X-Message-Number: 23305
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 12:59:09 +0100
Subject: Re: Fw: Globalization
From: David Stodolsky <>

Just posted to the ErnestBecker-l interdisciplinary discussion group 

In an earlier message, I suggested that the simplest explanation for
the "War on Terror" was criminal activity operating through a highly
structured network of relations including the media/market system. That
is, no simple psychological explanation could explain the dynamics of
the "War". However, this doesn't prevent a psychological explanation
from working at the level of the individual or group in such a network.

The 2004.1.22 Democracy Now! program presents a book review/discussion:
Skull & Bones: The Secret Society That Unites John Kerry and President


Skull & Bones is a secret society of about 800 people based at Yale
Univ. with an objective of getting its members into positions of power.
It has apparently been very successful. Its initiation ceremony has
religious elements and uses mortality salient stimuli. One step
requires the new member to kiss the shoe of a "Pope" that is resting on
a "skull" and then drink "blood" from a skull shaped goblet. These
mortality salient stimuli would result in an increase in anxiety that
could be reduced by the accepting the rules of the group and thereby
gaining the group's acceptance, thus increasing self esteem / reducing
anxiety. This dynamic could reinforce group loyalty, thereby
maintaining the secrecy needed for the group to achieve its goals.

There is a well know psychological effect that achievements are valued
more highly when greater effort is required to attain them. This
phenomenon is known to work in initiation ceremonies to fraternities,
etc. The mortality salient stimuli may have the effect of making the
initiation "harder" and thus resulting in greater group loyalty. Does
anyone know of research on initiation ceremonies that specifically take
into account the role of mortality salient stimuli?

Now some real world data on the network level:

Recently it was revealed that VP Richard B. Cheney is suspected by a
French judge of misuse of corporate assets, money laundering, and
bribery in connection with an oil deal in Nigeria.


2004.1.20 Flashpoints radio reports on the "Bush Organized Crime
Former Bush I official and Republican fundraiser Catherine Austin Fitts
is interviewed by Dennis in an astonishing unfolding of the fleecing of
Californians, Americans, and indeed the world by corporate
manipulation, apparently supported by political leaders.


One estimate is that each American has lost about four thousand dollars
to this activity already. It also seems that agencies of the US
government are being used for money laundering:



David S. Stodolsky    SpamTo: 

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