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Concept.png Fear 
(Social control)
Type psychological
A mental state which is not only unpleasant but demonstrably damaging to body and mind. Its has been used since antiquity for purposes of social control. In the 21st century, this is increasingly centered on the "war on terror" and "extremism" narratives.

Fear, and its less acute associated emotion, stress are emotions which have been extensively studied by intelligence agencies to facilitate their effective exploitation to achieve deep political ends, through methods such as the strategy of tension, applied by NATO's Operation Gladio and Operation Gladio/B projects. People's enemy images have been nurtured, sometimes over generations (for example, based on race or nationalism), a tactic which is proving unstable given the increase in global inter-communication arising from the internet.

Physiological effects

Acute fear is an emotion which promotes the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine. These increase heart rate and muscle strength by diverting resources away from longer term survival needs such as reproductive drive, immunity, digestion and growth. While this facilitates the body's natural "fight or flight" response system which facilitates handling of immediate threats.[1] These stress hormones are a natural but maladaptive response to the sort of chronic stress endemic in most parts of the world. It is a moot point to what extent this has been deliberately engineered as a means of social control.

War on Terror

Full article: Rated 4/5 “War on Terror”
Terror meter.png

The "war on terror" - which less disingenuously could be called a "war of terror" - is a strategy of tension which aims to subject a population and stifle opposition by promoting fear of terrorism. After 9/11, the anti-globalization movement was suffered a crucial blow because “Some of the NGOs and nonprofits were really worried about seeming un-American... [which reversed the trend of increasing numbers at protests]... the anti-globalization movement never made a comeback."[2]

While the number of direct fatalities of the war on terror is relatively small, approximately 0.25% of the number of people killed by road accidents[3] the unlikeliness of being personally affected does not stop people's fear response being engaged, especially when the commercially-controlled media give saturation coverage of terrorism. The number of direct victims need only be a tiny fraction of the victimised population if commercially-controlled media is on board with the project of stoking fear. Citizens in the USA are more afraid of terrorism than any other national population.[4]



Overall, social engineering is most advanced in the USA, so this is a particularly informative society in which to note the importance of fear.

Fear of terrorism

In the 21st century, the public are constantly reminded of the need to be 'alert' or 'vigilant' for potential "terrorists". This, despite the fact that terrorism poses a tiny actual danger when compared to events such as traffic accidents[5] and the more serious long term problems such as emerging diseases or climate change. The public inability to correctly perceive risks is regularly undermine by the output of the commercially-controlled media.

Fear of safety of children

In 2015 in the USA two adults discovered a neighbour's 4-year-old child playing alone at an outdoor playground, less than 50 metres from his front door. When he refused to go home as he wasn't finished playing, their fear for his safety lead them to call the police. The police declared that they thought the mother's behaviour amounted to criminal neglect. The "justice" system seems likely to decree said that his mother must serve months in jail (prosecuters rejected a month plea deal). As her lawyer noted, had the incident happened 20 years ago, no one would have been charged and the police would not have been called.[6]

Fear of crime

A 2015 a Gallup poll showed 70% of US respondents believe crime has gone up since 2014, with 63% reporting crime had risen from 2013 levels.[7]

Corporate media

Sarah Sands, later editor of the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme, authored a revealing policy memo in the mid 1990s while working for The Telegraph. In it she urged the editor, Charles Moore to "play on people's fears." She wrote that "the middle classes want to read about unemployment and negative equity and juvenile delinquency. We should be basically friendly and fair minded but then take people aback with ferocious militia-style attacks ... the Mail gets the best out of people through fear."[8]  


     Page name     Description
ParanoiaFeeling they are out to get you
PhobiaAn irrational, sometimes overwhelming fear

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Fleeced by Purveyors of Feararticle1 October 2010Simon Jenkins
File:The Politics of Fear and SCADs.pdfpaperFebruary 2010Kym Thorne
Alexander Kouzmin

Related Quotation

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War on Terror“The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized.”Bruce SchneierAugust 2006


Facts about "Fear"
ConstitutesSocial control +
DescriptionA mental state which is not only unpleasan
A mental state which is not only unpleasant but demonstrably damaging to body and mind. Its has been used since antiquity for purposes of social control. In the 21st century, this is increasingly centered on the "war on terror" and "extremism" narratives.
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