Language is a tool for directing attention. One person can direct the attention of millions of people.
In many cases, people direct each other’s attention in one-to-one interactions or in groups (like in a classroom). Or, imagine that an author of a book creates a curriculum used by thousands or millions or even billions of people (across thousands of years).
One of the most famous leaders in human history is Moses. Stories attributed to Moses were repeated in the oral tradition of the Hebrews, then later written down and included in the scriptures used by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. I will give a few examples later.
First, consider how important language is as a tool for social programming. Complex information can be transmitted rapidly and precisely using language.
However, we can observe many kinds of animals and notice that even without language many species still form complex social organizations, right? What are some examples of animal species with complex social organization? Examples include bee hives, wolf packs, and even the inter-species collaboration between humans and domesticated creatures like horses or sheep.
So, before we explore how language is used by humans to socially program other humans, let’s consider other important tools in governing social groups, like the fences erected to keep sheep confined or the metal rings placed in the nose of a bull. Can a ring in the nose of a bull be used to direct the attention of the bull?
A tug on that ring can certainly wake a sleeping bull. The bull can be inflicted with sudden, intense pain. If the bull voluntarily moves in the direction that the nose ring is getting pulled, then the intense pain is relieved. The direction that the bull is facing can be led by the nose (by pulling the nose ring so that the bull will turn it’s head to reduce the pressure on the nose).
Now, let’s review a few details of the popular stories of Moses. While the stories below are not the most popular ones, they are plainly documented in the Book of Numbers (in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible).
A threat was issued to Moses and his companions in regard to their lack of attention to the one issuing the threat. The specific threat was a plague that would kill some of the Israelites. After about 24,000 had been killed, an Israelite named Phinehas plunged a spear through an Israelite man and a Midianite woman who were having sex. Based on that act by Phinehas, he was rewarded with entry in to the Israelite priesthood and the plague was ended.
So, back to the example of the ring in the nose of a bull, when the ring gets pulled, then the bull experiences pain and faces where it is directed to face, right? Now imagine that you are the leader at the head of a few tribes. Would it get your attention if someone threatened to unleash a plague on your neighbors in the tribes that you rule, and soon after that 24,000 of them died in a plague?
The one who claimed to be responsible for all of those deaths then issued an order for Moses to gather an army of Israelites and then go slaughter the Midianites and take their livestock as plunder. All of the Midianite males were massacred as well as all of the females except for the ones that the “shot-caller” spared (32,000 virgin girls to be distributed to the victors as war brides).
Again, those are examples of stories distributed by people who admire Moses. If we read a version of the same story written by one of the surviving Midianites, we might not be surprised if there were a few different adjectives than the ones printed in the Bible, right?
However, Moses was on the winning side. So the winners promote their version of the story, then print that version in million of Bibles (and then maybe dozens of people will actually read those verses).
Were there deaths? Sure, maybe a few thousand Israelite soldiers died sacrificing themselves for the conquest. Maybe a few Egyptian soldiers died. Maybe a few civilians were slaughtered.
Keep in mind that they were all going to die eventually, right? Plus, the Israelites had just been punished for their lack of compliance. 24,000 of them were “sacrificed” by the one that the Israelites refer to by titles like the Lord of the Celestial Armies. According to the story, more Israelites would have been killed in a continuing plague if they did not comply with the demand to invade the Midianites.
Maybe you are aware that certain creatures can be trained to think that they are tied down. A tamed horse with a rope around it’s face will apparently stay still if the horse thinks that the rope has been tied. Maybe the rope is loose, but the horse gave up trying to get a away a long time ago, so the horse presumes that the loosely draped rope still restricts them. An untamed horse would not believe it is tied down though, right?
Trained elephants are also programmed to believe that they cannot move when they could. The young animals are too weak to pull the stake out of the ground, so they try pulling but give up. Then, when the elephants grows up, it still believes that it is not strong enough to pull out the little stake in the dirt.
Even Santa Claus has been trained that someone is constantly watching his every move and so if he is not a good boy (according to the adult’s standards of good behavior), then all that he will get for Christmas is a big, colorful box filled with naive deceptions, anxiety, and guilt. Of course, what he gets is what he deserves, right?
Anyway, back to the subject of intimidating the masses with stories of genocide, how important is it whether a specific version of a specific story is exactly true? The effect on the masses is what matters, right?
For instance, if the horses stand next to the water, but they think that they are tied up there and cannot go anywhere else, then eventually they must drink some of the water, right? Or, if you throw pearls before swine, but the swine do not recognize the pearls as pearls, then they might accidentally pay attention to the pearls occasionally, right?
So as I was saying, a long time ago, I was in a classroom when the teacher said “memorize this story and then repeat it back on the test.” Those who did as instructed received social validation. Those who did not perform as directed were generally ignored.
However, there was a third group as well. Among millions of students in that particular classroom, three of them questioned the accuracy of the story. One of them even asked “why is this story even relevant to us?”
For that third group, the teacher had a special response planned. They were given special nose rings and punished for their disruptive behavior of respectfully showing curiosity in a classroom. This obviously could not be tolerated.
Was I one of the students? Or, was I the teacher? Or, is that story completely fictitious?
Next, if I was designing a holy empire to regulate the entire human population on the whole planet, would it be important to me to create a central curriculum that promoted anxiety in the youth so that they would be intimidated in to modeling their behavior after the bloody guy on the cross? After all, if you just do whatever he would have done, then consider the kind of tortures that you could receive as a consequence?
By the way, the only people who should be terrified of eternal punishment in hell are people who have violated any of the rules that we modeled after the normal innate urges of a human. In other words, be ashamed of what is your natural inclination for your entire life.
Say things like “I do not deserve to be in this hell. It is the fault of the villain(s) that I am suffering like this. It’s just not fair. Why did God make reality the wrong way like this without consulting me first and then conforming to my preferences? And why are all of these people around me so arrogant and always saying things like about how their lives are hell. No, they do not even know what hell is. My life is hell and since only one person can be the person most deserving of sympathy and special favors, I am obviously the one. So they should just shut up with all of their whining.”
Next, compensate for the guilt that we programmed you to have by donating a lot of money to our charity. Or at least pay taxes or else we will garnish your wages, foreclose your property, and then throw you in jail.
Actually if you are Marc Rich, then massive tax fraud and tax evasion is fine because any convictions were probably misinformed and all is forgiven when the high priest issues a Presidental Pardon. Let’s be real though for a minute. You are not Marc Rich. So pay you taxes because the penalties for non-compliance are much worse than a sharp tug to the nose ring.
Also, since you know that you broke the social rules more often than you got caught by anyone, you should be terrified of dying because then right after you die you will have to face Santa Claus and find out what he is going ot give you for Christmas. Will you get an already opened Pandora’s box? Will you be ashamed of opening the box because you might find out that inside is just a big pile of guilt and terror and deception?
Did I mention that Phinehas drove a spear through two people a they were having sex? Keep in mind that for that act of heroism, he was made in to a priest. Plus, the plague was ended.
For those of you who are wondering, “why did the Lord of Israel let so many of them die,” the official answer is “for the greater good.” Put that down on the test and then you can get a box of heaven when you die.
In conclusion, there is no social programming and that is a good thing because there should not be. If there ever was, then we would need to send anyone who thought there was to a correctional facility to correct their facilities. They must be delusional.
Language is never used to deceive the masses for the greater good or for any other reason. Language cannot be used deceptively because small children are too intelligent to believe whatever Santa Claus tells them in a classroom when they are young and innocent.
Horses and elephants cannot be trained to believe they are tied down when they are not. Bulls cannot have rings put in their nose to direct their attention through physical pain.
After all, that is not what Jesus would do, right? He was a carpenter, not a cattle rancher. So, he would have cut some wood to build a fence or maybe a huge cross (to nail someone to as a sacrifice for the greater good).