Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I doubt that this blog has ever published a more important post.

Glenn Greenwald has just published the most mind-blowing document I've ever seen. Ever.

It's from the Snowden cache -- and no-one can claim that this is old hat. What you are about to see confirms many of the wilder suspicions that "fringe" researchers have toyed with for the past couple of decades.

Even Greenwald doesn't seem to understand what he has hold of here.

Here's his piece. He recognizes, at least, that this presentation by the GCHQ (Britain's version of the NSA) is about infiltration of online communities. But it's about more than that. It's about the use of online trickery to manage the perceptions of entire societies.

The document itself goes into some very weird-n-wild areas -- too weird and too wild for Greenwald. Even he doesn't grasp the full implications. Hell, even I probably don't!

This document appears to be a Powerpoint presentation. Alas, we can only guess what the presenter himself might have said to his audience as he showed these slides.

First, let's look at what Greenwald has to say (and keep in mind that this is just the iceberg's tip):
The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats.
Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation.
But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?

Then there is the use of psychology and other social sciences to not only understand, but shape and control, how online activism and discourse unfolds.
Now let's look at the slides (I am presenting most of them but not all). If you've been paying any attention to blogworld over the past ten years, you'll know that these techniques are being used against all of us -- not just against "hackers," and certainly not just against terrorists.

Magic. Belief. Religion. Deception. Social networks. Get the picture? Many of us have long suspected these things, although we hesitated to verbalize our suspicions for fear of ridicule.

Note that word -- "Global." This is about world-wide control of the internet -- of society. Nothing less than that.

One phrase leaped out at my "CONSPIRACY STORIES." For quite some time, I have suspected that intelligence agencies used "conspiracy culture" as a means of social manipulation. Now we have proof.

I've been saying for a long time that the conspiracy theorists were the conspiracy.

The phrase "Hofstede Dimensions" refers to the work of social psychologist Geert Hofstede. His "dimensions" concern the grounds for communications between groups and cultures. You can find a lot about Hofstede's theories if you do a little Googling.

John Mulholland was a stage magician recruited by the CIA. After all, if a field agent is going to slip a drug into someone's drink, that agent has to know some sleight-of-hand, doesn't he?

During the war, Maskelyne -- working for British intelligence -- managed the considerable trick of making Alexandria "disappear" from German view and "appear" ten miles downriver. Result: The Nazis missed the city and dropped bombs on open land.

To my shame, I didn't know about Robert-Houdin's work for Napoleon III until just now (even though I've read a lot about the Second Empire in recent years).

We'll have more on the "magic" angle at the end.

Still think that this is just about terrorists?  What more proof do you need that these spooks plan to control entire populations?

The "Haversack Ruse" was a bit of military deception from World War I which became a standard intelligence ploy.  JFK researchers ran into many Haversack ruses.

"Online Covert Action Accreditation." Yes. There is a school for Online Covert Action

These people consider Online Covert Action routine. They've even reduced it to an acronym: OCA.

Readers should look at the slide above and ask themselves one question: Does this presentation explain what happened all over the blogosphere throughout  2008?

Does this presentation not explain the use of sock puppets and "persona management" to direct online debate? A fake online "army" can create the impression that an idea (or a candidate) is far more popular or unpopular than is actually the case.

And now we get to the really freaky stuff. I honestly was not expecting to see this...

Why do UFO images appear in a GCHQ document about deception, magic tricks and social control? Obviously, the people who put this document together do not believe in aliens. This ain't about that. This presentation is about the manipulation of large numbers of people. It's about deception.

Mark Pilkington, a British researcher, has done some remarkable research in this area. More on that below.

I'd give a lot to know the context. Just what did the presenter say about the preceding flying saucer photographs? How do they tie into the theme of control?

My suggestion: Ufology, unimportant in and of itself, is a testing ground for deception tactics. If those tactics prove effective in that arena, they may be imported into the "real" world and put to serious use.

By this point, we all know what a "False Flag Operation" is. But what's a "False Rescue Operation"?

The phrase "Set Piece Operation" appears in military literature.

Heh heh. How many times have we seen the results of this kind of operation? If you are (say) a JFK researcher, you probably guessed decades ago that these tactics were in use.

By the way: This chart also demonstrates the tactics that have been used against Greenwald and Snowden themselves.

If you want to see the full presentation, go here.

Remember the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers?  Remember that final scene? Remember how the Authority Figure dismisses the bizarre, unbelievably paranoid story he has just heard -- and then he suddenly receives proof that the bizarre and unbelievably paranoid story is true?

This is that. This document is that scene.

So: Why are those UFOs in there? What's all this about magic, magicians, religion, belief systems, and group control?

The following embedded lecture by Mark Pilkington may shed some light. And it's pretty damned fascinating in its own right. I wrote to Mark just now, directing his attention to Greenwald's piece. I told him: "Basically, it looks like a presentation YOU might give...but it comes from GCHQ!"

The Abuses of Enchantment: Folklore and Deception in the Disinformation Age - Mark Pilkington from Breaking Convention on Vimeo.


CBarr said...

The 2008 primary was like witnessing a mugging.

Years ago someone posted a diary on D Kos remembering the anniversary of the U.S.S. Liberty incident. The skilled dissemblers soon sidetracked the discussion. Someone commented about how quickly "they" had appeared, and the scales fell from my eyes. But this PowerPoint presentation shows an operation far beyond our worst fantasies.

It took some effort to control our news media, but gaming the internet is easy peazy. So if you're a target they know everywhere you go... Everything you do and say electronically. You can't trust the origin of any communications you receive online. Any attempt to disseminate knowledge or organize will be disrupted or redirected by agent provocateurs sitting comfortably sipping coffee at a computer.

Just like Amazon's personalized advertising based upon our online activities, soon we will all be gamed with software that individualizes the propaganda each of us receives. This is all unfolding so very fast it boggles the mind.

Snowden revealing this PowerPoint is comparable to finding the Rosetta Stone.

b said...

I love slide 30. So you're not going to get Google Glass – or a microch*p impl*nt – then, Joe? ROFL!

A false rescue operation sounds like that parable of the Russian peasant and the bird in the cowpat, used a lot in intelligence training.

Invasion of the Bodysnatchers is indeed it. I can still feel the chill I got from the ending of the Donald Sutherland version.

I quite liked slide 44 too. As I have said here before, Google have openly and explicitly said that the future involves mass microchip implantation.

Oh, but wait a minute, Google and Microchip are supposed to be critical of the NSA and the way surveillance is going. And Wikipedia is all about freedom.

Did someone say 'False Rescue Operation'?

Radicals of the future will have to turn OFF their phones and computers. That's if there are any radicals in the future.

b said...

I meant Google and Microsoft, not 'Google and Microchip'! :-)

CBarr said...

2008 primary where somehow near the end Bill Clinton somehow became a raging racist. And Hillary used subconscious psychological manipulation by mentioning the date of RFK's assassination, in order to provoke a lone nut to attempt the same with Obama. Daily Kos collapsed inward into chaos.

Gus said...

Any reader of your blog is not going to be too surprised by any of this. To see your suspicions confirmed is indeed "mind blowing". Is it too paranoid to suspect that this slide show was deliberately leaked out, to foster more paranoia and distrust amongst net dwellers, activists, and such? Maybe, but it was the thought that sprung into my mind while reading all this. I wonder if this will make any dent in the armor of the majority of people who seem to not want to think about the kind of government that lords over them (not to mention the people that actually control that government behind the scenes)? I'm not optimistic.

CBarr said...

Where in a False Flag the bomb goes off, I think in a False Rescue the plot is foiled.

Joseph Cannon said...

b: The "bird in a cowpat" story is Russian? I did not know that.

I first heard the story in Ken Russell's film "Savage Messiah" (in one of the greatest scenes ever filmed). A year later, the story was told in the Spaghetti Western "My Name is Nobody" -- in fact, the whole plot of that movie is an elaborate variation of the bird story. It was used in at least one later movie -- American, I seem to recall -- but I can't remember the title.

For those who haven't heard the story, it goes like this:

A baby bird falls from its nest into the snow. He's shivering and cold. A dog comes along and places the bird into a steaming pile of cow manure. This gesture saves the poor creature from freezing to death.

Although the bird is now warm, it still squawks for help. The noise attracts a cat, who grabs the bird and swallows him up.

Moral: It's not always your enemies who toss you into the shit, and it's not always your friends who lift you out. But once you're in it, keep your mouth shut.

Stephen Morgan said...

You can't make Alexandria appear ten miles downriver, it's at the mouth of the river. Upriver, maybe. I know they built a fake Hull to divert the Luftwaffe, and before D-day they had a model army of wooden tanks and suchlike. Noam Chomsky record the Serbs doing the same thing in the 90s, letting the Americans waste their million pound bombs on wooden tanks.

Houdini is supposed to have been affiliated with the American secret service.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be an example of a False Rescue operation. Could it have been a False Flag that "they" chose to turn into a Rescue?

Loewen plots a suicide mission to blow up Wichita International Airport http://www.kansas.com/2013/12/13/3176861/wichita-news-conference-set-friday.html


CBarr said...

The three flying saucer images are contained within Strand 2; Influence and Information Operations. They come after a series of slides relating to personal and group brand identification. They're sandwiched between an image of an advertisement for healthful ground buffalo meat #34, and a slide of images showing transition to new technologies which maintain the look of the old to present an image of continuity to the consumer #38.

Strand 2 begins with a slide showing 10 Principles for Influence #27. One could argue that slide #33 (that's no red herring she's holding!) and #34 relate to the Herd Principle (how could a whole foods advertisement for buffalo not relate to "herd"?) The images (#38) of new technology maintaining the appearance of old must be Consistency Principle. Deception was amply illustrated in Strand 1. I think this leaves Distraction Principle as the likely candidate for the three flying saucer images. Must be pretty important to show three slides of the same.

b said...

I'm not sure whether the bird in the cowpat story is of Russian origin, but I've always heard it featuring two Russian peasants :-)

BTW I enjoyed Mark Pilkington's talk. Thanks for posting the video link. I wonder where he got the word "noosphere" from? Comes from Teilhard de Chardin. He must be a Jesuit agent! (JOKE!)

He's mistaken to believe that "hearts and minds" was coined by Edward Lansdale. First use has also been attributed to Gerald Templer, who used the phrase during the colonial war ('Emergency') in Malaya. But Mark Antony uses it in that speech: "O masters, if I were disposed to stir/ Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,/ I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong".

It's also used in Philippians 4:7, albeit not in the context of persuasion.

Paul Rise said...

I suspect I know why the UFO stuff is here in regards to hoaxing and deliberate government misinfo.

Jerry Pournelle - "They were UFO’s all right, in the sense of being Unidentified Flying Objects: but they had a rational if not easily discovered explanation. There was even a government conspiracy.

During the Cold War treaties forbade putting weapons in orbit, or building and testing orbital bombardment systems. This was interpreted to include FOBS, Fractional Orbital Bombardment Systems, in which a weapon is placed into Earth orbit, but de-orbited to re-enter before it makes a complete orbit around the Earth: in other words, it depends on what the meaning of the word orbital is. The USSR, for what seemed to them good strategic reasons – with a FOBS system they could attack the US from the south, and thus avoid our Early Warning systems – decided to develop and test orbital weapons. In order to avoid detection the weapons were launched southward and made to re-enter the atmosphere over South America. Those re-entering dummy warheads were seen by far too many people to be simply dismissed as hallucinations. An explanation was needed, and the KGB provided one: they spread UFO stories including stories of sightings of aliens. Meanwhile, the US didn’t want the USSR to know just how much we knew about their experiments, so the CIA did nothing to counter the rumors. In a word, there was a coverup in which the leading intelligence services of the world pursued different ends to accomplish the same result: people believed they had seen “real” UFO’s, and neither side was interested in debunking the stories."


Joseph I have some sources at NASA and even a retired fellow from the state department who say the above is the gospel truth about UFOs - the soviets actively staged stuff and distributed fake photos (some very famous UFO images were blind submitted to English and American tabloids in the 60s, 70s, and 80s).

Note even now that a lot of the UFO hoax videos online have no identifiable origin - they are just posted on Youtube etc.

Joe I am reminded of the global hum/weird noise videos you posted a few years ago.

Susan said...

What people who really care about this country and the world should be paying close attention to is education and the relentless assault by the elites against public education. One can read the work of Lois Weiner, who says much the same thing as this writer does for EdWeek:


Neoliberalism (economic libertarianism) is the worst, most evil ideology ever devised. Technology is being used to destroy entire professions, indeed entire societies. Obama and Arne Duncan are right there encouraging this. This is a blatant war on democracy and all its institutions, and why I regard Obama as the worst president who has ever come down the pike.

Alessandro Machi said...

The internet tends to foment a right vs left mentality. Rather than build empathy, many facebook sites simply build a right or left philosophy and use the opposition to build a bigger following. If these are the sites being infiltrated by the government, there is an elixer.

People who are capable of EMPATHY don't fall for the left / right hate. So, even if the internet is full of manipulation, the manipulation is of those who can't feel empathy.

People who don't feel empathy can't be forced to learn how to feel empathy. I think the key in life is to focus on those capable of empathy, and that tends to be government manipulation proof.

Although, I have found Sixty Minutes use of amazing stories of economically denied other nation location peoples who rise up and learn to make musical instruments out of garbage could actually demoralize the non elite in the U.S. to quit feeling sorry for themselves...

Alessandro Machi said...

Destruction of entire professions is an interesting way to put it. I look at it as consumer debt simply keeps the populace with their face to the grindstone trying to make their nut every month or risk losing everything in a society that does not have Debt Suspension Rights for Consumers of any kind.

CBarr said...

Susan, I agree that public education is under attack. Our education system holds one of the few remaining public funds that have yet to be looted. The game now is to replace skilled teachers with computer based systems that can be privatized and run on the cheap.

I found it very interesting that in the post below, Glenn Reynolds, the author of the USA Today article which Joseph called, "the most dangerous piece of writing I've seen lately", is the author of "The New School, How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself."

I think that the promotional blurb for the book says more than actually intended; "Americans require a diverse system of innovative approaches - each suited to a family's needs and spending potential." So if you have money, your child gets a trained credentialed teacher, an actual human being with genuine human empathy. If your family has low spending potential, then your child is instructed through a software package.

Personally I despise these people. They want to dismantle our public systems and sell them off to the highest bidder. Very similar to what happened to Russia after the fall of the old Soviet Union.

Zolodoco said...

Okay, I'll rephrase the idea that I mangled yesterday. Making the assumption that intelligence and security services (or their contractors anyway) have used tactics like these to manipulate US elections, would that serve as an easy tell for those who are under their thumbs? I would guess that the same thought could be applied to the kind of social manipulation through mass media that undid Al Gore and Howard Dean.

The problem with that idea is that the companies providing these services to intelligence communities could probably be bought by anyone with the means. In 2008 that could have been the intelligence industry itself or perhaps big banks. Considering that intelligence contractors have benefited enormously in an Obama administration I'm tempted to guess the former. Since Hillary Clinton might run again in 2016, I'm also tempted to think that maybe she would be an okay choice on this issue. Clearly they didn't like her in 2008. However, "they" could have been bankers trying to avoid prison, so I don't know.

These are just notions that I think I'll keep in mind while watching how things turn out this year and in 2016. It's probably a pointless way to look at things, because one might just end up thinking that anyone who appears to come out on top of the online popularity contest has powerful benefactors who'll act against the interests of society and civil liberties.

CBarr said...

Pournell's explanation makes a whole lot of sense. But somebody sure still wants to keep the idea going. I described this PowerPoint obtained by Snowden to a friend. He was all ears until I mentioned the three flying saucer slides. Then he went off about all the indisputable proof of ancient aliens on the History Channel. So many people believe this stuff. My friend seemed stunned when I told him that I don't accept anything shown on television or in film.

As Allen Dulles is supposed to have said, "The American people don't read." Has any broadcast news outlet shown this slide show?

Stephen Morgan said...

Machi, everyone can feel empathy, and your claims to the contrary are the most divisive things possible.

As for schooling, it should probably be abolished, and kids left to teach themselves and be taught by their parents. The current system is just a subsidy for the wage-slave system.

prowlerzee said...

CBarr, "it took some effort to control our news media" had me flashing back to a scene during Kerry's capitulation in 2004. Something I said regarding the media's role so upset the newscaster (who was on the scene) that he ran back to me after the cameras moved on and demanded to know if I was accusing them of being in on a subterfuge or reading a script. I told him it was more akin to being guilty of groupthink and repeating things they hadn't personally checked. But I wonder now what suspicion of his he thought I was confirming.

prowlerzee said...

Joseph, thanks for all the new acronyms to look up! Yes, this just confirms what we've already witnessed online about molding public opinion via paid personae.

2008 was so horrifying, I think, because the same tactics *worked* even on those who'd made note of that MO in the previous 8 years. We didn't need sneering Olbermanns and Maddows as "answers" to the Becks and OReillys on the right. That is the opposite of what we needed.

Now this Red team-Blue team mentality is so entrenched it permeates even publications which used to do in-depth reporting on subjects of import. I know you don't do FB, Joseph, but many "progressive" publications post inflammatory material multiple times a day. I call them "outrage pimps."

In fact, I limited myself to calling them out: linking people to reports of the entire story and pointing out how misleading the headlines generated by the outrage pimps were. I also challenged the editors by name and asked them why the faux outrage and the half-truths? Guess who no longer has posting privileges on any of these pulps?

Anyway. Thanks also for the embedded lecture! Very interesting long view of the manipulation of folklore, although the poor dude sounded as if he were in serious need of caffeine after 30-40 minutes!

prowlerzee said...

Oh, and on the opposite end of the tactic spectrum, has anyone started commenting on the latest advertising ploy? Those heart-rending short films that only list the name of the company at the end as a credit? Some examples include Woolworth's singing flash mob after Mandela's death, and a Japanese lingerie company's tearjerker about a young single mom.

I hate to say it, Alessandro, but it looks like deep-felt empathy is already being co-opted!

Gus said...

prowlerzee, I'm not sure how new that is. Remember the "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" commercials? Or even the one with "Mean" Joe Green? Still, they are going to new heights (lows?) in exploiting every possible human emotion.

CBarr said...

Total lack of empathy is a serious psychological disorder. Inability to empathize with those outside your group is a common human trait.

Is the wolf kind and loving towards its young? Or is the wolf a vicious killer?

Southern landowners realized they had a problem on their hands when white sharecroppers and freed slaves began to identify with their common economic plight. Promoting "white pride" put things back in order. Keeping the underclasses squabbling over the crumbs is an old and effective strategy of distraction.

Alessandro Machi said...

To Stephan, no, everybody does not feel empathy. Additionally, the internet is "nurturing" those who need to have an enemy to feel closer to others.

OTE admin said...

Stephen, you are ignorant and out of your mind. Education, public education, is the cornerstone of democracy. That is why it was founded nearly two hundred years ago.

Anybody who doesn't support public ed doesn't support democracy. Period.

Privatizing it by trying to turn it into a business WILL fail because there is no control over the raw material, meaning students. Students are not data points to be manipulated.

Bill Gates, among many other billionaires and hedge fund crooks, is right there trying to destroy the system, even putting forward policies that are clearly unconstitutional like "common core." Education is the responsibility of the state and local governments, not of the federal except for very narrow things such as civil rights protections and Title I. RTTT and Common Core are illegal because they are federal mandates/blackmail attempts to force a national curriculum (and eventually a world curriculum for the plutocrats and multinationals to exploit) on all kids in all states.

People had better fight this with all their being or everything will be gone.

prowlerzee said...

Gus, it's new. The coke commercial this year (America the Beautiful song) is closer to what I mean than that "I'd like to buy the world a coke" commercial, and the Chanel ads are super close to it as well, but these are all laden with product placement throughout.

The ads I'm noting are actual "stories" told in short film format (some up to 15 minutes long!) and they have deliberately left out all connection to the product or brand...except for one tiny quick credit at the very end. So they are shared endlessly and have people bawling and crying over how "beautiful" the story is. Most people do not realize they are ads...and do not appreciate learning they are sharing ads, either, when told, so I've taken to saying, "yes, this is so beautifully done" before mentioning it was made by (fill in industry here). So far these heartstring story "films" appear to have been made overseas so it's not common to see this tactic by American companies ....yet.

Chanel did have Brad Pitt read a poem before mentioning the perfume once at the very end, and that did cause some sensation, but that was only 30 seconds long. I would've watched for longer than that! ;)

prowlerzee said...

Now I'm wondering whether the callousness displayed so brazenly in the online "comments" sections of various news stories is not the work of these paid trolls to spread the perception that it's "normal" to disparage those down on their luck, and blame the victim, etc. It was always a notable aspect of online interaction, but most people seemed to blame the insensitivity to anonymity, as if that afforded protection for people to express how they "really" felt. But maybe it wasn't merely cowards lashing out...maybe it was always social engineering.

Recently, I tried to point out one of these obvious trolls who was not only championing a political contract over the objections of the locals, but also slandering the locals who organized against it; but they preferred to believe that he was merely obsessed with the topic. That hardly explained why he countered every last mention of the project online at local news sites, as well as wrote long diatribes of his own, laden with deliberate lies...and yet never appeared at the local meetings in person. I found out he was from out of state, too. The project is going forward despite vehement objections from those impacted and I wish I had the means to find out who hired that troll to deflect public opposition...or rather who hired the likely arms-length media maven that provided that method of opinion control.

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted a way to track down the actual personal information of anonymous commenters online (ironic, isn't it?) because I was sure they were sitting in some cube farm outside DC being paid by the intelligence community to manipulate public opinion.

It's sad that it's only the intelligence community that has the ability to know who everone online actually is, and they're the worst abusers of the forum.

Alessandro Machi said...

Prowlerzee, over the years I have always found at least one objector in the comments section who always wants to simply chortle, "get a job" to almost any situation that has adversely affected a community or individual.

It may or not be government. It could just be that any profession that employs people will possibly have a small fraction of internal supporters who make it a point of getting on the web in the comments section so they can attack any effort to change the profession that pays them.

I have found it somewhat disappointing how few people actually comment in defense of unfair mortgage foreclosures, unfair credit card default trials, and unfair treatment of seniors on several financial fronts.

CBarr said...

@ Anonymous 9:55

Maybe this depends upon how you define "intelligence community". Google and Amazon sure seem to know who I am wherever I may go. And numerous companies who's name's we wouldn't even recognize, quietly gather data from our web activities in order to sell that information to others.

The internet was supposed to bring us the world at our fingertips. But it opened our personal secrets to the world.

Anonymous said...

What was so special about 2008? There was probably much more official disinformation in 2004, and not only the "swift boat" campaign.

These sorts of tactics have been used over and over against lots of citizen efforts, notably the JFK research community and the 9/11 (half) truth movement.

Anonymous said...

Democracy is a nice concept, but as communism it's never been well implemented. I believe we still have the means to regain control.

To achieve this, I thought up an ambitious project. It's based on this simple facts:

1) People need to be informed to make decisions (voting, buying, thinking critically)
2) Most information is influenced and either wrong or biased
3) Some hire agents or companies to spread lies, to exploit every human weakness and protect themselves

In this context, it becomes very easy for powerful entities to use information systems to their advantages, to start wars and gain support while controlling dissenters.

The solution is:

1) A centralized fact based framework
2) Full transparency and accountability
3) Reputation based

Technology can doom or save us, recently not many tools were made available to make better democracies.

We need them, and I'm not speaking of anonymity, if you still believe anonymity is a way of making the world better you're either a wannabe anarchist or a teenager who wants to hide pics of him smoking pot.

Contact me : savedemocracy@yopmail.com, I'll contact back people who really want to help: communicate, develop, design, etc.