Our minds are so inventive they can be the worst enemies of truth. It certainly is a creative achievement to conceal the truth of one of white America’s worst crimes against humanity, and to do it for a hundred years! What happened to Blacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a century ago, was a surprise to me. Discovering this lacuna proves how the text (so to speak) of our experience can be bowdlerized by the powers that be.
The word bowdlerize came into the English language by Thomas Bowdler whose edition of Shakespeare removed all the words unsuitable for proper Christians! Even more alarming is the idea of truth systematically distorted or deleted from public awareness. Anyone who doubts the importance of this needs to recall how the Nazi propaganda machine led to catastrophic outcomes of historic proportions.
Reflecting on the Tulsa story of American savagery, the question of other falsifications of public consciousness comes up. Grappling with the realities of ordinary life is tough enough; we can do without agencies of business and government trying to control our consciousness and sense of reality. Advertising, for example, is constantly trying to manipulate the part of our psychic apparatus geared toward consumption. Success for most corporate advertising is to turn us all into thoughtless, reliable consumption machines.
We could use a service that catalogues and tries to cope with the various types of systematic falsification operative in the culture. The assaults on truth vary in type, mode, and motivation. Racism and greed motivate the two examples just cited. A notable example of a big lie driven by the profit motive is the prolonged obfuscation of the dangers of smoking orchestrated by the tobacco industry, or, more recently, by the opioid industry; in both of these systematic efforts at falsification, the cost was and still is massive injury and loss of life.
With tobacco and the opioids, the negative truth was concealed. Sometimes the negativity is manufactured and promoted for nefarious reasons. The lies about marijuana created a monster out of a substance that was not just benign but loaded with health benefits that scientists are now studying. Cannabis has been used ritually and spiritually all over the world for thousands of years, but was criminalized in America in 1937.
All that is changing now (as I write the weed is about to be legalized in the state of Virginia). But lying about and criminalizing marijuana for decades has fueled injustice and suffering for minorities. The propaganda flick, Reefer Madness (1936), portrays a ludicrous picture of the weed transforming innocent young people into raving killers and sex fiends. The movie was a joke in the ‘60s, but the big lie about the evils of cannabis persisted, resulting in mass incarceration and destruction of lives. There are people now serving life sentences in American prisons because they sold marijuana. Meanwhile, I can buy magazines in my local supermarket that describe in scientific detail the weed’s health benefits. I wonder how it would have turned out, if, instead of criminalizing marijuana, booze was outlawed and criminalized, and marijuana was celebrated as the national social lubricator and pastime. Eighty or so years of marijuana falsification have caused an immense amount of harm.
There is one class of big lie that since 2017 has begun to unravel. In this case, the issue is metaphysical. The government has not only kept us in the dark about the benefits of marijuana, it has kept us in the dark about a matter of cosmic significance—it appears that we have some visitors from outside our known terrestrial world. The government has known this, and countless people around the world for much of human history have encountered beings whose nature and origin are a mystery. Reports abound of sightings, of various forms of contact, and of the more highly strange abductions.
So now at last yet another veil of mendacity is being lifted, in part because of some whistle-blowers, and perhaps because of the persistence of reports. Putting this bit of momentous news in plain words: we seem to be part of an unknown community of intelligent beings. The intelligence is technologically beyond anything achieved by humans, and they apparently enjoy playing games with us, eluding but observing us in teasing fashion.
Beyond the monumental fact of their presence, we can’t be sure about anything else, as to who, what, why and where they are from? The visitors are a motley crew who appear to us in all manner of shape and form. Nothing about them, their bodies, so-called crafts, or movements conform to the familiar laws of physical reality. They move at impossible speeds and make impossible turns and stops and sudden disappearances, following what seems the logic of dream space. A comparative study of UAPs demonstrates a very nasty streak among them. And the modalities of interaction keep changing. We may be on the threshold of unprecedented discoveries. But we’re also surrounded by multiple agents of falsification, many of which must remain undetected by us. They are hard to detect because they know how to conceal their identity; our own subconscious is fond of distracting us with all manner of tricks and fancies. The great challenge is to take possession of our own consciousness. Hence the need to catalogue the agents of mendacity trying to infiltrate our minds.
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