The prior blog discussed real secret government conspiracies and how most of them are “headless.”  As a practicing Cith, this article teaches you how to create your very own secret government conspiracy through fear mongering. In practice, there are many tactical moves that can kick a headless conspiracy into existence. These tactics oddly resemble Jedi mind tricks.  I am not talking about the feeble toss of a hand with “These are not the droids you are looking for” as shown in the Star Wars movies. Rather, I am talking about the Zen Buddhist philosophy that flows throughout the series. Strategically, a Jedi mind trick leverages one of: emotions, thoughts, or sensations:

  • Emotions – Recognize the environment and tap into the pent up emotional energy already there
  • Thoughts – Set the mental paradigm of others; exploit terminology and the mind’s rash interpretation
  • Sensations – Fool the collective senses of the group into believing another reality, especially in the area of sensual blindness

These three strategies can create the most insidious headless conspiracies.

TERMINAL CONNECTION ( ) uses storytelling to “show”, rather than “tell”, how these Jedi mind tricks express themselves.  Among the tactical expressions of these tricks, my favorites are (as a Cith):

  • Emotional – Fear Mongering
  • Mental – Statistical Paradigms
  • Sensual – Boiling the Frog

This blog will discuss the emotional sphere and the Jedi mind trick of fear mongering.

“Fear leads to the Dark Side.”

“Fear leads to Anger,

Anger leads to Hate,

Hate… Leads to Suffering.”

– Yoda, Star Wars: Episode I

Fear mongering is probably the most direct and powerful Jedi mind trick. Exploiting fear is the easiest way to tap into repressed emotions of a collective group.  One of the more public examples is the United States response to 911.

If you are old enough to remember 911, then you are also old enough to remember that the United States as a whole, not just President Bush, was gunning for war. Sure it is easy to throw Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld under the bus now, but let’s be honest. All of us wanted war. No? Well, if that is your answer you might as well be one of the hapless storm troopers so easily swayed by a wave of the hand. For at the core, all Jedi mind tricks wear off, unless the victim chooses to lie to themselves rather than be embarrassed and have to face the consequences of their actions. It was this denial, as the nation failed to exit the first stage in the grieving process, that perpetuated the lie for over a decade. But back to the main point. The beginning was easy for Al-Qaeda. How hard was it to tap into the helplessness the nation felt, our arrogance as the only remaining superpower, as well as our knee jerk reflex as a teenager-like nation that has only been around for a few hundred years?  Terrorism was new. Fear of the unknown drove us collectively into fight or flight and shutoff our ability to reason. When have you diverted enough time, energy, and funds to guarantee no more attacks? The ugly answer is that not only is the beast bottomless but you never know how safe you are. This is a recipe for collective manic behavior and panic.

The reality was Al-Qaeda had no ability to harm us as a whole unless we hurt ourselves and we did that in spades. Their greatest aspiration was to play on our fears, have us lose faith and trust in ourselves, in order to redirect us to misappropriate and squander resources as well as compromise our morality and ethics.

Over a decade later, very few would argue Al-Qaeda did not achieve their goal through the Iraq war.  But the damage goes much deeper.  What is less known is this knee jerk reaction also caused FEMA to redirect nearly all its resources to combating “terror” to the expense of its other duties. As a result the preparation and response to hurricane Katrina was completely lacking. The United States lost a major city verses a few, albeit large, buildings and almost triple the fatalities in a week.  From an Al-Qaeda lens – a huge win. Worse, over the course of a decade we lost the high moral ground as well as being the base currency for the world. The impact of both of these by itself was: catastrophic, long term, and hard to calculate.

However, the damage was not only external in how we allocated resources, redirected our attention, and behaved. The damage was internal as well.  FDR had it right when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is… fear itself.”  Fear has permeated our society and has broken down basic trust which has translated into everything from ridiculous and ineffective TSA rules (see the previous blog) to more serious breaches of trust. It has helped fuel the extremes of our society and we are no longer able to risk our security to keep the luxury of civil liberties. This is not an either/or, nor an all-or-nothing statement.  But it is often interpreted that way as a sign of the times. (Only a Cith thinks in absolutes.) Security and freedom are a spectrum and the country is sliding toward the security end and becoming more like its enemies rather than its old self (aka the path to the dark side.) Over time the fear-derived extremism has facilitated gridlock, which reinforced the downward spiral of public trust.  Just as with employees or children,  you get what you expect. If you cling to fear and expect the country not to protect itself, and as a result put rules in place and operate from that mindset, sure enough the country will fulfill the self-fulfilling prophesy and be untrustworthy.

Of course Al-Qaeda was powerless to do any of this damage without our help and willing participation. But it was easy for them given the fear and cultural personality of the United States at the time. And our pride and embarrassment ensured it would last over a decade. This is the key to understanding how to use Fear Mongering.  Fear Mongering is decisively yin or feminine – it is not about projecting what you want, but rather recognizing the pent up pressures already in the environment, the energy that is much greater than yourself, and tapping into it. Think of it as emotional kinetic energy, a sort of “force.” In the modern Internet age, where communication flows freely, the easiest energy to spark is pent up human emotion… and the human weakness of hiding from embarrassment-over-failure ensures the victim will perpetuate the obvious deception for you.  (That’s right. They are completely in the grips of the dark side at that point.)

Though Fear Mongering is a powerful Jedi mind trick, it is not subtle.  As such it breaks the cardinal rule recorded in Sun Tzu, The Art of War – “All warfare is based on deception.”  Luckily there are two more powerful Jedi mind tricks that, as a practicing business Cith, I can teach you.  While Fear Mongering is based on the primal emotion of fear, the other two are based on the mind and senses. These are the subject of the next two blogs.

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