Here is the article By Glenn Greenwald that I will specifically address.
“ACNO Key Skill Strands” slide. Perhaps I am missing something, but it would appear that ACNO is a backwards acronym for ‘Online Covert Action’. Can that be real? Maybe. Especially considering the the first line item/heading: Magic Techniques & Experiment.
In the realms of Magic, this world we live in is considered an exact mirror, a perfectly backwards reflection of what is true, that is how what is true hides in plain sight. By making a perfect reflection, our senses fail to notice. That’s the idea. But, honestly, I don’t know what ACNO means.
Here it is. If you click on portions of the slide, it gets bigger.
None of the items/techniques on this map can be separated from another, this slide is a presentation of a machine at work. Picture everything rotating like a cog, each a necessary component of the other.
For analysis/use the whole may be divided in a number of ways. The most obvious being the three columns, however this is the least informative way to break it down since the columns indicate operator functions rather than dynamic performance and overall anticipated output.
Let’s go diagonal instead, taking a few white boxes across like this: Belief, Priming, Diffusion of Innovation. Just those words strung together give me a chill. That’s enough right there to put us into a collective and perpetual bar brawl. Worse, however, and this is my real point, it is enough to confuse and defeat our physiology.
These mind games are only partially about actively squelching dissent, they are primarily about disrupting us physically into despondency. Making us unknown to ourselves without our knowledge of the effect. In fact, the better this machine works, the more fiercely we will defend our inscribed identity even in the midst of the ever increasing isolation we experience both inside and outside ourselves. This is fascism, this is what it looks like.
Despite the utterly blasé appearance of this powerpoint (can you believe it?) presentation, the contents are highly sophisticated.
1st–Belief. Take any belief a person holds consciously and match it to the unconscious and more powerful belief that underlines it. The underlining belief may be similar to the conscious belief, but not identical and always a product of prescribed social learning that is developed within the twin and aligned methods of education: school/media. This is how an operator knows what the underlying belief is likely to be (i.e. it was on TV). The underlining belief may often be a direct contradiction to the conscious belief. In either case, beliefs are easy to mess with and virtually impossible to change.
2nd–Prime the unconscious belief. Priming is a madly simplistic and outrageously powerful technique discovered by a scientist named John Bargh. It works so easily I’m not sure I can explain it, there is almost nothing to explain. But, I’ll try. When we are exposed to certain words we tend to behave as those words suggest and the words do not need to be in any specific context. The words suggest on their own (an ancient Magical Principle). If we are exposed to hostile words, say for example, and are then asked to make a judgement about someone from an ambiguous story, we will judge them as more hostile than if we are exposed to benign words prior to being asked to make the judgement. That’s it basically. Of course, that’s Magic, basically. (there is an essay on priming in Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink).
3rd–Diffuse innovation. Collaborative, or would be collaborative groups, who have just had their underlining beliefs negatively primed will spend their energy debating, seeking to mollify their sense of insignificance through small and meaningless concessions from the others. Or that is one thing that may happen. There is variety in how negatively primed unconscious beliefs will surface. But as long as a project or idea or just conversation remains stationary in a debate cycle, nothing moves forward. Or it may play out that persons feel they need to distance themselves from one another to avoid certain punishments that otherwise would be unthought of, or considered less significant without the priming of basic fears.
We are collectively learning to behave like agent provocateurs without the pay check. But plenty of pay checks are flying around. There is plenty of money out there for surveillance and destruction of cohesive social connection.
This kind of breakdown technique is not about political organization exclusively, it is about people in general. When it comes to the low-level workers in this industry, they really do just spend all day surfing the web making little crappy comments about pretty much anything and anyone. These tactics are about people and bringing down our enthusiasms and sense of worth/well-being. This is about creating depression, cynicism, sarcasm, knee-jerk quipping, and low-grade fears of communicating about anything. These tactics are about people.
The thing about priming is, once you know it is happening, it no longer affects you. But you must be specific. It is not a matter of saying ‘priming doesn’t affect me’ and then it doesn’t, it is a matter of looking very closely at the words and images and just NOTICING. Be specific. Be vigilant. See the images you see. Hear the words you hear. Notice how your body feels.
It takes mental action to redirect ourselves.