to break its spirit.

Somewhere there is a poem of how a rock might view the passing of time. I remember humans just flashed by.

That is pretty much how I do it. I remember someone trying to sell me a TV package.
I told her, “I don’t watch TV.”
The saleswoman was pretty shocked by that.

I dont care where you stand in the political battle…its time to unplug. You already know that deep down, dont you? Of course you do. The problem is you are struggling to do it because you have become addicted to the chemicals released in your blood stream with every new headline.
Those chemicals arent good chemicals. They arent anti-oxidants, lol. They are inflammatory agents that are poisoning you. There is more than one way to poison a person. It doesnt have to come from something ingested or injected…your body can produce medicine and it can produce poison.
When you get inflamed mentally, there are a host of physiological changes that take place in your body that are damaging. The problem is that just like a drug, you can become addicted to those chemicals.
Now if a couple of shmucks like you and me know that, dont you think that those who are bombarding us with this poison 24/7 know that as well? Of course they do. The reality is either A] they know but they dont care because they see the fulfillment of their agenda as more important than our health/wellbeing. OR B] They are intentionally poisoning us to achieve some purpose.
Either way, its time to turn it off. If you try and find that you can’t then you really have a problem, dont you? They say the first step is to admit you have a problem.
Personally, I have decided not to allow myself to be poisoned any more. Its been a little tough at times. Ive wanted to log on to certain sites to see “what is happening”, but as the days go by its gotten easier and easier. Im watching classic movies [ the kind what were made back in the days when movies were designed to entertain, not indoctrinate ], I’m milking my cows and spending more time in the barn. Im shooting my bow, meditating, playing with my son, cutting wood, etc, etc… Thats “whats happening” back to reality and it feels GREAT!
Come join me. Turn away from the horror show that has been BLARING on every device for nigh on 5 years. Whatever you were going to contribute has already been contributed. Its now out of your hands, time to let go and reclaim your health and life.

My Goodness! They’ve already been programmed quite effectively thanks to public education. Greta is a fearful child who is being exploited by forces far more powerful than she knows.
per veganism, one has the right to practice whatever cult or religion they’re attracted to but never to enforce or impose it on others.

Greta is a perfect example of manipulative tactics. Someone young is assumed to be innocent and not corrupt, and therefore honest. That’s why a lot protests feature little kids parading around advocating for or against things they have no understanding of, at the direction of their parents, teachers, or other adults.
But young and honest doesn’t translate into knowledgeable.
And I certainly remember lots of children lying when I was a kid.
The whole thing is an embarrassing mess. When I see that tactic in use, I write off that side of an argument, because if they had some real firepower to their view they’d present the facts and logic, not appeal to emotions. It’s a confession that they have no facts on their side.

I told her, “I don’t watch TV”…The saleswoman was pretty shocked by that.
I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut. My favorite story here? A coworker asks if I saw “X” last night. I say no. He then asks did I see “Y”? Again I said no. On his third try, I get irritated, “No, none of them, we don’t even have a TV”. He literally gapes at me and finally asks sympathetically: “You can’t afford one?” Remember, we are both working high-paying jobs at that very moment…yet he could not conjure up any reason I don’t have a TV except I’m destitute. That’s when I realized this was all going to end badly.