A profoundly dysfunctional dynamic has been in the process of crippling our country during this first decade of the 21st century. And it is only gaining momentum in the world of politics, talk radio and internet blogs. This IntegrityWatch Blog post reveals the seven ingredient formula being used by unscrupulous ideologues from across the political and faith spectrums to manipulate you into supporting them and their ideology… while believing you are standing up for your own best interests and for what’s best for our society. It also outlines the contrasting principles used by psychologically mature people with differing views to co-create solutions that are better and more sustainable than any one perspective can create on its own.

The Seven Ingredient Disruption Formula
That’s Crippling Us

These seven ingredients are the formula the unscrupulous use to manipulate you into supporting them and their ideology, while believing you are standing up for your own best interests and what’s best for society-at-large:

The Contrasting Seven Problem-Solving Principles
We Need to Return To

These seven contrasting principles are the formula that those who value integrity use to co-create wiser solutions than any one perspective can generate on its own:

1. Abandon Humility: Decide that your convictions are the only true and accurate understandings about an issue, and that other perspectives are entirely without virtue, merit or wisdom.1. Humility: Always remember that no one person or ideology sees the entire picture.
2. Find the Fearful: Figure out whose fears you can most effectively tap into, and the most persuasive fear-feeding messages to tell those people. Create pipelines that get these messages to those whose fears you can tap into to build an army of followers.2. Courage: Find others from a wide variety of perspectives who also have this humility, who are passionate and knowledgeable about this issue, and who are mindful about how this issue fits into the bigger picture.
3. Hone Your Spin & Spread It Widely: Use every rumor you can find, and twist any statistic you can cite, to convert the fearful into the faithful, so the number of adherents that accept your spin as fact grows to critical mass. Expand the scope of what your spin addresses. Repeat the spin that serves your convictions as often and as widely as possible.3. Teachability: Assemble all available un-spun facts regardless of whether they seem to support or conflict with your perspective.
4. Identify the Enemy: Tell your adherents that those who do not see as you do are responsible for creating their fear. Always tie your spin to this enemy. Use spin to create every possible opportunity to blame your selected enemy for having caused the problems that have made your adherents fearful.4. Common Purpose: Never lose track of the fact that all of you share a common purpose even though you have sincerely differing  but well-intended perspectives about how to best manifest that purpose.
5. Convert Fear Into Hatred: Convince your adherents that those who don’t agree with your convictions are dangerously stupid or have malicious intentions or are profoundly unpatriotic. Use increasing amounts of emotional intensity, drama, urgency and fear-amplification, to make the fearful hateful enough to take coercive action against their supposed enemy on behalf of the righteous ideology or cause you have spun into supporting.5. Shared Vision: Co-create, with expert facilitation if needed, a comprehensive understanding of the issue that is wiser and more encompassing than any one perspective could generate on its own.
6. Use Projection to Make You Seem Like an Innocent Victim: Make sure your adherents believe that the enemy is the perpetrator and they are innocent victims who are merely exercising their right to self-defense. Make sure your adherents believe that the enemy is the only one using all of the above tactics6. Self-Responsibility: When conflicts arise, take responsibility for your own usually unintended part, leave it to the others to tell you their part rather than telling them their part, and then co-create a realistic plan for handling similar future conflicts a step better. Use expert facilitation as needed.
7. Convert Hatred Into Action: Now that your adherents are thoroughly convinced that their cause is just and that their oppressive malevolent enemy must be vanquished, these adherents are ready to be converted into activists. They now believe that "their" cause is so noble that coercion (intimidation, bullying and even violence) is justifiable; that the ends justify the means. This is the time to teach your adherents how to effectively disrupt events held by those who don’t share your views, since they are the enemy and they need to be stopped no matter what it takes. Your adherently will now enthusiastically and self-righteously participate in heckling, name calling, projection, and other uncivil behavior that drown out mutual learning and collaborative problem-solving.7. Pragmatism: Convert, with expert facilitation if needed, your co-created understanding into practical action steps that reflect the wisdom of all involved regardless of the extent to which this strategy matches any one party’s ideological preconceptions. Use compromise only as a last resort.

Questions & Comments

Do you know what these seven rules are a recipe for? Fascism. The paradox is that many fascists use projection to try to divert attention away from what they are doing, by accusing their enemy of being the fascists (or greed-mongers or socialists, etc.). Fascists exist at the extremes of all ideologies — the political left and right, and the fanatical extremes of all religions. They are hiding in our midst in plain sight because of how many people don’t know how to recognize true fascism.

This is the strategy that violent radical leftists (like the SDS, Yippies and Black Panthers) used in the 1960s, and it is also the strategy that some in power (former FBI Director-Tyrant J. Edgar Hoover, for instance) used to try to crack down on them. It is the strategy responsible for creating communism in the former U.S.S.R. and Mao’s China. It is the strategy through which Hitler’s Third Reich committed its atrocities. And it is the strategy that today runs the current climates in Iran and North Korea, to name but two of many.

Questions & Comments

Do you know who used first used these seven principles in the United States? The convention in which our constitution was born. This synergy template creates far more sustainable solutions than either coercion or compromise and our founders never forgot that no matter how fiery their debates became.

This Synergy strategy is every bit as practical and do-able as coercion or compromise… provided that those who participate are not ideological addicts.

Call to Action

This is not the set of strategies that true conservatives or liberals/ progressives, or people of faith, would be wise to use. Regardless, far too many of these folks have been doing a frighteningly good job of using these strategies to manipulate public opinion, especially during this first decade of the 21st century. It’s time for us as a country to stop pretending that we have not become trapped in this strategy. It is time for a critical mass of us to become active in helping us shift to using the principles described in the next column instead.

Call to Action

Since the majority of people in the United States are not ideological addicts, it is extremely easy in a country of our size to find experts with a broad range of perspectives about virtually any issue. Now is the time for citizens to start demanding that their politicians and the media use these seven principles instead of the dysfunctional formula described in the left column.