By Eva Bartlett
The plan, devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, relied on propaganda techniques like those used during the Afghan war. What on earth is going on in the upper echelons of Ottawa?
High-up elements of the Canadian Forces have been waging psychological operations on the public over Covid-19 to manipulate their emotions and thoughts, and to gauge their reactions. While this is not uncommon around the world, getting caught is.
A new article in Canada’s National Post states that the Canadian Joint Operations Command used “propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war” on the Canadian public.
The Post cites a December 2020 investigation by retired Major-General Daniel Gosselin, who was asked to look into it by then-Chief of the Defence Staff General Jon Vance.
According to the article, the federal government was innocent and not aware of the plan – a claim I find unbelievable, considering the amount of gaslighting and knowingly pointless regulations the government has subjected Canadians to since the start of the pandemic scare.
The plan involved “shaping” and “exploiting” information, the Post noted, to “head off civil disobedience by Canadians” and “bolster government messages about the pandemic.”
Among the stranger aspects was scaring Canadians with stories of a wolf invasion.
This, according to the Post, involved Canadian Forces’ military information operations staff forging a letter from the Nova Scotia government warning about wolves on the loose, in September 2020.
The Post claims the letter’s release was inadvertent, and basically ran with the Canadian Forces’ claim that this was down to a few bad apples, reservists who “lacked formal training and policies governing the use of propaganda techniques.” ALSO ON RT.COMCanadian military saw Covid-19 pandemic as ‘unique opportunity’ to deploy propaganda on own population – report
Canadian journalist Dan Dicks, who was among the first to report on and analyze the wolves story, noted at the time that it was a classic example of a psychological operation.
Dicks has also pointed out what the National Post omitted, highlighting:
“They created a fake letter from the government saying there are dangerous wolves, and they set up loudspeakers in the area, projecting out wolf noises. This isn’t just research, this isn’t just a training exercise, they’re actively engaging in this psychological operation to scare people using loudspeakers.
‘Psyops’, he noted, is a term used “to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people,” and they are “aimed at influencing a target audience’s value system, belief system, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behaviour.”
Canadian journalist James Corbett likewise commented on this at the time, pointing out how a rumour is floated to see how the public reacts:
“This entire coordinated campaign to convince an entire public of a threat that doesn’t exist, in order to test how they will react to that, what will the public respond to and how will they respond? That really speaks volumes to the world we are living in. And you really think they are going to do all of that, but they are never going to use that for any nefarious purposes?”
An article in the Ottawa Citizen noted at the time that Canada’s Department of National Defence claimed: “The fake letter wasn’t meant to be released to the public and an investigation is underway to determine how that happened. The letter was an aid for the propaganda training.”
The department also claimed to not know why the loudspeaker was set up to transmit wolf sounds.
I guess a member of the public who read the letter must have taken it upon themselves to set up the loudspeaker then, hey?
The same Ottawa Citizen article cites Bard College professor Emma Briant, who specializes in researching military propaganda, calling the stunt a “major violation of ethics.”
UK “anti-masker” razor-blade poster hoax
The “shaping” and “exploiting” of information on Covid-19 to gauge and shape the public mood is, of course, not unique to Canada. To give another example, in May 2020, the UK Column obtained a leaked internal document of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) from March 26, 2020, which advised:
“Use the media to increase the sense of personal threat. Use the media to increase the sense of responsibility of others. Use the media to promote positive messaging around actions. Tailor the messaging and use and promote social approval for desired behaviours.”
I recently spoke to UK-based journalist Iain Davis on a variety of issues pertaining to fear porn and media hype around the issue of Covid-19.
What the BBC did not bother investigating was that the poster in question was laminated, thus stiff, and the razor blade stuck flat to the back of it, making it virtually impossible that the woman had actually cut herself.
“When you took it off the wall, it would have been like a card, not a piece of paper you could scrunch up, it would have been a stiff card,” David said.
Nor did the BBC question why she threw away the ‘evidence’ instead of turning it over to the police she had contacted. They didn’t look into her apparent history of outlandish and improbable claims, like being disemboweled and walking to hospital holding her intestines in, nor her admitted history of self-harming, lending credence to the likelihood she staged the sliced-hand photo.
While this story seemingly originated from an unstable individual, it was pushed unquestioningly by British state-owned media.
Further, as Davis noted, the nonsensical razor poster story re-emerged two months later, this time with London transport warning of “anti-mask posters with razor blades.”
In this story, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union cited by the BBC actually said it wasn’t aware of any razor-blade incidents. Yet the BBC ran with the claims nonetheless (using the previous unstable person’s photo to support the claims).
These were not the first razor-blade poster stories, though. In 2020, the BBC and other media ran stories claiming razor blades (and needles) had been put behind anti-5G posters, again not providing any actual evidence to back the claims.
Anti-mask, anti-5G… and ‘razor-blade posters’. Clearly, this looks like another psyop to indoctrinate the public into equating people who have legitimate and science-based concerns about particular issues as being not only bat-s**t crazy, but dangerous, a menace to society.
But these stories are being cooked up in underhand ways by some powerful forces that shouldn’t be engaged in these matters, while the masses actually concerned about these issues are raising their concerns in peaceful manners: petitions, peaceful demonstrations, scientific papers… All that is easily obscured by a few tabloid stories with screaming headlines.
According to Davis, the point is “to seed the idea into the public imagination to associate people that question vaccines with extremism, ultimately with terrorism. There is a lineage going back quite a few years where you can see this narrative being seeded into the public consciousness. It has really ramped up in the last couple of months.”
Indeed, in November 2020, the Ottawa Citizen revealed the Canadian Forces’ desire to “establish a new organization that will use propaganda and other techniques to try to influence the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of Canadians,” noting they’ve already spent over $1 million to “train public affairs officers on behaviour modification techniques of the same sort used by the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica.”
While noting nominal opposition and concern by the defence minister, the Citizen reported that “work is already underway on some aspects of the plan and some techniques have been already tested on the Canadian public,” as well as that “a series of town halls were already conducted last week for a number of military personnel on the strategies contained in the draft plan.”
Dan Dicks, in his commentary on the wolves scare story, aptly opined, “It frustrates me so much that the government is actively trying to silence me as being ‘fake news’ or putting out ‘false information’, when they are actively engaged in propaganda campaigns to distribute false information designed to scare Canadians.”
Indeed, we who speak out on uncomfortable issues are censored, ostracized, and labeled as ‘conspiracy theorists’, while governments are actively spewing misinformation and manipulating the masses.
Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). Follow her on Twitter @EvaKBartlett
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