I was prompted to put fingers to keyboard today by a post I saw on Facebook from a friend across the pond who I have never met but generally respect. He had posted a video about the Israel/Palestine conflict that was heavily one sided, and a comment likening one side to Neanderthals vs. the new and better.
It upset me that a man I know to be intelligent and well educated could be so gullible. Gullible, not because of the side he chose to support, but because he (along with half the world) was FOOLED INTO CHOOSING SIDES.
Global conflict (and you can look anywhere on the globe today and find conflict and strife – the Middle East is rife with it, India, Pakistan, Korea, China, the Balkans, Russia, much of Africa, the list goes on…) is not ‘inevitable’. It is not ‘human nature’. It is a product of ignorance, the willful manipulation of ignorant people by a tiny minority of power hungry tyrants. And, as with any ignorance, it can be cured by education and the blinding light of truth.
But no, I’m not going to give you my version of the truth. So many people in the world today are handing out so many versions of truth that the word itself has become almost meaningless. I cannot put a name to the faceless men who hide in the rafters, pulling the strings.
But I can show you how to make a pair of scissors.
There are three concepts you should understand that will empower you to cut those strings, that will let you find your own truth amid the sea of lies and deceit that our modern world drowns in.
1. The Third Party Law
The vast majority of people just want to get along. They don’t really care if the guy next door is a Jew or a Muslim or a Sikh or a Bolshevik or a Communist or a Transvestite. As long as they don’t make too much noise late at night and don’t steal your chickens and their dog doesn’t crap on your lawn, then people are quite happy to get along. Sure, they have different opinions, different beliefs, different tastes in music. Sometimes they even argue. But it is actually human nature to want to live in cooperation and harmony with your fellow humans, and left to their own devices, that’s what the vast majority of people will do.
Conflict has to be created. Here and there, a few unscrupulous souls have figured out how to profit from the ongoing conflict of other people. Be it sex, money, position or power, some people have a vested interest in creating and perpetuating conflict and strife.
That seems obvious enough. But what people do not realize is that anywhere a conflict exists and is not resolving, the following law applies.
The following text is taken straight from the Scientology Handbook. It was written by L Ron Hubbard many years ago and you can decide for yourself (from your own experience and your own observations of the world around you) if it is true or not.
The law would seem to be:
A THIRD PARTY MUST BE PRESENT AND UNKNOWN IN EVERY QUARREL FOR A CONFLICT TO EXIST.
FOR A QUARREL TO OCCUR, AN UNKNOWN THIRD PARTY MUST BE ACTIVE IN PRODUCING IT BETWEEN TWO POTENTIAL OPPONENTS.
WHILE IT IS COMMONLY BELIEVED TO TAKE TWO TO MAKE A FIGHT, A THIRD PARTY MUST EXIST AND MUST DEVELOP IT FOR ACTUAL CONFLICT TO OCCUR.
It is very easy to see that two in conflict are fighting. They are very visible. What is harder to see or suspect is that a third party existed and actively promoted the quarrel.
The usually unsuspected and “reasonable” third party, the bystander who denies any part of it, is the one that brought the conflict into existence in the first place.
The hidden third party, seeming at times to be a supporter of only one side, is to be found as the instigator.
This is a useful law in many areas of life.
It is the cause of war.
One sees two fellows shouting bad names at each other, sees them come to blows.
No one else is around. So they, of course, “caused the fight.” But there was a third party.
Tracing these down, one comes upon incredible data. That is the trouble. The incredible is too easily rejected. One way to hide things is to make them incredible.
Clerk A and Messenger B have been arguing. They blaze into direct conflict. Each blames the other. Neither one is correct and so the quarrel does not resolve since its true cause is not established.
One looks into such a case thoroughly. He finds the incredible. The wife of Clerk A has been sleeping with Messenger B and complaining alike to both about the other.
Farmer J and Rancher K have been tearing each other to pieces for years in continual conflict. There are obvious, logical reasons for the fight. Yet it continues and does not resolve. A close search finds Banker L who, due to their losses in the fighting, is able to loan each side money, while keeping the quarrel going, and who will get their lands completely if both lose.
It goes larger. The revolutionary forces and the Russian government were in conflict in 1917. The reasons are so many the attention easily sticks on them. But only when Germany’s official state papers were captured in World War II was it revealed that Germany had promoted the revolt and financed Lenin to spark it off, even sending him into Russia in a blacked-out train!
For the full text of this article please see the Scientology Handbook chapter on this subject, or enroll on this free short online course. In addition to the text above, the full text also explains how to actually discover the third party, and so enables the resolution of any seemingly irresolvable conflict.
2. The Insidious Nature of Generalities
Number two on my list is this concept of ‘generalities’.
A generality is a statement which inaccurately refers to a whole general class instead of specific cases. The effect (often deliberate) of a such a statement is to infer some undesirable characteristic of the specific case actually applies to the whole class.
Example: One particular Muslim set off a bomb. Therefore, “Muslims are murderers.“, “Muslims hate all infidels.“, “Muslims condone violence.” And so on. It is blatantly not true, but is well enough camouflaged that gullible people will swallow it without thinking.
A generality is also used to deflect attention away from the source. “Everybody knows he fiddled his expenses.” This statement launches the accusation (a smear campaign) but leaves the source hidden and unaccountable. It no longer matters if the statement is true or false, because there is no accuser to confront or defend against. The media use this all the time. “The People of Britain demand a new government.“, “Sources say that…“, and so on.
An Insidious Menace
The problem with generalities is that people don’t notice them. They lap them up, take them as read, and spread them further. They wind their way into common parlance and the general culture. They cloud judgement and perpetuate lies.
All racism is a dangerous generality. The idea that one race has a particular characteristic is easy to promote and hard to dispel. It becomes an ‘everybody knows’, taken for granted, fact. Black people steal. Arabs hate America. Russians are all drunks.
It is the same with religion, and people get drawn into it. When you hear someone say that “Muslims this…” or “Jews that…” you know immediately that they are (probably unwittingly) perpetuating lies.
A radical group who claim to be Muslims send rockets into Israel. The headlines read, “Muslim attack on Israel, Children killed.” The message that is communicated is that Muslims killed Israeli children – hence Muslims are evil. The truth, on the other hand, is that a singular and specific person (or perhaps small group, but since every group has a leader lets stick with a person) sent rockets into Israel. That one person was an evil man. That’s all.
It is always a person. Sometimes it is a group, but a group is led by a person. Sometimes it is even a government, but a government is also led. An evil head of state may do evil things, and may (through many different methods) get his people to carry out his evil will, but that does not make the people of that country evil.
Hitler slaughtered six million Jews. Actually, Hitler didn’t. He got his people, Germans, to do it for him. No doubt there were some Germans who were just as evil as Hitler himself, but the German people in general were not evil. Hitler was technically a Christian, but that does not make Christians evil, nor does it make Christians ‘anti-Jew’.
Hitler, however, used the tool of generalities to manipulate people such that he was then able to execute his ‘final solution’. This image is an example of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda which promoted the generality that Jews were greedy and were feeding off the German people. The generality infused itself into German society and laid the groundwork for the ensuing Holocaust. How else could a nation stand by and permit an entire class of their own people to be herded like cattle onto trains and shipped off to oblivion, if they had not already agreed to it by the passive acceptance of such generalities?
As stated above, it is always a person. There are a few unscrupulous and evil men (or women) among us who relish in the suffering or degradation of others. Too often they go unnoticed until it is too late. One key indicator that points the finger to this type of person is their use of generalities. In fact there are twelve key indicators altogether which help identify such antisocial personalities, and you would do well to know them. Though beyond the scope of this article today, you can read more here and see a video summary here.
3. Individuation – Us and Them
Individuation is a word that means ‘being an individual rather than part of a group’ or ‘the process by which social individuals become differentiated one from the other’. In this context we are referring to the sundering of humankind into individual groups who each see themselves as distinct from and opposed to the others.
We are, after all, one species. We are all on this planet together, trying our best to survive, and none can survive alone.
No Man is an Island
There is a very old poem by John Donne which includes this passage:
No man is an island entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.
Here he is saying that if one man dies, then mankind is diminished. Because he is part of mankind, then he too is diminished. The idea that we are all part of the same group, and that our survival is interdependent on that of every other being, is sadly overlooked in today’s partisan world.
Us and Them
It is natural for man to form groups. There is safety in numbers. A group working together can achieve so much more than the same individuals working alone. Since the dawn of time man has grouped together to form tribes, villages, towns, and nations. Man has worked together to farm the land and build factories to produce goods that no man could produce alone. This is all in the spirit of co-operation, and co-operation one with another is an essential ingredient of life.
But somewhere along the line, things started to go wrong. Tribes started fighting tribes, settlement fought settlement, nation pitted itself against nation. The concept of co-operation was qualified and limited to become “We will co-operate together in our fight against them.” What went wrong?
Groups are not inherently contentious; groups are just as capable of co-operation, one with another, as individuals are.
As long as people think in terms of ‘we‘ and ‘us‘, there is the possibility of co-operation. As soon as you look at another person and see them as different, then you have separated yourself from them and they become ‘them‘.
As mentioned earlier, there are a few unscrupulous individuals in the world who see personal gain in the suffering and oppression of others. There always have been, and there always will be, and for as long as we fail to recognize who they are we shall continue to be plagued by wars and strife.
Such people will do anything they can to pit man against man, group against group, and they do this primarily by emphasizing the differences, by fomenting discord, and by convincing people that they cannot live in harmony and co-operation with each other. ‘He is different to you, therefore he must be against you! Better conquer him before he conquers you!‘ is the only message they need to preach to have the world rip itself to shreds before their eyes. They play on peoples fears, and people fall for it because they know no better.
Any communication that emphasizes the difference between groups, nations, or religions, any message that warns about, denigrates or vilifies another, is a message that is seeking to widen the rift between human beings who should be co-operating to make the world a better place. It should not, must not be tolerated.
Until people see that we are all one and need each other and must help each other to survive, there will be no peace on this planet. So long as there are those who preach that “We are good and they are bad“, and so long as they are listened to and tolerated, then wars will continue. Until you and I stand fast and say, “No, I will not listen to your lies, for he is my brother I will help him as he will help me.” then people will continue to die at the hands of their fellow men.
Conflicts are created and perpetuated by people. If a conflict is not resolving, there is a third party who is feeding it, keeping it going. There is absolutely no use in blaming one side or the other, and in fact this can only make things worse. For sure, both sides in any prolonged conflict are bound to have done things for which they could be censured, but that is not the point and any time spent on such recriminations serves simply to widen the breach rather than seek to bring the sides together.
Anyone wishing to help in the resolution of global conflict would do best by educating the ignorant in the above principles, not by choosing sides and adding to the fray.
Generalities spread lies and fool people into believing them. Racism, sexism, and religious intolerance are all products of this insidious menace in our society. Learn to recognize a generality for what it is and pay it no heed.
Generalities are one of the principle tools used by the third party to keep a conflict going. One reason they are so effective at this is because a generality, by its nature, tends to obscure the source and so helps keep the third party hidden.
Individuation opens the door to conflict. So long as people recognize that they are all on the same team and are striving towards a common goal then they will co-operate and live in harmony. As soon as the idea is accepted that ‘those people over there are different, and therefore either dangerous or worthless’, people will fight.
Generalities, spread by third parties, are an effective way of driving wedges between groups that would otherwise be co-operating.
So now go forth into the world and look at your newspapers, your Facebook walls and your Twitter feeds. Listen to your friends and colleagues and the politicians on the TV. Try to spot the generalities. Notice the lines and messages that seek to widen the rifts, to drive in the wedges, to sow discord where there should be co-operation. And stop them dead.
This is your planet. Mankind is your future. It is your problem, and the solution is in your hands.