[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by LeoHohmann.com.]
By Leo Hohmann
Any student of military history will tell you: Wars don’t just happen.
They are always foreshadowed by a propaganda operation intended to soften up the target, wear people down, weaken their resolve to fight.
The most successful operations come down to this simple strategy: Identify your enemy, segregate, isolate, then annihilate.
Piers Robinson, co-director of the Organization for Propaganda Studies, is an internationally recognized expert on propaganda, but not just any propaganda.
His focus is on conflict and war and the role of propaganda within that framework. He is also an associate researcher with the Working Group on Propaganda and the 9/11 “War on Terror” and has served as an advisor to NATO leaders.
From 2016 to 2019, Professor Robinson chaired the department of politics, society and political journalism at the University of Sheffield.
He spoke at length about the propaganda aspects of COVID-19 in an Aug. 4 interview with Asia Pacific Today of Australia.
“COVID-19 is probably one of the biggest propaganda operations we’ve seen in history because of the global nature and the resources put into it,” Robinson said. “It was pretty clear from the beginning that propaganda was being employed.”
In the U.S., one of the main spigots of propaganda has been Dr. Anthony Fauci and the media’s elevation of him to god-like status, hanging on his every word and never pressing him to provide data to back up his constantly swerving pronouncements. Every Western government has its version of Fauci, spouting ever-changing, confusing information meant to keep the population off balance, afraid and confused.
A fearful, dazed and weary public is less able to resist the dizzying array of draconian policies coming from governments, from facemask rules and incessant testing to quarantines of the healthy and mandatory mass vaccinations.
In his latest effort to prepare Americans for even greater medical tyranny, Fauci went on national TV Aug. 8 and said “a flood” of new COVID vaccine mandates are coming down the pike as soon as the shots get FDA approval, which he expects to happen as soon as next month.
Corporations are already piling on. Forbes reported Aug. 8 that companies are not only threatening to fire the unvaccinated; they are beginning to tack on a special surcharge of up to $50 for employees, deducting it from the paychecks of those who refuse the experimental shot.
Fauci has continually frightened the American public for 18 months, wearing everyone down with a steady diet of propaganda.
Which brings the subject back to Robinson, who has decades of studies under his belt in the art of propaganda in war time.
Robinson documents how the British government sought expert advice from behavioral psychologists on how to use the media to manipulate public opinion by ratcheting up the level of fear surrounding the COVID pandemic.
He cited U.K. government documents from March 2020 referencing groups skilled in applied psychology. They helped the government craft a plan of propaganda to drive a fear-based narrative with the goal of causing behavioral change.
One such group was SPI-B or the Independent Scientific Influenza Group on Behaviors.
“The key part of SPI-B’s behavioral change strategy that seems to have been adopted was to ‘persuade through fear,’” Robinson said.
The persuasion section of the document states: “A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.”
Appendix B of the documents lists 10 options that can be used to increase social distancing in the public.
Option 2 advises: “Use media to increase sense of personal threat.”
SPI-B recommendations were to increase the sense of personal threat and “use hard hitting emotional messaging.” This included taglines such as:
- “Anyone can get it. Anyone can spread it.”
- “Don’t put your friends and family in danger.”
- “Stay home for your family. Don’t put their lives in danger.”
- “If you go out, you can spread it. People will die.”
Use of hysterical media headlines was another big part of the strategy.
Big Tech quickly agreed to come on board with the censoring of all competing narratives that countered the fear-based approach.
If that didn’t work, the psychologists argued for shame and approval tactics.
SPI-B psychologists knew that fear on its own would not persuade everyone. Messaging needed to be tailored to take into account different “motivational levers.”
Thus, the document suggested using both social approval and disapproval, with government compulsion as a backup, as follows:
- Option 6: Use and promote social approval for desired behaviors.
- Option 7: Consider enacting legislation to compel required behaviors.
- Option 8: Consider use of social disapproval for failure to comply.
As if on cue, the “heroes and covidiots” narrative began to appear in the “news.”
The word “covidiots” was coined in spring 2020 by The Economist, the official magazine of the world’s most elite globalists. The magazine described “covidiots” as follows:
“The term “covidiot” describes any and every person behaving stupidly or irresponsibly as the epidemic spreads. Sometime in early March the word was born, and, almost as fast as the virus spread, so did instances of covidiotic behavior.”
The U.S. government was party to similar discussions about how to control the media narrative about COVID at Event 201 in October 2019, two months before the virus was discovered in China.
In Germany, equally insidious propaganda strategies have been documented within the so-called “Panic Paper,” a leaked document from the German Department of Interior that shows the population was deliberately driven to panic by politicians and mainstream media.
Among other things, the Panic Paper calls for children to be made to feel responsible “for the painful tortured death of their parents and grandparents if they do not follow the corona rules,” that is, if they do not constantly wash their hands, put on masks and avoid contact with their grandparents.
Scientific data shows children are not efficient spreaders of the virus but that couldn’t be allowed to disrupt the fear-based narrative. They were masked and socially distanced, their schools shut down, their social lives destroyed, leading to a record number of teen suicides.
It became obvious to Robinson that the extreme government responses had nothing to do with public health.
“What has becoming increasingly clear is this is not being driven by a health crisis,” he said. “We are seeing profound changes in our society.”
The changes include everything from the introduction of digital currencies and vaccine passports with scannable QR codes, to the regulation of worship services and small businesses.
The World Economic Forum immediately seized on the COVID pandemic as an “opportunity” to change the economic, political and social structure of the free world. Elites at the WEF, United Nations, the British Royal family, the Vatican, World Bank and International Monetary Fund did not hide their excitement about the “opportunity” that came with a global pandemic. In fact they were very open about it, writing books, making speeches and participating in glitzy promotional videos posted to YouTube.
“What we seem to have here are political actors exploiting the circumstances for political, economic and social objectives,” Robinson said. “It’s certainly very clear for example, organizations such as the World Economic Forum had a very specific vision from the very beginning on how to respond to COVID and had a very specific vision for the future, talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, smart cities and so on, and it would appear that actors such as that are using and exploiting COVID for substantial political, economic and social restructuring.”
The role of propaganda then becomes key because it conditions people to accept these drastic changes without any scrutiny or public debate, “because people are thinking this is all about a virus and people are scared. So all of the transformative changes are being swept through without any scrutiny. This is very, very dangerous. A terrified population has extracted a huge opportunity for people with agendas who have the power to realize that.
“So we are moving into pretty worrying territory now, in terms of how governments are behaving.”
Those who speak out against the propaganda start to be treated as the “other.”
The virus now becomes an engine to drive society to vaccine passports, a digital ID system and a social-credit scoring system similar to what’s used in China to keep people toeing the government line.
“All of these seem to revolve around a major restructuring of society, major redistribution of wealth, much more control, much less democracy,” Robinson said.
The role of the mask
Laura Dodsworth, in her book A State of Fear: How the UK Government Weaponized Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic, interviewed behavioral psychologists that work for the UK government. What she found was astonishing: the mask was primarily about keeping people’s fear levels up.
“Keeping the virus in the forefront of people’s minds,” Robinson said. “Behavior scientists admitted that’s what the mask is mainly about. It’s not about protecting people from a virus but managing their perception of the virus.”
Governments set up snitchlines in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Australia, and throughout the formerly free world, further dividing their populations and turning friends and family against each other.
“This concept of divide and control is becoming more apparent. We’re starting to see it over the last couple of weeks in terms of mandated vaccination,” Robison said.
Headlines like this from the LA Times are commonplace, “COVID-19 cases surge in L.A. County, fueled by ‘enormously selfish’ unvaccinated.”
Often the media campaigns for even more restrictions than are currently put in place by the government, such as barring the unvaccinated from airline flights, restaurants, stores and basically every public venue, even outdoor sporting events and concerts.
Blaming the unvaccinated for continued flare ups of the pandemic is everywhere.
“This should ring alarm bells for anyone who has even the most basic grasp of history. You start to talk about segregation, you start to talk about people who are unclean, unhealthy, unvaccinated versus vaccinated,” Robinson said.
None of these policies is based on scientific data.
“All of the level-headed epidemiologists that I listen to are very clear that this idea that the unvaccinated spread the virus is not accurate scientifically, but that is the kind of message which is being communicated by people who have been pushing the agenda from the beginning,” Robinson said. “And that will create divisions, and we’ve been in this kind of place in history and it ends very badly when we start segregating people and we start using that language. But, quite terrifyingly, this is the language which is being used by the people who have been pushing draconian restrictions, vaccines, for the last two years.”
Former Fox News commentator Piers Morgan, for example, took to Twitter last week and suggested that the unvaccinated should be denied medical treatment.
“We know from history this kind of talk can lead to very, very dark places,” said Robinson. “Many of the things we are seeing, the need to carry special passports for instance, have parallels in 1930s Germany.
“Very credible, eminent scientists, are now being smeared in the media because of their anti-lockdown views or for questioning the Covid vaccines. The casual smearing is certainly a big part of what’s going on. This should be another warning sign to those who think everything is OK and there are no problems out there. People should ask themselves, why are very eminent scientists from the beginning [like Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone] being smeared and being censored and shut down and shut out from debates? That tells you something. That tells you this isn’t a rational response that’s going on. This is a propagandized response. And it’s being carried through by shutting people up, by humiliating them, smearing them and so on.”
All institutions complicit in the propaganda war
Mainstream journalists operate in close proximity to people in political power. They frequent the same groups and social gatherings.
“They share basically the same outlook,” Robinson noted. “They depend on each other for information. So journalists are not as critical as they should be and not as independent as they should be. So it shouldn’t surprise us that when it comes to Covid, they are reluctant to go against the government narrative.”
Those in academia also tend to self-censor. They come up against pressure within institutions to “stay within the program,” leading to a groupthink mentality.
“We are seeing lawmakers, parliaments being incredibly timid, and not engaging in the kind of democratic scrutiny that they should be,” he said. “So I think we’re seeing all of the institutions in our society being bent to this propaganda campaign.”
He said hope lies in new political parties that are rising against the establishment, but it’s too early to tell if they will gain the traction needed to turn back the tide of authoritarianism in nations that have a long history of freedom.
“Most of our democratic institutions are hollowed out. We need to get democracy back,” Robinson said.
Those fighting for the resistance have a small window to get their message out, educate the public and stem the tide.
“In all my life I have never experienced anything as worrying and as extreme as what we’re seeing at the moment,” Robinson said. “You’re not going to be able to rely on your local politician or the mainstream media to suddenly pick up this issue. We’re in a phase where people need to mobilize, and that’s what we’re seeing. And that means not relying on your mainstream or established political parties.”
The growing protest movements in France and Italy will need to continue to intensify and spread beyond Europe if they are going to be successful.
People must get out and start organizing and communicating with like-minded groups. That’s the key, as Robinson sees it.
“We will have to see how this develops, the people getting out in the streets and the new political parties representing those views. Will that start to change the course of what we’re seeing?”
Robinson’s gut feeling is that it will, but one can sense his hesitancy to become too optimistic.
“I sort of have a feeling in my own heart, maybe just my instinct, that it’s so extreme what is being proposed: lockdowns, and vaccinating children, people being forced to vaccinate. This is so extreme that as this goes on, the numbers who are willing to organize and join new parties will increase.
“We can’t see for sure what is going to happen. My guestimate at the moment, is the propaganda around Covid 19 is quite a fragile bubble.
“In my career researching and exposing propaganda I’ve never seen this number of people who are waking up.
“All the alarm bells are ringing with anyone who has a knowledge of history, and a knowledge of propaganda, how governments don’t always operate in the best interests of their populations. All the alarm bells are ringing, and we are in extremely dangerous times, unfortunately, and very worrying for the future.”
So what is the end game?
“There are some great investigative journalists out there, who have reported on the World Economic Forum and the idea that the end game is a restructuring of society which involves more control over individuals and their lives by the state,” Robinson said.
“There are many theories out there. But one thing is clear; this all seems to be driving toward a real end to proper freedom. If you have a vaccination passport which you need to get into your supermarket, you’re not actually free anymore.”
Digital currencies are another thing that seems to be in the offing.
“This gives a tremendous shift in power to governments,” he said. “This is all pretty anti-democratic. If you think democracy and freedom are generally good things, and I’m one of them who does, this is all extremely concerning.
“We are at a pivotal moment…it could go either way. That’s why people must mobilize and realize something is wrong beyond COVID-19.”
As for the QR codes on the vaccine passports, “we should have all learned a lesson after 9/11, with the Patriot Act, surveillance, monitoring everything, and governments, if they can get away with it, will exploit all of this.”
Seeing the writing on the wall, some resisters are already talking about buying swaths of land and forming self-supporting communities that exist off the grid.
“Hopefully,” Robinson mused, “it isn’t coming to that.”
[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by LeoHohmann.com.]
This article was originally published by the WND News Center.