In the famous 1988 Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman book, Manufacturing Consent, the authors explore how media distort the news and employ propaganda, in order to bring about consent/consensus in the population.This is nothing less than the creation of reality.
I want to extend that concept here, particularly as it applies to science.
From so many directions, official science is shaping our future—that’s why it’s vital to understand the manipulations involved.
It’s one thing to say media collaborate to sell a false picture of reality, a picture which is then bought by the masses. It’s quite another thing to say media collaborate to pretend there is already a consensus of the best professional minds on a given scientific subject—when there isn’t.
I’ll start with a theoretical example. Let’s say three researchers at a university examine data based on US moon missions, and they conclude that a small set of new conclusions are true. I’ll call this set X.
The researchers publish an article in a journal, and a healthy debate ensues in professional circles. Is X correct? Are there flaws in the research?
However, a powerful public agency decides that X is dangerous. X could lead to inquiries about contractors, investigations into cost overruns, missing money, and, worst of all, flawed engineering of space-capsules.
Therefore, this powerful agency goes on an all-out propaganda campaign, tapping its press sources, culminating in a new study that concludes X is entirely false.
The press basically trumpets: “Experts agree X is false. X was the result of shoddy research. The original researchers made numerous amateur mistakes.”
Notice that, in this case, the press isn’t simply distorting the news. It’s announcing that a superior consensus already exists among the best scientific minds.
It’s lying about a consensus that doesn’t exist among scientists who, up until that moment, were having a healthy debate.
The press is presenting the false consensus as if it were real and widespread, when it isn’t.
And at this point, all relevant scientists get the message: keep quiet, don’t debate for another moment; otherwise grant monies will vanish, demotions will occur, peers will lay on heavy criticism, excommunication from The Club will follow.
So these scientists do keep quiet—and then a consensus among them comes into being overnight, by implied threat and coercion.
This is basically what happened in the arena of energy-production via cold fusion. Wikipedia adequately summarizes the surface of the situation: “The most famous cold fusion claims were made by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann in 1989. After a brief period of interest by the wider scientific community, their reports were called into question by nuclear physicists.”
Not just called into question; defamed, derided, mocked, slammed over the head with a sledgehammer.
A superior consensus was invented, despite the fact that many scientists were intensely interested in the Pons/Fleishmann findings. They tried, in vain, to point out that the failed efforts to reproduce those findings resulted because researchers were altering Pons and Fleishman’s methods.
No dice. Cold fusion was labeled a giant error and even a fraud. The official door was closed.
In my research leading up to the publication of my first book, AIDS INC., in 1988, I reviewed the period of the early 1980s, when many researchers were coming at the question of the cause of AIDS from different angles. But then, suddenly, in the spring of 1984, the US government officially announced, at a televised press conference, that a virus called HTLV-III (HIV) was the cause.
The science was shoddy, to put it mildly. It was bad science and no science. But no matter. Overnight, all the monies that had gone into discovering what caused AIDS were diverted into the question: How does HIV cause AIDS? Any scientist who failed to see the handwriting on the wall was shoved out into the cold.
The press closed ranks. The consensus (though it was manufactured in the blink of an eye) was trumpeted around the world.
The big news headline wasn’t just false and distorted. It was false-and-distorted about a consensus that, until a few seconds ago, didn’t exist—and only existed now because researchers went silent and accepted dogma and folded up.
For years (and even now), the basic news about climate change/global warming is: there is a consensus. The science is settled. The scientists agree that the science is settled. The scientists agree that the scientists who agree are correct. This, despite the fact that you can still find impressive lists of scientists who don’t agree at all. But they are shut out of the news.
The same construction of consensus applies to the safety of vaccines.
The same construction of consensus applies to the “overwhelming success of the practice of modern medicine.”
Predatory corporations who spray poisonous pesticides all over the world and cause birth defects need special protection and cover? Invent, overnight, and broadcast, a consensus that a basically harmless virus is the cause of those tragic defects.
I can assure you there are many scientists who don’t, for a second, believe the Zika virus is the agent of destruction. But they are keeping their mouths shut now and rolling with the tide.
However, that tide is turning. In many arenas of science, journalists and researchers with no allegiance to official bodies have emerged.
A different species of handwriting is being inscribed on the wall.
What can the mainstream press do about it?
They can only deploy the crass tactics I’ve mentioned here.
A massive and stunning re-education is taking place among the population. No school is running it. No agency is sponsoring it. It’s happening from the ground up.
It turns out that living as a cipher and a unit in the sticky web of fabricated consensus isn’t nearly as attractive as it once was.
More and more, major media are using the consensus strategy to invent the news—and people are rejecting it.
Without realizing it, the press is committing professional suicide. An article that was once headlined, “Three dead horses found in a field,” has become, “Scientists agree that the three dead horses were a coincidence.” And people are laughing the press out of court.
The ongoing scandal surrounding the film, Vaxxed (trailer), is a good example. The press assures the population that pointing out a connection between a vaccine and autism is absurd, because scientific experts agree there is no such connection.But the film features a long-time researcher at the Centers for Disease Control, who confesses that he and colleagues falsified a 2004 study in order to exonerate one such vaccine.
The film’s subject is false consensus.
And the press can do no better than repeat, over and over: the consensus is real and valid.
The CDC researcher, William Thompson, is essentially shouting, “I was part of the consensus. Don’t you get it? I was a card-carrying member of the club that invents fake consensus. And now I’m telling you that. Don’t fall for this notion that the best minds agree. The best minds conspire to concoct agreement out of thin air.”
The media are collapsing into their own swamp.