Updated: 6 days ago
I've always been a huge fan of Derren Brown, the UK mentalist who entered the world stage some 20 years ago. Impeccably British, witty, energetic with a charismatic stare few can emulate, he made magic and mentalism hip probably before the term was invented.
Back in those days I had to plan in advance to be at home to watch it, but it was always worth my time. There are many illusions that stand out, but my favorite one was where he walked up to three beautiful but haughty supermodels in a club, sat at their table, looked each of them in the eye, asked them to think about their favorite pick-up line, and then quote it back at them verbatim. The girls flustered and giddy reactions where absolutely priceless, giving the term ‘jaw-dropping’ a new dimension. Imagine having those superpowers! But perhaps that reflection says a little bit more about me than about Derren.
On another episode he chose to reveal how he was able to get his live audience to think about one object, for example a pink elephant, and then draw it for them. Again, the audience was left incredulous once he correctly unveiled his drawing. How could this man read their minds? Afterwards he explained to the tv audience that knowing how each member of the audience would travel to the theater, he staged along the journey all sorts of subliminal stimuli to influence their subconsciousness, using images, text, and colors. In case of this example, all to do with a pink elephant. I might get a few details wrong, but the gist is clear.
Derren, like most of us, of course can't read minds, but using a variety of known techniques like hypnoses, neuro linguistic programming and psychology he masters behavioral science like few can. Now, when these techniques are used for our entertainment no harm is done, but what happens if they are used by people who do not have your best interest at heart? In fact, what if it is not happenstance people, but your own government that uses these tools against you?
The psychological toll the covid pandemic has taken on society is well documented. Two years of unprecedented authoritarian emergency measures impacted our daily lives, leaving in its wake millions of citizens in a horrendous mental state. Responsible for it were draconian restrictions of freedom of movement, mandatory masking, traumatizing lockdowns, prevention of socializing in manners humans were evolved for, closing of schools, and isolation of young adults. All measures destroying social cohesion and businesses alike.
Confronted with the SARS-COV-2 induced global health crisis, one would think societies and people closed ranks against a common threat. The opposite is true. The world divided in two uneven camps of angry tribes; those listening to the establishment and more independent thinkers who started doing their own due diligence early in the crisis. These opposing world views tore up families, friendships, pitted colleagues against another and left respected careers ruined. God forbid all of it was preventable.
This strife between those who belief the establishment narrative and those seeking truth independently is one that has preoccupied me almost from the start of this new reality we live in. How can people hold such opposing views, with such ardor and an unwillingness to contemplate alternative interpretations of what should have been a common experience? Was it human nature cracking under stress, or was something else going on?
In the book "STATE OF FEAR - How the UK government weaponized fear during the Covid-19 pandemic", author Laura Dodsworth writes about her research how the UK Government used the Science of Psychology to massage its citizens into a form of mass psychosis. The opening page of the book should give anyone pause:
In what The European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling calls 'an essential read', Dodsworth reveals how during the Covid crisis behavioral scientists introduced ways to increase peoples sense of ‘personal threat’, with the explicit goal to scare them into submission.
Leaked messages from Matt Hancock, the former UK Health Secretary going back to 2020, confirm exposes tactics to terrify citizens with "fear & guilt" and force lockdown compliance and "scare the pants off everyone”.
Surely, terrifying one's citizens into submission not tactics one expects in free and open civilizations. It's a naive position to hold perhaps, but I am of the opinion that mass-manipulation of a people should not be tolerated in democracies. Nor, I believe, should behavioral "scientists" have such prominent positions of power in liberal societies.
I urge everyone, who truly beliefs our governments where trying to manage a deadly pandemic and acting in our best interests, to read this book. The details of duplicity in it are shocking. In a further review of State of Fear Lord Sumption, British author, medieval historian and former senior Supreme Court judge, concludes that '[t]he use of fear as a tool of political management is a major challenge to democracy which every one should reflect upon, whatever their view about lockdowns and Covid-19.’
The retired Supreme Court judge makes three points that seem so self-evident that one risks, contrary to his encouragement, not to reflect on that very problem, so let me try to help you:
Use of fear
Tool of political management
Major challenge to democracy
Indeed, regardless of your stance on corona this has to be cause for concern. Historically speaking, non of this is new of course. One of the best examples of government manipulation is Joseph Goebbels and his much quoted answer to the question as to how on earth Nazi Germany could get its people to behave as they had: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for The State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of The State.”
"It thus becomes vitally important for The State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of The State.”
Writing about the principles of propaganda based upon Goebbels' insights, historians Jowett & O'Donnell extracted 5 essential tools in their book "Propaganda and Persuasion":
Avoid abstract ideas - appeal to the emotions.
Constantly repeat just a few ideas. Use stereotyped phrases.
Give only one side of the argument.
Continuously criticize your opponents.
Pick out one special "enemy" for special vilification
Sound familiar? Is the concept of 'democratic illusion' starting to set in?
Now, there are those that would argue governments, in times of trouble, need to be able to stir their people in a desired direction if that helps them in managing a crisis. Fair enough. Or is it? Please allow me, as founder, chairman, social-media-person and overall philosopher of the World Alliance of Independent Thinkers, to answer: No, of course not!
In the recently published book The Psychology of Totalitarianism, 'world-renowned Professor of Clinical Psychology Mattias Desmet deconstructs the societal conditions that allow [..] collective psychosis to take hold. By looking at our current situation and identifying the phenomenon of “mass formation”―a type of collective hypnosis―he clearly illustrates how close we are to surrendering to totalitarian regimes.'
Desmet, leaning on Hannah Arendt’s insightful work on totalitarianism, offers a sharp critique of the cultural “groupthink”, one he determines existed prior to the pandemic and was eagerly advanced during the COVID crisis. This groupthink, in my opinion, is social-engineered. It is dangerous stuff, and it's the very reason the professor warns about how close we are to losing our western freedoms to it.
If democracy is a form of government for and by the people, we need to have functioning checks and balances in place. There is no such thing as a little bit of democracy. There is only a little bit of authoritarianism. But how much of it could we tolerate, if at all? When government uses secret manipulative means to achieve an end it would otherwise not achieve, then by that very definition we'd be looking at a failed democracy, would we not? I welcome all well formed arguments to the contrary.
Democracy is a complex construct, so let's introduce a definition:
democracy noun us / dɪˈmɑː.krə.si / uk / dɪˈmɒk.rə.si / B2 [ U ] the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves: The government has promised to uphold the principles of democracy.
DEMOCRACY | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary (emphasis and italics mine)
Principles of democracy, now there's a thought. The Cambridge Dictionary does not say 'government has promised to uphold the illusions of democracy.' So, principles matter and I have written about the importance of it in my last blog post. Of course democracy is a very complex organism and we are not helped by oversimplifying positions. But without us understanding its ideal, and then not working diligently to uphold it, or worse, to lose side of it, means we will inevitably slide towards less free societies.
So how to move forward? I predict that the rest of 2022, and probably the next couple of years, there's a verb you are going to hear a lot in all its forms; trust, trusted, trusting, trusts. You get the idea. Government and non-government establishment representatives are all going to call upon your trust. In them. Personally, my 'trust rubicon' had been crossed the moment all western governments started chiming 'new normal', 'new normal', 'new normal' in perfect harmony in early 2020, but let's humor the thought.
I don't know about you, but if I catch a friend of mine conniving behind my back for me to do something against my will, against my interest but in his favor, our friendship and trust would be over the second I found out. In her book, Laura Dodsworth shares her personal rubicon; a digital health status ID: “There’s a feeling after a year of restrictions that people will do anything to ‘get back to normal’. But declaring your health status to use businesses and services has never been normal. The introduction of a health status ID to access products and services will cross a rubicon.” Does she have a point?
"The introduction of a health status ID to access products and services will cross a rubicon.”
― Laura Dodsworth, A State of Fear: How the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic
Are you familiar with eIDAS (Electronic Identities And Trust Services), and its role in "shaping Europes future"? As denoted on the official website of the European Union, citing the 'European Council Conclusions', they talk about '[a] secure digital identity for all. One we all trust. Building trust in the online environment is essential for a successful transition to a digital society. The site continues to say that "[w]ithout trust, citizens and businesses are reluctant to engage in digital transactions.' Right. Got it.
To drive the point home, this page about Shaping Europe’s digital future continues: 'Electronic identification (eID) and electronic trust services, such as electronic signatures, are key enablers helping European citizens to manage their digital identities. They act as trust builders by providing certainty on the parties interacting electrronically.' (Typo is theirs, italics mine)
Hammering the nail once and for all, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, was heralding the European e-identity agenda in 2021:
"The Commission will soon propose a secure European e-identity. One that we trust and that any citizen can use anywhere in Europe to do anything from paying your taxes to renting a bicycle. A technology where we can control ourselves what data and how data is used
Trust, now that the conspiracy theory about a future mandatory digital health pass is true after all? But should we really worry, now that we don't need these draconian measures since that the pandemic is over, right? It's not over at all, not in the political sense. In February 2022, when due to Omicron this pandemic become so endemic even our most invested representatives couldn't deny it any longer, the EU Digital COVID Certificate was extended until 30 June 2023. In the meantime Dutch liberal ruling party VVD already proudly alludes to a future, as far out as 2025, where childcare centers will be mandated to refuse unvaccinated children, as soon as our government's self-proclaimed vaccination threshold would not be met. You read that right:
Whereas I cannot recall having been able to cast my vote against a digital eID, it appears to becoming a fact of life fast, and there is great reason for concern. Harvard scientist Elizabeth Renieris is a prolific critic about the push towards an eID society, calling it "more than dystopian". As quoted by Dutch investigative journal Follow The Money (FTM), she compares the current Covid crisis to the attack on the Twin Towers, lamenting 'a tragedy that was seized upon to implement far-reaching measures'. Renieris continues: "If 9/11 brought us into an era of mass surveillance, the pandemic has the potential to bring about an ID scramble, the introduction of the era of ubiquitous identification and the end of anonymity."
But come on, even with the books mentioned above, surely we should be able to still have faith in our elected leaders? Can't all of the scheming to push citizens into submission have been unavoidable due to the onset of unparalleled circumstances, and for our own good? Let's consider Italian Prime Minister Draghi gleefully announcing in February of this year that “The unvaccinated are not part of our society” and with the stroke of his pen, 500'000 citizens where left without job and income. Or, how about French President Emmanuel Macron boasting he wouldn't stop 'emmerder' all those opposing vaccination passports and other invasive Covid measures, "until the very end". Even contemplating the unthinkable, removing french citizenship. Not enough for you?
Or, how about French President Emmanuel Macron boasting he wouldn't stop 'emmerder' all those opposing vaccination passports and other invasive Covid measures, "until the very end".
Here in the Netherlands our ex-minister of health announced on tv he had all the zip codes available of the unvaccinated, stating menacingly "I know where they live". The threat was so forceful that my daughter of 11 at the time had nightmares of the police forcing their way into our home and jabbing her not once, but twice! But she wasn't alone to feel threatened; no fewer than 69,019 people filed a police report against Hugo de Jonge, making it the largest complaint in Dutch history against one person! The complained, filed on January 10th of 2022, has (at the time of this writing) yet to be officially recognized and processed by the Dutch legal system. In the meantime, and by way of thanks, the new Dutch government rewarded de Jonge with a different Ministerial post in a different department. How's that for a working democracy?
But she wasn't alone to feel threatened; no fewer than 69,019 people filed a police report against Hugo de Jonge, making it the largest complaint in Dutch history against one person!
So now that we have an idea who our people's representatives are and how little it takes for them to turn into veritable little dictators, let's see what their digital plan could look like. In 2019, pre-COVID, Price Waterhouse Cooper developed the concept to its core for the Swiss. Given what we know now, it makes me shudder:
Do you see how in 'health' your vaccination record is neatly stored? But COVID restrictions are almost all lifted right? Look further, do you see in 'banking' the credit score category? What about 'government' storing your e-voting records? If you don't, please look again. It's important. Have you ever googled Social Credit System? This is the technology currently used in China to control everything and everyone. Am I jumping the gun when I say another conspiracy is poised to bite the dust by moving from theory into reality?
Am I jumping the gun when I say another conspiracy is poised to bite the dust by moving from theory into reality?
Yes, I understand, throwing in China is probably a bridge too far, correct? After all, even with everything I've written so far, we do live in the west, and we have a liberal culture and anti-dictatorial outlook on life. Perhaps all of this is too bleak and cynical. A social credit system probably couldn't be enforced here. Or, could it? Well, in moments like these there is always a good Maya Angelou quote to fall back on:
Al right, let's see if we can find something that would be alarming. For example, would you trust your money directly in the hands of your government? Enter the fairly unknown Bank for International Settlements (BIS). This bank came into existence to support central banks' pursuit of monetary and financial stability through international cooperation, and to act as a bank for central banks. In other words, it's the top dog of all banks. As it so happens, there is a global initiative from the central banks to persuade citizens to use Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) above other cryptocurrencies.
CBDCs are digital tokens, similar to cryptocurrency. According to the financial website Investopia 'it's important to understand what these are and what they mean to society, because many countries are researching ways to transition to digital currencies, and some have even implemented them into their financial systems. Technology has allowed governments and financial institutions to move from physical fiat money to a credit-based fiat model, in which balances and transactions are recorded digitally.' Ok, sounds interesting.
But before coming to conclusions, let's consider Agustín Carstens words on CBDCs and, more importantly, control. He is General Manager of BIS, so no small fish (pun intended):
Carstens' key takeaway in favor of Central Bank Digital Currency vs cash:
We will have absolute Control
Will have Technology to enforce that
Thank you for being blunt about it.
The problem is indeed trust, as our elected and unelected representatives are all too fond to remind us. Trust is a transactional value and therein lies the rub. You can't force trust into someone, you earn it. The amount of aggression against critical citizens acting on their constitutional rights of freedom of speech, bodily integrity, informed consent and the number of broken promises left to us by the corona crisis is painful and disconcerting to read: Mask mandates, QR systems, social distancing, exclusions, manipulations and suppressing data on mRNA shot safety, and of course censorship of a kind only seen in countries such as Russia, the Middle-East and the previously mentioned China.
Actually, the amount of corruption revealed since the start of this turmoil is of such enormity most people simply turn away. Contemplating the shear evil it would take if all of this was planned is too much for most people to take in. And who can blame them? The latest obfuscation efforts was revealed when a federal judge in Texas ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make public the data it relied on to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. A task the FDA had hoped to complete only by the year 2076. Fortunately for us, the Texan judge did not relent and so we now have documentation detailing 1,291 adverse side effects they were trying to hide. Again, you read that right.
These effects are starting to show up in the real world, be it reluctantly. Due to censorship measures the following revelation about Jaw-Dropping Rise in Malignancies, Miscarriages, Stillbirths shared by Dr. Mercola on March 19th of 2022 is now difficult to be confirmed: "Three Department of Defense whistleblowers have come forward after datamining their health database, which is one of the best in the US. What they reveal is mind-blowing - surges from 248% and up to 1,000% when comparing 2021 data after the COVID jab roll out to 2015-2020." By all means, remain skeptical at your ow peril.
Due to censorship measures the following revelation about Jaw-Dropping Rise in Malignancies, Miscarriages, Stillbirths shared by Dr. Mercola on March 19th of 2022 is now difficult to be confirmed:
So the same people who are actively working to suppress information that contradicts their concocted narratives, are asking our trust with our most treasured data, be it on our health and private matters, will soon want full control over our finances. To quote from the FTM article one more time, Paul Oude Luttighuis, a Dutch Architecture of Business & Information professional, warns us in no uncertain terms. ‘Blockchain is a Trojan horse. It pretends to be a convenient tool for our needs, often based on fear and distrust, but from the inside, it eats the life out of a democracy and the constitutional state."
‘Blockchain is a Trojan horse. It pretends to be a convenient tool for our needs, often based on fear and distrust, but from the inside, it eats the life out of a democracy and the constitutional state."
So, consider yourself warned. I know I am.
As we've seen, democracy by its very definition of 'the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief', has to be magical. Our belief in its promise is what makes it so. The willingness to belief in its ideals, to partake in the show so to speak, is necessary to make it a success. So when Derren Brown decided to share with us one of his methods of illusions, he committed something of a cardinal sin. He must have known. Magic can only be so if you are left in wonderment and, if you possess Brown's talent, even bafflement. But once an illusion is revealed, the only magic left disappears in an imagined smoke of poof.
In political terms, I consider Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and I apologize in advance to Derren, something of his equivalent, although he is much more clown than magician. When Trudeau ordered a state of emergency against peaceful, dancing, singing and chanting Canadians exercising their lawful right to demonstrate, and then involving financial institutions to start freezing bank accounts belonging to protesters involved in the blockades, and even those who only donated to the cause, without participating in it (a move celebrated by all his Western political friends), surely he removed the last illusion of democracy once and for all.
So where does this leave us?
When reading the reflections of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America a desire is revealed to build a country based upon a previously unheard of system; by the people, for the people. A remarkable concept, certainly in the context of the political realities of those times. These visionaries chose to introduce something citizens could behold in wonderment and believe in, a revolutionary pact that would usher in what came to be known as the American Dream.
These visionaries chose to introduce something citizens could behold in wonderment and believe in, a revolutionary system that would usher in what came to be known as the American Dream.
This dream has now lasted some 246 years, and many would argue it may have turned into a rather nasty one, if not outright nightmarish. I for one would certainly not go that far, on the contrary. The US offered the world a form of government the West needs more of, not less. But it is obvious even the United States are going through their own democratic issues. In fact, it appears Florida and Texas are the the only states that strive to truly hold onto the initial ideals envisioned by their Founding Fathers. I see it as a testament to its strength, not its weakness.
The understanding of the fragility of that idealistic form of government is not new of course. The most telling example revealed itself just 11 years after the US kickstarted their independence, when in 1787 Elizabeth Willing Powel asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin, then governor of Pennsylvania, if they had a republic or a monarchy. The ominous and famous answer was "a republic, if you can keep it".
This short prophetic answer belies the wisdom it entails, namely the necessity to actively work to protect the delicate balance of democratic values that the young country was striving for. Or any democracy for that matter. Freedom and democracy go hand in hand. It's the balancing act between them that determines how liberal our democratic societies truly are. That this is difficult to achieve, and even more difficult to protect, is the very nature of its promise. This reality is the reason why the World Alliance of Independent Thinker's Declaration of Sovereignty opens with the following statement;
The US Declaration of Independence written in 1776 is a stark reminder that the history of men is one of constant battle for the freedom of the many versus the power of the few, and it is the responsibility of the able to protect this brittle balance of power at all costs, and to recognize and declare when the DEMOCRATIC IDEALS upon which our WESTERN SOCIETIES are built become strained to the point of breaking.
Amen to that.
Undeniably, the accelerated global developments ushered in by the pandemic of 2020 is moving our Western societies towards a new political system of despotic governance fast, away from national self-government. As so pointedly described by Iain Davis's article on Technocracy, this 'emerging international order will be founded upon a global multipolar system of sovereign states and international law'. By its own definition, this new reality requires citizens and Small and Medium Enterprises to take a democratic step back, leaving us subservient to this new 'Eurasian economic and technological power-block.'
As an ultimate juxtaposition and insult to the humanity revealed by the Founding Fathers, these new technocratic "leaders' pursue a dystopian future of transhumanism that is difficult to comprehend for those of us with souls. However, rather than focussing on these real dangers to our liberal way of life and the foreshadowed human dissolution, we choose to see it as a tremendous opportunity to improve our outdated social contract. If this new world order wants to rule on the basis of international law, they can have it. But, to avoid falling further behind in the political process we first need to strengthen our legal position under it.
But, to avoid falling further behind in the political process we first need to strengthen our legal position under it.
All progress begins with an ideal, and ours is a society in which people are treated first as human beings and then as citizens, and it should be firmly translated into our constitutions and treaties. Taking a page out of modern leadership books, that one should never let a good crisis go to waste, the World Alliance of Independent Thinkers proposes that now is the time to build on John Adams's revolutionary ideal of a "government of laws, not of men," and strive to become "peoples of laws, not of governments."
WAIT argues that the most efficient and symbolic manner to strengthen our position under international law is found within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), specifically in article 29, paragraph 3. In it, the United Nations (UN) claims the right to suspend or remove any individuals right or freedoms that is contrary to their proclaimed purposes and principles. And, more importantly, no due process of law exists to check this power.
This is dreadful news, given that stakeholder capitalism is very much evolving under the structures of the United Nations. In fact, the new international pandemic treaty, introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO, part of the UN family) as we speak, is a direct threat to a nation’s sovereignty to make decisions for itself and its citizens. Not only will this treaty empower the WHO to enforce COVID shots and vaccine passports globally, it would allow them to dictate all health care policy worldwide. Just. like. that.
In moral and political philosophical sense, especially according to the esteemed medieval theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, all such laws would contradict natural law, an age old dilemma already discussed by the great greeks thinkers, and also referenced in the US Declaration of Independence. Surely, the Dominican scholar would have typified the UN's unilateral dominion over human rights and the WHO's power-grab as "Lex iniusta non est lex" (an unjust law is no law at all), hence should be considered "null and void".
Thus it appears we have a moral obligation to rectify this unacceptable flaw in one of the West's most acclaimed documents, and I believe we can use some guidance:
In Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation
(Opening statement of the Declaration of Independence, underscore mine)
The World Alliance of Independent Thinkers would argue we are suffering a similar situation as the budding US expressed in the late 1770's, and inspired by their historic document, we have written the aforementioned Declaration of Sovereignty. Global citizens, by signing this document, can symbolically at first but no less boldly, proclaim their desire to be held as equal participants in society under natural law as well as in the rule of law, with certain inalienable rights in relation to their governments and international bodies.
Our goal is to reach a critical mass of millions of people and to develop into an independent collective fit for these complex challenges of a hyper-digitized 21st century. Using strength in numbers, we shall introduce legal and philosophical arguments in order to upgrade outdated democratic constitutions and treaties. At the moment of this writing ours is by no means an Alliance in numbers great enough to be able to fulfill this ambition. Digitization however, while fraught with dangers, does allow citizens to organize globally in unison, efficiently and exponentially. Let's use this opportunity while we still have open access to the internet.
If we can find a way to join under its promise of a better future, I have no doubt we shall be able to keep what is good and improve what we can of our liberal social contracts, benefitting societies across the board. And that, as we write at the end in our Declaration, ‘We the People’, through our Unifying Ideal of a society build on the shared sovereignty of our individual humanity, firmly reflected in our constitutions and international treaties, can truly fulfill our envisioned Potential, and together Protect and Strengthen our fragile democracies in our common pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness.'