Fighting the ‘Psyopcracy’

It is a hard thing to combat because it’s not a physical enemy but rather messages that lodge themselves in millions of people’s minds. And it has come to rule over us. 

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; U.S. Army General Henry Shelton, chairman, Joint Chief-of-Staff and Senator John Warner (R-VA), at Pentagon press conference. (Jim Watson, USN/Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Lauria
athy Vogan, the executive producer of Consortium News‘ webcast CN Live!, recently coined a new term to describe rule by psyops, or psychological operations: psyopcracy.   According to Wikipedia

“Psychological operations (PSYOP) are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.

The purpose of United States psychological operations is to induce or reinforce behavior perceived to be favorable to U.S. objectives.”  

William Casey, C.I.A. director under Ronald Reagan, said: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

Thus the American people are continuously subject to a number of psychological operations otherwise known as “the news.”  

U.S. intelligence officials feed journalists disinformation to create a false narrative that is intended to mislead the public and cover-up what is actually taking place. The constant reinforcement of these lies becomes entrenched in the public mind and after time comes to be accepted as unquestionable truth.  

Here’s an explanation of how the C.I.A. did it in Vietnam:


Through such operations, the American people were led to believe for years that the United States was winning in Vietnam, when it was actually losing, as the Pentagon Papers proved. 

Since then, many examples have followed of completely false stories being planted into people’s minds to start and keep a war going, the fake WMD narrative in Iraq perhaps the most infamous.

Blind Faith (Eden Gallanter/Creative Commons)

Today the war people are being fooled about is in Ukraine. Sometimes a psyop doesn’t involve inserting false information, so much as leaving out what’s true. 

The American people, and by extension people around the world, have been led to believe that an unprovoked Russian madman started the war last February.

That’s because they are purposely not told that the war actually began in 2014 after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev led Russian speakers in Donbass to declare independence, after which the coup government militarily attacked them. 

Other facts are removed from the story, such as Russia’s proposed treaties with the U.S. and NATO last December that would have prevented Russia’s intervention in the Ukrainian civil war. 

Robert Parry, the founder of this website, in March 2017 wrote the article, “How US Flooded the World with Psyops,” in which he reported for the first time:

“Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home.

The documents reveal the formation of a psyops bureaucracy under the direction of Walter Raymond Jr., a senior CIA covert operations specialist who was assigned to President Reagan’s National Security Council staff to enhance the importance of propaganda and psyops in undermining U.S. adversaries around the world and ensuring sufficient public support for foreign policies inside the United States.”

So many people are subject to psyops that telling the truth becomes a formidable task. You become the one that is out of step. You are the one that seems to be mad.

Consortium News‘s mission since 1995 has been to fight against psychological operations that have come to rule over Americans, convincing them of all manner of falsehoods, such as that their nation is motivated by humanitarian and democratic principles in the world. And that the Ukraine war was unprovoked.

Help us fight the psyopcracy:

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Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe  

37 comments for “Fighting the ‘Psyopcracy’

  1. Paul Grenier
    December 29, 2022 at 18:01

    I know this is half essay, half fund-raiser, but it is nonetheless succinctly brilliant as an essay. You have perfectly captured the essence of the U.S. political machine.

  2. December 29, 2022 at 11:14

    How about “kakipsyopcracy”? A combo of kakistocracy & psyopcracy. It perfectly encapsulates the fact that the country is also run by the most depraved among us and ironically shows that the most psychologically crippled are the ones masterminding these ongoing psychological operations.

  3. michael888
    December 29, 2022 at 10:48

    Someone should mention the “modernization” of the Smith Mundt Act, which made domestic propaganda LEGAL and at the discretion of the State Dept (read CIA, which has LOTS of experience with these psyops globally). Our present Police State is subtle and much more advanced and powerful than what the Gestapo and Stasi had.

    The infiltration of the FBI and the Deep State in Twitter and throughout social media is an important feature of control, not a bug.

  4. Common Sense
    December 29, 2022 at 09:56

    The mainstream media in Germany act in exactly the same way as in the U.S., with the same results within the public.

  5. susan
    December 29, 2022 at 09:27

    If you think you are not brainwashed, you’d better think again. We are all brainwashed in one way or another otherwise this world would be the paradise it was meant to be rather than the hell hole WE have made it…

  6. Anon
    December 29, 2022 at 08:59

    Tnx CN/Joe… This commenter has come2 enjoy unique exposure from CN 2 the fight against disinformation.
    Casey quote vaguely familiar… Frank Snap (sp?) vidvan unexpected TREAT…
    Seems the sheer VOLUME govsuppress info SO GREAT… Some Important stories as yet unaddressed… Casey in point: Atlanta Cop City: Right Now Activists HELD NO BAIL…
    Please Report!

  7. SH
    December 29, 2022 at 07:56

    Hmm, seems to me the most effective, under-reported, political psyop for decades has been “3rd parties can’t win”, propagated, primarily by Ds, to devastating effect – keeps us voting for the duopoly behind all these other psyops – as long as we believe TINA to them, and leave them in charge, as Biden assures us, “nothing will fundamentally change”

  8. Noah Kapeesh
    December 28, 2022 at 07:37

    At 3 a.m. this morning zero hedge had an article saying CIA was aiding sabotage inside Russia. At 7am the article was gone.

    • cirdan
      December 28, 2022 at 15:29

      No, it’s there. I just scrolled all the way back to it. “Special Forces Insider: The CIA Is Directing Sabotage Attacks In Russian Territory” posted Tuesday, Dec 27, 6:40 p.m.
      It has 144,000 reads.

  9. shmutzoid
    December 28, 2022 at 01:18

    “The entire Democratic Party is essentially one big psyop designed to kill any attempt to redress income and wealth inequality, poverty, wars, militarism, money in politics, surveillance, government secrecy, police militarization and every other control mechanism designed to hold the status quo in place, while herding any revolutionary zeitgeist back toward establishment loyalism with false promises to make life better for women and marginalized groups.” ——> excerpt from wsws

    Per Ukraine —-> the public has been handed the script from CiA/Pentagon via corporate media, and that’s THAT. It’s as if there’s NO history between US/Ukraine/NATO/Russia that happened prior to Feb. 24, 2022. The script is kept simple—–> Putin (the latest Hitler) wants to re-institute the old Soviet Union, and the UNPROVOKED attack on Ukraine is his first step. Ukraine had only been minding its own business and just wants freedom and democracy (just like the USA!!). ….. Neo-Nazis in Ukraine? Huh, are you a ‘conspiracy theorist’? ………. The 2014 Maidan coup was orchestrated by the US? …..”Uh oh, are you a Putin apologist?”
    ————– That’s the level of discourse in mainstream media and the public at large.

    • Arch Stanton
      December 29, 2022 at 16:10

      Here in the UK no alternative voices are allowed on TV or Radio, it is completely one-sided with deranged arguments saying eg. that Putin wants to annex Central Europe after he finishes with Ukraine. 99.9% believe this BS and no one is allowed to challenge these lies. Goebbels could only dream of the propaganda we gave now, it’s on another level to 1939!

      Also, in the online Financial Times there are numerous commentators in the comments section that seem to scan messages 24/7 (they clearly don’t do anything else in their lives), and the minute someone mentions the truth about Ukraine they are challenged by 3/4 individuals with often hysterical arguments and character assassinations.

      This is text book Hasbara playbook behaviour and I have no doubt that both the US/UK are behind this brainwashing technique in comments sections in numerous online forums.

    • R. Billie
      December 29, 2022 at 19:29

      I know what you mean Shmutzoid. I recently had the experience of being “unfriended” by someone I’ve known and felt simpatico with for fifty years, for having the temerity to tell him that I think Zelensky is a habitual liar who is totally corrupt and playing the West for everything he can get.

  10. Erika Brownstinya
    December 28, 2022 at 00:10

    It is very simple and easy to combat. The answer is in three letters …. O .. F .. F.
    Look for those three letters, OFF, on a button, then press that button.

    And then you win. Pick you method of celebration. I recommend that you pour yourself a drink of a favorite beverage and go sit under a tree and watch the sunset. Gathering with other people who have also pressed OFF is a lot of fun as well.

    What if they lied, but nobody was listening?

  11. December 27, 2022 at 18:31

    Joe Lauria and Cathy Vogan, in my opinion, deserve high praise for putting this together. The YouTube video featuring Clute Roberts interviewing Vietnam War era CIA agent Frank Snap is extremely effective.

    When the Vietnam war was raging, there were plenty of us, but certainly not a majority, in the streets protesting what we firmly believed to be an unjust war. Today, not everyone, but I believe a majority of Americans have come to the conclusion the Vietnam war was indeed a terrible mistake. Essentially the same thing can be said about the Iraq war. Once again there were plenty of us, but by no means a majority, in the streets at first trying to prevent an unjust war, and then when the inevitable shock and awe invasion and war began continuing to protest. Now, some twenty odd years later, only a small, diehard, core group of Neocon fascists still believe the Iraq war and all the other unjust American wars against terrorism were good wars.

    Today things seem to be entirely different. Except for Consortium News and a few others of a similar nature, practically no one is protesting the American government’s key role in making sure the forever escalating war in Ukraine continues without diplomatic interference for as long as is necessary to destroy the evil Russian Federation. A recent example of this was the comical, but otherwise pathetic, performance of a joint session of Congress paying homage to the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.

    There is one thing, however, that does bother me about this article. That is the side by side comparison of positions taken by President Biden and President Putin. For the most part the statements in both columns have an element of truth in them. However, that is hardly the whole story, and, as usual, without what is unsaid it is impossible to know the truth, the whole truth. and nothing but the truth about anything and everything.

    • Jack Stephen Hepburn Flanigan
      December 28, 2022 at 05:28

      Reflecting too much on the domestic and world situation I constantly consider this poem I find it almost prophetic, a metaphor relevant to our times – more appropriate to now than at any previous period in modern history. Of course! !! He was Irish!

      All the best for the new year.


      The Second Coming
      William Butler Yeats

      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Surely some revelation is at hand;
      Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
      The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
      When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
      Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
      A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
      A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
      Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
      Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
      The darkness drops again; but now I know
      That twenty centuries of stony sleep
      Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    • December 29, 2022 at 05:16

      Thank you Donald. We agreed with your last point.

  12. jo6pac
    December 27, 2022 at 17:41

    Edward Barnays and Joseph Gobbles would very proud of Amerika. I don’t see any improvement any time soon when the press and tv are controlled by few corp. that are spokesperson for deep state

  13. December 27, 2022 at 16:31

    if true this should be shared far more widely…is there a source? please? so i can use it?

    “William Casey, C.I.A. director under Ronald Reagan, said: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

      December 27, 2022 at 16:59

      Of course it is true otherwise Consortium News would not have published it. It comes from direct eyewitness testimony of Barbara Honegger, an aide to Reagan, who was present at a White House meeting in 1981 at which Casey said that.


  14. Alex G.
    December 27, 2022 at 16:19

    [1] Epistemological Crisis for the average person who only wants a reasonable facsimile of Veridical Common Truth
    [2] Manipulation of the resulting Public Information Chaos by insiders who dominate the major public information narratives
    [3] Increasing Evaporation of an individual’s ability to verify, or trust-in, any Socially Shared perceptions of Reality

    Arguably, so-called TRUTH has ALMOST ALWAYS BEEN THIS EPISTEMOLOGICALLY-CHAOTIC for most of us socially-organized-humans throughout history. I say “…ALMOST…” — because Today the chaos of the human mind now seems to be geometrically deepening and widening as never exactly before ….

  15. Em
    December 27, 2022 at 14:59

    For those CN readers who are concerned about justice; its unbiased universal implementation, in international justice especially, as it pertains directly to the case of Julian Assange, you may want to look at the documentary by the late Christopher Hitchens, titled The Trials of Henry Kissinger, for comparison, as to how discriminate injustice is meted out.


  16. Bill Todd
    December 27, 2022 at 14:56

    Brings to mind a paraphrase of a line once (IRRC) uttered in an Ian Flemming novel, “For every proponent of such international and domestic devastation that dies, there’s a song in my heart” a sentiment hardly limited to agents of the C.I.A. and its propaganda mouthpieces. Thoughts perhaps not ideally Christian in nature, but happy holidays to everyone else.

  17. Walter
    December 27, 2022 at 14:07

    In Antigone we read> “?? ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ???? ?????’ ??? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ????” , which inclines some, perhaps, to understand Director Casey’s quote given above by Sister Valerie as a willful deliberate choice to create a conflict couple between reality and delusion…

    Antigone rendered in English> “evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction”.

    Recalling Norbert Wiener coinage of non popular term “feed-back”…the Rayghun Regime and Casey & cohorts created a feedback machine that heterodynes and have engulfed themselves thereby.

    recalling Burroughs…Hustlers of the world beware the one mark you cannot beat, the mark inside…

    Withal, the ruling elite have made for themselves a vast funeral pyre…

  18. John Cleary
    December 27, 2022 at 12:44

    “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind”

  19. December 27, 2022 at 12:19

    Unfortunately, Psyops, really crystalized by George Creel acting under orders from then president, Woodrow Wilson, are, in fact coupled with tangible things such as censorship and abuse of the criminal justice system in order to stifle dissent and facilitate enforced compliance (authoritarianism). Indeed, they are used as precursors to abuse of the so-called state monopoly on the use of force domestically, and internationally, to circumvent democracy and sovereignty through military intervention, both obvious and circumspect. They are the reality against which people from Benjamin Franklyn to George Orwell have warned us for centuries, but which we, in our role as the three deaf, dumb and silent simians, continuously ignore.

  20. W. R. Knight
    December 27, 2022 at 11:02

    ““Psychological operations (PSYOP) are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.”

    AKA propaganda. It’s been around forever and used by every nation/empire – but Americans have mastered it.

  21. torture this
    December 27, 2022 at 10:41

    At first, I read, “psychocracy”. That description works pretty well, too.

    • Common Sense
      December 29, 2022 at 09:41

      Me too :)

      And you are right with you conclusion ^^

  22. Drew Hunkins
    December 27, 2022 at 10:31

    The psyopcracy also destroys family unity and friendships. Sad to say.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 27, 2022 at 12:08

      Indeed it does. I have been shunned by several people who I considered friends because I refuse to support the “madman Putin” fantasy. When I attempt to inform them of how they are believing total lies, they look at me as though I have three head, or unfriend me on social media, or ignore me on the street. I am punished for being a truth teller. Look at how many people still believe that the lies about Julian Assange are true. That was a MAJOR psyop, one that continues. Even in so-called “progressive” San Francisco, it’s hard to get anybody to show up at rallies in support of freeing Assange. People still look at me and say, “But he’s a rapist, isn’t he?” They have no idea how that idea was forced into their heads, apparently.

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 28, 2022 at 13:24

        I had a family member raise stand up and raise their fist to me inside a busy restaurant after I said too many Americans are brainwashed against Russia.

        It’s tragic what’s going on.

    • Rob Roy
      December 27, 2022 at 13:21

      Drew Hunkins,
      True. I’ve lost family members and friends because they’ve bought the propaganda line to a degree that prevents any discussion on the subject of Putin, Russia, Ukraine. Any negative talk of this warmongering USA is also forbidden. Israeli apartheid? Forget that subject, too. If it weren’t for CN and other truth tellers, I would be very lonely.

      • Gary P. Supanich
        December 27, 2022 at 14:46

        You are not the only one suffering this fate, I am afraid to say.

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 28, 2022 at 13:25

        I had an extended family member stand up and raise their fist to me inside a busy restaurant after I said too many Americans are brainwashed against Russia.

        It’s tragic what’s going on.

      • Lois Gagnon
        December 28, 2022 at 20:05

        This is the most brainwashed era I can think of in my 70 year life. It’s like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Liberals especially seem to be living in an alternate reality. Thank goodness for CN and my truly lefty activist friends for keeping me sane.

  23. Valerie
    December 27, 2022 at 04:12

    “William Casey, C.I.A. director under Ronald Reagan, said: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.””

    I believe we have arrived at this juncture. “Mission accomplished”

    • December 27, 2022 at 11:05

      Not quite. But I do believe everything said by the administration is false.

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