NLP, Nudge Theory and MindSpace: excerpts from David Gosselin’s “Technocracy’s ‘Science Of Social Engineering’: MindSpace, Trance Warfare And Neuro Linguistic Programming”

If this whets your interest, the full article is here:

I found it utterly brilliant and extremely informative. I also studied Bandler and Grinder of NLP fame in college and put it to good use on my self. I present only a fraction of the richness of this article. It is definitely going in my library. In contract to my shamanistically leaning article before this one, David’s article is a scientific gem.

Before diving into the spell books and the means of reversing spells, let us briefly recap NLP’s history and the use of what its creators consider the “magical” qualities of language, as well as the origins of “Nudge Theory” (first developed by the Obama Administration’s Cass Sunstein and behavioural economist Richard Thaler). On the one hand, NLP techniques were developed as a formal system for transforming a patient’s “meta-model” of the world i.e. their linguistically-formed maps of reality. NLP practitioners have often emphasized the magical qualities of language, which in the right hands, give one the ability to transform people’s linguistic maps and “reframe” their reality. In recent times, this work has been combined with “Nudge Theory,” which uses the latest cutting-edge insights in behavioural science and social psychology to directly target and subtly steer people’s unconscious minds without the need of their “reflective processes” i.e. the conscious mind.

Rather than simply giving people false or confusing information per se, or attempting to sway their conscious minds and faculties, it is about directly steering their unconscious minds using the “magical” language of NLP, unconscious “Nudging,” and trance-inducing public messaging “incantations.” The basis for these concepts and their application can be found in the pioneering work of John Grinder and Richard Bandler, which they formulated in The Structure of Magic I & II. Even among the chapters of The Structure of Magic I, one can find titles like “Becoming a Sorcerer’s Apprentice”and “The Final Incantation.”

40 years later, with the addition of “Nudge Theory,” we have entered the age of “trance warfare.” In the simplest terms, we can observe that people experience trance in various ways throughout daily life, from driving a car, walking, exercising, all of these activities involve “automatic processes,” which don’t have to be consciously directed. In trance warfare, social engineers are afforded the ability to directly trigger and steer the various automatic processes found in trance states without people’s conscious knowledge or consent. These techniques involve using NLP “framing” techniques, targeting natural “defaults” in the human decision-making process, using “cues,” “priming,” leveraging authority and the many “shortcuts” taken by the mind when faced with various choices. The purpose of this article is to allow people to put a name on all these trance-inducing techniques and to name the “frames” used by public messaging whereby even the laymen can become capable of breaking the spells and reversing incantations, almost as magically as they were initially cast.

In this light, NLP practitioners identify our primary interface with reality as our linguistic maps. These maps become formalized (however poorly or however well) throughout our childhood and adulthood. We use these maps regardless of whether we are ever fully able to consciously describe them. From a positive standpoint, NLP allows us to investigate how these maps are formed or ill-formed, how we describe situations, events, our feelings, and how all these things can be distorted, generalized, or deleted, depending on initial map formations. In the simplest terms, NLP practitioners identify three primary ways that our linguistic maps become “ill-formed”: deletions, distortions, and generalizations. A single deletion or generalization of an experience can fundamentally alter our maps of reality for all future times; these maps will then consequently transform how we respond and act in the real world at any time.

Understanding the fundamental distinction between the traditional means of public messaging vs. the “context model” becomes crucial to understanding how these new forms of propaganda, “trance warfare,” and mass hypnosis may be effectively neutralized. MindSpace even specifically highlights what it considers the failure of previous attempts by governments to make policy under the assumption that people could be trusted to make the right “rational” decisions:

“Tools such as incentives and information are intended to change behaviour by “changing minds.” If we provide the carrots and sticks, alongside accurate information, people will weigh up the revised costs and benefits of their actions and respond accordingly. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that people do not always respond in this “perfectly rational” way.

In contrast, approaches based on “changing contexts” – the environment within which we make decisions and respond to cues – have the potential to bring about significant changes in behaviour at relatively low cost.”

For example, most mainstream outlets have been framing headlines using phrases like “according to research” and “scientists say.” However, despite wearing a scientific veil these are not scientific statements, they are appeals to group think; the statements are designed to leverage our perception of authority and cause our mind to take a mental “shortcut.” Research on this work was done by Michael Cialdini, the author of Influence. Cialdini explained how the perception of authority could be a powerful behavioural influence because authority is often perceived as a mental shortcut for people.

For example, we go to the doctor and follow the doctor’s advice because they have studied medicine and received many years of formal instruction. So, according to Cialdini’s research, having physio therapists plaster all their degrees, awards and diplomas on their office walls increased patient compliance with recommended exercise regiments by 30%. Thus, leveraging the appearance of authority in the eyes of the population becomes a key factor in “nudging” them into taking a mental “shortcut” when faced with complex and multi-faceted problems. We can see this with the sudden increase in use of simplistic phrases like “according to experts,” “scientists say,” “research says” to increase the perceived authority of a source or “messenger” — without in any way speaking to the truth or validity of findings.

A doctor’s or scientist’s recommendations is a “shortcut.” 

On page 20 of MindSpace, the authors describe this powerful behavioural influence — “losses loom larger than gains” — in the following manner:

“We dislike losses more than we like gains of an equivalent amount. Most current incentive schemes offer rewards to participants, but a recent review of trials of treatments for obesity involving the use of financial incentives found no significant effect on long-term weight loss or maintenance. An alternative may be to frame incentives as a charge that will be imposed if people fail to do something. One recent study on weight loss asked some participants to deposit money into an account, which was returned to them (with a supplement) if they met weight loss targets. After seven months this group showed significant weight loss compared to their entry weight. The weight of participants in a control group was not seen to change. The fear of losing money may have created a strong incentive to lose weight. Therefore, policy-makers could emphasize the money that people will lose by not taking an action, rather than the amount they could save.”

(in a word FEAR – in the mind’s eye)

“Framing effects refer to how the presentation of an issue, not its substantive content, can determine whether it is noticed and how it is interpreted. For example, the figure below shows that politicians and civil servants were more likely to choose a risky policy option when it was presented in terms of how many deaths it might prevent.” (rather than how many lives it might save).

(How to identify every empath on the planet: – in the mind’s eye)

Having studied MindSpace findings on “automatic motivations,” the top-ranked message comes as no surprise: if someone is faced with the choice of “protecting loved ones” from an existential threat — whether real or perceived — the decision is automatic. From the standpoint of “defaults” (losses looms larger than gains), most empathetic human beings will not want to risk losing loved ones — a major loss — for the sake of (say) attending some social function — a minor gain. Moreover, they will be willing to make great sacrifices in order to avoid even larger losses, whether potentially real or perceived.

These seemingly simple statements frame reality in very specific terms. They target the natural “automatic motivations” found in all healthy human beings in a very precise manner, namely, the desire to protect one’s offspring. The narrative suggests there exists two fundamentally opposed groups — arbitrarily defined as the vaccinated and unvaccinated — and suggests one group is actually threatening the other group’s children. This is perhaps one of the most aggressive, inflammatory, and divisive remarks any government official could make because it directly targets one of the most primal instincts in human beings: the desire to protect one’s offspring. However, all the scientific evidence absolutely demonstrates how little at risk children are, the chance of death from covid-19 among those below 18 being far below 1%. Despite these facts, the narrative frames the threat of danger against the in-group’s children as an existential threat from the out-group i.e. “the unvaxxed.”

Moreover, in respect to “two weeks to flatten the curve,” we can observe the use of NLP “timelines.” NLP practitioners might give the example of time serving as a powerful frame of reference for shaping someone’s motivation and mental state. If someone is told they have one hour to write an essay vs. two weeks to write the same essay, the emotional response and mental state will be markedly different. In this respect, virtually no one would have accepted two months or two years to flatten the curve, but “two weeks” was an initial commitment that most reasonable good-intentioned people were willing to commit to. In NLP terms, the emotional response to lockdowns and the “timelines” for flattening the curve were then simply “calibrated,” with new “timelines” used to reframe future scenarios and responses.

As the EAST introduction explains:

“In the early years, we often used the MINDSPACE framework, and indeed some of the team were centrally involved in developing it. We still use this framework. But we found in seminars that its nine elements were hard for busy policy makers to keep in mind (itself reflecting ‘cognitive chunking’). At the same time, we found in our day-to-day trials and policy work that some of the most reliable effects came from changes that weren’t easily captured by MINDSPACE, or indeed by much of the academic literature. For example, we have often found that simplifying messages, or removing even the tiniest amount of ‘friction’ in a process, can have a large impact. For these reasons, we wanted to develop a shorter, simple mnemonic — the EAST framework.[3]

EAST lays out four basic strategies for increasing the population’s compliance with government policy:

Make it easy

Make it attractive

Make it social

Make it timely

Consider the sudden rise of “Zoom calls” ritualizing the collective sacrifice of the population by “making it social.” The sudden rise of feel-good moments premised on compliance with government-mandated policies were turned into ritual social events, framing the government’s enactment of emergency measures as a means for people to embrace collective sacrifice for the sake of “protecting loved ones” and humanity as a whole. Zoom calls among atomized individuals became a way of honoring their “commitments” to flattening the curve. A significant portion of all covid-19 messaging was framed as a question of personal and collective sacrifice for the greater good — ritualizing it — essentially exploiting people’s innate goodwill and good nature.

(Ambiguity – in the minds eye)

The instinctive response by many rational people is to suggest systemic incompetence. There may be a lot of that, but there are also many nudges and trance-inducing techniques meant to harness the power of automatic motivations, which by their nature involve natural trance states. Moreover, as the co-creator of Neuro Linguistic Programming and world-leading hypnotist — Richard Bandler — states in his Guide to Trance-formation: “inducing confusion increases suggestibility.”[4] He studied Milton Erickson’s hypnotic patterns which were described as intentionally “artfully vague,” but systematically so. This allowed the patient to supply their own meaning, and enforced the appearance of sovereignty in decision-making.

The more stacked with ambiguities a statement is, especially when in a trance state, the more patients, clients, or targets become open to new suggestions and develop an ability to supply their own meaning, solidifying beliefs into the “deep structures” of their psyche and making their choices look free. Additionally, while the decision to wear masks may simply be the result of incompetence, from the standpoint of Nudging and Neuro Linguistic Programming, masks, arrows on the floor telling people where to walk, and signs consistently reminding people to hyper-vigilantly monitor their behavior all function as effective “cues” and “priming” in the nudging process.

These recent developments echo what one of the fathers of all psychological warfare and brainwashing, the Tavistock Institute’s Brigadier John Rawlings Rees, described as the need for an army of “psychological shock-troops” that could be strategically positioned throughout society to guide the population into accepting the policy designs of a ruling class 

By knowing what the frames are, such as time, or what defaults have been targeted, such as our desire to avoid losses rather than make gains, it becomes easy to see how people are placed into trance-like compliance with arbitrary instructions.

Alas, two weeks become two years (or perhaps longer). As long as the initial unconscious nudges and automatic processes are not revisited in a conscious way, many may continue to operate on their initial commitments for indeterminate periods of time. In fact, on page 14 MindSpace authors specifically observed how once automatic motivations are activated, these unconscious processes can continue operating until completion without conscious monitoring.

“The two systems have different capabilities: the reflective mind has limited capacity, but offers more systematic and “deeper” analysis. The automatic mind processes many things separately, simultaneously, and often unconsciously, but is more “superficial”: it takes short-cuts and has ingrained biases. As one academic source explains, ‘once triggered by environmental features, [these] preconscious automatic processes run to completion without any conscious monitoring[5].”

Furthermore, using other NLP techniques like “anchoring,” “cues” and “priming,” not only can the process can go on without an individual being aware that their unconscious processes are being targeted, they can be steered in real time.

Assuming one can sway the emotive and “automatic” part of the mind using rational language and argumentation belies the fact that covid-19 public messaging has been geared towards the unconscious “automatic” and emotive parts of the mind. Both of these parts must be addressed if rational discourse is to occur among the hypnotized.

As in hypnosis where certain individuals are more susceptible to trance-inducing techniques than others, likewise, certain sectors of the population have been more susceptible to the trance-inducing public messaging incantations, often preying on those who consider themselves good empathetic citizens. Knowing the “structure” of these incantations lies at the heart of knowing how they can be reversed.

“The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. 

  1. First, that the influence of home is obstructive. 
  2. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. 
  3. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. 
  4. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. 

But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.”

Bertrand Russell — The Impact of Science on Society (1951)

While Freudian psychology and its application by people like Edward Bernays signaled a significant leap in the establishment’s ability to influence “Popular Opinion” and the unconscious minds of the population, the development and applications of social psychology and behavioural science over the recent decade or so represents a fundamentally new age of precision in psychological warfare and behaviour modification techniques: an age of “trance warfare” and “mass hypnosis” guided by the subtle steering of “automatic motivations.” Neuro Linguistic Programming and Nudging have thus been adopted as the key instruments to convince people that “snow is black.”

Finally, concluding his optimistic musings on the future of social engineering techniques, Russell wrote:

“Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.

Bertrand Russell — The Impact of Science on Society (1951)

Rather than simply exposing the falsehood of one given body of information, we should identify the frames and consciously decide whether we are happy with or agree with the given choice of frame

When new information appears, before attempting to even assess it, we should ask ourselves what the frames are. For, the “magic” lies in how the incantations are framed, rather than in the information itself. 

Once named, the magic fades.

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