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Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Psychological Warfare Disguised as a Pandemic Threat

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute. 

“Look! You fools! You’re in danger! Can’t you see? They’re after you! They’re after all of us! Our wives…our children…they’re here already! You’re next!”—Dr. Miles Bennell, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers all over again.

The nation is being overtaken by an alien threat that invades bodies, alters minds, and transforms freedom-loving people into a mindless, compliant, conforming mob intolerant of anyone who dares to be different, let alone think for themselves.

However, while Body Snatchersthe chilling 1956 film directed by Don Siegel—blames its woes on seed pods from outer space, the seismic societal shift taking place in America owes less to biological warfare reliant on the COVID-19 virus than it does to psychological warfare disguised as a pandemic threat.

As science writer David Robson explains:

Fears of contagion lead us to become more conformist and tribalistic, and less accepting of eccentricity. Our moral judgements become harsher and our social attitudes more conservative when considering issues such as immigration or sexual freedom and equality. Daily reminders of disease may even sway our political affiliations… Various experiments have shown that we become more conformist and respectful of convention when we feel the threat of a disease… the evocative images of a pandemic led [participants in an experiment] to value conformity and obedience over eccentricity or rebellion.

This is how you persuade a populace to voluntarily march in lockstep with a police state and police themselves (and each other): by ratcheting up the fear-factor, meted out one carefully calibrated crisis at a time, and teaching them to distrust any who diverge from the norm.

This is not a new experiment in mind control.

The powers-that-be have been pushing our buttons and herding us along like so much cattle since World War II, at least, starting with the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, which not only propelled the U.S. into World War II but also unified the American people in their opposition to a common enemy.

That fear of attack by foreign threats, conveniently torqued by the growing military-industrial complex, in turn, gave rise to the Cold War era’s “Red Scare.” Promulgated through government propaganda, paranoia, and manipulation, anti-Communist sentiments boiled over into a mass hysteria that viewed anyone and everyone as suspect: your friends, the next-door neighbor, even your family members could be a Communist subversive.

This hysteria, which culminated in hearings before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where hundreds of Americans were called before Congress to testify about their so-called Communist affiliations and intimidated into making false confessions, also paved the way for the rise of an all-knowing, all-seeing governmental surveillance state.

The 9/11 attacks followed a similar script: a foreign invasion mounts an attack on an unsuspecting nation, the people unite in solidarity against a common foe, and the government gains greater war-time powers (read: surveillance powers) that, conveniently enough, become permanent once the threat has passed.

The government’s scripted response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been predictably consistent: once again, in order to fight this so-called “foreign” foe, the government insists it needs even greater surveillance powers.

As we’ve seen since 9/11 and more recently with the COVID lockdowns, those in power have always had a penchant for enacting extreme measures to combat perceived threats. However, unlike the modern American police state, the American government circa the 1950s did not have at its disposal the arsenal of invasive technologies that are such an intrinsic part of our modern surveillance state.

Today, we are watched and tracked 24/7; data is collected on us at an alarming rate by governmental and corporate entities; and with the help of powerful computer programs, American domestic intelligence agencies sweep our websites, listen in on our telephone calls and read our text messages at will.

Now with the COVID pandemic and its offshoots such as contact tracing and immunity passports, the governmental landscape is even more invasive.

Yet no matter the threat, the underlying principle remains the same: can we hold onto our basic freedoms and avoid succumbing to the soul-sucking dredge of conformity that threatens our very humanity?

This conundrum is at the heart of the 1956 classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which was based on a 1954 science fiction novel by Jack Finney (and later remade into an equally chilling 1978 film by Philip Kaufman).

Body Snatchers not only captured the ideology and politics of its post-war era but remains timely and relevant as it relates to the worries that plague us today. Filmed with only seven days of rehearsal and 23 days of actual shooting, Body Snatchers is considered one of the great science fiction classics.

Body Snatchers is set in a small California town which has been infiltrated by mysterious pods from outer space that replicate and take the place of humans who then become conforming non-individuals. Miles Bennell, the main character, is a local doctor who resists the invaders and their attempts to erase humanity from the face of the earth.

At the very least, the film conveys a double meaning, serving as both a mirror of a particular moment in history and a compass pointing to a growing societal illness. Following World War II with the emerging military empire, the atomic bomb, and the Korean War, Americans were confused and neurotically preoccupied with domestic threats, the polio pandemic, and international political events, not much different from today’s populace preoccupied with domestic and international political drama, terrorism and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet Siegel’s film delves beneath the surface to confront an even more sinister threat: the dehumanization of individuals and the horrifying possibility that humanity could become infused as part of the societal machine.

Central to the film is one key speech delivered by Bennell while hiding from the aliens:

In my practice, I see how people have allowed their humanity to drain away…only it happens slowly instead of all at once. They didn’t seem to mind…. All of us, a little bit. We harden our hearts…grow callous…only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is.

As Siegel makes clear, it is not Communists or terrorists or even viral pandemics that threaten our well-being. The real enemy is invasive governmental measures—something we now see happening across the country—and, thus, totalitarian conformity. And resistance must be against all government measures that threaten our civil liberties and against all kinds of conformity, no matter the shape, size, or color of the package it comes in.

When all is said and done, however, the real threat to freedom (in the fictional world of Body Snatchers and in our present-day America) is posed by an establishment—be it governmental, corporate, or societal—that is hostile to individuality and those who dare to challenge the status quo.

The mob hysteria, sense of paranoia, fascist police, and the witch hunt atmosphere of the film mirror the ills of a 1950s America that is frighteningly applicable to present American society.

Acknowledging that Body Snatchers portrayed the conflict between individuals and varied forms of mindless authority, Siegel stated, “I think the world is populated by pods and I wanted to show them.” He explained:

People are pods. Many of my associates are certainly pods. They have no feelings. They exist, breathe, sleep. To be a pod means that you have no passion, no anger, the spark has left you…of course, there’s a very strong case for being a pod. These pods, who get rid of pain, ill-health and mental disturbances are, in a sense, doing good. It happens to leave you in a very dull world but that, by the way, is the world that most of us live in. It’s the same as people who welcome going into the army or prison. There’s regimentation, a lack of having to make up your mind, face decisions…. People are becoming vegetables. I don’t know what the answer is except an awareness of it.

All of the threats to freedom documented in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People came about because “we the people” stopped thinking for ourselves and relinquished control over our lives and our country to government operatives who care only for money and power.

While the specific game plan for turning things around is complicated by a police state that wants to keep us at a disadvantage, the solution is relatively simple: Don’t be a pod person. Pay attention. Question everything. Dare to be different. Don’t follow the mob. Don’t let yourself become numb to the world around you. Be compassionate. Be humane. Most of all, think for yourself.

The post Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Psychological Warfare Disguised as a Pandemic Threat first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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Powerful Presidents Are Incompatible with Liberty

This article was originally published by Ron Paul at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. 

The mainstream media has declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. However, this does not mean the 2020 Presidential campaign has come to an end. President Donald Trump is continuing his legal challenges to the vote counts in some key states.

The emotional investment of many Americans into the race between Trump and Biden would have shocked the drafters of the Constitution. The Constitution’s authors intended the presidency to be an office of strictly limited powers that would not impact most Americans. The Constitution authorizes the president to administer laws passed by Congress, not create laws via executive orders. The president serves as Commander-in-Chief of the military following a Congressional declaration of war, with no authority to unilaterally send troops into foreign conflict.

The Founders did not intend for the president to set the “national agenda, “ and they would be horrified to see modern presidents assume the authority to order American citizens indefinitely detained and even killed without due process.

The idea that the president should exercise almost unlimited powers is a legacy of the progressive movement. Progressives, who are responsible for the rise of the American welfare-warfare state, have an affinity for a strong Presidency that is not surprising. A government that aspires to run our lives, run the economy, and run the world requires a strong executive branch unfettered by the Constitution’s chains. The Cold War also provided a boost to presidential power, as it justified presidents assuming more unchecked authority in the name of “national security.”

The concentration of power in the executive branch does not mean presidents are all-powerful. For example, even though presidents are judged by the state of the economy, the unelected, unaccountable Federal Reserve Board typically has greater influence over the economy then the president. Presidents often must tailor their economic policies to deal with the consequences of the Fed’s actions. This is why presidents spend so much time and energy trying to influence the “non-political” Fed. Fed Chairs usually, but not always, reciprocate by attempting to tailor polices to be “useful” to the incumbent president.

It has become cliché to say that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” This means no one—not even Members of Congress, should ever oppose or second-guess a president’s foreign policy decisions. However, this rule does not apply to those comprising what has become popularly known as the “deep state”: the military-industrial complex, the national security bureaucracy—including the CIA— congressional staffers, and members of the media. This deep state serves a permanent government and has an agenda it pursues regardless of the wishes of the president or the American people.

The deep state has derailed President Trump’s (modest) efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to pursue a less interventionist foreign policy and end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Members of the deep state were instrumental in the Russiagate hoax and the impeachment of President Trump. Many supported impeachment because President Trump’s actions contradicted the DC “consensus” on US -Ukraine relations and the need for a new Cold War with Russia. President Trump is not the first president to be undermined by the deep state and he will certainly not be the last.

The 2020 election has awoken many Americans to the corruption of the modern welfare-warfare state. These Americans are ripe for the message of liberty. They can help with the vital task of demystifying the US Presidency, destroying the deep state, restoring our constitutional republic, and regaining our lost liberties.

The post Powerful Presidents Are Incompatible with Liberty first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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