Saturday, February 26, 2011
After watching the CNN Anderson Cooper interview with Dr. Andrew Wakefield I like many of my fellow autism parents was pissed. I found myself getting sucked into what I call the Matrix. What this means to me is that I am being drawn into a world of illusion. I certainly find corporate media such as CNN to be catalyst of this Matrix, dream like society. Here's some history on CNN. It was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner as the first 24 hour news channel. In the 1990s it became very popular for it's coverage of the American invasion of Iraq known as the Gulf War. So what? Well Ted Turner has been in the news a lot lately as environmental advocate and catalyst against climate change. OK, that sounds good? Not so fast. Not even trying to get into the flaws of the "global warming" science, Turner has made millions of donations into the World Health Organization to promote the Gates Foundation "Decade of Vaccines" campaign.
So what's going on here? Notice the words that Anderson Cooper uses, "many parents desperate for answers".. We're always "desperate" aren't we? Never intelligent, educated and fed up, no.. "desperate". Desperate for what? To find a cause that we may have prevented? Nice try but no.. there's no comfort in that. He also accuses Dr. Wakefield of claiming a "conspiracy". Very divisive verbiage indeed. Despite the fact that Wakefield repeatedly denies any conspiracy accusation, Anderson Cooper continues. "Conspiracy" is a heavy handed word, so is "fraud", "liar" and on and on... Before you know it Andrew Wakefield will be linked to al Quaeda and considered a known terrorist. While these are heavy handed words they are far from accurate. I could go on all day with this topic. The media has been on all out campaign to promote vaccination and to debunk the discrediting of it; however, time and time again they fail to produce any reliable information that proves it's efficacy or safety. But without continuing to go on about what they aren't saying let me see if I can focus in on what they are saying and better yet why they are using these particular words. Well it's simple, news shows have long been run by advertisement agents, in other words the same people selling you bottles of ketchup and uncle Ben's rice are selling you the news. That's right, the news is sold just like everything else. To go even further it should be pointed out that advertisers are instructed by psychologists, yes psychologists, Freud, "tell me your problems" and all that.
Speaking of Freud, his less famous nephew, Edward Bernays, wrote an essay in 1947 known as "The Engineering of Consent". This technique of engineering the mindset of the public would be used in countless marketing campaigns even today from convincing the public to use a flouridated water system in the municipal supply to convincing women to start smoking (a previously male only activity).
"He defines "engineering consent" as the art of manipulating people; specifically, the American public, who are described as "fundamentally irrational people... who could not be trusted." It maintained that entire populations, which were undisciplined or lacking in intellectual or definite moral principles, were vulnerable to unconscious influence and thus susceptible to want things that they do not need. This was achieved by linking those products and ideas to their unconscious desires. Ernest Dichter, who is widely considered to be the "father of motivational research," referred to this as "the secret-self of the American consumer." (Excerpt taken from Wikipedia)
So again, what does this all have to do with autism and vaccines? There are only 6 major corporations that run approximately 90 percent of the multi-media and they are sponsored by.. you got it, pharmaceutical companies. Putting that aside if you can, remember the words of Bernays, you (meaning the public) are "fundamentally irrational people... could not be trusted.." Irrational? Maybe "desperate", Mr. Cooper? Think about this, the next time you watch TV news or better yet unplug from the Matrix, they can't sell you what you don't buy and if you see Neo please send him my way.
Resources for this post see below:
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
If you ask someone if they think for themselves, most people would say that while they engage in the fruits of our abundant society they still maintain a true sense of self, understanding, knowing who they are and believe that "yes, in fact my thoughts are my own." I've been pondering this a lot lately especially after witnessing the recent media lynching of Dr. Andrew Wakefield (the gastroenterologist who in 1998 conducted the now infamous study showing a potential link to the MMR vaccine and autism). Despite the fact that Wakefield never claimed vaccines caused autism but merely suggested that there was a need for concern and to do further research, the good doctor has lost his medical license, his country and his credibility in the eyes of most but certainly not from the autism/vaccine injured community (or anyone who knows the history of vaccines for that matter). The reactions are not surprising, the media will repeatedly use language that is subltly offensive to the vaccine injured such as "despite the fact that Dr. Wakefield has been found to be a fraud, this will not change the minds of parents who swear their children were vaccine injured.." and on and on.. It's exhausting in it's stupidity, lack of research, fake fraud claims and outright lies. For some strange reason as I hear these words repeated by the likes of Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and many others at the Ted Turner owned network of CNN, I was reminded of an experience I had while leaving the theater school I attended in downtown San Francisco during the early 1990s. Frequently, I would find myself on the other end of multiple requests by strangers walking the streets. Homeless asking for money, store shop solicitors asking me to buy and the occasional Jehovah's Witness asking for my repentance. On more then one occasion I was on the receiving end of similar request coming from the Church of Scientology. Being a person that does her best to respect others and not judge, unlike many of my friends who would tell the Scientologist where to put their surveys, I would merely take one, smile and walk away. Out of curiosity I started reading and I found it to be a very strange personality test given out to people who were supposed recruits. First of all there were hundreds of them but one in particular struck me as quite odd, "Do you read maps and dictionaries for fun?" What's wrong with that I thought, because it was and is in fact something I occasionally do. In retrospect I wonder why I automatically leaped to the assumption that there must be something wrong with it. Hind sight being the glorious gift and curse it is I have come up with this, the old tried and true mind control tactic "problem, reaction, solution". This was so ingrained in my psyche to expect something wrong (problem) with me that it was my knee jerk reaction to a question that I had answered in the affirmative. Many of us would secretly hope that while taking a questionnaire such as this, we will answer negative to all and find out we are perfectly normal but with hundreds of questions of varying topics you're bound to come across a few that may reflect your truth. On a larger scale we have an understanding this goes on, i.e. the Kool-Aid drinkers at Jonestown, the Branch Davidians at Waco Texas, the Charles Manson gang but I had never been apart of a cult and yet still I was vulnerable to the subtle suggestion of a survey. I've come to understand since then that there is nothing wrong with me. Certainly I possess human imperfections, weaknesses and flaws but nothing is wrong. So what does any of this have to do with vaccines, autism and/or Andrew Wakefield? Nothing.. but it has everything to do with the way we perceive these things.
As a general rule, I do my best to avoid the mainstream media and I am quite aware of these tactics being used in a much more sophisticated and subtle way on most if not all major networks. However, as an autism parent and Andrew Wakefield supporter I was bombarded with emails, facebook updates and posts pertaining the various public lynching I mentioned earlier. The whole thing enraged me to no end but eventually as I calmed I remembered a quote I had once read, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” Adolf Hilter. These indoctrination techniques, however, are not reserved for adults fooled by their presidential candidate or cult victims. It begins at birth and television is it's most prominent vessel. As we watch the Flintstone's commercial above it maybe shocking even funny to see such an outdated understanding of the dangers of cigarettes and the particular naivety of it being targeted towards children. You might even chuckle at the ridiculousness of it all. Certainly we know better now... Right?