Cunning Neurolinguist Explains How Donald Trump Became the Catheter Cowboy of ISIS Propaganda
Al Qaeda names Trump de facto host of their upcoming recruitment telethon.
By Tony Sokol
The Donald Trump brand is a great seller. Here in America, he’s the guy who puts his name in gold letters on everything he owns. We’ve seen the guy sell parking spaces, office space, casinos, a couple of TV shows that do really well in ratings, though I haven’t seen any. Nothing against Trump, on that at least, I just can’t stomach reality TV. Countries like Laos and Estonia know Trump from late night senior citizen ads where he puts on spurs as the Urbane Catheter Cowboy. There is a rumor going around that Trump’s booking agency got a call to be a kind of Ronald McDonald for The State of Islam.
ISIS, I heard some drunk guys in ties slur at some Madison Avenue bar, wants Donald to use that recognizable orange plumage he dons, as iconic as Harpo Marx’s bright red or blond wigs, as the face of America in their promo ads. Donald Trump is something of a celebrity in the Middle East already. Al Qaeda’s Somalia branch featured highlights from Trump’s Muslim outreach program in his bid for the United States Presidency in their latest recruitment videos.
Trump supporter Hillary Clinton, who he’s probably shilling for anyway, leaked advance notice of the PR campaign when she floated pre-marketing rumors that the videos were already available for free on Crackle. But Trump actually debuted in a jihadist recruitment video released by the militant group Shabab. The news was first reported by The New York Times, so the right wing will dismiss it as liberal media propaganda. How did the New York Times get branded as the most liberal media America has to offer, anyway? When I think of liberal media, I think of The Mole, The Village Voice, Daily KOs or other, smaller papers. The New York Times always appeared to be the bastion of the traditional journalistic trade. That doesn’t conjure visions of liberalism. That tag was pinned on The New York Times through the brainwashing of propaganda.
So according to the Times, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are going head to head in the ratings and February Sweeps are coming faster than a dust storm in the desert. They are both gearing up for their telethon for cash and recruits from radicalized Muslims.
The video shows Trump glad-handing historical African-American Muslims like Malcolm X, while recounting the proud tradition of racial relations between cops and blacks in America. The video is 51 minutes long, which makes it more of an infomercial than an actual ad, as is being so widely reported. Trump’s people would love to see the former Celebrity Apprentice host move from short form TV ads like the Catheter Cowboy to long-form ads like ScalpMad.
The Trump brand has proven to be more than a little divisive in the American political arena. He has pushed some Republican challengers to the far right and others right off the table, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State recently split over creative differences and are now competing for radicalized Muslims. They have both amped up the violence, culminating in horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali. The two groups generate a large cult following, but haven't caught on with the mass audience of the modern mainstream Muslim. A very small percentage of people who identify as Islamic subscribe to the violence of the radical groups. But Al Qaeda and ISIS have generated a lot of talk on social media and they employ great marketing minds who really know their audience.
Marketing is brainwashing in many ways and many media pundits have levelled charges of mental coercion at radical Islamic groups. Smashpipe reached out to top New York City hypnotist Elena Beloff, an expert in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, also known as NLP, to explain why these audiences respond so well to the use of subliminal methodology in the recruitment videos. Elena said there are examples of people being be so deeply brainwashed by propaganda that they would change their nature “over and over in history."
“For propaganda or any mass influence to work you have to push specific buttons in humans,” Elena began. "For example, you can figure out what the person or a group is yearning for or what they are hurting about.”
That kind of strategy for motivation has been popularized from Silence of the Lambs to The Prince. Political movements have gotten hooked on less just to keep trains running.
“Machiavellian strategy of influence is about figuring what the person or a group desires, then giving it to them and suddenly withdrawing it, creating their dependence on you, kind of like a drug,” Beloff explained. “Sociopaths are good at it. They are good at finding their victims, figuring out their soft vulnerable spots, feeding them with what they want and withdrawing.
“Jihadist groups, though, use something different. They precisely push grievance buttons, like tapping into a feeling that someone is unaccepted or discriminated against because of skin color or race or religion. They reinforce your grievance, reminding you of your disempowerment. Then they propose two things: their support and acceptance and ultimately a way to empower yourself by, let's say, giving your life in the fight of this ‘injustice.’”
Elena pointed to one of the recruitment postings reported by The New York Times that are readily accessible online.
“The latest video released by militant group Shabab cites ‘historical injustices’ against African-Americans, including police brutality and racial profiling,” Beloff explained. “This video urges people to convert to Islam and engage in jihad at home or abroad.
“In the video the leader says ‘Yesterday, America was a land of slavery, segregation, lynching and Ku Klux Klan, and tomorrow, it will be a land of religious discrimination and concentration camps,’” Beloff continued. “Then they show Trump proposing a ban on Muslim immigrants. The video is targeted on those who already have brooding grievances. Obviously, it’s misleading. This is propaganda,” she concluded.
The entrancing expert previously spoke to Smashpipe about how propaganda is very much like hypnosis and how hypnotic methodology is second nature to candidates on the campaign trail.
“Hypnosis is a form of communication that allows a bypass of a critical thinking and establishment of selective thinking,” she explained. “Propaganda is a form of communication, often biased or misleading in nature, aimed at influencing and altering the attitude of a population toward some cause, position or political agenda in an effort to form a consensus to a standard set of belief patterns. Hypnosis, however, is a bit more broad, it can aim for individuals and masses and the message can also be positive and for the benefit of person or a group of people like in clinical hypnosis, for example.”
The ISIS promos have “one clear message and use words, images or sounds and push emotional buttons to create a state of receptivity to this message,” Elena said.
If the Pepsi Challenge taught us anything, it is that Americans are very open to advertising. That doesn't necessarily mean that disaffected American Muslims will buy into such a new outlet.
“Yes, those western audiences that are of Muslim origin probably can understand the nature of these grievances, like not being accepted by the non-Muslim western world. But I don't think they see non-Muslim westerners as enemies in the same way Middle East sees them,” Elena said. “Young men or women in the Middle East interpret the so called ‘half-truths’ of the west with respect to Islam as absolute truths. Maajid Nawaz, the author of the book Islam and the Future of Tolerance which he co-authored with Sam Harris, points out that the half-truths are very hard to debunk because they are not lies. So, what the Middle East sees is the occasional burning of the Koran, or drone strikes and Muslims dying in Libya, Iraq and Palestine, tortures in Guantanamo Bay. These are real things that happened and that's how the young mind in Middle East gets convinced by cherry-picking the evidence. But they do not see the other side of the story, that the U.S. Army defended and saved Muslims in Kosovo, and that it’s the U.S. media that exposed torture in the prisons of Iraq, and that it’s the American lawyers who are attempting to get Guantanamo Bay to shut down.
“So what I see is that Trump's occasional seemingly anti-Muslim excerpts from his speeches reinforce these half-truths and make the Middle East convinced more and more that the U.S. hates them, which is not true.”
Trump was an international name before he threw his baseball cap into the political ring, giving weight to a much wider audience of Muslims than might normally notice the promos. There is nothing specific to the Islamic mind-set that makes them more open to the persuasive techniques in the State of Islam videos.
“The only thing that makes them open now is that they have real grievances,” Elena observed. “Grievances based on the lack of acceptance or sensing what seems to be over-domination of the western world. They feel inferior because of that and at some point it made them want to retaliate and rebel.
"This grew into a big power struggle and wanting to fight. Because if you really think about Islam as a religion, it was a pretty peaceful religion for hundreds of years, many poets have come out of it, great art and music. However at some point it became as some would say ‘violent.’ Something must have happened to trigger this grievance.”
If a grievance can be tapped so effectively to spur violent act, there must be a real danger that we are seeing the beginnings of a new franchise. Smashpipe had spoken earlier to Elena in a piece on Manchurian Candidates. The film Manchurian Candidate detailed how someone can be programmed against their will through a series of extended sessions of coercion, including trauma, drugs and hypnosis. But that only happens in movies, right. It doesn’t seem possible to hypnotize someone to be a killer.
“In a clinical hypnosis setting yes,” Elena said. “But no decent hypnotist would want to do it, because it would mean a law suit, jail and is just really a bad thing to do. But technically I am sure it could be possible if the right techniques were used over a long period of time and the right target was chosen."
There are many who believe Sirhan Sirhan was programmed to assassinate the presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy during the 1968 election. If true, he must have been targeted for a reason.
“The easy target would be a vulnerable person, prone to some emotional dependence or transference with a therapist," Elena said. "I haven't heard any decent therapist using hypnotic techniques for such malicious purposes. However someone who studies these techniques and has sociopathic tendencies and is mentally disturbed could probably find someone to influence to commit such horrible acts. In fact we see it done over and over at least in those investigative docuseries on television.”
The popular consensus says that there needs to be something in a person’s makeup that allows them to be hypnotized to be lethally violent, but it is difficult to know what lurks in the depths of someone’s personality.
“I think a person can be influenced to kill, especially if they have grievances, like past unresolved issues of abuse,” Beloff said. “This usually creates anger and resentment that needs an outlet. For some it becomes becoming violent and abusive to others. I have seen over and over in the 12 years of my practice, how abused clients revealed that their abuser, be it their father, mother or uncle, was actually abused by their father, mother or uncle, so it is like a chain of abuse, that doesn't stop.”
But almost anyone can feel part of a chain of abuse in some way. It doesn’t have to be a personal relationship. It can be a person’s relationship with society. Does that mean anyone can be hypnotized to be a killer?
“I don't think so,” Beloff surmised. “People with grievances and unresolved anger and resentment are more prone yes. The alternative is to heal your grievance with spiritual, meditative and therapeutic practices and work on oneself. But not everyone is open to it especially when there is so much anger and resentment. That's pretty much what's happening on a global scale, more anger and resentment, as one side keeps abusing another and then it goes back and forth.”
Smashpipe wanted to know what it was about Donald Trump that made him so effective a spokesperson for the recruitment of terrorists.
Elena Beloff is one of the top certified New York City hypnotists, treating everything from heartbreak to saddle sores.
Published January 7th, 2016
Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He writes for Den of Geek, The Chiseler, KpopStarz.com and wrote for Altvariety, Coed.com, Daily Offbeat. Dark Media Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. He has had over 20 plays produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera "AssassiNation: We Killed JFK." He appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain's "The Girlie Show."