COLUMN: The Edward Bernays Method; Buyer Beware.

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net


n the 1920s, Edward Bernays, founder of today's P.R., wrote; "Those who manipulate the organized habits and opinions of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country"  He said that ,with control of the media, he could take this nation to war at will.


Since then, a Bernays strategy of repetitively broadcasting derogatory half-truths has served Corporate America well.  A case in point is of the woman who won a $6.l million judgement against McDonalds for hot coffee spilled in her lap.  Completely ignored was that the woman sustained multiple third-degree burns, the award was reduced to $600,000  and, despite receiving hundreds of complaints, McDonalds continued to require its outlets to serve coffee at a scalding160 to 180 degrees F. This incident was used to get damage awards capped at levels so low that consumers now have almost no recourse.


The Center for Public Integrity's investigative series "Science For Sale" has exposed another Bernays tool--consulting firms who sell false findings. The series' prime example, Gradient Corp., recently stated that horizontal hydrofracturing (fracking) poses no threat to water wells.   This statement is part of the oil and gas companies' current effort to discredit the acclaimed "Gasland" documentaries. The "Gasland" series is labeled "absurd science" by industry-connected films and talk shows which routinely fail to cite verifiable facts.  However, the EPA and Stanford have both confirmed such contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. 


Moreover, though settlement non-disclosure agreements keep the problem obscured, two families in Pennsylvania didn't settle.  They won 2.42 million from Cabot Oil for well-poisoning--and they can report it.  Meanwhile, five states, Quebec and ten nations have banned fracking after reviewing science similar to that in “Gasland” .


Lives and property are at stake.  Please consider checking the funding behind all fracking information.  Commonly-employed oil and gas incentives--large university endowments and still larger campaign donations--can be difficult to detect.


Though the energy industry claims its critics just want grant dollars, who stands to lose the most when these critics are heard and has the money to implement Bernays methods?

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