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Monsanto’s Dirty Dozen

When you take a moment to reflect on the history of product development at Monsanto, what do you find? Here are twelve products that Monsanto has brought to market. See if you can spot the pattern…

saccharin

#1 – Saccharin

Did you know Monsanto got started because of an artificial sweetener? John Francisco Queeny founded Monsanto Chemical Works in St. Louis, Missouri with the goal ofproducing saccharin for Coca-Cola. In stark contrast to its sweet beginnings, studies performed during the early 1970s,* including a study by the National Cancer Institute in 1980, showed that saccharin caused cancer in test rats and mice.

After mounting pressure from consumers, the Calorie Control Council, and manufacturers of artificial sweeteners and diet sodas, along with additional studies (several conducted by the sugar and sweetener industry) that reported flaws in the 1970s studies, saccharin was delisted from the NIH’s Carcinogen List. A variety of letters from scientists advised against delisting; the official document includes the following wording to this day: “although it is impossible to absolutely conclude that it poses no threat to human health, sodium saccharin is not reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen under conditions of general usage as an artificial sweetener.” (*Read the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s History of Saccharin here.)

pcbs

#2 – PCBs

During the early 1920s, Monsanto began expanding their chemical production into polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to produce coolant fluids for electrical transformers, capacitors, and electric motors. Fifty years later, toxicity tests began reporting serious health effects from PCBs in laboratory rats exposed to the chemical.

After another decade of studies, the truth could no longer be contained: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report citing PCBs as the cause of cancer in animals, with additional evidence that they can cause cancer in humans. Additional peer-reviewed health studies showed a causal link between exposure to PCBs and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a frequently fatal form of cancer.

In 1979, the United States Congress recognized PCBs as a significant environmental toxin and persistent organic pollutant, and banned its production in the U.S.  By then Monsanto already had manufacturing plants abroad, so they weren’t entirely stopped until the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants banned PCBs globally in 2001.

And that’s when Monsanto’s duplicity was uncovered: internal company memos from 1956 surfaced, proving that Monsanto had known about dangers of PCBs from early on.

In 2003, Monsanto paid out over $600 million to residents of Anniston, Alabama, who experienced severe health problems including liver disease, neurological disorders and cancer after being exposed to PCBs — more than double the payoff that was awarded in the case against Pacific Gas & Electric made famous by the movie “Erin Brockovich.”

 

And yet the damage persists: nearly 30 years after PCBs have been banned from the U.S., they are still showing up in the blood of pregnant women, as reported in a 2011 study by the University of California San Francisco; while other studies are indicating a parallel between PCBs and autism.

polystyrene-749803

#3 – Polystyrene

In 1941, Monsanto began focusing on plastics and synthetic polystyrene, which is still widely used in food packaging and ranked 5th in the EPA’s 1980s listing of chemicalswhose production generates the most total hazardous waste.

#4 – Atom bomb and nuclear weapons

Shortly after acquiring Thomas and Hochwalt Laboratories, Monsanto turned this division into their Central Research Department. Between 1943 to 1945, this department coordinated key production efforts of the Manhattan Project—including plutonium purification and production and, as part of the Manhattan Project’s Dayton Project, techniques to refine chemicals used as triggers for atomic weapons (an era of U.S. history that sadly included the deadliest industrial accident).

#5 – DDT

In 1944, Monsanto became one of the first manufacturers of the insecticide DDT to combat malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Despite decades of Monsanto propaganda insisting that DDT was safe, the true effects of DDT’s toxicity were at last confirmed through outside research and in 1972, DDT was banned throughout the U.S.

dioxin_chart

This chart illustrates how much dioxin an average American consumes per day

#6 – Dioxin

In 1945, Monsanto began promoting the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture with the manufacture of the herbicide 2,4,5-T (one of the precursors to Agent Orange), containing dioxin. Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that since become known as one of the “Dirty Dozen” — persistent environmental pollutants that accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals. In the decades since it was first developed, Monsanto has been accused of covering up or failing to report dioxin contamination in a wide range of its products.

anh-trang-nhan-hoi-anh-orphanage

#7 – Agent Orange

During the early 1960s, Monsanto was one of the two primary manufacturers of Agent Orange, an herbicide / defoliant used for chemical warfare during the Vietnam War. Except Monsanto’s formula had dioxin levels many times higher than the Agent Orange produced by Dow Chemicals, the other manufacturer (which is why Monsanto was the key defendant in the lawsuit brought by Vietnam War veterans in the United States).

(Pictured at left, Anh and Trang Nhan, with their father, when they first arrived at the Hoi An Orphanage; below are the same brothers shortly before Trang’s death. Source: Kianh Foundation Newsletter, Dec. 2011)

agent-orange-boys-orphanage

As a result of the use of Agent Orange, Vietnam estimates that over 400,000 people were killed or maimed, 500,000 children were born with birth defects, and up to 1 million people were disabled or suffered from health problems—not to mention the far-reaching impact it had on the health of over 3 million American troops and their offspring.

agent-orange-children-at-tudu-hospital-in-ho-chi-minh-city

Internal Monsanto memos show that Monsanto knew of the problems of dioxin contamination of Agent Orange when it sold it to the U.S. government for use in Vietnam. Despite the widespread health impact, Monsanto and Dow were allowed to appeal for and receive financial protection from the U.S. government against veterans seeking compensation for their exposure to Agent Orange.

In 2012, a long 50 years after Agent Orange was deployed, the clean-up effort has finally begun. Yet the legacy of Agent Orange, and successive generations of body deformitieswill remain in orphanages throughout VietNam for decades to come.

(Think that can’t happen here? Two crops were recently genetically engineered to withstand a weedkiller made with one of the major components of Agent Orange, 2,4-D, in order to combat “super weeds” that evolved due to the excessive use of RoundUp.)

pesticide-spray-resized

8 – Petroleum-Based Fertilizer

In 1955, Monsanto began manufacturing petroleum-based fertilizer after purchasing a major oil refinery. Petroleum-based fertilizers can kill beneficial soil micro-organisms, sterilizing the soil and creating a dependence, like an addiction, to the synthetic replacements. Not the best addiction to have, considering the rising cost and dwindling supply of oil…

roundup-ready-crops

#9 – RoundUp

During the early 1970s, Monsanto founded their Agricultural Chemicals division with a focus on herbicides, and one herbicide in particular: RoundUp (glyphosate). Because of its ability to eradicate weeds literally overnight, RoundUp was quickly adopted by farmers. Its use increased even more when Monsanto introduced “RoundUp Ready” (glyphosate-resistant) crops, enabling farmers to saturate the entire field with weedkiller without killing the crops.

While glyphosate has been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide and is widely used,concerns about its effects on humans and the environment persist. RoundUp has been found in samples of groundwater, as well as soil, and even in streams and air throughout the Midwest U.S., and increasingly in food. It has been linked to butterfly mortality, and the proliferation of superweeds. Studies in rats have shown consistently negative health impacts ranging from tumors, altered organ function, and infertility, to cancer and premature death; click here to find countless study references to support these statements.

#10 – Aspartame (NutraSweet / Equal)

An accidental discovery during research on gastrointestinal hormones resulted in a uniquely sweet chemical: aspartame. During the clinical trials conducted on 7 infant monkeys as part of aspartame’s application for FDA approval, 1 monkey died and 5 other monkeys had grand mal seizures—yet somehow aspartame was still approved by the FDA in 1974. In 1985, Monsanto acquired the company responsible for aspartame’s manufacture (G.D. Searle) and began marketing the product as NutraSweet. Twenty years later, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report listing 94 health issues caused by aspartame. (Watch a quick video here.)

rbgh-cows

#11 – Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)

This genetically modified hormone was developed by Monsanto to be injected into dairy cows to produce more milk. Cows subjected to rBGH suffer excruciating pain due to swollen udders and mastitis, and the pus from the resulting infection enters the milk supply requiring the use of additional antibiotics. rBGH milk has been linked to breast cancercolon cancer, and prostate cancer in humans.

canola-fields-resized1

#12 – Genetically Modified Crops / GMOs

In the early 1990s, Monsanto began gene-splicing corn, cotton, soy, and canola with DNA from viruses and bacteria in order to achieve one of two traits: an internally-generated pesticide (the corn or soy causes the insect’s stomach to rupture if they eat it), or an internal resistance to Monsanto’s weedkiller RoundUp (enabling farmers to drench their field with RoundUp to kill ever-stronger weeds).

Despite decades of promises that genetically engineered crops would “feed the world” with “more nutrients,” drought resistance, or yield, the majority of Monsanto’s profits are from seeds that are engineered to tolerate Monsanto’s RoundUp—providing them with an ever-increasing, dual income stream as weeds continue to evolve resistance to RoundUp.

Most sobering however, is that the world is once again buying into Monsanto’s “safe” claims.

Just like the early days of PCBs, DDT, Agent Orange, Monsanto has successfully fooled the general public and regulatory agencies into believing that RoundUp, and the genetically modified crops that help sell RoundUp, are “safe.” Despite the fact that NO human testing has ever been done on GMO crops!

Meanwhile, Monsanto has learned a thing or two in the past 100+ years of defending its dirty products: these days, when a new study shows the negative health or environmental impacts of GMOs, Monsanto attacks the study and its scientist(s) by flooding the media with counter claims from “independent” organizations, scientists, industry associations, blogs, sponsored social media, and articles by “private” public relations firms—all endorsed, founded, funded or maintained by Monsanto.

Unfortunately, few of us take the time to trace the members, founders, and relationships of these seemingly valid sources back to their little Monsanto secret. (Read more on this page.)

Fooling the FDA required a slightly different approach: click on the below chart compiled byMillions Against Monsanto to see how many former Monsanto VPs and legal counsel are now holding positions with the FDA. And don’t forget Clarence Thomas, former Monsanto attorney who is now a Supreme Court Justice, ruling in favor of Monsanto in every case brought before him.

monsanto-fda

A Baker’s Dozen: #13 – Terminator Seeds

In the late 1990s, Monsanto developed the technology to produce sterile grains unable to germinate. The goal of these “Terminator Seeds” was to force farmers to buy new seeds from Monsanto year after year, rather than save and reuse the seeds from their harvest as they’ve been doing throughout centuries.

Fortunately this technology never came to market. Instead, Monsanto managed to accomplish the same thing by requiring farmers to sign a binding contract agreeing that they will not save or sell seeds from year to year, which forces them to buy new seeds and preempts the need for a “terminator gene.” Lucky for us… since the terminator seeds were capable of cross-pollination and could have contaminated local non-sterile crops.

eating-junk-food-resized

What’s the Result of our Monsanto Legacy?

Between 75% to 80% of the processed food you consume every day has GMOs inside, and residues of Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide outside. But it’s not just processed food—fresh fruit and vegetables are next: genetically engineered sweet corn is already being sold at your local grocer, with apples and a host of other “natural” produce currently in field trials.

How is it that Monsanto is allowed to manipulate our food after such a dark product history? How is it they are allowed to cause such detrimental impact to our environment and our health?

According to the Organic Consumers Association, “There is a direct correlation between our genetically engineered food supply and the $2 trillion the U.S. spends annually on medical care, namely an epidemic of diet-related chronic diseases.

Instead of healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, and grass-fed animal products, U.S. factory farms and food processors produce a glut of genetically engineered junk foods that generate heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer—backed by farm subsidies—while organic farmers receive no such subsidies.

Monsanto’s history reflects a consistent pattern of toxic chemicals, lawsuits, and manipulated science. Is this the kind of company we want controlling our world’s food supply?

P.S. Monsanto’s not alone. Other companies in the “Big Six” include Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a subsidiary of DuPont), Syngenta AGDow Agrosciences (a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, BASF (which is primarily a chemical company that is rapidly expanding their biotechnology division), and Bayer Cropscience (a subsidiary of Bayer). The websiteBiofortified.org maintains a complete list of companies doing genetic engineering.

Follow GMO Awareness on Facebook.

Sources for the above embedded links:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Monsanto_Company.aspx
http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/28-1-the-pursuit-of-sweet.aspx?page=1
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/79474992/Re-Long-Term-Feeding-of-Sodium-Saccharin-to-Nonhuman-Primates
http://www.fas.org/ota/reports/7702.pdf
http://www.caloriecontrol.org/
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/artificial-sweeteners
http://www.cspinet.org/new/saccharin_delisted.html
http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twelfth/appendices/AppendixB.pdf
http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/28-1-the-pursuit-of-sweet.aspx
http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/33934/0000201.pdf;jsessionid=548799C31BFC89F058CEE9744E9790C4?sequence=1
http://www.greenfacts.org/en/pcbs/l-2/5-effects-animal.htm
http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/tsd/pcbs/pubs/effects.htm
http://www.foxriverwatch.com/monsanto2a_pcb_pcbs.html
http://worldwide.typepad.com/schoolhouse/2003/08/monsanto_optimi.html
http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/01/8371/ucsf-study-identifies-chemicals-pregnant-women
http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastetypes/pdfs/listing-ref.pdf
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ac50124a019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Project
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton_Project
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_Disaster
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/
http://www.hoianfoundation.org/images/NEWSLETTER%2011_06.pdf
http://www.thejournal.ie/agent-orange-clean-up-launched-in-vietnam-decades-after-war-ends-551652-Aug2012/
http://aaronjoelsantos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Agent-Orange-in-Vietnam/G0000t29aKsEmLSM
http://www.demotix.com/news/1299101/agent-orange-children-tudu-hospital-ho-chi-minh-city#media-1297827
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_26067.cfm
http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/24d-captan/24d-ext.html
http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/green-guide/buying-guides/fertilizer/environmental-impact/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22101424
http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/jan10/scientists_find_negative_impacts_of_GM_crops.php
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/31/us-glyphosate-pollution-idUSTRE77U61720110831
http://www.pages.drexel.edu/%7Els39/peer_review/losey1.htm
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/05/superweeds-a-long-predicted-problem-for-gm-crops-has-arrived/257187/
http://gmo-awareness.com/all-about-gmos/gmo-risks/
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ygreen/sc_ygreen/storytext/eightwaysmonsantoisdestroyingourhealth/40903884/SIG=114jsp1h4/*http://www.dorway.com/badnews.html#symptoms
http://www.psr.org/chapters/oregon/assets/pdfs/rbghs-harmful-effects-on.pdf
http://www.motherearthnews.com/happy-homesteader/GMOs-rBGH-milk-zboz10zkon.aspx#axzz2PjlPXLfa
http://gmo-awareness.com/all-about-gmos/gmo-defined/
http://grist.org/article/food-2010-10-06-court-rules-on-rbgh-free-milk/
http://www.cof.orst.edu/cof/teach/agbio2009/Readings%202009/Parodi%20Dairy%20Cancer%20rGBH%20J%20Am%20Coll%20Nutrition%202005.pdf
http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/general/milk.htm
http://www.yourhealthbase.com/milk_cancer.htm
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-03/monsanto-raises-forecast-as-profit-tops-estimates-on-corn-seed.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/us-agriculture-weeds-idUSBRE8491JZ20120510
http://gmo-awareness.com/all-about-gmos/gmo-fda/
http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_use_restriction_technology
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/studies-show-gmos-in-majority-of-us-processed-foods-58-percent-of-americans-unaware-of-issue-104510549.html
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-04/news/ct-met-gmo-sweet-corn-20120804_1_sweet-corn-food-allergies-patty-lovera
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ygreen/sc_ygreen/storytext/eightwaysmonsantoisdestroyingourhealth/40903884/SIG=11hilmku0/*http://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/ob258.htm
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Source:

GMO Awareness

Underworld

The main threat to humanity from Starlink and OneWeb satellites

In just four launches, the private space company SpaceX became the operator of the largest satellite constellation in Earth orbit, and there are plans to increase the number of vehicles by 175 times. This fact makes us wonder what man-made “constellations” are in the near future for mankind. Oddly enough, the primary problem is not a potential nearby space littering, but vulnerability to cybercriminals.

The main goal of projects such as Starlink (SpaceX, USA), OneWeb (United Kingdom), Kuiper (Amazon, USA) is to provide broadband Internet access around the globe. Each orbital constellation will differ in composition and some characteristics of data transmission systems, however, they are all fundamentally similar. These are relatively inexpensive (the order of prices is hundreds of thousands of dollars excluding launch) and small (weighing 100-300 kilograms) spacecraft (SC) operating, in contrast to existing satellite communications systems, in a low circular orbit (200-1200 kilometers) or orbits.

The low cost of each individual spacecraft (and, accordingly, of the entire project as a whole) is determined by the use of industrial components, which are mass-produced, as well as by conveyor assembly of satellites. Moreover, each of these products has its own propulsion system (for changing the orbit and orientation), a solar panel and a unit of several transceivers. Starlink satellites, for example, will completely communicate with each other via a laser beam, but so far the first phase of orbiters (240 pieces) is dispensed with.

In an ideal situation, everything looks great: you buy a budget terminal for yourself (the expected cost is up to a thousand dollars) and you can watch YouTube, read Wikipedia and download torrents absolutely everywhere (of course, only with Linux distributions). However, the devil was hidden in the details – because we do not live in an ideal world. And this was recently told by Phys.org, or rather, one of the authors of the subsidiary project The Conversation. This portal is intended for scientists, university professors and students so that they can express opinions, analyze and post their articles. Each material must be checked by professional journalists and more experienced members of the community.

Having collected a huge amount of information available in open sources, William Akoto came to the conclusion that the main threat to people and organizations using the services of such satellite communication providers are hackers. If Starlink, OneWeb and other projects have achieved at least most of the claimed characteristics, their audience will grow like an avalanche. Such Internet can be very profitable and convenient in the open sea, remote regions, as well as on airplanes and even in large cities at facilities where an alternative communication line cannot be temporarily or permanently drawn.

One of the key advantages of all such “constellations” of satellites in low orbit – low signal delay – may interest several types of very important customers at once. Firstly, these are infrastructure facilities and utilities in cases where data from them must be obtained promptly. Secondly, it’s the military, which will quickly “try out” the ability to control, for example, drones in real time (the signal lag is less than 100 milliseconds), and not as it is now available with a delay of 0.5-4 seconds, or even more. Thirdly, if the signal delays can be reduced to the promised minimum, Starlink and its competitors will become a very likely tool for traders and financial organizations, and this is money, a lot of money.

The problem with all these satellites lies in their main advantage – cheapness. Manufacturing companies save and will save on everything, which means that not the most obvious issue of cybersecurity may “fall under the knife”. If we add to this the electronic components of mass production, which are relatively easy to find and study, it turns out that hackers have all the cards on hand. Attackers are given the opportunity to analyze targets in such detail as it has never been possible for spacecraft.
And the most dangerous thing is the lack of a legislative base and normative acts concerning this issue. Who will be responsible for the overlooked vulnerability due to which hackers broke into several satellites and displaced them from orbit? if the criminals intercepted the traffic with the help of an extraterrestrial data exchange node and received important information, or even access to the country’s infrastructure facilities, how will responsibility be distributed in this case?

The problem with cybersecurity can manifest itself at all stages of the production process of projects such as Starlink and OneWeb. The use of mass electronic components, but not custom-made or in-house, leaves the opportunity for the contractor to add backdoors (“back doors”) to the design. The same goes for software, and almost to a greater extent.
These are not far-fetched situations: in the recent history of mankind there is already at least one confirmed hacker attack on a satellite. In 1999, attackers were able to remotely infiltrate the internal network of the Goddard Space Flight Center and gained access to computers responsible for monitoring the ROSAT X-ray orbital observatory. It is not known whether this happened intentionally or not, but cybercriminals experimented with various commands to the spacecraft and ultimately disabled it.

As a solution, one can propose the introduction of international standards for the creation and management of private satellite constellations and more stringent certification of such projects. Undoubtedly, Starlink, Kuiper and OneWeb are advanced technologies that are almost certainly good. However, along with progress, risks, sometimes serious ones, always keep pace. This is not a reason to abandon a bright future with Internet access from anywhere in the world, but a number of measures must be taken so that it is not overshadowed by the catastrophic consequences of rash decisions.

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Underworld

CIA spied on the governments of 120 countries for many years using a cryptosystem

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States and West German intelligence have seen secret messages from governments in more than 120 countries with the help of the famous Swiss company Crypto AG, which has earned millions by selling its devices to many states.

According to a joint investigation by The Washington Post and the German broadcaster ZDF , Crypto AG, a Swiss communications encryption firm, secretly worked with the CIA and West German intelligence. For many years, the company sold devices to foreign governments to spy on messages that its users considered encrypted.

Journalists talked about the details of a multi-year agreement that allowed the United States and its allies to gain access to encryption equipment shipped to more than 120 countries in the 21st century. Crypto’s customers were Iran, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Syria and even the Vatican. At the same time, the Soviet Union, and later Russia, as well as China, have never been clients of Crypto. A CIA report said that US intelligence read up to “80-90 percent of the Iranian government’s reports.”

The authorities of the countries using Crypto devices to protect their communications did not know that they were designed specifically so that Western intelligence officers could easily crack codes used by foreign governments to send messages. During the operation, first known as Thesaurus and then Rubicon, the CIA regularly intercepted secret correspondence, with the help of which it informed the American administration about global military operations, hostage crises, killings and bombings.

“It was a reconnaissance coup of the century,” the CIA report said, one of the documents received by The Washington Post and ZDF as part of their investigation. “Foreign governments did not know that they paid good money to the USA and West Germany for the privilege that their most secret messages were read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign countries,” the document says.

Crypto AG was founded by a native of Russia Boris Hagelin, who fled to Sweden after the October Revolution of 1917. He arrived in the United States in 1940 and offered the U.S. Army an M-209 encryption machine, which was less complex and voluminous, like the famous Nazi Enigma. The Pentagon became the first customer of the company founded by Hagelin in Switzerland, having purchased 140 such machines for its needs. After Hagelin created a more advanced cryptosystem in 1955, the American authorities, according to journalists, made a deal with him, which ultimately led to the start of Operation Thesaurus. In cars sold to foreign countries, intelligence officers began to place bookmarks that allowed reading information of interest to Western intelligence.

Journalists managed to gain access to the CIA report of 2004, the company itself suspended operations in 2018, since its services, taking into account the rapid growth of closed communication systems and protection technologies, were not in demand.

The Swiss government has officially opened an investigation into Crypto, according to Swissinfo, the International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. The general export license for Crypto devices was suspended “until the circumstances of the investigation are clarified.”

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Underworld

How do the media violate our right to mental independence?

One of the most important human needs in the 21st century is the right to mental independence, because every day our brain undergoes more and more intensive and frequent manipulations in the interests alien to our individuality.

Deafening advertisements and intrusive propaganda represent the most undisguised and shameless aggression against the human mind, which used to be the sacred refuge of the person’s self, and now has turned into a showroom, chaotically filled with political debates, carbonated and alcoholic products, cigarettes, cars, clothes of famous companies , cosmetics, gorgeous beaches, gorgeous women, investment tips, pornography – that is, entertainment and consumerism.

Television not only breaks into our brains, but also disturbs domestic peace, aggressively raining pictures of sex, violence, sadism, perversions, vulgarity and vulgar tearfulness on us, and only rare films and cultural programs are free from this.

On the other hand, our mental abilities are negatively affected by a high level of acoustic and environmental pollution, which fragmentes and weakens our brain, opening it for external influences.

Our mind is cleverly manipulated to get certain goods to buy, or to opt for certain political leaders, popular singers, television programs, social magazines, or ways to invest money.

The creation of artificial needs is an attempt on the right of free choice, carried out with the help of advertising, which quietly penetrates our brain at an unconscious level and forces us to do something that we never really wanted. This is done only for profit.

The gross manipulation of people’s behavior through the media, forcing them to accept what they in their right mind would probably refuse, is a serious violation of ethics.

In democratic countries, citizens are not obliged to meekly agree with what is imposed on them by authoritarian and unethical methods, dutifully tolerate a lack of publicity in judicial decisions, and passively bear the burden of excessive and unknown taxes.

Nevertheless, the whole world is subject to direct or indirect mental manipulations, the purpose of which is to subordinate citizens to someone’s dark interests.

People are convinced by acting on their subconscious:

– Take loans at predatory interest and feel happy to have the “privilege” from year to month to increase the capital of creditors.

– Hate the rich and despise the poor.

– Imitate the absurd patterns of behavior that promote television and film.

– To commit crimes, like movie heroes, reaching sado-masochism.

– Immerse yourself in rampant consumerism.

– Blindly imitate famous artists, musicians, characters of soap operas, vulgar and vulgar.

– Worship false values.

– Follow the implanted bad taste and rude farce.

– Follow herd behavior and become an obedient consumer.

– It is thoughtless to accept any norms under pressure of authority, no matter how contradictory or unfair they may be.

– Passively accept everything that is approved in the media.

You can endlessly give examples of manipulating the minds of people, since we are constantly confronted with this.

The principle of democracy – a government for the people – turns out to be perverted and trampled on, because people’s minds do not belong to them, but to the media and their owners.

The freedom of mental choice is violated at the root. Here is a statement by Karl Popper about the danger that television carries:

“A consequence of the principle of mass culture is that the public is offered programs of an ever worse quality that she likes, as they are seasoned with“ pepper, spices and flavor enhancers, ”such as violence, sex, sensuality … More and more spicy seasonings are added to food, to hide its deteriorating quality. The addition of salt and pepper allows you to swallow the inedible … Many criminals openly admit that it was television that inspired them to commit a crime. The power of television has become so great that it threatens democracy. No democracy can survive without putting an end to the abuse of power by television. Today this abuse is obvious. ”

What does the outstanding philosopher mean when he speaks of the abuse of power by television?

It is a legal (nonetheless immoral) invasion of people’s minds that directs them to violence, vulgarity, consumerism, acceptance of negative values ​​and real grotesque.

Abuses of the media are a form of ideological terrorism against humanity. They should be subject to strict control by the ethics council, which proposes the creation of Popper.

Television pounces on a person like a night robber on a victim, with incredible force invading the minds of children and adults and turning the freedom of choice of ideas into a romantic relic of the past.

Controlling people’s minds has become a great business today. Anyone with enough money can launch an advertising campaign and influence consumer behavior, which, in accordance with the prevailing economic system, is considered highly desirable, as it allows you to increase sales and make a profit.

However, the dilemma remains: how moral are such actions, since we are inclined to consume not only goods, but also values ​​and ideas. People are constantly “brainwashed” in order to direct their behavior into a channel that is beneficial to certain groups.

Even in ancient times, ambitious individuals found that managing someone else’s will can become an inexhaustible source of power. Unfortunately, there is no other way to defend against this kind of capture, except for strict control over your own mind.

The contradiction is that people obey the false and changeable opinion of “Her Majesty the crowd”, which is formed not by a bright mind, but comes, as a rule, from a group of ambitious people who use the crowd as an unconscious tool. Due to their authority, popularity or oratory, they have an undivided influence on the crowd, who are not aware of the true motives of such leaders.

Based on materials: Dario Salas Sommer. 21st Century Morale

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