I came across this passage yesterday in a ZeroHedge article about fake news, mass hysteria, and induced insanity:
Mass hysteria eventually wears off, as it overloads the emotional circuitry of the target audience; humans soon become desensitized to the triggers used to generate mass hysteria, and it takes heavier and heavier doses of propaganda to maintain the feverishly herd-inducing hysteria.
Eventually, the populace habituates to the stimulus and becomes exhausted by the hysteria.
“Very true,” I thought. Or maybe, “I hope so.” Eventually people will become exhausted by the propaganda-induced tobacco hysteria. They’ll stop being frightened. They’ll cease to care. I never cared anyway. I was never infected by the hysteria in the first place.
But further reading, from before the passage I’ve just quoted, revealed that I had completely missed the point:
“Fake news” is of course the staple of marketing products that end up killing the unwary consumers who buy the hype. The classic example is the cigarette/ tobacco industry, which ran adverts for decades proclaiming absurdities such as the health benefits of smoking (other than dying a horrible, needless death), the “fact” that doctors preferred one brand of cigarette over the other brands, and so on.
The industry famously went to truly monumental lengths to hide the facts about the destructive consequences of smoking from the public, and aggressively attacked any evidence that smoking was remarkably unhealthy as “unscientific,” i.e. beating back the truth with The Big Lie.
That a form of consumption that killed the consumers was unquestionably accepted not just as “normal” but as cool/hip for decades illustrates the staying power of induced insanity. Mass hysteria eventually wears off….
So what was actually being said was that the tobacco industry had induced insanity about smoking in the general public by proclaiming absurdities about the health benefits of smoking.
But what I had been thinking was that the Tobacco Control industry had induced insanity about smoking in the general public by proclaiming absurdities about the health risks of smoking.
But did tobacco industry advertising ever really manage to induce insanity in the public? I know that there was a US ad campaign back in the 50s or 60s in which doctors said they smoked some particular brand of cigarettes (I forget which). But it was just one campaign among many. In my recollection, most cigarette ads usually just showed cigarette packets, or hunky Dave Goerlitz types seated astride horses. Although there were the clever Silk Cut ads that were mentioned in the comments yesterday – but even those ads made no health claims about smoking.
The only ad campaign that I can remember which made an explicit health claim wasn’t for a tobacco product, but rather an alcoholic beverage: Guinness Is Good For You.
In fact, never mind tobacco, can advertising anything ever induce insanity? Does simply the sight of, say, an elegant bottle of Cinzano on a billboard literally drive people mad, and get them to buy gallons of the stuff, and drink themselves to death? And if all advertising of everything was banned, would people stop buying anything at all?
The Tobacco Control industry certainly seems to believe in the power of advertising, because what it now engages in is a truly monumental antismoking anti-advertising campaign, in which its antismoking anti-ads are plastered all over the cigarette packets themselves. The idea is that if cigarette advertising is what induced countless millions of smokers to start smoking, then a really powerful anti-smoking anti-advertising campaign will induce them to stop smoking. Or, to put it another way, if one form of insanity can be induced by cigarette ads, an equal and opposite form of insanity can be induced by anti-smoking anti-ads.
And yet, after 25 years or more since tobacco advertising was banned in the UK, and replaced with an ever-mounting antismoking anti-advertising campaign, there are still a great many smokers in the UK, and we learned only a few days ago that 92% of confirmed smokers continue to enjoy smoking, and have no intention of stopping smoking (I’m one of them). Doesn’t that mean that the anti-smoking anti-advertising campaign simply isn’t working? And doesn’t that suggest that the cigarette ads of yesteryear didn’t really work either? And that there are other reasons aside from advertising that get people to start smoking?
I don’t think the tobacco industry ever managed to induce insanity in the public. But I think that the antismoking Tobacco Control industry has indeed induced insanity in the public. Its antismoking campaign was directed at smokers, but only succeeded in driving non-smokers insane, creating millions of people who are terrified of somebody smoking even in an adjacent dwelling. And Tobacco Control is quite deliberately trying to drive people insane. It’s trying to whip up a global antismoking hysteria. And it does so using innumerable lies (like the Black Lung Lie).
Tobacco Control is itself a menace to civilisation. It’s a menace to truth and honesty and civility. It’s time to recognise that Tobacco Control must be destroyed. It must be expunged from the face of the earth just like Nazism (from which it grew) or any other poisonous ideology.
We live in hysterical times. Global warming alarmism is another form of hysteria. And so is the latest hysteria over supposedly “fake news” planted by the
Soviet Union Russia in order to secure the election of their Manchurian candidate Donald Trump in place of the rightful winner, Hillary Clinton. It seems it’s impossible for some people to believe that she lost because she was actually a lousy candidate, devoid of charisma, and with no discernible message apart from More Of The Same. No, it has to be the Russians – whose role is to be perpetual bad guys – just like the tobacco industry with its fiendishly clever advertising.