Breaking NLP’s Spell
By David Gosselin
Regardless of how many climate change doomsday stories are debunked, from showing billions of people misleading pictures of a skeletal polar bear hopelessly lurching through iceless lands to reporting about raging Californian wild fires set by radical arsonists, people have been given a story. Regardless of whether or not various natural catastrophes can actually be causally linked to CO2 levels, rather than merely correlatively linked, once we adopt a certain story as our own, the introduction of new information may or may not translate into a newly adapted story. It often doesn’t. Regardless, the story we choose for ourselves serves as a map to help us navigate the world and how we choose to interpret our sense-perceptual experience.
At this point, we should state that this article is not about information, but about stories, and how we frame our stories using information. For, the stories we live our lives by and filter our experience through run much deeper than any amount of information. Information only sinks so deep into the mind. Stories seep into the “deep structures” of our psyche and soul. What’s important here is how we use information to frame ourstory.
In light of that, any class of people seriously looking at how best to control a people knows they requires more than just information. So today we see the World Economic Forum busy unveiling its new “Great Narrative” initiative to help us navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution, since humanity’s previous scripts will be considered “obsolete.” What matters for those wishing to control others is how information can be used to help tell a story that people can feel good about and believe. However, the same information can also be used to present markedly different worldviews, depending on how it is “framed.”
In a previous article, we examined how “Neuro Linguistic Programming” and “Nudge Theory” are being used to craft narratives and stories in such a way that the population’s beliefs and behaviours are being changed without their conscious knowledge. We examined how these psychological techniques work by not only “nudging” people’s automatic processes i.e. unconscious minds, but also carefully steering and guiding these processes. However, the article ended by demonstrating how this “context model” and these “re-framing” techniques only work if a person is not consciously aware that they are being used or how they are being used. Once people understand how the public messaging is structured and are capable of identifying the specific “frames” being given to them to shape their own story, much of the “magic” disappears.
The purpose of this article is to delve further into the nature of the psychological warfare operations being used to “nudge” humanity into a “Great Reset” using among other things a series of “frames.” Future articles will consider what some of the alternatives to today’s “Great Narrative” are and how we can ultimately break out of today’s current frame.
One of the popular great narratives is that the world is on the brink of biblical catastrophes, largely due to CO2 emissions caused by the industrialization of the Western world, and the threat that other continents like Asia, Africa, and South America will also industrialize, achieving the same “unsustainable” standard of living characterized by the West. CO2, an invisible gas which all plant life depends on for sustenance, has been cast as enemy #1.
The impending climate doomsday narrative suggests natural catastrophes of biblical proportion are existential threats that must be acted on by adopting the UN and WEF agendas to radically alter the basis of Western civilization. Those who reject these policies or offer some alternative are, according to this narrative, in opposition to not only the planet, but “Mother Nature” herself. They will bear the brunt and shame for all the future catastrophes and death of yet-unborn children. Those who question the narrative or offer an alternatively more nuanced interpretation are known as “deniers.”
So goes the story.
Even with an initial and very cursory examination of the climate doomsday narrative, we can observe how various “automatic motivations” are triggered using what in “Neuro Linguistic Programming” terms are considered “frames.” For example, were people to be told there have been temperature changes, there will continue to be temperatures changes, and these may have various and diverse effects on the planet and may be the result of a dynamic process which includes changes in solar activity and galactic radiation fluxes as well as localized planetary phenomena, together forming a non-linear complex system in which the introduction of more or less CO2 may or may not result in some linear increase in temperature, the narrative would be emotionally much less compelling, dramatic, and serious—albeit more nuanced.
How an issue is “framed” very much determines which particular faculties of the human mind are triggered, or targeted, whether the slower and more thorough “reflective processes” or the quick, emotional and intuitive “automatic processes.” As we documented in the last article, the social engineers who authored the MindSpace document outlined the essential differences between the automatic unconscious and reflective conscious parts of the mind, and how to craft messages that can as much as possible speak to and steer the unconscious parts without the needed monitoring of conscious processes.
Below we can see the chart from page 14 of the MindSpace introduction section which identifies the different characteristics of the two distinct systems
So let us consider some of the common frames of the climate doomsday narrative and see which processes they tend to quicken.
Today, we’re told “97% of scientists agree.” However, suggesting 97% of scientists agree on certain assumptions is actually not a scientific argument. “97% of scientists” suggests the ideas have been screened by many others and there seems to be no reason to suspect any threat or substantial discrepancies in the underlying research. The statement is expressly designed to appeal to group think i.e. “social proof,” which by its nature doesn’t really require the use of “reflective processes,” only intuitive automatic process.
While having the guise of a scientific statement, it’s in reality quite the opposite. It’s a direct appeal to group think. For, in reality no serious or honest scientist tries to prove that their hypothesis is correct by appealing to group think, suggesting “everyone else believes this, why don’t you?” One could say “97% of scientists agree” is an extremely vague and unqualified statement, since it doesn’t actually state who “the scientists” are, where they’re from etc. In reality the vague use of one single statistic, which is supposed to imply vast amounts of data analysis, a thorough and extended process of scientific debate, and rigorously tested hypotheses and experimental evidence, by design avoids any scientific discussion and reduces the matter to a single number that anyone can easily cite and feel confident about. The single statistic serves as an appeal to group think, authority, and our natural susceptibility to herd mentality—all “automatic processes.”
Individuals who suggest some alternative or more nuanced approach may be necessary are framed as “climate deniers.” Holocaust denial is used as a historical frame of reference, just in case some individuals might not be sure about how to respond or feel in the event someone does express doubt and elicits the use of reflective processes.
The question of action on climate change makes use of another interesting “frame.” This one uses the natural “defaults” of human decision-making i.e. “losses loom larger than gains.” The frame suggests that the risks of not immediately adopting the policies of supranational agencies and private financier-controlled think tanks are just too great: no sane person would take the chance, no healthy sound-of-mind empathetic person would dare take the risk or gamble with the fate of their “loved ones” and the entire human race. Even if it means working with bad people and powerful people who live extremely rich and lavish lifestyles, the threat is too great.
The attempt to take an opposing position to the natural default position becomes naturally uncomfortable. It suggests someone is willing to gamble with their fate, the fate of their family, and humanity’s fate as a whole. Thus, it’s generally easier to “nudge” someone into the desired direction by selecting the proper frame, rather than eliciting a whole host of “reflective processes,” which are by their nature slower, more thorough, and require a lot more information.
Since triggering some of our most basic evolutionary “automatic motivations” for survival requires a very elevated sense of personal threat and danger, the climate change catastrophe frames losses as those of death due to human-induced catastrophes. However, it makes no mention of the yet-to-be potentially sweeping consequences of radically transforming Western civilization, including the potential collapse of industrial society, the absence of basic utilities, lack of energy, transport, connectivity, infrastructure, and food.
Lastly, we are told we have less than 12 years to act to stop an otherwise inevitable global climate meltdown. Here, time becomes a powerful frame of reference. Were we told the temperature may or may not increase or decrease and we may have anywhere from 50-100 years to get a better handle of how to influence global climate processes by greening deserts, forestation, irrigation, fourth generation nuclear power, desalination, reactions would significantly vary, as would the use of automatic processes relative to our reflective processes. How time is framed can elicit very different reactions from people, and also make the steering of automatic motivations either easier or harder, depending on the level of perceived personal threat or danger.
Greta has been framed as the poster-child for a new age of sustainability where the biblical foods and fires are stopped right before it’s too late. The question we should be asking is “who’s framing Greta?”
David B. Gosselin is a poet, translator, and linguist based in Montreal. He is the founder of The Chained Muse poetry website and the founder of the New Lyre Podcast. His new collection of poems is entitled Modern Dreams.
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