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Consenting Adults

by on August 16, 2014

                                                               Consenting Adults

                                                                by Marco M. Pardi

 Note: All comments are appreciated, read, and responded to accordingly.  I will certainly look forward to your comments.

“I am fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” George S. McGovern, 1972

Just after the car bomb goes off in the crowded marketplace, just as you ascertain that the sky is up and the earth is down and all your parts are where they belong, the first thing you notice is the shoes, lots of shoes, some in pristine condition.  People have been blown out of them.  And those big balls lying around, too small for soccer balls, oddly shaped and discolored?  Heads.  People have been blown out from under them.  Then the torsos, some intact, some looking as if a thoracic surgical team had left unexpectedly.  Limbs here and there, as if trying to keep on shopping by themselves.  The smell, still tangy with the explosive, but growing thicker with the mist of blood, urine and feces settling into a low and drifting fog.  Last comes sound, as if a natural defense against the moaning, the screams, and the irrational babbling of people wondering if they will be late to the wedding, where they had left the car, and if they had gotten enough materials to make the salad.  The car’s frame, flattened to the ground as if pleading forgiveness.  And, no, that’s not a child’s doll.       

Who does this, you ask.  But you know. You know even if you don’t have the names, the return address on the bomb.  The kid who drove the car, and got strained through the sheetmetal like a haunch of sheep through a meat grinder?  The handler, with the remote detonator in case the sheep froze?  No, and partly.

The argument over Nature vs. Nurture has been ongoing for decades.  More recently, it has been the subject of serious studies at Yale and elsewhere.  First published in the journal Nature, a 2007 study by the Yale Infant Cognition Center claimed clear preferences for good versus bad in children 6 – 10 months old.  Later studies expanded to 19 – 21 month olds, and follow-ups were done with children at age 3 years.  The bulk of the evidence indicates empathy, helpfulness, and consideration for others at these young ages despite what you may have concluded about your sister’s kids.

So, with these studies strongly supporting the idea that most or all kids start out intending to do good things, how do we explain the kids who drive bomb laden cars into market places or wear an explosive vest into a crowded restaurant? How do we explain kids doing bad things? We don’t. We’re asking the wrong question.

We should be asking how the definition of good became so severely canalized that the person so acting on that definition is convinced he or she is doing a good thing.  There is a little understood but commonly used process known in social science and the intelligence community as the “convert syndrome”, not to be confused with the mental process of converting psychologically based issues into physiological effects (Conversion disorder: “worrying yourself sick”).

Apparently centered on puberty, a period in which organic changes collide with a previously taken for granted social valence, the individual who is susceptible to convert syndrome is internally casting about for a renewed anchoring point, a secure alliance offering an assuring self definition.  Individuals wishing to use this to advantage are schooled and accomplished in preying on youth in this vulnerable time in their lives.

Where might we look for examples of this process and how it works?  Two sources leap to mind: 1. The longest running and most profitable scam in human history – organized religion; and, 2.  the many examples of youth centered para-military/political organizations. 

Some years ago I lived in a rural part of Central Florida.  A significant part of the population with whom I was familiar seemed to feel their stay in Purgatory was made more palatable by excessive drinking and/or enthusiastic group sex parties.  So it was no surprise that area churches hosted periodic revival marathons – “…until EVER BODY comes to JEEESUS.”  Uninterested in the drinking and sex parties, I determined to examine the “good old fashioned revivals.” (Note: Attendance at these functions for observational purposes can be extremely risky.  A hint that you are not fully there in spirit can earn you a very spirited – and physical confrontation in the parking lot.)

I entered what would be considered a mainstream church with a couple of student volunteers from the college, aware that I was recognized by the minister and his retinue.   Perhaps hoping to land his Moby Dick,  the minister opened with a treacly homage to his lovely wife, sitting on display at the piano, assuring us that his faith must be true for no woman of such beauty and grace could love him as she did otherwise.  Logic101. 

He then asked that the “young adults” in the room move to a front and center location, thus isolated from their families but within easy reach of the “youth ministers” (handlers) stationed along three sides of the resulting square.

Typical verbiage flowed on the perils and foibles of youth, the growing desires, the uncertainties and insecurities.  The handlers “witnessed” their previous fallen and hopeless state, lapsing into feigned ecstatic states in synch with the structured cadence of the presentations and miraculously emerging back into focused consciousness on cue.  Then came The Closer.

The minister asked the gathered to all close their eyes and bow their heads, a position of extreme vulnerability and trust, while he invoked (summoned?) the presence of the spirit.  After a histrionic pause, he asked, particularly of the youth group, that all those who wish to be prayed for raise their hands (while holding the head down, eyes closed position).  Of course, I peeked.  In fact, I peered…..all around.  A couple of worn looking adults had their hands raised, but none of the youth.  Unaffected, the minister moved to the squared in youth group and began saying, “I see you, brother.  I see you sister. Yes, in Jesus name we’ll pray with you.” He repeated this several times.

As previously mentioned, the youth group was isolated as a unit.  Being front and center before the minister, his wife, and an assistant minister who were all on an elevated stage (authority) before them, they dared not break the head down, eyes closed pose required of them.  As the minister carried on with false assurances that their peers had raised their hands, individual kids did indeed start raising their hands.  They dared not reject an adult in authority and they dared not get singled out as different from their peers.

As each hand went up a handler rushed to the young person’s side, hugging them, exhorting them to release themselves and accept Jesus.  Tears flowed, some kids fell back in their pews, adults around the room threw up their arms and praised Jesus.  The atmosphere of babbling and crying youngsters resembled a Red Chinese self-recrimination hearing.  

These scenes, played out nightly for two weeks at a stretch at the several different church revivals I attended were carried out with the precision choreography of a  trại học tập cải tạo,  a Vietnamese re-education camp.  I could not doubt that this was a critical part of “Bible college” curriculum for ministers in training.  I can imagine the outcome had one of these preachers yelled, “There’s someone here who rejects Jesus!”  It should also be said these same tactics are used whether in Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.

Which brings us to Number 2.  There have been several examples of officially sanctioned strident para-military/political youth groups.  In recent history we see Mussolini’s Sons of the Wolf, the reputed inspiration for Nazi Germany’s Jugend Korps, later known as Hitler Youth. Closer to home, there was the Republican Party group called Young Americans for Freedom, “freedom” perhaps being more facile for the phonetically challenged than, say, Young Americans for Personal Autonomy.  In the 1960’s the Party rallied the pubescent crowd, precisely the most susceptible to convert syndrome,  to wear a uniform of straw hats, white shirts, etc., stuff campaign envelopes for candidates, make endorsement phone calls, go door to door in their neighborhoods, and turn out en masse, with hysterical cheering, at any event likely to be in the television spotlight.  The irony was they were too young to vote for “their” candidate.  And, the likelihood they had even the slightest idea of pertinent issues was practically nil. They were child laborers, recruited, organized, directed and supported by adult handlers who knew that the “connected” among them would gain military Draft immunity (read here: almost the entire Neo-Con cabal in the Reagan, G.H.W. Bush and G. W. Bush administrations) while the rest of the males would be shipped to the Viet-Nam abattoir.    

What exactly are the tactics for radicalization employed by the handlers?  Analyses within the intelligence community have uncovered a systematic process captured in the acronym TORA,  Transgression,  Organization,  Recruitment,  Action.  A full discussion of this can be found at: http://www.changingminds.org

Transgression must be perceived.  The target audience is continually inundated with handler approved and/or controlled media portraying the actual or purported “evil deeds” of “those people” (insert group du jour here).  In the United States XXX XXXX* is the amazingly blatant and shining example of such an organ.  XXX has mastered the art of conflating transgressions to maximize the likelihood of a “hit” on the emotional bulls eye of the young viewer, creating false syllogisms with abandon; Democrats are “soft” on Islam, therefore Democrats hate Jesus and want to install “Islamo-Fascism” in the U.S.  Democrats believe in climate change, so Democrats want to bring in a United Nations based World Government.  The list seems endless, but XXX is undaunted.

* The media company noted above actively seeks out critical bloggers and attempts to silence them by any means. However, readers with an I.Q. exceeding 90 can easily identify it.

Organization requires funding.  There must be a dedicated physical venue and funding for flyers and other means of attracting the target audience to the venue.  For example, churches often develop “youth centers”, along with fliers distributed in the church and through youth oriented and agreeing businesses.  Some organizations, like Campus Crusade for Christ and various Young Republican fronts, have been quite successful at infiltrating schools.  Bottom line: Carwashes and bake sales notwithstanding, these funds come from the top down, not the bottom up.

Organization also requires hierarchy.  A cadre of dedicated individuals is identified and imbued with prestigious titles and duties, solidifying their loyalty.  Initiates into the organization are encouraged to view these cadre members as role models for their own eventual success.

Recruitment depends for its success on a centralized, cohesive and carefully structured message.  This cannot be left haphazard to the volatile and transient focus of individual members.  Like organization, a successful message comes from top down.  And, recruitment messages rely heavily on stereotypes, lack of context, and outright falsehoods.  Again, these are top down messages, crafted by experts, not young people searching for answers.

Action is, in the minds of puppet masters and puppets alike, ultimate proof of worth.  Particularly during a life period in which self worth is being examined and often doubted, and peer pressure and authentication from perceived superiors is paramount, the convert is primed and ready for any opportunity to prove worthiness.  Of significant interest here is the interplay of self doubt with willingness to gain approval.  The self doubt inclines the convert to seek, often unquestioningly, direction from the authority figure(s).  The crafted directions thus proceed from the primer, “You may not yet see the value or the appropriateness of what we ask, but we do.”  The “yet” implies post action enlightenment and thereby elevation to the rarified ranks of “those in the know.”  This is not self direction; it is the carefully plotted design handed down from higher authority to foot soldiers, fundamentally grounded in the principle that “the end justifies the means” even if you do not yet see it.  The action of detonating oneself in a crowd, obviously suicide which is forbidden, is then not really suicide but a strike against the enemy for the ultimate good of the group; it is an act of martyrdom just as Western people praise their soldiers who “died for their country.”

Attacks on abortion providers, enlistment into an army with no true understanding of the “enemy”, exhaustive work on behalf of a political candidate who has anything but your interests in mind, and a myriad of other objectively heinous or questionable acts are not the actions of a baby “born to be bad.”  They are the successful completion of a process devised, crafted, and set in motion by a cabal of consenting adults.      

“If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.” Henry David Thoreau (1817 -1862) “Economy,” Walden; or Life in the Woods. 1854

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13 Comments
  1. Ray Rivers permalink

    Good column and so right on point.

  2. Thank you, Ray. Your analysis is quite meaningful to me. Marco

  3. Gary permalink

    Excellent post, Marco. It reminded me of a brief similar experience I had with a mind-control, group manipulation movement called EST.

  4. This has been, as usual, an excellent post. I learn something new each time I read it.

    The first part was so minutely detailed as to make me believe that this was not something created, but rather something which you have experienced. Most of us cannot even imagine such a thing, at least not in such detail, and for that we should all be grateful.

    There are so many ways in which people may be manipulated, and not just young people. The disenfranchised of this world exist in all age and socio-economic brackets; it’s just that the young among us make easier targets.

    I have attended a revival or two in my impressionable youth, and I have to agree totally with your assessment of their methods. I have nothing against religion for those who choose it, but this smacks of mind control, pure and simple. When someone tells me to close my eyes, you can count on them staying wide open.

    • Thank you, Rose. Life has had its interesting moments. I agree that mind control knows no boundaries. Those of us, like you, who see it, see it every day in our media.

      • Dana permalink

        Marco, I visited this blog a number of times last night, and here I am once again. It is difficult to contribute comments that illustrate my thoughts. Mind control indeed knows no boundaries. I have avoided a wide variety of its insidious forms for many years.

        Might you agree that the ones in “control” are inclined to prey upon those perceived as “weak?” We could insert any number of circumstances here. It is unfortunate to think that self-preservation or basic survival might sometimes result in ceasing to think for oneself. It happens, even if not altogether.

        My aim is to continue learning how to think – never succumbing to “what to think.” How fortunate I am to have your guidance.

      • Thank you, Dana. I well remember your first analytical class paper that had me secretly saying, “OMG! I hope she never takes a critical look at me!!” You are a stellar example of the failure of mind control advocates to realize there are truly brilliant people watching them. I really do hope that one day you will exercise your wisdom in a broader venue. We will all benefit from it. Marco

      • Dana permalink

        Thank you, Marco. Since the critical analysis essay, I still want to look around, thinking you must have meant someone else.

        Coming from the most brilliant human being I have ever known (and I regard that as a privilege and a gift), I am humbled by your words.

  5. Gregg permalink

    It seems fitting that I read this shortly after picking up a copy of Zinn’s Terrorism and War at a book store. The deliberateness that goes into these religious youth movements is sickening and should fall under the laws that attempt to protect minors from exploitation.

    • Thanks, Gregg. I entirely agree. One of the classic books on this subject is Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer. Probably banned in many school districts. Marco

  6. Years ago i was afraid that one of my daughters was being mind controlled (and brain-washed) not by an organization, but an individual. In essence it comes down to the same thing , i guess, but of course the quantity is what gives power and power is the very reason why it is a method so widely used in all countries and especially on the young and malleable. Shame on them. Taking advantage of the young…it is truly nauseating .

    • FOAL, Your comment about your daughter being in the past tense gladdens me that it did not work on her. I think even parenting, for many, is a form of mind control if not done with true principles. Marco

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