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Undoing excess deaths propaganda
In March 2023, The THiNK TWICE Team (Abir Ballan, MPH; David Charalambous, Behaviour and Communication Expert and Sinead Stringer, Behavioural Scientists) in collaboration with Patrick Fagan (Behavioural Scientists) and Jane Gunn (Conflict Resolution Expert) organised a simulation exercise with several key people speaking against the harmful covid-19 measures.
The goal of the game was to get one step ahead of the establishment by predicting what they might come up with next, and pre-empting it; in other words, to develop a proactive strategy for messaging to inoculate the population about upcoming potential propaganda.
The participants were divided into 3 groups and were expected to play different roles based on their selection: the People (those believing the narrative, those going along the majority, those opposing the narrative); the Establishment (WEF, WHO, IMF, Billionaires, Big Pharma); the Intermediaries (Politicians, Media, Government, Regulators, Health Authorities). The different groups were prompted to discuss how they will respond to the excess deaths observed across the world.
Apart from being a really fun exercise and very cathartic for many, we extracted a few learning points that could inform our strategies as we move forward.
We encourage you to communicate this insight to the public in order to inoculate them against the propaganda. If the public is aware of these tactics, they will be able to recognise them and see through them.
For me, the most important piece of learning was that better communication is rooted in a better understanding of the assumptions that underlie people’s beliefs. For this, It might be worth it to engage in discussions with others without an agenda to convert them but with the hope that change will flow naturally in time.
Please see below our takeaways…
So what did we learn?
Excess deaths are high, and the establishment will probably try to manage public perception. We predicted the tactics they would use. The end goal was to think of some key principles which, shown to the public, would immunise against these tactics. We found five strong ones.
Dead Cats On The Table
They will seek to confuse and distract the public and keep their minds on anything but excess deaths. We can expect to see more ‘dead cats thrown on the table’, like a new virus or the Harry and Meghan circus. If people can be taught to recognise ‘dead cats’ they are less likely to be distracted by them.
What Are The Chances? Net Zero.
While you might think that current affairs would happen randomly, many of them coincidentally support the Net Zero agenda - less farming, more surveillance, less trust in public health, and so on. If people can be shown the preposterous nature of these ‘coincidences’, they can call them out for what they are.
That Just Means It’s Working
They may use the inversion principle and claim that excess deaths are in fact a good thing - they are simply proof that their ‘flatten the curve’ theory is working (deaths were pushed into the future). These arguments can be punctured in advance through the “that just means it’s working” ridicule.
Booster Deficiency Syndrome
In another case of inversion, they may blame the unvaccinated, saying that excess deaths are rising because people haven’t had enough vaccines. They may alternatively blame long Covid, or look for a ‘fall guy’ like the media. If people can be taught about scapegoats, they may be less likely to fall for them.
They appear to be incrementally admitting the truth in dribs and drabs, only admitting what most people know already, which makes it much more palatable (much like a caught unfaithful spouse). If people are made aware of this incremental nature of admission, they may start to demand the whole truth.
We believe that teaching people about these principles will reduce their effectiveness when used by the establishment. This is a psychological principle known as
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