This article comes from Iain Davis on his website “in-this-together.com”
(Iain Davis is from the U.K. and this article is posted in his native grammar.)
There are many things we can do to liberate ourselves, and each other, from the tyranny of government. Unfortunately, for generations, we have been educated to believe we are powerless. Supposedly our voice can only be heard through the ballot box, our extremely limited ability to lobby and whatever protests we are allowed.
This is a deception. We have all the power, government has none and we can change the world whenever we choose.
All we need to do is realise our collective agency and strength. The good news is that, if we consistently work toward freedom, achieving it is a nailed on certainty. The bad news is that very few of us are even aware of the need to change our behaviour and fewer still know how to do it.
Our broad lack of awareness leaves us at the mercy of those who do understand how to misuse behaviour change techniques and applied psychology for nefarious purposes. This mistreatment has led a sizeable minority to rail against applied behavioural psychology. Yet, should we decide to use these strategies ourselves, the potential for positive social change is immense.
This article is written in the hope that we can all learn how use behaviour change techniques for our benefit. Behaviour change is a skill that can be learned and, with practice, become a powerful tool for personal development. We can use it to defeat the plans of those who would use it against us and construct a free society.
The Misuse Problem
Over the last two years we have experienced, and are continuing to endure, a global behavioural change programme designed to force us into compliance. Psychological operations (psyops) have been used to adapt our behaviour to a so-called “new normal.” One of the objectives is to condition us to respond automatically to an announced crisis, whatever it may be, and to obey government commands.
This isn’t a contentious point. Applied behavioural change techniques are common practice at both the world governance and national government level. The World Health Organisation outline how they interpret their use:
A health campaign follows a specific sequence that moves the target audience from awareness of an issue towards a behaviour resulting in a specific health outcome […] Presenting a consistent message from multiple sources increases the likelihood of action […] Trusted messengers and high-profile personalities can add their voices to the campaign.
In February 2020, one month before they declared a global pandemic, the WHO announced the creation of its Technical Advisory Group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health (TAG). The group is chaired by Prof. Cass Sunstein and its members include behavioural change experts from the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prof. Susan Michie, from the UK, is also a TAG participant.
Cass Sunstein co-authored a 2008 paper titled Conspiracy Theories in which he and Prof. Adrian Vermeule advocated a series of psychological methods to counter the arguments of people who doubt official narratives. Sunstein & Vermeule ruled out engaging in logical, evidence based debate. Instead, they proposed a concerted psyop campaign to discredit anyone who questioned the government.
TAG soon published Principles and Steps for Applying a Behavioural Perspective to Public Health in which they identified six principles they would utilise. Deciding that knowledge was “often not enough to change behaviours,” TAG implemented a different methodology. Noting that the behavioural choices we make are “influenced by the environment in which an individual resides and makes decisions,” TAG concluded:
Approaching public health from a behavioural perspective requires focusing on people and their behaviours in the context in which those behaviours occur […] Behaviours can be defined so that the influences on those behaviours in terms of barriers and drivers can be diagnosed. The strategies and interventions that can change those behaviours can then be designed.
There was no mention of consent anywhere in the document. TAG advocate manipulation of the context in which behaviour occur. This enables them to design the behavioural response. We are the subjects of their efforts and TAG don’t consider either our knowledge or consent to be relevant.
Susan Michie is also a member of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). They have provided much of the “evidence” which the UK government used to justify its anti-scientific response to the pseudopandemic. Michie is also a leading member of the SAGE behavioural change subgroup, Spi-B.
Like her fellow TAG and Spi-B behavioural change experts, Michie favours psyops over logical discourse. In an advisory report, dated 22nd March 2020, SPi-B recommended that the UK government engage in a media led terror campaign to coerce the public into pseudopandemic compliance:
A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened […] The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging […] Some people will be more persuaded by appeals to play by the rules, some by duty to the community, and some to personal risk. All these different approaches are needed […] Use media to increase sense of personal threat […] Consider use of social disapproval for failure to comply.
Government in the UK, and elsewhere, deployed precisely this methodology with the assistance of their mainstream media partners. This was a continuation of the manipulation proposed in the UK government’s 2010 document called MINDSPACE. The report outlined how government could misuse behaviour change for propaganda and compliance purposes.
It stressed the importance of avoiding any discussion of the evidence and focused upon overcoming peoples’ rational minds using psychological manipulation. Notably, this could be achieved without the subjects (us) even being aware that we were effectively being programmed:
People’s behaviour may be altered if they are first exposed to certain sights, words or sensations […] people behave differently if they have been ‘primed’ by certain cues beforehand.. Emotional responses to words, images and events can be rapid and automatic.. people can experience a behavioural reaction before they realise what they are reacting to […] This shifts the focus of attention away from facts and information, and towards altering the context within which people act […] Behavioural approaches embody a line of thinking that moves from the idea of an autonomous individual, making rational decisions, to a ‘situated’ decision-maker, much of whose behaviour is automatic and influenced by their choice environment […] citizens may not fully realise that their behaviour is being changed – or, at least, how it is being changed.
This approach utilises the covert psychological strategies suggested by Sunstein two years earlier. Spi-B and TAG were among those who exploited them throughout the pseudopandemic. Combined with wide reaching censorship and a concerted media propaganda campaign, the objective was to hide or otherwise obfuscate evidence and move people away from rationality towards becoming “situated decision makers.”
Programmed to accept a tightly defined set of limited discussion points, people were coerced into believing in a predetermined “choice environment.” The context and extent of their decision making was thus controlled, leaving many subjects psychologically disabled. Once the choice environment had been established, behavioural responses could then be designed without any resistance from the situated decision makers.
This form of brainwashing primarily targets the subconscious. It is highly effective because it leaves the subject imagining they have free choice or free will. This deception renders us far more likely to behave as instructed. However, in reality, our behavioural options are restricted to the desired outcomes only. The behavioural commitment of the subject is engineered by their situated position within the choice environment.
The misuse of behavioural change techniques, and the applied psychology that underpins them, is totally unethical. It is a form of psychological abuse that was and is still inflicted upon the global population to push an agenda.
In the UK, this prompted a concerned group of psychologists and therapists to write to the British Psychological Society (BPS), urging them to investigate the abuse and issue a statement. Eventually the BPS replied with what many considered to be an evasive, disingenuous and wholly unconvincing reponse.
Given the activities of TAG, Spi-B and others, strong opposition to this psychological manipulation by government is understandable. It is essential that we draw a distinction between their covert, unethical misuse of behavioural change and the appropriate employment of these strategies.
Utilised as part of talking therapy, behaviour change (or modification) it is perhaps the most powerful technique for the treatment of many unwanted, self-destructive behaviours. It has helped millions of people around the world overcome addiction and provides us with tools we can use in our daily lives to achieve a wide range of goals and objectives.
For example, if freedom is our aim, we can use the skills we learn from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to live as free, sovereign human beings. If enough of us do so it is inevitable that we will create the free society most of us want. We do not have to live under the tyrannical oppression of any government that seeks to control us through brainwashing and fear.
Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT) helps us to notice the thoughts and experiences that lead us to adopt potentially destructive behaviours. Once we have acknowledged and accepted the reality of our current condition we can identify the associated behaviours, develop better coping strategies and commit to behavioural change.
We can use the ACT matrix as a mental map to guide us away from damaging or life-limiting behaviours and instead actively choose behaviour that moves us closer to our goal. This is depicted below and the the diagram can be carried on the person as an aide-mémoire. However, once people are familiar with applying ACT in their daily lives, the simplicity of the model allows most to visualise it when needed.
Each of us perceive the world through our senses. This enables us to build a mental picture of reality. However, thoughts, emotions and physical sensations can impact upon our perception.
Take, for example, a forest walk. The sights, sounds, smells, textures and even tastes form our appreciation of nature and the experience. However, if we start to feel the uncomfortable sensation of substance withdrawal then, despite the evidence of our senses, we can perceive the forest as little more than a dark prison, stopping us from getting to the substance we desire.
Our mental experience does not necessarily reflect reality. Other “unwanted stuff,” such as cravings or fear, often get in the way. When they do we can easily become “situated decision makers.”
Unable to cope with our internal conflicts, we often resort to behaviours that are driven by these unwanted thoughts, emotions, physical sensations or beliefs. We respond to them instead of the present reality of our environment or condition.
These behaviours, such as problematic substance use, can be fatal. The behaviours themselves can compound the unwanted thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. We may enter the cycle of addiction where physical changes and altered brain function can occur, further compelling the destructive behaviour.
ACT teaches us that the first thing we need to do is pay attention to the here and now. Our reality is formed through both physical and psychological influences and we need to be “mindful” of both. The ability to root ourselves in awareness of the ‘here and now’ can be improved by practising mindfulness exercises.
The objective is not to sit in mindful contemplation but to develop self-awareness skills. Our capacity to focus upon what is happening to us in any given moment will afford us self-control.
For example, we might improve our awareness of the conflict between the tranquillity of a forest walk and our craving for a drug. Both can be perceived simultaneously and the difference noted. The craving is an uncomfortable sensation but that does not need to alter our comprehension of the forest.
We are able to identify the difference between external reality and internal distress. In this awareness we can start to address the resultant behaviour that is driven by our personal experience, not the forest. We can no longer blame the forest (our environment or other people) for actions that are our own responsibility.
The next step in ACT is acceptance. It is pointless pretending that we are not experiencing cravings, emotional distress or physical pain when, in reality, we are. Trying to deny these experiences, whether psychosomatic or caused directly by physical stimuli, simply increases our anxiety, often heightening our discomfort.
If we accept what is happening to us we can confront it. If we deny it we never will.
When we don’t pay attention to the – here and now – it is very easy for us to automatically adopt learned behaviours based upon misconceptions. Especially if we use them as coping strategies whenever we encounter a trigger. Noticing is the key to unlocking behavioural control.
Let’s say we cope with stress by drinking alcohol. Every time we are in a stressful situation we increase the chance of drinking more because we wrongly believe that is our only option or that the behaviour carries no risk. For most people this isn’t a problem but for many it can become life threatening. If stress is a trigger, ACT teaches problematic drinkers to notice what causes them stress and the signs of being stressed as they emerge.
Once able to recognise the risk, as it occurs, the problematic drinker has an awareness of behavioural choice. They can rely upon a behaviour which they know to be harmful or they can use a different coping strategy that is less harmful or hopefully causes no harm at all.
ACT is about awareness of reality. If drinking chills you out, in the moment, then whatever behaviour you choose to use as a coping strategy also has to work. Otherwise it isn’t a real choice. Someone who is alcohol dependent, having completed their detox and achieved recovery, may choose to listen to music, exercise, read, pray or cook instead of drinking. Whatever behaviour they use, all that matters is that it works and moves them towards their chosen goal.
ACT empowers people to gain control over behaviour that can either move them away or toward what is important to them. They do this through commitment to behavioural control. However, just as ACT demands that behavioural choice is real, so it requires a genuine appraisal of what matters to us.
Perhaps substance misuse has broken relationships, led to health problems or endangered the individual by repeatedly placing them in high risk situations. It is pointless pretending that relationships, health or safety matter more than using or drinking if that is not true. There is little chance of you moving away from harmful behaviour if you have nothing better to move toward.
For many people who use ACT this is perhaps the most challenging aspect. The moment they accept that their self-destructive or damaging behaviour matters more to them than anything else in the world can be an extremely painful realisation. It may be the first time they have truly confronted the stark reality of their addictive behaviour.
This is a very high risk moment in the recovery journey. Relapse into self-destructive behaviour is a strong possibility.
ACT requires hard work and commitment. Hopefully, with the support of a decent therapist or psychologist, the individual can be afforded the safest possible opportunity to revaluate their life. This is no easy thing to do, as anyone who has been through it will attest. The majority of us are able to be honest with others most of the time, yet we struggle to be honest with ourselves.
Once this work is complete the recovery journey can continue. Many ACT users realise that their problematic behaviour is harming them and choose to readjust their priorities. They accept that their behaviour is self-harm and find new meaning based upon what is truly important to them.
They can set a goal that motivates them to change their behaviour. It doesn’t really matter what the objective is. It could be rebuilding family relationships, health, safety, career, pets or, especially for those whose behaviour has led them into the judicial system, a commitment to freedom.
Every moment is filled with behaviour. Behaviour can lead us either away or toward what is important to us. ACT empowers individuals to recognise the risks inherent to the instance of behavioural choice. Rather than automatically responding as situated decision makers they can use the tools they have acquired to regain their autonomy and make rational behavioural decisions based upon their knowledge, values and objectives.
How to Use ACT To Free The World
In light of the activities of TAG and Spi-B and other institutions, we must confront the reality that we have governments that do not serve us. They merely play a policy enforcement role in a worldwide network we can call the Global Public-Private Partnership (G3P).
Government serves the G3P, not us. They use covert brainwashing techniques to control us. Our behaviour is “designed” and we are not free.
The obvious deceit and disinformation that characterises the G3P’s pseudopandemic has led an increasing number of people to recognise the tyranny of our governments. They can now see that government seeks to control every aspect of our lives on behalf of their G3P partners.
While governments around the world are busy back-pedalling on their outlandish claims, it won’t be long before they roll-out the next fear inducing psyop. This problem will permanently remain unless we do something about it.
From censoring the Internet to attempting to ban all protest, forcing people to take drugs they don’t want, surreptitiously deceiving us into accepting digital identities, that we have consistently rejected in the past, and removing our so-called human rights whenever convenient, it is pretty clear that alleged representative democracy is being replaced by dictatorship.
We imagine that the only way to change government is to elect, lobby or protest. But the problem is not the political parties who form government, although the party political system is an obstacle in and of itself, it is that whoever forms government serves the G3P regardless. Voting for a new office manager won’t change the direction of the company. No one elects the people who lead the G3P’s compartmentalised, authoritarian structure.
Faced with a global network of multinational corporations, think tanks, governments, NGO’s, philanthropic foundations and a mainstream media industrial complex propaganda machine, which is also part of the G3P, it can feel like we are powerless to resist. However, this is itself an illusion.
The truth is that the whole apparatus of state has been created to oppress us precisely because those who benefit from it realise that they are ultimately powerless. If we collectively decide to act, while the G3P partners will fight to retain their authority, they cannot win.
All we need to do is take action as individuals. When enough of us do we will change the world. It is inevitable.
Protest, legal challenges, lobbying, sharing information and campaigning on issues we care about are all valuable if we want to be free but, in order to change the world, what we really need to do is change our own behaviour. Instead of doing the things that move us away from freedom we need to consistently do the things that move us toward it.
Though often misquoted, Mahatma Gandhi explained this process eloquently:
We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.
We can make this change by using ACT. If freedom is what matters to us then we must persistently behave in a way that moves us toward it. Equally, we must stop behaving in a way that moves us away from freedom.
This requires that we notice what is happening in the here and now. Is there a difference between our thoughts, feelings and emotions and reality?
We may notice that everyone around us is wearing a mask, reinforcing the visual cues suggesting danger. Fear could be the emotion that is driving our behaviour. We must accept both the physical reality of our environment and the psychological state of fear we may be in.
Understanding the “here and now” and armed with ACT principles, we can overcome our fear and commit to what is important to us in that moment. We must ask ourselves which direction our behaviour will, not might, lead us. We have a behavioural choice and, if we want to reach our goal, we must act accordingly.
If we choose to behave in a way that moves us away from freedom then we will eventually lose our freedoms and move closer to tyranny. If we choose to behave in a way that moves us towards freedom then we will be one step closer to it. The cumulative effect of all these behavioural choices will either be freedom or tyranny.
We have previously discussed the kind of solutions we might pursue. With these in mind, we can use ACT to steadily move towards freedom.
We know that the G3P intend to introduce Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). It is no coincidence that the pseudopandemic has been very helpful in further reducing our use of cash. CBDC is planned to be a liability of the central banks. As their liability it is their responsibility to pay and their money. When CBDC is introduced we won’t have any money of our own. We won’t be able to own anything.
It is also programmable money, meaning that individual transaction can be monitored and controlled by the central bank. You will no longer be free to choose what you buy or who you transact with. A CBDC world represents nothing less than total, global monetary slavery.
The disappearance of cash will more easily facilitate the introduction of CBDC. Therefore, if freedom is important to us, we must not let cash disappear. In fact, we need to make cash indispensable to businesses across the world.
Using ACT, whenever we make a purchase or transaction we must ask ourselves if our behaviour moves us towards or away from freedom. While it is not always possible to use cash but, wherever and whenever it is, if we want to move towards freedom, we must use cash. If a store refuses to accept cash then don’t frequent it, choose one that does. Doing so will move us towards freedom.
We have been subjected to an unprecedented mainstream media propaganda campaign. Paying your TV license or buying mainstream media rags moves us away from freedom. So, using ACT, consider what other behavioural options would better suit your objective. If you need to be updated with current affairs, choose alternative media or free online sources.
If you choose to support the independent media you will be moving toward freedom. You will probably be better informed and will move away from tyranny.
Use ACT to move toward freedom by considering where you buy goods and services. If you simply give your hard earned money to multinational, corporate, G3P partners does that move you away or toward freedom? If it moves you away, don’t do it.
Instead give it to local traders and small businesses, or barter and exchange wherever possible. This maintains and increases choice and is a step toward freedom.
The G3P agenda is to centralise all authority at a global level. Centralisation of authority moves us away from freedom. Therefore, don’t simply obey the edicts of global authority. If it is possible to disobey then always disobey on principle. This moves us towards freedom and away from tyranny.
There are a never ending list of behavioural choices that we make every day that can either move us away from or towards freedom. If freedom matters and we persistently make choices with regard to “what is important to us,” we will create a global demand for freedom. If we do it in sufficient numbers that demand will be overwhelming and it will ensure that we live in freedom.
It is not going to be easy. It will be far less convenient and require more effort than simply going with the flow. But relying on self-destructive behaviours that move us towards tyranny will assuredly lead us into tyranny. It cannot be otherwise.
It all comes down to what you believe and what is important to you. If you value freedom then you must actively choose the behaviour that leads you to freedom.
Once you are familiar with behavioural change principles, using them can quickly become second nature. While constantly checking your own behaviour can feel cumbersome or even irritating to begin with, stick with it.
In no time at all you will largely control your behaviour and will forge your path towards freedom. Not only can we build a society based upon the principles of freedom, if we each take personal responsibility for our behaviour, we will build it.
Here is Iain Davis talking to James Corbett about all of this: