THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONDITIONING OF AMERICANS
Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
December 10, 2012
[Note: A major segment on ABC Evening News (December 8) and on Fox News Sunday (December 9) said that in the last 18 months, Americans have had a dramatic change in their opinions and now support gay marriages. Nowhere in the report or discussion did they mention God's objection to homosexual activity (e.g., Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:27, etc.). One of the characteristics of any major civilization in decline (e.g., Greece, Rome, etc.) was their moral degeneration, including homosexual behavior and heterosexual fornication. America is now headed in that direction!]
Over twenty years ago, I wrote "Beware subliminal messages in media" in THE ORLANDO SENTINEL (July 22, 1990), and I am reproducing most of that article below, because it is still relevant to what I have written in Part 1 of this series. The article reads as follows:
Change is becoming an increasing part of American society. Business promotes changing styles to sell products. Social engineers are trying to change our values. There actually seems to be a "cult of change" today, as many individuals are always seeking something new and different.
Much of the stimulis for change has come through television, and there is already some research evidence that a number of people have engaged in violent behavior based upon the violence they saw on television. One wonders also how many might have been effected by messages such as "read us any rule, we'll break it," in the theme for the television program "Laverne and Shirley"? And how many saw one of the first episodes of "Hardball" last season where the two police heroes tossed rocks at a steetlight just to see who would ride the bike, causing one of them to say, "Now we're lawbreakers"? Currently, there is an ad showing a child rigging a contraption to swipe his father's Eggo waffle, which certainly doesn't reinforce the Biblical admonition, "Thou shalt not steal."
It's in this latter area of TV advertising that perhaps the most insidious threat comes, and it comes not just in the content of the ads, but in the method. You have probably noticed in the last couple of years that there have been an increaing number of commercials with flashing lights and quickly changing images. I asked a university professor of TV communications about this new type of hyper-reality that was being promoted. I thought one's natural inclination would be to turn away from that which is stressful to the eye, and I didn' t see how that could help to sell a company's product. The professor explained that about four to five years ago, many of the people who had produced music videos had become involved in commercial advertrising. A concept was developed that no longer appealed to the reasons viewers should buy a particular product, but rather through quick images showed a lifestyle with which a target audience associates.
What is at work in the mind of the viewer during these ads? Well, the reason most people can fill in the blanks for "Things go better with___" and "Have you driven a ___lately" is because they have seen those messages repeated over and over again in ads. Now, what if instead of stating a message just once in an ad, the message was flashed repeately in front of the viewer? Instead of just one mental image or imprint, there would be many. Also, whenever the eye sees quickly changing images, there is a tendency to try to focus one's concentration all the more. When the final mesage remains clearly on the screen, the mind in its relief at being given an unchanging image absorbs the final message more fully.
It is easy to see the tremendous and ominous potential that type of advertising can have in the form of mental conditioning or indoctrination, especially if the person's "will" can be controlled. In that regard, Professor Willis Harman of Stanford University's Engineering Economic Systems Department believes that a person's behavior is governed far more extensively than we realize by the unconscious or subconscious mind. Research has already shown that quick flashes of subliminal messages have been succfessfully used as conditioning or programming tools.
Research published about five years ago (about the same time as the new type of television ads began to appear) by Benjamin Libet, professor of neurophysiology at the University of California, San Francisco, in the scientific journal THE BRAIN AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, indicates that "The conscious mind doesn't initiate voluntary actions." Monitors revealed that about a half-second before a muscle flexes, for example, an unconscious part of the brain sends signals seemingly to prepare the conscious part of the brain for action. Libet says the conscious part of the brain can veto the unconscious signal, but the question is "What if the person's 'will' has been conditioned not to veto the signal?" What if the person has seen the Nike slogan "Just do it" so many times that he or she "just does it"---whatever it is?
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What does "Just do it" mean? Is it like "If it feels good, do it"? After all, the commercial doesn't say, "Just buy Nike." Usually people say "Just do it" when they are advising someone to stop thinking about the pros and cons of some value judgment or when they are ordering someone to do something. In a landmark trial that began in Reno, Nevada, the rock group Judas Priest is alleged to have a subliminal message, "Do it, do it," on their album "Stained Glass," which supposedly led to the suicides of two teens who chanted "Do it, do it, do it" before they shot themselves after hearing the album. One of the teens survived long enough to say it was as though the music controlled his actions, leaving him without a free will, and "It was like a self-destruct that went off. We had been programmed."
Dr. Robert Assagioli, the founder of psychosynthesis, believes it is actually possible to train the "will," and if one can gradually condition the "will" by TV ads, then "Brave New World" here we come. Our freedon will be lost to indoctrination before most people are even aware of what is happening to them, and this should be a cause of great concern to all Americans.
© 2012 Dennis Cuddy - All Rights Reserved