Social Engineering PDF  | Print |  E-mail

....Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. George Orwell - Politics and the English Language

Social Engineering, Language and Propaganda

Definition - Social engineering:

  • A discipline in political science that refers to efforts to influence popular attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale, whether by governments or private groups. In the political arena, the counterpart of social engineering is political engineering.
  • The act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information, rather than by breaking in or using technical cracking techniques; essentially a fancier, more technical way of lying. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access. All social engineering techniques are based on specific attributes of human decision-making known as cognitive biases These biases, sometimes called "bugs in the human hardware," are exploited in various combinations to create attack techniques

WARNING!!

THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE COULD POTENTIALY LEAD YOU TO MONTHS, IF NOT YEARS OF RESEARCH.

 

Social Engineering Archive

Manipulation of Language for Social Engineering

 

 History

Before one can engage in social engineering, one must have reliable information about the society that is to be engineered, and one must have effective tools to carry out the engineering. Both of these only became available relatively recently - roughly within the past one hundred years. The development of social science made it possible to gather and analyze information about social attitudes and trends, which is necessary in order to judge the initial state of society before an engineering attempt and the success or failure of that attempt after it has been implemented. At the same time, the development of modern communications technology and the media provided the tools through which social engineering could be carried out.

While social engineering can be carried out by any organization - whether large or small, public or private - the most comprehensive (and often the most effective) campaigns of social engineering are those initiated by powerful central governments.

Extremely intensive social engineering campaigns occurred in countries with authoritarian governments. In the 1920s, the government of the Soviet Union embarked on a campaign to fundamentally alter the behavior and ideals of Soviet citizens, to replace the old social frameworks of Tsarist Russia with a new Soviet culture, to create the New Soviet man. The Soviets used newspapers, books, film, mass relocations, and even architectural design tactics to serve as "social condenser" and change personal values and private relationships. Similar examples are the Chinese "Great Leap Forward" and "Cultural Revolution" program and the Khmer Rouge's plan of deurbanization of Cambodia. In Singapore, the government's housing policies attempt to promote a mix of all races within each subsidized housing district in order to foster social cohesion and national loyalty while providing the citizens with affordable housing.

Non-authoritarian regimes tend to rely on more sustained social engineering campaigns that create more gradual, but ultimately as far-reaching, change. Examples include the "War on Drugs" in the United States, the increasing reach of intellectual property rights and copyright, and the promotion of elections as a political tool. The campaign for promoting elections, which is by far the most successful of the three examples, has been in place for over two centuries. Social theorists of the Frankfurt School in Weimar Germany like Theodor Adorno had also observed the new phenomenon of mass culture and commented on its new manipulative power, when the rise of the Nazis drove them out of the country around 1930 (many of them became connected with the Institute for Social Research in the United States). The Nazis themselves were no strangers to the idea of influencing political attitudes and re-defining personal relationships. The Nazi propaganda machine under Joseph Goebbels was a synchronized, sophisticated and effective tool for creating public opinion.

In a similar vein the Greek military junta of 1967-1974 attempted to steer Greek public opinion not only by propaganda but also by inventing new words and slogans such as: palaiokommatismos (translated as old-partyism), Ellas Ellinon Christianon translated as: Greece of Christian Greeks, Ethnosotirios Epanastasis translated as Nation-saving Revolution meaning coup d'état etc.

Social engineering can be used as a means to achieve a wide variety of different results, as illustrated by the different governments and other organizations that have employed it. The discussion of the possibilities for such manipulation became especially active following World War II, with the advent of television, and continuing discussion of techniques of social engineering - particularly in advertising - is still quite pertinent in the western model of consumer capitalism.

The O'Brien and Gannon theory

The term social engineering has been used in a different context by social scientists Antonis Gannon and Ellis O'Brien. The two believed that peoples attitudes, personalities and other mental attributes are affected by the people surrounding them. The two go on to say that if one were to experiment with how a certain person reacts to different combinations of different people (friends, family etc.) one could hypothetically control how that person behaves, they refer to this as social engineering. This theory was unveiled at Dublin Institute of Technology on the 10th of March 2010.

Karl Popper

In his classic political science book, The Open Society and Its Enemies, volume I, The Spell of Plato, Karl Popper examined the application of the critical and rational methods of science to the problems of the open society. In this respect, he made a crucial distinction between the principles of democratic social reconstruction (called 'piecemeal social engineering') and 'Utopian social engineering'

Popper wrote:

 the piecemeal engineer will adopt the method of searching for, and fighting against, the greatest and most urgent evil of society, rather than searching for, and fighting for, its greatest ultimate good.

According to Popper, the difference between 'piecemeal social engineering' and 'Utopian social engineering' is:

 the difference between a reasonable method of improving the lot of man, and a method which, if really tried, may easily lead to an intolerable increase in human suffering. It is the difference between a method which can be applied at any moment, and a method whose advocacy may easily become a means of continually postponing action until a later date, when conditions are more favorable. And it is also the difference between the only method of improving matters which has so far been really successful, at any time, and in any place, and a method which, wherever it has been tried, has led only to the use of violence in place of reason, and if not to its own abandonment, at any rate to that of its original blueprint.

 

 School curriculum corrupted by politics | Educational apartheid, Truth, History, Geography, and Global Citizenship

Civitas
The Institute for the Study of Civil Society
June 11, 2000

The school curriculum has been corrupted by political interference, according to a new report from independent think-tank Civitas. The traditional subject areas have been hi-jacked to promote fashionable causes such as gender awareness, the environment and anti-racism, while teachers are expected to help to achieve the government's social goals instead of imparting a body of academic knowledge to their students. Read Entire Article

The Renaissance of Human Exploitation

Ethical Hacker Network
Mike Murray | The Renaissance of Human Exploitation
ChicagoCon Conference, 2009

"Information security has seen some major changes in the paradigms of attackers through the past 15 years. From the early days of social engineering, through the golden age of server hacking, and to the present times where the human is once again the target, we have seen significant changes in the way that attackers exploit targets. Mike Murray, Former Director of Neohapsis Labs and social engineering expert, will detail those changes and provide a detailed understanding of the types of skills that are being used to exploit human targets today, as well as examples of strategies that you can take to defend against skilled social engineers."

MP3 Modern Social Engineering

JavaScript is disabled!
To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.

adobe_reader_icon.jpg

Slides: 55 (Click Icon Above for Powerful Slide Show on Social Engineering - PDF)
File Size: 604 KB

 

 Me Talk Good: Language and Social Engineering

Ethical Hacker Network
Me Talk Good: Language and Social Engineering
Mike Murray

It's a fact, Jack. Nearly 100% of social engineering engagements will involve the use of language.

Yes, that was trite and obvious. But it's also true. Which means that if you want to engage an organization or individual as a target for a social engineering attack, your ability to use language will be a significant factor in the success or failure of your attack. Even more precisely, you have to know the different ways that language can be used, and the differences in the language patterns and formats for each of those uses. Only then will you be empowered to structure your language in such a way as to have maximum impact.

Before talking about how to use language, you have to be aware of language. While most of us are not aware of it, language has two (and only two) distinct actions: the movement of information and the act of influence on another person.

No Satisfaction stones toungeImagine the following sentences:

  1. "The computer is sitting on the table."
  2. "Where is the server room?"

These sentences are both used for information transfer. (As are most of the sentences in the article that you are presently reading.) Another example, however:

• "Stand up, walk across the room, and then sit down against the wall."

This sentence conveys no information. It requests an act of influence that tells you nothing, and attempts to influence you to perform an act.

I have yet to come up with an example of a linguistic act that is not part of one of the above classes. All utterances are designed either as part of information transfer or as part of an attempt to influence.

Most people could probably arrive at that conclusion. However, what most people fail to note is that the language used to perform each act successfully is quite different. The key to success in information transfer is precision, while the key to accomplishing successful influence is the ability to maintain agreement. (Note: the example sentence above would have been particularly poor at influencing).

Precision and Information Transfer

There's something that I need you to know. It's vital that you understand what I'm getting at. Ready?

The thing that happens when you do something is really not so good. In fact, it's down-right bad when you do that thing and set off the other thing.

Got it?

Of course you don't. You have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.

Why not? My sentences made sense. They were grammatically correct and properly formed. They contained a subject, an object, and appropriate use of language. But you lack understanding of the information that I was trying to convey because there was not one precise statement in that entire idea.

As a source of information transfer, the key ingredient in effective communication is precision. Clear and effective information transfer uses precise and unambiguous words to ensure that transfer of information conveys the meaning of the conversation.

For an example of precision, I'll use the following example:

"On my morning run, I saw a flower."

As you read the sentence, what kind of flower did you imagine that it was?

Note that this is ambiguous precisely because you had to imagine it. In order for me to be more effective at transferring information to you about the flower, I would have had to be more precise about the flower. Better would have been:

"On my morning run, I saw a red flower."

Even better:

"On my morning run, I saw a 7 inch high red rose growing on a bush, with thorns on the stem."

Note that this can get ridiculous, and the important skill in information transfer is always knowing exactly what level of precision is required, but that's a future article. In fact, we'll dive a good deal deeper into language, information transfer and precision in future articles. For now, just know that information transfer is the first type of linguistic act.

Influence and Agreement

Most of us grew up in the western academic tradition. We are "Voltaire's Bastards," as John Raulston Saul called us - we believe in the importance of rational discourse and reason as triumphing all other methods of communication.

In layman's terms: we learned, as children, that the way to convince someone else was to structure an argument that contained more and better logical points than our "opponent". And that the person who had more facts and better logic would "win."

Unfortunately, modern neuroscience has proven that this is all wrong. It turns out that our grandmothers had it right when they said: "Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still." Neurology has found that being "convinced" is unlikely to make someone change their behavior.

The reason for this is what pioneering hypnotist Dave Elman referred to as the "critical faculty" (and what some have called the "memetic immune system"). Our minds work to maintain consistency with the things that we currently believe. And, when an idea shows up that is inconsistent with the person's current set of beliefs, a part of the mind raises the "b.s.” alert, and the mind becomes immediately resistant to influence.

I'm sure you've had the experience of being in a conversation, and the conversation is going along smoothly. Suddenly, the person with whom you're talking says something and you find your brain reacting. You're suddenly on high-alert for everything that they're saying.

That person somehow activated your critical faculty.

To sum it up simply, when thinking about influence, your goal is to never activate the critical faculty in those who you are working with. This is achieved by using language that always allows the target to maintain agreement with what you're saying.

We'll go far, far deeper in to how to do that in future articles. As well, Chris Nickerson and I will be giving a whole pile of ways to do that in our training course, the Social Engineering Master Class, at the upcoming ChicagoCon 2009s.

That's a quick overview of the first important skill of a social engineer: the ability to use language. Obviously, there's much more to come on this topic in the future. Next time, I'll be going in to the second major skill of the social engineer: awareness of others. If you aren't aware, you're not able to react.

It's a fact, Jack. Nearly 100% of social engineering engagements will involve the use of language.

Yes, that was trite and obvious. But it's also true. Which means that if you want to engage an organization or individual as a target for a social engineering attack, your ability to use language will be a significant factor in the success or failure of your attack. Even more precisely, you have to know the different ways that language can be used, and the differences in the language patterns and formats for each of those uses. Only then will you be empowered to structure your language in such a way as to have maximum impact.

Before talking about how to use language, you have to be aware of language. While most of us are not aware of it, language has two (and only two) distinct actions: the movement of information and the act of influence on another person.

 

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

 


 

Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.

These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad -- I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen -- but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative examples. I number them so that i can refer back to them when necessary:

    1. I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien [sic] to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate.

    -Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom of Expression)

    2. Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder . -

    -Professor Lancelot Hogben (Interglossa)

    3. On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity?

    -Essay on psychology in Politics (New York)

    4. All the "best people" from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis.

    -Communist pamphlet

    5. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream -- as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as "standard English." When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma'amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens!

    -Letter in Tribune

Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose construction is habitually dodged:

Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically "dead" (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a "rift," for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning withouth those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.

Operators or verbal false limbs. These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry. Characteristic phrases are render inoperative, militate against, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part (role) in, make itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of, etc., etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining). The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation. Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to, the fact that, by dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the hypothesis that; and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by such resounding commonplaces as greatly to be desired, cannot be left out of account, a development to be expected in the near future, deserving of serious consideration, brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and so on and so forth.

Pretentious diction. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic color, its characteristic words being: realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler, banner, jackboot, clarion. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i.e., e.g., and etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in the English language. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers.* The jargon peculiar to


*An interesting illustration of this is the way in which English flower names were in use till very recently are being ousted by Greek ones, Snapdragon becoming antirrhinum, forget-me-not becoming myosotis, etc. It is hard to see any practical reason for this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive turning away from the more homely word and a vague feeling that the Greek word is scientific.


Marxist writing (hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the size formation. It is often easier to make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one's meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness.

Meaningless words. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.† Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in


† Example: Comfort's catholicity of perception and image, strangely Whitmanesque in range, almost the exact opposite in aesthetic compulsion, continues to evoke that trembling atmospheric accumulative hinting at a cruel, an inexorably serene timelessness . . .Wrey Gardiner scores by aiming at simple bull's-eyes with precision. Only they are not so simple, and through this contented sadness runs more than the surface bittersweet of resignation." (Poetry Quarterly)


the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, "The outstanding feature of Mr. X's work is its living quality," while another writes, "The immediately striking thing about Mr. X's work is its peculiar deadness," the reader accepts this as a simple difference opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

This is a parody, but not a very gross one. Exhibit (3) above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations -- race, battle, bread -- dissolve into the vague phrases "success or failure in competitive activities." This had to be so, because no modern writer of the kind I am discussing -- no one capable of using phrases like "objective considerations of contemporary phenomena" -- would ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness. Now analyze these two sentences a little more closely. The first contains forty-nine words but only sixty syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. The second contains thirty-eight words of ninety syllables: eighteen of those words are from Latin roots, and one from Greek. The first sentence contains six vivid images, and only one phrase ("time and chance") that could be called vague. The second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of its ninety syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning contained in the first. Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of sentence that is gaining ground in modern English. I do not want to exaggerate. This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page. Still, if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty of human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my imaginary sentence than to the one from Ecclesiastes.

As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier -- even quicker, once you have the habit -- to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don't have to hunt about for the words; you also don't have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry -- when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech -- it is natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style. Tags like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash -- as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot -- it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking. Look again at the examples I gave at the beginning of this essay. Professor Laski (1) uses five negatives in fifty three words. One of these is superfluous, making nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip -- alien for akin -- making further nonsense, and several avoidable pieces of clumsiness which increase the general vagueness. Professor Hogben (2) plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase put up with, is unwilling to look egregious up in the dictionary and see what it means; (3), if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs. In (4), the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea leaves blocking a sink. In (5), words and meaning have almost parted company. People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning -- they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another -- but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: 1. Could I put it more shortly? 2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.

In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a "party line." Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestoes, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases -- bestial atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder -- one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity.

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism., question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so." Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

"While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement."

The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find -- this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify -- that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one's elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he "felt impelled" to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence I see: "[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany's social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe." You see, he "feels impelled" to write -- feels, presumably, that he has something new to say -- and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one's brain.

I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority. Two recent examples were explore every avenue and leave no stone unturned, which were killed by the jeers of a few journalists. There is a long list of flyblown metaphors which could similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the not un- formation out of existence*, to reduce the amount of Latin and Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases


*One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.


and strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness unfashionable. But all these are minor points. The defense of the English language implies more than this, and perhaps it is best to start by saying what it does not imply.

To begin with it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a "standard English" which must never be departed from. On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one's meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a "good prose style." On the other hand, it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one's meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one's meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose -- not simply accept -- the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one's words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never us a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable. One could keep all of them and still write bad English, but one could not write the kind of stuff that I quoted in those five specimens at the beginning of this article.

I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase -- some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse -- into the dustbin, where it belongs.

 

 

Psychological Principles: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

As stated in Wikipedia: "Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them" and "a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour"."[1]

History

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed in the 1970’s by Richard Bandler[2] and John Grinder[3] with the guidance of Gregory Bateson. They studied some of the most successful therapist of the time (Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson) to see why they were so successful. From this initial research they developed the “code” concepts of NLP. This early research led to the development of a meta model which recognizes the use of language patterns to influence change. Their work with Virginia Satir, a renowned family systems therapist led to their early works: “The Structure of Magic” Volume I and Volume 2 (1975 and 1976).[4][5]

Bandler and Grinder later worked with Milton Erickson, the founder of clinical hypnotherapy. The pair used their modeling technique to develop the Milton Model, the use of imprecise language to enable patients to work through issues at an unconscious level. Bandler and Grinder started using the title of “Neuro-linguistic programming” in lectures across the country. Attended by psychotherapists and business managers, NLP expanded its popularity throughout the late 1970’s. One of their more famous book (“Frogs into Prices”) was transcribed from their 1979 lectures.

1980’s – 1990’s

1980 brought the dissolution of the Grinder / Bandler partnership. Richard Bandler wife divorced him and his company Not Ltd filed for bankruptcy in 1983. Bandler was charged with the 1986 murder of Corine Christensen who was an alleged prostitute[6], NLP[7] student of Bandlers, and cocaine abuser. He was acquitted January 1988. The murder of Corine Christensen is currently unsolved.[8]

Legal maneuvering during the 1980 – 1990 saw multiple lawsuits brought by Bandler against Grinder and almost ever prominent person in the NLP community. Bandler claimed he had sole use of “NLP” and all others were in trademark infringement. The US Superior Court in February of 2000 ruled that Bandler had misrepresented himself to the public and found NLP a generic term rather than intellectual property. NLP had been trademarked in the UK but was overturned making NLP intellectual property everywhere.[9]

1990’s – 2000’s

NLP became the new buzz word again for managers, driving rapid growth of trainers, classes and experts. Without any regulating body, the field grew as everybody wanted to learn to control others, lie without getting caught or solve all their psyche problems. Practitioners were not licensed so each group taught their own form and concept’s of NLP and issuing their own certifications as experts. This fragmentation of certification continues today.

 Currently

Bandler and Grinder has signed a co-creator and co-founder agreement and “refrain from disparaging each other’s efforts”. New international agencies for NLP development are starting to develop, mainly in the UK.[10] Both Richard Bandler[11] and John Grinderand[12] are still are producing books and lectures. Both are wonderful speakers and have great insight into the human psyche.

Codes of NLP

The early 1970’s NLP had a code that was the collective body of learning and investigation that generated the first books and the term Neuro-linguistic programming. As time went on John Grinder and others have continued to update the field of NLP. The “New Code of NLP” has created an ethical and aesthetic framework for NLP development.

Classic Code of NLP

The “old” or classic code is based on categorization of specific linguistic, behavioral and sensory distinctions. The practice of matching speech, dominant sensory style and mirroring are part of this older style. Several other practices including time changing, trance, metaphors and reframing. The old school had 10 tenants that were developed in the original work on NLP:

  1. No one is wrong or broken. People work perfectly to accomplish what they are currently accomplishing.
  2. People already have all the resources they need.
  3. Behind every behavior is a positive intention.
  4. Every behavior is useful in some context.
  5. The meaning of a communication is the response you get.
  6. If you aren't getting the response you want, do something different.
  7. There is no such thing as failure. There is only feedback.
  8. In any system, the element with the most flexibility exerts the most influence.
  9. The map is not the territory.
  10. If someone can do something, anyone can learn it.


These are the hallmarks of the classic NLP training.

New Code of NLP

NLP’s original ideas were from the 1970’s as time passed John Grinder began to realize that many were not as they thought. He began working with Gregory Bateson[13] and Judith DeLozier[14] and produced the “New Code” that focused more on what the person thinks or believes will happen and changing that belief. Techniques for expanding you perceptions, overcoming old thought patterns and learning how to be a genius from geniuses help all help in learning self change.

The new code key concepts of “states”, “conscious/unconscious relationships” and ”perceptual filters”. More understanding the relationship between the elements in the system. These changes are meant to move NLP forward and help practitioners think about it in new ways.
[15] Many of the thought from the new code are being taught now as part of the standard NLP courseware. This new code is best understood by reading “Turtles All the Way Down”[16] by Grinder and DeLozier. It’s compiled from their seminar “Prerequisites to Personal Genius”.

Scripts In The New Code

Many people have a common problem so a groups of scripts have been developed to help therapist use NLP in their practice. These scripts lead the participant through a series of thoughts that help guide the person to the desired end. Several good books on NLP scripts exist with “The Big Book of NLP Techniques: 200+ Patterns & Strategies of Neuro Linguistic Programming” being highly recommended.

 Additional Links

 Online References

 

Free Online Tutorials

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Bandler
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Grinder
  4. http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Magic-About-Language-Therapy/dp/0831400447
  5. http://social-engineer.org/wiki/archives/NLP/NLP-Satir395.pdf - Spitzer, R. (1992) Virginia Satir and the Origins of NLP, Anchor Point
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming
  8. http://social-engineer.org/wiki/archives/NLP/NLP-NotGuilty.html
  9. http://social-engineer.org/wiki/archives/NLP/NLP-Summary%20of%20Legal%20Proceedings.pdf
  10. http://www.itanlp.com/
  11. http://www.richardbandler.com/
  12. http://www.johngrinder.com
  13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Bateson
  14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_DeLozier
  15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_code_of_NLP
  16. http://www.amazon.com/Turtles-All-Way-Down-Prerequisites/dp/1555520227

 

Abuse of language threatens American freedoms

The Jordan Times
By James J. Zogby
March 2, 2010

The last US administration displayed a rather perverse and dangerous penchant for dressing up its behaviour, providing it with religious or patriotic intent.

President George Bush packaged the Iraq war, for example, as America's mission - having been charged by God to bring the gift of freedom to the world. The "war on terror" was presented through the lens of World War II and the cold war, and transformed into a battle of cosmic proportions against those who "hate our freedom" and "our way of life". US troops who were sent into battle in Iraq were seen as "defending our freedom" or "making America safe".

One could, of course, argue with this crass manipulation of potent symbols, though, at the time, few did. Politicians were especially hesitant to criticise this hyper-inflated rhetoric, not wanting to appear insensitive to the public's fear or disrespectful of the sacrifices of those who had died or been maimed in the Iraq war.

Left unchallenged, this abuse of language continued to grow and become accepted in some quarters, doing damage to our political discourse and distorting our sense of reality.

Speaking to the National Tea Party Convention last month, for example, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin rebuked the Obama administration for treating a would-be terrorist as a criminal defendant and providing him the opportunity to "invoke our Constitutional right...".

She went on: "Our US Constitutional rights. Our rights that you fought and were willing to die for to protect in our Constitution. The rights that my son, as an infantryman in the United States Army, is willing to die for. The protections provided, thanks to you, we are going to bestow them on a terrorist who hates our Constitution and tries to destroy our Constitution and our country."

While Palin is wrong on so many levels, her comments, reflecting the degree to which the national discussion has become distorted and out of touch with reality, must be rebutted.

First of all, it is just plain silly to bestow upon a pathetic failed would-be airplane bomber the capacity or even the intention to "destroy our Constitution and our country".

I have no doubt of his evil motives or of the hatred in his heart, but making him or those who sent him larger than they are serves no useful purpose.

Second, as painful as it may be to look at reality, head on we must. After seven years of the Iraq war and nine years of Afghanistan, it must be clear that these were not wars to defend "our Constitution".

One of these wars was designed to depose and punish those who cruelly attacked us on September 11 murdering 3,000 innocents. The other was based on a series of fabricated motives, none of which playing a role in making America safer or defending the constitution.

And while we're on the subject of the constitution, it is important to take Palin to task for embracing what has become a popular misconception, and this is that the rights detailed in the constitution are "ours" alone.

Leaving aside former president Bush's disturbing claim that America was charged by the Almighty to bring the "gift of freedom" to the world, US courts have continually affirmed that the rights described in the constitution apply to all "persons" who reside in the United States, not just citizens. Not only that, but US courts have also determined that the constitutional rights of habeas corpus and due process, and protections against "cruel and unusual punishment" and self-incrimination also apply to prisoners in US custody in Guantanamo or even some of those detained at Baghram in Afghanistan.

It is vitally important to pierce through the cloud of obfuscation and inflated rhetoric of the past decade and to advance a clearer understanding of who we are as a people and the exact nature of our role in the world. The reality we will discover is neither Bush's divinely ordained America with its saving mission nor Palin's more narrowly defined chauvinism.

It will require that we undergo a painful process of self-examination demanding full transparency and full accountability for past behaviour.

As difficult as it may be to acknowledge it, we cannot continue to ignore the fact that innocent lives were lost in an unnecessary war and America's reputation was sullied by horrific and illegal acts committed in our name.

Finally, it is important that Americans study our history and our foundational documents.

It is shocking to note how few know the Bill of Rights. Even more disturbing is to note, as F. Lee Bailey, one of our nation's great defence attorneys, once did, that if the language of the constitution and the Bill of Rights were reintroduced today, they would be seen as "unpatriotic" and would in all likelihood not receive public support and would not pass Congress.

In the end, the damage done by this abuse of language goes beyond a wasteful war and confusion in our national discussion of critical issues. By inflaming passions in support of unconstitutional behaviour, this rhetoric puts at risk the very freedoms it claims to be defending.

 

 

Aldous Huxley: The Ultimate Revolution, March 20, 1962

Berkeley Language Center | November 6, 2006

"There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution."
Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961

Program

Questions / Answers

Transcript - The Ultimate Revolution

March 20, 1962 Berkeley Language Center - Speech Archive SA 0269

Moderator:

{garbled}Aldous Huxley, a renowned Essayist and Novelist who during the spring semester is residing at the university in his capacity of a Ford research professor. Mr Huxley has recently returned from a conference at the Institute for the study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara where the discussion focused on the development of new techniques by which to control and direct human behavior. Traditionally it has been possible to suppress individual freedom through the application of physical coercion through the appeal of ideologies through the manipulation of man's physical and social environment and more recently through the techniques, the cruder techniques of psychological conditioning. The Ultimate Revolution, about which Mr. Huxley will speak today, concerns itself with the development of new behavioral controls, which operate directly on the psycho-physiological organisms of man. That is the capacity to replace external constraint by internal compulsions. As those of us who are familiar with Mr. Huxley's works will know, this is a subject of which he has been concerned for quite a period of time. Mr. Huxley will make a presentation of approximately half an hour followed by some brief discussions and questions by the two panelists sitting to my left, Mrs. Lillian {garbled} and Mr. John Post. Now Mr. Huxley

Huxley:

Thank You.

{Applause}

Uh, First of all, the, I'd like to say, that the conference at Santa Barbara was not directly concerned with the control of the mind. That was a conference, there have been two of them now, at the University of California Medical center in San Francisco, one this year which I didn't attend, and one two years ago where there was a considerable discussion on this subject. At Santa Barbara we were talking about technology in general and the effects it's likely to have on society and the problems related to technological transplanting of technology into underdeveloped countries.

Well now in regard to this problem of the ultimate revolution, this has been very well summed up by the moderator. In the past we can say that all revolutions have essentially aimed at changing the environment in order to change the individual. I mean there's been the political revolution, the economic revolution, in the time of the reformation, the religious revolution. All these aimed, not directly at the human being, but at his surroundings. So that by modifying the surroundings you did achieve, did one remove the effect of the human being.

Today we are faced, I think, with the approach of what may be called the ultimate revolution, the final revolution, where man can act directly on the mind-body of his fellows. Well needless to say some kind of direct action on human mind-bodies has been going on since the beginning of time. But this has generally been of a violent nature. The Techniques of terrorism have been known from time immemorial and people have employed them with more or less ingenuity sometimes with the utmost cruelty, sometimes with a good deal of skill acquired by a process of trial and error finding out what the best ways of using torture, imprisonment, constraints of various kinds.

But, as, I think it was (sounds like Mettenicht) said many years ago, you can do everything with {garbled} except sit on them. If you are going to control any population for any length of time, you must have some measure of consent, it's exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion an element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them.

It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. This is the, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions shall we say, and this is a problem which has interested me many years and about which I wrote thirty years ago, a fable, Brave New World, which is an account of society making use of all the devices available and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron out inconvenient human differences, to create, to say, mass produced models of human beings arranged in some sort of scientific caste system. Since then, I have continued to be extremely interested in this problem and I have noticed with increasing dismay a number of the predictions which were purely fantastic when I made them thirty years ago have come true or seem in process of coming true.

A number of techniques about which I talked seem to be here already. And there seems to be a general movement in the direction of this kind of ultimate revolution, a method of control by which a people can be made to enjoy a state of affairs by which any decent standard they ought not to enjoy. This, the enjoyment of servitude, Well this process is, as I say, has gone on for over the years, and I have become more and more interested in what is happening.

And here I would like briefly to compare the parable of Brave New World with another parable which was put forth more recently in George Orwell's book, Nineteen Eighty- Four. Orwell wrote his book between, I think between 45 and 48 at the time when the Stalinist terror regime was still in Full swing and just after the collapse of the Hitlerian terror regime. And his book which I admire greatly, it's a book of very great talent and extraordinary ingenuity, shows, so to say, a projection into the future of the immediate past, of what for him was the immediate past, and the immediate present, it was a projection into the future of a society where control was exercised wholly by terrorism and violent attacks upon the mind-body of individuals.

Whereas my own book which was written in 1932 when there was only a mild dictatorship in the form of Mussolini in existence, was not overshadowed by the idea of terrorism, and I was therefore free in a way in which Orwell was not free, to think about these other methods of control, these non-violent methods and my, I'm inclined to think that the scientific dictatorships of the future, and I think there are going to be scientific dictatorships in many parts of the world, will be probably a good deal nearer to the brave new world pattern than to the 1984 pattern, they will a good deal nearer not because of any humanitarian qualms of the scientific dictators but simply because the BNW pattern is probably a good deal more efficient than the other.

That if you can get people to consent to the state of affairs in which they're living. The state of servitude the state of being, having their differences ironed out, and being made amenable to mass production methods on the social level, if you can do this, then you have, you are likely, to have a much more stable and lasting society. Much more easily controllable society than you would if you were relying wholly on clubs and firing squads and concentration camps. So that my own feeling is that the 1984 picture was tinged of course by the immediate past and present in which Orwell was living, but the past and present of those years does not reflect, I feel, the likely trend of what is going to happen, needless to say we shall never get rid of terrorism, it will always find its way to the surface.

But I think that insofar as dictators become more and more scientific, more and more concerned with the technically perfect, perfectly running society, they will be more and more interested in the kind of techniques which I imagined and described from existing realities in BNW. So that, it seems to me then, that this ultimate revolution is not really very far away, that we, already a number of techniques for bringing about this kind of control are here, and it remains to be seen when and where and by whom they will first be applied in any large scale.

And first let me talk about the, a little bit about the, improvement in the techniques of terrorism. I think there have been improvements. Pavlov after all made some extremely profound observations both on animals and on human beings. And he found among other things that conditioning techniques applied to animals or humans in a state either of psychological or physical stress sank in so to say, very deeply into the mind-body of the creature, and were extremely difficult to get rid of. That they seemed to be embedded more deeply than other forms of conditioning.

And this of course, this fact was discovered empirically in the past. People did make use of many of these techniques, but the difference between the old empirical intuitive methods and our own methods is the difference between the, a sort of, hit and miss craftsman's point of view and the genuinely scientific point of view. I think there is a real difference between ourselves and say the inquisitors of the 16th century. We know much more precisely what we are doing, than they knew and we can extend because of our theoretical knowledge, we can extend what we are doing over a wider area with a greater assurance of being producing something that really works.

In this context I would like to mention the extremely interesting chapters in Dr. William (sounds like Seargent's) Battle for the Mind where he points out how intuitively some of the great religious teachers/leaders of the past hit on the Pavlovian method, he speaks specifically of Wesley's method of producing conversions which were essentially based on the technique of heightening psychological stress to the limit by talking about hellfire and so making people extremely vulnerable to suggestion and then suddenly releasing this stress by offering hopes of heaven and this is a very interesting chapter of showing how completely on purely intuitive and empirical grounds a skilled natural psychologist, as Wesley was, could discover these Pavlovian methods.

Well, as I say, we now know the reason why these techniques worked and there's no doubt at all that we can if we wanted to, carry them much further than was possible in the past. And of course in the history of, recent history of brainwashing, both as applied to prisoners of war and to the lower personnel within the communist party in China, we see that the pavlovian methods have been applied systematically and with evidently with extraordinary efficacy. I think there can be no doubt that by the application of these methods a very large army of totally devoted people has been created. The conditioning has been driven in, so to say, by a kind of psychological iontophoresis into the very depths of the people's being, and has got so deep that it's very difficult to ever be rooted out, and these methods, I think, are a real refinement on the older methods of terror because they combine methods of terror with methods of acceptance that the person who is subjected to a form of terroristic stress but for the purpose of inducing a kind of voluntary quotes acceptance of the state the psychological state in which he has been driven and the state of affairs in which he finds himself.

So there is, as I say, there has been a definite improvement in the, even in the techniques of terrorism. But then we come to the consideration of other techniques, non-terroristic techniques, for inducing consent and inducing people to love their servitude. Here, I don't think I can possibly go into all of them, because I don't know all of them, but I mean I can mention the more obvious methods, which can now be used and are based on recent scientific findings. First of all there are the methods connected with straight suggestion and hypnosis.

I think we know much more about this subject than was known in the past. People of course, always have known about suggestion, and although they didn't know the word 'hypnosis' they certainly practiced it in various ways. But we have, I think, a much greater knowledge of the subject than in the past, and we can make use of our knowledge in ways, which I think the past was never able to make use of it. For example, one of the things we now know for certain, that there is of course an enormous, I mean this has always been known a very great difference between individuals in regard to their suggestibility. But we now know pretty clearly the sort of statistical structure of a population in regard to its suggestibility. Its very interesting when you look at the findings of different fields, I mean the field of hypnosis, the field of administering placebos, for example, in the field of general suggestion in states of drowsiness or light sleep you will find the same sorts of orders of magnitude continually cropping up.

You'll find for example that the experienced hypnotist will tell one that the number of people, the percentage of people who can be hypnotized with the utmost facility (snaps), just like that. is about 20%, and about a corresponding number at the other end of the scale are very, very difficult or almost impossible to hypnotize. But in between lies a large mass of people who can with more or less difficulty be hypnotized, that they can gradually be if you work hard enough at it be got into the hypnotic state, and in the same way the same sort of figures crop up again, for example in relation to the administration of placebos.

A big experiment was carried out three of four years ago in the general hospital in Boston on post-operative cases where several hundred men and woman suffering comparable kinds of pain after serious operations were allowed to, were given injections whenever they asked for them whenever the pain got bad, and the injections were 50% of the time were of morphine, and 50% of water. And about twenty percent of those who went through the experiment, about 20% of them got just as much relief from the distilled waters as from the morphea. About 20% got no relief from the distilled water, and in- between were those who got some relief or got relief occasionally.

So yet again, we see the same sort of distribution, and similarly in regard to what in BNW I called Hypnopedia, the sleep teaching, I was talking not long ago to a man who manufactures records which people can listen to in the, during the light part of sleep, I mean these are records for getting rich, for sexual satisfaction (crowd laughs), for confidence in salesmanship and so on, and he said that its very interesting that these are records sold on a money-back basis, and he says there is regularly between 15% and 20% of people who write indignantly saying the records don't work at all, and he sends the money back at once. There are on the other hand, there are over 20% who write enthusiastically saying they are much richer, their sexual life is much better (laughter) etc, etc. And these of course are the dream clients and they buy more of these records. And in between there are those who don't get much results and they have to have letters written to them saying "Go persist my dear, go on" (laughter) and you will get there, and they generally do get results in the long run.

Well, as I say, on the basis of this, I think we see quite clearly that the human populations can be categorized according to their suggestibility fairly clearly,. I suspect very strongly that this twenty percent is the same in all these cases, and I suspect also that it would not be at all difficult to recognize and {garbled} out who are those who are extremely suggestible and who are those extremely unsuggestible and who are those who occupy the intermediate space. Quite clearly, if everybody were extremely unsuggestible organized society would be quite impossible, and if everybody were extremely suggestible then a dictatorship would be absolutely inevitable. I mean it's very fortunate that we have people who are moderately suggestible in the majority and who therefore preserve us from dictatorship but do permit organized society to be formed. But, once given the fact that there are these 20% of highly suggestible people, it becomes quite clear that this is a matter of enormous political importance, for example, any demagogue who is able to get hold of a large number of these 20% of suggestible people and to organize them is really in a position to overthrow any government in any country.

And I mean, I think this after all, we had the most incredible example in recent years by what can be done by efficient methods of suggestion and persuasion in the form of Hitler. Anyone who has read, for example, (Sounds like Bulloch's) Life of Hitler, comes forth with this horrified admiration for this infernal genius, who really understood human weaknesses I think almost better than anybody and who exploited them with all the resources then available. I mean he knew everything, for example, he knew intuitively this pavlovian truth that condition installed in a state of stress or fatigue goes much deeper than conditioning installed at other times. This of course is why all his big speeches were organized at night. He speaks quite frankly, of course, in Mein Kampf, this is done solely because people are tired at night and therefore much less capable of resisting persuasion than they would be during the day. And in all his techniques he was using, he had discovered intuitively and by trial and error a great many of the weaknesses, which we now know about on a sort of scientific way I think much more clearly than he did.

But the fact remains that this differential of suggestibility this susceptibility to hypnosis I do think is something which has to be considered very carefully in relation to any kind of thought about democratic government . If there are 20% of the people who really can be suggested into believing almost anything, then we have to take extremely careful steps into prevent the rise of demagogues who will drive them on into extreme positions then organize them into very, very dangerous armies, private armies which may overthrow the government.

This is, I say, in this field of pure persuasion, I think we do know much more than we did in the past, and obviously we now have mechanisms for multiplying the demagogues voice and image in a quite hallucinatory way, I mean, the TV and radio, Hitler was making enormous use of the radio, he could speak to millions of people simultaneously. This alone creates an enormous gulf between the modern and the ancient demagogue. The ancient demagogue could only appeal to as many people as his voice could reach by yelling at his utmost, but the modern demagogue could touch literally millions at a time, and of course by the multiplication of his image he can produce this kind of hallucinatory effect which is of enormous hypnotic and suggestive importance.

But then there are the various other methods one can think of which, thank heaven, as yet have not be used, but which obviously could be used. There is for example, the pharmacological method, this is one of the things I talked about in BNW. I invented a hypothetical drug called SOMA, which of course could not exist as it stood there because it was simultaneously a stimulant, a narcotic, and a hallucinogen, which seems unlikely in one substance. But the point is, if you applied several different substances you could get almost all these results even now, and the really interesting things about the new chemical substances, the new mind-changing drugs is this, if you looking back into history its clear that man has always had a hankering after mind changing chemicals, he has always desired to take holidays from himself, but the, and, this is the most extraordinary effect of all that every natural occurring narcotic stimulant, sedative, or hallucinogen, was discovered before the dawn of history, I don't think there is one single one of these naturally occurring ones which modern science has discovered.

Modern science has of course better ways of extracting the active principals of these drugs and of course has discovered numerous ways of synthesizing new substances of extreme power, but the actual discovery of these naturally occurring things was made by primitive man goodness knows how many centuries ago. There is for example, in the underneath the, lake dwellings of the early Neolithic that have been dug up in Switzerland we have found poppy-heads, which looks as though people were already using this most ancient and powerful and dangerous of narcotics, even before the days of the rise of agriculture. So that man was apparently a dope-bag addict before he was a farmer, which is a very curious comment on human nature.

But, the difference, as I say, between the ancient mind-changers, the traditional mind- changers, and the new substances is that they were extremely harmful and the new ones are not. I mean even the permissible mind-changer alcohol is not entirely harmless, as people may have noticed, and I mean the other ones, the non-permissible ones, such as opium and cocaine, opium and its derivatives, are very harmful indeed. They rapidly produce addiction, and in some cases lead at an extraordinary rate to physical degeneration and death.

Whereas these new substances, this is really very extraordinary, that a number of these new mind-changing substances can produce enormous revolutions within the mental side of our being, and yet do almost nothing to the physiological side. You can have an enormous revolution, for example, with LSD-25 or with the newly synthesized drug psilocybin, which is the active principal of the Mexican sacred mushroom. You can have this enormous mental revolution with no more physiological revolution than you would get from drinking two cocktails. And this is a really most extraordinary effect.

And it is of course true that pharmacologists are producing a great many new wonder drugs where the cure is almost worse than the disease. Every year the new edition of medical textbooks contains a longer and longer chapter of what are Iatrogenic diseases, that is to say diseases caused by doctors (laughter} And this is quite true, many of the wonder drugs are extremely dangerous. I mean they can produce extraordinary effects, and in critical conditions they should certainly be used, but they should be used with the utmost caution. But there is evidently a whole class of drugs effecting the CNS which can produce enormous changes in sedation in euphoria in energizing the whole mental process without doing any perceptible harm to the human body, and this presents to me the most extraordinary revolution. In the hands of a dictator these substances in one kind or the other could be used with, first of all, complete harmlessness, and the result would be, you can imagine a euphoric that would make people thoroughly happy even in the most abominable circumstances.

I mean these things are possible. This is the extraordinary thing, I mean after all this is even true with the crude old drugs. I mean, a housemate years ago remarked after reading Milton's Paradise Lost, He Says "And beer does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man" (laughter). And beer is of course, an extremely crude drug compared to these ones. And you can certainly say that some of the psychic energizers and the new hallucinants could do incomparably more than Milton and all the Theologicians combined could possibly do to make the terrifying mystery of our existence seem more tolerable than it does. And here I think one has an enormous area in which the ultimate revolution could function very well indeed, an area in which a great deal of control could be used by not through terror, but by making life seem much more enjoyable than it normally does. Enjoyable to the point, where as I said before, Human beings come to love a state of things by which any reasonable and decent human standard they ought not to love and this I think is perfectly possible.

But then, very briefly, let me speak about one of the more recent developments in the sphere of neurology, about the implantation of electrodes in the brain. This of course has been done in the large scale in animals and in a few cases its been done in the cases of the hopelessly insane. And anybody who has watched the behavior of rats with electrodes placed in different centers must come away from this experience with the most extraordinary doubts about what on Earth is in store for us if this is got a hold of by a dictator. I saw not long ago some rats in the {garbled} laboratory at UCLA there were two sets of them, one with electrodes planted in the pleasure center, and the technique was they had a bar which they pressed which turned on a very small current for a short space of time which we had a wire connected with that electrode and which stimulated the pleasure center and was evidently absolutely ecstatic was these rats were pressing the bar 18,000 times a day (laughter). Apparently if you kept them from pressing the bar for a day, they'd press it 36,000 times on the following day and would until they fell down in complete exhaustion (laughter) And they would neither eat, nor be interested in the opposite sex but would just go on pressing this bar {pounds on podium}

Then the most extraordinary rats were those were the electrode was planted halfway between the pleasure and the pain center. The result was a kind of mixture of the most wonderful ecstasy and like being on the rack at the same time. And you would see the rats sort of looking at is bar and sort of saying "To be or not to be that is the question". (Laughter) Finally it would approach {Pounds on podium} and go back with this awful I mean, the (sounds like franken huminizer anthropomorphizer), and he would wait some time before pressing the bar again, yet he would always press it again. This was the extraordinary thing.

I noticed in the most recent issue of Scientific American there's a very interesting article on electrodes in the brains of chickens, where the technique is very ingenious, where you sink into their brains a little socket with a screw on it and the electrode can then be screwed deeper and deeper into the brainstem and you can test at any moment according to the depth, which goes at fractions of the mm, what you're stimulating and these creatures are not merely stimulated by wire, they're fitted with a miniature radio receiver which weighs less than an ounce which is attached to them so that they can be communicated with at a distance, I mean they can run about in the barnyard and you could press a button and this particular area of the brain to which the electrode has been screwed down to would be stimulated. You would get this fantastic phenomena, where a sleeping chicken would jump up and run about, or an active chicken would suddenly sit down and go to sleep, or a hen would sit down and act like she's hatching out an egg, or a fighting rooster would go into depression.

The whole picture of the absolute control of the drives is terrifying, and in the few cases in which this has been done with very sick human beings, The effects are evidently very remarkable too, I was talking last summer in England to Grey Walter, who is the most eminent exponent of the EEG technique in England, and he was telling me that he's seen hopeless inmates at asylums with these things in their heads, and these people were suffering from uncontrollable depression, and they had these electrodes inserted into the pleasure center in their brain, however when they felt too bad, they just pressed a button on the battery in their pocket and he said the results were fantastic, the mouth pointing down would suddenly turn up and they'd feel very cheerful and happy. So there again one sees the most extraordinary revolutionary techniques, which are now available to us.

Now, I think what is obviously perfectly clear is that for the present these techniques are not being used except in an experimental way, but I think it is important for us to realize what is happening to make ourselves acquainted with what has already happened, and then use a certain amount of imagination to extrapolate into the future the sort of things that might happen. What might happen if these fantastically powerful techniques were used by unscrupulous people in authority, what on Earth would happen, what sort of society would we get?

And I think it is peculiarly important because as one sees when looking back over history we have allowed in the past all those advances in technology which has profoundly changed our social and individual life to take us by surprise, I mean it seems to me that it was during the late 18 century early 19th century when the new machines were making possible the factory situation. It was not beyond the wit of man to see what was happening and project into the future and maybe forestall the really dreadful consequences which plagued England and most of western Europe and this country for sixty or seventy years, and the horrible abuses of the factory system and if a certain amount of forethought had been devoted to the problem at that time and if people had first of all found out what was happening and then used their imagination to see what might happen, and then had gone on to work out the means by which the worst applications of the techniques would not take place, well then I think western humanity might have been spared about three generations of utter misery which had been imposed on the poor at that time.

And the same way with various technological advances now, I mean we need to think about the problems with automation and more profoundly the problems, which may arise with these new techniques, which may contribute to this ultimate revolution. Our business is to be aware of what is happening, and then to use our imagination to see what might happen, how this might be abused, and then if possible to see that the enormous powers which we now possess thanks to these scientific and technological advances to be used for the benefit of human beings and not for their degradation.

Thank You

{Applause}

 

Click Here to Comment

Take a Poll

Best way to stimulate the economy...