Hollywood Manipulates through Movies – Part One

Posted: July 18, 2010 / in: World Today / 19 comments

Art used as a tool for expressing ideas and transmitting messages of manipulation

Among other things, art has always been used for expressing ideas and notions. The strong aspect of art is that the transmission of its message easily penetrates beyond the rational barriers, going directly into the subconscious area of our being. This is also one of the reasons why the quality of art should become a subject of better awareness than it is at the moment. In this respect, movies are no different from other forms of art.

Movies have become an entire channel of transmitting messages to the public. Yet, there is a fundamental difference between the expression of some ideas in a rather neutral way and the manipulation of the public. The difference is in the fact that in the case of manipulation, the ideas being transmitted are not clearly presented to the public, they are hidden – the attention is directed elsewhere and the ideas are introduced through ”the back door” – whilst the conscious mind is focused on other things, the subconscious is left unguarded and passively assimilates the message.

Today, movies are widely used for this kind of manipulation of public opinion. There are many arguments to prove this last statement but in this i will refer to only a few. This subject will be developed more in the future.
Methods of manipulation

One method of manipulation which is often used in film nowadays, is that of ”putting a face on an idea”. The method starts from the observation that everything that has a visual representation in our mind becomes familiar faster than something which remains as an abstract concept. Indeed this is just the result of the very low level of consciousness that people normally have today… but this is the situation and we deal with it as it is.

The ones who have a higher level can operate with abstract concepts as ones who have a materialistic view deal with material objects. In order to introduce an idea to the public, explaining it will not suffice, for people will forget about it in the next moment, lost in the maze of their desires and perceptions. Even if we come with the most powerful explanation’s they will still not accept it as a common reality and tend to remain on the old concepts. However when they can have an image about that concept and they can relate to the visual representation of it, then the concept becomes credible and they will accept it as a part of their inner reality.

This manipulation technique that are used in many movies today identifies an idea with a character, and then, through the audience’s sympathy towards that character, the idea is assimilated directly into the subconscious. That idea is not accepted because of its own value or on the basis of considering the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’, and it does not appear to be the subject of the movie as it is disseminated using the manipulation of a subconscious psychological mechanism. This is very much like the scam’s that take place in the circus, when the illusionist is doing something with one hand that steals our attention whilst in the other hand he is preparing the trick that is outside our attention. The subject of the movie catches our attention while the character that we start to like introduces some ideas and life principles that we would otherwise never accept if directly presented to us.

body_of_lies-leonardo-di-caOne example of the use of this technique is found in the movie Body of Lies ( (played by Russel Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio)

In this movie there are two characters, (played by Russel Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio) each representing a different perspective in a discourse on whether it is acceptable to manipulate and use people in order to fight terrorism. However, both perspectives rely on the basic assumption that terrorism exists as it is presented and is a real danger. This movie draws our attention to the debate on what is and is not moral in the war on terrorism, and while we pay attention to that, it introduces the perception that terrorism is indeed a reality and the war on terror is a necessity. There is no question regarding the sanity of the whole concept of “war on terror” or the fight of terror with terror. In this way, the movie creates a paradigm based on a perceived reality of terror. Once this paradigm is accepted, further discussions on the topic are of secondary importance because the idea that was manipulatively introduced to the public is already there. No matter how we find this war’s morality, we will do it and the profit from it goes where it was meant to go by the ones that originally initiated such movie

The two characters – C.I.A agents – (Lenardo DiCaprio and Russel Crowe) depict a reality in which manipulation is perceived as being conducive and, arguably, even necessary if the public interests request it. Most people normally consider such a perspective to be totally absurd and unbelievable. Yet through the agency of these two characters – portrayed by the actors with great skill, turning them into powerful and credible figures which the audience can understand and even identify with – the reality which they represent becomes easily acceptable to the public opinion, their work becoming interesting and easy to explain. One condition for the technique of manipulation based on this mechanism to work is: the characters have to be very natural and credible, therefore great actors are needed and much effort in producing a virtual reality that is “alive”. This is also why such productions – even if carrying very strange messages – are heavily promoted and internationally awarded in order to give them glamour and credibility.

Another character in the movie, the terrorist sheik, puts a face on the image of ”the terrorist”. We have all heard about terrorists in the news, yet we have rarely been shown any, which gives the terrorists an increasingly vague image. Most people find it hard to understand what kind of mentality would determine a human being to engage in terrorism, and this makes the image of ”the terrorist” become less and less credible to the public. The character of the sheik in this movie resolves this ”problem” by putting a credible face on that obscure (and imaginative) public menace, presenting it as a real person with motives, history and mentality that we can understand and we can somehow (even if poorly) link with some terrorist activities. Due to the realism of the movie, the public usually overlooks the fact that the sheik character is, nonetheless, only imaginative and manipulative. After seeing the movie you can put a “face” on the “terrorist” and on the “good guys” that sometimes have to use ‘bad’ methods for higher purposes. In a sneaky way the whole war on terror gets an image that looks a little more credible because it comes alive in front of our eyes, while we are following the particular story of the movie.

manipulation2Other examples of manipulation techniques are used in the Israeli animated documentary film ”Waltz with Bashir
This movie was nominated for the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film (another way to push forward the manipulative method: supporting the production to reach the top of the film hierarchy using the network of jewish film producers and directors). In this movie, the subject of Israel’s responsibility for the 1981 Lebanese war, and in particular for the massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps, is associated with the image of one Israeli soldier, who, some 20 years later looks back at the events with a guilty conscience and makes a documentary about his own story. That person is portrayed in the movie as regretful and generally as a positive figure, and therefore, the audience can easily identify with him and ”forgive” him. Even though the movie addresses the subject of Israel’s responsibility for the events, the fact that these events are linked to that specific person, means that in the mind of the viewer the attitude towards the version is projected also towards the subject itself. Therefore, the public opinion that this movie creates is of ”forgiving” Israel for its part in the Lebanese war.

Having an objective look at the events as they appear in the movie (and subliminally introduced to the viewer), the guilt of the Israeli army for the massacre is minimal and can be easily doubted. At the end of the movie you get the feeling that it was just a mistake made by someone and the whole scandal is unfair. In this way the responsibility for the whole massacre of the refugees camps in 1981 Lebanon war is taken away in a manipulative way from the Israeli army by using this technique.

Note: the official stand of Israel on this subject is distinctly different from that of the Israeli soldier/director of the movie, but this doesn’t stop the process of projection from taking place in the mind of the viewer. That is the point with the manipulation: to create another version in peoples minds that will make the official version ready to change in the right moment.

2012movieAnother film in which this manipulative technique is used is ”The Day After Tomorrow” (with Dennis Quaid)

In this movie, the notion of climate change as an immediate threat to humankind is depicted through the personal story of the hero of the movie – the meteorologist (played by Dennis Quaid). While the audience follows the plot, their minds are fixed upon the drama of the character, they assimilate the reality which is seen through that character’s eyes – climate change. Indeed, this movie was a highly significant tool for promoting the topic of climate change in the public – but all this was done without quoting any scientific research. It was amazing for me to see how this movie triggered another public opinion about climate change.

Before the movie one can hardly hear about this debate, and even if it was a debate it was immediately falling into oblivion because the public cannot depict this notion of climate change. After the movie, the whole perception of the topic of climate change took another turn. The movie was heavily advertised in most of countries and the story of the meteorologist is very much alive. The public really got “a face” on this climate change phenomenon. Later, putting ‘the cherry on the cake’ came Al Gore’s “An inconvenient truth” . but even so, as a contrast to these coherent and powerful images about the climate change, lets remember the pathetic failure of the UN expert panels that were disclosed (during the Copenhagen climate change conference) with hidden data and cynical lies about the real climate change patterns (see the debate about the e-mails that were published and later confirmed by some of the authors as being authentic). On top of this we have the strange outcome of the biggest conference on earth, problems that did not even have a final end agreement. Can you imagine what would have been COP 15 in absence of “Day after tomorrow” movie to prepare it?

A new example of this manipulation is the apocalyptic movie ”2012”  (with John Cusack)

By seeing it one can already discern the use of the same method of manipulation. The idea of a cataclysmic event in the year 2012 which will wipe out humanity is shown through the individual experience of the hero of the movie – (John Cusack) his struggle to survive, together with his family, becomes a symbol of humanity’s struggle to continue its existence. In this way, the audience becomes familiar with the scenario of a cataclysmic end to humanity as we know it. We can anticipate that following this movie, the public will become much more open to discussions on various cataclysmic scenarios and will become increasingly predisposed to consider them to be real threats to human existence. Perhaps we will witness the assembling of some international expert panels to investigate various data on the subject. This will contribute to the intensification of the atmosphere of fear (which already exists), further promoting the feeling of crisis. Today building up the crisis mentality is essential for those that are pulling the strings of power. This also brings with it a perception of the individual as being helpless in the face of such events and consequently it empowers a demand for the authorities to take charge and provide solutions to this problem. The greater the fear and the perceived threat, the more radical the solution the public is willing to accept, and this, let’s not forget, is happening even when the threat only exists on the movie screen.

The apocalyptic movie “2012” is a part of a vast campaign of increasing the attention of the public upon natural catastrophes that might strike and keep them busy with these issues while the real economical catastrophes are set in place discreetly. This is also the point in putting an image and a clear scenario on 2012 events.

Of course the fundamental question that arises here is: how can one protect against these manipulative techniques, especially when the emotions that are triggered by these movies are so strong and we are usually so poor in dealing with emotions? The answer comes from the awakening of the SUPRAMENTAL structure, being able therefore to contemplate such movie from a SUPRAMENTAL state that will allow an objective view and the instant detection of all the patterns that might exist on the background of the movie. In this way, from the level of the supramental structure one is out of reach of the manipulative actions.

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Advaita Stoian

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Comments (19)

  1. MIHAI STOIAN's Blog » Hollywood Manipulates through Movies…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. […] 2012 movie John Cusack By seeing it one can already discern the use of the same method of manipulation. The idea of a cataclysmic event in the year 2012 which will wipe out humanity is shown through the individual experience of the hero …Continue Reading […]

  3. […] View original post here: MIHAI STOIAN's Blog » Hollywood Manipulates through Movies […]

  4. […] the article here: MIHAI STOIAN's Blog » Hollywood Manipulates through Movies About This Post Posted by Administrator on Jul 18th, 2010 and filed under Hollywood Movies. You […]

  5. cara redd says:

    great post, M. thanks a lot for keeping us informed in the real sense. keep up the good work! 😉

  6. […] MIHAI STOIAN's Blog » Hollywood Manipulates through Movies […]

  7. […] 2012 which will wipe out humanity is shown through the individual experience of the hero …More Here This entry was written by thwogel , posted on Sunday July 18 2010at 12:07 pm , filed under year […]

  8. Dr. Ed Slack says:

    Movies have a myriad of manipulative threads that run through the plot(s) and subplots encouraging the viewer to fear this accept that and certainly buy this or that to further identify with ‘your’ character or assuage the fear(s) of the day. I enjoyed your analysis of the threads you focused on and largely agree. I’ve found educating people as to the basic techniques of manipulation (such as embedded assumptions, misassociation, cultivating social validation, etc.) can be very helpful in nullifying the effects of this type of manipulation. In fact, particularly in the context of movies, a post viewing analysis. alone or with a friend(s), can be great fun. There’s a lot of manipulation about, may as well have a good time spotting it.

    Love the ‘Beware of Manipulation’ traffic sign graphic!

    • Mihai Stoian Mihai Stoian says:

      @ Dr Ed Slack
      Indeed there is a great step forward when disclosing the manipulation techniques by spotting them in the movies and other productions. It is known from different spiritual systems the fact that awareness upon one phenomenon is “neutralizing” its influence (at least the mental impact) upon the one experiencing it. For instance once we become aware of a manipulation by understanding its mechanism we will not be affected by it as before and if being attentive we will not be at all influenced by it.
      And the problem where people are usually limited is that even knowing about some mechanisms of manipulation, their ability to focus is limited to their natural endowment without knowing how to improve it. Without being able to focus one cannot be able to figure out the manipulation attempt. This is the reason why awakening the supramental level is also important in order to be “immune” to the manipulative actions.
      Thank you for feed back.

  9. Freakinout says:

    OMG, I am freakin out!!!

    Is it safe anywhere anymore?

    It was much easier when i lived in ignorance. Now it seems I cant even go to the movies with out subliminal messages controlling my mind.

    We have every reason to BE AFRAID! They control the water systems, the drug companies, the food industries, even the air we breathe. They are behind every system that has any influence on our existence.

    And now i hear they have started to use the internet to deal drugs to kids through freaky music.

    It makes me wanna drink and smoke myself into oblivion, i would rather fry my own brain than let those B@*****s do it !!!

    • Mihai Stoian Mihai Stoian says:

      @ freakinout
      It is easier to be ignorant but do you think it is safer? Maybe ignorance is bliss … until you find out what is the reality and usually this is happening in a rather shocking way.
      Isn’t it better you find out before is not too late and maybe there is a chance to transform some things? Fear is the method most of the modern manipulations are based upon and freaking out is one of its favorite. Why not spreading the news and let others know because people that know and are not afraid anymore are the free ones. And free people are the ones that the power-addicted people fear the most… you are not freaking out you are in fact freaking directly into their fishing net.

  10. […] Hollywood Manipulates through Movies – Part Two (Shrek) […]

  11. […] You Post Sheep?  I recently responded to a blog about manipulation in film by Mihai Stoian, (http://www.mihaistoian.net/hollywood-manipulates-through-movies). He made some good points so I added my voice to the discussion, supporting identifying […]

  12. […] MIHAI STOIAN's Blog » Hollywood Manipulates through Movies – Part One […]

  13. Freakinout says:

    Do u really believe there is away out of this intricate web that has been weaved around us since the moment we came into this world… that we can beat these systems and the power -stricken ones and they will become afraid of us?
    If so pls tell me your strategy, as i dont think just letting people who are already ignorant and drowning in this system will wake up so easily!


  14. […] “Hollywood Manipulates through Movies” Post Generates Feedback […]

  15. Dr. Ed Slack says:

    Hi Mihai,

    I am happy you reposted and very much enjoy our discussion on this topic. I’ll start with the rather general observation that our perspectives are largely similar, but do have some ‘weighting’ differences. I am a bit more supporting individualism in the process of personal / spiritual transformation and you seem to support a view that includes more guidance. Other than that I agree with most of your points of view. I feel a few of my perspectives may have been put in a less than accurate light, so I will try to correct that in the following.

    As a person becomes more fully aware of conformity or sheep mindedness in themselves they may wish to move past those confines and continue their growth. Indeed, they may still be largely sheep minded but the decision to choose personal growth over conforming to group standards is a pretty big transformation in itself ….. particularly if the new independence is continued with & there’s no ‘sheep mind’ relapse. But what next?

    I see options both in moving on individually and finding guidance. Heaven knows I’m not against coaching / training …. it’s been my profession for over 25 years, but in that time I’ve also found that there can be significant benefits from walking down life’s path without guidance. Learning to really listen would not be the least of them.

    Many folks can do a lot for themselves without a trainer and indeed unneeded help can end up being a hindrance. With equal validity others may receive great benefit from training until their transformation requires they go it alone and this may be far into the future. I’m not saying that people should just drop their sheep mentality and everything’s great, I say be aware of it! Change it as you see fit! Feel the need for a trainer? Find a good one. Feel it’s best for you to go it alone? Go it alone and listen well. Walk without pride or arrogance but listen with humility and do not be afraid of the influence of new ideas, take them seriously and bring them on or disguard them as you see fit …. through the eyes of Love, not fear.

    There are many excellent trainers and there are many who are awful and who will teach those who follow them a great deal about who to trust and who not to trust and little else. Ill intended trainers do try to make people in there own image or to keep them as sheep. With a little training most are easy to see. As you wisely observe the true trainer supports the spiritual development of those who come to him / her, recognizing the need to raise their aspirant’s consciousness to the level where they are free and can stand alone.

    Spiritual systems often employ initiation rituals to access the ability level of an aspirant to fulfill the first stages of their ongoing tasks that are designed to encourage their growth. However gangs and other negative social groups use initiation rituals to emotionally and symbolically enhance their aspirants connection to the group and their willingness to comply with its wish’s …. more sheep headedness!

    Many a manipulator will try to put the bite on us by arguing that by focusing only on the outside world we can easily obtain independence (and happiness). Nothing could be further from the truth! We’re spiritual beings having a human experience, unless we’re settled in our spirituality I have a hard time imagining anyone being settled or happy. Further, true independence is not easily obtained (nor anything else of real worth for that matter). Getting something quickly and easily is rarely the case, but the promise of it is the sweet song of many who would deceive and manipulate us.

    Consciously pursuing complete independence as a means to an end (freedom) is certainly a gross oversimplification of what is needed for real growth (and implies unresolved issues in some ‘self – other’ continuum). How independently we currently need to walk life’s path is a matter for each of us to decide. ‘Off the rack’ shortcuts to growth and transformation don’t work. There’s a lot to do after we recognize the emperor has no clothes. The answer as to how we should best proceed is a matter for each of us to decide …. it may be with a trainer, system or social group or it may be a more independent path, whichever, just keep at it!

  16. […] (2347)Iran Invasion on The Agenda of The Bilderberg Group (2336)The Magic of Touch – Part One (2324)Hollywood Manipulates through Movies – Part One (2193)Hollywood Manipulates through Movies – Part Two (Shrek) (1841)2012 Warnings: The Third Secret […]

  17. soulmate says:


    you find very good articles on the following weppage about how the music industry works.


    I find it really shocking as as a kid I really liked some of the main stream music.

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