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Cognitive Dissonance: The Single Most Important Topic in the Liberty Movement

Getting people to wake up and see the truth for what it is is the single most important topic in the liberty movement.

The single biggest obstacle for people who cannot or will not see truth is their own cognitive dissonance.

I saw a post by gregroberts in another thread where he posted a James Corbett video on Cognitive Dissonance. Thanks, Greg. As usual, Corbett does an excellent job.

In addition, I found a few other vids that are interesting about the subject (and not too long to watch).

I am starting this thread to see if people here have good resources about how to BREAK other peoples' cognitive dissonance when we introduce them to liberty issues.

If we can learn to do that, even in a small number of cases (but more than we do now), the liberty movement can grow much faster. It is my opinion that those who want to control others have a strong understanding of human psychology, including the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance.

It is about time we understand how to communicate more effectively to promote truth, and other peoples' cognitive dissonance is the main thing standing in our way.

Here is the James Corbett video:


This is a short video on the topic, including the man himself who originally did the experiments on this subject in the 1950's:


And one more video that has some pretty powerful stuff:


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Wishful Thinking-American Style

Good post,thanks! Here is a good example: http://www.liberty-news.com/cartoons/WishfulThinkingAmerican...

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

seek first to understand, then to be understood.Stephen R Covey

Tony Robbins NLP

Tweeting occasionally as himself @cudnoski on the twitter.

Dissociative Identity Disorder is the extreme of CD

The extreme end of cognitive dissonance is multiple personality disorder/dissociative identity disorder. Where the dissonance becomes so strong, that the mind will actually split in order to keep the two opposing beliefs.

This is a gallery of paintings from Kim Noble. She has multiple personality disorder with about 20 personalities, and each personality has learned to paint. She is a very interesting person and much is speculated about weather or not she had some sort of trauma based mind control when she was younger.

Warning: some paintings are extremely disturbing, especially by the personality Ria Pratt. The other personalities show their own distinct style of painting. One wonders what happened to her.


"Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito."

the truth

Any person who uses the word truth in a statement concerning the physical (not that I do not use the word real) has a concept of true that is as close to its real meaning as the concept of aircraft held by cargo cult islanders is to the actual concept of a working aircraft. People take the word from the areas where it has meaning --- viz. logic and math --- and attach it to what they say thinking that if they to that then they become correct in their observations.

Consider this: "The truth is that James Corbet is a zionist spy working for the CIA." Now how does that sentence differ from "The truth is that James Corbet is a zionist spy working for the CIA.", or "I think that The truth is that James Corbet is a zionist spy working for the CIA." They are all the same statements.

Now I could produce some information to support this assertion. But testimony is not evidence, or at best is the worst kind and weakest form of evidence since peoples observations are seldom accurate, and their memories are worse.
A Pay stub from the CIA and corresponding bank statements along with a video of a Bat Mitzpha at a conservative temple might be useful information to support the claim. Simply producing inconsistent statements by people is just that. INconsistent statements by people.

If you want to see something useful on this subject enter the two words orwells boot into any search engine and then read the first article that comes back, usually under the name factotum666. It is a 6600 word piece that I wrote 5 years ago, and is number 1 on all search engines. There you will learn that evolution tends to work so as to make you both obedient to authority and stupid.

And here is a quick sample of stupid. Most of you hold very strong views on global warming. Why? Because someone told you what to believe, and used phrases like "common sense", as it is common sense that the sun moves around the earth since I can see that. Not a single one of you could even begin to explain the evidence or science that shows that the heliocentric theory of earth sun motion is valid. You, as I do, defer to authority.

Unlike you, I have an actual understanding of the science and mechanisms behind AGW. (Human caused global warming) You, on the other hand, can not follow or understand the importance of this: http://www.quora.com/Integration-calculus/What-are-some-inte...

You do not have any idea what the constant e is, how it is derived, or why it is important. Yet you claim to be able to render a meaningful opinion on AGW because ??? Well an authority figure told you. You suffer from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

Now. Go!. Read. Get a sense of humility. For gods sake, learn to actually think for yourself. Take, and better, actually pass a few courses on math, physics, chemistry. Read some books other than fiction romance and porn.

What does ...

... any of that have to do with the topic of this thread?

If it is somehow related, explain.

If it is not, don't troll.

The reality is very simple.

To appreciate why some people just won't "wake up," you don't need psychology, you just need a bell curve. The average person is stupid, period, end of story - not polite to say, but true. They will have to be tricked out of slavery, just as they were tricked into slavery - they can't be rationally persuaded. Some people are just born to follow.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

I completely disagree

I think people are smart. I think the whole idea that we are a bunch of morons is a lie perpetrated to make us think we don't have power. Yes some people are dumb, but most are very intelligent, just confused.

We do need to know psychology as well. We are finding that the brain is extremely plastic, so even those that are truly dumb, have hope of becoming very intelligent.

But I do somewhat agree that they may need to be tricked back into reality.

"Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito."

Yeah ...

... can't say I disagree all that much, but then we don't need everybody.

Ever see that movie "Idiocracy?"

Michael Nystrom's picture

Why are people so concerned with what other people are doing?

When they should be concerned with themselves.

Matthew 7:5

"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

Because standing alone ...

... will accomplish nothing.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Everybody thinks they got the truth

And that's the truth!

Cognitively Dissed

It's because you're telling them things they don't want to hear. Even if it's true. It's always going to be awkward. Who really wants to hear that pedophiles rule the world?

I find that it is much easier to get a person's attention when you discuss solutions instead of the f-ed up reality. The solutions are always positive and fun, and people pay attention to these things.

For example, it is my opinion that Permaculture can be used to create alternative economic and social systems that can thrive (it is already being done- people grow bananas off grid in the CO Rockies).

Nobody hates gardening so the conversations are usually pleasant. In fact many people enjoy it, so now we have something in common, now we're friends, and before ya know it they're out there barefoot and dreadlocks pickin tomaters and using solar heated rainwater and compost toilets. Winning.

I hate gardening ...

... so there. ;-)

Not everyone is into it, certainly not people living in condos and apartments.

I agree with you that people don't want to hear the really bad stuff. I never go there with people who are really asleep.

Even people living in filing cabinets can love gardening!

I always enjoy your posts and comments!

Thanks ...

... and that sounds like a great idea. We could go into the eBook business.

"How to Grow Your Garden in a Filing Cabinet"

Followed by ...

"Filing Cabinet Aquaponics"

And then ...

"Dude! You Can Grow Weed in a Filing Cabinet!"

We're gonna get rich!


The 'obstacle' of CD depends on the end goal

I only see CD of the masses as a problem IF one's conclusion for maintaining liberty exists in a democratic political process. If one puts their entire reasoning and concluding efforts into getting others to 'wake up' so that we can collectively make policy in line with securing individual liberty then CD is an 'obstacle' that needs to be overcome. I have found that if one examines the democratic political process for its viability to maintain liberty with so much competing minds in a state of CD then the only rational conclusion is that democratic political processes are not a viable 'solution' for maintaining liberty because of the massive epidemic of CD. This conclusion of working within a political processes for maintaining liberty has two main conclusions that are guaranteed outcomes; constant never ending political battle with others who are completely nuts and many who are corrupt to the core, and that there is no guarantee of maintaining liberty. All experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. In essence democratic political processes have shown to have a 100% failure rate in maintaining liberty. So why we choose an end destination that has no guaranteed victory and has a 100% failure rate for our end destination??

Instead of looking at CD as an obstacle in political battles that needs to be overcome in order to maintain liberty, the smarter thing to do is to recognize CD is a law of nature and then determine a path within the laws of nature that will guarantee liberty be maintained and to choose the efforts that energy and resources will be poured into will be the absolute minimum necessary and with fewest number of 'awake' people required. This is the destination I have chosen and thus I will NOT participate in politics. The path to liberty I have chosen is to uphold the law. If the law is upheld then it does not matter who is in 'office' how much CD got them there or how much CD they have because the laws of nature are absolute. When one upholds the law then CD turns from an obstacle to a great advantage to law abiding people. The CD doesn't end with our political positions it is all pervasive throughout the system.

When an fully awake law abiding man is confronted with policy application by judges, prosecuting attorneys, and law enforcement, their CD will destroy themselves because their dissonance exists within conflicts of the application of law. The fact the entire process is one of record means that they have to be correct and coherent 100% of the time. Also, these individuals cannot just scurry back into their chuckleheadness like the rest of mindless sheep on the street. Those in the system are initiating injury and claims that they will ultimately stand liable for and better be 100% factual. Also those in the system are bound to procedures where they MUST listen and MUST respond to demonstrate their reasoning in order to move their claims forward through the procedures. The thing is that the CD goes so deep that these individuals in the system do not realize their own conflicts and complete failures to understand law at its root level in logic and because they are on the record, on the spot, and required to answer means that they have to be right the first every time. The result I have found is that they will fail EVERY single time when faced with one who calls there bs in a way that enables them to just keep conflicting their own reasoning over and over. The worst for them that I have found is when they keep admitting that their actions are exact code defined felonies they are committing. When one reveals they are admitting to felony acts on the record then they have been thoroughly defeated within the natural laws of neurological processing. It is so easy to do in our courts that sometimes I almost feel sorry for the intellectual beat down they have to experience for harming me but they initiated harm so they get exactly what they deserve.

Furthermore, when one examines the laws of nature applicable to the courts and the people who carry out their tyranny one finds MANY other natural laws that bind them besides neurological laws that enable them to fail so badly. There are many natural social order laws that come into play and the most powerful law of nature that binds them is TIME. The more harm and tyranny they initiate the more opportunities we have to set precedent. The more we seize the opportunity to set precedent the less time they have for committing tyranny. When one examines the number of cases a court can physically process in time and the time required to ensure the law is upheld the number of people upholding the law required to consume ALL time is literally less than .1% of the population. This is a law of nature and is an inherent built protection of law that one can access simply by upholding the law.

So in the end I believe cognitive dissonance is only an obstacle if one has come to the conclusion that effort must be put into political processes for 'fixing' things. I think this conclusion is a failure because it has no REAL answer and still subjects us to a nation of men not of laws.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

I think it makes no difference ...

... how we want to pursue change.

The bottom line is that the way things are now must change. And the only way that will happen is if more people become aware of why things should change.

Some will pursue elections and some will pursue voluntarism. But nobody who is asleep will pursue either method of change without first recognizing that there is a problem and that some sort of change is necessary.

I respectfully disagree with your conclusion

If something is broken one needs to fix the problem.

If a car's transmission falls out but one changes the head gaskets to 'fix' the problem then the result is that your car is still broken and you spent time and resources on something that did not solve the problem. What's even worse is when you were changing the head gaskets and you stripped the threads on the block for fasteners that hold down the head. Now because the wrong solution was pursued you not only still have a broken car but now it is more broken than when you started.

That is exactly what ignorant people voting do. They can and do break things even worse. Even if the voting is corrupted just going to vote legitimizes the process. Being suckered and voting for a con man in a legit elections brings more confusion.

The real problem we have is a break down of the rule of law. This breakdown is not because of slimy conmen politicians, it is because the vast majority of people have ignored the law and now they stand defenseless to their own protection. The people think that laws are made by 'representatives' but yet they do not even know what a representative actually is nor do they know anything about what elements are required for lawful agency. If they knew what a lawful representative agent is then they would not be voting in its current form because the very act of secret voting is EXACTLY what breaks lawful agency by removing the element in the law of agency to identify the principal of the agent. The people have failed so complete and total in their ignorance of the law that they don't even realize that the tyranny they are experiencing IS THE LAW. The people are getting exactly what they deserve for living outside of law and there is absolutely NO other way to truly fix the problem other than to know and uphold the law. People don't realize that the tyranny will continue until they learn the law and protect the law so that the law can protect them.

We are not even close to this taking hold even in the liberty movement. Hell, most in the liberty movement make fun of the sovereigns but the real sovereigns are winning across the board on everything because they have realized their sovereign position in law regardless of the stupid government hacks who want power. Those assholes are powerless to the sovereigns because they can't hold a candle to the galactic inferno of awareness of law the sovereigns hold.

Opinions will fail in the face of facts and the law and one not recognizing the difference between opinion and actual fact IS the CD whether people realize it or not.

I could go and on but it really doesn't matter what I have to say because the root of all law that shapes nature is divine law. Divine law will shape nature through inspiration to the individual who is paying attention and pursues the inspiration to its end and in exchange divine law will offer its protections. If one ignores the law they are ignoring the protections of divine law and thus will be put through the washer until they learn their lesson.

I am not talking about any religious mumbo jumbo, I am talking REAL law that governs every single bio-electrical process that governs the human body. You want freedom, uphold the law. Everything else is irrelevant and a complete waste of time/energy and actually causes more problems because one is acting outside the law and normalizing lawlessness.

So from my understanding one cannot break the law and expect anything other than tyranny because that is the divine order that is just as real as gravity and the CD is simply the expression that has emerged into the nature of the individual because they have lost the protections of law by ignoring the law.

Ignorance of the law is truly not a defense. This is true just not how most people CD to their current conclusion of having to maintain up to date on new codes passed into 'law' by 'representatives'.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

I think we're mostly in agreement ...

... on the big picture. We just differ at the details. You know as well as I do that the vast majority of people just don't have much interest in "politics" (they don't see it as a liberty issue; they see it as that boring politics thang).

They are not going to take the time and effort that you have or that I have to read about theory, history, philosophy, law, or anything else.

It took me time to go from politically neutral to leaning libertarian to minarchist to understanding the true evil of government with all the lies and corruption to sitting on the fence between minarchy and anarcho-capitalism. I only sit on the fence because I don't think the average person is willing to go even as far as I have in the journey and they sure are not going to go as far as you have.

So, we have an issue of practicality. We need more people to become awake to the reality of the situation, but they are not all that interested. We also need to have a SOLUTION for them that is easy to understand and that they can accept and, for those willing to be a little bit active, be able to act in a tangible way.

I agree that voting, per se, is not going to turn it around. But I am at the point where I think it is important to have a rock that people can cling to when the world they thought they knew comes crashing down around them due to breaking through that cognitive dissonance.

I have concluded that following the Constitution for the United States of America is that rock for Americans. It's not a perfect document, but it's within easy reach. Trying to break through CD and then getting them to focus on upholding the law is where I'm at, too. It's just that I don't think most people will dig through old court cases or statutes or books on legal theory. For those who will do that, great. Most people won't.

But when they are in the process of awakening, they might be willing to take a few minutes to read the Constitution and realize just how far things have gone awry, and then demand that the federal government stick to its confines. That is all that is really needed. If that ever happens, we'll be "close enough." The push to anarcho-capitalism will probably follow at some point thereafter. Once people see for themselves that big government is not necessary, the idea that no government is necessary is likely to follow.

I just think it's too big a leap for most people, coming from where they're coming from right now.

Good points, Tommy!

Good points, Tommy!

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

Cognitive dissonance

Is what happens when you ask an anarchist how they plan to actually do it.

Depends on the anarchist you ask

The US founders established a lawful and legally recognized framework of anarchy but the chuckleheads are too ignorant of law to understand that.

You are participating in a site dedicated to restoring that lawful anarchy.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

You realize that "lawful

You realize that "lawful anarchy" is an oxy-moron right? I get what you are trying to say, but surely you don't really believe this? It contradicts the very definition of the word.

Maybe you don't know what is lawful or what is anarchy

Why do you consider lawful and anarchy mutually exclusive?

Is self governance not anarchy. Does equal justice before the law imply rulers?

What is lawful vs unlawful? Does consistent and valid US law state anywhere that there is a lawful ruler over the individual men and women who make up the People? Do legislative acts have any lawful applicability to the People? Do legislative acts even claim to be applicable to the People?

Who in law is the defined ruler your comments suggest we have?

Does not having rulers equate to unlawfulness? Does not having rulers mean that there is no law?

Given that lawful agency requires an identified liable principal the agent acts on behalf of, who is the identified liable principal to agents of government under US law? Is the principal the ruler or the ruled? Is the ruler under whatever law you claim identifies the ruler a man or men? Is the ruler a legal fiction who holds no liability? What such lawful title and/or claim do the ruling man or men you imply have in law?

Is consent of the governed under the scope of authority of this ruler as to imply this ruler's permission is mandatory for not consenting? Does 'governed' mean one governed by rulers or governed by law? Is the law dictated by this ruler you imply?

Maybe the contradictions you see are constructs of neurological programming of others that is designed to confuse. Maybe there is absolutely no possibility of lawful and anarchy being an oxy-moron but it has been made to make 'sense' for you because the word has been intentionally usurped by those who had the foresight to see the power that would be obtained by usurping the word. Maybe consent of the governed is not a single defined Thing but a hyperdimensional state of simultaneously correct definition of the individual perspective based on the facts delivered into a case interpreting such meanings.

Maybe it is a law of nature that one can lawfully consent to a ruler and that be lawful while simultaneously another can be totally lawful and have no rulers thereby being in a state of anarchy. It is already known that observation of nature collapses the wave function to a certain outcome. How far does perspective go within the laws of nature? Is it possible that the true anarchists are the only ones capable of actually living within the law because by living completely within law they have removed all rulers by removing all aspects of law that have no application to them because by living within the law a valid cause of action of an accuser can never be attained thus no court can ever have jurisdiction over the anarchist not because of the anarchist being an outlaw but because that anarchist is the only one amongst those others seeking power who actually lives by the law? Did you ever consider that both can be correct and lawfully enabled and interpreted simultaneously due to the facts the perspective of each individual expresses?

Maybe consciousness chooses the energy patterns that manifest into motion of matter and thereby one can consent to having rulers and that be applicable law to them but not to another who does not consent.

I think this issue is much deeper than most realize because most people have consented to be ruled by strangers who are clearly a threat to law abiding people.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

Answers to your wall of questions

You seem incapable of making a coherent argument. But I will answer your insane overabundance of poorly thought out questions.

Why do you consider lawful and anarchy mutually exclusive?

Because anarchy is no government, and lawful is having laws, which are specified using government.

Is self governance not anarchy.

'Self governance' doesn't have meaning in a political discussion. It is more of a philosophy topic.

Does equal justice before the law imply rulers?

Loaded question. Government does not imply rulers to begin with.

What is lawful vs unlawful?

A good question for a dictionary, not me (a book I'm sure you are unfamiliar with, given your absolutely disgusting use of the english language and extremely frequent lack of understanding behind simple words).

Does consistent and valid US law state anywhere that there is a lawful ruler over the individual men and women who make up the People?

Not to my knowledge, though I fail to see how this relates to the price of tea in china.

Do legislative acts have any lawful applicability to the People?

By definition, yes.

Do legislative acts even claim to be applicable to the People?

Yes. Again, relevance?

Who in law is the defined ruler your comments suggest we have?

I suggested nothing of the sort. You seem to have labelled me and attributed all sorts of things to me that I never did or said. Your argument is far too many words for what we are discussing. If you cannot make your argument simpler, perhaps it is because you haven't got one.

Does not having rulers equate to unlawfulness?


Does not having rulers mean that there is no law?


Given that lawful agency requires an identified liable principal the agent acts on behalf of, who is the identified liable principal to agents of government under US law?

This is a very poorly structured sentence and I have no idea what you are getting at.

Is the principal the ruler or the ruled?

Is the ruler under whatever law you claim identifies the ruler a man or men?

Is the ruler a legal fiction who holds no liability?

Is consent of the governed under the scope of authority of this ruler as to imply this ruler's permission is mandatory for not consenting? Does 'governed' mean one governed by rulers or governed by law? Is the law dictated by this ruler you imply?

Holy SHIT man. You keep babbling on about this imaginary "ruler". All I can think is, "wonder if he'll share".

Do you have any arguments, actually, against what I said? If so you certainly didn't include them in that wall of bullshit. If you can't do it in one paragraph without any question marks, I'm not interested.

Anarchy = 'without rulers'

Traditional meaning of anarchy only means without rulers and does not necessarily imply without government.

And to rebut your claim that legislative acts do apply to the people and claim that is actually FALSE.

The codes are explicit in their terminology and claim applicability to "persons" which traditional legal definition mean simply a man inside a legal capacity. If you examines the Constitution and Code then you will clearly see that the codes are careful to only claim applicability to persons and you will never find claims of code applicability to "men", "women" or "people".

Applying legislative acts to people (men and women) makes absolutely NO sense. which I give a short on why here:

If you are not aware of the history of how things were altered to make our current situation so screwed up then you won't be aware of what I am saying here. If you don't understand the common law of agency then there is no way for you to know what lawful agency is and my words will seem foreign to you.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

The best example of cognitive dissonance...

The best example of cognitive dissonance, that I found to be most explanatory of WHAT COGNITIVE DISSONANCE IS; came in the third video:

"People tend to think that they are correct, they are biased in that they feel that their beliefs are always correct.

When a child does WELL on a test, the child will give himself credit and say that "he is smart."

But when a child does POORLY on a test, the child will say that the test does not reflect on his intelligence, and will point to external explanations; say that "he is not a good test-taker, or the teacher doesn't like me, or that test is stupid; I am still smart, I still tend to be correct."

Just Don't Be Too Hasty

to assume that because someone disagrees with your conclusion, they must be irrationally defending unsupportable beliefs. The concept is good to keep in mind, but we've all seen the angry exchanges online (including the DP) from people all over the spectrum. I've been accused many times of suffering from cognitive dissonance (usually not in those words) because I am just as cynical of 9/11 conspiracy theories as I am of the official story.

Just because someone doesn't interpret the information available to them the same way you do doesn't necessarily mean they are deluding themselves. The more I learn, the more I understand that the "truth" is not something that can be arrived at with online research, reading books or any other method that depends on your fallible brain. Valuable information can be found, useful conclusions can be drawn, but once you think you have come to understand "the truth", you will yourself suffer from cognitive dissonance as soon as somebody challenges your (necessarily flawed) "truth".

Seek to understand a person's perspective, rather than simply react to it and you will stand a much greater chance of achieving mutual understanding (if not agreement).

"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him?" -Thomas Jefferson

The way to tell the difference...

The way to tell the difference between someone who honestly doesn't agree with your information, and someone who is resisting facts based on cognitive dissonance is whether or not they are open to hearing new information or not.

That is- if you can maintain calm and positivity, and come from a happy place, and just explain yourself rationally, will they hear anything you are saying?

If they do, and still don't agree, then you have two rational people sorting out opinions from facts.

If you do all that, and the person still just viamately does not hear rational statements you are making, they are most likely resisting due to cognitive dissonance.

Ray Powell
Founder, Hacking For Change
Head Geek, Startbutton.com

Good point ...

... it is usually the person's emotions that tell us where they are at.

As a side note, Ayn Rand stated that emotions are our mechanism for expressing our values. Our values are based on our beliefs, and those beliefs may be rational or irrational, true of false.

If you hear someone was murdered, and you knew nothing more, you might have a slight negative emotion, but not much since it happens a lot. If you were then told it was Hitler, you would have a happy emotion. But if you were told it was an innocent child, you would have sadness, anger, or other negative emotions.

The emotion expressed is directly linked to the value held, and the emotion comes out when an internal thought or external event is experienced and the subconscious reconciles it with stored values and beliefs.

When a person who is confronted with information that contradicts their currently-held values and beliefs, they will either experience the emotion of curiosity or anger/frustration/negative emotion. If curiosity, they are more interested in what is true. If anger, they are more interested in protecting their belief, not in knowing what is true.