The Brainwashing of the Catholic Mind

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by BrianK, Mar 28, 2022.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Powers Staff Member

    The Brainwashing of the Catholic Mind
    Recent years have been dominated by The Narrative. Of course, The Narrative changes regularly, so perhaps it’s more accurate to say we have been repeatedly dominated by The Current Narrative. The most prominent Current Narrative has been the Covid Narrative, which commands us to adhere to all the (contradictory) directives of Dr. Fauci unless we want to kill Grandma.

    Other Current Narratives include the insistence that a man can declare himself a woman, or that we’re all racists or, more recently, that we must stand with Ukraine, even if it means starting World War III.

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    Each Current Narrative has all the classic characteristics of propaganda. Media expert Renee Hobbs in her book Mind Over Mediaidentified four features of contemporary propaganda:

    1. It activates strong emotions;
    2. it simplifies information;
    3. it appeals to the hopes, fears, and dreams of a targeted audience; and
    4. it attacks opponents.
    Consider just the Covid Narrative and how well it fits this definition of propaganda: Millions and millions will die (strong emotions) unless everyone is in this together (hopes and dreams of audience) and masks/vaccinates (simplified information), but if we don’t, that means you want Grandma to die for your own self-centered reasons (attacking opponents).

    I remember clearly in March 2020 that anytime I dared question the Covid Narrative I was flatly told that two million people (it was always two million!) would die within a few months. This is the way of The Current Narrative: demonize opponents with unfalsifiable statements (at least, unfalsifiable at the time they are made) that tap into our deepest fears.

    Social media is tailor-made for amplifying The Current Narrative. There’s little room in social media for nuanced debate, and any views heretical to The Current Narrative are quickly banned by Big Tech. Further, social media fosters a false sense of community in which we can quickly and easily mark our participation in the latest cause.

    Just look at the practice of showing support for The Current Narrative on one’s social media profile. In just the past two years, social media profiles have moved from proclaiming “Stay Home to Save Lives” to “Black Lives Matter” to “Mask Up!” to “I’m Vaccinated” to “I Stand with Ukraine.” There’s even a meme mocking this trend: “I Support the Current Thing.”

    The quick and total acceptance of The Current Narrative is inherently creepy in its groupthink—it’s likely that very few of those declaring their unconditional acceptance of that Narrative knew anything about the subject in question just days before support for it became mandatory. Yet now we all must display our acceptance or else be considered not on the “right side of history.” Our fear of social rejection drives us to endlessly follow the crowd, which history has shown can lead to dire consequences for a society.

    Note that The Current Narrative isn’t always, or even usually, 100% false. Propaganda is more powerful when it is laced with a good dollop of truth. Covid, for instance, is truly a deadly disease for some people, and those who are at risk for severe reactions to Covid should take measures (moral ones) to protect themselves. But this truth is twisted to stereotype anyone skeptical of The Covid Narrative as being a “science denier.” Likewise, the people of Ukraine are clearly suffering from an unjust invasion, but questioning the wisdom of the United States getting involved militarily doesn’t make one a “Putin stooge.”

    Sadly, Catholics from the pope to the plain parishioner show no built-in resistance to this brainwashing.For example, although the Church has a long history fighting racism, and Catholicism is likely the most diverse religion on the planet, suddenly in the summer of 2020 we heard all the Current Narrative Catholics telling us that the Church, like the world, was inherently racist. We needed to create new programs and invest vast resources fighting a problem that almost no one knew about, or at least cared about, a few weeks prior. This wasn’t a case of addressing long-standing issues—it was an exercise in submission to groupthink.

    Of course, the most egregious example of Catholics blindly accepting The Current Narrative occurred two years ago when every single bishop in America—and most in the Western world—shut down all public Masses, simply because everyone around them was freaking out and shutting everything else down. I realize it’s easy in hindsight to criticize our bishops for this totally unnecessary action, but at the same time we should ask ourselves why they were so quick to do it, and why so many Catholics accepted it as a reasonable response.

    I fear the same blind acceptance of The Current Narrative could have dire global consequences today, as now the latest Current Narrative is to proclaim our undying support for Ukraine—even if that undying support could lead to millions of people dying. While we might (and should) be sympathetic to the sufferings of innocent Ukrainians and Russians, that sympathy should not translate into supporting actions that expand that suffering to the rest of the world.

    Here’s where it’s important to reflect on the motivations behind any Current Narrative. There’s always a reason given for the propaganda (“Save lives!” “Stop Racism!” “Defend Ukraine!”), but the reality is that the most powerful of those pushing The Current Narrative usually have ulterior motives. After all, doing what we’re told to do by The Current Narrative-pushers rarely achieves the stated goal and typically even makes things worse (see: Covid lockdowns). Does that mean the elite Narrative-pushers failed? No, it likely means the stated goal was not their actual goal.

    In the case of the corporate media, often the true motivation is simply more viewers, which means more advertisers and more money. At the outbreak of the Ukraine war, CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted, “The past 24 hours are a reminder that consumers in an era of YouTube and TikTok still gravitate to trusted, established news outlets during emergencies. They ‘know where to go,’ so to speak. And television coverage is essential.”

    Stelter is essentially saying that emergencies (particularly wars) are good for CNN’s business. Corporate media thus has an incentive to rile up the masses and extend and expand the conflict as much as possible. Nothing sells shampoo and smartphones like death and destruction.

    Of course there might be other, more sinister, motivations behind pushing The Current Narrative, such as the Great Reset or President Biden’s connections to Ukraine. Not long ago I would have discounted such speculations as tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories, but with the conspiracy theorists having a better batting average than mainstream pundits lately, I’m not so fast to discount them now.

    Ultimately, however, the point isn’t necessarily to divine all the motives behind Current Narrative-pushers, but to understand that there is a propagandist Narrative being pushed.

    So how can Catholics resist falling hook, line, and sinker for The Next Narrative? I think one great corrective is to spend more time reading the Bible than reading social media. Not just because social media has an amplifying effect on The Current Narrative, but because going deep into the story of our salvation gives one an altered worldview. The person formed by the Sacred Scriptures sees that all the warped efforts of today’s world leaders are fundamentally no different than the schemes of all the enemies of God’s people. Knowing the Bible helps us to see how God is always at work in the world, and in spite of all the machinations of men the providence of God still reigns.

    So, for example, when Covid broke, the person formed in the Bible kept a properly spiritual perspective, understanding that in times of crisis, nothing is more important than the Sacraments, particularly the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Further, a Biblically-formed Catholic worldview reminded him that physical death is not the worst thing in the world; sin is.

    As we continue to live through The Current Narrative, let us be better prepared for The Next Narrative. This does not mean we simply accept any and all conspiracy theories rejecting whatever that Narrative might be, but it does mean that we see The Current Narrative in the context of our Catholic Faith and how often the motivations of those pushing it are contrary to the truth of Catholicism. Let’s be more willing to resist The Current Narrative in order to better proclaim The Eternal Narrative: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    jackzokay, Julia, Patrick and 7 others like this.
  2. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    I am convinced the Rosary is the antidote to propaganda, carnal & worldly thinking.

    The daily Rosary means reflecting and mediating on the sublime mysteries of our faith, the incarnation, Passion & Death, and the resurrection of Christ the King. Thus, the rosary shapes our world view as it is Christocentric. Know Mary, know Jesus.

    'And be not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God'. (Romans 12v2)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2022
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  3. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    Agree 100%
    well said
    Julia, djmoforegon, Jo M and 3 others like this.
  4. AED

    AED Powers

    So so so true!(y)
    I am convinced it is Our Lady and her daily prayer of the Rosary that keeps us on the straight path. I have come to this conclusion by observing Catholics who give Our Lady and the Rosary a pass--i.e. "outdated"--and those who are consecrated to her and pray the Rosary devoutly every day. Interestingly enough they are also very pro life. Our Lady spouse of the Holy Spirit makes sure we have discernment. She really is the Noah's ark of our time to keep us safe from the flood.
    Michael Pio, Clare A, Julia and 9 others like this.
  5. Mario

    Mario Powers

    She is so wonderful! I love our Lady!
    Julia, Jo M, miker and 4 others like this.
  6. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    “Interestingly enough they are also very pro life.”….yes AED…I see the exact same thing. They go hand in hand!
    Julia, miker, Sam and 3 others like this.
  7. Heidi

    Heidi Powers

    Sadly, I know Catholics who pray the Rosary daily and even go to daily Mass, but still are very liberal/progressive and follow along with the Current Narrative.
    Carol55, jackzokay, Julia and 6 others like this.
  8. padraig

    padraig Powers

    I know, it is so puzzling and sad. In the Church I go to every morning I would say 90% of people still wear masks. I don't see this in the Supermarkets or in Public Transport or in the streets ,were I would say 60% or more no longer wear masks.

    My brother who is a Traditional Catholic told me he met his Parish Priest who defended Pope Francis's crack down on Traditionalists. When my brother asked him why, the Father said that it was because too many Seminarians and the Faithful, especially young people, wanted the Old Rite.

    This seems to me a little like saying that Bank Robbery is OK because too many people have more money than oneself.

    Committing an immoral act in order to achieve what you see as a good end.
    jackzokay, Clare A, Julia and 6 others like this.
  9. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    Likewise Heidi! I’ll never understand their thinking. It’s as their politics is their religion. I know many priest who are liberal/progressives and this is why our church is in trouble…big trouble.
    How anyone could vote for a liberal/progressive and think Gods ok with their platform is beyond me. You can’t separate your faith from the practical application of it when you’re voting.
    Clare A, Julia, Mary's child and 4 others like this.
  10. AED

    AED Powers

    Julia, Jo M and Beth B like this.
  11. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    The great divide…and secret meetings about Vatican II….

    Clare A, Julia, AED and 1 other person like this.
  12. BrianK

    BrianK Powers Staff Member

    Thanks Beth, I was just going to post this somewhere, LOL!
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  13. padraig

    padraig Powers

    I was thinking about this and found a strange consolation in thinking , 'Thus it is and thus it has always been'. I mean even as far back as the Apostles there were False Teachers and Apostates even amongst Church leaders and Saint Paul warned about this quite openly. Hardly was the Church out of the oven when the Church Fathers were in a fight to the very death over this. Take Arianism for instance. So the fact that this is not a whole brand new thing cheers me up a lot. For if Our Fathers in the Faith could fight this horrible stuff and beat it to the ground so can..and will we. We have Christ's promise on it.

    One of the difficulties about all this is that people who promote this stuff can look and sound exactly like the rest of us.

    I was remembering a clip from the film on the life of Saint Augustine when the Saint and the Orthodox Bishops faced the Donatist Bishops. They all looked and sound much the same.

    Wolves in sheep's clothing; the same as today

    Julia likes this.
  14. padraig

    padraig Powers

    The Great Difficulty today is the loss of Reality in the Secular World and the loss of Theological Reality in our poor Holy Mother the Church. This is a great trial.

    If I believe that,say, Bank Robbery is wrong and my family and neighbours say it is wrong , the Law says it is wrong, the Media shouts that it is wrong, the vast majority of my countrymen says it is wrong and it is taught to be wrong in our schools and Culture; why then it is the easiest thing in the world for me to maintain it to be wrong.

    But if the tides of time shift things and I stand virtually alone in saying that Bank Robbery is wrong whilst the rest change their opinions then I am faced with a great Moral and personal test and trail. Most especially so if even my own Spiritual Leaders turn against me.

    But there is also a great blessing in all this. I am forced to turn to God in all this and beg Him through His grace to confirm me in the Truths of the Faith and the truths of the Natural Law itself.

    So it is no longer enough for the good, devout Catholic to be a box ticker. They must go to relearn the why's and wherefores of Church Teaching and what Scripture authentically says, of we will be lost in the tumult of the surrounding madness. We will be lost.

    But most of all we must turn to God in deepest prayer. Only the Catholics who sincerely strive for Holiness will keep the Faith in these Dark Days of ever deepening madness.


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  15. padraig

    padraig Powers

    But it is young people I feel most sorry for in all this. Young people like so much to be a part of the crowd...and the crowd these days has suddenly turned very dark and nuts.

    I am more and more inclined to suspect that a lot of these people, both within the Church and without are stark, staring, crazy.

    Beth B, Julia, Sam and 4 others like this.
  16. padraig

    padraig Powers

    There is no end to all this you know except Crash and Burn. Once you take of the Moral Brakes, the very things that bind us together as people and Society there is no end to it. We become our very own God. There is nothing new in all this, we are watching our Empire of the West decaying and heading for destruction. Others outside the West such as Russia and China and Islam recognise this. They know we have totally lost the plot. We ourselves have no idea. But then the mad person is the very last to realise that they have gone insane...if they do.
    Beth B, Clare A, Julia and 6 others like this.
  17. Jo M

    Jo M Powers

    At this pont, Disney is probably regretting their Florida location. Gov.Ron DeSantis is giving them a run for their money. It is unlikely there will ever be a leaked Disney meeting where executives discuss the pedophiles who work for the company. In a recent sting operation in Orlando, 100 individuals were arrested in connection with a human trafficking ring. Several of these people were Disney employees, one was even a lifeguard at one of their popular resorts. This is certainly not the first incident involving Disney employees, they do a lousy job of vetting new hires who will be surrounded by children on the job. :( Thousands of parents bring their children to Disney parks, and hotels believing it is a safe place to vacation with their families, and this is exactly what these creeps count on.
    Beth B, Julia, Mary's child and 5 others like this.
  18. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    It’s the tip of the iceberg, I fear.
    Beth B, Julia, Mary's child and 4 others like this.
  19. padraig

    padraig Powers

    It seems to be everywhere. Mind blowing.

    When I hear of stuff like this I think at once of Satanism. I don't think it's ever far behind.
    Beth B, Julia, Mary's child and 6 others like this.
  20. Mario

    Mario Powers

    I break my vacation because of the horror of the above. What a slap in the face.

    Lord have Mercy!
    Beth B, Byron, Julia and 7 others like this.

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