Gaslighting We the People In the Name of Well-Being to Avoid a Dictatorship of the Dead

Welcome to 2021 and if any of you have ever read a book or seen a film where Gaslighting by some villain was a tool of control, you will remember that the sanity of the person being manipulated always becomes an issue. Think of this post as a means of illuminating what may appear to be Gaslighting, but actually serves a long-term, even more insidious purpose, than making someone seem disturbed and crazed. As always I have lots of quotes. No need to speculate here.

First, I want to build on our ESS insight from the previous post by quoting from a recent legal paper on “Rescuing Our Democracy” by changing the legal standard involving defamation. It asserted that “a basic requirement of a healthy democracy [is] the development of a set of broadly agreed-upon facts.” No, not really, but later the paper asserts again that “a functioning democracy must have a basic consensus on what is real and what is fake and the way to reach such determinations.” Clearly, the Powers-that-Be want to Control the Narrative, while insisting erroneously that accepting such narrative is the essence of a democracy. Beginning to get a headache from the gas yet? Hold on.

In early January, a link to a June 2020 paper called “Rethinking Humanity: Five Foundational Sector Disruptions, the Lifecycle of Civilizations, and the Coming Age of Freedom” came my way. It called forthrightly for:

a new Organizing System, one governed by new rules with new belief systems, conceptual frameworks, and models of thought to better explain the world, leading to new political, economic, and social systems to influence, control, and manage society.

Not the first to call for that, but the ESS aspiration, the Fake News definition that is not about veracity but an approved source, the labeling of demonstrably true statements as Disinformation, and the above insistence that democracy is about a set of broadly agreed-upon facts should all be seen as a means to impose that New Organizing System without admitting that is the true shift. Learning Standards and competency frameworks further enable this stealth shift to a New Organizing System. The Dictatorship of the Dead quote is from Harvard Prof Roberto Unger and covered in this post

Unger has been referenced recently in numerous footnotes and this July 2020 interview makes it clear that his imagination first wholesale restructuring would be greatly aided by outrage at present conditions and his call that education has “as its primary goal the enhancement of analytic and syntheticcapabilities, rather than the mastery of information.” How to Think is a great way to substitute a New Organizing System. What better way to get new conceptual frameworks than to insist that “what matters with respect to content is less encyclopedic coverage than it is selective depth.”

We use, someone else selects. If we happen to still have Axemaker Minds with encyclopedic elements and we notice the selected concept is inapt, we are not using the New Organizing System. We must be sent outside the mainstream of thought. Accusations of Sedition, being a Conspiracy Theorist, or deplatforming to shut up should do. The Gaslighting aspect has to do with the insistence of the New Way of Thinking. It’s actually not about facts. Now we are going back to the early 90s, when the hope for a Science of Emotion was just getting underway. A book The Nature of Emotion: Fundamental Questions came out and Richard J. Davidson was one of its two editors. Close friend of the Dalai Lama with whom he works regularly, on the Board of UNESCO’s MGIEP based out of India, author of Buddha’s Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation, and quietly while most of us were unwrapping Christmas presents, he coauthored “The plasticity of well-being: A training-based framework for the cultivation of human flourishing”.

That framework published by his Center for Healthy Minds in December wants to get at

four dimensions of well-being: awareness, connection, insight, and purpose. These dimensions are central to the subjective experience of well-being and can be strengthened through training. In this respect, they can be likened to skills, and the cultivation of well-being for a repertoire of skills. The cultivation of well-being thus involves the use of self-regulatory processes to learn, practice, and apply these skills in daily life.

A feeling of interdependence with others, a “heightened and flexible attentiveness to perceptual impressions in one’s environments,” and purpose, all being manipulated by others via provided daily educational experiences, also sounds like a good way to get to a New Organizing System. Since these dimensions all have “neurobiological underpinnings,” the New System of Thought grounded in emotion is a keeper. Last Friday, the SoLD Alliance mentioned in the last post continued its “Who Gets to Thrive?” Series with a particular emphasis on SoLD as a “Tool for Anti-Racism”. When the speaker’s specialty is Affective Neuroscience and she talks about using functional MRI on students to see what is being changed and shows pictures of brain scans, we are once again looking at neurobiological underpinnings.

Professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang spoke of addressing the notion of white supremacy and “a pivotal moment to grow our young people into the citizens they can be” by targeting each student’s “emotional feeling state that becomes the story a student uses to make meaning.”  She asserted that “meaning making is where it all begins and ends because it’s how we create our reality.” It allows the student to focus on things that don’t currently exist now and she rued the fact that “Deep Reflection and Personal Meaning Making about the Problems of the World and How they can be transcended and what causes them” is not the focus of more school curricula. Suddenly, curricula “becomes about the nature of human rights, what is good and not good and we can see in the brain how it rewires when education asks these kinds of questions.”

That does sound again like a New Organizing System, hardwired in, and my hand was flying taking notes. When I looked up, I noticed the professor seemed to have been crying in excitement at the type of future world this kind of equitable curriculum would enable. She did note that these kind of practices and imagination grounded in feeling experiences did not change with varying socio-economic levels, immigration status, gender, or other characteristics of students. See where a civil rights mandate of Equity and Excellence really takes us? The webinar moderator, Karen Pittman, then lamented that the zoom webinar had no ability for everyone in the audience to stand and applaud as they would be in-person.

Pittman did later ask MHI-L about how to best get at Meaning Making and the response was that a student’s Identity and Cultural History affect the Brain more than Genes. It becomes epigenetically turned on by the experiences provided, especially once students are made aware of “How can I grow myself to be adaptive to what is needed?” It turns out that Karen Pittman is the co-author of a new book that was the subject of this article that came out on the same day as the above webinar. It also explains why she brought up psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner and his Ecological Systems Thinking and other spheres of influence beyond just the mind, school, and family.

Urie was an exchange student working in the Soviet Union in the 60s so the Theories of Mind involved with pushing Dynamic Systems Thinking go beyond my ability to recover them in this post. is that old post. Two more quick points that I can see the Chan Zuckerburg Initiative is financing the research that created that book that came out of the SoLD Alliance. It is especially interested in ACTUAL student’s trajectories of change and what experiences caused them in something called MMDC–Measures and Methods Across the Developmental Continuum. Information based on group averages might not reflect an real human being and what can change them.

Secondly I found this related paper that also tied to the upcoming book and its desired neurobiological change grounded in a student’s inner characteristics and how they can be altered to cause them to act as desired on existing external conditions.Now we can come back to the 1994 book The Nature of Emotion because it fits with the curricula I saw created in advance before Charlottesville, the Racial Equity curricula capitalizing on the furor surrounding George Floyd’s death, and now the curricula and common narratives created for the so-called ‘Insurrection at the Capitol’. Those links can all be found in the comments on the previous post, this summer’s posts, and back in August 2017. Let’s look at these stated aspirations as looking for a New Organizing System.

Davidson and his co-editor noted that there is a physiological difference in the brain between information processing and “evaluation of events that provoke an emotion.” They further noted that “emotion involves a subjective experience, a feeling state” and that “emotion is not a peripheral phenomenon but involves the organism totally. Emotional experience shapes and reflects individual personality development.” Some of its undisputed functions back in 1994 were that “1.Emotions have motivational properties…; 2. Emotions organize behavioral and physiological patterns to deal with emotion-evoking events, interrupting less important ongoing events…”

I think all these curricula have been designed to get at what is known about the brain, how to alter its neurobiological underpinnings, the role of Image in dynamic systems theories, and what emotion-evoking events can do to help create a New Organizing System. As part of a CASEL Cares webinar on “Discussions about Teaching and Learning that will Last Beyond the Pandemic,” also held on January 22, the teachers were asked about the lessons they used “to help students process the events of January 6.” The teachers discussed how scary those events had been for both themselves and their students and how the students had to “have accurate facts about the events”. The students could then process their feelings by journaling or class discussion.

Since there is a dispute among reasonable people as to what happened, when, and why, the fact that students are not allowed that knowledge was interesting. Must be because the feelings created by an emotion-evoking event are the primary area to be cultivated. A featured teacher mentioned they got their lessons and the facts from Newsela. Of course I looked it up and the partners include most major print media plus Al Jazeera as well as entities like the Zinn Education Project  and the SEL program Facing History and Ourselves. The latter two repeatedly state that their purpose is to reimagine the events of the past in order to affect how students feel about the present and the future.

We need to remember now that both education and journalism are branches of social science and as Jean-Francois Revel noted in The Flight From Truth :

In the social sciences it is what people want to see proved that becomes the main criterion of the ‘truth’…In the approximative sciences verification and refutation can be indefinitely delayed and contested. Not so in the exact sciences.

Now where exactly do emotionally laden Guiding Fictions created by prescribed subjective experiences that rewire the brain at a biological level to affect a student’s meaning making and view of reality going forward fit into this apt dichotomy between the social and hard sciences?

It’s going to be an interesting 2021 with these admitted aspirations and their ancestry, isn’t it?

48 thoughts on “Gaslighting We the People In the Name of Well-Being to Avoid a Dictatorship of the Dead

  1. Apropos of possibly nothing, and from “Libido Dominandi”, E, Michael Jones:

    “As a professor, Weishaupt had access to malleable young men into whom
    he could breathe his anticlerical ideas, and many of his students,
    intoxicated by the possibilities of the age, were swept into Weishaupt’s
    secret society. On May 1,1776, Weishaupt created an organization he
    called the Club of the Perfectible, whose name was later changed to the
    Order of the Bees, until it was changed again to the name by which it is
    remembered today, namely, the Order of the Illuminati.”

    “The significance of the Illuminati lay not in its political effectiveness. It
    existed a little more than eight years, but rather in its method of internal
    organization. In borrowing freely from both the Jesuits and the
    Freemasons, Weishaupt created an extremely subtle system of control
    based on manipulation of the passions. Borrowing the idea of examination
    of conscience from the Jesuits and sacramental confession from the
    Catholic Church to which the Jesuits belonged, Weishaupt created a system
    of “Seelenspionage” that would allow him to control his adepts without
    their knowing that they were being controlled.”

    Substitute “emotions” for “passions”, and the model is the same. Control structures can be organized around ‘confessions’ by the subject; or assessment instruments.

    I enjoyed the, “Order of the Bees”, ;-).

    • I noticed the Rockefeller Foundation was featuring King pushing the MH vision in a recent blog post on his birthday.

      Contrary to the way Fernando Flores explained it in a book I looked at recently, this is grounded in Marx, not agape love. When I looked for more of the speech look where I found it.

      Relevant to the Newsela inclusion to establish the ‘undisputed and undisputable facts”. The linked to lesson is entitled a Revolution in Values and goes like this

      His call for a “shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society” and for us to “struggle for a new world” has acquired even greater urgency than when he issued it decades ago.

      The speech concludes:

      Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores and thereby speed the day when every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain …

      Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter—but beautiful—struggle for a new world.

      Full text and audio of Beyond Vietnam online at

      Let’s remember that Marx called for a moral revolution as the essential component of his little ‘c’ Human Development Society. I wrote a post on that. I have also written about Bayard Rustin’s embrace of the MH vision and his influence and gradual radicalization of Dr King that too few people are aware of. It also came to my attention when I attended the (co)lab conference in 2013 here in Atlanta and everyone kept speaking of the Beloved Community vision that I miscalled the Blessed Community in that post.

        • Not familiar with him. Bayard Rustin was his long-time ally who influenced his vision so much politically.

          And, I love imagining an education system where the design of community hubs, green spaces, housing programs, social and mental-health services, and sustainability initiatives don’t happen without harnessing young people’s ideas and active involvement. As Connie Liu’s stories of impact showcased, young people possess the heart, drive, and unique gifts needed to solve complex problems at an individual and community level—inspiring others along the way.

          We have been living inside one of the most chaotic and exhausting 10-month period any generation alive today has been through. And through it all, the feel good stories have always had the same thing in common—neighbors helping and supporting neighbors. Whether it’s drive-by birthday caravans, young people writing letters to their elders in nursing homes, or live-streamed Zoom symphonies and concerts, in times of difficulty, we lean on each other and our boundless creativity.

          Dr. Peterson has a quote from Pablo Picasso at the bottom of her emails that sums up this view: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” We need to inspire young people to discover their unique gifts by following their unique interests, and to feel safe to share their unique gifts with the world and in the service of others and their community, in their own way.

          We need now, more than ever, people and communities that can heal, care for one another, and unlock the gifts we each have that will make the world (our largest community) a better place. Education could be the instrument for unlocking those gifts.

          As we continue our journey toward a learner-centered future, let’s be present to the gifts that our Native Nations bring and our country’s diverse cultural heritage offers. By listening to these voices, insights, and stories of transformation, we might just discover that what we are most longing for is right in front of us.

          from testerday certainly resonates with Beloved Community language.

    • So his death becomes a giant lesson that it is wrong to mistrust the media? is yet another link on lesson plans.

      Note that Common Sense Media is run by Jim Steyer whose brother Tom Steyer ran in the 2020 Dem field for President. The Media Literacy template comes from them because apparently the established media is the gatekeeper of the truth according to a Transcript I read this morning from a UNC January 19 forum

      It’s a doozy, especially the deplatforming part. If someone embraces the practices of Fascism but doesn’t consider themselves Fascist because they really do not understand what Mussolini meant when he embraced that symbol does that make the practices any less fascistic? Is fascism subjective now. A pejorative to be thrown at Trump supporters like White Supremacy while embracing these practices that essentially make any opposition to the MH vision unacceptable political thought inconsistent with the sought democracy?

      I go back to my references in CtD to practices that amount to eating your seedcorn. Good intentions will not help with the all too inevitable famine that will result. As I told another lawyer at a forum at the Carter Center where Angela Glover Blackwell was speaking. Everyone wants to redistribute something that is going to vanish with the results of these policies. Intentions cannot determine actual results much of the time, but that economic lesson has been lost.

      • It was his purported journey in conspiracy-land that I found interesting. He develops concerns about conflicts in the M.E., which — as they would — evolve into Climate Change denialism, which evolves into Covid-19 denialism, as it would.

        • Well, if only he had been the beneficiary of the New Green Learning Agenda

          A post-COVID-19 vision must aim to radically transform the underlying economic systems of inequity and social structures of inequality that are at the root of our present suite of socioecological crises. While the vision must be determined from the bottom up, this paper attempts to define how we might get there.

          Specifically, this paper presents a heuristic intended to provide climate and education decisionmakers with: 1) a framework for conceptualizing the green skills needed to catalyze both technical and social transformation (see Figure 1) and 2) a tool for considering three approaches to quality education for climate action (see Figure 2). Depending on the context, certain approaches may be more feasible than others, although all three approaches should be pursued. Taken together, the framework presents a “new green learning agenda” in which each approach helps to solve a different aspect of the climate crisis in the spirit of the Paris Agreement—that is, through the lens of justice, equity, and fairness. As such, this framework offers proposals to ensure the needs and experiences of those often most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and social inequity, especially girls and women, are prioritized.

      • “Everyone wants to redistribute something that is going to vanish with the results of these policies.”

        100% right. Especially now that the government has been unmasked, the velvet glove pulled off the iron fist. We know now that all branches of the government hate us, well maybe some little House members are OK but not a majority of them either. There’s widespread sentiment now for starving the beast, such as I’ve never seen in my life nor read about in American history. It will vanish because of policy, and out of genuine determination to replace the system.

        If we’re lucky, we’ll end up throwing out some bad babies (like coercive “education”) with the bathwater.

        • Not with what the Green Learning Agenda actually means.

          Came out January 6, which obscured its transformational reality. Look at these definitions.

          Climate action includes individual, collective, personal, and political efforts that help to mitigate against climate change and its underlying technical and social drivers, and/or strengthen the adaptive and transformative capacities of our human, natural, and socio-ecological systems.

          Climate empowerment is the practical, political, and personal process to understanding the complexities of the systemic drivers of climate change. These include historic and contemporary systems of oppression over marginalized groups; the capacity to exercise power to disrupt and transform unjust and unsustainable systems and vested interests; and the increased access to resources and opportunities for individual, collective, personal, and political action in response to and in anticipation of climate change and its impacts.

          Ecological literacy is knowledge not only about the environment and climate change, but also about the interconnected and interdependent socio-ecological systems through which humans are connected to each other and to the planet. This includes an understanding of gender, power, patriarchy, and colonialism, and how these can extend to our (extractive and destructive, or regenerative and sustainable) human interactions with the natural world.

          Feminist planetary consciousness is an awareness of the interconnectivity of humanity’s challenges and the state of the planet—that power and patriarchy, as well as colonialism and racism, impact both human and natural systems.

          Education is just the conduit to this Marxist vision that reminds me a great deal of Riane Eisler’s work. Of course we know she was involved with the Darwin Project with Laszlo, Csik, and others seeking cultural evolution back in the 80s. Here it comes.

          • Going back through the Riane Eisler tagged posts, I came across this one with Alexander Christakis, the father of the author of the recent Blueprint: The Evolutionary Sources of a Good Society I covered. Christo, as you may recall, was one of the founders of the Club of Rome, but resigned as it went in a physical science model direction instead of the social science direction he favored. Having seen all these curricula created for the supposed Sedition of January 6 and the Insurrection at the Capitol, it is clear to me they are using Christo’ SDD–Structured Dialogue Design Process to get to a common understanding using what MHI-Y calls the ‘meaning making story’ that is a feeling state.


          • ermagerd!

            I noticed it seems that all the authors are or could be women, so I flipped to the section on “Centering Gender in Green Jobs”.

            I know it’s an inappropriate reaction, but I burst out laughing reading that stuff. There’s just no place to start to fix it or the people who would write it. If they get in power, I want to run far, far away. Now that we don’t have meaningful elections in this country anymore, I’m thinking of alternatives.

        • I am adding this link from 2015 because it is clear that the Darwin Project of GERG–General Evolution Research Group is back–and this targeting of the Truncated Mind in favor of the Actualizing Mind is precisely what was being described in the SoLD Alliance webinar.

          It’s also what is being targeted by the UNESCO-affiliate Center for Universal Education. You may remember that entity frequently does its global programs at Bellagio in Italy’s Lake Como area, owned by the Rockefeller Foundation.

          That post also has a link to the original Riane Eisler post as David Loye is her husband and another member of GERG. Caring economics was her vision.

          As I noted above just the definitions in the Green Learning Agenda and the systems targeted in addition to the mind encompass the entire MH transformational agenda. It also explains why so-called elite higher ed seems to be focused on getting at students’ belief systems and what motivates them rather that knowledge transmission. Creating the desired compass and steerable rudder.

          That post mentioned LDH’s retirement. Now we know LPI is an important partner in the SoLD Alliance.

    • When I was ruminating on the effect of all this curricula and its ties to emotion and manipulations on the belief system because it is useful in producing desired future behaviors, I thought about the cultivation of Ideology in lieu of facts about the past and what has ever worked well. Lo and behold, this essay came out today which makes the point quite well

      In his analysis of The Gulag Archipelago, Gary Saul Morson, Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University, considers a question that Solzhenitsyn asks himself: Why do Shakespeare’s greatest villains kill only a few people while Lenin and Stalin killed millions?

      The reason, Morson explains, “is that Macbeth and Iago ‘had no ideology.’ Real people do not resemble the evildoers of mass culture, who delight in cruelty and destruction. No, to do mass evil you have to believe it is good, and it is ideology that supplies this conviction.” All of us are capable of small, independent evil acts, but progressivism, by allowing governments to submerge their moral qualms beneath a sea of ideology, unleashes that evil on all of society.

      Joseph Pearce, who interviewed Solzhenitsyn in Russia in 1998 and wrote an excellent biography, teases out Solzhenitsyn’s anti-progressivism by contrasting him with Leo Tolstoy. Unlike Tolstoy, Pearce argues, “Solzhenitsyn laments the modern ‘belief in eternal, infinite progress which has practically become a religion,’ adding that such progressivism was ‘a mistake of the eighteenth century, of the Enlightenment era.’ Technological progress in the service of philosophical materialism was not true progress at all but, on the contrary, was a threat to civilization.” In his novels, Solzhenitsyn drives these points home, not by offering philosophical disquisitions, but by incarnating these ideas in the lives of flesh-and-blood characters.

      James F. Pontuso, Patterson Professor of Political Science at Hampden-Sydney College, offers an example of this incarnation. In The First Circle, writes Pontuso, “Solzhenitsyn captivatingly captures the allure of ideology in the character of Lev Rubin. Despite all evidence to the contrary, including his own undeserved arrest and imprisonment, Rubin is devoted totally and insensibly to the Communist cause. . . . Rubin fails to acknowledge what he experiences; instead he accepts what he chooses to believe. For him every crime committed in the present is justified by the glorious future of peace, prosperity, and universal brotherhood that Marx’s principles purport to bring about.”

      The irony is that when I listened to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang speak in the webinar I recognized her use of Ilyenkov’s revised DiaMat–known as Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete–which I have warned about in the past. Students are being trained to see the problems of the world through theory. That’s the essence of conceptual first. She wanted to make sure students–in a new vision of citizenship supposedly suitable for the 21st century’s challenges– would have “an ability to take what you witness or have happen and fit it into a story of what happened.”

      I actually wondered if she was familiar with Gordon Pask and his cybernetic work on an internalized neural net. At the conclusion of the webinar Karen Pittman asked “How does this country’s history affect what it means to be a citizen in this country”? right after bringing up Bronfenbrenner and the Racism she saw at what she said he would have called his Mesosystem level. She then goes on to say that “reclaim your citizenship is what we’re encouraging young people to do.

      Rob Jagers of CASEL who helped create their Transformational SEL template responded first that the links between the intrapersonal [what a student has internalized as their KSAVE] and the socializing agents in institutions existing in the mesosystem need to align to make this so. He pointed out that “institutions are human constructions so they can be changed.” See quote above on the dangers of utopian thinking is my concern.

      Then MHI-Y responded that it is “not just facts and actions and experiences and things that can be directly experienced” that matter but that students see these things through the “Why and How of Bigger Systemic Reasons.” That’s is straight out of Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete theory as created in the USSR in 1962 just before the global launch in earnest of the MH vision. I even wrote that very recognition in the margin as I finished writing up the rest of her response. I also wondered if she only knew the theory by its function of if she knew its name and origination.

      The Bigger Systemic reasons “embued” direct experiences “with a broader meaning”, which is “what we need to encourage students to do.” Students should “not just be recipients of what happened.” As I said in the post, this is emotion-evoking” as I believe her interest in the Default Mode Network, also mentioned in the webinar, made clear. Looking into the DMN led me directly to Richard Davidson’s work on Buddha’s Brain and the physiological effects of meditation and mindfulness practices. That’s what made me go find that older book in my collection.

      I wrote “citizenship as Marx’s man as a maker of history” next to her next quote as webinar was finishing up.

      [We] need the kids to create a bigger story and enact it daily. Makes them fully actualized citizens going forward…grow them both psychologically and biologically as citizens.

      You can see why I was so alarmed after watching the webinar and then realizing that Getting Smart was pushing a book also allied to SoLD Alliance with the moderator as a co-author. I found all this trying to find out precisely when Cambridge University Press was actually publishing the book.

      These are dangerous ideas with a traceable ancetry which is precisely what this blog does, just as I also did in my more relevant than ever book.

    • I have been under the weather, non Rona related, this weekend. Decided to watch Atlas Shrugged. Oh my. Boarded up buildings with signs saying closed until recovery complete. Hmmmm too familiar.

      • Sorry you are not feeling well. I make long-cooked bone broth when I feel under the weather. The checkout person at the grocery store looks a bit confused when I buy a package of turkey necks or chicken backs. I think this quote is quite correct, especially with our knowledge of where ed is really going here at ISC.

        The public allows this rapid acceleration and growth by Big Tech because what they produce seems to conform to long-standing models of the human person: technology is perhaps the most coveted consumer item, and people experience its use as the primary medium of personal expression. But as these technologies become more embedded in daily life, so too does the notion of human person as data.

        Therein lies the conflict: the human person as self can only be incrementally undermined by the notion of the human persona as data. That is because the latter positions the individual simply as a means to an end that disproportionately benefits entities outside the self. The value of your personal information is not derived from your value as a person: rather, your data is only valuable insofar as it allows a greater understanding of people in general, a digital demographic mapping that maximizes Big Tech’s creation and manipulation of the public sphere. And the point I have always made, contra the False Narrative is that the person as data is not interested in PII. It’s interested in the internalized characteristics as the linked paper made clear.

        • It would seem that the “person as data” is a necessary construct for the ideology-driven doer’s of good that Solzjenitzen described. A first step in ensuring the “well-being” of all, is to dehumanize each. It is really creepy and sociopathic.

          I am thinking of the FAKE agape love promoter, Fernando Flores and his work as the ‘Finance Minister of Chile’…the creation of an cybernetically-enhanced command/control system, and this is absolutely Japan….

          • What better symbol to hype the interdependence mindset and supposed responsibility for the well-being of all than the mask mandates?

            It’s not about mediating the spread or protection but submission to majority will and political power.

            There was a quote in the book you will find of interest especially. Will locate just after my Earl Grey. Loose teas are a daily passion, probably going back to summer I spent at oxford and travelling in england when afternoon tea was still a ritual.

            Have switched to China Rose now and found the quote I had in mind. The book is called Disclosing New Worlds and Hubert Dreyfus is one of the co-authors. Remember his call for Arationality? Here goes (italics in original):

            …we describe a general form for articulating concerns and modes of inquiry.

            We propose articulating the national culture’s concerns and its modes of making things, people, and selves intelligible and creating courses that determine which practices and other social conditions enable the production of each concern and each mode of inquiry . In today’s educational jargon this is called understanding contexts. But the proposed form of education would neither glorify or denigrate beginnings (though surely some beginnings would appear glorious and others shameful). Instead it would look to our own marginal practices to try to recapture the experience that brought out each concern or mode of inquiry, and it would do so in terms that allowed a student to understand its development. This form of historical analysis is regularly carried out by non-Marxist post-Hegelians, post-Nietzscheans, and post-Heideggerians…

            in articulating a concern we call for understanding the experience that led to its production [if only a conceptual framework were readily available!]…Simply teaching students to become articulators of a national culture’s values does not show them how such articulation produces solidarity. For this, students have to learn that they actively make the history that produces and reorders both concerns and modes of inquiry. In short, for the maintenance of solidarity in the absence of a culture figure, students will have to learn the skills of history making.

            We are back to Marx’s vision of Man as a Maker of History, which is far more prevalent a 21st century vision than any economics he ever wrote. Moreover, this is what the Pandemic systemic inquiries, the George Floyd structural racism curricula, the Insurrection at the Capitol, the C’ville curriculum, MHI-Y’s comment on seeing facts through systemic Big Ideas, and Facing History’s new Reconstruction curricula, are all going, just to give a few examples.

            I think we also need to be careful about people who see the flaw in the CyberSyn Project as insufficient information, technology, and the political will to act on what is known. Successfully navigating this next decade means it is more important than ever to see past the labels offered and look at pushed practices by their function and its links to the past. Those have far more bearing on likely consequences of such ‘history-making’ than intentions, even when ‘continuous improvement’ gets touted based on now available data. Manipulation at the level of mind and soul for political purposes just doesn’t have a good track record.

  2. Had a protracted conversation with a ‘coach’, yesterday, that examples what you say above. We share the same chronology in Japan, but have been living in two different realities. I described workplace issues I have encountered over and over, as a coach, EGREGIOUS. He seemed to have no idea what I was talking about, as though he had selected a designer experience. Ditto for historical events…he simply revised these to suit his worldview. I am not describing individual or subjective perspectives, which will always differ, but the literal re-writing of commonly-held history.

    • is one of the webinars I watched back in January.

      I am also working on the insistence that it is the media being manipulated when the reality is the other way around. I had a breakthrough yesterday when the presenter happened to refer to Latour’s “science is politics by other means” quote and I remember covering Bruno Latour in CtD when I was describing the real agenda of science constructivism and its aim of controlling consciousness itself. So that reminded me of where this disinformation hype by people engaged in disinfo if you are factually embedded. I think this paper is best seen as actually the opposite of who is being manipulated by these methods.

      One of the authors is now Director of the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center. When I looked it up. it really is funded by the Open Society Foundation, which certainly explains the interest in Latour. Science and Technology Studies just keeps popping up, probably because it fits well with the CHAT–Cultural Historical Activity Theory which is also based at UCSD. Coming together, but it requires quite a bit of genuine understanding instead of the now proffered ‘semantic understanding’.

      Your chat reminds me of the insight I get when I recognize I am dealing with someone who sees the world theoretically and in terms of what can be changed. Little grasp of the unforeseen that is attached to the consequences from the desired change.

    • Have you seen this?

      “ZeroCovid” is, after all, a term that elicits confusion and, sometimes, outright hostility. Perhaps that’s why, when leading members of the global ZeroCovid movement met for a three-day international conference last Wednesday, it had a far more innocuous title: the “Covid Community Action Summit”.

      But even though this increasingly popular school of thought — which holds that we must not return to normal until the virus is completely eliminated within a country — wasn’t explicitly on the billing, its presence was made clear from the outset. In her introductory remarks, the moderator confirmed to the more than 600 registrants and speakers from across the world that “we are here to end Covid through ZeroCovid and CovidZero policies”. More often at the event, held over Zoom and organised by American scientist Yaneer Bar-Yam, speakers preferred to refer to ZeroCovid as an “elimination strategy”.

      Yet the purpose of the event was clear: to share evidence and political advice to help campaigners lobby Western governments to abandon any notion of living alongside the virus, and instead to follow the lead of Asia-Pacific nations in aiming to eliminate the disease entirely within their borders. This group is crucially distinct from people who support ongoing lockdown measures to suppress the virus to a level where it is safe to reopen — for ZeroCovid believers, we cannot rest until that level is zero.

      Like structuralracism or catastrophic manmadeclimate change, these assertions are made to make the only remedy to force massive transformations in all human systems. The mind and the story it uses to perceive and interpret is just the starting poin. But it is THE starting point that everything hinges on.

      I am adding this additional, hugely revealing, quote.

      David Rennie, Beijing bureau chief of The Economist, recently gave an astonishingly candid account of current ZeroCovid life in the Chinese capital:

      “China’s strategy, from the start, was to have no infections at all… Still in Beijing, where we have hardly any cases, every time you step outside your door you have to use a smartphone to scan a QR code — every shop, every taxi, every bus, every metro station. You have no privacy at all — it’s all built around this electronic system of contact tracing. To leave Beijing you have to have a Covid test, to come back in you have to have a Covid test…. We basically don’t have the virus here, but the flip side is that they are keeping this place locked down as tight as a drum… It’s very hard to know where Covid containment starts and a Communist police state with an obsession with control kicks in.”

      Surely that is the most powerful objection to the approach: that in reality it would require a long-term illiberal regime to achieve and maintain it. ZeroCovid is a totalitarian aim, best delivered by a totalitarian state. Even in Australia, last weekend there was panic buying in Perth as the city re-entered lockdown in response to a single positive test result. So far at least, British voters have not chosen to reject liberal democracy, no matter what the epidemiological allure of a ZeroCovid regime.

      • The mentioned ‘scientist’ specializes in ‘complex systems’ and applying those concepts to real world problems. Bingo.

        It’s about how we are to frame going forward. Consciousness itself and how it ties to existing conditions in the external world.

      • FYI, I had a lengthy chat with a Ph.D. chemist formerly attached to Novartis, who tells me that his current organization (religious services, 😉 attempted to assess the actual impact of Covid-19 in Japan, and duirng the first lockdown. They contacted medical doctors in their networks. Sounds like docs saw on average ‘1’ Covid-19 patient/week during the peak. Months later, their offices were full of the depressed, the anxious, the progressively more alcoholic — the hopeless, etc.

        • Status in Tokyo. Hundreds of ‘foreigners’, also known as gaijin rendered homeless by Covid-19 ‘crisis’. Thousands of hotel rooms, empty. Foreigners being told to sleep in ‘internet’ cafes. No resources provided.

          • I think we have our answer. I was reading john a. powell’s 2012 book Racing to Justice where I realized the ‘solution’ to structural racism and ‘white supremacy’ (which turns out to simply be resistance to the role of reason and individualism in the West) was once again that Buddhist negation of self. Heard that refrain before so I stopped that book (nursing a cold so no fun to go out anyway) and picked up Bruno Macaes’ book on the Belt and Road. He writes about Tianxia and I immediately recognize that same negation of self, DiaMat, communitarianism, and Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete rolled into one theory.

            Explains the Pandemic, the need for a vassal in charge of the US federal level of government, the fact that on January 6, the Brookings (tied to China now) Center for Universal Education (tied to UNESCO) released that makes Green Learning what Dewey would have called his Education for Democracy, powell sees as the solution to structural racism and the Chinese would see as consistent with Tianxia. As in all roads lead to…

            Looking into the ties between Tianxia and communitarianism yesterday proved fruitful with a Karl-Heinz POHL paper popping up called “Communitarianism and Confucianism in Search of Common Moral Ground.” Also found a relevant article in Noema Magazine called Tianxia–All Under Heaven which agreed it offered THE vision for the future of the ‘world system’. A Yudan Chen article from 2016 called “two Roads to World Community: Comparing Stoic and Confucian Cosmospolitianism” takes the relevance straight to many of the principals involved in the False Narrative surrounding the Common Core that launched in 2011 in the US and the think tanks they are involved with. It also ties to the Jubilee Centre and the Vatican’s Humanity 2.0 Initiative, along with Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen’s Human Capability Theory.

            Plus powell just cited to another one of Roberto Unger’s books so we have a definite convergence going on here. Will write it up when I can get the current sinus pressure to dissipate.

            Clearly though China has plans for Japan in this Tianxia/BRI vision of the future. I suspect what you are seeing there fits right in with what was necessary to break Japan’s reliance on the West.

          • Have we ever discussed this IPOD Framework–Innovation-inspired Positive Organizational Development and the shift you and others have observed in coaching?

            This came up again as powell starts his Chapter seeking to deconstruct the historic West conception of the Self, taken from the Enlightenment, with Kenneth Gergen’s multiple selfs and that is precisely what I had written about in the previous post. Useful as the book called Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community EXPRESSLY states what powell does not: that it is advancing Marxian thought and the cultural goals of the Frankfurt School.

            Because both were written in April 2013 I was not sure you had seen them, but they are pertinent and I know we have discussed Appreciative Inquiry and David Cooperrider’s work. Remember too that Ervin Laszlo’s other son, Christopher, works at Case Western with Cooperrider.

            It’s all coming together quite nicely, even if the aspirations are hugely troubling.

    • This is from an article in the UK Telegraph by Jeremy Warner that is right on the money and consistent with what we are seeing at ANY level of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory. As I mentioned Karen Pittman brought up the theory in the SoLD Alliance webinar so it is very much on educators and public policy intervenors minds that all these levels must be targeted for governmental ‘steering’ based on declared goals grounded in the ‘common good.’

      Anyone dreaming of a return to the old normality can forget it. The disease marks a defining point in history, where lots of things which have been incubating for years finally fall into place and the world shifts decisively on its axis.

      Even though not a particularly serious pandemic by some past standards (the plague, Spanish flu), there is an air of fin de siècle about Covid, a shifting of the tectonic plates that tells us that things are never going to be quite the same again. Perhaps the biggest of these changes, and for the more liberally minded among us one of the most worrying, is a much bigger and more intrusive role for the state.

      This is often the result of a serious crisis; all of a sudden, the state finds that it is needed, that when all around is frightened chaos, it is the only game in town, and it demands something back in return.

      Covid has allowed the Government massively to expand its reach and powers, nationalising great swathes of the economy and, through its social distancing restrictions, reaching deep into the way people live their lives.

      Under the guise of the public health emergency, Covid has also – via test and trace and mass vaccination – sanctioned a great leap forward in the surveillance society.

      Gaia is just the ultimate level of BEST and another Generative Metaphor as MIT colleague Donald Schoen called it. Have I mentioned Schoen wrote his PhD thesis on John Dewey or that I have consistently found people acknowledging now in print that Dewey spent 2 years in China teaching in the 20s after the founding of the CCP there. IIRC this is the CCP centenary year. Look at the prizes in the uS they have captured that control all that BEST steering.

    • from yesterday fits with both some of your speculation as well as interests. Here’s a sample:

      By using stress tactics, they can change what people believe to be true by simply inserting something into a video or phrasing questions or information a certain way, and they can get a person to believe guns were in the room if they weren’t really there. They can change, remove, and insert memories. Morgan says that if you continue to expose people to misinformation, they will adopt it as real.

      Right now, the world is witnessing this firsthand, only the misinformation is primarily coming out of the powers that be, while trying to inform the world that millions of people are the ones producing misinformation. This is called projection.

      Morgan explained manipulation tactics used through social media, stating that “in the current social media age the ability to actually manage people’s memories and change them has just enhanced from what it used to be. Now you can fix videos and pictures and expose people to audio and visual information, and we know that even if they know that’s a possibility people don’t recognize when they adopt a false memory. You don’t know that it’s happened to you. It bypasses some critical reasoning and is particularly effective.”

      “That’s where the state of the art is right now for creating false memories in humans by doing that verbally or by these manipulations, either by what we say, what we show them, what we expose them to, but the chemical implanting of memories has now occurred in monkeys. We should see that science in the next two years (seminar was in 2018).”

      Morgan also spoke about the study they did in 2017 whereby they gave college students the false memory that they were terribly hungover from alcohol. A week later they were given free range options at the bar and they declined alcohol at twice the rate of other students because they remembered a false memory of being sick the last time.

      I downloaded the linked to cia paper to see how well it fits with what we now know about Tranzi OBE and its euphemistic successors as well as the use of emotionally laden ‘stories’ to use for ‘meaning making’. Kenneth Boulding recognized the crucial role of The Image in a book decades ago. That article does the same.

  3. In re your 2/8 post, Robin,

    “I was reading john a. powell’s 2012 book Racing to Justice where I realized the ‘solution’ to structural racism and ‘white supremacy’ (which turns out to simply be resistance to the role of reason and individualism in the West) was once again that Buddhist negation of self.”

    Indeed, indeed, and this is WHY it is so disconcerting to experience one of these ‘events’ in a self-negating culture, horrifying, in fact!

    I am recalling the 10 day siege after the 3/11 reactor melt-down, here. And, trust me, we all thought we were going to die. Buddhist equanimity reigned supreme, though. I remember tuning into a Tokyo-based Frenchman who posted his DAILY FREAK-OUT on YouTube. This kept me sane.

    Yes, absolutely, “Buddhist self-negation” is critical to the game plan.

    • Further to the above, “Buddhist self-negation”, also negates meaningful and necessary change, across the board….the real stuff, that has to happen, but inevitably only happens, here, when a gun is to somebodies head.

      • I was watching the movie Lucky last night. There’s a scene where an old Marine veteran recalls being on Tarawa in the midst of utter devastation and horror and seeing a little girl in rags come toward him with an smile of radiant happiness on her face. He was baffled until someone explained to him that she was a Buddhist and was expecting to be killed. The vet recounted this episode with awe and admiration, as if this girl was demonstrating something transcendentally meaningful and noble; his interlocutor was equally impressed. Hollywood gives “cancel culture” a new twist.

        • Great anecdote. Back to 311, we really were looking at the extermination of a population mass of 35,000,000, had things gone otherwise. Comme si, comme ca…

          As an aside, I can tell that the Israeli government sent a small army of trauma therapists to Japan, the idea being to prevent wide-scale PTSD with early treatment. How do you treat a Buddhist for trauma? And, the Japanese are really functional Buddhists…just the residue left, but no matter.

          Ever see pictures of priests immolating themselves…same thing.

          You would not want to be in a ‘foxhole’ with one, let me tell you!

        • I know that neither of us like the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks as we recognize the Tranzi OBE element. I didn’t know if you had seen this and its desire to push “Cultivating Childlike Perception”.

          Wrapping a few things up in how things fit by checking into some of professor powell’s footnotes. It appears that all these curricula including CCF and Classical Ed as pushed by Barney are targeting the ‘adaptive unconscious’. Think about those implications. Spent yesterday reading Fred Polak’s The Image of the Future from the 1950s that Elise Boulding learned Dutch in order to translate and abridge. It put much into its proper relationship, especially for what I uncover and describe in CtD, especially Harlan Cleveland work. It turns out Polak and Kenneth Boulding were inaugural fellows living at the same location in Palo Alto at CASBS in the 1954-55 year. Same year that hatched General Systems Research Group that was absorbed by ISSS in the 80s.

          As I said, lots coming together, especially when we think about the use of images to push the pandemic, structural racism, insurrection, and other emotionally targeted curricula aimed at justifying wholesale structural transformations at the social, political, and economic levels. This is what Polak had to day about “The Renaissance as a Renaissance of Utopism”

          Only because man had developed the capacity to open up new real worlds, however, was he so successful in creating new unreal worlds. These new worlds of matter and mind are the two aspects of the same process, and globe-circling and mind-circling both stem from a common root, man’s struggle for his future…This treatment of the Renaissance is adapted perfectly to our design of throwing light on history from the future, through the medium of man’s image of the future.

          That actually fits with a great deal of the rhetoric surrounding the Founding Fathers, if you are a nerd like me, which is why I found Arnn’s book The Founders’ Key so disingenuous. It also fots with the approach to the Holocaust and the period of Reconstruction following the uS Civil War Facing History and Ourselves is currently using for teacher prep for student consumption.

          Polak also points out in his discussion on the Ancient Greeks (think Classical Ed’s disingenuousness when poked at depth) and ‘How Image worked in Actuality” that “there was a change in emphasis from individual determination of one’s own destiny to collective determination of mankind’s destiny.” That fits with how The Founders Key and Hardwired to Connect just gush with a communitarian emphasis for those of us paying attention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.