Last updated by The POOG on February 13, 2021.
The idea of a narrative began to emerge in my thinking in February 2017. It was undoubtedly spawned by something I read, and fed by odd fragments from long forgotten sources.
I began to think in terms of a theory of narratives. Only much later did I discover – not surprisingly – that there was an academic category of research called Narrative Theory. I may do a more formal study later but the thinking herein is my own as I struggle to understand.
Overview of the Narrative
I will define a ‘narrative’ as a cognitive system that codifies our knowledge and beliefs. I will further define ‘knowledge’ as information derived from experiment, observation, and personal experience. I will define ‘belief‘ as information that is not knowledge in form.
You may have noticed that this definition creates a binary division of the information space. Complex systems seldom lend themselves to binary divisions.
Another division as pointed out by Caitlin Johnstone is that of the ‘real world’, the whatever is out there world, and the narrative worlds that we construct. Our ‘understanding’ of the real world through science is a fundamental or base narrative. On top of this we have our personal prime narratives which constitute our understanding of and how we view the real world from a functional perspective.
Johnstone goes on to identify the existence of a class of people that control our prime narrative and hence how we function in the real world from a behavioural point of view. As well she identifies a class of people that through their wealth and equivalent power physically control us. The most powerful people are members of both classes.
Open and Closed Narratives
A narrative is defined as ‘open‘ if it can be modified by external sources or inputs. A narrative is defined as ‘closed‘ if it cannot be modified by external sources.
Science creates knowledge-based narratives which are open. In fact, it is a principle of the scientific narrative that it be open to outside sources anyone may challenge it and if able to prent aconvincing case, may modify it.
Religions and cults are belief-based narratives.
The Prime Narrative
The prime narrative is the framework that governs our life. It is the inner structure within which we interpret our experiences and process our thoughts. It can actually determine our perception of things. It is our behavioural operating system
These are smaller narratives that often are part of our prime narrative yet may be self-contained and self-consistent.
The Black Hat Conspiracy (Fact)
Black hat conspiracies are the dominant form of conspiracy theory. This site has a black hat conspiracy as a major topic – the New World Order. It is extensive and deep, and is being developed as resources allow.
The White Hat Conspiracy (Theory)
This is a powerful class of conspiracy theories. It is part of the nature of most people to want goodness with all its properties to prevail. Many of the popular movies have a good guy (white hat) / bad guy (black hat) division of characters. For a while, the black hats seem to prevail but in the end, the white hats win. This is the cathartic end that we wish to see in real life. It guides our belief in movements like QAnon.
As it turns out we manufacture – or have manufactured for us, psyops that build such narratives that become part of the prime narrative drivimg our life.
The QAnon Psyop
A couple of years ago or so I followed QAnon for several months via proxies that had YouTube channels decoding his (her, their ?) cryptic posts. These were always part of the mythology of justice and righteousness. I finally decided that nothing was ever happening. As dates grew near, new events and deeper, wiser strategies always pushed action into the future. My conclusion was that this was a psyop designed to ensnare a broad group of Trump supporters to prevent them from looking at who the real players were and what the game in progress was.
A recent off-shoot of this delusion was a narrative in which Trump was signing the Insurrection Act to allow the military to be called in to round up, try, and sentence the black hats. I recently wrote to an acquaintance about the White Hat conspiracy theories, that she was being ‘played’. Her response was (parentheses added):
I disagree. As another commentator observed, “If they gave us all the information ahead of time, our enemies would also know the plan“. And, there are so many moving pieces in taking down such a huge, deeply entrenched organization such as the deep state. Its about moves and counter moves. I do believe they (the black hats if you will) are not as smart, and are also arrogant because they have had control for so long and that will work against them, but they still have a lot of power, so taking them down was never going to be an easy thing. Plans change. People give dates to give others hope, shit happens and the dates change. I don’t see that as proof that its “over”. Its just another part of the plan that we were not made privy to. Maybe they tell the Patriots certain things to lull the BHs into a false sense of security. Who knows. All I know, is that this plan to take down the deep state (of the world, not just America) was started decades ago and was the reason for Kennedy’s assassination. Its not over till its over.Source: Personal communication.
As someone recently quipped, “they keep moving the goal posts“. Or …
As with all good narratives, it has a set of closure rules or principles as identified above in bold face.
Martin Armstrong speaks on the above narratives in his blog post, Q is all Fake! He notes of the Soviet State Political Directorate (GPU) in the early 1920’s
They pretend to be part of the opposition to actually mislead people and disrupt the opposition to ensure they will become disoriented and easily conquered. … They created fake anti-Bolshevik resistance organizations just like the Q today. This was the strategy to identify real monarchists and anti-Bolsheviks. In Russia, this Q equivalent was called the Moscow Municipal Credit Association (see New Lies for Old).Source: Q is all Fake!
An excellent analysis of QAnon is given by Jacob Thompson. He shows how QAnon is a psyop similar to one used by communists in Russia in the early 20th century in an operation called “Trust”. He provides a link to a PDF of the book “New Lies for Old” by Anatoliy Golitsyn.
A cult uses the carrot on the stick principle and usually has the following core components. CJ Hopkins in his essay ‘The Covidian Cult’, refers to a psychotic narrative as another term for cult doctrine. He cites Nazism and Stalinism as examples as well as the Manson family, Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, the Church of Scientology, and Heavens Gate.
The Underlying Need
Individuals with a strong underlying need are vulnerable to cult recruitment. These needs may be spiritual, particularly around the fear of damnation and denial of an afterlife. They may be moral as in the need for goodness and fairness to win out in the end. They may be psychological in the form of a need to overcome a serious perceived character flaw, an abusive past, or mental suffering.
The first principle of a cult then, is to promise the desired solution or outcome to the recruit’s need (the carrot).
The Cult Doctrine
Next, the cult has to have a doctrine that defines the cult’s organization, explaining how the recruit’s need will be met:
- It will have a rich, complete, and self-consistent narrative building the environment for attaining the solution to the need. Hopkins arguews that the narrative is usually self-inconsistent forcing the adherent into an insoluble quandry leading to the abandonment of rational thinking.
- It will express exclusivity, explaining why it and no other doctrine can meet the recruit’s need.
- It will lay out a path of progression that the recruit must follow to attain the goal of resolving the need.
- It will identify stages of commitment with associated requirements for the recruit to progress through, including financial support.
The cult leaders will maintain secret doctrinal principles and sources to be revealed as a condition for degree of commitment (the stick that the carrot is tied to). This is a powerful control mechanism to keep members engaged. It establishes and maintains authority in the cult.
The Closure Principle
Closure occurs by creating an external existential threat or enemy:
- An atmosphere of fear or paranoia will be created and maintained around the enemy.
- All foreign ideas and doctrines must be rejected by showing how they threaten the recruit and the cult.
- Penalties such as excommunication or threats of harm will be outlined to be applied to individuals leaving or undermining the cult or its teachings. (intolerance of dissent)
- The cult leadership uses mental disorientation to achieve and maintain control.
- The use of standard mind-control techniques employed by totalitarian governments on their people.
- The use of terror, the creation of pain in some form, the use of drugs and interrogative techniques on acolytes.
- Johnstone C. The Real World And The Narrative World. Caitlin Johnstone. February 12, 2021.
- Thompson JM. Operation “Trust:” The 100-Year-Old Psy-op Repackaged As Qanon. WinePress. February 17, 2021.
- Hopkins CJ. The Covidian Cult. Off Guardian. October 13, 2020.