The Difference Between Narratives and Novels
The Covid narrative is unravelling. This is why.
This Fox News story headline tells more than its words:
Joe Biden is the victim of a failing narrative. To understand what that means, it’s important to know what a narrative is in the context of Covid.
DARPA Narrative Networks
Back in 2010 (yes, 12 years ago), while doing research for work, I came across several projects within the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). One of them was the Narrative Networks project, described briefly in this 2011 Phys.org article:
The first part would involve analyzing what happens to people when they hear or see a message. It’s thought that certain messages or images actually cause a change in the brain to accommodate the new ideas.
The second part of the study, quite naturally, would involve developing a means for taking advantage of what is learned in the first part. Or, in other words, to come up with a way to find out who is vulnerable to messaging, and then to blast them with a message that would overwrite any undesirable brain changes that occurred as the result of that person being subjected to “bad” messages, so that they would behave themselves.
On March 16, 2020, DARPA decided to put the fruits of that project to the test. That was the day the world changed, the day narrative replaced reality for most of the world.
DARPA vs. Abe Lincoln
I don’t know whether or not DARPA cares that its narratives last forever or whether they use narratives only tactically. In other words, DARPA may try to change history and humanity through narratives, or it may simply use them to achieve an objective, then throw them away. Perhaps narratives are as disposable to the military as the billions of dollars worth of advanced military hardware it left behind in Afghanistan. When you have unlimited resource, there’s really no such thing as waste, is there?
Whether DARPA cares or not, its Covid narrative is falling victim to an aphorism credited to Abraham Lincoln:
You can fool all the people some of the time.
You can fool some the people all of the time.
But you can’t fool all the the people all the time.
If DARPA’s narratives are disposable, they need a scapegoat, don’t they?
A Narrative Is the Opposite of a Novel
A novel is an attempt to present truth through fiction. When you read a novel, you know it’s make-believe, but you sense the truth it conveys.
Narrative is the use of “facts” to create an alternative “truth.” It’s a lie protected and advanced by recognizable facts, usually presented by an accepted or presumed authority figure. Both the “facts” (which may or may not be accurate) and the authority figure combine to bypass the amygdala—the part of the brain responsible for fear, suspicion, and anger. Persuasion psychologist Robert Cialdini identified authority as one of the six principles of persuasion.
Cialdini likes to cite a study from the 1970s. Researchers placed a handwritten sign on the night-drop box of a bank saying, “Out of Order: Place Deposits in Bag.” Beneath the sign was a canvas back with a metal frame to hold it open.
Would people really drop their cash deposits in a canvas bag?
In one treatment, the bag was left alone. In a second, a man in a suit stood a few feet away. In a third, a man in a rented security guard costume stood a few feet away.
No one left a deposit envelope in the unguarded bag. A few left it next to the man a business suit. Everyone who came by left their bags in the treatment with fake guard.
The guard made no pretense of protecting the bag. None of the subjects asked if he was there to guard the deposits. They simply dropped the night deposit envelopes and carried on.
Such is our blind obedience to authority, real or perceived.
The note on the bank’s night-drop box was a lie, of course. Just like most of the pandemic narrative. And, like the researchers in the 70s, the designers of the Covid narrative relied on our knee-jerk response to authority. Instead of a man in a guard costume, DARPA used Dr. Anthony Fauci, not to bypass the amygdala, but to redirect it.
It’s possible to bypass the amygdala in a neutral mind (hypnosis), but if the person is already scared—if the amygdala are already twitching, attempts to “talk down” the frightened person will only increase their fear response. With a fearful person, you always double down on their fear—and redirect it. Like I wrote a few days back:
People who are scared believe they have good reasons to be scared. If you deny the validity of their fear, they see you as an idiot who doesn’t recognize the danger staring you in the face.
Scared people are attracted to scary things. They want to be scared. Over many years of practice, their minds have determined that the absence of the big scary thing happening is evidence that fear, worry, and conformity work. They see a causal relationship between their feelings of terror and disaster avoidance. Therefore, if you ask a scared person to stop being afraid, you’re asking them to trigger a disaster, at least in their minds.
No. The way to win over a fixed-mindset Useful Idiot: begin with a scary story—the more dangerous, the better.
Where do you think I learned that technique? It’s what the government has been doing since March 2020. Think back to that DARPA project, the Narrative Network. It’s obvious what was meant by “narrative.” But what was the “network?”
How about CNN, the New York Times, Johns-Hopkins Medical School, and University of Washington. The World Health Organization.
How many times did you hear the word “pandemic” in the first two weeks of March?
It was natural and proper to have some fear of the Coronavirus. We should always approach the unknown with caution. But the known facts in March 2020 did not support the narrative that emerged the second week of that month.
As Alex Berenson writes in Pandemia:
On March 16, the Imperial College report, Neil Ferguson’s masterpiece, came out. I read it that night. Reread it. Reread it again. I kept coming back to the table on page 5, the one that had estimates of the infection fatality ratios by age. At the top of the table:Age 0–9, 0.002%—2 deaths in 100,000 infections. Age 10–19, 0.006%—6 deaths in 100,000 infections. (Both of those estimates were probably high.) At the bottom: Age 80+, 9.3%–9,300 deaths in 100,000 infections.
I had known the elderly were more vulnerable to Covid than the young. I hadn’t had any idea how much more. This gold-standard report said the oldest people were thousands of times as likely to die as the youngest.
I could almost feel the scales dropping from my eyes.1
The very report that triggered the lockdowns (its conclusions were shared with governments before it was released on the 16th) proved the lockdowns were unnecessary. But you didn’t hear that part, because no one read is aloud. It was “the quiet part.”
We were afraid. They wanted to manipulate us. How do you manipulate a frightened person whose amygdala are all aglow?
You double down on their fear.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Hennessy's View to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.