virus: Manipulation 101 Lesson 10

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 15:40:58 -0800

Lesson #10

There seems to be not enough examples of manipulation in our group,
so for this lesson we will watch manipulation in the old Soviet
Union. There is no way it can resemble this list whatsoever, so
relax and enjoy.

Being raised in Poland, I remember being taught that all major
inventions and achievements in history were made by Soviets. We
knew the real names from our parents, but that was a secret. We
heard about Marconi, for example, but at school we had to remember
that it was Popow who invented "wireless telegraph". It went on
and on. It worked exactly like in Orwel's "1984": the media were
censored, which meant that the name Marconi was not allowed to be
mentioned, so he never was. There were hundreds of jokes about this
Soviet greed for being recognized as the best in the world. The
jokes are hard to translate, many of them were based on play on
words. "Who found that a^2 + b^2 = c^2 ? -- Pietia Goras". Also
Van Gogh was part of one joke when he was recognized as a famous
Russian painter "Ivan Gogh".

When I think of it right now, the jokes probably served as a way to
survive. Millions of people who seriously and actively opposed the
lies and manipulation were killed by Stalin.

For the benefit of this lesson, let's join a group of communist
party members who are discussing marxist-validity of what some of
their comrades are saying. The comrades are all "equal", but as we
will see, some of them claim to be "more equal than others" in this

Comrade David has made a speech about the parasitical tendency
in the communist party to steal ideas from people of achievement.
He pointed out that a deadly notion: "honest effort and individual
accomplishment is worthless" is spread by party members. Comrade
Tad supported him with a made-up story where he took the real words
of other comrades and pretended they were said by some animals in
an animal farm. This caused a big emotional upheaval in the group.

Of course, comrade David and comrade Tad will get their tickets to
Siberia soon. The purpose of this meeting is to find more
dissidents who will join David and Tad in Siberia.

The meeting continues. Comrade Tad explains: "My story was
intended to be a microscope for various vicious ideas spreading
among communist party members all around the world. It seems to
draw quite an emotional feedback from people whose words were used
as examples. Please note, that the examples are not personal, no
names are mentioned. This is intentional according to a good rule
"praise a person, criticize a behaviour". There is no need for the
people who recognise their words to defend themselves. It is an
invitation to discuss the problem, and not the person. I suggest to
use Comrade Stalin favourite words "I don't care who said it" when
speaking in this discussion."

The first rule is to find something wrong and "immoral" in what the
two comrades did. Comrade Tim says:

"You know, Tad, if you had STARTED this meeting with this
introduction we could have had a useful discussion about the way
people interact. We might have even been able to do it without
being as judgemental as you about the perceived "viciousness" of
these ideas you speak of. But, to be honest, you didn't."

This is a very subtle manipulation. Comrade Tim is using a simple
excuse to "prove" that comrade Tad is dishonest. "Of course" the
idea is worth discussing, but not *this* way. He means examples
of "rotten capitalists" and not "us, honest communists". Now
comrade Tim finds fault in comrade David (notice the subtle: "Tad,
we are still friends, you are not as bad, as the other guy").

"This, David R., is why I grew weary. I see enough bratty name
calling in my day to day life. I don't need to see any more, thank

For the benefit of the students of this course: comrade Tim is
swearing as everybody else, comrade Dave he was just joked:
"comrade Tim, I am missing a fucking period here"... and earlier
comrade Tim said to comrade Tad: "I suspect that comrade Richard
was fucking with you to SHOW YOU how easy it is to manipulate
someone that is as serious as you were".

It is just an excuse to hit comrade David. Comrade Tim continues:

"Now, if you really want to re-frame this discussion, I'm all for

Notice, how "eager" he is.

"It could prove a quite constructive use of our time."

Now it's time to show who is in control here, and pretend that it
is OK for those dissidents to work some more on their useless
project -- nobody is *stopping* them, and it's good to keep them
busy, before they go to Siberia anyway.

"Why don't you, comrade Tad and comrade David, restate your
'Lessons' in terms of how people attempt to influence others (for
good or bad, after all, we use the same devices for both), "

The important thing is that the communist party members are to be
shown as ideals -- the whole system is based on it (and besides,
comrade Tim knows he is not an angel either) so he suggests a

"leave off the examples"

Notice, there is a slim chance left for the dissidents to stay, if
they stop criticising other comrades and concentrate on the "rotten
capitalists" (those guys can be quite useful for the propaganda
department). Notice also the "we" and "us", and also the "funny"
way he restates the topic:

"(if we need 'em we'll ask), and let us see what you have to say
about the way dems wacky humans be interactin'."

How would you feel if you were part of such a group? What would
YOU say? Would you risk your life to fight for your ideals or
assume they are all just "dinky ideas" and there is no hope. The
only fun left is vodka and jokes about sex, work, and real life.

I will leave you with comrade Tim's favourite motto: "If you take
yourself or anything else too seriously you open yourself up for

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159