Sunday, October 7, 2012

Part 2 (Mass Massacres): Society Plays the Blame Game While Perpetrators Blame Society Itself

In our previous post (Part 1 (Mass Massacres): Examining the Psychology and Sociology Behind Individuals who Commit Them), we went over the 3 main factors that could potentially lead individuals to commit mass massacres:

(1). The individual has delusions of self-importance (individual attitude)
(2). The individual was exposed to a society that is mainly heartless and dismissive
(societal attitudes)
(3). The individual desires to be accepted into the society and sincerely attempts to live according to their rules
(individual attitude about the societal attitude)

In this current post (Part 2 (Mass Massacres): Society Plays the Blame Game While Perpetrators Blame Society Itself), we begin to tackle each of these 3 items and provide solutions to eliminate mass massacres. 

As this blog title suggest (and as discussed in Part 1), perpetrators of mass massacres are often seeking revenge on society for their failures. After the horrific events that these individuals commit, many people in society turn to the blame game while ignoring their own role in festering this violent and sick environment.

Even though responsibility lies within the individual (who is not free from blame), society also has an important role to not incite them further. The end goal is to prevent future mass massacres from occurring; blaming external factors or attacking/mocking the perpetrators does not resolve this (and may in fact incite it further).

With that said, let's begin tackling solutions to each of the 3 factors discussed as being the root causes:
(1). The individual has delusions of self-importance (individual attitude)
Regardless of the circumstances leading to their action, the individual engaged in committing the act and so responsibility lies on them. If we ignore society's role for a moment (which will be tacked in item (2)), we are left hoping each individual dealing with overwhelming resentment/anger will voluntarily seek out professional help in order to cope with their issues. In reality, many of them are mentally ill (influenced by pharmaceutical drugs) and already view everyone in society as their enemy. It is unlikely that they will 'give in' again and conform to society's wishes -- a society which has already failed them in their initial attempt to fit in.

But for what it's worth, an accessible self-help approach is most often helpful in changing these individual's negative attitudes and destructive thought process. Too often, though, self-help is becoming another marketing ploy associated with ruthless, unethical business practices aimed at making profit (or increasing the motivational speakers' reputation) by taking advantage of the weak. It might also be associated with optimistic dreamers who only surround themselves with 'positive energy' and see the world through rose-colored lenses. In either case, it can be dismissive and isolating to the individual with 'negative energy' who are the ones truly in need of their help. This dismissiveness only validates the individual's hatred of everyone in society. What does it mean when those who are suppose to show compassion turn out to be heartless like the rest? (This is an issue with society that will be tacked in item (2) below).

Anyway, the issue we are tackling here for item (1) is the individual's 'delusion of self-importance'. There are many people who experience the same pain as the perpetrators -- and even have similar personalities -- but they don't go on a killing sprees. The main difference is in their coping mechanisms. When being criticized, instead of feeling self-important, they lean towards self-consciousness or self-absorption.
  • Self-important implies that the individual is focused on how an external entity could be perceiving them less; (They are usually concerned with adjusting society to fit in with their expectations) [In fact, they often play the 'blame game']
  • Self-conscious implies the individual is focused on what they could be doing to make an external entity perceive them less; (They are usually concerned with adjusting themselves to fit in with societal expectations)
  • Self-absorbed implies the individual is focused on themselves only; (They maintain their self-identity without controlling society. i.e. 'This is who I am, you are free to react as you wish')
Of course, being 100% in any of these is cause for trouble -- it is all about moderation and which side you lean more towards. Switching from being self-important to self-conscious/self-absorbed is really as simple as changing the way you word your thoughts (no twisting of truth is needed):
  • Self-important :"They must be threatened by my intelligence to not accept me."
  • Self-conscious :"What did I do to offend them? Am I doing something wrong for them to hate me?" 
  • Self-absorbed :"I'm too focused on my Ph.D thesis to even care what others are saying about me" 
Being self-conscious or self-absorbed often gets negative connotations, however, both are exhibited by everyone to an extent. People needs to be self-conscious in order to reflect on their behavior and also help them analyze why society behaves the way it does. People also need to be self-absorbed in order to maintain their drive when tackling something for society's overall benefit (whether for science, sports, business, music, literature, art, etc.).

Unfortunately, society (reinforced through media) has taught us that people who display any self-absorbed behaviors should be labeled 'delusional' and should be told to 'get out more and get a life'. Also, people who display any self-consciousness are labeled as 'sad and pathetic' and told to 'get over themselves'.

Since we are not able to ignore society's influence on creating this hostile environment, lets get into item (2):

(2). The individual was exposed to a society that is mainly heartless and dismissive (societal attitudes)
Society is quick to put a label on suspects and generalize them. People come up with short-sighted ways to handle/prevent mass massacres -- providing a 'personality' or 'appearance' for the public to be wary of. There was a quote going around:
"If James Holmes was Arab, the shooting would be 'terrorism'. If he was Black, he'd be a 'thug'. If he was Mexican, it would have been because of the 'drug war.' If he was Asian, he was having a mental breakdown from disappointing his 'high expectations Asian father'. But he's White, so it's a 'mental illness'."
This 'witch hunt' can sort of become a self-fulfilling prophecy for future perpetrators. After repeated indoctrination from the media, individuals who fit a certain profile begin to believe what society says: they are a failure because of 'this' and must be a menace to society because they exhibit 'this trait'. After society has branded them as second class citizens, there is nothing left to lose when committing their violent acts -- only a welcomed release of their anger.

The solution here is to educate society on the implications and pointlessness of their stereotyping, mocking, etc. Here are examples of how society sometimes behaves when the inexplicable occurs and who/what they blame for it:
  • Physical Appearances: When Jared Loughner's photo was plastered all over the news media, reporters constantly mentioned that 'he even physically looks like a monster'. Did they not consider the thousands of others who look like him? Or are disfigured and 'worse' looking? Being told that someone who looks similar to you 'looks like a monster' can be devastating to one's self-esteem and threaten their personal identity. "Since I look like the person you are mocking, you must think I am a monster too."

    And if the individual already has low self-confidence, it may even destroy their aspirations to achieve higher. They think: "If society has already made assumptions about me based on physical appearances, there is no point in fighting it. Might even embrace it." This leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy, and a continuous cycle.

    [This is the same reason people with weight issues can feel emotionally invested upon hearing someone else mocked for being 'a lazy fat-ass'.]
  • Unconventional Behavior: When the Occupy movement first emerged, CNN's Erin Burnett dismissed it and mocked all the participants' odd behaviors. Other CNN news reporters, like Alison Kosik, joined in to ridicule participants in this movement (kind of like a public shaming). Although no horrific massacre has been committed, this is a good example of how society can exacerbates people's anger and make them go mad. Whether you agree with the movement or not, no good can ever come out of negatively labeling and ridiculing people in sad and desperate situations (such as losing their jobs/homes/relationships). In what may have otherwise been an insignificant event, the rage was felt strongly, even from those who may have been indifferent to the situation, and Occupy ballooned into a historical event of significance. The dignity of these occupiers has already been discredited, so there was nothing for them to lose by fully living out this movement for what it's worth. (If Occupy was an individual, this may have meant snapping back at elite society)

    [Society also uses mass massacres as justification for their personal beliefs and prejudices:]
  • Parents and upbringing: 
    • "He was poor/uneducated so only knew of using violence as a means to obtain things." [Gangs]
    • "He was privileged/educated so became a spoiled brat who took desperate measures to have everything go his way."[Elliot Rodgers]
  • Gun Laws:
    • "I want to be able to protect myself and prevent the situation from getting worse" 
    • "It will lead to accidental shootings and make the situation worse"
  • Personal interest and career path:
    • "He studied math/science/engineering -- why are killers often drawn to study these weird loner fields? ...maybe because they don't have to socialize." [Dr. Amy Bishop, James Holmes]
    • "He studied art/film/writing -- these killers are really into expressing their sick ideas in poetry and writing." [Seung-hui Cho]
  • Personality Trait: 
    • "He's nerdy, quiet and odd -- let's watch out for the shy ones."
    • "He's loud and obnoxious -- I wouldn't trust any loud-mouthed party animals."
  • etc.
It doesn't matter which side one takes, anyone could use these previous items for justifying any of their prejudices, so it's pointless to use them in arguments of mass massacres. In fact, there is excessive media coverage on the traits/behavior/personal life/appearance/etc. of these perpetrators that it could even lead to copy-cat mass shooters who desire that sort of infamy. It's ultimately a distraction that takes energy away from working on real solutions to the root causes.The fact is, this person committed a senseless act. Speculating on external factors only incites those who have similar behaviors/traits (many of whom are not violent at all).

If the shooter had been something else, we would look for that to blame -- and eventually, everyone is a suspect. Gun laws and profiling will not solve the problem. It's bigotry, prejudice, and hatred that kills people (reinforced by society's own bigotry, prejudice and hatred and perpetuated by advertisements in mass media). More compassion, open-mindedness, understanding and acceptance is needed in society.

The fact is though, it is nearly impossible to change all of society to be more compassionate. And to a mentally ill individual on the verge, one personal attack can overshadow dozens of compassionate people in society (this still doesn't excuse people from exhibiting compassion, though). This next item (3) is aimed at tackling the issue of the individual's narrow perception of society.

(3). The individual desires to be accepted into the society and sincerely attempts to live according to their rules (individual attitude about the societal attitude)
The individual needs to realize that these 'norms' they are seeking to achieve are not hard-coded. Just because several people label them as 'losers' (for not following the latest trends or living up to societal expectations) does not mean they are failures in life.

Unfortunately, as discussed in an earlier post (07/26/2012): Confessions of a former Consumer Analyst - Marketing Director, society is taught to become invested in conforming to the status quo. It is ingrained into society through mass media and advertisements. Those who find if difficult to conform will  have feelings of resentment for being different -- for being an outlier in mainstream society. And they are unable to see other paths to living a meaningful life that does not revolve around what mass media spits out at them.

Most vigilant citizens are able to recognize the absurdity in media and society, and not let it influence their well-being. Mentally ill individuals, however, are not vigilant enough to see behind the veil of society. For them, it is not common sense to ignore what media/society shoves in their face; to not let it affect them. These people need to be shown alternatives, to be informed on how they can erase the mindset ingrained into them by our mainstream media culture. To do this, the vigilant ones need to display more understanding and concern towards others. This does not mean catering to the insecurities and irrationalities of unstable people. This can mean something as simple as rewording the phrases we use when dealing with difficult people [or making them realize how these phrases can be re-interpreted].

In the Confessions of a former Consumer Analyst - Marketing Director post, several destructive phrases media advertisers like to popularize were discussed. Below are examples of how they can be rephrased (or re-interpreted by the individual):
"Damn bro, you need to get OUT more!" Can become: 
"Oh, you're working on a Ph.D thesis? That's cool. I don't have that kind of self-discipline. That's why I'm always out partying. lol"

"Wow, you're soo boring, studyin' math all day - all them numbers. What a loser!" Can become:
"Wow, that's a lot of numbers. I'm not really a numbers guy, but props to you for figuring it out!"

"Hahaha - man, you dress like someone from the 80's! I get my clothes from Hot Topic and American Eagle" Can become:
"That's a unique style you have. Where do you find these gems? Sadly, I only know of the stores in the mainstream mall."
"How'd you manage to gather all these clips to make that youtube video? You have waaaaaaayyyyy too much free time dude. You need a life." Can become: 
"That looks awesome dude! You obviously spent a lot of time on it. I wish I had the motivation. I spend all my free time surfing the web to find stuff created by others who do, lol."
"WTF is this Peace Corp for humanity you are joining crap? F- that shiat dawg, I'm making real dough!"Can become:
"Sorry, I'm really too busy with my office job to get involved with anything. I have a family to feed. But when I have time, I may check it out."
"Who's Lady gaga? Damn, you never heard of Lady Gaga? Bitch, then you don't deserve to know her" Can become:
"Oh, Lady Gaga is just a pop singer who embraces people's differences. I don't know if you'll like her music, but many people do. They're inspired by her messages of anti-bullying."
Basically, instead of questioning/mocking the decisions other people make, we should try to understand their situation and be more considerate. People who are different from the majority need to be reassured that it's fine to live life they way they are living. Forcing any lifestyle onto someone who is inherently different only leads to frustration and mental breakdown (because they can never change who they really are, and would only be lying to themselves if they did). [There are many examples with religion trying to force their values onto vulnerable gay church-going youth: Benji Schwimmer and Joseph's story]

Elliot Rodgers wrote in his manifesto: "All I ever wanted was to fit in  and  live  a  happy  life  amongst humanity,  but  I  was  cast  out  and  rejected". His  mistake was  associating "fitting in" with  "happiness".

Millions of people can be considered failures to society (and they may even be self-delusional); they can also get rejected by a society that consistently mocks and marginalizes them. But they all do not commit such random acts of violence on society: "...Nerds, dorks, geeks, mouth-breathers, loners, mama's boys, newbs, droids, druids, trekkies...furries...fucktads, fucktardos...bloggers, ... fat people...real doll fuckers, toy collectors, action figure fuckers..." "

These are people who do not want to fit into society -- they just want to be understood/accepted by society. They want to be allowed to live their life with different values and customs, and not be judged/attacked for it. Telling someone who is different that they have failed at life will only drive them mad. Without society changing our mindset (and combating the destructive influence of mass media), the only solution these individuals may see is to pretend to fit in (and be subsequently labeled fake) or accept their label as 'losers/rejects' and snap back at society.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Part 1 (Mass Massacres): Examining the Psychology and Sociology Behind Individuals who Commit Them

This analysis examines the psychology and sociology behind individuals who commit heinous acts.  The hope is to provide possible insight and offer an understanding into how future mass massacres may be prevented. Prevention of mass massacres will be specifically addressed in Part 2 (Mass Massacres): Society Plays the Blame Game While Perpetrators Blame Society Itself.

Take a look at the profile of some recent shooting spree perpetrators:
  • Elliot Rodgers, UC Santa Barbara mass shooter, posted a video before his rampage titled Elliot Rodger's Retribution. In the video, he states his plans to "have my revenge against humanity" due to his accounts of being unable to fit into a college culture he so desired. Son of assistant director for The Hunger Games, Elliot describes himself as "the perfect guy". He is a conventionally attractive, educated and rich young white male. However, he sought retribution against "the hottest sorority house at UCSB" for daring to reject him,"the supreme gentleman." His perceived privileges, now UNDESIRABLE.   [a]
  • Adam Lanza, Newton CT elementary school shooter, "wore a pocket protector when he was in high school and was an honor student, and was called "remote" and "one of the goths" by classmates. A law enforcement official said he may have had a personality disorder. He grew up in an affluent neighborhood of well-tended homes with neighbors who worked as executives at companies like IBM." Essentially, he was an outcast that did not fit in with his affluent community and was labeled a 'misfit' by peers.  [0]
  • James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooter (Batman: The Dark Knight Rises), purchased his rifle the same day he failed a key Oral Exam for his PhD program (which he subsequently dropped out of). Before that, he obtained a BS degree in Neuroscience from UC Riverside (with honors) and quickly became frustrated when the only work he could find was at McDonald's. 4+ years of college - USELESS. [1]
  • Professor Amy Bishop, Huntsville shooter (University of Alabama), was recently denied tenure. Other Professors have claimed that: "The most likely result of being denied tenure in this nonexistent job market is that you will not be able to continue teaching. ... You probably can't get another job." 20+ years devoted to research/teaching - DOWN THE DRAIN. ([2])
  • Jared Loughner, Tuscan shooter (Gabrielle Giffords), was kicked out of his college three months prior to the shooting. He expressed erratic behaviors before that, mumbling his fears about becoming homeless: "This is the school that I go to. This is my genocide school, where I'm going to be homeless because of this school...This is Pima Community College, one of the biggest scams in America." A lifetime of attempting to fit into society - FAILED he is stigmatized and pushed aside into obscurity (homelessness) for being mentally ill (and financially poor). ([3])
  •  + countless other perpetrators of mass massacres. ([4])
What do these perpetrators all have in common and what could possibly trigger them to commit such horrific acts? Only they -themselves- truly know. So lets get into their minds and quote one of them. From Jared Loughner: "If the student is unable to locate the external universe, the student is unable to locate the internal universe."

Interpretation: If a person fails at finding his way in this (external) world, he becomes lost mentally (in his internal universe).

These perpetrators all considered themselves failures, which negatively affected them psychologically. However, not everyone who fails at life (or has a mental breakdown) go on to commit such acts. In addition to experiencing a recent failure and being mentally ill, there are 3 other factors these perpetrators all shared:

(1). The individual has delusions of self-importance (individual attitude)
(2). The individual was exposed to a society that is mainly heartless and dismissive
(societal attitudes)
(3). The individual desires to be accepted into the society and sincerely attempts to live according to their rules (individual attitude about the societal attitude)

Each factor, alone, means nothing. It is a combination of (1) individual attitude + (2) societal attitudes + (3) individual attitude about the societal attitude. These 3 factors combined, when followed by a significant failure, can possibly trigger someone who is already mentally ill. Let's go over each factor:

(1). The individual has delusions of self-importance
These perpetrators believed every rejection was a personal attack. This stems from their individual attitude; they were more important than anyone else, and so couldn't grasps when others looked down on them.
  •  Elliot Rodgers stated in his retribution video that he couldn't understand why others weren't attracted to him. "I don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me ... It's an injustice, a crime because I don't know what you don't see in me, I'm the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman." ""The popular kids, you never accepted me and now you will all pay for it." He proclaims numerous times of his delusions of self-importance in the video: "I am, in truth, the superior one, the true alpha male"; "I will be a god compared to you" He even wrote a 140 page  manifesto.
  • Amy Bishop was convinced she would be known to the world. An inventor and writer trying to redeem herself after 'accidentally' shooting her brother. 'I am Dr. Amy Bishop!' she exclaims, after "punching a woman in the head [who] had taken the last booster seat, [and] demanded it for one of her children.” ([5]) So who is Dr. Amy Bishop, and why does she think she deserves respect? Maybe it's because she's the second cousin to author John Irving? "Bishop often dropped Irving's name [and] was always trying to figure out a way to use that connection." ([6])
  • Jared Loughner hasn't "forgotten the teacher that gave [him] a B for freedom of speech," he states in a youtube video.  "Loughner said his freedom of speech was being taken away [and] that under the Constitution, he had the right to his "'freedom of thought,' and whatever he thought in his head he could also put on paper. By placing his thoughts within his homework assignment, his teacher 'must be required to accept it' as a passing grade," according to campus police records." ([7])
  • James Holmes was used to a life of privilege. Growing up middle class in a highly regarded school district, he was an average looking white guy involved in athletics and excelling in academics. During college "He really distinguished himself from an academic point of view during his four years [at UC Riverside], graduating with highest honors." However, friends note that "James seemed frustrated after earning his undergraduate degree in neuroscience when the only job he could get was at McDonald's." He then applied to graduate school but withdrew after failing a year-end exam for his Doctoral program. He is no longer living the life of prestige and success that he was used to. He is no longer important and significant, which may be difficult for him to grasp. ([8])
  • Seung-Hui Cho felt so self-important that he mailed videos and photos of himself to NBC news, letting the world know he is becoming a martyr like 'Jesus Christ': "You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul, and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy's life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and defenseless people....You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today, but you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off." ([9])

(2). The individual was exposed to a society that is mainly heartless and dismissive

Compare these 2 statements:
  • Britney Spears (in response to why she shaved her head): "because of you" ([10])
  • Seung-Hui Cho (VTech shooter): "you caused me to do this." ([11])
Now, it's no surprise that someone who is mentally ill and constantly ridiculed/mocked will get sick of it and abruptly snap back. However there was a difference in how society treated them.
  • After exhibiting irrational behavior, peers of Cho either dismissed him or continued to mock him. People who had earlier tried to befriend him, gradually stopped talking to him and told their friends, especially female classmates, not to visit his room. Classmates often treated him like a subhuman and made snide comments about him. Due to his silent nature, "a classmate once offered him $10 just to say hello but got nothing" ([12]) Other classmates sometimes joked with their friends that Cho was "the kind of guy who might go on a rampage killing," ..."the kind of guy who is going to walk into a classroom and start shooting people." ([13])
  • After exhibiting irrational behavior, fans and family of Britney rallied behind her and got her help. Although the media mocked her violent outbursts and odd nature, she was NOT completely dismissed as a crazy psycho by peers, nor ignored and pushed aside into obscurity (homelessness). There were millions of adoring fans who DEFENDED her and wished well for her recovery. "Leave Britney Alone!" was the popular saying amongst fans. Her financial/social status also helped secure her with quality treatment for her mental health problems. And her PR connections helped control and reverse the stigma she received as a mentally ill individual. "She’s working with the best people in the business.” So in order to maintain her sanity, she was "totally reliant on her team of career minders in order to function professionally. [...], they’d take her by the hand and lead her..."  ([14])
Due to the prevalent influence of mass media, society as a whole is heartless and dismissive to those who are different by nature. Fortunately, the rich and famous (being exposed to a larger and diverse audience) are more able to find escape from complete cruelty. In fact, you rarely hear of celebrities committing mass massacres during their mental breakdowns (they usually resort to suicide). None of these common folk perpetrators, however, were rich and famous enough to experience a kinder world amongst the midst of ridicule and marginalization for their shortcomings.

(3). The individual desires to be accepted into the society and sincerely attempts to live according to their rules
It is entirely possible to be mentally unstable (even delusional) and a failure to society, but remain non-violent. In fact, millions of people are consistently mocked and marginalized by the mainstream every second and do not feel the need to snap back at society. How are they not incited to violence?  It is in their individual attitude about the societal attitudes. They do not desire to fit in with 'mainstream society' (or whatever sub-society it is that mocks them). Whether hobo, redneck, obese, goth, geek, etc., there are no feelings of revenge when they are viewed as losers or freaks by this external society since they are not invested with fitting in with them.

All the perpetrators committing these mass massacres, however, lived their life according to societal expectations in order to fit into a society -- but it is a society that does not accommodate their differences. They sought higher education, and a few of them even aimed at a prestigious career. Deep down, they wanted to fit into this mainstream/prestigious society and considered it a failure to stray away from its norms and values.

Unfortunately, once they were not able to achieve mainstream societal standards of 'success', they can only conclude that there is nothing left to live for (as well as nothing left to lose). But in reality, they have been brainwashed by mainstream media into believing they are NOTHING without these 'norms' .

Regarding the shooting spree on Dec. 5, 2012, Adam Lanza was an outcast who did not fit in with the norms of his affluent community. However, by being an honor student, it appears he still wanted to fit into some semblance of society and follow their rules. Unfortunately, this society has already rejected him and peers have labeled him a 'misfit' that does not belong into their elite society. [0]

In the UC Santa Barbara shooting on May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodgers felt rejected from the college culture he expected. The sex, partying and booze often portrayed in movies as being the "typical college experience" was a disconnect to what he actually experienced. "College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years I've had to rot in loneliness, it's not fair." This was a shock to him. He would be regarded privileged in many aspects of his life (appearance, education, wealth, prestige, etc).  So this may have prompted him to feel entitled to the advantages that society would assume someone of his background to automatically have (beautiful girls, being part of the popular crowd, exciting campus life, etc.). However, he realized this was not the reality. [1] 

So how do these factors combine to possibly trigger those who are already mentally ill and inclined to violent outbursts?

(1) Having a delusional sense of self-importance, these perpetrators regarded achieving significance highly.
(2) But when they are rejected by society, these perpetrators felt their significance reduced.
(3) And since they wanted to fit into this society, they saw no other avenues at finding significance

So because of their failure to achieve significance with the 'status quo', they mentally break-down and resort to other desperate attempts at significance. Violence, especially mass massacres, never fails to satisfy anyone's need for significance and acceptance/connection:
  • One can feel significant knowing their image and story will be plastered on media articles/videos around the globe. They have influenced mass society and left their legacy behind in this universe (a feat only a select few are able to do, including unfortunate ones such as Hitler and Pol Pot).
  • One can feel accepted/connected because people now pay attention and talk about them. They care about them! (albeit negatively).
Katherine Newman, sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, explains: "Many mass shooters, rather than wanting to be alone, have a history of struggling to connect. They experience rejection by their peers...believe they're perceived as insignificant [...] They want to be seen as notorious, and unfortunately, there's a lot of social reinforcement for the glamour of being notorious. They imagine how cool it will be when everybody knows their name. I know this sounds absurd, but in some ways, revulsion or notoriety is preferable from their point of view from anonymous and insignificant."  ([15])

"As [motivational speaker] Tony Robbins explained, some people even resort to violence to achieve that feeling of significance. If you hold someone’s life in the palm of your hand and you know it and they know it, then you are instantly significant and the center of attention. We crave significance in any form, and will do whatever it takes to get it, be it by holding someone at gunpoint, donating thousands of dollars to a charity, or throwing a temper tantrum in a store. Without some degree of significance or uniqueness, we would just be another person in the crowd, undistinguishable and unimportant. Nobody wants that." ([16])

We cannot control the behavior of those who are mentally ill, nor can those individuals be shielded from failures in life. However, the likelihood of triggering a violent outburst can possibly be reduced by tackling the 3 factors mentioned:

(1). The individual has delusions of self-importance
(individual attitude)
(2). The individual was exposed to a society that is mainly heartless and dismissive
(societal attitudes)
(3). The individual desires to be accepted into the society and sincerely attempts to live according to their rules (individual attitude about the societal attitude)

Solutions are centered on the individual, however, society also has a role to not incite them further. In the next blog post, possible solutions will be offered for tackling each of these 3 factors.

Possible solutions to preventing mass massacres is addressed in Part 2 (Mass Massacres): Society Plays the Blame Game While Perpetrators Blame Society Itself.

Monday, July 30, 2012

An Insider's Scene-By-Scene Analysis of 'Sigur Rós - Fjögur píanó' Music Video ft. Shia LaBeouf

0 - 0:30
A couple wakes up, very shabby and run-down, and find themselves surrounded by Monarch butterflies. These Monarch butterflies serve as a warning to our 2 victims that they are under Monarch Mind Control.
"Monarch mind control is named after the Monarch butterfly – an insect who begins its life as a worm (representing undeveloped potential) and, after a period of cocooning (programming) is reborn as a beautiful butterflies (the Monarch slave). Some characteristics specific to the Monarch butterfly are also applicable to mind control."
0:30 - 0:50
The couple appears to have awakened out of their mind-control and begin covering up and cleaning themselves from the dirty truth. However, similar to other music video's analyzed by truth seeker Vigilant Citizen, there is only an illusion of freedom being portrayed. EXACTLY as in Adam Lambert's 'Never Close Our Eyes' music video, the couple in this music video dance to escape from their harsh reality.

0:50 - 2:10
It starts off as an artful, naked dance. However, as it progresses, Shia becomes more violent and dominant over the girl. This is important, because the insiders want you to believe it's a violent relationship SOLELY between the couple. In actuality, Shia is merely a pawn carrying someone else's message. As you watch their dance closer, it's more of a robotic dance -- hinting at a loss of free-will. Both individuals are under some sort of control.

2:10 - 2:20
Two men enter the room and quickly exert their dominance over the couple. They represent the entity that is truly in control of the situation. The men give the couple some candy, establishing the couple's lower status as little children in need of subordination. The candy is also a clear metaphor for the MK-ULTRA mind control drugs blindly being fed to them.

2:20 - 2:40
After consuming the MK-ULTRA mind control candy, the couple is literally and metaphorically blinded and whisked away (like blind sheeps who passively live life, happily accepting whatever is handed to them). At 2:36, a light bulb lights up representing illumination. Immediately after at 2:39, the one eye symbol of the Illuminati is visible and quickly goes to a clear close up. It's pretty clear who's in control now.

2:40 - 3:40
The men have whisked the couple into a car where they are all sucked into a virtual reality. At this point, we can conclude that the two men are 'puppets' to Illuminati (since they are also taken in by the illusion). This is a reminder to us of how secretively and sly the Illuminati really are; they never directly reveal themselves to the people, but their message and influence are clearly carried to us though other mediums (such as symbols and puppets). Also, take note of 3:14, one of the Illuminati puppet has a dot on his forehead and points to it numerous times. This dot symbolizes Illuminati's control over him (using him as a puppet). In a desperate attempt to warn us one final time, he points to the dot again at 3:17 and the glass shatters. An eerie reminder that Illuminati can easily destroy those who attempt to expose their secrets (refer to Micheal Jackson, Tupac, Lauren Hill, etc.)

3:40 - 4:12
The couple is now un-blinded and confronted with their deception  -- a room full of Monarch Mind Control butterflies. Back to square 1 again, however, the couple appear more aware and realize something is wrong. Unfortunately, they engage in another dance! The purpose of bringing them back in this cycle is to desensitize them from the deception. Once it is normalize, few will bother to question it.

4:12 -5:20
Swinging like children, and body painting like kids -- they resume their status as naive subordinates. A face is painted on the woman reminding us that someone OWNS her.

5:20 - 5:30
The guy, Shia LaBeouf, has a copy of the painting and we see the dot on the forehead light up. The dot that we saw at 3:14! He drew a picture of the Illuminati puppet on her! So ILLUMINATI owns her. And now she seems aware of it and is pissed! (holding up the Monarch butterfly to show him). Illuminati already owns HIS mind if he is unconsciously painting these Illuminati symbols on her.

5:30 -5:50
She desperately tries to snap him out of the Mind Control by revealing the Monarch symbol, but he is just not getting it.

5:50 -6:30
He seems to be realizing something now. A toy unicorn drowns -- a loss of innocence. He punches himself in the mirror -- a dissociation of the self. He destroys the Monarch butterflies. Finally fighting back against the mind control? Not possible -- Illuminati is more powerful than that.

6:30 - 6:56

Shia LaBeouf, takes on the role of an Illuminati puppet who shuts down the women's questioning. This cycle of brainwashing is now normalized in his mind as nothing of concern. This is how The Powers That Be (TPTB) remain in control; they manipulate the masses into fighting amongst themselves over contrived problems. With the masses consumed in their time and energy with little problems, those in power can sit back and watch knowing there is no real threat -- TPTB still have real control over the bigger picture.

6:56 - 7:20
The two men (representing Illuminati's capabilities) come in and clean up this contrived world. This 'fake' world was created for people to consume their lives with. Flashback to 6:46 and 0:38 -- prisoners often consume their time by counting down with tally marks. Society is in a prison of social control right now. Many other music videos have themes of fighting back, but nothing ever happens, nothing's changed. It ends up a cycle where we started. Going full circle and back to the starting point.

This music video by Sigur Ros is no different from any other music video out there now --  following the same exact format, with the same symbolism. In each of the music video linked, people are seen living blindly in an elite-controlled reality, only having an illusion of freedom. They think they are 'free' -- having fought back against Illuminati (but only by talk/dance). But they always end up back to where they started -- in a cycle of mind control they never escape from.

TPTB/Illuminati remain a hidden force, behind the veil of society. It is also possible that they have connections to students of The Frankfurt School, who were focused on analyzing mass media as a tool for social domination.

"The "Frankfurt School" refers to a group of German-American theorists who developed powerful analyses of the changes in Western capitalist societies that occurred since the classical theory of Marx. [They] produced some of the first accounts within critical social theory of the importance of mass culture and communication in social reproduction and domination."

With decades of academic research on brainwashing through mass media, TPTB are fully equipped and  cognizant of their social manipulation. They are able to influence public opinion so that the masses are less resistant to a police-state, mind-control mentality (which has now become normalized through music video and media as being 'cool' and glamorous). Because of this, TPTB can stay in control, looking down on people blindly bickering amongst themselves about petty little problems. These common folks think they have freedom, individuality and a voice -- but in reality, they don't. Because if they did...they'd end up marginalized, dismissed, rejected by society, defamed/slandered, even dead (refer to Michael Jackson, Tupac, Lauren Hill, Dave Chapelle, etc.)

Website/Article Recommendations: Vigilant Citizen, MK-ULTRA, Monarch Mind Control, The Frankfurt SchoolMass Brainwashing through Media (pdf), David Icke //

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Confessions of a former Consumer Analyst - Marketing Director

Advertising in this consumer-driven world is POWER!

As a former Consumer Analyst for a big advertisement firm, dumbing down the masses in America has been my primary goal. It's my JOB to make people dumb! When people's emotions become irrational, and their actions more mindless, it's the big corporations who profit from the public's ignorance. We CAN NOT let you use your intellect in making practical decisions for the long-term. That would be foolish of us. We WILL lower your IQs, and make you a drone to our consumerist society. For instance, we can make smoking feel cool - regardless of the health implications - by promoting ads that display a desirable emotional state in which people express liberation and edge. It's the same technique we use to get people to salivate for fatty burgers, even if it makes them O-BEAST; or to buy that new expensive car, even if it will depreciate.

American society once produced products for our "needs", now it's for our "perceived wants." Here's how we're dumbing down America, and making them a slave to their desires and material wants:

  • We realize that people are not "free" - they are deterministic beings driven by physiological needs to survive. They are also social beings driven by psychological needs to belong. As such, as long you feel insecure, anxious, ugly, fearful, fat, marginalized, etc., then we are able to sell you products to relieve those feelings. The kicker here is, we ourselves - as advertisers - induce these negative emotional states into the consumer! We MAKE you feel inadequate and self-conscious. Fat? Try our weight lose products or you WILL be ridiculed by everyone! Big nose? Try our new rhinoplasty nose surgery because NO ONE can love someone that ugly! Though these products provide short-lived happiness, you will buy them anyhow because everyone else has succumb to it...and you don't want to feel alone now, do you? 
  • Speaking of that, we realize our ads do not need to convince YOU specifically. As long as others succumb to it, they will do the preaching for us. Preaching kindness, compassion and equality are all good for religious purposes, but not for corporate profits. Thus, we encourage Americans to be ignorant and mock those who are different. "Dang, look at her wearing that dollar store shirt. She needz a new wardrobe" Or "You're still using that cheap-@ss phone?! Dude, you're sooo out of the loop!"  The more you point at, laugh, and make stereotypical jokes of different values,  lifestyles, cultures, and beliefs, the more it will make them feel ashamed and insecure. This allows us to exploit their negative emotional state by creating services and products to alleviate their feelings and make them feel accepted.
  • We also realize that given the right tools and education, people are able to escape out of the consumerist bubble. Therefore, we promote ridicule of others not just on the physical level, but also educational. We want you to make fun of those who speak eloquently; those who sit and ponder about the origins of the universe, the purpose of human nature. Come on, aren't those people "weird" and boring? They question life and society so much that they rarely shop or watch mindless TV (aka 'Tell Lie Vision'). Therefore, if you reject those people, you won't become them, and instead, you will become consumerist slaves who can't think for themselves. We want you to "buy, buy, buy" not "think, think, and think." For instance, we hired Marketers to preach that if you study on the weekends, you are a loser and need to go out more - spend money and get drunk!
Phrases that we want to popularize among the youth in order for them to be brainless consumers are:

"Damn bro, you need to get OUT more!" (as in going out to buy more beers and shop)

Shiat dawg, u been studyin' math all day - all them numbers. What a loser!  Fk'n Nerd ass punk!" (we discourage the study of mathematics and science since they promote critical/logical thinking skills)

"Hahaha - man, you dress like someone from the 80's! I get my clothes from Hot Topic and American Eagle" (we discourage people from being consumer savvy and budget conscious).

"How'd you manage to gather all these clips to make that youtube video? You have waaaaaaayyyyy too much free time dude." (we look down on people who do not utilize their free time on garbage entertainment. Time spent away from mass media and on individual creative works should be considered a waste).

"WTF is this Peace Corp for humanity you are joining crap? F- that shiat dawg, I'm making real dough!" (we want young Americans to skip college and be driven to succeed by pure money instead of joining and volunteering for non-profit humanitarian organizations).

"Damn, you never heard of Lady Gaga? Been living under a rock or something? It's all over T.V. Hellooo!" (we want the youth of our nation to conform into society's norm of 'garbage entertainment.')
  •  We want businesses and politics to become ONE. Both entities working together have more power to dumb down the masses; In a sense, we both create false needs (HOPE and CHANGE) and please the public by satisfying this illusory need for them (YES WE CAN!). In order for the Government to take control of the masses, they work with business executives who promote "garbage entertainment."  Brain-dead, but addicting, reality shows like Celebrity Apprentice, American Idol, Real House Wives keep the masses passively glued to their computer and Tell Lie Vision sets. When people are too busy writing their snarky reviews on the latest series of Twilight (or spend the majority of their time online viewing entertainment sites), it is easier for the Government to manipulate crucial events that effect them. We want people to be more interested in issues within their entertainment bubble. That way, they can remain indifferent, even ignorant, of real world political issues that effect them. By limiting their perception, we CAN control them. 
  • In a global economy, we want young Americans to study anything that is consumer driven. We discourage young Americans to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). To do so, we pass legislation to outsource high-level jobs requiring intense analytical skills. In addition, we import scientists/engineers from China, Korea, and India for cheap labor (H1B). As a result, young Americans will lack the motivation to study science. They will become profit driven business owners, unethical marketers and advertisers, greedy financial analysts, public relations advisers, and liberal arts majors. More so, we want college kids to drink, party, and shop A LOT! As they enter the work force, they will find jobs that encourage the masses to be the same - a slave to their desires.
As Bush has once said post 9/11 "I've been told that some fear to leave; some don't want to go shopping for their families; some don't want to go about their ordinary daily routines because, by wearing cover, they're afraid they'll be intimidated. That should not and that will not stand in America."

Remember, we can always count on you being a slave to your inner desires and emotions. WE ARE THE ADVERTISERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY!

[Update (10/08/2012): The obvious question to ask now is 'So what?' 'Who cares?' Those who are vigilant are well aware that government and business entities utilize subliminal messages to influence the masses. Sadly, society as a whole will choose to remain passive consumers; they would rather follow their favorite reality stars than engage in activities that will increase their intellect and benefit humanity.

However, just because it's common sense to you doesn't mean you should be smug and dismiss its irrelevance to you. Society's overall indifference and ignorance DOES affect us all -- including the vigilant. Please check out these posts to understand 
(1) the deadly implications of mass media's influence on society:
Part 1 (Mass Massacres): Examining the Psychology and Sociology Behind Individuals who Commit Them
and (2) solutions to combat it:
Part 2 (Mass Massacres): Society Plays the Blame Game While Perpetrators Blame Society Itself ]

Film Recommendations: Century of the Self, Idiocracy, Branded, Metaphysia 2012, Zeitgeist: the Movie \\
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