Herd of sheep following the propaganda.

American Genius Fleeces the Masses


Edward Bernays: American Genius


For almost a hundred years, Edward Bernays, mastermind and brilliant manipulator of public opinion, has influenced virtually every decision affecting Americans. His ingenious techniques of psychological persuasion and emotional trust continue today as the playbook from which unscrupulous corporations seduce and poison the public.


We’ll show you how America’s dark secret began, and how we got to where we are today… In addition, we’ll offer advice for “waking up” to the madness that is destroying human and environmental health all around the world.


How important has Bernays been to American politics and public opinion? Important enough to warrant a coveted spot in Life Magazine’s 1990 edition of the top 100 most important people of the 20th Century.

Edward Bernays American Genius

His techniques were so effective they are the model by which unscrupulous corporations today design their deceptive advertising campaigns to seduce generations of Americans to buy products that cause sickness and death.

Men (people) are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.

- Edward Bernays

The commercial food industry and fast food giants, using addictive chemicals have hooked generations of naïve and gullible Americans. Bernays and others like him have created a society where the

populace is so preoccupied

with consumerism they are oblivious to the mass genocide of their corrupt government

and the unethical corporations that think nothing but their shareholder’s profits.



Life Magazine's

100 most important people of the

20th Century

Time Magazine's most important people of the 20th century.

Mass Hypnosis


Public manipulation and marketing ploys being used today, albeit brilliant, are largely due to Bernay’s public relations scheme he coined,


“engineering of consent.”


His contrived system uses subliminal messages designed to manipulate and mold our values and beliefs. The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the masses created a legacy of fear, sickness, and war.


Understanding how mass hypnosis continues to affect our society is of paramount importance to you as an American and a human being.


Through devious and subtle hypnosis, our entire nation (save for a handful of Fringe Dwellers) has been deceived. Naïvely committing self-genocide; too trusting, blindly lathering untested chemicals on their bodies, outsourcing their health while ingesting patent medicines that harm, not heal, eating toxic industrial garbage in an attempt to fill a void that is endless, drinking water so toxic, much of it is creating a “dumbing down” effect on its unsuspecting victims.

Unsuspecting citizens are being brainwashed; driven by unconscious desires to spend their hard earned money for things they don’t need in an effort to seek immediate pleasure or gratification, often harming themselves, their family and the earth…


''You can get practically any ideas accepted,

if doctors are in favor, the public is willing to accept it,

because a doctor is an authority to most people,

regardless of how much he knows, or doesn’t know … By the law of averages, you can usually find an individual in any field who will be willing to accept new ideas, and the new ideas then infiltrate the others who haven’t accepted it.”


-Edward Bernays 20th Century American Propagandist

Edward Bernays because a doctor is an authority to most people, the masses will except new ideas. Doctor endorsing Lucky Strike smoking.

Later in this article we will discuss strategies to help you awaken from the “consumer nightmare” that is threatening the very fabric of  the "civilized world."

Why has corporate greed surpassed compassion for humanity? Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. We live in an era where human lives are dispensable to the elite few that control the masses. 

Sheep herded by the corporation, Edward Bernays.

Who is he and where on earth did he come from?


Edward Bernays comes to America…


At the age of one his family migrated from Austria. Back home his uncle, the now infamous

“father of psychoanalysis,”

Sigmund Freud, who would later be a huge influence on Bernay’s career, had begun his work in psychology.


Bernay’s study of his uncle’s work into psychoanalytic theory was instrumental in defining the goals and strategies of his

public relations/American public brainwashing agenda.


Bernay’s also used elements of others’ psychological strategies such as the ‘crowd psychology’ and ‘herd instinct.’

Sigmund Freud and Edward Bernays photos. Uncle and Nephew

Sigmund Freud


1st Propaganda Employment


World War I (during & after) - U.S. Committee on Public Information

Federal agent responsible for all propaganda, known today as


“public relations.”


In the states and abroad, Bernays and his wife Doris open a private consulting firm:


Edward L. Bernays, Counsel on Public Relations


Some of their big-name clients 

  • American Tobacco Company 

  • Henry Ford 

  • Thomas Edison

How He Changed the Course of American History


Whether they loved or hated him, none can deny his importance to the evolution of public relations and its literature.


Indisputably, Edward Bernays, the “father of spin,” was a pioneer of the public relations profession. Today his methodology has influenced the persuasion tactics that are used in product advertising and political campaigns.

These psychological strategies


(To manipulate the minds of the public)


can be seen in grocery stores (through ingenious and deceptive marketing of industrial food products and many others), in magazines, bill boards and on television. Virtually all advertising is from immoral corporations driven by shareholders at the cost of American lives.


Bernays believed that the public opinion needed to be “brought in line” with the interests and goals of leaders in business and government. His role as publicist for corporations and government was to understand the mental life of the masses (the public, that be you) and use that understanding to efficiently manage the workings of democracy. Which is to inform Americans how and what to think, what to buy and any other campaign the corporations and government wanted them to believe. You’ll see his “accomplishments” in a few moments.


In a nutshell:


He devised ingenious tactics the advertising industry uses to trick you into wanting something so bad you’d risk your life (eating junk food, cleaning with chemicals, taking drugs that do not heal you but are actually poison, etc.), and sell your soul by going into debt for something you don’t actually need.


Here is a quote from the brilliant master-mind himself:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society… In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons… who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."

-Edward Benays

What he said in a nutshell:


The government and greedy corporations shall use and control the minds of the public by anyway they deem profitable. Manipulation through the use of psychological persuasion of emotion and trust, the upper echelon, or elite shall control every facet of life concerning American citizenry.


Let’s break that down just in case your head isn’t wrapped around it yet:

Watch television. Believe what you hear to be gospel and true. Buy into the poison they’re spewing, poison yourself, your family and the rest of the world.


Edward Bernay’s brilliant psychological strategies mentally coerced the public to his way of thinking, acting, etc.

Methods used today in advertising

to get you to buy everything from industrial food, patent drugs, to shampoo.


Crowd psychology powerfully influences an individual by removing their loss of responsibility and gives them the impression that others believe and behave the same as they do.

How is it used today by deceptive corporations? Marketing campaigns are designed to influence you to buy certain products. Consistent television advertising will eventually cause you to believe if you eat a certain food you will be healthier, despite the fact that it is poisonous and leads to malnutrition and disease. The food and chemical industries know that crowd behavior will influence you to believe something if you think others believe it too.


For example: Watching the evening news and believing everything you hear, despite the fact the news media is programming you to hear what corporations and the government want you to believe. They are so convincing it is only the Fringe Dweller- one who thinks for

themselves- who questions the truth and reality.

Time Line of Bernay’s

“Contributions to American Culture”




Controversial Play Gets Ok from Officials


At a time when sexual mores were even more stringent than they are today, Bernays engineered “public consent” for a play that promoted sex education. He successfully enlisted many of the city’s notables (persons in power) to advocate his cause that no one, not even the censors, would question the play’s decency and decorum.

Flyer advertising Damaged goods.

“Damaged Goods” opened and was hailed as a valued contribution to public awareness.


Imagine, in 1913, anyone getting away with advocating sex education! It’s still a taboo in the US and it’s the 21st century!



Ballet Becomes “Fun” to Watch

Sergei Diaghilev of Ballets Russes’ US tour, hired Bernays to convince and effectively campaign using American magazines to publish articles telling readers that ballet is fun to watch.



US Support for WWI

Woodrow Wilson after running on the campaign,


"He Kept Us Out of the War"


Woodrow Wilson brings the United States into World War I in April 1917.


Creel Committee was born.

Photo of Committee on Public Information, 1916

Bernays led the committee’s Latin News Service. Part of the committee team that accompanied President Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, he sent out a press release prompting news coverage that “propaganda” was at the heart of the team’s mission, igniting a firestorm.


Bernays used his “engineering consent” tactics to rally US public support for World War One, a war that was not popular among the masses. Remember television did not exist. Propaganda schemes were often played to the unsuspecting public whose naiveté and gullibility made it easy for government or corporations to broadcast their lies. Methods commonly used to sway public opinion were the use of movie reel shorts, newspapers, magazines and radio.

Posters of World War 1, Poster propaganda


Wrist Watches for Pocket Watches


Wrist watches were born. Bernays persuaded men to exchange their ever popular pocket watch for wrist watches. Despite the fact that jewelry was seen as feminine, his campaign convinced them wrist watches were more “manly.”

Source: WikiCommons

Cartoon of a soldier wearing a wrist watch.


1st NAACP Convention


Bernays successfully hosted the first NAACP Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Hired by New York lawyer and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founder, Arthur B. Spingarn.


The goals of the campaign were to use the Atlanta Convention as "a springboard for publicity;” to make the South and North aware of the NAACP’s earnest battle for civil rights of the Negro.


"For the first time in the history of the country," Bernays said, "under the dateline of the South's industrial metropolis, news was published throughout the country alerting the people of the United States that whites and negroes alike were seeking new status for the Negro."


The conference was held without incident and delegates to the conference voted to send their objectives to President Wilson and to Congress. Media coverage was impressive. Atlanta's newspapers, The New York Globe, The Evening Post, The Chicago Daily, and others carried stories about the meeting and a feature outlining "progress made by Negroes from the plantation labor to business and the professions." Once again, Bernays’ ability to “harness the crowd” was successful.


It Happened in the 1920’s…


Hair Net Use Mandated in the Workplace


Hair net use was disappearing in the workplace, women persisted in cutting their hair short. The Venida hair net company hired public relations expert Edward Bernays to reverse this trend and to resurrect the dying industry.

Venida Bobnet advertisement for hair nets with Miss Laura La Plante.

Arthur B. Spingarn

Bernays then successfully convinced health commissioners, labor groups, and industry leaders to lobby for rules requiring women working in restaurants and around machinery to wear hair nets, by arguing the dangers of unbound hair, women going without them presented a public health, sanitation, and safety hazard.


Bacon (and eggs) Become America’s Breakfast Favorite

During an era of hot cereal and light breakfast fare, Bernays was appointed by the Beech-Nut Packing Company to promote the popularity of their pork, namely bacon.

Beech-Nut commercial, America's Breakfast Favorite.

With the help of Bernay’s agency-hired doctor and letters from thousands of other doctors, this physician endorsed breakfast became another ingenious campaign the public naively embraced.


Major newspapers and magazines printed the “doctor study,” that encouraged Americans to eat a heavier breakfast. Once printed the legend became fact.



Ivory Soap Makes a Big Splash


Using the doctor/hospital ploy (still in use today) Bernay’s hired a medical consultant to survey American Hospitals on their preference for white, unscented soaps. Now that the purity of ivory was duly certified by medical authorities, it was given wide publicity.


His campaign included giving away thousands of soap bars to school children so they could use the bars to carve sculptures. Soap carving became so popular it lead to an increase in both sales and brand awareness.



The Pancake Breakfast Was Born


What started as a publicity stunt for President Calvin Coolidge’s re-election campaign, “the pancake breakfast,” has become as popular as a Sunday picnic.


Hired by the White House, Bernays’ PR scheme included celebrity figures such as Al Jolson, Charlotte Greenwood, Raymond Hitchcock and other big names, for a media event in an attempt to “liven up” Coolidge’s personality thereby increasing his chances for re-election.


When the group lined up for breakfast photos, the President remained as grim as ever. After breakfast, the group moved to the White House lawn where Al Jolson sang "Keep Coolidge," which he had composed for the occasion. Everybody sang -- except for the President.



Torches of Freedom


By the mid 1920’s cigarette smoking had become commonplace in America.

The American Tobacco Company headed by eccentric businessman George Washington Hill, was contriving a plan to increase the company’s sales and profits. Hill believed he could do this by appealing to women, and thereby enlarging his customer base.


Bernays to the rescue. Well aware of the psychological nature of human behavior (he had studied his uncle Sigmund Freud’s work), he consulted with Dr. A.A. Brill, a psychoanalyst.


Combining the emotional charge from the suffrage movement, and the inequality of men and women, he devised a brilliant campaign to eliminate the social stigma of women smoking in public.

Torches of Freedom photo with George Washington Hill and Bertha Hunt.

He hired respectable looking women of fashion and character as shills to convince and appeal to the masses. During that era the stereotypical woman smoker was one either of “ill-repute” or portrayed in film as a sly character lacking moral principles.


In march of 1929, at the New York Easter Parade, Bertha Hunt, created a scandal by lighting up a Lucky Strike cigarette. Of course the press, privy to the scheme, knew in advance of Bertha’s display and had been provided with appropriate propaganda pamphlets.

The press was more than willing to capture the “scandalous” event as Bertha Hunt, brandishing her new “torch of freedom,” walked proudly down the street followed by other young women flaunting their cigarettes as well.


Unbeknown to the press, Hunt was Bernays’ secretary and the Easter Parade was just the beginning of the subterfuge and manipulation that would follow. Bertha Hunt is purported to having told the New York Time a fictitious tale of helping a man put out his cigarette. She went on to tell the NY Times that she had “talked it over with her friends and decided it was high time something was done about the situation.” On April 1st 1929, the NY times story titled, “Group of Girls Puff at Cigarettes as a Gesture of Freedom” made big headlines.


Not surprisingly, the event made national news…

While this well-conceived plot gave women the right and opportunity to join the ranks of men, their “torch of freedom” was no liberation nor victory.



Light Bulb Inventor Celebrated: Mistaken Inventor Honored?


In October 1929, Bernays was involved in promoting Light's Golden Jubilee. The event, which spanned across several major cities in the U.S., was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Thomas Edison's invention of the light-bulb (though the light-bulb had been previously invented by Joseph Swan). The publicity elements of the Jubilee – including the special issuance of a U.S. postage stamp and Edison's "re-creating" the invention of the light bulb for a nationwide radio audience.

Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison inventors of the light bulb.

Joseph Swan He is known as an independent early developer of a successful incandescent light bulb 1878, and is the person responsible for developing and supplying the electric lights used in the world's first homes and public buildings (including the Savoy Theatre, London in 1881) to be lit with electric light bulbs.


Thomas Edison In November 1879, Edison filed a patent for an electric lamp with a carbon filament.



Dixie Cup Debut


The infamous Dixie cup made its public debut. Bernays succeeded in convincing the public that it was more sanitary to drink out of paper cups.


As part of this campaign, he founded the fictitious Committee for the Study and Promotion of the Sanitary Dispensing of Food and Drink.



Nazis Create a “Fuhrer Cult”


Despite the fact that Bernays was a Jew, his ideas and public manipulation techniques caught the attention of Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels as the minister of propaganda for the Third Reich, exploited Bernays’ brainwashing techniques to the fullest extent possible.


Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, warned President Franklin Roosevelt against allowing Bernays to influence the American public’s perception of World War II, he described Bernays and his colleagues as


“professional poisoners of the public mind, exploiters of foolishness, fanaticism and self-interest."

-Justice Felix Frankfurter


In 1933 Bernays learned the Nazis were using his work for their campaign to gain the German population’s trust and unconditional devotion. In his 1965 autobiography he appears indifferent to the horrors of Nazi Germany when he states:


“They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.”

-Edward Bernays




Lucky Strikes and Green Make Fashion News


Women. Fashion. Lucky Strikes cigarettes. What do they all have in common? Lucky Strikes tobacco wanted to keep their cigarette pack color green. They needed a plan that would convince women it was fashionable to wear green. Apparently, cigarette packs are accessories too.

Lucky Strike and and The Green Ball.

First, Bernays analyzed the color green. His research told him that green was the symbol of "hope, victory, and plenty" - symbolic of peace.


Bernays wrote to fashion designers, department stores, and prominent women urging them to advertise and advocate the color green. Store windows, debutante balls, and galleries featured the “Lucky Strike” green. in 1934 he hired a rep to go to France green was in and so was Lucky Strike, their profits and their female clientele. 


His BIG IDEA was to stage an important fashion event. He originally thought of calling it the Emerald Ball. Then, he decided that it was more to the point - and more Middle America to title it The Green Ball.



Beverage of Moderation


Prohibition was over. However, beer sales were coming up short as many counties were declaring themselves to be dry and denouncing alcohol. Bernays was called in work his deceptive magic. The common ploy of understanding your opponent’s game plan was used to convince the “dry” counties that beer, unlike hard liquor, posed no danger of overindulgence. His promotion of the “beverage of moderation” worked.


His strategy was familiar to every student of war, and of baseball: carefully analyze your opponent’s game plan, and if you can’t overcome it, co-opt it. That meant promoting beer as “the beverage of moderation” in a way that would distance it from distilled liquors and inoculate it against the temperance movement’s argument that all alcohol posed the danger of overindulgence.


He persuaded beer retailers to cooperate with law enforcement to ensure that their product was used responsibly, and he published “evidence” that beer was not fattening and had a caloric value equal to that of milk.


He told homemakers that beer would make for a richer chocolate cake; told farmers that brewers were major buyers of their barley, corn, and rice; and told laborers that beer was the one alcoholic beverage they could afford.



Philco Radio Targets the Affluent


The media of radio was long thought a poor man’s toy. Bernays, hired by Philco president James M. Skinner, crafted an ingenious plan to seduce the rich into believing that the radio was a superior listening product and something they needed to have.


At the time radio manufacturers were hard pressed to make substantial profit from their sales to the poor. Selling to the more affluent would expand the sales market and ensure increased prices and profits.

Philco Radio Targets the Affluent, image of a Philco Radio.

Bernays staged his event at a most appropriate venue, the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The great Metropolitan Opera star, Lucrezia Bori was asked to perform at the event. The newspaper press was of course in attendance, and after witnessing the exquisite sound of the radio reception, reported it as good as the human voice.


To further garner sales from the upper class, Bernays devised a scheme to encourage the rich to make radio a part of their homes. He presented his radio room concept at a gala black-tie event at Rockefeller Plaza where the pretentious, well-to-do embraced it wholeheartedly.


He went so far as to suggest radio rooms in which cabinets were built around the radio to showcase its significance. The concept of new designer homes, complete with radio room, delighted the coveters.


1936 Bernays’ campaign to promote television and national policy standards was a success. His event established Philco’s reputation as a leader not only in radio but television as well.



American Fruit Company Overthrows Guatemala


Today they are known as Chiquita. What transpired during that time is unconscionable and beyond belief. The tactics by which this and other immoral corporations operate to gain profits is inconceivable and shocking to say the least.

Poster, Bananas, United Fruit Co. with a gun.

Guatemala, a small country had just elected a democratic leader. A leader that regained stolen land, and gave many of its citizens land to farm.

Bernays helped mastermind the propaganda campaign for his fruit company client to convince Americans that Arbenz was a Communist threat to the U.S., drawing on every public relations tactic and strategy he had refined since helping to convince Americans that Germany was a threat to the

U.S. during World War I.


Professor Olsen @ Large


Bernays, contracted by the multinational corporation, United Fruit Company, devised a devious plot to convince the American government and the American people that this small quiet country was a threat to American soil. His plan consisted of using media reporters as pawns to infiltrate and seduce the minds of the US government and its population. A group of influential reporters went to Guatemala where they were fed a mixture of vicious lies and rumors that convinced them the US was indeed vulnerable to communist tyranny from this tiny country of peasants and farmers.



Professional Poisoners of the Public Mind: The Campaign to Fluoridate America


Before we head back into 1950 let’s shoot ahead to the year 2015. Are fluoride’s virtues substantiated? Is it really one of the “top ten public health achievements” of the 20th Century? Read what the EPA says about your fluoridated water and  how it actually affects your teeth and your body. You may be equally shocked and horrified to discover where this toxic by-product actually comes from.

ALCOA Aluminum plant one of Edward Bernays accounts.

What began as an ingenious scam to discard dangerous waste and costly litigation has led to the biggest health disaster in American history.


Bernays, hired by the Aluminum company of America (Alcoa), with the help of monetary incentives to the American Dental Association and the media, convinced the American public that water fluoridation was safe and beneficial to human health.


Today, mass medication of fluoride has permeated every large community in America. The campaign to fluoridate America has succeeded.

Back in the Day…

Fluoride was largely known to the public as the chief ingredient in pesticides, after the Edward Bernay’s campaign, it was widely hailed as a Modern Health Miracle.


source: Organic Consumers  

Fluoride, according to Harvard and many other studies, is a neurotoxin. Why then, does the American government allow the chemical industry to include it in children’s formulas, dental products and services, and most shocking of all, drinking water? More on this insidious “legal scam” here.



Crystallizing Public Opinion

by Edward Bernays



by Edward Bernays


Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War 

by Wilfred Trotter


The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind 

by Gustave Le Bon


Biography of Edward Bernays

by Encyclopedia Britannica


Big Fruit

by The New York Times


Torches of Freedom

by Your Story


The Museum of Public Relations 

by Edward Bernays


Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down" of America

by Psychology Today


Tabacco Advertising Themes

by Stanford University


100 most important people of the 20th Century

by Life Magazine


The Century of the Self Documentary  

You Tube Video

The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? 






Dumbing Down – The act of making something simpler and easier for people to understand, especially in order to make it more popular.


Engineering of Consent – Bernays defines "engineering consent" as the art of manipulating people. The central idea behind the engineering of consent is that the public or people should not be aware of the manipulation taking place.


Fringe Dweller – Someone who thinks and lives outside the box. They observe the masses and do the opposite.


Masses - A large number of people.


PR/Public Relations - According to Edward Bernays, the public relations counsel is the agent working with both modern media of communications and group formations of society in order to provide ideas to the public’s consciousness.

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