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The Making of Sheep—Repost
Since I am new to Substack I tend to fumble around with it while trying to figure it out. So I sent out the “Making of Sheep” incorrectly. I am starting over. If you have already read this, there is nothing different in it. I did have a reader suggest another psych experiment that is VERY compelling, so here is the link to read about that one. Thank you Sanjoy for your contribution! So…here is the article, and again I apologize for my Substack newbie-ness. I’ll figure it out. Please help support this newsletter with a paid subscription! I am planning on making it worth your while (and $$$)…be a part of the cause and this community! Lots of discussion here, and other goodies. So, without further ado, here is a repost of the article…
Back in the day when university psychological experiments were not considered unethical, two very informative studies took place. One at Yale and one at Stanford, the latter was conducted using hungry and financially desperate college students; the Yale study used paid participants ($4.00 and 50¢ for transportation) recruited from the local New Haven area. Each experiment today would be considered highly unethical. But what the hell, no one then seemed to care much.
Most of you have probably heard of these experiments. The first, at Yale, simply took the name of the psychology professor who devised it (Stanley Milgram), “The Milgram Shock Experiment” and the second, at Stanford, took the name of the University that hosted it, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” conducted by Stanford psychology professor, Philip Zimbardo. Both of these experiments shed light on the current psychology phenomena of “sheepism.” (Please don’t take offence at my labels here, read my article “Sheep and Shrew” for some explanation).
The third influence I will comment on in this article is what is commonly referred to as “The Stockholm Syndrome.” There are other factors as well that fill out this current assessment, one of them, Mattias Desmet’s “mass formation psychosis,” I touch on in my recent article, “Enraged.”
Dr. Mark McDonald also has some fascinating ideas regarding the “making of sheep,” read his wonderful articles on his own Substack (click here) and/or buy his fascinating book “United States of Fear.” Mark is a prominent psychiatrist in Los Angeles—he clearly knows his stuff.
So let me start by giving a brief explanation of these experiments, and what the “Stockholm Syndrome” actually is. In 1961 Stanley Milgram created an experiment with the hopes of shedding some light on the Nazi’s willingness to commit the atrocities of World War II. His experiment took place only months after the Israeli trial of Adolf Eichmann, whose primary defense was, “I was only following orders.” Milgram was curious to know if this could possibly be true—if humans could commit what they knew was wrong (primarily the infliction of pain on another human being) simply because authority pressured them to do so.
The basic layout of the experiment was this: there were three participants, two were part of the deception, and one was a volunteer from the outside world—the subject. The two “insiders” were the “learner” and the “experimenter.” The “learner” was someone supposedly strapped to a chair receiving electric shocks whenever he/she got an answer wrong on a “test” he or she (the subjects could be either male or female) was ordered to take. The subject of the experiment (the person hired, who didn’t know this was an experiment), who was called the “teacher” by Milgram, was told to administer an electric shock to the “learner” when he/she answered wrong. The shocks ranged from 15 volts to 450 volts, and the machine the “teacher” was looking at while administering the shock had a label that said “Danger, Severe Shock” on the 450 volt notch. Needless to say no one was shocked, the voltage machine was a prop and completely harmless. Of course the subject operating it didn’t know this. See this for more detail on the experiment.
The results of the experiment showed that 65% of the subjects reached the 450-volt mark. They were willing to “shock” the “learner” with a dangerous and severe jolt. (Of course, keep in mind, no one actually got shocked.) They were apparently all reluctant, but they all did it anyway (the 65%) all the while hearing blood curdling screams from the “learner” and being prompted relentlessly to pull the trigger on each increment of voltage by the “experimenter.” 100% of the subjects reached 300 volts (65% all the way up). That’s pretty high. Let that sink in, 100% of the subjects administered 300 volts to the “learner” until turning away (30% or so) the remaining 65% went all the way.
The “experimenter” was indeed persuasive, saying, “you must go on, you have no choice” and other compelling prompts. A few of the subjects got angry and said “no way, I’m out of here” (or something similar) and left, but, as said, ALL of them went up to 300 volts, and a third of them to the highest “severe shock” level.
What does this mean?
You can draw many conclusions from this experiment, which has been repeated many times around the world with the same basic results. For my purposes here, the experiment shows an important ingredient for the making of sheep—obedience to authority (check out Milgram’s book, “Obedience to Authority” for more information). But we are all subject to the persuasion of authority, why are only sheep affected? That I cannot tell you. According to Milgram, we are all responsive to this sort of pressure (well, a percentage of us will not go all the way). What makes normies (a nicer term for sheep) more susceptible to the influence of authority is only answered through an assessment of more integrating factors, and some general speculation—read on for more insight.
Zimbardo’s Stanford experiment is a bit more frightening. In 1971 Philip Zimbardo, a professor of psychology at Stanford University (and a high school chum of Stanley Milgram) embarked on the selection of male participants from among the students of Stanford for his prison experiment. After a psychological assessment was made with each participant, Zimbardo randomly selected which would be guards and which would be prisoners. The rest is self-explanatory. A makeshift prison was constructed in the basement of the psychology building at Stanford. Guards and his prisoners were then set loose to behave however they chose to behave (within a few set rules). Although over the years a lot of criticism was generated when several students spoke out about the experience. This criticism included Zimbardo’s own participation in the experiment, essentially guiding the participants to behave in certain ways to guarantee the outcome Zimbardo was looking for.
Regardless of whether these criticisms were true, the results of the experiment were chilling. Guards became masochistic and inhumanly cruel, whereas the prisoners became seriously depressed, angry, and despondent—all that you would expect from anyone who was cruelly detained and treated as inhuman. No one was physically abused, as there were certain rules in place, but the prisoners were treated harshly and psychologically traumatized. The transition of the guards from normal and stable college students to practically psychopathic individuals finding pleasure in the emotional torture of fellow students is the most surprising results in this experiment. Zimbardo’s conclusions were that humans are not typically born either good or bad, but the environment holds a huge influence on evil or benevolent behaviour. Zimbardo says in his subsequent book The Lucifer Effect:
I challenge the traditional focus on the individual’s inner nature, dispositions, personality traits, and character as the primary and often the sole target in understanding human failings. Instead, I argue that while most people are good most of the time, they can be readily seduced into engaging in what would normally qualify as ego-alien deeds, as antisocial, as destructive of others. That seduction or initiation into evil can be understood by recognizing that most actors are not solitary figures improvising soliloquies on the empty stage of life. Rather, they are often in an ensemble of different players, on a stage with various props and changing costumes, scripts, and stage directions from producers and directors.
What could be a more enlightening quotation with regard to our current situation? What we are seeing in our culture now is not organic or naturally occurring without intentional intervention. Rather it is manipulated through propaganda, lies, and more than likely a deeply evil agenda. We are victim to “stage directions from producers and directors.” But again, the question arises, why are some of us immune to this stage direction? The rift between sheep and shrew is deep and absolute. There are very few who could be defined as “sort of sheep” or “sort of shrew.” I am hoping to God I am wrong here, but in my experience that seems to be the case. Yes, I am sure there are a few on the fence, but not many. And the ones who are not on the fence are deeply polarized. This goes for both sides.
If following Mattias Desmet’s “mass form psychosis” (see “Enraged”) there is an isolation criterion that is important to factor in. But I believe Desmet is speaking of psychological isolation, not necessarily physical isolation. We see this as well in Orwell’s classic 1984 where the citizenry is often crowded together in large masses, but are clearly isolated psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Even Zimbaro gives similar criteria for the effects of his experiment to manifest:
“There are seven social processes that grease ‘the slippery slope of evil.’”
· Mindlessly taking the first small step
· Dehumanization of others
· De-individuation of self (anonymity)
· Diffusion of personal responsibility
· Blind obedience to authority
· Uncritical conformity to group norms
· Passive tolerance of evil through inaction or indifference
Need I say more?
The last psychological ingredient for sheep making is not an experiment per se but an observation. This odd phenomenon has been labeled “The Stockholm Syndrome” where a captive individual or group of individuals begin to favour their captors, i.e., side with them, empathize with them, and in general succumb to their authority voluntarily. Some psychologists believe this tendency can be traced back to primal times many thousands of years ago where a captured tribe was more likely to survive if they were accommodating rather than aggressively resistant. Maybe, who knows? A few criteria has to be met in these situations as well, such as no harm from the captors can occur, the captor and captive spend time in the same space (the captive(s) cannot be isolated) and some substantial time has to pass where the captive is held.
To apply this syndrome to the normie situation is a bit of a stretch, but in a mass perspective it does make sense. The primary deviation from the definition of the syndrome is that in our sheep case the captives do not know they are prisoners—sort of. At least they don’t perceive their imprisonment as negative. But maybe Stockholm Syndrome victims get to a point where they really don’t consider their situation as negative either. Many have had the opportunity to escape (if held as in a kidnapping) and they don’t take that opportunity to free themselves. Our rights, globally, are definitely being challenged, if not overtly taken away. Most sheep-type people I know simply do not care, they recognize that they may be limited (obviously with lockdowns, mask mandates, social distancing etc.), but they see these limitations as necessary (or temporary). At first they believed they were necessary for public health, now I don’t think they even believe that, but simply comply because they are “told to.”
So let’s put this all together. It seems there are many scientific, psychological, possibilities here for people on that (normie/sheep) side of the fence to be affected. Not all of them are perfect explanations, primarily because what we are experiencing is a one-of-a-kind experience—nothing to this scale has ever taken place, and although authoritarian regimes have existed in human history with the purpose of brainwashing the masses, there has never been a global entity or entities who have attempted this. We also have never had the sophisticated technology to not only prime us for the great reset, but to also carry it out. This is the perfect storm.