WESTMINSTER, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - Britain's government intentionally deployed tactics of psychological warfare used in wartime and by totalitarian regimes to turn its citizens into "compliant subjects of lockdown," an Oxford academic is revealing.
The Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviors (SPI-B), provided the government with psychological techniques on how best to compel obedience to its draconian lockdown measures, according to historian Dr. James Moreton Wakeley.
The SPI-B, a sub-group of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), in its paper of March 22, 2020, marked a transition from public information campaigns supplying facts to the use of subliminal manipulation, writes Wakeley.
In an essay titled "The Government's Shameful Use of Psychological Techniques to Terrify People," published Tuesday, Wakeley, a former parliamentary researcher, explains how SPI-B's March meeting "wrote the manifesto of a campaign of fear, a campaign that has been consistently shaped by the methodology of behavioral science ever since."
The psyops campaign, with its "unprecedented reach," calls for "nothing short of a twisting of the truth, for conscious exaggeration and for a rejection of fact-based argument," Wakeley remarks.
"The daily Downing Street briefings have also served to expose the British people to a daily threnody of doom in which uncontextualized statistics and the recitation of messages of threat have served to amplify the effort to make the public feel afraid," the historian observes, adding that this has been compounded by the "wholly unusual degree of press subservience."
In comments to Church Militant, mental health ethicist Niall McCrae confirmed that "the government's behavioral change unit has shifted from carrot to stick, from nudge to bludgeoning" and that the state-sponsored "campaign of psychological warfare has been terrifyingly effective, as many citizens are even scared to leave their homes."
"I was among 47 mental health experts who wrote to the British Psychological Society recently, expressing concern at the State's abuse of behavioral psychology," Dr. McCrae said. "It is designed to provoke fear and loathing, with 'anti-vaxxers' and other dissidents outcasted."
Slamming the "divide-and-rule strategy" as "profoundly unethical," McCrae called for the perpetrators to eventually face justice as "the scare tactics are killing people by deterring them from seeking medical attention, causing thousands of unnecessary deaths from cancer and cardiac disease, and mental health problems are escalating, leading to many suicides."
Church Militant examined the SPI-B paper, which lists nine ways of achieving behavior change, including persuasion, incentivization and coercion and which offers 25 options from behavioral science for the government to act on.
"A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened," the paper reports, recommending the government to heighten "the perceived level of personal threat" among "those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging."
The paper urges the government to "use media to increase [the] sense of personal threat" and to "consider use of social disapproval for failure to comply."
"A large majority of the United Kingdom's population appear to be supportive of more coercive measures," the paper notes, calling for the use of techniques of "social disapproval from one's community," which "can play an important role in preventing antisocial behavior or discouraging failure to enact pro-social behavior."
"For example, instead of the phrase 'try to,' it should just say 'do,'" the paper suggests, calling for guidance "to be reformulated to be behaviorally specific," stating clearly "who needs to do what (precisely) and why (explain the rationale)."
"There seems to be insufficient understanding of — or feelings of responsibility about — people's role in transmitting the infection to others," the SPI-B opines. Hence, the group urges that "messaging about actions needs to be framed positively, in terms of protecting oneself and the community" and that it must "emphasize and explain the duty to protect others."
Church Militant has learned that the SPI-B subcommittee — which consists of 48 academics from various disciplines in the humanities — is dominated by left-wing activists, lockdown fanatics and vaccine zealots, including Marxist campaigner Professor Susan Michie, who has been a member of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) for over 40 years.
Michie, a political activist who is a professor of health psychology at University College, London, donated funds to the Labor Party in 2017 when it was led by Marxist Jeremy Corbyn.
In a paper jointly authored by Michie and published Thursday in the British Medical Journal, the Marxist psychology professor makes a declaration of interest as a participant in Britain's SAGE group, but does not mention her membership in Britain's Communist Party.
The government has refused to disclose details of Michie's membership in the CPB, despite a request filed under Britain's Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("FOIA").
The FOIA request also inquired if other SAGE members also held membership in the CPB, the Socialist Workers Party or the radical grassroots group "Momentum."
The Government Office for Science said it did not hold the information requested and explained that "SAGE is attended by participants, not members."
Four members of the SPI-B have asked the government not to identify them in the list.
The SPI-B paper offers a bibliography with literature on manipulative behavioral psychology, including a paper titled "Threatening Communication: A Critical Re-analysis and a Revised Meta-analytic Test of Fear Appeal Theory," published in Health Psychology Review, which discusses "strong, scary graphic warnings widely used in mass media interventions."
Another resource recommended by the SPI-B paper is titled "Using Behavioral Science to Help Fight the Coronavirus," which explores the "ongoing scientific debate about whether 'fear appeals' generate long-term behavior change."
"However, the consensus is that they are more effective when perceptions of self-efficacy (belief that one's own actions make a difference) are high," the article concludes, urging practitioners to highlight single cases or use emotive language and communicate risk through numbers.
Dr. Wakeley concurs that "the media's magnification of the government's messaging, together with dramatically morbid footage and the selective use of exceptional cases of COVID among the young — not to mention death data presented with misleading historical comparisons — has amounted to an additional offensive in the campaign of fear."
Since its first lockdown, the government has become the largest advertiser in Britain, spending £184 million of taxpayers' money in 2020 alone on "visually-shocking poster campaigns alongside radio and television advertisements."