A Rose By Any Other Name

FTLComm - Tisdale - January 17, 2001
There are so many forms of deception that we must deal with and a good deal of it of our own making. As you look at the two pictures on this page your perception of these scenes is determined from your personal experiences and/or what this story might tell you to set the scene. As Shakespeare told the tragic story of the feuding Montigues and Capulets he has Juliet ask us "what is in a name?" Unfortunately, what works for Shakespeare and those two star crossed lovers has been the grist for advertising and what some refer as "psycho-babble".

During the passionate and turbulent times that followed the first world war writer George Orwell attempted to explain to his readers the dangers of letting language loose and allowing the betrayal of reality with convoluted terminology. His warnings were never heeded but rather used by many as a textbook of discrete In his book 1984 he describes the life of a tortured wretch who toils at rewriting history so this it will conform to the views of the present day and the way the establishment was determining how people were to think of things. Very serious stuff.

During the Korean conflict the Chinese decided that one means of deterring the United States from using its horrific nuclear arsenal would be to have American prisoners of war declare that they had participated in dropping biological bombs on the North Korean population. It was astonishing to see that these trained and professional American serviceman recited condemning testimony of their government having committed unspeakable crimes and that they had participated in this activity. The methods used by the Chinese became known as "Brainwashing."

The process, studied by psychologists and in various experiments has been easily replicated. Researchers found out that the main elements that could alter a person's fundamental beliefs were not that hard to create and could be accelerated by sleep deprivation, a mutual supportive culture and pavollovian positive re-enforcement of stimulus and response behaviours. The corporations of the later part of the twentieth century began using some of these techniques with devastating results. Here in Saskatchewan, government agencies, SGI, SaskTel, SaskPower and WCB all tried out the technique and were encouraged by the politicians to use what is now outlawed behaviour modification programmes called "Social engineering".

So brainwashing has dynamically evolved from the crude but effective means used by the Chinese during the early fifties to the modern implementation of the very things Orwell warned of in his book 1984. During the Christmas period I and others condemned the behaviour of businesses as they dressed themselves up as charitable organisations or at least supporters of charitable causes for simple advertising and public relations plots. But, the fact is that I and others who have condemned these practices are just to nice, to polite and to forgiving to really point fingers and declare the outrageous and immoral behaviour by corporations as they plunder the use of words and rape the minds of their employees.

It is not really possible to be to harsh on this practice because condemnation of clear and deliberate attempts to misrepresent and deceive the public is an issue that deserves the most serious criticism possible. Fooling around with people's minds and their good will is wrong, dead wrong and it is time we recognised what is going on.

If you have ever applied for a bank loan or for credit from any business you will discover the malicious and ugly presence of outright lying. I realise that using the word lying is an emotionally laden charge and yet to disguise the misrepresentation of behaviour and action as some little advertising gimmick that we should expect, would in itself, be dishonest. No, banks and credit offering companies are out and out liars. The claims are that they are "helping" the customer. Their employees are providing customers with "services". They even give their people job titles and descriptions that suggest they are actually corporate social workers. All of this is a bare faced lie.

The facts are that banks and other lending companies operate to make money, they are in business, their goal is to make a profit. Providing the customer with service, helping people, and financial counselling are not, NOT, what they do, or are intending to do. It is what they say they are doing but they are lying. If they were helping the customer then why do they charge interest, if they serving the customer, why are there service charges, if they are counselling the customer why is the counselling to their benefit? The point must be made loud and clear that they are in business and they know that the public is repelled by the remarkably high profits these companies make and so they lie about what they are doing.

When you go to take out a loan or fill out a credit application you are simply agreeing to pay the company money for the use of money. They are not doing you a favour, they are doing business with you, it is a purchase of the use of their money and to describe that transaction in the terms used by the bank and lending agencies employees as "help", "services" or "counsell" is a lie.

The harshest criticism must be reserved for the treatment of the employees of lending institutions. These people depend upon their employer for the money to support themselves and their families and in return for those wages they will and are asked to deny reality, lie and say things that are not and never have been true. But these people will do this, they will commit mental prostitution over and over day after day to preserve their job and earn a living. The institutions know this and to ease the pain they give them titles that make it look like they are not in the money grubbing business. They give them dialogues to use with customers that cheapens and demeans them as living thinking rational people. They will babble these phrases about helping the customer, serving them and helping them meet their obligations and completely set aside their personal morals and scruples, they have no choice if they wish to continue earning a living in that environment.

Our society has always been quick to condemn and vilify those people who sell their bodies for sex, we all look upon this as degrading and our criminal courts frequently treat people who harm prostitutes with undue leniency. The Regina men who beat and murdered a Regina prostitute did a few years in prison and have been released, tut, tut, tut. The reason I mention this issue is that we need to consider the relatively minor issue of a person bartering their bodies to make a living yet we consider it just "business" for people to barter their minds and their intellect, to set aside their morals and their honest use of words to earn a living. The next time you are ushered into the "customer service representative's" office let the alarm bells go off you are about to deal with a mental prostitute.

Brainwashing that is truly effective will have the individual willing to live and die for the cause, they will argue on behalf of the unjust cause and be willing to suffer for what they have incorporated into their belief system. If you are a bank employee and read this piece you should be outraged at anyone having the nerve to attack the world of financial institutions and you will argue convincingly and with complete conviction, saying that you help people. You know full well that help means extending assistance, with out expectation of remuneration or repayment, yet the interest that your bank charges will be disregarded by you as well as all the other service charges, you will dismiss these as appropriate while still going about your business claiming that you are "helping." It is understandable when someone lies to others, but it is self destructive when you mislead and lie to yourself.


Timothy W. Shire