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Holocaust survivor and human rights advocate Vera Sharav unpacked how governments and corporations use propaganda to control populations in a recent CHD.TV mini-documentary presentation.
In “Propaganda & Its Insidious Tactics of Persuasion — Then & Now,” Sharav told viewers that a sustained propaganda campaign propelled global COVID-19 responses more than any virus, allowing officials to strip civil liberties under the guise of an emergency.
Yet with firsthand experience of tyranny under the Nazis, Sharav, now 90, believes people have the power to wake up and resist new threats to freedom through grassroots organizing.
“The globalists’ greatest fear is that we will stop believing them” and come to resist and fight back against their agendas, Sharav said.
Sharav traced the weaponization of psychology in consumer marketing and politics back to World War I, and sounded an alarm about increasingly sophisticated tactics of mass persuasion and control being used to herd the population today.
Weaponizing psychology: the roots of propaganda
Propaganda aimed at influencing public opinion or actions is far from a modern invention.
However, according to Sharav, World War I and subsequent commercial advertising brought organized, mass psychological manipulation to an entirely new battlefield — the American mind.
“Modern propaganda, both political and commercial, is an Anglo-American invention,” Sharav said, tracing its origins to President Woodrow Wilson’s administration. Though elected on an anti-war platform, Sharav said financial pressures from J.P. Morgan and other banking conglomerates pushed Wilson to enter World War I.
To drum up lagging public support for the war effort, Wilson in 1917 created a new propaganda agency, the Committee on Public Information (CPI). CPI pioneered techniques like demonizing the enemy, inflating threats and pushing feel-good slogans to bypass reason and spark emotional reactions.
Engaging over 75,000 volunteers in its efforts, CPI was able, within six months, to turn a reluctant America into a patriotic, pro-war country.
After the smoke cleared from the “War to End All Wars,” propaganda’s power to alter mass psychology caught the eye of advertising and public relations practitioners led by pioneers like Edward Bernays — a nephew of Sigmund Freud — who looked to leverage war-tested strategies to shape public consumption.
Bernays studied the motivation mechanism and functioning of the human mind and discovered key persuasion principles.
“When applied, people can readily be convinced to support any idea, product or program,” Sharav said. “He coined this the ‘opinion molding’ technique.”
Product desire and loyalty became less about fulfilling needs than emotional branding. With his “Torches of Freedom” public relations stunt convincing women that smoking symbolized independence, Bernays proved marketing could make corporate-friendly lifestyles popular with the masses.
“Bernays’ torch of freedom campaign exploited women’s aspirations for freedom and independence,” Sharav said. “He promoted cigarettes as enhancing feminine beauty, soothing to the throat and slimming to the waist.”
Part of the appeal of propaganda is that it can be dominated by a “relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses,” she said.
Though Bernays’ popularity declined when the Nazis sought his services, they were able to exploit his techniques — which Bernays published in his 1928 book, “Propaganda” — to “demonize Jews in a genocidal propaganda campaign,” Sharav said.
Consumerism and terrorism
With World War II leading to an economic boom in the U.S., the postwar challenge, according to Sharav, became a commercial one — “namely, how to convert a war production economy to a consumer production-consumption system.”
Bernays set the stage for an era of consumerism, conspicuous consumption and planned obsolescence by the “engineering of consent in massive advertising campaigns on behalf of commercial clients,” Sharav said.
The American dream, which originally implied social equality, justice and democracy, was repurposed by ad campaigns to mean “the pursuit of unlimited acquisition and consumption” as a way of life and of attaining social status, acceptance and prestige, Sharav said.
This led to “unsustainable debt levels that contribute to financial crises and recessions,” she said.
U.S. Cold War propaganda and policy, in addition to promoting anxiety and paranoia over a potential Soviet nuclear attack, drove the idea that capitalism is “God’s gift to mankind.”
These twin ideas “justified the dominance of the corporate class in international trade,” Sharav said, while the U.S. “embarked on a major boost in military spending.”
The assassination in 1963 of President John F. Kennedy led to the CIA-coined phrase “conspiracy theory” which has since been used to make sure “evidence is buried and questions remain unanswered,” Sharav said.
Sharav also believes the USA Patriot Act and an endless barrage of “fear-mongering propaganda” have subjected Americans to flagrant abuses of power, intrusive security measures and global surveillance and tracking.
COVID crisis: weapon of mass deception?
The possibilities for social control brought about by ever-expanding applications of propaganda led directly to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Sharav.
“Irrational fear and a sense of helplessness [were] propelled by carefully crafted propaganda,” she said.
Sharav argued that despite the perception of a novel deadly pandemic, no evidence shows COVID-19 itself increased overall deaths in 2020 or 2021. Instead, she cited Denis Rancourt’s work analyzing all-cause mortality, asserting deaths came after countries prohibited early treatment therapies.
“Deaths increased following injections with experimental genetically engineered COVID-19 shots,” she said, adding, “They are legally classified by the military as countermeasures.”
“The largely uniform global response to COVID-19 is an indication that a global central command is in control.
“The COVID pandemic propaganda has served as a Trojan horse, providing governments with an excuse to expand their limited authority under the Constitution and to sweep aside our constitutionally guaranteed rights as free citizens.”
Legally protected rights were stripped as populations fell victim to “sustained fear-mongering propaganda” — delivering consent for restrictions and injections without the public’s ability to effectively question the underlying facts, she said.
Dissenting scientists and data that contradicted official narratives were censored.
Rights that have been undermined include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to worship, freedom to assemble, freedom to protest and freedom to petition, according to Sharav.
‘Our choice is clear’
Sharav spotlighted how unelected and unaccountable billionaires like the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Gates and Soroses colluded with institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Economic Forum (WEF) for “radical population reduction” and restrictive policies that erode personal liberties.
Sharav warned about the advance of technology and how it has undermined our freedoms.
“We failed to recognize that technology was a double-edged sword,” Sharav stated. “The tragedy is that we have unwittingly traded our freedom, our privacy, our civil, legal and human rights for the acquisition of the latest gadgets and for convenience.”
Sharav added: “The globalists’ greatest fear is that we will stop believing them, that we will stop complying, and that we will resist, organize, and fight back. Our choice is clear.”
Watch Vera Sharav’s presentation on CHD.TV: