by Abdul Hussain
In the political world, you may come across political terminology that you will most likely not be familiar with, and some of them sound so spooky that it makes you want to scream “pompous truther tinfoil hat lunatic”. In actual fact, cryptic language that does not sound like they would fit into a conventional every-day conversation is largely the theme with political language, similar to advertising or marketing language, though the latter is far often more welcomed in a materialistic society than “a psychological operation”, especially when “a psychological operation” sounds like something a bunch of psychotic, sadomasochistic surgeons would do to a patient on a really bad day.
This then brings the following questions to the table:
- What is a “psychological operation”?
- What is its purpose and why does any offending party enable this political strategy?
- How can one detect and avoid a psychological operation?
A psychological operation, which is often shortened to “psyop” (psychological operation), is defined as:
“A series of plots or events that are set up to instigate emotions or feelings for a particular event, usually to distract the masses from the more insidious events, or more important and/or truthful events elsewhere, and in cases where oppressive forces feel that it is necessary, it is done to overthrow leaders of a country by way of manufacturing hazardous or defamatory emotions against a leader (as an excuse to) weaken a country, either via economic sanctions, or by militaristic intervention, or other means, and is done for reasons like, but not limited to wanting to make a country become financially dependent on oligarchs and corporatist forces, balkanizing a country to become less able to defend itself against colonizers and terrorists, and aid in invading a country while killing off the oppressed and taking its land/territory in the process, thus altering the geographical landscape”.
Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_warfare) has a definition of this that sums up how it works in more detail, as shown here:
“Psychological warfare (PSYWAR), or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations (PSYOP), have been known by many other names or terms, including MISO, Psy Ops, political warfare, “Hearts and Minds”, and propaganda The term is used “to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people” Various techniques are used, and are aimed at influencing a target audience’s value system, belief system, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior. It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator’s objectives, and are sometimes combined with black operations or false flag tactics. It is also used to destroy the morale of enemies through tactics that aim to depress troops’ psychological states. Target audiences can be governments, organizations, groups, and individuals, and is not just limited to soldiers. Civilians of foreign territories can also be targeted by technology and media so as to cause an effect in the government of their country.
In Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, Jacques Ellul discusses psychological warfare as a common peace policy practice between nations as a form of indirect aggression. This type of propaganda drains the public opinion of an opposing regime by stripping away its power on public opinion. This form of aggression is hard to defend against because no international court of justice is capable of protecting against psychological aggression since it cannot be legally adjudicated. “Here the propagandists is [sic] dealing with a foreign adversary whose morale he seeks to destroy by psychological means so that the opponent begins to doubt the validity of his beliefs and actions.” “
In terms of psychological operations, the organizations and agencies responsible for pushing them, do this via a myriad of ways and methods to ensure that they meet their targets and complete their mission objectives, usually planned with nefarious goals in mind, such as neoliberalising a country and making it more complicit to the instigators’ wishes, demands, and desires at the expense of the average resident, and with as little backlash pointing towards the perpetrators as humanly possible. The following techniques used to achieve their aims include, but are often combined with, and not necessarily limited to:
- Cartoonish villainy (StormCloudsGathering – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsIO10lEa3Y)
- Claiming use of chemical weapons
- Claiming use of weapons of mass destruction
- Claims of killing own citizens
- Use of demonizing language to fuel divide and conquer
- Notable examples of keywords: “evil dictator”, “blood-soaked psychopath”, “vicious animal”, “butcher”, “evil terrorist”, et cetera
- Sensationalist demonizing of a group of people by sexual orientation, race, religion, et cetera – exempli gratia: “Dear fellow white people: all white people are racist”, “Muslims did 9/11”, et cetera
- Use of females, and children, and any other types of people that would most likely trigger emotional feelings, like disabled people, to instigate a war – exempli gratia: “the incubator baby story” – https://youtu.be/v94WsjWKQ3U (special thanks to @chrisrulon (Twitter)).
- Distractions at or around the time of an important event in geopolitical or political history, or in certain cases, at any given time
- Bombardment of “non-news”, or events that are not deemed newsworthy, such as (show business) celebrity stories
- Promoting fictionalised versions of events to drum up artificial sympathy at the expense of actual victims of a particular political event and/or the truth (disinformation), like “John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated by a lone, white gunman (Lee Harvey Oswald)”, when in fact, certain US agencies have been responsible for the assassination, alongside Israel, while using Lee Harvey Oswald as a patsy to absolve the USA and Israel of the assassination, especially when JFK’s issues with Israel and the CIA had reached boiling point (https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/opinion/blog/the-jfk-assassination-and-israel/, https://wikispooks.com/wiki/JFK/Assassination, and http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Assassinations_page/Israel’s_Central_Role_FJ.html)
- Diverting attention away from pursuing the truth or critically analysing events, either overtly or covertly – exempli gratia: Caitlin Johnstone (et al) publishing the “Nothing In Any Conspiracy Theory Is As Bad As What’s Being Done Out In The Open” article around the time of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy assassination anniversary, which happened on November 22, 1963 (http://archive.li/TxddK), or Julian Assange being “constantly annoyed” by 9/11 truth advocates for “pursuing false conspiracies” (http://archive.li/7eiao & http://archive.li/AqOtO)
Now that the basic methods for psychological operations and why they are executed and why they are mentioned, one has to know that as part of a struggle in truth-hunting and communication political/geopolitical truths (https://abzhuofficial.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/the-basic-guide-to-truth-hunting/ – yeah, yeah, yeah, shameless plug I know – kill me), everyone will most likely have encountered a psychological operation, and most people will have been either inadvertently enabling a psychological operation, or they have deliberately been enabling a psychological operation, and for those who are deliberate in this, their intentions for this are largely to stifle the truth from becoming part of the public domain, and that they would do this to cause more strife, in which they do this via a number of ways as mentioned earlier in this article. While the most successful of insidious psyop-pushers or psyop-enablers usually bait their victims with partial truths (mixed with disinformation) and emotions to ensure that the victims become inadvertent psyop-enablers themselves, and as for the inadvertent psyop-enablers, they end up pushing psychological operations simply because they do not know any better, and that they do this with the intentions of doing good for the masses, although they fail to realise that the opposite is true – the adage, “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs” (hell is full of good wishes or desires) (believed to be by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1150)), comes to mind here.
This is chiefly why one has to be careful when it comes to detecting psychological operations and as a whole, the truth-telling and truth-searching scene, especially in the geo-theo-political realm, and detecting psychological operations before its effects are maximised takes practice, as those who are new to the truth scene will almost always fail to detect psychological operations without assistance from the more experienced people in the scene.
Here are a few ways to help yourself with regards to improving proactive psychological operation detection:
- Analyse news stories and events critically and not letting emotions be at the forefront of the analytical process: as successfully executed psyops involve hijacking the human nature, it is of vital importance that one does not react to news stories solely on emotional grounds while foregoing critical thinking, especially when it comes to the complicit media and rogue governments using oppression-targeted groups of people, like ethnic minorities, women, and children, and in order to avoid this trap, one needs to look into the reasons for news stories being spread at specific times, and who is providing the sources for the news stories, and the distributors; backgrounds, as these factors are indicators as to whether an event is legitimate with no nefarious intentions, or whether it is in fact a psyop designed to further nefarious goals
- Studying the motives of a news story being spread: if a government (or complicit media) tells a piece of information to the masses with the intention of bullying another government under the guise of good causes, as seen in the Jamal Khashoggi story (https://www.mintpressnews.com/angered-by-saudi-plan-to-purchase-russian-s-400-trump-admin-exploiting-khashoggi-disappearance-to-force-saudis-to-buy-american/250717/), odds are it is a nefarious psychological operation.
- Studying a country’s history of news-telling and political events: doing this and comparing a country’s past efforts to the current media landscape and current news can go a long way to successfully detecting a psychological operation.
- Not focusing on one news story alone, but rather, multiple news stories/events/articles and seeing how they link to other news stories/events/articles, politically/economically: if for instance, one news story involves humanitarian issues such as migrants coming into other countries (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6IUiZUqQB8, by Scott Creighton), and there are other news stories/political events/articles that link to it, like how open borders paves the way for cheap, legally un(der)protected labour at the expense of local citizens/residents (https://berniesanders.com/open-borders-a-gimmick-not-a-solution/ – special thanks to Barbara Hammer, alongside the aforementioned Youtube video), then odds are the main story the complicit media are trying to push is in fact a psychological operation.
- Being eagle-eyed when it comes to news stories and events, and reading and analysing articles, not succumbing to “tunnel-vision” (see above points), and repeating the above steps, as practice makes perfect.
Hopefully, by being able to understand the fundamentals of how psychological operations work, or psyops as it is more often know as, and practising psyop detection, you will hopefully be able to learn to avoid succumbing to psyops, at the expense of the truth, and you will become a more politically savvy person for it. It isn’t going to be easy as always when it comes to things that are worth fighting for, and you will make mistakes along the way, but when you do make mistakes, especially in psyop detection, do not be hard on yourself – carry on practising, and do not give up.
Thanks for reading.