A few hours ago I was cycling through an nearby neighborhood. As I approached a mother and her two children walking down the sidewalk, the cutest little four-year-old piped up.
“Hi…!” she said.
“Hi…!” I replied.
At that point, mom jerked the little girl by the arm, bent down and whispered something hushed and intense in her ear. As she continued to watch me ride by, I saw the girl’s expression morph from happiness and curiosity into pain, fear and confusion.
“Well, there you have it,” I said to myself. “Fear is once again hammered into an innocent child’s psyche. How sad.”
Children have no way to question their parents’ wisdom. If mom says strangers are dangerous, they are, no questions asked.
In this case mom did more than just tell her I was dangerous. She activated physical pain and fear during the child’s interaction with me. In NLP we call this “anchoring.” By associating an intense state of mind/body – fear and pain – with strangers, the mother hopes to condition her child to avoid them.
The next time the girl finds herself in a similar situation, she will most likely experience fear, pain or confusion. Over time, she will lose her desire to reach out and connect with people she doesn’t know. By avoiding strangers, she hopes to avoid the negative feelings associated with them. Classic Pavlovian conditioning!
Needless to say, there are other more effective, yet non-traumatizing ways to teach children about their own safety, but that is a topic for another article, coming soon.
Anchoring is remarkably effective if done well. Think about it. How many of your responses during the course of a day are preconditioned? Do you stop at red lights? Shake someone’s hand when it is extended to you? Do you pull over when you see flashing red lights in your rear view mirror? You don’t have to think about any of these responses. They are anchored in, ready to be employed when triggered.
If you want someone to be in your herd, then find a way to condition them. Fear works best for creating sheeple.
We could do a warped experiment, for example, on a small child. Find any common object – say a red ball. Hold up the red ball and then terrorize the child into a state of intense fear by yelling or screaming at him. Then, put the ball away and return to normalcy. Repeat this sick little ritual daily.
Before long, all you will need to do is hold up the red ball and the child will respond with anticipatory fear. Soon, the ominous red ball will haunt the child’s dreams.
If you want to expand your power over the child, the red ball is now a nifty tool. Teach the child that the only way to escape the fear inducing red ball is to do what you want. For example, teach him that if he bends down to touch his toes, you will put the ball away immediately. Soon, all you will need to do is pull out the red ball and he will touch his toes without even thinking about it.
His fear may then generalize. When he sees other red objects, he may feel afraid and bend over for them, too. He may even start to bend over compulsively, in anticipation of any potential new red objects that might show up unexpectedly.
Yes, he is now running from the red balls in his mind!
At this point, he might develop a ritual. To prevent any and all red objects that day, he bends over 10 times every morning, noon and night. In other words, he is now a slave to fear. To control him, all you need is a red ball (or to know how to get him to think of one) and a warped conscience.
Much of counseling is devoted to undoing unfortunate anchors that were conditioned in childhood. If the counseling is successful, the red balls of life lose power and new, more positive anchors are put into play – intentional anchors for greater personal power, joy, confidence and so on.
Most people are raised with some version of the red ball. Do what I say or else you’re gonna get it! Do what I tell you or I will reject you, abandon you, hurt you, scare you or otherwise make you feel miserable.
Negatively conditioning a child in this way is the perfect set up for creating sheeple. All you need to do to herd them is stimulate their fears. People do the most amazing things to avoid fear.
If I were a twisted tyrant creating a country of sheeple, here’s what I’d do:
First, I’d champion principles like conformity, consumerism, instant gratification, social status, and intolerance for personal sacrifice. All of these are wonderful “red ball” kinds of tools that can be used to induce workable positive and negative feelings. Of course, I’d be grateful for all of the lazy, immature parents who help tremendously by enslaving their children to fear. Then, I would:
1. Scare the living hell out of everyone, probably by creating a catastrophe that could “happen again if we don’t take measures to stop it” (we want red balls floating around in people’s imagination).
2. Associate some visual symbol or keyword to the horror of the event.
3. Repeat the keyword or show the symbol at key times or whenever I want to manipulate people. Doing what I want is a way for people to escape the fear that I conditioned in them.
With this system firmly in operation, I am now free to subject my sheeple to all kinds of degrading practices that will keep them in their place, permanently. I can do almost anything I want, given their fears. Amazingly, they will not only cooperate, but even think I am doing them a favor as I degrade and humiliate them!
“We’ve got word that someone in the vicinity may be carrying a red ball! Alright everyone, bend over and let’s inspect your junk. It’s for everyone’s safety.”
The ultimate mind bender is that people end up willingly subjecting themselves to what their parents most feared – molestation by a stranger.
Thank you for protecting me from the dreaded red ball, sir! The inspection wasn’t that bad, either.
Wait, where’s my wallet?
What an ironic mess it would be, if such a society existed!