Hypnotic data: 4 essential features

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“As real-life experience is increasingly replaced by the mediated ‘experience’ of television-viewing, it becomes easy for politicians and market-researchers of all sorts to rely on a base of mediated mass experience that can be evoked by appropriate triggers.

The TV ‘world’ becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: the mass mind takes shape, its participants acting according to media-derived impulses and believing them to be their own personal volition arising out of their own desires and needs. In such a situation, whoever controls the screen controls the future, the past, and the present.” (Nelson, The Perfect Machine, p. 82)

'Television news needs to create a hypnotic effect. Otherwise it would fall apart and shatter into a million nonsensical pieces.

One: the presented data must be repeated, of course. This is the time-honored strategy. When the viewer sees and hears the same nugget many times, he accepts it because—“how can they say it so often if it isn’t true?”

Close on the heels of this: “everybody else must be accepting it, who am I to make an objection?” And then, finally, there is the after-image effect. At the edge of consciousness, the viewer remembers the nugget and—“anything in my memory is automatically real.”

Two: A significant percentage of all news stories are framed as he-said, he-said. Two opposing viewpoints. No resolution. Done often enough, this produces cognitive dissonance, which in turn shuts off the rational mind and puts the viewer into a light trance, a state of suspension.'

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