From the earliest of times the politics of fear has been an instrument of those seeking to sway public opinion. From the threat of ‘reds under the bed’ through to countless civil wars and religious killings, the template of making people scared of the ‘other’ is not new.
What is intriguing is how easily members of the public follow suit.
Consider the recent BREXIT campaign, where the leave campaign did not need to spend much time telling people how life would be different. All they needed to focus on was what is wrong with the European Union and who is to blame (other people of course). They didn’t talk about HOW they would achieve this utopian vision of a proud and strong United Kingdom. The interesting point is that they didn’t need to, all they needed to do was to incite enough fear to make people want it to stop.
In fact these have not just been claims but complaints formally lodged to government bodies and any other authority that will listen (or has to listen by virtue of their legislation). Of course each resulting investigation has been dismissed but these complaints laid the perfect foundation for Step #2.
In America, Donald Trump, is also playing the politics of fear in his campaign to become president. He talks about “making America great again” and outlining all that is wrong with America and points out who is to blame (other people of course). Once again there is little detail in how America will become great again. However, the public don’t ask for this. For many the fear is enough for them to make up their minds.
From Nazi Germany, to Al-Qaida, to ISIS, to politics both large scale and small, the formula for fear is simple.
(1) Find problem and represent it in a dramatic or almost apocalyptic way.
(2) Find someone that can be blamed for that problem and then dehumanise them.
(3) Let the politics of fear to do the rest.
The real question though is what makes people so keen to follow this template?
While there is no question that there are issues in the world, in countries, in communities that need to be solved, the defining feature of this style of campaign is that the individual is not to blame. If I am feeling marginalised, if I am feeling down-trodden, if I am feeling like life is dealing me a short straw and I can blame someone else, then I get to pour all my fury at the world into that issue and ‘those people’ who are the cause of it all.
This is the payback for people. Playing ball with the politics of fear is absolution of personal responsibility
This is a template not only used by the big P politics, but can be used against people in offices and communities around the world.
One example is a community I am part of, a religion called The Way of The Livingness, that has been attacked, vilified and slandered for close to four years now.
We are essentially a community of people whose sole purpose is to live in harmony with what we understand God and divinity to be. Part of this involves a willingness to care for your body, through diet, lifestyle and healing (both traditional medical and energetic). Part also involves a willingness to be responsible for your emotional reactions – building our understanding that our personal reactivity comes from some form of deeper hurt. Resolve the hurt and the reaction goes.
It goes without saying that with the rates of illness and disease, we each need to be taking far more care of our bodies and with the level of abuse and emotionally charged exchanges in the world. Learning to be less reactive and more loving can only be a good thing.
So if you asked “Is The Way of The Livingness the truth for all humanity?” I would say undoubtedly so. But let’s not mistake that response for any desire to make some kind of global decree and declare those that live this way good and others bad because the reality is we already do the varying degrees. We all already get feedback from our bodies all of the time, that we chose to either ignore or listen to. Listening to this feedback and caring for the body is The Way of The Livingness. Those that listen and make changes improve their health . . . this is not magic or mysticism but simple science, biology and pharmacology. Junk in Junk out, Love in Love out.
We also all get feedback from friends, families and even the wider public that getting reactive, getting stressed or relying on emotional outburst might deliver a short term win, but long term it is not the way for a healthy life or relationship. Dealing with the malformed beliefs we develop about life and others, is not magic or mysticism but simple psychology and personal responsibility.
The one key difference in The Way of The Livingness is the bringing of the essence of divinity into the equation. Bring in this and you get a different marker for what ‘dealing’ with these issues or loving the body might actually feel like. What might caring for your body feel like and what might reactiveness feel like if you are basing this on a timeless, non judgmental form of love that seeks nothing from anyone but to hold people in equality, care and joy?
So very briefly, this is The Way of The Livingness, an answer to many of life’s challenges and a way that many already live (to varying degrees).
But back to the politics of fear, and the campaign template being followed by Lance Martin, Esther Rockett, their multiple pseudonyms and a handful of willing followers. Here is their playbook thus far;
Step (1) Find problem and represent it in a dramatic or almost apocalyptic way:
The alleged problem; a charismatic cult leader and self help guru that is brainwashing & ripping off vulnerable people. Not only causing financial harm to individuals but getting involved in money laundering, fraud, tax evasion and abusing children.
These are just a few of the false claims made to date in the campaign against the The Way of The Livingness.
Step (2) Find someone that can be blamed for that problem, then dehumanise them:
There has not been one theory on any topic in history that has not been offered to the world by someone – a person, an individual that said, “what if we looked at it this way”. To decry an individual for an idea, without testing the validity of that idea is one of the strongest forms of protectionism you can get. To actively attack and publicly state the intention to ‘bring you down’ moves us back to the dark ages, where only one view of the world was seen as acceptable and that view was upheld with manufactured accusations, torture and killing those that thought differently.
The person presenting The Way of The Livingness, is Serge Benhayon. He never claims this work is his, in fact he often presents the fact that what he is presenting has been shared before in many different formats. In fact, he often refers to The Way of The Livingness, as the Ageless Wisdom, being presented in a modern context. The inquisitors are Esther Rockett and Lance Martin.
According to these inquisitors, this makes Serge the CULT leader, the charismatic leader that is able to lead mindless followers to their physical, financial and moral doom. By default of this accusation, any member of his family is either a victim of his evil ways or a henchman willingly assisting him.
This is an easy picture to paint, unless you know him or any family member. A bit like those evil ‘immigrants coming to take your job’, the politics of fear makes it easy to paint a picture of someone, that has no bearing on reality. People sign up to a slogan and can’t see past it, which justifies all manner of abuse. However, meet a migrant, someone trying to escape war and that personal connection dispels the fog any fear creates.
Then you have the student body, a group of people, who by virtue of Serge being a ‘cult leader’, must somehow be weak, feeble and dull. They must somehow be in need of saving or at least worthy of vilification.
But again the reality is very different.
The student body are a cross section of society, they are professional people, trades people, white collar workers, housewives, unemployed, artist, academics, students, you name it across vocations, across cultures, across age groups. These are people who have tested The Way of The Livingness (without coercion) and said yes “this works for me”.
But now that we are ‘cult members’ it is open season. Any idea is labelled less worthy of expression, or evidence of our complicit and mindless fellowship. Any rebuttal of an attack is proof of our delusion, and it is deemed reasonable to call our managers and employers to warn them of our involvement in this cult, to level accusations at individuals, that the accuser has never met.
Once we have been dehumanised and grouped together as ‘cult follower” any abuse from online shaming, to in-person stalking becomes fair game.
But the issue, the BIG issue with this politics of fear, regardless of what level it is played, is that it covers up and distracts people from the REAL issue.
While there are real political, social and economic issues faced all over the world, making people scared of trying something different or blaming others for our own problems is not the answer, the answer is in personal responsibility.
If people took more care of their own bodies, less money would be needed for the health system. If people took more responsibility for their emotional state, less money would be needed for women’s shelters, police services and even armies. Imagine what countries could do with the money they save.
If people started to take more personal responsibility for their well-being and said no to the emotional manipulation used in the media and in marketing, what other changes would take place?
The Way of The Livingness, comprises a group of people who are testing the theory that personal responsibility is the answer to many of our issues, both local and global. The results are stunning. There are people who are changing their own inner world, and so their outer world changes in a very positive way. There are stories to be told about people, not better, not different but people testing the theory that change starts with ourselves and that without a sense of our shared divinity, woven into our lives, the change we make is not truly loving or lasting.
This is a big experiment and experience to be part of, but then again why are so many people signing up? Could they be saying, “What we are currently doing and defending is not working?”. They may also know or be seeing the positive result of people willing to move out of the realm of ideological banter and test the theory of personal responsibility in their own lives and with their own bodies.
Which begs the question, if The Way of The Livingness is about personal responsibility, what are those that are driving the fear campaign really afraid of.