Edward L. Bernays


"The modern master of the propaganda game was PR genius Edward Bernays, Viennese-born nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays took propaganda seriously for his career work: he combined individual and social psychology, public opinion studies, political persuasion and advertising to construct “necessary illusions” which filtered out to the masses as “reality.”

"Bernays proudly referred to this all-important social process as the “engineering of consent.” All of this had little, if anything, to do with real democracy. The objective for Bernays was to provide government and media outlets with powerful tools for social persuasion and control. As a matter of fact, so impressed was he with Bernays’ early works Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and Propaganda (1928) that Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels relied heavily upon them for his own dubious inspiration in the 1930s. Apparently, that Bernays was a Jew mattered little to Goebbels....

"Bernays and journalistic giant Walter Lippman came to Woodrow Wilson’s aid in 1917 to reverse negative public sentiment about war. These two behind-the-curtain wizards were indispensable in helping the president whip gun-shy America into an anti-German frenzy to go “over there” for WWI. Bernays created the patriotic war slogan “Make the World Safe for Democracy”—an irresistibly patriotic mantra that America embraced..."

(above comes from "Propaganda: The Art of War", by James Sandrolini at Chicago Media Watch.)

"...Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) on April 13, 1917. According to a must-read study by Aaron Delwiche at the School of Communications, University of Washington, (4) "Under the leadership of a muckraking journalist named George Creel, the CPI recruited heavily from business, media, academia, and the art world. The CPI blended advertising techniques with a sophisticated understanding of human psychology, and its efforts represent the first time that a modern government disseminated propaganda on such a large scale. It is fascinating that this phenomenon, often linked with totalitarian regimes, emerged in a democratic state." "Invoking the threat of German propaganda," the study continues, "the CPI implemented 'voluntary guidelines' for the news media and helped to pass the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. The CPI did not have explicit enforcement power, but it nevertheless 'enjoyed censorship power which was tantamount to direct legal force.'"

"The tools, techniques and processes developed by the CPI to manipulate the collective attitudes of the public did not disappear with the termination of [WWI]. The heads of the organization went on to apply the lessons learned in time of war to a country at peace. These former CPI agents moved on to Madison Avenue, joined the nascent Public Relations firms and became lobbyists.

""Two years later," the study states, (5) "the Director of the CPI's Foreign Division argued that 'the history of propaganda in the war would scarcely be worthy of consideration here, but for one fact — it did not stop with the armistice. No indeed! The methods invented and tried out in the war were too valuable for the uses of governments, factions, and special interests.' Sigmund Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, took the techniques he learned in the CPI directly to Madison Avenue and became an outspoken proponent of propaganda as a tool for democratic government. 'It was, of course, the astounding success of propaganda during the war that opened the eyes of the intelligent few in all departments of life to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind,' wrote Bernays in his 1928 bombshell Propaganda. 'It was only natural, after the war ended, that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was not possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace.'"

"The intelligent few....regimenting the public mind... Edward Bernays [1891-1995] is also known as the Father of Spin (6) and the godfather of modern public relations (the "father" of public relations is Ivy Lee whose firm, Ivy Lee & T.J. Ross, was hired for $25,000 a year by the German conglomerate, I.G. Farben, which invited him to meet Hitler and Goebbels. His son, James Lee went to work for Farben in Berlin.)

"The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, founded in 1937 to educate the public about the nature of propaganda, identified "seven basic propaganda devices: Name-Calling, Glittering Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, and Band Wagon."

(the above is from Propaganda: Then and Now, by Gilles d'Aymery at Swans.)


"Bernays was a press officer for Woodrow Wilson at the peace conferences in Europe following World War I, his job being to present Wilson in the most favourable light possible in order to boost his popularity with the American public. By this time the word propaganda was already gaining a sinister implication in the West due to its association with communism, and Bernays coined the term Public Relations as a positive alternative. Back in America Bernays set to work for major corporations, with one of his most spectacular successes being to help break the taboo against women smoking. He paraded a group of attractive young ladies through New York smoking and bearing the slogan 'March for Freedom'. Anyone criticising the idea of women smoking would now appear to be against freedom, and the numbers of women taking up the habit shot through the roof.

"After this success Lehman Brothers and other big New York banks financed the development of department stores, confident that they could use the techniques pioneered by Bernays to persuade people to purchase a range of products that left to themselves they may very well not have bothered with. This period also saw the introduction of the techniques of product placement and psuedo-scientific product endorsement so familiar to us today. All of this dubious activity in the capitalist economy was one of the main factors leading to the bubble which ended in the Wall Street crash of 1929.."

(The above is from BBC's Century of the Self, a review by Paul Shepherd.)

Manipulating Minds: The War Propaganda Machine Wilson and the Creel Commission

President Woodrow Wilson and his Propaganda Machine

How America Was Sold on World War [Creel] sought “the total monopolization of information, shaping news, shaping images, shaping emotions to create a reality in which President Wilson’s war emerged as not merely desirable but inevitable"

Wilson’s long shadow over Obama’s White House Americans should be getting ready to celebrate the one-hundred-year anniversary of the federal government’s systematic collection, suppression, and manipulation of news and information, a groundbreaking change initiated by the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.

The Committee for Public Information

The CPI was made up of well-meaning progressives – many of them muckraking journalists – who earnestly pledged to provide facts, but fell into the trap that propagandists routinely do.

Why do we need the humanities? Critical thinking, appreciation of the arts and humanities and understanding how to relate to society and the natural world are essential characteristics of the educated person... Historically, the liberal arts and humanities have contributed to developing such a person.

The Conversation a collaboration between editors and academics to provide informed news analysis and commentary.

add to news at top Slavehood 2017 By Peter Koenig [an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America.] May 04, 2017 "Information Clearing House"

When in the 18th and 19th Century African slaves did not ‘behave’, they were cruelly beaten sometimes to death as a deterrent for others. They were deprived of food for their families. Their women were raped. They were traded to even harsher white masters. Their lives were worth only what their labor could produce. They were treated as subjects, devoid of human warmth.

Today we have become all slaves; slaves to the powers of mafia bankster of finance; slaves to the western lie-propaganda; to the lobbies and their giant all dominating corporations – to the war-industry, because we happily believe what we are told about ever-increasing terrorism that needs to be fought with eternal wars; slaves to the environment-destructive hydrocarbon industry; to the pharma-industry; to the Monsanto-ized agroindustry; to senseless consumerism – and foremost – and summing it all up: to greed, endless greed that drives endless growth, nurturing endless competition fomenting adversity, destroying solidarity, instead of amical cooperation for a harmonious human cohabitation.

As people of western nations, we are enslaved to an all-engulfing neoliberal fascism – to a predatory economy. Corporate lie propaganda drip-feds our brains. We haven’t even noticed it. We are enslaved to so-called ‘leaders’, put in office by obscure foreign masters of deceit – the ever-stronger corporate controlled propaganda machine – the six all controlling Zion-Anglo media, whom we believe whatever lie they vomit – because it is more comfortable to believe a lie than to confront the truth – that’s self-imposed slavehood.

That’s how far we have gone. Because we are clearly on an almost irreversible downward track – sliding and running towards our own demise – into darkness – the darkness of chaos and bloody wars, endless wars against self-invented terrorism; wars that keeps our western economy running – and our armchair politics alive. Wars that kill and slaughter millions and millions – but all in ‘far-away’ lands. We are told we are protected. Our police and military watch over us. The new gods – money and military.

Although ‘pride’ was never an appropriate term to integrate our soul and minds, as we the western powers – have for centuries enslaved, raped, exploited and slaughtered the indigenous people, those who have for millennia, for history of mankind survived and passed on our human genes from one murderous civilization to another, always in the hope that the new one would see the light.

We can only hope that the patience of these native people, the survivors, our saviors – will prevail, that before we disappear in darkness, in the void of a manmade blackhole, we will awake, open our eyes and seek the light – become finally human, the term we have fraudulently applied to ourselves – the western civilization.

Independent thinking has become a crime, as it impedes the advancement of slavehood. Education is designed to kill individual thinking and the wide range of inventiveness – because it’s dangerous – for those who enslave and control us. ‘New-speak’ education has to make us thinking what the system wants us to think. That’s what western education has become in the last 50 years – a farce to keep us as non-thinking idiots.

Idiots are easily enslaved and exploited and sent to wars – to steal foreign resources to satisfy the greed of a few. We love to be cannon fodder, as we were told – enslaved – to believe that good patriots love to die for their country. We are blinded and avoid seeing that we are dying fighting to satisfy puppet leaders’ greed for power and money – whose power is nothing more than that allowed them by the Masters who control the world and who pull the strings on their marionettes.

What I Learned from Edward L. Bernays - the man who coined the term "Public Relations"

Colby Glass, MLIS