Hundreds gathered in downtown Toronto Feb. 5 as the Freedom Convoy spread across the nation. Photo by Warren Cann

Sr. Helena Burns: Divide and conquer? Never in Canada

By 
  • February 9, 2022

Perhaps the oldest strategy of war is: “Divide and conquer”— which can take many forms. Physically divide a land mass into north and south. Encourage a portion of a country to secede. Partition. Physical divisions create smaller spaces and populations to overtake, can leave families separated and citizens stranded. But the most insidious division is spiritual, psychological, social. If planned from without and then wormed into a once-harmonious (even if not homogenous) group, division can be made to feel organic and even righteous through… you guessed it: fear-mongering.

We would all do well to acquaint or reacquaint ourselves with the rather simplistic and obvious ways dictatorships and tyrannical regimes have always worked. Much ink has been spilled about their mechanisms and machinations, but perhaps we’ve ignored these textbook cases, blueprints and past happenings?

One of the bluntest instruments in despotism’s toolbox is psychological warfare. A coordinated effort to roll out a strategy and carefully control “the narrative” must be made by governing bodies, elites-corporations-financial sectors, and in some ways most crucial, the mainstream media. For all people’s grumbling about the above entities, most live their day-to-day lives with a practical, almost unwavering trust in this triad. They couldn’t possibly all be lying to us at the same time, could they? That’s the stuff of tin hats and paranoid folk, isn’t it? Yes. Until it happens. And, of course, it wouldn’t be the first time in history. The problem is, no one thinks it’s going to happen to them, in their lifetime.

"When I mention 'The Great Reset' ... people laugh as though I mentioned Sasquatch ... My reply to these scoffers: 'Hitler told us in advance what he was going to do in his book Mein Kampf, and no one believed him, either.'"

We do know there are bored, psychopathic billionaires out there who — for the first time ever — have the technology at their fingertips to set in motion unthinkable, dastardly plans that they’ve announced to us in advance via vehicles such as the high-sounding WEF (World Economic Forum), Agenda 2030, Event 201, “Build Back Better,” Davos, Gavi, etc., don’t we? When I mention “The Great Reset” (a much-publicized movement and book by Klaus Schwab) people laugh as though I mentioned Sasquatch (no offense, big and hairy guy). My reply to these scoffers:  “Hitler told us in advance what he was going to do in his book Mein Kampf, and no one believed him, either.”

Overusing the term “conspiracy theory” is getting old. It’s a tired label, an excuse that can be used to dismiss anything that scares us or sounds outlandish and impossible. It can also reveal a mental laziness surrounding the obligation we all have to try to understand what is going on around us and why.

If you’ve ever scratched your head wondering how Hollywood can be so prescient (serving up storylines detailing future sinister events that actually come to pass in “lockstep” before our eyes) — ask yourself: who owns Hollywood? These eerie foretellings have come to be called “predictive programming.” Just as Hitler laid out his game plan before us, many zeitgeist-watchers believe today’s masters of the world feel justified to go ahead with their wicked intentions by our tacit approval and eager consumption of their “portents,” disguised as entertainment.

"When people are in a pressure-cooker, traumatized by a global or national crisis ... our fallen human nature seeks a scapegoat, someone or some group to blame ... do those in power who are directly responsible for the crises get 'othered'? Nope."

When people are in a pressure-cooker, traumatized by a global or national crisis, undergoing all kinds of privations, prohibitions and restrictions — our fallen human nature seeks a scapegoat, someone or some group to blame, who could end the crisis and return life to normal if only they would just conform…. Holocaust survivors tell us that this is called a process of “othering,” aka demonizing, dehumanizing, take your pick. And do those in power who are directly responsible for the crises get “othered”? Nope. It’s classic Stockholm Syndrome.

It’s nothing less than evil genius for those in authority to turn the people against each other, make the people enforce “the rules” officially and unofficially, make the people do their dirty work for them so it feels like it’s coming from the grassroots, not the top.

As I continue to observe the glorious “Freedom Convoy 2022” unfolding, it struck me what the truckers and everyone who has joined them physically and in spirit want: not only a free but a united Canada (“I want my country back” is a frequently heard cri de coeur). The point is: Canadians refuse to be divided. Some of my favourite signs read: “Segregation is not Canadian.” “No two-tiered society.” “No vax passports.” “No medical apartheid.” And one of my very favourite signs says: “The world is watching, Canada! Let’s make history.” I believe we have.

(Sr. Burns, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA. HellBurns.com Twitter: @srhelenaburns)

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