“Under A Collective Spell”
An excerpt from Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil by Paul Levy, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2013 by Paul Levy. Reprinted by permission of publisher.
When the wetiko virus takes over a system, whether it be a person’s psyche, a group of people, or a nation, it institutionalizes its own “perception management” system in order to limit, manipulate, and control its subjects’ viewpoint so as to maintain the wetikoized ideology. The corporate mainstream media, the “wetiko-media” (media that is animated, inspired, informed, and employed by wetiko), is the propaganda organ of the wetiko virus in the United States. The wetiko-media mesmerizes people by reciting simple, repetitive, hypnotic phrases—the “party line.” Our leaders are in essence the talking figureheads and mouthpieces for the wetiko-media’s marketing campaign of distortion and falsehood bombarded into our psyches on a daily basis. These slogans, repeated again and again, are burned into the receptive subconscious mind with the permanence of an image engraved on a photographic negative. People’s minds then become programmed and “branded” with the desired ideological virus together with its reality framework. The sacred “Logos”—the Word—has been usurped and perverted to become the corporate “logo.” The media’s talking points, catchphrases, and buzzwords are their incantations which capture the attention of our minds. These magic words act as opiates to the fearful masses. Some of humanity’s most horrific acts have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases. This is the power of the Word. How do we make a word? We “spell” it. If we consent to the government-inspired, agreed-upon consensus reality, we are literally subscribing to the collective trance. Consensus reality is itself nothing other than a collective spell of massive proportions. People who uncritically see the world through the lens of the consensus reality have no idea that they are under a spell, which is the very dynamic that ensures the strength and perpetuation of the spell.
Once the wetiko-media “captivates” our attention, it captures a part of our self-reflective, discriminative awareness, thereby restricting the range of our conscious awareness, which is the signature of a master hypnotist. Once the attention of the masses becomes entranced, the corporate/ government media can then play with our minds by feeding us a fabricated version of reality that directly serves the Big Wetikos’ interests. The wetiko-media, because it dominates the way the majority of us receive our information, exerts a field of force that attracts the congregation of true believers, like iron filings aligning themselves around a magnet, conformed into the desired viewpoint. This unholy trinity of corporate/ government/media, a.k.a. “the corporatocracy,” can create an obsessive fixation on certain superficial, sensationalized events that “seize” the collective imagination, thereby rendering it inoperative for dealing with more important events or for engaging in its higher potentials.
If we become too fascinated by, absorbed in, or reactive to the current play of the body politic as it performs in the national and world theater, it is as if we have fallen for a magician’s deception. We can then potentially become distracted and take our attention away from the deeper process employing our ruling class. Like a magician or evil wizard, the people behind the scenes create smokescreens to divert the public’s attention from what they are really doing. This is an outer reflection of how the wetiko bug, once it takes over an individual’s psyche, works its (black) magic of deception. If we fall under the spell being cast, we then marginalize, don’t engage with, and don’t notice the underlying corruption which those in overt positions of power are both an expression of and a smokescreen for. By not engaging with the real power lines which underlie what is manifesting in our world, we give away our power to effect real change. We become “spellbound” by the outer manifest forms of the universe.
Once the wetiko-media sufficiently fascinate us and “catch” our attention, we then become “fastened,” held fast to a particular viewpoint, which limits the fluidity and mobility of our consciousness, and takes away our internal freedom, as if we have fallen under a spell. Etymologically, the word “fascinate” is related to the words “enchantment” and “bewitchment.” When a group of people (or a nation) falls into mass psychology together, this collective fascination is a form of mass possession or madness whose underlying psychological dynamic breeds fascism. If we fall under the spell of the wetiko-media, we are then colluding with the forces of wetiko as we enable each other to enact an unconscious, unspoken, collective decision to abrogate our power to creatively and consciously invent our world.
When we fall prey to the denial that is endemic to a society riddled by wetiko, we hold contradictory viewpoints simultaneously, while splitting off from the underlying contradiction, which is a self-induced, trancelike, dissociated state, in which we have fixated our attention, restricted our own awareness, and desensitized and hypnotized ourselves. This complex array of mental maneuvers involves both conscious and unconscious elements. In his 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell called this mind-splitting activity “doublethink”: “to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing both … to forget whatever it is necessary to forget, then to draw it back into the memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all to apply the same process to the process itself … consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then once again to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed.” This is a very apt description of the covert, autohypnotic operations taking place within a wetikoized mind. Once we have fallen prey to doublethink, we have then taken in and internalized within ourselves the psychological operations needed to exist within a culture of wetiko, resulting in a chronic and unavoidable state of cognitive dissonance within our own minds.