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What Was Your 'Winston Smith Moment'?

It wasn't an email or a website or a radio call-in show. It happened to you and it woke you up. So what was it?

Half a lifetime ago I had a brief conversation that changed my worldview forever. I learned that the internet, which at the time I had yet to ever use, had things called bulletin boards and forums, and that it also had people like my co-worker, who was excited to start training for a job as an 'internet cop' as he called it.

In the intervening 18 years I've read, heard and viewed countless crazy 'new world order' stories but the one I know for sure is true is the one that happened to me and no one else. I call it my 'Winston Smith Kodak Moment'. Recall in the book 1984 by Eric Blair/George Orwell, Winston had seen a very damning photograph which his captors were very interested in:

'Some years ago you had a very serious delusion indeed. You believed that three men, three one-time Party members named Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford — men who were executed for treachery and sabotage after making the fullest possible confession - were not guilty of the crimes they were charged with. You believed that you had seen unmistakable documentary evidence proving that their confessions were false. There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.’

'1984' p. 311 http://www.planetebook.com/ebooks/1984.pdf

O'Brien then tortures him and uses other techniques to erase the memory of the photograph from Winston's memory. More than just a plot device, the photograph to me represents the knowing, the absolute knowing I have that my world is a malevolent technocracy. My personal 'Winston Smith Kodak Moment' has more weight than all the books, all the Alex Jones rants, all the youtube videos combined. The photograph had to be erased from Winston's memory because of what it represented - proof that Winston had a mind that operated independently of Big Brother.

What was your 'Winston Smith Moment?'

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I know this is an old thread

but it appeared in recently viewed and reminded me of my moment. It was the Ron Paul electability question (and I'm sure this was an ah-ha moment for A LOT of people as well).


The Republican Primaries

were the last straw for me. I already knew what was happening concerning the Shadow Government but I still naively had hope that Ron Paul--being the champion of the people--could win the nomination. I did think that if he won he would probably be assassinated RFK style before he ever moved into the White House, but cross that bridge...

Let's face it: the media and GOP put their malevolence on full display in trying to stop Ron in 2012. He would have won Iowa in a fair contest (he nearly won it anyway, in spite of all the cheating!!!), and then New Hampshire, and on from there. Look what they did to us in Maine! And Nevada! And so many others...

If Alex Jones or Ben Swann were an uncensored national TV station like Fox and CNN, and if we were allowed equal time and a real election could take place with the VOTES being COUNTED correctly, Ron Paul would've easily won the whole thing. But just seeing how they twisted everything and constantly lied and manipulated results so desperately in their wickedness--THAT was my Winston Smith moment.

John F

In a way their bald-faced desperation was a victory...

It crystalized in us the knowledge that Ron Paul was indeed a force to be reckoned with and not just another 'also-ran'.

Thanks for sharing.

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.


The response to 9/11 and invading Iraq. Passing the Patriot Act went against everything I was taught America was. My family are all military so patriotism was a very big deal growing up. My grandmother instilled certain principles into me and taught me why America is so awesome. All the good ways we have changed the world.

So yea.. it was the Patriot Act that woke me up. I knew nothing good was going to come after that.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

Ron Paul SC debate

My move to liberty was in steps. I had never been politically active as a kid, but was mostly interested in history. After 9/11, I realized that history was more than old stories but events that had an impact on the present and future. I will never forget coming home and my sister coming to me with tears running down her face, because she had seen clips of Palestinians cheering the death of Americans. She could not understand why strangers who she had never harmed cheered the death of people an away. I explained to her the intervention of the West in the middle east, biased support for the government of Israel(even when it was acting immorally), and the rest.

A few years later, I was in 9th grade and support was building up for a new invasion of Iraq. A guy in my science class was confident(like many people back then) that the war would last a few months at most, like Desert Storm/First Gulf War. One of my favorite quotes from history is accredited to a Russian Foreign Minister on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War, the one about "We need a Short Victorious War to stem the tide of revolution.". Even then, it was clear to me that Iraq was about more than profit, it was about power.

The final hurdle was my freshman year in college(where most youngsters solidify their politics). I flirted with the Reform party in my senior year of high school, because I knew I would be able to vote in 2008, so I had better start thinking about my politics. My home was not a partisan household.My mom votes regularly, but she says anyone who votes straight party line is an idiot(It was from her that I learned that voting matters more locally than nationally).

In August of 2005, I had just entered college, but I considered myself a moderate. The truth was, I had not made up my mind.I then saw the same footage that the rest of the country saw. People stranded on the tops of their homes as street flooded. It made me sad.

But then I found out that the head of FEMA, had no emergency management experience, the Senator was the Governor's brother, the mayor was corrupt, and the army maintained the levees. I saw martial law imposed on a major American city. Finally, the stories came of trucks being sent to the wrong places, and warehouses full of supplies lying idle because some bureaucrat had not done the right paperwork. Private people and Companies had to come and solve the problems that government, with all of its money and people, could not. The people of New Orleans would have starved and died like third world refugees, if left to the national government. I went from sad to angry.

A few years later,in 2007, the final straw was when I was watching the new hampshire republican debate. I was checking out each party to see if their was a candidate I could support. The republicans went first because their primaries are earlier. Someone I trusted, had joined a facebook group for some congressman who was running for president. I followed politics a bit, but I had never heard of this guy.

I listened to the debate and this guy made so much sense. Then he got a question, I forget what it was about exactly, but I will never forget the most pointed part of his answer.

He admitted that the Trilateral Commission existed!

My parents had taught me about this, but I had never seen any public figure mention it.

My heart skipped a beat.

I knew people had been threatened/killed for even hinting about the Trilateral Commission and its role in shaping the policies of the United States government.

I emailed my mom the next day with the link to the video. The following days, I realized that I had found the candidate in whom i could believe, but could also shape my beliefs. Looking back, I remember thinking that I was supporting someone who could be killed before election day(Persons who expose the dark secrets of the shadow government sometimes have "accidents").

But his approach about the Non Aggression Principle as the foundation for how society should be organized, and that the people can and should check the power of their government at every possible turn excited me. I became more and more libertarian as I followed the people and ideas that most of us know(Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell,etc.).

I have a buddy who came to the liberty movement shortly after I did.It the same friend who invited me into the ron paul group ironically.He had voted for mccain out of party loyalty(a decision he deeply regrets). In '08, I picked Chuck Baldwin after Ron supported him.

Every day, I surprised how our people and our ideas are being vindicated.

I know I have chosen the side of victors of this struggle over the hearts of minds of the people, and we know that the victors write the history.


thank you for making all the hair on my arms stand up. :)

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul


losing part of my professional income and realizing that I could barely pay for mandated auto insurance to get to work; the fact that civil police are apparently willing to enforce such unjust laws further twists my stomach.

Interesting also that the OP calls this a 'Winston Smith' moment, whereas I liken it to Bruce Wayne's commitment to justice since I personally resolved to get involved politically and hopefully defeat such tyranny.

The "deadbeat dads" act of 1995

When I actually read the law and found out the law had absolutely ZERO with making "deadbeat dads" pay child support and that, in fact, this law was intended to create the national workers registry database at the Department of Labor, interfaced with the SSA DB, the IRS DB, and the USPS DB of all things.

It, combined with the national drivers registry (which was the real subject of the "Motor Votor" federal law the year prior, formed what we know today as the DoHS REAL ID DB.

Both the Federal Drivers Registry and National Workers Registry DBs went live on Oct 1, 1996.

This is why you may see ID standards where only IDs issued "on or after" Oct 1, 1996 will be considered as valid.

I.e. whatever something is called, the exact opposite of what it is called is what it really is.

Thanks to you and everyone who has posted a response.

These stories are great...

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

When George Bush Senior

Invaded Iraq in the first Persian Gulf War, then after asking the Kurd and Iraqi resistance fighters to rise up against Saddam, abandoned them to be wiped out by Saddam's' elite units. I lost complete faith with the GOP.

I then endure a long period of political apathy, hopelessness, and confusion until I discovered Ron Paul in the fall of 2007.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

China did it

Living and working in China for a year did it for me. The people over there, most of them, can only recite one thing in English and that is 'America number 1'. After hearing that over a thousand times walking own the street, attempting to talk to them in Chinese, that is all I would hear. That is what they knew, the brainwashing like you said.
After about three months the euphoria of being in a new place wore off and I was left with how do I compare USA and China in a different light. However, the more I tried to find differences between the two, the more and more I saw how similar they were. Sometimes I felt that I had more freedom at times in China, going to street markets for fresh food, haggling with shop keepers for a lower price so I didn't get ripped off as a foreigner. Driving my motorcycle with no license, and being white they never would stop me, even though they had 5-6 police officers at almost every traffic light, trying to direct traffic. Eventually the in your face theme of the Chinese gov't propaganda started to show me how the Corporatist theme propaganda of USA could hide behind our benevolent leaders and our Constitution. This was 2007-08 and then I found out about Ron Paul, and the Daily Paul, and read and read and read some more. And I'm still at it, learning liberty!

Civil Rights Act of 1991

Even though I did not always agree with Bush 41, I supported him because, well, he was a Republican.

Then, in late 1991, he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1991. This bill had to do with hiring quotas for minorities. There were provisions in this bill which made the defendant prove his innocence if accused of violating them.

I remember thinking: "guilty until proven innocent?" Hmm. What else could they do?

And that is when the dominoes started tumbling in my head.

I was young, 6 or 7

My father was having a conversation with someone, then turns to me with a look I couldn't interpret at the time, and sternly says to me, "Don't ever trust a politician," stressing the word 'ever'.

My father is a very wise man.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

After reading Hayek

Central Planning = Central Authority = Central Ownership

This axiom is not spelled out this way in 'The Fatal Conceit', however it is spelled out in a more lengthy discussion. I had an epiphany at that moment when I realized that while the US Federal Gov't is a Republic on paper, in practice it is National Socialism. Socialism FORCED upon an entire Nation.

Socialism is just another term for Central Planning, along with Marxism, State Capitalism, Mercantilism, Leninism, Fascism, and all the other Ism's where the Few Centrally Plan the Many via Taxes, Regulations, Arbitrary Law, Morality, etc. Hayek called it Serfdom, which they all are in some form or another.

No matter the Moniker for Central Planning, if a few people can assume the authority, mostly through coerced 'consent', then they in effect OWN those people.


The first day I was FORCED to pay property tax ... FORCED I say FORCED !

Life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% fatality rate.
Don't Give me Liberty, I'll get up and get it myself!

There are many, but the first couple I remember were

in 1980 when Jimmy Carter re-instated registration for the draft. and in 1983 when Reagan signed a law increasing the age at which I could collect full Social Security benefits from 65 to 67.

That might have something to do with why I've never voted for a Democrat or Republican for President.

They're happening almost every day now.


Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Discovering both the income tax and inflation

were phenomena younger than my grandmother.

It was then that I figured out there were Big Lies perpetrated against the people in plain view, without protest.

Inflation was manmade, deliberate and perfectly avoidable. Income taxes were not inevitable as Ben Franklin is alleged to have said. Both of these "facts of life" were created by men within living memory, and yet no one seemed to realize it.

It was exactly then that I realized that the truth could be mine for an embarrassingly low price. The inner workings of the machine weren't hidden, they weren't secret.

It was then that I realized the education system I'd been put through willfully ignored obvious, recent truths in favor of an agenda that required the people be ignorant.

It was then that I realized the truth, as the public knew it, was a manipulation and a fraud created by government employees for their own benefit.

After that it was avalanche after avalanche of information, coming all too rapidly for me to remember which came first: The Civil War, The Federal Reserve, World War I, the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, World War II, the Military Industrial Complex, Vietnam, the Cold War, Stagflation, The 80's "Boom", the Gulf War, the War on Terror, the Housing "Boom", the Recession, and so on...all lies.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!


One time when I was arrested for protesting a crooked church...

I heard one of the cops say to the other "I got him for resisting."

The other cop said "Nice."

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.