A Night at the Theater
One evening a gentleman decides to go to the theater. There is a play showing that is reputed to be a very funny comedy. It’s hilarious, people are raving about it.
At various points in the middle of the performance, hecklers disrupt the play, shouting disparaging insults at the actors on stage. At first, the actors on stage ignore this and carry on in their roles, but then, at some point, some of them lose patience with this, and respond to the hecklers. Let’s say it begins when an actress on the stage, who is portraying a very prim, proper lady in the play, goes completely out of character and responds to the hecklers with salty language worthy of a sailor. The audience bursts out laughing. Then other actors go out of character as well and there is hilarious repartee between actors on stage and the hecklers in the audience insulting one another.
Truth told, the whole thing is actually very entertaining, but our upstanding gentleman is kind of annoyed. He would very much like to the see the play as it is intended to be seen. But also, the whole thing is rather strange. He wonders: what is going on here? Why are these hecklers allowed to do this? Why aren’t they kicked out of the theater?
Well, this is known to be a very fine theatrical production with some superb actors and he would very much like to see it properly without any interruptions from hecklers. So, at a later date, he goes back to the theater. He buys his ticket, finds his seat…. Amazingly, at the same key moments in the play, the very same hecklers disrupt the performance, just like the first time. And there is the very same repartee between the actors and the hecklers in the audience.
Now, this man is completely perplexed. He cannot understand why the theater continually allows these hecklers to disrupt the performance. He is utterly confused. At this point, the lady sitting in the seat next to him leans over to him, smiles, and whispers: “I love this. It’s my favorite part of the show.”
The man smiles back sheepishly. He is feeling a little bit embarrassed that he was so slow to figure it out. But, of course it now dawns on him what is really going on. By jove, he’s got it!
This “Night at the Theater” story that I have outlined provides some framework for thinking about the pervasive propaganda matrix and we shall return to it. However, first, we need to go over some basics.
Shit happens. Organic versus synthetic events.
When you turn on the television and watch the news, there are, very broadly speaking, two types of news being reported: organic and synthetic events.
The concept of an organic event was perhaps best characterized by Forrest Gump, when he said: “Shit happens.” Indeed it does, a neverending flow of it. Just offhand, on the national and international levels, there is usually some sort of ongoing natural disaster somewhere: an earthquake, a hurricane, floods, forest fires… In these cases we get all the typical news reporting on the devastation and the ongoing humanitarian relief efforts… In the more local news, there are random accidents. In particular, traffic accidents happen continually. A truck collides with a bus and there are a number of fatalities. They dispatch a reporter to the scene who interviews various witnesses…
Such things make up your basic “shit happens” news. We could make the following two observations about organic events:
- It is not unreasonable to assume that the reporting of an organic event is broadly honest.
- The level of attention that an organic event receives is about commensurate with its scale.
I actually worded these points a bit carefully. For example, regarding point 1, I am quite aware that mainstream news reporting is pretty unreliable. They certainly get all kinds of things wrong continually. Still, one’s reasonable baseline assumption is that what they are telling you happened is pretty similar to what really happened. Or, in other words, the things they get wrong tend to be within the range of honest error — that is, in the case of an organic event.
As for point 2 above, just consider the fact that, on a typical day in the United States alone, about a hundred people die in traffic accidents, more or less. As such, unless it is something pretty spectacular or somebody famous is involved, a traffic accident will only be news locally. Moreover, it will only receive media attention for a short period of time. Soon, some other shit happens and then the focus shifts over to that.
Now, obviously, when it comes to understanding the propaganda matrix, it is not the organic events that we are interested in. It’s the other kind, the synthetic event. However, on occasion, it is easier to define things negatively, not by what they are, but rather, by what they are not. With a non-organic, or synthetic event, the above two observations do not apply. It is quite the opposite. Thus:
When it comes to synthetic events, the baseline assumption is that everything they are telling you and showing you is fake, at least in the absence of strong evidence. Moreover, it is utterly naive to assume that the reporting on a synthetic event is honest.
In other words, point 1 above definitely does not apply! Nor does point 2. Very typically, the first strong clue that something is a synthetic event will be that it receives a level of attention that is not at all in proportion to what one would expect. I suspect that this is an analytical tool that has been valid for a good while. For example, consider the break-in at the Watergate Hotel on 6/17/1972. This crime (though more the subsequent cover-up admittedly) is the event that led to the Watergate scandal that caused Richard Nixon to resign the presidency in disgrace. Look at the scale of the crime. Did it not receive an outrageous level of attention when compared to so many other cases of high-level criminality? Hmm…. Now, this actually works both ways. Sometimes an event receives far more attention than one would expect, but other times far less. For example, the perfectly symmetrical implosion of WTC Building 7 never being mentioned in the mainstream media is a perfect example of a key event that receives suspiciously little attention.
Let us now examine a more recent narrative that should elicit warning bells precisely due to how much attention it has received.
Is this shit for real? The case of Pastor Terry Jones
Consider the following video, a news segment from the year 2010.
I suppose most readers will remember this, at least vaguely. It is part of a saga that received an immense amount of attention over a number of years. The central character, one Terry Jones, was purportedly the spiritual leader of some 50 people in Gainesville, Florida — a dozen families more or less. (I suspect that this was a high-ball estimate of his following, since they have every reason to exaggerate this man’s importance. But certainly, he did not have more than 50 followers, most likely fewer. Like, zero maybe?) In any case, Mr. Jones would not figure in a Who’s Who of the Christian religion. He is not the Pope and he ain’t the Archbishop of Canterbury neither. As far as I can tell, the “evangelical” church that he was leading at the time is not a part of, nor is it recognized by, any major Christian denomination.
Nonetheless, as we see in the video, this man gained national and international attention via his threats to burn a Koran. Or Korans in the plural. Yes, the President of the United States was imploring this man not to burn any Korans. Hillary Clinton as well. Apparently, the Pope in Rome also pleaded with him not to do this. (I assume His Holiness did not call collect…)
The whole thing is really quite extraordinary. General David Petraeus later appears in this news segment claiming that this man’s burning of a Koran in Florida will “make his job very difficult” and will “endanger the lives of American servicemen”. It is hard to know even where to begin deconstructing the lunacy of this whole narrative. Just for starters, why does nobody ask the most obvious question about this?
How would the people in Afghanistan even know that this old geezer in Florida is burning any Korans?
Now, I have never been to Aghanistan and have no plans to visit. However, I think it is a very safe bet that the people in Afghanistan do not know about Pastor Terry Jones and his Burn-A-Koran day. I would venture the guess that you could travel the entire length and breadth of that country and ask people if they knew about this and none would. Of course not. This whole synthetic event is entirely constructed for a Western audience! The people in faroff Afghanistan would know nothing about it.
Actually, I was intrigued to learn, a few years back, that the majority of people in Afghanistan do not even know about the attacks of 9/11. Consider this report or this one. Apparently, around 92% of the Afghan people have no idea about 9/11! You show them a photograph of the twin towers burning and they have no idea where or when this occurred. And they certainly make no connection between that and the U.S. invasion of their country. I found the whole thing really quite intriguing. What this really goes to show is that the whole purpose of the 9/11 synthetic event was to establish a narrative for a Western audience. The population of Afghanistan does not, by and large, even know the official pretext for the invasion of their country. No, nobody ever bothered to tell them! I have absolutely no idea how many Iraqis know what the official reason for the invasion of their country was. (Remember that? Saddam’s non-existent WMD?) I would not be surprised if it was similar to the Afghan case, where the majority of the people in Iraq do not know what the reasons for the invasion were. Or, more precisely, they may have no idea what reasons were given to the American people to justify the war.
In any case, if fewer than 10% of the Afghans even know about the towers going down on 9/11, then what percentage would know about Terry Jones burning a Koran in Gainesville, Florida? So what on earth is David Petraeus talking about? It’s as if he lives in a mental universe in which the people in Afghanistan all have cable and watch CNN and FOX News. Maybe some underling should inform him. Like so:
“Sir, these are very culturally deprived people we’re talking about, General Petraeus, Sir.”
“How bad is it? Tell me the worst.”
“Sir, this here is the veritable Heart of Darkness, Sir. Sir, most of them have never even seen Kim Kardashian’s ass, Sir.”
“My God! The Horror! The Horror…”
“Sir, yes, Sir.”
Now, to be clear, I do not believe that Petraeus really is such a fool. He knows this whole story is bullshit but is playing along. He pretends to be so concerned that the Florida pastor burning a Koran will put American troops in Afghanistan in extra danger. He understands that he is supposed to go along with this narrative. It is what is expected of him.
The way the story then developed was that Mr. Jones first relented and did not burn any Korans as planned, on 9/11/2010, but then he did burn a Koran (or maybe more than one Koran) on 3/20/2011. As we see, General Petraeus had warned of dire consequences if Pastor Jones went ahead and burned a Koran and it turns out he was right! We are then told in the various mainstream news sources that this led to riots in Afghanistan, in particular in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. There, on 4/1/2011 (is the April 1 date a coincidence?) the New York Times, America’s “newspaper of record” reports:
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — Stirred up by three angry mullahs who urged them to avenge the burning of a Koran at a Florida church, thousands of protesters on Friday overran the compound of the United Nations in this northern Afghan city, killing at least 12 people, Afghan and United Nations officials said.
The version of events in Wikipedia is:
A riot erupted in Mazar-i-Sharif on 1 April 2011 during the protest over the burning of the Qur’an in the US. Estimates of the number of protesters ranged from “hundreds” to as many as 2,000. The protest began near the city’s Blue Mosque shortly after Friday prayer,with protesters chanting “Death to the USA, death to Israel.” During the sermon, which is part of the Friday prayer, worshipers were told by three mullahs to begin protesting in favor of the arrest of Pastor Terry Jones, who led the Qur’an burning.
So we are told that this riot in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan took place because Terry Jones finally burned a Koran. The Afghans are not rioting because their country has been invaded and occupied by foreign troops but rather, because some utterly insignificant individual on the other side of the world burned a Koran.
The saga does not end here. Over a year later, on 9/12/2012, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, called Pastor Terry Jones on the phone and asked him to withdraw his support for a film “whose portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad has sparked violent protests.” Now the focus of the narrative had shifted over to Libya. The Libyans are not angry, apparently, that their country has been “bombed back into the Stone Age” and tens of thousands of their people are dead and their country in a state of anarchy. No, they are angry about a film that “portrays Muhammad unfavorably”. And now, of course, the Koran-burning pastor who caused a deadly riot on the other side of the world the previous year is brought back into the story….
If a tree falls in the forest…
We could have a field day analyzing and ridiculing all of this synthetic narrative. Surely you understand the overall point. This whole Koran-burning saga already stands out as a synthetic news story simply by virtue of how much attention is devoted to this insignificant personage, Terry Jones. Unless you happen to be a very famous person reading these lines, I think it is safe to say that if you or I threatened to burn a Koran, it would not be an international news story, we would not receive phone calls from the President or the Pope. No, we would be ignored. In fact, in that video it is mentioned that various people sent Korans to Jones for him to burn. Think about that. The people who send him Korans to burn know perfectly well that if they themselves burn a Koran, it has no transcendence because nobody is paying any attention. So they send the Korans to him to burn. At least that’s what is claimed, that various people sent him Korans to burn, 200 of them…
The other funny thing about the whole story is that the entire media circus that they create around this individual pretty much obliges him to finally burn a Koran or two. After all, a sword swallower must eventually swallow a sword. He cannot just continually announce that he is going to do it, though he may wait until a sufficient crowd has gathered.
So, just as Evel Knievel must eventually do his announced motorcycle stunt, so the Koran-burning pastor must eventually burn a Koran. This man’s entire protracted “fifteen minutes of fame” is based on him burning the Koran, so he eventually does so. When you think about this whole story a bit, something occurs to you: if they really, really did not want this man to burn a Koran, wouldn’t they just stop devoting all this attention to him? If you did not want Evel Knievel to do his motorcycle stunt, you would just turn off the cameras and not film him and, presumably, he wouldn’t bother. The whole point of the stunt is to attract publicity so if you don’t give him the publicity…
Roger Rabbit Redux
In an earlier essay, I coined the term Roger Rabbit Narrative to refer to these kinds of synthetic news stories that have cartoonish elements. This is an allusion to the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in which human (i.e. real, organic) actors share the screen with cartoons, i.e. synthetic elements. So, an RRN is not a total fiction or a cartoon. Some of the elements in the story are perfectly real.
So, in this particular RRN, Mr. Jones finally burns a Koran, and 12 days later, there is a riot in northern Afghanistan in which a number of people are killed. Now, I have to assume that the riot in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan really took place. It was, I suppose, an organic event that happened for whatever local reasons and had no more to do with Pastor Jones burning a Koran than with the price of tea in China. However, news sources that so many people treat as reliable, such as the New York Times or Wikipedia, attribute this event to the Koran burning in Florida. In other words, they incorporate a real, organic event into an overall synthetic narrative. So, you see, not all the events in a synthetic story are fake. Not necessarily. However, the explanation for the event is frequently absurd, laughable. Cartoonish really. This happens because the organic event gets subsumed into the framework of the synthetic narrative. This is bound to have various glitches, which I have called RRA‘s, Roger Rabbit Artifacts.
The whole Terry Jones Koran-burning saga dates back six years and I was significantly less aware at that time. I looked at the whole thing again recently, and one of the first things I wondered was whether this Pastor Terry Jones is even a real person. It occurred to me that he might just be an actor playing the role, especially after it dawned on me that “Terry Jones” was also the name of one of the founding members of the Monty Python comedy troupe. That the Koran-burning pastor would have the same name as the director of The Life of Brian struck me as so exquisitely ironic that, initially, I thought this could not be a coincidence. Surely, I thought, this must be some kind of a little knowing wink from the people who created this narrative. Now, I am not so sure. I tend to think that it is a coincidence but, to be honest, I am hardly certain. (If another Koran-burning pastor shows up and his name “just happens to be” John Cleese or Eric Idle, then….)
Finally, what it comes down to is that, even if Pastor Terry Jones is not a completely fictitious personage played by an actor, he might as well be! I have no doubt that he was, somehow or other, recruited to play a role in a sort of Deep State Roger Rabbit production. The Koran-burning pastor doubtless has some cartoonish aspects, but the people most ludicrously caricatured in the story are surely the Muslims who run amok and kill people because they have heard that some insignificant person on the other side of the world is burning a Koran. It is as if one were to claim that Germans in 1945 were upset, not because their country had been bombed into rubble or that foreign armies were occupying their country, but rather, because somebody in Florida had burnt a copy of Mein Kampf! I don’t think that would fly. This led me to conclude that Muslims have, by now, been caricatured far more than even the Nazis have been. And that really is saying something!
So, of course the dominant narrative motif running through the story is just how batshit crazy Muslims supposedly are. Here it is their murderous reaction to the burning of a Koran. In another set of RRN‘s, mostly taking place in Europe, it is their reaction to offensive cartoons, culminating in the Charlie Hebdo false flag of 7/1/2015. The basic idea of the Muslims as being so irrational provides a general cover for all sorts of RRA‘s (Roger Rabbit Artifacts) that are visible. If the behavior of a character in the story is utterly implausible, the explanation is basically: “Waddya expect? We know dem Ay-Rabs are freakin’ crazy, so…” So, for example, in the event in San Bernardino of 12/2/2015, one of the alleged suicide attackers is a young wife with a newborn baby. This narrative is so extremely psychologically implausible that I have speculated that it must have been improvisational in nature. Probably they had planned a different story, but couldn’t use it and this was the best they could come up with under time pressure. In any case, all of these absurd plot lines are rendered plausible in the public’s mind if they can be convinced that Arabs, and Muslims generally, are just completely irrational lunatics. So, one could say that the whole “Dem Ay-Rabs are crazy” meme is sort of a general purpose prefiguration for a whole set of narratives.
All the world is a stage…
My suspicions about Pastor Jones being an actor may seem paranoid to some readers, but then again, once you study more of these synthetic events, you will come to see that such suspicions are actually well founded. You will see that, in many cases, indisputably actors really have been involved. Let us consider the case of Ms. Ginnie Watson, who was, it is claimed, present in the Bataclan Theater in Paris on 11/13/2015 when “Islamist terrorists” came in and murdered 89 people. This young lady is definitely an aspiring actress. Here is her IMDB page. Her acting career has not been terribly distinguished. For example, she had the role of “Bretonne #2″ in a French children’s film based on the popular Astérix comic book character. Consider this pastiche of some of Ms. Watson’s acting career:
Now, I would encourage everybody to watch this video and draw their own conclusions. In my view, it is an extreme understatement to say that Ms. Watson is a poor actress. It goes beyond that. When she was interviewed in the above video, she had supposedly witnessed very many people being brutally murdered only a short time before. I mean to say, it is not that she plays her part poorly; it is more like she does not even understand the role she is supposed to be playing, that of a poor girl who has just witnessed a horrific mass murder and just narrowly escaped herself. She should be completely traumatized, a total nervous wreck. No wonder her acting career never went anywhere.
If this is the first such case you have examined, you might think that Ms. Watson’s performance here is uniquely terrible. That, however, is not the case. These sorts of synthetic events are full of notorious cases of unconvincing crisis acting. In that same event in Paris, there was a girl from Australia, one Emma Parkinson, who supposedly received a bullet or two in the ass, who also gave an amazingly bizarre interviewdetailing her alleged experience. Just as in the case of Ginnie Watson, being trapped in a concert hall where 89 people were murdered, and herself being shot, did not seem to have much effect on her sunny disposition.
Terrible, unconvincing acting is par for the course. Consider these young people, whose mother was — so they say — gunned down by the racist white boy Dylann Roof about a year ago:
It’s part of the show!
I began this essay by telling a story about a man’s visit to the theater. For the life of him, he cannot figure out what is going on. Why are these “hecklers” allowed to disrupt the show?
In that story, the protagonist is definitely a bit on the slow side. He has to go back to the theater and see the show again to figure out what is going on. Surely most people catch on the first time round. Even so, we can be sure that people will vary quite a bit. Some will figure out that the “hecklers” are part of the show almost instantly, and the rest will take varying amounts of time.
You see, the show I described does break the normal model of how things work. Normally, there is a very clear-cut separation between two groups of people in the theater: the actors who are up there on the stage performing and the spectators who are in the audience watching the performance. Actually, there is a technical term for this in drama critique, the Fourth Wall. In this theater show, when an actor on stage directly responds to a heckler, the “fourth wall” has been breached. To realize fully what is really going on, however, the spectator must realize that this is deliberate, scripted; it’s part of the show! Until one makes that conceptual shift, one cannot really understand what is going on!
And, yes, some people will make that conceptual shift faster than others. Still, it is hard to imagine somebody going back to the theater again and again and simply neverfiguring it out. Yet, strangely, this is precisely what happens with Deep State theatrical productions. Most people simply never see through the various hoaxes and false narratives they are presented. In the terminology I introduced in an earlier essay, they never have their LPM, their Ludek Pachman moment.
Once you begin to perceive the propaganda matrix and perceive synthetic events and narratives, certain things that were incomprehensible become painfully obvious. For example, are you still wondering why Pastor Terry Jones receives such an inordinate level of attention over his pathetic Koran-burning stunt? Well, broadly speaking, it’s for the same reason that the “hecklers” are never thrown out of the theater in the above story. They are part of the show. If you or I go to that show and start heckling loudly, we likely will be thrown out of the theater, because we’re not part of the show!
Likewise, you or I can burn a stack of Korans and throw in some Talmuds and Bhagavad Gita’s to boot, and, most likely nobody will pay us any attention! We are not part of the show. That’s also why we can march down the street screaming “God hates fags!” at the top of our lungs and we will never receive any of the media attention that the Westboro Baptist Church does.
There are some notorious mosques in Britain that are reputed to be hotbeds of radical Islamism. One such place is the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London. Another is the Al Manaar Mosque in West London. There are in-depth journalistic exposés about this and they always ponder the question of why the imam who is preaching violent Jihad against the West is not shipped back to Saudi Arabia or wherever he came from. Well, surely it’s for the same reason that the “hecklers” aren’t thrown out of the theater. It’s all part of the show!
Exeunt Stage Right
Speaking of being part of the show, it looks like Pastor Terry Jones is no longer part of it. I did a bit of last-minute googling because I was wondering what that guy was up to, whether he was still at the church in Gainesville, whether he was still burning Korans. It turns out that, as of early 2015, Mr. Jones was running a fast-food concession in the food court of a shopping center in Bradenton, which is about 170 miles from the church in Gainesville. Yep, he leveraged his experience burning Korans to become one of the “Fry Guys” making “Gourmet Fries”.
The story was picked up by the Washington Post, which also reported that some Jihadist group had earlier put a 2.2 million dollar reward on Mr. Jones’s head. However, there was no mention of the shopping mall food court having any special security dispositions. (Maybe the reward was in Zimbabwe dollars.) The WP article actually has some fascinating tidbits. For example:
Notoriety has its benefits, he has learned, especially compared with obscurity, which he experienced in late summer when he set fire to hundreds of Korans at a protest rally and was largely ignored.
So, apparently, Jones, as recently as the summer of 2014, did set fire to a bunch of Korans. Hundreds of them. But he was ignored. (Poor fella, reminds me of when I invited everybody over for an orgy but nobody came…. Dontcha just hate that!?) Surprisingly (NOT) the article does not pose the obvious question: how come this person could merely threaten to burn a Koran in 2010 and receive national and international attention, yet four years later, in 2014, he actually does set fire to hundreds of Korans, and nobody bats an eyelid? He is kind of like a one-trick magician whose magic spell ceases to work. He sets fire to the books and thinks that he is going to get more phone calls from the President and the Pope. And then…. nothing happens… Did he just lose his mojo?
They don’t ask this question but I think there is a fairly simple answer: he is no longer part of the show! The Koran-burning schtick was getting old and the man had outlived his usefulness. (The “Muslims are nut-jobs” rhetoric is still going strong, but the “they really hate it when you burn a Koran” sub-plot seems to have given way to the “Muslims really, really hate homos” meme.) Anyway, the WP does not tell us that Pastor Jones is no longer in the show, because that would mean admitting that there is a show! The entire pretense of the mainstream media is that the show does not exist. The show is just a figment of the imagination of silly “conspiracy theorists” like myself.
Another fascinating thing was that the article casually mentions that Terry Jones does not himself eat any of the food items that he sells at “Fry Guys”. No, he himself apparently only eats organic food, does not drink soft drinks, but water and fresh fruit juice, though he does enjoy a glass of nice red wine now and then. This made me immediately wonder: if he does not himself eat the food he is selling at Fry Guys, maybe he also had no particular taste for the Islamophobic nonsense he was “selling” from his church back when he was part of the show. (Hey, I’m selling this shit to make a living, but I don’t eat the shit myself!)
“Show? What show?” The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.
I mentioned above the concept of the Fourth Wall in drama theory, this notion of an invisible wall that separates the actors on stage from the audience. In a conventional, straight-laced dramatic production, the fourth wall always remains intact. Thus, in a John Wayne western, John Wayne never turns to the audience and says sarcastically: “Now, moviegoers, to your great surprise (knowing wink) I’m gonna git on that horse and go chase the bad guys.” Of course not. No matter how cliché-ridden the script is, it is well understood that the actors must not betray any consciousness that the whole thing is pretend. However corny your lines are, you must take your role seriously (or pretend to…) and stay in character — whether you’re the star of the show or have a very small bit part.
The mainstream media coverage of synthetic events follows the same approximate principle. In a live performance, all the performers must stay “in character”. That means that, even if somebody else in the show is screwing up, you still stay in character. For example, I linked above the video of Ms. Ginnie Watson. Ms. Watson is an actress pretending that she just survived a mass shooting. What I declined to mention was that the person interviewing her is also an actor basically; he is an actor pretending to be a journalist. Ginnie is flubbing her lines and giving a very poor performance. The interviewer does not call her out. He simply continues in his allotted role.
You see, anybody who is part of this mainstream media world, or aspires to be part of it, absolutely must maintain the pretense that these synthetic events are real. To admit that the people in the above-linked videos are just actors is essentially tantamount to admitting that these events are synthetic. A real, organic event does not have crisis actors on the scene.
Guarding the Gates
In a previous essay, I coined the term Taboo Induced Tortuous Thinking, or TITTfor short. Taboo Induced Tortuous Thinking leads to Taboo Induced Tortuous Theories, i.e. TITTs, which are far-fetched explanations of events that are necessary because the correct explanation is taboo. The biggest overarching taboo in the mainstream media propagada matrix is that the propaganda matrix even exists. This is basically equivalent, in the terminology of this essay, to claiming that all events reported in the media are organic. Synthetic events do not exist. And that is largely what the whole weaponized “conspiracy theory” construct is about.
I referred to the “blowback theory of terrorism” as a TITT. The overall purpose of this TITT is to maintain the pretense that a series of synthetic events, such as 9/11 or 7/7 in London or the more recent things in Paris and Brussels, are real, organic events. Hey, they must be, since synthetic events, except in the minds of crazed “conspiracy theorists”, do not exist, right? Now, if you want to claim that something does not exist when it does, what you have to do is ignore, suppress, or somehow explain away all the evidence that this phenomenon really does exist. I wrote extensively about this, in the section which goes over a lot of the tactics they use — TMT‘s, TITT Monger Tactics.
The people whom I have called TITT mongers are more typically referred to, in the Truth community, as “controlled opposition” or “intellectual gatekeepers”. The term “gatekeeper” actually contains an interesting metaphor. Now, starting with first principles, somebody who guards a gate is there to keep you from going somewhere, right? In this case, they are very intent on preventing you from, as I put it earlier, escaping the Roger Rabbit Mental World.
Now, any metaphor or analogy is always imperfect. Still, even a very flawed analogy can be useful, because analyzing its flaws can be illuminating in itself. So let’s see…
If you really are in a prison and there is a front gate with one or more armed guards, you know you are in the prison and you know that you cannot leave — like, on account of the pesky little problem that the guards have guns and you don’t…. that kind of thing… In short, unlike the intellectual gatekeeper, these guys will prevent you from leaving the prison by physical force.
But also, the goals of the regular prison gatekeeper and the intellectual gatekeeper differ. Yes, both kinds of “gatekeeper” want to prevent you from leaving the prison. However, the intellectual gatekeeper has an additional goal: he wants you to believe that you are not imprisoned!
Or, in other words, he must, unlike an actual prison guard, maintain the pretense that the prison is not a prison. You know, I think this is more than a slight detail. It’s a very important difference here, where the analogy breaks down.
Finally, I was thinking about a different metaphor. Suppose you book a trip to an all-inclusive resort in some exotic foreign country, a Club Med sort of deal.
It’s a beautiful place with its own private beach, restaurants, bars, and all sorts of sports and recreational activities. Nonetheless, after a few days there, you are getting pretty bored. It’s starting to feel like a gilded cage. You think you will go out and experience the real country a bit. So you think you are going to go outside the resort complex and explore a bit. When you are about to go out the front gate, somebody engages you in conversation. They ask you what you want, what you need… It turns out that the whole point of the conversation is to tell you that you have everything you could conceivably want within the resort complex and have no reason to wander outside the gate. The person is also likely to tell you that there is nothing of any interest to see outside the resort anyway. Also, the world outside the resort is dangerous and crime-ridden. You suspect that he is exaggerating quite a bit, though you don’t know for absolutely sure.
It strikes me that this is much more like the intellectual gatekeeper than the prison guard. For starters, though they want you to stay in the complex, you actually are free to leave the place whenever you want. They have no legal means to stop you. There are really basically two ways they can get you to stay:
- They convince you that you have everything you need within the complex and there is no conceivable reason to leave.
- They convince you that something terrible will happen to you if you do leave. Only a silly, foolhardy person would ever want to walk outside the gate. In that vein, they work on you psychologically, insinuating that your interest in exploring the world outside the resort means there is something wrong with you.
As regards point 1, the intellectual gatekeepers must try to convince you that all the intellectual inquiry, debate, and critique that you need, or that is needed, is within the gates that they are “guarding”. Outside of that is just “crazy conspiracy theories”. And, yes, there is what seems to be an anti-Establishment discourse. Some of these gatekeepers mount a fierce critique of U.S. foreign policy, for example. However, what you should notice, eventually, is that the critique has very well defined limits. For example, you can question the entire “War on Terror” narrative, but you cannot question the synthetic events that make up the narrative! In fact, it is presumed that synthetic events do not exist. Things like 9/11 and 7/7 are organic events, and thus, the reporting on the events themselves is assumed to be broadly honest. This is ultimately quite self-defeating: how can you really oppose these synthetic narratives while assuming that their version of all these synthetic events is truthful?!
As for point 2 above, there is an acronym (not of my invention!) for this. FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt… You know, it’s a kind of emotional manipulation, where they try to create a sort of mental fog. For example, if you conclude that Ms. Ginnie Watson (speaking of TITTs…) is a false witness, it must be because you are a terrible, unfeeling person. This kind of thing. Well, the hell with that. Are you really going to let a bunch of neocon warmongers tell you that you are an unfeeling person?
Anyway, as I said, all metaphors are imperfect. I prefer this one, the Club Med gilded cage, because, unlike an actual prison, it is perfectly clear that you can walk out whenever you want to. So I say to you: just do it. Walk out the gate. There is a world out there to explore.
Oh, and I might add, though it is entirely optional… if you run into any “gatekeepers” on your way out, tell them to go f*** themselves!
Fan mail (as well as hate mail) can be directed to revusky