John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight began showing Catheter Cowboy commercials this week to educate Donald Trump about affairs. This article originally ran in Smashpipe on Jan. 7, 2016.
By Tony Sokol
Al Qaeda names Trump de facto host of their upcoming recruitment telethon.
The Donald Trump brand is a great seller. Here in America, he’s the guy who puts his name in gold letters on everything he owns. We’ve seen the guy sell parking spaces, office space, casinos, a couple of TV shows that do really well in ratings, though I haven’t seen any. Nothing against Trump, on that at least, I just can’t stomach reality TV. Countries like Laos and Estonia know Trump from late night senior citizen ads where he puts on spurs as the Urbane Catheter Cowboy. There is a rumor going around that Trump’s booking agency got a call to be a kind of Ronald McDonald for The State of Islam.
ISIS, I heard some drunk guys in ties slur at some Madison Avenue bar, wants Donald to use that recognizable orange plumage he dons, as iconic as Harpo Marx’s bright red or blond wigs, as the face of America in their promo ads. Donald Trump is something of a celebrity in the Middle East already. Al Qaeda’s Somalia branch featured highlights from Trump’s Muslim outreach program in his bid for the United States Presidency in their latest recruitment videos.
Trump supporter Hillary Clinton, who he’s probably shilling for anyway, leaked advance notice of the PR campaign when she floated pre-marketing rumors that the videos were already available for free on Crackle. But Trump actually debuted in a jihadist recruitment video released by the militant group Shabab. The news was first reported by The New York Times, so the right wing will dismiss it as liberal media propaganda. How did the New York Times get branded as the most liberal media America has to offer, anyway? When I think of liberal media, I think of The Mole, The Village Voice , Daily KOs or other, smaller papers. The New York Times always appeared to be the bastion of the traditional journalistic trade. That doesn’t conjure visions of liberalism. That tag was pinned on The New York Times through the brainwashing of propaganda.
So according to the Times, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are going head to head in the ratings and February Sweeps are faster than a dust storm in the desert. They are both gearing up for their telethon for cash and recruits from radicalized Muslims.
The video shows Trump glad-handing historical African-American Muslims like Malcolm X, while recounting the proud tradition of racial relations between cops and blacks in America. The video is 51 minutes long, which makes it more of an infomercial than an actual ad, as is being. Trump’s people would love to see the former Celebrity Apprentice host move from short form TV ads like the Catheter Cowboy to long form ads like ScalpMad.
So what do Al Qaeda and the Islamic State bring to the table? They recently split over creative differences and are now competing for radicalized Muslims. They have both amped up the violence, culminating in horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali. The two groups generate a large cult following, but really have not moved to the masses. A very small percentage of people who identify as Muslim subscribe to the violence of the radical groups. But Al Qaeda and ISIS have generated a lot of talk on social media and they employ great marketing minds who really know their audience.
Marketing is brainwashing in many ways. Smashpipe reached out to top New York City hypnotist Elena Beloff, an expert in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, also known as NLP, to explain why these audiences respond so well to the use of subliminal methodology in the recruitment videos. Elena said history has shown occurrences of people being be so deeply brainwashed by propaganda that they would change their nature “over and over.”
“The jihadists groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS use social media and videos to recruit young men and women for their cause in the fight against the western world,” Elena began. “For propaganda or any mass influence to work you have to push specific buttons in humans. For example, you can figure out what the person or a group is yearning for or what they are hurting about.”
That sounds like something out of the old classic novel of sociopathic strategy, The Prince. Political movements have gotten hooked on less just to keep trains running.
“Machiavellian strategy of influence is about figuring what the person or a group desires, then giving it to them and suddenly withdrawing it, creating their dependence on you, kind of like a drug,” Beloff explained. “Sociopaths are good at it. They are good at finding their victims, figuring out their soft vulnerable spots, feeding them with what they want and withdrawing.
“Jihadists groups, though, use something different. They precisely push your grievances buttons: you being unaccepted by something or someone, or discriminated against because of your skin color or race or religion. They reinforce your grievance, reminding you of your disempowerment. Then they propose two things: their support and acceptance and ultimately a way to empower yourself by, let’s say, giving your life in the fight of this ‘injustice.’”
Elena pointed to one of the recruitment postings reported by The New York Times that are readily accessible online.
“The latest video released by militant group Shabab cites ‘historical injustices’ against African-Americans, including police brutality and racial profiling,” Beloff explained. “This video urges people to convert to Islam and engage in jihad at home or abroad.
“In the video the leader says ‘Yesterday, America was a land of slavery, segregation, lynching and Ku Klux Klan, and tomorrow, it will be a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps,’” Beloff continued. “Then they show Trump proposing a ban on Muslim immigrants. Obviously the video is targeted on those who already have brooding grievances.
“Obviously, it’s misleading, this is propaganda,” she concluded.
Elena pointed out that is propaganda is very much like hypnosis. The entrancing expert previously spoke to Smashpipe about how hypnotic methodology is second nature to candidates on the campaign trail.
“Hypnosis is a form of communication that allows a bypass of a critical thinking and establishment of selective thinking,” she explained. “Propaganda is a form of communication, often biased or misleading in nature, aimed at influencing and altering the attitude of a population toward some cause, position or political agenda in an effort to form a consensus to a standard set of belief patterns.
“So, the only difference is that propaganda is aimed at masses and its message is often misleading. Hypnosis however is a bit broad, it can aim for individuals and masses and the message can also be positive and for the benefit of person or a group of people like in clinical hypnosis, for example.”
The difference between the kind of hypnosis most people are familiar with and the techniques used in this kind of propaganda is that the ISIS promos have “one clear message and use words, images or sounds and push emotional buttons to create a state of receptivity to this message.”
If the Pepsi Challenge taught us anything, it is that Americans are very open to advertising. This raises the concern that western audiences might understand the same kinds of emotional response that disaffected Middle Easterners are susceptible to.
“Yes, those western audiences that are of Muslim origin probably can understand the nature of these grievances, like not being accepted by the non-Muslim western world. But I don’t think they see non-Muslim westerners as enemies in the same way Middle East sees,” Elena soothed.
“Young men or women in the middle east interpret the so called ‘half-truths’ of the west with respect to Islam as absolute truths. Maajid Nawaz, the author of the book Islam and the Future of Tolerance which he co-authored with Sam Harris, points out that the half-truths are very hard to debunk because they are not lies. So, what the Middle sees is the occasional burning of Koran, or drone strikes and Muslims dying in Libya, Iraq and Palestine, tortures in Guantanamo Bay. These are the are the real things that happened and that’s how the young mind in Middle east gets convinced by cherry-picking the evidence. But they do not see the other side of the story, that it’s the U.S. Army that defended and saved Muslims in Kosovo, and that it’s the U.S. media that exposed torture in the prisons of Iraq, and that it’s the American lawyers who are attempting to get Guantanamo Bay to shut down.
“So what I see is that Trump’s occasional seemingly anti-Muslim excerpts from his speeches reinforce these half-truths and make the Middle East convinced more and more that the U.S. hates them, which is not true.”
Trump was an international name before he threw his baseball cap into the political ring, giving weight to a much wider audience of Muslims than might normally notice the promos. The hypnotist calmed worries that anything in the Islamic mind-set makes them more open to the persuasive techniques in the State of Islam videos.
“The only thing that could make young men open to these videos is the grievances that come from the state of being disempowered,” Elena observed. “Grievances based on the lack of acceptance or sometimes cease of the seeming over-domination of the western world, which can make them feel inferior and therefore want to retaliate and rebel.”
“The only thing that makes them open now is that they have real grievances,” Elena cautioned. “Grievances based on the lack of acceptance or sometimes the seeming over-domination of the western world, they feel inferior because of that and at some point it made them want to retaliate and rebel.
“This grew into a big power struggle and wanting to fight. Because if you really think about Islam as a religion, it was a pretty peaceful religion for hundreds of years, many poets have come out of it, great art and music. However at some point it became as some would say ‘violent.’ Something must have happened to trigger this grievance.”
If a grievance can be tapped so effectively to spur violent act, there must be a real danger that we are seeing the beginnings of a new franchise. Smashpipe had spoken earlier to Elena in a piece on Manchurian Candidates. The film Manchurian Candidate detailed how someone can be programmed against their will through a series of extended sessions of coercion, including trauma, drugs and hypnosis. But that only happens in movies, right. It doesn’t seem possible to hypnotize someone to be a killer.
“In a clinical hypnosis setting yes,” Elena said. “But no decent hypnotist would want to do it, because it means a law suit, jail and is just really a bad thing to do. But technically I am sure it could be possible if the right techniques were used over a period of a long time and the right target was chosen.
“The easy target would be a vulnerable person, prone to some emotional dependence or transference with a therapist. I haven’t heard any decent therapist using hypnotic techniques for such malicious purposes. However someone who studies these techniques and has sociopathic tendencies and is mentally disturbed could probably find someone to influence to commit such horrible acts. In fact we see it done over and over at least in those investigative docuseries on television.”
The popular consensus says that there needs to be something in a person’s makeup that allows them to be hypnotized to be lethally violent, but it is difficult to know what lurks in the depths of someone’s personality.
“I think a person can be influenced to kill, especially if they have grievances, like past unresolved issues of abuse,” Beloff said. “This usually creates anger and resentment that needs an outlet. For some it becomes becoming violent and abusive to others. I have seen over and over in the 12 years of my practice, how abused clients revealed that their abuser, be it father, mother or uncle, was actually abused by their father mother or uncle, so it is like a chain of abuse, that doesn’t stop.”
But almost anyone can feel part of a chain of abuse in some way. It doesn’t have to be a personal relationship. It can be a person’s relationship with society. Does that mean anyone can be hypnotized to be a killer?
“I don’t think so,” Beloff surmised. “People with grievances and unresolved anger and resentment are more prone yes. The alternative is to heal your grievance with spiritual, meditative and therapeutic practices and work on oneself. But not everyone is open to it especially when there so much anger and resentment. That’s pretty much what’s happening in a global scale, more anger and resentment, as one side keeps abusing another and then it goes back and forth.”
Smashpipe wanted to know what it was about Donald Trump that made him so effective a spokesperson for the recruitment of terrorists.
“First of all he is not a spokesperson,” Elena groaned, “because he was never officially hired to do that and he is clearly not a spokesperson for this type of ideology. We know he doesn’t believe in this ideology. Second of all, his lines were simply stolen and used in the video to reinforce jihadists’ ideology. And finally, no one really knows how effective these videos are. I don’t think there is any evidence yet on any numbers of people recruited since the video came out. In fact, I think the more attention given to these videos on a world state, the less effective they will become. They are a joke now.
“As far as Trump, he speaks what he thinks, he rarely filters his thoughts, gets a bit ‘gossipy’ like a school girl, evoking unpleasant or as he would say ‘disgusting’ images in the audiences’ minds with regards to his opponents, like bathroom comments or shlonging or Lewinski’s reminders. This can backfire on him. If I were him, I would dial down his radical responses with regards to Islam and become more moderate in his rhetoric and stop using off-putting comments about other politicians, because the latter bears zero class.”
Sounds like someone wants to influence Trump.
Elena Beloff is married now and practices under the name Elena Mosaner at Hypnocloud.