By Carolanne Wright, Wake Up World
“Is the purpose of the TV ad to make you an informed consumer?” asks Noam Chomsky. “The purpose of the ad is to delude and deceive you with imagery so you’ll be uninformed and make an irrational choice.”
In October of 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a warning, advising that children under the age of two should not be exposed to television because it can lead to developmental disorders, delayed speech and sleep problems.
Similar concerns have been raised regarding tablet use. Despite that, Media Watch founder Ann Simonton found that advertisers “start targeting children at 9 months. They’ve noted that, by two years old, they can achieve brand loyalty and recognition.”
The Internet has recently come under scrutiny too. We are basically being brainwashed as babies and it continues throughout our lives.
Add to this governmental propaganda and we would be hard-pressed to have an uninfluenced and unique thought about anything. And, sad to say, it has only become worse…
In 2013, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) revoked a longstanding federal law that made it illegal for the U.S. Department of State to broadcast within the United States internally-created propaganda designed for international use.
Officials claim it’s a move towards transparency, but critics believe it’s yet another tool to sway American opinion in the political sphere.
With technological advances and acceleration of the global market, opportunities abound for advertisers, governments and media empires to exert their influence over the populous in ways that were unheard of a generation ago.
To Jeff Warrick, this is unacceptable. A former advertising executive turned whistleblower filmmaker, he spent seven years creating the provocative documentary, Programming the Nation (which is featured below) in an attempt to answer the question once and for all: “Are subliminal messages fact or folklore?”
What he found will shock you.
Subliminal Messages: Harmless or Damaging?
“You need to make people feel at risk in order to promote sales. Happy people don’t buy stuff they don’t need.”
Some would argue that subliminal messages found in the realm of advertising are not all bad. Take for example legendary sound engineer, Mark Mothersbaugh, who established himself within the world of radio and TV advertising.
He worked on the animated TV ads for Hawaiian Punch, where a cartoon character donning a Hawaiian shirt punches another character. Mothersbaugh decided to add a sub-audible voice whispering “Sugar Is Bad for You.”
According to Mothersbaugh, after watching the test screening, company executives enthusiastically applauded the ad, completely missing the contradictory subliminal message!
But as Warrick soon discovered in the making of Programming, subliminal messages can easily border on the sinister, as is the case with “psyops” utilized by the Pentagon to influence mass media — which just happened to be in direct violation of the now defunct 1948 Smith-Mundt Act that “prohibits using propaganda techniques to target a domestic audience.”
Some of the most common subliminal messages promote sexual violence. Oftentimes, these messages can lead to horrible crimes — a chilling example is with serial killer Ted Bundy, who maintained that he was largely influenced by TV advertising which encourages brutality towards women.
“As Programming notes, much of the “news” we are exposed to is actually cleverly disguised corporate advertising and covert government propaganda created by PR firms and distributed to commercial news outlets in the form of Video News Releases. John Stewart and Steven Colbert aren’t the only sources of “fake news” on TV: It’s just that they are up-front about their antics.” [source]
Politicians certainly aren’t above resorting to subliminal messages. The Republican Party (GOP) was caught using a subliminal message in an election ad attacking Democrats.
The words “Democrats” and “Bureaucrats” scrolled across a dark screen at the end of the ad, but then another word flashed on the screen for 1/30th of a second, rendering it invisible to the naked eye. The word? Rats.
Fortunately, with the advent of Internet technology, the blatant misuse of political advertising by the GOP was detected using a “freeze-frame” button during computer playback.
However, the Internet itself has its own set of problems where mind control is concerned. Writes Nicholas West of the Activist Post:
“Flicker rate tests show that alpha brain waves are altered, producing a type of hypnosis — which doesn’t portend well for the latest revelation that lights can transmit coded Internet data by ‘flickering faster than the eye can see.’
“The computer’s flicker rate is less, but through video games, social networks, and a basic structure which overloads the brain with information, the rapid pace of modern communication induces an ADHD state. A study of video games revealed that extended play can result in lower blood flow to the brain, sapping emotional control.”
Where does this leave us? A choice between manipulated puppets doing the bidding of our advertising, corporate and governmental overlords or free-thinking individuals who shield themselves from all forms of media?
At the very least, we should all seriously consider “killing our televisions.”
Programming the Nation — The history of subliminal messaging in American mass-media