Is Perception, in and of itself deception? Do we believe because of the way we perceive the world?

Deception is almost always a component of manipulation. And manipulators are some of the most skilled liars in the world. They’ve taken lying to a whole new level, making it almost an art form. Manipulators do more than just mislead you about their true identities. They also mislead you as to what they’re up to and why.

Both manipulation and deception are intertwined concepts in the human psyche. Disturbed characters can go to extremes when it comes to their disregard for the truth. It’s as if they despise the truth. It’s a hindrance. And, because getting their way is so important to them, they resort to deception to make it happen. That’s the essence of covert aggression.

People can be deceived in many ways, from the large to the small and the cruel to the kind. Lying is a common form of deception, in which a person intentionally states something that is false in order to mislead others.

Even those who profess to value truthfulness can be deceitful from time to time. Many studies have shown that the average person lies numerous times each day. These lies can be big, like “I’ve never cheated on you!” or small, like “That dress looks fine,” but they’re often used as a way of avoiding awkward situations or protecting someone else’s feelings.

This trust is essential to every aspect of society, from romantic relationships to government. It’s always doomed to fail. Most people assume that others are telling the truth in their communications and dealings because the truth is so crucial to our human endeavor which relies on a shared understanding of reality. Liars face severe social repercussions in nearly every society.

It’s a fascinating concept and one that has undoubtedly fueled the so-called “march of progress” in society and the material world.

This epistemic system, however, has a serious flaw at its core: it assumes that an acculturated human being can and will view the world around him with virgin or unbiased eyes, which is a false assumption.

When we open our eyes, the number of things we can see is practically infinite, but we can only see a small fraction of them at any given time. For the line of sight to be effective, it must focus on a small group of objects and ignore everything else. To put it another way, we can’t see one thing without obscuring our vision of other things.

In the same way, hearing one sound means not hearing others, seeing one thing means not seeing the other… It’s not enough to have our organs of sight and the visible object side by side, as they are always sandwiched between other things that are equally visible, for us to see.

We need to guide the student toward this object but keep it away from everyone else. To see, in a nutshell, one must concentrate. The act of focusing, on the other hand, is a kind of pre-­seeing before the seeing. Accordingly, it appears that every vision requires a pre-vision, which is not the product of either pupil or object, but rather another pre-existing faculty charged with directing the eyes and exploring the surroundings, known as attention.

Hence, the neutrality and breadth of focus that we humans are presumed to be capable of having as participants in the empiricist paradigm of modernity are never reached because human perceptions in a given moment are always mediated by previous and often quite personal cognitive, vital and sensorial experiences.

We should always keep in mind that many, if not most, descriptions of reality that are presented to us as exemplars of reality writ large are simply symbolic placeholders, or proxies, for the real thing.

Unfortunately, it appears that few policymakers and even fewer doctors today heed the advice of the Spanish philosopher about the importance of engaging in what would later be called “critical reflexivity,” or the ability to honestly assess the inevitable flaws and blind spots found within their daily labors’ phenomenological frame.

In fact, we see much the opposite: a growing tendency among both political and scientific insiders, and from there, the general public to both naively presume the panoptic nature of the scientific gaze, and to imbue self-evidently partial or even purely theoretical “proofs” with the same evidentiary weight as results obtained in much more broadly designed trials with significant real-world outcomes.

Is this all a little perplexing? An example might be helpful in this regard.

When it comes to disinformation, the term “fake news” has only recently been coined; however, the practice of distributing deliberately false information has long existed. Holocaust denial was a staple of Nazi messaging, as was the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes to further the regime’s agenda. Fake news, including doctored videos, can be created and spread quickly on the internet, putting the onus on the reader to double-check their sources. Experts advise people to be skeptical of all information, especially if it’s unexpected, and to always verify the credibility of news sources before believing it.

In order to achieve one’s educational goals, one must put one’s mind through a series of rigorous exercises that challenge one’s thinking and expand one’s horizons.

While watching the commercial enterprise known as college sports on television, we are frequently informed of the high graduation rates achieved by some coaches at some universities. The announcers use these graduation rates to emphasize the fact that the athletes you see on your television are enrolled in school and pursuing their education, which is the stated goal of the University.

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As a result, we could say that the graduation rate serves as a proxy for the idea that athletes at those institutions are receiving a lot of education.

What if that isn’t the case? What if the institution, aware of how much money a strong athletic team can bring to it, sets up graduation processes for athletes that only touch on activities that are generally recognized as educational, but are nonetheless beneficial to the institution? There are many examples where this is the case, and we would have to conclude that an athletic program’s graduation rate is a largely meaningless indicator of educational progress.

How Deception is Manipulated to Become Your Perception
How Deception is Manipulated to Become Your Perception

What’s the point of focusing so much on these metrics?

As a result of our educational system’s serious flaws, they know that most people have never had to consider the problem of perception and how powerful forces are constantly creating and organizing mental structures, or epistemologies, designed to mediate between us and the vastness of reality, mediations designed to direct our attentions toward perceptions and interpretations that are invariably amenable to that very same.

Indeed, one of the more common “suggestions” imposed by the elite is that no one or any group is imposing frames of interpretation on the general public; that is, we are always and everywhere addressing the world with a virgin gaze.

In the same way, that big college athletic programs are acutely aware of how little thought the general public and, it would seem, the majority of medical professionals give to how “facts” and notions of “reality” enter their field of consciousness, Big Pharma is acutely aware of this as well. And they take full advantage of the general lack of knowledge in this area.

Kary Mullis, Inventor of PCR Test

The PCR Test

Doctors have relied on symptomatology since the beginning of Western medicine; that means looking at the patient’s physical signs of illness with their own eyes. A diagnosis is impossible if you don’t have any symptoms. Without a diagnosis, there is no treatment.

You may be the owner of a business that sells treatments and is looking to expand its market share. Who else could be responsible for stoking fear and division in a population, such as a government leader?

What if they all worked together to create a fake illness to inflate the number of people deemed “sick” or “dangerous,” and then marketed it to the general public as being just as serious and important as the real thing?

This is exactly what was done with the PCR tests, which were used despite their well-documented inaccuracy in producing false positives.

In the evaluation of vaccine efficacy, we see a similar approach. Vaccine efficacy can only be judged if it either a) prevents the spread of an epidemic or b) reduces the overall level of illness and death.

A vaccine that could do neither of these things would be a waste of time and money, wouldn’t it?

What you’re doing here is developing proxy measurements, such as the rise of antibody levels in injected trial subjects, which have no proven causal relation to the above-mentioned real measurements of effectiveness, and presenting them as flawless indicators of success in disease minimization and eradication. When the FDA recently approved mRNA vaccines for administration to infants and young children, it appears that this was what they were doing.

Lowering cholesterol is a good thing in and of itself, we’ve been told ad nauseam. Perhaps the link between high cholesterol and heart disease — one of the most complicated and multifactorial illnesses a human being can experience — is not as direct as we have been led to believe, as Malcolm Kendrick, for example, has suggested.

There will be yet another instance of a proxy indicator—whose promotion is not coincidentally lucrative for pharmaceutical companies—being presented to us as a simple solution for an often incomprehensible problem. In addition, statins have been linked to a number of serious adverse effects, some of which may be life-threatening.

It’s also important to talk about blood pressure and blood pressure medication. Is your blood pressure higher when you go to the doctor’s office, where anxiety is always present for many patients and where the prescribed procedures for taking blood pressure are frequently violated by the hurried office employees? If so, what can you do to ensure that your blood pressure remains within normal limits at home?

“White coat syndrome” is well documented in the scientific literature, but patients are often forced to defend their voluminous records of normal readings at home against the one-time, or every six-month readings taken in the doctor’s office, with all that this implies in terms of having to stand up to a doctor—talk about generating anxiety!—who is usually all too eager to use this obvious proxy is odd.

Things become infinitely more interesting when you look at them this way.

We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the elites’ ability to inundate our minds with jumbled and unintelligible information. And they’re well aware of, and happy with, the sense of disorientation that comes with this kind of information deluge for the majority of the general public. Why? When someone is confused or overwhelmed, they’re more likely to grasp simplistic “solutions,” so they approach them in this manner.

One way or another, all religions are true. What can go wrong if you let your mind get stuck in its own metaphors and treat them as facts?

In order to regain our rightful prominence as republican citizens, we must study the mechanics of these processes, starting with the specific case of public health policy, by addressing the repeated abuse of flimsy proxy “evidence” in matters of grave personal and public significance.


[1] On the multiple forms of deception and the components of perception management see, Joseph W. Caddell, Deception 101 – Primer on Deception, December 2004, available at:; Jeffrey T. Richelson, “Planning to Deceive,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Mach/April 2003, pp. 64-69.

[2] Michael Howard, British Intelligence in the Second World War, Volume 5: StrategicDeception (London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1990), p. 110; Thaddeus Holt, TheDeceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War (New York: Skyhore Publishing 2007), p. 795. The book, originally published in 1975, that first popularized the history of World War II deception is Anthony Cave Brown, Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True StoryBehind D-Day (Guilford, Ct.: The Lyons Press, 2002).

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[3] Richelson, “Planning to Deceive.”

[4] On LACROSSE and MISTY, see Jeffrey T. Richelson, The Wizards of Langley: Inside theCIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology (Boulder, Co.: Westview, 2001), pp. 247-249. On the Reagan administration’s concern with Soviet denial and deception, see Ronald Reagan, National Security Decision Directive 108, “Soviet Camouflage, Concealment and Deception,” October 12, 1983.

[5] In the same time period special plans units could found at both the service and command levels. Examples included the Special Plans Division of the Directorate of Plans of the Air Force office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans & Operations; a Special Plans component of the Tactical Air Command; and the CINCPAC Special Plans Committee.

[6] Bob Woodward, “Gadhafi Target of Secret U.S. Deception Plan,” Washington Post , October 2, 1986, pp. A1, A12-A13; David M. North, “U.S. Using Disinformation Policy To Impede Technical Data Flow,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, March 17, 1986, pp. 16-17; “A Bodyguard of Lies,” Newsweek, October 13, 1986, pp. 43-46.

[7] The most recent known official document related to deception is: Department of Defense Instruction S-3604.01, “Department of Defense Military Deception,” March 11, 2013. (It is still classified.)

[8] Douglas J. Feith, War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War onTerrorism (New York: Harper 2008), p. 293.

[9] Dana Priest, “Pentagon Shadow Loses Some Mystique,” Washington Post, March 13, 2004, p. A11.

[10] Feith, War and Decision , pp. 293-294.

[11] Ibid., p. 294.

[12] Seymour Hersh, “Selective Intelligence,” The New Yorker , May 12, 2003, pp. 44-51.

[13] See Ibid., pp. 44-45. The New Yorker article reportedly resulted in a letter to the magazine’s editor, David Remnick, from a senior DoD public affairs official in which the official complained that “There are more inaccuracies that can be addressed in this letter, and it is particularly disappointing given the time and effort taken by my staff to ensure The New Yorker has its facts straight prior to publication.” See, Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “Inside the Ring,” The Washington Times, May 21, 2004. A FOIA request for the letter produced a “no records” response from DoD.

[14] On the creation of this group — the Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) — also see Feith, War and Decision, pp. 116-117.

[15] The memo also suggested that the term Special Plans continued, in some instances, to have its traditional association with deception/perception management — since it stated that Feith directed a number of activities that required sensitive intelligence support, including the “Defense Special Plans Program.”

[16] Feith, War and Decision, p. 117.

[17] Inspector General, Department of Defense, Report 07-INTEL-04, Review of the Pre-IraqiWar Activities of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy , February 9, 2007, p.12; Priest, “Pentagon Shadow Loses Some Mystique.” Another examination of the activities of PCTEG and its untitled predecessor is by James Risen, “How Pair’s Finding on Terror Led To Clash on Shaping Intelligence,” New York Times, April 28, 2004, pp. A1, A19.

[18] Peter Spiegel, “Investigation fills in blanks on how war groundwork was laid,” Los AngelesTimes , April 6, 2007, p. A10.

[19] Feith, War and Decision , p. 118.

[20] Ibid., pp. 118, 264; Priest, “Pentagon Shadow Loses Some Mystique.”

[21] The one PCTEG member (Chris Carney) plus two OSD staffers (veteran DIA analyst Christina Shelton and James Thomas) produced and presented the briefing — as Feith noted in War and Decision , pp. 265-266.

[22] Inspector General, Department of Defense, Report 07-INTEL-04, Review of the Pre-IraqiWar Activities of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy , February 9, 2007, p.10; Feith, War and Decision, p.119n; Senator Carl Levin, Report of an Inquiry into the Alternative Analysis of the Issue of an Iraq-al Qaeda Relationship , October 21, 2004, pp. 14, 16. What Tenet said and thought about the briefing has been a subject of controversy — See Priest, “Pentagon Shadow Loses Some Mystique”; Feith, War and Decision, pp. 266-267; George J. Tenet with Bill Harlow, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (New York: Harper Collins, 2007), pp. 346-348. The briefing and related issues are discussed at length in U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Armed Services, Briefing on the Department of Defense Inspector General’s Report on the Activities of the Office of Special Plans Prior to the War inIraq (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008).

[23] Inspector General, Department of Defense, Report 07-INTEL-04, Review of the Pre-IraqiWar Activities of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy , p. 72

[24] Ibid., p. 9.

[25] Ibid., pp. 7, 11, 32, 73-75.

[26] See Jason Leopold, “CIA Probe Finds Secret Pentagon Group Manipulated Intelligence on Iraqi Threat,”, July 25, 2003; Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest, “The Lie Factory,”Mother Jones, January/February 2004; Karen Kwiatowski, “The new Pentagon papers,”, March 10, 2004; James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, andthe Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies (New York: Doubleday, 2004), pp. 307-308, 314-316, 318-320, 324; Peter Eisner and Knute Royce, The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq (New York: Rodale, 2007), pp. 58-63.

[27] Inspector General, Department of Defense, Report 07-INTEL-04, Review of the Pre-IraqiWar Activities of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy , p. ii.

[28] Ibid., p. 3.

[29] Ibid., p.4.

[30] Ibid., pp.7-9, 12, 14, 29. Declassified versions of the two CIA reports can be found at: The topic of Iraqi – al Qaida links is also the subject of Kevin M. Woods with James Lacey, Institute for Defense Analyses, Saddamand Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents, Volume 1 (Redacted), November 2007.

[31] Feith’s reaction appeared in War and Decision , pp. 270-271 as well as on his website —

[32] Inspector General, Department of Defense, Report 07-INTEL-04, Review of the Pre-IraqiWar Activities of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy , pp. 56-58, 79.

Classical Deception Techniques and Perception Management vs. the Four Strategies of Information Warfare pdf

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