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Behind the Showman's Curtain

Written by Subject: Propaganda

When you think about it, the human mind is an incredible piece of wetware. It can create patterns and sense from millions of electrical and chemical signals triggered by an unlimited array of sensory inputs. Imagine how quickly insanity and madness would ensue without the mind's ability to filter and triage those signals.

But, those filters, routers, and pattern-recognition mechanisms make the mind susceptible to incredible hacks like optical illusions and practical jokes. The success or failure of mystics, magicians, psychics, and other stage performers hinges on their ability to exploit the mind's susceptibilities and convince the mind that the fantastical is reality.

Although the hacks are simple, the ability to consistently and seamlessly exploit them takes practice (and not a small measure of intestinal fortitude). But, illusionists have one big ace in the hole: once the illusion is firmly affixed, the mind resists attempts to dislodge it.

This is often expressed as, "I want to believe," but is more precisely expressed as, "I do not want to believe that I have been hacked."

Confidence-men, politicians, propagandists, salesmen, info-tainers, and everyone else who would stick their hand in your pocket are able to baffle you with bull, and return to the well again and again, because they know how your mind works better than you do.

Today's Instant Example
On December 16, 2009, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order amending a previous executive order (12425) signed by Ronald Reagan in 1983. The new amendment exempts agents of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) from certain tax and import duties.

The original executive order was titled, "DESIGNATING INTERPOL AS A PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ENTITLED TO ENJOY CERTAIN PRIVILEGES, EXEMPTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES", and made INTERPOL one of the organizations described in the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), with the exceptions of tax and import duty exemptions. The amendment retains the title.

If one bothers to read the references, they can plainly see that the new executive order, despite the scary-sounding title, provides additional exemptions and has nothing to do with immunities that INTERPOL has enjoyed for 26 years. These details have not deterred Austin entertainer Alex Jones, though. As his shtick is conjuring bogeymen of "New World Order elites" and shadowy puppet-masters, he has conveniently provided us with an example of how skilled psychics and propagandists react and adapt to external signals to reinforce the illusion for the benefit of their audience.

Mr. Jones commonly paints a multi-media picture involving disparate names, people, and events in such a fashion that implies connectedness where there is none. The mind-hack is the same one that mystics and psychics have used to mesmerize their audiences for eons: the cold read.

Here's a list of the different entities mentioned by Mr. Jones in that video:

The US Constitution"Federal" policeLocal police
Threat Integration CentersUS Army personnelNational Guard personnel
FBICIAWarrantless spying
National Security AgencyCyber-security ActCyber-security Tzar
OrwellDiplomatic immunityINTERPOL
Barack ObamaUN diplomatsEuropean Union
FEMANLE 09Israeli police
Israeli militaryHomeland SecurityArmy War College
Terrorist attacksCivil InsurrectionsPentagon
Brigade homelandTerroristsMIAC report
Homeland Security ReportNORTHCOMMTea Party protest surveillance
Foreign offshore banksCopenhagen summitPublic schools

The trick, as Mr. Jones illustrates, is to throw out a list of items from A to Z and see what sticks. As the filters and pattern recognition mechanisms in your mind retain the "hits" that fit into patterns and discard the "misses", the performer appears to have pinpoint accuracy when he is really using a shotgun.

This is no different than an astrologer performing a reading. "As a Sagittarius you are detail oriented, leading you to become a doctor, teacher, businessman, housekeeper, accountant, cab driver, writer, mechanic, journalist, or similar profession."

Wow! It's just like my mind is an open book to this guy. I am in a similar profession to one of those!

Another facet of the cold-read is using rhetorical tricks to make declarations without actually declaring anything. An astrologer may say, "you are an extrovert at heart, but often fear of rejection leads you to be introverted." Wow, again!

Mr. Jones uses similar rhetorical tricks in this video. He said:

International organizations are training with federal, local, and tribal police "on how to take on terrorists inside the United States."

International organizations will "assist and work with the military to fight terrorists inside the United States."

Canada and Mexico will "use foreign assets inside the United States."

Those are all very scary things using that sentence structure. However, they lose their bite when changed slightly:

International organizations are training inside the United States with federal, local, and tribal police on how to take on terrorists.

International organizations will assist and work with the military inside the United States to fight terrorists.

Canada and Mexico have assets inside the United States that can be used to support their own operations.

If you are a "police, courts, and defense" type of small-government libertarian, suddenly they sound like things you would expect a government to do. But, in that form they don't further the narrative of an over-arching elite bound lock-step on world domination and population decimation.

It's tough to sell videos, soaps, and seed banks to the skeptical.

What's the Harm?
As Michael Shermer notes, entertainment based on pseudo-science, non-science, and just plain nonsense isn't harmful in and of itself. Entertainers like Penn & Teller or Criss Angel openly advertise their ability to mind-hack. No one honestly believes that their mind tricks are anything but tricks, although they are infinitely more skilled and refined than "serious" performers.

Alex Jones, Uri Geller, John Edwards and the like don't bill themselves as entertainers; they cultivate a following and recommend life choices that can be psychologically and financially detrimental. And whereas fellow info-tainers Chris Matthews, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Neil Boortz, et al preach hatred of reason and promote violence-by-proxy, Jones goes further to recommend alienation of friends and family if not outright hermitage through incessant evangelism.

Perhaps the most harm from Alex Jones (and other pay-triots) is the promotion of helplessness. In the fantastical world of evil elites and quagmire of legal fictions and arcane legal rituals, a person could be excused for feeling overwhelmed by circumstances outside his control. That feeling of helplessness is the difference between a free man, leading by example, and a couch potato armed with the latest conspiracy theory as an excuse for inaction or, perhaps worse, counterproductive action.

Life without entertainment would be unbearably dull, and it would certainly be unrealistic to expect mystics, psychics, info-tainers, politicians, propagandists, and other con-men to label their performances as "for entertainment purposes only". However, knowing how the tricks work doesn't ruin the magic, but rather makes the skill required to maintain the illusion all the more impressive.

To illustrate, here are the afore-mentioned Penn & Teller performing the cups and balls trick for their friend Criss Angel:

7 Comments in Response to

Comment by Phil Taylor
Entered on:

 Wow!! Talk about bias. Did you have an extra bowl at breakfast, Mr. Lorger?

I would call this a very good example of DISinformation. Are you trying to get people (sheople) to stop listening to Alex Jones? Well... you will fail miserably, just as your article did.

You should probably stick to critiquing non-issues. At least there you would fit in. Alex is BY FAR your superior, both in knowledge amassed and the ability to present it. Sorry, you realy failed to make a valid point on this story. You shouldn't even begun to write it.

Comment by Die Daily
Entered on:

Hilarious article. I personally know of not one AJ listener that is unaware of his faults. Any idiot can see that he over-dramatizes things. He uses antics. He's definitely a showman. And? The information tends to check out (95+ percent). Who else brings in guests with the popular appeal and mainstream credibility that he does? Who has woken up more people to the idea that things are really, seriously f***ed up and that a coordinated, if diverse and fictionalized cabal of serious a**holes is behind it. What, do you think the sheeple would benefit more from some sort of Charlie Rose clinical effeminacy? Get real. And get a life. AJ is a portal. He brought me to THIS site, indirectly. It started with him and now I'm into DYI, No State Project, Boiling Frogs, Truth Jihad, Militia Radio, and probably a dozen other wonderful and diverse resources, none of whom tend to reference back to AJ very much if at all. Too bad for them. And too bad for you, Lorber, have so much extra time on your hands after fighting the gummint and the globalist maniacs that you can sit around and invent divisions in our movement of awakening where there need be none. Your article implies that we are idiots and can't filter for ourselves. What are you, the nanny journalist? Go write for FOX if that's your shtick, because we can think. In the mean time, how about you swivel your divisive little mouthpiece around a little bit more over there toward the enemy on the horizon. That enemy wants to tax, imprison, disarm, vaccine, drug, taze and statute your *ss into the dirt, moron. How many taxes are you paying to AJ? Does he want your guns? Are you a rebel against the draconian rule of AJ? What are you INTO vaccines? We don't have a lot of time left to wake folks up before the SHTF. The last thing we need is mouthpieces inventing reasons for forming up factions and squaring off against each other.

P.S. Everything in this universe is interconnected. That list you offer us? Newsflash: there are some pretty easy to draw interconnection there. If you did a little homework you could draw a f***ing spider web on that baby. So what? Who knows what rich diversity of connections the NON HOMOGENEOUS set of listeners will draw between that scatter-gun of info-death, lol. You'd like a structured reduction a la pablum. Fine. Eat up. Meanwhile we can and will think for ourselves just fine thanks. And we'll remain UNIFIED AGAINST THE MAN DESPITE OUR IMMENSE DIVERSITY and your best efforts to chop us up into opposing camps.

Comment by Get Real
Entered on:


I disagree with many things Alex says, and I disagree with how he claims Ted Anderson's prices are low when they are extremely high (compare his on-air prices to  However, warts and all, Alex Jones' information is, for the most part, dead-on.  I don't need some nut-job telling me I need to adjust my filters.  Fuck you very much, but my filters work fine, even when I see massive dis-info like that come around.  I can filter out certain aspects of Alex Jones, and I can filter out complete BS like this article.  One thing I do agree with, that Jones says often, is stop complaining about the messenger and focus on the issues.  Is there anything else you (Brock) think is more important to write about?  GMAFB already.  Is this the best issue you can come up with?  You hate Alex that much?  WTF is your agenda -- for people to pay more attention to you?  Thanks for warning me to ignore anything you have to say.  I know you're a complete retard and need professional help.  I'm able to filter portions of Alex Jones and other assholes just fine on my own.  I'll continue to listen to Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley.

Comment by Found Zero
Entered on:

I get the point. It's often seemed like Alex plays fast and loose with the facts. Lots of people think he's a loon. But he gets interesting guests on so he stays rellevant.

Comment by Jet Lacey
Entered on:

Jeez Brock, why do you have such a hard on for Alex Jones, and everyone else for that matter?

While I often like what you have to say, you tend to come off like "I'm so much fucking smarter and therefore holier than thou because I understand concepts and ideas and other interesting stuff that the rest of you lowbrows out there just wouldn't understand." 

Here’s a perfect example: 

“Confidence-men, politicians, propagandists, salesmen, info-tainers, and everyone else who would stick their hand in your pocket are able to baffle you with bull, and return to the well again and again, because they know how your mind works better than you do.”

They do?  Really?  Thanks for informing us how everyone but you is so stupid and gullible. 

Not only is your tone oftentimes condescending, you have a penchant for nitpicking and grousing people over the minutiae and intimacies of the English language, like whenever someone uses the word "we" when they really mean "me."    

Let’s delve further into how dim-bulbed we all are, shall we?

“Perhaps the most harm from Alex Jones (and other pay-triots) is the promotion of helplessness. In the fantastical world of evil elites and quagmire of legal fictions and arcane legal rituals, a person could be excused for feeling overwhelmed by circumstances outside his control. That feeling of helplessness is the difference between a free man, leading by example, and a couch potato armed with the latest conspiracy theory as an excuse for inaction or, perhaps worse, counterproductive action.”

Wowee.  Now, Alex Jones and anyone else who would earn a living from their activities in the freedom movement are not only promoting but actually creating human helplessness by informing the masses about something you say doesn’t even exist?


And, you insinuate that those who go out there every day to spread the truth are not only enslaving people but turning them into sedentary buffoons?  C’mon, are you fucking kidding me?

Brock, the New World Order is all too real, and it is, at the very least, irresponsible and quite possibly dangerous for you to go around spreading this type of disinformation.  Sure, Alex Jones has a flair for the dramatic and a penchant for sensationalization, but like he says (and I’m paraphrasing);

“If I went around saying these things in a calm, rational voice, no one would pay any attention.  If you don’t shout it from the rooftops, people won’t listen.”

One more thing; just because you don’t like how and why Alex Jones called out Obama on the altering of Executive Order 12425, it doesn’t take away the fact that a foreign police force should not, in any way, have any type of status, standing, or immunity  to operate within the United States.  Can we at least agree on that?

Brock, I know it sounds like I’m hating on you personally; I’m not.  We tend to disagree on a lot of different subjects, and that’s ok too.  The unfettered exchange of ideas is the bedrock tenet for any free society. 

“So come on then, give us a cuddle!”

Comment by Brian White
Entered on:

Anyone who has an honest and open mind, and has listened to Alex Jones over a period of time (as opposed to limited exposure from one or two youtube clips) knows that he is for real and completely sincere whether you agree with him or not. To characterize him as a con-artist sounds like something a real con-artist would do. What Mr. Lorber has produced here is a propaganda piece and has engaged in the very tactics that he is accusing Mr. Jones of. What Alex Jones actually does is expose the hidden strings behind the establishment's magic tricks. Mr. Lorber is suggesting that this "connectedness" does not really exist. If you believe that I have some ocean front property here in AZ for you. Anyone who knows the origin and history of Interpol for example would realize that it doesn't take much reading between the lines to see what Alex Jones sees in the "diplomatic immunity" issue. Mr. Lorber's version of things leads me to think that one of the following is true: 1) It is intentional disinformation, and Mr. Lorber himself doesn't really believe what he's saying. 2) Mr. Lorber has actually been fooled by the establishment magicians' elaborate stage shows such as 911, and the whole international banksters' manipulation of global events. Some suggested reading for Mr. Lorber: Rise of the 4th Reich by Jim Marrs is a good starting point, but be careful, don't look behind the curtain if you want to keep believing in the Wizard.

Comment by James Arft
Entered on:

Brock Lorber at Bloody Mary Breakfast has had one too  many.  Although his piece starts off OK his attempt at mind control quickly gets out of control and ends up in the ditch.  His feable attempt to attack the messenger so he may avoid reality is just another example of what happens to naive and trusting people who fail to get all the news.  They can't stop reaching for the very thing that is killing them. 

 Mr. Lorger needs rehab. 

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