by: Steve Gillman
Is there really “forbidden knowledge?” Probably not much remains truly hidden or forbidden, but there are little secrets about how things work. Politicians, salesmen and others always learn and use subtle techniques to influence you, for example. Here are some examples.
Control Through Words
The classic joke, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” is difficult to answer without incriminating yourself. Politicians, of course, use this technique of the implicit premise for more than jokes. For example, if they can get everyone to argue about how to do something, nobody questions if it should even be done. Implicit premises are a powerful method of control. Get in the habit of recognizing the premises hidden in political debate.
Another way to influence is to control language. Social security payments don’t come from actual investments, unless you call the government lending itself money “investing”, so it isn’t a “retirement fund.” However, calling it that makes it seem safer and more acceptable than what it is: welfare. Without arguing right or wrong, can you see how the words used control the debate?
Words matter greatly. It might be hard for a defense contractor to sell “human shredder” bombs, so they use the name “daisy cutter.” Start noticing how words are used to influence you.
Hypnotic Selling Techniques
“Does speaking before a crowd make you nervous? What if it was easy for you? Imagine standing there, knowing exactly what to say to make them love you. Wouldn’t that feel wonderful? Just apply our simple methods, and you will have that power. Use the form below to ORDER RIGHT NOW.”
The sales pitch above starts by getting you to say yes, which is habit forming. It hints at the possibility of a solution. “Imagine,” in line three, gets you doing just that. Line four suggests positive emotion and gets another yes. “And” in line five infers cause and effect, suggesting you’ll have the power BECAUSE you used their product. The last line directs you with “Use the form below.” The “order right now” is called an “embedded command,” because putting it in capitals influences you without you noticing consciously.
That short paragraph uses six or more “hypnotic sales techniques.” I learned dozens of these techniques, and when I used them to re-write the sign-up page for the Brain Power Newsletter, I started to get four times as many subscribers from the same traffic. This may not be forbidden knowledge, but it is powerful stuff. Start watching for it or using it (with good intentions I hope).
More Forbidden Knowledge
Consistently lucky people are usually creating the conditions for “luck.” There are a dozen techniques for doing this. Good salesmen are using techniques like “mirroring,” and “leading,” to persuade you. The new science of behavioral economics is showing how little logic has to do with our choices. Smart marketers are drawing on their research to create methods of getting you to buy.
This hidden knowledge isn’t all about influencing others. Every industry and human activity has little-known “tricks of the trade.” Smart real estate agents sell expensive homes, for example. They know it takes the same work as selling a mobile home, but the commission can be five times as much. Those who don’t use this “secret” struggle to make a living.
Subliminal techniques and other “forbidden knowledge” can be used for good or bad, so is it dangerous? Yes, especially if you don’t have it. Having it means you can use it (ethically) and protect yourself from its mis-use.