Let’s now look at some of the more personal ways that They try to control and manipulate us.

     Know this: democracy, communism, socialism, nationalism … they’re all an illusion, each one used in its own unique way to take your money and your freedom.

     They’re like cults.  What’s the first thing a cult does?  They reprogram you by giving you a new name.  You’re American or French, Democrat or Republican, Capitalist or Socialist.  Assume one of these names and you’ve redefined your identity, replacing who you are or who you want to be with well-defined ideologies of who you now must be to be part of the group.  Just like an organized religion, all of your beliefs will already be thought out for you.  If you’re a Democrat, you hate war but support abortion; if you’re Republican, you’re pro-life and pro-war.  If you’re Polish, you hate Russians, and Russians hate you.  The same with India and Pakistan, Iran and Israel.  The list goes on and on.

     As time goes on and the money market changes or a certain group or country becomes a threat to Their power, They’ll want you to believe new things.  That’s when reprogramming is necessary.  They’ll use movies, news, TV shows, and entertainers to slowly shape your ideas and beliefs, to make you think and feel what They want you to think and feel.  They’ll use shows like Blue Bloods and Law & Order to make you think that it’s OK to “rough up” a suspect even though it’s an assault on your personal liberties, thus undermining the notion of “innocent until proven guilty.”  They’ll make you think that it’s OK for a judge to decide what’s in your or an entire country’s best interests, even though a judge is supposed to uphold the law, not decide the law (which is the job of Congress and our “elected” officials).

     Shows like Mr. Robot will help you to think that “wealth redistribution” is fair, that someone else’s hard earned money should actually be yours, that it’s owed you, and that you’re somehow a victim who never got a fair shake in life.  So what if you didn’t try very hard in high school, never bothered to go college, and didn’t put any of the hard work into your life that those who are successful put into their lives. Never mind the fact that most people live well beyond their means and spend twice as much as they earn, putting themselves in undesirable situations.  But it’s always someone else’s fault!

     Shows like Person of Interest will condition you to support the “surveillance state” and have you give up even more of your freedoms and privacy for the sake of feeling just a little more secure and to protect you from “terrorists” or those who want to do you or your “country” harm.  Of course They never mention that the real reason for the surveillance state is to protect Them from hackers or other groups that they perceive to be a real threat to Their power and to find new ways to control you (i.e., through digital passports and digital currencies).

     They’ll use news stories, entertainment, sports, and social media to distract you, confuse you, amuse you, diffuse you, so that you’re never focused on Them and how much of your hard earned money and freedom they’re stealing from you.

     Like a cult, They’ll use sex, drugs, science, philosophy, and psychology to break your values and beliefs, beat you down, pummel you into submission—until you don’t believe in anything; then They can reprogram you to Their liking.

     They’ll do everything they can to make you feel empty.  The emptier you are, the more you’ll try to fill the hole with Them or Their products or ideas.  They’ll force you to compete like rats in a race, making you do everything humanly possible to keep up with the Joneses, no matter how in debt you may become in the process.

     They’ll do everything in their power to make Us depend on Them, and not our own independence.  They’ll either use or create situations that appear dangerous (terrorism, financial collapses, system hacks, epidemics, war, etc.) so that We’ll go running to Them, asking Them to save us.  (Which They’ll gladly do at the price of more of our money and freedom.)

     They’ll draw on our fears and our national pride to make Us fight Their wars, saying things like, “If it weren’t for our brave soldiers all across the world, we couldn’t enjoy the freedom we have today,” when in reality, They use the military as corporate goons to advance their own personal agendas and increase their power and wealth, killing millions in the process.

     Did U.S. soldiers fight to “free” the Iraqi people in Operation Iraqi Freedom, or did they fight (and die) to ensure that the (petro) dollar would remain the world currency, something Saddam Hussein was trying to change?  Does the United States really care about the freedom of the Ukrainian people, or are the U.S. corporate handlers trying to draw Russia into a war (making them spend money they don’t have) and ensure that Ukraine moves a little closer to the West, away from Russia, and that they get a bail-out from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who will almost certainly exploit any resources they have for their own financial benefit and to the detriment of the Ukrainian people?[2]

     They’ll use diversionary tactics—smoke and mirrors—to pit us against one another, using race, religion, and nationalism to keep us separated and distracted while the decay of our rights and liberties continues right beneath our noses.

     When They look at you, they see only one thing—$$$.  Don’t think for a second that They care about women’s liberation or civil rights—They don’t!  Before these movements even started, They looked around and saw over half of the population not working!  These movements were manufactured to get more workers into the workforce so that we could pay more taxes, build bigger houses, borrow more money, and buy and produce more of their junk so that They can get even richer![3] 

     And if we ever actually do something that gets in the way of Them making money, They’ll change the game.  As workers at the beginning of the 20th century labored for increasingly long hours in poor conditions and for little pay, some of them got smart and had the courage to fight back, forming unions to stand up against their corporate overlords.  But over time, as the labor unions got stronger (and in many cases, greedier), the corporations just packed up and moved somewhere else, to another country, like China, where there are so many workers they can’t afford to unionize because if they try, they’ll be replaced in an instant.  Then all that the corporations have to do is lobby (pay off) the politicians so that they relax (change) the tariff laws so that They can ship their products here for virtually nothing (hence the creation of NAFTA and other free-trade agreements).

     NAFTA and other agreements like it benefit Them and Them alone.  Sure, we get somewhat cheaper products, but that comes with a price—namely the extinction of the middle class.  Everything—everything They do is for Their benefit and Their benefit alone.

     But hey, raising minimum wage, that’s a good thing, right?  Wrong!  It gives Them an excuse to raise the price on every good you buy!  It also makes it harder for the Mom and Pop stores to compete with the Wal-marts and mega-corporations of the world, thus destroying small businesses and giving us less choice about who we buy our products and goods from.  Again, it benefits Them the most!  (The problem of low wages is something I’ll address later.)

     You must question everything They do.  Always be on guard.  Even now, I’m doing the same thing They do—I’m trying to tear down your beliefs and replace them with new ones!  You must be wary of anyone who does this, including me.  You must ask, “Who benefits from this?”  Analyze it, pick it apart from as many angles as you can find and see if what they’re saying is in your benefit or theirs.

     Arm yourself with knowledge.  Don’t be a victim.  This book is just a small sample of what They do.  The information is out there if you only dare to look.  If you don’t—if you fail to wise up and continue to play Their game—you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

     You can do something about it.  You can opt out of Their game; maybe not completely, but there are things you can do so that They win a little less and you win a little more.  Who knows, you may change the world, you may not, but if you fight back even a little, you can change your world.  You are not powerless.  You just need to be willing to take a stand, work hard, sacrifice, and be what you want to be instead of what They want you to be.

Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto