As we see government forces crack down on activist dissenter street revolt, like the current Moscow, Hong Kong and Paris protests which have been going on for weeks already, it is not just sovereign governments becoming more controlling of their people. There is a more powerful force, that is not even a country but rather a private corporation, and it knows more about us that we realize and it is shaping our opinions and thus our realities from within our homes, making it a more insidious and malign operator because we have voluntarily been feeding it all our information for years, and it never forgets. It comprises of the biggest data collecting search engine and social media platforms in the world – Facebook and Google.
And some hidden actors use these tools to scoop up all our data over years of posts and searches so that a profile can be drawn up of every person for them to categorize. But not only that, it gets worse. Google is actively engaging in what is known as “search engine manipulation effect”. This is based on the theory that most people only look at the first page of any Google search request. For all these years we have been fed by Google certain top options and we have chosen them, often without question. This tendency has allowed Google to subtly filter and prompt whatever it wishes for us to see more or less of.
And because we don’t know about it until one day we think it through based on new evidence, we have already been allowing it to occur to us all this time. This is why I use different browsers that are an alternative to Google, like Brave Browser. For example, it appears that Google were caught manipulating search engine access to more conservative political candidates in the past US election in 2016. And that’s just what they were caught doing.
Remember, Google and Facebook are private corporations and they have 90% of the market dominance globally when it comes to their respective online fields, where they are platforms for mountains of data, yours and my data, even our gmail accounts, including drafts folder. This is the way we are being tracked and monitored. And who is it that writes the algorithms and runs these corporations behind the scenes? Who handles Zuckerberg and Larry Page, CEO of Google?
And not only does Google filter what we see or not, it also prompts us in the search bar while we are typing in our key words. Suggestions pop up to invite us to click on them. And it is the algorithm that determines if positive articles or negative ones come up in, for example, an election candidate search. We think the internet has brought us free speech and freedom of information, and it has, but only to a degree. The higher hand still filters our information and guides our searches. Have you ever thought of the Youtube search and recommendations algorithm, it works in the same way, filtering according to the algorithmic programmer’s design?
In other words data, correspondence and searches are being weaponized against us all. Profiling is going on and more information that you realize is being tracked and collected. Did you know that top journalists for news companies like the Guardian, Time Magazine and The Hill generally use gmail or some form of Google software. And all their private correspondence can be tracked. This is meant to be the private and independent press who are the watchdog over the political elite, to see that they don’t get out of hand and abuse their powers.
The fourth estate, as we are called as journalists, are an important part of the balance of powers in society today. We inform the masses when the politicians get too powerful or start breaking laws. Like Wikileaks and Julian Assange, we blow the whistle. But now it may be that the social media tools have been turned against us and free press can be tapped and stopped in the modern day cyber warfare currently under way.
Google is so powerful that it shut down the internet for half of Japan once, lasting half a day. A technician made a small mistake and it ended up stalling Japan’s banking, telecoms, rail ticket booking and other industries. And if they actually want to they can do it again or they can subtly block certain websites from us, without us even knowing about it. And this is not a government, but a private company who just has to write a bit of code in an algorithm. Who gave them such power over the internet?
It seems democracy is an illusion. We are not in control of our own internet. This kind of concentration of power over the minds of the masses is unprecedented in modern history. And it’s happening right under our noses. They did not use soldiers or any weapons to infiltrate and take over. We voluntarily opted in ourselves. And this is the power of modern day manipulation, propaganda and mind control. This is how deeply we are in illusion.
This is why we need to open up our perception to the manipulation and conditioning that molds our minds and our lives, in the guise of freedom. The illusory energy that covers our consciousness is described in the ancient Vedic texts with the Sanskrit word “Maya”. The word Maya appears here in the 2nd and 4th lines of this text:
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया ।
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते ॥ १४ ॥daivi hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”
Bhagavad Gita as it is ch 7:14 translated by Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta
The three modes of nature, or types of Maya are called Tamas – ignorance, Rajas – passion, and Sattva – goodness. Goodness is the lesser of the illusory covering modes and is the platform from which transcendence can grow. I involves rising up above passion and ignorance first though. The three modes are described in sanskrit as “gunas”, which can also mean “ropes”. We are described as bound by the ropes of illusion.
Ignorance is described as being asleep to the truth of who we really are and how bewildered we are by the mundane forces around us. This Maya or illusion is difficult to overcome, as is admitted in this particular verse, but it can be done by first coming to goodness and then using the appropriate techniques for this age to step from there into transcendence.
Companies like Google specifically enhance and cultivate the illusion by manipulating our understanding of what is going on around us. Unless you already have some leads to point you in the right direction, or to the right website link, you may never be allowed to access what Google doesn’t want you to know about your world around you, your own country and ultimately your very self.