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The Psychology Of Manipulation

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell

‘If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Malcolm X 

The best illustration of mind control is perhaps in small cults. Usually the cults have some charismatic leader that the adherents follow blindly. They will swear by this person and give them attributes worthy only of God Himself. To an outsider such notions seem absurd to the point of insanity. Yet the members of the cult can convincingly talk their jargon and passionately persuade you about the ‘truth’. It is as almost as if they are living in a different world.

The same things goes on in a grander scale and yes, even in the United States. In the United States we expect politicians to lie to us. It is taken for granted that somehow they won’t fulfill their vows. The worst part of the election process is that the politicians know that they are lying, yet they will dramatically persuade us of their noble intentions. After the election and power is assumed everything changes, always to the determent of the ordinary people.

We know politicians lie to us yet we want to believe that the government will tell us the truth! I think that statement deserves more than one exclamation point.

I want to illustrate what happens in this country with the present ‘crisis’ with North Korea. North Korea is a popular boogeyman. He pops up as a vile enemy when conveniently needed to fill time on the nightly news. Yet with the recent tragic damage by the hurricanes the North Korean situation simply vanished for a while. Well, you can’t have it both ways, either North Korea is a threat  or it’s not.

Here are my observations from the nightly news. I believe that from day to day that the press accurately tells events. Related events to North Korea include their missile testings and their atomic weapon trials. On the other hand the United States has done it’s fair share of aggressive maneuvers. These would include large military drills with South Korea, flying jet planes capable of holding nuclear weapons just off their coast, seeking of economic sanctions and their own missile tests. Of course the antagonistic rhetoric goes back and forth. Here is my complaint though, whenever a summary of events is mentioned the news exclusively mentions North Korea’s hostile actions but ignore the United State’s actions.

As a country we’ve been down this road with Iraq in the past. They had ‘weapons of mass destruction’. The war would be a very short war. All the problems that had been predicted with the overthrow of Iraq’s government were simply ignored, and unfortunately the presuppositions were proved accurate. The people of the United States were manipulated. Our leaders admit that they acted on a lie. The results is an ongoing tragedy of horrific magnitude.

What is the purpose of this draft? Independent thinking, for one.

We live today in an era where we have access to the internet and almost unlimited information. Statements can be checked and secrets can be uncovered. Knowledge is power.

I will conclude with an illustration from my job search. I applied for a job selling life insurance. I decided to do some research so I Googled the company. There was one complaint about the company where it said that the salespeople had to purchase ‘leads’ from the company. Worse the ‘leads’ were handed down based on seniority. That is the person who was at the insurance company would get the lead first. If he was unsuccessful in his efforts to make a sale it would be passed on down. As a new worker I’d be lowest on the chain.

I asked about this on my first interview and the man denied it. After a field test I was offered the job. I was handed a pack of forty pages to sign. Curious I read those documents carefully. Not only was the warning true, but the papers had a clause saying that if I went bankrupt I would still have to pay the insurance company for my leads. Needless to say I walked away from that job. But if I didn’t have that kernel of knowledge I may have entered into a very bad deal.

The world cannot afford any more bad deals. If we have a hope for a better tomorrow we must break the psychological shackles of manipulation and think for ourselves.

The Psychology Of Manipulation

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2017). The Psychology Of Manipulation. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Nov 2017
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