An Investigative Report
"Political demagoguery is, to some extent, a problem in our country. The particular form this demagoguery takes is only a passing phase, and when our current dragons and inner phantoms have been laid to rest, the eternal demagogue will arise anew. He will accuse others of conspiracy in order to prove his own importance. He will try to intimidate those who are neither so iron-fisted nor so hotheaded as he, and temporarily he will drag some people into the web of his delusions. Perhaps he will even wear a mantle of martyrdom to arouse the tears of the weak-hearted. With his emotionalism and suspicion, he will shatter the trust of citizens in one another." Dr. Joost A. M. Meerloo
America just went through a mind wrenching experience which pitted neighbor against neighbor, race against race, and gender against gender. And in spite of this obnoxious experience, in spite of Clinton’s acknowledged sexual liaison with an employee half his age, and in spite of his lies, deceptions, and stonewalling, his Job Approval numbers remain sky high. The big question is: "Why?" America just went through a mind wrenching experience which pitted neighbor against neighbor, race against race, and gender against gender. And in spite of this obnoxious experience, in spite of Clinton’s acknowledged sexual liaison with an employee half his age, and in spite of his lies, deceptions, and stonewalling, his Job Approval numbers remain sky high. The big question is: "Why?"
Is it really "The Economy Stupid?" Or is it something else? Do morals mean anything anymore? Or is it true, as Clinton’s Locksteppers assert, that "Everyone’s doing it" when it comes to marital infidelities? Has America really gone to "hell in a handbasket" as the "Moral Majority" has suggested?
Many claim Clinton has a "magnetic personality", and indeed, former House Speaker Gingrich claimed he was mesmerized by it. Does that explain why Clinton's "numbers" remain so high in spite of his repeated "follies"?
Not according to information published by Ms. Denise Winn in her book The Manipulated Mind. In that book, Ms. Winn documents a study by noted psychologist Solomon Asch in which he found that nearly 75% of all individuals will always rally around the same conclusion. These results were repeated over, and over, and over again.
Some argue this is a coincidence. But is it... especially when the public was manipulated into believing they would be out-of-step to think otherwise? Information uncovered during the course of this study suggests Americans were conditioned to think in a prescribed manner through the use of techniques such as the Opinion Triangle, the Bandwagon Effect, and the Herd Mentality syndrome.
The Opinion Triangle involves suggesting a given premise and then using the media to spread the message. An opinion poll is then taken to measure the statement's impact, and if positive, a new press release is issued re-affirming the original premise. Investor’s Business Daily had a good example of the Opinion Triangle creating a self fulfilling prophecy: "Candidate A will lose the election because he’s trailing badly in the polls - and he’s trailing badly in the polls because the media keep reporting that he’s going to lose the election."
The Bandwagon Effect refers to the public's tendency to "say what you want them to say", especially after suggesting they would be in the minority to do otherwise. As mentioned previously, The Manipulated Mind documents a series of interesting studies showing that nearly three quarters, 75% of all subjects, showed a tendency to conform to the views expressed by others in a given situation.
The Herd Mentality syndrome refers to a human trait in which we try to stick together for mutual protection.
After 13 months of investigations, which included interviewing the Managing Editor of the Gallup Organization as well as former pollsters from competing organizations, reading countless articles and books on psychology, mind control, polling procedures, and advertising, and spending hundreds of hours analyzing data, more than enough information was uncovered to suggest the Clinton White House, along with a more than compromised media, used the above three psychological techniques to manipulate our minds.
Over the years, Americans have come to view the media with a jaundiced eye because of their half truths, outright lies, and deceitful practices. And although the media claims they don’t influence public opinion, then why do they take advertising dollars under the pretense advertising will generate or improve sales? This paradox cannot be explained away!
In spite of protestations to the contrary, the media will use every trick in the book to manipulate an unsuspecting public. This comes as no surprise to those who remember the 1950's when the media used subliminal advertising to stimulate sales. This brazen attempt at thought control went unannounced, and by many reports, was very successful. Unfortunately for the media, an alert individual discovered the mental manipulations and "blew the whistle".
But that all seems to be child’s play compared to what the media just put us through! All indications suggest the media was highly successful in the mass manipulation of America’s psyche during the recent Clinton-Starr Odysseys.
In Rape Of The Mind, mind control specialist Dr. Joost A. M. Meerloo discusses various ingredients for successful mind control. These include:
In the latter part of the 19th century, Nobel Prize winner Ivan Pavlov conducted his famous experiments with a bell and a dog. As Dr. Joost Meerloo points out in The Rape Of The Mind, "... Pavlov’s findings were that some animals learned more quickly if rewarded (by affection, by food, by stroking) each time they showed the right response, while others learned more quickly when the penalty for not learning was a painful stimulus." It is the author’s opinion that this is exactly what the media did to those who supported Clinton and to those who opposed him.
Dobrogaev, one of Russia’s leading psychologists, stated: "Speech manipulation represents conditioned-reflex functions of the human brain." In a simpler way, Dr. Meerloo interprets this to say: "He who dictates and formulates the words and phrases we use, he who is master of the press and radio, is master of the mind." Meerloo continues: "Repeat mechanically your assumptions and suggestions, diminish the opportunity for communicating dissent and opposition. This is the formula for political conditioning of the masses." And in reviewing the media’s handling of the Clinton-Starr fiasco, either consciously or unconsciously they used their "Bully Pulpit" and other psychological ploys to downplay the Starr investigation and deceive America. For one to argue the media was unaware of what they were doing would be a stretch of the imagination!
The media claims they always delay a story in order to check out the facts. They cite the Juanita Broadderic allegation that she was brutally raped by Clinton an example. However, if one is to accept that assertion as truth, why didn’t they check out the story "Everyone’s doing it"? Instead, the media chose to keep the truth about "Everyone’s doing it" from the public as they relentlessly promoted the deception.
The truth of course, was to the contrary! According to carefully conducted studies by the University of Chicago in 1994, over 75% of married men in their 50's had never cheated on their wives while the same held true for 85-90% of men under 50. And as far as Presidential infidelity is concerned, only three sitting Presidents were definitely known to have cheated on their wives: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jack Kennedy, and Bill Clinton.
The public’s reaction to the "Everyone’s doing it" lie seems to offer proof positive that both the Clinton Administration and an accommodating media worked in cahoots to employ not only the Opinion Triangle and the Bandwagon Effect in their quest to deceive the public. Once the public became "somewhat" convinced the lie was a fact, the Locksteppers used the Herd Mentality syndrome to create an atmosphere in which the public believed it was their advantage to "stick" together.
George Bush, either consciously or unconsciously, used the Opinion Triangle to create support for his actions in the "original" Gulf War. In describing an alleged nightmare in which a Kuwaiti woman was repeatedly gang raped by the aggressors, Bush was able to create a public outcry for action. Although it was later shown to be a complete fabrication, the media saturated the air waves with the lie until further public opinion polls showed growing support for the defense of Kuwait and a repelling of the Iraqi invasion.
In addition to the media and the Locksteppers, polling organizations and individual pollsters played an important role in "The Hosing of America". This should come as no surprise since several polling organizations already have a checkered past. It must be remembered that even if a polling organization has strict procedures in place to minimize manipulation, knowledgeable individuals can always circumvent the rules. The old axiom, "Figures Lie and Liars Figure" is something to remember when viewing polling results.
In Thomas E. Mahl’s book, Desperate Deception, a situation is described in which World War ll British agents successfully manufactured public opinion polls to help generate enthusiasm for an American peacetime draft. In unmasking this fraud, Mr. Mahl showed how these manufactured surveys, conducted by the Gallup Organization and others, were all done under the influence of dedicated interventionists and British Intelligence agents. Although one might argue this was "the patriotic thing to do" in that time frame, it raises the question of polling integrity itself. And if an organization or individual has a history of compromise, why would anyone think they wouldn’t repeat it?
And repeat it they did! At least two, and possibly three serious breaches of polling integrity have come to light so far in the Zippergate fiasco.
In the first situation, a leading pollster has admitted to manufacturing poll results to achieve a desired result. On the August 19, 1998, CNN Moneyline show with Lou Dobbs, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland discussed how he manipulated Clinton’s numbers upward to meet their expectations after plummeting from the Lewinsky affair. Holland’s justification for this breach of polling integrity was that the question had been worded wrong and if different wording had been used, Clinton’s numbers would have been higher!
In the second situation and on the same Moneyline show, USA Today Polling Editor Jim Norman acknowledged revising questions to achieve "better" results. Norman defended his actions by stating "you try like the devil to get it right but every once in awhile you find out there’s a better way to ask questions."
The above two examples bring the "Wording" game to the front burner. According to pollster Scott Rasmussen from Rasmussen Research (www.portraitofamerica.com), "There are three parts to any good survey: design, interviewing, and analysis. For some reason, people who dislike polls often get concerned about the middle part which involves sample selection, response rates, etc.
Ironically, this is the least problematic aspect of polling. Those who are concerned about polling should focus their attention on question wording and, especially, analysis. If a polling firm or a media outlet won't let you see the question wording, you shouldn't trust the poll."
In David Moore’s 1995 book, The Superstars, pollster Louis Harris was quoted as writing in an internal memo: "when designing a study, the analyst must know what he or she is after. The real world is biased, and you must present questions that way." In Can You Trust Opinion Polls, author Claude R. Marx comments "Harris said he makes sure there are an equal number of biased questions on both sides of an issue to ensure a balanced result." "But", Marx concluded, "there are sometimes different degrees of bias in the questions", indicating of course, that you can easily make one side more biased than the other. And as Herbert Asher describes in Polling And The Public, "because the investigator has tremendous leeway in deciding how to frame questions about a particular subject, it is important to recognize that two ostensibly similar questions generated highly divergent results." Both CNN’s Keating Holland and USA Today’s Jim Norman seem to have proven those remarks!
But all this should come as no surprise if history repeats itself. Going back a few years, other serious challenges to polling integrity have been unearthed. Consider the 1992 election cycle. In that campaign, an initial CNN poll showed Perot ahead by a sizable margin. Suddenly, and before Perot went schmuckypuck on everyone, his lead plummeted to the low teens and then into the single digits. Later investigation suggested this "drop" was the result of a change in the manner CNN selected its sample. Instead of continuing to use all eligible voters (all adults) in their sample, ground rules were changed to include only registered voters. This effectively eliminated a large portion of the population... the disenchanted who may have very well have registered and voted for Perot.
In A Journalist’s Guide to Public Opinion Polls, another 1992 situation is described in which additional changes in eligibility procedures dramatically altered the polls. In this example, the authors document how CNN’s change from "eligible voter" to "most likely voter" in the latter days of the ‘92 campaign, impacted the Bush-Clinton numbers by a full six percentage points... overnight!
Still further manipulation of public opinion occurred in 1992 when the Gallup organization altered a crucial poll by allocating the five or six percentage points representing undecided voters to Clinton. This resulted in Gallup’s final pre-election numbers as 49% Clinton, 37% Bush, and 14% Perot. Unfortunately for Gallup (and Bush), the actual percentages of 43-38-19 were closer to the unadjusted numbers. How many Bush voters stayed home because they thought it was futile to vote? We’ll never know for sure, but chances are it would have made a difference!
In addition to outright hanky-panky, there are also challenges to the methods used in selecting polling samples. When one considers the cooperation rate (the number of individuals from a pool who agree to be included in a survey) is only 25% for overnight polls and 40%-45% for 4-5 day polls, one has to question the validity of the sample itself.
Further problems are introduced by individual pollsters. According to Herbert Asher, author of Polling and The Public, leading polling organizations rely mainly on middle aged women to conduct their polls. This is done because of a better response rate accorded female pollsters. In addition, pollsters are often pared with their own race in order to minimize the "I’ll say what you want to hear" bias. However, by admitting that pollsters get the "I’ll say what you want to hear" bias at all, they must admit it can occur even when race isn’t a factor. This is especially important if previously mentioned psychological techniques such as the Opinion Triangle, the Bandwagon Effect and the Herd Mentality syndrome have been put into play.
Many interviewed for this study argued the Clinton Juggernaut became masters of these deceptions in the ‘92 elections, honed them to perfection in the ‘96 elections, and raised them to a fine art during the recent damage control efforts. Evidence seems to support those conclusions.
The Clinton Administration was quick to learn from past mistakes with remarkable speed. After the Health Care Task Force went down in flames, it appears the Clinton Team began seeking better methods of manipulating public opinion in their efforts of building support for their agenda. Indications are that they focused on mind control techniques to achieve their objectives. And if the reader has a problem accepting this premise, they should bear in mind Dr. Joost Meerloo’s thoughts on mass mind manipulation: "The continual intrusion into our minds of the hammering noises of arguments and propaganda can lead to two kinds of reactions. It may lead to apathy and indifference, the I-don’t-care reaction, or to a more intensified desire to study and to understand. Unfortunately, the first reaction is the more popular one. The flight from study and awareness is much too common in a world that throws too many confusing pictures to the individual. For the sake of our democracy, based on freedom and individualism, we have to bring ourselves back to study again and again. Otherwise, we can become easy victims of a well-planned verbal attack on our minds and our consciences."
The Global Warming campaign is a case in point. By the time the Administration embarked on this crusade, they had a public relations juggernaut in place that was second to none. As if on queue, a complying media was rolled out and the mind manipulators "went-to-town"!
As Gore's Shock Troops hit the speaking circuit and saturation coverage began, the intensity and speed of the campaign caught just about everyone off guard. Unfortunately for the global warming proponents, a number of alert organizations were able to quickly mobilize and counter the hysteria with solid facts to the contrary. As Dr. Meerloo points out time and time again, well publicized facts are always the bane to the mind controllers.
Even if we put the polling-media controversy aside, it appears the Clinton Administration falls into a pattern best described by psychologist Edward Schills in his article Authoritarianism: Right and Left. In that article, Schills outlines features that were common to both the Nazi and Russian systems, and which seem to describe the Locksteppers with precision:
Schills also indicates these types of power structures tend to implode. Is that what we’re starting to witness right now?
Clinton's Waterloo seems to be the way he lied to his wife, his most loyal supporters, and to the public. But at the same time, these deceitful actions turned a small, but fanatical group of loyalists into Locksteppers at the expense of their individual integrity.
Or were these Locksteppers in the first place?
To return to the Polling Issues gateway page, click HERE
To retuen to the Research Room gateway page, click HERE
To return to the Home page, click HERE