By Mike Sandefur


I start with a personal confession. “Many times in my life I have been utilized as a useful fool.” May it never happen to you.


Through artful deception, I believed in certain things (I later learned to be untrue) and sometimes acted upon those beliefs. These guided actions were never intended to benefit me they were intended to benefit the deceivers. In fact the actions often resulted in the loss of my own personal liberties, albeit ever-so-small, but cumulative.


Why am I making this confession to you? Because I am challenging you to ask the same question… “Am I a useful fool?”


If you can answer quickly with “no,” then the truth is likely “yes”.  With several degrees and diplomas, I was well in to middle age before I realized the manipulation. How was I transformed into a useful fool?  The same way most of us are.


Becoming a useful fool generally begins with some sort of indoctrination.  See the following definition:


Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.


The fact is few people in this world escape some sort of indoctrination.  Indoctrination can be in many, many forms, theological, political, cultural…


The first natural reaction to this challenge is denial… “the rest of the world may be indoctrinated but not me.”


Still a disbeliever, consider something outside of most of our theological or cultural beliefs. The Quran graphically lays forth the concept of sexual pleasures in paradise for those who fight and or die in the cause of Allah. It is commonly believed that each warrior will be rewarded with 72 virgins.


Do I believe this? No. Do I think it is absurd? Yes. Why? Because it is not part of my theological indoctrination. Yet there are perhaps tens or hundreds of millions that believe this and will never even consider challenging this indoctrination. Many will happily die for their belief. If you asked these people if they are being useful fools, they would quickly answer “No”.

So considering that indoctrination can instill such extreme beliefs, is it just possible that you have been indoctrinated in such a manner?

I also confess I am a science fiction buff.  In Terry Goodkind’s epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth he writes about the “Wizard’s First Rule,” which wizard states as:


“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”


Fiction often mirrors truth only much more directly. I wasn’t present but believe it to be true, that ever since humans began communicating, someone or some entity has been attempting to manipulate our thoughts for their own profit.


History is replete with sociopathic leaders and political regimes who have attempted to create a dystopia society in which the government controls all aspects and represses individual liberty under the guise of creating a utopia. If you wish to not be a “useful fool” consider reading George Orwell’s novel 1984. This novel illustrates an absolute indoctrinated society.


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