How To Make Things Go Horribly Horribly Wrong ( What I Learned This Week )

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posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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So... just like all of us on ATS, I have pet subjects that pique my interest and that I've learned a thing or to about over the years. For some of us it's cryptozoology, for others it's aliens and UFO's, others love the paranormal... and so on.

For me it was politics, psychology, and social issues - and additionally a couple of short stories in the writing forum and some BTS stuff. But mainly politics and psych threads.

After becoming a moderator I went on a hiatus from ATS because my budget got tight and, well, eating trumped having Internet access. So I only popped in when I visited my sisters house, or decided to go to the library to use their free Internet terminals.

About a month ago I came back, full time, and jumped right back in. But the political forums had heated up greatly since I was last around - with the looming Presidential elections - and I came to realize that a moderator engaging in such heated conversation might look bad. So I bowed out of engaging in most political threads and started occupying myself by dealing with psych topics and social conspiracies - like information control and the ways that media, government, and Corporate interests manipulate us.

I made a few threads along the lines of social perception, awareness, and the like. One was a thread about how freedom of speech is changing - and tried to discuss where free speech becomes illegal. Another was an open letter to the members of the intelligence community and cops, asking them to make a point of retaining their compassion and humanity... Nothing too provocative or out there. Just things that would cross my mind when I was going to sleep, or showering. I also posted a few other threads, many simply the "breaking news" stuff that was coming over the AP. But those threads I don't think much about because they basically are just cut and paste with 500 characters of OP. Not much work - so not much to think or care about after posting.

Then...one night... I decided I wanted to open a dialogue about how easily we are manipulated in the modern world. How we are constantly exposed to some very insidious and constant themes that tend to influence us, even if we don't recognize that it's happening. In my mind I thought "Hey, I'll start off with a thread about very basic manipulations... the type we all experience every day. The white lie... the sales pitch... the seduction... the way we all learn to push the buttons or family members to achieve a desired result, etc... Just simple stuff. From there, I thought, I might do a series of threads that got deeper into things like NLP, conditioned response, etc.

But how to structure it all?

One of the things that I have always found funny about ATS is that I often get accused of being some kind of agent simply because I'm a moderator. Actually, even before that, when I didn't have the mod tags on my profile, I still got it. Beat some folks in a debate and they'll get desperate and throw out the ultimate, totally negating ad hom "YOU'RE A PAID POSTER!!!!" Most of us around here know that this accusation is basically the equivalent of throwing in the towel. It means the debate ended and the one making the accusation has lost the battle.

So being that I'm not the brightest guy in the world sometimes, I had this wonderful idea. I figured I'd make a shocking title for my little thread about basic manipulation techniques... I'd use these two things together and say "MY ACCUSERS WERE RIGHT! I DO HAVE AN AGENDA!". Of course, then I'd go on to explain that my agenda was to learn and to share what I have learned. I figured it was all a creative and "cute" ( for lack of a better term ) way to go about things. Then I'd share some anecdotal information about how I used to be in sales - and how manipulating people was the entire art of sales, and mention that I also don't too badly at the local pub using body language and tricks to get a bit of female attention.

What could possibly go wrong??? Right???

Well, I imagine a few of you are aware of how horribly wrong it all went. It was smooth sailing for a few pages - and then the reactions began to sour. Some folks seemed to get my approach and what I was attempting to say - others did not. And those who did not, well they got absolutely furious.

Suddenly people were quoting me as having called myself a "master manipulator" - which I did not say. And from there it was all downhill.

And, before I knew it... my little lark of a thread became a paroxysm of vitriol and misunderstanding.

The staff, in their wisdom, closed it - as the last god knows how many pages of it were totally off topic. And,at that point, I thought "Good, lesson learned and that's that."

But it did not end there. It bled over into other threads and other posts.

So I write these words to clear the air. I am not a "master manipulator" any more than the majority of you are. No more than the waitress who talks you into "loading" your baked potato is. No more than the clerk who talks you into the extended warranty on your new iPod is. No more than the puppy who can wag his tail and get a treat is. I never meant to imply anything other than that... to simply point out that we all manipulate, and that we're all manipulated.

So this is my mea culpa. My request for forgiveness. I was obviously misunderstood and the fault is entirely mine. I tried to use provocative words as a means of opening a dialogue and that was a decisively horrible decision on my behalf.

So, ATS, for those of you who were offended, my deepest apologies and my earnest assurances that I never meant to offend or insult. I just wanted to start a conversation.

I do write this realizing that I will probably end up seeing a "Oh NO! You ADMITTED you manipulate so, by God, I will never believe another word you say!". But, seriously, before you type those words... can you say that you've never manipulated anyone? Even if it was well intentioned manipulation? Like, say, getting your kids pumped up for Santa - or something of the like? Because that's all I was really discussing. Things like that.

Thanks for reading,

~Heff
edit on 9/23/12 by Hefficide because: Realized I broke the rules - slapped my own wrist!




posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 04:31 PM
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Bad boy! Now go to your room till everyone has forgotten about all of this, which should be about five minutes. Isn't that the average attention span these days? I thought your manipulation post was fabulous, keep up the good work Heff.


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posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 



Originally posted by Hefficide
So this is my mea culpa. My request for forgiveness. I was obviously misunderstood and the fault is entirely mine. I tried to use provocative words as a means of opening a dialogue and that was a decisively horrible decision on my behalf.

So, ATS, for those of you who were offended, my deepest apologies and my earnest assurances that I never meant to offend or insult. I just wanted to start a conversation.



I don't think you should apologize for the ignorant reaction of others. THEY are what's broken. Not you or your thread.


On a personal note, I'm glad you post in the manner you do. In fact, I like it when the MODS and ADMIN do so.

THAT has not been the case for a very long time and it's nice to see some of the brightest minds back in the game on these boards.


edit on 23-9-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 04:42 PM
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I've always admired your posts because I do think you have a profoundly unique way of cutting to the heart of the matter.

Goodness knows I've created a few threads I would gladly love to forget about....it's like a brain fart or something. Maybe too much fluoride or chemtrails or alien holographic mind manipulation.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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I agree with Loam, you should not be apologizing.

But I'll take it a step further, I see no reason to apologize for anything.
If someone allows themselves to be manipulated, they really have no one to blame but themselves. There really is no point in getting all worked up and angry and defensive about it. If you discover you have been manipulated in some way, learn from the experience and move on.

The motto here is "Deny Ignorance" as so many like to remind everyone so often. It seems to me that taking everything here with a grain of salt and being on the lookout for manipulation (especially in the political forums) fits right in with that motto.

So I say, good for you Hefficide, but don't apologize for others faults. Unless you are setting up the masses for your next bit of fun.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 04:57 PM
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Your a very engaging personality and a good writer. I have enjoyed your return very much, finding inspiration in your threads, and much to mull and ponder. I think this may be my favorite thread of all time, because it made me think. Still does. www.abovetopsecret.com...

I also get when smart @@@ funny goes horribly wrong as it has for me on more than one occasion.


Glad your back. Laughs to think your the pied piper of ATS.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 04:57 PM
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I think this is a sad day indeed. When a member (forget the mod status, you are a member here and have to abide by the rules like everyone else) has to apologize for a thread that in all actuality and if read thoroughly would need no apology.

What I do hope is that admin and mods alike can now see a little better the reason for many of the rants concerning the changing of ATS.

Your thread was yes a way to get the attention of members, as any thread with a provocative title would, but I saw what it turned into, and it was very shameful, even when you repeatedly explained yourself, it seemed to get no better.

Though I haven't left here, I surely have written a lot less, and I have seen many other members do the same, just to avoid misunderstandings, and derailing.

I know that you dont need anyone to stand on your behalf, but come on guys, when will we see through the lies, innuendo, and shameful games that are played?

If this thread is not a clue to what is going on... I dont know what is!!

Peace, NRE.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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I thought your thread was clever, and it made me think....although by the time I got to it, it was already inundated with responses, so I did not participate.

It seems to me that there are people who are, for lack of better phrasing, mentally unbalanced, and they just cannot wait for a post they can take the wrong way, so they can start spewing their vitriolic nonsense.

Writing IS manipulation. That's why we love it so. If it didn't lead us somewhere, then what's the point? All artistic media is that way. When we read the words of others, or see a painting, sculpture, film or play, we are being manipulated.

But "manipulated" is such an ugly word. Let's just say that we buy the ticket, and take the ride.

Anybody who doesn't understand this, doesn't understand how the human mind works....And that's their problem, isn't it?



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:10 PM
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Apology accepted Heff.

I got the original thread and appreciated the message.
I think it might have been better stated this way.... "You never go full retard!"

Peace be upon you!



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by ezekielken
 


You wish!!

This sort of accusation will continue to rear its ugly head for the foreseeable future. Anytime Heff had an opinion, which is quite often
, there will be some who will bring up that thread.

Some memories are much longer than is warranted.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


lol, heff
you'd think that on a conspiracy website
it should be understood that human beings have been under the effects of mass manipulation
for so long that we all have a unconscious/intuitive grasp of the "secret combinations, [confering a sort of immunity to them] and we all tend to apply them.
especially in the matter of getting what we want in daily life.

this is one aspect of awakening and Awakening,

i suppose it's down to unexamined lives in most cases.
i'll bet a few of your denouncers are the real article; reflexively [and defensively] jumping on the bandwagon.


that said and in response to the closed thread, i knew there was something i liked about you
edit on 23-9-2012 by DerepentLEstranger because: added edit and comment



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 06:09 PM
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I think there is a big difference between influence, and manipulation.

There is such a thing as positively influencing someone, and always associate manipulation in a negative way, as it tends to be for selfish purposes.

Like many posters on the last thread said, I think we are all aware that we have been manipulated for different reasons, since we have been children , so it wasn't really a lesson that we needed to learn from heff, and his choice of words, and how he expressed it, just most likely seemed to scream ego more than truth to some, hence so many people jumping down his throat.

For those of you who were so "nice "to imply that those who jumped on him, are to mentally unbalanced"" to get it....I say "get over yourself"...we got it loud and clear, and knew what he was trying to say , as was stated by some posters. I think what bothered most of us about it was the more subliminal undertones of ego, which is always a turn off.

Sorry heff, just have to be honest, because I'm sure deep down you wouldn't respect anyone being dishonest and just kissing your a** because you're a mod.
edit on 23-9-2012 by WhisperingWinds because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by WhisperingWinds
 


You're absolutely right. To me the mod title should not cause anyone to suck up to me. And I would not want them to do so for any reason, including the tag on my profile.

But the inverse is also true - I don't want to be attacked solely because I am a mod. And that does happen - just as often, or more so than the opposite.

In the end, I want what any of us wants, to be judged for who we are. I am a creature of ego, as we all are. If I post a thread stating my opinion, I never do so thinking that nobody else knows what I know, nor that I possess a greater capacity for knowing than anyone else. I've been accused of being a bit arrogant and can accept that. Like all of us, I have my quirks.

And I am willing to acknowledge and own up to them.

Fair enough?

~Heff



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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OK, now I feel that you might be masterfully manipulating me into believing your not a manipulator at all. All I can say is good work, I think. At least is has been a learning experience for you. Nice new avatar... Peace, out...



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by WhisperingWinds
 


You're absolutely right. To me the mod title should not cause anyone to suck up to me. And I would not want them to do so for any reason, including the tag on my profile.

But the inverse is also true - I don't want to be attacked solely because I am a mod. And that does happen - just as often, or more so than the opposite.

In the end, I want what any of us wants, to be judged for who we are. I am a creature of ego, as we all are. If I post a thread stating my opinion, I never do so thinking that nobody else knows what I know, nor that I possess a greater capacity for knowing than anyone else. I've been accused of being a bit arrogant and can accept that. Like all of us, I have my quirks.

And I am willing to acknowledge and own up to them.

Fair enough?

~Heff


Sounds fair to me.

..and on a side note, I would never attack you solely because you are a mod.

I have enjoyed many of the posts you have written here, but have to admit some of them were a turn off, for a variety of reasons.

I tend to speak my mind, generally, especially when I feel the urge to defend those being attacked, which I'm sure was the case with many who defended you in the thread..and I can understand that.

I hope I continue to enjoy most of your posts, and I appreciate that you understand if there are some that may rub me the wrong way, and may choose to comment on them, or back up those who's comments I may agree with to some degree.

Peace, and all that jazz.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I am not 100% sure but I think you weren't a mod yet when I joined. And I already enjoyed your contributions. Actually, even if you carry the title, I think I still see you as a contributing member. Maybe it's right, maybe it's wrong...don't know. I could say the same about Tenth or Davespammers or JustMike or Kandinsky or a lot of others.

I always found it takes courage to apologize when we think we did something wrong. I personally don't think your thread or your position was wrong but my perception of it is irrelevant.

You think you did wrong and you apologize. That's fine by me. How I wish that some members would put their ego aside for a second and apologize to you...Would seem like fair is fair...

But that's just me.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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Huh. I only joined a month ago, must have been right around the time you started being very active again. I consider your recent threads some of the best since I've been a member here.

I've noticed a lot of the whiplash, of course, and didn't realize it was a new thing but assumed people have hated you on here forever
edit on 9/23/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 08:29 PM
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Poor Heff. I knew when I read your "manipulation" thread that you would quickly become BBQ de Jour.

I don't think an apology is warranted. It was well written, timely, and (if read objectively) a well of information.

You can't please everyone, Heff. I'm not at all sure that a thread should be posted with "pleasing" people in mind.

J

edit on 9/23/2012 by LadyJae because: grammar



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Some people say that they have their own "Guardian Angel", but in my case I seem to have a couple of "Guardian Mods" who have moved my threads for no apparent reason other than they felt the need to do so.

No sweat off my back if you get my drift, sometimes I can see the reasoning, but more often, not so much.
Usually, when a thread is moved, it might as well be 404'ed.

I like your threads and posts for the most part. They seem to be reasoned and well thought out.

Give yourself some slack and a pat on the back as well.



posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by NoRegretsEver
 





I know that you dont need anyone to stand on your behalf, but come on guys, when will we see through the lies, innuendo, and shameful games that are played?


Good point.

I've felt that certain mods play games and use their influence and manipulate to tag certain posts as off topic, while other remain that are just as "off topic".

It seems as if you challenge certain mods..their memory is long, and it comes back to bite you with the power they have.

Lets face it, some mods have their favorites , and it definitely shows.

We see through the favoritism, and the games as well.





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