There is a battle raging right now across the UK due to Covid-19. It began way back in March 2020, but it's not the battle you'd think it is. This fight is not about defeating Covid-19
It has now spilled out into society and people have done what they do best in times of war. They've divided themselves against each other.
There are two main groups.
One group has formed based around the belief that everything our Government has said is correct, the virus is deadly, everyone must be locked down for their own safety. Masks work regardless of any previous evidence or suggestion they don't and wearing them is mandatory. Wearing masks shows you care about others as opposed to protecting yourself. The only cure is a vaccine which everyone must take without question. Anyone that opposes this belief is as deadly as the virus and should be brought into line or isolated for the good of everyone else.
Group two is made up of people that believe the Government has been dishonest, shouldn't be trusted, based on previous experience and current data. This group believes we should challenge the official advice from the Government and that there are better options for protecting the vulnerable which would have caused less overall deaths and not destroyed the economy. They are sceptical of a vaccine developed very quickly and don't believe it's necessary based on the facts and figures. They don't want to wear masks as they don't make any difference based on various evidence including what the Government previously said themselves.
So we've gone from fighting the virus together, to fighting each other on the best way to solve the issue. Sounds crazy doesn't it, but it's not as crazy as it seems when you look at fear, history, the psychological tactics used against us and how the majority of us are programmed to behave when threatened.
How do we end up being in one of the groups?
Some of you may remember me writing a blog about fear and ways to help overcome fear.
Let me quickly explain it for those of you that haven't read it. The majority of humans are fearful, being fearful is helpful as it makes us evaluate risks based on what potential harm we could come to if we were exposed to the risk. If you go on a wild African bush holiday experience, you should be fearful enough of Wild Lions to know that going for an early morning jog alone across the savanna, is potentially extremely dangerous. Some had to find this out the hard way. I once went on a date with a Girl who told me this was the exact unfortunate fate of her previous Boyfriend.
So fear is powerful and we're programmed that way, some more than others. But that means fear can be used against you. It can be used against you blatantly or it can be used against you covertly. The difference between blatantly and covertly is that when someone holds a gun in your face and tells you to do something, you are fully aware of it and you know exactly why you comply with it, or don't. When it's used covertly you are unaware of it, yet you feel that you took actions of your own free will based on a set of beliefs.
But what if your own Government deployed these tactics of covertly scaring you. You could then end up with a set of beliefs that aren't true, but you believe them to be so. This has been done before many times throughout history and it has been successful in generating the desired behaviours that certain people want. For example, many people have compared the actions of our Government's response to Covid as similar to psychological techniques used by the Nazis in Germany. At the time, the Nazis wanted the German people to engage in war, but how do you get a local farmer for example to suddenly want to go to war.
During the Nuremberg Tribunal of Hermann Goering (Goring) he was asked by Gustave Gilbert, an American psychologist fluent in German, how it was possible to build and sustain public support for a war effort?
The final part or Goerings reply to this question was as follows -
“Oh, that is all well and good, [replied Goering] but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
Now that danger can be anything at all. Currently the danger is Covid-19 and the pacifists are those in group two that don't acknowledge the danger of Covid-19 in the way the government has convinced everyone else. Those in group two not wanting lockdowns and wearing of masks, our government has convinced us that their behavour is exposing the country to danger. Like Goering said, it works the same way in any country.
If you weren't to believe this, then we'd have to believe that the German people were not influenced the way Goering says which only leaves the option that a whole nation collectively carried out World War 2 just because they decided to do so. Thats more than highly unlikely, it's impossible really and has never been shown to be the case anywhere I have seen.
So has our own UK Government deployed pshycology against us to make us more compliant and fearful?
The answer to this question is a very simple yes. You can visit the UK .gov website and you will find a document that I have uploaded below which is entiteled "Options for increasing adherence to social distancing measures" 22 March 2020.
This paper was prepared by SAGE’s behavioural science sub-group SPI-B, for discussion at SAGE 18 on 23rd March 2020.
So the UK Government has a Behavioral Science sub-group that advises them on ways to ensure you are as compliant as possible. If you read it through you will see that they say things like-
"The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging".
Under the fluffy heading of Coercion it mentions-
Social disapproval: "Social disapproval from one’s community can play an important role in preventing anti-social behaviour or discouraging failure to enact pro-social behaviour".
At no point am I using this as a platform to say that Covid-19 doesn't exist and no one has died of Covid-19. I'm merely shining the spotlight on the governement and many of the mainstream media who have knowingly increased the perceived level of fear far higher than it is.
So if you understand all of the above and you realise the power of fear, how it's been used historically, how it can be used against you and that is has been used against you during this episode of Covid-19. What should you be doing? Well I'm not saying everyone leaps from group one to group two, or vice versa. What I'm saying is that when you have the knowledge that you are being subjected covertly to an increased level of fear, you should consider reevaluating some of the things that you believe.
Making people experience a sustained level of fear over a prolonged period of time will have consequences for our mental health and overall wellbeing. I don't believe anyone likes being conned. We all hate to think that someone has got one over on us, because it makes us feel stupid. We question our own level of intelligence when this happens. So it can sometimes be hard to accept it happened, especially if it was something quite simple. So if someone has some information that contradicts your beliefs then my advice would be to do the following. Take a look at it, regardless of what you believe, just take a look at it. Then try and fight your confirmation bias to find anything you can to discredit it. Maybe look for things that challenge what you believe.
I'll leave you all with one final thought which I read somewhere that says "It's easier to believe a simple lie than a complex truth"