Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.1
– George Santayana
The usual man or woman, who listens to the “news” faithfully, is constantly (and inevitably) exploited by all kinds of shrewd people…2
– Not-Two Is Peace
On the evening of October 30th, 1938, a few days before my mother was born, a fleet of Martians invaded the earth. Or so CBS Radio told millions of people over the course of a now-famous hour-long radio broadcast. This broadcast pretended to interview real eye-witnesses, convey the sounds of explosions and screams, and provide live speeches from U.S. government officials, as an intensely real but fake tragedy unfolded in real-time.
While in retrospect this may sound clever or amusing or “totally cool”, at the time it was not a tongue-in-cheek farce but an extremely realistic production, which included a cast of highly paid professional actors, state-of-the-art special effects, impersonations of FDR’s voice3 and people pretending to be top military commanders. Occurring just prior to World War II, some listeners who tuned in after the program had already begun thought it was a German invasion. Estimates were that over a million people panicked and began evacuation procedures.
Was this a simple Halloween joke? Was it entertainment? Or was it an early psychological warfare experiment using the new technology of mass media? It depends on who you ask.
1. A summary of the actual broadcast
(Or listen yourself & skip ahead)
A few weeks before this broadcast, millions of listeners had been keeping their radios tuned for the latest news from a European continent seemingly on the verge of war. They had learned to expect that musical programs, radio shows – broadcasts of all kinds – would be cut off in an emergency to inform everyone what was happening.4
On this particular night when a listener tuned in, he or she would have heard the music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra coming from the Meridian Room in the Park Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Soon after the first piece had begun an announcer broke in: “Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News.” This report brought a story of a large explosion on Mars.
The music was resumed only to be interrupted again: “Ladies and gentlemen, following on the news given in our bulletin a moment ago, the Government Meteorological Bureau has requested the large observatories of the country to keep an astronomical watch.” This second bulletin reported that a “huge flaming object, believed to be a meteorite, fell on a farm in the neighborhood of Grovers Mill, New Jersey.” Then the swing band got in 20 more seconds of music, and then the invasion news report came back and continued without interruption for the rest of the hour.
The final announcement came from New York City: “I’m speaking from the roof of Broadcasting Building, New York City. The bells you hear are ringing to warn the people to evacuate the city as the Martians approach. Estimated in last 2 hours, 3 million people have moved out along the roads to the north. Hutchison River Parkway still kept open for motor traffic. Avoid bridges to Long Island – hopelessly jammed. All communication with Jersey Shore closed ten minutes ago. No more defenses. Our army wiped out, artillery, air force, everything wiped out. This may be the last broadcast. We’ll stay here to the end. People are holding service below us, in the cathedral.”
2. How did this terrifying fake news broadcast come about?
Radio is an altogether novel medium of communication,
preeminent as a means of social control, and epochal in its influence upon the mental horizons of men.
– Hadley Cantril, 19355
You or I probably could not impersonate high-ranking U.S. military personnel on national radio, or fool people into thinking there was a national state of emergency throughout an hour-long broadcast and get away with it – unless we had the proper authorization from someone pretty high-up.
It appears that the Rockefeller Foundation helped pay for the 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast,6 paid for a follow-up study analyzing its effect on the populace,7 and the follow-up study itself was performed by Nelson Rockefeller’s8 very own college roommate, Hadley Cantril.9 Orson Welles was later hired by Nelson Rockefeller to work on additional projects.10 Another Orson Welles project – a wartime film called “It’s All True” – was suggested by Nelson’s brother, David Rockefeller. It appears that Orson Welles achieved fame and fortune – a remarkable achievement for an actor – while the Rockefeller family may have achieved some expertise in how to shape the public mind using the new broadcast media of radio, television, and film.
The people who’ve done well within the [Hollywood] system are the people… who want to make the kind of movies that producers want to produce.11
– Orson Welles
As time went on, these primitive early experiments using the new media became far more sophisticated, and the goal of using radio and television as “preeminent means of social control” – as Mr. Cantril put it – mushroomed to unbelievable levels of ingenuity, attention-to-detail, subtlety, effectiveness and scope, according to some reports12 which I don’t feel inclined to go into in this article.
One notable but extremely primitive example – no special effects, extras, sets, props, or “professional actors” this time – was when Dan Rather commented upon the John F. Kennedy assassination. (And I have to remind myself: JFK’s death was one of the most significant crises of the 20th century, which affected people’s morale and mindset all over the Americas, the Soviet Union – everywhere – and for years to come.)
On November 25, 1963, CBS New chief Dan Rather announced to the world that he had seen the secret Zapruder video and told millions of viewers, eager to understand the hows and whys of this terrible incident, that the president’s head “went forward with considerable violence” upon being shot,13 whereas today14 we can see for ourselves that what Mr. Rather told everyone is simply not true.
. . .
. . .
3. An obsession with fear, alien attacks, and global emergencies
Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us [come together]…
such as an alien threat from outside this world.
Obviously Hollywood has had an obsession with alien invasions. I’m told there have been more than 100 such films17, including such horror films as “It Came From Outer Space” (1953), “Earth Versus the Flying Saucers” (1956), “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956), and more recent examples like “Predator” (1987), and M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” (2002). Then there’s also the “Visitors” television shows of 1984 and 2009. It’s like these programs are predicting what’s actually going to happen.
In reality, from a scientific standpoint I’m told that aliens – from outer space – would have a hard time actually reaching earth due to the “van Allen belts”. These are a series of electromagnetic fields and charged particles predicted by Tesla and later confirmed by extensive taxpayer-funded research19 – which are perhaps 65,000 miles across and which surround and protect the earth. These belts are said to catch and hold the energy of solar flares – which represent enormous amounts of energy and are apparently very destructive. (During testing via space rockets, the on-board geiger counters were destroyed by the charged particles and had to be encased in lead.)
Physicist James van Allen warned the Academy of Science in 1959: “All manned space flight attempts must steer clear of these belts of radiation…”20, that is, stay on the earth-side of them. So if this is true, any “unidentified” flying objects21 – such as the triangular TR-3B – or strange creatures22 you hear about would need to be local to the earth, or perhaps even come from tunnels inside the earth, depending on which theory you subscribe to.
(Interestingly enough, proponents of a “hollow earth” theory have included the astronomer Edmond Halley,23 physicist Leonhard Euler,24 the modern mathematician Mostafa Abdelkader, the alternative health writer Raymond W. Bernard.25 And then there’s the stories of subterranean dwellers upheld by numerous Native American, Eskimo, Mongolian, Native Brazilian, Native Mexican, and Tibetan traditions.)26
In any case, what I didn’t realize until recently is that some politicians have spoken wistfully about what could be accomplished politically if only humankind were united through the terror and hysteria over some immanent global danger, such as an alien invasion.
Imagine, if you will, a popular, media-darling political figure such as Ronald Reagan – or, in today’s world, perhaps Prince William – being given emergency power to rule the world during a global crisis. Are you picturing it?
What Reagan was pining after can be described as a three-step process:
1. Problem (aliens)
2. Reaction (panic)
3. Solution (Reagan – or someone more contemporary but at least as photogenic & “heroic” – rules the world with special wartime powers for as long as the emergency lasts)
While such a one-world rulership situation might sound like a good idea to some people, I’m not so sure it necessarily would be. Again, Reagan was not talking about human beings all over the world cooperating and discussing things in a mood of fearless sanity and true wisdom,27 but was talking about drastic authoritarian measures to deal with a sudden catastrophe – like an alien invasion.
I think our integrity and wisdom and beauty as human beings comes more at the local, human-scale level – when our compassionate heart-intelligence is awakened – rather than at the massive, institutional level. Or at the level of worshipping a “hero” figure presented to us on television – or forced on us by a state of “emergency”.
. . .
4. Renunciates are hard to con
There is a sucker born FAR more often than once a minute… (because human beings are addicted to worldly hope and fear.)29
– Adi Da Samraj
If you want the truth of creation, be the truth of yourself first. Tell lies, deceive others, and you’ll end up so confused by so many fictions out there, that you will be unable to tell one person’s truth from another person’s lies.30
– Don Bradley
In closing, I’d like to point out that none of the stuff we’re talking about here – media panics, being expoited by the news or by politicians, etc. – applies to “renunciates”.
By this word I simply mean people who don’t care about the daily news all that much because the whole focus of their life has shifted from trying to achieve popularity, wealth and personal security to contemplation, serving humanity, serving God, or just appreciating the mystery of Life.
It seems in the most exemplary cases such people don’t even care about death, or misfortune – at least not in the sense of being controlled by a fear of these things – because their orientation has moved off their own petty desires, vanity, ego, etc., and onto service and love,31 no matter what arises around them.
- How would you like to be fooled into thinking there was a violent mass-casualty incident taking place – today, on the news – when in reality there wasn’t?
- How do you like Ronald Reagan’s dream of having the world politically united – not gracefully, due to cooperation, but suddenly and violently, due to fear and hysteria and authoritarian measures?
- What do you think of the quote at the beginning of this article, suggesting that anyone who naïvely pays attention to the daily news is getting exploited? What does that mean – “exploited”?
- What do you think of this claim: “Most of your ideas, and your opinions, and how you emulate things – you mimic what you see (on television). It becomes you, you become it.”
- What kinds of people, influences, and activities do you choose to spend your time with?
- George Santayana (1863-1952), in his book “Reason and Common Sense”. Could have been earlier authors who said the same thing. ↩
- Adi Da Samraj, writing in “Not-Two Is Peace”. The quote is from the essay entitled “Reality-Politics For Ordinary Men and Women”. ↩
- This person was not introduced as the President, but still was made to sound like him. And again, this was radio – sound but not picture – so if you had just tuned in and heard Roosevelt’s voice, you wouldn’t necessarily know the difference. Tricky, eh? ↩
- I’m basing this on a statement to this effect made by William Cooper, as transcribed here. ↩
- A roommate of Nelson Rockefeller’s at Dartmouth College in the late 1920s, Cantril took a doctorate in psychology at Harvard, co-authoring “The Psychology of Radio” with his doctoral mentor Gordon Allport in 1935. Whence comes this quote. ↩
- Strictly speaking the “War of the Worlds” broadcast was produced by the Mercury Theater on the Air, which at the time had no official sponsor (according to wikipedia). However, CBS Radio itself, which approved the WOW broadcast, had received a number of sizable grants from the Rockefeller Foundation to explore creative ways to use this new medium of communication. CBS’s director of research at the time, Frank Stanton, (and later the president of CBS from 1946-1971) was closely involved with Hadley Cantril (see below) in his Rockefeller-funded “Princeton Radio Project”, setup to study the way radio could be used to control people’s minds. According to wikipedia and global research. ↩
- As the US entry into World War Two approached, Rockefeller provided $15,000 to Princeton for establishment of the Office of Public Opinion Research. A primary objective of OPOR was to systematically examine how public opinion is forged, the motivating factors behind mass public sentiment toward certain ends…In 1940, the Foundation increased the amount of funding devoted to research on public opinion and mass communication to $65,000, with $20,000 apportioned to continuing Cantril’s OPOR. ↩
- Nelson Rockefeller was the 41st vice president of the U.S. and four-time governor of New York State. He is widely believed to have died while visiting a mistress. ↩
- According to this Global Research article: Early “Psychological Warfare” Research and the Rockefeller Foundation. ↩
- Wikipedia says that Nelson Rockefeller approached Orson Welles a few years later for yet another creative project in 1943. ↩
- From “The Orson Welles Story”, according to wikiquote. ↩
- Just to get things started, this article explores how this began starting in the 30s and then via the CIA and other entities through Rockefeller funding. ↩
- According to here. Also I’ve seen the video footage of Mr. Rather saying this. ↩
- In 1975 the Zapruder film became publicly available. ↩
- Quoted from Alan Watt here. Note: I don’t recommend listening to this guy’s material, because I believe he puts people into a state of ongoing fear and bondage rather than realizing radical freedom and happiness under any condition. ↩
- In a speech made to the 42nd General Assembly of the United Nations on September 21, 1987. Source: U Texas transcript. ↩
- List here ↩
- I just read this on wikipedia, where it says “(Hellyer) is the longest serving current member of the Privy Council, just ahead of Prince Philip.” ↩
- Physicist James van Allen spent millions of government dollars launching high altitude balloons that, when they reached peak altitudes, fired rockets into space, rockets carrying geiger counters. The geiger counters became quickly destroyed by the intense energy, so they apparently had to send some of the geiger counters protected by a coating of lead to continue testing when the first batch had been fried. ↩
- The full sentence was: “All manned space flight attempts must steer clear of these two belts of radiation until adequate means of safeguarding the astronauts has been developed.” As quoted here. But no such special safeguard means were actually developed, so far as I know, and such means would require thick walls of lead to protect from x-rays, it seems. What do they use at Three-Mile Island or Fukushima to protect themselves? That’s right: robots. One figure (quoted in the book “NASA Mooned America”) says that the charged particles in the van Allen belts would be approximately 100 times more powerful than the particles at Three Mile Island (2 gigavolts vs. 18 megavolts). ↩
- More than 60 years ago, Hitler hired scientists to try to build flying saucers – and some reports say they succeeded. Viktor Schauberger, a brilliant inventor that I admire, was one such scientist. Also, try googling “tr3-b” for a purportedly more modern example of a strange flying craft. ↩
- See my recent post “The truth of this time” which has an image of genetic experiments scientists are doing to try to create new races of animals – like “pig-monkeys”. ↩
- According to wikipedia. ↩
- According to wikipedia. ↩
- Apparently a.k.a. Walter Siegmeister. ↩
- See wikipedia’s article for more info. ↩
- Some readers are familiar with Adi Da’s calling for a “global cooperative forum” to be created, which Adi Da made a point of saying, over and over, was not the same thing as a one-world government. ↩
- As quoted here. ↩
- Adi Da Samraj, spoken in early November 2005 or so, paraphrasing P.T. Barnum and adding commentary to it. ↩
- Excerpted from A Wobbling Shift. ↩
- I think service and love are fourth-stage virtues. Which seem to be useful, and bring joy to life. ↩