The Zero Hedge Effect – Crossing the Event Horizon (Part Two)

The first half of this essay (rant to be honest) can be found here. Or maybe it’s over there. I can’t remember. My doctor tells me Viagra also improves blood flow to the memory centers of the brain and he gave me some samples. Wish me luck. You are looking at the second half, but I’m going to link to it anyway just to mess with your head. Just don’t look under here. The third half was eaten by my dog Rover and won’t be published because the laxatives aren’t working. Please download a copy from the Akashic field if you are so moved and can get a good connection. I live in the boonies and can never get a strong enough signal. Maybe I need to change to bran flakes.


Most of us, regardless of our education level, are not going to question something we know to be a fact. And we know something is a fact because.......well, because we know it’s a fact. After all, it was in the school textbook, newspaper or magazine. Or better yet, it was on the TV. From where I stand (what is that I’m standing in) it’s not as important to understand what we think we know as it is to understand why we think we know. While to some this may appear to be nothing more than a subtle distinction, to me it is all the difference in the world. As someone remarked the other day, if we want better answers we need to ask better questions.

Better questions come not only from studying the issue more closely, but from studying ourselves and those around us. Continuously questioning our basic beliefs and assumptions keeps us sharp and on our toes. More importantly, as we begin to recognize our own deep social conditioning and how this distorts our worldview, the public myths created by the MSM and the ruling elite become more transparent. Before we know it better questions are rolling off our tongue and the illusion begins to crumble before our eyes. This is the reason why I always return to the same theme, that it all begins within.    

Anyone who hasn’t been in a coma for the past 10 or 15 years would agree that we’re all cursed and living in some very interesting times. Yet the vast majority of us seem to possess (cling to?) some very clear ideas about what’s going on and what’s happened in the recent and distant past. Even when we don’t really know, we have the remarkable capacity to concoct something or another to explain the insanity, usually with the considerable help of the MSM or alternative information sources. Even those who consider themselves to be contrary or skeptical rarely spend the time to thoroughly exam and vet the things we ‘know’ we know.

I’m continuously fascinated by the process in which we as a society and a culture arrive at what we believe are conventional wisdoms, accepted truth or even common sense. While the myth is that these shared understandings have been thoroughly vetted and verified over time, in just about every case I examine closely I find just the opposite to be true. So why do we adopt these cognitive shortcuts when they mislead more than inform? And what role do they play in society and why are we so gullible and agreeable when walking down these blind alleys? Maybe what we’re seeing here is actually a sign of our conditioning and indoctrination. As I said earlier, why we believe or know is much more instructive and better explains, and thus predict, the human condition.

The modern day self induced illusion we all suffer from to some degree or another is ultimately several ideas or beliefs that gain purchase by flattering our ego and stroking our intellectual arrogance. “I am master of all that I see and hear. And while there are always flaws in my thinking, I’m not so weak kneed as to be swayed by a strong breeze like a common butterfly. I know what I see and I see all that I need to know. I’ve been around long enough to have figured out how the world works and the games people play. I will not be deterred by those who are weak willed for I know the truth. I can see through the lies and deceit and while I don’t have it all figured out, the principal players and hidden hands are clear to me.

While the above paragraph might be viewed as over the top, most people truly do believe they ride herd over their little corner of the collective consciousness. Many feel quite strongly that they’re in control of their beliefs, that they’re intellectually flexible and even quite fair and open minded. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Our conditioned mind blends so well into our social structure that we can barely see the first level of conditioning, let alone the hidden hand. It takes a deep humility to question ourselves more than once or twice. While we are told that to constantly question ourselves makes us weak, those who say this wish for us to lock our blinders on and see only what is flashed on the (television, newspaper, magazine, Internet, political) screen in front of us. Don’t worry, we will tell you how things work and what to think about it.


We cannot find the tools we must use to free our minds within the very construct that has captured our minds. This needs repeating. We cannot find the means and opportunity to free ourselves from within the very system that enslaves us. To think otherwise is the height of self deception. The illusion will always reflect back to us all the proof we need to conclude that the illusion is completely real. This also applies to alternative points of view. In essence, we believe what we wish and are conditioned to believe and we will seek out and even fabricate evidence to confirm what we wish and are conditioned to believe. Intelligence and training makes this process that much easier because of our mental agility and super sized egos………which also serves to obscure that which needs to be more transparent.

The illusion for the most part is seamless, sensible and ultimately satisfying for those engulfed by and within the illusion. Consequently for the vast majority of us, we (not they, them and those, but we) will fight to remain within our conditioned box rather than break from the herd, even if the herd we belong to is a splinter group or self described rebel sub group such as Zero Hedge. To even consider breaking from the consensus reality in anything other than a superficial manner is extremely frightening and possibly even emotional suicide to an ego firmly attached to the group’s conventional wisdom and the acceptance received from that herd.

While I agree that ideas can be the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction man has ever created, rebellious talk without action is in my opinion ultimately self deceptive, superficial and self defeating. To leave the larger herd and join a smaller division while essentially remaining within the confines of the overall mythology must be recognized for what it really is, a repositioning, not a break or repudiation. We might take up residence in a different cave, but we are still on the very same island.

This isn’t a judgmental statement, though I’m sure many will feel otherwise. It is, however, a partial explanation for why so many ‘rebellions’ wind up adopting the same oppressive methods they originally denounced and overthrew. It is a self deceit to think we are being rebellious if all we are doing is changing position in the food chain or expressing bravado to kill the pain of our own impotence. Once we decide to walk the path of self discovery, it is a continuous and lifelong journey. Some would go so far as to say many lifelong journeys. To think it is not a forever endeavor simply indicates how close our new cave is to the original grouping.

Just because we believe we are already awake and aware doesn’t mean we are, or that we don’t practice self deception. In fact, we are much less likely to question ourselves or our perception of reality since we sincerely believe we know what we know, having already broken through several cognitive dissonances to arrive here. The hard work’s already done, we tell ourselves, and we have cleared all the major hurdles………right?

Zero Hedge for the most part has its own consensus reality and belief systems which are constantly reinforced and rarely seriously challenged, other than superficially. Just read the comment section if you don’t believe me. While there are many people willing to ask questions pertaining to actual factual knowledge, there is no shortage of firm beliefs and opinions and a shocking scarcity of open minds. Spend a few hours in the comment section and it is quite obvious that there is very little willingness to seriously consider contrary points of views with a weighting equal to our own already established belief system. That is not the definition of someone being open minded and flexible or of someone willing to learn. And yet we have the gall and audacity to declare our superior awareness. 


From a more removed point of view and looking directly in the mirror, we can all easily see how those poor North Korean’s have been brainwashed and manipulated into adoration of their “Dear Leader”. And while we shake our heads at how stupid they must be to not see what’s so obvious to us, the North Korean’s are saying precisely the same thing about you and me. But of course that’s just their conditioning showing, not ours, right? It’s them, not me. Our conditioning is much more subtle and quite a bit more sophisticated than the blunt techniques used in other banana republic’s and democratic dictatorships.

In fact our conditioning is extremely well hidden within our consumer culture and conditioned belief that we are free. Ironically while discussing this very idea with some long time friends the other day, even though they begrudgingly admitted that we ‘might’ be somewhat conditioned, they also agreed that we are much smarter, or at least better informed, than those pathetic North Koreans. So while the ruling elite here in America must use more sophisticated methods to accomplish our conditioning, my friends, who all consider themselves aware and awake, somehow concluded that the elites ultimately failed to (fully) condition them.

In a remarkable example of group self deception, by admitting and then accepting that there are attempts to control us, my friends somehow concluded that the attempts were unsuccessful without presenting any evidence other than that it was ‘self evident’. I’m aware, thus I’m awake, thus I’m not controlled or conditioned, because being controlled means you are not awake or aware……I think. Circular logic always makes perfect sense and is supremely satisfying. And when we use circular logic to prove we aren’t conditioned or controlled, well……you get the picture.

Even though I understood why and how this happens I was still astonished with the ease by which my friends flattered their egos while contemplating their possible, though ultimately ineffective, conditioning. I suspect the ego flattering was crucial to ignoring the illogical conclusion reached by the group. It’s even easier to accomplish this self deception on an individual basis since no one is watching us except ourselves, and we make the rules of evidence that allow us to self deceive. In my opinion this is one of the signs that we are even more deeply immersed within the illusion and myth of who and what we think we are than we could ever see without a thorough self examination.

Our constant feeding on a diet of American exceptionalism and superiority has its benefits, at least for those who wish to promote apathy, passivity and self delusion among the slaves of all social classes. And make no mistake about it; there are slaves among the rich as well as the poor and middle classes. Given the choice between recognizing that we are subtly, but effectively, conditioned and controlled or believing we are free and independent, which way do you think we will lean, particularly if our consumer culture reinforces the ‘free’ belief? Promoted and enabled self deception is always the most effective mind control because we willingly accept the programming and then customize it to suit our own particular belief system, thus assuring its effectiveness.

Do you remember seeing those Dodge Challenger ‘Freedom’ TV commercials where George Washington roars into battle against the redcoats behind the wheel of a growling black Dodge? To those engulfed within the illusion it seems perfectly normal because we have been conditioned to suspend disbelief while in front of the idiot box. But for those who are beginning to escape, it all looks a little surreal. The narrator’s only words at the end speak loudly to the blatant bleating of the Newspeak drum of consumerism equals freedom. “Here’s a couple of things America got right. Cars and freedom.” It’s all very seductive, even if you don’t like the car or George Washington.

The message is loud and clear and it is endlessly repeated not only by corporate America, but by government and private institutions as well. To deny the conscious and subconscious effect of this programming and conditioning is an admission in and of itself that the programming is successful. Please take a moment and view the clip here.

Tell me there are no overt and subliminal messages behind strapping the American flag to the black Challenger as George Washington charges into the panicking redcoats and routs them in defeat behind the steering wheel of a car created 235 years in the future. This is followed by a stern faced, but victorious, George Washington standing next to the American dream, the Dodge Challenger, while the background voiceover cements the mental conditioning. Edward Bernays, the father of modern mind control and propaganda techniques, must be laughing in his grave. Bravo!

And don’t even get me started on the astonishingly bald faced mind control effort put forth by the rebranded Ally Bank, the old GM finance cesspool that has risen from the ashes to haunt everyone, not just car buyers. We are told straight out that we love our bank, that we really really love our bank, that bank (of course) being Ally Bank. Even the name is amazingly subliminal. Of course I love my bank. My bank is my Ally, courageously fighting by my side against all those other nasty banks that are just out to screw me. The first time I saw that Ally Bank commercial of the dog (Rufus) barking every time his ‘master’ told him he loved his bank I was shocked how in-your-face the conditioning was. Talk about a Pavlov’s dog in-your-end-dude? Have they no shame? Apparently not in the anything goes world of corporate consumer whoring. See for yourself here and then consider how far we have sunk into the abyss.

To say to myself that “Because I’m awake and aware of the government propaganda and corporate advertising efforts to condition and control me, they have little to no effect on me” is the height of arrogance and self delusion. How can we possibly think that even our small day to day purchases of various consumer products, not to mention our beliefs regarding social, political and corporate events or history, are not heavily influenced by the massive and extremely effective propaganda and mind control techniques directed towards all of us? Billions of dollars are spent each year perfecting and implementing these meme programs. To say that we are not significantly and continuously influenced by this massive propaganda onslaught is the prima facie evidence of the very success of that conditioning. 

We are smothered by hundreds of 30 and 60 second bits of mind control on a weekly basis, all of which are cleverly supported by additional print, radio, movie and Internet assaults on our state of mind. And I’m speaking about both commercial advertising and state propaganda. To believe, or even simply think, that since we know what’s going on we aren’t greatly affected, is denial of the deepest kind. Either we remove ourselves from the most egregious (and effective) control device, the boob tube idiot box, or we accept that we are conditioned and blissfully submit to the mind control. Then all that remains is for us to devise a way to deny it is happening. As harsh as this may sound, to swim with the sharks and declare we won’t be bitten is the ultimate act of the self deluded fool.

You are in control, you are in....

Simply put, the very fact that we regularly visit Zero Hedge for our refreshing dose of alternative reality, the so called ‘truth’, is in and of itself just another form of self conditioning and indoctrination if all we do is blindly accept this ‘truth’ as fact, just as we did with the ‘truth’ before Zero Hedge. The path to awareness does not end simply because we have found an alternative set of plausible facts and theories that satisfy us enough to believe that we now know ‘the truth’ and all we need to do is hunker down and wait it out. To simply take the opposite side of the mainstream meme is dangerous on several counts, least of which is the fact that not everything we read, see or hear from the MSM is a lie and not everything on Zero Hedge is the truth.

The danger of attempting to cross through the Event Horizon created by The Zero Hedge Effect is that we might become hopelessly trapped between the alternative reality offered by the master keepers of the public myth and the running commentary offered by Zero Hedge and company, this contributor included. There is a truth even greater than offered by the so-called truth speakers, but it can only be found by first questioning everything, then looking deeply within. ‘Truth’ is not a single point or destination, but rather a lifelong journey. In fact ‘truth’ is not what we are really seeking, but rather ‘knowing’, a much deeper comprehension that is sourced within and cannot be externally imposed or learned.

Our culture teaches us that truth is an external reality when it fact truth, just like all things we consider to be real, is a temporary construct entirely dependent upon our perspective and interpretation of reality at that moment. ‘Knowing’, on the other hand, is absolute and irrefutable and requires no translation or analysis. We are told that we must be informed of the truth, that it must be shown to us in order for it to be found. This is the fundamental distortion that keeps us blindly bumping around in the dark, the BIG LIE if you will. Since we are taught to only seek truth externally, we are always subjected to manipulation and extortion by those who wish to control and abuse.

There must be a better way and there is. However, it requires that we abandon the ways of the perpetual deceivers and look within to discover our innate and powerful capability to ‘know’ everything we need in order to grow and live a healthy and prosperous life. This isn’t starry pie-in-the-eye stuff I’m promoting, where if we all just hold hands things will get better. Real change and freedom, not that garbage proffered by the charlatans and magicians, springs from within and there is simply no substitute. As long as we wish to believe it is the responsibility of someone else to do the hard work, any change we may experience is artificial in substance and temporary in nature.

The process by which we achieve the substantial and lasting change we all crave is as simple and as difficult as seeking it within. In order to know something, first we must know ourselves. In order to heal something, first we must heal ourselves. As long as we wish to believe it is more complicated than this, we will continue down our current path of self destruction.



Cognitive Dissonance

3 thoughts on “The Zero Hedge Effect – Crossing the Event Horizon (Part Two)”

  1. I have been a visitor to Zerohedge for some years and over the years of observing the antics of the denzins that frequent it I have come to the conclusion that most of the people are idiots! The people that frequent the site become accustomed to each other’s rants. They are caught up in themselves. Try and post anything as a newbie and you are pretty much ignored. They have their belief systems firmly ensconced and brook no nonsense from someone outside their sphere of reality(Zerohedge reality). Never the less I still read the articles on the site. It still is one of my favorites for alternative information and viewpoints.

    1. @KokorHeckus – I completely understand your frustration with the polarized group-think in the comment section of ZeroHedge these days. I was and still am also another avatar on ZeroHedge since long before there was a Mrs. Cog. As a six year+ member, they largely ignore me as well, so it isn’t just the newbies.

      That said, I think there is an enormous readership there who is much more open minded and insightful, realizing there is much to gain by quietly looking for the gems amidst the muck. I know they are there, some oldertimers from 2009 and 2010 ZH days. Occasionally when the stars align, they come out of the woodwork in droves to comment, if only to ping and let the others know they are still there, still watching and listening.

      One of my regular personal rants to Cog is that it seems at times almost everyone everywhere thinks they are an authority on a given topic at hand. Often, they will cite an “expert” or a proven set of facts to back their play. Don’t even get me started on the “experts”… IMHO we can only seek to be experts in ourselves. My truth may not be your truth, my solution or cure might not work for you. But I might just become a better expert about myself (health, wealth, spirituality) if I listen to you and learn.

      Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts.

    2. KokorHeckus,

      To expand upon Mrs. Cog’s thoughts………

      Consider as well that for every commenter on ZH, there are hundreds of others who do not comment. This tends to exaggerate the voice of each comment.

      Therefore if you wish to control, or at least influence, the narrative, what better place to do so than in the comment section. This makes the ZH comment section fertile ground for corporate, governmental, political and international trolls, psyops agents and political operatives.

      In other words, what you see in the ZH comment section is not always as it seems. Just watch the comment section when certain articles are posted, such as one that might be perceived as being anti Israel. Suddenly avatars come out of the woodwork that rarely, if ever, comment and strongly defend or debunk either the article itself or those who are commenting.

      The ZH comment section is not just filled with self absorbed narcissistic opinionated ‘commenters‘. It is also infested with agents, operatives and meme minders.

      Keep this in mind when you are reading the comment section and I suspect you will begin to recognize patterns and personalities working towards that end.

      Cognitive Dissonance

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