Editor’s note: A point I’ve been harping on a lot lately is how we in the United States have been divided by politics and the media lately. Many have become callous and lost their humanity. People have begged for laws and rulings against others but don’t like those laws and rulings when it later applies to them. It will ring familiar when you read this article as Selco shares how the media manipulated the population of the Balkans fanning the flames of hatred and fear. To paraphrase, if we don’t learn from history, we’ll repeat the mistakes, again and again. Don’t let yourself be manipulated by half-truths and hate-mongering propaganda. ~ Daisy
Author of The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival and the online course SHTF Survival Boot Camp
Media is a very powerful and useful tool and we as preppers lean on it in making our opinions and decisions.
Many survival strategies, bug-out routes, survival storages, and whatnot are built on what we figured out based on information that the media gave us.
I belong to a generation that once believed, “if it was not on TV it did not happen.” Today there are many more choices, but in essence, it comes down to the fact that if it is nicely packaged and repeated for enough number of times, most of the folks are gonna believe it.
Because of the ways of modern life, we tend to want information very fast and accurate, and the accent is on fast. We want “flashy” and useful, and the accent is on flashy.
There are many more choices, sources, and opinions for how we get information and from what media – but still, not too many things have changed. We are still very easy to manipulate through the media.
We begin to hoard information wanting to know more, but what we get is a lot of junk, with occasional pieces of gold. Also, often information is planted there in order to “move public opinion” in the direction that someone powerful wants. It is pure propaganda.
How the media worked right before SHTF
As I said, in my time (weeks/months prior SHTF) the situation was a bit different, because of the number of media outlets available, but a lot of things can be pointed out that look similar to what we see today.
The ways how people get manipulated through the media/information probably never changed for ages, it simply got more sophisticated, and we people get more “plugged in” or simply more dependent on it.
Now when I look back, it is very easy to see that we were fooled by most of the media and pushed in actions that were not smart, but in that time it was invisible to us. The media manipulated people, bombarding us with fear and hate.
It is hard now, to sum up how all that looks, how media did the job, but some points can be described.
They heated up the situation.
We were bombarded carefully with loads of information about changes that were coming to us.
It was not only about the political system. It was also about the importance of our opinions. After some time of this, folks simply started to believe that our opinion could make a change, or that our opinion was important.
After that, we were “fed” through the media that there were great differences between us, and that the differences were actually so big that they might be a problem for our future life in this region.
In reality, you can point out huge differences between any groups of people, or political options anywhere in the world and still, that does not mean it needs to end up in blood. But we were led to believe that blood was the only option for solving differences.
They increased the fear.
The next stage – and it was presented in a way that was so intimidatingly logical – was fear.
Fear of others, fear of differences, fear of those who wanted different things from us.
Media can put great amounts of fear in you, by careful and very subtle hints. Sometimes, you do not even realize you are in the middle of that process (of intimidation) since one day you woke up and felt afraid
Fear is a very powerful motivator, and under the influence of fear, you can be compelled to do a lot of things.
We all know that fear can also save your life, so it is not always a bad thing. But I am talking about the fear that the system may install in you over a period of time, in order to manipulate you.
Every system in the world plays with that, more or less.
It can come in many forms. In my case, it was about fear of those who were different than me. In your case, it could be the fear of losing some rights, or similar.
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They increased the hate.
Hate often comes with fear. And it comes again often as a solution to fear.
Just before S hit the fan in my case, the buildup of hate was so dense that you could feel it in the air.
And once real hate is there (mixed with fear) you can be manipulated in such wild things that you could not have believed possible.
Hate also can be good motivation, but only in very small doses, because it “spends” you very fast. What is really more important here is the fact that general hatred clouds your judgment.
Having clouded judgment is totally against any mindset of being a prepper.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation when you feel that you generally hate groups of people, options, or states, stop for a moment and go through serious mental check: Are you being manipulated by someone and what are the reasons for that?
I witnessed many times innocent people being killed because a public opinion was formed that “it is OK”, and it was scary how fast that opinion was formed.
As the violence and fear progressed, it was easier to be even more manipulated by the media.
You have to use common sense.
I am not saying that you should trust no one and sit at home with tin foil hat, but be careful what you trust when it comes to media.
Use common sense and try to build your own network. Find groups of people who share your view of life.
Big media players have their own agenda usually, and that is the reason why they are big. They know their job very good.
Part of the solution is fact that today, we have huge choices when it comes to information. The internet offers every man the opportunity to look at and offer opinions. Of course, that also can be part of the problem because often there is too much information.
Look for a person, not a system.
I think I was something like 11 years old when we had a school event in the name of one of the big battles of WWII.
There were flags, an orchestra, speeches from local communists, and we kids with small flags.
The speeches were about the noble fight, heroic acts, love to the motherland, patriotism…
Together with politicians, on the stage was standing an old guy, a survivor of the battle, a man who held highest military decoration of the WWII. He was a hero of the people.
After some time, a politician said, “Now we are gonna ask our hero of the people to tell us few words about that heroic battle.”
The old guy took the microphone and said, “Well, son, it was a complete and absolute shitstorm”
In that moment politician took the mic and gently pulled the guy away, saying into the microphone, “We are sorry, our hero needs some rest…”
We were absolutely stunned by the old guy words. He was supposed to speak about sacrifices, the bright future of our country, how we all need to be communists, higher causes, etc.
But in fact, the old hero simply went out on stage and spoke the real, cold truth. It was bloody hell, and for him, in that moment, fancy words were not important.
I think he was too big a legend to worry about what he was saying.
Also, I think that event was the start of my doubts in any system. It was a really small start, but it was reinforced in years that came later.
The point of this story is not about war heroes or communist societies or the fact that the US is different from my region.
The point of the story is to look for real people always and to form your own circles in acquiring information. Don’t just listen to big media.
The real truth about how the fight was you could hear from that war hero, not from politicians and media.
For many years I did not watch TV or listen to the radio. I choose my points of information the on the internet, and still, I do find myself sometimes forming opinions based on some ridiculous information. It is in human nature to act like that sometimes.
But be warned. It becomes dangerous when you start to act based on completely wrong information, or to form your whole survival setup on it.
Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. He is currently accepting students for his next physical course here.
In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.
He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless of what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.
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Thank you SELCO for sharing your experience which is extremely helpful about how to evaluate the news and any other media groups trying to manipulate our thoughts. And thank you DAISY for bring Selco to your readers. Although I had never paid attention to the news, I was glued to the TV for 3 weeks during the Balkan war. Truthfully I was sick and couldn’t go anywhere. Something about CNN did not sound right to me. And I didn’t like the way Americans thought they knew what was going on in the Balkins. As soon as possible I found books. I read that both the Austrian Hungarian Empire and the Turkish Empire USED people in the Balkan states for their own purposes. These empires pitted people in the Balkans against each other and manipulated them into hating each other. So whatever politicians were manipulating people to start hating and killling each other, it was not an original idea. It made me very angry to learn of good people being manipulated like this. Your article made me question my fear of Muslims taking over the US. Is that a legitimate fear as it has happened in so many African countries or am I being manipulated by the conservative people whom I trust?
Your “bullet” points ,highlighted in black, look very much like what the media is pushing in America. The left and the right are so diametrically opposed,there can be no compromise. Or articles like ” Is another civil war coming?” These plant the seeds of hate,fear, and suspicion in the minds of the masses. All we need now is a trigger, or Black swan event to kick things off.
“Fear is the only way to control the people”: Atlas Shrugged. It has worked in the The US of A for the past 100 years The government and the MSM have done a great job
One red flag to alert you you’re being conned, fooled, programmed is when MSM news keeps showing the same image over ad nauseam till it becomes iconically imbedded into your memory. With it are connotative meanings, attached emotions, biases or whatever is needed to cause a reaction when the image is later flashed in front of you. An example was the five second video clip of the collapsing WTC building. For days, weeks, that clip was played on television 24/7, shown on tabloids in supermarket checkout lines, till it was associated with the reason for the coming wars. It works better if the image is traumatic. (See: “THE ILLUMINATI FORMULA TO CREATE A MIND CONTROLLED SLAVE” by Fritz Springmeier, downloadable PDF.)
There may also be secondary reasons. Anxiety and fear causes people to buy more. Remember President Bush on television after 911 saying to help the economy we should go out and buy more as the media coverage of the event went a little too far causing people to stay home. The same reason TV weather forecaster hype an approaching hurricane. People go out and buy supplies at jacked-up prices. The fear of gun control sells more guns. Sometimes I wonder about Prepper videos and sites promoting “stuff” out of fear.
The U.S. MSM two second clip of a Serbian Federation jet bombing a Slovenian public square signaled the beginning of the breakup of Yugoslavia. It didn’t matter most people hadn’t a clue where that was. Slovenia is still thought to be the latter half of the former Czechoslovakia. Then it was a continuous stream of images of Smurfs riding in IFOR vehicles. Very few commentators explained what was happening. I thought George F. Will came close when he compared the initial succession event to the American Revolution and taxation without representation. When sports are played with only two teams, having more players, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosna and Herzegovina, Serbia, later Kosovo, was beyond comprehension. People believe we have two separate political parties, which are basically the same, yet have a hard time realizing they are being played, ie. “Good Cop-Bad Cop”. Corralled would a better word with fear and hate. Culled if you’re sitting on natural resources or in the way.
(Besides Daisy’s “Organic Prepper” and Selco’s writings along with his SHTF School site, William S. Lind’s “Traditional Right”, “Vexman’s Thoughts”, Joseph P. Farrell’s political commentaries on “GizaDeathStar” and Pastor Joe Fox’s “VikingPreparedness” on Patreon and Youtube are a few other people that might be of interest.)
I’m in my 60s and can not remember a time that I felt a few individuals manipulated so many people by fear mongering. I’m a rare breed these days – a moderate independent. The press was manipulated by the the fact that media has to report what is being said. Outrageous lies are repeated and fearful people are prepared to believe. Flat out manipulation by trolls on social media along with rabble rousing political aspirations screwed us. Fear is powerful and destructive.
I fault the media for not reporting the truth next to the lies. I fault people for blindly following leaders even when presented with conflicting info that needs to be verified. Fear generates hate which generates destruction of civility, truth, honor, compassion and cultures. We have been divided into red and blue. Congress is doing their level best to create the majority of have nots ruled by a few have everything. Cabinet members flaunt that in extreme. People need to wake up and realize that other cultures and poor people are not our destruction. History proved the hated of Irish, Italians, Chinese, etc didn’t destroy us. Only Native Americans can truly say letting a bunch of white guys in destroyed them (literally by stealing their land, lying and mass genocide). Oh for the haters – I’m mostly German (here since roughly revolution)with some English/ Irish and Cherokee (who definitely were here first). Get a grip people , the folks you are so afraid of are the ones willing to do all the jobs Americans won’t . Fear corruption of people with immense power.
leaving a comment on this a bit late but hopefully someone might see it. to fully understand what selco is talking about it helps to have some examples. and maybe a bit more of the story. not many people even understand the history of what became yugolsavia let alone where it is and who the inhabitants are and how they came to be there. reading will help with most of this but the only examples i saw of what the media was up to leading up to the break up and violence that took place is touched on in the movie “the weight of chains” . a very well done documentary about the whole shebang. it’s pretty well balanced but has great examples of media demonization and especially western complicity. look it up on youtube. it’s there.
be forwarned…do not get involved in taking sides or even trying to have conversations with those that lived through it. the hatred is still there. still strong and still raw. sad.
I know I’m late to the party, but can anyone share a link to the full series? History degree/teacher/divorcee without access to my books.