No One Would Have Believed…
On October 30th 1938, Orson Welles and a band of radio actors and players took to the airwaves of the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network (CBS) to broadcast a Halloween episode of the radio drama anthology series “The Mercury Theatre on the Air”. The episode was an adaption of H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds”.
The broadcast is now legendary as having had something of a psychological effect upon certain members of the public. According to many sources, a staggering number of people were affected by the show. It has been claimed that many listeners believed that the broadcast was real (to some degree) and began (in various manners) to investigate the veracity of the fantastic claims that Martians really had invaded the Earth.
Over time, it has become clear that there are some contradictions in the numbers of people cited as having reacted in any meaningful manner to the broadcast. Although it is known that an estimated six million Americans listened, stories citing large scale panic and fear seem to have originated from overblown newspaper articles published in the following days and weeks.
“A wave of mass hysteria seized thousands of radio listeners between 8:15 and 9:30 o'clock last night when a broadcast of a dramatization of H. G. Wells' fantasy, "The War of the Worlds," led thousands to believe that an interplanetary conflict had started with invading Martians spreading wide death and destruction in New Jersey and New York. The broadcast, which disrupted households, interrupted religious services, created traffic jams and clogged communications systems, was made by Orson Welles, who as the radio character, "The Shadow," used to give "the creeps" to countless child listeners. This time, at least, a score of adults required medical treatment for shock and hysteria.”
“Radio Listeners in Panic, Taking War Drama as Fact” – New York Times, October 31st, 1938. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WOTW-NYT-headline.jpg
Many of the personal stories recounted by a number of affected listeners became the subject of psychological papers published (on the subject) in subsequent years. The principle source of study came from a report by a group of social scientists, published in a volume entitled “The Invasion from Mars: A Study in the Psychology of Panic” by Hadley Cantril, Hazel Gaudet and Herta Herzog. Although the report claims that "at least a million of them (listeners) were frightened or disturbed", the statistical data utilised is curious. "Much of our information was derived from detailed interviews of 135 persons. Over 100 of these persons were selected because they were known to have been upset by the broadcast!" A dozen or so personal accounts are recalled in the report.
As a scientific study, I find it less than reliable when an analysis uses the collected data of 135 witnesses (100 of which were pre-chosen for their panicked reaction) and draws conclusion citing testimony numbering in the thousands or millions. It may well be the case that a larger number of people did experience fear and panic, but did they really react in such an extreme and large-scale manner? More substantive evidence, more than a study of 135 people, would clearly be required to form such a conclusion.
History quietly glosses over the fact that the CBS broadcast was far more than a mere artistic endeavour. At the time, a crisis of looming war was brewing in Europe and it was increasingly questioned what role America would play if the crisis escalated to a global affair. All arms of the media were gradually co-opted as a “war propaganda” machine (something which has historically always been the case in wartime), so the nature of CBS (with its documented historical association to the military industrial complex) should have, at the very least, raised a few eyebrows.
This is also interesting given that part of Hadley Cantril’s study concluded that many listeners did not think that the broadcast portrayed an invasion from Mars, but rather an invasion by the Germans.
The study may have had a much broader significance in relation to other issues – also subject to the machinations of perception management. Curiously, the psychological study produced by Hadley Cantril was cited in The Brookings Institute Report (more accurately known as “Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs”), submitted to the Committee on Science and Astronautics of the United States House of Representatives on April 18th, 1961.
The section "Implications of a discovery of extra-terrestrial life" is now infamous and considered by many as an “admission” of the existence of extra-terrestrial life. The section also proposed possible scenarios for such a discovery and the larger social implications. The report also questions how leadership should handle information and under what circumstances leaders might or might not find it advisable to withhold such information from the public. Whilst the report makes no real mention of the role that the entertainment media may play in such a scenario, page 226 (note 37) makes a peculiar reference to Cantril’s study as a “useful” guide in dealing with the social implications.
Those involved with the Brookings Report (at least at the upper levels) would almost certainly have known of the players involved with the “The War of the Worlds” psyop, so why did they recommend Cantril’s report specifically? I will leave you to decide the implications of why this study alone was cited in the report.
Those ultimately behind the inception of the Halloween broadcast paint an even clearer agenda picture. The Radio Research Project (R.R.P.) was a social research project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to look into the effects of mass media on society. Whilst it has always been acknowledged officially that R.R.P. studied the broadcast in the following decade, it is now well-known that the radio play was instigated at the behest of R.R.P. and the elite Rockefeller family.
The Rockefeller Foundation began funding the Radio Research Project in 1937 “to find the effects of new forms of mass media on society, especially radio. Several universities joined up and a headquarters was formed at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.”
Those involved include the aforementioned Hadley Cantril (then a psychologist at Princeton University's Department of Psychology), Paul Lazarsfeld (Director of the Radio Project), Theodor Adorno (Chief of the Music Division), Gordon W. Allport (another of Lazarsfeld's assistants) and Frank Stanton (then a researcher from CBS sent to help the project.)
The individuals involved had a staggering degree of direct involvement with the elite and the principles of global governance.
Allport was a pioneering psychologist, instrumental in establishing the ‘values scale’ system – a key component in the burgeoning field of public relations. Crucially, Allport went on to be the Tavistock Institute's leading representative in the United States.
Theodore Adorno was also an associate of the Tavistock Institute. His name crops up a fair bit in alternative research, due to his huge role in the explosion of the youth culture and the pop music scene in the early 1960s. Dr John Coleman has written at length about “The Aquarian Conspiracy" – “a living organism which sprang from ‘The Changing Images of Man’ report prepared by Stanford Research Institute.”
(URH (489)-2150-Policy Research Report No. 4/4/74. Policy Report prepared by SRI Centre for the study of Social Policy, directed by Professor Willis Harmon.)
Coleman asserts (perhaps controversially in some eyes!) that Adorno allegedly worked with the Tavistock Institute to modify a 12-atonal musical notation system consisting of heavy, repetitive sounds, taken from the music of the cult of Dionysus and the Baal priesthood. Coleman even asserts that, “Following the Beatles, who incidentally were put together by the Tavistock Institute, came other "Made in England" rock groups, who, like the Beatles, had Theo Adorno write their cult lyrics and compose all the ‘music’.” It is worth taking the time to research this subject, if you haven’t already. However, I will leave you to draw your own conclusions…
Dr. John Coleman, “Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300”, pg.58
Frank Stanton, a member of the hugely agenda-driven Council on Foreign Relationships (CFR), was former executive of CBS broadcasting. He became head of the CBS News Division and eventually president of the network. He was also chairman of the board of The RAND Corporation. RAND has a detailed historical association with global governance and the military industrial complex – notably, also, with psychological warfare and mind control research.
Hadley Cantril was an active and influential member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1939, he established the Office of Public Opinion Research (OPOR) at Princeton. OPOR conducted analysis of the effectiveness of “psycho-political operations” (psyops/propaganda) of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – the forerunner of the CIA.
His wartime work with The Rockefeller Foundation and (CFR member and CBS reporter) Edward R Murrow helped to establish the Princeton Listening Centre in order to study Nazi radio propaganda and how to apply such techniques to OSS propaganda. Out of the Listening Centre came a new government agency: The Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service” (FBIS), which eventually became the US Information Agency (USIA). USIA was a propaganda arm of the National Security Council.
In the final part of this blog series, I will look at the significance of Rockefeller involvement in the “War of the Worlds” psyop and connect some of the dots with the broader scope of global agendas.
To be concluded…
Books available from Carl James:
Science Fiction and the Hidden Global Agenda - Volume One - http://www.lulu.com/shop/carl-james/science-fiction-and-the-hidden-global-agenda-2016-edition-volume-one/paperback/product-23209429.html
Science Fiction and the Hidden Global Agenda - Volume Two - http://www.lulu.com/shop/carl-james/science-fiction-and-the-hidden-global-agenda-2016-edition-volume-two/paperback/product-23209433.html
What Really Happened at the London 2012 Olympics - http://www.lulu.com/shop/carl-james/what-really-happened-at-the-london-2012-olympics/paperback/product-23221527.html