Several months ago, one of the early pioneers of Facebook and its first President Sean Parker, voiced his regret regarding helping create social media in the form we know it today, saying:
“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,”…
”God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Parker says the social networking site exploits human psychological vulnerabilities through a validation feedback loop that gets people to constantly post to get even more likes and comments.
“It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said.
“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”
This is the year everyone—including founding executives—began publicly questioning the impact of social media on our lives.
Last month, Facebook’s first president Sean Parker opened up about his regrets over helping create social media as we know it today. “I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” Parker said. “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth, also recently expressed his concerns. During a recent public discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palihapitiya—who worked at Facebook from 2005 to 2011—told the audience, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
Some of his comments seem to echo Parker’s concern [emphasis ours]. Parker has said that social media creates “a social-validation feedback loop” by giving people “a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever.”
Just days after Parker made those comments, Palihapitiya told the Stanford audience, “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” Palihapitiya said. “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem—this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A day before Facebook announced that it had discovered and disabled a propaganda campaign designed to sow dissension among U.S. voters, it exclusively shared some of the suspicious pages with an online forensics team so busy it hasn’t put a nameplate on the door.
The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab is based in a 12-foot-by-12-foot office in the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the nearly 60-year-old Council www.atlanticcouncil.org, a think tank devoted to studying serious and at times obscure international issues.
Facebook is using the group to enhance its investigations of foreign interference. Last week, the company said it took down 32 suspicious pages and accounts that purported to be run by leftists and minority activists. While some U.S. officials said they were likely the work of Russian agents, Facebook said it did not know for sure.
This site’s visitor numbers are currently around one third normal levels, stuck at around 20,000 unique visitors per day. The cause is not hard to find. Normally over half of our visitors arrive via Facebook. These last few days, virtually nothing has come from Facebook:
What is especially pernicious is that Facebook deliberately imposes this censorship in a secretive way. The primary mechanism when a block is imposed by Facebook is that my posts to Facebook are simply not sent into the timelines of the large majority of people who are friends or who follow. I am left to believe the post has been shared with them, but in fact it has only been shown to a tiny number. Then, if you are one of the few recipients and do see the post and share it, it will show to you on your timeline as shared, but in fact the vast majority of your own friends will also not receive it. Facebook is not doing what it is telling you it is doing – it shows you it is shared – and Facebook is deliberately concealing that fact from you.
Twitter have a similar system known as “shadow banning”. Again it is secretive and the victim is not informed. I do not appear to be shadow banned at the moment, but there has been an extremely sharp drop – by a factor of ten – in the impressions my tweets are generating.
I am among those who argue that the strength of the state and corporate media is being increasingly and happily undermined by our ability to communicate via social media. But social media has developed in such a way that the channels of communication are dominated by corporations – Facebook, Twitter and Google – which can in effect turn off the traffic to a citizen journalism site in a second.
Former head of US Intelligence James Clapper just admitted that the United States was simply looking out for citizens of various countries “when we tried to manipulate or influence elections or even overturned governments,” a statement directly at odds with the moral high ground claimed by President Obama and other US officials on the topic of Russian election meddling.
In an interview with Bloomberg’s Tobin Harshaw published Saturday, Clapper – who is promoting his new book “Facts and Fears,” said “I guess the way I think about that is that through our history, when we tried to manipulate or influence elections or even overturned governments, it was done with the best interests of the people in that country in mind,’ adding that the US has a “traditional reverence for human rights.”
The Central Intelligence Agency has practiced a double standard for many years. Former CIA director David Petraeus escaped a jail sentence despite providing eight notebooks of highly classified information, including names of covert operatives, to his biographer-mistress. Conversely, Reality Winner, a former Air Force linguist, has been in jail for the past year, awaiting sentencing for leaking a classified report about Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Everyone in the United States is talking about Russian interference in the U.S. elections.
There is nothing new here, however. Former CIA director John Deutch placed sensitive operational materials on his home computer, which was used to access pornographic sites, but he was pardoned by President Bill Clinton. Clinton’s national security adviser, Samuel Berger, received a modest fine for stuffing into his pants classified documents from the National Archives. And Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was not even charged when he kept sensitive documents about the NSA’s massive surveillance at his home. Conversely, my good friend Tom Drake was charged with violations under the Espionage Act for “mishandling” what turned out to be unclassified information.
On December 29, 2016, the Obama Administration – with three weeks remaining in its term – issued harsh sanctions against Russia over supposed election interference. Two compounds in the United States were closed and 35 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the country.
Russia responded by calling the actions “Cold War déjà vu.”
In the two years that have elapsed since, it has been learned that the “intelligence” that formed the basis for the sanctions was beyond dubious.
A single unverified “dossier” compiled by an ex-British spy with no discernable connections to Russia was shopped to FISA judges and the media as something real.
The dossier was opposition research by the Hillary Clinton campaign, a fact that was not disclosed and actively hidden by off-the-book transactions through the law firm Perkins Coie.
As a dog that chases its tail, the fake dossier was being used to cause the investigation which itself lent credibility to the notion of Russian interference.
The FBI and CIA thumbed the eye of an armed nuclear state based on false intelligence. Why?
The answer is now obvious: to cover up their own election year shenanigans they thought would remain forever hidden in the inevitable Hillary Clinton victory.
In today’s United States, the term “espionage” doesn’t get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans’ own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term “intelligence.” This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.
First of all, US “intelligence” is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.
In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps. In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as “Al Qaeda.” There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.
Most recently, British “special services,” which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their “secret” lab in Porton Down doesn’t work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).
Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents
The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought.
By Zach Dorfman
It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.How were the Chinese able to roll up the network?
Now, nearly eight years later, it appears that the agency botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources, according to five current and former intelligence officials. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.
“The attitude was that we’ve got this, we’re untouchable,” said one of the officials who, like the others, declined to be named discussing sensitive information. The former official described the attitude of those in the agency who worked on China at the time as “invincible.”
Other factors played a role as well, including China’s alleged recruitment of former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee around the same time. Federal prosecutors indicted Lee earlier this year in connection with the affair.
But the penetration of the communication system seems to account for the speed and accuracy with which Chinese authorities moved against the CIA’s China-based assets.
“You could tell the Chinese weren’t guessing. The Ministry of State Security [which handles both foreign intelligence and domestic security] were always pulling in the right people,” one of the officials said.
“When things started going bad, they went bad fast.”
USEFUL IDIOTS: How Our Intelligence Agencies Helped Putin Weaken America
John D. O’Connor
Today, no informed American citizen should have any doubt but that the Russian government attempted to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, one clear purpose having been to sow discord in the electorate. Many of these citizens, on both the left and right, have as well questioned President Trump’s rhetorical conflation of the question of Russian meddling, clearly proven, with the issue of Russian collusion, glaringly unproven. But this rhetorical confusion, obvious to all, is of little serious consequence beyond the political sniping it engenders.
However, such resulting kerfuffles, unfortunately, divert focus from a far more critical issue of whether our intelligence agencies, directed by politicized partisans, have analytically conflated this Russian meddling with a Russian bias for Trump, in turn corroborating in their assessment the Russian collusion narrative. If such conflation has occurred, our intelligence agencies were either shamefully duped, or, worse, were enticed into intentionally framing a disliked political figure. In either case, these agencies would have helped Putin sow discord in America, the very wrongdoing they were sworn to investigate fully and fairly.
“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'”
“And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while…”
“The sneaky thing about Amazon’s increased dominance in so many key aspects of our lives is that much of the perniciousness is hidden. No one’s going to tell you about all the retailers who have gotten pressured or destroyed via its tactics while you’re happily clicking “add to cart” and smiling about 2-day free shipping. In this sense, it can be best compared to the evils of factory farming. Most people just simply have no idea about the immense damage going on behind the scenes as they indulge in incredible convenience and what looks like a good deal.
Many Americans have started to recognize the dangers of Facebook and Google over the past year, partly as a result of the companies’ increasingly sloppy use of censorship, yet the public remains in complete denial when it comes to Amazon and Jeff Bezos. I suspect this will change in the years ahead, and I hope my articles on the topic will serve as useful resources for those who care. The sooner we admit what’s going on the better.”
The video is a full recording of Google’s first all-hands meeting following the 2016 election (these weekly meetings are known inside the company as “TGIF” or “Thank God It’s Friday” meetings). Sent to Breitbart News by an anonymous source, it features co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, VPs Kent Walker and Eileen Naughton, CFO Ruth Porat, and CEO Sundar Pichai. It can be watched in full above. It can and should be watched in full above in order to get the full context of the meeting and the statements made.
It was reported earlier this week that Google tried to boost turnout among the Latino population to help Hillary Clinton, only to be dismayed as the usually solid Democratic voting bloc switched to the GOP in record numbers. This video shows a similar level of dismay among Google’s most high-profile figures.
These individuals, who preside over a company with unrivaled influence over the flow of information, can be seen disparaging the motivations of Trump voters and plotting ways to use their vast resources to thwart the Trump agenda.
Co-founder Sergey Brin can be heard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists. Brin argues that like other extremists, Trump voters were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.
The Google co-founder then asks his company to consider what it can do to ensure a “better quality of governance and decision-making.”
The Trojan horse was the earliest recorded military psyop. That psyop continues to be deployed on unsuspecting populations and it is just as useful as ever, but today’s tricksters have donned the mantle of philanthropy, and their Trojan horses are not wooden statues but non-governmental organizations offering “aid” to foreign nations. In today’s edition of The Corbett Report, we’ll learn about how NGOs are the deep state’s Trojan horses.
One year later, National Geographic has finally admitted to facilitating “fake news” regarding climate change. The magazine’s most viral video ever, which featured heart-wrenching images of a starving polar bear, perpetuated the narrative that the animal’s imminent death was caused by climate change. However, the climate change aspect of the story is void of any real evidence.
“We had lost control of the narrative,” admitted Cristina Mittermeier, the photographer of the polar bear. Mittermeier explained the climate change deception in a piece titled “Starving-Polar-Bear Photographer Recalls What Went Wrong” for the magazine’s August issue.
Mittermeier conceded that the images of the bony, emaciated polar bear were meant to sound an alarm about climate change, though she complains that people took the image “literally.”
“Photographer Paul Nicklen and I are on a mission to capture images that communicate the urgency of climate change. Documenting its effects on wildlife hasn’t been easy,” she wrote. “With this image, we thought we had found a way to help people imagine what the future of climate change might look like. We were, perhaps, naive. The picture went viral — and people took it literally.”
Perhaps people took the gloom-and-doom climate change narrative “literally” because Nat Geo’s first line of the video was, “This is what climate change looks like.” To boot, the words “climate change” were even emphasized, highlighted in the magazine’s signature yellow.
“In retrospect, National Geographic went too far with the caption,” says Mittermeier. (You think?!)
A year ago we featured a detailed report by authors Tom Secker and Matthew Alford exposing just how vast the Pentagon and CIA programs for partnering with Hollywood actually are, based on some 4,000 new pages of formerly classified archived documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
The report noted at the time that “These documents for the first time demonstrate that the US government has worked behind the scenes on over 800 major movies and more than 1,000 TV titles.”
Reviewing the ever expanding list, the average movie watcher might be in for a shock at what films are actually included — there are the more predictable ones like Black Hawk Down, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lone Survivor; but also entirely unexpected ones that apparently needed the military-industrial complex’s propaganda touch like Earnest Saves Christmas, Karate Kid 2, The Silence of the Lambs, Twister, the Iron Man movies, and more recently Pitch Perfect 3.
When a Hollywood writer or producer approaches the Pentagon and asks for access to military assets to help make their film, they have to submit their script to the entertainment liaison offices for vetting. Ultimately, the man with the final say is Phil Strub, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) chief Hollywood liaison, who has been at the helm of this formerly semi-secret department going all the way back to 1989.
If there are characters, action or dialogue that the DOD doesn’t approve of then the film-maker has to make changes to accommodate the military’s demands. If they refuse then the Pentagon packs up its toys and goes home. To obtain full cooperation the producers have to sign contracts, called Production Assistance Agreements, which lock them into using a military-approved version of the script.
ABOVEAND BEYOND 7 I
ABOVE THE CLOUDS
ACE OF ACES
ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC
AIR FORCE ONE
AIR FORCE ONE
ALL HANDS ON DECK
ALL THE YOUNG MEN
AMERICAN GUERRILLA IN THE PHILIPPINES
AMERICAN PRESIDENT, THE
AN NAPOLIS SALUTE
AT WAR WITH THE ARMY
AWAY ALL BOATS
BACK TO BATAAN
BAILOUT AT 43,000 FEET
BATMAN AND ROBIN
BATTLE AT BLOODY BEACH
BATTLE BENEATH THE EARTH
BATTLE LOS ANGELES
BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
BEAST OF BUDAPEST
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
BELL FOR ADANO. A
BENEATH THE FLESH
BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL
BIG JIM MCLEAN
BIG LIFT, THE
BIG PARADE, THE
BIRTH OF A NATION
BLACK HAVIK DOWN
BRIDGE OF SPIES
BRIDGE TO THE SUN
BRIDGE TOO FAR
BRIDGES AT TOKO RI, THE
BYE BYE BIRDIE
CAINE MUTINY, THE
CALL ME MISTER
CAPT. NEWMAN, M.D.
CAPTAIN AMERICA THE WINTER SOLDIER
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
COLONEL JAMES ROWE STORY
COURT MARTIAL OF BILLY MITCHELL
CRY FOR HAPPY
D-DAY. THE SIXTH OF JUNE
DAY AFTER TOMORROW
DAY OF THE DEAD
DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. THE
DECISION BEFORE DAWN
DEVIL DOGS OF THE AIR
DON’T CRY. IT’S ONLY THUNDER
DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP
DON’T GO NEAR THE WATER
EASY COME, EASY GO
EMPIRE OF THE SUN
ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS
EVERYBODY LOVES WHALES
FACE OF WAR
FEW GOOD MEN. A
FINAL COUNTDOWN, THE
FIRST TO FIGHT
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
FLEET’S IN, THE
FLIGHT FROM ASHIYA
FLIGHT OF THE INTRU DER
FLIGHT TO NOWHERE
FLY AWAY HOME
FOLLOW THE FLEET
FORCE OF ARMYS
FRANCIS GOES TO WEST POINT
FRANCIS IN THE NAW
FRANCIS JOINS THE WACS
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
GATHERING OF EAGLES
GIRL HE LEFT BEHIND. THE
GIRLS OF PLEASURE ISLAND
GLENN MILLER STORY. THE
GLORY BRIGADE. THE
GO FOR BROKE
GOD IS MY CO-PILOT
GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK
GRAY LADY DOWN
GREAT ESCAPE. THE
GREAT IMPOSTOR. THE
GREAT RAID, THE
GREEN BERETS. THE
GREEN DRAGON, THE
HALLS OF MONTEZUMA
HANOI-RELEASE JOHN NASMYTH
HAUNTING OF SARAH HARDY, THE
HEARTS IN ATLANTIS
HEAVEN KNOWS MR ALLISON
HELL IS FOR HEROES
HELL TO ETERNITY
HELLCATS OF THE NAW
HERO OF SUBMARINE D-2
HOLD ‘EM NAW
HOLD BACK THE NIGHT
HOMER AND EDDIE
HOW | SAVED THE PRESIDENT
HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. THE
I AIM AT THE STARS
I WANTED WINGS
ICE STATION ZEBRA
IN HARM’S WAY
IN LOVE AND WAR
IN THE ARMY NOW
IN THE LINE OF FIRE
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
INVADERS FROM MARS
IRON MAN 1
IRON MAN II
JOHN PAUL JONES
JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG
JUDGMENT IN BERLIN
JURASSIC PARK III
KARATE KID II
KINGS GO FORTH
LARGER THAN LIFE
LAST PLANE OUT, THE
LICENSE TO KILL
LONG GRAY LINE, THE
LONGEST DAY, THE
MAC AND ME
MAJOR MOVIE STAR
MAJOR MOVIE STAR
MARINES, LET’S GO
MCCONNELL STORY. THE
MEN OF THE FIGHTING LADY
MEN WITHOUT WOMEN
MILITARY AIR SCOUT
MYSTIC NIGHTS & PIRATE FIGHTS
NAKED AND THE DEAD
NAW BLUE AND GOLD
NEXT KARATE KID. THE
NO MAN ISAN ISLAND
ONE MINUTE TO ZERO
PANCHO U.S. MARINE
PATENT LEATHER KID
PEREZ FAMILY, THE
PERFECT STORM, THE
PORK CHOP HILL
PRIDE OF THE MARINES
PRISONER OF WAR
RACE TO SPACE
RAISE THE TITANIC
RED BALL EXPRESS
RIDE WITH THE DEVIL
RIGHT STUFF. THE
ROCKETS RED GLARE
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
RUN SILENT. RUN DEEP
SANDS OF IWO JIMA
SATELLITE KILLER. THE
SHOW OF FORCE
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. THE
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE
SOLDIER’S STORY, A
STAR SPANGLED BANNER
STAR TREK IV
STAR TREK: RESURRECTION
STORY OF G.l. JOE
STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND
SUM OF ALL FEARS
TAKE THE HIGH GROUND
TEARS OF THE SUN
THE LAST ACTION HERO
THEY WERE EXPENDABLE
THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO
TIME TO KILL, A
TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI
TOMORROW NEVER DIES
TORAI TORAI TORAI
TRANSFER OF COURAGE
TRANSFORMERS DARK OF THE MOON
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
TRUEST SPORT. THE
TUSKEGEE AIRMEN. THE
TWELVE O’CLOCK HIGH
ULTIMATE SOLUTION OF GRACE QUIGLEY. THE
WAITING FOR THE LIGHT
WALK IN THE SUN
WE WERE SOLDIERS
WHAT PRICE GLORY
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT
WING AND A PRAYER
WINGS OF EAGLES
YOUNG LIONS. THE
Maybe the Japanese should give their island back to the Ezo people… Or the Russians should give Russia back to the Yakuts…. Or South Africa should give their land back to the Khwe, etc, etc, etc… but no, only white Americans deserve to be guilted and shamed for what we now consider historic wrongs…
Well it is that time of year again. The time when “progressives” nation wide start sharing memes about Europeans being “Illegal Aliens” and Native Americans were kind enough to let us into “their” country…
We see this all the time from the ignorant fools, but more so around Thanksgiving. They fail to realize that, if anything, their arguments promote stricter immigration polices, not laxer.
What we see here is a prime example of what is called “presentism” . Presentism is when historical accounts are judged by the standards of the present. Most scholars will agree that it is a rather ignorant way to look at the past.
It would be improper to claim that George Washington was an evil man because he owned slaves simply because during his life, the majority opinion was that owning slaves was not evil. As a better example, let’s say that in 100 years, we discover that plants have advanced consciousness. It would be ignorant for people of that time to say that everyone alive today is evil for eating plants, because in todays standards, eating plants is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
So let’s instead look at what was acceptable, and encouraged during the time of colonial America. Throughout much of history (including the 1600’s) it was normal for a conquering army to claim the lands of their defeated foe. This is a practice that goes back into antiquity with the Persian, Greeks Romans, Egyptian, Israelis, Chinese and many other cultures taking part.
Taking land by conquest was also a part of Native American culture. Creek Indians conquered land from Choctaws and Chickasaws and the Creeks. Comanches came in and took the land from the Apaches by war, Aztecs, Incas and Mayans all grew their empires by conquering lands from other tribes. The Tainos and Canib tribes fought over land. When Spain Defeated the Aztec empire, the did so with an army of 1,000 Spanish soldiers and 75,000 soldiers from the Tlaxcallans, Choulatecs and Totonac tribes..
The practice of claiming the land of conquered enemies extended well past the colonization of America. It wasn’t until the conclusion of World War II in 1945 that western culture shunned the practice (and even then, the Soviet Union claimed Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, and many other territories as part of their victory spoils).
To claim “white Europeans” “stole” America from the native tribes is to force the cultural norms of the past 50 years (that white Europeans created) on events that happened hundreds of years earlier. That is just ignorant.
Manufacturing the Deadhead: A Product of Social Engineering… by Joe Atwill and Jan Irvin
By Joe Atwill and Jan Irvin
May 13, 2013
In 2012 Jan Irvin made an important discovery. In the course of re-publishing The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by the Dead Sea Scrolls scholar John Allegro, Irvin had been researching the letters of one of Allegro’s most prominent critics, Gordon Wasson, at various university archives (including Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, and the Hoover Institute at Stanford) when he came across primary documents–letters actually written by Wasson–showing that he had worked with the CIA.
Though Gordon Wasson was both chairman for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Vice President of Public Relations for J.P. Morgan Bank, he is most famous as the individual who “discovered,” or more accurately popularized, magic mushrooms. An article in Life magazine described fantastic visions and experiences Wasson claimed to have had while under their influence (see Life, May 13, 1957 – Seeking the Magic Mushroom). Wasson’s claims were the first description of the effects of psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms presented to the general public.
Irvin saw troubling implications in his discovery. He was aware, of course, of the CIA’s infamous Project MK-ULTRA, in which the organization had given LSD to unsuspecting U.S. citizens. He also knew of the many conspiracy theories claiming that the government has been somehow involved with the creation of the “drug culture.” He was also aware of Dave McGowan’s research on the drug and music movement that had come out of Laurel Canyon in the 1960‘s, which showed that many of the “rock idols” who created it were the children of members of military intelligence.
So the fact that a member of the CIA had also been involved with the discovery of Psilocybe mushrooms fit into a large collection of troubling linkages between the American government and the drug culture that emerged during the 1960’s. Irvin decided to do further research into the government’s involvement with the “psychedelic movement”. An obvious question he hoped to answer was: Had Wasson been somehow involved with MK-ULTRA?
During this research, Irvin came in contact with another scholar, Joe Atwill. When comparing the results of their research, Irvin and Atwill developed a theory about the origin of the psychedelic movement of the 1960’s: The “counterculture” had been developed by elements within the U.S. government and banking establishment as part of a larger plan to bring about a new Dark Age; or, as it was marketed to potential victims, an ‘archaic revival.’
PC acts as a filter for sifting out thought that doesn’t conform to orthodox ideology, and for punishing those who dare to express the filtered-out ideas. So, PC only allows for a narrow range of expressed opinion on identity politics. PC is literally thought-policing. It’s hard to imagine anyone being in favor of that, which is exactly why PC behavior is so odious to those of us who value free speech.
The orthodox view in identity politics these days is that “white male cis-heterosexual patriarchal privilege” is responsible for the discontents of women and “people-of-color” — a squishy, mischievous category which obviously doesn’t count Chinese grad students at Harvard or the Asian-Indians in the Silicon Valley C-suites — and demands reparations of one kind or another.
Mr. Peterson laid it out nicely: identity politics assigns everyone to ethnic, racial, and sexual groups, and all the human relations among them amount to never-ending battles for political power. Nothing else matters. Individuals especially don’t matter, only the group. And no group has abused its power more than European white men.
This animating idea comes out of the mid-20th century “post-structural critical theorists” Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, whose Marxian views emerged conveniently at a time when women and non-white people were vying for departmental chairs in the college humanities and social science programs, and thus have two generations been indoctrinated.
Well, if human relations are solely about power, than exercising power over others is all that matters. Hence, the key to identity politics: it’s all about coercion,