Tag Archives: manipulation

The Anti-SJW Movement, Degenerating Into Alt-Right Rhetoric

The last two years have seen an explosion of justified rebutting of third wave feminism and identity politics, after seeing them embraced by young people in particular as a result of far left influences on their education.

What started as grassroots defiance against language policing and exaggerated victimisation gradually morphed into vacuous entertainment, to later develop a rather dangerous side-effect: desensitisation to the threat posed by right wing divisiveness, by focusing solely on the division caused by the left. Naturally, desensitisation slowly turned into acceptance and then sheer enthusiasm, as right-wing ideas saw the perfect momentum during the US presidential elections and have continued to reel in more enthusiasts for “change” ever since.

The preoccupation to be anti-left has taken such proportions that the anti-SJW movement has become a self-contradicting one, equating its initial fight for freedom of speech with a return to conservatism, which is equally fixated in its rigours as cultural Marxism and attracts the same amount of blind, fanatical devotion.

Suddenly, these former defenders of free speech saw an opportunity for leftists to be vilified beyond redemption and rejoiced, perhaps as some sort of vindication. Suddenly, those who had argued so compellingly for diversity of opinion became fixated on shutting up the left altogether, towards a “bright future” of conservative conformity.

Which proves once again that virtue and pacifism are apparels of the underdog, to be shed when said underdog reaches a position of power or at least has the illusion of being able to socially annihilate its opposition.

That is why solidarity with a group or movement should be questioned by the sympathetic individual every step of the way, lest it might degenerate into something completely different from what was initially intended.

Needless to say, many social justice warriors are easy targets. Whereas it makes sense to call out (with trumpets blaring) the abhorrent practice of destroying people’s livelihoods for perceived thought crimes, it also makes sense not to use disoriented teens as hate targets in anti-SJW videos.

In that sense I think it is a stretch for grown people to berate (down to nullification) 15 or 16-year-olds who post content on the internet without realising they are not mature enough to understand what they are propagating. For many of them this will undoubtedly be a phase in self-discovery and it seems unfair to conflate them with the genuinely dangerous individuals brainwashing them. The ugly side of this movement consists of running these kids through the mincer just to produce more of the same conveyor belt “look at these cretins”, self-indulgent type of entertainment.

While blowing social media duels out of proportion, people’s attention is being diverted from the reality of what a shift towards the right will really bring, much of which is cause for great concern.

In conclusion, this might have started out with the right intentions yet has become another mental trap, keeping many from seeing the broader picture and shifting the focus from important issues onto inconsequential minutiae.

 

Internet Cult Posing As A Philosophy Group

People who have recently been exposed to Freedomain Radio podcasts and videos probably accessed them for an in-depth analysis of current events, as the material seems quite popular with the sceptic “community”, as well as the alt-right (the two seeming to fuse nowadays on social media).

Unbeknownst to new listeners, this group is a proper cult aimed at reaching young people at the age of individuation; it used to convince them to separate from their families by cutting all contact, a practice known as “defooing”, which has its dedicated website for members, defoo.org, reminiscent of Scientology or the Exclusive Brethren. Although apparently the advocacy for this has stopped (perhaps for legal reasons) the consequences remain.

The young people lured through discussions about politics, ethics, dogmas and so forth were encouraged to analyse their entire lives in ways which would lead them to think their families were morally corrupt and sabotaging them psychologically, at an age of being prone to rebelling naturally, which exacerbated the effect. They were encouraged to move out of their homes, which led to homelessness in various cases and at least one suicide, leaving behind dumbfounded families who only understood what had happened when discovering their children’s interest in Freedomain Radio.

From the start, members were told it was their duty to “get out there” and “become active” in order to help create a better world, and that occasional support such as the odd donation or product purchase was not enough for them to consider themselves “part of the conversation”.

As former members recounted, the group went way beyond what abuse recovery forums do, as it encouraged them to publicly berate the families trying to bring them back, even reading out private letters and emails for the world to hear, which reaches a deeply disturbing level of arrogance. Instead of the promised liberation, young people found themselves increasingly depersonalised, at least two describing a loss of interest for anything outside of group discussions.

Ad-hoc psychoanalysis was used by the leader to mimic a deep bond and understanding; it was also employed towards “recovering repressed memories”, in order to further antagonise them against their parents or even siblings and friends. They even used to provide those who wished to leave their families with a standard “goodbye letter”, in case they felt they could not formulate their own. Moreover, some of the most dedicated members ended up living together after “defooing”.

The group remains very popular today, continuing to attract those who consider themselves anti-system. Akin to any cult, they reject what their former peers have brought to light and berate them for being “weak enough to return to their morally corrupt families”.

There is plenty material on YouTube and dedicated sites, consisting of testimonies from former members and their loved ones, as well as the input of cult experts, confirming the nature of these dynamics.

 

The Political Football Culture: Scouring For Humanity

Far from claiming any of us, simple absorbers of media (however opinionated), can make an actual difference through how we position ourselves on the political spectrum or outside of it, this post deals with issues of conscience in an increasingly polarised world.

While it’s a known fact neither the left nor the right promote unity, political fury in the west is perhaps stronger now than it has been for many years. Are we, as human beings, in danger of being degraded by the baseness of the political spectacle? At which point does the media’s intoxication affect us intrinsically?

Headlines are being made out of social media posts and small comments, as those in office debate each other in the style of pimps outside a brothel; the left and right have become experts at turning bits of flotsam into the pillars of their positions, scooping up the dregs from each barrel to further inebriate their audiences.

Even the neutral can gradually be pulled in one direction, on a cause-by-cause basis, by the so-called alternative media, slowly climbing onto a bandwagon.

The total abandonment to a wave of energy generated by propaganda now resembles football stadium dynamics. While on a football stadium this temporary abandonment can be cathartic and harmless, in real life it can cause people to truly dehumanise others, in manners formerly deemed left behind in history books.

Counterculture or counterfeit?

Since our teenage years, attempts are made to co-opt us into a solid set of beliefs and principles, often feeling the need to make a choice between conforming to the moment’s education and “rebelling”. The other day I heard from various sources that conservatism would be the new counterculture; right-leaning people see it as an optimistic perspective after being pummeled by the left for so long. The realisation came that this cut and dry left/right duality is portrayed as an unavoidable cycle to maintain in the future, as if no alternative were possible.

How authentic is any culture formed as a diametral response to another, each grabbing hold of society until reaching an extreme; why want to replace it with its polar opposite instead of reaching a unifying compromise? Are leftists and right-wingers really different species expected to keep fighting for domination in perpetuity? Is the right expected to behave any differently than the left does now when climbing its way to power again?

Perhaps this is what we are meant to believe in order to remain at each other’s throats.

Blurring the lines between facts and rhetoric

Media outlets, including alternative ones, have mastered the art of invalidating a point of view just because it is strongly held by the ideological opposition, regardless of whether or not it might make sense at least partially. Nit-picking on marginal issues, diversion and placing an event within a one-sided context can be made to look like factual reporting. Factual reporting presents both sides of an issue. When the versions you hear from opposing outlets portray events in such an antithetic way you’d think they came from different planets, prepare to wonder whether subtle or gross manipulation is involved, potentially on both sides, no matter how much you tend to agree with one.

Today more than ever, one is nudged to censor their critical thinking as an issue of loyalty, when often agreeing with the stances of a peer group. When suddenly disagreeing, mobbing may occur. Proof of this loyalty can be requested at any time since discussions occur between larger groups and more publicly than ever before. The pressure to pick a side can be substantial.

Trusting inflammatory outlets which change their tune for their own agendas

Choosing a trustworthy news source is not easy, as so many are skilled in gripping people’s interest, often done today by claiming to have inside information on issues most of us cannot obtain information on directly.

It wasn’t long ago (a few years, roughly) that InfoWars and the likes were spreading theories regarding false flag terrorist attacks, impending martial law and the use of artificially generated fear in order for states to draconically control the masses. Apparently, terrorism was a manufactured excuse to create “police states”. There was a FEMA camp hysteria and descriptions of vans coming for millions of people in the middle of the night and “disappearing” them, never to be heard from again. Police brutality was constantly deplored, as well as increasing police presence and militarisation.

Fast forward to present day and this tune is being blared in reverse, with the same amount of gravity and confidence. Now, according to the same people, terrorism is actually caused by religious fanatics and no longer a ploy to “take people’s freedoms away”. In fact, they constantly promote a president who wants fewer restrictions on how the police can act, who wants more security forces on the streets supervising and raiding. And what takes the cake, who wants a massive “deportation force” to… snatch millions of people from their homes, day or night, intern them and have them “disappeared”. The system they made people dread for years is taking shape now and they are cheering it on, as it will affect only one part of the population and not the one embracing their rhetoric.

All throughout, they have been claiming to operate based on the same principles. Is there any intellectual honesty in this? Has there ever been? In the mean time, fortunately, nobody in the west has died for lack of a water filter.

How does the outlet with the largest amount of paranoia regarding the political system suddenly read like state-sponsored propaganda, with 8 out of 10 daily articles fiercely supporting anything Donald Trump does or says, down to writing one article per critical tweet? At what point does this become nauseating and transparent?

“Fighting the good fight”

Although discussing politics has always been uneasy to an extent (hence the “no politics or religion at the dinner table” suggestion), there used to be some decency, some restraint in this before social media provided immediate access to verbal matches with “detractors”. Nowadays, comment sections on any subject become septic tanks of bile, some of it undoubtedly a release of personal tension.

One can easily end up berating a stranger, to then berate the stranger’s mother, ancestors and dog, in only one paragraph, the benefits of which elude rational thinking. How much of this is even real; how much of it is social engineering and paid agitation?

People prone to politically motivated savagery need no more than a few slogans barked or sung with the right intonation in order to start chanting along and raise their fists in the air, as if contaminated by a tribal virus. Some then take to the streets, smash up streets and beat up random strangers. For others, it takes more subtlety. It takes refined language, astute humour, intricate rationalisation. Which is fine and dandy until a barrier is crossed and whatever category has angered them, at least at that moment, ceases to be human.

Entertainment is more politically charged by the day

Even this form of escapism, which has always been manipulative yet in an insidious manner, is now blatant in its pushing of social messages, being not artful but artificial.

Besides the standards imposed by progressives (quotas, trigger warnings, forbidden humour etc), we find ourselves being told what to think and how to vote by wealthy singers and actors (which is infantilising), and even shamed in this sense. Art for the sake of it has become rather rare. Somehow it all pulls people back into the mindset of having the obligation to stand and propagandise for one cause or another.

Factions denouncing propaganda while engaging in it

Propaganda, as most people know by now, seeks to attract individuals into groupthink, and one technique used is finding a symbol for a cause (a person or event) to imprint into collective memory as representative of a broader issue. Which is not wrong in and of itself as long as it doesn’t push for the blurring of other aspects related to the same matter.

What I find rather disgusting, when the media approaches an event, let’s say regarding victimisation or wrongdoing, is that it’s usually highlighted by one side and minimised by the other, regardless of what the reality is, as both are in defence of groups, not individuals. The actual story is lost in an endless spin; people caught up in a certain situation become pawns in political debates. When exposure actually damages the person presumably helped and the media perseveres, it’s a case of exploitation; when they milk it dry, the person is left to deal with the consequences (often involving harassment) of being the poster hero or victim of the day .

More queasily, each side accuses the other of jubilation when having a victim to push forward; in other words, one side has every right to feel outrage and sympathy, but the other doesn’t. Ordinary people become lost in narratives, to often face undeserved public scorn, based on the side supporting them, in a dog-eat-dog fashion, as armies of ideologues feel the need to tear them down in order to reinforce their views. The truth could be anywhere and is no longer relevant as long as enough points are bing scored.

 

Regardless of how the media makes it look, there is always the option of remaining moderate and approaching any coverage with cautiousness, refusing to label oneself and be spurred on by propaganda, even when a peer group reinforces it enthusiastically. It’s important to remember that no movement is safe from being corrupted and taken over for an entirely different agenda.

And no matter how trustworthy, charismatic and convincing our sources are, they too are fallible and could be surfing a wave to an unknown destination.

There comes a point, when soaking up biased coverage to reinforce a point of view, one needs to take a step back and think deeper. No matter how much it might seem appropriate to reach generalising conclusions regarding groups of people, their accuracy should always be questioned, as that attitude is likely meant to serve someone else’s purpose.

The SJW Cult – Recruiting Renfields

Before I comment on this article , which I am told to properly quote and will do, I must mention I think parts of it are ludic (definitely the part about requiring celebrity signatures). However, the inclusion of a small joke does not make the overall concept less disturbing.

Briefly, it lists a series of expectations under the guise of a “friendship contract” meant to define the exact terms of a “fully loving relationship”.

They are clearly meant to define a decent individual in today’s western societies – a radical SJW determined to overturn the system by any means.

To start with, one would see the dreaming up of such a contract as a sad, desperate result of friendlessness turning someone so egotistical they resort to believing they are alone because they are too special and thus must demand more from others. One would also see it as a loner shooting themselves in the foot, looking all the more ridiculous and spiteful. Yet coming from a popular (as I understand) social justice activist, there might be some cause for concern of this being taken seriously.

The author is telling others that in order to befriend a social justice activist like himself, people should not only behave like complete nutcases but actually become that way. Anything less is unacceptable. This cause demands your entire life, your mind and your soul.

I hope to see the day one of them comes up with an idea that is so far fetched literally no one supports it, and their own crowd starts howling this is too much; we want our fucking lives back.

And I don’t use the term nutcases lightly as I have a very broad acceptance of whatever people choose to believe in, unless they are actually harming others as a result (and by harming I don’t mean expressing a different opinion). However, it’s easy to identify some attempts to replace natural human interaction, such as friendship, with an artificial travesty designed for political purposes. 

And calling the recruitment of political activists friendship is particularly slimy.

I’ve written hundreds of letters of recommendations, given countless formal and informal references, provided education on social justice topics via my unpaid and severely undervalued labor. I have often played life coach to people with oozing amounts of privilege, subjecting myself to well-intentioned yet willful violence. 

Did all of this not count for something? Is this what friendship is? A relationship of faux empathy, niceties, and unchecked violence through unacknowledged privilege. Is that what it’s always been?

Quite obviously, the one turning friendship into a mercantile affair is the author and not those seeking effortless help (such as a letter of recommendation), those “taking advantage” of the “education” given by the author of his own volition, or the people he “played life coach to” (advised on personal matters I assume) despite his hidden contempt for them due to their supposed privilege (which can be as simple as a different skin pigmentation as far as SJWs are concerned).

Unchecked violence through unacknowledged privilege insinuates that those people were carrying out an act of violence by simply existing in the conditions life had provided them with. Which is a really disturbing perspective but explains the mentality of the “oppressed” of the day.

Folks feel betrayed by my growth and exertion of self, as they feel betrayed by my evolution. How dare I demand their unnecessary evolution as well? I can feel the tension in current relationships, as folk creatively tell me that they don’t want to learn about the plight of undocumented peoples, challenge the ableist language they use, or think critically on how they engage fat people from a place of deficit.

Folks feel annoyed and despaired by anyone who will not let them exhale, let alone speak, without “pointing out” that they are guilty of unspeakable crimes simply by not taking on social justice crusades every bastard second of the day. When their every other word is “problematic” and they end up in situations like the uneducated snob making threats against a taxi driver for having a Hawaiian dancer doll on his dashboard:

When you hear the arrogance and entitlement, not to mention self-righteousness oozing out of this type of twat, you just about give up on part of the young generation.

No one in their right mind can stand these people. Their inability to make friends is not a surprise in the slightest.

Apparently, it becomes too exhausting to hang out with me. Which is to say, I have to be better in your presence or I have to deal with guilt when you’re around. Why can’t things go back to normal? Which is to say, let’s thrive in the violence of status quo together – we’ve got each other, even if my heel is at your neck.

He expects to befriend people he considers guilty by default of their “heel being at his neck”. That’s a hell of a start right there.

As I embrace this new and in many ways unrecognizable being, I am motivated to explore the meaning of a healthy and loving friendship.

Can you imagine fighting for liberation with a squad – the folks that love you in your fullness, and you love them in theirs? What does that feel like? Look like?

It would look a lot like Jonestown, judging by what is written below, which is anything but loving or healthy, but rather an attempt to control and manipulate someone. A healthy friendship involves respect and boundaries. None of that can be found in this article.

I want this list of expectations to speak to the well-intentioned people in my life — the folk that mean well but often render themselves unhelpful. The price of friendship has gone up and the only acceptable payment is risk taking and radical love.

Good luck on that one. He must think he’s pretty fucking special (as all snowflakes do) and that applicants will be queuing at the door for the great honour. I know this might sound needlessly derisive and sharp-tongued, but the tone of the article is really annoying.

Here is my working Friendship Contract:

Do you want to be my friend?

(YES) (NO) (*MAYBE) 

Please circle one.

*Maybe will be coded as a “No.” I’m hot stuff. This should not be difficult.

If the answer is yes, there are just ten expectations.

Everyone loves a confident fellow; however, there is a definite line between confidence and laughable arrogance. But anyway. The silliness is the least important issue.

Though it’s useful to point out that many presentations made by these activists on serious subject infantilise the reader (I recall nursery-style cartoons accompanied by text which seemed to be written for very simple people).

This can be reworded as hi, I want to be your best buddy; how would you like to overthrow the state with me?

Expectation #1: We Must Toughen Our Skin

We must be able to use language such as: white supremacy, anti-blackness, transphobia, and marginalization in our day-to-day vocabulary without someone getting into their feelings. Heck, I just used three of the four words in a conversation with my bank teller.

Our language should not be deemed taboo or provocative in nature. Having conversations about justice, equity, this murderous system, and our collective liberation should be as frequent as police brutality and as normal as black folk clinging to the paradox of resiliency.

We must have these critical conversations in the open and move beyond the emotions that immobilize us. Our fragility cannot be prioritized. We must get to the actual work. 

In other words, we must pester unsuspecting, innocent people by constantly throwing their so-called privilege in their faces, until we sound like we’ve either smoked something dodgy, taken cocaine too early in the morning or might need psychiatric help.

I understand that religious groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses also practice door-to-door conversion attempts, but at least they are frank about their intentions and create a separate context for these attempts. And you are more than entitled to shut the door in their faces. Whereas forcing these conversations on people who have no choice but to deal with you as a customer, patient, co-worker etc (you name it) is incredibly inappropriate.

And asking someone to partake in this relentless activism is basically asking them to look like a nutter, day in and day out, risking isolation in the best case scenario (and potentially other consequences).

All I can think of is the twat hassling a taxi driver about a doll on his dashboard. This guy is asking others to be that contemptible twat.