Connect with us

VC Resources

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society



How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Mass media is the most powerful tool used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses. It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable. This article looks at the workings of mass media through the theories of its major thinkers, its power structure and the techniques it uses, in order to understand its true role in society.

Most of the articles on this site discuss occult symbolism found in objects of popular culture. From these articles arise many legitimate questions relating to the purpose of those symbols and the motivations of those who place them there, but it is impossible for me to provide satisfactory answers to these questions without mentioning many other concepts and facts. This article explores the theoretical and methodological background of the analyses presented on this site as well as introducing the main scholars of the field of mass communications. Some people read my articles and think I’m saying “Lady Gaga wants to control our minds”. That is not the case. She is simply a small part of the huge system that is the mass media.

Programming Through Mass Media

Mass media are media forms designed to reach the largest audience possible. They include television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, records, video games and the internet. Many studies have been conducted in the past century to measure the effects of mass media on the population in order to discover the best techniques to influence it. From those studies emerged the science of Communications, which is used in marketing, public relations and politics. Mass communication is a necessary tool to ensure the functionality of a large democracy; it is also a necessary tool for a dictatorship. It all depends on its usage.

In the 1958 preface to A Brave New World, Aldous Huxley paints a rather grim portrait of society. He believes it is controlled by an “impersonal force”, a ruling elite, which manipulates the population using various methods.

“Impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously accelerated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new techniques for manipulating, in the interest of some minority, the thoughts and feelings of the masses.”
– Aldous Huxley, Preface to A Brave New World

His bleak outlook is not a simple hypothesis or a paranoid delusion. It is a documented fact, present in the world’s most important studies on mass media. Here are some of them:

Elite Thinkers

Walter Lippmann

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Walter Lippman.

Walter Lippmann, an American intellectual, writer and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner brought forth one of the first works concerning the usage of mass media in America. In Public Opinion (1922), Lippmann compared the masses to a “great beast” and a “bewildered herd” that needed to be guided by a governing class. He described the ruling elite as “a specialized class whose interests reach beyond the locality.” This class is composed of experts, specialists, and bureaucrats. According to Lippmann, the experts, who often are referred to as “elites,” are to be a machinery of knowledge that circumvents the primary defect of democracy, the impossible ideal of the “omnicompetent citizen.” The trampling and roaring “bewildered herd” has its function: to be “the interested spectators of action,” i.e. not participants. Participation is the duty of “the responsible man”, which is not a regular citizen.

Mass media and propaganda are therefore tools that must be used by the elite to rule the public without physical coercion. One important concept presented by Lippmann is the “manufacture of consent”, which is, in short, the manipulation of public opinion to accept the elite’s agenda. It is Lippmann’s opinion that the general public is not qualified to reason and to decide on important issues. It is therefore important for the elite to decide “for its own good” and then sell those decisions to the masses.

“That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power. . . . Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach.”
–Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion

It might be interesting to note that Lippmann is one of the founding fathers of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the most influential foreign policy think tank in the world. This fact should give you a small hint of the mind state of the elite concerning the usage of media.

“Political and economic power in the United States is concentrated in the hands of a “ruling elite” that controls most of U.S.-based multinational corporations, major communication media, the most influential foundations, major private universities and most public utilities. Founded in 1921, the Council of Foreign Relations is the key link between the large corporations and the federal government. It has been called a “school for statesmen” and “comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite – a group of men, similar in interest and outlook shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes. The creation of the United Nations was a Council project, as well as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.”
– Steve Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States

Some current members of the CFR include David Rockefeller, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, mega-church pastor Rick Warren and the CEOs of major corporations such as CBS, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Visa.

Carl Jung

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Carl Jung.

Carl Jung is the founder of analytical psychology (also known as Jungian psychology), which emphasizes understanding the psyche by exploring dreams, art, mythology, religion, symbols, and philosophy. The Swiss therapist is at the origin of many psychological concepts used today such as the Archetype, the Complex, the Persona, the Introvert/Extrovert, and Synchronicity. He was highly influenced by the occult background of his family. Carl Gustav, his grandfather, was an avid Freemason (he was Grand Master) and Jung himself discovered that some of his ancestors were Rosicrucians. This might explain his great interest in Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology and symbolism. One of his most important (and misunderstood) concepts was the Collective Unconscious.

“My thesis, then, is as follows: In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.”
– Carl Jung, The Concept of the Collective Unconscious

The collective unconscious transpires through the existence of similar symbols and mythological figures in different civilizations. Archetypal symbols seem to be embedded in our collective subconscious, and, when exposed to them, we demonstrate natural attraction and fascination. Occult symbols can, therefore, exert a great impact on people, even if many individuals were never personally introduced to the symbol’s esoteric meaning. Mass media thinkers, such as Edward D. Bernays, found in this concept a great way to manipulate the public’s personal and collective unconscious.

Edward  Bernays

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Edward Bernays.

Edward Bernays is considered to be the “father of public relations” and used concepts discovered by his uncle Sigmund Freud to manipulate the public using the subconscious. He shared Walter Lippmann’s view of the general population by considering it irrational and subject to the “herd instinct”. In his opinion, the masses need to be manipulated by an invisible government to ensure the survival of democracy.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.”
– Edward Bernays, Propaganda

Bernay’s trailblazing marketing campaigns profoundly changed the functioning of American society. He basically created “consumerism” by creating a culture wherein Americans bought for pleasure instead of buying for survival. For this reason, he was considered by Life Magazine to be in the Top 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.

Harold Lasswell

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Harold Lasswell.

In 1939-1940, the University of Chicago was the host of a series of secret seminars on communications. These think tanks were funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and involved the most prominent researchers in the fields of communications and sociological studies. One of these scholars was Harold Lasswell, a leading American political scientist, and communications theorist, specializing in the analysis of propaganda. He was also of the opinion that a democracy, a government ruled by the people, could not sustain itself without a specialized elite shaping and molding public opinion through propaganda.

In his Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, Lasswell explained that when elites lack the requisite force to compel obedience, social managers must turn to “a whole new technique of control, largely through propaganda.” He added the conventional justification: we must recognize the “ignorance and stupidity [of] … the masses and not succumb to democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests.”

Lasswell extensively studied the field of content analysis in order to understand the effectiveness of different types of propaganda.  In his essay Contents of Communication, Lasswell explained that, in order to understand the meaning of a message (i.e. a movie, a speech, a book, etc.), one should take into account the frequency with which certain symbols appear in the message, the direction in which the symbols try to persuade the audience’s opinion, and the intensity of the symbols used.

Lasswell was famous for his media analysis model based on:

Who (says) What (to) Whom (in) What Channel (with) What Effect

By this model, Lasswell indicates that in order to properly analyze a media product, one must look at who produced the product (the people who ordered its creation),  who was it aimed at (the target audience) and what were the desired effects of this product (to inform, to convince, to sell, etc.) on the audience.

Using a Rihanna video as an example, the analysis would be as follows: WHO PRODUCED: Vivendi Universal; WHAT: pop artist Rihanna; TO WHOM: consumers between the ages of 9 and 25; WHAT CHANNEL: music video; and WHAT EFFECT: selling the artist, her song, her image and her message.

The analyzes of videos and movies on The Vigilant Citizen place great importance on the “who is behind” the messages communicated to the public. The term “Illuminati” is often used to describe this small elite group covertly ruling the masses. Although the term sounds quite caricatured and conspiratorial, it aptly describes the elite’s affinities with secret societies and occult knowledge. However, I personally detest using the term “conspiracy theory” to describe what is happening in the mass media. If all the facts concerning the elitist nature of the industry are readily available to the public, can it still be considered a  “conspiracy theory”?

There used to be a variety of viewpoints, ideas, and opinions in popular culture. The consolidation of media corporations has, however, produced a standardization of the cultural industry. Ever wondered why all recent music sounds the same and all recent movies look the same? The following is part of the answer:

Media Ownership

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

As depicted in the graph above, the number of corporations owning the majority of U.S. media outlets went from 50 to 5 in less than 20 years. Here are the top corporations evolving around the world and the assets they own.

1- AOL Time Warner

“A list of the properties controlled by AOL Time Warner takes ten typed pages listing 292 separate companies and subsidiaries. Of these, twenty-two are joint ventures with other major corporations involved in varying degrees with media operations. These partners include 3Com, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Citigroup, Ticketmaster, American Express, Homestore, Sony, Viva, Bertelsmann, Polygram, and Some of the more familiar fully owned properties of Time Warner include Book-of-the-Month Club; Little, Brown publishers; HBO, with its seven channels; CNN; seven specialized and foreign-language channels; Road Runner; Warner Brothers Studios; Weight Watchers; Popular Science; and fifty-two different record labels.”
– Ben Bagdikan, The New Media Monopoly

AOL Time Warner owns:

  • 64 magazines, including Time, Life, People, MAD Magazine and DC Comics
  • Warner Bros, New Line and Fine Line Features in cinema
  • More than 40 music labels including Warner Bros, Atlantic and Elektra
  • Many television networks such as WB Networks, HBO, Cinemax, TNT, Cartoon Network and CNN
  • Madonna, Sean Paul, The White Stripes

2- Viacom

Viacom owns:

  • CBS, MTV, MTV2, UPN, VH1, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TNN, CMT and BET
  • Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, MTV Films
  • Blockbuster Videos
  • 1800 screens in theaters through Famous Players

3- The Walt Disney Company

“Disney ownership of a hockey team called The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim does not begin to describe the vastness of the kingdom. Hollywood is still its symbolic heart, with eight movie production studios and distributors: Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax, Buena Vista Home Video, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Buena Vista International, Hollywood Pictures, and Caravan Pictures.

The Walt Disney Company controls eight book house imprints under Walt Disney Company Book Publishing and ABC Publishing Group; seventeen magazines; the ABC Television Network, with ten owned and operated stations of its own including in the five top markets; thirty radio stations, including all the major markets; eleven cable channels, including Disney, ESPN (jointly), A&E, and the History Channel; thirteen international broadcast channels stretching from Australia to Brazil; seven production and sports units around the world; and seventeen Internet sites, including the ABC group, ESPN.sportszone,,, and Its five music groups include the Buena Vista, Lyric Street, and Walt Disney labels, and live theater productions growing out of the movies The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and King David.”
– Ibid

The Walt Disney Company owns:

  • ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, A&E, History Channel
  • Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Film Corp., Dimension and Buena Vista International
  • Miley Cyrus/ Hannah Montana, Selena Gomez, Jonas Brothers

4- Vivendi Universal

Vivendi Universal owns:

  • 27% of US music sales, labels include: Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Island, Def Jam, MCA, Mercury, Motown and Universal
  • Universal Studios, Studio Canal, Polygram Films, Canal +
  • Numerous internet and cell phone companies
  • Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z

5- Sony

Sony owns:

  • Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics
  • 15% of US Music sales, labels include Columbia, Epic, Sony, Arista, Jive and RCA Records
  • Beyonce, Shakira, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera

A limited number of actors in the cultural industry means a limited amount of viewpoints and ideas making their way to the general public. It also means that a single message can easily saturate all forms of media to generate consent (i.e. “there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq”).

The Standardization of Human Thought

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

An ad for a television set. Symbolic.

The merger of media companies in the last decades generated a small oligarchy of media conglomerates. The TV shows we follow, the music we listen to, the movies we watch and the newspapers we read are all produced by FIVE corporations. The owners of those conglomerates have close ties with the world’s elite and, in many ways, they ARE the elite. By owning all of the possible outlets having the potential to reach the masses, these conglomerates have the power to create in the minds of the people a single and cohesive worldview, engendering a “standardization of human thought”.

Even movements or styles that are considered marginal are, in fact, extensions of mainstream thinking. Mass media produce their own rebels who definitely look the part but are still part of the establishment and do not question any of it. Artists, creations, and ideas that do not fit the mainstream way of thinking are mercilessly rejected and forgotten by the conglomerates, which in turn makes them virtually disappear from society itself. However, ideas that are deemed to be valid and desirable to be accepted by society are skillfully marketed to the masses in order to make them become a self-evident norm.

In 1928, Edward Bernays already saw the immense potential of motion pictures to standardize thought:

“The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today. It is a great distributor for ideas and opinions. The motion picture can standardize the ideas and habits of a nation. Because pictures are made to meet market demands, they reflect, emphasize and even exaggerate broad popular tendencies, rather than stimulate new ideas and opinions. The motion picture avails itself only of ideas and facts which are in vogue. As the newspaper seeks to purvey news, it seeks to purvey entertainment.”
– Edward Bernays, Propaganda

These facts were flagged as dangers to human freedom in the 1930’s by thinkers of the school of Frankfurt such as Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse. They identified three main problems with the cultural industry. The industry can:

  1. reduce human beings to the state of mass by hindering the development of emancipated individuals, who are capable of making rational decisions;
  2. replace the legitimate drive for autonomy and self-awareness by the safe laziness of conformism and passivity; and
  3. validate the idea that men actually seek to escape the absurd and cruel world in which they live by losing themselves in a hypnotic state self-satisfaction.

The notion of escapism is even more relevant today with the advent of online video games, 3D movies, and home theaters. The masses, constantly seeking state-of-the-art entertainment, will resort to high-budget products that can only be produced by the biggest media corporations in the world. These products contain carefully calculated messages and symbols which are nothing more and nothing less than entertaining propaganda. The public has been trained to LOVE its propaganda to the extent that it spends its hard-earned money to be exposed to it. Propaganda (used in both political, cultural and commercial sense) is no longer the coercive or authoritative communication form found in dictatorships: it has become the synonym of entertainment and pleasure.

“In regard to propaganda, the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies — the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”
– Aldous Huxley, Preface to A Brave New World

A single piece of media often does not have a lasting effect on the human psyche. Mass media, however, by its omnipresent nature, creates a living environment we evolve in on a daily basis. It defines the norm and excludes the undesirable. The same way carriage horses wear blinders so they can only see what is right in front of them, the masses can only see where they are supposed to go.

“It is the emergence of mass media which makes possible the use of propaganda techniques on a societal scale. The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment. Mass media provides the essential link between the individual and the demands of the technological society.”
– Jacques Ellul

One of the reasons mass media successfully influences society is due to the extensive amount of research on cognitive sciences and human nature that has been applied to it.

Manipulation Techniques

“Publicity is the deliberate attempt to manage the public’s perception of a subject. The subjects of publicity include people (for example, politicians and performing artists), goods and services, organizations of all kinds, and works of art or entertainment.”

The drive to sell products and ideas to the masses has to lead to an unprecedented amount of research on human behavior and on the human psyche. Cognitive sciences, psychology, sociology, semiotics, linguistics and other related fields were and still are extensively researched through well-funded studies.

“No group of sociologists can approximate the ad teams in the gathering and processing of exploitable social data. The ad teams have billions to spend annually on research and testing of reactions, and their products are magnificent accumulations of material about the shared experience and feelings of the entire community.”
– Marshall McLuhan, The Extensions of Man

The results of those studies are applied to advertisements, movies, music videos and other media in order to make them as influential as possible. The art of marketing is highly calculated and scientific because it must reach both the individual and the collective consciousness. In high-budget cultural products, a video is never “just a video,” Images, symbols, and meanings are strategically placed in order to generate a desired effect.

“It is with knowledge of the human being, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his automatisms as well as knowledge of social psychology and analytical psychology that propaganda refines its techniques.”
– Propagandes, Jacques Ellul (free translation)

Today’s propaganda almost never uses rational or logical arguments. It directly taps into a human’s most primal needs and instincts in order to generate an emotional and irrational response. If we always thought rationally, we probably wouldn’t buy 50% of what we own. Babies and children are constantly found in advertisements targeting women for a specific reason: studies have shown that images of children trigger in women an instinctual need to nurture, to care and to protect, ultimately leading to a sympathetic bias towards the advertisement.

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Strange old 7up ad using the cuteness of babies

Sex is ubiquitous in mass media, as it draws and keeps the viewer’s attention. It directly connects to our animal need to breed and to reproduce, and, when triggered, this instinct can instantly overshadow any other rational thoughts in our brain.

Subliminal Perception

What if the messages described above were able to reach directly the viewers’ subconscious mind, without the viewers even realizing what is happening? That is the goal of subliminal perception. The phrase subliminal advertising was coined in 1957 by the US market researcher James Vicary, who said he could get moviegoers to “drink Coca-Cola” and “eat popcorn” by flashing those messages onscreen for such a short time that viewers were unaware.

“Subliminal perception is a deliberate process created by communications technicians, by which you receive and respond to information and instructions without being consciously aware of the instructions”
– Steve Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States

This technique is often used in marketing and we all know that sex sells.

Although some sources claim that subliminal advertising is ineffective or even an urban myth, the documented usage of this technique in mass media proves that creators believe in its powers. Recent studies have also proven its effectiveness, especially when the message is negative.

” A team from University College London, funded by the Wellcome Trust, found that it [subliminal perception] was particularly good at instilling negative thoughts. There has been much speculation about whether people can process emotional information unconsciously, for example pictures, faces and words,” said Professor Nilli Lavie, who led the research. We have shown that people can perceive the emotional value of subliminal messages and have demonstrated conclusively that people are much more attuned to negative words.”
– Source

A famous example of subliminal messaging in political communications is in George Bush’s advertisement against Al Gore in 2000. Right after the name of Gore is mentioned, the ending of the word “bureaucrats” – “rats” – flashes on the screen for a split second.

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

The discovery of this trickery caused quite a stir and, even if there are no laws against subliminal messaging in the U.S., the advertisement was taken off the air.

As seen in many articles on The Vigilant Citizen, subliminal and semi-subliminal messages are often used in movies and music videos to communicate messages and ideas to the viewers.


In the past, when changes were imposed on populations, they would take to the streets, protest and even riot. The main reason for this clash was due to the fact that the change was clearly announced by the rulers and understood by the population. It was sudden and its effects could clearly be analyzed and evaluated. Today, when the elite needs a part of its agenda to be accepted by the public, it is done through desensitization. The agenda, which might go against the public best interests,  is slowly, gradually and repetitively introduced to the world through movies (by involving it within the plot), music videos (who make it cool and sexy) or the news (who present it as a solution to today’s problems). After several years of exposing the masses to a particular agenda, the elite openly presents the concept the world and, due to mental programming, it is greeted with general indifference and is passively accepted. This technique originates from psychotherapy.

“The techniques of psychotherapy, widely practiced and accepted as a means of curing psychological disorders, are also methods of controlling people. They can be used systematically to influence attitudes and behavior. Systematic desensitization is a method used to dissolve anxiety so the patient (public) is no longer troubled by a specific fear, a fear of violence for example. […] People adapt to frightening situations if they are exposed to them enough”.
– Steven Jacobson, Mind Control in the United States

Predictive programming is often found in the science fiction genre. It presents a specific image of the future – the one that is desired by the elite – and ultimately becomes in the minds of men an inevitability. A decade ago, the public was being desensitized to war against the Arab world. Today, the population is gradually being exposed to the existence of mind control, of transhumanism and of an Illuminati elite. Emerging from the shadows, those concepts are now everywhere in popular culture. This is what Alice Bailey describes as the “externalization of the hierarchy”: the hidden rulers slowly revealing themselves.

Occult Symbolism in Pop Culture

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Metropolis – a movie by the elite, for the elite?

Contrarily to the information presented above, documentation on occult symbolism is rather hard to find. This should not come as a surprise as the term “occult”, literally means “hidden”. It also means “reserved to those in the know” as it is only communicated to those who are deemed worthy of the knowledge. It is not taught in schools nor is it discussed in the media. It is thus considered marginal or even ridiculous by the general population.

Occult knowledge is NOT, however, considered ridiculous in occult circles. It is considered timeless and sacred. There is a long tradition of hermetic and occult knowledge being taught through secret societies originating from ancient Egyptians to Eastern Mystics, to the Knights Templar to modern day Freemasons. Even if the depth of this knowledge was most probably lost throughout the centuries, mystery schools kept their main features, which are highly symbolic, ritualistic and metaphysical. Those characteristics, which were an intricate part of ancient civilizations, have totally been evacuated from modern society to be replaced by pragmatic materialism. For this reason, there lies an important gap of understanding between the pragmatic average person and the ritualistic establishment.

“If this inner doctrine were always concealed from the masses, for whom a simpler code had been devised, is it not highly probable that the exponents of every aspect of modern civilization – philosophic, ethical, religious, and scientific-are ignorant of the true meaning of the very theories and tenets on which their beliefs are founded? Do the arts and sciences that the race has inherited from older nations conceal beneath their fair exterior a mystery so great that only the most illumined intellect can grasp its import? Such is undoubtedly the case.”
– Manly P. Hall, Secret Teachings of All Ages

The “simpler code” devised for the masses used to be organized religions. It is now becoming the Temple of the Mass Media and it preaches on a daily basis extreme materialism, spiritual vacuosity and a self-centered, individualistic existence. This is exactly the opposite of the attributes required to become a truly free individual, as taught by all great philosophical schools of thought. Is a dumbed-down population easier to deceive and to manipulate?

“These blind slaves are told they are “free” and “highly educated” even as they march behind signs that would cause any medieval peasant to run screaming away from them in panic-stricken terror. The symbols that modern man embraces with the naive trust of an infant would be tantamount to billboards reading, ‘This way to your death and enslavement,’ to the understanding of the traditional peasant of antiquity”
– Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare

How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

In Conclusion

This article examined the major thinkers in the field of mass media, the media power structure and the techniques used to manipulate the masses. I believe this information is vital to the understanding of the “why” in the topics discussed on The Vigilant Citizen.  The  “mass population” versus “ruling class” dichotomy described in many articles is not a “conspiracy theory” (again, I hate that term), but a reality that has been clearly stated in the works of some of the 20th century’s most influential men.

Lippmann, Bernays, and Lasswell have all declared that the public is not fit to decide their own fate, which is the inherent goal of democracy. Instead, they called for a cryptocracy, a hidden government, a ruling class in charge of the “bewildered herd.” As their ideas continue to be applied to society, it is increasingly apparent that an ignorant population is not an obstacle that the rulers must deal with: It is something that is DESIRABLE and, indeed, necessary, to ensure total leadership. An ignorant population does not know its rights, does not seek a greater understanding of issues and does not question authorities. It simply follows trends. Popular culture caters to and nurtures ignorance by continually serving up brain-numbing entertainment and spotlighting degenerate celebrities to be idolized.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Support The Vigilant Citizen on Patreon.
How Mass Media Shapes and Molds Society

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get an e-mail notification as soon as a new article is published on The Vigilant Citizen.

Leave a Comment

newest oldest most voted
Anna Z

Thank you Vigilant Citizen, I just recently discovered this site and it's great reading various articles here, I'm learning a lot and I appreciate all the information you put together and enjoy your sense of humor too. I'm a Christian and I have faith that Jesus forgives me of my sins, I love Jesus, The Father and the Holy Spirit, I will be alright on Judgement Day, not through any of my works, I am not worthy, only through the Gift I accept from God with my free will… Some churches teach there will be a rapture before the anti-christ appears on the scene and some churches teach there won't be a rapture… I'm non-denominational and mostly just read the Bible from home and pray and ask for more faith and ask for forgiveness of my sins, and so many things, I just tell Him whats in my heart, it's just good to pray and know God is there… I don't worry too much about if there is a rapture or not, if I'm around when the one world government takes over and if I somehow survive the the "Wormwood" event, when they ask me to join their one world… Read more »


There is no war. You are sadly a victim of another form of mind control–religion.


Sad people give you the down vote, but so many know in their mind the cognitive dissonance of modern Christianity teaching in america, but they will *not* do the required study of history of books to get the bigger picture of who Jesus was and what he did. Zoroaster is EXACTLY correct, for if he wasn’t, why would you be AFRAID to go to hell, I would not even treat an animal I dislike with as much hatred. Cognitive Dissonance America.

Donald Trump



Cognitive dissonance is created when everything in the elite manufactured culture is diametrically opposed to religion. The elites are using education, news, entertainment, and every other form of propaganda as a weapon against religion. Why do you think that is? Obviously, the elite view some religions as a threat to their goal of totalitarianism. Christianity is in the crosshairs because of Jesus’s teachings. If you believe the truth this site is providing, you should be running to get your hands on a Bible.


Religion is not the problem. In fact, I’d argue religion is the solution. Manipulation is the problem. Atheism is being propagated by the elite because it makes morality subject to the discretion of man. Rights can be taken away if they were given by man. Life can be extinguished if it is a random occurrence. Science has been subverted by theory and the elite authorities shaping them. Open your eyes. Moral relativism and atheism are being taught to every child in our country in schools and across the media. That is the weapon the elite are using to destroy freedom. Real Christians will fight back with our faith and we will be victorious. I hope you join the battle on the side of freedom.

Mr. Jack


*actual, not circumstantial.

Charlie Catamount

well spoken!!!…I love to see my siblings represent our Lord God in such a firm unwavering manner…no luke warm hearted here!!!…a true Phialdelphian!!!


What may be very obvious to those, contextually adroit enough: those who actually are still able to put two or more discerning thoughts together in the world, today – may not be so obvious to those who remain blissfully ignorant. I have always been aware of what has been going on in the world, even from a very young age. Today, mind control, via the 'media' machine, is more than a little blatant, in it's exposition of the World Elite's ideals, and machinations. Their programmed products, acting as 'models' for how people 'should' act…Lady Gaga being the most disturbing incarnation of the obvious affectations of his/her puppeteers….those that pull the strings, and deliver the message to all the kiddees out there. Lady Gaga is a perversion of Lady Nada… your own research on this. It's incredibly awesome that this sort of information is available for people to educate themselves with. I want to interject, that, if in reading through this material, the reader happens upon a sense of hopelessness, and a sense of seperation from 'reality', then I say to you, take heart. As much as it looks like the 'Dark' is winning out, and the 'light' is diminishing, this… Read more »


Its difficult to understand all these illuminati and mind control mumbo jumbo unless one lived under a dictatorship or communist rule and I did. As much as USA was exposing Communists for their propaganda, communists were exposing USA propaganda. I learned so much about how Americans are controlled but didn't believe it till I got here. You must know that everything you see on TV and I mean everything including NEWS and REALITY PROGRAMMING has been scripted and vetted by numerous people before it shows up on your screen. I mean every word is vetted, all audio and video is vetted and manipulated. Even hand gestures and movements are rehearsed. This website does a great job of exposing it all..


Unfortunately, you are correct. There are two sides in the US establishment: those who want more power (Progressives/Democrats) and those who want the current system (Republicans). They work hand in hand and usually end up adding more power to the government and privileged elite. Lately, the people have created a third branch with little to no support from the elite: those who want more freedom from the strain of government, bureaucracy, and its structures (Libertarians and real Conservatives). We can still take back this country, but it requires true education, dedication, and vigilance because the elites fight dirty.


You don’t have to have grown up in a communist society to know about everything being scripted. The news is out there now and easily discoverable, about a major “event” that was all planned ahead. That is the rigging of the 2016 election to put the globalist Hillary in, followed by the attempted coup, going on now, to overthrow the government.

A very positive sign is seen in the great number of people who “walk away” from the propaganda and are not afraid to put “America First” after years of being trained by the left to accept a global system of government. We almost lost the country there for awhile, and groups like Anti-Fa are trying to keep the globalism going. Fortunately, the rest of us are seeing through them.

But watch carefully as the elite do their best to maintain control by everything from name-calling those who call them out (SCOTUS nominee painted as rapist) to physical violence (one congressman shot; another beaten severely). We have a real spiritual battle on our hands.

mad 1

i just began reading this article, but it occurred to me to post this before i finish it 'o"

By FAR the most insidious weapon of mass deception is SOCIAL MEDIA…and the most insidious aspect of it is the WILLING participation by it's users in this auto hypnosis. To me it indicates how fully people are oblivious to themselves within the paradigm of the state of terror and illusion that was solidified fourteen years ago on September 11. Most telling is the CIA's brazen use of it's prize social media creation, Facebook, to gather information more than happily supplied by it's users!

I reckon that once the death grip of the information age fully kicked in, it was game OVER…

but again, it's the ignorant complicity of my fellow Joe's and Jill's that is most disturbing

as the old adage reads – "the more things change…"


There is pros and cons with all things. Sure social media has allowed people to lose touch with the world behind computer screens and has become a reality for some. On the flip side, social media has allowed for people to connect with others across the world in essentially the same way that I am replying to your comment on this website.


Fantastic research and presentation. Very very well tied together, in my media class this would get you 100%.


Such a great article, thank you for all of your hard work and commitment!


Wanted to say I was one of the few left in the dark. Thanks to this site im def. More aware and im even trying to alert people of whats coming. Sadly….u kno the rest. Im a single dad and thanks for giving me the insight to better teach my daughter and guide her

no government name

the elite are sooo lame……

if the elite/illuminati are soo powerful they should to go to another planet and they can promote evil all they want, they can hypnotize their own children and pollute their own minds and bodies.





I have read alot of David Ickes books and also attended a seminar of his. For more information that directly backs VC disclosures up. None of this is new to me however it cannot be said enough times or spread enough. We have a chance to stop the agenda if we all "unlearn" the lies we have been told in schools and through everyday media and start thinking for ourselves. I do see the same methods of manipulation again and again no matter which field we investigate. Problem-reaction-solution. We are driven by fear, just look at the so called terrorism… Who is orchestrating it? By not taking sides in politics we do not fall into the pro-con trap. By saying no to manipulation and making active decisions on every aspect of our lives refusing to play their game and to be played like puppets, they will lose. Sorry for ranting but I am very impressed by VC having discovered the site yesterday but also very impressed by all the sharp ppl who comments on the different issues. TY all, you are great!! Btw could you do some investigating on the evil pope ratzinger, I had serious chills when he was… Read more »


So it’s a bit like the “Bread and Circuses” the roman emperors used to feed the masses, to keep them happy, ignorant, and entertained. Scary…and eye-opening, thank you Vigilant Citizen.


It’s not “a bit like”. It is almost exactly the same as the Roman “bread and Circuses”


Hello,greetings from the UK .Well where does one begin,ok well first off I would just like to say that,from a very young age,I have always felt like there was something alike going on.Growing up was increasingly difficult as ppl did not tolerate a different perspective to what is already ingrained.The way I see it is……for any information (regardless of context)to hold & stand firmly In truth ……i must be presented with visual proof ….. unequivocal evidence.If I can see it…..hear it……touch it…….feel it……taste it, then I can begin to understand in order to reach a perspective.We are all different on so many levels,why a majority of society take offense to other ppl's lifestyle/mindset/theories/thoughts/dreams or whatever,is beyond me.We should embrace new meaning into this living we call a life.I am happy to live in peace & stand beside mankind as equals, ppl can do as they wish as long as they respect … not bring trouble to my door.Well if any elite are trying to brainwash me, I'm telling you now, they are given a run for they're money hehe. Peace to you all & I wish you a beautiful day.


This is a well written article, great work. I appreciate that it goes into ideas that are considered 'crazy talk' by some, without coming off as some paranoid conspiracy theorist or nutcase. If *allll* of this information, plus some, was written out, in full honesty, nothing hidden……I cannot even begin to imagine the impact of it, or the amount of things we'd find out, that haven't even BEGUN to be scratched upon. Sad & scary to live and try to raise 'normal', intelligent? free-and open thinking children in this world, which is full of, IMO, incredibly damaging & shocking secrets, groups, people, knowledge, plans….that only a chosen few are told about. You really can fall into a never-ending, universal 'rabbit hole' when you begin studying the few things that HAVE been discovered or 'declassified' … think the ones that haven't are just under the surface…like an iceberg. I just try to educate myself, be aware, open-minded & alert-but not get so involved that it interferes with my life or relationships, or colors people's perception of me. Most productive adults in this world cannot afford the label of 'nutcase', which is, sadly, what many outspoken, open-minded people are stamped, if they… Read more »

John Smith

This is a FANTASTIC article!! I am going to search this site more since this is my first time here. This article confirms everything I have been saying !! The following excerpt from this article describes liberals perfectly :
It is something that is DESIRABLE and, indeed, necessary, to insure total leadership. An ignorant population does not know its rights, does not seek a greater understanding of issues and does not question authorities. It simply follows trends. Popular culture caters to and nurtures ignorance by continually serving up brain-numbing entertainment and spotlighting degenerate celebrities to be idolized. Many people ask me: “Is there a way to stop this?” Yes, there is. STOP BUYING THEIR CRAP AND READ A BOOK.


I'm totally convinced that TV and radio (and some print media) are using the word "literally" as a trance inducing command word.


Gotta admit, the left is hilarious in how they misuse it. They do not know the definition and think it means “very” or “extremely” — so they’ll say things like “So-and-so is literally Hitler,” when obviously, that’s not possible. But then the left is funny that way.


This is the best website on the internet exposing how our reality is shaped. I wish everyone would take time to read these words of wisdom and wake up to the mass manipulation that has been going on for ages, and still goes on today with harsh and hasty progression. They are clearly trying to get to our kids, because they are the ones that they feel will be controlled in the future with the least anoint of fight, and by the way things look, it will be an easy task. We need to educate our children to see these tactics even if they think we are stupid, crazy, or dumb. Thanks for making this website, it is truly the best one with all the facts and proof of what’s going on in this messed up reality of ours.


Well said, we need to seriously insist be on it, keep trying to warn most of all children, future generations!!o.o we must!!


You hit on all the big players in the successful scheme to hijack the mass mind of mankind. They wanted a hive mentality and they'll get in – real soon. Things were a little delayed, clearly the pace is quickening and RFID chipping may be just around the corner for the lower social strata that consume the bulk of artificial, synthetic, counterfeit foods, devices, clothing and entertainment.


ABC News is a good example. Whenever Trump or a Republican is on screen…. the background is RED…. changes to soft blue for most other things. So obvious.

Gina Judd

I have a question I hope someone will answer for me. I research archive news a lot, so basically hindsight is 20/20, I know how its going to end. An example is two articles seemingly unconnected like an article on the Twin Towers in NY and right next to it an article on Osama Bin Ladin and the Taliban (the date of the two articles is pre 911. I see this a lot in the archive news and I was wondering if its a coincidence or does this sort of layout do something to the readers mind? I hope this question makes sense.


I’m no expert but pretty obviously seeing something about the Twin Towers next to Bin Laden causes one to subconsciously associate the two if it’s seen together often enough.

Can you provide examples, links to the articles where the two appear together, pre-911? I’d certainly be interested to see that.


I saw a picture in a newspaper showing the WTC already bombed. The paper was dated during Bush Sr’s presidency. Apparently somebody knew, and leaked, that 9/11 was going to happen. And be connected to the Bush family.


I hope you continue posting the truth


Brilliant article, as are all that I have read so far. Your site is a no BS, honest and insightful one, and I'm a bit upset that I didn't discover it sooner. Thank you.

VC on Patreon

Support The Vigilant Citizen on Patreon and get exclusive rewards.

E-Mail Notifications

Get an e-mail notification as soon as a new article is published on this site.