Both sides of the COVID vaccination debate are guilty of some degree of brainwashing, with critical thought being more important than ever, writes Dean Frenkel.
HAVE YOU EVER known a person to acknowledge they are a member of a cult? It only happens after they leave.
These days, you don't have to be a cult member to be brainwashed. Mind control methods have evolved alongside new technology to be as effective on smart people as the less cerebral. Indoctrination is now so advanced, that most people lose their autonomy long before they realise it.
All it takes is an information portal, clever presentation of evidence, faith in process, credible puppet masters and regular consolidation. There is a fine line between persuasion and brainwashing.
Admitting you are brainwashed is a big blow to the ego. It means confronting the notion that you've been blindly manipulated and have wasted many hours, decades or at worst a lifetime on a foolish and potentially dangerous pathway.
Being brainwashed doesn't mean you walk around in a stupor. At the very least it means automatically flowing with the party line - uncritically believing in it and loudly advocating for it. It means being a puppet whilst others pull your strings, usually without you knowing it.
No one likes to think they're brainwashed - it's much easier to think others are.
There has been no shortage of brainwashing going on since the pandemic. Germany in the 1930s proved it was possible on a mass scale. It is frightening just how many people have been unwittingly brainwashed of late - perhaps a majority of our population.
Two competing brands of clinical brainwashing detergent were unleashed during the pandemic - I'll call them Cold Power (the pro-vax tribe) and Earth Choice Concentrate (the anti-vax tribe). Members of both tribes are megalomaniacal and see the contest in black and white. They hate fence-sitters.
The Cold Power movement is supported by governments, the pharmaceutical industry, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Fairfax and the more progressive media. It has been used to drown and sanitise society with fear, mandates and the threat of social alienation
The mainstream media adopted a war footing and manicured the news to push Cold Power agendas under the headline of news. News may never be the same again.
Cold Power imbibers of brain detergent believe that we should automatically and enthusiastically queue up for every booster as soon as it is announced, that mandates are not to be questioned, that the lies about the COVID-19 vaccination were justified, that mRNA vaccines are always safe, that vaccine injuries are rare and that everyone should be unpaid promoters of pharmaceutical interests.
Earth Choice Concentrate is the brain detergent of the opposite narrative - a well-organised world campaign curated by a few mysterious QAnon people who control and manipulate the alternative agenda by feeding daily missives via social media.
Many imbibers of Earth Choice have cut themselves off from mainstream media. The only media they get is from a narrow portal - Fox, Sky, GB News, YouTube and podcasters who also manipulate the news to advance agendas.
Earth Choicers have been parroting a collection of disparate concerns like anti-vax, anti-Voice, cryptocurrency, global warming denialism, the Rothschilds and Jeffrey Epstein, 5G, Jordan Petersen, Donald Trump, Pauline Hanson and - if you want to sniff out the brainwashed - they hang out in the echo chamber and rile each other up about each of these subjects.
They believe the pandemic was planned biological warfare, a mass de-population exercise led by Anthony Fauci, Klaus Schwab and the World Health Organisation. They believe a band of paedophiles are leading our governments and businesses, that we'll soon be restricted to walking for just 15 minutes from our homes, that we'll all soon be microchipped, that chemtrails in the sky are strategically spread by the army to poison our crops and destroy farming, that bushfires and floods are pre-planned and that climate change is a conspiracy.
Both tribes have much in common:
- they shamelessly brainwash their followers;
- the brainwashed always toe the party line;
- they are comfortable with dispersing misinformation and accusing the other side of misinformation;
- they think in black and white;
- they will not tolerate fence-sitters; and
- they use fear liberally and unashamedly. It is their most effective brainwashing tool; it brings people together and makes them cling together.
So, we have two extreme movements led by power-hungry righteous zealots who hijack the critical faculties of their followers.
The Cold Power movement currently wields the power. It has the establishment, academia and scientists and the power to silence. It has governments, mainstream media, the medical system and the overwhelming financial and persuasive power of the pharmaceutical industry.
On the other extreme, the Earth Choice movement genuinely wants to overthrow the Cold Power movement. It is well-funded, ruthless, obsessed and prepared to do anything to bring down the system.
If you sit on the fence, you can see both extremes - "clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right".
There has never been a more valuable time to be trained in clear thinking.
Dean Frenkel is a writer and communications consultant, lectured in Public Speaking and Communications at Victoria University, worked with politicians and written extensively for newspapers.