Truth and Illusion
Oct 26, 2006
The rise of Freudian psychology in the 1920's, combined with the public relations ideas promoted by Edward Bernays, firmly established the value of illusion in managing the masses.
Because science was king in those days, and everyone had great confidence in its ability to solve mankind's problems, it was relatively easy to promote elitist ideas. In the guise of Democracy, the power brokers behind the scenes established a Technocracy, rule by the wise and intellectual experts.
It was assumed, of course, that the general public was too ignorant and irrational for self-government. I admit that I often entertain such thoughts as well, especially after viewing Jay Leno's "Jaywalking," where he interviews average people on the streets of California. The ignorance is downright appalling. The problem with Technocracy (or any other form of elitism) is that government is in the hands of carnally-minded men who have no true compassion for the people and who certainly would not give their lives for such irrational beings. In other words, they believe that their intellect and education makes them more worthy and privileged than the average person. This leads to a host of evils.
On page 57 of the book, Trust Us, We're Experts, by Rampton and Stauber, we read about the rise of Public Relations firms and "the PR worldview--a belief that people are fundamentally irrational and that therefore a class of behind-the-scenes manipulators is necessary to shape opinion for the public's own good."
This worldview was a natural outcome of Darwin's theory of evolution, for through this scientific theory, man lost his position of value as a child of God and was relegated to the irrational animal kingdom. With such a pessimistic view of mankind in general, it was easy for the more intelligent ones to assume that they had arrived at a higher point of evolution and therefore deserved to rule the rest of the species.
"The result of all this sophisticated PR is that although Americans still give ritual lip-service to democracy, the concept has lost much of its meaning. In fact, it has become boring and irrelevant in most people's lives. . . The ugly truth, as we all know, is that the campaign promises are empty rhetoric, based not on what the candidates believe but on what their expert pollsters have told them we want to hear. If you ask the managers of these ever-more-expensive propaganda campaigns why they have vulgarized the democratic process, they will frequently tell you that the problem is not with them but with the voters, who are too 'irrational,' 'ignorant,' or 'apathetic' to respond to any other kind of appeal." (p. 59, 60)
" 'The minute you begin to view the public as something that doesn't operate rationally, your job as a publicist or journalist changes,' Ewen observes. 'The pivotal moment was when those who provided the public with its intelligence no longer believed the public had any intelligence'. . . For elites, the politics of governing is seen as a continuing struggle to manage public 'emotions' so that they do not overwhelm sound public policy." (p. 60)
Perhaps the problem of public ignorance has something to do with the quality of public education that has been seriously eroded during the past few decades. Ironically, it was these very social engineers, these "scientific elites," who thought they had a better idea about educational methods and curriculum, and who made the changes that created such public ignorance. The chaos in schools today is beyond belief. But instead of placing the blame at their own door steps, they use the chaos as proof of the irrationality of ordinary humans and the need for more technocrats to manage them.
It used to be argued that public schools provided the necessary "social interaction" for children so that they could have friends. Today, with the drug problems, the cliques, and the bullying, the social factor now provides us with the primary reason for home schooling. The most serious downturn in the public school system actually coincided with the cessation of school prayer in the early 1960's.
I do not necessarily advocate school prayer today. I think we are long past the point where school prayer might be beneficial, at least past the first few grade levels. But I will say that the system began to break down at the same time that prayer was taken out of the schools. So if anyone wants to keep prayer in school, they may do so by home schooling. But that is a lot of work and responsibility for parents, and not everyone is capable of doing it.
There is a war being waged in the field of public relations. It is most noticeable in political campaigns, of course, which are almost exclusively a war between Public Relations firms. Truth regularly takes a back seat to perceptions and illusions. But corporations have also been guilty of using public relations ploys in order to sell hazardous products to the unsuspecting public.
For instance, asbestos was known to be hazardous nearly a century ago. But the industry issued study after study from 1920 to 1960 "proving" that asbestos was not harmful. They finally lost the PR battle after countless people died or would yet die from its effects. How many lives could have been saved if it were illegal to lie in public relations campaigns?
The same problem occurred with lead. General Motors discovered in 1922 that adding lead to gasoline would add to the power of combustion engines. Knowing that lead was bad for health, they called it Ethyl, avoiding the term lead. In 1924 there were 49 people who died and 35 more who developed severe mental problems at the lead processing plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Everything else was blamed except the lead. Over 300 cases of lead poisoning occurred also at a DuPont chemical plant in a two-year period.
But what are a few lives in comparison with a multi-million dollar plant that provides employment to so many in the community? All chemicals are innocent unless proven guilty.
The Tobacco industry was one of the first to hire Edward Bernays. Together, they made tobacco into a soothing tonic for the throat and an aid to digestion. It was actually a health aid until too many people began to die from cancer.
The Kingdom of God is based upon Truth, not upon perceptions. The Kingdom of God does not need public relations firms to make sewage smell better to the public nose. Based upon Love, the Kingdom of God values people above profits, and where there are irrational or ignorant people, it seeks to bring rationality and enlightenment.
Babylon is based upon confusion of languages, and this problem is at the core of public relations practices. Euphemisms are a Truth Substitute to confuse people and give them the illusion of truth. George Orwell called it Doublespeak. The language of the Kingdom of God is Clarity. Those who love Truth are drawn to the Kingdom of God; those who love illusions are drawn to big-time religion and slick television ministries that have learned how to manipulate people through their public relations advisors.
Ultimately, Babylon, with its illusion-based society, is a counterfeit kingdom of God. Even as counterfeit love is an illusion, so also is Love the basis of all reality. Those who have a counterfeit relationship with God will tend to believe all the other counterfeits that Babylon has to offer, for they are already conditioned to such illusions. Those who love and honor Truth will not confuse reality with illusion for long, for he who genuinely seeks Truth will find it.