Topic: Propaganda and Psychopathy, Psychology 101 eveyone needs to know
Presenter: Coleen Rowley
How do powerful officials “make their own reality” as long as they can control the media and the news cycle? What explains the extremely psychopathic proposition that “the neocons start a fire and then laugh when no one can put it out”? Key elements of psychopathy are not only the lack of susceptibility to emotion and a predator’s skill at reading and controlling others but also the utter lack of concern about the past or the future.
“Act utilitarianism”: the positing or concocting of a good outcome or end that justifies unethical, illegal means, i.e. the ticking time bomb hypothetical claim that torture saves lives or the larger utilitarian propositions about how dirty wars are necessary to bring democracy, freedom, human rights or peace, etc. have now become the driving force. Coincidentally or maybe not so coincidentally, it turns out that the willingness of a person to embrace such “act utilitarianism” (but paradoxically dismissing past human experience as well as any real concern about future bad consequences that flow from use of unethical, illegal means) is one of the key methods psychologists use to test for psychopathy.
It should be no surprise that an unfortunate side effect of social adaptiveness is that a large majority of people prefer to be lazy and simply trust their “leaders” on most issues since if they don’t know, then they can’t have any responsibility. There is a scary truth about the high level of incompetency as well as constant deceit, fraud, etc. inherent in almost all group dynamics due in part to the operation of power corrupting (otherwise good) persons put into or who gain “leadership.”
Psychopathy is not prone to successful treatment. Can the 99%, however, be trained to spot the danger of being manipulated through propaganda (emotional buttons of fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty)?
Coleen Rowley, in May of 2002 Coleen Rowley brought some of the pre 9-11 lapses to light and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the endemic problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community. Rowley's memo to the FBI Director in connection with the Joint Intelligence Committee's Inquiry led to a two year long Department of Justice Inspector General investigation. She was one of three whistleblowers chosen as persons of the year by TIME magazine. In April 2003, following an unsuccessful and highly criticized attempt to warn the Director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the invasion of Iraq, Rowley stepped down from her (GS-14) legal position to go back to being a (GS-13) FBI Special Agent. She retired from the FBI at the end of 2004 and now speaks and writes on two different topics: ethical decision-making and "civil liberties and effective investigation."
Breakfast Buffet $12.00 Coffee only $3.00. We need to plan for the room setup and meal, so if you are going to attend, please RSVP.