WHEN YOU THINK OF SYRIA, THINK OF THESE QUOTES, WHAT THEY MEAN, & WHY YOUR PATRIOTISM IS MISGUIDED

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“Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure.”
– Abraham Lincoln

When it comes to Syria and what’s currently taking place there, it’s important to remember that tragedies like this one have been taking place for a very long time. Here in the West, the masses are constantly glued to their television screens, taking in information about the conflict. As a result, their perception of these events is being moulded into their minds. It’s no different from Iraq, or the current accusations of nuclear activity that we’re now hearing about in Iran and North Korea. It might sound a little crazy, but given the fact that only a handful of corporations control everything we read, see, and watch when it comes to major international affairs, like war, it’s easy to see how public opinion gets shaped. And it’s even more evident given the fact that a number of insiders, military personnel of all ranks, and politicians have been blowing the whistle when it comes to war, and what’s really going on.

How often do we step aside and question what we’re actually hearing? How often do we examine it for ourselves and use our own critical thinking skills instead of blindly believing what we’re told on mainstream media news outlets?

“I served in all commissioned ranks from a second Lieutenant to a Major General. And during that time, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.”

– General Smedley Butler, one of the highest ranking generals in American History

The birth of multiple major social media platforms brought with it the rise of alternative news, or rather, news that isn’t represented within the mainstream. It become so popular, amassing billions of hits every year, that the elite was forced to retaliate by labelling most of it as “fake news.” This sparked outrage among many, like Dr. Ron Paul, the three-time presidential candidate who stuck up for alternative media news networks and published his version of a ‘fake news’ list. On it, he named dozens of journalists that belonged to mainstream media networks. The Wikileaks release of documents showing a close relationship between these networks and major politicians, like Hillary Clinton, as well as the big banks, was also a big giveaway.

Additionally, multiple mainstream media journalists and news anchors have come out publicly stating that mainstream media is constantly receiving funds from big corporations and governments, as well as creating fake news stories to serve national interests. The CIA’s “Operation Mockingbird” was designed to do this decades ago (infiltrate media and sway public opinion), and it seems that it still continues to this day.

So, what’s really going on when it comes to war? Well, based on our research and the research of many others, it’s simply big business, a global take-over agenda to establish a powerful group of people’s vision of what the world should look like. They call this the New World Order, and a lot of evidence shows that our intervention into other countries’ affairs is facilitating this vision.

Below are two CE articles that go into more detail:

“The Chemical Attack In Syria Was A “False Flag” & More “Being Prepared” In Syria

False Flag Terrorism: A History of Lies & Deception Explained In A 16 Minute Video. 9/11 Isn’t the Only Example. 

You can follow these links for more information on this perspective: ISIS, False Flag Terrorism, New World Order.

The Quotes

I’ve shared many of these before, but given everything that’s going on, I feel they’re important to share over and over again, especially for the new readers who are just waking up to these facts.

“Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.”

– David Steele, the second-highest ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence and a former CIA clandestine services officer (source)

“SCADs [which refers to State Crimes Against Democracy] involve high-level government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities for political advantages and power.”

– Professor Lance deHaven-Smith, Professor Emeritus of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University (source)(source)

“It is ironic that the U.S. would begin a devastating war, allegedly in search of weapons of mass destruction, when the most worrisome developments in this field are occurring in your own backyard. It is ironic that the U.S. should be fighting monstrously expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, allegedly to bring democracy to those countries, when it itself can no longer claim to be called a democracy, when trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars have been spent on projects about which both the Congress and the Commander in Chief have been kept deliberately in the dark.”  

– Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Minister of Defence

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the ‘TV watcher’ to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.”

– Pierre-Henri Bunel, a French artillery and intelligence officer who became publicly known after having leaked sensitive NATO documents during the Kosovo war, for which he served a jail sentence in 2001-2002 (source)

“About ten days after 9/11 I went through the Pentagon, I saw secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me and one of the generals called me in and said, ‘Sir you gotta come in and talk to me for a second.’ And I said, ‘You’re too busy,’ and he says, ‘No no,’ he says, ‘We’ve made the decision, we’re going to war with Iraq.’ This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, ‘We’re going to war with Iraq, why?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ He said, ‘I guess they don’t know what else to do.’ So, I said, ‘Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to Al-Qaeda?’ He says, ‘No no, there’s nothing new that way, they just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.’ He said ‘I guess it’s, like, we don’t know what to do about terrorists but, we got a good military and we can take down governments.’ . . . . So I came back to see him a few weeks later and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan and I said, “Are we still going to war Iraq?’ And he said, ‘Oh it’s worse than that,’ he said, he reached over to his desk and picked up a piece of paper and said, ‘I just got this down from upstairs,’ meaning Secretary of Defences Office today, and he said, ‘This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off, Iran.’ ”

– Four Star General Wesley Clark, who was the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe of NATO from 1997-2000 (source)

“So that Operation Gladio turned into a different operation, the same Modus Operandi, of creating false flag events, synthetically created terror units, um as Islamic fanatic units, that would create these terror events, thus the chaos associated with it, thus the justification for NATO/CIA/US military intervention in Middle East today but with the goal of having more of these events taking us further in- into the previously Russian territories.” 

Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI Agent and a well-known whistleblower. You can watch an interview with her discussing this topic here. (source) 

“Eleven months before 9/11 happened there was going to be an event and out of that event we were going to invade Afghanistan to run pipelines through the Caspian sea, we were going to invade Iraq to take over the oil fields and establish a base in the Middle East, and we’d go after Chavez in Venezuela.”……and that there would be an “Endless war on terror where there’s no real enemy and the whole thing is a giant hoax,” so that “the government could take over the American people,”

– Aaron Russo, political activist  (source)

The two-war strategy is just a marketing device to justify a high [military] budget. ” 

– Retired Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill McPeak (source)

Related CE Article:  10 Presidents & Polticians Who Told Us That A Secret Government Controls The World & What They Said.

Dalai Lama: Spirituality Without Quantum Physics Is An Incomplete Picture Of Reality

Tales from the Conspiratum

Source: Dalai Lama: Spirituality Without Quantum Physics Is An Incomplete Picture Of Reality – Collective Evolution

http://www.collective-evolution.com

 “Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.”
 

 – The Dalai Lama (source)

For a long time, science and spirituality were considered to be opposing views, creating this polarization of both subjects. You were either a “Man of God” or a “Man of Science,” with no middle ground. However, we’re now observing a merging of both science and spirituality through quantum physics and the study of consciousness, shattering old thought patterns and putting an…

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♪Mussorgsky/Ravel – Il Vecchio Castello with Karajan BPO

Herbert Von Karajan (Conductor),  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra                         Pictures at an exhibition (Composer: Modest Mussorgsky, arrangement by Maurice Ravel)
Il Vecchio Castello, Andante, 4th Mov.
Daniel Deffayet(as), Karajan=BPO
1986

The suite is Mussorgsky’s most famous piano composition, and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has become further known through various orchestrations and arrangements produced by other musicians and composers, with Ravel’s arrangement being the most recorded and performed.

It was probably in 1870 that Mussorgsky met artist and architect Viktor Hartmann. Both men were devoted to the cause of an intrinsically Russian art and quickly became friends.
Hartmann died from an aneurysm in 1873. The sudden loss of the artist, aged only 39, shook Mussorgsky along with others in Russia’s art world. Stasov helped organize an exhibition of over 400 Hartmann works in the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg, Russia in February and March 1874. Mussorgsky lent works from his personal collection to the exhibit and viewed the show in person. Fired by the experience, he composed Pictures at an Exhibition in six weeks.

Mussorgsky based his musical material on drawings and watercolours by Hartmann produced mostly during the artist’s travels abroad. Locales include Poland, France and Italy; the final movement depicts an architectural design for the capital city of Ukraine.

Movements:

0:00 I. Promenade
1:41 II. Gnomus
4:15 III. Promenade
5:14 IV. Il vecchio castello
9:37 V. Promenade
10:11 VI. Tuileries
11:14 VII. Bydło
14:13 VIII. Promenade
14:57 IX. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks
16:16 X. “Samuel” Goldenberg und “Schmuÿle”
18:17 XI. Limoges, le marché
19:46 XII. Catacombæ (Sepulcrum romanum) and “Cum mortuis in lingua mortua”
23:29 XIII. The Hut on Fowl’s Legs (Baba-Yagá)
27:06 XIV. The Great Gate of Kiev

What Chuck Schumer Is Revealing Out In The Open

TheBreakAway

Secrecy
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
April 26, 2017

Senator Chuck Schumer on MSNBC: “We’re no longer fact-based. The founding fathers created a country based on fact. We don’t have a fact base. If Breitbart News and the New York Times are regarded with equal credibility, you worry about this democracy.”

First of all, in Schumer’s opening sentence, who is this “we”? There is an implication that the “we” is somehow monolithic and centralized. But people have been in disagreement about facts and what they mean since the dawn of time. People have rejected centralized sources of facts, from kings and queens and priests, to newspapers and television news.

In the same way that 99% of economists assume society must be planned and centralized, Schumer and “the people in power” assume media must operate as a centralized force—as if it’s a natural law.

They just assume it, because until recently…

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French Election, Macron vs. Marine Le Pen: Why ‘Every Country Deserves its Government’

Thanks for your concise and thoughtful history lesson about France. Your analysis consolidates France’s fate, alas we all deserve our leaders who orchestrates fake realities.
Looking forward to your comprehensive French election breakdown on ESR18! 🙂

Futurist Trendcast

Marine Le Pen and French national heroine Jeanne d’Arc

NEW ASK LADA EPISODE

Great question from Shaf!Lada, thanks for another great post. I’m very impressed with the accuracy of your posts and if the PTB don’t prevent Le Pen from winning, then you can say you called a Le Pen victory 5 years in advance! A question. In one your previous articles you said that countries get leaders/governments based on the general wishes/energy of the population in total. Am I wrong? So let’s say then the majority of the French did want Le Pen to win but the PTB stopped her, then how does that work? Perhaps overall in the wider picture, then the general policy direction of France will move more to the right in alignment with the general karmic energy/thoughts of the population, regardless of who is leader?

Lada Ray on 

French…

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How Do US Corporation Tax Rates Compare With Other Countries? (Tax Reform)

Excellent research Gronda, statistically Corporations pay around 13% or less of their operating earnings after interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), including those fat corporate deductions and they wind up paying very little, esp if they divest thru associating shell corps.
Trump’s 15% across the board would actually force business to pay more in taxes!
It’ll be interesting how they iron out the details.

Gronda Morin

Source: Jennifer Jacobs Tweet

Trump’s tax reform:
–individual rates 10, 25 and 35%
–childcare tax credit
–15% business rate
-repeal death tax
-repeal AMT
-repatriation

The reason for why the republicans have been covering for their standard bearer, President Donald Trump is so that they can have a real chance to pass the biggest corporate tax cut that would be considered a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The tax plan introduced today (4/26/17) by the republican President Donald Trump takes the corporate tax rate down to 15% from about 35%. The average corporate tax rate around the world is about 27-29%.

Image result for photos of wallethub companyAs per the 11/3/2016 WalletHub annual Corporate Tax Report,  “Based on the detailed information assembled by its data analysts, John Kiernan tells us “The overall tax rate that S&P 100 companies pay, is around 27-28 percent, and is basically unchanged when compared to 2014 figures.

It is my…

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Hacker News: Beware! New Android Malware Infected 2 Million Google Play Store Users

hack-android-phone

Initially thought to be 600,000 users, the number of Android users who have mistakenly downloaded and installed malware on their devices straight from Google Play Store has reached 2 Million.

Yes, about 2 Million Android users have fallen victim to malware hidden in over 40 fake companion guide apps for popular mobile games, such as Pokémon Go and FIFA Mobile, on the official Google Play Store, according to security researchers from Check Point.

Dubbed FalseGuide by the Check Point researchers, the malware creates a “silent botnet out of the infected devices” to deliver fraudulent mobile adware and generate ad revenue for cybercriminals.

Nearly 2 Million Android Users Infected!

While initially it was believed that the oldest instance of FalseGuide was uploaded to the Google Play in February and made its way onto over 600,000 devices within two months, further in-depth analysis by researchers revealed more infected apps which date back to November 2016.

“Since April 24, when the article below was first published, Check Point researchers learned that the FalseGuide attack is far more extensive than originally understood,” Check Point researchers wrote in a blog post.

“The apps were uploaded to the app store [Google Play Store] as early as November 2016, meaning they hid successfully for five months, accumulating an astounding number of downloads.”

Russian connection with FalseGuide

Check Point researchers discovered five additional apps containing the FalseGuide malware on Google Play Store, developed by “Anatoly Khmelenko” (translated from Russian Анатолий Хмеленко).

Also, the first batch of malicious apps was submitted under the Russian names of two fake developers, Sergei Vernik and Nikolai Zalupkin, which suggests the malware is of Russian origin.

FalseGuide attempts to turn infected devices into a botnet that could allow its operator to control the devices without the knowledge of the device owners.

Here’s How FalseGuide Works:

android-malware

While downloading to the victim’s phone, FalseGuide requests administrative permissions to the device in an attempt to avoid being deleted by the user.

The malware then registers itself with Firebase Cloud Messaging – a cross-platform messaging service that allows app developers to send messages and notifications.

Once subscribed to this service, FalseGuide can allow the attackers to send messages containing links to additional malware and install them to the infected device, enabling attackers to display illegitimate pop-up ads out of context and generate revenue.

Depending on their objectives, the attackers could also inject highly malicious code into an infected device to root it, conduct a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, or even penetrate private networks.

Google Removed the Malware hidden Apps, but are you Clean?

Check Point has provided a full list of malicious apps hiding FalseGuide, which posed as guides for FIFA Mobile, Criminal Case, Super Mario, Subway Surfers, Pokemon Go, Lego Nexo Knights, Lego City My City, Ninjago Tournament, Rolling Sky, Amaz3ing Spider-Man, Drift Zone 2, Dream League Soccer, and many more.

Check Point researchers notified Google about FalseGuide in February, after which the company silently removed the malware apps from the Play Store.

But despite being removed, the malicious apps are likely still active on a number of devices, leaving Android users open to cyber attacks.

“Mobile botnets are a growing trend since early last year, growing in both sophistication and reach,” CheckPoint said. “This type of malware manages to infiltrate Google Play due to the non-malicious nature of the first component, which only downloads the actual harmful code.”

How to Protect yourself against such Malware

There are standard protection measures you need to follow to remain unaffected:

  • Always download apps which are from trusted and verified developers and stick to trusted sources, like Google play Store and the Apple App Store.
  • Always verify app permissions before installing apps. If any app is asking more than what it is meant for, just do not install it.
  • Keep a good antivirus app on your device that can detect and block such malware before it can infect your device. Always keep the app up-to-date.
  • Do not download apps from third party source. Although in this case, the app is being distributed through the official Play Store, most often such malware are distributed via untrusted third-party app stores.
  • Avoid unknown and unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots and Keep your Wi-Fi turned OFF when not in use.
  • Be careful which apps you give administrative rights to. Admin rights are powerful and can give an app full control of your device.
  • Never click on links in SMS or MMS sent to your mobile phone. Even if the email looks legit, go directly to the website of origin and verify any possible updates.
Mohit Kumar - Hacking News
Entrepreneur, Hacker, Speaker, Founder and CEO — The Hacker News and The Hackers Conference.

Russian Ark – Русский ковчег Movie Review

The full movie may be watched here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B73twU6KjWHvT3Z4WnRuQWFsM28/view

Works on the google chrome browser, not sure about other browsers. Or you may download the entire 1080p version with English subtitles (by clicking on the upper right hand corner, down arrow). A cinematic masterpiece!

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL REVIEWS; All of Russian History, in One Glittery, Unbroken Take

Published: September 28, 2002

”Russian Ark” is a magnificent conjuring act, an eerie historical mirage evoked in a single sweeping wave of the hand by Alexander Sokurov. The 96-minute film, shot in high-definition video in the Hermitage at St. Petersburg, consists of one continuous, uninterrupted take. Thanks to recent technological innovation, it is the longest unbroken shot in the history of film. As the Steadicam operated by Tilman Büttner (the German cinematographer of ”Run Lola Run”) floats through the museum’s galleries and rooms, a cast of 2,000 actors and extras act out random, whimsical moments of Russian imperial history that dissolve into one other like chapters of a dream.

Mr. Sokurov, who has always been drawn to historical subjects, has said that he wanted to capture ”the flow of time” in a pure cinematic language that suggests ”a single breath.” And that’s what ”Russian Ark” accomplishes as it drops in on Russian monarchs from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and catches them living their lives unaware that they’re being observed. These keyhole flashes from the past evoke a sense of history that is at once intimate and distanced, and ultimately sad: so much life, so much beauty, swallowed in the mists of time.

”Russian Ark” is a ghost story set in the Hermitage, the museum that is the pride of St. Petersburg and the repository — the ark, if you will — of more Russian history and culture than any other place. Among its components are the Winter Palace (the former residence of the Russian czars) and sections devoted to Russian history and to the life and work of Alexander Pushkin. It also houses more than three million artifacts, including world-class collections of painting, sculptures, prints, drawings and archaeological finds.

The film is narrated in a thoughtful murmur by a contemporary artist who awakens to find himself lost in the 1800’s amid a jostling crowd pouring through a side entrance of the Hermitage. As he follows the flow, he catches sight of another out-of-place figure, the Marquis (Sergey Dreiden), a frizzy-haired 19th-century French diplomat dressed in black and the only person to acknowledge his presence. As the two strays wander through the galleries, they carry on a sporadic dialogue in which the Frenchman continually snipes at Russian culture for being pretentious, overly theatrical and more imitative of Europe than truly European.

Along the way they chance on upon Peter the Great beating one of his generals, and Catherine the Great breaking away from a rehearsal of her own play to search frantically for a place to relieve herself. The Marquis encounters the present-day director of the museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, and complains to him about the odor of formaldehyde. The Marquis, who has an uncanny sense of smell, also enjoys pressing his nose to an epic canvas to savor the smell of pigment. Later, he is shown around a gallery by a blind ”angel” who discourses on the iconography of a Van Dyck painting and on the artist’s relationship with Rubens.

In another, darker time warp, the Marquis strays through the wrong door and finds himself in a chilly outdoor workshop amid drifting snow, and listens dumbfounded to a description of 20th-century horrors that have yet to take place. The companions stray into an interminable ceremony in which the grandson of the Persian Shah, flanked by emissaries, formally apologizes to Nicholas I for the murder of Russian diplomats in Tehran.

The movie, which the New York Film Festival is showing this afternoon at Alice Tully Hall (it is to open commercially in December), culminates in what may well be the ne plus ultra of period cinematic pomp: a re-creation of the last great royal ball held at the Hermitage under Czar Nicholas II in 1913, shortly before the Bolshevik revolution. To the strains of Glinka, hundreds of glitteringly attired courtiers dance the mazurka to a live symphony orchestra (conducted by Valery Gergiev), then make their way down the grand staircase. By this time, the Marquis’s snobbery has dissipated, and when the time comes to leave, he is so enchanted that he chooses to remain in this opulent dreamland.

This ultimate display of wealth and privilege is so heady it would be easy to infer that Mr. Sokurov harbors a lingering nostalgia for the pre-revolutionary era of czars and serfs. But this extraordinary sequence even more powerfully evokes the historical blindness of an entitled elite blissfully oblivious to the fact that it is standing in quicksand that is about to give.

RUSSIAN ARK

Directed by Alexander Sokurov; written (in Russian, with English subtitles) by Anatoly Nikiforov and Mr. Sokurov; director of photography, Tilman Büttner; music by Sergey Yevtuschenko; production designers, Yelena Zhukova and Natalia Kochergina; produced by Andrey Deryabin, Jens Meurer and Karsten Stöter; released by Wellspring. Running time: 96 minutes. This film is not rated. Shown with a 15-minute short, Michael Bates’s ”Projectionist” today at 3 p.m. at Alice Tully Hall, 165 West 65th Street, Lincoln Center, as part of the 40th New York Film Festival.

WITH: Sergey Dreiden (the Marquis), Maria Kuznetsova (Catherine the Great), Leonid Mozgovoy (the Spy), Mikhail Piotrovsky (himself) and David Giorgobiani (Orbeli).

 

 

Very few scenes in ANY movie are scenes that “in themselves” have a self-contained point; the whole point of a “scene” is that it is part of a larger whole.
And the ‘larger whole’ of Russian Ark is not to self-aggrandize/spotlight the director, but rather is (at least) two-fold:
#1 — a presentation of the shift of moods and attitudes over 300 years of Russian history (particularly with regard to Russia’s self-image in relation to Europe)
#2 — a meditation on the nature of history itself, specifically as a *temporal* process.

Even had it used typical editing techniques, the film would have presented theme #1 very powerfully — in large part due to the dialogue between the two time travellers, to their semi-invisibility, and to the film’s great insight that anyone who studies history is (just like those two men) a kind of disoriented time traveller.

Regarding theme #2 — history and temporality — the form and the content of the film converge perfectly. For, the form of the film (the single continuous take) is essential for communicating the content of the film’s ideas on the nature of history: history in its reality is not what most history books present it to be, namely, a series of isolated incidents marked by definite cuts in between (cuts made by some invisible authorial mind). Rather, the course of human history is a continuous flow experienced from a first-person perspective and with no edits, a flow which (as good historians know) is extremely difficult to cut into distinct periods without great oversimplification.

Finally, as the form of the film reveals, especially in the brilliant closing scenes, we the observers are unavoidably *a part* of this continuous flow of history, simply as human beings. We are ourselves floating in the current of history (in our Arks), with no director to order our journey with edits and cuts, and without a clear sense of where we’re going or how to make sense of it all. We humans make history but history also makes us, and trying to grasp the details of what this means is — as it was for the time travellers floating from room to room and century to century — a task both disorienting and exhilarating.

The numerous tactics that narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths use to manipulate and silence you

Source: https://www.sott.net/article/348999-The-numerous-tactics-that-narcissists-sociopaths-and-psychopaths-use-to-manipulate-and-silence-you

Toxic people such as malignant narcissists, psychopaths and those with antisocial traits engage in maladaptive behaviors in relationships that ultimately exploit, demean and hurt their intimate partners, family members and friends. They use a plethora of diversionary tactics that distort the reality of their victims and deflect responsibility. Although those who are not narcissistic can employ these tactics as well, abusive narcissists use these to an excessive extent in an effort to escape accountability for their actions.

Here are the 20 diversionary tactics toxic people use to silence and degrade you.

1. Gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that can be described in different variations of three words: “That didn’t happen,” “You imagined it,” and “Are you crazy?” Gaslighting is perhaps one of the most insidious manipulative tactics out there because it works to distort and erode your sense of reality; it eats away at your ability to trust yourself and inevitably disables you from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment.

When a narcissist, sociopath or psychopath gaslights you, you may be prone to gaslighting yourself as a way to reconcile the cognitive dissonance that might arise. Two conflicting beliefs battle it out: is this person right or can I trust what I experienced? A manipulative person will convince you that the former is an inevitable truth while the latter is a sign of dysfunction on your end.

In order to resist gaslighting, it’s important to ground yourself in your own reality – sometimes writing things down as they happened, telling a friend or reiterating your experience to a support network can help to counteract the gaslighting effect. The power of having a validating community is that it can redirect you from the distorted reality of a malignant person and back to your own inner guidance.

2. Projection.

One sure sign of toxicity is when a person is chronically unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is known as projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.

While we all engage in projection to some extent, according to Narcissistic Personality clinical expert Dr. Martinez-Lewi, the projections of a narcissist are often psychologically abusive. Rather than acknowledge their own flaws, imperfections and wrongdoings, malignant narcissists and sociopaths opt to dump their own traits on their unsuspecting suspects in a way that is painful and excessively cruel. Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, they would prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. This is a way for a narcissist to project any toxic shame they have about themselves onto another.

For example, a person who engages in pathological lying may accuse their partner of fibbing; a needy spouse may call their husband “clingy” in an attempt to depict them as the one who is dependent; a rude employee may call their boss ineffective in an effort to escape the truth about their own productivity.

Narcissistic abusers love to play the “blameshifting game.” Objectives of the game: they win, you lose, and you or the world at large is blamed for everything that’s wrong with them. This way, you get to babysit their fragile ego while you’re thrust into a sea of self-doubt. Fun, right?

Solution? Don’t “project” your own sense of compassion or empathy onto a toxic person and don’t own any of the toxic person’s projections either. As manipulation expert and author Dr. George Simon (2010) notes in his book In Sheep’s Clothing, projecting our own conscience and value system onto others has the potential consequence of being met with further exploitation.

Narcissists on the extreme end of the spectrum usually have no interest in self-insight or change. It’s important to cut ties and end interactions with toxic people as soon as possible so you can get centered in your own reality and validate your own identity. You don’t have to live in someone else’s cesspool of dysfunction.

3. Nonsensical conversations from hell.

If you think you’re going to have a thoughtful discussion with someone who is toxic, be prepared for epic mindfuckery rather than conversational mindfulness.

Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gaslighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.

Spend even ten minutes arguing with a toxic narcissist and you’ll find yourself wondering how the argument even began at all. You simply disagreed with them about their absurd claim that the sky is red and now your entire childhood, family, friends, career and lifestyle choices have come under attack. That is because your disagreement picked at their false belief that they are omnipotent and omniscient, resulting in a narcissistic injury.

Remember: toxic people don’t argue with you, they essentially argue with themselves and you become privy to their long, draining monologues. They thrive off the drama and they live for it. Each and every time you attempt to provide a point that counters their ridiculous assertions, you feed them supply. Don’t feed the narcissists supply – rather, supply yourself with the confirmation that their abusive behavior is the problem, not you. Cut the interaction short as soon as you anticipate it escalating and use your energy on some self-care instead.

4. Blanket statements and generalizations.

Malignant narcissists aren’t always intellectual masterminds – many of them are intellectually lazy. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider a different perspective, they generalize anything and everything you say, making blanket statements that don’t acknowledge the nuances in your argument or take into account the multiple perspectives you’ve paid homage to. Better yet, why not put a label on you that dismisses your perspective altogether?

On a larger scale, generalizations and blanket statements invalidate experiences that don’t fit in the unsupported assumptions, schemas and stereotypes of society; they are also used to maintain the status quo. This form of digression exaggerates one perspective to the point where a social justice issue can become completely obscured. For example, rape accusations against well-liked figures are often met with the reminder that there are false reports of rape that occur. While those do occur, they are rare, and in this case, the actions of one become labeled the behavior of the majority while the specific report itself remains unaddressed.

These everyday microaggressions also happen in toxic relationships. If you bring up to a narcissistic abuser that their behavior is unacceptable for example, they will often make blanket generalizations about your hypersensitivity or make a generalization such as, “You are never satisfied,” or “You’re always too sensitive” rather than addressing the real issues at hand. It’s possible that you are oversensitive at times, but it is also possible that the abuser is also insensitive and cruel the majority of the time.

Comment: In this case the term ‘microaggressions’ would seem to be used appropriately!

Hold onto your truth and resist generalizing statements by realizing that they are in fact forms of black and white illogical thinking. Toxic people wielding blanket statements do not represent the full richness of experience – they represent the limited one of their singular experience and overinflated sense of self.

5. Deliberately misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings to the point of absurdity.

In the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath, your differing opinions, legitimate emotions and lived experiences get translated into character flaws and evidence of your irrationality.

Narcissists weave tall tales to reframe what you’re actually saying as a way to make your opinions look absurd or heinous. Let’s say you bring up the fact that you’re unhappy with the way a toxic friend is speaking to you. In response, he or she may put words in your mouth, saying, “Oh, so now you’re perfect?” or “So I am a bad person, huh?” when you’ve done nothing but express your feelings. This enables them to invalidate your right to have thoughts and emotions about their inappropriate behavior and instills in you a sense of guilt when you attempt to establish boundaries.

This is also a popular form of diversion and cognitive distortion that is known as “mind reading.” Toxic people often presume they know what you’re thinking and feeling. They chronically jump to conclusions based on their own triggers rather than stepping back to evaluate the situation mindfully. They act accordingly based on their own delusions and fallacies and make no apologies for the harm they cause as a result. Notorious for putting words in your mouth, they depict you as having an intention or outlandish viewpoint you didn’t possess. They accuse you of thinking of them as toxic – even before you’ve gotten the chance to call them out on their behavior – and this also serves as a form of preemptive defense.

Simply stating, “I never said that,” and walking away should the person continue to accuse you of doing or saying something you didn’t can help to set a firm boundary in this type of interaction. So long as the toxic person can blameshift and digress from their own behavior, they have succeeded in convincing you that you should be “shamed” for giving them any sort of realistic feedback.

6. Nitpicking and moving the goal posts.

The difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called “critics” often don’t want to help you improve, they just want to nitpick, pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can. Abusive narcissists and sociopaths employ a logical fallacy known as “moving the goalposts” in order to ensure that they have every reason to be perpetually dissatisfied with you. This is when, even after you’ve provided all the evidence in the world to validate your argument or taken an action to meet their request, they set up another expectation of you or demand more proof.

Do you have a successful career? The narcissist will then start to pick on why you aren’t a multi-millionaire yet. Did you already fulfill their need to be excessively catered to? Now it’s time to prove that you can also remain “independent.” The goal posts will perpetually change and may not even be related to each other; they don’t have any other point besides making you vie for the narcissist’s approval and validation.

By raising the expectations higher and higher each time or switching them completely, highly manipulative and toxic people are able to instill in you a pervasive sense of unworthiness and of never feeling quite “enough.” By pointing out one irrelevant fact or one thing you did wrong and developing a hyperfocus on it, narcissists get to divert from your strengths and pull you into obsessing over any flaws or weaknesses instead. They get you thinking about the next expectation of theirs you’re going to have to meet – until eventually you’ve bent over backwards trying to fulfill their every need – only to realize it didn’t change the horrific way they treated you.

Don’t get sucked into nitpicking and changing goal posts – if someone chooses to rehash an irrelevant point over and over again to the point where they aren’t acknowledging the work you’ve done to validate your point or satisfy them, their motive isn’t to better understand. It’s to further provoke you into feeling as if you have to constantly prove yourself. Validate and approve of yourself. Know that you are enough and you don’t have to be made to feel constantly deficient or unworthy in some way.

7. Changing the subject to evade accountability.

This type of tactic is what I like to call the “What about me?” syndrome. It is a literal digression from the actual topic that works to redirect attention to a different issue altogether. Narcissists don’t want you to be on the topic of holding them accountable for anything, so they will reroute discussions to benefit them. Complaining about their neglectful parenting? They’ll point out a mistake you committed seven years ago. This type of diversion has no limits in terms of time or subject content, and often begins with a sentence like “What about the time when…”

On a macrolevel, these diversions work to derail discussions that challenge the status quo. A discussion about gay rights, for example, may be derailed quickly by someone who brings in another social justice issue just to distract people from the main argument.

As Tara Moss, author of Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, notes, specificity is needed in order to resolve and address issues appropriately – that doesn’t mean that the issues that are being brought up don’t matter, it just means that the specific time and place may not be the best context to discuss them.

Don’t be derailed – if someone pulls a switcheroo on you, you can exercise what I call the “broken record” method and continue stating the facts without giving in to their distractions. Redirect their redirection by saying, “That’s not what I am talking about. Let’s stay focused on the real issue.” If they’re not interested, disengage and spend your energy on something more constructive – like not having a debate with someone who has the mental age of a toddler.

8. Covert and overt threats.

Narcissistic abusers and otherwise toxic people feel very threatened when their excessive sense of entitlement, false sense of superiority and grandiose sense of self are challenged in any way. They are prone to making unreasonable demands on others – while punishing you for not living up to their impossible to reach expectations.

Rather than tackle disagreements or compromises maturely, they set out to divert you from your right to have your own identity and perspective by attempting to instill fear in you about the consequences of disagreeing or complying with their demands. To them, any challenge results in an ultimatum and “do this or I’ll do that” becomes their daily mantra.

If someone’s reaction to you setting boundaries or having a differing opinion from your own is to threaten you into submission, whether it’s a thinly veiled threat or an overt admission of what they plan to do, this is a red flag of someone who has a high degree of entitlement and has no plans of compromising. Take threats seriously and show the narcissist you mean business; document threats and report them whenever possible and legally feasible.

9. Name-calling.

Narcissists preemptively blow anything they perceive as a threat to their superiority out of proportion. In their world, only they can ever be right and anyone who dares to say otherwise creates a narcissistic injury that results in narcissistic rage. As Mark Goulston, M.D. asserts, narcissistic rage does not result from low self-esteem but rather a high sense of entitlement and false sense of superiority.

The lowest of the low resort to narcissistic rage in the form of name-calling when they can’t think of a better way to manipulate your opinion or micromanage your emotions. Name-calling is a quick and easy way to put you down, degrade you and insult your intelligence, appearance or behavior while invalidating your right to be a separate person with a right to his or her perspective.

Name-calling can also be used to criticize your beliefs, opinions and insights. A well-researched perspective or informed opinion suddenly becomes “silly” or “idiotic” in the hands of a malignant narcissist or sociopath who feels threatened by it and cannot make a respectful, convincing rebuttal. Rather than target your argument, they target you as a person and seek to undermine your credibility and intelligence in any way they possibly can. It’s important to end any interaction that consists of name-calling and communicate that you won’t tolerate it. Don’t internalize it: realize that they are resorting to name-calling because they are deficient in higher level methods.

10. Destructive conditioning.

Toxic people condition you to associate your strengths, talents, and happy memories with abuse, frustration and disrespect. They do this by sneaking in covert and overt put-downs about the qualities and traits they once idealized as well as sabotaging your goals, ruining celebrations, vacations and holidays. They may even isolate you from your friends and family and make you financially dependent upon them. Like Pavlov’s dogs, you’re essentially “trained” over time to become afraid of doing the very things that once made your life fulfilling.

Narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise toxic people do this because they wish to divert attention back to themselves and how you’re going to please them. If there is anything outside of them that may threaten their control over your life, they seek to destroy it. They need to be the center of attention at all times. In the idealization phase, you were once the center of a narcissist’s world – now the narcissist becomes the center of yours.

Narcissists are also naturally pathologically envious and don’t want anything to come in between them and their influence over you. Your happiness represents everything they feel they cannot have in their emotionally shallow lives. After all, if you learn that you can get validation, respect and love from other sources besides the toxic person, what’s to keep you from leaving them? To toxic people, a little conditioning can go a long way to keep you walking on eggshells and falling just short of your big dreams.

11. Smear campaigns and stalking.

When toxic types can’t control the way you see yourself, they start to control how others see you; they play the martyr while you’re labeled the toxic one. A smear campaign is a preemptive strike to sabotage your reputation and slander your name so that you won’t have a support network to fall back on lest you decide to detach and cut ties with this toxic person. They may even stalk and harass you or the people you know as a way to supposedly “expose” the truth about you; this exposure acts as a way to hide their own abusive behavior while projecting it onto you.

Some smear campaigns can even work to pit two people or two groups against each other. A victim in an abusive relationship with a narcissist often doesn’t know what’s being said about them during the relationship, but they eventually find out the falsehoods shortly after they’ve been discarded.

Toxic people will gossip behind your back (and in front of your face), slander you to your loved ones or their loved ones, create stories that depict you as the aggressor while they play the victim, and claim that you engaged in the same behaviors that they are afraid you will accuse them of engaging in. They will also methodically, covertly and deliberately abuse you so they can use your reactions as a way to prove that they are the so-called “victims” of your abuse.

The best way to handle a smear campaign is to stay mindful of your reactions and stick to the facts. This is especially pertinent for high-conflict divorces with narcissists who may use your reactions to their provocations against you. Document any form of harassment, cyberbullying or stalking incidents and always speak to your narcissist through a lawyer whenever possible. You may wish to take legal action if you feel the stalking and harassment is getting out of control; finding a lawyer who is well-versed in Narcissistic Personality Disorder is crucial if that’s the case. Your character and integrity will speak for itself when the narcissist’s false mask begins to slip.

12. Love-bombing and devaluation.

Toxic people put you through an idealization phase until you’re sufficiently hooked and invested in beginning a friendship or relationship with you. Then, they begin to devalue you while insulting the very things they admired in the first place. Another variation of this is when a toxic individual puts you on a pedestal while aggressively devaluing and attacking someone else who threatens their sense of superiority.

Narcissistic abusers do this all the time – they devalue their exes to their new partners, and eventually the new partner starts to receive the same sort of mistreatment as the narcissist’s ex-partner. Ultimately what will happen is that you will also be on the receiving end of the same abuse. You will one day be the ex-partner they degrade to their new source of supply. You just don’t know it yet. That’s why it’s important to stay mindful of the love-bombing technique whenever you witness behavior that doesn’t align with the saccharine sweetness a narcissist subjects you to.

As life coach Wendy Powell suggests, slowing things down with people you suspect may be toxic is an important way of combating the love-bombing technique. Be wary of the fact that how a person treats or speaks about someone else could potentially translate into the way they will treat you in the future.

13. Preemptive defense.

When someone stresses the fact that they are a “nice guy” or girl, that you should “trust them” right away or emphasizes their credibility without any provocation from you whatsoever, be wary.

Toxic and abusive people overstate their ability to be kind and compassionate. They often tell you that you should “trust” them without first building a solid foundation of trust. They may “perform” a high level of sympathy and empathy at the beginning of your relationship to dupe you, only to unveil their false mask later on. When you see their false mask begins to slip periodically during the devaluation phase of the abuse cycle, the true self is revealed to be terrifyingly cold, callous and contemptuous.

Genuinely nice people rarely have to persistently show off their positive qualities – they exude their warmth more than they talk about it and they know that actions speak volumes more than mere words. They know that trust and respect is a two-way street that requires reciprocity, not repetition.

To counter a preemptive defense, reevaluate why a person may be emphasizing their good qualities. Is it because they think you don’t trust them, or because they know you shouldn’t? Trust actions more than empty words and see how someone’s actions communicate who they are, not who they say they are.

14. Triangulation.

Bringing in the opinion, perspective or suggested threat of another person into the dynamic of an interaction is known as “triangulation.” Often used to validate the toxic person’s abuse while invalidating the victim’s reactions to abuse, triangulation can also work to manufacture love triangles that leave you feeling unhinged and insecure.

Malignant narcissists love to triangulate their significant other with strangers, co-workers, ex-partners, friends and even family members in order to evoke jealousy and uncertainty in you. They also use the opinions of others to validate their point of view.

This is a diversionary tactic meant to pull your attention away from their abusive behavior and into a false image of them as a desirable, sought after person. It also leaves you questioning yourself – if Mary did agree with Tom, doesn’t that mean that you must be wrong? The truth is, narcissists love to “report back” falsehoods about others say about you, when in fact, they are the ones smearing you.

To resist triangulation tactics, realize that whoever the narcissist is triangulating with is also being triangulated by your relationship with the narcissist as well. Everyone is essentially being played by this one person. Reverse “triangulate” the narcissist by gaining support from a third party that is not under the narcissist’s influence – and also by seeking your own validation.

15. Bait and feign innocence.

Toxic individuals lure you into a false sense of security simply to have a platform to showcase their cruelty. Baiting you into a mindless, chaotic argument can escalate into a showdown rather quickly with someone who doesn’t know the meaning of respect. A simple disagreement may bait you into responding politely initially, until it becomes clear that the person has a malicious motive of tearing you down.

By “baiting” you with a seemingly innocuous comment disguised as a rational one, they can then begin to play with you. Remember: narcissistic abusers have learned about your insecurities, the unsettling catchphrases that interrupt your confidence, and the disturbing topics that reenact your wounds – and they use this knowledge maliciously to provoke you. After you’ve fallen for it, hook line and sinker, they’ll stand back and innocently ask whether you’re “okay” and talk about how they didn’t “mean” to agitate you. This faux innocence works to catch you off guard and make you believe that they truly didn’t intend to hurt you, until it happens so often you can’t deny the reality of their malice any longer.

It helps to realize when you’re being baited so you can avoid engaging altogether. Provocative statements, name-calling, hurtful accusations or unsupported generalizations, for example, are common baiting tactics. Your gut instinct can also tell you when you’re being baited – if you feel “off” about a certain comment and continue to feel this way even after it has been expanded on, that’s a sign you may need to take some space to reevaluate the situation before choosing to respond.

16. Boundary testing and hoovering.

Narcissists, sociopaths and otherwise toxic people continually try and test your boundaries to see which ones they can trespass. The more violations they’re able to commit without consequences, the more they’ll push the envelope. That’s why survivors of emotional as well as physical abuse often experience even more severe incidents of abuse each and every time they go back to their abusers.

Abusers tend to “hoover” their victims back in with sweet promises, fake remorse and empty words of how they are going to change, only to abuse their victims even more horrifically. In the abuser’s sick mind, this boundary testing serves as a punishment for standing up to the abuse and also for going back to it. When narcissists try to press the emotional reset button, reinforce your boundaries even more strongly rather than backtracking on them.

Remember – highly manipulative people don’t respond to empathy or compassion. They respond to consequences.

17. Aggressive jabs disguised as jokes.

Covert narcissists enjoy making malicious remarks at your expense. These are usually dressed up as “just jokes” so that they can get away with saying appalling things while still maintaining an innocent, cool demeanor. Yet any time you are outraged at an insensitive, harsh remark, you are accused of having no sense of humor. This is a tactic frequently used in verbal abuse.

The contemptuous smirk and sadistic gleam in their eyes gives it away, however – like a predator that plays with its food, a toxic person gains pleasure from hurting you and being able to get away with it. After all, it’s just a joke, right? Wrong. It’s a way to gaslight you into thinking their abuse is a joke – a way to divert from their cruelty and onto your perceived sensitivity. It is important that when this happens, you stand up for yourself and make it clear that you won’t tolerate this type of behavior.

Calling out manipulative people on their covert put-downs may result in further gaslighting from the abuser but maintain your stance that their behavior is not okay and end the interaction immediately if you have to.

18. Condescending sarcasm and patronizing tone.

Belittling and degrading a person is a toxic person’s forte and their tone of voice is only one tool in their toolbox. Sarcasm can be a fun mode of communication when both parties are engaged, but narcissists use it chronically as a way to manipulate you and degrade you. If you in any way react to it, you must be “too sensitive.”

Forget that the toxic person constantly has temper tantrums every time their big bad ego is faced with realistic feedback – the victim is the hypersensitive one, apparently. So long as you’re treated like a child and constantly challenged for expressing yourself, you’ll start to develop a sense of hypervigilance about voicing your thoughts and opinions without reprimand. This self-censorship enables the abuser to put in less work in silencing you, because you begin to silence yourself.

Whenever you are met with a condescending demeanor or tone, call it out firmly and assertively. You don’t deserve to be spoken down to like a child – nor should you ever silence yourself to meet the expectation of someone else’s superiority complex.

19. Shaming.

“You should be ashamed of yourself” is a favorite saying of toxic people. Though it can be used by someone who is non-toxic, in the realm of the narcissist or sociopath, shaming is an effective method that targets any behavior or belief that might challenge a toxic person’s power. It can also be used to destroy and whittle away at a victim’s self-esteem: if a victim dares to be proud of something, shaming the victim for that specific trait, quality or accomplishment can serve to diminish their sense of self and stifle any pride they may have.

Malignant narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths enjoy using your own wounds against you – so they will even shame you about any abuse or injustice you’ve suffered in your lifetime as a way to retraumatize you. Were you a childhood abuse survivor? A malignant narcissist or sociopath will claim that you must’ve done something to deserve it, or brag about their own happy childhood as a way to make you feel deficient and unworthy. What better way to injure you, after all, than to pick at the original wound? As surgeons of madness, they seek to exacerbate wounds, not help heal them.

If you suspect you’re dealing with a toxic person, avoid revealing any of your vulnerabilities or past traumas. Until they’ve proven their character to you, there is no point disclosing information that could be potentially used against you.

20. Control.

Most importantly, toxic abusers love to maintain control in whatever way they can. They isolate you, maintain control over your finances and social networks, and micromanage every facet of your life. Yet the most powerful mechanism they have for control is toying with your emotions.

That’s why abusive narcissists and sociopaths manufacture situations of conflict out of thin air to keep you feeling off center and off balanced. That’s why they chronically engage in disagreements about irrelevant things and rage over perceived slights. That’s why they emotionally withdraw, only to re-idealize you once they start to lose control. That’s why they vacillate between their false self and their true self, so you never get a sense of psychological safety or certainty about who your partner truly is.

The more power they have over your emotions, the less likely you’ll trust your own reality and the truth about the abuse you’re enduring. Knowing the manipulative tactics and how they work to erode your sense of self can arm you with the knowledge of what you’re facing and at the very least, develop a plan to regain control over your own life and away from toxic people.

Shahida Arabi is the author of the book POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse, available here.

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