“When all think alike, no one thinks very much.” – Walter Lippmann, 2 times Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist
Free-thinkers will all struggle at times to comprehend why mainstream viewpoints can remain unquestioned by those around them. Why people will aggressively push the dominant viewpoint even when it’s outdated, unhelpful, or even blatantly contradicted by evidence. Why these viewpoints leave no room for others to hold differing ones, and complete conformity is often the end goal, even though free-thinkers advocate individual freedom and choice.
How can free-thinkers comprehend the static viewpoints many hold about the important issues that affect our lives? Issues that free-thinkers see as demanding continuous, rigorous debate and evaluation, and an openness to adaptation and change. Issues regarding lifestyles, food, the environment, animal welfare, nutrition, health, war, peace, human diversity, all manner of social systems, parenting, governments, politics, education, science, religion and spirituality.
I have found one of the most powerful influences in life is social system regulation and stability. When one person disagrees with us we can shrug it off, but when several people disagree with us the effect is very powerful, our ability to reality-test is being compromised. For asking as little as an open question or sharing an alternative viewpoint, others may automatically experience our actions as offensive, and we can be ostracised to the out-group of our society.
In 1972 social psychologist Irving Janis coined “groupthink,” a term that describes this phenomenon. The Psychologists for Social Responsibility summarise groupthink thusly:
“…[Groupthink] occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of ‘mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.’ (Janis, 1972, p.9) Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups.
When pressures for unanimity seem overwhelming, members are less motivated to realistically appraise the alternative courses of action available to them. These group pressures lead to carelessness and irrational thinking since groups experiencing groupthink fail to consider all alternatives and seek to maintain unanimity. Decisions shaped by groupthink have low probability of achieving successful outcomes.”
8 Symptoms of Groupthink
(Janis, 1982, adapted from The Psychologists for Social Responsibility)
- Illusion of invulnerability – Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks. Ignoring group and individual member vulnerabilities leads to incomplete and skewed risk assessments.
- Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions. Everything can be, and is explained away.
- Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
- Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary. Ad hominem attacks are a sign of this.
- Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views. Alternative viewpoints are automatically experienced as offensive and controversial.
- Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
- Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous. Silence is taken as consensus.
- Self-appointed “mindguards” – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. Organizations, astroturfers, and propogandists perform these roles.
Why Groupthink Has Gone Global
I believe numerous factors have contributed to the current dominance of groupthink. We live in increasingly competitive societies. Admitting to confusion or error exposes our vulnerability, and being vulnerable when we are surrounded by others seeking to one-up us in the hierarchy is often dangerous. We learn to fear our vulnerability and do whatever it takes to avoid it, including seeking the safety of the group by complying with their dominant viewpoints, thereby avoiding the accountability of making errors.
We have social systems (parenting, education, work, law) which teach us that obedience, conformity, and fear of authority are valued over advanced ethical and moral reasoning, over free, critical, and creative thought. We are increasingly a global collective pulled from such differing lives, perhaps coaxing us into premature aggreeableness on many issues, just to feel some sense of connection, belonging, and safety. Finally, all manner of organizations and individuals have found their interests can be well served by fostering and harnessing the mechanisms of groupthink.
So how can free thinkers exist in an age of global groupthink? The biggest lesson I am learning is to not fall victim to groupthink ourselves. All viewpoints can create groupthink if information sources and groups are too insular. To be comfortable evaluating the full spread of information requires that we are in touch with our human capacity for vulnerability.
Vulnerability allows us to be accepting of the fact that trial and error and continuous revision and update are part of the process of authentic learning and quality decision-making. It’s knowing that we may be wrong and confused many times as we work it through, and that’s okay. Vulnerability allows us to harness the confusion conflicting information may cause in us to drive further learning, to go there, rather than being consumed by frustration, fear, and shame.
On communicating alternative viewpoints when I can feel I am being pressured into self-censorship by groupthink, I am finding it best not to use groupthink tactics myself. I try to present information as neutrally as possible, to source quality (groupthink-free) information, and to let arguments stand on their own merits rather than on manipulative, emotionally charged rhetoric. Overall, I try to be respectful of the vulnerability of other humans and their right to draw their own conclusions. In my own experience, fostering a sense of comfortability with vulnerability acts as a strong antidote to groupthink.
What are your thoughts about a concept like groupthink in the modern age? Are there other theories that explain this phenomenon well? Are there any methods that you have found useful to remain an active free-thinker and foster free-thought in your social group? I’d love to hear your views. Please comment below.
Janis, Irving L. (1972). Victims of Groupthink. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Janis, Irving L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. Second Edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
If interested you can read more about Irving Janis and groupthink theory here. http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm
Newly Discovered Crop Circle Has A Message For Humanity (July 2018)
- The Facts:
A new crop circle was recently discovered in the UK on July 8th, 2018. It was the exact depiction of the chemical weapons warning symbol.
- Reflect On:
Does this serve as a message for us to put down the chemical and nuclear weapons for good? Do we need to be using these weapons? This may also cause us to consider the poisoning of our planet in other ways.
A new crop circle was recently discovered on July 8th in Coneybury Hill, Nr Stonehenge, Wiltshire. This circle is the exact same as the chemical weapons warning symbol.
Interestingly this crop circle was found shortly after the death of Dawn Sturgess who had come into contact with a deadly nerve agent.
While we can’t know for sure, this crop circle certainly appears to be a message to humanity about the dangers of chemical weapons and the catastrophic damage they can cause, regardless of who you believe made it. Perhaps this circle symbolizes the fact that these weapons have no place in our world, and it’s time we got rid of them, for good.
Check out some amazing drone footage of this newly discovered crop circle below.
It is not all that surprising to see this message show up in a crop circle, as in the past we have seen deliberate ET intervention when nuclear weapons would have otherwise been used. We have covered this topic before, and the following is an excerpt from an older article,
One of many previously classified reports -out of the thousands in existence -that is now available in the public domain is the intrusion at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, on August 24, 1966. Air Force personnel were concerned about a light in the sky. A team went to check it out and confirmed the object, then saw a second white object while doing so. The object was tracked on radar and moved vertical several times; each time it descended, an air force officer in charge of a missile crew found his radio transmission interrupted by static. The object eventually descended to ground level, and the Air Force sent a team to check it out. They saw the object either on the ground or hovering very low. According to the official report:
“When the team was about ten miles from the landing site, static disrupted radio contact with them. Five to eight minutes later, the glow diminished, and the UFO took off. Another UFO was visually sighted and confirmed by radar. The one that was first sighted passed beneath the second. Radar also confirmed this. The first made for altitude toward the north, and the second seemed to disappear with the glow of red.”
Here are a couple of more articles that go into greater detail regarding the connections between UFO’s and nuclear missiles:
Why Are They Stopping Nukes?
It seems that these extraterrestrials know just how damaging nuclear weapons can be to our planet, and possibly to our entire solar system. There is information that says that UFO’s have been deactivating nuclear weapons since we created them and started to show up a lot more often when we were testing the atomic bomb. Thankfully, someone or something has our back and is helping to stop us, humanity from making a huge mistake.
As Far As Crop Circles Go, You May Be Interested In These Detailed Articles That Go A Little Deeper Into The Phenomenon
The Deep Truth Behind Why Trump Is President
- The Facts:
Since Trump's presidency, we have seen many of humanities shadows thrust into conversation. Not just shadows of Trump, but each and every one of us. The media has been aggressively opposing Trump almost all the way through.
- Reflect On:
What is Trump's presidency showing us about ourselves? Why are we seeing a full out media attack on Trump? Is the cabal losing power? Are we beginning to see the first stages of big shifts away from oppressive regimes?
A little backstory before we get into the video below. Back in 2016, following the election, we had stated that there seemed to be a pretty large shift in power given that Trump made his way into office. How did this happen? Here is a brief outline.
There is a divide taking place within the Cabal/Deep State. This divide is causing power struggles as some facets work to move away from the entirely destructive means of the previous many decades, and instead work towards a different path. Is this an entirely ‘good’ path? No, but we’re going to see this as a HUGE welcome improvement as we continue to shift our consciousness.
This divide works its way through intelligence agencies whereby ‘white hats,’ as you can call them, begin to bring forth leaks, information and dealings that help break apart the extremely oppressive end of the cabal. White hats are essentially everyday individuals, like Snowden was, who work inside intelligence agencies and who are also having a shift in consciousness within themselves. No longer do they wish to support the ways of the old, the ways it would have been if Hillary made it into office.
So we begin to see a power struggle, one that is obviously coming as a result of having an ‘outsider’ in office that is shaking things up QUICKLY.
How Did Trump Get In?
First off, what I mentioned above is a big part of it. On top of that, was the flip in electoral college manipulation that usually takes place when a president is chosen. Was Hillary Clinton furiously angry after the election because she didn’t get enough support from the general populace? No, she was furiously angry because her side of the Cabal/Deep State, who promised her a win and bought the entire media to help make it happen, flipped in part, causing enough of a change to have Trump get in.
Now typically people tend to think that when you talk about things in this manner it means you are in favor of Republicans and Trump. But this is primitive thinking in that it only looks at one tiny layer of what’s happening to apply an explanation we can then be comfortable with. When in reality, all that is happening here is we are looking at what is ACTUALLY happening, not what we are being told what is happening.
You do not have to be pro Trump, pro Republican, or even in support of politics at all, for that matter, to see what’s truly taking place here.
Regardless, questions have been coming in for months and months to CE, asking what we think about Trump, whether we are in support of him and what all of this ‘chaos’ means. Of course, some, because we speak about things honestly and from a neutral perspective, tend to think we side with Trump because SOME of the actions of his administration and who’s behind him are actually in favor of humanity, and we report on them.
But regardless of the amount of explanation we have tried to bring to this somewhat complicated situation, I felt we needed something VERY clear. So I created a video expressing what Trump’s presidency truly means for our collective consciousness and 3 very big factors that are being brought forth through his time in office. This video will answer the topic this article is titled as.
Please take the time to watch and digest this, as it will answer so many questions regarding Trump and what is taking place.
Brazil’s Proactive Plan To Fight Poverty By Preventing It Through Neuroscience & Parents Love
- The Facts:
The first 1000 days of a child's life are the most important for the proper development of their brain. Many parents lack this knowledge and understanding of what it truly takes to ensure their children are getting what they need.
- Reflect On:
The outcome of this massive experiment from Brazil may change the way parents are raising their kids worldwide. Children who come from loving, supportive, attentive families will have a better chance of creating a good life for themselves.
For nearly two decades Brazil has undergone the world’s biggest experiment to prove that by teaching poor parents how to love and nurture their infants it will dramatically influence what kind of people they become as adults. Through this guidance and support, Brazil is hoping to change its current trajectory of violence, inequality, and poverty through a method of prevention through love and care.
It is no secret that babies need to be loved and nurtured, but over the years there have been many other opinions and popular books about the Cry It Out method, or leaving babies to fend for themselves, placing them in their crib alone, out of the danger/fear of potentially smothering your baby in their sleep. Also, there is a general lack of knowledge and understanding about how crucial your time, care and attention is to a developing baby.
Because of this, many babies and children haven’t received an adequate amount of love and care as is needed for healthy brain development. In fact, babies can’t fend for themselves, and when they are left to cry they have drastically increased levels of cortisol, which can have a detrimental impact on their development, potentially altering who they could become later in life.
The leader of this project, Osmar Terra, became obsessed with the question of how humans develop about 30 years ago. He was a cardiologist in the 90’s and would often read research papers about the neuroscience of early childhood. After entering politics and becoming mayor of Santa Rosa in Rio Grande do Sul in ’92 he continued to ponder this question, leading him to a master’s degree in neuroscience. Terra wanted to find a way to tackle poverty head-on.
“In every single activity, I always ask myself, ‘What is the public policy that can be more transformative?’” he says. “How can we most dramatically improve the quality of life for our citizens, their health, their education?”
After much research, he came to realize that the answer to that question starts at the very beginning, during the pregnancy and the first few years of a child’s life.
There is a ton of groundbreaking research that shows how love and a sense of safety experienced by a baby will directly impact how the child brain will become wired. Adversity, especially that which is persistent and stress-triggering such as neglect and abuse will hinder development. This can result in poor mental, emotional and physical health, educational attainment and even early death. All of this important information and research is ultimately what led Terra to create Crianca Feliz, a highly ambitious parent coaching and guidance program that was launched in 2017. The goal is to try and reach four million pregnant woman and children by 2020.
Have A Look
“If a child feels emotionally safe and secure and attached they explore the world in a better way. The safer they feel, the safer their base, the faster they learn,” he says.
“I believe that this is the solution, not only for Brazil, but for any country in the world in terms of security, public security, education, and healthcare,” says José Medeiros, a senator from the state of Mato Grosso who heads the parliamentary committee on early childhood development. “It’s a cheap solution.”
Terra’s claims are more dramatic. “We will change the world, starting from the very beginning.”
The First 1,000 Days
Scientists have discovered that the first 1000 days of life are the most crucial for brain development.
According to Quartz.com
Many people, rich and poor alike, have no idea what infants are capable of. Psychologists and neuroscientists believe they are creative geniuses, able to process information in far more sophisticated ways than we ever knew. But for that genius to show itself, the baby needs to feel safe and loved and to have attention.
Medeiros explains how he viewed parenting before he went to the Harvard program.
”I raised my kids as if I were taking care of a plant,” he recalls. “You give them food, you take care of them.” He says he did the best he could, but “I did not have all this information. If I had encouraged them, stimulated them more, I would have been able to contribute much more to their development.”
He is hardly the exception. A 2012 nationally representative survey in Brazil asked mothers, 52% of whom were college educated, what things were most important for the development of their children up to three years of age. Only 19% mentioned playing and walking, 18% said receiving attention from adults, and 12% picked receiving affection. “So playing, talking to the child, attachment, it’s not important for more than 80% of the people who are interviewed,” says Harasawa, the director of Criança Feliz.
What Can We Take Away?
Could a lack of knowledge around what it really means to be a parent and raise a child be one of the biggest contributors to the crime, domestic violence, poverty and a wide array of other damaging behaviours that we are seeing globally? Could it really come down to parenting and the care that is given during the first 1000 days? It is very likely.
Unfortunately, many of the parents without the knowledge were likely raised by parents who didn’t have this knowledge either. Brazil’s ambitious plan will serve as a powerful experiment that the whole world can take note of. This truly has the power to give parents the tools they need to raise their kids in such a way that they have a better chance of reaching their highest potential. Let’s not forget that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. This is very important work, Bravo Brazil for leading the way for this powerful potential for real change!
Who Lucifer Actually Is & Why They Are Here (Part 4: Selling Your Soul)
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Newly Discovered Crop Circle Has A Message For Humanity (July 2018)
A new crop circle was recently discovered on July 8th in Coneybury Hill, Nr Stonehenge, Wiltshire. This circle is the...