From the May 1999 Idaho Observer:
Cognitive dissonance: recipe for totalitarianism
by Don Harkins
Entry level college psychology classes introduce the balance theory and the concept of cognitive dissonance. While most of us take Psychology 101 to satify a science requirement en route to earning a college degree and forget what we learned after being awarded credit for passing the class, advertisers, the news and entertainment industry and governments use such behavioral theories to influence people's behavior.
According to the balance theory identified by Psychologist F. Heider in 1958, people are motivated to maintain harmony with their perceptions, beliefs and attitudes. If, for instance, we share the same attitudes with people we trust and respect, all is well and balanced. If we disagree with people we trust and respect we become concerned because the disagreement leaves us in a state of nonbalance.
Conversely, if we disagree with the position of somebody that we do not like, we are able to maintain balance and we may feel nonbalanced if we agree with the position of a person whom we do not like.
People who intend to control our behavior understand that we strive to be balanced. Governments, advertisers and the news and entertainment industries design elaborate programs around the knowledge that we do not like to think that our attitudes are inconsistent with our behavior.
Cognitive dissonance theory, published by Psychologist Leon Festinger in 1957, is the awareness that two or more beliefs (cognitions) that we hold are contradictory. Awareness that two cognitions are dissonant, or that our cognitions and our behavior are contradictory, is sufficient to motivate us to reduce the discrepency, wrote Spencer Rathaus in Psychology, Fourth Edition.
Cognitive dissonance is an unpleasant state that is accompanied by heightened arousal. Thus, one motive for eliminating cognitive dissonance may be to reduce our arousal to a more optimal level, wrote psychologists Croyle and Cooper in 1983.
Governments in particular, with the aid of the dominant news media, intend to control public perceptions and behaviors by incessantly employing scenarios which create cognitive dissonance among the masses. This is the the recipe for totalitarianism. According to the work of Festinger and others, if you present people with a concept that contains properties that are in conflict with one another, in order to restore balance, people have a tendency ignore the discrepency--sweep it under the rug.
An excellent example of how cognitive dissonance works in contemporary society is the issue of vaccines as a method of disease prevention. For people who believe in the Bible, there is no doubt that God places tremendous importance on blood. The First Testamant in particular labors the importance of blood and blood purity and that the corruption of blood is against the wishes of God.
Vaccines when injected into the body are a direct corruption of blood. Vaccines, according to vaccine manufacturers, contain live and dead virus from any number of animals (pigs, monkeys, cows, sheep), foreign RNA and DNA (from animals but the vaccine manufacturer is not even certain from which animal the RNA and DNA came from), aluminum, formaldehyde, mercury and other substances that are toxic to people.
On one hand we have God commanding that we maintain the purity of our blood or be subject to his wrath. On the other hand we have the government forcing us, by law, to accept vaccinations as being good for us and good for public health.
Rather than obey the wishes of God or disobey the mandates of government, people simply stand in line for their vaccines and would rather not discuss the issue in an introspective fashion that would cause them to be unbalanced and cognitively dissonant.
The power to control people in this manner was discovered much earlier than 1957. Protocol No. 5 (regardless of what you may think about the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, 1905, it reads as if it were the blueprint for the enslavement of the people of the world) states that, In order to put public opinion into our hands we must bring it into a state of bewilderment by giving expression from all sides to so many contradictory opinions and for such length of time as will suffice to make the (manipulated) lose their heads in the labyrinth and come to see that the best thing is to have no opinion of any kind in matters political, which it is not given to understand, because they are understood only by him who guides the public. This is the first secret.
We only have to go back in history a couple of months to the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment process to see how the first secret works. By the time the Senate decided to keep Clinton in office, the American public was so confused and disgusted that it was happy to move onto being confused and disgusted over the bombing of Iraq.
For many of us who have been frustrated in our attempts to awaken the American public as to our collective peril, now we can understand why most people refuse to awaken--they have been purposefully fed a full menu of contradictory concepts so that their only unconscious recourse, in an attempt to maintain balance (sanity) is to bypass the contradictions and continue living their lives with intended ignorance.
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