In his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram discusses in detail the findings of his now famous experiment.Milgram demonstrated just how easy it is to convince an ordinary person to commit torture and murder under the instruction of an authority figure.
[Ron: In assessing the accuracy of conclusions about 'an ordinary person'in relation to the Milgram experiment and discussions about its conclusions, we need to remember that not all people are truly human beings and that not all those who are, have similar inherent thinking ability and spirituality. In particular be aware that about half of the people on this planet are robotoids, ie they have defective DNA which prevents them having a soul carrier body. These individuals lack the spiritual core we call 'soul' because of their defective DNA. Moreover human beings who do have soul carrier DNA have varying degrees of thinking and spiritual development because some are 'new souls' who have recently graduated from an animal soul existance to a human DNA soul carrier body structure. The result is that individual capacity to THINK rationally and make spiritual judgments about life the universe and everything varies greatly.
Because of defective DNA, robotoids do not have soul carrier bodies and hence they have virtually no inherent ability to think rationally and to make sound spiritual decisions. As a result they start life imitating the behaviour of others and their surroundings and seek to fit in to the society around them. Depending on the spiritual maturity of their social environment and their personal inclinations and decisions, robotoids can develop sufficient thought processes to grow a 'Mind' and evolve soul carrying DNA but until and unless they do that, they are very susceptable to external influences as evidenced by the Milgram experiment.
However, because their DNA allows their bodies to be soul carriers, the other half of humans here are ensouled humans, (ie HUmans - Higher Universal man) and from the moment they make their first moral decision they have the benefit of being indwelt by a God spark, a fragment of Creator consciousness which provides an inherent impulse towards rational thinking and spiritually motivated action. IF a soul carrier individual cultivates that impulse s/he is far less likely to succumb to negative external suggestions and manipulations as exampled in the Milgram experiment. However, HUmans can lose their God spark as a result of their own negative thinking and actions and they then become subject to the vagaries of life and prone to negative impulses similar to those experienced by robotoids. See eg: Everything You Wanted to Know About Robotoids And Clones - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Candace_7/Everything_You_Wanted_to_Know_About_Robotoids_And__864.shtml].
Intrigued by the role of Nazi military personnel in concentration camps during WWII, Milgram wanted to know how much coercion people needed in order to willingly inflict harm on another person.
"He asked volunteers to deliver an electric shock to a stranger. Unbeknownst to the volunteers, there was no shock-and the people they were shocking were actors pretending to be terribly hurt, even feigning heart attacks. Milgram found that most people would keep delivering the shocks when ordered by a person in a lab coat, even when they believed that person was gravely injured. Only a tiny percentage of people refused." [Source]
The suggested conclusion is that people are inherently unable to think for themselves when given a subordinate role in some authoritarian hierarchy,such as the role of the ordinary citizen in a state-controlled world. A documentary of this experiment can be seen here.
The Milgram study was controversial in that some felt the results were skewed in favor of a predetermined bias. In the fifty-plus years since the experiment, there have been no other major research studies to confirm Milgram's findings. Nevertheless, the presumption that normal people will go as far as to commit murder if they are relieved of responsibility by an authority figure feels inherently truthful in a world of so many organized atrocities.
[Ron: As discussed above, the question of what constitutes "normal people" needs to be closely examined.].
The question is:
"Can we be manipulated through social pressure to commit murder?" ~Derren Brown
It's an important question at a time when the converging technologies of AI and social media are affecting individual and group psychology in not yet understood ways. British illusionist Derren Brown recently conducted a similar experiment, this time in a feature documentary for Netflix entitled, The Push.
"This show is about how readily we hand over authorship of our lives, everyday, and the dangers of losing that control,"says Brown, who organized the reality TV-like experiment in which ordinary people were duped into doing things most of us would never even consider.
At the heart of the experiment lies the powerful effects of social pressure and social compliance, along with the individual's inherent need to belong and fit into society. It also questions the nature of individuality, while demonstrating that many of us simply don't have the courage to assert our own moral courage when faced with even a slight amount of authoritarian pressure.
The Push begins with a phony police officer calling a cafe worker on the phone and in a quick minute, without even a face-to-face interaction, convinces this person to steal a woman's baby. Interestingly, the worker carries out the abduction even while expressing significant hesitance.
The main experiment picks up from there, involving unwitting subjects who are gradually convinced of the need to push another person off of a high-rise building. It's an elaborate setup, which builds upon one small act of compliance after another until the subject is put into a situation where they are encouraged to kill a man they just met.
It's a rather theatrical and unscientific presentation, but the results are noteworthy as three out of four participants actually shove an actor off of a building, believing they are committing murder, after being pressured into it by a small group of others. It's a shocking act of compliance and subservience to the pressures of a peer group and a persistent authority figure.
What we don't know about society today, though, is just how many people are this extremely socially compliant, capable of doing anything to appease the directives of others. As Brown notes, "the more socially compliant a person is, the more likely they are to look to others for signs on how to behave. And the more people, the greater the pressure to join in."
This says a great deal about humans. Are we somehow wired to abandon our own morals and sense of self-integrity for the false belief that fitting into a group is necessary for survival?
[Ron: As discussed above, an individual's tendency to lack or abandon individual morals and a sense of self-integrity depends upon whether the individual is a robotoid or, if s/he has soul carrier DNA, has adequately exercised his/her inherent capacity for genuinely rational thought, judgment and action.].
A trailer for this show is seen below.
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Dylan Charles is the editor of Waking Times and host of The Battered Souls Podcast, both dedicated to ideas of personal transformation, societal awakening, and planetary renewal. His personal journey is deeply inspired by shamanic plant medicines and the arts of Kung Fu, Qi Gong and Yoga. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, he now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enjoys spending time with family. He has written hundreds of articles, reaching and inspiring millions of people around the world.