Showing posts with label De-programming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label De-programming. Show all posts

August 10, 2023

You may be able to convince Trump cultists mermaids aren't real, but de-programming them from believing Trump is innocent of crimes is far more difficult


By Hal Brown

Thom Hartmann wrorte 

How to de-program Fox News watchers on the Trump Indictment

I have admired Thom Hartmann (Wiki profile), who like me is a MIchigan State University graduate and a resident of Portland Oregon, ever since I got a car with Sirius radio and listened to his radio show. I rarely if ever disagree with him. In addtion to his radio show Thom writes for Raw Story + (where this article also appears) and Salon. He has his own blog The Hartmann Report and for a fee you can subscribe to podcasts.

Today, however, I think he is being unrealistic.

In his blog column he explains how to de-program Fox News watchers on the Trump indictment. I assume he means all the consumers of Trump supporting media. Aside from my understanding from a friend who regularly checks in with Fox News the station is barely covering news of the the legal jeopardy Trump is in. I won't tune in to Fox News on TV but do sometimes look at their website which, as you can see below, has no stories about the indictments.

This being noted, obviously whatever is being reported about the Trump indictments is bascially that they are bogus, politically motivated, and anything that Trump did was justifed because it was free speech. Meanwhile as their website shows they engage in a combination of what-aboutism (Joe and Hunter Biden stories) without mentining Trump's legal troubles, and distraction (the death of some kid, NASCAR, and the Lady Gaga story for example).

Thom lays out the reasons why what Trump did wasn't free speech was in furterance of a criminal conspiarcy to overturn an election and then writes as if addressing believers in the Trump claims in bold:
As you can see, this wasn’t an exercise in free speech: it was a planned, organized, carefully executed conspiracy to defraud Biden voters in those seven states out of their right to have their votes counted.

Thom cocludes his essay (his bold):

The media outlets who gloss over Trump’s lies do so because it’s profitable for them: when, for example, Fox “News” stopped supporting Trump’s lies for a few weeks they lost a large chunk of their audience to another TV network that was willing to parrot his lies. Which is why they’re now back to supporting his lies and are again making money.

The politicians who approve of or repeat Trump’s lies do so because they see it as their path to fame and power: they want you to believe those lies and then vote for them.

And the billionaires who push Trump and his lies through their publications, think-tanks, and media outlets do so because they believe if he’s re-elected, they’ll get even more tax breaks and that Trump will continue his efforts to gut the IRS and EPA, which they hate.

The simple reality, dear Trump-lover, is that you’ve been suckered.

Now might be a good time to change the channel…

There's one phrase that leaps out at me: "simple reality," and in that  phrase the modifier "simple" is what I want to briefly address.

It is anything but simple to alter beliefs that are deeply held and supported by family members, friends, and an enomroious group not just composed of talking heads on TV but actual people if you attend Trump rallies.

How could all of these people be wrong? How could so many people you love, like, or are aquanted with be suckers?

It's easy enough to laugh at being suckered and accept it when you go to the county fair and pay 25¢ to see the real mermaid and see the mermaid was a woman with an phony fish tail. (See image above)

When you build an entire belief system around someone like Trump and worship him as a diety, as does a group that makes you feel like you belong (aka, a cult), and realize you've been lied to and bought the liie like a fool, it is far, far, more difficult to admit you've been suckered.

The usual way that people who have been in an actual cult are de-programmed, whether they were in the Moonies or Scientology, or dombday cults like Jonestown, the Branch Davidians (Waco), or Heaven's Gate if you can get them before they kill themselves, is to first remove them pyhsically from the cult. Then with expert de-programmers, ideally with parents and family if they had good relationsips with them, the psychological work can begin. 

How does one de-program members of the Trump cult? Using the de-programming model the first steps would be to remove them from the influence of the pro-Trump propaganda. This would entail not allowing them to use pro-Trump media and not associate with other members of the Trump cult. 

Unfortunately legal education, reason, and logic will rarely be enough. Punitive measures like prison might work, time will tell whether any of imprisioned Jan. 6th insurrectionist will realize they were suckered. 

Our legal system won't allow the kind of Clockwork Orange de-programming where instead of having their eyelids clamped open while watching violent images and getting electric shocks they are forced to watch MSNBC while being rewarded with their favorite sweet treats.

Addendum: I went to the Ringling Circus sideshow at Madison Square Garden,  which was in the basement, twice as a child. I re,meber my father buying a ring from the giant for a quarter who handed it to me (a thrill). It could fit around my 10 year old wrist.  

They didn't have a mermaid. All of the people featured what were disparagingly called "freaks" although, like the Fat Man, Giant, and World's Skinnest Man were just at the extreme end of physical development. Some had a phsycial condition like the Bearded Lady. Others like Tattooed Lady might have done things to make themselves look unusual.

Here's an article about nine famous freak show attractions. 

I never did see Tom Thumb although he and his wife Lavina by chance made their home in Middleboro, MA,. where I lived between living in Michigan and Oregon. There's a appropriately very small Tom Thumb museum than and the house theye lived in is preserved.

Some people made thier living because of a rare genetic condition, perhaps the most famous being the conjoined twins Chang and Eng.

Carnival sideshows like you might go to at a county fair often had a mixture between real people doing intersting thinks like the sword swallower and the snake handling lady and obvious fakes. Many, though not all, featured a "real" mermaid, either a living version or a preserved mermaid corpse.


I never did see Tom Thumb although he was, for a time, part of the Ringling Circus show. He and his wife Lavina by chance made their home in Middleboro, MA, where I lived between living in Michigan and Oregon. There's a appropriately very small Tom Thumb museum there and the house they lived in is preserved. The public library has large portraits of them in their reading room.

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