In 1928 a seminal work Propaganda was unleashed on the conscious mind. Here we will examine some of the most pertinent statements written by Edward Bernays, clearly an insider and possibly a Freemason, due to the seemingly “insider” language he uses, and take a look at some of the long term effects his work has had on our world today.
“Chaos” is a part of the game plan for society, intentionally created and guided chaos, which also implies tremendous ability to control the masses to create order from this chaos. The book begins with the following:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country… It remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics of business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons… who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
Here we are told that an invisible hand exists behind “almost every act of our daily lives”, and yet still today Americans, as a majority think they are free. We will not find it a shock that Edward Bernays is entirely supportive of this system. He considers uncontrolled freedom disorganized chaos, and believes the powers that be have a duty to manipulate the public mind into focus and only permit them the choices that the rulers consider appropriate. He even states that:
It might be better to have… committees of wise men who would choose our rulers, dictate our conduct, private and public, and decide up on the best types of clothes for us to wear and the best kinds of food for us to eat. But we have chosen the opposite method, that of open competition. We must find a way to make free competition function… To achieve this society has consented to permit free competition to be organized by leadership and propaganda.
We are told above that what we consider to be “laizzes-faire” capitalism, or a free market economy is in fact nothing of the sort. We are in fact steered toward just a few of the choices that are deemed acceptable (or most profitable) by the manipulators, this applies to consumer, politics, social and cultural spheres. Freedom and choice is apparently an illusion. Edward Bernays seems to lament the advent of the American Republic, continuously calling it a Democracy throughout the book, which it certainly is not nor was intended to be:
…Nowadays the successors of the rulers, those whose position or ability gives them power, can no longer do what they want without the approval of the masses, they find in propaganda a tool which is increasingly powerful in gaining that approval.
We see that propaganda is a tool, and the masses are the subjects of those in control of society.
The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion.
“Its a big club and you’re not in it” to quote George Carlin. Edward Bernays is an elitist who appears to have had little regard for the “mind of the people” and throughout his career he has worked for the highest bidder forcing products and ideas on the world which were only to the benefit of humanity in his own opinion, but more so that of his employers. He continues to discuss politics, admitting the dishonesty of the political class of his day:
The public has lost faith in campaign promotion work. It does not say that politicians are dishonorable, but it does say that campaign pledges are written on the sand.
He then goes on to provide numerous specific methods to capture and sway the affections of the public through a variety of propaganda methods, while admonishing politicians to be honest and live up to their campaign promises.
Edward Bernays’ new form of propaganda is not Pavlovian, which is based on repeated exposure to change the response of the subject, albeit this type of programming still has its place in his system. Bernays favors logical appeals which gradually inculcate the item to be sold-an idea or product-into the collective minds of the masses. This process is based on convincing the persons targeted that the purchase or paradigm shift was the individual’s own idea, and the individual independently exercised his free will to arrive at the conclusion. His methods of subconscious coercion are multiple and varied. He believes the education system should be used for manipulative purposes against the public:
The teaching profession, as such, has the right to carry on a very definite propaganda with a view to enlightening the public and asserting its intimate relation to the society which it serves.
His discussion of propaganda in the educational sphere is limited to fundraising, and public relations; he does not indicate use of manipulation methods to indoctrinate students into some philosophy, however, this is precisely what he himself does when he assists the US government in hyping up the fears of the Soviet Union and Communism during the Cold War through ‘miseducation’. He concludes his discussion of education with a knowing understatement:
In the ethical sense, propaganda bears the same relation as to politics or business. It may be abused. It may be used to… create in the public mind artificial values. There can be no absolute guarantee against its misuse.
Generally, Edward Bernays favors public gatherings, show-type entertainment, courses, classes, exhibitions, and other social activities which pose as what they have always been: diversions, fun and education for the participants. But his propagandist seed is planted somewhere within those events so that the participants’ minds are swayed by their own involvement, even without their direct knowledge of this influence.For example, corporate sponsored events and owned facilities would an example of this type of advertising, as would concerts thrown by celebrities in support of some candidate.
This Bernays method can be implemented in any social activity or gathering and bring multiple disparate groups together, whose members will be inculcated during some event, and then take back their experiences to their own groups to share with other members, so that effect is multiplied almost infinitely, without the need to appeal to each individual through direct advertising.
The problem here, is that Edward Bernays repeatedly claims that his methods are to be used for the benefit of mankind and for the benefit of the masses subjected to such control systems. Unfortunately, his admonitions do not hold up to historical scrutiny of his own activity or that of his successors, which has clearly shown that very few, if any, are much interested in benefiting humanity or really have much regard for free will.
Edward Bernays was the creator of the campaign that made it socially acceptable for women to smoke, when he was hired by the cigarette industry. He convinced the business world that staged and manipulated news was the best method to conduct advertising propaganda instead of direct advertising, which is obviously extremely manipulative. And among other things he frequently utilized “third party authorities” to get his message out, for example using doctor surveys to convince the public to eat bacon for breakfast, this apparently being “healthier” than other breakfasts, as reported by the physicians.
Edward Bernays had a significant impact on the public perception of Communism and eventually the Cold War, by using his methods to intentionally increase negative and fearful responses to this ideology instead of going in a different direction. This in and of itself should be deemed a major lapse in the benevolent behavior he espouses in his works, because it had an impact on the world for many decades, and needlessly cost innumerable lives.
We have addressed the hoax of the Cold War previously, so we will not get into that topic here, but we certainly should be aware that the public was highly manipulated into extreme paranoia, fear and hate during those decades, because the “powers that be” created that situation artificially for their own nefarious ends. Today we have a very similar scenario with the War on Terror, the parallels between the two “wars” have been addressed elsewhere, but are indeed quite staggering.
Edward Bernays was the first to suggest that the White House employ a press secretary to disseminate information as deemed beneficial to the President, which today has turned into a daily session of blatant lies, obfuscation, disinformation, and willful ignorance. In addition to this “assistance” to the CEO of the nation, he assisted the CIA and United Fruit Company (basically one and same entities) in the overthrow of Guatemala’s duly elected president, Jacobo Arbenz, portraying him as a Communist.
We do not know if he had any relation to the overthrow of another populist leader by the CIA and MI6, Mohammad Mossadeq in Iran around the same time, again over corporate interests (oil).
Finally, we must note Edward Bernays’ influence on the Nazi Third Reich and the events which unfolded in Europe thereafter. Joseph Goebbels was well versed in all writings regarding the study and dissemination of propaganda, and his favorite book, on which he based the control system of the Third Reich was Crystalizing Public Opinion.
Edward Bernays claimed shock and disgust, but he continued his ways well into the 60s, penning The Engineering of Consent in 1955, and never backed away from his ideology, albeit admitting that it certainly may be misused by those of evil intent. He was likewise a fan of Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller, who were both ardent supporters of Adoph Hitler, not only publicly, but financially as well.
Edward Bernays concludes his book with this cryptic statement:
Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which they can fight for productive ends and help to bring order our of chaos.
Intelligent men, in his code means the elites, the insiders, the masters of destiny; those who understand the ultimate goal. It is his message that his ideas are the bet method to institute their plans.
Edward Bernays briefly mentions the study of the planet Venus by academia, and this is curious because the planet is of utmost importance in Masonic lore, there is no particular reason he should have selected that topic for his book as it was entirely tangential. In addition, the phrase “Order Out of Chaos” is a longstanding Masonic motto, both of which to me indicate Masonic roots.
The phrase may be interpreted as that secret society keeping control over mankind through the centuries, while they simultaneously create the chaos with the intent that it generally leads down the path to the “Grand Masterwork” final plan to unify the world under one government.