Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ignorance is bliss...

I'm no conspiracy theorist ("the plague of feeble minds"), although I'll admit that it's possible, even likely, that there are government systems and events and scandals that rage below the public radar. Controlling people and information is the name of the game after all.

All societies require that certain information be classified. Along these lines, the concept of the "control file" seems grounded in the basic logic of power.

Essentially, a control file is an intelligence dossier that contains information you don't want the public to know about you. It is used as a form of blackmail to keep potentially threatening individuals in line, or to coerce key individuals to take actions they normally would not. You've seen it in movies. The scene where the envelope with damning photos is thrown on the desk of some boat rocker. There is speculation that control files are used extensively in higher business and government circles to ensure that prevailing agendas are pushed ahead without resistance. Monica Lewinsky, for example, would have made a nice fat control file for Bill Clinton at a time when he was most threatening to his adversaries. A little digging around on google will turn up the notion that there are huge data bases of these files linking powerful people to sex scandals (pedophilia and kept sex slaves in particular) and other unseemly activities. Other sources indicate that there is a control file kept for every American citizen. Who knows. Personally, I try to steer clear of circles dictated by such Machiavellian charms (although I reserve the right to be fascinated by the idea of their existence). Paranoia will destroy ya, and thinking too much about the government from a lowly, uninformed, John Q. Public perspective is a good way to warp your weltanschuung beyond repair.

(American propaganda leaflet: "Military Top Secret" encouraging Japanese soldiers/citizens to surrender to American forces during Saipan battle, 1944. English translation here.)


Anonymous slinkybender said...

Hey, my life is an open book.

Apart from that embarassing incident at a petting zoo in Bayonne, which I still contend was a case of mistaken identity, I have nothing to hide.

(Of course, when a veal rushes up to you and shouts "It was HIM!", you're at a disadvantage.)

2:45 PM  

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