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Governments Influencing Behaviour

Some people think that the origins of the word “Government” means “mind control”. This may or may not be actually true, but if not then it is one remarkable coincidence. The official explanation for why it doesn’t mean mind control can be found on the GrammarHow website, amongst others.

The explanation is that the word “Government” originates in Latin, and is broken into two parts, “gubernate” which is the Latin word meaning “to direct” or “to rule”. The first part of the word evolved to “govern” in modern-day English. “-ment” is the suffix at the end of the word, and in Latin, it means “instrument”, so the assertion is that Government means an instrument or tool to direct or rule. Apparently the confusion arises when we factor in Old French, which according to the GrammarHow article is where the English language developed next.

In Old French, “gubernate” turned into “governer”, which meant “to direct or rule” in the same way. This is much closer to the English used today. Old French also used “-mentum” as a suffix to mean instrument. But, in Old French the article explains, they have two main suffixes that could have been applied to the final meaning of government:

  • “-ment” means “mind”, meaning that anything with the suffix “-ment” means it was connected to the mind.
  • “-mentum” means “instrument”, meaning that anything with the suffix “-mentum” means it is an instrument of some kind.

So out of the two possible suffixes, they didn’t choose “-ment” which means mind, they chose “-mentum” which means instrument. OK, got it. Not mind control, definitely not. That’s just a myth springing from the confusion over two near identical suffixes, and they absolutely didn’t use the one that means “mind”. And there’s no way there could be a double-meaning to this because that never happens, right?

OK, now we have cleared that up, and we know that Officially the word Government doesn’t mean mind control and that’s just a myth, on to the main topic of the article which is a document called “MINDSPACE – Influencing behaviour through public policy” on the Institute for Government website (PDF mirror).

This is the main image on the title page of the document…

Yes, I know it’s a picture of a brain, detailing processes we commonly understand as being dealt with by a person’s mind, and yes, I know there’s words like “influence“, “framing”, “priming”, “incentives” and “affect” on there, and yes I know the document itself is titled “MINDSPACE”, but this is NOT mind control because as we have learned, that wasn’t the suffix out of the two possible choices they went with. Got it?

Let’s check out the foreword by Sir Gus O’Donnell and Sir Michael Bichard…

Influencing people’s behaviour is nothing new to Government,

Page 4 – https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/MINDSPACE.pdf

Er, right well this is still not mind control. Really, it isn’t.

Gus O’Donnell has a history as you might expect, affiliated with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Union, obviously the UK Institute for Government, and also the Global Apollo Programme, which according to Wikipedia, “calls for developed nations to commit to spending 0.02% of their GDP for 10 years, to fund co-ordinated research to make carbon-free baseload electricity less costly than electricity from coal by 2025”. All the usual globalist claptrap then. He was given a knighthood and a life-peerage in the House of Lords, surprise. He also decided not to publish correspondence sent between Tony Blair and George W Bush prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion. You can trust this guy though, honest.

Michael Bichard is another life-peer in the House of Lords. A career Government employee, he began as Chief Executive of Brent Borough Council in London, and rose to be the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education and Employment where, according to Wikipedia, he assisted in covering up details of an affair that David Blunkett was conducting with his Private Secretary. Bichard retired at 54 from the civil service with a nice taxpayer funded pension, and proceeded to suggest “that retired people should contribute to society by doing community work in order to help the state or lose their pension”. You can also definitely trust this guy.

They were not the actual authors of this report, although Gus O’Donnell was a key actor in getting this report commissioned. There were five actual authors (Paul Dolan, Michael Hallsworth, David Halpern, Dominic King and Ivo Vlaev) who all have a significant interest in “behavioural economics”, psychology and “behaviour change”.

Remember though, this is not about mind control, because… well it just isn’t OK? On page 7 of this 96 page report is the Executive Summary. It starts out with:

Influencing behaviour is central to public policy. Recently, there have been major advances in understanding the influences on our behaviours, and government needs to take notice of them. This report aims to make that happen.

Hmmm. Obviously this is all dressed up in the “For the Greater Good” garb. The document cites how…

…we want to stop “bad behaviours”: people vandalising our cars, stealing our possessions, or threatening our children. We want to encourage “good behaviours”: volunteering, voting, and recycling.

Interesting how out of all the possible “good behaviours” that exist, voting made the short-list of (predictably) three.

We have legislation and regulation to “compel us” the document says, and then asks “Why, then, is there a need to change anything?” and then goes on to answer…

Behavioural theory suggests two reasons. First, the impact of existing tools such as incentives and information can be greatly enhanced by new evidence about how our behaviour is influenced (some of which has already been incorporated into government communications). Second, there are new, and potentially more effective, ways government could shape behaviour.

Tools such as incentives and information are intended to change behaviour by “changing minds”. If we provide the carrots and sticks, alongside accurate information, people will weigh up the revised costs and benefits of their actions and respond accordingly. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that people do not always respond in this “perfectly rational” way.

There is no doubt just how effective large-scale behavioural psychology applied to populations can be. This is hardly revolutionary, but what the goal here is, is to get some kind of public buy-in to these ideas. Selling the notion that if the Government doesn’t manipulate the less “rational” into “good behaviours”, all of which get defined by the Government, then “social welfare” is at risk.

Further down the report on page 10 in a section titled “Public permission and personal responsibility” the report says:

The use of MINDSPACE (or other “nudge” type policy tools) may require careful handling – in essence, the public need to give permission and help shape how such tools are used. With this in mind, we consider issues around gaining democratic permission for behaviour change policies. We explain how three factors are particularly useful for understanding controversy around behaviour change: who the policy affects; what type of behaviour is intended; how the change will be accomplished.

Behaviour change is often seen as government intruding into issues that should be the domain of personal responsibility. However, it is possible for government just to supply the trigger or support for individuals to take greater personal responsibility. And we suggest that evidence from behavioural theory may, in some areas, challenge accepted notions of personal responsibility.

The very idea of the public being asked permission by a Government to use applied behavioural psychology on them to alter minds, shape behaviours etc. is moot when you understand that Governments have and will use these techniques to then “nudge” the public into allegedly granting permission to use them. This document was written in 2010, and clearly these techniques have been used for decades, being refined and tested as time goes by, culminating in the recent psychological terrorism of the COVID-19 scamdemic. There is a reason the SAGE committee had a high proportion of behavioural psychologists like Susan Michie on it. They were not there because of their medical skills in a health emergency because for the most part there wasn’t one. They were there to come up with ways of implementing the findings of decades of behavioural science studying including MINDSPACE.

MINDSPACE is an acronym. Governments love their acronyms, it’s almost as if coming up with a clever acronym is as important as the research, and in a way it is. Acronyms or mnemonics are a well known memory aid and marketing tool. Ultimately this is all marketing, just like companies use psychology and behavioural science to try and get people to buy things they don’t need, or even want, Governments use it to sell slavery to the public. The notion that they managed to convince some people to vote means we’re all under some social contract and have permissioned the Government to conduct psychological campaigns to alter our behaviours for our own good because we’re not “perfectly rational” is rationalisation of tyranny.

The acronym goes as follows…

M = Messenger

I = Incentives

N = Norms

D = Defaults

S = Salience

P = Priming

A = Affect

C = Commitment

E = Ego

There is absolutely no doubt that 1) this stuff is very well researched, and these people are knowledgeable on this topic, and 2) this stuff is very, very effective. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it’s a numbers game, and so as long as the majority do head in the correct direction after the “nudges”, and those that don’t are not organised, visible or influential enough to impact the effect on the masses, then it is considered a success. What we are beginning to see are the signs that more people are getting fed up of being “nudged”, and those that it hasn’t worked on are getting traction as more and more evidence comes to light that verifies their position.

The MINDSPACE report writers, being the experts they are, are very careful to frame this entire thing as striving for a “good society”. As framing is a big part of this technique, it is obvious (and unsurprising) that they utilise these methods of manipulation in the document evangelising about the use of manipulation. Because of this, it is entirely possible to take snippets of the 96 page report and present them as entirely reasonable, noble even. That’s part of the trick.

The choices of case studies also speaks volumes. From ways to increase school attendance, through increasing contraceptive use related to AIDS, to one titled “Perceptions of personal responsibility: the example of health” which is obviously just a coincidence. That crops up in the section titled “Changing behaviour and personal responsibility”. This is one of the more interesting sections, only because it reveals more about the way the Government has gone about things in the last 3 years.

They seemingly dissect the idea of “personal responsibility” but insert pro-Government language and claims as if there are no other options. For example under “role responsibility” the report states…

Sometimes the best placed actor may not be an individual, but government – therefore, the public often accepts that government has some role responsibility to provide public services or address societal problems.

Well, the public has no choice in the matter. This insinuates that people were actually consulted, one of the options available was no Government interference and everyone opted to have the State save them from themselves. Obviously they were not.

Then there is this question posed…

“Can people resist things if they are not aware of them?”

What an interesting question, especially when followed up with…

“There are instances where effects can be produced that are both unconscious and in opposition to conscious will.”

Examples are then given about the use of trigger words to increase “compliance”. All of this, everything that Governments do is to create a compliant population, because a compliant population is easy to control. Remember this is definitely not mind control though, despite creating environments and triggers that are intended to change minds and produce Government approved behaviours.

From the MINDSPACE document, this illustrates just how pervasive this kind of stuff is.

The “nagging question” they have, as the report describes it, is “how long do MINDSPACE effects last?” because although it is still cheaper and easier to create a largely compliant population with psychological manipulation than boots on faces, as the report mentions…

Psychologists sometimes make a distinction between “compliance” and “conversion”.

Page 74 – https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/MINDSPACE.pdf

Here is where things start to be revealed as truly sinister. Yes that’s right. A “compliant” citizenry actually isn’t enough for these loons. While they do concede that “policymakers may also reckon that compliance is better than nothing”, they have ideas about “enduring change” they suggest can be…

…achieved through “trigger” effects, “self-sustaining” effects, and cultural change.

They then go on to detail numerous ways that weaponising human behaviour against humans can achieve lasting results. A description of pairing actions with an event or context and then triggering the action just by the event or context, “even in absence of the person’s intention” is straight out of the Classical Conditioning experiments and findings by Ivan Pavlov in the 1890s.

For those that are unaware, the Pavlov’s dogs experiments led to the “conditioned reflex” concept, where his experiments demonstrated that when feeding dogs, if a buzzer or metronome was sounded before the food was given, the dog would later come to associate the sound with the presentation of the food and salivate upon the presentation of the sound stimulus alone.

This is precisely the concept described in the MINDSPACE report, to be (amongst a plethora of other behavioural psychology related trickery) directed at the general population, and people working in Government, to ensure compliance across the board, with the hope for “conversion”.

In the book 1984, the main character Winston is eventually captured and O’Brien goes to work on him. After all kinds of physical torture, it is explained to him what is expected… that whatever the Party says is true, you must believe it to be true. It is not enough to pretend. O’Brien asks “Tell me, Winston—and remember, no lies: you know that I am always able to detect a lie—tell me, what are your true feelings towards Big Brother?”. Winston replies honestly “I hate him”. “You hate him. Good” replies O’Brien, “Then the time has come for you to take the last step. You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him”.

This is where we are. Governments are not satisfied with mere obedience. They want you to love them, to worship them and to owe your very existence to them. Whatever anyone’s views on God or religion are, the State, and eventually the Global Government, wants to replace God. It want to be God. Governments see themselves as the highest authority, they can even decide which Gods you’re allowed to worship and which ones you aren’t, because ultimately they have appointed themselves the God of all.

They see the population as animals, but not pets. Just animals, bred for experimentation and to be used as free labour, to be managed, prodded into correct behaviour and even slaughtered if they decide there’s too many, or they are just not behaving “perfectly rationally”.

The trick is that through conditioning, many people are doing all this to themselves. That’s the only reason any of this continues. Governments have set themselves up and want you to believe that they are all powerful. Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omni-Present via the debt, legislation, surveillance and stress they inflict through their partners in media, finance, tech and other industries. Much of the propaganda is geared up to reinforce that belief. It is just not true.

Whether the word Government actually means “mind control” or not is largely irrelevant. Their actions and their own words describe their plans and usage of psychological methods of controlling the minds of the population. One can choose to believe it is all well-motivated and they only have the best of intentions, or not. The reality is that IS what they are doing, but we are only as controlled as we allow ourselves to be.