Following yet another tragic and avoidable terrorist attack on French soil, it is salutary to remember that sometimes not is all what it seems and that chaos and carnage attributed to an enemy, either real or imagined (the victims, sadly, are always only too real), can in fact be a way of maintaining power. The following extract from Lucien Cerise’s Gouverner par le Chaos (Governing by Chaos), details the psychological operations used by governments in order to crush any opposition to their rule.
In their work on the virtualisation of politics, social engineers have drawn much inspiration from the methods of counter-insurgency warfare. Manufacturing the population’s consent demands the ability to side-step, counteract and eliminate the risk that it stages a rebellion.
Faced with the various civil insurrections which have marked the 20th century – colonial wars, revolutions, guerrilla warfare, uprisings and social conflict – military officers of various countries have sought to formalize counter-insurgency tactics. By counter-insurgency tactics we mean proven coercive methods to prevent any form of popular resistance to government power, ideally nipping it in the bud even before it appears.
The most famous manuals are :
Modern Warfare by Roger Trinquier
Counter-Insurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice by David Galula
Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping by Frank Kitson.
The retired British army general, Frank Kitson, held the most prestigious posts (he was Commander in Chief of UK land forces) and gained the highest distinctions (he was awarded Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire).
With many years of experience gained in operations on the ground (Kenya, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Falklands), he wrote a manual which provides a summary of the tactics to be deployed by an armed unit seeking to prevail over a rebellious local population.
This book was never published in French and we only know of five copies in the French university library system. In fact, the mere publication of this book in larger numbers could radically shift the world’s geopolitical balance of power.
The investigative journalist, Michel Collon, summarises the content of this holy grail of political thought :
“Though a general, Kitson considers that conventional police and military tactics have no chance of working in a campaign for ‘hearts and minds’, what he terms strategic psychological warfare”.
What lies behind this obscure term, “strategic psychological warfare” ?
It becomes clearer once we examine the range of techniques advocated and used by Kitson :
- Give all government chiefs (in the army, ministry of foreign affairs, etc) training in the methods of psychological operations or “psy ops” (the psychological manipulation of public opinion)
- Form “psuedogangs” to gather a maximum amount of intelligence. More importantly, by carrying out operations attributed to the enemy, these gangs will discredit the opposition.
- Create diversions by, for example, fermenting religious wars.
- Create false documents (“black propaganda”) and attribute these to the enemy in order to discredit him.
- Place agents in the opposition groups or incite members to betray the group (either by using blackmail or corruption) in order to discredit these organisations or even create splits.
- Militarise the news and completely censure all opposing opinion. Control the international news and ensure collaboration. Provide photos to influence public opinion. Use journalists on the ground as spies.
- Use music to attract young people with a message which appears non-political.
- Set up and promote artificially “spontaneous” groups, presented as being neutral and independent but which are in fact financed and controlled with the aim to weaken support for the opposition.
Thus Kitson reviews the entire arsenal of weapons used by political leaders today: create false enemies, false friends, false problems and false solutions by means of erroneous perceptions induced by false terrorist attacks (what’s termed “false flag” attacks in the military jargon) and false news (black propaganda, which is entirely false, or grey propaganda, which is mixture of both truth and lies, in order to make the population accept what is not true). All these techniques can be categorised as “psy ops”.
As Christian Harbulot higlights in his Cognitive Warfare, manipulation, lies, decoys and deception are age-old political techniques when it comes to controlling minds via images and words. In the very first chapter of his manual, Sun Tzu declares “All warfare is based on deception.” More recently, general Francart explains in great detail how propaganda should emulate advertising techniques in order to gain the approval of, or even curry favour with, the target population.
The ‘derealisation’ of politics has reached its high point thanks to mass media, especially the television, a fabulous tool of social control, a spy which has penetrated as far as the bedrooms of our teenage children. Television alters perceptions and shapes the way that millions of citizens see the world. The most important tool in psychological operations, the television has placed whole populations in an artificial reality, which has been completely constructed by the government.
Translated from French
Source: Gouverner par le Chaos (Governing by Chaos), written by Lucien Cerise and published by Max Milo. Pages 58-61.