Mark Gober is an international speaker and the author of "An End to Upside Down Thinking", which was awarded the best independently published science book of 2019. Very recently he released the third book of the trilogy, “An End To Upside Down Liberty”, which he has dedicated to "those who want to be free".
The conversation was recorded in November 2021 - and when I look around me now, I see that our liberties are eroding away: more lockdowns, more censorship, increased surveillance, mandatory vaccinations, suppression of dissenting opinions. One could argue that our society is on a slippery slope towards a dystopian totalitarian society, where a central authority dictates what the citizens can and cannot do.
If you are concerned about our liberty and the kind of society our children will live in, then listen carefully.
The conversation concludes in the next episode #185.
* Upside down Liberty: the mistaken belief we are free
* "Government grants us freedoms": Does freedom really come from the government?
* Are politicians trustworthy, altruistic, honourable servants of the people, as we are conditioned to believe?
* In the end, do politicians care more about our interests or their interests?
* How the government threatens Liberty
* Brainwashing, mind control, and "conspiracy theories"
* Big tech, governments and the media dictate what "truth" is and they shut down alternative opinions
"In Austria they want to make the vaccination compulsory - that's making a medical decision on your behalf. What could that lead to - what other medical decisions could they make with your body?"
𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝘀𝘁:
I am Agi Keramidas, a zealous podcaster and a knowledge broker. I am on a mission to inspire others to grow, stand out, and take action towards the next level of their lives.
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Agi Keramidas 0:04
This is a very important episode, one of the most significant ones I've ever done. Welcome to personal development mastery podcast episode 184. I'm recording this it is December 2021. And when I look around, I see that our liberties are eroded away, there are more lockdowns, more censorship, increased surveillance, mandatory vaccinations, suppression of any dissenting opinion. One could say that our society is on a slippery slope, leading to a future not far off from what we have read in dystopian books like 1984, or seen in movies like Gattaca.
The conversation you're about to hear is with Mark Gober, the author of the book "an end to upside down liberty". It is a conversation about our freedom been taken away by the government. And if you are concerned about the kind of society our children will live in, then pay close attention.
In today's show, I am delighted to speak with Mark Gober, Mark, you're an international speaker and the author of an end to upside down thinking, which was awarded the Best independently published science book of 2019. You are the host of the podcast, where is my mind, featuring your interviews with world leading consciousness researchers. Previously, your background was in investment banking, and then in business and the Silicon Valley. In 2020, you wrote a second sequel book called An end to upside down living, in which you discussed the mind blowing conclusions that your research led you to about the nature of reality. And I spoke with you earlier this year on the podcast, and that was episode 132. And we explored this. And very recently, you released your, the third book of the trilogy, an end to upside down liberty, which you have dedicated to those who want to be free. And in the times that we are right now, and we are recording this podcast in November 2021, liberty and freedom seem to be more and more eroding away. And so I think it's a very important topic. And Mark, I want to welcome you, thank you for coming back and can't wait to discuss the message of your book today.
Mark Gober 3:09
Well, thank you so much for having me back. And I'm excited. It'll be fun.
Agi Keramidas 3:14
Absolutely, among other things! So I will mention here for the listeners that back in episode 132, we discussed where does our mind come from? Which is the question whether our consciousness, our sense of experience in life is produced by our brain. So I will direct people to that, that podcast for that conversation. And we'll go straight away to your new book now. In which you talk about how society is organised with the traditionally structured government, and why this institution of government is inherently hazardous to our freedom. And more and more people start to see this every day now with more lockdown, small, mandatory vaccinations, censorship, surveillance, and the list goes on. So So before we dive into upside down liberty, can you tell me what triggers you to write this third book and maybe also, what facilitated it be written so swiftly?
Mark Gober 4:31
Well, I'm still very surprised that I wrote a book like this because previously, I had little to no interest in politics or economic theory or how to organise society generally. It just wasn't on my radar is something I was thinking about very deeply. But that's sort of like what happened with my previous books. I became very interested in consciousness, and then I got hooked and decided to research and write. But each time I've decided to write a book, there's been a precipitating event, whether it's learning about scientific evidence, like I did from My first book, but for this third book, it was precipitated by world events. So the backstory is, I had just finished my second book and ended upside down living at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. And I had just left my job, I was a partner at Sherpa technology group in Silicon Valley. And in late 2019, before the pandemic, I decided I wanted to focus on other things. So after I wrote the second book, in early 2020, I had all this free time, and we were locked down because of the pandemic. So I was meditating a lot, like we talked about in the last interview. And I also started observing the world's events much more closely. And it became clear that there was a very specific narrative being pushed about what the pandemic was, and what measures were needed. And I also started to see censorship, like doctors who came out and they had an idea or an observation that contradicted what the mainstream was saying. And actually, this is something I saw professionally as well, I saw some of this corruption in my business work. And I also see it a lot with consciousness research, where if you put forth an idea, or a study that challenges the mainstream, sometimes you're shunned from academia and ridiculed. So I saw this pattern. And I'm seeing it again with the pandemic. And I'm like, okay, something is going on here. And I kept following it. And I was looking at what the mainstream was saying. And I was looking at what the alternative perspectives were saying. And meanwhile, we saw that our governments around the world, were becoming more controlling in our lives in a very visible manner. Like, you have to stay in your home, or your business is essential, but yours isn't. I mean, these are very important decisions that were being made for us. And there was this trade off, where the government would basically say, Well, we have to take away your freedom, because we're doing it for your safety. So those were the ideas that were swirling around, and I kept researching. And fortunately, I was able to dive very deeply because I had a lot of free time since I left my job. And it just started to become very clear that things in the world were not as they seemed. And I think also, what made me want to write this book so quickly, is that society became extremely divided. And perhaps this is the case even more so today than it was at the beginning of the pandemic, where there are almost two different realities that people are living in. One is the reality of the mainstream media. And if you disagree what they're saying or put forth something else, then you're a conspiracy theorist, or somehow dangerous, because you're contradicting what the experts say, of course, there are variations and degrees on both sides. But this other side that I'm speaking of tends to want to question the mainstream narrative and not just accept it, and ask things like, are we being told the truth? And if we're not being told the truth? What does that mean? And how are our governments becoming more oppressive? And what could that lead to? So in summary, I saw a great deal of urgency because of all that.
Agi Keramidas 7:55
We're going to go into that rabbit hole of this. And of course, in the the two realities that you described, there is, I think, a big spectrum, from extremes to people who are more like, let's say, curious or interested in the other side's perspective, as well. So your book talks about upside down liberty, which you define as the mistaken belief that we are free. And you say that our hidden enslavement is on two levels. And actually, before I go there at all, I think we need to give a kind of maybe a warning, maybe that's not the correct word. But some, because there are many ideas that you talk about in your book that naturally contradict what we hear in the media, you've already said so and also what our education teachers, especially about government, what it is and how it it behaves. And you discuss that when your book about this. This stress we encounter when a belief that we hear contradicts completely what we accept us as our truth. So I wanted some comments from you about that, as you know, as for some for people to understand, and maybe hopefully, give them a different lens of what you're going to say later on.
Mark Gober 9:30
Yeah, I'm glad you did that. Because these ideas that we'll be discussing, are completely counter to what I was taught, and even what I thought about things not too long ago. So I've personally become so immersed in it that it feels a little bit less jarring right now. But if you're hearing this for the first time, or if it's just a bit newer, it can take time for these ideas to settle in. Because I think there's a natural human tendency to want to feel like we know how the world works. And really that's what I'm discussing here on many levels is the idea that The way we were told the world works is not true. And in fact, we are sometimes told things that are false intentionally. So I'll try to ease into it. But I wanted to give that preface. Because when I heard these ideas for the first time, it was almost like it opened the door for me where I said, Okay, there's something here, I need to think more about this. I don't fully get it yet. So for your listeners who are hearing this, for the first time, I'd say my goal is just to bring the concepts forward. And let the ideas start to marinate. It's important to do this preface, because I think there can be a psychological self defence mechanism, if you're not prepared for it. Like if you're not ready for it, there can be a tendency to just want to reject the ideas, and say, That's too contradictory to how I view the world. But if we start with this idea of remaining open minded, which is what I personally try to do as much as I can, then it becomes less jarring when the information comes in.
Agi Keramidas 10:55
I wanted to start with this clarification just because, as you said, it's our human inclination when something goes against what we believe that is the truth, because it really challenges who we are, in some ways, and most people are not very, they don't take that or very good doesn't take that very easily. So. So I'll go back then to what I was, I started saying earlier about your definition of this upside down liberty that we think we are free, but we are not, we are hiddenly enslaved, and of the two levels that you say that we are on, I will focus mainly on the physical level. And if I can give just an introduction with my own perspective, as I show what you what you're writing, and few people who are listening would disagree that if I say that Liberty right now, we can see that it is eroded under the the guise of providing safety, for our protection, more and more of our rights are taken away. And there is a risk here of transformation of this situation evolving and transforming into totalitarianism. And I will add here, look at what's happening in China, and recently in Australia, in Austria. And that will have to say, coming soon to to your country, wherever, wherever you are, because it's not going to stop there. So that's my, let's say, my introduction or my preface to what we're going to talk about. So what I want to start with Mark, and it's something that we've been starting hearing more and more that our freedom is something that government gives to people rather than than anything else. So does freedom come from the government? And that's not the question just for you. But it's a question for anyone listening to ponder on. But personally, I think it doesn't, what government can give you a privilege is not freedom, freedom is something different. So. So we'll start with that.
Mark Gober 13:22
Yeah, that's a great place to start. Because there is this underlying message that we hear from political leaders across the world, that we are granting you your freedoms because of X, Y, and Z. Or because you complied with this, we are granting you the freedom to do these other things. And we hear it so much that it's almost like natural or normal, or it seems that way. You know, we might just think, Oh, of course, they're in charge, and they're telling us what we can and can't do and they're trustworthy. But if we take a step back and think about it, like should it be this way? And actually, the ideas here start to move into the metaphysical stuff that we talked about in our previous interview. But the idea here is that I think innately, we are free beings, meaning Freedom doesn't come from a third party like government. And just having that understanding can make us start to question some of the messaging coming from governments. Because when they say to you, we're granting you these freedoms. It's almost like they're saying it in a benevolent way. Like, we're being so magnanimous to give you this freedom, when in fact, we've had the freedom all along. So why does this matter so much? I mean, in the worst case scenario, you could end up in a situation where we move into a communist or fascist stick or otherwise totalitarian society, and that's the lens that I've been using to evaluate the government's increasing intrusions into our lives. The concern is this. We could slowly evolve into scary situations. Like for example, Nazi Germany didn't start with concentration camps on day one. It took time to get there. So when you start to hear language from politicians, like, we're giving you these small freedoms, if you do X, Y, and Z, you're at that point, you're already on the path to not being fully free. And so one of the things I'm hoping to get across in this interview, and also in my book, is just for us to be aware, because if we're not aware of the negative possibilities, then we could fall prey to what many other civilizations and nations have in the past.
Agi Keramidas 15:26
Children, too, you have a definition, somewhere in your book about freedom, you called someone that it is freedom is a person's ownership rights in his own body and property. So and I think also, that's the first. And maybe the most important freedom that one can has is freedom over his own or her own body, which we see more and more that it's something that has already started being violated and seems like it's getting worse. So I'm starting with that. If you want to add to that,
Mark Gober 16:09
yes, I think that's a good place to start. This notion, generally of private property, that's a central part of my book in terms of thinking about freedom. And it's typically defined in the broadest sense, as anything that you rightfully own materially, and also your body. Sometimes people will separate it and say that you own your body and your material property, but it's really one in the same. So that's actually how I look at anything happening in the world in the broadest sense. are politicians infringing upon our bodily rights, or the rights of the things that we own? Because if we don't fully own our bodies and our other property, then what are we. And when we start to investigate our own lives and look very closely at what's happening, we can see that actually, we don't have full ownership or control over our private property, including our money. So even if we look at things like real estate, for example, their property taxes, so do you fully own your real estate if you're having to basically pay rent to the government, and there are many other aspects of our lives that probably go unnoticed, because we feel like we're pretty free. And it's true that in some countries, especially in the United States, the government started off in the early days, being much less controlling and intrusive. But over time, our private property rights have become eroded. And we're seeing that much more clearly today. Kai,
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So, Mark, you already started talking about government. And you also mentioned the politicians have made a note like the word and that's I want to start with the people first before we talk about the institution of government and there is no I want to start with the people the politicians is that we do have the belief so we've been conditioned if you want that our political leaders are trustworthy, they have good intentions, you know that they're there to serve the people. And their their concern is is the common good. And I don't know if you agree, I think this is quite common. We have this idea of politicians. But that really goes against some things that are parts of the the inherent human psyche that you also described in your book. But so that's something I wanted to start discussing about are really the politicians the way that we perceive them to be very honest people that are very altruistic and devoted to the common good, or could there be something else? Yeah. Well,
Mark Gober 20:22
I think there's a variation, probably. And there probably are some politicians who mean very well and have done a good job. But should we assume that all politicians are that way, even if they come across very well, on TV, they speak well, they say the things that we want to hear, are they being truthful. And increasingly, during the pandemic, and we've seen lots of mixed messaging, I become much more and more sceptical of that. And also, the positions of power can tend to draw a certain type of person. I'm not saying all people. But for example, in my book, I talked about the psychological phenomenon of a psychopath, which doesn't sound like a fun thing to talk about. It's not a fun thing to think about. But it's a psychological condition in which people have essentially no empathy. And what they care about is power. And it most of us are good people, I really do feel that way that most people are good. And it's difficult to imagine what it would be like to be psychopathic, or even approaching that, because they can lie without caring at all. They could murder they could kill, they have completely a completely different way of looking at the world. And you might not see it based on the way they act externally. So I think it's just wise as citizens, because we are effectively under the control of government, which we can talk about. But we don't, we don't have full freedom. And if those in charge, don't have our best interests in mind, then we have to protect ourselves or at least be vigilant, otherwise, we could get in trouble. And history shows that people have gotten in trouble. So I want to raise that because we should always be questioning and not always assume that someone has a benign intent. And actually, this, this gets to the heart of the rationale for government, which I think is it's relevant to this idea. If we look back at the political philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, you know, very basic stuff. He said, Well, we need to have a, a, he calls it a leviathan state, a sovereign government. Because if you didn't have that, people, by their nature, they're too warlike. They're not smart enough. They're irresponsible. And so we need to have a party that looks over us. But here's the issue, if that is the case of human nature, and that's the rationale for creating a government think about how we do it, we say, Okay, well, we need someone to look over us. So we're going to take a subset of these people, us who are stupid, irresponsible and warlike, and we're going to put them in a position over us to rule us. And we say, well, it's okay, we can do that, because we're electing them. But if we are assumed to be stupid, irresponsible and warlike, why are we in a position to pick a subset of us to put to be ruling over us? It becomes a very suboptimal situation, even though we're so used to it.
Agi Keramidas 23:18
That's a it's a great, great point. And you mentioned earlier, and I will share that this was my one of the breakthroughs I had when I was reading your book about the, the psychopathic personality, which is, it's not something that is very common, but for me, when I read that, I realised that Oh, my God, I, I was not really allowing myself to accept that these kinds of people exist. And they're not, you know, the criminals that you the obvious criminals that you see behind the bars of the jail that commit hideous crimes, because many of them have the, the education, the intelligence, the communication skill, or have the family heritage, so also to, to be in high positions in in society, and to really hide that from the world. And I think some examples can come to mind. And I'm sure the listener can think of some examples as well. But apart from that, as a characteristic that some politicians, I say, as a sample, as you said, of a representative sample of who we are, as society, some of them will be like that. There was another thing, part of them human psychology, which is when people who are really honourable and have great intentions, go into positions of power and authority. And that authority that they get caught up they may say it's the phrase also is when the you know there, what is it that all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And that is something that we need to understand that it happens. And it doesn't happen to some people, it's part of the human psychology.
Mark Gober 25:15
Yes, something changes when people are put in a position of power. And it seems to take a lot of self control to stop that human impulse for whatever reason that it exists. So you could have very honourable people who say, I want to get into politics, and I'm going to help and I'm going to work for the common good. And they start with that intention. But something about being in the position of power, it's almost like an addiction, and then they become, they can turn into a monster eventually, one of the studies that I cite, it's a very controversial study known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, done in the 1970s, where there were participants put into a position of either being a prisoner or being a prison guard. And what happened was, the prison guards became so cruel to the prisoner's that they had to stop the experiment early. These were just normal people and their ethical issues with it. And you know, who knows that people will question the way the study was designed. But I think all of us can intuitively say, Wait, that that would explain a lot of cruel behaviour. We've seen like in Nazi Germany, for example, how could an entire nation or nearly an entire nation enact such evil? Well, when certain people are in a position of power that can happen. There's also a related phenomenon, which is obedience to authority, which is related. And that that really amplifies the impact of both psychopathic personalities and power, or people who have become corrupted and become so power hungry, if people are obedient to them. If you have the small number of people at the top, who are who are making the rules, and telling people what to do, that can only go so far. And if people say no, I'm not going to do what you're saying, because I don't agree with it, that I don't think that's immoral, then it would be a different story, they wouldn't be able to enact the evil. And I referenced studies from Milgrom in the 1970s. Again, where he studied obedience to authority. And the basic design, this is a pretty mind blowing experiment. He had one person who was in the role of the teacher. And this was a normal subject to come in. And there was also a person who was the learner. But the learner was a paid actor. And the teacher didn't know that. So the teacher is teaching different things to the learner. And when the learner gets something wrong, the teacher has presses a button, that allegedly shocks the learner. Yeah, and at first, it's not a big shock. But over time, it becomes more intense. And the the learner who is an actor starts screaming in pain and making a big scene. The person running the study tells the Teacher No, no, you have to keep doing it. So he's the authority figure, no, no, you got to keep doing it. And what happens? They keep doing it, the person in a position of the teacher, there's this reverence to authority and assumption that oh, well, the authority figures telling it to me, it must be okay. And there is a human inability often to resist that.
Agi Keramidas 27:57
Certainly, it's it's scary when you when you think of it like like that of how many of the participants actually went over their own instinct, or they think that they didn't want to press the button and inflict pain, but they did it. Despite the didn't stand up and leave the room. It's, it's scary when you consider that. And I will, I will add to this conversation we're having about the politicians as people that one thing to always keep in mind is that some of them may be under the control or the influence of third parties via bribery, black males, things like that, which we normally don't hear much about. So it's something useful to consider. And I will close this this subject of, you know, the people in politics with really asking a question to everyone asking ourselves, in the end, do they care more about our interests, or their interests? So it's just an open question, and I will leave that for anyone to answer the way they they feel. Let's go then, Mark and discuss about the actual government, us us an institution, which is something it's in our life it has been for so many millennia, or 1000s of years in history. But tell me, how does the government threaten our liberty?
Mark Gober 29:47
Yeah. Well, so in political theory terms that what's often used to describe government is the state and so we'll define what that is. Yes. And its purpose. on who you ask, and we'll get to what am I defining it, but the state is essentially the the governing body in a society. And there are features of the state that I had never considered until I started breaking it down with this research, like what is the relationship between citizen and the state. And I mentioned the rationale for it like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke and Rousseau, they talked about this, this need for an external body to govern us. And there's also this idea of a social contract that we have where as, as people, we agree that we're going to give away some of our freedoms to this external body, because it's ultimately going to keep us safe and give us a freer life in the end, even though we're sacrificing a little bit. But the notion of a social contract, gets to the idea of what a contract, do we actually have a contract. So I was digging into the social contract. And where's this contract? I have done a lot of business before, I don't see anything that specifies this relationship between government and citizens and explains what the government's going to do. So that became very curious. And what you realise is that there, it's like, there's an implied consent to be governed, but it's not explicit. And this is a really critical point. Because in, in most relationships, whether it's your subscription to Netflix, gym membership, in my business, we had clients all the time, and we had a very specific relationship of these are the services we're going to provide for you. If we fail to do that, then there's their ways out, there's a termination potential, this is the price. And this is how pricing can be adjusted, all specified. With citizens and government, we have somewhat of a similar relationship, because the government's providing services, and they're very important services, security, police, law, roads, so many services that the government provides. But unlike service providers in other areas, we don't have an explicit contract that explains what the government's going to do for us what the penalties are, if it doesn't succeed. And that leads to big problems. Because it's not a fully voluntary relationship, we can be forced to do things that we haven't contractually agreed to. So inherently, the government is problematic from that lens. So just let that sink in. Because that was a big shift for me to realise, wait, why isn't it that the government isn't just another service provider, like everything else? And when we break it down even further part of a service provider, like I said, is you have an agreed upon pricing structure, even if the pricing structure changes you, you know what that's going to be? And you agree to it? How does the government obtain its revenue? Well, it's through taxation. And ultimately, if we don't have an explicit relationship, some people might consider taxation to be extortion, or coercion. And they might say, Well, I think the government services are important, but I don't feel it's moral to fund the war that you're getting engaged in, and you're taking my money to fund something that I consider to be immoral. Why can I fund the things that I want to fund like I do for other service providers?
Agi Keramidas 33:10
I will speak about morality as well, it was one of the things since you brought it up now was it is obviously a big topic. And there is no I don't know if you agree, but there is no black or white in what morality is or what one will accept or different people will accept different things as moral but with the thing with government, as I understand it, by reading your book was that at some point, there's might the question arise that I will either because the government has passed the law, let's say an example, that I feel it's not moral in my own morals. What happens in that situation? Would I be morally justified to ignore that law? Because I think in myself, that it's not moral. And there is no no clear line? There. It's very more on principles and whether we have to obey other others moral principles, especially if it is we're not talking about people. It's the state now, and you have a very good question in your book. And you said that even if you you don't mind so far, or you believe that what governments have imposed around the world it's okay for any reasons. Do you think that it could in the future reach a point that you morally object to that you said they really crossed the line now, and I think the way things are looking this is very possible to happen in different people's, let's say spectrum of morality if something like that exists.
Mark Gober 35:01
Yeah. Well, I agree with you that we're in danger of that, if not already. It's like for some people, I'm sure they think that the government has crossed the line with morality. But so to me, the fact that there is a line that is determined by government, that's the problem. We don't have an explicit relationship with it like we do with other service providers. It's an implied consent, we need to have fully voluntary relationships, because then we are defining the morality ourselves. Whereas like you said, the government imposes laws, which essentially is its definition of morality. The problem becomes if you're supposed to be a moral person by following the law, what if the law is imposing something that you personally find to be immoral? By being moral and following the law, you're being personally immoral? So it leads to a contradiction that is unresolvable in the end. And like you said, many of us probably will say, well, most cases, I don't disagree with the law, I'm fine with it. But what when it crosses the line, personally, what, then you end up in a big problem. And that's what governments throughout history have have turned into, they end up turning into a much more oppressive regime than maybe they started out as,
Agi Keramidas 36:14
certainly, and I will. It's a reminder, if we look about in history, governance have been responsible for, for death for wars for destruction, enslavement. And we believe that this is acceptable. And we believe that it's necessary as well, because there is no other way and you say very, very well there that it's time to break the spell that this is really not the it's a belief. And one other phrase I I isolated from your book was that we are the masters. So the people if you want involuntarily serve under the government without even realising it. And you already mentioned that there is implied consent, there is not any explicit social contract, which says, we hear about it, and it's something to consider. And, you know, I'm sharing now also that, because you said earlier that before you started researching about the book, this book, you had no interest in politics or knowledge in that. And I will say, as an extension of that, before I read your book, which has been very recently, it was like the last two weeks since I got it. I found myself interested more about politics and the government that I have ever been because I never I would completely ignore these things. But it looks like we're reaching a point in history that we can't keep ignoring the things that we don't want to learn or find out about, because they are affecting our lives, they are impinging or encroaching on our lives. And we can see that already.
Mark Gober 38:16
Yeah, I see it as part of our evolution as a species to become more aware of our surroundings and our basic structure of society. I mean, think about it, governments run the world, they dictate how society is going to function in so many ways. And it's such a prevalent institution that we don't often question it until these more extreme scenarios where the structure of government and government rights and individual rights are, affect all of our lives in a much more visible way every day.
Agi Keramidas 38:47
And talking about, you know, this morick extreme situations and the fact that many people, the vast majority are saying or maybe the majority still see different perspectives and what we are discussing right now, there is a big element and a big power that the state has and has exercised and perfected over the years. And that's how they control the mind. The brainwashing as we sometimes we call it, but it is something that I want to discuss with you and you have some brilliant examples in your book, and we can discuss a few of them if you want. I think it's important to realise because sometimes when we think the 10 brain wants in our mind control, we will think oh, this is not about us. It's that's what happens in North Korea or the these are the regimes that have the sword in China. However, there are some very, very much more subtle forms of brainwashing and mind control They're very, very prevalent. And I hope that maybe some can, from this conversation, pick up one or two ideas and say, Wait a minute, this is probably, right. It sounds like about right. And the first thing I want to discuss is the term which is so very common the term conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory. So anyone who, or would share a point of view that is not according to the narrative, the mainstream narrative, you are a conspiracy theorist. And that really just the turn by labelling something like that, automatically, you dismiss them that they are, you know, they don't know what they're talking about, or they're in Cuckooland show. So, let's talk a bit about this conspiracy theory and how easily can be used to negate someone's point of view immediately. And it's difficult to, you know, go back, if someone says that this is a conspiracy theory, it's difficult to present an argument, it's already been ridiculed.
Mark Gober 41:17
Yeah, it's a very emotionally charged term. At this point it I don't even know what it means. Because it really it's, it's any belief that contradicts what someone considers to be an authority figure. And this idea that it's it's ridiculous to consider that people would conspire in secrecy to enact some goal, that might be malevolent. I mean, look at human history that happens all the time. I can say in business, you see these sorts of things. So it's part of human nature to conspire, not, that doesn't mean that every theory about conspiracy is true. But I think there's it's there's an overly harsh reaction to what some would call conspiracy theories these days, because we have to consider alternative perspectives and science, we have to do this. When there's, you know, a new challenge to a theory, my professional work, when I was at Sherpa technology group was working with intellectual property and patents, which is, by definition, a novel and non obvious invention relative to everything that's been done before. So you could say you are a conspiracy theorist, you're going against all the past inventions and all the prior art. But no, that's how innovation happens is by developing new ideas, so I, I'm someone who thinks we should be open minded and explore like a detective, to see what's real and what's not. It doesn't mean believing everything. But I should also add that there is, I think, an incentive for the states to want people not to believe conspiracy theories, because if there are members of the state, you know, almost like an organism that that is wants to continue to have its power, it would want to shut down anyone who would suspect conspiracy within government, it would want to ridicule those people. So there would be an incentive for them to use the media and use whoever they can to say, no, these people are crazy. And you repeat it over and over again. And then the public says, Okay, I believe that. And one good example that I mentioned in the book is the JFK assassination, which many people say, Oh, it's a conspiracy. There are CIA documents that have been released, which talk about how they were trying to dismiss people who believed in a conspiracy, because there were too many people that believed it. And it turns out, if you look at the official archives for the JFK assassination, the official word is that the likely cause was a conspiracy. So that's a clear case where the government would didn't want you to believe it, because they're covering something up. And yet, the truth was that something was likely going on.
Agi Keramidas 43:39
And that's the thing that I'm very worried about when the government's the stage. And the media is an extension of them, control what the truth is what because the truth is something that only by exposing different opinions, you can actually tell which is the truth. And you mentioned the scientific. Scientifically speaking, you have to allow opposite views in order to establish your view. It's very unscientific to try and silence anyone who has an opinion, which is or presents evidence, which is not what you would like it to be. And we see that during the COVID pandemic with many doctors who speak out their opinion because they have treated 1000s of patients, but in a different way than what the the narrative says, or the CDC asks of them, and they treated them very successfully, and they speak up and they lose their their work. They've been stigmatised. And in the end, they are afraid to speak out because they might lose their job and they won't have the means to support their families. That's very unscientific. That's very unscientific show. I'm saying that because there is this phrase that has been pushed around so much trust the science. But this is not science. The science is something that needs to prove itself. It's not about trust in it, without questioning it. That was the role of religion in backing the Middle Ages. So science now has taken the role that religion had in the 16th century. I think
Mark Gober 45:31
it's an amazing irony. And this is something I cover a lot in my first two books, where science says things about consciousness and you can't question it. It's a religious belief almost in the same way that science says XY and Z about the pandemic. And if you question it, you're in big trouble. So for me, that's my, one of the things that I look for on my radar is when someone puts a belief out, and it's immediately squashed and put away and denounced as crazy and you're not allowed to talk about it, it's being censored on social media, for example, then it's something I want to look at. Why is that happening? Is there something that is intentionally being suppressed for reasons that we don't fully understand? Could it be financial, in many cases that can happen, there's a financial reason of, let's say, one product would be challenging another one, you'd have an incentive as a business to try to shut off your competitor. So we have to think in those terms, which again, gets back to your earlier point, which is super important that those in positions of authority don't necessarily care about our interests as much as their own interests. So we have to be questioning and there's a balance of being overly cynical, with being realistic. So that's the way I treat, try to treat it as what's the alternative, there's this benevolent, I could give a very benign explanation for what's happening. Or if I imagined myself in the position of power where I didn't care about anything else, but myself. What What might they be doing, and try to balance those two?
Agi Keramidas 46:56
Sure. And I'll keep with this, you know, mind control or brainwashing topic, and I will, I personally don't watch mainstream media at all, I don't even own a TV. But I know that the majority of people rely on that for their input of information. And the thing with the media and you you share that as well in your book is that they shaped dramatically, the way that we view the current events. And the word that comes to mind is the word propaganda, which is really the truth in what is it is happening. And I read somewhere there was a Chinese that said that, you know, we in China know that our TV is propaganda, so we don't pay much attention to it. But you guys, they haven't realised that it's more subtle. They have the media, they have perfected their way of manipulating people's emotions and drawing them to look at the screen with the fear with the drone, this human emotions that sell and make them really present exactly the narrative that is given to them. Or the narrative that they want to present.
Mark Gober 48:18
Yes, yes. Well, that has become much clearer to me in the last two years, we see that that there are explicit agendas where certain media outlets will only talk about certain topics, and they'll just leave other things out. And vice versa, depending on who you're watching. And we there is this tendency, again to think well, this is the media, they're authorities, and they are have our best interests at heart, but really their businesses and they will who can be pulled financially by their sponsors, or by those in power. And like you said before, there could be other influences, like blackmail, like threats, like bribery, we just we don't know all the factors involved. And what you find I can say my own research is investigating things independently, like looking at a primary documents versus what the media tells you. There is a huge difference repeatedly. And it's it's pretty scary to think because we we know about the external world based upon our own personal experiences, which is very limited. And based upon what we read what our education system tells us and what the media tells us. How else are we going to know what's happening across the world, someone is had to see it or witness it, and then get the message to us. And in that game of telephone, a lot can happen, where things can be altered. And it seems to be the case that happens a lot. One example that I mentioned in my book, I mentioned something Nancy Pelosi Democratic Congresswoman said openly on C span and I don't mean to single her out as one person or just Democrats. This is something that happens in politics and that's what she said she said this is politics. She She described a phenomenon known as the wrap up smear, where you smear someone that you want to use want people to think badly of, and you do it with falsehoods? That's the word. She falsehoods. So you lie about the person. And then you use the media to get the message and spread those falsehoods. And then you merchandise it, is what she says. These are political tactics that are used. So if we're innocently watching the TV and say, Oh, well, this person did something really horrible. Wow, it's all over the New York Times. And there, it's that person's really bad news. Well, maybe in some cases it is. But maybe in other cases, it is a smear campaign that you wouldn't necessarily know about unless you investigate it yourself. So that that's some form of mind control, because you are hypnotised into a belief system. And then that becomes your status quo. And it becomes very difficult then to take in information that will contradict it. So it's a very, our consciousness can be steered by the media, and by government, which can be colluding with the media for its own aims.
Agi Keramidas 50:55
Certainly, and I also mentioned very briefly, because they're worth mentioning is one is the social media and what they do by banning accounts or maybe more covertly, the shadow ban account. So that means that you post something, and no one really sees it, because they, they deem that what you're posting is misinformation, as they recall it, so they won't show it and you think that I'm posting things out there, but no one sees them. And, again, my personal objection with all this is who dictates what the truth is, and what is misinformation. It is something that I would like to ask an intelligent human being, I would like to decide thing for myself, what is real information and what is falsehood, and we do have the right to have different points of view, I think that his role has been a fundamental right of freedom, the freedom to express ourselves to speak what we want to speak and in democratic, and I'm using my co quotation gesture, in democratic societies, that is considered to be one of the the fundamental levels or layers of you know, being able to live in a democratic society, which is not the case anymore. And there was also something that I read about Wikipedia, which I had always suspected it but you say that one of the cofounders said that it has now turned into propaganda. And it's really well, since that I pay attention. And what Wikipedia says is a very filtered or curated version of especially people who present an opinion that is not favourable to the mainstream, then they will be stigmatised, or the smear that you said they immediately and most people won't go past. You know, when you're Googling someone, usually Wikipedia is the first result that you get. So for most people that would be enough to deem that oh, this person is, I don't know a charlatan or in I don't know, anti Vaxxer, or however categorization you want to give, which is, again, I mentioned the wolf daily propaganda. And when the co founder of Wikipedia says that then yeah, he knows something about it something.
Mark Gober 53:35
Yeah. So that interview that I cited was, from the summer of 2021, very recent interview, he's no longer with us a few months ago, he's no longer with Wikipedia, but is very concerned about what's happened. Because as you say, certain types of information are not allowed. And you can basically make the accounts such that information can be blocked, and certain people can control the different Wikipedia accounts. So it's not as pure as we might think it's not fully crowd sourced in the way that we might think where people can legitimately put all sides of, of the argument within someone's bio. And it can be very damaging to someone if the first sentence you read is very, is says that they're a horrible person, or they're into some some derogatory term, because that's the first thing you read, and then all of a sudden, that's the hurdle you have to overcome. And likewise, if you read some glowing review about a person and maybe they're actually not so nice, in the end, you will end up with a warped view of reality. And that's ultimately what we're talking about here is that we can our view of what what's real in the world can be warped, we can be told the world is something that it is not an increasingly that's how I feel things are both on a metaphysical level, but also at the level of the physical.
Agi Keramidas 54:46
And the way you would describe that, it reminded me of George Orwell like yeah, the people that were turning those machines and changing the information, changing the past the histories, so that it served the party. So it's very scary to see things like that coming into reality but a bit maybe not sure, obviously as the the book 1984 was, but it looks like it's, we're used to call it dystopia or, you know, if future dystopic futures, and even a couple of even a year ago, we would still think that no, this is very far fetched. But I think right now, more and more people are realising that it's not far fetched to be living in that totalitarianism society. As a matter of fact, we're heading towards there by the looks of it unless something is done, and we'll actually we'll talk about that as well.
Mark Gober 55:55
Yeah, well, I want to those are really important points. There are things happening right now, which are explicitly totalitarian. And we're only accepting of them because they've kind of crept up on us and we're in this pandemic, and there is this issue of safety. And so there's a tendency I see in people to rationalise, but like Australia, they have quarantine camps quarantine centres. They're called quarantine camps. But that's not far away from who knows what that could turn into. But that turned into a real concentration camp at some point. That's a horrible thing to think about. But we're heading in that direction where the government based on your health status can put you in a facility. That is unbelievable development. And like you mentioned, Austria, where they want to make the vaccination compulsory, that's making a medical decision on your behalf. Which What could that lead to what other medical decisions could make with your body. So this is not far from totalitarian. And some would argue we already are there. So having information and being able to look at what's real and not being mind controlled, and escaping that hypnosis and escaping the spell is really important for all of us as individuals and collectively, but for our safety, because if we don't see it, if we're just hypnotised by what we're told on the news, no, this is okay. And you're not hurt. If you don't hear about any of the alternatives, then we could be in big trouble.
Agi Keramidas 57:12
I will, there are many other things really in this brainwashing and mind control. And we'll leave people to check your book out and read about them, like you mentioned about, just say the few words their education system and how it is designed to you call it instilling obedience to the state, which is, if we think about it, it leads to our belief systems that the state, the governments are, who we must tend to to, you know, for them to take care of us in a way like, like a parent or like a big brother, I think that is much more appropriate. So we'll end this this part of the conversation really was again, a question for the listener to consider that we are programmed to believe that the government somehow is uniquely qualified to take care of those things. And my question to everyone is, is it a good idea to allow a group of politicians and bureaucrats to effectively play God - and I'm using your words, Mark, play god with our livelihoods? So that's an open question again, I will leave it is that a good idea? And hopefully, this paints a bit the picture of, you know, what the, the reality about what the states and the governments are, and allow someone to think a bit outside the box and say some things that you saw when you started your research show when I read your book, and so on. This was the first half of the conversation with Mark Gober, and I hope you found it thought provoking, if not enlightening.
Listen to the conclusion in the next episode 185, where we discuss the alternatives to this traditional structure of government, and what you and me can do to protect our freedom and the freedom of the future generations. Thank you for listening. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss out on the new episodes. You can find more information on my website: