This is a very good summation of things, Curiosity.
IMO, it all boils down to desensitization.
Mind control, drugs, etc aside, it's a simple psychological priciple.
If a person is afraid of something to the point of phobia, the best way to overcome that is to gradually expose them to the object of their fear until
it's no longer scary. You might start off with, for example, photos of spiders for an arachnophobe. Gradually, as the person becomes less afraid of
the photos, one moves to plastic replicas, movies, etc. By the time the arachnophobe is face to face with a live spider, they aren't freaking out
Now what's been happening in the States over the last couple years? We're faced with something we didn't even know we were afraid of - that being
an attack on domestic soil. As time's gone on, we're exposed to news of potential new attacks, the "terror alert" rainbow, et cetera.
It's no longer that scary to us anymore. With the general mindset being "I'm not going to stop living my life because of this," we've also
desensitized ourselves to potential attacks.
Yeah, it does seem unreal. Maybe because it's not natural. When a being's life is in danger, it's instinctual to either fight back or run away
(ergo, "fight or flight response"). In this case, we're doing neither when something nudges our instinct.
"I'm trapped in an elevator, and I don't know what's happening, but the police/fire/govt' will get us out soon enough. Let's sing
It's kind of impressive if you think about it. What may be the greatest mind control scheme didn't take much effort at all.