Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.


The Unearthing: An Awakening Has Arrived,,With Truth Comes Awakening,,By Manuel Valenzuela ,,04/03/07 "ICH"

The Unearthing: An Awakening Has Arrived

With Truth Comes Awakening

By Manuel Valenzuela  [bloated story - got some chatter on 9/19/2007]

04/03/07 "ICH" -- -- The suppression of truth has long been among the highest priorities for the upper echelons of power and authority. For a minority elite that clings to power by the manipulation of the masses using an omnipresent cocktail of lies, deception, mass-produced ignorance and ingrained propaganda, the destruction of truth is an essential method of control.  It is a formula that has worked to unmitigated success for the elite throughout history, whether the shadows of power stretch from ancient pyramids, marble temples, castles, mansions or halls of governance.  Those holding the levers of power and control understand, better than most, that the dissemination of truths to a blind majority could spell the end of their reign, for truth brings sight to the blind.   

These entities understand that truth is like a massive breath of fresh mountain air, pure and energizing, refreshing and invigorating, and that once inhaled by the masses, the balance of control can easily be disturbed and seriously threatened. Revolution of the many against the few oftentimes results, mostly to the enormous detriment of the powerful.  They know that widespread circulation of the truths of what they have done in the past and are at present doing to the majority could light a flame onto a massive cauldron overflowing with dry kindling, sparking an enormous inferno of anger.  Truth, in short, could lead to an awakening of hundreds of millions of human beings who for too long have had their minds held captive by the instruments of control used by those in power.  

It is for this reason that truth is hidden, fought, ridiculed, destroyed and suppressed, why it is emaciated and torn to bits, why its advocates and defenders are smeared, ostracized and silenced, their reputations purposefully shattered, their lives picked apart and criticized.  Truth must never be allowed to gain momentum or be exposed, which is why truth seekers must be made examples.  Those in power will fight tooth and nail to destroy the messenger of truth, yet will never answer the questions or investigate the proposition presented by the message itself. Better that truth remain a microcosm of darkness in the American subconscious rather that it be allowed to sprout from the fertile soils of free-thinking minds.  

Thus, as can readily be seen on a daily basis, both in the corporatist stenograph called the mass media and inside the halls of governance – for those willing to open their eyes and see, for those that have escaped the slavery of thought – is the perpetual attempt to make extinct all traces of inconvenient truths that might upset the long-standing balance that maintains the few in mastery over the many.  The crimes of the elite over the masses must never see light of day.  Truth, therefore, is and always will remain the true enemy of those in power; lies, propaganda, manipulation and ignorance are their weapons, the methods by which they have always ruled over the masses, the master key to control.   

So it comes as no surprise that over the course of the last sixty years, since the inception of television, since the rise of the military-industrial-energy complex, since the growth and corruption of the corporate world, since the marriage of government with the corporate world, better known as fascism, that all manner of truth has been hidden in the deep recesses of America’s black holes and tight-locked vaults.  

In order to keep the beautiful minds of Americans from being distracted, upset or informed, in order to prevent truth from ever reaching the cauldron of mass awakening, the corporate media has purposefully been mutated into a propaganda and manipulation machine unlike the world has ever seen.  Mass media has become, in the course of a few decades, a tool of dumbed-down distraction, suppression of truth, creator of ignorance, disseminator of disinformation and a stenograph for the corporatist elements that rule America. It is, quite simply, the elite’s evolved mechanism of control that maintains the masses in quiet and unknown servitude.  

There is no innocence and altruism with the corporate media; it has been designed for one purpose: to control human beings, from cradle to grave, to the dictates of our corporatist masters, making us over the course of our lives obedient consumers, producers and slaves to the corporate world.  It has been designed, through years of trial and error, to make of us all a grandiose army of good Americans, compliant, acquiescent, passive and ignorant, a nation of serfs in feudal servitude to corporatist lords.  

Make no mistake, to those governing over our lives, we are nothing but the cogs in the system of consumer and producer, nothing but the energy that feeds the giant engine of mass production and consumption that only serves to fatten the wallets of the corporatist world and the levers of control over our lives. Thus, inconvenient truths about their methods of control and manipulation will always be massacred in favor of charades and fictions, in favor of propaganda and dumbed down infotainment, lest the truth of what America has become be allowed to permeate throughout the dormant minds of 300 million citizens.  

Yet truth always has a way of unearthing itself from the mass graves of suppression, for its virtue, and by consequence its pursuit, is inherent in the minds and spirit of billions of human beings.  The thirst for truth is as human as the hunger for justice.  It is an absolute of the human experience, especially in the wake of lies and known deceptions, when those in power seek to squash it or when evidence proves incontrovertible.  Thus, truth is a passion sought when experience, knowledge, research and the naked eye tell us that the lies and deceits bombarded into our lives do not make sense.  For truth does not lie, as evidence and facts and the unmistakable laws of science point in a certain direction, toward a certain reality.  Truth in the usurpation of justice compels the human spirit to pursue it unequivocally, in an attempt to right what has been made wrong, to restore justice where it has been trampled.  

Human beings do not respond well to lies and deception, and the bigger the lie, the more malignant the truth, the greater is the quest to uncover what has been hidden, especially when the truth is as self-evident to common sense as to logic and reason and analysis and research.  Humankind, by and large, craves the truth in everyday life, detesting lies, charades and manipulations.  We also seek the concepts of justice where injustice dwells, desiring to bring justice to a world we know is full of injustice.  The quest for truth and justice compels us forward, brings us strength, mobilizes energy and unites truth seekers.   

It is our love for humankind, our respect for life, our desire for a better world, our hatred of wickedness and injustice and deception and all the evils the truth we seek has created and brought forth that compels in us the responsibility to bring honor and dignity to those whose voice and energy have been silenced, to bring justice to criminals and murderers and malfeasant evildoers, to restore balance to a tilting world, to awaken those yet to see the grand lie for what it is, to bring bravery to those still too frightened of the consequences of knowing the truth.   

Catastrophe of a Post 9/11 World 

Most importantly, perhaps, those that already know the truth – as horrible as its reality is, as mind bending as its ramifications are – those whose minds have been emancipated beyond the lies, distortions, manipulations and massive propaganda, fight to expose the truth and free the minds of tens of millions of Americans because they see what it has wrought, what it has spawned in the name of every American citizen.  They see new Pearl Harbors leading to perpetual war and perpetual fear for perpetual profit, power and control.  They see a century-long war on concocted dark skinned enemies from alien lands, conveniently scapegoated as America’s new bogeyman, conveniently living atop billions of barrels of petroleum, their lands strategic and vital for the aspirations of a delusional empire.  They see the purposeful murder of their fellow countrymen as the marketing ploy by which empire seekers unleash hell on Earth, resulting in untold death, suffering and ever-growing levels of hatred against American citizens.  

They see the destruction of America as we know it.  They see the decimation of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, the shredding of civil liberties and rights, the rape of Lady Liberty, the extinction of habeas corpus and due process. They see a future saturated by a police state, a place where neighbor spies on neighbor, where children are programmed in the tenets of fascism.  They see once cherished freedoms criminalized, the ability to think freely eviscerated.  They see a nation controlled by perpetual fear, with a corporatist government controlling how we think and act using color-coded alerts and false alarms designed to terrorize the citizenry into giving up even more freedoms.  They see a century of psychological war upon the American people by our own leaders, using their power to concoct wars based on lies, using their control over us to murder hundreds of thousands of human beings, all the while imprisoning us further in the cages of authoritarian rule.  

They see America’s rural and urban poor, young in mind and body, conscripted into perpetuity, their destiny becoming cannon fodder for their corporatist masters, dying not for freedom’s ring or democracy’s protection but for protecting pipelines, spigots and the ballooning profits of the military industrial energy complex.  The Truth Movement sees thousands of lives once promising and full of talent wasted killing innocent people, sent to die unprotected into a burning inferno, believing lies of protecting freedoms and bringing democracy, returning home maimed in body and mind, deep psychological fissures ripping through their minds and lives, left to rot in the halls of apathy and corruption.     

What truth seekers see, and which so many so-called left gatekeepers, writers, reporters and intellectuals fail to comprehend, is that the inside job of 9/11, for that is what this truth is called, allowed predetermined and planned wars of aggression to become reality.  It allowed a decades-long plan of perpetual war and fear and empire building and mass murder to begin, and continue relentlessly, leaving the American people as the sacrificial lambs to blowback, karmic terror and untold sacrifice.  The new Pearl Harbor, for that is what 9/11 was, was but the first bomb to explode in a psychological war aimed at the American people.  Indeed, 9/11 was designed, like the Reichstag fire in 1930’s Nazi Germany, and as other false flag operations throughout history, as the first salvo in a war of propaganda and fear upon the American people.  Without exposing the criminality, 9/11 will not be the last attack by the enemy within against the American people. If left unchecked, America as we know it will not survive. Indeed, if not stopped, we will not see peace and security in our lifetimes.  This post 9/11 world vision will never cease, taking us all down with it, including our children, who will one day wonder what freedoms and rights were. 

It was 9/11, after all, that shifted our world into what we have today.  Without 9/11, the American people would have never become the crazed and hypnotized warmongers that they inevitably became, allowing criminals and murderers in government to invade, attack and occupy lands that had no reason for attack.  Hypnotized inside the clouds of 9/11 and easily manipulated by terror and insecurity, the American people gave the criminals and murderers in power free reign to murder and pillage and rape and torture and destroy in our name.  9/11 allowed Bush and his cabal of criminality carte blanche to do as they pleased, unrestricted and unquestioned, given power never before granted a group of individuals.  This impact on the American populace 9/11 was specifically designed to achieve.

With the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq having been green-lighted many months before 9/11 even came into existence, the criminals and murderers in the military-industrial-energy complex and the pro Likud/AIPAC neoconservative needed a catalyzing event that would mobilize the American citizenry, turning hundreds of millions of ordinary, peace loving people into the united voice demanding vengeance and death to the Arab world.  Quite conveniently, those lands the cabal of criminality sought to conquer were the exact ones the concocted enemy was from.  

Through 9/11, the American population would enter a submissive, acquiescent  and warlike state, becoming the army of good Americans our rulers have always dreamed of possessing.  9/11 allowed America and her people to be hypnotized by a catalyzing event that was played and replayed hundreds of times, thereby ingraining itself into the American psyche.  Propaganda in the corporatist controlled mass media made sure to hammer down its horrors, its wickedness, its masterminds and its reasons.  A new enemy had been created; new excuses were discovered as to why they had attacked us: they hate us for our freedoms, for our democracy, for our way of life the talking heads exhaled.  Fear on steroids was allowed to permeate the airwaves, as always making sure to emphasize who the enemy was, as always hiding uncomfortable truths from ever coming to light.  It was our government, not the so- called evildoers, that since 2001 has blitzkrieged terror into our daily lives. It is it, more than anything else, that is the real terrorist organization. Much of the world already acknowledges this reality.  

The massive propaganda machine of the corporatist world was unleashed, night and day, on a bewildered and frightened populace. The war on terror had been born, an enemy had been found to replace the dreaded Communist, and scapegoats were chosen to have the fires of hell unleashed onto their lands.  In a matter of days after 9/11, the dreaded Patriot Act was introduced and soon passed, at once decimating many civil liberties and rights of Americans.  Yet nobody bothered to ask how a document so extensive and complicated, so massive in its regulations and laws, was written in such a short amount of time after 9/11.  For if it had been written before 9/11, as many suspect, would this not invite suggestions of premeditation and foreknowledge, of a desire to destroy liberties and freedoms, waiting patiently for a new Pearl Harbor to do just that? 

With the oil fields of Iraq and quite possibly Iran having been carved up and selected for exploitation by American and British oil conglomerates months before 9/11, in the Cheney Energy Task Force, with the Taliban given an ultimatum to open up Afghanistan to American oil and gas pipelines, with a choice of either riches or war in the months prior to 9/11, and with the Bush Administration negligently unconcerned with terrorism prior to 9/11, yet fully committed to war with Iraq, as per PNAC and the neocons, only the arrival of a new Pearl Harbor was needed to implement what has since occurred.  

With the arrival of 9/11 the world changed for the worse, with the United States expanding its power, reaching with imperial ambitions abroad while extending its corporatist tentacles at home.  The PNAC blueprint was implemented and to this day continues to guide many of the policies the Bush administration has in place.  With so many PNAC members, known as neocons, at one time or another given powerful positions in the Bush administration, with so many of these criminals and murderers roaming the halls of governance, it is easy to see how 9/11 became a new Pearl Harbor, a new catalyzing event that transformed the American psyche.  It is easy to see how a new Pearl Harbor became the invasion and occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq.  Only the laughable incompetence and ignorance of the neocons, along with the massive, well organized and brutal resistance of Iraq’s freedom fighters, have prevented the timely continuation of the neocon agenda. 

An Unearthing 

The events and reality of 9/11 can no longer be questioned.  The only conspiracy theory is the “official” one, for it makes no sense.  To believe the official story, the official “truth”, one would have to suspend reality, entering into Fantasyland, drinking the corporate world’s kool-aid, believing a government that has not told one truth in almost seven years of office.  To believe the corporatist version, one would have to overlook the myriad number of truths, or coincidences, any of which standing alone disprove the official story.  To believe a government, and by complicity the mass media, that has not once told a truth about any of its activities, choosing instead to ignore, omit and hide facts that do not validate the official story, choosing to smear and taint the lives of truth seekers instead of confronting and trying to challenge their truth, cherry picking facts much like they cherry picked facts on Iraq before it was invaded, is to purposefully decide to live in delusion, as if the official conspiracy theory is sacrosanct.   The laws of common sense, physics, logic, reason, and of evidence, both physical and of countless witnesses, not to mention the knowledge of experts, would have to be abandoned and rewritten for the official conspiracy theory to survive scrutiny.   

The destruction and implosion of the Twin Towers, falling into their own footprints, along with the destruction of WTC 7 by controlled demolition on 9/11 is now a self evident truth.  This truth is no conspiracy theory, as the corporatist media would have us believe.  It is quite obvious and apparent, to those whose eyes have been opened and whose minds have found freedom of thought.  Sure, it is not easy to fathom that the government of your nation, the one you grew up thinking was altruistic and noble, good and virtuous, free of evil and wickedness, could ever be capable of destroying the lives of 3000 of your fellow citizens in order to have an excuse for perpetual war, perpetual fear and perpetual profit that will benefit only a small elite.    

Unfortunately, the government of your childhood and of your delusions is one that has been inculcated into your head from birth through brainwashing and propaganda.  In reality, it is a government that cares not one ounce for you or your fellow citizens, preferring to golf and fundraise while your city drowns in massive Katrina created floods, leaving you to rot in the squalor of sewage and human chaos.  The government of your youth and dreams is one that has firebombed entire cities to rubble, killing hundreds of thousands in Germany and Japan.  It is the only government to use nuclear weapons on foreign cities.  It is the government that murdered 3 million Vietnamese and planted the seeds for Pol Pot to kill millions of Cambodians. It is the government that has decimated democracy in the Philippines and Indonesia, helping to suppress freedoms, assisting in destroying hundreds of thousands of lives.   

This government of your fantasy has never cared about democracy or freedom, over the last fifty years overthrowing more than fifty democratically elected leaders of nations, either by coup, assassination or economic measures.  As always, of course, these democratically elected leaders are replaced by military juntas, dictators, strongmen and puppets of our choice, picked because of their fidelity foremost to American interests, not those of their people. This government of yours, the one incapable of murdering 3,000 of its own citizens for economic, strategic and financial motives, has participated in or contributed in the death of one to two million souls in Central and South America, either through its dictators or its sponsored death squads or paramilitary thugs, never allowing Latin America the opportunity to prosper.   

The altruistic government you cherish cares so much about human rights and freedoms that its multitude number of dictators and puppets are renowned for their human rights violations and their suppression of civil liberties and freedoms.  The Middle East, that land of the Arab you hate so much, is a cesspool of torture, abuses, human rights violations and lack of freedoms, all supported by the puppets, kings and dictators your government is in bed with.  Your government is the government most despised around the world after the one in Israel, thanks to its newfound affection with torture, mass murder, the preemptive invasion and occupation of Iraq, the death of one million of its citizens, the displacement of two million more and the importation of hell on Earth into its streets.  Through a war of choice, based on lies and criminality, a civil war ready to burst and engulf an entire region in flames is afoot, yet your altruistic government is on the verge of attacking Iran, a nation that poses no military threat to America.   

Indeed, the government of our childhood and of our delusions cares nothing for its people.  Simply look at the way it treats its heroes, its bravest, those maimed and injured and psychologically destroyed by war and its human wickedness.  Simply admire the conditions at Walter Reid and at many other such places.  Notice too how many Vietnam and now Iraq veterans roam the streets of our cities homeless, with no place to go, no job, no life, forced to confront the evils of war through firewater or narcotics.  Look at a veteran’s anguished face after he has been subjected to Agent Orange, or Depleted Uranium, or used as a lab rat or guinea pig in radiation experiments or anthrax vaccines and see how his body and mind deteriorate until he dies of what your government has subjected him to. 

This government of the people, by the people and for the people, instead of using its vast wealth on education and healthcare and infrastructure and on providing decent jobs for its citizens, instead pillages the nation’s treasury, sending billions upon billions to the war machine destroying one nation after another.  These billions, of course, end up in the accounts of war profiteers and elites and the cronies of the cabal of criminality, quickly made to disappear into foreign bank accounts.  You, on the other hand, are but an automaton to your government, castrated of free thought, saturated with brainwash education, made conformist, complacent and acquiescent, transformed into the ignorant sheeple trained to be the obedient mass consumer and producer that guides the entire system forward.  Meanwhile, year after year education rots, healthcare is made worse, infrastructure depreciates and the overall well-being of the nation plummets.  This, indeed, is your government. 

The Pursuit of Truth 

The unearthing of truth can be an unsettling proposition, causing bouts of anger and animosity towards the truth seeker.  Denial and the closing of the mind to new truths usually follows, as does ridicule of truth, suppression of it and fighting of it until one day, in the not too distant future, beyond the morning horizon, a sunrise suddenly appears, full of radiant light, warm in its glow, powerful in its brightness, ready to guide you forward.  This is the moment of truth, when one finally reaches toward the sky, his or her mind suddenly made clear, now unafraid of what the truth may mean for a once beautiful mind.   

The truth you have been fighting suddenly becomes self evident, bringing you the freedom of thought, of mind, of thinking for yourself for the first time in your life.  You have fought against and declared victory against the pathology of years of brainwashing, of constant bombardments of propaganda, of being told to always have unyielding faith and loyalty in governance.  With the warm rays of truth, you are no longer a slave to the system, a mere robot regurgitating the thoughts implanted in your head by the monitor in your home.  You can now see what years of conditioning have prevented you from knowing, of a government far different than the one you were made to believe in.  It is a government of the elite, for the elite and by the elite, pursuing the interests of the elite and the corporate world that now controls the hallways of power. 

In your own research and investigation, using the full powers of the Internet at your disposal, using the free thinking mind you were born with, you discover the self-evident reality of 9/11.  You watch videos of towers imploding and collapsing, of WTC 7 being demolished masterfully, as if experts in controlled demolitions were at hand. You wonder why air defenses failed so miserably even when hundreds of times before everything worked to perfection.  You wonder how one of the most protected buildings in the world was struck so easily and without defense; yet in one of the most secure buildings in the country not one clear video exists of footage supporting the official conspiracy theory.  You read about and become aware of the plethora of inconsistencies in the official conspiracy theory, and you realized how taken together, nothing adds up.  You ask yourself who benefited most from the 9/11 attacks, and suddenly enemies within our own shores rise from the World Trade Center’s rubble.  

In scanning the Internet for answers to government fictions you suspect of being lies, you see that the 9/11 Truth Movement is gaining momentum, gaining strength in numbers, for you see that more and more people are actually reading, observing, doing their own research and finding out that what they thought they knew simply does not and cannot possibly add up.  You realize that more than one hundred million Americans doubt the official conspiracy theory, and that millions more are beginning to question whether or not it was an inside job.  You see too that very few Americans, indeed, very few human beings, are aware that there even existed a WTC 7, and that it fell in perfect symmetry, into its own footprint, in classic controlled demolition style, even with minimal damage to its integrity, with insignificant fire damage.  And you notice too that video for this demolition is readily available, from multiple angles, yet continues to be suppressed by the corporatist media, for reasons having to do with ignoring truth and disseminating the official fiction. Indeed, when WTC 7 is brought to the corporatist media’s attention, it is quickly returned to the black hole of silence, as if its reality never existed.  

You wonder why the corporatist media is so quick to go after the personal lives and personalities of those who question the official story while choosing to remain silent on the questions presented by the truth seekers.  You see the corporatist media smear and try to destroy the credibility of those that challenge the official story, and you wonder what is it exactly that these stenographers have to hide.  You wonder why no corporatist journalist or news organization has taken it upon themselves to conduct a thorough and intensive examination of the events of that day, and why only the official conspiracy theory is given relevance, as if it is sacrosanct, untouchable.  Meanwhile, any other theories or realities, most of which have more basis in truth than the official story, are bashed as the stuff of conspiracy theorists, become pariahs and are never given the light of day. What does the corporatist media have to hide, you ask, and who are they protecting? 

Your research leads you to the gatekeepers of the left, those that feel the need to chastise and ridicule the Truth Movement, as if they want to make names for themselves, as if only they are allowed to know the truth, as if their arrogance has led them to believe the Almighty speaks through them.  You realize instead that these bozos know very little about anything, and many, while competent enough, got their voices only through nepotism and connections, not because of their egocentric ability.  You notice how these individuals smear the movement and resort to name calling, yet fail to comprehensibly put together a valid refutation of the Truth Movement’s claims.  You understand their vested interests, you see through them, you decide to ignore them even though they provide a valuable tool in the discussion and debate of 9/11.  After all, this is America, and everybody is entitled to freedoms of speech and thought and dissent and debate. You just hope these freedoms are not the next ones to disappear into oblivion.    

Truth, invariably, is ridiculed, silenced, fought and eventually, accepted.  The 9/11 Truth Movement is no different, for its foundation is constructed of solid granite, based on sound research and investigation.  The Movement grows and grows and, no matter how hard the corporatist media and its agents try to slow down its momentum or halt it altogether, more and more Americans are becoming aware of its existence.  The Movement cannot be silenced, for truth cannot be destroyed.  What was done on 9/11 was a declaration of war against the American people, by internal enemies that have hijacked government, our freedoms and rights, and the Constitution.  The Movement exists because it sees the dangers of leaving those in power unpunished, of doing nothing, of letting human wickedness continue. It flourishes because millions seek justice, truth and humanity, a better America, a better world.  

Every act of criminality done in the past six years has as its genesis the horrific mass murder of 9/11.  Every illegal war, every act of torture, illegal imprisonment, destruction of rights and freedoms, all mass murder done in America’s name is attributed to the destruction of the Twin Towers.  If the enemy within is capable of such barbarity, if they had the audacity to perpetuate the greatest crime in American history, all to implement their delusional vision, all to enrich and empower their fellow criminals, what is to say that they will not do it again, in greater capacity, killing in greater numbers?  One more so-called attack on American soil will destroy the America that we have lived in and enjoy, the one we love and cherish, the one of internal freedoms and rights, of the pursuit of happiness, the one enjoyed by present day citizens.   

Already American democracy and freedom are in their last throes, hemorrhaging from years of corporatist mutilation.  Elections have become a sham, a farce.  Freedoms are disappearing, becoming extinct.  The enemy within wishes for nothing more than an authoritarian, fascist nation, the easier to make decisions, the easier to implement their vision, the easier to control the population.  The enemy within detests democracy, and this we must understand.  Democracy and freedom are enemies.  Ask yourself who has been the organization destroying our democracy and freedoms, our civil rights and liberties? Who has enacted Patriot Acts One and Two, who has destroyed due process, right to an attorney, habeas corpus?  Who has tried to silence truth, dissent, protest and free speech? Who has made torture legal, false imprisonment necessary, confessions by torture legal and evidence concocted through hearsay or torture legal? Who has made it legal to spy on American citizens, opening our email accounts, overhearing our phone conversations, looking into our lives? It has not been the dreaded Arab evildoers.  It has been the Bush administration. It has been your own government.    

The truth is apparent, it can no longer be denied.  The 9/11 Truth Movement thrives because it has truth and a quest for justice on its side. It has the power of the naked eye, for WTC 7 video footage cannot lie.  It has physics, science, witnesses and research into government action and inaction.  It has technology, experts and whistleblowers.  It has honor, integrity and momentum.  Of course there will always be 30 percent of the population that will never be made to believe in the criminality of its right wing heroes, even if the button for the controlled demolitions is put in front of their face.  These 30 percent are sheeple, individuals comprising the army of good Americans, the most ignorant and closed minded people around.  The Movement will never convince them.  The challenge is reaching the millions who do have free-thinking minds, those who can put common sense and science and reason together.  

The challenge ahead will not be easy, but the powerful never make it easy.  They never grant the masses anything of value.  We have to fight for it ourselves.  Every civil liberty and right and freedom gained in the last century was achieved through the Power of the People.  This Movement will be no different.  Those that are our masters concede nothing, they take everything.  They will throw obstacles at us, they will threaten and ridicule us, try to destroy our reputations and integrity.  They will use the full power of the corporatist media to try and divide us, to divert us, to deceive us, to manipulate us.  United we stand strong, divided we will fall.  Strength in numbers, strength in conviction, it is time to bring these criminals and murderers to justice. 

 For what is braver, questioning authority or following it? What is more convenient, thinking for oneself or believing only what television wants you to believe?  Who is more a patriot, the person who challenges the blatant lies of leaders in times of trouble or the person who obediently believes everything he is told him by a government that has not once told the truth?  What is a true patriot, those that read the Constitution and seek to bring a bad government into account or someone who stands next to the flag and blindly follows the known criminality of the Commander in Chief? It is those that dissent and protest and debate, because they love their freedoms and rights, while being called traitor and treasonous and terrorist that are the true patriots of America.  There are millions of them across the land, fighting to expose the greatest crime ever committed upon the American people, fighting to restore what has been and continues to be lost.   

It is they who show the bravery and courage and strength and willingness to tolerate the smears and ridicule that are slowly, but surely, helping to return America to its rightful owners, namely, the People. It is these Truth Seekers whom history will remember as the ones responsible for ridding America of its greatest enemies, those that lie embedded within our shores, inside the cabal of criminality.  When the day comes, and it soon will, when 9/11 is exposed for the inside job that it was, America and her people, and by consequence the world entire will smell the clear, pure mountain air of a truth too long hidden, of a sunrise giving birth to a new nation, a restored nation, returned to her People, where truth and justice prevails, where the Power of the People is omnipotent, where the interests of the People prevail, where criminals and murderers sit waiting in the gallows, waiting for the justice of 6,000 dead Americans and 1,000,000 dead Iraqis to be reclaimed. 

The restoration of America thus begins with truth. Its unearthing is underway. America’s awakening will inevitably follow.

Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet essayist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog,  and at as well as at other alternative news websites from around the globe.  Mr. Valenzuela is also author of Echoes in the Wind, a fiction novel. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at


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How Political Psychology Explains Bush's Ghastly Success

Death Grip

by John B. Judis

In June 2004, I went door to door in a white, working- class neighborhood of Martinsburg, West Virginia, a small blue-collar town in decline. There, I found voters disillusioned with both the Iraq war and the flagging economy. But, when I returned five months later– the Sunday before the election–I had difficulty digging up anyone who didn't plan to vote for George W. Bush. As far as I could tell, Martinsburg voters were backing him for two reasons: first, because he opposed gay marriage and abortion ("There are two gays around the corner who are voting for Kerry," one fellow, with a Bush sign in his yard, advised me scornfully from his stoop); and, second, because he was leading the war on terrorism ("I feel more safe with Bush in there," an elderly disabled man explained). There was still grumbling over the war, the economy, and other topics–the same elderly man who praised Bush for making him feel safe also bemoaned America's lack of universal health insurance–but these issues were eclipsed by the threat of gay weddings and terrorist attacks.

Bush carried West Virginia and won the election partly because he ran a better campaign than John Kerry. But that wasn't the only reason. There was something odd about the support for Bush in places like West Virginia. Unlike voters in New York City, voters in Martinsburg had little to fear from terrorist attacks; yet they backed Bush, while New Yorkers voted for Kerry. If gay marriage were legalized, Martinsburg would be unlikely to host massive numbers of same-sex weddings; yet voters I talked to were haunted by the specter of gay marriage.

Some pundits have tried to explain away this mystery by arguing that Bush backers voted for their values rather than their interests. But this explanation is unsatisfying, since many of those voters didn't opt for "family values" in 1992 and 1996, when the country elected a well-known philanderer as president.

In fact, many political scientists can't begin to explain what took place in West Virginia in 2004. In recent years, the field has become dominated by rational choice theorists, who have tried to develop complex mathematical equations to predict voting behavior. These equations rest on a view of voters as calculating consumers choosing a product on the basis of relative cost and utility–a view that generally leaves little room for the possibility of voters acting irrationally.

There is, however, one group of scholars–members of the relatively new field of political psychology–who are trying to explain voter preferences that can't be easily quantified. The best general introduction to this field is Drew Westen's recent book, The Political Brain, but the research that is perhaps most relevant to the 2004 election has been conducted by psychologists Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski. In the early 1980s, they developed what they clumsily called "terror management theory." Their idea was not about how to clear the subways in the event of an attack, but about how people cope with the terrifying and potentially paralyzing realization that, as human beings, we are destined to die. Their experiments showed that the mere thought of one's mortality can trigger a range of emotions–from disdain for other races, religions, and nations, to a preference for charismatic over pragmatic leaders, to a heightened attraction to traditional mores. Initially, the three scholars didn't attempt to apply their theory to elections. But, after September 11, they conducted experiments designed to do exactly that. What they found sheds new light on the role that fear of death plays in contemporary politics–and, arguably, goes a long way toward unraveling the mystery of Martinsburg.

Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski met as graduate students at the University of Kansas in the late '70s. (Today, they are professors at Skidmore College, the University of Arizona, and the University of Colorado, respectively.) In 1980, Solomon discovered the work of Ernest Becker, an anthropologist whose last book, The Denial of Death, had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974. Becker was part of a generation of American social psychologists–stretching from David Riesman, who wrote The Lonely Crowd in 1950, to Christopher Lasch, who penned The Culture of Narcissism in 1979–who operated outside the academic discipline of psychology and were far more influenced by Freud and Marx than by B.F. Skinner and John B. Watson. Riesman, Lasch, and company are no longer avidly read–partly because of the fascination with neuroscience, but also because today's students and academics don't appear as interested in fundamental questions about life, death, love, and history.

Becker, who died of colon cancer in 1974 at the age of 49, had a checkered academic career, largely because his work failed to fit within academic departments. Although a riveting lecturer–he filled the 700-seat Wheeler Hall auditorium in Berkeley for a class on Marx and Rousseau–he bounced from school to school on short-term contracts. In 1967, Michael Lerner (later of Tikkun) and I helped organize a demonstration on the Sproul Hall steps to demand that Berkeley's anthropology department hire Becker permanently, but to no avail. Two years later, Becker finally found a home at Simon Fraser University outside Vancouver, where he wrote what turned out to be his most influential books.

In The Denial of Death, Becker tried to explain how fear of one's own demise lies at the center of human endeavor. "Man's anxiety," Becker wrote, "results from the human paradox that man is an animal who is conscious of his animal limitation." Becker described how human beings defend themselves against this fundamental anxiety by constructing cultures that promise symbolic or literal immortality to those who live up to established standards. Among other things, we practice religions that promise immortality; produce children and works of art that we hope will outlive us; seek to submerge our own individuality in a larger, enduring community of race or nation; and look to heroic leaders not only to fend off death, but to endow us with the courage to defy it. We also react with hostility toward individuals and rival cultures that threaten to undermine the integrity of our own.

Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczyn- ski first presented a summary of Becker's ideas at the Society for Experimental Social Psychology in 1984. As they talked, the three later wrote, "well-known psychologists jostled each other vigorously to escape." Afterwards, they submitted their take on Becker to The American Psychologist and were peremptorily turned down. "I have no doubt that these ideas are of absolutely no interest to any psychologist, alive or dead," the journal's reviewer replied. Later, the journal's editor told the three psychologists that, if they wanted to be taken seriously in their profession, they would have to find ways to test their ideas experimentally. And that's what they proceeded to do.

Their first experiment was published in 1989. To test the hypothesis that recognition of mortality evokes "worldview defense"–their term for the range of emotions, from intolerance to religi- osity to a preference for law and order, that they believe thoughts of death can trigger–they assembled 22 Tucson municipal court judges. They told the judges they wanted to test the relationship between personality traits and bail decisions, but, for one group, they inserted in the middle of the personality questionnaire two exercises meant to evoke awareness of their mortality. One asked the judges to "briefly describe the emotions that the thought of your own death arouses in you"; the other required them to "jot down, as specifically as you can, what you think will happen to you physically as you die and once you are physically dead." They then asked the judges to set bail in the hypothetical case of a prostitute whom the prosecutor claimed was a flight risk. The judges who did the mortality exercises set an average bail of $455. The control group that did not do the exercises set it at an average of $50. The psychologists knew they were onto something.

Over the next decade, the three performed similar experiments to illustrate how awareness of death could provoke worldview defense. They showed that what they now called "mortality salience" affected people's view of other races, religions, and nations. When they had students at a Christian college evaluate essays by what they were told were a Christian and a Jewish author, the group that did the mortality exercises expressed a far more negative view of the essay by the Jew- ish author than the control group did. (German psychologists would find a similar reaction among German subjects toward Turks.) They also conducted numerous experiments to show that mortality exercises evoked patriotic responses. The subjects who did the exercises took a far more negative view of an essay critical of the United States than the control group did and also expressed greater veneration for cultural icons like the flag. The three even devised an experiment to show that, after doing the mortality exercises, conser- vatives took a much harsher view of liberals, and vice versa.

In conducting these experiments, they took care not to tell the subjects what they were doing. They also devised experiments to answer obvious objections to their theory. For instance, they substituted other exercises designed to increase anxiety–by reminding subjects of an upcoming examination or a painful dental visit–to determine if these thoughts had the same effect as the mortality exercises, but they didn't. It wasn't anxiety per se that triggered worldview defense; it was anxiety specifically about one's own death.

Drawing on psychoanalysis, but looking for experimental verification, Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski developed a theory to explain how mortality salience works. When they started conducting experiments, the psychologists had believed that the sheer recognition of one's mortality directly triggered worldview defense. But, when other psychologists, varying the procedure, failed to reproduce the same results, they discovered an important caveat: When they would ask sub- jects to make judgments immediately following the mortality exercises, the exercises would have little effect. It was only when they interspersed a diversionary interval between the exercises and the judgments that the exercises had their full impact.

Freud had distinguished between "primary processes" of thought that were unconscious and irrational and "secondary processes" that were conscious and rational. Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski reasoned that, when individuals first feel anxiety about their mortality, they respond consciously by invoking the usual psychological defenses– for instance, telling themselves that "it's not me, now." That allayed conscious anxiety, but, after the conscious anxiety about mortality had subsided, the thought remained unconscious and active and led people to erect worldview defenses. "The implicit knowledge of death rather than the current focal awareness is the motivating factor," they wrote. "Once the problem of death is out of focal attention but while it is still highly accessible, terror management concerns are addressed by … bolstering faith in the worldview."

To demonstrate this effect, Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski devised experiments using subliminal cues. They asked subjects to evaluate whether two words on a computer screen were related. One group of subjects had the word "death" flashed subliminally between the two words, while another group had the word "field" flashed. Afterward, neither group said they saw more than two words at a time. But, by using word-fragment completion tests–for instance, is "coff_ _" completed as "coffin" or "coffee"?–the psychologists were able to establish that the group which had "death" flashed before them, but not the control group, was unconsciously thinking about death. The psychologists then asked the groups to evaluate essays critical and supportive of the United States. Those who had "death" flashed before them had a much more negative view of the essay critical of the United States than those who had seen the word "field." They exhibited the same pattern of judgment as those who had done the mortality exercises but, unlike them, did not need an interval before making judgments. The psychologists still lacked a full explanation of how this worked, but they had shown that, in their words, "worldview defense in response to thoughts of death does not require any conscious awareness of such thoughts." Indeed, it worked best when these thoughts were unconscious.

By the end of the 1990s, Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski had made their reputation among social psychologists. Psychologists around the world–particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and Israel–were using their theories to devise experiments of their own. In October 2001, the American Psychological Association asked the three to write a book on how their theories could explain Americans' reaction to September 11. In the Wake of 9/11, which appeared in 2003, recounted more than a decade of experiments and speculated on how the public's reaction to the attack– including heightened religiosity, patriotism, and support for both Bush and his evangelical swagger–could be explained as worldview defense.

The three scholars also began devising experiments to test this theory. The first of these explored whether reminders of September 11 functioned as mortality reminders. In the spring of 2002, the psychologists, along with five colleagues, conducted an experiment at the University of Missouri, where subjects had either "911," "WTC" (for the World Trade Center), or "573″ (the area code for Columbia) flashed subliminally between word associations. Afterward, they completed word-fragment tests to see whether thoughts of death were stirring in their unconscious. The psychologists found the same pattern between "911″ and "WTC," on the one hand, and "573," on the other, that they had earlier found between "death" and "field." They concluded that reminders of September 11 awakened unconscious mortality thoughts. Later experiments would further confirm this.

They then explored whether Bush's popularity in the years after September 11 stemmed in part from Americans' need for a charismatic figure who could help them overcome these thoughts. Bush's appeal, the psychologists speculated, lay "in his image as a protective shield against death, armed with high-tech weaponry, patriotic rhetoric, and the resolute invocation of doing God's will to rid the world of evil.'" In 2002, the psychologists, aided by two colleagues, conducted an experiment at Brooklyn College that showed that mortality reminders dramatically enhanced the appeal of a hypothetical candidate who told voters, "You are not just an ordinary citizen: You are part of a special state and a special nation."

Next, they began testing Bush's appeal directly. In October 2003, the three scholars, together with five colleagues, assembled 97 undergraduates at Rutgers to participate in what the students thought was a study of the relationship between personality and politics. One group was given the mortality exercises. The other wasn't. They then read an essay expressing a "highly favorable opinion of the measures taken by President Bush with regards to 9/11 and the Iraqi conflict." It read, in part:

Personally I endorse the actions of President Bush and the members of his administration who have taken bold action in Iraq. I appreciate our President's wisdom regarding the need to remove Saddam Hussein from power and his Homeland Security Policy is a source of great comfort to me. … We need to stand behind our President and not be distracted by citizens who are less than patriotic. Ever since the attack on our country on September 11, 2001, Mr. Bush has been a source of strength and inspiration to us all.

This was not the kind of statement that would appeal to most Rutgers undergraduates, and indeed, on average, members of the control group rated it unfavorably. But those who did the mortality exercises on balance favored the statement. In February 2004, the psychologists repeated the experiment, but this time they used September 11 cues. They had one group of students write down the emotions that September 11 aroused in them and describe what happened on that day. They got the same results as before: On average, those in the September 11 group approved of the statement, while those who didn't do the exercises disapproved. Based on political questionnaires they had the students fill out, they also found that the September 11 and mortality exercises "increased both conservatives' and liberals' liking for Bush."

Then, in late September 2004, the psychologists, along with two colleagues from Rutgers, tested whether mortality exercises influenced whom voters would support in the upcoming presidential election. They conducted the study among 131 Rutgers undergraduates who said they were registered and planned to vote in November. The control group that completed a personality survey, but did not do the mortality exercises, predictably favored Kerry by four to one. But the students who did the mortality exercises favored Bush by more than two to one. This strongly suggested that Bush's popularity was sustained by mortality reminders. The psychologists concluded in a paper published after the election that the government terror warnings, the release of Osama bin Laden's video on October 29, and the Bush campaign's reiteration of the terrorist threat (Cheney on election eve: "If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again") were integral to Bush's victory over Kerry. "From a terror management perspective," they wrote, "the United States' electorate was exposed to a wide-ranging multidimensional mortality salience induction."

n their experiments, Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski make a good case that mortality reminders from September 11 enhanced Bush's popularity through November 2004. But, on the basis of their research, it is possible to draw even broader conclusions about U.S. politics after September 11. Mortality reminders not only enhanced the appeal of Bush's political style but also deepened and broadened the appeal of the conservative social positions that Republicans had been running on.

For instance, because worldview defense increases hostility toward other races, religions, nations, and political systems, it helps explain the rage toward France and Germany that erupted prior to the Iraq war, as well as the recent spike in hostility toward illegal immigrants. [stupid- this was all manipulated- but does flow from racism and FEAR, and demonizing 'ALL+OTHERS// jks /zog] Also central to worldview defense is the protection of tradition against social experimentation, of community values against individual prerogatives–as was evident in the Tucson experiment with the judges–and of religious dictates against secular norms. For many conservatives, this means opposition to abortion and gay marriage. This may well explain why family values became more salient in 2004–a year in which voters were supposed to be unusually focused on foreign policy–than it had been from 1992 through 2000. Indeed, from 2001 to 2004, polls show an increase in opposition to abortion and gay marriage, along with a growing religiosity. According to Gallup, the percentage of voters who believed abortion should be "illegal in all circumstances" rose from 17 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2002 and would still be at 19 percent in 2004. Even church attendance by atheists, according to one poll, increased from 3 to 10 percent from August to November 2001.

In the months after September 11, most Americans were caught up in the same reaction to the tragedy–and that included adulation for Bush, even among many Democrats. But over the next few years, faced with two elections, Bush had to maintain his popularity; and he did so by constantly reviving memories of that dark day. As the 2002 election approached, voters turned their attention to the recession, as well as Enron and other scandals–all to the Democrats' favor. At that point, Bush, who had stood aside in the November 2001 gubernatorial elections that Democrats won, sought to base the 2002 election on terrorism. Bush and Karl Rove used the full arsenal of scare tactics to evoke fears of another September 11. The result was that the electorate became sharply polarized between conservatives and liberals and between Republicans and Democrats, while those caught in the middle tended to side with the Repub- licans–exactly as the psychologists' experiments might have predicted.

Some political analysts harshly criticized Kerry in 2004 for failing to counter Bush's charismatic style with an equally attractive appeal of his own. Many, like Slate's Chris Suellentrop, complained that Kerry lacked vision. "Vision without details beats details without vision," Suellentrop wrote. Others, like Thomas Frank, wrote that Kerry should have countered Bush's "cultural populism" with "genuine economic populism." But, if Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski are right, it would have been very difficult for any politician–not just the stolid Kerry–to overcome Bush's built-in advantage from being the nation's leader at a time when many voters feared another attack. In 2004, Bush, as the commander-in-chief, still had the unconscious on his side. And that advantage may have proven insuperable.

oon after the 2004 election, the mood in the country began to shift. Reminders of September 11 lingered, but they were increasingly displaced by worries over the Iraq war and anger over the growing scandals within the Bush administration and the Republican Congress. Bush's incompetence in responding to Katrina tarnished his image as a father-protector. Says Solomon, "Bush became less of a useful object to unload non-conscious anxieties about death."

One explanation for what happened psychologically can be drawn from experiments that Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski conducted in the mid-'90s. These showed that there were conditions under which the mortality exercises had a reduced impact. One such situation occurred when the experimenter repeatedly told the subjects to make a "careful" response to the questions rather than a "gut-level" or "natural" or "first" response. In those cases where the experimenter urged care and deliberation, the psychologists concluded, subjects acted on a "rational" basis that reduced the influence of unconscious anxieties.

Something like that might have happened after the 2004 election, as voters, forced to weigh other concerns–Iraq, Katrina, the Abramoff scandals–subjected reminders of September 11 to greater thought and skepticism. These associations made Bush "less of a useful object." It could also be that active memories of September 11 have begun to fade for many Americans–just as memories of Pearl Harbor did for an earlier generation–reducing the effect that these memories have on unconscious fears. The reduction of mortality salience is evident not just in growing public dissatisfaction with Bush, but in reduced support for conservative social causes. The average annual percentage of those believing abortion should be illegal dropped from 19 percent in 2004 to 15 percent in 2006, and the percentage believing it should be legal "under any circumstances" rose from 24 to 30 percent. The postSeptember 11 outburst of religiosity also began to abate, particularly among the young. These changes in public sentiment, which reflected the diminished psychological impact of September 11, help explain the Democratic triumph of 2006.

Of course, there are still voters within the Republican electorate whose hearts beat to the rhythms of September 11 and who are still engaged in a passionate defense of their worldview. They continue to identify the war in Iraq with the war on terror; they worry about illegal aliens and terrorists crossing the border; some even judge the growing public opposition to Bush as further confirmation of his role as protector. These voters appear particularly attracted to Rudy Giuliani, whose entire campaign is based upon reminding voters of September 11. And, if Giuliani is the Republican nominee in 2008, the election may pivot on his ability to use reminders of September 11 to provoke the public into another massive bout of worldview defense.

But, right now, it doesn't look promising for any candidate who hopes to follow Bush's 2004 script. The voters of 2008, including those in Martinsburg, will probably be buffeted by competing emotions about Iraq and the war on terrorism, and therefore less inclined to base their decisions on gay marriage. Barring another assault on American soil, the moment of September 11–and the reminder of mortality that it brought–may well have passed. And with it, too, the ascendancy of politicians who exploited the fear of death that lies within us all.

John B. Judis is a senior editor at The New Republic and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


Part of the impact of this piece on me was to make me feel more sympathetic with those of my countrymen whose response to the Bushite menace I've felt so bitterly disappointed by. Somehow, having this simple and surprisingly powerful mechanism laid bare makes it seem more comprehensible, and less a profound indictment of the moral nature of the people who are swayed thereby.

Then I also started wondering: how much do these findings a) reveal human nature, and/or b) reveal something about the condition of the American psyche in our era?

After all, NOT ALL people in the experimental group manifest this pronounced influence of the exposure to those things that evoke anxiety about death. A surprising number of people apparently do, but not all.

That leaves open the possibility that in different times and places people are more or less subject to being influenced in this way.

(Which reminds me of the piece I wrote –"Get a Grip America! It's Dangerous for a People to be Ruled by Fear," at

I'm still sorting it out just how these empirical research findings should affect how this Bushite era impacts my view of my fellow Americans.

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9 Responses to "One of the Most Interesting things I've Read in a Long Time: How Political Psychology Explains Bush's Ghastly Success"

  1. Martin Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    It seems to me that this is just additional proof of the shallowness of so much of the American electorate and their refusal to do the hard work of rational analysis, not only when it comes to selecting political leaders, but in the development of their personal values. I don't see any reason why a heightened awareness of one's mortality should lead to greater disdain for other races, religions and nations, and a preference for charismatic / prag-matic leaders. I would have hoped it would have resulted in some soul-searching and a committment to becoming a more knowledgeable, loving, tolerant person. Why should a heightened awareness of one's mortality not lead to greater personal integrity and a desire to put similar-minded people in political power?

  2. lee ferrell Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    It seems sad to realize that it took so much effort to reveal what is common sense. Fear has long been known as a primary limbic system response to mortality effects. Emotions are seldom stronger. It is but a short step to realize that politicians find this basic human emotion easily affected and manipulated. Joseph Goebbels' many pronouncements about mass manipulation clearly lead to this awareness.

    Long ago, Lewis Lapham wrote a piece in which he described the immanent rise of a "New Puritanism" after a few years of Reagan. The Puritans were not seeking a new land here…. They were literally ushered out of England for their unabashed efforts to force their fear-mongering god on everyone. The evidence is there for any one who cares to look closely and deeply.

    "We have noting to fear but fear itself." When we finally help all our sadly
    shaped humans who have innocently been led down the garden path of religious fear-bating ("Be saved OR ELSE!") enough folks will awaken to the reality of _citizen_ participation in place of fear induced reactionary posing. I worked with enough young people in a very reactionary place to see this dynamic play out every day. So many were compelled to be afraid all the time except when praying.

    There are some who say the "cult of personality" was born in the 200 years after J. arrived at Golgotha (see John Romer's insightful _Testament_). Basic to the view is that the Judeans were in constant states of fear, from the ever present warfare all about. It should be as familiar as air. Fear is the greatest motivator and if "consciousness" can be so easily manipulated, the blend of these two dynamics will be used for political expediency. "Political Psychology" is almost a _non sequiter_.

  3. Robin Pettit Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I felt the same ominous mortality salience as everyone on September 11th and to boot was reminded of my mortality by the death of my mother in December of 2001. Even with all those reminders, I still knew that Bush was lying about Iraq, WMDs, etc and so opposed Bush. I do not know if Bush and the Mortality Salience caused me to move toward my worldview of Liberalism or whether I am immune to this effect that effects so many of my compatriots.

    I do believe that this effect exists to a degree although I do not have access to their research except through the above excerpt. Although it explains the mindset of those who support Bush, at least in part, it still doesn't explain the 28% or so of those still supporting Bush. Perhaps that 28% are truly the base who are impervious to emotional or factual contraindications, maybe even mortality salience.

    I also think that the Authoritarian mindset figures prominently here. Perhaps a study looking at both ideas will prove fruitful.

  4. Kitty Hegemann Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks Andy! I am pleased to be one who did not respond as expected to the motivators. I tend to believe that there are always people who are more easily manipulated than others. It has to be a combination of (and this list isn't all) psychological make-up, education, socioeconomic status, authoritarian lifestyle, and exposure to many points of view. That said, this is an amazing piece you posted. I live in NE TN, far, far away from NYC, PA and DC as well as other areas that could be possible targets for terrorists. I know a woman who had to be committed because she just could not cope after September 11, 2001. She's still mentally wobbly all this time later. I also think that the media has done a really good job at reinforcing the ideas presented in the essay about seeing your own mortality. Me, when I die, I'll go on. Matter is not created or destroyed but just rearranged. Additionally, we are just beginning to study (except the Buddhists) consciousness. What does happen to our consciousness when we pass on? I think it goes on and comes back in a life form. Back to the point though; I'm like Andy and this does explain somewhat why so many Americans lost their way and believed the lies and accepted the shredding of the Constitution.

  5. Aaron Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you for posting the article. I have had only a limited amount of anecdotal evidence to consider that has relevance to the denial of death theory, but it has been enough to make me wonder if the links postulated by Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski could be supported. My own grandfather was an immensely talented, creative man who was quite sensitive for the era in which he lived. Yet, when he drew closer to death he began to change in confusing ways. He started to identify scapegoats for the ills of society including, unfortunately, the Jewish population. He went so far as to rant and rave that Hitler should have finished what he started. I have often wondered how a man who was once so rational could have fallen to such a degree.

    I am seeing the same tendencies now (though not as dramatic yet) with my surviving parent, aunts and uncles, and inlaws. Can this hardening of opinions be explanied largely because they have reached the age when the surety of death can no longer be ignored? If so, I wonder if I too will eventually fall prey to some "useful object to unload non-conscious anxieties about death." A frightening thought!

    I do not fear death, having confidence that consciousness and even personal growth does continue after death. Perhaps this will provide enough armor.

    A line from "The Never Ending Story," a fantasy movie that was released some time ago: "People who have no hope are easy to control." How unfortunate it is that some self-serving demigods attempt to capitalize on this reality through subconsious means!

  6. Andrew Bard Schmookler Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    I'm surprised, Lee Ferrell that you find here nothing surprising.

    Would you have predicted that it would have so pronounced effect on the basis of whether the groups went through a little exercise or not:

    "those in the September 11 group approved of the statement, while those who didn't do the exercises disapproved?"

    And the depth of resonance of even a sublimal flashing of "WTC" or "9/11″ or just some area code– how powerful is the impact on consciousness of such small things.

    And then think of how powerful this 9/11 "war on terror" Bushite fearmongering might have been, with so much more powerful a force to amplify the message, and so much more sustained an effort, with real-life danger upping the receptivity.

    The magnitude of the impact is surprising to me– surprising enough to require me to rethink my image of just what this vulnerability has been about. I

    It is surprising enough to me to compel me to give more thought than I have to the matter of THE FEAR OF DEATH.

    And I still am wondering if this just exposes a piece of a greater defect –moral, spiritual, intellectual, emotional– that fits into what I've been saying about "moral breakdown" but only adds depth to the picture.

    The fear of death is a bigger deal –or at least a bigger part of the picture– than I thought.

  7. Andrew Bard Schmookler Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Let me respond to you, Aaron, in a way that is also a continuation of what I just wrote to Lee Ferrell– about how the role of the fear of death is apparently bigger than I'd supposed, and so a clear understanding of this receptiveness to Bushite fascism requires me to take the depth and magnitude of that fear into better account than I have.

    And I keep pondering that question: does this article tell me something about human nature, so that I should perhaps put less emphasis on my theme of America's moral breakdown as connected to this fascism? Or does it just flesh out some of what this breakdown is about.

    It is in that context, Aaron, that I appreciate what you say here with that line from "The Never Ending Story," : "People who have no hope are easy to control."

    And it makes me think that at some level in America there has been a breakdown in faith and hope. That there is little real spiritually meaningful hope in America. We as a nation are content to represent nothing, and to represent the dark side. Is that not a sign of a loss of hope for the experience of real meaning? A people without hope is a people that is disconnected from the spiritual realm, from a devotion to the idea of the good, to an ideal of taking moral responsibility, from the proud position of truth honestly sought. And without hope, there is terror at the idea of death. There is not enough connection with what lives on.

    Without being plugged into HOPE, our death is too frightening to contemplate. The spiritually connected do not fear death so much, because they are connected with what lives on.

    The true, the beautiful, the good.

    It is a nation that has lost the hope of embracing the realm of the sacred (good, true, beautiful) is what is required for it to choose fascism– with its meanness, its lies, its ugliness, its injustice, its lust for domination and destruction.

    So maybe Americans in the era that gave us the Marshall Plan and the raising up of our defeated enemies had hope, and being plugged into some sense of transcendent value –which helped to underlay those post-war achievements– those Americans would not have been so likely to give up on hope, or with lesser terror of death.

    I wish I knew whether the results would be different in a society that is more connected than America today with the good, the true, and the beautiful.

  8. Andrew Bard Schmookler Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    One implication of these findings is that, in communicating with the currently fascist element in the American body politic, more effort should be spent on addressing the problem of the fear of death in their experience. If we ignore it, they simply will not be able to transcend the fear of death enough to come to their senses and withdraw their support for fascism. They are not mostly people who need to be aligned with evil, but they won't join with us so long as their fascist leaders do a better job of addressing their underlying fear of death than do the defenders of liberty and decency.

    There simply is not a full-throated enough opposition to the Bushites. And part of an effective "opposition" would be a message that effectively and constructively addresses the fears of our audience, including those for whom a mere flash of a "WTC" is enough to send them into deep reverberations of terror and of support for fascist tendencies and values.

    The needs of scared people to have their fear taken into account is nothing illegitimate. If we want to persuade them, we need to tailor our message to optimize our chances of succeeding. Some of them have been temporarily disabled by a campaign of playing on their vulnerabilities, as these fear mongers –with their countless ways of seeking to increase the people's fears, rather than inspire them for the noble struggle.

    Bush and Churchill– often paired from one side or another. Here's where the difference is most profound: Bush has deliberated sought to inflame people's fears, for no GOOD purpose. Churchill helped lead his people into being less afraid, more courageous and noble, than they might have expected themselves capable of.

    Bush has sought to call forth the weakest part of our nature –that deeply resonant fear of death– while Churchhill (as Eric Hoffer said) cast his countrymen into the role of heroes and they rose up to play them.

    The Bushites in their delusions– like linking Bush with Churchill. Those Bushites are really disconnected. They simply haven't got a clue.

  9. Andrew Bard Schmookler Says:
    August 27th, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Continuing along these lines:

    The Bushites in their delusions– like linking Bush with Churchill. Those Bushites are really disconnected. They simply haven't got a clue.

    It is really amazing the discrepancy between who these people are and who they like to pretend (even to themselves) to be.

    I think of that bit of footage of Mussolini that Woody Allen used to hilarious effect in CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS– such a contempt shown for the Duce posing as being such a big great leader, so arrogant, so full of himself, so ugly a spirit. It is used to mock his boss, and of course the insult costs him his job.

    Bush sees himself as this tough cowboy, but we know him for the lying coward he is. We saw him sitting there in Fahrenheit 911, looking for all those minutes like he really doesn't have it in him to deal with any real challenge. We've seen who he is, the self-entitled brat who was happy to escape duty in Vietnam by having his family pull strings to get him to the front of a lucky line, and then not even have the decency to fulfill THAT responsibility the way a man of character would.

    And then of course there's HITLER. When we see films of him strutting and preening and calling forth the demons from people's hearts, we can hardly imagine that he and so many others could have believed him the great FUEHRER, object of adulation, "Heil, Hitler" being mandated in all their greetings. BUt to us he is this monster, this piece of disease ridden human filth that brought out all that was worst in his people.

    WTC. Cultivate fear.

    Seil heil. Cultivate a lust for domination.

    Two different roads to the same destination.

    Their heaven is in fact a form of hell. No wonder they've got such a warped image of what it is that they embody.

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