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    kenn's Avatar
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    Question How susceptible are you?

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    For any of you that doubt Huxley as a visionary, I found the text to a speech he gave in 1962 at The University of California, Berkley.

    Aldous Huxley speaks at Cal Berkeley,... - !

    If you are going to control any population for any length of time, you must have some measure of consent, it's exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion an element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them.
    It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude.
    "You'll find for example that the experienced hypnotist will tell one that the number of people, the percentage of people who can be hypnotized with the utmost facility (snaps), just like that. is about 20%, and about a corresponding number at the other end of the scale are very, very difficult or almost impossible to hypnotize. But in between lies a large mass of people who can with more or less difficulty be hypnotized, that they can gradually be if you work hard enough at it be got into the hypnotic state, and in the same way the same sort of figures crop up again, for example in relation to the administration of placebos.

    A big experiment was carried out three of four years ago in the general hospital in Boston on post-operative cases where several hundred men and woman suffering comparable kinds of pain after serious operations were allowed to, were given injections whenever they asked for them whenever the pain got bad, and the injections were 50% of the time were of morphine, and 50% of water. And about twenty percent of those who went through the experiment, about 20% of them got just as much relief from the distilled waters as from the morphea. About 20% got no relief from the distilled water, and in-between were those who got some relief or got relief occasionally.

    So yet again, we see the same sort of distribution, and similarly in regard to what in Brave New World I called Hypnopedia, the sleep teaching, I was talking not long ago to a man who manufactures records which people can listen to in the, during the light part of sleep, I mean these are records for getting rich, for sexual satisfaction (crowd laughs), for confidence in salesmanship and so on, and he said that its very interesting that these are records sold on a money-back basis, and he says there is regularly between 15% and 20% of people who write indignantly saying the records don't work at all, and he sends the money back at once. There are on the other hand, there are over 20% who write enthusiastically saying they are much richer, their sexual life is much better (laughter) etc, etc. And these of course are the dream clients and they buy more of these records. And in between there are those who don't get much results and they have to have letters written to them saying “Go persist my dear, go on” (laughter) and you will get there, and they generally do get results in the long run.

    Well, as I say, on the basis of this, I think we see quite clearly that the human populations can be categorized according to their suggestibility fairly clearly,. I suspect very strongly that this twenty percent is the same in all these cases, and I suspect also that it would not be at all difficult to recognize and {garbled} out who are those who are extremely suggestible and who are those extremely un-suggestible and who are those who occupy the intermediate space. Quite clearly, if everybody were extremely unsuggestible organized society would be quite impossible, and if everybody were extremely suggestible then a dictatorship would be absolutely inevitable. I mean it's very fortunate that we have people who are moderately suggestible in the majority and who therefore preserve us from dictatorship but do permit organized society to be formed. But, once given the fact that there are these 20% of highly suggestible people, it becomes quite clear that this is a matter of enormous political importance, for example, any demagogue who is able to get hold of a large number of these 20% of suggestible people and to organize them is really in a position to overthrow any government in any country."
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    kenn's Avatar
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    Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
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    I'm not convinced there's a correlation between being easily hypnotized and being easily swayed by a political group. Just because they're both 20% of the group doesn't mean they're the same 20%. Bell curves are extremely common.

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    Mike in Virginia's Avatar
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    Interesting. I would not be among the 15-20% who return the "improve your life while you sleep" records, but only because I would not be gullible enough to get them in the first place. And I think the 80-85% of the people who would embrace or at least accept them are the ones who will believe whatever the "experts" tell them. Witness the food pyramid and the ensuing epidemic of diabetes and obesity, as well as the sheepish acceptance of GMO crops, hydrogenated oils, prescription drugs with horrific side effects, etc. That 80-85% really believe that if the government says it's ok, then it must be ok. And unfortunately, most of them would never be open to such a radical idea as the PB.

    btw, I still think I've seen you on the DB.
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    "These are not the 'droids you are seeking"

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    kitana's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link. While I don't agree with everything Huxley says, I do think he was spot on with quite a bit. You remind me of this: Huxley vs Orwell It's depressingly uncanny how accurate he has been thus far.

    As much as I hate to say it (because I find it depressing) - I can see where he's coming from. Although I also do not equate being easily hypnotized with easily swayed. However I do agree that a depressignly signifigant chunk of the population seems willing, almost eager, to allow their opinions, habits and even their self-identity to be formed out of ephemeral bits of media. Media that they are not the least inclined to question or be remotely crital of (or about).

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