Why People Won’t Protect Themselves


I’ve been promoting encryption for quite some time, and one of the things you can’t miss in this business is that most people have a psychological aversion (and a strong one) to protecting themselves.

Not only are the products I sell affordable (less than a dollar a day for serious, professional-level protection), but I repeatedly tell people how they can get free encryption if they’re willing to work at it. And yet, just a small percentage ever choose to protect themselves. They will allow themselves authorized protection, sometimes even protection from major corporations (semi-authorized), but they will not protect themselves on their own volition.

Until they get hurt of course.

Truth from Diverse Sources

One of my early lessons was to take truth wherever I found it. I took it as a proud moment when I once learned something from a smelly, drunken bum on a train platform. (I’ve never been able to do that since, but it did happen once.)

So, let’s look at a couple of diverse sources on this. First, this passage from the 1974 film, Death Wish:

Kersey: What do you call people who, when faced with a condition of fear, do nothing about it?

Son-in-law: Civilized?

This is precisely what has happened to the “civilized” people of the West. They have been trained never to protect themselves, much less defend themselves. That’s the job of the state, the police… the authorized. You and I are not permitted to do those things, and over time this has set down deep, unconscious roots.

As a result, “civilized” people have a mental block against self-protection. Something in them will not permit it.

I began to grapple with this in 1982 after reading a passage in the Psalms. The passage talked about executing judgment… but about an individual executing judgment, not God. As I read the passage and applied it to myself, I had a strong reaction and realized that I was emotionally blocked from doing what the passage called for.

That got my attention, and over time I’ve worked to remedy the problem.

A third source was a passage from Marshall Rosenberg (no relation I’m aware of) that we used in FMP #72:

[W]e have inherited a language that served kings and powerful elites in domination societies. The masses, discouraged from developing awareness of their own needs, have instead been educated to be docile and subservient to authority.

This brings us closer to a solution. Now let me adapt this quote to our subject:

We have inherited language and expectations that serve the elites in our dominance-based societies. We have been educated to be docile and subservient to authority… to hand all judgment to authority and not act on our own volition.

That’s a sick, twisted set of concepts, but that’s also the way most people think. Western man has been trained never to use his or her own judgment. And by our generation, it’s gone so far that a large percentage of people are trying to remain permanent adolescents.

And to be clear about it, this “hand all judgment to the ruler” training has been imposed upon us since there have been rulers. Rulers by definition monopolize the use of force. And to do that well, the populace must, in the name of security and order, be trained never to protect themselves. As historian Will Durant put it,

[T]he state, in order to maintain itself, used and forged many instruments of indoctrination – the family, the church, the school – to build in the soul of the citizen a habit of patriotic loyalty and pride. This saved a thousand policemen, and prepared the public mind for that docile coherence which is indispensable in war.

So, let’s admit that we’ve been conditioned to be docile… then let’s do something about it.

Ignoring Snowden

We’ve been conditioned to be eager to run for help but unwilling to protect ourselves. And that’s just stupid, because evil does exist in the world and because our “authorized protectors” are neither benevolent nor omnipotent. (They are, in actuality, the most common threats.)

Granted, violence is stupid, barbaric, and often solves nothing. But cryptography isn’t violence. Yet people are still afraid of it. This is, if we’re to be honest, why so very many people found ways to ignore the revelations of Edward Snowden.

If they took Snowden’s revelations seriously, they’d have to face a lot of threat, and that would rationally require them to protect themselves… and they have been trained never to do that. So, rather than accepting such discomfort, it was easier to follow the distractions fed through mainstream media and ignore the truth.


So, we’ve been trained not to protect ourselves. And I understand this all too well, because it probably affected me as much as or more than it did you. But we don’t have to stay that way.

So, if something doesn’t make rational sense, we should go about to change it. And the way to do that is to act.

Talking and complaining get us nowhere. Only acting changes us.

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Paul Rosenberg

A Conspiracy Theory About Conspiracy Theories


One of the funny things about conspiracy theories, including false flag attacks, is how often they are proven to be true. You have to wonder how long the shame-inducing slam, “That’s a conspiracy theory,” will keep working.

But that’s not my point for today. Today, I want to introduce a conspiracy theory of my own, a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories. Here it is:

The powers that be – the elite, the deep state, whomever – want wild conspiracy theories to spread. Because after these wild theories set the “outrage meter” very high, they can get away with almost anything below that line.

In other words, wild theories ensure that the “I’ll act if I see that” trigger is never reached and Joe Average remains docile, even as he is progressively abused.

I hope I haven’t given any nefarious people ideas, but I think this is already happening. And in any event, I’m fairly certain it’s worth pointing out.

A Second Theory

There is a second reason for the lords of the status quo to love conspiracy theories, which is that such theories make it easy to discredit troublesome ideas.

For example, we now know – thank you again, Edward Snowden – that government agents are infiltrating websites to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt, as well as to destroy reputations.

So, rather than just pulling out the usual manipulation to discredit a troublesome idea (“conspiracy theory!”), why not tie it to some really nasty racist crap?

Lots of people have avoided discussions of the Federal Reserve, for example, because trolls attached to the discussions demonize Jews. Disgusted by anti-Semitism, people turn away from the whole subject, and the central banking scam remains unquestioned.

There are reasons open comment boards are overrun with hate-spewing trolls, and it’s not that deeply deluded people make up that much of the general populace. (Though they do exist, and they do love to spew their filth.)

So, this is my second conspiracy theory:

Disgusting trolls are paid to promote certain ideas… ideas the elite want to eliminate.

And nowadays, paid trolls aren’t even needed; artificial intelligence bots can carry out the work quite well and can even respond to counter-posts.

Can I Prove This?

Not entirely, no. And I’m not going to spend hundreds of hours tracking down evidence. That’s not my job; I’m not an investigative journalist. (Neither is anyone else these days, but that’s a separate point.)

Still, the links I’ve inserted above prove a lot of what I’m writing, and the rest will have to remain my own personal theories… and I’m just fine with that. People can take them or leave them as they choose.

The Other Problem

Beyond everything covered above, the other problem with conspiracy theories is that they are far too hopeful. Yes, hopeful.

The implication buried in conspiracy theories is that the world is being controlled. Whether it’s controlled by the Illuminati, the Jews, the Masons, or whomever, there is a strange sort of comfort in the idea that the world is controllable.

The comforting thought goes like this:

The world is being controlled by evil people. So, if we can just get rid of them, control will revert to good people, and things will be great again.

This thought is false. The world is not controlled by any single group of people. Rather, it’s a large, chaotic mess. Yes, the deep staters, central bankers, and so on do manipulate a lot of things, but they struggle endlessly and very often fail. Consider just two recent examples:

  • If they were that smart, these groups wouldn’t have allowed the internet to jump onto the scene in the early 1990s.

  • If they were that potent, they would have killed Bitcoin as soon as it appeared.

The truth is that they’re not that smart, and they’re not all-powerful. In fact, they have power only to the extent that they hoodwink people into serving them. And that’s not an iron-clad arrangement.


Presuming that everything above is true, what do we do about it?

My first thought is that we should stick to facts, not imaginings. I suspect, for example, that Building 7 at the World Trade Center was purposely brought down, but I don’t know that. My suspicions don’t make it true. Furthermore, it isn’t worth obsessing over. There are dozens of more important things to invest with time and energy – like actually building a better world.

I can’t think of a single conspiracy theory that’s worth majoring upon. Aliens at Roswell or the Kennedy assassination may be fun speculations – and I’d love to know the God’s-honest truth about both – but they’re simply not that important.

Rather, we should be busy building a better world, bypassing the institutions of abuse that dominate life in the West.

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Paul Rosenberg